I visited my specialist doctor on Monday. Part of a regular annual summer follow-up, but I had moved it up to an earlier date based on some family advice. After a thorough check-up, the doctor said that I was doing well, that he was not sure why I had moved the date up so soon.
Before I started to blame some outside advice, he told me: “You are winning not losing, but that is for now. It is your chance: just declare victory and get out!”
I told him it sounded like great advice, that I will try to advise others to do the same. And I quickly got out of his office.
Hear that Mr. Trump? Just declare victory in some of the intractable stupid Middle East wars (Yemen, Syria…. ) and get out, while still ahead. Don’t listen to the advice of your hawks and chickenhawks: one more war just around the next bend will not solve it all. Be like a surgeon: end it all, make that your strategy since your staff don’t seem to have any other.
(Remember, Donald: Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger tried to solve the Vietnam War by expanding it into Laos and Cambodia. They blew it. Gave us the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge, and three Asian defeats instead of one. So, keep that in mind).
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
“Have you heard? Kim Jong Un is missing. Which can only mean one thing: He has been overthrown! His little sister, Kim Yo Jong, now runs the showin the most isolated nation on Earth. Or is it that the entire Kim dynasty, steward of North Korea for decades, is now out? It was a coup! The North Korean grand poobah finally got too big for his britches, what with ordering men to mimic his haircut and feeding his uncle to wild dogs, and was deposed. Boom. Wait a minute. Kim Jong Un is sick! It’s true, he has been “getting fatter lately”…………….”
Of all this speculation one thing is true for certain: Un has been getting fatter in recent months. Or maybe I should say “he HAD been getting fatter”. The Cute Leader probably easily outweighs (outweighed?) his father and grandfather, the Great Leader and the Dear Leader, combined. I doubt that even Dennis Rodman knows anything about his whereabouts. Certainly South Korean media rumor-mongers don’t know jack about this.
Once some years ago when Osama Bin Laden went AWOL I speculated that he could be in Las Vegas, dealing or just hitting the tables. Un could be in Macao right now, living it up within a different life-style, with pierced lips and nose and eyebrows. I shall not speculate about other possible pierced, er, extremities.
It is not too far-fetched to expect that a socialist revolution in Pyongyang may have overthrown him. It happens all the time to absolute ruling dynasties. Think Charles I, Louis XVI, Nicholas II, Shakhbout I, Saud I, Haile Selassie, the Pahlavis, among others. Some North Korean generals and functionaries may have gone back to Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and discovered that these dead Communist worthies never advocated or started absolute hereditary family dynasties. Nor were they fond of exotic expensive imported Swiss cheese.
Or maybe he has discreetly sought asylum with another notorious absolute ruling dynasty: the Al Saud. Un could be ensconced in a secluded villa in Jeddah, across the road from some other former Arab or African despots.
Maybe in Pyongyang the jig is finally up.
Or, Un could be in seclusion, playing Halo with Waldo. He could be laughing his head off at the frantic search mounted by the international media. The Cute Leader may be a prankster at heart.
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
Media headlined a few minutes ago about the Malaysian Airlines MH370 tragedy: two passengers with false passports bought tickets through an Iranian intermediary.
Details are not out yet, but BBC now reports the holders of stolen Euro-passports were really Iranians. Oh oh, Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez are probably ready to lead the Charge of the Heavy Brigade into Iran. John McCain will fatwa to ban all trips by Mohammed Jawad Zarif (Iran FM). No more more Vegas trips, no more blackjack, and no more Mario Batali cuisine for Zarif in the Piazza.
Some Chinese groups even (predictably) claim the Uighurs may be involved. Hamas has so far refrained from blaming the Israelis, but give it time. Netanyahu is probably already kicking somebody for not having Ahmadinejad available “when the moment is right”. He probably wonders what Hezbollah may have been up to lately: like where did Hassan Nasrallah spend these past few days and where is he now? (I bet he would love to get the answer on that very last one).
“More than a dozen family members of China’s top political and military leaders are making use of offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, leaked financial documents reveal. The brother-in-law of China’s current president, Xi Jinping, as well as the son and son-in-law of former premier Wen Jiabao are among the political relations making use of the offshore havens, financial records show………. The Hong Kong office of Credit Suisse, for example, established the BVI company Trend Gold Consultants for Wen Yunsong, the son of Wen Jiabao, during his father’s premiership — while PwC and UBS performed similar services for hundreds of other wealthy Chinese individuals. The disclosure of China’s use of secretive financial structures is the latest revelation from “Offshore Secrets”…………China’s rapid economic growth is leading to a degree of internal tension within the nation, as the proceeds of the country’s newfound prosperity are not evenly divided: the country’s 100 richest men are collectively worth over $300bn, while an estimated 300m people in the country still live on less than $2 a day……………”