We Have Been Warned!

It seems, it has been reported, that China has warned the US about sailing into the disputed waters in the South China Sea…..yes I said WARNED!

China said on Monday that it has warned two US ships sailing near disputed islands in the South China Sea to leave the area.

The move comes amid heightened tension between Beijing and Washington over trade tariffs, sanctions and Taiwan.

Warships in the South China Sea

  • US guided-missile destroyers Preble and Chung-Hoon traveled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs.
  • The reefs form part of the Spratly Islands, a region of the South China Sea over which China claims sovereignty.
  • The Foreign Ministry said the US vessels entered the waters without Chinese permission.

‘Infringed on Chinese sovereignty’

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press conference that China “is strongly dissatisfied and is resolutely opposed” to the US operation.

https://www.dw.com/en/china-warns-us-after-warships-sail-in-disputed-south-china-sea/a-48614428

Interesting turn of events……usually the US is the country warning others with our might and now the shoe is on the other foot.

China is expanding and the Pacific is their “backyard”…..

On September 30th 2018, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy Type 052C destroyer Lanzhou maneuvered dangerously close to American guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur as it patrolled the South China Sea. Lanzhou came within 50 meters of Decatur’s bow, sounding collision warnings on the bridge as radio calls went unanswered. Chinese skippers typically shadow U.S. vessels in these contested waters, but this behavior was uncharacteristically aggressive.

Decatur was conducting what the U.S. calls a freedom-of-navigation operation  near Gaven Reef in the hotly-contested Spratly Islands.[1] These operations demonstrate the U.S. Navy’s ability to transit international waters under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea—a treaty the U.S. recognizes even if it has not ratified it.[2] China, which is a party to the law of the sea convention, claims adherence to its letter but often violates its spirit with excessive maritime claims.[3]

 
Things are still tense in the South China Sea….maybe the US should focus on this instead of issuing more tariffs that will make any situation worse……this situation will be tense and will be watched……hopefully calmer intentions and/of rhetoric will prevail.
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May Day–2019

Closing Thought–01May19

Today is the International Day of the Worker……he world with the exception of the US will celebrate the worker and his/her contribution to society….the US has to be different and ours is in September….

Knowing me as you do…I must offer some clarification and some history….(it is in my nature)…….

To help my readers with the history of this day I will post a couple of short videos……

As a closing question……who was the first person to use the term….”workers of the world unite”  (oh Hell use Google if you must)…………

I hope that my reader has learned something…..

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

It Is Not Regime Change

Is this post about Venezuela? Nope it is Iran that is in process of a plan for regime change.

When the United States considered labeling the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization in 2017, then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and national security advisor H.R. McMaster were still with the Trump White House. In their places now are Iran hawks Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. The White House’s national security team is, therefore, more heavily in favor of taking a more aggressive stance toward the Islamic republic. With the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis, no influential voices remain to back a moderate course of action. Neither the Pentagon nor the CIA support applying the terrorism label to the IRGC, but their sway is less than it once was. There is now a higher probability that the United States will follow through with the designation. If the State Department does indeed label the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization, it would mark the first time in U.S. history that it would have singled out a branch of a foreign military for such treatment.

On the question of targeting Iranian allies, the United States could designate several Iran-trained militias operating as part of Iraq’s security architecture as terrorist groups under one of several laws. But the consequences of doing so could be high. Although those designations could fall short of provoking Iran to target U.S. personnel in the region, such a decision would stoke anti-U.S. sentiment in Iraq, where these groups have become more entrenched in recent years, and could inspire Iranian-backed popular mobilization units or other groups to lash out at U.S. military, diplomatic and economic targets in Iraq. It would also strengthen the push from Iran-allied politicians in the Iraqi parliament to amend or revoke Iraq’s agreement with the United States to maintain troops in the country. Enforcing such a designation would create a complex problem of monitoring compliance for U.S. and other Western companies given that many of the Iranian-backed militias also have political wings. Earlier this month, the United States designated the Iranian-trained Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba militia in Iraq a terrorist group in what could mark the initial phase of this strategy.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/03/27/the_key_to_countering_iran_114288.html

Sanctions are designed to force a solution out of Iran……a solution that could lead to a shooting conflict…….

