Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Obama's willful blindness on the matter of North Korea

US president Barack Obama's [BHO]patience is wearing thin when it comes to the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea]. Famous for his 'sang froid', BHO is becoming more noticeably annoyed at China's unwillingness to 'sign on' to condemnation of the DPRK in the sinking of the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] corvette 'Cheonan' in March 2010.
His calmness has given way to calling China 'willfully blind' to North Korea's hand in the sunken 'Cheonan'.
Beijing, as GuamDiary has observed, had told the US that it would not go along with more stringent and restrictive sanctions against the DPRK and to make BHO more irritable has refrained from making a public judgment on the 'Cheonan'.
The US has as much purchase on the issue as its South Korean ally. GuamDiary has longly commented on the questions which the South Korean study of the corvette's sinking. In spite of concurring opinions of foreign experts from the US, Australia, and Sweden, only a few selective pages of the 150 page report have been allowed public exposure. Apparently as GuamDiary make the observation that South Korea's Lee Myung bek's government fears that the issuance of the complete report would compromise its sources and finding.
The DPRK has denied responsibility; it has issued its own dossier; and asked to send a delegation of its own experts to Seoul to examine the evidence. Request denied!
BHO's open expression of anger towards China is not only frustrating to the US campaign to isolate and stigmatise Pyongyang, but also to push it to make a mistake by taking a rash action, a military one would suit Washington and Seoul fine. So far, aside from sabre rattling, the DPRK has slipped through the US' and ROK's obvious trap.
Beijing sees through America's gambit, too.
GuamDiary has noted the findings of a blue ribbon panel's report on US policy towards Korea under the aegis of the CFR [Council on Foreign Relations]. It calls for rolling back North Korea. In standard English, it portends clearing the diplomatic chess board for war.
BHO's growing anger at China has the odour of a pathologic crusade against the DPRK is put a further inching towards an exchange of gunfire.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Obama s'en va t'en guerre against the DPRK

US president Obama [BHO]has little way at the G 20 meeting in Canada but he did persuade the declining weight in the world of the G 8 to condemn the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea]for its 'role' in the sinking of the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] corvette 'Cheonan' in March 2010.
The American president has a list of don'ts for North Korea: nuclear testing, adhering to two UN resolutions replete with sanctions, embracing its responsibility in the sunken 'Cheonan' brouhaha, returning to the six party talks in Beijing, so on and on.
Today it is announced that he ordered the command of US [and UN troops] to remain stay put in Seoul for another 3 years at such time it might be turned over to ROK control. Obviously a pointed warning at Pyongyang not to try anything funny military, one hand; on the other, BHO is allowing the US to participate in naval exercises with its South Korean ally in the China Sea nea--but not quite near--DPRK territorial limits to avoid an untoward incident.
Mr. Obama has embraced and supported the aggressive policy of South Korea's president Lee Myung bek towards the DPRK. The American president has put the US on a war like approach towards North Korea, one carried out hawkishly by the cold warrior secretary of state Hillary Clinton from day one in the 44 US president's assuming the powers of commander and chief.
Mr. Obama and Mme Clinton have pressed for more sanctions but the linchpin of its threatening policy towards the DPRK China has put the kaboosh on agreeing to further UN judgments against its North Korean neighbour and ally, thereby rendering such a move a dead issue.
Yet this has not stopped the US and its intelligence agencies and hosts of apparatchiks in and out of government posing as experts, advisors, and officials on the matter of Korea, from carrying out a stealth campaign of leaked rumours, innuendo, and falsehoods, to paint the DPRK in starker colours than the reputation it has acquired in the court of world opinion.
The DPRK never one to let the initiative to drop, has called for discussions with South Korea to discuss the sinking of the 'Cheonan', which it has steadfastly denied responsibility. In fact, it has put out its own dossier on the sunken corvette which South Korea and the US refuse to consider, even though no direct responsibility has been pinned on North Korea. And Pyongyang has the courage to say to BHO that the US should keep its nose out of Korean affairs!
The famous 150 page international report supported by Sweden and Australia that the DPRK sank the 'Cheonan' has had selective pages released. Now this is a curious state of affairs: if the 'experts' agree on Pyongyang's guilt, why has it dug in its heels by suggesting that there is so much 'intelligence' that they can share with the world community. GuamDiary has always asked: 'if North Korea's guilty, then why not publish the complete report? Are the data so 'compromising' that the authors of the report fear that they threaten intelligence and military agencies and commissions integrity? If we only knew what they knew.............
As GuamDiary has commented, even in the ROK the military and civilian authorities have come under criticism for the sloppiness of the investigation of the sunken 'Cheonan'. A strong debate continues on the matter which hardly makes the non Korean media but is widely commented on in the Korean.
The ROK's president Lee is riding the high moral way of rearmament against the North. From the very first day of his presidency he has pursued a muscular policy against the DPRK. He killed the 'Sunshine Policy', cut down on food exports, denied fertilisers necessary for food production which would help alleviate food shortages in the DPRK. He has encouraged right wing Christian and anti North organisation to aggressively anatognise Kim Jong il & co.
DPRK has taken shelter in its hermit like shell but it has not allowed the ROK or the US from carrying the day. They haven't owing to the failure of the militant anti DPRK global campaign of theirs which has some bite but remain hollow in stated objectives.
BHO remains klewless in lifting the deadweight of a wrong headed and ill conceived approach to the DPRK. He has learnt the sorry lessons of his predecessor George W. Bush who broke his teeth on similar hollow results. But BHO has set his foot on an endless non issue war footing. He's failing in Iraq and Afghanistan and now in a non shooting war he is spinning his wheels.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Korean War and declassified CIA cables

