Sunday, October 21, 2018

Europe, U.S. Escalate Trade War With New Disputes at the WTO

"China and the EU have joined a group of countries asking the World Trade Organization to investigate the Trump administration’s decision to impose metals tariffs on national security grounds. In a separate filing, the U.S. asked the WTO to review those nations that retaliated against its duties.
The move sets the stage for a showdown at the Geneva-based trade arbiter that some fear could either lead to a U.S. exit or a flood of new protectionist measures invoking what has until now been a rarely used national security loophole in global trade rules..."

China Unveils World's Largest Transport Drone

"China has successfully tested the world's largest commercial drone developed and manufactured by the China Academy of Aerospace Electronics Technology (CAAET) made its first successful test flight at Baotou Airport in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Tuesday, reported, the official English-language website of China News Service..."


Putin Lays Down The Law At Valdai

"There is a limit to your provocations and attempts to undermine Russia.  So don’t cross that line.

Peace Through Strength

The big quote from his talk is the one everyone is focusing on, and rightly so, Russia’s policy about using nuclear weapons.
It’s not that Putin’s stance was any different than in the past. Russia will strike back at an aggressor under any circumstance where the future of Russia is at stake.  It was his assurance that in doing so 1) it would be just and righteous “dying like martyrs” and 2) so swift and brutal the aggressors would “die like dogs” bereft of the chance to ask for salvation.
Those are strong words.  They are the words of a meek man.  And the word meek, as Jordan Peterson reminds us, describes someone who has weapons, knows how to use them and keeps them sheathed until they have no other option.
The reaction from the audience (see video above) was nervous laughter, but I don’t think Putin was having one over on anyone.
He was serious.  This is the very definition of meek.
It is really no different than the attitude of Secretary of State James Mattis who said, “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f$*k with me, I’ll kill you all.”


"Complete Chaos": Russia Slams "Dangerous" U.S. Pullout Of INF Treaty As "Blackmail"

"Washington’s planned withdrawal from the international Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, announced by President Trump on Saturday, has been slammed by Russia as "a very dangerous step" which is ultimately part of "continuing attempts to achieve Russia’s concessions through blackmail" in statements made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Sunday.
And Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned the move could create a domino effect endangering other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The lawmaker said such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.

"Big-Ass Fight On The Horizon": Nearly Half Of All U.S. Troops Think Major War Is Coming

"A new poll conducted by Military Times and Syracuse University has found that nearly half of all active duty American troops believe the next major war is just around the corner
The poll results show about 46% of respondents think the U.S. will be drawn into a new war at some point in the next year, which is a significant 5% leap above the same category in the Military Times poll taken last year.
Analysts who looked at the numbers believe military personnel fear global instability and the heightened rhetoric of the Trump administration especially related to world powers like Russia and China..."

Pentagon Chief: US ‘Cannot Accept’ China’s ‘Militarization’ in South China Sea

"United States Defense Secretary James Mattis reiterated Washington’s position on the South China Sea Friday, calling for Japan and South Korea to work with America in the sea to prevent a singular power from dominating its waters.
"I think that all of us joining hands together — ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] allies and partners — and we affirm as we do so that no single nation can rewrite the international rules to the road and expect all nations large and small to respect those rules," the secretary of defense said Friday after meeting with Japanese and South Korean officials in Singapore, The Hill reported..."

Russia surpassed rivals with precise hypersonic weapons & will deploy more within months – Putin

"New Avangard hypersonic glider warheads are just months away from entering military service, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, adding that Russia is the first in the world to develop the breakthrough technology.
A hypersonic glider is a type of projectile that can fly and maneuver in the upper atmosphere at speeds of over Mach 5. This makes them harder to intercept than regular warheads, which approach the target over a predictable ballistic trajectory. Russia’s variant of the system is called Avangard and will be ready for military service in a few months, according to Putin.
“Responding to the development of anti-ballistic missile systems by the US, we are improving our strike capabilities. Some are already in service, others will be deployed soon,” he said during a Valdai Club session in Sochi. The Avangard deployment will happen “within several months,” Putin said..."

Apocalypse in 2019: Is Russia-US war possible?

"Nearly half of US military troops believe America will be drawn into a major war next year and see Moscow and Beijing as main threats, according to a recent poll. But is there any basis for this anxiety among soldiers?
Almost a half of soldiers and commanders in the US Armed Forces (46%) believe that their country will be drawn into a large-scale armed conflict in 2019, reveals a new Military Times' poll of active-duty troops. They didn't clarify though what kind of war with Russia they expect. Neither have they presented any analysis of a potential strategic armed conflict between Moscow and Washington. US servicemen didn't consider the latest trends and changes in the way our countries will do combat in the near future. They have briefly mentioned cyberattacks, but only the ones that took place this year..."

