Who Controls American Foreign Policy?

A question that few Americans want to ask because for the most part they do not care…..but they should for foreign policy will effect us all in some way.

Think tanks and lobbyists control everything in DC….especially foreign policy.

In a piece of news that shocked the mainstream media, but which shocked no one familiar with the academic industry writ large, retired US Army general John Allen was forced to resign as president of the Brookings Institution after it was revealed the FBI was investigating him for lobbying on behalf of the Qatari monarchy.

Of course, the real news, scarcely noted by the Washington PostNew York Times, or any other purported paper of record, is that Allen was only really in trouble because he hadn’t fulfilled the pro forma legal requirements for those lobbying the US government on behalf of a foreign agent or government.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), under which such activities are regulated, includes several exceptions that allow for such activities without declaring a conflict of interest. Think tanks, a misnomer if ever there was one, operate under an “academic exception” that allows for engagement in “bona fide religious, scholastic, academic, or scientific pursuits or the fine arts.”

Anyone who has ever picked up one of the many deadly dull social science journals where actual, bona fide empirical academic work is done knows this constitutes perhaps a fraction of what think tanks almost daily churn out.

Rather think tank commentary, touted as objective analysis, is regularly featured or cited by publications and outlets as apparently diverse as the Wall Street Journal and NPR.

Of course, think tanks are hardly alone. As Ben Freeman, a specialist on foreign influence on US policy, has documented, such democratic bastions of liberal values as the UAE and Saudi Arabia donate hundreds of millions, even billions, to universities around the country.

https://mises.org/wire/who-really-makes-us-foreign-policy-who-benefits-and-who-loses

If they churn out crap on the behest of any foreign government then they should be held accountable and register as a foreign agent.

Department of Justice’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit issued guidance indicating that think tanks and non-profits doing work at the behest of a foreign government likely have an obligation to register under FARA.

In a new Advisory Opinion — the FARA Unit’s public, though heavily redacted, responses when organizations ask if they should register or not — the Chief of the FARA Unit argues that the unnamed organization in question should register under FARA as its work for foreign principals included outreach to policymakers in the defense community, facilitating “meetings and new partnerships in the United States, particularly with U.S. government officials,” and has agreed to prepare a study that would “foster bilateral exchange and cooperation between” a foreign government and the United States.

As the Chief argues, each of these actions constitutes “political activity” under the FARA statute, defined as attempts to “influence any agency or official of the United States or any section of the public within the United States with reference to . . . the domestic or foreign policy of the United States.”

Can think tanks be foreign agents?

There is your answer….Think tanks is one of the controlling agents of American foreign policy.

When I left college I was offered a position with a think tank….I refused because they give a conclusion they want and I was to fit the research to fit that conclusion.  (BTW that refusal on my part made it possible for me to never get a gig with a think tank….I would not play ball).

Time for these people to be held up to the light.

Wake Up!  Pay attention!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

When Is Enough Enough?

Personally I am sick of seeing my tax dollars being sent to Ukraine…..it is time for someone else to step up if Ukraine is all that damn important.

Ukraine just got the okay for billions more for their national budget….we are talking about cash sent to their bank account to be used for their budget…..

The US announced on Monday new massive aid packages for Ukraine, including $4.5 billion in direct budgetary aid and a $1 billion weapons package.

The $4.5 billion in budgetary aid is going to the Ukrainian government and is meant to pay for pensions, healthcare costs, and social welfare. The budgetary funds are being directed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be sent in tranches, with the first sum of $3 billion being sent in August through the World Bank.

According to USAID, the new assistance will bring the total direct budgetary aid sent to the Ukrainian government by the US since Russia invaded to $8.5 billion. The massive amount of direct aid for the Ukrainian government comes despite Western concerns about corruption in Kyiv, which was previously used to argue against Ukraine joining NATO and the EU.

(antiwar.com)

Since the war began the Ukrainian budget has gotten $8.5 billion infusion from the US!

Think about that for a goddamn minute!

$8.5 billion of taxpayer cash sent to Ukraine to help with the budgetary shortfall…..and the US has how much of a budgetary shortfall?

This is cash does not include the multi-billion dollar arms packages that we are steadily shoving up Ukraine’s ass.