Diplomacy is out of the question with the Trumpites……these war hawks will not be happy until the bullets fly……

Can Trump hold back these rebel rousers?

Speaking on Wednesday at The Asia Society, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif says that he does not believe that President Trump wants a war in Iran, citing Trump’s promise “not to waste another $7 trillion” in the Middle East.

That said, Zarif said he believes that Trump aims to ‘bring us to our knees to talk,” while contrasting him with John Bolton and his “B team” who are angling for “regime change at the very least” in Iran.

Zarif linked Bolton to the Saudi crown prince, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Abu Dhabi crown prince, saying they are all looking for a pretext to convince Trump to take “crazy and adventurous” actions.

Zarif said this didn’t amount to a crisis yet, but that it was making the situation very dangerous, and that accidents could have unforeseen consequences for both sides.

(antiwar.com)

Bolton has wanted a war with Iran for 25 years…..and now he has a president’s ear….a president that is for all purposes ignorant on the situation…….

Who will win this tug of war?

Is NATO Dying?

Since Trump became the leader, of whatever it is he thinks he is the leader of, NATO has had a PR problem……there have been several bad moves made by the organization plus the question whether it has out-lived it’s usefulness……I have written on the organization in the past year or so…..https://lobotero.com/2018/07/24/lets-look-at-nato/

Is the NATO we know out-dated?

When NATO was formed seven decades ago, the world was very different: The Soviet Union had advanced into Central Europe, and Western European nations were still recovering from World War II. NATO would help them, Secretary of State Dean Acheson warned, but it would not do so forever. When asked if the United States would need “to send substantial numbers of troops over there as a more or less permanent contribution,” he assured Congress that it wouldn’t. Even Dwight Eisenhower, NATO’s first commander and a future U.S. president, presciently warned that such an American garrison could “discourage the development of the necessary military strength Western European countries should provide themselves.”

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/outdated-alliance

Some say save the organization by re-purpose it……

NATO’s expansion under the Clinton administration, he observes in his Liberty Forum essay, did not strengthen the alliance that brought down the Soviet Empire, but rather transformed it into something different. The 1999 war against Serbia, which the Clinton administration forced upon Serbia in emulation of the 1914 Austrian ultimatum, provided “the chance to demonstrate NATO’s new agenda and ‘out of area’ operations,” as an instrument of the world’s natural evolution towards a “globalization[that]toppled all barriers to the flow of capital, goods, labor, and ideas, spreading democracy, human rights, peace and prosperity.” Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan was “NATO’s second war.” As McDougall observes, “Unanimity in the face of Al Qaeda was squandered, however, when President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq in a wider war that 70 to 80 percent of French and Germans opposed. It might even be said that the alliance fell into abeyance during the final six years of Bush’s tenure.”

 
Then there is the continuous war that NATO seems to embrace….and those that want a way out of the vicious cycle that NATO embraces…….

A strong engagement to find a way out of the war system is of vital importance. This raises the question of the affiliation of Italy and other European countries with NATO.

NATO is not an Alliance. It is an organisation under the command of the Pentagon, and its objective is the military control of Western and Eastern Europe.

US bases in the member countries of NATO serve to occupy these countries, by maintaining a permanent military presence which enables Washington to influence and control their policies and prevent genuine democratic choices.

NATO is a war machine which works for the interests of the United States, with the complicity of the major European power groups, staining itself with crimes against humanity.

 
Let me remind my readers……I am not a supporter of China in any way but look how far they have come without spending massive amounts of cash on war.
 
Just something to think about…..

Fires!

Closing Thought–16Apr19

The world has heard of the catastrophic fire in the cathedral of Notre Dame…..and this is what we know so far….

