Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 8, 2018

The talks between South and North Korea are not at all what they are cracked up to be. While the world would love to believe that this is some grand exercise in "can't we all just get along" diplomacy that always-only ever failed under Obama in any and every hemisphere, North-South talks are not what they seem. They are a distraction, a false pretense, an ostensible cover story, a smoke screen for something much, much deeper.

In all likelihood, the talks will include a very subtle Asian-style, excessively subtle (since it's among Koreans) offer. Even bachelor's degree students of business management study the science of talking to an employee in such a way that he doesn't figure out he's being fired until he gets home and takes his first bide of dinner. Leonardo explained the idea well in his movie Inception.

The meeting, capitalizing on participation in the Olympic games so strategically timed and placed, is more akin to the close of the series The Sopranos. A lieutenant of a rival family meets with the head of another family to plot the "offing" of his own boss in order to stop an ugly war that no one wanted, which started when that new boss came to power. The rival family "does in" their own boss at the gas station, the main character makes his hospitality rounds, and the story ends.

That's what this seems like. The Trump administration is allowing it, taking partial credit in a preemptive expectation of due accolades, also reminding the Asian world that communication is a good thing. Symphony said the same two days before Trump sent his January 4 Tweet to the same effect: without pressure from the US there would be no talks.

If Kim Jong Un eventually disappears in the months ahead, remember that it all came from this meeting, purportedly about the Olympics. There wouldn't be any moves in northern Korea without already having "certain assurances".

But, don't let that distract you. Taiwan is definitely playing its role in provocative and irksome "spitting matches" with China. As with the min-boss in The Godfather Part III, Taiwan wouldn't do that without "backing".

continue reading

Standard
Faux Report

Olympic Swimmer Contracts Deadly Malaria Virus While Practicing For Events In Rio

rio

RIO, Brazil – 

A U.S. Olympic swimmer, Mick Jones, has reportedly contracted malaria while practicing for his events in Rio, swimming in public, open water.

“It is with great sadness that we report that Mr. Jones will not be able to compete at this year’s olympic games,” said chairman Richard Downs. “He is a champion competitor, and we wish him all the best in his recovery.”

The Olympic Committee was warned of hosting the games in Rio, which is rife with crime and has some of the most polluted waters in the world.

“We wanted to host it somewhere new and exciting, and even though their environment, their economy, and their people cannot handle the influx, we decided to go on with the ceremony anyway,” said Downs. “I believe that this event is isolated, and we will do whatever we can to make sure that the athletes are safe.

Standard
Faux Report

Could Denying Russians From Olympic Games Start Another War?

rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – 

Analysts fear tensions with the Russians could lead to another war if the Russians are banned from participating in the Olympic games. The Russian sports minister says “up to 67 athletes” have applied to track and field’s world governing body to be exempted from the ban on the Russian team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

The IAAF is unlikely to approve most of the 67 athletes, since it has previously indicated the exemption is aimed at a small minority of athletes based abroad.

When a global governing body for sports barred Russia’s track and field team from the 2016 Summer Olympics on Friday over a wide-ranging doping scandal, it was greeted in Russia, as is with a deep sense of victimhood.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called the decision “unjust, of course.”

Mr. Putin said, “Russia is strengthening antidoping controls and athletes should bear personal responsibility for using performance-enhancing drugs.” Punishing the whole team, he said, “doesn’t fit any norms of civilized behavior.”

Outside Russia, sporting officials viewed the unanimous decision as a long overdue restoration of some fairness in competitions. After all, in some sporting events Russian athletes had been trouncing competitors for years before it turned out they were using performance-enhancing drugs.

Standard
Faux Report

Could Denying Russians From Olympic Games Start Another War?

rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – 

Analysts fear tensions with the Russians could lead to another war if the Russians are banned from participating in the Olympic games. The Russian sports minister says “up to 67 athletes” have applied to track and field’s world governing body to be exempted from the ban on the Russian team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

The IAAF is unlikely to approve most of the 67 athletes, since it has previously indicated the exemption is aimed at a small minority of athletes based abroad.

When a global governing body for sports barred Russia’s track and field team from the 2016 Summer Olympics on Friday over a wide-ranging doping scandal, it was greeted in Russia, as is with a deep sense of victimhood.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called the decision “unjust, of course.”

Mr. Putin said, “Russia is strengthening antidoping controls and athletes should bear personal responsibility for using performance-enhancing drugs.” Punishing the whole team, he said, “doesn’t fit any norms of civilized behavior.”

Outside Russia, sporting officials viewed the unanimous decision as a long overdue restoration of some fairness in competitions. After all, in some sporting events Russian athletes had been trouncing competitors for years before it turned out they were using performance-enhancing drugs.

Standard