Iran Resumes Nuclear Talks… Again.

Iran and six world powers met for a meeting in Geneva to discuss mainly the issue of Iran’s new nuclear capabilities, such as domestically mining and enriching uranium.

Read the HuffPost Article here:
Iran Resumes Nuclear Talks

Everyone generally knows that Israel has a large ‘undeclared / unofficial’ nuclear arsenal and pretty much dares the international community to really call them out on it. Countries can ask Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but they can’t exactly do much when Israel says ‘no’.

I tend to think that Israel is living in the past, militarily-speaking. Yes, the country has continued to experience major military conflicts, but the acquisition of nuclear weapons is the reflection of a Cold War-induced ‘mutually-assured-destruction’ nostalgia, by which I mean the notion that the so-called ‘nuclear deterrent’ has become obsolete. I mean, does anyone today seriously think a country will drop an nuclear bomb on another country? The negative consequences easily outweigh the positive, hence the chances of it happening are slim to none.

The only thing we need to watch out for are states with leaders whom are potentially volatile and unpredictable, but we only have a handful of those. Even they would know what would happen to them if they nuked another country.

I’m not sure how hard Iran has been suffering from the sanctions, or whether if this is the major reason for this meeting. But with Ahmedinejad leading the country, best to expect the unexpected, and not get our hopes too high.

A Little Frank Talk On The WikiLeaks Story

Bill O’Reilly goes off on President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder on not being emotional (or in the President’s case, mentioning) over the leaked secret documents by the website headed by Julian Assange. He also wants Assange arrested / extradited and persecuted in the United States, and charge whoever leaked those documents with treason.

Watch O’Reilly’s talking points memo and subsequent discussion with Megyn Kelly here:
O’Reilly: WikiLeaks Leakers Are Traitors, Should Be Executed Or Spend Life In Jail (VIDEO)

Okay, a few things:
1. You know that a story is overblown when Megyn Kelly is trying to sound reasonable in a debate-ish discussion with Bill-O.
2. By ‘overblown¬≠’ I mean that the general American public doesn’t really care about the U.S. State Department leaking documents because they have to worry about their jobs, feeding their kids, health insurance, etc, which is why…
3. …Preside¬≠nt Obama didn’t mention the leaks on his conference because he has more pressing economic issues to worry about.
4. By the way, speaking with emotion adds nothing to the substance of one’s comments, unless you’re on the campaign trail and want to fire up the crowd.

Hillary Clinton Not Interested in Elected office

Read the HuffPost article here

I don’t doubt for a moment that Hillary still has massive political ambitions, but a few things will get in her way, age is one of them. Well into her 60s, Clinton, or anyone else for that matter, might not want to get herself back into the arena of political fighting, because it takes such a toll on the mind and the body.

On the other hand, her presidential bid did lose to one of the best political campaigns in American history, so maybe she’d give it another go, knowing that she has the ability and popularity to defeat her potential competition

Friedman: Is the rest of Asia trying to contain China?

In his latest column in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman makes the claim that the Asian countries have been acting extra-cozy with President Obama during his visits because China has been flexing its muscles in several regional disputes.

Read the column here

Currently traveling in Hong Kong, I can say that China has made it quite clear in recent years to step on the pedal and expand its domestic economy as well as its international prominence. Having hosted the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing and the World Expo in Shanghai this year, China has dramatically improved its public infrastructure and its citizens are slowly recognizing their statuses in the world.

As such, the Chinese government has ridden on this wave of economic progress to use its military to assert its dominance in the Southeast Asian region.

I can’t say much about the dispute over South China Sea, which Friedman mentions in the column, except that it’s no surprise that China would be aggressive over anything that has to do with oil because it needs to sustain 1.5 billion people.

Friedman also brings up the dispute that happened near The East China Sea, called the Senkaku Islands, of which Japanese Coast Guard vessels were hit by a Chinese fishing boat. The Chinese (and Hong Kong’s) media has reported this story as if it was totally the Japanese’s fault, because Chinese has claim to the Islands, and should release the captain of the fishing boat.

I for one thought that something was up when the matter escalated to an international dispute, one in which even U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton had to comment on. I thought, “why are these two countries, which boasts two of the largest economies in the world, trading harsh words and threatening more serious actions over a bunch of tiny islands in the middle of nowhere?” I really didn’t think that the Chinese cares that much about the islands, and neither does Japan. The islands serve no strategic purpose; it’s only disputed because it lies on contested waters between the two countries.

An article from Hong Kong Magazine, an English weekly leisure magazine, echoes my sentiment, but with an environmental twist. The article claims that the Hong Kong media, as well as its people, are prioritizing the wrong things to discuss, in that we seem to be all chatting about a bunch of islands that don’t matter at all while not doing anything to solve the city’s garbage disposal problem (Hong Kong is one of the biggest trash-producing cities in the world, and it is struggling to find disposal spaces).

My point is this, the Chinese government have used the Senkaku Islands incident as a tool to pursue its sort-of imperialistic agendas. By labeling it as a matter of national pride (which, again, it really isn’t. Because who really cares about a pile of rocks in the middle of nowhere?), China has the support of its people to hit Japan hard with an economic maneuver, thus demonstrating its ability to dominate the region.

Although I don’t necessarily think that the rest of Asia are now scrambling to find an ally just in case China gets to greedy in its territorial (and therefore natural resource) claims, I do think that more attention would be paid to China’s every move from now on to see if it continues to make its presence felt.