The Weekly Read #6: Bombs solve everything

What is the Weekly Read? It’s where I give you my take of the news of and share other things that have caught my attention the past week.

So…I started writing this intending very much to post it in time. But blame the need for an actual break, wifi at home acting up and here we are!

This Weekly Read is a special foreign policy edition.  Prepare yourself to read about the North Korea debacle, Syria and whether the world is going mad. And podcasts suggestions! Tons of podcasts and videos to watch suggestions. 

(Photo by Jordy Meow @Unsplash)

Bombs solve everything…

in Syria. This is at least what the Trump administration thinks. The United States decided to respond to the Syrian regime chemical attack on its people. Trump ordered a targeted attack against  the airbase where the chemical attack had been orchestrated.

The nerve-gas attack killed many. It killed children, men, and women. It indiscriminately killed and slaughtered and murdered.

And a part of me, and I guess many of us rejoiced at the fact that the United States for once has done something.

But that sense of satisfaction was very much short-lived.

Here are my top 3 considerations about what happened.

1. The reproachment between Russia and the US is clearly no more. Syria and Russia are chummy chummy and the US by attacking Russia’s ally does not go down well in Russia’s book. Putin thought that Trump was his man going as far as allegedly trying to help the dude out during the presidential election. But oh! Too late, mate. This is, in my book a cause for celebration.

2. But wait. Point one is very much related to point 2. This could very much be a ploy for Trump and his goons to shift our attention elsewhere, away from the troubled Trump administration; away from the need for a serious investigation about Russia tampering with US democracy.

This theory seems to me the most plausible and the one that saddens me most – it really makes the support of the establishment sad.

Why?  I do not believe that Trump cares at all about the babies slaughtered. Why? Because he has been completely opposed to US involvement in Syria from forever, going as far as stating that the US should care about US problems first and ignore what else is going on in the world. His lack of interest for Syria and its children is clear in his decision to ban them from seeking refuge in the US to avoid being subject to tragedies such as the chemical attack which happened recently! So I’m sorry dude but I don’t buy your – oh the poor children – excuse.

3. We should all fear an interventionist Trump. Before, his lack of interest in foreign affairs although disturbing could make me feel a bit better. Trump would ruin America but less so the rest of the world. BUT BEWARE! I had clearly spoken too soon. The unpredictability of Trump is scary. What’s the administration’s plan? Is he going to intervene in Syria some more or was this a one-off? No one actually knows and I suspect that there is no actual plan, no coherent policy. And if he handles the rest of foreign policy like this…I think we will all go back to the “OMG he has access to the bloody nuclear codes” refrain heard so much during the presidential election last year.

We should all be afraid.

Here’s a great article by the Atlantic‘s Conor Friedersdorf about why the strike in Syria was a no-no.

Amazing Podcasts on Syria that you must listen to:

Pod Save the World – Understanding the Syrian Civil War

For the longest time I had blamed the Obama administration for doing nothing about Syria, but this podcast allows me to have a more nuanced attitude towards the former administration.

Vox’s The Weeds – Bonus Episode: The United States Attacks Syria

And a great video that explains what has been going on in Syria.

Bombs solve everything…

Trump and the guy in the North of the Korean peninsula – Kim Jong Un – have something in common.

The North Korean debacle is of another dimension and it required tons of reading on my part.  I always saw North Korea (NK) as the crazy cousin, that annoying cousin you have that always threatens to ruin everything but then…doesn’t?

Well, the crazy cousin seems keen to actually follow through, going so far as to ready itself for all out nuclear war.  And we can technically “thank” the US for that.

Like clearly. Let’s have war. Sure. Let’s all kill each other.

It all escalated so quickly that I need to stop and think and ask myself: what the hell is actually happening?

There are two really good articles that summarise it all. One is the Vox’s; and the other is of the Globe and the Mail.

To summarise, it seems that the US is willing to consider strong military action to deter and stop the NK menace aka NK is trying to get itself some nuclear weapons.  One could say that it all started after the Syrian air base strike. The US came out and said that this was supposed to be a message to the world.

North Korea clearly thought “You’re talking about me clearly and you’re provoking me.” To which they thought it would be wise to arm themselves against US aggression, using this mess to justify why they need nuclear weapons.  The US respond by deploying a carrier waters near the Korean peninsula. NK responded and it all escalated to this past weekend, where NK celebrated the birth of its founder – the grandfather of the man currently running the show – with a military parade showing all its latest nuclear gadgets. It all ended in a failed missile launch. And that’s what has been going on so far.

In the meantime we are not reassured by Trump’s knowledge of NK with the man’s ignorance making me cry in despair rather than making me laugh. And it doesn’t help that South Korea is dealing with a vacuum of power following the impeachment of its former president Park Geun Hye.

My only possible logical response to what is going on is to be scared for what might happen.

NK has nothing to lose. Its a recluse that gets some attention from China and even China is losing its patience over NK behavior. But we have everything to lose and if we have to listen to some experts, a preemptive strike from the US may result in a big war, a war that will primarily affect SK and possibly the whole world.

The world is looking very scary right now.

Highlights of the Week

Are there any? Yes.

Podcast of the Week



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