sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Find the Theme (a challenge)

NORKS

On June 25, the Korean Central News Agency published a lengthy statement by the National Defense Commission denouncing the Northern Limit Line (NLL) as illegal. The Commission also warned of irrevocable consequences from South Korean attempts to enforce it as a maritime boundary and, thereby, restricting North Korean fishing boats.

Summer is the peak fishing season in the Yellow Sea near Korea. In mid-June both countries increased naval patrols along the NLL. The statement serves as an alert to expect fishing boat incidents off the northwest coast of South Korea. 

The message behind the message is that the North wants the South to not interfere with North Korean fishing because of the food shortage in North Korea. The NORKS are always starving, eating tree bark, etc. so this is nothing new. In much the same way as progs destroyed Detroit, the North Koreans would make the entire world North Korea -- and the Wahabbist Muslims would make the world something akin to that. Does anyone sense a theme here or is it just me?

AFGHANISTAN

A Ministry of Interior spokesman, Sediq Seddiqi, said on 28 June that 50 of the 400 districts of Afghanistan face serious security threats and nine of them are currently out of government control.

The Afghan government rarely admits that is has lost control of any territory, which makes the Ministry’s statement highly unusual. However, it understates security conditions. In Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, for example, five of the seven districts are assessed as under Taliban control. Government control is tenuous in at least three other northern provinces.

I haven't heard much from US Army Intelligence on the matter.

In eastern Afghanistan north or Jalalabad, the Islamic State (ISIL) franchise in Afghanistan runs one district as its base. The Taliban has a de facto power-sharing relationship with the government. Momentum appears to favor continued expansion of the Taliban share of the power-sharing.

Alexander and the Greeks couldn't hold it, the British Empire couldn't hold it, the Soviet Army couldn't hold it and the Americans are pulling out, leaving the Afghans to be Afghans...after spending trillions of dollars. Does anyone sense a theme here or is it just me?

TURKEY

News services are covering the details on the coordinated suicide bombings at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul on 28 June. They reported 36 people killed and at least 140 injured. Turkish authorities are blaming the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS). No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Turkey has been soft on Sunni extremists, as long as they did not execute operations in Turkey. ISIS has not been cooperative or grateful. Turkey has learned the hard way the lesson that the French learned. That lesson is that accommodation with and even support for Islamic zealots always backfires. ISIS attacks its benefactors. 

As for the system, the attack was well-planned and executed. That always means that dozens of people knew about the plans and preparations for an attack. They helped the attackers by providing places to live and daily necessities. Some abetted the attack process by facilitating transportation. Most importantly, the bomb maker or makers, the operational planners and the weapons suppliers remain undetected. The success of the attack means Turkish intelligence and security missed the existence of the system that created the attack. 

The Turkish security apparatus seems tougher on Kurdish extremists than on ISIS or on the al-Qaida franchise in Syria, the al-Nusra Front. The difference in treatment is Turkish policy. That policy has failed to stop attacks by either the Kurds or Islamic extremists.

The usual massive search for accomplices already has begun. These attacks could have been worse and Turkey has experienced worse. That occurred last October when ISIS killed 102 people and injured 248 in a suicide bombing attack at a train station in Ankara. As stated above, ISIS attacks its benefactors; expect more attacks. There is a theme here isn't there? Is there a lesson to be learned by Barack? Likely not.

VENEZUELA

Communists declared Venezuela a success story as the revolution took hold. It's beginning to look more like North Korea (there is a theme here) now. A wheel barrow full of Bolivars (local currency) won't buy a loaf of bread.

Didalco Bolivar, a spokesman for the ruling coalition, told the press on 28 June that President Maduro’s government “has started discussions to request a consultation with the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court” for the purpose of “achieving the abolition of this National Assembly.” Maduro is seeking guidance from the judiciary on how to abolish the current legislature. Today’s statement reinforces our judgment that President Maduro has no intention of leaving office under opposition pressure, even if it means he must dissolve the current legislature.


QUIZ

The largest holder of Bolivars outside Venezuela is?

You're right (for once), it's Iran.

Iran is dumping its Venezuelan currency on anyone who is willing to buy it, even at an extraordinary exchange rate. The Ayatollah made a pact with Venezuela back when Hugo Chavez still lived and there is a lesson here - even an Iranian theocracy shouldn't cut a financial deal with a banana commie like Chavez, and his successor, Maduro.

Who is buying Bolivars?

Come on, you should be able to guess. Who does the US give its money to and to whom are we in debt?

Correct, China.



12 comments:

  1. Fredd: 'ooooo, ooooo! I know! I know! ooooo...! (as I wave my hand frantically like Horschack in 'Welcome Back Kotter')
    LL: yes, Fredd. What is the theme here?
    Fredd: Evil is bad. Did I get it right?
    LL: Sit down, Fredd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (1) Past history is a good indicator of present success.

      (2) Communism doesn't work (or, see 1 above)

      (3) ISIS must be obliterated (or, see 1 above)

      It's amazing to me (as with GW Bush and his decision to invade Iraq) how little credence decision makers put on past similar decisions and on the cause and effect that came out of those decisions from a historical perspective.

      We should be better than we are, but we push for mediocrity (also called equal opportunity/diveristy in hiring) and the dumbest possible common denominator time-after-time.

      Delete
    2. Well put. In the Defense/Aerospace Community, we lament how politicians are incapable of implementing sound, long-term policies or developing the tools we need to defend ourselves. Russian decision-making and design is secretly admired throughout the community, only exception being lack of the best innovation. But that's the permanent drawback of democracy.

      Delete
    3. Meaning drawback for us. Russians have their own drawbacks, including life in a Czarist thug state.

      Delete
    4. We were able to do it during Reagan/Bush because it was a 12 year stretch on the heels of the Carter disaster, but you're quite correct. I think that components of the B-1 were built in every state in the Union.

      Life for the man on the street is better under Putin than it was during the Soviet Era. It's not like living in the First World, but it's better. Putin is both popular and admired by many at home.

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  2. Based on past results, Afghanistan should be treated the same way nuclear waste is treated: pour cement around the entire country and seal in the toxic ooze. Nothing else ever tried worked at all.

    Let's go with the cement. Donald Trump knows some cement contractors who are not mobbed up. And even mobbed up cement works OK, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mobbed up cement means that you put some of the Taliban leadership in the foundation.

      Delete
    2. Yes, much more effective in solving the problem than using rebar.

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  3. Nice round up, and here we go again with the NLL... sigh... It's an every year thing. Hopefully C7F doesn't decide to push up in the Yellow Sea right now, that could get UGLY!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CINCPAC & C7F need to assert themselves in that part of the world IMHO, but how and when are matters that require great circumspection.

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