Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 07, 2021

How The 'China is a Threat' Fake News Cycle Works

Here is a nice example how the U.S. keeps certain issues in the news and thereby propagandizes its people against its perceived enemies.

On Friday several news agencies and outlets falsely claimed that Chinese airplanes had 'intruded Taiwan's airspace'. In fact the planes had crossed into an imaginative air 'identification zone' hundreds of miles from Taiwan.

As the fake news died down someone in the White House, Pentagon or Congress thought about how to revive the theme to strengthen anti-Chinese sentiment.

"A: Is there something that is not secret and that we can hand to some scribe that allows for another 'China threat' news cycle?"

"B: Hmm. How about our troops in Taiwan?"

"A: Good idea. That will do."

So A, B and maybe also C called up a Wall Street Journal scribe and proceeded. Here is the result:

WSJ News Exclusive - U.S. Troops Have Been Deployed in Taiwan for at Least a Year
Small presence of Americans secretly training local forces marks concern over China’s yearslong military buildup and recent moves

WASHINGTON—A U.S. special-operations unit and a contingent of Marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan to train military forces there, U.S. officials said, part of efforts to shore up the island’s defenses as concern regarding potential Chinese aggression mounts.

About two dozen members of U.S. special-operations and support troops are conducting training for small units of Taiwan’s ground forces, the officials said. The U.S. Marines are working with local maritime forces on small-boat training. The American forces have been operating in Taiwan for at least a year, the officials said.

The U.S. special-operations deployment is a sign of concern within the Pentagon over Taiwan’s tactical capabilities in light of Beijing’s yearslong military buildup and recent threatening moves against the island.

Taiwan and U.S. officials have expressed alarm over nearly 150 flights near Taiwan in the past week by Chinese military aircraft. The Chinese aircraft have included ...

There follow in total 1200 words of general 'China is a threat' sentiment.

There is one problem though. The deployment of some troops, including special forces, in Taiwan is neither a secret nor new nor newsworthy.

Taiwan regularly buys U.S. weapon systems. These typically come with training. The U.S. has therefore had for years some dozens of troops in Taiwan. These are usually trainers for the specific weapon systems Taiwan purchases from the U.S. There are also a number of Department of Defense civil personnel in Taiwan also related to weapon sales.

Since 2017 the Pentagon's Department Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) provides quarterly spreadsheets which list all countries where DOD personnel, active, reserve or civilian, are permanently on duty.


As of June 30 2021 there were 30 active troops in Taiwan on permanent duty: 0 Army, 2 Navy, 23 Marines and 5 Airforce. There were also 15 civilian DoD employees in Taiwan.

The numbers and composition of the permanently deployed troops fluctuate over time. At the end of last year there were 20 active duty troops and 15 civilians there, one more than half a year earlier. In mid 2019 there were 8 troops and 16 civilians. Numbers going back to 2008 are available. Each file I checked lists a few U.S. troops in Taiwan. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

A number of U.S. Marines are also guarding the American Institute in Taiwan which is the de facto U.S. Embassy on the island. The Marines also guard other U.S. embassies. But in Taiwan they are not 'active' troops listed in the DMDC database:

The American Institute is a nonprofit organization composed of former U.S. government officials who “retire” or take leave to work there — processing visas and handling other consular services — so as not to upset relations.

The special forces are on a temporary deployment in Taiwan and are thus also not listed in the DMDC database. But their current deployment is no secret either. It was announced in June by Taiwan's defense minister:

Taiwan News reported that the Taiwanese defense minister said “multiple U.S. special forces units” will arrive in the country to train with their Taiwanese counterparts following the Han Kuang 37 military exercise.

Han Kuang 37 is Taiwan’s largest annual military exercise that simulates a full-scale enemy invasion in a worst-case scenario lasting eight days, Newsweek reported. The goal is to repel a Chinese invasion for a full week, the report said.

The Taiwanese defense ministry also said Taiwan-U.S. military training and exchanges have been “frequent,” due to China’s military threat against Taiwan.

This years Han Kuang exercise was delayed but took place last month. The U.S. special force deployment was announced to come after that exercise which would be about now.

When Taiwan's defense minister says that Taiwan-U.S. military training and exchanges have been "frequent" and not secret one wonders why the WSJ claims that their  current deployment "is a sign of concern within the Pentagon".

The WSJ also writes:

Asian media reports last year suggesting a possible U.S. Marine deployment in Taiwan were never confirmed by U.S. officials. The presence of U.S. special operations forces hasn’t been previously reported.

While the 'presence' of U.S. special force many not have been 'previously reported' their upcoming deployment was loudly announced months ago. To claim that these are 'secret' deployments as the WSJ piece does is simply nonsense.

But that will not matter. Within the next 24 hours the WSJ 'exclusive' piece will have been picked up by dozens of other outlets and agencies all of which will use it to rehash the previous anti-China claims.

Some 'officials' make some (false) claims. Some scribe writes those down in a dramatic tone. Other scribes then copy and rewrite the 'exclusive' without ever checking its validity.

It is how the news cycle works.

Posted by b on October 7, 2021 at 16:51 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

In Scandinavia, propaganda is full of speculation that there may be provocation leading into interchinese intercine war fetween the Mainland (PRC) and Táiwan (ROC). Only Finnish and Icelandic and Faroeise media take a more knowingly and non.propagandistic stances. I believe this is due to those polities' experiences with fencing with greater powers (Britain, US of N A and partky the USSR)

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Oct 8 2021 19:50 utc | 101

I've been having a multi-week exchange with some atlanticist hellbent on bashing China out of either zeal or keep.

For real, just pissing the american authorities and their goons THIS much is enough for me to support the PRC.

The rest is just icing on the cake.

Posted by: Misotheist | Oct 8 2021 19:58 utc | 102

William Gruff @84; karlof1 @85:

The ocean is TOO BIG for such strategy you guys envision to be economically feasible. To catch one sub by surprise by scattering 100K multi-ton submerged buoys? And 100K buoys would probably cover only an aquatic space of about 1000 cubic meters :-).

My guess is Connecticut turned off its sonar while in SCS, and ended up hitting a submerged reef. Pentagon's SCS charts need updates.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 8 2021 20:25 utc | 103

Oriental Voice @101

Yeah, area denial for the whole of the South China Sea with such devices would be unrealistic, but in confined waterways it would work.

How about the idea by BM @88 of "drone rocks"?

The way I see that working is having a large, 100 ton floating concrete "rock". Anchor this to the seabed with three anchors spread some distance apart. The floating "rock" could then be positioned in three dimensions by reeling in or paying out the three lines anchoring it. This allows our floating "rock" to be positioned directly in the path of approaching submarines. This would also greatly reduce the number of necessary drone-rock-mines needed to cover a particular area without driving the cost up very much.

