S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Foreign Policy - front and center

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showed up for her first day on the job in Foggy Bottom. She made a big hit with her flock. Her boss, Barack Obama - the POTUS, and the new Veep, Joe Biden, are not taking very long to come and check up on her. They are visiting to the State Department this afternoon. Their second day on their jobs focuses of Diplomacy and Development, not Defense. Like all of the brand new administration's initial acts, it makes a statement about priorities.

The Constitution is being dusted off . Gitmo is going to close within a year; it began yesterday with an executive order and the suspension of trials. International crises will be seen through different eyes from now on. (HT to CQ Behind the Lines). Memeorandum headlines that President Obama is also going to shut down the CIA prisons, known as "black sites."

The military will be making adjustments to its new Commander In Chief. The Army is reviewing its weapons systems. President Obama is also having to adjust -- rapidly, to the foreign policy issues on the U.S. front burner, Gaza, for example. But his team is beginning to take hold of the reins of government. And just in time, it is:

********** Middle East & Military Round-up **********

Israel --

Buzz Flash: "Doctor's raw pain shakes Israelis*"(1/21/09)

Buzz Flash: "Israel wanted a humanitarian crisis*" (1/20/09)

Common Dreams: "Israeli FM confronted at National Press Club*" (1/19/09)

Buzz Flash: "Israel to keep tight grip on Gaza reconstruction*" (1/19/09)

Think Progress: "Israel prepares post-war battle for public opinion*" (1/18/09)

Informed Comment: " Israel Should Stop the War and Let US Enjoy the Inauguration*" (1/17/09)

Alternet: "Why Did Congress Shamelessly Pander to Israel?*"(1/17/09)

truthdig: "Who's in Charge -- Obama, the Pentagon or Israel?*" (1/15/09)

Gaza --

Informed Comment: "They even killed the cats*" (1/20/09)

Buzz Flash: "Gaza Hospital, Tons of Food, Medicine Set Ablaze*" (1/16/09)

truthout: "Israeli Forces Shell UN Headquarters in Gaza*" (1/15/09)

Iraq and Iran --

Yahoo! News: "Iraqi guards said to throw party for shoe-thrower*" (1/16/09)
Washington Post:
"Iran Using Fronts to Get Bomb Parts From U.S.#" (1/11/09) To quote:

Despite multiple attempts by the Bush administration to halt illegal imports -- including sanctions against several Dubai-based Iranian front companies in 2006 -- the technology pipeline to Tehran is flowing at an even faster pace. In some cases, Iran simply opened new front companies and shifted its operations from Dubai to farther east in Asia, the officials said.

More on the Military --

Buzz Flash: "How to Sell 'Ethical Warfare' *" (1/18/09)

truthout: " 'War on Terror' Was Wrong*" (1/15/09)

truthout: "Future Shock at the Army Science Conference: Eco-Explosives, a Bleeding BEAR, and the Armani-Clad Super Soldier*" (1/15/09)

Memeorandum: "Top Officer Urges Limit on Mission of Military" from NYT's Thom Shanker. (1/13/09)

BuzzFlash: "Army Suicides Rise as Time Spent in Combat Rises*" (1/12/09)

ProPublica: "Quick Picks -- Friendly Fire . . . " (1/15/09) To quote:

Today, Salon questions the Army’s statistics on friendly fire deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army cites improved technology to explain the shockingly low rate compared to other wars, but an extensive Salon investigation earlier this year suggests an Army cover-up. Army responds See Army spokesman John P. Boyce, Jr.'s response to ProPublica here.

Hat Tip Key: Regular contributors of links to leads are "betmo*" and Jon#.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.

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