Sunday, January 22, 2017

Secretary of State

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The American Jewish Committee, a non-profit group with income topping $73 million a year that works to “enhance the well-being of Jewish people” weighed in on President-Elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.

While the group praised Tillerson’s indisputable business acumen, they expressed reservation with the pick due to what they don’t know about the ExxonMobil CEO.

The group called for exploring Tillerson’s views on the following:

  • U.S.-Israel relations: Would Mr. Tillerson continue the bipartisan tradition of support for and mutually beneficial cooperation with the State of Israel, America’s democratic and reliable Middle East ally, which faces profound security threats, ongoing attacks on its legitimacy in international forums, and repeated Palestinian refusals for an enduring two-state peace agreement?
  • Iran: Would Mr. Tillerson, recognizing the danger posed by Iran to U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East and around the world, including the terror threat posed by the Iranian proxy Hezbollah, intensify U.S. efforts to confront the theocratic regime’s hegemonic ambitions and seek to ensure that Iran does not violate any of its treaty obligations regarding its nuclear program?
  • Transatlantic relations: America’s allies, trading partners and sister democracies in Europe have expressed concern about the new Administration’s commitment to NATO, its policies toward an increasingly aggressive Russia that has violated Ukrainian sovereignty and challenged European cohesion, and its attitude toward the European Union as a defender of common values, common security concerns, and expanded trade. We look forward to hearing Mr. Tillerson’s thinking on these critical issues.
  • Alliances: America’s international relations are built on a series of partnerships with valued friends and allies that extend beyond Europe and the Middle East, including key nations in Asia, such as Japan and South Korea, with which we have security treaties, our immediate neighbors Canada and Mexico, and other democratic nations with long-standing strategic, diplomatic, economic, and cultural links to our own country. In his view of the world, how does Mr. Tillerson regard these nations and the importance of our relations with them?
  • Human rights: America’s essential and respected international leadership is a product not only of military might, but also its adherence to such core principles as the sanctity of universal human rights. American resolve, creativity, and moral force – in addition to other tools at our nation’s disposal – help shape a peaceful and lawful world able to stand up to oppressors and to promulgators of racism, anti-Semitism, and other bigotries. We will be eager to learn about Mr. Tillerson’s perspective on this important matter.
  • Extremism : Violent radical Islam, a perversion of one of the world’s great religious traditions, poses an urgent global threat. Confronting and defeating it requires a comprehensive strategy, close coordination with a wide range of countries and organizations, and, in particular, the active partnership of like-minded Muslim communities and Muslim-majority allies. We shall hope to better understand Mr. Tillerson’s views on this urgent security challenge.

The group, which receives significant funding from American’s, fails to list any concerns that have to do with safety or prosperity of Americans.

Instead, Israel, Japan, Canada and Europe appear to be a priority for the group.

Trump won the election campaigning on a bold, “America First” platform, which is the direction voters intend the President-Elect to take.

Comment below.

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hillary-clinton

One of the more humorous “Man on the Street” interview topics that regularly air on Fox News programs, late night comedy shows and streaming websites is this question to self-described Hillary Clinton supporters: “Can you name any achievements that Hillary Clinton accomplished as Secretary of State?”

After a moment of awkward silence, interviewers revise the question down by asking: Can you name just one thing Hillary Clinton accomplished as America’s top diplomat? It is almost a trick question. When no answers of forthcoming, Hillary Clinton supporters prove that that they are ill informed and easily led.

Last week, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer scored unscripted live interview with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail – the first she has granted since she launched her campaign. Analysts believe she granted Blitzer access because she believed he would ask softball question easily answered by sweeping but meaningless policy positions, poll tested answers over personal her views and broad attacks on her Democratic and Republican opponents.

At first, the interview seemed to be going down this road until Blitzer asked candidate Clinton to name her “number one accomplishment” as Secretary of State. Although taken aback slightly, Clinton recovered by saying if you want to know what my accomplishments were, “read my book ‘Hard Choices.’”

Hawking a book in response to a straightforward question over leadership post, she boasts about on her resume struck many as unseemly and unresponsive.

Nevertheless, Blitzer pressed on asking:

Carly Fiorina, she said if you want to stump a Democrat she said ask them about Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments as Secretary of State. If you were on that debate stage with her, what would you say was your number one accomplishment as Secretary of State?

Hillary Clinton answered:

“You know, Wolf, I didn’t get to see all of their debate. But I saw enough of it to know that this is just the usual back and forth political attacks, the kinds of things you say when you’re on a debate stage and really don’t have much else to say.

I didn’t hear anything from any of them about how they’re going to make college more affordable or get down student debt or get equal pay for equal work for women, what they’re going to do to make sure that we deal with the challenges of raising incomes for hard working people.

So I don’t really pay a lot of attention to this kind of rhetoric that heats up the debate stage. They’re all trying to vie for more attention from obviously the Republican Party. I’m going to let them decide how best to do it. But if anybody’s interested, you know, there’s a long list about what I have done. And I’m very proud of it.

Hillary gave another non-answer answer followed by a second plug for her book:

“You can read my book Hard Choices, read about how I negotiated a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. You can read about how I put together the coalition that led to international sanctions against Iran.

You can read about what I did when I was First Lady, to get the children’s health insurance program or as senator working across the aisle on issues like getting better health care for our veterans.

You know, this is just the silly season. I am looking forward to eventually debating on that stage whoever they finally nominate once they get around to doing that.”

If former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cannot offer a single instance where she accomplished something positive for the country she represented as the nation’s top diplomat – a question posed by a friendly media source reporting for a liberal news network CNN – we don’t need Man on the Street” interviews to demonstrate her complete failure as a diplomat.

By omission, book offers and verbal sleight of hand, she has admitted as much on national TV.

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