South China Sea Gets Hotter

We have a new president and it is time for me to return to my main focus of this blog….international situations and conflict.

For years now the South China Sea has been a region of contention……China claims islands….other countries as well think a bunch of island belong to them…..the US has responded to this possible threat by sending a naval group to patrol the region.

A U.S. aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas”, the U.S. military said on Sunday, at a time when tensions between China and Taiwan have raised concern in Washington.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defence identification zone in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands.

The U.S. military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which is claimed by China, to conduct routine operations “to ensure freedom of the seas, build partnerships that foster maritime security”.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-usa-idUSKBN29T05J

China has now made the region a bit more dangerous.

China’s legislature passed a law on Friday that gives its coast guard more freedom to fire on foreign vessels. According to the text of the law released by China’s Xinhua, it aims to safeguard “national sovereignty, security and maritime rights.”

The law allows China’s Coast Guard to take “all necessary means”, including the use of weapons, to stop or prevent threats from foreign vessels. The law will allow the coast guard to stop and board vessels in China’s “jurisdictional waters.”

China’s Coast Guard is relatively young, having formed in 2013 after previously being part of Beijing’s People’s Armed Police. The new law gives China’s Coast Guard an authority most country’s coast guards have. Still, the law is significant because of China’s maritime disputes in the South and East China Seas, disputes that the US has involved itself in.

In the South China Sea, Beijing and several Southeast Asian countries have overlapping claims. Since 2015, the US began sailing warships near Chinese-claimed waters in the region, maneuvers that were stepped up during the Trump administration and will likely continue under President Biden.

In the East China Sea, China and Japan both claim the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyus in China. Japan currently administers the uninhabited islands. Chinese coast guard vessels were recently spotted in waters near the Senkakus, which drew condemnation from Tokyo.

After winning the November presidential election, Joe Biden assured Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide that the Senkakus are covered under the US-Japan mutual defense treaty.

Back in October, then-National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien announced that the US Coast Guard was deploying ships to the Western Pacific. It’s not clear how far west the cutters have sailed, but O’Brien cited Beijing as the reason for the deployment, so there’s a chance the US Coast Guard can cross paths with China’s coast guard.

(antiwar.com)

All it would take is one incident and this could become another endless conflict that we have found this nation fighting.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Could Russia Finally Dominate The World?

The USSR tried unsuccessfully to dominate the world in its day and failed……climate change is real and could it be just the thing Russia needs to finally dominate?

Around the world, climate change is becoming an epochal crisis, a nightmare of drought, desertification, flooding and unbearable heat, threatening to make vast regions less habitable and drive the greatest migration of refugees in history. But for a few nations, climate change will present an unparalleled opportunity, as the planet’s coldest regions become more temperate. There is plenty of reason to think that those places will also receive an extraordinary influx of people displaced from the hottest parts of the world as the climate warms. Human migration, historically, has been driven by the pursuit of prosperity even more so than it has by environmental strife. With climate change, prosperity and habitability — haven and economic opportunity — will soon become one and the same.

And no country may be better positioned to capitalize on climate change than Russia. Russia has the largest land mass by far of any northern nation. It is positioned farther north than all of its South Asian neighbors, which collectively are home to the largest global population fending off displacement from rising seas, drought and an overheating climate. Like Canada, Russia is rich in resources and land, with room to grow. Its crop production is expected to be boosted by warming temperatures over the coming decades even as farm yields in the United States, Europe and India are all forecast to decrease. And whether by accident or cunning strategy or, most likely, some combination of the two, the steps its leaders have steadily taken — planting flags in the Arctic and propping up domestic grain production among them — have increasingly positioned Russia to regain its superpower mantle in a warmer world.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-big-thaw-how-russia-could-dominate-a-warming-world

While we ignore the consequences of climate change the Russians are preparing for their day of ascension…

Will we wake up in time?  Or will we try to snooze our way through the coming crisis?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Do As Say Not As We Do

The US is always accusing others of the very things they do….and looks like space will be NO different.

I have written about the plans the US has for space…..https://lobotero.com/2020/12/06/mission-space/

A general within the Space Force has stated that we need to be ready for China and Russia are weaponizing space….

Gen. John Raymond, the chief of space operations for the US Space Force, accused Russia and China of weaponizing space during a virtual event on Thursday.

