Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

November 28, 2009

OBAMA OUTREACH IN ASIA KEEPS PAYING OFF.... Threats of sanctions against Iran have rarely been effective, in large part because Iran assumed, correctly, that Russia and China would oppose punitive measures.

President Obama and his foreign policy team have invested considerable energy in changing this equation. There's ample evidence their efforts are paying off.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog demanded Friday that Iran immediately freeze operations at a once secret uranium enrichment plant, a sharp rebuke that bore added weight because it was endorsed by Russia and China.

The governing body of the watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, meeting in Vienna, also expressed "serious concern" about potential military aspects of Iran's nuclear program.

Administration officials held up the statement as a victory for President Obama's diplomatic efforts to coax both Russia and China to increase the pressure on Iran. They said that they had begun working on a sanctions package, which would be brought before the United Nations Security Council if Iran did not meet the year-end deadline imposed by Mr. Obama to make progress on the issue.

Now, yesterday's vote was largely symbolic, and did not come with any actual punishment for Iran. Nevertheless, the vote, the toughest against Iran in nearly four years, signaled intense international pressure on Tehran. This was also a vote Obama and his team knew was coming up, and knew that Russia and China would be inclined to oppose. U.S. officials, including the president, worked diligently to persuade Moscow and Beijing, and the encouraging result suggests having grown-ups running the executive branch again is a good idea.

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said China's support on Iran and its decision to set a climate change goal on Thursday showed that Mr. Obama's trip to Beijing was producing results despite criticism of the visit. "This is the product of engagement," Mr. Emanuel said, adding that it was "a direct result" of the trip.

In other words, U.S. political reporters have spent two weeks berating the White House for an unproductive Asian trip lacking in "deliverables." Those reporters' criticism seems increasingly misguided with each passing day.

James Fallows, who's been deeply critical of the domestic media's coverage of the president's week-long trip to Asia, added yesterday, "Will wait to see if this weekend's talk shows or opinion sections offer any 'hey, wait a minute' reconsideration of their unanimous judgment last week about the way the Obama team was manhandled and stonewalled by the Chinese. I'll wait, but I won't hold my breath.... Seriously, when does an official part of the chattering class -- one of the weekend talkers, someone from the leading newspapers -- look back on these past two weeks in journalism's effort to represent reality and ask how the dominant narrative could have been so wrong, and wrong in a way that was easily noticeable at the time? Just curious."

Steve Benen 8:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

Bookmark and Share

Shhheeeeeeee-it, whitey! Diplomacy SUCKS! It distracts from War, the only force the gives life meaning!

Posted by: Obama Won on Change on November 28, 2009 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

This news will die a quiet death. Why? Because it does not square with the current memes the Village, the hard-core Republican Right, and places like FireDogLake and Huffington Post have cultivated. The Village is still afraid to look liberal (and actually, you know, do reporting), the right simply will not accept that Obama is anything other than a dangerous usurper, and the left is so deep into concern-trolling that it has become a reflexive bad habit. Good news will filter around a few websites and then sink out of sight. Worth the effort nonetheless, Steve.

Posted by: K.Grant on November 28, 2009 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Why should the corporate media let the truth interfere with a good republican narrative?

Posted by: SadOldVet on November 28, 2009 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

And yet they wonder why "news" media keep losing audience ... go figure.

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on November 28, 2009 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

The news media is having issues with the real world and how it is perceived by the far right - a 25% portion of our population at the most! The producers of MSM news are panty-waste if they curtsy and bow to this crowd at the expense of offering good reporting to the rest of us 75%ers!

Of course, that 25% figure does represent advertisers and other profitable partnerships, so the hog-tied reporting may have a business purpose! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on November 28, 2009 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said China's support on Iran and its decision to set a climate change goal on Thursday showed that Mr. Obama's trip to Beijing was producing results despite criticism of the visit. "This is the product of engagement," Mr. Emanuel said, adding that it was "a direct result" of the trip.

What a load of shit!!!! They didn't commit to a goddamned thing, other than not to pollute as fast as they are now!! That is NOT a "climate change goal" - it's doing business as usual only 5 percent slower.

A "climate change gal" LOWERS the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. This does nothing of the sort.

Not that our "goal" of a 17% reduction from 2005 levels (which will only put emissions at triple what it would have been under Kyoto) is really any much better.

All these bullshitters - Obama, the Chinese Emperor, Rahm Emanuel, the bunch of them - are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic as the ship approaches the iceberg. What crap! What lying crap! And what morons any of us are to believe these consummate liars.

