The Monroe Doctrine

Over the weekend my daughter and granddaughter stopped by for a visit…..and we did what we always do….schmooze……I asked my granddaughter how school was going and she said that she was studying the Monroe Doctrine in her American History class……..I asked her what her lessons said about the document…..after she gave the whole thing I told her that it was very simplistic and she asked about more info for she had to do a report…..

After our talk I thought since I like to torture my readers with historic perspectives that this subject would be a good post here on IST….

After some thought I realized that few Americans realize what the document is all about….I mean it was quoted during the Cuban missile crisis as a reason for the US response….

Shall we look at the Doctrine?

In his December 2, 1823, address to Congress, President James Monroe articulated United States’ policy on the new political order developing in the rest of the Americas and the role of Europe in the Western Hemisphere.

The statement, known as the Monroe Doctrine, was little noted by the Great Powers of Europe, but eventually became a longstanding tenet of U.S. foreign policy. Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams drew upon a foundation of American diplomatic ideals such as disentanglement from European affairs and defense of neutral rights as expressed in Washington’s Farewell Address and Madison’s stated rationale for waging the War of 1812. The three main concepts of the doctrine—separate spheres of influence for the Americas and Europe, non-colonization, and non-intervention—were designed to signify a clear break between the New World and the autocratic realm of Europe. Monroe’s administration forewarned the imperial European powers against interfering in the affairs of the newly independent Latin American states or potential United States territories. While Americans generally objected to European colonies in the New World, they also desired to increase United States influence and trading ties throughout the region to their south. European mercantilism posed the greatest obstacle to economic expansion. In particular, Americans feared that Spain and France might reassert colonialism over the Latin American peoples who had just overthrown European rule. Signs that Russia was expanding its presence southward from Alaska toward the Oregon Territory were also disconcerting.

I then found an article…an updated look, if you will at the document.

Revealing his “deal making” chops, the Donald started, even before the election, by giving Czar Vlad a greenlight for his conquest of Crimea and the Ukraine, getting, in return, Czar Vlad’s help in the election.

Source: Old Whine, New Orange Bottle – LA Progressive

Soon we will have brand new spanking president….will he use the doctrine in his sweep of international relations?

Class dismissed!

Is A Bipartisan Foreign Policy Possible?

This world, the one that Trump is about to inherit, is a confusing and dangerous one….what is needed by this country is a Bi-Partisan foreign policy….one that both sides of the coin can agree on and work at keeping the country and the world a safer place….(a pipe dream in the making I fear)

But with the atmosphere in DC these days is that a realistic dream?

This report was authored by none other than a Clinton appointee, Albright….she is a neocon no matter anything else and this is her take on the possibility….

With dangers growing around the world, it’s more urgent than ever.

Seventy years ago this week, as the Truman administration was defining its approach to the Cold War, Republican Senator Arthur Vandenberg coined a phrase and proclaimed a principle: “politics stops at the water’s edge.” Vandenberg acknowledged that Americans had “earnest, honest, even vehement” differences on foreign policy. But, he wrote, “so long as we can keep partisan politics out of foreign affairs, it is entirely obvious that we shall speak with infinitely greater authority abroad.”

Following the most divisive presidential campaign in our country’s modern history, calls for bipartisanship may seem old-fashioned and naïve. But a bipartisan approach to foreign policy is achievable and remains essential for our security at home and stability around the globe.

Source: Yes, a Bipartisan Foreign Policy Is Possible—Even Now – POLITICO Magazine

A very optimistic appraisal….I think personally that it is nothing more than wishful thinking….but to be fair we will not know for sure until 20Jan and the days after the coronation.

The Importance of Diplomacy

It is no secret to anyone that stops by IST that I am antiwar and have been since the 1970’s…..

I believe that armed conflict should be the last resort after all other paths have been explored….

I believe the US has fought enough wars and spent way too much cash in supplying the goods for war…..I would hope that we could find a new president that thinks diplomacy is a better way to solve international problems…..

Well that wish will not be found this time around for we elected a person that sole joy in life is the accumulation of wealth….and what better way to acquire those profits than….WAR?

