Majorityrights News > Category: Regionalism

Trump may have pushed Saudi Arabia and Iran closer to war

Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 09 November 2017 01:44.

President Donald Trump and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman meet at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2017. Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

CNBC, “Trump may have pushed Saudi Arabia and Iran closer to war”, 7 Nov 2017:

- Saudi Arabia’s moves over the past few days are bringing it closer to direct war with Iran.

- But this process seems to have been kick started by the new Saudi crown prince’s meeting with President Trump in March.

- It’s crucial to keep this conflict contained to the Middle East.

Crucial news keeps flying out of Saudi Arabia at a frantic pace, but here’s the bottom line: The Saudis are marching ever closer towards a wider regional war. And the U.S. may have helped send them down that path.

Just to recap, in the last several days the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia has initiated a massive purge of dozens of his fellow princes, ministers, and others in the kingdom in what’s been labeled as an “anti-corruption” sweep. Most of the headlines so far are understandably focusing on the one celebrity arrested, Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire investor seen and heard frequently for years on financial news channels like CNBC.

But that was just the first wave of news from Riyadh. Since the crackdown began on Saturday, the Saudis have considerably ramped up their accusatory rhetoric towards their neighbors. First, the kingdom squarely blamed Iran for a missile attack on Riyadh from Yemen that was thwarted by the U.S.-made Patriot anti-missile system. The Saudis called that attack “direct military aggression by the Iranian regime and may be considered an act of war.”

Second, the Saudis accused Lebanon of — figuratively at least — declaring “war” against it because of aggression from Hezbollah. That statement spurred even Saudi ally and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to publicly urge for calm.

al-Sisi may be too late. Because the common denominator in all these Saudi moves is a more focused preparation for a wider and more direct war with Iran for control of the region. As I noted when he was first put in his top position by his father King Salman in June, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was already known as a hardcore hawk against Iran. Just a month before he was made crown prince, bin Salman declared that peace dialogue with Iran was impossible.

“More aggressive anti-Iranian hawks like bin Salman may have seen Donald Trump’s election as an excuse to win the day over more dovish princes and ministers. And the White House seemingly gave Saudi Arabia a green light.”

But the direct line to these more bellicose moves begins earlier than that and goes directly to the White House. While still deputy crown prince, bin Salman visited with President Trump in March of this year. During that meeting, they publicly declared Iran as the key regional security threat in the Middle East. That was step one.

READ MORE...


A key reason Islam imposed on ethnonationals is comprador utility to right-wingers: Trump/Razak

Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 02:42.

The YKW and right wing collude with Islam.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is the comprador of compradors.

In what is going on a decade of the got-up (((paleoconservatism)) of the (((“alt-right”))), one of the key reasons its Jewish conception has fashioned “the left” as the grand-enemy is because left nationalism, its syndicalism, is a grand adversary of Abrahamism - especially the Islamic variant, a universalizing credo which prohibits ethnonational unionizations. Islam, as instituted by comprador imams, functions thereby as feudalist thuggery on behalf of Jewry and complicit right wingers - who make deals with the Islamic comprador (a middleman slave driver/enforcer upon the local population, killing them where they interfere) to exploit the labor and resources of would-be sovereign ethnostates.

Reuters, “Trump, Malaysia’s Najib skirt round U.S. probe into 1MDB scandal”, 12 Sept 2017:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the White House on Tuesday, praising his country for investing in the United States while steering clear of an American investigation into a Malaysian corruption scandal.

The visit is important for Najib, who faces elections next year and wants to signal he is still welcome at the White House despite a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department into a state fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Flanked by top advisers in the Cabinet Room, Najib told Trump that Malaysia Airlines would buy 25 Boeing 737 jets and eight 787 Dreamliners, and would probably add another 25 737s in the near future - a deal he said would be worth more than $10 billion within five years.

Najib said Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund, a major pension fund, wanted to spend $3 billion to $4 billion on U.S. infrastructure development.

Najib enjoyed close ties with Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, playing golf in Hawaii in 2014, but relations cooled over human rights issues as well as the 1MDB scandal.

Najib founded the fund, which is facing money laundering probes in at least six countries including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore. He denies wrongdoing.

The U.S. Justice Department has said more than $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates, according to dozens of civil lawsuits it filed last year.

The Justice Department sued to seize some $1.7 billion in assets it said were bought with misappropriated 1MDB funds, but asked for a stay on its civil lawsuits in August because it was conducting a related criminal probe.

The White House had said it would not comment on the Justice Department investigation but a senior U.S. official acknowledged it was unusual to meet with Najib while 1MDB was under regulatory scrutiny.

“It’s a weird situation, no doubt,” the official said, explaining that the administration has prioritized developing relations with Southeast Asia to counter “huge gains” China has made in the region.


Steve Bannon’s unrequited effort to kiss Robert Kuttner’s YKW ass

Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 22 August 2017 02:46.

Robert Kuttner revealed his conversation with Bannon: “To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything.” ... “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.” ...“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

Democracy Now, “American Prospect Editor Robert Kuttner on His Extraordinary Interview with Steve Bannon”, 22 Aug 2017:

Democracy Now, Juan Gonzalez: Bannon’s departure came after a series of meetings last week with billionaire funder Robert Mercer who funds Breitbart and funded Trump’s campaign. Bannon met with Mercer on Wednesday and Trump met with Mercer on Thursday. Bannon departed the White house the following day.

