Archive for the 'Foreign Relations' Category

Obama: I Don’t Need Congress

By Caomhin

Obama just simply does not want to abide by the War Powers Act.  He has done everything he possibly can to avoid following the rule of law refusing to seek authorization from Congress for the Libyan mission.  From Jack Tapper of ABC News:

In an effort to satisfy those arguing he needs to seek congressional authorization to continue US military activity in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, President Obama wrote a letter to congressional leaders this afternoon suggesting that the role is now so “limited” he does not need to seek congressional approval.

Obama is attempting to manipulate his stated positions in a fashion that would have the left howling had Bush attempted the same strategy. Of course, Bush never did what Obama is now doing.  Essentially Obama invoked the War Powers Act in order to being the mission in Libya.  This act specifically states that the President has 60 days to receive Congressional authorization for the use of force.  Today, this window has expired and now Obama is singing a different tune.

Now, Obama is arguing that the types of military resources used as well as the kind of military units being utilized mean that he does not need Congressional authorization to bomb foreign nations.  Essentially this leads to one of two conclusions. The first would be that Obama used the War Powers Act in the hopes that Congress would simply give him the green light, but Congress saw things differently.  The second would be that Obama simply used the War Powers Act but never intended to following it by seeking Congressional authorization. 

There also exists a possibility that Obama actually feels that since NATO is essentially leading the mission (albeit with US resources) that he can authorize whatever he feels like authorizing since we are not technically leading the mission.  The idiocy of this view is mind numbing, however.  I imagine that even for the most avowed leftist believing that sending American troops into harm’s way under the leadership of an international force without Congressional approval would simply be unacceptable.  No matter the case, his statements today illustrate that the end remains the same.  Obama feels that he can do as he pleases without Congressional authorization and he will justify this in any manner that he can.  This stance is deplorable and reeks of arrogance.

Shocker: Obama has No Plan to Deal with Nuclear Iran

By Caomhin

This should surprise exactly no one who has been paying attention to the developments with Iran since Obama became president.  Deadlines have come and gone, he has expressed no sense of urgency with regard to the Iranian drive to develop nuclear weapons, and Obama barely even seem concerned with the Iranian regime’s violent crackdown on the Iranian people after their sham of an election.  Now, further proof that Obama has no plan to deal with a nuclear Iran, or simply doesn’t care if Iran gets nuclear weapons:

Sen. John McCain renewed his call for the United States to “pull the trigger” on sanctions against Iran and more, after a memo from Defense Secretary Robert Gates to the White House warned that the United States lacks a long-term plan for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

Gates wrote the three-page memo in January and it set off efforts in the Pentagon, White House and intelligence agencies to come up with new options, including the use of the military, The New York Times said in its Sunday editions, quoting unnamed government officials.

Iran has made Obama look foolish on a number of occasions and despite Obama desperately seeking to become friendly and use his charm offensive on Tehran, he has essentially been mocked by Ahmadinejad and the Iranian dictatorship.  I’ve stated before in numerous posts that Obama has been the most anti-Israeli president we have ever had, and it’s no secret that he has insulted our closest allies from Great Britain to the Czech Republic to the Ukraine to Canada to Israel.  It is dismaying to me that he would throw Israel and the rest of the Middle East to the wolves by allowing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.  Bowing to foreign leaders has become Obama’s forte, most recently to the Chinese, and for his efforts he has weakened our position as a leader in the world.  It is our responsibility to speak up for the oppressed, defend human rights, and yes, stop the spread of nuclear weapons, especially to madmen who have already expressed that will have no reservations to use this weapons to fulfill their apocalyptic visions.  Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons and Obama and other world leaders need to come to the conclusion or they put the world at risk for catastrophe.

The Most Anti-Israel Administration of All Time?

