RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Jumat, 23 Januari 2009

Obama's Middle East Agenda

President Barack Obama took the Arab world by surprise on Wednesday by telephoning Mahmud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, to assure him that he intended “to work with him as partners to establish a durable peace” in the Middle East.

The welcome news was given to the media by Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina. He quoted Obama as saying: “This is my first phone call to a foreign leader and I’m making it only hours after I took office.”

This unexpected development will do a great deal to raise spirits in the Arab and Muslim world. Palestinians have suffered dreadfully from the Bush administration’s uncritical support for Israel over the past eight years. On the West Bank, Israel’s illegal settlements have continued to push relentlessly into Palestinian territory, while over-crowded, suffering Gaza has just endured a brutal three-week war which killed over 1,300 helpless civilians, wounded another 5,000, and smashed much of the infrastructure.

Disappointment was therefore acute when Obama failed to mention the Arab-Israeli conflict in his inauguration address on Tuesday, although the conflict lies at the very heart of the Arab and Muslim world’s quarrel with America. He made no reference to the war in Gaza, which has so recently held the world’s anguished attention. It was as if it had never happened.

For Americans, President Barak Obama’s inaugural address last Tuesday was undoubtedly a much-needed morale-booster, but for many outside the United States it was a disappointment. On foreign policy it was especially weak, setting no clear agenda. Even stylistically, the speech seemed labored and cliché-ridden, with hardly a memorable phrase. This was not Obama at his scintillating best.

There was a line in the speech about leaving Iraq; another about “forging a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan” -- whatever that may mean; a vague reference to “seeking a way forward with the Muslim world” on the basis of “mutual interests and mutual respect”; and, in what was perhaps a coded reference to Iran, a promise that America would “work with old friends and former foes” in reducing the nuclear threat.

Obama’s speech -- more sermonising than substance -- was in great contrast to that delivered the previous day by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as he stood in Gaza against the backdrop of the still smoking rubble of UNRWA’s headquarter building and main warehouse. Ban denounced Israel’s bombing of these facilities as scandalous and unacceptable. He demanded accountability for its possible war crimes. With evident emotion, he urged the Palestinians to unite in order to realize their dream of statehood, which he pledged do his utmost to promote.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Obama would appoint former Senator George Mitchell, 75, as his Middle East envoy, with special reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of Irish-Lebanese parentage, Mitchell is known as a man of integrity who helped negotiate the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland, which opened the way to peace in the troubled province.

But, if he is to break the deadlock in the Middle East, Mitchell will need muscular White House backing. Obama’s call to Mahmud Abbas suggests that he might get it. The Arabs have long had reason to be disappointed by incoming American Presidents who have rarely shown any willingness to confront the strongly pro-Israeli Congress, or to challenge the Israeli lobby which, in its multiple forms from AIPAC to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, shaped America’s Middle East policy in the Bush era.

Yet, Obama knows the facts. In the early stages of his election campaign he was bold enough to say that no one had suffered like the Palestinians. He said then that one could support Israel without embracing Likud’s expansionist policies. In 2003, he opposed the war in Iraq and lashed out at pro-Israeli officials like Paul Wolfowitz, who had pressed feverishly for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

No hint of these sentiments figured in his inaugural address. Instead, he delivered a warning that America was at war with “a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” To Arabs and Muslims, this sounded like a re-make of George W. Bush’s discredited ‘Global War on Terror,’ raising fears that Obama would not make a clean break with the past.

It is not yet clear how Obama intends to honour his pledge -- given at the start of his election campaign -- to travel to a major Islamic venue in the first 100 days of his presidency in order to deliver the message that “America is not at war with Islam.” The rumour in Washington is that Jakarta is the venue he has chosen for this mission. Indonesia is a largely Muslim country, but not an Arab one. It is where Obama lived as a boy from 1967 to 1971. By going there, he might hope to temper Muslim hostility, but without arousing the furious opposition of Israel and its many supporters in the United States.

Words, however, will not be enough. If Obama’s message is to carry any weight, he will need to move from words to deeds. The massacre in Gaza has aroused great anger among Arabs and Muslims, and caused dismay in much of the world. If Obama wishes to restore America’s leadership and dampen the fires of Arab and Islamic radicalism, he will have to make clear that America will no longer tolerate Israel’s wars and the cruel oppression of its captive Palestinian population.

With his phone call to Mahmud Abbas, Obama has now sent a strong signal that he is deadly serious about wanting to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some observers hope for even more. They would like him to make a public statement -- before Israel’s general elections on 10 February -- that he will work for the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Only such a bold announcement from the White House might serve to rein in Israel’s ultra-nationalists and land-grabbing settlers, and encourage the emergence of an Israeli peace coalition. But such is the triumphalist mood of the Israeli electorate that no such outcome can realistically be expected from the Israeli elections.

In the meantime, much remains to be done on the ground. The fragile ceasefire needs to be consolidated, which means -- at the very least -- a dialogue with Hamas. The Israeli siege of Gaza must be lifted. Above all, the Palestinians must end the crippling feud between Fatah and Hamas, and form a united government empowered to negotiate with Israel. For such a new Palestinian leadership to emerge, legislative and presidential elections will need urgently to be held in both the West Bank and Gaza. As Ban Ki-moon rightly declared, only if the Palestinians can overcome their differences, can their hopes for statehood be realised.

Israel’s war in Gaza looks increasingly like a colossal strategic blunder. Far from destroying Hamas, it has given it legitimacy. Far from splitting the Arabs it has united them. Far from achieving greater deterrence, it has driven the Arabs -- and Iran -- to look urgently to their defences. Far from improving its international image, Israel is now viewed by much of the world as a rogue state, unchecked by international law or common morality.

