Archive for the ‘negotiations’ Category

U.S. Can’t Get It Right With Iran Without Learning The Language, Culture

April 14, 2009

A State Department investigation has found serious flaws in Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts for Iran, including charges of political bias and cronyism and a management that doesn’t understand Farsi, the language of Iran.

In a report completed last month, a copy of which was shared with The Washington Times, the department’s office of the inspector general concluded that none of the executive producers at the Persian News Network (PNN) speaks Farsi, also known as Persian, which means content is aired without high-level approval.

The Washington Times

“In part because of the language issue, managing editors report not to the executive producer of their show, but to a Persian-speaking senior executive editor,” the report said.

“This arrangement is the source of confusion and sometimes of conflict. Lacking the language of the programs they oversee, as well as a background in Iranian affairs, executive producers must rely on their managing editor to approve the shows’ content and resolve differences of opinion among staff,” it said.

Those differences often result in deep mistrust and “a perception of cronyism” among the staff, “the operation of cliques, and the hiring and rewarding of unqualified people,” which “creates ill will and can hamper the employee’s effectiveness in the workplace,” the report said.

The U.S. government has increased spending over the years – to $17 million in this year’s budget request – on broadcasting to Iran and considers it an important tool to influence Iranian public opinion about a variety of issues, from Iran’s nuclear program to abuses of human rights.

Similar concerns about PNN have been expressed by PNN employees and members of Congress in the past, but this is the first time the issue has been officially addressed by the State Department. The department has a seat on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees VOA.

Last year, Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, put a hold on the nomination of James Glassman, the BBG chairman who later became undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, over PNN’s mismanagement, which Mr. Coburn said allowed anti-American content to creep into broadcasts.

The State Department inspection of PNN’s radio and television programs, which took place between October and December, also found fundamental misunderstanding by employees of PNN’s mission.

“While everyone involved with the operation is cognizant of the importance of VOA broadcasting to Iran, some of those who work in PNN appear to lack a clear understanding of the mission of PNN and the centrality of the VOA charter to their work, underscoring the need for additional training,” the report said.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2
009/apr/14/bias-found-in-voa-bro
adcasts-to-iran/

Understanding Obama: Big Talk, No Action on North Korea and Iran; No Talk, Kills Pirates

April 14, 2009

If you are having trouble reading Barack Obama, think how Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao,  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Kim Jong-il of North Korea must feel.

The President of the United States was uncharicteristically silent during the Somali pirate hostage crisis: then he did what few would have predicted.  He executed two three Somali youths to free one American.

But at the same time he has made a lot of noise and speeches about North korea and Iran and backed but all that talk with no action whatsoever.  What is a dictator to think?

 

A central reporting convention commemorating the late state founder and “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung’s 97th birthday was held in Pyongyang, North Korea on Tuesday.  KCNA, via Reuters

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During the tense days when ship captain Richard Phillips was held hostage by Somali pirates, President Obama wisely kept his mouth shut, letting operational people do what needed to be done.

Much less wise was his declaration the weekend before that, “Should North Korea decide to take this action [launch a long-range rocket], we will work with all interested partners in the international community to take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that they cannot threaten the safety and stability of other countries with impunity.” The action? None. We did not let the Japanese shoot down the rocket when it passed through their airspace. Predictably, the United Nations Security Council has done nothing either. Lesson: Don’t huff and puff unless you intend to blow the house down.

Read the rest:
http://spectator.org/archives/2009
/04/14/when-silence-was-golden-for-ob

Related:
Obama First President Ever To Shoot Three Juveniles in Head During “Negotiation”

 While We Watched Somalia, North Korea and Iran Moved Further Away From Nuclear Talks

While We Watched Somalia, North Korea and Iran Moved Further Away From Nuclear Talks

April 14, 2009

Lets not be politicically correct: on Easter Sunday the President of the United States executed three men while he was “negotiating” with them.

We applaud the freedom of Captain Phillips but don’t want to overlook a few facts: the Somali pirates have rarely hurt anyone and have never to our knowledge killed one person.

