Archive for the ‘Clinton’ Category

Clinton pushes for stronger China role

March 27, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has moved aggressively and quickly to secure a stronger role in what she has called the world’s most important relationship: U.S. dealings with China. But military and economic tensions between the two powers keep getting in her way.

By Foster Klug
Associated Press

As the international financial crisis worsens, the two colossal economies have bickered over their intertwined interests. China is nervous about its position as Washington’s biggest foreign creditor, holding an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt.

Beijing and Washington also have sparred over military matters, including a confrontation between American and Chinese vessels in the South China Sea and harsh words over Pentagon claims that China’s rapidly growing military strength could allow it to win short, intense conflicts against high-tech adversaries.

These issues will demand high-level attention from the Treasury and Defense departments. Clinton is pushing, however, to ensure that her diplomatic corps is not marginalized as the United States engages a country the Obama administration needs as a partner in efforts to solve the world’s major problems.

Clinton began staking out her claim on China early. A week after President Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration she signaled her determination not to stand on the sidelines in her first comments to reporters at the State Department.

“The strategic dialogue that was begun in the Bush administration turned into an economic dialogue,” Clinton said. “That’s a very important aspect of our relationship with China, but it’s not the only aspect of our relationship.”

In Beijing last month, on her first foreign trip as secretary, Clinton said she and new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “will both be fully engaged” in discussions with China. Clinton then pleasantly surprised China by saying the Obama administration would not let its human rights concerns interfere with cooperation with Beijing.

Read the rest:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20090
327/D97683SG1.html

US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

March 26, 2009

The US has deployed two warships with anti-missile capabilities in the waters off Japan as tensions mount over North Korea’s plans to test-fire a long-range ballistic missile capable of striking Alaska.

By Peter Foster
Telegraph (UK)
.
The deployment comes as America, Japan and South Korea threaten North Korea with ‘serious consequences’ if it proceeds with plans to conduct the missile test in defiance of a 2006 UN resolution.

North Korea, which has informed international agencies of its plan to fire the missile between April 4 and 8, says the launch is a “satellite test” which it is entitled to make under international law.

USS Chafee: US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

USS Chafee:The US Navy spokesman said the two destroyers, the USS McCain and USS Chafee, had left Sasebo port in southwestern Japan Photo: AP

 

Recent satellite imagery has shown that the North Korea has now assembled two stages of the three-stage Taepodong-2 missile on a launch pad in the country’s northeast. Experts estimate that missile could be ready to fire within four days.

Japan has threatened to shoot down the missile if it crosses over Japanese territory, a move which Pyongyang has already said it would consider an “act of war”.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has warned any launch would threaten to end the six-party talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme. The talks have been stalled since December in a dispute over how to verify its disarmament.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/
asia/northkorea/5053883/US-deploys-warshi
ps-as-North-Korea-prepares-to-launch-missile.html

Related:
 North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

Russia Pressing “Reset,” Medvedev Orders Military To Re-Arm

March 17, 2009

Was it Joe Biden, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton that thought it was a good idea to encourage Russia to just hit the “reset” button?  Well, whoever.

Russia apparently did hit the reset button today….

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian.
Coffrini/Getty

Related:
 Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

******************

The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has ordered a ‘comprehensive’ military rearmament after accusing Nato of once again encroaching on Moscow’s sphere of influence in the former Soviet Union.

By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
The Telegraph (UK)
.
Mr Medvedev’s bellicose speech risks causing unease in Washington and will dampen hopes of a rapid improvement in strained East-West relations.

The president told defence ministry officials in Moscow that Nato’s continued enlargement ambitions meant that Russia had been left with no choice but to increase its conventional and nuclear combat preparedness.

The threat to Russia’s stability had also been increased by local crises, Mr Medvedev added, in an apparent reference to last year’s five-day war with Georgia.