Amy Goodman, Democracy Now: Just before he was ousted, Steve Bannon granted an extraordinary interview to Bob Kuttner, co-editor and co-editor of the liberal magazine the American Prospect

American Prospect Editor Robert Kuttner on His Extraordinary Interview with Steve Bannon:

Robert Kuttner: “Every once in a while you get lucky as a journalist, and he never bothered to put the conversation off the record. As you know in journalism if a high public official or anybody calls you and doesn’t bother to say that its off the record it’s the default is that its on the record ...and he proceeded to say a bunch of staggeringly incuatious things; on the assumption because I had also criticized America’s China policy as having been dominated by corporations at the expense of workers; and because that sort of overlapped his critique that we were sort of old buddies and soul-mates…and he spent to first few minutes of the interview kind of ingratiating himself with me, telling me what a thrill it was to meet me after all these years, he’s been reading my stuff…

It was one part naivete (which is an odd word to use for Bannon), it was one part bravado, it was one part recklessness, and it was weird, because if he knew that he he was on thin ice, what’s he doing reaching out to me? Can you imagine Bannon trotting into a meeting of the National Security Council saying, “you’ll never guess who agrees with my analysis, Bob Kuttner’ ...that would push him over the edge and in fact it kind of did.”

... (the best explanation is that) he was on the ropes and he was negotiating with General Kelley and Trump to postpone his departure to after labor day and he thought he could rally his forces on let’s get tough with China….

....if he’d already been fired it would have been completely bizarre that he would have called me and said, ‘hey won’t you come to the White house?’ because that would have been complete fantasy land.

...this is not the world’s most stable person; on the other hand he has a very strategic analysis of how you connect ‘neo-Nazi’, ‘White supremacy’ nationalism to economic nationalism. What’s interesting here is that he’s been able to sell his boss, Trump, on the get in bed with the White supremacist parts of nationalism but he hasn’t been able to sell the rest of the administration on economic nationalism because of course they’re in bed with the corporations; its complete fake populism:

The most recent example of that is the idea that he would use crony capitalism, hiring these private armies and masquerade as isolationism. Who does he think pays for those private armies? It’s the US taxpayer and expensive as the pentagon is, these private armies are even more wasteful and more expensive; so he’s all over the map on a lot of stuff.

But on one thing he’s quite coherent and that came through in the interview: he thinks the winning strategy is, you connect racist nationalism, anti-immigrant nationalism, to economic nationalism.

The other interesting question going forward is whether Bannon is going to play a kitchen cabinet role, where he talks to Trump in the middle of the night, coaches him; Trump is famous for these midnight phone calls.

Or is he going to join a Breitbart who right now is kicking the president in the shins as kind of a sell-out.

....and in that interview with The Weekly Standard he was kind of on both sides of the question, he said that the Trump presidency that we fought for was over….so, even Bannon can’t have that both ways, especially because Trump hates being upstaged by his advisors. That’s what did in Bannon, its what did in Scaramucci.”

Amy Goodman: Talk about the other issues he addressed with you, for example, Charlottesville. ...with Charlottesville his brand of White supremacy, neo-Nazi, the whole issue of The Confederacy, he suddenly comes front and center…and this is when he’s talking to you ...in the midst of this catastrophic news conference on Friday…in fact what was the timing and Trump saying both sides were responsible on Saturday…

Kuttner: He called me about 20 minutes before the press conference started and its pretty clear that his finger prints were all over Trump’s strategy of doubling down on the racism.. there was a kind of a war between the people like Jared and Ivanka, who wanted him to back off, General Kelley, and Bannon who wanted him to double down, which makes the timing of the phone call even weirder.

Goodman: He said to you ‘the Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ‘em; I want them to talk about racism every day; if the left is focused on race and identity and we go with economics we can crush the Democrats.’

Kuttner: Yeah, and I pushed him very hard on that in the interview. I said look, even if we agree that our China policy is basically selling-out to a combination of Bejing’s economic nationalism and our own corporations who are happy to take the subsidies, happy to take the slave labor in China and then re-export back to the United States, that really does hurt American industry, hurts American workers; but, I said, even if we agree on that, why do you have to get in bed with neo Nazis on order to take a harder line on China on behalf of American workers? And that’s when he kind of drew this picture of a grand strategy where you connect the economic nationalism and the racism to the idea you box in the Democrats by forcing the Democrats to defend people of color.

You know, I was listening before we went on, Amy, to the fellow who was talking about pulling down the statue of Columbus, because it all started with Columbus. If that’s the strategy that the left adopts, it almost plays into Bannon’s hands…  I think if you took a vote and asked people do you agree that we ought to pull down the statue of Columbus because the racism and the anti-native peoples all started with Columbus, most people would side with Bannon; so he’s very astutely playing off of liberals and decent people against this idea that the White working class is beleaguered; he does this much more deftly than his boss does. You get the feeling that Trump’s default setting is now just pure racism, pure jingoism, nativism and even getting in bed with Neo-Nazis; whereas Bannon at least (((has a grand theory))) about what he’s doing.

There are two ways to look at what’s going to happen going forward, either with Bannon out Trump becomes even more unhinged, left to his own devices, or he decides to pull back and make more (((an alliance with the mainstream - laughs - far right, otherwise known as the Republican Party.)))

I think we’ll get an indication of this in Phoenix, if he does pardon Sheriff Arpaio, that’s doubling down on the Bannon recipe, because Bannon was the buy who really coached him, using Breitbart, about the genius of going after Mexicans as rapists, and going after anti-immigrants and building a wall, that was pure Bannon.

Juan Gonzalez: I would like to ask you about his remarks on North Korea?

Kuttner: He made it very clear that he completely disagreed with his boss and on this point Bannon was actually right, he said unless someone can explain to me how ten million South Koreans in greater Seoul are not going to be killed by conventional weapons in the first thirty minutes, this talk of war is not sensible, and of course that directly contradicted what his boss had said just days earlier.

Bannon’s view is that because the Chinese are not really helping us out with the North Koreans, they just go through the motions of that, it’s the logic of mutually assured destruction that prevents Kim from launching a nuclear attack on The United States, even Kim is not that crazy. And because that’s the reality, says Bannon, and I agree with him on this one point, we could be taking a much harder line on China. But State Department, Defense Department, U.S. Trade Rep. are all backing off on China on the belief that China is going to pull its chestnuts out of the fire with regard to North Korea.

That’s a shrewd analysis, this is not a stupid man. But its a hundred degrees opposite to what his boss says.

And iterestingly, both Trump and Kim have pulled back in the last few days and that’s also classic Trump, ‘oh, that was yesterday, never mind.’

Goodman: In fact, after pulling back on North Korea, Trump said he was going to bomb Venezuela.

Kuttner: Yeah, and what’s really interesting about bombing Venezuela is that he’s given a free pass dictators from the Philippines to Turkey to Hungary, to Moscow… but somehow..

Goodman: to Saudi Arabia

Kuttner: to Saudi Arabia, we could go on, but somehow he picks Venezuela to go after, so if you have a left wing regime violating human rights you go after them, if you have right wing dictatorships going after human rights, god bless them.

Goodman: So, he talked about the White supremacists at Charlottesville as clowns; can you talk about his evaluation of what took place there?

Kuttner: I think that was another effort in his part, completely insincere to ingratiate himself with a progressive journalist..  ...it’s like the guy who’ll say anything to get a woman to got o bed with him, so he starts improvising, ‘oh, they’re clowns, we don’t take them seriously, we’ve got to crack down on them’ ...you don’t think he believes that for ten seconds and his base knows he doesn’t believe that for ten seconds.

....it’s very encouraging to see the upsurge of activism on the anti-racist side. What is tricky is that most Americans who are not well defined left or well defined far right...

Goodman: Interestingly, the White nationalists have just cancelled a bunch of rallies after getting trounced in these organizing counter measures from Boston on…

Kuttner: I was very proud of Boston. We had upwards of 40,000 demonstrators.

The far right people who called for this rally were revealed to be the pitifully small group that they really are. And that’s what we need to show them up for.

....at the end of the day, there are not that many Neo-Nazis.

Part of the way that the way this is playing out makes it look as if a lot of American sympathize with neo-Nazis, they don’t. And they need to be contained, and the fact that decent Americans all over the spectrum are willing to come out, demonstrate, contain them, that’s fantastic.

Related article: Bannon’s disregard of ethno-nationalism is “leaked.”


Bannon’s disregard of ethno-nationalism is “leaked.”

Posted by DanielS on Thursday, 17 August 2017 12:38.

        ...purposefully leaked or not, apparently kissing-up to YKW

Robert Kuttner revealed his conversation with Bannon: “To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything.” ... “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.” ...“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

American Prospect, “Steve Bannon, Unrepentant”, by Robert Kuttner, 16 Aug 2017:

Trump’s embattled strategist phones me, unbidden, to opine on China, Korea, and his enemies in the administration.

You might think from recent press accounts that Steve Bannon is on the ropes and therefore behaving prudently. In the aftermath of events in Charlottesville, he is widely blamed for his boss’s continuing indulgence of white supremacists. Allies of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster hold Bannon responsible for a campaign by Breitbart News, which Bannon once led, to vilify the security chief. Trump’s defense of Bannon, at his Tuesday press conference, was tepid.

But Bannon was in high spirits when he phoned me Tuesday afternoon to discuss the politics of taking a harder line with China, and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury. “They’re wetting themselves,” he said, proceeding to detail how he would oust some of his opponents at State and Defense.

Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon’s assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me.

Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon’s assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me. I’d just published a column on how China was profiting from the U.S.-North Korea nuclear brinkmanship, and it included some choice words about Bannon’s boss.

“In Kim, Trump has met his match,” I wrote. “The risk of two arrogant fools blundering into a nuclear exchange is more serious than at any time since October 1962.” Maybe Bannon wanted to scream at me?

I told the assistant that I was on vacation, but I would be happy to speak by phone. Bannon promptly called.

