Bring It

With President Donald Trump’s formal notice to Russia that the US will pull out of the Treaty on Intermediate-range Nuclear Force, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened an arms race.

Our American partners apparently believe that the situation has changed to such an extent that the US should have such weapons.
What answer will they have from our side? It’s simple: we’ll do it too.

In addition to that,

The head of the Russian armed forces warned that if the deal collapses, the targets of subsequent military exchanges would be US missile sites hosted by allies within striking distance of Russia rather than American soil.

Brussels Interferes Again

Now the European Court of Justice has decided to weigh in on Brexit.

The European Court of Justice’s opinion, which requires confirmation in a final court ruling, says the U.K. can unilaterally stop the process of leaving the EU, something that Brussels and the U.K. government had sought to oppose. A final ruling is expected within the next few weeks.

This is yet another cynical effort by Brussels to interfere in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation, this time compounded by Brussels’ insistence on punishing the Brits for their impertinence.

Macron and Nationalism

French President Emmanuel Macron decries nationalism when he’s taking his swipes at President Donald Trump.  But he’s only showing his nationalistic, cynical hypocrisy when he does that.

As The Wall Street Journal has noticed,

[T]he French are nationalist to the core. Ask the European parliamentarians and their staffers who must make the expensive, time-consuming, carbon-emitting trip from Brussels to Strasbourg once a month to maintain the absurd fiction that French Strasbourg is the home of the European Parliament. Ask any European negotiator who has tried to prune back the Common Agricultural Policy, a giant boondoggle under which France is the largest recipient of funds. Ask any Italian diplomat about French policies in Libya. Ask any American negotiator about France’s approach to trade.

What’s So Hard?

Great Britain is agonizing over how to deal with the People’s Republic of China’s Huawei Technologies Co and the latter’s desire to supply the nation’s 5G mobile network.  On the matter of Huawei’s having supplied the predecessor 4G network, Great Britain thinks it had arrived at “an understanding” with Huawei concerning the latter’s behavior vis-à-vis the installed 4G—which, astonishingly, allowed Huawei to monitor “aspects” of 4G tech.  Britain’s MI6 head, Alex Younger, seems to be the chief agonizer.

5G will by and large be based on Chinese technology, chiefly with Huawei. We need to decide whether we are comfortable with the ownership of these platforms in the case where our allies take quite a definite position…This is not straightforward[.]

Another Free Trade Deal

As Ashley Tellis, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, pointed out, a free trade deal with “Taiwan” would be a Good Thing.  Indeed, that would be a good start, but it really would be better to sign a free trade deal with the Republic of China rather than with an island.

He also pointed out that such a trade deal would go a long way toward easing, if not stopping, the People’s Republic of China’s effort to diplomatically isolate the RoC.

Accordingly, a free-trade agreement would demonstrate American solidarity with Taiwan is just a bit ironic given the thrust of Tellis’ piece.

Ukraine and Russia, Again

The Wall Street Journal had an editorial on this earlier, but they’re selling the Ukraine situation short along with several others.

The [Russian] attack violated a 2003 treaty that designated the Azov Sea as shared territory between Russia and Ukraine.

Sadly, this accepts as fait accompli the existing invasion, partition, and occupation of Ukraine by Russia.

The attack, and that invasion, partition, and occupation, also violated, and violate, the Budapest Memorandum, which the Western signers (the US and UK) appear too timid to enforce—even though we’d be confronting a country whose economy is roughly akin to that of the Black P-Stone Nation, and whose morals are those of MS-13.

“We Need to Decide”

So says President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China.

Speaking in Spain while enroute to the G-20 conference in Argentina, Xi said

I think we are at a crossroads. In economic terms we need to decide if we are going to follow the economic globalization and free market or if we are going to choose unilateralism and protectionism.

Justice and Law

An Indian, a Creek, stands accused of murdering a fellow tribesman.  He was arrested on the Creek’s Oklahoma reservation, and with that, he’s demanding that he be tried in Federal court rather than in an Oklahoma State court.  The matter of which court should have jurisdiction, which centers on the existence or absence of the Creek Nation reservation in Oklahoma, now is before the US Supreme Court.

The government’s lawyer, US Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler, declaimed

This would be a dramatic change from the way everyone has understood it for the past 100 years[.]

He continued:

Another Betrayal

Recall Russia’s latest provocation (which amounts to an act of war), consisting of ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ramming a Ukrainian tugboat and firing on and seizing the Ukrainian three-ship flotilla of which that tug was a part along with the “detention” of the crews of the three ships.

Germany—Chancellor Angela Merkel—has magnanimously offered to mediate the matter.

Foreign Aid to Whom?

The United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund has, with Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura’s permission (recipient nations’ permissions are required for CERF funds release), sent $9.2 million in emergency humanitarian aid to…someone…in Venezuela.  The money is intended to mitigate Venezuela’s medicine and food shortage crisis which stems from the Venezuelan government’s failure to perform.

In addition, the UN’s International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is expanding its aid for Venezuela.  UNICEF already has delivered…to someone…nearly 130 tons of medicine, health, and nutrition supplies for 350,000 women and children just since August.

The UN has not said to whom it sent these goodies, only for whom they’re intended.