Diplomacy Is A Must!

Since 1904 a major tool of the US foreign policy has been what has become to be known as ‘gunboat diplomacy’…..

Good old TR gave us this idea……

Gunboat diplomacy is an aggressive foreign policy applied with the use of highly-visible displays of military—usually naval—power to imply a threat of warfare as a means of forcing cooperation. The term is typically equated with the “Big Stick” ideology of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and the globetrotting voyage of his “Great White Fleet” in 1909.

The concept of gunboat diplomacy emerged during the late nineteenth-century period of imperialism, when the Western powers—the United States and Europe—competed to establish colonial trading empires in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Whenever conventional diplomacy failed, fleets of the larger nations’ warships would suddenly appear maneuvering off the coasts of the smaller, uncooperative countries. In many cases, the veiled threat of these “peaceful” shows of military force was enough to bring about capitulation without bloodshed.

The fleet of “Black Ships” commanded by U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry is a classic example of this early period of gunboat diplomacy. In July 1853, Perry sailed his fleet of four solid black warships into Japan’s Tokyo Bay. Without a navy of its own, Japan quickly agreed to open its ports to trade with the West for the first time in over 200 years.

https://www.thoughtco.com/gunboat-diplomacy-4774988

The US has been in one war after another….both big and little…..since those days.

War sucks needed funds out of the treasury and for what?

What we need now is diplomacy not war.

Diplomacy?

Diplomacy has probably existed for as long as civilisation has. The easiest way to understand it is to start by seeing it as a system of structured communication between two or more parties. Records of regular contact via envoys travelling between neighbouring civilisations date back at least 2500 years. They lacked many of the characteristics and commonalities of modern diplomacy such as embassies, international law and professional diplomatic services. Yet, it should be underlined that political communities, however they may have been organised, have usually found ways to communicate during peacetime, and have established a wide range of practices for doing so. The benefits are clear when you consider that diplomacy can promote exchanges that enhance trade, culture, wealth and knowledge.

For those looking for a quick definition, diplomacy can be defined as a process between actors (diplomats, usually representing a state) who exist within a system (international relations) and engage in private and public dialogue (diplomacy) to pursue their objectives in a peaceful manner.

Diplomacy is not foreign policy and must be distinguished from it. It may be helpful to perceive diplomacy as part of foreign policy. When a nation-state makes foreign policy it does so for its own national interests. And, these interests are shaped by a wide range of factors. In basic terms, a state’s foreign policy has two key ingredients; its actions and its strategies for achieving its goals. The interaction one state has with another is considered the act of its foreign policy. This act typically takes place via interactions between government personnel through diplomacy. To interact without diplomacy would typically limit a state’s foreign policy actions to conflict (usually war, but also via economic sanctions) or espionage. In that sense, diplomacy is an essential tool required to operate successfully in today’s international system.

“Clearly what is needed is diplomacy and negotiations on contested matters,” linguist and historian Noam Chomsky tells Truthout, “and real cooperation on such crucial issues as global warming, arms control, future pandemics — all very severe crises that know no borders. Whether Biden’s hawkish foreign policy team will have the wisdom to move in these directions is, for now, at best unclear — at worst, frightening. Absent significant popular pressures, prospects do not look good.”

I have been watching Biden’s turn in foreign policy and so far I have seen NOTHING that would lead to a more peaceful existence for the people of this planet.

The time is now….but DC turns its back on the possibility for a peaceful world…..and the reason is cash.

It is more about filling re-election coffers with money more than the benefits to humanity.

All I am saying is give peace a chance (thanx to John Lennon)….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

They’re Coming Home!

Finally after years of my bitching and ranting like me and others about our endless wars….one of them may be ending…..Afghanistan……..

President Biden confirmed Wednesday that he will not be taking the Afghanistan war into its third decade. “It’s time to end the forever war,” he said in a speech from the Treaty Room of the White House, which CNN notes is the same room in which George W. Bush announced the start of US military involvement in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks almost 20 years ago. “War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multigenerational undertaking,” Biden said, per the New York Times. “We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives.” Biden plans to withdraw all US troops by Sept. 11 this year. Around 2,500 US troops are left in the country. NATO officials said after Biden’s speech that the alliance plans to withdraw its 7,000 troops from the country along the same timeline.

Biden said it was time to “end the cycle” of extending the American presence in the hope of creating better conditions to pull out. “I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats,” he said. “I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.” Unlike the deal Donald Trump negotiated with the Taliban last year, Biden’s withdrawal plan is not conditions-based, officials say. Biden said he spoke with George W. Bush and Barack Obama before announcing the decision. After the speech, Biden visited Arlington National Cemetery and said it was “absolutely clear” to him that withdrawing from Afghanistan was the right move, the AP reports.

“Never meant to be a multi-generational war”….if not then why was it?

They say (whoever they are) that the American people are tired of war,,,,,,then where were those voices?  I have heard very little opposition to war.

I know why….but I will pretend that this was good faith by Biden.

Good news our troops are coming home to their families (for now)…..but maybe not ALL our troops….

The Times report reads: “Instead of declared troops in Afghanistan, the United States will most likely rely on a shadowy combination of clandestine Special Operations forces, Pentagon contractors and covert intelligence operatives to find and attack the most dangerous Qaeda or Islamic State threats, current and former American officials said.”

I applaud Biden for this action….but there is a caveat here…..

They are coming home because the Pentagon is gearing up for the confrontation of China in the China Sea.

This is excellent news on the one hand and disturbing on the other.

Please stop this ‘gunboat diplomacy’ BS (explanation in a future post).

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

A Cold War Reboot?

I admit it I am old…..I lived through the original Cold War for most of my life and even witnessed the death of the old Soviet Union….when the USSR died it was hailed as a new beginning of a world that would be at peace and prosperous.

Well the world got more prosperous thanks in part to the advent of globalization….the peace part has yet to be achieved.

While we await the promise of peace the US is stirring the pot for a reboot of the policies of the Cold War.

This time the new ‘enemy’ is China…..

There has been lots of rhetoric around the ‘China Problem’…..and now the Senate has made it official that we are rebooting the Cold War….

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced a new piece of bipartisan legislation to confront China through prioritized military spending and more arms sales in the Indo-Pacific, sanctions, money for “democracy promotion” in Hong Kong, and other areas where the US seeks to counter Beijing.

The legislation still needs to go through the Committee before being introduced in the Senate, but a draft of the bill, titled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, was released by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Committee chairman. Menendez negotiated the bill with Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID).

In a release on the Committee’s website, the 281-page bill was described as the “first major proposal to bring Democrats and Republicans together in laying out a strategic approach towards Beijing — and assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power for decades to come.” Menendez is convening a Committee meeting on April 14th for a vote on the legislation.

The bill calls for the US to strengthen military ties in the Indo-Pacific through arms sales. The bill reads: “The United States should design for export to Indo-Pacific allies and partners capabilities critical to maintaining a favorable military balance in the region, including long-range precision fires, air and missile defense systems, anti-ship cruise missiles, land attack cruise missiles, conventional hypersonic systems, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, and command and control systems.”

Senate Unveils Sweeping Legislation to Confront China

The Cold War will be rebranded  as well as the reboot…..

When it comes to future conflicts or present-day war games, they have all the advantages and we have none! Or as Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy, told CNN recently, “Russia and China are playing a home game, we are playing an away game.” And mind you, we’re talking about a home game that could stretch from the Baltic Sea and the Arctic regions of Eurasia to the South China Sea. Those two “near-peer rivals” (as the U.S. military has taken to calling them) seem to have all the luck. I mean, count on one thing: imagined future flare points for conflict – “a fictional global crisis erupting on multiple fronts” in those war games – won’t be in the Caribbean, off New York City, or near the Baja Peninsula. As a result, the US will have to be fully prepared, at staggering expense, to deploy and support forces thousands of miles away for the future conflicts the Pentagon is now imagining.

Fortunately, that military is, it seems, planning ahead for just such a future. As CNN’s Barbara Starr recently reported, this summer it’s going to engage in highly classified computer war games with two near-peer enemies with fictional names. No one, however, should doubt for a second that they will be China and Russia. This will happen just as the next Pentagon budget is being set in place and, in a recent exercise gaming out a future conflict against such adversaries, an anonymous Defense Department official confirmed to Starr that “we found the Blue Team, the US and allies, kept losing.”

The Cold War, Rebooted and Rebranded

We are returning to the ‘good old days’ of the Cold War…..that will mean more and more taxpayer cash will flow into the Pentagon and the rest of the nation will suffer.

Time to invest in some form of diplomacy….and leave the weapons and threats aside……but sadly talk does not equate into profit for the defense industry….and we all know it is more about that than the good of the nation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is It Trump Lite?

My main interests are in the arena of foreign policy and international relations……and I know that Biden has been president for less than 100 days and it may not be a good idea to analyze his foreign policies…..but the world is going to crap and he, Biden, should be focused on the many flair ups happening around the world as well as putting the US on sound domestic footing.

In less than a 100 days not much has changed……..

Joe Biden has been president for two months. Only 46 months to go, unless he is reelected. In fact, he teased the media at his press conference, suggesting that he likely would run for reelection, though he insisted that prospect was too far in the future for him to consider today.

The biggest change from his predecessor is the calm which has descended upon Washington, D.C. Days go by without thinking about Biden. After four years of Donald Trump, the atmosphere seems so … normal.

However, U.S. foreign policy hasn’t changed much.

(read the analysis)

After Two Months, President Joe Biden has Become Donald Trump Lite on Foreign Policy

Seems to be a ‘bait and switch’ foreign policy……just doing the status quo…..

Unscrupulous used car dealers could learn a trick or two from America’s foreign policy mandarins when it comes to bait-and-switch tactics. Repeatedly, U.S. officials have invoked a specific justification—frequently an emotionally charged one with wide appeal—to obtain congressional and public support for a military intervention or other questionable policy initiative. When the original justification subsequently proves to be bogus, exaggerated, or no longer applicable, they simply create a new rationale to justify continuing the mission.

That tactic is especially evident with respect to the seemingly endless war in Afghanistan. U.S. leaders justified the initial invasion of the country as a necessary response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Foreign fighters belonging to Al Qaeda had used the country as their primary safe haven, and the Taliban government had allowed Osama bin Laden and his organization to plan and execute the attacks from that sanctuary. Given the public’s emotional trauma from the 9/11 episode, the nearly total lack of opposition to launching the Afghanistan invasion was unsurprising. In statement after statement during the initial months and years that followed, American officials reiterated that defeating Al Qaeda—and, if possible, killing or capturing bin Laden—was the primary objective. Ousting the Taliban regime was a corollary to that goal, but no one advocated a long-term war against that indigenous Afghan faction, however odious its social policies might be.

Bait-and-Switch: How Officials Perpetuate Bad Foreign Policy

For instance….can Biden get this country out of the spiraling endless wars?

My opinion is no he will….nor does he truly want to…..but I am not lone in this belief…..

Will Joe Biden end the endless wars or won’t he?

I have serious doubts that he has the will or political acumen to do so. But that’s only a fragment of the question that needs to be asked, as we approach the twentieth anniversary of our global “war on evil.”A far, far bigger question looms, a question with answers scattered across the global landscape: Can we learn to wage peace? Can we create a united world, free of borders and scapegoats? Can we transcend our alienation from and exploitation of the planet that is our home and our nurturer? Can we stop being afraid of people we don’t know, people who are “different”from us? Can we let go of our need for an enemy?

Millions of global citizens believe the answer to these questions is yes and are committed to creating a different world—I call it participatory evolution—but at the highest levels of collective human organization, cynicism and ignorance rule. Or perhaps I simply mean cluelessness. Militarism is embedded in the infrastructure of the nation state. It’s not simply that borders and interests have to be “defended”; the easiest way to maintain the illusion of national unity is to present the people with a powerful enemy, imaginary or otherwise.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/04/01/can-biden-end-endless-wars-and-learn-wage-peace

Like I say…..this is nothing but more of the same on the major points….there is some small movement in the world….but will that lead to a wider foreign policy of diplomacy?

I know you may think I am being too hard on Biden…that he has lots of work to do to repair the damage done to our foreign policy by the other guy that was president.

That is true…..but I see a chance here to do more than just repair….we could change direction and make this a better world.

I just do not see anything changing in our adventurism…..the more we intervene the more unstable regions and the world become.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Is NATO Involved?

It is no secret that I am no fan of NATO…..its time has passed…..now it is nothing but a sponge that sucks in taxpayer dollars.

NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization…..The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is an alliance of 30 countries that border the North Atlantic Ocean.1 The Alliance includes the United States, most European Union members, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Turkey.

NATO’s mission is to protect the freedom of its members. Its targets include weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and cyber-attacks.

If this is for the protection of members then why are they trying to insert themselves in the Far East…there are NO members in that region.

I asked this question because of something I read…..

An article appeared on the website of the Atlantic Council on March 26 entitled Opportunity knocks for NATO and its partners in the Asia-Pacific, which elaborates plans for continuing and qualitatively upgrading the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s steady but largely unnoticed penetration of that region through military partnerships, port visits and exercises with NATO naval groups and the establishment of Asia-Pacific nations’ liaison offices at NATO Headquarters in Brussels among other measures. It came as it did immediately after the recent two-day foreign ministers meeting at NATO Headquarters before and after which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Anthony Blinken unrelentingly thundered against China and Russia, with Blinken casting them into the same category with Iran and North Korea as threats not only to the Asia-Pacific region where they’re situated but to the entire world.

The Atlantic Council, which is sixty years old this year, is considered to be the world’s preeminent pro-NATO think tank, one which has spawned dozens of mirror organizations in the post-Cold War period, especially in Eastern European nations and former Soviet republics where they have been instrumental in lobbying, almost always successfully, for their host countries’ NATO membership. Despite the Atlantic Council’s name, it has, reflecting and keeping pace with NATO itself, adopted an international purview and mandate over the past thirty years. It now has five regional bureaus: Europe and Eurasia, Americas, Africa, Indo-Pacific and Middle East. The term Europe and Eurasia would not have been employed during the Cold War when the NATO and transatlantic community were understood to be limited to North America and Europe. Similarly, the term Indo-Pacific has recently come to replace Asia-Pacific, as in the Pentagon three years ago changing the name of its largest geographical unified combatant command from Pacific Command to Indo-Pacific Command.

Upcoming NATO Summit and the Great Game for the Asia-Pacific

I do not think that NATO should have any involvement in the Far East…..that should be up to the countries that feel the threat from China….not to have the US do it for them.

The US is getting ass deep in the Indo-Pacific thing…..so deep that the Pentagon has requested a $27 billion increase to their already bloated budget to deal with the Pacific region…..

The Pentagon recently asked Congress for an astronomical $27 billion budget increase to support a massive military buildup in Asia  as part of its new Indo-Pacific plan, which calls for a substantially more aggressive military stance against China.

With the US already ranking first in military spending worldwide and holding more than 290 military bases in the Asia-Pacific region alone, this aggressive buildup is being proposed at the most financially precarious moment in US history. According to the Congressional Budget Office report released this month, federal debt is projected to reach 102% of GDP by the end of 2021 before surpassing its historical high of 107% in 2031 and going on to nearly double to 202% by 2051. According to Doug Bandow, “Uncle Sam is headed toward insolvency.”

How can the Biden administration sell such an expensive foreign policy proposal to the American public in these economically depressed times? By publicly stoking moral outrage and militarism in the US–as well as throughout the Asia-Pacific region–in the name of launching a crusade ostensibly in defense of human rights. This strategy was on full display when Secretary of State Blinken echoed bipartisan political rhetoric about the “Chinese threat” during his visit to Asia last week. In a stream of condescending self-righteousness, he unleashed a deluge of recrimination against China and North Korea while pontificating on American exceptionalism.

The Real Danger of the Pentagon’s New Indo-Pacific Plan 

Once again the M-IC is pushing the US foreign policy into a new expensive conflict that we cannot afford.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Biden Afghanistan Policy

I have not been thrilled with the Biden policies toward Afghanistan and the endless war…..my thoughts were written here….https://lobotero.com/2021/02/09/biden-in-afghanistan/

That ‘other guy’ that was president did something that I agreed with….in principle…..when he set a date for US troops to leave Afghanistan…..01 May…..and since Biden has been in the White House he has continuous balked at the idea of US troops leaving the country……

With the May 1 pullout date fast approaching, President Biden seems reluctant to state his actual intentions on Afghanistan. On the one hand, he says the May 1 deadline is hard to reach, but that he also “can’t picture” US troops staying beyond next year.

Those two positions combined might put the US pullout date sometime after May 1 but before 2022. If it was that simple, however, one would expect that Biden would say as much, instead of just reiterating what he doesn’t expect to do.

This gives the same impression that Biden has given on Afghanistan since taking office, that he intends to avoid making a decision for as long as possible, and avoid any political fallout with congressional hawks who’d just as soon keep the troops there.

Since making his own peace deal, President Trump had the US ahead of pace on the pullout, but having come short of finishing it by Biden’s inauguration, he left an estimated 2,500 US troops there to be withdrawn.

A small number of troops means it’s a comparatively small expense to the US, and some in Congress, like Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) are expressing comfort with just leaving the troop level as it is.

Biden would avoid fights with Congress that way, but moving beyond May will be seen as a challenge to the Taliban. Taliban officials warn that any delay is unacceptable, and that they want the US pulled out on time.

As this is going on, the US proposed a deal between Afghan government and Taliban, including an interim government. The US seems to have made this proposal to tamp down Taliban anger about the pullout delay, and to argue that the peace deal needs time serves as a justification, of sorts, for the US delays.

Yet this is an empty proposal too. With the Ghani government already having ruled out an interim government, they quickly rejected the US plan, leaving that as another open-ended question about how things might shake out.

This all leaves us totally in the dark about US intentions. This could perhaps be likened to Trump’s position in 2017, when he avoided taking a position for months before deciding on a new surge. Biden seems similarly inclined toward anything that keeps the war going, but the appearances are that he’s dragging out any announcements to avoid making it into an issue.

(antiwar.com)

Just as I and many others have continuously stated that Biden will do little to change our involvement in these endless wars…..as a matter of fact the US is pleading for an extension of the 01 May deadline……

Citing sources close to the Taliban, Afghanistan’s Tolo News reported that the Biden administration has asked the Taliban to agree to a continued US presence in Afghanistan for three or six months past May 1st.

The May 1st withdrawal deadline was set by the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed in Doha last year. While the Biden administration has yet to make an official announcement, it’s clear the US is looking to stay.

Tolo News said the Taliban has not yet made a decision on the US request and is asking that first their 7,000 prisoners should be released and that the group’s officials are removed from a UN blacklist.

(antiwar.com)

I have always said that the endless war was about cash……and here is a prime example of what I state…..

Since February 29 of 2020, the US has had a peace deal in place, intending to withdraw from Afghanistan on May 1 of 2021. The US military was always averse to that, but seems to have been basing its contracts on the idea it wouldn’t happen.

Former financial officials are warning that if the US does leave Afghanistan, either on May 1 or any time in 2021, the Pentagon would be facing down a “barrel full of lawsuits” from contracts that had not been fulfilled yet.

This is rather a flimsy excuse for dragging the war on, and such a clumsy situation to be in with the knowledge of the war’s end being public throughout, that it must inevitably be questioned if this was just many, many colossal blunders, or if the Pentagon was openly trying to contractually obligate itself to the Afghan War.

Another obvious question is why, as theses contracts kept being signed, officials weren’t raising the issue of these contractual obligations throughout 2020. At the very least, that would’ve been a chance for someone to convince them to stop making such contracts before now, which once again makes this seem nearly deliberate.

(antiwar.com)

You still do not believe that war is about the money?

A final thought on the war in Afghanistan……there is commonality between Russia and the US……

After nearly two decades of fighting, the U.S. military is facing a force of Taliban fighters that is roughly the size of the Mujahideen insurgency at the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Soviet Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Lyakhovskiy, a respected historian, estimated that by the end of 1988 the Mujahideen fielded about 82,300 full-time fighters out of a total of 173,000 personnel.

Fast forward a couple of decades and a May 2020 United Nations report estimated that the Taliban have between 55,000 and 85,000 fighters, adding: “Taliban facilitators and non-combatants could bring the total figure to 100,000.”     

The Taliban’s ranks have swelled immensely since 2014, which marked the official end of the U.S. military’s combat mission in Afghanistan, said Jonathan Schroden, director of the Center for Stability and Development at CNA, a federally funded research and development center.

“When you go back to 2014, that time frame, the sort of official estimates of Taliban size you can find quoted openly by U.S. officials was in the 20-30,000 range,” Schroden said. “Certainly since then, it’s just continued to grow.”

20 years into the War in Afghanistan, the US is in the same position as the Soviets when they lost

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Myanmar

The news has been awash of the troubles in Myanmar…..the protests, the response and the reasons…..all because the people of Myanmar feel that their rights are being infringed on by the country’s military.

Myanmar’s security forces have killed more than 300 people in attempts to crush opposition to a Feb. 1 coup, with nearly 90% of victims shot dead and a quarter of them shot in the head, according to data from an advocacy group and local media.

The killings have drawn outrage and prompted some sanctions from Western countries, including the United States. The use of lethal force against civilians had also been condemned by some Southeast Asian neighbors, which tend to be restrained in their criticism.

Then there are those “pro-democracy” protests in Hong Kong that has been raging for over a year….then death tolls are not confirmed because the Chinese government obfuscates the figures and facts.

There is a swift and hard reaction to these ‘crimes’….mostly through the sanctions switch…..the West has acted decisively.

Then there is the protests that have been raging for decades and yet the West does not think it is important enough to cover….or do anything about….

In the last two decades 10,000+ people have died protesting the theft of land, destruction of crops and the lack of ‘democracy’….

And yet there are NO sanctions in place against the offending country…..no media coverage…..or punishment for depriving the people of their homes and livelihood….not to speak on the democracy thing…..

The country in  question is Israel.

For some reason this nation gets a pass on the acting like a civilized country.

The media tells us about the people especially children that have been killed or maimed and yet they ignore the countless Palestinian children that have suffered like injuries plus the lose of their parents and homes.

The West is outraged….I said outraged….to the point that they issued a joint statement….

The following is a joint statement of the Chiefs of Defense of Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

As Chiefs of Defense, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed people by the Myanmar Armed Forces and associated security services.  A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting – not harming – the people it serves.  We urge the Myanmar Armed Forces to cease violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar that it has lost through its actions.

And yet most of these countries are totally silent on the barbarity of the IDF….to the point that they are enablers of the violence.

The apparatus of our diplomacy does not hold Israel accountable…..like they try to do with Myanmar or China.

I am sick and tired of all the slogans and rhetoric about democracy and then turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Israel….all in the name of self defense……all this is is a code word for genocide…..something the Israelis should be opposing given their history…..but instead they continue to kill and maim and steal from an indigenous people.

The US is by NO means a good faith spokesperson for democracy….regardless of the rhetoric.

Either we support ALL democracy movements or we need to STFU.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Iraq–18 Years And Counting

AS March slowly comes to an end maybe we should take a few moments and remember that US troops have been occupying, fight and dying in Iraq…..

At the time, the Bush administration had spent several months lying to the American public about Iraq’s supposed connections to the attacks of 9/11. Dick Cheney argued that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were good pals, but the relationship never existed in reality. They argued that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), but those too didn’t exist. Phantoms haunted Bush and his Cold War-era neoconservative comrades, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. And they turned those ghosts into fear — the ammunition needed to remake the world in their vision, or so they thought.

Before long, morale sank in our platoon. Weeks turned into months, and months turned into many more. What was supposed to be a repeat of the 1991 Gulf War quickly morphed into a violent counterinsurgency campaign, the likes of which U.S. troops hadn’t experienced since their failed attempt to defeat anti-imperialists in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Car bombs and IEDs replaced punji sticks and highly-coordinated mobile attacks and ambushes. Men in white pajamas replaced the men in black pajamas.

In the U.S., people remained disorganized after several decades of neoconservative and neoliberal political victories, particularly the destruction of organized labor. The left, barely alive, mounted antiwar rallies and protests but never developed much of a vision beyond large mobilizations. And even if it would have, the social and political infrastructure to carry out such a concept didn’t exist.

The Iraq War: 18 Years Later

We can pretend that this war was about getting Saddam and to promote democracy…..but really we know exactly why the invasion took place….the reasons given were excuses for war.

Take a few moments of silence to remember our troops for their sacrifices and service and then take some time to learn about the war/s and make your representatives hear the call to end these endless wars.

Time in this world to ‘give peace a chance’….in case you may not know where to begin….then I can help…..

Action Corps, Antiwar.com, the Center for International Policy, CODEPINK, Concerned Veterans for America, Defense Priorities Initiative, Defending Rights and Dissent, Demand Progress, Environmentalists Against War, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, Historians for Peace and Democracy, Just Foreign Policy, the Libertarian Institute, MADRE, National Iranian American Council Action, Peace Action, Peace Direct, Peaceworkers, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Roots Action, STEM Strikes for Peace, Veterans for Peace, Women for Weapons Trade Transparency, and the Yemeni Alliance Committee.

Get involved…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Biden Foreign Policy

My forte is international relations and I spend a lot of time in ‘open source’ intel looking at our positions around the world….especially when it comes to our wars and our dealings in the Middle East.

Not even a hundred days into his presidency and he has made my sh*t list……

I believe it is time for the US to get out of Afghanistan…after 20 years and many lives lost and we are in no better position than we were 15 years ago…..and I think that KSA needs to be punished for their brutal murder of the NY Times journalist……at least at this time….none of those situations will be resolved…..

Trump made a deal with the Taleban for ‘peace and the removal of US troops……Biden will crap on that deal….

President Biden said in an interview that aired on Wednesday that withdrawing from Afghanistan by the May 1st deadline set by the US-Taliban peace deal will be “tough.”

“I am in the process of making that decision now as to when they will leave,” Biden said of the remaining US troops in Afghanistan. He said the deal signed between the US and the Taliban last year in Doha was not “very solidly negotiated.”

“And so we’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government, and that decision’s in process now,” Biden added. When asked if the process will take longer than May 1st, the president said, “I don’t think a lot longer.” He said a withdrawal by May 1st “could happen, but it is tough.”

The US appears to be trying to buy more time in Afghanistan. The Biden administration presented the Taliban and the US-backed government with a power-sharing deal for an interim government, which both sides are now deliberating on.

(antiwar.com)

He , Biden, has no intention of punishing MbS, prince of KSA, for ordering the murder of a NY Times journalist who was dismembered…..

US President Joe Biden defended his administration’s decision to not impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite acknowledging that the royal was responsible for the murder of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In an interview with ABC News aired in parts on Wednesday, Biden credited himself for releasing the US intelligence community’s findings on the killing but said sanctioning bin Salman would have been unprecedented.

“I’m the guy that released the report,” Biden said, referring to the assessment by the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that was made public last month.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/khashoggi-murder-biden-defends-decision-against-punishing-mbs

He released the report….oh goody now step the Hell up and make the bastard pay for his barbaric actions.

Enough said?

Then there is the row of China/Russia….Biden is focusing on the rise of China’s military….

But how serious is the threat?

Someone needs to say this, and it looks like it’s gotta be me: China and Russia are not our enemies.

Somehow, the opinion-makers in the media, the bloated military brass with all their ribbons and stars and with little to do but worry about how to keep their massively overbuilt operation afloat with ever more taxpayer money, and the members of Congress who like to gin up fears among the voters so they’ll keep voting for them have gotten everyone thinking that Russia is still hell bent on world communist takeover and that China it trying to replace the US as global hegemon.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Let’s Stop Pretending Russia and China are Military Threats

So far I have seen nothing from Biden that shows me that he will change anything in our foreign policy….endless wars…..kowtowing to KSA and Israel like a whipped puppy.

So much for a new direction.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

US Vs North Korea

Four years ago when the other guy was president….the situation with North Korea was all rain bows and lollipops….hugs and love letters….and now those of fantasy are gone.

Since Biden has been elected president….the chest thumping and rhetoric has changed…..but not the tactics.

Since Biden became president he has tried to take a hard line with North Korea…..to which a response has been issued by Kim’s sister…..

For the first time, a high-level regime official in North Korea has addressed remarks directly to President Biden. The warning message took issue with the US and South Korea’s joint military drills, which began March 8, the Japan Times reports. “We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off (a gunpowder) smell in our land,” Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, said. “If it wants to sleep in peace for (the) coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.” Pyongyang says the drills are “rehearsal for invasion,” but the US and South Korea say the drills, which were scaled down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are “defensive” in nature and don’t include field training.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made their first trip abroad, discussing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs during talks in Tokyo and planning for similar discussions Wednesday in South Korea. The US continues to await a response from North Korea after weeks of attempts at making diplomatic contact, the BBC reports. The Biden administration continues to review former President Trump’s North Korea policy, and plans to unveil its policy in the coming weeks, a senior State Department official tells CNN.

The US decided to answer with strong statements….

North Korea conceded Thursday that the US had attempted to establish contact between the two governments. The Biden administration sent emails and tried several ways to deliver telephone messages, even involving a third country. But the Americans’ effort was nothing but a “cheap trick,” a foreign ministry official said, to buy time while the US tried to sway public opinion. “What has been heard from the US since the emergence of the new regime is only lunatic theory of ‘threat from North Korea’ and groundless rhetoric about “complete denuclearization,'” Choe Son Hui said. She also criticized the US for keeping sanctions against her country, Reuters reports, and for conducting military drills with South Korea.

“We don’t think there is need to respond to the US delaying-time trick again,” Choe said in a statement, per the AP. “We have already declared our stand that no US contact and dialogue of any kind can be possible unless the US rolls back its hostile policy toward” North Korea. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are in South Korea, where Blinken told Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong the US will work with his nation and other allies to get North Korea to denuclearize. It’s the first time the US secretaries of state and defense have met with their South Korean equivalents in five years. Blinken and Austin had similar talks in Japan before traveling to Seoul.

Now the Pentagon has joined the chest thumping…..

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Thursday that American forces are ready to “fight tonight,” in response to North Korea slamming drills resuming between the US and South Korea.

The US and South Korean forces have resumed military drills after pausing the exercises more than a year ago over coronavirus concerns.

“Our force remains ready to ‘fight tonight,’ and we continue to make progress toward the eventual transition of wartime Operational Control to a [Republic of Korea]-commanded, future Combined Forces Command,” Austin said.

(nypost.com)

Tit for tat rhetoric…..chest thumping accomplishes nothing…..

Stop the war cries and let diplomacy step in.

Diplomacy….that means let South Korea take the lead and we need to advise and stand back…..

The U.S. and South Korea have reached two agreements about the near-term future of the alliance, the Biden administration announced before the recent meeting in Seoul. First, the two governments worked out a new cost-sharing arrangement for the extensive U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula. And second, Washington and Seoul assented to suspend many of their annual joint military drills.

The latter is a smart move. It could well lower tensions and make space for useful diplomacy with North Korea, which regards the drills as practice for invasion and often responds with its own provocations in turn. The value of the cost-sharing arrangement is more difficult to assess. On the one hand, its settlement may allow more important diplomatic matters to move to the forefront in the relationship, which is to the good. But this deal also represents a recommitment to counterproductive U.S. dominance of inter-Korean relations, which serves neither U.S. interests nor the cause of peace.

Time For South Korea to Take the Lead on North Korea

Since South Korea has the most to lose and/or gain….they should take the lead on any negotiations.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”