Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 26, 2018

Open Thread 2018-70

News & views ...

Posted by b on December 26, 2018 at 7:57 UTC | Permalink

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@ Grieved/james/Pft/ and the rest about China

Here is a link from Xinhuanet about the priorities and progress of China

Yearender-Economic Watch: China's high-quality development toughened up in key 'battles'

The link talks to the end of Don Bacon's comment above: "....But it's the economy, stupid!"

China is offering other than more war to themselves and their trading partners. I keep seeing reports of high volume/speed transit development in China and I live on the West coast of the US that has the pipe dream of Elon Musk in CA and little else.....and the demand for such has existed since my studying of the future back in the early 1970's.

The US has spent since the 70's letting its transportation infrastructure go to shit with no vision of what is next other than collapse.....its a long story all about the incentives of profit and hiding cost......just like the MIC cost of oil distribution protection that the taxpayers absorb.

Will the human parasite of private finance complete the infection of China before America is thrown under the bus?

Stay tuned. We are watching it happen or not in fairly real time. Certainly in 10 years time one should be able to say, thus and such just transpired and now we are here.

Here (10 years from now)
- US not Reserve Currency and alternatives to SWIFT, BIS, IMF, World Bank
- Multi-polar world
- New geo-political institutions replacing or evolving out of UN, WTO, G20 , etc.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 28 2018 3:52 utc | 201

Obama "pulled troops" out of Iraq in 2011 (7 years ago).

Somehow, though, thousands of troops remain so that Trump could have his Christmas visit. Sweet.

See the president and first lady surprise troops in Iraq the day after Christmas.

The Trumps will make two stops in Iraq visiting over 5,000 troops, according to The New York Times

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 28 2018 4:29 utc | 202

@161 ADKC

You're right. Compromised seems a little harsh, while restricted isn't enough to describe the position Putin's in because interest, ambition and ego are involved and restricted feels like a more innocent state of mind, like one is held back by a force beyond one's control. To be fair, I'll say it's somewhere between the two. In other words: Syria holds an important geo-political interest for Russia, as it does for the U.S., Israel, KSA (all three together under the Empire umbrella), and separately for Turkey and in a lesser way for the Kurds. So Putin should understand that, in acquiring this strategic advantage over all others, Russia bears a responsibility after fighting shoulder to shoulder with this ally. You know the adage that when you save someone's life be it for altruistic reasons or for a more ambitious purpose you become responsible for them? Well, it applies here. Wherever the U.S. stepped in to rescue a country from what it deemed hostile takeover, be it in Korea, Kuwait, Europe, etc. it became a military patron, sharing expertise, sophisticated weaponry and protection from further and future attacks. Yes, Putin put skin in the game in Syria, as successive U.S. Presidents did in certain parts of the world where U.S. interests were at stake. You don't then abandon that ally to an imminent threat? However, in failing to deliver the level of protection and self-defense the U.S. delivers when one of its allies, vassals or proxies is attacked, while Russia maintains bases in Syria and is holding onto this geopolitical interest, this failure qualifies as a dishonorable act on Putin's part. Yes, there is something dishonorable in his capitulation to Israel. It's not right; something is wrong with this picture beyond the situation being restrictive. Why would Putin capitulate to the demands of the invader instead and keep depriving Russia's strategic ally of adequate and not just passable means of defense? This does not make any sense! It doesn't make sense to honor the wishes of an illegal occupier of the Golan Heights and dishonor those of an ally who fought with you. Neither does it make sense to pal around at the G-20 with the likes of MbS, who funded mercenaries, rebels and terrorists, that Russia fought against to stop proxy KSA from conquering Syria on the Empire's behalf. Neither does it make sense to sell sophisticated missile defense to a NATO member, Turkey, who wants to occupy the Northern part of Syria, a sovereign nation. This is not fair play! There's something subversive that is hidden from view here, and it's way less innocent than being restricted on ALL THIS again and again. Therefore, maybe he's not compromised, but this is worse than merely restricted by pressures any Russian President would face. A truly sovereignist President would never kowtow to the demands of a lunatic state that IS moving the Empire towards culmination of global domination. The totality of Putin's capitulation is beneath undignified. It's a downright betrayal and at the very least a spineless obedience of the Empire's tugboat for a man who lately is unveiling and rightfully touting the most sophisticated super-sonic weaponry on the planet. I just can't reconcile this Putin with the humiliation of the other by a shithole Zionist speck in the desert! Sorry, but it just pisses me off.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 28 2018 4:44 utc | 203

@ Grieved | Dec 26, 2018 11:02:15 PM | 103

Lots of good info here by all, but I'm most ecstatic to read/hear more on China. Do share more as you proceed. Awesome readings one and all, well, most...lol Around for the House Barkeep! Good thinking in a dirty glass!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 28 2018 5:36 utc | 204

Like @Uncle_$cam said. Especially strong thanks to @Grieved and his thoughts on China. I'm not at all as optimistic as he is, since good, communist, human intentions tend to be outweighed by your nd your family's class interests eventually, and at least _some_ of that seems to be taking place in China. On the other hand, how much? Withhold judgment is the place to be now, and as @Grieved advises, try harder to understand China from its own perspective.

Posted by: fairleft | Dec 28 2018 6:11 utc | 205

@ psychohistorian | Dec 27, 2018 10:52:45 PM | 199
I keep seeing reports of high volume/speed transit development in China
The U.S. has no high speed rail. China? lots

With the longest high speed rail network in the world, China has achieved the goal of the Four Vertical and Four Horizontal High Speed Railway Plan with a total length of 25,000 km/15,534 miles high speed rail (HSR), about two-thirds of the world's high-speed rail tracks by the end of 2017. Based on the existing lines, China will expand the rail system into 8+8 HSR Grid to link cities that had no railways and upgrade the conventional railroads. Featuring high speed of 250~350 km/h, China’s high speed rails has greatly cuts down the journey time and attracts numerous travelers for its comfort, convenience, safety and punctuality. In China, most major big cities are connected by high speed railways, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Kunming, Guiyang, etc. Except those, you can get to more than hundreds of destinations by high speed trains.

Until the middle of 2018, there are 32 of 34 provinces in China running high speed trains and the number will grow as lots of new lines are under construction to cover more and more regions

The rapid developed high speed rail (HSR) in China has covered more than 150 cities in all directions, including 32 capital cities (municipalities) and over 100 destinations. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 28 2018 6:47 utc | 207

By Grieved - "we are trying to parse China through western values and it doesn't work because China is its own civilization."
It is my view also. But it is not just China, most of us brought up in the 'US west' tend to look at other cultures through this western lens.
@ james Re China buying up 'western' properties. I used to think that way too, with China buying up property here in oz. Two things made me less or not at all critical of China on that subject. On foreign property ownership here, China only makes up a small piece of the pie.
The other point is, nobody is twisting Chinese arms to make them buy these properties. On the contrary, Australia, and I suspect Canada, are for sale on the international market. Politicians like to spruke on booming property markets being a sign of good time. It is if its locals buying, but tough times for the locals if its foreign investors driving up prices.
Chinese at the moment are the ones with the money and are buying. This did not come about because of Chinese arm twisting, rather, it is our own neo-con type politicians selling out our countries, making our kids compete for a home or a farm or whatever with foreign investors. It is not the Chinese who are buying what is for sale, but the politicians who are selling out your country to international investors that you should be angry at.
With my children now looking at buying homes ect, I have a similar anger as you at my children having to compete with international investors in their own country, but my anger is directed at the politicians who have put the country on the international market.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 28 2018 7:48 utc | 208

Well here's a turn up for the books!

Kurdish YPG calls on Syrian government to protect Manbij from Turkish attack - RT. 28/12/18
https://www.rt.com/news/447570-ypg-syria-army-manbij-turkey/

And:

YPG Surrenders Manbij To Syrian Army (Official Statement) - South Front 28/12/18
https://southfront.org/ypg-surrenders-manbij-to-syrian-army-official-statement/

Posted by: William Bowles | Dec 28 2018 8:49 utc | 209

I got a conspiracy theory I wanna share for the fun of it. What if Putin really had nothing to do with Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections? When Putin was asked about a certain billionaire nicknamed Putin's Chef who was funding an internet troll farm to influence U.S. elections, I believe Putin's reply was that he knew nothing of this and he can't control what every citizen is up to in Russia. Fair deniability.

What if Zionist Oligarchs in Russia and the U.S. under the direction of say, Victor Vekselberg colluded to have Trump anointed the Chosen One? Apart from Adelson NOTE THESE NAMES: Viktor Vekselberg, Len Blavatnik, Lev Leviev, Krilill Dmitriev, Denis Katsyv, Yuri Milner, Alexander Shusterovich, Simon Kukes, Roman Abramovich, Felix Sater and Tamir Sapir. All these Zionist oligarchs funded and/or supported Trump's rise to the Presidency. Without a doubt Trump was Chosen to do the bidding of Zionists.

