The Korean crisis stumbles on. It is proving a difficult situation to resolve. Posturing by North Korea and the US leaves South Korea ever more vulnerable. Friday US Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting South Korea. Does it sound like an attack from North Korea is imminent? Yes media reports point to a possible missile luanch any time soon, but would Kerry visit the region if it was about to explode?In the UK foreign secretary William Hague has spoken out in support of South Korea and the USA North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is isolated on the world stage with traditional allies such as China and Russia warning him against action. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro weighed in this week to also offer his communist ally a few words of warning. In the early sixties the Cuban missile crisis took the world close to nuclear war. The same scenario is unfolding once more but in a different region of the world.
A good outcome from this latest spat in Korea would be a proper peace plan and agreement. This has been lacking. The Korean war ended wth no peace treaty signed. An uneasy peace lasting 60 years has broken. It was bound to happen sometime.Friday US President Barack Obama weighed in. The Guardian reports,
Barack Obama has called on North Korea to end what he described as its "belligerent approach" as US intelligence officials concluded for the first time that the country has a nuclear weapon small enough to be carried on a missile.
The US president made his first public comments on the crisis as a congressional hearing was told of the Pentagon's latest intelligence assessment on North Korea. The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) report said it concluded "with moderate confidence that the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles". But it said the missiles would not be reliable.
The Pentagon later sought to row back from the DIA assessment read out in Congress, saying that North Korea's had not yet fully tested a nuclear weapon.
US military commanders have been preparing for North Korea to launch a missile after a new round of United Nations sanctions were imposed last month.
The US has threatened to shoot down any North Korean missiles but it might only do so if the missile appears to be targeted at a US territory or one of its allies such as South Korea or Japan. If the missile is hea
The US is not blameless in tis latest fiasco. Playing war games in the area, flying stealth bombers and dropping dummy bombs could also be viewed as belligerent and provocative. Obama claims that the latest meeting of the House armed services committee in the US Thursday concluded North Korea did not have a nuclear capable, long reach missile, yet. What will happen when they have, depends on
the actions of others now.
- The USA is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in conflict. Will they do so again?
- The USA has made sure tough sanctions against North Korea have been ongoing.
Do you ever watch shows such as X Factor or American Idol? If you do you will know that the last up each week has the best chance of survival. Our memories are short and the person who performed first is often lost in the anals of our minds.
So what does this have to do with the 2012 election? Well it means that how Mitt Romney and President Obama cope with the fall out from Hurricane Sandy could be crucial to next week's voting.
President Obama is in a no win situation as far as some right wing reporters go. Acting quickly to address the problems raised this week they have accused him of acting too quickly to gain political leverage. Had he been slow to respond he would have been damed for a late response. In truth of course they are trying to spin the situation in favour of their man, Mitt Romney, who is already back on the campaign trail. They will see that the President's impeccable behaviour this week is bad news for the GOP hopeful.
There is no doubting that Sandy could be almost classed as a godsend in an election year. That will sound dreadful. It is but it is true. When Margaret Thatcher was one of the most hated Prime Ministers of the UK she was returned to office on the back of a successful military mission in the Falklands. Such are the mindsets of voters.
There is no way that Obama can be blamed for his actions as he has been doing his job this week to the best of his capabilities. We think that he has been doing a great job in difficult circumstances. That may not be true of Mitt Romney. His gesture of being hands on giving out food hampers was in reality nothing nore than a token gesture. If it was he would have dug his hands deep into his amply stocked pockets and made the mother of all gestures. Millions of dollares of aid from his personal wealth. Better still from his overfull campaign treasure chests.
Instead in a month when the Romney campaign, backed by big business in the USA, out raised President Obama he opted to go back to campaigning in the sunny southern States of the USA. Out of harms way and people suffering whilst attempting to gain the political upperhand. Pathetic.
The GOP campaign will be throwing huge, obscene amounts of money at Romeny's election dream this week. Money that could surely be better spent alleviating the suffering caused by Sandy. Surely after such a long election run up voters have decided who to vote for by now?.
If not and Romney is right those who are just making up their minds should look no further than the President's exceptional efforts this week. He proved he is no G W Bush truning his back on Americans who have been on the receiving end of a natural disaster.
According to the BBC, "Gov Christie, usually one of Mr Obama's fiercest critics, spoke of his "great working relationship" with the Democratic president."I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for the people of our state," said Mr Christie."
So when the going gets tough the weak go to Florida? President Obama on the other hand proved why he should be the man to be elected next President of the USA.
So last night both the US Presidential hopefuls went head to head
for one last time. Now that the days are ticking down to voting day both sides will be trying for one last push. An ever increasingly obscene amount of money
will be spent on damaging the opposition and winning the US Presidential election
. It will be spin, spin and spin again until the American people feel dizzy. Will any of it really be productive? Probably not except for the winner. It will however bear little relation to what the next President, be it Obama or Romney, will do in office.Looking across the Pond it has made this Brit realise that democracy as we all view it is just a myth. Money will ultimately win the election. Money is a good persuasive. The two main players in this theatre of politics will play their parts well. It could be curtains for the one who forgets his lines.
We should never forget that all politicians are in many ways actors. They will utter the words expected of them, whether they truly believe them or not, without a blink of the eye.We would still like to see President Obama re-elected to the White House. Our many American friends seem to feel the same way. Those who we know who are opting for Romney
are in a minority. However there is no doubting that it will be a tight race. What happens between now and November 6, 2012, election day, will be crucial. Even a disaster outside of the President's control could make or break election campaigns.It makes you realise how we are all manipulated. Are we such fools? Yes it would seem that we are. The Condems formed a coalition government in the UK when Labour lost control. We remember people who were reliant on the minimum wage and income top ups explaining how they would not vote for Labour because of the economy.
They had fell for the spin. These people have been hit hard by the Condems and bitterly regret falling for the lies. You live and learn in this world.Having voted in every election for the last 40 plus years we know that little changes. Are politicians self serving? Yes most of them are. Some Republicans will tell you that Obama is self srving but what of Romney? He is the most obviously self serving person ever. Promoting wars when you have been a draft dodger says it all.
Having so much wealth that you are cushioned from the real world simply confirms that ioho he is wrong for the role of President. It is up to the Americans though to decide.They will see the President painted in many terrible ways. They have already had a taster of this. Dare to call Romney though and the GOP have a tantrum and scream not fair.At the end of last night's debate, which both sides claim to have won, Romney played out yet another role. That of Father and family man. His whole clan gathered on stage to support Dad. Of course it was about shaking Obama's hand following son Tagg Romney's total disrespect of the President and his Office.
All carefully crafted and staged a little like UK PM Cameron at the Tory Party conference. An emotional mention of his late son and a well rehearsed camera cut to wife Sam with a tear in her eye. Yes they are all good at manipulating the people and we usually fall for it hook, line and sinker.Why Romney's overly large family has any bearing on a Presidential role is unclear. He has more kids than most people can afford to have these days. Ordinary folk rarely have the option for wife to stay at home and be a "homemaker". Most women have to combine real work with that task. Single Moms have to work that bit harder to fufil many roles.
Wealth of course makes having a large family so much easier.For us President Obama won the debate. When cornered on foreign policy Romney turned back to his old favourite the economy. Yes he had been coached well. When in doubt talk about what you know, Money. That for us said it all.
There is more to running a country than being a successful businessman who was born into privilege and has led a sheltered life.
As far as words go there is a huge difference between the UK and the USA. Hell there is a huge difference between regions of the UK and USA when all is said and done. The recent splurge of news regarding the US election has brought us many stories pertinent to the USA and some pertinent to us all. This week Mitt Romney's son Tagg and his public outburst set us wondering about names and how the Elite view the World.
Mitt Romney's family history has links to Scotland and Germany. His was a privileged background. It is probably fair to say that he has never lived in the real World. Opponents of Barack Obama are quick to accuse the President of many things but at least he has a grasp of what makes us all tick. If like Romney you live in a Mormon community from birth and are surrounded by wealth the real world is just a bad story. Becoming an intern in your father's Governors' office says it all. His wife is from the same privileged background. Now that lifestyle does not exclude people from the human race but few of these Elite want to get their hands dirty. They prefer espousing on how WE should cut back and settle for second best. Still I digress. It was names and Mitt's son Tagg that brought about today's op-ed.
What sort of name is Mitt? For that matter what sort of name is Tagg? In the UK names are weird and in some cases wonderful these days. We wondered if Mitt was short for something and also why Willard Mitt Romney had opted against using his proper name, that is Willard. Surely in such an important race as the 2012 Presidential election Willard or Will would have been more appropriate?
Of course we know that there are more importat issues than names. However such things can believe it or not win or lose elections. Perhaps Mitt and his team thought Willard was too staid and Mitt would make him sound more "of the people" It is clear that he has never been that.
Apparently Romney was given the name Mitt after a relative called Milton. Why was he not called Milton then? Still to each his own. So what about his son called Tagg? This Brit is starting to think that the Romney's are reminiscent of an old children's favourite in the UK, Rag, Tag and Bobtail! Tagg in Romney's case is apparently short for Taggart. The family as a unit are Mitt, Tagg, Ben, Matt, Craig, Ann, and Josh.
Tagg has been in the news this week following the second presidential debate between his Dad and Barack Obama. It seems that the fact that the President came out on top of that debate ratlled Tagg. Well it would if it were your Dad I guess. Presumably the Obama girls felt the same when in the first debate the President took a civilised route and Mitt eat him alive. We assume that they have more class than Tagg though as they did not come out fighting.
During the deabte Obama questioned Romney's statements. Of course the implication was that Mitt was not telling the truth. Surely that is what all debates do? Romney did the same with Obama's words.
Talking on a US radio station following this Tadd said of his feelings,"You want to jump out of your seat, and you want to rush down to the debate stage and take a swing at him.” “But you know you can’t do that, because — well, first, because there’s a lot of Secret Servce between you and him — but also because this is just the nature of the process. They're going to try to do everything they can do to make my dad into something he's not." "
Says a lot doesn't it? Says ignorance, stupidity, ill thought out words and a lack of class. It shows that money does not breed style. nor substance.It shows a true lack of respect for President Obama and the role of US President. Tagg is happy then to have Obama portrayed as everything from a devil to a monster but not his Dad. Grow up springs to mind.
Perhaps the Romneys resemble that childhood favourite more than we first thought. Tagg and Mitt certainly seem to belong in the playground of school, and not just because of their silly names.
US Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is visiting the UK and the Middle East this week, as part of his ongoing transformation into World Leader. Whether the US electorate will agree and vote him into the White House in November 2012
remains to be seen.
Currently both sides, that is the Democrats and the Republicans, are attempting to carry out a thorough character assassination of each candidate. In addition both of their track records in business is under the microscope. With more than a touch of spin both candidates appear to be left wanting. If you were to believe both camps the only conclusion would be that neither are fit to rule a hen-house let alone the USA.
The US electorate will "pick the bones" out of the propaganda and choose their man for the next four years. If it is President Obama he is now a recognised figure on the World Stage. It is Mitt Romney he is a newbie.
Still we all have to start somewhere and Mitt's six-day tour this week will give him valuable exposure and experience.
We well remember President Obama visiting the UK when he was in this position. He appeared charismatic, winning fans from all walks of life. We also remember Obama's assessment of David Cameron, the then leader of the opposition. It was that Cameron was a "lightweight". In due course Dave Cameron became the UK's PM dealing with President Obama many times. Now they appear equally respectful of each other.
When Romney visits the UK will he meet with the opposition as well as members of the Coalition Government. If the past is anything to go by he should.
Mitt will visit Britain, Israel and Poland in all. It will be his first overseas official tour since becoming heir apparent to the US Presidential role. His visit will include propaganda and spin speeches aimed at undermining President Obama. Mr Obama will no doubt reciprocate on the home front. Romney's team will cry foul and on it goes. Like reality TV that is out of control.
Romney's election campaign now has the capability to outspend Barack Obama's
. If money wins the day in America he could be home and dry. He may have a good track record in big business but he is far from open and transparent.
Wonder what we in the UK will make of this one?
Romney has been attacked by the Obama camp for his apparent lack of knowledge as regard to World affairs. He will therefore have a lot to prove and no doubt will attempt to put the record straight. He is due to attend to opening of the Olympics on Friday, July 27, and meet various Ministers. One of these will be Chancellor George Osborne. It is expected that these two will have plenty in common, not least a desire to implement austerity.
One year ago today, Osama Bin Laden was captured and unceremoniously killed. His death brought closure for some, especially the loved ones of the people killed in the 9/11 bombings.It is hard to think that some will have mourned Osama but of course they will. His loved ones and no doubt his followers.
The West still has large numbers of military personnel fighting in Afghanistan because of 9/11. The civilians of that country have had more than 10 years of occupation. Whilst we in the west are good at choosing to forget the man, woman and child on the streets of Afghanistan you just have to ask yourself one question. If the UK or the US had Afghan troops stationed on our streets, trying to impose their laws upon us, how would we react? Add to this rogue incidents such as US troops urinating on dead Taliban, careless handing of the Koran and 17 civilians being killed by supposedly one US solider and it not hard to guess how the people feel. Excuses just do not wash any more.
The way that Bin Laden was captured, killed and disposed of though has led the way to many conspiracy theories. Is he really dead? Did the US kill him this way to shut him up? And on it goes. Many people still believe that in some way the US authorities were involved or complicit in 9/11, and those believers will not be easily convinced otherwise.
After the death of Bin Laden this blogger tried to write some of her thoughts on his death and how it made her feel. This is what she wrote on Hubpages,
within a few weeks of his death:
"The media has been full of questions and articles about Bin Laden and his death. It seems that having wanted Bin Laden dead for such a long time many such people cannot believe the news.
Conspiracy theories abound and will probably do so for many years to come. How do I feel about Bin Laden's death? Well I am not really sure. Having seen the question though I thought I would try to understand and acknowledge my feelings on the matter, so here goes.
On that fateful day, 9/11, my husband was ill and we were home wiaiting a doctor's appointement. As the UK 24 hours news service flashed the images of the first strike we were shocked to the core.
Was it an accident? If it was why was the plane so low? If it was a terrorist attck it would not have passengers on board, right?
As we sat transfixed the day's events began to play out in real time. Initially the media showed people choosing to jump to their death rather than take thier chances in the fire. Can you blame them? It must have took great courage but to stay was to be certain death for so many.
The second plane hit leaving no doubt that it was an act of terrorism.
News began pouring of the other would be attacks and it seemed the world was on the brink of war.
People wherever you went, even in the UK, talked of little else for days. Speaking with a more informed family member I learned the name Osama Bin Laden and that he was no stranger to terrorism. These days words like the Taliban and Al Qaeda trip of the tongue easily, but then they were unfamiliar to many people, including myself.
No-one could watch the footage of that day and not be moved. In the West it brought sorrow and pain. In some parts of the East it brought jubilation, causing more hate.
Working in a hospital I encounter people from all countries on a daily basis. One thing that struck me at the time is how quickly people's perceptions can change. One trainee doctor from abroad, who wore a turban, began to be verbally abused. Not directly of course but by the coward's way of being underhand and whispering. Subtle changes.
This guy had worked with us for quite some time, was caring, good at his job, polite, friendly and fun so what had changed? He had not.
Perhaps all of this is what helped form my eventual feelings when I heard of the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Having never stood trial for the crimes he is supposed to have committed, he went to his death an innocent man. NO, I hear you say, he was guilty. However, he was never proved guilty of anything, so what else could he be?
He may have claimed responsibilty for some acts of terrorism, but that could just have been the rantings of a madman. Having never stood trial there will always be rumours and a feeling of unfinished business.
I had thought that I and others may sleep easier in our beds once Bin Laden had departed this planet, but we probably will not.
Justice was not been served but rather a lynch mob did what it felt it needed to do. You can argue the toss until you are blue in the face but to all intents and purposes that is what it was.
Terror and terroists have no place on earth but we must fight them, not murder them and break international laws to meet our ends. If we do so we are not much better than them, are we?
I know this will be emotive but remember I am answering a question and this is my personal answer.
So how did I feel.
Glad in one way but not happy nor jubilant. Wary in another way, of what might follow. Hopeful in that at last our troops may be able to return home, from places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Happy for the relatives of those who have died in these terrorist attacks, as they may now have some closure. Sorry that the US felt the need to exclude the Pakistan authorities and illegally enter another country.
The more I think about it perhaps the killing of Bin laden prompted a multitude of feelings not least, anxiety. Will the Taliban reciprocate? Will we see an increase in terrorist attacks? Who will suffer the most? Is global conflict coming?
On 13th May 2011 two suicide bombers in Pakistan killed 80 people The death toll included, mainly, raw police recruits but also a handful of citizens. The Taliban were quick to call the media and claim responsibility for the attack. It was a reprisal for the death of Osama Bin Laden.
So where do we go from here? Heaven only knows."
Eleven months on is the world a safer and better place? Is Afghanistan returning to normal life? Are our military home? Is the Middle East a better place to live, even if you are a woman? Has terrorism ended in Pakistan?President Obama has added the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden to his election campaign. It may prove a positive for him in the US. It would not for me. The nature and circumstances surrounding the death would not sit well. Nor would the ongoing drone attacks countries such as Pakistan have experienced. Yet in my heart I am an Obama fan and hope he will secure another term in the White House. He may not be perfect but he is the better option for the US and the World right now. You may disagree, as is your prerogative.As for Bin Laden he is one of many who sadly do not treasure live on this earth nor hold any liberal thoughts. Too may in the West, including some Western politicians appear not to either.Tages: Osama Bin laden, death of Bin Laden, Barack Obama, Afghanistan, Pakistan drone attacks, terrorism