Periodic World Craziness Update # 17

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

North Korea demands US withdrawal from peninsula before resuming talks: Now we know that the North is just posturing and has no stomach to start a hot war with the South.  The bad part from their perspective is that if they are dumb enough to try and ;pull off even a limited attack the days when they could expect a proportional or even no response from the South are probably over as the South would probably retaliate all out of proportion to the scale of any provocation from the DPRK.  

Boston Marathon bombings: No doubt more information about this will come out as the investigation proceeds.  I have linked the Wikipedia article as it gets updated very quickly with developments and the editors do a pretty good job of keeping it objective.  One thing seems pretty clear now, the bombings were motivated by Islamism of some sort although exact details are unknown.  A disturbing development is the idea proposed by some Republicans that the surviving attacker be denied his rights as a US citizen and be treated as an “enemy combatant.”  I don’t expect that to go anywhere in this case but the idea has been proposed and that it is seriously proposed by members of the US government is scary in the extreme.

Some lawmakers told last week about Syria, sarin, U.S.: Intelligence points to small-scale use of sarin in Syria:  There have been several reports of Syrian use of Chemical Weapons over the last few weeks first from the Israelis and now coming out of Congress.  I simply cannot believe there is any corroboration or confirmation of their use or this story would be all over the news since the Boston Bombings are starting to fade.  I tend to discount these reports until we get confirmation of their veracity.  The next question is what the response will be?  It has been longstanding US policy that they will not tolerate the use of such weapons but I would guess that we will do noting unless and until US personnel are impacted.  The US stood by as Saddam gassed the Kurds in the 80’s why would it be any different now?

PWCU #17

Too late for Syria-Radicals now rule the rebellion:  Ralph Peters has a pretty interesting take on Syria and a pretty good argument for why the West and particularly the US should stay out of it.

Israel Targeted Iranian Missiles in Syria Attack:  I think we are supposed to be shocked and dismayed that Israel is being pre-emptive about the Syrian Civil War and countering threats before they kill Israeli civilians.  I don’t know why we should be though.  What I am surprised about is the level of restraint Israel has thus far shown.  Then again, I am not one of those that automatically assume anything Israel does is evil and anything their enemies do is virtuous either.

UN accuses Syrian rebels of carrying out sarin gas attacks which had been blamed on Assad’s troops:  Well, what is it?  Is it the Syria government or the Rebels using Chemical Weapons?  If someone were willing to bet, I would bet that IF such weapons are being used, both sides are using them.  If that is the case who will the Western Powers attack and will rebel use affect the aid they are receiving from the West?  I would guess the Western powers will wink at rebel use because they have convinced themselves that the rebels are as pure as the driven snow and only do what they do out of necessity.

Lijian stealth drone prepares for test flight:  Is it just me or does it increasingly look like there is a Cold War shaping up between China and the US and our Allies?  This article reminds me of the Soviet roll-outs of new weapon systems as it seems designed to intimidate.  The difference this time around is I don’t think the US is prepared economically or politically to confront China for global dominance.  The US wasted whatever peace dividend we got from the demise of the Soviets in the fruitless wars of the past decade.

Hezbollah says Syria to supply ‘game-changing arms’:  Just to make things even more interesting it is increasingly starting to look as though the Middle East is getting ready for a do-over of the Arab-Israeli wars of the 50’s & 60’s with a side order of civil war thrown in.  We live in interesting times indeed.