Monday, August 7, 2017

Sunday Globe Special: New York Times Says Wage War on Iran

They let the Washington Post take the lead and it's one of the traps set for Trump.

"Iran gains ground in Afghanistan as US presence wanes" by Carlotta Gall New York Times   August 05, 2017

FARAH, Afghanistan — In a three-week siege in October, Taliban fighters poured into Farah, the capital of the province by the same name, and seized the western riverbank.

Only after US air support was called in to end the battle did Afghan security officials realize who was behind the lightning strike: Iran.

Yeah, right, Iran is the reason AmeriKa is failing in an unwindable mission impossible -- unless winning is like what Mattis said, just being there.

Four senior Iranian commandos were among the scores of dead, Afghan intelligence officials said, and were given funerals in Iran. Many of the Taliban dead and wounded were also taken back across the nearby border with Iran, where the insurgents had been recruited and trained, village elders told Afghan provincial officials. 

I'm not believing what the New York Times says, especially when we have been told the extreme sectarianism has been driven by the Shi'ite-Sunni divide where Taliban-types, we are told, view Shi'ites as worse heretics than anyone else.

Now, about Israel aiding ISIS.....

The assault, coordinated with attacks on several other cities, was part of the Taliban’s most ambitious attempt since 2001 to retake power. But it was also a piece of an accelerating Iranian campaign to step into a vacuum left by departing US forces — Iran’s biggest push into Afghanistan in decades.

So what, NYT? They are close neighbors. It is expected that they would have close security and trade, even if Afghanis wanted to buy products from the nation that has bombed them into oblivion (the U.S.).

Now imagine the reaction if Russia or China were to complain about Canadian and Mexican relations with the U.S. as being too cozy. They would be laughed out of the room.

President Trump recently lamented that the United States was losing its 16-year war in Afghanistan, and threatened to fire the US generals in charge.

The scuttlebutt is that he will remove the troops and send in the contractors to protect vital bases, etc.

See: "Last week, Politico and other "news" outlets reported that President Trump got into a brawl with his military advisers over the future of American involvement in Afghanistan.  To have read the coverage, one would have thought that the President had a mental meltdown and rejected the sage advise of his Secretary of Defense, National Security Adviser and other security aides.  However, in talking with a friend who was privy to that meeting, the President asked the kind of probative questions that citizens expect of their elected leader, when considering issues of war and peace.  As I heard it, Trump was unhappy with the options he was given, because they represented "more of the same" plans that have failed for the last 16 years.  "If any other President had that same discussion, he or she would have been praised for doing the right thing.  Because it was Trump, he was lambasted."  Well, it becomes more and more obvious by the day that the Borg has decided that Trump is unacceptable--American voters aside.  There is now an overt merger of the neocons and the humanitarian interventionists..... "

There is no doubt that as the United States winds down the Afghan war — the longest in US history, and one that has cost half a trillion dollars and more than 150,000 lives on all sides — regional adversaries are muscling in.

WTF are they talking about? Who is winding down the war? the debate has been whether to surge like under Obama, like a 4,000 troop deployment.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan remain the dominant players. But Iran is also making a bold gambit to shape Afghanistan in its favor.

Oh, the two allies and heavyweights that protect U.S-created, funded, and directed Islamic group are not a problem with their oversized influence  and no mention of Indian operatives, either. They are certainly there.

Iran has already exploited a chaotic civil war in Iraq and created a virtual satellite state there after the US withdrawal. In Afghanistan, it aims to make sure that foreign forces leave eventually and that any government that prevails will at least not threaten its interests and at best be friendly or aligned with them.

Same neighborhood explanation applies, and why wouldn't they want a friendly neighbor rather than a platform for U.S. attack?

Again, it's all in contrast to the unspoken satellites and proxies of the EUSraeli Empire, too. When I began this blog over ten years ago I liked and respected Carlotta Gall. Now she is nothing but another NYT hack.