On the eve of the 60 anniversary of the Korean War on 25 June 1950, the US government declassifed endless CIA cables which it has kept underwraps for six decades.
They show that the CIA blinded by the accepted wisdom of the age that the hand of Stalin in the Kremlin was pulling the strings. So although the cables hint at a troop build up drifting southwards to the 38 parallel and the presence of Chinese in the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea], the spy agency had eyes riveted on Moscow.
So like the info the US government had of an al Qaeda attack on the US in 2001, the CIA misread the info. [GuamDiary suggests its readers to look at the declassified cables on the Internet.]
No longer can the nay sayers point the finger of blame on Truman's secretary of state Dean Acheson who in a speech at the beginning of 1950 put the Korean peninsula outside of the arc in the Pacific of America's strategic interests.
Supporters of the CIA have risen on their hindlegs in defence of the Agency. Many fell back on its youth--only 3 years old and still wet behind the ears. Give us a break, please!
The CIA recruited in the white and black arts the best and brightest of the early post World War 2 triumphalism. On staff, veterans of the OSS and OWI, recently demobed military, a thick slice of graduates of Ivy League universities and Catholic colleges, eager beavers to rollback the shadow of Communism darkening the 'free world'.
The simple truth is that a right mould of thought kept analyses in a tight jacket of the mind. Any idea outside the box got lost in the mail, so to speak.
So when the DPRK troops crossed the 38 parallel 60 years ago, the US was caught unawares.
Harry Truman promised full US support to defend the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] and days later swung the UN behind it to send troops to throw North Korean troops back and if possible defeat them complete and rollback the Bamboo Curtain to the Chinese border on the Yalu.
The war lingered for 3 years and left in an armistic limbo where it remains unto this day.
GuamDiary has commented on a newly released CFR [Council of Foreign Relations] report on Korea which it hopes will guide president Obama on policy towards the DPRK.
The Report is a glaring example of how the US mindset has remained substantially unchanged in the last 6 decades as it pertains to North Korea.
GuamDiary suggests a 1960 Rand Study by Robert Whiting, 'China crosses the Yalu'. Readers will be surprised how the US as leader of the UN forces fighting in Korea missed the opportunities to sweep the Communist government in Pyongyang out.
US muscular anti Communism assured America's stalemate in Korea as a first step in military defeat in Asia.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Immanuel Wallerstein, has he come clean about his close association with clandestine CIA funded US foundations and US and International Youth Groups?

