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Thread: Eurasia Topics

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    On a global scale, yes.
    Your joking again.

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    Why Iran Needs To Talk With The Taliban


    "The Trump administration is preparing a public argument for war on Iran. The Washington Times has some 'senior administration officials' claiming that Iran is allied with al-Qaeda and thus could and should be attacked:
    Iran-al Qaeda alliance may provide legal rationale for U.S. military strikes

    Iran is providing high-level al Qaeda operatives with a clandestine sanctuary to funnel fighters, money and weapons across the Middle East, according to Trump administration officials who warn that the long-elusive, complex relationship between two avowed enemies of America has evolved into an unacceptable global security threat.
    ...
    The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in the days after the 9/11 attacks provided the legal framework for President George W. Bush to order U.S. military action against the Taliban for harboring Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. The law has underpinned the U.S. counterterrorism campaign and has largely gone unchanged for the past 17 years through three presidential administrations.
    Congressional and legal sources say the law may now provide a legal rationale for striking Iranian territory or proxies should President Trump decide that Tehran poses a looming threat to the U.S. or Israel and that economic sanctions are not strong enough to neutralize the threat.

    That Iran is colluding with al-Qaeda, which it actively fights in Syria and Iraq, is obviously nonsense. When the U.S. attacked Afghanistan some families of al-Qaeda fighters fled to Iran where they were put under house arrest. They were and still are hostages Iran uses to prevent al-Qaeda attacks against its country. The Washington Times admits this:

    One captured 2007 document, apparently written by an al Qaeda operative, concluded that, in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion of neighboring Iraq, “Iranian authorities decided to keep our brothers as a bargaining chip.”

    At the recent conferences in Warsaw and Munich the Trump administration failed to gain any European support for its anti-Iran strategy. Iraq has likewise rejected all U.S. attempts to position it against Iran. If the U.S. wants to attack Iran it will need to go it alone. Its 'allies' west of the Persian Gulf will give financial support but are not a serious military force. What they can do though is to ramp up terrorism against Iran.

    The former Indian ambassador M. K. Bhadrakumar suspects that the U.S. is trying to envelope Iran from the east to establish land routes that can be used for such purposes. The plan includes Pakistan and even the Afghan Taliban:

    [T]oday, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are Israel’s covert allies in West Asia. They are joined at the hips in the project to overthrow the Iranian regime. We may expect that the Af-Pak could become a major theatre from where their covert operations would be launched with the help of Pakistan under the watch and protection of the US to destabilise Iran. Tehran has repeatedly alleged that the two Arab states are working in tandem with the US and Israel. After last Tuesday’s fedayeen attack in Iran’s southeastern region of Sistan-Baluchistan bordering Pakistan (in which 27 Iranian troops were killed in circumstances eerily similar to what happened in Pulwama), top Iranian generals have openly alleged the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Unsurprisingly, Saudis and the Emiratis who are bankrolling the Pakistani economy, have come to call the shots in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Tehran is expecting turbulent times.
    ...
    [W]e have an explosive mix today, such as we have never come across before in our region and which no one could have foreseen previously — except, indeed, the astute mind of Hamid Karzai — whereby the Taliban leadership has come under immense Pakistani pressure to eschew its “Afghan-ness” and accede to the US wish list on an open-ended military presence in Afghanistan (which is also backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as Israel.)

    Bhadrakumar points to several recent incidents that suggest that such a plan is indeed in the making. He urges the Indian government to renew its alliance with Iran to counter such acts.

    The Taliban will not like any plan that leaves foreign forces in their country. Removing all foreign forces from Afghanistan has always been their foremost aim. Yesterday the Taliban negotiators were supposed to meet their U.S. counterparts in Islamabad where they would also have talks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and probably with Khan's current guest, Clown Prince Muhammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. They canceled the talks on short notice. They may want to avoid additional pressure to submit to the U.S. plans of keeping some troops on Afghan ground.

    Iran is also in talks with the Taliban. It may be able to offer them an alternative to the support they get from Pakistan. The U.S. has left the Afghan government in Kabul out of its talks with the Taliban while Iran kept it fully informed. Kabul may also prefer Iranian help in mediating an end of the long conflict.

    Securing its eastern flank will be a high priority for Iran. A bid to change the allegiance of the Taliban from Pakistan to Iran may be the best way to achieve that."

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/0...iban.html#more
    Last edited by OhOh; 20-02-2019 at 01:38 PM.
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    The geopolitics of Pulwama



    (Saudi Crown Prince, Pakistan PM chair joint Supreme Coordination Council session, Islamabad, February 18, 2019)

    "It is improbable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a motor car driving licence. And it is an intelligent guess that even if he did possess one, Modi will not emulate Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan by driving the car from Delhi airport bearing the visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he lands on Indian soil tonight.





