So IF We Nuked N. Korea, Would Anyone Care?

As I write this, the USS Carl Vinson and its support ships are steaming toward the Korean peninsula. It’s in response to North Korea’s rather belligerent behavior recently. In case you haven’t been following the fat chipmunk and his crew over there, they have been testing nuclear weapons, firing missiles into the China Sea, and have been testing ballistic missiles that are capable of reaching the United States. Of course, Kim Jong Un hasn’t been shy about calling the US his worst enemy. In actuality, I don’t think if he was just leading his hermit country the way he wanted to, anybody in the world would give a rat’s rear end…but since he’s starting to rattle more than a few sabers, it does draw attention. Which begs the question:

 

Would anybody in the world mind if we just nuked the hell out of them?

 

I ask the question, not to invoke the typical response of the loss of human life, which of course, would be tragic. The North Korean people have been brain-washed for so long that they believe anything this family tells them. Or at least that’s the story you get coming out of North Korea. But I ask the question in a more political light. Would China really care? Would Russia? I know Iran would, because North Korea has been the ones that have been helping out immensely in their own nuclear program. I doubt the Chinese would mind as long as they got to replace Kim, because he’s been a pain in their backside ever since he took over. Russia probably wouldn’t complain too terribly much either. They’ve got other fish to fry in the Middle East right now, and they still have their sights set on getting the old “gang” back together unified under the USSR if you will.

 

So the question still stands, if a nuke went off in the middle of Pyongyang, would anybody hear it? The answer is probably not. Now, that’s not saying that they would care one way or the other, but the world probably wouldn’t give a hoot. After all, North Korea is just a hermit country that has a big mouth and a lot of starving people. To blow it up and start again, or at least do it in Pyongyang, may not be the worst thing in the world.

 

Of course, I would NEVER advocate the use of nuclear weapons as a first strike. I think it’s a terrible weapon, and should only be used as a last resort (unlike the US Senate who apparently LOVE using the nuclear options out there). But it’s an interesting discussion…and it’s one that the North Korean leader is actually bringing on himself. If he thinks he could actually destroy the United States, with whatever few missiles he’s developed, I think he’d be terribly mistaken. But that’s just my thought. And some days, my mind works in weird ways…must be all the clean, fresh desert air!

 

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Trump Scores Win At Baden-Baden

The G-20 Summit at Baden-Baden seems to have been a victory for the Trump Administration early on. The whole argument going in was whether Trump and Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin were going to be able to convince our economic allies to do away with a very protectionist attitude when it comes to international trade.

And while the US team didn’t get everything they wanted in the two-day summit, such as an explicit statement in the communique that stated the G-20 would work at making sure “trade is fair”, it did impress the group to the point where they decided not to push protectionism any longer.

It may have had something to do with Donald Trump’s meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel the day before the summit started. Trump told Merkel that the United States had been treated “very, very unfairly” when it came to trade agreements in the past, and that needed to change.

What we are seeing in this agreement is probably very telling as to what the Trump Administration is going to be doing on other fronts as well. The US didn’t hit a grand slam home run, but came away with a win. As Trump had mentioned on the campaign trail several times, and was evident in this negotiation, he looks at trying to take everything from the table at first, and when the other side balks, they begin the negotiations, and eventually get to what he feels is “the art of the deal”. It IS the negotiations that is Donald Trump’s strength, and always has been. And that was on display in Germany during the G-20.

Going forward, are we going to expect the same type of negotiations when it comes to other things that may not be done with a friendly crowd? Are we going to negotiate with the Russians, or the Iranians in the same manner? Are we going to negotiate our way into and out of problems in foreign policy with the same adept manner which was displayed here? Or, are we going to follow Trump’s predecessor who never heard the word “negotiation” and never did it. Basically Bobo Obama gave away the store, the candy, the lot it was on, and most of the street without asking for anything in return, so long as he could say to anyone that would listen that it was good for America. Obviously, in most foreign policy situations, not only did America not believe it, the world didn’t believe it either.

