The British government’s announcement to open a dialogue with “the political wing of Hizballah” is most troubling. In a statement to a parliamentary committee, Bill Rammell, the British foreign office’s minister for Middle East affairs, rationalized the decision on the grounds of what his office perceives to be “more positive developments within Lebanon.”
Each and every week for the past twenty or so years I’ve sat down and knocked out one of these columns. Each week that goes by, I search for something new to write about. In all of these years I cannot think of a single thing that I’ve written about more than once or twice. I seem to do a lot about men and women, but that just seems natural to me.
COMMENT: What really riles me about these stories - and this began during Vietnam - is that the press gives us so few facts about the “anti-war” protesters. ANSWER is a Marxist organization. (Read that pro-Communist.) But, apparently, we’re not permitted to say it out loud, for that would be “McCarthyism.” No, it wouldn’t. It would be honest, accurate reporting.
President Obama addressed a message to the Iranian people and leadership calling on the regime to open a new page in the strained relationship. Tehran answered quickly that its expectations are to see Washington change its behavior. In comments made on Russia Today TV, I clarified that the Iranian regime expects the Obama Administration to take more steps including apologizing for so-called ‘past mistakes’. But the US Administration is on a different track, as far as we know. It is giving Ahmedinijad a chance to begin changing its own policies. While on the surface, we see a moment of rapprochement, the actual issues to discuss are still too tough to solve. Washington wants to engage Iran on the ground of stopping the military nuclear program and ceasing support to Hezbollah and Hamas, while Tehran considers these matters as a no-go area of concession.
Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, who remains locked in a contentious battle with challenger Al Franken for his Senate seat, struck a confident tone in an informal speech Friday evening to Jewish Republicans in Fort Lauderdale for the annual conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Senator Coleman seems to believe he’ll retain the seat.
The stock market has seen a 15% advance in a week. Make no mistake that it will retreat from that level because the traders are in control. These are the professional guys who buy a billion shares, get fifty cents a share and pocket 500 million. If all of that sounds foreign to you, it should. These are mutual fund managers, money managers, hedge fund guys, etc. They are not Joe and Jane Six Pack struggling to make the mortgage payment.
Most who read my columns expect a major serving of humor along with the political or societal critiques. Readers have come to expect that I will be able to find the laughs even in the most difficult and serious of issues. I am afraid they will be disappointed in this column.
President Obama now finds himself at the centre of a political correctness debate. During an appearance on the Jay Leno show (just what was he doing there???), the President made a joke about his bowling skills, stating that his most recent outing at the lanes was ”like the Special Olympics or something.”
If AIG had been left to fail–as it, GM and a raft of other “troubled” institutions should have been–there would have been no bonuses paid to its executives. Those receiving the bonuses would have had to line up for their money just like everyone else that was owed money–bondholders, suppliers, consultants and the rest. That’s why we have bankruptcy, but no, the politicians had to fiddle with it all, arrogant in their thinking that they could foresee all and run the business.
If a tree falls in the forest, and the media ignores it, does it make a noise? If a crisis happens-specifically, one that hurts the new president that reporters adore-and the media ignores it, is it a crisis?
Americans seem to be supporting President Obama’s efforts to extend health coverage to all U.S. citizens. Yet we can’t get rid of the penny. We are happy to let the government run the military, trust in its competence, content to place the lives of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, in its care. Yet running some banks is beyond federal abilities.
The Washington Times recently gave print space to William Walker, described as a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and former ambassador. But Walker is much more than that. In Kosovo, he remains a hands-on operative who has trained, and implemented the demands of, our terrorist ally the KLA — which as predicted now controls the Serbian province as its “legitimate” rulers. The piece (“A Separate Take from Serbia”, Feb. 24) was presented as a response to an op-ed by Serbian President Boris Tadic, when in fact it was an attempt by essentially a KLA apparatchik to recycle and reinforce the long disproved propaganda that conned us into becoming the KLA’s air force in the first place. Walker, like so many D.C. bureaucrats and lawmakers, is desperately trying to bury our blunder and seal our deal with the devil. Continue reading here.
This is National Friendship Week. Whatever that is. Anyway, someone who reportedly is a friend of mine sent this over to me to review. Since I have been out of town and somewhat short on time, it just seems to be the right thing to do and use this information, besides I think it fits my mood at this time. So here it goes:
I met the great actor Ron Silver years ago when I came to New York. From our first conversation, I knew I had found a friend for life. He was a man of extraordinary intelligence, a robust sense of humor, and unparalleled kindness, generosity, and a vibrance for life, even when that life began seeping away from him.
For a week now, newspapers have been filled with stories about insurance giant AIG wanting to pay out millions of dollars in bonuses to their top performing executives. Everyone’s upset — and rightly so — since taxpayers have bailed out the company and kept it alive. But what’s the answer? After all, bonuses are a good thing. It never hurts to give your best performers incentives for doing well — and the unit that got AIG in trouble was a relatively small division.
Following is a scholarly article titled “Syria’s Strategy in Lebanon” published in InfocusPolicy Review. Dr Phares summarizes the background of Syrian Baathist strategies in Lebanon over the decades, the Bush and Obama policies regarding Bashar Assad and its implications on the future of Lebanon. The footnoted version will appear later.
John Stewart took on Jim Kramer last night on “The Daily Show”, and evidently skewered him. While I applaud the taking down of Kramer as an “entertainer” and not a “journalist”, I think it is disingenuous for Stewart to suggest that Kramer is somehow America’s financial advisor. Stewart kept suggesting that he did not need Kramer to entertain him; that he needed Kramer to advise him. Well, then open a brokerage account with Jim Kramer.
Just two weeks after the Obama Pentagon crowed that the recent US-China military-to-military talks were practically the best ever, Beijing’s navy confronted a US ship operating in international waters in the South China Sea.