Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Barack Obama. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Barack Obama. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, noviembre 19, 2014

Top Obama aide won’t rule out unilateral easing of Cuba policy

President Barack Obama’s pick for the No. 2 job in the State Department repeatedly refused on Wednesday to rule out unilateral action by the White House to ease U.S. pressure on Cuba.
But the official, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, emphasized that the government in Havana would first have to make progress on democratic reforms and free imprisoned U.S. aid worker Alan Gross. The comments came during Blinken's confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“Do you anticipate, during the rest of the president’s term, that there will be any unilateral change” to sanctions on Cuba absent democratic reforms, asked Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whose parents emigrated from Cuba to the U.S.
“Anything that might be done on Cuba will have to be consistent with the law,” Blinken replied. He added, “Anything that in the future might be done on Cuba would be done in full consultation” with Congress.
Rubio tried again, noting “chatter” that Obama could try to change relations with Cuba unilaterally before leaving the White House in January 2017.
“The president has views on how to try to move, help move Cuba in a democratic direction, to help support people moving in that direction, and, you know, if he has an opportunity I’m sure that’s something he would want to pursue,” Blinken said. “But it depends on Cuba and the actions that they take.”
And recently Cuba’s government has taken “actions in exactly the wrong direction,” he added, noting that Havana was “unjustly imprisoning” Gross.
Rubio came back for a third try: “The thing that concerns me is that I haven’t heard you say point blank that, absent democratic openings, we’re not going to see actions on the part of this administration to weaken the current embargo and sanctions against Cuba.”
Again Blinken deflected the question, though he agreed Cuba would need to take steps before there could be changes. “At least in my judgment, unless Cuba is able to demonstrate that it is taking meaningful steps to move forward, I don’t see how you move forward in the relationship,” Blinken said.
Advocates of changing Washington’s policy toward Cuba cheered when Obama declared at a November 2013 fundraiser in Florida that the United States had to be “creative” and “thoughtful” about fostering change on the island, “and we have to continue to update our policies.”
“The notion that the same policies that we put in place in 1961 would somehow still be as effective as they are today, in the age of the Internet and Google and world travel, doesn't make sense,” Obama said at the time.
But Obama’s last notable unilateral move on Cuba came in January 2011, when he eased restrictions on travel to and from the island. And top administration officials say nothing will happen while Cuba continues to hold Gross, who was sentenced in 2011 to 15 years in prison in connection with an effort to create a communications network outside government control.
Obama’s options for unilateral action are relatively limited. Lifting the embargo of more than five decades imposed after Fidel Castro’s revolution and subsequent turn toward the Soviet Union requires congressional action. But advisers have suggested much more modest steps, like increasing cultural exchanges, further easing travel or dropping Cuba from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. In foreign policy circles, speculation has run rampant that Obama is looking at steps he could take in his final two years in office to overhaul U.S.-Cuba relations.
In the hearing, Blinken also indicated that the White House could live with Congress attaching a time limit and restrictions on mass deployment of ground forces to legislation formally approving Obama’s military operations against the so-called Islamic State. Obama has said he wants lawmakers to approve an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) but has not explicitly specified what kinds of restrictions he would accept.
The committee chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who has criticized the administration for not seeking congressional authorization sooner, said an AUMF should be limited to those “fighting for, or on behalf of” the Islamic State, “should be limited to three years or some other reasonable time frame; [and] should foreclose the possibility of a large-scale, enduring ground combat mission that we saw in Iraq from 2003 to 2011.”
Asked whether Obama could accept those limits, Blinken replied that “those would seem to me to form a good basis for a conversation on developing a new AUMF.”
Blinken also played down hopes that the United States and its partners would reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran by a mutually agreed Nov. 24 deadline.
“It's going to be difficult to get to where we want to go. It's not impossible,” he said. “But it is literally a minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour thing. I was getting emails before coming here. As we speak, I can't tell you what to expect.”
Blinken further suggested that Obama might drop his objections to arming Ukraine’s government in the face of Russia’s incursion and support for rebels in the country’s eastern areas.
“The question of defensive lethal assistance has never been off the table. It remains on the table. It's something that we're looking at, and, indeed, the vice president will be in Ukraine in the next few days, and I'm sure that will be a topic of discussion,” he said.
At times, Blinken became a target for Senate frustration with the Obama administration.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Md.) declared that the White House had made a “mistake” by not sending Congress specific AUMF language.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) scolded Blinken for saying the White House had “engaged, as you know, with you” on the AUMF.
Corker cut him off: “You have not engaged with me. That is totally untrue.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was even blunter. After Blinken described the administration as working with Congress, the former presidential candidate shot back: “You have not worked with me on anything.”