Whether or not Donald Trump will be able to be as successful in negotiating foreign treaties and trade deals internationally as he was real estate deals in New York, Nevada, and Florida remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure…he’s off to a better start than the guy he replaced!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Aleppo Falls To Assad. Thanks, Obama!

Aleppo, Syria is (or was) the rebel stronghold in the Syrian civil war to oust strongman leader Bashar al Assad from power. It was until yesterday when the city fell to Assad forces, Russian and Iranian fighters helping in the struggle for the Assad regime. So, why “Thanks, Obama”?

Well, it’s simple. Bobo Obama’s abortion of a foreign policy, which never really caught on anywhere, and was at best extremely far from successful, was simply allow the chips to fall where they may. He couldn’t see past his nose on anything that involved sending troops into battle. He said going into office that he wasn’t a warrior president, he was a peaceful president, yet he has had a solid eight years of being a war-time president. And he, like all Democrats going back to the days of JFK, was terrible at it.

Obama had several problems in prosecuting war. In Syria, he made threats thinking that tough talk was all it would take in the Middle East to get those guys to shape up. But what he failed to understand was that his diplomacy was as feckless as his Secretaries of State who did absolutely nothing to help the world in eight years in office. It started with the Arab Spring in Egypt when Mubarak was overthrown. It took Obama eons to decide which side he was on. And then he chose the Muslim Brotherhood, which was a terrible choice, and he switched horses in the middle of the stream. Then you had the terribly thought out overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya. He should have learned the lesson that when you overthrow a government, you need to have a competent leader ready to step in. He failed there. These are things the Middle East leaders saw, and were taking notes on.

So, when Obama had the “red line in the sand” speech on December 3, 2012, where he told Syria not to use chemical weapons against their own people, they laughed at him. When the Russians decided to prop up their client, Assad, because of the weak leadership coming from America, Vladimir Putin laughed at Obama and knew that there would be no reprisal coming for his actions. Then he signaled the ayatollahs in Iran to send troops in, because Obama was in the middle of his signature foreign policy achievement, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and wasn’t going to scrap that for Syria. And the ayatollahs laughed at him, because they knew he wasn’t going to do anything.

And when ISIS decided to base themselves in Syria, they didn’t do it because of advice from their travel agent. They knew that US soldiers, the only units they would really be afraid to fight, weren’t going to be there en-masse and fight them, they laughed, and set up their caliphate in Syria. Who could blame them.

So now Aleppo has fallen, and though Obama wasn’t anywhere to be seen, his inaction was the cause of the incident. After a half million Syrians have perished needlessly in their civil war, the rebel capital is overthrown. The fight is not over…yet. But the Americans in charge (that would be Obama) should be ashamed of themselves for turning a blind eye to the cry for help. Obama…their blood is on your hands. And THAT is a lot of blood. Thanks, Obama!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Obama Administration Admits: Iran Deal Sucks

Anybody with a third grade education could have told you (and probably did) that the United States made a terrible deal with the Iranians over their attempt to acquire nuclear weapons. John Kerry, who’s the second weakest Secretary of State in human history (next to “Re-Set Hillary”) basically gave away the store so Barack Obama could have something to hang on the “Foreign Policy” wall of his presidential library. And while they were negotiating it, we were reminded that we’d have inspection privileges (which we don’t have), and we’d walk away from the deal if it were a bad deal (which we didn’t), and it would bring the Iranians more into line with modern society and make them useful members of the world (which it hasn’t).

Well, it turns out Obama and Kerry were wrong on all accounts. State Department spokesperson John Kirby said this week that yes…the US was mistaken in believing that the Iranians would start behaving if we gave them the bomb. With the increased hostilities in the Persian Gulf, and the threats of shooting down US Navy jets over international waters, the Iranians have been anything but co-operative. In fact, the hostility has grown over the past couple of weeks. Not only that, but they have tested five Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s) in violation of United Nations’ sanctions. They got their bomb thanks to Kerry and Obama, and now they are painting clown faces on both of them.