I've been saying for the longest time that the election meddling was not a Russia collusion, but a Zionist collusion. Vekselberg and Blavatnik are very close friends with Netanyahoo, so we can draw a line straight to Tel Aviv.

Now if you want a good whiff of the level of Zionist corruption involved with Trump's campaign and the level to which Zionists and Israel subvert American elections, hold your nose and read this:
Mueller probe Israel connections

And this: Guide to Zionists in Russia Probe

There's more: No, not Putin follow the Money

And connect all the dots back to Netayahoo's bestie:

VICTOR VEKSELBERG

You see, there is no democracy in the U.S. It's a fantasy. Trump is the rep of the 1% and he's a fake populist who could care less about the average Joe, and the slaves on the wheel and their germs.

Now I have two questions: What will Mueller do when all the breadcrumbs lead to Zionists and Netanyahoo?

Second: Putin and Russia have been blamed for meddling in the election, but is it blamed or framed, or was he a willing participant or just looked the other way?

Did you know that Jared Kushner is a member of the Chabad sect and that Putin had Abramovich set up a Chabad organization in Russia headed up by Rabbi Berel Lazar, commonly referred to as Putin's rabbi?

So is Putin restricted or compromised when he fails to support, improve/update Syria's defenses against a formidable Zionist arsenal?

If nothing happens in MbS's orbit without him knowing about it then he's GUILTY of ordering a hit on Khashoggi.

So how could Putin be so clueless on what his Zionist Oligarchs are up to?

Everything is starting to get clearer. It's dirty and it stinks.

What's Putin's game in Syria?

Posted by: Circe | Dec 28 2018 10:00 utc | 210

RT just reported: The Syrian armed forces entered the city of Manbij and raised the SAR flag there in response to the calls of the population - statement by the General Staff of the [Syrian] Armed Forces.

Posted by: alaff | Dec 28 2018 10:12 utc | 211

Grieved says:

I would like to propose one overarching principle here: that the way the Chinese have crafted their current system is founded completely in their ancient ways

you seem to be a little too prone to your own romantic goofiness. in their rush to industrial relevancy the Chinese have time and time again subjugated nature with horrific results, and i mean horrific, and this has been decidedly antithetical to their age-old emphasis on what they consider the most precious of all virtues; harmony.

so, by the way that you're embarking on some deeper research you might want to check out just what kind of impact i'm talking about...and taking the long view as is, or was, their wont, the prognosis ain't too spiffy.

Posted by: john | Dec 28 2018 11:35 utc | 212

Circe @203

So part of your position appears to be that the US behaves with honour in supporting it's allies (whilst Russia does not).

The first part of this assertion is not true. There has never been an altruistic reason for US intervention and the US always extracts a cost. For example, when the US entered the 2nd World War in support of the UK, the cost was all of the UK's resources, technology, independence, and (eventually) Empire. The UK over 60 years later is still under the control of the US.

So do powers ever really support allies or intervene in conflicts for altruistic reasons? I would contend that they do not.

The reason why Russia intervened on behalf of Syria was because Russia had a direct interest. But before intervening Russia tried time and time again for a diplomatic solution. However, this still would not have been enough for Russia to intervene. The final reason that Russia intervened was that Syria was not collapsing and showed an ability to resist and overcome. Probably, at the time of intervention, the rebels were not going to win, so Russia just intervened to ensure that the end of the conflict would come sooner.

So you are right Russia will not just intervene to right a wrong or in defence of the weak and exploited. We can assume for Russia to intervene there needs to be a significant interest and their ally needs to be able to resist and endure.

You appear to imagine that Russia can directly take on the West and would do so over matters of moral right and wrong. I am afraid that you over-estimate Russia's capabilities and over-estimate the degree to which any state acts are motivated by honour and altruism.

In addition to the KSA, the US, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, UK, France, Poland, practically every European Country, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. have supported, funded, trained the Syrian rebels. So Russia has little choice but to engage with those countries (who funded, trained and supported the rebels) if Russia wishes to engage with the world.

Russia could boycott all those countries but as the US seems intent on re-establishing a new "Iron-Curtain", "cold war" type world it would seem that such a "principled" position would merely be helping the US/west achieve this objective.

I do understand your desire for a moral world, with actions of states (like Russia) being based on what is "right" and not what is "wrong". But, leaving aside that someone else's "right" in another person's "wrong", this is (unfortunately) unrealistic and naive.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 28 2018 12:42 utc | 213

Cyril

Except for the most important of Israel's wishes: that Russia would stop supporting Assad and withdraw from Syria. That one nyet is overwhelmingly more important than everything else, and Putin's sticking to it.

Considering how much Putin cares about Israeli's security I do not think Israel care too much about that.

"Defense Minister says Israel is not concerned by Russia's military presence in neighboring Syria."
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/245106

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 28 2018 13:19 utc | 214

One could add Putin's troubling attitude to Turkey also,
will Putin accept continued Turkish threats and aggression against Syria?

Syrian Forces Trying to Run 'Psychological Operation' in Manbij - Erdogan
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201812281071064723-syria-manbij-erdogan/

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 28 2018 13:22 utc | 215

Jackrabbit, Arby, Bevin et al -

What I notice in yur pro-China/Russian comments is a distinct lack of factual basis to back up your [vague] rhetorical assertions of Chinese moral superiourity...you simply illustrate my comment about fairy tales comin out your arses.

It's fine with me to be anti-western if that's your schtick. Western capitalism, colonialism and imperialism have controlled the world for centuries. Euros consist of extremely warlike clans, once decimated in teh Great Wars of the 20th Century. Not necessarily forever either, but today the Euros are in flux because of their hatred of immigrants from non-white countries. In recent years this influx is a direct result of Russia propping up the Assadian Monarchy at whatever appaling cost to Assad's disloyal subjects. And please, save the BS about the rightfully elected Assad schtick for the true believers.

The US inherited the brutal defense of the Western Empire post WWII and wields it ridiculously and offensively, especially since GW Bush went completely off the rails. No doubt the US has caused the destabilising confliction in the ME since the stupid War on Saddam. Russia has used this conflict very wisely to gain stronger political and economic footholds in the region. However, let's be honest here. The Russians also support the murder and displacement of millions in Syria which in turn has caused many Euros to loose their minds to nascent racist fascism and isolationist fantasies.

Blogging is a game to pleasurably waste time with friends. I get it and happily join in. However. Doesn't address the issue of the Chinese/Russian alternative being just and potentially worse (who knows truly?...right, no one knows) than the current hegemons, who after all, embrace the Chinese in economic deed if not political rhetoric.

Trump, unless he pulls a successful coup, is an aberration. There is zero political support for his Chinese trade war in Congress or in 2/3 of the populace. He receives marginal support for his demands of NATO to pay more for their defense. I support this position as well. Here he is on solid ground, imho.

The thing about the global system as the British people are fast learning to their immense future regret is that in the words of Sartre, there is no exit. For any country. Ad long as the game is played (and imho it will be played until the world ecology collapses) all sides are equally discredited for their greed, corruption, wealth inequality and humanitarian abuses.

Arby re: the "Belt and Road" Initiative. Someone here recently debunked its moral righteousness. Don't recall who, I think Pft or Circe. China extracts the wealth in exchange for loans which can't be paid back, ruins environments and doesn't improve local economic conditions, except for the wealthiest. All the well-paying jobs created stay with the Chinese who are exported to the countries to lead the work.

Look at Ecuador as one recent example. They signed away their oil wealth in exchange for loans which they will not be able to repay which in turn allows the Chinese to extract even more of the nation's wealth.

This is imperialism. No difference. You think there is a moral difference. Lol. C'mon man. Show me the moral difference, don't tell me. Or as Bevin states equivocally, there seems to be a difference. Sure, guy. Show me.

Are the Chinese less warlike than the West historically? No doubt. The Chinese have always controlled their empire in non-warlike ways through force of overwhelming might. Mostly. But look under the hood, guys. Millions of political dissidents jailed indefinitely by a oligarchical dictatorship. Obliteration of "dissident" Buddhists and Muslims in the hinterlands. Gross exploitation of worforces, both domestically and in the exploited "Belt and Road" colonies.

China needs the US as a market. The US as an insatiable consumer needs China as an exploitative producer of cheap goods. Russia is much less important economically in the grand scheme, this is mainly why Putin must play the modern day Prince Metternich, and he does so brilliantly. He is close friends to all sides, including Trump. Russia is essentially occupying the same place in the NWO as Austria did in the old Euro scheme of power games centuries ago.

