FLASH! Cuba-US Enter Into An Age Of Cooperation

News has been coming at the public at light speed…..Jeb wants to run……attack in Pakistan……attack in Sydney….and today the big news was that it is looking like the US and Cuba will formalize relations……

The embargo put into place in 1961 may soon be a thing of the past…..but what would those relations look like?

Newser) – With the release of American Alan Gross, the beleaguered relationship between the US and Cuba is poised to undergo major changes. The two countries are preparing to normalize their diplomatic relations, which were severed in January 1961, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the US plans to re-establish its embassy in Havana. “The president understood the time was right to attempt a new approach, both because of the beginnings of changes in Cuba and because of the impediment this was causing for our regional policy,” an administration official tells CNN. Both President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are to address the changes at noon today. Among them:

  • The US will remove a range of restrictions on travel and transferring money to Cuba. It will also review Cuba’s inclusion on its terrorism list and allow telecommunications equipment to be exported to the country.
  • Cuba will release 53 political prisoners. It will also boost its citizens’ Internet access and allow US debit and credit cards to be used in the country.
  • Good news for aficionados of Cuban cigars, as per the AP: American travelers will now be able to return with up to $100 worth of alcohol or tobacco (and $400 worth of goods total).
  • The two countries will start collaborating on issues like counternarcotics, the environment, and human trafficking.

Finally we can move on from spat we had 60 years ago……there are much more important things to consider than cigars….

Assad: Should He Go Or Should He Stay?

Remember about a year ago when the admin was all a fire on the fact that Assad must go….he must go for the good of the Syrian people……and then all the gassing of civilians was forgotten as quickly as they had come up with the original idea……ISIS was on the move and all eyes turned to Iraq (again)……..

Then the admin started a tap dance on what should be done to curb the rise of ISIS……send more US troops to Iraq as “advisers”…..send in the Air Force to pound the be-jezzus out of them……prop up the Iraqi regime (again)…..

When not thinking of Iraq their (the admin) with cash and supplies…..thoughts came around to Syria (again)….but this time it was a rehash of the myth of the ‘moderate’ rebels……and a plan was hatched to train and arm these moderates to fight ISIS in Syria…..and while this plan was being bounced around the inevitable question return to Assad.  What shall we do about Assad?

And then the miracle of miracles happened….Assad’s troops staring making head way fighting the Islamists and even some of the ISIS brigades……and now the question remains….should he (Assad) go or should he stay?

But then a story that few were willing to report…….

Speaking to reporters at G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia on November 16, US President Barack Obama dismissed reports of pending changes in Syria policy, saying “We have not had a comprehensive review of Syria. We’ve had a comprehensive review of what are we doing each and every week” in the military campaign to defeat the Islamic State.

Asked pointedly if he was actively discussing ways to remove Assad in the context of plans for a political transition in Syria, Obama responded with a simple “No.”

Obama’s clarity on Syria stood in contrast to an unusual presentation by US Secretary of State John Kerry the next day on how the Islamic State and the government of Syria are actually “co-dependent” or “symbiotic,” that is, they need each other as enemies, and the US must build and back a “moderate center” in Syria.

Interesting quote from a story printed in Al-Monitor……..so to clarify….is that we have NO intention of ousting Assad?

At what point do these people that are paid to know the situation and plan the direction of policy actually start doing their job?

Confusion of which page they are suppose to be on is never quite clear……..just like their policy in the Middle East……but that is NOT something new.  Stupidity has always been the basis of US Middle East foreign policy.

It’s Not Who You Know……….

I believe that most adults will know the rest of that saying……..

I have railed against the Obama way of governance…..he needs yes men and political buddies to do his work…..let’s be clear he is not the only one this is just how business is done in the world of American politics……

About now I would imagine that some are scratching their heads and wondering what the Hell I am talking about, right?

The Senate confirmed a producer of the soap opera “The Bold and The Beautiful” today to serve as ambassador to Hungary, and Sen. John McCain is not happy about it.

Prior to the vote, McCain, R-Ariz., went on a tirade about how Colleen Bradley Bell, a soap opera producer and bundler for President Obama’s campaigns, is “unqualified” to represent the United States as an ambassador to Hungary.

“We’re about to vote on a totally unqualified individual to be ambassador to a nation which is very important to our national security interest,” McCain said on the Senate floor. “Her qualifications are as a producer of the television soap opera ‘The Bold and The Beautiful,’ contributed 800,000 [dollars] to Obama in the last election and bundled more than $2.1 million for President Obama’s re-election effort.”

“I am not against political appointees … I understand how the game is played, but here we are, a nation [Hungary] that is on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator getting in bed with Vladimir Putin and we’re going to send the producer of ‘The Bold and The Beautiful’ as the ambassador,” McCain continued. “I urge my colleagues to put a stop to this foolishness. I urge a no vote.”

Regardless of McCain’s urging, the Senate confirmed Bell to the ambassador post with a vote of 52-42.

I have said many times that we need professional people to handle our foreign policy…….not a bunch of people that are paid off with postings….so as much as I hate to agree with McCain on anything I will have to make an exception this time and agree with him.

Not even the White House can explain why this person was nominated….need I say more?

Talk of a third Intifada: Where to from here, Palestine? | Middle East Eye

The tit for tat violence in the area around East Jerusalem has prompted some to call for a 3rd intifada….a popular uprising of Palestinians against the occupation, destruction and theft that Israel is perpetrating against the population of the territories.

Personally, I think it is a good idea…..but more on the lines of the 1st Intifada and not the mindless violence of the 2nd…………

 

Talk of a third Intifada: Where to from here, Palestine? | Middle East Eye.

Shock and horror at killings, but not when victims are Palestinians

I admit it….I usually watch the news on BBC….why?  They for the most part are much better than the news in the US.  I have found their Achilles Heel…..Israel.

There needs to be more outrage at the treatment of Palestinians by the media……

In the latest violence in East Jerusalem they spent 2 or 3 days on the attack and the de4aths that it produced ….Jewish deaths.  They are not so forth coming when Palestinians are shot for throwing rocks……

This article makes good points and emphasizing the point that I question.

 

Shock and horror at killings, but not when victims are Palestinians.

Thousands protest in Spain for Western Sahara independence – Yahoo News

Spain is illustrating that they are concerned about the different conflicts from around the world…..their Parliament is schedule for a vote to recognize Palestine as a state…..and then this demonstration.

I wish more countries would show such concern for the Sahawaris….the people of Western Sahara…

The Us is mealy mouth about support….mainly because Morocco is a strong ally in North Africa and we do not want to alienate the monarchy….

Spain is showing extremely good taste, IMO………..

 

Thousands protest in Spain for Western Sahara independence – Yahoo News.