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those in Bahrain or South Korea—rotational or “selective,” in part because such permanent bases reflect an outdated strategy: “I think that is something that needs a hard, hard look,” he said.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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SCREW Pompeo!

I told the readers of IST back in2010 that Pompeo came to office on the crest of the Tea Party wave that he would be a bully and a thug….and so far I have NOT been mistaken.

His newest BS is the designate the BDS Movement illegal…..although the idea is far from new…..

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Thursday during his visit to Israel that the State Department will designate the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “anti-Semitic.” BDS is an international campaign that calls on people to pressure Israel over its human rights violations through various boycotts.

“Today I want to make one announcement with respect to a decision by the State Department that we will regard the global anti-Israel BDS campaign as anti-Semitic,” Pompeo said while meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. “Look, we want to stand with all other nations that recognize the BDS movement for the cancer that it is, and we’re committed to combating it.”

It’s not clear what the label from the State Department would mean, but Pompeo said the US will “identify organizations” that engage in BDS and “withdraw US government support for such groups.” The comments suggest organizations that boycott Israel could lose government funding.

Thirty-two US states currently have anti-BDS laws on the books that deny state funds to those who advocate boycotting Israel. The laws require state contractors to sign oaths pledging not to boycott the Jewish state. Such unconstitutional laws were passed due to lavish lobbying campaigns from pro-Israel groups. Israeli officials have also promoted the laws.

“Whoever boycotts us will be boycotted,” Netanyahu said in a tweet in February. “In recent years, we have promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.”

(antiwar.com)

My posts on this Movement…..https://lobotero.com/2016/04/08/non-violent-bds-should-be-welcomed-not-condemned/

First of all most Americans have not heard of the movement….and now they have……but what makes them so dangerous to Israel?

The BDS movement says its goal is to “pressure Israel to comply with international law” and sets out three fundamental aims:

  • Forcing Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian territories in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Included in this is dismantling the “apartheid wall” built by Israel that runs through the West Bank and ending the blockade and siege of Gaza.
  • Recognising the equal rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel who make up one fifth of the population of Israel as established by the armistice line formed after the 1948 war.
  • Ensuring the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the homes and land they were forced to vacate during the 1948 war and in acts of displacement since.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/bds-israel-boycott-movement-campaign

Another one of my post on BDS……https://lobotero.com/2016/10/02/think-about-joining-the-bds/

One more time….Screw Pompeo and Screw Israel….stay out of my business……

So the government wants to decide what my priorities are on the international stage….Pompeo and Israel can go fuck themselves…..I make my own choices.

Enough said!

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International Challenges For Biden

We now have a new president-elect and he needs to set about repairing all the damage 4 years of Trump and his corruption have created.

And there are a few things he can begin with that would go a long way to re-establish the US as a serious partner in world affairs…..

Stop the war in Yemen: This years-long conflict, which benefits no one but the oil-rich rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has killed more than 100,000 people and caused the preventable deaths of 113,000 children. Biden could immediately freeze weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, forcing them to stop bombing civilians and withdraw their troops. It would be one step toward ending unpopular, endless wars.

Lift Trump’s unilateral oil blockade of Cuba and restore normal diplomatic relations: Trump has gone further to economically attack Cuba than any other President. He cut off much of Cuba’s oil supplies from Venezuela by applying sanctions against international shipping companies. This, combined with a halt in foreign tourism, has wrecked the Cuban economy. Public transport doesn’t have enough gasoline; trucks can’t bring produce from the countryside.

Rejoin the Iran nuclear accord: Trump unilaterally withdrew from the internationally binding Iran nuclear accord and imposed harsh economic sanctions on the Iranian people. This policy of “maximum pressure” has failed to change Iranian domestic or foreign policy. Biden should immediately rejoin the accord and lift all sanctions related to nuclear issues.

