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Bold and Brash Intelligence: Examining Geert Wilders and the PVV in the Netherlands.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Thursday, 16 March 2017 04:17.

Introduction

‘Bold and Brash Intelligence’ is a feature that I’m inaugurating today, in which I’ll just give a very quick opinion about an event as it is unfolding, interpreting the facts on the ground to draw conclusions about the operational efficacy of a particular political tactic or strategy.

For the mechanics of the election in the Netherlands, the parties that contested it, and the way that the coalition politics of the Netherlands works, mainstream news organisations everywhere have already adequately described that, so I won’t repeat what is already understood by everyone.

I’ll just dive straight in to some points that I’d want to highlight, which I think are relevant to our readers here from an ethno-nationalist perspective.

The assumption I’m proceeding forward with in this article is that the objective of those who profess support or allegiance to the PVV is that they are concerned about the problem of mass migration of people from Muslim-majority countries into the Netherlands and they subjectively perceive that the PVV is a way to somehow counteract that threat.

If we accept that assumption as true, the central question then becomes, why does the PVV consistently fail to accomplish that, and how did it fail again last night, despite the fact that the conditions – for example the rise of the migrant crisis, the conspiratorial relationship between Rutte and Merkel, the secret deal with Turkey, and so on – could be seen as ripe issues for them to build significant gains atop? How did the PVV go from having 40% support, to having only 20% support in a year, despite the fact that all of these apparently terrifying events were occurring which they ought to have been able to politically capitalise on?

I will suggest some reasons.

1. The VVD moved slightly to the right in rhetoric so as to sap PVV’s base

Mark Rutte’s VVD moved to the right in terms of rhetoric, and was able to take away a significant amount of the PVV’s support. 34% of the people who said that they voted for VVD, say that Rutte’s little battle against Turkish ministers influenced their vote. Clearly the optics of that fight, although lacking in any substance, helped Rutte. Given that the media environment in the Netherlands is one in which the PVV is portrayed as ‘extremist’, it means that for those who like to be risk-averse, it may be the case that they would rationalise making the ‘safe’ centre-right choice.

The VVD may also have either sought to emulate or been given help in emulating a strategy used by Angela Merkel in Germany several years prior. Casting oneself as a supporter of a ‘responsible and steady’ centre-right statesman who is willing to ‘resist populism’, is – paradoxically – psychologically rewarding to the kind of people who individually believe, either correctly or incorrectly, that the concept of ‘basic-bitch average civilian’ includes everyone except their own esteemed selves.

The nativist populist rhetoric which has become ubiquitous online and can be seen in loud campaign slogans and vague policies, paradoxically repels the very kind of people who are needed to make nativism successful. The politically-savvy cohort who is desperately needed by nativists and yet is absent everywhere, is the kind of person who is just above-average enough to see politics as being more than a public stage on which to have a moralistic battle of sentiments, but is unfortunately also not above-average enough to be willing to entertain a certain amount of deliberate stupidity or obfuscation for the sake of courting the below-average cohort which must also be secured in order to fully lock-in a victory.

Now, some people may be thinking, “But didn’t Trump show that it can work in the United States? He managed to get lots of people to vote for him by basically talking complete nonsense in a very loud voice, all day long, and people voted for it!” Yes, but the United States is populated by low-information voters who are moved by animal-spirits, with an electoral college that grants a large amount of weight to the opinions of a voting bloc of actual political retards who have been subjected to a kind of Pavlovian meme-conditioning for 40 years, so it’s a completely different environment there. There is no parallel to that in Europe. It is not possible to simply meme one’s way to victory through padding-out your vote with political ‘potatoes’ in Europe, no matter what party you are representing.

The other thing about ‘potatoes’ is that they are notoriously unreliable, even if you can find them and secure them in Europe. Because they tend to vote on appearance over substance, they are just as likely to vote for you, as they are to vote for a guy who comes out cosplaying as you in the week prior to the election. The PVV lost significant support to the VVD precisely due to that phenomenon. Having locked down the limited number of ‘potatoes’ that did exist, it couldn’t even hold them. Why even bother?

By way of an agricultural comparison, one which the Irish are surely familiar with, you could very well say that monocropping is the worst possible strategy. In other words: Live by the potato, die by the potato.

2. All substantive debates in the Netherlands are conducted behind a technocratic layer of abstraction, in which the PVV cohort does not participate

The Dutch people really like their technocratic TV debates and their statistics which they drag into every comments section and all over social media. In that sense they actually resemble the British voting profile, and that is not a bad thing.

The PVV of course failed to tap the breadth of issues that Dutch people have been discussing throughout the election, because the PVV is widely perceived as a single-issue party and acts exactly like a single-issue party.

Geert Wilders’ views on immigration, the refugee crisis, and the European Union are a key part of the national debate in the Netherlands, but the polls and a basic survey of the media shows that the biggest issues in the minds of voters are healthcare and social care for the elderly. Other issues of interest to them are law and order, social service provisioning, and so on.

