Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3m_tL9xEgE

China is preparing for war. It has said so in public. It has demonstrated so with militarization of "Made in China" islands that didn't exist a decade ago. It has shown intent by showing no sense of limits in cyber-warfare, technology acquisition, and oppression of the press. Facebook and Twitter users are only a "security threat" to those easily threatened.

Unlike China, the United States does not make a habit of announcing its newest military technology to the world. Whatever warfare breaks out between the US and China in the Western Pacific, China's capabilities will have been known well in advance, but the US will likely employ weapons not yet known to the public. One needs no inside information to forecast as much, only a familiarity with the parts of history that tend to repeat.

But, we are not looking at WWIII, not yet. While the brewing conflict in the Western Pacific will likely involve many countries and islands, Russia is not yet ready for the big one. NATO's presence in Europe is still too strong and Putin has not had enough time to amass his forces as he would like. Both Russia and the US would want things to quiet down rather quickly. Every effort from the White House to back away from conflicts with Russia suggests that a deal has already been struck with the Kremlin—that an expansionist campaign from China will not receive meaningful Russian help if squashed by the United States.

The question will concern how many Mainland China military supply installations Russia will allow the US to strike. But, if the US intervenes with Taiwan or razes the artificial islands on Mischief Reef, don't expect China to receive backup from Russia. Moscow took Crimea with a favorable referendum and no bloodshed. The Kremlin would expect just as much success from Beijing in order to court respect and cooperation. Right now, things don't look that way. 80% of Taiwanese rejecting reunification with China is a near flip to the support Russia received from Crimeans. Backroom Moscow secretly mocks Beijing, no matter how much money the Chinese pay them. Moscow would be fools if they didn't.

In the supposed "Chinese invasion plans" for Taiwan, there are multiple phases, including opportunistic retaliation from India. But, those plans fail to anticipate retaliation from the insulted Vietnamese, who also hold a long-standing grudge against China. Then, there is the ancient ethnic spite between China and Japan. Mongolia also has border disputes. Tibet is not the only province that wants to break away. It is doubtful Sun Tzu would have advised an expansion campaign while surrounded by enemies, especially as a mere means of being respected.

It would take a miracle and a half to stay whatever makes the pluming smoke on the horizon of the last decade. But, it won't last long. No one wants this to drag on. No, like "The Great War" (WWI) set the stage for WWII, the approaching war in the Pacific will set the stage for the big one that comes after.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, January 14, 2019

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3m_tL9xEgE

China is preparing for war. It has said so in public. It has demonstrated so with militarization of "Made in China" islands that didn't exist a decade ago. It has shown intent by showing no sense of limits in cyber-warfare, technology acquisition, and oppression of the press. Facebook and Twitter users are only a "security threat" to those easily threatened.

Unlike China, the United States does not make a habit of announcing its newest military technology to the world. Whatever warfare breaks out between the US and China in the Western Pacific, China's capabilities will have been known well in advance, but the US will likely employ weapons not yet known to the public. One needs no inside information to forecast as much, only a familiarity with the parts of history that tend to repeat.

But, we are not looking at WWIII, not yet. While the brewing conflict in the Western Pacific will likely involve many countries and islands, Russia is not yet ready for the big one. NATO's presence in Europe is still too strong and Putin has not had enough time to amass his forces as he would like. Both Russia and the US would want things to quiet down rather quickly. Every effort from the White House to back away from conflicts with Russia suggests that a deal has already been struck with the Kremlin—that an expansionist campaign from China will not receive meaningful Russian help if squashed by the United States.

The question will concern how many Mainland China military supply installations Russia will allow the US to strike. But, if the US intervenes with Taiwan or razes the artificial islands on Mischief Reef, don't expect China to receive backup from Russia. Moscow took Crimea with a favorable referendum and no bloodshed. The Kremlin would expect just as much success from Beijing in order to court respect and cooperation. Right now, things don't look that way. 80% of Taiwanese rejecting reunification with China is a near flip to the support Russia received from Crimeans. Backroom Moscow secretly mocks Beijing, no matter how much money the Chinese pay them. Moscow would be fools if they didn't.

In the supposed "Chinese invasion plans" for Taiwan, there are multiple phases, including opportunistic retaliation from India. But, those plans fail to anticipate retaliation from the insulted Vietnamese, who also hold a long-standing grudge against China. Then, there is the ancient ethnic spite between China and Japan. Mongolia also has border disputes. Tibet is not the only province that wants to break away. It is doubtful Sun Tzu would have advised an expansion campaign while surrounded by enemies, especially as a mere means of being respected.

It would take a miracle and a half to stay whatever makes the pluming smoke on the horizon of the last decade. But, it won't last long. No one wants this to drag on. No, like "The Great War" (WWI) set the stage for WWII, the approaching war in the Pacific will set the stage for the big one that comes after.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, November 19, 2018

In Taiwanese politics, a mayor candidate's comments about his own benefits from drinking honey-lemonade sparked retribution from the medical community. After a lump under his eye went away, apparently from a vegetarian and honey-lemonade diet, he actually said so. A professional from a hospital was quick to weigh in. It's understandable. If people learned that honey could cure disease, hospital profits would plunge. More importantly, Taiwanese political debates would become outright boring without the ability to, as the saying goes, make lemonade from political debates.

But, lemonade really is important. Google search results even saw a spike after this essential talk of Taiwanese politics made news.

Meanwhile, at the ASEAN summit in Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for nations to come together at a time when Southeast Asian stability was under threat. In anticipation of APEC after ASEAN, Mike Pence started talking tough, wanting results and genuine action from China concerning an even-flow of trade. He elaborated, that the US has a quarter of a billion dollars in tariffs and isn't afraid to go twice as high as well as take more "diplomatic" action. It was a strong "they know that we know that they know what we think" remark, the kind that precedes otherwise objectionable action to make the action unobjectionable.

Later, at APEC, Pence warned of returning to a "cold war" while making plans for a US-Australian naval base in Papua New Guinea. Rather than dropping its tilted tariffs on goods, China has been openly gearing up for all out war three weeks. APEC ended without a written agreement between member nations for the first time ever because of the disagreements between the US and China.

This past weekend, Taiwan did something that China despises every bit as much as it cannot identify with: Taiwan hosted democratic election campaigns. With all the strong rhetoric concerning Taiwan, independence, and China's loudly and often-spoken determination to invade Taiwan, there shouldn't be any question where China's war-in-preparation will start and why America will easily get involved.

America is already involved in Taiwan to quite an extent. AIT, the unofficial yet de facto US embassy in Taiwan, had an interview scheduled for release with a large TV network in Taiwan. But, after the interview, the TV network, TVBS, scrapped the interview. So, AIT shared the interview in its Facebook page, rather than relying on TVBS.

With the history lessons about Taiwan in almost every Taiwan-related story in the Western press, Americans will take an advancement against Taiwan as an advancement against themselves. China would be perceived as an aggressor and rightly so. Everything the US has done to provoke and irritate China would have only worked if China possessed the old school "Asian Pride" that Sun Tzu warned against, a pride that can't be permitted in a world's superpower because such pride is easily provoked just as much as it is easily shattered. Hardened pride makes for brittle peace. That's something that the entire West won't allow, the US notwithstanding.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, December 18, 2017

All signs indicate a gear-up for war. The US is full on-tilt, not only in military prep, but also in blaming China. The US and China face each other with North Korea in the middle. There is nothing China or Russia will do to stop Washington from gobbling North Korea whole, but a reaction is to be expected. A war just east of China's border should rouse China's military, if for no other reason than that North Korea might go rogue and invade China as a means of escape.

The US also has a precarious position. China trades with and supplies North Korea; of particular interest is oil. The US recently reached an oil deal with China to pay back China on old debts with oil from Alaska. Recent comments from Washington, including a statement at the UN, include that China must do its part to stop feeding North Korea, otherwise the US will take its own means of handling the part it was hoped China would handle. That's no threat, but it is an expected warning, as it is expected that Beijing would respond defensively.

So, we are headed to war and China won't sit this one out. While it is unlikely the Chinese would help North Korea defend a war with the US, the more likely option is an invasion of Taiwan. If China invades Taiwan, it would likely be seen as mere retaliation from the West, but would make strategic sense from China's view—at least if China assumes that invading Taiwan could be a success. With the US busy and expanding pro-democracy South Korea's borders northward, China would naturally want more territory. China might also thing that the US is too occupied with Korea to worry about Taiwan. And, the recent step-up in regular rhetoric over bipartisan support in Congress to defend Taiwan is China's perfect excuse to justify a strike of its own.

We'll have to wait and see how things play out. But, don't think that there isn't plenty of China-blaming in the press, including speculation that China would actually back North Korea militarily or even the smear by making China look inhumane for its implementation of the death sentence. Human Rights or not, there are press forces in the West always trying to smear China. But, just as much rhetoric comes from all sides, including Russia.

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Faux Report

Could Denying Russians From Olympic Games Start Another War?

rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – 

Analysts fear tensions with the Russians could lead to another war if the Russians are banned from participating in the Olympic games. The Russian sports minister says “up to 67 athletes” have applied to track and field’s world governing body to be exempted from the ban on the Russian team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

The IAAF is unlikely to approve most of the 67 athletes, since it has previously indicated the exemption is aimed at a small minority of athletes based abroad.