Time for the cash to stay where it belongs….here in this country.

When will the American public wake-up to the fact cash needed in this nation is being wasted on other countries and the only people that will benefit are the corporations….and the oligarchs.

Pay attention!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is China Bluffing?

Now there is a damn good question.

Well Pelosi goes to Taiwan and pisses China off….and China in retaliation…..

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has departed Taiwan—and China has launched what are believed to be its biggest-ever military drills around the island, which it has long vowed to reunify with the mainland, by force if necessary. For the first time since 1996, China has fired missiles into waters around Taiwan, reports Reuters. The drills, which China says will last from Thursday to Sunday, are taking place in six zones around the island, some of them stretching into Taiwan’s territorial waters, encircling the island and disrupting shipping in what experts describe as a temporary blockade, the Wall Street Journal reports. More:

  • Taiwan says China “imitated North Korea.” Taiwan’s foreign ministry strongly condemned China’s actions, accusing the country of imitating North Korea with its missile launches, the Guardian reports. The ministry urged the international community to join the condemnation and support Taiwan’s democratic government.
  • “Precision strikes.” China, which had warned of “serious consequences” if Pelosi went to Taiwan, said it carried out precision strikes in exercises involving its air force, navy, and other service branches, the AP reports. “Long-range armed live fire precision missile strikes were carried out on selected targets in the eastern area of the Taiwan Strait,” the People’s Liberation Army said in a statement. “The expected outcome was achieved.”

A trial run for invasion? Analysts—including Major Gen. Meng Xiangqing, a professor of strategy at the PLA’s National Defense University in Beijing who was interviewed on state TV—see the exercises as a trial run for a longer blockade and possible invasion, the New York Times reports. “Under the guise of signaling, they’re trying to basically test their ability to conduct complex maneuvers that are necessary for an amphibious assault on Taiwan,” says Oriona Skylar Mastro at Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. Meng said the encirclement “creates very good conditions for reshaping the strategic situation in a way that benefits unification.”

China says it’s an internal affair. China rejected accusations of violating international law, saying its dealings with Taiwan are an internal affair. “Our punishment of pro-Taiwan independence diehards, external forces is reasonable, lawful,” China’s Beijing-based Taiwan Affairs Office said, per Reuters.

  • Shipping disrupted. The drills have forced ships using the Taiwan Strait, one of the world’s busiest waterways, to reroute, which will add to the global disruption of supply chains, the BBC reports. More than 50 international flights to and from Taiwan were canceled Thursday because of the drills.
  • In China, some wanted more. Social media users in China who applauded Beijing’s tough rhetoric ahead of Pelosi’s visit said they were disappointed her plane hadn’t been shot down or blocked from landing, reports the New York Times. Before censors shut down the comments section on a WeChat video of a military exercise, commenters accused Beijing of being “cowardly in foreign affairs,” and a few people said they wanted to quit the Communist Party out of shame.

Some may say that Pelosi, now 82, has entered her second childhood. If so, it’s a delinquent one. Certainly her political inhibitions have dissolved, allowing her natural inclination to foment trouble to run rampant. One looks in vain for a rational motivation behind her ad hoc trip to Taiwan, an act of belligerency that might have sparked a war with another nuclear power. But to what end? China is not going to relinquish its entirely legitimate claims to Taiwan. Far from a model democracy, Taiwan is a former gangster state, whose repressive government was shaped by Chiang Kai-Shek, who retreated there in 1949 with his battered gang of CIA-financed KMT thugs, where he promptly instituted a violent crackdown on leftists known as the White Terror, a vicious form of martial law that lasted for the next 45 years.

Sure Pelosi represents many rich Chinese exiles, who have made fortunes in San Francisco and now fantasize about sticking it to the CCP from the safety of their Nob Hill mansions. But Pelosi doesn’t need their money or support. She’s well beyond that now. (Though her husband Paul (net worth: $130 million) is surely watching with avaricious eyes the reaction of the markets to this junket of the damned.) Antagonizing China over Taiwan doesn’t solve any of the global crises (climate, North Korea, Ukraine, Covid) hurtling toward us on all fronts–not even the “problem” of Taiwan.

