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September 28, 2023

China's 'Shared Future'

The U.S. fears that China's growth will lead to a competition between the countries over hegemony on earth.

But China rejects hegemony. No only the one the U.S. is obviously trying to achieve but, more general, also for itself.

Yesterday the Global Times editorial pointed to a new guideline paper issued by China's State Council:

On September 26, China's State Council Information Office released a white paper titled "A Global Community of Shared Future: China's Proposals and Actions." Against the backdrop of the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping's proposal of building a global community of shared future, China has introduced the theoretical base, practice and development of a global community of shared future, and points the way toward a better future for the world. Anyone, be they are developing countries seeking to learn from China or individuals from Western countries who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of China, will find inspiration in it as long as they approach it without biased views.
Human society is now facing a "life-or-death choice:" whether to enter into a vicious cycle of continuous confrontation and division or to seek a path of cooperation and win-win, ultimately allowing more than 7 billion people to have a better life. The whole world is searching for answers. This also confirms the highly prescient and forward-looking nature of the concept of a global community of shared future.
Today's world has become a community of shared future, with countries riding together on a ship of shared fate. A small boat cannot withstand the wind and waves, only a giant vessel can withstand the stormy seas. No matter how powerful a country may be, it cannot dominate the world alone and must engage in global cooperation.

As the white paper says, "This is an integrated world. Those who turn their back on it will have no place in it." In such a world, the true power that transcends time is contained in the silent and subtle ideas, just like the practical greatness demonstrated by the concept of global community of shared future.

The paper is available here.

It is 22,000 words long but quite readable. It is a recipe for a just and equalitarian world that will peacefully develop for everyone while allowing for a diversity of cultures and ideologies. It is thus building on China's decade old concept of a Community of Common Destiny for Mankind.

The most interesting part is probably this paragraph:

There is no iron law that dictates that a rising power will inevitably seek hegemony. This assumption represents typical hegemonic thinking and is grounded in memories of catastrophic wars between hegemonic powers in the past. China has never accepted that once a country becomes strong enough, it will invariably seek hegemony. China understands the lesson of history – that hegemony preludes decline. We pursue development and revitalization through our own efforts, rather than invasion or expansion. And everything we do is for the purpose of providing a better life for our people, all the while creating more development opportunities for the entire world, not in order to supersede or subjugate others.

Other strategic statements by China, like the one issued in 2013 that laid the ground for its Belt and Road program, had been dismissed when they were issued. But the record shows that China acts on such programs exactly as its papers promise to do. It profits from doing so.

Is its thesis in this new paper, that hegemony preludes decline, valid?

Should we therefore trust its claims that it rejects hegemony, not only of others but also for itself?

Posted by b at 8:54 UTC | Comments (195)

September 27, 2023

Mainstream Media Admit - Ukraine's Propaganda Is Full Of Lies

As a sign of the turning narrative of the war in Ukraine we find a new New York Times piece about 'disinformation' that is not about Russia but about lies from Ukraine.

Andrew E. Kramer, the NYT correspondent in Kiev, opens with an anecdote from the first weeks of the war:

Six weeks after Russia launched its full-scale invasion, Ukraine sank the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, dealing a serious blow to the enemy navy, and, a Ukrainian official said, killing the ship’s captain.

“We do not mourn,” an adviser to the interior minister at the time, Anton Gerashchenko, said.

The only problem was that the captain — or somebody who resembled him — later appeared in a video of survivors released by the Russian Navy. He had escaped his sinking ship, the Moskva, the video seemed to indicate.

Then comes a paragraph that could fit both countries but the following one it is again related to disinformation from Ukraine:

What is clear is that misdirection, disinformation and propaganda are weapons regularly deployed in Russia’s war in Ukraine to buoy spirits at home, demoralize the enemy or lead opponents into a trap. And it is often hard to know when reports are false or why they may have been disseminated.

Now, Ukraine and Russia are offering dueling narratives over whether a more senior Russian naval officer, the commanding admiral of the Black Sea Fleet, is alive or dead.

Well, in this interview Adm. Viktor Sokolov looks quite alive.