Containing Israel -- pushing it back to its pre-1967 borders and curbing its homicidal tendencies – has now become an international obligation. Obama knows that he cannot escape this responsibility.

Patrick Seale is a leading British writer on the Middle East, and the author of The Struggle for Syria; also, Asad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East; and Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire.

Hambali problem, the Government is "Wait and See"

One of the Guantanamo prison detainees suspected of berkewarganegaraan Indonesia, Hambali, planned to be returned to their home country, Indonesia. However, related to that case, the Government of Indonesia, in this case the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is still waiting to see the development of policies and the closing of Guantanamo.

"We will still wait and see policy of the U.S. Government related to the case (Hambali)," said the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teuku Faizasyah, at a press conference at the Office DEPLU, Jl Pejambon, Jakarta, Friday (23 / 1).

"Currently, the U.S. Government is still discussing on their own internal measures that will be done, so at this point they have not yet been decided," said Faizasyah.

However, it is said Faizasyah, is asking the steps the U.S. government a year to the front and general information about the criteria of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. About the possibility of Hambali in Indonesia, returned and processed law, department of foreign affairs can not ensure the subject.

"The law is based on evidence, whereas we have no means of proof, but we are waiting how the U.S. Government to take steps," he said.

As known, Hambali arrested in Thailand in October 2003 and entered the prison to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without trial. Also made, when he was arrested a Spanish passport with the name berkewarganegaraan Ridwan Isomuddin.


Umi Saodah evacuation to the Past in Egypt

The process of evacuation of foreign workers who were trapped in Gaza, Umi Saodah, done yesterday night. At this time, has secured Saodah Indonesian embassy in Cairo, Egypt, waiting for the process of repatriation and to Indonesia.

It was said Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Teuku Faizasyah SundaKelapa in space, Pejambon Jl. Jakarta, Friday (23 / 1). "Umi arrived in Cairo at about 02.00 am when Indonesia experienced the process of redemption after a long," he said.

Previously, Umi Saodah secured Palestinian police, and for his own safety not notified Umi existence to anyone, including the department of foreign affairs. "So no wonder when the evacuation takes a long time," he said.

Told Faizasyah, before the evacuation process, negotiations have been repeatedly made by the representatives of Egypt with the parties concerned. "He was freed with the help of the Red Cross Palestine," he said.

About the process of returning to Indonesia, according to Faizasyah, will soon be tried as soon as possible. "Indeed there is no obstacle, the administration and some stay with the employer's affairs," he said.


Feeling Kamerad Castro's time is

The former ruler Cuba, Fidel Castro, said Thursday (23 / 1) self doubt the government can take four years President Barack Obama. Hence, men aged 82 years obstacle has ordered the government petinggi Kiba to make policy without including himself.

Castro in any posts in a site titled "Reflecting Kamerad Fidel," Cuba is a central figure himself said the day stay.

Fidel Castro prime minister in July 2006 with the health reasons. Time, the room itself must be signed in operation because of heart disease dialaminya. Until now, Castro never appeared in public. Then, turn bungsunya brother, Raúl Castro who occupy seats presidency.

Meanwhile, the President had said Obama will not stop the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba until democratic reforms appear in the island country. But, Obama said the visit will erase limitations of Cuban American descent following money for their families. Obama had a personal offer of negotiations with Raúl Castro.

Because information systems are limited, most people only hear Cuba rumor concerning the condition of Fidel Castro. In addition to suffering from stroke, Fidel Castro also digosipkan once commas.

Source: A.P

Richard Holbrooke to Pakistan and Afghanistan

Foreign Minister Hillary Clinton, on Thursday (22 / 1), announced the appointment of Richard Holbrooke to be the Messenger of Special United States to Pakistan and Afghanistan. "Ambassador Holbrooke will coordinate with local government for the achievement of U.S. strategic goals in the area," said Hillary.

President Obama promised to increase the number of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan. The goal is to kill Taliban and Al Qaeda. In daily life, the U.S. will work with Pakistan and ama do antiteror operating on the border with Afghanistan that country.

Richard Holbrooke is former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN). Men aged 68 years since this was known to be the interpreter of peace in the conflict in Bosnia that ended in the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995.

Holbrooke other achievement is seven times nominated for the Nobel enter Peace. He is a foreign policy adviser to Hillary Clinton in the presidential election campaign in 2008 ago. Now, Holbrooke became an adviser Presien Barack Obama.

Source: AFP

Speak English, Obama Want to Menteng

On the second day after pelantikannya, President of the United States (U.S.), Barack Obama visited the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs. There are interesting events in the first visit to the institute at the cabinet because Obama spoke in English with an employee in the department.

"When talking with the employee, President Obama, who along with Vice President Joseph Biden, and National Security Advisor General James L. Jones, his desires to visit the neighbors ever in Jakarta," the press release the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta received, Friday (23 / 1) night.

Visit to the U.S. department of foreign affairs stressed the government's attention on diplomacy and also mark the first day of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State to-67 in that department. In the visit, he announced a special U.S. envoy to the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and provide guidance on the diplomatic front.

President Obama announces Hillary Menlu with former Senator George Mitchell as a special envoy for the peace process in the Middle East and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as the most special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan This is a step under the new government's commitment to update it through the leadership of U.S. diplomacy.

"We are confronted by global challenges that extraordinary, mutually-related and complex," Obama said to the employees of department of foreign affairs. "Progress will not come quickly or easily, we also promise not justify every mistake in the world. But we can promise will be using all elements of American power to protect our citizens and advance the interests and our ideals, starting with the United States who have principles diplomacy, the focus and sustainable. "

After greeting authorized, President Obama chatting and shake hands with the U.S. diplomat. In the middle of the event, Charles Silver, a former Public Affairs Counselors for the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta menyapanya in Bahasa Indonesia, "Selamat siang, Mr.."

