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Despite Campaign Pledge, Obama Won’t Call 1915 Killings of Armenians ‘Genocide’

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John Hudson writes: Putting geopolitics above a longtime campaign promise, President Barack Obama will refrain from using the word “genocide” to describe the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I. The decision came after a senior delegation of Turkish diplomats traveled to Washington to meet with White House officials and three days before the 100th anniversary of the mass killings.

“President Obama’s surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace. It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust.”

— Ken Hachikian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America

U.S. officials speaking to Foreign Policy said the White House had contemplated recognizing the genocide and alerted State Department officials who deal with Turkey to prepare for the potential diplomatic blowback.

“The Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. As president I will recognize the Armenian genocide.”

— Senator Barack Obama

In the end, though, the White House decided against using the term. Administration officials relayed the decision to a group of Armenian-American leaders Tuesday afternoon, prompting an immediate backlash from those who have spent decades trying to get Washington to recognize what many historians describe as the first genocide of the 20th century.

“Is this the time to kick Turkey in the balls given everything that’s going on in the region?”

— Former congressional aide with years of experience working with Washington’s highly active Armenian lobby

“President Obama’s surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace,” Ken Hachikian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America, said in a statement. “It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust.”

Many officials at the State Department opposed the decision for fear of losing Turkey’s cooperation on a host of key issues, most notably the war against the Islamic State militant group, which has seized control of large swaths of Syria and Iraq. Turkey hosts a training camp for anti-ISIS fighters and owns an air base the United States wants more access to.

“Is this the time to kick Turkey in the balls given everything that’s going on in the region?” said a former congressional aide with years of experience working with Washington’s highly active Armenian lobby.

To date, no sitting U.S. president has ever verbalized the word “genocide” when referring to the atrocities committed against Armenians in the early years of World War I. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan issued a written proclamation about the “genocide of the Armenians,” but subsequent diplomatic headaches prompted his administration to reverse course and drop all explicit references to that term. Read the rest of this entry »


Latin America Silent on Venezuela as U.S. Airs Rights Concerns

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PANAMA CITY (AP) — Joshua Goodman and Peter Orsi report: From Mexico to Brazil, leaders in Latin America have largely kept silent amid charges of human rights abuses in Venezuela and are unlikely to speak out against their neighbor at this week’s Summit of the Americas.

“The Obama administration last month froze the U.S. assets and revoked visas for seven senior officials accused of human rights violations related to protests last year against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government.”

Many Latin American heads of state gathering in Panama City are bound to oil-rich Venezuela by business dealings if not ideology, and are put off by recent U.S. sanctions against some of the country’s officials. Others do not want to be seen as doing Washington’s bidding, particularly as they face protests and plunging approval ratings at home.

“The unrest is blamed for more than 40 deaths and triggered a crackdown on criticism that led to the jailing of several opposition leaders, including February’s surprise arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma.”

“Venezuela has successfully played the history of U.S. imperialism and U.S. heavy-handedness cards, in a way that has made people want to back away from public criticism,” said Geoff Thale, an analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America.

Venezuela Regional Silence

“It was no surprise that leftist allies such as the governments of Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua would leap to defend Caracas. All have a history of vocal opposition to Washington. But even more moderate governments and traditional U.S. allies in the region have been reluctant to criticize Maduro.”

The Obama administration last month froze the U.S. assets and revoked visas for seven senior officials accused of human rights violations related to protests last year against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government. The unrest is blamed for more than 40 deaths and triggered a crackdown on criticism that led to the jailing of several opposition leaders, including February’s surprise arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma.

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Human Rights Watch and other advocacy groups issued a statement on Tuesday asking the countries attending the summit to call Maduro’s administration to task for its alleged harassment of rights defenders.

But rather than highlight alleged abuses, the U.S. sanctions have drawn widespread condemnation in Latin America, denying Obama a hoped-for diplomatic victory lap at the summit for his decision to restore ties with Cold War nemesis Cuba. A reference to Venezuela as a threat to U.S. national security included in the sanctions declaration is standard bureaucratic language for the United States, but disturbing to a region with a long history of U.S. interference, from support for past military regimes to efforts to topple leftist governments.

Deputy National Security adviser Benjamin Rhodes argued Tuesday during a White House press briefing on Obama’s upcoming visit that the language in the executive order was the same typically used by the U.S. when it levies sanctions around the world. Read the rest of this entry »


Health & Human Services: Teen Males Majority of Illegal Aliens For Years

For Brietbart.com reports: A great deal of attention has been focused in recent months on the surge of illegal aliens, particularly unaccompanied alien children (UAC), through the southwest border of the United States. However, a federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fact sheet points to the fact that a large number of male teens have been arriving in exponentially increasing numbers for several years.border-fence-reuters

According to an HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) fact sheet, “Most [illegal aliens] are over 14 and approximately three quarters of them are boys.” In addition, there has been a steady upward trend in the number of UAC’s entering the country since at least 2012. The number “jumped dramatically” in fiscal year 2012, almost doubling to a total of 13,625 served by ORR. That number nearly doubled again from FY2012 to FY2013 as the ORR saw “24,668 UAC referrals from DHS” for FY2013.

