Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 17, 2020

Joe Biden's Foreign Policy Team

As this blog is often concerned with U.S. foreign policy and the damage it causes, a look at Biden's foreign policy team seems adequate.

In short - it is awful.

Susan Rice of Benghazi fame, National Security Advisor under Obama, is said to become Secretary of State.

Michele Flournoy, co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), will become Secretary of Defense. Flournoy is a hawk. CNAS is financed by donations from the who-is-who of the military industrial complex. She also co-founded WestExec Advisors, a consultancy that pulls strings to help companies to win Pentagon contracts.

Also at WestExec Advisors was Tony Blinken who is set to become the National Security Advisor. He was National Security Advisor for then Vice President Biden, Deputy National Security Advisor for Obama and Deputy Secretary of State.

All three, together with Joe Biden, promoted the 2003 war on Iraq and supported the wars the Obama administration launched or continued against some seven countries.

They will continue to wage those wars and will probably add a few new ones.

Biden has said that he will re-instate the nuclear agreement with Iran but with 'amendments'. A realistic analysis shows that Iran is likely to reject any modification of the original deal:

The Biden administration will face the harsh reality that the amendments to the JCPOA that it needs to make its return to the agreement politically viable are unacceptable to Iran. The new US administration will more than likely find itself in a situation in which sanctions, including those on oil exports, must be maintained in an effort to pressure Iran to yield to US demands to modify the JCPOA.

There will be much pressure from the liberal hawks to finish the war they had launched against Syria by again intensifying it. Trump had ended the CIA's Jihadi supply program. The Biden team may well reintroduce such a scheme.

Susan Rice has criticized Trump's Doha deal with the Taliban. Under a Biden administration U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan are therefore likely to again increase.

One possible change may come in the U.S. support for the Saudi war on Yemen. The Democrats dislike Mohammad bin Salman and may try to use the Yemen issue to push him out of his Crown Prince position.

Biden and his team have supported the coup attempt in Venezuela. They only criticized it for not being done right and will probably come up with their own bloody 'solution'.

After four years of Russiagate nonsense, which Susan Rice had helped to launch, it is impossible to again 'reset' the relations with Russia. Biden could immediately agree to renew the New START treaty which limits strategic nuclear weapons but it is more likely that he will want to add, like with Iran's nuclear deal, certain 'amendments' which will be hard to negotiate. Under Biden the Ukraine may be pushed into another war against its eastern citizens. Belarus will remain on the 'regime change' target list.

Asia is the place where Biden's policies may be less confrontational than Trump's:

China would heave a big sigh of relief if Biden picks Rice as his secretary of state. Beijing knows her well, as she had a hands-on role in remoulding the relationship from engagement to selective competition, which could well be the post-Trump China policies.

For the Indian audience, which is obsessive about Biden’s China policy, I would recommend the following YouTube on Rice’s oral history where she narrates her experience as NSA on how the US and China could effectively coordinate despite their strategic rivalry and how China actually helped America battle Ebola.

Interestingly, the recording was made in April this year amidst the “Wuhan virus” pandemic in the US and Trump’s trade and tech war with China. Simply put, Rice highlighted a productive relationship with Beijing while probably sharing the more Sino-skeptic sentiment of many of America’s foreign policy experts and lawmakers.

All together the Biden/Harris regime will be a continuation of the Obama regime. It's foreign policies will have awful consequences for a lot of people on this planet.

Domestically Biden/Harris will revive all the bad feelings that led to the election of Donald Trump. The demographics of the election show no sign of a permanent majority for Democrats.

It is therefore highly probable that Trump, or a more competent and thereby more dangerous populist republican, will again win in 2024.

Posted by b on November 17, 2020 at 18:16 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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I would guess that putin/lavrov/shoigu would simply put the us in the same category as europe, impossible to deal with, and focus on asia/china.

It would make sense as lavrov recently indicated that he had given up on any constructive relationship with europe. Why waste the time and effort. The same may well be said of the us.

Of course, that posture does nothing for trying to relax tensions but the us has long ago indicated that it is not agreement capable.

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Nov 18 2020 1:57 utc | 101

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 18 2020 1:08 utc | 92 -- "There is one Foreign Policy option available nobody's mentioned--Getting along with everyone, drop Zero-sum and adopt Win-Win. Unlikely, yes, but still an option.... Can an Old Dog learn new tricks?"

I agree that the Exceptionally Indispensable Old Dog will not learn new ways, even if it prudent to work with other dogs to hunt food, but it will just go on barking rudely, if ineffectually, at the OBOR caravan as it passes by, occasionally running into its path to "slow down" other people's efforts. Doesn't help anybody, especially himself, but the old dog feels like he is somebody.

As illustration, herewith Exhibit A: There is a well-known old dog that can't even read a teleprompter properly without his teeth falling out. The dog handlers now keep young girls off the stage in case he reverts to doggy behaviour -- sniff, sniff, sniff.

Exhibit B: There is the other old dog in NZ who stepped down from Prime Ministership, infamous for pulling young girls' pony tails. In front of TV cameras. In front of his wife no less.

Old dogs never learn.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 18 2020 2:10 utc | 102

Boy, the Joe Biden quote:

"dark winter"
all of a sudden takes on a whole different meaning.

Posted by: Lalimba | Nov 18 2020 2:28 utc | 103

I find it interesting that the Iran "experts" commenting above all fail to consider the key event of the past month or two..... South Pars projects are on stream and producing both gas and condensate.... Despite all efforts to stop this, so the UAE could extract the bulk of the resource.... at Iran's expense....

This despite all sanctions.... despite the PRC playing a waiting game....

Iran is moving ahead....

As for Russia..... Mishustin, the current PM, is the likely successor....

Russia is building Ski resorts in the Arctic.... ports too... 120 Mwe ice breakers capable of breaking 4 m thick ice. The current ones conduct tours of the North Pole.... in the area of thickest polar ice....

The USA??? Will be pre-occupied with COVID..... With 3, 000,000 deaths.... with a scared population.... And... hampered with a new fighter aircraft which doesn't work....
A new frigate which doesn't shoot...

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W Oprisko | Nov 18 2020 2:38 utc | 104

In recent Iranian news I liked the new water infrastructure getting completed, a massive project according to the news report. Would like to hear more about it.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Nov 18 2020 2:57 utc | 105

Useless to predict IMO.

Let it play out.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 18 2020 3:28 utc | 106

@98 Prof K

Yes, I agree with all that.

For your thinking: my Trump-loving redneck friend told me the other day that if Trump doesn't win this election it's the end of the Republican party. That Trump will run as an independent, and perhaps start his own party.

I hadn't heard that concept anywhere - haven't analyzed it - thought I'd pass it along.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 18 2020 3:28 utc | 107

psychohistorian @ 5 :

"...We are not going back to Obama 3.0. That ship sank when Russia stymied Obama empire in Syria. We are in a brave new world that is unfolding before our eyes....the future is all around us but just not evenly distributed."

That is certainly the only possible prediction, well, not a prediction but certainly a forecast! Given the same set of 'players' - ah, it's like those parallel universes we used to see on the science fiction shows, or the holodeck - remember the holodeck? We get to see what the same set of characters ( how wonderful the ptb only have a limited number of neo-heroes when we 'oi poloi have millions!) - what the same set of characters come up against in the world that is taking positive shape without us. Same old same old...ya think?

"...the future is all around us..." Hah!

"...but just not evenly distributed."

(I had to repeat it; that's beautiful!) Not evenly distributed, may I add, as in "the first will be last and the last will be first."

Thank you, psychohistorian!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18 2020 3:30 utc | 108

juliana @108

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'

And my favorite line from that song:

And you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone

Posted by: BillB | Nov 18 2020 3:35 utc | 109

"the future is here, but just not evenly distributed."

---William Gibson

(from quite a while ago)

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 18 2020 3:40 utc | 110

Makes one miss Trump already.

This a feat only sold-out Democrats can sink to.

Posted by: Liberty Blogger | Nov 18 2020 3:47 utc | 111

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 17 2020 23:37 utc | 79

Don, this the problem Russia’s only war water port is chocked by NATO’s Erdogan at Bosporus, in a big war with NATO is of no use. World’s strategic water theaters are moving to S China sea and north Indian ocean, now days everybody is getting a military port in North Indian ocean , read sea neighborhood. Still the back door for resistance bloc is the BRI, even in case of a war in Indian ocean only Iran can be the supply route. That is how important geography of Iran is and that the reason US can’t accept an independent, or even nonaligned Iran. During WWII although Iran was a declared nonaligned nation allies including US and UK from south and USSR from north invaded Iran and used Iran’s ports, fuel and rail system to supply USSR from a back door which is Iran, they named Iran “bridge to victory”. unfortunately Russia's black sea port is only useful during peace.

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 18 2020 3:50 utc | 112

"Susan Rice of Benghazi fame, National Security Advisor under Obama, is said to become Secretary of State."

The link provided is just to the standard cover story. Benghazi was the base of Clinton's massive illegal arms smuggling to Syria via Turkey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc4wrSIOUxc

Rice played a major role and this and should be indicted not appointed.

Posted by: Carlton Meyer | Nov 18 2020 4:15 utc | 113

This like B just phoning it in , a string of shallow articles recently.. I know it is hard to do analysis of world matters single handedly , maybe focused on certain geostrategic areas instead of the easy shallow articles regarding trump/biden ? how about taiwan neocons after trump’s defeat , ethiopia mess , india’s facist bjp leader modi after trumpo lost , pakistan declare evidence of india funding terrorism against pak / china ..

tobehonest, i find more enlightning read from KC , James , Karlof , VK , Tungsten and few more regulars who posted sense , among the increasing troll posts in MoA..

Not leaving MoA as daily read but i would prefer MoA posting less articles instead of reading low quality shallow articles like this.. Everyone have ups and downs , so heres hoping more good articles from B..

Or maybe BND rapped B’s knuckles ?

Posted by: milomilo | Nov 18 2020 4:41 utc | 114

What will the Biden regime be like?

Certainly, one has to expect the worst. Trump, unfortunately, didn't really change the foreign policy, but the Biden team of neocons promises to strive for new, unprecedented aggressions. In their pent-up frustration, they would like the US to go completely wild attacking everyone. But reality imposes some limitations.

While it is true that Republican hacks like the time-server McConnell, not to mention the loathsome toads Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, will show bipartisan support for whatever foreign military adventures the military-security apparatus can cook up, the public is seething. So far, the divide-and-rule efforts to split the anti-state opposition on the red-herring issue of Trump have succeeded in keeping the anti-state right and left not only apart but at each other's throats, but that is a dangerous game to play. The general dissatisfaction does presage an incipient breakdown of the American system. And that system, whatever its earlier virtues or demerits, has been gamed by the elite so long that its claims to democracy, freedom, free trade, free enterprise (remember that phrase) no longer bear much conviction, or at any rate are not very convincing to masses of the people. This is a real problem. The disappointed Trump voters are likely to be nipping at the Democrats' heels; the election was scarcely a Democratic Party victory at all. And then the huge swath of anti-elite youth on the left will be nipping from the other side too. The Democratic Party administration for the next four years is in for every bit as tumultuous a ride as Trump has had.

So, for them, why not go back to the tried and true formula of diverting the public's attention with foreign wars? They certainly have the military force to do it, and they still can fabricate fiat money without actually paying anything, while exporting the resulting inflation to other countries. All that will still work as long as the dollar stands. When and if the dollar falls, it is then all over that same day: no more US military, no more aggressions, and at least civil strife at home. But the elite have learned since the financial crisis of 1968-1971, when the dollar was left without any vestige of a connection to gold, that the dollar will stand forever no matter what they do, or so they believe. And indeed, there is still no sign of dollar collapse, even if all things eventually must end. So right now, one would be rash to predict the collapse of the dollar at any fixed future date, as all countries and people still rush right back into the dollar at the first sign of crisis.

But whom can the neocons attack? They can jump up and down screaming in rage like a herd of baboons against Russia and China, but, as those are nuclear-armed powers, they cannot be touched. Especially not Russia, with enough nuclear weapons, like the US, to completely exterminate the whole human race. But even China's few hundred are enough to end civilization, so, no, no actual wars there, at least not against the national territory of either. Also, those supposed enemies are more of an excuse to justify the military budget than actual enemies. As Trump said, "Russia is a competitor, not an adversary."

One of the posters above was enraged that Russia and China don't have a more hostile, anti-US policy. Of course they don't; they are complicit. The anti-American Russians are the opposition, Zhirinovsky and Zyuganov, not Putin. Rather, Putin seeks to integrate Russia in the world system, but not at the price of being colonized. Ditto for Xi and China. China's goal is to be the factory of the world; it is an economic, not a military, upper hand that they are looking for. Not only do they have a few nukes; they also have enough US debt to destroy the dollar if they threw it all at once on the open market. But they would never do that unless their very existence was threatened, because they make too much profit from the US.

Otherwise, the world is full of US "allies" that Biden is promising to restore ties with. Most of these countries are ruled by freeloading parasites who ingratiate themselves with the US to gain favors. However, the US gets back everything from them through dollar dominance. Anyway, while they are allies, they can't be attacked. Which greatly whittles down the list of possible victims. Of course, there are still quite a few of those, but it is worth studying whom the US has actually attacked in recent history: Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Grenada, Somalia, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, all little to small-medium-sized countries. Iran is too big for it and the projected consequences are too dire. In 2007-2009, the US had its big window of opportunity to attack Iran, with Dick Cheney all for it, and Israel egging it on, but Bush didn't do it because the military vetoed it. If it couldn't happen under those circumstances, it won't happen. So they have been trying to provoke Iran to attack with all kinds of actual acts of war against it, but Iran seems too smart to be lured in and knows that in this current world, being the victim gains the moral high ground. Afghanistan the US could savage because it is one of the most strategically worthless pieces of real estate on the earth, landlocked, poor and arid, resourceless, and not crucial to any megaprojects whatsoever, despite imperialist lies spread around from time to time, so it makes a good free fire zone and testing ground for weaponry and military techniques. Even Iraq almost broke the bank. And the puppet governments they bought with all their waste: the Afghan president who, while their ally and protected by US mercenary bodyguards, said he wanted to shoot down the US planes that commit the atrocities, and the Iraqi government that went right off and allied itself with Iran. Hah! Some empire! The British held India with 50,000 troops. The US coundn't even pacify the Sunni Triangle in Iraq with that number. The nature of warfare has changed.

So where specifically can they go that will not be a fiasco? It's hard to see. Venezuela is kind of big to do too. And how can they sell any of these small countries as "an existential threat," the way Reagan did Grenada or Bush I Panama? People aren't going to buy that now when they are faced with their own immediate insecurities. Whatever they do, they are not in for an easy time.

Back in the day, when there was the bipolar US vs. Soviet Cold War world, countries couldn't just do what they wanted in foreign places, because they had to look to the US. Now, look at Turkey, a NATO ally, mucking around on its own, after it had the chutzpah to refuse to the let the US attack Iraq from its territory in 2003. Similarly, Saudi Arabia against Yemen, and UAE interfering there and in Libya and apparently Ethiopia. The US dominance does seem somewhat to have shrunk, and that can't be bad. But watch for the lashing out of the wounded animal.

Posted by: James Davis | Nov 18 2020 5:07 utc | 115

Biden could immediately agree to renew the New START treaty which limits strategic nuclear weapons but it is more likely that he will want to add, like with Iran's nuclear deal, certain 'amendments' which will be hard to negotiate.

Nobody cares what Biden could 'agree' to. Everybody knows the US is not agreement capable.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 18 2020 5:20 utc | 116

@Don Bacon 21:

First off, DB, the Taiwan Relations Act very much does stipulate that the US must come to the aid of Taiwan, should the Mainland make the decision to annex the island by force. That was the entire purpose of the Act: to make clear that any attempt to annex Taiwan by force would be met with a strong US military response. Yes, there is no mutual aggression pact--of course there isn't! To impose such a stipulation on the tiny island of Formosa would be absurd.

Secondly, it looks to me as if Flournoy was just playing to the peanut gallery, declaring what she knows the both the Ethnic Min (the majority ethnicity, ~65-70%, here in Taiwan) chauvinists and the KMT want to hear: that the US is still capable of kicking Chinese butt, and will do so if the CCP is foolish enough to try and take the island. I don't know if she's foolish enough to believe what she said: they appear to me as rather absurd assertions, but if she does truly believe it then that bodes ill for both Taiwan and the US. Any war between the US and China would mean both the destruction of Taiwan and the end of US prosperity--in any form--for many, many generations. Such saber-rattling is extremely dangerous, but she's an Academic skirt-wearer who has never actually been in any kind of genuine fight in her life, so likely she sees it merely as "good PR."

Another observation I'd like to make is that I find it comical how vk, you (Don Bacon), and a few others here seem to believe that Taiwan is the evil Chinese sibling that wants to destroy its sober elders, the CCP, so full of largesse and gentility. That is an absurdly idealized perception with no basis in reality.

Taiwan is a small island that is quite independent of China, at the moment; it is an independent nation state, by any definition of that phrase. Yes, its ability to exercise international diplomacy (including its capacity to declare that independence) is rather limited, and its economy is slowly shrinking because of the CCP's determination to force it to capitulate and "unite." Yet the peoples of the PRC currently share no kind of influence, history, or experience with the people of Taiwan, going back some 150 years. Taiwan has its own government, military, police, flag, national anthem, economy, technology sectors, industries, educational institutions, and yes: a history that runs entirely independent of China going back 125 years, now. Instead of waxing so bitterly over Taiwan's lack of gratitude and stubborn denial to simply capitulate to rule by the CCP--a rule which would certainly result in a quick deterioration in living standards and political responsiveness for the local population--it would be better for everyone to recognize that Taiwan's relationship with the PRC is very much a direct analogy to Cuba's situation with the US.

In both cases--Cuba, and the US--there is a vastly smaller state being imperialistically bullied by a larger neighbor state, and in both cases it's ostensibly for the purpose of "state security." Now, we are all firmly of the rather informed opinion that Cuba does not in any significant way threaten the security of the US, and that the attacks on that small island nation are both rooted in racism and capitalist greed--although, if Kruschev had succeeded in installing nuclear weapons there, the story would be entirely different. I do believe that Cuba is engaged in quite a bit of intelligence gathering on behalf of foreign powers--but in this respect, it pales in comparison to Taiwan.

Thus, I do understand China's determination to push back against Taiwan's full embrace of the Western Powers: the Taiwan Strait is narrow, and bringing Taiwan into Chinese territory would shut off that quite glaring coastal vulnerability. Similarly, the largest 5 Eyes foreign intelligence gathering facility is right here in Taiwan. So the CCP certainly has some valid reasons to be unhappy with what is going on, here.

But let's not forget that Taiwan had Chiang Kai Shek forced upon it by the US Navy and CIA; let's not forget the 228 incident, or the 30 years of martial law under which the local population suffered while the elite families of the KMT enriched themselves. That, fortunately, is mostly in the past, but it has been a hard and often brutal road to travel, for Taiwan to arrive at where it is, today. The cheering I see for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan by people here who otherwise purport to be anti-imperialists suggests, to me, that they're not quite as anti-imperialist as they'd like to pretend.

Hollywood and CIA propaganda has done quite a number on Taiwanese youth, these last 20 years. A lot of them--just like people in the US--have fallen for the hype. That's no reason to go off, rejecting them like they're some sort of enemy; by and large, of the thousands of Taiwanese people I have chatted with on this subject, some 70 or 80% of them just want to keep the quality of their current lives, where they can determine what is best for their local situation by appealing to a local government that generally works pretty well. There are no feelings of aggression towards the CCP--just feelings of revulsion at the thought of such a monolithic and unresponsive institution assuming authoritarian control of their local lives.

That all means, of course, that once the US economic engine tanks and they no longer have a reliable customer for what is, essentially, their only export--computer chips and plastics--they'll certainly take a long, hard look at things, knuckle under, and take the first step of asking 5 Eyes to relocate to some other land. With 5 Eyes out of the way, there is absolutely no reason for the CCP not to allow Taiwan to continue under the same terms it offered back in '92: keep your military, keep your police, keep your government, but you will need to coordinate all foreign policy decisions with us.

That's outcome is a reasonable and realistic possibility; unfortunately, all this fanboy posturing about whose team is better is distracting people from recognizing that a war over Taiwan would result in millions of totally unnecessary casualties, and yet that war is precisely what people like Ms. Flournoy desire (I used to have a quote where, back in the mid-aughts, Bolton or one of his associates flatly stated that the "next war" would be with China over Taiwan, but I lost it when I lost a hard drive, a while back). Taiwan is far more of a victim caught in an abusive relationship, right now, and the current "leadership" of its most US-aligned political party--the DPP--is both so incompetent at the work of government and economic policy, and so blinded by fear of both the KMT and the CCP, that they simply accept prima facie whatever their US handlers dictate.

In a rather odd historical twist, the KMT--originally the CCP's sworn enemy, Taiwan's post-WWII invaders and oppressors, and yet today the party with the most competence and experience the mechanisms of governance and foreign policy--are the most unified in their willingness to work with the CCP and come to some sort of agreement. However, for obvious reasons (228, 30 years of brutal martial law) the native peoples of southern Taiwan are skeptical of the depth of that party's loyalty to locals, and fear those men will set themselves up as local Emirs, to do the bidding of the CCP.

It's a difficult situation, but most assuredly the worst thing one can do is to smugly assert that the people of Taiwan "isn't a country" and so deserve to be invaded by the CCP--a group which, let us not forget, has a greater claim to imperialist jingoism than pretty much any other country. 3,000 years of actual Empire does tend to leave residuals on the shared psychology, and China has only emerged as an international player capable of direct confrontation with the most highly equipped militaries in the last 10 years--if that.

We have yet to see what China will do with its new-forged military power; the past--Tibet, Vietnam, Mongolia--hints that it may not be quite so anti-imperialist as it pretends, today. The people of Xinjiang have been staging regular uprisings there for centuries, and have lost each time. Just because China is, today, the hero that can oppose the international Western bully, don't presume that it will remain the hero once it emerges triumphant (which I believe it will). The Red Army leadership has been clamoring for an invasion of Taiwan for 15 years, now--back in 2006 or so Hu Jintao even passed a law to guarantee that it wouldn't be able to commandeer public policy and force a war of aggression against the island--so let none of us here pretend that there aren't strong fires of nationalist aggression simmering just under the leadership of the CCP, in the bosom of the Red Army.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Nov 18 2020 5:22 utc | 117

@ kooshy #112
Russia's black sea port is only useful during peace.
Sevastopol would be very useful to NATO in a war with Russia. They thought they had it, but Russia prevented that in a defensive move. The US Navy had even done some construction there!
Meanwhile how about . . .Going to Tehran . . .with Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2020 5:26 utc | 118

@NemesisCalling | Nov 17 2020 19:22 utc | 15

Please keep your commentary on my country's domestic situation to yourself.

US Americans really understand irony.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 18 2020 5:30 utc | 119

Being less confrontational towards China didn't start well. Let's see how it will go on…

Posted by: noneoftheabove | Nov 18 2020 5:35 utc | 120

@
"
"the future is here, but just not evenly distributed."

---William Gibson

(from quite a while ago)

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Nov 18 2020 3:40 utc | 110
"

I never claimed authorship. I have a ton of sayings from enlightened others in my brain and they spill out occasionally. We stand on the shoulders of the giants that have come before us.....another one....grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 18 2020 5:38 utc | 121

@ptb | Nov 17 2020 22:04 utc | 60

Last but not least, look for Biden to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize before lunch on his first day in.

Are you serious? That has of course been taken care of already.

Posted by: Norwegian | Nov 18 2020 5:56 utc | 122

@ PA #120
the Taiwan Relations Act very much does stipulate that the US must come to the aid of Taiwan, should the Mainland make the decision to annex the island by force.
wrong
The Taiwan Relations Act - H.R.2479 - "States that the United States shall provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character and shall maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan. "

There is NO requirement that the US must come to the aid of Taiwan, very much or otherwise, and that has NOT been stated by the US. also...

State Dept
U.S. Relations With Taiwan
Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet
Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
August 31, 2018
"The United States does not support Taiwan independence. Maintaining strong, unofficial relations with Taiwan is a major U.S. goal, in line with the U.S. desire to further peace and stability in Asia. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act provides the legal basis for the unofficial relationship between the United States and Taiwan, and enshrines the U.S. commitment to assist Taiwan in maintaining its defensive capability. The United States insists on the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences, opposes unilateral changes to the status quo by either side, and encourages both sides to continue their constructive dialogue on the basis of dignity and respect."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2020 5:58 utc | 123

James Davis #118


"so where specifically can they go that will not be a fiasco"?

Ask Lord Malloch Brown.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 18 2020 6:11 utc | 124

I see some in here consistently have to fall back to the "gotcha" style of comment, as if most Americans who visit MoA here aren't aware of the globalist infiltration of our country and the rendering of our military to golem-status as the world police.

Yes, we are aware of it.

You Europeans don't waste any opportunity for laying into the average American how shitty we are a people.

I hope if you feel that way that you should never visit our country, disavow our exported culture completely, and tell every American you see on your streets how lousy a person you think they are.

Put your money where your mouth is.

The world would be such a better place and a far more honest one if you Europeans and us Americans both acknowledged our disdain for the other as to avoid confusion. And kept our physical distance, as well.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 18 2020 6:27 utc | 125

@ uncle tungsten | Nov 18 2020 6:11 utc | 127 with the Strategic Culture posting link

Thanks for that. I look forward to the follow up posting alluded to at the end about 300 year ago bankers machinations that are relevant today.

So, are the issue with the voting system going to come to public light or not? I am curious seeing Oregon on the list of companies using the software because we are a 100% paper ballot state.


Let me ask again why all voting software is not Open Source with auditable results?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 18 2020 6:42 utc | 126

Sleepy Joe's folks look like cream puffs compared to the regime-changing, bomb-dropping, Israel-first warmongers Trumpstein hired which include among others, Fatty Pompous, Hooknose Abrams, John Bolthead, and Nimrata Haley.

Posted by: Boogity | Nov 18 2020 6:44 utc | 127

Pacifica Advocate | Nov 18 2020 5:22 utc | 120

Thanks your mention of that.

I was not familiar with an uprising on that particular date. However, direct from most credible family member who was born in Taiwan during WW2, and from others on her side of the family, Chiang and some of his KMT troops murdered estimated 20-25,000 beginning 1950 or '51 when he "arrived" uninvited and had to suppress the angry and bewildered Taiwanese who were relieved they just got independence from departing Japanese occupiers.

Talk about rigging history. They had no stinking vote on the matter.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 18 2020 7:03 utc | 128

Pacifica Advocate @ 120

Wow, so many false statements within a single comment. It will be too time consuming to refute each of them. So I just randomly pick a few:

1. "Taiwan Relations Act very much does stipulate that the US MUST come to the aid of Taiwan, should the Mainland make the decision to annex the island by force." (my capitalization) - False statement. Please show the clause within the Act that states US MUST aid Taiwan. There is NONE.

2. "Taiwan ... is an independent nation state, by any definition of that phrase." - No, it is NOT. Its own Constitution - the ultimate laws in Taiwan - states that it is part of China. Its formal name is Republic of China, i.e. it is part of China.

3. "its economy is slowly shrinking because of the CCP's determination to force it to capitulate and "unite."" - Ignorant statement. You didn't know how much economic helps and benefits PRC has been showering to Taiwan?

4. "Yet the peoples of the PRC currently share no kind of influence, history, or experience with the people of Taiwan, going back some 150 years. " - Typical ignorant statement of Westerners. The majority of Taiwan today have close links, ties and shared experiences, culturally, linguistically, genetically, historically, religiously, ... with the people in the Fujian province of the mainland China.

Blah, blah, blah... Too many ignorant statements - too little time.

Posted by: d dan | Nov 18 2020 7:32 utc | 129

@90 Haassaan

“The whole point of JCPOA IMO was a delaying tactic, keeping Iran on the back burner while Iranian Proxies and Regional Influence are mopped up.“

Very well observed.

“The Russian presence in Syria is actually quite precarious, despite their military gains they don't project power very efficiently beyond their borders. The Biden Regime will therefore turn up the heat, possibly with a No-Fly Zone over both Idlib and Southern Syria/Al Tanf in conjunction with a well armed proxy offensive backed by air-support.”

Again very well observed.
I second you in that Syria will be the main hot spot for a possible Biden administration to begin with. Iran is not sitting there with both hands on the laps, considering the Blitzkrieg won by Turkey in NK, they are fully alarmed. This week we witnessed top level meeting between Iranian and Iraki military. Mutual military coordination and a weapon export deal was on the table. The pressure on US military in Irak and East of Euphrates going to increase without a doubt. Syria is going to be supplied with better weapons, free of political bugs compared to Russian weaponry supplied.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 18 2020 7:46 utc | 130

"The demographics of the election show no sign of a permanent majority for Democrats."

Don't you worry: The next "election" will be perfectly under control and will deliver the ordered outcome.

Posted by: calito | Nov 18 2020 7:52 utc | 131

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 18 2020 6:27 utc | 128

You Europeans don't waste any opportunity for laying into the average American how shitty we are a people.

Please allow me to disagree with your perception, I would think that Europeans and others have a shitty opinion of your government and your corporations, that is my opinion, and I can tell you that I have US friends and dear souvenirs of acquaintances and places in the USA, I’m always glad to meet a US national since that is the type of english sound that my ear is accustomed to, a lot more pleasant and intelligible than the British variant, for me anyway.

Fortunately I went across your beautiful and enormous country way back in time, in a rare period when you were not involved in any big foreign war and when going through an airport was not the nightmarish and humiliating experience that it is now.

Disavow your culture? not long ago I was thinking that the US empire might get some piety in a final judgement if one is to listen to Summertime played by John Coltrane.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 18 2020 7:59 utc | 132

@105 Sunny Runny Burger
“In recent Iranian news I liked the new water infrastructure getting completed, a massive project according to the news report. Would like to hear more about it.”

