President Obama is set to visit Jamaica in April, the Jamaica Observer reports. The newspaper reports, “Obama is scheduled to attend a meeting in Kingston on April 9, after which he will leave for Panama to attend the Summit of the Americas that will be held over April 10 – 11.”
IRAN LETTER FIASCO: The #47Traitors controversy continues to swirl, as the New York issued a scathing rebuke of the GOP senators, led by junior Sen. Tom Cotton, acting outside the American government by aiding and abetting the enemy with its Iran letter. By the way, Tom Cotton, AKA Tehran Tom, has zero foreign policy experience. That didn’t matter in the eyes of the 46 GOP senators, as long as they were sticking their fingers in Obama’s eyes. Too bad their strategy backfired. They always manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It was a total fiasco.
This bully-mentality was evident during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections when they tried to engage in voter suppression. The thinking was, if we can’t get black votes, let’s stop them from going out and voting in droves for the black guy. This mentality was also evident during the 2010 midterm elections and thereafter, when Sen. Ted Cruz, engineered a government shutdown over Obamacare.
Maybe Mr. McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, should have thought about the consequences before he signed the letter, which was drafted by Tom Cotton, a Republican of Arkansas, a junior senator with no foreign policy credentials. Instead of trying to be leaders and statesmen, the Republicans in Congress seem to think their role is outside the American government, divorced from constitutional principles, tradition and the security interests of the American people.
Besides being willing to sabotage any deal with Iran (before they know the final details), these Republicans are perfectly willing to diminish America’s standing as a global power capable of crafting international commitments and adhering to them. Source: NY Times
Resorting to thuggish behavior is what the Republican Party brand has become. Let’s not forget, they have been pretending as though President Obama wasn’t in the White House from the moment he got there. Remember the famous “You Lie” shout-out from Rep. Joe Wilson during Obama’s 2009 address to Congress? Fast forward to 2015, House Speaker John Boehner invited Israel Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to deliver an address to Congress and didn’t have the decency to notify the White House. Um, that backfired royally, as Netanyahu’s party trails his opponent with a week to go before the elections. The Iranians are mocking us too. The top leader said the letter points to the “disintegration” of the U.S.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the letter a sign of “the collapse of political ethics and the U.S. system’s internal disintegration,” according to the official IRNA news agency. It was the first reaction to the letter by Khamenei, who has the final say over all major policies.
Khamenei said states typically remain loyal to their commitments even if governments change, ” but American senators officially announced the commitment will be null and void after this government leaves office. Isn’t this the ultimate degree of the collapse of political ethics and the U.S. system’s internal disintegration?” Source: NY Times
The actions of the 47 senators was no different that the very thing they accuse President Obama of doing — acting like a king with no regard for the Constitution. The Iran letter shows that they believe they aren’t subject to accountability and are like spoiled rich white brats who must get their way, no matter what. Well, there’s one other thing that the letter shows — how incredibly ignorant they are.
To close, the #47traitors were blasted in 22 newspaper editorials, here are a few excerpts:
Concord Monitor: “[Kelly] Ayotte and the rest of the gang of 47 would like nothing more than for the American people to view the letter as a necessary defense against misguided negotiations and flawed policies, a comeuppance for an arrogant commander in chief who flaunts his contempt for the Constitution. They want you to know, America, that they wrote the letter for you because Obama must be stopped. In reality, they are playing a political game dangerously out of bounds.”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: “America’s partners in the talks are among the world’s most important nations — China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. They can only be appalled at seeing Secretary of State John Kerry and the president, who are charged with making the nation’s foreign policy, hit from behind by one house of the federal legislature. The senators who signed the letter should be ashamed.”
The Sacramento Bee: “It’s the Republican senators who signed the letter – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and potential presidential candidates Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida – who could use a remedial civics class. The Constitution gives the president broad authority to conduct foreign policy. The Senate’s “advise and consent” role covers formal treaties. The potential deal on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is not a treaty. It is a multinational agreement that involves Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, as well as the United States and Iran.”
Baltimore Sun: “The poison pen note was a shocking example of just how far President Barack Obama’s GOP critics in Congress are willing to go in an effort to undercut his foreign policy goals…The GOP senators might just as well have put up a big sign over their chamber warning the mullahs in Tehran to prepare for war because that’s the practical import of rejecting any possibility of a negotiated resolution of the two countries’ differences. Republican lawmakers in effect have adopted the hard-line agenda of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who offered a similarly uncompromising view of Iranian intentions when he addressed a joint meeting of Congress last week.”
