Tags: Obama | Blesses | Kissinger

Obama Blesses Kissinger, Schultz Meeting

Sunday, 05 Apr 2009 08:52 PM

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):

1. Kissinger, Shultz Behind U.S.-Russian Arms Talks
2. Media Shun ‘Illegal Alien’ Designation
3. 100-Plus Scientists: Obama ‘Simply Incorrect’ on Global Warming
4. White House Staffers Prefer Foreign Cars
5. Arab Summit ‘Led Nowhere’
6. We Heard: Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Netanyahu, New York Times
 

1. Kissinger, Shultz Behind U.S.-Russian Arms Talks

A meeting in London between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ended with the announcement that the U.S. and Russia will seek to further reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons.

But Newsmax has learned that progress toward arms reduction was set in motion by a little-publicized meeting last month involving Russian strong man Valdmir Putin and the two American elder statesmen, Henry Kissinger and George Shultz.

Kissinger, who served as Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford, and Schultz, President Reagan’s Secretary of State, traveled to Moscow along with former Sen. Sam Nunn and former Defense Secretary William Perry.

They were acting as private citizens and not on an official visit, but Obama was using the statesmen to sound out the Russians on arm reduction.

A source revealed that Obama and Schulz spoke by telephone before the Russian meeting, and that Obama voiced his strong support for their nuclear initiative. Obama reportedly said the matter was a priority for his new administration, though economic issues were taking center stage for the moment.

Kissinger told the Los Angeles Times that after meeting with Putin he had found ample grounds for cooperation.

“I’m happy to report that the differences were not so remarkable and the agreements were considerable,” he said.

Kissinger, Shultz, Nunn and Perry made their views on arms reduction clear in an article that was published in The Wall Street Journal in January.

The four statesmen advocate “reversing reliance on nuclear weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.”

They argue that the end of the Cold War made the doctrine of mutual deterrence obsolete, but warn that the world is now “on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era” in which North Korea and Iran could become nuclear powers and terrorists might obtain nuclear weapons.

To deal with the threat, what is needed is “intensive work with leaders of the countries in possession of nuclear weapons to turn the goal of a world without nuclear weapons into a joint enterprise,” the Kissinger team wrote in the Journal.

“Such a joint enterprise, by involving changes in the disposition of the states possessing nuclear weapons, would lend additional weight to efforts already under way to avoid the emergence of a nuclear-armed North Korea and Iran.”

Among the steps the statesmen suggest are “continuing to reduce substantially the size of nuclear forces in all states that possess them.”

That is precisely what Obama and Medvedev discussed in London. In a statement released after their meeting, the two leaders announced talks aimed at replacing the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which is set to expire in December.

Obama accepted Medvedev’s invitation to visit Moscow in July to assess negotiators’ progress on arms reduction, which would give the U.S. Senate enough time to debate and approve a new treaty before the December expiration date.

Editor’s Note:



2. Media Shun ‘Illegal Alien’ Designation

Ingmar Guandique, recently charged in the 2001 slaying of Washington, D.C. intern Chandra Levy, is an illegal alien — a fact that has been widely ignored by much of the mainstream press.

“The designation of Guandique — who entered the U.S. illegally in 2000, was convicted of two nonfatal attacks on women and incarcerated — has reignited a debate over whether a person’s immigration status is relevant to the story,” conservative activist Howard Phillips writes in his Issues and Strategy Bulletin.

“Journalists also are debating whether the words ‘illegal’ and ‘immigrant’ are too loaded to use in an already emotionally charged story.”

Phillips — chairman of The Conservative Caucus, an advocacy group — notes that the National Association of Hispanic Journalists has campaigned against the use of the word “illegal” in copy and headlines, saying it “stereotypes” undocumented people.

But Brent Baker of the Media Research Center said: “Too many journalists don’t want to provide ammunition to those who want stricter immigration laws, so avoid connecting illegal immigrants to evidence which will bolster the argument that illegals cause harm.”

And John Solomon, executive editor of The Washington Times, has stated: “The suggestion that immigration status somehow is irrelevant or should be treated like race in a crime story seems flawed. Being white or black or Hispanic or Asian isn’t a crime. Entering the country illegally is.”

Phillips, who has run for president three times as the candidate of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, said The Washington Post referred to Guandique as a “Salvadoran day laborer,” ABC News called him an “incarcerated felon,” and CNN said he was a “jailed laborer.”

MSNBC called Guandique an “imprisoned Salvadoran immigrant,” CBS News and the Los Angeles Times said he was a “Salvadoran immigrant,” and The New York Times referred to him as a “suspect.”

The Washington Times, Time magazine and USA Today are among those that have called him an “illegal immigrant.”

Editor’s Note:



3. 100-Plus Scientists: Obama ‘Simply Incorrect’ on Global Warming

Over 100 prominent scientists from more than a dozen countries — including a Nobel Prize winner — have signed a letter to President Barack Obama charging that his views on climate change are “simply incorrect.”

The letter — sponsored by the Cato Institute — cites a statement Obama made in November: “Few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.”