Then comes an astonishing admission:

Cont. reading: Mainstream Media Admit - Ukraine's Propaganda Is Full Of Lies

Posted by b at 13:50 UTC | Comments (258)

September 26, 2023

Hersh Reveals U.S. Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines

Seymour Hersh just published a new piece about the bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines.

When the pipelines were blown up on September 27 2022 I had asked:

Whodunnit? - Facts Related to The Sabotage Attack On The Nord Stream Pipelines

I had collected the various known facts around the incident and they in sum suggested that it had been the U.S. of A.

Seymour Hersh put the same question to some of his intelligence contacts. He was given the same answer.

He now reports on further facts and final motives to trigger the incident.

The Biden administration has acknowledged neither its responsibility for the pipeline bombing nor the purpose of the sabotage
(archived version)

At the core of Hersh's report is this:

Cont. reading: Hersh Reveals U.S. Motive For Destruction Of Nord Stream Pipelines

Posted by b at 14:26 UTC | Comments (305)

Ukrainian Whoppers

Propaganda only works so long.

Ukraine’s Military Claims to Have Killed the Head of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet - New York Times

Ukraine’s military asserted on Monday that it had killed the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in a missile attack last week, which, if confirmed, would make the strike among the most damaging for the Russian Navy since the sinking of the fleet’s flagship last year.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow’s Defense Ministry on the status of its fleet commander, Adm. Viktor Sokolov, who is one of the most senior figures in the Russian Navy. Ukraine’s claim could not be independently verified.

Ukraine’s special operations forces on Friday said they had struck a headquarters of the Russian fleet in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, a storied port that is now under regular bombardment from Ukraine’s long-range missiles and exploding drones. Fleet officers were holding a meeting there at the time, the Ukrainian military said.

Russian sources say that no one was in the very exposed building when the Ukrainian missiles hit. The real headquarter is underground in an unknown place.

Today there was an expanded Board meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow (machine translation):

Cont. reading: Ukrainian Whoppers

Posted by b at 12:53 UTC | Comments (95)

September 25, 2023

Ukraine SitRep: Battlefield Reports Show Lack Of Armor And Certain Munitions

Certain trends on the Ukrainian battle field can be seen in the daily reports the Russian military puts outs.

When the Ukrainian president Zelensky visited Washington he was criticized for his failing military strategy:

Ukraine will retake the fiercely contested eastern city of Bakhmut from Russia by the end of the year, President Volodymyr Zelensky predicted during his visit to Washington, an assertion that shows the gulf between Kyiv and American war planners who believe that Ukraine should be focusing more on the south.
U.S. intelligence and military officials have long questioned why Ukraine has fought so hard in Bakhmut, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the war. In March, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said the city was “more of a symbolic value than it is strategic and operational value.”

But Mr. Zelensky has been intent on trying to retake lost territory, and Ukraine has committed large numbers of troops and weapons to retaking Bakhmut and defending the surrounding Donbas region.

Some American officials say the fight in Bakhmut has become something of an obsession for Mr. Zelensky and his military leaders. The Ukrainians’ relentless focus on the city led them to believe that a possible victory was just around the corner, long after American officials had counseled them to move on to other targets because victory for either side would be pyrrhic.

I somewhat agree with U.S. officials on Bakhmut. It no longer has any strategic value for the Ukraine and its army is losing many soldiers and equipment in its continuing attacks there. In fact it is currently losing many more around Bakhmut than it is losing in its southern attack towards the Sea of Azov.

Today's report by the Russian Ministry of Defense lists 445 Ukrainian casualties in the Donetzk direction, mostly around Bakhmut, and only 100 casualties on the Zaporozhye front in the south. Yesterday's report had 305 versus 35. Last week's summary listed 1,455 Ukrainian troops killed and wounded around Bakhmut and 515 in the southern direction. There was no discernible progress in either direction.

Another trend noticeable in the daily reports is an increasing Ukrainian lack of armored vehicles.

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep: Battlefield Reports Show Lack Of Armor And Certain Munitions

Posted by b at 16:38 UTC | Comments (217)

September 24, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-225

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 13:16 UTC | Comments (292)

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2023-224

Last week's post on Moon of Alabama:

Ivan Katchanovski @I_Katchanovski - 0:23 UTC · Sep 24, 2023

These are photos of SS Galicia Division veteran who was given standing ovation by Canadian parliament, prime-minister of Canada and president of Ukraine. He published these photos of himself in this division during training in Germany. He is standing in the middle in 1st photo, second on the left in 2nd photo & without helmet near machine gun in 3d photo.

Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2023-224

Posted by b at 13:15 UTC | Comments (242)

September 23, 2023

Ukraine Open Thread 2023-223

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Please stick to the topic. Contribute facts. Do not attack other commentators.

Posted by b at 17:11 UTC | Comments (179)

Egyptians Beef Eaters Paid A Special Tax - Money Used To Bribe U.S. Senator Menendez

Yesterday one of the crooks and grifter who are leading the U.S. got indicted:

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted Friday on allegations that he and his wife accepted bribes from a group of New Jersey businessmen on behalf of interests in Egypt, totaling over $600,000.

Prosecutors allege the senator and his wife accepted cash, gold bars and a luxury car in return for assisting the businessmen. The FBI found nearly $500,000 in cash and more than $100,000 in gold at Menendez’s home in a raid last year, allegedly payment for the bribes.

The senator stepped down from his seat as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee late Friday.

Some additional details:

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and his wife have been indicted by a federal grand jury, according to court filings unsealed Friday, with prosecutors alleging the couple accepted lavish bribes in exchange for official acts.
Menendez, 69, and his wife face one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right. The three New Jersey associates, identified as Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes, are also named as co-defendants and face two counts. Menendez and his co-defendants are expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday morning.

Nadine Menendez and Hana were friends for several years before she began dating Menendez, according to the filing. A court-authorized search of Hana's cellphone in November 2019 revealed "thousands" of text messages between him and Nadine Menendez, which prosecutors said were deleted from her phone. Daibes, a longtime fundraiser for Menendez, was charged by the Justice Department in 2018 with obtaining loans under false pretenses from the New Jersey bank he founded, the indictment said.

Menendez vehemently denied the charges, but a chorus of New Jersey Democrats began urging him to step down later Friday. Gov. Phil Murphy said the allegations are "so serious that they compromise the ability of Senator Menendez to effectively represent the people of our state," calling for his "immediate resignation."

A copy of the indictment is here. The case looks solid.

Menendez was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. A previous chairman of the committee, and also a crook and grifter, still sits in the White House.

Cont. reading: Egyptians Beef Eaters Paid A Special Tax - Money Used To Bribe U.S. Senator Menendez

Posted by b at 14:05 UTC | Comments (112)

September 22, 2023

Ukraine SitRep: The War By Numbers Of Humans

When I was much younger and still lived in my hometown I was training two local female volleyball teams.

There was also a local team for men with disabilities. We had some friendly matches. Most of the men, then in their 50s to 60s, had had amputations. Some due to accidents but most due to the second world war. But even with only one leg or one arm they beat my teenage girl teams without much problems.

After such matches I often sat down with the men and talked about the war and the consequences it had for them. They had all done well and were living more or less normal lives. But many more who had been wounded like them had killed themselves or died young due to the long term consequences of their wounds.

The numbers further down remind me of those men.

Yves Smith looks at Ukraine's future:

The Coming Ukraine Collapse and the “Rebuilding” Headfake

Its economic prospects are terrible and all the talk about 'rebuilding' it is mostly nonsense:

Now after that introduction, to the main event of the exceedingly poor economic prospects for what will be left of Ukraine… which is not even known. It’s pretty remarkable to see chipper talk in the West of rebuilding Ukraine, since it presupposes there will be a meaningful Ukraine left. It’s reminiscent of children discussing how much of an ailing parent’s wealth they expect to carve up when the process of dying could well wipe out the remaining assets.

When the war is over Ukraine will be a bankrupt and largely empty country. Yves quotes Michael Vlahos who mentions a piece by the intel-connected Jamestown Foundation about Ukraine's population numbers.

I searched for and found it:

Ukraine’s Manpower Requirements Reaching a Critical Threshold

The piece was published two months ago and its numbers are grueling. Here are some snippets:

Cont. reading: Ukraine SitRep: The War By Numbers Of Humans

Posted by b at 17:46 UTC | Comments (287)