I am more inclined to think the cause of the Connecticut's misfortune was operator error as well, but speculation until we know better is always fun.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2021 20:42 utc | 104

@Petri Krohn | Oct 8 2021 11:24 utc | 68

Apologies, the Nobel Peace Price is a sick joke.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 8 2021 21:09 utc | 105

I suggest looking at the bathymetry of the region for much of it is shallow as I commented earlier. For example, the average depth within the Straits of Malacca is only 25 meters. There's even a specific ship made for its transit, Malaccamax, with a maximum draft of 14.5 meters. Sure, the strait presents a choke point but I doubt if it can be done with subs. And that's not the only place with shallow depths. Take a look at some charts and you'll see that escorted vessels hugging international waters along the coast will be hard to hit. Trying to interdict within the Indian Ocean would be much sounder strategy, especially with the Diego Garcia base. So, China's plan for multiple ports and rail lines to avoid that sea passage, along with its partnership with Russia to develop the Northern Sea Route which is almost entirely within Russia's Arctic waters.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 21:25 utc | 106

Dim sum, Jen

The shit-stirrer did not disappoint:

Golly. Tony Abbott speech in Taiwan. Extraordinary. A direct reference to Xi, saying China has "cancelled popular personalities in favour of a cult of the new red emperor." Accuses Beijing of wanting to make Australia a "tributary state".

ht ZeroHedge: China Threatens "Cataclysmic Upheaval" In Relations After Former Aussie PM Gives Fiery Speech In Taiwan


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8 2021 22:08 utc | 107

JR @105--

I see Abbott remains on the Empire's payroll. Australia would suffer significantly if China ceases trading with it. And most of what now comes to China via the oceans will soon come to it overland or via the secure Northern Sea Route--the Arctic Silk Road.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 22:20 utc | 108

Russian Admiral joins our discussion: "Retired Russian Admiral Vladimir Valuyev, former commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet, thinks he has a pretty good idea as to what it was that the USS Connecticut struck during its recent ill-fated patrol in the South China Sea":

"The onboard navigation systems of modern subs make a collision with an underwater reef or rock formation just as unlikely, according to the career submariner.

"Valuyev believes that the most likely explanation is that the sub crashed 'into a recently built or still under construction oil-drilling installation, information about which has not yet been brought to the attention of the command of the American fleet.'"

And of a much smaller mass he might have added. However, how would such a small mass threaten the structural integrity of a sub of that size? Furthermore, since they're impediments to navigation, the locations of all drilling platforms is publicly declared prior to the commencing of operations. Although, given the performance of the US Navy, I wouldn't be surprised if such info went unnoticed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 23:04 utc | 109

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2021 20:42 utc | 102:

I am more inclined to think the cause of the Connecticut's misfortune was operator error as well, but speculation until we know better is always fun.

Fun speculation indeed. Recently Pentagon has complaint often of Chinese fishing fleets interfering with American ocean survey vessels in the SCS. Perhaps they indeed disrupted Empire's mapping of ocean floor in SCS, and thus Pentagon's charts on SCS are indeed out of date. That damn Connecticut rammed into a newly risen reef. LOL!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 9 2021 1:11 utc | 110

@104 karlof1 I don't think anyone is suggesting that submarines would patrol INSIDE the Strait of Malacca.

But patrolling the approaches to it is going to provide a submarine with, ahem, a target rich environment.

Hence the real importance of that recent AUKUS "pact". Not so much the "intention" of Australia acquiring nuclear submarines in 2040 (all this will be over one way or another well before then), but that this will lead to Fremantle submarine base being upgraded to handle nuclear subs.

And Fremantle is the perfect place for US Navy hunter-killer subs to operate from if the intention is to patrol not only the Indian Ocean end of the Strait of Malacca but also the Sunda Strait and all the other gaps in the Indonesian archipelago - all of which are alternate routes if the Strait of Malacca becomes too "hot" in a shooting war.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 9 2021 2:13 utc | 111

@ YR 109
Fremantle is the perfect place for US Navy hunter-killer subs to operate. . .

But as you indicate, by 2040 there will be a new realty. China plans to have (1) Taiwan, thus breaking the 'first chain' which gives China better access to the Pacific, and (2) CPEC in Pakistan with a port at Gwadar, plus (3) the arctic route, also (4) the overland rail system to Europe, already going strong, plus Afghanistan/Iran, all of which sidelines Malacca, Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 2:43 utc | 112

"The usually gung-ho Oz defence establishment demurred when some of their number who were actually equipped with double-digit IQ points realised their soldiers wouldn't be able to tell Russian and Ukrainian fighters apart."

Posted by: Jen | Oct 8 2021 1:32 utc | 47

Easy to distinguish Russian from Ukrianian soldiers. The drunks lobbing mortars at civilians are the Ukrainians.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 9 2021 3:10 utc | 113

@109 I'm still not sure how submarines are supposed to 'petrol' the Malacca Strait....or anywhere else. Do they pop up in front of ships that look like they may be headed to or from China and demand to see their manifest? Then what....sink them? Tow them into port? Or is just the fact that submarines are in the area enough to discourage miscreants? They could well shut down international maritime trade. I'm sure the Australian Navy has thought these questions through carefully but it baffles me.

Posted by: dh | Oct 9 2021 3:14 utc | 114

@ dh.. you are thinking this thru too much! you definitely qualify for the gig at military headquarters in the usa!

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2021 3:25 utc | 115

@ dh 112
Submarines can have many tasks. Mapping terrain, planting mines, monitoring ship movements, dropping off special forces, being in place to provide deterrence with missiles, etc. Just to have a presence. . . .Similar to US embassies, with its spies and operations against host countries. . . .It's a part of being a global hegemon, the leader of the free world, promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific, enforcing the rules-based international order. /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 3:34 utc | 116

regarding Abbott ..from . .

China’s state-run media outlet The Global Times warned Australia risked becoming a “chess piece” in the United States’ “anti-China strategy”.
“Many are worried that Australia might imprudently follow the lead of some European countries to take injudicious actions,” its editorial read.
“After all, Abbott is not visiting Taipei in an official capacity.
“But should a member of the Australian parliament or even an incumbent cabinet minister visit Taiwan in an official capacity, or should Canberra allow the change of the name of ‘Taipei Economic and Cultural Office’ into something that violates the one-China principle, the bilateral relations between China and Australia would suffer irreparable damages.”
As the editorial noted, Abbott was not in Taiwan on official business but rather on his own volition.. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 3:43 utc | 117

Posted by: Billb | Oct 7 2021 20:27 utc | 25

Thanks for the information. It seems to me it is about time for Syria, Lebanon and Iran to declare a normal Air Defence Identification Zone and enforce it ruthlessly, particularly around the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights and the terrorist occupied areas near the Turkish and Jordanian borders.

All designed to maintain free trade, peace and stability of course.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 9 2021 3:44 utc | 118

@ 114. Thanks Don. I'm sure it will work flawlessly. If China has any sense they will admit defeat.

Posted by: Dh | Oct 9 2021 3:46 utc | 119

Too bad those western news agencies don't point out the many times Israel enters Jordan's, Lebanon's, Syrian and Iraqi (did I miss anybody) ADIZ, then their ADZ and then fire some missiles or guided bombs. Talk about a nothing burger.

Re subs that go bump in the night. I think a LA class sub bumped into something in the Pacfic many years ago.

Perhaps it was a lighthouse that wouldn't get out of the way.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 9 2021 3:57 utc | 120

. . .from CRS, the goal is to maintaining US world hegemony by preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia . . .

For the United States, grand strategy can be viewed as strategy at a global or interregional level, as opposed to U.S. strategies for individual regions, countries, or issues. From a U.S. perspective on grand strategy and geopolitics, it can be noted that most of the world’s people, resources, and economic activity are located not in the Western Hemisphere, but in the other hemisphere, particularly Eurasia. In response to this basic feature of world geography, U.S. policymakers for the last several decades have chosen to pursue, as a key element of U.S. national strategy, a goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia. Although U.S. policymakers do not often state explicitly in public the goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia, U.S. military operations in recent decades—both wartime operations and day-to-day operations—appear to have been carried out in no small part in support of this goal.

The goal of preventing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia is a major reason why the U.S. military is structured with force elements that enable it to deploy from the United States, cross broad expanses of ocean and air space, and then conduct sustained, large-scale military operations upon arrival in Eurasia or the waters and airspace surrounding Eurasia. Force elements associated with this goal include, among other things, an Air Force with significant numbers of long-range bombers, long-range surveillance aircraft, long-range airlift aircraft, and aerial refueling tankers, and a Navy with significant numbers of aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered attack submarines, large surface combatants, large amphibious ships, and underway replenishment ships.. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 4:20 utc | 121

Here is another way PR China is a threat which is not fake:
a)The FED can print unlimited amounts of dollars and did: 40% of all dollars were printed over the last 2 years! Dollar holders won't be pleased with that.
b)The global gold market is rigged through the NY COMEX paper gold futures dealing and wheeling: they suppress it vs stocks etc.
c)PR China stopped bitcoin mining- Chinese were the champion till that point -and made holding or trading any bitcoins illegal recently, even through abroad.
d)PR China has a huge gold mining industry plus buys more from abroad.
e)PR China and others want to get rid of uncle Sam's $ scam domination in world trade and national reserves.
f)PR China Reserve bank and others (India) were publicly contemplating going for a digital currency. This won't fly with money savvy people as still manipulation will be possible apart from total loss of privacy.

Combined: What IF China starts a new gold backed money? Others like India, Russia, South Africa etc. might follow as they have lots of it too (in India most is with households, even the poor and in temples).

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2021 4:58 utc | 122

A Resolution of the Taiwan Issue Looks Increasingly Imminent

The sooner the better IMO.

James O'Neill at New Eastern Outlook takes this position:

What it does do is highlight the extent to which the world is changing and not in a matter likely to find favour with the Americans. In this writer’s view that is clearly represented by the recent purported formation of the so-called Quad of nations, including Australia, Japan, India and United States.

Some western writers seek to portray this group as an anti-China alliance, but I look at its membership as strongly suggesting that such a formulation is another example of United States dreaming of an anti-China alliance. In fact, China is the largest trading partner of Australia, India and Japan and it is frankly improbable that any of those three would wish to jeopardise their lucrative trading relationship with the People’s Republic.

India is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, having joined in 2017, and despite some border disputes with China, the latter became its largest trading partner in 2020. Economic self-interest is usually an excellent guide to political conduct, and China’s economic importance to all three countries is likely to be a dominant factor in determining actual relationships.

None of the three have expressed any particular views about the status of Taiwan, preferring to regarded it as fundamentally a Chinese internal matter. Certainly, none of them have indicated a willingness to go to war with China over the matter. The Taiwanese foreign minister recently made a plea for Australian support in its conflict with the PRC. Australians listened politely, but they are not so stupid as to risk the relationship with the PRC over Taiwan’s claimed independence.

While the USA is writhing in its own snake pit of ridiculous distraction with Trump / Biden in absurd contest plus the sheer incompetence of its ruling elite and Congress, I guess China should bring this persistent annoyance to a close.

What is the USA gonna do? Dummy spit and then return to its preoccupation of gazing on its wart infested navel and figure out who next to rob.

All the rest is just noise and fury signifying nothing.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 9 2021 5:04 utc | 123

it was just a few years back that US navy ships were accidentally colliding with other ships in the Malacca straits. so much stupid that it prompted an internal review. they can't even sail right aboveboard, so I wouldn't underestimate secret stupid underwater.

Posted by: mastameta | Oct 9 2021 5:07 utc | 124

As b had predicted, this news has appeared today in India's prominent English language newspaper 'The Hindu'..

Posted by: R | Oct 9 2021 5:11 utc | 125

Tom #118

It has been updated to this weeks near collision.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 9 2021 5:12 utc | 126


As per your comments on school shootings. I was one of four white teachers in a minority/majority inner city Southern school. My students reassured me that I was safe with them because all those school shootings we drilled for were the fault of white boys in suburban schools. I couldn't argue with that. My African-American majority school had one shooting on campus in sixty years and it was from a boy who committed suicide in a restroom on campus in the mid-seventies. Of course off campus and after hours was another story. I buried two students before I finished my four years there and we were a student body of only 700 which is a third of the population of the rural county high school I live near now.

Posted by: Valerie | Oct 9 2021 5:25 utc | 127

The 8 CPC immortals got their families rich and want to keep it that way :
Not to be confused with the 8 Immortals from Chinese mythology :

Later on Micheal Bloomberg himself killed that research and publication as he too had too much money to be made in China.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2021 6:12 utc | 128

In 1972 in the NYT David Rockefeller praised Mao Tse Tung openly:
The social experiment in China under. Chairman Mao's leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history. How extensively China opens up and how the world interprets and reacts to the social innovations and life styles she has developed is certain to have a profound impact on the future of many nations

Elite billionaires and top autocrats have much in common: their love for power. Needed for that is lots of money. Human greed is transnational.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2021 6:21 utc | 129

The antidote to Globalist Elitists running the Future = 195 free Nation states living in peace together, respecting each others culturally.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2021 6:45 utc | 130

When I was taking the slow train south towards Malaysia French m Bangkok a couple of years ago - I spent a lot of time looking at the new trackside work being carried out along the whole stretch - it seemed to be an immense undertaking. I wondered if it was the BRI investment or just Thai or with US/European partners.

The answer is the former probably. And if it is finally going to connect northern Thailand with Burma and thence India (India being a spoiler quad wallah of the ancient empire better pull its finger out unless it wants to remain as the only poverty laden shit hole it had become under ‘independence’) - the project planned under Japanese occupation will come to a fruition. Heading into Laos and Cambodia and connecting down through Malaysia and the short hops through Indonesia etc all the way to within a stones throw of Oz ...

The losers are the World Bankers who have always hindered and tied up with usurious ‘loans’ nation states wealth with their placemen leaders and IMF ans with the end of the dollar hagemony- the BIS ends up like a local shop.

The US has zero say in the world agenda setting of these old dogs of finance. As doesn’t Australia or even the Aristo Families of Europe pretending they have ANY say on losing their rusty old claws on the Worlds resources and their slaves!

The Empire is dead dead dead.

Long live the New Empire !

Posted by: D.G. | Oct 9 2021 9:25 utc | 131

'Independence'? India got and kept it without being sucked up by the Global elite till now. James Corbett follows Anthony Sutton's analysis that the Russian "Independence", the NAZI "independence" and now the CPC "Independence" were all achieved with Wall street assistance. Elites supporting other elites for total domination of the common(wo)men. Many billionaires love the (terror prevention/ Climate change/ bio-metric) control of Big Brother State, which don't apply for them. Less greedy humans would stop after their first million but they want ever more.

