05/16/18

Sanctions Work – ZTE

Sanctions, Big Red Car? How dreary for such a sunny, lovely day in the ATX, yawn! OK, Big Red Car tell me about how sanctions work. Maybe a real world example?

Dear reader, let us take up the case of Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment, known as ZTE. They are a maker of inexpensive smartphones and other telecom equipment in more than 160 countries and employ 75,000 workers.

ZTE is no small fry on the international scene. When the Chinese government wants to wiggle into bed with a country, they often provide loans as an economic development tool.  Those loans? What are they used for? To set up a nationwide cellular network built by … wait for it … ZTE!

ZTE is an important element of Chinese international policy.

The Chinese also see that a large company like ZTE can break the stranglehold that American tech companies have on China. It is a nationalistic undertaking.

But, ZTE ran afoul of American sanctions. How?

Continue reading

04/30/18

North Korea – the Libya Solution

The Libya Solution? Really, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here going North Korea on y’all. You know I served in the Republic of Korea in the Army back in the 1970s, so I have always been interested in all things Korea.

I used to spend time on the DMZ on my belly studying the goings on in North Korea. Plus, I used to build artillery positions and GSR (ground surveillance radar) sites on the top of mountains to shoot or spook into NK.

The Boss back in the day, freezing while overseeing the building of a road to the top of a mountain to build an artillery firing position. That’s North Korea in the background. My favorite thing about the Army — a constant supply of Jeeps. The radio on that Jeep could reach to Saturn.

So, when it began to appear like we were headed to war in Korea, I followed it closely.

Now, it looks like Kim Jung Ping Pong is going to come to President Trump’s table with some peace offerings in hand.

I give President Trump the credit for his bellicose approach to the nuclearization of the Hermit Kingdom because he scrapped “strategic patience” and substituted “fire and fury” in its place.

Who dreamed up “strategic patience” and how does it differ from not doing anything while Kim and his buddies figured out to make nukes and rockets capable of reaching Dallas?

Continue reading

04/29/17

North Korea — Chinese Vassal State?

OK, the whole North Korea shtick is getting tiresome.

Big Red Car here on a sunny and promising day. Hope it’s nice where you are.

Know where it’s not nice? Yeah, North Korea.

So, what’s going on with China and the North Koreans? China is the “shot caller” here. That’s the legend.

But, what’s going on.

Continue reading

04/13/17

Gravitas — US Foreign Policy Gravitas

Big Red Car here on an early Thursday morning. Hey, it’s Thursday and who doesn’t love Thursday? Let’s talk gravitas, shall we? [No, gravitas is not something you eat on a toasted bagel with capers and chopped onion. Sorry.]

So, the Trump administration has begun to engage with the Russians.

The first notable engagement was the launch of sixty Tomahawk cruise missiles to strike client state Syria. [The Trump admin launched SIXTY and only FIFTY-NINE made it to the target. Hey, Raytheon dudes, can we get a refund on the one that went swimming?]

Cruise missile launch 2

The Tomahawk cruise missile — when you care enough to send the very best. A thousand pounds of explosive love and gravitas.

 

When you cruise missile a sovereign country on the first date, that sends a certain message as to the seriousness of your intentions. No? Stuff is getting real and fast. Hang on.

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01/5/16

The Care and Feeding of Tyrants

Big Red Car going political on y’all today.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has on its flag the symbol of a warrior princess with her foot on a fallen king while brandishing a sword and a spear. The naked breast makes it all the more alluring.

It is however, the credo in Latin that catches one’s eye — Sic Semper Tyrannis — “Thus Always to Tyrants.” Sister Felicia would be so happy that The Boss recalled his high school Latin. Continue reading

09/8/15

Syria’s Civil War — a Monumental American Foreign Policy Cockup

Big Red Car here. It is the day after Labor Day and the Big Red Car turns serious for a few minutes.

In the hysteria of The Donald’s hair and Presidential aspirations, Hillary’s dissembling about all matters pertaining to her decision to use an unsecured email server, and the surfeit of hot dogs — you may have missed that the Middle East is aflame and that the fires are burning particularly hot in Syria which enters its fourth year of blood in the streets. Continue reading

04/19/15

Where Does Failed Diplomacy Leave Us?

Big Red Car here. The Boss is in Cashiers, NC enjoying the rain.

Nice road trip with a delightful Cajun dinner in Monroe, Louisiana. The spiciest Cajun food ever but the mud bugs, jambalaya, crawfish etouffe — cher, that it the real deal.

So today we talk about diplomacy and what happens when it fails.

Enemy advancing, retreat
Enemy entrenched, harass
Enemy exhausted, attack
Enemy retreat, pursue

Who said that, beloved reader and what does it mean? First commenter to get it right gets a $50 gift certificate to Red Lobster.  Continue reading

04/7/15

The Obama Doctrine or the Easter Bunny Approach to Foreign Policy

Big Red Car here in the lovely ATX looking forward to another day in paradise. Going to be warm and sunny today. Ahhh, on Earth as it is in Texas, y’all!

So I was talking to a little Mercedes Benz convertible yesterday over near Medici, The Boss’s sometimes favorite coffee shop over on West Lynn.

We got into a discussion about President Obama’s recent turn of a phrase describing his foreign policy as the Obama Doctrine. She was critical and seemed to make a lot of sense to me. Continue reading