Category: International Relations

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU, IRAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS AMBITION, AND PRESIDENT OBAMA. A TALE OF MANY STORIES

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint Session of Congress on Tuesday March 3, 2015.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint Session of Congress on Tuesday March 3, 2015.

People ask me why I posted the address by Israel’s Prime Minister to the Joint Session of U.S. Congress on my blog and why I went ahead to like it on the Facebook page of my blog. And my answer is simple: journalism is not about reporting only news that I like or that I thought my readers will like. Objective journalism demands that I report every news story as it is to my readers, irrespective of whatever feelings it may elicit, and allow my readers the choice of deciding for themselves what side of the narrative they want to identify with. My job is to keep my readers informed about contemporary socio-political and economic issues facing our world. And to provide the platform for them to debate these issues for the good of the society. Ezeocha Post, by the way, is all about promoting informed debate.

Now if you ask me what I think about Benjamin Netanyahu’s address, I will tell you this: it is a political theatrics that amounted to little other than one politician trying to save his own political career by undermining that of another.

Netanyahu broke protocol by accepting to address the Congress without running it by the White House first. And by so doing, he stretched an already tense relationship between himself and the present White House.

Now if his address to Congress has a chance of influencing U.S. foreign policy position on Iran at it were, his dissing of the White House could have worth a peru. But Netanyahu, a Harvard educated politician who is schooled in U.S. politics, knows better than most people that it is the Oval Office that conducts U.S. foreign policy and not the House Speaker’s office. He knows that. He knows that ONLY President Barack Obama can give him the hawkish foreign policy approach towards Iran that he craves for. Yet he presumably came to address the Congress for something that Congress cannot give him. Why?

That brings us to his real reason for coming to America – Israel’s local politics.

Israel’s next general election is on March 17, 2015. And typical of politicians all over the world who during general elections at home, travel abroad to countries of importance to their domestic audience in order to shore up their credentials, Prime Minister Netanyahu came to the United States to shore up his credentials in order to increase his chances of winning re-election. And there is nothing wrong with that practice. It is unfortunate that he has ideological differences with President Obama. It is equally unfortunate that he had to badmouth President Obama in front of the U.S. Congress and the world so as to score political points in Israel.

That notwithstanding, it is important that we focus our attention to the crux of Bibi’s visit and answer the question below unequivocally:

Does Iranian’s nuclear weapons program pose immediate threat to the state of Israel and is President Obama naïve to believe that he can get any concessions from the Iranians on their nuclear weapons program?

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THE EZEOCHA POST ANNOUNCES $100 CASH PRIZE AWARD FOR OUR READERS

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The Ezeocha Post will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the registration of the domain name www.ezeochapost.com on March 23, 2015. We at Ezeocha Post are proud of and grateful to our followers who visit and comment on our website regularly, share our posts on our Facebook page, and retweet our tweets on Twitter. We appreciate your encouragements and comments, which are very invaluable to the work we do.

As a way of encouraging more debate on the issues we write about, and to commemorate our one-year anniversary, we are announcing a 2-Category $100 Cash Prize Awards to our esteemed readers.

The 1st Category $100 Cash Prize Award which will go to the person who between today March 02, 2015  and the 19th of March, will provide the most objective comment(s) to each of the essays we have published so far on our blog. Not our Facebook page. And not our Twitter account. Rather, at www.ezeochapost.com. That is to say that if we have published, say 15 essays so far, the person that posts a comment on all 15 essays will win the cash prize. If more than one person meet this criteria, the objectivity of the comment(s), whether the comment to each essay is pertinent to the issues raised on that particular essay, and whether the comment inspired further debate on the issues raised, will be used to determine who the winner will be. The prize will go to only one winner.

Our 2nd Category $100 Cash Prize Award for our one-year anniversary will go to the person who writes-in the best essay on any of the contemporary challenges facing the international community.

The topic of the essay can be related to

  1. The terrorist group, ISIS,
  2. The negotiation between the U.S. and Iran to put a brake to Iran’s nuclear weapons program,
  3. Israeli-Palestinian crisis,
  4. Insecurity in Nigeria,
  5. Russia’s territorial ambitions and its aggression in Ukraine,
  6. The future of the Eurozone,
  7. The challenges facing the continuous existence of one Nigeria after the general election,
  8. Poverty,
  9. Global distributive injustice, or
  10. Income inequalities at the workplace.

