That Damn “Libya Model”

This term is getting a workout from dear president Trump…it is one of the insults he has used to explain why Bolton had to resign…..He slammed a mistake Bolton made early in his tenure at the White House when he discussed a “Libyan model” in the context of North Korea — which that country took as a sign that its leadership could meet the fate of former Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. 

He is conflating two events a  2003 decision  and the civil war that killed Qaddafi……

Let me offer a free lesson in international relations for our dear president…..

After the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq toppled President Saddam Hussein in 2003, Libya’s leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi feared he might be next. On Dec. 19, 2003, Gadhafi announced he intended to rid Libya of its weapons of mass destruction.

Within a few months, Libya handed over vast amounts of equipment, documents and centrifuges — all of which were flown out of the country, mostly to Oak Ridge, Tenn. Gadhafi allowed international inspectors into Libya, and, in about two years, they certified that Libya’s nuclear weapons program was no more. Full destruction of Libya’s chemical weapons program was due to be completed by 2016.

This event might have had a round about consequence in the civil war and eventual death of Qaddafi…but that would take a whole bunch of research.

Fast forward to 2011, when the Arab Spring uprisings roiled the Middle East. Riots broke out across the country, including in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. On March 19 of that year, the U.S. and its European allies – the very powers Gadhafi sought to cultivate by foreswearing nukes – launched a seven-month bombing campaign — ostensibly to stop attacks on civilians but in reality to topple his regime. On Oct. 20, 2011, Gadhafi was found hiding in a drainage ditch in Sirte after rebels overran the coastal city. He was beaten senseless by a crowd and shot dead.

And that was what was meant when Bolton mentioned the ‘Libya Model’…..

Only some amateur would conflate the two situations….and a bigger idiot that would do so in the press where he can be fact checked and proven to be uninformed on international issues.

Now Mr. President you may return to your normal daily consumption of shitty news and Tweeting all about it.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Foreign Policy Black Hole

The US has entered into a diplomatic black hole……

This black hole is the seemingly need to use military force in the nation’s foreign policy….

Sadly for years now the presence of US troops in other nations leads to their eventually use in some sort of military campaign.

Yet since the “end of history” and the dissipation of those threats in 1989, there has been no pull-back. Instead, the U.S. has been ever more sucked into places around the world. This expansion produces unnecessary tension with China, Russia, and the Islamic world. Worse, the U.S. now fights more often than it did during the Cold War. These interventions often take far longer than the public is led to expect. They kill far more people and cost far more money than admitted. At home, a massive national security state has emerged, confirming President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous warning of the “military-industrial complex”.

The policy response to this sprawl is some mix of retrenchment and restraint. A U.S. grand strategy of “offshore balancing” would husband American resources at home. Intervention would only occur when facing a genuine hegemonic challenger – most obviously China. But the “small wars” which have characterised U.S. intervention in recent decades would stop, for we now know that they do not stay small. Diplomacy would be properly funded; U.S. foreign policy would be de-militarised. Multilateralism and international organisations would be given a chance where the U.S. today disdains them.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/us_foreign_policy_restraint_without_retrenchment_114641.html

Surely there is some sort of reason behind our endless wars…this piece from a Neocon website but it still needs to be considered….

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Plato made that incisive observation a rather long time ago. Yet a surprising number of politicians, journalists and think tank denizens continue to affix bumper stickers to their Priuses (if they’re on the left) and SUVs (if they’re on the right) demanding an end to “endless wars.”

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/08/07/why-endless-wars-cant-be-ended/

It seems like once we get entrenched in a region we are then drawn into a conflict and a conflict we cannot seemingly remove ourselves….why is that?

Time and again, the United States has attempted to redirect more of its attention and resources toward its competitions with Russia and China. But Washington’s other commitments around the world continues to undermine this effort. Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to address this problem by pressuring allies to commit more military resources to places like Syria (where the United States is trying to draw troop levels) and most recently, the Persian Gulf (where it now faces an increased risk of a military clash with Iran). 

But concerns over the direction of U.S. leadership has made even Washington’s strongest partners in Europe reticent to deploy more troops to these hot spots. This lack of trust — combined with the fact that many allies already have significant security commitments of their own — will likely leave the United States with little choice but to make do with the allied support it has in order to finish out its duties in the Middle East.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/why_the_us_will_struggle_to_reduce_its_military_commitments_abroad_114642.html

I will admit that at one point I was with Trumnp and some of his foreign policy stands in the beginning…but it did not take long for his true self to emerge from the cloak of the presidency.

And now us foreign policy wonks are waiting for the adults in foreign policy to step forward.

NO one is the photo below is an adult in foreign policy….just puppets of the M-IC…..they smile because they are getting away with their crimes and NO one seemingly gives a damn…..

Be Smart!

