DAVID RIEFF.“Imagine (With Apologies to John Lennon),” The New Republic, June 23, 2010.
"For the sake of argument, imagine, if you can, an American foreign policy based on interest alone. To begin with, to use the current Wall Street phrase, it would need to overweight Latin America and underweight the Middle East. For whether the Obama administration believes it or not (in fairness, they are no worse than their predecessors, though they are no better either), crises are brewing in Latin America that pose potentially greater threats to the United States than those posed by Al Qaeda. Mexico may not be in danger of becoming a narco-state, but individual Mexican states, including several along the U.S. border, are. Hugo Chavez is not living in a cave in Waziristan, or hiding out in the slums of Karachi. The imminent end of the Castro tyranny is likely to send a million Cubans north to Miami (the returnees in the exile, for all their braggadocio, will likely number in the thousands), an event that will pose problems on a smaller scale but of the same kind that the integration of East Germany posed for the Federal Republic. And relations with Brazil, no matter who succeeds President Lula, must become a first order concern for Washington—as they are not, at present, which is why the Turko-Brazilian initiative in Iran came as such a shock to the administration. Brazil not only desires to become a major world power now, as, historically, it always has, but it finally possesses the economic muscle to realize its ambitions."