Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned the United States to have a short time interval in its negotiations with Iran and not wait until Iran has developed its nuclear program. “There is a serious Iranian effort to make swift achievements, and time is running out.” He urged Obama to tighten sanctions and force Iran to the bargaining table. Barack also emphasized that his nation is not taking “any options off the table” and hinted there was a possibility of an Israel air attack. “We mean what we say” was his refrain.
The last people to offer suggestions concerning policy towards Iran are members of the Israel government which has repeatedly blundered due to its policy of “toughness” and “threats” and “warnings.” What exactly are the fruits of the current government of which Barak is a member? Has the process toward peace moved forward or is Israel worse off today than it was in 2001 when their beloved George Bush became president?
President Obama should proceed quietly, cautiously and with due regard for the integrity of the Iranian people. Shouting threats will only doom any chance for peaceful negotiations.
Posted in Barack Obama, Human Rights, Iran, Israel, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Barak, Iran, Israel, US policy
Fyodor Lukyanov, writing in the Moscow Times, notes the current American presidential campaign has witnessed both Obama and McCain spouting anti-Russian rhetoric aimed at voters whose ancestors came from east European nations and who hate and fear Russia. “But,” he writes, “that does not mean the heated rhetoric the candidates use on the campaign trail will necessarily translate into actual foreign policy later.” He blames George Bush for developing a foreign policy based on an American right to do as it desired as a factor in creating tension between Russia and the United States. The building of missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic has frightened Russia and Bush’s encouragement of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia led to the current anger between the nations.
Barack Obama has an opportunity to venture in new directions with Russia. An important first step would be to cancel the missile bases and sit down with Russian leaders in an effort to deal with issues such as Iranian development of nuclear power. A second step would be to encourage Georgia to work with South Ossetia by recognizing their right to autonomy. A third step would be to halt any further expansion of NATO eastward. Russia would then be prepared to cooperate with the EU and the United States on many foreign policy needs.
Posted in 2008 Elections, Barack Obama, Conservatives, Democrats, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq War, Liberals, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, Russia, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Obama, Russia, US policy
The United States expanded its economic sanctions against the brutal regime of Robert Mugabe in an effort to tighten the screws of outside pressure. President Bush made clear the determination of the United States to support aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe for their right to decide who is their president. Mugabe, after losing the March election for president, undertook a campaign of violence and murder in order to ensure victory in subsequent election. There are currently talks underway between Mugabe and his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, which supposedly are aimed at creating a new government which has shared power.
President Bush acknowledged the discussions which are being mediated by President Mbeki of South Africa. He said, “should ongoing talks n South Africa between Mugabe’s regime and he Movement of Democratic Change result in a new government that reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people, the United States stands ready o provide a substantial assistance package.”
As an ongoing critic of George Bush, we admit this is one time he has taken a stand FOR democracy.
The United States government has informed Japan it intends to strike the name of North Korea from its list of nations that support terrorism provided North Koreans file a statement describing its nuclear facilities and activities. The government of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is pleased and not pleased with the American decision. Japan has been insisting that North Korea must provide information concerning Japanese citizens who were abducted and brought to North Korea, but there has not been adequate response to Japanese requests for information.
Prime Minister Fukuda is in a difficult position, as he noted to the press, “if the nuclear problem will be resolved, isn’t that something desirable also for our country? It’s something we should welcome.” But, accepting the North Koreans without obtaining information about the kidnapped Japanese citizens is a political hot potato.
The decision by America to go it alone on this issue simply makes it more likely Japan will find its own foreign policy for Asia and cease always trailing behind that of America.
In 2001, upon assuming office, President Bush made it clear he would not follow the ideas of Bill Clinton who negotiated with North Korea. Early this year, Bush told the Israel parliament, it was appeasement to negotiate with terrorist nations. How times have changed.
Ameican officials have decided to accept the report of the Indonesian Timor Leste Commission for Truth and Friendship(CTF) and the release of a former Timor Leste militia leader in an effort to resolve a tricky problem without angering the government of Indonesia. University of Indonesia Professor Hariyadi Wirawan noted: “these are face-saving efforts by Indonesia and the United States, By saying the incidents were by default, they mean to say,’there’s no one to blame,’ so let’s forget it and move on.” US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill told the Indonesian government last week, his nation was prepared to accept the commission’s report about the alleged massacre by Indonesian troops of innocent people during the violence in Timor.
Perhaps, the process of ignoring death and destruction enables nations to move on, but there may also be need for acknowledgement of what transpired in order to confront the needs for those who were oppressed to attain a sense of personal peace.
On the third day of the Turkish military operation in Iraq to crush the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party, fighting intensified between both parties. An estimated 113 terrorists and fifteen soldiers have died as troops battled in northern Iraq. The Turkish military warned the local populace not to provide assistance to Kurdish rebels. “What we expect from the local groups is not to protect the terrorists escaping to the sourthern parts of Iraq.” Air raids continue even as ground forces are attempting to crush the Kurdish rebels. Prime Minister Erdogan emphasized to Iraqis there was no intention of trying to take over their land and the object was Kurdish camps.
Ncchirvan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq lowered his rhetoric and acknowledged Turkey had a right to defend itself against rebel attacks. However, he expressed concern “that the infrastructure of the region ws targeted.” Barzaini called on President Bush to assist efforts to restore peace to the region. The Iraq government also agreed Turkey had a right of self defense, but also was worried the attack might result in further destabilization of a destablized society.
Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr demanded Turkey cease its invasion of Iraq terriroty and withdraw. The unknown factor in this invasion equation is how militant Shiites will react to an invasion of their nation. What will be Turkey’s reaction if large numbers of the PKK escape to southern Iraq– will they be pursued?
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Turkey, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iraq, PKK, Turkey invasion, US policy