Closing Thought–19Sep17

“Devil’s Venom”!

That would make a great title for a bad scifi movie.

Since North Korea is the main topic of conversation these days I thought I would add some things that may not be part of it just yet.

There are sanctions, heavy sanctions in place against NK…..I am pretty sure that would also include fuel of sorts….jet fuel, rocket, fuel, car fuel….so when I read this I was taken aback…..

A highly volatile fuel known to the Russians as the “Devil’s Venom” has been powering the success of North Korea’s missile program, analysts say—and it may be too late to cut off its supply. Intelligence memos from as far back as the George W. Bush administration warn that unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine, or UMDH, could allow North Korean missiles to reach the US, but there was no serious effort to cut off the supply from China or Russia and officials believe the country can now produce the fuel itself, the New York Times reports. Russia has tried to avoid the potent fuel since a 1960 explosion killed more than 100 people in the worst-ever space-related disaster, and NASA switched to safer propellants decades ago.

The rare fuel—which is made from chemicals, not oil—has caused other disasters and Vann H. Van Diepen, a former State Department official who long worked to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, tells the Times that Pyongyang probably dealt with a few catastrophes in the process of learning to make UMDH over the last 25 years. “My guess is that the North Korean tolerance for casualties is probably pretty high,” he says. The fuel and its ingredients are not included in the sanctions whose effect President Trump boasted about on Sunday. In a tweet, he called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and spoke of “long gas lines forming in North Korea.” (Kim says his country is nearing military “equilibrium” with the US.)

Why not target that supply solely since he is determined to launch those those damn rockets….cut off the gas supply and problem could be lessened.

Just a thought!

This Is Embarrassing

Back in the early days of the Trump campaign I said then that there were a few positions I could go along with….mostly in his foreign policy.  But once elected he has shown me nothing….his disdain for the State department is most troubling….then his policy handling through the use of Twitter nis another disturbing aspect for me.

But I think his approach to the problems in Korea have turned my stomach about as far as it can go….he has become an embarrassment……for example…..

Trump’s North Korea policy was put on display on Sunday morning, as the President’s plan to deal with the nuclear weapon pursuing regime is to mock them on Twitter.

Trump tweeted:

I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!

The President undercut any attempts being made to solve this crisis with a single tweet. Trump’s social media statements are why the North Koreans don’t take him seriously. The presidency is not reality television. Taunting and mocking aren’t the same as governance. The reason why the Kim regime has accelerated its nuclear program so quickly is that they tested Trump early in his presidency and realized that he is going to do nothing to stop them.

It is almost as if the President is trying to provoke an armed conflict in North Korea. Trump wants to be a wartime president, and his childish taunts are only pushing a crisis closer to the brink. While Trump tweets, the regime continues to launch missiles and develop their nuclear program, and when the crisis hits the breaking point, Trump will take no responsibility while claiming that the military was his only option.

As an international relations professional I am having a hard time dealing with this amateurish attempt at foreign policy.

His speech to the UN may be more telling….but I am thinking….NOT!

Will He Break The Deal?

The he is Trump and the deal is the one that we have in place with Iran.

All the news is the Iran is holding good with the deal….but Trump and those hidden neocons are saying they want him to null and void the treaty and start the mash up to “bomb, bomb, Iran”…..

But now word is leaking out that Trump may be telling the neocons to “talk to the hand”…..

There seem to be those that want to extend sanctions….would someone remind them that sanctions will not solve a problem….only diplomacy can do that.

AS long as they are holding up their end of the deal….then I say do not screw with the deal.  But ass usual their will be BiBi there poking them with a stick trying to get a reaction.  Then there is Trump…..we have no idea what will be said or done from day to day…

Trump’s Big Day

President Trump will be making his first ever speech o the UN general Counsel…during the campaign was not kind to the group….but I expect a more laid back speech this time….but one never knows when Trump will hit the pause button and go off on one of his babbling diatribes…..

Pres. Trump will have a busy week with all the UN stuff…..

President Trump attends his first session of the UN General Assembly this week, with his big speech scheduled for Tuesday. In addition to that, however, he’s got a packed week of meetings with fellow world leaders, a format that one analyst compares to “speed dating from hell,” via CNN. Aides have previewed some of the big topics Trump is expected to hit, with North Korea, Iran’s nuclear program, global terrorism, the Venezuelan economic meltdown, and UN reform among them. But much of the advance focus is on how Trump will interact with his fellow leaders in front of an organization he has previously belittled. UN ambassador Nikki Haley offered a preview on Sunday: “I personally think he slaps the right people, he hugs the right people, and he comes out with the US being very strong in the end,” she said in regard to his Tuesday speech, per the New York Times.

Some highlights: (Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, and Germany’s Angela Merkel are not expected to attend, notes USA Today):

  • Monday: Trumps meets with the leaders of France and Israel, with Iran expected to be a big focus, reports the Hill. He also hosts a dinner with Latin American leaders, at which Venezuela is likely to be the No. 1 topic.
  • Tuesday: Trump delivers his speech to the General Assembly, his first as president to the full body.
  • Wednesday: Trump meets with the leaders of Britain, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority, and hosts a lunch with leaders from Africa.
  • Thursday: In addition to meetings with the leaders of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, he hosts a lunch with the leaders of South Korea and Japan. The latter could be key in determining what comes next in regard to North Korea.
  • Key quote: “The world is still trying to take the measure of this president,” says Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “For a number of leaders, this is going to be their first chance to see him, to judge him, to try to get on his good side. … They will have been preparing for a chance encounter for weeks.”

The one thing I found interesting is the 3 or the 5 members of the UNSC will not be there…..Chija will be missing as well as Russia and Germany…..3 of the most powerful countries of the world…is that saying something?

Your Middle East Update

For the lack of news coming out of the Middle East one could assume that the war is over and we have moved on to other countries to bully….but that would be erroneous because the fight continues daily……no news because it is not important to the MSM plan for the news.

Iraq and Syria are still bloody….Libya is still in chaos…..Yemenis are still dying at the hands of the Saudi s and with the help of the Americans.

Since the MSM has seen it necessary to keep the American people in the dark about the policies and issues around the Middle East (at least for now)…..

WE have a new president but nothing new as far as policies and direction in the Middle East….

During last year’s presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised to do a great deal more in the Middle East than his immediate predecessors, but with much less. That is, he would achieve significantly more than Barack Obama at a much smaller sacrifice of blood and treasure than was incurred under George W. Bush. This he would accomplish by defining American interests sharply and pursuing them aggressively, not to say ruthlessly. The result would be a global restoration of American credibility and, as Trump never ceased to remind voters, renewed global respect.

As an act of political “signaling,” Trump’s blunt message was savvy. Many Americans, especially those in his base of supporters, regarded Obama as timid, weak, and more solicitous of enemies than of friends; Bush, they believed, had been strong in some ways but prone to quixotic adventures like building democracy in the Middle East, a putative sin of which Obama had at least been innocent. Trump offered an attractive alternative: a hybrid approach that would combine the best qualities of his predecessors in office while jettisoning their worst inclinations. “America First” meant placing a Bush-style readiness to use military force in support of a leaner, Obama-style agenda that nixed democracy promotion. Unlike Bush, Trump would resist thankless nation-building projects; unlike Obama, he would reward friends and punish enemies.

Source: What America Should Do Next in the Middle East » Mosaic

What About Iraq ans ISIS?

With the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate quickly crumbling within Iraq, the Iraqi government, led by its Prime Minister, must look to actions beyond the current kinetic fight to wisely use the victories they have gained against the terrorist group to bring peace and stability to Iraq.  Penned as an unsolicited letter to the Iraqi Prime Minister, the author offers three broad questions to provide strategic guidance as the active, open conventional fight against the Islamic State within Iraq inches closer to its conclusion.

Source: Iraq, the Islamic State, and War Termination | Small Wars Journal

What about Syria?  Any good news there?

Not in the least……

The Trump administration has dramatically increased US military and political involvement in northern Syria, providing air and ground support to local forces camped out in abandoned buildings on the outskirts of Raqqa as they seek to oust ISIS from the capital of its self-declared caliphate.

Under President Donald Trump, the US-led coalition has developed closer coordination with a collection of militias and tribes called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), directing air and ground assaults. Senior State Department and USAID officials have visited Raqqa’s outskirts to coordinate efforts to help displaced civilians and secure the city’s future once ISIS is driven out. US officials have also carved out a semipermanent diplomatic presence close to the northern Syrian city of Kobane.

Source: The US Is Far More Deeply Involved In Syria Than You Know

The Middle East is still the powder keg it has always been…..just with a new president the fuse is a lot shorter….