Beginnings Of The American Empire

Yes I am a history geek!  When studying political history one gets some insights into the world of history and the world of politics.

In the very beginning of American history the country held a more isolationists position…..yes we conducted trade with other countries but for the most part we kept to ourselves and did not tamper with others foreign policy.

We fought our wars here and there…but is was not until the late 19th century that the US became an empire with its war with Spain which it won and by winning we gained territory from the loser Spain.

Make NO mistake from that time on the United States of America became an empire….like it or not.

Let the history lesson begin!

On April 25, 1898 the United States declared war on Spain following the sinking of the Battleship Maine in Havana harbor on February 15, 1898. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. As a result Spain lost its control over the remains of its overseas empire — Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines Islands, Guam, and other islands.

Source: Introduction – The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War (Hispanic Division, Library of Congress)

The war with Spain in 1898 began the US ventures into interventionism…..something that once we started we could never stop.

U.S. Secretary of State John Hay called the Spanish-American War of 1898 a “splendid little war.” Superficially, the description seemed apt. After the battleship Maine mysteriously exploded in Havana Harbor — an incident then blamed on Spain — America went to war, our citizens urged to free Cuba from Spanish rule as well as avenge the Maine. Largely a naval war, an American squadron under Commodore George Dewey destroyed the Spanish squadron at Manila; likewise, the U.S. Navy crushed Spain’s Caribbean squadron off Cuba’s port of Santiago. In each engagement, the United States suffered only one fatality. Things went tougher for American troops in Cuba, where malaria and yellow fever proved as daunting as Spanish bullets. But American schoolchildren would thereafter thrill to tales of Teddy Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders,” and of the famed charge up San Juan Hill. Defeated on land and sea, Spain sued for peace. The war lasted less than four months; our fighting forces distinguished themselves with valor; and the United States, acquiring territory from Puerto Rico to the Philippines, emerged as a “world power.”

Source: Spanish-American War: Trial Run for Interventionism

Welcome to the world of today.

Class dismissed!

How To Handle The North Korea Situation

This situation with North Korea is getting a bit redundant…..this will be the last pot for now on NK that is until something new breaks….

I have offered my many opinions on how to handle the North Korean situation….and during those opinions I have had some dolt from the Right go off with something about the situation that has little to nothing to do with the situation.

These people seem to have the same opinion….”nuke ’em all and let God sort them out” mindset.  They offer little as far as an actual idea on how the situation needs to be approached.

First the report that came out over the last weekend……

China’s president delivered a direct message to President Trump: Ease up on the North Korea rhetoric. In a phone call with Trump Friday night, Xi Jinping said he wanted both sides to avoid “words and actions” that would make the situation worse, per the BBC, citing Chinese media. The White House statement on the call said the two leaders agreed that North Korea must stop its “provocative and escalatory behavior,” though it didn’t mention Xi’s plea to Trump as well. The call came after Trump made a series of aggressive statements directed at Pyongyang on Friday, the most recent one saying that the North would “truly regret” any missile launches toward Guam. The North, meanwhile, ramped up its own rhetoric on Saturday with a boast that 3.5 million people have volunteered to join the military to fight the US, reports the Washington Post.

“All the people are rising up across the country to retaliate against the US thousands of times,” said a newspaper. Meanwhile, China isn’t the only nation worried. Japan installed missile interceptors, South Korea is speeding up the process needed to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-defense system, and Germany’s Angela Merkel voiced concern after one of Trump’s tweets, saying, “I consider an escalation of rhetoric the wrong answer,” per the Guardian. Despite his aggressive language, Trump also has spoken of a non-military outcome. “Hopefully, it will all work out,” he said Friday. “Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump, that I can tell you.”

3.5 million have signed up to fight…..now if that report is accurate it is something to think about…..has any American felt such patriotic fervor and signed up?

Diplomats Are Us

There was a time when I wanted to work for the foreign service for the US….the diplomatic Corps….I applied for a couple of positions….the ones that I wanted I never got for there was always someone with more letters after their name than me.

I then tried to find work with the United Nations….the one that would let me use my degrees was in Tunisia…..again I was pushed out by a guy with a whole alphabet after his surname.

I finally found work as an analyst for a Spanish newspaper and finally got to work in the Middle East.

Sorry about that but I wanted to give a little background for this post.

International relations, foreign policy and conflict management are areas that this country needs top people in their fields.  And usually this country has the brightest minds formulating and implementing policies that help protect this country as well as helping with its prosperity.

All that use to be true….but since the election of Donald Trump our foreign policy has become a joke with no laughter.

First he hires a oil company CEO as SecSta, Rex Tillerson….then he cuts the budget of the department then he will not fill the diplomatic positions that are needed to keep the country ahead of the game then he started losing ambassadors…it is said that there is a job listing that is 11 pages and no takers.

Then the sector on the world governing stage, the Untied nations……here we have another amateur as ambassador…Nikki Haley a governor with zero experience on the world situation….and like the State Department she cannot keep qualified people around her…..

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has lost two of her top aides, key departures that come at a time of growing international tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Haley’s Chief of Staff Steven Groves resigned, as did her communications director Jonathan Wachtel. Haley said on Twitter Wednesday it was because of “family concerns.” The departures also come ahead of Haley’s trip to Vienna to review Iran’s nuclear activities with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

These loses probably will not hurt her standing at the UN because neither of them had much international experience other than a think tank.

Without qualified professionals then our policies look more like a 2nd graders coloring book…..and our decisions are more knee jerk than thoughtful deliberation.

Guam In The Cross Hairs

I know I am an opinionated SOB and from time to time I get a Right winger that stops by to drop some wisdom on me…..I have been writing a bit about the North Korean situation and the way we are approaching it…..this well intention person said “If you are so goddamn smart how would you stop a missile from falling on Guam”?

After some thought I decided to take this person up on the challenge.

My plan would center around Ukraine…..this country needs help with encroaching Russians….plus they want to join NATO and possibly the EU….there is lots of bargaining chips in that situation.

I appears that Ukraine is the answer to the North Korean missiles….why?

The heart of their missile is an engine made in Ukraine…..

Many are worried over North Korea’s ICBM launch last month, which analysts say indicate its weapons can now reach the US. And what may be behind this apparent success: liquid-propellant rocket engines from a Ukrainian factory linked to Russia’s missile program that were then scooped up on the black market, per the New York Times. This revelation comes via classified documents from US intelligence agencies and an analysis by Michael Elleman for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in which he notes the “astounding strides” of North Korea’s missile program, including its upgrade from medium-range missiles to a Hwasong intermediate-range missile and ICBM in just two years’ time—which he says no other nation has ever done. Elleman says it seems Pyongyang was able to pull off this feat with a rocket engine based on Soviet RD-250 engines, which only a few Soviet plants made.

The state-owned Yuzhmash factory that’s being eyed is in Dnipro, a plant the Times describes as “awash in unpaid bills and low morale.” What Elleman says lends credence to his theory is that two North Koreans were busted six years ago trying to swipe data on these types of engines from there. The Yuzhmash website notes it “will not [participate] in any cooperation involving the transfer of potentially dangerous technologies outside Ukraine,” though Elleman doesn’t buy that. “It’s likely that these engines came from Ukraine—probably illicitly,” he tells the Times. “The big question is how many they have and whether the Ukrainians are helping them now. I’m very worried.” No one’s sure how the engines would’ve made it to North Korea, which the Times notes would indicate a “broad intelligence failure” on the part of all countries keeping an eye on Pyongyang. Elleman’s in-depth take is here.

Take away the engine and you take away the threat to Guam.  Hard for a rocket to make it to the island without a motor….that is unless they have a real large sling shot.

We make a deal with the engine maker tom wither stop export of these motors or we do some tweaking to keep them from operating properly.  Granted will be a short term fix but maybe enough time for some sanity to return to this region.

Now this would possibly eliminate Guam as a target for now but it does not solve the South Korean dilemma…..and Japan is a rock’s throw away….they are still under a massive cloud of weapons aimed at their heart.

The challenge was for Guam not South Korea or Japan.

Done And Done!

Amateurs Need Not Apply

For centuries we have had a professional politician running the country….and that is the why it should be….people with experience, rational, selfless and sane.

But when we slip the bounds of intelligence we wind up with amateurs running things….a government of dunces…..

When Russia ordered 755 Embassy employees to leave the country in retaliation for US sanctions…..some said…..

President Trump, perhaps taking the “glass-half-full” approach a little too far, thanked Vladimir Putin Thursday for his decision to expel hundreds of American diplomats in response to new sanctions on Russia. “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Trump said at his Bedminster, NJ, golf club, per NPR. “There’s no real reason for them to go back,” Trump said. “I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll. … We’re going to save a lot of money.”

Putin has ordered the expulsion of 755 American diplomats and technical staffers, leaving a total of 455 people in US diplomatic missions in Russia. While it wasn’t clear whether Trump was being entirely serious, his remarks caused anger among the rank and file at the State Department, where Trump has proposed cutting the budget by 29%, Politico reports. “This is so incredibly demoralizing and disrespectful to people serving their country in harm’s way,” a senior diplomat says.