One way to do that, Afghans said, is for Iran to aid its onetime enemies, the Taliban, to ensure a loyal proxy and also to keep the country destabilized, without tipping it over. That is especially true along their shared border of more than 500 miles.

Why would they do that when the U.S. is proving so adept at it?

But fielding an insurgent force to seize control of a province shows a significant — and risky — escalation in Iran’s effort.

You smell stench?

“Iran does not want stability here,” Naser Herati, one of the police officers guarding the post outside Farah, said angrily. “People here hate the Iranian flag. They would burn it.”

Iran’s growing ambitions in Iraq and Afghanistan come at a time when its moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, is facing pressures from both hard-line opponents and many of his reform-minded supporters.

Rouhani, who was sworn in Saturday for a second term, said his administration will live up to its promises under the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers but would respond to any breaches by other parties, the Associated Press reported.

Over the years, the United States has removed Iran’s chief enemies on two of its borders, the Taliban government in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Iran has used that to its advantage, working quietly and relentlessly to spread its influence.

Maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all -- unless you wanted to bring them to power so as to call them a threat!! Isn't that what Wolfowitz had in mind?

Much of Iran’s intensifying covert intervention in Afghanistan is only now coming to light.

Meaning the NYT has picked up the shovel to start shoveling shi**!

It is providing local Taliban insurgents with weapons, money, and training. It has offered Taliban commanders sanctuary and fuel for their trucks. It has padded Taliban ranks by recruiting among Afghan Sunni refugees in Iran, according to Afghan and Western officials. 

I'm sorry, I simply don't believe the Jew York Times.

Iran and the Taliban — longtime rivals, one Shiite and the other Sunni — would seem to be unlikely bedfellows.


Iran nearly went to war with the Taliban when their militias notoriously killed 11 Iranian diplomats and an Iranian government journalist in fighting in 1998.

After that, Iran supported the anti-Taliban opposition — and it initially cooperated with the US intervention in Afghanistan that drove the Taliban from power.

But as the NATO mission in Afghanistan expanded, the Iranians quietly began supporting the Taliban to bleed the Americans and their allies by raising the cost of the intervention so that they would leave.

So claims the NYT, pfffft!

Iran has come to see the Taliban not only as the lesser of its enemies but also as a useful proxy force.

Like ISIS is for the US in Syria and anywhere else action is needed!



"Taliban insurgents launched coordinated attacks form three directions on Sayad district in northern Sari Pul province Saturday, killing at least seven security forces. A spokesman for the provincial governor said insurgents seized control of the strategic Mirzawalang area in after a two-day battle with the Afghan security forces. Ten Taliban fighters were killed (AP)."

Also see: The US Must Come Clean On Whether It Is For Taliban or against them

Yeah, who are the true Taliban and who are the imposters?


The real deal:

Occupying Power news

"Neocons Leverage Trump-Hate for More Wars" (Parry).  This whole piece should be carved in stone and erected around the United States.

"McMaster solidifies power at NSC — and supports Iran deal, sees Israel as occupier" (Weiss).  Curious to watch the usual suspects display their cards so forcefully.

I think it would be wise to follow the General and start calling it the 'Occupying Power' rather than Israel.

"What’s Worse: Trump’s Campaign Agenda or Empowering Generals and CIA Operatives to Subvert it?" (Greenwald).  Note the Kristol tweet.  Things are getting hella-weird when Glick and Kristol are taking opposite sides.  This seems to derive from contradictions in the perceived view of Bannon's political philosophy, which are the contradictions in nationalist interventionism (and, for that matter, contradictions in Zionism).

I think it curious that Bannon's whiteboard keeps finding its way into photographs, almost as if he wants to create the idea that we can see into what he is really thinking, but his concerns seem to be entirely taxes/trade.  I think we should be particularly careful in letting Bannon define for us what Bannon really thinks.

If you are Trump (or Bannon), and you really don't think the country can afford to fight any more wars, but you face massive pressure from agents of the Occupying Power to do so, creating intentional ambiguity is a good strategy.  Promote yourself as a warmonger, but somehow keep getting stymied in your efforts towards war.  After all, any war is totally against MAGA and against the spirit of nationalist isolationism.

We probably need to go back to the autistic libertarianism that surrounds people like Mercer.  They are focused on trade and taxes and immigration, are agnostic on war (which is 'irrational' but a possible money-maker in the right conditions), and don't give a shit about the Occupying Power unless they can use it as leverage for one of their three main preoccupations.  Mercer got thrown in with hard-core Christian Zionists when he supported Cruz, but dropped Cruz as soon as it was apparent that Cruz couldn't deliver the Presidency.  The basic premise of autistic libertarianism is that white American males run the world, and ought to run the world as they are intellectually superior, but need to have the shackles created by or for the benefit of inferior groups removed so they can achieve their destiny.  Thus, end 'unfair' trade deals, eliminate taxation of the rich, and end/reverse immigration.  War - the only real interest of the Occupying Power and its treason agents - serves as a political/legislative distraction from the main goals.-- xymphora


"Since World War II, the U.S. military has killed some 20 million people, overthrown at least 36 governments, interfered in at least 82 foreign elections, attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders, and dropped bombs on people in over 30 countries....."

Is that why the Left hates us so much?

Must see: Christopher Bollyn Explains with Facts Why and How Israel did 9/11 

A 35-minute buzzsaw with Oliver Stone's son through the history of Israeli false flags as well as a forensic analysis of 9/11. Therefore Ollie knows, folks. Wow.

It's standing right in your face:

"Fire strikes another tower in Dubai" Associated Press  August 06, 2017

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A fire broke out Sunday at another high-rise tower in the Dubai Marina, just days after a blaze struck one of the world’s tallest residential towers in the same neighborhood.

Things are getting wooly over there.

Authorities quickly extinguished Sunday’s fire at the Tiger Tower and said it injured no one. But it rattled nerves after Friday’s inferno at the Torch Tower across the street.

The fire Sunday began on clothes left on a balcony on the tower’s 53rd floor, said Captain Amer Abdulwahab al-Qahtani of the Dubai Civil Defense. He said investigators believe either an improperly disposed cigarette or combustion caused by the heat, which was a sunny 109 degrees, ignited the blaze.

Spontaneous combustion, huh?

Then why aren't they catching fire all over the world, every day?

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, al-Qahtani said. The Dubai Media Office, a government agency, said the ‘‘minor fire’’ caused no injuries.

Early on Friday, an intense fire raged in the 86-story Torch Tower nearby. It was the second time in 2½ years that the more than 1,100-foot-tall tower had been ravaged by fire.

For more than two hours, far longer than those two 100-story towers that dropped into their own footprints.

The Torch, in Dubai’s popular Marina district, also caught fire in February 2015. There were no major casualties reported in either blaze.

And it stood.



"In 1974, French stuntman Philippe Petit repeatedly walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center." 

Just getting Back to the Future, and the alleged perpetrator was introduced to you in 1998

"Joining Arab states, Israel says it plans to ban Al-Jazeera" by Isaac Scharf Associated Press  August 06, 2017

JERUSALEM — Israel said Sunday that it plans to ban Qatar’s flagship Al-Jazeera network from operating in the country over allegations it incites violence, joining Arab nations that have shut down the broadcaster amid a separate political dispute.

The news organization said it will take legal action to overturn the decision.

Communications Minister Ayoob Kara said he plans to revoke the press credentials of Al-Jazeera journalists, effectively preventing them from working in Israel. Kara said he has asked cable and satellite networks to block Al Jazeera transmissions and is seeking legislation to ban them altogether.

So much for all the free speech and western democracy stuff. Israel practices censorship the old-fashioned way.

The minister, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, gave no timetable for such measures.

Doha-based Al-Jazeera on its English language website condemned the measures as ‘‘undemocratic’’ and said that it will take legal action. It said it will continue operating in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Walid al-Omari, the broadcaster’s bureau chief in Jerusalem, said on air that his office has not been informed by Israeli officials of any possible measures the government might take.

Al-Jazeera, a pan-Arab satellite network funded by the Qatari government, already has been targeted by Arab nations now isolating Qatar as part of a monthslong political dispute over Doha’s politics and alleged support for extremists.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have recently closed Al-Jazeera’s local offices, while the channel and its affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain. 

All in bed with Israel, huh?

‘‘Lately, almost all countries in our region determined that Al-Jazeera supports terrorism, supports religious radicalization,’’ Kara said. ‘‘And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al-Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that then something delusional is happening here.’’

That is strong stuff.

Israeli officials have long accused Al-Jazeera of bias against the Jewish state. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has likened its coverage to ‘‘Nazi Germany-style’’ propaganda. 

That is even stronger. 

So Israel is at war with Qatar, confirming what those insightful bloggers (not me) had concluded early on.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for international news organizations, said the move ‘‘is certainly a cause for concern.’’ It said it will study the issue and decide how to proceed.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based advocacy group, also criticized the Israeli proposal.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, condemned the move "Al-Jazeera had a big role conveying the Palestinian narrative with high professionalism," said Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman.

That is why they are under attack.



Then there is the other war, also connected to Iran and Palestine for it was the North Koreans would stood by the Iranians during the decades of sanctions and who are a forceful advocate for Palestinians at the U.N.

"UN imposes new sanctions on North Korea" by Edith M. Lederer Associated Press  August 05, 2017

UNITED NATIONS — The UN Security Council unanimously approved tough new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday including a ban on exports worth more than $1 billion — a huge bite in its total exports, valued at $3 billion last year.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley praised the new sanctions, telling council members after the vote that it is ‘‘the single largest economic package ever leveled against the North Korean regime.’’

The resolution also bans countries from giving any additional permits to North Korean laborers — another source of money for Kim Jong Un’s regime. And it prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korean companies and bans new foreign investment in existing ones.

The US-drafted measure, negotiated with North Korea’s neighbor and ally China, is aimed at increasing economic pressure on Pyongyang to return to negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.

The Security Council has already imposed six rounds of sanctions that have failed to halt North Korea’s drive to improve its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons capabilities.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday will for the first time be in the same room with his North Korean counterpart, and much of the world will be watching to see whether the two even acknowledge each other.

Joining Tillerson and North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, in Manila will be representatives of other countries with a stake in the regional confrontation, including China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan.

The occasion is the annual ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, which will be followed later this year by a meeting of the leaders of the organization’s nations. President Trump has promised to attend that meeting.

ASEAN ministers on Saturday sharply rebuked North Korea over its intercontinental ballistic missile tests and admonished Pyongyang to help avert conflicts.

The ministers were split on an American proposal to suspend Pyongyang from the ASEAN Regional Forum, a 27-nation bloc that includes North Korea and its bitter adversaries the United States, South Korea, and Japan. The ministers said the North’s two ICBM tests last month threaten world stability.

How? The world didn't blow up because of the launch. Business went on as usual.

Whether Tillerson and Ri avoid each other or sit down together this week could set the course for the Trump administration’s moves on its top foreign policy priority for the rest of the year.

State Department officials said the two were not expected to meet privately.

But Tillerson’s first appearance at a departmental press briefing in Washington this past week and his unusually restrained comments about North Korea — he assured the North “the security they seek” and offered a new chance at economic prosperity if it surrenders its nuclear weapons — had some speculating that he might welcome a meeting with Ri. 

Sorry, but North Korea learned the lessons of Libya and Iraq!!

On the other hand, Tillerson’s comments were accompanied by increased saber rattling from Washington directed at the North, with the United States testing an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile in the Pacific and flying two strategic bombers over the Korean Peninsula.

Tillerson’s two-pronged approach, proposing talks while backing sanctions and military pressure, is likely to be evident this weekend in Manila as well.

While he signaled last week an increased willingness to talk to the North with fewer preconditions, he is also likely to ask every diplomat he encounters in Manila to take steps to further isolate North Korea.

What if we are isolating ourselves?

The US delegation here intends to try to get North Korea expelled from future ASEAN meetings....

But they don't want regime change, blah blah blah.


"Tillerson hails UN sanctions as China rebukes North Korea" by Gardiner Harris New York Times  August 06, 2017

MANILA — A day after the United Nations Security Council passed its toughest sanctions against North Korea, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson met with his South Korean and Chinese counterparts here in hopes of ratcheting up the pressure on Pyongyang.

In a midday conclave on Sunday with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of South Korea, Tillerson hailed in his typically understated fashion the UN vote, which could cost North Korea nearly $1 billion a year, or about one-third of its foreign earnings.

“It was a good outcome,” he said with a smile.

Kang could not resist chiming in: “It was a very, very good outcome.”

Yet the man of the moment at the annual ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, a dashing diplomat who unlike Tillerson held a news conference and direct talks with his North Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. Wang said the two had “an intensive conversation,” and in unusually strong terms, he later urged North Korea to show restraint.

The NYT saluted him, huh?


"Singapore’s government declared that an American scholar of Chinese studies at a local think tank was an agent of a foreign country and ordered him expelled. The Home Affairs Ministry did not name the country, but said that Huang Jing, a US citizen and former instructor at Harvard University, knowingly worked with intelligence organizations and agents of that country to attempt to influence Singapore’s foreign policy and public opinion. Huang, who worked at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, denied the charge (AP)."

Who could they mean?

“Do not violate the UN’s decision or provoke the international society’s good will by conducting missile launching or nuclear tests,” Wang said.

He also said, “Of course, we would like to urge other parties like the United States and South Korea to stop increasing tensions.”

China accounts for more than 90 percent of North Korea’s external trade and has long avoided tough economic sanctions against the North, for fear that a collapse of the government would lead to a flood of refugees, as well as the North’s reunification with the South, putting a close US ally directly on China’s border.

That makes the assumption that the newly-unified country would want that.

A year ago, the Chinese were on their heels in this region. An international tribunal in The Hague last July delivered a sweeping rebuke of China’s behavior in the South China Sea, including its construction of artificial islands, saying its expansive claim to sovereignty over the waters had no legal basis.

The case, brought against China by the Philippines, seemed like a turning point in China’s disputes with a host of regional players, including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

A few months before that ruling, 12 nations in the Pacific region concluded more than seven years of negotiations by signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a trade agreement that bound much of Southeast Asia together with the United States and Japan in an economic partnership intended to fight China’s growing economic hegemony in the region. While China had its own regional trade accord, the US-led pact had become the preferred agreement, with several nations that had missed out on the initial round of negotiations expressing interest in joining.

Now, things have changed.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, elected last year, has backed down from his insistence that China abandon the shoals at the heart of the tribunal’s decision, preferring instead to accept significant Chinese economic assistance.

In a news conference Friday, the Philippine foreign affairs secretary, Alan Peter Cayetano, said the fight with China was not worth the cost. “If we go harsh with everyone, our people will suffer — trade, direct foreign investments, tourism.” 

And that is why Duterte faces an Islamic insurgency, in addition to his tough stand against drug trafficking.

With the Philippines serving as host to ASEAN, the country’s about-face lifted a significant cloud over China, with only Vietnam reportedly continuing to insist that the group condemn Beijing’s actions.

How ironic is that? Two former enemies now isolated friends.

Related: "In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Lyndon B. Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on US forces."

The Mother of all War Whoppers!!

Instead, ASEAN and China adopted a fairly weak negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea — several steps removed from anything that could force China to abandon its territorial claims or give up the seven islands it built in disputed waters, three of which have runways and military hardware.

The U.S. has something like 800 bases scattered throughout the world.

Wang said adoption of the framework created a solid foundation for negotiations that could start this year, if “the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and on the premise that there is no major interference from outside parties,” according to Reuters.

Can't make it any clearer to the U.S., can they? Mind your own damn business, it's our backyard.

Few believe the framework will lead China to a binding agreement anytime soon.

Perhaps even more important, President Trump renounced the TPP.

He didn't really renounce it; he said renegotiate.

After a while you get tired of counting the NYT distortions.

That action, along with his years of denunciations of the trading policies of Japan and China and a promised “America First” pivot, seemed to many in the region to represent a significant retreat by the United States from its military and economic engagement here, and an important victory for China.

That is the NYT's interpretation.

Barack Obama had lavished attention on the region, which has a population of more than 620 million and a collective economy of about $2.4 trillion, the third-largest in Asia, after those of China and Japan. 

If you call building up military forces lavishing attention on them, I guess he did.


"Rescuers were searching for three US Marines who were missing after their Osprey aircraft plunged into the sea off the east coast of Australia on Saturday while trying to land. Twenty-three of 26 personnel aboard the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft were rescued, the Marine base in Japan said. The craft was conducting a routine operation from the USS Bonhomme Richard when it crashed. Ospreys take off and land like a helicopters, but fly like airplanes. They have been involved in a series of crashes in recent years..... US military officials called off a search and rescue operation on Sunday for three Marines who were missing after their Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the east coast of Australia while trying to land. The Navy and Marine Corps suspended the rescue operation and launched a recovery effort instead, the Marine base Camp Butler in Japan said in a statement, essentially confirming the military does not expect to find the missing Marines alive. The Marines’ relatives had been notified, and Australia’s defense force was assisting the Americans with the recovery effort, the statement said. The MV-22 Osprey was conducting regularly scheduled operations on Saturday when it crashed into the water, Camp Butler said. The ship’s small boats and aircraft immediately responded in the search and rescue efforts, and 23 of 26 personnel aboard the aircraft were rescued. The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like an airplane. The aircraft was in Australia for a joint military training exercise with the United States last month....."

Who do you think put them there?

RelatedAustralian police release man arrested in plot to bomb plane

A plot directed by the Islamic State group, also put there by the same fella.

Astride the world’s busiest and most strategic shipping lanes, the region was the fulcrum of the administration’s rebalancing toward Asia.

Setting the stage for the next war.

Trump has yet to demonstrate a similar interest or commitment to the region.

He's trying to keep us out of one.

At the conference, Tillerson sought to put to rest fears that the United States would abandon the region, saying his meetings with ambassadors are “indicative of the importance that the United States pays and places on this relationship with ASEAN.”

And while he did not meet with journalists Sunday, his top diplomat for the region, Susan Thornton, said that multiple visits by top administration officials had demonstrated its continued importance to the United States.

That explains the petty pre$$ hostility.


The same Times reporter then calls for Tillerson's resignation in the wake off this great triumph:

"Diplomats question tactics of Tillerson, the executive turned secretary of state" by Gardiner Harris New York Times  August 06, 2017

WASHINGTON — Several times a week the State Department sends a greeting to a foreign country on the occasion of its national day. By tradition, the salutations have been written by low-level diplomats and routinely approved by their superiors.

But not anymore.

Now the messages go through Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s office, where his top assistants insist on vetting them, and where they often sit for weeks before coming back with extensive editing changes, according to several department officials.

To these officials, it is a classic case of micromanagement — and emblematic of the way Tillerson has approached running the State Department.

Introduced by President Trump as a “world-class player” when he nominated him, Tillerson had never worked in government.

But as the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, he brought to the State Department the kind of managerial experience shared by predecessors like George P. Shultz, who had been president of Bechtel, the engineering company, and George Marshall, a five-star Army general once described by Winston Churchill as “the organizer of victory” in World War II.