Without hesitate President Obama held, "Thank you. How are you?"

"Whether in good," answered Silver, and then notify the President that he had served several times in Indonesia.

Then President Obama said when he visited Indonesia, he would like to visit the neighbors in the long Menteng, Central Jakarta.

Source: Antara

Susan Rice as the U.S. ambassador at the UN

United States Senate, on Thursday (22 / 1), to approve Susan Rice as the U.S. ambassador at the United Nations (UN) asked President Barack Obama. Senate also agree with the proposed appointment of Lisa Jackson as head of the environmental protection agency.

The senator also agreed adjuvant-adjuvant another Obama, including Shaun Donovan minister for housing and regional development, and a former member of parliament from the Republic Party, Ray Lahood, as head of the department of transportation.

All agreements are done through the senate vote is not required to be counted.

Obama appointed as president-44 to the U.S. on 20 January through to get the inauguration speech of the people of the United States and many other state leaders.

Source: Ant

Kamis, 22 Januari 2009

Party Rp 100 million in primary Obama

Syukuran or selametan up dilantiknya Barack Hussein Obama becomes President of the United States (U.S.), which was held at SDN 01 Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Wednesday (21 / 1), attended by U.S. Ambassador Cameron Hume and Mayor of Central Jakarta Sylviana Murni. 

This event is also a homecoming event in primary school, especially classmates Barack (Barry) Obama. As is known, in the first half of 1970s, and Obama stay in school in Jakarta, SDN Menteng persisnya at 01 Road in Besuki, Menteng. In 1973, Obama left Jakarta to live with her grandmother in Hawaii. 

Syukuran dish on the form jajanan primary-school students in the 1970s as various jajan market and gulali. While the entertainment that is displayed is a xylophone kromong be slick with the students by SDN Menteng 01. Peak syukuran this event is the cutting tumpeng. 

Chairman of the committee who is also syukuran classmates Obama, Ati Kisjanto, said that friends seangkatannya participate. "There is a nyumbang fruit, soft drink, ice cream, and more. The feel of gotong royong and still feel togetherness. Atmosphere like this also felt that Obama while studying here," he said. 

Deputy Head of SDN Menteng 01 Akhmad solikhin said that syukuran swallow these funds Rp 100 million. "Funds are not from students, but is collected from alumni, especially the contemporary with Obama," he said. The Muslim world's first speech as president Obama who received the attention of the world is his promise to improve U.S. relations with the Islamic world. 

"To Muslim world, we find the way to the front of the new, based on the interests of reciprocity and mutual respect," said Obama. The statement that Obama got good response from Khurshid Ahmed, a senior party leaders Islamic Jamaat-i-Islami-largest party in Pakistan, which is very hard to be the U.S. and Israel. "We are very welcome," he said. 

Maskuri Abdilah, a Nahdlatul Ulama, the statement said Obama is quite good. "However, he must first prove to change the U.S. policy towards Israel in Palestine," he said, yesterday. Improving relations with the Islamic world have Obama be expressed during the campaign. U.S. relations and the world of Islam reached the lowest point during the President George W Bush, especially after the 9 September 2001 or 9 / 11. 

Bush used the issue of 9 / 11 to fight terrorism, invade Afghanistan and accused of protecting terrorism. Action then occupying Afghanistan and Iraq (2003), the more the U.S. aggravate relations with the Muslim world. (get / put)

Pull the whole of Israel troops

After over 22 hours without stopping dibombardir by Israeli troops, now people in the Gaza Strip could breathe a little relieved. Military troop withdrawal that Israel's Gaza has ended. 

"On the morning of this last Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip has left. However, all the troops still stand around Gaza to respond to and anticipate the attack occurred when the back-up, "said Israeli military spokesman, on Wednesday (21 / 1). 

The process of withdrawing all Israeli soldiers it has already started on Sunday or after Israel announced a unilateral cease-fire and followed the Palestinian combatants. Combatant groups Hamas to give up to one week to Israel to withdraw all troops and all the doors to open the border and crossing into the Gaza region. 

Along with the withdrawal of the army, the fleet spent the war Israel is still sporadic fire in Gaza in the morning. Combatant Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhum, said, withdrawing all troops are not enough and does not solve the problem in Gaza. "We demand all the blockade was opened fully. Similarly, our border so that people can live safely and peacefully, "he said. 

Hamas also ask the government employees return to work normally despite the building of government offices in Gaza City to live with Israel after the debris since Dec. 27. Due to Israel's aggression on land, air and sea, about 1300 people killed and 5,300 people injured. According to the statistics bureau Gaza, about 4,100 houses destroyed and 17,000 damaged. 

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stressed, Israel is only willing to help reconstruction of Gaza if the effort is led by international organizations, Egypt or the Palestinian Authority in the West edges. "Hamas should be responsible for the damage in Gaza and the civilians who become victims," he said. 


Meanwhile, reported from Rafah, a number of pieces of hair salon in the city of Rafah, Egypt, submit claim compensation to the Government of Israel through the Egyptian police officer. Some salon earlier cracked buildings and several officers injured as a result salon serpihan rudal fighter from Israel. Some people in Rafah also claim damages to the Government of Israel due to damage to some parts of the house, such as the roof of the house fall, broken glass, and a wall cracked. 

Egyptian security forces have found at least six rudal Israel that does not explode in various places in Rafah, Egypt. 

Government Hamas leaders Ismail Haniya ask all government officials to enter a program for rebuilding Gaza and start normal life again for the whole population. Hamas mengimbau population in order to avoid dangerous places suspected of mines planted by Israel or are still leaving the rest rudal or explosive materials that have not explode. 