The problem is human nature: Evolution needs to take a big step beyond limited mind & unlimited greed in a way that doesn't involve either. Similarly no ape could perceive a man with its Internet. AI etc. doesn't cut it at all, its more of the same ape view.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2021 9:59 utc | 132

Russian Admiral joins our discussion:
"The onboard navigation systems of modern subs make a collision with an underwater reef or rock formation just as unlikely, according to the career submariner.
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 23:04 utc | 107

I don't see that Admiral Vladimir Valuyev's comment makes any sense. If it is implausible that the sub would not detect a reef or a rock, why should it fail to detect an oil rig? The argument seems to be a non-starter to me.

Posted by: BM | Oct 9 2021 10:36 utc | 133

My guess is Connecticut turned off its sonar while in SCS, and ended up hitting a submerged reef. Pentagon's SCS charts need updates.
Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 8 2021 20:25 utc | 101

How about the idea by BM @88 of "drone rocks"?
Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2021 20:42 utc | 102

That was exactly the point of the "rock drone" idea. Firstly it can move during charting operations, therefore the US's SCS charts are automatically and permanently out of date. Secondly, it can move again during offensive operations - check-mate! Rather than an overtly man-made cubic block of concrete, better would be a life-like fake natural rock, as it would cause far more confusion. I doubt if it needs to be so large, it only has to cause a little bit of damage to the outer shell and the sub is compromised. It could even have pneumatic operated penetrator pins that spring outwards at around the moment of impact, timed precisely to maximise the creation of a point of weakness (immediately before impact with the rock, maybe? No idea).

Posted by: BM | Oct 9 2021 10:54 utc | 134

India never "gained independence". The sLimeys were forced to modernize what remained of their empire or the Americans were going take it away from them. That means control by big finance and capital as well as colonial governments transformed into "liberal democracies" with built-in corruption that allows the entities controlling the purse strings to control the government.

The fact is that India is still a colony. It's productivity and resources are still being bled away. That is part of why India cannot "catch up" with China. That's why India is a filthy shithole. That is why India has a tool like Modi as a "leader". The people of India didn't select Modi, the empire did.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 9 2021 11:06 utc | 135

@D.G. | Oct 9 2021 9:25 utc | 129

And if it is finally going to connect northern Thailand with Burma and thence India (India being a spoiler quad wallah of the ancient empire better pull its finger out

High speed railway is being built from Bangkok via Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) to Nong Khai across the Mae Nam Khong (Mekong) river from Vientiane in Laos where the high speed rail continues to Kunming in southern China.

Bangkok–Nong Khai high-speed railway

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 9 2021 11:08 utc | 136

@131 BM "I don't see that Admiral Vladimir Valuyev's comment makes any sense. If it is implausible that the sub would not detect a reef or a rock, why should it fail to detect an oil rig?"

No, I believe the comment is that the sub should know exactly where it was, down to the millimeter. It should therefore be able to refer to its uber-accurate maps to know exactly where all the underwater lumps and bumps are that are around it.

But Valuyev thinks the uber-accurate maps might be a wee bit out of date.

That isn't going to matter w.r.t. all those rocky lumps and bumps - they aren't going anywhere any time soon - but it might matter if someone sunk some oil rig pylons without bothering to notify the Pentagon.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 9 2021 11:22 utc | 137

Not quite off topic...
Yesterday, October 8, there was a suicide bombing in a Kunduz shi-ite mosque in Afghanistan. Initial reports said that it was the second such ter'rism event since AmeriKKKA left and the Taliban took control. No-one had claimed responsibility.

Today, according to TV News, IS-K has claimed responsibility for the bombing. And they had a reason...

"In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the jihadist group said that an IS suicide bomber "detonated an explosive vest amid a crowd" of Shiite worshippers who had gathered inside the mosque.
The group identified the bomber as a Uygher Muslim, saying the attack targeted both Shiites and the Taliban for their purported willingness to expel Uyghers to meet demands from China."

Now, if the war-mongering US-NATO Christian Capitalist Cranks hate China enough to issue veiled threats to its NatSec, and IS-K hates China enough to engage in mass-murder of muslims to dissuade the Taliban from forming friendly ties with China, doesn't this put US-NATO and the other Jewed-up muslim-killing Christians, and IS-K, in the same ideological sewer?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 9 2021 11:28 utc | 138

@110 Don Bacon "But as you indicate, by 2040 there will be a new realty."

No, read my post again. It will be 2040 because AUSTRALIAN nuclear submarines can start patrolling anything, anywhere.

But the Fremantle submarine base can be upgraded quickly, and then the USA can move AMERICAN nuclear submarines into that base.

I'm convinced that a US Navy long-term lease on the Fremantle base is the true game-plan for the AUKUS "pact", and all the nonsense about Australia building its own nuclear submarines - sure, and pigs can fly - is simply smoke and mirrors meant to prepare the way for that announcement in a year or so.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 9 2021 11:40 utc | 139

@ William Gruff 133

Indira Gandhi nationalized the 14 biggest banks in 1969 and the next 6 in 1980.

The real value of a person or nation is not measured in $$$ - "how much are you worth"? but in cultural independence, self-sustainability and individual freedom.

Not another toilet paper obsessed Westerner please!

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2021 11:46 utc | 140

Also here in South America the china bashing atmosphere is predominant and mounting. One sometimes two out of twenty people around has ever taken the pain to investigate what'might be different from the volcanic magma of the zio media.
What did I do after years of useless discussion? I submit it to you, no matter if silly: I ve learned by heart (in in my tentative German) all the the paragraphs of Mein Kampf where the mustachian guy lectures us, common people about the Big Lie vs small Lie thing. Where "the broad masses in the primitive simplicity of their spirit" (sic) are far more inclined to believe in BIG LIE rather than a small one.
Impression is common place, not agreement.

Posted by: augusto | Oct 9 2021 12:15 utc | 141

Uncle tungsten @ 129 re the position of James O'Neill at New Eastern Outlook:

What it does do is highlight the extent to which the world is changing and not in a matter likely to find favour with the Americans. .. clearly represented by the recent purported formation of the so-called Quad of nations, including Australia, Japan, India and United States...another example of USA dreaming of an anti-China alliance designed to challenge the increasingly powerful and dominate SCO members.

<==what it does not do, is much more important, IMO. It does not change or relieve the world of the private imperial Global Oligarch (PIGO) and their leg-breaker, monopoly-powered army of world class Corporations that own the global nation state system which contains, manipulates and controls all of humanity within its 256 member state by state organization. It does not focus the nation state system on providing a better life for those it governs, and it does not protect all of humanity from the PIGO, nor does it subject the PIGO to the rising and falling condition of lifestyles brought on by the whims of the PIGO.

The gain from the shifts always falls into the pockets of PIGOs and the losses from the shifts always fall on those trapped within the declining nation states. Since the beginning of trading with foreign entities and foreign colonies, the PIGOs have managed to profit by robbing one place and selling the spoils of the theft to the people in another place.

What must change is how news of events are reported. Shifting economic strenth between nation states generates profit making energy. MSM News does not focus on the underlying causes of such shifting, nor does MSM news seek a solution to an unbalanced and injust world. In fact no one is working on that, because humanity is not of interest to the nation state system and humanity itself is just not organized.

Unless you are a PIGO your comfort goes up and down in accord with the economic manipulation of the nation states in which you are trapped. In other words, Each nation in the nation state system is a system of enterprises competing against each other domestically, and against those in the other nation states globally. Each competitor uses the power of its nation state to wage shooting wars, do assasinations, invoke sanctions, and otherwise interfere with the operations of the enterprises trapped in the target nation state.

Please lets look into the PIGOs.. how did they bring these changing condition about and why? Who are the corporations and their PIGO owners that benefit from these shifts and who are the corporations and their PIGO owners that will be the big loosers in this can the nation state system be homogenized to bring about a global uniform standard of living in every place in the world?

Which political system was used to cause the sea saw to rise on one end and to fall on the other end? Humanity is the net sum 0 beneficiary of these shifts; its just that the up side of the sea saw is now down on the ground and the ground side before is now on top of the sea saw. Every PIGO knows the profit generator does not generate profits unless the forces on one side of the generator are stronger than the opposing forces on the other side of the generator. Hence the Shifts and those in charge of the shifts are called PIGOs.

How can we dig into these gains and losses.. ? and make sense out of the various targets of the mass media propaganda schemes and sabre rattling that traditional news media feed the public audiences inside of each nation state? Humanity is differentiated by the nation state system. Human condition is the sum of a partial differential equation.

Posted by: snake | Oct 9 2021 12:23 utc | 142

Sabre rattling by the Chinese or a real threat of intervention?

"Second, we must resolutely define the deployment of US troops in Taiwan as an "invasion." The mainland has the right to carry out military strikes against them at any time. We will not make any promises over their safety. Once a war breaks out in the Taiwan Straits, those US military personnel will be the first to be eliminated. Through such a declaration, we must make Washington understand that it is playing a dangerous game that is destined to draw fire onto itself and it is risking the lives of young US soldiers."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Oct 9 2021 13:11 utc | 143

Moon gets mention in Caitlin Jhonstone's latest.

"As Moon of Alabama reports, US warmongers inflamed this non-controversy even further by feeding a story to the press about the already public information that there are American troops in Taiwan training the military there, citing "concern" about the danger posed by China."

Posted by: arby | Oct 9 2021 13:30 utc | 144

Republicofscotland @141

Taiwan is a province of China. China did not invite American troops in. What is it called where you come from when foreign military forces enter a country uninvited? That's an invasion where I come from.

I am not sure that simply stating facts counts as saber rattling.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 9 2021 14:00 utc | 145

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2021 4:58 utc | 120

The FED can print unlimited amounts of dollars and did: 40% of all dollars were printed over the last 2 years! Dollar holders won't be pleased with that.
That statement is just ignorant nonsense...
First of all, the quantity of US dollars has only increased by about 20% in the last 2 years and that has nothing to do with the Fed. The Fed does not print dollars. What the Fed "prints" are dollar denominated bank deposits. The Fed does this by exchanging US dollar govt securities for US dollar bank deposits. The securities and the bank deposits are both dollars, so the net increase in the amount of dollars from this exchange is zero. The quantity of dollars that are held in the form of US govt securities is reduced by the same amount that the quantity of dollars held as deposits is increased

When the govt issues securities those become new circulating dollars on which the govt is obligated to pay interest. When the Fed or a US bank buy those securities from the private holders of those dollars that creates new US dollar bank deposits while at the same time taking those securities out of the hands of private sector holders. The result is the banks are now responsible for paying the interest on those dollar deposits and the interest on the securities is no longer paid to private holders but is paid to the Fed which returns that interest (96%) back to the US Treasury.

Posted by: jinn | Oct 9 2021 14:05 utc | 146

The US troops in Taiwan WERE invited, by the government of the Republic of China.

Posted by: Lysias | Oct 9 2021 14:06 utc | 147

"The real value of a person or nation is not measured in $$$ - "how much are you worth"? but in cultural independence, self-sustainability and individual freedom."

Your capitalist overlords truly appreciate your philosophy! Let them have the $$$ and they will let you have "cultural independence, self-sustainability and individual freedom."

Of course, a homeless person living on the street is the very freest, most culturally independent, and self-sustaining person you can ever find. Oh, to not be tied down by possessions and commitments!

Aside: An Indian commenting on things defecation related? A denizen of what is literally the most feces covered nation on the planet? For those who don't know, do a Web search on "India open defecation", but only if you have a strong stomach.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 9 2021 14:34 utc | 148

Lysias @145

That is like your homeowners' association (HOA) inviting foreign troops in. It doesn't count.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 9 2021 14:36 utc | 149

Here's some baloney we see frequently in the press, especially now with the Connecticut "collision."
**China claims total sovereignty over the South China Sea, a stance that is not accepted by the United States and its allies**
No, China has not claimed that and repeating it doesn't make it so.
This erroneous claim is only based on a dashed line on a map that the ROC put out decades ago. The PRC publishes the map once in a while to pull the US's chain, but it has never made a claim of sovereignty of water, only land. The UNCLOS arbitration case was over fishing rights, similar to other cases in the world including the US.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 14:40 utc | 150

Currently fifteen states recognize Taiwan as the ROC (and thus do not have official relations with Beijing): Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland and Tuvalu.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 14:42 utc | 151

Here's a key part of the new strategic guidance from the US Secretary of the Navy, which has primary duty for anything anti-China (the US half-million person ground force is for use against Russia).

With the resources entrusted to us by Congress, we have an ongoing responsibility to provide and maintain a naval force that is always ready to defend our shores, maintain sea control, and protect our national security and economic interests.
As our central governing concept, the top priority for the Department of the Navy will be to develop concepts of operations and capabilities that bolster deterrence and expand our warfighting advantages vis-a-vis the People’s Republic of China. We will ensure our Fleet and Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) are organized, trained, equipped, and employed in support of this priority, and that we are able to campaign and win now and in the future. In doing so, we must remain able to deter the full range of threats to our Nation’s security from other authoritarian states and transnational challenges that will continue to threaten our national security and economic interests. The Department of the Navy must always stand ready to address the multitude of crises that develop globally. . .The Department of the Navy will recruit, train, equip, and organize to deliver combat ready naval forces to campaign, deter, and as necessary, win conflicts and wars through sustained forward naval presence in support of the Joint Force. . . .here

As usual, it has little or nothing to do with US security, but rather primarily now to deter and win against China, and also other US global economic interests in "crises."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 15:11 utc | 152

My homeowners' association was not established by Sun Yat-sen in 1912.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 9 2021 16:14 utc | 153

"My homeowners' association was not established by Sun Yat-sen in 1912."

And neither was a country called "Taiwan". There has never been such a country and never will be.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 9 2021 16:57 utc | 154

Willaim Gruff (145)

William I'm not defending US actions I'm merely pointing out that sometimes a bit of sabre rattling, albeit from China or Iran or say Cuba can be enough to deter Western aggression, though on this occasion it may take more than this.

The US has broken its promise under POTUS Nixon not to interfere in matters concerning China and Taiwan, the US saw Taiwan as Chinese. Now because of the economic and military rise of China the US has broken that promise.