Even skeptics of Tillerson’s foreign policy credentials thought the State Department, an agency of 75,000 employees, could use some of the management skills he had picked up as the head of a major corporation. Tillerson was supposed to know that leaders of large organizations should quickly pick a trusted team, focus on big issues, delegate small ones and ask for help from staff members when needed.

He has done none of those things, his critics contend.

Instead, he has failed.....

Yeah, okay, NYT. Must mean he is standing in the way of the agenda.

They turn to the disgusting R. Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and an under secretary of state for President George W. Bush, for expert analysis, the same neocon who advocating invading Syria a few years ago and just cleaning up what would come out of it.


I'll consider him a success if the U.S. doesn't begin the war the way it ended the last one:

"Japan marks Hiroshima anniversary, with North Korea on its mind" by Jonathan Soble New York Times   August 06, 2017

TOKYO — Every year in early August, Japanese politicians and peace activists converge on Hiroshima to commemorate the day when the city was devastated by a US atomic bomb.

In the famous peace park, the horrors of World War II are vividly recounted. Speakers of all political stripes repeat Japan’s postwar mantra: “Never again.”

Sorry, that phrase already has a ™.

The familiar reaffirmations of peace were there this year, too, on the 72nd anniversary, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declaring Sunday that Japan, “as the only country to be irradiated in war,” would “firmly advance the movement toward a world without nuclear weapons.”

But there was no hiding the tensions straining Japan’s postwar pacifism, as fears over the fast-advancing nuclear program in neighboring North Korea — and political disagreements over how to respond — rose jarringly to the surface.

The North Korean threat raises a greater sense of alarm in Hiroshima, where 140,000 died on Aug. 6, 1945, in that first A-bomb attack, which was followed three days later by another that killed more than 70,000 people in Nagasaki.

The single greatest individual war crimes ever.

At a news conference after the official memorial ceremony, a forum normally dominated by reflections on the past and appeals for a peaceful future, a reporter prodded Abe about the alarmingly here-and-now problem of the nuclear ambitions of the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

North Korea’s repeated defiance of a ban on testing missiles and nuclear bombs prompted the U.N. Security Council on Saturday to unanimously adopt a resolution imposing the most stringent sanctions yet against the country.

The reporter asked, Should Japan, whose constitution renounces war, acquire the means to strike North Korean missile sites if an attack on Japan appeared imminent?

It is a topic that has occupied policymakers and defense experts in recent months as Pyongyang, the North’s capital, has stepped up the pace of its missile tests, with pieces of its increasingly sophisticated arsenal splashing down in waters off Japan. But it seemed a remarkable subject for the anniversary in Hiroshima.

Abe’s answer was hardly a comfort to Japanese pacifists.

Though he responded that his government was not planning to arm Japan to carry out any pre-emptive strikes, at least for now, he stopped well short of rejecting the idea outright.

“At the present time, we are not planning any specific deliberations about possessing” weapons for a pre-emptive strike, Abe said. He added that Japan needed to strengthen its defenses generally, “given that the security situation surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe.”

Although Japan has a military, the Self-Defense Forces, it has forgone certain offense-oriented weapon systems, like long-range missiles and bombers.

Such weapons are seen as being incompatible with its constitution, which was created by occupying U.S. forces after World War II and has been interpreted as allowing Japan to fight only to fend off attacks.

Several local news outlets noted the contrast between the occasion and Abe’s remarks, as did supporters of Japan’s increasingly beleaguered peace movement.

I read that and thought, yeah, they are everywhere -- and yet WE ARE STILL STANDING  and HOLLERING FOR IT!

“What a thoughtless thing to say in Hiroshima!” said one Twitter user, whose handle translated to “Peace is Number One.”

Many experts have questioned whether pre-emptive strikes on North Korean installations would be effective, given that Pyongyang takes countermeasures like keeping its missiles mobile or hiding them deep underground.

