Rev. James Swarts: Remarks at Spring Action 2018

Rev. James Swarts, President of the Rochester chapter of Veterans For Peace, was a member of the VFP tour group which traveled Viet Nam for 18 days recently, with stops in Ha Noi, the former DMZ and Khe Sanh, Da Nang, My Lai (on the 50th anniversary of the massacre there), and Sai Gon.

Statements by Pres. Donald Trump and U.S. government (and British and French) officials to justify American military actions in Syria are painful reminders not only of lies we were told about Viet Nam a half century ago. We heard echoes of those same lies regarding Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and many other places in the world that are now much worse off after our military actions — actions that were illegal, no matter how we try to parse the meanings of the documents and international agreements that we signed. Continue reading “Rev. James Swarts: Remarks at Spring Action 2018”


UN Security Council to meet Friday to discuss Trump’s Jerusalem move

Commentary: Leadership in Asia, competition for a liberal world order

Beijing is determined to shape a global order in which its interests are respected because of its disproportionate power relative to its neighbours, says James R Keith.

What will a new global order look like, from China’s perspective? (Photo: AFP/Karim Jaafar)

WASHINGTON: The essential question of leadership in Asia comes into focus as we reflect on China’s ambitious aspirations enunciated at the 19th Communist Party Congress and on the heels of President Donald Trump’s long trek through Asia this month. Continue reading “Commentary: Leadership in Asia, competition for a liberal world order”

Trump Heads to Asia With an Ambitious Agenda but Little to Offer

By New York Times

President Trump in Dallas last month. He leaves on Friday for an 11-day, five-nation trip through Asia. Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump departs on his first trip to Asia on Friday weakened and scandal-scarred, ready to face off against newly empowered Chinese and Japanese leaders in a region increasingly determined to set its course without American direction.

The White House is framing the trip as a chance for Mr. Trump to showcase his budding personal relationships with President Xi Jinping of China and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan — a forceful world leader pressing his peers to negotiate fairer trade deals with the United States and to intensify the pressure on nuclear-armed North Korea.

Continue reading “Trump Heads to Asia With an Ambitious Agenda but Little to Offer”

U.S. Seeks Meeting Soon to Revive Asia-Pacific ‘Quad’ Security Forum

Oct. 27, 2017, at 2:30 p.m.

U.S. Seeks Meeting Soon to Revive Asia-Pacific ‘Quad’ Security Forum

Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono gives a speech at Columbia University in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky Reuters

By David Brunnstrom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States wants a meeting soon aimed at reviving a four-way dialogue between itself, Japan, India and Australia to deepen security cooperation and coordinate alternatives for regional infrastructure financing to that offered by China, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.

The so-called “Quad” to discuss and cooperate on security emerged briefly as an initiative a decade ago – much to the annoyance of China, which saw as an attempt by regional democracies to contain its advances. Continue reading “U.S. Seeks Meeting Soon to Revive Asia-Pacific ‘Quad’ Security Forum”

Three US aircraft carriers in Pacific

US flexes naval muscle in Asia ahead of Trump’s visit

Story highlights

  • US aircraft carriers send messages to adversaries, experts say
  • Presence of three carriers in Asia-Pacific comes as President Trump prepares to visit region

Hong Kong (CNN)Two US Navy aircraft carrier strike groups have arrived in the Pacific in the past two days, putting three of the massive warships in the region as President Donald Trump prepares for a visit early next month.

Continue reading “Three US aircraft carriers in Pacific”

Trump sought dissident’s expulsion after hand-delivered letter from China – report


Wall Street Journal says the US president called for Guo Wengui’s deportation after casino owner Steve Wynn brought letter from Beijing government

Billionaire Guo Wengui, whom Chinese security agents have tried to restrain from publishing accusatory tweets against the Beijing government.
Billionaire Guo Wengui, whom Chinese security agents have tried to restrain from publishing accusatory tweets against the Beijing government. Photograph: Twitter

Donald Trump called for the deportation of a Chinese dissident living in the US, after receiving a request from Beijing hand-delivered by a casino owner with business interests in China, according to a US report.

The Wall Street Journal described a Chinese government attempt to put pressure on Guo Wengui, a real estate tycoon living in exile in New York, to halt his allegations of corruption in high places in China. Continue reading “Trump sought dissident’s expulsion after hand-delivered letter from China – report”

Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military

NBC News

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve. Continue reading “Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military”

Negotiating with North Korea a waste of time: Trump

FILE PHOTO: A combination photo shows Trump in New York and North Korean leader Jong Un in Pyongyang,

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Sunday ( Oct 1) negotiating with North Korea over its nuclear programme would be a waste of time after it emerged that Washington had channels of contact with Pyongyang.

