Tag: obama

7 Key Events That Changed the Geopolitical Landscape This Week

This has been a big week in world events and we here at Geopolitics Alert have covered a few major stories. Here are your key takeaways for the week of December 25th:

Israel Reacts to the UNSC Settlement Decision.

After the United Nations Security Council bite last week calling for a halt to Israeli settlement in Palestinian territory, Israeli officials have been, in the words of some commentators, “throwing a tantrum.”

Israel Calls Off Vote on New Illegal Settler Homes in East Al-Quds

https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34370769

Israeli officials have reportedly scrapped plans to build hundreds more illegal settler units on the occupied Palestinian territory, which would amount to a clear violation of the recent UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to the regime’s land grab policy.

Hanan Rubin, with the Jerusalem (al-Quds) Local Planning and Building Committee, said on Wednesday that the bid to approve construction permits for nearly 500 homes in East al-Quds had been shelved upon the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Rubin said the decision came as US Secretary of State John Kerry is to offer a purported “comprehensive vision” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a speech in Washington later in the day, according to Press TV.

How to Prevent Another DAPL

For the last few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline has captured the nation’s attention. After Energy Transfer Partners started construction on a pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation, local Native American tribes protested the pipeline on the grounds that it could pollute their water supplies. Word of the protests spread and thousands of protesters flocked to Standing Rock. After months of confrontations between protesters and militarized police, the Army Corps of Engineers paused the project pending an environmental impact assessment.

The Native American tribes and environmentalists hailed this development as a victory, albeit a temporary one. Donald Trump, who will soon be taking office, has vowed to complete the DAPL and has signaled a willingness to carry out this campaign promise by filling his administration with oil executives and people who have invested heavily in the project. As a result, anti-DAPL protesters are gearing up for a long protest season.

2,300 US Soldiers Headed to Afghanistan This Winter

In one of his final moves in office, president Obama has committed another 2,300 US troops to Afghanistan to help the government curb the resurgence of the Taliban.

After a year of territorial gains by the Taliban in their fight against the weakened Afghani government, the US is sending around 2,300 troops from armor and aviation brigades to assist in attempting to turn the tide. The troops are being sent as part of operation Freedom’s Sentinel to “advise and assist” the Afghan security services in their ongoing fight.

The Afghan forces are also combating the still-active al Qaeda leadership in Afghanistan as well as a new cell of the Islamic State that materialized in the country earlier this year. The US forces have have their work cut out for them judging by the failures of the Afghan government in the past few years as well as the rampant corruption within the security services.

Yemen: US-Made Bombs Used in Unlawful Airstrikes

Dozens of Civilian Deaths Underscore Need for Saudi Arms Embargo.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition killed several dozen civilians in three apparently unlawful airstrikes in September and October 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The coalition’s use of United States-supplied weapons in two of the strikes, including a bomb delivered to Saudi Arabia well into the conflict, puts the US at risk of complicity in unlawful attacks.

Berlin Finally Confesses US Using Ramstein for ‘Extra-Legal’ Drone Killings

After repeated questions from the Die Linke opposition party, the German government has admitted that the US Air Force is using its Ramstein base to control drone strikes which are used in anti-terror operations and to carry out extra-legal killings, German MP Andrej Hunko told Sputnik Deutschland.

The US Air Force is using its Ramstein Air Base in Germany to carry out controversial drone attacks, the German government has admitted after an inquiry from the opposition Die Linke party.

Die Linke deputy Andrej Hunko told Sputnik Deutschland that Berlin has finally admitted the role Ramstein plays in US drone attacks after denying it for several years.

The coming war on China

A major US military build-up – including nuclear weapons – is under way in Asia and the Pacific with the purpose of confronting China. John Pilger raises the alarm on an under-reported and dangerous provocation.

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of 6 August, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably. When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, ‘disappeared’, a political embarrassment.

I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

US: Suspend Saudi Arms Sales

Promptly Publish Findings of Yemen Conflict Review

The United States should immediately halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia following numerous unlawful coalition attacks in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to President Barack Obama. The review announced by the US government following the October 8, 2016 bombing of a crowded funeral hall should examine alleged unlawful airstrikes in which US forces may have taken part and its findings should be released publicly before Obama leaves office.

