Why Are Saudis Our Friend?

I keep asking this question with little information that would state firmly that they are our friends…..it is a question I have asked many times and as of yet have NO good answer why it is assumed that they are our friends.

That is the question….I mean there is still a chance that they knew about the attack on 9/11….but that aside look no further back than the attack in Pensacola last year…..

In December of last year, the United States suffered the first deadly, internationally orchestrated terrorist attack on its soil since 9/11 — when a Saudi Air Force trainee killed three US sailors and wounded eight others at a Navy air base in Pensacola, FL.

Last week, the FBI and Attorney General William Barr announced that data recovered from the cellphone of the perpetrator further confirms that the mass shooting was an act of terrorism, and that the gunman had ties to al-Qaeda. Was this a discrete act committed in the name of a rogue terrorist organization — or an extension of long-standing Saudi state policy?

The Terrorist Threat Concealed by Saudi ‘Soft Power’

The US NEVER needed the Saudis even at the height of the oil boom……and now we are beholden to them for so much…..

he U.S.-Saudi relationship has been badly weakened over the last few years, and it seems as if there are new reasons for ending that relationship every week. Saudi war crimes in Yemen and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi served to turn much of Washington against the kingdom, and their reckless foreign policy has given even some of their regular supporters cause for alarm. The Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has done a remarkable job of burning his bridges with even the most reliable pro-Saudi hawks in Washington.

The Saudis’ ill-advised oil price war this spring alienated many of their few remaining allies on Capitol Hill, and it prompted a rare threat from the Trump administration that the U.S. would cut off military support to the kingdom unless Saudi oil production was reduced. Three years of impunity and constant indulgence of his many other crimes probably made the crown prince believe that he could do whatever he wanted without suffering consequences, but once again he misjudged and overreached.

America’s Saudi Partnership Is Now Killing Americans

Now I need to answer my question….why are the Saudis our friend?

MONEY!  There is your answer.

This article can explain the relationship expertly……

The Trump Administration has sent a notification to Congress confirming plans to sell $500 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia in an upcoming round of sales. The plan would include sales of Paveway bombs to the Saudis, and licenses to Raytheon to let them manufacture the bombs directly in Saudi Arabia.

These bombs are part of a 2019 deal in which the Saudis intend to buy 60,000 precision munitions. The deal has continued to face heavy resistance in Congress, in no small part because the Saudis have been committing war crimes with these US-made arms.

Concerns about US culpability in having provided these arms were compounded with the Saudi assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which fueled a substantial political backlash. So far, the Trump Administration has resisted letting Congress block any sales, but each announcement starts the battle anew.

Large sales of arms to the Middle East have been a high priority for years for US presidents, and that push looks likely to continue until Congress finally gets enough resistance in the way to force a rethink of the wisdom of heavily arming nations in war-torn parts of the world.

(antiwar.com)

The religious ideology of KSA is the same ideology that emboldens al-Qaeda and ISIS….what part of that is friendly toward the US?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

India-China Tensions

India and China have a rich and horrific history……several wars in 1962 and 1967….

For those that prefer visual to reading…..

1962 War…..

 
1967 War

And now the two countries are chest thumping again…..

As precursors to possible nuclear war go, fistfights and stone throwing aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind.

But along India and China’s long, contested border, that’s exactly what has been happening for the past month, prompting President Trump on Wednesday to offer to mediate what he called a “now raging dispute” between Asia’s two major military powers.

Tensions along the 2,000 mile stretch have been high for decades, with the Indian government reporting more than 1,000 mostly minor incursions by Chinese troops between 2016-18. But hostilities have increased over the last several weeks following large Chinese troop movements into previously Indian-controlled territory.

Here’s what to know about the rising tensions between the world’s two most populous countries.

https://time.com/5843279/india-china-border/

Then Donald the Orange believing that he is some sort of foreign policy genius…he has offered to mediate the two tense countries…..

US President Donald Trump intruded into the tense border standoff between China and India Wednesday with a spurious offer to mediate and even “arbitrate” “their now raging border dispute.”