lunes, noviembre 17, 2014

Valerie Jarrett, The Obama Whisperer

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
By
Even at this late date in the Obama presidency, there is no surer way to elicit paranoid whispers or armchair psychoanalysis from Democrats than to mention the name Valerie Jarrett. Party operatives, administration officialsthey are shocked by her sheer longevity and marvel at her influence. When I asked a longtime source who left the Obama White House years ago for his impressions of Jarrett, he confessed that he was too fearful to speak with me, even off the record.
This is not as irrational as it sounds. Obama has said he consults Jarrett on every major decision, something current and former aides corroborate. “Her role since she has been at the White House is one of the broadest and most expansive roles that I think has ever existed in the West Wing,” says Anita Dunn, Obama’s former communications director. Broader, even, than the role of running the West Wing. This summer, the call to send Attorney General Eric Holder on a risky visit to Ferguson, Missouri, was made by exactly three people: Holder himself, the president, and Jarrett, who were vacationing together on Martha’s Vineyard. When I asked Holder if Denis McDonough, the chief of staff, was part of the conversation, he thought for a moment and said, “He was not there.” (Holder hastened to add that “someone had spoken to him.”)
Jarrett holds a key vote on Cabinet picks (she opposed Larry Summers at Treasury and was among the first Obama aides to come around on Hillary Clinton at State) and has an outsize say on ambassadorships and judgeships. She helps determine who gets invited to the First Lady’s Box for the State of the Union, who attends state dinners and bill-signing ceremonies, and who sits where at any of the above. She has placed friends and former employees in important positions across the administration“you can be my person over there,” is a common refrain.
And Jarrett has been known to enjoy the perks of high office herself. When administration aides plan “bilats,” the term of art for meetings of two countries’ top officials, they realize that whatever size meeting they negotiatenine by nine, eight by eight, etc.our side will typically include one less foreign policy hand, because Jarrett has a standing seat at any table that includes the president.
Not surprisingly, all this influence has won Jarrett legions of detractors. They complain that she has too much control over who sees the president. That she skews his decision-making with her after-hours visits. That she is an incorrigible yes-woman. That she has, in effect, become the chief architect of his very prominent and occasionally suffocating bubble.
There is an element of truth to this critique. While aboard Air Force One at the end of the 2012 campaign, Jarrett turned to Obama and told him, “Mr. President, I don’t understand how you’re not getting eighty-five percent of the vote.” The other Obama aides in the cabin looked around in disbelief before concluding that she’d been earnest.
Still, Jarrett’s role is far more textured than this narrative would suggest. She has served as a teller of hard truths, urging Obama to clean up his initial remarks about Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates’s arrest in 2009, which, she worried, sounded disrespectful to police. She is an all-wise interpreter of the president’s thoughts. When the White House began taking flak for its man-cave sensibilities, senior officials consulted Jarrett to figure out where Obama stood. “The White House counsel Greg Craig stopped by,” recalls a former Jarrett aide. “He was like, ‘Hey, is the president worried about this?’” (He was.) Jarrett even plays the role of advance dining scout for the Obamas, locating restaurants discreet and exacting enough to serve the first family. (Fiola Mare in Georgetown has become a standby.)
So adept is Jarrett at catering to the president’s needs that Michelle Obama has, at least on one occasion, chafed at the portrayal of their relationship. Late in the 2008 campaign, Vogue published a long profile of Jarrett titled “Barack’s Rock.” According to a senior campaign aide, Michelle sniffed about the magazine bestowing a title that she considered hers.
Jarrett’s job may be nothing less than to reflect the most authentic version of Barack Obama back at himself. “My speculation has always been, when you are any president or Democratic nominee, at the pinnacle of American political power, you are necessarily surrounded by layer and layer of bureaucracy,” says a former White House aide. “You’re completely disconnected. For someone to come to you and say, ‘I am going to be the person who is your connection to the real you’ ... is very attractive.”
And Jarrett is, in turn, our connection to the real Barack Obama. A decade after his ascent, there is still a basic unknowability about him, a puzzling gap between his talents and the public’s enthusiasm for his years in office. No wonder Jarrett inspires such fevered theorizing. She is the closest we have to a human decoder ringthe only person who can solve the mystery of why this president has left so many feeling so unfulfilled.

miércoles, noviembre 05, 2014

America Faces Most Dangerous Two Years in 150 Years

If President Obama suffered a "shellacking" in the 2010 elections, then what he endured Tuesday night was nothing short of a vicious gangland beatdown the likes of which have rarely been seen before in the history of electoral politics.

This, of course, is a wonderful and well-deserved outcome. But beware: America now enters the two most dangerous years of her existence — or certainly the most dangerous since the Great Depression and possibly going all the way back to the Civil War.
Not to dismiss the promising results of Tuesday's election.
Voters clearly and forcefully rejected the party, politics and policies of President Obama. They slapped his socialist agenda back into the days of Soviet gulags, where it belongs.
His grand visions of mighty government ruling unchecked over desperate ghettos have been snuffed out.
Gone, too, were the so-called "low-information voters" who have been coaxed to the polls since 2008 on lies and false promises that the federal government would solve all their problems.
They are used up and wrung out.
Even the onslaught of threats and desperate accusations in endless emails to their Obamaphones couldn't motivate those people to the polls one more time.
Voters rejected the craven, crass and mafioso tactics of Senate Leader Harry Reid.
Voters stripped him of his baldly partisan use of the United States Senate as a graveyard for all House legislation in order to protect his Democrats from tough votes and insulate the President from reality.
The little man with giant fists got staggered by a nasty uppercut from voters even though Reid saw it coming for weeks. Now, the ex-boxer stumbles on the canvas all tangled in the ropes, waiting for the bell.
And voters also rejected the loony-toon delusions of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Honestly, the woman should be running a hat and wig shop in Haight-Ashbury, selling weed and prescription pills on the side. How it is that Democrats in Congress have taken her so seriously for so long will baffle historians for decades.
The silver lining for Democrats today is now they now have the perfect excuse to bounce both of them out of leadership forever.
And this is where things get very, very dangerous for America. President Obama still has two more years left in his final term.
Already, he has demonstrated again and again that he has no regard for the constitution or the legitimacy of laws when they do not suit his agenda. He flaunts his disregard for the constitutional process, dismisses laws he doesn't like and rewrites others.
He mocks the powers of Congress. The Supreme Court has slapped him down more than any president in recent times. All of this as he tells us he is an expert on constitutional law.
Now come his very explicit threats to pass more illegal and unconstitutional presidential edicts to grant amnesty to illegal aliens already in the United States. This, in turn, will issue invitations for millions more illegals to come streaming across the border.
It will not end at immigration. Unchecked power is addictive.
Disowned by Democrats and made to feel irrelevant in this election, President Obama's enormous and unjustified ego is deeply wounded. He is frustrated and feels caged, cornered. This is when people like him are most dangerous.
Buoyant Republicans will make an effort to engage him.
But President Obama is not a listener. He is not a negotiator. He is not a learner. He will just take what he wants. It is easier that way.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's court-packing scheme during the Great Depression was nothing like the strains this president has put on Constitution. Indeed, not since the Civil War has America faced such a dire threat to her existence as a lawful, constitutional republic.
The difference in leadership between then and now could not be more striking.
To bind the union, Abraham Lincoln took an economic and political war and elevated it into something higher. He made it about emancipating slaves and won. And saved the Republic.
This president does the opposite. He got elected promising to elevate politics but instead finds unity and sows discord, often inciting racial divisions.
America's only hope today is that President Obama finally turns to the bust of Lincoln he keeps in the Oval Office and listens.

lunes, octubre 27, 2014

Obama Could Lift Sanctions Against Cuba After Next Week’s Election, Says Congressman