Shift savior of the team doctors and volunteers who come from different countries continue to work hard to provide care to victims injured in the Gaza hospital, especially the main hospital Sifa, Gaza City. Meanwhile, volunteers clean up debris of buildings destroyed. 

Meanwhile, countries in the Arab world in a forum High-Level Conference of Arab economic development was held in Kuwait failed to agree on a mechanism and determine the parties that deal with development projects back the whole of Gaza is destroyed. Some Arab countries rejected the Hamas government when the project will handle the rebuilding Gaza. 

The reason, the project is to give Hamas even more legitimacy to Hamas. Meanwhile, some other Arab countries to support Hamas as the leading development projects back Gaza. The reason, the de facto Hamas party is in power in Gaza. KTT Arab economy is finally on the recommendation does not exclude leaders who handle projects and rebuilding Gaza. (Reuters / AFP / AP / LUK)

Source: Kompas

Senate Approve Hillary Clinton

U.S. Senate, with 94 votes proportionate 2, Wednesday (21 / 1), Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed to as Minister of Foreign Affairs. This smooth road for the former mother country is to throw something called diplomacy canny ability.
Republic Party and Democratic nomination Hillary looked approval as a necessary step so that President Barack Obama can swing diplomatiknya efforts to deal with the problem of urgent overseas, such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 
"The message now to the American people sent us is they want us to work together and start working," said the Republic Party Senator John McCain of Arizona, the defeat of Obama in the presidential election on November 4 ago. 
Hillary scheduled taken oath in a ceremony on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, and then scheduled to reinforce the action called diplomacy canny ability to improve the U.S. image in the world and create a good international environment for economic recovery. 
"The government should use what Obama called the jockey's ability, a series of peranti we have full-diplomacy, economy, military, politics, law and culture, using the right tool or combination of tools for every situation," said Hillary in the opinion of the Committee Senate Foreign Relations, Tuesday. 
"With the ability jockey, diplomacy will be in the front rows of our foreign policy," said Hillary. 

He added, "requires a canny ability to stretch the hand of friend and foe, in order to encourage the old and build new ones." 
The statement about the ability of Hillary jockey is seen as one of the most important guidelines for foreign policy by the government Obama, who has decided to take advantage of the device that can dimanfaatkannya, including diplomacy, in order to restore the economy. 
One of the main policy issues faced by foreign Hillary is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 
At the first working day as president, Obama, on Wednesday, the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel, Jordan, King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to the decision to encourage the peace process in the region. 
President berikrar will be "actively involved in efforts to achieve Arab-Israeli peace began early tenure, and his hopes for the leadership and cooperation that they continue," said Robert Gibbs, Obama spokesman, in a pernyaaan. 
U.S. President also offer the former Northern Ireland peace envoy, George Mitchell, a position as utusannya problems in the Middle East, said reports circulating in Washington. 
Ditambahkannya, the envoys will be immediately sent to the area to mengonsolidasikan cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian combatants. 
On Sunday, Israel and the Islamic resistance movement (Hamas) announced a cease-fire after 22 days in the Gaza Strip first, the Palestinian medical sources said more than 1,300 people killed Israeli soldiers. 

Source: Ant

The whole of Israel is "Right Back"

Israeli soldiers have been "right behind the" alias hengkang from Gaza Strip since Wednesday (21 / 1) morning after confuse blue area while leaving so many victims since 22 days back. "The last of Israel is out of the Gaza Strip," said the spokesman of Israel. 

The process of withdrawal is sejatinya held since Sunday (18 / 1) pascapernyataan cease-fire by Israel. Meanwhile, to give Hamas time to Israel for a week, one of them, opening the entrance to Gaza. 
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Health records show, at least 1,300 people died, 410 of them are children and 100 women. 
The number of victims injured reached 5,300 people. From that amount, 1,855 are children and 795 women. 

Meanwhile, the Palestinian statistics bureau reported, 4,100 houses destroyed and 17,000 damaged other heavy. 

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accuse Israel using excessive force in this conflict. Meanwhile, Secretary General of South Korean origin also appointed Palestinian rocket attacks to the south of Israel that started the invasion be censured many of the world. 

Not only that, eight groups of human rights defenders in Israel accuse the military of ignoring the rules of war. 

Source: AFP

Mbak Non, Obama, Soetoro and Family

The emergence of the story or Mbak Lia Mbak Non confess that as a foster sister Obama make family Lolo Soetoro, stepfather U.S. President Barack Obama, said. Rahayu Nurmaida Soetoro (24) does not claim to know let alone to hear the story of some Non. 

Contacted in Bandar Lampung, on Tuesday (20 / 1), or Ayu Rahayu Soetoro menuturkan, it is the second son of Lolo Soetoro, the second marriage of Erna Kustina 1980. Soetoro separated after the wedding with Stanley Ann Dunham, the mother uterus Obama. 

Ayu does not claim to have a special closeness or stories about Obama. Stories concerning Barack Obama alias Barry in Indonesia for more didengarnya from the big family Soetoro in Jakarta. 

Ayu menuturkan, he only know of the existence of some of the Non-mass media. "From the newspaper or television made, some foster children is a Non Soetoro Mr. and Mrs. Dunham the 1970s. Last year I was not born so I do not know the truth, "said Ayu men who have older brother named Bayu Aji (27). 

However, Ayu said, if some children are adopted Non Mr. and Mrs. Dunham Soetoro, he should know some form of Non-family. Moreover, the family of Mr. Soetoro very familiar. 

They often hold meetings or family gather at Lebaran. However, on such occasions, Ayu had never met with the Non Mbak. 

