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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Odds and Ends ...9:35 pm


Read Ron Radosh on “The White House’s War Against Fox News,” and on Mark Lloyd, an Obama appointee to the FCC with some curious history.

Hillary goes to Russia, and comes away with … well, you decide.

Pressuring Iran and threatening further sanctions over its nuclear programme would be counter-productive, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says.

Speaking after talks in Moscow with US counterpart Hillary Clinton, Mr Lavrov said every effort should be made to continue negotiations.

His comments appeared to fall short of the tougher commitment sought by Washington towards Iran.


“We did not ask for anything today. We reviewed the situation and where it stood, which I think was the appropriate timing for what this process entails,” [Clinton] said.


Mr Lavrov, for his part, said “all efforts” should be made to maintain dialogue with Iran.

“We are convinced that threats, sanctions, and threats of pressure in the present situation are counter-productive,” he said.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Moscow says Mrs Clinton was looking for a solid commitment from Mr Lavrov, but did not get one.

Both Mr Lavrov and Mrs Clinton also said there had been considerable progress in talks on a new treaty to reduce the two countries’ nuclear arsenals.

So there you are. The Russians are gung-ho in talks to reduce America’s arsenal of nuclear weapons. On stopping the Iranians from developing their own arsenal — not so much. Smart power.

The Nobel jury explains its decision to award the Peace Prize to President Barack Obama:

Asked to comment on the uproar following Friday’s announcement, four members of the five-seat panel told The Associated Press that they had expected the decision to generate both surprise and criticism.

Three of them rejected the notion that Obama hadn’t accomplished anything to deserve the award, while the fourth declined to answer that question. A fifth member didn’t answer calls seeking comment.

“We simply disagree that he has done nothing,” committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told the AP on Tuesday. “He got the prize for what he has done.”

Jagland singled out Obama’s efforts to heal the divide between the West and the Muslim world and scale down a Bush-era proposal for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

“All these things have contributed to – I wouldn’t say a safer world – but a world with less tension,” Jagland said by phone from the French city of Strasbourg, where he was attending meetings in his other role as secretary-general of the Council of Europe.

It’s a less tense world. Tell that to the Chinese dissidents who had been hoping for some recognition of their long and costly struggle by the Nobel committee. But then, President Obama has all that under control. By refusing to meet the Dalai Lama I suppose that he is contributing to reducing “tension” with China. By conceding to the Russians on missile defense, he is reducing “tension” with Putin. By granting the Iranians further stages of delay before there are any real consequences for their pursuit of nuclear weapons, he is reducing “tension” with the Persians.

If only he could reduce tension with Fox News.

More from this site:

  • Israel, Iran and the bomb The headline from Haaretz describes the results of a survey conducted in Israel: '1 in 4 Israelis would consider leaving country if Iran gets nukes'. Some 23 percent of Israelis would […]
  • Notes on Iran For your consideration: In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI and Bob Dylan fan) spoke to the Iranian situation, in particular focusing on the killing of […]
  • President Obama to the Iranians: It’s a new day The esteemed Director of Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer, makes an astute "Masked and Anonymous" reference in response to President Obama's videotaped message to the Iranians today. […]


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