By Caomhin

The more time passes the more this headline becomes crystal clear.  Our closest allies such as Britain, France, and Japan have all been severely let down, if not agitated by the Obama Administration, but Israel has been faced with an Administration that is constantly hounding them and seeking to curtail their ability to run their own nation.  As arrogant as they are, I cannot believe that the Administration is simply upset that Israel had announced settlement policies while Joe Biden was visiting the nation and have sought what they see as some sort of retribution in their mind for the timing of the announcement.  I may be inclined to think that if the Administration had not previously chastised Israel for they way they handle their internal matters.  Hillary Clinton blasted Israel for having the audacity to building homes for people to live in:

The length and unusually blunt tone of Clinton’s call underscored the administration’s concern about prospects for the negotiations it has been trying to organize for more than a year and its anger over Israel’s refusal to heed U.S. appeals not to make provocative gestures.

Everyone wants to see peace in the Middle East, I do not think that is a question here.  What is at question is to what we expect from each party.  What is apparent here is that the use of the phrase “provocative gestures” is clearly in tune with the way that the Arab States and the Palestinians see this.  A different phrase with less negative connotations would have served the Administration better if they were truly interesting in being an intermediary in the dispute rather than an active advocate for one side over the other.  The track record of the Administration, while not overtly pro-Palestinian, is however becoming clear to be “anti-Israeli.”

Once again I find my self in strong disagreement with Obama Administration in how they treat our strongest allies.  Obama has made it clear he wants to seek new relations with other states, but denouncing Israel at every turn, upsetting Britain over a number of issues, such as the Falkland Islands, and angering France over protectionism makes you wonder if he even respects our existing relationships.  I know if these thoughts are in my mind, there is no doubt it is in their minds as well.

Iran has played Obama for a Fool

By Caomhin

This is one of those things that you never wanted to see happen.  As much as I disagree with Obama on many, many issues, we needed to be strong on Iran, we needed to stop their pursuit of nuclear weapons, for both our security and the security of the Middle East and Israel’s security as well.  Unfortunately, as much as I had hoped that Obama would at least take this threat seriously enough to do something, anything, outside of issuing ever lengthening “deadlines”, he has done nothing.  Worse, Iran is mocking him, America, and the world, and Obama does not have the resolve to even appear to be effective.

This was to be expected, I suppose, and now that Russia has laughed at Obama’s “reset button” and began a push for a new types of nuclear weapons, Iran followed the Russian government’s lead and has laughed off Obama…again.  In fact, they mockingly issued Obama and other world leaders and ultimatum of their own.  Once again we can see the effectiveness not only of Obama’s “smart power” but also of the UN’s ineffectiveness.  The response from the Obama administration thus far has been the foreign policy equivalent of Einstein’s definition of insanity:

Iran dismissed an end-of-2009 deadline imposed by the Obama administration and its international partners to accept a U.N.-drafted deal to swap most of its enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. The deal would reduce Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium, limiting — at least for the moment — its capability to make nuclear weapons.

The U.S. and its allies have demanded Iran accept the terms of the U.N.-brokered plan without changes.

Instead, Tehran came up with a counterproposal: to have the West either sell nuclear fuel to Iran, or swap its nuclear fuel for Iran’s enriched uranium in smaller batches instead of at once as the U.N. plan requires.

This is unacceptable to the West because it would leave Tehran with enough enriched material to make nuclear arms.

Every time that Obama gives Iran a new “deadline,” Iran simply laughs him off and continues their pursuit of nuclear weapons.   Obama half heartedly denounced the violence against the Iranian people by their barbaric leaders after the rigged election in June.  Meanwhile, Iranian opposition leader, Mir Hossain Mousavi continues to lead the opposition movement in Iran amid even more threats from the regime.  Even as the violence is on the uptick once more, Obama has remained conspicuously silent.  Perhaps this is one of the election promises he actually intended to keep, to reach out to dictators, which, judging by his governing thus far, means to give them free reign to do whatever they like.  My point here is not to cast Mousavi as an angel or anything of the sort, but it was very clear that the election was a fraud, that the brutal violence against the Iranian people was and is very real, as is Ahmadinejad and the Iranian hardliner’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and in none of these situations has Obama expressed leadership or resolve.  It is a giant failure, in fact.

