Autor: João

The Great Wall of Sand

The South China Sea reef that became an island   Fiery Cross Reef has been transformed into a 2.8 sq km fortified airbase, in one of the several reclamation projects known as The Great Wall of Sand   Asia Times Staff Jan. 3, 2018 China’s frenzied reclamation projects in the South China Sea have dramatically changed reefs and islets in the hotly contested waters. Fiery Cross Reef – known also as Northwest Investigator Reef and Yongshu Reef to the Chinese – ballooned from a group of scattered reefs in the Spratly Islands to a 2.8-square-kilometer fortification, which is now reportedly the third largest island in the vast waters. In a year-end feature, Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television aired rare aerial footage of Fiery Cross Reef, which has been transformed into a big island dominated by a 3,125-meter runway, long enough for H-6K strategic bombers to land. It also has a hospital, plus military installations that include early warning radars and close-proximity weapons systems. China test-landed two civilian aircraft there in January 2016, one from China Southern Airlines and the other from Hainan Airlines. It’s now a vital logistics hub in the archipelago to support China’s claims of suzerainty over the entire sea. China Mobile and China Unicom have separate base stations there to provide ultra-fast 4.5G communication for the 200-plus soldiers stationed on Fiery Cross. With Beijing seemingly eager...

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USA

When Sanity Fails   The Saker Dec. 22, 2017   My recent analysis of the potential consequences of a US attack on the DPRK has elicited a wide range of reactions. There is one type of reaction which I find particularly interesting and most important and I would like to focus on it today: the ones which entirely dismissed my whole argument. The following is a selection of some of the most telling reactions of this kind: Example 1: North Korea’s air defenses are so weak that we had to notify them we were flying B1 bombers near their airspace–they didn’t even know our aircraft were coming. This reminds me of the “fearsome” Republican Guard that Saddam had in the Persian Gulf. Turns out we had total air superiority and just bombed the crap out of them and they surrendered in droves. We have already seen what happens when an army has huge amounts of outdated Soviet weaponry versus the most technologically advanced force in the world. It’s a slaughter. Also, there has to be weaponry up the USA’s sleeve that would be used in the event of an attack. Don’t forget our cyber warfare abilities that would undoubtedly be implemented as well. This writer seems to always hype Russia’s capabilities and denigrate the US’s capabilities. Sure, Russia has the capacity to nuke the US into smithereens, and vice...

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USA – NSS

Kissinger’s Fingerprints on the Trump Security Doctrine, 2017   Gilbert Doctorow Dec. 20, 2017   Those who believe that Donald Trump is witless, a “moron” to quote Rex Tillerson, were proven wrong on December 18 when the President released his National Security Strategy (NSS).  Those who believe that the Deep State operates entirely on its own, without taking any cues from incoming presidents were also proven wrong. Going through this 68 page document issued in keeping with tradition by each administration at regular intervals, I find very important changes in language from where official America has been operating these past 25 years suggesting that, after all, Henry Kissinger has made a come-back and may well be this president’s mentor on international affairs, as seemed to be the case during the electoral campaign and into the first months following his inauguration, before the removal of Flynn and the running aground of Trump’s foreign policy initiative in March. In saying that, I am speaking not about the Henry Kissinger who was the implementer of Nixon’s détente with Russia or of Nixon’s great rapprochement with China that led to an informal partnership in managing world affairs of mutual interest. Nor am I speaking about Kissinger Unbound:  the strident exponent of Realism and critic of Idealism who authored the master work Diplomacy in 1994, when there was still no road map to post-Cold...

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USA

Bad Moon Rising   Alastair Crooke Dec. 18, 2017   It seems that we are coming to the crux: President Trump, like Reagan before him, was elected by ‘the people’ rather than by (what Paul Craig Roberts calls the ‘ruling interest groups’): “As a high official in Reagan’s government who was aligned with Reagan’s goals to end stagflation and the Cold War, I experienced first-hand, the cost of going against the powerful interest groups that are accustomed to ruling. We took away part of their rule from them, but now they have taken it back. And, they are now stronger than before”. I too, experienced something of the panic that the end to the Cold War induced amongst the ‘ruling interest groups’ — after all, American policy in the Middle East (and western Europe) was entirely dominated by an unstoppable momentum to cleanse it of all Russian influence. And then – ‘pop’ – the Soviet enemy suddenly, was ‘enemy’ no more. Yet, the ‘ruling interest groups’ were, by then, fully committed to a globalized (i.e. a culturally non-nationalist, consumerist, life-style,) rules-based, political and financial, ‘world’, shaped by the US. Serendipitously, after 9/11, terrorism emerged served to underpin the perceived need for a common defence-based, NATO-esque, global ‘order’, as the glue to America’s unipolar moment. President Obama lay very much in the globalist ‘struggle for a democratic-liberal world’ mould, (though he did try to...

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USA

Does the United States Have a  Future?   Gilbert Doctorow Dec. 9, 2017   I am going to deliver a talk that will come in at 30 minutes in which I address in greater detail than you will find in the book the connection between the title question and the content of the book. To be more specific, I will explain why a book about the United States failing on the world stage deals so largely with what is happening in Russia. This is not an overview of the book. It is essentially a new chapter of the book. For those of you who want a quick listing of the merits and highlights of the book, I refer you to the thorough review by Alexander Mercouris that appeared on November 19th on the portal of The Duran. This was republished the next day on Johnson’s Russia List, the digest of writings about Russia that is hosted by George Washington University and is received daily by all US university centers and think tanks interested in Russian matters. When I began preparation of this book six months ago, I never imagined the title and overriding concept would be so timely as it is today.   Each new issue of The New York Times or The Washington Post provides additional material for the case. Each new revelation about “groping” or other sexual misconduct...

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