Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Prof. ST Hsieh

Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum


[email protected]

October 16, 2023

As the world is already facing an unending proxy war in Ukraine, it is to everyone’s interest to de-escalating the Israel-Hamas conflict. It is extremely disheartening to note that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the news media that she “has no doubts the US can afford to aid both Israel and Ukraine.” It is inflaming and irresponsible, especially when President Biden will visit the region, on Wednesday, to cool the temperature!

Her confidence comes from her observation that “And look, the American economy is doing extremely well.” She should be Biden’s reelection speaker and please sell the “Bidenomics” to the voters in the US. The fact is that prospects of Biden’s reelection bid does not look great and Biden may lose to the criminally convicted former President Donal Trump next November.

It is a particularly cheap shot for her to say that “it shows that there’s a problem in the Republican party in terms of being able to effectively govern the country.” The US is a democracy, the country is not governed by a single party. Along with the Republican party which has a majority in the House, her party, the Democratic party holds the presidency as well as the majority of the Senate. In fact, the two-party system has been functional for the US and that is how the US become the most powerful nation in the world and in the history. Why the Democratic party cannot work with the Republican party for the benefit of the US?

The US national debt is the highest, paraphrasing President Biden: “not in the world, in the history of the world.” US could print more paper money and pay for any number of wars around the world at the same time. But will the US public support sending their sons and daughters to die in foreign lands? What for?

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Warns of ‘Escalation’ in Israel-Hamas War

The Daily Beast

Sun, October 15, 2023 at 11:23 AM PDT·

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan has said “there is a risk of an escalation” in the conflict between Israel and HamasSpeaking to CBS’ Face the Nation, Sullivan said there was the possibility “of the opening of a second front in the north, and of course of Iran’s involvement—that is a risk. And that’s a risk that we have been mindful of since the start… We can’t rule out that Iran would choose to get directly engaged some way; we have to prepare for every possible contingency.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told Fox News that the White House was worried about “a potential escalation or a widening of this conflict.” Sullivan also discussed a new U.S. weapons package for Israel and Ukraine—the value of which would be “significantly higher” than $2 billion.

The US can afford to give money to both Israel and Ukraine since its economy is doing ‘extremely well,’ Janet Yellen says

Ayelet Sheffey

Updated Mon, October 16, 2023 at 1:59 PM PDT

The nation’s top treasury official said the US does not have to pick and choose between aiding Israel and Ukraine in their ongoing military conflicts.

The war between Israel and Hamas started at the same time as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been ongoing for over a year now, and Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen has no doubts the US can afford to aid both Israel and Ukraine.

“America can certainly afford to stand with Israel and to support Israel’s military needs, and we also can and must support Ukraine in its struggle against Russia,” Yellen told Sky News in a Monday interview.

And look, the American economy is doing extremely well,” she continued. “Inflation has been high and it’s been a concern to households. It’s come down considerably. At the same time, we have about the strongest labor market we have seen in 50 years with 3.8% unemployment.”

Importantly, though, getting money to Israel and Ukraine requires congressional legislation. The House continues to be paralyzed as Republican lawmakers struggle to elect a new speaker after Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted in the wake of the most recent budget fight.

Yellen acknowledged that “it’s really up to the House to seat a speaker and to put us in a position where legislation can be passed,” adding that “it shows that there’s a problem in the Republican party in terms of being able to effectively govern the country. And it is important that we be able to pass legislation.”

Biden also expressed his commitment to support both Israel and Ukraine during a CBS interview 60 Minutes interview on Sunday.

“We’re the United States of America for God’s sake, the most powerful nation in the history — not in the world, in the history of the world,” he said. “We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense.”

Pentagon puts troops on notice to prepare to deploy to support Israel: reports

Ellen Mitchell

Mon, October 16, 2023 at 1:08 PM PDT

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a select number of U.S. troops to prepare to deploy in support of Israel, multiple outlets have reported.

About 2,000 such troops were chosen this weekend to be ready to assist with advising and medical support, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

The forces will be pulled from across the U.S. armed services, with the troops currently stationed inside the Middle East and in nearby Europe.

Treasury Secretary: U.S. Can ‘Absolutely’ Afford Two Wars

Alex Nguyen

Mon, October 16, 2023 at 9:27 AM PDT

In an interview with Sky News, Janet Yellen said that the U.S. can “certainly” afford to fund Israel and Ukraine in their conflicts with Hamas and Russia. The secretary of the treasury added that the U.S. economy is doing “extremely well,” explaining that inflation has fallen and unemployment remains at its lowest point in 50 years, at 3.8 percent. Following President Joe Biden’s announcement of “unwavering support” for Israel, Yellen said it’s a “priority” to financially support the country and its “right to defend themselves.” But she pointed out that House Republicans need to elect a new speaker quickly in order to pass legislation to financially back allies. Yellen later told Sky News’ Wilfred Frost that the economic impact of the Israel-Hamas war on resources like oil and natural gas remains unclear since other nations like Iran could be pushed into the violence. At least 1,400 people in Israel and 2,700 people in Gaza have died as of Monday morning.

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