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China factor in Cold War II

Possibility of China-Russia military alliance

Here are my (I am far from he specialist in this field, so information should be taken with a grain of salt):

It would be premature to categorize current China-Russia relations as either a “partnership” or an “alliance,” but both are fuzzy concept because there are no permanent friends in world politics, only permanent interests. Somehow France and USA managed to co-exist in NATO, so why not China and Russia. But here much depends on push of the neocons in the US administration and especially in completely infested with necons State Department. with enough thrust pigs can fly and they drive those to countries tor the formal alliance (at least in a form of “nuclear attack on one is an attack on both”):

Both Rozman and Nye are, in fact, looking at different sides of the same coin. However, both have missed something. The future of a China-Russian relationship depends largely on relations these two countries have with the West, especially the United States. If Washington pushes too hard on oil prices, Ukraine, and NATO expansion toward Russia, and if the U.S. rebalances too far against China in the Pacific, China and Russia may indeed move towards a formal alliance, even if that may not have been what they originally wanted.

Obama “first/preemptive nuclear strike” doctrine ( https://www.districtsentinel.com/obama-stick-first-strike-nuclear-war-doctrine-claiming-deterrence-value/ ) was a highly destabilizing move and it made the integration of early warning system of strategic importance for both countries.

The fact that Russia sold China long range S-400 surface to air missile (SAM) system tells something. The S-400 is the longest range SAM system in the world. http://www.popsci.com/china-and-russia-sign-biggest-arms-deal-decade-buy-worlds-best-missile

The deal is significant to regional security as well as geopolitics. China’s improved air defense capabilities will greatly complicate any efforts to conduct aerial operations or missile attacks against the Chinese mainland, even with stealthy drones, longer-ranged cruise missiles, or new bombers, all part of the new US “third offset” plan. In wartime, the S-400 could even support Chinese airstrikes by knocking out enemy fighters flying above their own bases and cities. On the strategic level, the S-400 sale would facilitate Sino-Russian cooperation, as well as facilitate other sales and joint projects like submarines and space operations.

Ukrainian coup d’état of February 2014 moved Russia much closer to China and openly hostile to the USA. That was a dramatic change that US neocons wanted so much. They essentially unleashed “Cold War II”. That got what they wanted: they blocked EU-Russia cooperation. But it comes with a price.
http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-and-china-are-building-ties-against-the-west-2014-10

According to Missile Threat, a website operated by the George C. Marshall and Claremont Institutes, it would make sense for Russia to reach out to China for help with an early warning missile system. China has the technological capability to build a satellite system necessary for Russia’s early-warning systems, while Russia could provide China with the technology necessary to protect itself against medium-range ballistic missiles.

… … …

Ultimately, the crisis in Ukraine might benefit China more than any other country.

This trend is confirmed by Russians:

The expert spoke to Sputnik in an interview saying that, “The US solves tactical problems, but very seriously loses strategically, as a consequence of the placement of US missile defense system in South Korea, the result would be the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, in particular, in the sphere of missile defense.”

Yevseyev further said, “China has radar stations that can be deployed as an early warning system for any missile attack. Russia, of course, also has such stations of various types. Among the latest radar early warning systems is the Voronezh-M and Voronezh-DM.” © Flickr/ U.S. Missile Defense AgencyN Korea Instructs Embassies to Use THAAD in South to Pit China Against USThe analyst spoke about the future of the military relations between Russia and China saying that it may be possible that the two countries form a joint center for missile attack warnings. “As the next step it may be possible to conduct joint exercises in the Russian Ashuluk range. China, in turn, has combat lasers that are able to influence the objects in the near space. There was an incident when a Chinese laser made a Japanese satellite virtually unable to function. In Russia such lasers in combat methods have not been used yet,” Yevseyev said. The analyst further explained that China is currently creating an analogue of the Aegis system, which is a marine version of the missile defense systems. “Russia also has a missile defense system around Moscow, which has its own system, and it is not available in China so far. This system allows interception of destructive elements at altitudes of up to 60 kilometers. Thus, Russia and China have much to offer to each other.” “If such a decision is made, which would establish a joint missile defense system; it will be a logical response to the US deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea,” according to Yevseyev. The first joint Russian-Chinese anti-missile drills using computer modeling was held in Moscow in the spring of this year. The next step for Russia and China, according to Vladimir Yevseyev, can be real experience of intercepting ballistic targets at firing range in Ashuluk in the Astrakhan Region, if diplomacy and protests by the South Koreans are not able to stop the construction of the US missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula.

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/asia/201608161044335004-thaad-threat-china-russia/

My impression is that the sale of S400 means that some form of integration might already has been started.


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[Aug 13, 2020] Today, Washington is saturated with China hawks. Unfortunately, andy voices that champion keeping America strong by avoiding conflict with China are reflexively smeared as "appeasement."

Aug 13, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

America's actions have already caused Beijing and Moscow to put aside historic enmity and increase its partnership on economic issues and increasingly frequent joint military drills . China and Iran recently completed the basics of an energy and military cooperation agreement. Moreover, President Xi Jinping has become increasingly effective at deepening ties with European, African, and Latin American states.

Today, Washington is saturated with China hawks. Unfortunately, andy voices that champion keeping America strong by avoiding conflict with China are reflexively smeared as "appeasement." I fear America may one day find out to its harm that rejecting sober diplomatic engagement, which could have extended its security and prosperity well into the future, was dismissed in favor of an unnecessary military-first tactic of coercing China.

Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after twenty-one years, including four combat deployments. Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

[Aug 07, 2020] more than one answer

Aug 07, 2020 | blog.nuclearsecrecy.com

. The decision involved various persons with differing motives. Some of those people, especially in the military, were against using the bomb. Japan was ready to surrender even before the nuclear bombs were dropped. It did not surrender because the bombs destroyed two of its cities.

A major reason to use the new bombs was to demonstrate to the Soviet Union - already selected as the next enemy - that the U.S. had superior weapons. But it did not take long for the scientist in the Soviet Union to catch up and to test their own nuclear device.

It then daunted to some in Washington that a world with nuclear weapons is less secure than one without them. For 75 years they tried to stop the race for more nuclear weapons and to create a path to their total abolishment. But the hawks were more numerous - they still are - and they won out each and every time.

A history of that process is well caught in Scott Ritter's opus "Scorpion King - America's suicidal embrace of nuclear weapons from FDR to Trump".


bigger

Scott Ritter has studied the Soviet Union, worked in military intelligence and as a United Nations weapon inspector in Iraq. He is extraordinary qualified to write about nuclear weapon policies.

The book is an updated version of the 2010 edition. It is comprehensive and covers the decision processes of every U.S. administration with regards to nuclear weapons, nuclear arms control, non proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

Over the first decades many new nuclear arms and delivery systems were introduced. There was always a demand for even more. The nuclear capabilities of the Soviet Union were widely exaggerated. The U.S. assessments of Soviet power were often fake. One commission after the other was setup to make nuclear war plans, to decide which cities should be obliterated, how many million people should be killed and to calculate how many additional weapons were needed to achieve that.

Over time the insanity of the nuclear arms race became more obvious. But when presidents tried to negotiate arms control agreements, and to lower the number of nuclear weapons, there were always people who worked to hinder them. Some successes were made. Nuclear tests were banned. A number of strategic weapons were restricted. Anti-ballistic missiles, introduced to prevent an enemy's response to an offensive first strike, were limited. Certain categories of intermediate nuclear weapons were abolished.

But then came the breakup of the Soviet Union. The U.S. felt no longer a need to restrict itself. Its 'unilateral moment' had begun. Since the 1990s it is again trying to gain an absolute nuclear supremacy. It encroached on Russia's borders and it reintroduced anti-ballistic missile capabilities to make a nuclear first strike against Russia possible.

The attempt failed when Russia in 2018, a decade after warning the U.S. to back off, introduced new weapons which can evade any attempt to counter them. The Obama administrations had failed to draw the right consequences from Russia's warning. Under Trump more nuclear treaties were abolished and soon there will be none left. The world is today more in danger of a nuclear war than it ever was.

As Ritter diagnoses:

The United States is a nation addicted to nuclear weapons and the power and prestige, both real and illusory, that these weapons bring. Breaking this addiction will prove extremely difficult. This is especially true given the lack of having any real nuclear disarmament policy in place since the dawn of the nuclear age. The failure of the United States to formulate or to implement effective nuclear disarmament policy has placed America and the world on very dangerous ground. The longer America and the world continue to possess nuclear weapons, the greater the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used. The only way to prevent such a dire outcome is through abolition, and not the reduction of control, of all nuclear weapons.

The book gives a detailed history of the nuclear decision processes of every U.S. administration since the dawn of the nuclear age. It digs into the motives of many of the involved persons. It documents how - throughout many administrations - the general nuclear policies were kept unchanged. The differences were only gradual.

With 501 pages, including end notes, the Scorpion King takes more than one evening to fully comprehend.

But I for one am grateful to have had the chance to read it page for page. Scott Ritter's opus will now be THE work of reference to consult when I write about nuclear policies.

The book is available as paperback for $29.95 or electronically for $19.00.

Posted by b on August 6, 2020 at 18:38 UTC | Permalink

Comments Thx b.
Matter of proliferation and hypocrisy in foreign policy ...

Permitting Pakistan to develop the Islamic nuclear weapon !

https://www.eurotrib.com/story/2020/7/7/13426/56228

Posted by: Oui | Aug 6 2020 19:14 utc | 1 "The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here. We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion. If we have to, we will, but we sure would like to avoid it," Special Presidential Envoy Marshall Billingslea said in an online presentation to a Washington think tank. [Reuters, May 21, 2020]

One problem with this thinking is that Putin is a maniacal tightwad, believer in balanced budget and rainy day funds, and he seems to have some control over military costs. Russian experts and most of all, their bosses, take home many times less that their "American partners", projects are selected more carefully, old technologies are maximally reused. American MIC is a horde of hungry pigs that are world's top expert at inflating costs, plying fanciful technologies that sometimes work, but often do not (after spending many billions) etc. Repeating the past glories of "spending into oblivion" will not work again.

Second problem is horribly illustrated in Beirut (and in few places before, Tianjin comes to mind). We have a huge pile of highly explosive substances, but they are stored and handled properly, so nothing will happen, right? Or we have best possible software to automatically launch nuclear missiles when an attack is detected, but it is 110% reliable, and the international tensions will always be handled with care to prevent "hair trigger" status, right?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 6 2020 19:25 utc | 2 Nukes are a self-licking ice-cream cone for the protection racket.

USA power-elite are not addicted to nukes, they're addicted to power.

This is easily seen via the supremacist ideologies that they subscribe to:


Together, these distill the worst impulses of Western civilization and form a mindset of might makes right that is better known today as the "rules-based order".

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 6 2020 19:32 utc | 3 @Jackrabbit

You're in fine form today. Succinct and to the point.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Aug 6 2020 19:39 utc | 4 @ Jackrabbit # 3

I would only offer a point of clarification to your comment. That clarification would be that its the global power-elite, not USA, and they are addicted to owning the tools of Western private finance which is the source of their power.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 6 2020 19:46 utc | 5 It's fear. Many Americans (not just the power elite) see themselves living in a hostile world. Probably goes back to the Mayflower. And Hollywood. If it's not natives and Russians it's sharks and spiders. They think having lots of nukes will protect them.

Posted by: dh | Aug 6 2020 19:49 utc | 6 Thank you for supporting Scott Ritter. I saw him speak at a small book store in Schenectady NY before the Bush II genocide on Iraq and Afghanistan. Myself and my wife will never forget his words and strengthened our resolve to try and stop the war by protesting in NYC,Boston and our small town of Saratoga NY. I hope that Mr Ritter continues his work to awaken others to the truth of what a sad pathetic country the USA is. I wish him well.

Posted by: So | Aug 6 2020 20:08 utc | 7 Just had to get 'Trump's' name on that headline. He probably wouldn't have used that line of it was Hilary in the Whitehouse.

Posted by: Arne S | Aug 6 2020 20:22 utc | 8 @ Posted by: Arne S | Aug 6 2020 20:22 utc | 8

He had to put Trump's name because, otherwise, he would overshadow the important year of 2018 (when Putin announced Russia's new weapons).

Posted by: vk | Aug 6 2020 20:33 utc | 9 Another reason things don't change is because of the media. The media keeps the people placated, or at least tries, and in fact succeeds to a great extent. See this new article Palace Eunuchs or: Why Mainstream Media Fears the Truth to see how this has happened. It wasn't always like today. But over time the media has been bought out. And they work with and for the MIC.

Posted by: Kali | Aug 6 2020 21:22 utc | 10 thanks b... i agree with jackrabbit - it is all about being addicted to power and trying to hold onto it ( as it slips away )..

this hate on for russia is mystifying.. i think - is this a bunch of war on commies relics from the past driving usa foreign policy? or is it a bunch of sore losers like browder and friends from the 90's? or is it just a case of your usual garden variety insanity on display pretty frequently, from the usa establishment?? i still don't get this hate on for russia... it makes no sense, other then the money it generates for the military complex..

Posted by: james | Aug 6 2020 21:39 utc | 11 Good Evening! A discussion about nuclear weapons should take into consideration the scientific and technical progress since 1945 - though the latter may be hidden from broader public. Yesterday @Schmatz referred to arcticles of Meyssan regarding the explosion in Beirut. Today some more information was published on https://www.voltairenet.org/article210672.html. The German tests of 1944 and 1945 were of the same type (hybrid, lithium, fusion). Israel is not the only gang to have this type of mini-nukes. Big nuclear bombs are out of date. War today has another face. BE AWARE! Nations and states are out of date, too. The war now is against mankind itself. The only remedy against this destruction is mentioned in my preceding comment. Kind Regards, Gerhard

Posted by: Gerhard | Aug 6 2020 21:42 utc | 12 Nuclear War and the Ultimate Game of Hardball


The assassination was a continuation of the Cuban Missle Crisis.
US planes were launched towards Cuba immediately after the assassination, but recalled in time.

It wasn't until 1995 that people had the book "The Spy That Saved The World" - Oleg Penkovsky.

The voluminous technical missile details this spy revealed allowed the US to determine the state of readiness,
or rather unreadiness, of the missiles being deployed in Cuba. Thus, Kennedy knew he had a window of time to
take the path of diplomacy, and without this key information his decision making process would have been quite different.

But there was another critical window that the spy Penkovsky revealed.
Khrushchev famously threatened that his factories were producing like "sausages" ICBM capable of reaching the US;
Khrushchev could make it rain ICBM. The spy Penkovsky revealed that this was simply a bluff.
Khrushchev might be able to launch ONE experimental ICBM towards the US but that was it.
The window however, Penkovsky revealed, was only reliable for three years. Penkovsky believed that within as
little as three years the Soviets could be producing ICBM in large numbers.

The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, as history records, contained men with the right stuff, right enough to inspire "Doctor Strangelove".
They wanted to take out the Soviet Union while we could. Kennedy, however, did not want to go down in history
as the greatest mass murderer of all time.

It was a game of Super Hardball Poker. The ICBM Window was closing down like a guillotine,
Kennedy had his bellicose generals and Khrushchev had his own hardline generals to contend with.
What move in this game could Kennedy make?

The US generals had WANTED the Soviets to run the blockade of Cuba and "cross the line" to war
and Khrushchev didn't know that his ICBM bluff cards were exposed.

Kennedy's move: he could let Khrushchev know of his slim poker hand.
Kennedy was also proving to the Soviet generals that here was a US President that wanted to deal,
which would be useful later when seeking treaties. Did Kennedy also blunt the US general's urge for war
by closing a key vulnerability in the Soviet defenses? Penkovsky had also revealed to us key Soviet
defense vulnerabilities.

Did Kennedy, in this game of Super Hardball Poker give up the spy, codenamed HERO, to the Soviets?
Did Kennedy reveal the depth of knowledge HERO had given us about the Soviets?

Oleg Penkovsky was arrested by the Soviets on the seventh day of the Cuban Missle Crisis.

One year later the assassination created a different stalemate.

The plotter's plan was to blame Cuba for the assassination of our President thus bringing a retaliatory strike
against Cuba. This would escalate to full out war with the USSR. Robert Kennedy immediately wanted to thwart
the plans of his brother's killers. Before that bloody day was done, instead of blaming Cuba Robert Kennedy supported
a safer alternate theory, the lone gunman theory.

Vice President Johnson was heading for a fall before the assassination, his criminal past was going to catch up with him.
The Kennedys were going to drop Johnson from the ticket during the second presidential term.
The Joint Chiefs Of Staff brought Johnson into the plot late in the game; but, he double-crossed them after
the assassination and didn't give them the war against the Soviets (by first attacking Cuba) they had wanted.

As an insider Johnson had the goods on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and they in turn had the goods on him. Stalemate.
Robert Kennedy had knowledge of Johnson's criminal past, but the Kennedys acting as tipsters to the Soviets
in the Oleg Penkovsky affair put a sword over Robert's head. Just as importantly Robert Kennedy would make
an already dangerous world more dangerous if he made it known publicly that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had tried
to launch a war that day and were willing to assassinate presidents in order to carry this out.

Robert Kennedy supported the hoax that was the Warren Commission to protect his brother's reputation and his own,
but more importantly to deter nuclear war. Johnson was high in the saddle as President and thus supported the Commission,
and he retired key members of The Joint Chiefs of Staff. With his reputation intact Robert Kennedy planned to
later become President and once he had power he would bring justice against his brother's killers.

Posted by: librul | Aug 6 2020 21:55 utc | 13 @ Kali | Aug 6 2020 21:22 utc | 10

"It wasn't always like today. But over time the media has been bought out."

Sorry, but that is incorrect. The "news" media in the US has always been the knowing tool of the oligarchy. Should anyone doubt that, just read Jack London's 1908 novel "The Iron Heel." In addition to describing to a "T" the devices the oligarchy uses to keep down and punish the proletariat, he describes the use of the press to silence, punish and do away with troublemakers such as socialists.

The fictional revelations in the novel will be immediately recognizable to MOA members as present-day techniques of repressing the proletariat and corrupting the media.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Aug 6 2020 22:14 utc | 14 p.s.

"The Iron Heel" is available online.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Aug 6 2020 22:15 utc | 15 The historian b links at the beginning of his piece makes the point that the building of the bombs was taking place well before Truman came to office and basically had no knowledge of what had been going on. The timeline for that circumstance is horribly short, and here is how Peter Kuznick describes it in the interview I linked to at 25 on the open thread:

"...65% of potential voters [in a Gallup poll] said they wanted Wallace back as vice president, 2% said they wanted Harry Truman. But Truman gets in there, is vice president for 82 days, Roosevelt dies, Truman becomes president on April 12th, 1945, the day that shall live in infamy. And so Truman on April 13th, his first day in office, Secretary of the Navy, Forrestal sends his private plane down to Spartanburg, South Carolina, to bring James Byrnes back to Washington. Truman was desperate. He sits down with Byrnes and he says, I don't know anything, Roosevelt didn't talk to me about what was going on, or the agreements at Yalta, I don't know anything, fill me in on everything and Byrnes then starts to lay it out. That the Soviets can't be trusted, that you know, that they're breaking their agreements. So that's a Truman who was inclined to think that way anyway, starts hearing it from Byrnes.

And even though that was the opposite of what Roosevelt believed and Roosevelt said right up to his dying day, Roosevelt was sure that the US and the Soviets would get along after the war..."

I wouldn't want to make any other observation than that as b's historian suggests, there were many influences behind the scenes of the fateful decision. Just to point out the similarity in the apparent railroading out of Wallace at such a critical time. It does remind one of politics today.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 6 2020 22:20 utc | 16 I distinctly remember reading somewhere that at the height of the insanity the USA had so many nuclear warheads that it had difficulty finding worthwhile targets for them. So much so that the ended up designating one nuke to destroy a post office in Siberia. A Freaking Post Office.

For all I know they pointed two some poor postmistress. You know: one to obliterate the mailboxes, and the other to make the rubble bounce around a bit....

Mad as Hatters, the lot of 'em.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 6 2020 22:32 utc | 17 Fascinating book review and important commentary. Thanks b.

(PS on English usage. In paragraph 4 I think you meant "It then dawned on some in Washington...". If I am 'daunted' by something I am hesitating out of fear or scale [e.g. I was daunted by the huge task that lay ahead...]). Sorry if that sounds pedantic, but I like your posts a lot and am impressed by your grasp of idiom in a second language.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 6 2020 22:40 utc | 18 sounds like an excellent book, i'll order as soon as i finish "the deficit myth".

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 6 2020 22:58 utc | 19 james @ 11,in the Paul Jay interview, Peter Kuznick makes the point that early on, when the weapons were first used on Japan, there wasn't a formidable military industrial complex, so Truman seems to have made the decision solely on the advice that the Russians were not to be trusted. Still, behind the scenes, that complex had to be in its infancy, as Eisenhower warned before he left office.

And psychohistorian is correct, it morphed into the entity that now is the main driver of world finance, not just in the US. So it is not the people of the US who are addicted to horrible weapons; it is that huge military/industrial/banking complex feeding off hapless Americans as it also feeds off the rest of the world, under the umbrella of neoliberalism: 'austerity for you but not for me.'

Grim stuff, and hopefully its days are numbered.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 6 2020 23:03 utc | 20 kennedy was a long time warmonger prior to the cuban missle crisis. he ran to the right of nixon, claiming nixon and eisenhower had left american vulnerable to a mythical "missle gap" which was not close to being true. both sides had ample weapons to destroy each other; what difference did the u.s.s.r. having a few more in cuba to match the u.s. placing some missles in turkey. this is often portrayed as j.f.k.'s shining moment, instead of a astoundingly reckless course of action that took the world close to a nuclear war. the russia missles in cuba would not have given them any sort of nuclear advantage, it would have taken them to the parity of being able to destroy american cities as many times as the americans could destroy russian cities, a meaningless equality. indeed the us withdrew the turkish missles, from what i remember, after the crisis.
it was the worst single example of american military overreach since needlessly blowing up hiroshima and nagasaki, an incredibly ill judged attempt to maintain u.s. superiority at all potential costs, and this time it was against an adversary that could destroy the united states. sound familiar? it should, it's been the strategy of the u.s. empire at least since 1945.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 6 2020 23:09 utc | 21 Nukes exist to be paid for. Corporate welfare. The Russians and everyone else got them because the US had them. Peiod. End of story. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 6 2020 23:36 utc | 22 It is very costly trying to live up to your ego. Many within the US government have big big egos, but who will pay the cost?

Posted by: Dick | Aug 6 2020 23:44 utc | 23 Lots of good discussion and links to excellent essays on the subject. Here are four, John Pilger's essay , "Another Hiroshima is Coming Unless We Stop It Now;" Dave Lindorff's essay , "Unsung Heroes of Los Alamos: Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War;" H. Bruce Frankiln's essay , "How the Fascists Won World War II;" and Robert Jacobs and Ran Zwigenberg's essay , "The American Narrative of Hiroshima is a Statue that Must be Toppled." Of course, there are dozens more written over the years at each anniversary of Hiroshima Day. As a former teacher, I found the last essay to be perhaps the most important as it details the great effort expended to keep that Narrative as THE ONLY OFFICIAL NARRATIVE to be allowed. But also as AntiSpin said, the fixing of the facts around the policy has gone on for 100+ years.

We humans face an EVIL GANG that's worse in its goals than Hitler was. Most are situated within the Outlaw US Empire, with the remainder sprinkled within its satrapies. They are mostly members of the Rentier Class psychohistorian rails about constantly for good reason, but others are traditional imperialists and fascists. All constitute what is known as the Donor Class--the controllers of the Duopoly within the Outlaw US Empire and of the satrapies abroad. But in a great many ways that do matter, they are outed now as more people globally become aware of their existence and designs. Much discussion here revolves around the issue of how to deprive them of the power they wield. Other discussions are subsets, such as the attempt to launch a new Cold War aimed at China. IMO, the key involves dragging ALL the skeletons from the closet and having them dance for all the world to see. Part of that is condemning the Outlaw US Empire for its genocide of the Japanese people in the nuclear fires and those that preceded them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 6 2020 23:48 utc | 24 juliania shared a link in the open thread which fits here as well.. thanks juliania...

Why Did Americans Accept Barbaric Slaughter of Japanese Civilians?

Posted by: james | Aug 7 2020 1:21 utc | 25 @ 20 juliania.. thanks.. i agree with pyschohistorians view @5 - global power elite are behind this.. however, they need the assistance and help of the american military and political leaders too... do you think pompeo would act any different here?? he has proven beyond doubt that the usa on most levels, is not to be trusted.. let me quote from your link from the other thread, which i have linked to above @ 25..

"In fact, Major General Haywood Hansell, the head of the 21st bomber command that was doing the bombing in Japan, resisted orders to abandon precision bombing at the end of'44. He didn't want to bomb urban areas. So Hap Arnold sacked him and installed General Curtis LeMay as commander of the 21st Bomber Command and LeMay had no such compunction. The large-scale bombing on the night of March 9th through 10th when 324 aircraft attacked Tokyo and killed probably one hundred thousand people, destroyed 16 square miles, injured a million, at least 41,000 seriously injured, more than a million homeless. The air reached eighteen hundred degrees Fahrenheit. LeMay says that the victims were scorched and boiled and baked to death. He referred to this as his masterpiece."

it takes more then the global power elite to enact these types of horrific acts as i see it.. if ordinary people like general haywood hansell can say no to this, so can others... but as we see general curtis lemay had no compunction murdering 100,000 innocent people.. someone might be pulling the levers, but it has to be followed thru by more ordinary people who need to resist it..

Posted by: james | Aug 7 2020 1:30 utc | 26 I did not know that today it was the anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, after all I was not even born then...

But, knowing now, it makes even more sense that the governor of Beirut compared ( I imagine that as ignorant of the date as i am...) the port blast with a destruction equaling that of Hiroshima...Who I fear that do not ignore this are other people...

I do not go to the heights of other people looking for signals everywhere, but after some years of reading info I do not think any more some events are coincidences...

Look at this other oddity...

In the afternoon of this Thursday a fire was reported in the World Trade Center tower located in the city of Brussels, in Belgium

The fire occurred at 4:00 p.m. (local time) and would not have left victims so far

https://twitter.com/teleSURtv/status/1291446525659422721

What I find odd enough is not only that the building is named World Trade Center....but, also that it has a banner in its fachade which reads "The future is here"...

What kind of future?

Then just saw this front page of The Economist at Daniel Estulin Twitter account...

https://twitter.com/EstulinDaniel/status/1291496244548902912

Intriguing to say the least....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 7 2020 1:31 utc | 27 Truman's statement following the destruction of Hiroshima is interesting to read. He starts off by describing Hiroshima as "an important Japanese Army base" rather than a city filled with civilians.

He later says "We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war".

Nothing there about wholesale slaughter of the population or destroying their food supply or drinking water, just attacks on military-related targets.

Interesting.

Posted by: BillB | Aug 7 2020 1:52 utc | 28 Gordon Duff, even a broken clock is correct ... well you know the rest https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/08/06/breathtaking-case-closed-infrared-video-reveals-details-of-israeli-nuclear-missile/

I do NOT believe this was a nuclear attack on Beirut but it does look like a missile strike.
Yes, the Lebanese govt is corrupt, negligent, and awful but that doesn't exclude the possibility that a foreign actor took advantage of the situation. I am wondering if Israel just had to use their new toy, that cargo ship, container missile and I still think it's possible that if they did attack Lebanon that they only meant to hit the fireworks warehouse. In any case, I think this vid is worth looking at.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 7 2020 2:02 utc | 29 @28 Yes very interesting. You may find the Potsdam Declaration interesting too. The Japanese were given an opportunity to surrender. They turned it down.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam_Declaration

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 2:07 utc | 30 @29

Heavy

Posted by: librul | Aug 7 2020 2:28 utc | 31 @31 Wars are heavy. They are fought to some kind of conclusion. Not sure why Hiroshima was the target. I imagine other targets were considered but the basic idea was to create a major impression.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 2:41 utc | 32 @31 Sorry librul. I guess you weren't talking about Hiroshima.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 2:53 utc | 33 I have become comfortably numb. This happened some time ago coinciding with the release of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. 80,000 people died immediately in Hiroshima on this day in 1945. With Nagasaki, the total was over 220,000 in two single incidents. Do shape-shifting lizards from another dimension control our world behind the scenes? Most likely. Global policies lack humanity. They also lack intelligence, being born of a lizard brain. This is the end game. This is the Kaliyuga. Billions will die while we remain comfortably numb, armchair pundits. March on Scott Ritter, stalwart Marine!

Posted by: jadan | Aug 7 2020 3:27 utc | 34 dh 33

I read the two Japanese cities were selected because of their geography. Surrounded by hills to contain and concentrate the blast for better effects.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 7 2020 3:31 utc | 35 Christian J. Chuba 29

Why do you post the duff shit here? Should be plenty of UFO and other nutcase forums it can be posted on.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 7 2020 3:36 utc | 36 @35 Possibly. I think it was the psychological effect they were going for,

https://www.npr.org/2015/08/06/429433621/why-did-the-u-s-choose-hiroshima

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 3:41 utc | 37 Peter AU1

Surrounded by hills

dh

psychological effect

My understanding is that they chose it because it was had experienced very little previous bombing. And they had deliberately withheld bombing there for some months before dropping the bomb.

They were as interested in learning about the effects of a nuke on a city as they were in sending a 'message' to the Japanese Govt.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 7 2020 3:55 utc | 38 @38 "They were as interested in learning about the effects of a nuke on a city as they were in sending a 'message' to the Japanese Govt."

I'm sure that was a factor. They probably wanted to send a message to the rest of the world as well.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7 2020 4:12 utc | 39 DH and others,

One reason the US dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to send a message to the Soviets that it had nuclear weapons - and was prepared to use them.

Japan had petitioned the US to surrender on the condition that it be allowed to retain its monarchy. The US insisted on unconditional surrender.

Hibiki Yamaguchi: "Can the Atomic Bombings on Japan Be Justified? A Conversation with Dr. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa"

"... [A dilemma] Truman faced was the so-called unconditional-surrender demand. Under Roosevelt, the United States had been demanding unconditional surrender by Japan, and Truman followed this policy faithfully. This was because Japan had engaged in military aggression causing the war (unjust war) and had committed all kinds of atrocities against American and Allied soldiers (violations on justice in warfare). In order to defeat Japanese militarism so that Japan could never rise up again as a military power, the United States and its allies should impose on Japan unconditional surrender.

But, as the war developed, there were certain people, very influential people within the government – such as Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, and Deputy Secretary of State and former Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew – who thought it necessary to define what "unconditional surrender" exactly meant. Particularly important was the status of the emperor. If the United States were to insist on unconditional surrender, particularly if it were to insist on, for instance, trying or punishing the emperor, as some within the administration insisted, the Japanese would fight on to the very last man. Therefore, in order to terminate the war, the US government would have to define the terms in such a way that it could allow the Japanese to preserve the monarchical system, even under the current dynasty.

In fact, before the Potsdam Conference began, Stimson presented the president with the draft proposal for the Potsdam on July 2. This draft included two important items. First, it anticipated the Soviet entry into the war. In fact, the Operation Division of the Army General Staff, which had worked on the proclamation draft, thought the most effective means of forcing Japan's surrender was to time the issuance of the ultimatum to Japan so that it coincided with the initiation of Soviet entry into the war. The second provision was that the Allied powers would allow Japan to preserve the monarchical system under the current dynasty.

What happened with these provisions? When the actual Potsdam proclamation was issued, it stated nothing about the Soviet Union and nothing about unconditional surrender. Those two conditions were rejected because of political considerations.

So the first assumption – that the atomic bomb was the only alternative for the United States to end the war – turned out to be false, a myth. The fact is not only that Truman did not choose those alternatives, but also that he just rejected them out of political consideration ..."

In the end, Japan surrendered once the Soviets declared war on that country, and eventually the US allowed Japan to retain its monarchy and to keep Hirohito on the throne.

Incidentally Nagasaki was selected for bombing because it was on a list of potential targets on which Kokura was first , but on the morning of 9 August 1945, the weather over the town was cloudy and the crew of the B-29 bomber could not see the target city clearly. Nagasaki was second on the list. The bomb hit a Roman Catholic cathedral during a celebration of Sunday Mass.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 7 2020 5:11 utc | 40

[Jul 13, 2020] Washington has essentially forgotten how to negotiate on mutually-respectful terms, and favours maneuvering its 'partners' into relationships in which the USA has an overwhelmingly dominant position, and then announcing it is 'leveling the playing field'. Which means putting its thumb on the scale.

Jul 13, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MARK CHAPMAN July 7, 2020 at 8:12 am

Again, probably not an urgent problem unless some existing Chinese aircraft in service are on their last legs and urgently must be replaced. In which case they could go with Airbus if the situation could not wait. China has options. Boeing does not.

The west loves to portray the Chinese as totally without ethics, and if you have a product they can't make for themselves, they will buy it from you only until they have figured out how to make it themselves, and then fuck you, Jack. I don't see any reason to believe the Chinese value alliances less than the west does, or are any more incapable of grasping the value of a give-and-take trade policy. The west – especially the United States – favours establishing a monopoly on markets and then using your inability to get the product anywhere else as leverage to force concessions you don't want to make; is that ethical? China must surely see the advantages of a mutually-respectful relationship with Russia, considering that country not only safeguards a significant length of its border from western probing, but supplies most of its energy. There remain many unexplored avenues for technical, engineering and technological cooperation. At the same time, Russia is not in a subordinate position where it has to endure being taken advantage of.

Trade is hard work, and any partner will maneuver for advantage, because everyone in commerce likes market share and money. But Washington has essentially forgotten how to negotiate on mutually-respectful terms, and favours maneuvering its 'partners' into relationships in which the USA has an overwhelmingly dominant position, and then announcing it is 'leveling the playing field'. Which means putting its thumb on the scale.


[May 29, 2020] The USA effectively controls world semiconductor industry and this fact will hurt Huaway at least in a short run

May 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The administration also took off the gloves with China over U.S. listings by mainland companies that fail to follow U.S. securities laws. This came after the Commerce Department finally moved to limit access by Huawei Technologies to high-end silicon chips made with U.S. lithography machines. The trade war with China is heating up, but a conflict was inevitable and particularly when it comes to technology.

At the bleeding edge of 7 and 5 nanometer feature size, American tech still rules the world of semiconductors. In 2018, Qualcomm confirmed its next-generation Snapdragon SoC would be built at 7 nm. Huawei has already officially announced its first 7nm chip -- the Kirin 980. But now Huawei is effectively shut out of the best in class of custom-made chips, giving Samsung and Apple a built-in advantage in handsets and network equipment.

It was no secret that Washington allowed Huawei to use loopholes in last year's blacklist rules to continue to buy U.S. sourced chips. Now the door is closed, however, as the major Taiwan foundries led by TSMC will be forced to stop custom production for Huawei, which is basically out of business in about 90 days when its inventory of chips runs out. But even as Huawei spirals down, the White House is declaring financial war on dozens of other listed Chinese firms.

President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox Business News that forcing Chinese companies to follow U.S. accounting norms would likely push them to list in non-U.S. exchanges. Chinese companies that list their shares in the U.S. have long refused to allow American regulators to inspect their accounting audits, citing direction from their government -- a practice that market authorities here have been unwilling or unable to stop.

The attack by the Trump Administration on shoddy financial disclosure at Chinese firms is long overdue, but comes at a time when the political evolution in China is turning decidedly authoritarian in nature and against any pretense of market-oriented development. The rising power of state companies in China parallels the accumulation of power in the hands of Xi Jinping, who is increasingly seen as a threat to western-oriented business leaders. The trade tensions with Washington provide a perfect foil to crack down on popular unrest in Hong Kong and discipline wayward oligarchs.

The latest moves by Beijing to take full control in Hong Kong are part of the more general retrenchment visible in China. "[P]rivate entrepreneurs are increasingly nervous about their future," writes Henny Sender in the Financial Times . "In many cases, these entrepreneurs have U.S. passports or green cards and both children and property in America. To be paid in U.S. dollars outside China for their companies must look more tempting by the day." A torrent of western oriented Chinese business leaders is exiting before the door is shut completely.

The fact is that China's position in U.S. trade has retreated as nations like Mexico and Vietnam have gained. Mexico is now America's largest trading partner and Vietnam has risen to 11th, reports Qian Wang of Bloomberg News . Meanwhile, China has dropped from 21 percent of U.S. trade in 2018 to just 18 percent last year. A big part of the shift is due to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact, which is expected to accelerate a return of production to North America. Sourcing for everything from autos to semiconductors is expected to rotate away from China in coming years.

China abandoned its decades-old practice of setting a target for annual economic growth , claiming that it was prioritizing goals such as stabilizing employment, alleviating poverty and preventing risks in 2020. Many observers accept the official communist party line that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic made it almost impossible to fix an expansion rate this year, but in fact the lasting effects of the 2008 financial crisis and the aggressive policies of President Trump have rocked China back on its heels.

As China becomes increasingly focused inward and with an eye on public security, the economic situation is likely to deteriorate further. While many observers viewed China's "Belt & Road" initiative as a sign of confidence and strength, in fact it was Beijing's attempt to deal with an economic realignment that followed the 2008 crisis. The arrival of President Trump on the scene further weakened China's already unstable mercantilist economic model, where non-existent internal demand was supposed to make up for falling global trade flows. Or at least this was the plan until COVID-19.

"Before the Covid-19 outbreak, many economists were expecting China to set a GDP growth target of 6% to 6.5% to reflect the gradual slowdown in the pace of expansion over the past few years," reports Caixin Global . "Growth slid to 6.1% in 2019 from 6.7% in 2018. But the devastation caused by the coronavirus epidemic -- which saw the economy contract 6.8% year-on-year in the first quarter -- has thrown those forecasts out of the window."

Out of the window indeed. Instead of presiding over a glorious expansion of the Chinese sphere of influence in Asia, Xi Jinping is instead left to fight a defensive action economically and financially. The prospective end of the special status of Hong Kong is unlikely to have any economic benefits and may actually cause China's problems with massive internal debt and economic malaise to intensify. Beijing's proposed security law would reduce Hong Kong's separate legal status and likely bring an end to the separate currency and business environment.


M Orban 20 hours ago

I honestly don't know if this article is or is not correct... But I wonder...
AmConMag publishes a major anti-China article on most days now. What is happening? What is the mechanics of this... "phenomenon"?
chris chuba M Orban 12 hours ago
For any of their flaws AmConMag was a sweet spot.

A place where where Americans opposed to U.S. hegemony because it's harm on everyone without being overwhelmed by the Neocon acolytes where can we go, anyone ever try to get a word in on foxnews ?

If you try to reach out to twitter on Tom Cotton or Mike Waltz dismisses you as a 'Chinese govt / Iranian / Russian bot'

You know what, God will judge us and we will all be equal in he eyes of Him
Why should I be afraid. Why should I be silent. And thank you TAC for the opportunity to post.

M Orban chris chuba 6 hours ago
I too came here for interesting commentary, - and even better comments... five years ago or so?
I found the original articles mostly okay, often too verbose, meandering for my taste but the different point of view made them worthwhile. The readers' comments, now that is priceless. That brings the real value. That's where we learn. That's where I learn, anyway. :)
It never occurred to me to message to any politician, I think my voice would be lost in the cacophony.
The target of my curiosity is that when all these articles start to point in one direction (like belligerence toward China) how does it happen? Is there a chain of command? It seems coordinated.
MPC M Orban 2 hours ago • edited
It's possible to be anti-neocon, for their being too ideological, and not pacifist. That is basically my position.

I agree with most here on Russia and Iran. They are not threats, and in specific cases should be partners instead. Agree on American imperialism being foolish and often evil. I believe in a multipolar world as a practical matter. I don't take a soft view of China however. I believe they do intend to replace nefarious American hegemony with their own relevant, but equally nefarious, flavor of hegemony. There are few countries in the world with such a pathological distrust of their own people. I truly believe that country is a threat that needs to be checked at least for a couple of decades by the rest of the world.

As to the editorial direction, I think it is merely capitalism. China's perception in the world is extremely bad lately. I would fully expect the always somewhat Russophile environment here to seize the moment to say 'see! Russia is not a true threat! It's China!' RT itself soon after Trump's election I recall posted an article complaining about total disregard for Chinese election meddling.

Barry_II M Orban 7 hours ago
You can see when the people holding the leash give a tug on the collar. And it's clear that the GOP is feeling the need for a warlike political environment.