Russia announces major military buildup

“The attempts to enlarge Nato’s military infrastructure are not ceasing,” said Mr Medvedev. “All this calls for qualitatively modernising our armed forces and reshaping their image. This involves the enhancement of combat preparedness of our troops, primarily the strategic nuclear forces.”

A “comprehensive re-armament” of the Russian army and navy will begin in 2011, the president announced.

Despite the aggressive symbolism of the word, US officials are less likely to be concerned about Mr Medvedev’s talk of rearmament than they are of his antagonistic references to Nato.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world
news/europe/russia/5005261/Russia
n-president-orders-military-rearmament.html

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/e
urope/03/17/russia.rearmament/index.html

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: Russian president orders military rearmament  

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Photo: AP

Reuters on this topic:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/2009
0317/wl_nm/us_russia_medvedev_army_2

What does Russia really want?  No missile defense in Eastern Europe and no NATO expansion….

From the Associated Press as printed in the Moscow Times
March 17, 2009

The United States should seek Russia’s close cooperation in dealing with Iran and solicit Moscow’s participation in, or at least acquiescence to, a missile defense system in Europe, a panel of former high-level U.S. diplomats and members of Congress urged on Monday.

Calling for across-the-board repairs to a splintered relationship with Russia, the commission took note of some recent positive trends.

But the panel warned that they “are deeply concerned by the gap between the current U.S.-Russian relationship and the level of cooperation that the United States needs with Russia in order to advance vital American interests.”

The commission, headed by former senators Chuck Hagel, a Republican, and Democrat Gary Hart, is a joint project of the Nixon Center, a Washington think tank, and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs of Harvard University.

Describing current relations as “deeply troubled,” the commission said, however, that Moscow is not hostile to the United States, “at least not yet.”

Even if the relationship breaks down completely, Russia does not have the will or the resources for a new Cold War, the report said.

Both governments are to blame for the decline, the panel concluded. Rebuilding the relationship “is not solely the responsibility of the United States,” the report said.

The commission proposed that the administration of President Barack Obama “take a new look” at proposed U.S. missile deployments in Central Europe and concentrate instead on cooperation with Russia in confronting any threat from Iran.

A recent private letter from Obama to President Dmitry Medvedev reportedly broached recasting the proposed missile defense system to allay Russian concerns in return for Moscow’s aid in dealing with the Iranian threat to build nuclear weapons.

“Building a joint system that could include Russian facilities and equipment is most desirable,” the report said.

The United States has a strong interest in attracting Russia’s cooperation. Key U.S. allies would prefer such an approach, and “it would send a powerful signal to Iran” while avoiding new dangers from a possibly hostile Moscow reaction to deployment of the missile defense system without an understanding with Russia, the report said.

http://www.themoscowtimes
.com/article/1010/42/375365.htm

Pressuring Obama: International Actors Take Risks Amid Uncertainty

Obama Maybe Doesn’t Know: Nice guys get finished first

March 15, 2009

“Can’t we all get along … let’s try to work it out.” That was Rodney King’s plaintive plea in May 1992 after his highly controversial confrontation with the Los Angeles Police Department led to arson and anarchy. Now, 17 years later, the Obama administration has apparently made “just get along” their response to every national security test. So far, it has been the wrong answer.

By Oliver North
The Washington Times

Since Mr. Obama’s announced his deadline for pulling U.S. combat troops out of Iraq, there has been a spike in violence in the Land Between the Rivers. His decision to “open a direct dialogue” with the theocrats ruling in Tehran has thus far yielded an Iranian satellite launch – using North Korean ICBM technology, a check-ride on Iran’s Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant, and, just in case we didn’t get the message, rejected visa applications for the U.S. Women’s Badminton Team.

“Nice guy” diplomacy hasn’t worked very well elsewhere either. Pakistan replied to the administration’s “let’s get along” overture by allowing Dr. A.Q. Khan – the world’s most notorious nuclear-weapons proliferator – to travel and “resume scientific research.” Hamas responded to the promise of $1 billion in U.S. “reconstruction funds” by showering Israeli civilians with Iranian-made, Syrian-delivered, Egyptian-facilitated rockets.

