Tag Archives: Benghazi

Barack Obama and his second term in the White House

Varianta în Română poate fi citita in revista Cadran Politic.

Presidential elections in the United States have generated stormy debates pro and against the two candidates. Global relevance of these elections not must be proved, though not always Americans choices mean significant changes in U.S. policies towards different regions of the world. And then there was my little surprise to find that in many cases strong argument in favor of Republican Mitt Romney was represented by the need coming to power of a politician to impose order and mighty “to put in corner” enemies of America. The acme of irony, but such an argument invoked also the supporters of Vladimir Putin in the Russian presidential elections, when the Eastern giant clam return from planetary powers, issue which outraged the West. Double extent hypocrisy continues to be an instrument inseparable from the policy, but this is already another discussion.

Returning to the victory of Democrat Barack Obama, we can not to avoid to remark that even the most democratic country in the world has experienced themselves with accusations of election fraud, the organization Truth Vote announcing that holds the arguments and evidence that there were irregularities in voting process. Personally, I believe that an argument of type “no American president in office in the last 60 years, has won a second term as large percentage of the unemployed” is insufficient, however would endeavor sociologists to demonstrate the standard patterns of behavior of groups of voters. Moreover, I reiterate an old idea, saying that many of the flaws of present society is based on standard sociological calculations inoculated of human behavior. And last but not least, the option of voters depends crucially on the proposed alternative opponent. American Society is enervated of crisis, tired of foreign military intervention, with fewer possibilities for the mass of voters to see the long-term perspectives. Obama’s proposed economic plan seems to be more or less logical (not necessarily reliable). From this point of view, is interesting to note the reason why no independent analyst approved Romney’s plan. Because it has no economic sense, they said. Certainly both plans have positive points. Important is whether their application will generate stability and growth. Most economists are skeptical about it.

Invigorated by his electoral triumph, President Obama started to use some new political capital – acquired (through the obtaining of an additional term in the White House) with a public appeal to Congress to try to prevent imminent ‘fiscal cliff ‘ that the United States will face if by the end of year will not come to an agreement in Congress, that remained divided between Democrats and Republicans on debt reduction plan, and on raising taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans, while Obama ensuring population that tax obligations incumbent on middle class will not increase. Republicans and Democrats are forced to reach an agreement on the budget, even temporarily, before the end of this year, when it will materialize “fiscal cliff”. The term designates immediate increase taxes and reduce overall public expenditure which will automatically enter into force in January, according to a law voted in 2011. From the presidential desk in the White House, President Obama said, “it’s time to get back to work. The American people voted for … action, not for politica … as usual”. Concerning the main action domestically, Obama said: “We presented a detailed plan that allows us to make investments … while reducing the deficit of 4000 billion over the next decade.” Arguments wanted to signal its opening to find a compromise, Obama is well aware of election exit polls showed that most Americans agree with the imposition of higher taxes (in total disagreement with the Republican opposition) of who earn more than $ 250,000 per year. Note that two hours before the press conference of U.S. President, in a sign that Republicans do not intend to easily accept a compromise, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, reiterated opposition to tax increases for the richmen. With regard to those who would be affected by such a measure, the acid reaction came from tycoon Donald Trump, which characterized the election as a disgrace, an ordinary fake, a shame and urged Americans to start a revolution. Later, Trump has deleted most of insulting posts on his Twitter account. But it is difficult to quantify how many wealthy Americans have a similar view. Of course, those who did not already transferred their assets and businesses to fiscal paradises in different parts of the world.

Returning to the need for economic measures, we note that independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has warned the president that postponing the implementation of a plan for taxing beyond the end of this year would push the U.S. economy back into recession next year and unemployment will rises more than nine percent as it is now. Moreover, this could lead to tax increases for the middle class, which the Obama struggles to avoid. Moreover, he stressed that “the proposed plan to Congress could give hope to millions of families, 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses need help to make sure that they enter the new year”. Incomes are declining and at least 12 million homeowners have mortgages that exceed the value of their houses. Consumers aren’t spending and therefore business is not investing. “This leaves government as the only possible source of substantial new spending to create jobs. Yet there is no jobs program” warns Huffington Post.