Crucially, 81% of the Dutch people who voted for VVD say that they did so because they liked Rutte’s views on the economy.

If the PVV is seen as having either no economic platform, or alternately, a bad economic platform, is anyone really surprised that it’s also a party that cannot win?

3. The PVV attempts to publicly re-litigate the past 70 years of immigration policy and the majority are not responsive to it

Rather than focussing on one explicit part of the immigration situation – the issue of the actual threat posed by Europe’s lack of coherent external borders – as a fulcrum around which many other issues implicitly rotate, the PVV and other parties and groups similar to it, tend to have a habit of trying to re-litigate the entire history of immigration policy in Western Europe over the past 70 years. In one election.

Obviously this cannot work as part of electoral rhetoric, as it opens a wide flank for public debate and criticism which would otherwise not occur. Why bother talking about the overall immigration policy from years gone by, when you could instead – for example – just talk about the Bataclan attack and the security situation which led up to it?

It remains a mystery as to why political parties with nativist intentions do not yet understand how to strategically dress all their concerns up as security issues which – in reality – those concerns in fact are.

Having the entire debate through the lens of ‘culture’ and ‘civilisation’ ends up giving social services professionals, third sector organisations and charities, and political dilettantes the ability to talk their way out of recognising reality with increasingly complex verbiage and appeals to emotion.

There is however no appeal to emotion and no language construct which can be leveraged against the hard reality of bombs, bullets, armed police response times, economic disruption, and emergency services personnel putting out fires and carrying away body bags. It is a reality which everyone is forced to acknowledge simply by watching television.

‘Defence of your city from bombs and roving bands of armed ISIL-affiliated men’, sounds much more concrete to the average voter than ‘defence of Western Civilisation from Islamisation.’

‘Defence of your city’, is an angle which does not require the voter to accept any fact other than the simple fact that the Bataclan attack happened and that security services have accurately described how that attack took place.

The ‘Western Civilisation’ argument, however, requires that the voter must accept someone’s particular view on what that civilisation should look like or what it used to look like, and requires significant time and effort to articulate. This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t articulate such a view, but it shouldn’t be done as part of electoral messaging when you have a limited amount of time and space to make a point to people who have a limited attention-span. Yet, in a move that can only be seen as a mysterious herculean effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, almost all nativist groups would rather wax lyrical about ‘Western Civilisation’ than actually just exploit the really-existing feelings of terror which have manifested as a result of the absolutely exploitable series of terrorist attacks which have occurred in Europe since 2014.

4. The PVV embodies and vectors a pro-Zionist narrative-hijack and diminishes its own electability as a party in the process

This is the foundational point that underscores all the others, as I believe it is the fundamental root of the problem. The PVV is basically a party of Zionist-imperialism which is committed to socially-legitimating the State of Israel through the propagation of a ‘Clash of Civilisations’ narrative which conveniently – for Israeli communications operations commanders – posits that the State of Israel should be understood by Europeans to be the most important and most brittle line of defence against an allegedly monolithic ‘global Islam’.

It’s such a transparent narrative-hijack that one almost has to stand back in wonderment and stupefaction at how gullible a person would need to be to fall for it.

The PVV and the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’ propagates messages of social-legitimation for Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank by transforming every Islamist attack that takes place on European soil, into part of their ongoing narrative which usually contains the nonsensical words “this is what Israel has been fighting against all along.”

Nothing could be more absurd.

It is the foreign policy pursued by the State of Israel and vectored though the halls of American power, which has been one of key factors in sustaining the civil war in Syria from which the migration crisis arose, and furthermore, Israel is the same country which also – with no concern for the migration crisis – had one of its top think tanks advance the concept that it would be a ‘good’ idea for the West to deliberately let ISIL continue to exist. The State of Israel is a country whose strategic command has rationalised that since “Assad is now Iran” it would be better for Israel if “Al-Qaeda” or “one of those groups” were to be left running Syria in the aftermath of the war.

To posit that Israel could ever be a real ally of Europe on the issue of radical Islamic terror and the migrant crisis, is an absurdity. Yet it is an absurdly which is continually repeated by the likes of PVV politicians and allies, Geert Wilders himself, and the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’.

The only way to explain that in the context of the Netherlands is to look at the ethno-racial identity of Geert Wilders himself, as his personality has a strong influence over the essential character and policy direction of the PVV. It is after all a party that was created by him.

Geert Wilders has volunteered at a Kibbutz during his youth, and has lived in Israel. Wilders’ paternal grandmother Johanna Meijer was a Dutch Jew who lived in the Dutch East Indies. Wilders’ family fled the Dutch East Indies during the Second World War shortly after Japanese occupation began, for reasons which probably need no explanation. Wilders has asserted that his father was Jewish. Additionally, Wilders is married to a Jewish-Hungarian diplomat.

Given that Jewishness clearly is a core part of Wilders’ identity and his talks and speeches on the matter only serve to bring that into sharper relief, no one should be surprised that things have turned out the way that they have as a consequence of having allowed Wilders to rise to a leadership position in Dutch the nationalist scene.

