Beltway Insider: Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy; Election 2016; UN Elections; WH R&B Music Party; Bill Cosby

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President Obama's significant presidency is nearly one for the history books and as we inch closer to the election of a new leader the most glaring failure in Obama's many successes is Middle Eastern foreign policy.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, increased by one percentage point to 56% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President remained constant at 41%.

Syria, Iran, Assad, Putin and Obama's Failed Foreign Policy

President Obama, the architect of a 67 nation coalition and his team of foreign policy experts, as a recent map of Syria and its power divisions have surfaced, has been holding out on the American people.

At this point the policy is a blurred line, are the U.S backed rebels, allies and coalition members fighting to save the rebels? Destroying ISIS/ISIL? Save face in a fight that Russia, fueled by a still angry Putin, has taken on as if to prove a military prowess to the world and taunt world leaders over the expulsion of membership in the select world summit and subsequent sanctions for the still unresolved invasion of the Ukraine and annexation of Crimea?

A recent colored coded map of Syria has left many wondering just that. As the grey area, representing a large portion of Syria, is controlled by ISIS/ISIL what are the specific goals of the Coalition? And what is the time frame for delivery? What is the exit strategy? Will there be increased involvement? As it remains the Syrian War is not the only issue the coalition is facing. The coalition was formed around the ultimate goals of degrading and destroying ISIS/ISIL and their involvement in Syria is not the only nation where they maintain a stronghold.

Syria, Iran, ISIS and Russia

The recent news of life in Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria, once vibrant, now bombed out, resembling 1942 World War II photos of cities leveled by the Blitzkrieg, surfaced, the remaining citizens tell of survival amidst the unified Russian and Syrian heavy handed approach to rule.

No electricity, light from day only, strategic life in rooms far enough away from windows not to gain any attention. Those who fled, leaving apartments, if they would return today would find others inhabiting the homes and if they were fortunate enough to have a top floor with a view, the chances are it has been destroyed in bombing raids.

Putin and Assad have initiated a phase II approach and instead of simply damaging the top floors and causing cave in, like when the world first met Omran, who survived the bombing attack, bombing raids now demolish the entire building.

Exit Strategy

Poised with the question of an exit strategy, a ballpark, overall when can we expect to call the area a completed success?

ISIS dictates the time frame for the coalition. And according to Wikipedia Map ISIS controls a significant portion of the Syrian nation as well as a significant portion of Iraq.

"Secretary Kerry continues to be engaged with our regional partners and around the world to exert diplomatic pressure in Syria to try to reduce the violence, and get the Assad regime and the Russians to stop engaging in these tactics that target civilians, and allow humanitarian assistance to flow to those areas of Syria that need it so badly. What is happening behind the scenes is continued, sustained, vigorous diplomatic effort to engage the many countries that are deeply concerned about the Syria situation to try to come up with a solution that reduces the violence, and increases humanitarian assistance," said White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest.

The Humanitarian Aid from the United States to the U.S. backed rebels remains consistent. The increase comes in securing additional resource for nations who have welcomed and absorbed the disenfranchised and displaced citizens.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been active in attempting to secure a peace treaty. His best offers are rebuffed by Putin, who refuses to allow Assad to consider leaving his nation. Which is the very reason Assad aligned himself with the stronger partner.

Russian President Vladimir Putin can engage the United States and coalition members of even ground and having moved strategically on nations without serious repercussions Putin is well equipped to stop, slow or stall any Syrian Peace negotiations.

The Move on Mosul

"I'm not aware that any sort of specific time frame has been laid out for when that operation would be completed.  Obviously this represents the next important step in our campaign against ISIL in Iraq.  The United States has mobilized a 67-member coalition to support the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces as they seek to rid ISIL from their country.  Mosul was the city where ISIL's leader announced their unfulfilled intent to form a caliphate, and it is now the last major center of ISIL in Iraq.  The beginning of this campaign has been months in the making," Earnest said.

Assad's Rise to Power

Bashar al Assad, took control of Syria in 2003 as succession would place him. His wife, Asma, a British educated scholar, once held the title of "Desert Rose" which has deteriorated as everything else in Syria and now she is dubbed the First Lady of Hell. 

Dictatorship is not uncommon in the Assad linage, Bashar al Assad's father without elections declared himself president of Syria in 1971 and unopposed reigned for 32 years.

The installation of ideas of leadership were passed from generation to generation. Assad, who assumed the presidency in 2000, upon the death of his father began the same heavy handed approach to leadership.

During the early years of the Bush Administration it was thought Assad, especially as his wife is a British- educated Sunni Muslim scholar, would be a modern leader and retained a small window of hope for democratic reforms. Those ideals were short lived.

The Arab Spring, the wave of democracy that rolled through seventeen middle eastern nations during 2011, leaving in its wake, shaky quasi democratic governments, with a revolving door of leadership as the newness of a democratic process was challenging.

Leaders, like former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was falsely accused, arrested, jailed, tried, convicted and through the appeal process and the same global scrutiny cleared his name. Through this time Egypt had three new presidents.

Democracy is costly and challenging. Syria and Bashar al Assad, would have none of it. When Arab Spring rolled through, Assad as he had done previously during a prelude uprising, would send in the military to end the uprising.

As of press time the precarious cease fire in Aleppo crumbled with fighting, led by Russian and Syrian troops, resuming in an all-out effort to kill all Syrian freedom fighters.

Also Beltway Insider: Obama/Syria/Russia; Haiti Devastated; Yemen Bombed; Trump's Last Stand; Girl Power; Bob Dylan

Election 2016: Hillary Assumes Lead; Trump Receives Major Media Endorsement

With the historic 2016 Presidential Election less than two weeks away, the war of words continues between the front runner Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and the Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The third and final debate between the two candidates was held this week at the University of Las Vegas Nevada and not surprising Mrs. Clinton continues to show her expertise, knowledge and most importantly she continued to reveal her plan for the actions she presents.

Mr. Trump by mid-debate had lost his confidence and was back into a corner using scare tactic language and empty, ambiguous words to wedge a seed of doubt in the mind of the undecided voter, especially in Nevada a notoriously red state and a battle ground state.

The two candidates met again over the week at the annual Catholic Charity Roasting Event held at New York City's Waldorf Astoria, with both showing their fangs and perhaps digging a little too deep with jokes supplied by team writers. The rapier wit and biting sarcasm may have been better served in a different forum as both candidates were unusually booed by the well-heeled crowd.

In a surprise move, The Las Vegas Review-Journal endorsed the struggling GOP candidate adding "while the candidate has flaws, he'll bring needed disruption and change to Washington."

Nevada continues to be a swing state with the race to close to call based on the Washington Post/Survey Monkey based on 10/18/2016 that has Trump increasing by 3% and split with Mrs. Clinton in a 47%/46% Race.

The Clinton Campaign has announced plans to spend these last two weeks campaigning in traditional battleground states including Ohio and Florida. She has also pressed deeper into traditional Red States including Nevada and Arizona.

The GOP Challenger plans to campaign through Florida.

The list of endorsements for Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton begins with American Politicians, and includes business leaders, foreign politicians and celebrities, members of military and branches of government, faith leaders, LGBTQ leaders, trendsetters and news makers.

The United Nations Election New Secretary General

Ban Ki-Moon, the incumbent and retiring Secretary General of the United Nations, has been succeeded by Portuguese Diplomat Antonio Guterres, who had led the United Nation High Commission for Refugees.

Guterres was elected by acclamation at the gathering of the General Assembly in October 2016. He will assume the office in January 2017. Guterres is savvy and well skilled in his use of the media to further his agenda. During the height of the Syrian crisis, which is still continuing, he spearheaded the $5 Billion U.S. movement and secured Angelina Jolie's assistance in 2012 in bringing attention to the cause and effort.

Moon is expected to announce his intent to seek the Presidency of South Korea after his departure from office is official.

The White House Hosts its Final Music Night

President Obama throughout his eight years have made a point of celebrating American music, hosting what has been called a Celebration of Music with selected guests and artists enjoying a night of world class entertainment and a Student Workshop of musical sharing during the day.

BET assisted the President, First Lady and Bob Santelli, from The Grammy Museum, bring down the house. The event may be televised after it is edited as all attendees are required to relinquish any hand-held devices so the privacy of all is enjoyed.

The President and First Lady have also uploaded the events to the White House Music Page available here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/performances.

Bill Cosby Heads to Court this Week

October has not been a good month for Bill Cosby. The once Television goldmine, comedic icon and champion of education values has slowly seen his world crumble as the allegations of more than four dozen women have come forward describing all to similar behavior that resulted in rape.

As of today 59 women have come out of the shadows, women of all races, famous, anonymous, industry, non-industry, describing the same, scenario.

Bill Cosby, 79, was charged with aggravated indecent assault for an incident that occurred in 2004 was the single case that survived the labyrinth of the judicial process and wrangling of the high powered attorneys Cosby has hired to secure his freedom.

Cosby attorneys have argued the entertainer's eyesight, failing heath, make the judicial process impossible for him and therefore he would be denied his rights to affair and impartial trial because he couldn't recognize his accusers. Montgomery County Judge Steven T. O'Neill considered that argument invalid and it was rejected.

Testimony against Cosby was gathered from statements taken at the time of the initial report and interview with the prosecutor. The accuser did not testify in the pre-trial determination. Cosby attorney's filed a motion to force the accuser to testify in the hopes that time would confuse or muddle the facts or that she simply wouldn't be able to withstand the proceeding. The motion was rejected.

Cosby, who has hired a legal team that rivals other notorious cases, has sought, as the last ditch effort to stop the case was rejected this week, to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  

A separate case, unrelated to Cosby, presented the same case in the same court. The court approved police statements taken at the time the crime was reported in lieu of the accuser testifying.

O'Neill has schedule hearing over November and December to settle what evidence is admissible. Among the evidence in question which of the over 59 women the prosecutor will call and whether they can use Cosby's testimony form a 2005 Civil Suit filed by the accuser.  

Bill Cosby's trial is scheduled for June 2017. If convicted, he could face up to thirty-year sin prison and odds are he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.gov, Wikipedia.com

 Map: Courtesy of Wikipedia and used with permission.

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