If compromise on the fiscal measures between Republicans and Democrats seem difficult, however on health insurance reform, known as “Obamacare” the two sides appear to have reached an agreement. Republican spokesman for the U.S. House of Representatives, John Boehner, said, quoted by AFP, that the Republicans will give up any attempt to repeal health insurance reform introduced by President Barack Obama and hated by his opponents, that must completely enters into force in the new political context. Balance of power on Capitol remains the same as before the election, President Obama have Democratic majority in the Senate are required to reach an agreement with Republicans which are majority in the House of Representatives. But…note that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that there will still be 30 million uninsured Americans by the end of the decade. Tens of millions more will be underinsured as the companies are free to raise their premiums and deductibles. Meanwhile, corporate dominated health care system will continue to be huge drag on our global competitiveness and long-term fiscal health.

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Externally, Obama’s presidency first term marked the relocation anti-missile shield in Europe, resetting relations with Russia, a certain continuity of U.S. projects in the Black Sea, so before elections the initiated in military-political issues rather expressed the hope that things remain unchanged. While the reason of the mission in Libya remains questionable, no results were effective. With Libya’s peace and political integrity under question, it was an example that the viability of NATO as a transatlantic alliance is still foggy. At the end of 2011, the full withdrawal of combat soldiers from Iraq was complete, ending nearly a decade of bloodshed and violence. Sad war without losers and winners. The killing of Osama Bin Laden, Washington’s one-time ally, was widely appraised as a success. But the relative transparency about why it happened so late has made to more experienced observers to shake their head with disbelief, despite the popular approval. Iran remains a sore spot for American foreign policy. Obama maintained the sanctions regime on the country for its nuclear program and even extended it in concert with other international partners. The failure to open diplomatic relations with Teheran and make Israel accountable for its own nuclear weapons in the process makes this a severe weakness in Obama’s foreign policy.

Recent, U.S. diplomat spokesperson Victoria Nuland refused to comment on questions about international issues and their priority for the new U.S. administration after presidential elections. One thing is certain: the main intermediary between the White House and the international community during the previous mandate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will leave the Obama team after its reinvestment of January 20, 2013. Regarding to the seat occupied by Mrs. Clinton was considered the name of John Kerry, a former opponent of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election, and Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN. Presence of the last on the list of potential successors as head of U.S. diplomacy has already produced some irritation to the Kremlin, knowing that Susan Rice has had several disputes with the Russian ambassador to the UN meetings about Moscow’s attitude towards the Syrian conflict, so that Moscow expected that “will be difficult” to work with Washington if Rice comes to power, according to sources inside the Foreign Ministry of Russia. However no relationship with Russia seems to require priority attention of the White House. In this regard there could be changes of tone rather than substance. Otherwise, it will remain anthological in the annals of diplomatic the conversation between Obama and former Russian President and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (when Obama asked shortly time, before the elections, because after he could be more flexible in dealing with Russia. Medvedev assured that Obama will submit his grievance to Vladimir Putin and Republicans have really made a fit of rage on the subject !). However, this does not seem to matter much in American decision to grant Obama a second term, except of course those with clear views rusofobe, but are far from decisive influence Washington’s relations with Moscow. On the list of future staff actions in Washington and President Obama continues to remain Syrian file and increasingly powerful Islamist movements in the Middle East, Iran and last but not least, already recognized public – U.S. special focus on the Asia-Pacific region and capacity of influence exerted here in all priority areas: economic, political and military.

