Archive for the ‘diplomatic’ Category

Obama Should Hire Hillary for International Role; Limit Biden

November 15, 2008

In the world of diplomacy, “bluring out the truth” is hardly an asset….

So the news that President-Elect Barack Obama is considering Hillary Clinton as a possible Secretary of State is delightful — showing real intellect and courage. 

While still Senator Obama,  the now future president was criticized for his lack of foreign policy experience.  So he hired as his vice presidential running mate the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a man with the reputation of a foreign policy and international affairs “expert.”

Yet sometimes, reputation doesn’t always mirror reality or facts.

Joe Biden also has a reputation for saying the wrong thing.  And he takes a lot of wind and time to say the wrong thing.  And even when he speaks the truth it is sometimes a truth that needn’t be mentioned or discussed.  Before the election when he said that some evil doer in the international community would create a crisis just to test the new president, there is no doubt that he believed that to be true.  But what did this utterance gain anyone?  I call this Joe Biden “blurting out the truth.”

In the world of diplomacy, “bluring out the truth” is hardly an asset….

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (L) greets Vice President-elect ... 
U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney (L) greets Vice President-elect Joe Biden at the Vice President’s residence in Washington November 13, 2008. Cheney, considered one of the most powerful vice presidents in U.S. history, welcomed Biden on Thursday for a tour of his new home to be.  It isn’t difficult to see why one might choose John Nance Garner’s “bucket of warm spit” over highly activists vice presidents….. REUTERS/Molly Riley

Hillary Clinton is well regarded in the world community and her husband is widely revered as a great president — especially in light of the last eight years many will tell you.  And now Bill Clinton is doing meritorious work on the international stage with his foundation.

Hillary would make a good Secretary of State and Barack Obama knows that.  I also have great hope that between Hillary and Barack there is enought knowledge and care for America that the two can agree to iolate Joe Biden from the international stage — especially when sensitive matters are involved.

And Hillary undoubtedly still wants Barack’s job after her rough and disappointing primary election effort….  She ran against Barack and could easlily do so again if left to her own (and Bill’s) devices.  Barack is, perhaps, taking a lesson from Abe Lincold who hired many of his foes believing “keep your friends close and your enemies closer….”

Commentator Charles Krauthammer referred to Joe Biden recently as “The Sage of Wilmington.”  Such pladitudes and more sincere sounding ones may be required in some numbers to soothe the ego of the future Vice President — but whatever it takes to keep him away from the leaders of the international community has to be done.

President-elect Barack Obama listens to Senator Hillary Clinton ... 
President-elect Barack Obama listens to Senator Hillary Clinton in Unity, New Hampshire, June 27, 2008.(Jim Young/Reuters)

Obama’s statement that there can only be one President of the United States at a time shows me that he also knows that there can only be one person in charge of U.S. foreign policy: the Secretary of State.

For that reason: Joe Biden will have to be carefully managed away from meddling in the international arena.  It may be more productive and safer to allow him to meddle in something else.

Joe Biden can fulful any number of very positive roles in the Barack Obama Administration: but on foreign affairs he is best sent only to overseas funerals and weddings.  And even then there is some risk he’ll “blurt out the truth” which will require apologies and regrets all around….
********

Patrick Cox, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin wrote:

“When it comes to commentary about the office of vice president of the United States, no statement is more repeated than John Nance Garner’s observation that ‘the vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm spit.’”

Today our Vice Presidents seem to do a lot more than fill buckets with warm spit….  Maybe some of them should be handed the bucket that John “Cactus Jack” Garner spoke of….

John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner, Vice President of the United States,
(1933-41).

********************

I have many Joe Biden stories, some related to me and some created by my own witnessing to events.  I’ll just tell two which are really one: in 1972 or ’73, I watched Joe Biden leave a Senate meeting room.  As soon as he was gone his own staff erupted in laughter and stories about stupid things the new Senator had said.  About 30 years later I was trapped in an elevator with Senator Biden and some staff.  When he got out on his floor and the doors closed, the back stabbing and derision of 30 years before was again on display….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
********************************

 Clinton Among Top Picks At State

By Anne E. Kornblut and Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, November 15, 2008; Page A01

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is among the top contenders to become secretary of state in Barack Obama‘s administration, officials familiar with the selection process said, part of what appears to be an effort by the incoming president to reach out to former rivals and consider unexpected moves as he assembles his Cabinet.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/
2008/11/14/AR2008111403863.html

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Obama’s Impact: Global Diplomatic Good Will Rising

November 14, 2008

Buoyed by a groundswell of global good feeling after the election of Barack Obama, current and former U.S. diplomats see a new chance to advance American interests if the next president keeps his promises to devote more resources to the diplomatic corps and foreign aid.