Do Not Buy The Hype!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–29Apr19

Last week the big story was that Joe Biden was entering the 2020 process……but everybody knew he was going to do what he did….big story.

The true big story was the one that hit while the country was focused like a laser on the Biden announcement…….when Otto Warmbier was a bigger story.

We all have watched the antics of Don the Orange and Li’l Kim……but think back to their first “summit” one aftermath was the release of Otto Warmbier from a North Korean prison…..

North Korea insisted the U.S. agree to pay $2 million in medical costs in 2017 before it released detained American college student Otto Warmbier while he was in a coma, a former US official said Thursday. An envoy sent to North Korea to retrieve the 21-year-old student signed an agreement to pay the $2 million on instructions passed down from President Trump, the former official told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remained—unpaid—throughout 2017, per the Washington Post. CNN reported the bill has not been paid since then.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration does not comment on hostage negotiations. US policy is to refuse to pay ransom for the release of Americans detained abroad. While the majority of Americans detained by North Korea have been released in relatively good condition, Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, died last June after he was flown home comatose after 17 months in captivity. Warmbier was seized from a tour group while visiting North Korea in January 2016, convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster, and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. Joseph Yun, the US envoy, told CNN he could not confirm the payment report, saying, “These are diplomatic exchanges and negotiations.” Fred Warmbier, Otto’s father, said he was never told about the hospital bill, per the Post. He said it sounded like a “ransom” for his son.

Seriously?

Was this the big decision that was made at the first “summit”?

If so, it is pathetic!

Further reading on this news story…….

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/25/politics/otto-warmbier-north-korea-comatose-bill/index.html

And Bolton says it is true…..

National security adviser John Bolton confirmed on “Fox News Sunday” that a Trump administration official signed a document pledging to pay North Korea a $2 million hospital bill to release Otto Warmbier, though he said no money was ultimately transferred.

WALLACE: Did North Korea demand money for the release of Otto Warmbier?
BOLTON: It appears that they did. This occurred before I came into the administration, but that’s my understanding.
WALLACE: Did the U.S. official who was there to get him out of the country, Joseph Yun, did he sign a document pledging the money in order to get him out.
BOLTON: That is what I am told, yes.
WALLACE: I guess the bottom line question is, did the U.S. pay any money to North Korea, however it was disguised, after Warmbier was released?
BOLTON: Absolutely not. And that’s the key point.

The backdrop: President Trump called the Washington Post story that first reported the hospital bill “fake news,” though the report notably said it was “unclear” whether the administration actually ended up paying the bill. Nothing in the story has been proven inaccurate.

Is not this negotiating with “terrorists” and I thought the US does not do this.

Some stories are more important than others.

Vlad Meets Li’l Kim

We have seen the two “summits” between Li’l Kim and Don the Orange and the results that have been no where to be seen.

Not to be left on the sidelines Putin (Vlad) is set to have his “summit” with Li’l Kim….for security reasons the exact date has not been released…..but according to Russian speculation it will be soon…..

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin for their first one-on-one meeting, he’ll have a long wish list and a strong desire to notch a win after the failure of his second summit with President Trump. But it’s not entirely clear how much Putin can or will oblige, the AP notes. Kim has two urgent concerns as he heads to the summit, the date of which hasn’t yet been announced. More than 10,000 North Korean laborers still employed in Russia, many working in the logging industry in the Russian Far East, are being kicked out by the end of this year as a 2017 UN sanctions resolution takes effect. The laborers, who previously numbered as many as 50,000, have provided a revenue stream estimated by US officials in the hundreds of millions of dollars that the Kim regime would like to keep flowing.


Kim is also looking at the possibility of a food shortage this summer. Russia has shown a willingness to provide humanitarian aid and just last month announced it had shipped more than 2,000 tons of wheat to the North Korean port of Chongjin. But his decision to more actively court Putin undoubtedly goes deeper than that. Despite all the talk in Washington about denuclearization, Kim’s primary concern is improving his country’s economy. Per internal documents obtained by a South Korean researcher and published this week in a Japanese newspaper, Kim wants to boost trade with Russia tenfold—to $1 billion—by 2020.
That would obviously require some significant easing of sanctions, which seems unlikely. But it would also require a change in Russian behavior. The AP has more on what the Kim-Putin summit could mean, and what could emerge as a result

Want more information?

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-northkorea-russia/north-korea-confirms-leader-kim-jong-un-to-visit-russia-for-summit-with-putin-idUKKCN1RY1KF

Since the US has massive sanctions in place any deal Kim makes with Putin would make things worse?  This will be interesting to watch the reaction from our Supreme Leader.

Summits: Garbage In, Garbage Out

Our Beloved Supreme Leader just had a horrible and unproductive meeting (some call it a “summit”) with North Korea’s Kim…..but to listen to his rhetoric it was a success with the Dems trying to hang some criminality around his neck……but what of the so-called “summits”…….

