Moammar Gaddafi

The Barack Obama–Raul Castro Handshake: Much Ado Over Nothing!

While at the Nelson Mandela commemoration in South Africa, Barack Obama had an opportunity to meet dozens of world leaders, some of them from democracies, and some from dictatorships.

Unfortunately, dictatorships are much more common historically and in contemporary times, than are democracies.

Richard Nixon went to China and met Mao Tse Tung.

Dwight D. Eisenhower met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David, and John F. Kennedy met Khrushchev in Vienna.

Ronald Reagan met Afghan freedom fighters, who later became involved in promoting terrorism, including September 11.

John McCain met Moammar Gaddafi of Libya, and shook his hand.

Donald Rumsfeld met Saddam Hussein of Iraq as a emissary from Ronald Reagan.

Also, many Presidents have bowed to royal leaders, including George W. Bush with the King of Saudi Arabia, and many Presidents with the Emperor of Japan and the Queen of England.

Never was such a big deal made of these handshakes or discussions, and even summits, until suddenly, Barack Obama became President!

When he met Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, it was the worst crime of the century to the right wing whackos!

Now, Obama shook the hand of Raul Castro, who has made it clear that he is leaving power in 2018, when he will be 87, and his brother Fidel Castro, will be 92, if either is still alive.

There will be a successor government in Cuba within a few years, and there is always the chance that Cuba could undergo change and reform, and in fact, already has developed capitalism and private property, as China, for instance, has done.

Has our government, under Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, refused to deal with “evil” governments? NO in the modern era, and we are talking with Iran and North Korea at times, so why not Cuba?

After 55 years, has the embargo on Cuba changed anything in that island nation? NO, as it unites the government with its population, who are the true victims of the American blockade!

Do we blockade trade and contact with other nations of much greater importance? The answer is NO, but apparently, we must cater to three million Cuban Americans, and their leadership in the Republican Party, when it benefits no one, and is a failed policy!

It is time for rapprochement with Cuba, so that we can have an effect on its future. This is the time to start such development of relations, and forget the lobbying of right wing groups and Marco Rubio, who have no interest in planning for the future without a Castro in power!

Fear Of Engagement Leads To Weakness: Reagan (Libya), Clinton (Bosnia, Kosovo–Serbia) Proved Otherwise!

Republican President Ronald Reagan utilized bombing against Libya’s leader, Moammar Gaddafi in 1981 and 1986, and many feared what it might lead to, and it led to a silencing of Gaddafi at that time.

Democratic President Bill Clinton utilized bombing against Serbia in Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1999, and ended both crises effectively.

On the other hand, Republican President Gerald Ford and Democratic President Jimmy Carter stood silent in wake of the mass murder in Cambodia from 1975 to 1978, and Bill Clinton stood by as we saw mass murder in Rwanda in 1994.

Our ignoring of Cambodia and Rwanda has been condemned in history, while our intervention in Libya by Reagan, and against Serbia in Bosnia and Kosovo by Clinton, has been praised.

Conclusion: Show weakness and fear, and evil forces triumph, as in the 1930s with Adolf Hitler before World War II, which was far worse than if there had been a proper reaction against Nazi Germany in that decade!

Appeasement and isolationism NEVER work!

Celebrities And International Affairs: Ignore Them!

In the last few days, we have seen a number of “celebrities” become engaged in international affairs actions and commentaries, an embarrassment to themselves and America.

These include:

National Basketball Hall of Fame player Dennis Rodman
Actor Sean Penn
Director Oliver Stone
New York Congressman Jose Serrano

It is inadvisable for public celebrities in sports and the entertainment industry to speak up in support of anti American foreign dictators, as the first three have done, with Rodman trying to play the role of a “diplomat” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, a man who has been developing nuclear weapons and threatening his neighbors; and Sean Penn and Oliver Stone publicly mourning the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, a person they call a “good friend”, despite his collaboration with Moammar Gaddafi, Fidel Castro, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other enemies of the United States.

It is also reckless and loony that Congressman Jose Serrano should act as if Chavez was good for his people, and to ignore Chavez’ s rants and raves against both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Of course, nothing can or should be done about these utterances and statements, as we all have freedom of speech, but any decent American should repudiate these people and their irresponsible and toxic behavior!

Romney And Ryan: Spreading Lies And Myths Unashamedly!

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are setting a record for spreading the most lies and myths of any Presidential campaign team in American history!

