After eight years of George Bush, relations between the United States and Russia have deteriorated to the point where the two nations have been unable to cooperate in dealing with many issues such as towards Iran. American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exchanged greetings, but there is an opportunity aside from formal greetings to engage Russia in assisting the world. Russia has as much to be concerned about the emergence of a powerful nuclear Iran as does the United States. Russia has a large Muslim population and it would damage Russian interests for Iran to become a powerful nation that might appeal to disgruntled Muslims inside Russia. The government of Vladmir Putin does not like terrorists anymore than does the United States. The authoritarian tendencies of Putin and Medvedev feel threatened by the presence of terrorist groups within its borders
Step one in any American and Russian move toward friendly relations must entail ending the Bush plans to construct missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic as well as furthering NATO’s thrust into east Europe. The United States must pay attention to the national interests and concerns of Russia by ending Bush provocation and enlisting Russian support in dealing with Iran and the Middle East. Russia can be an ally once Bush views toward the world cease to be the face of America.
After eight years of dealing with the likes of George Bush, Russian Prime Minister Putin would most likely welcome anyone who shows the slightest inclination to have a brain in his head so it is not surprising he is pondering the future with Barack Obama. Putin said he closely followed the election and Obama seems to come across as a “sincere and open” man, but the future is still not clear. “It is my deepest belief that the most bitter disappointments usually arise from excessive expectations. We need to see what happens in practice.” He also made clear that Obama has to end the missile program in Poland and the Czech Republic before the United States and Russia can have good relations.
Putin’s comments are ironic since they are exactly the ones most Russians could say about him as a leader of Russia. There were high hopes when he took office, and the ensuing years have witnessed the erosion of democracy. Obama most likely will work to end the Cold War that Bush policies created with Russia.
Posted in Barack Obama, George Bush, Human Rights, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Russia, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Obama, Putin, Russia, US
President Karzai is demanding an end to the bombing if his nation’s population by US and coalition forces in an effort to restore confidence in his government. He told the people of Afghanistan he had sent request to his allies regarding troop behavior in his nation. “Part of that list was they they shouldn’t on their own, enter the houses of our people and bombard our villages and detain our people.” The president has repeatedly urged his allies to avoid actions which backfire by persuading ordinary citizens to look more favorably on Taliban forces. His comments came on the same day, UN chief in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, called for Coalition forces to rethink their strategy of entering homes and bombing.
The behavior of Coalition and US forces in Afghanistan simply reflects an inability to learn from mistakes in Vietnam and Iraq the importance of winning over ordinary civilians if an insurgency is to be defeated. The use of military force in itself will not end the Taliban.
Fifty years ago, I sat glued to a television screen in January, 1959 watching the bearded heroes of Cuba swing joyously down the streets of liberated Havana and felt pride in the efforts of these young Cuban men and women who had driven out the hated dictator, Batista. Today, the dream of a free Cuba has long since died under the stifling control of the Castro brothers and all they represent of ancient rhetoric about freedom that exists in their minds, but not in the reality of the everyday lives of Cubans. Hundreds of dissident voices are locked in jails and gays and lesbians are persecuted by a regime that ostensibly represented the new world of freedom. Each week, the Dames de Blanco (Ladies in White) march together to St.Rita’s church in protest in protest against the imprisonment of their husbands who dared to speak out for freedom in Cuba.
The “Revolution” has brought excellent free medical care to the population and its schools produce excellent graduates in many areas such as medicine. People have sufficient, if boring, food and there are no outward differences between people as exist in capitalist nations. Hopefully, the Obama administration will restore relations with Cuba and open the door for more freedom and a better standard of living. Fortunately, the old anti-Castro crowd in Miami is now old and their children may be more receptive to dialogue.
The Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington D.C. issued a report calling on president elect Barack Obama to engage Iran in discussions. The report entitled: “Restoring The Balance- A Middle East Strategy for the Next President” argues Iran is much closer to atomic weapons than has previously been thought and there is need to engage its government in discussions in order to relax tension in the region. The report emphasizes; “If you’re moving on the Israel-Palestinian front, in Teheran, they might feel they’ve been left behind and react with terrorist attacks. This time it’s really important to engage them in making the new order, to make clear we’re not trying to isolate them, but to engage them.”
This report took 18 months to prepare but anyone familiar with the situation could have saved the time by honing in on why Iran is upset. Iran HAs been isolated by Bush and Israel which has resulted in its support for terrorism. “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war,” as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used to say.
Posted in Barack Obama, Democrats, Human Rights, Liberals, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Iran, negotiations, Obama, US