The general insisted that the US has no desire to weaponize space but said “unfortunately” China and Russia plan to, so the US must create a military deterrence. “Our goals are to deter conflict from beginning or extending into space,” Raymond said.

Raymond also stressed the importance of working with allies in space. “I’m going to really work hard on cultivating partnerships,” he said, citing cooperation with Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, France, New Zealand, and Germany.

“We’re really turning these partnerships into partnerships where we operate together; we train together; we exercise together; we war-game together; we develop capabilities together, and it’s proven to pay significant advantages and there’s future growth opportunities ahead,” he said.

Now that the US has a military branch dedicated to space, the US needs to hype the threat of adversary activity in space, something Raymond has been busy doing. In November, the general said the US is facing growing threats in space, again citing China and Russia.

“I think there’s a realization amongst nations that access to space is no longer a given. We’ve got to make sure that we stay ahead of this growing threat,” he said.

(antiwar.com)

Wait we are accusing China and Russia of doing the same things we are doing….I cannot wait for the propaganda to start in earnest…..

Not to worry….the cash will be well spent (that is total sarcasm in your missed it)

President Donald Trump made the Space Force a reality when he signed the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 20, 2019. It temporarily reassigned 16,000 airmen and civilians to the new branch and dissolved the Air Force’s leading major command overseeing space, Air Force Space Command.

Leaders say the January missile warning and other high-profile operations are milestones to be proud of as the service marks its first birthday.

But with adversaries testing satellite-busting technology and other space weapons that could wreak havoc on rank-and-file troops’ operations, the Space Force says it is focused on the mission.

The Space Force concept has been criticized and even mocked, and some continue to hold that space operations should fall under the Air Force.

But Pentagon officials have warned that space threats have been increasing over the last decade. Both Russia and China have been focused on technological advancements, and U.S. intelligence agencies have observed Russia testing non-kinetic, anti-satellite weapons. Earlier this year, two Russian satellites, Cosmos 2542 and 2543, tailed an American satellite, known as USA 245 or KH-11. Time Magazine reported the Russian satellites loitered within 100 miles of KH-11, activity that Raymond called “unusual and disturbing.”

Just another venue for the profit taking of the M-IC…..and another venue for Americans to involve itself in more endless ‘wars’….

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Closing Thought–07Jan21

To change the pace of the news for today…..

Poverty has always been around but eh onset of the Covid-19 was accelerated the growth of worldwide poverty and yet the richest people gained massive amounts of cash during the pandemic.

Bloomberg‘s year-end report on the wealth of the world’s billionaires shows that the richest 500 people on the planet added $1.8 trillion to their combined wealth in 2020, accumulating a total net worth of $7.6 trillion. 

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index recorded its largest annual gain in the list’s history last year, with a 31% increase in the wealth of the richest people.

The historic hoarding of wealth came as the world confronted the coronavirus pandemic and its corresponding economic crisis, which the United Nations last month warned is a “tipping point” set to send more than 207 million additional people into extreme poverty in the next decade—bringing the number of people living in extreme poverty to one billion by 2030. 

Even in the richest country in the world, the United States, the rapidly widening gap between the richest and poorest people grew especially stark in 2020.

As Dan Price, an entrepreneur and advocate for fair wages, tweeted, the 500 richest people in the world amassed as much wealth in 2020 as “the poorest 165 million Americans have earned in their entire lives.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/01/02/amid-warnings-surging-worldwide-poverty-planets-500-richest-people-added-18-trillion

This is an obscene stat to me…..and yet the masses of people still support the system that allows them to be little more than wage slaves…..

That is so pathetic….this country and the world deserve better….or do we?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–05Jan21

Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, Radcliffe, has made an extraordinary claim and it concerns China……

Has China discovered a super-soldier formula through the capabilities of genetic engineering? A U.S. government official claims this is exactly what is happening.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that claims the Chinese government is attempting to enhance the capabilities of soldiers through genetic engineering. It’s not the first time such a claim has been made. Ratcliffe’s article, cited in an NBC report, outlined his belief that China is the greatest threat to the United States in terms of military and economic power.

