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Posts By Author » Rachel Marsden

America shouldn’t rescue socialist Venezuela
  19 Feb 2014     12:05 am

PARIS — Here we go again. Yet another country full of voters who foolishly bought into the socialist pipe dream of endless nanny-state freebies is noticing the check coming due. Facing hyperinflation and shortages of necessities like toilet paper, Venezuelans are spilling into the streets, pleading for Captain America to rescue them from their own chronically poor voting choices. Sorry, amigos, but it’s not America’s problem.

 
 
Venezuelan voters aren’t victims; they’re accomplices to their own predicament. With Venezuela now only America’s fourth-largest supplier of oil behind Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, …

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Infrastructure attacks are cause for concern
  12 Feb 2014     12:05 am

PARIS — At a time when many of us have become fixated on U.S. intelligence agencies’ “big data” programs, authorities are becoming aware of a much more insidious kind of threat — one that could successfully exploit the growing blind spot created by our overreliance on technology.

Jon Wellinghoff, the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told the Wall Street Journal that an April 2013 attack by multiple gunmen on Pacific Gas and Electric’s Metcalf power station in San Jose, Calif., that powers Silicon Valley represents “the most significant …

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Environmentalists do billionaires’ bidding in fight against Keystone pipeline
  5 Feb 2014     12:04 am

PARIS — An environmentalist lies down alongside his fellow organic cucumber aficionados to block the construction of an oil pipeline and wakes up a member of a proxy army serving the billionaires who are fighting against America’s economic and national security interests to line their own pockets. How did that happen?

This phenomenon is on display in the battle against the Keystone XL pipeline project, the cornerstone of Canada-U.S. energy independence, set to run from Alberta, Canada, into Nebraska, then ultimately to the Gulf Coast of Texas where it can be …

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Transparency must accompany financial oversight
  29 Jan 2014     12:02 am

PARIS — On the occasion of President Obama’s State of the Union address this week, marking five years since he was sworn into office with the stated primary objective of turning around the post-crisis domestic economy, it’s worth asking: Is America safe from another economic crisis?

Despite the regulatory efforts hustled in as a result of public panic and a political class desperate to be seen doing something, the initial problems remain, and the next crisis could be even worse. Among the major problems: risky loans to those who can’t repay …

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Syrian refugee plan poses security risks
  22 Jan 2014     12:04 am

PARIS — What’s the point of intervening in a foreign country under the guise of humanitarianism, or sending aid, if you’re just going to end up importing its citizens en masse anyway? Isn’t the whole idea to shape up the place so that its people can safely remain there?

The Obama administration is in such an apparent rush to import thousands of refugees from the Syrian crisis — which will probably go down in history as the conflict featuring the highest number of different Islamist groups fighting against each other — …

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Coverage of Hollande displays media’s misplaced priorities
  15 Jan 2014     12:04 am

The most disappointing thing about the news that French President Francois Hollande allegedly has been rendezvousing with an actress in the privacy of her apartment is that it’s a testament to how pathetic and petty some segments of French society are allowing public discourse to become in a country historically renowned for grand ideas and debate.

You might ask: So the nation that produced scientists such as Pierre and Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur and Jacques Cousteau; artists such as Claude Monet, Charles Baudelaire and Molière; thinkers such as Voltaire and Bastiat; …

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Pre-Olympic partnerships offer security hope for Sochi
  8 Jan 2014     12:02 am

At the London 2012 Olympics, various media outlets probed the notion of the Olympic athletes’ village being a giant bed-hopping venue — a phenomenon that not only disgusted my mother every time she heard it mentioned (which was often) but also puzzled me as a former international-level swimmer who spent every night before a race hunkered down doing visualization exercises. What does make sense, though, is the kind of pre-Olympic bed-hopping that we’re currently seeing among nations in the run-up to the Sochi Games.

In 2012, Russian paratroopers visited Fort Carson, …

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US, Russia Can Go For Olympic Gold In War On Terror
  1 Jan 2014     12:01 am

Well, that was fast. In an early-September column about the Syrian conflict and the new world order, I wrote that Russia and the West could team up against the forces of radical Islam. It looks set to happen sooner than expected, given the current wave of Islamic terrorist attacks not far from the site of the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games.

The pre-Olympic suicide bombings give Russian President Vladimir Putin a wide-open shot at leading the world in the war against radical Islamic terrorism, and the only thing that might stop him …

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Superpowers Making Strategic Moves In Africa
  28 Dec 2013     12:03 am

By the looks of it, U.S. President Barack Obama may be close to joining the French in taking on the Chinese — in Africa.

According to my sources in the French government, Obama made it clear to both British and French leadership at the onset of his presidency that he was going to leave it to them to protect unstable African countries while he focused on Sino-American relations. Perhaps Obama realizes that Africa is just an extension of China’s backyard.
In a letter to Congress, Obama wrote, “I may take further action …

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French Socialist report a blueprint for national destruction
  18 Dec 2013     12:03 am

Former New York Times foreign correspondent Joel Brinkley is on sabbatical. His column will return to American Voices in June 2014. During his absence, John Kass has been added to American Voices.)

A new report commissioned by the French Socialist government to make recommendations on how France can better integrate its residents of foreign origin has been described by former French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet as “organizing apartheid by inciting each community to affirm its difference,” according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.
I figured that had to be gross exaggeration — …

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A report card for America’s top community organizer
  11 Dec 2013     12:03 am

PARIS — When U.S. President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, it marked the first time that a local “community organizer” had risen to the highest office on the planet. I wasn’t entirely optimistic. Granted, the geopolitical competition (Russia) is also led by a community organizer of sorts, Vladimir Putin, except that the community he was organizing was the Russian domestic intelligence service.

At the time, it was hard to see how Obama’s community-organizing background could bode well for America. Five years later, how has it all worked out? The results …

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Ukrainian protestors unlikely to stage a successful revolution
  4 Dec 2013     12:03 am

PARIS — Tens of thousands of protesters are flooding the streets of Ukraine, blocking access to government offices and threatening to start what the media is largely (and preemptively, if not mistakenly) referring to as a “revolution.” All this over the pro-Russian Ukraine leadership’s decision to renounce a free-trade agreement with Europe that would have represented a shift away from the Russian sphere of influence.

Except that this is no revolution, at least not yet, and people around the world seem to have forgotten what that word actually means. Like so …

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Obama’s Iran deal vaporizes an outdated red line
  27 Nov 2013     12:03 am

PARIS — Remember when you were a kid and you would open a full refrigerator right after mom’s latest grocery-shopping trip, only to complain that there was nothing to eat and that she was starving you to death? Well, that’s Iran right now. Iran has enough energy to light up the entire planet several times over — 138 billion exploitable barrels of oil and more than 28 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — yet it constantly whines that it’s starving for …

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U.S. plan to provide military training in Libya is a mistake
  20 Nov 2013     12:05 am

PARIS — The U.S. has accepted a proposal by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan to train as many as 7,000 conventional Libyan soldiers plus counterterrorist forces. What an exceedingly bad idea. This could put the Obama administration’s Hope-and-Change bus on the road to a potential new fiasco in Libya. Think Benghazi — except everywhere.

Speaking at the Reagan Presidential Library in California last week, the man who led the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, Admiral William McRaven of the U.S. Special Operations Command, could barely contain his enthusiasm for the …

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America’s best weapon against Iran is France
  13 Nov 2013     12:06 am

PARIS — The Geneva talks on Iranian nukes have turned into a “pull my finger” charade. Iran says that it’s only making electricity, not nuclear bombs. The U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany are somehow all supposed to agree on reeling Iran in — but let’s face it: Russia and China are close Iranian allies and trading partners, while even Germany and France have significant geopolitical ties to Russia through, for example, the European defense conglomerate EADS and the Nord Stream pipeline running Russian gas into Europe. And Russian …

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History will judge Obama on actions, not words
  6 Nov 2013     12:03 am

PARIS — History judges a leader exclusively through his actions and their ultimate results rather than through fleeting words. It appears that U.S. President Barack Obama is finally putting the brakes on his mouth after flooring it down Hope-and-Change Highway for most of his tenure.

Remember the Syrian crisis that dominated chatter for months before all but vanishing? Recall how critics were talking about grievous incompetence and even possible impeachment? Fast-forward to today, and just try to start a conversation with, “Obama really botched the situation in Syria.” Now that the …

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Alternative to U.S. intelligence-gathering is even less transparency
  30 Oct 2013     12:05 am

PARIS — So-called “transparency advocates” who believe that splaying out all the intelligence activities of America and its allies will result in increased oversight, regulation and accountability have failed to learn the recent lesson of warfare: Whining about what you can’t handle just leads to more secrecy. That’s how we ended up with drones.

When the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, broadcast on cable news 24/7, became too much for a majority of the American public to bear, two viable options emerged: fight the war overtly and transparently despite negative public …

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Yes, Canada has spies, too
  16 Oct 2013     12:02 am

PARIS — From the same people who brought you the “National Security Agency Spies on Foreigners” shocker, we now have the “Canada Is Secretly Devious” spectacle. Apparently it’s a shock for some people — namely, journalist Glenn Greenwald, the buddy of NSA contractor turned Russian defector Edward Snowden — to discover how the world has always worked. I’m truly sorry (as we native Canadians tend to be), but color me unfazed and maybe even slightly miffed.

Greenwald worked with Brazil’s Globo newspaper to “reveal” that the Communications Security Establishment (Canada’s NSA …

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The hidden opportunity in the federal shutdown
  9 Oct 2013     12:03 am

PARIS — Over a year ago, I sent my fingerprints for a standard foreign background check to the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., along with a money order. Both promptly disappeared, never to be seen again. A personal survey of those around me suggested that this was standard operating procedure — which is why I suspected that America wouldn’t exactly implode if this kind of federal “service” level was formally kneecapped. Still, in shock there also lies opportunity.

Sure, a few politicians have announced that they would donate their salaries …

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Putin’s power play in Syria is win-win
  2 Oct 2013     12:05 am

PARIS — Boy, was that ever painful, watching Russian President Vladimir Putin attempting to pry U.S. President Barack Obama’s fingers off the Tomahawk missile trigger and convince him not to go ahead with an attack that Obama most likely didn’t want to launch in the first place.

America won, and so did Russia. I realize that sounds bizarre, but this isn’t a football game with a winner and a loser. It’s not like Obama is going to have to give his Nobel Peace Prize to Putin as if it were the …

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