A progressive foreign policy must entail sustained efforts by the US government and NGOs to advance the human good in every way possible. This would include helping to negotiate and enforce treaties to eliminate weapons of mass destruction; working to end conflicts and rebuild war-torn societies; promoting sustainable development at the grassroots level; and providing emergency humanitarian assistance to societies ravaged by disease, ecological disaster, or state collapse. And while there is much that Americans can do to advance these objectives, they should do so, whenever possible, under the auspices of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations. Given the historical record, many nations have good reason to be wary of unilateral US efforts, even those dubbed “humanitarian.”

Source: The Importance of Diplomacy in a World of Multiple Power Centers | The Nation

Who’s The Boss?

Nope, not some nostalgic crap about a 1980’s sitcom….this is a real question after a vote at the Untied Nations…..for decades the Israelis have been stealing land from Palestinians under a cloud of deceit and lies…..finally the UN has stepped up and given a resolution against this land theft.

Israel’s liar in chief BiBi is fuming over the vote and is pissed at the US for not voting instead we abstained….

The Israeli government’s furious reaction to the UN Security Council’s adoption of a resolution opposing Jewish settlements in occupied territory underscores its fundamental and bitter dispute with the international community about the future of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, writes Josef Federman at AP. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists there is nothing wrong with his controversial policy of building Jewish towns in occupied areas that the Palestinians, with overwhelming world support, claim for their state. But Friday’s UN rebuke was a stark reminder that the rest of the world considers it a crime. The embattled leader is now placing his hopes in the incoming administration of Donald Trump, which is shaping up as the first major player to embrace Israel’s nationalist right and its West Bank settlements.

In a series of statements, Netanyahu has criticized the Obama administration for letting Resolution 2334 pass Friday by abstaining, using unprecedented language that has turned a policy disagreement into a personal vendetta. “From the information that we have, we have no doubt that the Obama administration initiated it, stood behind it, coordinated on the wording, and demanded that it be passed,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday. The resolution marked a sharp international rebuke of Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank and east Jerusalem—territories captured in the 1967 Mideast war and claimed by the Palestinians as parts of a future independent state. Some 600,000 Israelis now live in the two areas, complicating any partition of the land between Israel and a future Palestine. On Sunday, Netanyahu also summoned the US ambassador and the ambassadors of 10 other nations to protest the vote, reports USA Today.

BiBi has been lying for 20 years to the American public….and what is it to say that he continues to do so……but he says what every demagogue says…..BiBi is butt hurt and vows REVENGE…not on the US but on Palestinians…..a true peaceful humanitarian.  (He’s a douche)

As a response to the resolution, Israel and it’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to conduct ‘revenge demolitions‘ of Palestinian homes; approved building some 5,600 housing units in East Jerusalem for illegal settlements;  cut funding to five UN institutions worth $7.8 million; threatened to directly target UNRWA with Trump’s help; and recalled it’s ambassadors from Senegal and New Zealand.

What’s he gonna do?  Israel needs the US more than the US needs Israel.  I say call his bluff…that is what you do to bullies and dolts……

Keeping watching the news….the fallout of this situation……you will see WHO is really in charge of the government of the US….it has already begun…..Senators on the Israeli payroll are already voicing their handlers words….

Global Leadership Vacuum

“The world is going to Hell in a hand basket”…..was my grandfather’s favorite term when he would read the daily newspaper.

The US has a new president and the world is wondering what it will mean for the allies of America……while China and Russia are looking for a bigger foothold in international affairs….who’s back gets scratched first?

I read a good op-ed on this very issue…..

A dangerous vacuum of global leadership is emerging that is far too easy to exploit by those who do not support the existing system of collective management of human affairs. Western powers will lose out as United States’ President-elect Donald Trump gets increasingly unpredictable in his international policies and consequently the US suffers a slow erosion of trust. German Chancellor Angela Merkel may be re-elected and therefore continue as de facto leader of the European Union (EU), but will not offer much global leadership as she continues to muddle through Europe’s permanent state of crisis. This is all good news for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping as they pursue their very different national strategies, but share a desire to end what they see as an America-dominated system that they consider Washington has grossly abused to its great benefit.

Source: Global leadership vacuum | GulfNews.com

WE who watch the issues of the world will just have to wait to see what happens after 20Jan17….I wish I could say that I am optimistic….but that would be a lie….

