Posts Tagged ‘smart diplomacy’
The New York Times revealed today in a major news article that the well-known Stuxnet malware attack on the Iranian nuclear program was, in fact, an American operation. Most experts had felt that was the most logical conclusion, but it had never been confirmed. The Times report is based on interviews with anonymous sources “because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day,” reporter David Sanger wrote. While this is an acknowledgement of U.S. prowess in cyberwarfare, the revelation is an inexcusable breach of security that seems to be a part of a disturbing trend.
One has to ask: Why is the Obama Administration choosing to continue revealing operational information that is normally not released? This includes the specific units that conducted the raid that killed Osama bin Laden,information from the bin Laden compound, classified information on the bin Laden raid, details of drone operations, and now secrets about cyberwarfare. There is NO good operational reason for doing this. The only “logical” reason is a tight race for presidency. Does this mean that the closer that we get to the election, the more operational secrets will be given away?
The larger reality is that these leaks, designed to highlight the President’s credentials as a tough leader, are trying to mask the fact that Obama has virtually nothing to show on key national security issues. Progress in the big and important issues, such as relations with China and Russia, broadly fending off Iranian nuclear development, and keeping the rogue regime in North Korea inside its box, have all proven elusive for this Administration.
When progress is absent, a desperate Administration may use leaks, even if it harms national security.
Staggeringly desperate, and incredibly stupid.
Speaking of stupid, but pales by comparison to the above,
Barack Obama’s unwelcome Jubilee present to Britain: Washington reaffirms OAS resolution calling for Falklands negotiations with Argentina
This is a clear-cut case of self-determination, and the Obama administration’s continuing support or a negotiated settlement (made abundantly clear by a senior State Department spokeman last week) is a slap in the face for both the Falkland Islanders as well as the British people.
But why? He could be president now if he wanted to be.
The Mexican ambassador to the USA was speaking at a Democrat-sponsored event to promote tighter gun laws in the USA:
Mexican official: Fast and Furious ‘poisoned’ public opinion of US
“Fast and Furious has poisoned the well-spring of public opinion in Mexico as it relates to the cooperation and engagement with the United States,” Sarukhan said.
“It does put a lot of strain on the huge strides that we’ve achieved with two successive administrations in the United States,” he said.
The Mexican ambassador to the United States told a Capitol Hill forum that his government was “kept in the dark” about U.S. government-condoned and abetted “gunwalking” operations, and also questioned the intent behind Operation Fast and Furious, The Los Angeles Times is reporting today. Appearing before “the New Democrat Network…a center-left think tank and advocacy organization, and the New Policy Institute, one of its sister organizations,” Arturo Sarukhan’s claims raise questions as to why major news outlets like The Times are just now getting around to reporting on information raised in this column and on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog back in January, 2011.
I’m not sure that they were firsts; Bob Owens has been on top of this story for well over a year.
UPDATE: I checked with Bob Owens, who confirmed that they were indeed breaking the story, but also stated, “If it wasn’t for these two guys, we wouldn’t know half of what we know.”
- Who conceived this radical departure from normal law enforcement practices? Who conceived an operation requiring the deaths of hundreds or thousands of Mexican nationals for its success?
- Which Department of Justice officials saw that Operation Fast and Furious needed hundreds or thousands of firearms to be given to the cartels and recovered at the scenes of crimes, knew that the crimes in question were likely to be murders of Mexican nationals or U.S. citizens along the Mexican border where the cartels operate, and approved the operation anyway?
- Knowing that Operation Fast and Furious could be the political and criminal albatross that drives away moderates and Latino voters and destroys his chances of winning a second term, why does President Obama refuse to appoint a special prosecutor or to call for Eric Holder and his direct reports to resign?
Unless and until those questions are unequivocally answered, Mexico-US relations will not improve. Unfortunately, Sarukhan is playing into the hands of the very people who flooded his country with assault weapons.
wasn’t “botched.” It was meant to do everything that it did — except get found out. The goal was to create a climate of opinion that favored gun control, and it’s ironic to see Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) still trying to put it to this use.
Oh, the Dems will continue to do so, for as long as they can get away with it.
The president had been trying to honor a famous Pole, awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter who sneaked behind enemy lines to bear witness to the atrocities being committed against Jews. President Obama referred to him being smuggled “into the Warsaw ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”
The White House statement also used the term “Polish death camps,”
For years, Jan Karski’s students at Georgetown University knew he was a great professor; what they didn’t realize was he was also a hero. Fluent in four languages, possessed of a photographic memory, Jan served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale, and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.
This is something that someone probably should have noticed beforehand and realized that it was not only historically inaccurate but that it would cause our Polish friends to be upset about something that, even 67 years later is still an open wound for them.