Apparently, it does not matter that even Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal are calling them out for making their own facts, along with other news media!

What are the lies and myths?

Barack Obama is cutting Medicare benefits for recipients, when Paul Ryan’s plan is to make Medicare a voucher system and raise the age for eligibility for future recipients from 65 to 67.

Barack Obama is to blame for the downgrading of America’s credit rating, when it was the GOP Congressional leadership that refused to raise the debt limit before the deadline, and everyone knows that to be the fact.

Barack Obama has added more to the national debt than all Presidents before him, while in reality the Republican Presidents are responsible for more debt than Democratic Presidents, and much of the debt increase is due to Bush policies, including war spending, the unpaid for prescription drug plan, the Great Recession that occurred under George W. Bush, and the constantly growing interest on the national debt, no matter who is the President.

Barack Obama is ending the work requirement under welfare, while in fact that is not the case, and many GOP Governors have asked for the right to use different plans on welfare that change the requirements under the Bill Clinton welfare to work plan.

The Janesville, Wisconsin auto plant, in Ryan’s home district, was shut down by Barack Obama, while it was actually ordered to close in 2008 during the Bush Administration, and Obama worked to save the auto industry in the Midwest successfully, once he came to office, and Mitt Romney wanted the industry to go bankrupt.

The Republicans want to protect the poor and the sick, when in actual fact, they wish to cut food stamps, Pell Grants, and other assistance to the poor, including a drastic cut in Medicaid, under the Ryan budget plan.

Barack Obama raised taxes on the middle class, when in actuality, he LOWERED taxes for the middle class.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are against the statements of Todd Akin about rape and abortion, when in reality Ryan sponsored legislation on the matter with Akin, and both Ryan and Romney had no problem with the party plank on abortion, which opposed abortion on any grounds whatsoever.

Higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations harm economic growth, when pursuing exactly that policy spurred the greatest economic growth in American history under Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Barack Obama has created no job growth, when he has, in reality, presided over greater job growth in the past three and a half years than eight years under George W. Bush.

Barack Obama has been involved in his administration in an “apology tour”, and has favored Muslim nations, when in fact he has never “apologized” for America, and has been aggressive in pursuit of Muslim terrorists in Al Qaeda and the Taliban, killing more terrorists than anyone could ever have imagined, and also was able to get rid of Osama Bin Laden and Moammar Gaddafi.

Both Romney and Ryan and other Republicans wanted Obama to succeed, when there is no doubt that all Republicans made it their mission to insure that Obama would be a one term President with no accomplishments, which they well know has not been the case, as he has accomplished more in one term than any President since Lyndon B. Johnson domestically, has changed the image of America to a positive one in the world, and has made as much progress in the worst times of an economic downturn as Franklin D. Roosevelt did in his first term during the Great Depression, similarly making progress against difficult economic times, but not resolving the crisis in one term, but being attacked as Socialist, Communist, radical, Fascist by right wing critics!

The lies and myths will not carry the day, and Barack Obama will be reelected as FDR was in 1936, although not by the massive landslide of FDR!

Barack Obama: The First Democratic Presidential Noninee Since 1964 To Have The Edge On Foreign Policy In A Presidential Campaign!

The Republican Party has often been seen as stronger on foreign policy, particularly in a Presidential year.

The last time that a Democrat had the edge on foreign policy in a Presidential campaign was in 1964, before the major escalation of the war in Vietnam, with Lyndon B. Johnson making Barry Goldwater look like a danger to world peace.

Richard Nixon had an edge on strength in foreign policy over Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern, in 1968 and 1972, just as Gerald Ford had an edge over inexperienced Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Ronald Reagan was seen as stronger than Carter and Walter Mondale in 1980 and 1984; and George H. W. Bush had significant foreign policy experience, as compared to Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton in 1988 and 1992.

Bob Dole was seen as tougher on foreign policy than Clinton in 1996, and George W. Bush somehow came across as stronger in 2000 because of his running mate, Dick Cheney, and kept that edge over John Kerry in 2004.

And finally, John McCain was seen as far more knowledgeable than Barack Obama in 2008.

But now, with the respect Obama has around the world, his active drone attack on terrorists. and the removal of Osama Bin Lade and Moammar Gaddafi, it is tough for Mitt Romney, who has no background in foreign affairs, to look stronger in foreign policy.