They want money and when the heat of warships arrives on the scene they have always removed themselves to other areas of the Somalie Coast, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

The Somali pirates are lawless thugs: but they are also under age by U.S. legal standards; if that matters to anyone.  The pirate now in U.S. custody is believed to be between the ages of 14 and 16.

So we won’t hire a band to celebrate the Easter killing of three pirates mid-negotiation; even though we agree the freedom of Captain Philillips is a terrific thing….

So while much of the world was focued upon the Somali Shoot Down; what else was going on?

North Korea said it was pulling out of nuclear talks and the U.S. apparently agreed to allow Iran to keep its nuclear program going….
.
North Korea says it will quit talks aimed at disarming the country of nuclear weapons.

This comes as no surprise as North Korea has for years delayed, slowed and blocked the international efforts to stop its nuclear program.

Last week North Korea tested a long range ballistic missile.  The United Nations responded with a diplomatic rebuke that North Korea has now shrugged off.

North Korea carried out an underground nuclear test in 2006.

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/04/14/nkorea.talks/index.html

Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090414/ap
_on_re_as/as_nkorea_missile;_ylt=AoREe
.EMCb3FLy1elccoqb2s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMT
JpOTR1anY5BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwND
E0L2FzX25rb3JlYV9taXNzaWxlBGNwb3M
DMgRwb3MDNgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0
b3J5BHNsawNua29yZWFzYXlzd2k

***********************

North Korea ignoring the United Nations demonstrates that the communiststate may be on a similar path as Irar.  Iran has a long range, decades old missile program and has discussed its nuclear ambitions often.  Western intelligence sources have confirmed a long scientific and technical relationship between North Korea and Iran.

With the Western world focused on Somali pirates and the U.S. negotiation with those pirates breaking down into sniper killings, it is no wonder that North Korea is moving away from the negotiation table….

The New York Times reported on April 13 that European allies have persuaded to U.S. to back away from demands that Iran shut down and open up its nuclear program.

By dropping a longstanding American insistence that Tehran rapidly shut down nuclear facilities during the early phases of negotiations over its atomic program, the allies hope a renewed negotiation can begin with Iran….


North Korea’s Kim Jong-il is ill and may have suffered a stroke but he is still apparently in charge in North Korea

Related:
https://johnltdo5455.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/oba
ma-first-president-ever-to-shoot-three-in-hea
d-during-%e2%80%9cnegotiation%e2%80%9d/

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/1
4/world/middleeast/14diplo.html?_r=1

Related:
Obama First President Ever To Shoot Three Juveniles in Head During “Negotiation”

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The Washington Times Reported on the DHS Document this way:

The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity,” saying the economic recession, the election of America’s first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias.

A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority.

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the warning says.

The White House has distanced itself from the analysis. When asked for comment on its contents, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said, “The President is focused not on politics but rather taking the steps necessary to protect all Americans from the threat of violence and terrorism regardless of its origins. He also believes those who serve represent the best of this country, and he will continue to ensure that our veterans receive the respect and benefits they have earned.”

The nine-page document was sent to police and ….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/new
s/2009/apr/14/federal-agency-warn
s-of-radicals-on-right/

Hot Air:
http://hotair.com/archives/200
9/04/14/kim-throws-a-tantrum/

Undeterred Somali pirates hijack 3 more ships

April 14, 2009

Undeterred by U.S. and French hostage rescues that killed seven bandits, Somali pirates brazenly hijacked three more ships in the Gulf of Aden, the key waterway that’s become the focal point of the world’s fight against piracy.

The M.V. Irene E.M. was hijacked early Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear where the ship is based or who owns it, two maritime security contractors said, speaking on condition of anonymity because it is a sensitive security issue.

From the Associated Press

The ship put out a distress signal shortly after midnight “to say they had a suspicious vessel approaching. That rapidly turned into an attack and then a hijacking,” one of the contractors told The Associated Press. “They tried to call in support on the emergency channels, but they never got any response.”

On Monday, Somali pirates also seized two Egyptian fishing boats in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia’s northern coast, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry. It cited a Somali diplomat in Cairo as saying there were 18 to 24 Egyptians onboard at the time.