Far from dressing me down for comparing Trump to Kim, he began, “It’s a great honor to finally track you down. I’ve followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China.  You absolutely nailed it.”

“We’re at economic war with China,” he added. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow.”

Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote. Given that China is not likely to do much more on North Korea, and that the logic of mutually assured destruction was its own source of restraint, Bannon saw no reason not to proceed with tough trade sanctions against China.

Contrary to Trump’s threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.” Bannon went on to describe his battle inside the administration to take a harder line on China trade, and not to fall into a trap of wishful thinking in which complaints against China’s trade practices now had to take a backseat to the hope that China, as honest broker, would help restrain Kim.

“To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”

Bannon’s plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. “We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war and they’re crushing us.”

But what about his internal adversaries, at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing’s aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don’t want to mess with the trading system?

“Oh, they’re wetting themselves,” he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.
Advertisement

“I’m changing out people at East Asian Defense; I’m getting hawks in. I’m getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State.”

But can Bannon really win that fight internally?

“That’s a fight I fight every day here,” he said. “We’re still fighting. There’s Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying.”

“We gotta do this. The president’s default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s like, every day.”

Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me.

There are a couple of things that are startling about this premise. First, to the extent that most of the opponents of Bannon’s China trade strategy are other Trump administration officials, it’s not clear how reaching out to the left helps him. If anything, it gives his adversaries ammunition to characterize Bannon as unreliable or disloyal.

More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump’s election were “Resisting Trump” and “Containing Trump”) and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He’s probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump’s base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

From his lips to Trump’s ear.

“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

I had never before spoken with Bannon. I came away from the conversation with a sense both of his savvy and his recklessness. The waters around him are rising, but he is going about his business of infighting, and attempting to cultivate improbable outside allies, to promote his China strategy. His enemies will do what they do.

Either the reports of the threats to Bannon’s job are grossly exaggerated and leaked by his rivals, or he has decided not to change his routine and to go down fighting. Given Trump’s impulsivity, neither Bannon nor Trump really has any idea from day to day whether Bannon is staying or going. He has survived earlier threats. So what the hell, damn the torpedoes.

The conversation ended with Bannon inviting me to the White House after Labor Day to continue the discussion of China and trade. We’ll see if he’s still there.


Moscow Taking Control of Venezuelan Oil Assets, Gaining Geopolitical Foothold in Caribbean

Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 15 August 2017 05:11.

Venezuela, a back door against sanctions and a foothold in the Caribbean in the face of America once again: Venezuela’s Maduro selling oil to Putin.

Venezuela tried to build their economy the wrong way, by selling oil and other natural resources rather than developing the infrastructure by which they might process the oil and other resources in order to sustain and advance their economy.

Venezuela is one of the pariah states along with Belarus and North Korea that the Russian Federation likes to play games with; the RF is now swooping-in for a foothold, for what could be increasing geopolitical control over the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Breitbart, “Report: Moscow Takes Control of Venezuelan Oil Assets amid Socialist Meltdown”, 14 Aug 2017:

Venezuela needs cash, and Russia has it. Venezuela has oil, and Russia wants it. According to a special report at Reuters, the socialist meltdown in Venezuela is likely to end with Moscow controlling a good deal of that tormented country’s most valuable asset: its oil fields.

According to Reuters, Russia’s giant state-owned oil company Rosneft has been holding secret negotiations with its opposite number in Venezuela, PDVSA, to purchase “ownership interests in up to nine of Venezuela’s most productive petroleum projects.”

The number of Venezuela projects Russia would have substantial or ownership stakes in would jump from five to 14 if these deals go through. The new acquisitions would include projects in some of Venezuela’s richest oil and natural gas fields.

The article goes on to note that Rosneft has already floated a billion dollars to PDVSA for promised future oil shipments, and the regime of socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro used Russian money to avoid defaulting on bonds at least twice. Russia announced one of these seemingly risky advance payments immediately after the United States announced a new round of sanctions against Maduro at the beginning of August.

Barron’s explains that Russia’s advance payments for Venezuelan crude are essentially a stealth strategy for buying the oil fields themselves. Russia writes huge checks for barrels of oil, Venezuela is unable to deliver the product or pay the debt, and Russia swaps the debt for equity in the oil projects.

New York Times, “Is Putin Getting What He Wanted With Trump?” 10 June 2017:

In the Senate last week, Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, asked the fired F.B.I. director James Comey if he had “any doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections.” Mr. Comey responded with a single word: “None.”

Indeed, he went on to tell the American public that the Russians “did it with purpose, they did it with sophistication, they did it with overwhelming technical efforts.” And he warned: “They will be back,” adding, “they are coming after America.”

Vodka shots in the Kremlin, right? Not exactly.

Doubtless Vladimir Putin continues to derive satisfaction from having assaulted American democracy and embarrassed Hillary Clinton. But the Russian president had one paramount priority: to lift Western sanctions.

As MR has noted, the parasite “federation” that is the Russian Federation, works with rogue nations such as North Korea and Belarus. The Times article adds -

[ibid]

According to one estimate, a quarter of Russia’s global weapons exports in 2015 were to rogue Venezuela, in transactions predominantly effected via loans. Last week, Moscow cut $1 billion from projected state budget revenues.

