One of the things we were promised back in the 2008 election campaign was that under a Democratic administration America would be better liked and more influential in the world. Forget those dumb cowboys in the Bush/Cheney administration whose brash style grated on foreign sensibilities: Smooth, Europhile Democrats would win over the world, ushering in an era of peace and good feeling. So, as Sarah Palin might say, how´s that hopey-changey stuff workin´ out for ya? Not so great, as it turns out. Things got off on the wrong foot right away with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton´s botched "reset"
During this afternoon’s Senate hearing on a potential use of force against Syria, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) challenged Secretary of State John Kerry to commit to honoring Congress’ vote on the resolution, even if that vote so happens to reject the administration’s proposed interventions. In return, Sec. Kerry dismissed Paul’s challenges, telling him he cannot speak for the president in advance. “I want to be proud of the president,” Paul said before his peers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “But every time I’m just about there, I get word that really he doesn’t mean it, that he’s going to
Obama administration officials told lawmakers Tuesday that a military strike against Syria would “degrade” the country’s ability to carry out attacks — the most specific military objective they have laid out yet — but faced sharp questions about whether such an operation would accomplish much. Appearing before a Senate panel, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel struggled at times to frame a proposed military strike on Syria as tough enough to be worthwhile but limited enough to guarantee that the United States would not get dragged into another open-ended military commitment in the Middle East.
Barack Obama dramatically escalated his plans for military action in Syria yesterday. The US president said proposed strikes against the regime were part of a ‘broader strategy’ to topple Bashar Assad, who is accused of killing hundreds of civilians with chemical weapons. The suggestion of ‘regime change’ emerged as tensions in the region were heightened further by the Israeli firing of two missiles in the eastern Mediterranean in the early hours of yesterday. President Obama’s remarks helped win support in Washington from sceptical Republicans, who have cast doubt on the value of a ‘symbolic’ strike in response to the use of poison
Secretary of State John “I was for it before I was against it” Kerry has thrown down the Syria gauntlet before his fellow Democrats. Secretary of State John Kerry told House Democrats that the United States faced a “Munich moment” in deciding whether to respond to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. In a 70-minute conference call on Monday afternoon, Kerry derided Syrian President Bashar Assad as a “two-bit dictator” who will “continue to act with impunity,” and he urged lawmakers to back President Barack Obama’s plan for “limited, narrow” strikes against the Assad regime, Democratic
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, today: “President Obama didn’t draw a red line; humanity drew a red line decades ago.” She said Assad’s use of chemical weapons was “behavior outside the circle of civilized human behavior, and we must respond.” She also said that the United Nations acted too slowly to be the principal venue for resolving the Syrian crisis. File photo: “We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace,” Pelosi told reporters after her talks with Assad.
A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources. Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters. Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker
WASHINGTON — Facing a committee whose members’ skepticism wasn’t easily distinguished by party lines, Secretary of State John Kerry led the administration’s charge for action in Syria in the first open hearing before the congressional committee he used to lead. Though Congress still isn’t back in session, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee returned for a nearly four-hour hearing today that also featured Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey as witnesses. Kerry, with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry and a sprinkling of antiwar protesters in the audience, reiterated his assertion that the
President Obama’s political maneuverings could cause a constitutional crisis, Jonah Goldberg said Tuesday evening. During an appearance on Special Report, Goldberg stated that President Obama had only gone to Congress to get political cover. Goldberg said that if Congress denies Obama authorization to use military force and he uses it anyway, it could lead to an unneeded constitutional crisis. “[H]e asked Congress as a last resort—after he couldn’t get the U.N., after he couldn’t even get the Arab League or the British to help him out, he then says ‘well, maybe I’ll go to Congress for political cover’ [. .
Three influential pro-Israel groups urged U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday to authorize President Barack Obama to launch an attack on Syria, signaling a stepped-up lobbying effort for American military action. The statements by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) represented the groups’ most public show of support for U.S. military action since the Aug. 21 attack near Damascus in which Syria’s government is accused of using chemical weapons to kill more than 1,400 people. During the past two weeks, the groups had been unusually quiet as the Obama administration sought
For better or worse, a truism of American politics is that voters vote their pocketbooks. Yet according to a new report on median household incomes by Sentier Research, in 2012 millions of American voters apparently cast ballots contrary to their economic self-interest. Each month the consultants at Sentier analyze the numbers from the Census Bureau´s Current Population Survey and estimate the trend in median annual household income adjusted for inflation. On Aug. 21, Sentier released "Household Income on the Fourth Anniversary of the Economic Recovery: June 2009 to June 2013." The finding that grabbed headlines was that real median household income
Top lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they hoped by Tuesday night to complete the panel’s version of a resolution authorizing President Barack Obama to launch a military strike against Syria, and said the panel could reconvene as soon as Wednesday to vote on it. Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), the committee’s top Republican, said after a three-and-a-half-hour hearing about a potential U.S. military attack on Syria, that he was confident that he and the panel’s chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), would finalize the text of a resolution later Tuesday. Mr. Corker said that staff members of the two
National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Tuesday said the Obama administration was "quite confident" it would prevail in a congressional vote authorizing a military strike in Syria. "We have no expectation of losing the vote in Congress," Rice told NBC News. "We´re quite confident." Rice defended the administration from critics who have charged that seeking congressional approval could give the Assad regime time to prepare. But Rice said that the administration had not "announced our intentions to the enemy." "The United States has been making clear for years that it is unacceptable to use chemical weapons," Rice said.
