Resources updated between Monday, August 26, 2013 and Sunday, September 01, 2013
September 1, 2013
President Obama has turned to Congress to save him from staggering political isolation on the global stage. It is an isolation that is the inverse of the promise of a passionate and reciprocal multilateral embrace that carried him into office. Asking Republicans to rescue him from a foreign policy catastrophe entirely of his own making is not a neat political trick. It dramatically cheapens the office of commander-in-chief. Contrary to the President's devious portrayal, therefore, the coming vote is so much more than a response to "this attack" or "the massacre" in Syria. The President had the audacity to ask Congress about the message "we" will send if he does not go forward with his highly circumscribed attack on the Syrian regime. The real question is, what is the message he has already sent by his deed and his words, his paralysis and his verbal scam?
August 28, 2013
On August 26, 2013, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) issued a statement indicating that one of its staff members, a 34 year old father of four was "shot dead by Israeli forces." UNRWA went on to describe the deceased man as someone who was "on his way to work and was not engaged in any violent activity." On August 27, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) responded. They detailed how UNRWA failed to provide a context for the Israeli operation, did not approach any official Israeli official or sources for comment, and rushed its statement "to the press while the violent riots were still raging..." Oh yes, it turns out that at the time a mob of 1,500 Palestinians had been assaulting Israeli Defense Forces with stones and firebombs after the IDF arrested a terrorist suspect. UNRWA's rush to exploit its workers' death for political purposes is one more example of the UN's gross anti-Israel bias - notwithstanding Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's denial earlier this month to the contrary.
August 26, 2013
The Syrian problem threatens the very core of the Obama doctrine. Bashing President Bush for doing an end run around the U.N. Security Council over Iraq was Obama's nom de guerre. With Russia's leaders making it clear that they are not going to approve a Council resolution authorizing the use of force against Syria, how can the president act without appearing to be a hypocrite or a fraud? The answer is: he can't. The dilemma is multiplied many times over for President Obama, who has said umpteen times that the U.N. is the center of his universe. As the president told CNN: "If the U.S. goes in and attacks another country without a U.N. mandate and without clear evidence that can be presented, then there are questions in terms of whether international law supports it..." Lavrov couldn't agree more.