Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Obama Administration’s ‘Window’ With Iran Has Been Closing for More Than Three Years

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that the “window” of opportunity to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff diplomatically “cannot remain open indefinitely.” She was reiterating a warning that the Obama administration has repeated dozens of times over the past three years. Read

Pakistan, 'a Democratic, Pluralistic and Progressive State,' Defends Its Human Rights Record

Less than two weeks before United Nations General Assembly elects new members of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, Pakistan – which is seeking re-election to the body – defended its rights record on Tuesday, amid strong criticism over abuses including some of the world’s most notorious blasphemy laws. Read

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Israeli Jews Would Prefer a Romney Victory by a 57-22 Point Margin

In contrast to a recent survey finding that respondents in 21 countries around the world favor President Obama over Mitt Romney by a significant margin, a new opinion poll in Israel suggests that Jews in that country would be much happier to see the Republican candidate win. Read

‘A Pretext for Breakout’ – Experts Warn About Potential Iranian Plans for Highly-Enriched Uranium

A senior Iranian lawmaker’s threat that Tehran could increase the level to which it’s enriching uranium has prompted a U.S. scientific think tank to warn that the step would move Iran significantly closer to having weapons-grade uranium – and increase the likelihood of war. Read

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rep. Wolf: State Dept. ‘Unable or Unwilling’ to Address Concerns of Vulnerable Christians in Middle East

Contending that the “Arab spring” has made non-Muslim religious minorities in the Middle East more vulnerable than ever, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) is voicing frustration over the State Department holding up a Senate bill to appoint a special envoy focusing on the issue. Read

GOP: Benghazi ‘Bubbling Up’ as a Key Election Issue

Republicans turned up the heat on the Obama administration Sunday, pressing for answers about its handling – at the time and since – of last month’s terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Read

Friday, October 26, 2012

WH Blasts ‘Highly Biased’ UNHRC Appointee Who Wants Boycott of U.S. Companies

Twenty-one months after the Obama administration called for the removal of one of the most controversial figures ever appointed by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, it questioned his tenure again on Thursday, after Richard Falk urged a boycott of firms doing business in territories disputed between Israel and the Palestinians. Read

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oil-Rich Gulf States Worry About Muslim Brotherhood's Agenda

Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood has denied claims that it is behind a protest movement in Kuwait which rocked the Gulf state last weekend with what organizers claim was its biggest-ever public demonstration. Read

Texas AG Tells International Election Monitors to Butt Out

The head of an international body that will monitor the U.S. elections next month protested to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday after Texas’ attorney-general warned that any international observer who approaches a polling station in the state risks criminal prosecution. Read

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No Criticism From State Dep’t, As Qatar’s Leader Visits Hamas in Gaza

Hamas, the Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip moved a step closer to international acceptance Tuesday when it received its first visit from a head of state. The Obama administration chose not to criticize the move publicly. Read

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Obama Touts Toughest Iran Sanctions in History, But Report Questions Their Effectiveness

President Obama’s assertion that Iran faces the toughest sanctions ever imposed is accurate – even though the impetus for them came largely from Congress – but a recent non-partisan report questioned their effectiveness in achieving their primary goal. Read

Obama Says He ‘Stood With’ Tunisians and Egyptians, But He Was Wary at the Time

At Monday’s foreign policy debate, President Obama says his administration “stood on the side of democracy” when Arabs rose up against their dictatorial rulers last year, but at the time he was criticized for not doing so sooner. Read

Monday, October 22, 2012

Troubled Muslim World Expected to Dominate Monday’s Foreign Policy Debate

The Middle East and southwestern Asia are set to dominate Monday night’s foreign policy presidential debate, along with a nod to Asia-Pacific. But there is no mention in moderator Bob Schieffer’s topic list of Russia, Latin America, Europe or Africa. Read

Officials from Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan Will Watch U.S. Election to Make Sure It's Free and Fair

When American voters go to the polls next month, among those observing the election will be monitors from four countries judged by the veteran democracy watchdog Freedom House as “not free” and another six it regards as “partly free.” Read

Friday, October 19, 2012

U.N. Security Council Election Tips Balance Against Palestinian Recognition Bid

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ drive to get United Nations membership for the territory he rules may have become more difficult, after the U.N. General Assembly voted Thursday to fill five temporary seats on the Security Council. Read

Clinton Touts Administration’s ‘Painstaking’ Efforts on Iran Sanctions—But Credit Goes to Congress

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday touted the administration’s role in adopting sanctions targeting Iran’s crucial oil sector, although the measures were largely a result of prodding from Capitol Hill. Read

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Romney’s Debate Criticism of Trade Practices Raises Hackles in China

China reacted sharply Wednesday to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s repeated criticism of Chinese trade practices during Tuesday night’s debate, although some Chinese voiced skepticism that a President Romney would keep a campaign pledge to label China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office. Read

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Obama and Romney Strike Blows Over Benghazi

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney tussled during Tuesday night’s testy debate over their respective responses to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, with both striking blows over the explosive issue. Read

Israel Reports First Use of Surface-to-Air Missile by Gaza Terrorists

In a new sign of the growing dangers facing Israel, security officials have confirmed that terrorists in the Gaza Strip for the first time have fired an anti-aircraft missile at an Israeli aircraft. Read

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Poll: Afghanistan, Iran, Middle East Top Voters’ Foreign Policy Concerns

With a final presidential debate focusing on foreign policy just days away, a new poll finds that almost half of registered voters do not think candidates are talking enough about international issues, with Republicans in particular holding that view. Read

Obama Urged to Cut Ties With Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Over ‘Jihad’ Statements

A leading Jewish human rights group is urging President Obama to sever ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood after its top leader called for “holy war” against Israel. Read

Monday, October 15, 2012

‘Democratic’ Regimes in Mideast Better for U.S. Than Dictatorships?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has characterized recent setbacks in the Arab world as the work of a small radical fringe determined to block democratic change, but some analysts contend that the “Arab spring” – and U.S. support for it – has itself bolstered extremist forces. Read

Issa: Administration’s Handling of Benghazi Is a ‘Mission Accomplished’ Moment

The Obama administration’s response to the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya was aimed at reinforcing its storyline regarding successes against terrorism – an echo of its predecessor’s much-criticized premature claims concerning Iraq, according to senior Republican lawmakers. Read

Friday, October 12, 2012

From Libya to Syria to Iran, Inaccuracies in Vice Presidential Debate

When it comes to foreign policy portions of Thursday night’s debate, both Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Rep. Paul Ryan made assertions that were not strictly accurate. Read

UNESCO Chief Bemoans Financial Crisis, But Doesn’t Urge Reversal of ‘Palestine’ Decision

Despite efforts led by Islamic states to prop it up, UNESCO faces its “worst ever” financial crisis due to a U.S. funding cut following its decision a year ago to admit “Palestine,” the head of the U.N. cultural agency said Thursday. Read

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poll Boost for Ryan Ahead of Debate With Biden

New opinion surveys find Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan more popular among registered voters – including independents – than Vice President Joe Biden, and more expect Ryan to do the better job of the two in Thursday’s vice presidential debate. Read

Libya Debacle: Why Didn’t Rice Simply Decline to Comment?

As administration officials continue to defend U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice over her remarks attributing the September 11 attack in Benghazi to protests against an anti-Islam video, the question still unanswered is why Rice said anything at all. Read

Monday, October 08, 2012

Biden-Ryan Debate May Produce Foreign Policy Fireworks

This week’s vice-presidential debate gives the two campaigns their first opportunity to go head-to-head on foreign policy, an area in which Vice President Joe Biden has gained plenty of experience during a long Senate career. Read

Chavez’ Election Victory Paves Way for 20 Years in Power

If his health allows, Hugo Chavez is set to be president of Venezuela for at least 20 years, after official results in Sunday’s election handed the socialist firebrand a third term. Read

Friday, October 05, 2012

Morocco Is First Muslim Country to Be Targeted by Floating Abortion Clinic

European abortion activists were deciding on their next move Thursday, after Moroccan authorities prevented their floating abortion clinic from docking at a port on the country’s Mediterranean coast. Read

FBI Team Finally Reaches Benghazi; ‘We’ve Not Been Sitting Around Waiting’

It took them three weeks to get there, but an FBI team investigating a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi finally reached the eastern Libyan city on Thursday, spending “a number of hours” there before leaving again. Read

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Watchdog Gives U.S. Agencies Poor Marks for Transparency in Foreign Aid

At a time when the spending of millions of taxpayer dollars on foreign aid is under renewed scrutiny, a comprehensive new study of transparency in international aid has found that U.S. programs are not particularly open to public scrutiny. Read

New Concerns About Libya’s Fledgling Government As It Shuts Out Pro-Western Liberals

One day after Libya’s top lawmaker appeared to back down – under criticism from fundamentalists – over the need for a secular state, the country’s prime minister-elect on Wednesday submitted a cabinet that does not include a single member of the country’s pro-Western liberal coalition. Read

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

State Dep’t Under Fire for Meeting With Lebanese Ally of Hezbollah, Assad

A senior State Department official met this week with a Lebanese politician closely allied to Hezbollah, despite the fact that stigmatizing and isolating such groups is part of what designating “foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs) is intended to achieve. Read

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Administration's Plan to Send $450-Million to Egypt Hits Roadblock in Congress

Two weeks after Egyptian authorities largely stood by while protestors stormed the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, the State Department said Monday that some lawmakers have displayed “some interest” in the administration’s plan to transfer $450 million in economic support funds to the country’s Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Read

Georgia Election Results Point to a Win for Vladimir Putin

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili’s ruling party looked set Tuesday to lose parliamentary elections to an opposition group led by a pro-Russian businessman, according to exit polls and early returns. Read

Monday, October 01, 2012

U.S. Delisting of Controversial Iranian Group Upsets Both the Regime and Its Opposition

The Iranian government has condemned the Obama administration’s decision to remove a controversial exiled Iranian group from its list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs), but the move is not likely to welcomed either by the country’s mainstream opposition Green Movement. Read

Six More Years of Chavez? Crucial Election Looms in Venezuela

Venezuelans are a week away from the country’s most crucial election in decades – the choice between another six years of the long-established populist president who has placed their country firmly in the anti-U.S., pro-Iran camp -- and a candidate offering the best chance yet to unseat him. Read