Apparently the president does not realize the Putin CANNOT fire an American employee of the Embassy.  They are not fired but rather will be reassigned.

Then the mash-up with North Korea….when he said “Fire and Fury” will rain down on NK……but then there is more….

President Trump issued one more provocative threat to North Korea Friday morning: “Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely,” he tweeted. “Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!” The tweet comes after a Chinese newspaper warned both countries to avoid a pre-emptive strike on the other. It also follows Trump’s meeting with national security officials on Thursday and a doubling down on his earlier “fire and fury” warning.

Will some one please tell this man that war is not a goddamn John Wayne movie or a episode of the Rambo trilogy that is fought with cute slogans.  In war people die….in war people are maimed….. the thought of war should be the last consideration of a president not the first damn thing that enters in his tiny mind.

All The News Of North Korea

Since my Asian Desk is pretty sparse…I need to do lots of research to get up to speed ……maybe it will help my reader as well…..

The words of war are flying around the airways…..there are those that would like an attack on NK as a “must”…..but those mental midgets do not think beyond their own bravado….

As the rhetoric continues to pick up around North Korea, the talk of military options, or worse the “military solution” increasingly appears to center around the conceit that there is some possibility for a limited war, or some other way that the US could make a quick attack on North Korea and fix everything militarily.

Experts, however, broadly agree that’s simply not the case. North Korea has spent the last 60+ years worrying about a US attack, and preparing to retaliate with everything that they have. This retaliation, even before factoring in North Korea’s nuclear program would destroy much of South Korea, and likely kill upwards of a million people.

That threat of massively destructive retaliation was always the ace up North Korea’s sleeve that kept them from getting attacked in the first place, sort of a mutually-assured destruction build around conventional arms and the fact that the huge, and economically important, city of Seoul is so close by.

The theory that the US could precisely take out North Korea’s small nuclear arsenal and resolve the situation, then, is clearly preposterous on its face, as North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities are substantial and were built long before the nuclear program.

While pretty much any preemptive attack necessarily will provoke retaliation, a US strike on North Korea’s nuclear sites would certainly provoke an even bigger one, as the North Korean government could only interpret it as the start of an American war of regime change.

(antiwar.com)

The NK situation is far more complex than the simpletons in the Trump admin would have you believe.

There needs to be a place where the news of NK can come together and readers can have it all in one place and NO need for the Google button.

Maybe I can help……

Not all reporting follows the paradigm that the Pentagon, Trump and the MSM wants to get out to the public.

Further reading for those that have an inquiring mind….lots to read but it will,give the reader a better picture of the situation than by listening to the MSM and the alt-Right…..enjoy

Source: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations – Geopolitics | Geopolitical Futures

Source: North Korea Leaves Us With Only One Good Option | World Affairs Journal

Source: Only Morons Believe What the US Government Says About North Korea

Source: Newsweek Exclusive: North Korean Missile Claims Are ‘a Hoax’

Source: Why a war with North Korea is unlikely | North Korea | Al Jazeera

All aspects of this volatile situation need to be presented so that NO wrong thinking can be invaded into to the process.

What The Hell Did Venezuela Do?

In case you were out of pocket Friday afternoon and missed the big story then I think I can bring you up to speed.

During a press outing at his gold Club in new Jersey Trump was asked about the North Korean posturing and then he went on a different track altogether….

As many fret over the increasingly tense relationship between the US and North Korea, President Trump threw another country into the mix Friday: Venezuela. Speaking to reporters Friday from his New Jersey golf club, flanked by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and National Security Adviser HR McMaster, Trump offered what Reuters calls a “surprise escalation” on the US response to Venezuela’s currentpoliticalupheaval, in which more than 120 people have been killed and thousands arrested over the past four months. “Venezuela is not very far away, and the people are suffering and they are dying,” Trump told reporters, per the Hill. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

When pressed by reporters on whether that meant the US would lead an operation in the South American country, Trump replied, “We don’t talk about it, but a military operation—a military option—is certainly something that we could pursue.” The US just hit Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with financial sanctions in late July, with a statement from Trump noting: “Maduro is not just a bad leader. He is now a dictator.” The Pentagon told Reuters it has yet to receive any instructions from the president regarding Venezuela.

When I heard this report my first response was…”what the Hell did Venezuela do to deserve that threat?”

(Watch Nikki Haley’s reaction)

I am still trying to find out what they did they would warrant such a threat.

Anyone got any ideas?