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Posts Tagged ‘China’

When Deplorables Become Ungovernables — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2020

A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/12/16/when-deplorables-become-ungovernables/

Pepe Escobar

China, Russia and Iran are the top three existential “threats” to the U.S., according to the National Security Strategy. Three features distinguish the top three. They are all sovereign powers. They are under varying degrees of sanctions. And they are the top three nodes of the 21st century’s most important, evolving geopolitical process: Eurasia integration.

What do the three sovereigns see when they examine the dystopia that took over Exceptionalistan?

They see, once again, three – discombobulated – nodes in conflict: the post-historic Pacific and Atlantic coasts; the South – a sort of expanded Dixieland; and the Midwest – what would be the American heartland.

The hyper-modern Pacific-Atlantic nodes congregate high-tech and finance, profit from Pentagon techno-breakthroughs and benefit from the “America rules the waves” ethos that guarantees the global primacy of the U.S. dollar.

The rest of America is largely considered by the Pacific-Atlantic as just a collection of flyover states: the South – which regards itself as the real, authentic America; and the Midwest, largely disciplined and quite practical-minded, squeezed ideologically between the littoral powerhouses and the South.

Superstructure, tough, is key: no matter what happens, whatever the fractures, this remains an Empire, where only a tiny elite, a de facto plutocratic oligarchy, rules.

It would be too schematic, even though essentially correct, to assert that in the presidential election, invisible campaigner Joe Biden represented the Pacific-Atlantic nodes, and Trump represented the whole South. Assuming the election was not fraudulent – and that remains a big “if” – the Midwest eventually swung based on three issues.

  1. Trump, as much as he relied on a sanctions juggernaut, could not bring back manufacturing jobs home. 2. He could not reduce the military footprint across the Greater Middle East. 3. And, before Covid-19, he could not bring down immigration.

Everything that lies ahead points to the irreconcilable – pitting the absolute majority that voted Dem in the Atlantic-Pacific nodes versus the South and a deeply divided Midwest. As much as Biden-Harris is bound to isolate the South even more, their prospects of “pacifying” the Midwest are less than zero.

Whose ground control?

Beyond the raucous altercations on whether the presidential election was fraudulent, these are the key factual points.

  1. A series of rules in mostly swing states were changed, through courts, bypassing state legislatures, without transparence, before the election, paving the way to facilitate fraud schemes.
  2. Biden was de facto coronated by AP, Google and Twitter even before the final, official result, and weeks before the electoral college vote this past Monday.
  3. Every serious, professional audit to determine whether all received and tabulated votes were valid was de facto squashed.

In any Global South latitude where the empire did “interfere” in local elections, color revolution-style, this set of facts would be regarded by scores of imperial officials, in a relentless propaganda blitz, as evidence of a coup.

On the recent Supreme Court ruling, a Deep State intel source told me, “the Supreme Court did not like to see half the country rioting against them, and preferred the decision be made by each state in the House of Representatives. That is the only way to handle this without jeopardizing the union. Even prominent Democrats I know realize that the fix took place. The error was to steal too many votes. This grand theft indicts the whole system, that has always been corrupt.”

Dangers abound. On the propaganda front, for instance, far right nationalists are absolutely convinced that U.S. media can be brought to heel only by occupying the six main offices of the top conglomerates, plus Facebook, Google and Twitter: then you’d have full control of the U.S. propaganda mill.

Another Deep State source, now retired, adds that, “the U.S. Army does not want to intervene as their soldiers may not obey orders.

Many of these far right nationalists were officers in the armed forces. They know where the nuclear missiles and bombers are. There are many in sympathy with them as the U.S. falls apart in lockdowns.”

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s dodgy dealings simply will not be made to vanish from public scrutiny. He’s under four different federal investigations. The recent subpoena amounts to a very serious case pointing to a putative crime family. It’s been conveniently forgotten that Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations

that he forced Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired exactly when he was investigating corruption by Burisma’s founder.

Of course, a massive army of shills will always invoke another army of omniscient and oh so impartial “fact checkers” to hammer the same message: “This is Trump’s version. Courts have said clearly all the evidence is baseless.”

District Attorney William Barr is now out of the picture (see his letter of resignation). Barr is a notorious Daddy Bush asset since the old days – and that means classic Deep State. Barr knew about all federal investigations on Hunter Biden dating back to 2018, covering potential money laundering and bribery.

And still, as the Wall Street Journal delightfully put it, he “worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign”.

A devastating report (Dems: a Republican attack report) has shown how the Biden family was connected to a vast financial network with multiple foreign ramifications.

Then there’s Barr not even daring to say there was enough reason for the Department of Justice to engage in a far-reaching investigation into voting fraud, finally putting to rest all “baseless” conspiracy theories.

Move on. Nothing to see here. Even if an evidence pile-up featured, among other instances, ballot stuffing, backdated ballots, statistical improbabilities, electronic machine tampering, software back doors, affidavits from poll workers, not to mention the by now legendary stopping the vote in the dead of night, with subsequent, huge batches of votes miraculously switching from Trump to Biden.