Only hours after his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that US officials were in touch with North Korean counterparts, Trump undercut his top diplomat by declaring on Twitter that any talks would be futile. Continue reading “Negotiating with North Korea a waste of time: Trump”

Việt Nam cần đồng minh quân sự

Last update: Sept. 18, 2017

Việc Hội đồng Bảo an Liên Hợp Quốc (“HĐBA”) vừa thông qua nghị quyết do Mỹ đề nghị trừng phạt Bắc Hàn được xem là một thắng lợi lớn cho cộng đồng quốc tế trong vấn đề ứng xử với Bắc Hàn ngỗ ngáo và nguy hiểm. Đây cũng là một dấu hiệu cho thấy Trung Quốc đang cố gắng đi cùng Mỹ và cộng đồng thế giới: Trung Quốc không dùng quyền phủ quyết của mình tại HĐBA để chống lại mọi người.

TQ đột nhiên trở thành anh chàng tử tế và có trách nhiệm? TQ hiểu là một Bắc Hàn điên rồ có tự do là một đại họa cho thế giới? Continue reading “Việt Nam cần đồng minh quân sự”

San Diego-based destroyers deploying to Asia-Pacific region

Adm. Scott Swift, commander of Pacific Fleet, talks to sailors during an all-hands call aboard the USS Sterett on April 12, 2017, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.


By WYATT OLSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 13, 2017

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — A surface action group of Navy destroyers has arrived in Hawaii ahead of a deployment to the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading “San Diego-based destroyers deploying to Asia-Pacific region”

Nikki Haley: No solution to war with Assad in power

Al Jazeera

US diplomat says removal of Syrian president, pushing Iran out and defeating ISIL are Trump administration priorities.

Syria's army has shown no let-up in its assault on rebel forces [EPA]
Syria’s army has shown no let-up in its assault on rebel forces [EPA]

A political solution to the war in Syria is not possible with President Bashar al-Assad in power, the US ambassador to the UN has said in an apparent hardening of the Trump administration’s position.

Defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, pushing Iranian influence out of Syria, and the removal of Assad are priorities for the US administration, Nikki Haley said in an interview to CNN, which will air in full on Sunday. Continue reading “Nikki Haley: No solution to war with Assad in power”

Asia-Pacific freedom tested: US admiral

By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent Australian Associated Press

One of America’s top military commanders has painted a bleak picture of the Asia-Pacific, declaring freedom, justice and the rules-based international order hang in the balance.

Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, told a conference in San Diego the path to stability in the region faces four considerable challenges: North Korea, China, Russia and Islamic State.

He warned the US would “co-operate where we can, but we’ll be ready to confront where we must”. Continue reading “Asia-Pacific freedom tested: US admiral”

US lawmakers want North Korea put back on terrorism blacklist

Murder of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother strengthens calls for more sanctions as US urges China to keep pressure on North Korea

Combination of file photos shows Kim Jong-nam, left, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
Democrat and Republican lawmakers want North Korea relisted as state sponsor of terrorism after murder of Kim Jong-nam (L), half-brother of leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: Shizuo Kambayashi, Wong Maye-E/AP

The apparent assassination of the North Korean leader’s estranged half-brother is strengthening bipartisan calls for the US to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a designation lifted nine years ago. Doing so would increase the country’s isolation, while potentially complicating any future diplomacy to halt its nuclear and missile programs.

The US kept North Korea on its terrorism blacklist for two decades after the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner killed 115 people. But President George W Bush lifted the designation in 2008 to smooth the way for aid-for-disarmament negotiations. The concession proved of little value as the talks collapsed soon after and have yet to resume. Continue reading “US lawmakers want North Korea put back on terrorism blacklist”

US pledges nuclear defence for Japan and South Korea

“The United States remains steadfast in its defence commitments to its allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, including the commitment to provide extended deterrence, backed by the full range of its nuclear and conventional defence capabilities,” Tillerson said in a joint statement after meeting the foreign ministers in Bonn.

North Korea has carried out repeated missile launches despite UN sanctions and last year conducted two nuclear tests in a bid to develop a weapons system capable of hitting the US mainland.

Pyongyang said the latest missile tested on Sunday could carry a nuclear warhead.

Continue reading on ChannelNewsAsia