Why Pelosi picked China as her target du jour is no mystery. Like Biden (and Bernie Sanders, for that matter), Pelosi has always been a Cold Warrior. It’s the way she chooses to understand the world, even if it’s a world that no longer quite exists. The political economy Pelosi has done much to help engineer over the last 35 years needs perpetual enemies to justify the trillions sunk into the weapons-and-surveillance complex. And not ephemeral scrub units like Al Qaeda and ISIS. Big ones like Russia and China. But more sophisticated politicians, from Nixon to Obama, have understood that the trick is to keep the threat elevated without actually risking a war. Pelosi seems to have lost this inhibition, as well.

Thus the brazenness–one is tempted to say, desperation–of her Taiwan excursion is a pretty clear sign of imperial (as well as mental) slippage. Far from a show of strength, Pelosi’s antics in Taipei revealed the frailty of the US hegemon in the Pacific. Sure, China postured a bit in response with naval exercises encircling Taiwan, drawing out of climate talks and slapping sanctions on Pelosi. But Beijing, a much more reflective (if equally lethal) government than our own, must have viewed Pelosi’s frantic finger-wagging as little more than a parody of power, a shrill manifestation of America’s political decrepitude.

(Jeffery St. Clair)

(This will be interesting to see just how successful the propaganda machine has worked on the American people)

But back to the original question….One could say that China may not be bluffing…..

Across the Eurasian continent, China finds itself being provoked by the US’s oleaginous adherence to the One China policy to which it is a signatory. Beijing has in recent days warned of severe consequences to be borne by the US and separatists in Taiwan (there are vociferous protests in Taiwan against Pelosi’s visit) if US House speaker Nancy Pelosi were to land in Taiwan.

Nonetheless, Pelosi is now in Taiwan, saying her visit “honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.” Even NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman said that Pelosi was being “utterly reckless, dangerous and irresponsible.”

Has China Been Bluffing?

What is the next move in this real game of “Risk” (registered trademark)

Could this situation escalate?  Events are starting to spiral again….and that usually means that the US will be a war somewhere in the very near future.

This is your world now….the US ends one war and starts looking for another to replace the lost defense industry profits….none of this bodes well for the American people…..in 80 years nothing has changed….the US goes from one war to another…..a cycle that seems unbreakable.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–04Aug22

Our Congress has voted on Sweden and Finland vote on joining NATO…..overwhelmingly in both Houses.

I have been in opposition to this situation for I think it will make things more volatile than they are now…yet another finger poke at Russia.

It is official the Senate has voted to allow Sweden and Finland into NATO…..

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a resolution approving Sweden and Finland’s bids for NATO membership, demonstrating the bipartisan consensus on expanding the military alliance further on Russia’s border.

The measure passed the Senate in a vote of 95-1-1, with only Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) voting “no,” and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) voting “present.”

In an op-ed published inThe National interest, Hawley explained that he was against expanding NATO into Sweden and Finland because he believes the US should be expanding its military resources into the Asia Pacific to counter China.

An amendment that Paul tried to add to the resolution would have emphasized that Article 5, NATO’s mutual defense clause, does not supersede congressional authorization for war. But the amendment failed in a vote of 10-87.

The Senate vote was needed to ratify US approval for Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance. All 30 NATO members need to approve the Nordic nations’ memberships, and according to The Hill, the Senate vote makes the US the 20th country to do so.

In July, the House voted on a resolution supporting Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids that passed in a vote of 394-18, with only Republicans voting against the measure.

Turkey is the only NATO member that has said its legislature might block Sweden and Finland from joining the alliance. Ankara initially blocked the Nordic countries from applying but lifted the objection after signing a memorandum at the NATO summit in June.

Turkey accused Sweden and Finland of supporting the PKK, a Kurdish militant group Ankara considers a terrorist organization. Under the memorandum, the two Nordic nations agreed to respond to Turkey’s extradition request for suspected PKK members and other alleged “terrorists.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the Turkish parliament could block Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids if they don’t comply.

(antiwar.com)

The bipartisan consensus for expanding NATO remains strong as the House approved a resolution on Monday endorsing Sweden and Finland’s memberships in a vote of 394-18, with only Republicans voting in opposition.

This is not something that the US should enter into lightly….but we did and apparently lobbyists money was well spent.