Boston Globe: “WINNING SYMPATHY for the renegade Islamic Republic of Iran is no easy trick. But Republicans in the US Senate seem to be accomplishing it with their breathtakingly reckless intrusion into international diplomacy….The letter not only undercuts the president’s traditional authority to oversee the shaping of foreign policy but badly undermines America’s credibility in the international community.”
Kansas City Star: “Given the Republicans’ pure hatred of Obama, it also seemed extra personal, yet another politically motivated attempt to stop him from doing anything that might be perceived as a victory for his administration.”
Salt Lake City Tribune: “It will be up to history to judge whether the latest partisan stunt joined by Utah Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch amounts to an act of End Times warmongering or merely another bit of cringe-worthy buffoonery on the global stage. Chances are that the foolish, dangerous and arguably felonious attempt by the Obama Derangement Caucus of the Senate will soon be forgotten. Unless, as President Obama himself muttered the other day, the Senate Republicans make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran to push the region, and the world, that much closer to nuclear war.”
The U.S. State Department is “profoundly troubled” by reports that an American teen, Tariq Khdeir, was beaten by Israeli police. This comes days after Khdeir’s cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was burned alive by an Israeli extremist in retaliation for the murders of three Israeli teens.
Tariq Khdeir, a high school student from Tampa, was visiting relatives in Palestine and was participating in a protest over his cousin’s murder, when law enforcement attacked several of the demonstrators.
Haaretz reports, two people obtained video footage of Border Patrol officers “sitting on the youth while his colleague is kicking and punching him,” then “dragging what appears to be an unconscious detainee away.”
Tariq Khdeir’s family released photos showing the extent of his injuries inflicted by Israeli Border Patrol officers. The teen, who is being treated in a hospital, is scheduled to be brought before an Israeli judge tomorrow.
— Mini رمضان كريم (@miniestmini) July 4, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Obama on Independence Day and called for the ties between both countries to continue to develop on a pragmatic basis. Seems to me Putin stuck his finger in America’s eye by granting NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum and by failing to adequately warn the U.S. about Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and their ties to extremism.
In his message of congratulations, Mr Putin said that he hopes that ties between the two countries, which have a rich history, will continue successful development on a pragmatic and equal basis despite the current differences and difficulties.
The President also stressed that Russia and the United States are both countries bearing particular responsibility for ensuring international stability and security and should therefore cooperate not just for the benefit of their own peoples but also in the entire world’s interest.
Mr Putin said it is important to build bilateral relations based on mutual respect and genuine consideration of each other’s interests.
Right wing site, Truth Revolt says Putin is putting the onus on Obama for improving the strained relationship. But it’s more like Putin wants to work with Obama on some level because the sanctions the president imposed over the Crimean invasion is actually working.
The U.S. is now in a diplomatic row with the government of Sudan over granting Meriam Ibrahim a visa after she was freed from jail on apostasy and adultery charges stemming from marrying Daniel Wani, a Christian man and for refusing to denounce her Christian faith. The government of Sudan has summoned the U.S. ambassador.
Ibrahim was freed from death row on Monday but was re-arrested hours later by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) at the Khartoum airport as she and her family tried to leave the country. The NISS, whose personnel are known as the “Agents of Fear,” said on its Facebook page that Meriam Ibrahim and her family were attempting to travel to the U.S. with documents from the embassy of South Sudan. NISS said she was carrying a U.S. visa and that her attempts to use the documents were considered a “criminal offense.”
The U.S. State Department maintains they were told the family was not arrested, but Ibrahim’s lawyer Elshareef Ali Mohammed says she has been transferred from NISS to police detention.
I thought when the appeals court ordered Ibrahim’s release from death row that the case against her had been dropped. Why would she still have bail conditions to meet? The Sudanese government is playing a twisted game of gotcha with this woman’s life and I am afraid with every passing day there’s the real possibility she will be murdered.
Why in the world didn’t the State Department put the couple and their two kids on their plane to get them out of Sudan instead of allowing them to go through the usual process? Also, this family has been on the State Department’s radar since 2011 and they reportedly kept giving Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen, the brush-off. Why? Because he’s black and from Africa? This is a disgrace and it could have all be avoided had someone given this man’s case some attention.
