Obama, Clinton and McCain

While the Candidates for President are on the campaign trail, they are still surrounded by comfort, loved ones, and adoring fans. They all claim to be the right one for the job at 3 am and yet, there is ample proof that none of them are worthy of consideration at ANY time.

In an article from CommonDreams.org we get this:

The Presidential Candidates and South America Tensions

WASHINGTON, DC – March 6 – ABC News reports: “Standing side by side in a show of solidarity, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and Ecuador President Rafael Correa stood firm in their support of one another after days of accusations lobbed back and forth between the two countries and Colombia.”

JO ROSANO
Rosano is the mother of Marc Gonsalves, a Pentagon contractor who has been held prisoner by the Colombian group the FARC since 2003 following a plane crash. She said today: “[Colombian President Alvaro] Uribe keeps sabotaging efforts at getting my son and the other hostages out. … Uribe seems to be doing what the U.S. government wants him to do. You’d think that John McCain — he was a POW — would be trying to help. Whenever I’ve approached the presidential candidates, they tell me I’m not a constituent.”

Not a constituent? What does that matter when two or more countries are involved? You would think that they would bend over backwards, just imagine the press on this one, but instead they choose to ignore Ms. Rosano. Just who do YOU have to lose in order for this to sink in? These are hostages we are talking about after all, not just citizens inside the United States of America. If these candidates aren’t interested in affairs of the Country, why should we consider them fit for duty as Commander and Chief?

Robert Naimon who is the senior policy analyst and national coordinator at Just Foreign Policy wrote an excellent piece which shows us just where Obama and Clinton are going wrong. He wrote:

Obama Glosses Over Colombian Attack in Ecuador; Clinton Calls for Escalation Against Venezuela
by Robert Naiman

The Clinton and Obama forces have asked us to consider who we want answering the phone at the White House at 3 AM. There is little need to speculate. We have a lot of evidence about how they will respond.

On Saturday, Colombia launched an attack on a FARC camp in Ecuador, with, Ecuador plausibly alleges, U.S. support. Colombia’s President Uribe — a close Bush ally — lied to Ecuador’s President Correa about the attack, claiming it was in “hot pursuit.” Ecuador’s soldiers, when they reached the scene and recovered the bodies of FARC members who had been killed, reported to Correa that they had been asleep when attacked. They were in their underwear. Correa called it a “massacre.” Both Ecuador and Venezuela have moved troops to their borders with Colombia, warned Colombia about violating their sovereignty, and cut diplomatic relations with Colombia.

Colombia’s attack was a flagrant violation of Ecuador’s sovereignty. “Hot pursuit” was Colombia’s only possible defense. There is no right in international law to engage in military attacks into another country with which you are not at war if it is not an immediate continuation of an engagement that began within your borders (unless your action is explicitly authorized by the UN Security Council.) If you say that international law doesn’t matter, you’re essentially saying that Colombia has special rights to violate international law because it’s a U.S. ally. That may sell well inside the Beltway, but it’s going to sell very poorly, in general, from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego.

While no one should dispute that the tactics of the FARC have caused tremendous suffering — as have the tactics of the U.S.-backed Colombian government — it’s important to consider the likely motivations of the Colombian government for carrying out this operation. Raul Reyes, the top leader in the FARC who was killed, led negotiations that resulted in the FARC releasing six political hostages to Venezuela, including four a week ago. This is a pattern for the Bush-backed Colombian government — to meet the “threat” of successful diplomacy with military escalation. The Colombian government, with vigorous U.S. support, is taking actions whose probable consequence is to reduce the likelihood that FARC hostages will be released — including three American captives.

Indeed, Ecuador says it was in talks with rebels to release 12 hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans, that the talks were in an advanced stage, and that the process was thwarted by the Colombian raid.

Now consider the statements of the Democratic presidential candidates. First, Obama:

Obama Statement on Recent Events near Colombia’s Borders – March 03, 2008

“The Colombian people have suffered for more than four decades at the hands of a brutal terrorist insurgency, and the Colombian government has every right to defend itself against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The recent targeted killing of a senior FARC leader must not be used as a pretense to ratchet up tensions or to threaten the stability of the region. The presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela have a responsibility to ensure that events not spiral out of control, and to peacefully address any disputes through active diplomacy with the help of international actors.”

