Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

There is no dearth of kennel imagery at the Republican National Convention.  There are plenty of “dog-whistle” remarks. Last night, in the post mortem of Ted Cruz’s speech, a commentator said, “Its not like he killed a puppy!” Cruz himself, in refusing to endorse Trump,  has said he will not be a ‘servile puppy dog.’


If you have the general impression that the Grand Old Party is going to the dogs, however, you need look no further than the nominee himself whose running mate told the convention last night that we do not abandon our friends just before the candidate himself told the New York Times, well … not exactly.

In an interview with David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman, Trump said he might, as president, not honor NATO commitments if nations have not ‘fulfilled their obligations to us.’  Foreign policy experts and even members of his own party are reeling.

Jeffrey Goldberg, in The Atlantic, takes the issue one step beyond, likening Trump to Vladimir Putin.

It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin

Fulfilling what might be the Russian autocrat’s dearest wish, Trump has openly questioned whether the U.S. should keep its commitments to NATO.

Jeffrey Goldberg

The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.

I am not suggesting that Donald Trump is employed by Putin—though his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was for many years on the payroll of the Putin-backed former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. I am arguing that Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests; that his critique of American democracy is in accord with the Kremlin’s critique of American democracy; and that he shares numerous ideological and dispositional proclivities with Putin—for one thing, an obsession with the sort of “strength” often associated with dictators. Trump is making it clear that, as president, he would allow Russia to advance its hegemonic interests across Europe and the Middle East. His election would immediately trigger a wave of global instability—much worse than anything we are seeing today—because America’s allies understand that Trump would likely dismantle the post-World War II U.S.-created international order. Many of these countries, feeling abandoned, would likely pursue nuclear weapons programs on their own, leading to a nightmare of proliferation.

Trump’s sympathy for Putin has not been a secret. Trump said he would “get along very well” with Putin, and he has pleased Putin by expressing a comprehensive lack of interest in the future of Ukraine, the domination of which is a core Putinist principle. The Trump movement also agrees with Putin that U.S. democracy is fatally flawed. A Trump adviser, Carter Page, recently denounced—to a Moscow audience—America’s “often-hypocritical focus on democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.” Earlier this week, Trump’s operatives watered down the Republican Party’s national-security platform position on Ukraine, removing a promise to help the Ukrainians receive lethal aid in their battle to remain free of Russian control.

Read more >>>>


When your only character witnesses are your own kids and the rest of the support speeches at the convention must rely on demonizing your opponent rather than advancing your image, you have a problem.  When foreign policy experts align you with our arch adversary, one for whom you have expressed a certain admiration, it should render you radioactive.

It is high time for the media to start holding a magnifying glass over Donald Trump.  There has been a lot of screaming about Hillary: three emails with little embedded (c)s and a server that was more secure that the government servers, persistent lies about what she did and said during and after the attacks in Benghazi.

When Donald Trump entertains the notion of compromising NATO, the golden fleece of the 20th century, an alliance that kept the world safe in the wake of two  world wars, he endangers national security.  When he says something is going on and we need to find out what, he is correct.  Something is going on … with him.  We may not know what, exactly, but it is very clear that he is in no way qualified or predisposed to lead the free world.

It should not be difficult to figure out what to do.

We put Hillary Clinton’s resume side by side with Donald Trump’s. The contrast couldn’t be starker.

1997: Trump ponders Miss Universe swimsuit sizes. Hillary gets health insurance for 8 million kids.

Statement From Jake Sullivan On Trump’s NATO Comments

HFA Senior Policy Adviser Jake Sullivan released the following statement on Donald Trump’s latest comments about NATO and his view of America’s role in the world:

“Tonight, Mike Pence said Donald Trump would stand with our allies. Tonight, Donald Trump flatly contradicted him.

For decades, the United States has given an ironclad guarantee to our NATO allies: we will come to their defense if they are attacked, just as they came to our defense after 9/11. Donald Trump was asked if he would honor that guarantee. He said… maybe, maybe not.

Ronald Reagan would be ashamed. Harry Truman would be ashamed. Republicans, Democrats and Independents who help build NATO into the most successful military alliance in history would all come to the same conclusion: Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit and fundamentally ill-prepared to be our Commander in Chief.

The President is supposed to be the leader of the free world. Donald Trump apparently doesn’t even believe in the free world.

Over the course of this campaign, Trump has displayed a bizarre and occasionally obsequious fascination with Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin. And he has the policy positions – and advisors – to match. Just this week, we learned that the Trump campaign went to great lengths to remove a plank from the GOP platform about aid to Ukraine that would have offended Putin, bucking a strongly held position within his own party. Previously, he celebrated the Brexit vote, and in turn, casually predicted the disintegration of Europe. And now, he won’t even commit to protecting our NATO allies against a Russian invasion. It is fair to assume that Vladimir Putin is rooting for a Trump presidency.