    Simply put, India cannot — and need not — hope to have a relationship with Saudi Arabia, which is a patch on Pakistan’s alliance with that wealthy, oil-rich kingdom.

    Suffice to say, by queer coincidence, a terrible beauty is born on February 17-18 on the South Asian chessboard. The resilience of the Indian foreign policy and its diplomatic clout in isolating Pakistan and compelling it to abandon the policy of sponsoring terrorist groups in J&K is being put to test.

    The announcement in Islamabad by the visiting Saudi Crown Prince of his whopping $20 billion investment plans as “first phase” in a profound programme to resuscitate the Pakistani economy — and that too, coming on top of the $3 billion cash bailout and another $3 billion deferred payment facility for supply of Saudi oil — can only be seen as an early warning to the Modi government to wake up from its 5-year old stupor confusing Indian strategy in a complicated world with Modi’s self-image as a world statesman.

    Ihis is not about money alone. In geopolitical terms, MBS’ visit highlights that it is impossible to “isolate” Pakistan. And that is not because of the traditional fraternal ties of Muslim brotherhood (no pun intended) between the Saudis and Pakistanis. The heart of the matter is that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel and Pakistan also happen to be key players in the new Middle East Security Alliance (MESA) that the US is actively promoting currently in the Greater Middle East, the region that stretches from the Levant to the steppes of Central Asia.

    The Pulwama tragedy has blown to smithereens the Modi government’s foreign policy assumptions toward the Middle Eastern players. The sad reality is that India’s political elites (not only at the central level but also at the state level) have come to view the Arab sheikhs in the petrodollar states as milch cows, which completely overlooks that India can never have a convergence with those brutal autocratic regimes in values or at the geopolitical level.

    Saudi Arabia and the UAE stand at the opposite end of the spectrum vis-a-vis India when it comes to the issue of terrorism. The extradition of Christian Michael from the UAE (presumably, as quid pro quo for the shameful surrender of Sheikha Latifa, the rebellious daughter of the ruler of Dubai) does not alter this stark reality. Plainly put, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have acted in the recent history as the locomotive of “jihadi terrorism”. (here , here and here) The sooner Indian foreign policy adapts to this geopolitical reality, the better.

    As for Israel, the Modi government has fundamentally reoriented India’s policy toward Israel by needlessly injecting into the relationship an ideological content, where none exists. It overlooks that Israelis are rank opportunists who are motivated by self-interests. During his visit to Israel in July 2017, Modi committed an appalling act — out of deliberation or simply due to lack of erudition, perhaps — by paying homage to Theodor Herzi, the founder of Zionism, in Jerusalem.



    (Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit the tomb of Theodor Herzl, in Jerusalem, Israel, July 2017

    On the other hand, on Modi’s watch, India’s Palestine policy has been reduced to mere tokenism. At any rate, the Indian elite failed to anticipate that Israel and Pakistan are actually birds of the same feather as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who sponsor terrorism and deploy terrorists to foreign countries as statecraft. If the US has its way, these 4 kindred states will now for all purposes provide the steel frame of the MESA in a vast region that forms our western neighbourhood.

    Equally, there has been a specific report recently of an Israeli plane landing secretly at the Noor Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi and left after several hours, which coincided, intriguingly, with the visit by Netanyahu to Oman in November. It fuelled the speculation that the Israelis might have had a secretive pow-vow with the all-powerful Pakistani military leaders. Some in Pakistan even thought Netanyahu had flown in for a quiet chat with Imran Khan.

    Equally, reports have appeared recently regarding an Israeli military and intelligence presence already in Afghanistan, which could not have happened without the knowledge of Islamabad and tacit acceptance by the Pakistani military establishment.

    On the other hand, today, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are Israel’s covert allies in West Asia. They are joined at the hips in the project to overthrow the Iranian regime. We may expect that the Af-Pak could become a major theatre from where their covert operations would be launched with the help of Pakistan under the watch and protection of the US to destabilise Iran. Tehran has repeatedly alleged that the two Arab states are working in tandem with the US and Israel.

    After last Tuesday’s fedayeen attack in Iran’s southeastern region of Sistan-Baluchistan bordering Pakistan (in which 27 Iranian troops were killed in circumstances eerily similar to what happened in Pulwama), top Iranian generals have openly alleged the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Unsurprisingly, Saudis and the Emiratis who are bankrolling the Pakistani economy, have come to call the shots in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Tehran is expecting turbulent times.

