FRED REED: Peering under the Rock: Checking the Origins of American Foreign Policy

China, Communism, Education, Foreign Policy, FRED REED, Russia, War

The encirclement of Russia by NATO (i.e. America) is ‘very roughly equivalent to having Russian forces in El Paso Tijuana, and Toronto’

BY FRED REED
Given that pushing a third of Americans are functionally illiterate or close, that twenty percent think that the sun revolves around the earth, and  seventy percent cannot name the three branches of the federal government, it isn’t surprising that few have much idea of how the war in Ukraine came about. What does surprise is that so few of the intelligent and schooled have much more grasp. Many of these, friends, say that Putin tries to reconstitute the Soviet Union, that Russia is a threat to NATO, that Putin is (sigh) Hitler, and everything from inflation to falling hair is Putin’s fault. No.

Let’s look at things from the point of view of people who pay more attention:

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and Reagan promised Gorbachev that NATO would not move eastward. As a well-known Russian has said, the United States is not agreement capable. It soon began moving NATO eastward, increasing from thirteen countries in NATO to thirty today in an obvious military encirclement of Russia. In 2014 the US attempted a coup in Ukraine aimed at putting an American puppet in Kiev but it didn’t work and Russia retrieved the Crimea. For the next eight or so years NATO, meaning America, trained Ukrainian forces in preparation for the war we now have. This is well known to military analysts and students of eastern Europe.

During this time Russia said over and over and over and over that it wasn’t going to allow Ukraine in NATO, de facto or de jure. This would put American forces on Russia’s border and in Crimea, as well as American naval forces in Sebastopol. American hypersonic nuclear missiles would have been about five minutes of flight time from Moscow.

Look at a map. Note where the Ukraine and the Crimea are. Note that America was wooing Georgia for membership in NATO: More encirclement of Russia. And after Georgia, Azerbaijan, giving American forces access to the Caspian and Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Astrakhan in Russia, and the northern coast of Iran.

This would be very roughly equivalent to having Russian forces in El Paso Tijuana, and Toronto. Do you see why Russia wasn’t going to do this? Which Washington knew, but kept pushing. This gave Russia a choice between two very bad ideas. First, let the Ukraine into NATO, a great victory for Washington, or, second, fight, hoped to be an even greater victory. This was all well understood, calculated, and apparently led by Vicky the Newt Nuland of the State Department.

In Washington, sophisticated people of my acquaintance have never heard of any of this. It isn’t that they disagree, but that they just don’t know. The power of the media to control thought is astonishing.

Why does Washington keep this war going? The proximate answer—as what’s-his-Raytheon, the Secretary of Defense has put it—is to rope Russia into a long, debilitating war that would exhaust it, end it as a world power, and overthrow Vladimir Putin.

The gravy on this sirloin was that, or so it was hoped, it would firm up Washington’s control of Europe, make Europe buy more American costume-jewelry weaponry, force Europe to buy high-priced American LNG, and bring more countries, such as Sweden and Finland into NATO. Also, and here we come to the Big Picture, or part of it, the war would end Nordstream II forever.

Blocking the completion of Nordstream II, the Russian under-Baltic gas pipeline to Germany, has been a high-profile goal of American policy for years. How many Americans have heard of it?

Why block the pipeline? Because Asia is rising. Asia is rising fast. Not just China, but the whole shebang. China alone has four times the American population, superb universities, several times as many engineering grads annually, the world’s best civil engineering and, in addition to being almost every country’s largest trading partner, is the world’s largest market for almost everything. In many fields it is still behind America, but the gap closes. Washington knows this, and knew that the pipeline would tie Germany into the growing Eurasian ecosystem.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative, its plan to link all of Eurasia—not Asia, Eurasia—into one huge trading bloc, is working, or at least the connectivity is happening. Here we could name many of its new, recent, or underway rail links—China-Vientiane, Pakafuz, China-Mandalay, Lanzhou-Tashkent, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Jakarta-Bandung, the now-old Nairobi-Mombasa line.  If Asian countries link up and develop commercially, they will dwarf the United States. So much for empire.

