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20 October 2016

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Babak Makkinejad

Yup - a century or more of that and the old motto will truly come to pass: "Workers of the world Unite, you have nothing to loose but your chains."

Jack

All

I agree with the points that Babak and David Habakkuk are making.

Yes, the US no longer has a positive vision of the future. A vision for both America and the world that can be articulated in simple language. This is a direct consequence of the coalescing of elites into the Borg with a totally self-serving agenda. The Borg only cares about its survival and looting as much as possible. Consequently, it is flailing and using the only tools at its disposal - propaganda, violence and destabilizion. Part of the problem is that there is no consensus among the American people. We are deeply divided. One half want to maintain the status quo and the supremacy of the Borg. And of course the privilege that comes from that -welfare, warfare, big government that uses its power to funnel largesse to the few. And then there are the Deplorables. Getting more and more marginalized as the structural framework squeeze them. The propaganda of the Borg has worked so far. But dissonance is growing. The Deplorables took a big step in the fightback by nominating Trump, an outsider reviled by the Borg, and effectively destroying one-half of the duopoly. The Borg is now pulling out all the stops to crown the Borg Queen. They may well be successful this time but they're on borrowed time. We're gonna have a very contentious 4 year as the Borg Queen uses more propaganda to buttress her "public position" while her private actions continue to spiral the deep seated fragility in our financial architecture and our foreign entanglements. World leaders notice this and they're preparing alternatives. Russia and China are quietly forming a bulwark of stability to confront the erratic destabilizion of our Borg. Duterte is just the first among many who will align with this new axis. They really have no choice. The Borgist actions are incoherent and full of hubris. They no longer can be vassals to the deluded Borg as they cling to power as there are only losses with no gain. Post Cold War many were willing to accept American hegemony in return for stability and real economic growth that increased the median household's income. But they got neither. Instead the world has seen a psychotic Borg that is increasingly incoherent and dangerous and systemic financial leverage that benefited mostly the 0.01%. The Borg Queen is trying to gin up the next Cold War. She's gonna find few allies other than the hapless EU and the Ziocon complex of Israel and the Saudi. And instead she's gonna be confronted with an alternative in the world backed up by the military muscle of Russia and China. I continue to believe that global financial instabilities will lead to a series of crises resulting in revulsion to the Wall St financialization backed by big government. There is a civil war brewing here at home and the world at large as the desperate Borg lash out as they get more and more erratic as they get challenged with more strength and determination.

asx

Putin will gladly don the role of patron saint against color revolutions and outright coup attempts. If he can turn Tayyip around from being outright hostile, others can see it is a win-win to align like that.

Duterte still has too much political capital left to try any shenanigan there now. I suspect he will be left to go the Chavez/Maduro route. In the end all deals with China come at a heavy financial price. They will offload their excess inventory and capacity, and the Asian bank will be the new IMF saving these basketcases.

In Pakistan, it is the military seeking protection against a coup by the civilian government. The recent military exercises with Russia is an outreach towards that.

Kooshy

David, living here in US I believe the problem is more of an economic issue. IMO, all this different issues, holdings, obligations, around the world that US has made for herself is expensive to maintain and keep. IMO, US' popolation deep down can't afford, and do not want to pay any longer to maintain and keep al this obligations, bases, payoffs around the world. Once leaders, people, countries see the money is not coming as easy and in abundance as they expect, they move to the next best offer. Some say we in this country in last few years have spent up to 6 trillion on our forign advantures with nothing to show for. IMO, no one in the world loves us and want us except for the money we pay and spend. That is true even more with Europeans who Americans have saved at least twice.

Alves

If you like Dilma so much, then take her to your own country now that we are finally free from her incompetence and corruption.

BraveNewWorld

Israel has been talking about the pivot to Asia for a long time. The welfare check will still come from the US though.

http://thediplomat.com/2016/09/israels-pivot-to-asia/
http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-joins-china-based-asian-investment-bank/
http://www.isranet.org/pivot-asia-israel-innovation-hub-world-bolsters-ties-india-china-japan-lessening-dependence-west

The problem for the Neocons is that if you are East of the Mediterranean you can look East to a market of 2/3 of the worlds population. Or you can look West to 1/3 where you can't compete because of the long shipping distances.

As for the Phillipines. If the US pushed them into a fight with China the war would be fought in the Philipines. Any one with a TV knows what proxy wars between the great powers means. Total destruction of your country and the elimination of a large part of your population.

The Philippines has no more choice in siding with China than Canada does in siding with the US.

doug

the peons that drive Ubers are temporary. Driverless cars are not that far away. This will diverge where middle class and below people will hail a driverless car as needed and physical car ownership will become increasingly expensive. The change will be more rapid than that wrought by the advent of the horseless carriage.

doug

Russia has long had excellent ties with Israel. One sign of this is that they have a visa waiver program. Does the US have one with the Izzies yet?