Here’s an idle thought. If some retired guy sitting in the middle of a desert 2,342 miles away from Washington, DC and never having “inside classified information” like Kerry and Obama have about the Iranians can call this one six months ago, and I wasn’t alone, what does that say about the ability of Kerry and Obama to deal with foreign policy? If someone with absolutely NO foreign policy experience, NO negotiations experience (at least on a foreign policy level), and NO inside knowledge of the facts can predict the outcome of a deal six months ahead of it becoming a major disaster and headache for the administration, what does that say? Well, it either says I’m one helluva smart person (sorry…not necessarily true), or they are incredibly naïve and dumb (very true!).

This is one more reason why the world laughs at us. This is one more reason why when you look at this year’s presidential election, you have to wonder if someone like Donald Trump who has no foreign diplomatic policy experience is going to be better than Hillary Clinton who actually initiated the idea of negotiating with the Iranians. Now, I am NOT laying this at her feet because it was the feckless leadership of the president and even worse negotiating skills of John Kerry that caused the mess, but she does have her fingerprints on this one. What does this say about Obama’s leadership abilities? What does this say about John Kerry’s skills as Secretary of State? Why are we being so naïve that we are going to be able to change an enemy’s position by arming them with more and more dangerous weapons…and then handing over the cash for them to pay for it all?

I think it makes us pretty stupid!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Obama’s Last Big Foreign Trip…A Bust

So, Barack Obama was going to make one last splash in foreign policy (kind of like a belly flop?) while he was still in office. In the past seven-plus years it hasn’t been a fruitful area for him to venture into, but he was going to give it one more try. This time it was the G20 summit in China. Well, it didn’t really start out all that well.

When Bobo landed, the Chinese decided not to wheel out the stairs for him to come down. When the press got off the plane (finally), and were shown to the area where they always film the president coming off the plane, there were heckled and told to leave by a group of Chinese. When they explained it was “our airplane and our president”, one angry Chinese told them, “It’s our COUNTRY!”.

There have been several other squabbles between the Chinese and the Americans over things the White House felt had been negotiated eons before, such as where the 12 members of the press that were traveling with the president would be stationed during the meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. When the American advance team got to the room, they were told there was no room for the 12 member press pool. There was fighting between the two sides when it came to access to the site, and there was fighting about who was going to be allowed in from the White House Staff.

All of this of course, was spun as “minor inconveniences that we normally experience in a foreign country” by the White House. But then again, it just underscores the lack of respect that the Obama administration has been receiving around the world due to the president’s lack of decision making skills. China, like Russia, has decided long ago with this guy that they can now take full advantage of America because the president isn’t going to do anything about their aggressive behavior. Oh, they’ll talk a good game in public, and for the media, but behind the scenes? Nope…it’s run roughshod over Bobo and leave tire-marks on his forehead. This is just one of the many problems the United States gets to encounter because we have a commander-in-chief that is scared to make tough decisions.

What about the Spratley Island controversy? What about Chinese hacking of American companies? What about trade imbalances, and currency manipulations? Where do you think the Chinese are going to cave in any of these negotiations? The answer is simple. They aren’t going to cave. They are going to push until somebody pushes back at them. Russia is doing the same think with Ukraine and Crimea. And the US response has been non-existent. And like Hitler in the 1930’s, both of these countries are going to keep pushing until they start World War III. Of course, Obama will be out of office at that point, so it won’t be his fault. After all, he can’t be blamed for anything that happened after he left office (hello Iran Nuclear agreement?).

The man has been a loser as a president. No foreign policy accomplishments, just foreign policy caves. And he has made the United States the laughing stock of the world. And we are seriously considering putting someone in as a successor that wants to continue the same policies? If we do, we have no one to blame but ourselves!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Talk About A BAD Trip!?

You gotta feel for Barack Obama. Nothing seemed to go right for him on his whirlwind trip to Saudi Arabia to prop up the Saudi support and then a quick stop in England. Some days it doesn’t pay to get off Air Force One!

Of course, Bobo knew the first stop was going to be tumultuous. He had a GOP led congress ready to pass a bill saying that it was ok for US citizens who were victims of terror attacks to sue foreign countries (something that can’t be done today), if they were involved in it, and then you’ve got Saudi Arabia saying that if they do that, they’re going to dump US Treasuries to the tune of $750 billion! That would have some impact on our economy, but would in the long-run, probably have effected Saudi Arabia’s economy more since we would most likely have retaliated in some way. And believe you me; they need us to prop them up. A family run country? Other than Cuba and North Korea, where do you find that today?