For good reason: According to this paper, in addition to three million Polish Jews,
Documentation remains fragmentary, but today scholars of independent Poland believe that 1.8 to 1.9 million Polish civilians (non-Jews) were victims of German occupation policies and the war. This approximate total includes Poles killed in executions or who died in prisons, forced labor, and concentration camps. It also includes an estimated 225,000 civilian victims of the 1944 Warsaw uprising, more than 50,000 civilians who died during the 1939 invasion and siege of Warsaw, and a relatively small but unknown number of civilians killed during the Allies’ military campaign of 1944-45 to liberate Poland.
The prime minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, demanded an apology.
Nile Gardiner points out that
President Obama has a long track record of insulting the Poles. In 2010 he chose to play golf on the day of the funeral of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Polish First Lady, and 94 senior officials who perished in the Smolensk air disaster. Eight months earlier he humiliated Warsaw by pulling out of the agreement over Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Or, as Smitty calls it, “a clown nose-off.”
AND, the media’s too busy paying attention to The (other) Donald,
Oh wait, sorry, the MSM is of course completely ignoring this because Trump talking to Blitzer about Birther crap is obviously of much greater importance to our country than our relationship with our strongest ally on the European continent.
Maybe Obama will send Donald Tusk an iPod; that would make the news.
Joel Pollak explains WHY ‘POLISH DEATH CAMP’ GAFFE MATTERS: ALL OBAMA FOREIGN POLICY IS DOMESTIC
Obama is more than a leftist; he is also a Chicago politician. And big-city politicians of both parties discover that a cheap and easy way to rally voters from particular communities and interest groups–or at least to prevent a stronger vote for the opposite side–is to express public sympathy with whatever cause those constituencies hold dearest, even if those sympathies tend to contradict each other. Those politicians who care about being caught in the middle will be candid in expressing their own views, while remaining open to the views of others; those who believe they can get away with being all things to all people, or who see the whole exercise as just another way of feeding the voting machines, will fall into the trap that Obama has just sprung on himself.
For Obama, all foreign policy is domestic policy. That is true, to some extent, of all presidents, but especially of this one, whose fundamental ambition is the transformation of American society, and who is running a desperate divide-and-conquer strategy he hopes will enable him to carry that transformative agenda into a second term.
It Wasn’t a “Gaffe”, it was a slap in the face.
Annals of smart diplomacy: Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng leaves U.S. embassy; deal to guarantee his safety may be unraveling, friends sayWednesday, May 2nd, 2012
What initially seemed like a potential victory on the human rights front for the U.S. administration was quickly spiraling Wednesday evening into a worst-case scenario, fuelled by a series of updates blasting out regularly on Twitter. Chen was no longer under American protection, but in a Beijing hospital surrounded by Chinese plainclothes police, and it was uncertain whether Chen had left on his own free will, as U.S. officials maintained, or under coercion.
Clinton, who spoke by phone with Chen in what U.S. officials described as an “emotional” conversation, said in a statement that she was “pleased that we were able to facilitate Chen Guangcheng’s stay and departure from the U.S. Embassy in a way that reflected his choices and our values.”
Follow-up post here.
The Latin American media’s having a ball with this one. During a joint press conference with Colombian president Santos, Obama said, “In terms of the Maldives, or the Falklands, whatever your preferred tern, our position is that… ah… that we’re going to remain neutral.”
20:01 into the video,
What’s several thousand miles among friends?
After saying that the US-Colombia free trade agreement will become effective on May 15, and having a photo-op with black Colombian children, Obama returned to the 57 States.
No word on whether Hillary had recovered from her hangover after her night at the Cafe Havana.
Take her to the Maldives, then! ‘Part of My Job Is to Scout Out Where I May Want to Bring Michelle Back Later for Vacation’
Video, via Gateway Pundit,
The group photo went OK,
Cristina Fernandez didn’t get any US statements on the Falklands, so she left early.
Lucia Newman, who shilled for Castro when she worked for the BBC and is now working for al-Jazeera, says “this may be the last Summit of the Americas” unless Cuba is allowed to participate.
Hugo Chavez is back in Cuba for more radiation, or something.
So what’s a girl to do?
Yes siree, our Secretary of State had a cold one,
and led the conga line!
You never saw stuffy Condi Rice doing that while on the job, did you?
Smart diplomacy in action!
You can’t make this up: she was at the Cafe Havana.
A second Monday in a row of shining “smart diplomacy”!
This disconnect was revealed in one account after another in the news media here about the visit, in which commentators lamented the fact that Ms. Rousseff was not received with the pomp of a White House state dinner, recognition granted by the Obama administration to the leaders of South Korea, India and Britain.
“The bilateral reality is far from being a disgrace, despite the points in dispute, but there’s a considerable lack of mutual respect,” Caio Blinder, a columnist for the magazine Veja, said in an essay describing the “downgrade” of Ms. Rousseff’s visit.
This was Dilma’s first presidential visit to the USA and she was not amused, and, at the press conference following the two-hour meeting,
the leaders’ eyes rarely met, and Ms. Rousseff rarely looked at Mr. Obama as he spoke. He looked intently at her during her remarks, nodding in agreement at times. But he seemed to bristle when she expressed concern that America’s “monetary expansion policy” could impair growth in emerging economies like Brazil’s. Monetary policy is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve; the White House and Congress deal with fiscal policy.
No breakthroughs were revealed regarding Brazil’s policies in the Middle East, which seem to have undergone some fine-tuning under Ms. Rousseff from those of her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who in 2010 tried to forge an ambitious uranium exchange deal with Iran.
Dilma has made it known that she doesn’t like Iran’s death by stoning policy. However, she has not cut ties with Iran, is insisting that Cuba be invited to the Summit of the Americas, and is asking that the USA modify its monetary policy to put Brazil in a more advantageous position.
No wonder the two countries disagree,
As you may recall, three years ago Lula visited the White House and ate Obama’s lunch.
No word as to whether Obama told Dilma that Brazil was our closest ally punching above its weight.
a program that aims to send about 100,000 Brazilians to study at foreign universities. As many as half are expected to study in the United States.
Let’s hope they don’t get counted as “Hispanics.”
Obama’s neglect of our nearest neighbors and biggest trade partners has created deteriorating relations, a sign of a president who’s out of touch with reality. Problems are emerging that aren’t being reported.
Fortunately, the Canadian and Mexican press told the real story.
Energy has become a searing rift between the U.S. and Canada and threatens to leave the U.S. without its top energy supplier.
The Winnipeg Free Press reported that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned Obama the U.S. will have to pay market prices for its Canadian oil after Obama’s de facto veto of the Keystone XL pipeline. Canada is preparing to sell its oil to China.
Until now, NAFTA had shielded the U.S. from having to pay global prices for Canadian oil. That’s about to change.
Canada has also all but gone public about something trade watchers have known for a long time: that the U.S. has blocked Canada’s entry to the eight-way free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an alliance of the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, and Singapore. Both Canada and Mexico want to join and would benefit immensely.
With the media’s “layers of fact-checkers,”
U.S. media dutifully reported Obama’s false claim that Canada, our top trading partner, is too protectionist
But the Canadians know the truth,
Canada’s take was far more blunt: “Our strong sense is that most of the members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would like to see Canada join,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in essence revealing that it’s the Obama administration alone that is blocking Canada, and suggesting that payback on energy was coming.
Things were even worse, if you read the Mexican press accounts of the meeting.
Excelsior of Mexico City reported that President Felipe Calderon bitterly brought up Operation Fast and Furious, a U.S. government operation that permitted Mexican drug cartels to smuggle thousands of weapons into drug-war-torn Mexico. This blunder has wrought mayhem on Mexico and cost thousands of lives.
The mainstream U.S. press has kept those questions out of the official press conferences, while Obama has feigned ignorance to the Mexicans and hasn’t even apologized.
In short, the summit was a diplomatic disaster for the U.S. and its relations with its neighbors north and south.
It should have been the easiest, most no-brainer diplomatic task Obama faces.
Go read the whole thing, while at the same time keep in mind that Obama diverted the press conference into the issue of Obamacare and the SCOTUS.
And he got his Constitution facts wrong.
“Smart diplomacy”, folks, “smart diplomacy”…
Ask yourself this question
Why does Obama feel the President of Russia is entitled to know more about Obama’s plans than the American public?
while you watch this video,
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
This, to quote our Vice President, is “a big f*****g deal.” What solution does Obama envision that would pay off for Putin so much that the Russians would agree to the “space” necessary by keeping quiet about US plans for its deployment? The only possible answer would be the dismantling of even the smaller missile-defense system to which Obama committed in 2009. And it looks as though Obama has already tipped his hand to the Russians — against whom this particular defense system would be mainly ineffective anyway — in exchange for political assistance to influence the election.
Let’s kill his “space” program, and defeat him at the election.
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Tuesday, 27 March,
Morning Bell: Obama Whispers Away America’s Security
In asking Mr. Medvedev to tell Mr. Putin to “give me space” until he can be more flexible next year if he gets re-elected this November, Mr. Obama was clearly telegraphing the willingness to give Mr. Putin at least part of what he wants on missile defense. This President has already given too much. In the New START strategic nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, President Obama agreed that U.S. missile defense capabilities must be reduced along with strategic nuclear weapons — essentially laying down America’s arms and its shield, as well.
Now it appears that President Obama wishes to go even a step farther in order to appease Mr. Putin. Where that step leads, we truly don’t know. All we can see is the direction the President is already headed.
The exchange with Mr. Medvedev, lastly, only deepens and validates two already extant and related narratives about our President: one is that he harbors views that are inimical to the American people and only come out in unguarded moments. An example of that is when he said in San Francisco four years ago that Americans cling to their religion and guns bitterly when they’re afraid of the future. The other narrative is that the President will be unshackled once (and if) he is re-elected, and will put in place a plan far more radical than he is letting on in public at the moment.
If concessions to Russia on missile defense are what Mr. Obama wants, he can make his case to the American people and ask them to endorse his policies. To hide them until it is too late and he is safely ensconced in office is unseemly.