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Posts Tagged ‘United States

China plays “military head games” with the US & others

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Obtained from the U.S. Naval War College repor...
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A Reuters news item discusses future use of the Varyag, a medium sized hand me down aircraft carrier now docked in Dalian harbor. This kind of “news” about China’s naval plans must be sourced out of some part of the US Defence industry. After all, this semi-hulk has been in Dalian harbor for several years and is seen easily from Dalian roadways.

But the real military head games are being played elsewhere according to this link.

A new missile attack ship and on the ground evidence of a Chinese stealth fighter seem to get more visibility than the poor old Varyag.

Since “news” is often the leading edge of propaganda, it makes me wonder what is really going on here, especially since the US Secretary of Defence announced sizable military budget cuts this week. Whose “news” is this stuff!

During the “Cold War” there was lots of “news” about the imminence of Soviet military domination. Now we are being treated to “news” about China’s newly developed military capabilities. Is this just the latest version of “let’s frighten them so we can get our way”?

Since the US is and has been since WW II, the global paragon of flaunting its military toys, can it be surprising to anybody that China is now doing the same thing? When will India turn up in these military equipment annals?

One thing that seems encouraging is that a respected Taiwanese military analyst seems calm about all this “news”, calm but circumspect:

But for one top Taiwanese security analyst, rumors of the runway test and China’s other upgrades have already achieved their key objective: to mess with U.S. war planners’ heads.

“It’s a very effective deterrent on the minds of strategic planners in Washington,” said Lin Chong-Pin, a former Taiwan defense official who teaches strategy at Tamkang University. “The Chinese don’t have to do anything in the future. Their announcement has already thrown a monkey wrench in strategic planning for U.S. action in and around the Taiwan Strait.”

I live and work in Northeast China – Dongbei. So I tend to pay more attention to the Korean context. Taiwan Strait seems much farther away. But that’s little comfort in this age of ship and aircraft borne missiles!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2011/01/08 at 18:09

Who would’ve thunk it not so long ago, pre GWB!

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The western front of the United States Capitol...
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A telling excerpt:

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Four Scenarios for the End of the American Century by 2025

by Alfred W. McCoy

A soft landing for America 40 years from now?  Don’t bet on it.  The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines.  If Washington is dreaming of 2040 or 2050 as the end of the American Century, a more realistic assessment of domestic and global trends suggests that in 2025, just 15 years from now, it could all be over except for the shouting.

Gosh, don’t tell Sarah P! She’ll go ballistic

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Foreigner rights in Afghanistan

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Image by Getty Images via @daylife

These views direct from the mouths of Taliban mid-level leaders have been published in The Guardian. Here is an excerpt:

“Apart from that they have no rights, they have no right to tell us about democracy and human rights. That’s an Afghan issue and it will be decided by the Afghans.

“The Americans behave with arrogance and if they don’t want to be defeated in Afghanistan they should talk.

“They don’t belong here,” he said. “They are foreigners, outsiders.”

The puppet masters and their puppet Karzai don’t seem to be doing so well! From the sound of this article, it seems to me that US and NATO leaders whistle in the wind every time they talk about the situation in Afghanistan.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/11/29 at 12:58

Yayyyyy for Steven Hill standing up for Japanese and German economies

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Income inequality and mortality in 282 metropo...
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VS. that big ole bad US of A’s. Here is a telling excerpt:

Look at it this way: In the midst of the Great Recession, the United States is suffering through nearly 10% unemployment and 50 million people without health insurance. A new report has found over 14% of Americans living below the poverty line, including 20% of children and 23% of seniors, the highest since President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. That’s in addition to declining prospects for the middle class, and a general increase in economic insecurity.

How, then, should we regard a country that has 5% unemployment, healthcare for all its people, the lowest income inequality and is one of the world’s leading exporters? This country also scores high on life expectancy, low on infant mortality, is at the top in literacy, and is low on crime, incarceration, homicides, mental illness and drug abuse. It also has a low rate of carbon emissions, doing its part to reduce global warming. In all these categories, this particular country beats both the U.S. and China by a country mile.

Doesn’t that sound like a country from which Americans might learn a thing or two about how to get out of the mud hole in which we are stuck?

Not if that place is Japan. During and before the current economic crisis, few countries have been vilified as an economic basket case as much as the Land of the Rising Sun. Google “Japan and its economy” and you will get numerous hits about Japan’s allegedly sclerotic economy, its zombie banks, its deflation and slow economic growth. This malaise has even been called “Japan syndrome”, sounding like a disease to warn policymakers, as in “you don’t want to end up like Japan.”

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/11/27 at 15:41

Time to leave Afghanistan?

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From the WaPo:

Karzai wants U.S. to reduce military operations in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001, as the U.S. military launched an operation in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S. The war continues today.

Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, November 14, 2010; 12:52 AM

KABUL- President Hamid Karzai said on Saturday that the United States must reduce the visibility and intensity of its military operations in Afghanistan and end the increased U.S. Special Operations forces night raids that aggravate Afghans and could exacerbate the Taliban insurgency.

Sure sounds like Karzai is ready to say that it’s time that the armed struggle by NATO and the US with the Taliban must end!

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Now it’s a Nobel Economics Laureate making the case

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By and large, the young people of China are de...
Image by Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library via Flickr

for me to live in China. Check out this link about America going dark and oh while your there read some of the 700+ comments. A pretty good straw vote.

Every day I see more and more evidence of a country growing by leaps and bounds. Oh it ain’t pretty by a long stretch but it sure is better than reading about the darkening of the Ole US of A!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/08/10 at 15:11

Here’s why I’m giving serious consideration to a move to China

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I found this via HuffPo:

9 Signs of America in Decline


Image via WikipediaRick NewmanPosted: October 26, 2009

The sky isn’t falling, exactly. America isn’t on a fast track to irrelevance. Even in a state of total neglect, we could probably shamble along as a disheveled superpower for a few more decades.

