Archive for the ‘Iran’ Category

President Obama’s Overseas Outreach: How Goes It?

March 26, 2009

AMERICA’S enemies smell blood and it’s type “O.”

All new administrations stumble a bit as they seek their footing. But President Obama’s foreign-policy botches have set new records for instant incompetence.

By Ralph Peters
New York Post

Contrary to left-wing myths, I wasn’t a fan of the Bush administration. (I called for Donald Rumsfeld to get the boot in mid-2001.) But fair’s fair. Despite his many faults, Bush sought to do good. Obama just wants to look good.

Vice President Dick Cheney was arrogant. Vice President Joe Biden is arrogant and stupid. Take your pick.

Don’t worry about the new administration’s ideology. Worry about its terrifying naivete.

Consider a sampling of the goofs O and his crew have made in just two months:

China: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (you know that gal married to the Saudi hireling) crawled to Beijing to tell the party bosses that human rights don’t matter. Our “relationship” is more important than freedom and human dignity.

Beijing’s response? A staged military confrontation with an unarmed US Navy vessel; continued screw-America currency cheating; a renewed crackdown on dissidents and, yesterday, a call for a new global currency to replace the dollar.

Thanks, Hill. You’re a sweetheart.

Pakistan: With viral corruption throughout and Islamist fanatics sweeping half of its territory, Pakistan’s coming apart. Its Dem-adored prez tries to ban opposition parties and gut the judiciary. It has nukes and seethes with hatred of America. And Islamabad controls our primary supply route into Afghanistan, using it as an extortion tool.

Obama’s response? Billions in new aid for Pak pols to pocket. We’d be better off handing the money to AIG to pay out more bonuses.

Afghanistan: Obama’s Vietnam. Am I the only American who remembers that candidate Obama had a plan to capture Osama bin Laden and fix our previous “mistakes” in Afghanistan? President Obama doesn’t have a clue.

Iran: Obama tried to reach out, to talk. After all, talking got him to the White House. But America-bashing is what keeps Iran’s leaders in office, it’s their political essence. After 30 years of fierce hostility, hasn’t anyone figured out that the senior mullahs need us as an enemy? Without the Great Satan America to blame, they’d have some real explaining to do to their homies. So O got the left-hand finger.

He wanted to chat with the Taliban, too. They told him he could stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Russia and China rearm?
China boosts military, cyberwarfare capabilities
.
 Gates readies big cuts in weapons
.
 Russia Pressing “Reset,” Medvedev Orders Military To Re-Arm

Related:
Global Recession, Security Challenges Test Obama’s Popularity Among World Leaders

 Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

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

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

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

10 questions for Obama (That won’t be asked or answered tonight)

March 24, 2009

Politico has offered ten possible questions for the media to ask of President Obama tonight.

Here are a few of my own:

Why should we enact card check?

China says their factories make goods for the U.S., thus the pollution in China is U.S. pollution and Americans should pay to clean it up.  What say you President Obama?

What in the consitution gives the U.S. the right to tax anyone like AIG executives at 90% and what gives the U.S., in the constitution, the authority to take over businesses?

Your kids go to private schools in Washington DC.  But poor parents will lose their vouchers if the government of the District has their way.  If this a good thing?

See:
http://www.politico.com/news/st
ories/0309/20422.html

From Politico (the entire essay is very good and is at the link):

1) You’ve dismissed the stock market’s frequent zig-zags, but do you think Monday’s rally in the Dow amounted to a Wall Street stamp of approval for your bank bailout plan?

2) Given that 15 of the top 20 AIG bonus recipients are now returning their bonuses, do you think the House acted too hastily to pass a bill levying a punitive tax on those individuals?

3) You talked on “60 Minutes” about missing the ability to talk to everyday Americans, but can you tell them for a moment how this economic downturn is impacting you and your family? 

4) Wall Street is, understandably, coming in for significant blame over the current financial crisis. But what responsibility, if any, do average Americans bear for the problem?

5) On health care, you included a government-run insurance option in your campaign platform. Is that a must for comprehensive legislation? Also, some in your own party have expressed concern about paying for healthcare by, in effect, raising taxes on upper-income taxpayers, as you have proposed. Are you willing to pay for it through other means?

6) How many appointees have received waivers from your new ethics rules barring lobbyists from working in government?

7) Larry Summers told New York Magazine last summer that he hoped you didn’t believe what you said about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, while you were touting your opposition to the treaty on the campaign trail. So where do you stand now — will changing NAFTA become a priority for you, or not?