When a global governing body for sports barred Russia’s track and field team from the 2016 Summer Olympics on Friday over a wide-ranging doping scandal, it was greeted in Russia, as is with a deep sense of victimhood.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called the decision “unjust, of course.”

Mr. Putin said, “Russia is strengthening antidoping controls and athletes should bear personal responsibility for using performance-enhancing drugs.” Punishing the whole team, he said, “doesn’t fit any norms of civilized behavior.”

Outside Russia, sporting officials viewed the unanimous decision as a long overdue restoration of some fairness in competitions. After all, in some sporting events Russian athletes had been trouncing competitors for years before it turned out they were using performance-enhancing drugs.

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Faux Report

Could Denying Russians From Olympic Games Start Another War?

rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – 

Analysts fear tensions with the Russians could lead to another war if the Russians are banned from participating in the Olympic games. The Russian sports minister says “up to 67 athletes” have applied to track and field’s world governing body to be exempted from the ban on the Russian team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics

The IAAF is unlikely to approve most of the 67 athletes, since it has previously indicated the exemption is aimed at a small minority of athletes based abroad.

When a global governing body for sports barred Russia’s track and field team from the 2016 Summer Olympics on Friday over a wide-ranging doping scandal, it was greeted in Russia, as is with a deep sense of victimhood.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia called the decision “unjust, of course.”

Mr. Putin said, “Russia is strengthening antidoping controls and athletes should bear personal responsibility for using performance-enhancing drugs.” Punishing the whole team, he said, “doesn’t fit any norms of civilized behavior.”

Outside Russia, sporting officials viewed the unanimous decision as a long overdue restoration of some fairness in competitions. After all, in some sporting events Russian athletes had been trouncing competitors for years before it turned out they were using performance-enhancing drugs.

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Faux Report

Government Plans To End ‘War On Drugs’ By 2018

wars

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 

People of all stripes are asking a question, “Should all drugs be legalized?” For many people, the answer is yes, traditional, younger liberals are not the only ones who agree.

“There are many academic and anecdotal reasons to support the belief that all drugs should be legalized and the money spent for incarcerating those convicted of possession or even low-level dealing should be spent on rehabilitation and jobs training instead,” says Republican Senator Roy Blunt. “We are working on a bill that will end the war on drugs, so we can focus on more important things like the war on terror. If there are less drug offenders in our overcrowded prisons, there will be more room to incarcerate suspected terrorists.”

This attitude is representative of most Americans, as attitudes about drugs have changed drastically over the last 15 years. According to a Pew report, in 2001, 47% of all Americans supported the notion that states might eliminate mandatory sentences for drug users. At the time, the news was full of drive-by shootings and turf wars all over the nation and the citizenry as a whole was tired of violence. By 2014, 67% of Americans believed that mandatory sentencing was wrong for lower level possession and dealing of drugs. People believed it was more important to focus on treating drug users, and this included people caught with cocaine and heroin.

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Symphony

Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 2, 2016

Last week’s unreported US military exercises in Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung, along with the neighboring indictment of the minority party’s legislative control through vote-buying, no doubt sends an unreported message to Beijing. What we see in the headlines more or less tells the same story. The Asian establishment feels threatened.

Every man’s defense is another man’s offense. If “we” own it, it’s a “missile defense” system. If “they” own it, it’s a “missile attack” system. If you ask the Chinese and Russians, the American people don’t like their government. If you ask the Americans, the Chinese and Russian people don’t like their governments. In “Boilerplateville” everyone is right.

China and Russia don’t want an early-stop anti-missile system close to the loose nuclear cannons in northern Korea. The United States sails anywhere and everywhere that anyone anywhere says is able to be sailed—violating nonunanimous claims of both foe and friend. No disputes are exempted. When it comes to allies in Asia Pacifica, Japan debates a lame duck in Taiwan over a fishing boat.

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Symphony

Tempo: April 28, 2015

Nepal suffers from an earthquake. Israel helps. Countries China wants to invade aren’t allowed to help Nepal. US: Japan can respond in Pacific war. Sidney sits under water and ice. Baltimore riots. Chipotle: No GMOs, no corn, no Monsanto. W: Ease sanctions on Iran ‘naive’, new Iran president ‘smooth’. SCOTUS to hear on pairrage, Christians attend. Apple’s got cash! Leadership: Former Mars Hill Church Executive Pastor and Elder Shares All: Good Decisions Made by the Right People, ResultSource (Pt. 2)  · · · →

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