VietnamVet

Jack,

Exactly. If Syria or Ukraine do not ignite WWIII with Russia, the globalists continued looting of the West’s Midlanders will provoke revolts. Besides the endless wars, there will be another financial crisis. The last time Wall Street, City of London and Frankfort conned the politicians and the public into transferring their bad private debt onto sovereign states and went back to making more bad bets. For the last eight years, there has been quantitative easing, trade treaties that privatize government and right wing politics to flush it down the drain. The next financial crisis will be catastrophic because nationalization of the banks and writing down of the bad debt will have be performed by weakened, incompetent and ideology riven governments, or nothing is done at all.

The only chance for peace is the restoration of competent sovereign governments that protects their citizens.

Thirdeye

Erdogan's move towards Russia seems more like a default move than the result of any masterful move by Putin. Turkey stands to make gains by replacing Ukraine as the Russian-European gas transit, so they certainly don't want to blow that. After the US support of the Gulenist coup attempt came to light - with the moves against Ghaddafi and Assad fresh in memory - what other logical move was there for Erdogan to make?

Tidewater

Tidewater to All,

I have just looked again at the Wikipedia "Territorial disputes in the South China Sea." Wiki provides a map. This map shows the existing offshore claims of the nations around the South China Sea to certain islands; to fishing grounds, under-sea mining, oil exploration; to control of navigation, which would seem to give rights to exclude foreign ships, including those of India,which ships fifty per cent of its trade through these waters. China also claims Taiwan; China claims a significent part of Japanese coastal waters.


So what does China want? Simple. CHINA WANTS EVERYTHING.

Reminds me of Hunter Thompson's encounter with the Hell's Angels.

While claiming ancient historical rights to certain atolls, reefs, rocks, lagoons in the South China sea, China has changed the basis of its claims from rice paper scrolls of scribes to dredging, coral landfill, and poured concrete. For example, China will argue that a rock is an island, since China and island is now actually there. Which China is now occupying. The ancient Shao Lin warrior monk Wun Hung Lo would be amazed. Where there were reefs with surf breaking over them when he sailed by, and scratched out his sketches in ink on parchment, there are now seven islands, each one with a 9,800 foot runway and support buildings. Some 3200 new acres of land out there now.

Consider the Spratly Islands. Twenty-nine of these islands, islets, reefs, rocks, are Vietnamese controlled; eight are Philippine controlled; five are Malaysia controlled; two are Brunai controlled; one is Taiwan controlled; and eight are Chinese controlled.

Vietnam has ancient claims in the South China Sea that include all of the Paracel Islands and as far as I can see, all of the Spratleys. The Philippines do not claim the Paracels, but they apparently claim not only Scarborough Shoal to the north, as well as all of the Spratleys.

If the Philippines are to surrender to China, which is what they would be doing, Duterte has to explain to his people why their coastal waters will now have to suddenly shrink by what amount, I can only guess, eighty-five per cent? Like they now are back to a two mile limit?

Surely this would mean Filipino fishermen could not now go into a vast area of the South China Sea. (Unless they paid for fishing licenses from China?) But fishermen from these countries have historically gone all over the place. I have some photos of a rusty and not very big North Korean fishing boat, with shark fins hanging on a wire behind the smoke stack to cure, besides a quay in the Seychelles. Who will China instruct to stay out of its territoral waters?

I don't see how Duterte is going to be able to bring this off.

Further, I don't see how China is going to, either.

We are looking at war.

Imagine

Heavens no thank you. We have too many Ecstasy dealers in the Valley. The free visas keep getting proposed by Sherman, but they keep getting shot down.

Fred

Kao,

The last time that kind of thing like that happened was the collapse of Rome. The results lasted a thousand years.

Fred

doug,

Yeah my bosses are all buying into the self-licking ice cream cone version of the automotive brave new world too. I believe our stock is down about 50% from when the guy who saved it focused on core business principles.

Lemur

As I understand it, the 2006 coup has its roots in the 2000 coup against the multi-ethnic Fijian government.

Bainimarama attacked the government for leniency against the plotters of the 2000 coup, and linked the governments attitude to the desecration of Hindu temples. Later, he handed the government an ultimatum that included refraining from economic policies which would discriminate on racial grounds.

The Commodore said at the United Nations:
"[I]n 1970, Fiji started its journey as a young nation on a rather shaky foundation, with a race-based Constitution, one which rigidly compartmentalised our communities. The 'democracy' which came to be practised in Fiji was marked by divisive, adversarial, inward-looking, race-based politics. The legacy of leadership, at both community and national levels, was a fractured nation. Fiji's people were not allowed to share a common national identity.