Let’s step back to the beginning……

As far as is known, the first professional diplomatic corps appeared in the Byzantine Empire following the collapse of Rome in 476 AD. Byzantium established the world’s first department of foreign affairs, developed strict and complex diplomatic protocols, and actively sought intelligence about friend and enemy alike. Surrounded by enemies, Byzantium needed all the skill in diplomacy it could muster.

The art of diplomacy was carried to the next higher (some might say lower) plane in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Italian city-states of the era engaged in constant intrigues against each other. During this era, diplomacy became identified with behind-the-scenes scheming, duplicity, and double-dealing. Niccolo Machiavelli of Florence, whom many consider the father of “realist” views of the international system, stressed in his book The Prince (1532) that rulers should use whatever means they had at their disposal to stay in power.

https://www.diplomaticourier.com/from-ancient-greek-diplomacy-to-modern-summitry/

Summits and summitry have their uses in a modern foreign policy…a constructive foreign policy (there’s the rub….we, the US, no longer has a constructive foreign policy)…….

It should not be regarded as an instant elixir for the assuagement of crises to dissimulate relief from the realities of inter-governmental ailment (1979, p. 186).

To begin with, this essay will discuss both on some of the possible strengths and flaws of the different types summits. It also argues on how summitry can be infused as a tool of a constructive means of diplomacy and it will also unearth some factors that could help determine the success of summits. The first part of this essay discusses on how summitry could be a tool in the engagement of public diplomacy and followed by with an insight on how timing is crucial in initiating a summit. Meanwhile, the second part of this essay details on how summitry could provide an opportunity for state leaders to administrate and show their capabilities in winning a summit.

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/politics/summitry-analysis-diplomacy-7750.ph

This is where the Trump summits go off the rail…..a summit should NOT be an elixir for a solution to whatever problem it tries to address.

And yet Trump himself billed his “summits” as a solution to North Korea’s rush to nuke weapons…..

So far nothing but a few exchanged “love” between the two leaders and the search for nukes continued…

Summits are a diplomatic tool not necessarily the end of the search of solutions to problems….something someone needs to teach to our president….maybe then he would stop embarrassing the country on the world stage.

Those Inevitable Sanctions

Sanctions seems to be the word of the Trump administration…..we have imposed sanctions on Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela and several others…..sanctions are the only diplomatic tactic the president and his band of slow thinking slugs have in their book of “things to do”…..

Recently the Trump admin has issued more sanctions against Venezuela….because they are subverting democracy (at least that is the excuse….this time)……

Personally I do not believe that these sanctions will work without covert action by one of our shadowy groups…sanctions do not work as a sole penalty…..they are basically a feel good attempt to control another nation.

Economic sanctions are the penalties of choice for the start of hostilities with any given nation…..the US uses this penalty liberally (that is with a small “L”)……in recent history sanctions have been imposed in Iraq, Iran, Venezuela (most recently) and in all that time what has it accomplished?

Good question, right?

But what is included in “sanctions”?

The Council on Foreign Relations defines sanctions as “a lower-cost, lower-risk, middle course of action between diplomacy and war.” Money is that middle course, and economic sanctions are the means. Some of the most common punitive financial measures include:

  • Tariffs: Surcharges on imported goods, often imposed to aid domestic industries and markets.
  • Quotas: Limits on the number of goods that may be imported or exported. 
  • Embargoes: Restrictions on or cessation of trading with a nation or bloc of nations. These can include limiting or banning travel by individuals to and from nations.
  • Non-tariff barriers: These are designed to make foreign goods more expensive by complying with onerous regulatory requirements.
  • Asset seizure/freeze: Capturing or holding the financial assets of nations, citizens, or preventing the sale or moving of those assets. 

If the US is honest then they would also state that sanctions only work about 30% of the time…..that is not a good chance for success.

If the reader would like more info on what sanctions are about………https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/what-are-economic-sanctions

I am opposed to these types of punitive action because they seldom have the intended result of punishing the elites and leadership of any given nation instead the average person suffers far more than the intended targets.

Economic sanctions have long been used as a foreign policy tool, sometimes perceived as the tool of choice for nations where diplomacy has failed to yield desired results. Yet as widely used as they are, and despite the fact that some sanctions may remain in place for years, they generally fail to achieve their objectives. One of the most definitive studies on the effectiveness of sanctions — covering the period from 1915 to 2006 — has shown that comprehensive sanctions are effective at best 30 percent of the time, and that the more comprehensive the level of sanctions, the lower their degree of success. In spite of this, sanctions remain one of the few internationally accepted means (short of military conflict) of attempting to change the behavior of national leaders.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-wagner/do-sanctions-work_b_7191464.html

Again the people of the targeted nation suffer far more than the elites…..so the conclusion is that economic sanctions have a dismal record of success…….of course the establishment will point to the success of sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s…..they will ignore the failures like Iraq in the 1990s, Iran since 1979……

In short economic sanctions, in my opinion, are a worthless exercise that punish NO one but the people to the targeted nation……diplomacy is more effective (at least it was prior to the Trump presidency)……

What Happened In Hanoi?

