Did You Know North Korea Was Still There?

As usual the situation with North Korea is not very newsworthy these days….we have a SCOTUS duel, a op-ed that has the Dear Leader batcrap pissed and then there is the probes this and the probes that….and in all the drama the situation with North Korea soldiers on……

Since the MSM wants to sweep most of it under the rug (would that be a Persian rug?  Persia?  Ain’t that Iran?)…….

It seems that Kim wants a declaration of peace for the Korean Peninsula and Trump’s boyz are waffling……

White House and State Department officials are reiterating that they have no current interest in making a deal with North Korea that would involve a peace declaration ending the Korean War.

The State Department said on Wednesday that the US position is that “denuclearization has to take place before we get to other parts.” The administration has repeatedly said they believe Korean denuclearization will take years, and that they want “progress” before the 2020 election.

The Korean War began in 1950, and 68 years later, there has never been a formal peace treaty ending the conflict. North Korea has been seeking a peace treaty for decades, with the US always resisting such a deal.

(antiwar.com)

Another summit is coming to a screen near you……mind you what Barry Goldwater said about a “summit”…..”only summit meeting that can succeed is the one that never takes place”…..could that be accurate in this case?

South Korean officials announced on Thursday that a deal has been reached to hold a summit in Pyongyang from September 18-20. The summit is to focus on “practical measures” which could be taken for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has “reconfirmed his determination to completely denuclearize,” and that he continues to have faith in President Trump.

The commitment to denuclearize is a major announcement, as US officials have been increasingly dubious about that, and complaining about the lack of quick progress. North Korean officials say Kim is frustrated by the doubts expressed in the international community about his will to preemptively denuclearize. He told Chung that he feels the good faith moves made by North Korea should be reciprocated.

(antiwar.com)

The trade war that Our Dear Leader has started with China has consequences……many have said the China has been a big help getting NK to the negotiating table….but for how much longer?

While the US has been pushing for diplomatic progress with North Korea to be met with even more restrict sanctions and restrictions, other countries have called for the UN to ease them. The US has blocked that, so far, but it isn’t stopping nations like China unilaterally easing limits on trade.

China has long been North Korea’s main trading partner, and while that trade ground to a halt earlier this year, a lot of it shows signs of picking up. Reports have China reopening coal trade, restarting frozen construction projects, and again allowing tourists into Pyongyang.

Analysts are suggesting that this “undercuts” US calls to keep escalating sanctions on North Korea, though there is also a case to be made that China is trying to ensure that it retains a major seat at the table if North Korea suddenly becomes an opened market with a lot of trade business.

(antiwar.com)

How much longer will China assist the process with this trade war looming large?

As one can see here is more going on on the Korean Peninsula than we are being told…..

A closing thought–President Trump tweeted to thank North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for his “unwavering faith,” promising that the two leaders would “get it done together.” This came after Wednesday’s reports that Kim, despite frustration at the diplomatic process, remains confident in Trump’s ability to progress things personally.

 

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Teach Me How To Do The Job

I have worked in the foreign service and I have taught about foreign policy and international relations/conflict management……recently a young man asked me if I could help him prepare to take the Foreign Service Exam (FSOT)….I agreed to do so.

First thing I needed to do is let the young man know that the exam has many parts…written, oral, medical, security clearance and if at first he does not succeed he may take the test again.

To be employed in foreign service you will have to understand….geography, economics, political science…..the candidate will go before the QEP, Qualifications Evaluations Panel…..such skills will be needed such as…..communication skills, management skills, intellectual skills, an understanding of US history/government/culture.

I try to emphasize that the tests are not for the faint at heart….to pass these tests it will take hard work/hard study……but if and when one makes it through the process then the whole world opens up to them.

The study of international relations is a subject that has many aspects……I studied the political history of the Middle East but I could have studied many other subjects….a short intro to international relations…..

The jobs that you can expect to be offered….(below)…..

A career in international relations can be very rewarding and fascinating work…..foreign service is just one of the careers that are open to grads in international relations.

My advice was to get an advanced degree and then decide which field is to one’s liking……then decide if foreign service is to their liking….it is not for everyone.

I told the young man to let me know if I can be of any help in their pursuit of the degree and to keep his head up and an eye to the news.

