Charles (usually called Chas) Freeman has just taken another step in revealing his out-of-control loathing of Israel, accusing it of being worse than South Africa. Who is he and why is this significant?
For the last dozen years, Freeman, the former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has been President of the Middle East Policy Council (formally known as the American Arab Affairs Council) a Lobbying group for the Arab World. One of the groups primary functions is to Publish a quarterly journal called Middle East Policy. The Journal is filled with anti-Israel messages that are beyond even the broadest definition of mainstream of U.S. thinking on the region. As the President of the the organization responsible for this Journal, who's viciousness and willing to show bias, the attempted appointment of Freeman as a gatekeeper for U.S. Intelligence is a very disturbing matter.
It matters because Freeman, with nothing more to lose from making public his true feelings, had been the Obama Administration nominee--selected by intelligence chief Dennis Blair--to be chair of the National Intelligence Council. Freeman had to withdraw and though the real reason has never before been made public, it is this: he was involved in business with Saudi Arabia which came close to the borders of legality and certainly would have been very embarassing for him and the administration if made public.
Freeman's connections with China also raised questions. In fact, many think he had to pull out of the nomination more because of his defense of China's government at a time it was violently repressing dissent than for anything connected with Israel. It is clear, however, who Freeman blames for his humiliating defeat.
By the way, note that this gentleman who finds Israel so offensive has never had anything but praise for the Saudi political system and society.
Freeman was also a client of the Saudis to such an extent that then Secretary of State James Baker, who certainly couldn't be accused of being pro-Israel, described Freeman in scathing terms in his own autobiography for always taking the Saudi line in a way that interfered in the effort to force Iraq out of Kuwait in 1990-1991.
Since losing the nomination, Freeman has been more and more hysterical publicly in expressing his hatred of Israel, with strong hints that his attitude extended to Jews generally. Presumably, he held pretty much the same views beforehand but didn't talk so loudly about them.
The story of how Freeman was kept out of office is an amazing tale of how a handful of bloggers--without support from any group or institution--forced the story into public attention. One day I might tell it to you.
Meanwhile, though, reflect on how things would be if Freeman was in a high administration position and ask yourself what kind of administration would have appointed such a man to a highly influential post. The issue here is not just attitude toward Israel but picking someone who had some questionable associations, a bad record as ambassador, and seems--judging from his public statements--emotionally excitable and fairly extremist as well. Not the kind of cool, open-minded, and balanced mentality one would want in just about the most powerful post for evaluating intelligence.
Recently Obama had blocked a shipment of bunker-busters that was slated for Israel, and in the meantime the murdering Mullahs of Iran are on their way to obtaining nuclear warheads. Now our America hating Dictator is pledging not to develop any new nuclear weapon systems. I know that Obama wants to destroy America as we know it, but what is even more disturbing is that many of his followers actually believe that other countries will not see this as a sign of weakness, and look to build up their military might to challenge us. They are just do not deal in reality.
Hat tip to Roger.
President Obama will rewrite America’s policy on nuclear weapons next week, heralding further reductions in the US stockpile and giving a pledge not to develop new systems.
After a review of the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal that has involved, among others, the Pentagon, the Department of Energy and the intelligence services, as well as the White House, Mr Obama is expected to reject the doctrine on nuclear weapons — the “nuclear posture” — adopted by George W. Bush, which included the possibility of the United States launching an attack on a non-nuclear state.
The Obama Administration has come under pressure from arms control analysts to redefine the circumstances in which the US might consider using nuclear weapons, and to state beyond doubt that the justification for keeping them is purely as a deterrent.
After the President’s speech in Prague last April, when he laid out his personal vision of a world without nuclear weapons, the US has been carrying out a review of its nuclear posture and the conclusions are due to be published in a declassified version early next week — before Mr Obama flies back to Prague to sign the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) with President Medvedev of Russia on April 8.President Bush tried but failed to persuade Congress to finance a new programme to develop more advanced “bunker-busting” nuclear bombs, as well as to design new atomic warheads. Now Mr Obama is expected to rule out the development of new weapons systems — despite reservations from the military, which is mindful that Russia and China are modernising and expanding their nuclear forces respectively. He will also drop the notion, espoused by his predecessor, that nuclear warheads can be deployed in certain circumstances; for example, if another country resorts to attacking US forces with chemical or biological weapons.
