STUNNING VIDEO: Look How John Kerry Just Tried To Make Nice With France After Paris No-Show

WCJ images Kerry Taylor

By almost any standard, in virtually any context, this will no doubt rank in the minds of many as one of the more bizarre moments in U.S. diplomacy — not only bizarre but also eye-shielding awkward, even surreal.

A no-show at the recent Paris solidarity march to protect freedom of expression and to protest Islamic terrorism, Secretary of State John Kerry was in the French capital today to give our allies what had been billed as a “big hug“.

It was a kind of make-up gesture after the Obama administration came under heavy, sustained fire for not sending a high-level official to join some 40 other world leaders at the Paris rally.

In addition to Kerry’s words of support and solidarity for the French, America’s chief diplomat also brought live entertainment to the Paris stage. Singer James Taylor performed his 1970’s classic “You’ve Got A Friend” as Kerry stood by rather uncomfortably.

When you watch the stunning video, you’ll see that not only was the Secretary of State uncomfortable, but so was the music legend as he had to hunch over to sing into the microphone intended to pick up his guitar. Technicians scrambled to provide a vocal mic for Taylor.

The whole scene was reminiscent of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ill-conceived reset-button experience with the Russians.

Watching the poorly conceived, embarrassingly executed pop-song style of U.S. relations with a key European ally, one can reasonably ask if this memorable moment in terror-rattled Paris will come to represent the level of maturity and sophistication of Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

You can watch James Taylor try his best to deliver a worthy rendition of his hit song, “You’ve Got A Friend,” by clicking on the video above. You can also imagine how feverishly the comedy writers of “Saturday Night Live” are scrambling to rewrite this weekend’s show; or the satirical cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo rethinking their next cover.

 

H/T: The Daily Caller    Image Credit: youtube

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Syria Causing Heated Debate On Capitol Hill

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

The big debate before the Committee on Foreign Relations is an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) in Syria.

Under normal circumstances, this would involve the Obama administration sending Congress a draft AUMF resolution and requesting its passage.

These types of resolutions are required under the War Powers Act, and have largely replaced the constitutionally required Declaration of War.

But Obama has sent nothing to Congress.

He seems to believe the open-ended resolution that was passed in 2002 – giving President Bush the authorization to oust Saddam Hussein – still gives him enough power to push ahead with war in Syria.

So, as Senate Democrats are rushing to pass one of these resolutions before Republicans take control of the Committee (and the U.S. Senate) in January, what can we expect to happen?

Not Another Iraq…

Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey (Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations for the next few weeks) wants any resolution to contain clear boundaries on troop deployments and a limited timeframe–the main reason being the Democrats’ frustration with the open-ended resolution Bush had on Iraq.

On December 10, Secretary of State John Kerry was on Capitol Hill arguing against the restriction. And here’s what he said before the Committee: “The fact is that we’re going to continue this operation, because the president and the administration are absolutely convinced – and I respect your opinion – [that] we have the authority.”

Translation: They believe they don’t need Congress’ okay.

In hindsight, it’s ironic that both Obama and Kerry held different opinions when they were in the U.S. Senate. As Senators, both were actively trying to limit President Bush’s actions as Commander-in-Chief.

Unconstitutional Moves?

At this point, the fight is primarily within the Democratic Party. Most Republicans are sitting on the sidelines because they believe the U.S. President has wide latitude to make his own decisions concerning the use of force. Heck, the majority of Republicans would give even Barack Obama a blank check to run the war anyway he pleases.

While the Republicans are mum, one stands alone – Rand Paul. And his position is much more principled. Paul believes we don’t need an AUMF resolution, but a full-blown Declaration of War (as mandated by the U.S. Constitution) before Obama moves forward.

At the same hearing… Paul said, “The Constitution is quite clear that this responsibility lies with Congress… For four or five months, we’ve been derelict in our duty… [and] I think this president has been derelict.”

So there’s the real division in D.C.: Both the Democrats and Republicans disregard the Constitution’s call for a Declaration of War – happy to settle with an AUMF. Obama has even less care for the rule of law, as he doesn’t even want a new AUMF.

And yet, only the Tea Party Constitutionalist Rand Paul wants a Declaration of War. And by the look of things, he’s completely outnumbered.

 

This commentary originally appeared at WallStreetDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission. 

Photo credit: Navajo Nation Washington Office (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Is Kerry Letting Iran Off Scot-Free Again?

Photo credit: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Flickr)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced from Vienna on Monday that the yearlong Iran Nuclear Talks will be extended by seven months after efforts to reach an enduring accord fell short.  There has been little progress over the past few days leading up to Monday’s deadline to reach a final nuclear deal that will cap some of Iran’s nuclear work in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.  Iran’s economy has been crippled by sanctions from six world powers that have cut its daily exports by 60% and frozen the ability of its banks to conduct international transactions.

