IST Op-Ed: A “New” Cold War?

Opinion From Editor’s Desk

This week seems to be all about the international situation………and I for one love it!

Since Russia has moved into the Crimea there have been many that are calling this the start of a “New Cold War”….most of it coming from the hawks in Congress but that really does not matter who is calling a spade a spade……this is NOTHING but political role playing……by disingenuous people with an agenda…..

There is NO new Cold War…..the Cold War did not end with the fall of the Soviet Union…..the players just changed somewhat…..instead of the socialist republics it was China and North Korea and Iran (thanx to the Iraqi invasion)……all the aspects that made it the Cold War were still being employed….spies, tech theft, territory disputes and actions….placing missiles and such on borders……..all the same things……..not gone and not forgotten!

But today our beloved hawks are drumming up the M-IC into a frenzy…….

Russia’s annexation of Crimea shows the need to “build up missile defenses and modernize the US nuclear force,” James S. Robbins, a senior fellow for national security affairs for the American Foreign Policy Council, wrote last week in USA Today. “To live in the 21st century, the United States will need to relearn the lessons of the 20th.”

There is so much more from the Hawks…….

The Lexington Institute’s Thompson argues that Russia is now “on the march” and may invade other Baltic states. “If we have to take conventional military action in the Baltic or Black Sea, we could see an escalation to the nuclear level,” he told me, “and therefore we need to have weapons that are flexible and survivable”—that’s military-speak meaning we would have time to launch a counterattack before being obliterated. In practice, it would mean a new generation of submarine-based nukes, which can’t be taken out in a first-wave attack.

The M-IC is drooling at the thought of a revved up defense spending…….will not cease any hostilities but it will be good for the industry….only!  They can smell profits!

With the Pentagon due for some substantial cuts to its budget….all this is to keep that cash and maybe add to the total….but then the question needs to be asked…..”who will pay for the increased defense spending”?

Anybody want to venture a guess?

Who is going to win this debate?  Will we jump into making the “New Cold War” even hotter?  Will calmer heads prevail?

So many questions and so many vultures circling……….

Is Ukrainian Crisis Reversible?

Inkwell Institute

Eurasian Desk

While the Ukrainian crisis spins out of control, seemingly, political douche bags are coming out of the woodwork to criticize……and when the mental midgets (yes, I am speaking to McCain) offer their lame ass solutions it involves more spending on the military-industrial complex, whence forth known as the MIC, this in the time that Ryan and his meat axe are calling for cuts and such to almost every social program……and there is the meat of the subject……some will make more out of this crisis just to try and get their mind numbing programs through a worthless and asleep Congress…….

Sorry, I digress…….

So far I have seen little that will prod Putin into submission, for lack of a better term…….here are some of the ideas…….

With Russia taking control of Crimea, experts agree on the gravity of the situation: In the New York Times, Charles King calls it “the gravest crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War.” How should Washington proceed? Pundits weigh in:

  • At CNN, Fareed Zakaria calls for a “clear and forceful” response. President Obama is right to bail on the G8 summit in Sochi, and the US and EU should push for sanctions “targeted specifically at individuals who could be held responsible for these acts of aggression.”
  • At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff echoes the call for sanctions—and strong ones. The goal: “to reset our relations with Russia so that they align with reality,” he writes. Vladimir Putin “is the successor of those we opposed, and ultimately defeated, in the Cold War. Our policy towards his Russia should be set accordingly.”
  • King underlines the importance of avoiding violence. The first step is for the US, EU, and Russia to agree that that’s the priority. “Even in the midst of a standoff, Russia and the West have a clear common interest: forestalling a civil war in the heart of Europe,” he writes.
  • In the Washington Post, David Ignatius recalls the wisdom of not interrupting an enemy who’s making a mistake—which is just what the Russian president is doing, Ignatius writes. “What Putin misunderstands most is that the center of gravity for the former Soviet Union has shifted west,” he notes; Poland and the Czech Republic, for instance, are among former satellites now prospering in the EU. “It is only by moving west, toward Europe, that Russia itself can reverse its demographic and political trap.”

Those were from the Sunday talk shows……..many many opinions and as usual a shortness of solutions……they are all just talking points……the situation needs experts to step up and not worry about the politics of the situation…..once again….may I suggest that an expert in international conflicts be consulted…..my choice is a genius in the area…..Prof. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita…after all he is a consultant and a proven expert…..why deal with low level bureaucrats?  Those low level officials have given this country many failures in the past…..why go to that losing well again?

