Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 21, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-023

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> [W]e do express our concern at the UK’s decision to increase its nuclear weapons arsenal, which is contrary to its obligations under Article VI of the NPT. It could have a damaging impact on global stability and efforts to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons.

At a time when nuclear weapon risks are higher than they have been since the Cold War, investments in disarmament and arms control is the best way to strengthen the stability and reduce nuclear danger. <

> Suffice to say, President Joe Biden had given an impression that his era would be “different”. He held out a raft of promises that diplomacy is back at the centre of US foreign policy. By doing so, Biden won enormous credit with world capitals. Yet, before the Biden presidency reaches the 100-day mark, the new administration is busy weaponising sanctions and acting like a bully on the world stage. <

Other issues:

Covid 19:

One year on and the CDC still does not understand aerosol transmission.

Censorship:

If your data is in the 'cloud' they have it:

Bitcoins Are Prosecution Futures:

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 21, 2021 at 13:12 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Hoarsewhisperer #53

When "Holocaust Survivors" have been engaged in Holocausting Palestinians in Palestine for 75 years with no end in sight, with the blessing of the 'Christian' West, you know you're living in Upside-Down World.

Thank you and I fully agree. Even more so when you see them Holocausting Yemeni people as well.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 22 2021 10:42 utc | 101

I have just tried to access The Global Times on Google Chrome and this is the message I got:"509 Bandwidth Limit ExcEeded". Anyone, any advice or comment?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 22 2021 12:56 utc | 102

@102

My Global Times link?

"China's domestic-made ion implanters can now produce 28-nanometer chip wafers, breaking a bottleneck in the nation's chip sector amid a technology stand-off with the US.

According to a statement from China Electronics Technology Group Corp (CETGC) sent to the Global Times, the development will help China achieve self-efficiency in chipmaking and ease the pressure from a technology block by the US.

An ion implanter is a key device used in the process of chipmaking. CETGC said that it has achieved high-speed wafer transmission and independently developed all ranges of ion implanter applications.

"Ion implanters are an important part of the chipmaking process, and they can facilitate the mask aligners to make wafers," Geng Bo, a vice secretary-general of the China Solid State Lighting Alliance, a semiconductor industry association, told the Global Times.

According to Geng, China did not have its first ion implanter until 2017, and the development of ion implanters covering 28-nm wafers is a crucial step in the advance of chipmaking technologies."

Posted by: schmoe | Mar 22 2021 13:19 utc | 103

Fyi | Mar 21 2021 23:49 utc | 74

Mr vk

China was never a third world country.


In 1949 China was one of the poorest countries in the world. It was commonly referred to as "the Sick Man of Asia." It had rampant TB, syphilis and schistosomiasis, (https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/schistosomiasis/index.html)
plus many other diseases and widespread malnutrition. It had rampant inflation, poor infrastructure and very little in the way of industry. Its gold & foreign currency reserves had been stolen by the Nationalists.

It had had on-off-on war between warlords since 1911, a civil war between Communists and Nationalists since 1927, a Japanese invasion from 1931 to 1945 and after 1945 a civil war between the Communists and Nationalists (who were aided by the US) until the declaration of the PRC on 1/10/1949.

I wonder how you define "Third World"?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 22 2021 13:22 utc | 104

james and emersonreturn,

They have convicted Craig of the crime of journalism.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/03/the-world-darkens-a-little-more-i-may-have-to-spend-some-time-as-a-political-prisoner/comment-page-1/#comments

The grubby old woman is lashing out in all directions, trying to show us that she's still got it.
But she's a fossil. Completely predictable, completely bereft of flexibility and totally unable to think in new ways.

The important thing is to ensure that her family do not get away with the old plausible deniability crap. You know, after she's dead and they all say

" Had no idea at all. If I'd known then of course I would have stopped it all. What do you think I am?"

Can't you just see Charles, and Andrew, and Anne, and William, and Catherine, and Edward all saying that? Just before they divvy up the money.

Posted by: John Cleary | Mar 22 2021 13:42 utc | 105

steven t johnson | Mar 21 2021 15:27 utc | 10

The poverty standards are a low bar, 

These standards were set by the World Bank

The determination to increase opening up and reform at the highest levels is a determination to create a bourgeois state that will attack the workers do (to?)defend bourgeois property. It is impossible to have both. Xi may be smart and competent and may even be sincere, even heroic, in a determination to serve the nation...but false consciousness instead of a scientific understanding of social reality will defeat him.

With your help, stevie, I'm sure he can manage! Seriously, I would back Xi's scientific understanding of social reality against yours, any day!

It is the remnants of social production that have permitted China to have achieved so much despite the compromises with world capitalism. But the determination to go all the way to the end of the capitalist road is like the New Silk Road, aka OBOR, aka BRI, it is a road to nowhere.
So who says that China is going to go fully Capitalist? Capitalism has good, even revolutionary aspects, and the CPC has made use of them, but it has not lost control of their capitalists, as Jack Ma and others are now finding out. The capitalist tail, so-to-say does not wag the Chinese dragon.

Whenever I read a comment in MoA, that starts of a bit iffy and ends up in self confident predictions and tosh, I just knowthat it is going to end:"Posted by steven t johnson"!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Mar 22 2021 13:54 utc | 106

JC@105, sad day, sad news---but craig will win. scotland will turf the bastards out.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Mar 22 2021 14:20 utc | 107

Thank you, Grieved @ 78; I value your assessment. I hope things are looking better in Texas. We have an overcast this morning - looks like rain which we badly need, but many of these springtime cloud covers have been flyoevers these days. Still, my mask is helping with the juniper pollen!

Posted by: juliania | Mar 22 2021 14:33 utc | 108

@b
Besides the typo in Bruce Schneier's name - the commentary about blockchain as prosecution futures is wrong in this particular case.
The btc blockchain is now being used for command and control of botnets.
This is neither future (it is a present crime) nor prosecutable in the sense that law enforcement can do its normal task of breaking the kill chain by taking out the command and control servers.
It is also a logical extension of what the botnet operators have been trying: rather than the old-fashioned method of setting up a new domain or using a hacked one - which is trivially taken over with LE orders to domain registrars and/or ISPs - cybercriminals have tried embedding into twitter messages, into photographs posted online, etc etc.
However, the btc blockchain is more ubiquitous than anything else you can find on the internet that isn't a Big Tech domain space or a major ISP's pipelines. It isn't owned by anyone so subpoenas and other court orders are not going to be able to take it down. And the one way hashing of blockchains means the C&C data itself isn't tamperable.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 14:45 utc | 109

@steven t johnson #6
Good to see that you continue to be utterly confused and without merit in your posts.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 14:46 utc | 110

james @ 84, thanks, and it is significant I think that PBS, our public broadcasting system, in its many fundraisers always includes folk singer groups - I suspect that is where they bring in viewers as potential donors more than some other musical groups - especially when they feature the originals pre-beachboy era. As far as authors, they could do more than Mark Twain - there are others after all, and I see this week they will have a piece on Flannery O'Connor, who is one of my faves.

(Fun thing about the folk singers, those were protest songs in my day, blending in with civil rights. Now, that was a craze. It's maybe only pow wows and feast dances that have that vibrancy now, though inhibited by the virus - most indigenous communities are closed to the public for the duration.)

Posted by: juliania | Mar 22 2021 14:55 utc | 111

@foolisholdman #104
vk is another of the "non-reality" contingent on MoA.
China was very much a 3rd world country in most respects ever since the British broke the Chinese monarchy's control over its own borders all the way back in the 1800s.
I say most respects because 3rd world nations are that way for many reasons - China had the economic ones but not the literacy, social cohesion, cultural background (or lack thereof) or historical status ones. If anything, it was the cultural and historical status which blinded China's monarchical and bureaucratic rulers to its actual status.
I would also note that "sick man of Asia" was applied in contrast to the Japanese after their Meiji Restoration. This is late 19th and early 20th centuries - not 1949.
No one called China the "sick man of Asia" in 1949 because they had booted out both the Japanese and the Western supported kleptocracy even though they were still dirt poor.
Contrast with China after the first Opium war that ended in 1842 - the first foreign concession on British soil was "granted" then.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 14:56 utc | 112

@AV17 #91
One thing I can guarantee that vkontakte is not: it is not in bed with US intel agencies and the US government.
Russian ones, maybe...