Let’s say the project is one thing, the news you read about it another. Rouhani government is desperately in need of showing some results, indeed during 8 years of governance they achieved nothing, if one show mercy and don’t count signing of the old style colonialist JPCOA agreement as an achievement. Technocrats in Iran like elites everywhere in the world expect masses to believe in the fairy tale of “Elite is the most competent and the best administrator.”

While Nationalist government of Ahmadinejad successfully initiated and executed 2 national projects, Maskan-e Mehr (state sponsored construction of house for the poor by providing them state owned land free of charge) and Saham-e Edalat (direct payment to all Iranians by giving every family a trade-able share of state owned industries and facilities), Technocrat government of Rouhani have nothing to demonstrate.

The project itself is a huge project to supply filtered sea water from Persian Gulf/Sea of Oman to central Iran. Even under Ahmadinejad and before him this was under planning and preparation. Under regime of illegal sanctions, the only force able to construct this, is the IRGC aligned big Industry, this is indeed good news because under their management a lot of small and middle size domestic industry going to get subcontractor provisions.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 18 2020 8:32 utc | 133

the other bowl of crap is busy demonstrating how full his bowl is. more of a chance for a war with russia, no doubt about it. more looting of the public, more rent extraction, and in 4 years we get a more focused trump.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Nov 18 2020 9:22 utc | 134

Thank you for your input Framarz, since I don't know anything specific I can only say I like the general idea and goal and hope it will be successful.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Nov 18 2020 9:24 utc | 135

@Don Bacon, 124:

Good lord, man--re-read the quote you just posted:

"...states that the United States shall...maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan."

To "...maintain the capacity of the US to resist..." clearly means that, in the event of an attempt by the mainland to forcibly annex Taiwan, the US will forcefully intervene to stop it.

That's the way that clause has always been interpreted, going back to its initial implementation during the Carter administration--Carter shifted embassies from Taiwan to Beijing, and while doing so made sure to get the Taiwan Relations Act passed to make clear that the US was committed to guaranteeing only a peaceful reunification would take place--as was previously negotiated by Kissinger during the Nixon administration.

So when you assert "There is NO requirement that the US must come to the aid of Taiwan, very much or otherwise, and that has NOT been stated by the US," you are very much incorrect.

You should take note of a key difference you seem to have overlooked: asserting that the US will "...resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan" is not the same as "supporting Taiwanese independence."

The official US commitment is to come to the aid of Taiwan if it is attacked, and otherwise let the status quo continue until some day arrives when Taiwan is ready to unite with the PRC. Should that day never come, the US remains committed to--and again, I am just using your own quote, here--"...resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan."

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Nov 18 2020 9:54 utc | 136

@chu teh, 129:

228 actually happened while Chiang was still engaged in fighting the civil war on the mainland. The incident was initiated by a General who was later court martialed and executed for entirely different offenses (alleged collaboration with the CCP, if memory serves), and on that basis Chiang and the later KMT arrivals feigned ignorance of what had actually occurred, and pretended as if it weren't their fault.

Nevertheless, the martial law Chiang inherited continued along in the same form down to his death, when Chiang Jing Guo gradually lifted it.

@d dan, 130

Wow, so many false statements within a single comment. It will be too time consuming to refute each of them. So I just randomly pick a few:

You actually picked out pretty much every assertion I made, but then--unlike me, when I made them--fail to back any of your objections up with anything approaching facts.

1. False statement. Please show the clause within the Act that states US MUST aid Taiwan. There is NONE.

You and Don Bacon need to work on your reading comprehension skills. See my response to DB, above.

2. No, it is NOT. Its own Constitution - the ultimate laws in Taiwan - states that it is part of China. Its formal name is Republic of China, i.e. it is part of China.

You got that backwards: the Constitution of Taiwan used to claim that the Republic of China was the only true government of China, but that got amended under Li Deng Hui. At no time, ever, has Taiwan or the ROC claimed to be part of the PRC, or in any way a client to it.

3. Ignorant statement. You didn't know how much economic helps and benefits PRC has been showering to Taiwan?

Wow--you really don't understand anything at all about Taiwan, investments, or recent industrial trends, do you? Since the 2000s, Taiwan's GDP shows a slight but significant trend downwards, with brief boom periods followed by long stagnant periods. Inequality and under-/unemployment during this same period of time has significantly increased since the early 1990s.


source: tradingeconomics.com

Since the Trump Administration started its trade war with China, Taiwanese companies have been retreating from the mainland, bringing their factories back home; at the same time, some foreign companies have shifted their mfg from PRC to the ROC. At the same time, Tsai Yingwen has gone on a borrowing campaign, soliciting investments from every country in SE Asia that is not the PRC. Finally, Taiwan has recently put strict laws in place to make any inflow of cash from the PRC far more difficult, and subject to government oversight.

See here, here, and here

4. Typical ignorant statement of Westerners. The majority of Taiwan today have close links, ties and shared experiences, culturally, linguistically, genetically, historically, religiously, ... with the people in the Fujian province of the mainland China.

You really don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about. You sound like a cocky 21 year old who knows nothing whatsoever about the history of either the PRC or the ROC. 請給我們大家一個短短的自我介紹,讓大家瞭解一下我們爲何不給你這個三八草莓打一巴掌呢?

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Nov 18 2020 10:26 utc | 137

@chu teh, 129:

To be fair, Taiwan was internationally recognized, after Japan's surrender, to have reverted to Chinese (ROC) sovreignty--and the KMT troops were initially welcomed as liberators by the locals.

Unfortunately, Chiang Kai Shek's military was dirty, hardscrabble, undisciplined, and vicious in all respects, from top to bottom--a natural consequence of the way KMT officers "trained" (e.g. when artillery conscripts were chained to their gun and told to fire in a certain direction, or infantry were issued a rifle but no uniform) and "recruited" (forced conscription, i.e. impressment). The Taiwanese were already well-used to Japanese precision, order, and--most importantly--rule of law. The KMT expeditionary force to Taiwan lacked all of these things, so they gradually lost control.

Also, it is wrong to think of 228 as merely an "uprising" of local Taiwanese against the occupying KMT; the period was actually more of a war amongst competing factions, with some local factions opportunistically working both with and against the KMT to try and eliminate local rivals, and other local factions engaging in full-on war with one another. It was not merely a slaughter of the locals by the KMT--although yes, the DPP and Min-nan chauvinists do insist on portraying it that way.

Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Nov 18 2020 10:38 utc | 138

An insightful analysis by b. Reduced confrontation with China would be safer for the world. But the rivalry between Beijing and Washington is a struggle over perceived core interests. History warns that such confrontations do no end well.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Posted by: peter mcloughlin | Nov 18 2020 10:39 utc | 139

calito #132


"The demographics of the election show no sign of a permanent majority for Democrats."

Don't you worry: The next "election" will be perfectly under control and will deliver the ordered outcome.

All the more so if THIS POS Lord Malloch Brown has anything to do with it.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 18 2020 11:03 utc | 140

Pacifica Advocate #137

Good lord, man--re-read the quote you just posted:

"...states that the United States shall...maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan."

To "...maintain the capacity of the US to resist..." clearly means that, in the event of an attempt by the mainland to forcibly annex Taiwan, the US will forcefully intervene to stop it.


Thank you but the great stumbling block on the path of your fervent desire to 'defend Taiwan' is that the USAi is not agreement capable. That is demonstrated time and again. The USAi is persistent in its breaches of UN protocols and constraints on the use of force and coercive instruments such as sanctions:- the USAi is an untrustworthy inconsistent nation that has no credibility when it comes to international agreements.

Taiwan will return to its Chinese nation. As simple as that.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 18 2020 11:10 utc | 141

A major reparations advocate has a seat on Joe Biden's transition team.

Mehrsa Baradaran, a professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, is helping Biden prepare to "hit the ground running on Day One" as a member of his Department of the Treasury agency review team. Baradaran is an outspoken advocate of reparations for black Americans, both as a means of correcting "white supremacy" and closing the racial wealth gap.

Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) dodged questions about reparations throughout the 2020 cycle. Baradaran took note of their refusal to stake out a firm stance on the issue. "Dear Kamala, Reparations or go home," she wrote in June 2019. "Biden just dodged that reparations question like a much nimbler and younger man," she said in December 2019, referencing a Democratic primary debate.

Posted by: mrinda | Nov 18 2020 11:22 utc | 142

So now for the next circus act there will be an Attorney General riding a donkey (bi-partisan like) and the Biden pick will be.... Eric Holder, great performer last time and demonstrated that he will follow on the traditions set by Jeff Sessions and William Barr who, of course, were following along from his prior performance (ably matched by Loretta Lynch).

Come to think about it - why not give Loretta another run - her hair smells good.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 18 2020 11:33 utc | 144

Re: 137 Pacifica Advocate,

Actually the wording of the agreement is misleading, "maintain the capacity of the United States to resist", what does Maintain the capacity to resist mean in a real sense, it doesn't "require" the US to resist any attempt by the Chinese to seize the island by force. It basically just says the US will maintain the option of trying to resist if it wants to, but does not explicitly require the US to intervene, which is how the US wanted it (the US wouldn't have been able to pass the Act through congress if it did require an explicit authorization of military force". Further to what Uncle Tungsten said, the US is simply not agreement capable; when there is little cost to the US it promises mountains, yet when those promises have actual costs to the US it delivers mole hills. This is the real foreign policy problem the US has, it has spent the last 60 years making grandiose military promises to other nations in exchange for trade and political concessions without regard to the costs. Now those costs have become ruinous to the US economy and it can no longer maintain those original promises. Now we're are waiting for a spark where the US reneges on an agreement trigging in essence a "bank run" on US military commitments, with the vassal nations cutting the US off in preference for some new rival or regional security agreements.

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 18 2020 12:05 utc | 145

@ Posted by: Pacifica Advocate | Nov 18 2020 5:22 utc | 118

Comparing Taiwan with Cuba is borderline criminal. Taiwan and the Taiwanese enjoy full Chinese citizenship rights and free movement. Cuba is being brutally embargoed, in a move that many rightly classify as a genocide.

Taiwan's economy has been declining for some decades. It's suffering from the same problems as Japan: extremely low birth rates, natural exhaustion of its capitalist system (falling profit rates), brain drain to the Mainland due to the latter's rise, small size.

The problem with Taiwan is the same problem Chiang Kaishek had: a messianic, genocidal ideology (liberalism), that envisions a small chosen people (in Chiang/Taiwan's case, the old post-imperial elite) to subjugate and conquer the entire China while "natural law" (capitalism) takes care of the rest (economy). That's why Chiang was always the first to flee when the Japanese troops came near; that's why Chiang didn't hesitate to kill 850,000+ of its own people by rupturing the dikes of the Yellow River (just to, allegedly, gain a couple months to flee the Japanese); that's why Chiang created a famine that killed millions of his own people by charging tax in grains while refusing to do land reform (while thousands of tons of grain rotted in silos). That's why Chiang and his ilk brutally subjugated the native Taiwanese people after he fled the Communists after he had his ass wooped in the Civil War.

All the evidence shows Chiang Kaishek was a genocidal imperialist. He only supported the cause of anticolonialism and Thirdworldism insofar as it guaranteed China a place among the imperial powers. That it also implied in India's ascension was a mere collateral effect, a necessary evil for him. That's why his first priority during the 1937-1945 Sino-Japanese War always being the Communists in the north - not the Japanese troops. All of his military decisions aimed first at not helping the Communists, then hurting the Japanese. That's also the reason why, at the end of WWII, he was more worried in guaranteeing China a spot at the Security Council of the UN than helping his own people who was starving and dying.

Chiang didn't want to abolish imperialism: he just wanted imperialism to open a spot for him. Modern Taiwan wants the same.

--

That China is salivating at the prospect of reuniting with Taiwan by force is preposterous.

During the color revolution attempt at Hong Kong, the PLA's top general - very calm and not worried at all - publicly stated he was not concerned with the city and that a military intervention was not necessary at all.

Then he listed the order of priority of the PLA, from greatest to lowest of risk to China's territorial integrity:

1) Xinjiang and Tibet (by far, he stated);

2) South China Sea;

3) Taiwan;

4) Hong Kong.

In other words, Taiwan is not even in the PLA's top 3 national security concerns. It is not so for the reasons I listed here above: Taiwan is losing the economic race to the Mainland, the game is already over for the rebel province.

There's no need to rush to reunite with Taiwan by force for the simple reason it is already reunited: its economic dependence on the Mainland is such, and its brain drain to the Mainland is such, that Taiwan already is de facto reunited. If there is to be military operation in the island, it will be just a simple decapitation operation (kill the head of the government and the ideological elite, dissolve the State machine).

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 12:12 utc | 146

Delusions of the provinces of the Empire:

RCEP a ‘wake-up call’ for Europe and the US to unite against China

“I wouldn’t give a green light to all concrete steps taken by Donald Trump, but the general approach – to be tough; to use the economic power of the US; and to make clear to the Communist Party in China that things are changing and that we cannot do it like in the last three decades – that was absolutely right.

“I speculate Joe Biden will not change the general approach on content towards China,” he [Manfred Weber, European People's Party leader] added.

So, even if you play by the already existing rules, you're not allowed to win. Typical liberal hypocrisy.

But the string of delusional jokes doesn't end there. Enjoy:

“If we look at the new China Pacific trade agreement, the RCEP, Europe and the US should see this as a wake-up call to join forces,” he told the South China Morning Post.

“We need a reunification of the so-called Western world, now with Joe Biden as a constructive partner, to face this challenge of China. It’s the key question for the upcoming decade,” he [Manfred Weber] said.

--

“China is absolutely an enemy to the EU’s ideas about the European way of life, to how we define what our society should look like, especially having the developments in Hong Kong in mind,” he said.

So, it is not acceptable that more than one way of life to exist in the same world, at the same time? Typical liberal Abrahamic messianism.

--

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who is also from the EPP, earlier called for a “new transatlantic agenda” that would see the US rejoining the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organization.

So, that's the master plan? The USA rejoining the Paris Accord and the WTO? Don't make me laugh.

--

“The EU-China trade relationship is full of conflict – 65 per cent of all trade defence measures from the EU are currently linked to China,” Weber said. “This gives you an idea that China is our biggest problem in the EU’s goal to have fair and normal trade relationships.”

Fair enough. But then, what's the alternative? To give all your contracts to American and Japanese companies?

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 12:36 utc | 147

"Useless to predict IMO.

Let it play out."

Posted by: Smith | Nov 18 2020 3:28 utc | 107

Agreed. All this predicting is based on the idea that the future is going to be similar to the past. There is no reason at this point in our history to think anything of the sort. You can predict it's going to get ugly, but that's about it, and even that is not a slam dunk.

Better off to keep you mouth shut, your mind open, and pay close attention. It's going to get dirty and it's going to stay dirty.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 18 2020 12:40 utc | 148

@ Bemildred

I run some scenarios in my head and I don't see a way US can go on top.

They are pissing so many people, and even their own.

In fact, the present situation is actually making things simpler since without Trump, you don't have to defend him. It becomes a simple 2D battle, USA bad and Russia/China good, and that's about it.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 18 2020 12:52 utc | 149

Juliana is right.

The moment the empire flinched was when Obama gave that evening speech from the White House and called off the attack on Syria. You could sense and feel the historic set back. He almost seemed to be crying inside. He finished his announcement and then slowly walked back into the White House with the cameras still rolling. He was all alone. The air was thick with defeat. Thank Putin for that.

Posted by: Prof K | Nov 18 2020 12:55 utc | 150

@vk

What's a good book to read on Chiang Kaishek, the KMT and Taiwan?

Posted by: Prof K | Nov 18 2020 12:57 utc | 151

@ Posted by: Prof K | Nov 18 2020 12:57 utc | 151

There are many books on Chiang Kaishek. Fearing being partial, I will only tell you to search on the internet.

Most of the books by Western authors paint Chiang Kaishek in a very positive light. The clue is to focus on the primary evidence they quote.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 13:00 utc | 152

Circe@29
You poor, poor child. We all know you've had a harrowing experience being abused by a horrible, mean old man for the past four years. Now sweetie, show us on the doll where that monster animal Trump hurt you.

Posted by: Shadow | Nov 18 2020 13:01 utc | 153

@ 74 Mark2

So you were pleased with the Obama/Biden/ Clinton regime? A Biden admininstration looks to be Obama on steroids, just look at his cabinet picks already. The U.S. will take a quantum leap towards authoritarianism in the 4 years. Is BBC the only news you can get in England?

BTW.. I see you quoted Mark Twain in an earlier post. Guess you didn't know your fellow leftists just banned his work in California schools because it's racist.

Posted by: Fractional Ownership | Nov 18 2020 13:02 utc | 154

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 12:36 utc | 147

It is a class/caste issue, the Chinese (or whomever) is/are allowed to do well, as long as they stay in their place, that is as long as they continue to obey. What they are not allowed to do is to become the rulers of the planet themselves. What they are not allowed to do is show us up in public. The thinking is we hired them as minions and now they are trying to take over. How disloyal of them. Our "elites" do not expect, let alone intend to allow, competition. That's all bullshit. What they like is monopolies that they own, everybody else being their inferiors, with no recourse, they think that is great.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 18 2020 13:02 utc | 155

It's very important for the Americans here to pay attention to this. Read my comment until the end.

Why Do Chinese Liberals Embrace American Conservatives?

The author is completely wrong. It's all about foreign policy.

Most of the modern immigrants (post-war) that come to the USA do not represent their countries or regions of origin. On the contrary: they are the dejects of failed regime changes/color revolutions, members of the old local elites. They are the scum of the scum, the most reactionary and genocidal portions of those countries.

Those elements in American territory are so virulent and reactionary that Trump is to the left of, for example, the Latino community in Florida (specially, but not only, the Cuban and Venezuelan communities). Those guys would re-legalize slavery in their countries of origin if they could and I'm not being hyperbolic.

Americans, therefore, have a very distorted vision of the rest of the world because the immigrants they're receiving have a distorted view of their countries. Do not, and I repeat, do not take those immigrants' opinions seriously. They do not represent the will of the vast majority of their countries of origin.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 13:08 utc | 156

Posted by: Smith | Nov 18 2020 12:52 utc | 149

I would say various restraints are being removed, but yeah, Biden and his minions being in charge makes things "clearer", which is a bad sort of clarity. It's like they have a death wish. Delusion is everywhere. This guy Pashinian they found there in Armenia is a real piece of work too.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 18 2020 13:17 utc | 157

MoA has finally convinced me not only will I campaign for Trump in 2024 but I'll man the mortar pits for Trump now.
Trump 4ever. I (heart)Trump.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 18 2020 13:19 utc | 158

Trump sacks head of cyber security group he set up.
https://news.sky.com/story/us-election-results-trump-sacks-cyber-security-boss-who-told-him-the-election-wasnt-rigged-12135282
So that’s that then.
The most fair and secure election result ever.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 18 2020 13:45 utc | 159

Biden is going to take his meds, take many naps, occasionally remember to sniff a ladies hair or grope a little girl. He is not going to do much at all.

Kamala has never demonstrated much of anything. All reports from her tenure as DA or AG are that she created chaos and dysfunction whenever she paid any attention to her job. She is good at sucking up. That this becomes a double entendre is not my fault.

The Biden administration staff picks may all be described as functionaries. Swamp creatures and desk jockeys. Schemers not leaders.

All decisions will be made offstage. We will never know who the real players are. This is the usual way, it will be more blatant this time around.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 18 2020 14:11 utc | 160

Boy, the Joe Biden quote:

"dark winter"

all of a sudden takes on a whole different meaning.

-Posted by: Lalimba | Nov 18 2020 2:28 utc | 104

Right, with that war-loving FP line-up...Maybe it was late in the day, and because Old Joe's nootropic drugs were wearing off... he just confabulated.