The Express -

Express, “TRUMP’S NEW THREAT? US President urged to act as Venezuela forges closer links to RUSSIA”, 8 April 2017:

DONALD Trump could be forced to step in to save Venezuela amid fears the failing South American country could be about to turn to Russia or Iran for support.

The Trump administration in Washington is already dealing with a string of crises across the globe - including deadly conflict in Iraq and Syria and the fight against Islamic extremism.

But improving relations with Russia, who today claimed its relationship with the US was in “tatters”, could prove to be the government’s biggest challenge to date.

Russia has not been a threat to America since the Cold War era - yet Moscow could now have found a sneaky way to stir up new tensions with the US without even lifting a finger.

Venezuela has always enjoyed warm relations with Russia, purchasing more than £3.2billion worth of arms from the former Soviet state since 2005.

And in 2009, Russia approved a whopping £1.6bn loan for the Latin American nation as it struggled with an inflation crisis that has left thousands of people struggling to afford food.

However, experts in the US have now warned there could be more to the ‘friendship’ than meets the eye.

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, a US top military official warned Venezuela could be a “destabilising” factor in Latin America - claiming a “regional response” could be needed following the country’s growing humanitarian crisis.

But he also warned the relationships fostered by Venezuela could pose a real threat to the US in the future.

READ MORE...


Trump just gave China what it wanted for its new Silk Road: a credibility boost from the US

Posted by DanielS on Monday, 15 May 2017 10:30.


QZ, “Trump just gave China what it wanted for its new Silk Road: a credibility boost from the US”, 15 May 2017:

China’s “new Silk Road” initiative aims to link the economies of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa—but Beijing would really like the US to get on board.

Also called “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR), the initiative involves expensive infrastructure projects—led by Chinese state-owned companies—in dozens of nations. The US has much to offer, and as part of a trade deal (paywall) with China announced last week, the Trump administration agreed to send one of its top Asia experts, Matthew Pottinger, a National Security Council official, to a two-day OBOR summit just completed in Beijing.

His presence amounted to a nod from the US. Recent pieces in China’s state-controlled media hint at why that’s so important to Beijing:

“Under the current international framework, the US is leading international organizations like the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund,” read a commentary (link in Chinese) in Xiakedao, a WeChat account run by the People’s Daily. “This is like a date, when a girl says yes to dinner and a movie—there will be further development possibilities.”

It goes on:

“It’s estimated that $1.7 trillion would be required for annual infrastructure investments on nations involved in OBOR, but the three [funding] institutions involved—the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank, and the Silk Road Fund—only have capital totaling $240 billion. The US can help advocate OBOR in key fundraising areas.”

The US can also help deal with “security and geopolitical challenges” in the implementation of OBOR, noted a commentary in the Global Times. For instance, India has some issues with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, an OBOR land-corridor project (with a $46 billion investment from China) that partially runs through contested territory in Kashmir.

The commentary said:

“Washington’s participation in the Belt and Road initiative will have knock-on effects, encouraging its allies to see the initiative from a more rational and objective perspective, and thus help win Beijing and its infrastructure projects more international understanding and influence.”

The US economy will also benefit from OBOR, suggested Chinese state media.

The US should be “a stakeholder in the initiative,” read a column in the Global Times, as joining it would “deliver benefits to American companies and help increase job opportunities within the country.”

America “has a lot to gain by participating in the Belt and Road,” said an opinion piece in the People’s Daily. It should “embrace China’s progress in regional integration and seize the opportunity.”

The presence of Pottinger no doubt cheered Beijing, which had difficulty luring top leaders to the summit—of the 64 OBOR nations that could have sent their heads of state, only 20 chose to do so.

Read next: Your guide to understanding OBOR, China’s new Silk Road plan


Iran presidential candidates lay blame for ‘failed’ nuclear deal on reformer Rouhani

Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 13 May 2017 11:27.

The impending failure of the Iran deal is being disingenuously blamed on the very moderate Iranians that ethno-nationalists would hope to empower in and of the deal - that failure being blamed on them, as opposed to who actually deserves the blame: primarily the Trump administration and its friends.

Daily Telegraph, “Iran presidential candidates lay blame for ‘failed’ nuclear deal on reformer Rouhani”, 13 May 2017:

President Hassan Rouhani faced accusations of a failed nuclear deal which has not benefitted the Iranian people, during the final televised debate with his rivals before the country’s presidential election next week.

The vote is being seen as largely a referendum on reformer Mr Rouhani’s outreach to the rest of the world following a landmark accord with global powers, which ended sanctions but bitterly divided the country.

The president is believed to be the frontrunner in the May 19 election but the failure of the 2015 accord to bring economic gains for the public has brought an opening that his main competitors, powerful conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi and hardline Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, have sought to exploit.

READ MORE...


The Sacred Landing Strip: Is Trumpstein Risking War With China?

Posted by DanielS on Sunday, 12 February 2017 03:49.

