From my 2006 blog: Don’t Blitz Iran

Between then (18 April 2006) and now we have had the Iran Nuclear Deal, in rejecting which Donald Trump triggered the peril we, and Iran, are now in!

The Poet has been taking some very good … photos. rainbow1The one on the left is called Bellarine Rainbow, and shows the part of the world where he now lives. It is a nice counterpoint to the following.

The Poet has also sent quite a few news items in the past few days. This one he says is a must. I agree. Brian Cloughley [link to web archive updated 21 June 2019] was deputy head of the UN mission in Kashmir (1980-1982), Staff Officer 1 (Force Structure) in Australian Army HQ (during which time he was appointed to the Order of Australia, or AM), Director of Protocol for the Australian Defence Force, and Australian defence attache in Islamabad (December 1988 – July 1994). He now lives in New Zealand.

…Even if Cheney and Bush are not lunatic enough to send their cruise missiles and bombers to attack Iran they might manage to have harsh economic sanctions imposed, additional to the unilateral ones in place by the US for years. They usually ignore warning signals, so doubtless they dismissed the unmistakable threat in September 2005 that Iran could endure a self-inflicted cut in oil exports in the national interest of combating what it would consider rabidly hostile action. It is estimated that cutting exports would raise the price of oil to $80-100 a barrel. This wouldn’t matter to the rich in America, who are all that Cheney and Bush care about. But it would matter to the average man and woman who are even now struggling to make ends meet as a result of the rich-supportive tax policy of the present Administration.

There is no point in putting the moral position against attacking Iran. The Cheney-Bush administration has shown itself impervious to argument, and presenting a case against killing thousands of innocent people cuts no ice with blinkered zealots. The planned blitzkrieg of divine strikes will probably take place. It will alter the entire world and create hatred of America that will never be eradicated. And there is nothing we can do about it. At this Easter time (and Thai New Year), God help us all.

By the way, I have cut back on the rants I put up about the state of the world, compared with a couple of years back on the late Diary-X. What is the point? There is little I can add from where I sit. However, people who do have worthwhile things to say may be found in the links on the right.

I do share with The Poet a clear conviction that the patients have taken over the asylum so far this century.

Much in Brian Cloughly’s post is still relevant.

Washington will not dare invade Iran, of course, because Iran’s military would not be the walkover that the pathetic Iraqi army was, and US ground forces would suffer thousands of casualties. The stand-off attack will be the usual video game, controlled from air-conditioned coke-swigging comfort, followed by ham-handed attempts at public relations damage control.


Remind you of anyone?

Nice eBook that I have been reading through. It is a good compendium of sensible theory and practice.


When I came to this I could not but visualise someone we all know!

Unacceptable Responses To Student Misbehavior

•raising your voice


•saying, “I’m the boss here!”

•insisting on having the last word

•using tense body language (crossed arms or clenched fists)


•using degrading, insulting, humiliating, or embarrassing putdowns

•using sarcasm

•acting superior

•attacking the student’s character…

bringing up unrelated events

•generalizing about students (“Kids knew how to act in my day” or All you kids are the same!”)

•making unsubstantiated accusations


Great misspeaks of the ages!

Or typos. One treasure is the “Wicked Bible” of 1631.


Unfortunate. Such a bother, that word “not”! Churchill, you know, REALLY meant to say “this was NOT their finest hour”, and Mark Antony REALLY meant to say “DON”T lend me your ears.” So who can blame poor Donald J Trump who, overcome by standing so close to Vldimir Putin yesterday, tells us today that pesky N-word wreaked its havoc on what he REALLY meant to say.

The push for a hearing reflects a growing Republican backlash against Trump after his closed-door meeting with Putin and a stormy press conference where he sided with the Russian leader and discounted the U.S. intelligence community’s findings on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

On Tuesday, Trump walked back those comments, reading from a written statement saying he had “full faith” in the U.S. intelligence community and that he misspoke when he said he didn’t think Russia interfered in elections.

Speaking alongside Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Trump said: “He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

On Tuesday, he corrected that sentence, saying: “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative. So, you can put that in. And I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.

Do I believe him? Do you?