Immanuel Wallerstein is a world respected scholar and sits at the pantheon of the US left.
He is now at the US Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan. As an elder statesman of the left, he will have the honour of 'dialoguing' with a left icon, the 95 year old activist, writer, and philosopher Dr. Grace Lee Boggs.
Wallerstein has had a steady and some might say rapid rise to the heights of the left's muck mucks.
Yet he says little of his pas associations with the secretly funded CIA foundations and youth organisations with which he was associated during his youth.
Wallerstein comes out the World Federalists. A bright lad, he may have caught the eye of a fellow Federalist Cord Meyer who became in the early 1950s a CIA operative. We cannot say for sure Meyer saw the value of Wallerstein's intelligence.
In Wikipedia's entry on Wallerstein, it is mentioned that he attended an 1951 world youth festival which sparked his interest in Africa. That international meeting was the 1951 World Assembly of Youth (WAY)first conference.
WAY was the US response to the Prague based International Union of Students (IUS) which had fallen under Communist control.
WAY received its funding from the Foundation of Youth and Students the headed by an old CIA hand David Davis. Davis played an important role in Wallerstein's ascent in youth affairs at home and abroad.
Davis & his spy masters saw gold in the quick intelligence of the former radio 'Whiz Kid'. So for them, the pathway to fame and fortune and later renown was worth every US dollar they would spend and every door they would open for Wallerstein.
At home, the Federalist belonged to another CIA funded organisation the Young Adult Council (YAC) with which Wallerstein was associated.
Drafted into the US during the Korean war, he was sent to Panama. And here is where Davis comes in. Davis got Wallerstein transfered back the US and groomed for a vice president's slot in WAY. Wallerstein served two 4 year terms, during which he finished his graduate work on Ghana and thanks to the Foundation's largesse traveled widely in Africa and other parts of the world. (Exposes in the now defunct 'Ramparts' magazine in the 1960s, revealed the hand of the CIA in secretly funding US and world youth and student organisations.)
As a vice president of WAY, Wallerstein could travel; the CIA funded organisation opened the way to meeting, say, during the 1950s the heady days leading towards decolonisation, leading African nationalists and of equal weight African youth and trade union leaders who one day come to power.
Wallerstein's faustian bargain fed a steady flow of information, impressions, and future prospects of these men, into the US intelligence files, some might say. The CIA had a handle on the African leader or rising star's virtues and vices, strengths and weaknesses, ideological leanings, etc. In this way, he was easier to 'handle', 'bribe', or 'shunt aside in favour of a more pliable rival'.
With a fresh Ph.D. from Columbia in his hip pocket, Wallerstein's thesis on Ghana easily found a publisher a division of Random House. The thesis had merit but one wonders if the CIA did not have a hand in easing its acceptance for publication?
By the 1960s, Wallerstein is an alumnus of the CIA sponsored organisations, but did he cut his connexions with the US spy agency? An interesting footnote: during a stopover in Conakry, Guinea, Wallerstein was briefly arrested for being a CIA spy and then expelled.
Wallerstein during the Vietnam War acquired his leftist bona fides. He has gotten plum posts and ended up as the sanctuary keeper of Ferdinand Braudel studies.
Is he like the late writer Graham Greene who worked for MI6 pr MI5 during world war two, but never broke his ties with his country's spy network?
And did Wallerstein keep files on his friends on the left for his old friends?
Now, that gives one food for thought.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A note to the CFR's task force calling for rolling back the DPRK

You would think the blue ribbon panel which poured its 'portentious' and 'ponderous' knowledge on advising the course of US policy towards the Korean peninsula, would have done its homework better.
Consider using China to do America's dirty work and diplomatic do diligence with the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea]. Had it forgotten the classic mistake of 20 century Kremlinologists of assuming that Moscow could control Mao Tse Tung and resistric his ambitions of ruling China? Apparently, no one thought that by simply substituting Beijing for Moscow and Kim Jong il for Mao, China could and would work miracles for the US.
Evans Revere tried shaming the Chinese by bringing up the sinking of the 'Cheonan' which occurred whilst Kim Jong il was going to visit China. The Chinese did not take the bait.
Revere like his kind is quite good at flawed thinking.
Since the CFR report on Korea was written before the sunken 'Cheonan', Revere, Pritchard, and Synder--the triumverate who presented the Report to members of the Korea Society, it became another stick to beat the DPRK over the head with.
As a professor Kim of City University of New York pointed out, the panel would best be advised to hold their tongue until a full investigation had been carried out. Even though Dr. Kim personally thinks that North Korea is blamable, the hotly debated matter in South Korea makes it an open question.
As GuamDiary has observed, the Task Force's recommendations had cleared the field for confrontation with the DPRK, and this on the eve of the 60 anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War on 25 June 1950. The Task Force has but one objective in mind to force North Korea to comply with US demands, plain and simple.
Speaking of lost horizons and wishful thinking..........

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rollback North Korea, a Council of Foreign Relations Report on the Korean peninsula advocates