Obama is absolutely right, of course, that nothing should be used as a “pretense” to ratchet up tensions or threaten the stability of the region. But this glosses over the apparent fact that Colombia flagrantly, deliberately, and with premeditation violated Ecuador’s sovereignty. Ecuador is a U.S. ally. The U.S., as a member of the Organization of American States, has an obligation to defend Ecuador’s sovereignty. If you say that doesn’t matter, then what you’re saying is that a country like Ecuador can’t rely on the U.S. to behave in accordance with international law, and has to turn to countries like Venezuela to help defend its sovereignty (as it has.) In this assertion, you’d have a lot of agreement in Ecuador, including from its U.S.-educated president.

Obama says, “The presidents of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela have a responsibility to ensure that events not spiral out of control, and to peacefully address any disputes through active diplomacy with the help of international actors.” That’s absolutely correct. He might also note that the U.S. — which is a protagonist through its role in Colombia — shares this obligation.

Now let’s consider Hillary’s statement:

Statement from Hillary Clinton – 3/3/2008

“Hugo Chavez’s order yesterday to send ten battalions to the Colombian border is unwarranted and dangerous. The Colombian state has every right to defend itself against drug trafficking terrorist organizations that have kidnapped innocent civilians, including American citizens. By praising and supporting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Chavez is openly siding with terrorists that threaten Colombian democracy and the peace and security of the region. Rather than criticizing Colombia’s actions in combating terrorist groups in the border regions, Venezuela and Ecuador should work with their neighbor to ensure that their territories no longer serve as safe havens for terrorist groups. After reviewing this situation, I am hopeful that the government of Ecuador will determine that its interests lie in closer cooperation with Colombia on this issue. Hugo Chavez must call a halt to this provocative action. As president, I will work with our partners in the region and the OAS to support democracy, promote an end to conflict, and to press Chavez to change course.”

This is 100% wrong. Hillary acts as if the “event” is not the Colombian attack in Ecuador, but the Venezuelan response (Ecuador, the country whose sovereignty was violated, is an afterthought.) . According to Hillary, Colombia has “every right” to “defend itself” by violating Ecuador’s sovereignty — that’s the event — but if Venezuela sends troops to its side of the Venezuela-Colombia border — its own national territory — that’s “unwarranted and dangerous.” Hillary says that “after reviewing the situation,” she is hopeful that Ecuador will determine that its interests lie in “closer cooperation with Colombia” — the country that just flagrantly violated its sovereignty — than with Venezuela, its ally that is speaking up against the violation. She is hopeful that Ecuador will lick the hand that beats it. As president, she will work with our partners in the region and the OAS to press Venezuela to change course. Good luck with that. It’s the U.S. and Colombia that need pressure to change course — to forswear violations of international law and to choose real diplomacy.

Judging from Hillary’s statement, we should expect no meaningful change in U.S. policy towards Colombia, Ecuador, or Venezuela (which she falsely claims is a dictatorship) if she is elected president — unless it is a change to make it worse.

Robert Naiman is National Coordinator of Just Foreign Policy, a membership organization devoted to reforming U.S. foreign policy to reflect the values and serve the interests of the majority of Americans. Naiman edits the daily Just Foreign Policy news summary.

I’m sorry, what were you saying about voting for Obama or Hillary? These two can’t even figure out what’s going on and on what level. But they think they are ready for the White House? Didn’t we already make that mistake once by putting a governor from Texas in the White House?

And then we have McCain. Ahhhhhh, yes, he is such a wonderful guy! Sweet tempered, easy to talk to, listens well, NOT! We need him like we need another hole in our heads. Read on:

McCain flashes temper at reporter

By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer Sat Mar 8, 7:22 AM ET

NEW ORLEANS – Republican Sen. John McCain, showing a flash of the temper he is known for, repeatedly cut off a reporter Friday when asked whether he had spoken to Democratic Sen. John Kerry about being his vice president in 2004. “Everybody knows that I had a private conversation. Everybody knows that, that I had a conversation,” McCain told the reporter. “And you know it, too. No. You know it, too. No. You do know. You do know.”
The reporter, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times, was following up on a question McCain had answered at a campaign event Friday morning in Atlanta. Asked if he might consider Kerry as a running mate, since Kerry asked him in 2004, McCain said no.

Afterward, on a campaign flight, Bumiller said she looked in the Times’ archives and that McCain had denied talking with Kerry in a May 2004 story.