Ask yourself (you probably won’t) with this vote who will benefit the most?  (That means follow the money)

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

News From Ukraine

Ukraine?

You remember that , right?

That was the major crisis just 3 crises ago…….or to put in simpler terms that was the crisis just 4 short months ago.

There is still news coming out of the region but not on nightly news…..

First of all One American that was captured by the Russians has made a statement….

One of two US fighters captured in Ukraine says he’s “doing fine” despite facing possible execution. Alexander Drueke, a US Army veteran from Alabama, spoke with his mother in a Friday phone call shared with the Washington Post by his family. It was their fifth call since Drueke and fellow Alabama resident Andy Tai Huynh were captured by Russian forces near Kharkiv on June 9. “I’m doing fine. No real danger currently,” Drueke—held in the self-proclaimed, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine—told his mother, Lois. He said he had seen Huynh during a meeting with a lawyer on Thursday—Huynh has yet to speak with family or US officials, according to his fiancee—but otherwise remained in solitary confinement.

Drueke described the challenges of living in a confined space, such as “finding little things to think about, just, you know, [to] fill in the boredom,” in the phone call that lasted over four minutes. His mother has described previous calls as scripted, noting her son was “clearly reciting some things he had been made to practice or read,” per Tuscaloosa News. He also claimed he regretted his actions in a June 28 conversation with a blogger who’d previously spoken with Aiden Aslin, a British soldier sentenced to death in Donetsk. “I did not have a full understanding of what was going on” and would tell others to “look at sources outside of the West—be better informed,” Drueke said, per AL.com, which noted he may not have been speaking freely.

In this call, Drueke said he’d been in contact with a State Department official who did not convey “any concrete news.” His mother said a State Department case worker had told the family that “they were meeting with ambassadors and teams from Ukraine and also from the UK to discuss the British prisoners and all of y’all, and you and Andy were on the agenda.” She added, “It just might be awhile.” The State Department has only said publicly that it is in touch with family and “Ukrainian and Russian authorities” regarding the detainees. But Drueke’s aunt, Dianna Shaw, tells the Post that officials are working to include Drueke and Huynh on a list of prisoners for potential action. A third American, Grady Kurpasi, last seen in Ukraine in April, is feared captured or killed, per the Post.

Sorry no sympathy from me….he should have known what he was getting into….

I see Biden is planning even more aid to Ukraine…..more multi-million dollars worth…..now I ask why?

I have written about the PR blitz that Ukraine has put on using lobbyists to make their case and in turn get more cash…..

Ukraine has unleashed an incredible influence campaign in Washington. There’s a lag to the filing of lobbying disclosures. But even in the lead-up to the war last year, Ukraine’s lobbyists made more than 10,000 contacts with Congress, think tanks, and journalists. That’s higher than the well-funded lobbyists of Saudi Arabia, and experts on foreign lobbying told Vox they expect that this year’s number will grow much higher.

This spring, I’ve been invited to an elegant dinner with a parliamentary delegation and morning briefings (no breakfast, just coffee) at think tanks with Ukraine’s chief negotiator with Russia. Foreign policy reporters in DC have been inundated with requests. A journalist from another outlet, who asked for anonymity to be blunt, concurred: It’s been “a nonstop cycle” of Ukrainian visitors in Washington, they told me, “And think tanks that have basically become lobbyists but with a nonprofit status.”

https://www.vox.com/23188403/inside-ukraine-foreign-lobbying-blitz-washington-fara-justice

And you thought this was about democracy….it is about the money….only!

Just what is the national interest to pour much needed funds into this country and conflict?

I see NO national interests!

SOMEBODY HAS to say it: the war in Ukraine does not materially affect the permanent national interests of the United States or the geopolitical landscape in which we advance those interests. This conclusion—for good or bad or anywhere in-between—shouldn’t significantly impact the future of U.S. foreign policy. The war may tug on our heartstrings for sure, but it should not dissuade us from making the necessary changes to our grand strategy that position our country for long-run success, like our recent withdrawal from Afghanistan. These changes include increasing our focus on China as our most important strategic competitor, extricating ourselves from Europe and the Middle East, and emphasizing domestic renewal over ostensible altruism abroad.