The most blatant presstitution example, of course, was the National Review, going from 'Never Trump' to full time servicing.

M Orban Barry_II 6 hours ago
In case of AmConMag, who is holding the leash?

[May 24, 2020] China diplomancy in action: Foreign Minister Wang Yi Meets the Press conference

China diplomacy is trying to thread very carefully to avoid the fallout. The answer of RIA Novosti is good example here. Counterattacks are few (see the answer to CC question with the following money quote: "I respect your right to ask the question, but I'm afraid you're not framing the question in the right way. One has to have a sense of right and wrong. Without it, a person cannot be trusted, and a country cannot hold its own in the family of nations. " This is implicit slap in the face for the USA.
May 24, 2020 | fmprc.gov.cn

RIA Novosti: How do you assess China-Russia relations in the context of COVID-19? Do you agree with some people's characterization that China and Russia may join force to challenge US predominance?

Wang Yi: While closely following the COVID-19 response in Russia, we have done and will continue to do everything we can to support it. I believe under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the indomitable Russian people will defeat the virus and the great Russian nation will emerge from the challenge with renewed vigor and vitality.

Since the start of COVID-19, President Xi Jinping and President Putin have had several phone calls and kept the closest contact between two world leaders. Russia is the first country to have sent medical experts to China, and China has provided the most anti-epidemic assistance to Russia. Two-way trade has gone up despite COVID-19. Chinese imports from Russia have grown faster than imports from China's other major trading partners. The two countries have supported and defended each other against slanders and attacks coming from certain countries. Together, China and Russia have forged an impregnable fortress against the "political virus" and demonstrated the strength of China-Russia strategic coordination.

I have no doubt that the two countries' joint response to the virus will give a strong boost to China-Russia relations after COVID-19. China is working with Russia to turn the crisis into an opportunity. We will do so by maintaining stable cooperation in energy and other traditional fields, holding a China-Russia year of scientific and technological innovation, and accelerating collaboration in e-commerce, bio-medicine and the cloud economy to make them new engines of growth in our post-COVID-19 economic recovery. China and Russia will also enhance strategic coordination. By marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, we stand ready to firmly protect our victory in WWII, uphold the UN Charter and basic norms of international relations, and oppose any form of unilateralism and bullying. We will enhance cooperation and coordination in the UN, SCO, BRICS and G20 to prepare ourselves for a new round of the once-in-a-century change shaping today's world.

I believe that with China and Russia standing shoulder-to-shoulder and working back-to-back, the world will be a safer and more stable place where justice and fairness are truly upheld.

Cable News Network: We've seen an increasingly heated "war of words" between China and the US. Is "wolf warrior" diplomacy the new norm of China's diplomacy?

Wang Yi: I respect your right to ask the question, but I'm afraid you're not framing the question in the right way. One has to have a sense of right and wrong. Without it, a person cannot be trusted, and a country cannot hold its own in the family of nations.

There may be all kinds of interpretations and commentary about Chinese diplomacy. As China's Foreign Minister, let me state for the record that China always follows an independent foreign policy of peace. No matter how the international situation may change, we will always stand for peace, development and mutually beneficial cooperation, stay committed to upholding world peace and promoting common development, and seek friendship and cooperation with all countries. We see it as our mission to make new and greater contributions to humanity.

China's foreign policy tradition is rooted in its 5,000-year civilization. Since ancient times, China has been widely recognized as a nation of moderation. We Chinese value peace, harmony, sincerity and integrity. We never pick a fight or bully others, but we have principles and guts. We will push back against any deliberate insult to resolutely defend our national honor and dignity. And we will refute all groundless slander with facts to resolutely uphold fairness, justice and human conscience.

The future of China's diplomacy is premised on our commitment to working with all countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Since we live in the same global village, countries should get along peacefully and treat each other as equals. Decisions on global affairs should be made through consultation, not because one or two countries say so. That's why China advocates for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations. This position is fully aligned with the direction of human progress and the shared aspiration of most countries. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony. We will always stand with the common interests of all countries. And we will always stand on the right side of history. Those who go out of their way to label China as a hegemon are precisely the ones who refuse to let go of their hegemonic status.

The world is undergoing changes of a kind unseen in a century and full of instability and turbulence. Confronted by a growing set of global challenges, we hope all countries will realize that humanity is a community with a shared future. We must render each other more support and cooperation, and there should be less finger-pointing and confrontation. We call on all nations to come together and build a better world for all.

[May 24, 2020] US anti-china crusade started

May 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

After the Soviet collapse thirty years ago, that order expanded its jurisdiction. Proponents sought to subsume the old Eastern Bloc, including perhaps Russia itself, into the American sphere. And they wanted to do so firmly on Washington's terms. Even as the country began to deindustrialize and growth slowed, American leadership developed a taste for fresh crusades in the Middle East; exotic savagery, went the subtext, had to be brought finally to heel. China was a rising force, but its regime would inevitably crater or democratize. Besides, Beijing was a peaceful trading partner of the United States.

2008, 2016 and 2020 -- the financial crisis, Trump's election and now the Coronavirus and its reaction -- have been successive gut punches to this project, a hat trick which may seal its demise. Ask anyone attempting to board an international flight, or open a new factory in China, or get anything done at the United Nations: the world is de-globalizing at a speed almost as astonishing as it integrated. Post-Covid, U.S.-China confrontation is not a choice. It's a reality. The liberal international order is not lamentable. It's already dead.

This was the argument made by Bannon. It had other backers, of course, within both the academy and an emerging foreign policy counter-establishment loathe to repeat the mistakes of the past thirty years. But coming from the former top political advisor to the sitting president of the United States, it was provocative stuff. Bannon articulated a perspective which seemed to be on the tip of the foreign policy world's tongue. And it riled people up. The most fulsome rebuttal to the zeitgeist was perhaps The Jungle Grows Back , tellingly written by Robert Kagan, an Iraq War architect. The peripheral world was dangerous brush; the United States was the machete.

Trumpian nationalism has chugged along for nearly three years since -- stripped, some might say, of its Bannonite flair and intelligence. The most hysterical prophecies of what the president might do -- that he might withdraw from the geriatric North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for instance -- have not come to pass. Trump has howled and roared, true: but so far, his most disruptive foreign policy maneuver has been escalation against Iran.


MPC 3 days ago

It's very good to hear the right getting a little humility in them now and talking less empire, more multilateralism. Trump has been way too concerned with his MAGA personality cult to understand the value of humility.

The world's a big place. The reality is, America first will more and more mean working together with other nations for mutual benefit, and often their gain will indirectly be to our own also.

kouroi MPC 3 days ago
Working more and more, yes. This is why US is undercutting Germany's competitiveness, by blocking a cheap source of energy via NS2...

As Bush said, you are either with us or against us. Nothing has changed and nothing will change, but it will become uglier. If it were to desire multi-polarity, the US would tolerate not only states, like KSA, where the Royals own everything, but also states, like Iran, or Cuba, where the people (through the government/state) owns assets (land and productive facilities). But the US does not tolerate such type of multi-polarity, not open to US "investment" and ownership (bought with fiat money).

Cold War II started in 2007, with Putin. Popcorn & beer lads!

MPC kouroi 3 days ago
It does seem like there's a creeping idea, not just on dissident internet sites now like before, that the Russian rivalry is a luxury of the past. Even the liberals are going to have to reconcile with liberal hegemony not being workable and settle for something less. Owing to distance and mutual interest (common rivals Britain and Germany) Russia and America had a long history of friendship before the Cold war.

I sadly agree about the predatory nature of much of America does. I think it really is a reflection of partially, imperial arrogance, but even moreso a matter of who runs the country. Oligarchy is poorly checked in modern America. Maybe we can hope for a humbled oligarchy, at least.

DUNK Buhari2 2 days ago
Trump is indeed an empty suit and a demagogue, but he ran on a decent nationalist platform (probably thanks to Bannon, who is almost certainly a closeted gay. No joke... a deep-in-the-closet, self-hating gay. The navy can change a man, and he's a fraud in other ways: see Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade"). Trump does have an absurd ego, and he probably figured becoming president would impress Ivanka too.

Also, the Uyghurs are not totally innocent victims... Some of them are US-financed revolutionaries and some of them have committed terrorism: see Godfree Roberts at Unz Review: "China and the Uyghurs" (January 10, 2019) and Ajit Singh at The Grayzone: "Inside the World Uyghur Congress: The US-backed right-wing regime change network seeking the 'fall of China'" (March 5, 2020). Some of our pathetic propagandists make it seem like they're in concentration camps, but there is objective reporting that suggests it's more like job training programs and anti-jihad classes. Absurd lies have certainly been told about North Korea and many other countries, so be skeptical.

kirthigdon 3 days ago
Yeah, let's get that hate on for China - why they're as bad as Russia, Iran and Venezuela put together and there are so many more of them. Especially a lot are available right here in the US and have lots of restaurants that can be boycotted. Not that many Venezuelan restaurants around. Seriously, can Americans get over this childishness? When the US closes down its 800+ overseas bases and withdraws its fleet to its own shores instead of Iran's and China's, then maybe Americans will be entitled to complain about someone else's imperialism.
Collin Reid 3 days ago
Most of anti-China stuff Hawley, much like Trump, claims always feels empty populism for WWC voters.

1) It is reasonable to be against our Middle East endeavors and not be so anti-China.
2) I still don't understand how it is China fault for stealing manufacturing jobs when it is the US private sector that does it. (And Vietnam exist, etc.) So without Charles Koch and Tim Cook behind this trade stuff, it feels like empty populism.
3) The most obvious point on China to me is how little they do use military measures for their 'imperialism.'

One problem with all this populism emptiness, is there is a lot issues with China to work on:
1) This virus could have impact economies in Africa and South America a lot where the nations have to renegotiate their loans to China. I have no idea how this goes but there will be tensions here. Imperialism is tough in the long run.
2) There are nations banding together on China's reaction to the virus and it seems reasonable that US joining them would be more effective than Trump's taunting.
3) To prove Trump administration incompetence, I have no idea how he is not turning this crisis into more medical equipment and drugs manufacturing. (My guess is this both takes a lot of work and frankly a lot of manufacturing plants have risks of spreads so noone wants to invest.)

Feral Finster Collin Reid 3 days ago
Apparently it is now a form of aggression, imperialism, even, to work for lower wages than a comparable American worker.

I can understand some protectionist measures. But acting as if these measures were a response to an unprovoked attack is hyperventilating.

DUNK Collin Reid 2 days ago
Hawley is a "fake populist" according to Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade" and I just saw fake-patriot airhead Pete Hegseth claim China wants to destroy our civilization, on fake populist Tucker Carlson's show. It's well-established that Fox News and the GOP are still neocons and fake patriots... after all, the Trump administration is run by Jared Kushner, a protégé of Rupert Murdoch and Bibi Netanyahu.
dbjm 3 days ago
Hawley's speech on the Senate floor yesterday deserves much more criticism than it gets here. This article from Reason does a good job breaking down the speech and pointing out what's right AND wrong about it:

https://reason.com/2020/05/...

Collin Reid Kessler 2 days ago
What if there is reduced wars and civil wars n the world today than ever. (So say anytime before 1991?) I get all the Middle East & African Wars but look at the rest of the world. When in history have the major West Europe powers not had a major war in 75 years. After issues of post Cold War East Europe is probably more peaceful than ever. Look at South America. In the 1970s the Civil Wars raged in all those nations. Or the Pacific Rim? Japan, China, and other nations are fighting with Military right now.

This is certainly less than perfect but the number of people (per million) dieing in wars and civil wars are at historic lows.

kouroi Collin Reid 2 days ago
The fall of Soviet Union and weakening of Russia allowed US and Western Europe to attack Serbia in 1990s. A stronger Russia wouldn't have allowed that to happen (who's trying to get Crimea from Russia's control now?). But with US aggressiveness and bellicosity (including nuclear posture) at Russia's borders do not bode well.

But it is true, less important people are dying now...

chris chuba 3 days ago
Chinese imperialism? Uh ... other than shaking trees and drumming up fear can I get like one example of that.

Taiwan, part of China since the 1500's and they are have not issued any new threats since 1949.

Hong Kong - stolen from China and now reluctantly given back with lots of conditions. If they deserve the right of independence through referendum I'm all for it as long as we apply this standard uniformly including parts of Texas, San Diego, New Mexico, Arizona, any place that has a large foreign population will do.

DUNK chris chuba 2 days ago
Yeah, "Chinese imperialism" is complete nonsense, just like the claim that they definitely originated the coronavirus, caused Americans to be under house arrest, and caused a depression. In fact, the origin of the virus is far from clear, and it wasn't China who hyped up and exaggerated the danger and wrecked the economy. It was our superficial corporate media and government that did that (perhaps deliberately)... the same people who are desperately trying to deflect blame onto the CCP. The same people who have been mismanaging and ruining America for decades in order to enrich themselves.
Gregtown 3 days ago
Should we all start reading Chomsky books again?

"Neoliberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless."

Sidney Caesar Gregtown 3 days ago • edited
Most people would be well served to read Chomsky a first time.
However, it should be noted, Chomsky's critiques of neoliberalism aren't grounded in nationalism, xenophobia, and racism. So a lot of TAC readers (and especially writers) may be disappointed.
Gregtown Sidney Caesar 3 days ago
Ha...sadly true.

I just pulled On Anarchism off my bookshelf. Time to revisit my early 20's.

Tradcon 3 days ago
Hawley seems like the natural choice for the potential future of the GOP, that is a post-fusionist or post-liberal GOP. However the one thing that worries me is his foreign policy. He talks the talk, but I'm having trouble to see if he walks the walk. As Mills noted he didn't vote to end support for the genocidal war in Yemen, a war that serves purely the interests of Saudi Arabia and not our own. He has criticized David Petraeus before, but its important not to be fooled by just rhetoric. While accepting he'll be better than any Tom Cotton or (god forbid) Nikki Haley in 2024, his foreign policy needs to be examined more until then.
stevek9 3 days ago
Our response to the epidemic was 100% 'made in China'. The entire 'Western World' decided to copy Beijing. If that doesn't establish a new level of leadership for China, I don't know what would. I'm surprised this is not more widely recognized. You can run down the many parallels, including the pathetic photo-op attempt by the West to build those emergency hospitals (Nightingale in the UK, Javits Center, etc. all across the US), which were just to show 'hey we can build hospitals in a few weeks also' ... never mind they could never, and were never used for anything at all.
Kiyoshi01 3 days ago
At this point, Hawley is all talk. Further, much of his talking amounts to little more than expressing resentment. I agree that the US needs to follow a more nationalist pathway, which involved making itself less dependent on its chief geopolitical rival. But accomplishing this is going to require more than bashing China and asserting that cosmopolitan Americans are traitors. At this point, Hawley has no positive program to offer. Giving paid speeches that vilify coastal elites and China is not a political plan.

Further, I agree that we're probably moving away from the universalist order that's guided much of our thinking since the 1990s. But isolationism is not the answer. We need to begin building a multilateral order that takes full account of China's rise as a worthy rival. This means that we need to develop a series of smaller-scale agreements with strategic partners. The TPP is a good example of such an agreement. But where is the call to revive it?

Lastly, I find the article's reference to China's treatment of gays and lesbians to be curious. I'd first note that using the term "homosexual" in reference to people is generally viewed as an offensive slur. Further, China's treatment of gay people isn't so bad, and tends to be better than what Hawley's evangelical supporters would afford. Moreover, China is a multi-ethnic country. It's program in Xinjiang has more to do with maintaining political order than a desire to repress non-Han people.

MPC Kiyoshi01 2 days ago
The general chest puffing nature of the American right makes it hard for them to understand that America might need to work with other countries at a deep level, and not as vassals either.
DUNK MPC 2 days ago
It doesn't seem like they're able to understand anything, or learn anything.
Barry_II Kiyoshi01 11 hours ago
". We need to begin building a multilateral order that takes full account
of China's rise as a worthy rival. This means that we need to develop a
series of smaller-scale agreements with strategic partners. The TPP is a
good example of such an agreement. But where is the call to revive it?"

The thing is that the post-WWII liberal international order was good for things like that.
Trump and the GOP quite deliberately destroyed it. Before that, the US would have the trust of many other governments; now they don't trust the US - even if Biden is elected, the next Trump is on the way.

KevinS 3 days ago • edited
"We benefit if countries that share our opposition to Chinese imperialism -- countries like India and Japan, Vietnam, Australia and Taiwan -- are economically independent of China, and standing shoulder to shoulder with us,"

OK....then can someone explain why Hawley opposed the TPP, which was designed to accomplish just this. The TPP was supposed to create trading relationships between these countries and the United States in the context of an agreement that excluded China. In this instance people like Hawley were advancing China's position and interests (I suspect simply because it was a treaty negotiated under Obama, which apparently was enough to make it bad).

Kiyoshi01 KevinS 3 days ago
Probably because Hawley seems more interested in demagoguery than accomplishing anything productive. Never mind that 95% of the people who voted for him probably couldn't find Japan or Vietnam on a map.
kouroi KevinS 2 days ago
TPP was not geared against China as a blanket thing, as an entire exclusion of China. The perfidy of TPP was that it was against any economic interactions with State Owned Enterprises (didn't mention the origin, didn't have to). The ultimate goal wasn't to isolate China but to force privatization of said SOEs, preferably run from Wall Street.

Private property good and = Democracy; State property bad = Authoritarianism, dictatorship, etc. It is a fallacy here somewhere, cannot really put my finger on it...

calidus 3 days ago
Except this is all lies. On each chance to actually do something Hawley has sided with international corporations, as a good conservative will always do. Fixing globalism will never come form the right, this is all smoke and mirrors for the religious right, aka the rubes. And they are perpetual suckers and will keep buying into this crap as our nation is hollowed out and raided by the rich. And that, is TRUE conservatism.
TheSnark 3 days ago
"Now we must recognize that the economic system designed by Western policy makers at the end of the Cold War does not serve our purposes in this new era," proclaimed Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri. "And it does not meet our needs for this new day." He continued, perhaps too politely: "And we should admit that multiple of its founding premises were in error."

The "error" in the founding premises of the post-WWII economic system was that it assumed that the US would act in a responsible manner. Instead we have run huge budget deficits and borrowed the difference from foreigners, randomly invading other countries, undermined the institutions we set up, bullied smaller countries rather than working with them, and abused our control of the financial system.

No, that old economic system served our interests very well, as long as we respected the institutions we set up and kept our own house in order. We haven't been doing any of that for at least 20 years.

Kiyoshi01 Amicus Brevis 2 days ago
Let's bear in mind that the Republican leader of the Senate married into a wealthy Chinese family that makes its money from hauling Chinese exports to our shores and the shores of other developed nations.

This is all just hollow bravado meant to appeal to the right's nativist base.

Amicus Brevis Kiyoshi01 2 days ago • edited
I am not into the thinking that everyone whose politics I don't support is acting in bad faith. We are talking about the actions of literally millions of people. Accusing this or that person of acting in bad faith because of personal interest is just dirty politics dressed up as perceptiveness. I am not accusing any specific person of acting in bad faith, although some of the people who pushed opening up to China because more business in China would create a class of people who would eventually push for Democracy there, were indeed acting in bad faith. They wanted access to cheap labor with no rights.

Yet, no doubt many of them actually believed the propaganda, because it supposedly happened in South Korea, Taiwan and other places. And especially the ones who switched the line to "globalism" when it was clear that the supposed indigenous pressures for Democracy did not materialize also acted in bad faith. I only assume that some of were because once I understood the rationale of the CCCP it was clear to me that China was radically different, and there is no way that so many of those guys who are smarter and more knowledgeable about political systems than me, did not figure it out. But I am not going to behave as if it the Republicans alone who were pushing either of these two false messages.

phreethink 2 days ago
Criticizing China for "imperialism" is the height of hypocrisy on multiple levels. First, the United States has engaged in economic imperialism, sometimes enforced with military intervention, for a hundred years. Read Smedley Butler's "War is a Racket" if you doubt that. Second, this is the same guy who voted against our proxy war in Yemen. Third, one could very reasonably argue that China is simply applying the lessons it learned at the hands of Western imperialists since 1800s..

It's good that SOME Republicans are at least giving lip service to the idea of bringing back manufacturing in this country. But you have to thank Trump for that, not the GOP establishment. The offshoring of American manufacturing as part of "free trade" was strongly supported (if not led) by the GOP going back to the 1980s.

DUNK phreethink 2 days ago
And check out John Perkins's books ("Confessions of an Economic Hit Man", etc.) for up-to-date information. It's obviously true that criticizing China for "imperialism" is ridiculously hypocritical but people like Senator Hawley know they can get away with it because they understand how propaganda works on the dumbed-down masses.

They understand doublethink, repetition, appeal to patriotism, appeal to racism, appeal to fear, etc. People like Rupert Murdoch do this every day... poorly, but well enough to be effective on a lot of people.

Incidentally, the Republicans may talk about bringing manufacturing back to the US but they're actually planning on shifting it to India (see Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade").

[May 24, 2020] As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse

Kissinger laid out the transition plan in 2014 in his WSJ Op-Ed: Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order . USA Deep State are not the complete idiots that some want to make them seem.
China is still very vulnerable and the USA has multiple levers to force it to suffer.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kurt Zumdieck , May 22 2020 18:24 utc | 4
If Washington lured the Soviet Union into it's demise in Afghanistan, which left that minor empire in shambles - socially, militarily, economically - it was the nuclear conflagration at Chernobyl that put the corpse in the ground.....

(Watch the GREAT HBO five-part tragedy on it and you will see that the brutally heroic response of the Soviets, that saved the Western World at least temporarily, but is the portrait of self-sacrifice)

What was lost in the Soviets fumbling immediate post-explosion cover-up was the trust of their Eastern European satellite countries. That doomed that empire. So much military might was given up in Afghanistan, then on Chernobyl, it was not clear if the Soviets had the wherewithal to put down the rebellions that spread from Czechoslovakia to East Germany and beyond.

Covid-19 will do the same to the American Empire.

As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse.

Loss of trust by the many craven satellites, in America's fractured response, to Covid-19 will put the final nail in its coffin.

A hot-shooting War may come next, but the empire cannot win it.


William Gruff , May 23 2020 14:25 utc | 79

"I will believe my eyes." --oldhippie @76

It would be nice if that were so, but it is very unlikely.

"So tired of reading propaganda."

Is that why you regurgitate it onto forums? Kinda like purging the system, eh?

If you are going to be judging China's economic health by their pollution levels then in the future you will find yourself convinced that they have never recovered, even when it becomes inescapably obvious that they have. The fact is that China's pollution levels are never going back to 2019 levels, but that has nothing to do with their economic health.

It really never ceases to amaze me how deeply rooted and pervasive the delusions and sense of exceptionality is in America. It is woven into the thinking, from the lowest levels to the very top of their thoughts, of even the very most intelligent Americans. It is apparently a phenomenon that operates at an even deeper level than mass media brainwashing, as it seems it was just as much a problem in every empire in history. That is, I am sure citizens of the Roman Empire had the same blinding biases embedded deep below their consciousness. I guess Marx was entirely correct to say that consciousness arises from material conditions, and being citizen of an empire must be one of those material conditions that gives rise to this all-pervasive and unconscious sense of exceptionality.

oldhippie , May 23 2020 11:47 utc | 71
Go over to EOSDIS Worldview and take a look at satellite photos of China. Simple toggle in lower left hand corner will take you to photos of same day, earlier years. Or any day in satellite record.

The skies over China are clear. Chinese industry is not back at work. It may be that China at 50% or even at 20% is a manufacturing powerhouse compared to a crumbling US. But until China is back at work the thread so far is about the historical situation six months ago.

Xi used to do elaborately staged state appearances with well planned camera angles, fabulous lighting, pomp and circumstance. He enjoyed the trappings of power and knew how to use the trappings of power. Hasn't done that kind of state appearance since January.

Paul , May 23 2020 12:47 utc | 72
The Empire has no respect for international agreements, laws or anything that interferes with maintaining US global hegemony.
lizzie dw , May 23 2020 12:55 utc | 73
China and the US are so different. The citizens of China cannot vote. The population's movements are micromanaged by the government. This is not the case here (yet). And I hope it is never the case. I agree with the premise that there are those in our government who are living in a dream of the past and that is over, unless we want to destroy the world. But China's government is so repressive. The rules must be obeyed. We seem to be compliant so far of some of our government officials stepping over the bounds allowed by our Constitution, due to the fear of C-19 engendered by the deep state (aka the bsmsm). But we will not do that forever and our government cannot just start shooting big crowds of us as they can and have done in China. Theirs is all top down rule, which is not the case here. Also, although it is probably heretical to say this I am glad that the US has many cases of C-19. We will eventually get herd immunity. IMO, China can lock down as many millions of citizens as they wish; they cannot stop this virus and as time goes by they will have as many deaths and as many cases as everybody else. Well, that is off the topic of the article. In the end I agree that we are fighting weird battles we can never win and we citizens need to keep informing our government employees that we just want to trade and make money, not threaten companies and countries and lose money.

[Jan 22, 2020] The End Of US Military Dominance Unintended Consequences Forge A Multipolar World Order

Notable quotes:
"... The decision to invade Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001, while declaring an "axis of evil" to be confronted that included nuclear-armed North Korea and budding regional hegemon Iran, can be said to be the reason for many of the most significant strategic problems besetting the U.S.. ..."
"... The U.S. often prefers to disguise its medium- to long-term objectives by focusing on supposedly more immediate and short-term threats. Thus, the U.S.'s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) and its deployment of the Aegis Combat System (both sea- and land-based) as part of the NATO missile defense system, was explained as being for the purposes of defending European allies from the threat of Iranian ballistic missiles. ..."
"... As was immediately clear to most independent analysts as well as to President Putin , the deployment of such offensive systems are only for the purposes of nullifying the Russian Federation's nuclear-deterrence capability . Obama and Trump faithfully followed in the steps of George W. Bush in placing ABM systems on Russia's borders, including in Romania and Poland. ..."
"... There is no defense against such Russian systems as the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which serves to restore the deterrence doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD), which in turn serves to ensure that nuclear weapons can never be employed so long as this "balance of terror" exists. Moscow is thus able to ensure peace through strength by showing that it is capable of inflicting a devastating second strike with regard regard for Washington's vaunted ABM systems. ..."
"... In addition to the continued economic and military pressure placed on Iran, one of the most immediate consequences of the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, better known as the Iran nuclear deal) has been Tehran being forced to examine all options. Although the country's leaders and political figures have always claimed that they do not want to develop a nuclear weapon, stating that it is prohibited by Islamic law, I should think that their best course of action would be to follow Pyongyang's example and acquire a nuclear deterrent to protect themselves from U.S. aggression. ..."
"... Once again, Washington has ended up shooting itself in the foot by inadvertently encouraging one of its geopolitical opponents to behave in the opposite manner intended. Instead of stopping nuclear proliferation in the region, the U.S., by scuppering of the JCPOA, has only encouraged the prospect of nuclear proliferation. ..."
"... Trump's short-sightedness in withdrawing from the JCPOA is reminiscent of George W. Bush's withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. By triggering necessary responses from Moscow and Tehran, Washington's actions have only ended up leaving it at a disadvantage in certain critical areas relative to its competitors. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Starting from the presidency of George W. Bush to that of Trump, the U.S. has made some missteps that not only reduce its influence in strategic regions of the world but also its ability to project power and thus impose its will on those unwilling to genuflect appropriately .

Some examples from the recent past will suffice to show how a series of strategic errors have only accelerated the U.S.'s hegemonic decline.

ABM + INF = Hypersonic Supremacy

The decision to invade Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001, while declaring an "axis of evil" to be confronted that included nuclear-armed North Korea and budding regional hegemon Iran, can be said to be the reason for many of the most significant strategic problems besetting the U.S..

The U.S. often prefers to disguise its medium- to long-term objectives by focusing on supposedly more immediate and short-term threats. Thus, the U.S.'s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) and its deployment of the Aegis Combat System (both sea- and land-based) as part of the NATO missile defense system, was explained as being for the purposes of defending European allies from the threat of Iranian ballistic missiles. This argument held little water as the Iranians had neither the capability nor intent to launch such missiles.

As was immediately clear to most independent analysts as well as to President Putin , the deployment of such offensive systems are only for the purposes of nullifying the Russian Federation's nuclear-deterrence capability . Obama and Trump faithfully followed in the steps of George W. Bush in placing ABM systems on Russia's borders, including in Romania and Poland.

Following from Trump's momentous decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), it is also likely that the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) will also be abandoned, creating more global insecurity with regard to nuclear proliferation.

Moscow was forced to pull out all stops to develop new weapons that would restore the strategic balance, Putin revealing to the world in a speech in 2018 the introduction of hypersonic weapons and other technological breakthroughs that would serve to disabuse Washington of its first-strike fantasies.

Even as Washington's propaganda refuses to acknowledge the tectonic shifts on the global chessboard occasioned by these technological breakthroughs, sober military assessments acknowledge that the game has fundamentally changed.

There is no defense against such Russian systems as the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle, which serves to restore the deterrence doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD), which in turn serves to ensure that nuclear weapons can never be employed so long as this "balance of terror" exists. Moscow is thus able to ensure peace through strength by showing that it is capable of inflicting a devastating second strike with regard regard for Washington's vaunted ABM systems.

In addition to ensuring its nuclear second-strike capability, Russia has been forced to develop the most advanced ABM system in the world to fend off Washington's aggression. This ABM system is integrated into a defensive network that includes the Pantsir, Tor, Buk, S-400 and shortly the devastating S-500 and A-235 missile systems. This combined system is designed to intercept ICBMs as well as any future U.S. hypersonic weapons

The wars of aggression prosecuted by George W. Bush, Obama and Trump have only ended up leaving the U.S. in a position of nuclear inferiority vis-a-vis Russia and China. Moscow has obviously shared some of its technological innovations with its strategic partner, allowing Beijing to also have hypersonic weapons together with ABM systems like the Russian S-400.

No JCPOA? Here Comes Nuclear Iran

In addition to the continued economic and military pressure placed on Iran, one of the most immediate consequences of the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, better known as the Iran nuclear deal) has been Tehran being forced to examine all options. Although the country's leaders and political figures have always claimed that they do not want to develop a nuclear weapon, stating that it is prohibited by Islamic law, I should think that their best course of action would be to follow Pyongyang's example and acquire a nuclear deterrent to protect themselves from U.S. aggression.

While this suggestion of mine may not correspond with the intentions of leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the protection North Korea enjoys from U.S. aggression as a result of its deterrence capacity may oblige the Iranian leadership to carefully consider the pros and cons of following suit, perhaps choosing to adopt the Israeli stance of nuclear ambiguity or nuclear opacity, where the possession of nuclear weapons is neither confirmed nor denied. While a world free of nuclear weapons would be ideal, their deterrence value cannot be denied, as North Korea's experience attests.

While Iran does not want war, any pursuit of a nuclear arsenal may guarantee a conflagration in the Middle East. But I have long maintained that the risk of a nuclear war (once nuclear weapons have been acquired) does not exist , with them having a stabilizing rather than destabilizing effect, particularly in a multipolar environment.

Once again, Washington has ended up shooting itself in the foot by inadvertently encouraging one of its geopolitical opponents to behave in the opposite manner intended. Instead of stopping nuclear proliferation in the region, the U.S., by scuppering of the JCPOA, has only encouraged the prospect of nuclear proliferation.

Trump's short-sightedness in withdrawing from the JCPOA is reminiscent of George W. Bush's withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. By triggering necessary responses from Moscow and Tehran, Washington's actions have only ended up leaving it at a disadvantage in certain critical areas relative to its competitors.

The death of Soleimani punctures the myth of the U.S. invincibility

I wrote a couple of articles in the wake of General Soleimani's death that examined the incident and then considered the profound ramifications of the event in the region.

What seems evident is that Washington appears incapable of appreciating the consequences of its reckless actions. Killing Soleimani was bound to invite an Iranian response; and even if we assume that Trump was not looking for war (I explained why some months ago), it was obvious to any observer that there would be a response from Iran to the U.S.'s terrorist actions.

The response came a few nights later where, for the first time since the Second World War, a U.S. military base was subjected to a rain of missiles (22 missiles each with a 700kg payload). Tehran thereby showed that it possessed the necessary technical, operational and strategic means to obliterate thousands of U.S. and allied personnel within the space of a few minutes if it so wished, with the U.S. would be powerless to stop it.

U.S. Patriot air-defense systems yet again failed to do their job, reprising their failure to defend Saudi oil and gas facilities against a missile attack conducted by Houthis a few months ago.

We thus have confirmation, within the space of a few months, of the inability of the U.S. to protect its troops or allies from Houthi, Hezbollah and Iranian missiles. Trump and his generals would have been reluctant to respond to the Iranian missile attack knowing that any Iranian response would bring about uncontrollable regional conflagration that would devastate U.S. bases as well as oil infrastructure and such cities of U.S. allies as Tel Aviv, Haifa and Dubai.

After demonstrating to the world that U.S. allies in the region are defenseless against missile attacks from even the likes of the Houthis, Iran drove home the point by conducting surgical strikes on two U.S. bases that only highlights the disconnect between the perception of U.S. military invincibility and the reality that would come in the form of a multilayered missile conflict.

Conclusion

Washington's diplomatic and military decisions in recent years have only brought about a world world that is more hostile to Washington and less inclined to accept its diktats, often being driven instead to acquire the military means to counter Washington's bullying. Even as the U.S. remains the paramount military power, its ineptitude has resulted in Russia and China surpassing it in some critical areas, such that the U.S. has no chance of defending itself against a nuclear second strike, with even Iran having the means to successfully retaliate against the U.S. in the region.

As I continue to say, Washington's power largely rests on perception management helped by the make-believe world of Hollywood. The recent missile attacks by Houthis on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities and the Iranian missile attack a few days ago on U.S. military bases in Iraq (none of which were intercepted) are like Toto drawing back the curtain to reveal Washington's military vulnerability. No amount of entreaties by Washington to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain will help.

The more aggressive the U.S. becomes, the more it reveals its tactical, operational and strategic limits, which in turn only serves to accelerate its loss of hegemony.

If the U.S. could deliver a nuclear first strike without having to worry about a retaliatory second strike thanks to its ABM systems, then its quest for perpetual unipolarity could possibly be realistic. But Washington's peer competitors have shown that they have the means to defend themselves against a nuclear first strike by being able to deliver an unstoppable second strike, thereby communicating that the doctrine of mutually assured destruction (MAD) is here to stay. With that, Washington's efforts to maintain its status as uncontested global hegemon are futile.

In a region vital to U.S. interests , Washington does not have the operational capacity to stand in the way of Syria's liberation. When it has attempted to directly impose its will militarily, it has seen as many as 80% of its cruise missiles knocked down or deflected , once again highlighting the divergence between Washington's Hollywood propaganda and the harsh military reality.

The actions of George W. Bush, Obama and Trump have only served to inadvertently accelerate the world's transition away from a unipolar world to a multipolar one. As Trump follows in the steps of his predecessors by being aggressive towards Iran, he only serves to weaken the U.S. global position and strengthen that of his opponents.


Big Sky Country , 1 hour ago link

Up to the election of our current President, I agree that we were bullying for the personal gain of a few and our military was being used as a mercenary force. The current administration is working on getting us out of long term conflicts. What do you think "drain the swamp" means? It is a huge undertaking and need to understand what the "deep state" is all about and their goals.

The death of Soleimani was needed and made the world a safer place. Dr. Janda / Freedom Operation has had several very intriguing presentations on this issue. It is my firm belief that there is a worldwide coalition to make the world a better and safer place. If you want to know about the "deep state" try watching: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cYZ8dUgPuU

Roacheforque , 2 hours ago link

All mostly true, but the constant drone of this type of article gets old, as the comments below attest. We really don't need more forensic analysis by the SCF, what we need is an answer to America's dollar Imperialism problem. But we'll never get it, just as England never got an answer to it's pound Imperialism problem.

I like Tulsi Gabbard, but she can never truly reveal the magnitude of the dollar Imperialism behind her "stop these endless wars" sloganism. Besides, she doesn't have the billions required to mount any real successful campaign. Only billionaires like Bloomberg need apply these days.

The Truth is that NO ONE will stand up to Wall Street and it's system of global dollar corporatism (from which Bloomberg acquired his billions, and to which the USG is bound). It's suicide to speak the truth to the masses. The dollar must die of its own disease.

Trump is America's Chemo. The cure nearly as bad as the cancer, but the makers of it have a vested interest in its acceptance.

messystateofaffairs , 3 hours ago link

General Bonespur murders a genuine military man from the comfort of his golf course. America is still dangerous, Pinky might be tired but the (((Brain))) is working feverishly on solutions for the jaded .

msamour , 2 hours ago link

There has been a perception in the last 25 years that the US could win a nuclear war. This perception is extremely dangerous as it invites the US armed forces to commit atrocities and think they can get away with it (they are for now). The world opinion has turned, but the citizens of the United States of America are not listening.

If the US keeps going down the path they are currently on, they are ensuring that war will eventually reach its coast.

Jazzman , 4 hours ago link

To challenge the US Empire the new Multipolar World is focused on a two-pronged strategy:

1. Nullifying the US nuclear first strike (at will) as part of the current US military doctrine - accomplished (for a decade maybe).
2. Outmaneuvering the US petrodollar in trade, the tool to control the global fossil fuel resources on the planet - in progress.

What makes 2.) decisive is that the petrodollar as reserve currency is the key to recycle the US federal budget deficit via foreign investment in U.S. Treasury Bonds (IOUs) by the central banks, thus enabling the global military presence and power projection of the US military empire.

rtb61 , 4 hours ago link

All their little plots and schemes failed, as corrupt arsehole after corrupt arsehole stole the funding from those plots and schemes to fill their own pockets. They also put the most corrupt individuals they could find into power, so as much as possible could be stolen and voila, everywhere they went, everything collapsed, every single time.

Totally and utterly ludicrous decades, of not punishing failure after failure has resulted in nothing but more failure, like, surprise, surprise, surprise.

Routine failures have forced other nation to go multipolar or just rush straight to global economic collapse as a result of out of control US corruption. Russia and China did not outsmart the USA, the USA did it entirely to itself by not prosecuting corruption at high levels, even when it failed time and time again, focusing more on how much they could steal, then on bringing what ever plot or scheme to a successful conclusion.

Falcon49 , 4 hours ago link

The use of the terms "Unintended Consequences", shortsightedness, mistakes, stupidity, or ignorance provides the avenue to transfer or divert the blame. It excuses it away as bad decisions so that the truth and those responsible are never really exposed and held accountable. The fact is, these actions were not mistakes or acts of shortsightedness...they were deliberate and planned and the so-called "unintended consequences" were actually intended and part of their plan. Looking back and linking the elites favorite process to drive change (problem, reaction, solution)...one can quickly make the connection to many of the so-called "unintended consequences" as they are very predictable results their actions. It becomes very clear that much of what has occurred over the last few decades has been deliberate with planned/intended outcomes.

mike_1010 , 6 hours ago link

I think the biggest advantage USA used to have was that they claimed to stand for Freedom and Democracy. And for a time, many people believed them. That's partly why the USSR fell apart, and for a time USA had a lot of goodwill among ordinary Russians.

But US political leaders squandered this goodwill when they used NATO to attack Yugoslavia against Russia's objections and expanded NATO towards Russia's borders. This has been long forgotten in USA. But many ordinary Russians still seethe about these events. This was the turning point for them that motivated them to support Putin and his rebuilding of Russia's military.

When you have goodwill among your potential competitors, then they don't have much motivation to increase their capabilities against you. This was the situation USA was in after the USSR fell apart. But USA squandered all of this goodwill and motivated the Russians to do what they did.

And now, USA under Trump has done something like this with China. USA used to have a lot of goodwill among the ordinary Chinese. But now this is gone as a result of US tariffs, sanctions, and its support for separatism in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Now, the Chinese will be as motivated as the Russians to do their best at promoting their interests at the expense of USA. And together with Russia, they have enough people and enough natural resources to do more than well against USA and its allies.

I think USA could've maintained a lot more influence around the world through goodwill with ordinary people, than through sanctions, threats, and military attacks. If USA had left Iraq under Saddam Hussein alone, then Iran wouldn't have had much influence in there. And if USA had left Iran alone, then the young people there might've already rebelled against their strict Islamic rule and made their government more friendly with USA.

Doing nothing, except business and trade, would've left USA in a much better position, than the one USA is in now.

