Closing Thought–20Aug19

Economics

How many of you, my readers, believe that China is holding our debt?

Let me correct this erroneous thinking….

It is NOT China but Japan that owns the most Treasury notes……that craps on so many talking points.

Japan surpassed China as the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Japan has added about $21 billion since May, making its holdings the largest since October, 2016. Japan now holds $1.12 trillion Treasurys, and China has $1.11 trillion, a $2 billion increase from the month earlier, according to U.S. Treasury department data.

China has been a less aggressive buyer of the U.S. sovereign debt, and market players have speculated that one action it could take in the trade war with the U.S. is to lighten up on its U.S. holdings. But there are no signs that is happening, according to traders.

The U.K. is the third-largest holder with $342.3 billion, up from $323.1 billion a month earlier.

(CNBC)

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The Mongols Are Coming

I do like my history……empires come and go…..Romans, Alexander, Persians, Mongols……etc.

I like to make the case that most people miss….take the Mongols….most of us know the negative history around these people….

Let’s start with a look at the Mongol that started it all….Temujin the Ruler of the World……

1. “Genghis” wasn’t his real name.

The man who would become the “Great Khan” of the Mongols was born along the banks of the Onon River sometime around 1162 and originally named Temujin, which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” He didn’t get the honorific name “Genghis Kahn” until 1206, when he was proclaimed leader of the Mongols at a tribal meeting known as a “kurultai.” While “Khan” is a traditional title meaning “leader” or “ruler,” historians are still unsure of the origins of “Genghis.” It may have may have meant “ocean” or “just,” but in context it is usually translated as “supreme ruler” or “universal ruler.”

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-genghis-khan

Like I have written we know the horrible tactics used by the Mongols from genocide to amputations….but believe it or not there is positive aspects of their rule…..

The Mongolian Empire has a well-deserved reputation for its brutality (it did, after all, kill 40 million in the 12th century, enough people to alter planetary climate conditions). But it’s positive legacies are nearly as profound, if less well known.

The first aspect is art. While the Mongols didn’t produce much literature or fine art during the Mongol Empire, they appreciated and cultivated the arts of the sedentary peoples around them. The Mongol Khans became great patrons of the arts, supporting artists and artisans of all kinds. While not artists themselves in the traditional Mongolian culture, once peace was established in the Empire, all the Khans and sub-khans protected and patronized the arts. Under Genghis Khan, textile workers, architects, stone carvers and jewelers were relocated from the Middle East and Central Asia to Mongolia to create the magnificent works of art desired by the Mongols.

Positive Legacies of the Mongolian Empire: International Trade, Religious Tolerance, Career Opportunities, and Horse Milk

What got me thinking about the Mongols was something that I read about modern day Mongolia and its place in the world….

In the telling of anthropologist Jack Weatherford, Chinggis Khaan was more than an unprecedented and fearsome military leader: He was a nation-builder who embraced the rule of law, protected religious freedom, promoted international trade, and established new diplomatic relations among the great population centers of Asia and Europe. The Mongolian empire connected a formerly disjointed world by creating a “single intercontinental system of communication, commerce, technology and politics.” Due to Chinngis Khaan, the “globe was shaken” and a new order commenced, the historian Edward Gibbon observed.

Today, Mongolia’s reach may be less grand; but while the country faces significant challenges both domestically and regionally, Mongolia remains poised to shape the modern world. Indeed, with the United States as its partner, Mongolia can overcome its obstacles and contribute to building a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/can-mongolia-shape-the-modern-world-once-again/

The modern country of Mongolia, represents only part of the Mongols’ historical homeland; today, more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China than in Mongolia. Since the country’s peaceful democratic revolution in 1990, the ex-communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) – which took the name Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in 2010 – has competed for political power with the Democratic Party (DP) and several other smaller parties, including a new party formed by former President ENKHBAYAR, which confusingly adopted for itself the MPRP name. In the country’s most recent parliamentary elections in June 2016, Mongolians handed the MPP overwhelming control of Parliament, largely pushing out the DP, which had overseen a sharp decline in Mongolia’s economy during its control of Parliament in the preceding years. Mongolians elected a DP member, Khaltmaa BATTULGA, as president in 2017.

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Military Vs Police

These days things are not quiet balanced…..for instance conservs say when cop shoots an unarmed civilian that it is not murder……mostly white pundits hold this belief…I have asked several what would the call be if it were their child and of course they go off on tangents like conservs always do so they do not have to answer the question that they are uncomfortable with.

I started thinking about this subject when I read that the ex-Blackwater operative was sentenced to life in prtison for the murder of civilians in Iraq in 2007…

A former Blackwater security contractor was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq that left 14 people dead, the AP reports. Federal judge Royce Lamberth issued the sentence after a succession of friends and relatives requested leniency for Nicholas Slatten, who was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in December. Prosecutors charged that Slatten, 35, was the first to fire shots in the September 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad. In all, 10 men, two women and two boys, ages 9 and 11, were killed. The defense had argued that Slatten and other Blackwater contractors opened fire only after they saw what they mistakenly thought was a potential suicide car bomber moving quickly toward their convoy.

Like I said…this got me to thinking….do the police face less discipline than soldiers?

Well thanx to Truthdig I have an answer…….

The problem is that the US military missions, themselves, are inherently aggressive. America’s professional imperial soldiers occupy the streets and villages of several Greater Mideast locales and fan the flames of unrest, intolerance, and Islamist extremism. That military – usually through airstrikes – also kills many many civilians. And here’s the rub: that martial chauvinism abroad has come home to roost in the form of militarized police – a disproportionate number of whom are veterans – and their militarized tactics swiped from US wars and counterinsurgencies overseas.

What’s more, ironically, America’s highly lauded police face far less scrutiny – or consequences – for their behavior in impoverished, usually minority, communities than do their military counterparts. It’s a veritable perfect storm: Utilizing US military tactics – and increasingly outfitted with surplus military gear – today’s cops often treat the neighborhoods they police like occupied territory, “Indian Country,” as some have cheekily admitted. Black and brown people are shot and often killed in shocking numbers by law enforcement personnel across this country. Of course that’s always gone on, but in today’s YouTube generation the incidents are disturbingly visual, caught, as they are, on camera. Almost no cops go to jail or face much, if any, consequences for this extreme behavior, and even less for their everyday banality of abuse and harassment. Sure, it’s not all cops who act thus; but it’s far too many.

Do Police Face Less Discipline Than U.S. Soldiers?

I think the police punishments are less harsh…..I suggest that a new Code of Uniform Officers be installed in every PD across the country.  This would set the code of conduct that ALL officers should be held to in the duties for the communities they supposedly service….especially training on how to handle situations without having to draw the weapon.

Too many dead civilians, mostly minorities, it is time for society to get a grip on the spiral of violence committed by those that are paid to protect and serve.

The new police department is similar to a city army with military gear, vehicles and tactics…..but with these “improvements” things have gotten worse….

Evidence suggests the militarization of police forces leads to more civilian deaths.

And….

https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/police-man-cometh/

And…..now try this one……

https://lobotero.com/2017/02/17/coming-of-a-police-state/

Is there a good reason why the police seem to get “away with it”…….

There are major legal, institutional and social impediments to prosecuting police. Thousands of officers are involved in shootings every year, resulting in about 400 deaths annually. However, successful criminal prosecution of a police officer for killing someone in the line of duty, if no corruption is alleged, is extremely rare. Even when officers are convicted, the charges are often minimal. For example, Coleman Brackney, a Bella Vista, Oklahoma, police officer who was convicted of misdemeanor negligent homicide in 2010 after shooting an unarmed teen to death while in custody in his cruiser, went on to rejoin the police and was recently appointed chief of police in Sulphur Springs, Oklahoma.

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/11/ferguson-police-misconductdarrenwilsongrandjury.html

The police have an easier time “beating the rap” than a soldier does…and the reason is the UCMJ…..so logically it is time for a “Code” for conduct of police…a unified code…..not the mish-mash that we have today.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

Foreign Policy Black Hole

The US has entered into a diplomatic black hole……

This black hole is the seemingly need to use military force in the nation’s foreign policy….

Sadly for years now the presence of US troops in other nations leads to their eventually use in some sort of military campaign.

Yet since the “end of history” and the dissipation of those threats in 1989, there has been no pull-back. Instead, the U.S. has been ever more sucked into places around the world. This expansion produces unnecessary tension with China, Russia, and the Islamic world. Worse, the U.S. now fights more often than it did during the Cold War. These interventions often take far longer than the public is led to expect. They kill far more people and cost far more money than admitted. At home, a massive national security state has emerged, confirming President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous warning of the “military-industrial complex”.

The policy response to this sprawl is some mix of retrenchment and restraint. A U.S. grand strategy of “offshore balancing” would husband American resources at home. Intervention would only occur when facing a genuine hegemonic challenger – most obviously China. But the “small wars” which have characterised U.S. intervention in recent decades would stop, for we now know that they do not stay small. Diplomacy would be properly funded; U.S. foreign policy would be de-militarised. Multilateralism and international organisations would be given a chance where the U.S. today disdains them.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/us_foreign_policy_restraint_without_retrenchment_114641.html

Surely there is some sort of reason behind our endless wars…this piece from a Neocon website but it still needs to be considered….

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Plato made that incisive observation a rather long time ago. Yet a surprising number of politicians, journalists and think tank denizens continue to affix bumper stickers to their Priuses (if they’re on the left) and SUVs (if they’re on the right) demanding an end to “endless wars.”

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/08/07/why-endless-wars-cant-be-ended/

It seems like once we get entrenched in a region we are then drawn into a conflict and a conflict we cannot seemingly remove ourselves….why is that?

Time and again, the United States has attempted to redirect more of its attention and resources toward its competitions with Russia and China. But Washington’s other commitments around the world continues to undermine this effort. Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to address this problem by pressuring allies to commit more military resources to places like Syria (where the United States is trying to draw troop levels) and most recently, the Persian Gulf (where it now faces an increased risk of a military clash with Iran). 

But concerns over the direction of U.S. leadership has made even Washington’s strongest partners in Europe reticent to deploy more troops to these hot spots. This lack of trust — combined with the fact that many allies already have significant security commitments of their own — will likely leave the United States with little choice but to make do with the allied support it has in order to finish out its duties in the Middle East.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/06/why_the_us_will_struggle_to_reduce_its_military_commitments_abroad_114642.html

I will admit that at one point I was with Trumnp and some of his foreign policy stands in the beginning…but it did not take long for his true self to emerge from the cloak of the presidency.

And now us foreign policy wonks are waiting for the adults in foreign policy to step forward.

NO one is the photo below is an adult in foreign policy….just puppets of the M-IC…..they smile because they are getting away with their crimes and NO one seemingly gives a damn…..

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