Syrian strongman Bashar Assad’s answer to the recent White House proffer of “dialogue with Damascus” came last week when he told visiting Japanese journalists such talks would “have to involve” the Iranian-controlled terror group Hezbollah. For those who may have forgotten, the only terror organization that has killed more Americans than Hezbollah is al Qaeda – on Sept. 11 2001.

The “O-Team” offer to “restart” or “reboot” the U.S.-Russia relationship was so moving that Moscow bribed Kyrgyzstan’s government into booting U.S. troops from the Manas airbase, crucial to supporting allied operations in Afghanistan. The Kremlin followed up by forging ahead with plans to sell advanced S-300 (SA-10) surface-to-air missiles to Tehran, presumably to help protect Iranian nuclear facilities.

With this track record as preamble, it is not surprising that the People’s Republic of China decided to conduct a little “O-Test” of their own. On Feb. 22, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton concluded two days of “very promising” meetings in Beijing by emphasizing that “the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship.” Five days later, the United States and China resumed direct military-to-military “consultations” – talks suspended in 2008 when the Bush administration sold Patriot air-defense missiles to Taiwan. It went downhill from there.

On March 4, Chinese ships and aircraft began harassing the USNS Impeccable and the USNS Victorious while they were operating in international waters. The two unarmed, civilian-manned vessels (with U.S. Navy personnel aboard to operate specialized equipment) are designated as Ocean Surveillance Ships. Both are equipped with the newest generation of submarine tracking sonar, known as SURTASS LFA – Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System – Low Frequency Active.

The Victorious, operating in the Yellow Sea, between the Korean Peninsula and mainland China was approached at night by a Chinese patrol vessel using a high-intensity spotlight or visual-spectrum laser to momentarily blind lookouts on the ship’s bridge. The Impeccable, operating in the South China Sea, 75 miles off the coast of the major Chinese Naval and submarine base of Hainan Island, was repeatedly “buzzed” by Chinese Y-12 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and then surrounded by no fewer than five Chinese vessels.

According to the official complaint filed with Beijing by U.S. commander in chief Pacific (CINCPAC), the confrontation required the Impeccable to “maneuver to avoid” a collision with a Chinese Navy frigate, that the Chinese ships “approached to within 25 feet of the U.S. vessel” and that “high-pressure water hoses were employed” to prevent being boarded.

A Defense Department spokesman said Chinese sailors made “an attempt to snag the Impeccable’s towed acoustic array sonar” and described the incident as evidence of “increasingly aggressive conduct by Chinese vessels.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.co
m/news/2009/mar/15/nice-gu
ys-get-finished-first/

Related:
Obama Has Failed To Spell Out His Vision

Analysts: Russia outmaneuvered U.S. over air base

 Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

 Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

http://urdunews.wordpress.com/200
9/03/14/zardari-remains-firm-prot
ests-continue/

 Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

 Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

China:
 Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

Related:
China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/13/china.wen/index.html

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

Obama Backs-Off On Human Rights Issues: Economy is That Important

March 13, 2009

Despite the economic crisis, President Obama says he will not budge on anything in his ambitious agenda.

Anything, that is, except human rights.

Obama intends to plow ahead in his efforts to reform education, health care, America’s energy situation and the environment.

But on human rights, Obama has apparently agreed to bend….

***********************

By Steven R. Hurst
Associated Press

Advocates fear the Obama administration may be putting the human rights issue on the back burner to focus instead on coping with the global economic crisis and national security.

President Barack Obama sought the moral high ground on human rights with his early order to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and declaration that the United States would never again torture prisoners.

Those moves — which won nearly unanimous international praise — were made soon after Obama took office. He sought to repair the U.S. image abroad, correcting what he believed were mistaken Bush administration policies that had left the United States on the diplomatic outs with much of the world, even with some traditional allies.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dulled the luster, rights advocates say, when she said during a trip to Asia that the administration — while still deeply concerned about human rights in China — could not let that interfere with cooperation with Beijing on the worldwide economic crisis and the fight to ease global climate change.