The six countries, Germany, France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have been in negotiations with Iran to finalize a preliminary deal to curb its nuclear program.  However, Iran claims that it is seeking atomic energy, not nuclear weapons.  Kerry called for patience, saying the added few months is the safe path forward.

We would be fools to walk away from a situation where the breakout times have been expanded.

Opponents of the extension argue that Iran has the ability to stage a breakout, or the production of one bomb’s worth of fuel.

Iran will receive $700 million per month in frozen assets through the end of June.

Jeremy Bash, former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Defense and the C.I.A. under Leon Panetta, said that Iran will be able to amass additional know-how and new technology in developing nuclear weapons during the seven month extension.  Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, the former Obama official said:

So they’re continuing to basically reap the benefits of being in this negotiation.  All the while, they are not making additional concessions.  So I think it’s a pretty dangerous game that shows you that Iran, frankly, wasn’t ready to make a deal.

(h/t: Washington Free Beacon)

Photo credit: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Israel Could Soon Be Forced To Take Major Military Actions

Photo credit: U.S.Embassy Vienna (Flickr)

I laughed yesterday when I heard a news talking head say that no one wants an Iran deal more than Iran and John Kerry.

This is an understatement.

Iran wants relief from the crippling sanctions that Congress forced the Obama administration to impose. John Kerry wants kudos by his name for posterity, as the one who solved the Iranian problem.

The deal is the priority–just a deal. You don’t see the national security interest of the United States and her allies when discussing Iran. You just hear about getting a deal.

Today, the group of nations negotiating with Iran gave the Islamic theocracy another seven months to negotiate–SEVEN MONTHS!  Today was supposed to be the deadline for a reason-so that Iran would have to decide if they would stop its quest for nuclear weapons or not. Now they have relief from the pressure–and more time to enrich!

This is more of the same. More delays, obfuscation, and flat-out lying to give Iran more time to develop a nuclear weapons capability.

Israel has had enough. They see the deal being put on the table today as a gift to the Ayatollahs. In Israel’s view, Iran can continue to enrich uranium for the next ten years.

The Jerusalem Post writes today that an “Israeli official cites ‘sunset clause’ in proposed comprehensive deal, which guarantees Iran a path into the nuclear club and may corner Israel into war.”  The Post goes on to report: “But compounding Israel’s fears, the proposal Jerusalem has seen shows that mass dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure – including the destruction, and not the mere warehousing, of its parts – is no longer on the table in Vienna.”

It is common knowledge that the American people cannot count on the Obama administration when it comes to national security (or anything else for that matter–but that’s another column). Israel, I am confident, WILL deal with this threat to her national security. They will most likely have to conduct this military action without support from the United States.

They may even face the United States as an adversary in this action. It remains to be seen if the U.S. military will support President Obama in stopping Israel from defending herself.

Photo credit: U.S.Embassy Vienna (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Ouch: Pentagon Contradicts Obama’s Claims About North Korea

Photo credit: cmccain202dc (Flickr)

U.S. officials have long been concerned about the technology-sharing relationship that North Korea has with Iran and Pakistan. At the heart of their concern — North Korea’s desire and determination to become a nuclear force, which would dramatically change the world’s balance of power.

And what military officials just disclosed could also have a big impact on the balance of power on Capitol Hill.

Today, the Pentagon let it be known that North Korea has likely moved a giant step closer to being able to deploy a nuclear weapon on a guided missile.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a top U.S. commander now says that the regime of dictator Kim Jong Un likely has the capability to produce a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a rocket.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon on Friday, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula, said North Korea now is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead, a step needed to complete development of a nuclear-tipped missile.

Gen. Scaparrotti said the U.S. hasn’t seen North Korea test a miniaturized nuclear weapon, but that it likely has the capability to build one.

In a rather strange turn of events, not far away from where the Pentagon briefing disclosed North Korea’s nuclear weapons advancement, Secretary of State John Kerry was making his own announcement about relations with Pyongyang.

Specifically, Kerry spoke about the connection between Kim Jong Un’s willingness to roll back his nuclear program and the reduction of U.S. forces in the Korean Peninsula.

And the two D.C. events — at the Pentagon and at the State Department — seemed, at least on the surface, to be at odds in terms of tone and messaging.

As reported by Reuters:

It is too premature to talk about reducing American forces in the Korean Peninsula without “authentic and credible” negotiations with Pyongyang about ending its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday.

Kerry said the United States was willing to restart denuclearization talks with North Korea although he emphasized “there is no value in talks just for the sake of talks.”

The U.S. presence in South Korea is a key source of anger for North Korea, which regularly threatens to attack the United States and destroy the South [Korea] in a sea of flames.

Given the advisory issued by the Pentagon, it sounds as though North Korea may be a big step closer to creating that destructive “sea of flames.”

Given the American public’s growing dissatisfaction with Obama’s foreign policy — a month ago, the president’s foreign policy approval rating hit an all-time low — it’s certainly possible that this news about North Korea will be a further drag on Democrat hopes of retaining Senate control.

Photo credit: cmccain202dc (Flickr)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom