Good news is easier to notice if you consider the alternatives. On Monday, the Biden offered “unwavering” support of Brazil president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the aftermath of a right-wing coup. It’s easier to imagine earlier presidents, not just Republicans like Donald Trump but also Democrats like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, taking a very different stand when a socialist government in Latin America is facing a right-wing attempt at regime change.

In a recent article in The New Republic, Matthew Duss and Stephen Wertheim note that the rising progressive movement in the Democratic Party has usefully pushed Biden to partially move beyond the failed policies of the past. This can be seen especially in the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the retreat from drone warfare. But there’s still much work to be done, as USA foreign policy is still too militarized.

For the latest episode of The Time of Monsters, I talked to Duss and Wertheim about Biden’s foreign policy record. Duss is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former foreign policy adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders. Wertheim is also affiliated with Carnegie, where he is a senior fellow. He’s the author of Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy.

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