Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama at State Dept: Our Actions In Defense Of Liberty Will Be As Just As Our Cause.

With Vice President Biden and H. Clinton in tow, President Barack Obama worked the room and chatted with State Dept for more than 20 minutes today, his second day in office.

Sec of State Clinton announced that she and the president were announcing the appointment of Richard Holbrooke to coordinate US stragegic goals in the region of Afghastan and Pakistan., and george Mitchell as Special envoy for Middle East Paece. Former Ambassador Holbrooke stated clearly that he recognized the individual histories of each nation, and would work to bring an integrated strategy to solve the challenges the two nations face as they share a border in the troubled region.

Former Senator george Mitchell pledged his full effort to the search for peace and stability in the Middle East. He explained that there is no such thing as a conflict that cannot be ended, because conflicts are created by human beings. He aslo described the region as volitile, complex and dangerous. "I understand those of you who may be discouraged," he said, and described 800 years of struggle to achieve peace in Ireland.

H Clinton introduced the meeting by stating that diplomacy is the top priority of this administration, and that was demonstrated by President Obama coming to the State Dept on his second day in office. Vice president Biden stated that H Clinton was the right person at the right moment to head the State Dept, "She is uniquely qualified to put diplomacy back in the forefront of US policy."

President Obama smiled, but was serious and listed the first three actions he had taken since becoming President. "This morning I signed 3 orders:" 1. The US will not torture, 2. We will close Gitmo, and 3. We will hold a comprehensive review of our policies with the rule of law in mind. Obama said we must renew American leadership through principaled, focused and sustained diplomacy, "We cannot afford to drift and delay."

Paul Woodward raises the question..."Did Mitchell’s anticipated imminent return to the region as President Obama’s Middle East envoy provide an added incentive for Israel to launch its assault of Gaza? After January 20 the strain on US-Israeli relations would have been severe."

Here is a link to Mitchell's "The American Perspective."

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