With consent now being manufactured above the 50% mark in the USA by the warhawks via their compliant media, a conflict using the proxy of Taiwan might be a forgone conclusion. The USA doesn't care how high the bodies are piled as long as its economy is still number one, Taiwan and Australia, and Japan of which Edward Snowden informed us that the US hacked it entirely from its Japanese bases, would do well to heed the warnings, that it will be their countries that are raised to the ground, their families and children that will die on their own soil, and not the families of Americans in the States if the US pursues this madness.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Oct 9 2021 17:02 utc | 155

The Republic of China does not claim to be "a country called 'Taiwan'".

Posted by: lysias | Oct 9 2021 18:02 utc | 156

lysias, i think you are in over your head..

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2021 18:03 utc | 157

When a force of British and Free French fought the Battle of Dakar against the Vichy French, was that an uninvited invasion and attempted occupation?

Posted by: lysias | Oct 9 2021 18:24 utc | 158

lysias @156

Where are the borders of this supposed country "Republic of China"?

Don't be coy. Your fictitious "Republic of China" borders India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Myanmar, and so on, right? The territory of this imaginary country includes the South China Sea, doesn't it?

America has something like that too. It's called the Conch Republic. It's some islands off the coast of Florida that like to call themselves a country. We humor them, and we go there on vacations and buy t-shirts that say "I defected to the Conch Republic!"

It's all fun, but if the people of the Conch Republic invited Cubans in to build a naval base what do you imagine would happen?

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 9 2021 18:45 utc | 159

Jinn “ When the govt issues securities those become new circulating dollars on which the govt is obligated...”

Please cite the OBLIGATION?

Most of the money created site as central bank balances of the private bankers so they were able to carry on settling their daily intrabank business - hence keeping them trading - pure socialism if you will.
Much of the funds have been invested in shares and property hence they are asset bubbles - which will deflate spectacularly when the magic money is turned off.

There is zero obligation by the government to pay any interest on the magic money it creates - except to enrich private bankers who do exactly the same daily, with eye watering interest on most short term overdrafts , credit cards and unsecured loans!

Posted by: | Oct 9 2021 19:22 utc | 160

On US-ROC, ambiguity rules. The US is ambiguous about defending an ambiguous place which goes under the official ambiguous title of "Republic of China (Taiwan)" with its ambiguous domestic standing as independent or not, independent from self-labeled China or not, which affects its ambiguous international standing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 19:45 utc | 161

Where are the borders of Israel? Where are the borders of Palestine?

Posted by: Lysias | Oct 9 2021 20:03 utc | 162

James @ 157, William Gruff @ 149:

It's very sad to see Lysias trying to defend what cannot be defended: his/her obfuscation which, the more they continue, amount to lying.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 9 2021 20:10 utc | 163

For two decades after the Manchu Qing dynasty conquered mainland China, Ming dynasty loyalists continued to rule Taiwan. If some European power had given support to the Ming loyalists, would that have amounted to invading China?

One can ask similar questions about the Southern Song dynasty, which continued to rule southern China for a century and a half after losing north China and for 45 years after northern China was conquered by the Mongol Yuan dynasty.

Both the Qing and the Yuan dynasties were non-Chinese.

It is not without parallel for a Chinese dynasty to hold out in a part of China and to claim to be legitimate. Who has the right to say that such a claim is illegitimate?

Posted by: Lysias | Oct 9 2021 20:44 utc | 164

For a couple of decades after World War Two, the German Federal Republic did not recognize the legitimacy of the German Democratic Republic or of the Polish annexation of extensive formerly German territories. Its boundaries were unsettled. Nobody claimed then or claims now that this makes the German Federal Republic other than a legitimate state.

Posted by: Lysias | Oct 9 2021 21:17 utc | 165

...from Reuters. . .
Taiwan angrily rebuffs China's 'reunification' talk

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen responded Saturday to a vow made earlier in the day by Chinese President Xi Jinping, in which the Chinese leader said he wanted to see a "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan.
Tsai and her office angrily shot back, calling on Beijing to abandon what it called coercion, and reiterated that only the Taiwanese people could decide their future.
Speaking to a large crowd at an air base in northern Taiwan at a pre-national day reception, Tsai vowed to uphold democracy.. .here

They call themselves a government of China but they want no part of China because they are . . .Taiwanese. So now China has it, there will be no peaceful reunification, and China has many, many options.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 21:44 utc | 166

re: China options
A China amphibious offensive may be part of military action against Taiwan province. That would mean crossing the hundred mile Taiwan Strait and launching armed track vehicles to secure a battlefield on the island.

China has its Type 071 amphibious transport dock ships to carry ZBD-05 amphibious fighting vehicles to the battle. If the Taiwan army is involved in contesting the China move, it is severely incapable of doing so. It's "army" consists of a professional cadre with poorly trained conscripts filling the ranks. The US will save us! (Like the Kurds and the Afghans -- not.)

An important consideration in such a China military operation is the weather conditions on the Taiwan Strait. The wind blows there much of the year, strong winds from the northeast, and that contributes to high waves. Currently the winds are blowing at 20-25 mph with gusts over 30 creating waves ranging from one to two meters, and the ZBD-05 vehicles can only stand a maximum of a meter, sea state 4. That's with a wind speed of 11-16 knots max, whereas the the predominate wind speeds in the Strait most of the year are in the 17-22 knot range . .here

Amphibious vehicles should not be employed when the weather isn't acceptable. There was a sinking of a US Marine Corps amphibious vehicle off the coast of San Diego last year, killing eight Marines and a sailor. The weather is usually acceptable for a China amphibious operation in another part of the year. Between March and May the wind eases, and so April would be the best time of year to launch an invasion. Or perhaps China could work around the wind problem.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 22:36 utc | 167

Posted by: | Oct 9 2021 19:22 utc | 160

Jinn “ When the govt issues securities those become new circulating dollars on which the govt is obligated...”
Please cite the OBLIGATION?
Well, how about the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which states "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned." The fact is that the people who hold the US govt securities do not question the contractual obligations of the US govt - it doesn't really matter if the people to whom the govt has no obligation question that obligation...
Most of the money created site as central bank balances of the private bankers so they were able to carry on settling their daily intrabank business - hence keeping them trading - pure socialism if you will.
I wouldn't call it pure socialism but it pretty darn close to it. What's your problem with socialism?
The daily US intrabank business is to ensure that there is a functional dollar payment system that people use regularly. Its kind like the highway system. The highway system is close to pure socialism, also. So what?

Posted by: jinn | Oct 9 2021 23:02 utc | 168

Interesting thing the 14th Amendment

“ The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. Often considered one of the most consequential amendments, it addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by the states of the defeated Confederacy, which were forced to ratify it in order to regain representation in Congress.”

Wiki has this on the section you quote above.

‘Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 4 confirmed the legitimacy of all public debt appropriated by the Congress. It also confirmed that neither the United States nor any state would pay for the loss of slaves or debts that had been incurred by the Confederacy. For example, during the Civil War several British and French banks had lent large sums of money to the Confederacy to support its war against the Union.[197] In Perry v. United States (1935), the Supreme Court ruled that under Section 4 voiding a United States bond "went beyond the congressional power".[198]”

On debt and interest it doesn’t say much more than a government has an obligation to pay the debts a previous government has entered into most of the time.

Investopedia says

“ Some government bonds may pay periodic interest payments. Other government bonds do not pay coupons and are sold at a discount instead.”

It seems there is NO Obligation for a government to issue bonds with any interest. There is no legal requirement that a government can only issue interest bearing bonds.

Infact most current government bonds are paying less than the rate of inflation, with near zero central bank rates.

The question than is why do major institutions , banks, pension funds etc buy central bank Bonds which are going to return less than their purchase value in real terms?

It certainly isn’t because the government NEEDS to sell these Bonds to pay for public services or ‘obligations’ - because they can and do create the money they spend daily out of thin air! Or probably a push of a button on a computer.

It is because they are safe guaranteed savings that will return exactly the amount you paid for them. Because the government can’t go bust ever. Safer than houses infact or even precious metals or crypto.

Which also seems to answer why not only the banks but all who benefit from any government spending by a state that can create its own currency, including its armed forces, civil servants, public forces ... are being socialists. Never heard of the MIC go without.

Posted by: D.G. | Oct 10 2021 0:07 utc | 169

@ Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 22:36 utc | 167

I don’t think Chinese troops would invade just by sea borne assault. I guess it would be by dropping out of the sky in their tens of thousands having targeted command and control and ground defence forces - probably take about half an hour to half a day at most.

The problem with trying to fight the next war with old war tactics is historically unsuccessful. Like using cavalry against howitzers and tanks!

The Taiwanese know that they would lose. The Nato hybrids know they couldn’t defend it and only a empty threat of MAD nukes would supposedly scare a belligerent from such action.

I expect the weapons that the US has been using unilaterally for years - economic sanction and theft of reserves is what China/SCO will use against hostile ‘neighbours’ if they want to be disruptive.

Posted by: D.G | Oct 10 2021 0:23 utc | 170

My opinion is that when time comes for the mainland to consolidate with the island that most troops will go to Taiwan by regular commercial airline. No need for D-Day style landings and beachheads and dramatic scenes like that. I strongly suspect that the mainland's "invasion" of Taiwan will be quite anticlimactic. I suppose there might be a few covert actions here and there, but even those will probably have to be exaggerated a bit to make good movies of them afterwards.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 10 2021 1:00 utc | 171

...from PopularMechanics, Aug 2
The U.S. Military 'Failed Miserably' in a Fake Battle Over Taiwan

The U.S. military reportedly "failed miserably" in a series of wargame scenarios designed to test the Pentagon's might. The flunked exercises, which took place last October, are a red flag that the way the military has operated for years isn't going to fly against today's enemies.
Specifically, a simulated adversary that has studied the American way of war for decades managed to run rings around U.S. forces, defeating them decisively. "They knew exactly what we're going to do before we did it," Gen. John Hyten, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed at an industry event.
While Hyten did not disclose the name of the wargame (it's classifed), he did say that one of the exercises focused exclusively on a brawl between U.S. and Chinese forces fighting over Taiwan—a scenario that seems increasingly likely. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 10 2021 2:58 utc | 172

Never mind the Jews,
fuck the MIC,
mAKE WAY FUKUSA, [they spin it as AUSUK],

Say it again sam,
Its the mug stupid. !

Vast majority of gringo wanna fight China over TW

Right after their inglorious exit from Afghan, now gringo wanna redeem their honor in TW straits !

When'll they ever learn, when'll they ever learn ?

Posted by: denk | Oct 10 2021 3:16 utc | 173

karlof1 linked to an article by Scott Ritter on the open thread. Ritter presents a stark military assessment of US military capability in the event of war in East Asia.

Observing events from my South Seas Bubble, I came across a series of shocking youtube documentaries about homeless street people in and around the suburb of Kensington, Philadelphia. Like this:

I believe it is an open air drug market.

Call me naive, I mentioned this to an American friend happily living here on dual passports. He was not fazed and remarked there are areas like this in most large US cities and in Vancouver too.

I have seen poverty in parts of Asia but the people are not spaced out zombies like this.

It appears the US is not capable of sustaining any external conflict economically or socially. There appears to be a lost couple of generations. A successful country needs social cohesion and a degree of prosperity. The US version has failed and things have to change.

A starting point would be to skilfully avoid external conflicts in the first instance.

I cant think of a country in Asia or anywhere in Australia or New Zealand i have visited where this kind of homeless wreckage and self destruction would be permitted to continue in plain sight.

Is the US a failed state?

Posted by: Paul | Oct 10 2021 4:52 utc | 174

Paul @ 174

As long as these homeless zombies defecate in little boxes called toilets & the total GDP is high that country gets high ratings by Moody Gruff.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 10 2021 6:03 utc | 175

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 9 2021 14:42 utc | 151

Currently fifteen states recognize Taiwan as the ROC (and thus do not have official relations with Beijing): Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Paraguay, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland and Tuvalu.

Are you sure about Nicaragua? That doesn't sound right.

Posted by: robin | Oct 10 2021 6:51 utc | 176

the main characteristic of the mainstream news is not the lack of factchecking, it is whom is considered trustworthy. It is normal that one is less critical towards trustworthy sources. That is almost by definition what trustworthy means. The mainstream can be identified by whom they consider trustworthy. Typically however there should be a soft rolloff both in trustworthinessscores (reputation really) and in how it should be taken in account with critical thinking.

The evolution then is towards this hardening out in extreme groupthink: they are becoming more extreme in their assigning trustworthiness , as well as more extreme in how trust is used in reporting: official sources are treated as very trustworthy AND trustworthy sources should not be verified at all. This has been evolving from implicit attitude which was not openly condoned, to standard practice and now even to journalistic code: you have to base yourself on reliable sources above all. It's entirely become a reputation game, and reputation can be managed.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Oct 10 2021 9:23 utc | 177

we must remain able to deter the full range of threats to our Nation’s security from other authoritarian states


Posted by: Misotheist | Oct 10 2021 11:02 utc | 178

Tuyzentfloot @177

Trust in the corporate mass media hits an all-time low in the US.

Trust in social media has hit an all-time low of 27%

  • 56% of Americans agree with the statement that "Journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations."
  • 58% think that "most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public."
  • When Edelman re-polled Americans after the election, the figures had deteriorated even further, with 57% of Democrats trusting the media and only 18% of Republicans.

The people who are skeptical of the mass media are correct, are they not? The complaints in the first two bullet points above are entirely justified, aren't they? It is the people who retain faith in the corporate mass media, despite all of the obvious disinformation they serve up, who we should be concerned about. It is the people who profess their trust in yellow journalism and partisan hackery who are actually the more stupid people in American society.

And that brings us to the third bullet point. Aren't the Democrats the ones more likely to have a college education? Aren't the Democrats the more urbane and sophisticated of the two faces of capitalism in the USA? Presumably these "liberal thinkers" have more open minds and formal training in "critical thinking". How is it that more education can lead to more gullibility and easier manipulability? Is this version of "critical thinking" that they are being trained in really what it is advertised as in the glossy brochures? Additionally, is it this "liberal open-mindedness" that is leading to people being "cancelled" due to their views, and to college campuses being turned into "safe spaces" that are closed to ideas that are declared to be unorthodox?

Here are some more details on media trust and who the delusional suckers really are:Pew.

"It's entirely become a reputation game, and reputation can be managed."

That is certainly what the "liberal thinkers" in the establishment seem to believe, but how is that reputation management working out? With trust in the corporate mass media at 27% and falling, I'd say that the efforts of the sophisticated morons who dominate mass media are not paying off.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 10 2021 11:24 utc | 179

"...defecate in little boxes called toilets..."

lol! I think I've hurt the feelings of someone who enjoys shitting on the street!

