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Published on January 26th, 2011 | by Ali Gharib


Ros-Lehtinen asserts herself on Foreign Policy

Jennifer Rubin, the pugnacious neoconservative WaPo blogger, is all over Barack Obama for the dearth of foreign policy talk during his State of the Union address last night. She points to a statement from House Foreign Affairs Chairperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who shares Rubin’s thoughts:

I am concerned that even as the Iranian regime draws ever closer to nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, the President’s speech does not demonstrate the sense of urgency needed to stop this growing threat.

The President also did not mention the threat posed by Iran and Syria’s sponsorship of terrorism and efforts to undermine its neighbors, on the very day that the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis took a severe step to undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty.

This was Rubin’s lede, with my emphasis:

Granted, we have big domestic problems. But the president has sole responsibility as commander in chief and tremendous authority in foreign affairs.

Not if Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has anything to do with it, he doesn’t.

I think we can expect major public disputes between the Obama administration and her Foreign Affairs Committee. She’s already toying with the power of the purse, trying so far to, as the Jerusalem Post headlined it, “make UN funds conditional on Israel’s treatment.” (Click the link and read the deck on that, too.)

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One Response to Ros-Lehtinen asserts herself on Foreign Policy

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  1. avatar Jon Harrison says:

    Good to see the word “pugnacious” in print. It’s a wonderful word, and doesn’t get used nearly often enough.

About the Author


Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.

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