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Does He Really Think He Is Smarter Than T.J.

Flanders

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Yesterday, Barack Taqiyya had a busy day speechifying in Europe. I’ve included the transcripts of his remarks taken from the government’s “public domain” website for anyone who wants to wade through the B.S. Taken together, the three speeches were far more important than anything he said in all of his State of the Union Addresses.

Taqiyya has slightly less than three years to give Europe and the Pacific Rim enormous authority in America’s domestic affairs. Everybody should know by now that the New World Order crowd has been working for decades to give America’s independence to the United Nations. Yesterday showed that they are going to pull out all stops in an effort to give Europe and the Pacific Rim sizable chunks of America’s sovereignty through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Why now? Answer: Events in the Ukraine can be twisted into anything.

NOTE: It just happens to be Russia and the Ukraine. Had China done something similar the TPP would have ben used. And I’m still wondering what Taqiyya did for his own country with the flexibility his second term provided:


[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsFR8DbSRQE&feature=player_detailpage]Obama open mic slip: 'After my election I have more flexibility' - YouTube[/ame]​

Aaron Klein opens his informative piece with consumer protections:

Consumer protections and the use of domestic law in the U.S. may drastically change as President Obama forges ahead with two secretive international deals that impact major aspects of the economy, privacy and beyond.

Wednesday, Obama defended a proposed mega free-trade zone between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and the European Union.

“I have fought my entire political career, and as president, to strengthen consumer protections. I have no intention of signing legislation that would weaken those protections,” Obama said during a visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels.

When Taqiyya the Liar says “consumer protections” he means protections for Wall Street’s absentee owners, the insurance industry, and more taxation for the general welfare of the people his policies impoverish. The Affordable Care Act he signed did more to screw consumers than did all of the other American laws combined. That one tyrannical law is sending consumer prices through the roof on everything, and it is not yet fully implemented. Had he vetoed it he would have protected consumers from Democrats in Congress. The truth is: Taqiyya wants to protect consumers so much he is still trying to sell socialized medicine.

Maybe this is what Taqiyya & Company mean by International law:


Writing in the left-leaning the Nation magazine, foreign policy analyst Andrew Erwin said the TTIP was less about reducing tariffs and “more about weakening the power of average citizens to defend themselves against corporate labor and environmental abuses.”

Erwin took particular issue with a section in the TTIP called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which stipulates foreign corporations can sue the government utilizing a special international tribunal instead of the country’s own domestic system that uses U.S. law.

“The tribunals are not accountable to any national public or democratically elected body,” wrote Erwin.

Klein’s article covers the TPP extensively, but there is no doubt the same betrayals will find their way into the TTIP:

Obama secretly negotiating away U.S. sovereignty
2-pronged assault on economy, consumer rights, domestic law
Published: 14 hours ago
by AARON KLEIN

Obama secretly negotiating away U.S. sovereignty

Rather than comment on everything Taqiyya the Liar said yesterday, I’ll rely on those few who read the following to see the major step being taken to abandon America’s sovereignty altogether. I’ll close my remarks with a quotation that that half-wit in the White House obviously never read:

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto. Thomas Jefferson

Press Conference by Obama, European Leaders at EU-U.S. Summit
26 March 2014
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 26, 2014

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA,
EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT VAN ROMPUY, AND EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT
BARROSO IN PRESS CONFERENCE (VAN ROMPUY & BARROSO opening statements not included)

Council of the European Union
Brussels, Belgium
2:42 P.M. CET

PRESIDENT OBAMA: To President Van Rompuy and President Barroso, thank you both for welcoming me here today. Over the years, we’ve met in Prague, we’ve met in London -- or in Lisbon. We’ve met at the White House. We’ve met in Northern Ireland, this week in The Hague. So it’s good to finally meet the Presidents of the European Union at the European Union.

As I’ve said before, Europe is America’s closest partner. Europe, including the European Union, is the cornerstone of our engagement around the globe. We are more secure and more prosperous -- the world is safer and more just -- when Europe and America stand as one. And later today, I look forward to speaking to the young people from across Europe about how we can sustain the values and ideals that are at the heart of our partnership.

As Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso just mentioned, our work today touched on a full range of issues where we work together. We agreed to step up our efforts to boost growth and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic, and that includes working to conclude a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. And let me add, once we have a trade agreement in place, export licenses for projects for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe would be much easier -- something that’s obviously relevant in today’s geopolitical climate.

We reviewed our negotiations with Iran, which I believe give us the opportunity to peacefully resolve the world’s concerns with the Iranian nuclear program. We pledged to sustain our support for the effort to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, even as we work to deliver humanitarian relief to the Syrian people. And we discussed a number of global challenges, including the desire to step up our cooperation with the Asia Pacific region and our commitment to a new global agreement to combat climate change.

Obviously, much of our focus today was on the situation in Ukraine. Russia’s actions in Ukraine aren’t just about one country; they’re about the kind of Europe -- and the kind of world -- that we live in. The European project was born from the ashes of two world wars, and the United States has long supported European integration as a force for peace and prosperity. And Europe’s progress rests on basic principles, including respect for international law, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations. That’s what Russia violated with its military action against Ukraine.

The United States and Europe stand united on this issue. We’re united in our support for Ukraine and for the need to provide economic assistance to help stabilize its economy. We’re united in our commitment to Europe’s security. We’re united in our determination to isolate Russia and impose costs for Russia’s actions. Every step of the way I’ve coordinated closely with our allies and partners in Europe. And I want to thank Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso for the leadership they’ve shown during this difficult time.