Once again an omniscient army of oh so impartial “fact checkers” will say everything is baseless.

A perverse blowback

A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central.

Both options are dire.

  1. The election stands, even if considered fraudulent by nearly half of U.S. public opinion. To quote that peerless existentialist, The Dude, there’s no rug tying the room together anymore.
  2. Was the election to be somehow overturned before January 20, the Deep State would go Shock and Awe to finish the job.

In either case, The Deplorables will become The Ungovernables.

It gets worse. A possible implosion of the union – with internal convulsions leading to a paroxysm of violence – may even be coupled with an external explosion, as in a miscalculated imperial adventure.

For the Three Sovereigns – Russia, China and Iran – as well as the overwhelming majority of the Global South, the conclusion is inescapable: if the current, sorry spectacle is the best Western liberal “democracy” has to offer, it definitely does not need any enemies or “threats”.

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An Expert Military Analysis of War with China, by Fred Reed – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on December 15, 2020

The said war is discussed either in emotional terms by idiots or in purely naval terms by those familiar with such things, so we hear of the First Island Chain and the Second Island Chain and whose missiles against the other’s missiles and so on. This would be appropriate if we were fighting World War Two again. Which we aren’t. Let’s take a quick-and-dirty look at how such a war might go.

https://www.unz.com/freed/an-expert-military-analysis-of-war-with-china/

Fred Reed

The Correlation of Armed Forces: U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $634.8 billion in 2019. Exports were $163.0 billion; imports were $471.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $308.8 billion in 2019. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $76.7 billion in 2019. Services exports were $56.5 billion; services imports were $20.1 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with China was $36.4 billion in 2019.

There is talk within the Washingtoniat of a possible war with China. Steve Bannon, who apparently was dropped on his head as a child, actually favors such a war. We hear the usual shoo-the-boobs alarm about how the Chinese are doing something terrible and we must gird our loins and American values and show them what for, bow wow, woof. The danger is that the current game of who-blinks-first in Asian waters might actually provoke a shooting war. You know the kind of thing: One warship refuses to get out of the way of another, a collision ensues, some retard lieutenant who signed up on waivers opens fire, and we’re off and running. It is not a good idea to let children play with matches.

The said war is discussed either in emotional terms by idiots or in purely naval terms by those familiar with such things, so we hear of the First Island Chain and the Second Island Chain and whose missiles against the other’s missiles and so on. This would be appropriate if we were fighting World War Two again. Which we aren’t. Let’s take a quick-and-dirty look at how such a war might go.

To begin the war, America would overestimate itself and underestimate China. This is doctrine in the Pentagon. There is probably a manual on it. Inside the DC Bubble, fern-bar Napoleons would assure us that it would be a short war, a cakewalk, a matter of days, not weeks. You know, like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. When it turned out that the Chinese had other ideas, among which surrendering was not, and the months dragged on, various fascinating things would happen.

Rand, a thinktank wholly owned by the Pentagon, at least mentally, has wargamed both the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, concluding that the war could be both very long and a loss for America. We no longer live in 1960.

OK, the war: On day one, all the multitudinous American factories in China shut down. Example: Apple loses its factories, products from those factories, and the Chinese market of 1.4 billion consumers. Its stores close. Tim Cook’s gratitude will know no bounds. American auto manufacturers sell googolplexes of cars in China (or at least lots), mostly made in China. Overnight they will lose factories, cars, and Chinese customers. Overall, China buys many more cars than does the US. This analysis, if anything so obvious may be called analysis, can be repeated for industry after industry after industry. Goodbye, business vote.

Within weeks, Walmart’s shelves go bare. Walk down the aisles and read the “Made in” labels. We are not talking only plastic buckets and mops but chain saws, pharmaceuticals, motorcycles, and blood-pressure cuffs. So much for the blue-collar vote. The US buys 472 billion in goods annually from China, high-tech, low-tech, consumer goods, manufacturing components. No more.

China buys over $163 billion annually in American goods: petroleum, semiconductors, airline engines, soybeans, airliners, on and on. No more. It is hard to underestimate the joy this will cause in influential boardrooms. And of course the American workers who would have produced these things for China will be laid off. As electoral politics, this will prove suboptimal.

China produces a great majority of the rare earth elements crucial to the manufacture of electronics, such as semiconductors. No quick substitute is in sight. Just about everything in America uses these, to include the computers that run the electrical systems of cars. Though I haven’t checked, it is quite possible that the computers themselves are made in China. If you want a new and deeper understanding of the word “hostile,” check the influential CEOs of businesses on their second chipless day.

In a real war, it is likely that China, having thought of the foregoing, would (intelligently) destroy Taiwan’s semiconductor fabs, notably those of TSMC, as well as other factories of electronics. This would hardly be difficult since the Taiwan Strait is only a hundred or so miles wide. Losing these industries would be exceedingly painful for the US since its high-end chips come from Taiwan. It would take America years to replace this capacity domestically. Some of the necessary equipment, extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, is not made in America and in any event cannot be stamped out like beer cans.