Washington has pushed Russia, China, and Iran together into a de facto alliance. This was stupid. The first rule of empire is “never let your enemies unite,” but the US, perhaps not realizing that this is no longer 1955, seems to believe that it can overcome all of them at once. Now India informally leans East, saying that it will trade with Russia, no comments from Washington needed. Trade corridors in Asia open apace, for example the INSTC, the International North-South Transport Corridor, sort of Mumbai-Chabahar-Azerbaijan-Russia. Don’t even think about China’s heavy commercial investment in Latin America and Africa.

Nordstream II was part of a growing connection between Asia and Germany that Washington could not allow. It didn’t, as blowing up the pipeline showed. This was done apparently by England on Washington’s orders. It illustrates American desperation to prevent Europe, a football being fought over by East and West, from engaging commercially with Asia.

The list of Asian advances in commerce, technology, and connectivity could go on for hundreds of pages, and has, in many books. The bottom line, as we say, is that Washington is looking down the barrel of a gun. It has to stop the growing integration of the rest of the world by any possible means as the days of American supremacy wane. The United States has, or may have, a narrow window of opportunity to maintain hegemony. The first step is to exhaust Russia with the current war and then move on to strangle China.

Can it do this? We shall see, but it seems unlikely. The US can compete with China neither in manufacturing nor in building infrastructure—rail lines, cities, ports—for countries around the world. At home it faces poor and declining education, huge trade deficits and national debt, growing poverty as Washington prioritizes its wars over its people, massive corruption, an evaporating technological lead, crime and social disintegration, and domestic disunity. The military with its vast network of bases around the world swallows resources that might alleviate some of the foregoing.

China’s main weaknesses, apart from the Straits of Malacca in a world war, are Taiwan and semiconductors. This Washington understands.  The details of the “chip wars” are complex. In a nutshell, America either makes the machinery needed to manufacture semiconductors, or controls the countries that do—chiefly the company ASML in the Netherlands, TSMC in Taiwan, Tokyo Electron in Japan, and South Korea. It prohibits the sale of advanced ships to China. However, control over the main countries in the chip business arouses hostility since companies do not like losing a vast market to further Washington’s global ambitions. Pushback by the industry, including in America, grows.

Regarding Taiwan, Washington seems to be playing the same game it played with Ukraine. China has said, over and over and over and over, that Taiwan is part of China. Under the famous One China policy, which kept the peace for decades, the US agreed that Taiwan was Chinese and Beijing tacitly agreed not to invade. Now Washington is salami-slicing the One China doctrine out of existence, first sending Pelosi to Taipei, then Congressional delegations, then sending arms, and in general ignoring Chinese objections. These are intentional provocations aimed at making Taiwan a de facto independent state. Washington’s intense interest in Taiwan exists because Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest and most advanced chip fab, is there. America currently cannot make advanced chips. It’s greatest nightmare is that China might get control of TSMC.

This will eventually force China either to give up Taiwan, which it won’t, or fight. Washington will then, as in the Ukraine, accuse Beijing of starting the war, perhaps send the Navy to defend the island, and supply weapons so that the Chinese can kill each other. Here again the US seems to think we live in the Fifties and the Navy is a fearsome force that will intimidate Beijing. It isn’t. See here:Pentagon, Chinese analysts agree US can’t win in Taiwan Strait.”

None of this is original with me, secret, or hard to find. It is, however, suppressed by the highly controlled American media. Few notice.

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FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”

FRED’S BOOKS ARE ON AMAZON, HERE

FRED’S ARTICLES ARCHIVE

Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm in the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.

* Credit of image as screen pic

 

UPDATED (11/30/022): Complex, Masterful Music Is Not Marxist; Atonal Arnold Schoenberg Is

Art, Cultural Marxism, Culture, Music, The West

Schönberg’s music sounds as ugly as it looks—behold the the sheet-music heading this blog post

People throw about the term “Cultural Marxism” with abandon, without always understanding what it means. Like antibiotics, the overuse of  the term diminishes its potency.