But all empires end, and the warning signs of American decline seem to be blinking more consistently. In the latest annual “prosperity index” published by the Legatum Institute, a London-based research firm, the United States ranks as the ninth most prosperous country in the world. That’s five notches lower than last year, when America ranked No. 4. The drop might seem inconsequential, especially in the midst of a grueling recession—except that most of the world has endured the same recession, and other countries are bouncing back faster.

China and India have recovered smartly from the recession, for example. Brazil seems to be barreling ahead. Australia is growing faster than expected, prompting worry among government officials who fear they may have overstimulated the economy. The United States, meanwhile, is muddling through a weak, jobless recovery, and we have a lot of problems that could make prosperity feel elusive for a long time.

I still have the energy and interest to pursue business opportunities in China and I have had encouragement from my accountant and a respected business associate. My wife, who is Chinese from Dalian on the coast of the Yellow Sea, and I are having a good think about this.

We have lived there before and our financial fallback, my pension income paid in CDN $ looks pretty good at a conversion rate of $1 to 6.5 rmb, China’s currency. Rents for comfortable apts look ok, or about $700/month for a fully furnished 2 bedroom unit in a very good location in Dalian.

I am planning a move for next March or April.

Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/10/26 at 16:23

The debate about what Tom Friedman said or wanted to say about one party autocracy in China

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One thing about the Internet in China stands out more and more. And that is the evident transparency of quite a bit of ongoing debate about China, what Western journalists say about it and the CW emanating from the usual suspects in the US punditaucracy. It’s illuminating to consider this discussion about Tom Friedman’s contrasting of one party democracy in the US and its drawbacks VS. one party autocracy in China and its advantages, political and otherwise.

Of course one must never forget that however many times Tom Friedman visits China, he usually gets the limo to boardroom experience which doesn’t jibe very authentically with the ugly realities of ordinary life in China for the 700 million+ who live in relative poverty or even grim dis-enheartening brutish and nasty poverty.

Here’s an excerpt that leaves a taste of the discussion:

So why does stating something that is obvious attract so much American resentment and accusations of communist betrayal? Aside from the fact that it brings in pageviews, it’s — at least partially — due to the fact that some Americans and Westerners can be every bit as biased and insecure as the Chinese they ridicule. The mere suggestion by Friedman that there is something enviable about China, regardless of what it is explicitly limited to, brings out genuine disbelief and shock as people demand: “Yeah, but how dare you! What about…”

This is bias and insecurity. Unintelligent but for the shrill clicks it earns.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/24 at 11:11

Thomas Friedman has travelled and seen how the world (China) is advancing

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while the US is stagnating because of the current paralysis of its governance, which he labels our one-party democracy. His column in today’s NY Times is a devastating commentary about this gawdawful situation and he sums it up this way:

The G.O.P. used to be the party of business. Well, to compete and win in a globalized world, no one needs the burden of health insurance shifted from business to government more than American business. No one needs immigration reform — so the world’s best brainpower can come here without restrictions — more than American business. No one needs a push for clean-tech — the world’s next great global manufacturing industry — more than American business. Yet the G.O.P. today resists national health care, immigration reform and wants to just drill, baby, drill.

“Globalization has neutered the Republican Party, leaving it to represent not the have-nots of the recession but the have-nots of globalized America, the people who have been left behind either in reality or in their fears,” said Edward Goldberg, a global trade consultant who teaches at Baruch College. “The need to compete in a globalized world has forced the meritocracy, the multinational corporate manager, the eastern financier and the technology entrepreneur to reconsider what the Republican Party has to offer. In principle, they have left the party, leaving behind not a pragmatic coalition but a group of ideological naysayers.”

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/08 at 22:47

A San Diegan is “depressed” by Vancouver

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City of Vancouver
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Talk about irony used to make a point about his home town! Here’s what this guy said about Vancouver:

But the most depressing place in the world today is Vancouver , British Columbia.

More by Arthur Salm: Health care in Canada | Schoolbrary concept as dumb as its name

Ever been to Vancouver? Spectacularly beautiful place. Miles of waterfront, almost all of which is not only visible but accessible to the public; breathtaking and meticulously maintained parks; an efficient, affordable, and city-blanketing (above and below ground) public transit system; a magnificent, (fairly) new public library right in the heart of a sparkling downtown; clean streets; an enlightened program to shelter the city’s homeless; urban planning that places more and more emphasis on walkways and bike paths; an energetic, ethnically diverse population; health care for all its citizens (they’re Canadian, after all); young, progressive, can-do mayor Gregor Robertson. (Compare to the at best well-meaning Jerry Sanders, or to our imperious, aggressively ignorant County Board of Supervisors. Then sigh.)

And as if to rub our SoCal noses in it, Vancouver is mounting a gung-ho, popular effort to become the greenest city in the world, as chronicled by Allan Hunt Badiner in a July 30 AlterNet post. Cumulatively, Vancouver’s projects make our baby steps toward Going Solar, however commendable, look pitiful.

In short, Vancouver is what San Diego could have been. For anyone who loves San Diego, that’s … depressing.

I live in Vancouver and I often think how I would feel if I was still living in Ottawa/Hull. I’m very happy to live in Vancouver, thank you very much! But it seems to me that this San Diegan has “drunk the Vancouver Kool-Aid“. Clean streets. I bike around Vancouver and I don’t see streets that are that clean! But maybe San Diego is different!
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/08/08 at 06:18