Archive for the ‘Foreign Affairs’ 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….
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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).

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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
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 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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U.S., Poland Closer to Deal on Missile Defense

February 2, 2008

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 2, 2008; Page A16

The United States and Poland broke a logjam yesterday in negotiations over U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, with the Bush administration committing “in principle” to help Poland modernize its armed forces.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with ...
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski after a news conference at the State Department in Washington February 1, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


Poland is “satisfied that our arguments have got through,” Foreign Affairs Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said. At a news conference yesterday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sikorski said that “separate” dialogues would now continue “both on the missile defense base and on the modernization.”

Talks on the Pentagon‘s plan to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland stalled after the new Polish government, which took office in November, proved less receptive to the shield than its predecessor. With the public increasingly….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/01/AR2008020101910.html

Vietnam Seeking Greater International Role in 2008

January 2, 2008

The People’s Daily, China
January 2, 2008

Vietnam will play a more active role in world affairs this year with its external relation orientations centering on joining activities of the UN Security Council, and fostering economic diplomacy, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Wednesday.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem has set this year’s five tasks for the country’s diplomats.

First, continue to strengthen cooperation with other countries, bring into full play Vietnam’s role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, take part more actively in multilateral forums, and enthusiastically join the settlement of global issues.

Second, step up external activities in the service of the local economy, deploy a government action plan and a party resolution for rapid, sustainable development of the economy, and accelerate multilateral cooperation in culture, education, science and technology.

Third, strive to complete the demarcation of boundaries and the planting of landmarks with neighboring countries before the end of 2008.

Fourth, keep on quickening the implementation of a party resolution and a government action plan on overseas Vietnamese, and create more favorable conditions for them to successfully integrate into their host countries, while contributing to the national construction and defense of their homeland.

Fifth, reinforce efforts to renew and increase the efficiency of external information and cultural services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with external political and economic tasks.

Source: Xinhua

Prophetic Briefing: What Bush Learned Before 9/11 Is Mostly Gone Now

January 2, 2008

By F. Andy Messing
The Washington Times
January 2, 2008

On July 16, 1998, in Austin Texas, then-Gov. George W. Bush received his first Defense and Foreign Affairs briefing, with Joe Allbaugh present. Numerous concepts were included, like when it was logical and under what circumstances America could employ military might to defend ourselves. It highlighted the coming energy problems, particularly with China, that would stress our economy.

There were solutions presented that Mr. Bush should consider to prevent the coming turmoil. Mr. Bush grasped the essence and reflected some of these views initially. Examples at the start were when he said America would have a “humble” foreign affairs policy, and five days after September 11, 2001, that Afghanistan would be a ” Special Operations” war.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080102/COMMENTARY/325526510

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.

Rice: Huckabee wrong about Bush policy

December 22, 2007

CORALVILLE, Iowa – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stuck a toe in the presidential race Friday, taking strong issue after Republican Mike Huckabee accused the administration of having an “arrogant bunker mentality” on foreign policy.
Iowa help

This image from video released by the Huckabee Campaign shows Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in a campaign ad titled 'What Really Matters'. In the ad Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, appeals to the Republican Party's important conservative Christian base, and reminds them that he shares their values, saying '... what really matters is the celebration of the birth of Christ and being with our family and friends.'
Mr. Mike Huchabee in an advertisement discussing religion.

“The idea that somehow this is a go-it-alone policy is just simply ludicrous,” she said, briefly weighing in on politics during a State Department news conference in Washington. “One would only have to be not observing the facts, let me say that, to say that this is now a go-it-alone foreign policy.”

In response, Huckabee said he held Rice in high regard but questioned whether she had read the entire Foreign Affairs journal article in which he made the “bunker mentality” remark that has drawn fire from fellow Republican candidates.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071221/ap_on_el_pr/rice_huckabee;_ylt=
AtQw8P0kNoF4p2HIwJOQgwms0NUE

Frightening Scenes: Beijing’s Brutal Dirty Laundry

July 20, 2007

By Spencer Warren
The Washington Times
July 20, 2007

Fake baby milk formulas and soy sauce made from human hair. Safety recalls of children’s toys, tires and other products, including 900,000 tubes of toothpaste containing a poison used in antifreeze. Pet food poisoned by a chemical (made from coal) secretly added to animal feed, making an estimated 14,000 U.S. pets ill and killing at least 16.

These recent stories put in concrete form the reality of what a primitive country China still is….

Read the rest:
http://washingtontimes.com/article/20070720/
EDITORIAL/107200017/1013/editorial

Related:
China Planning a Surreal Facade for Summer Olympic Games: Beijing 2008

Chinese dissident was tortured