Periodic World Craziness Update # 15

The latest month’s wackiness in the world of international relations, politics, and  brinkmanship.

Pressure builds in Iran nuclear stand-off:  It is quite simple really.  Nobody wants to do anything with regards to the Iranian quest for nuclear weapons that can really stop them because that would entail Iraq style regime change and there is not a single country willing to go that far that has the capability.  (That would be the US)  The diplomatic dancing will continue until Iran tests a weapon at which point it will be too late.  I also think that at that point Israel will have no choice but to unilaterally attack Iran as they are the country in Iran’s cross-hairs as anyone who pays even the slightest attention to Iranian utterances should well know.

North Korea threatens South with “final destruction”:  The question:  Is this more bluster from the DPRK or are they actually stupid enough to start a war?  I tend to think it is bluster but the wild card remains that you cannot be sure what the North will do.  This is especially true given the new “Dear, Great, Precious  Leader they have who no doubt needs to solidify his hold on power.  I think we can count on one thing, the North will continue to make brazen statements ad occasionally back it up with actions such as the occasional artillery exchanges or naval provocations they have made.  I just think there will be more of them in the next few months and years.

Major Chinese internet hacking base exposed:  The Chinese will continue to deny this til they are blue in the face.  However, where there is smoke there is fire.  It is highly unlikely that China does not have a cyberwarfare unit.  It is however, extremely likely that the secretive regime would deny having one if they did so their protestations of innocence mean nothing.  The Chinese probably do have such a unit and do undertake attacks against Western targets if they can maintain deniability for public consumption.  There are too many reports of attacks being traced to China for there not to be at some substance to Western claims.

Iran announces uranium discovery, plans to build 16 new nuclear power plants:  What I would like to know and have never heard in the press is if the reactor at Bushehr is a feeder reactor or not.  If this announcement represents real discoveries then expect Iran to dismiss any further talks as they continue to pursue nuclear weapons.  Update:  Apparently Iran either has or plans to build a feeder-type reactor.  Why else do they need a heavy water production facility?

Karzai orders US special forces out of Afghan province:  The more I see Karzai biting the hand that feeds him I start to wonder if the US is not just going to Diem him.  It is clear that Karzai is trying t position himself for survival post-OEF but he is doing plenty of harm to Afghan-US relations in the process and he has to know that in the final analysis it is only the US that can guarantee he stays in power.

Hugo Chavez, influential leader with mixed record, dies at 58:  Nice sympathetic headline from CNN about a guy who was a tug and a tinpot.  The biggest question now is what next?  Will democracy be restored in Venezuela?  I hope so but do not have an inkling of the answer.

U.S. says U.N. sanctions ‘will bite’ after North Korea threatens nuclear attack:  The most worrying piece of news in this article is this: “On Tuesday, North Korea said it planned to scrap the armistice that stopped the Korean War in 1953 and warned it could carry out strikes against the United States and South Korea.”  I wonder if Kim Jong Un is planning on warming up the war in the Korean peninsula even further and if so, why?  It cold be that he is under pressure from others in the regime to prove his street cred as it were.  One thing is certain, we can never be certain what or how far the DPRK is willing to go.

 Americans are training Syria rebels in Jordan: Spiegel:  It would not surprise me if this true and if it is the trainers are almost certainly not Active duty US military but civilian contractors (mercenaries).  Most likely any US trainers on the ground in Jordan are single operators and not part of one of the larger groups such as Academi (formerly Blackwater) or Omni Consulting.  This report is a potentially interesting development in the Syrian Civl War.

Pyongyang scraps armistice amid heightened saber rattling:  The last part is right, more saber rattling.  The DPRK leadership has to know that they have zero chance of reuniting the peninsula through war and they probably, even likely, would not get any backing from China were they to initiate one.  Without Chinese support any war would quickly end in defeat and indeed, absent Chinese support the regime would quickly disintegrate because of internal mismanagement and discontent.