More broadly, Trump has apparently decided that America lacks the moral authority to advance our interests and values around the world. He has adopted the logic and positions of China, Russia, and Iran. And there will be plenty of time in the days ahead to address his strategy to strengthen our coalition against ISIS, which apparently can be summed up in one word, ‘meetings.’

The choice in this election is clear. Hillary Clinton will defend our allies. She will protect our people. And she will uphold a bipartisan tradition of American foreign policy that has made us the greatest force for peace, progress, and prosperity the world has ever known.”



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Speaking at the Prado at Balboa Park in San Diego to a very enthusiastic audience that clearly was largely military, Hillary made her case for why she, and not Donald Trump should be the next commander-in-chief.

TRANSCRIPT: Hillary Clinton Delivers Major National Security Address

In a major speech on Thursday, June 2, Hillary Clinton painted a clear picture for the American people of the choice they will face this November — a choice between steady, principled American leadership, and a dangerously uncertain future governed by an unprepared, misguided and temperamentally unfit commander-in-chief.

Transcript of her remarks >>>>

Hillary argued for a smart and principled foreign policy. She framed the contest as between  a fearful America v. a strong confident America. She set goals:  defeat ISIS,  strengthen America, and make sure Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.

Trump isn’t just incoherent; he’s dangerous. He’s not just unprepared; he’s temperamentally unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.

We cannot put the security of our children and grandchildren in Donald Trump’s hands. We cannot let him roll the dice with America.

We’re not a country that cowers behind walls. We lead with purpose, and we prevail.

Hillary characterized Trump’s remarks as rants and outright lies.  She argued for strength at home making us strong in the world and explained how our alliances work to keep us strong.

America’s network of allies is part of what makes us exceptional. And our allies deliver for us every day.

Hillary said, ” We’re lucky to have two friendly nations on our land borders. Why make one of them an enemy?” She recommended that we embrace all the tools, especially diplomacy and development.

She said we should be firm but wise with our rivals, stand our ground when we must, and find common ground when we can.

She talked about Trump’s bizarre fascination with dictators and strong men.

The tools Donald Trump brings to the table—bragging, mocking, composing nasty tweets—won’t do the trick.

Hillary Clinton Retweeted Donald J. Trump

Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.

Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn’t even look presidential!

Hillary said we must stay true to our values.

“Americans work harder, dreamer bigger, and we never stop trying to make the world a better place.”

Speaking of the temperament it takes to be commander-in-chief, she called Trump thin-skinned and quick to anger.

Electing him, she said, would be a historic mistake that would undo decades of work and fuel an ugly narrative about who we are. She said,  “Donald Trump’s got America all wrong.”

Don’t let anyone tell you that America isn’t great. Donald Trump’s got America all wrong.

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Hillary was organized, succinct, instructive, and forceful.  She planted her arguments in the middle of Main Street and centered them on families.  The audience was right with her throughout.  She was serious, candid, and funny and she looked … well, she looked and sounded presidential!


Had to add this.  Too good not to share.



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Barbie Latza Nadeau



Vatican: Pope Didn’t Invite Bernie Sanders

The Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told The Daily Beast that it wasn’t the pope who personally invited the politician. “The invitation was made on behalf of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, not by Pope Francis,” he said.  “There is no expectation that the pope will meet Mr. Sanders.” He then added that he could not completely exclude the possibility, but that nothing was on the agenda at the moment. 

Margaret Archer, president of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, said that Sanders invited himself. “Sanders made the first move, for the obvious reasons,” Archer told Bloomberg. “He may be going for the Catholic vote but this is not the Catholic vote and he should remember that and act accordingly — not that he will.”

Not long after, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences stepped in to dispute Archer’s statements. “”I deny that. It was not that way,” Sorondo told Reuters “This is not true and she knows it. I invited him with her consensus.”

Sorondo later toned down his initial comments telling CNN the invitation should not be seen as an endorsement of the senator’s nomination. “It does not signify any support of the campaign,” Sorondo said. “We want to establish a dialogue between North America and South America so we thought to invite a [U.S.] politician. The President of Bolivia will also be there. Perhaps the others (candidates) would have been interested but they did not request to come.”

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As the nuns used to say, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Monsignor!  Where have you been?  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spent good chunks of her tenure at the State Department re-establishing ties and friendships that the previous administration had allowed to deteriorate and falter, among them South American relations.

