The first priority of the new Obama administration will be avoid an impending depression. However, other steps should be taken promptly to repair America’s tattered image throughout the world, promote peace and save taxpayer dollars.
The new president should categorically renounce and forbid all forms of torture, including water boarding, by all agencies of the U.S. government, and close the Guantanamo prison camp, saving $100 million in annual operating costs.
He should give the costly, gargantuan U.S. embassy campus in Baghdad to Iraq for use as a public university, and move to a normal-size facility.
President Obama should hold talks with Iran (diplomacy is for enemies, it’s not needed with friends); announce that aid to Israel, presently the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid, will cease if Israel does not promptly obey United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 by withdrawing from the occupied territories; and withdraw from the unproductive war in Afghanistan. Last month the British commander there said it cannot be won.
He should also abandon plans for stationing missiles in Poland and Czechoslovakia. These plans revive the Cold War, are opposed by the people of these countries, and exacerbate already fragile relations with nuclear-armed Russia.