Putin Absent, Iran Targeted
By Dock Walls, @dockwalls
The Group of 8 (G8) summit, which was originally scheduled to be held in Chicago, took place at Camp David. This two-day meeting was the largest gathering of world leaders ever held at the Presidential retreat. Recently re-elected to a third term, Russian President Vladimir Putin declined Obama’s invitation to attend, citing duties related to the formation of his cabinet. However, Foreign Policy experts suggest that was actually just an excuse. In light of protests concerning the integrity of the election results, Obama delayed calling to congratulate Putin for several day. Putin sent Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev as a surrogate.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States issued a joint declaration addressing climate change, a commitment to ensuring adequate energy and oil, food security and nutrition in Africa, a democratic transition in the Middle East and advocating a political transition in Syria. However, Austerity measures, Job creation, eurozone economic stability, an end to the war in Afghanistan and Iranian sanctions and oil embargos were the issues which most dominated G8 summit discussions.
The most disturbing discussion centered around Greece and that country’s inability to elect a government. If Athens is forced to withdraw from the eurozone, their currency will be worth 50% of the Euro. This could further destabilize the world economy.
The closest the 99 percent protesters were able to get to the G8 summit was Fredrick, Maryland, which is about 20 miles away from Camp David. Their creative protests included painting Tweets from supporters in the streets, the use of large banners and replicas of unmanned drones.
President Obama left Camp David by helicopter, boarded Air Force One and arrived in Chicago Saturday evening in advance of the two-day North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit. The 28 NATO Members are expected to discuss the War in Afghanistan and Missile Defense. Already, this event has presented greater opportunity for protestors to be seen and heard.