Archive for the ‘South korea’ Category

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

March 15, 2009

In February, 1979, when religious extremists overthrew and ousted the Shah of Iran, an immediate search began for “who lost Iran.”

For many Americans living in wealth at home, this may be of little concern.  But some would say, once the Shah was out of Iran we started on the road to today: an Iran on the brink of having a nuclear bomb and Isreal fearing for its very existance — a situation that has involved the U.S. for three or four decades and could ruin our whole day for years to come; unless a nuclear war comes first.

North Korea also has nuclear weapons and long range missiles and is making noise about starting trouble yet again.

Barack Obama needs to look himself in the mirror now and say, “Things are happening on my watch” and get rid of the notion that “We inherited a mess.”

Obama using recession to justify largest expansion of federal authority ever; U.S. less safe

Last week China’s Premier Wen Jiabao wondered aloud and very publically if the U.S. could be trusted to get its economic house in order.  He didn’t say this while George W. Bush was president: he said it two days ago.U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon even called the U.S. a “deadbeat” this last week.

Wen Jiabao wondered about the credibility of the U.S. after Obama failed to respond convincingly to an incident at sea between Chinese ships and an unarmed American naval vessel — and after Obama borrowed over $740 billion for the stimulus and another $410 billion for the omnibus, thus doubling the U..S. debt.

Wen Jiabao and Ban Ki-moon didn’t say, “I don’t have confidence in Bush; I do have confidence in Obama because he inherited this mess.”

When Russia maneuvered to eliminate the U.S. air base at Manas, Kyrgyzstan  recently, did anyone hear from Mr. Medvedev and Putin in Russia, “We did this because of Bush.  We are just peachy with Obama”?

When North Korea thumbed its nose at the United States last week, and threatened war, the White House indicated that it probably would not shoot down the long-range missile North Korea threatens to launch.

Japan had to step in and say, “We’ll take a shot because that North Korean missile is a threat.”

When Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez offered “a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers,” to Russia yesterday, he didn’t say, “because of Bush.”

And when the Russians failed to say, “That’s a crazy idea,” it wasn’t because of Bush but it was because of Obama.

So we all need to think now that Barack Obama promises a lot of things that might, maybe, possibly could lead to a better America: health care, improved schools, a new energy system, the curing of cancer, the elimination of global warming, and etc. — all great stuff.

But will there be people asking: “Who lost Japan?  Who lost Korea?  Who lost Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations?”

And will the certain losses matter, juxtaposed to the maybe gains?

And if American debt is so great that China stops buying U.S. Treasuries, or China “calls the shots” with America, will that matter?

And if our border with Mexico becomes overrun with Mexican drug cartels, I mean, just suppose, while we are looking the other way and fixing health care and spending our limited treasury on everything else, will that matter?  I am just dreaming here, I know.

That could never happen.  But just suppose…..

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

PS:  I am starting to hate this “inherited” BS.  Obama ran to get into the White House, along with all the goodies and problems that came with that.

Nobody “inherits” the White House unless death is involved….

Obama, Israel Split On Iran?

Obama Maybe Doesn’t Know: Nice guys 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:
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/POLITIC
S/03/15/cheney.interview/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?


American adversaries are thumbing their noses, while this man wanted to run the census and now will supervize the writing of a measure to federalize schools. 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)

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

March 9, 2009

Like it or not, the era of President Barack Obama and American weakness, real or perceived, has already emboldened many nations with long-term anti-American strategic goals: namely, Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Many in the world have already concluded that Brack Obama is soft, for his overtures so far toward the Taliban, Russia, Iran and others.

Related:
Various Views On Obama Foreign Policy: “Just Like Bush” Or Radical Change?

President Obama’s move to close the terrorist prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo) was cause for applause in human rights circles and also with terrorists.

On Afghanistan, Peter Begen of the New America Foundation said “It is a longstanding cliché that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, only a political one.”  On President Obama’s idea to hold talks with the Taliban he said, “Doing deals with the Taliban today could further destabilize Afghanistan. ”

And economically, there is no dobt that the U.S. is weakened.

Just today, North Korea threatened war with the United States — a war that would certainly involve Japan and South Korea.  North Korea could not be making such threats and could not even think about testing a long range strategic missile just now unless China consented to this brazen move or at least looked the other way.  China supplies North Korea with almost all of its food, oil, luxury goods and currency.  Without China, North Korea would be impotent and meaningless.

Yet China is acceding to North Korea’s bluster and browbeating of the United States just as China itself is harassing a U.S. Naval vessel in international waters — a violation of international law.

This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean ... 
This US Navy file photo shows the military Sealift Command ocean surveillance ship USNS Impeccable (T-AGOS-23). Five Chinese vessels maneuvered dangerously close to a US Navy ship in the South China Sea on Sunday, March 8, 2009, approaching within 25 feet of the unarmed surveillance ship, the Pentagon said.(AFP/NVNS)

China doesn’t care much for international law and international waters: just ask Japan and Vietnam.  Both those nations have long struggles with China encroaching upon the coasts of Japan and Vietnam as the Chinese super power searches for more oil beneath the sea floor.

China has become the most voracious user of oil and other mineral resources on the planet as it strives to keep its factories busy producing goods for sale overseas.  China is in Afghanistan, protected from the Taliban by U.S. troops, while Chinese companies exploit Afghan copper.  And China just signed a $50 billion (U.S. dollars, cast) agreement to get oil from Russia for ten years.

Last year China was no help when the U.S. wanted access to Myanmar to deliver humanitarian relief supplies to those stricken by the cyclone.  After the crisis passed, China signed a big oil deal with Myanmar.

China wants the U.S. out of its sphere of influence from North Asia to Somalia, and is planning an ocean-going navy to eventualy make that goal a military reality.

China recently opened the largest sea port in the world, in Gwadar, Pakistan — directly astride the sea lanes used to bring out out of the Persian Gulf to Japan, the U.S. and others.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to go into debt — to China.

China allows North Korea to antagonize the United States because that is in China’s long term strategic interest — and a weakening U.S. plays into China’s strategy perfectly.

Russia also wants the U.S. out of its area of influencce.  Russia recently paid off Kyrgyzstan, which was helping the American effort in Afghanistan with an air base. Just after Russia gave  Kyrgyzstan its big aid deal, that nation announced the closure of the Manas air base supporting the U.S.

File:ManasAirbase KC135.jpg
A KC-135 Stratotanker sits on the flightline at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006. Ground crews will have to de-ice the tanker before it can take off on a refueling mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Paul Clifford)

Generous Russian loans to Kyrgyzstan totaling US$2 billion and a non-repayable US$150 million grant, were announced the day before Kyrgyzstan said Manas would be closed and the U.S. Air Force evicted.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation had been insisting on the closure of Manas to the U.S. Air Force since 2005.

What the heck is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental mutual-security organisation which was founded in 2001 by the leaders of China , Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

But the key players of the SCO are Russia and China who don’t want the U.S. or anyone else in the West anywhere near that region of the world, rich in oil and other minerals, that includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

China and Russia conducted their largest joint military exercise ever last year.

And finally Iran wants the U.S. out of the Persian Gulf, away from Arab oil, and at arms length from Isreal.

Joshua Gross wrote for the Christian Sciences Monitor today,  “Iran recently launched its first satellite into orbit in what The New York Times called, ‘a shot across the bow of American diplomacy,’ and US President Barack Obama passed along a secret letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in an attempt to enlist the Russians in an international effort to contain Iran’s nuclear program.”

The global economic crisis, which has eliminated something like $50 trillion in world wealth, has hit the United States and NATO very hard, which fuels the beliefe that Mr. Obama and the U.S. are weaker than ever just now.

