This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sisyphean Logic, Repetition: Effort=Failure

"As Canada begins to transition from Kandahar to a more nationally focused role in Afghanistan, we will continue to support the hopes and dreams of the Afghan people as they endeavour to rebuild a more peaceful and prosperous nation."
Final Canadian nation-building quarter report on Kandahar, 2014
Canada wrapping up mission in Afghanistan
Canadian soldiers patrol an area in the Dand district of southern Afghanistan on Sunday, June 7, 2009. (Colin Perkel / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

From 2002 to 2014,  Canada invested diplomatic, military and humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan. First, to wrest it from the control of the then-ruling Afghan Taliban after they refused the demand to  stop sheltering al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and turn the terrorist leader over to the United States during Operation Enduring Freedom, and then with the International Security Assistance Force, under the aegis of the United Nations and led by NATO, to bring the war-torn country to a state of stability, security, good governance and democracy.

A dozen years dedicated, along with NATO member countries all trying to keep Afghanistan safe from the predations of Islamists, with humanitarian aid groups and foreign militaries all helping to establish schools for Afghan children; guiding the new government of Hamid Karzai to viewing Afghan women as equals in society and in employment; medical facilities for a population that had faced conflict for far too long; and the building of state institutions; the training of the national police force and the Afghan military to render them capable of defending the nation.

Corruption at every level of government and society, the poverty-stricken country whose farmers dedicated their provincial farming land to poppy-growing, supplying the world market with illicit opium products, the poor reach of government to the far-flung provincial geographies, all hampered the kind of success the NATO allies were targeting on behalf of Afghanistan, even while they attempted, year over year, to continue battling the insurgency that resurged every spring, to sprinkle IEDs on the landscape to deadly effect.
Canada AM: Afghanistan in transition  -- CTV NewsGo
Despite that NATO countries like the U.S., Holland, Britain, Canada, Germany and others maintained a contingent of military trainers to guide the Afghan military and national police toward full capability in defending the country from the resurgent Taliban. Al-Qaeda remains ensconced in various provincial pockets and Islamic State militias have also surfaced to plague Afghans. Hugely successful Taliban attacks against purportedly well protected areas even in the capital where suicide attacks have taken place have taken more Afghan lives in the past several years.

The Afghan military itself is constantly under attack, the latest one of which saw 140 troops dying in a well-orchestrated attack that easily and destructively penetrated military defences. The Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul now has control of less than 60 percent of the country, with incremental losses continuing to grow. Corruption continues to plague the government which barely functions in its administrative role. 

And now, because Afghanistan is once again teetering on dysfunctional failure in the face of terrorist action, the United Nations is appealing to member-nations to dedicate missions to aid the country in its ongoing struggle. The hope being that the modifying influence of the Western, non-Muslim world could make Islam marginally more humane by its presence and tutoring of majority-Muslim nations besieged by Muslim jihad-dedicated movements seeking to overthrow democratically elected governments like Afghanistan's.

Jan Mohammad, 63, grows poppy in the desert near the Dahla Dam, earning a meagre income from opium that is turned into heroin. Lack of critical repairs to a faltering irrigation system means he can't grow other crops.
Jan Mohammad, 63, grows poppy in the desert near the Dahla Dam earning a meagre income from opium that is made into heroin. Lack of critical repairs to a faltering irrigation system means he can't grow other crops. Photo: Paul Watson, Toronto Star
Afghanistan's problem for the past decades is its neighbour Pakistan's designs to keep it in a barely functional state of constant destabilization. Pakistan's malign support for fundamentalist Islamic jihadis led to begin with, to the Taliban having ruled in Afghanistan, just as Pakistan incited its own Islamist groups to attack Indian interests in Kashmir and parts of India. Pakistan, while accepting billions in military aid from the United States, assured the U.S. it was a reliable 'partner for peace' against Islamist terrorism.

Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan became a haven for al-Qaeda and the Taliban; it is where the Pakistani Taliban also arrived from, and where the Hekmatyar tribal Islamists defied the Pakistani police and military, at one point challenging the military close to its nuclear facilities; Pakistan's own Taliban-Frankenstein come home to roost. There can be no peace in Afghanistan as long as Pakistan, its military and intelligence agency continues to incite invasion and conflict across its neighbour's borders.

The absurd fiction that Western nations can and should intervene and continue to intervene to arrest the advance of Islamist fascism when the Muslim nations prove themselves more wedded to inept rule and corruption than they are to defending their interests, will keep NATO countries forever mired in the swamp of Islamism. Continued and ongoing presence of NATO troops in these countries speaks of the destiny of failure. Islam is immutably brutalizing with its fervent jihadist adherents seeking the same for the world community.

The motivation of Western nations to wearily consign themselves in perpetuity to such intervention owes entirely to the fear of Islamist terrorism steadily leaking over into the nations of the West. The likelihood of surfacing jihadist terrorism is the product of the West incoherently and obliviously allowing its own geography to be invaded through steady immigration streams by cultures fashioned from Islamic precepts whose presence dilutes the heritage, culture, laws and values of the indigenous populations toward the dysfunction found where the West is enjoined to intervene to save what can no longer be salvaged.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Jerusalem, Israel's Indivisible Capital

"No way. Why is this your business? This is an area that is in dispute, the Western Wall is not Israeli territory and is located in the West Bank."
"This is Trump's show; all the rest are extras, including Prime Minister Netanyahu."
U.S. White House spokesman

"These comments, if true, were not authorized by the White House."
"They do not reflect the U.S. position, and certainly not the President's position."
White House official

"No Israeli leaders [will be permitted to accompany Trump to the Western Wall]."
"He's going to the Western Wall mainly in connection with the theme to connect three of the world's great religions ... and to highlight the theme that we all have to be united against the enemies of all civilized people."
H.R. McMaster, Trump National Security Adviser
Jerusalem Western Wall
Psalms 137:5-6, “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy.”  Indeed, Jerusalem is mentioned 349 times by name in the Tanakh, the Jewish Bible, demonstrating its centrality to Judaism

How cavalier is that? Pretty well on a par with the United Nations' UNESCO (Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), guided by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation declaring three consecutive resolutions that there is no "legal validity" to Israel's historical heritage claim to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount (Western Wall/Wailing Wall), all that is left of the historical Temple(s) of Solomon dating to 957 B.C.E., the one destroyed by the Babylonians who laid sack to Jerusalem and slaughtered almost a million Jews in 586 B.C.E.

The Jewish population of ancient Israel was scattered into forced exile. In 538 B.C.E. Jews were given permission by Cyrus the Great to rebuild the Temple of Solomon in its second iteration. In the year 70 of the Christian Era, the Roman Emperor Vespasian responded to Jewish refusal to obey the edicts of Rome, sending his son Titus to sack and destroy the second Temple. And once  again the Jews were sent into exile, the great diaspora where Jews were scattered around the world, though some Jewish presence always remained in Jerusalem.

By the 7th Century Islam was founded, based by the Prophet Mohammad on the tenets and sacred writings and the prophets of the Old Testament of Judaism and on Christianity. When Muslim rule prevailed, the Muslim caliph ordered an Islamic shrine to be constructed over the ruins of the Second Temple, where the Dome of the Rock sits, since 691 C.E. The al-Aqsa Mosque dates from roughly the same period, standing in the courtyard of the ancient Temple. To deny Jewish claims on its own heritage is a sacrilege of history.

When Donald J. Trump was running for President of the United States, as unlikely then as it appeared that he would succeed, he boasted that he was prepared to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish state, Israel reborn. Now, he is on the cusp of a visit to the Holy Land, to travel to Israel, to Saudi Arabia, and to the Vatican; touching as it were, the three major religions of the world rooted in Abrahamic memory as their founder. At the same time, purportedly focusing on the conflict with violent Islam. But violent Islam is, in fact, Islam; Muslims are enjoined by their sacred texts to engage in jihad. And they do.

In meeting with the Saudi king, even Donald J. Trump would not suggest he be permitted to visit Mecca, which by Islamist decree is forbidden entry to any but Muslims. Yet this man who understands history as little as he understands diplomacy, integrity and honesty plans to visit the ancient wall, all that is left standing of the most sacred symbol of Judaism, restraining the nation's Prime Minister from accompanying him. It is as though Prime Minister Netanyahu, visiting Washington, made an official appearance at the Lincoln Memorial, forbidding Trump to be present.
Prayer at the Western Wall

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Another Successful Foreign Visit By Erdogan

"We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America."
"This is the United States of America. This isn’t Turkey, this isn’t a Third World country, and this kind of thing cannot go un-responded to diplomatically."
U.S. Senator (Arizona Republican) John McCain  

"What we saw yesterday -- a violent attack on a peaceful demonstration -- is an affront to DC values and our rights as Americans. I strongly condemn these actions and have been briefed by Chief Newsham on our response."
"The Metropolitan Police Department will continue investigating the incident and will work with federal partners to ensure justice is served."
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser
turkey protest washington DC
A view of a protest that turned violent outside the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C., May 16, 2017. Screenshot via VOA Turkish
"Agents of foreign governments should never be immune from prosecution for felonious behavior."
"To send a clear message that these acts of violence will not be tolerated, I ask that you [Tillerson] immediately look into this matter and bring all appropriate criminal charges before these individuals leave the United States."
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee
"The violent response of your security detail to peaceful protesters is wholly unacceptable and, unfortunately, reflective of your government’s treatment of the press, ethnic minority groups and political opponents."
"On May 16, 2017, members of your security detail allegedly broke through police lines and violently attacked a small number of protesters outside of Ambassador Kılıç’s residence, wounding at least nine people. Yesterday’s attack, however, was not a isolated incident. Last year some of your supporters and members of your security detail violently clashed with protesters and members of the media at the Brookings Institution."
"The actions of your staff violate the constitutional protections of freedom of the press and freedom of assembly enjoyed by all Americans. Your staff’s blatant violation of these rights on American soil is an affront to those freedoms, and reflects poorly on your government. We have long supported Turkey as a member of NATO, and a key US ally in the region, and we expect conduct more appropriate to our decade’s long partnership."
"We cannot turn a blind eye to these actions at home, and we urge you to hold accountable those members of your staff who violently attacked peaceful protesters in our nation’s capital."
US Senator John McCain and Senator Dianne Feinstein

Clearly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has studied very carefully Western etiquette and diplomacy and found it wanting. Not for him, advice on how to make friends and influence people. His position alone and his religious conviction renders him immune to the normal constraints that convince most people they would do well to refrain from unleashing upon critics the full extent of their powerful wrath and malevolent intent to harm those that insufficiently respect his august person and the office he holds.

In Ankara is it possible that any citizens would mount a protest criticizing the baleful autocracy of a man whose corrupt manipulation of a NATO-linked nation, intent on consolidating his power base at the expense of the continued illusion that Turkey is a democratic country viewing all its citizens equally and with the respect due them? Turks know full well that any such engagement in civil unrest would net them a tenure in an overcrowded prison system, already burgeoning with the presence of those Erdogan accuses of loyalty to his political-religious nemesis.

One of the purposes inherent in his trip to Washington to confer with President Donald Trump was to air grievances that Fethullah Gulen remains out of his grasp, living in the United States, to urge Trump to extradite him so he can be tried for crimes against the Turkish state of sedition, seeking to unseat Erdogan and remove his Justice and Development Party from power. Equally fiercely troublesome to Erdogan is the new administration's decision to finally arm the Syrian YPG, the Kurdish fighting group recognized as the single-most effective militia fighting Islamic State.

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, a mouthpiece for Erdogan, Brett McGurk, the American envoy to the US-led coalition against Islamic State is "definitely supporting the YPG in Syria", along with Turkey's Kurdish militias, the separatist PKK. President Erdogan would be enormously pleased were his American counterpart to heed his concerns and remove the offending Mr. McGurk, to replace him with someone who views the Kurds as Erdogan does -- terrorists.

Terrorists who fight jihadists roiling the greater Middle East. As opposed to the terrorists posing as presidents who attack and slaughter their own citizens.

It is entirely possible that Mr. Erdogan's argument was sufficiently convincing to Mr. Trump; the two do have, after all, quite a lot in common in their outlook regarding their positions and their very personal entitlements. For Mr. Cavusoglu reports that Mr. Erdogan had been assured once the military operation in Raqqa has succeeded in retaking the city from Islamic State, plans are to return the city to the local Arabs, not the Kurds who consider it a rightful gain reflecting their courage and their sacrifices on behalf of their own populations living there.

recep tayyip erdogan turkey protest washington
Security agents surround Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's vehicle in Washington, DC. Screenshot via Voice of America Turkish
President Trump appears to have felt his meeting with Erdogan went very well. President Trump is particularly amenable to hearing himself praised fulsomely. And Mr. Erdogan was unstinting in his praise knowing full well that like himself, someone like Trump responds well to a show of admiration and respect. Blandishments accomplish much; in return for compliments one responds by offering to agree to at least some of what a petitioner asks for. Mr. Gulen's fate remains unknown. The YPG will know in good time whether their unremitting loyalty to a shared cause with the U.S. will be acknowledged.

And Mr. Trump has not yet responded to the Turkish-style public relations scenario that took place outside the residence of the Turkish Ambassador to the United States, once the state visit between the two Presidents had concluded. The outrage expressed by Americans and their political leaders over this display of goonish arrogance by Turks in another country they happen to be visiting does not resonate well. On the other hand, Mr. Erdogan orchestrated casually what Mr. Trump might himself like to do, if he felt he could, without consequence.

Image: Violent clashes broke out between protesters and supporters of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan
Violent clashes broke out between protesters and supporters of Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington. VOA

President Erdogan's security guards did not, of their own volition, belligerently confront that group of protesters outside the Turkish Ambassador's residence to express their disgust with Ankara's interventions in Syria and Erdogan's targeting of Kurds, let alone domestic affairs in firing tens of thousands of civil servants, police, military officers, lawyers, journalists and others whom he accuses of having taken part in the summer of 2016 attempt at a putsch. A video has surfaced showing without doubt that Erdogan dispatched his security guards to confront the protesters and violently attack them.

Washington police repeatedly instructed the Turkish president's security guards to stand back and desist, and they simply ignored those orders. It was left to the Washington police to attempt to separate the antagonists and to protect the protesters from the clear violence that was being directed against them by these foreign visitors on a diplomatic mission to impress Americans. The result was that eleven people were injured, nine of them sufficiently seriously to be taken to hospital. And most certainly, an impression was made. And duly noted, throughout the world.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Suborning Justice : This President Can Do No Wrong

"I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."
"As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly."
"In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country."
U.S. President Donald J. Trump

"I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter [investigation by the FBI into possible ties by the Trump campaign during the presidential election, with Russia]."
"My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination."
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein

"You need an independent assessment of what the president has done, how he has done it and perhaps why he has done it."
"The appointment of Director Mueller is exactly what is needed to attempt to bring credibility to the White House when there are so many questions about the president’s actions and motives."
John S. Pistole, former deputy director, F.B.I. under Robert S. Mueller III
Robert S. Mueller III, the former F.B.I. director, during a Senate hearing in 2013. Credit Christopher Gregory/The New York Times
Former F.B.I. director James Comey was just too resolutely wedded to the concept of justice for President Trump's satisfaction. He was given the opportunity to redeem himself, after deciding to launch an investigation into the principals involved in the Trump campaign whom it was widely rumoured had troubling links with Russian actors. As an example of Mr. Comey's even-handedness in the prosecution of his job, he first managed less than adroitly to interfere with Hillary Clinton's campaign by awkwardly introducing the subject of her unethical/illegal use of a personal email server at a critical time during the presidential election campaign.

That mortification and its result evidently failed to sufficiently impress upon Donald J. Trump that he had much to thank Mr. Comey for; instead he faulted the man for merely having chastised Hillary Clinton for her arrogance and poor judgement whose consequences may have been critical in undermining the security of the country, instead of charging her with a criminal offence. He himself, of course, could not possibly be charged with a like manner of offense, irrespective of the fact that his penchant for lying is every bit as overwhelming as Ms. Clinton's.

Mr. Comey, on being pressed by Mr. Trump to drop the unfortunate investigation into Michael T. Flynn's Russian contacts, as Trump's former National Security Adviser, deigned not to compromise his integrity through the sought-for capitulation to the president's urging, but did take the precaution of  relating in a narrative memo all that had transpired between them, sharing it with key colleagues in an obvious measure to protect himself in a compromising situation. The blatant transparency of Trump's attempted intervention reflects the man's incapacity to understand fully the consequences of his actions.

His subsequent swift and surprising firing of the F.B.I. director in the clumsiest of ways reflecting Trump's autocratic hubris simply represents yet another of the man's self-serving impulses. Now, a man whom he was instrumental in appointing to a critical post in his new administration, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, has reacted to the firing of Mr. Comey by appointing a man whose credentials for austere incorruptibility is legendary within the American intelligence community, to head the investigation.

Will President Trump turn his maleficent attention on Mr. Rosenstein now? Who may or may not have good reason to investigate Mr. Trump for  his braggadocio toward the two Russian  officials, Ambassador Kislyak and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, boasting that he was in possession of strictly classified data relating to a terror threat which Islamic State is responsible for. In the process betraying the confidence of a state ally of the United States. Admittedly that ally, Israel, had been forewarned of just such a potential when previous U.S. intelligence agents warned their Israeli counterparts to withhold sharing such intelligence with the Trump administration.

This president of the United States appears to have greater confidence in and respect for Russian intelligence than he does for his own country's intelligence agencies. He had tweeted of his request of Mr. Comey "from the beginning of my administration, to find the LEAKERS in the intelligence community". This man whose mouth has no connection whatever to a cerebral cautionary system enjoys the privilege he has granted himself to disclose classified information to those from whom it should be withheld, yet holds others to an accounting he has himself devised.

"I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day", came out of the official transcript of the meeting between Trump and the two elite Russian figures. A U.S. official who verified the event described it as a boast from Trump, recognizing that the revelation could conceivably place the source of the shared intelligence meant to be protected, at risk. When informed that he had broken with protocol, leaving White House officials to attempt to minimize any damage, Trump still insists he has "an absolute right" to release "facts pertaining to terrorism" with Russia.

As for Russia, its president, Vladimir Putin must surely believe he has died and gone to a special heaven reserved for leaders incapable of restraining themselves from malicious interference in the state business of other nations. The very ongoing storms of disbelieving condemnation emanating from all sources imaginable, both domestic and foreign at each of the magnificently idiotic statements issuing from Trump's vainglorious mouth represents an ongoing goldmine of entertainment for Mr. Putin. Even while others of his ilk; Kim, Assad, Erdogan, Duterte, Maduro roil the world with their disruptive and violent tactics.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017


"We believe it's important that other researchers around the world investigate these similarities and attempt to discover more facts about the origin of WannaCry."
"The scale of the Lazarus operations is shocking."
Kaspersky Internet security (Russian multinational cybersecurity) Moscow

An employee works at the Moscow headquarters of Kaspersky Labs, which specializes in antivirus and internet security software [Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters]
"We are not aware if payments have led to any data recovery."
"This was not a tool developed by the NSA to hold ransom data. This was a tool developed by culpable parties, potentially criminals or foreign nation-states, that were put together in such a way as to deliver phishing emails, put it into embedded documents, and cause infection, encryption and locking." 
Trump homeland security adviser Tom Bossert

There's an inspirational, or is it aspirational, linkage. A Russian and an American-based cybersecurity firm each appear to have concluded through their analysis that there are unmistakable clues linking the current wide-ranging "ransomware" attack on worldwide computers to a gang of cybercriminals they feel could be the signature cyberwar statement of the Peoples Republic of North Korea. If so, this is North Korea at its most ambitious; responding to the new South Korean government's tentative overture and the more strident attitude of the United States toward its dangerous mischief.

Not only is North Korea's Dear Little Leader determined to keep on firing off those Ballistic Missiles while indulging in faster, farther distances, dangling the prospect of more advanced nuclear tests on the way to perfecting a neatly powerful little warhead of the nuclear variety on what is fast becoming an arsenal of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, but indulging in the joy of perturbing the international community through mischief of an Internet-disruptive score, putting all manner of public and private interests temporarily out of commission.

But it seems that North Korean hackers simply took advantage of a tool developed elsewhere for the opposite purpose. Having accessed that tool, they simply re-purposed it to better reflect their own goal, transforming an American-security advanced tool into a North Korean formula to extract funding from agencies desperate to have their data and functionality restored so they could return to normal. Researchers appear to have linked a hacking tool originating with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) that had been linked online to the current broad WannaCry attack.
Kim Jong-Un
Computer security experts have linked code in the WannaCry ransomware software to North Korea
Ransoming the ability of the world community to manage its resources and infrastructure and vital services, while threatening to obliterate its capacities and record-maintenance. Suddenly Kaspersky, always under suspicion in the West for its ties to the Kremlin, is handing out sage advice worldwide. Of course, this is what a global cybersecurity company is meant to do in any event, so it is merely living up to its billing. Alongside Symantec, no less.

Similarities in coding between an earlier version of WannaCry and a 2014 cyber attack from the Lazarus Group has clues both Symantec and Kaspersky  link to the identity behind this most recent cyber attack. South Korea knows all about the dauntingly disabling effects of such a strike; it experienced no less of an Internet immobilization  in 2014 with the "DarkSeoul" operation shutting down all its infrastructure. And a $81-million cyber robbery of a Bangladeshi bank further distinguished the capability of the dark forces of cyberattacks.

The Lazarus Group operation is running a "malware factory", notes Kaspersky darkly of the North Korean state actor. Thousands of additional computers fell prey to the WannaCry attack with the resumption of week-day business, affecting hospitals, businesses, schools and daily life in over a hundred countries. Computers were paralyzed in factory, bank, government agency and transport systems operations in Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, India and Japan among many others.
Experts have linked WannaCry to the Lazarus Group, a North Korean operation
Experts have linked WannaCry to the Lazarus Group, a North Korean operation Credit: Bloomberg

Throughout Asia, thousands of new attacks were reported with 600 locations in Japan affected as Hitachi and Nissan Motors reported problems, while in China almost 30,000 institutions were infected through hundreds of thousands of electronic operating devices. Universities with their older computers and slow updating of operating systems and security were particularly hard hit, according to Fang Xingdong, ChinaLabs founder. And Russia too was particularly hard hit by this noxious malware.

Is there any especial irony in the fact that North Korea's only 'friend' and support has also been hit indiscriminately? China will no doubt have much to discuss with its North Korean protectorate in the near future. Even Vladimir Putin may have much to say to Pyongyang, since its most recent rocket test was an especially powerful one, plunging into the sea off the Russian coast, after ascending higher than any of its previous little surprises.
"I want to confirm that we are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear powers, including with the Korean Peninsula and North Korea."
"But at the same time, we understand that what we have observed in the world recently, and specifically flagrant violations of international law and incursions into the territory of foreign states, changes in regime, lead to such kinds of arms races."
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin
Oh dear, Mr. Putin! Violations of internal law and incursions into the territory of foreign states, you say?

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