“We fear she may be setting this tone as a signal to the rest of the world that human rights are not going to be one of the main issues for the administration,” said T. Kumar, Amnesty International advocacy director for Asia. “Trade and security should not be promoted at the expense of human rights.”

Clinton pushed back Thursday after a Washington meeting with China‘s foreign minister, noting she and Yang Jiechi had a significant engagement on human rights and the situation in Tibet.

Human rights is part of our comprehensive dialogue” with China, she said. “It doesn’t take a front seat, a back seat or a middle seat. It is part of the broad range of issues that we are discussing.”

Beyond China, however, there is a considerable list of Obama positions that have raised doubts about how far the new president will shift from the policies of his predecessor.

_The administration has filed a legal brief that echoed Bush in maintaining that detainees in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights and arguing that enemy combatants held at Bagram Airfield cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detention.

_Government lawyers continued to invoke the state secrets law in a federal court case that involves the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, in which U.S. operatives seized foreign suspects and handed them over to other countries for questioning. The law blocks the release of evidence the government deems secret and potentially harmful to U.S. security.

_The administration is feeling out Uzbekistan, which has one of the worst human rights records among the former Soviet republics, about using an air base to provide supplies and troops to Afghanistan. The move became necessary after neighboring Kyrgyzstan declared it was canceling the U.S. lease for a base in that Central Asian country.

_Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently greatly scaled back expectations in Afghanistan, declaring the United States was not going to be able to leave behind anything close to a western-style democracy. The U.S. rationale for its seven-year engagement in the country rested partly on having driven the Taliban from power. The Islamic fundamentalists ran a brutal regime that was particularly harsh in its treatment of women. The administration has recently said it was ready to reach out to Taliban members who are willing to work with the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

Those and other human rights issues trouble advocates, but they emphasize Clinton’s very public remarks regarding China.

“Part of her challenge diplomatically is going to be able to work on many fronts,” said Amnesty International’s Curt Goering. “The United States cannot be credible on any issue unless it remains credible on human rights.”

He said Amnesty does not deny the need for pragmatism, but insists the United States must at the same time “signal it is serious about human rights.”

Kumar, likewise, acknowledged the pragmatism argument but said Clinton could have delivered her message in closed-door meetings with the Chinese. He said her public comments on human rights were bound to inspire serious questions about U.S. intentions under Obama.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked this week about comments by the Dalai Lama, the revered leader of Tibetan Buddhists who fled to exile as Tibet‘s 1959 uprising against Chinese rule collapsed. The Dalai Lama said Tibetans were living in “hell on earth” because of Chinese repression.

“The United States respects the territorial integrity of China and considers Tibet to be part of China,” Gibbs said. “At the same time, we’re concerned about the human rights situation in Tibet.”

Gibbs noted that Washington believes the Chinese government increased cultural and religious repression in Tibetan areas last year, and urged Beijing to engage in further negotiations with the exiled leader.

“We believe that substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama’s representatives that makes progress and brings about solutions to long standing issues is the best way to achieve true and lasting stability in Tibet,” Gibbs said, in a muted response to the perennial and fundamental human rights sore point.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood also rebutted the criticism in response to a Washington Post editorial that said Clinton “continues to devalue and undermine the U.S. diplomatic tradition of human rights advocacy.”

Wood said: “She realizes you have to sit down with, for example, her Chinese counterpart and make these points on human rights. But she also knows that’s not necessarily going to get you what you want at the end of the day, so you’ve got to find new and creative ways to influence the human rights situation in China and that’s what she’s trying to do.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
313/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_human_rights

Card Check, Earmarks, Nancy’s Air Travel Cloud Giant That Could Eat Obama, Ruin America: The Economy

March 12, 2009

Stupid games like card check are not good for the economy: so why are we playing them now?
.
Time to end stupid games and business as usual.  It’s the economy, stupid.