"On such occasions, some called the Non-call in the newspaper that never came. We do not have a known, "said Ayu. 

In addition, more Ayu, when some close to the Non-known father, at least he also knew of the existence of some Non kandungnya mother. Theirs is the story difficult to know the truth concerning Non Mbak. 

With Maya Soetoro Ng, who is the brother of a father, Ayu frequently communicate. Last time they send e-mail before 13 January 2009. "On the family and Trisulo Sutendro-second family that is part of the family and Soetoro-Obama is about to depart the United States. They would attend the inauguration Obama, "said Ayu. (Hln / aha) 

Source: Kompas

Rabu, 21 Januari 2009

Hope greets inauguration around the world



From the shantytowns of Kenya's capital to the rural homestead of Barack Obama's relatives, thousands of Kenyans slaughtered goats, hoisted American flags and partied into the night yesterday as a man they see as one of their own ascended to the world's most powerful office.

In Nairobi's sprawling Kibera slum, residents raised a U.S. flag and declared Kenya to be America's 51st state. In the village of Kogelo, where Obama's father was born and some family members still live, 5,000 people gathered as 10 bulls and six goats were slaughtered for a luxurious feast at a time when the country is enduring a crippling food crisis.

"Yes, yes, yes!" shouted Maurice Odoyo, 34, joining hundreds of people trying to catch a glimpse of Obama's speech on a 12-inch television set up in a clearing in Kibera. "Obama will remember us, how we are suffering."

At the biggest hospital in Kisumu, Christine Aoko named her newborn daughter Michelle, after Obama's wife.

"I hope my girl will grow as tough as Michelle," Aoko said.

VIENNA, Austria

It was just a scribble in the snow. But the giant "YES, WE CAN!" that Norbert Aschenbrenner carved in huge letters at the U.N. complex in Vienna yesterday was a poignant expression of how many people in the international community are embracing Obama.

Aschenbrenner works for the International Atomic Energy Agency, which went up against President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Bush administration had said Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction; the U.N. agency had insisted that its inspectors had found no supporting evidence.

Aschenbrenner said he felt compelled to do something to express his pleasure with the change of leadership in Washington. "So I came in early today, at 7 a.m., and felt a bit like a graffiti-sprayer," he said.


Hussein Mohammed Ali, a teacher in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, took special pride in watching Obama take office as president.

Ali is among about 350,000 Iraqis with African ancestry: descendants of slaves brought to Iraq when it was part of the Ottoman Empire. Many of them live in the Basra area, where they feel marginalized in Iraqi society.

"I feel so proud and happy today because Obama, a black man like me, will assume the post of president of the world's most powerful country," Ali said. "The great event taking place today represents compensation for all the years of deprivation and denial that black people lived through."

BOGOTA, Colombia

Sugar cane-cutting descendants of African slaves were given the day off in Puerto Tejada, a violence-wracked town of 45,000, where they watched Obama's inauguration on a giant TV and celebrated with dancing and singing.

"The people here see themselves represented in Obama," Mayor Elver Montano said. "President Barack Obama could help us a lot, promote dialogue, give resources and money to help improve people's livelihood."

JAKARTA, Indonesia

Obama spent four years as a boy in Indonesia's capital, and students at his former school performed traditional dances from across the world's most populous Muslim nation in his honor yesterday.

Old classmates also joined in the celebration at the Menteng 1 elementary school, where Obama is fondly remembered as a kid nicknamed Barry.

"I'm proud that the next president is someone who I have shared time with," said Rully Dasaad. "It was a crucial time for children our age. It is when we learned tolerance, sharing, pluralism, acceptance and respect of difference in cultures and religions."


Ron Larsen waited for this day for the entire lives of his two 8-year-old sons.

"All they've ever heard about is Bush," Larsen said at an inauguration-viewing party sponsored by Democrats Abroad Frankfurt. "This will finally be the America I want them to have."

The 48-year-old native of Xenia, Ohio, who has worked in Germany for 16 years, joined others in snacking on hot dogs and sipping beer and soda while watching the inauguration on TV at the Museum of Communication.


Standing outside the Cantagalo slum, where shanties climb a steep hill with stunning views of Rio's beaches, Alex Andrade, an unemployed black Brazilian, expressed hope that Obama will bring change to his nation.

"Blacks face so much discrimination here. Now, with a black man in charge of such an important country, it might help decrease the racism in Brazil," the 24-year-old said. "It is giving hope to all the people who live here."

Just off Ipanema beach, Marco Aurelia Pereira, a 53-year-old white businessman, stood in a bathing suit and sipped cold beer in a small bar where a television showed the inauguration.

Obama "has taken over a country at one of its lowest points," Pereira said. "But the U.S. always seems full of surprises, and I'm sure he'll help you bounce back."

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

Saleh al-Mohaisen drew on his cigarette as he pondered the significance of Obama while taking a break outside his jewelry store yesterday.

He said he was elated at Obama's election and is sure the 44th president will be better than his predecessor, whom many Saudis accuse of bringing wars to his region.

"I wanted to send him a letter by courier to wish him well and explain how Muslims and Arabs feel," al-Mohaisen said. "I felt that he could understand Arab suffering."

But the 34-year-old shopkeeper also said he was concerned about Obama's lack of comment on recent fighting in the Gaza Strip.

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua

Antiguan Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer said the Caribbean nation will rename Boggy Peak, its highest point, Mount Obama on Aug. 4 to mark President Barack Obama's 48th birthday.

Spencer announced the plan in November in a letter to Obama but didn't say when it would happen. He revealed the date yesterday.

Spencer said he joined "people of color all over the world, and indeed all people," in celebrating Obama's inauguration.