In America it would quickly be discovered that the country is rather more dependent on China than some might think. If I may make up an example: The automotive industry finds that its sparkplugs come from China. While America could certainly make spark plugs, it turns out that a decade back the industry found that China could make them for forty percent less. In the cooperative commercial world pre-Trump, this was no problem. Not now. So much for sales of cars. And for the jobs of the workers who make them.

I will bet you all my diamond mines in South Africa and cattle lands in Argentina, that if you went through a parts list for, say, Boeing’s airliners, you would find lots of them made in China. Sure, the US could manufacture most of them, eventually. But companies need parts now, not eventually.

The effects on other countries of a large war against China would be catastrophic if not worse. Other countries also get many things, from China or Taiwan, such as semiconductors. Google on “country x largest trading partner.” A strong pattern quickly becomes clear: China is huge in trading with practically everybody. “Everybody” includes Germany, Japan, Australia, Russia, and South America as a whole. The world economy in its entirety would collapse.

How smart would this be? The United States is already in serious trouble, what with a currency rapidly being debased, a sinking middle class, businesses dying of Covid, jobs disappearing abroad, people living paycheck to paycheck, and social unhappiness resulting in continent-wide riots. Do you suppose the public will gladly support an unfathomably stupid war causing an instant, profound, and murderous economic depression? If so, you probably already have a collection of bridges.

This can be inflicted on the entire earth by a half-dozen loons in or circling around the White House unhindered by a worthless Congress. Six loons. Yes, I know, Trump is unlikely deliberately to start a Third world War, even as a publicity stunt. No, the generals in the Pentagon are not nearly stupid enough. (They might even refuse, pointing out that starting a war requires a declaration by Congress.) The problem is that for years America has been, if not actually looking for a fight, at least daring other countries to start one. For example, murdering Iranian officials, pulling out of arms-control treaties, pushing NATO ever closer to Russia, sanctioning countries far beyond anything that can be called a trade war, and playing chicken with China in the South China Sea. Under these circumstances you can get a fight without quite looking for one.

Write Fred at jet.possum@gmail.com. Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion.

Buy Fred’s Splendid Books!

They prevent Covid, cure baldness, and make you more attractive to the opposite sex. You can even read them.

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Project Veritas Video Shows Google Employee Accusing Company of ‘Playing God’

Posted by M. C. on October 20, 2020

James O’Keefe strikes again!

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/10/19/project-veritas-video-shows-google-employee-accusing-company-of-playing-god/

by Breitbart Tech

A new undercover video from investigative journalists at James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas shows a Google employee accusing the company of trying to “play God” with search results and discussing its internal culture of political bias.

In the video, a technical program manager at Google can be heard discussing the tech giant’s often-brazen bias against President Trump and his movement. “Trump says something, misinformation, you’re gonna delete that because it’s illegal under whatever pretext,” he said. “If a Democratic leader says that, then you’re gonna leave it like that, so I’m like, okay, you’re not following one way or the other. You are just plain and simple trying to play God.” In another exchange recorded by the undercover journalist, the employee can be heard discussing Google’s ties to China.  GOOGLER: “I can’t keep doing this. Go and teach Chinese people how to do American jobs and come back and get surveilled on the way.”Journalist: “Were you doing that for Google?GOOGLER: “Google, FitBit. Yeah. Those two companies, primarily.”Journalist: “So, you were going there and working for Google in China?”GOOGLER:“Yeah.”Journalist: “Wow. That’s scary. I’m scared they’re gonna start doing stuff like that here.”GOOGLER: “Yeah. And when you have these candid conversations with your friends who are centrist or Republicans, then you wonder, all of a sudden, like, ‘Oh, I should vote for Trump.’” The Google employee can be heard expressing his dissatisfaction with the “ultra-leftist attitude” at Google, where “your entire existence is questioned.” “When I worked for Caterpillar or Corning, politics didn’t really matter,” he said. “You just do your job and: ‘Let’s make tractors, let’s make glass.’” He also recounted events after the 2016 election, when employees were crying in coridoors and taking days of work because of the outcome. “That kind of stuff — I’m like — are you serious, are you kidding me?” he said.

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US Military Patch Depicts Drone and Skull Over China – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on September 30, 2020

War boosting.

https://news.antiwar.com/2020/09/29/us-military-patch-depicts-drone-and-skull-over-china/

US Airmen conducting drills with MQ-9 reaper drones in California this month have been sporting patches that depict a drone and a skeleton over a red silhouette of China.

The new patches suggest that the Air Force’s drone operators are preparing for war with China. According to Air Force magazine, the drills started on September 3rd at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, and will end on September 29th.

The drills joined three MQ-9’s with the Navy’s Third Fleet, which deploys submarines, strike groups, and other vessels and aircraft in the eastern Pacific. US Air Force C-130s are also taking part in the drill, along with personnel from the US Marines Corps.

