Archive for the ‘Secretary of State’ Tag

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During a tense exchange with (Secretary of State John) Kerry at a Senate Foreign Relations committee on Wednesday, (Florida Republican Senator Marco) Rubio confronted the former Massachusetts senator. “I believe that much of our strategy with regards to ISIS is being driven by a desire not to upset Iran so they don’t walk away from the negotiating table on the deal that you’re working on,” the potential GOP presidential candidate declared. “Tell me why I’m wrong.”

“They would welcome our bombing of ISIS, actually, they want us to destroy ISIS, ISIS is a threat to them, it’s a threat to the region and I think you’re misreading it if you think there is a mutual interest with respect to Daesh [the Arabic name for ISIS] from every country in the region,” Kerry responded.

Watch the exchange here.

http://thinkprogress.org/world/2015/03/11/3632393/john-kerry-obliterates-marco-rubios-conspiracy-theory-iran/

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Fareed Zakaria ” Secretary of State John Kerry is making news on his first foreign trip swinging through nine countries in Europe and the Middle East.

He’s talking about European trade deals, about providing greater assistance to the Syrian opposition and he’s talking about Iran, of course. These are all important issues.

But I wonder if Kerry should instead have just visited two countries on his first trip, China and Japan. That’s where the most significant and dangerous new developments in international relations are unfolding and where American diplomacy could make a bit difference.

The world’s second- and third-largest economies have been jostling for months over territory, reviving ugly historical memories and making clear that, in the event of a crisis, neither side would back down.

Trade between the two countries, which usually hovers around $350 billion a year, is down substantially. An accident, miscalculation or unforeseen event in the East China Seas could easily spiral out of control.

And that would mean conflict between great powers in the fastest growing region of the world. The kind of problems that always has global consequences. The Obama administration came into office determined to make Asia a priority, topped by its ties to China. Hillary Clinton’s first trip as Secretary of State was to Asia. The administration wanted to engage China as a partner.

China’s reaction to these overtures was confused and muddled. Beijing worried that it was being asked to involve itself in superpower diplomacy, which would distract it from its single-minded focus on economic development.

Some in the Beijing foreign-policy elite wondered if this was a trap, forcing their government to rubber-stamp decisions that would be shaped out of Washington. As a result, Beijing’s response to the administration’s initial diplomacy was cool, sometimes even combative.

Meanwhile in Asia, many of the continent’s other powers had begun worrying about a newly assertive China. From Japan to Vietnam to Singapore, governments in Asia signaled that they would welcome a greater American presence in the region, one that would assure them that Asia was not going to become China’s back yard.

The Obama administration shrewdly responded with its pivot in 2011, combining economic, political and military measures, all designed to signal that the U.S. would strengthen its role in Asia, balancing any potential Chinese hegemony.

The result of the pivot, however, was to further strain relations with Beijing. Today China and the United States maintain mechanisms, like the strategic and economic dialogue between senior officials, but they are formal and ritualistic.

No American and Chinese officials have developed genuinely deep mutual trust. Beijing views the pivot as a containment strategy and believes that rising Japanese nationalism, tolerated by Washington, is responsible for the crisis in the East China Sea.

The lack of progress in U.S.-China relations stands as the single greatest vacuum in President Obama’s otherwise reasonably successful foreign policy.

Whoever is to blame, the fact remains that the only durable path to peace and stability in Asia is a strong relationship between the United States and China. The two countries are not always going to agree, but they need to have much better and deeper ties.

So when he gets back from his trip, Secretary Kerry should start planning his next one, to Asia.”

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1303/03/fzgps.01.html

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On Thursday night’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw her name for consideration as potential Secretary of State. The sudden reversal is bound to cause a bit of turmoil in its wake in that there is no clear successor for the posting.

“Her potential nomination was given new prominence and new political heat,” said Maddow, “when Republican senators, led by John McGuess-Who decided that the political traction they could not get before the election in attacking the president for the Benghazi attack, they would try to get instead after the election by attacking Susan Rice for the Benghazi attack.”

Now that Rice has withdrawn, Maddow asked, where does that leave the president? After he so publicly “stuck his neck out” for her, it places him sharply at odds with the three Republican senators who opposed her nomination even before she was nominated. And if Obama nominates Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to fill the position, where does that leave the Senate?

Maddow was joined by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who said that it was perhaps inevitable that Rice’s name would be withdrawn in that not only was she opposed by people outside the administration, but that some key allies of the president were opposed to her nomination, as well.

Mitchell said that she thinks the administration has weighed the political costs of appearing to back down and believe that the Republicans will pay a higher price. “They have now opposed a woman,” Mitchell said, “a very qualified person, a person who went to Stanford, a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and a career diplomat and U.N. ambassador. A person who on paper is very well qualified.”

“So having opposed a woman, and a woman of color,” she continued, “given what they just experienced in this presidential election, I think the conclusion from the White House is that Republicans will pay a higher price.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/14/mitchell-to-maddow-gop-will-pay-a-higher-price-for-scuttling-rice-nomination-than-white-house/

 Note from Tim:  Don’t forget, Andrea Mitchell was one of the first to give credence to McCain’s theories about Rice and Benghazi

 

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Stewart “We begin tonight with the attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  It was a tragic situation where American lives were lost.  And in the three months since the attack, legitimate questions of adequate embassy security, America’s overall efficacy in fighting the war on terror, and the intricate dance twixt national security and the public’s right to know, have all been distilled down, thrown out, and replaced with this one urgent conclusion concerning current Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.”

Sen John McCain (R-AZ) 11-14-12 “I will do everything in my power to block her from being the United States Secretary of State.  She’s not qualified.”

Stewart “That’s Senator John McCain, continuing his seven year quest to negate every good thing he’d ever done prior to that.  This time leading the charge to preempt an, as of now, hypothetical Obama nomination for Secretary of State to replace Hillary Clinton.  Why?  Because five days after the Benghazi attacks, Susan Rice went on the Sunday talk shows and said this.”

Dr Susan Rice 9-16-12 “The best assessment we have today, is that, in fact, this was not a preplanned premeditated attack.  That what happened initially, was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo, as a consequence of the video. “

Stewart “We know that that’s wrong now.  And, we now know that many in the Obama administration knew immediately that that statement was wrong.  That the attacks were not angry film critics, but Al Qaeda, or one of Al Qaeda’s AA teams, the Ansar Al Sharia Mudhens.  So, Susan Rice met yesterday with Senators McCain, Graham and Ayotte to clear the air.  How’d that go?”

Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 11-27-12 “Ambassador Rice, I think, does not do justice to the reality at the time, and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong.”

McCain 11-27-12 “We are significantly troubled by many of the answers we got, and some that we didn’t get, concerning evidence that was overwhelming leading up to the attack on our consulate.”

Stewart “Here’s the deal.  They may be right.  Though, on the scale of public misstatements, Rice’s comments seem to fall towards the embarrassing evidence of institutional disorganization, end of the scale.”

 

            Washington Misstatement Meter

Feeding W-M-D info to the NY Times reporter

“I did not have sex with that woman, ________”

That tweet wasn’t my dong

Mistakenly referring to mistress as ‘biographer’

Polio?  No, I don’t have Polio!  I just enjoy sitting!

** Embarrassing evidence of institutional disorganization

Private admissions of hatred for half of country

Broken promise to quit smoking

 

Stewart continues “But, here’s the thing.  These two (Graham and McCain) don’t get to be the ones to self-righteously get angry about this.  They’re upset that she may have passed bad intel, wittingly or un, to the American people.  Remember these two from a decade ago?”

McCain 10-9-02 “Saddam Hussein continues to acquire, amass, and improve on his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.  He continues to acquire, attempt to acquire, a nuclear weapon.  These are all well known facts.”

Graham 12-19-01 “Let’s act now to get rid of a tyrant who’s abused and killed his own people, who’s procuring weapons of mass destruction, substantial evidence to that effect.”

Stewart “I remember all that from their hit blog, S#&t old guys who unnecessarily get us into wars say.  Of course, it’s probably not a one to one comparison.  Unfortunately, that’s not really, it’s not a one to one comparison, because while Susan Rice admitted to the error within weeks, these two still refuse to acknowledge that invading a country based on information from a source named Curveball, was actually considered to be a pretty (terrible) idea at the time.  If only we had a more direct comparison to make here.  Sort of a one to one.  Like another high ranking government official, passing what they knew at the time was misleading intelligence to the American public, on a Sunday news show, also in line to become Secretary of State, and was African American, and a woman, and let’s say, her name was also Rice.  That’d be something.”

Condoleeza Rice 9-8-02 “We do know that there have been shipments going into Iran, for instance, into Iraq, for instance of aluminum tubes that really are only suited to, high quality aluminum tubes that are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.”

Stewart “She knew that was BS at the time.  What would a John McCain or a Lindsey Graham say about a woman like that’s qualifications for Secretary of State?”

Graham 1-27-05 “To attack her personally is way over the line, because she is our face and voice to the world, and you’re not doing any American any good by sending her off with such labels.”

McCain 1-27-05 “But, I think it’s very clear that Condoleeza Rice is a person of integrity, and yes, I see this some lingering bitterness over a very tough campaign.  I hope it will dissipate soon.”

 

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-november-28-2012/legends-of-the-fault