Pork?  Slash it.  Nancy’s aircraft: wanton waste of taxpayer money.  Don’t let them eat cake: fly commercial, bitch!


Dumb and Dumber: I’m starting to think this is Obama and Geithner

“It is time for President Obama to focus his considerable leadership and communication skills on the financial crisis – to speak candidly with the people about the magnitude of the problem, to embrace a solution commensurate with the problem, and to do whatever it takes to persuade Congress and the people to accept it,” wrote William Galston, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, in The New Republic.

Barack Obama should forget about spending billions of dollars on education and everything else and read a little recent history.  Recent economic, political and world history.

Money is power.  It’s the economy, stupid.

That phrase, coined by James Carville, got Bill Clinton into the White House.

The “we can have it all” thought process of Barack Obama might not get us what we want.  Be careful what you wish for.

I’ll join the team of Warren Buffett who suggests that the president needs to go to war to save the economy and deal with health care, education, climate change, energy and the rest later.

Just today, Thursday, March 12, 2009:

—The number of initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week, while the total number of people continuing to receive benefits set a record high, the government said Thursday.

— Foreclosure filings in the U.S. climbed 30 percent in February from a year earlier as the worsening economy thwarted efforts by the government and lenders to prevent homeowners from losing property.

—The net worth of American households fell by the largest amount in more than a half-century of record keeping during the fourth quarter of last year.The Federal Reserve said Thursday that household net worth dropped by a record 9 percent from the level in the third quarter.

Some economists say the unemployment rate could reach 10 percent by the end of this year, from its current level of 8.1 percent.

And our unemployment measures don’t see relatively highly skilled and highly paid workers now cleaning toilets….

The stock market may be up today but we all know it is down hugely since last fall.

Except on education the president should read a little history.  LBJ tried to do it all while the economy was shakey and he lost everything. 

The casino Barack Obama is spending our money in is the world and China, which holds much of the U.S. debt, and China could break his legs…..

But before China bearks Obama’s legs something else happens: because China sees an economically weak America and a President it perceives as weak, America and Obama will be tested.  Again and again.

And not just by China.

Related:
China Making It Clear: Won’t Roll Over, Do Tricks for Barack, Hillary
.
 Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

53% Say It’s Likely the U.S. Will Enter a Depression

Obama Reelection Effort Begins

Obama: Playing not to lose

See:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2
0090312/ap_on_bi_ge/economy

http://www.bloomberg.com/ap
ps/news?pid=20601206&sid=a
qtJdtiZTJtk

http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/03/12/threat-of-card-check-legi
slation-sends-wal-mart-stock-down/

China Making It Clear: Won’t Roll Over, Do Tricks for Barack, Hillary

March 12, 2009

By staging an international icedent at sea last weekend with the USNS Impeccable, China has made claer it will not roll over and do tricks for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

China won’t play dead either: it is very much alive and holds the notes on most U.S. debt and soon to hold even more.

China and Russia have formed and alliance that will not abide any lip from the United States.

There may be “business as usual” in Washington DC and a nation awash in pork barrel spending thanks to earmarks: but China and Russia see a new era of American weakness and aim to make gains during this period….

Related:
Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

 China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?
.
 China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

***********************

Reuters
March 11, 2009

Chinese President Hu Jintao urged the military to “staunchly defend” national sovereignty in comments published days after a brief confrontation with a U.S. Navy ship.

Hu’s comments to People’s Liberation Army officers, published in the official People’s Daily Thursday, did not mention the PLA Navy’s run-in Sunday with a U.S. Navy survey ship off the Chinese island province of Hainan.

 

There have been no signs that Beijing wants to expand the dispute, in which China says the U.S. ship violated its sovereignty by monitoring waters in its exclusive economic zone.

Washington has said its ship, the Impeccable, was in international waters.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, visiting Washington, said Wednesday that relations were “at a new starting point and have important opportunities to develop,” the ministry website (http://www.fmprc.gov.cn) reported.