Announced in a tweet, Trump’s “offer” was a provocation meant to signal to Beijing that Washington is involving itself ever more directly in Sino-Indian relations, and doing so as part of an across-the-board ratcheting up of its strategic offensive against China.

Hundreds of Chinese and Indian troops are currently arrayed against each other “eyeball to eyeball” in at least four places along their disputed border. Beijing and New Delhi have also deployed additional forces and war materiel to forward bases near the border, both to signal their resolve and to acclimatize their troops to the high-altitude Himalayan terrain.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/29/inch-m29.html

This offer by Trump could do more damage than good…..his ideas are not in the vane of orderly policy…..

Trump needs to butt out and let professionals handle the tension and the conflict should it bloom into violence.

AJE is reporting that Chinese troops have entered into Indian lands….not looking good….

On May 5, a scuffle broke out between Indian and Chinese troops at the Pangong Tso lake, located 14,000 feet (4,270 metres) above the sea level in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.

A video shot by an Indian soldier and shared on social media showed soldiers from both nations engaged in fistfights and stone-pelting at the de facto border, known as Line of Actual Control (LAC). The incident, which continued until the next day, resulted in 11 soldiers being injured on both sides.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/tense-india-china-standoff-himalayan-border-escalate-200527120501581.html

Damn!  The last thing this planet needs is another war!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Slow Death Of The State Department

After the military I worked for the DoD and the State Department…..I was proud of the work that most of us peons were doing promoting the US while promoting solutions for problems other than war.

But I have not been so proud of the department in the last couple of decades from Bush 1 forward……in fact I believe the State Department is slowly dying and being replaced by the DoD and endless wars…..at this rate the State Dept. will be gone by mid-century…..

The Department of State drifted through the past handful of administrations, an agency without agency, adequate personnel, or budget, virtually obsolete in the 21st Century. How did this happen?

Traditional diplomacy began as a necessary expedient. Nations had business with one another, but messages could take weeks to travel from one capital to another. Instead, ambassadors were sent out, empowered in the case of the U.S. as the President’s personal representative. Heady stuff. Over time communications improved to the point where world leaders can now text each other, but those ambassadors and embassies remain like vestigial limbs.

With exceptions (FDR stand outs), presidents did not conduct first-name diplomacy or tie themselves up with the details of foreign affairs. They had secretaries of state for that. Things shifted under Richard Nixon, whose interest in first-person diplomacy with China and ownership of the Vietnam War sent the State Department into a supporting role. Soon enough, events both internal and external to the U.S., its State Department, and the world, did their work.

The Long, Lingering Death of the U.S. State Department

The decades past has shown what these Neoliberal twats have done to foreign policy……

Ben Rhodes, who served as President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, labeled the nation’s foreign policy elite as “the Blob.” Members of this well-educated, well-connected group disagree on peripherals but agree on essentials of foreign policy. Their almost unanimous bottom line is that the U.S. government must run the world.

The result over the last couple decades has been catastrophic. Thousands of dead Americans. Tens of thousands injured, many maimed horribly. Hundreds of thousands of dead civilians in the nations Washington was supposed to be liberating. Millions of people driven from their homes. Trillions of dollars wasted. Enemy nations empowered. Terrorists created. America’s reputation shattered.

The Foreign Policy Blob Strikes Back: We’re Just Fine, Proclaim Architects of Endless Wars

Allowing the DoD to set foreign policy is just plain wrong….they implement foreign policy not invent it.

I miss my work for State but I am glad that I got out when I could still hold my head up and say that the US was truly a world leader……since then it has gone downhill and at the bottom of the hill is Trump and his impotent minions.

The world order is gone along with US foreign policy….

The authors contend that world order “weakened after 9/11 and ended over the past decade, driven by a combination of great power ambition, American withdrawal, and transformational changes that left many nations unmoored from old certainties.”

