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The National Security Team

June 26, 2010

President Barack Obama meets with his national security team on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Situation Room of the White House, June 23, 2010. Seated at the table are, from left, General David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Vice President Joe Biden, the President, National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Deputy National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    June 27, 2010 1:45 am

    I just read in Time that PEW research just released a “global attitudes” poll that showed “surprisingly” that 60% of people surveyed in 22 countries view the US favorably, up 20 points since 2007. Approval ratings in China (58%) are the highest since PEW began polling there, and in Russia the ratings are the highest since 2002 (57%). Bush’ ratings were dismal so there was no where to go but up. But the Tines commentator did credit “the Obams foreign
    policy team” which had “conspicuously adopted
    a conciliatory, multilateral tone in its dealings
    with other countries. It has soothed relations
    with big powers like Russia abd China.”
    I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the writer doesn’t mention Hillary by name or credit her personally for setting a new tone as Secretary of State. Sigh.

  2. June 27, 2010 10:19 am

    No, she doesn’t get enough credit from many in the media although given her high approval ratings, it would seem that most people get how important she has been to rehabbing the US image abroad.

    I had seen that poll and what was interesting was that while Obama was still pretty popular around the globe, his policies no longer are, perhaps because he hasn’t delivered on so many promises? Our policies towards Latin America haven’t really changed and at the end of the day, whatever gains we made in the Muslim world after the Cairo speech have largely been lost for reasons that I probably don’t have to mention to anyone paying attention (*cough* Israel).

    Hillary has been a huge part of our improved relations with Russia, China, etc. and her willingness to admit that the US actually has made errors in the past is hugely important to other countries, which is something the political right in this country simply can’t grasp, given they seem to prefer the “do as we say not as we do” type diplomacy. Her acknowledgment that the US still has a ways to go on the human rights front is significant and it has been greeted with gratitude by other countries.

  3. SpfcMarcus permalink
    June 27, 2010 1:42 pm

    Israel is stirring up shit again. You know, they could give us a “thank you” once in a while.

    Israel’s become a huge liability and they have found a scapegoat- an American president who like most who have come before him, has tried to reign in our “special” friend with little success. Obama is just more open about it than Clinton and some other were, except George HW Bush, who actually did reign them in a bit by witholding $$. Instead of focusing on their own actions Israel is obsessed with their own victimhood- everything is everyone else’s fault. I disagree with Obama on a lot of things, but the shit issuing forth from Camp Bibi is ridiculous. Once again they have to blame someone, this time by claiming Obama isn’t “pro-Israel” enough and so all their problems on the world stage have nothing to do with them. They should look in a fucking mirror once in a while.

  4. Susan permalink
    June 27, 2010 1:48 pm

    Oren’s an ass. He’s always trying to stir the pot. Israel really needs to work on their PR because they are right up there with BP lately. Oren just reinforces some people’s view of Israel as a spoiled, bratty, entitled nation which needs the US to run interference for it all the time. As Marcus said, never a thank-you from Israel, never a “gee, we unconditionally support the US!”- always the other way around- it’s always the US that has to prove itself to Israel. We give them billions a year, help prevent them from being accountable for their crimes at the UN and what do we get in return? Michael Oren spouting off about how mean and unsupportive the US is.

    • Steve permalink
      June 27, 2010 3:54 pm

      Yup, Oren is Israel’s go-to guy when they want to spread lies:

      Oren practically lives on the NYT editorial page. It’s nice to have such a great platform to whine and complain without having to ever be fact-checked.

      But of course Deborah Solomon of the NY Times recently referred to zionist terrorism as “romantic”, so what do you expect?

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        June 27, 2010 8:33 pm

        Deborah Soloman said THAT? Sounds unlike her. Sure it wasn’t tongue in cheek? What was context, do you recall?

  5. Tovah permalink
    June 27, 2010 3:50 pm

    This stuff drives me mad. If Israel wants to keep weapons out of gaza, fine, but stop playing this game just to make the Palestinians suffer. This is why the world is enraged- not because the world is all anti-Semitic but because Israel has just lost it’s damn mind.

  6. jillforhill permalink
    June 27, 2010 5:49 pm

    That is interesting. There were three types of comments 1.sos has nothing to do with the military,2.obama wants her in the “shadows” and upset mcchrystal did not go after her,3.if anything goes really wrong she can say she had nothing to do with that decision.
    I believe obama may have been a little upset they praised her and I know she and rahm just act civil to each other because they have to. However,she does get along with paterus and when she was on the armed forces committee someone asked him who really gets it and he said “other than Hillary”.

  7. jillforhill permalink
    June 27, 2010 6:05 pm

    My comment was for the photo bomb post.

  8. Steve permalink
    June 27, 2010 9:29 pm

    Carlolyn- it was during a joke (not in a funny way)of an interview with Tzipi Livni. Here is some commentary on it ( with link to the interview):

    Solomon’s interview style is annoying. Shes one of the few people where you can read something she’s written and actually walk away less informed than before you read it. I try to keep up with her but she’s such a NYT stereotype she’s not even interesting. Even when she tries to be clever or sarcastic(like possibly with the psychoanalysis comment) she comes across looking like a stereotypical biased stooge. To call it journalism is a stretch. And her incessant need to constantly dumb down every discussion of Israel

    • June 27, 2010 9:51 pm

      I like Philip Weiss over at Mondoweiss- always keeping the MSM honest. Same thing with Max Blumenthal and Richard Silverstein. They must drive Alan Dershowitz insane.

      Can I ask a question- isn’t it pretty offensive to call someone a “self-hating Jew” and yet Solomon seems to not think twice about calling someone she’s interviewing that? Seems kinda inappropriate to say the least. It seems to be a way to instantly delegitimize the opinion of someone with whom one disagrees. Solomon doesn’t agree with Chomsky so Chomsky must hate himself? What a cop-out. I don’t agree with Chomsky some of the time but he’s no idiot, that’s for sure.

      Unfortunately for Solomon, the Chomsky interview really reveals her bias- she clearly is annoyed by his criticism of Israel to the point where it seems to eclipse all else. She can’t even pretend to be objective. And thus when I look at the Livni interview, where she shows not even the slightest inkling to press Livni on anything (like she did w/Chomsky) it seems pretty clear Solomon doesn’t get the whole “journalism” part of her job.

      • Steve permalink
        June 27, 2010 10:02 pm

        Yeah, the “self hating Jew” insult is a lame way to keep the Tribe in check. It’s usually used by people who don’t like their beliefs questioned. I’ve been called a self hating Jew when I express an opinion about Israel or Judaism which other usually more conservative Jews are uncomfortable with. Alan Dershowitz called all of J Street self haters. Bibi supposedly leveled the charge at Rahm Emanuel and david Axelrod. It’s obnoxious but at the end of the day it tend to reflect poorly on people like Dershowitz and Solomon who simply can’t tolerate having their worldview questioned in any way.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      June 28, 2010 2:49 pm

      Steve, this was the context:

      DS:Your parents were among the country’s founders.

      TL: They were the first couple to marry in Israel, the very first. Both of them were in the Irgun. They were freedom fighters, and they met while boarding a British train. When the British Mandate was here, they robbed a train to get the money in order to buy weapons.

      DS: It was a more romantic era.

      I think she was joking about the decidedly unromantic nature of her parents’ courtship.

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        June 28, 2010 3:50 pm

        Incidentally, I’m not defending Soloman’s work generally. I made the mistake of agreeing to be interviewed by her once and was skewered!

  9. June 28, 2010 11:11 am

    Steve- yeah, I pretty much figured. I can’t imagine a non-Jewish person calling someone that, EVER. It strikes me as patently offensive.

    I think the reason there is so much hysteria about Israeli-US relations is because there is a shift in opinion among younger Jewish Americans- we’ve heard a lot about that of late and people like Peter Beinart have hit the point home, much to the dismay of the AIPAC crowd, which is desperate to try to reign everyone in so that there is only one viewpoint about Israel and the diaspora expressed- theirs. Healthy debate is good which is why its so frustrating that here in the US no REAL debate about US policy takes place.

    I’d love to know what Deb Solomon’s reaction is to the criticism of her Livni article is. Many of her interviews are pretty softball. I’d love to interview Livni with all that is going on now and what a waste for Solomon to just toss up those red herrings and leave it at that. Livni put in a vote of no confidence in Bibi in the Knesset- you’d think maybe Solomon would have hit that topic. It’s interesting that not a single mainstream media source has even taken note of this interview. That just feeds the conspiracy theorists, unfortunately.

  10. Stacyx permalink
    June 28, 2010 5:57 pm

    Woo hoo Carolyn got the Solomon treatment. So, can we have a link or do you want your identity to remain secret? 🙂

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      June 28, 2010 7:39 pm

      Oh, it’s not that interesting! She wasn’t interviewing me per se. She just wanted my opinion as a psychiatrist for some story she was writing, and cherry picked the most ridiculous thing I said (it was admittedly pretty dumb) then did her best to present it in such a way that maximized my public humiliation. I should have known better, and certainly learned my lesson.

      • June 29, 2010 8:00 am

        Oh, don’t be modest. 😉 I still want a link. We can’t have Solomon going after Hillary peeps, even if it wasn’t about Hillary.

        Does Solomon have some particular interest or expertise in psych? She was all weird with Chomsky during an interview and brought up psych.

  11. Stacyx permalink
    June 28, 2010 6:10 pm

    Bibi comes to Washington soon and he’ll be bringing with him news of another provocation against Palestinians. This is outright land theft and it’s time we call Israel on their racist attempts(largely successful btw) to “cleanse” Jerusalem of it’s Arabs. They make it sound like Palestinians can still build some homes but apparently they never get their permits approved. This really does sicken me.

    I’ll be interested to hear what Hillary/Obama say, that is if the media dans to ask.

    • Steve permalink
      June 28, 2010 6:22 pm

      Holy sh*t! I hope my wife doesn’t see that, but I know she will- she reads Haaretz daily. We are heading to Israel to visit her sister end of July. If this keeps up my wife will probably want to join that German Jewish Flotilla that’s headed there soon to break the blockade ;). All joking aside she actually brought up joining one of the flotillas and I told her she was out of her mind- we have 2 kids in college, I can’t have her wasting away in an Israeli jail. They wouldn’t care that she’s a citizen.

      American Jews really need to start speaking out avaunt Bibi’s dangerous, insolent actions. Antonella who really gives a damn about Israel should realize Bibi is turning the country into an isolated international pariah. All we hear is the AIPAC crowd complain about the Obama admin being anti-Israel and that is total BS. I’m starting to think Israel’s actions are such that we should be demand they PROVE that THEY are pro-US instead of the other way around.

  12. Steve permalink
    June 28, 2010 6:24 pm

    Sorry for the typos – this laptop finishes words as I type and I forget to check them to make sure they are correct.

  13. December 10, 2010 2:27 pm

    I usually don’t reply to posts but I will in this case. WoW :]

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