Mitt Romney And Foreign Policy: What Foreign Policy?

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, spoke before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention today, and attacked President Barack Obama on his foreign policy.

Romney said that Obama has apologized for America overseas, and has said that Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism, both assertions totally fabricated.

Romney said that Obama has not stood fully behind Israel, when despite some differences personally between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , Obama has fully backed Israel’s security.

Romney failed to mention Obama’s role in fighting terrorism and eliminating Osama Bin Laden, and his role in helping to push Moammar Gaddafi out of power in Libya, for obvious reasons.

Romney in reality has NO foreign policy, except to threaten an immediate war on Iran, allowing the neoconservatives who took us into unnecessary war in Iraq, to have growing influence.

Romney is a man without “cajones”, as he allows right wing evangelical Christians and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform to push him into support, even though his previous record would show he has taken a different stand in the past.

This is a man without conviction or principles, and has ZERO foreign policy experience!

Some might say that Barack Obama had the same situation, but actually, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for four years, he dealt with foreign policy more than Romney has ever done!

Romney’s total foreign policy background is serving as a Mormon missionary trying to convert people in France to avoid military service; taking vacations overseas with his family; and doing business dealings with Israeli Prime Minister Behjamin Netanyahu back in the 1970s.

Mitt Romney has no clue on foreign policy, and would allow himself to be manipulated by the warmonger neoconservatives.

Foreign policy is Barack Obama’s strongest stand, and this is not the time to experiment on such a crucial area as foreign policy!

Republican Talking Points On Taxes, Regulation, Growth Of Government, Unemployment Rate, And Fighting Terrorism All Total Lies!

The Republican Party has been attacking the Obama Administration for three years, using “talking points” about taxes, regulation, growth of government, the high unemployment rate, and fighting terrorism.

According to Republican propaganda, Obama has raised taxes, when in actual fact, he has lowered payroll taxes and small business taxes multiple times.

According to Republican propaganda, Obama has increased regulations of all kinds, while in fact he has worked to get rid of unnecessary, unproductive regulation, while increasing it where needed.

According to Republican propaganda, Obama has increased the growth of government, when in actual fact, he has called for and now is initiating streamlining and unification of government agencies on trade and commerce, to save money and cut bureaucracy and unnecessary “red tape”.

According to Republican propaganda, the Obama Administration has failed to lower unemployment and create jobs, while the facts are that 3.2 million jobs have been created, restoring two thirds of the numbers unemployed due to the economic collapse in the last months of the Bush Administration and the first months of the Obama Administration. At the rate of job creation now, the entire loss of 4.7 million jobs since January 2009, mostly in the first six months of the administration as a carryover from the Bush Adminstration, will be recovered by the end of the term of office. And the high point of 9.8 percent unemployment is now down to 8.5 percent, and may go below the magic number of 8 percent that Obama pledged was his goal in the first term, with further improvement later on.

According to Republican propaganda, the Obama Administration has failed in the fight against terrorism, while in reality, our government has used the drone weapon very effectively against terrorists, both Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and has been successful in killing Osama Bin Laden, Anwar Al Awlaki, and helped NATO eliminate Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi.

EVERYTHING utilized as Republican propaganda for the past three years is based on lies, deceit, mythology, and manipulation of public opinion! Never has an administration been so wronged with all of its accomplishments, of which the above are only a selected few!

But the American people will get the message during the upcoming campaign about what REALLY happened, and who is responsible for the lack of FURTHER improvement, the Republican Party, which only cares about the one percent, and utilizes social issues to draw support from others NOT rich!

The sham is soon to be over, and Mitt Romney will not know what hit him when the campaign is in full swing! And if by some miracle, Rick Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul or Rick Santorum magically becomes the nominee, the attack will be only the stronger!

Mitt Romney Calls Barack Obama An “Appeaser”! What Planet Is Romney On?

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has leveled a charge of “appeasement” upon President Barack Obama in the area of foreign policy!

What a preposterous accusation on the part of Romney! What planet is he on, to attack Obama in his STRONGEST area of policy, defense and foreign policy?

Obama not only has been able to gain the death of Osama Bin Laden, but also 22 other top operatives in Al Qaeda. He has been able to gain the overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi without one American troop on the ground and no combat losses.

No one around the world in any nation believes that Barack Obama is a “pushover”!

To attack Obama on the economy, one can make some points, but on national security and defense, it is a lame attack with NO merit!