Well, the president was trying to be cooperative having said before he landed in Riyadh that he would veto the measure, but that was to no avail. The meeting didn’t go quite as smoothly as he wanted. He wanted to discuss was the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and how they can strengthen their support of his battles in Syria and against Iran. Of course, he had shot himself in the foot with the Iran Nuclear Deal, and it didn’t settle really well either that he called the Saudi’s “free-riders” because they are making the US do all the heavy lifting. On the Saudi side, they’re not really happy with the US because of the Iran deal which they opposed anyway. And things kind of got chillier from there. Of course, Bobo isn’t the warm and fuzzy-headed world leader everyone makes him out to be.

Then it’s on to England, our oldest and dearest ally. And in jolly ol’ England, they’re embroiled in a battle to get out of the European Union. Rumors were circulating that Obama was in town to help Prime Minister, David Cameron push the referendum to stay in the EU. Obama also thinks England should stay. Most English disagree with that assessment. And when Bobo landed, he got a rather cool welcome from the British. They were upset that he would even think of trying to meddle in their homeland affairs, and thought he should go back to the US. Not exactly the cup of tea and crumpets Bobo expected.

This is exactly what happens when you have a boy doing a man’s job. There is no way this particular president is qualified to do anything other than spout his socialist ways (which usually don’t include foreign policy to begin with), and “fundamentally change the way America works”. Foreign policy is a distraction to Bobo, and it shows. He’s terrible at it. Unfortunately for the “worst president in US history”, every single president since Millard Fillmore has had to deal with foreign policy to a greater degree. And he’s no exception. When you elect bad, you get bad. Now let’s see if we’ve learned our lesson this November, shall we?

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Obama Legacy? Foreign Policy!

Three of the four people that have spent time in the Department of Defense as the Secretary have come out against Barack Obama and his policies. The only one that hasn’t is Ash Carter, and the only reason he hasn’t is because he currently occupies that chair, and I assume wants to keep the job for at the next nine months.

But the three men that had served Obama as his Secretary of Defense have all come out and said the guy was arrogant and ignorant when it came to matters of foreign affairs, and especially matters that involved the military. That’s three out of three…and one of them was Democrat. In fact, he was a highly respected Democrat. So it can’t be a partisan thing. Not when Leon Panetta, the second of four Defense Secretaries under Obama was the most scathing of the three.

In fact, Panetta and Robert Gates, a carry-over from the Bush administration, both agreed with assertions that I have made here that Obama’s micromanaging in defense issues was akin to Lyndon Johnson’s micromanaging the Vietnam War. These are THEIR comments, not mine. In fact, Panetta said it drove him crazy and kept him up nights. Hmm…maybe there IS something to this desert air!

The undisputable fact here is that Obama’s legacy is going to include his penchant for being a yellow-belly. It’s undeniable that he’s a pacifist, and I’m not against that at all. But every single president since before FDR has had to face a military decision of some kind or another…even when we were at peace! If you don’t have the stomach for war, you don’t belong in the White House, as Obama has found out. And his legacy will include failures throughout the Middle East in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and yes, thanks to Hillary Clinton, Libya as well as Egypt. The “lead from behind” strategy opened a door to other wannabe superpowers to step in where we had created a vacuum and fill the void. That was something Clinton and Obama failed to realize. They thought the US could just sit on the sidelines, allowing the people in the region to take care of their own problems, and the world would be all nicey-nice. That was never going to happen. It’s that naiveté that has cost the United States its world-wide power, and Obama a chance at actually doing something worthwhile as president (besides playing golf and going on multi-million dollar vacations at taxpayer expense).

As the Secretaries of Defense have pointed out, foreign policy and military strategy have been devoid over the past seven years primarily because we have a president that thought he could run the military and the foreign services better than the people that were life-long professionals at it. How wrong he was!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!