Happy holidays.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 28 2018 13:48 utc | 216

@ Posted by: Cyril | Dec 27, 2018 9:41:49 PM | 197

Where is the Global Times/People's Daily Op-ed, or any official CCP paper that states the Social Credit is a good thing? I challenge anyone here to find any proof the Chinese Government is proud of the Social Credit system. Here's the Op-ed of the Global Times about this "system" (which is not even called "social credit"): West misses big picture viewing China via Orwellian lens <http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1129090.shtml>

The thing with the Social Credit is that China is a socialist country: in capitalism, you don't need an in-your-face social credit system because monetary wealth is social credit. Indeed, this is the Calvinist creed: if you have money (wealth), then God loves you, and the more you have, the more God loves you. So, it is not that the Western Democracies don't have any kind of social credit system: they have, in the form of the presence/absence of money -- if you have money, you can spend whatever you want, it is, by definition, morally good or at least socially acceptable because by spending the money you engaged the open market (free market).

A socialist country doesn't have the fetichism-alienation duo operating in its favor: it has to create, because it is a country in flux (transition), some form of cultural revolution with some demand control when necessary. This can't be money, because that would defeat the purpose of socialism as the system of transition from capitalism to communism. Concretely, China came up with this "Social Credit system".

And that's the real reason the West was so triggered on this: it excludes having money from the moral equation. To no being able to spend money in whatever you want is an anathema to the capitalists (i.e. Westerners). To give you an example: in Brazil, we have a "SPC/Serasa" system, a list of all the people who has unpaid debt. These people are excluded from a lot of things -- including, for example, financing things even when you have the cash to do so. I'm sure many Western countries have analogous systems, and I'm sure nobody bats an eye on these.

Posted by: vk | Dec 28 2018 13:55 utc | 217

@ jackrabbit 196

Yours is a coherent theory:
a. Pretending to attempt to fulfill a campaign promise, the Leader says "I'm withdrawing troops".
b. An "event" happens.
c. The Leader pretends to regretfully change his mind, implicitly lending support to the narratives that demand troops stay.

This is the micro version of the Reluctant Empire macro pattern: "We didn't ask for this. Duty was thrust upon us."

Posted by: dumbass | Dec 28 2018 13:57 utc | 218

What is the Trump deal with Turkey?

I don't doubt the Trump, and US, desire to get out of Syria. It's far too close to the frontline and not the style for the US to get directly involved in a fight with opponents that are actually capable of fighting.

The aim of the SDF (really Kurds) in North-East Syrian was to set up a proxy force that could do the required job for the US (occupying North-East Syria, denying oil resources to Syrian Government [and hobble recovery], run interference between Syria & Iran, and contain Iran and provide a forward base for actions against Iran) with minimal US troops. It was a good plan but Turkey didn't like it because they feared a Kurd state.

The SDF/Kurd option appeared doomed, not least because instead of a forward base being part of a planned containment of Iran, it was the Kurd proto-state that looked as if it was surrounded (by Syria, Iran, Turkey & Iraq). One obvious solution is for Turkey to take over the role planned for the SDF in North-East Turkey.

As I write, there are reports that Turkey has begun it's advance on Manbij despite the political position that this area has been handed over to the Syrian Government. If Turkey are advancing towards Manbij they are probably doing so before Syrian Government troops can take up position (or before they have established and reinforced their position, as they may be present in limited numbers).

Should Turkey be successful' in Manbij I expect they will move to occupy the whole of North-East Syria (with the agreement of the US). If Turkey are unsuccessful' then the US will obviously reconsider their position to pull-out (or, at least, there will be renewed pressure on Trump to reconsider his decision); the argument will be that the US needs to stay to protect the Kurds (when they had been more that ready to hand themover to Turkey) but the option of staying is definitely sub-optimal.

The occupation by Turkey of North-East Turkey is a potential nightmare for the entire region as Turkey/Erdogan have romantic notions of recovering the land lost with the fall of the Ottoman Empire and those Kurdish areas of Iraq will look very tempting.

My view is that while Turkish armed forces can (with time and a degree of difficulty) handle the Kurds, they will not be able to cope of with a better motivated, equipped, trained and battle-hardened force (such as the SAA).

Hopefully, Turkey will fail their audition for the role of next US proxy.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 28 2018 14:30 utc | 220

vk @219

Punishment for falling out of line!

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 28 2018 14:32 utc | 221

@ donkeytale | Dec 28, 2018 8:48:43 AM | 216
re: Chinese "imperialism"
Look at Ecuador as one recent example. They signed away their oil wealth in exchange for loans which they will not be able to repay which in turn allows the Chinese to extract even more of the nation's wealth.
. . .an example of "Chinese imperialism:"
"QUITO, Ecuador — Rafael Correa wanted to fast-track development projects when he was president of Ecuador, so he borrowed billions of dollars from China."
. . .no. Irresponsible borrowing is not the lender's fault.

Posted by: d | Dec 28 2018 14:40 utc | 222

@Circe - #210

My early writings on these topics: Israel conGuide tonot PutinVekselberg / Chabad

No conspiracy. The US Congress Foreign Affairs investigation were told to probe Russia’s meddling and nothing else: UkraineUAEKSAIsrael.

International Coalition to Defeat Democrats and Hillary in 2016

Posted by: Oui | Dec 28 2018 15:31 utc | 223

dumbass

Thank you!

james has also said that he sees it.

Other than that.... crickets.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 28 2018 15:43 utc | 224

Thanks, PhilK @ 182 - I stand corrected. Sorry couldn't respond yesterday as local internet was off all day.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2018 16:46 utc | 225

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 28, 2018 10:43:38 AM | 224

Getting too late to pull out of the withdrawal, with the Syrians in Manbij. Confidence in the US has been lost.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 28 2018 16:47 utc | 226

I will add a couple of thoughts to Grieved's interesting continuing study of China. First, and this would be true of other countries such as Cuba, one huge difference between it and the West is that the welfare of the people is an important component of government policy, as it is in Russia. And then, there is also that component of diverse ethnicities in the makeup of the country at large, which have to be addressed, both positively as in strengthening their role rather than attempting to oppress - I don't know how well this is being achieved in China, but we saw it happening and being addressed by Putin in his various speeches as part of the multipolarity concept giving strength to national internal policies. And I think the Russians would be advocating this for Syria with respect to the Kurds - maybe even for Turkey as well. Better to have these internal warriors on your own side than as enemies.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 28 2018 17:01 utc | 227

Laguerre @226

Manbij is not really part of the Kurd proto-state part of North Eastern Syria (set up by the US). Manbij is on the wrong side of the Euphrates. So it's not too late to pull out but (according to Jackrabbit) and event would be needed? I don't think even an event would be needed, it would just be presented as a change of plan, if US really want to stay. I don't think that US wants to stay (directly), they just want a proxy to do it for them.

My view is that it is intended for Turkey to take-over North-East Syria. In exchange for land and dreams of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey would become a US proxy. The question is: Are Turkey able? I doubt they are!

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 28 2018 17:15 utc | 228

@201 psychohistorian... the link with the '''ecomonic''' overview looks good... they even mentioned lowering the pollution index too.. your comment on high speed rail, verses usa is a good one too... 'why is that?', one could ask...

@208 peter au... i agree with you.. the politicians, chamber of commerce and real estate board are happy to sell whatever to whoever... but my observations are not disputing any of what you say, just that the idea of the chinese not playing the neo liberal or capitalist game, if given the chance - are wrong.. in fact, typically the chinese are very into business, running their own businesses and etc, as one can see in any number of countries where they live outside china... my latest experience in malaysia from 2 years ago is a good case in point.. it is the chinese and south asian - indian population of malaysia who own all the businesses, not the malay people.. my concern is with the idea that china is somehow going to be different and more positive and utopian... i don't believe this is a given as i read grieved and pyschohistorian suggesting..

regarding the pollution in china - what are they doing to regulate pollution? we know in the usa that trump would like to completely gut the epa - environmental protection act... my impression is that in china they are not implementing anything along the lines of an environment protection act, even if the one in the usa is toothless..

see @212 johns links, or @216 donkeytales comments further down for an alternative view on china... i wish them well and every success... i refuse to wear rose coloured glasses on china though... i hope they succeed and are able to be a shining light apart from the neoliberalism as expressed by the west at this point...

@220 ADKC - thanks for the overview.. as i have said to jackrabbit - we'll have to wait and see how this unfolds.. i see b has a new post up on the topic of syria.. no doubt that is where everyone is discussing this now..

@ 224 jackrabbit... correct...

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2018 18:19 utc | 229

What do the US want from Syria in terms of its government? I ask this obvious question with an equally obvious answer because it will be an indication on how the US may proceed in Syria.

It seems clear that the US has failed (for now) to change the Syrian Government but whatever did it want to achieve in the first place?

We can see that the US failed to subdue Syria, it was too difficult. If only the US had succeeded (many from the West and, disappointingly, many on the left say) then the Syrian people would be free.

Fortunately, we know exactly what was planned for Syria. If we look at a country that was far easy to overthrow, subdue and control, then look no further than Libya. Even now the West/US could impose what it wants on Libyan, back in 2011 it would have been far easier. So, it is obvious that Libyan as it is now and has been since 2011, is exactly what the US/West wanted for Syria.