Here are Secretary Clinton’s South American visits. I have left off the Central American visits because Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo specified South America, not, more broadly, Latin America. Also not included are the many summits, conferences, strategic partnerships, and visits that occurred in Washington DC.

Tour March 2010 Beginning here >>>>

Tour June 2010 Beginning here >>>>

This, January 1, 2011 >>>>

Tour April 2012  Beginning >>>>

Since he specifically referred to Rafael Correa, here is a reminder of how well Correa and Hillary hit it off in 2010.

The bottom line appears to be that Bernie Sanders actively sought this invitation, and Msgr. Sanchez Solondo overstepped his role and that of the conference which is not tasked with establishing diplomatic relations between nations. Bernie’s primary opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,  knows the South American leaders very well and has a great working relationship with them.

Certainly her campaign became aware of this conference at some point.  That she did not request an invitation is evidence that 1) This visit relates to the election in only the most tangential way – the Catholic vote which, as Archer said, this is not; and 2) – and this is perhaps central – Hillary does not need foreign relations creds which the sly monsignor seemed to think this junket would afford Bernie.

No, monsignor, and no, senator, a photo op of Bernie with Correa will never outdo this one.

And, yes, monsignor, you are messing around with our internal affairs.  Imagine the reaction if it were Hillary accepting an invitation from the Patriarchy in Istanbul to discuss the refugee situation!

Finally, one speech during a short trip to Rome is not even a drop in the bucket compared to hundreds of addresses delivered all over the world by Secretary Clinton and this:

  • Total Travel Time:
    2084.21 Hours / 86.8 Days
  • Total Mileage:
    956,733 Miles
  • Countries Visited:
  • Travel Days:

Nor will any of this amount to the depth and breadth of foreign policy experience Hillary Clinton has accumulated.

The motives are transparent with diminishing returns.  It was not an invitation from Pope Francis or even, really, from the Vatican.  Hillary is untrustworthy?  Let him who is without sin etc. etc. etc.


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Hillary spoke at Stanford University this afternoon.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives with former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul to speak about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives with former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul to speak about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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We can be strong and smart without advocating torture or bigotry.

We live in a complex and dangerous world. We need leadership that’s strong, smart, and steady.

“We need to rely on what actually works, not bluster that alienates our partners and doesn’t make us any safer.” —Hillary in CA

Hillary has a three-part plan to defeat ISIS in the Middle East, around the world, and here at home.

“We can’t let fear stop us from doing what’s necessary to keep us safe—nor let it push us into reckless actions that make us less safe.”

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Slogans aren’t a strategy. Loose cannons tend to misfire. What America needs is strong, smart, steady leadership.

“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it’ll be like Christmas in the Kremlin. It will make America less safe and the world more dangerous.” —Hillary

America should not be shutting our doors to orphans or applying religious tests for people fleeing persecution. That’s not who we are.

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In our fight against radical jihadism, we have to do what actually works. What doesn’t work: offensive rhetoric that demonizes all Muslims.

When Republican candidates like Ted Cruz call for treating American Muslims like criminals, it’s not just wrong—it’s counter-productive.

“If I’m president, the United States will not condone or practice torture anywhere in the world.” —Hillary in CA

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We face serious challenges in the world—but Americans will not turn on each other, turn on our allies, or turn away from our principles.

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 There were several dignitaries and former officials in the room.  Hillary stopped and spent time with them after the speech.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry, left , introduces Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to his son David Perry, right, as former Secretary of State George Shultz stands second from left, after Clinton spoke about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Former Defense Secretary William Perry, left , introduces Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to his son David Perry, right, as former Secretary of State George Shultz stands second from left, after Clinton spoke about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak with President Ronald Reagan's former Secretary of State George Shultz after speaking about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak with President Ronald Reagan’s former Secretary of State George Shultz after speaking about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks with former Secretary of State George Shultz, right, and former Defense Secretary William Perry, center, after speaking about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks with former Secretary of State George Shultz, right, and former Defense Secretary William Perry, center, after speaking about counterterrorism, Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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In this speech, Hillary referred specifically to two Republican candidates and their plans.  She mentioned proposals by some Democrats, but did not mention Senator Sanders by name.  He should afford her the same courtesy.  Senator Sanders should stop attacking Hillary in his speeches and stop giving his audiences reasons to boo her.  When Hillary mentions him, usually in primary night speeches, it is to congratulate him, not to criticize his policy and plans.



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Hillary spoke at AIPAC during this morning’s session.  Bernie Sanders has opted out of speaking at AIPAC and Donald Trump will speak later.

March 21, 2016

American Israel Public Affairs Committee Annual Conference, Morning Session The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) held its annual policy conference. Speakers include Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

The program was briefly pre-empted by a Senate pro forma session.