By Nicholas Kralev  
The Washington Times

In e-mails to The Washington Times, diplomats from four continents said good will toward the United States has increased dramatically since Mr. Obama’s election and is already making a difference in their daily work.

John K. Naland, president of the American Foreign Service Association, the diplomats’ union, said it was crucial to bolster the resources devoted to diplomacy to sustain the positive new feelings.

“The expectation of the Foreign Service is that President-elect Obama will follow through on his campaign pledges by asking Congress for additional funding for diplomacy and development assistance,” Mr. Naland said. “Those funds are needed because, without adequate numbers of properly resourced and well-trained diplomats and development professionals, no amount of personal diplomacy by the president, vice president or secretary of state will single-handedly restore our nation’s role as the world’s leader in global affairs.”

The Bush administration, initially bolstered by foreign support after Sept. 11, lost overseas backing after it invaded Iraq. The U.S. image also has suffered from the revelations of abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and because of security measures that have made it difficult for foreigners to visit the United States.

During the campaign, Mr. Obama made a number of promises to boost diplomacy.

In March, he said he would “invest in our civilian capacity to operate alongside our troops in post-conflict zones and on humanitarian and stabilization missions. Instead of shuttering consulates in tough corners of the world, it’s time to grow our Foreign Service and to expand [the U.S. Agency for International Development].”

Mr. Naland said the U.S. “foreign affairs agencies are hobbled by a human-capital crisis.” He cited a report last month by the American Academy of Diplomacy – a body including all living former secretaries of state – that recommended that staffing be increased by 43 percent at the State Department and by 62 percent at USAID.

 President-elect Barack Obama speaks to world leaders from Chicago on Nov. 6. U.S. diplomats from four continents told The Washington Times that good will toward the U.S. has already increased. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

The current shortages make it difficult for diplomats to take time off for training, he said. At the same time, more training is necessary given the expanded duties assigned to diplomats in recent years, from nation-building to lobbying for free trade.

“Try something completely new and different, learn a complicated language in 15 minutes, parachute in and instantly hit the ground running, get to know everyone immediately, get everyone to do everything perfectly,” was how one Foreign Service officer in Iraq described the expectations for U.S. diplomats today.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/
14/diplomats-see-boon-of-good-will-since-obama-win/

Obama to Face Big Policy Decisions on Iran, N. Korea and Mideast

November 8, 2008

Stay on Bush path or chart a new course?

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 8, 2008; Page A04

President-elect Barack Obama stepped carefully yesterday when he was asked about the unusual letter of congratulations that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent him — the first time an Iranian leader has congratulated the victor of a U.S. presidential election since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

“I will be reviewing the letter from President Ahmadinejad, and we will respond appropriately,” he said, leaving open the question about whether he will reply. President Bush chose not to respond to a rambling 18-page letter he received from Ahmadinejad in 2006, but during the campaign Obama indicated he would be willing to meet with Iranian leaders.

“Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, I believe, is unacceptable,” Obama said yesterday. “And we have to mount an international effort to prevent that from happening.”

Diplomatic issues rarely begin or end cleanly with a change of administrations, but Bush will be leaving his successor an extensive list of foreign policy processes. The new administration will have to quickly evaluate them and decide whether to continue along Bush’s path, make minor modifications or forge ahead in a different direction. Obama will inherit at least three foreign policy structures, built largely by Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, aimed at thwarting Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, eliminating North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

During the campaign, Obama issued a series of foreign policy pronouncements that often appeared designed not to box himself in. One prominent exception was a pledge to remove most U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of his inauguration. But in many cases, Obama appears to have left himself wiggle room on many issues that will confront him. During the campaign, in fact, internal briefing materials purposely focused on defining the challenges facing the next president, but did not detail possible policy options, advisers said.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/w
p-dyn/content/article/2008/11/0
7/AR2008110703522.html?hpid=topnews

Pakistan tells Petraeus to stop missile strikes

November 3, 2008

The U.S. commander running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, held talks on Monday with Pakistani leaders who told him to stop U.S. strikes on militants in Pakistani territory.