Actions speak louder than words, and it is quite clear to me that Obama will never get involved in anything that involves something he perceives to be a sizeable political risk to his chances of re-election, and if that means not taking the tough measures that need to be taken in international affairs, he will not do it.  I believe this to also be the reason why he did not provide the troops requested for the Afghanistan effort by Gen. McChrystal, why he foolishly poked our friends in the Czech Republic and Poland in the eye on missile defense, has continually criticized Israel, and snubbed allies such as Great Britain and Norway.  He would rather upset our allies than take tough stances against hostile and despotic governments.  Though our media and liberal friends certainly will not acknowledge this, other world leaders certainly have taken notice and are capitalizing on Obama’s weakness.  You have only to follow international affairs closely to recognize this pattern.

Obama Turns His Back on Czechs, Poles

By Caomhin

Unfortunately it has been confirmed that Obama has decided to abandon the missile defense shield program in Eastern Europe.  I can only imagine how our friends in the Czech Republic and Poland are feeling right now:

WASHINGTON — The White House will shelve Bush administration plans to build a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, a move likely to cheer Moscow and roil the security debate in Europe.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed Thursday that a “major adjustment” is planned and said the decision was made to better protect U.S. forces and allies in Europe from Iranian missile attacks.

The U.S. is basing its move on a determination that Iran’s long-range missile program hasn’t progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental U.S. and major European capitals, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The Czechs and the Poles have been among our most staunch allies over the last decade and here we are, turning away from them, reneging on our commitments.  In Obama’s haste to try and kiss and make up with Russia he apparently has decided that appeasing them is more important than protecting our friends.  To be sure, we should absolutely have a running dialogue with the Russians and find common ground on a multitude of issues, but abandoning our friends should never have been an option.  The biggest loser in all of this is the Georgians, who have already felt Russian aggression from last year and there has been rumblings that Russia is gearing up to go at them again.  Ukrainians have also had serious concerns that Russia may be trying the same tactics on them in the near future, especially after the energy issues between the two nations.

The latest move by the Obama Administration continues to show that appeasing nations with which we have had disagreements is of a higher priority than standing by and protecting our allies.  You can imagine how they are going to try to spin this when they hold their press conference, but there’s no way around it.  We just abandoned our allies.

Afghanistan, Iranian Nukes, and Missile Defense

By Caomhin

Obama has done a pretty solid job with regards to hitting al-Qaeda targets inside of Pakistan. I’m holding out hope that he will hold strong in supporting our efforts in Afghanistan even as his liberal allies begin their efforts to push for abandonment of the Afghans.  This of course, we can not and must not do.

His handling of Iran, however, is another story.  It seems he is so determined to try and reason with the Ayatollahs that it has become detrimental to global security, and considering how realistic he has thus far been with regards to Afghanistan and Pakistan, you have to wonder why there exists such a contrast.  It’s not a secret that we blasted Obama for his astonishingly weak response to the rigging of the Iranian election and the violent, repressive attacks on the Iranian citizens by their regime.  We were very vocal about that both on our site and on Twitter.  Many of the liberals I am friends with were also shocked at the timid response to the election situation in Iran as well.

From my observations thus far, it seems that Obama wants to distance himself from Israel in any way he can.  Maybe that sounds a bit harsh, maybe it is, but let’s face facts here.  He is absolutely treating a terrorist regime in Iran much differently than he is handling the Taliban.  Much as I can figure, it probably has more to do with how vocal Iran with their anti-Semitic hatred than any other regime on the face of the planet.  Obama has criticized Israelis for building settlements, but has been stunningly silent with regards to the election in Iran, and their blatant, obvious pursuit of nuclear weapons.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy has stated the facts:

“It is a certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear [weapons] program,” Sarkozy told lawmakers from his UMP party on Tuesday, according to Press TV.