View C-SPAN coverage >>>>

Hillary Clinton Delivers Remarks at AIPAC

This morning Hillary Clinton delivered remarks at AIPAC in Washington, D.C. In her remarks, Clinton underscored that America needs a leader that will defend our country, engage our allies and defeat our adversaries. Clinton laid out the key threats that make the U.S.-Israel alliance more important than ever and stressed that our next Commander-in-Chief must be a steady hand–not unpredictable or neutral–when it comes to standing by our allies like Israel.

The transcript of the remarks as delivered is below:

Transcript >>>>>

Hillary spoke of strong U.S.-Israeli ties, commitment to a two-state solution, the necessity of defeating ISIS, and the benefits of the nuclear deal with Iran.
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When foreign policy comes up at the debates this cycle, on one side we hear one thing: ISIS ISIS ISIS.  On the other side the refrain begins with the dreaded, notorious, and monotonous Iraq War Vote, and then Bernie Sanders wanders over the rainbow to a land where Saudi Arabia and Iran team up like munchkins and flying monkeys to assure the defeat of terrorism in that region by throwing a bucket of water on ISIS.

Ted Cruz has raised this issue, but somehow it never quite makes it into the meat of the debate.  Donald Trump, of course, intends to crush China by any means necessary.

The truth is, there is a means to combat this aggression right at our fingertips and nothing is being done to implement it.  Here is the issue:

Jason Lee / Reuters

Gordon G. Chang

Gordon G. Chang



With Surface-to-Air Missiles, China Militarizes the South China Sea

Beijing’s provocative move to put sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles on little Woody Island breaks previous promises and invites retaliation.

China deployed its advanced HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island in the South China Sea sometime in the first half of this month, Pentagon officials have revealed. Images of the missiles were released yesterday by various news organizations, and Taiwan’s defense ministry confirmed the reports.

The Chinese deployment breaks a series of pledges Beijing made to the United States and the international community, one as recently as last month by Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Secretary of State John Kerry during Kerry’s trip to Beijing.

The missile deployments will destabilize the already troubled South China Sea, and the situation there could deteriorate fast as various nations, including the United States, introduce military assets in response to Beijing’s rapid build-up.

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Long ago, back in 2008 before the election, those who were laying the groundwork for the emergence of the Tea Party spoke in hushed, dire tones about the “Law of the Sea Treaty” (LOST) as if it were some alien conspiracy to divest the United States of certain powers and options.  The opposite was and is true.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton foresaw some probabilities on the foreign stage. One was the Arab Spring.  She warned the Arab elders at Forum for the Future two years in a row that alienation from participation and unemployment were severe problems boiling beneath the surface among their populations.  Hillary did not cause the Arab Spring.  She predicted trouble if inclusion and jobs were not prioritized by leadership.  She listened to their civil societies, perceived the growing unrest, and warned.

Hillary also knew that ratification of LOST was important and urgent.  Here is how she introduced a plea for ratification.

Video: Hillary Clinton to Senate Foreign Relations “Joining Law of the Sea Convention Urgent!”

May 23, 2012

I am well aware that this treaty does have determined opposition, limited but nevertheless quite vociferous. And it’s unfortunate because it’s opposition based in ideology and mythology, not in facts, evidence, or the consequences of our continuing failure to accede to the treaty. So I think you’ll hear, from both Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey as well as myself, further statements and information that really reinforces the very strong points that both of you have made.We believe that it is imperative to act now. No country is better served by this convention than the United States. As the world’s foremost maritime power, we benefit from the convention’s favorable freedom of navigation provisions. As the country with the world’s second longest coastline, we benefit from its provisions on offshore natural resources. As a country with an exceptionally large area of seafloor, we benefit from the ability to extend our continental shelf, and the oil and gas rights on that shelf. As a global trading power, we benefit from the mobility that the convention accords to all commercial ships. And as the only country under this treaty that was given a permanent seat on the group that will make decisions about deep seabed mining, we will be in a unique position to promote our interests.

(The “opposition based in ideology and mythology” Hillary referred to was, in fact GOP and specifically Tea Party opposition, making it odd that it is Ted Cruz alone who occasionally brings the South China Sea to the table.)

And there was this.

Now as a non-party to the convention, we rely – we have to rely – on what is called customary international law as a legal basis for invoking and enforcing these norms. But in no other situation at which – in which our security interests are at stake do we consider customary international law good enough to protect rights that are vital to the operation of the United States military. So far we’ve been fortunate, but our navigational rights and our ability to challenge other countries’ behavior should stand on the firmest and most persuasive legal footing available, including in critical areas such as the South China Sea.

