It seems like there is a competition for worldwide attention. Donald Trump has it wrapped up at the moment, but Vladimir Putin is making a strong attempt. We can expect Kim Jong Un to weigh in soon, especially since his deputy ambassador to the UK has defected to South Korea (photo of North Korean embassy in London from here).
The anniversaries of Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9) are coming up. Peace organizations are planning observances. But we’re not hearing much about them, because Donald Trump and the possibility of his little hands on the nuclear button are getting all the attention. And maybe that’s the most meaningful observance this year. Read More
With Donald Trump’s near-repudiation of NATO’s Article 5 for the Baltic States and of other international organizations including, in the last couple of days, the European Union and World Trade Organization, the question of his ties to Russia have become louder. Articles have been published earlier this year on the subject. Josh Marshall summarizes the concerns. Read More
The financial consequences of lifting sanctions on Iran are turning out to be less than Iran wanted. The problems lie in Iran’s corruption and broken banking system. If Iran can recognize its own problems, this will bring Iran more into compliance with world standards. This is what proponents of the nuclear deal meant when we said that the deal would help to bring Iran back to being a normal country. Nobody said it would happen quickly. Read More
On April 26, it will be thirty years since the Chernobyl reactor blew up. That event gave the Soviet Union’s new premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, a scare that got him thinking about better ways to run the country. None of that worked out quite as he planned, though. Here’s a good history of the Chernobyl event. Photo from here of the containment now being built for the ruined reactor. Read More
I have been following events in Harney County, Oregon, where a group of (militants, insurgents, protesters, you name them!) has occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. They base their occupation on a bizarre interpretation of the United States Constitution that claims that the federal government cannot own land and the county sheriff is the highest level of law enforcement. Eleven of the leaders have been arrested, and four holdouts remain in the refuge. One of the group was killed by law enforcement officers during an arrest of the leaders. Read More