Archive for the ‘Holbrooke’ Category

Obama Respects Afghans More Than Americans

February 15, 2009

Earth shaking news today that Pressident Barack Obama has honored President Hamid Karzai’s request for Afghanistan’s official representation in the strategic review on the future of the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Karsai may have gotten the idea from U.S. Chaiman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen who has an Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post under the headline “Trust is the Coin of the Realm.”

Trust is the coin of the realm

 Obama Team Gloats: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

Too bad there was no such effort to involve Republicans in the formulation of the “strategic review” that built the just passed economic stimulus.

That’s because by most accounts, there was no real strategic review on the future of the American economy and what to do next by Team Obama, that we know about, for sure, even given the pledge on “transparency;” and the Republican involvement in the formulation of the stimulus was only given lip service.

We write this fittingly on Valentine’s Day; a day that is often charged with lip service.

Note to President Obama: Congressional Republicans represent something like 47% of the American voter population that voted for the other guy.

In Kabul, Afghanistan, U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke said President Obama welcomed President Karzai’s recommendation for his side’s total involvment in the U.S. planning effort.

Karzai said his foreign minister, Dadfar Rangin Spanta, would head the delegation.

Memo to Dadfar Rangin Spanta: when you meet Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid you are in trouble.  The “strategic review” is finished, if the stimulus is any guide.

Now maybe the White House, which honored Republicans before the vote on the stimulus with photo opportunity meetings with the president, a cocktail party, a Super Bowl feed complete with peanuts, and not one actual working group of real substance at the White House, Old Executive (excuse me, I’m old: Eisenhower) Office Building, or in the House or the Senate Office Buildings — will send a special envoy to meet Republicans.

I mean, there is a special envoy to the Middle East, isn’t there?  To Afghanistan?  Even Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N. is now said to have Cabinet Rank?

Where’s the outreach to Repubicans — and their 47% of the electorate — that has productive intention, real merit, and invites seriously serious input?

Real outreach to Republicans doesn’t exist and hasn’t yet in this presidency.

Trust is not the coin of this realm.

Let’s see: we need a White House special envoy to Republicans.  We are just thinking of guys that won’t be laughed at or ridiculed by say Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John McCain, or talking heads like Karl Rove  and Charles Krauthammer.

How about  Rahm Emanuel or Jimmy Carter? 

No, maybe not.

Trust is not the coin of Rahm. Ask Judd Gregg.

And Afghanistan should know that the “bipartisanship” they really seek is not the kind of bipolar treatment that Democrats just gave Republicans during the stimulus enema. 

Hint to White House: you don’t need a special envoy to Rush Limbaugh.  Republicans only like him for his entertainment value….

But maybe the president himself could still be the special envoy to Republicans in the spirit of trust and bipartisanship?

Maybe not.

The president’s record on “outrach” and  bipartisanship to Republicans, and trasparency, so far, I mean during the stimulus, is like purchased sex with a working girl; it is sleezy and meaningless.  Maybe he needs some chachki toys or aluminum key chains with little hand painted “Air Force One” or “White House” gimmicks or the presidential Great Seal.  You know, creations to hand out to Republicans…..  Or maybe a little yellow tractor from Caterpillar on a key chain….  Or Abe Lincoln to remind one of two great presidents….

Karzai: watch out.  It’s not just the Taliban that will keep you awake with worry about trust.

If you get peanuts at the White House watch out.  And don’t be surprised….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

Afghanistan to take part in US strategic review

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

 Stimulus: “Obama is popular but has no clout”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/15/tax
payer-revolt-porkulus-protest-in-seattle/

economic stimulus bill will prevent American 'catastrophe'

Photo: AP
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) talks with U.S. Special Representative ...

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) talks with U.S. Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke in Kabul February 15, 2009.REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN)
Heavy reading 

Psst: Karzai.  If this is your agreement at the end of the ‘strategic review’ and you get it just before decision time, BEND OVER. House GOP leader John Boehner shows a copy of the massive bill, which he and every other Republican in the House opposed, along with seven Democrats. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Special envoy material….. Trust is the coin….Leadership, bipartisanship, transparency, honesty, integrity and clout?  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.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Obama Picks New World “Winners” and “Losers”

January 24, 2009

The American people gave Barack Obama a mandate to solve the problem.