But Hu, who also serves as Communist Party chief and supreme military leader, made it clear that Beijing does not want to be seen as bowing to others.

“Vigorously advance modernisation of national defence and the military,” Hu said Wednesday, speaking to PLA officers attending the annual session of the Party-run parliament.

“Staunchly defend national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and provide a powerful support and assurance for protecting national development interests and broad social stability.”

Read the rest:
http://uk.reuters.com/article/world
News/idUKTRE52B1VF20090312?fe
edType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

Related:

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

53% Say It’s Likely the U.S. Will Enter a Depression

Obama Reelection Effort Begins

Obama: Playing not to lose

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations

March 8, 2009

Bungle: : to act or work clumsily and awkwardly. 

Etymology: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Icelandic banga to hammer.Well, President Obama and Hillary Clinton both hammered their roles as foreign relations dignitaries last week….

****************

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

Barack Obama’s offhand approach to Gordon Brown’s Washington visit last week came about because the president was facing exhaustion over America’s economic crisis and is unable to focus on foreign affairs, the Sunday Telegraph has been told.

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

The above quote comes from the Telegraph Newspaper in the UK.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa
/barackobama/4953523/Barack-Obama-too-tired-to-give-prope
r-welcome-to-Gordon-Brown.html

Bloggers in the UK and elsewhere are somewhere between bemused and ouraged:
http://www.politicalbyline.com/2009/03/07/can-som
eone-remind-me-as-just-why-exactly-we-elected-this-do
uche-nozzle/

*********************

Related:
Obama And The Fine Art of Political Nuances
Fine Art Of Protocol, International Relations Lost On Obama?

Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama 

In The White House, Protocol Not Just For Computers
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
(Now we can add stupid….)

Hillary’s Benito Bungle

Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows on her first visit to Europe as secretary of state when she mispronounced her EU counterparts’ names and claimed U.S. democracy was older than Europe’s.

Clinton has set herself a gruelling pace on visits to Egypt, Israel and Brussels soon after touring the Far East, attending dozens of meetings and giving speech after speech, with little time worked into her schedule for sleep.

Tiredness appeared to show on Friday when she answered questions in front of 500 young Europeans at the European Parliament, where she was the highest-ranking U.S. visitor since the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

A veteran politician, Clinton compared the complex European political environment to that of the two-party U.S. system, before adding:

“I have never understood multiparty democracy. “It is hard enough with two parties to come to any resolution, and I say this very respectfully, because I feel the same way about our own democracy, which has been around a lot longer than European democracy.”

The remark provoked much headshaking in the parliament of a bloc that likes to trace back its democratic tradition thousands of years to the days of classical Greece.

One working lunch later with EU leaders, Clinton raised more eyebrows when she referred to EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who stood beside her, as “High Representative Solano.”

She also dubbed European Commission External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner as “Benito.”

From Reuters and Canada.com:
http://www.canada.com/news/Solano+Benit
o+Democracy+Clinton+raises+eyebrows/1
361287/story.html

Barack Obama and Gordon Brown: Has Gordon Brown's meeting with Barack Obama restored his fortunes

President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown walk down the Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Photo: AP

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009. Emanuel famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Iran test-fires new long-range missile

March 8, 2009

Iran has test-fired a new long-range missile, the country’s state Press TV reported on Sunday.

Reuters

Iran often stages war games or tests weapons to show its determination to counter any attack by foes including Israel and the United States, which accuse the Islamic Republic of seeking to develop nuclear bombs. Tehran denies the charge.

“Iran test fires new long range missile,” Press TV, Iran’s English-language television station, said in a scrolling headline without giving details.

The Press TV report came less than a week after a top Iranian military commander said that Iranian missiles could now reach Israeli nuclear sites.

Israel has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to end the row over Iran’s nuclear aims, echoing U.S. policy, though U.S. President Barack Obama has also offered to engage Iran in direct talks if it “unclenches its fist”.