“While coalition forces bomb homes, schools, hospitals and funerals in Yemen, the United States continues to allow shipments of billions of dollars of arms to Saudi Arabia,” said Sarah Margon, Washington director at Human Rights Watch. “President Obama has one final chance to change US policy on Saudi Arabia and Yemen for the better by stopping weapons’ transfers immediately and reviewing possible participation of US forces in the coalition’s many unlawful airstrikes.”

AFTER DEATH OF TPP, CHINA MAKES MOVES TO DOMINATE ASIA WITH NEW TRADE PACTS

For all the horrible chapters and faults of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), it seems President Obama was right about one thing – without the trade pact, southeast Asian countries are now looking to China for economic opportunity.

This past week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru, Barrack Obama spent his time addressing the representatives assuring them that the United States and the southeast Asian countries would continue to find a way to cooperate economically. Yet despite Obama’s optimism, the real winner that seems to be emerging from the summit is China.

China, Iran Ink Military Pact as Tehran Looks at $10 Billion Deal With Moscow

As Iran prepares for a Trump presidency in Washington, Beijing and Tehran signed a cooperation agreement Monday to conduct joint military drills and “create a collective movement to confront” the threat of terrorism, according to Iran state television.

The two nations have been strengthening their military relationship in the last few years, sending naval ships to each other’s ports, helping to set the stage for the pact to be signed by Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and his Iranian counterpart General Hossein Dehghan.

Iranian outlet Tasnim News quoted Dehghan describing the collaboration as an “upgrade in long-term military and defense cooperation with China.”

Greek Police Clash with Demonstrators Protesting Obama’s Visit to Athens

Leftist demonstrators protesting against US President Barack Obama’s visit to Athens clashed with police, who used tear gas to disperse the crowd as people tried to break through cordons.

Some 7,000 people took to the streets of central Athens on Tuesday to protest Obama’s visit to the Greek capital. The demonstrators initially planned to walk all the way to the US Embassy located in another part of the city, but the procession was disrupted as protesters clashed with police officers.

“We don’t need protectors!” one of the banners carried by the demonstrators read. Some could be heard exclaiming: “Yankees go home!”

US to Resettle Refugees from Australia’s Island Camps

The United States has agreed to resettle refugees stranded in Pacific island camps after failing to reach Australia.

Under current Australian law, individuals who attempt to reach the country illegally by boat are either intercepted in the water and turned away or, if they reach the shore, are removed from Australia for processing in the impoverished nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru, a small Pacific island.

The camps in which migrants wait for processing have been criticized by rights groups as cramped and squalid. This spring a man and a woman in Nauru set themselves on fire in protest, and many other attempts at suicide among asylum seekers have been recorded.

ObamaCare: Things Fall Apart

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka “ObamaCare,” was intended to dramatically increase the number of Americans with health coverage while “bending the cost curve” (that is, reducing the expected increases in price over time).

The plan managed the first goal, at least in the short term. Unsurprising, isn’t it, that more people get coverage when the law requires them to buy it, penalizes those who won’t, and subsidizes those who can’t afford to?

Official US Gov’t Documentation Confirms That Saudi Gov’t. Funds Al Qaeda

As Liz Goodwin and Michael Isikoff noted on 11 October 2016 regarding a recent wikileak:

The Clinton email states: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

That email from Hillary Clinton, was sent on 17 August 2014.

Any reference to the Saudi government is a reference to the Saudi royal family, who own the Saudi government — it’s their fiefdom.

I reported on 17 February 2016 that:

On 30 December 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a cable (subsequently released to the public by wikileaks) to America’s Ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Pakistan, headlined, “Terrorist Finance: Action Request for Senior Level Engagement on Terrorism Finance.”

Washington’s Failure in Syria Is Not About Strategy

So much has been said about the Syrian conflict in numerous analyses, yet one of the least discussed topics concerns the strategy and the relationship of cooperation and conflict between the United States, Turkey, the Kurds and Daesh.

From the beginning of the Syrian conflict, Washington and Ankara have never hesitated to exploit Daesh’s advances. The occupation of Syrian towns near the Turkish border by Islamic extremists has been one of the preferred tactics endorsed by the United States and Turkey. Closing one eye, often both, concerning Daesh’s operations meant attacking the Syrian state indirectly and threatening its integrity whilst simultaneously allowing the creation of safe havens where terrorist groups could receive weapons and material support to spread their attacks on the legitimate government of Damascus over the rest of the country.