Let me help those with a minimum of intelligence (mostly politicians…all politicians)…the name of the expert is……Prof. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita….or email me and I will explain further!

Looking For The Linchpin

NOTE:  I wrote this post about a month ago…..could not post it for all the scandals that were made up and I had to respond……and now Turkey has exploded so I guess I should post this before more happens……

There is a theory in international relations called the linchpin theory….basically, it is an occurrence, a small occurrence, that could explode into a society ending situation……a couple of good examples are WW1 and the Arab Spring…..

First linch pin was on 20 June 1914 a Bosnian student assassinated one of the heirs to the Austr0Hungarian empire in Sarajevo, Bosnia……after the killing there was a period of back and forth diplomatic adventures….and it slowly broke down to an alignment of countries that lead to the first great war of the 20th century…..July of 1914 the Austro-Hungarians decided to punish Serbia for the act of assassination….the Russians could not chance losing their influence in the Balkans decided to come to the rescue of Serbia…..then like dominoes countries fell into the trap of war……France, then Germany, then England and the Turks and much later the USA……in the end it changed the face of Europe forever……and in the end the Ottoman Empire was gone…..imperial Russia gone…….Austro-Hungarian collapsing….and all with a total of about 3 million dead……..because of one minor situation……the assassination was the linchpin needed…..

My second example is the recent Arab Spring of a year ago……The term “Arab Spring” was an invention by the media to conjure up visions of the revolt by Eastern European countries against the authority of the USSR……the revolts across North Africa and the Middle East encompassed almost every country in the region….Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and to a lesser extent in countries like Bahrain, Oman even the authoritarian state like Saudi Arabia was not exempt….there were many things that added fuel to the fire of revolt….unemployment, economic inequalities, extreme poverty, political corruption and human rights violations…….. but it all began with the actions of one man…….

The catalyst for the current escalation of protests was the self-immolation of Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi.  Unable to find work and selling fruit at a roadside stand, on 17 December, a municipal inspector confiscated his wares.  An hour later he doused himself with gasoline and set himself afire.  One seemingly minor situation and the man became the face of a region ripe for change……..he was the linchpin that started a region on a path to revolt and change…….

Now in today’s world where high unemployment, austerity, corruption, class divisions getting deeper, I believe it is only a matter of time before there is a global situation and it will begin with a single seemingly unimportant occurrence…….and I believe it will originate in the Middle East…….

I have been an observer of the situations in the ME for over thirty years….first as a student then as an participant in the region and now I research every aspect of the area daily for hours….and in my research I have found a couple of areas that could be the linchpin I search for……the Middle East is one, most accurately, the area around Southeast Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Occupied Territories….it is a volatile region and could be the linchpin….but it is also too damn obvious…..but the area that I feel could be the best chance of being the linchpin that starts a war of no end and total destruction…….

…..(insert drum roll and trumpet blasts)………

The area between the two seas……the Black sea and The Caspian……

Why?  This region is full of hatred for one group or another…..Chechens hate Russians, Armenians hate Turkey, There is South Ossetia within the borders of Georgia wanting independence, there are Kurds within the borders of most of the area’s countries and they have an argument with Turkey, then within Russian there is Dagestan that is a smoldering problem waiting for more fuel, Russia has had its nose disjointed by what they called an Azerbaijan snub, plus the government is cracking down on the press and other civil liberties…..very little of this region can be called stable and there is the rub…

This is the area that could produce the next history altering conflict….it bears watching.

Is A World War Possible (Again)?

Inkwell Institute

Putin is a dick!  China cheats!  Arabs hate us!  Chavez wants a war!  Iran wants to nuke New York!  You have heard it all, right?  All this posturing among the politicos…..especially among conservs who seem to want a war with Iran or maybe it is ALL Arabs…….war hawks are beating their chests like sex crazed baboons over the protests in the Middle East….but with all this colorful speech….what is the chance of another world war?

Here is a summary of where the world stands:

The economic crash and the Arab Spring have pushed the world hard…..all the frustrations are coming to the surface and with outrageous politics it could push the whole global into another war.  I do not think the world wants this….but it seems they are doing little to avoid it.

Take Me To Your Lawyer!

We have all seen all the razz-a – ma-tazz (what a great word) that has been flying all over the media…the back slapping by the Prez and his boyz and all the pouting and whining by the past prez’s gang of 10 or more…..everyone is taking credit for the death of Osama….or everyone WANTS the credit for the death, to be used as a political weapon later….which strikes me as humorous anyway…but what about the Reppubs in the House that REFUSE to issue an commendation to the unit that actually killed the man?  You see it would have to acknowledge that it was on Obama’s watch that we tasted success and the GOP cannot have that!

All that is just intro to a story….a lawsuit may well be in the making over the death of OBL….this from Jonathan Turley’s blog……

Omar bin Laden, bin Laden’s fourth eldest son, has allegedly issued a statement that calls the killing of his father as a “criminal” act and a humiliation for his family. Notably, he indicated the possibility of a lawsuit against the United States.The letter stated, in part: “We hold the American President (Barack) Obama legally responsible to clarify the fate of our father, Osama bin Laden, for it is unacceptable, humanely and religiously, to dispose of a person with such importance and status among his people, by throwing his body into the sea in that way, which demeans and humiliates his family and his supporters and which challenges religious provisions and feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims.”

There are international principles that could be raised, including the statements by Pakistan that (despite conflicting statements from Obama Administration officials) they never approved the attack on Pakistani territory. Under U.S. common law, there are also obvious legal principles, including the mistreatment of corpses. However, the success of such a lawsuit in the United States is extremely doubtful. Since this was a foreign operation and involved foreign citizens, the jurisdiction of the courts would be hard to establish. Moreover, there is no legal requirement under U.S. law for the retention of these bodies and the disposal would be viewed as reasonable.

See…if this continues….then maybe they should have taken Shakespeare’s advice and “Kill All The Lawyers”……

OK, people sound off!

We Have Our Fall Guy

There has been lots of speculation flying around the web and the airwaves on just how Osama could have been in a large compound not an hour from the Pakistani capital and NO one knew he was there….as I said lots of speculation….and the world is waiting to see who will take the fall for this oversight…..wait NO longer….a fall guy has been found!

To allay both domestic and international anger and dismay over the presence of Osama bin Laden in a military cantonment town close to the capital, senior Pakistani officials have told The Daily Beast they recognize that an important head has to roll and soon. They say the most likely candidate to be the fall guy is Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the director general of the country’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. These high-level sources, who refused to be quoted or named, say that it’s nearly a done deal. Savvy Pakistani analysts who have close connections to the military agree. “It would make a lot of sense,” says retired Pakistani Lt. Gen. Talat Masood. “It’s in his (Pasha’s) personal and the national interest to take the heat off.”

Now the media has something or should I say someone they can fixate on the blame game….let us see how it plays out!

How Not To Have A Lasting Peace

International Studies Group

Subject:  Middle East

There are ways to go about negotiating for a peaceful end to hostilities….and these are NOT on that list anywhere….a couple of things have occurred since the collapse of the latest attempt at a peaceful solution on the Pal/Israeli conflict that has gone on and on and….for over 60 years….

First, from the mouth of a Fattah (that is Palestinian group, if you were confused)….

Mahmoud Aloul, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that Israel’s “racist policies” were meant to undermine the peace process.

“The Palestinian Authority made every effort to avoid reaching this conclusion, but Israeli racist policies led to the failure of the peace process,” he added.PLO negotiators Saeb Erekat and Nabil Sha’ath also reiterated their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Another PLO official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, accused Netanyahu of seeking to destroy the image of US President Barack Obama in the Middle East by raising such a demand

Then the president of the Pal Authority made this comment:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that under no circumstances would the PA sign an agreement with Israel which required the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state or a land swap.

“The PA recognized Israel’s existence in 1993, and now Israel needs to recognize the Palestinian state in line with the 1967 borders,”  Abbas said during a meeting in Ramallah with Knesset members from the left-wing party Hadash.

Abbas clarified that the PA would exhibit flexibility regarding the nature of the negotiations, but added that they would not negotiate on issues the Palestinian people consider principal matters.  (where does he get his figures?)

After all the jaw flapping by both sides and so far we got nothing!  Pals die….Israelis die….and all the time they play a blame game……this makes me want to ask….ARE YOU F*CKERS REALLY WANTING PEACE?

France Is Cool….UK Is Corrupt

From the VOMITORIUM

I thought that one of my more ardent readers would appreciate this piece…..Quin of Quintessential Havoc (my blogroll will get you to this insightful blog)…….I could not resist….sorry

There seems to be accusations flying around Europe about corruption and government…..a tried and true defense against corruption is point the finger elsewhere……the malignant midget speaks….

