Mines That Litter The Diplomatic Field

I realize that most people are trying to wrap their heads around just what the deal is with Dear Leader and Putin…but there is another situation that should not be ignored.

Even the most moronic of Trump supporters has got his mind full of the Kim-Trump “summit”….most seem to think that some sort of peace deal is inevitable simply because the two men met and complimented each and that is all it takes to end 70 years of hostilities…..to that way of think I say….you are dreaming moose brains!

I wrote a couple of posts after the “summit” had taken place describing what could happen as the process went forward…..5

https://lobotero.com/2018/06/13/what-are-the-summit-successes/

https://lobotero.com/2018/06/14/peace-in-our-time-4/

The negotiations to rid the Korean Peninsula of the threat of nukes could hit several land mines in diplomacy……

A denuclearization deal with North Korea is more within reach than anyone could have thought possible a very short time ago. Thanks to the tireless diplomatic work of Moon Jae In of South Korea and the unexpectedly adept diplomatic work of Kim Jong Un of North Korea, a joint statement between North Korea and the United States exists and the impossible is suddenly under way.

Those who dismiss the the joint agreement as vague and vacuous and light on detail forget how far the language of the joint declaration has traveled since Trump’s first “fire and fury like the world has never seen” attempt at diplomacy. They also commit the error of comparing the joint statement to history’s final agreements rather than to other first meetings. The diplomacy may also have more content than the joint statement reveals, since some steps seem to have been negotiated that have not yet been made public.

https://original.antiwar.com/Ted_Snider/2018/06/27/the-three-landmines-that-could-kill-the-korea-deal/

There are NO guarantees that this will be a successful diplomatic effort……we can wish them well….but it will be up to the diplomats working behind the scenes to make it a success.

But we should not put too much in the denuke basket?  Why?

Bill Clinton offered oil and reactors. George W. Bush mixed threats and aid. Barack Obama stopped trying after a rocket launch.

A decades-long cycle of crises, stalemates and broken promises gave North Korea the room to build up a legitimate arsenal that now includes purported thermonuclear warheads and developmental ICBMs. The North’s latest announcement stopped well short of suggesting it has any intention of giving that up.

A look at previous negotiations with North Korea and how the currently planned summits took shape:

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International Update–2018

There are so many things happening in the world that it is difficult to write about it all….so IST tries to do an update when events out run the time we have to post…..

The Horn of Africa is always a busy place and an important spot to keep an eye on…..

Ethiopia and Eritrea have set aside their long standing animosities….and are trying to work together…..I wrote about some of this before……

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/11/ethiopia-a-rising-star/

There is more about this situation……

Ever since Ethiopiaannounced in early June that it will fully accept the terms of a 2000 peace agreement with neighbouring Eritrea, the pace of normalisation of relations between the two countries has been truly stunning.

First, a high-level Eritrean delegation made a visit to Addis Ababa on June 26 and kickstarted the talks on ending the decades-long conflict. Only a couple of weeks later, Ethiopia’s reformist new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed made a landmark visit to Asmara and met the Eritrean president face-to-face. 

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/eritreans-happy-peace-wary-afwerki-promises-180709094420940.html

Eritrea has pulled troops back from its heavily militarised border with Ethiopia as a “gesture of reconciliation”, the pro-government Eritrean Press agency said on its Facebook page.

There was no immediate confirmation from the government in Asmara, but the move would be consistent with rapidly improving ties between the Horn of Africa neighbours, whose 1998 war killed tens of thousands and led to two decades of military stalemate.

(reuters)

For a couple of years I have been watching the situation developing in the Caucuses……

https://lobotero.com/2016/05/16/regional-conflict-brewing-in-azerbaijan-armenia/

https://lobotero.com/2018/06/05/between-the-two-seas/

Hostilities run deep in this region and are ever threatening conflict in the making……

Azerbaijan has sharpened its threats of war against Armenia in an apparent attempt to ratchet up tension over Nagorno-Karabakh, the territory that both sides claim.

Verbal threats toward Armenia are nothing new for Azerbaijan, a state for which the phrase “bellicose rhetoric” has become something of a journalistic cliché. But Baku’s rhetoric in the past has tended to couch military threats in the conditional tense, a last resort if diplomatic negotiations fail. Increasingly, however, the military option is being portrayed as the only one.