TomDispatch: “Is President Trump Headed for a War with China?” All Options Are “On The Table” - Rajan Menon, 12 Feb 2017:

Forget those “bad hombres down there” in Mexico that U.S. troops might take out. Ignore the way National Security Adviser Michael Flynn put Iran “on notice” and the new president insisted, that, when it comes to that country, “nothing is off the table.” Instead, focus for a moment on something truly scary: the possibility that Donald Trump’s Washington might slide into an actual war with the planet’s rising superpower, China. No kidding. It could really happen.

Let’s start with silver-maned, stately Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state. Who could deny that the former ExxonMobil CEO has a foreign minister’s bearing? Trump reportedly chose him over neocon firebrand John Bolton partly for that reason. (Among other things, Bolton was mustachioed, something the new president apparently doesn’t care for.) But an august persona can only do so much; it can’t offset a lack of professional diplomatic experience.

That became all-too-apparent during Tillerson’s January 11th confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was asked for his view on the military infrastructure China has been creating on various islands in the South China Sea, the ownership of which other Asian countries, including Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei claim as well . China’s actions, he replied, were “extremely worrisome,” likening them to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, an infraction for which Russia was slapped with economic sanctions.

The then-secretary-of-state-designate — he’s since been confirmed, despite many negative votes — didn’t, however, stop there. Evidently, he wanted to communicate to the Chinese leadership in Beijing that the new administration was already irked beyond measure with them. So he added, “We’re going to have to send China’s leaders a clear signal: that, first, the island building stops and, second, your access to those islands is not going to be allowed.” Functionally, that fell little short of being an announcement of a future act of war, since not allowing “access” to those islands would clearly involve military moves. In what amounted to a there’s-a-new-sheriff-in-town warning, he then doubled down yet again, insisting, slightly incoherently (in the tradition of his new boss) that “the failure of a response has allowed them to just keep pushing the envelope on this.”

All right, so maybe a novice had a bad day. Maybe the secretary-of-state-to-be simply ad-libbed and misspoke… whatever. If so, you might have expected a later clarification from him or from someone on the Trump national security team anyway.

That didn’t happen; instead, that team stuck to its guns. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made no effort to add nuance to, let alone walk back, Tillerson’s remarks. During his first official press briefing on January 23rd, Spicer declared that the United States “is going to make sure we defend our interests there” — in the South China Sea, that is — and that “if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yes, we are going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.”

And what of Trump’s own views on the island controversy? Never one to pass up an opportunity for hyperbole, during the presidential campaign he swore that, on those tiny islands, China was building “a military fortress the likes of which the world has not seen.” As it happened, he wasn’t speaking about, say, the forces that Hitler massed for the ill-fated Operation Barbarossa, launched in June 1941 with the aim of crushing the Red Army and the Soviet Union, or those deployed for the June 1944 Normandy landing, which sealed Nazi Germany’s fate. When applied to what China has been up to in the South China Sea, his statement fell instantly into the not-yet-named category of “alternative facts.”

Candidate Trump also let it be known that he wouldn’t allow Beijing to get away with such cheekiness on his watch. Why had the Chinese engaged in military construction on the islands? Trump had a simple answer (as he invariably does): China “has no respect for our president and no respect for our country.” The implication was evident. Things would be different once he settled into the White House and made America great again. Then — it was easy enough to conclude — China had better watch out.

Standard campaign bombast? Well, Trump hasn’t changed his tune a bit since being elected. On December 4th, using (of course!) his Twitter account, he blasted Beijing for having built “a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea.” And it’s safe to assume that he signed off on Spicer’s combative comments as well.

In short, his administration has already drawn a red line — but in the way a petulant child might with a crayon. During and after the campaign he made much of his determination to regain the respect he claims the U.S. has lost in the world, notably from adversaries like China. The danger here is that, in dealing with that country, Trump could, as is typical, make it all about himself, all about “winning,” one of his most beloved words, and disaster might follow.

  Whose Islands?

 
  China claims disputed islands are ‘sacred territory’

A military clash between Trump-led America and a China led by President Xi Jinping? Understanding how it might happen requires a brief detour to the place where it’s most likely to occur: the South China Sea. Our first task: to understand China’s position on that body of water and the islands it contains, as well as the nature of Beijing’s military projects there. So brace yourself for some necessary detail.

As Marina Tsirbas, a former diplomat now at the Australian National University’s National Security College, explains, Beijing’s written and verbal statements on the South China Sea lend themselves to two different interpretations. The Chinese government’s position boils down to something like this: “We own everything — the waters, islands and reefs, marine resources, and energy and mineral deposits — within the Nine-Dash Line.” That demarcation line, which incidentally has had ten dashes, and sometimes eleven, originally appeared in 1947 maps of the Republic of China, the Nationalist government that would soon flee to the island of Taiwan leaving the Chinese Communists in charge of the mainland. When Mao Ze Dong and his associates established the People’s Republic, they retained that Nationalist map and the demarcation line that went with it, which just happened to enclose virtually all of the South China Sea, claiming sovereign rights.

This stance — think of it as Beijing’s hard line on the subject — raises instant questions about other countries’ navigation and overflight rights through that much-used region. In essence, do they have any and, if so, will Beijing alone be the one to define what those are? And will those definitions start to change as China becomes ever more powerful? These are hardly trivial concerns, given that about $5 trillion worth of goods pass through the South China Sea annually.