About the virtuoso progressive metal band “Dream Theater,” a reader wrote on Twitter:

It is not MUSIC, it is the INSIDIOUS cultural Marxist degradation of music into a WALL OF NOISE that passes itself off as progressive. In actual fact, it is a step backward for civilization.

The reader is confused. Highly accomplished and polished progressive rock groups like “Dream Theater” or “Symphony X” follow Western rules of harmony, which go back hundreds of years. Layers of complexity in composition are being conflated here with Cultural Marxism.

The fact that it takes some dedication to listen to music that isn’t all of three chords—as is the blues or the country music twang—doesn’t make it Marxist.

What the reader is hearing in Dream Theater is, again, complexity. Highly accomplished and polished progressive rock groups like Dream Theater and Symphony X follow Western rules of harmony. And, odd time signatures, “irregular, complex, asymmetric or unusual time signature,” (my fav) are not Marxist.

While Dream Theater uses exceptionally complicated rhythms, their music is at its structural core traditional Western music.

What the reader says about Dream Theater—some would say about the genius of Béla Bartók or Igor Stravinsky. They would be wrong.

I was trained by a tough father, no longer with us, to listen to classical, in particular, chamber music, starting at a tender age. No option was given. The love followed the discipline, hence the ear for complexity.

If we wanted to spend time with dad, Friday, it was 5 hours of nonstop music. One night it’d be Bartók, the other Beethoven, but dad also introduced us to The Beatles. (Western civilization, parent. Do it up, not Kanye West.)

The routine dad enforced seemed awfully oppressive then. Today, I am grateful for the gift of knowing—nay, seeking out—the greatest music, which is, indubitably, Western music. Thus transitioning from Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” to gifted progressive rock guitarist Tony MacAlpine is organic.

Dad, a rabbi, once whispered sheer blasphemy to me as a kid, “Don’t tell anyone, but Bach is really God.”

Without going into Cultural Marxism and doing the hard work of applying the concept to music, let me say only that the music mentioned is not Marxist as it adheres to traditional scales and structures.

WHAT IS MARXIST is the G-d-awful Arnold Schönberg and his atonal technique. Schönberg’s  music sounds as ugly as it looks—check out the sheet music heading this post.

The reason he’s Marxist is that Schönberg treated all 12 semi-tones as equal, seeking to weaken harmonic progression. This rigidly ruled out patterns and familiarity, and with it the pleasant sensation that comes with beauty and symmetry.

MORE here:
http://barelyablog.com/category/music/
www.ilanamercer.com/category/music/

UPDATED (11/30/022)

Arnie Schönberg would think “Brother Of Mine,” a sublime piece by “Yes,” kitschy in the extreme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5LNojKALxc

https://youtu.be/U5LNojKALxc

While it has plenty odd time signatures; it also has exquisite compositional complexity, masterful execution, top-notch musicianship. AND THIS IS LIVE. Indistinguishable from the studio version.

Most so-called musicians today, other than classical, are inaudible and tuneless live without the mighty Auto-Tune: the “holy grail of recording,” that “corrects intonation problems in vocals or solo instruments, in real time, without distortion or artifacts.”

UPDATED (11/28/022): The Curse of Ham: Pious Political Correctness Perverts The Hebrew Testament

Ancient History, Argument, Christianity, English, Hebrew Testament, Religion

If you are reading translations of the Tanach (acronym in Hebrew for all books of the Hebrew Bible: Pentateuch or Torah, Prophets and Writings)—you’re likely reading a lot of porcelainized nonsense

Funny thing how Christian commentary “changes” what my Hebrew Bible says, plain and simple. (I am sure politically correct, Americanized rabbis will join in this textual finessing.)

See, not only can I read Biblical Hebrew perfectly well—I’m looking at the tract now—but my Israeli teachers decades ago confirmed the commentary that claims Ham and descendants were cursed.

Ham did something unspeakable to his father, Noah. Noah, cursed him and descendants.

“And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.”

But not according to King James commentary, which is still better than most. Accordingly, the biblical author didn’t know what he was saying. Ham’s descendants were never cursed in the Hebrew Bible.