That’s why Iran and North Korea are talking missiles and nukes, China has chosen just now to harass a U.S. ship, and Russia is gloating like a cat bird that Obama is already pleading for help with Iran from Putin and Medvedev….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
March 9, 2009

Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile ... 
Iranian clerics watch the launch of a Shahab-3 ballistic missile outside Qom in 2006. A top Iranian military commander said that the country has missiles that can reach the nuclear sites of its arch-foe Israel.(AFP/File/null)

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

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

India, China jostle for influence in Indian Ocean

 China Extends Navy’s Anti-Piracy Mission Near Somalia

 China Says Its Navy Expansion “No threat to others”

 Pentagon: Chinese Ships Harassed Unarmed U.S. Navy Craft in International Waters

 North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means”

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?

China’s thirst for copper could hold key to Afghanistan’s future

Obama says US is losing war in Afghanistan and hints at Taleban talks

Despite Global Economy Downturn, China Still Lending

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

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/09/analys
ts-to-obama-there-are-no-taliban-moderates-yo
u-nitwit/

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

http://jonathanturley.org/2009/03/09/ira
nian-justice-eight-women-face-stoning-dea
ths-for-adultery/

http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03
/09/slickness-with-a-straight-face

CNN on Peter Bergen and Afghanistan:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/PO
LITICS/03/09/bergen.taliban/index.html

Joshua Gross on Iran:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20
090309/cm_csm/ygross

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

March 9, 2009

North Korea is prepared to launch a long range ballistic missile and the U.S. is capable of shooting it down.

Admiral Timothy Keating, who commands the US Pacific Command, said interceptor ships were ready “on a moment’s notice”.

“Should it look like it’s something other than a satellite launch, we will be fully prepared to respond as the president directs,” he added.

But the U.S. has said it has no intiontion of shooting down North Korea’s missile, according to the Obama Administration.

North Korea has gone to its highest state of military alert while South Korea and Japan have cancelled all airline flights near North Korea as tensions in North Asia are at their most tense in years….

“Whether they describe it as a satellite launch or something else makes no difference” since both would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution banning the North from ballistic activity, Stephen Bosworth told reporters after talks with his South Korean counterpart.

Related:
North Korea Warns: Shoot Down Our Satellite Will “Prompt Counterstrikes by the Most Powerful Military Means


A U.S. Navy ship launches ballistic missile defense interceptors like those that could be used to counter North Korea’s long range missile launch….

******

SEOUL, (AFP) – North Korea put its military on combat alert Monday as US and South Korean troops began a major joint exercise, and warned that any attempt to block its upcoming satellite launch would spark a war.

The communist state also severed its last communications channel with South Korea for the duration of the 12-day exercise by tens of thousands of troops, which Pyongyang has branded as a rehearsal for invasion.

The moves follow a threat last week against South Korean civilian airlines using the North’s airspace, forcing them to re-route flights.

The North Korean military described the exercises as “unprecedented in the number of the aggressor forces involved and in their duration.”

“The KPA Supreme Command issued an order to all service persons to be fully combat-ready,” it said in a statement on official media.

“A war will break out if the US imperialists and the warmongers of the South Korean puppet military hurl the huge troops and sophisticated strike means to mount an attack.”

The North, which tested an atomic weapon in 2006, said it was cutting off military phone and fax lines with South Korea during the drill as maintaining normal channels would be “nonsensical.”

This meant more than 700 people were unable to travel to a joint industrial complex at Kaesong just north of the border Monday, as South Koreans can only cross over with approval from the North via the military lines.

General Walter Sharp, head of US forces in South Korea, reiterated Monday that the exercise — involving an aircraft carrier, 26,000 US troops and more than 30,000 South Koreans — is an annual defensive training drill.

However, this year’s exercise comes at a time of high cross-border tension and growing pressure on the North to drop plans to fire a rocket.

North Korea says it is preparing to launch a satellite, but both Seoul and Washington believe the underlying purpose is to test a long-range Taepodong-2 missile that could in theory reach Alaska.

The North’s military General Staff warned it would retaliate “with prompt counter-strikes by the most powerful military means” it has to any attempt to intercept it.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090309/w
l_asia_afp/nkoreaskoreausmilitary_200903
09085936

Related:
Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?

CNN on North Korea:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/03/08/nkorea.launch/index.html

North Korea appears to be readying missile test

February 11, 2009

North Korea appeared to be gearing up Wednesday for another long-range missile test, the latest in a series of provocative acts seemingly aimed at stoking tensions with South Korea and winning the attention of the new U.S. president.