Lanny Davis, a former advisers of ex-President Bill Clinton suggested in an editorial for The Hill that he believes that “Obama is expected likely to work more with lawmakers whether it’s fiscal problems or immigration reform, but especially it is likely to follow the model of the second term of his predecessor Clinton”. Can be this the explanation that the first person who called Obama after election results was Bill Clinton ?

UPDATE: November 14. 2012 – President Obama took questions from reporters Wednesday in his first full-scale news conference of his new term.

Obama made his first comments on the widening scandal that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, plus addressed upcoming negotiations with Congress on taxes and spending cuts. He also answered about attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice coming from GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina for her comments following deadly violence in Libya. Obama said the senators are trying to “besmirch” her reputation. Obama said also that there is no debate that there needs to be accountability after four Americans were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. And he warned Sens. McCain and Graham again: “When they go after the U.N. ambassador apparently because they think she’s an easy target then they’ve got a problem with me.” He said he’s not yet determined whether Susan Rice is the best person for the Secretary of State job. Full transcript of Obama Press Conference can be read here.

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Libya – Operations: Mermaid Dawn and the Morning of a new Iraq

A major international scandal could be brewing following the unofficial admission by NATO commanders that the allies deployed special forces units to help rebels fight Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya despite limitations set by a UN mandate. Plan to conquer the Libyan capital received the codename Operation “Mermaid Dawn” ( in Arabic – amaliyyat Bahr el-Arus Fajr). Perhaps the name is the metaphor that described the city of Tripoli – Bride or Fiancee of the Sea. It can say anything, but not that U.S. strategists are not very sensitive and creative when they have to give names of military operations. 😀

One aspect, however, was very clear from the beginning: the rebel forces could not beat Gaddafi’s troops without active support of Western allies at the ground, training, equipping and the all activities 3C (command, control and communications). When NATO took command of the air exclusion zone imposed (NFZ – no fly zone), those quasi-clandestine operations had to be turned parallel to NATO operations and in any case not have an active and visible tangent with NATO operational command.

The first news about the activities of land appeared in the press at the end of May, probably by Al-Jazeera footage and articles in the Guardian. Latest events in Tripoli and rapid conquest of most neighborhoods of the city, including Gaddafi’s fortified residence in Bab al-Aziz, revealed the participation in planning battles, and often involvement of allied ground forces. These forces included commando of British SAS, 2REP French (Groupe des commando parachutiste) and American Navy DELTA (according Politeia). Since from the beginning to set up the view that Gaddafi could be conquerable only if he loses Libyan capital, Tripoli, Western coordinators have developed the current plan, which is in the process of development in Tripoli. Prominent opposition members confirmed that the rebels had been shipping weapons into Tripoli for several weeks, in preparation for this uprising. After the British newspaper The Telegraph delivered an amazing headline: Libya: Colonel Gaddafi ‘flees’ to Venezuela as cities fall to protestersGaddafi delivered a speech via phone through Libyan media, announcing the date and time to prove his message wasn’t pre-recorded. One transcript of his remarks can be read here.