The Western Balkans

These days the Balkans are not in the news as they once were….for back in the days of Pres, Clinton there were several wars raging in the region and of course the US was ass deep in the action.

These wars came about after the fall of Yugoslavia and it breaks into separate nations……but why all the hostilities?

 

If you are a bit too young to remember those days…I have a short video that may help……

And because of these “hatreds” war broke out all among the nations that use to be known as Yugoslavia….

Now that I have refreshed everyone’s memory I will continue with why I bring all this up….

Why has America overlooked the geopolitical opportunities made possible by forging a stronger relationship with the Western Balkans?

In part, America’s renewed interest reflects a wish that Balkans wars remain a thing of the past. Equally important, the United States hopes the Balkans’ future will be as a net contributor to peace and prosperity in the transatlantic community.

Complaints that the United States is disengaging from Europe and indifferent to the fate of the region are just plain wrong headed. On the other hand, Washington could do much more than wishful thinking to transform the Western Balkans from backwater to a bedrock of progress.

The United States should be leading to redefine “balkanization.” Instead of representing fragmentation and division, the region ought to stand as example of integration and affluence.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/how-build-better-balkans-27847

Our Dear Leader is the “Art of the Deal” president…..and because of his thrills of deals is harming the relations in the Balkans….

European officials are concerned the Trump administration’s hands-off approach to diplomacy could risk destabilizing a tinderbox region in Southeast Europe.

Europe’s major capitals — and until recently, Washington — have long opposed any proposal that toys with borders in the Western Balkans, fearing that such moves would disrupt the region’s delicate balance. But, under President Donald Trump, the US appears to have adopted a more ambivalent approach.

Europeans’ latest fears for the region center on Kosovo — which in 2008 unilaterally declared independence from Serbia — and the growing prospect of an agreement to redraw the border between the two countries.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/albertonardelli/serbia-kosovo-trump

I feel that all this “deal crap” shows the world that a business man may not be the best person to run a country….a company is not a country….maybe now the GOP will shut the Hell up about a successful businessman as a candidate.

“Arab” NATO–Again

I see that the pressure keeps up on an idea that Dear Leader is championing…an Arab NATO…..(I tire of all this stupid)…I have given some thoughts on this stupid counter-productive proposal…..

https://lobotero.com/2018/08/02/revive-the-middle-east-nato/

Of course we have those individuals like the Washington Times that has their opinion also……

The Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a plan for a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the Middle East. The plan, which some in the White House and Middle East are calling an “Arab NATO” of Sunni Muslim allies can clearly be seen as one way to counter expansionism by Shi’ite Iran and referred to as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA).

At a time when many are rethinking the utility of alliances such as NATO, this one could be a highly useful in dealing with the very real and immediate problems posed by Iran. Hopefully, it will be a subject for a summit provisionally scheduled for Washington in October.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/aug/6/why-an-arab-nato-must-keep-israel-in-the-mix/

I say SCREW Israel!  After their recent vote making anyone not a Jew a second class citizen should eliminate them from participating in anything to do with the Middle East.

Bloomberg thinks they have a better idea…….

The White House has indicated President Trump will convene leaders of the Gulf Arab countries for a mid-October summit in Washington, to encourage them to collaborate and stiffen their resolve in the escalating struggle with Iran. That’s a good idea, and overdue.

Encouraging cooperation is one thing, but leading a formal Arab coalition is quite another. U.S. officials talk of creating an “Arab NATO.” This would attach American power and prestige to a project with little chance of success. U.S. interests and the fight against Iran will be best served if Trump achieves a more modest goal — persuading the Arab states to stop fighting each other.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-02/an-arab-nato-here-s-a-better-idea-for-trump

Again let me state…this idea is worthless and useless….there is already an organization in place that should be handling these situations in the Middle East…..it is called the Arab League.

All this maneuvering is to protect Israel nothing more….the policies by the Arab states should be handled by Arabs…..confronting Israel or that other dire threat Iran should fall on the shoulders of all the Arab states not the select few that have given Trump a blow job.

So I Have Written!

Turn The Page!

