- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Speaking of U.S.-Mexico relations, I see that some lawmakers weren’t happy that Mexican President Felipe Calderon criticized Arizona’s new immigration law in his speech to Congress yesterday:
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said that Calderon’s statements about American laws were out of bounds. "I don’t think we should have some foreign leader come in here and criticize the statute of a state, where they are implementing a federal law on a state basis," Hatch said of the Arizona immigration law.
He also chafed at Calderon’s call on the U.S. to revisit the assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004. "We don’t need someone coming in here and telling us how to handle an explicit clause of the Constitution," Hatch said. "I like President Calderon. I know him, I like him, he has a very difficult job. But it was inappropriate to say what he said."
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), whose state shares a border with Mexico, rejected Calderon’s assertion that the Arizona law allows racial profiling. "It was inappropriate for President Calderon to lecture Americans on our own state and federal laws," Cornyn said.
The senators are certainly entitled to voice disagreement with Calderon on this or any issue, but I think they doth protest too much about the "appropriateness" of what the president said. American leaders — inlucing senators — lecture foreign governments on their laws all the time. Do they senators also think it was inappropriate when the Vice President stood up in the Bosnian parliament and said the country must join the E.U. or "descend into ethnic chaos that defined your country for the better part of a decade." (Well… maybe that one was actually a little inappropriate.)
In any case, these senators are no shrinking violets when it comes to calling out foreign governments on human rights violations. They’re free to disagree with Calderon but they seem a little oversensitive when they assert that they shouldn’t have to listen to him.
This wasn’t Muammar Qaddafi, it was the president of Mexico. Two allied democracies should be able to have a grownup discussion about important issues — including the Mexican military’s appalling human rights record — without the unecessary umbrage-taking.
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Passport |
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |