Archive for the ‘Colin Powell’ Category

Obama Election Sparks Discussion of Race, Leaders Other Lands

November 12, 2008
A Tehran news weekly was shut down by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week after featuring President-elect Barack Obama on its front cover and asking the question, “Why doesn’t Iran have an Obama?”
.
Fox News
 .
The news magazine Shahrvand-e Emrouz [Today’s Citizen] went too far for the hardline president, who quickly had Iran’s Press Supervisory Board ban the publication, the Times of London reported.

The closure of the propular reformist weekly suggests that Ahmadinejad is determined to silence his critics as he prepares for elections next June that could hand him a second-four year term.

The Iranian media has blamed numerous problems in recent weeks on Ahmadinejad. His expansionary budget is blamed for rampant inflation, oil prices have plummeted, aides have admitted that he suffers from strain and exhaustion, and an embarrassing forgery scandal claimed the scalp of his interior minister last week, the Times reported.

This week, however, Ahmadinejad collected support from some newspapers for his message of congratulations to Obama, which several newspaper commentaries on Tuesday presented an important opportunity.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attends an official ...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi
Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,449945,00.html
 
 Could Britain Have a Black PM?

From the BBC

Now the US has elected its first black president, how long until the UK has a black or Asian prime minister?

 

When Barack Obama claimed that his story could only have happened in America, he might have been looking across the Atlantic for evidence.

The odds of a black or Asian person taking the keys to 10 Downing Street any time soon are slim.

Tony Blair acknowledged as much in 2001, when he suggested the US was ahead of the UK in having people from ethnic minorities occupying some of the top political posts.

Mr Blair was mindful of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice at the heart of the White House, but probably hadn’t even heard of Obama.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7714056.stm

 

 

 

Endorsements: Joe The Plumber Trumps Colin (Too Late) Powell

October 19, 2008

One has to wonder what Colin Powell is up to.  Endorsing Barack Obama this late in the game is no risk and of little use.  Colin certainly doesn’t want to be Secretary of State again so why get behind Barack now?


AP Photo 

Because he’s Black.  Colin wants to be Black just the way Barack wants to be Black.  Both have succeeded in a “white man’s world” despite, not because, they are Black.

Congratulations, Bros, you deserve each other.

The only “endorsement” this week that matters is not an endorsement at all.

Joe the Plumber hasn’t endorsed anyone.  But he has asked a question.

And the Plumber’s Question got us some, brief, rare glimpse of honesty from a politician: Barack Obama wants the money from working men and women to assist those who have too little.

I, for one, object.

But You Gotta like that Black Socialist thinking.

God help us.

God Bless America.
**********

This from Johathan Martin’s Blog:
Rush Limbaugh said Colin Powell’s decision to get behind Barack Obama appeared to be very much tied to Obama’s status as the first African-American with a chance to become president.

“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,” Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.”

As for Powell’s statement of concern this morning about the sort of Supreme Court justices a President McCain might appoint, Limbaugh wrote: “I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star [general] and secretary of state and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let’s hear it for transformational figures.”

http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/1008/
Limbaugh_Where_are_the_inexperienced_white_liberals_
Powell_has_endorsed.html?showall

US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack ...
Above: Barack The Messiah.  US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama smiles during a rally at the Crown Center Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Barack Obama basked Sunday in the endorsement of former secretary of state Colin Powell and a huge cash haul that left the Democrat set fair for the epic White House campaign’s final fortnight.(AFP/Emmanuel Dunand)
Plumber Joe Wurzelbacher speaks to the media on October 16, ...
Above: Joe the Plumber wants to know how giving his money to others is good for him.  Here Plumber Joe Wurzelbacher speaks to the media on October 16, 2008 outside of his home in Holland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate McCain told a campaign rally in this Florida city that he spoke with the now famous “Joe the Plumber” for the first time on Friday.(AFP/Getty Images/File/J.D. Pooley)

Barack Obama Lines Up a Cabinet of ‘Stars;’ Measures Drapes as John McCain Soldiers On

October 19, 2008

By Sarah Baxter
The Times (UK)

With the economy on the brink of recession and the country in the midst of two foreign wars, Barack Obama is considering appointing a cabinet of stars to steer America through potentially its worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s if he wins the presidency on November 4.

Obama has a well-regarded, close-knit team of domestic and foreign policy advisers who would follow him into the White House and key administration posts. But he is also being urged to make some high-profile appointments who would command the confidence of the country at such a troubled time.

Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) ... 
Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks at a campaign rally in Kansas City, October 18, 2008.(Jim Young/Reuters)

“It’s important to send a signal,” an Obama adviser said. “With a comparatively new person in office and the awful mess we’re in, these appointments are going to resonate around the world.” Obama, 47, has been warning his supporters that the election is not over yet. “Don’t underestimate our ability to screw it up,” he said last week. But should Obama win, he will not be short of big names to choose for his administration.

A host of well-known figures, including some Republicans, have indicated they would be willing to serve in some capacity as Obama begins to acquire a winner’s glow. From Senator John Kerry, the 2004 presidential candidate with hopes of becoming secretary of state, to Larry Summers, a former US Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator who has been tipped as defence secretary, there are plenty who have signalled their availability.
Obama is thought likely to cherry-pick a few high-profile names, while rewarding the loyalty and discretion of advisers such as his foreign policy expert Susan Rice who have served him so well throughout the campaign.

“He has no patience whatsoever with prima donnas,” said one leading Democrat policy adviser. “He’s surrounded himself with people who are pretty smooth in dealing with each other.” All eyes were on Colin Powell, the former secretary of state under President George W Bush, to see if he would declare his support for Obama in an interview on Meet the Press, the flagship political television programme, today.

Powell is unlikely to return to the cabinet after the mauling he received over the Iraq war, but could serve as a special envoy abroad. He is regularly consulted by Obama on foreign policy and military matters, and said last year: “I always keep my eyes open and my ears open to requests for service.”

In last week’s debate against John McCain, his Republican opponent, Obama indicated that he would adopt a bipartisan approach to government, citing the Republican senator Richard Lugar, who worked with him on a bill to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation, and General Jim Jones, the former Nato commander, as figures he admired.

“Those are the people, Democrat and Republican, who have shaped my ideas and who will be surrounding me in the White House,” Obama said.

If the Democrats win sweeping majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as the White House, conservative voters could feel alienated from every branch of government. The McCain campaign is already playing up fears of a Democratic landslide to persuade Republicans and independents to back their man.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_
americas/us_elections/article4968993.ece

American High Schools: Abysmally Few Graduates

April 2, 2008

Editorial
The Washington Times
April 2, 2008

Nearly one in three students drop out of high school before graduating. Only half of black and Hispanic students graduate on time. These are tragic, sobering statistics.

As reported by Amy Fagan of The Washington Times on Tuesday (April 1, 2008), the numbers from America’s Promise Alliance show a disparity between urban-suburban graduation rates of more than 35 percentage points. As few as 25 percent in some urban school districts graduate on time, compared to 75 percent of suburban schools (and even that is too low). The trend is not improving.
.
A notable list of city and state leaders, government officials and urban organizations have forged together to address this “crisis.” Many education experts attribute part of the problem to schools that “hyper-inflate” graduation rates in addition to the schizophrenic standards used to calculate the rates. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said Tuesday: “One reason the high school dropout crisis is known as the ‘silent epidemic’ is that the problem is frequently masked or minimized by inconsistent and opaque data reporting systems.”

In other words, different schools use different measures to calculate dropout and graduation numbers. New Mexico counts 12th graders who graduate (not those who may have dropped out before the 12th grade); some states only count dropouts as those who fill out a written declaration. Still other states include GED recipients as graduates (even though most of them are dropouts).

That is just part of the problem. No matter “how” the numbers are calculated, one cannot ignore how abysmal the numbers actually are. Alliance founder Colin Powell called the problem a “catastrophe.” We couldn’t agree more.

The cities of Detroit and Baltimore are among the worst in our nation (with 24.9 and 34.6 percent graduation rates, respectively). The irony is that these “urban” school districts receive some of the highest per-pupil funding in the country. Detroit receives $11,000 per pupil, while Baltimore gets $9,600. The national average is $8,700. New York state is the highest at $15,000.

What does the U.S. Department of Education propose to do to help combat this dilemma? It will institute what it’s calling a uniform graduation rate under No Child Left Behind. In other words, every school must use the same standard to measure graduation and dropout rates. Education experts at the Manhattan Institute are calling the decision “a major victory for school accountability.”

The Department of Education says in the coming weeks it will “take administrative steps” and convene summits to decide which dropout “standard” to adopt. This is a department (and administration) that has been credited with “spending more on K-thru-12 education in the first three years, than Bill Clinton did in six.” Yet in many urban schools, we can’t graduate 75 percent. Action, accountability and standards are great concepts. Still unanswered is why schools that get the most money are still the worst performers? Who is held accountable for that?

Related:
Assessing American High School Students: Not a Pretty Picture

Assessing American High School Students: Not a Pretty Picture

April 2, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

In the average American big city among 17 assessed, only about 34% of the high school students graduate. About 60% of those same young people have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).What does this say about America’s future? And why aren’t we hearing solutions to these glaring social ills from our candidates for President of the United States?

“The mind of this country, taught to aim at low objects, eats upon itself,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1837.

Wouldn’t he be proud of today’s teenagers, their parents and teachers?

In the most recent study of high school graduation trends, seventeen of the nation’s 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released April 1, 2008.

The study was conducted by America’s Promise Alliance, an organization founded by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell. His wife Alma chaired the assessment group.Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.jpg
Colin Powell while serving as Secretary of State.  We at Peace
and Freedom
have the utmost respect for Colin and Alma Powell for their work.

“When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem, it’s a catastrophe,” said Powell. “This has to stop. We, as a nation, must correct this problem.”

“We must invest in the whole child, and that means finding solutions that involve the family, the school and the community,” said Alma Powell.

While more than one million boys and girls drop out of high school, more than 3 million girls nationwide have a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

“This is pretty shocking,” said Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, an adolescent medicine specialist at Montefiore Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital in New York.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sponsored the STD study.

“Those numbers are certainly alarming,” said sex education expert Nora Gelperin, who works with a teen-written Web site called sexetc.org. She said they reflect “the sad state of sex education in our country.”

“Sexuality is still a very taboo subject in our society,” she said. “Teens tell us that they can’t make decisions in the dark and that adults aren’t properly preparing them to make responsible decisions.”

The Associated Press reported that the teens were tested for four infections: human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer and affected 18 percent of girls studied; chlamydia, which affected 4 percent; trichomoniasis, 2.5 percent; and genital herpes, 2 percent.

Dr. John Douglas, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, said the results are the first to examine the combined national prevalence of common sexually transmitted diseases among adolescent girls.

He said the data, now a few years old, likely reflect current prevalence rates.

Disease rates were significantly higher among black girls — nearly half had at least one STD, versus 20 percent among both whites and Mexican-Americans.

Besides high school graduation rates and rates of sexually transmitted diseases, how else might we seek information on American teenagers?

One area already assessed is the rate that our nation reads and “self-educates.”

We’ve written about and commented about reading trends several times in multiple publications.

But a Washington Times editorial published November 21, 2007 said it best: when it comes to reading many Americans have decidd not to.

Bombarded with media, computers and video games, their reading habits are declining measurably. Nor is it simply the young.

In an unprecedented research synthesis released this week, the National Endowment for the Arts shows how reading habits have declined in recent years with a grim picture of what could only be called the nation’s nonreading public.

Here are some of the troubling highlights of “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence.”

From 1982 to 2002, the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who read literature dropped from 60 percent to 43 percent. Fifty-two percent of the same age demographic said they read a book voluntarily in 2002, which is down from 59 percent a decade earlier.

The percentage of 17-year-olds who read for pleasure almost every day dropped from 31 percent to 22 percent over the period 1984-2004. It also seems that a college education is ever less a guarantee of good reading skills. The sole bright spot occurs among 9-year-olds, whose reading comprehension has improved over the last decade.

Barring this exception, the results are remarkably and troublingly consistent in study after study. Money spent on books in the United States dropped 14 percent during the period 1985-2005 when accounting for inflation. Seventy-two percent of employers report finding high-school graduates “deficient” in reading comprehension.

And the number of adults with bachelor’s degrees who score “proficient in reading prose” fell from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2003.

With the rise of the Internet and online news consumption, some might argue that queries about “reading” fail to capture the entire picture if they do not account for online activities. But all modes of reading are not equal.

We might take this argument more seriously when teenagers are found reading Shakespeare or Herman Melville online. Far likelier they are surfing MySpace or Facebook.

Our increasing failure to read constitutes a kind of creeping national illiteracy which should concern everyone, not simply librarians and booksellers.

Literacy is an integral aspect of civil society. Substance, culture and literature should not be the ironic casualties of the “Information Age.”

All we’ve discussed here still leaves out the disabling impact of drugs, alcohol and teen pregnancy on our younger generation.

The only conclusion one can possibly draw from reading the reports on high school graduation rates, sexually transmitted disease rates and reading trends among American youth is this: unless action is taken we are a nation with a future at risk.

There are about 300 million Americans just now. There are about 1.3 billion Chinese.

And China has a world recognized machine for turning out the educated young people it needs.

One has to draw his or her own conclusions.
—–
Compiled from the official reports cited in the text, AFP, AP, UPI, Fox News, ABC News The Washington Times and CNN.

Related:

U.S. High Schools Graduate “About Half” in Cities

Study finds 1 in 4 US teens has a STD

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Alarming Facts

Harry Potter: More Worthless Pop Culture

Kids reading fewer books despite Harry Potter hoopla

The End of Literacy? Don’t Stop Reading.

The Dumbing Of America; Nation of Dunces?

Government study: Americans reading less

High Prescription Drug Use and Abuse in Colleges

American High Schools: Abysmally Few Graduates

U.S. High Schools Graduate “About Half” in Cities

April 1, 2008
By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer 

WASHINGTON – Seventeen of the nation’s 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released Tuesday.

Michelle Rhee heads Washington DC
public schools and has promised reform. 

The report, issued by America’s Promise Alliance, found that about half of the students served by public school systems in the nation’s largest cities receive diplomas. Students in suburban and rural public high schools were more likely to graduate than their counterparts in urban public high schools, the researchers said.

Nationally, about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually.

“When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem, it’s a catastrophe,” said former Secretary of State Colin Powell, founding chair of the alliance.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.jpg
Colin Powell while serving as Secretary of State.  We at Peace
and Freedom
have the utmost respect for Colin and Alma Powell
for their work.

His wife, Alma Powell, the chair of the alliance, said students need to graduate with skills that will help them in higher education and beyond. “We must invest in the whole child, and that means finding solutions that involve the family, the school and the community.” The Powell’s organization was beginning a national campaign to cut high school dropout rates.

The group, joining Education Secretary Margaret Spellings at a Tuesday news conference, was announcing plans to hold summits in every state during the next two years on ways to better prepare students for college and the work force.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080401/ap_on_re_us/
high_school_grad_rates;_ylt=AqcOk_BUMXwxiOiUB
5Em0vms0NUE

Ex-Defense Official Assails Colleagues Over Run-Up to War

March 9, 2008

By Thomas E. Ricks and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 9, 2008; Page A01

In the first insider account of Pentagon decision-making on Iraq, one of the key architects of the war blasts former secretary of state Colin Powell, the CIA, retired Gen. Tommy R. Franks and former Iraq occupation chief L. Paul Bremer for mishandling the run-up to the invasion and the subsequent occupation of the country.

Douglas J. Feith, in a massive score-settling work, portrays an intelligence community and a State Department that repeatedly undermined plans he developed as undersecretary of defense for policy and conspired to undercut President Bush‘s policies. 

