While most of the media is justifiably covering the events in Libya and Egypt today, I thought I’d bring some attention to a foreign policy issue in the Middle East that has been going on for two years involving our junior New Jersey U.S. Senator Bob Menendez that has escaped the attention of the New Jersey media.
MMM readers may remember how Menendez blocked U.S. Magistrate Patty Shwartz’s nomination to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals because her boyfriend was the lead prosecutor who investigated the senator in 2006.
It came to our attention today, via the president of Azerbaijan, that Menendez has been similarly abusing his senatorial courtesy power in the domain of foreign affairs.
Yesterday, President Ilhan Aliyev said that Menendez is racist and that he is cooperating with a political adversary of Aliyev’s on behalf of the Armenian lobby in his country.
His compatriot Breivik killed about 80 people and he was sentenced to 21 year imprisonment. And it means that he got 3 month of imprisonment for each people.Is that possible? Why does he keep silence about this? Or there is one pro-Armenian Senator Menendez and he is against Azerbaijan and Islam. His last work was that he was not allowed to extend the term of the former U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan and to prevent his nomination for two reasons. The first reason is that the US ambassador does not recognize the so-called “Armenian genocide”. And he should not recognize as the U.S. government does not recognize this “genocide”.
The second reason is that the ambassador’s wife is of Turkish origin. It is racism. However, I want to stress that no one can affect my will, opinion, action, and have never affected.’
The ambassador that Aliyev is talking about is Matthew Bryza.
President Obama nominated the career diplomat Bryza to be the ambassador to Azerbaijan, an oil rich former Soviet state which is a rare constitutional secular republic with a predominantly Muslim population, in 2010. Menendez and California Senator Barbara Boxer put a hold on the nomination because, The Washington Post Editorial Page Editor says, of the senators ties to (and donations from) the Armenian community.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are long term geopolitical and cultural rivals.
Despite Bryza’s strong endorsement from the elite of the diplomatic community, Menendez held out his judgement as superior to that distinguished bipartisan group and that of Obama, in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post.
Obama made Bryza a recess appointment. Menendez continued to oppose his nomination and Bryza’s diplomatic career came to an end this past January. Because Bob Menendez and Barbara Boxer get political donations and support from Armenians, a talented ambassador to an important Middle Eastern country was sent home.
MMM knows little about the Azerbaijan/Armenia conflict. We highly doubt it will be an issue in the campaign between Menendez and GOP nominee State Senator Joe Kyrillos, as Kyrillos has exceptionally close ties to the Armenian community. Joe’s wife Susan is of Armenian descent. The conflicts between the two countries and cultures is not the point.
The point is that Menendez has a pattern of abusing his power for his own personal and political interests, to the detriment of our national interests.
New Jersey’s mainstream media has not covered the Menendez/Bryza disgrace. Yesterday the President of Azerbaijan gave them a reason to cover it. When the head of state of a foreign country calls a U.S. Senator a racist, that should be news. MMM is happy to point the story out to our mainstream media friends, just in case they missed it with all the other pressing foreign affairs news.