Archive for the ‘Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’ Category

Navy commander questions land attacks on pirates

December 13, 2008

Days before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to ask the United Nations to authorize “all necessary measures” against piracy from Somalia, a leader of the U.S. military, which would help carry out that policy, said in effect: Not so fast.

The commander of the U.S. Navy‘s 5th Fleet expressed doubt Friday about the wisdom of launching attacks against Somali pirates on land, as the draft U.N. resolution proposes. A Pentagon spokesman warned against the urge to grasp for a quick and easy military solution to a complex international problem.

U.S. Vice Adm. Bill Gortney told reporters that striking pirate camps in lawless Somalia could open a can of worms. It is difficult to identify pirates, and the potential for killing innocent civilians “cannot be overestimated,” Gortney said.

U.S. Vice Adm. William Gortney
U.S. Vice Adm. William Gortney commands the Navy’s 5th Fleet. AP Hasan Jamali

There is a huge risk to any U.S. forces involved, whether small commando units or larger operations. And U.S. commanders still have sour memories of the humiliating “Blackhawk Down” outcome of U.S. military intervention in Somalia more than a decade ago.

Concern about possible mistaken identity extends to operations at sea, too, since pirate ships are often indistinguishable from ragtag fishing vessels. The military is also worried about what would be done with captured pirates, who would try or imprison them.

“There are many that are seeking a simple military solution, or solely a military solution to address the piracy issue,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. “I think that we need to take a more comprehensive look a this, and while there may be a military component, this is an issue that has to be addressed more broadly.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081213/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/ml_us
_piracy;_ylt=Ajayo4BQSzZF.9Qj9nEDgZtvaA8F

Indian warship INS Tabar escorts the MV Jag Arnav ship to safety after rescuing it from pirates.

Above: On an anti-piracy patrol, Indian Navy warship escorts a merchant ship.  Photo: Indian Navy

Bush Kisses Streisand (NOT a Pretty Sight)

December 8, 2008

Barbra Streisand got an awkward kiss on the cheek from the president, and yes, she gave him a smooch back.

Streisand, a vocal critic of President George W. Bush, was a guest Sunday at the White House just before one of Washington’s few A-list events: the Kennedy Center Honors.

By BRETT ZONGKER, Associated Press Writer

“Art transcends politics this weekend,” the longtime Democrat said beforehand. Still, she said it would have been “lovely” if she could have received the award while President-elect Barack Obama was in office.

The singer and actress was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, along with actor Morgan Freeman, country singer George Jones, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp and musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who.

The honors recognize individuals who helped define American culture through the performing arts, part of the living memorial to President John F. Kennedy.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081208/ap_on_en_ot/kennedy_center_honors

From left, Kennedy Center Honors producer George Stevens, Jr., ... 
From left, Kennedy Center Honors producer George Stevens, Jr., Kennedy Center President Michael M Kiaser, Kennedy Center Honoree, Roger Daltrey, Barbara Streisand, Morgan Freeman, Pete Townshend, George Jones, Twyla Tharp, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarman pose for a group photo after the State Department Dinner for the Kennedy Center Honors gala Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008 at the State Department in Washington.(AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

liberals-dismayedangrywithobama