“The developments unfolding in the world confirm that the international law does not work,” Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev tweeted on June 28. “If it did, Azerbaijani lands would have been freed from the invaders long ago.”

https://lobelog.com/azerbaijans-saber-rattling-grows-louder/

And then there is Syria and yes it is still a complete mess……

Sen. Lindsay Graham, a prominent Republican voice on national security and international policy, spoke out last week during a visit to the Middle East warning Turkey against further military involvement in the Syrian civil war. After meeting with Turkish President Erdogan, Sen. Graham cautioned the NATO ally—“You don’t want any further incursions in Syria by the Turkish military, you’ll get yourself in a quagmire.”

In a world filled with hyperbole, political spin, and fake news, it is rare to hear such an accurate and evidence-based statement as this. The civil war in Syria, raging for more than half a decade, has been a sterling example of a ‘quagmire’ in the geopolitical context since its inception. Even before the fighting started, Syria was one of the most complicated and volatile states in the Middle East.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/17/yes_syria_is_still_a_mess_113614.html

That is the round-up…..I hope you guys find it informative.

History Repeats

I know there are those mental midgets that cannot see the need to keep up with our history….they try to justify their ignorance in some ham fisted philosophical BS to deny history….fortunately for the blogosphere I am NOT one of those  thumb suckers.

Someone once said that “if one ignores history then they are destined to repeat it”…that is a paraphrase so don’t get too excited.

Does anyone remember the bullsh*t that was told to the country to get our invasion and occupation of Iraq to become acceptable……they had WMDs (none were found)…they were in search of yellow cake uranium (was a lie manufactured by neocons)….and then there was the BS about the 9/11 attackers that was bullsh*t…Saddam never aided them in any way……

I bring up this because the war drums are starting to beat lead by the liar in chief at the UN, Amb. Haley……

 US UN envoy Nikki Haley slammed Iran Wednesday ahead of a UN Security Council meeting, Anadolu reports.

Haley criticized Tehran in a press release ahead of a session on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ latest report on the implementation of sanctions against Iran mandated by Security Council Resolution 2231.

Guterres’ report “includes troubling, but not surprising, evidence that Iran has‎ and continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions by shipping weapons across the Middle East, blatantly defying travel bans and providing support to terrorist organizations destabilizing the region,” said the statement.

http://theantimedia.com/iran-violating-un-security-council-resolutions/

It appears that these toads cannot remember that the UN was where GW Bush started his lies of justification.  Trump minions will continue the lies until the shooting starts….just as GW’s boyz did for him…..damn Repubs have no imagination.

The Neocons and Bolton have started their choruses of regime change for Tehran….the same chorus they have used time and time again….but that seldom is a good thing.

These toads want a regime change in Tehran……again history is not on their side at all….we have aided several regimes change in Iran and none of it has gone well for us in the end.

Is it time for America to support regime change in Iran? A growing chorus inside the Beltway says “yes.” According to them, the arc of history bends toward freedom in Iran. Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh argue in The Wall Street Journal that “[d]evising a strategy to collapse the clerical regime isn’t difficult” because “the essential theme in modern Iranian history is a populace seeking to emancipate itself from tyranny.” They see the growing economic chaos in Iran as birth-pangs of emancipation and call for America to act as midwife.

Many intellectuals before Gerecht and Takeyh have advanced theories of unstoppable historical change, driven by forces the wise can interpret and accelerate. In the nineteenth century, Hegel thought history was rushing toward human freedom. Marx thought it drove toward the collapse of capitalism and the rise of socialism. More recently, some thought the end of communism foreshadowed an inevitable global shift toward liberal democracy—an “end of history.” Dictatorships elsewhere, they thought, were living on borrowed time. One small push and the tide of history would do the rest.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/06/27/history_shows_that_regime_change_in_iran_is_not_the_answer_113563.html

America really needs to re-think all their approaches to diplomacy for they are just doing the same things over and over and over….a never ending cycle.

Montenegro–World War III?

How did I miss this international situation?

Most people know that I pride myself on my knowledge of countries and of the different foreign policies……and then we elected Our Dear Leader….and things went to Hell……

Montenegro is a small country that most people could not find on a $5 bet and yet in an interview on FOX with Carlson Our Dear Leader made Montenegro famous…..first what did he actually say?

President Trump suggested in a new interview that defending NATO ally Montenegro could end up causing World War III.

“I understand what you’re saying, I’ve asked the same question,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson that aired Tuesday night, after being asked why the U.S. should send troops to defend a small country. “Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people. They’re very strong people. They are very aggressive people, they may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III. But that’s the way it was set up.”