Petraeus arrived in Pakistan on Sunday, at the beginning of his first foreign tour since taking charge of U.S. Central Command, highlighting U.S. concern about a country seen as crucial to stability in Afghanistan and to defeating al Qaeda.

U.S. analysts say Pakistan is facing a major threat from Islamist militants at a time when the nuclear-armed nation and its new civilian government are engulfed in extraordinarily difficult economic problems.

Petraeus has been hailed as an outstanding military leader for helping pull Iraq back from the brink of civil war with a strategy that brought a “surge” of 30,000 extra U.S. troops.

Both U.S. presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, have said they would put more focus on defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan and eradicating al Qaeda from Pakistan’s borderlands.

Both candidates have said they would boost U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan from the 33,000 there now.

By Augustine Anthony, Reuters

Petraeus was being accompanied in Pakistan by Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Richard Boucher.

Their visit comes as relations between the United States and Pakistan have been strained by a series of cross-border U.S. strikes, most by missile-firing pilotless drone aircraft, on militant targets in Pakistan.

President Asif Ali Zardari told Petraeus the attacks should stop, Pakistan’s state news agency reported.

“Continuing drone attacks on our territory, which result in loss of precious lives and property, are counter-productive and difficult to explain by a democratically elected government,” Zardari was quoted as saying.

“It is creating a credibility gap,” he said.

“MORE ACTION”

The most pressing problems for Petraeus include rising violence in Afghanistan and Taliban and al Qaeda sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan’s ethnic Pashtun tribal lands.

The United States and NATO are losing ground against an escalating Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, despite the presence of 64,000 Western troops, while al Qaeda has regained strength in Pakistan’s tribal region.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081103/ts_nm/us_pakistan_
usa;_ylt=AioN21zA1W8KsiTjCPeq0x2s0NUE

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Plan to End Iraq War

March 30, 2008

By Zbigniew Brzezinski
The Washington Post
Sunday, March 30, 2008; Page B03

Both Democratic presidential candidates agree that the United States should end its combat mission in Iraq within 12 to 16 months of their possible inauguration. The Republican candidate has spoken of continuing the war, even for a hundred years, until “victory.” The core issue of this campaign is thus a basic disagreement over the merits of the war and the benefits and costs of continuing it.

Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Brzezinski

The case for U.S. disengagement from combat is compelling in its own right. But it must be matched by a comprehensive political and diplomatic effort to mitigate the destabilizing regional consequences of a war that the outgoing Bush administration started deliberately, justified demagogically and waged badly. (I write, of course, as a Democrat; while I prefer Sen. Barack Obama, I speak here for myself.)

The contrast between the Democratic argument for ending the war and the Republican argument for continuing is sharp and dramatic. The case for terminating the war is based on its prohibitive and tangible costs, while the case for “staying the course” draws heavily on shadowy fears of the unknown and relies on worst-case scenarios. President Bush‘s and Sen. John McCain’s forecasts of regional catastrophe are quite reminiscent of the predictions of “falling dominoes” that were used to justify continued U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Neither has provided any real evidence that ending the war would mean disaster, but their fear-mongering makes prolonging it easier.

Nonetheless, if the American people had been asked more than five years ago whether Bush’s obsession with the removal of Saddam Hussein was worth 4,000 American lives, almost 30,000 wounded Americans and several trillion dollars — not to mention the less precisely measurable damage to the United States’ world-wide credibility, legitimacy and moral standing — the answer almost certainly would have been an unequivocal “no.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/27/AR2008032702405.html?hpid=opinionsbox1 

North Korea Test-Fires Missiles In Ongoing Show of Truculence

March 29, 2008

 By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 29, 2008; Page A09

TOKYO, March 28 — North Korea test-fired a volley of missiles into the sea Friday and warned that it may stop disabling its nuclear facilities unless the United States drops its demands for more details about the North’s nuclear arsenal.

Missiles are carried during a massive military parade in Pyongyang, ... 
Missiles are carried during a massive military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this file image made from television April 25, 2007 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army. North Korea has test-fired several short-range missiles off its western coast, a news report said Friday, March 28, 2008.
(AP Photo/APTN, File)

The missile launch and the combative warning — which accused the Bush administration of “persistently trying to cook up fictions” — came one day after the North expelled 11 South Korean officials from an industrial park north of the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas.

South Korea downplayed the missile firings, characterizing them as part of a routine military exercise. “We believe the North does not want a deterioration of relations between South and North,” a government spokesman said Friday.

