“Normalize Relations”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif travelled to the People’s Republic of China in an effort to get its help in saving the nuclear weapons deal with Iran that the US walked away from and that Great Britain, Germany, and France, along with Russia and the PRC, remain in.  Zarif insisted that

the world must normalize economic relations with Tehran and take “practical steps” to save the nuclear accord….

No, we don’t.  There’s nothing to save: all the accord did and does is create a brief delay in Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons so it can use them against Israel and, through its proxies and affiliates, others.

A Shift May Be Beginning

As the tariff volleys in the People’s Republic of China’s years-old economic war (of which trade is just one component) against us begin to grow, some potential changes in international trade and production for trade are becoming visible.  If these apparent changes represent the beginning of a solid trend, the changes and the trend will not be to the PRC’s benefit.

It’s true that consumer prices might start to rise in both our nation and in the PRC, but as a population—and as a people—we’re better able to absorb those increases than is the population of the PRC.  Our per capita GDP is $62,500, more than three times the PRC’s $19,520.

It Already Is

European diplomats warned Monday that Iran is preparing to abandon parts of a landmark nuclear deal in response to new US sanctions….

It’s a vapid fear, and only the EU’s foreign affairs diplomats could be so…naïve.

Iran already is violating the nuclear weapons agreement, and it has been all along.

A senior European diplomat said Iranian officials have been considering a partial withdrawal from some parts of the multination accord….

This would only publicly formalize Iran’s behavior.  Consider, for instance:

Iran’s ballistic missile tests and satellite launches explicitly allow testing nuclear warhead carriers, guidance systems, rocket engine capabilities, and a host of other capabilities related to delivery of nuclear warheads.

Northern Korea Sent Us a Bill

Northern Korea sent us a bill two years ago for $2 million for the hospital care of Otto Warmbier while he was a kidnapping prisoner in northern Korea. The bill was part of the process of getting Warmbier when his vegetative body finally was released.

Couple things about this.

One is that Warmbier received no medical treatment worthy of the name, much less “hospital” care.  It’s necessary only to review his condition when he was, finally, returned to his family in the US.

Satellites, Espionage, and Malware

It seems that the People’s Republic of China is using our geosynchronous satellites for its own ends, both economic and national security.  It seems the NLMSM is only just catching up to that long-standing fact.

That’s not cool (each of those things), but the former also presents some opportunities (the latter only serves for hand-wringing and click-bait).

One is to upload software to block communications from PRC sources—the data packets have the data necessary for the discrimination embedded within them. Of course, it’s a routine hack to alter those packet source data or to alt-route the messaging so as to disguise the data’s origin.  But that slows down the data stream, and that, with the latency inherently involved in a communications pathway that involves such faraway nodes can destroy the usefulness of some time-sensitive data.

Lost Brexit?

Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, went begging to the EU for a delay on Great Britain’s date of departure from the EU, and she got it—31 October, with a caveat that if the Brits can get their act together sooner, they can leave sooner.

European Council President Donald Tusk:

…the call for action will be entirely in the UK’s hands.
… But he added that the UK can also use the time to “reconsider the whole Brexit strategy.”
Tusk…warned the UK: “Please do not waste this time.”

Nonsensical

Prime Minister Theresa May has written to the EU begging for an extension until the end of June before Great Britain leaves the EU.  France is continuing to claim it opposes any further extension beyond the current 12 April date if Great Britain cannot form a coherent, reasoned plan for departure to offer the EU that would earn a longer extension for departure.

Take It or Leave Us

Here is one of the final steps in Brussels’ studied refusal to deal in good faith with Great Britain’s leaving the EU in all the long “negotiations.”  With the Brits’ departure now set for 12 April, the EU’s Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, has issued the EU’s ultimatum:

  • The possibility of a successful “meaningful vote” on the withdrawal agreement in the next few days. “The only way to avoid a no-deal Brexit is and will be through a positive majority. We should continue to make this point in the public debate,” Barnier said.

There’ll Be Blowback

But it’ll be badly misplaced.  President Donald Trump is moving to stop further direct aid to the Caravan Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras over those nations’ failure to control those caravans by putting to actual use that aid—which was intended to support improved economies, the living conditions within those economies, and training to deal with gangs and the drug trade.

[T]he State Department…notified Congress that it would look to suspend 2017 and 2018 payments to the trio of nations, which have been home to some of the migrant caravans that have marched through Mexico to the US. border.

Crimea and the Golan Heights

A writer to the Letters to the Editor in a recent Wall Street Journal, actually tries to equate Israel’s hold on the Golan Heights with Russia’s occupation of Crimea and of the People’s Republic of China’s seizure of the South China Sea.

And he’s serious.

Approval of Israel’s seizure lends support to Russia’s claims that the Ukrainian territory seized by Russian “separatists” now belongs to Russia, as does Crimea. President Trump’s stance also gives sanction to China’s seizure and fortification of islets in the South China Sea.