Just where is the country of aggressive people located?

How about a little info about the Balkan country….geography and a bit of history……

The use of the name Crna Gora or Black Mountain (Montenegro) began in the 13th century in reference to a highland region in the Serbian province of Zeta. The later medieval state of Zeta maintained its existence until 1496 when Montenegro finally fell under Ottoman rule. Over subsequent centuries, Montenegro managed to maintain a level of autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. From the 16th to 19th centuries, Montenegro was a theocracy ruled by a series of bishop princes; in 1852, it transformed into a secular principality. Montenegro was recognized as an independent sovereign principality at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. After World War I, during which Montenegro fought on the side of the Allies, Montenegro was absorbed by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. At the conclusion of World War II, it became a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. When the latter dissolved in 1992, Montenegro joined with Serbia, creating the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and, after 2003, shifting to a looser State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. In May 2006, Montenegro invoked its right under the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro to hold a referendum on independence from the two-state union. The vote for severing ties with Serbia barely exceeded 55% – the threshold set by the EU – allowing Montenegro to formally restore its independence on 3 June 2006. In 2017, Montenegro joined NATO and is currently completing its EU accession process, having officially applied to join the EU in December 2008.

Now that we have our knowledge of Montenegro updated and we need to ask where did Our Dear Leader get his info on these aggressive people?

I think he got his information about having to fight these people from something Carlson read….something written a year before Trump was elected…..

Get used to the possibility that your son or daughter might end up dying for Montenegro because that country has just been invited to become the latest member of NATO, the Cold War organization that was brought into existence to defend Europe from America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union.

Just in case you’ve never heard of Montenegro or maybe don’t know where it is, here’s a link to Wikipedia’s page on the country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montenegro. It seems to me that if your son or daughter might have to die in the defense of Montenegro, you might want to know a little about it or at least where it is located.

https://www.fff.org/2015/12/11/do-you-want-your-children-to-die-for-montenegro/

Now you know where Tucker Carlson got his question for Our Dear Leader.

Why would so many have a hard-on for Montenegro?  Good Question.

Then we had the plot to kill the PM and invite Russia to send in troops…..

Russian government was not involved into an alleged attempt to kill Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, the Kremlin spokesman said

“We, obviously, categorically deny a possibility of official involvement into arranging any illegal actions,” Dmitry Peskov said in a response to a question on the investigation into a plot to kill Djukanovic.

A special prosecutor investigating an alleged plot to sway last month’s election in Montenegro said on Sunday a group of “Russian nationalists” had planned to assassinate the prime minister to get an opposition party into power

(reuters.com)

News From Afghanistan

Believe it or not after 17 long bloody years there is still news from Afghanistan…..

The government of Afghanistan held talks with the Taleban…it brought about a short ceasefire but not much else…..

If the U.S. has any real strategy in Afghanistan, it seems to be fighting a war of attrition long enough and well enough for the threat to drop to a level that Afghan forces can handle or accept a peace settlement credible enough for the U.S. to leave. After seventeen years of combat, no one at any level is claiming that enough military progress has been made in strengthening the ANSF enough for it to win. The most favorable claims seem to be that the ANSF are not losing, may someday become able to win with U.S. support.

No one is making any serious claims about success at the civil level in terms of politics, governance, and economics. Hope for the civil side seems to rely on the theory that if you attempt enough reform plans, one may eventually work. This is a literal triumph of hope over experience.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/afghan-war-attrition-peace-talks-remain-extension-war-other-means

SecState Pompeo visited Afghanistan and reported back that our strategy is indeed working……that is great considering that NO one knows just what the strategy is….so how can we say it is working……

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/no-secretary-pompeo-americas-strategy-in-afghanistan-is-not-working/

Then more news comes out about the ISIS cell fighting in Afghanistan…..

Gen. John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, says that the ISIS affiliate is increasingly resilient, with access to foreign fighters. On top of that, Nicholson warned, ISIS is getting funding and other general support from jihadist groups in several nearby countries.

This is the first time officials are addressing this issue. Afghan officials have declared the ISIS presence in Nangarhar to have been “wiped out” several times following offensives in recent years, and when that offensive wraps up, ISIS reemerges there, seemingly as strong as ever.

Before, officials just ignored the past, and were every bit as confident about their newest offensive. Gen. Nicholson’s comments show that there is at least some recognition that these offensives, while killing a lot of people, aren’t amounting to much.