Boggy Peak rises 1,300 feet over Antigua's southern point and is popular with hikers.

Two Indonesians die from bird flu

TWO Indonesians living near the capital Jakarta have died of bird flu, the health ministry said on its website.

Separately, both went to a market, fell sick in December with high fever, a cough and breathing difficulties and were sent to hospital, according to the website today.

A five-year-old girl named Nad from Bekasi district east of Jakarta died on January 2, and a 29-year-old woman named Sut from Tangerang district west of Jakarta died on December 16, it said.

Laboratory tests showed that both were "positive for bird flu", it said.

"Before she fell sick, Nad was taken by her parents to the market to buy chicken. Her cat died after eating the chicken they bought," the website said.

"Before she fell sick, Sut went to a market near her house," it said.

The latest cases pushed Indonesia's death toll from bird flu to 115, after the World Health Organisation in December put the figure at 113.

According to the WHO, the 113th victim was a two-year-old girl who contracted the deadly strain of the virus on November 18. She was taken to hospital on November 26 and died three days later.

Indonesia has been the country hardest hit by bird flu, accounting for nearly half of the disease's worldwide fatalities.

The H5N1 virus typically spreads from birds to humans through direct contact, but experts fear it could mutate into a form easily transmissible between humans, with the potential to kill millions in a pandemic.

Middle East

WASHINGTON - Just as the foreign policy of former president George W Bush was characterized by a continuous battle for control between "hawks" led by former vice president Dick Cheney and "realists" based primarily in the State Department and intelligence community - and, in its last two years, the Pentagon - the incoming administration may too find itself split along ideological lines. 

President Barack Obama has succeeded in recruiting a remarkably broad range of foreign policy advisers, some of whom are being placed in senior policy-making positions, and others, particularly "greybeards" like former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Anthony Lake, and


former representative Lee Hamilton, will likely offer their advice on a more informal basis. 

That range runs from hardcore realists epitomized by Scowcroft, two of whose proteges, Robert Gates and General James Jones, will become Pentagon chief and national security adviser, respectively, to liberal internationalists, some of whom, including Vice President Joe Biden and United Nations (UN) ambassador-designate Susan Rice, have expressed strongly hawkish views. 

The latter camp also includes secretary of state-designate Hillary Clinton, whose loss of the Democratic presidential nomination to Obama was probably due as much to her initial support of the 2003 Iraq invasion as any other factor. 

In the past several years, and particularly since the Iraq War went south in late 2003, the two groups have been united in rejecting the unilateralism and virtually exclusive reliance on the threat and use of military force or "hard power" that dominated Bush's first-term foreign policy, in particular. 

Conversely, they have shared a commitment to multilateralism and the use of diplomacy and other forms of "soft power", at least as a first resort, in pursuing US interests abroad, though neither one would shrink from the use of military power, unilaterally if necessary, if the provocation were deemed sufficiently serious. 

Because the realists, who are predominantly Republican, and liberal internationalists, who are predominantly Democrats, had a common enemy in the aggressive nationalists and the neo-conservatives and Christian Right leadership that made up the Cheney-led coalition of hawks under Bush, their own differences have often been blurred. 

Indeed, the spectrum covered by the two groups should be seen more as a continuum rather than as two entirely distinct worldviews; Joseph Nye, a Harvard professor and a senior State Department and Pentagon official under former president Bill Clinton, called early last year for a "liberal realist foreign policy". 

Nonetheless, there are differences, and just as Bush had to decide which group to side with, Obama is likely to face similar choices on specific foreign policy issues. 

Liberal internationalists, whose patron saint is former president Woodrow Wilson, are much more inclined than realists to believe that the United States is a morally "exceptional" nation and that the liberal-democratic principles on which its governance is based should be actively promoted in other countries, preferably through Western-oriented multilateral institutions and international law. At the same time, some regimes, in their view, are so odious that they should be isolated, even removed, and unilaterally if necessary. 

Realists tend to be more skeptical about US "exceptionalism" (even about the role of morality in foreign policy) and the universality of liberal-democratic values and the ease with which they can be transplanted to foreign nations and cultures. And they generally prefer to engage, rather than isolate, morally questionable regimes, if doing so would advance US interests. 

Their support for multilateral institutions and international law - to the extent that nations will actually abide by it - is focused more on their role in fostering and protecting traditional US national interests, such as preserving stability in key parts of the world, preventing nuclear proliferation, and preserving freedom of the seas, at the least cost to US blood and treasury, which is a special concern at a time of "imperial overstretch". 

An obvious difference of opinion between the two groups is likely to arise over what to do about Darfur. While both groups will no doubt support strengthening UN peacekeeping or peacemaking capabilities there, they are likely to part ways over the direct participation by the US military in such an effort. 

Clinton and Rice have spoken about enforcing a no-fly zone over the region to halt what they have called "genocide". However, Gates, Jones and other realists - not to mention the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen - are likely to oppose any such commitment on the grounds that, among other things, US forces are already too "overstretched", and that Sudan is peripheral to core US interests in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. 

Similarly, US strategy in Afghanistan, where the Pentagon and Obama appear prepared to nearly double the existing US deployment of more than 30,000 troops over the next six months, could provoke a serious source of contention. 

Realists, led by the chief of the US Central Command, General David Petraeus, favor co-opting those elements of the Taliban that are willing to break with al-Qaeda and its allies in the broader interest of stabilizing the country. But how will liberals like Clinton, who stressed her commitment to women's rights during her confirmation hearings last week, react to a scheme that may effectively empower, at least at the local level, ultra-conservative militants opposed to the education of females? 

Similarly, concerns about the security of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's principal supply route to Afghanistan via Pakistan will likely result in strong pressure from the Pentagon to renew once-strong ties with the extremely repressive regime of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov. This, too, will pose a major problem for liberal policy-makers in the administration. 