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has defended himself against allegations of corruption by bringing up the Westminster expenses scandal.

“France is not a corrupt country,” he said.

“The political class, left and right alike, is in general honest. French public officials are people of great rigour.

“The most recent political scandal took place in Britain, not France.”

But apparently Sarkozy missed the latest news….

Police are questioning France’s richest woman, her lawyer told CNN Monday, as they investigate claims one of her advisers gave envelopes of cash to French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Labor Minister Eric Woerth.

Bettencourt’s former book-keeper, Claire Thibout, elaborated on the allegations in an interview this month with a French investigative website.

She said she prepared envelopes of cash that were to be given to Sarkozy and Woerth, who previously worked in the Budget Ministry and was in charge of reforms to France’s retirement system.

There you have!  There is NO corruption in France, but in the UK it is another story altogether…….kinda rules out the theory of the EU as one big happy family, huh?

God, I love this stuff!

Tap Dance At The G20

Inkwell Institute

International Studies Group

Recently in Toronto there was a meeting of the mindless…a group called the G20……a meeting of the top leaders from 20 different countries that meet to plan the world economy and here is what they decided:

The communiqué called for governments to halve their budget deficits by 2013 and for the ratio of national debt to gross domestic product to be stabilised by 2016. This was seen as a win for Germany and other countries backing deficit reduction. But the document made clear that these targets were not binding and, in a concession to the US, expressed the hope that governments would follow “growth-friendly fiscal consolidation plans”.

In a further bid to walk both sides of the street at the same time, the communiqué declared: “There is a risk that synchronised fiscal adjustment across several major economies could adversely impact the recovery. There is also the risk that failure to implement consolidation where necessary would undermine confidence and hamper growth.”

The G20 resolution on fiscal consolidation allowed all sides to claim a victory even as the differences widen. German chancellor Angela Merkel said the outcome was “more than I expected”. She claimed that the views of continental Europe had prevailed. German officials noted that the US had learned its lesson about writing public letters that sought to change the position of others. In the lead up to the summit, Obama issued a letter to G20 participants warning that too rapid fiscal tightening could impede global recovery. He noted that earlier G20 agreements had pointed to the need for export surplus countries—a reference to Germany and China—to increase domestic demand.

As usual this meeting was nothing more than a photo op for the leaders to appear to be working on solutions when all they were doing is a slow tap dance.  The reality is that the world cannot solve these problems it is up to the individual countries to find the answers and to pretend any thing else is just absurd.

Is Korean Story A Blowjob?

Inkwell Institute

International Studies

Asian Desk

We have all heard the horrible story of the dastardly N. Koreans that torpedoed a S. Korean ship…the world exploded in a wealth of condemnation and pure pissed off-ness.  My loyal reader and friend over at Quintessential Havoc (blogroll will get you to an excellent and insightful site) have had a few exchanges on the situation….we have agreed that if true N. Korea should be made to pay for this break in international protocol.

But since our original exchange took place not all the info had been made public and I would like to pass unto everyone interested in the unfolding of this story…..this from New America Media (I am NOT claiming this is what happened only that there is a bunch of questions)….

There’s yet another possibility, that a U.S. rising mine sank the Cheonan in a friendly-fire accident.

The first telltale sign of an official smokescreen involves the location of the Choenan sinking – Byeongnyeong Island (pronounced Pyongnang) in the Yellow Sea. On the westernmost fringe of South Korean territory, the island is dominated by a joint U.S.-Korean base for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. The sea channel between Byeongnyeong and the North Korean coast is narrow enough for both sides to be in artillery range of each other.

Anti-sub warfare is based on sonar and acoustic detection of underwater craft. Since civilian traffic is not routed through the channel, the noiseless conditions are near-perfect for picking up the slightest agitation, for example from a torpedo and any submarine that might fire it.

North Korea admits it does not possess an underwater craft stealthy enough to slip past the advanced sonar and audio arrays around Byeongnyeong Island, explained North Korean intelligence analyst Kim Myong Chol in a news release. “The sinking took place not in North Korean waters but well inside tightly guarded South Korean waters, where a slow-moving North Korean submarine would have great difficulty operating covertly and safely, unless it was equipped with AIP (air-independent propulsion) technology.”

Once again….I am NOT claiming to have all the answers just that there are a few things that are not being said in the media or by the admin…