The reapers carried out airstrikes during a mock amphibious assault on San Clemente Island off of California’s coast.

“It’s a demonstration of our capability to rapidly move the MQ-9 anywhere in the world, to unfamiliar locations, and then get out and show the operational reach capabilities of the MQ-9,” US 29th Attack Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Brian Davis told Air Force.

The MQ-9 Reapers are a staple of US bombing campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa. Chinese state media suggested the Air Force could be preparing for an assault on Chinese-claimed islands in the South China Sea

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666,666,666 Immigrants – Taki’s Magazine – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on September 24, 2020

Now Democrats envision using immigration to alter the racial balance to achieve perpetual one-party rule.

One obvious problem with this plan, however, is that all the immigrant ethnicities would then turn on each other in a struggle to control the capital of the world. Why compete with the United State militarily if you can use your co-ethnic immigrants to simply subvert the USA from within (such as this week’s example of an immigrant NYPD officer arrested for spying for China on Tibetan exiles), especially if Washington were so foolish as to invite in two-thirds of a billion immigrants?

https://www.takimag.com/article/666666666-immigrants/print

Center-left Vox pundit Matthew Yglesias’ new book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger is actually two contradictory polemics. The book is both a sensible call for making family formation more affordable for younger Americans, and a demented demand for tripling the population of the United States (currently one-third of a billion) via immigration, thus ruining the chances of tens of millions of actual Americans to afford marriage and children.

There’s really no way to reconcile Yglesias’ two requests:

—We should figure out smart ways to make life a little less stressful for Americans so they can have children as well as careers; and

—We should also encourage the rest of the world to crowd into the U.S. and horn in on the birthrights of American citizens.

Yglesias’ main argument for adding 666,666,666 immigrants is that this would help us compete with populous China.

In short, Yglesias seems to imply, America must invite the world in order to invade the world.

Just think of the possibilities! If we had two-thirds of a billion more immigrants, we could conscript a humongous army and militarily conquer the world…which would finally give us some place to dump all the teeming masses of immigrants.

Seriously, Yglesias argues, we couldn’t have won WWII or the Cold War without a big population.

Of course, mid-20th-century USA was far more unified, due to the immigration shutdown in the 1920s that wisely ruled that no interest groups would be allowed to use immigration to change the country’s ethnic balance. Hence, the political system was more cooperative and functional than today when Democratic pundits like Yglesias’ partner at Vox Ezra Klein alternate between boasting that immigration will bury whiteness and complaining that whites are paranoid about being replaced.

Now Democrats envision using immigration to alter the racial balance to achieve perpetual one-party rule.

One obvious problem with this plan, however, is that all the immigrant ethnicities would then turn on each other in a struggle to control the capital of the world. Why compete with the United State militarily if you can use your co-ethnic immigrants to simply subvert the USA from within (such as this week’s example of an immigrant NYPD officer arrested for spying for China on Tibetan exiles), especially if Washington were so foolish as to invite in two-thirds of a billion immigrants?

 

Germany would have liked to do that using German immigrants in 1917, but the self-righteous WASP ruling class proactively crushed any German-American resistance with heavy-handed assimilation methods, such as banning Beethoven concerts.

But these days the Chinese are slowly learning how to play the White Guilt card against America. In an era when extirpating the vanishing phenomenon of White Privilege obsesses the American establishment, it’s inconceivable that we would take effective steps to Americanize the tens of millions of new Chinese immigrants. Always remember, diversity is our strength! Foreigners are who we are.

So, how American are these One Billion going to be?

“‘In short, Yglesias seems to imply, America must invite the world in order to invade the world.”

The Democrats haven’t dreamed up any strategy for keeping their United States of Diversity from turning into a circular firing squad other than to scream ever harder at white men as the designated scapegoats.

Indeed, one reason for this summer’s mania over whites supposedly oppressing blacks is because blacks vaguely realize that the white man’s days are numbered due to immigration. Once the immigrants take over, nobody will take seriously anymore African-Americans’ sad stories about George Floyd, redlining, and Emmett Till. So blacks had better guilt-trip whites fast into making expensive concessions because the next rulers of America sure aren’t going to fall for black tears.

 

One phenomenon that is readily apparent in this book is that progressives are getting more ignorant about recent history as their movement has become more obsessed with the white man’s crimes of the increasingly distant past.

For example, in arguing that supply and demand doesn’t apply to immigration economics, Yglesias asserts that the ending of the bracero program for importing Mexican migrant farmworkers in 1964 had no impact on wages. In reality, this liberal triumph (set in motion by Edward R. Murrow’s 1960 Harvest of Shame muckraking documentary) allowed Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers union to emerge in 1965 as a potent force for higher wages in California’s fields.

Liberals used to know about Cesar Chavez. Now, apparently, they don’t.

Similarly, Yglesias devotes seven pages to the tedious academic dispute over economist David Card’s study that showed that wages in Miami did not drop after the May 1980 Mariel boat-lift of Cuban refugees into the city increased the labor supply.