The Christian Post is reporting that Meriam Ibrahim was re-released. We’ll continue to monitor this story…..
LOL: Former Vice President Dick Cheney slammed President Obama as a weak president after the president delivered a foreign policy speech that was a rebuke of the Bush administration, The Hill reports.
Dick Cheney: “He is a very, very weak president. Maybe the weakest — certainly in my lifetime.”
Cheney went on to say that during a recent trip to the Middle East, allies he had “dealt with all the way back to Desert Storm” expressed alarm at the president’s handling of foreign policy.
“They all are absolutely convinced that the American capacity to lead and influence in that part of the world has been dramatically reduced by this president,” Cheney said. “We’ve got a problem with weakness, and it’s centered right in the White House.”
In his speech, Obama said that those who “suggest that America is in decline, or has seen its global leadership slip away, are either misreading history or engaged in partisan politics.”
In an implicit rebuke of the foreign policy practiced in the Bush Administration, Obama said he would betray his duty to the troops if he dispatched them every time somewhere in the world “needed fixing, or because I was worried about critics who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak.”
Oh, the irony of that comment….I’m just saying. Consider the source of this rebuke. Dick Cheney, really? A man who is a proven liar, not once, but many, many times.
This comes as applications for US unemployment benefits fell to 300,000 last week, near a seven-year low. Let me also add that Vladimir Putin blinked in the Ukraine standoff as well, but the right will never admit Obama achieved anything.
The White House has issued a joint statement signed by 10 allies in the Syria chemical weapons attack situation: Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Missing from the list are Jordan, Israel and Qatar, to name a few.
I wonder what’s the real story behind Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz refusal to name the other countries supposedly aligned with the U.S. She claims it’s classified. Really? Let us be mindful of the fact that President Obama could lose big on Syria. In case the Obama Administration hasn’t noticed, there are still a lot of people suffering in the U.S. The black unemployment rate was 13 percent for August, with no improvement in sight. We are still grappling with the debt ceiling and Obamacare, for example. We can’t police the entire world. I am sorry that so many people died in Syria, but we have to wash our hands clean of some things.
The international norm against the use of chemical weapons is longstanding and universal. The use of chemical weapons anywhere diminishes the security of people everywhere. Left unchallenged, it increases the risk of further use and proliferation of these weapons.
We condemn in the strongest terms the horrific chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21st that claimed the lives of so many men, women, and children. The evidence clearly points to the Syrian government being responsible for the attack, which is part of a pattern of chemical weapons use by the regime.
We call for a strong international response to this grave violation of the world’s rules and conscience that will send a clear message that this kind of atrocity can never be repeated. Those who perpetrated these crimes must be held accountable.
Signatories have consistently supported a strong UN Security Council Resolution, given the Security Council’s responsibilities to lead the international response, but recognize that the Council remains paralyzed as it has been for two and a half years. The world cannot wait for endless failed processes that can only lead to increased suffering in Syria and regional instability. We support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.
We commit to supporting longer term international efforts, including through the United Nations, to address the enduring security challenge posed by Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. Signatories have also called for the UN fact finding mission to present its results as soon as possible, and for the Security Council to act accordingly.
We condemn in the strongest terms all human rights violations in Syria on all sides. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, more than 2 million people have become refugees, and approximately 5 million are internally displaced. Recognizing that Syria’s conflict has no military solution, we reaffirm our commitment to seek a peaceful political settlement through full implementation of the 2012 Geneva Communique. We are committed to a political solution which will result in a united, inclusive and democratic Syria.
We have contributed generously to the latest United Nations (UN) and ICRC appeals for humanitarian assistance and will continue to provide support to address the growing humanitarian needs in Syria and their impact on regional countries. We welcome the contributions announced at the meeting of donor countries on the margins of the G20. We call upon all parties to allow humanitarian actors safe and unhindered access to those in need.
European signatories will continue to engage in promoting a common European position. Source: Washington Post
Sen. John McCain, who attacked UN ambassador Susan Rice over her talking points in the aftermath of the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, now says she could win him over during confirmation hearings, if she is nominated to replace Hillary Clinton, by President Obama. Um, really? During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, he backtracked after his attacks on Rice were proven to be unfounded.
