Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns Stepping Down

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Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns is stepping down from his position in March and retiring in May after 26 years in the foreign service and three in his current position.
US Ambassador to Russia William Burns will be leaving Moscow and has been nominated to take Nick Burns’ position.
This has enormous implications for various fragile deals in the works — with India, with Iran, and also impacts US-Russia relations.
Developing.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

13 comments on “Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns Stepping Down

  1. Mr.Murder says:

    Nicholas Burns did, too…

    Reply

  2. Mr.Murder says:

    Thursday, January 24, 2008
    Italy: The Blackshirts are Back
    “The Prodi government has fallen and blackshirts (see picture at the top of this post) have taken to the streets in Rome. If this scares the pants off you, it should.
    Prodi’s misery is all the fault of a certain squirrelly character by the name of Clemente Mastella, a right wing Catholic with sympathies for fascist l’Allianza Nazionale party and a friend of The Mob.
    Prodi’s unwise decision to name him Justice Minister was the result of compromise. The majority governs with a razor thin margin, provided by Mastella’s centrist party, the UDEUR, which had demanded the Defense portfolio but received Justice. Mastella’s wife, who serves in local government in the south, was recently indicted on corruption charges and Mastella himself has been under investigation for corruption and abuse of power since October.
    Mastella resigned a few days ago, setting off such a tumult that there was vote of confidence in the Prodi government. The vote passed in the lower house but failed in the Senate, where the UDEUR abandoned the government. One courageous UDEUR Senator, Cusumano, was mobbed and gagged when he attempted to vote to support the government (middle photo).
    The Berlusconi-led right is positively gleeful to the point that they popped champagne in the National Assembly.
    Dark days ahead.”
    posted by Nur-al-Cubicle
    http://nuralcubicle.blogspot.com/
    Marc Grossman got out while the getting out was good.

    Reply

  3. Mr.Murder says:

    Financial hits- being made liable for civil damage or legal counsel fees for defense.
    Torture or rendition?
    It is what it is. It’s too expensive for kids to school these days and it is quite likely Burns can do himself more good and his country as much within the private sector.
    A good NGO can help reshape how Americans are perceived in the world community.
    Were our domestic policies progressive enough many of our advocacy groups could encourage these items.
    Micro credit, food banks, medicinal resource pooling, etc. John Kennedy once called on a whole generation to make similar aims.

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  4. Mr.Murder says:

    …apologies for the double post, I get an error message on submit at times. The first entry asserts things in less diplomatic terms.

    Reply

  5. Mr.Murder says:

    Ultimate capitulation to Putin.
    Putin tells us to stay out of Kosovo’s business, Condi promotes the one charged with his station, and runs yet another veteran out.
    The same week we refused to provide the cell leader of the Madrid train bombings for a huge Al Qaeda trial in Spain. IMO it is a slap in the face to the Spanish electorate, having kicked Aznar out(a person who was polling poorly well before the bombings).
    Here’s what a friend who worked in foreign policy said to me about it:
    “Sad day. Shitty politics. We suck.”
    Then again the former EU energy minister from Spain was an AEI regular who helped us lie our way into the Iraq war. Putin helped with that too, the missing well head penetrators that a Halliburton subcontractor lost in an audit…
    have we forgot about Poland? NaftaSib probably has not.
    These items, paired with the NATO crisis of pre-emptive announcements, and continued capitulation to background resistance in Afghanistan alongside failures near the border of Pakistan all point back to the miserable failure GWB and Condi Rice.
    World Economic Summit meeting, Condi looked quite out of place in it as well. Still trying to sound like champagne bubbles about the failure that is foreign policy under the weight of the John Bolton apparatus. He scarred the foreign service and State irrefutably. His departure prior that of Burns is indeed testament to Burns’ ability.
    *Condi tried to mention the human rights.
    */gold clap*
    PS- It seems like Burns, who fought Bolton, wouldn’t give up strictly over money. Sterner stuff is he made of, could his resignation have anything to do with the Madrid prosecution this week?
    Being a diplomat, he probably has a withdrawal strategy in place for leaving a post with tact regardless of when or why he leaves.
    Buying time for the Iran item only works if the military push back of OVP continues. One bad cluster ready to get a promotion can push the engagement rules in the gulf. We appear to publicize that now with the purpose of spiking oil prices and keeping Iran’s own leader from being seen as conciliatory to the west on other items.