Under the headline, “With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true,” the scientists state:

“We, the undersigned scientists, maintain that the case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated. Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now…

“The computer models forecasting rapid temperature change abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior. Mr. President, your characterization of the scientific facts regarding climate change and the degree of certainty informing the scientific debate is simply incorrect.”

The 115 signatories include Ivar Giaever, Ph.D., who shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1973 for his work with superconductors at General Electric; John Blaylock, formerly with the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Richard Lindzen, Ph.D., at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and William Gray, Ph.D., the respected hurricane expert at Colorado State University.

The signers include scientists at Princeton University, U.S. Naval Academy, University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma, University of Colorado, and University of Missouri.

Among the countries represented by the signers are Britain, Canada, Italy, Norway, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Argentina and South Africa.

A number of the scientists are current or former reviewers with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with climate change crusader Al Gore — and have since reversed their views on man-made global warming.

Editor’s Note:



4. White House Staffers Prefer Foreign Cars

President Barack Obama has taken steps to encourage Americans to buy more U.S.-made cars — but administration officials show a clear preference for vehicles from foreign-owned firms.

Obama said the government will guarantee warranties on any GM or Chrysler vehicles, and the IRS is notifying consumers who purchased cars after Feb. 16 that they can deduct the cost of any sales and excise taxes.

Yet Politico.com took a look at the vehicles on West Executive Drive, where White House staffers park, and found only five American cars out of 23 vehicles there.

As for several members of Obama’s presidential task force on the auto industry, The Detroit News reported:

  • Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner owns a 2008 Acura.
  • Larry Summers, Director of the White House’s National Economic Council, owns a 1995 Mazda.
  • Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, owns a 2008 Honda and a 2004 Volvo.
  • “Climate czar” Carol Browner doesn’t currently own a vehicle, but previously drove a 1999 Saab.
  • Vice President Joe Biden’s chief economist Jared Bernstein owns a 2005 Honda.
  • Obama’s economic adviser Austan Goolsbee owns a 2004 Toyota.

Editor’s Note:



5. Arab Summit ‘Led Nowhere’

If the recent Arab summit was intended to demonstrate solidarity within the 22-member Arab League, it was an utter failure — instead exposing deep rifts within the Arab world.

The summit in Qatar got off to a raucous start on Monday when Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi grabbed a microphone and insulted Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, calling him a “British product and American ally” — then stormed out of the gathering, according to The Associated Press.

Next, various factions got into a dispute over Iran. Egypt — whose leader Hosni Mubarak boycotted the summit — has expressed concern over Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and its effort to promote Shia Islam in predominately Sunni nations, and Morocco went so far as to sever diplomatic relations with Iran over that issue.

But Syria let it be known that it stands staunchly beside Iran, and the host of the summit, the Emir of Qatar, defended Iran’s position.

The envoy from Egypt proceeded to issue a veiled criticism of the Al Jazeera network, which the Emir owns, saying that Arab media should be more responsible and refrain from exacerbating differences of opinion between Arab states, according to the Jerusalem Post.

But by the end of the first day of the scheduled 2-day summit, “it had become clear to the participants that they were going nowhere. So profound were the differences of opinion that there was no point of going on and no hope of reaching a consensus,” the Post reported — so the second day of the summit was cancelled.

But the Arab leaders did form a united front on one issue — they expressed support for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court due to the genocide in his nation’s Darfur region.

A final statement read at the summit rejected an international arrest warrant issued against al-Bashir, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

“We reiterate our solidarity with Sudan and our rejection of the measures of the … International Criminal Court against his Excellency,” the communiqué read.

Zvi Mazel wrote in the Post: “Once again, an Arab summit led nowhere. [The leaders’] weakness and indecision was made all too evident in the early closure of the summit.”

Editor’s Note:



6. We Heard . . .

THAT people in more than 1,000 cities in over 80 countries observed Earth Hour 2009 on March 28, turning off lights in homes, offices and landmarks for 60 minutes to raise awareness about climate change.

The Hour began at 8:30 p.m. local time all around the world.

But when Drew Johnson, president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, drove past the Nashville mansion of global warming alarmist Al Gore, he found floodlights illuminating the driveway and lights on inside the house.

THAT President Barack Obama has signed a bill designating the birthplace of former President Bill Clinton as a National Historic Site.

Clinton’s boyhood home on Hervey St. in Hope, Ark., joins 32 other presidential historic sites maintained by the National Park Service, according to the Texarkana Gazette.

The house was built in 1917, but has been restored to the era when Clinton was living there, from 1946 through 1950. It is now owned by the Clinton Birthplace Foundation, which has operated the home as a museum.

THAT a newspaper in Israel is reporting that new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“Politicians in touch with Netanyahu say he has already made up his mind to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations,” the Haaretz newspaper reports.

Haaretz cited a statement Netanyahu made during the campaign: “I promise that if I am elected, Iran will not acquire nuclear arms, and this implies everything necessary to carry this out.”

THAT New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said The Times will be “left standing after the deluge” of newspapers shutting down or going Internet-only.

Speaking at Stanford University to mark the opening of a new building for the student newspaper, Keller also quipped that the event felt a bit like a “ribbon-cutting at a new Pontiac dealership.”


Editor’s Notes:

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