Does The US Have A Foreign Policy?

It’s a curse…..my interest in international situations….but Hell someone has to have an opinion other than the ‘approved’ ones we get daily from our slumbering media….

I have been a critic of Obama and his foreign policy….in short, from my perspective, it SUCKS!

Other critics will fixate on the Syrian line in the sand thing but that would be short sighted and requires no thought what so ever.  After all his back up from the line is not new…..even Bush1 drew a line in the sand in the Balkans and never acted it took a new president, Clinton, to move to more aggression.  I guess selective memory is a contagious disease.-

Let’s look at few situations…….Obama will bring the troops home this year….not new that was the plan all along….but some of the usual suspects will try to make political hay out of the withdrawal and it will be nothing more than political posturing.  His, Obama’s, team got Egypt wrong….all wrong.  They have done NOTHING creative in dealing with Russia.  And their ME plan sucks!  Not all of it will be their fault, Israel needs to man up and accept that they do not want a peaceful conclusion to the conflict.

I can little that I would consider a successful foreign policy…..wait!  There is China.  They have called  China out on their cyber attacks, help maintain calm in any of their disputes and of course they were handled with kid gloves….would not want to piss them off, eh?  And then there is the Iranian deal………..I think that this deal would have eventually happen regardless who was prez….but I will give them a passing grade for the deal.  That is about it….other than a couple of pretty good speeches but that is NOT a foreign policy.

While the prez and his posse have not been what I would call successful it is not their fault completely……The Congress has tied their hands on numerous occasions and after they attacked the deficit with a meat clever no one’s policies can work without the support of the nation and the Congress

The US top diplomat, John Kerry, has been talking……..

Speaking to reporters, Kerry inveighed against what he sees as a tendency within the United States to retreat from the world even as he defended the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts from Syria to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“There’s a new isolationism,” Kerry said during a nearly one-hour discussion with a small group of reporters.

“We are beginning to behave like a poor nation,” he added, saying some Americans do not perceive the connection between US engagement abroad and the US economy, their own jobs and wider US interests.

In speaking of what he called the “new isolationism,” Kerry cited the limited support in the US Congress to back Obama’s plan to launch an air strike against Syria last year because of its suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Obama, in a decision criticised by some allies in the Gulf and elsewhere, asked Congress to vote on a strike. With limited congressional backing, he ultimately abandoned a strike and pursued a deal to get Syria to give up its chemical weapons.

I realize that foreign policy is a game of juggling relationships to achieve an overall peaceful existence……some where some one has dropped one of the pins….we can blame Congress or the Prez…..it matters not….a lousy foreign policy helps NO ONE!

And now with the Ukrainian crisis we are back to some thinking big spending on the M-IC is the only answer to this situation……all politics and lame talking points……..that is where our foreign policy is at this time in history.

Clowns, asshats and morons……..but they say we get the foreign policy we deserve……Merry Christmas…a little early.

John Kerry’s Diplomacy May Be Failing in the Peace Process | New Republic

Continuing with my focus of the day….foreign policy…….

Peace is a diminishing return as long as all concerned will not give an inch…..the institution of war precludes a viable peace.

Every prez comes to power with a plan to stop the killing and maiming in the Middle East…..and every prez fails…..John Kerry and Pres. Obama will meet the same fate as their predecessors….

John Kerry’s Diplomacy May Be Failing in the Peace Process | New Republic.

Could Syria Be A Stalemate?

While the sillies in DC are playing this shutdown game…..life goes in in other parts of the world….and since my interests is the Middle East…let’s talk that……

We hear a lot these days about everything but what is really happening in Syria….we know about the chem weapons being used….we also know about the thousands of Syrians that have died….and we hear just how powerful Iran is getting in the region….almost daily. m  We hear a report here and there about the actual war…..so I did a little research to see if I could find a more up-to-date picture of the situation…..

Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil was quoted Thursday suggesting that neither side in the country’s civil war is capable of military victory and that the government of Bashar al-Assad may seek a cease-fire.

“Neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side,” Jamil told the Guardian newspaper in an interview published Thursday.