Among the disclosures made by Feith in “War and Decision,” scheduled for release next month by HarperCollins, is Bush’s declaration, at a Dec. 18, 2002, National Security Council meeting, that “war is inevitable.” The statement came weeks before U.N. weapons inspectors reported their initial findings on Iraq and months before Bush delivered an ultimatum to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Feith, who says he took notes at the meeting, registered it as a “momentous comment.

Although he acknowledges “serious errors” in intelligence, policy and operational plans surrounding the invasion, Feith blames them on others outside the Pentagon and notes that “even the best planning” cannot avoid all problems in wartime. While he says the decision to invade was correct, he judges that the task of creating a viable and stable Iraqi government was poorly executed and remains “grimly incomplete.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/08/AR2008030802724.html?hpid=topnews

Colin Powell Upbeat on Obama

January 8, 2008

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell praised Barack Obama on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, crediting the Illinois Senator for breaking barriers while running as “an American man” who can represent the entire nation. In an interview with PBS host Tavis Smiley, Powell said he was “taking joy” in Obama’s rise and he said citizens across the country can “enjoy this moment where a person like Barack Obama can knock down all of these old barriers that people thought existed with respect to the opportunities that are available to African Americans.”Powell, the first black person to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State, also firmly rebutted the idea that reporters or voters should assess whether a candidate is white or black “enough.”

This argument about him not being black enough, that’s just absolute nonsense. He is putting himself forward not as a black man but as an American man who wants to be president of the United States of America. We should see Barack as a candidate for president who happens to be black, and not a black candidate for president.

For more on Powell, Obama and breaking barriers in our “segregated power structure,” check out the new Nation essay, Obama, Race and the Presidency. (at:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080107/melber_web)

“Gaffe Machine” Karen Hughes Leaving State Department

October 31, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 31, 2007

An American gaffe machine gets set to go home.  Good riddance.  No amount of costuming on this Halloween can convince us that Mrs. Hughes made a valuable contribution to U.S. foreign policy.

We are not big fans of the U.S. State Department these days so the announcement that Karen Hughes will leave and return to Texas didn’t break any hearts here.

Mrs. Hughes was give her cushy Foggy Bottom job by her pal George W. Bush. When she came to State — amid much publicity and hoopla — the world was informed that Mrs. Hughes would take charge of “winning over the world’s hearts and minds.”

Mrs. Hughes was supposed to restore respect for America and highlight the importance of America’s lustrous democracy.

Mrs. Hughes didn’t exactly impress anyone in the world outside of her buddy at the White House.

Officially, Mrs. Hughes is Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

On her fist major trip as America’s “Goodwill Ambassador,” Mrs. Hughes proved that she was a gaffe machine with little knowledge of the Arab world.

John Brown wrote in The Second Coming of Karen Hughes on August 9, 2007 in the Huffington Post: “her infamous ‘listening tour’ to the Middle East in the fall of 2005 — was ridiculed by both the US and international media as an illustration of her ignorance (she disclosed, to an Egyptian opposition leader, that our Constitution cites “one nation under God”) and lack of cultural sensitivity (she offended some Saudi women by reproaching them for not having the right to drive). After that disastrous overseas venture, she seemed to keep a lower profile, and by 2006 was practically off the media radar screen, especially during the Second Lebanese War. When she did engage in rare (for her official position) public events (many directed to American audiences to show them how good we US citizens were because of our compassionate-conservative aid to less fortunate foreigners) she was not infrequently criticized, including by the right-wing media, which accused her of being too accommodating to Muslim organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).”

Today, the Fox News Channel is extolling Mrs. Hughes’ many accomplishments and achievements. They even allowed Mrs. Hughes to go on screen to brag about, well, herself.

U.S. Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs ... 
Charm machine turned into a gaffe
machine right in front of the world.

But polls show no improvement in the world’s view of the U.S. since Hughes took over. A Pew Research Center survey earlier said the unpopular Iraq war is a persistent drag on the U.S. image and has helped push favorable opinion of the United States in Muslim Indonesia, for instance, from 75 percent in 2000 to 30 percent last year.