Ratcliffe’s concerns build on theories raised in 2019 about China’s capabilities with CRISPR, particularly after Chinese researcher He Jiankui used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to alter the DNA of embryos for seven couples in 2018. Although international outrage resulted in Jiankui’s incarceration in China, Ratcliffe suggested the Chinese government would attempt to capitalize on these capabilities with gene editing and continue to experiment on adults to create biometrically advanced super soldiers the likes we have seen only in movies.

https://www.biospace.com/article/is-china-using-crispr-to-create-super-soldiers-/

Is this true?

Or is it just more chest thumping against China by the Trump admin?

I do not doubt that China would try such a thing….but accusation is not proof….I will wait for the proof.

And yet the US is mobilizing for a large scale war….China is the first suspect…,but there are others….

The US military is investing heavily in preparing for large-scale combat operations. These operations, pitting the US armed forces against peer or near-peer adversaries, would require large numbers of troops, would almost certainly be expensive, and would risk high numbers of casualties. In other words, major war. But even if the US military is prepared, the American people aren’t. This is a problem.

A major war, fueled by rising competition between great powers, is certainly not guaranteed. Any geopolitical gains made would likely be offset by high casualties and the risk of a nuclear exchange. However, miscalculation and misperception could inadvertently lead to a dangerously escalatory armed clash. Military establishments the world over, and especially in the United States, are assiduously preparing for the possibility.

https://mwi.usma.edu/making-the-case-for-war/

And a now familiar tactic by the DoD….China is offering bounties for American troops…..

Months after an unsubstantiated claim about Russia paying bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops spread like wildfire, a similar claim about China is being reported by Axios.

The Axios report published on Wednesday cites two unnamed Trump administration officials. According to the officials, the Trump administration is declassifying “uncorroborated intelligence” that “indicates China offered to pay non-state actors in Afghanistan to attack American soldiers.”

The report says President Trump was verbally briefed on the uncorroborated intelligence by National Security Robert O’Brien, and officials across all agencies are working to “corroborate” the intelligence.

There are few details in the report of what the uncorroborated intelligence actually says. Axios was unable to see any of the intelligence reports and received the information from sources in a phone call.

One source said: “The US has evidence that the PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempted to finance attacks on American servicemen by Afghan non-state actors by offering financial incentives or ‘bounties.’” The sources did not say if the “non-state” actors included the Taliban or not.

The only info Axios could get was that the alleged bounty scheme happened sometime after the US-Taliban peace deal was signed in February. Since the deal was signed on February 29th, no US troops have been killed in combat-related incidents in Afghanistan.

(antiwar.com)

Deja vu all over again.

But not to worry…..we have a new president waiting in the wings to change the trajectory of our foreign policy…..Joe Biden will be better…..

Well that statement is pure manure……Joe Biden will change little….

Joe Biden stressed the need for “modernizing” US defense capabilities in the face of threats from China and Russia. Biden also addressed the recently discovered hack of the software company SolarWinds that affected several government agencies.

Biden said he spoke with a member of his transition team about the “different strategic challenges we’re gonna face from both Russia and China and the reforms we must make to put ourselves in the strongest possible position to meet those challenges.” He said those reforms include “modernizing our defense priorities to better deter aggression in the future.”

“We have to be able to innovate, to reimagine our defenses against growing threats in new realms like cyberspace,” Biden said. “We’re still learning about the extent of the SolarWinds hack and the vulnerabilities that have been exposed. As I said last week, this attack constitutes a grave risk to our national security.”

In comments last week, Biden slammed President Trump for not prioritizing cybersecurity and, like many have, blamed Russia for the SolarWinds hack, despite a lack of evidence that Moscow was involved. The former vice president has also vowed retaliation for the SolarWinds hack, and Biden’s chief of staff said the incoming administration’s response would be more than “just sanctions.”

(antiwar.com)

You see if you were hoping for sanity in our defense posturing then you will be sadly disappointed.

There is another situation that could lead to problems shortly…..

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has re-awoken to a profound truth: Rich, secure capitalists are the natural enemies of authoritarian regimes. In a hybrid autocratic-capitalist model, capitalism is the means to generate wealth, but power is the end goal. Successful capitalists naturally begin to demand that their personal and property rights be protected from authoritarian fiat. Capital in the hands of entrepreneurs is a political resource; it poses a threat to the implementation of centralized plans.