End attacks on China: Trump initiated a trade war against China. He tried to ban Chinese technology from being used in the US and even sought the arrest of a top Chinese corporate executive. But, of course, China retaliated. Trump’s policy against China has been a massive failure, with the US losing nearly 300,000 jobs as of September 2019.

(antiwar.com)

A good place to start the process of repair.

But speaking of China…..

Joe Biden said the US needs to work with its allies to counter China’s growing influence. Biden’s comments came after China signed a major trade deal with 14 other countries, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP includes major US allies in the region, like Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Biden was asked if he would join the trade pact when in office but declined to answer, saying he hasn’t been sworn in yet and that “there’s only one president at a time.” Biden said the US and its allies should set the rules for global trade.

“We make up 25 percent … of the economy in the world,” the former vice president said. “We need to be aligned with the other democracies, another 25 percent or more so that we can set the rules of the road instead of having China and others dictate outcomes because they are the only game in town.”

President Trump withdrew from a trade deal for the region negotiated by the Obama administration in 2016. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed by 12 countries, including Asian and South American countries. It’s not clear if Biden would try to revive the TPP. In 2019, Biden said he would not “rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward” but instead renegotiate parts of the deal to join the countries together to “to hold China accountable.”

(antiwar.com)

Biden’s challenges are massive…..and this could start the return of the US as a world partner.

Next he needs to work on domestic problems that Trump created……post to follow…..

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Biden And Foreign Policy

I have made my feelings known during his campaign for the presidency……

https://lobotero.com/2020/10/07/will-bidens-foreign-policy-make-a-difference/

https://lobotero.com/2020/09/02/bidens-foreign-policy-4/

Now that he has finally won the Electoral College and will be the next president I wanted to look at what will be his foreign policy approach.

I still stand with my analysis back in the days of the campaign…..he will be is typical Neocon and his policies will show this…..he will try to make some in roads with the treaty process but the intervention is NOT over.

While the 2020 election campaign understandably focused on domestic issues, Biden is a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and reinforcing America’s geopolitical primacy will be high on his agenda.

He will bring a deeply experienced team of foreign and security policy advisers with him into government, many veterans of the Obama administration. Having worked alongside nearly all of them, I would say this might be the deepest initial bench any president has brought to the White House in the post-Vietnam era. Among them: Nicholas Burns, William Burns and Tony Blinken held top jobs at the State Department; Avril Haines and Michael Morell similarly helped guide the CIA; Michele Flournoy, Lisa Monaco and Jeh Johnson filled senior roles involving defense and homeland security; Susan Rice was ambassador to the United Nations and national security adviser.

Biden has signaled that he intends to take a relatively tough stance on China, for example. This will include continuing to address the pre-Covid basket of challenges the U.S. has with Beijing: claims of territoriality and construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea; trade and tariff imbalances; intellectual property theft; and shadowy conflicts in cybersecurity.

There will also be continuing pressure on various terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, the so-called Islamic State, and Al Shabaab in East Africa. Likewise with economic and diplomatic pressure on the corrupt Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela. And the general idea of bringing home troops from “the forever wars” is likely, albeit at a more measured pace based on conditions on the ground.

(Nothing new from Trump)

There will, however, be a realignment within that budget to emphasize 21st-century tools of warfare: cybersecurity; unmanned vehicles (not just aerial drones, but also satellites, unmanned submarines and surface ships); Special Forces; hypersonic weapons; and artificial intelligence. This will come at the expense, probably, of troop levels and some number of very expensive large platforms (aircraft carriers and Army brigade combat teams). Modernization of the nation’s nuclear arsenal, begun under Obama, may be put on hold.

(Bloomberg.com)

All in all the adventurism and war will continue…treaties may get a revival…..anything he tries to do will be a bone of contention in both the House and the Senate.

I do not see much progress there…however Biden will have the Executive Order he may use and make the GOP whine and cry like babies missing their breast feeding schedule.