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 15:00 utc | 113

The definition of a vaccine is getting broader by the day
https://www.rt.com/news/518771-oravax-oral-covid-vaccine/

Posted by: Mina | Mar 22 2021 15:09 utc | 114

Cuba has the highest rate of recovery from COVID-19 of the Americas:

Cuba tiene la más alta tasa de pacientes recuperados de la COVID-19 en América (+Video)

--//--

Video explaining the Sanxingdui discoveries:

Live: With new efforts underway, what method is being used to protect relics in Sanxingdui?

--//--

Belarus commemorates the anniversary of the Khatyn massacre:

Golovchenko on lessons of Khatyn tragedy: Evil has no nationality

--//--

The AstraZeneca Vaccine Is Safe. How Can We Get People to Trust It?

One may read this and wonder: does the Western hypocrisy know no bounds?

My take on this: the Western ideologues and propaganda machine are behaving like they always behaved for the simple reason that's why they were created for. The difference is that their ideology (Liberalism) lost its universality, so its Lebensraum is simply smaller now than up until Bill Clinton's era. When a universal ideology is not universal in practice, it becomes a bizarre abomination, which we observe and interpret as "hypocrite".

But yes, the higher ups are aware of this: the author of this NYT op-ed is an anthropologist. You know the modus operandi: when an MSM needs to publish something bizarre and utterly false that needs some expert validation, they call an anthropologist. See Adrian Zenz.

--//--

EMA to Send Mission to Russia in April to Inspect Sputnik V Trials, Production

This is pure kabuki: the EMA knows the Sputnik V works and is the best one available. They're trying to buy sometime with tempo, as their ultimate goal is to put more pressure/blackmail AstraZeneca to send their doses to the EU.

The thing is: the EMA doesn't want the Sputnik V to hit the European market. The institution is most likely littered with doctors from Big Pharma. They have a lot to win by keeping the European market share to their companies. Indeed, that must be why they got the EMA job in the first place.

--//--

Decrepit Taiwan:

Taiwanese air force pilot killed, another missing after fighter jet crash

Two planes collided in mid-air and crashed into the sea during a training mission, the third such incident in six months

It seems Chiang Kaishek can leave Taiwan, but Taiwan cannot leave Chiang Kaishek.

--//--

Best for last:

China-Russia cooperation has no upper limits: Global Times editorial

Russia’s capabilities to offset Quad influence should not be underestimated

US will get 'strategic overdraft' to confront China, Russia at the same time

Posted by: vk | Mar 22 2021 15:13 utc | 115

All of the obvious context aside, it shouldn't be controversial for any American politician to call Putin a "killer" - the deaths of journalists in that country can't be ignored and Putin surely has links to some if not most of them. Again, the obvious context is that most American politicians and ALL presidents are themselves either killers, on a scale far greater than Putin.

I had a long argument on Matt Taibbi's Substack page recently with some woman from Canada who started a subthread by saying "Russia invaded Crimea" and proceeded to educate her on what actually happened, including the referendum and history of that region. So I'm not anti-Russia or anti-Putin, especially insofar as he's a strong counter-force to American hegemony and global uni-polarity around the USD and unfettered US military access to virtually every corner of the Earth. The discussion got into comparing various US land acquisitions (Gadsden for example) with what happened in the Crimean peninsula, as well as contrasting her vocal support for Brexit with her very vocal disapproval and disbelief in the outcome of the Crimean annexation referendum.

BUT - I have no disillusions that Putin has had inconvenient actors taken out, directly or indirectly in a way that is no longer palatable in the West (save for what Trump and Biden have allowed the Saudis to do with Kashoggi - that went away fast, didn't it?). It's obvious as well that journalists in the west know their place as corporate employees whose careers advance or end depending on their enthusiasm for trumpeting the D.C. establishment narrative(s). I don't believe for a second that Navalny or Skripal (or the poor little duckies) were the victims of "novichok" poisoning, but there have been too many assassination style killings of reporters in Russia to overlook.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 22 2021 15:24 utc | 116

Re: the interesting article in the Graun: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/19/rightwing-misinformation-liberals

How long before that author is fired like the guy before him who had the temerity to send a negative Tweet about Israel's occupation of Palestine?

Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 22 2021 15:28 utc | 118

@vk #72
My goodness - Mao was a strong leader, but comparing the personalities/persons of Mao vs. CKS as a proxy for their movements is utterly ridiculous.
Let's not forget that Mao was crushed by CKS early on - the Long March occurred because the Communist First Army was destroyed. The Long March was a success in that it wasn't 100% destroyed - only 90% - but nonetheless it occurred because of a clear and complete defeat.
As for CKS: he was not only a lieutenant of Sun Yat Sen - the one who overthrew the Qin dynasty to establish a non-monarchical government in China but CKS also was the one who crushed all of the warlords to unite China under this new government.
History isn't black and white.
If anything, what Sun Yat Sen and Chiang Kai Shek accomplished was far more difficult than what Mao accomplished. The revolution against the Qin was executed with minimal outside support whereas the Communists were fighting CKS with Russian and Comintern support (one of the early Chinese Communist leaders was a German, Otto Braun).
If anything, a sober analysis of the post WW2 outcome might conclude that the main reason Mao won was that the West was preoccupied with dueling with Russia over Europe and pacifying Japan.
Nor were Mao's actions post 1949 particularly brilliant.
Was the Cultural Revolution brilliant? I personally don't think so.
Did China industrialize from 1949 to 1980? No, it did not.
It was Deng Xiao Ping who created "socialism with Chinese characteristics" or "Socialism with market characteristics" - and this was years after Mao died.
Even Nixon's opening up of relations with China - while Mao was alive, it was much less clear he was coherent at that time. There are rumors that it was a 2nd term Reagan situation (i.e. the wife was calling the shots).

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 15:29 utc | 119

Thanks for the link, Paco @93. Even though when I went to it, I was getting 'cannot be translated', when I attempted to shorten the link, magically a translation appeared.

Lavrov's preliminary remarks were very interesting, when he described the 'unique legal formula' of the agreement between Russia and China, with phrases such as 'eternal peace and friendship'. Also he pointed to the 20 year anniversary this year, and the practice of yearly subjects of discussion between the two, having about 500 meetings each year, saying "The palette of our relations is being enriched". He was heavy, in answers to questions, on the subject of the 'illegal sanctions', using this issue to encourage bypassing the financial system imposed by the west.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 22 2021 15:30 utc | 120

I'm a little late, but RIP.

Posted by: john | Mar 22 2021 15:33 utc | 121

@_K_C_ #116
The problem I have with your statement is the assumption that Putin would bother.
Perhaps you have forgotten that Putin has been eminently popular in Russia since his very first term as Russia's leader? And I don't mean Soviet style popularity - even the polling outfits that hate him acknowledge that.
So why again would Putin bother killing any journalists when they have no impact on him whatsoever?
Where is the evidence or historical precedent showing him as a petty and vindictive individual?
I don't think Putin is a saint, but he isn't the devil either.
He has always been very clear what he wants to do and how he is going to go about it, and that he's working towards an agenda that he thinks is best for Russia as he sees it.
What's particularly sad is that the things the West says about him aren't even particularly interesting or entertaining compared to what the opposition figures say inside Russia.
What *is* true, however, is that there were a lot of oligarchs in Russia who are petty, vindictive and murderous. Murderous in particular because many, if not all, the oligarch holdings were amassed with tactics including extortion, kidnapping and murder.
Any proper muckraking journalist would have been far more likely to have rubbed one of those the wrong way.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 15:41 utc | 122

Mr. foolisholdman

I do not rely on economic factors alon.