On Wednesday 16 June 2010 at the Korea Society in New York hosted to its a three member panel who presented the findings of the Council of Foreign Relations [CFR] Task Force report on 'US Policy toward the Korean Peninsula'.
The report--the fourth that CFR on Korea--has published was presented by the panel who were chosen from among the 24 former US officials, assorted advisors, and experts who spent months arguing and discussing its contents.
Straightaway let's state simply and clearly the report's conclusion: the task force is calling for 'rollback'. It rejected three other options it considered, namely, accepting North Korea's demands or managing the six decade headaches that the two Koreas has produced or advocating regime change above the 38 parallel.
Let's now introduce the three men who presented the CFR's Task Force report on Korea:
Scott Snyder, director of the project, on the staff of the Asia Society, and former US department of state apparatchik; Evans Revere, former president of the Korea Society, and former senior state department apparatchik, and now a senior analyst in Madeleine Albright's consultancy, and finally Charles Pritchard, former ambassador to negotiations with the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea] during the Bush 43 administration, former apparatchik on the National Security Council, and senior advisor on Asian affairs during the Clinton years at the White House.
Their bonae fides are exemplary. Each has met North Korean officials and has seen the highs and now the lows of a non starter US policy towards quieting tensions on the divided Korean peninsula during the Bush and now the Obama presidencies.
According to Pritchard's very general and upbeat remarks as to the CFR report, the task force looked towards a heuristic and holistic approach to the matter at hand, be they missiles, nuclear arsenals, relations with China, Japan, and the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea], FTA [Free Trade Agreement] between South Korea and the US, on and on and on.
Now let's consider its conclusion: 'rollback', which was approved by all the members of the Task Force with some minor squiggles of little substantive import. 'Rollback' is a loaded word; it's has the musty odour of Cold War vocablary. That an august task force of Korea experts had to turn the pages of nostalgia to the days of combatting communism, is distressing, to say the least.
The US and its allies had looked to rollback the Iron and Bamboo curtains. It failed to forment uprisings in the 'People's Democracies' in East Europe and tear down the Bamboo curtain in Asia where it met stalemate in Korea and complete defeat in Vietnam.
In fact, the US and its allies that made up the UN forces fighting during the 1950-1953 war in Korea, were themselves 'rolled back' from the Yalu to the 38 parallel by the North Korean and Chinese Volunteer forces.
So, strange as it may seem, the CFR task force is on a war footing by the very vocabulary it chooses to 'advise' the Obama administration on policy toward the divided Korean peninsula.
The experts who sleep cheek to jowl with any administration in the White House, have recycled the old shibbeloths, bromides, and failed approaches of other reports and past disappointments in policy or missed opportunities.
To them, a branch of hope is China. China must and has to do not only put pressure on its DPRK ally but also determine that country's future. A pipe dream if ever there was one. If this blue ribbon panel of Korean experts stretch wildly for such a safety net, there is little hope that anything good can come from its advice or when you come down to it, it seems that for all the collective centuries of experience that the 24 members represent in study, writing, and dealing with Korea, they remain
blinded to reality, and the Report is motivated and they are moulded more by ideology, and remain superficial in understanding.
The DPRK is a fiercely nationalistic state, did not they know? It would not brook overt Chinese interference in its internal affairs. China will not sign on to more and more harsh sanctions and UN resolutions. Apparently secretary of state Hillary Clinton did not get the message during her few days in Beijing in spring 2010, in a sharp rebuke given to the very high level US delegation by a senior PLA [People's Liberation Army] analyst that China's military, he said, has purchase on the maintenance of territorial integrity of the DPRK. Has the US elite forgotten what happened during the Korean war, you have to wonder?
In substance, the report is a dangerous product of the past. It shows no thinking out of the tried and true box. It shies away from dealing with the DPRK.
Pritchard's desire for a holistic solution fails his own words and test. He objects to missiles, he yells at nuclear weapons, say...everything is on the table yes but only in a way which the US has fashioned it. The DPRK has to accept America's conditions and sanctions and scolding and criticism...or else.
Not only are we seeing a harsh cold warrior standpoint, but it's a 'chip on my shoulder' daring North Korea to knock it off. And this at a time when the US is in two failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's a lamentable fact that Council of Foreign Relations Task Force report on 'US Policy toward the Korean Peninsula'is irrelvant and ready for the dust heap and the recycle bin, before the printer's ink is hardly dry.
It doesn't say much for America's 'best and brightest' in the field of Korea. At present, we are witnessing the bankruptcy of ideas of America's 'guiding lights'.
And irony of ironies, the president of the CFR in a letter to the 'Wall Street Journal' is calling for engaging the DPRK not rolling it back.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy campers in Gaza? Gaza, through fresh eyes?

