American Elephants

Secretary of State John Kerry Has Promoted Marie Harf to Work On Nuclear Negotiations Strategy by The Elephant's Child
May 27, 2015, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

What can one say? This is not a joke.

In a communication from the State Department Press Corps,via JWF Jammie Wearing Fools

“Starting June 1, Marie Harf will be beginning in a new role as Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications for Secretary John Kerry. In this position, she will continue her work leading on the Iran Negotiations communications strategy and other priorities.

Mark Toner will be assuming the role of Deputy Spokesperson, a position he held previously when Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland was Spokesperson. Mark returns to the Spokesperson’s Office from the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where he has been serving as a Deputy Assistant Secretary.”

The inmates are running the asylum, and we’re all doomed.

When You Feel Entitled, It’s Hard to Run a Campaign on “Income Inequality” by The Elephant's Child
May 1, 2015, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , ,

hillary clinton

Robert F. McDonnell, 71st governor of Virginia, was sentenced in January to two years in prison followed by two years of supervised release after he was convicted on eleven counts of public corruption. He was indicted for allegedly taking illegal gifts, up to $177,000, vacations and loans while in office from a businessman named Jonnie Williams. Mrs. McDonnell got a New York shopping trip, a trip to Cape Cod, and more. The governor got a flight to the Final Four, a Rolex watch, golf trips and Williams even contributed $15,000 toward the catering expenses for McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding. But interestingly the prosecutors never proved that McDonnell had taken government action on Williams’ behalf.

McDonnell joins a long list of governors who have gone to prison, of both parties. Illinois has set a record of three governors convicted of felonies since the late1980s. Small potatoes compared to the accusations building up in the case of Clinton Cash.

Quid Pro Quo: something that is given to you or done for you in
return for something you have given to or done for someone else.

From Ron Fournier in the National Journal:

Let’s remember what this story is about. Hillary and Bill Clinton want it to be about a “conservative author” who catalogued their conflicts of interest. They want it to be about The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and any other media outlets who dare to question the couple’s integrity. They want it to be about “Republican overreach.”

The media mostly wants it to be about Election Day 2016. We commission polls and hire pundits to parse the winners and losers of each news cycle. We shrug:”Real voters don’t care about this story.” As if it’s not our job to help them understand why these scandals matter.

Hillary Clinton seized all emails pertaining to her job as secretary of State and deleted an unknown number of messages from her private server. Her family charity accepted foreign and corporate donations from people doing business with the State Department—people who hoped to curry favor.

She violated government rules designed to protect against corruption and perceptions of corruption that erode the public’s trust in government. She has not apologized. She has not made amends: She withholds the email server and continues to accept foreign donations.

“You Can’t Sell The Cow and Still Have the Milk” by The Elephant's Child
April 9, 2015, 6:57 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks about the Ukraine crisis after his meetings with other foreign ministers in Paris

Obama’s sales pitch for his”framework” of a nuclear deal with Iran has not met with universal plaudits and applause. Partially because Iran doesn’t agree in the slightest with what the U.S. delegation claims to have been agreed upon. They seem to have a different idea entirely, which begins with the prompt end to all sanctions and continues with going to work on building their desired weapon without interference. Big words and big ideas slowly turn into farce.

Less than a week following the framework of a nuclear deal with Iran that allows the Islamic Republic to continue operating core aspects of its program, the State Department is looking for a new training course on how to negotiate.

The agency released a solicitation for “Negotiations” on Wednesday, revealing that the State Department is seeking a class for U.S. diplomats on “making and receiving concessions wisely.”

The overall course teaches the essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes for U.S. diplomats to succeed in any of 275 overseas posts performing the full spectrum of political and economic work,” the solicitation said. “This module will focus on the complex art of negotiating across diverse cultures to find common ground for advancing mutual interests.”

One might suggest that their timing was a little bit off, or make reference to “locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.”. It would all be really funny if it weren’t so desperately important.

