Played For A Fool


 

The Obama administration’s much touted “reset” with Russia that began in 2009 has finally and unequivocally revealed itself to be a total disaster, literally this president has been played for a fool and people have noticed.  The idea behind “reset” was to wipe the slate clean with Russia in an attempt to gain their help in the UN Security Council so the West could confront Iran diplomatically instead of militarily.  Any rational human being remotely interested in foreign policy knew it was doomed to fail.  In fact, the only really legitimate argument that could be made in support of it would have been that it had to be tried to see if it was at all possible to avoid war with Iran over their pursuit of the bomb.  Most would still have believed it was doomed to fail but at least the one last try argument to prove to the world we are not insane war mongerers made some sense.  The problem has been that even though the Obama administration has been faced with near overwhelming evidence that Russia was not really going to help with Iran the Obama administration has continued along with “reset” for three and half years with no change in sight.

It’s not just Iran where this has become a problem, the Russians emboldened by America’s weakness under Obama have challenged the US in Syria, Georgia, Eastern Europe and so forth.  Syria just happens to be the latest in a long string of black eyes for the US courtesy of the Russians.  The most disturbing fact about Syria is that this administration actually seems surprised by Russian intransigence there.  Until Obama realizes that Putin is not a willing partner but is instead the head of state of a country that is determined to undermine US policy at every possible turn he will never get anywhere with the Russians.

Putin’s Got America Right Where He Wants It

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Obama Lectured By Putin


 

Apparently Russian President Vladimir Putin lectured American President Obama in a tense meeting recently at the G20 summit in Mexico.  The lecture had to do with Russian resistance to American pressure on Syria.  America wants Syrian leader Assad gone but Syria is a client state of Russia and home to a Russian naval base.  Recently there had been reports that the Russians were sending in marines to bolster the naval base.  What is really interesting is that Obama had put so much effort into “Resetting” relations with Russia but as many tried to warn at the beginning of his term it has proven futile so far.  If Obama begins to realize that he cannot hope to sway Russian opinion on Syria and Iran it will be interesting to see if he will decide to bypass the UN in confronting either problem.  Or will Israel take Russian resistance as a sign that diplomacy is hopeless in dealing with Iran and go ahead and strike?  This much can be certain the world is in a critical stage where at any time a large war could break out in the middle east with uncertain outcomes.

‘The Two Men Barely Looked at Each Other’

UN To Discuss Taxing The Internet


 

The International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the United Nations, will decide later in the year whether or not an internet tax should be levied.  The point of the new tax is to impose fees on content providers like Google or Apple for sending data to consumers outside the US.  The idea is being pushed by a group from Europe called the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association which is based out of Brussels, Belgium.  This excerpt below gives the European argument for the tax.

“European network providers and phone companies have been bitterly complaining about U.S. content-providing companies for some time. France Telecom, Telecom Italia, and Vodafone Group, want to “require content providers like Apple and Google to pay fees linked to usage,” Bloomberg reportedlast December.

ETNO refers to it as the “principle of sending party network pays” — an idea borrowed from the system set up to handle payments for international phone calls, where the recipient’s network set the per minute price. If its proposal is adopted, it would spell an end to the Internet’s long-standing, successful design based on unmetered “peered” traffic, and effectively tax content providers to reach non-U.S. Internet users.”

Everyone knows that the Europeans never met a tax they did not like and with the situation in Europe deteriorating by the day it should come as no surprise that they are looking anywhere and everywhere for new streams of revenue.  The article makes note how many governments around the world are interested in the tax as a way to make up for lost revenue from the decline in traditional overseas calls which have been replaced by things like skype.  More disturbing is that some governments view the proposal as a way to help governments block access to certain web content giving them greater control over what their citizens are able to view online.  I don’t know about you but anytime the words tax, european, and United Nations are used in the same sentence I tend to get a little wary.

U.N. debates tax on U.S.-based Web sites

UN Wants To Regulate The Internet, Congress To Consider


According to a story from www.thehill.com several nations including China, Russia, India, and Brazil are pushing for the UN to take control of the internet.  Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are concerned, and the article says that hearings are scheduled next week.  Here is the link to the story below.

Congress mulls letting UN regulate Internet…