Clearly reflecting her sense of strength as a member of the BRICS alliance of nations, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner confronted Barack Obama at the Sept. 24 meeting of the UN Security Council (UNSC), aggressively questioning the effectiveness of the U.S.’s methods of combating terrorist groups such as ISIS in the Mideast.
Sitting only one chair away from Obama, Fernandez addressed him directly, which, according to Argentine officials in the room, created evident “discomfort” in the U.S. President, Tiempo Argentino reported Thursday. A picture of him which appeared in that daily, shows Obama with a “deer in the headlights” expression on his face. He did not answer any of the pointed questions she raised.
Without stating it explicitly, Fernandez strongly implied that rather than defeating groups like ISIS and allied jihadists, the Obama administration’s policies have allowed them to expand. While she backed the U.S.-authored resolution on combating ISIS, Fernandez underscored that a simple military response to that group isn’t effective. Instead of disappearing, these groups are growing, emerging with new names, and ever more violent methods. Obviously, she concluded, the methodology adopted isn’t working, and needs to be revised.
“We are living a Third World War, as the Pope says—not a conventional war of the 20th century, but now more targeted wars,” Fernandez warned. So, she asked, “what are the most effective tools to combat terrorism?” The only thing the current policy seems to produce is more “permanent bloodshed” with large numbers of innocent civilian victims.
The Argentine President zeroed in on the U.S.’s penchant for constantly redefining who is an “enemy” and who is a “friend.” After 9/11, it was Osama bin Laden; but recall, she noted, that he was originally trained by the U.S. in the 1980s to combat Russia in Afghanistan. Initially, militants of the Arab Spring, like the Syrian opposition to President Assad, were described as “freedom fighters,” but are now in bed with ISIS.
To drive home her point, Fernandez stated in a press conference the same day, prior to leaving New York, “I agree with what the Russian and then the Chinese Foreign Ministers said: there are no good terrorists or bad terrorists; there are just terrorists.”
Concluding her UNSC remarks, Fernandez called on those governments that possess sophisticated intelligence capabilities to start addressing questions such as, who finances ISIS? Who provides them with training and weapons, and buys their oil, allowing them to accumulate enormous financial resources? Argentina, which doesn’t sell weapons or purchase oil, can’t do that, but the U.S. and its Western allies can, she admonished.
Sovereign Argentina Has No Reason to Listen to New York Judge Griesa
Prior to leaving for Buenos Aires, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez ridiculed New York Federal Judge Thomas Griesa during a Sept. 24 press conference, for threatening to declare her nation in contempt of court for refusing to obey his rulings ordering the government to pay the predatory vulture funds.
Dismissing Griesa as a “municipal judge,” Fernandez said it is “folly” for him to declare a sovereign nation in contempt. Argentina has met all its debt obligations; it has deposited $539 million in Bank of New York-Mellon (BoNY), which Griesa himself embargoed, she said.
Griesa is outraged that the Argentine Congress has passed a law authorizing a new debt swap for bondholders who had participated in the 2005 and 2010 restructurings, which will be governed by Argentine, rather than New York, law. He is threatening to begin imposing daily fines of $50,000 unless Argentina immediately obeys all his rulings ordering it to pay the predators, and is demanding that it also reimburse “legal costs” to the vultures’ lawyers. At the request of NML Capital vulture fund, Griesa has scheduled a Sept. 29 hearing in Manhattan to consider the contempt issue.
Good luck with that. On Wednesday, the Argentine government approved the official contract, as stipulated by the just-passed Sovereign Payment of Foreign Debt Law, establishing the Nacion-Fideicomisos, affiliated with the state-run Banco de la Nacion, as the trustee for a new debt swap, formalizing BoNY’s removal. The contract also establishes Buenos Aires and Paris as the venues from which bondholders may collect their interest payments, and states that Argentine, not New York law, will govern all transactions related to the new swap.