Obama’s baffling passivity on Jason Rezaian
Opinion writer –
The consequences of President Obama’s passive foreign policy came close to home this week.
My Post colleague Jason Rezaian, the paper’s Tehran bureau chief, has been languishing in an Iranian jail for 15 months on bogus charges of espionage. He was put on secret trial by a kangaroo court. On Sunday, Iranian state TV reported that he had been convicted.
And Obama said . . . nothing. He didn’t go to the briefing room and make a statement. He didn’t even release a written statement. On Tuesday, his press secretary, in response to a reporter’s question at the briefing, responded with what might have been described as minor annoyance with the Iranian regime.
“We’ve got a number of concerns,” the spokesman said, mentioning the “unjust” detention and “opaque” process.
That’s the White House, Obama’s message. Pick a number, any number…
Which of that number is just wrong and causes Obama to say something? 0
But it’s really not so baffling, for Obama. Yet he can come out to “politicize” a shooting in Oregon before the bodies are moved. Speaking of opaque.
January 19, 2013
PARIS: Deep in the Algerian desert, special forces lay in wait encircling a vast gas facility where dozens of foreign workers and hundreds of Algerians had been held captive for more than 24 hours.
The Islamist militant hostage-takers were feared to have booby-trapped the complex, placed mines at its exterior or made its captives wear belts carrying explosives.
The military-dominated Algerian regime, still in the shadow of its brutal 10-year civil war and faced with a return to major operations on its home turf, had a difficult choice: storm the facility and risk casualties or wait it out as the crisis intensified. Algiers refused to negotiate with what it termed the ”terrorists”.
Abdelkader, 53, an Algerian employed at the facility who escaped, said the militants had indicated they would not harm Muslims but would kill western hostages they called ”Christians and infidels”. He said they appeared to have a good inside knowledge of the layout of the complex and used the language of radical Islam.
”The terrorists told us at the very start that they would not hurt Muslims but were only interested in the Christians and infidels,” Abdelkader told Reuters from his home in the nearby town of In Amenas. ”’We will kill them’, they said. I am still choked, and stressed.” He said he feared many of his foreign colleagues may have died. ”The terrorists seemed to know the base very well. Moving around, showing that they knew where they were going.”
Guardian News & Media
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/world/raiders-had-westerners-in-their-sights-20130118-2cysc.html#ixzz2ILm0wcKG