Secure Freedom Radio Podcast

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Roger Noriega, Claudia Rosett, David Rivkin, Bill Gertz

September 23rd, 2011

Is the all mighty leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, on his final months of life? Visiting Fellow at AEI, Roger Noriega kicks off today’s show sharing his thoughts on Hugo Chavez’s deathwatch. According to sources in the country, Hugo Chavez has just returned from his third round of chemotherapy to treat his colon cancer. This information contradicts official reports by Venezuelan officials who stated that he had just returned from his fourth trip to Cuba. The earlier trip to Cuba for chemotherapy was a fabrication of the Chavismo leadership who wanted to appear open, while also keeping the opposition guessing. This is the perfect example of a classic dictatorship, says Noriega, where the top leaders continually lie. Additionally these sources say that Chavez will not survive his cancer, but might stick around until the October 2012 elections. If he is able to hold on to life, the organized opposition groups will have a slim chance at beating him. The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the Obama administration holds a “flat-footed” policy in South America, where they would rather ignore Chavez than speak out in support of opposition groups.

Was Obama’s speech in front of the UN General Assembly able to successfully put heed to his comments in May acknowledging the possibility of a Palestinian state? Journalist-in-residence at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Claudia Rosett covers the ominous stirrings in the United Nations. Although this will be the seventh time that the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will come before the UN General Assembly, the more pressing issue is the Palestinian statehood debate. The General Assembly is consumed by the political debates surrounding the issue. Rosett is critical of Obama’s speech, as she sees it as a campaign speech rather than a Presidential one. Palestinians were similarly disappointed in his speech, as it failed to endorse or acknowledge official statehood such he did in a speech last year. On the other hand, Israel was happy with his speech as he did not make mention of the 1967 borders. In Rosett’s view, these debates are merely methods of ganging up on the US and its allies in order to give them a “giant poke in the eye.”

American attorney and political writer, David Rivkin presents the legal case against Palestinian statehood. As said by Rivkin, objective criteria must first be met in order for a given entity to be granted statehood in the United Nations. Under these rights and duties, the given entity needs to have a territory, population, government that exercises effective sovereignty, and is able to go into agreements with other nations. According to these standards, Palestine does not meet the basic objective criteria to become a state. Palestine does not control Gaza or even the West Bank. Since Israel controls most of the land that Palestine claims, Israel is the only one that can “midwife” Palestine into a state. Furthermore, the United Nations is not in the business of recognizing the state, but is only able to take an existing state and make it a member of the UN. While some argue that the Vatican is an exception to this rule, Rivkin fires back that the Vatican, as the oldest existing state in history was able to merely ushered into the UN with non-member status.

Weekly regular guest here at Secure Freedom Radio and National Security Writer for the Washington Times, Bill Gertz concludes today’s show enlightening Frank on how Adm. Mullen of the NSC directly links the Pakistani ISI with the Haqqani terrorist network, an arm of Al Qaeda. The White House is also working on a secret mini-Nuclear Posture Review that will change military requirements for the U.S. strategic arsenal. This allows them to use the cover of budget cuts to pursue an ideological zero nuke policy. Also, Gertz talks Wikileaks and how one cable reveals that North Korea has had a greater counterfeiting capacity than previously known of U.S. monetary notes.