At that time, 1949, Japan and Korea were also very poor, and so was the Soviet Union.

I also include cultural and civilizational factors.

When I think of the Third World, I think of Guatemala, Pakistan, India, What-used-to-be-called Central African Republic, the Philippines Islands, What-used-to-be-called Belgian Congo, What-used-to-be-called Somalia.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 22 2021 15:44 utc | 123

Miss Mina

You be wrong about Herodotus.

He was more often right than wrong, as research confirmed his narrations.

He might have been lied to, or the sources that he used could have been unreliable.


Posted by: fyi | Mar 22 2021 15:48 utc | 124

@ Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 15:29 utc | 119

There are many errors in your analysis:

1) Mao was not the leader of the CPC during the Long March (and before). He only became the indisputable leader of the CPC precisely because the Party survived the Long March, i.e. after the Long March; before Mao I agree, the leadership of the CPC was extremely feeble and moderate: Mao Zedong was essentially a fruit of natural selection, as the moderate faction of the CPC was systematically exterminated by Chiang Kaishek (either by treason or by conventional military means);

2) the CPC had zero CPSU support. On the contrary: the CPSU supported the Kuomintang and recognized it as the official government of China. Shadow Soviet support during the Civil War is one of the many Western myths forged during the Cold War; important to say that the Kuomintang had a headstart vis-a-vis the CPC because it inherited the Chinese State from the Qing (including the old network of the warlords) - that's why they were militarily stronger than the Communists. It had nothing to do with Chiang's brilliance as a tactician;

3) Chiang Kaishek had all the support in the world by the Western powers during at least the WWII proper period of the Japanese occupation, which is most of the trans-Manchurian era of Japanese occupation. His Nationalist army was only kept in one piece because the Americans constantly and generously propped his government up with exorbitant amounts of USDs and other military and daily goods; even then, the USA bled resources: at one point, the Kuomintang was so corrupt that even brand new American tanks "disappeared" as soon as they touched the ground (they were delivered by air because of the Japanese occupation). Before that, the Kuomintang had Soviet support - indeed, it was because of Soviet support that Chiang was able to massacre the Chinese communists in 1927, in an event that almost extinguished the CPC;

4) the Qin dynasty was already collapsing by rot by the time the republican revolution happened. And, even then, Chiang Kaishek was not involved at all. He only appeared in the landscape of the Kuomintang by the 1920s, and as a military warlord, not as a political leader. Many forces were involved in the fall of the Qing. Chiang was not to be Sun Yatsen's successor: he essentially took it by military force;

5) Deng Xiaoping's reforms were a continuation of Mao's policies. The points are too many to list here. My advice is for you to read what Deng actually said and wrote at the time;

6) China grew more than 6% yoy from 1949-1978. Mao's government was, overall, a huge success - specially if you compare it to Chiang Kaishek's era (which was plagued with famines). It also industrialized significantly;

7) Your "what if" extrapolation is absurd. By the same logic, the USSR would have lost WWII had the Americans allied with Hitler to fight them. The USA and China don't exist in a vacuum.

--//--

@ Posted by: _K_C_ | Mar 22 2021 15:24 utc | 116

Valid hypothesis (that Putin kills journalists). Just as a title of curiosity: could you give me the names of the Russian journalists killed so I can investigate it myself?

Posted by: vk | Mar 22 2021 15:53 utc | 125

@ Posted by: fyi | Mar 22 2021 15:44 utc | 123

Everybody has an opinion. Give me the documental evidence China wasn't considered Third World (or Second World) during the Cold War by the West.

Posted by: vk | Mar 22 2021 15:56 utc | 126

The message from the original medical authority was clear and stated that any pandemic cannot be stopped, it can only be slowed down. As with all viral infections it must generate an overwhelming immune system response in the population which needs to be enabled as quickly as possible in order to defend against and counter the virus and the propensity for the generation of variants. Only the genuinely and highly vulnerable should be identified for protective isolation. by: Carver @ 48

<= the stilly assumption is that the infection will be allowed.. a different and better approach is to block the infection. Molecular biology can find a way to block the route of the virus to host cell infection.. fighting infection is a losers game . .. but the PTB refuse to fund studies leading to stopping or blocking the infection ?

Posted by: snake | Mar 22 2021 16:10 utc | 127

Russian Foreign Ministry: US Has Rejected Putin's Proposal for Video Talks With Biden

What do you say? What a soulless chicken!

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 22 2021 16:13 utc | 128

Posted by: juliania | Mar 22 2021 15:30 utc | 120

The official English translation has been uploaded.

Lavrov interview Chinese MSM eng.


Posted by: Paco | Mar 22 2021 16:23 utc | 129

@vk #125

1) Mao was not the leader in the Long March - but he was there and in a leadership position. Mao was a central committee member already in 1923 - so it wasn't like he was some obscure random dude.
Mao was voted (back) in after the 3 existing leaders either were booted out or voluntarily took a demotion (Zhou En Lai).
It wasn't like he just appeared out of thin air nor that he was paramount and dictatorial leader of the Chinese Communists even after his accession.
Which again points out that ascribing "success" to the top person alone is ridiculous.
2) So where did the Chinese Communists/Mao get their guns and ammunition from? Food you can get from the peasants; uniforms and weapons, not so much.
3) Nationalist government support from the Western powers during WW2 was minimal. Perhaps you need to review geography to understand why: how much support could the West provide CKS when the entire Japanese empire was in the middle? And the US was fighting the Japanese? More importantly, why would the US care about CKS when their priorities were focused elsewhere, like sending material to Russia to fight Hitler?
4) CKS was married to Sun Yat Sen's sister in law. Your depictions are yet again unmarred by the touch of reality.
5) Flat out wrong.
6) 6% growth - wrong again. Chinese growth figures under Mao are literally fantasies.
Have you even been to China? I have. I have seen how China was like in 1984 and how it has been growing since. Beijing, Shanghai etc were sad then but are vastly different now.
7) Absurd? You deny the reality that the US was in extreme conflict with the Soviet Union over Europe? That the US was pacifying Japan after World War 2?

Sorry, but your credibility - which has never been good to start with - has sunk to a new low with this latest set of fantasies.

You really have to stop getting all your information 2nd, 3rd and 4th hand.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 16:30 utc | 130

What people don't get when they haven't read Herodotus is that he constantly states "I was told this", "This doesn't seem likely but that's what they said", "Writer X said this, but it's clearly too oultandish and unrealistic, that must be wrong", "Writer Z said that stuff which is obviously a lie and a fabrication on his part". He basically was aware that people weren't fully reliable, and that some authors were actually just bullshitting. As outlandish as some details are, previous "historians" were far worse, and that's why they disappeared but history has kept his name and his reputation, and his work has been kept through the ages.
Of course, if you want more rigorous writing, there's Thukydides.
And then, you might ponder how fast and far History had progressed in a few decades back then in ancient Athens, compared to how such a field has evolved since then, in the last 24 centuries.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Mar 22 2021 16:50 utc | 131

Paco @129--

I see the transcript isn't 100% complete as it stops at the 3rd question and Lavrov's very long answer. From what I gather, the next major move by the Russia/China tandem will be geoeconomic with the goal being insulating themselves against sanctions and tariffs. I see China demanding all products bought from its companies to be paid for in something other than dollars using a clearing system independent of Swift with the same policy instituted by Russia and some CSTO & SCO partners. As reported last week, the dollar is at an all time low in purchasing power, and its domestic situation puts it at a distinct disadvantage. I don't know how easily the terms of purchasing contracts can be changed; but if US companies have to purchase yuan for their transactions, the dollar will drop further and rapidly.