He probably meant to say: "Nuclear Winter"

Posted by: gm | Nov 18 2020 14:35 utc | 161

I believe that late DNC click in WH ain't gonna start 1 War themselves. Trump was lucky that he is insecure, unstable and thus unpredictable fellow or its seemed that way anyhow. So Russian (very sane) leadership was weary to punish US/UK click for World peace sake, with that fellow around. Putin is Judo master & will use any US' action and its weight of rabid old behemoth out of water, to kick these NATO punks' arse so hard, they will remember 1945 allover again. I personally think that UK will get it. As they say in Russia: "Russians and not revengeful but have good memory" & another one "Russians take their time to saddle but they ride fast".

Posted by: Dan Walsh | Nov 18 2020 14:47 utc | 162

This Jimmy Dore YT fits well with the theme of b's post:

"CNN Pushes SHAMELESS Pro-War Propaganda."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVjUMcizPjY&t=198s

Posted by: gm | Nov 18 2020 14:57 utc | 163

It seems to me that Strategy runs even when fools walk drunkenly into a mine-field. Particularly so if they have made enemies of sober and determined men.

And Strategy, generally over Time, tends to the indirect result overarching the primary. Example? Dresden/Hiroshima/Nagasaki was Strategy to intimidate Stalin. That worked. But the secondary and more significant result was "RDS-1" project went to maximum, and the arms race was, as predicted, dominated the decades that followed, and helped to create the MIC in the US, and ended the Republic in bankruptcy.(at least it looks that way)

So? Well, I see today @ RT that the Iranian boffins have started their IE-2 UF6 line. Maybe Trump or Biden will destroy these. Maybe they'll try and fail.

Nuclear Policies can change over time. Now, Iran evidently sees nuclear devices as undesirable, but the capacity to assemble them (evidently, even as a secondary feature of other science and engineering goals, or direct - it doesn't matter), as desirable. Options are one barometer of power in Strategy - a bomb option is an example.

Thus the government of "Biden" (Harris), which as b says, is liable to further "pressure" (attacks campaign) against Iran and her neighbors, is liable to re-evaluate their Policy at any moment.

Thus the indirect result of the "Biden Strategy (how's this a policy? It's nuts) is liable to bring forth sometime in the next 4 (?) years a new situation: An Iran with dead-on accurate rockets and atomic explosives.

I agree of course that this is speculative. I can't imagine it's not a valid and realistic scenario.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 15:05 utc | 164

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18, 2020 5:26 utc | 119

Don, I don't know what happened to Flynt and Hillary ,though I heard they were separated?

One thing that I know is, for sure I don't think anyone is going to Tehran anytime soon, although Zarif had a very interesting interview in Persian with Iran’s government paper IRAN. To me the most interesting thing he said was, that Trump left JCPOA, but he didn’t left UN or UNSC per UN’ charter, article 25, being a member of UNSC, US is obliged to fully implement UNSC resolution 2231, so if Biden wants to come back JCPOA, he first needs to fully implement the 2231 resolution, for this there is no need to negotiate or renegotiate, this is their UNSC obligation which they are obliged to implement, he can restart with 3 executive orders. But if they want to come back and reenter to JCPOA, then they need to satisfy Iran and 4+1. Funny, he said JCPOA is not like a office revolving door that you can go in and out, is like a ticket window at a theater you need to buy a ticket to go in. Interesting interview, covering US election etc.

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 18 2020 15:14 utc | 165

Gosteleradiofond’s YouTube channel has published two clips of Soviet news programs reporting on Biden’s visits to the USSR:

Posted by: S | Nov 18 2020 15:15 utc | 166

@ Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 15:05 utc | 165

And Strategy, generally over Time, tends to the indirect result overarching the primary. Example? Dresden/Hiroshima/Nagasaki was Strategy to intimidate Stalin. That worked. But the secondary and more significant result was "RDS-1" project went to maximum, and the arms race was, as predicted, dominated the decades that followed, and helped to create the MIC in the US, and ended the Republic in bankruptcy.(at least it looks that way)

Unclassified documents prove beyond any reasonable doubt Stalin was never intimidated by Dresden or Hiroshima/Nagasaki. At the time, every significant world power was on a race to build the nuclear bomb; it was one of the worst kept secrets of the geopolitics of the time. When knowing about the American nuke (through the famous leak of Western scientists), Molotov nonchalantly talked to Stalin about telling Kurchatov (the father of the Soviet nuke) to accelerate his already ongoing and in a very advanced stage research.

There was never any plans of the USSR on conquering the entire European Peninsula. The Soviets were going to stop in Berlin (plus a respectable buffer zone, to the Elbe) no matter what. This myth was created during the Cold War by a Russian refugee who published a book in the West. The "Icebreaker Theory" can be easily debunked by the evidence we have from many fronts.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 15:18 utc | 167

vk | Nov 18 2020 15:18 utc | 168 Thanks. You're an expert on the history.

But reality and intent are not the same. The Byrnes -Truman intent was to intimidate. Obviously one it was proved to work then pace of technical work on RDS1 increased. (Alperovitz / Groves "bomb is for Russia)

I would not disagree that Stalin was not intimidated by the bomb. After all, nowadays we all live under the threat and, it seems, most people don't seems to care. Three cheers for the fearless Stalin, if he was. Perhaps he failed to understand the significance... I believe that at Potsdam S remarked about the bomb "they're trying to raise the price" so yes, that does sound like non-intimidation.

Nevertheless, intimidation is as intimidation does, and they hurried RDS1.

Your para> "There was never any plans of the USSR on conquering the entire European Peninsula. The Soviets were going to stop in Berlin (plus a respectable buffer zone, to the Elbe) no matter what. This myth was created during the Cold War by a Russian refugee who published a book in the West. The "Icebreaker Theory" can be easily debunked by the evidence we have from many fronts." puzzles me. I do not understand how it may be relevant as a reply, as it does not seem to touch on my post.
`

All the best

Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 15:33 utc | 168

On Zarif interview which i mentioned earlier i missed writing one important point he said

If US goes back and fully implement her obligations of UNSC resolution 2231 we will restart to fully implement our JCPOA obligations for this no need of new negotiations or renegotiations, but this not allow or means US can re enter JCPOA.

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 18 2020 15:41 utc | 169

Very interesting:

History cannot affirm current US’ China policy: Global Times editorial

The US Department of State's Office of Policy Planning on Tuesday issued a report entitled "The Elements of the China Challenge." The paper, which is more than 70 pages long and has five parts, lays out 10 tasks for the US to accomplish in face of the "China challenge." The document requires the US to fashion "sturdy policies that stand above bureaucratic squabbles and inter-agency turf battles and transcend short-term election cycles."

Highly recommend you all to read the report (only circa 70 pages long).

--//--

@ Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 15:33 utc | 169

The point is: why would Dresden spook the Soviets if they never intended to go beyond the Elbe?

The first nukes were very weak. They didn't even touched the 1 megaton mark. They were just big bombs.

It was only after it was clear nukes of dozens of megatons were very well possible (well after the end of WWII) that fear of human self-extinction really set in. Nowadays, even North Korea's small nukes are dozens of times more powerful than the ones dropped on Hiroshima (uranium) and Nagasaki (plutonium) in August 1945.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 15:47 utc | 170

Kooshy and I go back to the blog "Going to Tehran" which was intended to provide Mr Hope & Change with a motivation to go to Tehran and settle the Iran situation. In 2013 the Leveretts, who ran the now-expired blog, authored a book by the same title GTI. ..the Amazon blurb:

Less than a decade after Washington endorsed a fraudulent case for invading Iraq, similarly misinformed and politically motivated claims are pushing America toward war with Iran. Challenging the daily clamor of American saber rattling, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett argue that America should renounce thirty years of failed politics, diplomacy and strategy and engage with Iran―just as Nixon revolutionized U.S. foreign policy by going to Beijing and realigning relations with China.

In Going to Tehran, former analysts in both the Bush and Clinton administrations, the Leveretts offer a uniquely informed account of Iran as it actually is today, not as many have caricatured it or wished it to be. They show that Iran's political order is not on the verge of collapse, that most Iranians still support the Islamic Republic, and that Iran's regional influence makes it critical to progress in the Middle East. Drawing on years of research and access to high-level officials, the Leveretts' indispensable work makes it clear that America must "go to Tehran" if it is to avert strategic catastrophe. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2020 15:50 utc | 171

Quite good Alex Christoforou 10 min YT on the "Building Back Better" Great [covid] Reset talking points/script that many world leaders (aka controlled tools of our globalist Overlords) are reciting right now:

"Justin Trudeau pushes The Great Reset into the mainstream"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiclJCFlpvM&t=318s

Posted by: gm | Nov 18 2020 15:55 utc | 172

Just a last little consideration about Taiwan and the prospects of an American hot war intervention:

Blaming PLA for fighter jet crash an excuse for weak Taiwan military capacity

I've read somewhere on Twitter (I think it was Chinahand) that the pilot of the missing F-16 was 44-years old.

As I've said in my previous comment: Taiwan is a Japanified economy with a long history of economic stagnation and awful birth rates. That it is resorting to 45-year old males to pilot their jets is a clear sign of advanced stage of declining manpower.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 16:00 utc | 173

@ vk 171
I hesitate to differ with such a well-informed person as yourself, but. . .I thought State's "The Elements of the China Challenge" was a lot of malarkey. (Or perhaps that's what you meant by "very interesting?")

The Elements of the China Challenge
..includes ten tasks--
Tenth, the United States must champion the principles of freedom — principles that are at once universal and at the heart of the American national spirit — through example; speeches; educational initiatives; public diplomacy; foreign assistance and investment; sanctions in more difficult circumstances as well as other forms of non-military pressure; and, where the nation’s vital interests are at stake and all else has failed, military force.//

The US will champion the principles of freedom through military force when all else has failed! . . .Let's see, there's Israel, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela . . .lots of place where the US can bring freedom by force!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2020 16:01 utc | 174

Posted by: Dan Walsh | Nov 18 2020 14:47 utc | 163

And who is the Russian that does not love to ride fast?