“The fundamental strategic problem the United States faces with respect to world order is how it should respond to the breakdown in agreed arrangements between the major powers,” say Blackwill and Wright. For the United States to “preserve its national interests and its own notion of international order” in the wake of COVID-19, the authors argue that the United States should:

https://www.cfr.org/report/end-world-order-and-american-foreign-policy

This fall from prominence will take decades are longer to repair….if ever.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Medicine At Sea

During the time of medical emergency…..the whole world should be of one mind…..those that can should send help to the less fortunate…..like that of Cuba (here I do not care about their politics it is about the assistance for medical emergencies…..if you want to lambast Cuba then go elsewhere to do so….thanx)

Cuba has sent doctors and nurses to 15 nations as a help for the fight against Covid-19…..

One of Cuba’s flagship programs has been state-employed medical workers. The Cuban health system has always been the pride of the communist regime and highly praised by official propaganda, becoming almost a myth at the international level. For two years, the Trump administration has tried to eliminate that “good image” of Cuban doctors, labeling the doctors and nurses as exploited workers and agents of communist indoctrination, which made countries like Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia, when their administrations became more conservative, decide to do without them in order to replace them with others more friendly to Washington. 

But the coronavirus pandemic has brought about a change in the image of the Cuban regime and, through an exercise in medical diplomacy, many are the countries that have changed their discourse with the island, and now are grateful for the help given. At least 15 countries have received Cuban doctors from Havana, including Italy and the small principality of Andorra.  The Generalitat of Catalonia has also requested the help of Cuban doctors, pending the decision of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, which have to evaluate whether it responds to a real need.

https://atalayar.com/en/content/cuba-sends-health-aid-15-countries-fight-coronavirus

Cuba even offered to help Mississippi after Katrina and their offer was ignored….I think that was a mistake.

The US could be doing this very thing…..for we have two ships, medical ships, Mercy and Comfort…..are large naval vessels that are outfitted to go anywhere and dole out medical assistance….and yet we have all but moth balled these ships.

The white-hulled, 894-foot-long ships were designed with expansive surgical, laboratory and intensive-care facilities and 12 operating rooms. When deployed, about 70 civilian mariners operate each ship, and the embarked MTF’s size is dictated by the mission and beds planned, usually for 250 to 500 patients. Each ship can support a 1,000-bed capacity by double-bunking beds if needed.

But neither ship came close to reaching capacity, prompting scathing headlines and social media criticism that the deployments were unnecessary and politically driven. Both New York’s and California’s governors had requested the hospital ships, and officials praised the ships’ early medical support. Stay-at-home orders resulted in fewer trauma cases and infected patients sent to the ships. “Mercy and its highly-trained medical personnel… was critical to our ability to respond in the first stages of the pandemic,” Mark Ghilarducci, director of California’s office of emergency services, said in a statement.

Beyond Mercy: Navy’s COVID-19 Hospital Ship Missions and the Future of Medicine at Sea

These ships should be staffed and on stand-by to give assistance when it is needed…..plus it should be equipped with the most up to date equipment and drugs that may be needed…..

The US could do more to repair the crappy foreign policy by having these ships available for humanitarian missions.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

North Korea/Kim News

Covid has pretty much sucked the air out of the international stories that we should be concerned with…….and North Korea is one of those countries that will use the pandemic as cover for their ambitions (kinda like Trump)……

Kim and “chukjibeop”……

North Korea’s official newspaper is reporting that Kim Jong Un can’t actually bend space and time. As the regime’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper revealed this week: “In realistic terms, a person cannot suddenly disappear and reappear by folding space.” A South Korean official told Yonhap News the development was “noteworthy” and said “it appears to stress patriotism and love for the people rather than mystification of the leaders.” Indeed, the Telegraph portrays this as an attempt to de-mythologize North Korea’s leaders and dispel a decades-old belief in “chukjibeop”—the notion that certain people can travel long distances in a short time by folding space.

It also jibes with a Kim quote after he and President Trump failed in 2019 to hammer out a denuclearization agreement for a second time. “Mystifying a leader’s revolutionary activity and appearance would result in covering the truth,” Kim said last March. “Absolute loyalty would spring up when (they) are mesmerised by the leader humanly and comradely.” For the curious, “chukjibeop” apparently derives from East Asian mythology and translates as “distance-shrinking magic,” per the International Business Times. There was a hit North Korean song called “General Uses Chukjibeop” about Kim’s dad, Kim Jong Il, using the supernatural power.