What I see dawning is the last act in the drama over the 75+ years of illegalities and constant violation of the UN Charter by the Outlaw US Empire. And the European nations that have sided with it will also face their own trial. If the Empire continues being an Outlaw, then it's going to be ostracized and face the Great Depression 2.0 it's created for itself alone.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 16:51 utc | 132

@ 105 john cleary... thanks... i agree with his wife - the msm is a lot more guilty of this jigsaw identification.... the queens gang are intent of doing to murray what they have done to assange... scotland is that last vestige of the british empire... it is not let go of it easily and will try to strike down its main leaders, craig being one of them, and alex salmond another.... sturgeon on the other hand has friends in high places...

@ 111 juliania... it is interesting how music is so often used for fundraising... i have performed on many a fundraising events over the years... you are talking of the music era of woody guthrie, pete seeger, and the people that bob dylan followed, if i am not mistaken... protest songs were a part of the folk scene of the 40's and 50's.. bob dylan continued on with the tradition... it is a different tradition then the blues and jazz artists who would have done something similar but in a different manner - nat adderleys 'work song' being the first example that comes to mind.. on a different note, i finished reading the brothers karamazov last night. thank you again for encouraging me to read this.. it might have been thru some of the conversations with you and bemildred - i can't exactly remember, although i know bemildred is very well read and knowledgeable about literature.... i am picking up a copy of the master and margarita tomorrow on a trip down island to victoria b.c. we have sunshine here and it is beautiful... our garlic is looking great and i planeted about 70 onion a few days ago and about the same broad beans a good week ago.. got the broad beans in a bit later then usual... i bet you have never had them before!! cheers james

Posted by: james | Mar 22 2021 16:55 utc | 133

@ Posted by: c1ue | Mar 22 2021 16:30 utc | 130

1) yes, he was far from being a nobody by the time of the Long March. But he was still seen as a young promising member, not as the undisputable leader of the CPC;

2) they got their guns mainly from captured arsenals from the Kuomintang and the Japanese armies;

3) false. Chiang Kaishek had all the material and administrative support that was possible from the West. It's important to remember that the USA still wasn't the all-powerful behemoth it became after WWII;

4) so what? It doesn't change the fact that the only reason Chiang rose to power within the Kuomintang was because he essentially represented the feudal warlord faction within the party;

5) so I get you didn't read anything Deng Xiaoping wrote;

6) those are the numbers available to us. If you don't think they're true, then the burden of proof is on you;

7) it is absurd because, by your logic, the USA is some kind of atemporal cosmic anti-communist force. China was still firmly in Nationalist hands by the time WWII broke out. The CPC was a significant, but still minor force within China. It would require either a passioned and hallucinated anti-communism ideological impulse or amazing foresight on the part of the American leadership (under FDR!) for the USA to have made an alliance with the Japanese Empire in order to crush the tiny CPC in 1942-1945. It was not obvious at all the CPC was to govern China by 1949 in 1942.

Posted by: vk | Mar 22 2021 16:57 utc | 134

Lavrov's new mask ought to go viral, much to the West's chagrin.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 17:02 utc | 135

psychohistorian@81 imagines something called a "civilization war" and thinks the absence of this non-thing somehow proves China or maybe just Xi isn't going to do what they say they are doing---not what *I* say, what *they* especially Xi says!---on the grounds the US wouldn't be so hostile. There was no Communism per se in 1914, especially no Communist countries, but WWI came out anyway. A world of sovereign capitalist states is a world that breaks down into global war, eventually, nothing to do with imaginary constructs like "civilization war." Also, proponents of a clash of civilizations as a justification for endless war against Muslims seem to have invented the concept as an ideological justification. See Samuel P. Huntington A Clash of Civilizations.

Piotr Berman@100 I have no interest in Bloomberg because I don't value it. But having lived the largest part of my life in a flood zone, I can tell you that flood waters are *not* drinking water. And flood waters invading reservoirs ruins the water already there. The capitalist solution is to let the people drink bad water, like in Flint and other places non yet publicized.

foolisholdman@106 doesn't understand that the World Bank set the bar low on purpose, to make themselves look good. Then foolisholdman lives up to, or down to, the username by ignoring the many times that it is Xi and others who keep talking about expanding the role of private capital in investment decisions, about increasing the role of the market. Again, *they* say it. It really is foolish to keep ignoring what they say. The belief that progress still requires more capitalism is a delusion, a misunderstanding of social reality.

c1ue@110 lobbies an empty insult about my posts being confused and without merit. As always, there is never an actual example of confusion pointed to, not even to pretend to laugh. But as a kind of compensation c1ue offers up dingbat comments @112 and @119 with major errors in historical fact, uncertain points and non-sequiturs for arguments. vk@125 mostly did a good job on correcting c1ue's confused and meritless tripe, with the major exception that Deng was not a continuer of Mao's policies. For well over a decade, Deng's supposed superiority in economic policy was largely a fiction based on the giant falsehood that that the Cultural Revolution was a giant economic disaster. To repeat, the Chinese economy grew, it did not shrink. Deng's policies took years to bear fruit, with great social costs by the way, not really taking off until after the notorious "Southern Tour." In 1992. Also, Soviet support for compromise in China was real and extensive and properly resented by Mao. But it is a bit of an exaggeration to say the Soviet army didn't manage to see Communist troops moving into Manchuria and picking up stray equipment and other supplies. The physical ability of the war-ravaged USSR to support another war, even if it wanted to, though, shouldn't be overestimated. But c1ue@130 excels vk in error even while posturing as competent. Chiang Kai Shek was married to the sister-in-law of the reputed richest man in China and finance minister too, H.H. Kung. The sister married to Sun Yat-Sen broke with her sisters which means c1ue's example proves the opposite, that Sun's widow rejected him as Sun's heir. Even the 1997 Honk Kong movie The Soong Sisters gets that right! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLn2NGaS6dg

Jack Ma is still owner of Ali Baba, the Chinese Amazon. Jack Ma is still owner of Alipay, which is like owning the network of terminals for "Visa" etc and Jack Ma is still owner of Ant. Ant gives out small, high risk loans, then sells them on to local governments etc. as financial instruments. Basically Ant is subprime derivatives ultimately using government money. What happened is that at the last second, the Chinese government didn't let Jack Ma personally cash out with an IPO for Ant. It's not like Ant isn't using cheap money from the government to make profits. So no, the idea that Jack Ma is being tamed is dubious indeed. A better example would be the case of Jimmy Lai maybe. But that is not an issue of economic justice, it's closer to the Khodorkovsky case in Russia.

As to the Third World? The phrase as I recall was widely popularized as the third world between the capitalist (aka "democratic") West and the Soviet East. The Third World was those in-between. The Bandung Conference in Indonesia 1955, initiator of the Non-Aligned Movement, was perhaps where the concept becamse a kind of real thing. Zhou En-Lai was the leader of the Chinese delegation, so yes, China was Third World. fyi's duplicitous and corrupt usage is crypto-fascist twaddle where "Third World" is mentally reserved to the inferior races, without the impolitic candor of saying so.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 22 2021 17:07 utc | 136

Mr. vk:

Who do you think you are to be so rudely demanding documents from me?

I will add you to my ignore list unless you apologize to me.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 22 2021 17:18 utc | 137

RT has also published an article based on Lavrov's interview with Chinese media that echoes the one earlier published by Sputnik I linked to last last night. Do also recall that Russia's US Ambassador is now in Moscow for consultations on what to do about the constant illegalities of the Outlaw US Empire. He had no comments for the press when leaving the MFA building.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 17:19 utc | 138

Mr. steven t johnson

I demand an apology from you for calling me names.

Unless you apologize to me, I would never address your comments again.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 22 2021 17:19 utc | 139

fyi@139 promises never to address my comments again. I hope fyi keeps the promise, for I do not apologize. The high minded drivel about culture indulged in fyi's comments map too closely to outright fascist ideology, even as it permits no other reading.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 22 2021 17:32 utc | 140

@karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 17:02 utc | 135

Lavrov's new mask ought to go viral, much to the West's chagrin.