“We cannot let Iran acquire nuclear” weapons because it would also be a threat to Israel, he added.

Everyone knows Iran has a nuclear weapons program.  The question is, why isn’t Obama pounding the table demanding that regime crippling sanctions be imposed on Iran and demanding that the Russians and the Chinese agree to the sanctions?  He knows that Israel is more than willing to defend itself by taking out Iranian nuclear facilities if stringent, effective, world wide sanctions are not carried out, and yet…nothing.  He does know that Israel is not bluffing about defending himself, I’m sure, and he has to know that Iran is more than willing to use nuclear weapons if and when the world allows them to build the weapons, so what gives?

I want to think that the handling of the War on Terror that he has been leading in Afghanistan and Pakistan is not an illusion but I have serious doubts.  The fact that there are rumors all over the place right now that Obama is about to hang the Czech Republic, Poland, the Ukraine, Georgia, and many more out to dry:

I blogged a couple of weeks ago that the Obama administration was about to abandon its plans for Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. I wrote then that “if enacted, this would represent a huge turnaround in American strategic thinking on a global missile defence system, and a massive betrayal of two key US allies in eastern and central Europe. Such a move would significantly weaken America’s ability to combat the growing threat posed by Iran’s ballistic missile program, and would hand a major propaganda victory to the Russians.”

It now looks as though the president has surrendered to Russian demands to kill off Third Site

The more time goes by, the more I am convinced that, unfortunately, I was right that Obama was going to be extremely soft on national and global defense.  It is starting to look like his support of America’s allies will be as well.

Obama’s Disturbing Position on Honduras

By Caomhin

I see no reason to sugar coat the headline for this article, as it is painfully obvious to those following the situation closely in Honduras.  If you’re not familiar with how the events leading up to the “coup” went down, please check out this story for some background.  If you’re limited on time (believe me I know how you feel) I’ll try to recap briefly.

Honduras’ disposed president, Manuel Zelaya was Constitutionally bound to a one term limit. The process by which the Constitution is amended under Honduran law is through the Congress.  The Constitution of Honduras then became a hindrance to Zelaya who sought to put on a spectacle and rig a vote by referendum, complete with ballot boxes being provided by Hugo Chavez and which would hold no authority under Honduran law. The Chief of the Armed Forces in Honduras refused to comply with Zelaya’s illegal actions and was promptly fired by Zelaya.  The Supreme Court of Honduras ruled Zelaya’s firing of the head of the armed forces illegal (as he was upholding the Constitution of Honduras and the orders of the Honduran Congress, who also recognized Zelaya’s actions as illegal and moved to halt his “referendum.)  Add to this the fact that his arrest was ordered by the Attorney General and his own political party also recognized his actions as illegal and had already nominated their candidate in accordance with their constitution and what is transpiring is crystal clear.  All the branches of the Honduran government had a hand in stopping Zelaya’s clear ambition and move to impose a dictatorship upon Honduras.  It is also critically important to note that upon acting on the orders of the government by arresting and sending Zelaya into exile, the military’s role in this movement ended there, with the other branches of the government remaining in tact and in charge.

Leftist dictators such as Chavez, the Castros, as well as Ortega are all openly advocating for Zelaya for obvious reasons.  In fact, it now appears that Zelaya has been outed as a participant in drug trafficking.  The actions that the Hondurans have taken are not those of a dictatorship, these are the actions of those upholding their constitutional duties and of liberty.

Enter our apologist in Chief.  At Chavez’s behest, Obama has moved swiftly to back Zelaya and has even afforded him the opportunity to come to Washington to meet with US officials in order to prop him up and continue Zelaya and Chavez’s dream of getting him to become dictator of Honduras.  It is unfathomable that our nation could be used in such a fashion, but yet it appears that is exactly where we are at.   Making this even more difficult of a situation is the fact the Zelaya is vowing to return to Honduras, knowing with 100% certainty that violence will occur when he does so (also important to note, there are rumors of a Venezuelan invasion into Honduras) as he will be promptly arrested.  I wonder what Obama will do then.