Realizing this, the CCP has begun to assert control over the private sector by “installing . . . Party officials inside private firms” and having state-backed firms invest in private enterprises. In the absence of civil rights or an independent judiciary, “private” companies have no real independence from the government in China. Dissent and demands for civil rights are a threat to the regime and will be crushed.

China’s shift from encouraging external investment and internal market competition toward treating capitalism as a threat has an obvious historical precedent. From 1921–1928, the Soviet Union instituted a policy of economic liberalization, which allowed for the privatization of agriculture, retail trade, and light industry. This partial and temporary return to a controlled and limited capitalism, known as the New Economic Policy (NEP), saved the Soviet economy from collapse and enabled Russia to modernize. But, in 1928, Stalin suddenly reversed course: He collectivized agriculture and liquidated the most prosperous farmers, thereby necessitating the frequent resort to grain imports, notably from the United States.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/01/the-bill-is-coming-due-for-chinas-capitalist-experiment/

Just a little something to think about……

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is It An Assassination?

The recent assassination of an Iranian scientist made me think about the term and the use of the policy by the US (and yes I know the latest assassination was carried out by Israel…get over it)…..I have written about this policy before….https://lobotero.com/2017/05/19/is-assassination-by-another-name-the-same/

It all began with Pres. Ford in 1976…..

Executive Order 11905, executive order issued February 19, 1976, by U.S. President Gerald Ford, which prohibited any member of the U.S. government from engaging or conspiring to engage in any political assassination anywhere in the world. Promulgated in the wake of revelations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had attempted to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the 1960s, it was the first executive order to ban assassinations. It was successively superseded by Executive Order 12036 (issued by President Jimmy Carter on January 26, 1978) and Executive Order 12333 (issued by President Ronald Reagan on December 4, 1981), both of which affirmed the ban in the same language, which differed only slightly from that of Ford’s order.

Because none of the three orders defined the term assassination, the scope of the prohibition has been variously interpreted, some interpretations implying that it is operative only during peacetime. That reading was supported by Ford’s Special Message to the Congress, which accompanied his executive order, in which he stated that he would “support legislation making it a crime to assassinate or attempt or conspire to assassinate a foreign official in peacetime.” It is worth noting that only Ford’s order referred to “political assassination,” whereas Carter’s and Reagan’s used the term assassination only. It is unclear whether that change in language indicated any change in the scope of the ban.

https://www.britannica.com/event/Executive-Order-11905

Since none of the EOs defined what an assassination is…..I will step forward and do it for you…..

The official definition is…”the act of assassinating someone”…..vague huh?

Then how about assassinate?  It is a verb….to kill suddenly or secretively, especially a politically prominent person; murder premeditatedly and treacherously.

Now you have a grasp at what the definition of the term/s means……we shall continue…..

I bring all this up to help my reader understand that the US and its allies have sunk into the realm of gangsterism with their assassinations of people…..it has become one of the US major foreign policy situations…..

“Targeted killings” on an individual or mass basis may appear to be a way of tipping the balance towards whatever country has decided to go into the assassination business. The killing of Yitzhak Rabin did matter for the future of the Israelis and the Palestinians, but this was the act of a single fanatic and not of a government. Few other assassinations in the Middle East have had much long-term impact, contrary to the cinematic view of a world where Mr Bigs, like Goldfinger or Dr No, are evil masterminds whose elimination will make a difference. In the real world, figures like Fakhrizadeh and Soleimani can always be replaced.

Generals and politicians once imagined that campaigns to kill the local leaders of insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq would open the door to victory. But they found that “night raids” enraged local communities and dead leaders were swiftly replaced by angrier and more aggressive substitutes. One such campaign in Iraq led to a sharp jump in attacks on American forces. State-sponsored assassinations employ the methods of gangsterism and discredit and delegitimise those who use them.

Gangsterism as Foreign Policy: Assassinations are Becoming the New Norm

My opinion the state-sponsored murder is not lawful and should be  referred to the International court……there should be NO justification of wanton murder…..and there are those laws that should prevail…..

Murder is not justifiable…..

Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just puni shment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held necessary.

https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/ciaguat2.html

There are those, like me, that want some form of legal action…..

https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1601&context=yjil

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Is There A Conflict Countdown?

In the last few years there seems to be a ever perpetuating story that our next “big” war will be with China…..it all started with Obama, at least in the media and gained ground with Trump and now with the incoming president Biden…..the military has been feeding this scenario as well as the intel community…..

And now a top military commander is throwing fuel on the war fire….

America’s military priority in the coming years? China, China, and China—or so says the top US military commander. Speaking at a Wall Street Journal summit Tuesday, Army Gen. Mark Milley said China is aiming to equal America’s military might by 2035 and be ready to win a war against the US by midcentury. “They are on a path to try to do that,” Milley said. “It is certainly a significant security challenge for the United States now and in the years to come.” He added that the “great-power competition” between China and the US should not “turn into a great-power war. That would be a disaster.” Seapower Magazine quotes him as saying the Pentagon can offset Chinese power—and in theory, avoid a war—with a “consistent, predictable” budget boost of roughly 3% to 5%.

But Milley isn’t hopeful: “I don’t see that as a realistic thing in the coming year,” he said. In fact, he foresees Pentagon budget cuts, and favors modernizing forces over keeping current forces up to snuff, mostly to offset a rising China, per ABC News. He also suggested making certain international troop placements—like those in Bahrain or South Korea—rotational or “selective,” in part because such permanent bases reflect an outdated strategy: “I think that is something that needs a hard, hard look,” he said. “Much of that is a derivative of where World War II ended.” He also feared that US noncombatants, like family members, could get trapped if war breaks out between the Koreas. “I have a problem with that,” he said.

Trump’s DNI had thrown fuel on the fire awhile back…..

The nation’s top intelligence official just unloaded on China in unusual fashion. “The People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II,” writes director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Beijing’s leaders, he asserts, aim to dominate the US and the rest of the world on everything from the military to the economy to technology, and they are “preparing for an open-ended period of confrontation with the US.” China, he adds, “should be America’s primary national security focus going forward.”

  • Rarity: It is “exceedingly rare for the head of the US intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power,” writes Mike Allen at Axios. Such assessments are typically made to the president and lawmakers behind closed doors.
  • Why? It’s seen as part of a push by the Trump administration to ramp up the case against China before President Trump leaves office. As Bloomberg puts it, the administration wants to “lock in its policies and posture toward China” and make it more difficult for Joe Biden to unwind them. The Hill notes that US-China relations have soured on a number of fronts, including over COVID, trade, and the South China Sea.

Biden is no different…he also wants to keep this storyline active (at least for now)……

  • What Biden says: In an interview with the New York Times, Biden says he has no plans to immediately loosen tariffs put into place by Trump. First, he wants to consult with other nations. “The best China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our—or at least what used to be our—allies on the same page,” he says. “It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency.”
  • No leverage: Biden also told the Times that dealing with China requires leverage, and “in my view, we don’t have it yet.” He says his goal will “be to pursue trade policies that actually produce progress on China’s abusive practices—that’s stealing intellectual property, dumping products, illegal subsidies to corporations,” etc.
  • Assessment: Biden’s comments suggest that he “is focused on picking his spots with Beijing, shoring up alliances and US national power first, rather than rushing to accommodate a Chinese government that seems to think the burden for detente lies entirely with Washington,” writes David Wertime at Politico. “Friends and allies concerned about a US over-correction on China must be feeling some relief.”

I wrote in the past about the possibilities of the next war…….https://lobotero.com/2020/09/22/could-the-us-lose-the-next-big-war/

The next question should be…..could the US win the next ‘big’ war without the use of nukes?

Any sensible discussion of what a hypothetical World War III might look like needs to begin with the sheer size and force of America’s military assets. For all that China and Russia are arming up on various measures, US commanders have the power to dominate escalating crises and counter opposing forces before they can be used.

Take missile warfare alone. The US Navy already has 4,000 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the Navy and Air Force are currently taking delivery of 5,000 JASSM conventional cruise missiles with ranges from 200-600 miles. Barely visible to radar, these are designed to destroy “hardened” targets such as nuclear missile silos. Russia and China, by contrast, have nothing of equivalent quantity or quality with which to threaten the US mainland.

https://theconversation.com/could-the-us-win-world-war-iii-without-using-nuclear-weapons-94771

Will the China bashing continue with the new president?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Peace Through Bribery?

I am a cheer leader for diplomacy…I feel that negotiations is far superior than the use of force….but Trump’s idea of diplomacy is that of bribery…..especially when it comes to the state of Israel.

