A strike from an unmanned aerial vehicle killed 20 people in Pakistan on August 23. According to Reuters news service, "missiles fired from a U.S. pilotless drone aircraft killed 13 militants and 7 civilians in Pakistan's North Waziristan." The attack, and the deaths, illustrate how the unintended consequences of policy decisions and operations conducted decades ago continue to shape events of the present.
Communist China remains passive in pointing the finger at North Korea over the the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan, seemingly giving the benefit of the doubt to the North. If a shooting war flares up on the Korean Peninsula, would China intervene militarily on behalf of the North, as it did in the Korean War?
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on August 20 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to Washington on September 2 to start talks related to the Middle East peace process. Clinton said this will be the first time in 20 months that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resume direct negotiations.
The much ballyhooed withdrawal of “combat troops” from Iraq by the Obama administration has revealed another uncomfortable truth: The U.S. Army soldiers and Marines that are being sent home from Iraq in August (less the 50,000 “non-combat” soldiers that will remain behind) are being replaced by a new U.S. “civilian” contract army under the control of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The culture, the religion, and the attitude toward government of people ultimately determine how a particular nation behaves. The Americans of 1789 had a culture of self-reliance (which ended the “need” for much of what the world today has as government) and Americans also combined a wholesome capacity for self-defense with a desire for domestic tranquility.
Citing an interview with the Iranian National News Agency (IRNA), the Jerusalem Post reported on August 17 that Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi warned that an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be an "international crime."
Americans are rightly troubled by much in modern Islam. There is one area, however, in which America might find laudable approaches from Muslims. The government of Kelantan, a state within the nation of Malaysia, has introduced a new monetary system that is based upon standardized weights of gold and silver coins. These dinar and dirham coins were once common within the old Ottoman Empire, just as species — gold and silver money — was once common within most of the civilized world.
The latest round of joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea, made up of 86,000 troops from the two nations. began in the Yellow Sea on August 16. Voice of America News reported that much of the training will take place on computer displays as commanders practice how they would respond to North Korean nuclear, missile and submarine attacks.
U.S. Commander for Afghanistan General David Petraeus told NBC's “Meet the Press” August 15 that he prefers not to talk about “winning” in the Afghan war, and that Obama's deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from the war-torn nation of July 2011 was a flexible guideline where only a “couple of thousand” U.S. soldiers may be sent home by that date.
According to South Korea's Defense Ministry, on August 9, North Korea fired more than 100 rounds of artillery into the Yellow Sea near the disputed sea border with the South.
Like many of America's and the world's tragedies, the chain of events that led to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki goes back to the great wielder of the big stick, the President who seldom walked softly, the much revered and overrated Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was fond of Japan and, as we all know, the old Rough Rider midwifed the treaty that ended the Russo-Japanese war, for which achievement he won the award that comes eventually to all great warriors, the Nobel Peace Prize.