Canada, Keystone, and the Palestinians
One can note some important "arguments" the U.S. is having with Canada. Canada is outperforming the U.S. economically on every level.
As Obama wrapped up his Middle East tour, applauded by AIPAC for reaffirming "unbreakable bonds" and "deep affection" between two key allies; and by Al Jazeera for "normalizing" Israel Turkey ties, Obama's neighbors to the north are left scratching their heads about what he meant by his off-the-cuff statement that compared Israeli-Palestinian relations to Canada-U.S. relations.
After acknowledging in his speech the horror of an Israeli sleeping in his bed and having a rocket come through the roof, Obama went on to say: "Even though both sides have areas of strong disagreement, may be engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith, we have to push through those things…. There will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish State of Israel and those two states will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do. The United States and Canada have arguments once in a while."
The outlandish comparison – as Canadians do not lob rockets and missiles into Rochester or Detroit or claim the U.S. as "Occupied Canada" -- could have been an Obama gaffe to add to an open-mic one he made during his welcome ceremony after he landed in Israel and declared that this trip allowed him to "get away from Congress." Obama has become quite noted for minor and major gaffes, such as when he insulted Netanyahu and conspired with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Both incidents raised questions about his character, his policies and potentially hidden agendas.
Although one could not decipher any meaning behind Obama's odd comparison of American-Canadian relations with Israeli-Palestinian relations , one can note some important "arguments" the U.S. now faces with Canada: primarily the Keystone XL pipeline project, designed to carry oil from Canada to Texas oil refineries.
To address further these "once in a while arguments," a Forbes article illustrated how -- with policies similar to what are being promoted by Republicans -- Canada is outperforming the U.S. economically on every level. Entitled "What President Obama Doesn't Want You To Know About Canada", it cited senior sources in the Canadian government who met with Obama administration officials and said their impression was that the White House is jealous of the Canadian government's power to have its way. Even the notoriously liberal Canadian Broadcaster CBC featured in its community blog: "Republicans threaten move to Canada after Obama win".
The Obama administration's energy policy is starkly divergent from the Harper government's. Canada obtains oil from places such as the Athabasca oil sands region in northeastern Alberta, while the Obama administration has reduced drilling permits on public lands and has stalled the go-ahead of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. The Keystone pipeline not only provides an ethical alternative to importing oil from regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Venezuela; it is also an "essential part of the North American energy marketplace" and of U.S.-Canada relations, according to former Conservative cabinet minister Jim Prentice , who is now a senior executive with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
When Obama rejected Keystone in early 2012, he pinned the blame for the decision on Republicans, accusing them for trying to push the administration to an earlier deadline. But Obama's dilemma about the Keystone project reveals underlying issues that could have long-term implications for Obama's credibility in his ongoing commitment to promote an agenda affecting "climate change," as well as to his liberal economic policies. For example, during a speech on China and India as emerging economies, Obama's assistant on economic policy, Lawrence Summers, raised the idea that India's political-economic model, which he referred to as the "Mumbai Consensus," may in the end win the day. According to Summers the Mumbai Consensus is "not based on ideas of laissez-faire capitalism that have proven obsolete or ideas of authoritarian capitalism that ultimately will prove not to be enduringly successful…." Recall that George Bush was the whipping boy for laissez-faire capitalism in certain camps after the Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae fiasco that led to the 2008 economic meltdown, even though it is no secret that the Democrats bore guilt.
With respect to Obama's credibility, right after taking office, in having vowed to promote policies that would supposedly moderate climate change, Obama committed the U.S. to the foreground of global climate change initiatives -- the centerpiece of which would entail revamping the flawed Kyoto protocol to bring include equitable commitments from countries such as China and India, which, despite being the most objectionable polluters, had been given free passes under the Kyoto accords. Now, years later and into his second term, Obama faces stumbling blocks in making good on his promises, not the least of which involves the Keystone pipeline.
Before tackling that issue, however, there are a couple other entanglements Obama is facing: now that Republicans control the House, Obama has apparently decided to move forward on his own with climate change initiatives, which include plans to engage federal agencies and the Environmental Protection Agency. National regulations will inevitably involve the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The problem is that Obama has failed to appoint a single judge to this powerful court that decides cases challenging agency regulations -- making him the first full-term president in over half a century to do so, and in effect hobbling his own agenda.
Even though Obama has twice thwarted the Keystone project, the Senate has just endorsed its construction, and House Republicans have vowed not to wait for Obama, but to sidestep the White House and vote on legislation to approve the Keystone project by Memorial Day.
Now that Obama has finished playing relationship counselor in the Middle East, he returns to the U.S. to face serious challenges coming in from Canada and from Congress. Environmentalists have already started branding the Keystone pipeline as the "Obama Pipeline" and the "Obama Legacy on Keystone," and are asking questions such as: "What happens if it leaks?" The surrounding heat being generated from the Keystone controversy may well have had an influence upon Obama's gaffe in comparing U.S.-Canada relations with Israeli-Palestinian relations, even though in reality there is no comparison.
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|Report of Today's Top Topics [11 words]||William James||Mar 27, 2013 14:49|
|What the! [22 words]||Jim Turgeon||Mar 27, 2013 12:58|
|Ulterior motive? [16 words]||Mrs. Rene O'Riordan||Mar 27, 2013 09:57|
|↔ I have an IDEA for the Canadians, that prevents the absurdity of pandering to the Globalist Puppet Obama [275 words]||Jek Silberstein||May 28, 2013 09:56|
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by Burak Bekdil
In Turkey however, the protests were not peaceful. They included smashing a sculpture than was neither Jewish nor Israeli.
It was the usual "We-Muslims-can-kill each other-but-Jews-cannot" hysteria.
If Turkish crowds were protesting against Israel in a political dispute, why Koranic slogans? Why were they protesting in Arabic rather than their native language? Do Turks chant German slogans to protest nuclear energy?
by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
"North Korea's ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. ... Steady progression in their program is not harmless." — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.