Dear Leader’s Sanctions

Our Dear Leader met with Vlad the Putin in Helsinki and the media went bat crap crazy……speculation ran like wine in the street…..but let’s be honest….Trump has attempted to put all this criticism to bed (pun was not intended….but now that I wrote it…maybe it was)

To put the speculation about the the voter tampering on the back page of the newspaper……

The White House is crafting on an executive order that would give President Trump the authority to sanction foreigners who interfere in U.S. elections, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The news outlet obtained an eight-page draft of the order, which allows the president to impose sanctions on “10 of the 30 largest businesses” in a country whose government has interfered in the U.S. electoral process.

Those penalties would only be imposed mandatorily if foreigners are found to have meddled, the Post reported. Similar sanctions already have been implemented against Russians determined to have interfered in the 2016 election.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/401012-white-house-working-on-executive-order-to-allow-trump-to-punish

Then there was the news about the Russian poisoning in the UK…..Dear Leader will weigh in on this also……

Months after Britain alleged that the Russian government carried out nerve-agent attacks in Salisbury, the Trump Administration has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia, aimed to punish them for the incident.

The Novichuk poisoning incident was claimed by Britain’s government, but contested by Russia. There was never conclusive evidence to support the claims Russia was behind it. At the time, the US expelled a number of Russian diplomats, that too nominally over the poisonings.

(antiwar.com)

The problem for me with this is story……the US has never answered the question of how it decided to accept Britain’s allegations without evidence. It’s also not clear why the US decided to wait five months after the expulsions to impose the sanctions. Still, sanctioning Russia happens so often the US doesn’t often need much excuse on timing or pretext.

The White House is trying to silence some of the criticism by these moves…..but now the question is….will it work?  NOT!

Then there is another way of looking into sanctions…….

It’s embarrassing enough to have Donald Trump as president. But now American citizens have to endure the additional pain of the sanctions that other countries are imposing on the United States. Doesn’t the world realize that we’re suffering enough as it is? That seems so grossly unfair.

Oh, but wait: that’s how sanctions work.

https://theantimedia.com/impose-sanctions-on-donald-trump/

So I Have Written!

Turn The Page!

Jimmy, Thank You

The Far Right thinks that demonizing Pres. Carter is the way to make their policies law…..they are wrong and anyone that criticizes Carter are wrong….from a foreign policy point of view Carter was a success on many levels…..most notably in the Middle east….it is possible that if he had won re-election the complexion of the conflict would be different.  He seldom gets credit for the START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) which was suppose to eliminate all nukes in the future….and then Reagan shows up and the conflict talk gets louder…..his only “sin” was the failed rescue attempt of the hostages in Iran…..the failure was not the fault of Carter or his plan…weather and malfunctioning equipment caused the failure….but according to many on the Right it was all Jimmy’s fault…kinda like everything these days is Obama’s fault.  I will admit that Jimmy crapped in his corn flakes with the neutron bomb fiasco…..

There is no comparison with after presidency activism…Carter is far more down to earth than his wealthy greedy executives that followed…..but that aside let’s look at his foreign policy chops……

When the historian Walter Russell Mead in a Foreign Policy article published in early 2010, sought to criticize the Obama administration and warn it against the risks of “weakness and indecision” and “incoherence and reversals,” the essay’s headline evoked the threat of a “Carter syndrome.” The meaning was clear: a damning allusion to President Jimmy Carter’s famously weak foreign-policy record.

But there was a problem with Mead’s comparison: The conventional wisdom about Carter is wrong. Far from the feckless leader he’s often portrayed as today, Carter racked up more tangible successes in just four years than most other presidents have in eight.

Read more…….

Thank You, Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter deserves the atta boys he deserves…..not some made up BS from jealous politicos……my feeling is that the world would have been a better place if he had been given another term to implement his policies further……the Middle East may have looked different and nukes may have not been the bane they are these days……

Carter will always have a warm spot in my heart….even though I was a radical in those days his policies were well worth support.

Turn The Page!

Gunboats Are Circling!

I am sure that we all remember Dear Leader’s threats to North Korea’s Kim…the “Fire and Fury” thingy…..well he, Dear Leader, did not stop there he has extended his bullying to Iran…..

Over the weekend he had a meltdown and started yelling (through CAPS) on Twitter….. “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” he wrote. “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”

That is what we foreign policy wonks call “Gunboat Diplomacy”…..now what does that mean?