Whenever European nationalists engage in political bargains with Zionists, the Zionists will tend to inappropriately utilise the European nationalist organisations as a public relations show-piece whose mission is to divert all revenue streams toward projects which serve to socially-legitimate Israel’s foreign policy preferences among right-wing voters and will function as an aggressive public relations interface for Israel. That interface is then used by them to neutralise existing anti-Zionist sentiment on the right, or to forestall any imminent development of it there.

Combating anti-Zionist sentiment is basically the only thing that the PVV ever concretely accomplishes, which is why the PVV is in fact worse than useless.

Additionally, the PVV would probably have a wider appeal if it were not a Zionist party. Yet, for the operators of the party, the maintenance of the PVV as a ridiculous Zionist outfit is more important to them than actually winning at anything. Even when taken alone, that simple fact should speak volumes about the priorities of the so-called ‘activists’ who represent that party.

This whole assessment is simply a results-orientated approach to politics, devoid of any emotional bias. Even from the most cynical perspective, bartering with Zionists makes no sense.

Empirically speaking, have Europeans who bartered with Zionists ever been known to emerge with a good result for European nationalists? Scientifically speaking, has bartering with Zionists ever been known to work? 

The answer to that question is: Basically no.

Verdict: Into the trash

Some people like to claim that Geert Wilders and the PVV are bold and brash. In reality, Geert Wilders and the PVV are in fact worse than useless, and they belong in the trash.


The coming US–China trade war will present opportunities for Australia in RCEP & FTAAP.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Sunday, 12 March 2017 04:29.

ASPI - The Strategist, ‘Would a US–China trade war pay dividends to Australia?’, 09 Mar 2017:

Among many other colourful characters, Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments include two protectionist and anti-China hardliners, Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro, who sit at the helm of US trade and industry policy. That decision confirms a belligerent change of tack in Sino­–American economic relations. But what are the implications for Australia?

A number of monetary economists, including Saul Eslake, have warned that a potential escalation to a full-blown China–US trade war poses the single biggest economic threat to Australia. That position argues that the already struggling global economy can’t face a superpower trade war, likely to be triggered by the Trump administration at the monetary level, when the RMB/USD exchange rate will reach the unprecedented level of 7 to 1 (it’s currently sitting at around 6.9). Furthermore, a falling Chinese currency combined with protectionist measures in the US will dampen the Chinese economy by way of reduced volumes of exports and higher interest rates that will spread across the Asia–Pacific. According to such reasoning, that could have negative impacts for Australia’s economy; prices for iron ore, coal and natural gas could possibly drop—we’ll know by the middle of the year.

However, it’s questionable that such crisis would be detrimental to Australia. In fact, focusing on monetary dynamics alone fails to capture the role of industrial production and regulatory arrangements in the global supply chain.

On the contrary, after triangulating the trade and industrial data of the US, China and Australia and considering the current trade regulatory framework, there are substantial reasons to argue that Australia is well placed to fill the gaps left by a wrecked US–China trade relationship at the best of its industrial capacity. Australia is indeed one of a handful of countries to have solid free trade agreements in place with both the US and China.

As it currently stands, the annual US–China trade balance is worth over US$600 billion—around the yearly value of Australia’s overall trade volumes.

Australia’s rocks and crops economy—in particular the growing productivity potential of its agricultural and mining sectors—is strong enough to rise above global monetary tensions and falling commodity prices, thanks to rising export volumes to both the US and China. It appears that the harder the two superpowers use their trade relations as leverage in their strategic competition, the harder they’ll need to look for other sources to sustain their industrial production levels and corporate supply chain.

In a trade war scenario, the possible initial hiccups in the global supply chain will likely be short-lived. In fact, let’s consider that about half of US imports are estimated to be made of intra-firm trade, and that protectionist measures from abroad tend to have insignificant effects on the production input of Chinese State-owned firms. Thus, multinational corporations are proven to be particularly adept at   quickly replacing the flows of their industrial production and distribution, as is shown by history.

In other words, in the event of a Sino–American crisis, the major trading actors in both countries will be able and willing to promptly move their business somewhere else.

Thanks to the existing spaghetti bowl of international economic partnerships, Australia is in prime position to be this “somewhere else” for both countries. In fact, Australia is the second largest economy and Sino–American trading partner of the only six countries that have in place free trade agreements with both the US and China, including South Korea, Singapore, Chile, Peru and Costa Rica.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade is a significant case study for Australia in this instance. Australia is the world’s second largest LNG exporter, and is set to become the first by 2020. It exports more than $16 billion a year of LNG and by 2020 the LNG industry is expected to contribute $65 billion to the Australian economy, equating to 3.5% of its GDP. 2016 saw the start of LNG exports from the US and an unprecedented boost of Chinese imports. In a trade war scenario, the US would be locked out of China’s thriving market and thus LNG prices would rise even higher than they already have. With sharply rising production capacity, Australia needs to expand and diversify its customer base to keep the lion’s share of the global LNG market. China’s response to Trump’s trade policy is set to dampen the rise of a   strong emerging competitor of Australia’s highly lucrative LNG industry, and thus open up new commercial frontiers.