It is notable in that connection that Biden and Clinton both opposed resuming military aid to Indonesia after the September 11, 2001, attacks due to its deplorable human-rights record in East Timor and elsewhere. The leading proponent of restoring the relationship was none other than then-chief of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Dennis Blair, who is now Obama's nominee for director of national intelligence (DNI). 

The liberal-realist split is likely to be particularly acute in the Middle East, the same region over which the realists and the hawks clashed most fiercely during the Bush administration. 

Like their neo-conservative cousins who also see the world through a moralistic prism, many liberal internationalists have tended to be particularly protective of Israel (if not of the Likud Party with which most neo-conservatives identify) in major part due to the strong political backing the US Jewish community has historically provided to the Democratic Party. 

Particularly since 9/11, on the other hand, realists have seen the Jewish state - or, more precisely, the failure to resolve its conflict with its Arab neighbors, and especially the Palestinians - as a major and growing obstacle to such urgent US goals as defeating al-Qaeda and containing Iran. 

While the two sides are agreed for now that Obama must pursue more aggressive diplomacy on all fronts, including direct engagement with Iran, realists will be far more inclined to exert serious pressure on Israel to make major concessions for peace agreements with Syria and the Palestinians. 

Worried about the possibility of having to fight a third war in the region, the realists are also likely to favor offering Tehran significantly more generous incentives to curb its uranium-enrichment program than the liberals, some of whom believe that any enrichment program - particularly one as far advanced as Iran's at the moment - poses an "unacceptable" existential threat to Israel. 

However these conflicts play out, they are unlikely to be nearly as poorly managed as they were under Bush, whose intellectual insecurities, lack of knowledge or curiosity about the world, or even the process by which policy was made often resulted in victory for whatever side - hawks or realists - was given the last chance to make its case. 

For example, Jones, whose job it will be to ensure that the inter-agency process runs smoothly and that all pertinent views reach the Oval Office, is reputedly a much more imposing and experienced bureaucratic overseer than either of Bush's national security advisers, Condoleezza Rice and Stephen Hadley. And more importantly, Obama, unlike his predecessor, is known to relish intellectual combat and aggressively seek out alternative views.

Selasa, 20 Januari 2009

The First Day Of Duty and Barack Obama

Barack Obama has been appointed as president-44 to the U.S., on Tuesday (20 / 1), with the race so that penetrate the restrictions become the first black leader in the country's uncle Sam is faced with serious economic problems and combat. Obama is currently holding the age of 47 years of power in a country that long after George W. changes Bush holds the power in the White House for 8 years. 

The period of power Bush has been colored by terrorist attacks 11 September 2001, bermulanya hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq and an economic collapse that never happened since the Great Depression in the 1930s. 

Terpilihnya Obama as U.S. president has invited the attention of millions around the world in the hope that the new U.S. leader will be more open to the needs of society and government in the world. New U.S. government is also expected to be completed through a variety of issues diplomacy rather than military force. 

Obama, known orator with the full talents of inspiration has been to emphasize the hope millions of people when he highlighted the new policy for the U.S.. Obama promised to emphasize diplomacy and global solutions to respond to climate change, reject torture and close Guantanamo Bay prison. 

More than 10,000 across 50 countries including the band and the military are included to assist Obama and Joe Biden in the parade as far as 2.4 kilometers from the Capitol to Pennsylvania Ave. The inauguration in the closing a number of main roads and bridges in Washington has been to attract visitors to reach 2 million people. 

Wednesday (21 / 1), the first day of the period of its duties as the U.S. president, Obama will prove in the campaign promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq based on a schedule that lasts for 16 months. Obama will be reported to call the Head of Staff to Join the Oval Office and the withdrawal of troops. Obama also will be assigned a team to immediately restore the economic condition of the economy. 

Source: AP

Michelle Obama dressing Gaun expectancy

Mother of U.S. Michelle Obama wear clothes stelan Tuscan design of the birth of the U.S. Cuban designer Isabel Toledo in the inauguration of her husband. Options dress Michelle is praised by many as the cheerful message of hope and voice support for American fashion industry. 

Michelle is the stelan gaunnya glove with the green of J. Crew and green shoes. In the event pelantikannya, Barack Obama put on a red tie, white shirt and black jacket with the American flag pin. 

Fashion industry has been put up hope terpilihnya Obama as U.S. president for months and made his wife as ambassador Emblem and modern American style. Michelle Obama praised because it put the focus on the work of the less famous designers and fashion retail bulk of the U.S.. 

"Michelle is a female figure who mengembuskan new breath of life for the designers such as Narciso Rodriguez and Isabel Toledo faced by the threat of bankruptcy in the past," said Mary Alice Playground style Stephenson. "Severity of the Michelle Obama is that we see ourselves in him. Michelle is a modern woman who uphold the fashion and style on the stand flamboyannya." 

Source: AP

Barack Obama the seriousness Muslim World

Barack Obama recently appointed as president-44 to take the role of the U.S. promised to protect the country by the diterpa crisis. In the inauguration speech was prepared, Obama emphasized the "challenges faced by the U.S. is real" and "will not be able dituntaskan in the near future." However, the first black president in the U.S. stressed "the problem will remain dituntaskan." 

Obama explain the crisis that occurred in the U.S. as a result of greed and responsibility of the release of some people. Obama mentions the evidence of the crisis faced by the U.S. to the high cost of health care and education. 

"For the Muslim world, the U.S. will cover how to create new connections directly through the mutual respect and joint interests," said Obama. "For the world leaders who attempt to sow conflict or blame to the West keterpurukan people - know that people will judge you from what you wake up, you are not broken," Obama firmly. 