LOL!!! What a stunt!

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 22 2021 17:49 utc | 141

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 16:51 utc | 132

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 16:51 utc | 132

There is a couple of questions missing, one concerning the vaccine passport, the other restrictions on tourism and cultural contacts due to the pandemic.

The main part concerns the dollar, the sanctions policy of the USA is going to be bitterly regretted. The new team in the WH has burnt any hope of change already, for us in Europe our hope is to jump ship the sooner the better, otherwise we'll go down together. Nothing to cheer about, as I've said before no schadenfreude about the US problems, I wish they could straighten course but it does not look like its going to happen.

Lavrov's mask, he is allowing himself a bit of coolness.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 22 2021 17:56 utc | 142

Alastair Crooke outlines what the new geofinance policy of Russia/China will be designed to combat. This is hard to describe in just one excerpt when it's spread throughout the essay, but here's a main part:

"And now, this Platform AI approach is being extended to the economy. We stand at the very 'edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance', the CEO of the world’s biggest Hedge Fund, Blackrock, asserts. CO2 emissions are being monetized and a vast financial machinery created, tying asset valuations to parameters such as ‘carbon intensity’, ‘sustainability indices’, and to the new ‘value variables’, such as how many or few LBGTQ are employed. Once costed, they will be traded and futures bought and sold."

We've already seen/heard/read the great resistance Putin and Xi have for the Great Reset. It's clearly a project dreamed up by Neoliberal Parasites that allow them to keep devouring their hosts:

"With western economies becoming more and more make-believe, this represents a brilliant hook [Link at Original] with which to gin-up investors into believing they are fixing the world by investing in “ESG“, when instead they are just making Larry Fink and Jamie Dimon richer. Maybe this playing of a virtual economic ESG ‘game’ will become as addictive as Fortnite."

The sidebar that follows the above is very important as it's essentially a confession. Here's part:

"“This week the former chief investment officer for Sustainable Investing at BlackRock, wrote an op-ed in USA Today [Link at Original] admitting that Wall Street is greenwashing the financial world, making sustainable investing merely PR – a distraction. 'The financial services industry is duping the American public with its pro-environment, sustainable investing practices. This multitrillion dollar arena of socially conscious investing is being presented as something it’s not. In essence, Wall Street is greenwashing the economic system and, in the process, creating a deadly distraction. I should know; I was at the heart of it'”.

Both Russia and China are reducing their emissions, the latter rather fantastically and ahead of its Paris commitments. The Neoliberal aim is to create a new bubble to exploit since the old one is about to implode again. What lies at its heart is the US Treasury's attempt to continue its Dollar Hegemony. IMO, Russia and China have decided what must be done, so the questions now move to how and when.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 17:56 utc | 143

Paco @142--

Thanks for explaining what was omitted for the time being. Definitely read Crooke's essay critically and his links. I don't see how Russia/China can make it any clearer as to what they'll do, and there's already a global movement to sanction the sanctioners that's in its formative stages. A new type of Spring Offensive seems at hand.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 18:04 utc | 144

Chart of the Day:

As 30-year yield rises foreigners shun new US debt: A falling dollar and rising commodity prices mean more inflation in the future

Is the USD weakening faster than we expected? Fingers crossed.

Posted by: vk | Mar 22 2021 18:20 utc | 145

I had a good laugh with the heading, "No monkey business" Vesti on VVP's meeting concerning vaccine production in Russia, plus announcing that he is getting the jab, without specifying which one of the three Russian vaccines available, and without doing it publicly, that's where the "monkey show" expresion came from. I imagine it'll be posted in English soon.

https://www.vesti.ru/article/2540246

http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/65181

Posted by: Paco | Mar 22 2021 18:27 utc | 146

karlof1 @143

One would think that after the 2008 Derivatives meltdown the Wall St crowd would have learned that they cannot simply repackage liabilities, give that newly packaged dog feces a deceptive name, label them assets, and then profit off trading them without a reckoning to settle at some point in the future. Someone will eventually smell something foul and open the package to see what they have been sold. You cannot get away with just flipping the sign on something's financial value to turn it from waste into gold without wrecking your markets.

Sadly, it seems these strategists for big finance might actually believe their own nonsense. After all, if one can now flip one's sex from man to woman just by asserting that it is so, then why can't you do similar magic with financial instruments? If we assert that some bundle of worthless uncollectible debt has positive value, and we can convince everyone else that it has value, then it will have value in the real world, right?

Doing the same thing and expecting different results is...? My favorite term for it is delusion, but there are others that work as well.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2021 18:31 utc | 147

@97 Mina

Herodotus addresses this question in his opening and repeats this several times throughout his Histories.

I ask you, would authors who came “after the fact” be any more reliable because they were able to parse the manifold clerical documents of the city-states?

Perhaps.

In the northeast, you had the Scythians who played a huge part in The Histories. But if I remember correctly, they were aliterate and tent-dwellers.

What else would you need then beyond Herodotus and Thucydides?

Perhaps The Great Library not being burned. Ahhhh, that would have been nice.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 22 2021 18:35 utc | 148

vk @145

I have always felt that you were being just a little too sanguine about the possibility for a gentle decline for the empire. I have argued that when the tipping point comes for the US$ that it will hit like a thunderclap as institutions race to shed their dollar holdings before they lose too much value. There are various bubbles in the global economy but the US dollar is the very biggest bubble of them all by a wide margin, and when big bubbles pop it shakes economies to the ground.

I feel that we have seen the flash already and are now counting the seconds `til the "Boom!" hits us.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 22 2021 18:46 utc | 149

Mr. steven t johnson

So you decline to apologize for name-calling.

And yet you stake a claim that you wish to make the world a better place.

You need to work on yourself first and learn not to insult those who are engaging in a dialogue on this forum or others like it.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 22 2021 18:50 utc | 150

Crooke’s article confirms my fears of someone inventing a device to charge for breathing, just like water became a commodity so would air become. Brilliant minds, evil has no limits and that’s a blasphemy.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 22 2021 18:59 utc | 151

@Paco 151. I read somewhere the British Empire used to tax the air flow through the windows of the Irish peoples, as an explanation as to why they were so small and usually round.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 22 2021 19:09 utc | 152

Tannenhouser | Mar 22 2021 19:09 utc | 152

The British also had a tax on the number of windows, which is why you can still find so many windows blocked off.

The tax man hath an inventive mind.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 22 2021 20:00 utc | 153

To be clear, I am not a hyper-sceptic, and I know Herodotus' reports were often confirmed, but for example the figures and disposition he gives about the boats and armies "inspected" by Xerxes are clearly fantasist.
I am curious about what archeology has confirmed and what it has not (not for the details but for the main events in Egypt and Greece). I am sure some publications address that in detail, but there are too many out there!
Also I enjoyed very much his narrative style. It seems to me he must have read/heard some Babylonian literature.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 22 2021 20:17 utc | 154

Rare earth minerals are considered a strategic asset and are on the critical minerals list of the US, EU and Australia. Now the world faces a shortage. China is the leading supplier. Australia has huge deposits of all 17 rare earth minerals and a number of Australian companies have developed new technology to process them.

https://asiatimes.com/2021/03/chinas-rare-earth-supplies-disrupted-by-myanmar-tumult/

Posted by: Paul | Mar 22 2021 20:17 utc | 155

vk welcome to the heretics club, fyi it is fun here and the drinks are fine (may I recommend the shia slammer) and there is much merriment.
James is somewhere but lost in the crowd its seems.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 22 2021 22:02 utc | 156

c1ue #130

Thank you for that clarifying rebuttal.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 22 2021 22:31 utc | 158

karlof1 #135

Thank you for the post on Lavrov's mask.