The LNG example clearly shows that Australia’s economy would benefit from a contained US–China trade crisis. Nevertheless, should that trade crisis escalate beyond the economy, Australia’s luck may run out.

The Chinese leadership doesn’t hide the fact that promoting international economic integration outside of the US control serves the purpose of carving greater geopolitical autonomy and flexibility in the global decision-making processes. Beside Trump’s trade policy, Xi Jinping’s diplomatic strategy may also speed up the end of the US­–China detente initiated by Nixon and Kissinger in the 1970s. It remains to be seen whether China will also pursue hard-line policies to push the US outside of the Asia–Pacific. In that instance, Australia would be caught between a rock and a hard place.

If the US­–China trade war were to escalate to the geopolitical level, the American order in the Asia–Pacific would enter uncharted waters. For one thing, such an unsavoury development may compel Australia to make a clear choice between trading with China and preserving America’s security patronage.

Giovanni Di Lieto lectures International Trade Law at Monash University.

One of the most interesting things about all this is that while Australia is going to be compelled to make that choice, the choice has essentially already been made through the pattern of trade relationships which Australian politicians have chosen to cultivate.

The only way that Australia would choose the United States in that scenario, would be if Australians decided that they would like to deliberately take a massive economic dive so that they can ‘Make America Great Again’ even though that is not their country, and so that they can avoid being called ‘anti-White’ by the legions of anonymous Alt-Right trolls roaming around on Twitter using Robert Whitacker’s ‘mantra’ on anyone who won’t support the geostrategic and geoeconomic intertests of the United States, the Russian Federation, and Exxonmobil specifically. 

Given that we know that Australians don’t care about America or Russia more than they care about the economic prosperity of their own country, the outcome is already baked into the cake. AFR carried an article last year which can be used to forecast what is likely to happen, and I’ll quote it in full here now:

AFR.com, ‘How our free trade deals are helping Australian companies right now’, 17 Nov 2016 (emphasis added):

Free trade should be embraced, not feared.

It has lifted living standards, grown Australia’s economy and created thousands of jobs.

While it is becoming more popular to denounce globalisation and flirt with protectionism, we cannot turn our back on free trade.

Australia’s economy has withstood global challenges and recorded 25 years of continuous growth because we’re open to the world.   Since Australia’s trade barriers came down, we’ve reaped the rewards.

Trade liberalisation has lifted the income of households by around $4500 a year and boosted the country’s gross domestic product by 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, creating thousands of jobs.

One in five jobs now involve trade-related activities. This will grow as liberalised trade gives our producers, manufacturers and services providers better access to billions of consumers across the globe, not just the 24 million who call Australia home.

However, not everyone sees the value of free trade. Some see it, and the forces of globalisation, as a threat to their standard of living, rather than an opportunity to improve it.

When it comes to free trade, we often hear about the bad but not the good.

The nature of news means the factory closing gets more coverage than the one opening.

Chances are you heard about the Ford plant closing, but not the $800 million Boeing has invested in Australia and the 1200 people who work at their Port Melbourne facility.

You may have heard about Cubbie Station, but not heard that its purchase staved off bankruptcy, and has since seen millions of dollars invested in upgrades of water-saving infrastructure, a doubling of contractors, more workers, and of course, money put into the local economy supporting jobs and local businesses.

Key to attracting investment, jobs

The free trade agreements the Coalition concluded with the North Asian powerhouse economies of China, Japan and Korea are key to attracting investment and creating more local jobs.

The Weilong Grape Wine Company has said the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is the reason it’s planning to build a new plant in Mildura.

This is a story being played out across the country.

Businesses large and small, rural and urban, are taking advantage of the preferential market access the FTAs offer Aussie businesses into the giant, growing markets of North Asia.

Australian Honey Products is building a new factory in Tasmania to meet the demand the trifecta of FTAs has created.

Owner Lindsay Bourke says the free trade agreements have been “wonderful” for  his business. “We know that we are going to grow and it’s enabled us to employ more people, more local people,”  he said.

It is the same story for NSW skincare manufacturer Cherub Rubs, who will have to double the size of their factory. “The free trade agreements with China and Korea really mean an expansion, which means new Australian jobs manufacturing high-quality products,” said Cherub CEO John Lamont.

It is easy to see why the three North Asian FTAs are forecast to create 7,900 jobs this year, according to modelling conducted by the Centre for International Economics.

Australia has a good story when it comes to free trade. In the past three years, net exports accounted for more than half of Australia’s GDP growth.

Exports remain central to sustaining growth and economic prosperity. Last year exports delivered $316 billion to our economy, representing around 19 per cent of GDP.

This underscores the importance of free trade and why it is a key element of the Turnbull Government’s national economic plan.