Still, three truculent actions in two days suggest that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, after a relatively placid stretch of cooperative diplomacy, is feeling increasingly peeved by demands from the United States and South Korea.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/27/AR2008032704075.html

Russia foresees new problems with the West

March 18, 2008

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The West may face new diplomatic problems with resurgent Russia because of European and U.S. efforts to stifle Moscow‘s influence, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in an annual review on Tuesday.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L), US Secretary of State ...
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates (L), US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (C) and Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov hold a press conference after talks in Moscow. The United States and Russia failed in talks here Tuesday to bridge gaps over US missile defence plans and the fate of the main strategic arms treaty, but vowed to make a clean break with past tensions.(AFP/Pool/Kevin Lamarque)

“The events of 2007 show that one cannot exclude problems in global politics in the period to come,” said the document posted on the ministry Web site (www.mid.ru). “This primarily refers to Europe where the inertia of bloc approaches…is most visible.”

Last year saw tough anti-Western rhetoric coming from the Kremlin as it prepared for a transfer of power from President Vladimir Putin to his handpicked successor Dmitry Medvedev, who takes office on May 7 after winning this month’s election.

Russia has clashed with the United States over Washington’s plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Europe, over Iran and Western recognition of independence for Serbia‘s breakaway province of Kosovo.

Echoing earlier statements by Putin, the review criticized U.S. policy as “destructive … aimed at breaking strategic stability, imposing its military superiority in the world.”

It also criticized the European Union for what is viewed in Moscow as an attempt to restrict Russia’s influence.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080318/wl_nm/russia_diplomacy_dc_1

McCain makes Baghdad stop; 8th Iraq trip

March 16, 2008
By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer 

BAGHDAD – Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee who has linked his political future to U.S. success in Iraq, was in Baghdad on Sunday for meetings with Iraqi and U.S. diplomatic and military officials, a U.S. government official said.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ...
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., talks to reporters after speaking at a town hall meeting in Springfield, Pa., Friday, March 14, 2008.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Details of McCain’s visit, which had been anticipated, were not being released for security reasons, the U.S. Embassy said. It was unclear who he met with; no media opportunities or news conferences were planned.

McCain, a strong supporter of the U.S. military mission in Iraq, is believed to be staying in the country for about 24 hours.

Senator McCain is in Iraq and will be meeting with Iraqi and U.S. officials,” said Mirembe Nantongo, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

In this image released by the U.S. Air Force, Sen. John McCain ...
In this image released by the U.S. Air Force, Sen. John McCain is seen at Baghdad’s International Airport to visit the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, March 16, 2008. McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee who has linked his political future to U.S. success in Iraq, was in Baghdad on Sunday for meetings with Iraqi and U.S. diplomatic and military officials, a U.S. government official said.
(AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway, HO)

This is the senator’s eighth visit to Iraq. He’s accompanied by Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Before leaving, McCain said the trip to the Middle East and Europe was a fact-finding venture, not a campaign photo opportunity.

The senator last met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080316/ap_on_el_
pr/iraq_mccain;_ylt=Ar
IiUc4j7Ld__W5j6dlxLh6s0NUE

Vietnam Sovereignty: Danger Signals

December 24, 2007

Original Vietnamese version by Tran Binh Nam;
English version by Le Khac Ly

On November 20, 2007, the government of China endorsed a resolution to establish an administrative city at county level named “Tam Sa”, which consists of three archipelagoes of Hoang Sa, Trung Sa (Macclesfield Bank, a submerged reefs of 6,250 square kilometers located on the east and about 250 km from the center of Hoang Sa), and Truong Sa, directly dependent on the province of Hai Nam. This province was established in 1988 after it was separated from the province of Quang Dong. Due to the sensibility of the subject, the resolution has not been publicly released.

Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratleys) are located offshore of Vietnam. The archipelagoes of Hoang Sa are situated between latitudes 16 and 17 north, directly administered by the city of Da Nang and the center of the archipelagoes is 350 kilometers away from Da Nang. The archipelagoes of Truong Sa are much bigger, spread from latitudes 7 to 11 north, directly dependent on the province of Khanh Hoa, and if observed from the city of Nha Trang facing South East, its center is 600 kilometers away from the Vietnamese shore.