Then there’s what might be called Beijing’s softer line, based on rights accorded by the legal concepts of the territorial sea and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which took effect in 1994 and has been signed by 167 states (including China but not the United States), a country has sovereign control within 12 nautical miles of its coast as well as of land formations in that perimeter visible at high tide. But other countries have the right of “innocent passage.” The EEZ goes further. It provides a rightful claimant control over access to fishing, as well as seabed and subsoil natural resources , within “an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea” extending 200 nautical miles, while ensuring other states’ freedom of passage by air and sea. UNCLOS also gives a state with an EEZ control over “the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures” within that zone — an important provision at our present moment.

What makes all of this so much more complicated is that many of the islands and reefs in the South China Sea that provide the basis for defining China’s EEZ are also claimed by other countries under the terms of UNCLOS. That, of course, immediately raises questions about the legality of Beijing’s military construction projects in that watery expanse on islands, atolls, and strips of land it’s dredging into existence, as well as its claims to seabed energy resources, fishing rights, and land reclamation rights there — to say nothing about its willingness to seize some of them by force, rival claims be damned.

 
  Subi Reef, being built into an artificial island-landing strip in 2015

Moreover, figuring out which of these two positions — hard or soft — China embraces at any moment is tricky indeed. Beijing, for instance, insists that it upholds freedom of navigation and overflight rights in the Sea, but it has also said that these rights don’t apply to warships and military aircraft. In recent years its warplanes have intercepted, and at close quarters, American military aircraft flying outside Chinese territorial waters in the same region. Similarly, in 2015, Chinese aircraft and ships followed and issued warnings to an American warship off Subi Reef in the Spratly Islands, which both China and Vietnam claim in their entirety. This past December, its Navy seized, but later returned, an underwater drone the American naval ship Bowditch had been operating near the coast of the Philippines.

There were similar incidents in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2013, and 2014. In the second of these episodes, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane, which had a crew of 24 on board, less than 70 miles off Hainan island, forcing it to make an emergency landing in China and creating a tense standoff between Beijing and Washington. The Chinese detained the crew for 11 days. They disassembled the EP-3, returning it three months later in pieces.

Such muscle flexing in the South China Sea isn’t new. China has long been tough on its weaker neighbors in those waters. Back in 1974, for instance, its forces ejected South Vietnamese troops from parts of the Paracel/Xisha islands that Beijing claimed but did not yet control. China has also backed up its claim to the Spratly/Nansha islands (which Taiwan, Vietnam, and other regional countries reject) with air and naval patrols, tough talk, and more. In 1988, it forcibly occupied the Vietnamese-controlled Johnson Reef, securing control over the first of what would eventually become seven possessions in the Spratlys.

Vietnam has not been the only Southeast Asian country to receive such rough treatment. China and the Philippines both claim ownership of Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal/Huangyang Island, located 124 nautical miles off Luzon Island in the Philippines. In 2012, Beijing simply seized it, having already ejected Manila from Panganiban Reef (aka Mischief Reef), about 129 nautical miles from the Philippines’ Palawan Island, in 1995. In 2016, when an international arbitration tribunal upheld Manila’s position on Mischief Reef and Scarborough Shoal, the Chinese Foreign Ministry sniffed that “the decision is invalid and has no binding force.” Chinese president Xi Jinping added for good measure that China’s claims to the South China Sea stretched back to “ancient times.”

Then there’s China’s military construction work in the area, which includes the building of full-scale artificial islands, as well as harbors, military airfields, storage facilities, and hangars reinforced to protect military aircraft. In addition, the Chinese have installed radar systems, anti-aircraft missiles, and anti-missile defense systems on some of these islands.

These , then, are the projects that the Trump administration says it will stop. But China’s conduct in the South China Sea leaves little doubt about its determination to hold onto what it has and continue its activities. The Chinese leadership has made this clear since Donald Trump’s election, and the state-run press has struck a similarly defiant note, drawing crude red lines of its own. For example, the Global Times, a nationalist newspaper, mocked Trump’s pretensions and issued a doomsday warning: “The U.S. has no absolute power to dominate the South China Sea. Tillerson had better bone up on nuclear strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories.”

Were the administration to follow its threatening talk with military action, the Global Times added ominously, “The two sides had better prepare for a military clash.” Although the Chinese leadership hasn’t been anywhere near as bombastic, top officials have made it clear that they won’t yield an inch on the South China Sea, that disputes over territories are matters for China and its neighbors to settle, and that Washington had best butt out.

[...]

READ MORE...


Page 1 of 6 |  [ 1 ]   [ 2 ]   [ 3 ]  | Next Page | Last Page

Venus

Existential Issues

DNA Nations

Establishment Problem

Categories

Links

Endorsement not implied.

