Archive for the ‘Tony Blair’ Category

Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

March 10, 2009

Remember when Donald Rumsfeld made the remark about “Old Europe”?  Eeryone howlded, including Democrats.  Now Barack Obama has thrown Britain under the bus and nobody has said a thing….There is real “regime change” ongoing….at the White House…..What’s next?  A “special relationship” with Hamas and the Taliban?

Our fear here that barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and others just don’t get it….In their haste to change everything about everything since moving into the White House, Team Obama may be doing irreparable harm to U.S. foreign policy, strategic alliances, along with the economy and everything else….

Primum non nocere

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/10/am
ericans-apologizing-to-british-pm-gordon-brown/

Donald Rumsfeld

By Frank Geffney
The Washington Times
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The British are understandably mystified. Long accustomed to a “special relationship” with the United States, they are trying to figure out why the latter’s likable new president would go to such lengths to distance himself from the country that has for generations been America’s closest ally.

First, there was Barack Obama‘s decision to return the Churchill bust that had graced the Oval Office since then-Prime Minister Tony Blair gave it to George W. Bush as a post-Sept. 11, 2001, gesture of solidarity. Then, there were the successive affronts during the visit by Mr. Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, to Washington last week: A seemingly thoughtless official gift (a set of DVDs of popular American films); a painfully chilly and brief press availability before the start of the two men’s private meeting; and no formal joint press conference of the kind George Bush afforded Mr. Blair on all but one of numerous visits to Washington (the exception a hastily arranged trip right after the September 11 attacks).

The British press has offered several face-saving explanations for these serial rudenesses. Perhaps Mr. Obama is “exhausted.” Alternatively, he is simply “focused elsewhere” in the midst of cratering capital markets, collapsing automakers and skyrocketing unemployment.

The real answer, however, was supplied by an unnamed State Department official whom London’s Sunday Telegraph reported on March 8 “reacted with fury” when asked by the paper why the Brown visit was so, er, “low-key.” According to the Telegraph, “The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship. ‘There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.’ ”

Such a comment by a representative of the State Department – an institution that never saw a foreign government it wanted to offend – is a sign of how serious Team Obama is about “resetting” the U.S.-U.K. relationship. Of course, as that term applies to friendly Britain, it means something very different than when used to describe the administration’s desire for improved ties with America’s enemies, actual or potential, like Russia, Iran and “Palestine.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news
/2009/mar/10/farewell-to-britain/

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

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
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Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

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

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

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Day 18 in Gaza: “Fighting Along Side Diplomacy”

January 13, 2009

At 1600 GMT Tuesday, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak again reiterated what he has said before: the assault upon Gaza would continue, along side diplomtic efforts to secure a cease-fire.

Related:
Day 19: Israel, Hamas Continue To Battle; Seeming Diplomatic Stalemate

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, urged both Israel and Hamas to “just give up” the fighting.

Barak said, “We heard, and we respect the calls of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and, of course, we are also monitoring developments on the Egyptian initiative, but the fighting goes on and the IDF is continuing to apply force.”

Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak attends the weekly cabinet ... 
Israel’s Defence Minister Ehud Barak attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem January 11, 2009.(David Silverman/Pool/Reuters)

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Tuesday said Israel’s campaign against Hamas in Gaza was serving the interest of the Palestinian people, as well as that of Israel.

Livni said the operation’s success would help all moderate forces in the region, including Palestinians who believe in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She made the comments at a meeting with a delegation from the American Jewish Committee.
 

 

Israeli forces commenced heavy shelling of areas surrounding Gaza City on Tuesday morning, as troops continued to push deeper into the densely populated urban center.
Hamas showed no sign of stopping the fighting.
Israel is now bringing its massive advantage in firepower into play as never before.

Rocket in Ashkelon 
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Above: Hamas rocket hit a house in Ashkelon, Israel, about 10 miles north of the Gaza Strip. A woman in the home was taken to the hospital for a panic attack. Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Israel officials are saying that Operation Cast Lead has not ended because Hamas has not agreed to a cease fire and continues to fire rockets into Israel.

The weakening of Hamas and the restoration of Israel’s level of deterrence are needed before the fighting will end, officals say.

For the first time today, Israeli tanks are inside Gaza City in great numbers.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Islamic militants of an “iron fist” unless they agree to Israel’s terms to end the fighting.

Hamas showed no signs of wavering, however, with its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, saying the militants were “closer to victory.”

Yet special Mideast envoy Tony Blair said elements were in place for a cease-fire.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni  told Mark Philips of CBS news, “We doubt that we will reoccupy” Gaza.  “But in the Middle East, sometimes all options are bad.”

