Mines That Litter The Diplomatic Field

I realize that most people are trying to wrap their heads around just what the deal is with Dear Leader and Putin…but there is another situation that should not be ignored.

Even the most moronic of Trump supporters has got his mind full of the Kim-Trump “summit”….most seem to think that some sort of peace deal is inevitable simply because the two men met and complimented each and that is all it takes to end 70 years of hostilities…..to that way of think I say….you are dreaming moose brains!

I wrote a couple of posts after the “summit” had taken place describing what could happen as the process went forward…..5

https://lobotero.com/2018/06/13/what-are-the-summit-successes/

https://lobotero.com/2018/06/14/peace-in-our-time-4/

The negotiations to rid the Korean Peninsula of the threat of nukes could hit several land mines in diplomacy……

A denuclearization deal with North Korea is more within reach than anyone could have thought possible a very short time ago. Thanks to the tireless diplomatic work of Moon Jae In of South Korea and the unexpectedly adept diplomatic work of Kim Jong Un of North Korea, a joint statement between North Korea and the United States exists and the impossible is suddenly under way.

Those who dismiss the the joint agreement as vague and vacuous and light on detail forget how far the language of the joint declaration has traveled since Trump’s first “fire and fury like the world has never seen” attempt at diplomacy. They also commit the error of comparing the joint statement to history’s final agreements rather than to other first meetings. The diplomacy may also have more content than the joint statement reveals, since some steps seem to have been negotiated that have not yet been made public.

https://original.antiwar.com/Ted_Snider/2018/06/27/the-three-landmines-that-could-kill-the-korea-deal/

There are NO guarantees that this will be a successful diplomatic effort……we can wish them well….but it will be up to the diplomats working behind the scenes to make it a success.

But we should not put too much in the denuke basket?  Why?

Bill Clinton offered oil and reactors. George W. Bush mixed threats and aid. Barack Obama stopped trying after a rocket launch.

A decades-long cycle of crises, stalemates and broken promises gave North Korea the room to build up a legitimate arsenal that now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental ICBMs. The North’s latest announcement stopped well short of suggesting it has any intention of giving that up.

A look at previous negotiations with North Korea and how the currently planned summits took shape:

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History Repeats

I know there are those mental midgets that cannot see the need to keep up with our history….they try to justify their ignorance in some ham fisted philosophical BS to deny history….fortunately for the blogosphere I am NOT one of those  thumb suckers.

Someone once said that “if one ignores history then they are destined to repeat it”…that is a paraphrase so don’t get too excited.

Does anyone remember the bullsh*t that was told to the country to get our invasion and occupation of Iraq to become acceptable……they had WMDs (none were found)…they were in search of yellow cake uranium (was a lie manufactured by neocons)….and then there was the BS about the 9/11 attackers that was bullsh*t…Saddam never aided them in any way……

I bring up this because the war drums are starting to beat lead by the liar in chief at the UN, Amb. Haley……

 US UN envoy Nikki Haley slammed Iran Wednesday ahead of a UN Security Council meeting, Anadolu reports.

Haley criticized Tehran in a press release ahead of a session on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ latest report on the implementation of sanctions against Iran mandated by Security Council Resolution 2231.

Guterres’ report “includes troubling, but not surprising, evidence that Iran has‎ and continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions by shipping weapons across the Middle East, blatantly defying travel bans and providing support to terrorist organizations destabilizing the region,” said the statement.

http://theantimedia.com/iran-violating-un-security-council-resolutions/

It appears that these toads cannot remember that the UN was where GW Bush started his lies of justification.  Trump minions will continue the lies until the shooting starts….just as GW’s boyz did for him…..damn Repubs have no imagination.

The Neocons and Bolton have started their choruses of regime change for Tehran….the same chorus they have used time and time again….but that seldom is a good thing.

These toads want a regime change in Tehran……again history is not on their side at all….we have aided several regimes change in Iran and none of it has gone well for us in the end.

Is it time for America to support regime change in Iran? A growing chorus inside the Beltway says “yes.” According to them, the arc of history bends toward freedom in Iran. Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh argue in The Wall Street Journal that “[d]evising a strategy to collapse the clerical regime isn’t difficult” because “the essential theme in modern Iranian history is a populace seeking to emancipate itself from tyranny.” They see the growing economic chaos in Iran as birth-pangs of emancipation and call for America to act as midwife.

Many intellectuals before Gerecht and Takeyh have advanced theories of unstoppable historical change, driven by forces the wise can interpret and accelerate. In the nineteenth century, Hegel thought history was rushing toward human freedom. Marx thought it drove toward the collapse of capitalism and the rise of socialism. More recently, some thought the end of communism foreshadowed an inevitable global shift toward liberal democracy—an “end of history.” Dictatorships elsewhere, they thought, were living on borrowed time. One small push and the tide of history would do the rest.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/06/27/history_shows_that_regime_change_in_iran_is_not_the_answer_113563.html

America really needs to re-think all their approaches to diplomacy for they are just doing the same things over and over and over….a never ending cycle.

News From Afghanistan

Believe it or not after 17 long bloody years there is still news from Afghanistan…..

The government of Afghanistan held talks with the Taleban…it brought about a short ceasefire but not much else…..

If the U.S. has any real strategy in Afghanistan, it seems to be fighting a war of attrition long enough and well enough for the threat to drop to a level that Afghan forces can handle or accept a peace settlement credible enough for the U.S. to leave. After seventeen years of combat, no one at any level is claiming that enough military progress has been made in strengthening the ANSF enough for it to win. The most favorable claims seem to be that the ANSF are not losing, may someday become able to win with U.S. support.

No one is making any serious claims about success at the civil level in terms of politics, governance, and economics. Hope for the civil side seems to rely on the theory that if you attempt enough reform plans, one may eventually work. This is a literal triumph of hope over experience.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghan-war-attrition-peace-talks-remain-extension-war-other-means

SecState Pompeo visited Afghanistan and reported back that our strategy is indeed working……that is great considering that NO one knows just what the strategy is….so how can we say it is working……

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/no-secretary-pompeo-americas-strategy-in-afghanistan-is-not-working/

Then more news comes out about the ISIS cell fighting in Afghanistan…..

Gen. John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, says that the ISIS affiliate is increasingly resilient, with access to foreign fighters. On top of that, Nicholson warned, ISIS is getting funding and other general support from jihadist groups in several nearby countries.

This is the first time officials are addressing this issue. Afghan officials have declared the ISIS presence in Nangarhar to have been “wiped out” several times following offensives in recent years, and when that offensive wraps up, ISIS reemerges there, seemingly as strong as ever.

Before, officials just ignored the past, and were every bit as confident about their newest offensive. Gen. Nicholson’s comments show that there is at least some recognition that these offensives, while killing a lot of people, aren’t amounting to much.

(antiwar.com)

I apologize for the terrible news but at least you know how bad it is….now is time for the people to speak up and demand out troops come home.

Is There A Boogeyman In The Closet?

Sounds like it could be a song by Little Feat (think “Fat Man In The Bathtub”)

We have a wealth of speculation going on in the media after the Putin-Trump press conference……basically the MSM has lost its mind over the presser……I will say that if they want this speculation to stop then let the interpreter testify before Congress.

Russia has become the scapegoat for everything wrong in the world….there is little doubt that they meddled in the election…..and yes they invaded Crimea and shot down an airplane……and I am sure that I forgot a couple of other so-called digressions……my point is that Trump and Putin are talking which at the best of times would be a good thing but with the president I am NOT so sure how good it will be…..

But since the presser and the babbling that Trump gave as answers to direct questions the media has been losing its mind……

The reaction of the U.S. establishment media and several political leaders to President Donald Trump’s press conference after his summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday has been stunning.

Writing in The Atlantic, James Fallows said:

“There are exactly two possible explanations for the shameful performance the world witnessed on Monday, from a serving American president.

Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests—maybe witting, maybe unwitting, from fear of blackmail, in hope of future deals, out of manly respect for Vladimir Putin, out of gratitude for Russia’s help during the election, out of pathetic inability to see beyond his 306 electoral votes. Whatever the exact mixture of motives might be, it doesn’t really matter.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/16/us-media-is-losing-its-mind-over-trump-putin-press-conference/

I admit that I think that talking is a good thing….however the answers given to direct questions leaves room for so much speculation and the media is only doing what is always doing speculating.

I agree with some of the points being brought out by the media but I also think that this should not be the focus for days on end…..it was a meeting with no set solutions to problems and then the presser was a love fest that we all knew would be  the outcome (and so did the media)….Russia is still the boogeyman in the closet that it has always been.

The only thing to change is the speculation on what the “real” relationship is between Vlad and Our Dear Leader.

In closing…..In case you may have never heard of Little Feat……

Saboteurs Of Peace?

I will admit that I have been a staunch opponent of the president and I know there are those that support him (why?)….and in the past I have stated that I did supporter some of his foreign policy claims but since his election I have been disappointed in his actions.

In that vain of thought I would like to offer a post from another writer that has a different look at the meeting between Putin and Trump……

If there was ever any doubt that the Russia-gate hoax is a scheme by the War Party to salvage their bankrupt foreign policy, and depose a democratically-elected President, then Robert Mueller’s indictment of twelve alleged GRU agents for “interfering” in the 2016 election settles the matter once and for all. Are we supposed to believe it was just a coincidence that the indictment was made public just as Trump was about to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki?

An indictment of twelve individuals who will never contest the charges, and which will not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law – to whom is it addressed? Not to any jury, but to the court of public opinion. It is, in short, pure propaganda, meant to sabotage Trump’s Helsinki peace initiative before it has even convened.