Now USA is bankrupting itself with unsustainable military spending and still falling behind its competitors. USA might still have the biggest economy in the world in US Dollar terms. But this doesn't take into account the cost of living and purchasing parity. With purchasing parity taken into account, China now has a bigger economy than that of USA. Because internally, they can manufacture and buy a lot more for the same amount of money than USA can. A lot of US military spending is on salaries, pensions, and healthcare of its personnel. While such costs in Russia and China are comparatively small. They are spending most of their money on improving and building their military technology. That's why in the long run, USA will probably fall behind even more.

abodasho , 4 hours ago link

The Anglos in the U.S. are not from there and are imposters who are claiming characteristics and a culture that doesn't belong to them. They're using it as a way to hide from scrutiny, so you blame "Americans", when its really them. That's why there's such a huge disconnect between stated values and actions. The values belong to another group of people, TRUE Americans, while the actions belong to Anglos, who have a history of aggressive and forced, irrational violence upon innocents.

mike_1010 , 3 hours ago link

It's true that ordinary people are often different from their government, including in Russia, in China, in Iran, in USA, and even in Nazi Germany in the past.

But the people in such a situation are usually powerless and unable to influence their government. So, their difference is irrelevant in the way their government behaves and alienates people around the world.

USA is nominally a democracy, where the government is controlled by the people. But in reality, the people are only a ceremonial figurehead, and the real power is a small minority of rich companies and individuals, who fund election campaigns of politicians.

That's why for example most Americans want to have universal healthcare, just like all other developed countries have. But most elected politicians from both major parties won't even consider this idea, because their financial donors are against it. And if the people are powerless even within their own country, then outside with foreigners, they have even less influence.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/most-americans-now-support-medicare-for-all-and-free-college-tuition.html

MalteseFalcon , 2 hours ago link

The USA completely squandered their "soft" power.

nuerocaster , 7 hours ago link

Anyone interested in the real story?

1. Nation Building? It worked with Germany and Japan, rinse and repeat. So what if it's comparing apples to antimatter?

2. US won the Cold War? So make the same types of moves made during Reagan adm? The real reason the Soviet Empire collapsed was because it was a money losing empire while the US was a money making empire. Just review the money pits they invested in.

3. Corruption? That was your grandfather's time. The US has been restructured. Crime Syndicate and Feudal templates are the closest. Stagnation and decline economically and technologically are inevitable.

4. Evaluating the competition is problematic. However perhaps the most backward and regressive elements in this society are branding themselves as progressive and getting away with it. That can't work.

[Dec 10, 2019] Those geriatric crazies like Pelosi, or Hillary, or completly corrupt, bought by lobbies politicos like Schumer or Schiff, and their stooges like "linguist" Ciaramella, "politruk", master of arts in Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian studies Vindman, or Soros-connected rabid neocon Fiona Hill do not know what seven minutes on launch means

They poisoned with the USA with Russophobia for decades to come, and that really increases the risk of nuclear confrontation, which would wipe out all this jerks, but also mass of innocent people.
Notable quotes:
"... The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5. Not holding my breath I am afraid. ..."
"... Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions). ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm GMT

O.K.

I was, actually, thinking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pershing_II#Protests Or, just follow this trend of "who has a bigger dick" as it is.

Sooner or later you'll have this, IMHO: Reaction time 7 minutes . You know, decision-making time to say "launch" or not. The decision-maker in the White House, Downing Street and Elysees Palace either a geriatric or one of this new multiracial breed. Just think about those people

Add to that the level of overall expertise by the crews manning those systems, its maintenance etc. Add increased automation of some parts of the launch process with hardware/software as it's produced now (you know, quality control etc.).

It will take a miracle not to have that launch sooner or later. Not big, say .80 KT. What happens after that is anybody's guess. Mine, taking the second point from the fourth paragraph .a big bang.

The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5.
Not holding my breath I am afraid.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Anon [138] Disclaimer , says: December 10, 2019 at 9:30 pm GMT
@peterAUS The rational actor false supposition has it that the biologics can't be used because they don't recognize friend from foe.

Rational actors? Where? Anthrax via the US mail.

One rational actor point of view is that you have to be able to respond to anything. Anything. In a measured or escalating response. Of course biologics are being actively pursued to the hilt. Just like you point out about Marburg.

But, the view from above is that general panic in the population cannot be allowed, and so all biologics have to be down played. "of course we would never do anything like that, it would be insane to endanger all of humanity". Just like nukes. So professors pontificate misdirection, and pundits punt.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis. "We only want the fear that results in more appropriations. Not the fear that sinks programs." Don't generate new Church commissions. Hence the fine line. some fear yes, other fears, no.

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 10:23 pm GMT
@Anon

Rational actors? Where?

Well Washington D.C.
Hahahahaha sorry, couldn't resist.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis.

I don't.

But I also probably forgot more about nuclear war than most of readers here will ever know. And chemical, when you think about it; had a kit with atropine on me all the time in all exercises. We didn't practice much that "biologics" stuff, though. We knew why, then. Same reason for today. Call it a "stoic option" to own inevitable demise.

Now, there is a big difference between the age of those protests I mentioned and today. The Internet. The access to information people, then, simply didn't have.

Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions).

Well, they will care, I am sure. For about ..say in the USA ..several hours, on average.

We here where I am typing from will care for "how to survive the aftermath" .. for two months.Tops.

[Oct 15, 2019] Everything -- even astrophysics -- is subordinated to Mao's warped ideology.

Notable quotes:
"... Hitler's Third Reich was obliterated by massive military force in 1945. It lasted just 12 years. Stalin's Soviet Union bore the brunt of beating Hitler, but later succumbed to economic sclerosis. It fell apart in 1991, after 68 years. The mystery of the People's Republic of China is that it is still with us. ..."
Oct 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 13, 2019 at 06:28 AM

(It's Niall.)

China's three-body problem
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/10/07/china-three-body-problem/p5xK2i5zBWdkkor0JRyjwM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Niall Ferguson - October 7

The 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China was not a birthday I felt like celebrating. As Dutch historian Frank Dikötter has shown in his searing three-volume history of the Mao Zedong era, the Communist regime claimed the lives of tens of millions of people: 2 million in the revolution between 1949 and 1951, another 3 million by the end of the 1950s, up to 45 million in the man-made famine known as the "Great Leap Forward," and yet more in the mayhem of the Cultural Revolution, Mao's campaign against the intelligentsia, which escalated into a civil war.

Hitler's Third Reich was obliterated by massive military force in 1945. It lasted just 12 years. Stalin's Soviet Union bore the brunt of beating Hitler, but later succumbed to economic sclerosis. It fell apart in 1991, after 68 years. The mystery of the People's Republic of China is that it is still with us.

Now, I could give you a rather boring explanation of why I think China's bid to "catch up and surpass" (ganchao) the United States will fail. But maybe a more interesting answer can be found in Liu Cixin's astonishing 2008 novel, "The Three-Body Problem," which I read for the first time last week.

The problem of the title is introduced to the reader -- and to the nanotechnology scientist Wang Miao, one of the central characters -- as a virtual reality game, set in a strange, distant world with three suns rather than the familiar one. The mutually perturbing gravitational attractions of the three suns prevent this planet from ever settling into a predictable orbit with regular days, nights, and seasons. It has occasional "stable eras," during which civilization can advance, but with minimal warning, these give way to "chaotic eras" of intense heat or cold that render the planet uninhabitable The central conceit of Liu's novel is that China's history has the same pattern as the three-body problem: periods of stability always end with periods of chaos -- what the Chinese call dong luan. The other key character in the book is Ye Wenjie, who sees her father, a professor at Tsinghua University, beaten to death by a gang of teenage Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.

Banished from Beijing to a labor camp in benighted rural backwater, Ye is rescued when she is given a lowly job in a mysterious observatory known as Red Coast. But nothing can undo the emotional damage of witnessing her father's murder. Nor can she escape the chaos of Communism. She watches in horror as the entire area around the observatory is deforested. Everything -- even astrophysics -- is subordinated to Mao's warped ideology.

Disillusioned completely by the madness of mankind -- a sentiment reinforced by a chance meeting with an American environmentalist -- Ye stumbles on a way of beaming a message from Earth deep into space by bouncing it off the sun. When, after years of empty noise, a clear message is received in reply, she does not hesitate. Even though the message is a warning not to communicate with Trisolaris -- the name of a real planet with three suns -- Ye sends another message, ensuring that the Trisolarians can locate Earth, and initiate their long-planned relocation.

Rehabilitated in the political thaw that follows Mao's death, Ye Wenjie returns to Beijing, following in her father's footsteps as a physics professor. But she leads a double life, for she also becomes the Commander of the Earth-Trisolaris Movement, a radically misanthropic organization dedicated to helping the Trisolarians conquer earth. Acute readers will notice that this group's ideology is a subtle parody of Maoism.

"Start a global rebellion!" they shout. "Long live the spirit of Trisolaris! We shall persevere like the stubborn grass that resprouts after every wildfire! ... Eliminate human tyranny!"

Little do they know that the Trisolarians are even worse than humans. As one of the aliens points out to their leader, because of their world's utter unpredictability, "Everything is devoted to survival. To permit the survival of the civilization as a whole, there is almost no respect for the individual. Someone who can no longer work is put to death. Trisolarian society exists under a state of extreme authoritarianism." Life for the individual consists of "monotony and desiccation." That sounds a lot like Mao's China.

There is one scene in "The Three-Body Problem" that sticks in the mind. An adult and a child stand looking at the grave of a Red Guard killed during the factional battles that raged during the Cultural Revolution. "Are they heroes?" asks the child. The adult says no. "Are they enemies?" The adult again says no. "Then who are they?" The adult replies: "History."

True, the hero of the story is the foul-mouthed, chain-smoking Beijing cop Shi Qiang. Chinese readers doubtless relish the scene when he lectures a pompous American general about how best to save the world.

But the deeper meaning of the book is surely that Trisolaris is China. The three bodies in contention are not suns but classes: rulers, intellectuals, masses. Right now, China is in one of its stable phases. But, as the contending forces shift, chaos will sooner or later return. Perhaps it already has, in Hong Kong.

If it spreads, I -- and history -- will win that bet.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , October 13, 2019 at 06:41 AM
The Three-Body Problem is a hard science fiction novel by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin. It is the first novel of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy, but Chinese readers generally refer to the whole series by the title of this first novel. The second and third novels in the trilogy are titled The Dark Forest and Death's End. The title of the first novel refers to the three-body problem in orbital mechanics. ...

The English translation by Ken Liu was published by Tor Books in 2014. It was the first Asian novel ever to win a Hugo Award for Best Novel, in 2015 and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel.

(An amazing trilogy. Inspired by Arthur Clarke (*). Looks like Niall has read the first book.)

* 'The Songs of Distant Earth' is a 1986 science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, based upon his 1958 short story of the same title. He stated that it was his favourite of all his novels. ... The novel tells of a utopian human colony in the far future that is visited by travellers from a doomed Earth, as the Sun has gone nova. The Songs of Distant Earth explores apocalyptic, atheistic, and utopian ideas, as well as the effects of long-term interstellar travel and extra-terrestrial life. (Wikipedia)

('Songs' is optimistic; 'Remembrance of
Earth's Past is not.)

[Sep 03, 2019] Wallerstein on China

Notable quotes:
"... Can China then depend on widening internal demand to maintain its global edge? There are two reasons why not. The present authorities worry that a widening middle stratum could jeopardize their political control and seek to limit it.[a] ..."
"... The second reason, more important, is that much of the internal demand is the result of reckless borrowing by regional banks, which are facing an inability to sustain their investments. If they collapse, even partially, this could end the entire economic edge[b] of China. ..."
Sep 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

From Wallerstein's site, " What About China? " (2017):

A structural crisis is chaotic. This means that instead of the normal standard set of combinations or alliances that were previously used to maintain the stability of the system, they constantly shift these alliances in search of short-term gains. This only makes the situation worse. We notice here a paradox – the certainty of the end of the existing system and the intrinsic uncertainty of what will eventually replace it and create thereby a new system (or new systems) to stabilize realities .

Now, let us look at China's role in what is going on. In terms of the present system, China seems to be gaining much advantage. To argue that this means the continuing functioning of capitalism as a system is basically to (re)assert the invalid point that systems are eternal and that China is replacing the United States in the same way as the United States replaced Great Britain as the hegemonic power. Were this true, in another 20-30 years China (or perhaps northeast Asia) would be able to set its rules for the capitalist world-system.

But is this really happening? First of all, China's economic edge, while still greater than that of the North, has been declining significantly. And this decline may well amplify soon, as political resistance to China's attempts to control neighboring countries and entice (that is, buy) the support of faraway countries grows, which seems to be occurring.

Can China then depend on widening internal demand to maintain its global edge? There are two reasons why not. The present authorities worry that a widening middle stratum could jeopardize their political control and seek to limit it.[a]

The second reason, more important, is that much of the internal demand is the result of reckless borrowing by regional banks, which are facing an inability to sustain their investments. If they collapse, even partially, this could end the entire economic edge[b] of China.

In addition, there have been, and will continue to be, wild swings in geopolitical alliances. In a sense, the key zones are not in the North, but in areas such as Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, and southeastern Europe, all of them pursuing their own roles by a game of swiftly and repeatedly changing sides. The bottom line is that, though China plays a very big role in the short run, it is not as big a role as China would wish and that some in the rest of the world-system fear. It is not possible for China to stop the disintegration of the capitalist system. It can only try to secure its place in a future world-system.

As far as Wallerstein's bottom line: The proof is in the pudding. That said, there seems to be a tendency to regard Xi as all-powerful. IMNSHO, that's by no means the case, not only because of China's middle class, but because of whatever China's equivalent of deplorables is. The "wild swings in geopolitical alliances" might play a role, too; oil, Africa's minerals.

NOTES [a] I haven't seen this point made elsewhere. [b] Crisis, certainly. "Ending the entire economic edge"? I'm not so sure.

[Jun 27, 2019] Containment Plan How Trump Can Challenge China s Rising Power

This is just think tank swamp vapor. No real analysis, no real recommendation on adaption of the USA to the collapse of global neoliberal system (aka the USA empire)
Jun 27, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

At the heart of the alignment between China and Russia is their shared interest in undermining U.S. influence globally. The two countries are united in their mutual displeasure with the United States and the U.S.-dominated international order that they feel disadvantages them. But while Russia and China may have initially banded together in discontent, their repeated engagement on areas of mutual interest is fostering a deeper and enduring partnership.

It is clear that China will pose the greatest challenge to U.S. interests for the foreseeable future, but Beijing's increasing collaboration with Moscow will amplify that challenge.

... ... ...

Washington must come to terms with this China-Russia alignment and work to address and manage it. To contain the depth of alignment, Washington must look for opportunities to strain the seams in the Russia-China relationship. Russia and China may be drawing closer, but their interests -- and especially their approaches -- are not identical. Russia and China compete in the Middle East, for example, for military sales and nuclear energy deals. And their very different approaches to Europe could be a source of strain. In communicating with Beijing, Washington should underscore how Russian interference in these countries could generate instability that threatens China's growing economic interests.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is focused on combating China's unfair economic practices, a worthy undertaking. But any trade war "victory" will be incomplete if Washington does not address Beijing's challenge, in collaboration with Moscow, to the very fabric of the rules-based order that underpins continued U.S. global leadership and prosperity. Washington will be ineffective if it seeks to go it alone. Pushing back against the illiberal influence of an aligned Russia and China will require the collective heft of Allies and partners. The time is ripe to tackle this issue with America's European Allies. Europe has grown more attuned to -- and concerned about -- the threat that China poses and shares the U.S. imperative to compete with Russia and China.

Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a senior fellow and director of the Center for New American Security's Transatlantic Security Center.


Gerald Newton an hour ago • edited ,

The US has got to stop engaging in undeclared wars. Russia and China sit by as the US squanders trillions fighting undeclared wars.

jrmagtago an hour ago ,

just divide russia and china which is a solution to your problem.

jrmagtago an hour ago ,

just divide russia and china which is a solution to your problem.

rippled 7 hours ago ,

Contents of the article correlate extremely poorly with the title... I don't see even a semblance of a "containment plan" other than a vague outline that US should ask EU countries something as of yet unspecified...

The usual think tank vapour...

GUSSIE91 9 hours ago ,

Putin and Xi will unite in addition of its allies NK, Iran etc due to the US supremacy ....

[Jun 09, 2019] The looming 100-year US-China conflict by Martin Wolf

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies. ..."
"... An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened. ..."
"... The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order. ..."
Jun 04, 2019 | archive.fo
The disappearance of the Soviet Union left a big hole. The "war on terror" was an inadequate replacement. But China ticks all boxes. For the US, it can be the ideological, military and economic enemy many need. Here at last is a worthwhile opponent. That was the main conclusion I drew from this year's Bilderberg meetings.

Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.

Whether it is Donald Trump's organizing principle is less important. The US president has the gut instincts of a nationalist and protectionist. Others provide both framework and details. The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China.

Anybody who believes a rules-based multilateral order, our globalised economy, or even harmonious international relations, are likely to survive this conflict is deluded. The astonishing white paper on the trade conflict , published on Sunday by China, is proof. The -- to me, depressing -- fact is that on many points Chinese positions are right.

The US focus on bilateral imbalances is economically illiterate. The view that theft of intellectual property has caused huge damage to the US is questionable . The proposition that China has grossly violated its commitments under its 2001 accession agreement to the World Trade Organization is hugely exaggerated.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

Accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules, a fact implicitly conceded by its determination to destroy the dispute settlement system .

The US negotiating position vis-à-vis China is that "might makes right". This is particularly true of insisting that the Chinese accept the US role as judge, jury and executioner of the agreement .

A dispute over the terms of market opening or protection of intellectual property might be settled with careful negotiation. Such a settlement might even help China, since it would lighten the heavy hand of the state and promote market-oriented reform.

But the issues are now too vexed for such a resolution. This is partly because of the bitter breakdown in negotiation. It is still more because the US debate is increasingly over whether integration with China's state-led economy is desirable. The fear over Huawei focuses on national security and technological autonomy.

[Neo]liberal commerce is increasingly seen as "trading with the enemy".

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A framing of relations with China as one of zero-sum conflict is emerging. Recent remarks by Kiron Skinner, the US state department's policy planning director (a job once held by cold war strategist George Kennan) are revealing. Rivalry with Beijing, she suggested at a forum organised by New America , is "a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology, and the United States hasn't had that before".

She added that this would be "the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian". The war with Japan is forgotten.

But the big point is her framing of this as a civilizational and racial war and so as an insoluble conflict. This cannot be accidental. She is also still in her job. Others present the conflict as one over ideology and power.

Those emphasising the former point to President Xi Jinping's Marxist rhetoric and the reinforced role of the Communist party . Those emphasising the latter point to China's rising economic might. Both perspectives suggest perpetual conflict.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This is the most important geopolitical development of our era. Not least, it will increasingly force everybody else to take sides or fight hard for neutrality. But it is not only important. It is dangerous. It risks turning a manageable, albeit vexed, relationship into all-embracing conflict, for no good reason. China's ideology is not a threat to liberal democracy in the way the Soviet Union's was. Rightwing demagogues are far more dangerous.

An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened.

Moreover, the rise of China is not an important cause of western malaise. That reflects far more the indifference and incompetence of domestic elites. What is seen as theft of intellectual property reflects, in large part, the inevitable attempt of a rising economy to master the technologies of the day. Above all, an attempt to preserve the domination of 4 per cent of humanity over the rest is illegitimate.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This certainly does not mean accepting everything China does or says. On the contrary, the best way for the west to deal with China is to insist on the abiding values of freedom, democracy, rules-based multilateralism and global co-operation. These ideas made many around the globe supporters of the US in the past.

They still captivate many Chinese people today. It is quite possible to uphold these ideas, indeed insist upon them far more strongly, while co-operating with a rising China where that is essential, as over protecting the natural environment, commerce and peace.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A blend of competition with co-operation is the right way forward. Such an approach to managing China's rise must include co-operating closely with like-minded allies and treating China with respect.

The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order.

Today's attack on China is the wrong war, fought in the wrong way, on the wrong terrain. Alas, this is where we now are.

martin.wolf@ft.com

[May 23, 2019] Why Trump s Huawei Ban Is Unlikely To Persist

Notable quotes:
"... However, nothing in the actual piece talks about security concerns. (I point this out because I perceive a trend towards such misleading summaries and headlines which contradict what the actual reporting says.) ..."
"... These companies do not have security concerns over Huawei. But the casual reader, who does not dive down into the actual piece, is left with a false impression that such concerns are valid and shared. ..."
"... South China Morning Post ..."
"... This move by Google-USG is mostly a propaganda warfare move. Huawei doesn't depend on smartphone sales to survive. It's American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge. China is not Japan. ..."
"... Trump's heavy handed move against Huawei will backfire. The optic is unsettling; the US looks to be destroying a foreign competitor because it is winning. ..."
"... Until the reserve currency issue favoring the "exceptional" nation changes, the economic terrorism will continue.. ..."
"... What is funny in all these stories, is that there is little to no Huawei equipment (not the end-user smart phone, home router and stuff, but backbone routers, access equipment,..) anywhere in the US -- they are forbidden to compete. Most telcos are quite happy to sell in the US, as the absence of these Chinese competitors allows for healthy margins, which is no longer true in other markets. ..."
"... The US is trying desperately to quash tech success / innovation introduced by others who are not controlled by (or in partnership with) the US, via economic war, for now just politely called a trade war - China no 1 adversary. ..."
"... Attacking / dissing / scotching trade between one Co. (e.g. Huawei) and the world is disruptive of the usual, conventional, accepted, exchange functioning, and throws a pesky spanner in the works of the system. Revanchard motives, petty targetting, random pot-shots, lead to what? ..."
"... The war against Huawei is only one small aspect within the overall Trade War, which is based on the false premise of US economic strength. Most of the world wants to purchase material things, not financial services which is the Outlaw US Empire's forte and most of the world can easily forego. Trump's Trade War isn't going as planned which will cause him to double-down in a move that will destroy his 2020 hopes. ..."
May 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

However, nothing in the actual piece talks about security concerns. (I point this out because I perceive a trend towards such misleading summaries and headlines which contradict what the actual reporting says.)

The British processor company ARM, which licenses its design to Huawei, cites U.S. export controls as the reason to stop cooperation with Huawei:

The conflict is putting companies and governments around the world in a tough spot, forcing them to choose between alienating the United States or China .

Arm Holdings issued its statement after the BBC reported the firm had told staff to suspend dealings with Huawei.

An Arm spokesman said some of the company's intellectual property is designed in the United States and is therefore " subject to U.S. export controls ."

Additionally two British telecom providers quote U.S. restrictions as reason for no longer buying Huawei smartphones:

BT Group's EE division, which is preparing to launch 5G service in six British cities later this month, said Wednesday it would no longer offer a new Huawei smartphone as part of that service. Vodafone also said it would drop a Huawei smartphone from its lineup. Both companies appeared to tie that decision to Google's move to withhold licenses for its Android operating software from future Huawei phones.

These companies do not have security concerns over Huawei. But the casual reader, who does not dive down into the actual piece, is left with a false impression that such concerns are valid and shared.

That the Trump administration says it has security reasons for its Huawei ban does not mean that the claim is true. Huawei equipment is as good or bad as any other telecommunication equipment, be it from Cisco or Apple. The National Security Agency and other secret services will try to infiltrate all types of such equipment.

After the sudden ban on U.S. entities to export to Huawei, chipmakers like Qualcomm temporarily stopped their relations with Huawei. Google said that it would no longer allow access to the Google Play store for new Huawei smartphones. That will diminish their utility for many users.

The public reaction in China to this move was quite negative. There were many calls for counter boycotts of Apple's i-phones on social media and a general anti-American sentiment.

The founder and CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, tried to counter that. He gave a two hour interview (vid, 3 min excerpt with subtitles) directed at the Chinese public. Ren sounds very conciliatory and relaxed. The Global Times and the South China Morning Post only have short excerpts of what he said. They empathize that Huawei is well prepared and can master the challenge:


Andreas , May 23, 2019 10:00:52 AM | 1

It's really huge, that Huawei may no longer use ARM processors.

Huawei is thus forced to develop it's own processor design and push it into the market.

p , May 23, 2019 10:04:34 AM | 2

@1

I do not believe this is precisely what will happen. Huawei already has its licenses purchased. In addition they could decide to disrespect the IP if this was the case.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:05:39 AM | 3
Huaweis's suppliers in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (ROC), and Britain are examining if they can continue to make business with Huawei, while some have already declared a suspension in cooperation.

The issue is that these non-American companies nonetheless use some American components of technology, and if they proceed they will be sanctioned by the US themselves.

It is the same reason why Russia's Sukhoi did not in the end sell its SSJ-100 airliners to Iran -- East Asian tech companies can hardly be expected to be more gung-ho on defying the US than Russia's leading defense plant......

http://www.checkpointasia.net/big-blow-for-huawei-as-japanese-korean-british-firms-reconsider-or-suspend-cooperation-as-well/

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:10:32 AM | 4
> the Trump administration has created discord where unity is urgently needed

IOW Trump keeps sabotaging USA global integration and keeps steering it into isolation as he long said it should be

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:14:28 AM | 5
@p #2 - Huawei surely has their processors *as of now*.

That - if USA would not ban Huawei (HiSilicon) processors, because of using that ARM technology. Thing is, Huawei would be isolated from next-generation ARM processors. They are locked now in their current generation.

Even Qualcomm today, for what I know, bases their processors on ARM's "default" schemes, instead of doing their development "from scratch", in a totally independent way. It would push for slow but steady decline as "top" smartphone vendor into "el cheapo" niche.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 10:16:54 AM | 6
At the same time Qualcomm would probably be forced to slash prices down for their non-Huawei customers. https://www.zdnet.com/article/qualcomms-licensing-practices-violated-us-antitrust-laws-judge-rules/
Red Ryder , May 23, 2019 10:17:21 AM | 7
Boeing is the counter-part in the contest to destroy Huawei. China has great leverage over Boeing's future. It is the nation with the biggest market now and downstream for 10-20 years. China need planes, thousands of them.

As for Huawei's chief doubting the prowess of the Chinese students, he only needs to look at the rapidity of the conversion of his nations' economy to a 98% digital economy. All that conversion was done by local, entrepreneurial innovators in the software and hardware tech sector. It happened only in China and completely by Chinese young people who had phones and saw the future and made it happen.

It has been Chinese minds building Chinese AI on Chinese Big Data.

Yes, they need Russian technologists and scientists. Those Russian minds in Russia, in Israel, in South Korea are proven difference makers.

The need China now has will meet the solution rapidly. For five years, the Double Helix of Russia-China has been coming closer in education and R&D institutes in both nations. China investors and Chinese sci-tech personnel are in the sci-tech parks of Russia, and Russians are in similar facilities in China. More will happen now that the Economic War against China threatens.

Huawei will have solutions to replace all US components by the end of the year. It will lose some markets. but it will gain hugely in the BRI markets yet to be developed.

In the long run, the US makers will rue the day Trump and his gang of Sinophobes and hegemonists took aim at Huawei and China's tech sector.

oglalla , May 23, 2019 10:40:03 AM | 8
Let's all boycott Most Violent, Biggest Brother tech. Don't buy shit.
vk , May 23, 2019 10:46:37 AM | 9
This move by Google-USG is mostly a propaganda warfare move. Huawei doesn't depend on smartphone sales to survive. It's American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge. China is not Japan.

Besides, it's not like Europe is prospering either. Those post-war days are long gone.

And there's no contradiction between what the CEO said and the Government line: both are approaching the same problem from different points of view, attacking it from different fronts at the same time. "Patriotism" is needed insofar as the Chinese people must be prepared to suffer some hardships without giving up long term prosperity. "Nationalism" ("politics") is toxic insofar as, as a teleological tool, it is a dead end (see Bannon's insane antics): the Chinese, after all, are communists, and communists, by nature, are internationalists and think beyond the artificial division of humanity in Nation-States.

Ptb , May 23, 2019 11:09:35 AM | 0

Ren Zhengfei's attitude is remarkable, considering his daughter ia currently held hostage.
ken , May 23, 2019 11:15:25 AM | 1
Talking Digital and security in the same sentence is laughable.... NOTHING Digital is 'secure',,, never has,,, never will.

Digital destroys everything it touches. At present, excepting for now the low wage States, it is destroying economies ever so slowly one sector at a time. This has nothing to do with security and everything to do with the dying West, especially the USA which is trying desperately to save what's left of its production whether it be 5G, Steel plants or Nord Stream. The West created China when it happily allowed and assisted Western corporations to move the production there in order to hide the inflation that was being created for wars and welfare and now has to deal with the fallout which eventually will be their undoing.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:22:20 AM | 2
A full-blown trade war was probably inevitable, driven by geopolitical concerns as much or more than economics.

One wonders what each of China and US has been doing to prepare. It seems like the answer is "very little" but since it's USA that is driving this bus, I would think that USA would've done more to prepare (than China has).

PS It's not just Boeing. China also supplies the vast majority of rare earth minerals.

Red Ryder , May 23, 2019 11:24:39 AM | 3
@10,

Her captivity and probable imprisonment in the US explain his attitude. She is a high profile pawn. The US must convict her in order to justify what they have done to her so far. She may not serve time, in the US prisons, but she will be branded a guilty person, guilty of violating the Empire's rules (laws).

Imagine Ivanka in the same situation. Her daughter singing in Mandarin would be little help. The Trump Family will be a number one target for equal treatment long after "45" leaves office.

The US Empire is wild with Power. All of that Power is destructive. And all the globe is the battlefield, except USA. But History teaches that this in-equilibrium will not last long.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:26:33 AM | 4
We've seen how Europe caved to US pressure to stop trading with Iran. Now Japan and others are caving to pressure to stop trading with China. There is already pressure and negotiation to stop Nordstream. And all of the above leads to questions about Erdogan's resolve.
alaric , May 23, 2019 11:38:11 AM | 5
Trump's heavy handed move against Huawei will backfire. The optic is unsettling; the US looks to be destroying a foreign competitor because it is winning.

The ramifications of trade war with China (where the supply and manufacturing chain of most consumer electronics is these days) is disruptive. Trump has created uncertainty for many manufacturers since there is Chinese part content is just about everything these days. Some manufacturers might relocate production to the US but most will try to simply decouple from the US entirely.

Exposure to the US is really the problem not exposure to China.

Jackrabbit , May 23, 2019 11:53:44 AM | 8
b: Why Trump's Huawei Ban Is Unlikely To Persist

The trade war with Iran was also unlikely to persist. But it has persisted, and deepened as European poodles pretended to resist and then pretended not to notice that they didn't.

A new Bloomberg opinion piece agrees with that view

No, it doesn't b. You say USA trade war will fail because it lacks international support. Bloomberg says USA should get international support to make it more effective. The difference is that it is highly likely that USA will get international support. It already has support from Japan.

USA has proven that it can effectively manipulate it's poodle allies. Another example is Venezuela where more than two dozen countries recognized Guido only because USA wanted them to.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

It's not Trump but the US Deep State that causes US allies to fall in line. Any analysis that relies on Trump as President is bound to fail as his public persona is manipulated to keep Deep State adversaries (including the US public) off-balance.

Like President's before him, Trump will take the blame (and the credit) until another team member is chosen to replace him in what we call "free and fair elections".

ben , May 23, 2019 11:54:24 AM | 9
Until the reserve currency issue favoring the "exceptional" nation changes, the economic terrorism will continue..
Jeff , May 23, 2019 12:00:34 PM | 0
What is funny in all these stories, is that there is little to no Huawei equipment (not the end-user smart phone, home router and stuff, but backbone routers, access equipment,..) anywhere in the US -- they are forbidden to compete. Most telcos are quite happy to sell in the US, as the absence of these Chinese competitors allows for healthy margins, which is no longer true in other markets.

So the Huawei ban hits first and foremost the US' partners.

bjd , May 23, 2019 12:00:38 PM | 1
@ben (19)

China can only undo the US-exceptionalsim if and when it can visibly project military power. The only way to achieve that is tt has to make great haste in building a few fleets of aircraft carriers, fregats and destroyers, etc. It must build a grand, visibly magnificent Chinese Navy.

ben , May 23, 2019 12:02:59 PM | 2
big time OT alert;

Modi wins in India, another victory for the world oligarchs. Exactly mimicking conditions in the U$A. Media and governmental capture by the uber wealthy...

Noirette , May 23, 2019 12:04:16 PM | 3
(Ignorant of tech aspects.)

The US is trying desperately to quash tech success / innovation introduced by others who are not controlled by (or in partnership with) the US, via economic war, for now just politely called a trade war - China no 1 adversary.

Afaik, the entire smart-phone industry is 'integrated' and 'regulated' by FTAs, the WTO, the patent circuit, the Corps. and Gvmts. who collaborate amongst themselves.

Corps. can't afford to compete viciously because infrastructure, aka more encompassing systems or networks (sic) are a pre-requisite for biz, thus, Gvmts. cooperate with the Corps, and sign various 'partnerships,' etc.

sidebar. Not to mention the essential metals / components provenance, other topic. see

https://bit.ly/2K1pj3d - PDF about minerals in smarphones

Attacking / dissing / scotching trade between one Co. (e.g. Huawei) and the world is disruptive of the usual, conventional, accepted, exchange functioning, and throws a pesky spanner in the works of the system. Revanchard motives, petty targetting, random pot-shots, lead to what?

karlof1 , May 23, 2019 12:05:01 PM | 4
As I wrote in the Venezuela thread, major US corps are already belt tightening by permanently laying off managers, not already cut-to-the-bone production staff, and another major clothing retailer is closing its 650+ stores. And the full impact of Trump's Trade War has yet to be felt by consumers. As Wolff, Hudson and other like-minded economists note, there never was a genuine recovery from 2008, while statistical manipulation hides the real state of the US economy. One thing that cannot be hidden is the waning of revenues collected via taxes which drives the budget deficit--and the shortfall isn't just due to the GOP Congress's tax cuts.

The war against Huawei is only one small aspect within the overall Trade War, which is based on the false premise of US economic strength. Most of the world wants to purchase material things, not financial services which is the Outlaw US Empire's forte and most of the world can easily forego. Trump's Trade War isn't going as planned which will cause him to double-down in a move that will destroy his 2020 hopes.

Arioch , May 23, 2019 12:05:34 PM | 5
@vk #9

> Huawei's phones American market was already small, while China's domestic market is huge

Here is that data, for 2017, outside the paywall: https://imgur.com/a/8bvvX9B

Data for 2019 is probably slightly different, but the trends should keep on. That data also does not separate Android-based phones from non-Android phones. So, segmenting Android into Google and China infrastructures would mean

1) Huawei retains a $152B market - China
2) Huawei retains an unknown share in $87B market - APAC
3) Huawei loses a $163,9B market - all non-China world.

At best Huawei looses 40,7% of world market. That if all APAC population would voluntarily and uniformly drop out of Google services into Huawei/China services (which they would not). At worst Huawei retains 37,7% of the marker (if APAC population would uniformly follow Google, which they would not either).

[Apr 27, 2019] Beijing and Moscow share one very big objective: resist US dominance

Notable quotes:
"... The real test for having an “unprecedentedly high level” relationship would be to coordinate diplomatic campaigns against U.S. policies. Working together they are more likely to split off American allies and friends from unpopular initiatives, such as unilateral sanction campaigns. ..."
"... Lets all mindlessly repeat the platitudes of Thinktankistan entities like CATO... Russian economy is smaller than new York... Russian relies on oil sales and doesn't make anything.... These sock puppets must think we are imbeciles. ..."
"... He's an Atlantacist fool. Senior fellow at the CATO institute, pretty much says it all. His style is to drop the odd truth-bomb (like criticizing the ill-advised NATO expansion and US geopolitical belligerence) but he still sticks to the main planks of Euro-Atlantic narratives. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

...Beijing and Moscow share one very big objective: resist U.S. dominance. Washington expanded NATO up to Russia's borders; America's navy patrols the Asia-Pacific and treats those waters as an American lake. Elsewhere there is no issue upon which Washington fails to sanctimoniously pronounce its opinion and piously attempt to enforce its judgment.

Unfortunately, for quite some time Washington has seemed determined to give both China and Russia good cause for discontent. Instead, in response, Washington should do its best to eliminate behaviors which bring its two most important competitors together. Then the United States wouldn't need to worry what Presidents Putin and Xi were saying to one another .

Thus, Washington has done much to bring its two leading adversaries together. However, hostility is a limited basis for agreement. There is no military alliance, despite Chinese participation in a Russian military exercise last fall. Neither government is interested in going to war with America and certainly not over the other’s grievances. A shared sense of threat could change that, but extraordinarily sustained and maladroit U.S. policies would be required to create that atmosphere.

When the two countries otherwise act for similar purposes, it usually is independently, even competitively, rather than cooperatively. For instance, both are active in Cuba, contra Washington’s long-failed policy of starving the regime into submission. Beijing and Moscow also are both supporting Venezuela’s beleaguered Maduro government. However, China and Russia appear to be focused on advancing their own government’s influence, even against that of the other.

Both nations have a United Nations Security Council veto, though the PRC traditionally has preferred to abstain, achieving little, rather than cast a veto. However, working together they could more effectively reshape allied proposals for UN action. They could do much the same in other multilateral organizations, though usually without having a veto.

The real test for having an “unprecedentedly high level” relationship would be to coordinate diplomatic campaigns against U.S. policies. Working together they are more likely to split off American allies and friends from unpopular initiatives, such as unilateral sanction campaigns. Europe is more likely to cooperate if the PRC, valued for its economic connections, joined Russia, still distrusted for its confrontation with Ukraine and interference in domestic European politics. So far this former communist “axis” has been mostly an inconvenience for the United States, rather than a significant hindrance,

Still, that could change if the Trump administration makes ever more extraordinary assertions of unilateral power. Washington officials appear to sense the possibilities, having periodically whined about cooperation between China and Russia, apparently ill-prepared for any organized opposition to U.S. policies.

... ... ...

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and a former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .


Gary Sellars an hour ago ,

"China appears poised to absorb Russia’s sparsely populated east."

Good Lord, but when does this endless BS end? Seriously, no-one really believes this yet these clowns and fools keep trotting out these absurd canards.

"In a sense, the Putin-Xi meeting was much ado about nothing. The relationship revolves around what they are against, which mostly is the United States. They would have little to talk about other than the latest grievance about America to express or American activity to counter."

Yeah sure... no reason why Putin and Xi wouldn't want to talk about economic links given that Russia-China trade is now over $100B per year equivalent.... a figure reached more than 5 years earlier than Western "experts" had predicted, and which is growing very strongly.

Lets all mindlessly repeat the platitudes of Thinktankistan entities like CATO... Russian economy is smaller than new York... Russian relies on oil sales and doesn't make anything.... These sock puppets must think we are imbeciles.

Yuki 4 hours ago ,

Orwell predicted "It is a warfare of limited aims between combatants who are unable to destroy one another, have no material cause for fighting and are not divided by any genuine ideological difference."

Gary Sellars TPForbes an hour ago ,

He's an Atlantacist fool. Senior fellow at the CATO institute, pretty much says it all. His style is to drop the odd truth-bomb (like criticizing the ill-advised NATO expansion and US geopolitical belligerence) but he still sticks to the main planks of Euro-Atlantic narratives.

[Apr 19, 2019] Yesterday's Country by Fred Reed

Apr 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

China has risen explosively, from being clearly a "Third World" country forty years ago to become a very serious and rapidly advancing competitor to America. Anyone who has seen today's China (I recently spent two weeks there, traveling muchly) will have been astonished by the ubiquitous construction, the quality of planning, the roads and airports and high-speed rail, the sense of confidence and modernity. Compare this with America's rotting and dangerous cities, swarms of homeless people, deteriorating education, antique rail, deindustrialized midlands, loony government, and ahe military sucking blood from the economy like some vast leech, and America will seem yesterday's country. The phrase "national suicide" comes to mind.

A common response to these observations from thunder-thump patriots is the assertion that the Chinese can't invent anything, just copy and steal. What one actually sees is a combination of rapid and successful adoption of foreign technology (see Shanghai maglev below) and, increasingly, cutting edge science and technology. More attention might be in order.

... ... ...

"More Than 510,000 Overseas Students Return to China"

This year. A couple of decades ago, Chinese students in the US often refused to return to a backward and repressive country. It now appears that Asia is where the action is and they want to be part of it.


