Tag Archives: US

Putin Urges Improved US Ties

Among the tragedies of the Bush administration is its failed policy towards Russia. Vladmir Putin is certainly not among the most fervent supporters for democracy in his nation, but efforts by George Bush to frighten and threaten Russia have only resulted in supporting those in that nation who oppose extension of democracy to use fear of attack from outside to justify imposing strict standards on opposition voices. Fortunately, the election of Barack Obama offers the United States and the world a new opportunity to reduce tensions and support the democracy movement in Russia. Both Putin and President Medvedev on Monday indicated they were looking forward to working with Obama for a new approach between the two nations.

“We hope that the new U.S. leadership will be more constructive, responsible and –this is quite important-farsighted,” said Putin. A good first step toward reducing tensions and opening the door for new initiatives would be to suspend the construction of missile bases in Poland. In fact, why not work with Russia by constructing the missile bases in Russia and allowing them to be jointly operated?

Pakistan Blocks Route To Afghanistan

The ongoing inability of the United States and Pakistan to reach an agreement on the conduct of the war in Afghanistan, and, particularly in tribal regions of the northwest, was dealt a blow when the Pakistan government closed an important supply route to the west. A Pakistani decision temporarily bars trucks from delivering supplies through a critical supply route will hinder US and NATO troops from receiving supplies while they fight in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces have been harassing supply trucks and last Monday they captured an entire convoy and took all the supplies.

Dozens of trucks and oil tankers are currently parked by the side of a road in Pakistan while officials try to sort out how to resolve this problem. There apparently is need for better military protection for supply trucks. But, the military is stretched rather thin.

Somalia Has Collapsed!

President Bush is continually attacked for his ill fated adventures in Iraq, but few in the United States of America focus on his failed policies in Africa. Two years ago, an Islamic fundamentalist group had taken power in Somalia and established some form of law and order, but Bush was convinced they were supporting terrorism and persuaded the Christian led government of Ethiopia to invade the Muslim nation. The result has been two years of conflict and displacement of over 200,000 people from their homes. Over the weekend, President Abdullah Yusuf of Somalia, admitted his government is on the verge of collapse, and that Islamist groups now control most of the country. His government now only governs in the capital of Mogadishu while the remainder of the country has fallen under control of Islamic insurgents.

The presence of large numbers of Ethiopian troops will probably prevent Islamic militants from taking over the capital, but they will be able to bottle up Ethiopian and government forces within the city. There is fear the militants will engage in an orgy of death and destruction if they seize control of the government which most probably will ensure government officials will flee for their lives.

An unknown factor is what happens when Islamic insurgents take over since they presently represent three distinct groups who only are united in driving out the Ethiopians.

Iraq Cabinet Approves Security Pact With US

The Iraq Cabinet gave its approval to a security pact negotiated by its government with the
Bush administration. Iraq has attempted to gain complete sovereignty but was forced to accept the presence of American troops for until 2012. The US government gave assurances to Iraq that in-coming president Barack Obama would abide by the agreement. The only negative vote in the Cabinet came from Minister of Women’s Affairs, Nawal al-Samaraie, who wanted the agreement submitted to a referendum rather than being approved by he legislature. She also wanted the US to release Sunni prisoners who have yet to be charged with any crime.

A cloud on the horizon is refusal by Shiite leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, who opposes the agreement and wants US troops to leave immediately. He has threatened to resume attacks on US forces unless they evacuate.

The unknown factor is Barack Obama and what he wants. The Bush administration can not speak for the new president.

Iran Sympathetic To Turkish Mediation With US

The Tehran Times indicated significant interest on the part of the Iranian government to a proposal by Turkey to serve as a mediator in the conflict between the United States and Iran. In a recent interview, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said the election of Barack Obama opened new opportunities for dialogue between America and the Iranian government and he would be happy to serve as a conduit for such discussions. Obama said during his campaign he was willing to engage in talks with Iran and Erdogan thought the note of congratulations sent by President Ahmadinejad to Obama was a positive step forward. “We watch the relations between Iran and U.S. with great concern,” said Erdogan. “We expect such issues to be resolved at the table. Wars are never solutions in this age.”

