Monday, November 29, 2021

We Need Maps at all Confirmation Hearings

As I snarkly said over on twitter, if the adults are back in charge, would they please act like it. 

First of all, just look at the Marshall Islands located east of Guam, west of Hawaii, and south of Wake Island. 

During WWII, Americans lost 611 men, suffered 2,341 wounded, and 260 missing and killed over over 11,000 Japanese while capturing 358 to secure these islands. An independent nation with some unique security and immigration agreements with the United States, one shouldn’t have to over-emphasize the strategic importance. However …

For decades, the tiny Marshall Islands has been a stalwart American ally … But that loyalty is being tested amid a dispute with Washington over the terms of its “Compact of Free Association” agreement, which expires soon. The U.S. is refusing to engage the Marshallese on claims for environmental and health damage caused by dozens of nuclear tests it carried out in the 1940s and ’50s, including a huge thermonuclear blast on Bikini Atoll.
There are, rightfully, bi-partisan concerns that we are in the middle of an own-goal;
But this month, 10 Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives wrote to President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, about the U.S. compact talks
Of course the Chinese are taking advantage of the strategic myopia and bureaucratic pigheadedness of it all. Can’t blame them;
China’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. should face up to its responsibility to restore the environmental damage it caused with its nuclear tests. It said China was willing to engage with the Marshall Islands and other Pacific island nations on the basis of mutual respect and cooperation under the “One China Principle,” in which Taiwan is viewed as part of China.
This should not be that hard;
The frustrations of the Marshallese were apparent in a letter sent last month by Foreign Minister Casten Nemra to Rep. Katie Porter, a California Democrat who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee’s oversight and investigations panel. “The State and Interior Department officials involved have been unwilling to discuss an agenda for the talks and tried to confine the discussion to their own limited proposals,” Nemra wrote. “The nuclear issue clearly was one reason. All issues raised by the Marshall Islands were met with assertions that they did not have authority to discuss the matters without any indication that they would seek it.” Sen. Paul said the American approach needs to change. “I believe the U.S. has the legal and moral obligation to make sure they clean up this debris,” Paul said. “We want to make sure we get a better deal this time around. As they say, the third time is a charm.”
We cannot counter the Chinese back-actor plays across their Belt-and-Road if we can’t do the right thing in our own back yard.

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