This logo should be on Biden's mask.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 22 2021 22:57 utc | 159

William Gruff #149

I have argued that when the tipping point comes for the US$ that it will hit like a thunderclap as institutions race to shed their dollar holdings before they lose too much value. There are various bubbles in the global economy but the US dollar is the very biggest bubble of them all by a wide margin, and when big bubbles pop it shakes economies to the ground.

I feel that we have seen the flash already and are now counting the seconds `til the "Boom!" hits us.

It appears to me that the tendency is clearly toward an apartheid global economy with rigid barriers between trading zones. Many in the west will be captive to the decrepit state of maufacturing and converting innovation into products. I guess I will be locked out of purchasing via Banggood or Aliexpress and will be stuck with the useless western equivalents. This will likely create some discontent within society but then that has never been a concern of the 1% on either side.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 22 2021 23:07 utc | 160

A short statement for global consumption:

"We regret to note that the American side has not supported the proposal made by President of Russia Vladimir Putin to US President Joe Biden to hold a live-broadcast discussion on March 19 or 22, 2021, on the problems that have accumulated in bilateral relations, as well as on the subject of strategic stability.

"One more opportunity has been missed to find a way out of the deadlock in Russian-US relations created through the fault of Washington.

"Responsibility for this lies entirely with the United States."

The recent announcement of an Anti-Sanctions coalition marks the beginning of another stage of action since the formation of such a group was initiated at the 2018 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum as this press report from then notes:

"Both Japan and France understand that the sanctions policy is not working, Head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev told Izvestia. 'Possibly, the wisest approach would be to build up the alliance which the president is obviously creating now. Essentially, an anti-sanctions coalition of major countries is emerging now, which says that sanctions are harmful in principle,' he said.

"The movement against sanctions 'in certain countries' will only gain steam, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s (upper house) International Affairs Committee Vladimir Dzhabarov said. Partners in the EU awoke when they understood that their interests could be directly impacted by Washington’s steps, he noted. Foreign businesses are determined to work with Russia and given the statements made at the forum, it is accurate to say that an informal anti-sanctions coalition is now in the process of being formed, Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, said." [My Emphasis]

The new Coalition, The Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, published their initial manifesto on 10 March, and counts the following as its initial members:

Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Laos, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria, Venezuela and the State of Palestine.

Web searches for more info have turned up too little. However, This statement by Venezuela provides the organization's basis and primary argument. Daniel Kovalik, an international human rights professor, organized this press release. Furthermore, the Group's initiative was published within the Outlaw US Empire by Newsweek. And PressTV produced this video report.

I'd like to think this Group's membership will at least triple by April 1, but it surely represents the vanguard of a newly concerted push by China and Russia to reign in the Outlaw US Empire that was begun almost three years ago. I suggest closely reading what Lavrov had to say in his interview with Chinese media with this new Group in mind. Longstanding barflies know I've wanted this sort of attack made ever since I appeared here. The only shortcoming I see is the failure to link the Empire's violations of the UN Charter to violations of its own Constitution that Presidents, Congresscritetrs and all military people are sworn to uphold and defend. But it won't get anywhere if its existence isn't known.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 22 2021 23:44 utc | 161

French Canadian folkloric heritage song, to welcome the Springtime :

“Beau printemps, quand reviendras-tu
Faire pousser, faire pousser,
Beau printemps, quand reviendras-tu ?
Me donner des feuilles pour torcher mon cul.”

Google translation :

“Beautiful spring, when will you be back
Grow, grow,
Beautiful spring, when will you be back?
Give me some leaves to wipe my ass. ”

Posted by: Featherless | Mar 22 2021 23:52 utc | 162

how many cities in how many nation states had protest against the government this past week?
very interesting question i count 49 .. .. but protesting against the political system is a decoy.. the people in charge are not the politicians.

Posted by: snake | Mar 23 2021 0:13 utc | 163

William Gruff @147--

The screw is turning. Given what our news sources have unearthed, imagine what the professionals in Russia and China have discovered. Note the Friends in Defense of the Charter's formation was announced on 10 March, three days after the attack on the Empire's oil stealing center, with Biden's "killer" comment followed by Putin's judo body-slam retort about a week later, then capped by China telling Blinken and Sullivan they lacked the required "strength" to address China, and yesterday's Lavrov interview. Hard to say just how many nations agree with the developmental policy vision outlined by Putin and Xi, but I'd say the entire Global South would be. And I'd say they'd also agree with and join the Friends.

The 2030 UN Development Goals had a major climate section that many developing nations have already produced policies to accomplish that don't mesh with the Reset fantasy. It's possible only Neoliberal captured nations will be coerced into that scam. But the Euro is much stronger than the dollar and the latter's sinking faster than many thought it would. IMO, resiliency has eroded away and Fed money printing is the only thing keeping the bubble from bursting. Here's today's report from Shadowstats:

"February 2021 Economic Activity has declined and Inflation has spiked [See LATEST NUMBERS for expanded detail of the following]: –- February Cass Freight Index® declined 3.2% (-3.2%) in the month, slowed year-to-year, with the two-year stacked change down by 3.7% (-3.7%). -- Building Permits and Housing Starts both saw statistically meaningful monthly crashes in excess of 10.0% (-10.0%). –- Industrial Production plunge blamed on severe weather, yet it still declined, unexpectedly, net of those effects. -- Retail Sales tumbled more than expected, amidst nonsensical reporting volatility and revisions. -- February Labor Numbers confirmed a stalled recovery, with year-to-year Payrolls down by 6% (-6%) for the sixth straight month. -- PPI Goods Inflation of the last three months surged to an all-time high. -- CPI-U Annual Inflation hit a 12-month high of 1.7%, as gasoline prices regained pre-Oil Price War levels. / FOMC [See SYSTEMIC RISK expanded comment]: -- Amidst upwardly revised projections for 2021 GDP growth and Inflation, the March 2021 FOMC held its highly accommodative monetary policies in place, with no changes in targeted Fed Funds through the end of 2023."

And then we had yet another warning about the great potential for another COVID surge.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 23 2021 0:20 utc | 164

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 22 2021 23:07 utc | 160

"I guess I will be locked out of purchasing via Banggood or Aliexpress and will be stuck with the useless western equivalents."

Yankees will find out the hard way that it will be really costly to make their own stuff, when their government hasn't been investing those trillions to actual productive forces like China does.

Posted by: J W | Mar 23 2021 4:12 utc | 165

I need context and explanation for alleged Syrian bombing of Aleppo Hospital yesterday, key bit of news on Democracy Now! today.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Mar 23 2021 4:46 utc | 166

Below is a short but significant posting from Xinhuanet that shows China is pushing back more

"
BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- China on Monday announced sanctions against 10 individuals and four entities on the EU side, saying they had severely harmed China's sovereignty and interests and maliciously spread lies and disinformation.

The European Union (EU) imposed unilateral sanctions on relevant Chinese individuals and entity on March 22, citing the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

The spokesperson said this move, based on nothing but lies and disinformation, disregards and distorts facts, grossly interferes in China's internal affairs, flagrantly breaches international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely undermines China-EU relations.

"China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this," said the spokesperson, adding that the Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.

According to the spokesperson, the individuals and entities to be sanctioned are Reinhard Butikofer, Michael Gahler, Raphael Glucksmann, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Miriam Lexmann of the European Parliament, Sjoerd Wiemer Sjoerdsma of the Dutch Parliament, Samuel Cogolati of the Belgian Federal Parliament, Dovile Sakaliene of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, German scholar Adrian Zenz, Swedish scholar Bjorn Jerden, Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union, Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Germany, and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation in Denmark.

The individuals concerned and their families are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China, said the spokesperson, adding that they and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.

"The Chinese side urges the EU side to reflect on itself, face squarely the severity of its mistake and redress it," said the spokesperson, urging the EU side to stop lecturing others on human rights and interfering in their internal affairs.