Operation Mermaid Dawn” has succeeded, after six months of civil war, but viewed from afar the joy rebels in Tripoli is sad and lack of support on long term. An ephemeral euphoria. Behind that are 20,000 dead in these six months of confrontation. Mermaid Dawn will soon be replaced by the Midday Heat of oil wells blown up. And the rebels, who were decapitated, a few days ago, a gold statue of Gaddafi and turned into ruins Gaddafi’s residential, not seem to understand that these days, more strikingly resembles Tripoli with Baghdad in 2003. Slowly but surely Libya is likely to sink into the same species of chaos as in Iraq. Perhaps a swift capture of Gaddafi would provide more or less stability in Libya. But the analysts believe that if we make a parallel with Iraq War, we see that the hanging of Saddam has not changed much for good things. But Gaddafi is not yet found. And the reward offered to catch not yet found willing betrayal. Between two reports of accident  from Fukushima, International Atomic Energy Agency issued a warning of some possible nuclear deposits that would have Gaddafi and that he could uses in the manufacture of “dirty” bombs. It is possible that information is correct. But who can believe it, after never found weapons of mass murder of Saddam Hussein ? Yes, I speak about those famous weapons of mass destruction mentioned in the counterfeit reports of special services that gave the Americans reasons and justification of the invasion of Iraq. The same justification could be base for hunt of Gaddafi by international forces – a justification which Prime Minister Putin seems to missed when recent he condemned again the events in Libya. In reply, Rupert Colville – UN human rights spokesman in Geneva – said: “Assassination is not within the rule of law. If he can be captured alive and the arrest warrants carried through, obviously that’s the best solution”, referring to the hunt for Gaddafi. On the other hand, even if it will catch on Gaddafi, Libya’s stability is not assured from the start. This country means too much fragmented tribes and clans which unlikely to listen to the Transitional Council who comes to power. And while barrels of oil will take the road of the West, will find many dissatisfied who will say that “Gaddafi’s time was better” or “Down the Council !” Then they will blow up a street in Tripoli…or in Benghazi; just only to show their power. Welcome in the morning of a new Iraq !

UN Security Council approved a resolution on Libya

The multipolar world means more «global policecount(r)y» ?

So… the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution Thursday evening that would establish a no-fly zone over Libya, and would authorize the use of air strikes against forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.

But… U.N. did not specify when the air patrols over Libyan airspace would begin, or which country would take the lead, but there are several reports that British and French warplanes could strike pro-government positions as soon as Friday. Jubilant Libyan rebels in Benghazi erupted with fireworks and gunfire after the U.N. vote Thursday evening (changing the masters means the joy of fools!!! :)) ).

The council’s resolution, approved yesterday 10-0 with five abstentions (Brazil, China, Russia, India and Germany), allows the U.S., the U.K., France and Arab nations to “take all necessary measures” to protect civilians. It excludes “a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory”. So… NATO can  to attack ground targets from air. Of course, we have an excellent memory and remember that in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq also with air strikes began the war. 😀

According to the White House, President Barack Obama spoke with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France about coordinating their actions to enforce the resolution passed  Thursday on Libya. In change, Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s Foreign Minister said Friday that German troops will not participate in any military action in Libya. “We believe that those who voted for military intervention have good motives, but looking at the risks not just in Libya but for the whole region, we have decided that German troops will not participate in military action,” he said. China also expressed reservations Friday about some aspects of the Security Council resolution. “We oppose the use of armed force in international relations and we have serious reservations about some of the content of the resolution” said Jiang Yu, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According Bloomberg, “oil surged in New York after the United Nations Security Council voted to ground Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi ’s air force as continuing unrest in the region renewed concerns the turmoil may spread and disrupt supply”.

Update: Saturday, 19 March

World leaders met Saturday in a summit in Paris that could be the final step before immediate international military action against Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya. The meeting of 22 leaders hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, including British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, took full shape only shortly before it was to begin. The African Union was not attending, as had previously been expected, but the Iraqi foreign minister was among those announced as late participants.

Meanwhile, the offensive continued on diplomatic front. Barack Obama met with President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates departs for Russia on Saturday for talks expected to touch on turmoil in the Middle East, the Afghanistan war and plans for missile defense, officials said. Gates was due to visit cultural landmarks in Saint Petersburg and address junior military officers on Sunday and Monday before meeting his Russian counterpart, Russian counterpart, Anatoly Serdyukov, and President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Tuesday. While previous trips to Russia had been dominated by disputes over a planned US missile defense shield in Europe, this visit would cover a broader range of issues and reflected deepening military ties between the two countries, US officials said. Noticed that Brazil and Russia abstained from voting on resolution. Update: According AFP, Gates pushed back his departure to Sunday, a day later than planned, to remain in Washington and keep tabs on the developing situation in Libya, where the U.S. and its allies began military operations to enforce a U.N. no-fly zone.