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The United States should think—and act– like a superpower

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, speaks during a joint news conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in Kiev, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (Sergei Chuzavkov/AP)

By David Ignatius

Niccolo Machiavelli, perhaps the shrewdest political philosopher in history, believed that great events were shaped by luck — or “fortuna,” as he called this unpredictable force of life. The same actions might produce success or failure, depending on the whims of the goddess Fortuna.

You wouldn’t know it by listening to gloomy commentators, but the United States has been extremely lucky of late. Its inherent economic strength has become more obvious. Meanwhile, its adversaries have suffered reversals — some of their own making, others because of bad luck.

With this advantageous position, the United States can afford to think like a superpower. It shouldn’t rush to make concessions to weaker nations or to gain agreements that aren’t fully ripe, as may be the case with nuclear talks with Iran. It shouldn’t be shy about helping its friends or making its adversaries pay for their reckless behavior, as in dealing with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

It’s a diabolical piece of luck, too, that the Islamic State, which poses a deadly threat in Syria and Iraq, has taken the hideous action of burning alive a Jordanian Muslim pilotMillions of Arabs are outraged and calling for revenge. With this death-cult action, the extremists have done more to undermine their standing than a thousand U.S. bombing raids or a million State Department propaganda tweets could have accomplished.

Americans are always asking why Arabs don’t denounce atrocities committed in the name of Islam. Well, it’s happening now. “Barbarity,” screams the headline in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat. “Vicious,” says the emir of Kuwait. A “brutal, heinous crime,” says Saudi Arabia. The United States shouldn’t raise its voice louder than the indignant Muslim world. Restrain the rhetoric; use force invisibly; act like a superpower.

To understand the current “correlation of forces,” as the Russians like to say, let’s look at some evidence about American economic power gathered by Goldman Sachs last month in a report titled “U.S. Preeminence.”

First, GDP growth: From the peak before the 2008 financial crisis, the U.S. economy has grown a further 8.1 percent in real terms, compared with declines of 2.2 percent for the euro zone and 1.1 percent for Japan. The gap between GDP growth rates in fast-rising emerging-market economies and the United States shrank from 6.5 percentage points in 2007 to 2.6 points in 2014, and it’s expected to narrow further this year to 1.2 points as China slows.

Read the final parts of this article at The Washington Post

 

A CALL FOR BETTER GLOBAL NEWS COVERAGE BY MEDIA HOUSES

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I call on owners of media houses across the world to ensure that acts that violates the morality of mankind, such as the brutal killings of innocent civilians in Nigeria by Boko Haram, receives similar coverage as the coverage the terrorist attacks in France is receiving.

Some have argued that the terrorist attack in France is receiving more media coverage and global outcry because of the symbolism. That the attack on Charlie Hebdo is an attack on freedom of speech, which is a Western core value. To those trumpeting this line of thought, I say: freedom of speech is not a Western core value. It is a universal right of every mankind, an inalienable right given by God.

Meanwhile, even if the terrorist that struck Paris did so to attack Western Values, it is then pertinent for me to point out, for analysis sake, that Boko Haram’s mission, as has been reported in the news, is to stop “Western Way Of Life,” such as girl-child education, as practiced in Nigeria. There you go. Not as if I am endorsing girl-child education as a Western value in itself. It is a universal human value.

We are all humans. We all bleed red. And we are interconnected in some ways.

Covering terrorist attacks in France which claimed 17 lives around the clock while treating similar terrorist attacks in Nigeria which claimed far more lives as afterthought on TV doesn’t augur well for the human race. So is the global outcry and optics by world leaders. It sends signals that some lives are more important than others. And that certain things happening in certain geographical locations is of more concern to the world community than when similar things happen elsewhere. I choose to sound naïve. It is unfair. And it is this perception of unfairness that many a times causes us more harm than intended. Let us be wise in our conducts. And if these barbaric acts of cowardice and hate and intolerance should happen anywhere else in the world, God forbid, let us show the kind of solidarity in acts and deeds towards such, irrespective of the geographical location of where it happened.
Let the debate continue. . .