I want to commend the EU for the important steps taken already to make sure Russia feels the costs of its behavior in Ukraine by implementing visa bans and freezing assets and designating individuals for sanctions, as well as canceling a number of engagements with Russia -- and making it clear that if Russia stays on its current course, the consequences for the Russian economy will continue to grow. Of course, all this comes atop the measures and sanctions that the United States and others around the world are imposing on Russia. And taken together, these are the most significant sanctions Russia has faced since the end of the Cold War.

Moreover, Russia stands alone. Russia stood alone when trying to defend its actions at the U.N. Security Council. The 28 members of the European Union are united. The 28 members of NATO are united. Every member of the G7 has imposed sanctions on Russia, as we announced on Monday, and the G7 will meet here in Brussels in June -- without Russia. So if anyone in the Russian leadership thought the world wouldn’t care about their actions in Ukraine, or that they could drive a wedge between the European Union and the United States, they clearly miscalculated.

As I’ve said repeatedly and was mentioned by both Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso, there is still a way for Russia to work with Ukraine and the international community to deescalate the situation through diplomacy. That’s the only way that the issue will be resolved. If Russia continues on its current course, however, the isolation will deepen. Sanctions will increase and there will be growing consequences for the Russian economy. And this reflects the enduring commitment to the goal that has brought Europe and the United States together for decades -- a Europe that is whole and free and at peace.

In closing, I just want to say to Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso, as you prepare to conclude your tenures later this year -- thank you for all the outstanding work that you’ve been able to do together. We have gone through some very rocky waters. We've persevered through some very difficult economic times. But throughout this process, we've been able to deepen the ties between the European Union and the United States. We've been able to advance the cause of security and human dignity around the world. I’m personally grateful to both of you for your leadership as well as your friendship, and most importantly, for the purposes of our countries that we represent here today, your dedication to the transatlantic relationship. So thank you very much.

QUESTION: Good afternoon. I have one question for Presidents Obama, Barroso and Van Rompuy. The first is on Russia and Ukraine. Given that the U.S. has less to lose from economic sanctions against Russia, would it be appropriate to envisage support for European allies, for example, in the realm of energy?

Second, you mentioned, all three, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. A lot of citizens have concerns. They fear that standards for environment protection or consumer protection might be at stake. How do you want to convince these citizens? Thank you very much.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to sanctions, so far what we've seen is excellent coordination between the United States and Europe. I think on both sides of the Atlantic there was recognition that in the initial incursion into Crimea we had to take some very specific steps, and we did -- identifying individuals that were in part responsible for those actions. When the Russian government made the decision to annex Crimea, after a referenda that nobody outside of Russia I think could take seriously, we then heightened those sanctions, again, in coordination.

What we're now doing is coordinating around the potential for additional, deeper sanctions should Russia move forward and engage in further incursions into Ukraine. And we recognize that in order for Russia to feel the brunt, the impact of these sanctions, that it will have some impact on the global economy as well as on all the countries that are represented here today. And we're mindful that that's going to be different not just between the United States and Europe but also among different countries inside of Europe, some of whom are more dependent, for example, on energy from Russia than others are.

So we're taking all of this into account. I think energy is obviously a central focus of our efforts and we have to consider very strongly. This entire event I think has pointed to the need for Europe to look at how it can further diversify its energy sources. And the United States is blessed with some additional energy sources that have been developed in part because of new technologies, and we've already licensed, authorized the export of as much natural gas each day as Europe uses each day. But it's going into the open market; it's not targeted directly. It's going to private companies who get these licenses and they make decisions on the world market about where that energy is going to be sold.

The question is whether through our energy ministers and at the highest levels we're able to find ways in which we can accelerate this process of diversification, and this is something we're very much committed to. We think it would be good for Europe. We think it would be good for the United States. It’s not something that can happen overnight, but what I think this entire crisis has pointed to is the need for us to get moving now with a sense of urgency. And our energy ministers are committed to doing that. That was their assignment coming out of the G7 meeting.

Just on the issue of T-TIP very briefly, we already do enormous trade and there’s enormous direct investment between the United States and Europe. We account for a big chunk of the world economy in our economic relations. That's not going to change. I think that our publics both in Europe and the United States have legitimate questions when it comes to trade deals as to whether or not it's going to benefit their countries over the long term, and can we make sure that hard-won victories around consumer protection or environmental protection are preserved, as opposed to weakened. That's something that's of concern in the United States as it is here.

Here’s what I can tell you as these negotiations proceed. I have fought my entire political career and as President to strengthen consumer protections. I have no intention of signing legislation that would weaken those protections. I fought throughout my political career and am fighting as we speak to strengthen environmental protections in the United States, so I have no interest in signing a trade agreement that weakens environmental standards. And so I think that there’s been a lot of publicity and speculation about what might be, or could be, or is this provision potentially used by corporations to, in some fashion, weaken some of these protections or encroach on sovereign decisions that are made, and I would just caution everybody to wait until they actually see what has been negotiated before they engage in all these speculations.

I think there has generally been suspicion in some quarters around trade. Some of those suspicions are unjustified. Some of them reflect old models of trade agreements that had been updated. But what I can say for certain is, is that because of the trading relationship between the United States and Europe, we’ve created millions of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, and growth and prosperity has advanced.

There is a way of doing this right that will help us make sure that we remain at the cutting-edge of innovation and growth and development. There are bad ways of doing trade agreements as well, and ultimately, all of these things will have to be subjected to scrutiny in the light of day. But no point in getting excited about potential provisions and trade agreements that haven’t been drafted yet. There will be plenty of time to criticize trade agreements when they’re actually put before the public. But I guarantee you we’re going to be working hard to make sure that environmental protections, consumer protections that are already in place, that those are strengthened.