“It is now a matter for the two in combat.  Neither one will leave the other the ‘victor,’” a United Nations humanitarian supply chief in Gaza told us.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Related:
Israel to Reoccupy Gaza?
Israel weighs options in Gaza
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Tuesday: Israel Crashes Into Gaza City
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UN chief Ban Ki-moon implores Israel and Hamas to stop Gaza violence

 

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 Day 18: Tuesday, Gaza City Battle Opens, “Neither one will leave the other the ‘victor’”

Day 18: Tuesday, Gaza City Battle Opens, “Neither one will leave the other the ‘victor'”

January 13, 2009

Israeli forces commenced heavy shelling of areas surrounding Gaza City on Tuesday morning, as troops continued to push deeper into the densely populated urban center.

Hamas showed no sign of stopping the fighting.

Israel is now bringing its massive advantage in firepower into play as never before.

Rocket in Ashkelon 
.
Above: Hamas rocket hit a house in Ashkelon, Israel, about 10 miles north of the Gaza Strip. A woman in the home was taken to the hospital for a panic attack. Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Israel officials are saying that Operation Cast Lead has not ended because Hamas has not agreed to a cease fire and continues to fire rockets into Israel.

The weakening of Hamas and the restoration of Israel’s level of deterrence are needed before the fighting will end, officals say.

For the first time today, Israeli tanks are inside Gaza City in great numbers.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Islamic militants of an “iron fist” unless they agree to Israel’s terms to end the fighting.

Hamas showed no signs of wavering, however, with its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, saying the militants were “closer to victory.”

Yet special Mideast envoy Tony Blair said elements were in place for a cease-fire.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni  told Mark Philips of CBS news, “We doubt that we will reoccupy” Gaza.  “But in the Middle East, sometimes all options are bad.”

“It is now a matter for the two in combat.  Neither one will leave the other the ‘victor,'” a United Nations humanitarian supply chief in Gaza told us.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Related:
Israel to Reoccupy Gaza?
Israel weighs options in Gaza
.
Tuesday: Israel Crashes Into Gaza City
.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon implores Israel and Hamas to stop Gaza violence

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An Israeli reservist poses with his weapons as others stand ... 
An Israeli reservist poses with his weapons as others stand near Israel’s border with Gaza, in southern Israel, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. Israeli warplanes pounded the homes of Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and ground troops edged ever closer to the territory’s densely-populated urban center Monday but reported casualties were low, an indication that Hamas was largely avoiding pitched battles with the advancing Israelis.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The Associated Press reported:

The Palestinian residents told The Associated Press that Israeli tanks rolled into public areas of the Tel Hawwa neighborhood, pushing back militants. Tens of thousands of Palestinians live in apartment buildings in the neighborhood south of Gaza City.

One of the residents, Khader Mussa, 35, told The Associated Press by telephone that he saw two apartment buildings on fire. He said he was huddling in the basement of his building with 25 other people, including his pregnant wife and his parents. “The gates of hell have opened,” he said. “God help us.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009011
3/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/meast/01/13/israel.gaza/index.html

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From the New York Times:

To Israel’s critics abroad, the picture could not be clearer: Israel’s war in Gaza is a wildly disproportionate response to the rockets of Hamas, causing untold human suffering and bombing an already isolated and impoverished population into the Stone Age, and it must be stopped.
Yet here in Israel very few, at least among the Jewish population, see it that way.

Since Israeli warplanes opened the assault on Gaza 17 days ago, about 900 Palestinians have been reported killed, many of them civilians. Red Cross workers were denied access to scores of dead and wounded Gazans, and a civilian crowd near a United Nations school was hit, with at least 40 people killed.

But voices of dissent in this country have been rare….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/wo
rld/middleeast/13israel.html?_r=1&hp

Gaza Cease Fire, Talks Continue, Inching Closer, Day 17

January 12, 2009
The fighting in Gaza continued on Monday with both sides accused of possible dangerous changes in the nature of the battle.
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But Tony Blair said progress was being made on cease-fire talks.

Related:
Day 18: Gaza City Battle Opens, “Neither one will leave the other the ‘victor’”

Israel allowed 160 trucks of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian territory through the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings, Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner said. 

Human Rights Watch said Sunday that Israel’s military has fired artillery shells with the incendiary agent white phosphorus into Gaza.

Israel said Iran is exerting heavy pressure on Hamas not to accept the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire.

Hamas representatives met in Cairo with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Gen. Omar Suleiman and his aides to discuss ways of ending the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The Hamas representatives reiterated their opposition to a cease-fire that did not include the reopening of all the border crossings into the Gaza Strip.

