Kensington Review

19 September 2019

 

Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

 

Latest Commentary:
 

Trump Picks O'Brien as National Security Advisor -- Neocon warmonger John Bolton was fired as Donald Trump's National Security Advisor last week, or to hear him tell it, he resigned over principle. Either way, he is gone, and Mr. Trump has chosen his successor. Robert O'Brien, the State Department's hostage envoy. He is a long-time diplomat who has served both President Bush the Lesser and Mr. Obama as well as being an advisor to Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign. His appointment is an improvement over Mr. Bolton, but the fact is that Mr. Trump will continue to do as he pleases in foreign affairs. In other words, if America goes to war, it will be through miscalculation rather than by design. [19 September]

Israel Elects Another Hung Parliament -- Israeli voters went to the polls yesterday for the second time in five months, and they seem to have elected a Knesset even more divided than the one that resulted from the previous election. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud bloc and the Blue and White of Benny Gantz are almost dead even at around 31 or 32 seats. It takes 61 to create a majority in the 120-seat chamber. The smaller parties of left and right appear to have maintained their positions from the last election, and it is the secular, nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu led by Avigdor Lieberman that will play kingmaker with his dozen or so seats. And his unwillingness to support Mr. Netanyahu over the last few months is what sparked this second election of the year. [18 September]

Drone Attack Hits Saudi Oil Production -- A drone strike hit a major Saudi Arabian oil production facility over the week-end. Estimates are that 5% of global output is gone, and it may take months to repair it all. The Americans have blamed Iran, and Iran has denied responsibility. In all likelihood, the Houthi Rebels in Yemen (Iran's proxies) launched the attack. While this attack has immediate impact (oil prices rose almost 20% overnight), the damage to Saudi oil production is a harbinger of things to come. High-value, vulnerable targets against low-cost methods of attack is a formula for disaster that will become more and more commonplace. [16 September]

No-Deal Brexit Forecast Published -- Parliament forced the British government to publish the contingency plans for a No-Deal Brexit, known as Operation Yellowhammer. This is the Whitehall mandarins' worst-case scenario, or as they put it "reasonable worst-case assumptions." The publication did not include the communications among Number 10 aides, which some MPs wanted revealed to give context to the Yellowhammer papers. It would have been useful to have those exchanges, but what has been published is grim enough reading. [12 September]

Bolton Out as National Security Adviser -- John Bolton should never have been anyone's national security adviser. The man's world view is a paranoid, frightened one in which first-strike violence is the only way to survive. Donald Trump has no real understanding of global politics, but he does like to be a hero. The threat always was that Mr. Bolton would talk the president into a war that America could not win because the terms of victory were amorphous. Instead, Mr. Bolton's ego clashed with Mr. Trump's, and Mr. Bolton is now out of work. Oddly, this may not make America any less like to go to war.  [11 September]

© Copyright 2019 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

 

 

 

 

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