That’s from Gogol’s Dead Souls, very appropriate quote since it seems Chichikov himself was advising the Dims to buy dead souls, for the ballot count.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 18 2020 16:02 utc | 175

karlof1 | Nov 17 2020 20:17 utc | 35

I saw that piece yesterday and composed a comment for the CN page, but didn't post it. Was still on my clipboard though, so I'll paste it here.


"I don't disagree with Patrick's characterizations presented here. I terminated dialogue with my brother during the campaign over the very issues Patrick raises here.

However, I feel this must be said: This doomsday prognostication does not seem to allow any other world actors with any effective agency. As if this sick predatory nation of ours will be acting in a vacuum. It does not and it will not. One case in point; if it were at all feasible to successfully attack and achieve long-sought goals against Iran, it would have already been done. Another - if our ptb's believed they could wage full-scale war to cripple China they would already have done that also. The truth is, neither of those scenarios is plausible.

What is more likely is that the non-stop campaign of hybrid warfare - destabilizing the political structures of non-aligned or coveted territories - will continue apace. The US is not financially sound and a moment approaches when other world powers will call the US' bluff, and it will be exposed for the paper tiger that it has become. I base this last assertion on the fact that the US government has become so corrupt that if forcefully confronted, the supply and organizational structure of the US military will collapse. To put a fine point on it: corruption is not a by-product of the US, it is now a feature.

Where would the soldiers, sailors, and airmen to wage a final insane campaign to preserve hegemony come from? From the ranks represented by the 70m who voted against this new president? I think not. From the many disgruntled and disenfranchised on the left that have longed in vain for a more peaceful and cooperative nation? Again, not likely. The only reliable well to draw from is the aged decrepit cold-warriors like Biden himself who couldn't carry a weapon for 20 miles, let alone see clearly enough to aim one.

Perhaps I'm full of s#$t. It wouldn't be the first time. Remember those bumper stickers from the W era - "The Power of Pride"? I'll repeat what I said then: the power of pride is mostly destructive; our Christian "tradition" used to understand and teach that. Pride, hubris, and greed - all being forms of corruption - will swamp this nation and take it down. It is already happening."

Whether right or wrong, we seem to see it very similarly.

I would like to add more, acknowledge the spectrum of opinion on this, but I have to run.

Posted by: vinnieoh | Nov 18 2020 16:03 utc | 176

Don, thanks, been reading your comments here and on other FP blogs. RS Hack is also one of the old GTT commenters.I forgot what was the blog's name before GTT.

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 18 2020 16:06 utc | 177

Merkel prefers water

Posted by: snake | Nov 18 2020 16:06 utc | 178

Taiwan has grounded all its F-16s, its F-5s are obsolete, other military gear is outdated here, and its ground force is skeletal and ineffective here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2020 16:22 utc | 179

@ Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 18 2020 16:01 utc | 175

That's also what the Chinese think.

What I find interesting about the document is the fact that they recognize that the USA must create a governance infrastructure that is capable of transcending the electoral cycles (4-years), i.e. a dictatorship.

Are the Americans really thinking about descending into Nazifascism to solve its long-term problems?

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 16:25 utc | 180

: vk | Nov 18 2020 15:47 utc | 171 (the point was...) Thanks.

You seem to be focused on the reaction, or non-reaction, to US undertakings to intimidate Russia, by Russia. Russian (or Soviet) reaction.

I am speaking of the US intentions and actions that attempted to further US intentions - to intimidate.

These are not the same "point".

And my essential point was, and remains, the idea that direct strategies very often produce secondary effects that overwhelm the primary goal, even when that's achieved.

And specifically, just as the bomb and the Truman actions created a nuclear arms race (as many experts expected), so too Biden and Harris are liable to put pressure, (intimidation effort) on Iran, and get the overarching result that Iran will re-evaluate their Nuclear Policy, and take "ability to build" to "build". If you're prepared that's a very brief process. Perhaps only a few hundred hours - depending on preparations that are legal - you can do lots within the NPT. I have read it.

That was, and is, the point. The fearless Stalin notwithstanding, attempts to intimidate and coerce generally create results, long term, other than the desired result. Witness Iran today. Witness new Russian weapons, witness China... Intimidation works, but gets the result you did not want.

For Fun> "Waldo hated cops and resolved to scare them by firing a few rounds at their feet, so they'd run away. Waldo was sorry when they did not do as his delusional mind expected. It didn't hurt, much, when they shot Waldo"

Intent is not equal to result.

No doubt 20 kiloton of TNT (plus deadly fallout)is as you say, weak. Who might not agree?

I have read that in fact Stalin did fear attack by the US, and knew what plans were drawn to liquidate Soviet cities, though perhaps not immediately in 1945.

When Truman threatened the Red Army in Iran (1946 I think) with nuclear attack, they left. No intimidation. Just coincidence.

No doubt that was disinformation, who would doubt it? So, similarly, I suppose that the Soviet postwar missile and bomb programs were entirely coincidental and only accidentally produced a counter-force while doing pure for the hell of it science and engineering. Missiles in Cuba? Coincidence.


The boffins @ Alamogordo discussed the "super" and had a pretty good idea about how to build a boosted fission-fusion layer-cake - so the knowledge that very large gadgets were possible was present even prior to trinity test. (Richard Rhodes et al)


An who could doubt the same could be said of the US programs? No doubt entirely pacific.

Best.

Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 16:26 utc | 181

@ Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 16:26 utc | 182

Modern warfare is mainly determined by cold mathematical calculation based on strength assessment and intelligence gathering. Bravery and cowardice play little to no role.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 16:50 utc | 182

So much wasted energy. This bullshit is part of the trap! They’re on the same team and it isn’t yours. What the actual fuck people?!?!

Posted by: Rae | Nov 18 2020 16:55 utc | 183

psychohistorian | Nov 18 2020 6:42 utc | 127

re ...why all voting software is not Open Source with auditable results?

Congratulations! Seriously, you have produced a 2-word antonym for Capitalism...namely, Open Source.I like it!

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 18 2020 17:17 utc | 184

Thanks, Duncan Idaho for accuracy, and BillB @110 for "the order is rapidly failing." As psychohistorian remarks, we stand on the shoulders of giants, and even here ordinary folk have impressive uplift!

kiwiklown, your sage reminder of John Key's surprise bow out gives very much the potent prediction -- the faders would much rather step down with their skirts about them and ponytails intact than be taken out unceremoniously. I'm remembering a popular song from my own youth:

Old soldiers never die,
Never die,never die;
Old soldiers never die,
They simply FADE away...
(sung in a quavering voice)

That would be the result the upcoming designers of peace and tranquility would prefer, so let it be. And if we are to have a new party from Trump, let our new party in answer to it be a fusion of Greens and the non-neo true progressives on the other side. Fade away, old parties, fade away!!!

Posted by: juliania | Nov 18 2020 17:17 utc | 185

vk | Nov 18 2020 16:50 utc | 183 Thank you VK, very kindly.

Since the matter, the unsupported(?) assumption/claim: "Modern warfare is mainly determined by cold mathematical calculation based on strength assessment and intelligence gathering. Bravery and c.." has no particular relevance to my discussion of salient elements of Strategy, I deduce that we agree.

Of course I myself have mentioned neither bravery nor cowardice. (for the record, I think morale, bravery, cowardice, bear every relation to war, but that's not the matter we are trying to focus on.)

I am delighted to understand the implied idea that Biden/Harris are guided by cold mathematical calculation, but, alas, that's baldly incredible. One is guided by senility and greed, the other by vaulting ambition and greed, and they say, libido...but sure, let's pretend...it could happen. Hope, they say, dies last...

Seriously, it seems to me that most large scale understandings of history contain within elements of contradiction, and that some or all of these amount to flaws. Singularities - as the Preacher said "we come now to a difficult matter...and skip over it lightly". The idea that modern war is as VK says, may be so, but if so that change happened today.

I see that "When Sir Edward said the Cabinet had yet to find a justifiable reason to enter the conflict [first world war}, the King replied: “You have got to find a reason, Grey." (Telegraph UK ”Revealed: how King George V demanded Britain enter the First World War", Anita Singh — Telegraph.co.uk July 26, 2014 )

So, in the pregnant matter of WW1, they scrounged 'round for a reason. Great calculation there. But of course, this is not then, it's now.

I am, however, also inclined to recall Powell at the UN with his dog and pony show...

Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 17:23 utc | 186

re on Chiang and his biography.

In 1936 Chiang's KMT was well along hunting down his enemies [from his point-of-view]...when, of a sudden, HE WAS CAPTURED by Mao-ChouEnLai' forces!...in his pajamas!.

After intense debate, they bargained and agreed to let Chiang return to his forces on condition Chiang align his forces with the Communists to fight the Japanese invaders, putting aside their internal disagreements until China's sovereignty was secured.
Chiang agreed...and promptly continued his pursuit of Mao/Chou et al.

That decision to release Chiang, right or wrong in hindsight, involved intense and intenser pressure from the Soong aristocracy [Chiang's wife was TV Soong's daughter] and other foreign "interested parties"...that much is known, and little else to outsiders.

BTW, for a primer on China, I recommend Edgar Snows' book Red Star Over China.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 18 2020 17:41 utc | 187

@ Posted by: Walter | Nov 18 2020 17:23 utc | 187

The military sector is the one that has most advanced technologically since the 20th Century.

I consider WWI as a war of transition, still not a genuine modern war, more connected to the wars of the end of the 19th Century than the post-WWII ones.

Technological progress, in the capitalist sense (and also socialist) means economy of human labor. You need less people to operate more and more efficient destructive power, so to speak. It's the literal "more bang for the buck".

Since the end of WWII, military technology has advanced so much that it has become practically part of the field of natural sciences. Hobsbawm called WWII the "war of the mathematicians" - he didn't see nothing, as he didn't live to see the new hypersonic weapons.

The thing is present-day weapons are so destructive, so precise, so complex and with such a reach that even the sanctified Clausewitz is outdated.

Posted by: vk | Nov 18 2020 17:49 utc | 188

Pacifica Advocate @138

"when I made them--fail to back any of your objections up with anything approaching facts."
You so called "facts" are just either outright false statements, half truth or selective facts. I have pointed out several of them. Stop embarrassing yourself - there are people here who REALLY know Taiwan and China better than you.

