Secretary of State John Kerry Returns to Mekong Delta

Secretary of State John Kerry returned to the muddy waters of the Mekong Delta this weekend, decades after commanding a Swift Boat there during the Vietnam War.  Serving in that war would ultimately turn Kerry against the war and take him full circle from military service, to activist, to decades of public service in the Senate, to presidential candidate, and now as the U.S. Secretary of State. John Kerry’s visit to the Mekong Delta was to “investigate climate change in his role as Washington’s top diplomat.” Kerry, who arrived in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday on a trip aimed at shoring up ties with Southeast Asia, travelled by boat through Ca Mau, a once-dangerous Viet Cong stronghold, an official with the local … Continue reading

Russia Urges Syria to Cede Arsenal In Response to Kerry

Is the tide turning on Syria? I hope it is… Secretary of State John Kerry said today “that if President Bashar al-Assad wants to avert an attack on Syria he should hand over all of his chemical weapons within one week.” It’s some heavy diplomatic pressure from the U.S. on Syria and it appears that “Russia, the Syrian government’s most important backer, quickly welcomed the idea.” [...] Moscow’s reaction appeared to represent the first possible point of agreement between Russia and the United States over how to address the chemical weapons issue that has grown out of the Syrian conflict, now well into its third year. Asked if there were steps the Syrian president could take to avert an American-led … Continue reading

What Should We Do In Syria?

I must confess that I have been guilty of sitting on the fence with respect to whether the United States should launch even a limited military strike against Syria, ostensibly in response to the chemical bombing of their own citizens. I have wanted to do two things: first, gather as much objective information as possible regarding the complexities of the situation. And second, I wanted to be able to trust my President to evaluate the much better information that he has at his disposal and then to come to the right decision on behalf of me and the American people. Additionally, I have struggled with an emotional reaction to the use of chemical weapons on innocent citizens, particularly children, and … Continue reading

President Obama To Seek Syria Vote in Congress

In a speech to America earlier today, President Obama announced that he will seek a vote in Congress on striking Syria, effecting shutting down the speculation that he would order a strike without Congressional approval. Obama said in his Rose Garden speech, delivered with Vice President Biden at his side, that he had “decided that the United States should use force but would wait for a vote from lawmakers, who are not due to return to town until Sept. 9.” Mr. Obama said he believed he had the authority to act on his own, but he did not say whether he would if Congress rejects his plan. “I’m prepared to give that order,” Mr. Obama said. “But having made my … Continue reading

Kerry Lays Out Reasons to Strike in Syria

We’re in full court press on Syria now. The drums are beating. The debate is ongoing and looking more and more as though action in Syria is on the way. In a speech today on Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry “laid out the case like the prosecutor he once was, making a closing argument to a skeptical jury.” Again and again, some 24 times in all, he used the phrase “we know” to describe the intelligence that Syria’s government massacred more than 1,400 people with chemical weapons. And then, while saying no decision had been made, he left no doubt that the United States would respond with military power. Anyone who thinks this issue isn’t weighing hard on Kerry … Continue reading

Kerry: Obama Wants ‘Accountability’ for Chemical Weapons Use in Syria

All eyes have been on Syria recently with the “that President Bashar al-Assad’s military forces had used chemical weapons against civilians last week.” Over the weekend President Obama met with his national security team at the White House and “advisers discussed options for military action.” In a statement earlier today to reporters on the issue of chemical weapons use in Syria, Secretary Of State John Kerry said, “… make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious, and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny.” Kerry’s fiery statement came just a few hours after a U.N. team investigating the claims … Continue reading

Squandering the American Dream with Wasteful Spending

Do we really need 234 military golf courses around the world, an $80 million military ski resort in the Bavarian Alps and a parade of unnecessary weapons, ships, and planes?It is increasingly obvious that our enormous untouchable “military” budget is not always being used for our national defense.Likewise, our massive health care budget, both public and private, is not making us any healthier. Much of the spending is squandered by inflated payments to a bloated medical establishment. Why does a simple colonoscopy cost Americans nearly $7,000 when the same procedure costs $700 in the rest of the advanced nations? Healthcare and military costs are the elephants in the American economy. All other spending is minor compared to spending on healthcare … Continue reading