Libya is choas, slavery, murder and militias. Libya destabilises the region and also Europe.

Such a place as Libya is no place for the US military, you would think. Indeed, Trump has declared that "the US has no role in Libya". But, surprisingly there are US military bases in Libya and they appear to have a much wider range of operations than just Libya.

So what the US wanted for Syria is a choatic country just like Libyan, with US bases hidden unremarked and protected by proxies, free to carry out operations the purpose of which is unknown and hidden from scrutiny.

The US couldn't do this with the whole of Syria so they settled on North-East Syria. But, Turkey could not tolerate the US's proxy, the Kurds, so this plan encountered a major obstacle. The solution is obvious, remove support for the Kurds and, in return, Turkey will act as the US proxy. The US will officially withdraw but US bases will remain, unnoticed and unremarked in the West (by the media or any western government).

This is why Turkey must be defeated (hopefully, without actual conflict) at Manbij.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 28 2018 18:28 utc | 230

karlof1 at 78, agree with that quote you posted (pieraccini). Natch it will always be difficult to pick out the one main cause amongst many.. imho, also played a role, Trump became ‘fed up’ with the bludgeoning he receives on Syria, Afgh, etc. — Mattis, etc. went too far, were to insistent, relentless, so he rebelled and said Eff it, I am done, I decide, etc. Even the argument of Israel’s ‘interests’ didn’t move him, “Israel will be fine we give them billions” or words to that effect.

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-trump-on-syria-withdrawal-we-give-israel-billions-of-dollars-they-ll-be-ok-1.6785878

Peter AU at 98, Trump also said:

“We don’t want to be taken advantage of any more by countries that use us and use our incredible military to protect them. They don’t pay for it, and they’re going to have to," Trump said in declaring an end to what he called the United States’ role as a global policeman.

"We are spread out all over the world. We are in countries most people haven't even heard about. Frankly, it's ridiculous," he added.

Radio Free Liberty: https://www.rferl.org/a/trump-surprise-visit-u-s-troops-iraq/29678078.html

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 28 2018 18:35 utc | 231

@230 ADKC... yes, i agree.. the usa only wants to destroy and destabilize other countries.. libya is a case in point.. they would happily do the same to syria if they could..

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2018 18:45 utc | 232

@ Schmoe | Dec 27, 2018 6:10:23 PM | 176

FYI - RT has been removed from Spectrum Cable in NYC. It must have started to get a following.
________________________________________________

In the Philly area, RT News was carried by a small "alternative" independent public TV station, WYBE-- WHYY, the established PBS station, has long since deteriorated into corporate dreck. As a die-hard "OTA" aka "rabbit-ears antenna" viewer, I was grateful for not only RT, but other international programming featured on WYBE.

Since WYBE struggled with a low budget and outdated equipment, which caused occasional outages, I was delighted last year when the station announced that it had received a $131.5 million "grant" to "reinvent itself". I foolishly assumed that they would be able to upgrade their equipment, etc.

Instead, the "grant" turned out to be a payment for auctioning off their bandwidth and giving up their broadcast license! The station made some halfhearted attempts to redirect viewers to other TV networks to find the programs they carried, but nary a word about RT-- except to say "online".

I do still have access to RT online, but I miss the televised version since WYBE went dark. I still suspect that someone made WYBE an offer it couldn't refuse, and that one of the reasons for this lucrative payday was to reduce, if not eliminate, RT's broadcast footprint.

I'd be interested in a credible report on just how extensively and/or systematically RT News has been dropped from the US broadcast airwaves.

Posted by: Ort | Dec 28 2018 18:56 utc | 233

"...Look at Ecuador as one recent example. They signed away their oil wealth in exchange for loans which they will not be able to repay which in turn allows the Chinese to extract even more of the nation's wealth.

This is imperialism. No difference..."

No this isn't imperialism. Not as practised on this planet nowadays.
Take a look at Libya. China had enormous investments there. And something in the order of 10,000 specialists working there on various government sponsored projects.
Then, in 2011, NATO, for the Empire, set up a No Fly zone and used its air power to bring about a thorough going White Revolution.
That was imperialism. As was Iraq, as Syria has been. As Iran is having to deal with.
Imperialism isn't just capitalism. Since the days of the Duke of Albuequerque when Portuguese merchants start dealing by making offers Asians could not refuse, behind rows of cannon, that has been the nature of imnperialism.
I don't know enough about Ecuador's current position to say any more than that the country, which until the US bases were closed down by Correa's government, was dominated by US imperialism. China will have seemed a welcome alternative source of capital. Nor is it likely to be sending troops there to when Ecuador under US pressure reneges on its loan payments, now that the government is back in the US kennel.
Donkeytale is a perfect example of the sort of neo-Trotskyist that I was warning against. He insists that China is indistinguishable from the United States- just as bad-because it is not Socialist enough for his elevated taste. Then he smoothly segues into an apologia for the Empire, suggesting that its critics here are either tools of the Russian state or sycophants from the Court of Assad in Damascus.
It is the old Craig Summers routine warmed over by a guy who once read a review of 'Russia:A Marxist Analysis'and is beginning to think he read it.

As for those worried about Chinese investors buying up all of the real estate in Vancouver: relax, the attraction of that boring burg, for rich Chinese will have been enormously reduced since Ottawa started kidnapping business-people on demand from Washington. If British Columbians want to ensure that everyone has a place to live-and they should- they can always start taxing the wealthy, of every nationality, and providing decent housing off the market. The way that China does, which is one of the reasons why wealthy Chinese take their money to BC- it is a tax haven for the rich.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 28 2018 19:08 utc | 234

d 222 - I read a different article about Ecuador which focused on the dam built by China. They chose to build it in the shadow of an active volcano the rumblings of which have cracked the dam all to hell. Also, the reservoir has filled with silt long before its time.

Maybe Ecuador failed to insist on performance clauses, but China should have cancelled that part of the loan.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 28 2018 19:26 utc | 235

d @ 222

Aside from the fact I hope you would also find predatory pay day loans "immoral," the fact is the Chinese loans also came with some huge strings attached. Did you read the entire linked article?

There is this ecological disaster of an unnecessary dam project which required a Chinese multinational company to build, that the multinational proceeded to build very poorly with inferior components. It is now teetering on the brink requiring massive repairs and/or upgrades.

Ecuador isn't alone in their vassalage to China's international banking system.

China Export Import Bank (China Exim Bank) and China Development Bank are two policy-oriented financial institutions of the Chinese government. Like all contemporary exim banks around the world, China Exim Bank's mission is to provide policy oriented financial support for the export/import of capital goods, however, what makes China Exim Bank unique is that it is under the direct leadership of China's State Council and subject to the direct and supervision of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation and the People's Bank of China. It's services include export credits, guarantees and concessional loans. The latter is an important part of Chinese government aid to foreign countries. China Exim Bank funds most of China's overseas dams. Through the use of concessional loans, China Exim Bank has financed dams in Africa (Mepanda Nkuwa - Mozambique, Merowe - Sudan), Latin America (Coca Coda Sinclair - Ecuador) and Southeast Asia (Kamchay - Cambodia, Yeywa - Burma).

Other state-owned and partially private banks have been involved in dam building overseas. The Bank of China has been involved in dam building in Ecuador and Nepal. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China provided an export credit loan to support a Chinese turbine producer, Dongfang Electric, to supply and install turbines as part of the Gibe III Project in Ethiopia which will potentially devastate downstream communities in Kenya.

Environmental and social policies guiding the investment decisions of Chinese financiers are weak and implementation capacity is even weaker. While China Exim Bank has disclosed it's environmental policy guidelines, other Chinese banks have not disclosed their environmental policies and have yet to make clear what standards (if any) they adopt when considering loan proposals for overseas dam project

But I agree with you or I should say you agree with my contention that China, acting in its national interest is no better or worse than any western imperialists doing same. There is nothing inherently wrong with China's offering ecologically unsound "belts and roads" with their financing at a steep repayment cost to the borrower.

It's a chief feature of capitalist expansionist tendency. My issue is with the so-called intelligentsia who somehow believes these activities are "noble" when emanating from China. Why? Maybe they read it on a fortune cookie during their latest trip to the local Chinese buffet.

So then, IMF and World Bank intervention innational economies through is also not imperialism in your view because after all someone at the level of national leadership within the recipient country agreed to those loans?

Caveat emptor is that it?

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 28 2018 19:41 utc | 236

@ 234 bevin... wish we could find politicians like that here in b.c. they are all servants to corporations, the chamber of commerce and wealth... very little interest is given to the little person.. btw - i agree with you on donkeytale..