American foreign policy has been a disaster for at least two decades….and I do not see much improvement overall for the next four years….https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/11/06/u-s-foreign-policy-is-a-failure-whoevers-president/

I will be taking a closer look at the teams he puts together….

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Biden And NatSec

As usual the new president-elect will have to deal with the problems we face internationally and our National Security….continuing my series at the appearance of the Biden policies we all will have to live with for the next 4 years.

As a foreign policy/international relations geek I would like to take an early look at what Joe Biden may have planned for this policy…..

What better source to quote than that of the Military Times?

Biden, who was elected to the Senate exactly 48 years ago to the day he was named winner of the presidential election, is no stranger to international leadership and has a long track record on international relations and national security issues. Here are a few of his selected positions and how they differ from Trump.

The defense budget: Biden has said that Trump “abandoned all fiscal discipline when it comes to defense spending,” and while he doesn’t foresee major U.S. defense cuts if elected, he will be facing pressure from the left to scale back. To affordably deter Russia and China, Biden said he would shift investments from “legacy systems that won’t be relevant” to “smart investments in technologies and innovations — including in cyber, space, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence.” He also wants to boost neglected nonmilitary investments, such as “diplomacy, economic power, education, and science and technology.”

Personal relationship to the military: Biden, a Blue Star father whose son deployed to Iraq while he served alongside President Barack Obama, made national unity and international cooperation key tenets of his campaign, along with a vow to better handle the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has killed more than 250,000 Americans. In recent weeks, he also promised better treatment and more respect for troops and veterans, arguing that Trump has dismissed and devalued their sacrifices through his actions in office.

(not to worry there is more….read more…..)

https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/11/07/where-president-elect-joe-biden-stands-on-national-security-issues/

I will be looking at Biden’s policies for his upcoming administration……this will let my readers know where he is standing and where his policies will lead this country.

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What Do Americans Want In Foreign Policy?

We have had our last debate for the 2020 presidential candidates…..it was pretty typical fare….lots of bullshit few specifics…..

There was little said about any of our foreign polices or our endless wars…..and I blame the moderator who was just playing the hand dealt to her by the owners of the news, the M-IC.

You would think that since Trump is getting some pretty positive feedback on his announcement of troop withdrawals that he would have found a way to insert that into his presentation….unless of course all his BS is just that BS….

We Americans deserve a debate where foreign policy is the only subject covered……

Foreign policy issues have barely made an appearance during the 2020 presidential campaign. The first presidential debate on Sept. 29 was wholly unsatisfying. While the 90-minute vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris was a bit more civilized, the discussion was so general and superficial as to be virtually meaningless. Short of bumper-sticker phrases that are designed to win the news cycle, the American people have been left to wonder how a President Trump or President Biden would manage relations with some of Washington’s most significant adversaries; the circumstances with which each would use U.S. military force; which conflicts they believe are important enough to warrant U.S. involvement; and what specific concepts will help guide their decision-making. The last presidential debate offers both candidates the opportunity to provide the country with the foreign-policy conversation it deserves.

After two consecutive decades of U.S. overreach that has taken U.S. troops into countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, the Philippines, and Niger—all on the backs of a tired, 19 year-old authorization for the use of military force—Americans are increasingly searching for leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue who understand that a course correction is desperately overdue. Recent public opinion surveys portray an American population disillusioned with what can only be described as a whole-of-government fixation on a violent and dysfunctional Middle East—a region whose strategic value to the United States is dwindling. More than $6 trillion and the sacrifice of tens of thousands of U.S. casualties over 19 years have bought the United States little security benefit. The list of opportunity costs, however, have continued to grow. It is not a coincidence that China’s hard power, diplomatic influence, and wealth have improved while Washington was stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan taming multiple insurgencies.

https://www.realclearworld.com/2020/10/22/americans_deserve_a_debate_on_foreign_policy_581565.html

It looks like no matter which old fart wins the wars status quo will remain….

Forever-war advocates rest on the logic that because it is theoretically possible a negative outcome might result if we end unsuccessful wars, it is safer to continue supporting them; that the lowest cost is to maintain the status quo. When the actual conditions of each deployment are examined, however, it becomes quickly evident the significant costs we are enduring, right now, are inappropriate and unsustainable.

https://www.militarytimes.com/opinion/commentary/2020/10/23/risk-to-america-of-maintaining-forever-war-status-quo-dangerously-high/

My thought is since that we spend so much money on our endless wars then maybe we should hear what the candidates think and what they have planned…….and I am not alone…..

 a YouGov poll commissioned by the Charles Koch Institute and completed in the summer of 2020 found that 74 percent of Americans wanted to withdraw our troops from Iraq and 76 percent wanted to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The numbers from veteransthose who have done the fighting and dying over the past two decadeswas just as stark: 73 percent favored ending the war.

The trends are clear. Americans across the spectrum recognize with increasing clarity that the militaristic foreign policy of the past two decades has failed. More diplomacy, not militancy, is what the people want. Their rationale is as simple as it is reasonable: the people are tired of failure and are eager to try a new path that has a greater chance of success.

We are spending trillions (yes that is trillion with a “T”) I think that the candidates could spare 90 minutes to explain themselves and their foreign policies.

But sadly Biden’s foreign policy track record is not at all something I would wnat to continue…..

With some 44 years of collective government service as a U.S. senator and vice president, Joe Biden has amassed a substantial foreign and national security record. An examination of some of his key votes as senator and performance as vice president does not provide a ringing endorsement for his presidential candidacy. Instead, it raises serious questions about whether his votes and decisions detrimentally affected the U.S. economy, U.S. national security, and international peace and security.

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/522480-is-america-ready-to-return-to-the-obama-biden-foreign-policy

What I see is more the same endless wars and the conflicts that go unreported…..but at least Trump will be gone right?

Any thoughts?

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After The Pandemic

I am an international relations geek….foreign policy and geopolitics……and this pandemic has made some changes to the world and the policies of Trump has made changes to the geopolitical landscape…..

What will geopolitics look like after we are done with this pandemic?

I read about five possible changes to the world after we have survived the Covid-19 virus…..

There is no single future until it happens, and any effort to envision geopolitics in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic must include a range of possible futures. I suggest five plausible futures in 2030, but obviously others can be imagined.

The end of the globalised liberal order. The world order established by the United States after World War II created a framework of institutions that led to a remarkable liberalisation of international trade and finance. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, this order was being challenged by the rise of China and the growth of populism in Western democracies. China has benefited from the order, but as its strategic weight grows, it increasingly insists on setting standards and rules. The US resists, institutions atrophy and appeals to sovereignty increase. The US remains outside the World Health Organization and the Paris climate agreement. Covid-19 contributes to the probability of this scenario by weakening the US ‘system manager’.

1930s-like authoritarian challenge.4

China-dominated world order.

A green international agenda.

More of the same

Geopolitics after the pandemic

If you bothered to read the article then please  which possible world will we be looking at?

For me it is a China dominated world order……and possibly “More the Same”……

More thoughts of things to come….https://studies.aljazeera.net/en/policy-briefs/what-comes-after-pandemic-predicting-world-come

12 leading foreign policy pros give their look as well……

How the World Will Look After the Coronavirus Pandemic

Any thoughts?

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Sanctions, What Are They Good For?

I see that Donald the Orange has once again used his favorite tool for international situations….sanctions.

This time it is sanctions used against Iran….again.

The US slapped new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector on Thursday in an attempt to further isolate the Islamic Republic’s economy. The new measures target 18 Iranian banks and subjects foreign, non-Iranian institutions to penalties for doing business with them.

“Today’s action to identify the financial sector and sanction 18 major Iranian banks reflects our commitment to stop illicit access to US dollars,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The move comes after Washington’s European allies have been warning of the humanitarian consequences sanctions can have on Iran. The country is already facing an economic crisis due to previous US sanctions, which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

European countries have been at odds with the Trump administration over its Iran policy. The US has been trying to enforce measures agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal, an agreement the US withdrew from when it reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.

