Tag Archives: Rice

New Zealand Students Offer Reward To Arrest Condi Rice!

new Zeland police are very ‘disturbed” by the decision of the Auckland University Students’ Association offer of $5,000 to anyone who would carry out a citizen’s arrest of visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Superintendent Brett England said anyone who attempts to cross police lines during her visit to Auckland this weekend will be stopped. ‘Operational planning for this visit has been in the making for several months and there are highly effective security measures I please, so I would strongly advise the association representatives who’ve put this challenge out, to withdraw it immediately so as to avoid being caught up in something much bigger than they may have anticipated.”

AUSA president David Do said the arrest would be for her role in “overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq…. Student associations in New Zealand have a long history of being involved in fighting for global justice, dating back to student involvement in the 1981 anti-Springbok tour protests and the US war in Indochina in the 1960s and 1970s.”

Conventional wisdom is to regard this as a showboat activity on the part of students, but whether by design or inadvertently, the students are raising important issues. Should those in the Bush administration who lied to the American people about reasons for invading Iraq be held responsible in a court of law? Does the International Criminal Court have the right to issue warrants for Bush and his fellow conspirators who caused the death of over 4,000 Americans and the deaths of thousands of Iraqis? If a Serbian murderer can be arrested, why not American murderers?

Crossed Sabre Rattling Sounds In Middle East

The world wonders if sabres are being drawn or sheathed in the Middle East as Iran and Israel challenge one another with displays of missiles and simulated plane attacks. For the second straight day Tehran sent missiles on test runs while proclaiming defiantly to the world that it will not succumb to any Western pressures. It is clear Iran’s leaders do not with to portray any sign of weakness in the face of outside demands for change. It emphasized the Shahab-3 which can go about 1,250 miles is sending a “message to our enemies.” However, Pentagon experts noted only one missile actually was launched and, apparently, a second one never got into the air.

Secretary of State Rice responded to the Iran message by saying, “we are sending a message to Iran that we will defend American interests and the interests of our allies.” The Israel Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, also sent a message that “Israel has proved in the past it is not afraid to take action when its vital security interests are at stake.”

Undoubtedly, Western Union was scurrying hither and dither delivering all these messages, but the most important one has yet to be sent. The Middle East, at this juncture in time, can not be the scene of missiles flying from one country to another without creating complete chaos in the region. Barack Obama has urged diplomatic action and, hopefully, that will be an option come January of next year.

US Proposes Helping Israel-Palestinians To Get Peace!

The Bush administration, whose record on creating one problem after another in the Middle East and never successfully resolving any of them, offered to assist Israel and the Palestinians to get back to the business of working out an agreement. Secretary Rice supposedly presented this offer to Prime Minister Olmert during his recent Washington D.C. visit. She suggested Americans could sit in on negotiations in order to facilitate the
process. Chief Palestinian negotiator, Ahmed Qureia, said both sides did agree on beginning the process of laying out their ideas on key issues.

The bottom line is both sides fundamentally differ on West Bank and East Jerusalem housing construction, borders, security and return of the refugees. At this point, Israel holds the stronger hand and it incumbent upon its leaders to take the initial step of backing down, at least somewhat, on key issues.

Meanwhile, in a minor issue, eight left wing activists protested against the separation fence. Perhaps, as a gesture of compromise, Israel could begin making it easier for Arabs to move around the West Bank without continually encountering check points.

Is President Bush Planning An Attack On Iran?

Israel Army Radio reported that President Bush intends to attack Iran in the coming months before the end of his term. It quotes a senior member of the Bush entourage which recently concluded talks with the Israel government as saying during a closed session wih Israel leaders and Vice President Dick Cheney, they were told of the president’s desire for war with Iran. However, said the source, both Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoloeezza Rice, opposed the move and were forcing the president to hold off, at least as of this moment.

The source claimed Bush was upset at recent events in Lebanon which he blamed on Iranian influence in the country and insisted “the disease must be treated.” There were no terrorists in Iraq until George Bush created them with his invasion of that country. An attack on Iran would result in hundreds of missiles being fired into Israel costing the lives of thousands of people. It would also result in Hizbullah and Hamas initiating attacks and plunging Israel into a two front war. The president still has not learned from his experience in Iraq the cure can sometimes be worse than the disease.

Turkish PM Erdogan Mediates In Middle East

The presidency of George Bush has virtually lost all credibility in the Middle East due to its blatant one-sided support for Israel. Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, of Turkey, is attempting to step into the American vacuum of power by presenting himself as a neutral mediator who has the respect and confidence of both Israel and Palestinians. He is currently working to establish dialogue between Israel and Syria and might be able to expand his role to embrace a broader agenda dealing with Middle Eastern peace. Israel has close ties with Turkey, and, since Erdogan represents an Islamic party, he has the ability to reach out to diverse Muslim groups in the region as an indvidual who will not enter negotiations with a set agenda but is willing to encourage compromise.

Anaka might be uniquely quality by dint of its acceptability to key players in the region to jump start the Israel-Palestinian negotiations. Israel political leaders trust Erdogan and might be willing to participate in discussions with Hamas if such talks were organized by the Turkish prime minister.

Perhaps, it is time for Condi Rice and Bush to step down and allow Turkey to step up in assuming leadership in the Middle East.