Yeah they were. It says so in Genesis 9:24.

That’s why I say: If you are reading translations of the Tanach (acronym in Hebrew for all books of the Hebrew Bible: Pentateuch or Torah, Prophets and Writings)—you’re likely reading a lot of porcelainized nonsense.

UPDATED (11/28/022): Interesting thread on LinkedIn.

ME: The biblical tract doesn’t say today’s blacks originated in Ham. And I, of course, claimed nothing of the sort. I said quite clearly that Ham and descendants were cursed in the Hebrew Bible, and pious scripture should not develop creative ways of pretending they were not.
I don’t know who Ham begot. I do know that his excuse-making defenders say he begot the greatest civilization ever. ? Why, of course. Next they’ll claim ancient Egyptians were really Africans. Wait a sec, they have already.
Ask Mary Lefkowitz, Greek classicist, author of “Not Out Of Africa: How “Afrocentrism” Became An Excuse To Teach Myth As History.”

 AND:

Yes, let us demonize non-aggressor Noah for objecting to his abuse. I have not disputed your point. I only questioned the hubbub of white-noise commentary around what seems to be straightforward biblical text.

NEW COLUMN: The Hell With Hunter; Call Joe In For Hearings On Treason, Cancel The Neocons While You’re At It

Conservatism, Constitution, Critique, Democracy, Elections, Ethics, Foreign Policy, Government, IMMIGRATION, Neoconservatism, Republicans, War

NEW COLUMN is “The Hell With Hunter; Call Joe In For Hearings On Treason, Cancel The Neocons While You’re At It.” It is featured on The Unz Review, WND and The New American on Friday.

The Republicans are investigating the Hunter “Baaaden” affair, to imitate the repetitive intonations emitted by Fox News’ Australian journalist, about the ‘Baaaden’ laptop.

Deplorables, don’t be misled into this dummies-and-ditto-heads dead-end. This is vintage lightweight, GOP tit-for-tat distraction, on par with the Democrats’ ongoing January 6 production.

The Hunter Biden preoccupation amounts to, “They (Democrats) do January 6; we (Republicans) hack away at—or hit back with—Hunter Biden’s laptop from hell.”

The outcome: The Democrats get what they want: détente. They neuter Deplorables, sending us down a political rabbit hole.

We gain nothing from such a foray. It’s zero-sum for Deplorables.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley, whom I respect, disagrees. Turley, understand, operates within the philosophical parameters of the state. By and large, he believes in the extant integrity of American institutions, even confident that one party is more righteous than the other. When out-of-sync, the good party led by the right people, or so the good professor imagines, is sure to right wrongs through a congressional committee.

Wrong. Not for nothing do we call it the Permanent State, fronted as it is by evil and stupid-party operatives.

Correctly so, the matter of the FBI’s endemic corruption and bias has been settled both in the minds of deplorables and by the objective facts. (FBI Director James Comey anyone? Director Christopher Wray?)

If the GOP were seriously working for Deplorables, and not engaged in tit-for-tat political gotcha—they’d pursue First Principles driven congressional oversight.

Duly, Biden would be summonsed for a hearing charging that by intentionally, and as a matter of policy, leaving the Southern border wide-open and unguarded—in effect inviting the world to invade our country—the president is willfully flouting his constitutional obligation to protect Americans from foreign invaders, and is thus committing treason.

The obligation of a Republican congressional majority is to pursue oversight by investigating and prosecuting a flagrant violation by the president of his constitutional obligation to defend the United States and its people from foreign invasions.

That the incoming Republican congressional majority is already falling flat, opting for showy politicking, instead of a solemn focus on Biden’s treason against his people, is all the more jarring given the GOP’s abject failure to deliver as promised in the 2022 midterms.

Other predictably ominous signs were on display at a recent Republican Jewish Coalition conference, where some Republicans who ought to disappear reappeared …

… THE REST. “The Hell With Hunter; Call Joe In For Hearings On Treason, Cancel The Neocons While You’re At It” is featured on The Unz Review, WND and The New American on Friday.