However, there are important lessons for the future of U.S. foreign policy that can be learned from the conflict, especially regarding the offense-defense balance and Russia’s revealed conventional capability. But these aren’t the ones that you’ll hear from the foreign policy establishment, which will always spin positive outcomes or trouble overseas as reasons to redouble our commitment to the primacist status quo they favor.

Heads, I win; tails, you lose.

Ordinary Americans can be forgiven for thinking Ukraine must be especially meaningful for U.S. foreign policy. As the war unfolded, they could see red ink signifying Russian forces spreading across the map of Ukraine as Vladimir Putin’s aggression threatened Kyiv and other parts of the country. Prompted by hawkish commentators, they worried about whether Russia would stop at the western border. Daily, they were treated to intense battlefield videos of the most devastating war in Europe since World War II, some showing the cruelty of Russian soldiers while others the heroism of Ukrainian patriots.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/there-are-no-core-us-national-interests-stake-ukraine-203439

There are NO core national interests at stake in Ukraine…if that is true why do we keep throwing good money after bad?

Best answer that I have is…..to keep the profits flowing to those that make the most donations to those criminals we call a Congress.

This conflict ends to end or the US needs to walk away and let those most effected by the conflict take over….that means Europe.

You are now caught up…..well as caught up as it gets these days…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Dawning Of The ‘Age Of Stupidity’

There has got to be a song in there somewhere……

This new ‘Age’ has been a long time coming….although the basics have been rumbling around since about 1980…..and in the last dozen years it has become a full blown epidemic.

The stupidity has invade all aspects of our government and people….but for this post I will basically write on our foreign policy…..

The role of stupidity in determining the course of history is often underestimated by historians. They neglect it as too crude and shallow a factor to be the cause of crucial events, preferring to unearth more sophisticated and intellectually respectable explanations. Calling a leader “a fool” may be pervasive as abuse, but is seldom accepted as the underlying reason for a calamitous decision.

This is surely a mistake. “Never lose your sense of the superficial,” said the newspaper publisher Lord Northcliffe and his advice applies as much to historic trends as it does to daily news. Yet pundits like to feel that they are digging deeper than a personal failing, and seldom focus on plain and simple stupidity as the reason why leaders make unforced errors.

This kind of individual inadequacy is not equally present in all periods and it may be that in some eras the scope for chronic blunderers to do damage is higher than in others. It was certainly high in 1914, for instance, when dim-witted leaders such as Kaiser Wilhelm 11 in Germany, Tsar Nicholas 11 in Russia and the Austro-Hungarian monarchy were making the decisive moves leading to a European war that more intelligent leaders might have avoided as being much against their interests and putting at risk the future of their regimes.

The Age of Stupidity: From Johnson and Biden to Putin and Xi Jinping

After all the wars that were a failure….and yet the rhetoric is to prepare for yet another war we will suck at in the future.

Both Russia and the US have poked at each other over time until Ukraine has to pay the price…..now we are poking the Sleeping Dragon that is China….right now it is over Taiwan….

How much longer will this ‘stupidity’ continue?

Well my guess is it will not end any time soon….as linger as the Congress and the White House can be bribed this will continue until this country is completely bankrupt and the people living in squalor so the oligarchs can have their yachts and free money from the government….

I wish I could live long enough to see a government ‘of the people and by the people’…..but that is a lie that will not be achieved in my lifetime.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A Lesson In Bad Foreign Policy

As long as foreign policy is the topic of the day here on IST…..a little history to close out my posts.

My readers know that I truly enjoy our history, well all history….and today is the day that our most begotten war was started….the year was 1812, 18 June to be exact.

I have taught American foreign policy from pre-revolution until today and this war was one that was a bad idea.

But check it out for yourself….

The 210th anniversary of America’s declaration of the War of 1812 against Great Britain, which falls on June 18, will not inspire much in the way of celebration or commemoration. It had, at most, a minor impact on American and world history. Yet that distant conflict is worth remembering, if only as a cautionary example: it stands as the most misbegotten war the United States has ever fought.