And the problem is clearly jobs and the economy, a new Pew Research Poll says.

After the economy and jobs, American interest in other more mundane things like global warming, the war against terror and international relations and foreign policy barely makes the poll needle move.

But every nation outside the U.S. is looking to every word and action from President Obama to help them decipher the new direction of the U.S. and much of the world.

[Review & Outlook]
AP

Each New Year in the U.S., dozens of newspapers list what is “out” from the old year and “in” for the New Year.

As the Asian or Lunar New Year is upon us, every nation in the world might feel the need to assess what is “in” or “out” since the President Obama tenure commenced.

China is worried and fear it may be “out.”  China loved George W. Bush as “China friendly” but has already signaled that “Houston, we have a problem.”

Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy F. Geithner’s remarks about China in his Senate confirmation hearings already sent a shock wave through China.

Mark Lander of the New York Times wrote, “A  simple restatement of his boss’s views, Timothy F. Geithner’s assertion that China ‘manipulates’ its currency has complicated a crucial front in President Obama’s efforts to improve America’s relations with the world.”

And China does not see Hillary Clinton as a friend.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former ... 
Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, shakes hands with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, left, as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, center, looks on during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Carter and Kissinger were in China to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations which began on Jan 1st, 1979.  China hope relations with the U.S. will get even better, but the nation hated to see George W. Bush leave.(AP Photo/ Elizabeth Dalziel, POOL)

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev says Moscow is ready to help U.S. efforts in Afghanistan by allowing the Americans to ship cargo intended for coalition forces across Russian territory.

But Medvedev and Putin in Russia are loathe to accept U.S. missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic and fear other U.S. meddlesome activity in Georgia and elsewhere.

Asked about the prospects of the world with a President of the United States Barack Obama, Russin Preident Vladimir Putin said, “I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations.”

Pakistan is worried that the flow of American money may dry up, as former President Musharraf of Pakistan seemed to indicate when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

But Pakistan is pleased there will be a new U.S. envoy to the region: Richard Holbrooke.

Iran and several “brothers against Zionism” in Hamas, Hezbollah, and among Palestinians and others seem emboldened by President Obama’s promise of a new way forward in the Middle East, stronger diplomatic efforts to resolve all difficulties, and the appointment of George Mitchell as special envoy.

But naturally, this makes for some concern in Tel Aviv, Cairo and other capitals.

Many in Africa and in the human rights arena are delighted to see Barack Obama as President of the United States but also express some longing for President Bush’s work to fight AIDS and the abuse and neglect of refugees.

Will President Obama do more in Somalia or Darfur?

Mush remains unknown…..

President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico's President Felipe ... 
President-elect Barack Obama meets with Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, January 12, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

In Mexico: indiscriminate kidnappings. Nearly daily beheadings. Gangs that mock and kill government agents.

This isn’t Iraq or Pakistan. It’s Mexico, which the U.S. government and a growing number of experts say is becoming one of the world’s biggest security risks because of the “drug war.”

But when President-elect Obama, just before his inauguration, met Mexican President Calderon, the discussion was not about drugs or immigration.  The media was told Obama praised Calderon for his work on global warming and energy.

But neither a bad environment nor energy problems are as likely to bring Mexico to its knees — and impact negatively on the United States — as the drug war, according to the U.S. military.

The leadership of every nation on earth is asking, “What does President Obama mean to us?”

Related:
Poll: Economy, Jobs Top Americans’ Priorities (Global Warming Last); Obama Solutions?

Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

Pakistan welcomes appointment of U.S. envoy

 Most World Leaders Encouraged By Obama Time; Putin Ready for Disappointment

Drugs, Crime Make Mexico “Under Sustained Assault”

Islamist insurgents display their weaponry in Mogadishu during a parade in mid-January.

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/europe/01/24/un.somalia/index.html