Category Archives: China

Yes, America Is Rome. And Yes, Americans Are Fiddling While Rome Burns

America, China, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, Military, War

The political establishment on both sides is preoccupied, with, as Buchanan puts it, “Fear that a four-page memo worked up in the House Judiciary Committee may discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia-gate.

All the while, the US, led by freewheeling Mad Generals—who else?—is wading deeper and deeper into conflict and war abroad.

Patrick J. Buchanan exposes a reality that has little to do with the mindless things that busy Big Media. Mindless because we are no longer a constitutional republic, which is by nature antithetical to empire. Pretending that we are comes at the cost of neglecting to prevent wars in which the US only loses.

If Turkey is not bluffing, U.S. troops in Manbij, Syria, could be under fire by week’s end, and NATO engulfed in the worst crisis in its history.

Turkish President Erdogan said Friday his troops will cleanse Manbij of Kurdish fighters, alongside whom U.S. troops are embedded.

Erdogan’s foreign minister demanded concrete steps by the U.S. to end its support of the Kurds, who control the Syrian border with Turkey east of the Euphrates, all the way to Iraq.

If the Turks attack Manbij, the U.S. will face a choice: Stand by our Kurdish allies and resist the Turks, or abandon the Kurds.

…. But to stand with the Kurds and oppose Erdogan’s forces could mean a crackup of NATO and loss of U.S. bases inside Turkey, including the air base at Incirlik.

Turkey also sits astride the Dardanelles entrance to the Black Sea….

Yet Syria is but one of many challenges to U.S. foreign policy.

The Winter Olympics in South Korea may have taken the threat of a North Korean ICBM that could hit the U.S. out of the news. But no one believes that threat is behind us.

Last week, China charged that the USS Hopper, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, a reef in the South China Sea claimed by Beijing, though it is far closer to Luzon in the Philippines. … If we continue to contest China’s territorial claims with U.S. warships, a clash is inevitable.

In a similar incident Monday, a Russian military jet came within five feet of a U.S. Navy EP-3 Orion surveillance plane in international airspace over the Black Sea, forcing the Navy plane to end its mission.

U.S. relations with Cold War ally Pakistan are at rock bottom. In his first tweet of 2018, President Trump charged Pakistan with being a duplicitous and false friend.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!”

As for America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, now in its 17th year, the end is nowhere on the horizon.

A week ago, the International Hotel in Kabul was attacked and held for 13 hours by Taliban gunmen who killed 40. Midweek, a Save the Children facility in Jalalabad was attacked by ISIS, creating panic among aid workers across the country.

Saturday, an ambulance exploded in Kabul, killing 103 people and wounding 235. Monday, Islamic State militants attacked Afghan soldiers guarding a military academy in Kabul. With the fighting season two months off, U.S. troops will not soon be departing.

If Pakistan is indeed providing sanctuary for the terrorists of the Haqqani network, how does this war end successfully for the United States?

Last week, in a friendly fire incident, the U.S.-led coalition killed 10 Iraqi soldiers. The Iraq war began 15 years ago.

Yet another war, where the humanitarian crisis rivals Syria, continues on the Arabian Peninsula. There, a Saudi air, sea and land blockade that threatens the Yemeni people with starvation has failed to dislodge Houthi rebels who seized the capital Sanaa three years ago.

This weekend brought news that secessionist rebels, backed by the United Arab Emirates, have seized power in Yemen’s southern port of Aden, from the Saudi-backed Hadi regime fighting the Houthis.

These rebels seek to split the country, as it was before 1990.

Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE appear to be backing different horses in this tribal-civil-sectarian war into which America has been drawn.

There are other wars – Somalia, Libya, Ukraine – where the U.S. is taking sides, sending arms, training troops, flying missions.

Like the Romans, we have become an empire, committed to fight for scores of nations, with troops on every continent, and forces in combat operations of which the American people are only vaguely aware.


… As in all empires, power is passing to the generals.

And what causes the greatest angst today in the imperial city?

Fear that a four-page memo worked up in the House Judiciary Committee may discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia-gate.

MORE: “Too Many Wars. Too Many Enemies”

RELATED: “How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism.

Toilet Tidbits About America’s Favorite Immigrant Groups

America, China, Etiquette, IMMIGRATION, Technology, The West

Labour of lavs”* is a delightfully titled article in The Economist (an excellent source of global news for those of us who’re sick of the cesspool that is the American media, Left and Right).

“… In the past few decades China has done a fairly good job of supplying basic sanitation. Only 2% of Chinese still do their business in the bushes, compared with 40% in India; three-quarters have access to toilets which the World Health Organisation deems acceptable, up from less than two-thirds in 2000. But about 70m still use shared facilities, and 260m continue to rely on bucket loos, open pits and other grungy facilities. Some are literally lethal: last month police traced a huge blast in the port city of Ningbo, which killed two people, back to an exploding septic tank. …”

If toilet habits are so abysmal in China, just imagine what these are like in India.