THE LESSONS OF FLIGHT MH17

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By Chinedu Ezeocha for Ezeocha Post
Originally Published on Saturday July 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM CT

 The tragedy of the downed Malaysia Airline M17 has thought us one important lesson: We are all interconnected. After this incident, no nation can be able to say that whatever crisis or conflict that is going on in another country is an exclusive problem of that country. A conflict in Ukraine, a country located in Eastern Europe, didn’t even claim a single Ukrainian life in this instance; rather it claimed hundreds of lives of Holland nationals, scores of Malaysians, many lives from Western European countries of United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium, and what more, lives of citizens of faraway New Zealand.

In the same way this conflict or near civil war in Ukraine have touched lives, albeit disastrously , across continents, same way can hunger or subhuman conditions of living in another country tragically affect lives in faraway countries that may not even share continental affiliation with that particular country.

Hunger breeds anger and anger breeds resentment. A hungry, angry and resentful person is a vulnerable person who can be easily exploited by terrorists and be indoctrinated to do bad things to good people.

Terrorists have resources and exploits people’s vulnerabilities for their selfish ends. So it will not be surprising for a middle-aged man from say, Somalia, who is having problem providing for his family, to give in to the advances of terrorist recruiters, who would not only entice him with fat money for his family’s upkeep for a long period of time, but would also brainwash him into believing that strapping a bomb to his body to bomb, say, the Calgary International Airport, will secure for him more wives, more wealth, and a royal livelihood with Allah, wherever.

Therefore, every country on Earth, no matter how meager its resources may be, owe it to itself to look at crisis happening in neighboring country(ies) or faraway countries and act compassionately and reasonably towards the people of that country to mitigate the crisis before it metamorphoses into an international crisis of the like we are seeing presently.

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IN DEFENSE OF PRESIDENTIAL DECISIONS

Barack Obama making his 2nd Inauguration Speech As The 44th President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. January 20, 2013.
By Chinedu Ezeocha for Ezeocha Post
Originally Published on Monday June 23, 2014 at 4:54 PM CT

In 2008 we elected Barack Obama to four years in office as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. By so doing, we deferred to him the mandate to make decisions on our behalf as a nation, both in domestic and in foreign policies. Good or bad, we live the consequences of his decisions. The buck stops with him.

Because we were satisfied with the choices and decisions he made on our behalf in his first term, such as killing Osama bin Laden and passing the Affordable Care Act – which has now become law, when in 2012 he sought re-election, we voted him back to the Oval Office to continue to make decisions on our behalf as a nation.

Presidents are mere men who are susceptible to making error of judgments just as we all do. Barack told us while he was running for the Office of the President that there will be false starts and that he will make mistakes.  He never promised to get it right at all times. Presidents make mistakes, but what is never questionable is the motive behind every decision a president make, whether good or bad. Which are always in service to country and in service to humanity. Meanwhile, in their hallowed position, presidents some of the times make decisions which may be unpopular with the masses as at the time the decisions were made, but which in the long  turns out to be wonderful decisions because they had privileged information and intelligence that informed their decision. Information which are classified and therefore not available to the average joe, the paid  political analyst on television who knows nothing more than the average joe, the radio talk show host, and of course, the political strategists from the opposition party.

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The Leader the World Needs

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By Chinedu Ezeocha for Ezeocha Post
Originally Published on Tuesday June 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM CT

The jury have decided and there is now a general agreement that President Obama have diminished America’s power and global influence through his policies.  Consequent of his lax foreign policies, oppressors like President Assad of Syria got away with killing thousands of Syrians with chemical weapons even when President Obama told the world Assad will face serious consequences if he did so. Assad called him bluff and did exactly that and Obama didn’t come up with any punishment. That is unpresidential.

On Iran’s nuclear weapon’s program, the President is kowtowing to the dictates of the ayotallahs, trotting along with them around the world on a globally acknowledged sham and fruitless negotiations, and seriously resisting every attempt by Congress, even calls from lawmakers in his own party, for a more biting economic sanctions that can force Iran’s hand and make them reconsider their nuclear weapon’s ambition. That also is a flat out error in judgment as if someone didn’t learn anything from Chamberlain. Appeasement makes the aggressor more aggressive. You do not kowtow to Iran. You force their hand.

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