McCain interrupted, saying that everyone knew he had a private conversation, and he kept interrupting as she tried to follow up. McCain clearly was irate.

“I don’t know what you read or heard of, and I don’t know the circumstances,” McCain said. “Maybe in May of ’04 I hadn’t had a conversation.”

Did he recall the conversation? “I don’t know, but it’s well-known that I had the conversation. It’s absolutely well-known by everyone. So do you have a question on another issue?”

Asked again about the conversation, McCain said, “No. No. Because the issue is closed, as far as I’m concerned. Everybody knows it. Everybody knows it in America.”

Could he describe the conversation? “No, of course not,” McCain said. “I don’t describe private conversations. Why should I? Then there’s no such thing as a private conversation.”

McCain is known for having a temper and has been dubbed “Senator Hothead” by more than one publication.

Ummmmmmmmm, “Senator Hothead?” Do we want this guy anywhere near a nuclear trigger? What happens when he has a bad day? I’m sure that’s what happened on the Keating Five incident. McCain won’t talk about that anymore either. But here’s the scoop:

Is John McCain a Crook?
Chris Suellentrop
Posted Friday, Feb. 18, 2000, at 2:35 PM ET

In early 1987, at the beginning of his first Senate term, McCain attended two meetings with federal banking regulators to discuss an investigation into Lincoln Savings and Loan, an Irvine, Calif., thrift owned by Arizona developer Charles Keating. Federal auditors were investigating Keating’s banking practices, and Keating, fearful that the government would seize his S&L, sought intervention from a number of U.S. senators.

At Keating’s behest, four senators–McCain and Democrats Dennis DeConcini of Arizona, Alan Cranston of California, and John Glenn of Ohio–met with Ed Gray, chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, on April 2. Those four senators and Sen. Don Riegle, D-Mich., attended a second meeting at Keating’s behest on April 9 with bank regulators in San Francisco.

Regulators did not seize Lincoln Savings and Loan until two years later. The Lincoln bailout cost taxpayers $2.6 billion, making it the biggest of the S&L scandals. In addition, 17,000 Lincoln investors lost $190 million.

In November 1990, the Senate Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the meetings between the senators and the regulators. McCain, Cranston, DeConcini, Glenn, and Riegle became known as the Keating Five.

(Keating himself was convicted in January 1993 of 73 counts of wire and bankruptcy fraud and served more than four years in prison before his conviction was overturned. Last year, he pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and was sentenced to time served.)

McCain defended his attendance at the meetings by saying Keating was a constituent and that Keating’s development company, American Continental Corporation, was a major Arizona employer. McCain said he wanted to know only whether Keating was being treated fairly and that he had not tried to influence the regulators. At the second meeting, McCain told the regulators, “I wouldn’t want any special favors for them,” and “I don’t want any part of our conversation to be improper.”

But Keating was more than a constituent to McCain–he was a longtime friend and associate. McCain met Keating in 1981 at a Navy League dinner in Arizona where McCain was the speaker. Keating was a former naval aviator himself, and the two men became friends. Keating raised money for McCain’s two congressional campaigns in 1982 and 1984, and for McCain’s 1986 Senate bid. By 1987, McCain campaigns had received $112,000 from Keating, his relatives, and his employees–the most received by any of the Keating Five. (Keating raised a total of $300,000 for the five senators.)

After McCain’s election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense, three of which were to Keating’s Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the scandal broke in 1989. At that point, he paid Keating $13,433 for the flights.

And in April 1986, one year before the meeting with the regulators, McCain’s wife, Cindy, and her father invested $359,100 in a Keating strip mall.

The Senate Ethics Committee probe of the Keating Five began in November 1990, and committee Special Counsel Robert Bennett recommended that McCain and Glenn be dropped from the investigation. They were not. McCain believes Democrats on the committee blocked Bennett’s recommendation because he was the lone Keating Five Republican.

By now we are well aware of how McCain treats his *friends*! They get preferential treatment and the rest of us can go to the dickens! McCain gets rich and the rest of us? Mere peasants to serve his needs. You really want this man in office? Besides being rich he’s an idiot. I can just see him in some of Bush’s situations jumping up and down like a red faced rooster! Please God, give the people sense enough to LEARN who they are dealing with and wanting to vote for!

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~ by justmytruth on March 9, 2008.

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