Obama, the enabler


Picture of Rudy Giuliani

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Rudy Giuliani, Tom Ridge, former White House adviser Frances Townsend and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, flew to Paris to speak in support of an Iranian exile group there — one that’s been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and that very act of appearing before such a group is a felony under US law.  What’s amazing is Mukasey and Ridge, former Bush appointees in high cabinet level posts should have known that yet completely disregarded the illegality of their act.  That it is illegal is clearly established by the US Departments of State and Justice and material support has been even more narrowly defined to include ‘not only cash and other tangible aid, but also speech coordinated with a “foreign terrorist organization” for its benefit’. A former presidential candidate, and secretaries of Homeland Security and Justice Department took a trip to Paris to address an organization on the US Dept of State’s terrorist list, and in doing so committed a felony and you don’t think for a minute they didn’t have the approval of the current administration?  How can one account for the fact that these individuals have not been indicted for clear criminal behavior were they not acting on behalf of the Obama Administration?  Once again, we have the spectre of a US administration walking back on laws it has either signed on or weighed in in a manner reminiscent of the Bush administration with the result that it could have deleterious effects on American interests before the international court of opinion.

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The two faces of American policy


The more the Obama Administration takes its journey into  American history, the more it should be apparent that the President is a figurehead to corporate interests which have just as big a role in shaping American policy as the office holder.  That was made apparent earlier this week when Microsoft decided to block access of its popular software Messenger to Sudan, Iran, Cuba, Syria and North Korea.  When the news was first announced, everyone asked why these countries and why now?  Of course the logic goes they are state sponsors of terrorism, and it’s true they are recognized as such, but it’s equally true they have been so designated for over a decade and all during that time their citizens were able to use the Microsoft product, so why now?

To this observer the reason is because corporate interests do not want to see a rapprochement between the US and these countries and because Obama started his administration talking that way, this is the business world’s way of nixing any such peace deals.  The president has been cut off at the knees by those interests who would rather see a continuation of hostility between America and these countries and there is no better way to promote that than to deny them a product they had been accustomed too at a time when they are trying to restore normal relations with the corporate headquarters of said business.

Sudan, in a report released in April, 2009  has been proclaimed by the State Department as taking  significant steps towards better counter terrorism cooperation with America.  The report went on to say

During the past year, the Sudanese government continued to pursue terrorist operations directly involving threats to U.S. interests and personnel in Sudan. Sudanese officials have indicated that they view their continued cooperation with the United States as important and recognize the benefits of U.S. training and information-sharing.

What better way to sabotage such cooperation than to undermine it with a business boycott few would say Sudan deserves.

Obama has made major outreach proposals to Iran, while America’s petulant and strident ally, Israel, has threatened that country at every turn.  Despite the saber rattling, even as recently as this week, Iranian president Ahmedinajad in one of his strongest declarations to date against nuclear weapons said, the prospect of acquiring nuclear weapons ‘is politically retarded’ and not in his nation’s interest.  This coming on the heels of another attempt by Israel to get international pressure to bear on Iran after floating a story that several South American countries are supplying Iran with uranium to make the bomb.  Nevermind that both countries denied the accusation, once made it sticks and is difficult to remove, much like the WMD claim that still resonates with some even today.  This all happens at a time, however, when Israel is coming under increasing pressure from the Clinton led State Department, and by extension the Obama administration, to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, something that has not been a part of American policy as it relates to Israel, before now.

We are all aware how the Obama administration has pledged to allow more open and free travel between America and Cuba, another thaw in an otherwise cold, and hostile relationship.  It is probably accurate to say that Cuban leadership will undergo a drastic change in the next several years, with the Castro brothers getting older by the day, and that change is apparent and tangible.  Yet despite the thaw, a corporate entity inserting itself between two countries, nay, five with a decision that is not only ill-timed but suspect will have a negative impact on the direction a sitting administration is trying to take.

It’s a dangerous yet calculated game Microsoft is playing with this decision because it upsets a delicate balance the official policy arm of America, a politically elected administration, is trying to make.  One could even question whether such a move on the part of Microsoft is even in its best interests; allowing the countries affected to seek IT solutions with Microsoft competitors.  One thing it does show is how interests beyond the government can insert themselves in a way that affect positively or negatively the interests of countries worldwide.

The seductive Tzipi Livni- NOT!


livniIsraeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni is coming to Washington, DC ostensibly to talk to members of the Bush administration about Gaza, but that’s obviously a  lie, since there is now no longer a Bush administration.  Rather what she’s coming to do is to read the Obama administration the riot act, using the carrot and stick approach.

The Israelis would probably like to have a little more time destroying the infrastructure of Gaza and Egypt as well as make a case for their more ambitious goals for the Middle East, but they want to see if Obama is “down with the program” so she’s coming to test the waters and see what she finds.  On the eve of the inauguration, she’ll probably find indifferent Bush people who wanna’ get the hell out of town, and inebriated Obama people who are ready to paaaaaarrrrtyyyyyyy, except the loyalists to her cause who are always alert to every opportunity and available to undermine US interests for Israeli interests.

She probably is also coming to smooth out the Olmert-Rice rift which is still going on.  Rice has said Olmert’s account of being able to manipulate Bush to essentially embarrass her is fictional while for his part, Olmert hasn’t backed down from what he’s reported to have said, that Rice was shamed into her abstention vote at the UN.  That’s certainly the mood  he meant to convey to his Israeli audience, that he has the power to get whatever he wants from his American client state.  However, Livni is the “good” cop in the power politics taking place between the two countries so she’s coming to make nice with Rice before she leaves so Rice won’t  make problems for the Israeli  “program” further down the road.

Livni is a former Mossad operative so she’ll brief them about what she finds in the Obama crowd that Israel can exploit to further their plans.  She’s packaged nicely, a far cry from the frumpy Golda Meir, but equally as deadly and dangerous.  ‘All that glitters ain’t gold’ and Livni is no exception to that rule.   The timing of her visit to Washington to this observer is far more foreshadowing and ominous than it appears.