By Michael E. Miller, Miami New Times
President Obama and Raul Castro
President Obama and Raul Castro
The Cuban expression "mañana, mañana." is often interpreted by Anglos as an excuse for laziness. In fact, the saying speaks volumes about its island of origin. In a country that has been led by one Castro or another for more than half a century, what hope can there be that tomorrow will be any different from today?
Earlier this month, that question brought several dozen experts, academics, and journalists to Columbia Journalism School in Manhattan. Optimism was evident in the conference's title -- Covering Cuba in an Era of Change -- as well as in the presentations, which included strong hints that the embargo's days are numbered.
Gregory Craig, former White House counsel under Barack Obama, said the president already has the legal power to lift most of the sanctions that have crippled Cuba since the fall of the Soviet Union. Although Congress probably would refuse to officially overturn the embargo, Obama could -- and should -- instantly normalize diplomatic relations and allow Americans to travel to the island, Craig said.
Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern outlined a six-month window in which Obama is most likely to make a move, beginning after next week's midterm elections and concluding with the Summit of the Americas in late April.
If Obama and Raúl Castro both attend as predicted, it will be the first official meeting between two countries' leaders since Raúl and Fidel swept down from the Sierra Maestra.
"We are reassured [by the White House] that people are working on it," McGovern said of a U.S.-Cuba policy change. "The stars seem to be aligned."
Many roadblocks remain, however. McGovern warned that any rapprochement would require dealing with both Alan Gross -- the USAID contractor imprisoned in Cuba since 2011 for distributing satellite phones without a permit -- and the three surviving members of the "Cuban Five," the Castro agents who spied on Miami's exile community.
Easing the embargo would also cost Obama politically. "I think part of the reluctance is that [the administration] will get some pushback from people who are in pretty serious positions," McGovern said, including Miami's hard-line Cubans.
Perhaps the most concrete evidence that things are already changing on the island was the presence of three Cuban journalists at the conference. Miriam Celaya, Elaine Díaz, and Orlando Luís Pardo Lazo have all been allowed to leave under recently relaxed travel restrictions. Celaya is scheduled to return to Havana this week, while Díaz and Pardo are on yearlong academic fellowships.
But Celaya and Pardo hardly painted a promising picture of their homeland. Celaya said she had been blocked from entering the library because of her journalism. Other reporters had been beaten and imprisoned, Pardo said. Both described having to share articles via paquetes, or troves of documents on flash drives. And Pardo said Cuba's infamous state security apparatus remained intact despite the growth of internet on the island.
"Our own [Edward] Snowden would not survive, would not escape," he warned. "Our own Snowden would be shot on the spot."
Ultimately, despite the talk of Obama ending the embargo and ushering in change in Cuba, Pardo feared that the solution was still, as it has been for 50 years, "biological."
In other words: when the Castros kick the bucket.

Ivan Eland on Ranking US Presidents

The Independent Institute

martes, octubre 07, 2014

White House Sends 'Thank You' to Beheader's Oklahoma Mosque Congregation

The White House has reportedly sent a top Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official to the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC) to “present a special thank you to the Muslim congregation,” Oklahoma’s KFOR reports.

The beheader's mosque, the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, was founded by a sibling of a U.S.-designated Hamas terrorist, and in the past has welcomed an Imam who was a close confidant to al-Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki.
David L. Myers, who serves as director of the DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, was tasked with presenting a personal message from President Barack Obama. It read, "Your service is a powerful example of the powerful roots of the Abrahamic faiths and how our communities can come together with shared peace with dignity and a sense of justice.”
Two days before proud ISGOC congregation member Alton Nolen (AKA Jahkeem Yisrael) ruthlessly beheaded an innocent woman while reportedly shouting Islamic slogans, ISGOC Imam Imad Enchassi made unproven claims about multiple death threats, specifically beheadings, against Muslims and their children in Oklahoma. Breitbart News investigated Oklahoma state hate crime databases and found no record of widespread anti-Muslim persecution in the state. Over the past five years, a total of seven anti-Islamic hate crimes have been documented in the state of Oklahoma.
Breitbart News found that Suhaib Webb, the former Imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City had been a close confidant of al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki. Breitbart News also discovered that other radical Islamists, such as convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, had attended the same mosque. In addition, it was discovered that the mosque was founded by Mufid Abdulqader, the half-brother of the chairman of Gaza Strip terror group Hamas. In 2009, the mosque’s founder was sentenced to 20 years in prison. According to the Department of Justice, Abdulqader was “convicted on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, one count of conspiracy to provide goods, funds, and services to a specially designated terrorist, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.”
Breitbart News learned that shortly after ISGOC congregation member Alton Nolen executed his jihadi attack, the mosque responded by removing its two most-recent sermons from its website. The first sermon, dated September 19th, revealed the mosque’s close connection with the Muslim Brotherhood-founded Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Additionally, the Breitbart investigation found that the current ISGOC Imam, Imad Enchassi, falsely claimed that a Republican Oklahoma state representative had said that “American Muslims are a cancer that need to be eliminated.” The second sermon, dated September 26th, showed that the mosque had tasked CAIR with handling the damage control.
In the past, Imad Enchassi has accused America of “creating more terrorists” with its foreign policy. Enchassi, who considers himself a perpetual “3rd generation refugee” of Palestine, although he grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, has wildly accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” during its recent 50-day war with terror group Hamas.

lunes, octubre 06, 2014

Raúl Castro propuso a Obama un ‘canal de comunicación secreto’


By Nora Gámez Torres, ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com
La administración del presidente Barack Obama utilizó al embajador español Miguel Ángel Moratinos en el 2009 para hacer llegar un mensaje a Raúl Castro y pedir una acción que reciprocara su decisión de eliminar, tras llegar a la Casa Blanca, las restricciones a los viajes de los cubanoamericanos.
En el libro Back Channel to Cuba, The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana, Peter Kornbluh y William LeoGrande reproducen el mensaje enviado a Castro: “Diga a la autoridades cubanas que entendemos que las cosas no pueden cambiar de la noche a la mañana, pero que a lo largo del camino, cuando miremos atrás, deberá quedar claro que este fue el momento en que las cosas comenzaron a cambiar”.
Raúl Castro envió de vuelta una propuesta de abrir un “canal de comunicación secreto”, pero la Casa Blanca replicó que cualquier conversación debía entablarse a través de los “canales establecidos”.
Los autores del libro, que recoge la historia de las negociaciones secretas entre Cuba y Estados Unidos en los últimos 55 años, señalan que aunque Obama ha reconocido que una política hostil es fútil, no ha tenido más voluntad que sus predecesores en romper este impasse. Las razones quizá están en las “lecciones” que los autores resumen casi al final del texto: “Estados Unidos se ha contentado con vivir en un ‘antagonismo perpetuo’ hacia Cuba porque los costos han sido relativamente bajos, y cambiar la política supone riesgos políticos domésticos que los sucesivos presidentes han juzgado como muy grandes”.
Pero Kornbluh aseguró a el Nuevo Herald que las “lecciones” tienen que ver con lo que ha sucedido en los últimos 55 años, y no con el contexto actual.
“La política doméstica sí es un gran impedimento desde el fin de la Guerra Fría pero hay cosas que están cambiando en términos de la opinión pública en Miami y Florida”, en parte como resultado de la propia política de Obama de permitir viajar más libremente a los cubanoamericanos a Cuba, señaló.
Otro factor mencionado por el autor es que Obama es un presidente demócrata en su segundo mandato, por lo que no está tan preocupado por las repercusiones de un cambio de política.
“Florida claramente no está siendo considerada por Hillary Clinton como un estado con un voto decisivo y ella ha hecho pública su posición de que el embargo es una mala idea para la política exterior estadounidense. Estados Unidos tiene también imperativos regionales para cambiar su política. Mira por ejemplo lo que ha pasado con la Cumbre de las Américas, en la que es Estados Unidos el que está aislado y no Cuba”, agregó.
Read more here: Back Channel

sábado, octubre 04, 2014

While Refusing to Support Hong Kong's Democracy, Obama Strongly Condemns Israel

www.channelnewsasia.com

Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators protesting China’s attempts to quash their rights to self government appear to be only the latest pro-Western group forsaken by the Obama administration. Meanwhile, its high volume criticism of Israel continues unabated. 

First, Hong Kong. Protests in that former British colony have grown massively since they started last Friday. The demonstrators-- and, if opinion polls are correct, also the overwhelming majority of Hong Kong People-- oppose the communist government in Beijing’s refusal to stand by provisions of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration that spelled out the conditions under which Hong Kong would be governed after its return to China from Britain. Hong Kong’s constitution, or Basic Law negotiated as part of the of Joint Declaration, guarantees Hong Kong’s right to govern itself on all non-defense or foreign affairs matters through 2047.
Protestors claim that China reneged on that agreement in June when it announced that Beijing would decide which candidates would be permitted to run in the 2017 elections to pick the self governing city’s next Chief Executive thereby insuring it would have full control over all the candidates that seek that office.
As up to a quarter million protestors peaceably took to Hong Kong streets demanding freedom last weekend, neither President Obama nor any other senior administration official said anything at all. It wasn’t until Tuesday that the US consulate in Hong Kong got around to issuing its first statement and it sided not with the protestors or their freedom cause:

We do not take sides in the discussion of Hong Kong's political development, nor do we support any particular individuals or groups involved in it... We encourage all sides to refrain from actions that would further escalate tensions, to exercise restraint and to express views on (Hong Kong's) political development in a peaceful manner.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was again forced to downplay harsh criticism against the Jewish state leveled by President Obama and other members of the administration during their White House visit Wednesday. Media reports claim that Obama harshly condemned the recent issuance of building permits for 2,610 apartment units inside the Israeli capital city, without seeming to understand that those decisions are made at the local, not the national level.
A Jerusalem real estate developer recently purchased seven apartment buildings in the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Silwan and purchased advertising to encourage Jewish families to buy them.
Netanyahu pushed back hard against the President’s condemnation. He told Spanish language Univisión TV that “Jews buy apartments in Arab neighborhoods. Arabs buy apartments in Jewish neighborhoods. I wouldn’t dream of interfering with that, and couldn’t even if I wanted to." "It is a municipal issue,” he said.
Pointing out President Obama’s hypocrisy of siding with those who seeking to prevent Jews from certain neighborhoods in Israel’s capital city, Netanyahu pointed out “there would be an uproar” if neighborhoods in the US, Mexico, or anywhere but Israel tried barring Jews from moving in. In comments that also appeared aimed at the Obama Administration, Netanyahu seemed to chide the White House and State Department for thinking they were empowered to micromanage the Jewish state down its most granular bureaucratic level: “It would be worth at least learning the correct information before jumping to take a position like that.”
Both the White House and State Department issued harsh condemnations of the new Jewish housing units, going to so far as to threaten the Jewish state with abandonment if it continued allowing Jews to move into neighborhoods that are predominantly Arab.
Former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky writes and speaks regularly about how vital it is for freedom movements to know their struggles are neither desperate nor lonely. That they fight for values espoused by and embodied in the United States of America. When that support is not forthcoming, as in so many recent cases where President Obama has refused to offer even strong verbal support for freedom demonstrators in Iran and Venezuela, the effect can be devastating. Telling this author of the moment he heard of President Reagan’s denunciation of the Soviet Union as the ‘evil empire’ destined to fail while himself suffering a tortuous prison sentence in the Soviet Gulag abuses, Sharansky said: “It was one of the most important, freedom-affirming declarations, and we all instantly knew it. For us, that was the moment that really marked the end for them, and the beginning for us. The lie had been exposed and could never, ever be untold."

jueves, septiembre 25, 2014

Eric Holder Finally Throws In the Towel

Attorney General Eric Holder will resign on Thursday, several media outlets have confirmed. “Attorney General Eric Holder will on Thursday announce his plans to leave his post at the Justice Department once a successor is confirmed, a Justice Department official said,” Politico reported. "Holder has been in the job for nearly six years, since the start of the Obama administration.”

“Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and five and a half years of fights with Republicans in Congress,” National Public Radio added.
Holder was voted on a bipartisan basis into both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with a congressional investigation into the gun walking program Operation Fast and Furious, run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with oversight from senior Department of Justice (DOJ) officials. A total of 130 members of the House of Representatives called for him to resign in 2011 and 2012, as did eight U.S. Senators and every GOP presidential candidate in 2012, including the eventual presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
As the House Oversight Committee voted to hold Holder in contempt on both the criminal and civil citations, President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over the Fast and Furious documents that Holder refused to provide to Congress pursuant to subpoenas from chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ron Machen, declined to prosecute Holder on the criminal contempt of Congress citation, but the House of Representatives is currently pursuing ongoing legal action against the administration using the civil contempt citation to fight to have the president’s executive privilege overturned.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Issa have both argued the president’s privilege assertion over those Fast and Furious documents is invalid and illegal because he used the lower form of the two types of executive privilege—deliberative process privilege—rather than presidential communications privilege. If Obama used the higher form, it would have meant that either he or his senior White House staff was aware of the gun walking tactics employed in Operation Fast and Furious, something that both Obama and Holder have denied. Usually, deliberative process privilege claims are considered invalid when there is even a suspicion of government wrongdoing—something Issa and Grassley have noted time and again—and in this case the government has admitted to wrongdoing.
Nonetheless, President Obama continues to hide these documents from the American people and from Congress.
Holder accused this reporter in November 2011 at a White House press conference of being “behind” the calls for his resignation because this reporter had contacted various members of Congress, asking if they agreed with the surging calls for him to resign.
"You guys need to — you need to stop this. It’s not an organic thing that’s just happening. You guys are behind it,” Holder said of this reporter’s efforts while working for The Daily Caller.
Calls for Holder’s resignation have continued since 2011 for reasons other than Operation Fast and Furious.
Holder’s press team also coordinated against various media outlets using far left-wing advocacy groups like the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America (MMFA). MMFA, which is led by pro-Hillary Clinton activist David Brock, used talking points and direction provided by then-Holder spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler to smear this reporter, Issa, Breitbart News reporters, ex-DOJ officials and whistleblowers, and reporters from across the media.
Emails recently uncovered via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The Daily Caller found that Holder's press aide Schmaler specifically singled out and targeted this reporter.
“As revealed in the FOIA docs, Media Matters Deputy Research Director Matt Gertz sent a post concerning the NRA’s growing contributions to Holder’s critics to DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, Holder’s top press flack who resigned in March, 2013,” the Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein wrote.
In response to that email, Schmaler wrote back to Gertz: “Thanks, you know boyle has been doing robo calls to top members right? This is campaign mounted by daily caller. He has called 60 offices and gotten to 8 last week.”
“Yeah, that was what my original piece on the story was about,” Gertz replied.
The terminology that was provided to Media Matters by the Department of Justice about this reporter—the word “campaign” specifically—appeared in subsequent Media Matters posts about this reporter.
The efforts to silence reporting on Fast and Furious are not the only questionable activity Holder and his team have been involved in with regards to the media. The DOJ labeled Fox News’ James Rosen a “co-conspirator” in an effort used to monitor him and targeted the Associated Press by monitoring the news agency’s communications.
Holder has been a lightning rod for scandal since he was confirmed in 2009. Right off the bat, he declined to prosecute the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) for voter intimidation at voting stations in 2008 in Philadelphia, despite efforts by career prosecutors at the DOJ to do so. He has been involved in the Trayvon Martin case in Florida in 2012, the Michael Brown case in Missouri this year, and in allegations by whistleblowers that Holder stopped the prosecution of alleged financial criminals, politicians, and DOJ officials who are accused of having taken bribes in connection with a U.S. Virgin Islands telecom cooperative. Just like how the DOJ originally denied guns were walked in Fast and Furious and has since retracted that denial, the DOJ denied the Virgin Islands scandal’s early report.

Obama Defends Islam, Smacks Israel, American Racism at UN

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On Wednesday, on the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations in which he called for ouster of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Obama attempted to rally support for his airstrikes against Assad’s terrorist opposition. Taking on issues ranging from Iran to Russia, from Ukraine to Syria, from global warming to Ebola, Obama pledged to utilize American might in service to the United Nations, speaking grandly of the beauty and power of the world’s least effective and most morally bankrupt international institution.


Obama opened with a Dickensian world of Manichean opposites:

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

He then offered delegates a choice between paper and plastic.

Actually, he stated that the world has never been better off, praising the increase of member states at the UN and the decrease in poverty (neglecting, of course, that that decrease in poverty is a direct result of the rise of global capitalism), as well as the iPhone. “I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, and to be free to pursue your dreams,” Obama said, apparently forgetting the last two decades of human history.

But, said Obama, there are a few problems with which we have to contend: Ebola, Russian aggression, “brutality of terrorists” in Syria and Iraq. And those problems, Obama continued, are “symptoms of a broader problem – the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world.” Incredibly enough, the rise of disease, Obama believes, is because we haven’t invested enough in the United Nations, not because incompetent regimes upheld by the UN have failed their people. In amazingly hypocritical fashion, Obama – a man elected on the basis of his undercutting of George W. Bush’s Iraq war, a war based almost entirely on enforcement of UN resolutions -- said that terrorism has flourished because “we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.”

Obama said America chooses “hope over fear.”

According to Obama, that choice entails standing up to Russia – presumably, by doing nothing. Obama stated that Russia’s worldview was that “might makes right,” that their vision was of a “world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed.” Obama then contrasted that vision with America’s:

America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future.

Right, of course, does not make might. To believe in that vision is idiotic. Right must build might in order to enforce right. But Obama’s unceasing belief in the power of his own verbiage means that he thinks he can simply talk Russia into backing off:

We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.

Obama went on to suggest that Russia should use “the path of diplomacy and peace,” citing our signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Russia has been routinely cheating. “That’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again,” Obama said.

To which Vladimir Putin has formally responded: “ROFLMAO.”

Obama then turned to Ebola, stating that we’re sending troops to West Africa; he turned to Iran, where he said that “we can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.”

To which the mullahs have formally responded: “LOLWUT.”

Obama next addressed China’s aggression in the South China Sea, suggesting that America will insist “that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law.”

To which China has formally responded: “SMDH.”

Then Obama went on his world-beating rant: he said that America would help “eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.” Not through capitalism, mind you: through foreign aid. He said that America would cut our own carbon emissions. He spouted trite slogans: “On issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule-book written for a different century. If we lift our eyes beyond our borders – if we think globally and act cooperatively – we can shape the course of this century as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age.”