“This zero balance of forces will not change for a while,” he added.

Could that be possible….that both sides or should I say all sides have hit a no advance stage of the conflict?  I found some of what I was searching for on antiwar.com

Jamil also said his government was supportive of the idea of UN ceasefire monitors being deployed to Syria to keep the rebels and military from fighting, so long as the troops were from “neutral or friendly countries.”

Incredibly, Jamil also confirmed that “for all practical purposes the regime in its previous form has ended,” and that the government is resigned to dramatic reforms and thinks it would be easier if the West would stop threatening them.

The Geneva II conference, agreed to by US and Russian officials and to be organized with the help of UN official Lakhdar Brahimi, was supposed to take place in June, then got bumped back to July.

A ceasefire?  Could we be looking at an end to all the bloodshed?  Personally, I say NO…..what we are looking at is an off the cuff attempt to find time to re-group for a further conflict…….this a delaying tactic to sure up its forces and weapons……it will beginning again…..unless Assad is somehow stopped….and that would involve some sort of direct intrusion into the politics of the country…..is the US willing to be that overt?

Iran And The Future

I know you have been bombarded with stories on the DC shootings and the approaching debt debate and Syria has slid into oblivion, for now, but that could change any day…..Iran has just had a presidential election recently and NBC News has snagged the first interview with the new prez…….he was asked lots of questions about stuff but the one that I was interested in was when Curry asked him if Iran was chasing a nuke weapon………

(Newser) – If Iran’s more moderate new president is to be believed, the US doesn’t have to worry about Tehran pursuing nuclear weapons. “We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so,” Hasan Rouhani tells Ann Curry of NBC News. “We solely are looking for peaceful nuclear technology.” He also dismissed the idea that President Obama looked weak on Syria, with words that are hard to imagine coming from predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

  • “We consider war a weakness. Any government or administration that decides to wage a war, we consider a weakness. And any government that decides on peace, we look on it with respect to peace.”

Of course, Iranian officials have insisted previously that they have only peaceful nuclear intentions, notes Reuters, but Rouhani’s comments are seen as a further thawing of relations with the West in general and the US in particular. He described a recent letter from President Obama as “positive and constructive” and said “it could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future.” Rouhani will be in the US in less than a week to address the UN General Assembly.

Could it be?  A new prez and a new direction for their policies?

Personally, I think he was just trying to get exclusive access to the American people.  He is trying to soften their tone while a continuation of policies is assured……he even went so far as to send a “friendly” greeting to Israel…..you heard me!

This is so much theatrics on the part of the Iranian prez……to begin with…he is NOT the power the clerics hold all the power and I have not heard a word out of them that would lead me to believe anything this man says……

Does anyone have another point of view they would like to share?

Remember Benghazi?

That is Benghazi, Libya….does it ring a bell now?  It was that massive “scandal” that the GOP just knew would bring the prez down….well….it fizzled!

Just yesterday I read a moronic blog that is still ass deep in a scandal mode…..they are so tiring……

Back during the height of the “scandal” I wrote that there was something odd about an ambassador going to a hot spot light on security……I said that IMHO he was on some secretive mission that he needed not to draw attention to himself……and BAM!  Looks like I was pretty close!

(Newser) – A new CNN report might resurrect the controversy of last year’s attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed ambassador Chris Stevens. The report asserts that not only did the CIA have “dozens” of operatives on the ground at the consulate before the attack, it is now going to “unprecedented” lengths to keep them from talking about what they were doing. An excerpt:

  • “Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings. The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.” (It’s described as “pure intimidation.”)

What might the secretive mission have been? “Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the US agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels,” says the report by Drew Griffin. Could this have played a role in triggering the attack? At the Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf thinks Congress must investigate. The Benghazi debates that played out during last year’s election might have been political hot air, but this looks to be substantive. “If CNN’s report is correct, the CIA is at minimum trying to hide something huge from Congress, something that CIA agents might otherwise want to reveal—itself a reason for Congress to press hard for information.”