Anon [372] Disclaimer , says: Website April 18, 2019 at 5:35 pm GMT

Compare this with America's rotting and dangerous cities

Certain parts of the cities are doing better than ever.

The problem of crime and danger is all about blacks.

Anon [372] Disclaimer , says: Website April 18, 2019 at 5:44 pm GMT
All those things you mentioned are micro-innovations, not macro ones.

China hasn't come up with a game-changer like the internet.

But we must keep in mind that most of the West hasn't been all that innovative either. Rather, there have been spurts and sudden explosions followed by little activity.

Look at the Greeks. So creative long long ago but what happened to that fire during Byzantine yrs? And what are Greeks today? And Italians? And Renaissance was mostly about few parts of Northern Italy. Italy made some great films in the 20th century but hasn't been a key player in much of anything.

And most European peoples haven't been all that innovative. It was only pockets of places in UK, France, and Germany mostly in the modern era. What big thing came out of Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and etc? There are surely exceptions, but they weren't major players.

Innovations are about sparks. Sparks of inspiration, ingenuity. But for sparks to catch fire, there has to be dry wood. The problem for East Asia was it tended to suppress spark-mentality and, besides, the wood was wet with tradition and customs.

But then, a nation that defines itself by genius and innovation alone will fail too. Why? Because only a tiny number of people are genius or innovative. Most people are 'lame'. If a nation comes to define itself mainly by wealth, smarts, and genius, then most people will have no value. Also, the top smarties will identify mainly with smarties in other parts of the world than with their own 'lame' folks. This is why Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore are going the wrong path. They've emphasized excellence so much that only elites have value, and these elites feel closer to Western elites than with their own 'lame' masses who are to be replaced like white folks in US and EU.

Anon [372] Disclaimer , says: Website April 18, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@WorkingClass The U.S. is in decline.

US is both going up and down.

Certain sectors are doing better than ever. Also, US continues to be the top magnet of talent around the world.
But in other ways, it is falling apart.

Much of US will end up worse but much of it will get richer.

US will be like a hyper Latin American nation with great riches and great poverty.

Citizen of a Silly Country , says: April 18, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT

A common response to these observations from thunder-thump patriots is the assertion that the Chinese can't invent anything, just copy and steal.

Well, let's do a thought exercise and simply assume that this is 100% true, that the Chinese can't invent anything, just copy, steal and maintain what whites invent. Does that change your opinion that China will overtake the West? It shouldn't.

The West is slowly (at least for now) imploding. We are importing the 3rd world, while we demonize whites. The West has managed to avoid dramatic decline because whites were still a large majority of the citizens. That is changing. Whites are less than 50% of births in the United States. Non-whites account for 1 in 3 births in England. Muslims account for at least 20% of births in France with Sub-Saharan Africans making up between 5% and 10% of the births.

We'll reach a tipping point at some point where things start to noticeably decline. China doesn't need to outdo the West. It just has to avoid declining with the West. If China simply maintains the technology and societal organization of the West while the West falls into tribal warfare – hot or cold – China will become the dominate power.

Citizen of a Silly Country , says: April 18, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@Anon I'd agree with that. But under that scenario, China will still become the dominant world power. We're on our way to be a sort-of Brazil of the North. Well, Brazil doesn't do much on the world stage.

We simply won't have the money or talent to maintain a global military and cultural presence. Then again, we'll probably still be run by Jews, so we'll like remain a presence in the Middle East.

[Feb 21, 2019] The Empire Now or Never by Fred Reed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... When the Soviet Empire collapsed, America appeared poised to establish the first truly world empire. The developed countries were American vassals in effect if not in name, many of them occupied by American troops: Among others, Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Latin America, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The US had by far the dominant economy and the biggest military, controlled the IMF, NATO, the dollar, SWIFT, and enjoyed technological superiority.. Russia was in chaos, China a distant smudge on the horizon. ..."
"... Current foreign policy openly focuses on dominating the planet. The astonishing thing is that some people don't notice. ..."
"... A major purpose of the destruction of Iraq was to get control of its oil and put American forces on the border of Iran, another oil power. The current attempt to starve the Iranians aims at installing a American puppet government. The ongoing coup in Venezuela seeks control of another vast oil reserve. It will also serve to intimidate the rest of Latin America by showing what can happen to any country that defies Washington. Why are American troops in Nigeria? Guess what Nigeria has. ..."
"... America cannot compete with China commercially ..."
"... Beijing's advantages are too great: A huge and growing domestic market, a far larger population of very bright people, a for-profit economy that allows heavy investment both internally and abroad, a stable government that can plan well into the future. ..."
"... Increasingly America's commercial power is as a consumer, not a producer. Washington tells other countries, "If you don't do as we say, we won't buy your stuff." ..."
"... As America's competitiveness declines, Washington resorts to strong-arm tactics. It has no choice. A prime example is the 5G internet, a Very Big Deal, in which Huawei holds the lead. Unable to provide a better product at a better price, Washington forbids the vassals to deal with Huawei–on pain of not buying their stuff. In what appears to be desperation, the Exceptional Nation has actually made a servile Canada arrest the daughter of Huawei's founder. ..."
Feb 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

When the Soviet Empire collapsed, America appeared poised to establish the first truly world empire. The developed countries were American vassals in effect if not in name, many of them occupied by American troops: Among others, Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Latin America, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The US had by far the dominant economy and the biggest military, controlled the IMF, NATO, the dollar, SWIFT, and enjoyed technological superiority.. Russia was in chaos, China a distant smudge on the horizon.

Powerful groups in Washington, such as PNAC, began angling towed aggrandizement, but the real lunge came with the attack on Iraq. Current foreign policy openly focuses on dominating the planet. The astonishing thing is that some people don't notice.

The world runs on oil. Controlling the supply conveys almost absolute power over those countries that do not have their own. (For example, the Japanese would soon be eating each other if their oil were cut off.) Saudi Arabia is an American protectorate,and, having seen what happened to Iraq, knows that it can be conquered in short order if it gets out of line. The U. S. Navy could easily block tanker traffic from Hormuz to any or all countries.

A major purpose of the destruction of Iraq was to get control of its oil and put American forces on the border of Iran, another oil power. The current attempt to starve the Iranians aims at installing a American puppet government. The ongoing coup in Venezuela seeks control of another vast oil reserve. It will also serve to intimidate the rest of Latin America by showing what can happen to any country that defies Washington. Why are American troops in Nigeria? Guess what Nigeria has.

Note that Iraq and Iran, in addition to their oil, are geostrategically vital to a world empire. Further, the immensely powerful Jewish presence in the US supports the Mid-East wars for its own purposes. So, of course, does the arms industry. All God's chillun love the Empire.

For the Greater Empire to prevail, Russia and China, the latter a surprise contender, must be neutralized. Thus the campaign to crush Russia by economic sanctions. At the same time Washington pushes NATO, its sepoy militia, ever eastward, wants to station US forces in Poland, plans a Space Command whose only purpose is to intimidate or bankrupt Russia, drops out of the INF Treaty for the same reasons, and seeks to prevent commercial relations between Russia and the European vassals (e.g., Nordstream II).

China of course is the key obstacle to expanding the Empire. Ergo the trade war. America has to stop China's economic and technological progress, and stop it now, as it will not get another chance.

The present moment is an Imperial crunch point. America cannot compete with China commercially or, increasingly, in technology. Washington knows it. Beijing's advantages are too great: A huge and growing domestic market, a far larger population of very bright people, a for-profit economy that allows heavy investment both internally and abroad, a stable government that can plan well into the future.

America? It's power is more fragile than it may seem. The United States once dominated economically by making better products at better prices, ran a large trade surplus, and barely had competitors. Today it has deindustrialized, runs a trade deficit with almost everybody, carries an astronomical and uncontrolled national debt, and makes few things that the world can't get elsewhere, often at lower cost.

Increasingly America's commercial power is as a consumer, not a producer. Washington tells other countries, "If you don't do as we say, we won't buy your stuff." The indispensable country is an indispensable market. With few and diminishing (though important) exceptions, if it stopped selling things to China, China would barely notice, but if it stopped buying, the Chinese economy would wither. Tariffs, note, are just a way of not buying China's stuff.

Since the profligate American market is vital to other countries, they often do as ordered. But Asian markets grow. So do Asian industries.

As America's competitiveness declines, Washington resorts to strong-arm tactics. It has no choice. A prime example is the 5G internet, a Very Big Deal, in which Huawei holds the lead. Unable to provide a better product at a better price, Washington forbids the vassals to deal with Huawei–on pain of not buying their stuff. In what appears to be desperation, the Exceptional Nation has actually made a servile Canada arrest the daughter of Huawei's founder.

The tide runs against the Empire. A couple of decades ago, the idea that China could compete technologically with America would have seemed preposterous. Today China advances at startling speed. It is neck and neck with the US in supercomputers, launches moonlanders, leads in 5G internet, does leading work in genetics, designs world-class chipsets (e.g., the Kirin 980 and 920) and smartphones. Another decade or two of this and America will be at the trailing edge.

The American decline is largely self-inflicted. The US chooses its government by popularity contests among provincial lawyers rather than by competence. American education deteriorates under assault by social-justice faddists. Washington spends on the military instead of infrastructure and the economy. It is politically chaotic, its policies changing with every new administration.

The first rule of empire is, "Don't let your enemies unite." Instead, Washington has pushed Russia, China, and Iran into a coalition against the Empire. It might have been brighter to have integrated Iran tightly into the Euro-American econosphere, but Israel would not have let America do this. The same approach would have worked with Russia, racially closer to Europe than China and acutely aware of having vast empty Siberia bordering an overpopulated China. By imposing sanctions of adversaries and allies alike, Washington promotes dedollarization and recognition that America is not an ally but a master.

It is now or never. If America's great but declining power does not subjugate the rest of the world quickly, the rising powers of Asia will swamp it. Even India grows. Either sanctions subdue the world, or Washington starts a world war. Or America becomes just another country.

To paraphrase a great political thinker, "It's the Empire, Stupid."


WorkingClass , says: February 20, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT

The U.S. is broke. And stupid. Soon she will be forced to repatriate her legions.
Carlton Meyer , says: Website February 20, 2019 at 8:04 pm GMT
Great summary!

"Washington has pushed Russia, China, and Iran into a coalition against the Empire."

Turkey may soon join them, then Iraq might revolt. South Korea has tired of the warmongering and may join too, which is why Washington is giving them the lead in dealing with North Korea. But a united Korea identifes more with China than the USA, so the USA wants to block that idea. The Germans are unhappy too, with all the warmongering, immigration, and American arrogance.

Isabella , says: February 20, 2019 at 8:05 pm GMT
Sorry Fred, but you're too late. It's all over. Just that your maniacal rulers, i.e. Pompeo, Bolton et al can't see it. Or, Cognitive Dissonance being painful, refuse to.

Warsaw recently was a case in point. The two biggest European countries, Germany and France refused to even send a senior representative. All people did was listen in an embarrassed silence while Pompeo tried to make like a latter day Julius Cesear. At the same time, Russia, Turkey and Iran met in Sochi, and worked out how they were going to take the next solving the mess in Syria, the way they want it.

Incidentally, you could also go onto YouTube and watch RT's subtitled [also horrible voice over, but you can't have everything I guess] of President Putin's "Address to Parliament and the Nation". It runs for close to 1.5 hours. You will hear the problems Russia has, how Putin addresses the concerns of the people, their complaints re poor access in country areas to medicine, and his orders on how this is to be fixed.

But you will also hear the moves forward, that Russia now has a trade surplus [remember those?] and can afford all the programs it needs. It's the world leading exporter of Wheat, and other commodities are catching up.

Then he will tell you and show videos of the latest 2 defense weapons – and they are things America cannot defend against. He also in light of the US withdrawing from the INF treaty made a very clear statement, should the US be so stupid as to think it can use Europe as it's war ground, and have Europeans get killed instead of Americans. "Put Intermediate sites in Europe and use just one, and not only will we fire on the European site that sent it, but we will also take out the "decision making centre", wherever this is".

Ponder that for a while. There is nothing US can do. The dollar is slowly being rejected and dumped. The heartland is reamed out after billions took the productive facilities and put them in China [so kind]. The homeless and desperate are growing in numbers.

It's all over, Fred. Time to start planning what to do when the mud really hits the fan.

foolisholdman , says: February 20, 2019 at 8:56 pm GMT
Can't argue with that! Usually, I read Fred for amusement, but this is all spot on. I particularly liked:

The American decline is largely self-inflicted. The US chooses its government by popularity contests among provincial lawyers rather than by competence. American education deteriorates under assault by social-justice faddists. Washington spends on the military instead of infrastructure and the economy.

Asagirian , says: Website February 20, 2019 at 9:15 pm GMT
Incredible. US government cooks up lies to invade and wreck Iraq, destroy Libya, and subvert Syria. It pulled off a coup in Ukraine with Neo-Nazis. US and its allies Saudis and Israel gave aid, direct and indirect, to ISIS and Al-Qaida to bring down Assad or turn Syria upside down.

But, scum like Pompeo puts forth hard-line stance against terrorists. What a bunch of vile phonies and hypocrites.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website February 20, 2019 at 9:41 pm GMT

It might have been brighter to have integrated Iran tightly into the Euro-American econosphere, but Israel would not have let America do this. The same approach would have worked with Russia, racially closer to Europe than China and acutely aware of having vast empty Siberia bordering an overpopulated China.

Russia is more than racially closer, Russia is culturally much closer and by culturally I don't mean this cesspool of new "culture". But, as you brilliantly noted:

The US chooses its government by popularity contests among provincial lawyers rather than by competence.

Philip Owen , says: February 20, 2019 at 10:22 pm GMT
Britain's time of full spectrum dominance (well trade, industry and navy really) did not emerge fully formed from isolation as did America. England and the UK played balance of power politics. The US can still do that for a very long time, given some basic diplomatic sense.

India, China & Pakistan present an interesting triangle. Indonesia and Vietnam are no friends of China. Nigeria is heading for 400m people and will want to exert its own power, not take instructions from Peking, etc, etc. Balance of power requires more fluidity than the US has shown to date. Seeing Russia as an hereditary enemy illustrates this failure.

Can the US make the changes necessary to play balance of power politics?

Si1ver1ock , says: February 20, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
I for one do not wish the Chinese any ill. They have worked hard to get where they are, whereas our leaders have betrayed us.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?103023-1/the-great-betrayal

Philip Owen , says: February 21, 2019 at 12:46 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts Something wrong here. Government spending in either country is far more than 2%.
atlantis_dweller , says: February 21, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT

The astonishing thing is that some people don't notice.

.

Not to notice (or rather, not to notice one's own noticing) what the majority doesn't notice (OK: they don't notice that they notice, actually) is part of humankind's cerebral package too.
You once called it the law of the pack. It can be given innumerable names -- just it doesn't change.

The American decline is largely self-inflicted.

.
It's what follows ripe democracy, invariably -- meanjng that it can arguably not be helped.

Achmed E. Newman , says: Website February 21, 2019 at 2:23 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts Finally a bright spot in an otherwise depressingly-fairly-truthful article. Less Government spending is a GOOD thing, I mean, unless you are a flat-out Communist, of course ohhhhh .

And yes, the scale is WAY off. How could those 0.8 to 2.05% numbers seem even close to reality to anyone who has a clue. I can't vouch for China, but the US number is off by a factor of 20 to 25 . Come on, Godfree, you're (a tad bit) better than that!

Achmed E. Newman , says: Website February 21, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT
That's not a bad article in general, but, as usual, Mr. Reed doesn't really have that analytical mind to know what's really been, and is, going on.

1) There were PLENTY of Americans, many of them even politicians who wanted a "peace dividend" after the Cold War was won. G.H.W Bush and the neocons put the kibosh on that. The current version of empire-building didn't have to be. The Israeli-influenced neocons are most of the reason for the post-Cold-War empire building.

2) It's not ALL about oil anymore – it seems to be a diminishing factor, what with the US producing more oil than it imports, at this point. Mr. Reed could use a dose of Zerohedge.com, as, along with their gloom-and-doom, they have opened my eyes to the American meddling around the world to keep support of the Reserve Currency, the US dollar. Lots of the countries in which the US causes trouble were trying to get out of the dollar world with their trade.

3) Related to (2) here, China and Russia both want to eliminate the use of the dollar in trade, including with each other. That bothers a lot of people who understand how bad the outlook for the US economy really is, and what it would mean for the dollar to no longer be used around the world for trade.

4) American government has handed China a completely one-sided deal (FOR China) in trade since the mid-1990's and Bill Clinton. It's time to end that, which is what the trade war is about. I don't dispute that American could be in a whole lot more pain over it than the Chinese, but it's like medicine – take it now, or suffer even more later.

America? It's power is more fragile than it may seem. The United States once dominated economically by making better products at better prices, ran a large trade surplus, and barely had competitors. Today it has deindustrialized, runs a trade deficit with almost everybody, carries an astronomical and uncontrolled national debt, and makes few things that the world can't get elsewhere, often at lower cost.

AGREED wholeheartedly!

Bruce County , says: February 21, 2019 at 3:33 am GMT
@peterAUS I agree .. Canada is "not" under America's boot. As a Canadian I respect the security America provides Canada on the world stage but it would be a cold day in hell when i would submit to an America with a gun in his hand. And im pretty sure our best buddies in jolly ol England might have something to say. This isnt a pissing match. Empire is a fickle bitch.
peterAUS , says: February 21, 2019 at 4:16 am GMT
@Bruce County Pretty much.
As far as Australia and New Zealand are concerned it's crystal clear. Somebody has to provide security for our way of life here; before it was United Kingdom, now it's USA.
Hehe definitely preferable to China.
Or Japan.
Or anyone here in Pacific.

If Americans want to deploy a full corps, whatever, no prob. Again, as far as "fair skinned" English speaking citizens here are concerned. I'd even say it applies to Polynesians around.
Now, can't say it applies to our Mohammedan citizens, and definitely not to Chinese.

It's amusing to see Westerners around here keen on replacing USA empire with Chinese. Hehe talking about self-hate.
Granted, there are people among them who really believe in all that propaganda coming from Beijing. Well better than taking Prozac or similar, I guess, so all good.

swamped , says: February 21, 2019 at 5:09 am GMT
"Current foreign policy openly focuses on dominating the planet. The astonishing thing is that some people don't notice." That is pretty astonishing, given that most of the columns on sites like this & even in more MSM-style publications rehash this theme ad infinitum. It may, in fact, be more a matter of people simply getting tired of hearing it over and over that leads them to shrug and turn to something different. It's not news anymore. How many columns can anyone squeeze out of the same threadbare topic. Many years ago, during first Cold War, it was still somewhat daring to expose this partially hidden truth; but now it's old hat on both the left & right.No one really needs someone to tell them again what everyone already knows, that's easy – but what to do about it, that's the hard part!
Godfree Roberts , says: February 21, 2019 at 5:25 am GMT
@Simply Simon I'm not an economist either, but it looks like the Chinese have outspent us 2:1 in R&D since 2012.

That, plus their better educated youngsters, gives them an awesome advantage going forward.

Godfree Roberts , says: February 21, 2019 at 5:27 am GMT
@Philip Owen This is a subset of government spending and only covers R&D.

It doesn't cover corporate R&D spending, though I'm guessing that in that regard, the two countries are even. If anyone has the numbers I'd be grateful if they'd share them.

Godfree Roberts , says: February 21, 2019 at 5:29 am GMT
@Achmed E. Newman Can you provide sources and figures for your claim that the US number is off by a factor of 20 to 25?

That would imply that the USG is spending $9 trillion–50% of GDP–on R&D alone.

chris , says: February 21, 2019 at 5:35 am GMT
@Isabella Excellent comment, Isabella!
Stevelancs , says: February 21, 2019 at 5:47 am GMT
@Simply Simon Godfrees graph should be entitled "USA v China in Gov't R&D Spending".
It's here..

https://www.quora.com/There-are-predictions-about-Chinas-economy-surpassing-the-USs-economy-in-the-future-but-are-there-predictions-of-China-surpassing-the-US-in-science-and-innovation-in-the-future

[Dec 31, 2018] Trump s Trade Czar, The Latest Architect of Imperial Disaster by Alfred McCoy

Notable quotes:
"... San Diego Confidential, ..."
"... now, playing catch-up, the US is employing the crudest of methods: tariffs & military bullying (& God help us all, kidnapping). ..."
"... Copley implies that cohesive societies that seek victory over all other societies can't have it, because a cohesive society must have enemies, invented or carefully preserved if necessary. Perhaps that's what the Russia affair is about. If so, its not working. ..."
"... Poor General Kelly, one of the generals who let 911 happen, is probably going to be promoted to Bechtel. I say poor because he's only worth about $5 Million, which is a low figure for the super rich who own the military industrial complex. ..."
"... my take is that we are in the end game of imperialism. the western empire is in terminal decline and there will be more empires. from the evidence Russia and China, having learned the lessons of a few thousand years of experience are not seeking for empires. ..."
"... War is Good for Business and Organized Crime. Afghanistan's Multibillion Dollar Opium Trade. Rising Heroin Addiction in the US Afghanistan's opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which has a direct impact on the surge of heroin addiction in the US. ..."
"... Place this against the U.S. – NSA – on record for what seems to be global surveillance having tapped the phones of U.S. European allies heads of states like Angela Merkel -among other things- with it's budget of $80 billion per year. Similar amount to the total Russian defense budget. Then there is the CIA and other "three letter organizations" in the U.S. and similar operations in the U.K. I think this is David against Goliath struggle and the latter is doing most of the beating. ..."
"... This madness is driving Russia into coalition with China and creating all sorts of totally unnecessary tensions. Forcing them to avoid the US dollar and so forth. How any of this supports western interests, or the interests of U.S. or U.K. citizens is a great misery. One thing is certain – this is self-destruction policy for the U.S. in the long run. This is what happens when the lunatics take over the asylum. ..."
"... Thankfully Vladimir Putin seems to be extremely capable and stable person – not likely to fall into temptation of hitting back with horrible consequences for world peace. ..."
"... Navarro appears to have the full support of Silicon Valley, Boeing and our other high tech exporters. On the other side is Wall Street and possibly British interests. For all of the hullabaloo about Trump violating the law against private citizens conducting foreign diplomacy when he was President-elect, the Wall Street crowd appears to have transgressed much further: ..."
Dec 31, 2018 | www.unz.com

The Geopolitics of Trump's Trade War

Most recently, a dissident economist and failed California politician named Peter Navarro has parlayed his hostility toward China into the role of key architect of Donald Trump's "trade war" against Beijing. Like his Russian counterpart Alexander Dugin, Navarro is another in a long line of intellectuals whose embrace of geopolitics changed the trajectory of his career.

Raised by a single mom who worked secretarial jobs to rent one-bedroomapartments where he slept on the couch, Navarro went to college at Tufts on a scholarship and earned a doctorate in economics from Harvard. Despite that Ivy League degree, he remained an angry outsider, denouncing the special interests "stealing America" in his first book and later, as a business professor at the University of California-Irvine, branding San Diego developers "punks in pinstripes." A passionate environmentalist, in 1992 Navarro plunged into politics as a Democratic candidate for the mayor of San Diego, denouncing his opponent's husband as a convicted drug-money launderer and losing when he smirked as she wept during their televised debate.

For the next 10 years, Navarro fought losing campaigns for everything from city council to Congress. He detailed his crushing defeat for a seat in the House of Representatives in a tell-all book , San Diego Confidential, that dished out disdain for that duplicitous "sell out" Bill Clinton, dumb "blue-collar detritus" voters, and just about everybody else as well.

Following his last losing campaign for city council, Navarro spent a decade churning out books attacking a new enemy: China. His first "shock and awe" jeremiad in 2006 told horror stories about that country's foreign trade; five years later, Death By China was filled with torrid tales of "bone-crushing, cancer-causing, flammable, poisonous, and otherwise lethal products" from that land. In 2015, a third book turned to geopolitics, complete with carefully drawn maps and respectful references to Captain Mahan, to offer an analysis of how China's military was pursuing a relentless strategy of "anti-access, area denial" to challenge the U.S. Navy's control over the Western Pacific.

To check China, the Pentagon then had two competing strategies -- "Air-Sea Battle," in which China's satellites were to be blinded, knocking out its missiles, and "Offshore Control," in which China's entire coastline was to be blockaded by mining six maritime choke points from Japan to Singapore. Both, Navarro claimed, were fatally flawed. Given that, Navarro's third book and a companion film ( endorsed by one Donald Trump) asked: What should the United States do to check Beijing's aggression and its rise as a global power? Since all U.S. imports from China, Navarro suggested, were "helping to finance a Chinese military buildup," the only realistic solution was "the imposition of countervailing tariffs to offset China's unfair trade practices."

Just a year after reaching that controversial conclusion, Navarro joined the Trump election campaign as a policy adviser and then, after the November victory, became a junior member of the White House economic team. As a protectionist in an administration initially dominated by globalists, he would be excluded from high-level meetings and, according to Time Magazine , "required to copy chief economic adviser Gary Cohn on all his emails." By February 2018, however, Cohn was on his way out and Navarro had become assistant to the president, with his new trade office now the co-equal of the National Economic Council.

As the chief defender of Trump's belief that "trade wars are good and easy to win," Navarro has finally realized his own geopolitical dream of attempting to check China with tariffs. In March, the president slapped heavy ones on Chinese steel imports and, just a few weeks later, promised to impose more of them on $50 billion of imports. When those started in July, China's leaders retaliated against what they called "typical trade bullying," imposing similar duties on American goods. Despite a warning from the Federal Reserve chairman that "trade tensions could pose serious risks to the U.S. and global economy," with Navarro at his elbow, Trump escalated in September, adding tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods and threatening another $267 billion worth if China dared retaliate. Nonetheless, Beijing hit back, this time on just $60 billion in goods since 95% of all U.S. imports had already been covered.

Then something truly surprising happened. In September, the U.S. trade deficit with China ballooned to $305 billion for the year, driven by an 8% surge in Chinese imports -- a clear sign that Navarro's bold geopolitical vision of beating Beijing into submission with tariffs had collided big time with the complexities of world trade. Whether this tariff dispute will fizzle out inconsequentially or escalate into a full-blown trade war, wreaking havoc on global supply chains and the world economy, none of us can yet know, particularly that would-be geopolitical grandmaster Peter Navarro.

The Desire to be Grandmaster of the Universe

Though such experts usually dazzle the public and the powerful alike with erudition and boldness of vision, their geopolitical moves often have troubling long-term consequences. Mahan's plans for Pacific dominion through offshore bases created a strategic conundrum that plagued American defense policy for a half-century. Brzezinski's geopolitical lunge at the Soviet Union's soft Central Asian underbelly helped unleash radical Islam. Today, Alexander Dugin's use of geopolitics to revive Russia's dominion over Eurasia has placed Moscow on a volatile collision course with Europe and the United States. Simultaneously, Peter Navarro's bold gambit to contain China's military and economic push into the Pacific with a trade war could, if it persists, produce untold complications for our globalized economy.

No matter how deeply flawed such geopolitical visions may ultimately prove to be, their brief moments as official policy have regularly shaped the destiny of nations and of empires in unpredictable, unplanned, and often dangerous ways. And no matter how this current round of geopolitical gambits plays out, we can be reasonably certain that, in the not-too-distant future, another would-be grandmaster will embrace this seductive concept to guide his bold bid for global power.

Alfred W. McCoy, a TomDispatch regular , is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade , the now-classic book which probed the conjuncture of illicit narcotics and covert operations over 50 years, and the recently published In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power ( Dispatch Books).


joun , says: December 3, 2018 at 1:56 am GMT

Dugin, regardless of what minor success he had ten years ago, is not influential in the Kremlin. He did not orchestrate Russia's absorption of Crimea. Simple strategic needs demanded that Crimea be absorbed, and a flawless Russian execution of an ambitious plan won the day.

Peter Navarro is correct w/r/t China. Our trading relationship with China has been a disaster for our economy (to which I mean our ability to have an economy absent financial shenanigans) and USG has effectively funded China's rise. There is no strategic benefit to offshoring productive capacity. I don't really care if Navarro has failed at other tasks in his life. He is correct on this one.

Si1ver1ock , says: December 3, 2018 at 2:03 am GMT

we can be reasonably certain that, in the not-too-distant future, another would-be grandmaster will embrace this seductive concept to guide his bold bid for global power.

Damn! Sounds just like me. Anyway, the US has made a lot of mistakes. It transferred much of its manufacturing base to China and much of its technology. The Chinese see a chance to break away from the US economically and in technology.

The US invested in China's future. China invested in its future. Which is why China has a future.

China 2025:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/05/03/what-is-made-in-china-2025-and-why-is-it-a-threat-to-trumps-trade-goals/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.79ef31c78b0d

Sean , says: December 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm GMT

https://www.waterstones.com/book/prisoners-of-geography/tim-marshall/9781783962433

Seeing geography as a decisive factor in the course of human history can be construed as a bleak view of the world, which is why it is disliked in some intellectual circles. It suggests that nature is more powerful than man, and that we can only go so far in determining our own fate.

Splitting the globe into ten distinct regions, former Sky News Diplomatic Editor Tim Marshall redresses our techno-centric view of the world and suggests that our key political driver continues to be our physical geography. Beginning with Russia (and its bewildering eleven time-zones), we are treated to an illuminating, border-by-border disassembly of what makes the world what it is; why, for instance, China and India will never fall into conflict (the Himalayas), or why the Ukraine is such a tactical jewel in the crown. With its panoptic view over our circumstance, Prisoners of Geography makes a compelling case around how the physical framework of the world itself has defined our history. It's one of those books that prompts real reflection and one that on publication absolutely grasped the imagination of our customers, ensuring it as a guaranteed entrant to our 2016 Paperbacks of the Year.

'One of the best books about geopolitics you could imagine: reading it is like having a light shone on your understanding.' – Nicholas Lezard,

animalogic , says: December 16, 2018 at 11:12 am GMT
@joun

"There is no strategic benefit to offshoring productive capacity. "

Quite right. However – that horse has long bolted. And now, playing catch-up, the US is employing the crudest of methods: tariffs & military bullying (& God help us all, kidnapping).

Unfortunately, circumstances demand a radical & imaginative response & even harder, a realisation that the horse has bolted.

Anon [275] Disclaimer , says: December 31, 2018 at 5:24 am GMT

Dear Mr. McCoy:

Now that you're here, you should read the Saker more. I'll pose this question though, If Russia and China are hell bent on imperial expansion, why don't they show any interest in Mongolia? Fertile land, rich mineral resources, a tiny population incapable of resistance it would be a no brainier. The reason they don't is because they are not imperial powers. Also, is empire a good thing? In every historical example it has followed the same pattern and failed. Civilisations however endure through the ages.

Puzzled , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:33 am GMT

" Vladimir Putin seeks to shatter the Western alliance with cyberwar " was where I noted this essayist is a fool and stopped reading. Russians! Russians! Russians everywhere!

*vomit*

Anon [275] Disclaimer , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:49 am GMT
@Puzzled ire is failing and wrote this insightful essay on why. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176007/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_washington%27s_great_game_and_why_it%27s_failing_

But since then has gone on to muse how it might be extended. My argument is that the Empire does not serve the American people and is leading to the destruction of the republic and the American people. The sooner it ends the better, and if Trump can speed up its demise, then he is our guy.

jilles dykstra , says: December 31, 2018 at 7:05 am GMT

A very interesting article, for me, but, I suppose, for quite other reasons than most here expect. The essence of interest is in the last two paragraphs.
In the first of these two those men are mentioned who by geopolitical ideas caused world wide disasters. If they did, I do not know. The question 'did Napoleon make history or did history make Napoleon' still is a difficult one among historians, and will remain difficult, is my idea. The man not mentioned in this paragraph is Hitler.

Then we get the ominous last paragraph, someone grabbing world wide power for geopolitical reasons, a great menace.

The essence of good propaganda is not telling lies, but telling just half truths. Not mentioned is that the area that now is Germany for maybe hundreds of years could not feed the population, had to import food. In order to be able to import one must export, a country with not enough agricultural production naturally must export industrial products, to fabricate these one needs raw materials.

Not for nothing both WWI and WWII had geopolitical causes, German economic expansion to the SW and E, economic expansion that threatened, in the British view, the autarcic British empire.

The implication of the last paragraph for me is clear, beware of the next Hitler. If the author has someone in mind who will unleash the last world war is not clear to me.

Counterinsurgency , says: December 31, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
@Puzzled y_, section on "managing enemies".

Copley implies that cohesive societies that seek victory over all other societies can't have it, because a cohesive society must have enemies, invented or carefully preserved if necessary. Perhaps that's what the Russia affair is about. If so, its not working.

It's like the Federal German republic trying 90 year old people who were drafted as teenagers to be concentration camp guards in late WW II, when the Reich was scraping through the bottom of the manpower barrel, or like the British digging up Cromwell's bones (see Wikipedia, "Oliver Cromwell", section: "Death and posthumous execution"). Not convincing.

Counterinsurgency

Biff , says: December 31, 2018 at 11:08 am GMT

Alfred McCoy isn't the exact polar opposite of Bill Kristol who is wrong about everything , but McCoy does have a pretty good track record of being mostly correct about the issues he covers, nevertheless, he still reads like an opinion column. He also seems bonded by how he sees the American empire being some sort of force of benevolence when it acts and reacts in the same manner as any other empire that's come and gone – and of course he loathes the idea of the next empire simply by default(they'll brag about freedom too Alfred). And of course, in the realm of geopolitics, he never really mentions the bastard child; which leaves a gaping hole in his analysis.

My guess is McCoy's basically on the right track. Not exactly, but he'll get you out of the woods.

Herald , says: December 31, 2018 at 11:33 am GMT

Spot on. The reference to Russia waging cyberwar was an early warning that reading this long article would be a waste of time.

Alfred , says: December 31, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT

For the past decade, he has been a forceful advocate for Russian expansionism

It gets a bit boring reading about how aggressive Putin is and how he wants to reconquer all the territories that were voluntarily given up by his predecessors. How exactly would Russia benefit by reaquiring the Baltic States or Poland? These countries are on life-support. Poland get $20bn annually in direct and indirect subsidies from the EU. As for Ukraine, what possible benefit to Russia would it be to have an extra 35 million people who are broke. Ukrainians today spend half their income on food and that other half on heat – and that in a country with a very cold winter.

Let's not forget that there would not have been a "Berlin Crisis" if Stalin had not given parts of Berlin to the USA, the UK and France. Can you imagine the USA doing something similar? This whole article is a real let down. I am disappointed. I guess every barrel has to have a rotten apple or two.

Jayzerbee , says: December 31, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT

I would add that in my life, Henry Kissinger was the other supreme geopolitical theorist who attempted to establish a multipolar geopolitics over a bipolar one. Keep in mind that it was he who essentially argued that China must be recognized in order to blunt the USSR. Nixon thus became the one who opened China to the US, so that in theory the world was to be divided into the Russia pole; the China pole; the American/NATO pole, and the "Third World" pole. With a dash of Mahan added to the mix, all would be balanced and stable, or so Kissinger argued. Hmmmm, maybe not!

onebornfree , says: Website December 31, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT

"Chain chain chain, chain of fools"

Also, perhaps read "Hormegeddon" by the great Bill Bonner:

https://bonnerandpartners.com/prepare-for-hormegeddon/

Regards, onebornfree

http://onebornfree-mythbusters.blogspot.com/

Anonymous [349] Disclaimer , says: December 31, 2018 at 1:01 pm GMT
@Miggle ext">

Are you for real? Have you looked at where these two respective areas are geographically? Hell, their borders aren't even adjacent.

As for China's interest in Tibet: what was once's part of the Empire will always be part of the Empire. Tibets been part of the empire twice now, first under Genghis' Yuan Dynasty and again during under the Qing. That simple fact means from now until the sun goes supernova, for China to be considered unified, Tibet must be a part of it. No ifs or buts.

That's not to mention the strategic considerations of occupying the high ground vis a vis the sub-continentals as well as the area being the source of several great rivers. You'd have to be a madman to give that kind of advantage up.

jilles dykstra , says: December 31, 2018 at 1:25 pm GMT
@Anon Ghandi was of the opinion that the people of India, forgot the number, 100 million or more ?, served 400.000 rich Britons.
The Roman empire, I'd say 1% rich, 99% poor.
The tsarist empire, not much better.
The German empire again the exception, nowhere else at the end of the 19th century were common people in comparable living conditions.
The EU empire, EP members tax free incomes of some € 200.000 a year, plus an extravagant pension system.
Verhofstadt, additional income, not tax free, of at least € 450.000 a year.
Declarations, Schulz has been accused of spending € 700.000 in a year, among other things he liked a glass of wine.
ThreeCranes , says: December 31, 2018 at 1:41 pm GMT

When it suits their purpose, writers on economics–I won't call them Economists–praise the tiger-like speed and agility with which Capitalism responds to the vagaries of pressures and demands that arise in world markets. But when they're engaging in public relations we get this:

"Despite a warning from the Federal Reserve chairman that " trade tensions could pose serious risks to the U.S. and global economy ," .. Whether this tariff dispute will fizzle out inconsequentially or escalate into a full-blown trade war, wreaking havoc on global supply chains and the world economy

which throw a protective cloak over a poor, picked-upon capitalism which is, apparently, incapable of getting out of its own way.

Patrick Armstrong , says: Website December 31, 2018 at 1:43 pm GMT

Disappointing read. No, there is nothing to suggest that Dugin has any influence on Putin. No, there is no Russian cyberwar. Putin's aims are Russia's recovery from the disasters of communism (a road to a blind alley as he has called it) and defending Russia against NATO's expansion, colour revolutions and numerous false accusations.

Beijing is the place to look today for big strategic thinking.

SteveM , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:19 pm GMT
@Puzzled reasons would be the last. Because the Europeans would find of other sources and shut out Russia as being an unreliable business partner. Moreover, Russia is now the largest exporter of wheat and is developing export levels of production in soybeans and pork. You can't sell to countries that you have wrecked militarily.

It's the U.S., not Russia that is playing the 800 pound Global Cop Gorilla with its war-mongering, economic warfare and global subversion.

Like Puzzled, when I read that stupid, irrational line by Alfred McCoy, I simply stopped reading. Because nobody that dense about obvious geo-political reality deserves to be read.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:24 pm GMT

Disappointing read. No, there is nothing to suggest that Dugin has any influence on Putin.

No kidding. This is what happens when you get your Russian news from the Times and the Beeb. I mean, if Dugin were such a Kremlin favorite, how could he have lost his job at Moscow State University? You'd think he could just pick up the phone, call 'Uncle Vova', and get his job back!

Of course Putin is a Eurasianist, but that's not because Dugin told him to be one. It's because every Russian ruler has been a Eurasianist for centuries now. Why? Just look at a map: Russia is located in Eurasia. Would we therefore expect the Russians to be Pan-Africanists or something else? Naturally they're going to be Eurasianists. They learned long ago that if they don't dominate Eurasia, somebody else will -- and that will cause security problems for Russia. I can't say I hold that against them. It's not as though the US would take kindly to some foreign empire coming on over to the Western Hemisphere and setting up shop, say, in Latin America. In fact, just consider how Washington reacted when the Soviets concluded an alliance with Cuba. There was no talk about the 'sovereignty of small nations' coming from the wallscreen then!

therevolutionwas , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:39 pm GMT
@joun

What financial shenanigans? And how has the US effectively funded China's rise? And how do tariffs destroy China ? (tariffs are like shooting yourself in the foot)

Reuben Kaspate , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
@Anonymous

Tibet is the Achilles Heel of China it's there where the over confident Middle Kingdom will die the death of a thousand paper cuts!

Reuben Kaspate , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm GMT
@Anon

Fertile land? Are you out of your freaking wits, Anon [275]? You can't grow shit in Mongolia!

Reuben Kaspate , says: December 31, 2018 at 2:55 pm GMT

My prediction for 2019: America will remain the hyperpower for the next 81 years; thereafter, I couldn't give a schitt!

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 31, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT
@therevolutionwas

Analysis of US investment in China would explain a lot. It is zero? I do not think so!!!!!!!!!

Unrepentant Conservative , says: December 31, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT

Beware of self-styled strategic thinkers attempting to revive flagging careers and gain influence.

Agent76 , says: December 31, 2018 at 3:14 pm GMT

The cause for poverty is located at the Pentagon because they own the national debt! When if ever will the Joint Chiefs be put on trial for these treasonous Wars and lost trillions?