Finally, he turned to the actual pressing issue of the day, Islamic terrorism. And he proceeded to explain that Islam is a religion of peace, no different from any other, and defend his reactive foreign policy as somehow proactive.

I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. Rather, we have waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces – taking out their leaders, and denying them the safe-havens they rely upon. At the same time, we have reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.

He stated that America rejected “any suggestion of a clash of civilization.” Our opponents have not done the same, of course. But Obama stated that we could fight those “religiously motivated fanatics” – fanatics who have nothing to do with Islam, of course, even if they are universally Muslim – by providing food and water and jobs. Obama’s Marxist foreign policy has never wavered: he believes that inequality, not religious conflict, lies at the root of Islamist enmity for the West.

Obama laid out a four-pronged plan for fighting terrorism.

First, he said that ISIL had to be “degraded, and ultimately destroyed.” And once again, he emphasized that ISIL was not Islamic, and once again, he ruled out utilizing American troops.

Second, Obama said that Muslim communities had to “explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al Qaeda and ISIL.” In the process, he praised Islam as part of a family of religions that “accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world,” and added that “All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all religion: do unto thy neighbor as you would have done unto you.”

His solution: talking about how ISIL and al Qaeda and Boko Haram are bad. Obama’s faith in words is absolutely unshakeable, as he made clear: “The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day.” Hilariously, Obama explained that the UN Security Council would pass a resolution about combating “violent extremism,” but refused to explain what steps would actually be taken to do so, instead putting that discussion off for “next year.”

Third, Obama stated, sectarian conflict must end. How? Obama didn’t say. But he did pooh-pooh Muslim sectarian conflict as the religious norm:

There is nothing new about wars within religions. Christianity endured centuries of vicious sectarian conflict. Today, it is violence within Muslim communities that has become the source of so much human misery. It is time to acknowledge the destruction wrought by proxy wars and terror campaigns between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. And it is time that political, civic and religious leaders reject sectarian strife. Let’s be clear: this is a fight that no one is winning.

Flipping through his trusty rhetorical playbook, Obama neglected any realistic solution to these sectarian conflicts, but did come up with this hackneyed chestnut:

Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass. But there is no other way for this madness to end – whether one year from now or ten. Indeed, it’s time for a broader negotiation in which major powers address their differences directly, honestly, and peacefully across the table from one another, rather than through gun-wielding proxies. I can promise you America will remain engaged in the region, and we are prepared to engage in that effort.

Fourth, Obama proposed, Arab and Muslim countries had to focus on “the extraordinary potential of their people – especially the youth.” He said that young Muslims “come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder. Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.” That is the same message Obama and his minions have been braying for years at this point. No one, apparently, is listening.

And then Obama dropped the other shoe. After spending fifteen minutes blabbering about the glories and wonders of Islam, even as he decried extremism and sectarianism, Obama proceeded to blame Israel for conflict in the Middle East:

         Leadership will also be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape appears, America will never give up the pursuit of peace. The situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya should cure anyone of the illusion that this conflict is the main source of problems in the region; for far too long, it has been used in part as a way to distract people from problems at home. And the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. But let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from this effort – not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region, and the world will be more just with two states living side by side, in peace and security.

The Israelis may not be the “main source of problems in the region,” but by pressuring Israel before the entire world just weeks after Hamas continuously fired rockets into Israel and shielded its own rockets with children, Obama demonstrates his distaste for the Jewish State, and his desire to cast them as a bleeding abscess leading to more violence. The moral equivalence here was stunning, unjustifiable, and purely disgusting.

As Obama moved toward his conclusion, he finally turned inward, apologizing for America yet again:

I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

Ferguson? Really? This is just the latest incident in which President Obama has condemned a private citizen before the world. In 2012, it was a filmmaker who guilty of provoking Islamic rage; today, it’s Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, who has provoked America’s racial conflict. The United Nations has become a wonderful place for President Obama to convict American citizens.

Obama concluded with his campaign stump speech:

After nearly six years as President, I believe that this promise can help light the world. Because I’ve seen a longing for positive change – for peace and freedom and opportunity – in the eyes of young people I’ve met around the globe. They remind me that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share.

America shares virtually nothing with the other member states at the UN. But President Obama shares a lot with them: a desire for America to take a secondary role in the world affairs, a desire for Israel to surrender in the face of its enemies, a desire for talk rather than action, a desire to demean the United States on the global stage.

On Wednesday, on the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations in which he called for ouster of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Obama attempted to rally support for his airstrikes against Assad’s terrorist opposition. Taking on issues ranging from Iran to Russia, from Ukraine to Syria, from global warming to Ebola, Obama pledged to utilize American might in service to the United Nations, speaking grandly of the beauty and power of the world’s least effective and most morally bankrupt international institution.


Obama opened with a Dickensian world of Manichean opposites:

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

He then offered delegates a choice between paper and plastic.

Actually, he stated that the world has never been better off, praising the increase of member states at the UN and the decrease in poverty (neglecting, of course, that that decrease in poverty is a direct result of the rise of global capitalism), as well as the iPhone. “I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, and to be free to pursue your dreams,” Obama said, apparently forgetting the last two decades of human history.

But, said Obama, there are a few problems with which we have to contend: Ebola, Russian aggression, “brutality of terrorists” in Syria and Iraq. And those problems, Obama continued, are “symptoms of a broader problem – the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world.” Incredibly enough, the rise of disease, Obama believes, is because we haven’t invested enough in the United Nations, not because incompetent regimes upheld by the UN have failed their people. In amazingly hypocritical fashion, Obama – a man elected on the basis of his undercutting of George W. Bush’s Iraq war, a war based almost entirely on enforcement of UN resolutions -- said that terrorism has flourished because “we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.”

Obama said America chooses “hope over fear.”

According to Obama, that choice entails standing up to Russia – presumably, by doing nothing. Obama stated that Russia’s worldview was that “might makes right,” that their vision was of a “world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed.” Obama then contrasted that vision with America’s:

America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future.

Right, of course, does not make might. To believe in that vision is idiotic. Right must build might in order to enforce right. But Obama’s unceasing belief in the power of his own verbiage means that he thinks he can simply talk Russia into backing off:

We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.

