In his State of the Union Address, President Obama focused, as is custom, essentially on domestic issues, support for America’s troops and the key challenges ahead. His reference to foreign policy was brief, but he began with a welcome call for “a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs.”
American leadership on international issues has long been an essential component to promoting peace and stability worldwide. For example, the President rightly extolled America’s efforts in driving and supporting the process that has led to the remarkably peaceful referendum in Sudan. This is no small accomplishment given the checkered recent past of the country.
President-elect Obama used the word “pragmatism” twice while introducing his new national security team. “They share my pragmatism about the use of power,” he said at one point.
Thanksgiving is the warmest of holidays. It is uncomplicated by gift-giving or getting and uncluttered by a round of holiday parties. It revolves, quite simply, around sharing a meal with family and friends and giving thanks for them and other blessings.
Monasteries in Burma, as in many Buddhist countries, are places where those in need go for help: for religious education, meditation skills, counseling and, increasingly in this underdeveloped country, for food, education, shelter, and health care.