And I shared with President Van Rompuy and Barroso the fact that part of the suspicion about trade is whether globalization is benefiting everybody as opposed to just those at the top and some small segments of our economies, or large corporations as opposed to small- and medium-sized businesses. I think it is important for us as leaders to ensure that trade is helping folks at the bottom and folks in the middle and broad-based prosperity, not just a few elites. And that’s the test that I’m going to apply in whether or not it makes sense for us to move forward in a trade deal. I’m confident we can actually shape a trade deal that accomplishes those things.

PRESIDENT VAN ROMPUY: Just on Ukraine, and I guess that the President of the European Commission will speak on the T-TIP. On Ukraine, we coordinated our first tiers of sanctions, hitting individuals by travel bans and by asset freeze. And also, on the political side, we suspended the preparatory work for the G8 meeting, and we are now organizing a G7 meeting, as mentioned already, that will take place here in Brussels.

And then, from the European side, we said in the statement of the European Council that if further steps were taken by Russia to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, we will take economic sanctions. And we tasked the Commission to prepare a broad range of sanctions in all kinds of areas. Of course, we have to coordinate among our member states. They are not all in the same position as far as trade, energy, financial services is concerned. So we have to coordinate among us and we have, of course, to coordinate with the United States.

But let me say also that sanctions are not a punishment; sanctions are not a retaliation. Sanctions are a positive incentive to seek a diplomatic, a political solution, while respecting, of course, international law. So sanctions are in itself -- they are not an aim in itself. But we are working also on stabilizing the situation in Ukraine -- stabilizing politically, stabilizing economically, stabilizing financially -- because that is the best answer. It’s the best answer to strengthen Ukraine, to make it a strong currency instead of a weak currency.

And that’s why we signed the Association Agreement with Ukraine. That’s why we will provide macro-financial help to Ukraine if they agree, of course, on reforms with the International Monetary Fund. That’s why, also, unilaterally we are removing -- we will remove customs duties. So there’s a broad range of initiatives we are taking to stabilize the country of Ukraine besides the actions that we can take as far as sanctions are concerned.

PRESIDENT BARROSO: Still on this issue, I believe that all this talk about who is doing more on sanctions -- the United States or Europe -- is really useless, first of all, because we are united, as we have shown, taking very important decisions like the cancellation of our European Union-Russia summit, are now together; the cancellation of the G8 summit in Sochi; and indeed the organization of the G7 meeting here in Brussels.

It’s true what you said that, in fact, the European economy is much more linked to Russia, and Russia to the European Union, than the United States; and that, in fact, Russians are much more looking to Europe also because they are traveling more here, and so on. That’s precisely why one measure in Europe that may appear not so ambitious as an American one has at least the same effect, because our trade with Russia is comparable with what the United States has with Japan, for instance.

So we are preparing the necessary measures in a determined way, of course consulting with our American partners and friends. What is important, as I just said, is that we make sure that unacceptable actions will bear very serious consequences. And so far, this has been a message that has been passed clearly to the Russian leadership.

And once again, the problem is not a competition between the United States and Europe about sanctions. The problem is one that exists between Russia and the international community. I think in the 21st century it’s just not acceptable that one big power takes part of another sovereign country, recognized as independent by the United Nations. This is the real problem, not how far are going the Americans or the European Union in their respective instruments in terms of measures.

On T-TIP, I think President Obama already said everything. Just one point -- I want to reassure the European Commission are negotiating on behalf of all 28 member states. We have a clear mandate; we are going to respect it fully. And of course, our mandate does not allow for any kind of, let’s say, weakening of our standards.

The Americans have some very high standards as well. It’s true that sometimes in the regulatory matters we don’t have exactly the same position. That’s why when it’s not possible to have regulatory convergence, I think we should try to accept some mechanisms of mutual recognition. Because it’s true that today the trade between Europe and the United States is already very much liberalized. Tariffs are relatively low compared with other parts of the world. We are trying to get that even lower, both Americans and Europeans, and I’m sure we’re going to get it.

But it is also important to give us new impulse for growth to eliminate some non-tariff barriers. And some of these non-tariff barriers are in the regulatory field. So I’m sure we can do it right. I have nothing to add to what President Obama said. But in fact, let’s work for what can be a very transformative instrument not only for the benefit, of course, of the European citizens and American people, but also hopefully for a more open global trade system.

Q: Thank you. Jeff Mason, from Reuters. Mr. President, you’re going to NATO later this afternoon. What more does NATO need to do to reassure Russia’s worried neighbors? And do you think the crisis right now in that region will make it more or less likely that NATO will expand to include Ukraine and Georgia?

And for President Van Rompuy and President Barroso, on energy, what more do you expect the United States to do to help the European Union reduce its dependence on Russian oil? And are you concerned that obstacles in Congress will prevent you from achieving your goals on trade, as we saw with a vote on the IMF yesterday also on Ukraine? Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I’m looking forward to having my meeting with Secretary General Rasmussen, whose term is expiring, and I have to say has provided outstanding leadership to NATO on a whole range of issues. So let me take an opportunity now, without him being here, to compliment him on doing just an outstanding job.

As I said yesterday at a press conference in The Hague, our commitment to NATO is the cornerstone, the most important element of U.S. national security, as well as European security. And so at the core of NATO is our Article 5 commitments to collective defense.

When I first came into office, one of the things that I said to all of the NATO members sitting around the table was that there’s no junior NATO members versus senior NATO members. Obviously, there are big countries and there are small countries in NATO, but when it comes to the commitment to collective defense, everybody is in the same footing. It does mean that we have to make sure that we have put together very real contingency plans for every one of these members, including those who came in out of Central and Eastern Europe. And over the last several years, we have worked up a number of these contingency plans.