A picture released by the French army off the Somalian coast ... 
A picture released by the French army off the Somalian coast shows pirates and hostages on the boat, the Tanit, that was seized by Somali pirates on April 4. French commandos Friday stormed the yacht in an operation that left one French hostage and two gunmen dead.(AFP/Ecpad)

The latest seizures come after Navy SEAL snipers rescued American ship captain Richard Phillips on Sunday by killing three young pirates who held him captive in a drifting lifeboat for five days. A fourth pirate surrendered after seeking medical attention for a wound he received in trying to take over Phillips’ vessel, the Maersk Alabama.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009041
4/ap_on_re_af/piracy

Related:
Obama First President Ever To Shoot Three Juveniles in Head During “Negotiation”

No Surprise: North Korea Pulls Out of Nuke Talks; Europe Reduces Demands on Iran’s Nuclear Progam

April 14, 2009

North Korea says it will quit talks aimed at disarming the country of nuclear weapons.

This comes as no surprise as North Korea has for years delayed, slowed and blocked the international efforts to stop its nuclear program.

Last week North Korea tested a long range ballistic missile.  The United Nations responded with a diplomatic rebuke that North Korea has now shrugged off.

North Korea carried out an underground nuclear test in 2006.

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/04/14/nkorea.talks/index.html

Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090414/ap
_on_re_as/as_nkorea_missile;_ylt=AoREe
.EMCb3FLy1elccoqb2s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMT
JpOTR1anY5BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkwND
E0L2FzX25rb3JlYV9taXNzaWxlBGNwb3M
DMgRwb3MDNgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0
b3J5BHNsawNua29yZWFzYXlzd2k

***********************

North Korea ignoring the United Nations demonstrates that the communist state may be on a similar path as Irar.  Iran has a long range, decades old missile program and has discussed its nuclear ambitions often.  Western intelligence sources have confirmed a long scientific and technical relationship between North Korea and Iran.

With the Western world focused on Somali pirates and the U.S. negotiation with those pirates breaking down into sniper killings, it is no wonder that North Korea is moving away from the negotiation table….

The New York Times reported on April 13 that European allies have persuaded to U.S. to back away from demands that Iran shut down and open up its nuclear program.

By dropping a longstanding American insistence that Tehran rapidly shut down nuclear facilities during the early phases of negotiations over its atomic program, the allies hope a renewed negotiation can begin with Iran….


North Korea’s Kim Jong-il is ill and may have suffered a stroke but he is still apparently in charge in North Korea

Related:
https://johnltdo5455.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/oba
ma-first-president-ever-to-shoot-three-in-hea
d-during-%e2%80%9cnegotiation%e2%80%9d/

New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/1
4/world/middleeast/14diplo.html?_r=1

Obama Adopts Bush Secrecy Rules; Shocks Left That Believed He Had Denounced Bush Practices, War Powers

April 13, 2009

You can’t say terrorist or terrorism in the Obama Administration.  And Gitmo will be closed.  And Obama will rid the nation of Bush’s evil secrecy rules.  That was while Obama was camapaigning to BECOME president.  Now that he is president, well……

Gitmo is still open.  There is talk that the really bad guys will be moved to another undisclosed U.S. overseas base.  Terrorism still exists.  And, well, thase dang Bush secrecy rules are here to stay in the Obama Administration…..

************

From Salon

In the last week alone, the Obama DOJ (a) attempted to shield Bush’s illegal spying programs from judicial review by (yet again) invoking the very “state secrets” argument that Democrats spent years condemning and by inventing a brand new “sovereign immunity” claim that not even the Bush administration espoused, and (b) argued that individuals abducted outside of Afghanistan by the U.S. and then “rendered” to and imprisoned in Bagram have no rights of any kind — not even to have a hearing to contest the accusations against them — even if they are not Afghans and were captured far away from any “battlefield.”  These were merely the latest — and among the most disturbing — in a string of episodes in which the Obama administration has explicitly claimed to possess the very presidential powers that Bush critics spent years condemning as radical, lawless and authoritarian.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for honest Obama supporters to dismiss away or even minimize these criticisms and, especially, to malign the motives of critics.  After all, the Obama DOJ’s embrace of many (though by no means all) of the most radical and extremist Bush/Cheney positions — and the contradictions between Obama’s campaign claims and his actions as President — are now so glaring and severe that the harshest denunciations of Obama’s actions are coming from those who, during the Bush years, were held up by liberals and by Obama supporters as the most trustworthy and praiseworthy authorities on these matters.  