The old grey lady, the august dowager of US journalism, 'the New York Times' never ceases to amaze.
Her coverage on Gaza is mixed. She makes allowances for Israel's wars and attack on the peace flotilla's ship the 'Mavi Mamara'.
Now in the Sunday edition dated 13 June 2010, she wants to show a brighter side to the dire existence that Israel's war 'Cast Lead' and unrelenting blockade on land and sea of 3 million Gazans who had the absolute gall in democratically electing a government headed by Hamas in 2007.
With an eyedropper Israel has let in basic supplies, which are never enough, to adequately feed Gazans and allow them to rebuild the Strip's infrastructure which the Israeli 'Tsahal' [Israeli Defence Force] took such joy in wiping out in a 3 week war which ended on the eve of US president Obama's inauguration in January 2008, and the biggest casualty of which was civilians in the hundreds of victims.
Well since Israel has come under global condemnation because of its carefully planned attack on the 7 ships heading to Gaza with much needed supplies, on the open sea, and with malice of forethought to kill to teach the Turks a lesson in trying to run Jerusalem's blockade of Gaza and being critical of Israel's policy towards Gaza, the NYT thought it wise to change the subject.
As a consequence we have 6 photos of smiling Gazans taking the sun or working. Israel's version of a Potemkin Village. Which all goes to shoot a hole in the foreign propaganda that Palestinians do not laugh and have a good time for themselves or that they carry as before the war.
Yet, the eye would be hard pressed to see the destruction and devastationd and the lack of rebuilding since the Israeli collective punishment meted out on Gaza.
It doesn't take much to figure out why. Such photos would cast the blame on Israel's shoulders where it rightfully belongs.
So instead we read the NYT's man in Israel Ethan Bonner and the photos of an Israaeli photographer Orlinsky providing the proof that through the cleansed lens of a camera, we've happy campers in Gaza. Surely, they are as eyeless in Gaza to slip into an Aldous Huxley title!
Bonner is an American by birth but has lived in Israel for donkey's years. In fact, it has recently come to light his son is in the 'Tsahal' [IDF] doing his military services. Can he maintain his objectivity? Maybe yes, maybe no. How would have he reacted had his son been one of the commandos that attacked in the dead of night the 'Mavi Mamara'? [When questions of his objectivity came up in Clark Hoyt's 'The Public Editor' contribution which appears in every issue of the Sunday NYT's 'Week in Review' section, the NYT's executive editor defended Bonner's ability to view both sides of the Palestinian Israeli divide. But can he? (An aside the 'Public Editor' feature is independent of the 'Times' editorial control, and usually takes it to task for its shortcomings, large or small).]
So how happy a camper is the average Gazan? Probably not very. But a free press will and its readers will never know, owing to Israel's heavy censorship.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Will Poland hand over the 'alleged' Israeli spy involved in the assassination of a member of Hamas?

Israel has never missed an opportunity to blackmail Poland or Germany for the black deeds of theirs, during the destruction of European Jewry during World War 2.
The German weekly 'Der Spiegel' reports that Poland has put the hand of the law on a Uri Brodsky who is alleged to have taken part in the script that led to the deasth of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a founding member of Hamas' military, in a hotel in Dubai on 20 January 2010.
Israeli spies armed engaged in identity theft had used UK, Irish, French, German, and Australian passports, in all compromising the lives of 26 innocent people in a murder which the cameras of the hotel and aeroport caught on tape without being able to put a true name to.
Now, in Warsaw, Polish authorities have found a strand to unravelling the mystery.
Germany has requested extradition of the spy Brodsky, but will Poland grant the request? That remains the question.
Israel will apply untold pressure to quash the affair. It will not stop from reminding the Poles of their anti Semitism, and the role they played during Hitler's war, even though Poles themselves died in the concentration camp or fought at the Germans or some even risked their lives to hide and save Jews.
But guilt there is a plenty, and it is on Polish territory that Auschwitz lies.
2010 has been a bad year for Israel. The Dubai assassination, the bloody attack on the peace flotilla bringing much need basic supplies denied by the Israeli authorities to the landlocked Gaza strip. Turkey its anchor ally in the Muslim is taking its distance from Israel since the peaceniks on the 'Mavi Marmara' killed were of Turkish nationality.
In the world of arts, Israel's isolation is further darkened by the boycott of big name entertainers and writers who are skipping invitations to Israeli art festivals.
Israel in other words, has become a bugaboo for 'terrorism'.
GuamDiary will not take bets on Poland's handing over Brodsky to Germany. We however will dare to put out feelers that Israel's pro consul the US will try to keep Brodsky safe and sound and out of harm's way, for its client Israel.
If Brodsky ends up in Germany, he will maintain silence and spend years in prison.
His silence will not stop the search for the Israeli agents involved in the al Mabhouh murder.
Although Britain and Australia have expelled Israeli 'diplomats', have they shared the info with other countries whose passports played a part in the assassination?
What is certain, and more pronounced by the passing of each day, Israel has become like the emperor who wore no clothes. After years of deceiving the world's larger public, voices are being raised that Israel is naked and under the light of being exposed for the terrorist state it has become.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ignominious end of Helen Thomas' career

The news travelled the world over. Helen Thomas the veteran White House reporter who grilled 10 US presidents, was forcefully retired two months before her 90 birthday.
Her tart tongue and thoughtless remarks on Gaza did her in. Asked questions at a White House event honouring Jewish heritage, a rabbi blogger who admired Thomas asked her opinion on the burning question of Gaza. She replied strongly that the Jews should get out of Palestine. And here she did herself in, by adding they should go back to Germany and Poland and America.
The admiring rabbi couldn't believe his ears. He wondered aloud if Thomas knew what she was saying. Yes was the reply. And to rub salt in the wound, she ended with reminding him her parents came from Lebanon.
It took somedays before the rabbi posted her remarks on YouTube, and then the outrage by foe and friend forced her employer Hearst to retire her without a by your leave.
Thomas' friends tried to soft soap her remarks. But how could they repair the irreparable damages her thoughtless remarks engendered? They couldn't try as they might. She might have nailed George Bush in his lies but her own words erased all that for she will long be remembered as a 'racist', to put it mildly.
Although she put a weak apology on her blog, she couldn't put her Humpty Dumpty image back together again.
Her enemies had a field day. Her friends at the White House sweated but condemned her remarks for the implications they conveyed. Had the long lived Ms. Thomas forgotten the Holocaust?
She lives by the word and she professionally perished by the word. There is no way you can put a smile on what she said. Interpret it as her friends will, but it won't wash away the hurt and the stupidity of her remarks.