It was an offshoot of the great conflict between Great Britain and France that grew out of the French Revolution of 1789 and ended with the defeat of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. In what came to be known as the Napoleonic Wars, Britain sought to use its maritime supremacy to stop other countries’ trade with France. The United States declared itself neutral and claimed the commercial rights that international law accorded to countries with that status during wartime. This led to a conflict with Great Britain over just what those neutral trading rights were. The Americans embraced an expansive definition, which afforded wide latitude for profitable trade. The British insisted on more restrictive terms and began seizing and searching American ships in the Caribbean and confiscating cargo that they regarded as contraband. President George Washington sent the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay to London to negotiate with the British government on the issue, where he reached a compromise agreement. In 1795 the Congress reluctantly ratified what became known as Jay’s Treaty.

https://www.realclearhistory.com/2022/06/14/revisiting_americas_most_misbegotten_war_837198.html

The US has had many misbegotten wars but 1812 was our very first one.

I do hope my reader has learned a wee bit about our history to better understand today’s world.

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Biden China Policy

The US policy of containment is the only policy Biden will allow…..a policy that has been the ‘norm’ for 70 years…..

Blinken compared the China of today with the China of a half century ago, saying it has moved from isolation and poverty to being a global power. He then claims that “China’s transformation . . . was also made possible by the stability and opportunity that the international order provides. Arguably, no country on Earth has benefited more from that than China.” He then accuses China of using its new found power, not to reinforce the international order that made it possible, but to undermine it.

Blinken’s accusation is an old one. It is an incarnation of the theory that Alexander Lukin, Head of International Relations at the HSE University in Moscow, says insinuates that China deceived the West by accepting its help in joining the international trade system and international organizations, making it possible to launch its economic growth, and then reneged on the implied agreement that it would then take its subordinate place, on America’s terms, in the international system under US hegemony.

The assumption behind Blinken’s charge against China is that membership in the international system supposes taking your place under US leadership and that any country that follows an alternative path to the US led path needs to be contained so that it does not challenge the world’s inevitable adoption of the American social, political and economic model and leadership.

Biden’s New China Policy

For the third time, President Joe Biden declared a new U.S. policy toward Taiwan, only to have his officials insist that nothing has changed.

The policies Biden is attempt to enforce are not all that new….

Then there is Taiwan….

While the world is focused on the prolonged war in Ukraine…Taiwan makes a move…..

China has scoffed at comparisons of itself and Taiwan to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But that hasn’t eased the fears of Taiwanese residents, who are now taking a step many never expected: getting firearms training. Although gun ownership is strongly regulated in Taiwan, people who’ve never picked up a weapon in their lives are flocking instead to sites that train in how to shoot less-dangerous airsoft guns, devices that fire off nonmetallic projectiles. “More and more people are coming to take part,” Max Chiang, the CEO of Polar Light, a combat skills training firm in Taipei, tells Reuters. He adds that signups for lessons in how to shoot airsofts have almost quadrupled since the war in Ukraine started in February. The news agency notes that “many of the movements and tactics involved” in shooting airsoft guns “resemble combat skills, from shooting posture to aiming.”

Polls have increasingly showed that the people of Taiwan are willing to defend themselves against a Chinese invasion if need be, reports the Los Angeles Times. Some, including retired Adm. Lee Hsi-ming, the former chief of the general staff of Taiwan’s armed forces, are even suggesting that civilians receive combat training and set up a DIY defense force, much like one that Ukraine employs (others say, however, that such a volunteer force isn’t currently feasible). Taiwan does currently have mandatory military service—four months for young men, plus occasional reservist training—but those who’ve been through it say they receive minimal firearms training. “I need to come to these kinds of lessons to actually learn something,” a 26-year-old personal trainer who’s gone through his conscription says of the airsoft gun training he’s now undergoing.

In short, many in Taiwan simply want to be prepared in case China one day tries to use force to sweep Taiwan more fully back into its fold. “I wanted to learn some combat skills,” including skills “to be able to react to any kind of situation,” one Taiwanese man, a tattoo artist, tells Reuters. “I … don’t want to go to war, but in the unfortunate event of this really happening, I will be mentally prepared.” The Taiwanese public is prepping for the worst in other ways as well, stocking up on food, batteries, and other emergency supplies, purchasing pepper spray, and rigging their homes with alarm systems. “Think about how you can help yourself and others survive,” one councilman candidate says.