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2018 19:47 utc | 237

@ james, I would agree with you on there being no utopia. People are what they are, the good and the bad in all cultures. I do believe win win international trade is the policy of the current Chinese leadership. I think both Russia and China are trying to find that sweet spot between US capitalism and communist collectivisation. Retaining government control over monopolies while allowing freedom for individual innovation.
On the social tracking or scoring in China. When organising the trip to China I was not sure what to expect, police state ect ect - how much of the propaganda I had been fed most of my live held an element of truth. But as it turned out, was very much as Patrick Armstrong says "Everything we have been told is a lie"
On the people from the what I suspect was a chinese mafia type picking us up at the train station and then neatly swapping ny genuine RMB notes for counterfeit (me being a sucker ands thinking he was the driver from the hotel) to the woman at the hotel with a little broken English who refused to take any extra cash as we were leaving, and the crowd of of young men that gathered around to to try and show a dumb tourist the easily spotted difference between counterfeit and genuine.
Private enterprise does drive a lot of innovation which is what I think both Russia and China are looking for - at the same time, wherever there is private enterprise, the sharks will regularly rise to the surface. I think China, like Russia will only take down the sharks that try and take a bite of their own country. The big lie that we are fed at the moment by MSM is that the practices of these sharks in oz or Canada or wherever is Chinese government policy.

Re cleaning up pollution in China. That was felt hard here in Australia a couple of years back with China both Reducing its use of coal and moving to cleaner burning coal - low sulphur low ash ect than what the Australian mines were supplying.
reclaiming desert in china is worth looking up - both the loess hills and encroaching sands. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Reclaiming+loess+hills+China

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 28 2018 19:50 utc | 238

bevin - well at least "neo-Trotskyist" coming from you is a step up from "donkeydembotshill" coming from the likes of Jackrabbit or Russ. Lol.

But where did you get this, except as another fantasy pulled out your arse?

Then he smoothly segues into an apologia for the Empire, suggesting that its critics here are either tools of the Russian state or sycophants from the Court of Assad in Damascus.

I'm not saying China and the US are exactly alike. That is nonsense and you know it. What I'm saying is both are working the same global capitalist system in very similar ways with very similar often appalling results and anyone "surmising" China's inherent moral superiourity because of whatever baloney they've been fed is dreaming because it is not apparent in the reality of China's "belt and road" economic activities.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 28 2018 19:59 utc | 239

To add to my post @238, not only have we off shored our manufacturing to China but also the pollution manufacturing creates.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 28 2018 20:07 utc | 240

Bart Hansen - correct, but not only will the loan not be cancelled but additional loans will now become necessary....predatory lending at its finest!

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 28 2018 20:08 utc | 241

donkeytale

Very good what you said here, this should be a reminder for some people here:

"There is no redemption for anyone foolish enough to idolise (and idealise) any of the US, EU, Russia or China or their wealthiest perpetrators. They all suck. There is ample evidence to condemn the uber wealthy leadership of each country."

I guess thats the message me myself have tried to convey to some people here too. They have a black/white view on Russia-China vs the Western world and thus get wrong when they try to analyze the world.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 28 2018 20:08 utc | 242

Peter Au -

I do believe win win international trade is the policy of the current Chinese leadership. I think both Russia and China are trying to find that sweet spot between US capitalism and communist collectivisation.

You belieb this but what evidence is your belieb based on?

You are saying state capitalism of sanctified cronies with multinationalist tendencies (Chinese system) or crony capitalism with national socialist tendencies (Russian system) are both somehow preferable to crony capitalism with multinationalist tendencies (US system).

How so?

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 28 2018 20:16 utc | 243

@238 peter au..thanks for sharing your personal story on traveling to china.. china and russia are interesting experiments different from the experiment of the western countries we come from... it would be nice to see one of these experiments turn out to be more positive for the planet then the present experiment being given in the west... and yes - all the production and manufacturing to china was another way of off loading the negative aspects of these actions - population... but having environmental standards while having costs, is net positive for the planet.. i hope china can adopt them... your example of the loess plateau is a good one.. here is a 10 minute video on it for others if interested.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQBeYffZ_SI

i suppose my main viewpoint is similar to yours - we are all much the same.. in every group there will be those who are only interested in serving themselves without any ethical or moral restraint, but they are fortunately a minority.. they are the folks running most of our western corporations, lol... then they realize and decide to start a benevolent foundation.. well, maybe it is not that bad, but why not just not fuck over people to begin with? i guess it is the capitalist way, minus any type of religion other then the almighty dollar, or as psychohistorian says - serving the god of mammon only... thanks for sharing...

Posted by: james | Dec 28 2018 21:02 utc | 244

@ 103 grieved: "The Communist Party is firmly in control, and the people are happy... China is communist."
@ 186 grieved: "And the political system actually is communist by the way in every formal sense of what holds power and sway in China."

Yes, the point does require a certain amount of hypnotic repetition and Pavlovian bell ringing in view of evidence to the contrary. John Chan's observations from 2009 remain relevant and true:

"It is obvious today that China, in spite of its “communist” pretensions, is fully integrated into the global capitalist economy as its premier cheap labour platform... Wall Street greatly appreciates the contribution of the Chinese police state in marshalling millions of workers to labour for global corporations..." ("Sixty years after the Chinese Revolution: Lessons for the working class" https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/10/pers-o01.html For a treatment of the issue from a very different ideological perspective but reaching essentially the same conclusion, see the unsigned, and at times grammatically challenged, "How Communist is China?" http://www.themontrealreview.com/2009/How-Communist-is-China.php )

At the risk of raising the hackles of the a priori demographers, as on a previous thread, I'll again quote waronwant's statistical thumbnail sketch of poverty in the PRC:

"Despite the rapid growth of the Chinese economy in the last decade, more than 482 million people in China – 36% of the population – live on less than $2 a day." ("Sweatshops in China" https://waronwant.org/sweatshops-china The article is brief and worth reading as a whole. If anyone questions waronwant's facts & figures and knows of better data (meaning more accurate data, not more congenial to your fantasy world), please share it with us.)

BTW, there's an air of paradox, if not downright self-stultification, in praising a state as "communist" while sedulously avoiding class analysis and refusing to confront the glaring reality of that state's massively inequitable distribution of wealth. How does this class-blind posture advance the cause of the poor, or of "communism"?

Posted by: drj | Dec 28 2018 21:12 utc | 245

@donkeytale | Dec 28, 2018 2:41:24 PM | 236

There is this ecological disaster of an unnecessary dam project which required a Chinese multinational company to build, that the multinational proceeded to build very poorly with inferior components. It is now teetering on the brink requiring massive repairs and/or upgrades.

Perhaps building a dam near the Reventador volcano was not a good idea; Ecuador wanted to build it anyway. China did not force them.


Ecuador isn't alone in their vassalage to China's international banking system.

According to this page, Ecuador borrowed $1.85 billion from the Export-Import Bank of China. Only $1.85 billion in a country with a GDP of roughly $100 billion a year. Some vassalage.

Of course, if you are reading the New York Times, that $1.85 billion magically becomes $19 billion.

Posted by: Cyril | Dec 28 2018 22:16 utc | 246

Bart Hansen 235
This would be the propaganda you are quoting. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/world/americas/ecuador-china-dam.html

Cartilucci in the past has done a number of articles on this sort of thing in the past. this is just one http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2018/04/us-decries-chinese-high-speed-rail-in.html
The US is always 'decrying' Chinese is built infrastructure in what is sees as its own playground. The propaganda is always the same - it will fail it is a debt trap blah blah. The propaganda is no different to that of the Skripal saga, MH17 ect. Pure fiction.
What is never mentioned in these propaganda pieces of China's debt forgiveness which it has done on a number of occasions, and as mentioned in another comment, unlike the US, China does not send its military in to protect these investments nor to extract debt payments.
The US warning these countries of a Chinese debt trap is similar to the Saudi's bringing democracy to Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 28 2018 22:26 utc | 247

Cyril - right, if the NYT reports it's automatically a lie. Yet how come no one calls bullshit when b uses NYT or other MSM sources for his articles? Interesting.

Although to be honest my link came from the AP, which of course also means it's a lie.

But I don't think you read this lie accurately. Surely, you are not yourslef guilty of disinformation? Just lazy thinking?

The total "belt and road" loan package was for $19BB. The ill fated dam is but one component an overall "belt and road" initiative.

And this dam has been controversial since day one. Like for at least 8 years. This article from June 25, 2010:

China now finances a majority of the public energy projects underway in Ecuador. Recent deals include an 85% stake in a hydroelectric dam that will cover a third of the country's energy needs by 2016. Chinese firms will also take charge of most construction.

As you can imagine if another country controlled our utilities, many Ecuadorians are extemely anxious, reports Asia Times:

For his part, former Ecuadorean vice president Leon Roldos (1981-1984) maintained that the loan is illegal, because it finances a "turn-key contract" without "definitive studies or detail engineering", which he said is expressly prohibited by law.