During French domination (from the mid 19th century to 1945), then successively during the administration of the Tran Trong Kim cabinet, the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the government designated by Chief of State Bao Dai, these two archipelagoes were under the jurisdiction of the governments of Vietnam and were undivided parts of Vietnam.
During their domination, the French set a meteorological station on the biggest island of the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa. After the Geneva Accords in 1954 to divide the country into two parts, the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, which are located below latitude 17; therefore belonged to the Republic of (South) Vietnam. Warships of this government frequently went to carry out re-supply missions to a military garrison unit at Hoang Sa, and always conducted patrols to keep an eye on the cluster of islands around Truong Sa.

Back in history, from the17th century, every year, the Nguyen Lords always sent ships to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, and created a naval unit called North Sea Naval Unit whose mission was to protect those islands. A chronicle by the Chinese Buddhist Monk Thich Dai San written in 1696 confirms those facts. In his historical document written in 1776, the Vietnamese scholar Le Quy Don described in details the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa.

The sovereignty of Vietnam over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa has been mentioned in all historical documents written after the unification of the country by The Emperor of Gia Long (1802) such as Du Dia Chi, Dai Nam Thuc Luc, Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi. .

There were no western documents depicting Chinese sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. Even in Chinese documents, written before 1909, none of them mentioned that the two archipelagoes Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to China.

In 1958, the Chinese began a plan to invade Vietnamese land after Mao had solidly established a communist regime in his century-long-intimidated- by-western-influences country. On September 4, 1958, China published a declaration saying that its territorial sea now is 12 nautical miles from shore to ocean instead of 3 miles as previously established, with a map attached, intentionally showing a boundary of its sea territory embracing Hoang Sa and Truong Sa as they belong to China.

Ten days later, on September 14, 1958, the Prime Minister of the government of North Vietnam, Pham Van Dong, signed a diplomatic note recognizing the Chinese declaration of its new territorial sea changing from 3 to 12 nautical miles, tacitly accepting that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to China. Thanks to this diplomatic negligence (or intentionally, this still is a subject to be debated), China has developed plans to encroach little by little on Vietnamese land and sea territories.During this period of time, China could not yet do anything with the two archipelagoes Hoang Sa and Truong Sa since they were belonged to South Vietnam according to the Geneva Accords of 1954, and South Vietnam was an ally of the United States. It is noteworthy that at the time, the US Seventh Fleet was a dominant power in the Pacific.

The great opportunity arrived in the 1970s when the Vietnam War moved to the ending phase. Hanoi was about to take over South Vietnam through the Paris Agreements, which meant the Hanoi regime would eventually control Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. The United States did not want the Soviet Union, through the Hanoi government, to use Hoang Sa and Truong Sa as observation stations watching all activities in South Pacific, which could cause trouble for the waterway from Indian Ocean crossing through the Malacca straits, up to the North-West Pacific, a vital route for the US fleets. It is also an oil supply route from the Middle-East to Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, the U.S. allies. The US had settled it, through a meeting in Beijing between Henry Kissinger, the US Secretary of State and Chu An Lai, the Chinese Prime Minister, by agreeing to let China occupy the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa, blocking the path toward South Pacific of the USSR fleets. At this moment, the relationship between Hanoi and Moscow was smooth, while its relationship with China was at the low ebb. Meanwhile, the US had just established diplomatic relations with Beijing and both saw the USSR as a threat to the region. (See document “Bien Dong Day Song [East Sea Blazes Up] no.118, http://webmail.central.cox.net/do/redirect?url=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.tranbinhnam.com%252F, Commentary pages).

In the end of January 1974, as a result of that unwritten mutual agreement, the Chinese Navy took over Hoang Sa, after a fierce naval battle with the South Vietnam Navy. The US Seventh Fleet had been asked for help but neither intervened nor rescued Vietnamese sailors drifting at sea. [The US government made a good gesture by soliciting the Chinese to release the prisoners captured at Hoang Sa within a month. Mr. Gerald Kosh, an American working for DAO (Defense Attaché Office) at the US Embassy in Saigon – also captured at Hoang Sa – was released with five wounded Vietnamese sailors earlier on Jan. 31, 1974. Other 43 sailors and soldiers were released on February 15, 1974.]

For its part, Hanoi never raised its voice to protest China’s invasion. Hanoi would believe that it was better to let Hoang Sa to fall into the hands of a communist country than leaving it in the hands of South Vietnam.

After the collapse of Soviet bloc in 1991, the reconciliation between Hanoi and China had given the latter the momentum to begin gnawing land in the northern border of Vietnam, and sea territory in the gulf of Tonkin, and particularly little by little to swallow the archipelagoes of Truong Sa. In addition to its strategic location in the region, archipelagoes of Truong Sa today also are a shelf of ocean bed promisingly rich in oil and gas.