Tea For The Tillerson

Tillerson?  How many are scratching their heads wondering what the Hell I am going on about?  Kinda reminds me of an album by some guy who use to go by the name of Cat Stevens…..but this something more serious.

Rex Tillerson is the appointee by Trump for SecState….he, Trump, interviewed many for the position…Romney, Rudy, Mr. 9/11 and others….first I think Romney was interviewed just to make him jump through hoops because he did not support Trump from the beginning……Rudy was just a pat on the back for being an incoherent pundit during the election…..but Tillerson?  Who the Hell thought he was a good idea?

Good question and there is an answer……

Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state wasn’t exactly his—at least not initially. Just two weeks ago, Trump was torn in trying to choose from one of four leading contenders: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, or David Petreaus. Then the name of Rex Tillerson surfaced. The Washington Post reports that while a stymied Trump was speaking with former defense chief Robert Gates, he asked Gates if he had a different name to suggest. “I recommend Rex,” responded Gates. The previous day, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice floated Tillerson’s name in a meeting with Mike Pence. Rice and Gates are partners in the international consulting firm RiceHadleyGates, and they know Tillerson because ExxonMobil is a client.

Trump “seemed intrigued,” Gates tells the Post. “It was not something he had considered.” CNN reports that Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush and the third name in that consulting group, also expressed his support for Tillerson to Pence. Former secretary of state James Baker, who knows Tillerson because his firm has represented ExxonMobil on various business deals, similarly voiced support. Trump then met with Tillerson twice. “As soon as he met him, he told people that Tillerson is the kind of guy that walks in a room and commands respect,” a transition official tells Politico. Trump “liked Romney, liked Rudy, but Tillerson was a stronger guy. He liked his strength.” In statements on Tuesday, both Rice and Gates said they were thrilled by Trump’s pick.

All Exxon cronies must stick together….it is the code of cretins on the Right.  Kinda like Cheney and the Halliburton connection….this is how the “elites” roll.

I just realized that the American people have NO idea who has been appointed by Trump to fill the many positions in the government…..so being an upstanding sort of guy I give you the list…..

An index of those appointed to high-level positions in Trump’s Cabinet, the White House and key agencies.

Source: Who Is In The Trump Cabinet, Sub-Cabinet And White House Staff : NPR

You are welcome….for now you have NO excuse for being ignorant.  But then some do not an excuse, huh?

UN, A Paralyzed Institution

Not many Americans have anything nice to say about the UN……and most of the opinions are based on crap thinking…..I have written about what I see as wrong with the UN and its place in the world.

As an introduction here is my op-ed from a year ago……

Since I can remember conservs have hated the United Nations…….and they will go on and on about this failure or that……got me to thinking why do so many absolutely hate the UN?

I guess most of it is a monetary thing…….Best Answer:  Most Americans hate it, because we pay the majority of its bills, provide the bulk of its military power and yet are almost universally hated by the very people we try to help…….

Source: Why Hate The United Nations (UN)? – In Saner Thought

I have a friend in Russia that is a Middle East analyst like myself and she has written a great piece about the UN’s problems……

Maria Dubovikova, president of the International Middle Eastern Studies Club

A leading Russian political analyst specializing in Middle Eastern affairs has described the United Nations Security Council as a talk shop that has become a battleground where global powers indulge in mutual recriminations.

Speaking to Arab News from Moscow on Sunday, Maria Dubovikova, president of the International Middle Eastern Studies Club (IMESClub), said: “Saturday’s vote at the Security Council has shown that the Council is in total paralysis. It is totally outdated. It has become a playing field for global powers who are interested only in flexing their muscles. It is a place where mutual recriminations are exchanged. It has been reduced to being a place where countries fight only for their national interests.”

Source: Russian-Arab affairs analyst slams UN’s ‘total paralysis’ over Syria – The Muslim Times

She promotes the interests of Saudi Arabia…..a position that is not to my liking….but even though we disagree on this we agree on the UN and the fact that one country can paralyze the institution to the point of being ineffectual.

I have said many times….after 70 years it is time for NO one country with veto power in the Security Council…..you want the UN to work then eliminate that one power…