August 12, 2012 by Binoy Kampmark
He started with that characteristic bumble, the clumsiness that some might regard as charming. This time, it was the remark about welcoming the next President of the United States to the podium. No, it wasn’t Mitt Romney about himself, but U.S. Rep Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the House GOP budget wonk and deeply suspicious about giving anybody but millionaires a break.
Vice Presidents have a habit of being mere appendages of the US political system, odd impedimenta of the White House. Their silence is often golden before an active president, and when they are engaged it is, as ever, only likely to cause more harm than good. Ryan has barely gotten a foot into the nomination, and we are already seeing the potential strips that may well be taken off the GOP in the fall.
August 12, 2012 by Deepak Tripathi
The revelation about President Barack Obama’s decision to provide secret American aid to Syria’s rebel forces is a game changer. The presidential order, known as an “intelligence finding” in the world of espionage, authorizes the CIA to support armed groups fighting to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s government. But it threatens far more than the regime in Damascus.
The disclosure took its first casualty immediately. Kofi Annan, the special envoy to Syria, promptly announced his resignation, bitterly protesting that the UN Security Council had become a forum for “finger-pointing and name-calling.” Annan blamed all sides directly involved in the Syrian conflict, including local combatants and their foreign backers. But the timing of his resignation was striking. For he knew that with the CIA helping Syria’s armed groups, America’s Arab allies joining in and the Security Council deadlocked, he was redundant.
August 12, 2012 by Glenn Altschuler
On Saturday, August 11, “before the press and just about everyone else” was notified, the Mitt Romney campaign used a mobile phone app to inform supporters that Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would be the Republican candidate for vice president.
Romney’s choice is significant. No vice presidential candidate has been a deciding factor in an American election since Lyndon Johnson carried Texas for John F. Kennedy in 1960. Since then the operative principle for Republicans and Democrats in selecting a VP has been the political equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath for physicians: Do No Harm.