Thursday, October 19, 2006

Say "Thank-you"

There is a website "Let's Say Thanks," from which you can send a postcard of thanks to a military person overseas. Our fighting men and women have been going through a tough time, especially this month. Please take time to visit the site. Whether you believe in the mission or not, these people deserve our thanks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Red Letter Day

This morning, Tuesday, October 17, 2006, at 7:35 EDT, the population of the United States reached three hundred million, according to the US Census Bureau. Since this information comes from a bureaucracy, we probably actually hit that mark about 8 years ago, and it likely took millions of tax dollars to fund the studies that made the figure official. Nonetheless, the United States of America is now the third most populated country in the world, behind China and India.

Today is also the eightieth anniversary of the foundation of the Anti-Imperialism Union, being celebrated in a country that came about as the result of Red Chinese imperialism--North Korea To celebrate, the impoverished people of North Korea get to use electricity after 9:00 PM and watch fireworks, which is probably like watching much needed food going up in smoke.

China signed on to the sanctions against North Korea, but made a statement indicating that they would not do much to enforce those sanction. However, the Chinese are building a fence along the border between their country and NK, have been stopping and inspecting trucks, and are now allowing public access to anti-North Korean regime blogs which they have previously blocked. According to US foreign policy experts, this is the Chinese way of enforcing the sanctions, and showing their displeasure with their neighbor and ally, without officially acknowledging that they are complying with the UN Security Council sanctions.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The United Nations Security Council has unaminously approved and adopted the resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea for its activity in testing what is now confirmed to be a nuclear weapon. The sanction, after much negotiation and compromise between the US, France, Great Britain, Russia, China, and Japan. The sanctions include a ban on trade in nuclear and weapons technology, on travel by North Korean government officials, and on trade in luxury items. The resolution also declares that North Korea must cease its nuclear weapons program. Basically, the sanctions are designed to affect the government of North Korea, and not the people of that country.
How this will change North Korea's behavior is uncertain at this time, but in the past we have seen that UN sanctions and resolutions have had little effect on the actions of roque governments such as Kim Jong Il's.
The North Korean government will more than likely ignore the resolution, and continue to test nuclear weapons.
China has objected to the resolution's call to inspect cargo entering and leaving North Korea, but as of the time of this writing, they are reportedly inspecting trucks entering and leaving the country. China has the most sway over the PROK (People's Republic of Korea), being its primary trade partner. South Korea has also kept trade open with its northern neighbor, but 80% of the North's oil fuels come from China. The US has nothing to give or take from its trade relations with North Korea, so the most influence on that country does come from China. In order for the UN resolution to work, China must comply with the sanctions it voted for in the Security Council.
There is a lot of political finger pointing going on in the US, but the truth be told, most US politicians agree that it is the North Korean regime that has been developing the neuclear weapons since 1985. The four US administrations since then have tried various strategies, none of which have been successful, and some of which have merely empowered the ruling Kim Dynasty. In the long run, no matter what North Korea has agreed to, the agreement has always been broken.
If all the signatories to the UN Security Council resolution abide by that resolution and enforce the sanctions, this strategy may work, and return some prestige to the UN. But in the end, it is China, not the US which much deal directly with Kim Jong Il.