Does US Have Case Of Iranphobia?

The Iranian government accused US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of “Iranphobia” for trying to blame Tehran for problems in Iraq. Secretary Rice has promised to press Iraq’s Arab neighbors to take an aggressive stance against Iran for supposedly interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq. Iran’s Foreign Minister spokesperson, Mohammed Ali Hosseini told reporters “We see the developments in Iraq today are the outcome of the US administration’s illogical policies. The American officials want to externalize the problems they are facing inside Iraq.” The United States insists Iran is funding terrorist groups and wants other nations to help end this aid. Iran argues they also want other Arab nations to assist the Shiite Iraq government of Prime Minister Maliki to fight Sunni militants.

In reality, both Iran and the United States have been actively assisting forces in Iraq to engage in fighting. Naturally, the United States claims those it aids are the “good guys” and those aided by the Iranians are the “bad guys.” One problem is the close relationship between Iran and the Maliki government. If the two nations have such excellent relations, why would Iran attempt to overthrow its ally?

Kenya Compromise Produces A Cabinet

The ongoing saga of whether Kenya will have a coalition government or chaos was hopefully resolved with the announcement a power-sharing arrangement will be in place. Oppositon leaer Raila Odinga has been appointed prime minister anda new 42 member cabinet replaces the previous 17 member one. “Let’s build a new Kenya where justice is our shield and defender, and where pace, liberty and plenty will be found throughout our country,” said President Kibaki. Former UN chief Kofi Annan brokered the arrangement which provides more positions in government to the opposition Orange Development Movement.

There is little doubt the new Cabinet will be rather expensive given its huge size, but, in the long run, spending money to provide jobs for politicians is less expensive than dealing with street demonstrations and the anger of mobs.

Condi Rice Face Saving Efforts In Middle East!

The Bush adminsitration is in the process of completing eight years in office during which there have been repeated attempts to create the foundation of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. No sooner had Secetary of State Rice left Israel last week, then the Olmert government began preparatory construction work on thousands of settler units in the occupied West Bank. The new settlement expansion includes 600 units to be built on confiscated Arab land in East Jerusalem and 800 in an ultra-orthodox settlement in the West Bank. The settler expansion drive on the West Bank flies in the face of American efforts to stablish a viable Palestinian state. Olmert insists “this is going on within the framework of negotiations and theneotiations will continue to progress.”

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian Authority negotiator, does not agree with the Israel leader that such construction is in accord with the framework for peace. “Yesterday, they said they would stop building and today they say they will be building thousands of settler units on occupied Palestinijan land. This can’t go on and on. This development is changing the situation on the ground for the worse. Israel is simply not sincere about peace.”

Secretary Rice makes general comments about the peace process which she believes is proceeding according to prior agreements. “We want to be much more systematic about what is promised and what is actually carried out.” Palestinian leaders believe there will be some sort of face saving statement about the peace process when President Bush arrives in Israel next month. After all, the president will be out of office in a few months and the next president will have to handle the mess he has left. In the meantime, expect a nice comforting statement from Rice how peace is proceeding according to the Bush plan.

Why Kenya Peace Talks Collapsed!

The Kenya Daily Standard reported a member of President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity engaged in a heated exchange with the Panel of Eminent Persons led by Kofi Annan. As a result of the apparent Kibaki refusal to compromise, Kofi Annan has suspended any further discussions to resolve the impasse arising from the fraudulent election for president. The Daily Standard says the Kibaki minister exploded when Annan tried to steer discussions towards what was already drafted in the report of the Legal Working Group. In the ensuing exchange of words, accusations and epithets were hurled around the room as the PNU and the Orange Democratic Movement confronted one another in a slinging match. Both Annan and former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa found themselves attacked and questions raised about their integrity.

The Kibaki rejection of a fair election has resulted in 1000 people dead in Kenya and over 500,000 displaced. Annan was sad that neither party appeared able to grasp the enormity of the situation and the importance of compromise. A major stumbling block is refusal on the part of President Kibaki to surrender some of his power to a prime minister who would come from the ODM.

Secretary of State Condi Rice told the Kenyan leaders, “we will draw our own conclusions about who is responsible for lack of progress and take the necessary steps. We will also exert leadership with the United Nations.”

Condi Rice Supports China On Taiwan Issue

Secretary of State Condi Rice told Chinese officials the United States will continue its support of the one China policy and regards any attempt of Taiwan to alter that relationship to be harmful to world peace. In talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi, she reiterated her country’s opposition to any action on the part of the Taiwan government to take actions which would later the current relationship with China. She expressed opposition to a Taiwan proposal which would have a referendum on whether it should become part of the UN as an independent nation. Rice also urged China not to take unilateral action across the Taiwan Straits which might result in violence.

The Chinese government regards Taiwan as an integral part of its nation and any discussion about Taiwan is felt to be an intrusion into China’s sovereignty. Foreign Minister Yang welcomed Rice’s support because anything to the contrary would have resulted in a diplomatic incident. Taiwan has no support in the world for any desire on its part for independence. The people of Taiwan will simply have to accept the present situation and hope that in coming years a more democratic China will work out some form of mutual relationship that is beneficial to both parties.