From JFK And The Cuban Missile Crisis To Barack Obama And Al Qaeda, Iraq, And Libya: Statesmanship Personified

49 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy informed the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Now, 49 years later, President Barack Obama was able to tell us in the past few months that leading Al Qaeda figures (Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki) had been neutralized; that our involvement in the Iraq War is finally coming to an end by Christmas; and that Libya has finally been liberated from its war criminal despot, Moammar Gaddafi.

Is there a link between these two Presidents nearly a half century apart? Absolutely, as in both cases, we have seen wisdom, good judgment, and statesmanship, characteristics all too rare.

Kennedy decided NOT to launch a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union or a direct hit on missile bases in Cuba, but instead to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the greatest crisis of the nuclear age after starting a naval blockade.

Obama, often considered not ready for crisis leadership, has successfully overcome terrorist threats and eliminated leading terrorists; has brought about a final end to involvement in Iraq, a war we did not need to fight; and cooperated with NATO allies in liberating Libya, at a low cost of about $2 billion, and NO American casualties.

Both Presidents have demonstrated strong, assertive leadership in ways that should be emulated by future Presidents. When one engages in war, one must be careful and cautious, and recognize international cooperation promotes a better result than being a LONE RANGER, out to swagger and flaunt American power, without concern as to how the international community perceives the United States.

Hopefully, the age of George W. Bush is a bad memory that will not be repeated by future Presidents, but the lack of insights by the Republican Presidential field is troubling as a sign that we may be in danger of moving away from the statesmanship represented by these two Democratic Presidents, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

This is an issue that MUST become a major part of the Presidential Election of 2012, the qualifications and views of the Republican contenders to lead our nation into an uncertain future in international relations.

With foreign policy to be the center of the next presidential debate in November, it is time that the nation focus on and realize that economic policy is not the only consideration in the selection of the next President. We need a statesman on the level of JFK or Obama, and the prognosis to find such a person in the Republican field (outside of maybe Jon Huntsman) is NOT promising.

Barack Obama: The Foreign Policy Success, Greatest Since World War II!

When one thinks about Presidents and foreign policy, we tend to have the image that Republicans, particularly Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush, are the great success stories, and to look down on Democrats as better in domestic policy than foreign policy, where they are perceived as weak!

In 2008, Hillary Clinton had commercials that made one wonder if Barack Obama was prepared to make tough decisions at 3 AM, in the area of foreign policy, where he was seen as a novice.

Well, here we are nearly three years into Barack Obama’s term, and what has happened?

1. Obama has had Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, arguably one of the very best in American history!

2. Barack Obama has had great success in improving the image of America worldwide through his cooperation with NATO, the United Nations, and the Arab League, a development no one would ever have believed when he became President!

3. Obama has been successful in the withdrawal from Iraq, which just today he announced would end by Christmas.

4. Obama has been able to move toward the idea of eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan, while not recklessly moving in that direction too quickly.

5. Obama intervened, in just the right amount, in Libya, and has now improved his image in that nation, many flying American flags, as Gaddafi has just, after 42 years, been removed finally as a threat to the international order. And it cost not one American life, only about $2 billion in expenditures, and showed that the international community could work successfully together!

6. Obama has been able to go after dozens of terrorists and eliminate them through our intelligence gathering and our drones, including Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al Awlaki, and these two terrorists, along with Moammar Gaddafi, have been successfully neutralized in a period of less than six months!

7. While there are certainly challenges in foreign policy, particularly with Iran, Pakistan and Venezuela, along with Russia and China, one notices a lot of rhetoric, primarily, as these nations and their leaders have realized that Obama is not a person to “mess with”! They recognize that he is one tough “hombre”!

Compare the record on foreign policy and national security of Obama to George W. Bush, and one wonders why Republicans and conservatives refuse to salute and honor the President for his accomplishments! The obvious answer is that they know this is his major strong point of all, and they are not about to give him the time of day!

Meanwhile, the GOP candidates for President sound like morons, as some of them actually are, when it comes to these issues, and it is clear that our foreign policy and national security would be undermined by a defeat of Barack Obama in 2012!

So the job of the Obama campaign team is to emphasize these achievements, and to work to convince the American people that Obama has more concern and better ideas about how to deal with the economic future, than members of the party who will not even allow funding of extra teachers and first responders because it might raise, very slightly, the tax responsibility of the obscenely rich!