But that has not stopped some Japanese from arguing that their country should at least have the option to try.

As a treaty ally of the United States, Japan relies for its defense on the deterrent power of the United States’ vast arsenal, including the aircraft carriers, Tomahawk missiles and nuclear weapons that Japan does not possess. That ambivalent stance — rejecting such weapons for itself but approving their deployment by the United States — has also created political friction.

On Sunday, the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, and survivors groups urged Abe to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a first-of-its-kind agreement negotiated at a U.N. conference last month.

First I've seen of it.

Abe has declined to support the treaty, arguing that while eliminating nuclear weapons may be desirable, unilateral disarmament by Japanese allies would only aid North Korea and China.

“We need a realistic, step-by-step approach,” Abe said Sunday, “in order to achieve a nuclear-free world.”

Well, Obama put a $trillion-dollar, 30-year U.S. upgrade in motion and my feeling regarding nuclear weapons is unless Israel gives up theirs then everyone else should keep theirs. I don't even blame others for wanting them. There are the examples of Iraq and Libya, and the frightening comments from Kissinger to consider.


Related: "In 1945, during World War II, the US B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb code-named ‘‘Little Boy’’ on Hiroshima, Japan, resulting in an estimated 140,000 deaths. (Three days later, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki; five days after that, Imperial Japan surrendered.)"

Also see: Hiroshima – A Criminal Enterprise From Which Nothing Has Been Learned

At least the Globe remembered, and I hear you Hiroshima. 

The fallout from Fukushima may be even worse.

Now a moment of silence.


You ready for another World War?

At least the Globe is for peace:

"At Peace-B-Que, city children imagine a kinder, gentler world" by Evan Allen Globe Staff  August 05, 2017

Anthony Thompson III was the first one to hit the “Peace Play” sandbox at the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute’s second annual Peace-B-Que in Dorchester on Saturday.

The 7-year-old carefully assembled action figures to represent the world he wanted to live in: One where an Arthurian knight, an Army man, and a girl with pigtails stood protectively around a blue whale in the sand.

“Guarding,” he explained. It was a friendly and safe world he was after.

Beside him, 13-year-old Naesaun Jones arranged his own tableau. A little man faced a little woman in the sand, arms flung wide as if for a hug. Jones had just recently seen a woman pull a knife on another woman, he said, and he, too, was looking for safety.

“I would like to see people hugging, not fighting,” said Jones.

Dozens of people braved Saturday’s rain to eat hot dogs and hamburgers, make “Sno Kones,” practice their skateboarding skills, and play in the “Peace Play” sandbox, which is a healing practice that aims to help children and adults alike imagine their world and their troubles differently.

In front of Clementina “Tina” Chéry, president and chief executive of the Peace Institute, which she founded after her 15-year-old son, Louis, was caught in crossfire and shot to death in 1993, children had filled the Peace Play sandbox with wild visions of the worlds they wanted to live in. They had been told to pick among hundreds of small figurines -- wizards, cavemen, fire-breathing dragons, flowers, crosses, dreidles, castles -- and arrange them to create “a peaceful Boston.”

Guided by gentle questions from Shahi Smart, a survivor’s outreach service advocate with the institute, they talked candidly about what was important to them. Using the figurines means they don’t have to find the words, Smart said. A person seeking an answer might select a key; a person who feels pulled in many directions might pick an octopus. Once, Smart said, a little girl buried a doll, and told Smart the boy “got shot.”

On Saturday, the kids seemed focused on building worlds full of friends. Artise Brewer, 8, and his friend D.Z., 9, set up an elaborate fenced-in range, with a collection of animals surrounding a Bible and a cross. The Bible and the cross were for God, they said, and the fence was because God wanted the animals to be safe.

Artise pointed to a bear -- that was him, he told Smart. A nearby giraffe was D.Z. The bear and the giraffe go everywhere together, he said.....


All for “the sake of the children,” of course.