But he never mentions what I’ve been rudely pointing out to economists since 2006. Miami simultaneously received one of the most potent economic stimuli ever: the 1980–1984 cocaine trafficking boom made world-famous in Scarface and on Miami Vice. Economic studies require that “all else be equal,” but nothing was ever equal to Miami’s cocaine bubble during Card’s study.

Surprisingly, Yglesias returns time and again to the nagging problem that more immigrants equal more greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, most progressives have simply ignored the mathematical inevitability that increasing the U.S. population by importing poor people will increase climate-change emissions.

Americans pump out about four times as much carbon emissions per capita as even car-crazy Mexicans, and ten times or more as much as a typical Third Worlder. So if Americans currently contribute 14% of the world’s greenhouse gases, tripling the population through immigration would, if the immigrants assimilate economically, increase global emissions by about 25%, which to Vox readers ought to sound like the end of the world. The author labors mightily but can’t overcome this simple arithmetic.

On the other hand, Yglesias barely deigns to acknowledge that massive immigration would almost certainly worsen inequality, which is why billionaires tend to be so enthusiastic for it.

The better part of One Billion Americans is about how to reverse the declining fertility of American citizens. It’s not as complete as Jonathan V. Last’s 2013 book What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, but offers a good start on the subject.

The total fertility rate for American women was dropping even during the Trump Boom before the pandemic, down to a below replacement rate of 1.72 children per woman in 2018. And yet when asked how many children they’d like to have, women and men both average about 2.6.

Clearly, America is suffering from economic, political, and cultural problems that are keeping Americans from achieving parenthood to the extent that they would prefer.

The most obvious reason American fertility is below replacement level is one that Elizabeth Warren pointed out in her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: The traditional basics of American middle-class family life—a house with a yard in a satisfactory public school district—have grown increasingly expensive.

Why? Because supply has not kept up with demand. Read the rest of this entry »

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US Intelligence: If Trump Wins Russia Did It, If Biden Wins It Was China And Iran – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on August 12, 2020

Mass media throughout the western world are uncritically passing along a press release from the US intelligence community, because that’s what passes for journalism in a world where God is dead and everything is stupid.

What this completely unsubstantiated narrative means, of course, is that no matter who wins in November America’s opaque government agencies will have already primed the nation for more dangerous escalations against countries which have resisted being absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire. If Trump wins we can expect his administration to continue its escalations against Russia in retaliation for its 2020 “election interference”, and if Biden wins we can expect his cabinet of Obama administration holdovers to ramp up escalations against China in the same way while Joe mumbles to himself off to the side as his brain turns to chowder.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/08/08/us-intelligence-if-trump-wins-russia-did-it-if-biden-wins-it-was-china-and-iran/

Back in April I said “China’s gonna be so surprised when it finds out it interfered in the November election.”

Now three months ahead of schedule China is already getting its surprise, alongside fellow unabsorbed governments Iran and Russia.

Mass media throughout the western world are uncritically passing along a press release from the US intelligence community, because that’s what passes for journalism in a world where God is dead and everything is stupid.

The press release, from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and authored by National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina, claims that Russia wants Donald Trump to win re-election in November and is pushing to advance than goal, while China and Iran are doing the same with Joe Biden.

China

“We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection,” the press release reads. “China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China.”

Russia

“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment,’” the press release claims. “Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”

Iran

“We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections,” says the press release. “Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.”

What this completely unsubstantiated narrative means, of course, is that no matter who wins in November America’s opaque government agencies will have already primed the nation for more dangerous escalations against countries which have resisted being absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire. If Trump wins we can expect his administration to continue its escalations against Russia in retaliation for its 2020 “election interference”, and if Biden wins we can expect his cabinet of Obama administration holdovers to ramp up escalations against China in the same way while Joe mumbles to himself off to the side as his brain turns to chowder.

There is never a legitimate reason to believe any unproven claim made by unaccountable spook agencies about US-targeted governments, but even if everything in this press release were true it’s an incredibly stupid thing to care about. The influence that Russia, China or Iran could exert over public opinion in the United States is a tiny fraction of that which is exerted by the unaccountable US billionaire media every single day, which already has its own factions pushing for Biden over Trump and Trump over Biden. Adding some foreign social media operations into the mix would change literally nothing.

Secondly, as the press release itself acknowledges, the US is openly pushing regime change in Iran. It is already engaging in various acts of economic warfare against all three of the named governments, and it openly interfered in Russia’s elections in the nineties to a far greater extent than anything it has even accused Russia of doing. The US government’s own data shows that it is the very worst election meddler in the world by an extremely wide margin, which would make it a perfectly legitimate target for election interference by any nation on earth.

Lastly, the dumbest thing about believing foreign nations are interfering in American democracy is believing America has any democracy to interfere with. The integrity of US elections ranks dead last among all western democracies, public opinion is constantly  which has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo which keeps them rich and powerful, and it’s a  where both  advance the same establishment agendas.