Blockage of Gaza unsustainable, says Obama

US president Barack Obama [BHO] is not going to win any popularity contest in Israel. He's already on a most hated US presidents' list as it is. Posters plastered in Jerusalem and particularly in East Jerusalem which Israel illegally claims and is on a land grab binge by expelling its Arab population, show a picture of BHO with an overhead legend in bold faced Hebrew type saying 'an al Qaeda terrorist in the White House'!
BHO latest pronouncement during a visit of the Palestine Authorities Mahmoud Abbas that Israel's blockade of Gaza is unsustainable should knock the pins out from under the right wing 'Bib' Netenyahu standpoint. It won't but BHO is hammering another nail in a policy in which the centre won't hold, and in spite of Israel's kicking and screaming that it does and shall. Israel's supporters in the US--be they in the Houses of Congres, among the diaspora or in the pews of Christian evangelicals, say--will raise a sand storm of violent protest. They won't previal because Israel's latest attack on a peace flotilla steaming towards Gaza with much need basic supplies which Israel has been denying the Gazans it has held hostage for the last few years, and most certainly since the blitz krieg short war dubbed 'cast lead', and which wanted to break the blockade. Israel responded with its usual stock 'em in the face overkill, and kill it did.
The worldwide outrage has put Israel on the defence although like any bully it is trying to strut around with a brave face. Luckily it has the much despised Obama in its corner to parry any thrust and protect it like a good mother hen from condemnation from the larger world.
Now it's protector the US has sent out word saying that the blockade has to go. But BHO is known for his rhetoric and pulling his punches. Still, the word is out, and Israel through its own arrogance and exaggerated self assurance will have to give in in the longer run.
Washington is its protector, its paymaster, among other things. And historically speaking, Israel needs a big power for protection. Saying this, do not get the idea that Netenyahu & co floats that Israel is some David in sheepskin with only a sling shot to face an Arab Goliath. That is biblical cinema. Israel is a tough, armed to the teeth nation who does not shy away from proemptive wars and sending out assassination teams to kill its enemies, and even it does not hold its hand from killing its friends as in the attack of the USS Liberty which ended in a pile of dead US sailors or spying on Washington as in the case of the Pollards.
So like it or not, Israel will have to dance to the US' tune.
An interesting aside. The right wing wet behind the ears weekly op ed columnist in the 'New York Times' used an unfortunate phrase in talking of Israel as an 'outremer' state. Translation as a 'crusader state'. Ross Douthat may have not intended to infer that Israel as a state has a short shelf live, but his slip of the pen is worthy noting. Israel as an irritant in the eye of the Middle East is telling.
Israel has to shape up or ship out. If it doesn't settle for peace with its neighbours and do right by the claims of the Palestinians, like Ozymandias, it won't stand the test of time.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lee Myung bek comes down from the clouds

Reading say the west's media reporting on Korea, the eye comes away with the impression that the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea] president Lee Myung bek is riding high on the waves of check and mating the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea]on the sinking of the corvette 'Cheonan' in March 2010.
The American press has rallied around Mr. Lee, and has praised him for his firmness and hard nosed policy towards North Korea. The US has thrown its military and diplomatic weight behind him. And all indications point to South Korea thumping and trumping the 'failed state' of North Korea. Snip all economic and humanitarian aid; bring Seoul's case to the United Nations [UN] to condemn once more the DPRK and impose another round of unworkable sanction. Pressure China to fall into line by abandoning its North Korean ally and neighbour. And Mr. Lee's muscular posture will assure him of an electoral victory by re enforcing his National Grand Party's [NGP]hold on the reins of local, provincial, and national governance. And what's more rally the South Korean people around his flag pole. And so it goes.
But is everything going his way in this Panglosian scenario? Hardly.
China has not fallen into step. It remains behind the DPRK, which it may not particularly favour but whom it cannot politically and military afford to give the heave ho.
Tough economic sanctions, as GuamDiary observed, suddnely had wiggle room, so that the Kaesong Industrial Zone, located in the North, which allows hard currency to flow in Pyongyang coffers, remained off limits.
And the galling wake up and smell the biscuits, came when the 16 key municipal and provincial governourships escaped Mr. Lee's NGP's grasp. It garnered only 6 posts which is hardly an endorsement for Mr. Lee's no nonsense approach to the economy and foreign affairs. Speaking in per centages, that makes the NGP's slice around 35 per cent. Hardly comforting news for a party which own a majority in the parliament.
Let's face it, Lee Myung bek's star is waning. Washington should take note since secretary of state Hillary Clinton and US general Schoup have done everything to field the illusion that he's the right man at the right time to deal with the rising tensions on the divided Korean peninsula. Mr. Lee's in your face approach to the DPRK within the first few days of talking his seat in Seoul's Blue House, was and is to humiliate and teach Kim Jong il a hard lesson. He torpedoed the 'Sunshine Policy', reduced much needed food aid and economic programmes which would benefit more the ROK than the DPRK. In brief, he's done everything to, and has succeeded in reviving the cold war between North and South Korea.
The loss of keep mayoralty and governour posts, except Seoul which barely squeezed in the GNP's column, is a warning sign, that Mr. Lee has bet on the wrong horse. His time in office looks threatened and his loss of face great!

