Archive for the ‘John Kerry’ Category

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The Nobel Committee announced today this year’s recipients for Physics. They are Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald for research into neutrino oscillations. What is a neutrino? Neutrinos are subatomic particles produced by the decay of radioactive elements.  They are elementary particles that lack an electric charge, or, as F. Reines would say, “…the most tiny quantity of reality ever imagined by a human being”. Living in Washington, I can imagine a tiny amount of reality.

Looking at the definition of the neutrino phenomenon and applying it elsewhere, could there a better description of our current foreign policy blunder in Syria?

It was revealed today that the US considered handing over locations of US backed rebels to the Russians last week, thinking these areas might be targeted by Russian forces decided against it. Fortunately the White House and Pentagon ran that idea past the desk of Capt. Obvious who thought it better not to give the Russians targeting data for their first bombing runs.

The “most tiny quantity of reality ever imagined”  is what we are stuck with for the next seventeen (17) months with regard to this White House’s timid and indecisive policy regarding Syria and foreign policy.

The nascent US assistance program for the rebels battling the Assad regime is literally going up in smoke with every Russian sortie and the White House has shown no desire to counter these attacks except to “raise concerns about the targets of the attacks.” I’m sure that made the Russians reconsider.

Neutrinos are described as “hardly interacting with the rest of creation.”  This certainly describes this administration’s current foreign policy debacle in Syria-stumbling along outside the realm of reality interacting with no one else within an echo chamber.

Not to worry though, the President already received his Nobel Prize back in 2009.

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Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria this past weekend and met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist force waging war against the Nigerian state, reacted to the US visit by simultaneously attacking the cities of Maiduguri and Monguno during Kerry’s visit. Manguno fell to Boko Haram with the fate of the strategic city of Maiduguri still undecided.

Meanwhile a media group associated with Boko Haram has released photos of a child soldier training camp in northeastern Nigeria extolling the number of future fighters that will step up into their ranks. These two news items are just the latest in a string of uncontested Boko Haram actions in Nigeria while the White House remains curiously silent.

As pointed out in today’s Wall Street Journal, the threat of Boko Haram is beginning to dwarf the threat of ISIS as ISIS is beginning to exhaust the uncontested battle space as coalition air power and Kurdish ground forces push back on some recent ISIS gains. Meanwhile, Boko Haram is charging across the Christian/Muslim divide of Nigeria known as the Middle Belt Region  threatening the south of the country as well as neighboring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Though Nigeria has deployed thousands of its troops to battle Boko Haram government training and equipment are in deplorable condition making the battle field a target rich environment for Boko Haram forces.

It seems Secretary Kerry came to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, otherwise known as the upcoming Presidential elections in Nigeria on February 14. Kerry promised “all that is necessary so that the upcoming elections go smoothly.”  Obviously giving assistance for Nigeria’s survival as a state was not part of the offer. Perhaps Washington could be persuaded to offer a “Ukrainian package” of night vision goggles and meals-ready-to-eat (MRE’s) thereby checking the box of assistance while not involving the US in a ground war.

Boko Haram is not going to go quietly into the night.  They are in a zero sum contest with the Nigerian government, meaning if Boko Haram wins the government must lose. There is no negotiating with the Islamic extremists of Boko Haram. There is no economic or jobs package that will dissuade them from destroying the Nigerian state and move on to neighboring capitals. They are at war as much with modernity as they are with Nigeria.

The lingering question is, if we don’t help who will?