When we meet, when the ministers meet in April, one of the things that I have suggested to the heads of state and government who are NATO members is that we examine those plans to make sure that they’re updated, that we do more to ensure that a regular NATO presence among some of these states that may feel vulnerable is executed. I think there are ways that we can do that that can be accommodated by our existing assets.

But one of the things that I’ve also said in the past and will repeat again -- and I think Secretary General Rasmussen agrees with me here -- is that if we’ve got collective defense, it means that everybody has got to chip in. And I have had some concerns about a diminished level of defense spending among some of our partners in NATO -- not all, but many. The trend lines have been going down. That’s understandable when you have an economic crisis and financial crisis, and many countries are going through fiscal consolidation. But the situation in Ukraine reminds us that our freedom isn’t free, and we’ve got to be willing to pay for the assets, the personnel, the training that’s required to make sure that we have a credible NATO force and an effective deterrent force.

So one of the things that I think, medium and long term, we’ll have to examine is whether everybody is chipping in. And this can’t just be a U.S. exercise or a British exercise or one country’s efforts. Everybody is going to have to make sure that they are engaged and involved. And I think that will help build more confidence among some of those border states.

One last thing I just want to say about energy -- I also mentioned this to President Van Rompuy and President Barroso. I think it is useful for Europe to look at its own energy assets, as well as how the United States can supply additional energy assets. Because the truth of the matter is, is that just as there’s no easy, free, simple way to defend ourselves, there’s no perfect, free, ideal, cheap energy sources. Every possible energy source has some inconveniences or downsides.

And I think that Europe collectively is going to need to examine, in light of what’s happened, their energy policies to find are there additional ways that they can diversify and accelerate energy independence. The United States as a source of energy is one possibility, and we’ve been blessed by some incredible resources. But we’re also making choices and taking on some of the difficulties and challenges of energy development, and Europe is going to have to go through some of those same conversations as well.

Q: And expansion to include Ukraine and Georgia?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think that neither Ukraine or Georgia are currently on a path to NATO membership and there has not been any immediate plans for expansion of NATO’s membership. I know that Russia, at least on background, has suggested that one of the reasons they’ve been concerned about Ukraine was potential NATO membership. On the other hand, part of the reason that the Ukraine has not formally applied for NATO membership is because of its complex relationship with Russia. I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon, obviously.

So as I said yesterday, we have a commitment that includes a military commitment to our NATO members. For non-members, we want to support those countries based on our belief in principles and ideals that are important not just in Europe but around the world, including territorial integrity and sovereignty. And so we’re going to do everything we can to support Ukraine in its elections, its economy, and to continue to try to isolate Russia in response to the actions that it’s taken. But I think it would be unrealistic to think that the Ukrainian people themselves have made a decision about that, much less the complex process that’s required in order to actually become a NATO member.

PRESIDENT BARROSO: About energy, of course, as President Obama just said, we in Europe have to solve some of our problems. We have been working on that. For instance, we have opened now a new gas route, the first time ever that we’ll have gas from the Eastern part of Europe not coming from Russia. It will be from Azerbaijan, the southern corridor. We have made progress in many carriers of the internal market, interconnections, reverse flows and so on and so forth. We are working on that.

But it’s certainly good news that the United States have this policy of putting gas from shale gas in the international market because it’s a blessing for the United States, as President Obama just said, but I would say it’s also a blessing for the world, because countries like European countries and others would be less dependent on energy coming from, let’s say, difficult spots. And we know about these licenses. We have, of course, welcomed the remarks that President Obama just confirmed now that with the FTA this is going to be much easier than with the licenses that are already being given to companies around the world to trade.

And most importantly, also we have decided to increase our cooperation in the field of energy. Already next week, under the chairmanship of John Kerry and Cathy Ashton, there will be the ministers responsible for energy meeting to see what also can be done innovative in this field.

But Europe is working very decisively to reduce its energy dependency. And that’s one of the reasons why the European Commission have been pushing for so many years, as you know, to achieve the internal market, to develop the interconnections and to have a true European energy policy. And I believe now among leaders -- we have discussed this and the chairmanship of Herman Van Rompuy in the last European Council -- there is a great awareness and commitment of this. This was a wakeup call -- very, very strong -- for Europe to go forward in terms of the energy integration and also policy for energy security.

Q: Would you like the U.S. to export more oil and gas?

PRESIDENT BARROSO: The U.S., they are already exporting more. But for that point of view, it’s better for President Obama to give you the elements. He already informed us in the G7 meeting and just today that there are licenses already given that, in fact, are equivalent to the supply of gas to Europe but they are traded in the global market. We certainly don’t expect that gas to be in the market for any kind of specific market. We are believers in free trade. We don’t want that to be the case. It’s good news and it’s up to the American President to confirm it, but I think I can say it here that there is potential still -- that’s what the President just told us -- even to increase more of these licenses. So this is certainly good news. But we are not relying just on that. We have to do also our own work here in the European Union.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you.

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Obama, NATO Secretary-General Before Meeting in Belgium
26 March 2014
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 26, 2014

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA
AND NATO SECRETARY GENERAL RASMUSSEN
BEFORE MEETING
The Hotel
Brussels, Belgium
5:33 P.M. CET

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, let me just say how much I appreciate the opportunity once again to meet with Secretary General Rasmussen. I have to say that in the entire time that he has served in this position he has done an outstanding job. His leadership, his vision, his clarity, and his political skills -- because there are a lot of NATO members -- have all been on display, and as a consequence, the Transatlantic Alliance is stronger, more robust than it was without him. And so we’re very grateful for his extraordinary work.