Hanoi has shown its feeble spirit when facing the obvious invasion of China. The unique weapon that Hanoi is using up to this day is some perfunctory words of protest from its Department of Foreign Affairs.

This time, facing the resolution of the China government to officially integrate Vietnamese territory into theirs, Hanoi again protests weakly. During a press conference on December 5, 2007, Mr. Le Dung, the spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said: “Vietnam has obtained complete historical evidence and legal basis to affirm the sovereignty of Vietnam towards the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. This act has violated the territorial sovereignty of Vietnam, not agreeable with general perception of the leaders of two countries, not beneficial for the process of negotiation to seek for a fundamental and lasting measure for the sea problems of two parties”.

To the act of China appropriating Vietnamese territory brazenly and officially on papers, the Vietnamese at home and abroad are extremely angry. They are waiting for Hanoi government to take strong action to protect the national frontier, like the invasion-fighting tradition of our ancestors.

It is regrettable that until today, the Hanoi government has not do anything except utter few words to confirm the sovereignty of Vietnam over the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. When students of the Technology College which is part of National University System of Hanoi prepared a demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy, university officials obeying (communist) party authority issued a circular requesting students and cadres of the school to be calm and not demonstrate, because that would “not be beneficial for the process of negotiation to find fundamental and long-lasting measure for sea problems of two parties.”

Hanoi government, however, could not prevent students from taking to the streets on December 9, 2007 in both cities of Hanoi and Saigon to protest the Chinese invasion. But, in order to avoid offending China, when asked about the demonstrations, Le Dung said: “This is a spontaneous act of the people, not authorized by the authorities. When it occurred, the police were timely present to explain and to request fellow citizens to stop doing that”. Le Dung continued to explain Vietnam’s point of view which is “to have all conflicts solved peacefully through negotiations on legal base and international reality.” Hanoi obviously did not do what needed to be done to protect the country.

If the balance of naval forces between China and Vietnam does not allow Vietnam to send warships to hoist national flags on the archipelagoes of Truong Sa to confirm its sovereignty, at least as a minimum, Hanoi should convene the Chinese ambassador to the Department of Foreign Affairs to receive a protesting diplomatic note. Hanoi may convene the people Congress to pass a resolution confirming the sovereign rights of Vietnam over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.

Next, Hanoi should take the issue to the UN Security Council with a dossier of complete historical documents to prove the sovereignty of Vietnam over the two disputed archipelagoes, then prepare a strong resolution to accuse Chinese invasion for the Security Council to debate.

In reality, the veto power of China will prevent the passage of the resolution, but Vietnam may get 9 of 15 votes of the Security Council reflecting the international opinion in favor of Vietnam. Those documents and the resolution submitted by Vietnam to the UN Security Council will be used as a foundation for present government to mobilize people power to protect Truong Sa, and for next generations to conduct the fight to reclaim the archipelagoes of Truong Sa, and to nullify the Chinese integration of Truong Sa. In addition, Hanoi should file a case to the international court suing China for the invasion and nullify the resolution of the Chinese National Affairs Institution.

The above are what a country with sovereignty should do in the defense of the motherland. What makes the leaders in Hanoi stuck, and cannot do what they should do? The only reason that may explain Hanoi behavior is that the Vietnamese communist party who is presently in power in Vietnam is controlled by the Chinese government by a fifth column in the highest leadership.If that is true, Vietnam is facing the greatest danger in its four thousand years history.

Thompson Questions Clinton’s Diplomatic Ability

November 1, 2007

By KATHLEEN HENNESSEY, Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS – Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson suggested on Thursday that Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s lack of clarity in her debate answers raises questions about her ability to handle diplomacy.

Addressing a crowd of Republican donors, the former Tennessee senator joined Clinton’s Democratic opponents in seizing on her debate answer on whether she supported a plan by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer to grant drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrations.

At first, Clinton appeared to praise the plan. Pressed later in the debate, she seemed to backtrack, saying she didn’t say it should be done. Her campaign sought to clarify her comments on Wednesday, saying she supported the governor’s effort.

“Yes, it’s about Hillary….

Read the rest:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071101/ap_po/thompson_clinton;_ylt=
AnM7EsTMbAM1E8wbtmPJ2Fqs0NUE