8) Throughout the campaign, you said Afghanistan represented the central front in the battle against Islamic terrorism but on “60 Minutes,” you said there must an “exit strategy.” How long do you expect to keep American troops on the ground there?

9) Appearing before a crowd chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei rebuffed your video outreach to this country last week. Is there any hope of reaching a new, less contentious relationship with Iran?

10) Most modern presidents have found it useful to confer with the other living presidents because of their unique insights and perspective. Can you tell us which presidents you have consulted since entering the White House and generally what you discussed?

Related:
Obamagasm Media: Start Asking Questions; The Budget Is Full of Them

Obama Believers Thought They’d Hear More On Immigration By Now

Teleprompter White House: Packaged People, Messages

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/24/bre
aking-news-arlen-specter-acts-like-a-c
onservative-for-once/

Iran’s supreme leader dismisses Obama overtures

March 21, 2009

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed overtures from President Barak Obama on Saturday, saying Tehran does not see any change in U.S. policy under its new administration.

Khamenei’s comments were the first top level reaction to a video message Obama released Friday in which he reached out to Iran on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year.

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, ... 
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, Iran, in this Friday March 14, 2008 file photo. Khamenei has dismissed overtures from U.S. President Barak Obama Saturday March 21, 2009, saying Tehran doesn’t see any change in American policy toward its government.(AP photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)

Khamenei holds the last word on major policy decisions, and how Iran ultimately responds to any concrete U.S. effort to engage the country will depend largely on his say.

In his most direct assessment of Obama and prospects for improved ties, Khamenei said there will be no change between the two countries unless the American president puts an end to U.S. hostility toward Iran and brings “real changes” in foreign policy.

“They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change,” Khamenei said in his speech, which was broadcast live on state television.

In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran and improve decades of strained relations, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community “cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.”

Speaking to tens of thousands of people in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
321/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran_obama

Obama Fails During Tone-Deaf, Humorless Week: No Progress on Economy, Russia, Iran

March 20, 2009

The way things are going for Barack Obama we don’t see him again on “Jay Leno” in this lifetime.

In fact, we don’t expedt Obama to laugh much in the near term….

The Congressional Budget Office panned his budget predictions today, saying Obama’s budget would generate deficits averaging almost $1 trillion a year over the next decade, according to the latest congressional estimates, significantly worse than predicted by the White House just last month.

Obama Spending, Tax Plans Likely Out The Window As CBO Predicts Much More Debt

Less than one month ago, while President Barack Obama was still making his own budget with his own numbers (and everything was rosy) he assured reporters that he likes being president.

“And it turns out I’m very good at it,” he said.

One month later, nobody can be sure that the president is good at anything.

He can’t tell a joke and can’t use a telepromter.

He ever hurt a lot of good people with a nasty, ugly remark he threw off as an “off hand comment.”  That was on a nationally televised enetertainment show no other sitting president has seen fit to go on…

Obama said to me, “I bowl like a retard”

He apparently can’t manage congress, which included a green light for the bonuses AIG paid when they wrote the stimulus bill.  This caused the president “outrage.”  So the congress offered to tax AIG bonus recipients 90% — perhaps another outrage that may actually be unconstitutional.

Related:
The End of America As We Knew It?

Duke’s basketball coach told the president to forget about bracket picks and get to work on the economy.
.
Besides his basketball picks, don’t forget Obama picked Geithner, Richardson, Biden, Daschle and a host of other failures for his team mates in his administration.

US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits ... 
US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Iran has blown off all of Obama’s overtures but Russia has agreed with Obama to press the “reset” button.

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

Russia announced a militay re-arming project.

Turns out, besides campaigning, we don’t know what President Obama is good at.

“I’m good at it”
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Con
tent/Public/Articles/000/000/016
/215bpfvr.asp

Iran Blows Off Obama “Outreach Video” in White House Video Hell Week

President’s Economic Team in Trouble: Especially Geithner

Aides Attempt to Cover for Obama; White House Not Worthy of Special Olympics

Obama and Leno Discuss Congress, AIG: “It Kind of Scared Me” 

Obama On Geithner Sounds Like “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”

 Duke Coach Slam Dunks Obama: Go Fix the Economy

Gates readies big cuts in weapons

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

See Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/
03/20/why-cant-obama-tell-a
-good-joke/

Obama’s Toughest Week From Fox:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first10
0days/2009/03/19/obama-does-tonig
ht-strike-right-tone/

Iran Blows Off Obama “Outreach Video” in White House Video Hell Week

March 20, 2009

President Obama is in video hell today.  His top videos are being panned and laughed at.

