The world is a complicated place and there are more to conflicts than what is presented by the media and by politicians. America should improve our diplomacy to fight for human rights and to promote peace and democracy abroad. Politicians also need to be clear and honest about when we are involved in a conflict because of a moral imperative versus when we are doing it because it is in our national interest.
Diplomacy - Requiring ambassadors to be fluent in the language of their host country will do a great deal to improve our foreign policy. Ambassadorship has historically been a patronage system for the president to reward supporters. We need to change this. We too often we find ourselves in a quagmire abroad, deeply involved with people whose culture and values we know little about. The first step towards a peaceful and prosperous world is to have competent ambassadors who understand and can communicate with the people they live with.
Iraq - Our vision of Iraq differs from what the Iraqis want. United States wants to build a democratic, pluralistic Iraq while the Iraqis are split along the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites division. The prime minister of Iraq has used his powers to marginalize and imprison the Sunnis. Our contribution to the conflict in Iraq should be contingent upon the Iraqis working out a power sharing agreement that all the parties can agree with. Otherwise, in fighting will tear apart the country and make the lives of our brave soldiers for naught.
Ukraine - To understand this conflict, we need to look at the history and geography of Ukraine. Ukraine is situated squarely between Russia and Europe. In the 18th century, parts of Ukraine belonged to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and parts belonged to Tsardom of Russia. During World War I, Ukrainians were involved in the crossfire between Austria-Hungary and Russia, and Ukrainians participated on both sides of the conflict. During World War II, many Ukrainians collaborated with the Nazis while many others resisted the Nazis. So it should come as no surprise that today, the allegiance of Ukrainians are again split between the European Union and Russia, leading to the current conflict. We need to support the people of Ukraine in finding their identity, but history has shown that an armed intervention in Ukraine will not address the root cause of conflict.
America is a country built on immigrants. Immigration is good and is important to our economy. But we need stop illegal immigration because that hurts people who are trying to do it legally. Johnson and Wales University educate many talented, entrepreneurial foreign students. These students live and study in Rhode Island for 4 years and some of them want to stay after graduation to pursue their business ideas here in this state, with the potential to create jobs. However, these students are unable to obtain a visa because of the influx of undocumented immigrants. We want immigrants to come to this country but the way to do that is to fill out the proper paperwork and get in line with everyone else, not to send children traveling by themselves through the desert. The first step in solving our immigration problem is securing our borders and prevent further influx of undocumented immigrants.