“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The United States will continue to work with its "friends to empower the Syrian opposition," Mr Kerry told reporters during a joint press conference with the Saudi foreign minister.

John Kerry: US will 'empower' Syria opposition

US Secretary of State John Kerry said in Riyadh Monday that Washington will work to "empower" Syria's opposition, while warning arch-foe Iran that time for talk on Tehran's nuclear ambitions could run out.

2:59PM GMT 04 Mar 2013 TELEGRAPH 

Mr Kerry, on his first tour to the region since becoming the Secretary of State, also met over lunch with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who flew in to Riyadh unannounced late on Sunday.

Mr Kerry stressed that there was no question of arming the Syrian opposition, even as his Saudi counterpart Prince Saud al-Faisal insisted on the right of Syrians to self-defence.

The United States will continue to work with its "friends to empower the Syrian opposition," Mr Kerry told reporters during a joint press conference with the Saudi foreign minister.

Asked about reports of arms being sent to Syria's rebels from countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Mr Kerry replied: "The moderate opposition has the ability to make sure that the weapons are getting to them and not to the wrong hands."

However, he added, "there is no guarantee that one weapon or another might not fall in the wrong hands."

The US has so far refused to arm rebels locked in a two-year war against President Bashar al-Assad's loyalists.

Several oil-rich monarchies of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have supported the rebellion against Mr Assad, a staunch ally of their regional arch-foe Iran.

The GCC members are dissatisfied at the refusal of President Barack Obama's administration to arm Syrian rebels and its perceived lenient attitude towards Tehran, analysts say.

Mr Kerry said his discussions with Gulf officials had also covered ongoing talks between world powers and Iran on its nuclear programme.
Talks with Iran "will not go on for the sake of talks," he said. "Talks cannot become an instrument for delay that in the end makes the situation more dangerous. So there is a finite amount of time."

"(Barack) Obama has made it clear that Iran will not get nuclear weapons," said the top US diplomat. "There is a huge danger of proliferation."
World powers negotiating with Iran to rein in its nuclear programme concluded another round of talks in Kazakhstan last week, after putting forward a proposal to ease biting sanctions if Tehran halts the sensitive work of enriching uranium.

"Saudi Arabia supports the efforts to resolve the crisis diplomatically," said the Saudi foreign minister. "We hope that the negotiations will result in putting an end to this problem... the negotiations cannot go on forever."
World powers accuse Tehran of masking a weapons programme under the guise of a civilian atomic drive. Iran denies these charges.

During his flurry of meetings in Riyadh on Monday, Mr Kerry also held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, but had no plans for a meeting with King Abdullah, officials said.

He also met Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas who flew unexpectedly into Riyadh late Sunday.

Prior to their meeting, Palestinian envoy in Riyadh, Jamal al-Shawbaki, told the official Voice of Palestine radio that Mr Abbas "will present the Palestinian point of view to the new US administration ahead of Obama's visit".

Mr Obama is due to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem and Ramallah during a visit on March 20-22.

Mr Abbas, in his first meeting with Mr Kerry, will also highlight Israeli violations in Jerusalem, settlements, and the issue of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike," said Mr Shawbaki.

Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have been deadlocked for more than two years.
Mr Abbas wants to renew peace talks in tandem with a freeze on Jewish settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and in east Jerusalem.
US officials said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been made aware of the unscheduled Kerry-Abbas meeting.

After winding up the Saudi leg of his tour later Monday, Mr Kerry will head to Abu Dhabi and then to Qatar.
Source: AFP


  1. I don't think John Kerry has any idea at all of what he is doing.He is just strolling around the world, having been appointed by our sunni President, mouthing off.

    If we have any interest in Syria, it should be to protect the Christians and the other vulnerable.

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  2. Get the government out of the marriage business!

    You want to get married in a church, a synagogue, a mosque, do it!

    Then leave one another alone.


  3. Then have children, and don't let the government take your money at death, give it to the kids.

    It is, after all, your own business.

    This is called L i b e r ta r i a n i s m.


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  5. The place else may I get that kind of information written in such a perfect way?

    We all write perfectly here.

    King's English!


  6. ROME (AP) — Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of a dozen inmates at a juvenile detention center in a Holy Thursday ritual that he celebrated for years as archbishop and is continuing now that he is pope. Two of the 12 were young women, a remarkable choice given that the rite re-enacts Jesus' washing of the feet of his male disciples.

    This is, actually Schopehauer, seeing the 'other world' as here now, in our world of suffering, seeing the other as oneself, but I am not supposed to say that.


  7. NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia — Walking into a control station at Jefferson Labs, Quentin Saulter started horsing around with his colleague, Carlos Hernandez. Saulter had spent the morning showing two reporters his baby: the laboratory version of the Navy’s death ray of the future, known as the free-electron laser, or FEL. He asked Hernandez, the head of injector- and electron-gun systems for the project, to power a mock-up electron gun — the pressure-pumping heart of this energy weapon — to 500 kilovolts. No one has ever cranked the gun that high before.

    Smiling through his glasses and goatee, Hernandez motioned for Saulter to click and drag a line on his computer terminal up to the 500-kV mark. He had actually been running the electron injector at that kilovoltage for the past eight hours. It’s a goal that eluded him for six years.

    Saulter, the program manager for the free-electron laser, was momentarily stunned. Then he realized what just happened. “This is very significant,” he says, still a bit shocked. Now, the Navy “can speed up the transition of FEL-weapons-system technology” from a Virginia lab to the high seas.

    Translated from the Nerd: Thanks to Hernandez, the Navy will now have a more powerful death ray aboard a future ship sooner than expected, in order to burn incoming missiles out of the sky or zap through an enemy vessel’s hull.

    “Five hundred [kilovolts] has been the project goal for a long time,” says George Neil, the FEL associate director at Jefferson Labs, whose Rav 4 license plate reads LASRMAN. “The injector area is one of the critical areas” of the whole project.

    The free-electron laser is one of the Navy’s highest-priority weapons programs, and it’s not hard to see why. “We’re fast approaching the limits of our ability to hit maneuvering pieces of metal in the sky with other maneuvering pieces of metal,” says Rear Adm. Nevin Carr, the Navy’s chief of research. The next level: “fighting at the speed of light and hypersonics” — that is, the free-electron laser and the Navy’s Mach-8 electromagnetic rail gun.

    Say goodbye to an adversary’s antiship missiles, and prepare to fire bullets from 200 miles away, far from shoreline defenses. No wonder the Navy asked Congress to double its budget for directed-energy weapons this week to $60 million, most of which will go . . . . . . .


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  9. All these girls on Fox are talking about Tiger Woods, divorce, responsibility, and winning.

    They are all very well spoken, but I don't think they get it.

    What about old fashioned down home love for the kids?


  10. Meanwhile, North Korea is going to wipe out Los Angeles.

    Happy Easter, every one!

    (cut down on gun violence)


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