In recent weeks, Pyongyang has declared it will scrap peace agreements with Seoul and warned of war on the Korean peninsula. Reports that it could be preparing to test a missile capable of reaching the western United States have added to the anxiety.

By KELLY OLSEN, Associated Press Writer

A South Korean Army soldier walk by displays of models of mock ... 
A South Korean Army soldier walk by displays of models of mock North Korea’s Scud-B missile, right, and other South Korean missiles at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. North Korea has been moving equipment necessary for firing a missile to a launch pad, an indication that the country is taking steps toward conducting a test launch, a news report said Wednesday.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Wednesday that a vehicle carrying radar equipment was seen moving to a launch site on the North’s eastern coast from a munitions factory near Pyongyang.

“It can be analyzed that the North is proceeding with a missile launch preparation in stages,” Yonhap quoted a South Korean government official it did not name as saying.

South Korean and Japanese media said last week that intelligence agents had spotted a train carrying a long, cylinder-shaped object — believed to be a long-range missile — to the launch site at Musudan-ni.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has played down reports of possible North Korean missile launch preparations, noting Tuesday that Pyongyang’s last such test in 2006 was a failure and that the U.S. could shoot down a North Korean missile “should we deem it necessary.”

Nevertheless, North Korea’s saber-rattling has been interpreted as an attempt to grab President Barack Obama’s attention; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to visit South Korea next week.

Obama has expressed willingness for direct talks with the North — including possibly meeting with leader Kim Jong Il. The stalled multi-national dialogue to disarm North Korea resumed late last year after the U.S. removed the country from its list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Those talks also involved China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman warned Wednesday that North Korea’s actions could disrupt the disarmament process.

“I think activities of this nature, should they be taking place, would be harmful to the ongoing efforts, the diplomatic efforts within the six-party talks,” Whitman said. “It’s always been our position that North Korea should refrain from provocative actions that might aggravate tensions in the region.”

The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan said they were mindful about the possibility of another North Korean missile test.

“Both of us shared concerns about North Korea’s intentional acts of stoking tension … and urge North Korea to behave in a way that contributes to regional stability,” South Korean Foreign Minster Yu Myung-hwan said at a news conference in Seoul with his Japanese counterpart, Hirofumi Nakasone.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009021
1/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_missile_5

Hey President Obama, what about North Korea?

January 24, 2009

Korea remains the forgotten war. Just ask United States President Barak Obama. “For us,” he declaimed at his inaugural, Americans “fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg, Normandy and Khe Sanh”.

World Tribune
By Donald Kirk

 
Korean War Memorial, Washington DC

Korea? The Chosun Reservoir, from which U.S. Marines retreated in bloody defeat in “the coldest winter” of 1950-1951? The Pusan perimeter, which Americans defended against repeated North Korean assaults in the summer of 1950 before driving the invaders out of the south after the Inchon landing? Heartbreak Ridge and Pork Chop Hill – two of the hardest-fought battlegrounds of the Korean War? Forget it.

Clearly, Obama’s policy-making and speech-writing crew made a calculated decision. One can imagine the thoughts coursing through the collective brains of the incoming doyens of the White House and National Security Council and their aides and advisers from the think-tanks:

“Nah, don’t touch that one – might upset North Korea.  Kim Jong-il might see a mention as advance build-up for a pre-emptive strike. Nah, North Korea’s too sensitive, might throw off the nuke talks. Nah, we don’t want South Korea thinking we’re ready to support them with more arms.” Or, just as likely, “Nah, nobody cares about Korea.”

********

North Korea Committed To Denuclearization

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea is committed to removing nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula and wants to co-exist peacefully, leader Kim Jong-il said on Friday in his first meeting with a foreign envoy since his suspected stroke in August.
.

China’s state Xinhua news agency said Kim made the comments during a visit to Pyongyang by a senior Chinese official.

Kim Jong-Il, right, appeared with Chinese official  Wang Jiarui.

