Archive for the ‘international relations’ Category

Rice says Russia suggests greater openness on missile defense

March 15, 2008
By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

SANTIAGO, Chile – Russia has signaled a new openness toward a U.S. missile defense program for Eastern Europe, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here, left Santiago ... 
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here, left Santiago late Friday for Washington after wrapping up her short visits to Brazil and Chile(AFP/raul bravo)

The missile defense plan angered Russia, which has seen it as a Western provocation at its doorstep. Moscow‘s interest prompted Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to make last-minute plans to visit Russia next week.

Rice said she would not go so far as to say that Russia’s opposition to the plan had diminished, but she said the Russians have recently expressed enough interest in certain aspects of the latest U.S. proposal that it was worth setting up a face-to-face meeting.

“In private we’ve had good discussions with the Russians,” Rice said.

Speaking to reporters during a Latin American trip, the top U.S. diplomat declined to say which aspects of the program would be the focus of the Russia talks. Gates and Rice went to Moscow last fall to present several ideas intended to encourage Russian cooperation and make the program easier for the Kremlin to accept.

They got a chilly reception from President Vladimir Putin and senior Russian officials at the time, but lower-level officials have been meeting since then and have apparently made some progress.

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Dollar’s clout sinks worldwide

March 13, 2008
By ALAN CLENDENNING, AP Business Writer 

SAO PAULO, Brazil – Antique store owners in lower Manhattan, ticket vendors at India‘s Taj Mahal and Brazilian business executives heading to China all have one thing in common these days: They don’t want U.S. dollars.

These handout images provided by the Bureau of Engraving and ... 
The new Five Dollar note.  But is it only worth $4.30 today?
Image from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for illustration

Hit by a free fall with no end in sight, the once mighty U.S. dollar is no longer just crashing on currency markets and making life more expensive for American tourists and business people abroad; its clout is evaporating worldwide as foreign businesses and individuals turn to other currencies.

A man looks out from a currency exchange office in Brasilia, ...
A man looks out from a currency exchange office in Brasilia, Feb. 28, 2008. From antique stores in lower Manhattan to the gates of India’s Taj Mahal, euros and British pounds are now more welcome than the U.S. dollar, as the greenback continues weakening with no apparent end in sight.
(AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Experts say the bleak U.S. economic forecast means it will take years for the greenback to recover its value and prestige.

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China hits back at US on human rights, says Iraq war a disaster

March 13, 2008

BEIJING (AFP) – China on Thursday accused the United States of human rights hypocrisy, as it branded the US invasion of Iraq the “greatest humanitarian disaster” of the modern world.

Police with their sniffer dogs walk across Tiananmen Square, ...
Police with their sniffer dogs walk across Tiananmen Square, as seen here on March 8. China on Thursday accused the United States of human rights hypocrisy, as it branded the US invasion of Iraq the “greatest humanitarian disaster” of the modern world.
(AFP/File/Frederic J. Brown)

In an annual response to Washington’s criticism of China’s human rights record, the Chinese government labelled the United States arrogant, and highlighted what it said were widespread US failures at home and abroad.

“(America’s) arrogant critique on the human rights of other countries are always accompanied by a deliberate ignoring of serious human rights problems on its own territory,” said the report, released by the state Xinhua news agency.

“This was not only inconsistent with universally recognised norms of international relations, but also exposed the double standards and downright hypocrisy of the United States on the human rights issue, and inevitably impaired its international image.”

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Pelosi: Our Candidate for “Catch and Release”

October 17, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
October 17, 2007

“Catch and release” refers to the popular fishing practice of releasing the hooked fish so that he can live and participate in that great sport another day. It has also been applied to our overcrowded prison system. Often judges release prisoners convicted of misdemeanors and minor crimes, sentencing them to something other than prison time like community service.

If only we had “Catch and release” for politicians. We often elect people to high office that turn out to be, let us say, releasable.

We’d nominate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for Catch and Release.

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

Ms. Pelosi has put her own self and the interest of her small congressional constituency ahead of the national interest.

Last spring, Ms. Pelosi embarked upon what she called a “peace mission” to Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian territories. She was widely criticized for overstepping her authority as Speaker of the House and meddling in the job of the Secretary of State.

These past few weeks, Ms. Pelosi has championed an idea floated by her Armenian-American constituents to brand Turkey as a nation that fosters “genocide.” Sounds harmless enough. But the atrocities some call genocide started in 1915 and were committed by the now defunct Ottoman Empire.

Turkey took umbrage.

In fact, Turkey, though which some seventy percent of U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan war logistics flow, told its Ambassador in Washington DC to come home for “consultations.” Then Turkey threatened to stop support for the U.S. in the war. Now the Turkish parliament will apparently vote to invade Iraq to wipe out the troublesome Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki warned Turkey that any incursion into Iraq would be unwelcome and “destabilizing.”

Ms. Pelosi, to satisfy a small local constituency, has muddled international relations on a grand scale.

If only we had catch and release for politicians.

Pelosi: Stumbling On Armenia

Pandering Pelosi-crats

Pelosi: Stumbling On Armenia

October 17, 2007

By Dan K. Thomasson
The Washington Times
October 17, 2007

One expects the Speaker of the House to be far more responsible, particularly when it comes to dealing with irresponsible, emotional demands of constituents. But what Nancy Pelosi seems to have forgotten is that her position makes her the next in line to be president of the United States after the vice president and that at times that may require putting the national interests ahead of political expediency no matter how many Armenian Americans are in her district.

Pelosi: Our Candidate for “Catch and Release”

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Bush to honor Dalai Lama; China objects

October 11, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Risking heightened tensions with China, President Bush will attend a ceremony to award Congress’ highest civilian honor to the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader whom Beijing reviles as a separatist.

Bush will go to the Capitol on Wednesday to speak at the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal, whose recipients have included Mother Teresa, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The president also will welcome the Dalai Lama in the White House residence Tuesday.

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Obama seems to soften tone on Pakistan

August 8, 2007

By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. – Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama said Wednesday it’s critical for Pakistan to be a constructive ally in fighting al-Qaida, one week after threatening military action to hunt down terrorists if President Pervez Musharraf doesn’t act.

Obama declined to criticize the Bush administration’s policies on Pakistan, and expressed sympathy for Musharraf, who faces a growing militant backlash in his Muslim nation.

“President Musharraf has a very difficult job, and it is important that we are a constructive ally with them in dealing with al-Qaida,” the Illinois senator said.

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