North Korea

International Relations Becoming More Dominated By Authoritarian Leaders

The world in 2022 is becoming more dominated by authoritarian leaders than any time since World War II, a sign of major challenges for President Joe Biden.

Already, the Russian Federation, China, North Korea, and Iran are constantly challenging America and its democracy.

But now, Saudi Arabia, under Mohamed bin Salman, in cooperation with Vladimir Putin, is cutting oil production, and creating an economic nightmare of higher oil prices, just as the Midterm Elections of 2022 come upon us in one month.

The Democrats already have problems with inflation and higher mortgage rates and this despicable action by Saudia Arabia, in lead with Putin, could very well undermine the push to protect American democracy in the upcoming elections, and prevent protection of abortion rights.

This will be a very difficult month, with growing sense that MAGA Republicans and Donald Trump could end up in control of government, and undermine, in league with an extremist right wing Supreme Court, many of the progressive
advancements in government and civil rights that have occurred in the years since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson!

The US Military And Defense Department Have Daunting Challenges Ahead

At a time when Climate Change presents overwhelming challenges to the entire planet, the threat of massive war also is a daunting challenge that is faced by the US military and the Defense Department.

The Russian war on Ukraine has led to Vladimir Putin formally annexing four areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, the largest land grab since the end of World War II.

Putin is threatening nuclear war if any of the annexed territories are attacked, and the threat of World War III is real.

President Joe Biden and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) have made clear that an attack on any land of any NATO nation, including those on the border of the Russian Federation, will lead to a unified response.

Additionally, the growing threat of a Chinese attack on Taiwan is alarming, as the US has said they would come to the defense of Taiwan, which could lead to war that could spread to Japan, South Korea, and Australia as well.

And of course, there is always the threat of North Korea and Kim Jong Un.

The US military has had troubles recruiting for volunteers among the younger generation, with many not in physical condition to be accepted, and yet, the thought of a reinstituted military draft after 50 years of no draft would certainly cause a bad political reaction.

Even Russia has learned that, with its decision to mandate forced service in its military in Ukraine, causing widespread fleeing and hiding by Russian men, causing disarray in Russia, and weakening Putin’s hold over his population, with growing opposition to the war effort.

Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Challenges In Year Two Of His Presidency

In addition to the uncertainty and tensions domestically, surrounding the danger of Donald Trump and the Republicans striving to end American democracy, Joe Biden faces massive foreign policy challenges in year two of his Presidency.

The Russian Federation and Vladamir Putin seem poised to invade Ukraine, with NATO and the US determined to punish Russia with harsh economic sanctions if that horrible event occurs.

China seems poised to invade Taiwan at some point, with the US stating it would come to the defense of that island, without being specific, but with the reality that a direct military intervention seems unlikely or manageable.

Iran seems resistant to resuming the 2015 nuclear agreement that Donald Trump destroyed during his Presidency, and there is the danger of a Iran-Israel War on the horizon.

North Korea and Kim Jong Un continue to test nuclear weapons, and therefore, represent a clear and present danger to US interests and neighboring nations in Asia.

Other nations have become more autocratic, including Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and Egypt in recent years, and democracy seems clearly to be on the defensive.

How much America can have an impact on these “hot spots” is hard to imagine, but that is not saying that Donald Trump or any other potential President would have any more fortune in world affairs!

Six Month Anniversary Of President Joe Biden: A Positive Change And High Public Opinion Ratings!

Today, July 20, marks the six month Anniversary of the Joe Biden Presidency!

What a vastly different six months these have been, and Joe Biden’s public opinion ratings rank in the high 50s to low 60s, depending on which assessment is examined.

Many problems have arisen, as with any President who comes into office, but Biden is pushing ahead on infrastructure legislation, and wants a large “human infrastructure” bill, based on “reconciliation”, 50 Democratic votes and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema continue to present problems in trying to overcome the filibuster, and may prevent progress on voting rights, very sad indeed.

Foreign policy issues are rearing their ugly head, including new ones on Cuba and Haiti in just the last few weeks.

This along with the usual foreign policy challenges, with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Environmental progress has been outstanding, and while the unvaccinated remain a problem with the Delta Variant of COVID 19, and the unhelpful propaganda against vaccination by right wing media, it is still amazing how many Americans have already shown patriotism and common sense on this matter.

If only Joe Biden had the conditions of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933-1936 and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1964-1966, he would have been able to accomplish much more, but still there is optimism, and the hope is for greater progress in the next six months!

Foreign Policy Rears Its Ugly Head After Four Months Of The Joe Biden Presidency

Four months into the Joe Biden Presidency, foreign policy is rearing its ugly head in so many ways.

We have China claiming exclusive rights to much of the South China Sea, and creating naval issues with the United States and other nations that have territories in the Pacific.

We have Russia under Vladimir Putin being belligerent in so many ways, including claiming sole rights to much of the Arctic as climate change leads to melting of much of the ice in that region, opening up new potential for commerce and naval expansion, and being challenged by the US and other nations.

We have North Korea still engaged in nuclear testing and remaining a threat to South Korea and other Asian neighbors.

We have Iran remaining a threat in the Middle East, and the issue of trying to stop Iranian nuclear development.

We have the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which led to an 11 day war, and growing antisemitism around the world, and domestically in America.

We have the growing threat of authoritarianism spreading around the world in so many nations and regions.

We have the continuing global threat of climate change, and also of terrorism.

While the challenges are massive, Joe Biden came into the White House with the most foreign policy expertise since George H. W. Bush and Richard Nixon, so the nation is in good hands for these foreign policy challenges!

America Became Part Of The World This Week In 1917!

America became part of the world this week in 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson went to Congress on April 2, 1917, and asked for a Congressional Declaration of War against Imperial Germany, the Austro Hungarian Empire, and the Turkish Empire, putting us into “the Great War”, later called the World War, and after entrance into World War II, termed World War I.

Although America went back into isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, the nation learned that it was a false decision, and since World War II, we have recognized that we are part of the world, and cannot ignore what is going on outside America, as it can and has threatened American national security.

President Joe Biden faces many foreign policy challenges, most significantly with China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, but with many other authoritarian nations that also undermine America’s basic values.

While Biden wishes to deal with the many domestic challenges, he will not be able to ignore the many problems other nations pose for the United States!

Foreign Policy Rears Its Ugly Head For Joe Biden

Every President enters office wishing to deal with domestic policy and change.

But invariably, foreign policy rears its ugly head much too often!

Woodrow Wilson came to office in 1913, not expecting the First World War I to break out in 1914, and bring us into that war in 1917.

Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office in 1933, wishing to deal with the Great Depression, but also had to deal with the growing Fascist threat of Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy, and eventually, entrance into World War II!

Harry Truman came to office in 1945 to end World War II, but had to deal with the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and send troops to Korea.

John F. Kennedy came to office in 1961, and had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson came to office in 1963, wanting to promote the Great Society, but also had to deal with the Vietnam War.

Every other President in modern times has had to face similar issues, and now, Joe Biden must deal with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran as major headaches, as he tries to resolve the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis!

Priority For Joe Biden And Secretary of State Antony Blinken To Support Allies And Be Tough On Adversaries

With the confirmation of Antony Blinken as Secretary of State for President Joe Biden, the priority is for both Biden and Blinken to make perfectly clear that foreign policy will return to normalcy.

This means that America must restore the close relations with our NATO allies, and with Asian allies, including Japan and South Korea, all heavily damaged under Donald Trump.

It also means being tough toward our adversaries, including the Russian Federation and Vladimir Putin; China; North Korea; and Iran, making clear we are not cozying up to these dictators, while dealing with them in a “tough love” atmosphere.

It also means we cannot allow Saudi Arabia to manipulate America, as it did under Donald Trump.

It also means working in unison with other nations on climate change, and promoting a series of fair trade agreements, instead of imposing higher tariffs on Americans, as Trump practiced.

Confrontations might occur, hopefully not, but we must make clear that America will uphold democracy as part of its historic mission, and will never abandon its democratic allies in the world!

Barack Obama And Joe Biden Reach Their Rhetorical Best, As Presidential Campaign Winds Down

Former President Barack Obama has kept his rhetoric down for much of the four years of his successor, but now, with only a week to go to the Presidential Election of 2020, he has utilized his great rhetorical gifts with a blistering, incisive, and at times, ridiculing, attack on Donald Trump, well deserved.

It is a pleasure to see Obama come out in full support and defense of his Vice President, Joe Biden, in such a dramatic and brilliant manner. Obama mocked Trump for saying that the leaders of Russia, China, and North Korea wanted him to win, and Trump’s complaint about Sixty Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, stating that if Trump cannot handle Sixty Minutes, how can he handle real crises such as the COVID 19 Pandemic, which Trump refuses to take responsibility for, and now has said cannot be dealt with, other than by a future vaccine.

At the same time, Joe Biden is fired up, and is at his best rhetorically, as well, as he campaigns vigorously in the battleground states. And his visit to Warm Springs, Georgia, the vacation home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, reminds us of a time nine decades ago when we faced a situation thought to be the greatest since the Civil War, but now surpassed by the challenge of not just a Second Great Depression, but also the worst health crisis since the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918-1920.

Donald Trump continues to sink in the polls, and soon, the American people will make a clear cut decision to remove this tyrant from office and hold him accountable for his multiple crimes!

“The Forgotten War” 70 Years Later: Still An Area Of Danger And Concern

On this day, June 25, 1950, 70 years ago, the Korean War began as Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of South Korea.

It is often termed “the forgotten war”, as many Americans seem to think, due to poor education, that Vietnam was the major war right after World War II, highly regrettable that so few know of the sacrifices of American soldiers in that horrid conflict.

The United Nations, under American leadership of 21 nations, entered the war under the US authorization of President Harry Truman, although it was an undeclared war, never subject to Congressional vote, and instead was termed “a police action”.

Some have argued it was an “illegal war”, and that it started the abuse of power of Presidents in sending troops overseas in foreign conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, and many other interventions, often not even known or paid attention to by American news media.

The Korean Conflict, which seems as a more appropriate name since it was not a declared war, went on until there was an armistice on July 27, 1953, and in those 37 months, over 33,000 Americans were killed, and many thousand of more troops wounded. The conflict has never resulted in a peace treaty.

About three million people died in that conflict, the majority of whom were civilians, and it was the deadliest conflict in east Asia, more than the Vietnam War or the Chinese Civil War. All of the major cities of the Korean peninsula, both in North and South Korea, were laid waste, and families were divided permanently for many decades.

The same Communist government that started the war has gone through three generations of leadership–grandfather, father, and now son, and Kim Jong Un seems on the road to provoking a new war with South Korea, which has become very democratic and prosperous.

Every American President has been dogged by the problem of the Korean peninsula, but now even Donald Trump has been bested by the North Korean dictatorship, and it seems likely that Kim Jong Un could be a threat not only to South Korea, but to Japan, and to American territories in Guam and the state of Hawaii, and the entire Pacific Coast of the United States. His development of nuclear weapons makes North Korea a potential threat over time even to the east coast of the United States, including Washington DC and New York City as the key targets, as was the case for Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001.

So when Joe Biden, God willing, becomes the 46th President in January 2021, he will face the daunting task of, hopefully, preventing a new war, whether nuclear or conventional.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC deserves every American visiting, and reflecting on the losses and damage done in the name of saving South Korea from becoming part of a united Communist dictatorship, but the future is gloomy.