Iran has often said it has missiles able to reach the Jewish state but had not previously mentioned such specific targets. Israel is believed to be the only nuclear-armed Middle East state.

Related:
Russia, U.S. Missile Defense Dispute

Russian Relations With U.S., Europe Improve: But Putin, Medvedev Understand Strength, Power More than Diplomacy

 Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
.
Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia HaggleRussia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
.
Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

 

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Mr. Obama and Russia
NYT Editorial: Russia only understands strength….

 Chutzpah: Admire Russia’s Arrogance

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

Russian Relations With U.S., Europe Improve: But Putin, Medvedev Understand Strength, Power More than Diplomacy

March 7, 2009

International relations is the arena of understanding different peoples and cultures and one might expect that Barack Obama, with his wide ranging international background, along with America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her vast international experience, might understand international nuance.

Yet on Hillary’s first outing with one of America’s most difficult adversaries, she delivered a gift bearing an incorrect translation: an insult because it represents a lack of proper care in even properly translating one word.

What do we pay that big crowd at the State Department for, anyway?  Too expensive and porky, if they can’t get one word properly translated.  But I’m picky.

When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented her counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with a big red button marked “peregruzka” she thought this meant “reset.”

The symbolic resetting of Russian and U.S. relations did not go perfectly.

“You got it wrong,” Lavrov said.” Both diplomats laughed. “It should be “perezagruzka” (the Russian word for reset,) Lavrov said. “This says ‘peregruzka,’ which means ‘overcharged.'”

We disagree with CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty who said  the U.S. and Russian relationship had to be reset “after relations ‘crashed’ when Russia invaded Georgia last August.”

In fact, the Bush Administration and most of Europe suspended relations with Russia in hopes of punishing or at least getting the attention of the oil rich giant after Russia’s incursion into Georgia.  But then a winter gas dispute with the Ukraine moved Russia to cut off gas to Europe — teaching the West a memorable lesson: oil and gas are power.

Relations with the U.S., Europe and NATO have suddenly gotten rosier for Moscow and the gas to Europe is flowing again.  That’s power, not diplomacy talking.

Clinton said the two sides will re-negotiate a follow-up to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and nonproliferation. On other issues like Afghanistan, the Middle East and Iran, Clinton said, “We will work through them.”

On issues where there is disagreement, Clinton said, “We are keeping those on the list because, we think through closer cooperation and building trust in each other, we can even tackle some of those differences.”

The tricky “hot button” between the U.S. and Russia right now is Iran.  Russia has been assisting Iran with nuclear development and air defense weapons.  The Obama Administration wants Russia to persuade Iran from moving closer to a nuclear weapon program.  Israel plays in this discussion.  A right wing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu is being formed in Israel and Netanyahu has made noise about attacking Iran in the past.

So, to keep world peace, the Obama Administration may be willing to give up its missile defense effort in the Czech Republic and Poland in order to gain Russian help with Iran.

Related:
CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/W
ORLD/europe/03/07/us.russia
/index.html

Related:
Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
.
Israel Ponders War on Iran; Obama, Russia Haggle

Russia Testing Obama: Just as Biden Predicted
.
Russia building anti-satellite weapons

 Russia: Medvedev Pushing Putin Out?

Russia Verifies “American, Western Weakness”

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Mr. Obama and Russia
NYT Editorial: Russia only understands strength….

 Chutzpah: Admire Russia’s Arrogance

Russia, Obama and the Strategic Chess Tournament

Putin Medvedev
.
Above: Russia’s “power couple.” Vladimir Putin speaks with his presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev.

http://defencedebates.wordpress.com/2009/03
/07/russia-pushes-for-new-strategic-arms-pact-with-us/

Russian media teases Clinton:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG
.9ca28ad2530b0d0029e1304762eca18f.8c1&s
how_article=1

http://doubleplusundead.mee.nu/

America’s Top Diplomat Tongue-Tied?
http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyE
noughNews/idUSTRE5254WO20090306

http://www.rightwingnews.com/#post14701