The EU side must end the hypocritical practice of double standards and stop going further down the wrong path, the spokesperson added.

"Otherwise, China will resolutely make further reactions," said the spokesperson
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 23 2021 5:20 utc | 167

The Trump administration’s controversial move to ease sanctions on Dan Gertler, an Israeli mining magnate accused by the U.S. of corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, came after repeated requests from Israeli officials who said he was a vital national security asset.

Both Yossi Cohen, director of Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, and Ron Dermer, then ambassador to Washington, spoke with top U.S. officials over many months to make the case for the value of Gertler’s connections in Africa and his philanthropy in Israel. Cohen also made two previously unreported trips to Congo in 2019 to meet with Gertler and former president Joseph Kabila, according to people with knowledge of the meetings.

https://www.bloombergquint.com/amp/business/israel-pushed-trump-officials-to-lift-sanctions-on-dan-gertler

Posted by: Mao | Mar 23 2021 5:22 utc | 168

Below is another Xinhuanet posting that shows geo-political maneuvering on the part of China

"
BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay visits to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Bahrain from March 24 to 30.

Wang will pay his official visits at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.

Wang will pay his working visit at the invitation of Omani foreign minister Badr Bin Hamad Al-Busaidi.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 23 2021 5:23 utc | 169

Below is another Xinhuanet posting showing that economically speaking, the dog is barking but the caravan is moving on...

"
BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- China has taken the lead in ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Monday.

All members of the RCEP are planning to ratify the agreement before the end of this year and push for it to become effective on Jan. 1, 2022, MOC official Yu Benlin said at an online training activity on RCEP.

With the ratification by at least six ASEAN member states and three Non-ASEAN members, the agreement will be effective among these countries, Yu said, adding that Thailand has also ratified the agreement.

The ministry and other related authorities have arranged a total of 701 binding obligations involving China under the RCEP, Yu said, adding that the country has completed preparations for the implementation of 613 items, accounting for 87 percent of all obligations.

Preparations for the remaining items are expected to be completed before the RCEP's implementation, and China will be able to entirely fulfill its obligations when the agreement becomes effective, said Yu.

The online training activity on RCEP was the second of its kind held by the MOC, which attracted a total registration of more than 60,000 people, with over 70 percent being representatives of enterprises.

The RCEP is the world's largest free trade zone across a wide assortment of indicators, and its 15 member states are home to 2.27 billion people, with a total GDP of 26 trillion U.S. dollars and total exports of 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 23 2021 5:27 utc | 170

EU sanctioning China over a fictitious genocide while France banned halal meat and forced halal shop to sell alcohol and pork.

And you wonder why the most Islamic-majority country support China's policy.

Posted by: Hangar | Mar 23 2021 6:02 utc | 171

Presss conference Lavrov Wang Yi. To one of the questions Lavrov answered: Our relations with the EU as an organization do not exist, the EU destroyed all the infrastructure of our relations, we have relations with individual EU countries eager to defend their national interest.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 23 2021 6:39 utc | 172

@Paco | Mar 23 2021 6:39 utc | 172

What a profound statement from Lavrov, very interesting.

The EU must be dissolved.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 23 2021 7:04 utc | 173

Video
Blinken's Alaska China train wreck changes world order

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 23 2021 7:39 utc | 174

The Lavrov's part of the press conference has been posted, unfortunately the Wang Yi part is not there, and I say unfortunately since the Chinese FM was quite incensed as per body language and statements.

https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4647898

Posted by: Paco | Mar 23 2021 8:13 utc | 175

And as usual Lavrov's adage of the day concerning the policy of sanctions, ultimatums and virtue signaling:

The original, Насильно мил не будешь, literally by force you won't be nice.

Translated: You can take a horse to the water, but you cannot make him drink.

Spanish: Treinta monjes y un abad no pueden hacer beber a un asno contra su voluntad.

Oh yes, there was a french man in the bar, here it goes:
On ne saurait faire boire un âne qui n'a pas soif

Posted by: Paco | Mar 23 2021 8:32 utc | 176

No time to comment
No time to find it in Englisch

But something New is coming with Chinese diplomacy

https://francais.rt.com/international/84985-ouighours-chine-sanctionne-plusieurs-parlementaires-dont-raphael-glucksmann-france-furieuse

Posted by: Bernard F. | Mar 23 2021 8:35 utc | 177

Norwegian #174

Thank you for the Duran video. The two alexes just love putting the boot in to the dimratss and they sure gave Blinken a kicking he will not appreciate.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 23 2021 9:17 utc | 178

Bernard F.

Part machine translated:

Among the ten people targeted by the Chinese sanctions are notably the French MEPs Raphaël Glucksmann and German MEPs Reinhard Bütikofer, president of the Delegation for relations with China of the European Parliament, or the very committed German researcher Adrian Zenz, whose reports on the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province drew strong remonstrances from Beijing. The entities sanctioned by China are the Political and Security Committee, a permanent structure of the Council of the EU; the European Parliament's human rights sub-committee; the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for Chinese Studies and the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, a Danish NGO. Through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China added that the aforementioned citizens and their families, as well as the sanctioned entities, were prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, but also from doing business with China.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 23 2021 9:19 utc | 179

psychohistorian #169

BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay visits to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman and Bahrain from March 24 to 30.

Wang will pay his official visits at the invitation of Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.

Wang will pay his working visit at the invitation of Omani foreign minister Badr Bin Hamad Al-Busaidi.


That is a strategic roll call and if goodwill can be found in a few of those meetings, there could be some positive outcomes through the year ahead. Iraq and Jordan noticeably missing.

If Turkey had any sense of its regional future it would trade all of its Syrian adventurism for a leg of the OBOR infrastructure leading into southern Europe. Perhaps thee will be discussions on that subject.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 23 2021 9:28 utc | 180

J W #165

Yankees will find out the hard way that it will be really costly to make their own stuff, when their government hasn't been investing those trillions to actual productive forces like China does.

Thank you. A rational empire would have developed the South American countries and their tertiary sector as the cheap labor force and construction/fabrication/assembly hub for high tech.

That they worked up this strategy half way round the planet after the awful legacy of Vietnam, Korea, Hiroshima and duplicity with the Chinese Nationalists etc, etc, is a testament to yakeestan stupidity.

That they played the middle east off the way they did while just south of the Caribbean is a vast oil reserve that they could have jointly developed with various south American countries is testament to ignorance and obsession with religious cults that yield no good ends.

Now they have only the power of the canon, the thuggery of a mafioso, the extortion of the $ to screw other nations. There can never be trust, never be stability in relationships, never be goodwill for decades and even then until yankeestan commits to demonstrated change. It wont! and the troika of Obummer, Trump and Biden has been a revelation for the world that cares to look.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 23 2021 9:44 utc | 181

@uncle tungsten | Mar 23 2021 9:17 utc | 178

Thank you for the Duran video. The two alexes just love putting the boot in to the dimratss and they sure gave Blinken a kicking he will not appreciate.

The two alexes have indeed become very active and informative the latest months, and they now post analyses daily.

I find it somehow suitable that "Blinken" in Norwegian means "The target", and it has a more specific interpretation than in English. "Blinken" refers specifically to the target of a shooting range. In a way you could say he lived up to his name in Alaska.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 23 2021 9:51 utc | 182

About the Duran video at #174, is the teeshirt of Christoforou showing a symbol of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran???? or what is it?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2021 10:40 utc | 183

@Mina | Mar 23 2021 10:40 utc | 183

It is simply the logo of The Duran https://theduran.com/ , the website of the two alexes

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 23 2021 10:51 utc | 184

Ah thanks
indeed not the same colours and eagles instead of lions
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pahlavi_dynasty#:~:text=The%20dynasty%20was%20founded%20by,the%20last%20Shah%20of%20Iran.
I don't know why it reminds me of something Zoroastrian.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2021 11:07 utc | 185

About Herodotus, it seems a bit too easy to sacralize him as a good historian when so little is known (mainly because not as many scholars have worked on the sources of Herodotus' neighbours... and there are sources, chronologies, inscriptions, coinage...).
Accepting everything from him would mean taking the oracles and miracles he mentions (not only as part of "I've heard from" but also as the main drive before an event he describes as close to his time and geography) for granted too!