From Salon:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/
2009/04/13/obama/index.html?source=
rss&aim=/opinion/greenwald

Obama First President Ever To Shoot Three Juveniles in Head During “Negotiation”

April 13, 2009

Pardon me for wondering what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran and Kim Jong-il of North Korea are thinking tonight.  Both have been offered an opportunity to “negotiate” with the United States and therefore its new President, Barack Obama.

Obama has made a lot of talk about negotiating and even made a special video for Iran during the Persian New Year.

But the Obama record of international negotiation is now this: three dead by head shot and one saved by a ruse.  He’ll maybe go on trial because, well, Gitmo is closing and Eric Holder wants to host a trial.

Except he’s a juvenile; which makes where to hold the trial problematic in the extreme….

Many in my business get paid for determining “how the other guys might see this.”

While we at Peace and Freedom applaud the U.S. Navy for their work in freeing Captain Phillips; we don’t wonder at all what people are thinking in Iran and North Korea.  They now know what Republicans already learned.  Obama won.  Negotiations won’t be simple and easy.  And you may get it in the head. Or elsewhere…..


At the top of the U.S. government we have this guy, Rahm “Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste” Emanuel.  He probably predicted what the “head shots” would mean to the Obama legacy….

Read Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/20
09/04/13/sign-of-the-day/

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The fact that American “lawmakers” are busy passing bills that they haven’t read seems to go hand in glove with a White House that hasn’t thought through the implications of many things.  The Obama Bow to the Saudi King smacks of obeisance; defined as “bending the head or body or knee as a sign of reverence or submission or shame;” or “the act of obeying; dutiful or submissive behavior with respect to another person.”
The President of the United States Barack Obama greets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

The President of the United States Barack Obama greets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Photo: Getty Images

Is this what the White House wanted?  It is what they got.

The Brit Prime Minister got movies on CD from the President of the United States: not a very symbolic gift.  One was “Star Wars.”  And nobody in the White House even checked to see if these CDs can be watched in the UK (they use different digital formatting: the CDs given by Obama are “blank” on UK machines).

Don’t forget, many Presidents of the United States do their work in the Oval Office on the “Resolute Desk” which is made from the timbers of a Royal Navy Warship.  That’s symbolism.

JFK Jr. under Resolute desk while his father was working

JFK among otheres used the “Resolute Desk” — a gift from the UK.  Obama returned one gift from the UK already this year: A statue of Sir Winston Churchill.  What does returning this mean?  Ask the White House staff.

The president gave the Queen of England an IPod — made in China.

The Secretary of State in this Obama Administration gave her Russian counterpart a giant red button which was supposed to be marked “reset.”  But the word was not spelled correctly or was just flat out the wrong word.  Besides:  to most Russians a giant red button is for launching nuclear weapons…..

So what are we resetting to with Russia?  Ask Joe Biden: it was his idea apparently to make the ‘reset” button.  Joe “Advisor to Many Presidents” Biden should have asked the staff to discuss with him how Vladimir Putin might reset — back to his KGB roots?

The point here is this: our president and his merry men seem unaware or too stupid to know that actions, even small ones, on the international stage, have meaning……
Was it Joe Biden, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton that thought it was a good idea to encourage Russia to just hit the “reset” button?  Well, whoever…..

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian.
Coffrini/Getty

Related:
Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

Let’s Talk: Pirate Episode Hurt Obama’s Negotiating Cred

Somali Pirates Were Juveniles
http://www.breitbart.com/article.ph
p?id=D97HQFGO1&show_article=1

Somali Pirates Now Vow To Kill U.S., French
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WOR
LD/africa/04/13/somalia.pirates.re
venge/index.html