Ecuadorians are also upset by loans they call larger than necessary:

Another contradiction, Roldos argued, is that although it is a fixed price contract, the financing deal is based on price indexing - adjusting amounts by the change over time in prices - for materials and labor power "using a more generous formula than the one normally used for Ecuador's public procurements".

In an article published last week by the El Comercio newspaper, the former vice president said the dam was "severely overpriced" because the $1.98 billion price tag is $400 million higher than the cost projected in 2008.


Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 28 2018 22:59 utc | 248

Here are two more pieces on the dam in Ecuador. No date on the first, but it is old -

https://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/ecuador-s-most-spectacular-waterfall-threatened-by-chinese-funded-hydroelectric-project


This one was written by others than at the NYT -

https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/nation/ecuador-is-feeling-pain-of-china-loans/article_3456b756-956e-57ec-a869-94251437ae9a.html

It sounds like there is plenty of FUBAR blame to go around. Even Madam Lagarde's austerity program is mentioned

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 28 2018 23:34 utc | 249

@245 drj... i am very curious if grieved or psychohistorian sees your post and are inclined to comment, as to what they have to say on that... the war on want folks don't reveal much about who they are.. a lot of info on what they do, but nothing about who they are...

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 0:15 utc | 250

@donkeytale | Dec 28, 2018 5:59:25 PM | 248

Cyril - right, if the NYT reports it's automatically a lie. Yet how come no one calls bullshit when b uses NYT or other MSM sources for his articles? Interesting.

To be fair, b usually quotes the NYT in order to debunk it.


But I don't think you read this lie accurately. Surely, you are not yourslef guilty of disinformation? Just lazy thinking?
The total "belt and road" loan package was for $19BB. The ill fated dam is but one component an overall "belt and road" initiative.

The NYT article focuses almost exclusively on the dam. You have to read it carefully before you can understand that the dam is only a tenth of the $19 billion project. I doubt I'm the only reader to have been deceived.

Posted by: Cyril | Dec 29 2018 0:31 utc | 251

I checked the international rivers site for their funding source. As always, follow the money. Nothing on their home page or about page on funding. A google search brought up several grants from foundation.
I tried 'International Rivers' as a search term at Cartalucci's site as I knew he had researched the environmental type groups operating in Asia pacific and Latin America a few years back.
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2014/11/us-struggles-to-keep-asia-in-dark-age.html#more
"Dams are undoubtedly disruptive to the surrounding, existing environment and surely governments and special interests regularly sidestep their responsibility to ensure dam construction results in equitable outcomes for surrounding human populations as well as wildlife. However, to oppose their construction entirely is a regressive, politically motivated agenda peddled by some of the most sociopolitically and environmentally destructive special interests on Earth."
"International Rivers, over the years, has been funded by the following; The Sigrid Rausing Trust, Tides Foundation, Google, Open Society, the Ford Foundation, to name a few. Many of those contributing to International Rivers, are themselves creations of corporate-financier interests. Direct sponsors, such as the Sigrid Rausing Trust, Ford Foundation, and Open Society, are also involved in funding policy think tanks such as the Brookings Institution - a pro-war, pro-corporate conglomeration that features alongside the Sigrid Rausing Trust as donors (.pdf), banking empires including JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Barclays Bank, big-oil interests including Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and Statoil, as well as big-defense corporations Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon"

At one point, I spent time researching every NGO mentioned in any MSM article I was reading. All these mainstream NGO's are networked together as are the so called foundations funding them. Often the NED money can be traced through varoius foundations and NGO's who receive NED money then give grants to to the coalface NGO as a cutout between the US department of state and the particular NGO.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 29 2018 0:34 utc | 252

Reading the news that China will soon be able to seize some major assets of Kenya, as a result of their debt-trap strategy to extract and transport needed resources from Africa. On the list Kenyas largest and port in Mombasa , the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Maybe thats better than the US forcing austerity measures on the country failing to pay its debt.

I continue to see China being called socialist as communist here. While I will argue this point, hopefully we all agree its an authoritarian government the west should not use as a model.

China has a single all-powerful exclusive party , one leader, total control over all media, extending abroad, brutal suppression of dissent, an Internet and social media that are subject to relentless scrutiny and retribution for offenders , social credit rating systems that can be used to deny travel, education , employment and financing (mortgages, credit cards) , etc.

In short, not much different from the US if you accept Dems and Republicans are one party, and with a limited and hidden social credit system that can prevent you from flying.

As for the economy, as psychohistorian said above, thats a key. Its been strong. But where would China be today if they had to develop with the same trade restrictions Venezuela, FSU and Cuba had to put up with. But it is no longer certain they can continue to advance the standard of living and reduce the drastic inequality. Chinese labour costs are now higher than for many of its neighbours, and the revolution in production technologies is making Chinese factory labour superfluous which could pose discontent.

Now as for the communist or socialist labels. Why not fascist?
In a Fascist economy one finds private business and government directs the actions of the private sector and larger organizations (or in the case of the US and EU large corporations and globalist organizations direct the government) .

A close look at some of the largest corporations in China will show that they are state run (meaning the party run , the party representing 6% of the people which is better than 1% in the US I guess) . While this could very well be mistaken for a kind of Socialism in China , Socialism concerns itself with the rights and well being of the working classes and China fails at that.

The quality of life among China’s working class is poor, given the long hours, low wages, low air quality, and numerous incidents involving hazardous materials finding their way into food and health products.

The Chinese working classes do not have the freedom to complain. China’s frequent polls saying all is well are meaningless among a population who fears to express themselves out of fear of retribution

However, this imposed subservience does not fall only upon the workers. A Fascist economy demands obedience from all classes—from elite to poor. Xi has also crushed any opposition from the elite class in the CCP, much like Putin crushed an opposing faction of the oligarchs

China has went from a one-party state masquerading as a meritocracy to a defacto dictatorship.

Frankly there are similarities with Nazi Germany. Hitlers national Socialist economy was also took off thanks in part to a large cheap work force and financing and technology transfers from the US , French and UK corporations . Instead of Jews and Communists China goes after Falun Gong and Uighurs. To their credit no gas chambers. US of course has a large number of its minorities in prison doing prison labor for the private sector and has much of its native population on reservations.

China like the US aggressively asserts what it sees as its right to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries on matters its considers to be in its own national interest. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has ramped up not only its land army but also its naval and other capabilities. Beijing has militarized the disputed Spratly Islands and other key shoals in the South China Sea, against international law , deploying missiles there, and escalating tensions. To their credit they have yet to use military force to achieve their aims.

Socialist? Well, the Nazis were National Socialists so names mean nothing. As Deng said, what difference does it make if its a black cat or a white cat so long as its a good cat. The jury is out on if its a good cat but pet it at your own risk, those claws may be sharp.

Posted by: Pft | Dec 29 2018 0:40 utc | 253

@213 ADKC

Wow! I used the word altruistic once in my entire pretty lengthy comment in a very GENERAL sense and you took it completely out of context applying it to a point I never made about U.S. intentions/motives for intervention. You know how I see the U.S.?-- like the GODFATHER, THE MOB BOSS, a protection racket. We'll protect you, we'll fight alongside you, but we expect your soul in return. Regarding the U.K. example, the British Empire was already in decline at that time while the U.S. was rising, although I don't disagree that the U.S. exploited that decline as it did in other places even the USSR.

But to get back to my point regarding your reply, It's almost like you read another post where one word glared at you and you went off on some tangent completely ignoring some points I made that I insist are valid given what I wrote in the other post that followed regarding Zionist collusion. I really don't care about anyone's motivations for war, U.S. or Russia initiated, as all war is stupid and wrong. However, once you're in it you don't turn your back on an ally while the enemy's enabler attacks no matter which side your on! It IS dishonorable despite all motives. Israel is a very bad actor generating nothing but trouble globally, so why the fcuk capitulate to the lunatic state and deny an ally the military defense it needs to protect itself AND MOST IMPORTANTLY AS DETERRENCE to discourage other attacks? I know I'm right on this, don't bother arguing it further.

@196 JR I share your skepticism and applaud it.

@223 Oui

Imho, all Chabad roads meet with Trump and Putin in the middle. Jared Kushner - Chabad, the friend he shares with Putin, Abramovich - that Putin appointed to start up and chair a Chabad organization, Felix Sater, business associate and friend of Trump, also Chabad, and two great friends of Netanyahoo that supported Trump and contributed big to his inauguration: Lev Leviev and Viktor Vekselberg, and are also close to Putin.

So this is why Syria will never get the S-300's. It's why Trump's first move before he was even sworn President was to squash a U.N. Resolution condemning settlement expansion, followed by tearing up the Iran deal followed by sanctions on Iran and moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and declaring Jerusalem capital of Israel, and finally why Putin pretends only lip service regarding Israel's repeated air strikes inside Syria. Trump and Putin are Chabad-anointed and chosen gatekeepers for Zionism. And these I named here are the Russians with Israeli citizenship, cause there are also Chabad American billionaires that supported Trump. Yes, KSA and the UAE also supported Trump, but Zionists gave him 95% of the push.