Those talks with NK have been stalled and now Kim decides that nukes would be the place to put his energies…..

North Korea’s peace talks have been stalled for many months, and with no signs of that changing soon, Kim Jong Un has announced that he will be working on enhancing North Korea’s nuclear deterrence and putting strategic forces on high alert.

Kim made this announcement in his later infrequent public appearance, the first in three weeks. During coronavirus, Kim has been se4en less and less, leading to international speculation at times about his status.

Though a peace process would clearly be preferable for all sides, the lack of any such options has North Korea’s state media emphasizing their ability to “reliably contain the persis6tent big or small military threats from hostile forces.

At one point, North Korea was to disarm its nuclear program as part of a peace and normalization deal with the US. The US refused to give North Korea any relief, and North Korea backed away from the process until the US was willing to give them something. The two nations have returned to not talking, and occasional US threats.

(antiwar.com)

Let’s take a look at the negotiations over 3 presidents through the eyes of National Interest……

George W. Bush vs Kim Jong-il ended zero to eight. Having entered office insisting that Kim Jong-il would never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, as Bush left office, the intelligence community estimated that Kim had an arsenal of eight.

-Barack Obama vs Kim Jong-un requires two scores: Kim’s arsenal grew from eight balls to some twenty to sixty. But more consequentially, Kim ate his Wheaties and worked on extending the distance to which he can throw a ball from five feet to twenty-five feet (far enough to reach American military bases in Guam); and Kim was also practicing a maneuver that would allow him to throw shots eighty feet to hit the American homeland. 

-Under Trump, Kim increased and improved his arsenal of shots, including material for making the balls, but on the second metric—“throw distance”—while Kim perfected his technique to reliably throw balls to twenty-five feet, Kim stopped practicing the maneuver that would otherwise have proven beyond doubt he could throw shots all the way to Washington, DC.

Why should we as Americans care about the negotiations with North Korea?

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Washington policymakers fixated on the status of Kim Jong-un, the 36-year-old leader of an isolated, impoverished state half a world away. Then came reports of North Korean construction of ICBMs and a new missile support facility.

The Pentagon previously cited Pyongyang as a reason the U.S. required a credible nuclear deterrent. President Donald Trump even threatened “fire and fury” against the Kim government, before switching course and organizing a summit with the communist monarch. At that time six of every ten Americans believed the North to be the nation posing the greatest threat to America.

Why do Americans pay attention to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)?

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/499431-why-do-americans-worry-about-north-korea

There always seems to be something happening on the Korean Peninsula……and we miss a lot of the stuff.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Spend China And Russian Into Submission

Since we have bowed out of every nuke deal ever made and China and Russia have stepped up to get in the nuke game….but not to worry the US is willing to spend whatever it takes to crush their rivals in the nuclear arms race….

US arms control negotiator Marshall Billingslea, far from focusing on avoiding an arms race, saying that the US “sure would like to avoid it” but is also willing to spend Russia and China “into oblivion” to win a nuclear arms race.

“The president has made clear that we have a tried and truce practice here. We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.” This was the go-to US strategy in the Cold War, where the US vastly outpsent the Soviet Union.

With the US scrapping the INF and Open Skies treaties, it seems unlikely to extend New START, making a costly arms race an increasing risk. Since the US vastly outspends everyone on the military, there seems to be an assumption they can win by just keeping up the spending.

Whether that is practical going forward, however, is another matter. With the US engaged in a costly battle with coronavirus, there was already talk the US would have to slash spending, particularly on arms, to deal with the deficit. A huge arms race is just not affordable.

(antiwar.com)

So the US cannot find the cash for a failing infrastructure or the fight against Covid-19….but they are willing to spend whatever it takes to embarrass their rivals….is that about it?

The US has enough nukes to make humanity suffer a bunch…..so do we really need more?  According to Donald the Orange….we do.

