“Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama will try to jump-start economic links this week as Russia’s president travels to Silicon Valley and Washington, building on improved political ties after the U.S. ‘reset’ relations,” Bloomberg Businessweek reported on June 21.
For years, conservatives and constitutionalists have called for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations for a variety of reasons, specifically the United Nations’ notorious anti-Americanism and inefficient-at-best handling of world crises. There is no better example of the UN’s ineptitude than the Oil for Food program, which has been an ample breeding ground for corruption by large organizations, including General Electric. In July, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined General Electric $23.5 million for its corrupt dealings in Iraq during the Oil for Food program. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, General Electric violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by illegally offering equipment and services in exchange for contracts with Iraqi officials.
“If George W. Bush is remembered by getting America stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s looking like Obama wants to be remembered as the president who got America stuck in Yemen.” These words, from a March Internet address by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric and al-Qaeda leader now hiding in Yemen, sum up well the August 14 New York Times report in which they appear.
Two British newspapers, the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian, quoted in their August 12 editions statements made by Iraqi Lieutenant General Babakir Zebari, who at a defense conference in Baghdad the previous day called on the United States to leave troops in Iraq beyond next year’s planned withdrawal. "If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: the U.S. army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020,” said Zebari.
The New York Times reported on August 11 that U.S. military officials are building a case to reduce the planned withdrawal of some troops from Afghanistan, scheduled to begin next July. The article explained that the case is geared toward countering pressure being exerted on President Obama from within his own party to proceed quickly with the process of winding down the war.