Posted by: TCinLA on November 28, 2009 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Of course Pres. Obama's trip was a work in progress! It only takes a little common sense and intelligence to surmise that it will take countries in solidarity to stand firm against Iran!

Also, important change---

Obama Bars Thousands of Lobbyists From Washington!

Hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists are likely to be ejected from federal advisory panels as part of a little-noticed initiative by the Obama administration to curb K Street's influence in Washington, according to White House officials and lobbying experts.

The new policy -- issued with little fanfare this fall by the White House ethics counsel -- may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama, who also has sought to restrict the ability of lobbyists to get jobs in his administration and to negotiate over stimulus contracts.

The initiative is aimed at a system of advisory committees so vast that federal officials don't have exact numbers for its size; the most recent estimates tally nearly 1,000 panels with total membership exceeding 60,000 people.

Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies.


Posted by: angellight on November 28, 2009 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

TCinLA- What are you the greatt Randi and Nostradamus all rolled into one. There isn't any kind of signed anything done yet and you know what the outcome is. And you in your ultimate wisdom know that all that needs to be done is for all the world leaders to just show up together in a locked room and emerge with a treaty to cut all carbon emissions to zero.
That being said I think that global climate change is the most serious problem facing mankind as a whole and it's imperative that continueing efforts be made to do whatever can be done .
The unfortunate problem to quote Jon Butcher is "change comes slowly if it comes at all".

Posted by: Gandalf` on November 28, 2009 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Steve, ever the crypto-neocon, once again applauds US threats against Iran. If you'd bother to once look into the details, instead of automatically fluffing the Obama admin, you'd learn that this UN vote strong-armed by the US is over the same kind of crap as GWB gave us with the yellow cake intel. In short, we got intel that Iran is up to no good, but we refuse to allow the intel to be verified, and Iran, understandably, refuses to therefore give it any credence. So, therefore, we orchestrate this UN slapdown.

This is no different than the crap we got from GWB, but partisan hacks will never see that.

Posted by: Disputo on November 28, 2009 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

but ... but ... but ... the asia trip was a failure, so proclaimed the propaganda spewing heads of the press corps. Obama can't possibly do anything right: even when he is right, he is still wrong!

Posted by: jOE WISE on November 29, 2009 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

I would say obama’s plan is to buy the votes of society’s moochers. The more moochers, the more votes. I will be very surprised if we don’t see a major push to amend the constitution to allow him to serve more than two terms.He said his “administration has no intention of running General Motors.” He made Richard Wagoner step down as General Manager and now says he will replace the entire Board of Directors by August.
Do not be surprised any longer when he does something of a socialist nature - it isn’t that he and his cabinet have forgotten the constitution, it’s that don’t want to operate according to it....

valentines day presents

Posted by: lokenkristianna on December 11, 2009 at 5:40 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry. Only some people get what they want. Those are the people who show up to get it. Help me! Need information about: Forex online software trading. I found only this - online trading card sellers. Online trading, during their 2007 economic armor day, labor implemented markets to risk a second public, different to that of the bbc, for asking women to the trade. Online trading, what this today is costing a business that there has a service with figures on activity good film stock. With love :confused:, Paxton from Seychelles.

Posted by: Paxton on March 19, 2010 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

I'd personally declare barack obama's plan's to order the telephone and sms votes of societys moochers. The harder moochers, a lot more phone votes. I will be really shocked in the event that we never view a big thrust to help amend the particular metabolism for you to allow him to assist above a couple terms and conditions.This individual mentioned his administration doesn't have any aim of managing Basic Generators. He made Rich Wagoner move down because General manager and now affirms screwed up and try upgrade all the Snowboard regarding Company directors simply by August.

Funds surprised any longer as soon as he does a little something of any socialist design - the item is that not he or she and the cupboard get forgotten about your constitution, it really is this really don't want to run in accordance with this.

Posted by: Michael Birch on June 19, 2010 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

I'd personally express obama’s plan is to purchase that telephone and sms votes connected with society’s moochers. The more moochers, better telephone and sms votes. When i will be really amazed if we really don't see a big drive so that you can amend the particular metabolic rate to help allow him to serve above a couple of stipulations.He or she reported his or her “administration doesn't have a aim of jogging General Magnetic generators.” He earned Richard Wagoner measure lower as Gm and already shows he'll almost certainly replace the whole Panel involving Owners simply by August.
John from acnezine

Posted by: John Kemlin on June 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK



Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM

buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly