Tag Archives: United Nations

Syrian war crimes, Russian complicity, and the U.S. response

Last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, announced a major shift in U.S. Policy towards Syria: U.S. priority on Syria no longer focused on ‘getting Assad out’:

The United States’ diplomatic policy on Syria for now is no longer focused on making the war-torn country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, leave power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said on Thursday, in a departure from the Obama administration’s initial and public stance on Assad’s fate.

The view of the Trump administration is also at odds with European powers, who insist Assad must step down. The shift drew a strong rebuke from at least two Republican senators.

“You pick and choose your battles and when we’re looking at this, it’s about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out,” U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told a small group of reporters.

“Do we think he’s a hindrance? Yes. Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No,” she said. “What we are going to focus on is putting the pressure in there so that we can start to make a change in Syria.”

In Ankara on Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Assad’s longer-term status “will be decided by the Syrian people.

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Rep. Andy Biggs is a John Bircher?

Longtime residents of Arizona will remember billboards similar to this one below that dotted our highways back in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Arizona’s newest congressman, former state senate president Andy Biggs, is a wingnut and apparent John Bircher.

He is a co-sponsor of a bill that would force the United States to quit its membership in the United Nations. Republicans File Bill To Terminate United Nations Membership And Revoke Diplomatic Immunity:

Earlier this month, Rep. Michael Rogers (R-AL) filed legislation called The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017 on behalf of himself and at least four six other GOP co-sponsors.

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The measure aims to repeal the United Nations Participation Act on 1945, which authorized U.S. membership in the intergovernmental organization.

The bill states that the president “shall terminate all membership by the United States in the United Nations, and in any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body of the United Nations.”

Additionally, the measure prohibits “diplomatic immunity for U.N. officers or employees.” Without immunity protection for diplomats, the organization would be forced to re-locate its headquarters outside of the United States.

If the bill is passed by Congress, it would take effect two years after being signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Pope Francis: Coming to America

popeAll the TV networks are promising wall-to-wall coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba and the United States, but I do not recall seeing the Pope’s itinerary and schedule of events in our local newspapers yet, so here you go (subject to change). Full schedule of Pope’s visit to Cuba and the US released:

Pope Francis will take his vision of a Catholic’s approach to family life, economics, immigration and good governance to Cuba and the United States during a September 19-27 visit.

The Vatican published the detailed schedule of Pope Francis’ September 19-22 visit to Cuba and his September 22-27 visit to the United States.

Full schedule of the Pope’s visit to Cuba and the US (September 19-27):

September 19 (Rome, Havana)

10.15am Departure from Rome’s Fiumicino airport for Havana.
4.05pm Arrival ceremony at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport. Speech by pope.

September 20 (Havana)

9am Mass in Havana’s Revolution Square. Homily by Pope. Recitation of the Angelus.
4pm Courtesy visit with Cuba’s President Raul Castro in Havana’s Palace of the Revolution.
5.15pm Celebration of vespers with priests, religious and seminarians in Havana’s cathedral. Homily by Pope.
6.30pm Greeting to young people at the Father Felix Varela cultural center in Havana. Remarks by Pope.

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