Americans are giggling that the president made fun of the Special Olympics while a guest on Jay Leno.

He should leave the comedy to Leno.

The Duke basketball coach said Obama should go to work on the economy and stay off ESPN.

And in Iran the Obama video offering outreach may never even get to the screen….

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

From Fox News

 Iran’s supreme leader said Friday that world powers had been persuaded they could not block Iran’s nuclear progress — making no mention of a new-year’s message sent by President Obama to his country, Reuters reported.

Neither Ayatollah Ali Khamenei nor Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad noted Obama’s attempt to make a “new beginning” with their country in recorded messages they issued to mark the Iranian New Year.

Obama released the video Friday to coincide with the Iranian festival of Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring. In the video, Obama says the U.S. is prepared to end the strained relations if Tehran tones down its combative rhetoric.

“This process will not be advanced by threats. We seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect,” Obama said.

A press adviser to Iran’s president downplayed the video, saying “minor changes will not end the differences.”

Ali Akbar Javanfekr told the Iranian state-run English-language Press TV satellite station that Iran will never forget U.S. meddling in Tehran’s affairs. The two countries broke off relations after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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

“Obama has talked of change but has taken no practical measures to address America’s past mistakes in Iran. If Mr. Obama takes concrete actions and makes fundamental changes in U.S. foreign policy toward other nations including Iran, the Iranian government and people will not turn their back on him,” Ali Akbar Javanfekr told the Iranian state-run English-language Press TV satellite station.

It wasn’t clear how many Iranians were able to see the video, which was not aired on state television in Iran on Friday. It was likely shown on Farsi-language TV stations beamed in from outside of the country, but many Iranians don’t watch television in the first days of long Nowruz holiday that is normally filled with family gatherings or vacations away from home.

Iranians could see the video on the White House Web site, but other popular video sharing sites like YouTube are blocked in Iran.

Read the rest from the Associated Press:
http://www.breitbart.com/article.
php?id=D971PVM81&show_article=1

Commanders: US ready for any North Korean missile

March 19, 2009

Two senior U.S. commanders said Thursday that the military is ready if called upon to shoot down North Korea’s planned rocket launch next month.

The top U.S. commander in the Pacific, Adm. Timothy Keating, told senators at a hearing that there was a “high probability” that the United States could knock down a North Korean missile. Gen. Walter Sharp, the U.S. commander in South Korea, said the threat “is real.”

Associated Press
The comments come as North Korea reportedly prepares for what many believe will be a long-range missile test in early April. North Korea says it will launch a communications satellite, and defends the launch by saying other countries have been pursuing peaceful space programs.

Keating said the United States is getting “reasonable intelligence” reports that give a close look at North Korea’s activities.

“We’ll be prepared to respond,” he said, adding that “the United States has the capability” to shoot down any missile.

Sharp said any launch would be a “very clear” violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution. “The threat,” he said, “is real, and it is felt in South Korea.” The U.S. has some 28,500 military personnel in South Korea.

“We call on North Korea not to act in this provocative manner,” Sharp said.

In his testimony, Sharp said North Korea continues to build missiles of “increasing range, lethality and accuracy” for sale in Syria and Iran and elsewhere and for its own forces.

The United States, he said, “cannot afford to overlook” the threat those missiles pose to Asia and the world.

Sharp said North Korea is struggling with attempts to balance increased contact with the outside world and the risks such contact poses to “regime control.”

That, Sharp said, “raises questions about the long-term viability of an increasingly stressed North Korean regime.”

Sharp also said North Korean leader Kim Jong Il “is in charge. Every major decision is coming directly from him.”

Kim, 67, reportedly suffered a stroke in August. North Korea denies he was ill.

Obama, Israel Split On Iran?

March 15, 2009

In the capitals of two staunch allies last week, top intelligence officials spoke about the nuclear threat from Tehran. Differences were clear.

By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
The New York Times

Iran has crossed the technological threshold,” the chief of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, told the cabinet in Jerusalem last Sunday, in words that were immediately leaked to the press. Now, he added, “its reaching military nuclear capabilities is a matter of adapting its strategy to the target of manufacturing a nuclear bomb.”

Days later in Washington, Adm. Dennis Blair, the new director of national intelligence, appeared before a Congressional committee and agreed that “there is potential for an Iran-Israeli confrontation or crisis” over reports of Iranian nuclear progress. But he said the Israelis “take more of a worst-case approach to these things.”

Both men were reacting to, and interpreting, the United Nations’ confirmation last month that Iran after a quarter-century of effort had collected enough atomic material, in dilute form, to produce a bomb.

Israel and the United States have worried for years about what they would do at such a moment. Now that it has arrived, the passing of the milestone has forced into the open longstanding differences between the two allies about how urgently to treat the threat. As Admiral Blair implied, the nuclear-threat clock ticks a lot faster in Jerusalem than in Washington.

Where this new dynamic leads is unclear. But the Israelis have seized on the Iranian milestone to redouble pressure on the United States for a tougher stance against Iran, and to remind the new president that their patience has a limit. In fact, Israeli officials have quietly been delivering the message that the diplomacy Mr. Obama wants to start with Iran should begin promptly — and be over quickly. “By late spring or early summer,” one senior Israeli intelligence official said the other day, echoing a message delivered in Israel to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Otherwise, they argue, the Iranians will drag talks on endlessly while speeding ahead on bomb work.

The Obama team, by contrast, is taking its time to craft a new diplomatic approach to Tehran, putting the veteran Middle East diplomat Dennis Ross at the head of a team to set up what Mr. Obama last year called a strategy of “bigger carrots and bigger sticks.” Real discussions may not begin until after Iran’s elections in June.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/1
5/weekinreview/15SANGER.html

Related:
 Never Wrong? U.S. Intelligence Says Iran Does Not Nave Any Highly Enriched Uranium

Allies’ Clocks Tick Differently on Iran

Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at Natanz.

 

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?

Pentagon Rethinking Strategy, Planning, Budgeting and Weapons-Buying

March 14, 2009

The protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are forcing the Obama administration to rethink what for more than two decades has been a central premise of American strategy: that the nation need only prepare to fight two major wars at a time.

By Thom Shanker
New York Times
.
For more than six years now, the United States has in fact been fighting two wars, with more than 170,000 troops now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The military has openly acknowledged that the wars have left troops and equipment severely strained, and has said that it would be difficult to carry out any kind of significant operation elsewhere.

To some extent, fears have faded that the United States may actually have to fight, say, Russia and North Korea, or China and Iran, at the same time. But if Iraq and Afghanistan were never formidable foes in conventional terms, they have already tied up the American military for a period longer than World War II.

A senior Defense Department official involved in a strategy review now under way said the Pentagon was absorbing the lesson that the kinds of counterinsurgency campaigns likely to be part of some future wars would require more staying power than in past conflicts, like the first Iraq war in 1991 or the invasions of Grenada and Panama.

In an interview with National Public Radio last week, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made it clear that the Pentagon was beginning to reconsider whether the old two-wars assumption “makes any sense in the 21st century” as a guide to planning, budgeting and weapons-buying.

The discussion is being prompted by a top-to-bottom strategy review that the Pentagon conducts every four years, as required by Congress and officially called the Quadrennial Defense Review. One question on the table for Pentagon planners is whether there is a way to reshape the armed forces to provide for more flexibility in tackling a wide range of conflicts.

Among other questions are the extent to which planning for conflicts should focus primarily on counterinsurgency wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what focus remains on well-equipped conventional adversaries like China and Iran, with which Navy vessels have clashed at sea.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/washi
ngton/15military.html?_r=1&hp

Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

March 13, 2009

After 52 days, it is starting to look like President Obama wcould roll back America’s strategic place in the world faster than anyone since Napoleon fled from Moscow to Paris.

Obama has established himself as the outreach and diplomacy president in a world that mostly understands thunder and power.

And General David Petraeus says more U.S. troops and power are not the solution in Afghanistan anyway.

Gen. Petraeus: No Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan

As North Korea threatened to both launch a long range missile and go to war this week, the White House almost shrugged and said “never mind.”  Spokesmen even said the U.S. had no intention of shooting the North Korean missile down.  This after America’s commander in the Pacific, Admiral Keating, said his boys WOULD shoot it down.

Finally, Japan has said in disgust it would shoot the darned thing down.

Hillary Clinton, already the subject of talk for a bone-headed gift to her Russian equal, Mr. Lavrov, said the U.S. “had a lot of options” with North Korea.

With China sparking an at sea incident; Washington gave the same kind of response.  The strategic yawn.

The U.S. is even rolling back on its human rights criticisms of China — just as China is expressing doubts at buying more U.S. debt.

Hmmmm.

While these shrugs and yawns may be appropriate, the situation in Afghanistan, where the president is adding troops and lowering expectations and goals, is troubling.

A key air bas, Manas, in Kyrgyzstan is already apparently lost in a move by Russia.

Analysts: Russia outmaneuvered U.S. over air base

Terrorist Taliban forces now surround Kabul, and Afghan government sources say the city could be under seige “at any time.”

Moin Ansari says on his web site, “The US is leaving Afghanistan. Only the details of the withdrawal and the schedule of the return is to announced. A massive campaign will be launched to obfuscate the defeat with face saving measures like the ones implemented in Iraq.”

As for Afghanistan, Mr. Ralph Peters, once a “Surger,” is now an “Exiter“.

Mr. Peter’s four possibilities can be listed as choices between an exit strategy or a hasty retreat after the defeat. We see it as follows:

1) Plan an exist strategy and leave with dignity now or

2) Wait for the Taliban to run over Karzai’s forbidden city

The ranks of the “Exiters” from Afghanistan is surging because of several interlinked factors—the economy and China. Both are inter-related and the dependencies weigh heavy on the White House. Why the US gave up India as a Strategic partner? Without China’s help, the USA cannot sustain the bailouts or hope for a recovery. China is willing to give the US a reprieve, but may have a couple of strings attached. China will exact a price. It seems that Beijing at this point will require a pullout from Afghanistan and the resolution of Kashmir. We have always considered Kashmir as the silent “K” in Holbrooke’s mission. India’s worst nightmares come true: Long term strategic malaise in a changing world . The People’s Daily leaves no doubt that the resolution of Kashmir is not simply a “nice to have” on the “wish list” of Mr. Holbrooke–it a mandated requirement-China’s pound of flesh for agreeing to buy American T-Bonds. India feels the pain: The US begs Beijing for money

Pakistan’s turmoil continues and if Afghanistan falls, Pakistan will likely follow….

Military chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani urged Pakistan’s President Zardari to agree to some demands of protesters, in the first insertion of the military into the government in over a year.

Pakistan Military Chief Pushes President to Yield to Demonstrators’ Demands

The new Obama plan reportedly calls for more effort from Pakistan to fight Taliban and al-Qaeda forces; which seems impossible given the internal politics of  Pakistan at present….

Related:
http://rupeenews.com/2009/03/12
/beyond-us-withdrawal-from-afghanistan/

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/13/obama-to-re-brand-enemy-combatants/

The war on “terror” is verbally and virtually over…
Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

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

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

Obama’s Poll Numbers Are Falling to Earth

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

Pakistan: Circling The Drain?
.
U.S. Urges Calm inPakistan:
http://urdunews.wordpress.com/20
09/03/13/us-appeals-for-calm-in-pakistan/

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated and may worsen this year in the face of a renewed Taliban insurgency, the U.N. chief said in a report published Friday.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his latest report to the Security Council on U.N. activities in Afghanistan that 2009 would be a critical year. He added there were reasons for medium-term optimism.

“The government, security forces and population of Afghanistan, along with its international partners, face a critical test in 2009,” the report said.

“Security has continued to deteriorate. The results of government and international aid efforts have fallen short of popular expectations as Afghans suffer the effects of drought and a global rise in food prices.”

Violence is at its highest level in Afghanistan since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200
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By ANNE GEARAN and ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration expects to announce new objectives for the flagging war in Afghanistan as soon as next week that place an onus on next-door Pakistan to contain extremism, defense and administration officials said Thursday.

The White House objectives were expected to roughly parallel 15 goals contained in a 20-page classified report to the White House from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Among them were getting rid of terrorist safe havens in Pakistan and adopting a regional approach to reducing the threat of terrorism and extremism in both countries.

“We’re just about done,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview with PBS’ “The Charlie Rose Show” on Thursday.

The review addresses “the safe haven in Pakistan, making sure that Afghanistan doesn’t provide a capability in the long run or an environment in which al-Qaida could return or the Taliban could return,” Mullen said, as well as the need for stability, economic development and better governance in Afghanistan, and the development of the Afghan armed forces.

An administration official said that although the review was not complete, one thrust was that Pakistan needed to recognize that combating extremism was in its own interest as well as that of U.S.- and NATO fighting forces across the border in Afghanistan. The official, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because the review was not complete.

President Barack Obama was expected to explain the redrawn U.S. objectives to NATO allies when he attends a NATO summit in Europe next month.

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