At 6:20 p.m on Monday, the first call to emergency services came in, but no fire was visible at that time, Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz said. The first call mentioned a fire in the attic, according to the fire brigade.20 minutes later, a second alert was called in, and the fire was visible at that point, the prosecutor said.Around 400 firefighters were deployed to the scene but were delayed slightly by rush hour traffic.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/16/europe/notre-dame-explainer-scli-intl/index.html?no-st=1555429417

The media was fixated on Notre Dame…the third holiness sites of Islam was also aflame……

A fire broke out at the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem just as flames ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Footage showing smoke and fire emerging from the roof of a structure known as the Marwani Prayer Room, or Solomon’s Stables, could be seen on social media. The Palestine News Agency, the official outlet of the Palestinian National Authority, cited a guard as saying Monday that “the fire broke out in the guard’s room outside the roof of the Marwani Prayer Room, and the fire brigade of the Islamic Waqf handled the matter successfully.”

No injuries or damage was reported during the short blaze.

https://www.newsweek.com/notre-dame-fire-aqsa-mosque-1397259

All in all a bad day for holy sites……

 

Foreign Policy Disconnect

My area of what little expertise I possess is in foreign policy and international relations…….especially in the field of conflict (war)…….

My ventures out to the public sphere I encounter many people that have NO idea what foreign policy the US is pursuing other than China bad……there is a disconnect and huge disconnect…..

The American people have not grasp the idea that the US is a global nation, as much as Trump and his minions want it otherwise, and they. the people, need to know what is being done internationally in their name…..

During the Cold War, Washington’s foreign policy establishment operated comfortable in the knowledge that sizeable majorities supported vigorous American global leadership in the struggle with the Soviet Union. More recently, however, many observers have started worrying about the growing disconnect between the Washington’s elites and the public. The scholar Walter Russell Mead argued in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece that the most important question in world politics today is “Will U.S. public opinion continue to support an active and strategically focused foreign policy? 

The answer is a qualified yes. Americans on balance remain committed to international engagement but advocates of the status quo are right to worry because Americans increasingly disagree with Washington about how to engage the world.

https://www.cato.org/blog/mind-gap-foreign-policy-disconnect-between-washington-america

Another problem with this disconnect is that the wars we are still fighting has no end…..because most Americans could care less….and this apathy is effecting the Pentagon……

Donald Trump’s three-quarters-of-a-trillion-dollar defense budget request submitted to Congress last month contains a dirty secret, one that should make us all think twice about perpetual war and public support for it.

The youth of America don’t want to serve in the military any more.

The situation has become so dire that just to maintain America’s ground forces – the army and Marine Corps – the two services are resorting to unprecedented pay raises, bonuses and socialist trappings.

And things are going to get worse. This year, for the first time ever, Americans born after 11September 2001 will be able to enlist in the armed forces. It’s a sobering reminder both of how long we’ve been at war but also how distant those very wars have become from America’s youth. And yet official military polling shows that fewer and fewer young Americans consider the military as a career or as a transitional step – only some 12.5% – the lowest number in a decade.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/10/fewer-americans-serve-military-pentagon-panic

The Pentagon as well as the M-IC needs warm bodies to keep the profits rolling……if it falls too low I look for the chance of another draft to fill the unused sections of the military.

World Affairs Briefing

Closing Thought–01Apr19

As a foreign policy wonk I would like for the candidates to have at least a little knowledge of international situations so they can formulate a policy to tell the voters.

For too long candidates have ignored foreign policy and played the issue by ear when asked….

2020 candidates will have a leg up on other candidates from the past…..

Two former top CIA officials have compiled an unclassified report on the major national security challenges facing the United States, which they are distributing to every candidate running for president.

The report, which former acting CIA directors Michael Morell and John McLaughlin call a “briefing book,” is modeled on the classified oral briefing that the intelligence community provides to the nominees of each major political party running for president, usually after the nominating conventions.

The former officials said they’re distributing their briefing now, more than a year before nominees are selected, in response to “the recent rise and abundance of fake news and foreign election interference,” according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post.

https://outline.com/jqK8T4

But not all people see the need for this “service” to the candidates……but I cannot see any drawback…..at least the candidates will have knowledge and a grasp at the situations that will confront them if they are elected president.