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Sunday, January 29, 2017

World War III

Donald Trump has lashed out at John McCain and Lindsey Graham:
“The joint statement of former presidential candidates John McCain & Lindsey Graham is wrong - they are sadly weak on immigration,” Trump said. “The two ... Senators should focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III.”
Normally, I would concede that there is some truth to this, in the sense that nobody ever accused John McCain of being a flower-power peacenik. But Donald Trump is the person bringing us closer to war.

Just ask the Chinese.
China is stepping up preparedness for a possible military conflict with the US as the Donald Trump presidency has increased the risk of hostilities breaking out, state media and military observers said.

Beijing is bracing itself for a possible deterioration in Sino-US ties, with a particular emphasis on maritime security.

The People’s Liberation Army said in a commentary on its official website last Friday, the day of Trump’s inauguration, that the chances of war have become “more real” amid a more complex security situation in Asia Pacific.
“‘A war within the president’s term’ or ‘war breaking out tonight’ are not just slogans, they are becoming a practical reality,” it said.
Also see here:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also advocated a US naval blockade of artificial Chinese islands in the South China Sea – which Beijing could interpret as an act of war.
Further suggestions China is preparing for conflict emerged this week, with unconfirmed reports the military has moved long range missiles closer to the north east border in Heilongjiang province -- within firing range of the US.

Chinese social media has carried pictures claiming to show the Dongfeng-41 advanced intercontinental ballistic missile system near the Russian border.

Provocative state-run tabloid The Global Times suggested the People’s Liberation Army could have leaked the photos on social media as a warning to Mr Trump.
I've had my beefs with John McCain and Lindsey Graham, but neither of those gentlemen would be so idiotic as to provoke war with China over a couple of unimportant islands. This spat over the islands of Spratly and Paracel is an even more absurd replay of the Quemoy and Matsu brouhaha, isn't it?

But there's a big difference: Nixon (the guy who wanted war over those inconsequential islands) didn't win in 1960. Trump's in charge now. And look at how close to the brink he has brought us in a very short time...
Sometimes it’s hard to sift the real from the magical in the Trump administration, and bombast appears to be the default strategy of the day. But people should be clear about what would happen if the U.S. actually tries to blockade China from supplying its forces constructing airfields and radar facilities on the Spratly and Paracel islands.

It would be an act of war.

While Beijing’s Foreign Ministry initially reacted cautiously to the comment, Chinese newspapers have been far less diplomatic. The nationalist Global Times warned of a “large-scale war” if the U.S. followed through on its threat, and the China Daily cautioned that a blockade could lead to a “devastating confrontation between China and the U.S.”

Independent observers agree. “It is very difficult to imagine the means by which the United States could prevent China from accessing these artificial islands without provoking some kind of confrontation,” says Rory Medcalf, head of Australia’s National Security College. And such a confrontation, says Carlyle Thayer of the University of New South Wales, “could quickly develop into an armed conflict.”

Last summer, China’s commander of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, Wu Shengli, told U.S. Admiral John Richardson that “we will never stop our construction on the Nansha Islands halfway.” Nansha is China’s name for the Spratlys. Two weeks later, Chang Wanquan, China’s Defense Minister, said Beijing is preparing for a “people’s war at sea.”
When will the Republicans in Congress realize that we have ceded control to a madman?
Re: WW III - That's what Bannon expects and potentially wants.
"he repeatedly pressed me to say we could expect a conflict at least as big as the Second World War"
Yep. This is it. And it ties in well with the alliance with Russia which I don't believe for one moment doesn't involve important elements in the US intelligence services as well as elements in the business elite and the country's insane billionaire fascist dictator.

Where that leaves Europe, I shudder to think. World wars are multi-theatre.

Forbes magazine is asking "Is War Against China Justified?"

When Bannon says the media are "the opposition", that means there will be intense and extensive psychological warfare against the US population itself to support fascism and war. The country is already a fair way along that road, perhaps past the point of no return.

Fascism wants blood. If the protests don't grow until Trump is removed from office, the blood will start flowing very soon. I am not saying war will be started with China this week, although it's possible. But blood will start flowing somewhere, probably within days from now.