The Japanese have a concept they call "skinship", which is a kind of community bonding that arises from communal bathing at public bathhouses. I have to admit from my investigations it is entirely real. Of course I would caution against trying to build community in the US that way. Public bathhouses in America? [shudder] The horror! The horror... I guess a population needs a minimum level of emotional maturity before something like that could work, and America remains entirely at the narcissistic infant emotional development stage.

I bring this Japanese concept of "skinship" up, though, because perhaps Indian proclivity towards public pooping is something that is intended to serve a similar purpose. Instead of "skinship" it is "crapship"? Perhaps Indians believe that publicly defecating together builds stronger community bonds?

My stomach is not strong enough to investigate this hypothesis, but perhaps some of the readers here can take the olfactory hit for the community and look into it? I mean, maybe strong societal bonds can be made of shit.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 10 2021 11:45 utc | 180

A howler from one of the articles I linked above: "Former Financial Times editor Lionel Barber talks of factual reporting as a means of "regaining the trust of the reading public"."

Oh my goodness! "Factual reporting" by the mass media? Do they even have staff capable of that anymore? For certain demanding that those writing copy embrace actual real "facts" (as opposed to "inclusive facts" that are "sensitive to diversity") would be a gross violation of any corporate media outfit's "safe workplace" policies! It's... it's as bad as demanding workers operate a punch press with the guards removed! That would constitute a hostile work environment!

Well, that's how bad things have gotten in the delusional world of corporate mass media. They are actually considering reporting "facts" in their efforts to turn around their decline in credibility. Can you believe that? FACTS! In the news! Who'd ever heard of such a thing before?!?

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 10 2021 12:17 utc | 181

Is the US a failed state?

Posted by: Paul | Oct 10 2021 4:52 utc | 174

Of course. Empires are not about the "homeland", the "homeland" always gets screwed in empires. Empires are about the Emperor and his buddies. About the colonizing elites that grab all the loot. About power and money and having all the bimbos you want. Just take a look. Always the same excess and obsessions.

Take a look at what happened to England, Russia, Japan, Germany, France, to name a few, or any other empire, any colonizing/conquering power, and you will see what happens to the homeland. Take a look at New England today. What happened to those societies when they went abroad? Have they not been destroyed? Is this now the Anglo utopia they set out for? How is the slave empire down South doing? I don't think so. You can have stability and prosperity, or you can spend your time messing with your neighbors and lose what you have now.

The USA has always been a colonizing power, with a colonizing military, and most of the time a failed state, in that it never really tried to be a "normal" state, and never really tried to or wanted to govern much. Even now the government here does not want to assume its responsibilities to ALL its citizens and residents

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 10 2021 12:42 utc | 182

@ William Gruff | 181

I have never seen an Indian defecate openly in a street. In the country-side women go in groups in the bushes (there are billions of bushes here) for safety and gossip: there is you favorite bonding.
In India street dogs eat human shit. In China humans eat dogs; they also use human shit to fertilize their fields, something Indian hesitate to do.
Cow dung on the other hand is very appreciated here, mostly as compost or fuel.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 10 2021 13:12 utc | 183

An Indian who has never seen Indians shitting on the street? Proof of mind over matter! An example of people not seeing what they don't want to see.

Shit street (very rough watching for non-Indians).

So nobody in India shits in the open but Indian women shit in the bushes. That must mean that Indian men don't shit at all! I guess that explains why they are so full of shit.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 10 2021 13:56 utc | 184

I don't walk around in dark alleys at night in big cities here, sorry. Most men defecate individually. Happily for you toilet construction is being subsidized since years so you could update your last century vision of India and see an interesting, diverse, colorful, big country with many climates. Was your bum with water, much better than toilet paper: ask the French if in doubt.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 10 2021 14:14 utc | 185

"I don't walk around in dark alleys at night in big cities here..."

I can certainly understand that. One might get attacked by one of the packs of well-fed shit-eating dogs that roam the streets of India's cities.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 10 2021 16:10 utc | 186

“FAKE NEWS” has been ruling the world for nearly three millennia.
BLOG (French)

Posted by: Annwn | Oct 11 2021 6:15 utc | 187

@william Gruff, I was trying to get the point across that contrary to claims of people 'thinking for themselves' most of our judgement is based on what or whom to trust, and when we try to think for ourselves most of the thinking is still about whom to trust.
So when I say reputation can be managed I was postponing a pretty huge issue so it wouldn't get in the way. Thanks for diverting from the main point.

My views on public trust in media are hard to summarize. A part of it is the basic 'trying to escape the control of manipulative bastards'. But there are also plain systems arguments:

We come from a relatively close environment in which propaganda could pretty well control public trust, to an open environment with a lot of public communication (much more than foreign input).
Propaganda can easily access the mainstream group through credible sources(it is not merely 'control' because it is semi-organic).

In the open environment it is fairly easy to 'lose' people.
There is an offensive is to maximize the mainstream crowd and to disrupt or shut down the rest. The visible part is successful: the mainstream media acts very homogeneously. So they know to trust only reliable sources like 'serious journalists' and stay far away from 'fringe' sources ,conspiracy thinkers(which merely means those who don't trust your sources), fake news and Russian trolls. The part which is deliberately being made invisible consists of a large part of the population which lose trust in the system and try to find other reliable sources.

Another media strategy is limiting oneself to a target group and abandoning the rest. The NYTimes for instance shifted to abandoning the Republican part of the market and focus only on the Democrat part. But at the same time it tries to maintain the role of international reference, which causes a tension. Obviously then Republicans will lose trust in the NYTimes . A simple measure of trust in media loses meaning if the terrain is covered by 2 warring mainstream media.

On the part where people go to alternative media. Reorganizing reputation schemes is hard work. Most people suck at it and they end up with crappy alternative worldviews. You get the randomness of mob justice. It should not be a matter of completely turning off one set of sources onto another group.

My main gripe is about the large scale effort to take control over narratives, to maximize groupthink and to make competing narratives disappear. I won't claim that effort is entirely cynical and manipulative but it does not have to be in order to be harmful.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Oct 11 2021 7:28 utc | 188

I thought of a concise simplification of mainstream press. I'd consider them coming from a situation where in the first place they had structural prejudice and in a minority of cases bad faith. The evolution is towards cultivated prejudice or otherwise detachment(i only work here and pass on what is put in front of me).

We can respond to prejudice in a selective manner, without throwing it all away. Chomsky used to say that the NYTimes was a valuable paper , if you knew how to read it.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Oct 11 2021 10:23 utc | 189

Excuse i if this has been pointed out - but the real point of the 'fake news cycle' is to peddlle (arf arf..) a continual stream of agitprop.. propaganda - because of course that's how propaganda works - a constant dripfeed..

Posted by: Barrie VVeiss | Oct 13 2021 4:48 utc | 190

The real point of the 'fake news cycle' is to peddle a continual stream of agitprop Because that's how propaganda works - a constant dripfeed.. the 'news', true, half-baked, false or not, is utterly unimportant, just a vehicle for subliminal messages planted therein..

Posted by: Barrie VVeiss | Oct 13 2021 4:54 utc | 191

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.