    Reply

  6. Mr.Murder says:

    Ultimate capitulation to Putin.
    BenD Over promoted in his place?
    Putin tells us to stay out of Kosovo’s business, Condi promotes the lackey charged with his station, and runs yet another veteran out.
    The same week we refused to provide the cell leader of the Madrid train bombings for a huge Al Qaeda trial in Spain. IMO it is a slap in the face to the Spanish electorate, having kicked Aznar out(a person who was polling poorly well before the bombings).
    Here’s what a friend who worked in foreign policy said to me about it:
    “Sad day. Shitty politics. We suck.”
    Then again the former EU energy minister from Spain was an AEI regular who helped us lie our way into the Iraq war. Putin helped with that too, the missing well head penetrators that a Halliburton subcontractor lost in an audit…
    have we forgot about Poland? NaftaSib probably has not.
    These items, paired with the NATO crisis of pre-emptive announcements, and continued capitulation to background resistance in Afghanistan alongside failures near the border of Pakistan all point back to the miserable failure GWB and Condi Rice.
    World Economic Summit meeting, Condi looked quite out of place in it as well. Still trying to sound like champagne bubbles about the failure that is foreign policy under the weight of the John Bolton apparatus.
    *Condi tried to mention the human rights.
    */gold clap*

    Reply

  7. JT says:

    Financial hits with what?

    Reply

  8. Steve Clemons says:

    I think Nick Burns simply needs to deal with family issues — and he’s got some serious financial hits coming. I think that combined with the fact that he has achieved most of what he can in this period and expects no breakthroughs on Iran — I think he’s being straightforward about this. best, steve

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    New Nick Burns now old, old William Burns now new.
    Nick:..opps
    Nicholas Burns quits State Dept.
    Published: 01/18/2008 JTA
    Nicholas Burns, the third-ranked State Department official who led the U.S. strategic dialogue with Israel, is resigning.
    Burns raised Israeli eyebrows last fall when, as the keynote speaker at an American Task Force for Palestine dinner, he expressed sympathy for the plight of Palestinian who live in exile.
    William:…blowing up Palestine homes not “helpful”
    http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon
    Question: Sir I think that the demolitions, the acts the Israelis are displaying in demolishing many houses in Gaza, it’s most unfortunate that what we have heard from the public here, is that your country rather than criticizing that, they are supporting it actually, and saying that it is part of the defense against the shipment, something like that. So why should Israel demolish houses for innocent people, rather than for only two or three persons who have contributed on this ship. You didn’t condemn that.
    Assistant Secretary Burns: We’ve said quite consistently that the demolition of homes, of Palestinian homes, has not been helpful in creating an atmosphere in which people can move toward ending violence and restoring a political process. And it’s very much in the interests of both peoples to stabilize the security situation, to bring about a ceasefire, and to fight terror and violence.
    And that imposes obligations on both sides. For the Palestinians we’ve been very clear in emphasizing the obligations the Palestinian Authority has to make a maximum effort, a one hundred percent effort, against violence and against terror. And that’s the only way in which the aspirations of the Palestinian people are going to be realized. On the other hand, it is very important as we’ve said consistently in public, for Israel to look at ways in which it can create an atmosphere in which people can look seriously at reconciliation and at resuming a political process, and to look for ways in which the suffering of Palestinians, in which the difficulties under which they live in the West Bank and Gaza can be eased. Especially the economic pressures that they live under.
    And so it’s in that light that we’ve said, I think quite clearly and consistently that home demolitions are not helpful in that process.
    Israel:….same old same old
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html
    Bush Under Fire in Congress for Criticizing Israel
    By STEVEN R. WEISMAN AND JAMES DAO
    Published: June 12, 2003
    Supporters of Israel in and out of Congress assailed President Bush today for criticizing Israeli attacks on Palestinian militant groups as the administration worked to protect its Middle East peace initiative from a new cycle of violence.
    A day after he criticized Israel for its attempt to kill a militant Palestinian leader, Mr. Bush today denounced a suicide bomb attack on a bus in Jerusalem that killed 16 people and wounded more than 100.
    The bombing today was an apparent retaliation for Israel’s attempt to kill Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a top leader of Hamas, on Tuesday. It happened at about the same time as an Israeli missile attack in Gaza.
    At a hearing of the House International Relations Committee, Representative Gary L. Ackerman, said that Mr. Bush’s rebuke might lead his critics ”to think of the word hypocrisy.”
    ”How can we take certain actions in response to terrorism, and then tell others that when they do the same exact thing that it is not helpful?” Mr. Ackerman, a New York Democrat, said during questioning of William J. Burns, the State Department’s senior diplomat for Middle Eastern affairs.
    Representative Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, said Israel’s use of military force to protect itself against ”a ticking time bomb factory” was ”100 percent justified.”
    Representative Tom Lantos of California, the ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee, defended Israel’s right to protect itself, saying that the Palestinian Authority under Mr. Abbas was unable to do the job. If the Palestinians will not disarm terrorists, ”then Israel clearly will do so,” he said.
    The influential pro-Israel lobbying group, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as Aipac, issued a rare criticism of Mr. Bush, if only obliquely. Israel, it said, ”will and must take the responsibility to fight terrorist organizations” and ”it should be the policy of the U.S. to support” such actions
    Appearing before the committee, Mr. Burns, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, acknowledged under sharp questioning from Democrats that Mr. Abbas would probably have to take forceful steps to disarm and dismantle terrorist groups if the peace initiative were to succeed. ”I believe he is committed to doing the hard things that are going to be required to make that possible,” Mr. Burns said.
    Other diplomats also said the Israelis had to know that the attack would provoke a new cycle of violence and make it impossible for Mr. Abbas to keep what little support he has among Palestinians.
    Representative Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, said Israel’s use of military force to protect itself against ”a ticking time bomb factory” was ”100 percent justified.”
    Representative Tom Lantos of California, the ranking Democrat on the International Relations Committee, defended Israel’s right to protect itself, saying that the Palestinian Authority under Mr. Abbas was unable to do the job. If the Palestinians will not disarm terrorists, ”then Israel clearly will do so,” he said.
    The influential pro-Israel lobbying group, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as Aipac, issued a rare criticism of Mr. Bush, if only obliquely. Israel, it said, ”will and must take the responsibility to fight terrorist organizations” and ”it should be the policy of the U.S. to support” such actions
    Appearing before the committee, Mr. Burns, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, acknowledged under sharp questioning from Democrats that Mr. Abbas would probably have to take forceful steps to disarm and dismantle terrorist groups if the peace initiative were to succeed. ”I believe he is committed to doing the hard things that are going to be required to make that possible,” Mr. Burns said.
    Other diplomats also said the Israelis had to know that the attack would provoke a new cycle of violence and make it impossible for Mr. Abbas to keep what little support he has among Palestinians.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I find it not “helpful” to have zionist agents representing Israel in my US congress. I suggest a diplomatic process be started to facilitate their emigration to their Promised Land.