Turkey argues it is uniquely situated to be a mediator since it is a Muslim nation with good relations with Iran and is also a member of NATO. Erdogan currently is working as a mediator in an effort to revolve issues between Israel and Syria. Erdogan has high hopes Obama will assume a positive attitude to pursue peace with Iran.

Czech Republic May Check US Missile Base

President Bush’s plan for missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic may encounter problems as the Czech government reconsiders its agreement with the United States. In return for allowing construction of missile bases on its territory, the Czech government was to receive American support for its scientists who are working on military related activities. However, recent regional elections went overwhelmingly to opposition candidates who are ready to join groups which oppose ratification of the agreement in parliament. It is uncertain how Czech members of parliament react to hostile threats from Russia which is violently opposed to the missile bases.

Hopefully, newly elected president Barack Obama will veto the missile bases and reach out to establish friendly relations with Russia. Such a move will make moot any need to get treaties through hostile parliaments.

China Urges Obama To Veto Arms Sales To Taiwan

The Chinese government has increasingly grown wary of President Bush’s attitude toward Taiwan and is very concerned over a recent American decision to sell that country $6.5 billion of arms. A spokesperson for Foreign Minister Qin Gang, said: “We hope that the US side will abide by its promise to respect the ‘one-China’ policy and oppose Taiwan independence.” Chinese officials are reaching out to newly elected Barack Obama and urging him to void the arms sales after he becomes president and engage with China in discussing the future of Taiwan. “The Chinese government holds a positive and open attitude toward contacts with Obama and his team, since it is conducive to a stable transition and he healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations.”

It becomes clear with each passing day how world leaders are disgusted with George Bush and seek to work with a new leader who is interested in solving, not creating problems. China wants peace, not hostility with the United States and hopefully, Barack Obama can help create such a partnership.

Who Caused Deaths In Somalia?

Somalia is to Africa what Afghanistan has become to Asia, a center of turmoil, destruction, bombings, and murder of innocent people. North Somali authorities arrested a local sheikh who is suspected of being behind this week’s rash of bombings that rocked the nation and killed dozens. The United States believes al-Qaeda was behind the bombings while most Somali authorities blame local Islamic militants. Medical staff at a hospital blamed recent killings on Somali and Ethiopian soldiers. The horror of the entire death and destruction is the lack of any group or nation which can find a way out of the madness that has become Somalia.

The UN is trying to broker some sort of peace but there is no indication local Somalian Islamic groups have any interest in accepting peace. It is estimated over 10,000 people have been killed since the first of the year and there is not doubt another 10,000 will die next year.

UN Urges US End Boycott Of Cuba

Nearly a half century has gone by with the United States refusing to allow normal economic, social and political contacts to occur between the government of Cuba and America. The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution asking the United States to repeal its embargo against trade with the Cuban communist government. It was the seventeenth straight year nations of the world have made clear their distaste with the American policy which makes no sense and simply reflects the power of Cubans in Florida to use their political power to block trade with their former mother country. The UN vote was 184 to 4 which reflects how broad is consensus around the world about the incomprehensible American policy.

The United States initiated contact with Communist China over thirty years ago, and had relations with Saddam Hussein for years, but, contacts with Cuba remain off limits. America insists there is justification because Cuba has an undemocratic government and restricts political and economic freedom. If that is the reason, why did the United States for years have relations with the Soviet Union, Communist China, Iraq, etc….?

Russia Warns US To Cease Threats

The Bush administration over the course of the past few years has transformed relations between the United States and Russia from warm to increasingly hostile. Building missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic and extending NATO eastward aroused anger among Russian leaders. Yesterday, the Russian government accused America of undermining cooperation on Iran’s nuclear program after it imposed sanctions on corporations accused of passing sensitive technology to Tehran. “These new sanctions were introduced without any international legal foundation whatsoever.”

Russia is warning the United States if it desires cooperation on action against the Iranian nuclear program, it must cease making unilateral decisions as to what should or should not be done. Under the proposed American sanctions, it would be illegal for business enterprises in the United States to make any agreement with companies doing business with Iran.

Certainly, in such situations, the Russian government should have been officially informed, offered an opportunity to make suggestions about changes, and concern for any problems posed to Russian companies might have been discussed.