At a time when the situation in Ukraine I think has focused everyone’s attention on the importance of the transatlantic relationships, we spent most of our discussion reaffirming the importance of NATO, that it is the bedrock of America’s security as well as European security. We share the view that Russia’s illegal incursion into Ukraine and the violations of territorial integrity and sovereignty have to be condemned, but it also reminds us that the NATO commitments that we’ve made under Article 5 are something that are not just items on a piece of paper, but are critically important to all NATO members. And we have to have the resources and preparation to make sure that every member of NATO feels confident in Article 5’s effect.

We’ve already made a series of decisions to help underscore the importance of NATO and collective defense in the wake of what has happened in Ukraine. There will be a ministerial summit coming up at which I have asked the United States delegation to work cooperatively with the Secretary General’s office and evaluate all the additional steps that we might take in order to bolster that confidence among all NATO members.

And we also talked about a project that the Secretary General has been working on for quite some time to continue to develop the joint capabilities of NATO. And I think that at this moment, as I said at the press conference earlier today, both the United States and Europe are going to have to make sure that we are stepping up our game and making the contributions that are required in order for us to give full effect to our NATO obligations.

One of the things that I’ve been very proud of in working with Secretary Rasmussen is the degree of unanimity that he has been able to forge on a whole range of issues. One of his biggest jobs has been dealing with the situation in Afghanistan as we end our combat mission in Afghanistan and we transition to a train-and-advise situation. He has helped to oversee that process. We do not yet have a Bilateral Security Agreement that fully clarifies what the nature of our mission will be post-2014, but working together, we’re confident that we can prepare for any eventuality and that we can continue to maintain both the counterterrorism commitments as well as the commitments to help develop an Afghan security force that can ensure that Afghanistan does not end up being, once again, a safe haven for terrorism and that it can be a stable and secure country that serves the prosperity and the security of the Afghan people.

Finally, we touched on the continued interest that NATO has in partnering with other countries and helping them to train and develop their capacities for security. The more that we have effective partners, the greater reach that we have, and I think Anders has been very effective and visionary in suggesting a focus to all NATO members about how we can extend our reach in that fashion.

So, overall, with a very busy agenda and a very full plate, Secretary General Rasmussen has done an outstanding job. He’s been a great partner to us. He’s going to be transitioning, but he will have left his mark not just on NATO but I think on the long-term security of both his native Europe as well as the United States of America, and for that we’re very grateful.

SECRETARY GENERAL RASMUSSEN: Thank you very much, Mr. President, for those very kind words. I’m very grateful for your support throughout my tenure as Secretary General and I look forward to working with you to prepare a substantive summit in Wales in September.

I thank you very much for your strong leadership and for your steadfast commitment to our alliance. The transatlantic bond between North America and Europe is the bedrock of security in Europe and in North America. I really appreciate your reaffirmation of the commitment of the United States to our shared defense and security, and I welcome the steps that the United States has taken in response to Russia’s reckless and illegal military actions in Ukraine.

Clearly, collective defense of our allies is a core task for NATO, and I join you in your call for additional measures to enhance our collective defense, including updated and further developed defense plans, enhanced exercises, appropriate deployment. Our commitment to the defense of our allies is unbreakable, and at the same time, we are firm in our support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will intensify our military cooperation with the Ukraine, including helping the Ukrainians to modernize their armed forces.

As we prepare for our next summit in Wales later this year, we will review the viability of our relationship with Russia; we will enhance cooperation with our partners; we will further strengthen our collective defense; and we will reinforce the transatlantic bond. NATO is a force for peace but also unmatched militarily. We do not seek confrontation, but we will not waver if challenged. And our alliance is more than just a military alliance. We are a community of values that also brings hope for all people seeking freedom and peace.

Thank you.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much.

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President Obama's Remarks in Brussels to European Youth
26 March 2014
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 26, 2014

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA
IN ADDRESS TO EUROPEAN YOUTH

Palais des Beaux Arts
Brussels, Belgium
6:16 P.M. CET

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much. Thank you. (Applause.) Please, please have a seat. Good evening. Goede avond. Bonsoir. Guten abend. (Applause.) Thank you, Laura, for that remarkable introduction. Before she came out she told me not to be nervous. (Laughter.) And I can only imagine -- I think her father is in the audience, and I can only imagine how proud he is of her. We're grateful for her work, but she’s also reminding us that our future will be defined by young people like her.

Your Majesties, Mr. Prime Minister, and the people of Belgium -- on behalf of the American people, we are grateful for your friendship. We stand together as inseparable allies, and I thank you for your wonderful hospitality. I have to admit it is easy to love a country famous for chocolate and beer. (Laughter.)

Leaders and dignitaries of the European Union; representatives of our NATO Alliance; distinguished guests: We meet here at a moment of testing for Europe and the United States, and for the international order that we have worked for generations to build.

Throughout human history, societies have grappled with fundamental questions of how to organize themselves, the proper relationship between the individual and the state, the best means to resolve inevitable conflicts between states. And it was here in Europe, through centuries of struggle -- through war and Enlightenment, repression and revolution -- that a particular set of ideals began to emerge: The belief that through conscience and free will, each of us has the right to live as we choose. The belief that power is derived from the consent of the governed, and that laws and institutions should be established to protect that understanding. And those ideas eventually inspired a band of colonialists across an ocean, and they wrote them into the founding documents that still guide America today, including the simple truth that all men -- and women -- are created equal.