Of the two major communities, indigenous Fijians were instilled with fear of dominance and dispossession by Indo-Fijians, and they desired protection of their status as the indigenous people. Indo-Fijians, on the other hand, felt alienated and marginalised, as second-class citizens in their own country, the country of their birth, Fiji. [...]

[P]olicies which promote racial supremacy [...] must be removed once and for all. [...] Fiji will look at making the necessary legal changes in the area of electoral reform, to ensure true equality at the polls. [...] [E]very person will be given the right to vote for only one candidate, irrespective of race or religion."

Lemur

That sounds like the the pivoteer narrative. China seems reasonable when its engaged bilaterally. Their 'claims' should be read as starting positions in a negotiation imo.

DavidKNZ

FIRST: I would treat anything 'political' on Wikipedia with great caution.
Curious about the mismatching narratives on Ukraine, I turned to Wikipedia. Surely, I thought, an encyclopedia would be factual
I looked up
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_military_intervention_in_Ukraine_(2014-present).
It is a substantial (100,000 word) detailed account butressed up with over 500 footnotes. On first reading it appeared to be a factual account of Russian transgressions against the newly emerging democracy of Ukraine. Yet little mention of the Maidan massacre, nor of the brutalities of the Ukrainian ATO, nor of the world class refugee work by Russia, (surprising unreported). No Nuland cookies, no Soros interventions.

So I dug a little further.The extensive references were mostly to western MSM or surrogates.
eg
TIME 55
Reuters 37
Guardian 35
BBC 35
Kyiv Times 21
The Washington Post 17

Further, there was considerable cirularity - an article in Time references an article the the Guardian which in turn references the BBC. Oh what tangled webs we weave.
Theres also a link ( as well as 9 references) to that font of Western Truth, BellingCat.

This was an extensive article, albeit propaganda - like the Readers Digest on steroids
It would have cost a LOT to produce.
Who paid?? As they say, follow the money.

SECOND: The Chinese have finesse at negotiation. They will not force an outcome where there is an outright winner and a complete looser.
They recognise 'saving face' is important. Even if what finally transpires is mostly to China's benefit, both sides will be able to claim 'success'
https://www.rt.com/news/363261-china-philippines-scarborough-sea/
And they are aware that friends in the region are very important at this time

DavidKNZ

If you want to see how short sighted our 'Leaders' are, read this:

http://russia-insider.com/en/new-zealand-ends-nuclear-arms-ban-invite-us-warships/ri17007

The Twisted Genius

DavidKNZ,

The Chinese finesse is evident in this first meeting. Duterte was greeted with full military honors. Chinese newspaper editorials spoke highly of Duterte and the Philippines and advised the leadership in Beijing to respond appropriately to Duterte's gracious overture. Duterte is also capable of such finesse. He said he would not bring up territorial disputes in this first series of meeting because it would be ungracious to his host. This behavior is a far cry from what I've seen in our diplomatic behavior for quite a while. We seem more interested in scoring points with passive-agressive confrontations than in conducting any meaningful diplomacy.

Perhaps this is all Kabuki theater, but it's better than acting like a complete ass all the time.

Tom Cafferty

Don't get too carried away about the Chinese. They are just one good economic crash away from their own little pile of misery. And they are a one percent oligarchy with the best of them. Duarte should ask the Africans how all that Chinese development aid is working out for them.

Lemur

Oh yeah i saw that.

We should be aiming to become the Switzerland of the South Pacific, instead we're picking sides in a conflict where we'll lose no matter who wins.

Lemur

Wikipedia's political content is determined by two main factors:

-credible sources (which are value judgments as you outlined above)
- persistence in wikpedia's endless disputes system until your POV prevails

Lemur

China's debt fueled economy is rather irrelevant to their long term rise - they have industrialized, learned valuable technical skills, raised their educational level etc. The real buildup is in social and technical capital, and nobody can take that away.

As for their foreign aid, at least the countries they operate in get infrastructure instead of IMF loans. Right now they're in our 19th century Oliver Twist capitalism phase, but the Harmonious Society prescriptions seem to indicate they plan on gradually working toward distributing wealth more evenly.

Babak Makkinejad

Like Uganda, were Indians went, so went with them thrift, industry, commerce, and knowledge. Fiji was not an exception. And the Polynesians' resentment is also reminiscent of African's resentment in Uganda (and under the rug for now, in South Africa).

I personally do not believe it possible that people whose ancestors were vegetarians and people whose ancestors were cannibals could be part of the same nation or country.

Yes, I know, Papua-New Guinea is a sovereign state - just like the United Kingdom and Port Mosby is just like London. And some day, there will be a university there in Papua-New Guinea every bit as good, if not better than Oxbridge - it is just a matter of money and education.

Babak Makkinejad

Why not? Those cheerful people, called Filipinos, why should they die in wars. Switzerland has had 400 years of peace; with sons burying fathers and not the other way around.

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