Tag Archives: Susan Rice

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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Security Council’s powerless against the criminal regime of Al-Assad

4 October 2011 – According the United Nations press release: «China and Russia today vetoed a draft resolution in the Security Council that had strongly condemned Syrian authorities for their violent crackdown against pro-democracy protesters this year and called for an immediate end to human rights abuses. Nine of the Council’s 15 members voted in favour of the draft text, there were two vetoes, and four countries abstained. A veto by any one of the Council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – means a resolution cannot be adopted.»

UN Security Council meeting

The AFP mentioned that the resolution received four abstentions from Lebanon, India, South Africa and Brazil. Russia’s UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said ” The Russian delegation has exerted all possible efforts since the beginning to reach a positive respond by the Security Council with regard to the events witnessed in Syria….we along with China forged a draft resolution in which we referred to the national sovereignty and the non-interference in Syria’s affairs including the military interference, in addition to calling for avoiding any confrontations and holding dialogue to achieve the civil peace and the national interest and to enhance the political and social life in Syria.” He added “The best way to get out of the crisis is to reject the provocations and to hold dialogue among all the Syrian parties…Russia continues its contacts with Damascus and it calls upon the Syrian authorities to be fast in making the changes and to release all the detainees who didn’t commit any criminal acts, in addition to holding dialogue with the opposition.”

In his speech at the UN Security Council, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al-Ja’afari, said “The unprecedented hostile language used in the statements of some ambassadors against my country and its political leadership stressed that Syria is targeted by its enemies due to its principled stance and not due to any humanitarian reasons…This language also reveals the biased policy adopted by some Western countries and their leadership due to Syria’s independent political stances.” He added that the Syrian leadership has immediately responded to the just popular demands as President Bashar al-Assad announced the comprehensive reform program and the Government started to implement it through a package of laws that enhance the democratic process and expand the participation of the citizens in the political and the economic process regardless of the foreign stances.

For his part, China’s UN Ambassador, Li Baodong, said “We call on the Syrian parties to reject all forms of violence, and we hope that the Syrian Government will implement the reforms soonest possible…The international community should provide a constructive help to facilitate the accomplishment of these goals, and we expect the complete respect of Syria’s sovereignty and independence.”

For her part, U.S Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice expressed her disappointment regarding the Security Council’s failure in adopting a resolution against Syria. Behind the Russian and Chinese vetoes of a U.N. resolution on Syria were not only serious differences over President Bashar Assad’s crackdown against civilians but concerns that even threatening sanctions might lead to a repetition of the NATO bombing campaign in Libya. «The result is that nearly seven months after the uprising against Assad began, the U.N.’s most powerful body remains deeply divided and unable to adopt a legally binding resolution to address the violence in Syria that by U.N. estimates has claimed more than 2,700 lives» said the United Nations officials.

The four European nations that sponsored the Syria resolution — Britain, France, Germany and Portugal — tried to gain Russia and China’s support. They also specified that any sanctions could not be enforced by military action. But when the text was sent to Moscow for review, word came back that it was unacceptable, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations were private. No one would speculate on what happened in the Kremlin that led to the rejection of the resolution. But the veto provoked strong rebukes from the U.S. and Western European countries and human rights groups. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice called claims that the resolution would be a pretext for military intervention “a cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.” Syrian allies Russia and China reportedly remain major arms suppliers to the Assad regime. In reply, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin strongly objected to the allegation, “especially coming from a country (The United States) which is pumping hundreds of billions of dollars of military hardware into the area.”

Remember: May 2001 – the United States imposed sanctions on Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, and six senior Syrian officials for human rights abuses over their brutal crackdown on anti-government protests. The White House announced the sanctions on Wednesday 18 May, a day before Barack Obama, the US president,  was to deliver a major speech on the uprisings throughout the Arab world with prominent mentions of Syria. The sanctions were part of “an effort to increase pressure on the government of Syria to end its violence against its people and begin transitioning to a democratic system,” a US official told the AFP news agency on the condition of anonymity. Also, the European Union put 13 Syrian officials on its sanctions list in what it described as a move to gradually increase pressure.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said his country would not support any UN resolutions on the use of force against the Syrian government. “As for a resolution on Syria, I will not support such a resolution even if my friends and acquaintances ask me about it” Medvedev told reporters during a rare news conference arguing that Syria must be allowed to settle its domestic affairs.

Qaddafi Wikileaks

What would be interesting about Qaddafi going to the war crimes court in The Hague, if he ever gets there (!!??) is that the world may hear startling  revelations about backstage of politics world and his closeness friendship with Western countries.

These relations became particularly close in 2004 as the US and UK were looking for support for the war in Iraq. Back then,  the old Colonel Qaddafi signed many deals, including refusal to continue development of chemical weapons and readiness to supply oil to EU countries… unforgettable memories with the triad B / triplets Bush – Blair – Berlusconi ! ;))

Until then, the United Nations General Assembly just decided unanimously to suspend Libya’s membership on the

AP Photo: Joseph Deiss, President of the U.N. General Assembly, speaks during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Human Rights Council, a move that puts additional international pressure on Muammar al-Qaddafi. The decision was made by consensus of all members states of the U.N., with the exception of Libya, because it was the subject of the General Assembly meeting. Of course, I cannot to hide my amusement about consensus of UN ! Why ? Because: “An imperialist country is unilaterally and visibly deploying its military and nuclear machinery in order to carry out an armed attack against Libya…Venezuela calls for the rejection of war-mongering mobilization of the U.S. Air force and Navy” said Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice angrily denounced the comments. “It’s shameful that one member state, whose own reprehensible record speaks for itself, would manipulate this occasion to spread lies, foster fear, and sow hate” she said. I think it is a really constructive discussion :))))

I can point out that Europeans – except American’s UK friends – have half-heartedly opposed the NATO intervention in Libya … UN mandate, interference in internal affairs of another country, violation of international law, etc. I heard Russia speaking loudly, as usual, China still in expectation….. Deja vu !

Something new ?? Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh says US and Israel behind unrest of Middle East. “I am going to reveal a secret,” he said. “There is an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world. The operations room is in Tel Aviv and run by the White House”. Notice that Saleh has been a weak but important U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaida, accepting tens of millions of dollars in U.S. military and other aid and allowing American drone strikes on al-Qaida targets.

Well, probably no one doubts that eventually as U.S. says it will do, while useless and bureaucratic UN will revolve around the tail …. again Deja vu !

Update: According UN News Center, The International Criminal Court (ICC) will investigate Libyan President Muammar Al-Qadhafi’s regime for crimes against humanity in repressing peaceful protesters, as a top United Nations official today called for global action to avert a humanitarian disaster inside the country. ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said today preliminary examination of available information shows that an investigation is warranted after the Security Council last week asked him to look into the violent repression in which more than 1,000 people are reported to have been killed and many more injured as Mr. Qadhafi’s loyalists opened fire on peaceful civilians demanding his ouster. So, as I said, if they manage to bring Qaddafi in front of  the Court in The Hague, the fun will be fully insured… Pop Corn and Coca Cola (for those who still drink  it 😀  )….