But those ideals have also been tested -- here in Europe and around the world. Those ideals have often been threatened by an older, more traditional view of power. This alternative vision argues that ordinary men and women are too small-minded to govern their own affairs, that order and progress can only come when individuals surrender their rights to an all-powerful sovereign. Often, this alternative vision roots itself in the notion that by virtue of race or faith or ethnicity, some are inherently superior to others, and that individual identity must be defined by “us” versus “them,” or that national greatness must flow not by what a people stand for, but by what they are against.

In many ways, the history of Europe in the 20th century represented the ongoing clash of these two sets of ideas, both within nations and among nations. The advance of industry and technology outpaced our ability to resolve our differences peacefully, and even among the most civilized of societies, on the surface we saw a descent into barbarism.

This morning at Flanders Field, I was reminded of how war between peoples sent a generation to their deaths in the trenches and gas of the First World War. And just two decades later, extreme nationalism plunged this continent into war once again -- with populations enslaved, and great cities reduced to rubble, and tens of millions slaughtered, including those lost in the Holocaust.

It is in response to this tragic history that, in the aftermath of World War II, America joined with Europe to reject the darker forces of the past and build a new architecture of peace. Workers and engineers gave life to the Marshall Plan. Sentinels stood vigilant in a NATO Alliance that would become the strongest the world has ever known. And across the Atlantic, we embraced a shared vision of Europe -- a vision based on representative democracy, individual rights, and a belief that nations can meet the interests of their citizens through trade and open markets; a social safety net and respect for those of different faiths and backgrounds.

For decades, this vision stood in sharp contrast to life on the other side of an Iron Curtain. For decades, a contest was waged, and ultimately that contest was won -- not by tanks or missiles, but because our ideals stirred the hearts of Hungarians who sparked a revolution; Poles in their shipyards who stood in Solidarity; Czechs who waged a Velvet Revolution without firing a shot; and East Berliners who marched past the guards and finally tore down that wall.

Today, what would have seemed impossible in the trenches of Flanders, the rubble of Berlin, or a dissident’s prison cell -- that reality is taken for granted. A Germany unified. The nations of Central and Eastern Europe welcomed into the family of democracies. Here in this country, once the battleground of Europe, we meet in the hub of a Union that brings together age-old adversaries in peace and cooperation. The people of Europe, hundreds of millions of citizens -- east, west, north, south -- are more secure and more prosperous because we stood together for the ideals we share.

And this story of human progress was by no means limited to Europe. Indeed, the ideals that came to define our alliance also inspired movements across the globe among those very people, ironically, who had too often been denied their full rights by Western powers. After the Second World War, people from Africa to India threw off the yoke of colonialism to secure their independence. In the United States, citizens took freedom rides and endured beatings to put an end to segregation and to secure their civil rights. As the Iron Curtain fell here in Europe, the iron fist of apartheid was unclenched, and Nelson Mandela emerged upright, proud, from prison to lead a multiracial democracy. Latin American nations rejected dictatorship and built new democracies, and Asian nations showed that development and democracy could go hand in hand.

Young people in the audience today, young people like Laura, were born in a place and a time where there is less conflict, more prosperity and more freedom than any time in human history. But that’s not because man’s darkest impulses have vanished. Even here, in Europe, we’ve seen ethnic cleansing in the Balkans that shocked the conscience.

The difficulties of integration and globalization, recently amplified by the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, strained the European project and stirred the rise of a politics that too often targets immigrants or gays or those who seem somehow different.

While technology has opened up vast opportunities for trade and innovation and cultural understanding, it’s also allowed terrorists to kill on a horrifying scale. Around the world, sectarian warfare and ethnic conflicts continue to claim thousands of lives. And once again, we are confronted with the belief among some that bigger nations can bully smaller ones to get their way -- that recycled maxim that might somehow makes right.

So I come here today to insist that we must never take for granted the progress that has been won here in Europe and advanced around the world, because the contest of ideas continues for your generation. And that’s what’s at stake in Ukraine today. Russia’s leadership is challenging truths that only a few weeks ago seemed self-evident -- that in the 21st century, the borders of Europe cannot be redrawn with force, that international law matters, that people and nations can make their own decisions about their future.

To be honest, if we defined our interests narrowly, if we applied a cold-hearted calculus, we might decide to look the other way. Our economy is not deeply integrated with Ukraine’s. Our people and our homeland face no direct threat from the invasion of Crimea. Our own borders are not threatened by Russia’s annexation. But that kind of casual indifference would ignore the lessons that are written in the cemeteries of this continent. It would allow the old way of doing things to regain a foothold in this young century. And that message would be heard not just in Europe, but in Asia and the Americas, in Africa and the Middle East.

And the consequences that would arise from complacency are not abstractions. The impact that they have on the lives of real people -- men and women just like us -- have to enter into our imaginations. Just look at the young people of Ukraine who were determined to take back their future from a government rotted by corruption -- the portraits of the fallen shot by snipers, the visitors who pay their respects at the Maidan. There was the university student, wrapped in the Ukrainian flag, expressing her hope that “every country should live by the law.” A postgraduate student, speaking of her fellow protestors, saying, “I want these people who are here to have dignity.” Imagine that you are the young woman who said, “there are some things that fear, police sticks and tear gas cannot destroy.”

We’ve never met these people, but we know them. Their voices echo calls for human dignity that rang out in European streets and squares for generations. Their voices echo those around the world who at this very moment fight for their dignity. These Ukrainians rejected a government that was stealing from the people instead of serving them, and are reaching for the same ideals that allow us to be here today.

