Massive street protests erupted in Tunisia in late December, which ended the 23-year reign of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Fueled largely by an Internet-connected youth movement, the protests were partly a reaction to the publication by WikiLeaks of documents from U.S. diplomatic cables that revealed pandemic corruption by the ruling party, as well as government oppression that included arrests of lawyers, journalists, and political opponents. Another spark helped to ignite the revolt was the dramatic protest by Mohamed Bouazizi, who publicly set himself on fire on December 17 because of frequent government confiscation of his produce in his street vendor’s business and the government’s refusal to issue him the required vendor permits.
One of the most notable developments since Republicans assumed control of the House of Representatives in January is the shift in congressional attitudes toward the United Nations. While not yet considering or proposing legislation that would effectively end U.S. membership in the internationalist body, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla., photo, left) has proposed a number of bills that would end American taxpayer funding for several United Nations agencies and departments.
Two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents serving in Mexico were attacked Tuesday when gunmen opened fire on the blue Suburban in which they were traveling. Special Agent Jaime Zapata, on assignment from his post in Laredo, Texas to the ICE office in Mexico City, was killed.
Kentucky’s newly elected Senator Rand Paul has pleased conservatives with his calls for fiscal and constitutional conservatism, ranging from abolishing the Department of Education and all foreign aid to proposing substantial cuts to the federal budget. Now Paul has joined the crusade to end Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s efforts to work with the United Nations to pass a new “Small Arms Treaty.”
One more reason to terminate all foreign aid: The U.S. Agency for International Development — funded, of course, by American taxpayers — is providing money to at least two population control groups to engage in a program of essentially forced mass circumcisions and vasectomies in Rwanda.
Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks website has revealed incriminating information on communist regimes such as North Korea, China, and Russia while also publicizing inculpating and arguably debilitating information on U.S. officials, negotiation tactics, and allied countries. Regardless of one’s opinion of the website, it cannot be denied that the information leaked has been a mixed bag of both pro and con depending on the reader’s point of view. Now WikiLeaks has just disclosed disturbing information on U.S. readiness for a nuclear missile attack.
During a speech to the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics on Monday, Undersecretary of the Army Joseph Westphal (left) called the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border an “insurgency.” An unnamed Mexican official condemned Westphal’s remarks, as did a university assistant professor of political science and Latin American studies. The next day, CNN U.S. reported the Undersecretary was backing off his comments, expressing his regrets for his “inaccurate statements.”
Communist Cuba is launching yet another attack against the United States. Castro’s island regime is currently holding American citizen Alan Phillip Gross on charges of espionage, and is looking to hold him for a sentence of up to 20 years for allegedly “spying” against the communist state.
Item: “Chinese leader Hu Jintao,” reported the Associated Press on January 16, “is being feted in Washington this week with a lavish state banquet at the White House and other pomp usually reserved for close friends and allies — all intended to improve the tone of relations between a risen, more assertive and prosperous China and the U.S. superpower in a tenuous economic recovery.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul's call to end foreign aid to all countries, including Israel, has raised much controversy in the past several weeks. Paul, a Republican and stalwart of the Tea Party movement, has been attacked for this decision and accused of being both anti-Israel and anti-Semitic by his detractors on both the Left and the Right, including in his own party.