Obama went on to suggest that Russia should use “the path of diplomacy and peace,” citing our signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Russia has been routinely cheating. “That’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again,” Obama said.

To which Vladimir Putin has formally responded: “ROFLMAO.”

Obama then turned to Ebola, stating that we’re sending troops to West Africa; he turned to Iran, where he said that “we can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.”

To which the mullahs have formally responded: “LOLWUT.”

Obama next addressed China’s aggression in the South China Sea, suggesting that America will insist “that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law.”

To which China has formally responded: “SMDH.”

Then Obama went on his world-beating rant: he said that America would help “eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.” Not through capitalism, mind you: through foreign aid. He said that America would cut our own carbon emissions. He spouted trite slogans: “On issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule-book written for a different century. If we lift our eyes beyond our borders – if we think globally and act cooperatively – we can shape the course of this century as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age.”

Finally, he turned to the actual pressing issue of the day, Islamic terrorism. And he proceeded to explain that Islam is a religion of peace, no different from any other, and defend his reactive foreign policy as somehow proactive.

I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. Rather, we have waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces – taking out their leaders, and denying them the safe-havens they rely upon. At the same time, we have reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.

He stated that America rejected “any suggestion of a clash of civilization.” Our opponents have not done the same, of course. But Obama stated that we could fight those “religiously motivated fanatics” – fanatics who have nothing to do with Islam, of course, even if they are universally Muslim – by providing food and water and jobs. Obama’s Marxist foreign policy has never wavered: he believes that inequality, not religious conflict, lies at the root of Islamist enmity for the West.

Obama laid out a four-pronged plan for fighting terrorism.

First, he said that ISIL had to be “degraded, and ultimately destroyed.” And once again, he emphasized that ISIL was not Islamic, and once again, he ruled out utilizing American troops.

Second, Obama said that Muslim communities had to “explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al Qaeda and ISIL.” In the process, he praised Islam as part of a family of religions that “accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world,” and added that “All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all religion: do unto thy neighbor as you would have done unto you.”

His solution: talking about how ISIL and al Qaeda and Boko Haram are bad. Obama’s faith in words is absolutely unshakeable, as he made clear: “The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day.” Hilariously, Obama explained that the UN Security Council would pass a resolution about combating “violent extremism,” but refused to explain what steps would actually be taken to do so, instead putting that discussion off for “next year.”

Third, Obama stated, sectarian conflict must end. How? Obama didn’t say. But he did pooh-pooh Muslim sectarian conflict as the religious norm:

There is nothing new about wars within religions. Christianity endured centuries of vicious sectarian conflict. Today, it is violence within Muslim communities that has become the source of so much human misery. It is time to acknowledge the destruction wrought by proxy wars and terror campaigns between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. And it is time that political, civic and religious leaders reject sectarian strife. Let’s be clear: this is a fight that no one is winning.

Flipping through his trusty rhetorical playbook, Obama neglected any realistic solution to these sectarian conflicts, but did come up with this hackneyed chestnut:

Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass. But there is no other way for this madness to end – whether one year from now or ten. Indeed, it’s time for a broader negotiation in which major powers address their differences directly, honestly, and peacefully across the table from one another, rather than through gun-wielding proxies. I can promise you America will remain engaged in the region, and we are prepared to engage in that effort.

Fourth, Obama proposed, Arab and Muslim countries had to focus on “the extraordinary potential of their people – especially the youth.” He said that young Muslims “come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder. Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.” That is the same message Obama and his minions have been braying for years at this point. No one, apparently, is listening.

And then Obama dropped the other shoe. After spending fifteen minutes blabbering about the glories and wonders of Islam, even as he decried extremism and sectarianism, Obama proceeded to blame Israel for conflict in the Middle East:

         Leadership will also be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape appears, America will never give up the pursuit of peace. The situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya should cure anyone of the illusion that this conflict is the main source of problems in the region; for far too long, it has been used in part as a way to distract people from problems at home. And the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. But let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from this effort – not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region, and the world will be more just with two states living side by side, in peace and security.

The Israelis may not be the “main source of problems in the region,” but by pressuring Israel before the entire world just weeks after Hamas continuously fired rockets into Israel and shielded its own rockets with children, Obama demonstrates his distaste for the Jewish State, and his desire to cast them as a bleeding abscess leading to more violence. The moral equivalence here was stunning, unjustifiable, and purely disgusting.

As Obama moved toward his conclusion, he finally turned inward, apologizing for America yet again:

I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

Ferguson? Really? This is just the latest incident in which President Obama has condemned a private citizen before the world. In 2012, it was a filmmaker who guilty of provoking Islamic rage; today, it’s Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, who has provoked America’s racial conflict. The United Nations has become a wonderful place for President Obama to convict American citizens.

Obama concluded with his campaign stump speech:

After nearly six years as President, I believe that this promise can help light the world. Because I’ve seen a longing for positive change – for peace and freedom and opportunity – in the eyes of young people I’ve met around the globe. They remind me that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share.

America shares virtually nothing with the other member states at the UN. But President Obama shares a lot with them: a desire for America to take a secondary role in the world affairs, a desire for Israel to surrender in the face of its enemies, a desire for talk rather than action, a desire to demean the United States on the global stage.

On Wednesday, on the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations in which he called for ouster of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, Obama attempted to rally support for his airstrikes against Assad’s terrorist opposition. Taking on issues ranging from Iran to Russia, from Ukraine to Syria, from global warming to Ebola, Obama pledged to utilize American might in service to the United Nations, speaking grandly of the beauty and power of the world’s least effective and most morally bankrupt international institution.