The Coalition is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda, and more free trade agreements, to ensure our economy keeps growing and creating new jobs.

On Friday I arrive in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting.

Free trade will be at front of everyone’s mind.

With the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) looking grim, my ministerial counterparts and I will work to conclude a study on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which sets out agreed actions towards a future free trade zone.

We will also work to finalise a services road map, which will help grow Australian services exports in key markets including education, finance and logistics.

More to be done

The Coalition has achieved a lot when it comes to free trade, but there is more to do.

Momentum is building for concluding a free trade agreement with Indonesia, work towards launching free trade agreement negotiations with the European Union continues, we’ve established a working group with the United Kingdom that will scope out the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA and we’re continuing to negotiate the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which brings together 16 countries that account for almost half of the world’s population.

The Turnbull government will continue to pursue an ambitious free trade agenda to keep our economy growing and creating more jobs.

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten continues to build the case for Labor’s embrace of more protectionist policies, claiming he will learn the lessons of the US election where it featured heavily.

What Labor doesn’t say though is that by adopting a closed economy mindset, they will close off the investment and jobs flowing from free trade. They’re saying no to Boeing’s $800 million investment in Australia and the Cubbie Station improvements; they’re saying no to businesses like Cherub Rubs and Australian Honey Products building new factories and the many local jobs they will create.

Steven Ciobo is the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

Obligatory Taylor Swift
What’s not to love about all this?

I really think I love Anglo-Saxons. This is going to be fun, isn’t it? 

When Mr. Ciobo spoke of ‘a working group with the United Kingdom that will scope out the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA’, he was not joking. That is happening and it is likely going to be another window that the UK will have into the formation of both RCEP and FTAAP, even though technically the UK is not physically in the Indo-Asian region.

I wrote an article several days ago called ‘A view of Brexit from Asia: Britain as a Pacific trading power in the 21st century.’ I chose at that time not to mention the Australian or New Zealand interface at all, but that article’s main point should be viewed as being reinforced by the point I’ve presented in here now.

I have also written an article today called, ‘US Government to build American competitiveness atop socio-economic retrogression and misery.’ It’s crucial to understand that time is of the essence, since the Americans are at the present moment in relative disarray compared to the rest of us. The Americans have not yet tamed and pacified the various economic actors in their own country, they are still working on that, and they also have yet to form a coherent internationalist counter-narrative to the one that is being enunciated by the governments of Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and so on.

Some of you may be mystified by that statement. What do I mean that the Americans don’t have a coherent ‘internationalist counter-narrative’? I mean that while they are capable of explaining and rationalising their own position as a narrowly ‘America first’ position in a way that is pleasing to Americans, they are not able to export that view to regular people anywhere else in a way that would induce any other European-demography country to comply with America’s geoeconomic interests.

After all, if the Alt-Right people are going to careen all over the internet essentially screaming, “put America first ahead of your own country’s interests or be accused of White genocide”, and alternately equally absurdly, “you’re an evil Russophobe who supports White genocide if you invested in BP instead of Exxon”, then they should not expect that they are going to win the sympathy of anyone who is neither American nor Russian.

I want to say to British people, to Australians, to New Zealanders, to Canadians, Commonwealth citizens in general, that you know, it’s been a long time since you’ve taken your own side. This coming phase is going to be a time when it will become possible to do precisely that.

The time is fast approaching when it will be possible to choose neither America nor Russia. You’ll be able to finally choose yourselves and your own geoeconomic interests, and you’ll be able to choose to trade and associate with whoever else in the world you want to trade and associate with.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


The ‘Left of Launch’ Strategy: Yet another reason why Iran is not a nuclear threat to America.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Wednesday, 08 March 2017 18:27.

An interesting story appeared at ASPI today, regular people have now become aware of the existence of the ‘left of launch’ strategy. Which you can read about at the links included in the Cyber wrap 154 which I’ve reproduced in full below.

The utility of having people know about the ‘left of launch’ strategy is that it even further reduces the credibility of any of Donald Trump’s feigned hyperventilating about the alleged (and in fact non-existent) ‘threat’ of Iran ever attaining a nuclear weapon, much less having the ability to use such a weapon against anyone.

Armed with this information, it is possible for people to go out into the world and make the case that even if one were to entertain the idea that Iran were willing to create some improbable doomsday scenario, there is no need for anyone to send a single American aircraft, tank, or armoured patrol vehicle anywhere near Iran in order to avert such a scenario.

If Donald Trump and his supporters continue to behave like Iran is a ‘major nuclear threat’ despite the existence of the ‘left of launch’ strategy in public view, there is only one place that such a ridiculous narrative can be actually originating from, and that place is Israel. That is the case which should be made over and over again, until it becomes a kind of mantra.

Here’s ASPI’s Cyber wrap:

ASPI - The Strategist, ‘Cyber wrap 154’, 08 Mar 2017 (emphasis added):

Lightbulb

Welcome back to your weekly fix of cyber news, analysis and research.

The New York Times reported last Saturday that, back in 2013, President Barack Obama ordered cyber sabotage operations against Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. The persistently high failure rate of the US’s kinetic antimissile weapons, despite significant investment, reportedly prompted Obama to consider a cyber supplement. The project to pre-emptively undermine missiles in their development stages, known as a ‘left of launch’ strategy, receives dedicated resources at the Pentagon and is now President Trump’s to play with. However, experts are concerned that this kind of cyber offensive approach sets a dangerous precedent for Beijing and Moscow, particularly if they believe that US cyber operations could successfully undermine their nuclear deterrence capability.

Staying stateside, the future of the NSA’s spying powers are   under scrutiny this week as elements of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) approach sunset. Section 702 of the Act forms the basis for the NSA’s monitoring of foreign nationals’ communications around the globe in the interests of national security. It was under this FISA authority that the US’s infamous “big brother” program PRISM—revealed in the Snowden disclosures of 2013—was established.

While the legislation is designed for foreign targets, there have long been concerns it could be used to surveil US citizens through their contact with foreigners. Human rights advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union are protesting the renewal of this legislation in defence of international privacy. The issue also has the trans-Atlantic data-sharing agreement on thin ice, especially given that EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has made it clear that she ‘will not hesitate’ to suspend the painstakingly crafted arrangement should the US fail to uphold its stringent privacy requirements.

That task may be even more difficult after WikiLeaks’ overnight release of a dossier, dubbed ‘Vault 7’, detailing the CIA’s cyber espionage tools and techniques. WikiLeaks released over 8,000 documents it claims were taken from a CIA computer network in the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence. The documents detail the agency’s expansive and sophisticated cyber espionage capability, including compromising the security common devices and apps including Apple iPhones, Google’s Android software and Samsung televisions to collect intelligence.

China’s Foreign Ministry and the Cyberspace Administration of China this week launched the country’s first International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace. The Strategy outlines China’s basic principles for cyber diplomacy and its strategic goals in cyberspace. Encouragingly, the Foreign Ministry’s Coordinator for Cyberspace Affairs Long Zhao stated that ‘enhancing deterrence, pursuing absolute security and engaging in a cyber arms race…is a road to nowhere’. Unsurprisingly, the Strategy offers strong support for the concept of cyber sovereignty, stating that ‘countries should respect each other’s right to choose their own path of cyber development’, and emphasises the importance of avoiding cyberspace becoming ‘a new battlefield’. You can read a full English language version of the Strategy here.

The revelation that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) was temporarily forced to rely on diesel generators during last month’s heat wave has prompted the government to significantly upgrade to the agency’s infrastructure. The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security told Parliament on Wednesday that it was recommended by ActewAGL and the NSW Department of Environment that ASD switch to back up power on 10 February as part of state-wide load shedding to protect power supplies. The new $75 million project, funded by the Defence Integrated Investment Program, is intended to bolster the intelligence agency’s resilience.

Several cyber incidents have kept the internet on its toes this week. The Amazon Simple Storage Service cloud hosting service went down last week, knocking hundreds of thousands of popular websites and apps offline. The disruptive incident, originally described by the company as ‘increased error rates’, was actually not the result of cyber criminals or hacktivists, but that of an employee’s fat fingers entering a command incorrectly—whoops! Yahoo is in the doghouse (again) with the awkward announcement in its annual report to the Security and Exchange Commission that 32 million customer accounts are thought to have been compromised through forged cookies. This isn’t to be confused with the entirely separate and very embarrassing loss of 1 billion accounts in a 2013 breach, which recently cost the company $350 million in its acquisition deal with Verizon and CEO Marissa Mayer her annual cash bonus. And if you’ve been tracking the #cloudbleed saga, catch up with some post-mortems here, here and here.

Finally we’ve got you covered for your weekly cyber research reads. A new Intel report, written by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, examines the discrepancies in cyberspace that put defenders at a disadvantage. Titled Tilting the Playing Field: How Misaligned Incentives Work Against Cybersecurity, the report reveals the gaps between attackers vs. defenders, strategy vs. implementation and executives vs. implementers, offering recommendations to overcome such obstacles. And get your fix of statistics from PwC’s annual Digital IQ assessment based on a survey of more than 2,000 executives from across the world. The research reveals that only 52% of companies consider their corporate Digital IQ to be ‘strong,’ a considerable drop from 67% last year.


Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together: Russia & the Jews - Obstructions Continue

Posted by DanielS on Friday, 03 March 2017 07:56.

TOO, “200 Years Together: Chapter 9 — And Some Mysterious Search Engine Results”, 2 Mar 2017:

200 Years Together: Chapter 9 — And Some Mysterious Search Engine Results

Kevin MacDonald on March 2, 2017 —

From the translators of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 200 Years Together:

Today, we published the English translation of chapter nine. You can find it here: —

https://twohundredyearstogether.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/chapter-9/

There’s an important development this week. Every week, I check the blog stats to see how many people this information is reaching. I check search engine results for “two hundred years together”, without quotes as well. This is done on DuckDuckGo and StartPage (a Google proxy).

Dr. Kevin MacDonald linked to the site on The Occidental Observer about a week and a half ago. The site, understandably, saw an explosion of traffic which sustained until now. Searching for “two hundred years together” would return the link to the post he published (in top 15 results) in addition to several pages (main page about result #25, then chapters 2, 6, 7) on the blog.

Two days ago, I checked the search engine ranking for “two hundred years together”, without quotes. Nothing. Then, I tried “200 years together”, also without quotes which returned no link to the blog. Finally, I tried “two hundred years together” with quotes and that returned a link to chapter 7 near the end of the search results (about #33). In all cases, the result for the post on Dr. MacDonald’s site no longer appears in the search results.

Now, I can get a result for chapter 3 about result #15. Dr. MacDonald’s post doesn’t appear still. There’s no results returned from Google for the blog at all.

This flies in the face of everything I understand about Internet marketing. From the WordPress admin console, I see tons of links from Twitter, links to the blog from various forums around the world, and, until a couple days ago, organic inbound traffic from search engine results. People are sharing links to this blog. Normally, when more sites link to yours or your content gets shared on social media, your ranking goes up. Also, there can’t be heavy competition for the words “two hundred years together” or the result set would be much larger than ~35 results.

My only conclusion here is that the blog is being removed from search engine results and actively censored. I figured the blog would get taken down at some point, but I didn’t think it would get removed from search engine results. I’m not surprised given what chapters like #8 and this week’s, #9, are discussing.

If the blog gets removed, I’ll make another one. These chapters will be published on torrent sites when we’re done. This content isn’t going anywhere. People need to understand that what we are living through now has happened already elsewhere and we need to wake up.

Please, please, please, share this blog. Get this information out there. It is obvious to us certain people do not want people to read these translations. Help us counter the narrative by linking to it anywhere you can.


Mass Rapes: Islamic Weapon of Conquest and Domination

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 22 February 2017 02:29.

TNO, “Mass Rapes: Islamic Weapon of Conquest and Domination”, 18 Feb 2017:

By Yolanda Couceiro Morín. Since the sordid episode of the massive New Year’s Eve rape of 2015 in Cologne and other German cities (more than a thousand complaints), cases of sexual assaults against European women by immigrants and “refugees”, overwhelmingly Muslim, have multiplied throughout Europe, especially in Germany and the Nordic countries.

Seeing what happened at the last end of the year celebrations, rapes are becoming part of the European folklore of these dates: together with the nativity scenes, the Christmas markets and the Three Kings’ cavalcades, we will now have Massive Rapes New Year´s Eve.

Traditions change from the usual gift of red underwear to the latest chastity belts. This is the march towards the progress of our battered Europe.

We witness a retreat from civilization, the decline of an entire society, a rupture of the anthropological foundations of our societies. Es el regreso a la caverna. It is the return to the cave.

This social collapse, this degradation of coexistence norms, is not only a change of culture, but the implantation of a savagery that we could call prehistoric.

We all have in mind the classic caricature of the relations between the sexes of those antediluvian times in the scene of a troglodyte, with a club on the shoulder, dragging by the hair to its pair.

This typical image of cartoons represents in a comic sense the terrible situation to which we are forced to march, with the importation of populations manifestly unfit for modern and civilized society.

From the peaks of the highest and most refined civilization that the Earth has carried on its surface, we have fallen into a state of semi-fearlessness.

We must be clear that these are not simple criminal acts, however reprehensible they may be.

Among the European population, of race and native culture, this type of aggression also occurs, although in quantitative terms much lower than this wave of savagery that has invaded us.

But it is the qualitative nature of these violations that should be the object of special attention.

In these cases we are not in front of habitual criminal acts, but in front of cultural facts.

Among us, abuses and sexual assaults against women are considered a social scourge, a highly reprehensible behavior, an improper indignity of decent people, an extreme violation of people´s freedom and dignity.

In the Islamic world, where women are considered inferior to men, abusive treatment and aggression of all kinds against women do not deserve the same reprobation and condemnation as among European, Christian and modern civilized nations: are accepted and justified facts. Therein lies the difference.

[...]

The scarce intellect of these individuals who, in fact, believe that we are all “human beings”, and that culture is something that is put on and removed, as if it were a dress or shoes, is enough to justify these events as something inherent to the human race.

[...]


Martin Schulz is ‘the new Donald Trump’. Is there somehow a meaning to be found in this nonsense?

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Sunday, 19 February 2017 15:34.

Martin Schulz is the new Donald Trump, says German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Wow, such a breadth of choice

The Germans are non-ironically having an election in which Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz are the two front runners.

The choice seems to be quite simple.

Either you vote for Angela Merkel’s CDU and face the death by demographic replacement which will surely arrive by the year 2050 as things continue as they are, or alternately you vote for Martin Schulz’s SPD and face the death by demographic replacement which will surely arrive by the year 2050 as things continue as they are.

There are some policy disagreements that they have on other issues and usually I would actually go to the length of highlighting them and describing them, but when it comes to the issue of Germany it frankly doesn’t even matter anymore. After all, if Germany is going to seriously cease to exist as a nation then making projections about a nation which will not even be populated by the same people would be a pointless exercise from the perspective of ethno-nationalism. It is extremely sad.

In any case, let’s see how the situation looks in the polls at present, for this thoroughly pointless election:

POLITICO, ‘SPD in the lead according to German poll’, 19 Feb 2017:

Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) have slumped to second place in an opinion poll conducted by the Emnid institute, with the Social Democrats (SPD) in the top spot for the first time since 2006.

The SPD’s climb comes after the party picked the former President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, as its candidate for chancellor.

Emnid’s poll of 1,885 voters found that the SPD would get 33 percent of the German vote, while Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, would get 32 percent.

Schulz’s party has gained 12 points in the last four weeks, according to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The SPD’s surge in the polls will add more pressure on Merkel, as she seeks her fourth term as chancellor within an uneasy CDU/CSU alliance. Merkel has faced tough criticism from the sister party over the controversial decision to temporarily open Germany’s borders to refugees in 2015.

This the latest in a series of polls that shows SPD’s rapidly rising popularity among German voters. Emnid’s poll chimes with separate findings by Politbarometer, a long-standing German election poll from German broadcaster ZDF, which showed Friday that only 38 percent of voters would like to see Merkel carry on her job as chancellor and that 49 percent preferred Schulz.

But Germany hasn’t completely fallen out of love with Merkel. ZDF’s poll also found that 71 percent of Germans think that the current chancellor is doing a good job, despite her party’s drop in popularity.

German elections are scheduled for September.

Such vibrant campaigning

Meanwhile, the way that Martin Schulz is conducting his campaign has drawn criticism from Wolfgang Shaeuble, a very strange-looking criticism at first brush:

POLITICO, ‘Wolfgang Schäuble: Martin Schulz is the German Donald Trump’, 10 Feb 2017:

Martin Schulz, the German center-left’s candidate to be chancellor, is behaving like U.S. President Donald Trump, according to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

“If Schulz calls upon his supporters to chant ‘Make Europe great again‘ then that’s almost literally [like] Trump,” Schäuble told Der Spiegel in an interview published Friday.

He said Schulz, a former European Parliament president, was acting in a “populist way.”

Schäuble said Schulz needed to “think a little [bit more].” He warned that in times when there is a surge in populist movements, politicians should be careful with their language.

The SPD’s move to nominate Schulz as their candidate for chancellor in the September 24 federal election led to a surge in party membership applications. Opinion polls show that backing Schulz helped the party to its highest approval rating since 2013.

At first a person would think, “Hmm, something is very wrong here, in what important way does Martin Schulz resemble Donald Trump, aside from the use of a similar campaign slogan?”

Surely Schaeuble is just a ridiculous old man who is approaching senility, and he has begun to make even less sense than usual in his statement?

Nevertheless I decided to actually give Schaeuble’s statement some thought. Could I manage to find some unintended ‘sense’ in Schaeuble’s seemingly nonsensical statement?

After about twenty milliseconds of deep thought – which in neurological terms is basically ‘instantly’ – I arrived at the answer. First, take a look at this quote concerning Schulz:

Haaretz / Avraham Burg, ‘Say a big ‘thank you’ to Martin Schulz’, 14 Feb 2014:

[...] Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, is a close friend of mine. On most issues connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict we disagree. He is closer to the Israeli mainstream, and his positions resemble those of Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog. He once told me, during a frank and stern conversation, “For me, the new Germany exists only in order to ensure the existence of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” [...]

Secondly, take a look at this quote concerning Trump:

The Hill / Elliot Smilowitz, ‘Trump: ‘Stay strong Israel,’ my inauguration is approaching’, 28 Dec 2016:

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday morning ripped the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel and pledged to end the “disdain and disrespect” for the country.

“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. [...]

If you look at it from that angle, then Schaeuble accidentally spoke a kind of truth in the midst of his babbling, somehow.

There indeed is a resemblance between Schulz and Trump. From the perspective of Jewish Zionists in the global sense, the two individuals are almost completely identical.


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...


New Horizons Pluto Mission Foreshadows the Capability of an Unburdened European/Asian Alliance

Posted by DanielS on Saturday, 04 February 2017 03:29.

This is the kind of reach a European-Asian Alliance is capable of, even while heavily burdened: imagine what we could accomplish if we were not saddled by the YKW, their Abrahamism (Judaism, Islam and Christianity), complicit right-wing arrogation and liberal irresponsibly - pinning us down with the irresponsible among us, their consequences; as well as in obsequiousness toward, and over-burdened necessity to defend against, African aggression and bio-power, Muslim colonization (“Hijra”) and terror.

 
Nasa, New Horizons image gallery.

READ MORE...


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