"You and Don Bacon need to work on your reading comprehension skills. See my response to DB, above."

I have read the actual text of the Taiwan Relation Act and your "response" several times. Not a single word REQUIRES that US MUST come to Taiwan's with military aid - you are the one with reading comprehension. You stated to "...maintain the capacity of the US to resist..." implies active US military intervention. That is a big logical leap, because "resist" could mean millions of things - including economic, diplomatic and plenty of non-military means.

"You got that backwards: the Constitution of Taiwan used to claim that the Republic of China was the only true government of China..."

Check the definition of the "The territory of the Republic of China" in the Constitution. Furthermore, if Taiwan is not part of China, why the name is still Republic of CHINA?

"Taiwanese companies have been retreating from the mainland, bringing their factories back home; at the same time, some foreign companies have shifted their mfg from PRC to the ROC..."
Precisely showing why the stagnation of Taiwan economy is not due to PRC's actions.

"You really don't have the slightest clue what you're talking about. You sound like a cocky 21 year old who knows nothing whatsoever about the history of either the PRC or the ROC."

Haha, ad hominem already, after I expose your lack of understanding of the rich and close cultural and racial ties between Taiwan and China. This tell a lot about your so-called "knowledge" about Taiwan - i.e. superficial, bias, and ideological.

"請給我們大家一個短短的自我介紹"
Why? That is irrelevant.

"讓大家瞭解一下我們爲何不給你這個三八草莓打一巴掌呢?"
Reserve that for yourself. Try not to get personal when you lose an debate.

Posted by: d dan | Nov 18 2020 17:51 utc | 189

@S #167

Biden first visited the USSR in 1973, the year he assumed office of a U.S. senator from Delaware (see “Joe Biden’s long history with Moscow” by Nikolay Shevchenko). By U.S. evidentiary standards, that surely must mean he was a Russian asset since 1973 (cf. “What If Trump Has Been a Russian Asset Since 1987?” by Jonathan Chait, later retitled “Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?”). I wonder when U.S. media will start frothing at their mouths about that.

Posted by: S | Nov 18 2020 18:04 utc | 190

@Norwegian 123 re: Biden Nobel Prize
Are you serious?
mostly no but a little yes, sadly. dark humor

Posted by: ptb | Nov 18 2020 18:19 utc | 191

Prof K @152--

Although it covers many other areas, Kolko's Politics of War is excellent on its coverage of China where I suggest following Gabriel's footnotes and read his sources as I did. Both Generals Marshall and Stillwell rated Chiang as "Gangster" and his government as a gangland-type of organization. His fighting Mao instead of the Japanese is widely known as is the little amount of actual support he had from ordinary Chinese. Several efforts were made to dissuade FDR from including China in his Big-4 but to no avail. For a firsthand perspective on China at the time of his books publishing, I highly suggest Edgar Snow, especially Red Star Over China. For general Chinese history, John King Fairbank is perhaps the best you'll find in the West, and many of his books are freely available online.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 18 2020 18:29 utc | 192

@various
re: Taiwan

The issue is certainly worth the discussion, and the patience to hear out some of the louder voices.

I just can't see a direct invasion by PRC as a logical possibility in any scenario, including even something as provocative as US giving diplomatic recognition and setting up overt military base. That is not to say there would not be a response, it just wouldn't be an invasion or attack.

Depending on how provocative a policy US makes, it might range from economic, military buildup (match US %GDP for example), seizure of small islands, air patrol overflights, and in the most extreme eventuality, some form of soft blockade (inspection of ships coming and going) that dares the US to fire the first shot or else accept a degree of Chinese control 360 degrees around the island, kindof a West Berlin situation.

US obviously fears this is the end game regardless of who initiates the provocation. (I wouldn't agree, as many have argued, the scenario is not necessary for China, given enough time). But that thinking is the reason for the would-be SecDef's inflammatory public statement that US needs to "credibly" threaten sinking 300 ships in 3 days -- without fearing a response of comparable magnitude, unstated but equally important.

I think everyone agrees that one of the biggest strategic levers is Taiwan's dominance of semiconductor mfg. (it's actually a double edged sword, too). But if PRC believes this industry dominance has an expiration date in the next decade (either from mainland Chinese or Korean competition), PRC simply waits. Any US move becomes a "provocation" and excuse to write off actions not taken for fear of being considered aggressive - such as raising military buildup to US levels.

Curious to hear thoughts.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 18 2020 18:49 utc | 193

I am shocked, SHOCKED! to find warhawks coming to power in a Biden presidency.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2020 18:53 utc | 194

@ptb #196
All you need to do, to understand what China will do regarding Taiwan, is to look at Hong Kong.
Which is:
1) China thinks in terms of the long game. Taiwan poses no threat of any kind to China: economically, militarily, culturally, etc.
2) Taiwan is significantly intertwined with China on economic issues. A lot of the early money and tech in Chinese production companies came from Taiwan. To some extent, the technology pipeline from the West to China still runs partly through Taiwan, particularly in semiconductors.

Net net: Taiwan is a nice cause celebre to distract Chinese youth when needed, but you don't want to lose these causes unless the gain is really large. If anything, the gain from a takeover of Taiwan would be negative.

Only if there is a power change from Xi and his (and previous) generation could the situation change.

Posted by: c1ue | Nov 18 2020 18:58 utc | 195

Pacifica Advocate @ various

I see what you did there...

The multiple mention of Taiwan's 125 year history - whilst technically true, displays in full your ulterior motive in managing the narrative. It is disingenuous at best and misleading imo.

Taiwan was a Japanese pet colony with nothing but pineapple fields until the KMT squatted the island with the escaping elite. Its political relevance in the current discussion started at that point, a mere 70 or so years ago.

Trying to paint a picture of a sovereign state dating back 125 years and then pasting your narrative on it ain't gonna fly here.

Get off the koolaid.

Denying the DIRECT cultural connections between the mainland and Taiwan is just... I don't have any nice words for it.

Like Japan, Korea and Taiwan, their economic rise has more to do with returning students and academics from studying abroad than ANY other factors. One can literally plot when they stated sending away students post-war to when their industries started to pick up.

So stop thinking you and your beloved island is some sort of chosen one that cant do no wrong. Without China Taiwan is boned. In any case Taiwan is indeed boned already. China has past the inflection point where its academia can viably sustain itself going forward. With sanctions galore it'll just take a little longer on jet engines and semis for example.

China doesn't need to take Taiwan by force. Taiwan is going out the backdoor all by itself. Chinese politics doesn't work by election cycles and has the patience. Though imo acting like it mattered at times help divert the focus of the west from the other important stuff.

Actually can you hook me up with your dealer? You're on some real good Sh1t...

Posted by: A.L. | Nov 18 2020 19:00 utc | 196

The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.

America will continue to waste half it's budget on 3rd rate military toys and adventures while it's cities crumble, people become illiterate, and resources deplete. Western Europeans will continue to shout "me too".

Asia is disconnecting and will not need the American market, and when that separation is complete, the reserve currency that supports all the madness collapses and the United States can get on with it's post-Soviet experience. Maybe something more humane emerges from the rubble or it remains a few wealthy techno-fascist islands surrounded by an ocean of poverty. That will be up to Americans to decide but you really don't want to be around while it happens.

Posted by: sad canuck | Nov 18 2020 19:02 utc | 197

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Nov 17 2020 19:32 utc | 20
So pointing out a ridicolous statement is silencing you?
😂😂
oh, did the bad rayzizz tRump supporter disagree with you?
At least you got a victim point eh?
poor poor opressed™ schmatz, should we perhaps stage a burn loot murder "mostly peaceful" protest against your opressor™?
I could go on for hours😂
Your comment was at best naive and at worst demoncRat narrative, so you are not being silenced™ or victimized™ at all. You are being laughed at😉 Well deserved it seems to, after seeing you play the victim™ card like a pussyhat wearing liberal.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Nov 18 2020 19:26 utc | 198

Shadow #154

"We all know you've had a harrowing experience being abused by a horrible, mean old man for the past four years. Now sweetie, show us on the doll where that monster animal Trump hurt you."

You mean this doll?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 18 2020 19:27 utc | 199

RTop/ed analysis of Pompeo's China containment policy plan, "The Elements of the China Challenge”:

"Although it is hardly atypical of the President Trump administration, the document is significant because it represents yet another attempt by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to immortalize his Cold War confrontation between the US and China, bind the succeeding administration to it and most strikingly, institutionalize anti-Beijing ideas into American bureaucracy.

"The push against China by the Trump White House is not designed to be a passing phase, but a permanent and defining change of direction, for which this entire term in office has sought to prepare. This document aims to be a blueprint for long-term ideological struggle and a series of aspirations for maintaining hegemony, an affirmation of priority and a statement that things cannot “go back to normal”. But it makes no guarantee that the US can ever adequately understand China, or that it will succeed in its aims.

"The reference to George F. Kennan in pitching this document is appealing given the historical parallels, but it is not an exact fit and this, in turn, helps shine a light on Pompeo’s own ignorance of China. It might be described in one simple sentence: China is not the Soviet Union and the ideological stakes are not quite the same." [Emphasis Original]

While I'd agree that differences in ideology exist between China and the Outlaw US Empire, it is the Empire that's constructed upon and is living the Big Lie inherent within Neoliberalism, while China continues to perfect its already very efficient system of Collective Libertarianism through its revamped Democratic Centralism. The really big fundamental difference is that China has absolutely no need to lie to its people, whereas the exact opposite's true within the Neoliberal West. After a lengthy period of public input, the government meets and eventually publishes its 5-year plan of development, which is contained within an even larger plan that's also been devised with public input and once put together is also published for public consumption. And since 2010, all plans have existed within China's UN 2030 Development plan, which is also available to the public. In a great many respects. China is a more open society than the Outlaw US Empire. Why? Because it doesn't need to lie to its citizens because it fights against the corruption that provides the reason for such lies--China has no Financial Parasitism it must mask from its citizens whereas the Outlaw US Empire is drowning in a massive sea of corruption that is killing it. Clearly, Pompeo wants that to continue.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 18 2020 19:31 utc | 200

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