Host Chris Wallace then circled back, asking McCain if he was saying “she could conceivably get your vote for Secretary of State.”
“I think she deserves the ability and the opportunity to explain herself and her position,” McCain responded. “Just as she said. But, she’s not the problem. The problem is the president of the United States.” Source
The reality is that John McCain is losing credibility fast and it seems that he’s chewing on sour grapes over his loss to then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008. It’s amazing that he was quick to throw Susan Rice under a bus, but when there was clear evidence that the Bush Administration bungled the intelligence leading up to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks that claimed thousands of lives, we didn’t hear peep out of him on throwing Donald Rumsfeld or Condoleezza Rice under a bus.
Watch John McCain on Fox News Sunday:
The Obama campaign wasted no time in piling on to the train wreck called Mitt Romney’s overseas trip gaffe after gaffe. Obama senior adviser Robert Gibbs called it an “embarrassing disaster.”
Buzzfeed: “It is clear that the opportunity to credential his beliefs with the American voters was nothing short for Mitt Romney of an embarrassing disaster on this trip,” Obama senior adviser Robert Gibbs told reporters on a conference call.
Earlier in the call, Gibbs said that the trip “Certainly didn’t prove to anyone that [Romney] passed the commander-in-chief test” and that “Particularly alongside the trip Senator Obama took in 2008, there’s simply no comparison.”
Romney is certainly no more ready for the international stage than Sarah Palin was in 2008, even with all the vast business experience he has. This has been an utter mess.
#RomneyShambles: Mitt Romney apparently takes his marching order from from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Haaretz newspaper. Um, I didn’t realize we had a such a close relationship with Israel that they would be playing a role in how a presidential candidate runs his campaign. You see, his Israeli trip isn’t without controversy. The Haaretz reports Benjamin Netanyahu is behind Romney cancelling his meeting with former opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich. That meeting was already planned months ago. The other side to this issue is that he declined to meet a powerful woman in Israeli politics, which can be interpreted as an insult to women.
The two bureaus, Romney’s and Yacimovich’s, began coordinating the meeting, where and how long it would be along with a joint statement to the press. But a week ago, after Kadima head MK Shaul Mofaz left the government, Yacimovich ceased to be opposition leader. Labor Knesset faction head Yitzhak (Buzi) Herzog took the initiative and informed the Romney staff of the change in Yacimovich’s status, and requested that the meeting be cancelled.
Romney’s staff would have none of it. They told Herzog that they were au courant with happenings on the Israeli political scene, knew that Mofaz was now opposition leader (Romney will also meet with him), and insisted on holding the Yacimovich meeting as planned. Source: Haaretz
The meeting was set for 1:30 p.m. at the King David Hotel Monday, but after a meeting with Netanyahu, Romney cancelled the meeting with the opposition.
And then Romney went into a meeting with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem. During the course of the meeting the candidate’s staff contacted Herzog to inform him that the meeting had regrettably been cancelled, “for reasons of protocol.” Herzog and Yacimovich have no doubts: Netanyahu, or his people, didn’t approve of the Yacimovich meeting and pressured Romney to cancel it – and succeeded. Source: Haaretz
This should come as no surprise, since Mitt Romney seems to have a problem following his own lead, which would be the same manner in which he will run his administration — George W. Bush-lite. This also comes as Mitt Romney’s campaign reversed its decision to bar reporters from his fundraiser, breaking protocol. Mitt Romney’s overseas trip has been a fiasco on so many levels. The Brits gave him the right name, a “wazzock.” How does one run for the presidency of the United States of America and hide so much details about oneself? The candidate and his wife went to the Western Wall, um what for? #WesternWall
The road to Washington goes through Israel, why?
— Didi Remez (@DidiRemez) July 29, 2012
Romney Cancels meeting with Shelly Yacimovich, leader of the opposition party. This is a slap to all Jewish women.
— Mr. T (@NiteSeer) July 29, 2012
France 24 English correspondent in Israel: “They say here the road to Washington goes through Jerusalem” For shame. #Romney
— Sultan Al Qassemi (@SultanAlQassemi) July 29, 2012
Israeli press in an uproar, saying no Hebrew-writing reporters being allowed into #Romney speech 2nite
— Jodi Rudoren (@rudoren) July 29, 2012
— Ezra Grant (@EzKool) July 29, 2012