Most recently updated in May 2014, the fact sheet goes on to project a greater exponential increase in UAC at more than double the previous year, approximately 60,000 for FY2014. However, some estimates expect even greater numbers. Read the rest of this entry »


GLOBAL PANIC FAILURE OVERLOAD Washington Post: ‘President Obama’s Competence Problem is Worse Than It Looks’

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Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina, left, and Honduran President Juan Hernandez, right, listen as President Obama speaks to the media, after they met on July 25 at the White House to discuss Central American immigration and the border crisis. (AP)

For The Washington PostChris Cillizza writes: You can understand President Obama’s current political problems — and how those problems could make things very tough for his party in this fall’s midterm election — in a single word. And that gpoj-approved-panicword is “competence.”

“Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question…”

Obama was elected in 2008 on a stated promise that he would restore competence to government. He pitched himself as the antidote to “Heck of a job, Brownie” and the Bush years, the person who would always put the most qualified candidate in every job in his Administration. That the basic functioning of government would never be in question.

“…and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall.”

Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall. A series of events — from the VA scandal to the ongoing border crisis to the situation in Ukraine to the NSA spying program — have badly undermined the idea that Obama can effectively manage the government. Read the rest of this entry »


Complicity: Deportation Data Won’t Dispel Rumors Drawing Migrant Minors to U.S.

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Organized crime groups in Central America have exploited the slow U.S. legal process and the compassion shown to children in apparent crisis

For the Los Angeles Times, Brian Bennett reports: President Obama and his aides have repeatedly sought to dispel the rumors driving thousands of children and teens from Central America to cross the U.S. border each month with the expectation they will be given a permiso and allowed to stay.

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“The cartels have figured out where the hole is.”

—  Immigration attorney David Leopold

But under the Obama administration, those reports have proved increasingly true.

The number of immigrants under 18 who were deported or turned away at ports of entry fell from 8,143 in 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush administration, to 1,669 last year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Similarly, about 600 minors were ordered deported each year from nonborder states a decade ago. Ninety-five were deported last year, records show, even as a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America — five times more than two years earlier — began pouring across the Southwest border.

[Also see: Border Meltdown: Obama Delivers 290,000 Illegals To U.S. Homes]

The previously unavailable deportation data are likely to fuel the political debate over whether Obama administration policies are partly responsible for the 52,000 children and teens who have surrendered to or been caught by Border Patrol agents since last October, spurring fresh concerns about U.S. border security and immigration law.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Hammer: ‘If Fences Dont Work, Why Is There One Around the White House?’

O’Reilly: How do you secure the border, Charles?

Krauthammer: Alright, here’s what I’ve been on for years. You start with a fence. It’s very simple. People say, ‘Oh, fences don’t work. You make a ladder.’ Well, then you build two fences, triple strand fences. San Diego did that in the mid 90’s and within a decade, the illegal immigration rate at that point was reduced by 90% and people ended up going through other places like Arizona.

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If fences don’t work, why is there one around the White House? If they don’t work, why is it that the Israeli fence which separate Israel from the West Bank has cut down terror attacks within Israel by 99%. Fences work. Yes, there are parts of the border where you can’t have a fence, fine. So you don’t have it in those areas and you do heavy patrols. But there is no reason why a rich country like us cannot put a fence across — a double fence, a triple fence and patrol it all the time. That would have a tremendous impact.

YouTube – RealClearPolitics.com


Immigration Wave At The Texas Border: Intentional, Manufactured, Orchestrated Crisis

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Immigration: As an unprecedented wave of undocumented children from Central America spills over our Texas border, a veteran lawmen’s organization has declared it an “orchestrated” event. If so, who benefits?

Photo credit: Breitbart Texas

Photo credit: Breitbart Texas

To date, there hasn’t been a word from the White House or its agencies urging families in Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador not to send their children alone through Mexico’s merciless badlands infested with cartel criminals to reach the U.S. There’s some Twitter activity and little else.

“There will be many who dismiss concerns about an orchestrated campaign. But the signs are everywhere.” 

But the newspapers and television stations throughout Central America are falsely reporting that amnesty will be theirs if they can just make it through the Mexican obstacle course — and that the time to do it is now.

“And there’s just one beneficiary to this misery on the border — the Obama White House.”

It doesn’t matter that these children are likely to succumb to desert heat, be snatched by vicious human traffickers, forced into prostitution, slavery or the drug trade, or simply murdered as has already happened to thousands, as the white crosses at the border can attest. Read the rest of this entry »