By the way, if you think I am a bit biased about the poor old Donald, check out James Traub in US magazine/site Foreign Policy. Ouch! Not to mention Arnie of course….

The “Governator” took to Twitter and excoriated Trump for his supine performance, deriding him as a Putin “fan boy.” “You stood there like a little wet noodle, like a little fan boy,” Schwarzenegger said in the Twitter video. “I was asking myself when you are going to ask him for an autograph or a selfie or something like that.”

Finally, which is correct? 1) The CIA interfered in Australian politics in 1975 OR 2) The CIA did not interfere in Australian politics in 1975. No prize offered. And yes, some still debate that one. The link goes to John Pilger, and I have to say I don’t always rely on him either!

That was quite a show!

For the record — history worth preserving:

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Having acknowledged that the U.S.-DPRK summit — the first in history — was an epochal event of great significance and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the U.S.-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new U.S.-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.

June 12, 2018

Sentosa Island

Yes, I spent a lot of yesterday watching the rolling coverage on ABC News 24, and this morning I rose early to watch France24, Al Jazeera, and BBC courtesy of SBS.

Screenshot (175)

So many opinions about what it might mean! Is it comparable to this, for example?

Chairman Mao Zedong met US President Nixon in Beijing on Feb. 21,1972.

Or should we be reminded of another famous meeting? See Singapore summit echoes Hitler-Chamberlain meeting in 1938, but offering ‘lots of great condos’ in our time.

Our Foreign Minister was quite judicious on Channel Nine this morning, I felt.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is “cautiously optimistic” following yesterday’s summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, but believes the truly historic day will be when the last of North Korea’s nuclear weapons is dismantled….

Ms Bishop described the summit as the first positive development involving North Korea in more than a decade, but said the test would be verification Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program had been destroyed.

“We’ll have to see the concrete steps that North Korea takes,” she told the ABC.

Peter Hartcher in The Sydney Morning Herald was even more cautious. I was even more impressed by what he wrote yesterday. Do read that.

And then there is the New York Times.

The most remarkable aspect of the joint statement was what it didn’t contain. There was nothing about North Korea freezing plutonium and uranium programs, nothing about destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles, nothing about allowing inspectors to return to nuclear sites, nothing about North Korea making a full declaration of its nuclear program, nothing about a timetable, nothing about verification, not even any clear pledge to permanently halt testing of nuclear weapons or long-range missiles.

We can but hope! Question is, is Donald J Trump now an American Augustus, or is he instead (or also!) the latest incarnation of P T Barnum? There is no doubt about one thing: yesterday on my TV I saw the Greatest Show on Earth, that’s for sure. I hope like I am sure you do that it will turn out to have been much more than a show.

Update 15 June

Well worth reading Justice Michael Kirby, who headed the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea  a few years ago: I’ll rejoice in Trump’s triumph when Kim opens his gulags to scrutiny.

Many have learned to live with the bomb. But its fearsome power demands urgent global responses if our species is to survive.

Against this background, one has to welcome the initiative taken by President Donald Trump to hold a meeting with the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un in Singapore this week. Jaw, jaw is, as Churchill declared, much better than war, war. Especially in the age of nuclear weapons. Particularly because North Korea now possesses a number of these weapons and missiles to deliver them far from its own borders.

President Trump got the North Korean leader to the conference table. He has declared that the meeting was a great success. But what has really been achieved?…

And further to our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop:

Ms Bishop has been determinedly circumspect in the face of the unprecedented geopolitical upheaval, sticking to careful talking points.

Not on Thursday. You could hear disbelieving chortles in the audience. This was Julie Bishop Unleashed.

She admitted it was disorienting to see the leader of the free world chumming up to a man who oversees a vast gulag of political prisoners.

Particularly in the wake of an acrimonious G7 meeting which saw Donald Trump take furious pot shots at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is not exactly a traditional enemy of the United States.

“The US trade representative said there was a special place in hell for Justin Trudeau, while President Trump said he had a special bond with Kim Jong-un, aka Little Rocket Man,” Ms Bishop said.

She then veered into gentle mockery, admitting she had been transfixed by the pictures beamed back from Singapore.

“After a while I became quite mesmerised by the contrasting hair styles of the two leaders,” Ms Bishop said….