Hopefully Zelaya says something that hurts Obama’s ever so fragile ego to force Obama into supporting the right side in this conflict much as Ahmadinejad had made negative comments about Obama with regards to Iran.  I’m fairly confident that if Ahmadinejad had not said something personally about Obama that Obama would have kept quiet as kept about the brutality the Iranians are inflicting on their own citizens in the aftermath of their rigged elections.  He needs to be provoked to defend freedom and liberty, something that should come naturally to any man, woman, or child.  His silence was deafening in Iran, he even as he ran out for ice cream while protestors were being murdered in the streets by the regime.

Fast forward to present and rather than simply repeating his mistake by not voicing an opinion in support of people struggling for freedom, he goes a step further, actually looking to PUT a dictator into place.  Unbelievable.  You should also take some time to read this article, but here’s a section about new Honduran president Roberto Micheletti:

“That is why I want to make a call to our allies in the United States, that they should stick with us at this very important moment in the life of the country,” Micheletti said. “The economy of our country is completely destroyed — because of the acts of the former government. If aid [from the United States and Europe] keeps coming, we will show that every little penny that we borrowed will be spent for the people of this country.”

Micheletti promised that Honduras would hold presidential elections in November and that a new president would take office in January. Micheletti, who is a leader of the Liberal Party, the same party that Zelaya belongs to, vowed that he would not run for president.

Micheletti also said that Zelaya is a master at bending world opinion his way. Another source in the government here said that Zelaya actually was wearing a crisply ironed dress shirt when he was sent into exile in Costa Rica, but that he changed to a white T-shirt to show how he was hustled out of his official residence at dawn while still in his pajamas.

Senior Obama officials said that an overthrow of the Zelaya government had been brewing for days and that they worked behind the scenes to stop the military and its conservative, wealthy backers from pushing Zelaya out. That the United States failed to stop the coup gives anti-U.S. leaders such as Chávez room to use events in Honduras to push their vision for the region.

A few things I want to leave you with to consider.  First, simply for comparison purposes, how egregious would Obama’s actions be for the Supreme Court, the US Military, Congress, and the Democratic Party to move to take him out of office?  Tremendously, tremendously horrible one would surmise, it is almost inconceivable that particular recipe would unfold, and yet it did in Honduras.  It would be the equivalent of removing Obama from office and inserting Joe Biden into office.  That should tell you all you need to know about Zelaya.  Second, what in God’s name are Obama officials doing blaming conservatives and “wealthy backers” in Honduras for what’s going on in the nation?  That is downright insane, and yet, he’s doing just that, using the same exact rhetoric as Chavez uses.

They then proceed to say that the coup strengthens Chavez’s position as opposed to recognizing that Zelaya will be yet another dictator aligned with Chavez.  That bit is particularly disturbing to me on many levels.  Not only did they leave out the actions leading up the actions that I had previously summarized including the removal of Zelaya being backed by the Congress, Supreme Court, and his own political party, but it also shows that they attempted to usurp Honduras’ right to self determination and the Honduran Constitution.  Finally, it begs to be said again, you really should consider why Obama would go out of his way to help Zelaya, who is so clearly in the wrong and in violation of the Honduran Constitution, become a dictator by the illegal actions in which he is partaking. For if Zelaya gets his way, that is precisely what will happen.  What possible reason could Obama have to actively seek to install someone aspiring to become a  dictator into a Central American nation that will further strengthen Hugo Chavez and suppression of freedom and liberty for the people for the region as opposed to the Constitutionally backed government that has the support of the people, Congress and Supreme Court and is promising more liberty for all of its people?