Kim Jong-Il, right, appeared with Chinese official Wang Jiarui.

Analysts have said a meeting with a foreign visitor would offer evidence that Kim, who U.S. and South Korean officials said fell seriously ill in August, was well enough to run Asia’s only communist dynasty and make decisions about its nuclear program.

“The North Korean side will commit itself to the denuclearization of the North Korean peninsula, and hopes to co-exist peacefully with other involved parties,” Xinhua news agency quoted Kim as saying.

Read the rest:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/1/24
/worldupdates/2009-01-24T025233Z_01_NOOTR
_RTRMDNC_0_-376289-1&sec=Worldupdates

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/01/23/nkorea.china.kim/index.html

Seoul Cracks Down on an Internet Financial Guru

January 24, 2009

South Korea might be one of the most wired places in the world, but it’s not necessarily the most Internet friendly. Park Dae Sung, 31, an unemployed blogger now finds himself in hot water for allegedly being “Minerva,” a web guru who posted his thoughts on the state of the economy and the government’s economic policies. Those thoughts generated huge attention in Korea, particularly following Minerva’s prediction that Lehman Brothers would fail. Those musings, however, have not sat well with Seoul. Now Park has been taken into custody by the government and, according to his lawyer, faces a maximum five-year prison sentence for allegedly spreading false information with the intention of harming or threatening public interest. Late last week, Park was denied bail.

Read the rest from Time Magazine:
http://www.time.com/time/world/
article/0,8599,1873346,00.html

North Korea declares “all-out confrontational posture” against South Korea

January 17, 2009

The North Korean military declared an “all-out confrontational posture” against South Korea on Saturday as an American scholar said he was told by officials in North Korea that it had “weaponized” 30.8 kilograms of plutonium.

By Choe Sang-Hun
International Herald Tribune

South Korea ordered its military to heighten vigilance along the border with North Korea, the world’s most heavily armed frontier, said a spokesman of the South Korean military Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

North Korea’s saber-rattling oratory against the South has been common, especially after Lee Myung Bak came to office as president of South Korea a year ago vowing to take a tougher stance on the North in a reversal from 10 years of his liberal predecessors’ efforts to engage Pyongyang with economic aid. But what made the threat on Saturday unusual was the way it was delivered: a statement read on North Korean television by a uniformed spokesman for the North Korean military Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Strong military measures will follow from our revolutionary armed force,” the spokesman, a colonel, said, according to Yonhap, South Korea’s national news agency, which monitors North Korean broadcasts.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/17
/news/norkor.1-409776.php

It’s Obama Time But: “He Doesn’t Get It” or “Did The Right Thing” Depending Upon Your View

January 13, 2009

The President-elect is already enjoying the spotlight and adulation and comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln.  But the stage still has other actors and they of course spark great discussion and disagreement….

George W. Bush gave what he promised was his final press conference as President of the United States Monday, an event that re-opened much of the discussion and criticism of him and his presidency.

You either love George Bush or you hate him, it seems.  Nobody, some say, is in the middle.

Transcript:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/rele
ases/2009/01/20090112.html

Fred Barnes, the Weekly Standard editor and an unabashed conservative, mentioned on Fox News (where else?) last evening that he wrote about Bush’s accomplishments.

He even told Charles Krauthammer and the other pundits that he listed 10 Bush accomplishments and then got many others from readers via e-mail.

So, during a sleepless night, we went for a look.

Bush Ground Zero.jpg

Barnes has said about George Bush (43): “Bush, of course, is a conservative, but a different kind of conservative. His tax cuts, support for social issues, hawkish position on national security and terrorism, and rejection of the Kyoto protocols make him so. He’s also killed the ABM and Comprehensive Test Ban treaties, kept the United States out of the international criminal court, defied the United Nations, and advocated a shift in power from Washington to individuals through an ‘ownership society.’ On some issues–partial privatization of Social Security is the best example–he is a bolder conservative than Ronald Reagan, the epitome of a conventional conservative.”

So below, here is the list of President Bush (43) and his accomplishments, according to Mr. Barnes:

1) His decision in 2001 to jettison the Kyoto global warming treaty.