The Global War on Terror is Over! The State Department Said So. by The Elephant's Child

The State Department has declared that the global war on terror is over and won.  Figures. Obama takes full credit for winning the Iraq war and bringing the troops home, and for ending the Afghanistan war.  Obama always believed that the whole thing was about al Qaeda and Osama’s involvement in 9/11.  Once Osama was dead, we had our revenge and it was all over.

The anonymous “senior State Department official who works on Mideast issues” told the National Journal recently “Now that we have killed most of al-Qaeda, now that people have come to see legitimate means of expression, people who once might have gone into al-Qaeda see an opportunity for a legitimate Islamism.”

Those legitimate means of expression are going well. The illusion that those who are looking for the triumph of Islamic fundamentalism now see “legitimate means of expression,” now that Moammar Gadhafi in Libya and Hosni Mubarak in  Egypt are gone, simply do not grasp the difficulty of cultivating anything even approaching Western style values of liberty in traditional Islamic lands. The Taliban is regaining control in Afghanistan, Iran is still industriously building a nuclear weapon for its ruling ayatollah which it promises to use to destroy Israel and the U.S. And Bashar Assad,  much celebrated by Liberals for his modernity and western outlook, ‘unexpectedly’ turned into a butcher.

The Arab Spring was so promising, and Mohamed Morsi is leading in Egypt’s presidential race led supporters in a chant “The Koran is our constitution, and Sharia is our guide!”

Michael Rubin of AEI, in his introduction to a paper presented to the Counter Terror Expo 1012 says:

The fight against terrorism is no closer to success today than it was a decade ago when, in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks, President George W. Bush declared a Global War on Terrorism, The problem is not simply that Western agencies are outfoxed by state sponsors of terror and trans-national groups, but rather that Western governments and international organizations continue to suffer self-inflicted wounds. These include a failure to reach consensus on what terrorism is, political correctness that leads Western officials to downplay or ignore the religious component to terrorism; the legitimization of terrorist’s grievances; and a failure to recognize that diplomacy often does more harm than good.

Ambassador John Bolton remarked that:

Obama sees American strength as provocative. He believes its nuclear arsenal is excessive, and hence worthy of reduction, without fearing in any way that shredding the nuclear deterrent might actually have profoundly deleterious consequences not only on US national security, but on security and stability in the world as a whole. He sees his presidency causing “the tide of war” to recede in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, just as his tenure will mark “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow”. Dramatic reductions in military budgets, and the consequent devastating reductions in force levels, capabilities and weapons systems, apparently do not trouble him even slightly.

The Left has a hard time with ideas about war and peace. They regard peace as the natural state of the world, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. They see wars as largely the result of American warmongering and intransigence— and due to a lack of proper diplomacy and friendliness.There are always those on the left who are sure that unilateral disarmament will promote world peace.

The Right, in general, understands that flawed human nature means that some will always seek power, demand that their ideology be imposed on all, and that a strong defense can be the best way to prevent war and sustain peace.

Americans hate war, and are always sure that as soon as the most recent war is ended that there will be no more trouble in the world.  The military is downsized, the “Military-Industrial Complex” declines, the spent-up equipment from the last war is not replaced, and though we mean to keep a strong deterrent —there are always other nice things to do with the money. And when the next war comes along, because we are perceived as weak, we are never, never ready.

John Bolton points out that Obama’s timidity risks the world’s Security. His excellent essay is worth your time, for clear thinking and analysis.

In 2009 Obama said: “I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur.” Of course, it wasn’t Hirohito who surrendered on the Missouri‘s stout deck, but the revelation of Obama’s mindset is telling. Conceptually, a world of no victories may warm the hearts of social democrats, but it is insufficient for the defense of America. Nonetheless, November may well tell us, in more ways than one, whether America will remain America, or whether it has become better suited to being a junior member of the European Union.



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