Obama's Own Defense Secretaries Criticize Him on Syria

Sunday, 22 Sep 2013 01:12 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Former Defense Secretaries Scold Obama on Syria
2. America's Richest Reach Highest Value Ever
3. Islamic Bloc Wants Permanent Seat on Security Council
4. Fracking Boom Raising Americans' Income
5. White House Petition: Give Obama's Peace Prize to Putin
6. Single Moms Comprise One-Fourth of U.S. Households
 

1. Former Defense Secretaries Scold Obama on Syria

Two former defense secretaries who served under President Barack Obama have leveled surprisingly harsh criticism at the administration's handling of the Syrian crisis.

Robert Gates and Leon Panetta appeared jointly at a forum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on Tuesday, and criticized Obama for asking Congress to authorize military force in response to a chemical weapons attack the United States blames on Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

Gates said Obama's proposed attack was a mistake, while Panetta asserted it was a mistake not to go forward with a strike on Syria, The New York Times reported.

Gates, who served under George Bush and remained in office under Obama until July 2011, said: "My bottom line is that I believe that to blow a bunch of stuff up over a couple of days, to underscore or validate a point or a principle, is not a strategy.

"If we launch a military attack, in the eyes of a lot of people we become the villain instead of Assad."

Panetta, who replaced Gates and left office in February, said Obama should have followed through on his pledge to act if Syria used chemical weapons: "When the president of the United States draws a red line, the credibility of this country is dependent on him backing up his word."

Panetta said it was wrong to "subcontract" the decision to Congress, stating that the president "has to retain the responsibility and the authority on this issue."

Gates agreed it was wrong to seek authorization from Congress, because if Congress rebuffed him "it would weaken him. It would weaken us in the eyes of our allies, as well as our adversaries around the world."

Gates also said he is skeptical about Russian President Vladimir Putin's efforts to work out a deal with Syria to remove its chemical weapons, and about Syria's intentions to disarm.

Russia insists that rebels carried out the chemical weapons attack, which the United States says killed more than 1,400 people. But the advocacy group Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday that rocket trajectories detailed in a United Nations report suggested the poison gas shells had been fired from a base belonging to the Republican Guard, run by Assad's brother Maher.

Asked if the West should trust Putin, Gates said: "Are you kidding me?"

Editor's Note:



2. America's Richest Reach Highest Value Ever

Forbes' new list of the 400 wealthiest Americans shows the super-rich group has a combined net worth of $2.02 trillion, up from $1.7 trillion a year ago and the highest combined value ever.

Their net worth is more than double what the top 400 had in assets a decade ago, and is about equal to the GDP of Russia.

Forbes attributed the increase in wealth to strong stock and real estate markets.

"Five years after the financial crisis sent fortunes of many in the U.S. and around the world tumbling, the wealthiest as a group have finally gained back all that they lost," Forbes stated.

The average net worth of list members is $5 billion, also a new record.

The new Forbes list comes amid reports that the income gap between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the rest of the country last year reached its widest point since 1927. The top 1 percent collected 19.3 percent of household income, including wages, pension payments, dividends, and capital gains, and the top 10 percent earned a record 48.2 percent of total earnings.

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates remains America's richest individual, taking the top spot on the Forbes list for the 20th straight year with $72 billion and reclaiming the top spot on the list of the world's richest people from Mexico's Carlos Slim.

Investor Warren Buffett is again No. 2, with $58.5 billion, up $12.5 billion from last year.

Next is Oracle Corporation co-founder Larry Ellison with $41 billion, followed by industrialists Charles Koch and David Koch, each with $36 billion. The next four spots go to members of the Walton family, who share the Wal-Mart fortune. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is No. 10, with $31 billion.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is No. 11 with $28.5 billion, followed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, who recently bought the Washington Post. He is worth $27.2 billion.

The "poorest" members of the 400 are 15 individuals each worth $1.3 billion. The bar for making the list is now so high that 61 American billionaires didn't make the cut.

Editor's Note:



3. Islamic Bloc Wants Permanent Seat on Security Council

The Islamic world should be granted permanent member status on the United Nations Security Council, according to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's secretary-general.

At a recent speech in Moscow, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu asserted that the 57-member OIC, the largest international organization outside the U.N., deserves "a new position."

"I think there should be a seat for OIC in the Security Council," he said. "If you look to the structure of the Council today, you have the [five permanent members] and there are representatives of different civilizations, different cultures, political powers.

"But you won't find a representative of more than 1.6 billion people of the Muslin world."

Ihsanoglu referred to a Pew Research Center report forecasting that the Muslim population of the world will reach 2.2 billion by 2030 and comprise 26.4 percent of the projected global population.

The Council now has five permanent members with veto power — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France — and 10 non-permanent members serving two-year terms.

The existing permanent members have been unwilling to extend veto power to any other nations, CNS News reported.

The countries viewed as the strongest contenders for permanent status are India, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and South Africa. No single Islamic country has been viewed as a likely addition to that group.

Ihsanoglu's proposal would allow countries within the OIC to rotate as permanent council members.

