Click, click, boom, boom...
There are a lot of things that we know and don’t know about Cablegate. We know that’s what been leaked so far is just the tip of the iceberg. We know that a lot of leaders and diplomats have already been put in a really tight spot. We know that Julian Assange has pissed a lot of people off. We know that a 23 year old kid is the prime “leaker” suspect. And we know that even though Assange hasn’t yet released stuff on UFOs, the conspiracy theories are already flying.
We don’t know what’s going to be in those remaining documents, but what we know from the ones that have already been published is that international stereotypes exist for a reason: diplomats are spies, Russia is corrupt, Afghanistan is worse, the German leader lacks creativity, and the French leader is vain.
What we didn’t expect was that, apparently, the Saudi’s don’t like Iran and China is fed up with North Korea. How’s that for a revelation, Mac? Rogue states make their rich and greedy neighbors feel uneasy.
And that’s the beautiful thing about democracy: no two market-democracies have ever gone to war with one another. Democracies are governed by peace-niks who worship the rule of law and an invisible hand. And what we’ve learned from Cablegate is that there’s not much left standing between our previous free-market and the millions of consumers being held hostage by an Axis of Evil.
If you are familiar with North Korea’s history then you might remember back in August 1976 two American soldiers were killed by North Korean soldiers armed with axes. The event is known as the hatchet incident. It was a move on the part of Kim Jong-Il to consolidate his newly appointed position as the dear leader of the WPK’s Party Central Committee. In 1983; three years after Kim became the head of the politburo, the military commission and the party secretary, there was the Rangoon Bombing. The Rangoon bombing was a terrorist attack in Burma (now Myanmar) where 21 people died including many top level South Korean diplomats and politicians. The primary target was the then president of South Korea.
Fast forward 27 years. A new heir to North Korea has been named. A guy who has lived one of the most sheltered lives in North Korea has been chosen to succeed the dear leader. Kim Jong-Un is according to the propaganda the equivalent in the Korean People’s Army of a four star general. Which is impressive for a guy who has never seen combat, is believed to be about 27 (born the same year as the bombing) and educated in Switzerland. In March a South Korea warship was torpedoed resulting in the loss of 46 sailors. So now we have these artillery strikes on a disputed island in the hands of South Korea. Two Korean military personnel have been killed along with two civilians. The South is taking a hawkish stance to the Northern Saber rattling.
Kim Jong-Un is not leader yet. The Korean Politburo redacted his date of birth to be in 1982 so that he will be 30 years old when 2012 arrives (the expected date where his father will step down). Yet he has very little experience in dealing with international negotiations and needs to be build a reputation among the military and the international community. The primary tool of diplomacy available to the North is the threat of force. It is the primary means to extract aid from the South and Japan. Quick acts of violence and military action further reinforce this strategy. There are two problems now though which seem to face the heir apparent.
One, the South Koreans know he is inexperienced and are now taking a more aggressive approach to dealing with the regime in the North. If they call the North Korean’s bluff and the North stands down they lose their primary diplomatic tactic. Two, the People’s Army; while massive is no match for the modern South Korean force backed up by the US seventh fleet. China has no problems with the defeat of the North. The US and South Korean diplomats have already made gestures guaranteeing a non-threatening unified Korea to the Chinese. China seems to agree if you read the wikileaks diplomatic cables.
So the choices are back down and become nothing more than a paper tiger or start a war which he will lose resulting in the destruction of the state. History repeats itself. North Korea will either be destroyed or will be further isolated, which is something it can no longer afford. I guess the South’s addiction to Starcraft may prove useful soon.
Apparently, General David Petraeus and Afghan President Hamid Karzai are at odds with one another over a time table for NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
General David Petraeus
Petraeus wants a calculated and measured withdrawal, ceding responsibility to Afghan security forces, province by province, over the next four years. Karzai wants the Americans to lower their profile immediately, complaining that corruption is being fueled by how his government controls only about 20% of the reconstruction money pouring into Afghanistan.
You care because you think that the only way the war in Afghanistan (now in its most lethal year) can only be won through the kind of campaign that no liberal-democracy (especially one you pay taxes to) could undertake without committing war crimes en masse, so the sooner we hand it all off to a corrupt, Western-backed warlord who can do the dirty work for us, the better.
I care because the U.S. and NATO are spending a billion dollars a month (more than the total monthly budget of the entire government) on training a force where its not uncommon for soldiers to either tip off the Taliban through cell phones or abandon their post and join the insurgents.
Unless I’m missing something here, and the military industrial complex has been working hard behind the scenes to secure growth rates for years to come, it seems strange Karzai is in such a rush to deal with the mess that we’re going to leave behind in 2014.
The CBC has reported that as many as 1,000 of the 3,000 Canadian troops in Afghanistan will remain until 2014, 3 years after Canada is supposed to pull out. The good news (for the troops): they’ll be moved into a non-combat role outside the combat zone to assist with training and support.
You care because your patriotic male ego can now rationalize that Canadians are even tougher and braver than ever because we’re willing to get shot at or blown up when we’re not even in the fight and just trying to help those poor, innocent bastards rebuild their country after decades Taliban oppression.
I care because that’s 1,000 Canadian troop that are sticking around to train and support a force that does the bidding of a man that accepts bags of cash from Iran. Fuck you, Charlie Wilson, looks like Afghanistan never needed you anyway!