(antiwar.com)

This slow boil will soon erupt into a major conflict if we are not careful…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Decline Of Diplomacy

This post is for all those naysayers that have nothing but crap to say about diplomacy.

In the 70’s I worked for the US State Department and I left there in 1980 when I saw the writing on the wall…diplomacy meant nothing it was all about the proxy wars we could finance and eventually fight.

Since 1970 I had been an antiwar person and thought that the state department would be at the forefront of all diplomatic endeavors….boy was I wrong!

Since 1980 diplomacy has been in decline….not accurate….it has been in free fall……

It takes enormous courage to protest a war, but when is it ever relevant to do so? There is a crisis in American democracy, yet there is no appetite to protest the decline of diplomacy. Many people believe Russia can’t be reasoned with and any chance for a negotiation is only a dream. Nobody should make a deal with the devil, they say. Americans have been led to believe that the heartbreaking war in Ukraine is beyond diplomacy.

And if there is no more time for talking, where then are we headed? Perhaps our distaste for dissent will weaken America, which was founded on the strength and value of American opinions. Differences of opinion are essential for a functioning democracy, this is the backbone of the first amendment. America’s diversity depends on its multitude of voices, which have never been more important. Dialogue is the practice of democracy.

World history continuously tells the story of peace and power, as progress is gained and lost throughout time. Bertrand Russell was once asked what message he would give to future generations. He suggested the necessity of tolerance, humans must learn to live together.

Intolerance has existed not just in recent history, but as a driving force behind all wars. In the face of global insecurity, only the strengthening of democracy through reason and discussion, has the potential to prevent tyranny. For freedom and equality to exist, disparate voices must be heard. Why then has criticism of the war been so readily dismissed as anti-American?

The Decline of Diplomacy

I still believe in diplomacy but as I read blogs and comments I think I am in a minority….Americans seem hell bent on world domination and interventionism…..it is veiled greed on the part of corporations that actually run this country…..

Be real!

If you do not have suitcases full of cash then your voice is little more than a fart in the wind.

At what point do Americans tire of war and the infliction of pain on the world?

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

It’s About National Security

Ever since the dastardly attacks of 9/11 the warmongers have used national security to justify the pissing away of much needed funds to arm the world and in turn help foment small wars around the globe.

Ukraine is no different….there are those that claim wasted cash on Ukraine is in our national security…..

As the costs of supporting Ukraine’s war effort soar well beyond $50 billion, high-level officials are seeking to sell Americans on even more military spending, with senators, generals and the Ukrainian president himself each insisting aid to Kiev is vital to American interests, amid rampant inflation, mounting shortages and monumental public debt in the US. 

In a statement justifying a recent vote to send another $40 billion in assistance to Ukraine, Republican Senator Ted Cruz argued the move was essential not only for the security of the US, but to ward off a Chinese attack on Taiwan as well. 

“If Putin wins in Ukraine, it will confirm for Xi that he can confidently invade Taiwan,” he said, referring to the Russian and Chinese heads of state. 

“The reason we should support our Ukrainian allies is because it protects American national security, it keeps America safer, and it prevents our enemies from getting stronger, from threatening the safety and security of Americans, and from driving up the cost, the economic damage, to Americans,” Cruz added.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/news-roundup/sen-cruz-gen-milley-zelensky-say-ukraine-is-vital-to-national-security/

What total bullshit!

Do you really think either China or Russia has desires to invade and conquer the US?

This is just those in the pockets of the defense industry to keep the money flowing and the profits build-up….NOTHING more.

Does anyone with half of a functioning brain really think that Russia or China wants total war with the US?

Total war?

Total war is mainly characterized by the lack of distinction between fighting lawful combatants and civilians. The purpose is to destroy the other contender’s resources so that they are unable to continue to wage war. This might include targeting major infrastructure and blocking access to water, internet, or imports (often through blockades). Additionally, in total war, there is no limit on the type of weapons used and biological, chemical, nuclear, and other weapons of mass destruction may be unleashed.

Does anyone think that either adversaries are prepared for total war?

I do not!

Cruz and the ‘hawks’ are just ilk trying to do the bidding of those people that own them lock stock and barrel.

Feel free to jump into this debate at anytime.

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