Netenyahu sniffs glue

Were it possible for Israel's prime minister 'Bibi' Netenyahu to outdo himself in a display of utter gall, yesterday's ham handed justification of the 'Tsahal' attack on the flotilla of 6 ships bringing much needed humanitarian aid to Gazans, to break the Israeli imposed blockade, takes the cake.
Piracy on the open seas he brushed aside. Israel is we learn a law unto itself, and if that wasn't enough, blockading the legally elected Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, remained of paramount importance to the safety and security of Israel, lest that sliver of Palestinian territory would become a centre of espionage and a military threat and mischief for Iran.
Let's give Netenyahu his day in court: is it possible that a powerful, armed to the teeth country like Israel, with over the top means of defence and a tendancy to go rouge against its Arab neighbours, is so neglient that it can and does allow the minions of its arch enemy Iran breathing space on its borders? Hardly.
Netenyahu's heavy handed defence of the defenceless rationalisation of the IDF's [Israeli Defence Force]operation on the high seas against unarmed ships. His argument challenged the limits of human credulity, and he put forth a case of trumped up charges and the big lie, blaming the death and wounded and forceably seized 'peaceniks' who tried to run Israel's illegal blockage of Gaza.
The prime minister took flight to fancy in a manner you associate with glue sniffers. He was high on his own rhetoric which but for the true believer in Israel as God's chosen instrument, came across as a tale told by an idiot.
As GuamDiary has posited, the Israeli predawn attack against the Mavi Marmara, outfitted by the Turkish Islamic charity IHH, was a warning to Turkey to keep out of Israel's neighbourhood...or else. And that or else, meant murder and wounded on the waters which Israel cannot claim within its own territorial boundary.
Netenyahu was again making a case for Israel's right as 'cock of walk' to do what it will, regardless of consequences, because it is God's chosen instrument! And his God is Israel's protector the US.
And the US has once again come to Israel's rescue in deflecting as much as possible full blame on its piracy on the high sea, as well as calling for a white wash of an investigation controlled and carried out by the perpetrator of murder and mayhem, Israel itself.
Netenyahu is fooling no one, but not everyone is willing to challenge it in the court of public opinion or in a forum where the US can sabotage any legal action against Israel.
Israel has no charmed life however. And it has sown the whirlwind which will sweep it aside, and render it a gelding in the comity of nations. Till then, Netenyahu & co. will trip the light fantastic of their own illusions.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pyongyang responds

Un- or underreported is the DPRK's [Democractic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea]documentation in response to the 'selected' and 'selective' 150 page report which remains underwraps, issued by the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea]in response to the sinking of its corvette 'Cheonan' in the much disputed waters off the coast of North Korea.
For weeks, the ROK had been orchestrating a savvy propaganda offensive against the DPRK, by pointing the finger of blame on the doorstep the North. Its much edited version leaves much room for doubt, as GuamDiary has previously observed.
GuamDiary asks: Why the quasi total news blackout on the DPRK's documentation? Would it poke its finger in the ROK's much publicised case?
By boycotting the North's documents, and sending it to a media limbo, the ROK's and its handler the US' narrative of events leading to the sinking of the 'Cheonan' hogs the entire playing field. For them, the monopoly of 'evidence' is complete, and no wiggle room is allowed.
For those elephants with a longer memory, it is reasonable to raise such questions and doubt the ROK's conclusions.
Consider the 'tree cutting incident' at the DMZ almost 35 years ago. The US video of the event raised questions. There was heavy editing, and somehow 9 minutes of event got loss on the cutting room floor.
With this example in mind, it is legitimate to ask why the ROK and the US have not confronted and refuted the DPRK's evidence. Pyongyang persists in claiming innoncene.
Again, by burying or avoiding or dismissing the DPRK's assertions of its innocence,GuamDiary continues to see a verdict of reasonable doubt in the South's case.