Imagine believing that foreign leaders are looking at the dumpster fire that is the United States and thinking “I know how we can hurt them! We’ll sow division by saying mean things about their presidential candidates on social media!”

It’s the dumbest thing in the world. Yet all the establishment narrative managers are jumping on this intelligence community press release as a real thing that we should all be excited about.

All this hand-wringing and arm-waving about foreign interference on social media comes as social media itself makes policy changes to ensure that only western governments are allowed to conduct propaganda on its platforms, with Twitter instituting a new policy of labeling accounts from unabsorbed governments as “state-affiliated media” while placing no labels or restrictions on any accounts with extensive western government ties.

The overall message in all this is that only western government agencies and oligarchs may conduct propaganda on those who live in the US-centralized empire. It should enrage us all that these unaccountable abusers feel so entitled to insert their rapey fingers in our minds and manipulate how we think, act and vote that they get all chest-thumpy about the idea of anyone else getting a word in edgewise. They do this because they understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world, and there is no amount of evil they won’t do to ensure that they continue to control the world.

The reason sociopaths are able to insert themselves so easily into positions of power and influence in human civilization is because highly manipulative people with no empathy quickly learn that society is dominated by narrative, while the rest of us do not understand this. This must change before we will be able to create a healthy world.

_________________________

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Huawei, Tik-Tok and WeChat, by Larry Romanoff – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on August 11, 2020

That part is okay, but how can the CIA and NSA approach Huawei and ask the company to build back doors into its equipment so the US can spy on China – among all other countries?

https://www.unz.com/lromanoff/huawei-tik-tok-and-wechat/

First, let’s dispel the combined notion that China spies on everyone and the US spies on no one. There is so much public evidence to destroy both these assertions that I won’t bother repeating them here. I will however remind readers that a few years ago China more or less banned Windows 8 from the country because it was discovered that the O/S had a built-in NSA back door.[1] It seems that Germany reported on this first, but the devastating proof was at an IT conference where a Microsoft executive was interrupted during a speech with precisely this accusation.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] He did not deny it because the person making the accusation was the person who discovered it and had with him the proof, but refused to discuss it and changed the subject.

But this is hardly news. Forty years ago it was proven that all Xerox copy machines delivered to foreign embassies and consulates in the US were “espionage-ready”.[10][11] Also, for at least 20 years, and perhaps much more, it was common knowledge that when any foreign embassies, consulates, banks and other corporations ordered computers and similar hardware from US suppliers, those shipments were intercepted by UPS, delivered to the CIA and/or NSA for installation of “extra” hardware and software before delivery to their destinations. This was one of the confirmations by Edward Snowden.[12][13][14][15] Any search on this will give you millions of hits unless Google chooses that moment to lose its memory.

Huawei

Trump’s problems with Huawei are twofold. The most obvious is that China is eating America’s lunch when it comes to innovation and invention and Trump would like to slow this down by destroying Huawei and is clearly making every possible effort in this regard, including bullying and threatening half the known world against using Huawei’s products. But this is the small part of the problem; the real issue is espionage. There is no practical value in disputing the assertion that Cisco and other American hardware and software firms install back doors to all their equipment for the convenience of CIA and NSA access. But suddenly Huawei is replacing Cisco and those other American firms with its better and less expensive equipment.

That part is okay, but how can the CIA and NSA approach Huawei and ask the company to build back doors into its equipment so the US can spy on China – among all other countries? There is no solution to this problem other than to trash Huawei’s reputation by accusing it of being an espionage threat and having the company’s equipment banned. And this applies not only to the US, but to the entire Five Eyes Espionage Network, involving the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.[16] Briefly, this was set up to break laws while pretending no laws were being broken. It is generally against the law for a government to spy on its own citizens, but that law doesn’t apply to a foreign government. So Canada spies on Australian citizens and sends the information to the Australian spooks who can claim they did nothing wrong. Rinse and repeat. The sad part is that the “intelligence” received is usually of little interest to the four minor participants but all of it is shared with the US who are frothing to spy on the entire world and to take possession of “every communication” of every kind in the entire world. Thus, it isn’t sufficient to ban Huawei only from the US because this company’s equipment would castrate the NSA’s effort in the other four nations. Thus, US bullying to ensure each of its five eyes is Huawei-free. And that’s the entire story, like it or not.

Tik-Tok

Tik-Tok is nothing of consequence, except that it is in direct competition with similar American platforms and has proven too popular and too competitive to be permitted to survive. This is just a cheap, below-the-belt and illegal-as-hell shot at China. No threat, no nothing. However, as with all similar IT products and platforms it contains much personal information especially useful for marketing, which has so far been the private property of people like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Thus, Trump kills two birds with one stone: either simply kill Tik-Tok on some trumped-up accusation (if you’ll excuse the expression) of espionage, or force a sale to an American company. Either way, China loses massively while the political oppression and marketing value of that personal information remains safely in trusted American hands.