The OIC was founded in 1969 and its secretariat is based in Saudi Arabia. Its official languages are Arabic, English, and French.

The organization states that it is "the collective voice of the Muslim world" and works to "safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony."

Editor's Note:



4. White House Petition: Give Obama's Peace Prize to Putin

A new "We the People" petition posted on the White House website calls on President Barack Obama to give his Nobel Peace Prize to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The petition states: "Whereas Mr. Obama made a sincere commitment to starting a war with Syria, engaging our military in unwanted conflict, and doing so without the support of the people, we resolve that Mr. Obama should deliver the Nobel Peace Prize given to him in 2009 to a man of peace, the president of Russia, Mr. Putin.

"Whereas Mr. Putin enabled the United States to avoid an unwanted and unwarranted military action, he has brought us to the 'brink' of peace."

The petition lauds Putin for his efforts to broker a deal requiring Syria to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons.

The White House promises to respond to any petition on its site that collects 100,000 signatures within 30 days.

After eight days on the White House site, the Peace Prize petition had collected nearly 2,500 signatures.

When the website was launched in September 2011, just 5,000 signatures were needed for a White House response. That threshold was raised to 25,000 last year, and to 100,000 in January.

A petition asking the Obama administration to pardon former National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden garnered more than 100,000 signatures in two weeks. That petition calls Snowden a "national hero" for "blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs."

Obama was awarded the Peace Prize in 2009, less than a year after his election, for what the Norwegian Nobel Committee called "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.

"Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts."

Editor's Note:



5. Fracking Boom Raising Americans' Income

The revolution in oil and gas drilling technology resulting from hydraulic fracturing is benefiting not only the energy industry, but every American household.

Oil and natural gas production in the United States is surging thanks to fracking, a drilling technique that frees trapped hydrocarbons by injecting water, sand, and chemicals into shale rock.

In 2012, the energy boom supported 2.1 million jobs, added nearly $75 billion to federal and state revenues, contributed $283 billion to the GDP, and raised household income by more than $1,200, according to a report from CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates), a subsidiary of IHS (Information Handling Services).

The competitive advantage for American manufacturers due to lower fuel prices will boost industrial production by 3.5 percent by the end of the decade, disclosed the report cited by Bloomberg Businessweek.

"What really surprised me was how powerful an impact it is having to such a broad base of the economy," said John Larson, vice president of economic and public sector consulting for IHS CERA and the lead author of the report.

The energy boom is expected to increase employment throughout the economy, Larson said. By 2020, jobs that can be attributed to higher oil and gas production will reach 3.3 million, the report stated.

Lower energy prices will result in a rise in disposable income, adding $2,700 per household in 2020 and over $3,500 in 2025.

But several factors could restrict oil and gas production in the future, Businessweek notes, including an extension of fracking bans such as the one in New York or stricter environmental regulations. Larson said those factors would result in a rapid decline in the economic benefits.

Editor's Note:



6. Single Moms Comprise One-Fourth of U.S. Households

Single parents have more than tripled as a share of American households since 1960 — and single moms now account for one-quarter of all U.S. households.

That statistic has serious economic implications for the nation, because households headed by a single mom earn significantly less than households with married mothers.

According to the Pew Center, households with married mothers earned a median income of $80,000 in 2011, almost four times more than families led by a single mother.

An analysis by The Atlantic — which calls the rise of single parenthood "alarming" — found that just 60 percent of single moms are in full-time jobs, compared to more than 80 percent of mothers with spouses.

One reason: Paying for childcare can be expensive, diminishing the incentives to work. That's why single mothers who live near their mothers and can presumably count on them to help care for their children are far more likely to be in the labor force than mothers who do not live close.

"Most strikingly, our data suggest that the presence or absence of children might be the single biggest factor explaining income differences" between single and married women, The Atlantic observed.

For single and married women without children, the difference in average income last year was just $857. The difference between single and married mothers was nearly $19,000.

There is also a large difference for single and married fathers. Single dads now make up 6 percent of U.S. households.

"The rise of single parenting, particularly single mothers, represents both a promise and a problem," The Atlantic concludes.

"If this is the path forward for society, we need to do all that we can to ensure that for these families single parenting is in fact a dream, and not the enormous challenge that it is today."

Note: Newsmax magazine is now available on the iPad. Find us in the App Store.

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Americans Receive $2 Trillion in Benefits; Schools Opt Out of Lunch Program; United Rated Worst US Airline

Sunday, 17 Aug 2014 15:05 PM

 . . .

Death Valley Sets Coolness Record; 1 in 5 Blame Israel, Not Hamas;

Sunday, 10 Aug 2014 15:46 PM

Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Americans Face a 'Retirement Security Crisis'
2. New  . . .

Trump 'Unlikely' to Get Buffalo Bills; Laura Ingraham Mulling Political Run; Detroit Rail Slammed as 'Boondoggle'

Sunday, 03 Aug 2014 14:58 PM

Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Obama in 2007: Iraq's Christians Need 'Urgent' US Response . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved