American electorate against US intervention are being felt, if only marginally. Recent polling shows little or no American appetite for being drawn into a war on the side of Israel against Iran’s nuclear program and the Teheran regime itself. The election results are a stinging rebuke to Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Likud Party and the billionaire fringe headed by corrupt casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Now the Israeli regime is “rushing” to make nice with Obama lest he engage in bilateral talks with Iran or “go easy” on the PLO’s quest for upgraded status at the UN. These are reasonable initiatives that the president should take in pursuit of a “grand bargain” over the Middle East, pushing a day of reckoning down the road. (New York Times, November 7, 2012)
On a positive note, J Street and Jewish voters in general gave strong support to Obama and to candidates supportive of a two-state solution with active US diplomatic involvement. J Street is beginning to push back against AIPAC's monopoly over Jewish-American politics.
On Latin America, the US is increasingly isolated and may remain so for a time. A Summit of the Americas meeting next year, however, may be an opportunity to break the diplomatic ice toward Cuba, and Obama has indicated an interest in "reviewing" the bloody and ineffective Drug War. Latin American governments will aggressively insist on respect for their socio-economic needs in any hemispheric economic development. The model for Obama could be FDR’s Good Neighbor Policy, but there is little sign of any US-based popular movement to push for such alternatives. The key might be the rising Latino powerhouse, but their attention will be on comprehensive immigration reform more than with solidarity with the left-leaning democracies of Central and Latin America.
A key factor in the hemisphere is the rising role of China in Latin America’s economic development and independent diplomacy. The irony is that Obama is focused on an “Asian pivot” – i.e a new Cold War with China – while Chinese influence grows in Latin America in response to obsolete US policies. The US elite may finally be forced to acknowledge the new Latin America or face losing influence to China.