WeChat

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John Pilger: Another Hiroshima is Coming, Unless We Stop It Now

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2020

“No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”

https://www.mintpressnews.com/john-pilger-another-hiroshima-is-coming-unless-we-stop-it-now/270039/

By John Pilger

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.

At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.

I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties.

I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He described a huge flash over the city, “a bluish light, something like an electrical short”, after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. “I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead.”

Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukaemia.

“No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”

Only one reporter, Wilfred Burchett, an Australian, had braved the perilous journey to Hiroshima in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing, in defiance of the Allied occupation authorities, which controlled the “press pack”.

“I write this as a warning to the world,” reported Burchett in the London Daily Express of September 5,1945. Sitting in the rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter, he described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries who were dying from what he called “an atomic plague”.

For this, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared. His witness to the truth was never forgiven.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an act of premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of America’s war propaganda in the 21st century, casting a new enemy, and target – China.

During the 75 years since Hiroshima, the most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and to save lives.

“Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war [against Japan] and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US made clear the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard”. Nothing was done.

The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US Air Force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. Stimson later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the [atomic] bomb”.

Stimson’s foreign policy colleagues — looking ahead to the post-war era they were then shaping “in our image”, as Cold War planner George Kennan famously put it — made clear they were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the [atomic] bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the atomic bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Harry Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.

The “experiment” continued long after the war was over. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States exploded 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific: the equivalent of more than one Hiroshima every day for 12 years.

The human and environmental consequences were catastrophic. During the filming of my documentary, The Coming War on China, I chartered a small aircraft and flew to Bikini Atoll in the Marshalls. It was here that the United States exploded the world’s first Hydrogen Bomb. It remains poisoned earth. My shoes registered “unsafe” on my Geiger counter. Palm trees stood in unworldly formations. There were no birds.

I trekked through the jungle to the concrete bunker where, at 6.45 on the morning of March 1, 1954, the button was pushed. The sun, which had risen, rose again and vaporised an entire island in the lagoon, leaving a vast black hole, which from the air is a menacing spectacle: a deathly void in a place of beauty.

The radioactive fall-out spread quickly and “unexpectedly”. The official history claims “the wind changed suddenly”. It was the first of many lies, as declassified documents and the victims’ testimony reveal.

Gene Curbow, a meteorologist assigned to monitor the test site, said, “They knew where the radioactive fall-out was going to go. Even on the day of the shot, they still had an opportunity to evacuate people, but [people] were not evacuated; I was not evacuated… The United States needed some guinea pigs to study what the effects of radiation would do.”

Like Hiroshima, the secret of the Marshall Islands was a calculated experiment on the lives of large numbers of people. This was Project 4.1, which began as a scientific study of mice and became an experiment on “human beings exposed to the radiation of a nuclear weapon”.

The Marshall Islanders I met in 2015 — like the survivors of Hiroshima I interviewed in the 1960s and 70s — suffered from a range of cancers, commonly thyroid cancer; thousands had already died. Miscarriages and stillbirths were common; those babies who lived were often deformed horribly.

Unlike Bikini, nearby Rongelap atoll had not been evacuated during the H-Bomb test. Directly downwind of Bikini, Rongelap’s skies darkened and it rained what first appeared to be snowflakes.  Food and water were contaminated; and the population fell victim to cancers. That is still true today.

H Bomb Marshall Island

I met Nerje Joseph, who showed me a photograph of herself as a child on Rongelap.

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The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums – CounterPunch.org

Posted by M. C. on July 20, 2020

It is customary for the political rhetoric to get heated during a presidential campaign, which will find Donald Trump and Joe Biden vying for honors in the field of national security and militancy, but there should be some balance and context from the mainstream media.  The increasingly hard line of the Washington Post on the competition with China, Russia, and Iran suggests that the political contenders will be goaded—and not ameliorated—by the nation’s key newspapers.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/07/10/the-washington-post-and-its-cold-war-drums/#gsc.tab=0

The Washington Post has taken its Cold War campaign against China, Russia, and Iran to a new level.  In the Sunday edition of its Outlook section, the Post gave front-page coverage to long articles by former ambassador Michael McFaul and former New York Times’ writer Tim Weiner to trumpet Russia’s “constant aggression” and its “brutal Cold War rules.”  There was no hint whatsoever of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to improve Russian-American relations over the past two decades, and no suggestion that the actions of the United States over the past 25 years have significantly contributed to the poor state of relations between Moscow and Washington.

The companion pieces have supportive titles, which suggests an editorial decision to express an authoritative point of view.  McFaul’s article is titled “Trump always finds a way to let Putin win….”, and Weiner’s screed follows with “….even when Russia plays by brutal Cold War rules.”  Their joint thesis is a simple one: Donald Trump’s complacency has enabled President Putin’s “litany of belligerent acts.”  Neither writer notes U.S. actions over the past quarter-century that have worsened the international environment and helped to create a  revival of the Cold War.  Indeed, they absolve the last four American presidents of any responsibility for the current state of affairs, ignoring their actions that have been consistent with Cold War policymaking.  Is anyone going to address the importance of restoring a Russian-American dialogue revolving around arms control and disarmament as well as Third World conflict resolution?