    Reply

  10. iu says:

    > Developing.
    I will say, what the hell is going on?
    Why *a week before* the security council + Germany talks on Iran in Berlin?
    Did someone manage to get Bush to change his mind on Iran during his road trip? (was that what the “I don`t have to agree with the NIE” thing was about?) Did the Iran speedboat/Filipino monkey thing coincide with some breakdown of some talks? Is someone claiming victory over the GAO “Iran sanctions suck” rapport? Did it upset whatever space the NIE created?
    I didn`t believe for a second the navy would patrol those waters effectively for years and then suddenly get scared by some of the many regular speedboats. I also figured the prisoner releases, the state IRI folk “spending time with their family”, the toned down talk about precision manufactured improvised penetrators, the lack of Cheney aircraft carrier speeches, the sadr/sciri deal and finally the NIE release all could be part of confidence building. Maybe in the cases of the IRI people leaving that was the result of an end to the stubborn hard line of “regime change” and the start of secret talks that allowed to US to save face.
    The new guy, William Burns doesn`t strike me as an anti talks+sanctions guy, or a Cheney loyalist? Of course nobody says getting the Nick Burns spot means doing, or not doing, the Nick Burns job.
    Why will Nick Burns keep working on the India NPT torpedoing work? That
    A. leaves all the really exiting stuff to others while
    B. still not giving him any time for his “family” and “retirement”
    Of course putting the “he is still on the India nuclear trade thing” part in the announcement is smart considering how much business might depend on the India/US deals. This wasn`t released on usual Friday *afternoon* US time was it? Was this rushed?
    Where was Cheney this week?
    Hey, theres AP:
    > The reason for his resignation was not
    > immediately clear, (uh, yea) but there has long
    > been speculation that Burns might have
    > aspirations for elected office in his home state
    > of Massachusetts.
    Yeah, just like Rice, who BTW isn`t failing, in fact, she has presidential ambitions!!!
    This is as unnerving as the time Turki Bin Faisal quit to spend more time with his family. (Though, admittedly, the Saudi royal family is big, so one would probably need quite a lot of time)
    I kinda expect a complete update by this evening Mr Clemons, if I don’t know what is going on, I will end up assuming the worst and my weekend is gonna suck ;-(

    Reply

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