I will at this point like to quote the four most beautiful words in the English language…..I TOLD YOU SO!

Black Hawk Down (Again?)

On Wednesdays I try to post something international…..hot spots where I see a problem will arise that could force the US into doing something stupid or at least ill advised……

Black hawk Down……Remember the movie?  If you do then you will also know that it was based on a true story that took place in 1994….for those that are not sure what really happened…….

Somalia in 1994 after an American Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Mogadishu and the bodies of crew members were displayed before the television cameras.

The sight was horrific….but what lead to that point?

Operation Restore Hope, when, in the final days of the presidency of George Bush senior, on December 5, 1992, 30,000 US troops were sent into Somalia under the pretext of delivering food aid to starving children.President Bill Clinton continued what became ever more openly an occupation. He was forced to pull US troops out of Somalia in 1994 after an American Black Hawk helicopter was shot down.

Now that you have had a refresher course in the US actions on the Horn of Africa….it will bet you are asking why would I re-hash the past….and I can say….Glad you asked!

The Obama administration is preparing a new military intervention in Somalia under the pretext of humanitarian concern for starving drought victims. The media has fallen into line with a campaign mixing crocodile tears and hand-wringing with denunciations of the Islamist movement al-Shabaab, which is blamed for the deepening crisis.US officials blame this organisation for the present famine. “The relentless terrorism by al-Shabaab against its people has turned an already severe situation into a dire one that is only expected to get worse,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared last week.

Back in 1990, it was those darn pesky “warlords” that were causing the hunger and the famine in Somalia and today it is those darn pesky al-shabaab that is doing it……and once again the media is helping the administration to build a case for intervention in another country with the US military…..is the US posturing to do just that?

I am not saying that it is inevitable that the US will intervene militarily….only that the possibility is there and with our record….it should be expected!  Why?  We have made the same mistakes over and over…..look at Afghanistan…..the same mistakes the Russians made…..and now it sounds like a rev up to “humanitarian” aid to Somalia……Does Libya ring a bell?

Must We Save The World?

For decades I have been writing and lecturing about the need for the US to cease its roll as the police force for the world…….it seems that whenever a maniacal dipstick threatens someone…..the world turns to the US to protect them from whatever perceived threat there is..and like the dutiful servants of man…we up and run head long into another war of sorts…..and who pays for all this adventurism?  The American taxpayer…that is who!

The time is now to reconsider our roll as the world’s police force….it is time to tell the world that they need to handle their little squabbles among themselves….the US is struggling with amount debt and can NO longer afford the luxury of being the hero to the world, well at least half of it……

Other than my simple objection to our adventurism, is there any other reasons to stop being the world’s policeman?    Why, yes there is!  Below is a list by Michael Snyder for Black Listed News……a good list and excellent reasons to cease our law enforcement roll to the world…..

#1 Prior to the beginning of the “War on Terror” our national debt was under 6 trillion dollars.  Today, it has more than doubled and currently sits at a whopping 14.3 trillion dollars.

#2 Today, the U.S. military is in nearly 130 different nations and it has a total of about 700 military bases around the globe.  It costs approximately 100 billion dollars each year to maintain these military bases.

#3 U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.

#4 The United States already accounts for 46.5% of all military spending on the planet.  China is next with only 6.6%.

#5 If Bill Gates gave every penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days.

#6 When you throw in all “off budget” items and other categories of “defense spending” not covered in the Pentagon budget you get a grand total ofsomewhere between $1.01 and $1.35 trillion spent on national defense in 2010.

#7 The U.S. government borrows an average of about 168 million more dollarsevery single hour.

#8 The Pentagon currently gobbles up 56 percent of all discretionary spending by the federal government.

#9 Between 2007 and 2010, U.S. GDP grew by only 4.26%, but the U.S. national debt soared by 61% during that same time period.

#10 The cost for the first week of airstrikes on Libya was 600 million dollars.  Keep in mind that the leader of the opposition in Libya has admitted that his forces contain large numbers of the same “al-Qaeda fighters” that were shooting at American troops in Iraq.  So we are going broke and we are helping al-Qaeda take power in Libya at the same time.

#11 The total price tag for each F-22 fighter jet is approximately $350 million.

#12 Over the past decade, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost U.S. taxpayers well over a trillion dollars.

#13 If you went out today and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you over 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.

#14 Since 2001, the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan breaks downto well over $3,600 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

#15 Just one day of the war in Afghanistan costs more money than it took to build the entire Pentagon.

#16 The United States government is now responsible for more than a thirdof all the government debt in the entire world.

We are going broke and part of the reason, although not the only reason, are our wars and our adventurism…..maybe the more that the people know, the more they will demand that we worry about this country first and the rest of the world second……wishful thinking, I know…..but we have got to start somewhere.

Where Is Western Sahara?

I know that this post will mean very little to anyone at all…..but for me it is a personal thing for I have been into the area now in dispute…..a personal journey, if you will……so I apologize for the personal break and that I have gone off on a tangent here…..

First of all…please STOP using the term “the Sahara Desert”!  The word Sahara means desert….so you are saying the desert desert……

When I was working in the Middle East I was in Morocco and had a chance to visit Western Sahara….that was shortly after the Spanish pulled out……

Western Sahara is just south of Morocco on the coast with the Atlantic….there is little to NO rainfall….temps got from 115 in day to 30’s at night…..few people and few resources…….Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco

Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara) in 1976 and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania’s withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco’s sovereignty ended in a 1991 UN-brokered cease-fire; a UN-organized referendum on the territory’s final status has been repeatedly postponed. The UN since 2007 has sponsored intermittent talks between representatives of the Government of Morocco and the Polisario Front to negotiate the status of Western Sahara. Morocco has put forward an autonomy proposal for the territory, which would allow for some local administration while maintaining Moroccan sovereignty. The Polisario, with Algeria’s support, demands a popular referendum that includes the option of independence.

A little background to help understand the post a bit better…..

Since 1976 there is been a series of conflicts and situations in Western Sahara but none have been good for the Sahawaris (indigenous people)…..and now the Obama admin has jumped on the Moroccan band wagon…..

“We have stated our belief that Morocco’s autonomy plan is serious, realistic and credible, a potential approach to satisfy the aspirations of the people in the Western Sahara to run their own affairs in peace and dignity,” Clinton told reporters.

The Polisario Front group demands a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara, a phosphate-rich territory that was annexed by Morocco after Spain withdrew in 1975. Morocco has only offered greater autonomy.

This is CRAP!  It is what Morocco wants NOT what the Sahawris want……

In 1991, the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire between the Polisario forces and Morocco. The basis for this was that a UN-supervised referendum would determine the country’s future. However, despite numerous promises and resolutions from the UN, the referendum has not taken place. This is largely due to support for Morocco from the Western powers, particularly France and the US.

Repression in the Moroccan occupied territories continues. On November 8, 2010, Moroccan forces violently attacked non-violent protesters camped at Gdeim Izik, outside the capital El Aaiun. In the aftermath, Moroccan soldiers and settlers attacked Saharawi homes and shops in El Aaiun. An estimated 36 Saharawi were killed and 723 wounded, and 163 were arrested and are currently facing Moroccan military courts.  Does this sound like they will give these people autonomy?  If it does then we are not reading the same books……

My time among the people was great and they were a courteous and friendly people that only wanted one thing……freedom for them and the land….so far all they have gotten is crappy promises from the US, Morocco, France and many other countries….when I was leaving I was asked, “why does anyone but a Sahawris want this land?”  An excellent question…it has NO gas or oil….it has NO arable land….it has NO natural resources other than some phosphates…….this land has nothing but the Sahara and if you ever go there you will NOT want it either……so why is it such an international thing?

I suggest that the US butt out of this situation and let the Sahawris have their own land…nothing about this smacks of the freedom loving American stereotype…it smacks of colonization of one country by another……IT IS NOT RIGHT!  What happen to the belief in self-determination?

Like I have said….most Americans could care less about this piece of sand….but for me it is just something I had to post on…….have a day!