McFaul’s article is particularly interesting in view of his role as the architect of President Barack Obama’s “reset” policy toward Russia, his standing as one of the leading scholars on post-communist Russia, and his appointment as the first non-career diplomat to be U.S. ambassador to the Kremlin.  His two-year tour was hardly a success as McFaul, only several days after his arrival in Moscow, chose to invite a number of organizers and prominent participants in the anti-Putin protest movement to the U.S. embassy.  McFaul immediately became an Internet celebrity in the tight-knit world of Russian opposition, which demonstrated a lack of awareness of Russian political sensitivities, particularly if the Obama administration was genuinely trying to “reset” relations.

McFaul’s article is totally one-sided.  He argues that “Trump has received nothing” from Moscow despite his concessions to the Russian president, citing “no new arms-control treaty, no help in deal with worsening relations with Iran.”  But it was Trump who backed away from arms control and disarmament with Russia, abrogating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and walking away from the Outer Space Treaty.  Conversely, it is Putin who is trying to get back to arms control negotiations, particularly to extend the New START Treaty, which expires in January 2021.  Moreover, it is Putin who supports the Iran nuclear accord, and nowhere does McFaul explain what Russian leaders could possibly do to reverse the damage that the Trump administration has done to relations with Iran as well as to political stability in the Persian Gulf.

Weiner is welcome to his opinion that the CIA’s covert action in Afghanistan was the “last great battle of the Cold War,” but the Russians have dealt with genuine facts for the past 25 years that point to U.S. responsibility for the current disarray in Russian-American relations.  In the 1990s, it was the United States and President Bill Clinton who decided to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, bringing former Soviet republics into NATO, a betrayal of commitments that President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker gave to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze not to “leap frog” over Germany in order to go into East Europe.

President George W. Bush went one terrible step further by bringing former Soviet republics into NATO; it took German Chancellor Angela Merkel to get him to stop flirting with membership for Ukraine and Georgia. Merkel convinced Bush that introducing Ukraine and Georgia to NATO would violate Putin’s red line regarding NATO membership.  Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland used her cell phone to discuss specific individuals who would be in the government or out.  When the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine told Nuland that the European Union would have problems with her intervention, she replied “Fuck the EU.”  The Kremlin intercepted the call and had a field day spreading the news.  The Russian actions toward Ukraine and Georgia that McFaul and Weiner cite were, in fact, a response to U.S. manipulation of the politics and policies of both nations, which followed Putin’s red-line warnings to the United States.

One of the most severe moves reminiscent of the Cold War was President George W. Bush’s abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002.  It was noteworthy that John Bolton served in influential administration positions in 2002 and 2019, when the ABM Treaty and the INF Treaty, respectively, were abrogated.  Bush followed up the abrogation with another offensive maneuver, the deployment of a regional missile defense in Poland and Romania, claiming the defense was designed to counter a possible attack from Iran.  This made no sense at the time, and even less sense during the Obama administration when the Iran nuclear accord was completed.  Not only has Donald Trump demonstrated no interest in the importuning from Putin regarding the need to return to disarmament negotiations, he has created a Cold War-like Space Force and suggested that U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Germany might end up in Poland.  McFaul needs to reconcile the fact that additional U.S. forces will be sent to Poland with his notion that “Trump always finds a way to let Putin win.”

It is customary for the political rhetoric to get heated during a presidential campaign, which will find Donald Trump and Joe Biden vying for honors in the field of national security and militancy, but there should be some balance and context from the mainstream media.  The increasingly hard line of the Washington Post on the competition with China, Russia, and Iran suggests that the political contenders will be goaded—and not ameliorated—by the nation’s key newspapers.

Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University.  A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. and A Whistleblower at the CIA. His most recent book is “American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump” (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming “The Dangerous National Security State” (2020).” Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org.

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Gordon Chang: TikTok Has Been Caught Twice ‘Surveilling iPhone Users… This Is Not a Theoretical Concern’

Posted by M. C. on July 9, 2020

This is a surprise?

It just shows people are still too stupid to tape over their face facing device cameras.

Other government besides China’s spy on US citizens. As Edward Snowden has made clear.

https://www.breitbart.com/radio/2020/07/08/gordon-chang-ban-tiktok-app-surveilling-iphone-users-china/

by Robert Kraychik

TikTok should be banned from the U.S. given its role in surveilling Americans, said Gordon Chang, Daily Beast columnist and author of The Great U.S.-China Tech War, offering his comments on the Wednesday edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight.

TikTok is a social media mobile app for sharing short videos. It was developed and is owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance.

Chang stated, “There are two reasons to ban TikTok and other Chinese apps from the United States. One of them is spying … and TikTok has been caught spying as recently as ten days ago by Apple, which pointed out that for the second time, TikTok was surveilling iPhone users. So, this is not a theoretical concern.”..

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