Beirut When President Barack Obama on Saturday reversed himself about launching an attack against Syria, vowing to wait for Congress´s approval, the move only confirmed what many in the Middle East believe about the president. Mr. Obama, they feel, continues to lead from behind, or more often not at all, in the Middle East; above all in Syria. Among the Lebanese and Arabs in general, Mr. Obama is widely perceived as a man with little time for the dilemmas faced by the region´s peoples. Even when it involves reacting to crimes against humanity, the president´s thinking is defined by domestic considerations. Syrians
The new $6.4billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been opened to traffic after years of delays and cost overruns, carrying its first drivers across the bay late Monday night just hours before the beginning of the work week. The reopening came after the California Highway Patrol conducted a final security check and toll takers resumed their positions following a five-day closure as crews completed striping, railing and other final details on the new gleaming white span. Cars began lining up hours earlier in an attempt to be among the first on the new span, and CHP
With Congress poised to spend the next several days debating the merits of U.S. military action in Syria, the Obama administration is deploying top national security officials to Capitol Hill this week to testify in public and brief lawmakers behind closed doors. But the White House is also relying on several influential members of the House and Senate to rally support, while the opinions of certain rank-and-file members could attract special attention. Based on our reporting, here’s a look at 12 key individuals or groups of lawmakers to watch in the coming days: Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.):
Secretary of State John Kerry´s wife made her first public appearance on Tuesday since suffering a seizure in early July. Teresa Heinz Kerry was seated in the row behind her husband as he testified Tuesday at a Senate hearing on Syria. The secretary of state and the chairman of the committee, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, both commented on her presence. The 74-year-old Heinz Kerry suffered a seizure at the couple´s Nantucket home July 7. She was treated at a Nantucket hospital and another in Boston before being released three weeks later.
President Obama used his weekly Saturday radio address to mark the 131st anniversary of Labor Day. He swore his "highest priority" is to "reverse forces that have conspired — for decades — against American workers." Yakkity-yak. Don´t believe that demagoguery. The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that workers — especially low-wage workers — are losing ground under Obama. After 4-1/2 years of the Obama presidency, an unprecedented number of Americans have given up looking for work, wages are stagnating, low-wage earners are suffering most and the U.S. is fast becoming a nation of part-time workers. • Payroll tax hike: American workers
Syria: A commander in chief who ignored the first 100,000 deaths in Syria sends his secretary of state to defend the urgency of a delayed attack with unneeded congressional approval against a "Hitler" Kerry dined with. Then-Sen. Kerry must have been one of the people then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had in mind when, on CBS´ "Face The Nation" in 2011, she said, without disputing the assessment: "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he (dictator Bashar Assad) is a reformer." Certainly Kerry shared that assessment, speaking with high
Politics: Do congressional Republicans face an impossible choice between being politically used or undermining U.S. prestige in the Mideast? The corner that President Obama has trapped them in is just an illusion. The most important fact about the president´s decision to ask Congress´ permission before striking Syria is that it is 100% political. Even the American Enterprise Institute´s hawkish Marc Thiessen warned that Obama´s limited strikes "will likely fail, and he wants Congress on the hook so that Republicans cannot criticize his Syria policy when it implodes." Therefore, "Republicans should not take the bait" by voting yes. As former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton
Events are now moving rapidly to accomplish the next step in the agenda of the globalists that will lead us into the unimaginable horrors of World War III. With each passing day, each passing hour, the curtain is being lifted a little more to expose the true agenda of the psychopaths and sociopaths who are leading the charge of war in our name, with our money and despite our apparent collective reluctance illustrated by a recent poll about intervention in Syria, our tacit approval for what is about to take place. Syria is about to become the international version of Waco,
AIPAC’s all in on Syria. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the nation’s primary pro-Israel lobbying group, has broken its silence on Syria, calling for members of Congress to vote in favor of a resolution giving President Barack Obama express authority to launch strikes against President Bashar Assad’s regime. (Snip) America’s allies and adversaries are closely watching the outcome of this momentous vote. This critical decision comes at a time when Iran is racing toward obtaining nuclear capability,” AIPAC wrote. “Failure to approve this resolution would weaken our country’s credibility to prevent the use and proliferation of unconventional weapons
Only one of the top five members of the bipartisan congressional hierarchy still sits on the fence about launching a punitive strike against Syria: Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader. The Kentucky Republican emerged from the White House on Monday as the only member of the bicameral leadership group still uncommitted to voting in favor of legislation authorizing military action. McConnell looks to be taking as much time as he can. He’s weighing his political considerations back home, where an isolationist stance would provide clear short-term benefit, against the pressures of his leadership role at the Capitol,
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has swung its considerable political influence behind President Obama’s call on Congress to back military strikes against Syria. AIPAC, one of Washington’s most prominent pro-Israel groups, said in a statement Tuesday that it urges lawmakers to grant the president “the authority he has requested to protect America’s national security interests and dissuade the Syrian regime´s further use of unconventional weapons.” “The civilized world cannot tolerate the use of these barbaric weapons, particularly against an innocent civilian population including hundreds of children. Simply put, barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a
Austin, Texas - The Texas National Guard refused to process requests from same-sex couples for benefits on Tuesday, citing the state constitution´s ban on gay marriage, despite a Pentagon directive to do so. Pentagon officials said Texas appeared to be the only state that planned to turn gay and lesbian couples away on Tuesday, the first working day that gays in the military may apply for benefits. (Snip) Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the commanding general of Texas Military Forces, wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that because the Texas Constitution defines marriage as between a man and
Norfolk, Va. – There are some changes for the Norfolk-based Navy ships off the coast of Syria.One of those six Norfolk-based ships in the Mediterranean Sea is now headed back home. Today the USS Mahan started its journey back to Hampton Roads. The ship had been deployed for eight months and was set to be back in Norfolk this week. Four other destroyers, each capable of launching dozens of tomahawk cruise missiles, remain in the Mediterranean. (Snip) The Navy also announced that the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, along with its four supporting ships, have moved into the red sea for