MORE in “Labour of lavs.

* A combination of “lavatory” and the phrase a labor of love.

UPDATED: Trump Rattles Demopublican Foreign-Policy Establishment. GOOD.

China, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy

That’s why we elected him. To overthrow the Establishment that has taken America to one war after another, with zero gains for anyone but that Establishment. A phone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen has rattled the Cabal. Kudos.

VIA The Hill:

[The] conversation that breaks decades of U.S. protocol and risks a clash with China.

Trump’s transition team confirmed late Friday that the president-elect had spoken by phone on Friday with Taiwan’s president, the first conversation between a U.S. president or president-elect with Taiwan’s leader since 1979, when the two countries severed diplomatic ties.

Trump later tweeted that Tsai initiated the conversation.

The Taiwanese leader “offered her congratulations” to Trump and the two leaders “noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States,” according to a statement from Trump’s team.

Tsai’s office said in its on statement that the pair spoke for about 10 minutes and also discussed the regional issues.

“During the call President Tsai and President-elect Trump, besides having an intimate and relaxed conversation, also shared their views and concepts on future important policy points,” a translation of the statement read. “In particular, to promote the domestic economy and strengthen national defense, allowing the people better lives and a guarantee of security. The two briefly exchanged opinions on the situation in the Asia region.”

The White House was not given advance notice about the call, according to an administration official.

The phone call will almost certainly infuriate Beijing, which sees Taiwan as a breakaway province. …

MORE.

UPDATE:

On Trump Tribalism And Clinton’s Sinophobia

Africa, Capitalism, China, Democrats, Donald Trump, Economy, History, The West

“On Trump Tribalism And Clinton’s Sinophobia” is this week’s column, on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine. An excerpt:

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee for 2016, has something in common with Donald Trump: Sinophobia.

During a 2011 visit to Zambia, she warned about “a new colonialism in Africa.” This time, the Chinese were to blame. As Clinton sees it, the Chinese are extracting wealth from the continent by buying its raw materials. “We saw that during colonial times it [was] easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave,” she griped.

Clinton was adamant. She did not want to see a European-style colonial redux in Africa.

Certainly Chinese state capitalism is not free-market capitalism. But is Chinese mercantilism not preferable to American militarism, an example of which is Libya, a north-African recipient of madam secretary’s largess? Not according to Mrs. Clinton.

As Clinton sees it (as do, no doubt, the Paul-Ryan Republicans and the Bernie Sanders socialists), the “old colonialism” saw underdeveloped nations “bilked by rich capitalist countries,” a phrase used by Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington in Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress.

According to these highly politicized, socialist, zero-sum formulations regarding colonialism, class warfare and “income inequality,” one person’s plenty is another’s poverty. The corresponding antidote invariably involves taking from one and giving to the other—from rich to poor; from North to South.

The notion, however, of a preexisting income pie from which the greedy appropriate an unfair share is itself pie-in-the-sky. Wealth, earned or “unearned,” as egalitarians term inheritance, doesn’t exist outside the individuals who create it; it is a return for desirable services, skills and resources they render to others. Labor productivity is the main determinant of wages—and wealth. People in the West produce or purchase what they consume—and much more; they don’t remove, or steal it from Third Worlders. Wrote the greatest development economist, Lord Peter Bauer, in Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion: “Incomes, including those of the relatively prosperous or the owners of property, are not taken from other people. Normally they are produced by their recipient and the resources they own.”

Not unlike Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, who “dramatically increased U.S. foreign aid” (as reported approvingly in Foreign Affairs magazine); Mrs. Clinton also committed more funds to the Agency for International Development during her tenure as secretary of state.

When it comes to Africa, it’s worth noting, however, that four or five decades since decolonization; colonialism, dependency and racism no longer cut it as explanations for Africa’s persistent and pervasive underdevelopment. “Pseudo-scholars such as [the late] Edward Said and legions of liberal intellectuals have made careers out of blaming the West for problems that were endemic to many societies both before and after their experiences as European colonies,” noted Australian historian Keith Windschuttle, in a 2002 issue of American Outlook.

The truth is that colonization constituted the least tumultuous period in African history. This is fact; its enunciation is not to condone colonialism or similar, undeniably coercive, forays, only to venture, as did George Eliot in Daniel Deronda, that “to object to colonization absolutely is to object to history itself. To ask whether colonization in itself is good or bad is the same as asking whether history is a good or bad thing.” …

READ THE REST. “On Trump Tribalism And Clinton’s Sinophobia” is this week’s column, on The Unz Review.