Source: AP

Israel paid the tunnel to reveal

Our meeting with Ismail mistake. Evening, we are in the middle of Olive Hill, so we take the hill on the right side of Rafah Gate Gate, Egypt to see the kick-lunge fighter Israel bombard Rafah area, Gaza Strip, Palestine. 

Ismail (38), Bedouin man who lived in the hills around it, suddenly greet us, "Assalamualaikum," and hand over hand. We also said with the same greeting. And, we, like those in the Middle East during a meeting, and then shake hands and embrace. 

Bedouin man was so small well-friendly. He then tells about gempuran fighter Israel. Discussion of where we go to a matter of secret tunnels in the border wall along the Egypt-Gaza Strip. This is the tunnel that Israel and be seen as a way to smuggle weapons by Hamas. 

During the day we find some local residents who want to speak and indicate where the tunnel is located, but it is always difficult. Because, usually people do not want to talk a matter of the tunnel, let alone show. Somehow. Therefore, when we mention the word "tunnel", he shocked the face, and laughing. 

"People here already know that there are many underground tunnels along the border in the Gaza Strip-Egypt. However, no one knows how many persisnya or roughly the amount, "said Ismail. 

"Subway is usually located in the home side in the Gaza Strip and to connect to home in on the side of Egypt. Extractive tunnel is approximately 15 to 20 meters in length and down to about 300 meters to 500 meters, "said Ismail. 

According to him, the subway is the only known is very limited, for example, the family only. He explains, between people in the Rafah-Egypt-Palestinian Rafah and the border walls only separate many who still have a belt of brotherhood. 

"Often they are still brothers it makes subway home between those in the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian territory. And, the tunnel is only of limited among members and their families who use the tunnel is also the only family members, "Ismail said while adding, can be said that the tunnel that they have family that is the tunnel. 

Therefore, it continued, could not the security apparatus, both Egypt and Israel, capable of destroying underground tunnels that, or anyone, because the subway is often a family secret, or that the population is very limited. 

If the tunnel and have successfully destroyed the security apparatus, there is certainly a membocorkannya. Ismail ago accuse the detective of Israel who loiter in Rafah, giving information concerning the tunnel. 

"I have heard spier Israel get rewarded 1000 U.S. dollars each to give him new information. Most of the detective are Palestinian citizens themselves, "said Ismail. 

No weapons 

Ismail also disputed the harder if the tunnel was used to smuggle weapons. According to him, the subway only smuggle food, beverages, and cigarettes from Egypt to the Gaza Strip, particularly since Israel blockade on the Gaza Strip. 

We separate the evening with a little information about the tunnel from Ismail. We pledge to meet again in the same place after Friday prayers the next day. 

Next day, Ismail met before, we play-play in the city of Rafah, Egypt. The day is Friday. The city as the city died because of community activities and new start after Friday prayers. 

Rafah looks so dirty. Waste-waste scattered in the streets of perforated. Buildings in the city that is shabby and dusty. When you have a car through, the dust fly. 

Citrus trees on the right side of the road that left the fruit with a thick yellow ripe not afford to turn on the atmosphere of Rafah. Keranuman oranges that are not able to overcome kelusuhan city. Leaves of olive trees and lush green fresh should change berselimutkan gray dust. 

Not interesting at all, the city. Of particular interest is in every way to the mouth of the border wall kept the army and police. Built at the mouth of the road barricade and, sometimes, they diparkir truck at the mouth of the road. Some also built barricade on the main road selebar six meter. Each vehicle is stopped and checked through. 

In a city that is why we met with seedy Walid, kid men age 13 years. This meeting was accidental. At that time we stopped in front of the house because a roar heard fighter Israel. We exit the car, you want to know what will happen. 

Kala that, from the roof of a house have a child who later we-know-named Walid shouting to us and bring us up to the roof house. We shall rise to three-floor roof of a house belonging to Walid parents. Walid still only the mother, only to see the beam eyes in amazement when we entered the house and ascend the stairs to the roof. (Trias Kuncahyono / Mustafa Abd Rahman, from Rafah) 

Source: Kompas

A showcase of Indonesian products

JOHOR BARU: A total of 30 Indonesian companies successfully held a three-day Indonesian fair at Plaza Kota Raya recently.

The companies included those selling jewellery, decorative ornaments, clothes, beauty products, leather goods, tourism products, handicraft, paintings, sculptures, glass art and food.

Rahman Suwarjono, a leather goods trader from Batam, said this was the first time that he had taken part in the fair here

“I hope that with this fair, I will be able to expand my business in Malaysia,” he said.

Ayu Endang, who sells clothes for women, said the fair was a good way to find business partners in Malaysia.

“Seeing the crowd that came here, I think many Malaysian know about Indonesian products,” she said.

Indonesia acting consulate general Woro Savitri Sudharmanto said that the sales this year raked in RM103,249.

For Muslim women: An Indonesian trader selling clothes at the fair held at Plaza Kotaraya in Johor Baru.

She said that the Indonesia fair could open up business opportunities for both countries.

“The aim of the fair is to encourage small and medium enterprises from Indonesia to promote their products in Malaysia,” she said, adding that this was the second time they were organising such an event in Johor.

“I hope that Indonesian companies which are here at the fair can establish a network with a local partner to spur growth,” she added.

Meanwhile, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) Southern Regional Director Har Man Ahmad said that bilateral trade between Malaysia and Indonesia was on the rise with transactions worth USD$10.2bil (RM34.68bill) recorded for the first 10 months of 2008.

“Indonesia is presently Malaysia’s third largest trade partner in Asean after Singapore and Thailand,” Har man said.