There is no such thing as democracy; it's all bought and paid by filthy rich Zionists. Corruption rules.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2018 1:06 utc | 254

@Pft | Dec 28, 2018 7:40:38 PM | 253

Reading the news that China will soon be able to seize some major assets of Kenya, as a result of their debt-trap strategy to extract and transport needed resources from Africa. On the list Kenyas largest and port in Mombasa , the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

Typical U.S. propaganda. Why not ask Kenya's government?

President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Kenyans that the port in Mombasa was not used as collateral in the Chinese contract with Kenya on the building of the Standard Gauge Railways.

The Chinese government has also officially denied that Kenya's port is collateral for SGR.

Why not do some minimal research before spreading lies?

Posted by: Cyril | Dec 29 2018 1:10 utc | 255

Circe @254: JR I share your skepticism and applaud it.

Thank you.

But just to be clear: I don't share your opinion of Putin as a Zionist.

Putin had an agreement with Netanyahu that Russia would not interfere with Israel's anti-Iran operations. That agreement allowed Russia to concentrate on fighting the Jihadis. And there was likely a political dimension also, but the agreement ended when the Israeli's caused the downing of the IL-20.

The cards that Putin/Russia got dealt mean that they had to buy time. And build a case for sovereignty vs. NWO by respecting other nations while highlighting how AZ Empire does not.

Take a deep breathe and consider the big picture. There wouldn't be a new Cold War if Russia was welcomed into the West and Putin was a Zionist.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29 2018 2:08 utc | 256

@252 peter au... thanks for sharing that... i never looked at the first link @245 drjs post, but appreciate your sharing that info..

@256 jackrabbit.. thanks for spelling that out for circe in your last line...

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 2:30 utc | 257

i guess one could argue that the arm sales will be good for both sides, which is only really one side, lol.. it is hard to get out from a subjective take.. one can rationalize the take countless different ways..

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 2:32 utc | 258

@256

Okay, I accept your explanation on Putin...for now. It is speculation after all, but it sounds reasonable. Hopefully he won't prove me right. I still can't understand why he can't sell Syria the S-300. The Israelis are such cowards, it would become a deterrence mechanism cause after one strike they sure wouldn't risk coming back for more.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 29 2018 4:44 utc | 259

@Circe - #210

A follow-up to my first comment …

Research Len Blavatnik ties to oligarchs and Bibi Netanyahu. Robert Mueller investigation and Case 1000 in Israel.

Posted by: Oui | Dec 29 2018 6:23 utc | 260

Circe | Dec 28, 2018 11:44:53 PM | 259

I still can't understand why he can't sell Syria the S-300.

I cannot understand the reason people still claim Russia won't sell the S-300 to Syria; in fact Russia gifted an S-300 system (upgraded version) after the IL-20 was downed.
Russia ia still training the Syrian crews. When that training is finished the Syrians will man the batteries.
https://www.rt.com/news/439243-s300-missiles-syria-israel/
Also, Southfront and Fort Russ have been reporting regularly on this.

Posted by: V | Dec 29 2018 8:41 utc | 261

Here's another piece from Russia Insider: https://russia-insider.com/en/russias-air-defense-deliveries-syria-are-not-enough-full-no-fly-zone/ri24989

Posted by: V | Dec 29 2018 8:46 utc | 262

@S - #87

Good summary. Kremlin too is divided between KGB hardliners and neoliberal economists.

Posted by: Oui | Dec 29 2018 8:50 utc | 263

"John Chan's observations from 2009 remain relevant and true:"... John Chan from his relevant piece "Despite the immense scale of the struggle, however, the 1949 revolution was not socialist or communist. It did not bring the working class to power, but the peasant armies of Mao."
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/10/pers-o01.html
Yep, the dedicated international socialist working class types know how to deal with peasants. peasants are not workers.

Workers and unions arose with industry. before industrial revolutions there are onlyt peasants, no workers.
Very little on WOW's website as to who they are. seem to be fighting the good fight re Israel Syria ect. I searched for War on Want,s affiliations. All that turned up was a pdf application form to become an affiliate. https://waronwant.org/sites/default/files/Affiliation%20Form%202015.pdf
to become an affiliate, you must be a trade union.
In China, war on want works through two Hong Kong based NGOs. They in are linked to other NGO's I have not tracked these yet but more than likely hooked into the same old NGO network that finds its way back to NED, Soros, Ford foundation ect.
I take it war on want gets their china stats from these Hong Kong NGO's - "Despite the rapid growth of the Chinese economy in the last decade, more than 482 million people in China – 36% of the population – live on less than $2 a day."

"War on Want is currently working with Worker Empowerment (WE) and Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM)..."

SACOM - bring democracy to southern China "We believe that the most effective means of monitoring is to collaborate closely with workers at the workplace level. We team up with labor NGOs to provide in-factory training to workers in South China. Through democratic elections, we support worker-based committees that can represent the voices of the majority of workers."
http://sacom.hk/who-are-we/

"Worker Empowerment (WE) is a Hong Kong based labour organization that mainly concerns the labour right in China." http://www.workerempowerment.org/en/about-us

This piece from sweatshops in China "There is no freedom of association to form trade unions and non-governmental labour organisations are closely monitored by the Government who carry out regular crackdowns. Multinational corporations and national factory owners take advantage of the anti-union climate, the workers’ lack of awareness of their own rights and the Chinese government’s unwillingness to address the abuse of migrant workers’ rights."
This contrasts with something I had read a year or two back on protests in China, not sure of the source now but I think Jeff Brown who writes a few pieces on China for the saker site. Perhaps he had stars in his eyes when looking at China, but a quick google search proved him correct.
"The number of annual protests has grown steadily since the early 1990s, from approximately 8700 "mass group incidents" in 1993[1] to over 87,000 in 2005.[2] In 2006, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimated the number of annual mass incidents to exceed 90,000, and Chinese sociology professor Sun Liping estimated 180,000 incidents in 2010 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protest_and_dissent_in_China

I see John Chan also propagates the western bullshit on Tiananmen Square which I also believed until I saw the photos of the columns of burned out APC's and military trucks.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 29 2018 13:18 utc | 264

Untill China's current industrial revolution, it had been a land of piss poor peasants, highly populated, few natural resources compared to the population size. China's policy of turning itself into a world manufacturing hub is pulling those peasants out of poverty.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 29 2018 13:36 utc | 265

No raises for the South Korean worker (i.e. the death of the "social-democratic dream"):

Wage hike revision feared to 'destroy' carmakers, shipbuilders

Truth is, the "social-democratic" model of capitalism was only sustainable for the 30 years after WWII, when superprofit existed in the so-called "first world" countries thanks to the reconstruction (physical destruction of old infrastructure can be beneficial to profitability, if there's already another superior technology waiting -- this was the case in WWII, when the electronic technology was already in development stage since the 1920s and reached market maturity precisely in the 1940s, ready to be reaped in the 1945s-1960s) and, of course, historically high trade surpluses with the countries of the so-called "third world" (you import cheap commodities to fuel your manufacturing and export expensive, high aggregate value manufactured products).

After that, only very localized, politically motivated projects the the West were capable of "kind of" replicate the post-war boom phenomenon: South Korea (as an instrument of capitalist propaganda against the North, which was more prosperous economically at the time), Singapore (which is still governed by a communist party, so was a coopt attempt) and Taiwan (where the USA let it "steal" the chip/microprocessors technology so it could become a relatively prosperous manufacturing nation as a propaganda against China).

South Korea, in itself, never adopted the holotype social-democratic model of the UK, Scandinavia, France and West Germany. Instead, it adopted the Japanese model, which is based on both intense absolute and relative exploitation of labor at the same time (i.e. high automation, high working hours). The social counterpart from the elites/government is the promise the national population and culture would be preserved, i.e. protection against immigration.

However, this system is still capitalist, still dependent on infinite and indefinite growth of output (surplus value) to survive. It would only be a matter of time until South Korea reached a point of exhaustion. Here we are.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2018 14:05 utc | 266

Not only did we offshore manufacturing and associated pollution to China, we have also been exporting our garbage to China allowing us to say we have a clean green country. Causes a few problems when china sez fuck you, keep your garbage.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-10/china-ban-on-foreign-rubbish-leaves-recycling-industry-in-a-mess/9243184
"China's ban on foreign waste is reverberating through Australia's waste industry, but operators are taking a positive approach."
"Recyclers who are unable to ship their waste to China will be forced into more expensive solutions, and may have to renegotiate their contracts with local councils so ratepayers could end up footing the bill."
""The price has absolutely collapsed, that's the problem. We don't actually even have a price benchmark in some cases because so little material is now trading with China's recent ban," Mr Lamb said.
He said China's decision to only accept material with a contamination level of no more than 0.5 per cent was a virtual ban, because it was unachievable when processing household waste like plastics."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 29 2018 14:12 utc | 267

@

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 29, 2018 8:36:08 AM | 265

Kinda.

