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National Commentary

Argentina’s Macri won’t be Venezuela’s friend

Fresh off a bruising campaign that toppled a political dynasty and split Argentina in two, incoming president Mauricio Macri was blunt at a Monday news conference. “If I said I’d do it, we’ll do it,” he declared when asked if he planned to make good on his campaign promise to bring Venezuela’s autocratic regime to task for violating human rights and trampling democracy.

CAL THOMAS: Terrorists as ‘tourists’

President Obama has put a new twist on the Islamic invasion now taking place across Europe and the United States. Speaking to reporters last week during his visit to the Philippines, the president compared Syrian refugees to “tourists,” saying they are no bigger a threat than people who come to sightsee and visit attractions.

Hillary Clinton flip-flop-flips on Iraq

It was an extraordinary concession. Hillary Clinton, who voted for the Iraq war and then apologized for doing so, and who opposed the surge, now publicly concedes it worked. This confirms former defense secretary Robert Gates’s account that Hillary Clinton opposed the surge purely for political reasons. In his memoir, Gates wrote, “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary… . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.” So she was for the surge before she claimed to be against it.

Fear of frightened refugees

Judging from some of the more extreme rhetoric on the presidential campaign trail, the biggest threat to U.S. national security today comes from frightened Syrian families fleeing the brutality of Islamic State.

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Analysis: What Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II

WASHINGTON — A poll published in Fortune magazine in July 1938 showed fewer than 5 percent of Americans believed the United States should raise its immigration quotas or encourage political refugees fleeing the fascist states in Europe to voyage across the Atlantic. The vast majority of those refugees were Jewish. Two-thirds of the poll respondents agreed with the proposition that “we should try to keep them out,” according to the poll, published on the Twitter account HistOpinion.

What did it really mean when France ‘closed’ its borders?

PARIS — Shortly after several devastating terror attacks hit Paris on Friday night, French President Francois Hollande said he would close the country’s borders. It seemed like a drastic step for a country that is part of the Schengen zone, the European area where citizens may travel freely among the 26 member nations, and has not had systematic border checkpoints in years.

‘Act of war’ is good rhetoric, bad terror policy

When French President Francois Hollande said Friday’s attacks on Paris were an “act of war,” he was following a script set by George W. Bush in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Rhetorically, invoking the language of war to describe a terrorist attack sends a message of seriousness and outrage. But as the United States’s post 9/11 wars show, it isn’t always wise to elevate a terrorist group to the level of the sovereign entities that traditionally have the authority to make war.

Aid curbs migration; the question is how

Developed countries spend $135 billion a year on foreign aid, on everything from building schools and distributing bed nets to training people how to organize a political party. As Europe’s migration crisis deepens, an uncomfortable question gets harder to ignore: Should rich countries use more of that money to keep people away?