Two years after the Haiti earthquake on January 12, 2010 — which killed 316,000, injured 300,000 more, left one million homeless, and destroyed $8 billion in property — most of the billions of dollars pledged to help the island recover can’t be accounted for. And of that which can be, precious little found its way into the hands and mouths of the Haitians themselves.
On Sunday, the head of the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel for Guantanamo Bay military tribunals, Colonel J.P. Colwell, sent an e-mail ordering all lawyers under his command to defy rules authorizing and requiring officials at the naval facility’s detention center to open and read all correspondence between lawyers and the five detainees suspected of involvement in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
On January 3, President Barack Obama signed into law legislation imposing sanctions on Belarus. The Belarus Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2011 was passed by Congress in December in response to a litany of alleged human rights abuses on the part of the former Soviet Republic.
U.S. sanctions on Iran are “acts of war.” The Iranian government, which views the sanctions, along with assassinations of its nuclear scientists and belligerent rhetoric from Washington, as precursors to “regime change,” is seeking to obtain nuclear weapons “as a deterrent to foreign intervention.” War could occur at any moment, and the only way to avert it with any certainty is for “Western powers [to] imagine how the situation looks from Tehran.”
U.S. President Barack Obama signed legislation this week imposing tough sanctions on Iran’s relatively unique state-owned central bank, prompting a steep drop in the value of the Iranian rial. He also added a controversial “signing statement” indicating that he would violate the law if it interfered with his agenda and purported authority.
The $30 billion sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, announced by the Obama administration on Thursday is a continuation of a history of U.S. weapons sales that has resulted in the arming of a wide array of enemies as well as friends of America in the Middle East and other parts of the world. The deal includes the sale of 84 F-15 jets and “assorted weaponry” to the Arab kingdom, the Washington Post reported. It also provides for the modernization of 70 of the Saudi's current aircraft, as well as munitions, spare parts, training, and maintenance. The announcement comes at a time of increasing tension between the United States and the Saudis' neighbors in Iran and threats and counter-threats surrounding the strategically important Persian Gulf region.
Despite assertions from Federal Reserve officials that the United States would not play a role in bailing out European banks, that is exactly what has happened — again.
As the debate over the Iranian regime’s pursuit of nuclear technology heats up, commentators are pointing out that just a few years ago, then-President George W. Bush was supplying know-how through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Middle Eastern governments that have a cozy relationship with Iran.