“Gunboat diplomacy” refers to a foreign policy that relies on force or the threat of force. To some extent, such an approach to foreign policy has always existed between empires and nations. But in the American political lexicon the term is most commonly applied to U.S. foreign policy in the Caribbean, Central America, and the northern tier of South America during the first three decades of the 20th century. Thereafter, this policy gave way to the “Good Neighbor Policy” formulated first by Herbert Hoover and then put into practice by Franklin D. Roosevelt, whereby the United States would commit to refraining from armed intervention in Latin America.

One of the first examples of American gunboat diplomacy was the mission of Comm. Matthew C. Perry, who steamed with eight ships, one-third of the U.S. Navy, to “open” Japan to trade with the United States in 1853. When Perry returned, as promised, the next year, the Tokugawa Shogunate agreed to the Treaty of Kanagawa in part out of recognition of what unbridled European powers were doing in nearby China. Naval shows-of-force followed in Korea, Hawaii, and China.

Teddy’s “Carry a big stick” was an extension of Gunboat Diplomacy”……I refresh my readers memory because it appears that Dear Leader is reverting back to this type of foreign policy……

The situation in Latin America is becoming more volatile….Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc…….How will Dear Leader handle the coming crisis?

News media outlets are abuzz with reports that President Trump told aides in August 2017 to prepare a contingency plan for U.S. military intervention in Venezuela. The president apparently indicated considerable interest in that option. His security advisers reportedly pushed back firmly, arguing that resorting to military force would have significant adverse repercussions. For example, they warned it could cause a surge of anti-U.S. sentiment throughout the Western Hemisphere. Although their opposition caused the president to put his flirtation with that drastic measure on hold, there is no evidence that he has renounced it. Indeed, given the worrisome political, economic, and security developments in Venezuela, Central America, and Mexico, there is a significant chance that President Trump or a future occupant of the White House will give that option serious consideration.

There may be a tendency to forget that U.S. military coercion of troublesome regimes in the Western hemisphere was once a major item in Washington’s foreign policy toolbox. That approach, so-called gunboat diplomacy, led to numerous military interventions during the first three decades of the twentieth century. That was especially true in Central America and the Caribbean. Washington launched multiple invasions and occupations of countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. Even Mexico, a much larger and stronger country, was not immune to Washington’s imperialism. During Woodrow Wilson’s administration, U.S. forces seized the port city of Veracruz and sent an expeditionary force deep into northern Mexico in an attempt to apprehend Pancho Villa and his armed rebels.

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/will-trump-revert-gunboat-diplomacy-latin-america

I know that the majority of Dear Leaders advisers would attack Iran tomorrow if they thought they could get away with it…..I hear he will convene his National Security Council soon and there is something they should consider (According to the Modern War Institute)

If President Donald Trump’s most recent tweets about Iran are any indication, a military confrontation with Iran is not off the table. And yet, there is almost certainly little consensus, even within the administration, about the wisdom of such a course of action. Mark Perry’s recent Foreign Policy article about Defense Secretary James Mattis’s efforts to avert war with Iran notes Mattis harbors no illusions regarding Iranian threats, but that he is also keenly aware any military strike would have broad and negative repercussions for the United States. One such repercussion is how an Iranian conflict might lead to regime change, possibly forcing the United States into another occupation in the region. Even the most hawkish US officials are not eager at the prospect of another foreign occupation. Occupations are something the United States has struggled with, most notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, since war rarely goes according to plan, the circumstances and situations war creates demand policymakers evaluate countless “what if” scenarios; including the possibility of a military strike escalating into regime change and a subsequent occupation.

https://mwi.usma.edu/pentagon-planning-occupation-iran-even-though-nightmare-scenario/

Just what the US needs yet another nightmare scenario….we have had enough of them with Afghanistan and Iraq….so where is the logic in making another one?

I realize that Dear Leader does not believe the old axiom…”Might Does Not Make Right”…….but he continues to thump his chest like a sex crazed primate…..and the nation will suffer.

SUFFER?  Now there is the one word that supporters of Our Dear Leader will fixate on a demand to know what I mean by “SUFFER”…..just so there is NO confusion…..by suffer I mean the loss of human life….the loss of taxpayer money that goes unaccounted for……and the loss of oversight by Congress….do you get the picture now?

Since too many of his supporters go to the Closing Thought only then they have missed anything that I may have written earlier…so I feel for their convenience I feel I need to explain everything so they do not look stupid.