Obama opened with a Dickensian world of Manichean opposites:
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.
He then offered delegates a choice between paper and plastic.
Actually, he stated that the world has never been better off, praising the increase of member states at the UN and the decrease in poverty (neglecting, of course, that that decrease in poverty is a direct result of the rise of global capitalism), as well as the iPhone. “I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, and to be free to pursue your dreams,” Obama said, apparently forgetting the last two decades of human history.
But, said Obama, there are a few problems with which we have to contend: Ebola, Russian aggression, “brutality of terrorists” in Syria and Iraq. And those problems, Obama continued, are “symptoms of a broader problem – the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world.” Incredibly enough, the rise of disease, Obama believes, is because we haven’t invested enough in the United Nations, not because incompetent regimes upheld by the UN have failed their people. In amazingly hypocritical fashion, Obama – a man elected on the basis of his undercutting of George W. Bush’s Iraq war, a war based almost entirely on enforcement of UN resolutions -- said that terrorism has flourished because “we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.”
Obama said America chooses “hope over fear.”
According to Obama, that choice entails standing up to Russia – presumably, by doing nothing. Obama stated that Russia’s worldview was that “might makes right,” that their vision was of a “world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed.” Obama then contrasted that vision with America’s:
America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future.
Right, of course, does not make might. To believe in that vision is idiotic. Right must build might in order to enforce right. But Obama’s unceasing belief in the power of his own verbiage means that he thinks he can simply talk Russia into backing off:
We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.
Obama went on to suggest that Russia should use “the path of diplomacy and peace,” citing our signing of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Russia has been routinely cheating. “That’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again,” Obama said.
To which Vladimir Putin has formally responded: “ROFLMAO.”
Obama then turned to Ebola, stating that we’re sending troops to West Africa; he turned to Iran, where he said that “we can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful.”
To which the mullahs have formally responded: “LOLWUT.”
Obama next addressed China’s aggression in the South China Sea, suggesting that America will insist “that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law.”
To which China has formally responded: “SMDH.”
Then Obama went on his world-beating rant: he said that America would help “eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.” Not through capitalism, mind you: through foreign aid. He said that America would cut our own carbon emissions. He spouted trite slogans: “On issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule-book written for a different century. If we lift our eyes beyond our borders – if we think globally and act cooperatively – we can shape the course of this century as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age.”
Finally, he turned to the actual pressing issue of the day, Islamic terrorism. And he proceeded to explain that Islam is a religion of peace, no different from any other, and defend his reactive foreign policy as somehow proactive.
I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. Rather, we have waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces – taking out their leaders, and denying them the safe-havens they rely upon. At the same time, we have reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.
He stated that America rejected “any suggestion of a clash of civilization.” Our opponents have not done the same, of course. But Obama stated that we could fight those “religiously motivated fanatics” – fanatics who have nothing to do with Islam, of course, even if they are universally Muslim – by providing food and water and jobs. Obama’s Marxist foreign policy has never wavered: he believes that inequality, not religious conflict, lies at the root of Islamist enmity for the West.
Obama laid out a four-pronged plan for fighting terrorism.
First, he said that ISIL had to be “degraded, and ultimately destroyed.” And once again, he emphasized that ISIL was not Islamic, and once again, he ruled out utilizing American troops.
Second, Obama said that Muslim communities had to “explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al Qaeda and ISIL.” In the process, he praised Islam as part of a family of religions that “accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world,” and added that “All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all religion: do unto thy neighbor as you would have done unto you.”
His solution: talking about how ISIL and al Qaeda and Boko Haram are bad. Obama’s faith in words is absolutely unshakeable, as he made clear: “The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day.” Hilariously, Obama explained that the UN Security Council would pass a resolution about combating “violent extremism,” but refused to explain what steps would actually be taken to do so, instead putting that discussion off for “next year.”
Third, Obama stated, sectarian conflict must end. How? Obama didn’t say. But he did pooh-pooh Muslim sectarian conflict as the religious norm:
There is nothing new about wars within religions. Christianity endured centuries of vicious sectarian conflict. Today, it is violence within Muslim communities that has become the source of so much human misery. It is time to acknowledge the destruction wrought by proxy wars and terror campaigns between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. And it is time that political, civic and religious leaders reject sectarian strife. Let’s be clear: this is a fight that no one is winning.
Flipping through his trusty rhetorical playbook, Obama neglected any realistic solution to these sectarian conflicts, but did come up with this hackneyed chestnut:
Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass. But there is no other way for this madness to end – whether one year from now or ten. Indeed, it’s time for a broader negotiation in which major powers address their differences directly, honestly, and peacefully across the table from one another, rather than through gun-wielding proxies. I can promise you America will remain engaged in the region, and we are prepared to engage in that effort.
Fourth, Obama proposed, Arab and Muslim countries had to focus on “the extraordinary potential of their people – especially the youth.” He said that young Muslims “come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder. Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.” That is the same message Obama and his minions have been braying for years at this point. No one, apparently, is listening.
And then Obama dropped the other shoe. After spending fifteen minutes blabbering about the glories and wonders of Islam, even as he decried extremism and sectarianism, Obama proceeded to blame Israel for conflict in the Middle East:
         Leadership will also be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape appears, America will never give up the pursuit of peace. The situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya should cure anyone of the illusion that this conflict is the main source of problems in the region; for far too long, it has been used in part as a way to distract people from problems at home. And the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. But let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from this effort – not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region, and the world will be more just with two states living side by side, in peace and security.
The Israelis may not be the “main source of problems in the region,” but by pressuring Israel before the entire world just weeks after Hamas continuously fired rockets into Israel and shielded its own rockets with children, Obama demonstrates his distaste for the Jewish State, and his desire to cast them as a bleeding abscess leading to more violence. The moral equivalence here was stunning, unjustifiable, and purely disgusting.
As Obama moved toward his conclusion, he finally turned inward, apologizing for America yet again: 
I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.
Ferguson? Really? This is just the latest incident in which President Obama has condemned a private citizen before the world. In 2012, it was a filmmaker who guilty of provoking Islamic rage; today, it’s Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, who has provoked America’s racial conflict. The United Nations has become a wonderful place for President Obama to convict American citizens.
Obama concluded with his campaign stump speech:
After nearly six years as President, I believe that this promise can help light the world. Because I’ve seen a longing for positive change – for peace and freedom and opportunity – in the eyes of young people I’ve met around the globe. They remind me that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share.
America shares virtually nothing with the other member states at the UN. But President Obama shares a lot with them: a desire for America to take a secondary role in the world affairs, a desire for Israel to surrender in the face of its enemies, a desire for talk rather than action, a desire to demean the United States on the global stage.
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Retratos de fusilados por el Castrismo - Juan Abreu

"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.

Quotes

¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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