Category Archives: International Affairs

Chinese Copies

The Chinese are shameless at copying Western products. Some of the copies are comical and some sinister, with their pilfering through the Internet highly-classified technical documents. (which I have wondered why we put some of the most sensitive documents on the Internet, but what do I know?).

Apparently with at least one weapon, they somehow got the ingredients wrong, although the Jordanians aren’t saying much.

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A Dilemma

Since the end of World War II, Turkey has been a strong ally of the West. They field the second largest army in NATO. They were a good ally in the Korean War, and critical for us during the Cold War. The Air Force has had an important base there since the beginning of the Cold War, in addition to listening posts along the (then) Soviet border.

With the election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2014, there have been some fissures in this critical alliance. Turkish officials accused the U.S. in being complicit in a failed coup in 2016.

There have been disagreements over the US handling of Syria, and the policy over Iran.

For our part – we are facing a critical dilemma, all from the Turkish government’s ordering a Russian S-400 anti Aircraft system over a US or NATO anti aircraft system.

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Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Francois Guillot | AFP | Getty Images

 

As heartbreaking as it is today, the thought came to me just now of a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia I took in the early 90s. We had traveled down the Volga River from Moscow to St Petersburg, and the highlight was, I believe, St Petersburg.

St. Petersburg, on the Neva River, the pride of the Tsars, was as beautiful as Moscow was drab. Even 75 years under the Communists could not completely extinguish its beauty. I have a book of prints I made, and one of these days I will have to scan them to post on the Net.

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An Unwanted Guest

After nearly 7 years, and a change in government in Ecuador, apparently Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has worn out his welcome.

“We aren’t going to allow Ecuador to be turned into a center for hacking,” she said. “And we can’t allow illegal activities developed in the country to harm citizens from Ecuador or other countries or any government.”, said Ecuador’s  Interior Minister,  María Paula Romo.

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Mr. Maduro

Mr. Maduro

“Aerial view of the Tienditas Bridge, along the border between Cucuta, Colombia, and Tachira, Venezuela, after Venezuelan military forces blocked it with containers, Feb. 6, 2019.” Courtesy Voice of America

It wasn’t long ago that Venezuela was one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America, and Caracas one of the most prosperous communities.  They have more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia and more poverty than Columbia today.

The deterioration of their oil industry began with the election of Hugo Chavez.

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MORAL EQUIVALENCY WATCH

Posted by lex on August 30, 2004

 

From time to time, I’ve had the occasion to discuss why I won’t argue America’s interaction with the world from a zero-sum, morally neutral point of view.

Here’s why .

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, International Affairs

A Good Op-Ed on the Mattis Resignation

Was in the WSJ today. According to them, James Mattis resigned after being blindsided by President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria.

James Mattis is one of those men whose leadership style should be emulated by those wanting to be great leaders. Lex, who I think was also one of those rare leaders, admired James Mattis with an anecdote.

I’ve read today good arguments – pro and con, about Syria.

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