“The great irony of this administration is that its opponents credit it with being masterful at spin,” wrote Mr. Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post on September 3, 2006.

“When it is in fact pathetic in managing its messages and its collective image. Whatever small credit Bush was gaining for becoming more realistic about Iraq was quickly wiped out by the controversy created by sharply partisan speeches of Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld last week in the latest example of a gang that can’t spin straight,” Mr. Hoagland concluded.

When asked by NBC News reporter Brian Williams on August 29, 2006 why there is so much anti-American sentiment and out-right hatred for America in many parts of the world., President Bush said “We are great with TV but we are getting crushed on the P.R. [Public Relations] front.”

About a month later Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld mused, “The enemy is so much better at communicating. I wish we were better at countering that because the constant drumbeat of things they say — all of which are not true — is harmful. It’s cumulative. It weakens people’s will and lessens their determination, and raises questions in their minds as to whether the cost is worth it.”

So if the President and his cabinet were Mrs. Hughes’ “customers,” it is difficult to find them happy about her performance.

We were ourselves so distressed by Mrs. Hughes that we made up a word to describe her gaffes: “Misunderspinning.” She just couldn’t get the hang of the spin game and often looked over her head.

And what have former Secretaries of State said?

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “Are Iran and Syria regimes that I look down upon? I certainly do. But at the same time I’ve looked down on many people over the years in the course of my military and diplomatic career and I still had to talk to them.”

Powell made the observation on “Face the Nation,” the CBS Sunday morning talk show with Bob Schieffer last December.

Secretary Powell has no illusions that a dialogue with Iran, for example, would change their direction in the pursuit of nuclear weapons, but most former Secretaries of State adopt the position that “Talking and engagement with all nations can have some merit.”

But the official policy of the White House and the State Department was not to dialogue with Iran, North Korea and Syria.

At about the same time that former Secretary Powell made his criticisms, the Iraq Study Group headed by another former Secretary of State, James Baker, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton — a noted expert in international thinking — were saying that America should engage all nations and not ignore places like Iran.

Secretary Powell’s position and that of Mr. Baker and Hamilton rests in sharp contrast to that of President Bush and the current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who branded Syria, Iran and North Korea members of the “Axis of Evil” and broke all relationships and dialogue with these nations at the start of the war against terror in 2001.

Still, the commission said, “Given the ability of Iran and Syria to influence events within Iraq and their interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq, the United States should try to engage them constructively.”

Another former Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, has also made remarks disparaging to the “no-discussion diplomacy” of Secretary Rice and Mrs. Hughes.

When asked by the BBC’s Andrew Marr on November 19, 2006, about Kissinger’s plan to remove U.S. troops from Iraq, Dr. Kissinger responded, “At some point I think an international conference – at some early point an international conference should be called that involves neighbors, perhaps the permanent members of the Security Council and countries that have a major interest in the outcome, like India and Pakistan.”

So the spin coming from the State department today is that Karen Hughes made a wonderful contribution and many “achievements.”

Frankly, we view her collective time at State as a gigantic mistake that should have resulted in an even earlier termination.

Mainstream News Media Under Seige In a More Complex Word

September 18, 2007

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 17, 2007; Page C01

Capturing reality is harder than it seems.

As Gen. David Petraeus‘s long-awaited testimony last week failed to sway the debate over the war, partisans on both sides castigated the media for what remains a blurry picture of Iraq. Why, they ask, can’t journalists cut through the fog and deliver an accurate portrait of how the unpopular conflict is going?

This frustration with journalism extends to a slew of other controversies. Is Sen. David Vitter being truthful in denying involvement with a New Orleans prostitute who was paid by Hustler magazine? Is Sen. Larry Craig dissembling when he denies soliciting sex in a men’s room? Did Alberto Gonzales give faulty testimony and merely make misstatements about various Justice Department controversies, or is he a liar?

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/16/AR2007091601411.html