Lee Myung bek blinks

Mr. Lee Myung bek, president of the ROK [Republic of Korea aka South Korea]is on a roll. He is talking tough about the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea aka North Korea] in the wake of the sinking of the corvette 'Cheonan'.
He has donned in his own mind at least the uniform of a marshall to threaten fire and brimstone on the North for its 'proven' responsability in the sinking of the vessel and its intendant loss of 46 crew.
He has intensified the war of words, and in order to put some muscle to his posturing, he has cut off all aid and succour to the DPRK.
But has he? Not really. Mr. Lee has made an interesting exception: the Kaesong Industrial Park [KIP] funded by South Korea's 'chaebols'. And the KIP which has North Korean workers, is a source of much needed hard currency, which the South Korean president had vowed to cut off, to bring the North to its knees.
Yes, Mr. Lee blinked, but his bluster and joint military exercises with his protector the US and his martial music has won him brownie points in the ROK. It looks as though his party will retain, if not increase its majority in parliament.
On another front, the summit meeting of Japan, the ROK, and China, he failed to persuade Beijing to condemn Pyongyang for its responsability in the sunken 'Cheonan'.
It boogles the mind how ahistorical Mr. Lee and his American handlers are. For them, the past began yesterday; the longer term view is erased.
Have the forgotten the purchase China and its military have on protecting the DPRK?

Running blockades

In the aftermath of the Second World War, Jews who survived the horror of death and destruction, ran the British blockade to Palestine. There, they saw the light of hope to establish and build a homeland which became Israel.
IF Stone celebrated with pride that running blockade in his 'Underground to Palestine', which is still in print.
Zoom till today when a flotilla of six ships carrying much needed and long denied basic materials, sought to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The motive is the same as the Jews who braved all dangers to life and limb to reach the British mandate of Palestine. This time, it is the Palestinians living under 42 years of brutual Israeli occupation, are seeking to revive and build a state called Palestine on the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Sadly hardly anyone sees the parallel in the wake of Israel's predawn commando attack on the open sea pirate like on the six ship flotilla.
By such an operation, the right wing Israeli government of 'Bibi' Netenyahu has done more damage to Zionism than anyone else could. He has set his country's star on a waning course. In the end, Israel will have to lift the blockade and compose with Hamas which to him is now the reincarnation of the devil.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Israel's latest 'snafu'

GuamDiary has on and off kept a commentary on Israel's 'faux pas' in its own cabbage patch.
Now with its commando raid in pirate fashion at night on the open seas on a flotilla of six ships carrying much needed basic materials to the people of Gaza, it has proven that it has lost international credability.
Guns blazing it chose a ship flying the Turkish flag, to attack, leaving at least 10 dead and more injured.
Israel's propaganda arm has been working overtime to control events. Israel's 'tsahal' [IDF or Israeli Defence Force] confiscated cellphones, cameras, notebooks, so that the world media had nothing but its version of what happened. Yet, slowly but surely an opposing and 'truer' narrative of those captured will surface.
Try as Israel might, its own photos tell all--commandos with machine guns blazing sliding down a rope from a heliocopter, opening fire on a group of 'peaceniks'.
Israel's side of the story makes those under attack and defending lives of theirs from live ammo and certain death or severe injury, as the real villains of this piece of political theatre. Wrong!
Israel has branded them with the iron of 'Hamas' or 'Hezbollah' or 'Al Qaeda'. Wrong again!
The victims had the right to self defence just as the heroic Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto!
The worldwide reaction was swift. Condemnation by all but Israel's protector the US, which regretted the loss of life.
Israel has put its proconsul in a tricky situation: it endangers the renewed but indirect dialogue on settling the Palestinian Israeli question; it puts the Obama administration in a position to depart from its script of unqualified support, since fighting two wars against Muslims, Mr. Obama & co. are not in the mood to loose the good will they've fought hard to win among Arabs and Muslims. If they had cooler and more cynical heads, they could sacrifice Israel but for the baggage of the Israel lobby and the more than 60 years of investment in time, money, support, and military hardware. In a word, they're up a creek. How they will paddle down stream will prove difficult to say the least.
Turkey has denounced Israel's actions in the UN Security Council; it has recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv; even its own opposition parties have thrown support behind the Erdogan government.
Israel blatantly couldn't give a fig. For them, the murder and mayhem on the high seas is a warning to those in its neighbourhood, stretching from Turkey and Iran to Morocco, the message is simple and clear. Don't mess with us. If you do, you are going to pay with loss of limb if not life.
This time the backmail may not work!