How does the US get Russia and China to the negotiating table? Senior administration officials came up the idea of carrying out the first US nuclear test explosion since 1992, and this conversation is still ongoing.

Carrying out nuclear tests is a hugely provocative move on the global scale, and yet the Trtump Administration thought it could “prove useful” in trying to get Russia and China into trilateral nuclear talks.

This probably was also informing the administration in accusing, without evidence, both Russia and China of conducting nuclear tests in secret. Global monitoring makes secret tests all but impossible, but allegating them of having done so would be cover for the US to do it too.

Officials said the December discussion on the matter didn’t end with any agreement to conduct a test, but that it is an “ongoing conversation” that they keep going back to as a possible idea in response to threats from Russia and China.

(antiwar.com)

For those too damn young to remember all the PR about nukes and the results…..let me refresh some memories…..

A professor at Georgetown University, he’s taught an undergraduate course on nuclear weapons and world politics for the past decade. He always asks the same question on the last day: How many of his students think they’ll see nuclear weapons used in their lifetime?

For many years, no more than one student would raise their hand. That made sense, he told me, because in those days, “talking about nuclear war was like talking about dinosaurs — it’s just something from the past that won’t be something in our future.”

But the past couple of years have been different. When he asked that question again this spring, roughly 60 percent of his students raised their hands. What’s more, he agrees with them. “If I had to bet at least one nuclear weapon would be used in my lifetime,” says the 40-year-old Kroenig, “my bet would be yes.”

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/19/17873822/nuclear-war-weapons-bombs-how-kill

We need sanity in our approaches to the rest ofm them world…not knee jerk reactions and a dash to the TV for the delivery of lies and disinformation.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Darling Of The Neocons

Those Neocons have been beating war drums for decades….against Iran a stable in Neocon circles….more recently Venezuela……but now they have a new (fairly new) opponent and a subject for their hatred…..that would be China.

And now the darling of the Neocons….Tom Cotton of Arkansas has been giving lip service to all the enemies or perceived enemies…..the Neocons have targeted…..

Cotton now has picked on the mantle of China basher……a dream come true for him….he now is front and center in the bashing….before he was just a small voice within the Neocom elite….

Now he can roar for he has the president as a ally……

A long time ago—during the 2010s—a young, Harvard-educated veteran from the Deep South crossed paths with Washington’s most senior Republican intellectual.

His name was Tom Cotton. His mentor’s: Bill Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard.

The wunderkind Arkansas senator has been a national security hawk for decades. In China, he’s found his grandest foe yet.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., arrives in the Capitol for the Senate Republicans lunch on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A long time ago—during the 2010s—a young, Harvard-educated veteran from the Deep South crossed paths with Washington’s most senior Republican intellectual.

His name was Tom Cotton. His mentor’s: Bill Kristol, the editor of the conservative Weekly Standard.

The duo are said to have struck up a correspondence in the early 2000s, when Cotton was at Harvard Law. Kristol was at the height of his powers; Cotton was just amassing his. As revealed in Molly Ball’s definitive profile, ten years later, they began meeting in person, at the District’s Mayflower hotel. The venue — at Connecticut and K, where John F. Kennedy had an apartment and John Bolton sat through his exit interview—matched the mood, and the anxiety, of the Republican Party. Lavish, no doubt, but perhaps also past its prime. 

By his early thirties, Cotton’s Stakhanovite discipline had yielded a dazzling array of accomplishments. Double Harvard (undergrad and law), protégé of the influential West Coast Straussians at the Claremont Institute, associate at the conservative Gibson & Dunn law firm followed by a stint for Republican superlawyer Charles J. Cooper, service as an Army infantry officer with a Bronze Star to boot, and for fun, a dabble in blogging for the not-so-underground Power Line and a lucrative victory lap at McKinsey.

Tom Cotton Has Been Waiting Years for This

A dangerous voice……these are same types that lead the US into a failed invasion and occupation of Iraq…..hopefully NO one will not listen to the fantasies spread by this person and his ilk.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”