China was what you described during the "Century of Shame" -- a period that goes from the first Opium War to the victory of the Revolution (1949). That period, comparable to the Crisis of the Third Century for the Roman Empire, saw the Chinese Empire entirely collapse: this is very well illustrated by the fact that the last emperor of China made a decision that no other emperor in the Chinese history even thought of: asked for the help of a foreign army (in the case, the Royal British Army) to crush the peasant revolution.

Contrary to the Japanese tradition, where the imperial family is a family of gods (Shinto tradition), China's emperors have always governed with the Mandate of the Heavens: the Chinese always knew their emperors were humans, who were governing only because they were favoured by the gods. The big difference here is that the mandate could be revoked any time. The signals were: natural disasters, collapse of the economy, plagues and - the most important - social (i.e. peasant) revolts. The peasants were put on par with a divine force, and thus an emperor never dared to use heterodox machinations/alien forces to crush them. That happened in the 19th Century, and this was symbolic because it represented China's capitulation as a global superpower: by accepting British patronage, the emperor automatically accepted that China was a peripheral country, a third world country. It also shook the blind faith the Chinese had on its own culture and traditions (that's what gave birth to two cultural revolutions in half a century in China): they would have to learn from the West for the first time.

But, before that, China was the global superpower of the Middle Ages. In fact, the Middle Ages are called the "Dark Ages" by early Western historians not because Europe decayed in relation to the Roman times (in fact, once the feudalist transtion was complete, nutrition and population flourished -- until the plague bring it down again, inaugurating the Modern Age), but because China became the center of the world, that is, Europe lost its relative position as one of the centers of the world it had until the death of Marcus Aurelius (180) and gave the sole post to the Chinese (China also collapse more or less at the same time of Rome, but had another golden age some centuries after). Curious fact: this is important for the European cultural identity, since the Romans didn't have a concept of "Europe" -- they always considered themselves a world empire, their emperors being emperors of the world. This translated in its foreign policy, which, after Augustus blunder in Germany, has always looked East: to crush the Persians and thus eliminate the middle man between them and the Chinese. The concept of Europe was only born with the foundation and demise of the Carolingian Empire, 300-400 years after the fall of the Roman Empire in the west.

Posted by: vk | Dec 29 2018 14:27 utc | 268

A British doctor says: "In Britain, medicine is so advanced that we cut off a man's liver, put it in another man, and in 6 weeks, he is looking for a job."

The German doctor says: "That's nothing,
in Germany we took part of a brain, put it in another man, and in 4 weeks he is looking for a job."

The Russian doctor says: "Gentlemen, we took half a heart from a man, put it in another's chest, and in 2 weeks he is looking for a job."

The American doctor laughs: "You are all behind us. A few months ago, we took a man with no brain, no heart, and no liver and made him President.

Now, the whole country is looking for a job!"

Posted by: denk | Dec 29 2018 15:07 utc | 269

Cyril 255

*Why not do some minimal research before spreading lies?*

I actually thought pft/donkey are misdirection
tag team.
If so, their paymasters aint getting their monies worth.

hehehhe

Posted by: denk | Dec 29 2018 15:20 utc | 270

peeter au - thanks for your additional comments on china and australia..

@269 denk.... thanks for that one!!!

Posted by: james | Dec 29 2018 17:03 utc | 271

@denk | Dec 29, 2018 10:07:41 AM | 269

The American doctor laughs: "You are all behind us. A few months ago, we took a man with no brain, no heart, and no liver and made him President.
Now, the whole country is looking for a job!

LOL

Posted by: Cyril | Dec 29 2018 20:49 utc | 272

The problem with "doing the right thing," defined as the current whims of the jewish nation-wrecker, is that this moral imperative is in a constant state of flux and always for the worst when it comes to the best interests of the Whites expected to shoulder the kosher burden du jour.

Indeed, what was considered pious devotion to the ruling synagogue only a few years ago is now not only insufficiently deferential to the demands of the traveling merchant, but is actually considered "hate," the only remaining sin. It's almost like the concessions we make today not only count for nothing toward winning any reprieve from the endless kosher attacks, but also are little more than the narrow end of a semitic wedge. Still, we don't want to be called names or anything and cowardly surrender is a lot easier than trying to resist the planned demolition of everything that has any real value. If you're still skeptical, consider the wise words of a pope who belongs on the end of a rope.

“It is the “moral responsibility” of the outside world to accept even more migrants,” Pope Francis explained in a recent speech.

Translation: Much more needs to be done. The fact that Paris looks like Africa and Londonistan is now governed by Paki grooming gangs simply isn't enough. The entire population of the third world nations must be moved into our ancient homelands. It'll earn you a place in heaven, that's where all the suicides and deceitful hypocrites go.

This year it is 70 years since the globalist organisation that is the UN adopted the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.

Since then, we've seen massive improvements in non-White behavior.

It was for that reason that Pope Francis urged the outside world to open its doors to even more migrants.

A cynic might suggest the leader of global cuck-o-licks is just another useful idiot for our jewish enemy and not a deeply spiritual leader of an amazing faith full of incredible moral teachings like "be nice" and "let the savages into your house."

He referred to the declaration’s recognition that all human beings have “universal and indivisible rights”, which are the basis for “justice, freedom and peace in the world”.

The universal and indivisible entitlement to a face full of acid or a Paki grooming gang, funded with your shekels, naturally. "Open the gates, we're here for freedom, justice and peace!"


According to the Pope, it is everyone’s responsibility to deal with the consequences of war, poverty, inequality and mass migration.

...and by "everyone" we mean White nations and only White nations.

At the same time, the morals among his close advisors aren’t exactly impressive. This past week, three cardinals have left the Pope’s most important advisory body, the Council of Cardinals.

Sure, there's the occasional sodomite chem-sex orgy at the Vatican, but on the other hand this weak and pathetic cuckold in a dress was chosen by g*d to make sure the jew gets properly worshiped.

Two of those have been prosecuted after disclosure of sex abuse. On Tuesday, one of them, Cardinal George Pell from Australia, was convicted of child molestation.

Here's another moral responsibility: stopping the rampant child buggery in your satanic church. Maybe that's even more important than getting millions of muslim immigrants into Europe.

The number of migrants the Pope himself houses in his palace is unknown.

Sometimes the original author deserves the last word.

https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/12/pope-the-western-world-has-moral-responsibility-to-let-in-more-migrants/


Posted by: Emma R. | Dec 29 2018 21:54 utc | 273

@ Emma R with the nicely done tirade about Pope Francis....thanks

I have 12 years of Catholic education with the last 4 with the Jesuits, of which Francis is one. The Jesuits are the educated elite of the Catholic church and that just means they are more calculating in their support of the Western way of monotheism. I keep pointing out that they must be in some sort of devils pact with the global elite that own private finance and everything else because they never call them out nor the sick social jackboot that private finance represents.

I estimate I received about 50 hacks with a wooden paddle over my 4 high school years and they failed to convince me of their basic morality then and now.

The monotheistic religions that existed in 1054 in Europe made sure that there was no record of the 23 day/night supernova shine of what is now the Crab Nebula because it conflicted with current theology. There are records of that supernova event recorded all over the rest of the world. The mentality that existed back then still is perpetuated today in the social organization of the West......hence the Integrity Initiative that may never see the light of public history for example.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2018 1:17 utc | 274

Below is a link for Xinhuanet about the latest regarding Syria

Russian, Turkish military to coordinate in Syria after U.S. pullout: Russian FM

The take away quote
"
Russian and Turkish military will continue to coordinate their steps to eradicate terrorism in Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday.

He made the remarks at a press conference here following talks attended by his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, defense ministers and intelligence chiefs of both countries.

The parties agreed to continue work in strict compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254, including unconditional respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, Lavrov said.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2018 4:56 utc | 275

The link below is from the BBC but it is ok because it is science....grin

How ancient DNA may rewrite prehistory in India

I read stuff like this and I wonder how anyone can believe the concept of race continues to makes sense ant any level.....we are all mixed breed mutts

The geopolitical take away is the disruption this will cause to politics in India.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 30 2018 5:57 utc | 276

psychohistorian says:

I estimate I received about 50 hacks with a wooden paddle over my 4 high school years and they failed to convince me of their basic morality then and now

oooh, spank me, spank me harder!

years ago in Manhattan i went to a new year's party(great party by the way!) where in attendance there were several Jesuit neophytes in a phase of supposedly sowing their 'last' oats before entering the formal celebate order. man, the stories they told! i mean, these dudes were very proudly into dick, and in the kinkiest ways you can imagine...or maybe not.

point being...the idea that these guys were shortly going to renounce their frisky proclivities in service to the lord above i found to be preposterous.

Posted by: john | Dec 30 2018 11:44 utc | 277

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