Israel wants a new international inspection effort between Israel and Egypt to prevent the re-arming of Hamas.

Despite the tightening Israeli cordon, however, militants still managed to fire off a rocket Monday morning which fell near the southern town of Kiryat Gat but caused no casualties, police said.

On Sunday an Israeli official said the two-week-old military operation might be in its final days.

The Israel Defense Forces said that there has been a dramatic drop in the ability of Hamas to launch rockets against Israel, Haaretz reported. Currently, the launches have dropped by 50 percent compared to to the first day of Operation Cast Lead, 17 days ago.
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By Peace and Freedom
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From BBC News:
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Medics in Gaza say latest casualties include at least 60 people affected by suspected phosphorus shells fired illegally near civilian areas.  

An Israeli army spokeswoman strongly denied the report, saying all its munitions complied with the law.

An Israeli spokesman also denied Human Rights Watch allegations of multiple use of white phosphorus in the bombing.

Phosphorus shells are allowed to make smoke in battlefields. Their use where civilian may be harmed is prohibited.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/mid
dle_east/7823078.stm

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From The Telegraph (UK)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleea
st/israel/4222354/Tony-Blair-Gaza-ceasefire-within-r
each.html

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CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/meast/01/12/israel.gaza/index.html

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This was the fifth day of humanitarian re-supply allowed by Israel.

Tony Blair said sease-fire discussions are fruitful.
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Related:
Tony Blair: Gaza Cease-Fire Agreement Ready

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 Day 17: Cease Fire Near? Hamas in Discussions; Israel “close” to achieving goals

Israel paused the battle in Gaza at 10 AM Monday to allow humanitarian supplies to flow.

The New York Times reported:

Senior Israeli officials said for the first time in the war that they believed that the Hamas military wing was beginning to crack and that Hamas leaders inside Gaza were looking for a cease-fire. News reports said Hamas fired at least one missile out of Gaza into southern Israel without causing casualties.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/world
/middleeast/13mideast.html?_r=1&hp

Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

Above: Israeli soldiers chanted slogans before entering Gaza on Sunday. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel was closer to its goals.

Gaza ceasefire within reach 
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Tony Blair: Gaza Cease-Fire Agreement Ready

January 12, 2009

Special Mideast envoy Tony Blair says elements are in place for a cease-fire to end the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The former British prime minister was speaking Monday from Cairo, where he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak following meetings in Israel.

He says that “the elements of an agreement” for a cease-fire “are there,” adding that they are being worked on “very hard.”

Blair is the Middle East envoy for the U.S., EU, Russia and the U.N., the four countries known as the Quartet supervising the Middle East peace process.

He says that any plan to end fighting must also halt weapons smuggling to Hamas and open Gaza’s borders.

Israel attacked the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27 to end rocket fire by Hamas. Some 870 Palestinians have died so far.

— Associated Press

Gaza Cease-Fire: Bridging A Chasm; Is Hamas Ready To Deal?

January 6, 2009

How can men like Britain’s Tony Blair and France’s President Sarkozy possibly bridge the divide between Hamas and Israel and broker a cease fire?

Sarkozy was told by Prime Minister Olmert in Israel that “Sometimes the need to find a compromise in the UN comes at Israel’s expense.”

In Syria, Bashar Assad, did not respond to Sarkozy’s call to intercede with Hamas, instead slamming the Israeli assault on the coastal strip as a “war crime” and an “aggression” that Israel must halt.

In Iran, President Ahmadinejad doesn’t even believe the Holocaust really happened, has spoken about wiping Israel away, is working on a nuclear program and he doesn’t even recognize the Israel as a state, calling it “the Zionist regime.”

Tony Blair seems to understand that Israel has to get something from Hamas in order to even seriously consider a cease fire.
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“If there is strong action on that front, so that Israel feels it has achieved something — namely the end of the smuggling of weapons and finance to Hamas — then I think it is possible to resolve this reasonably quickly,” Blair told CNN.

“If that doesn’t happen, if we’re not in that position, then obviously it’s going to go on.”

Late Tuesday word came that Hamas just might be ready to make a deal.

“Hamas is ready to agree to peace if the Israeli army will stop military operations and withdraw from Gaza, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad told CNN Tuesday,” said a CNN report.
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“They are ready (to make a deal),” Al-Assad told CNN’s Cal Perry in an exclusive interview. “They were ready, they are ready. Today, the factors have changed so the requirement will change at the same time.

Related from CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast
/01/06/israel.gaza.diplomacy/index.html