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/07/15/saboteurs-of-peace-on-the-road-to-helsinki/

I am sure that within his circle of supporters they see this (the opposition to the meeting) as propaganda……but as an old radical I also see the press as trying to sabotage any thing that could come out of this meeting……but as an old radical and antiwar supporter I see it as an attempt to keep the war party in total control of the policies.

I do not like Trump’s policies but I dislike war even more….but if he can end some of our many wars then I will give him his props when it is due.

There are some that see the recent Putin/Trump meeting as a possibility of a solution for our war in Syria….

To start with, the “grand bargain” on Syria analysts believe is possible will be neither “grand,” as Syria today is not the focal point for Russia or, more importantly, the United States, nor can it be referred to as a “bargain” per se, since the situation has already taken shape and the presidents will just need to formalize it.

We will have to wait and see if there is any progress on the Syrian front….
There were a couple of statements made by pundits……
1–US does not approve of Russia in Syria…..
2–Does not like it when Russia sells military hardware around the world…..
3–Russia has invaded sovereign nations…..
Does anyone else see the hypocrisy?

It’s Illegal!

I am referring to the many wars that this country has decided that it must fight…..that is the job of the Congress and so far they are spineless cowards on this subject.

This is the new way of war for the US….pick a spot and attack…..

[T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons. …
S.J. Res. 23 (107th): Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), Sept. 18, 2001

The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary … in order to … defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq.  …
H. J. Res 114 (107th): Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, Oct. 18, 2002

It’s all so obvious to a detached observer. Nonetheless, it remains unspoken. The United States of America is waging several wars with dubious legal sanction in domestic or international law.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/03/23/illegal-wars-the-new-american-way/

The one word that can drive the US into a frenzy of armed struggle is…..Freedom…..the God of Modern Warfare…..

Freedom. The term is so ubiquitous in its application to war we tend not to ask why that is. We take it as a given. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are two good examples of how the concept seems encoded into American strategic objectives, yet it is not limited to countries like the U.S. where this idea is so culturally (and constitutionally) central. Crimea was not conquered by Russia, according to Russian claims, but rather the minority Russian population of Ukraine was liberated and given the opportunity for self-determination and to vote in a referendum about their collective future. While this essay will attempt to uncover why freedom appears to stoke the warrior instinct inside of us, doing so would only lead to an impasse, were it not considered within a larger set of questions. As a systematized justification for political violence, freedom was not always so predominant as it is today. Assuming human nature didn’t change over the past few decades, we then need to uncover what did.

Before the twentieth century, wars fought by modern republics might have been deemed legitimate for a variety of reasons, including indeed freedom from foreign occupation or local oppression, but also other reasons that might make us cringe today: colonization, evangelization, debt collection, monarchical successions, glory, plunder, vengeance, territorial conquest, and many more. As the bulk of these other justifications receded in history, freedom remained.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/05/01/freedom_the_god_of_modern_war_113395.html

Since 1990’s the US has been in infinite war……or so it would seem….(you knew that eventually I had to throw some history in this post)……

The United States of Amnesia.” That’s what Gore Vidal once called us. We remember what we find it convenient to remember and forget everything else. That forgetfulness especially applies to the history of others. How could their past, way back when, have any meaning for us today? Well, it just might. Take the European conflagration of 1914-1918, for example.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/infinite-war-the-gravy-train-rolls-on/

The Trump Doctrine

With Dear Leader’s recent meeting in Helsinki…the question onc e again arises…just what is the Trump Doctrine?

I have written on a few occasions that I have yet to determine just what the Trump Doctrine is and how to apply it to world affairs…..I mean since 1949 there has been a presidential doctrine presented by each president elected since that date.

A doctrine is how a president is forced to operate foreign policy in the reality in which he finds himself. Sometimes, presidents proclaim their own foreign policy doctrines. Other times, observers see a coherent pattern in a president’s foreign policy and outline the doctrine for him. In both cases, doctrines ought to be seen not as strokes of genius or decisions made at the will of the president but as actions imposed on him and dictated by reality.

The Truman doctrine was defined in 1948. Given the Soviet threat to Turkey and Greece, President Harry Truman announced that, as a general principle, he was committed to supporting free nations against communism. The United States could not accept a Soviet-dominated Europe because of the long-term threat it would pose. The U.S. lacked the capacity to launch a conventional war against the Soviets, so it was forced into a strategy of containment. Turkey, in particular, was indispensable to this strategy, as the Bosporus blocked Soviet access to the Mediterranean. The U.S., therefore, had to defend Turkey and Greek ports. The doctrine was determined by necessity.

https://geopoliticalfutures.com/the-trump-doctrine/

Any “doctrine” needs some consistency and so far I have seen nothing Trump has said or done that illustrates that consistency.  The best I can say is he enters into a meeting kicks over all the furniture and slaps around the people then walks out and claims a success when nothing actually changed (all that is a metaphor…he did not actually touch anyone….I felt I needed to explain that for the low IQ of Trump supporters.)