We are mourning the passing of a great man this morning, Warren Christopher. In all my political observations over the last 35 years, he is one of the most honorable men I’ve seen who has worked in and around our government. A real class act. He reminded me in some ways of George Schultz, who served in the Nixon administration and was Secretary of State for Ronald Reagan. They were both of an era when foreign policy was not partisan and the greatest foreign policy minds from both political parties would reach consensus and consult with whichever administration was in office, it didn’t matter which party.
When he took over as secretary of state in the Clinton administration at age 68, Warren M. Christopher said he didn’t expect to travel much. He went on to set a four-year mark for miles traveled by America’s top diplomat.
The attorney turned envoy tirelessly traveled to Bosnia and the Middle East on peace missions during his 1993-1996 tenure — including some two dozen to Syria alone in a futile effort to promote a settlement with Israel.
President Barack Obama said Saturday that he mourned the passing of a man who proved to be a “resolute pursuer of peace” and dedicated public servant.
“Warren Christopher was a skillful diplomat, a steadfast public servant, and a faithful American,” the president said in a statement.
As Christopher prepared to step down in 1996 as secretary “for someone else to pick up the baton,” he said in an interview he was pleased to have played a role in making the United States safer.
Along with his peace efforts, he told The Associated Press that his proudest accomplishments included playing a role in promoting a ban on nuclear weapons tests and extension of curbs on proliferation of weapons technology.
He will be missed.
America has long established protocols for foreign policy, not all good for sure, but partisan politics rarely came into play. That is until recently. The Bush administration broke all conventions with the Iraq war and established a new unilateral policy that has infected the brains of their brainwashed followers. I’ve heard recent criticisms of the president from the right-wingers. In their pea brains, getting the international community together to take on Gaddafi and letting France lead the effort is somehow a lack of leadership. What a crock of shit. It shows great leadership to step back and let our allies lead. It shows maturity and confidence. I guess that is why it doesn’t compute for many Republicans, they have neither.
It is quite the coincidence that we are mourning Warren Christopher, a statesmen, on the day that a multinational force, led by France…with our backing…has begun to beat back the Gaddafi regime’s brutal attacks on it’s own people.
Here is CNN’s latest update on today’s new actions in Libya by the French Airforce.
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — French fighter jets deployed over Libya fired at a military vehicle on Saturday, the country’s first strike against Moammar Gadhafi’s military forces who earlier attacked the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
The French Defense Ministry, which confirmed the strike, said its attack aircraft being used to take out tanks and artillery have deemed Benghazi and the surrounding area an “exclusion zone.”
The French are using surveillance aircraft and two frigates in the operation to protect the civilian population. The aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle is soon going to be en route from Toulon.
“Our air force will oppose any aggression by Colonel Gadhafi against the population of Benghazi,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking after an international, top-level meeting in Paris over the Libyan crisis.
“As of now, our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town,” he said, calling the intervention a “grave decision.”
“As of now, our aircraft are prepared to intervene against tanks, armored vehicles threatening unarmed civilians.”
I have to say again how proud I am of our president and contrary to the manufactured memes that Republicans have been repeating ad nauseam, he is doing a fantastic job handling all the domestic and international problems (and natural disasters) that have been thrown at his feet. Bravo Mr. President, bravo.