The US says the new sanctions do not apply to transactions that involve food or medical supplies. But the sanctions will discourage foreign banks from doing any business with Iran, including humanitarian deals. Sanctions imposed on Iran since 2018 also technically have exemptions for humanitarian goods, but have caused things like medicine shortages.

The new sanctions came just a day after Iran reported its highest number of daily deaths due to coronavirus. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif responded to the new sanctions on Twitter. “Amid Covid19 pandemic, US regime wants to blow up our remaining channels to pay for food & medicine,” Zarif wrote.

(antiwar.com)

I am not a big fan of sanctions…I believe they should be used only as a deterrent…..I dislike them for they usually hurt innocent people more than the intended recipients.

I have written my feelings about sanctions…..https://lobotero.com/2019/02/05/sanctions/

Sanctions are a cheap way to try and get the targeted nations to play ball with what the US wants…..but just how effective are they?

The imposition of sanctions is a relatively inexpensive political instrument compared to armed conflict, and is more popular with the public. However, when a sanctions regime is promulgated, it is impossible to determine the exact level of measures that must be taken in order for sanctions to have an impact on the policy of the sanctioned state.

In order to determine the effectiveness of a sanctions regime, we will examine nine factors that we believe to be decisive: the economic cost to the sanctioned state; the nature of its political regime; its political and economic stability; the relationship between the sanctioning state and the sanctioned state; the type of objective; international cohesion; the phenomenon of rallying around the flag; the reputation and image of the sanctioned state; and time.

https://theconversation.com/under-what-conditions-are-international-sanctions-effective-147309

I still do not think that sanctions accomplished their intended conclusion……and do more harm than good.

So are these sanctions really all that good?

The genesis of the maximum pressure campaign as articulated by former national security adviser John Bolton and hawkish think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, was founded upon a simplistic but appealing narrative: the Iranian Islamic regime has grand designs on the Middle East, including a kind of 21st century colonization that would swallow the region whole. Because this narrative was already fully entrenched in Washington’s security and intelligence establishment, it was a relatively easy one to sell to an administration staffed to the gills with Iran hawks. 

The main theoretical assumption underlying the maximum pressure campaign was as shallow as it was tempting: pummel the Iranian economy with so many restrictions that the ayatollahs would have no choice but to crawl back to the table on their hands and knees and negotiate a new agreement on Washington’s terms. 

However, knowing that caving to U.S. demands would leave it highly vulnerable to similar tactics in the future, the Iranian government has held firm to its original position: if the U.S. wants to talk about a bigger and better deal, it must first re-enter the original Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action (JCPOA) and compensate Tehran for its losses. The Trump administration, as can be expected, finds Iran’s demands absurd, if not insulting. Indeed, as of this writing, the White House, State Department, and Treasury are actively debating blacklisting what is left of the entire Iranian financial sector and thereby severing it from the international community. 

Punishing Iran wasn’t all it was cracked up to be

Really?  We have been punishing Iran for over 40 years and what has that lead to?

Thoughts?

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Army Of Sexy Soldiers….

I begin my weekend with a sincere thank you for the storm that decided to give the Mississippi Coast a break….but the same cannot be said for Louisiana….please keep their plight in your minds and help if you can.

Does anyone remember Qaddafi’s body guards?

Gaddafi\'s female bodyguards

Since the early 1970s, an eye-popping cadre of 30 women have shadowed and at times taken bullets for the man who is today, at 68, the Arab world’s most senior dictator.

The women pledge oaths of loyalty to Gaddafi, including a vow of virginity, according to reports. The female bodyguards are not just for show. In 1998, one died and two were injured when Gaddafi was attacked.

It’s a dangerous job and yet for most of the four decades that they have stood by Gaddafi, they have seemed as much his statement on style and gender politics as his security detail.

https://www.pri.org/stories/2011-03-16/photos-gaddafis-female-bodyguards

Sorry I shall get to the point……I bring up this piece of nostalgia because Qaddafi was not the only one to use the idea of these ladies……..

Seems the new king of Thailand, Rama X, has an army of sex soldiers….

Maha Vajiralongkorn, the 68-year-old king of Thailand, better known as Rama X, sits atop both a throne and the upper-most floor of a luxury hotel in a tiny ski village in the alpine regions of Germany. He fled there back in April. It’s his quarantine pad. (The king was granted a special dispensation by local German authorities that allowed the hotel to remain open, since all others in the town are closed due to COVID.) And because he’s royalty, he’s brought a private army with him. 

But this army is no conventional fighting force. It’s a unit of 20 “sex soldiers.” They’ve been given the honorary title of “Sirivajirabhakdi,” which means “The Beautiful One Who Will Be Faithful to the King,” per Max Boddeker, a reporter at the German newspaper Bild

For the women called to serve their king, it’s both an honor and a privilege. Yet, in a society where women are subservient to men, honorable exploitation doesn’t seem all that honorable, just exploitative. As journalist and Thailand expert, Andrew MacGregor Marshall explains, “The concubines make a big gamble — with the hope of winning big. Some are happy to join and are hoping for riches and success for themselves and their families. … Others give in to the king’s pressure to join over fear of the consequences if they refuse.”

https://melmagazine.com/en-us/story/with-an-army-of-sex-soldiers-a-thai-king-makes-his-great-escape

Have you now heard it all?

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Will Biden’s Foreign Policy Make A Difference?

Easy answer is…of course not.

Our foreign policy of endless worthless wars will continue under Biden and his policies.

I have said many times that foreign policy is one of those issues that will draw me to a candidate….so far Biden has no draw for me.

Americans have opinions on foreign policy it is just not reported by the MSM…..

As the 2020 presidential campaigns hit the home stretch, the Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) has sought to understand voters’ preferences for America’s role in the world.

This is the third consecutive year EGF has conducted a national survey to investigate the foreign policy preferences of the American public. More than seventeen hundred Americans were asked detailed questions about hot button national security and foreign policy topics. The following observations are included among the study’s findings:

Americans favor a less militarized foreign policy

Americans want to increase diplomatic engagement with the world

They also want less military intervention

https://egfound.org/stories/independent-america/diplomacy-and-restraint

Afghanistan will continue…Iraq will continue……the adventurism into Syria will continue…..in other words the foreign policy under Biden will show little change than that under Trump.

But the larger question remains…..

The “left” rationalization for collaborating with the neoliberal wing of the democrat party is premised on the argument that a win for the national Democrat candidate translates into better possible policy outcomes for the “people” and nation. More importantly though, they assert, Trump’s defeat will alter the rightist trajectory of U.S. politics away from what they refer to as Trump’s neofascist inclinations.

I will not attempt to address this argument here. I have dealt with this cartoonish and idealistic conception of fascism in other places. I have also raised questions with my friends in the left regarding the basis of their confidence that Biden and the neoliberal class forces he represents are in possession of any ideas or policies that will address the irreconcilable contradictions of the late stage of monopoly capitalism known as neoliberalism.

Of course, on this last question, the response from my materialist friends is sentimental gibberish about holding someone’s feet to the fire.

Here I just want to briefly focus on the very simple question that many in the global South are raising in connection with the upcoming U.S. elections. And that is, if Biden wins, what might the people of the global South expect from a Biden Administration? To examine that question, I believe that the Afghanistan situation and the process for arriving at the current peace talks between the Taliban, the Afghanistan government and the United States offers some useful indicators for how that question might be answered.

Will a Biden Foreign Policy Make a Difference for the World?

So the answer for me is that the main issues will remain the same with Joe Biden.

Further Reading:

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