Immigration

Islamist Threat

Anti-white Media Networks

Audio/Video

Crime

Economics

Education

General

Historical Re-Evaluation

Controlled Opposition

Nationalist Political Parties

Science

Europeans in Africa

Of Note

Comments

On the Rise of Mixed-Race Britain commented in entry 'Harry engages old colored woman, threatens to adulterate Royal line's representation of 41,000 years' on Sun, 10 Dec 2017 09:00. (View)

Shamychel commented in entry '“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor, and they love football players."' on Sun, 10 Dec 2017 06:11. (View)

Ukwuachu commented in entry '“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor, and they love football players."' on Sun, 10 Dec 2017 05:59. (View)

Shawn commented in entry '“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor, and they love football players."' on Sun, 10 Dec 2017 05:38. (View)

Chafin commented in entry '“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor, and they love football players."' on Sun, 10 Dec 2017 05:05. (View)

The Nation: The Alt-Right Looks Left commented in entry 'White Left Imperative to defense, systemic health of European peoples' on Sat, 09 Dec 2017 14:35. (View)

DanielS commented in entry 'Jez on great form' on Sat, 09 Dec 2017 04:34. (View)

National-Satanist commented in entry 'Jez on great form' on Sat, 09 Dec 2017 04:23. (View)

DanielS commented in entry 'Netanyahu Concerned Race-mixing to Destroy Liberal Jews and American support' on Sat, 09 Dec 2017 01:42. (View)

Merkel seeks 390,000 Family Reunification Visas commented in entry 'EP President Schulz: Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the Jewish people.' on Fri, 08 Dec 2017 04:23. (View)

Flynn, "we're going to rip-up those sanctions and" commented in entry 'Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion Already Exists, Watergate Prosecutors Say' on Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:44. (View)

(((Lauren Southern))) commented in entry 'Hardly The Battle of Cable Street: What Berkeley Doesn't Mean' on Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:28. (View)

mancinblack commented in entry 'EP President Schulz: Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the Jewish people.' on Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:20. (View)

mancinblack commented in entry 'EP President Schulz: Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the Jewish people.' on Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:34. (View)

Schulz calls for United States of Europe commented in entry 'EP President Schulz: Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the Jewish people.' on Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:24. (View)

Russia likely Israeli match-maker commented in entry '"Israeli Defense Minister: 'I Prefer ISIS to Iran on Our Borders"' on Wed, 06 Dec 2017 03:10. (View)

Russia cheated at Sochi, banned at S Korea commented in entry 'N.Korean threat/capacity, shows both determinism & social construction by contrast to southern twin' on Wed, 06 Dec 2017 02:52. (View)

Lyon Christmas market cancelled by cost of terror commented in entry 'Berlin terror attack: 12 dead, 49 injured as truck ploughs into crowd at Christmas market' on Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:22. (View)

Islamic plot to kill PM Theresa May foiled commented in entry 'Weston disbands Liberty GB in favor of backing Anne Marie Waters For Britain' on Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:08. (View)

Cernovich daggers & shields for the alt-right commented in entry 'Cernovich seeds FireMcMaster hashtag propagated by 600 most active Russian Twitter operative handles' on Tue, 05 Dec 2017 20:22. (View)

Iceland's green feminist PM commented in entry 'Occupy Hambach forest, another step toward pervasive ecology' on Tue, 05 Dec 2017 15:17. (View)

Trump plans to move US Embassy to Jerusalem commented in entry '"Israeli Defense Minister: 'I Prefer ISIS to Iran on Our Borders"' on Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:08. (View)

mancinblack commented in entry 'Are Whites stupid, or what? Tara will be an epoch light out of the darkness, especially if...' on Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:51. (View)

McCarthy hassled by Roosh V. et al. commented in entry 'Are Whites stupid, or what? Tara will be an epoch light out of the darkness, especially if...' on Tue, 05 Dec 2017 09:28. (View)

Didess42 commented in entry 'Are Whites stupid, or what? Tara will be an epoch light out of the darkness, especially if...' on Mon, 04 Dec 2017 22:29. (View)

Response to last minute, dark of night tax bill commented in entry 'The populist mask is slipping for Trump and the GOP' on Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:24. (View)

Harry & Philip commented in entry 'Harry engages old colored woman, threatens to adulterate Royal line's representation of 41,000 years' on Mon, 04 Dec 2017 09:13. (View)

Shejusaho commented in entry 'black hyper-assertiveness' on Sun, 03 Dec 2017 10:18. (View)

She jus' a ho. commented in entry 'black hyper-assertiveness' on Sun, 03 Dec 2017 09:03. (View)

mancinblack commented in entry 'Occupy Hambach forest, another step toward pervasive ecology' on Sun, 03 Dec 2017 04:44. (View)

White woman with baby commented in entry 'black hyper-assertiveness' on Sun, 03 Dec 2017 01:09. (View)

Didess42 commented in entry 'UK population set to increase equivalent of three Birminghams in a decade, half of it immigrant' on Sat, 02 Dec 2017 22:48. (View)

Kushner un-hedged commented in entry 'Michael Flynn is the key to the Russia scandal — and he may have just flipped on Trump' on Sat, 02 Dec 2017 17:33. (View)

NFL to pay $89 million tribute to blacks commented in entry 'NFL protests: US propositional liberalism needs overturning, but blacks are not revolutionaries' on Sat, 02 Dec 2017 17:08. (View)

Trump tweet jeopardizes his presidency commented in entry 'Trump & Russia: 'Full Picture Is One Of Collusion'' on Sat, 02 Dec 2017 16:36. (View)

Majorityrights shield

Sovereignty badge