For 60+ years no Arab nation has been on good terms with Israel….and for damn near 100 years the Israelis have been abusing the Palestinians whose land they stole to set up some kingdom in the Middle East.

Enter Trump and his brand of silly diplomacy…..the Saudis get nuke technology if they recognize and formalize relations with Israel….then the UAE gets advanced weaponry to do the same….now Morocco has decided to deal with Israel but only after the Trump admin sends them advanced drones.

Not only do the Moroccans get advanced weaponry but the US will recognize their claim to the Western Sahara….

Reuters cited three anonymous US officials who did not indicate whether the sale was related to the normalization agreement or not. But the UAE is preparing to purchase a $23 billion weapons package as its reward for opening ties with Israel, so advanced military equipment is clearly on the table for Arab countries who take the step to normalize.

The sources said the sale to Morocco would consist of four MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones made by General Atomics with a range of 6,000 nautical miles that can significantly boost Rabat’s surveillance capabilities. While the SeaGuardians can carry a payload, it’s not clear if they will be sold armed.

One of the sources said Congress could be notified of the potential sale as early as Friday. Congress could potentially block the deal, but the source said that is not expected. On Thursday, the Senate failed to pass resolutions that aimed to stop the UAE weapons sales.

As a reward for agreeing to normalize with Israel, the US recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the territory after the Spanish withdrew from the region in 1975. Rabat then fought a war with the Polisario Front, a group that represents the indigenous Sahrawi people, to control the territory until a ceasefire was reached in 1991.

(antiwar.com)

The Polisario Front declared the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in 1976, a de facto state in Western Sahara. The SADR is a member of the African Union and maintains diplomatic relations with about 40 UN member states. Currently, the SADR controls about 20 percent of Western Sahara, and Morocco controls the rest. The UN recognizes neither the SADR nor Moroccan sovereignty over the region.

In a deal brokered by United States President Donald Trump’s outgoing administration, Morocco became the latest Arab country to normalise ties with Israel.

As part of the agreement announced on Thursday, Trump agreed to recognise Morocco’s sovereignty over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, where there has been a decades-old dispute with Morocco pitted against the Polisario Front.

The Algeria-backed breakaway movement Polisario Front seeks to establish an independent state in the region.

Western Sahara has been on the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories, a stance also taken by the African Union, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as well as the European Union.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/11/western-sahara-conflict-in-500-words

Once again the US NO LONGER stands for democracy and the right of self-determination.

I have given my thoughts many times on the situation in Western Sahara…..for further information please read….

https://lobotero.com/2011/06/15/where-is-western-sahara/

https://lobotero.com/2015/11/10/western-sahara-and-the-sahrawi/

https://lobotero.com/2018/04/30/western-sahara-update/

This is just the opposite of what diplomacy is meant to accomplish…..these decisions will increase the possibility of more and more violence.

Hopefully a new admin will turn back the stupidity of the Trump days…..I doubt it but I can hope.

https://www.britannica.com/place/Western-Sahara

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“lego ergo scribo”

Warmongers Press

After the assassination of the Iranian scientist I have been saying and writing that it was all an attempt to get Trump to start a war with Iran.

For at least 20 years Israel has been lying about Iran’s search for nukes….some times they are months away and others they are a few years away….in other words there is NO consistency t the accusations.

Israel has wanted the US to solve their Iranian problem for decades….so they take small steps to try and push a reaction by Iran that would justify an all out attack.

As time has elapsed since the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on 27 November, the chances for quick retaliation are fading away.

After the assassination, in an operation east of Tehran attributed to Israel’s Mossad, senior Iranian leaders have used harsh language to promise revenge, not only against Israel but also the United States and Israel’s new allies in the region, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Among those vowing retribution were President Hassan Rouhani and military confidants of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, including former Defence Minister Ahmad Wahidi.

But the inflammatory rhetoric subdsided. Gut feelings made room for cool-headed decisions. The first question to be asked is, why? Why did Israel decide to kill him?

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-scientist-killing-israel-lure-war-failed

Warmongers who have the president’s ear like Cotton and other diehard war enthusiast they keep pushing as well…..

Since Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in an apparent Israeli plot, the US and Israel have been warning about threats in the region. Despite Iran’s clear desire to make it to January 20th without a military confrontation with the US, anonymous officials are hyping the threat of Iranian retaliation for Fakhrizadeh’s death.

On Monday, an anonymous US official told The Associated Press that Washington fears Iran may take advantage of US troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan. For this reason, the official said the US might have to hold off on the planned departure of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz from the Persian Gulf.

In September, the Nimitz was deployed to the Persian Gulf to send a message to Iran. The US official said the ship must remain in the region “for some time to come.” The official added that an additional fighter squadron might be sent to the Middle East. The US recently deployed B-52 bombers to the region and moved a fleet of F-16 fighter jets from Germany to the UAE.

US and Its Allies Stoking Fears of Possible Iranian Attacks

So the question is….will Trump take the bait and help Israel and start a new endless war?

What are the chances?

Following his election loss Donald Trump reportedly sought options to strike Iran. The president’s senior advisors dissuaded him from doing so, though it’s unclear if he settled on a different option. Then, on 17 November, both Israel and Saudi Arabia reinforced their agreed message that that Iran can never possess nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. Netanyahu spoke to Biden by phone about Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s repeated offer that Iran was willing to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, which was negotiating during the Obama-Biden administration. At that point, nothing appeared out of the ordinary when it came to Iran. There also appeared to be a coalescence of interests between Trump (for his remaining days in office), Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran.

Opinion – Is the Next Middle East War on the Horizon?

Will there be a 2021 surprise?

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Who Really Won In South Caucasus?

The war that most Americans are clueless was fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the south Caucasus region……while we Americans were fixated on the election people were dying in an old hatred….

First where is this problem region?

Experts: Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Is Christian Genocide Under the  Pretext of War| National Catholic Register
Big disclosure: Pakistani army fighting on behalf of Azerbaijan in the war  against Armenia

To explain the feelings and desires of the region…..

I will let others trying to fill in the blanks for my readers…..

For now the fighting has ceased and a ceasefire is in place……

Troops from Azerbaijan have begun occupying some of the disputed territory….

Azerbaijan said Friday its troops had entered a district bordering Nagorno Karabakh handed back by Armenian separatists after almost 30 years as part of a Russian-brokered peace deal to end weeks of brutal fighting in the region.

Troops moved into the district of Aghdam, one of three due to be handed back, the Azerbaijan defense ministry said, a day after columns of Armenian soldiers and tanks rolled out of the territory.

Armenia will also hand over the Kalbajar district wedged between Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia on November 25 and the Lachin district by December 1.

On Thursday Armenian residents of Aghdam hurriedly picked pomegranates and persimmons from trees surrounding their homes and packed vans with furniture, before fleeing ahead of the official deadline to cede the mountainous province.

Azerbaijan Troops Enter First District Handed Over by Armenia

Hopefully the ceasefire holds and no more people have to die…..

But most Americans will want to know who won the war.  It is an American obsession to put everything into wins or losses…..

My thought is that the outside instigators actually won not those fighting and dying…..Turkey/Russia comes to mind…..

Turkey’s intervention in September with military advisers, precision drones and Syrian mercenaries allowed Azerbaijan to wrest back all its territories occupied by Armenia for almost three decades in six bloody weeks. The country’s strongman President Ilham Aliyev has been given a big boost. Turkish hard power has shifted the balance in the south Caucasus, much as it’s done in Syria and Libya. Yet Moscow, which sat on its hands through much of the conflict, is seen by many as the real winner. Is it?

Defeat has been cruel and humiliating for Armenia. Its leaders are being assailed by a furious public as traitors. Its lost at least 1,500 soldiers, with an unstated number missing, a sizable portion of its military kit and all the land it hoped to barter for a future deal that would have given Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh the right to self-determination — read: union with Armenia. A nine-point cease-fire deal brokered by the Kremlin that took effect on Tuesday effectively salvaged Armenian control over around 70% of Nagorno-Karabakh proper. Around 2,000 Russian peace keepers will be deployed in and around the enclave, spelling a return of Russian forces to Azerbaijan as well. Russia’s stranglehold over Armenia is near complete, its leverage over Azerbaijan arguably greater, to the extent that it can re-ignite hostilities.
 
I have a follower from Armenia and I hope to get her in-put into this situation….
 
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