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said that if Mr Obama redefined nuclear arms as purely weapons of deterrence, it would “eliminate the number of potential targets the US military think they need to hit”. It would also reduce the number of nuclear weapons the US believes it needs, he said, which could bring the total well below the 1,550 strategic warheads agreed under the new Start treaty announced last week.
One of the key issues is whether Mr Obama should agree to make a new declaration that the US will never be the first to use nuclear weapons — no first-use, as it is called. Under Mr Bush the policy was deliberately ambiguous.
The Obama Administration could declare a “negative security assurance”, under which the US would pledge never to attack a non-nuclear state with nuclear weapons, provided that they were loyal upholders of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). “That would exclude North Korea and Iran,” Mr Kimball said.
In reviewing its nuclear arsenal, the US is considering withdrawing from Europe its last tactical nuclear weapons — 200 B61 gravity bombs — which are based in Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands; all members of Nato. Under a longstanding agreement, the air forces of these countries would be expected to fly their own bombers carrying the American B61 bombs in the event of a conflict in which the US had approved the use of nuclear weapons.
A decision on this is not expected to be included in the revised nuclear posture, as it is a matter for discussion within Nato, which is developing an updated strategic concept. However, several countries say they want the nuclear gravity bombs to be withdrawn because there is no longer any justification for keeping them in Europe.
Mr Kimball said: “It’s not like the Red Army is going to be coming across Poland and Germany. Conflict between Russia and the US is unfathomable, but the nuclear weapons in Europe give the Russians the cynical excuse not to talk about their own strategy on tactical weapons.”
Dmitri Medvedev spoke on the phone to President Obama to seal the deal
It took no more than 15 minutes yesterday for President Obama and President Medvedev to agree on the final wording of a treaty that will lead to significant cuts in American and Russian strategic nuclear warheads. The hard work had already been carried out by US and Russian negotiators in
Geneva, but the two leaders spoke to each other on the telephone briefly to
seal the agreement that will cut nuclear arsenals on each side to 1,550
warheads — down from 2,200 — and reduce stockpiles of missiles and launch
Within minutes of Mr Obama making an announcement at the White House, Moscow claimed that the treaty would establish a legally binding link betweenHowever, Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, who attended the announcement ceremony at the White House yesterday, insisted that the treaty would not prevent the US from “improving and deploying” missile defence systems in Europe and elsewhere.
strategic weapons and missile defence systems, hinting that it might impose
restrictions on America’s anti-missile programme, which the Russians oppose.The deal, to be signed by Mr Obama and Mr Medvedev in Prague on April 8, marks the American President’s most significant foreign policy achievement since taking office.
Hillary Clinton, who was present at the ceremony, said that it would also send a message to Iran and North Korea, both locked in nuclear stand-offs with the West, that the US and Russia were committed to preventing proliferation.
The Secretary of State said that the treaty, which has to be ratified byMr Obama described the cutback not only as a sign of his long-term dream of a world without nuclear weapons but also as a reflection of the “reset” relationship between Washington and Moscow. “When the United States and Russia can co-operate effectively it advances the mutual interests of our two nations and the security and prosperity of the wider world,” he said.
Congress and the Russian Duma, will be subject to a rigorous verification
regime. She recalled the phrase often used by Ronald Reagan in his talks on
the issue with President Gorbachev: “Trust — but verify.”
Mr Gates emphasised that nuclear weapons remained a pillar of America’s defence posture “both to deter potential adversaries and to reassure more than two dozen allies and partners who rely on our nuclear umbrella for their security”.
However, he added: “It is clear we can accomplish these goals with fewer nuclear weapons.”
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