I’m sure you have followed the claims countries are making in the South China Sea. Although we do not have territory there, we have vital interests, particularly freedom of navigation. And I can report from the diplomatic trenches that as a party to the convention, we would have greater credibility in invoking the convention’s rules and a greater ability to enforce them.

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Most will not remember that later in 2012, as Dems were gathering to renominate Barack Obama in Charlotte, Hillary was on her way to an ASEAN Summit where issues in the South China Sea would be at the forefront.

Refueling in Brisbane Hillary Clinton Sets ASEAN Agenda

September 3, 2012

Clinton to press for ASEAN unity in South China Sea disputes with Chinese

By Associated Press, Published: September 2

BRISBANE, Australia — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling for Southeast Asian states to present a united front to the Chinese in dealing with territorial disputes in the South China Sea.


She wants “to strengthen ASEAN unity going forward,” a senior U.S. official told reporters on board Clinton’s plane as she flew from the Cook Islands to Australia for a brief refueling stop en route to Indonesia.

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Issues in the South China Sea would be far more easily settled if the United States were to assume its leadership position at the table as the world’s leading maritime power.  This is an issue Hillary carries in her back pocket, and it has yet to arise in any question at a town hall or debate.  Here is what happened the last time LOST came up for a vote.

Readers here know,  it’s right there in the sidebar, the importance Hillary Clinton invested in ratification of the Law of the Sea Treat (LOST).  She testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 23 of this year calling ratification “urgent” if the U.S. is to have  equal footing on a level playing field in conflicts arising over jurisdictions with regard to offshore drilling and mining.  Ratification would permit us to extend our own continental shelf 200 miles – we have four of them!   But Rachel Maddow  last hour reported, as her blog explains,  that the GOP has likely killed the ratification that would have boosted our economy and strengthened our position both in the global economy and militarily on the high seas.  According to the blog post, the last two “nails in the coffin” were Senators Rob Portman and Kelly Ayotte – names in the news as possible Veep choices for Mitt Romney.   Goes to show you, the Republicans can be transparent … it is possible.  Stunning considering the long list of Republicans who supported ratification.  Ambition, apparently knows no party loyalty – or common sense!

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If President Obama looked a little haggard when he spoke to the press today, it was not all about Congress stonewalling a SCOTUS nomination.  Guess where he was!  And guess what they were talking about!

President Barack Obama, center, speaks at the plenary session meeting of ASEAN, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Sitting with Obama are Laos' president, Choummaly Sayasone, left, and Brunei's sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama, center, speaks at the plenary session meeting of ASEAN, the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Sitting with Obama are Laos’ president, Choummaly Sayasone, left, and Brunei’s sultan, Hassanal Bolkiah, right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A fair town hall or debate question at any and all events this week should address foreign policy on a broader scale than the Middle East.  The South China Sea may be on the other side of the globe, but what happens there affects us all.  Only one candidate knows what needs to be done.



Please join Hillary in helping the Flint Child Health & Development Fund if you can >>>>

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Statement From Hillary Clinton on North Korea’s Apparent Nuclear Test

Hillary Clinton released the following statement Wednesday about North Korea’s apparent nuclear test:

“I strongly condemn North Korea’s apparent nuclear test. If verified, this is a provocative and dangerous act, and North Korea must have no doubt that we will take whatever steps are necessary to defend ourselves and our treaty allies, South Korea and Japan. North Korea’s goal is to blackmail the world into easing the pressure on its rogue regime. We can’t give in to or in any way encourage this kind of bullying. Instead, we should increase pressure and send Pyongyang an unmistakable message that its nuclear brinksmanship won’t succeed.

“The United States and our partners, including the UN Security Council, need to immediately impose additional sanctions against North Korea. The Chinese government, which wields influence with the North Koreans, must be more assertive in deterring the North’s irresponsible actions, and it should take actions to halt prohibited activities transpiring across its borders or its firms that participate in illicit trade or proliferation will have to face sanctions. We should also work with our allies to strengthen our missile defenses.

“As Secretary I championed the United States’ pivot to the Asia Pacific – including shifting additional military assets to the theater – in part to confront threats like North Korea and to support our allies. I worked to get not just our allies but also Russia and China on board for the strongest sanctions yet.

“North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, its human rights record, the cyber hack of Sony this past December – highlight the continuing threat that North Korea poses.

“And threats like this are yet another reminder of what’s at stake in this election. We cannot afford reckless, imprudent publicity stunts that risk war. We need a Commander-in-Chief with the experience and judgement to deal with a dangerous North Korea on Day One.”

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