I have been waiting to see what will be said about the massive failure of the Trump/Kim “summit”……so far it has pretty much taken a backseat to the Congressional hearing with Cohen a Trump fixer from the past……

So let me help out……the talks collapsed….epic failure on Trump’s push for some sort of positive foreign policy legacy…..!

“Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times,” President Trump said Thursday after his second summit with Kim Jong Un abruptly collapsed. A working lunch and the signing of a joint agreement were scrapped after talks fell apart on the summit’s second day, causing confusion among the press corps, the New York Times reports. “It was about the sanctions basically,” Trump said at a press conference. “They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that.” Trump said Kim had been willing to dismantle some of the country’s nuclear infrastructure in return for sanctions being lifted, but wanted to leave other parts of the program intact, the Guardian reports.


Trump said a third summit with Kim might not happen for “a long time,” but defended him as “quite a guy and quite a character.” Trump said Kim had promised him he would continue the suspension of nuclear and long-range missile testing. He said the US would continue not taking part in joint military exercises with South Korea, which he was already opposed to because of the “unfair” cost to the US military. Trump, who departed Vietnam on Air Force One soon after the talks collapsed, said he still has a “great relationship” with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, the BBC reports. Earlier Thursday, Kim surprised observers by answering a reporter’s question, Time reports. The North Korean leader, asked if he felt confident about the talks, said he had a “feeling that good results will come out.”

Talk about putting “lipstick on a pig”…….but then Trump will lie as often as he has to to massage those 35% supporters……

According to NK’s foreign minister the talks did not end the way that Trump tried to pass off…….


When President Trump explained to reporters why his summit with Kim Jong Un ended prematurely, he cited one big reason: North Korea wanted the US to lift all sanctions in exchange for the dismantling of its main nuclear facility. Not so, says North Korea’s foreign minister. The North asked for only a partial lifting of sanctions, Ri Yong Ho said at a hastily arranged news conference, reports the BBC. “We offered a realistic proposal in this meeting,” he said. Specifically, the North agreed to decommission its nuclear facility at Yongbyon under the supervision of US experts, reports the Washington Post.


In exchange, the North wanted the US to end only those sanctions that affected civilians, though he did not provide details of exactly what that means. “Given the current level of trust between North Korea and the United States, this was the maximum step for denuclearization we can offer,” Ri told reporters, per the New York Times. However, the AP reports that Ri also said the North had been prepared to offer a written pledge to halt nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and that Washington wasted an opportunity that “may not come again.”

Let’s break it down to make it simple to understand……

 

US Version:
According to President Trump, the split came entirely on the basis of North Korea’s demand for “full” sanctions relief. Though he dodged some reporters’ questions seeking specifics, he gave the impression that the North Korean proposal was to close the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, but only for full lifting of all international sanctions. Trump walked away at this point.

Trump said that there was basic agreement to have more talks in the future, and that the US and North Korea would continue to talk until a future meeting.

North Korea’s Version:
Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Trump’s claim was inaccurate. He says North Korea offered to dismantle all its nuclear material production, including everything around Yongbyon, and was only asking for “partial” sanction relief. It was at this point Trump walked away.

Ri was much less hopeful of future talks, saying that North Korea’s position isn’t going to change, and that right now North Kora believes that the US is not ready to make a deal. Subsequent reports from North Korea’s state media, however, did anticipate future talks would happen.

Who to believe? After all Trump trust Kim at his word…..so should we just go about this whitewash?

But South Korea (we seem to forget about them in this kabuki play) has a version as well…….

South Korea Says:
Former South Korean Unification Minister Chong se-hyun, however, suggests that neither of these was the real problem. Instead, John Bolton showed up at the last minute, and started demanding that North Korea not only provide a full accounting of its nuclear program’s past, but also full accounts of North Korea’s chemical and biological weapons to.

Interestingly, this didn’t immediately derail the talks, but led North Korea to ask for more sanctions relief in return. It was at that point, apparently, that the US walked away.

So can we blame the war hawk for the failure? I am talking about the slug Bolton.

This opportunity will not come again under the Trump heavy fist…..it will take years for the opportunity to return…..maybe now we will return to diplomacy and stop the theatrics.

So to answer the question…..it failed because there was NO prep work done by diplomats….all there was was a president trying desperately to look like a statesman…..and he FAILED miserably!