Trump's Debt

"As a candidate, Donald Trump promised to get rid of the entire national debt “over a period of eight years.” When this promise was made, the national debt stood at $19 trillion; it has since risen to $21.7 trillion. In the fiscal year ending September 30, it grew by $779 billion, up 17 percent from $666 billion in fiscal 2017. This year, after the Trump tax cuts take full effect, another $1 trillion worth of government IOUs will be issued.
“The deficit is absolutely higher than anyone would like,” says Kevin Hassett, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. “Historically unprecedented,” adds Jason Furman, who occupied Hassett’s position in the Obama administration. He feels that with unemployment virtually non-existent, and the economy growing at annual rate of at least 3 percent, we should be paying down debt, not spilling more red ink over the national ledger. Indeed, in 2000, the last time the unemployment rate dipped below 4 percent, tax revenues rose 11 percent and the government ran a large budget surplus.
How did candidate Trump intend to pay off the debt? First, he said he wanted to renegotiate trade deals that he believed were destroying the American economy. Second, drive the economic growth rate to 6 percent annually by reducing taxes and the weighty burden of regulations Barack Obama loaded onto businesses..."

Saudi Arabia pays UK firms millions to boost image

"London has become a hub for global Saudi public relations and media influence campaigns, with British firms earning millions of pounds from efforts to improve the image of the kingdom and its regional allies in recent years, a Guardian investigation has found.
The reputation of Saudi Arabia, always controversial due to its record on human rights and involvement in the ongoing Yemeni war, has taken a battering in the past fortnight following the apparent murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi..."

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Multi-Polar Political Project Pushed Forward By Putin In India

"Authored by Tom Luongo,
I have to wonder when Russian President Vladimir Putin sleeps.  He’s busier than any other leader, traveling the globe while consistently changing the board state geopolitically..."

International Relations: The Calm Before The Storm?

"Authored by Thierry Meyssan via The Voltaire Network,
All international problems are currently suspended, awaiting the results of the US mid-term elections. The partisans of the old international order are gambling on a change of majority in Congress and a rapid destitution of President Trump. If the man in the White House holds fast, the protagonists of the war against Syria will have to admit defeat and move on to other battle fields. On the other hand, if Donald Trump should lose the elections, the war on Syria will immediately be revived by the United Kingdom..."

The Self-Defeating US Empire

"Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,
Trump is trying to square a globalized world through a national-based American capitalism. It won’t work..."


Dramatic Footage Captures Hypersonic Nuclear Aircraft Streaking Across China Sky

"According to Metro, the footage is of a hypersonic plane. The paper said the plane is owned by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and is capable of Mach 10 (7,672 mph) while carrying a nuclear warhead.  Although there has been no official statement by Chinese, military bloggers claim the footage was caused by a hypersonic glide vehicle (known as DF-ZF)..."


Bolton: US Sees China as 'Major Issue' of Century

"WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - White House National Security Adviser John Bolton during a radio interview said the major issue of the 21st century for the United States is China due to its ability to build economic and military power while violating international norms..."


US needs a space force because Russia is ahead on it, Trump says

"Keen as ever on the idea of having a fighting force in space, US President Donald Trump says it’s a necessity for Washington because its perceived top adversaries – Russia and China – are beating it to the punch.
Trump was speaking at one of his Make America Great Again rallies, this time in Richmond, Kentucky. He boasted about his record $700bn+ military budget that would “fully rebuild the American military,”and decided to top it off with a promotional line for the Space Force, whose creation is already underway.
“It’s very popular,” he said. “One of the biggest applause I get wherever I go is when I talk about the Space Force.”
He then proceeded to explain why it’s so necessary: because those nations the US defense establishment calls its ‘main adversaries’ have a head start..."

Ganging up on Beijing? Five Eyes intel network now looks at China

"The intelligence agencies of the US, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand have been cooperating closely on countering China’s “foreign activities” since the start of the year, Reuters reports.
The so-called Five Eyes network is also sharing intelligence with allies such as Germany and Japan, in what has become a multinational coalition against Beijing’s alleged foreign meddling. Washington and its partners have accused China of using foreign investments to pull political strings – an accusation that Beijing denies..."

Monday, October 8, 2018

Is The U.S. Using Force To Sell Its LNG To The World?

"The Trump Administration trade policy is nowhere so clear as in the energy area. For years it was thought that the younger Bush Administration was one of the most energy industry friendly in history. But the Trump Administration has gone far beyond that.
Hiring Ray Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, as U.S. Secretary of State, sent a strong signal to the entire industry, even though his tenure proved to be temporary.
Prior to that, the Administration withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, a long-held priority of Exxon and the entire oil industry. Following hard upon that, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reduced or eliminated regulations limiting carbon and other pollutants.
Exxon has for more than a decade underwritten the now discredited, right wing attack on climate change as a hoax. Although the energy industry has now publicly acknowledged climate change as a global threat, in practice the subject is still largely ignored.
Going further, the Trump Administration has removed and reduced regulations that hampered the industry expansion, including allowing drilling on both ocean coast, while easing safety regulations that were brought into effect after BP’s Gulf of Mexico disastrous spill, the worst in U.S. history.
Government protected nature preserves are being opened to exploration and drilling for the first time in generations. Added to that was the dropping of regulations that for many years prohibited export of U.S. crude. Since then, the U.S. has become a major player in the global energy industry..."

Sunday, October 7, 2018