(antiwar.com)

I apologize for the terrible news but at least you know how bad it is….now is time for the people to speak up and demand out troops come home.

Is There A Boogeyman In The Closet?

Sounds like it could be a song by Little Feat (think “Fat Man In The Bathtub”)

We have a wealth of speculation going on in the media after the Putin-Trump press conference……basically the MSM has lost its mind over the presser……I will say that if they want this speculation to stop then let the interpreter testify before Congress.

Russia has become the scapegoat for everything wrong in the world….there is little doubt that they meddled in the election…..and yes they invaded Crimea and shot down an airplane……and I am sure that I forgot a couple of other so-called digressions……my point is that Trump and Putin are talking which at the best of times would be a good thing but with the president I am NOT so sure how good it will be…..

But since the presser and the babbling that Trump gave as answers to direct questions the media has been losing its mind……

The reaction of the U.S. establishment media and several political leaders to President Donald Trump’s press conference after his summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday has been stunning.

Writing in The Atlantic, James Fallows said:

“There are exactly two possible explanations for the shameful performance the world witnessed on Monday, from a serving American president.

Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests—maybe witting, maybe unwitting, from fear of blackmail, in hope of future deals, out of manly respect for Vladimir Putin, out of gratitude for Russia’s help during the election, out of pathetic inability to see beyond his 306 electoral votes. Whatever the exact mixture of motives might be, it doesn’t really matter.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/16/us-media-is-losing-its-mind-over-trump-putin-press-conference/

I admit that I think that talking is a good thing….however the answers given to direct questions leaves room for so much speculation and the media is only doing what is always doing speculating.

I agree with some of the points being brought out by the media but I also think that this should not be the focus for days on end…..it was a meeting with no set solutions to problems and then the presser was a love fest that we all knew would be  the outcome (and so did the media)….Russia is still the boogeyman in the closet that it has always been.

The only thing to change is the speculation on what the “real” relationship is between Vlad and Our Dear Leader.

In closing…..In case you may have never heard of Little Feat……

Closing Thought–16Jul18

Our Dear Leader’s trip to Europe this past week and into this week has been a wealth of stories for the MSM……and one of the biggest that few have let go by without comment is the fact that he, Trump, thinks that Europe is the US chief foe in the world……

President Trump has raised eyebrows ahead of his meeting with Vladimir Putin regarding who he feels are the enemies of the United States. In an interview from Scotland with CBS News, the president told anchor Jeff Glor that the EU with its 28 members, many of which are longstanding US allies, qualifies. “I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade,” he said. “Now, you wouldn’t think of the European Union, but they’re a foe.” While the interview made headlines mostly for this line on Sunday, just a day before Trump is slated to meet face-to-face with Putin, Trump also said he believes the same about Russia and others. “Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe. But that doesn’t mean they are bad. It doesn’t mean anything. It means that they are competitive,” Trump said.

Trump also sat with former CNN news show host Piers Morgan for the Daily Mail. As USA Today notes, the interview touched on some of today’s most hot-button issues, including the US Supreme Court’s potential to revisit Roe vs. Wade, Trump’s meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, and child separation at the southern border. The interview took place aboard Air Force One, where Trump told Morgan he believes there’s a “very good chance” the high court won’t address the landmark 1973 decision to legalize abortion. Trump also told Morgan he “had a great feeling” during his meeting with the queen and discussed with her the complexities of the Brexit issue. He added that Putin was “probably” ruthless, “but I could name others also.”

I am sorry if this statement insults any of my more Right leaning visitors…..but Our Dear Leader is an idiot…I do not care how many times one tells me that he is a genius and attended  Wharton…..then maybe he should have stayed awake during class…..his words are mindless crap to generate and get headlines and to focus all attention on him……a mental midget that will use his mouth to destroy this nation’s reputation in the world.

Just a thought here……If there is one thing the president and his aides should be working on between rounds of golf at his club in Scotland, it is exactly how the president will look and what he will say on the first handshake with Putin in Helsinki. This is not a reunion of frat buddies or old friends. This is a meeting of two powerful, competitive leaders at a time of great tension in the relationship between their nations, caused by one seeking to undermine the very foundation of the other’s form of government. (FoxNews.com)(Boy did Trump piss that meeting up)

Trying to make sense of the mindless words of Our Dear Leader is so exhausting….but someone needs to let the people know what he is doing to this country.

“I really think the world wants to see us get along,” Trump told reporters….

What world would that be?  The real world or the slimy world in Dear Leader’s mind?