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2021 11:11 utc | 186

24 y old in good healtth dies of internal hemorrhage 10 days after getting the AZ vaccine
https://www.leparisien.fr/societe/sante/covid-19-ce-que-lon-sait-de-la-mort-dun-etudiant-vaccine-par-astrazeneca-a-nantes-23-03-2021-ZUMLWJUOT5EO3F2WLZ77KHPSIY.php

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2021 12:47 utc | 187

The hypocrisy of US and the total obedience of American journalist to serve the ruling elite are "world class".

Do they know how laughable and stupid they look like with all these nonsense?

Do they know more and more ordinary citizens around the world are awakening up and seeing through their bold-faced lies?

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 13:04 utc | 188

Sidney Powell Tells Judge ‘No Reasonable Person’ Would Believe Her Dominion Conspiracy Theories Were ‘Statements of Fact’

Facing more than $1.3 billion in liabilities over her post-election conspiracy theories, lawyer Sidney Powell told a judge that the defamation lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems filed against her earlier this year should be dismissed because “no reasonable person” would believe that her well-publicized comments about an international plot against former President Donald Trump were “statements of fact.”

https://lawandcrime.com/2020-election/sidney-powell-tells-judge-no-reasonable-person-would-believe-her-dominion-conspiracy-theories-were-statements-of-fact/

Posted by: Mao | Mar 23 2021 13:06 utc | 189

How a psychopath like Bill Kristol still allowed to open his mouth ?

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 13:10 utc | 190

There was no evidence that China had been involved in the election, but reports from Washington suggest that it will be sanctioned anyway, along with Iran and Russia as a consequence of being out of favor with the White House and Congress.

Total crazy Empire is at its last leg.

US just coordinated with its 5-Eye lapdogs and spinless EU put sanctions against China basing on total lies .

Do they, esp. EU Parliament members who voted for this sanction, not have any shame and gray material in their brain when looking back at lies about Kuwaiti baby incubators ?

Are they not afraid how the history will judge them for their stupid and reckless acting upon lies and lies to hurt not only the rest of the world but also their own citizens?

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 13:31 utc | 191

Former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and retired Army Colonel, Lawrence B. Wilkerson, on Xinjiang.

Pure evil!

So long these psychopaths exist, we won't be allowed to live in peace with each other.

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 13:38 utc | 192

2 years after the territorial defeat of #ISIS, almost 43,000 foreigners *including 27,500 kids* remain detained in inhuman conditions in NE #Syria, while their govs look the other way.


While China's de-radicalisation programs have successfully turned radicalised Uyghurs through vocational education & training into productive members of the society.

But, of course, China is now sanctioned by US, UK, Canada, EU & Co for its success of de-radicalisation while no one bat an eyelid about the Western's own radicalised young people and kids.

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 14:05 utc | 193

Herodotus:

I thought Herodotus worked better as a travel writer than a historian. He lived in a time of myths and legends, they had a much looser hold on "reality" than we claim to have these days. It's a bit unfair to compare him to later historians with much better resources.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 23 2021 14:07 utc | 194

Former President Donald Trump is coming back to social media -- but this time with his own network, a Trump spokesperson told Fox News on Sunday.

Jason Miller, a long-time adviser and spokesperson for Trump's 2020 campaign told Howard Kurtz on Fox's "MediaBuzz" that Trump will be "returning to social media in probably about two or three months." He added Trump's return will be with "his own platform" that will attract "tens of millions" of new users and "completely redefine the game."

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/21/media/donald-trump-social-media-network/index.html

Posted by: Mao | Mar 23 2021 14:24 utc | 195

American DEBUNKS All Major Western Propaganda on Uyghurs and Xinjiang!

The US documentary Why We Fight - The Battle of China showing clearly where Xinjiang (Sinkiang), Tibet, Mongolia locates on the Chinese map (around 3'10 - 4'00). This is the official WW II USG account of Chinese defense against Japanese aggression.

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 14:28 utc | 196

Below is a Xinhuanet piece that has info about the China Digital Yuan that I have not seen elsewhere

"
BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- China's digital yuan pilots and tests are making steady progress, according to a researcher under the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.

During a summit at the China Development Forum 2021, Mu Changchun, head of the central bank's digital currency research institute, dismissed concerns of user privacy infringement, saying the digital currency has the highest level of privacy protection among existing payment tools.

China's digital yuan, although still in its pilot phase, will include more people in the rapidly developing digital era, making daily life easier and digital payments more secure.

The digital currency will be issued by the country's central bank and legally backed by the government as an alternative to paper money.

China will steadily advance the research and development of digital currencies and actively participate in the formulation of international rules and technical standards on data security, digital currencies and data tax, according to the outline of the country's 14th five-year plan for national economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035.

Other countries including Canada and Japan have also been gearing up preparations for digital currencies.

"The use of cash will be reduced by at least 40 percent in the coming decade," predicted Zhu Min, chairman of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University, as central bank-backed digital currencies will become more common globally.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 23 2021 14:33 utc | 197

Covid latest:
Ireland is finally considering quarantines seriously ... except that it is not including France, despite its 40,000 cases per day.
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/mandatory-hotel-quarantine-booking-portal-goes-live-with-12-night-stay-costing-1-875-per-person-1.4517721
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/no-pcr-test-then-you-ll-also-have-to-enter-the-new-mandatory-hotel-quarantine-system-1.4517042

Germany announces a strict lockdown for the five days of Easter... except that planes full of tourists are still allowed to go everywhere "but it is not recommended"
https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20210321-several-german-states-seek-to-extend-restrictions-amid-third-wave-of-covid-19
https://www.dw.com/en/germany-imposes-strict-lockdown-over-easter/a-56948895

No end in sight. Maybe the hubris of Schengen-fundamentalists will lead them the planet to collective suicide.

India announces that international flight suspension is extended till April 30
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/coronavirus-live-news-updates-march-23-2021/liveblog/81642011.cms
and their health team advises (surprise, surprise!) that "Positive cases need to be isolated/quarantined and provided timely treatment; their contacts have to be traced at the earliest, and similarly isolated/ quarantined... States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, at district/ sub-district and city/ ward level.

Ah yes, and catching common cold can save you from covid. But that will be hard if you stay home.
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/common-cold-virus-saved-lives-in-india/articleshow/81640239.cms
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-56483445

But it's better to buy vaccines, sure.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 23 2021 15:40 utc | 198

psychohistorian @197

Expecting more crazy allegations about and agitations stirred within China in coming months.

We can be quite sure that before next year's Winter Olympics Games there will be agitations in/about Inner Mongolia.

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 15:58 utc | 199

Hangar @171

Talking about Hala food in China, here are:
- Shanghai's HALAL Street Food HEAVEN;
- Guangzhou HALAL Street Food Heaven ;
- Famous Lanzhou Beef Noodle;
- tons of video about Uyghur food and other Muslim food in different part in China .

There are hala canteens in almost every Chinese university that serve only hala food, where Muslim (Hui, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Uzbeks, etc.) students have their lunches and dinners. Of course, students of other ethnicity can also buy and eat together.

Now you can rate Chinese Universities’ halal canteens on an app.

Some of the Uyghur dishes, such as 羊肉串(barbecued mutton skewers), 抓饭(pilaf), 大盘鸡 (spicy chicken), are so popular, there are Uyghur restaurants in very corner of China.

If any of you ever come to visit China, you should try these three delicious Uyghur dishes!

Posted by: lulu | Mar 23 2021 16:00 utc | 200

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