That "somewhere" will probably be the United States. This is the dynamic. Trump and his supporters will revel in it like the crazies they are, and opponents will be declared to be part of the enemy. "Eat lead, politically correct cucks who want everyone's lives to 'matter'". On British-themed sites I am also seeing the same anticipation in right-wing circles, the same revelling, the same flavour of bullshit intellectual argument used as a carrier for bloodlust.

It is extremely important that the protests continue and grow.

Did you see this? Made me think of you with the connection to the Steel report:
My blog recommendation of the day
Two readers push the same piece on me at the same time! I guess I'd better read that one. Back soon. Thanks.

The thing that struck me the most when the "dossier" story first broke was how many bears emerged from obscurity and appeared on TV to form an echo chamber around this story.

The story seems like the product of a gay man's imagination. I suspect the whole story is the product of a little Wurlitzer cobbled together by Steele from a network of bears he had in place in the media and intelligence community.

b, I had read the Forbes article on China which makes a big deal of the finding in 2016 by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) that various reefs were Philippines sovereign territory. The rest of the MSM followed the same line of outrage and dodgy legal justification. Joseph Santolan (12 July 2016) at WSW debunked it:

"Despite claims to the contrary in a great deal of the establishment press, the tribunal is not legally empowered to render a judgment on territorial disputes, but is limited in its jurisdiction to maritime disputes."

The case was conducted under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague. It ran from 2010 and in Feb 2013 China served notice of its non-acceptance of, and non-participation in, a PCA-proposed arbitration. So when the PCA ran its 'arbitration' and made its finding China was not present at the hearing -- only the Philippines with their US lawyers. It was a sham exercise. Critically, China was not bound to participate. Here's more from Santolan:

In 2006, seven years before Manila’s case, China opted out of Part XV, Section 2 of UNCLOS, which specified "compulsory procedures entailing binding decisions" over maritime disputes. Article 298 of Part XV of UNCLOS states: "When signing, ratifying or acceding to this Convention or at any time thereafter, a State may, without prejudice to the obligations arising under section 1, declare in writing that it does not accept any one or more of the procedures provided for in section 2." This included opting out of binding arbitration "relating to sea boundary delimitations, or those involving historic bays or titles." Not only did China opt out of this portion of UNCLOS. A great many of the other signers of the treaty did as well, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, France, Canada and Spain.

Washington, which drew up and argued Manila's case against Beijing, and denounced China's non-participation in the tribunal hearings, has not even ratified UNCLOS.

We can expect to see this PCA nonsense legal 'finding' repeated in the lead up to any US-China confrontation. More here and here.
Oh man....and remember when Stein and company kept telling us that Hillary was going to take us to war, and that made her worse than Trump?

Jonatan Zunger writes very well about the organisational changes at the top that are being imposed by US dictator and his small clique, and also about the danger of "resistance fatigue". (That is the same point that I made in a positive way, when I wrote that the protests MUST continue with the aim of removing Trump from office in the SHORT TERM, otherwise we are totally FUCKED). Everyone should read Zunger's piece on the infrastructure that will be needed to deport several million illegal immigrants - and in particular, the required transport and camp infrastructure.

"Transporting people is much harder than it sounds. 450,000 people per month is a lot; even with serious packing, you can only fit about 80 people into a standard boxcar or truck; a typical modern train might have 140 boxcars or so, which means it can only transport about 11,000 people, and loading them takes time. Unfortunately, people are somewhat scattered out, so if you want this to work, you'll need to use trucks and so on to deliver people to staging areas, where you can store them for a while until a train is ready. Fortunately, there's a lot of prior art on how to concentrate people in a small space while they're getting ready to be loaded on trains."

(He is using the figures of 11 million people to be deported in Trump's promised two years, not Trump's promise to deport 2-3 million "immediately". Trump will need a special force for this, an SS with a culture of brutality and of utter disregard for human life. Not just at the centre where the orders are given, but among all of the officers and men and women who do the rounding up and guarding and transportation. Even if roundups don't start on such a scale in the immediate future, the Trump project must roll forwards - that is its nature - and I am expecting blood to start flowing within a matter of days. Fascism needs blood.)

"Running this is going to be really expensive, so you might consider finding ways for the project to help pay for itself. So long as you have people concentrated in one place, maybe have them do labor as well? They can pay for their own deportation!"

Meanwhile the Trump Organization is supplying Trump's private security detail, run by Keith Schiller. Does anyone know whether they are also protecting other camarilla members such as Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner? Who is protecting them?
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