2) The selective use of enhanced interrogation of terrorists. Along with use of secret prisons and wireless eavesdropping, this saved American lives.

3) Bush’s third achievement was the rebuilding of presidential authority, badly degraded in the era of Vietnam, Watergate, and Bill Clinton.

4) Achievement number four was Bush’s unswerving support for Israel. Reagan was once deemed Israel’s best friend in the White House. Now Bush can claim the title.

5) His fifth success was No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the education reform bill cosponsored by America’s most prominent liberal Democratic senator Edward Kennedy.

6) Sixth, Bush declared in his second inaugural address in 2005 that American foreign policy (at least his) would henceforth focus on promoting democracy around the world.


President Bush boards Air Force One (AP Photo)

7) The seventh achievement is the Medicare prescription drug benefit, enacted in 2003. It’s not only wildly popular; it has cost less than expected by triggering competition among drug companies.

Eight: John Roberts and Sam Alito. In putting them on the Supreme Court and naming Roberts chief justice, Bush achieved what had eluded Richard Nixon, Reagan, and his own father. Roberts and Alito made the Court indisputably more conservative. And the good news is Roberts, 53, and Alito, 58, should be justices for decades to come.

9) Bush’s ninth achievement has been widely ignored. He strengthened relations with east Asian democracies (Japan, South Korea, Australia) without causing a rift with China.

10) Finally, a no-brainer: the surge. Bush prompted nearly unanimous disapproval in January 2007 when he announced he was sending more troops to Iraq and adopting a new counterinsurgency strategy.

We might add the fight against AIDS in Africa and other accomplishments…but we know, if you hate the guy you hate the guy…..

See Fred Barnes’ entire view:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/P
ublic/Articles/000/000/015/986rockt.asp

Bush was never afraid to make the tough call:
Bush Personally Redirected SecState Rice To Support Israel

South Korean Arrested, Used Internet to Criticize Government

January 10, 2009

South Korea‘s arrested popular Internet financial pundit pleaded not guilty Saturday to charges of spreading false information online.

The 31-year-old, identified only as Park but better known here as “Minerva” or the goddess of wisdom in the Greek myth, claimed he was trying to help those who had suffered as a result of the current financial turmoil.

State prosecutors arrested Park on Wednesday on charges of spreading “groundless” allegations that the country’s currency, the won, was imperiled.

AFP

He took the defensive after being questioned by a Seoul court Saturday as prosecutors sought a warrant to extend his detention.

“I wrote articles in a bid to help those people alienated from the government — small merchants, individuals and laymen who had suffered from the financial crisis,” he told journalists at the court.

“I did not intend to obtain any economic gains through these writings. I accordingly do not admit my guilt.”

Park has written more than 200 economic commentaries in the past few months and gained massive popularity online following his predictions of the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Read the rest:
http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/200901
10/tc_afp/skoreaeconomyinternetcri
me_newsmlmmd

Human Trafficking For Sex In The U.S.

January 9, 2009
She testifies in federal court how a group of immigrants duped her into coming to the U.S., forced her to sell herself and kept her captive.
By Scott Glover
Los Angeles Times
January 9, 2009
When Sandra agreed to make the perilous trek from her native Guatemala to the United States in 2006, she said, she was lured by the prospect of a job as a housekeeper that would enable her to send money to her impoverished family back home.

Her father had a hernia that prevented him from working, and money was so tight that she and her 12 siblings sometimes didn’t have shoes or enough to eat, the young woman testified Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles.

But not long after Sandra was delivered to L.A. by human-smuggling “coyotes,” she learned that the job awaiting her had nothing to do with cleaning houses.

Instead, she said, she was told that she would have to “lay with men.”

“Did you understand you were going to be working as a prostitute?” asked Assistant U.S. Atty. Cheryl Murphy.

“I did not know what that word was,” Sandra responded through a Spanish-language translator. “Now I do.”

Related:
Vietnam’s Government Going Into Wife Selling Business?
.
Asian Human Trafficking, Torture and Sex Trade

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-sext
raffic9-2009jan09,0,133445.story