December 24, 2013 The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases

The US Military has bases in 63 countries. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the *Pentagon* one of the *largest* landowners worldwide.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-worldwide-network-of-us-military-bases/5564

Dec 21, 2013 Black Budget: US govt clueless about missing Pentagon $trillions

The Pentagon has secured a 630 billion dollar budget for next year, even though it's failed to even account for the money it's received since 1996. A whopping 8.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer cash have gone to defence programmes – none of which has been audited.

Sean , says: December 31, 2018 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova between other countries and with its own colonies. As the Dutch comparative advantage was frozen out, their military aggression declined with it. America sitting on its hands while China becomes a giant Hong Kong and countries all over Eurasia fall under its sway would by likely to lead to a very nasty war that America would loose and loose badly. It is better to try now to stop China growing that big and dangerous by declining to trade with them under conditions that will inevitably make them grow too large to fight. Will trade barriers to China work well enough? Probably not because they are past the lift off stage now (Carter did too good a job), but it is worth a try.
wayfarer , says: December 31, 2018 at 4:39 pm GMT

There is opportunity for an American renaissance and really the only practical solution for its people – that is to swiftly and decidedly push its pathetic government aside – and begin rapidly re-educating, re-training, re-tooling, and re-building a next-generation manufacturing base.

The Next Manufacturing Revolution is Here

never-anonymous , says: December 31, 2018 at 5:50 pm GMT

Everything about this CIA agent's history lesson sounds fake. The blood sucking military runs the White House. ISIS or ISIL or whatever the CIA calls itself today poses no threat. Poor General Kelly, one of the generals who let 911 happen, is probably going to be promoted to Bechtel. I say poor because he's only worth about $5 Million, which is a low figure for the super rich who own the military industrial complex.

jilles dykstra , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Sean ised an efficient military staff, efficient in planning. The Prussian army was the first to make extensive use of railways, first time after the French 1870 attack. Very capable people, Germans. Red Army use of railways even in 1941 was a mess.
The GB preparations for the occupation of neutral Norway in April 1940, also a mess.
Pity quoted book is in German and with gothic letters, Ludendorff shows with extensive map material how the Germans in WWI fought a two front, sometimes even three front war. Just possible through detailed transport planning.
Erich Ludendorff, 'Meine Kriegserinnerungen 1914 = 1918′, Berlin, 1918
Lin , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:25 pm GMT
@joun

As I said before, rhetorics such as 'USG has effectively funded China's rise' are just over-exaggeration if not BS. Facts:
–Foreign investments only constitute a small % of Chinese domestic investment,
–The majority of foreign Investment in china are NOT from US.
–Total investment in China in recent years amount to $trillions per year

If one cares to examine the major industrial sectors in China , like hi-speed rail, steel, photovoltaic panels, electricity, energy,.. automobiles Only in the auto sector the americans have a sizable role because the yanks want market access.

5371 , says: December 31, 2018 at 6:52 pm GMT

Numerous historical howlers in this piece.

Ben Sampson , says: December 31, 2018 at 8:05 pm GMT

we can be reasonably certain that, in the not-too-distant future, another would-be grandmaster will embrace this seductive concept to guide his bold bid for global power.

my take is that we are in the end game of imperialism. the western empire is in terminal decline and there will be more empires. from the evidence Russia and China, having learned the lessons of a few thousand years of experience are not seeking for empires.

empires, traditional ones, are now altogether too costly, especially approaching their end. the world wont tolerate that anymore. the credit empire is working so far but the people have cottoned on to that. to end global banking power simply take over the banks, and recuse all debt for they were fraudulently accrued.

all banking will then by need be worker co-ops able to deal with all the financial services required by society..no conglomerates required

the capitalists will probably try a desperate military gambit to try maintain their empire but that wont work. they are already outgunned unless they decide to take the world down with them.

but I don't think we will have to worry about such trade 'grandmasters' farting around with the world for too much longer. the end of imperialism will make such work redundant

and if the democracy does not replace capitalism and the elite wins, it's a Brave New World we looking at. Brilliant geneticist bent on engineering humans. brilliant mind controllers, psychiatrists and such would be useful job qualifications to have, not trade specialist.

Brave New World also makes the trade 'genius' redundant

Agent76 , says: December 31, 2018 at 8:51 pm GMT

December 31, 2018 War is Good for Business and Organized Crime. Afghanistan's Multibillion Dollar Opium Trade. Rising Heroin Addiction in the US Afghanistan's opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which has a direct impact on the surge of heroin addiction in the US.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/war-is-good-for-business-and-organized-crime-afghanistans-multibillion-dollar-opium-trade-rising-heroin-addiction-in-the-us/5664319

June 10, 2014 Drug War?

American Troops Are Protecting Afghan Opium. U.S. Occupation Leads to All-Time High Heroin Production

http://www.globalresearch.ca/drug-war-american-troops-are-protecting-afghan-opium-u-s-occupation-leads-to-all-time-high-heroin-production/5358053

niceland , says: December 31, 2018 at 9:34 pm GMT

It's always fun to read articles and history. This article was fun and perhaps thought provoking. But at least some parts of it make no sense to me.

Take for example the "heartland" theory. Yes it probably made sense over a century ago when strategist -always looking in the rear view mirror- judged the situation based on the Roman empire or Napoleons conquest. And their thoughts grounded in traditional territorial wars.

Today with nuclear weapons, fast long range missiles and in very different economic reality, I don't think the "Heartland" is the key to control the world, Eurasia, Europe or indeed anything else than possibly the "Heartland" it self. Control from the Heartland over nuclear France or the U.K?

Annexing small part of land on your own borders whose inhabitants overwhelmingly welcome you with open arms, like Russians did in Crimea, is totally different from conquering unwilling, hostile neighbors. The latter is extremely costly and difficult exercise with just about zero upside but gaping black hole on the downside. Remember Afghanistan or Iraq or Vietnam? So the former isn't indication of the latter!

I dont't see anything that supports the theory the Russians are playing by the book of the Heartland theory. In current political situation it's outlandish idea. Perhaps the idea is to paint Russia's leaders as lunatics?

Yes the Russians are probably engaged in cyber-war. They seem to have the Russian troll farm in St. Petersburg – as reported by European media it's amateur operation costing perhaps few million dollars per year with 80 people from the unemployment list's hammering on laptops working shifts creating and nurturing social media accounts. No experts in politics or advanced computing in sight, no supercomputers, artificial intelligence. Like I said, amateur operation hardly indicating state-sponsored efforts.

Place this against the U.S. – NSA – on record for what seems to be global surveillance having tapped the phones of U.S. European allies heads of states like Angela Merkel -among other things- with it's budget of $80 billion per year. Similar amount to the total Russian defense budget. Then there is the CIA and other "three letter organizations" in the U.S. and similar operations in the U.K. I think this is David against Goliath struggle and the latter is doing most of the beating.

The press? R.T and few other outlets versus the western MSM who has in recent years acted like a pack of rabid dogs against Russia. Investigative journalism into international affairs is replaced by publishing official statements and "analysis" from "experts". This is war propaganda – nothing less. And the Russians are playing desperate defense most days.

This madness is driving Russia into coalition with China and creating all sorts of totally unnecessary tensions. Forcing them to avoid the US dollar and so forth. How any of this supports western interests, or the interests of U.S. or U.K. citizens is a great misery. One thing is certain – this is self-destruction policy for the U.S. in the long run. This is what happens when the lunatics take over the asylum.

Thankfully Vladimir Putin seems to be extremely capable and stable person – not likely to fall into temptation of hitting back with horrible consequences for world peace.

Happy new year everyone!

JLK , says: December 31, 2018 at 9:54 pm GMT

It was a nice history essay, but there isn't much of a logical relationship between Mahan, Haushofer, et al. and the present trade confrontation.

Navarro appears to have the full support of Silicon Valley, Boeing and our other high tech exporters. On the other side is Wall Street and possibly British interests. For all of the hullabaloo about Trump violating the law against private citizens conducting foreign diplomacy when he was President-elect, the Wall Street crowd appears to have transgressed much further:

Navarro tells Wall Street 'globalist billionaires' to end 'shuttle diplomacy' in U.S.-China trade war

It seems the New York banks would gladly trade the SV engineering jobs for a bigger share of the China banking business, a la the Cleveland and Detroit auto industry jobs of the past.

A possible break with Britain is something even bigger to watch, as their involvement in China is even more finance-related.

JLK , says: December 31, 2018 at 11:11 pm GMT
@Anon ng, which far exceeded direct investments into China by any other country.

If we take a look at the Santander report on Hong Kong FDI, most of it seems to come from the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands (both offshore banking locations, with the funds coming from who knows where) and the UK.

https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/hong-kong/foreign-investment

[Dec 13, 2018] Averting World Conflict with China by Ron Unz

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... this is a clear sign that Canada no longer exists as an independent nation, but is a colony of the USA/Israeli empire. ..."
"... This story is not about an ultra-wealthy Chinese heiress enduring an odd adventure in Canada. This story is about a complete loss of Canadian sovereignty, because detaining this lady is outright insane. Canada was conquered without firing a shot! Welcome back to the royal empire run as a dictatorship. ..."
"... If only America focused its attention inward, on growth and stability, instead of transcendent American Imperialism then the world may stand a chance. ..."
"... Western positions on climate, neoliberalism, migration, in my opinion point into the same direction: critical thinking, almost gone. ..."
"... Defrauding the nation into "war of aggression" is the supreme crime one can commit against the American People. The "SUPREME CRIME"! ..."
"... Every "penny" belonging to each and every Neocon Oligarch who CONSPIRED TO DEFRAUD US INTO ILLEGAL WAR should be forfeit until the debt from those wars is paid down .. IN FULL ! ..."
"... Canada may be the obvious criminal. But on consideration, isn't it rather like the low-level thug who carries out a criminal assignment on the orders of a gang boss? And isn't it the gang boss who is the real problem for society? ..."
"... and Ms. Meng was seized on the same day that he was personally meeting on trade issues with Chinese President Xi. Some have even suggested that the incident was a deliberate slap in Trump's face. ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | www.unz.com

As most readers know, I'm not a casual political blogger and I prefer producing lengthy research articles rather than chasing the headlines of current events. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the looming danger of a direct worldwide clash with China is one of them.

Consider the arrest last week of Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei, the world's largest telecom equipment manufacturer. While flying from Hong Kong to Mexico, Ms. Meng was changing planes in the Vancouver International Airport airport when she was suddenly detained by the Canadian government on an August US warrant. Although now released on $10 million bail, she still faces extradition to a New York City courtroom, where she could receive up to thirty years in federal prison for allegedly having conspired in 2010 to violate America's unilateral economic trade sanctions against Iran.

Although our mainstream media outlets have certainly covered this important story, including front page articles in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal , I doubt most American readers fully recognize the extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history. As one scholar noted, no event since America's deliberate 1999 bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade , which killed several Chinese diplomats, has so outraged both the Chinese government and its population. Columbia's Jeffrey Sachs correctly described it as "almost a US declaration of war on China's business community."

Such a reaction is hardly surprising. With annual revenue of $100 billion, Huawei ranks as the world's largest and most advanced telecommunications equipment manufacturer as well as China's most internationally successful and prestigious company. Ms. Meng is not only a longtime top executive there, but also the daughter of the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei, whose enormous entrepreneurial success has established him as a Chinese national hero.

Her seizure on obscure American sanction violation charges while changing planes in a Canadian airport almost amounts to a kidnapping. One journalist asked how Americans would react if China had seized Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook for violating Chinese law especially if Sandberg were also the daughter of Steve Jobs.

Indeed, the closest analogy that comes to my mind is when Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia kidnapped the Prime Minister of Lebanon earlier this year and held him hostage. Later he more successfully did the same with hundreds of his wealthiest Saudi subjects, extorting something like $100 billion in ransom from their families before finally releasing them. Then he may have finally over-reached himself when Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, was killed and dismembered by a bone-saw at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.

We should actually be a bit grateful to Prince Mohammed since without him America would clearly have the most insane government anywhere in the world. As it stands, we're merely tied for first.

Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon. As a result, local American courts have begun enforcing gigantic financial penalties against foreign countries and their leading corporations, and I suspect that the rest of the world is tiring of this misbehavior. Perhaps such actions can still be taken against the subservient vassal states of Europe, but by most objective measures, the size of China's real economy surpassed that of the US several years ago and is now substantially larger , while also still having a far higher rate of growth. Our totally dishonest mainstream media regularly obscures this reality, but it remains true nonetheless.

Provoking a disastrous worldwide confrontation with mighty China by seizing and imprisoning one of its leading technology executives reminds me of a comment I made several years ago about America's behavior under the rule of its current political elites:

Or to apply a far harsher biological metaphor, consider a poor canine infected with the rabies virus. The virus may have no brain and its body-weight is probably less than one-millionth that of the host, but once it has seized control of the central nervous system, the animal, big brain and all, becomes a helpless puppet.

Once friendly Fido runs around foaming at the mouth, barking at the sky, and trying to bite all the other animals it can reach. Its friends and relatives are saddened by its plight but stay well clear, hoping to avoid infection before the inevitable happens, and poor Fido finally collapses dead in a heap.

Normal countries like China naturally assume that other countries like the US will also behave in normal ways, and their dumbfounded shock at Ms. Meng's seizure has surely delayed their effective response. In 1959, Vice President Richard Nixon visited Moscow and famously engaged in a heated "kitchen debate" with Premier Nikita Khrushchev over the relative merits of Communism and Capitalism. What would have been the American reaction if Nixon had been immediately arrested and given a ten year Gulag sentence for "anti-Soviet agitation"?

Since a natural reaction to international hostage-taking is retaliatory international hostage-taking, the newspapers have reported that top American executives have decided to forego visits to China until the crisis is resolved. These days, General Motors sells more cars in China than in the US, and China is also the manufacturing source of nearly all our iPhones, but Tim Cook, Mary Barra, and their higher-ranking subordinates are unlikely to visit that country in the immediate future, nor would the top executives of Google, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and the leading Hollywood studios be willing to risk indefinite imprisonment.

Canada had arrested Ms. Meng on American orders, and this morning's newspapers reported that a former Canadian diplomat had suddenly been detained in China , presumably as a small bargaining-chip to encourage Ms. Meng's release. But I very much doubt such measures will have much effect. Once we forgo traditional international practices and adopt the Law of the Jungle, it becomes very important to recognize the true lines of power and control, and Canada is merely acting as an American political puppet in this matter. Would threatening the puppet rather than the puppet-master be likely to have much effect?

Similarly, nearly all of America's leading technology executives are already quite hostile to the Trump Administration, and even if it were possible, seizing one of them would hardly be likely to sway our political leadership. To a lesser extent, the same thing is true about the overwhelming majority of America's top corporate leaders. They are not the individuals who call the shots in the current White House.

Indeed, is President Trump himself anything more than a higher-level puppet in this very dangerous affair? World peace and American national security interests are being sacrificed in order to harshly enforce the Israel Lobby's international sanctions campaign against Iran, and we should hardly be surprised that the National Security Adviser John Bolton, one of America's most extreme pro-Israel zealots, had personally given the green light to the arrest. Meanwhile, there are credible reports that Trump himself remained entirely unaware of these plans, and Ms. Meng was seized on the same day that he was personally meeting on trade issues with Chinese President Xi. Some have even suggested that the incident was a deliberate slap in Trump's face.

But Bolton's apparent involvement underscores the central role of his longtime patron, multi-billionaire casino-magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose enormous financial influence within Republican political circles has been overwhelmingly focused on pro-Israel policy and hostility towards Iran, Israel's regional rival.

Although it is far from clear whether the very elderly Adelson played any direct personal role in Ms. Meng's arrest, he surely must be viewed as the central figure in fostering the political climate that produced the current situation. Perhaps he should not be described as the ultimate puppet-master behind our current clash with China, but any such political puppet-masters who do exist are certainly operating at his immediate beck and call. In very literal terms, I suspect that if Adelson placed a single phone call to the White House, the Trump Administration would order Canada to release Ms. Meng that same day.

Adelson's fortune of $33 billion ranks him as the 15th wealthiest man in America, and the bulk of his fortune is based on his ownership of extremely lucrative gambling casinos in Macau, China . In effect, the Chinese government currently has its hands around the financial windpipe of the man ultimately responsible for Ms. Meng's arrest and whose pro-Israel minions largely control American foreign policy. I very much doubt that they are fully aware of this enormous, untapped source of political leverage.

Over the years, Adelson's Chinese Macau casinos have been involved in all sorts of political bribery scandals , and I suspect it would be very easy for the Chinese government to find reasonable grounds for immediately shutting them down, at least on a temporary basis, with such an action having almost no negative repercussions to Chinese society or the bulk of the Chinese population. How could the international community possibly complain about the Chinese government shutting down some of their own local gambling casinos with a long public record of official bribery and other criminal activity? At worst, other gambling casino magnates would become reluctant to invest future sums in establishing additional Chinese casinos, hardly a desperate threat to President Xi's anti-corruption government.

I don't have a background in finance and I haven't bothered trying to guess the precise impact of a temporary shutdown of Adelson's Chinese casinos, but it wouldn't surprise me if the resulting drop in the stock price of Las Vegas Sands Corp would reduce Adelson's personal net worth were by $5-10 billion within 24 hours, surely enough to get his immediate personal attention. Meanwhile, threats of a permanent shutdown, perhaps extending to Chinese-influenced Singapore, might lead to the near-total destruction of Adelson's personal fortune, and similar measures could also be applied as well to the casinos of all the other fanatically pro-Israel American billionaires, who dominate the remainder of gambling in Chinese Macau.

The chain of political puppets responsible for Ms. Meng's sudden detention is certainly a complex and murky one. But the Chinese government already possesses the absolute power of financial life-or-death over Sheldon Adelson, the man located at the very top of that chain. If the Chinese leadership recognizes that power and takes effective steps, Ms. Meng will immediately be put on a plane back home, carrying the deepest sort of international political apology. And future attacks against Huawei, ZTE, and other Chinese technology companies would not be repeated.

China actually holds a Royal Flush in this international political poker game. The only question is whether they will recognize the value of their hand. I hope they do for the sake of America and the entire world.


Carlton Meyer , says: Website December 13, 2018 at 5:36 am GMT

This is no surprise. Anyone who follows political events knows that John Bolton is insane, so no surprise that he devised this insane idea. The problem will be corrected within a week, and hopefully Bolton sent to an asylum.

However, this is a clear sign that Canada no longer exists as an independent nation, but is a colony of the USA/Israeli empire. Canada provides soldiers for this empire in Afghanistan even today, and in Latvia. Most Canadians can't find that nation on a map, but it's a tiny unimportant nation in the Baltic that NATO adsorbed as part of its plan for a new Cold War.

This story is not about an ultra-wealthy Chinese heiress enduring an odd adventure in Canada. This story is about a complete loss of Canadian sovereignty, because detaining this lady is outright insane. Canada was conquered without firing a shot! Welcome back to the royal empire run as a dictatorship.

Cloak And Dagger , says: December 13, 2018 at 5:40 am GMT
I hope someone in China is reading this article. I would love to see Adelson and his cohorts go down in flames. This would fit right in with China's current anti-corruption foray. Xi has a reputation for hanging corrupt officials. Shutting down Adelson's casinos would be consistent with what Xi has been doing and increase his popularity, not least of all, right here in the US.
Tusk , says: December 13, 2018 at 5:43 am GMT
If only America focused its attention inward, on growth and stability, instead of transcendent American Imperialism then the world may stand a chance. The future will suffer once China's debt traps collapse and like America it begins placing military globally. America would be the one country who could work towards a Western future but this will never be the case. Better start learning Mandarin lest we end up like the Uyghurs.
Frankie P , says: December 13, 2018 at 5:55 am GMT
@Anonymous Use your brain. The Chinese elite want to use the political clout that Adelson and the other big casino Jews have with the US government. To gain lobby power from a proven expert, Shelly Adelson, they are willing to allow him to make the big bucks in Macao. They expect quid pro quo.
sarz , says: December 13, 2018 at 6:02 am GMT
Great suggestion, based on sound analysis, especially your pointing out the centrality of Zionism in Trump's foreign policy.

I wish you would blog more.

Anonymous [346] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 6:11 am GMT
The Chinese are pussies and will always back down. The U.S. laughed in their face after they bombed and killed them in Belgrade and got crickets from the Chinamen. China can't project much power beyond its borders. They can't punch back. The Chinese (and East Asians) are only part of the global business racket because they are efficient worker bees facilitating the global financial system. They have no real control over the global market. And if they start to think they do they'll get a quick lesson. Like they're getting with Meng, who is being treated like coolie prostitute. LMAO.
Baxter , says: December 13, 2018 at 6:44 am GMT
I always enjoy fresh writing from Mr. Unz. Clarity of thought is a fine thing to witness in language. It should be stated, America is not in any danger.the empire is and is in terminal decline. As Asia's economic might grows in leaps ad bound, so does the empire scramble to thwart losing its global grip.

As Fred Reed once pointed out, declining empires rarely go quietly. Will America's leadership gamble on a new war to prevent asia's ascendancy?
I think it's possible.

But what do I know. As my father once said, "I'm just a pawn in a game."

To his credit he had the wherewithal to see that. Alas, most Americans are asleep.

renfro , says: December 13, 2018 at 8:08 am GMT
The call for Ms. Meng's arrest had to come from the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. They enforce every thing related to sanctions, which they claim is what Meng was arrested for– sale of phones and software to Iran. But they also say they had been on her company's case since 2013 so their timing is rather suspect.

What else I don't understand is her company has research and offices in Germany, Sweden, the U.S., France, Italy, Russia, India, China and Canada ..So if what they sold or attempted to sell to Iran wasn't outright 'stolen' intellectual property from the US or even if it was why not transfer it to and or have it made in China or some country not signed onto the Iran sanctions and then sell it to Iran. I haven't boned up on exactly what kinds of phone software they were selling but I think it has something to do with being able to bypass NSA and others intercepts.

The Alarmist , says: December 13, 2018 at 8:49 am GMT
You are assuming Meng is not a sacrificial pawn in some larger game.

It would be priceless for Xi to shut down Adelson's operations in Macau for a few days or weeks, but I'm afraid Xi is very much akin to Capitain Louis Renault in Casablanca , and after walking into a Macau casino and uttering the phrase, "I am shocked- shocked- to find that gambling is going on in here!" might admit in the next breath, "I blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind happens to be from Jerusalem."

jilles dykstra , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:06 am GMT
Half a century or so propaganda like 'the USA policing the world' of course had effect. Not realised is that in normal circumstances police is not an autonomous force, but has to act within a legal framework. The illusion of this framework of course exists, human rights, democracy, whatever
anon [426] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:09 am GMT
She's out on bail. Agree that Bolton blindsided Trump. Trump is going to try to turn this into some sort of PR gesture when he pardons her. No way he will let this mess up his trade deal. Which is beached until she exonerated.
jilles dykstra , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:28 am GMT
@Anonymous

What is true of these stories of course cannot be known with certainty, but it is asserted that USA military technology is way behind China and Russia. Several examples exist, but of course, if these examples tell the truth, not sure. PISA comparisons of levels of education world wide show how the west is intellectually behind the east.

Western positions on climate, neoliberalism, migration, in my opinion point into the same direction: critical thinking, almost gone.

Tom Welsh , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:41 am GMT
"I very much doubt that they are fully aware of this enormous, untapped source of political leverage".

I very much doubt whether that is the case. As far as I know, most Chinese people are distinguished by their intelligence, thoroughness and diligence. What do the thousands of people employed by China's foreign ministry and its intelligence services do all day, if they are unaware of such important facts?

However I also doubt if China's leaders are inclined to see matters in nearly such a black and white way as many Westerners. Jewish people seem to get along very well in China and with the Chinese, which could be because both have high levels of intelligence, culture, and subtlety. As well as being interested in money and enterprise.

It's certainly an interesting situation, and I too am waiting expectantly for the other shoe to drop.

Tom Welsh , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:45 am GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage

Yes, whatever your bias is, China is a "normal" country. In the sense of being closer to the ideal than most countries – not of being average.

You may bewail some of the "human rights" issues in China, although I believe they may be somewhat magnified for PR purposes. But when did China last attack another country without provocation and murder hundreds of thousands of its citizens, level its cities, or destroy the rule of law? (Like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya )

The Chinese seem to be law-abiding, sensible, and strongly disposed to peace. Which is something the world needs a lot more of right now.

alexander , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
@Dan Hayes "why hasn't anyone before thought of it.. "

" WHY HASN'T ANYONE BEFORE THOUGHT OF IT !!"

You must be kidding me.

For over three years I have been issuing comment after comment after comment .Like a crazed wolf howling in a barren forest .That the "number one" priority of the American people should be demanding the seizure of ALL the assets of Neocon oligarchic class.

Why ?

Not because they are "oligarchs." ..or some might own "casinos" but because they "deliberately" Conspired to Defraud the American People into illegal Wars of Aggression and have nearly bankrupted the nation in the process.

That's why.

And it is the worlds BEST REASON to seize the assets a thousand times better than "bribery charges." I have issued statement after statement to that affect ,on Unz Review, in the hope that at some point it might, at least subliminally, catch on.

What I have witnessed over the past six years, is a lot of intelligent, thoughtful people "correctly diagnosing" the issues which plague the nation But no one had any idea of what to do about it. I have been pointing out, that if people really want to do something about it then do whats RIGHT: Seize the assets of the defrauders.!

Of course we can. Of course we can Its the LAW! Defrauding the nation into "war of aggression" is the supreme crime one can commit against the American People. The "SUPREME CRIME"!

(If you don't think so, go ask your local Police Officer. He will tell you FLAT OUT ..it is the Worst crime "Conspiracy to Defraud into Mass Murder! .Not good ! You can even ask him if there is a statute of limitations. He will probably say something like " Yeah .When the Sun collapses!")

And they are GUILTY as charged There is no doubt , .. not anymore. We all know it and can "prove" it ! Every "penny" belonging to each and every Neocon Oligarch who CONSPIRED TO DEFRAUD US INTO ILLEGAL WAR should be forfeit until the debt from those wars is paid down .. IN FULL !

The keys to the kingdom are right there, right in front of your noses. If you want to change things ."take action" the law is on YOUR side. We don't need China to do a damn thing ..We just need the American People to rise up,"apply the law" and take back their country and its solvency.

Tom Welsh , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:47 am GMT
@Nonny

Canada may be the obvious criminal. But on consideration, isn't it rather like the low-level thug who carries out a criminal assignment on the orders of a gang boss? And isn't it the gang boss who is the real problem for society?

Brabantian , says: December 13, 2018 at 9:59 am GMT
An article with the identical take as Ron Unz, including the idea that China has its key lever via Sheldon Adelson's casinos, was published on the Canadian website of Henry Makow also noting that USA political king-maker Adelson, is a major force behind the anti-Iran obsessions that partly grounded the arrest of Ms Meng, and so well-deserves consequences here...

In the Jeffrey Sachs article linked above, Sachs lists no less than 25 other companies which have been 'violating US sanctions' and admitted guilt via paying of fines, but never suffered any executive arrests, including banks including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, PayPal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Wells Fargo.

In terms of international law, the Meng case violates numerous basic legal and United Nations norms :

This is also a significant humiliation of President Trump personally, his own advisors apparently colluding to render him powerless and uninformed

The Meng case brings to mind the story of another sanctions-violating 'target' arrested at USA request, the great USA chess master and non-Zionist Jew, Bobby Fischer (1943-2008).

Born in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Fischer impressed the world with his genius, but, like Ms Meng became criminally indicted by the USA regime, for the 'crime' of playing chess in Yugoslavia when the Serb government was under USA 'sanctions'. Harassed across the globe, Fischer was jailed in Japan in 2004-05 by embarrassed Japanese leaders, for this fake 'crime' which few people in the world thought was wrong. Fischer had been using his celebrity voice to strongly criticise the USA & Israeli governments, making him also a political target, much as Ms Meng is a political target due to her being a prominent citizen and quasi-princess of China.

The Japanese, loath to be the instrument of Fischer's USA imprisonment, finally allowed Bobby to transit to Iceland where he was given asylum and residency. Living not far from Iceland's NATO military base, Fischer became quickly and mysteriously struck with disease, and Fischer died in Reykjavik, perhaps a victim of a CIA-Mossad-Nato assassination squad.

The Chinese government, I am told, directly understands the power and role of Sheldon Adelson here, and Chinese inspectors are perhaps inside Adelson's Macau properties as you read this. Perhaps Chinese officials may show up soon in Adelson's casinos, and repeat the line of actor Claude Rains' character in the 1942 film 'Casablanca' -
"I'm shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here!"

OMG , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:24 am GMT
@renfro Seconded
LondonBob , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:32 am GMT
@renfro http://www.atimes.com/article/did-trumps-enemies-try-to-derail-a-trade-deal-with-china/

Article suggests the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence which Mr Giraldi has commented on.

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-fifth-column-2/

Heros , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:47 am GMT
@sarz Great links.

What we have to realize is that just as there is no real difference between Democrats and Republicans because they are both owned by the same people, so must we realize that in reality there is little difference between the leaders of the worlds countries because they are all owned by the same central banks. This is why Nate Rothschild famously stated "give me control of a countries money supply, and I care not who makes its laws" . All the world's central banks are tied together by BIS, WB and IMF and the US marines. This is the reason Syria, Libya, NK and Venezuela have been taken down: Rothchild central bank control.

So this Huaiwei arrest almost certainly has nothing to do with the "trade war", and is with certainly a hit by one side of the Kabal against the other. Zionist Nationalists versus Chabad Lubbovitz perhaps?

Jared Kushner has been lying pretty low lately and recently was stripped of his security clearance. He was linked to Kissilev the Russian ambassador, plus he was pushing Trump to help protect MBS in SA. I would bet that he is at the center of this storm.

AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 10:54 am GMT
I'm honestly shocked no one has stated the obvious: very, very few Americans would be likely to care if Sheryl Sandberg were arrested on dubious charges in China. I cant say I would be one of those few people.

I also should note that the crown prince of KSA is Mohammad bin Salman. Salman is his father, the king. The crown prince is Mohammad, son of (aka "bin") Salman.

AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:00 am GMT
@Nonny Lmao! Canada is a vassal state of the US. The US govt ordered Canada to arrest Meng, and Canada's govt dutifully complied.
AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:11 am GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage In many ways China does deviate from international norms, but of course so does the United States. As Tom Welsh pointed out, Chinese foreign policy is downright angelic compared to the US, even if you consider Tibet and Xinjiang to be illegitimately occupied territories (an argument I'm sympathetic to). Perhaps China would act as belligerently as the US does if China were the sole global superpower, but it's not, so it's fair to judge China favorably compared to the US.
Sean , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT Godfree Roberts , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage It's certainly abnormal in having a functioning democracy and the trust of 90% of its citizens.

Is there anything else that disqualifies it from normalcy?

AndrewR , says: December 13, 2018 at 11:21 am GMT
@Craig Nelsen Trump deserves it for hiring Bolton at all. Perhaps one might argue Trump was blackmailed into doing so but he doesn't seem to be acting like a blackmailed man.
SimplePseudonymicHandle , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm GMT
Mr. Unz, at no time since Ms. Wanzhou's arrest have I felt myself in a position to judge that this was a strategically unwise or incautious act. It might be, but apparently I'm to be contrasted from so many of your readers, and you, simply for understanding myself to have an inadequate handle on the facts to make the call. That would be true, that my handle on the facts would be inadequate, even if I didn't have personal knowledge of Huawei's suspicious practices or their scale.

I worry that you don't seem to evidence the presence of someone trusted who will go toe to toe with you as Devil's Advocate. Too often, on affairs of too great a consequence, you come across too strongly, when the data doesn't justify the confidence. A confident error is still an error and Maimonides' advice on indecision notwithstanding, a confident error is a candidate for hubris, the worst kind of error. All of this, of course, assumes you make these arguments in good faith because if not the calculus changes mightily.
Too many of your readers evidence that they interpret this event and form an opinion of it based on nothing but this higher order syllogism:

Because I distrust the US government
[or because I distrust those I believe to control the US government]
It follows that this was an unjustified act or else a dangerous strategic error

After this higher order syllogism is accepted without due critique, evidence is sought to justify it and no further consideration of the possibilities is tallied.

At minimum you need to have run a permutation where you seriously consider that : it is well know to US operatives, if not to US citizens, you, and your readers, that Huawei is actively, constantly and maliciously waging covert war on the USA. You should at least consider this possibility. If true, this act may merely be a shot across the bow that notifies China of a readiness to expose things China may not wished exposed, and might stop endangering US citizens, if it were made aware such things stand to be exposed.

If that's true, not only are you a fishing trawler captain causing distraction with a loudspeaker yelling at the captain of the destroyer that just fired the warning shot across the bow of a Chinese vessel that is likely covert PLA/N, but now you may be positioning your trawler to block the destroyer.
Do you really have enough information to know this is wise? Do you really know as much as the destroyer captain?
I will be away today, in the off chance you reply and I don't immediately answer it is because I can't.

ariadna , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm GMT
Superb, as always, Ron Unz!
For someone who says he has no background in economics you you put your finger dead center on the money nexus of this "puppet run by another puppet controlled by another puppet dangling from the strings of a still bigger puppet" chain from hell.
I wish someone would read out the entire article, may be with photos of the culprits, on Youtube with subtitles in Chinese.
Wizard of Oz , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:26 pm GMT
@Craig Nelsen Nobody is suggesting that "the order" came from Bolton or that he could indeed give any such order. True his not telling Trump about what was about to happen bears a sinister interpretation.
lavoisier , says: Website December 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage I think what he means by normal are countries whose leaders are interested in the well being of their nation and the people they rule. No divided or corrupted loyalties to another nation.

By this standard the United States is clearly not a normal country.

Che Guava , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
Well said, Mr. Unz.

I was finding the arrest hard to believe, too.

One angle you did not mention, Cisco (U.S. company) of course until not too many years ago had a near-monopoly on the kind of network systems Huawei is selling as number one now (actually, I did not know of Huawei's success there, thought of it as a handset maker), that may be a factor here.

There are a few Chinese or U.S. people of that descent on this site, mainly PRC-sympathetic, it would be very amusing if they were able to ignite a big discussion of your hypothetical reprisals

Ahoy , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:35 pm GMT
@ Anonymous [346] #10

For whatever is worth, if any.

During the bombing of Belgrade a missile fell on the Chinese Embassy. A local tv reporter approached a Chinese Embassy official and asked him. What are you going to do now? The answer was.

"Ask me this question forty years from now"

Strictly personal, Wow!

Durruti , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:52 pm GMT
@Brabantian Nice comment.

Yes, poor Bobby Fischer.

The Meng case brings to mind the story of another sanctions-violating 'target' arrested at USA request, the great USA chess master and non-Zionist Jew, Bobby Fischer (1943-2008).

Fischer was another victim of Zionist controlled American imperialism. Yugoslavia, the child of Woodrow Wilson, became the victim of the Imperialist war Against Russia. Russia's brother, and ally, Yugoslavia, was destroyed by the kind democrat gang administration of Wm (that was not sex), Clinton.

Nonny , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh You complicate things by bringing up the Mafia boss. Who committed the actual crime? Who kidnapped the woman?
Anon55 , says: December 13, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
Excellent article, and an ingenious suggestion regarding the Adelson casinos. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a casino shutdown. Having worked in the marketing end of the casino industry myself, I can tell you the most coveted demographic lists were always the Chinese players, words like fanatical and obsessive don't even come close to describing their penchant for gambling. I could literally see casino shutdowns in China causing a national Gilet Jaune moment followed by the overthrow of the Communist Party LOL.

I would definitely welcome seeing more Ron Unz articles on current topics.

Jim Christian , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:04 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Any chance this is Democrat, Deep State types at State and Justice manufacturing this cluster-f in order to make Trump look unaware? This is a President that respects casinos. And business. If Bolton and Company pulled this from behind the scenes without Executive knowledge or authorization, is that even legal? More treason? But given the circumstances, how does all this even GET to Iran, hurt Iran at all? What was supposedly illegal was done in 2010. Are we certain bags of cash from the Chinese and Russians and Iran weren't traveling about Democrat-ruled DC back then? Grabbing this chick helps the case against Iran? I'm at a loss as to how.

And so the thought of a more local political benefit/purpose, stirring a diplomatic shit-storm on Trump's watch, something he'd have to take responsibility for. To start a near war, sort of like the Bay of Pigs. Operatives, pulling tricks, writing checks the President then has to cover, looking like an unelectable mook throughout.

I'm happy to give the AIPAC kiddies full credit, I just don't see the damage to Iran in all this. For crying out loud, we carted $500 billion cash over to Iran under Obama's watch, what, 2013 or 2014ish? I don't know how we skip over THAT, to get to trade shenanigans in 2010, also taking place under Obama's watch. What was Holder doing when he was AG after all, why no action then? If it's Israeli-driven today, why wasn't Israel pushing Holder to take action against Huawei back in 2010?

Makes no sense.

TRASH(NOT) , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
@TheMediumIsTheMassage How is the USA a "normal" country in any sense of the word? It once was truly great among the nations of the world but that ship sailed looooong back.

We invade for fake "freedom", inject the poison of homo mania into nations that do not do the bidding of the homos and/or bend to the will of the chosen ones, pretend it's all for some good cause then invite the survivors to displace the founding stock of this country. You call that "normal"??

We are nothing more than a vehicle for every kind of degenerate (((loser))) with cash to use our men and women as their private mercenaries. We spread filth around the place, destroy nations and proclaim ourselves as the peace-makers with the shrill voice of a worn out street prostitute on kensingtion ave (philly).

We are like that hoe, living out the last days of her aids infested body, with a grudge on the world for something that was completely of our (((own))) making. Philly might have been the birthplace of this country but camden is where we are all headed. And looking at China, we are dysfunctional beyond repair. Of course we still have quite a few things the Chinese might want to emulate (no the SJW versions but the read deal) but looking at our other maladies, they probably won't who'll blame them?

Icy Blast , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:08 pm GMT
Gosh I hope Agent Orange gets a copy of this article. But I am afraid he is surrounded by Bolton-type traitors.
Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Anon Yes it was s Portuguese colony. Interesting that Persian traders including Jews were in Macau going back st least to 500 AD probably more.

Ron, have you sent this article to the Chinese ambassador in DC yet?

Strange that the Chinese let Adelson in. The Macau casinos have thrived for a long time. The Portuguese left valuable casinos and the Chinese let the Jews in soon after the Portuguese left.

It makes sense that foreign casino operators would want to move into Macau, but why would China let foreigners in?

Could it be that one of the largest investors in China since the mid 1970s Richard Blum husband of Dianne Feinstein has something to do with it??
She's as much the Senator representing China as a Senator representing California.

Ronnie , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:11 pm GMT
Another interesting aspect of all this is the "suicide" of Physics Professor Zhang Shoucheng at Stanford just a few hours after Meng was arrested on Dec 1. According to reliable Chinese sources and widespread reporting on social media Zhang was the conduit to China from Silicone Valley. He was richly rewarded by Chinese investment in his US companies. IMHO the Chinese understand the role of Israel and Adelson in US politics but are cautious in going this far. The Chinese are taking the light touch approach with Trump and his Adelson selected neocons. A Chinese businessman Guo WenGui with the highest connections to the Chinese elites and security services has sought political asylum in the USA. On the internet he daily speaks to the Chinese diaspora (in Mandarin) on the complex developments in Chinese official corruption. The NY Times has now started to take him seriously (good idea ) and reports that he and Steve Bannon have formed an alliance to expose Chinese government activities. You can read all this in the NY Times. Unz should translate Guo Wengui into English and publish his commentaries. In my analysis he is usually right about China and has shown remarkable predictive powers. He knows how and what the Chinese think, where the bones are buried and what comes next. He and Bannon plan to reveal the facts about the recent suicide in France of another prominent Chinese businessman Wang Jian who was Chairman of Hainan Airlines parent company.
Buzz Mohawk , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm GMT
This article by Mr. Unz is a good example of why people should read and support the Unz Review. No one is better equipped to shed light on otherwise unmentioned interests behind mainstream news events like this one.

Kudos for making a smart suggestion that no doubt will be heard by people who could carry it out.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:37 pm GMT
Good article, but it is only scratching the surface.
Many things would be explained if somebody would find out what is the volume of US investment in China, and what percentage of it is Jewish.
That would shed light why the rabid Jewish press in US so bestially attacking Trump, after Trump started to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.
I do not know, but I could guess that Trump reached deep into Jewish profits.
We have no choice than wait what will happen to tariffs after Trump will be replaced.
RVBlake , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:40 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Canada declared an end to participating in combat operations in Afghanistan in July 2011 and withdrew its combat forces, leaving a dwindling number of advisors to Afghan forces. The last Canadian soldier departed Afghanistan in March 2014. You are spot on regarding Bolton's certifiability.
Virgile , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
Trump has been totally phagocyted by the Neo-Cons in the foreign policy. The two pillars of the neocons foreign policy are now Saudi Arabia and Israel. Trump is benefitting from the neo-cons intelligence and their powerful financial network that he is convinced would help in his reelection.
Once he is re-elected then he may decrease his reliance on them but for the next few years the jewish lobby will prevail in Trump's foreign policy. Unless they are not able to protect Trump from falling under the democrats assaults or been eliminated from power, they are on for more wars, more troubles and more deaths. History will place Trump near Bush junior as neo-cons puppets responsible for the largest destruction of countries since WWII.
eah , says: December 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm GMT
Doesn't really address the core problem.
Anon [257] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Brabantian Interesting that she was arrested in the Chinese colony of Vancouver BC. Maybe the Canadian government is asserting sovereignty over Vancouver at long last.

That must have been frightening. There she was sitting in the VIP lounge surrounded by deferential airline clerks as usual and suddenly she's under arrest.

Johnny Smoggins , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm GMT
The most disappointing thing about this whole incident, so far, is China's timidity in dealing with America.

Holding some C level former Canadian diplomat? Come on China, prove you're a serious nation, you can do much, much better.

Johnny Smoggins , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Canada has been a vassal state of the U.S. since it stopped being a vassal state of the U.K. in the 1960′s.
Sean , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:10 pm GMT

Since the end of the Cold War, the American government has become increasingly delusional, regarding itself as the Supreme World Hegemon.

More delusional than when in 1957 the US government gave Iran a nuclear reactor and weapons grade uranium? In his latter years Khashoggi 's relative, the weapons dealer Adnan Khashoggi, much later mused on what the US was trying to achieve by giving Iran vast amounts of armaments, when all it did was set off an arms race in the region. America then switched to Iraq as its cop on the beat and gave them anything they asked for, and were placatory of Saddam when he started talking crazy. This was under the US government least attentive to Israel. Yes things should be more balanced as Steven Walt suggests

Averting World Conflict with China, by Ron Unz - The Unz Review If it wants to create the conditions for a final settlement of the Palestinian problem, then America should be more even handed but it must also be very cautious about Iran. We don't know who will be in power there in the future and history shows that once those ME counties are given an inch they take a mile.

Saudi Arabia seems quite sensible, its liking for US gov bonds that even Americans think offer too low a rate of interest is easily explained as payment for US protection. Killing Khashoggi that way was a dreadful moral and foreign policy mistake from someone who is too young for the amount of authority he has been given, but the victim did not beg for death like more than a few Uygurs are doing right now. The CIA agent China rounded up with the help of it's network of double agents in the US were doubtless glad to have their interrogation terminated.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-20/vancouver-is-drowning-in-chinese-money

Some sweeteners from Adelson are likely in the Tsunami of dirty Chinese money, which are amusingly being laundered in Canadian casinos. As Walt points out the Chinese elite want bolt holes and bank accounts in north America. By the way most of the ill gotten gains are from sale of opiates such as fentanyl.

Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos

Yes that will work, especially when added to what China is already doing in targeting farmers who supported Trump, so he is definitely not going to be reelected now you have explained all this to them, and you are also opening up Harvard to their children, which can only redound to the detriment of white gentiles. Deliberate pouring of the vials of wrath or just accidentally spilling them? I am begining to wonder.

Silva , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Nonny Someone commits a crime while wearing a hat, and you blame the hat? What's wrong with you?
Almost Missouri , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:43 pm GMT
Thank you, Ron, for a clear-headed and insightful article.

There are however, two tiny infelicities, which I would not want for them to distract from the article's merit.

First, I think the Saudi Arabian Prince you are referring to is Prince Mohammed bin Salman, not "Prince Salman". "Prince Mohammed" would be the abbreviated form of his name. "Bin" is of course the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew "ben" indicating paternity, rather than a middle name, so "Salman" is not his surname. "Prince Salman" would refer to the current Saudi King before he was King, rather than to the current Prince.

Second, maybe the hypothetical of China seizing Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook is not the best analogy since I, and I suspect others who are aware of her key role in empowering and enriching a deceptive and parasitical industry, would not be terribly troubled if China seized her. Indeed, we might consider it a public service. Admittedly, it is hard to find a good analogy for a prominent female executive of a US national champion company since so many of our prominent companies are predatory rather than productive and scorn their native country rather than serve it.

Anon [732] Disclaimer , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:53 pm GMT

and Ms. Meng was seized on the same day that he was personally meeting on trade issues with Chinese President Xi. Some have even suggested that the incident was a deliberate slap in Trump's face.

The unmistakable style is there.

Bill H , says: Website December 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@Baxter "America is not in any danger." America is in very great danger, but only from within.

Almost half of all millenials believe that Capitalism is evil and that the Socialism should be the guiding economic principle of this nation. When you point out that it has failed for every nation in history that has tried it, notably the Soviet Union and more recently Venezuela, they retort that it is because those countries "did it wrong" and that "we will do it right." When you ask for specifics as what they "did wrong" that we will "do right" they stare at you wordlessly as if you are the one who is an idiot.

It should also be pointed out that a vast majority of Democrats think that Ocasio-Cortez is brilliant and that we need more legislators like her.

anonomy , says: December 13, 2018 at 2:58 pm GMT
What if Ms. Meng, was giving Iranian dissidents phones and other equipment to undermine the Government of Iran, starting another color revolution, that sucks in America and Israel? What if the Trump administration asked that this not be done in order to end the endless "revolutions" that have been happening and bankrupting our country and threatening Israel? What if the sanctions are benefiting Iran's government too? China was allowed to become so large at our expense when we opened up trade and moved businesses over there, but this was to keep them from being too cozy with Soviet Russia, just ask Nixon.
DESERT FOX , says: December 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm GMT
Part of the Zionist plan for a Zionist NWO was laid by David Rockefeller when he sent Kissinger to China to open up Chinas slave labor to the NWO types like Rockefeller and the Zionist controlled companies in the U.S. and part of the plan was the deindustrialization of America thus bringing down the American standard of living while raising the standard of living in China.

I will never believe the fake disagreement between the Zionist controlled U.S. and the Chinese government as long as G.M and Google and the other companies that have shut down their operations in the U.S. and opened operations in China, it is all a NWO plan to bring down we Americans to third world status and then meld all of us into a Zionist satanic NWO.

The enemy is not at the gates, the enemy is in the government and its name is Zionism and the Zionist NWO!

[Nov 03, 2018] Truman Delayed End of WWII to Demonstrate Nuclear Weapons - Daniel Ellsberg on RAI (3-8)

Notable quotes:
"... To intimidate the Soviet Union and prove to Congress the nuclear program should be funded, Truman dropped nuclear weapons on Japan ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | therealnews.com

To intimidate the Soviet Union and prove to Congress the nuclear program should be funded, Truman dropped nuclear weapons on Japan to end the war; no scientist came forward to warn of the dangers to life on earth, says Daniel Ellsberg on Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay

DANIEL ELLSBERG: Yes. You know, a more even controversial episode is that Heisenberg- the one who had made the estimate on atmospheric ignition as a possibility, but it would take too long for the bomb- indicated in various ways that he was reluctant to see a bomb coming to Hitler's hands, even though he had joined the Nazi party and he was a very patriotic German, did not want to see Germany to lose the war. But when they learned of the bomb they were discussing being tapped, wiretapped, by the British where they were in custody saying, you know, we didn't really want to do it. Had we wanted to, we would have seen through these obstacles and moved ahead.

American physicists took very great exception to the thesis presented by Thomas Powers on Heisenberg's war, and so forth, that the Germans might have had more qualms than they did, in effect, than Heisenberg- you know, that was a very offensive idea. And he had gone to see Niels Bohr, the father of quantum physics, who came over later and helped the bomb project, in Denmark in a in a quite controversial issue. Heisenberg indicated that he wanted to see if Bohr could find a way of collaborating with the Western scientists in not bringing this bomb about at all. Bohr didn't read what he was saying that way. He thought that he was feeling him out to discover how advanced the Americans were, the British were. Anyway, they were at odds on this point. And it's definitely not settled as to what Heisenberg's actual motives were on that point. But it is interesting how offended, how very the Americans just dismissed any idea.

But actually, it isn't that hard to explain, in a way, because two things. From the American side, the very plausible idea that the Germans were ahead just dismissed virtually all moral considerations from what they were doing. And that's understandable. I couldn't say that then or now, as I am now, I would have felt differently on that point in that light, whether they should move ahead to try to at least match whatever the Germans had. The Germans for that, from their side, didn't have that consideration. They weren't that afraid. They might or might not have been concerned about whether Hitler should have it.

But I will say this. Many of the scientists who were early on in this process, in particular Leo Szilard, fled Nazi Germany right after the Reichstag fire. He went and became an emigre in London, then in the U.S. because of what he saw Hitler would mean. He was sure that war was coming at that point. As he said, by the way, because he was sure the Germans would not resist. Not because they would be enthusiastic about what he was doing, but they wouldn't oppose him effectively. And so he left Germany.

He had the thought that very year in 1933, the possibility of a chain reaction- the first to have that notion- that a heavy element being split by neutrons might emit more neutrons in an explosive, exponential chain reaction, and produce both energy or an enormous explosion. And he patented that idea and gave it to the Admiralty so that would not be known, he thought, to the Germans. He was very anxious that Hitler not get that idea. Later, he was- when he concluded, after uranium had been split. And he concluded with an experiment that he did that it did release extra neutrons in the course of this. He said he shut off the device that was showing this process with a sense that the world was sure to come to grief. In other words, he saw and others saw right from the beginning that this was something that could threaten civilization, and possibly the existence of humanity.

Two other points. In concern that the Germans would get it first, it was Szilard who drafted the letter for Einstein to send- his colleague- to send to Roosevelt, asking, telling about the German possibility, and that we should start a program so that the Germans did not get it first. So he was the, Szilard was a critical figure in getting the program started. Finally, working with Enrico Fermi, that I mentioned earlier, in Chicago, at what they called for cover the Metallurgical Lab, they started the first working reactor, then called a pile, that would demonstrate that you could control the reaction and produce plutonium. The reactors were essential to producing the Pu-239 that was eventually used as the core of the Nagasaki bomb. For most bombs, now. That night, the scientists who were present all celebrated with a bottle of Chianti, and Szilard stayed behind and said to Fermi, "This day may go down as a black day in the history of humanity."

So, some say it was evident from the beginning that this had a potential of, you know, the most, when we say existential threat, literally the case. Not for the globe. Atmospheric ignition, even that would not destroy the earth. Just all the conditions for life on it. It would go like a rock through space. But that was, turned out with a number of tests, finally, that wasn't a big problem. But destroying cities, that's what it was made for, essentially. And by '42 the British had made their major project in the war, having been thrown off the continent earlier, the destroying of cities by firebombing.

PAUL JAY: OK. Before we go there, let me just follow up one thing. When Germany loses the war, and- as you said- there's no other nuclear power, why didn't the American scientists quit the program?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: They worked harder. When Germany ended the war they were pressed to redouble their efforts to get the bomb. Basically, people like Gar Alperovitz, but many others have concluded in the end, in order to have the bomb before the war ended. Which, with the war ended there'd be no excuse for demonstrating it on a city.

PAUL JAY: No, I get why the American military and the government wanted to keep it going. But why didn't the scientists quit?

DANIEL ELLSBERG: They don't have a good answer. Many of them have asked later- they were pressed to do it for national security. And of course, the Japanese too- for all they knew, like the American public, not knowing that the Japanese were discussing, and discussing with their ambassadors in Soviet Union and elsewhere, and with the Soviets their desire to end the war if the Emperor could be kept. There were other conditions that the Army wanted. They wanted more than that even after the bombs. But the Emperor and the people close to him and in the foreign ministry were ready to end the war.

Oppenheimer and the others didn't know that. And they knew that the Japanese were fighting very hard. And the idea of ending the war sooner rather than later- they were actually contributing, in effect, to keeping the war going. Had there been no program, the- almost surely, had there been no bomb program, the offer to negotiate with the Japanese would have been earlier, instead of waiting for the bomb.

PAUL JAY: But the military wanted to be able to prove they had the bomb.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: No, it wasn't the military so much. It was actually Truman and Burns, his foreign secretary. No, the military were in favor of making the offer, on the whole.

And in a matter of fact, here is an almost funny thing in retrospect. LeMay, who was in charge of dropping the bomb in the Pacific, was under Tooey Spaatz, who was in charge of all the Pacific Air Forces. Neither of them were very enthusiastic about the idea of demonstrating the bomb. As Spaatz put it later when he heard about the bomb, how could we justify a large Air Force when the atom bomb exists? Even against Russia, one plane does the work of 300. Now, we have 300. But how do you justify ever using them day after day to burn cities to the ground? And we were doing that. And we killed more people that way, by firebombing, on the night of March 9 and 10, 1945 in Tokyo than either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

In the spring- or actually, after May of 1945 when the Germans had surrendered, so now we're just facing Japan- for the first time, really, a committee was was put together under James Franck. A Nobel Prize winner who, by the way, regretted his role and Germany's role in introducing poison gas to the world in the First World War, and concluded in his own mind that if the occasion ever arose again, he would demand real consideration in his new country, the U.S., a role, a voice at least, in the policy implications of this scientific development.

So the Franck committee, which included Szilard, and as its rapporteur Eugene Rabinowitz, who later became the head of the Federation of American Scientists, and the editor of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, with its doomsday clock. Rabinowitz was for many years the editor of that. And they concluded- as I said earlier, the first group really to be looking at it, thinking, amazingly enough, at the problem of where are we going with this? What are the implications of it? What does it mean for the world to have this weapon, and what can we do about it? Should have been done earlier. As I say, I believe if Rotblat had told people they were not racing Germany, they would have had this process months, six months earlier, in the fall, and possibly had much more influence on the final decision.

As I say, their recommendations, that the implications of the U.S. using this as a weapon in war- one bomb, one city- a weapon that would soon become much larger, there would be thousands of them, and would be supplanted by a weapon that was a thousand times more than this, that they thought should not be undertaken. That should be an effort in international control, and that required not having a monopoly of the bomb and using it in warfare. So we should at least, as Niels Bohr said, bring the Russians in as partners. The alternative being they would get it as adversaries within a few years in a cold war, which is what did happen.

So the front committee then met and had these conclusions, which did not get up through channels to the president. Rabinowitz, I learned only in the last couple of years in a thing that was not really published until quite recently, during the Franck Committee proceedings after the report was finished made the proposal that they should reveal, they should go beyond the bounds of security, and reveal to the public, the press and the public, not the details of bomb making, but the fact that this enormous weapon was in prospect and was about to be used. He actually put that in writing. I've never seen anything in writing, ever, like that in government. In effect, a proposal by a government insider to leak.

Obviously, leaks happen all the time. not with much discussion, usually. people don't want other people to know they might be a source. But in this case, Rabinowitz actually made that proposal, and nothing came of it. Then, however, he revealed in a letter to the New York Times in 1971, in June- a time very vivid in my memory because his letter came out in the New York Times while Patricia and I, my wife and I, were eluding the FBI. We were they say underground putting out the Pentagon Papers for 13 days while the FBI was searching for us. So I didn't see this at the time. I wasn't seeing the New York Times. I saw it many years later that while we were underground, he put out this letter saying, in the matter of Daniel Ellsberg that his under public discussion now- they were searching for me- he said, I myself spent sleepless nights in the spring of 1945 considering that I should reveal to the public this prospect- I'm paraphrasing here a little bit, but I remember the sleepless nights very well. And how his letter ended: I still believe that had I done so, I would have been justified. It would have been the right thing to do. Well, indeed, had Americans known about this, as Rabinowitz said later, I have no illusions that they might have supported the use of the bomb anyway. But at least they would have responsibility. They would have known what we were getting into.

And Szilard, by the way, was meanwhile putting a petition together, which eventually had more than 100 scientists, calling at first for not using the bomb even if it would save lives, and then to get more signers saying at least it should not be done without a demonstration, without the serious consideration of the moral concerns. None of this got to Truman. And in fact, Szilard was forbidden to publish the petition, that it had occurred, for decades. And when they finally did publish that there had a petition, they were unwilling to release the names of the scientists with the authority. In other words, that there was this alternative.

The point of all this is that time after time, I think, decisions were made in secret, at high levels, without real consideration of long-term implications of this or of alternative paths; without knowledge that the scientists had of what was coming, or where this might lead, and so forth. And there were people who saw the dangers of this so clearly, that they knew that civilization was in danger. I could go into the same story with respect to the H bomb. And in each case, each one decided to keep his clearance- they were all men- at the time. As a matter of fact, Hans Bethe's wife was one person, who was a physicist, who when Hans told her about the H bomb they were imagining in 1942 said, do you really want to be part of this? And she's the one person on record as sort of having told one of the scientists, think again about this. But Szilard, as I say, they all wanted to say, well, the Germans are in the process, or later the Russians are in the process, and they put aside moral considerations. But not one of them took the step of acting on his concerns and fears to bring the public and the Congress into the picture, and to have a discussion of whether this was the way that we wanted to go.

The bottom line for me is from the time they knew that Germany did not have the bomb- and I'm saying now the fall of '45 for the British, at least, and Rotblat- the overwhelming consideration about that bomb should have been how do we keep it from being an instrument of national policy, by us or anybody? Now, that was far from the minds of the people at the top. The idea of having a monopoly of it was so irresistible. There was no discussion whatever of not doing it at that level. They say the Franck notion didn't get to them. And they didn't- Franck didn't tell them, Rabinowitz didn't tell them, Szilard didn't tell them. By the way, the FBI were afraid that Szilard, knowing his views, would leak on this, that he was under constant surveillance. But as far as we know, it didn't occur to him to actually tell. C.P. Snow, who had been in charge of scientific recruitment at one point- later a novelist in Britain, I've read all his novels- commented, actually, on my case, in Esquire, after I was indicted for the Pentagon Papers, along with several other people. And he said, I would not- you know, I had sworn an oath not to tell secrets. I would not have done what Ellsberg did. However, I do have the feeling that if Einstein had been made aware of what was coming, he would have found a way to tell the public and bring them in.

It's very interesting what if- you know, conjecture. Because as a matter of fact, Szilard did meet with Einstein in '45 to send his report, or his views, to Roosevelt. And before that was actually set up Roosevelt died, and he was sidetracked over to Burns, who didn't sympathize with this at all. But he couldn't tell Einstein why he wanted to see Roosevelt, because Einstein wasn't cleared. Einstein was a pacifist. Not about World War II, not about Hitler. But he was generally a pacifist; later head of the War Resisters League. And they didn't trust him. So he didn't get a clearance, and he was never involved in the Manhattan Project, having laid the theoretical foundations for it himself earlier. Szilard didn't tell Einstein, because that would have put his own clearance in jeopardy, frankly. And they warned him. Groves and others warned him. Keep in mind, this stuff is classified. Your clearance is at stake here, and so forth.

No one actually came out, in the end. Oppenheimer, others who opposed the H bomb, did not reveal to a totally unwitting and ignorant public or Congress what they knew, having been persuaded that that would be unpatriotic. It would be not gentlemanly. That's what Dean Acheson told them. Don't let them know why you are resigning from the General Advisory Commission. In fact, don't resign at this time, because people will ask you why. Don't tell them the reason is because an H bomb threatens the existence of humanity.

Fermi, on the General Advisory Commission at that time along with Isidor Rabi, signed a report saying the super, the thermonuclear weapon, is in itself an evil thing. It should not exist. And they even with Rabi proposed something like a test ban, moratorium. We won't test first unless you do. But Truman overruled Fermi, and worked on the bomb; Bethe worked on the bomb. They all did, you know, patriotically and whatnot. And that's why we're where we are. Nobody felt, on the one hand, strongly enough to risk their own careers and their own status. Or to put in a little better light, their own identity as people who were trusted by the president to keep his secrets, whatever they were, was so important to them that it didn't even occur to them that the public maybe ought to know about this. Where Rabinowitz is an interesting exception is he did wrestle with that.

PAUL JAY: OK. In the next segment of our interview we're going to talk about those firebombings, and how in 1942 the British established the precedent for it. Please join us for Reality Asserts Itself with Daniel Ellsberg on The Real News Network.

[Oct 05, 2018] The SuperMicro chips problem may be an alleged use of the Intel Management Engine (or the AMD equivalent).

Oct 05, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

daffyDuct , Oct 5, 2018 8:35:21 PM | link

The SuperMicro chips may be an alleged use of the Intel Management Engine (or the AMD equivalent).

From Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-10-04/the-big-hack-how-china-used-a-tiny-chip-to-infiltrate-america-s-top-companies

"In simplified terms, the implants on Supermicro hardware manipulated the core operating instructions that tell the server what to do as data move across a motherboard, two people familiar with the chips' operation say. This happened at a crucial moment, as small bits of the operating system were being stored in the board's temporary memory en route to the server's central processor, the CPU. The implant was placed on the board in a way that allowed it to effectively edit this information queue, injecting its own code or altering the order of the instructions the CPU was meant to follow. Deviously small changes could create disastrous effects.

The illicit chips could do all this because they were connected to the baseboard management controller, a kind of superchip that administrators use to remotely log in to problematic servers, giving them access to the most sensitive code even on machines that have crashed or are turned off."

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Management_Engine

"The Intel Management Engine (ME), also known as the Manageability Engine, is an autonomous subsystem that has been incorporated in virtually all of Intel's processor chipsets since 2008. The subsystem primarily consists of proprietary firmware running on a separate microprocessor that performs tasks during boot-up, while the computer is running, and while it is asleep.As long as the chipset or SoC is connected to current (via battery or power supply), it continues to run even when the system is turned off. Intel claims the ME is required to provide full performance. Its exact workings are largely undocumented and its code is obfuscated using confidential huffman tables stored directly in hardware, so the firmware does not contain the information necessary to decode its contents. Intel's main competitor AMD has incorporated the equivalent AMD Secure Technology (formally called Platform Security Processor) in virtually all of its post-2013 CPUs.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and security expert Damien Zammit accuse the ME of being a backdoor and a privacy concern. Zammit states that the ME has full access to memory (without the parent CPU having any knowledge); has full access to the TCP/IP stack and can send and receive network packets independent of the operating system, thus bypassing its firewall. Intel asserts that it "does not put back doors in its products" and that its products do not "give Intel control or access to computing systems without the explicit permission of the end user."

[Oct 04, 2018] Despicable fear mongering by Bloomberg

Notable quotes:
"... Plus according to Microsemi's own website, all military and aerospace qualified versions of their parts are still made in the USA. So this "researcher" used commercial parts, which depending on the price point can be made in the plant in Shanghai or in the USA at Microsemi's own will. ..."
"... The "researcher" and the person who wrote the article need to spend some time reading more before talking. ..."
"... You clearly have NOT used a FPGA or similar. First the ProASIC3 the article focuses on is the CHEAPEST product in the product line (some of that model line reach down to below a dollar each). But beyond that ... Devices are SECURED by processes, such as blowing the JTAG fuses in the device which makes them operation only, and unreadable. They are secureable, if you follow the proper processes and methods laid out by the manufacturer of the specific chip. ..."
"... Just because a "research paper" claims there is other then standard methods of JTAG built into the JTAG doesn't mean that the device doesn't secure as it should, nor does it mean this researcher who is trying to peddle his own product is anything but biased in this situation. ..."
"... You do know that the Mossad has been caught stealing and collecting American Top Secrets. ..."
"... The original article is here. [cam.ac.uk] It refers to an Actel ProAsic3 chip, which is an FPGA with internal EEPROM to store the configuration. ..."
"... With regard to reprogramming the chip remotely or by the FPGA itself via the JTAG port: A secure system is one that can't reprogram itself. ..."
"... When I was designing VMEbus computer boards for a military subcontractor many years ago, every board had a JTAG connector that required the use of another computer with a special cable plugged into the board to perform reprogramming of the FPGAs. None of this update-by-remote-control crap. ..."
"... It seems that People's Republic of China has been misidentified with Taiwan (Republic of China). ..."
"... Either the claims will be backed up by independently reproduced tests or they won't. But, given his apparent track record in this area and the obvious scrutiny this would bring, Skorobogatov must have been sure of his results before announcing this. ..."
"... Where was this undocumented feature/bug designed in? I see plenty of "I hate China" posts, it would be quite hilarious if the fedgov talked the US mfgr into adding this backdoor, then the Chinese built it as designed. Perhaps the plan all along was to blame the Chinese if they're caught. ..."
"... These are not military chips. They are FPGAs that happen to be used occasionally for military apps. Most of them are sold for other, more commercially exploitable purposes. ..."
"... The page with a link to the final paper actually does mention China. However, it's an American design from a US company. I suspect we will find the backdoor was in the original plans. It will be interesting to see however. ..."
Oct 04, 2018 | it.slashdot.org

Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:17AM ( #40139317 ) Journal

It's a scam !! ( Score: 5 , Informative)

http://erratasec.blogspot.com/2012/05/bogus-story-no-chinese-backdoor-in.html [blogspot.com]

Bogus story: no Chinese backdoor in military chip
"Today's big news is that researchers have found proof of Chinese manufacturers putting backdoors in American chips that the military uses. This is false. While they did find a backdoor in a popular FPGA chip, there is no evidence the Chinese put it there, or even that it was intentionally malicious.

Furthermore, the Actel ProAsic3 FPGA chip isn't fabricated in China at all !!

jhoegl ( 638955 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:30PM ( #40136003 )
Fear mongering ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

It sells...

khasim ( 1285 ) writes: < brandioch.conner@gmail.com > on Monday May 28, 2012 @01:48PM ( #40136097 )
Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

That entire article reads more like a press release with FUD than anything with any facts.

Which chip?
Which manufacturer?
Which US customer?

No facts and LOTS of claims. It's pure FUD.

(Not that this might not be a real concern. But the first step is getting past the FUD and marketing materials and getting to the real facts.)

ArsenneLupin ( 766289 ) , Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:11AM ( #40139489 )
Re:Particularly in a press release like that. ( Score: 5 , Informative)

A quick google showed that that this is indeed the chip, but the claims are "slightly" overblown [blogspot.com]

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:14PM ( #40136273 )
Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Informative)

1) Read the paper http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/Silicon_scan_draft.pdf
2) This is talking about FPGAs designed by Microsemi/Actel.
3) The article focuses on the ProAsic3 chips but says all the Microsemi/Actel chips tested had the same backdoor including but not limited to Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.
4) FPGAs give JTAG access to their internals for programming and debugging but many of the access methods are proprietary and undocumented. (security through obscurity)
5) Most FPGAs have features that attempt to prevent reverse engineering by disabling the ability to read out critical stuff.
6) These chips have a secret passphrase (security through obscurity again) that allows you to read out the stuff that was supposed to be protected.
7) These researchers came up with a new way of analyzing the chip (pipeline emission analysis) to discover the secret passphrase. More conventional analysis (differential power analysis) was not sensitive enough to reveal it.

This sounds a lot (speculation on my part) like a deliberate backdoor put in for debug purposes, security through obscurity at it's best. It doesn't sound like something secret added by the chip fab company, although time will tell. Just as embedded controller companies have gotten into trouble putting hidden logins into their code thinking they're making the right tradeoff between convenience and security, this hardware company seems to have done the same.

Someone forgot to tell the marketing droids though and they made up a bunch of stuff about how the h/w was super secure.

JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @04:45PM ( #40137217 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

I don't think anyone fully understands JTAG, there are a lot of different versions of it mashed together on the typical hardware IC. Regardless if its a FPGA, microcontroller or otherwise. The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.

Something that can also be completely disabled by setting the right fuse inside the chip itself to disable all JTAG connections. Something that is considered standard practice on IC's with a JTAG port available once assembled into their final product and programmed.

Plus according to Microsemi's own website, all military and aerospace qualified versions of their parts are still made in the USA. So this "researcher" used commercial parts, which depending on the price point can be made in the plant in Shanghai or in the USA at Microsemi's own will.

The "researcher" and the person who wrote the article need to spend some time reading more before talking.

emt377 ( 610337 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @07:02PM ( #40137873 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Insightful)
The so called "back door" can only be accessed through the JTAG port as well, so unless the military installed a JTAG bridge to communicate to the outside world and left it there, well then the "backdoor" is rather useless.

With pin access to the FPGA it's trivial to hook it up, no bridges or transceivers needed. If it's a BGA then get a breakout/riser board that provides pin access. This is off-the-shelf stuff. This means if the Chinese military gets their hands on the hardware they can reverse engineer it. They won't have to lean very hard on the manufacturer for them to cough up every last detail. In China you just don't say no to such requests if you know what's good for you and your business.

JimCanuck ( 2474366 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @11:05PM ( #40139083 )
Re:Most likely inserted by Microsemi/Actel not fab ( Score: 4 , Interesting)
Not being readable even when someone has the device in hand is exactly what these secure FPGAs are meant to protect against!

It's not a non-issue. It's a complete failure of a product to provide any advantages over non-secure equivalents.

You clearly have NOT used a FPGA or similar. First the ProASIC3 the article focuses on is the CHEAPEST product in the product line (some of that model line reach down to below a dollar each). But beyond that ... Devices are SECURED by processes, such as blowing the JTAG fuses in the device which makes them operation only, and unreadable. They are secureable, if you follow the proper processes and methods laid out by the manufacturer of the specific chip.

Just because a "research paper" claims there is other then standard methods of JTAG built into the JTAG doesn't mean that the device doesn't secure as it should, nor does it mean this researcher who is trying to peddle his own product is anything but biased in this situation.

nospam007 ( 722110 ) * , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:39PM ( #40136445 )
Re:What did the military expect? ( Score: 4 , Interesting)

"Even if this case turns out to be a false alarm, allowing a nation that you repeatedly refer to as a 'near-peer competitor' to build parts of your high-tech weaponry is idiotic."

Not to mention the non-backdoor ones.

'Bogus electronic parts from China have infiltrated critical U.S. defense systems and equipment, including Navy helicopters and a commonly used Air Force cargo aircraft, a new report says.'

http://articles.dailypress.com/2012-05-23/news/dp-nws-counterfeit-chinese-parts-20120523_1_fake-chinese-parts-counterfeit-parts-air-force-c-130j [dailypress.com]

0123456 ( 636235 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:04PM ( #40136219 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 3 , Funny)
The US military should have a strict policy of only buying military parts from sovereign, free, democratic countries with a long history of friendship, such as Israel, Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.

Didn't the US and UK governments sell crypto equipment they knew they could break to their 'allies' during the Cold War?

tlhIngan ( 30335 ) writes: < slashdot@[ ]f.net ['wor' in gap] > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:30PM ( #40136781 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 5 , Insightful)
Second problem.... 20 years ago the DOD had their own processor manufacturing facilities, IC chips, etc. They were shut down in favor of commercial equipment because some idiot decided it was better to have an easier time buying replacement parts at Radioshack than buying quality military-grade components that could last in austere environments. (Yes, speaking from experience). Servers and workstations used to be built from the ground up at places like Tobyhanna Army Depot. Now, servers and workstations are bought from Dell.

Fabs are expensive. The latest generation nodes cost billions of dollars to set up and billions more to run. If they aren't cranking chips out 24/7, they're literally costing money. Yes, I know it's hte military, but I'm sure people have a hard time justifying $10B every few years just to fab a few chips. One of the biggest developments in the 90s was the development of foundries that let anyone with a few tens of millions get in the game of producing chips rather than requiring billions in startup costs. Hence the startup of tons of fabless companies selling chips.

OK, another option is to buy a cheap obsolete fab and make chips that way - much cheaper to run, but we're also talking maybe 10+ year old technology, at which point the chips are going to be slower and take more power.

Also, building your own computer from the ground up is expensive - either you buy the designs of your servers from say, Intel, or design your own. If you buy it, it'll be expensive and probably require your fab to be upgraded (or you get stuck with an old design - e.g., Pentium (the original) - which Intel bought back from the DoD because the DoD had been debugging it over the decade). If you went with the older cheaper fab, the design has to be modified to support that technology (you cannot just take a design and run with it - you have to adapt your chip to the foundry you use).

If you roll your own, that becomes a support nightmare because now no one knows the system.

And on the taxpayer side - I'm sure everyone will question why you're spending billions running a fab that's only used at 10% capacity - unless you want the DoD getting into the foundry business with its own issues.

Or, why is the military spending so much money designing and running its own computer architecture and support services when they could buy much cheaper machines from Dell and run Linux on them?

Hell, even if the DoD had budget for that, some bean counter will probably do the same so they can save money from one side and use it to buy more fighter jets or something.

30+ years ago, defense spending on electronics formed a huge part of the overall electronics spending. These days, defense spending is but a small fraction - it's far more lucrative to go after the consumer market than the military - they just don't have the economic clout they once had. End result is the military is forced to buy COTS ICs, or face stuff like a $0.50 chip costing easily $50 or more for same just because the military is a bit-player for semiconductors

__aaltlg1547 ( 2541114 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:29PM ( #40136361 )
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )

Anybody remember Jonathan Pollard?

Genda ( 560240 ) writes: < <ten.tog> <ta> <teiram> > on Monday May 28, 2012 @03:46PM ( #40136857 ) Journal
Re:Should only buy military components from allies ( Score: 2 )

You do know that the Mossad has been caught stealing and collecting American Top Secrets. In fact most of the nations above save perhaps Canada have at one time or another been caught either spying on us, or performing dirty deeds cheap against America's best interest. I'd say for the really classified stuff, like the internal security devices that monitor everything else... homegrown only thanks, and add that any enterprising person who's looking to get paid twice by screwing with the hardware or selling secrets to certified unfriendlies get's to cools their heels for VERY LONG TIME.

NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:34PM ( #40136025 ) Homepage
The actual article ( Score: 5 , Informative)

The original article is here. [cam.ac.uk] It refers to an Actel ProAsic3 chip, which is an FPGA with internal EEPROM to store the configuration.

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:09PM ( #40136249 )
Re:The actual article ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

From your much more useful link,

We investigated the PA3 backdoor problem through Internet searches, software and hardware analysis and found that this particular backdoor is not a result of any mistake or an innocent bug, but is instead a deliberately inserted and well thought-through backdoor that is crafted into, and part of, the PA3 security system. We analysed other Microsemi/Actel products and found they all have the same deliberate backdoor. Those products include, but are not limited to: Igloo, Fusion and Smartfusion.
we have found that the PA3 is used in military products such as weapons, guidance, flight control, networking and communications. In industry it is used in nuclear power plants, power distribution, aerospace, aviation, public transport and automotive products. This permits a new and disturbing possibility of a large scale Stuxnet-type attack via a network or the Internet on the silicon itself. If the key is known, commands can be embedded into a worm to scan for JTAG, then to attack and reprogram the firmware remotely.

emphasis mine. Key is retrieved using the backdoor. Frankly, if this is true, Microsemi/Actel should get complete ban from all government contracts, including using their chips in any item build for use by the government.

NixieBunny ( 859050 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:44PM ( #40136487 ) Homepage
Re:The actual article ( Score: 3 )

I would not be surprised if it's a factory backdoor that's included in all their products, but is not documented and is assumed to not be a problem because it's not documented.

With regard to reprogramming the chip remotely or by the FPGA itself via the JTAG port: A secure system is one that can't reprogram itself.

When I was designing VMEbus computer boards for a military subcontractor many years ago, every board had a JTAG connector that required the use of another computer with a special cable plugged into the board to perform reprogramming of the FPGAs. None of this update-by-remote-control crap.

Blackman-Turkey ( 1115185 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:19PM ( #40136305 )
Re:The actual article ( Score: 3 , Informative)

No source approved [dla.mil] for Microsemi (Actel) qualified chips in China. If you use non-approved sources then, well, shit happens (although how this HW backdoor would be exploited is kind of unclear).

It seems that People's Republic of China has been misidentified with Taiwan (Republic of China).

6031769 ( 829845 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:35PM ( #40136031 ) Homepage Journal
Wait and see ( Score: 5 , Informative)

Either the claims will be backed up by independently reproduced tests or they won't. But, given his apparent track record in this area and the obvious scrutiny this would bring, Skorobogatov must have been sure of his results before announcing this.

Here's his publications list from his University home page, FWIW: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~sps32/#Publications [cam.ac.uk]

Anonymous Coward , Monday May 28, 2012 @01:36PM ( #40136039 )
samzenpus will be looking for a new job soon ( Score: 3 , Funny)
Even though this story has been blowing-up on Twitter, there are a few caveats. The backdoor doesn't seem to have been confirmed by anyone else, Skorobogatov is a little short on details, and he is trying to sell the scanning technology used to uncover the vulnerability.

Hey hey HEY! You stop that right this INSTANT, samzenpus! This is Slashdot! We'll have none of your "actual investigative research" nonsense around here! Fear mongering to sell ad space, mister, and that's ALL! Now get back to work! We need more fluffy space-filling articles like that one about the minor holiday labeling bug Microsoft had in the UK! That's what we want to see more of!

laing ( 303349 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:08PM ( #40136243 )
Requires Physical Access ( Score: 5 , Informative)

The back-door described in the white paper requires access to the JTAG (1149.1) interface to exploit. Most deployed systems do not provide an active external interface for JTAG. With physical access to a "secure" system based upon these parts, the techniques described in the white paper allow for a total compromise of all IP within. Without physical access, very little can be done to compromise systems based upon these parts.

vlm ( 69642 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:34PM ( #40136807 )
Where was it designed in? ( Score: 3 )

Where was this undocumented feature/bug designed in? I see plenty of "I hate China" posts, it would be quite hilarious if the fedgov talked the US mfgr into adding this backdoor, then the Chinese built it as designed. Perhaps the plan all along was to blame the Chinese if they're caught.

These are not military chips. They are FPGAs that happen to be used occasionally for military apps. Most of them are sold for other, more commercially exploitable purposes.

time961 ( 618278 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:51PM ( #40136887 )
Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & cryp ( Score: 5 , Informative)

This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.

That said, it's still pretty bad, because hardware does occasionally end up in the hands of unfriendlies (e.g., crashed drones). FPGAs like these are often used to run classified software radio algorithms with anti-jam and anti-interception goals, or to run classified cryptographic algorithms. If those algorithms can be extracted from otherwise-dead and disassembled equipment, that would be bad--the manufacturer's claim that the FPGA bitstream can't be extracted might be part of the system's security certification assumptions. If that claim is false, and no other counter-measures are place, that could be pretty bad.

Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing. Also, a backdoor inserted that way would have to co-exist peacefully with all the other functions of the FPGA, a significant challenge both from an intellectual standpoint and from a size/timing standpoint--the FPGA may just not have enough spare capacity or spare cycles. They tend to be packed pretty full, 'coz they're expensive and you want to use all the capacity you have available to do clever stuff.

Fnord666 ( 889225 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @09:16PM ( #40138557 ) Journal
Re:Big risk is to "secret sauce" for comms & c ( Score: 4 , Insightful)
This is a physical-access backdoor. You have to have your hands on the hardware to be able to use JTAG. It's not a "remote kill switch" driven by a magic data trigger, it's a mechanism that requires use of a special connector on the circuit board to connect to a dedicated JTAG port that is simply neither used nor accessible in anything resembling normal operation.

Surreptitiously modifying a system in place through the JTAG port is possible, but less of a threat: the adversary would have to get access to the system and then return it without anyone noticing.

As someone else mentioned in another post, physical access can be a bit of a misnomer. Technically all that is required is for a computer to be connected via the JTAG interface in order to exploit this. This might be a diagnostic computer for example. If that diagnostic computer were to be infected with a targeted payload, there is your physical access.

nurb432 ( 527695 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @02:43PM ( #40136477 ) Homepage Journal
Re:Is it called JTAG? ( Score: 2 )

I agree it most likely wasn't malicious, but its more than careless, its irresponsible, especially when dealing with military contracts.

rtfa-troll ( 1340807 ) , Monday May 28, 2012 @03:22PM ( #40136743 )
Re:No China link yet, probably a US backdoor ( Score: 2 )
There is no China link to the backdoor yet.

The page with a link to the final paper actually does mention China. However, it's an American design from a US company. I suspect we will find the backdoor was in the original plans. It will be interesting to see however.

[Oct 04, 2018] Bloomberg is spreading malicious propaganda trying to blame China for modifying hardware with some additional ships

Kind of Chinagate, but China means her Taivan and the design is US-based. Completely false malicious rumors -- propaganda attack on China. The goal is clearly to discredit Chinese hardware manufactures by spreading technical innuendo. In other words this is a kick below the belt.
Bloomberg jerks are just feeding hacker paranoia.
First of all this is not easy to do, secondly this is a useless exercise, as you need access to TCP/IP stack of the computer to transmit information. Software Trojans is much more productive area for such activities.
Oct 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Today, Bloomberg BusinessWeek published a story claiming that AWS was aware of modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in Elemental Media's hardware at the time Amazon acquired Elemental in 2015, and that Amazon was aware of modified hardware or chips in AWS's China Region.

As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue. At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government.

There are so many inaccuracies in ‎this article as it relates to Amazon that they're hard to count. We will name only a few of them here. First, when Amazon was considering acquiring Elemental, we did a lot of due diligence with our own security team, and also commissioned a single external security company to do a security assessment for us as well. That report did not identify any issues with modified chips or hardware. As is typical with most of these audits, it offered some recommended areas to remediate, and we fixed all critical issues before the acquisition closed. This was the sole external security report commissioned. Bloomberg has admittedly never seen our commissioned security report nor any other (and refused to share any details of any purported other report with us).

The article also claims that after learning of hardware modifications and malicious chips in Elemental servers, we conducted a network-wide audit of SuperMicro motherboards and discovered the malicious chips in a Beijing data center. This claim is similarly untrue. The first and most obvious reason is that we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in Elemental servers. Aside from that, we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in servers in any of our data centers. And, this notion that we sold off the hardware and datacenter in China to our partner Sinnet because we wanted to rid ourselves of SuperMicro servers is absurd. Sinnet had been running these data centers since we ‎launched in China, they owned these data centers from the start, and the hardware we "sold" to them was a transfer-of-assets agreement mandated by new China regulations for non-Chinese cloud providers to continue to operate in China.

Amazon employs stringent security standards across our supply chain – investigating all hardware and software prior to going into production and performing regular security audits internally and with our supply chain partners. We further strengthen our security posture by implementing our own hardware designs for critical components such as processors, servers, storage systems, and networking equipment.

Security will always be our top priority. AWS is trusted by many of the world's most risk-sensitive organizations precisely because we have demonstrated this unwavering commitment to putting their security above all else. We are constantly vigilant about potential threats to our customers, and we take swift and decisive action to address them whenever they are identified.

– Steve Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer

Trumptards are IDIOTs


CashMcCall , 5 hours ago

TRUMPTARDS have an enormous amount of surplus time on their hands to forward their Harry Potter Styled Conspiracies.

APPLE AND AMAZON DENIED THE STORY. STORY OVER... GET IT CREEPY?

CashMcCall , 5 hours ago

While TRUMPTARDS were posting their Conspiracy Theories and the "TrumpEXPERTS" were embellishing the ridiculous story with their lavish accounts of chip bug design, I was enjoying a Bloomberg windfall.

Having confirmed early that the story was False since AMAZON and APPLE BOTH DENIED IT... and their stock was not moving, I turned to Supermicro which was plunging and down over 50%. I checked the options, and noted they were soft, so I put in bids for long shares and filled blocks at 9 from two accounts.

The moronic TRUMPTARD Conspiracy posts continued, Supermicro is now up over 13.

That is the difference between having a brain in your head or having TRUMPTARD **** FOR BRAINS...

Urban Roman , 5 hours ago

On second thought, this story is just ********. Note that the BBG story never mentions the backdoors that were talked about for over a decade, nor did they mention Mr. Snowden's revelation that those backdoors do exist, and are being used, by the surveillance state.

Since the Chinese factories are manufacturing these things, they'd have all the specs and the blobs and whatever else they need, and would never require a super-secret hardware chip like this. Maybe this MITM chip exists, and maybe it doesn't. But there's nothing to keep China from using the ME on any recent Intel chip, or the equivalent on any recent AMD chip, anywhere.

The purpose of this article is to scare you away from using Huawei or ZTE for anything, and my guess is that it is because those companies did not include these now-standard backdoors in their equipment. Maybe they included Chinese backdoors instead, but again, they wouldn't need a tiny piece of hardware for this MITM attack, since modern processors are all defective by design.

Chairman , 5 hours ago

I think I will start implementing this as an interview question. If a job candidate is stupid enough to believe this **** then they will not work for me.

DisorderlyConduct , 4 hours ago

Well, hmmm, could be. To update a PCB is actually really poor work. I would freak my biscuits if I received one of my PCBs with strange pads, traces or parts.

To substitute a part is craftier. To change the content of a part is harder, and nigh impossible to detect without xray.

Even craftier is to change VHDL code in an OTP chip or an ASIC. The package and internal structure is the same but the fuses would be burned different. No one would likely detect this unless they were specifically looking for it.

Kendle C , 5 hours ago

Well written propaganda fails to prove claims. Everybody in networking and IT knows that switches and routers have access to root, built in, often required by government, backdoors. Scripts are no big thing often used to speed up updates, backups, and troubleshooting. So when western manufacturers began shoveling their work to Taiwan and China, with them they sent millions of text files, including instructions for backdoor access, the means and technology (to do what this **** article is claiming) to modify the design, even classes with default password and bypass operations for future techs. We were shoveling hand over foot designs as fast as we could...all for the almighty dollar while stiffing American workers. So you might say greed trumped security and that fault lies with us. So stuff this cobbled together propaganda piece, warmongering ****.

AllBentOutOfShape , 5 hours ago

ZH has definitely been co-oped. This is just the latest propaganda ******** article of the week they've come out with. I'm seeing more and more articles sourced from well known propaganda outlets in recent months.

skunzie , 6 hours ago

Reminds me of how the US pulled off covert espionage of the Russians in the 70's using Xerox copiers. The CIA inserted trained Xerox copy repairmen to handle repairs on balky copiers in Russian embassies, etc. When a machine was down the technician inserted altered motherboards which would transmit future copies directly to the CIA. This is a cautionary tale for companies to cover their achilles heel (weakest point) as that is generally the easiest way to infiltrate the unsuspecting company.

PrivetHedge , 6 hours ago

What another huge load of bollocks from our pharisee master morons.

I guess they think we're as stupid as they are.

CashMcCall , 6 hours ago

But but but the story came from one of the chosen money changers Bloomberg... everyone knows a *** would never lie or print a false story at the market open

smacker , 7 hours ago

With all the existing ***** chips and backdoors on our computers and smartphones planted by the CIA, NSA, M$, Goolag & friends, and now this chip supposedly from China, it won't be long before there's no space left in RAM and on mobos for the chips that actually make the device do what we bought it to do.

Stinkbug 1 , 7 hours ago

this was going on 20 years ago when it was discovered that digital picture frames from china were collecting passwords and sending them back. it was just a test, so didn't get much press.

now they have the kinks worked out, and are ready for the coup de grace.

I Write Code , 7 hours ago

https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/9lac9k/china_used_a_tiny_chip_in_a_hack_that_infiltrated/?st=JMUNFMRR&sh=10c388fb

ChecksandBalances , 7 hours ago

This story seemed to die. Did anyone find anything indicating someone on our side has actually got a look at the malicious chip, assuming it exists? Technical blogs have nothing, only news rags like NewsMaxx. If 30 companies had these chips surely someone has one. This might be one huge fake news story. Why Bloomberg would publish it is kind of odd.

FedPool , 7 hours ago

Probably a limited evaluation operation to gauge the population's appetite for war. Pentagram market research. They're probably hitting all of the comment sections around the web as we speak. Don't forget to wave 'hi'.

Heya warmongers. No, we don't want a war yet, k thanks.

underlying , 7 hours ago

Since were on the topic let's take a look at the scope hacking tools known to the general public known prior to the Supermicro Server Motherboard Hardware Exploit; (P.S. What the **** do you expect when you have Chinese state owned enterprises, at minimum quasi state owned enterprises in special economic development zones controlled by the Chinese communist party, building motherboards?)

Snowden NSA Leaks published in the gaurdian/intercept

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/the-nsa-files

Wikileaks Vault 7 etc....

https://wikileaks.org/vault7/

Spector/Meltdown vulnerability exploits

https://leeneubecker.com/grc-releases-test-tool-spectre-and-meltdown-vulnerabilities/

Random list compiled by TC bitches

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/09/names-and-definitions-of-leaked-cia-hacking-tools/

This does not include the private/corporate sector hacking pen testing resources and suites which are abundant and easily available to **** up the competition in their own right.

i.e., https://gbhackers.com/hacking-tools-list/

Urban Roman , 5 hours ago

Exactly. Why would they ever need a super-micro-man-in-the-middle-chip?

Maybe this 'chip' serves some niche in their spycraft, but the article in the keypost ignores a herd of elephants swept under the carpet, and concentrates on a literal speck of dust.

Moribundus , 8 hours ago

A US-funded biomedical laboratory in Georgia may have conducted bioweapons research under the guise of a drug test, which claimed the lives of at least 73 subjects...new documents "allow us to take a fresh look" at outbreaks of African swine fever in southern Russia in 2007-2018, which "spread from the territory of Georgia into the Russian Federation, European nations and China. The infection strain in the samples collected from animals killed by the disease in those nations was identical to the Georgia-2007 strain." https://www.rt.com/news/440309-us-georgia-toxic-bioweapon-test/

Dr. Acula , 8 hours ago

"In a Senate testimony this past February, six major US intelligence heads warned that American citizens shouldn't use Huawei and ZTE products and services." - https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/2/17310870/pentagon-ban-huawei-zte-phones-retail-stores-military-bases

Are these the same intelligence agencies that complain about Russian collusion and cover up 9/11 and pizzagate?

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump's Trade War with China Undermining China's Dependence on Neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China. ..."
"... So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that. ..."
"... despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment. ..."
"... for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor. ..."
"... first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements. ..."
"... And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal. ..."
"... let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. ..."
"... The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system. ..."
"... So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

The Financial Times chief economic columnist Martin Wolf has called Trump's trade wars with Europe and Canada, but obviously the big target is China, he's called this a war on the liberal world order. Well, what does this mean for China? China's strategy, the distinct road to socialism which seems to take a course through various forms of state hypercapitalism. What does this mean for China? The Chinese strategy was developed in what they thought would be a liberal world order. Now it may not be that at all.

Now joining us to discuss what the trade war means for China, and to have a broader conversation on just what is the Chinese model of state capitalism is Minqi Li, who now joins us from Utah. Minqi is the professor, is a professor of economics at the University of Utah. He's the author of The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy, and the editor of Red China website. Thanks for joining us again, Minqi.

MINQI LI: Thank you, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So I don't think anyone, including the Chinese, was expecting President Trump to be president Trump. But once he was elected, it was pretty clear that Trump and Bannon and the various cabal around Trump, the plan was twofold. One, regime change in Iran, which also has consequences for China. And trade war with China. It was declared that they were going to take on China and change in a fundamental way the economic relationship with China and the United States. And aimed, to a large extent, trying to deal with the rise of China as an equal, or becoming equal, economy, and perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future an equal global power, certainly as seen through the eyes of not just Trumpians in Washington, but much of the Washington political and economic elites.

So what does this mean for China's strategy now? Xi Jinping is now the leader of the party, leader of the government, put at a level virtually equal to Mao Tse-tung. But his plan for development of the Chinese economy did not, I don't think, factor in a serious trade war with the United States.

MINQI LI: OK. As you said, Trump was not expected. Which meant that Trump in fact was not the consensus candidate of the American capitalist class back to the 2016 election. So with respect to these economic policies, especially about his trade protectionist measures, these new tariffs imposed on the Chinese goods, let's put it this way: These are not, certainly not the traditional kind of neoliberal economic policy as we know it. So some sections of the American manufacturing sector [capitalists] may be happy about this. But I would say the majority of the American capitalists probably would not approve this kind of trade war against China.

Now, on the Chinese part, and we know that China has been on these parts, there was capitalist development, and moreover it has been based on export-led economic growth model and with exploitation of cheap labor. So on the Chinese part, ironically, China very much depends on these overall what Martin Wolf called liberal global order, which might better be called the model of global neoliberal capitalism. So China actually much more depends on that.

And so you have, indeed there are serious trade conflicts between China and U.S. that will, of course, undermine China's economic model. And so far China has responded to these new threats of trade war by promising that China, despite whatever happened to the U.S., China would still be committed to the model of openness, committed to privatization and the financial liberalization. The Chinese government has declared new measures to open up a few economic sectors to foreign investment.

Now, with respect to the trade itself, at the moment the U.S. has imposed tariffs on, 25 percent tariffs on the worth of $34 billion of Chinese goods. And then Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on the additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. But this amount at the moment is still a small part of China's economy, about 3 percent of the Chinese GDP. So the impact at the moment is limited, but certainly has created a lot of uncertainty for the global and the Chinese business community.

PAUL JAY: So given that this trade war could, one, get a lot bigger and a lot more serious, and/or even if they kind of patch it up for now, there's a lot of forces within the United States, both for economic and geopolitical reasons. Economic being the discussion about China taking American intellectual property rights, becoming the new tech sector hub of the world, even overpassing the American tech sector, which then has geopolitical implications; especially when it comes to the military. If China becomes more advanced the United States in artificial intelligence as applied to the military, that starts to, at least in American geopolitical eyes, threaten American hegemony around the world.

There are a lot of reasons building up, and it's certainly not new, and it's not just Trump. For various ways, the Americans want to restrain China. Does this start to make the Chinese think that they need to speed up the process of becoming more dependent on their own domestic market and less interested in exporting cheap labor? But for that to happen Chinese wages have to go up a lot more significantly, which butts into the interests of the Chinese billionaire class.

MINQI LI: I think you are right. And so for China to rearrange towards this kind of domestic consumption-led model of economic development, the necessary condition is that you have income, wealth redistribution towards the workers, towards poor people. And that is something that the Chinese capitalists will resist. And so that is why and so far China has not succeeded in transforming itself away from this export-led model based on exploitation of cheap labor.

PAUL JAY: You know, there's some sections of the left in various parts of the world that do see the Chinese model as a more rational version of capitalism, and do see this because they've maintained the control of the Chinese Communist Party over the politics, and over economic planning, that do see this idea that this is somehow leading China towards a kind of socialism. If nothing else, a more rational planned kind of capitalism. Is that, is there truth to this?

MINQI LI: Well, first of all, China is not socialist at all today. So income of economic sector, the [space] sector accounts for a small number, a small fraction of the overall economy, by various measurements.

And then regarding the rationality of China's economic model, you might put it this way: The Chinese capitalists might be more rational than the American capitalists in the sense that they still use most of their profits for investment, instead of just financial speculation. So that might be rational from the capitalist perspective. But on the other hand, regarding the exploitation of workers- and the Chinese workers still have to work under sweatshop conditions- and regarding the damage to the environment, the Chinese model is not rational at all.

PAUL JAY: My understanding of people that think this model works better, at least, than some of the other capitalist models is that there's a need to go through this phase of Chinese workers, yes, working in sweatshop conditions, and yes, wages relatively low. But overall, the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, and China's position in the world is more and more powerful. And this creates the situation, as more wealth accumulates, China is better positioned to address some of the critical issues facing China and the world. And then, as bad as pollution is, and such, China does appear to be out front in terms of developing green technologies, solar, sustainable technology.

MINQI LI: OK. Now, Chinese economy has indeed been growing rapidly. It used to grow like double-digit growth rate before 2010. But now China's growth rate has slowed down just under 7 percent in recent years, according to the official statistics. And moreover, a significant part of China's growth these days derives rom the real estate sector development. And so there has been this discussion about this growing housing market bubble. And it used to be that this housing price inflation was limited to a few big cities. But for the first half of 2018, according to the latest data, the national average housing price has grown by 11 percent compared to the same period last year. And that translates into a pace of doubling every six years.

And so that has generated lots of social resentment. And so not only the working class these days are priced out of the housing market. Moreover, even the middle class is increasingly priced out of the housing market. So that is the major concern. And in the long run, I think that China's current model of accumulation will also face the challenge of growing social conflicts. Worker protests. As well as resources constrained and environmental damage. And regarding the issue of China's investment in renewable energy, it is true. China is the largest investor in renewable energy development, in the solar panels. And although China is of all the largest investor in about everything.

And so China is still the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, accounting for almost 30 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the world every year. And then China's own oil production in decline, but China's oil consumption is still rising. So as a result, China has become the world's largest oil importer. That could make the Chinese economy vulnerable to the next major oil price shock.

PAUL JAY: And how seriously is climate change science taken in China? If one takes the science seriously, one sees the need for urgent transformation to green technology. An urgent reduction of carbon emission. Not gradual, not incremental, but urgent. Did the Chinese- I mean, it's not, it's so not taken seriously in the United States that a climate denier can get elected president. But did the Chinese take this more seriously? Because you don't get the same, any sense of urgency about their policy, either.

MINQI LI: Well, yeah. So like many other governments, the Chinese government also pays lip service to the obligation of climate stabilization. But unfortunately, with respect to policy, with respect to mainstream media, it's not taken very seriously within China. And so although China's carbon dioxide emissions actually stabilized somewhat over the past few years, but is starting to grow again in 2017, and I expect it will continue to grow in the coming year.

PAUL JAY: I mean, I can understand why, for example, Russia is not in any hurry to buy into climate change science. Its whole economy depends on oil. Canada also mostly pays lip service because the Alberta tar sands is so important to the Canadian economy. Shale oil is so important to the American economy, as well as the American oil companies own oil under the ground all over the world. But China is not an oil country. You know, they're not dependent on oil income. You'd think it'd be in China's interest to be far more aggressive, not only in terms of how good it looks to the world that China would be the real leader in mitigating, reducing, eliminating the use of carbon-based fuels, but still they're not. I mean, not at the rate scientists say needs to be done.

MINQI LI: Not at all. Although China does not depend on all on oil for income, but China depends on coal a lot. And the coal is still something like 60 percent of China's overall energy consumption. And so it's still very important for China's energy.

PAUL JAY: What- Minqi, where does the coal mostly come from? Don't they import a lot of that coal?

MINQI LI: Mostly from China itself. Even though, you know, China is the world's largest coal producer, on top of that China is either the largest or the second-largest coal importer in the world market as well. And then on top of that, China is also consuming an increasing amount of oil and natural gas, especially natural gas. And so although natural gas is not as polluting as coal, it's still polluting. And so it's expected China will also become the world's largest importer of natural gas by the year 2019. So you are going to have China to be simultaneously the largest importer of oil, natural gas, and coal.

PAUL JAY: The Chinese party, just to get back to the trade war issue and to end up with, the idea of this Chinese nation standing up, Chinese sovereignty, Chinese nationalism, it's a powerful theme within this new Chinese discourse. I'm not saying Chinese nationalism is new, but it's got a whole new burst of energy. How does China, if necessary to reach some kind of compromise with the United States on the trade war, how does China do that without looking like it's backing down to Trump?

MINQI LI: Well, yes, difficult task for the Chinese party to balance. What they have been right now is that on the one hand they promise to the domestic audience they are not going to make concessions towards the U.S., while in fact they are probably making concessions. And then on the other hand the outside world, and they make announcement that they will not change from the reform and openness policy, which in practice means that they will not change from the neoliberal direction of China's development, and they will continue down the path towards financial liberalization. And so that is what they are trying to balance right now.

PAUL JAY: I said finally, but this is finally. Do the Americans have a case? Does the Trump argument have a legitimate case that the Chinese, on the one hand, want a liberal world order in terms of trade, and open markets, and such? On the other hand are not following intellectual property law, property rights and law, the way other advanced capitalist countries supposedly do. Is there something to that case?

MINQI LI: Well, you know, let's say the Chinese government right now, even though is led by the so-called Communist Party, is actually much more committed to the neoliberal global order that the Trump administration in the U.S. - but I don't want to make justifications for the neoliberal global order. But let's put it this way: The Trump administration of this trade protectionist policy, although not justified, it reflects fundamental social conflicts within the U.S. itself, and that probably cannot be sorted out by the Americans' current political system.

PAUL JAY: So the crisis- you know, when you look at the American side and the Chinese side, including the deep debt bomb people talk about in China, there really is no sorting out of this crisis.

MINQI LI: So the overall neoliberal regime has become much more unstable.

PAUL JAY: All right. Thanks for joining us, Minqi. I hope we can pick this up again soon.

MINQI LI: OK. Thank you.

PAUL JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

[Jul 18, 2018] After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic

Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

After the press conference the usual anti-Trump operatives went ballistic:

John O. Brennan @JohnBrennan - 15:52 UTC - 16 Jul 2018

Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of "high crimes & misdemeanors." It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

Senator John McCain released a scathing statement :

... "President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.
...
"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are -- a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. ...

These imbeciles do not understand the realism behind Trump's grand policy. Trump knows the heartland theory of Halford John Mackinder. He understands that Russia is the core of the Eurasian landmass. That landmass, when politically united, can rule the world. A naval power, the U.S. now as the UK before it, can never defeat it. Trump's opponents do not get what Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor of President Carter, explained in his book The Grant Chessboard (pdf). They do not understand why Henry Kissinger advised Trump to let go of Crimea.

Trump himself professed his view (vid) of the big picture and of relations with Russia in a 2015 press conference:

"I know Putin. And I tell you that we can get along with Putin. Putin has no respect for President Obama. Big Problem, big problem. And you know Russia has been driven - you know I always heard, for years I have heard - one of the worst things that can happen to our country, is when Russia ever gets driven to China. We have driven them together - with the big oil deals that are being made. We have driven them together. That's a horrible thing for this country. We have made them friends because of incompetent leadership. I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin- okay? And I mean where we have the strength. I don't think we need the sanctions. I think that we would get along very, very well. I really believe that. I think we would get along with a lot of countries that we don't get along with today. And that we would be a lot richer for it than we are today.
It took 45 years, not 20 as Kissinger foresaw, to rebalance the U.S. position.

After the Cold War the U.S. thought it had won the big ideological competition of the twentieth century. In its exuberance of the 'unilateral moment' it did everything possible to antagonize Russia. Against its promises it extended NATO to Russia's border. It wanted to be the peerless supreme power of the world. At the same time it invited China into the World Trade Organisation and thereby enabled its explosive economic growth. This unbalanced policy took its toll. The U.S. lost industrial capacity to China and at the same time drove Russia into China's hands. Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have since seen little to no gains. Trump wants to revert this situation by rebalancing towards Russia while opposing China's growing might.

Not everyone shares that perspective. As security advisor to Jimmy Carter Brzezinski continued the Nixon/Kissinger policy towards China. The 'one China policy', disregarding Taiwan for better relations with Beijing, was his work. His view is still that the U.S. should ally with China against Russia:

"It is not in our interest to antagonize Beijing. It is much better for American interests to have the Chinese work closely with us, thereby forcing the Russians to follow suit if they don't want to be left out in the cold. That constellation gives the U.S. the unique ability to reach out across the world with collective political influence."

But why would China join such a scheme? Brzezinski's view of Russia was always clouded. His family of minor nobles has its roots in Galicia, now in west-Ukraine. They were driven from Poland when the Soviets extended their realm into the middle of Europe. To him Russia will always be the antagonist.

Kissinger's view is more realistic. He sees that the U.S. must be more balanced in its relations :

[I]n the emerging multipolar order, Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium, not primarily as a threat to the United States.

Kissinger is again working to divide Russia from China . But this time around it is Russia that needs to be elevated, that needs to become a friend.

Trump is following Kissinger's view. He wants good relations with Russia to separate Russia from China. He (rightly) sees China as the bigger long term (economic) danger to the United States. That is the reason why he, immediately after his election , started to beef up the relations with Taiwan and continues to do so. ( Listen to Peter Lee for the details). That is the reason why he tries to snatch North Korea from China's hands. That is the reason why he makes nice with Putin.

It is not likely that Trump will manage to pull Russia out of its profitable alliance with China. It is true that China's activities, especially in the Central Asian -stans, are a long term danger to Russia. China's demographic and economic power is far greater than Russia's. But the U.S. has never been faithful in its relations with Russia. It would take decades to regain its trust. China on the other hand stands to its commitments. China is not interested in conquering the 'heartland'. It has bigger fish to fry in south-east Asia, Africa and elsewhere. It is not in its interest to antagonize Russia.

The maximum Trump can possibly achieve is to neutralize Russia while he attempts to tackle China's growing economic might via tariffs, sanctions and by cuddling Taiwan, Japan and other countries with anti-Chinese agendas.

The U.S. blew its 'unilateral moment'. Instead of making friends with Russia it drove it into China's hands. Hegemonic globalization and unilateral wars proved to be too expensive. The U.S. people received no gains from it. That is why they elected Trump.

Trump is doing his best to correct the situation. For the foreseeable future the world will end up with three power centers. Anglo-America, Russia and China. (An aging and disunited Europe will flap in the winds.) These power centers will never wage direct war against each other, but will tussle at the peripheries. Korea, Iran and the Ukraine will be centers of these conflicts. Interests in Central Asia, South America and Africa will also play a role.

Trump understands the big picture. To 'Make America Great Again' he needs to tackle China and to prevent a deeper Chinese-Russian alliance. It's the neo-conservatives and neo-liberals who do not get it. They are still stuck in Brzezinski's Cold War view of Russia. They still believe that economic globalization, which helped China to regain its historic might, is the one and true path to follow. They do not perceive at all the damage they have done to the American electorate.

For now Trump's view is winning. But the lunatic reactions to the press conference show that the powers against him are still strong. They will sabotage him wherever possible. The big danger for now is that their view of the world might again raise to power.

Posted by b on July 17, 2018 at 07:41 AM | Permalink Jen , Jul 17, 2018 8:54:40 AM | 8

BTW it is worthwhile to keep in mind that back in 2001, Russia and China signed a treaty of friendship in which, among other things, both nations renounced all and any territorial designs on one another's territory. This meant that China would have renounced any claims on parts of Primorsky Kray in the Russian Far East along the Amur River, that used to be part of the old Ming and Qing empires.

The text of this treaty can be read at this link:
http://www.chinese-embassy.no/eng/dtxw/t110017.htm

There is one significant paragraphy to be noted:
Neither party will join any alliance or group that harms the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. Neither of them will conclude such treaties with any third party, or allow a third country to use its territory to harm the other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.

Well ... there goes any attempt by Trump to prise apart Russian and Chinese friendship.

Tom Welsh , Jul 17, 2018 8:56:16 AM | 9
"Playing the global hegemon turned out to be very expensive. It led to the 2006 crash of the U.S. economy and its people have since seen little to no gains".

To continue the theme: "People? We don't need no stinkin' people". US government has long been directed towards the enrichment of a tiny clique of the super-rich and powerful. It is nothing more than a bloodsucking parasite on the USA itself.

[Jul 17, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis Editorial - China hacked Clinton s e-mail

This is a real bombshell, if true.
Jul 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Editorial - China hacked Clinton's e-mail I have some inside information.

Looks like a hacking operation by China. They nailed Clinton's completely unprotected system and then inserted code that gave them all her traffic over e-mail subsequent to that.

That included all her State Department classified traffic which she had her staff illegally scan and insert in her private e-mail. We are talking about 30,000+ messages.

Strzok was told that by the Intelligence Community Inspector General WHILE he was running the Clinton e-mail investigation and chose to ignore it. pl


Valissa Rauhallinen , an hour ago

Given the likely culprits, China made the most sense. Thanks for the confirmation!

Meanwhile, under the radar, another segment of the "Gordian knot" is getting ready to be cut.

White House Orders Direct Taliban Talks to Jump-Start Afghan Negotiations https://www.nytimes.com/201...
The Trump administration has told its top diplomats to seek direct talks with the Taliban, a significant shift in American policy in Afghanistan, done in the hope of jump-starting negotiations to end the 17-year war.

The Taliban have long said they will first discuss peace only with the Americans, who toppled their regime in Afghanistan in 2001. But the United States has mostly insisted that the Afghan government must take part.

The recent strategy shift, which was confirmed by several senior American and Afghan officials, is intended to bring those two positions closer and lead to broader, formal negotiations to end the long war.
-----------------------

Bring home the troops!

Jay M , 2 hours ago
Glad to hear we are vassals of China and others. That multipolar world must have been part of someone's 13 dim chess?
Harlan Easley , 3 hours ago
I am an independent. I voted for Obama twice because his opponents were so unappealing. I am starting to hate the left. I view them and the neocon establishment behavior nothing short of treasonous.
Mark McCarty , 3 hours ago
So China was the "non-Russian foreign power" that Gohmert referred to when interrogating Strozok. Veeeery interesting!
Fred S , 4 hours ago
To ask the obvious question: when did the IC inform President Obama?

[Jun 27, 2018] Iranian condensate will most likely replace US condensate to China as much as possible.

Jun 27, 2018 | peakoilbarrel.com

Kolbeinh x Ignored says: 06/27/2018 at 4:57 am

From the Bloomberg article: "The U.S. plans to speak with the governments of Turkey, India and China, all of which import Iranian oil, about finding other supplies."

Iranian condensate will most likely replace US condensate to China as much as possible. China is the key to if/when this harsh "embargo" of Iran will ease. They have the strength to stand up against the US and then others will follow suit (e.g. India). A barter system (goods vs. goods trade) or payment in yuan could probably be a good enough way to avoid american banking sanctions. But if China wants to stand up against US at this point is uncertain. If this strangling of Iran is highly successful, it is hard to see the rewards. A high oil price that will be the tipping point for the global economy in the wrong direction or indirectly (hopefully not directly – who needs another war now?) overthrow the Iranian government and thus the creation of new political problems in the country; a repeat of the Iraq experience almost. I almost forgot that there is the nuclear issue there as well, maybe that is also a driver

  1. Boomer II 06/26/2018 at 10:16 pm Reply

[Apr 21, 2018] World War is Still in the Cards by Dan Glazebrook

Notable quotes:
"... Once underway, however, an Iranian-Israeli conflict could very easily draw in Russia and the US. ..."
"... Indeed, Putin reportedly warned Netanyahu last week that he can no longer expect to attack Syria with impunity. And once Israelis start getting killed by Russian hardware, it is hard to see how the US could not get involved. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Just over a quarter-century before the outbreak of the First World War, global capitalism was in the throes of a deep economic crisis. This original 'Great Depression', which lasted from 1873 to 1896, saw tens of millions perish from famine as the 'great powers' shifted the burden as far as possible onto their colonies; whilst, at home, anti-systemic movements such as the 'New Unionism' burst onto the scene in the capitalist heartlands, presenting a serious challenge to bourgeois rule. Africa was torn apart by imperial powers desperate to secure monopoly access to its riches, and rivalries between these powers constantly threatened to erupt into outright war. In the midst of all this, one particularly astute political commentator gave a disturbingly prophetic insight as to how the crisis would ultimately be resolved, predicting a: "world war of an extent and violence hitherto unimagined. Eight to ten million soldiers will be at each other's throats and in the process they will strip Europe barer than a swarm of locusts. The depredations of the Thirty Years War compressed into three or four years and extended over the entire continent; famine, disease, the universal lapse into barbarism, both of the armies and people, in the wake of acute misery; irretrievable dislocation of our artificial system of trade, industry and credit, ending in general bankruptcy; collapse of the old states and their conventional political wisdom to the point where crowns will roll into the gutter by the dozen, and no one will be around to pick them up; the absolute impossibility of seeing where it will all end and who will emerge as victor from the battle; only one consequence is absolutely certain: general exhaustion and the conditions for the ultimate victory of the working class."

The commentator was Marx's lifelong collaborator Friedrich Engels. The accuracy of his prediction – right down to the numbers killed and the length of the war, not to mention the revolutions and collapse of empires that would result – is truly remarkable. Yet Engels had no crystal ball. What he foresaw was nothing more than the logical outcome of the workings of the global capitalist-imperialist system, which constantly and inexorably pushes towards world war.

The logic is basically this. Capitalism, with its combination of rapid technological progress plus derisory wage payments – both tendencies a 'natural' result of competition – leads to a situation where markets cannot be found for its goods. This is because capital's capacity to produce constantly outstrips the capacity of consumers to consume, as these very consumers are, in the main, the very workers whose wages are driven down, or who are made redundant altogether, by improved technology. Ultimately, this results in a crisis of overproduction, with markets glutted, and workers thrown out of work in their millions. Already in 1848, four decades before his prediction of world war, Engels (and Marx) had written that such crises tended to be "resolved" through "the enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces" – in other words, the wholesale closure of industry. Through closures of the most inefficient industries, surplus production would eventually be reduced, and profitability restored. But in so doing, capitalists were effectively increasing the concentration of capital in the hands of the most 'efficient' industries, whose productive capacity in the future would render the underlying contradiction yet more insoluble still, and were thereby "paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and diminishing the means whereby crises are avoided". For Engels, the crisis underway by the 1880s was so extensive that the destruction of capital required to overcome it would take more than mere closures – it would take all-out war.

The destruction of capital, however, is not the only means by which to overcome overproduction crises. The other option, said Marx and Engels, is "the conquest of new markets or the more thorough exploitation of old ones". The period of the late-nineteenth century saw a renewed 'Scramble for Africa' as each imperial power sought to grab territories which might one day serve as both sources of raw materials and markets for surplus capital. In North America, the USA was completing its own colonisation of the West and South in imperial wars against the Native Americans and Mexico. By the close of the century, however, all the 'available' territories had been conquered. From then on in, argued Lenin, the capture of new colonies could only be at the expense of another colonial power – ushering in a new, imperial, phase of capitalism with an inbuilt drive towards world war.

We have now witnessed two episodes of this cycle of capitalist crisis mutating into world war, the second much more successful in terms of the destruction of capital than the first. Indeed it was so successful that it paved the way for a 'Golden Era' of capitalist prosperity lasting almost three decades. But then, once again, the inevitable crisis tendencies began to set in.

The colonial, imperialist nature of postwar capitalism has, to some extent, been disguised by the formal political independence of most of the formerly colonised world. With an unambiguous and unrivalled lead in technological capacity, the Western nations have not required direct colonisation in order to guarantee essentially 'captive' markets for their goods and capital. The former colonies have largely been dependent on products, finance and technology from the imperial world without the need for formal political control – and this dependence has been backed up with economic blackmail through international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank where possible, and direct military force against resistant nations where necessary.

Such dependence, however, has been decisively eroded since the beginning of the new millenium. The rise of China, in particular, has completely destroyed the West's monopoly on finance and market access for the global South: African, Asian and Latin American countries no longer have to rely on US markets for their goods or on World Bank loans for their infrastructure development. China is now an alternative provider of all these, and generally on far superior terms of trade than those offered by the West. In times of continued economic stagnation, however, this loss of their (neo)colonies is entirely unacceptable to the Western capitalist nations, and threatens the entire carefully crafted system of global extortion on which their own prosperity is based.

Increasingly unable to rely on economic coercion alone to keep countries within its 'sphere of influence', then, the West have been turning more and more to military force. Indeed, the US, UK and France have been permanently at war since the eve of the new millennium – starting with Yugoslavia, through Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Syria and Yemen (to say nothing of proxy wars such as that in the Congo, or the 'drone wars' waged in Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere). In each case, the aim has been the same – to thwart the possibility of independent development. It is entirely indicative of this new era of decreasing economic power that several of these wars were waged against states whose leaders were once in the pocket of the US (Iraq and Afghanistan) or who they had hoped to buy off (Libya and Syria).

Thus, where it was once, at least in part, the product of productive superiority, the continued supremacy of the West in international affairs is increasingly reliant on military force alone. And even this military superiority is diminishing daily.

Predictions of the length of time left before the Chinese economy overtakes the US economy continue to shrink. In 2016, China's share of the world economy had grown to 15%, compared to the USA's 25%. But with a growth rate currently three times that of the USA, the difference is expected to decline rapidly; at this rate, the Chinese economy is on course to overtake that of the US by 2026 . In fact, once adjustments are made for purchasing power parity and differential prices, the Chinese economy is already larger . Furthermore, Chinese manufacturing output has been higher than that of the US for over a decade, and exports are one third higher, whilst China produces double the number of graduates annually than the US.

Such developments, however, are not of economic significance only: for it is only a matter of time before economic superiority is converted into military superiority. And this gives the US and its hangers-on an ever-diminishing window of opportunity in which to actually USE their military superiority in order to preserve their deteriorating global power.

Clearly the strategy hitherto has been to avoid direct war with China and its key ally Russia, and instead to focus on 'taking out' its real or potential allies amongst states less able to defend themselves. But Russia's role as a spoiler in the regime change operation in Syria has demonstrated to the US that this may no longer be possible. This has led to a split within the US ruling class on the issue of how to deal with Russia, with one side seeking to purchase Russian acquiescence to wars against Iran and China (advocated by the faction supporting Trump) and the other aiming to simply 'regime change' Russia itself (advocated by the Hillary faction). At the heart of both is the attempt to break the alliance between Russia and China, in the case of Hillary by pulling China away from Russia, and for Trump, pulling Russia away from China.

The point is, however, that neither strategy is likely to work, as clearly the breaking of the China-Russia axis is aimed at weakening both of them. Furthermore, even if Putin were prepared to ditch Iran, or even China, for the right price (such as lifting sanctions, or recognising Russian sovereignty over Crimea ), there is no way Congress would allow Trump to pay such a price. Trump would dearly love to offer to lift sanctions – but this is not within his gift; instead he can merely offer sops such as withdrawal from Syria, or pre-warning of missile attacks on Russia's allies – hardly enough to lure Russia into the suicidal severing of alliances with its most important allies.

This conundrum puts the unthinkable squarely on the agenda: direct war with Russia. The last month has shown clearly how, and how rapidly, this is developing. Britain's carefully calibrated efforts to create a worldwide diplomatic break with Russia can now clearly be seen as a prelude to what was almost certainly planned to be – and may yet become – an all-out war with Iran on the Syrian battlefield. This scenario appears to have been averted for now by Russia's refusal to countenance it, and the West's fear of launching such an operation in the face of direct Russian threats, but such incidents are only likely to increase. It is only a matter of time before Russia will be put to the test.

It is easy to see how the Syrian war could lead to a major escalation: indeed, it is difficult to see how it could not. In Washington, there is much talk of the need to 'confront' Iran in Syria, and recent Israeli attacks on Iranian positions in Syria indicate that they are itching to get this confrontation under way, with or without prior US approval. Once underway, however, an Iranian-Israeli conflict could very easily draw in Russia and the US. Russia could hardly be expected to stand back whilst Israel reversed all its hard fought gains of the past two and a half years – whilst demonstrating the feebleness of Russian 'protection' – and would likely retaliate, or at the very least (and more likely) provide its allies with the means to do so . Indeed, Putin reportedly warned Netanyahu last week that he can no longer expect to attack Syria with impunity. And once Israelis start getting killed by Russian hardware, it is hard to see how the US could not get involved.

This is just one possible scenario for the kind of escalation that would lead to war with Russia. Economic war with China is already underway, and US warships are already readying themselves to cut off China's supply lines in the South China Sea. Each specific provocation and escalation may or may not lead to a direct showdown with one or both of these powers. What is clear, however, is that this is the direction in which Western imperialism is clearly headed. It has built up its unparalleled armoury for one reason only – to protect its dominant world position. The time is soon coming when it will have to use it – and use it against a power that can actually fight back – whilst it still has a chance of winning.

An edited version of this article was originally published by Middle East Eye.

[Apr 12, 2018] Trump chooses impulse over strategy as crises mount

Apr 12, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

In a White House known for chaos, the process of developing the U.S. response to the Syrian government's alleged latest gas attack was proceeding with uncharacteristic deliberation, including several national security briefings for President Trump.

But then Wednesday morning, Trump upended it all with a tweet -- warning Russia, the Syrian government's backer, to "get ready" because American missiles "will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' "

White House advisers were surprised by the missive and found it "alarming" and "distracting," in the words of one senior official. They quickly regrouped and, together with Pentagon brass, continued readying Syria options for Trump as if nothing had happened.

But the Twitter disruption was emblematic of a president operating on a tornado of impulses -- and with no clear strategy -- as he faces some of the most consequential decisions of his presidency, including Syria, trade policy and the Russian interference probe that threatens to overwhelm his administration.