None of us can know for certain what the coming days will bring in Ukraine, but I am confident that eventually those voices -- those voices for human dignity and opportunity and individual rights and rule of law -- those voices ultimately will triumph. I believe that over the long haul, as nations that are free, as free people, the future is ours. I believe this not because I’m naïve, and I believe this not because of the strength of our arms or the size of our economies, I believe this because these ideals that we affirm are true; these ideals are universal.

Yes, we believe in democracy -- with elections that are free and fair; and independent judiciaries and opposition parties; civil society and uncensored information so that individuals can make their own choices. Yes, we believe in open economies based on free markets and innovation, and individual initiative and entrepreneurship, and trade and investment that creates a broader prosperity. And, yes, we believe in human dignity -- that every person is created equal, no matter who you are, or what you look like, or who you love, or where you come from. That is what we believe. That’s what makes us strong.

And our enduring strength is also reflected in our respect for an international system that protects the rights of both nations and people -- a United Nations and a Universal Declaration of Human Rights; international law and the means to enforce those laws. But we also know that those rules are not self-executing; they depend on people and nations of goodwill continually affirming them. And that’s why Russia’s violation of international law -- its assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity -- must be met with condemnation. Not because we’re trying to keep Russia down, but because the principles that have meant so much to Europe and the world must be lifted up.

Over the last several days, the United States, Europe, and our partners around the world have been united in defense of these ideals, and united in support of the Ukrainian people. Together, we’ve condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and rejected the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum. Together, we have isolated Russia politically, suspending it from the G8 nations and downgrading our bilateral ties. Together, we are imposing costs through sanctions that have left a mark on Russia and those accountable for its actions. And if the Russian leadership stays on its current course, together we will ensure that this isolation deepens. Sanctions will expand. And the toll on Russia’s economy, as well as its standing in the world, will only increase.

And meanwhile, the United States and our allies will continue to support the government of Ukraine as they chart a democratic course. Together, we are going to provide a significant package of assistance that can help stabilize the Ukrainian economy, and meet the basic needs of the people. Make no mistake: Neither the United States, nor Europe has any interest in controlling Ukraine. We have sent no troops there. What we want is for the Ukrainian people to make their own decisions, just like other free people around the world.

Understand, as well, this is not another Cold War that we’re entering into. After all, unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology. The United States and NATO do not seek any conflict with Russia. In fact, for more than 60 years, we have come together in NATO -- not to claim other lands, but to keep nations free. What we will do -- always -- is uphold our solemn obligation, our Article 5 duty to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our allies. And in that promise we will never waver; NATO nations never stand alone.

Today, NATO planes patrol the skies over the Baltics, and we’ve reinforced our presence in Poland. And we’re prepared to do more. Going forward, every NATO member state must step up and carry its share of the burden by showing the political will to invest in our collective defense, and by developing the capabilities to serve as a source of international peace and security.

Of course, Ukraine is not a member of NATO -- in part because of its close and complex history with Russia. Nor will Russia be dislodged from Crimea or deterred from further escalation by military force. But with time, so long as we remain united, the Russian people will recognize that they cannot achieve security, prosperity and the status that they seek through brute force. And that’s why, throughout this crisis, we will combine our substantial pressure on Russia with an open door for diplomacy. I believe that for both Ukraine and Russia, a stable peace will come through de-escalation -- direct dialogue between Russia and the government of Ukraine and the international community; monitors who can ensure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected; a process of constitutional reform within Ukraine; and free and fair elections this spring.

So far, Russia has resisted diplomatic overtures, annexing Crimea and massing large forces along Ukraine’s border. Russia has justified these actions as an effort to prevent problems on its own borders and to protect ethnic Russians inside Ukraine. Of course, there is no evidence, and never has been, of systemic violence against ethnic Russians inside of Ukraine. Moreover, many countries around the world face similar questions about their borders and ethnic minorities abroad, about sovereignty and self-determination. These are tensions that have led in other places to debate and democratic referendums, conflicts and uneasy co-existence. These are difficult issues, and it is precisely because these questions are hard that they must be addressed through constitutional means and international laws so that majorities cannot simply suppress minorities, and big countries cannot simply bully the small.

In defending its actions, Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent -- an example they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country, just as they’re doing now. But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years. And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. None of that even came close to happening in Crimea.

Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. Now, it is true that the Iraq War was a subject of vigorous debate not just around the world, but in the United States as well. I participated in that debate and I opposed our military intervention there. But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future.

Of course, neither the United States nor Europe are perfect in adherence to our ideals, nor do we claim to be the sole arbiter of what is right or wrong in the world. We are human, after all, and we face difficult choices about how to exercise our power. But part of what makes us different is that we welcome criticism, just as we welcome the responsibilities that come with global leadership.

We look to the East and the South and see nations poised to play a growing role on the world stage, and we consider that a good thing. It reflects the same diversity that makes us stronger as a nation and the forces of integration and cooperation that Europe has advanced for decades. And in a world of challenges that are increasingly global, all of us have an interest in nations stepping forward to play their part -- to bear their share of the burden and to uphold international norms.

So our approach stands in stark contrast to the arguments coming out of Russia these days. It is absurd to suggest -- as a steady drumbeat of Russian voices do -- that America is somehow conspiring with fascists inside of Ukraine or failing to respect the Russian people. My grandfather served in Patton’s Army, just as many of your fathers and grandfathers fought against fascism. We Americans remember well the unimaginable sacrifices made by the Russian people in World War II, and we have honored those sacrifices.

Since the end of the Cold War, we have worked with Russia under successive administrations to build ties of culture and commerce and international community not as a favor to Russia, but because it was in our national interests. And together, we’ve secured nuclear materials from terrorists. We welcomed Russia into the G8 and the World Trade Organization. From the reduction of nuclear arms to the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons, we believe the world has benefited when Russia chooses to cooperate on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.

So America, and the world and Europe, has an interest in a strong and responsible Russia, not a weak one. We want the Russian people to live in security, prosperity and dignity like everyone else -- proud of their own history. But that does not mean that Russia can run roughshod over its neighbors. Just because Russia has a deep history with Ukraine does not mean it should be able to dictate Ukraine’s future. No amount of propaganda can make right something that the world knows is wrong.

In the end, every society must chart its own course. America’s path or Europe’s path is not the only ways to reach freedom and justice. But on the fundamental principle that is at stake here -- the ability of nations and peoples to make their own choices -- there can be no going back. It’s not America that filled the Maidan with protesters -- it was Ukrainians. No foreign forces compelled the citizens of Tunis and Tripoli to rise up -- they did so on their own. From the Burmese parliamentarian pursuing reform to the young leaders fighting corruption and intolerance in Africa, we see something irreducible that all of us share as human beings -- a truth that will persevere in the face of violence and repression and will ultimately overcome.

For the young people here today, I know it may seem easy to see these events as removed from our lives, remote from our daily routines, distant from concerns closer to home. I recognize that both in the United States and in much of Europe there’s more than enough to worry about in the affairs of our own countries. There will always be voices who say that what happens in the wider world is not our concern, nor our responsibility. But we must never forget that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. Our democracy, our individual opportunity only exists because those who came before us had the wisdom and the courage to recognize that our ideals will only endure if we see our self-interest in the success of other peoples and other nations.

Now is not the time for bluster. The situation in Ukraine, like crises in many parts of the world, does not have easy answers nor a military solution. But at this moment, we must meet the challenge to our ideals -- to our very international order -- with strength and conviction.

And it is you, the young people of Europe, young people like Laura, who will help decide which way the currents of our history will flow. Do not think for a moment that your own freedom, your own prosperity, that your own moral imagination is bound by the limits of your community, your ethnicity, or even your country. You’re bigger than that. You can help us to choose a better history. That’s what Europe tells us. That’s what the American experience is all about.

I say this as the President of a country that looked to Europe for the values that are written into our founding documents, and which spilled blood to ensure that those values could endure on these shores. I also say this as the son of a Kenyan whose grandfather was a cook for the British, and as a person who once lived in Indonesia as it emerged from colonialism. The ideals that unite us matter equally to the young people of Boston or Brussels, or Jakarta or Nairobi, or Krakow or Kyiv.

In the end, the success of our ideals comes down to us -- including the example of our own lives, our own societies. We know that there will always be intolerance. But instead of fearing the immigrant, we can welcome him. We can insist on policies that benefit the many, not just the few; that an age of globalization and dizzying change opens the door of opportunity to the marginalized, and not just a privileged few. Instead of targeting our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, we can use our laws to protect their rights. Instead of defining ourselves in opposition to others, we can affirm the aspirations that we hold in common. That’s what will make America strong. That’s what will make Europe strong. That’s what makes us who we are.

And just as we meet our responsibilities as individuals, we must be prepared to meet them as nations. Because we live in a world in which our ideals are going to be challenged again and again by forces that would drag us back into conflict or corruption. We can’t count on others to rise to meet those tests. The policies of your government, the principles of your European Union, will make a critical difference in whether or not the international order that so many generations before you have strived to create continues to move forward, or whether it retreats.

And that’s the question we all must answer -- what kind of Europe, what kind of America, what kind of world will we leave behind. And I believe that if we hold firm to our principles, and are willing to back our beliefs with courage and resolve, then hope will ultimately overcome fear, and freedom will continue to triumph over tyranny -- because that is what forever stirs in the human heart.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2014/03/20140326296962.html#axzz2x77Bskwn
 
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DriftingSand

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Unfortunately, both Parties have been "going global" in recent decades. Good thread!

We can expect more of the same regardless of which establishment candidate assumes the Presidency next time around. We can rest assured that the Rand/Ron Pauls and other Constitutionalists will be completely blackballed and "ousted" before they make any headway.
 
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Flanders

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Unfortunately, both Parties have been "going global" in recent decades.

To DriftingSand: YouÂ’re right. Bush the Elder was a New World Order guy from the start. Ronald Reagan was probably the last Republican that had no use for the United Nations. His Ambassador to the UN famously said:

If this body feels that the United States no longer serves the purposes of the United Nations, then maybe it is time that the United Nations find a new home. I for one will be happy to stand on the pier and wave goodbye as you all sail off into the sunset. Jeanne Kirkpatrick US Ambassador to the UN

Compare Jeanne Kirkpatrick (1926 - 2006), who was a Democrat, to Suzy Five Shows and Samantha Power.

We can expect more of the same regardless of which establishment candidate assumes the Presidency next time around.

To DriftingSand: Exactly so. ThatÂ’s why IÂ’m not putting too much energy into following Karl RoveÂ’s presidential wannabes. Marco Rubio is an overt internationalist; the rest of the establishment Republicans keep their loyalties well-hidden.

We can rest assured that the Rand/Ron Pauls and other Constitutionalists will be completely blackballed and "ousted" before they make any headway.

To DriftingSand: You’re right again. I don’t see much hope for a true conservative this time around. The media knows that “ANY Republican” is going to have a huge advantage in 2016. They will do everything in their power to see that the candidate is not a Tea Party favorite.

On the plus side, more conservatives in Congress might be enough to derail the global government crowd for a time, but unless America withdraws from the UN à la Ron Paul’s HR 1146 the quislings will eventually win.


 
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