"It's just like everybody wakes up every morning and does whatever is right in front of them," said one West Wing aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share a candid opinion. "Oh, my God, Trump Tower is on fire. Oh, my God, they raided Michael Cohen's office. Oh, my God, we're going to bomb Syria. Whatever is there is what people respond to, and there is no proactive strategic thinking."

The president has been particularly livid in the wake of Monday's FBI raids on the home, office and hotel room of Cohen, his longtime personal attorney. In the days after, he has seriously contemplated a shake-up at the Justice Department in the hopes of curbing the expanding probe by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, whose referral led to the Cohen raids. Trump is considering firing Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is overseeing the probe, several people familiar with Trump's private comments said.

By Trump's admission Wednesday on Twitter, Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice has consumed "tremendous time and focus." And in denying allegations of wrongdoing, the president seemed to equivocate in a parenthetical aside: "No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back)," he wrote.

On trade, meanwhile, the president is grappling with the potential economic fallout of his threatened tariffs, especially within the agriculture sector, which could harm some of the rural states that carried him to electoral victory -- all against the backdrop of his ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement more favorably for the United States.

Trump also finds himself facing the surprise retirement of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), signaling more turmoil for the fractious Republican Party heading into the midterm elections.

These and other pivotal developments come as many of the guardrails that previously helped stabilize the president -- from West Wing aides to clear policy processes -- have been cast aside, with little evident organization or long-term strategy emanating from the White House.

This portrait of Trump in the current moment comes from interviews with 21 administration officials, outsider advisers, lawmakers and confidants, many of them speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive details and conversations.

Save for his Wednesday morning tweet, the president's Syria deliberations have largely been the exception to the chaos engulfing the White House, underscoring the high stakes of a decision, White House officials said.

President Trump, second from right, speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Monday. (Susan Walsh/AP)

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday afternoon that Trump continues to review options for a military strike in Syria and that his tweet should not be read as an announcement of planned action.

"We're maintaining that we have a number of options, and all of those options are still on the table," Sanders said. "Final decisions haven't been made on that front."

The National Security Council met Wednesday afternoon at the White House, chaired by Vice President Pence, to finalize options that could be presented to the president, Sanders said. She said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, national security adviser John Bolton and other senior officials have been in regular contact with their counterparts from Israel, Saudi Arabia, France, the United Kingdom and other partners around the world as the administration weighs its military options for Syria.

Yet Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday afternoon that he had yet to hear from Trump or other administration officials about impending action in Syria.

"I have no idea. So far, it appears to me to be bluster," Corker said. "Then I saw a tweet come out about us working with Russia right after we're getting ready to bomb them, so I mean, who knows? Unfortunately, there are a lot of things announced by the administration that never come to pass or evolve."

The more general question of U.S. engagement in Syria has confounded and divided the administration. Officials at the White House and Pentagon, for instance, were blindsided by Trump's pronouncement at a rally in Ohio in late March that U.S. troops would be leaving Syria "very soon," and in the first hours after the speech, they scrambled to get a sense of what he meant.

Trump initially told aides that he wanted U.S. soldiers and Marines to leave in 48 hours -- an impossible timeline that alarmed the Pentagon and sent officials racing to dissuade him, two U.S. officials said.

Eventually, Mattis and others persuaded Trump to give the military another six months to wipe out the remnants of the Islamic State. The timeline was far from ideal but was viewed as a major victory compared with Trump's original timeline, officials said.

Senior U.S. officials describe a president who is operating largely on impulse, with little patience for the advice of his top aides. "A decision or statement is made by the president, and then the principals -- Mattis or Pompeo or Kelly -- come in and tell him we can't do it," said one senior administration official. "When that fails, we reverse-engineer a policy process to match whatever the president said."

On a potential shake-up at the Justice Department, Trump has been receiving a range of advice and has sent mixed signals about his intentions. Within the White House, advisers have largely counseled caution and urged him not to make changes. White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and counsel Donald McGahn have tried to calm Trump several times, as has Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling the Russia probe.

Yet others, including many in the president's orbit who don't work in the White House, have counseled a more aggressive approach, saying the raid of Cohen's home and business crossed a line. This advice has left White House staff on edge, nervous about what the president might do.

Trump, for instance, yelled about Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for several hours Monday and has continued to complain about them since. But some described his complaints as just "venting," with one outside adviser saying that while the president is "steamed and unhappy," that doesn't necessarily mean he's prepared to take action.

"I heard or saw nothing that would suggest he was planning to make a change at the Department of Justice," said Alan Dershowitz, a retired Harvard Law School professor who dined at the White House with Trump on Tuesday night. He said they mainly discussed the Middle East and Russia.

Rosenstein, meanwhile, seems to have made peace with any eventuality, said one person who has had a conversation with him. He understands he might be squarely in Trump's crosshairs, and "is ready for whatever comes and confident in his own behavior."

Trump has also devoted a portion of his days to trade policy. Over the past eight weeks, the president has initiated trade disputes with several of the largest countries in the world, driving forward pronouncements without fully vetting most of them with key aides.

In some cases, he has backpedaled on his vow to impose steep tariffs on countries such as Germany, Canada and Mexico. But he has also refused to waive tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Japan, a major U.S. security ally and trading partner.

Some Senate Republicans fear that Trump's loosely formed trade war with China could end up cratering the agriculture industry at a time when many Midwestern farmers are preparing to plant crops. China has promised to impose tariffs on U.S. farm exports as a way of retaliating against Trump's planned tariffs. The White House promised to backstop U.S. farm groups, but they have yet to share what they would do or how they would do it.

"I don't know what kind of cockamamie scheme we could come up with that would be fair," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said Tuesday.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) was similarly frustrated by Trump's trade agenda. "I think the president has some ideas about trade that are not generally shared by the Republican conference," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his frustrated ranks during a closed-door lunch this week to call Trump and air their trade-related worries, according to a person familiar with the Kentucky Republican's remarks. Roberts and others planned to meet with Trump on Thursday to discuss the matter.

[Mar 13, 2018] The current ruling junta in the US absolutely does not have the interests of the American people or the nation at large in mind

Mar 13, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

SlapHappy | Mar 13, 2018 1:46:05 PM | 18

As if it needs saying, the current ruling junta in the US absolutely does not have the interests of the American people or the nation at large in mind, they're answering to a different set of masters at this point.

Until we can purge the fifth column that's infested the halls of power in this country and obviously in the UK and much of Europe - at least the EU - we'll continue to fight wars for Zionism and all that will be left of the US and Russia when this is over will be bombed-out nuclear wastelands, which is exactly what the Zionists want to have happen.

They did it to Germany and Russia in WWII, and they're going to do it to the US, Russia, and possibly China in WWIII, which is spooling up as we dissect the latest maniacal machinations of the war cabal.

[Mar 11, 2018] Bringing a sense of reality to a deeply delusional Empire by The Saker

Looks like neocons represent a trap in which the US society got and out of which there is not easy end. That trap which can be fatal.
Notable quotes:
"... American power elites, the majority of whom have never served a day in uniform nor ever attended serious military academic institutions and whose expertise on serious military-technological and geopolitical issues is limited to a couple of seminars on nuclear weapons and, in the best case scenario, the efforts of the Congressional Research Service are simply not qualified to grasp the complexity, the nature, and application of military force. They simply have no reference points ..."
"... In the " Empire of Illusions ," facts simply don't matter at all. In fact, I predict that the now self-evidently useless ABM program will proceed as if nothing had happened. ..."
"... The zombified US general public won't be told what is going on, those who will understand will be marginalized and powerless to make any changes, as for the corrupt parasites who have been making millions and billions from this total waste of taxpayer money, they have way too much at stake to throw in the towel ..."
"... In fact, since the US is now run by Neocons, we can very easily predict what they will do. They will do what Neocons always do: double down. So, after it has become public knowledge that the entire US ABM deployment is useless and outdated, expect a further injection in cash into it by "patriotic" "Congresspersons" (my attempt at being politically correct!), surrounded by flags who will explain to the lobotomized public that they are "taking a firm stance" against "the Russian dictator" and that the proud US of A shall not cave in to the "Russian nuclear blackmail". These colors don't run! United we stand! Etc. etc. etc. ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Bringing a sense of reality to a deeply delusional Empire

The leaders of the Empire, along with their brainwashed ideological drones , live in a world completely detached from reality. This is why Martyanov writes that the US " still continues to reside in her bubble which insulates her from any outside voices of reason and peace " and that Putin's speech aimed at " coercing America's elites into, if not peace, at least into some form of sanity, given that they are currently completely detached from the geopolitical, military and economic realities of a newly emerging world ". Martyanov explains that:

American power elites, the majority of whom have never served a day in uniform nor ever attended serious military academic institutions and whose expertise on serious military-technological and geopolitical issues is limited to a couple of seminars on nuclear weapons and, in the best case scenario, the efforts of the Congressional Research Service are simply not qualified to grasp the complexity, the nature, and application of military force. They simply have no reference points. Yet, being a product of the American pop-military culture, also known as military porn and propaganda, these people -- this collection of lawyers, political "scientists", sociologists and journalists who dominate the American strategic kitchen which cooks non-stop delusional geopolitical and military doctrines, can understand one thing for sure, and that is when their poor dears get a bulls-eye on their backs or foreheads.

The fact that in the real world these elites have had a bulls-eye on their backs for decades doesn't change the fact that they also managed to convince themselves that they could remove that bulls-eye by means of withdrawing from the ABM treaty and by surrounding Russia with anti-missile launchers. The fact that some (many? most?) US politicians realized, at least in the back of their minds, that their ABM systems would never truly protect the US from a Russian counter-strike did not really matter because there were some uniquely American psychological factors which made the notion of an ABM system irresistibly attractive:

1) An ABM system promised the US impunity : impunity is, along with military superiority, one of the great American myths (as discussed here ). From Reagan with this "weapons which kill weapons" to the current crisis in Korea, Americans have always strived for impunity for their actions abroad: let all countries drown in an ocean of fire, murder and mayhem as long as our "homeland" remains the untouchable sacrosanct citadel. Since WWII Americans have killed many millions of people abroad, but when 9/11 came (nevermind that it was obviously a false flag) the country went into something like clinical shock from the loss of about 3'000 innocent civilians. Soviet, and then later, Russian nuclear weapons promised to deliver many tens of millions of deaths if the USSR/Russia was attacked and that is why spinning the fairy tale about an ABM "shield" was so appealing even if it was technologically speaking either a pipe-dream (Reagan's "Star Wars") or an extremely limited system capable of stopping maybe a few missiles at most (the current ABM system in Europe). Again, facts don't matter at all, at least not in American politics or in the US collective psyche.

2) An ABM system promised a huge financial bonanza for the fantastically corrupt US Military-Industrial Complex for which millions of Americans work and which made many of them fantastically rich. Frankly, I suspect that many (most?) folks involved in the ABM programs fully realized that this was a waste of time, but as long as they were getting their bank accounts filled with money, they simply did not care: hey, they pay me – I will take it!

3) The US military culture never had much of an emphasis on personal courage or self-sacrifice (for obvious reasons). The various variations of the ABM fairy tale make it possible for Americans to believe that the next war would be mostly fought by pressing buttons and relying on computers. And if real bombs start falling, let them fall somewhere else, preferably on some remote brown people who, well, ain't quite as precious to God and humanity as us, the White "indispensable nation".

Add to this a quasi-religious belief (a dogma, really) in the myth of American technological superiority and you understand that the Russian leaders began to realize that their US counterparts were gradually forgetting that they did have a bulls-eye painted on their backs. So what Putin did is simply paint a few more, different ones, just to make sure that US leaders come back to reality.

The goal of Putin's speech was also to prove both Obama ("the Russian economy is in tatters") and McCain ("Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country") wrong. The Russian message to the US ruling elites was simple: no, not only are we not lagging behind you technologically, in many ways we are decades ahead of you, in spite of sanctions, your attempts to isolate us, the dramatic drop in energy prices or your attempts at limiting our access to world markets (the successful development of this new generation of weapons systems is a clear indicator of the real state of fundamental research in Russia in such spheres are advanced alloys, nanotechnology, super-computing, etc.).

To the warmongers at the Pentagon, the message was equally clear and tough: we spend less than 10% of what you can spend on global aggression; we will match your quantitative advantage with our qualitative superiority. Simply put, you fight with dollars, we will fight with brains. US propagandists, who love to speak about how Russia always uses huge numbers of unskilled soldiers and dumb but brutal weapons now have to deal with a paradigm which they are completely unfamiliar with: a Russian soldier is much better trained, much better equipped, much better commanded and their morale and willpower is almost infinitely higher than one of the typical US serviceman. For a military culture used to mantrically repeat that everything about it is "the best in the world" or even "the best in history" this kind of new reality will come as a very painful shock and most will respond to it by going into deep denial. To those who believed in the (historically completely false) narrative about the US and Reagan bankrupting the USSR by means of a successful arms race, it must feel very strange to have sort of "traded places" with the bad old USSR and being in the situation of having to face military-spending induced bankruptcy.

Nothing will change in the Empire of Illusions (at least for the foreseeable future)

Speaking of bankruptcy. The recent revelations have confirmed what the Russians have been warning about for years: all the immense sums of money spent by the US in ABM defenses have been completely wasted. Russia did find and deploy an asymmetrical response which makes the entire US ABM program completely useless and obsolete. Furthermore, as Martyanov also points out, the current force structure of the US surface fleet has also been made basically obsolete and useless, at least against Russia (but you can be sure that China is following close behind). Potentially, this state of affairs should have immense, tectonic repercussions: immense amounts US taxpayer money has been completely wasted, the US nuclear and naval strategies have been completely misguided, intelligence has failed (either on the acquisition or the analytical level), US politicians have made disastrous decisions and this is all a total "cluster-bleep" which should trigger God knows how many investigations, resignations, and numerous sanctions, administrative or even criminal ones. But, of course, absolutely nothing of this, nothing at all, will happen. Not a single head will roll

In the " Empire of Illusions ," facts simply don't matter at all. In fact, I predict that the now self-evidently useless ABM program will proceed as if nothing had happened. And, in a way, that is true.

The zombified US general public won't be told what is going on, those who will understand will be marginalized and powerless to make any changes, as for the corrupt parasites who have been making millions and billions from this total waste of taxpayer money, they have way too much at stake to throw in the towel.

In fact, since the US is now run by Neocons, we can very easily predict what they will do. They will do what Neocons always do: double down. So, after it has become public knowledge that the entire US ABM deployment is useless and outdated, expect a further injection in cash into it by "patriotic" "Congresspersons" (my attempt at being politically correct!), surrounded by flags who will explain to the lobotomized public that they are "taking a firm stance" against "the Russian dictator" and that the proud US of A shall not cave in to the "Russian nuclear blackmail". These colors don't run! United we stand! Etc. etc. etc.

[Mar 04, 2018] Generals who now are running the USA foreign policy represents a great danger. These men seem incapable of rising above the Russophobia that grew in the atmosphere of the Cold War. They yearn for world hegemony for the US and to see Russia and to a lesser extent China and Iran as obstacles to that dominion for the "city on a hill

Highly recommended!
McMaster is a danger tot he USA and the world as a whole. Trump disingaged from forign policy and now generals are running it.
Notable quotes:
"... I stopped listening to McMaster at one point. Quite early really. I wish there was a transcript around. But on first sight there isn't. But yes, 'revisionist' surfaced. ..."
"... Senator Lindsey Graham wants to attack North Korea. China promises to defend North Korea if attacked by the USA. If nuclear weapons are used by anyone; destroying Seoul, Pyongyang, Kyoto, Tokyo or Guam, the war will explode. China has 65 hardened ICBMs that can survive a first attack and destroy every major American city. Russia cannot sit out a world war blowing up directly South of Siberia. ..."
"... Simply put, Washington DC has become unhinged. The military is free to do whatever it wants. The western economic system is in slow-motion collapse. There is too much debt. Either the people will force the oligarchs to write down the debt and end the wars; or, fighting over the remains, the corrupt elite will kill off mankind. ..."
"... He has given the quartet too much leeway and they for some naïve reason are far too willing to listen to the Israelis always whispering in their ears. GC Marshall was right when he warned Truman against a future dominated by the existence of Israel. pl ..."
Mar 04, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Karel Whitman , 04 March 2018 at 10:02 AM

I have been reflecting about Reagan too in recent contributions here. Not least since Trump seemed to try to emulate the GOP's greatest hero.

From the original Strategic Statement, casting Russia and China as 'rivals and competitors', the subsequent Defense Posture Statement elevated the latter from mere rivals, to 'revisionist powers'

I stopped listening to McMaster at one point. Quite early really. I wish there was a transcript around. But on first sight there isn't. But yes, 'revisionist' surfaced. As curiously enough this did: "rogue regimes (ME north East Asia) are developing the most destructive weapons on earth."

Maybe I listen to him now. Relevant parts start at 1:45.

https://www.securityconference.de/en/media-library/munich-security-conference-2018/video/statement-by-herbert-raymond-mcmaster/

******
That said, what I still have huge troubles seemingly is to wrap my head around is the huge applause Trump got on SST, while it left me more then a little irritated, when delivering his foreign policy speech in April 2016. That was before Russia-Gate made news.

kooshy -> FB Ali ... , 04 March 2018 at 10:09 AM
"These US generals have shown themselves to be shallow-minded believers in a doctrine of US invincibility and universal dominance that is no longer applicable to the world we live in."

General Ali, if I remember correctly you reside in Canada, those who are brought up in and under US system, majority think of their country in this way, it's part of the mentality that the system educates and trains it's constituency, to think they are exceptional, invincible and above all others. From what I have learned, this is not unique to just these four generals, this is how even the regular police thinks regardless of state or community they serve. This is how every child has been thought early on.

Babak Makkinejad -> kooshy... , 04 March 2018 at 01:08 PM
I think you are right, once I told an American that the United States will not survive a nuclear war with Russia; he seemed to have been offended.
VietnamVet , 04 March 2018 at 03:57 PM
All

This week NBC News described the White House as "unglued". The owner of Comcast that owns NBC, Brian L. Roberts (Barrack Obama's friend), and the five other media moguls want Donald Trump gone. All that has stopped them so far are four Generals. This is highly unstable. The USA has already killed Russians in Syria. Turkey is heading towards attacking American troops in Manbij. U.S. trainers are in the trenches with Ukraine troops in the Donbass. Anyone who is against this madness is labeled as a Russian collaborator.

Senator Lindsey Graham wants to attack North Korea. China promises to defend North Korea if attacked by the USA. If nuclear weapons are used by anyone; destroying Seoul, Pyongyang, Kyoto, Tokyo or Guam, the war will explode. China has 65 hardened ICBMs that can survive a first attack and destroy every major American city. Russia cannot sit out a world war blowing up directly South of Siberia.

Simply put, Washington DC has become unhinged. The military is free to do whatever it wants. The western economic system is in slow-motion collapse. There is too much debt. Either the people will force the oligarchs to write down the debt and end the wars; or, fighting over the remains, the corrupt elite will kill off mankind.

If somehow, the use of nuclear weapons is avoided; at best, South Korea, the heart of the Asian Economy, will be destroyed. The drumbeats for war with North Korea, Iran and/or Russia is crazy.

turcopolier , 04 March 2018 at 04:06 PM
Alastair Crooke

I agree that the "Four of Hearts" among the generals now running US foreign policy are a great danger. These men seem incapable of rising above the Russophobia that grew in the atmosphere of the Cold War. They yearn for world hegemony for the US and to see Russia and to a lesser extent China and Iran as obstacles to that dominion for the "city on a hill."

Trump is as yet indifferent to such matters and is in pursuit of his mercantilist view of economics. He has given the quartet too much leeway and they for some naïve reason are far too willing to listen to the Israelis always whispering in their ears. GC Marshall was right when he warned Truman against a future dominated by the existence of Israel. pl

kooshy said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 March 2018 at 04:06 PM
The first time i really understood and encounter this mentality, was in American government class back in 74 or 75, I even believed in it for a while.

[Aug 23, 2017] Amerika got where it is today by being a fork tongued double dealer whose words aren't worth the paper

Notable quotes:
"... With many of the asset purchases by China based corporations there is absolutely no intention of selling them or otherwise letting go of them ever again. As I learned this is per se no bad thing, but it could be if say, too much of a nation was owned by foreigners who will never relinquish those properties. ..."
"... Most Chinese certainly China's leaders have no intention of changing their outlook one iota, but that doesn't mean they want non-Chinese to alter and adopt their values. If Xi Jinping bothered to consider that he would most likely decide he preferred Trump and the rest of the Americans to remain exactly as they are because the adulation of material gain, arrogance and inability to lie straight in bed makes people's behaviour very predictable. ..."
"... I disagree with those who think that China has been duped - there's simply no evidence that China is that gullible. One century of humiliation was enough to learn how the western world works. ..."
"... As Debsisdead points out, "Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be actioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable." ..."
"... We keep talking about hybrid warfare, and noting the west with its color revolutions and its increasingly visible lies, but have we learned yet how to detect asymmetrical responses from the multi-polar world? Especially since it's at least possible that they will occur almost invisibly? ..."
"... No. China does not believe anything the US says in public or even in private to them. 80% of Earth ppl know the US can't be trusted, it does not do deals, even private individuals who shake hands and the like, ever (they back out, my country orders..) ..."
"... All is calculation on where it might be advantageous to seem to 'submit' or 'shut up' or conversely 'complain' and make a fuss (to the UN, WTO, the US itself ) China and Russia don't want to take on the US militarily for now (except in low level proxy wars with a positive calculated outcome, see Syria), so all this stuff is just par for the course, it is expected, it is tit for tat shadow play that on the part of the weaker groups is thought out cynically. ..."
"... Trump maybe doesn't quite know what he is doing, in the sense of measuring, anticipating the results, as he is being manipulated. That is one view. Others can be put forward. ..."
"... Backdoors created for NSA/CIA can be exploited by others too, which makes all Outlaw US military electronic systems vulnerable. I recall a video presentation by Nasrallah showing the video Hezbollah intercepted from Zionist drones scouting the ground for its assassination of Hariri--evidence for Hezbollah's defense in the affair that nobody thought they'd be capable of obtaining that demolished the Zionist/Outlaw US Empire framing of Hezbollah for that murder. ..."
"... My bet is that the Generals have taken complete charge. ..."
"... An Asymmetric war will not do for the overlords (or generals?). The "Cyber" and other parts are to control dissidents in the EU and US. Both Russai and China will be aware of this as it is not the first time that either of them has been targeted by the US-UK. ..."
"... Adopting the NATO sanctions against NK must have fit the Chinese game plan. Chinese are not that stupid. ..."
"... There is no naive China, Russia or whatever, all Nations understand that the US regime is not reliable nor trustworthy, the game most of the Nations continue to play is the game to buy time, any war with the US regime can be hard at the moment, but not in few years time. China knows is and will play the patience game til the end, Russia does the same, expect for few "no go" like Syria and the south China sea islands. ..."
"... After Iran's experience with US "lifting of sanctions", should anyone ever trust USA at all? ..."
Aug 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead | Aug 23, 2017 2:25:35 AM | 38

I'm with everyone who has already noted that amerika got where it is today by being a fork tongued double dealer whose words aren't worth the paper I wipe my arse with.
There isn't a single agreement reached between US authorities and any other entity since the days of treaties with the indigenous owners of the land amerika continues to purloin that amerika hasn't breached in either the letter or the spirit, usually both.

On the other hand China isn't Iran, not only are they well aware of amerikan perfidy they are in a position to counter it.

The fact they haven't done so yet merely indicates their preference for a square up which doesn't cost China or any of its citizens. This is a culture which always plays the long game no matter how long - witness their bemusement at amerikan commercial interests bitching about listed Chinese corporations not meeting Wall St imposed quarterly 'targets'.
When I lived in Northern Australia I had a landlord for several years who never increased my rent - this in a market where property prices were shooting up thanks to the usual worthless asset appreciation that too many consider a wealth generator. When I asked my landlord who was a third generation Australian the great grandson of gold miners who arrived from Shanghai towards the end of the 19th century he said "You are paying me $25 a week correct?" I replied yes, to which he responded "Well your week's rent is considerably more than my grandfather paid for it, $25 was a fair price when we shook hands and so that is what the rent will remain at unless you move out - a deal is a deal. I'm happy if you are"

That is what happened after I did move out the building which was little more than a big corrugated iron shed was pushed over and my former landlord put an office block in its stead. On the fringes of Darwin's CBD when I moved in by the time I left the property was most def 'down town'. The family will never sell it because for them it will always be a part of the family morphology. The original settler would never have been able much less permitted to buy land in 1880's China but he innately knew exactly how it related to his family once he bought land somewhere else.

This is something that few if any of the media or business outside China fully comprehend, an assumption has been made that Chinese, just as likely they imagine of all non-western peoples, are morphing into western commercial mindsets.

We see this all the time when those nations who have a bureaucratic mechanism for scrutinizing foreign asset purchases decide at least in part on the basis that the property will eventually change hands again.

With many of the asset purchases by China based corporations there is absolutely no intention of selling them or otherwise letting go of them ever again. As I learned this is per se no bad thing, but it could be if say, too much of a nation was owned by foreigners who will never relinquish those properties.

I was initially positive about Chinese investors outbidding engander, Oz, amerikan and european buyers for big chunks of Aotearoa but now I am less positive because denying locals the opportunity to buy in their own country seems to me to be a recipe for eventual conflict.

Trump may 'get away' with his deceit, but America will not. Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be auctioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable.

Most Chinese certainly China's leaders have no intention of changing their outlook one iota, but that doesn't mean they want non-Chinese to alter and adopt their values. If Xi Jinping bothered to consider that he would most likely decide he preferred Trump and the rest of the Americans to remain exactly as they are because the adulation of material gain, arrogance and inability to lie straight in bed makes people's behaviour very predictable.

jezabeel | Aug 23, 2017 3:34:56 AM | 39
No. Rookie fucking error by the Chinese. Take one look at the record of the US keeping its word on anything. They deserve to be done over.
Arioch | Aug 23, 2017 4:16:16 AM | 40
DoubleThink concept was coined by UK BBC propagandist.

I had a dispute with allegedly UK citizen, who at THE SAME time demanded me to agree that

1) there was no NATO promise to avoid expanding East, as there is no signed paper document today on it, and personal speaks are merely speaks.

2) there is no threat to Russia from, and hence Russia acts unreasonably demanding legally-binding documents to, those "anti-Iranian" missile stations in Europe, because "everyone told you so".

And he did pursue both lanes in the SAME argument.

-----------

Now, while i admit that US and UK are different states for long, some habits seem to die hard

-----------

They also say, Iran was promised US do not care about their invasion in Kuwait, and they also say in 19114 German kanzler was promised UK King would not do a thing about European(read: Continental) war.

paulmeli | Aug 23, 2017 7:59:17 AM | 42
"would china PLEASE pull the plug on USA and call in its debt?!"

Central banks still funding government deficits and the sky remains firmly above

Ragheb | Aug 23, 2017 8:26:01 AM | 43
US warmonging will not end until and unless military suffers heavy casualties in a war of choice or the buck goes down for the count.
somebody | Aug 23, 2017 9:27:23 AM | 44
40

Gorbachev did not care about any written statement as he assumed the cold war to be over and envisioned a common European-Russian zone from "Wladivostock to Lisbon".

"The West" assumed the same but interpreted it as taking over Russia (integrating it in the Western system) as Russia "had lost the cold war".

The West then lost the peace by their best and brightest causing a severe economic and humanitarian crisis in Russia which led to the rise of Putin and Russia realizing that they had to defend themselves.

Steinmeier just held a speech in Estonia accusing Russia of "thinking in terms of zones of influence" and geopolitics whilst disrespecting the free will of people. The speech was very coded but ended with Germany never again fighting against Russia in "blind enemity" whilst saying before that Germany would never again do something like the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Usually what you say in the end sticks in people's mind.

The way Victoria Nuland operated (and the EU/Steinmeier followed) showed Russia is not alone in geopolitical thinking never mind the free will of people and their elected representatives.

Same party as Steinmeier, Martin Schulz now campaigns with the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany.

Let's see how this plays out.

okie farmer | Aug 23, 2017 10:10:20 AM | 45
Global Empire - A Conversation With Edward Said
https://youtu.be/YvR3qeroQ2M
Mina | Aug 23, 2017 10:28:34 AM | 46
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41023264
Ksa is fine but not Egypt?
Grieved | Aug 23, 2017 10:52:33 AM | 47
I agree with the voices here saying that China understands exactly what is going on. Especially thanks to Debsisdead @ 38 for the wonderful cultural insights.

I disagree with those who think that China has been duped - there's simply no evidence that China is that gullible. One century of humiliation was enough to learn how the western world works.

@41 lysias - "The McCain apparently experienced a mysterious steering failure before the collision."

I too wonder if the US Navy is experiencing asymmetrical responses from either Russia or China or both. I greatly want to know more about all this. Joaquin Flores had a speculative piece at Fort Russ the other day, making the point that the Navy's call to halt all operations worldwide seems completely disproportionate to the apparent causes. Pun intended, what's really going on below the waterline?

As Debsisdead points out, "Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be actioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable."

We keep talking about hybrid warfare, and noting the west with its color revolutions and its increasingly visible lies, but have we learned yet how to detect asymmetrical responses from the multi-polar world? Especially since it's at least possible that they will occur almost invisibly?

Noirette | Aug 23, 2017 11:28:15 AM | 48
China deserved what they got since they were dumb enough to believe ANYHING the US. .. New Yorker at 10.

1) No. China does not believe anything the US says in public or even in private to them. 80% of Earth ppl know the US can't be trusted, it does not do deals, even private individuals who shake hands and the like, ever (they back out, my country orders..)

Are the Chinese, Gvmt., industry, military, to be considered out of that loop?

2) All is calculation on where it might be advantageous to seem to 'submit' or 'shut up' or conversely 'complain' and make a fuss (to the UN, WTO, the US itself ) China and Russia don't want to take on the US militarily for now (except in low level proxy wars with a positive calculated outcome, see Syria), so all this stuff is just par for the course, it is expected, it is tit for tat shadow play that on the part of the weaker groups is thought out cynically.

3) Trump maybe doesn't quite know what he is doing, in the sense of measuring, anticipating the results, as he is being manipulated. That is one view. Others can be put forward.

karlof1 | Aug 23, 2017 11:36:46 AM | 49
Grieved @47--

If fly-by-wire control systems can be hacked and captured on airplanes, then the same can happen to any such system regardless of what it's guiding; and there've been hints at this being done by the Multipolar Alliance. Recall Iran's capturing one of the Outlaw US Empires most sophisticated drones several years ago then reverse engineering its own version.

Lots of evidence cruise missiles went awry thanks to EW. Then there were several reports of Outlaw US Navy vessels having their systems completely shutdown via Russian EW. I imagine PavewayIV has a good recap of these incidents.

Backdoors created for NSA/CIA can be exploited by others too, which makes all Outlaw US military electronic systems vulnerable. I recall a video presentation by Nasrallah showing the video Hezbollah intercepted from Zionist drones scouting the ground for its assassination of Hariri--evidence for Hezbollah's defense in the affair that nobody thought they'd be capable of obtaining that demolished the Zionist/Outlaw US Empire framing of Hezbollah for that murder.

Detecting asymmetrical responses will be difficult since the Multipolar Alliance will be reluctant to announce such an action, while the Unipolar Hegemon will also be reluctant since it won't want the other side to learn how effective its actions are. Imagine if North Korea has the capability to redirect B-1 and B-2 bombers by taking control of their fly-by-wire systems; would you expect North Korea to announce such capability or reserve it for use?

karlof1 | Aug 23, 2017 12:08:27 PM | 50
Pepe Escobar weighs-in yet again on the "two never-ending wars with no visible benefits" in Korea and Afghanistan, http://www.atimes.com/article/korea-afghanistan-never-ending-war-trap/
Brad | Aug 23, 2017 12:15:04 PM | 51
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/08/us-china-trade-war-brewing-trade-deficit-sticks-at-25-billion-dollars.html

US want China to exit production economy and become Debt consumer Economy. US can play that stock market/futures with print money out of thin air. If Rothschilds want China to become US debt model,...it probably happens,
Or....Chinese get RIP of Rothschilds

james | Aug 23, 2017 12:18:30 PM | 52
@38 debsisdead ...

thanks for your personal insights debs.. it is interesting to me as i have lived in the vancouver area for most of my life.. the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation chinese seem so different then the new arrivals from hong kong..

I would like to agree with your view, but this new generation primarily from hong kong, seem to have a very different mind set.. either way - thanks for sharing..

anonymous | Aug 23, 2017 12:46:42 PM | 53
@40

If you're ever confronted by any more British apologists on the issue of NATO missile systems in Poland and Romania, mention the United States could only have set up the systems by unilaterally withdrawing American signatures from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, a decade BEFORE the European Union and Ukraine 'started talks' on framing, signing, and ratifying the EU Association Agreement (violating Article Six of the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty of 1997, which required Russian foreknowledge and participation in any frameworks or any agreements Ukraine had with 'a third party') that partitioned public opinion in Ukraine and precipitated the civil war.

@44

While transcripts of the NATO-Soviet peace talks throughout 1990 haven't been released, the U.S. Secretary of State and the West German Foreign Minister literally layed out a post-war framework (the Nine Assurances in May; the London Declaration in July) publicly (it was reported in mainstream German and American media) at the end of these respective conferences BEFORE the Two Plus Four Agreement was reached.

It envisioned the 'reform' of NATO in the framework of the CSCE (now OSCE) or the replacement of NATO by the CSCE, the ratifying of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (building on other 'arms reduction measures by treaty' needed to permanently demilitarize Europe), and the invitation of the original nine Soviet Republics to NATO Summits to accept NATO Membership BEFORE post-Soviet Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus were invited to accept membership.

The framework ('collective security') was explicitly what the Soviet Politburo had been trying to achieve since the Soviet Foreign Ministry requested the British Foreign Ministry (through public conferences) and the Polish Foreign Ministry (through secret telegrams) to sign mutual security treaties in early and mid August of 1939 (which was rejected consistently by Britain and Poland).

The Soviet Politburo was quick to end the war because it seemed the 'long strategy' had worked, not because of Soviet indifference to formality. I think it was widely understood by any European (worker or statesmen) the United States would never substantially compromise to the discipline of formality, however, the Soviet Union preferred the risk and not diplomatic stagnation.

Side note:

While I personally dislike involving a notorious personality in a social or political history, I think it's interesting to speculate what would've happened if it was Chernenko who lived and Gorbachev who died in 1985. He was a militarist, but never seemed committed to decentralizing the Soviet economy and compromising so easily to the United States.

stonebird | Aug 23, 2017 1:28:15 PM | 54
Part of b's headline; "Trump cheats...." may be wrong. Does Trump control anything at all any more?

Not only the NK sanctions, but a corresponding increase in troop levels in Afghanistan, (including "unknown helicopters" ferrying militants in Mazar-i-Sharif, from the Afghan base of the 209 Afgh Nat Army corps in NATO controlled airspace, for a massacre of Hazara Shias in Sar-e-Pol province), the increase of US servicemen training Ukrainian snipers on the Donbass frontline and a reported blocking of a (small) Russian Bank from the SWIFT network, - all suggest that the military have totally taken over command in the US.

That they have decided to push everyone around as far as possible. This change in policy is since Trump "lost" his powers to Congress by massive one sided voting, and the introduction of the "new" all encompassing anti-Russian and Chinese sanctions.

I may be wrong about WHO is in control (add your own here...), but it seems fairly clear that the "Americans" (people) have been reduced to potential cannon-fodder.

My bet is that the Generals have taken complete charge.

-----

Unfortunately this is not a uniquely US phenomena. Examples in France go back to 1875 with the "Anarchists" (actually FOR worker's rights at the beginning), The "commune de Paris, (US CHicago riots) where other normal people didn't want the "status-quo" of overlord-underling to continue. Usually the movement was treated as a proto-terrorist threat, all the MSM of the time condemning the leaders - and the whole thing finishing in a blood-bath with troops firing on dissenters -- WWI was another "overlord organised restucturation" by the military).

Not really OT - but I am just trying to show that the new situation has antecedents throughout history, and if I am correct the next stage will be to cross several frontiers (by NATO or US) "accidentally" to provoke a reaction. ie NK is another.

An Asymmetric war will not do for the overlords (or generals?). The "Cyber" and other parts are to control dissidents in the EU and US. Both Russai and China will be aware of this as it is not the first time that either of them has been targeted by the US-UK.

I hope this post is not too OT!

fast freddy | Aug 23, 2017 4:47:40 PM | 55
Adopting the NATO sanctions against NK must have fit the Chinese game plan. Chinese are not that stupid.

It should be considered that official sanctions naturally encourage, promote and serve the black markets - the Mafia, Cartels, etc. The underground economy will surely not obey sanctions. It should also be noted that certain official bodies will turn a blind eye and allow certain other bodies to engage in trade, etc.

Note how the CyA brings in drugs to Mena Arkansas, for one example. And the cya plane crash in Central America - loaded to the gills.

Canthama | Aug 23, 2017 5:31:30 PM | 56
There is no naive China, Russia or whatever, all Nations understand that the US regime is not reliable nor trustworthy, the game most of the Nations continue to play is the game to buy time, any war with the US regime can be hard at the moment, but not in few years time. China knows is and will play the patience game til the end, Russia does the same, expect for few "no go" like Syria and the south China sea islands.
Alexander Grimsmo | Aug 23, 2017 7:01:10 PM | 57
After Iran's experience with US "lifting of sanctions", should anyone ever trust USA at all?
karlof1 | Aug 23, 2017 7:27:31 PM | 58
Canthama @56--

Nice to see you commenting here! Agreed that China and Russia understand but still seek dialog since that's the essence of "the patience game." But I wonder about those running Brazil; we don't discuss that much at SyrPers. Then there's India's Modi and the cadre of Hindu Neoliberals who seem to want to have their own game instead of teaming with China and Russia for a Win/Win partnership rather than the dying Zero-Sumism of the Neoliberalcons. And thanks again for all the effort you devote to SyrPers; it's quite remarkable!

[Dec 04, 2016] Nuclear war our likely future as Russia China would not accept US hegemony, Reagan official warns

Notable quotes:
"... "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests." ..."
"... "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "How America Was Lost" ..."
"... "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance." ..."
"... "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." ..."
"... "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony." ..."
"... "On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," ..."
"... "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future." ..."
"... "historical turning point," ..."
"... "the Chinese were there in their place," ..."
"... "Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," ..."
"... "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht." ..."
"... "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'" ..."
"... "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'" ..."
"... "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," ..."
"... "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," ..."
May 13, 2015 | RT News
The White House is determined to block the rise of the key nuclear-armed nations, Russia and China, neither of whom will join the "world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony," says head of the Institute for Political Economy, Paul Craig Roberts.

The former US assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, has written on his blog that Beijing is currently "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests."

Roberts writes that Washington's commitment to contain Russia is the reason "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda."

The author of several books, "How America Was Lost" among the latest titles, says that US "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance."

Dr Roberts believes that neither Russia, nor China will meanwhile accept the so-called "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." According to the political analyst, the "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony."

"On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," Roberts writes.

He gives a gloomy political forecast in his column saying that "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future."

Russia's far-reaching May 9 Victory Day celebration was meanwhile a "historical turning point," according to Roberts who says that while Western politicians chose to boycott the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, "the Chinese were there in their place," China's president sitting next to President Putin during the military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

A recent poll targeting over 3,000 people in France, Germany and the UK has recently revealed that as little as 13 percent of Europeans think the Soviet Army played the leading role in liberating Europe from Nazism during WW2. The majority of respondents – 43 percent – said the US Army played the main role in liberating Europe.

"Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," Roberts points out, adding that "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht."

The head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, told RT earlier this month that attempts to diminish the role played by Russia in defeating Nazi Germany through rewriting history by some Western countries are part of the ongoing campaign to isolate and alienate Russia.

Dr Roberts has also stated in his column that while the US president only mentioned US forces in his remarks on the 70th anniversary of the victory, President Putin in contrast "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'"

The political analyst notes that America along with its allies "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'"

While Moscow and Beijing have "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," Washington "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," according to Dr Roberts.

Read more Perverted history: Europeans think US army liberated continent during WW2

Read more US mulls sending military ships, aircraft near South China Sea disputed islands – report

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