    All this makes the US’ demonstrative act of commiserating with India over the Pulwama attack highly dubious, bordering on the diabolical. For the Trump administration today, Pakistan’s cooperation is critical for ensuring that a long term American military presence is established in Afghanistan. Although the US’ capacity to leverage Pakistan has diminished, the Pakistani elite’s “westernism” is still very much alive and the Saudi and Emirati clout in Islamabad and Rawalpindi supplements the American diplomacy.

    Therefore, we have an explosive mix today, such as we have never come across before in our region and which no one could have foreseen previously — except, indeed, the astute mind of Hamid Karzai — whereby the Taliban leadership has come under immense Pakistani pressure to eschew its “Afghan-ness”) and accede to the US wish list on an open-ended military presence in Afghanistan (which is also backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as Israel.)

    Of course, there is resistance from within Taliban ranks to a settlement on such humiliating terms that militate against the Pashtun national pride and makes nonsense of the Taliban’s folklore of Afghan “resistance”. But the ISI has begun a vicious crackdown on such recalcitrant / irreconcilable elements within the Taliban leadership with a view to bludgeon those hapless fellows into submission.

    What the Saudis and Emiratis are expecting as follow-up in the near future is a certain “rebooting” of the traditional Afghan-Islamist ideology of the Taliban and its quintessentially natioanlistic “Afghan-centric” outlook with a significant dosage of Wahhabi indoctrination, which would make it possible integrate the Taliban into the global jihadi network and co-habitate it with extremist organisations such as the variants of Islamic State or al-Qaeda (who have proliferated in the Middle East in the recent years), so that geopolitical projects can be undertaken in regions such as Central Asia and the Caucasus or Iran from the Afghan soil, under a comprador Taliban leadership.

    If anyone can tweak the Taliban’s Pashtun DNA and morph it into a Punjabi DNA, it is only the Pakistani military establishment and ISI which can do it. The Saudis and Emiratis (and the Americans) expect the Pakistani military to fulfil this transformative act as quid pro quo for the tens of billions of dollars that are being doled out by them to keep Pakistan afloat.

    India’s strategists and policymakers should have a thorough rethink of their options. Clearly, it requires vast intellectual resources and our security-centric set-up may be short of it. No doubt, the stopover by EAM Sushma Swaraj in Tehran in the weekend was a symbolic step in the right direction, but it is too little, too late. India should show spunk to stand up to Trump’s bullying and take practical steps to nurture and preserve the strategic understanding with Iran, which previous leaderships had bequeathed to Modi (including late AB Vajpayee who had a keen sense of history.)

    The point is, Iran is India’s lone natural ally in the region. The Pulwama tragedy should awaken us to this geopolitical reality. The time has come to rapidly revive the verve of the India-Iran strategic understanding, which has always been in our core interest as a factor of regional security and stability.

    Again, a geopolitical matrix analogous to the Afghan jihad of the early 1980s is appearing. However, alas, there are people among the Indian elite — within the establishment and the media — who have already rushed to celebrate that the US national security advisor John Bolton twice telephoned Ajit Doval regarding Pulwama. Shame on them!

    They do not know who Bolton is, what his real intentions could be. Bolton was a vociferous ideologue of the US’ Iraq invasion; he is today rooting for a permanent US military presence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; and, most importantly, he is almost maniacally obsessive about the regime change project on Iran. He has made a handsome living out of such malignant dogma.

    Fundamentally, he is a creation of the Israeli Lobby in the US, which manipulated his appointment to this key position as NSA in the Trump White House. Considering all this, the motivation behind Bolton’s commiserating words over the Pulwama tragedy must be properly understood. Make no mistake, there is iron in his soul.

    At the most obvious level, Bolton has projected the US as India’s most sincere ally in the fight against terrorism. Two, he has subtly conveyed a US “tilt” toward India — and against Pakistan. Three, he has introduced the US into a mediatory role that enables it to finesse the Indian reaction to Pulwama in the coming days and weeks and may have created a vantage point from where Washington can easily insert itself into any India-Pakistan confrontation.

    What our strategists can ignore at India’s peril is that a US intervention is to be expected at an early stage of any India-Pakistan confrontation. Washington will no doubt use any emergent situation to elicit greater cooperation from Islamabad in Afghanistan. But Delhi cannot expect the US to work for Indian interests. Nor can India hope to achieve anything durable out of a military confrontation with Pakistan.

    The stakes are simply far too high for President Trump to end the war in Afghanistan and to consolidate a permanent military presence in the Hindu Kush in a post-war Afghan scenario, which is integral to the US global strategy to counter China and Russia. India is of no utility for the US to attain this objective. On the contrary, a compliant Pakistan will also expect that the US takes note of its ‘legitimate’ interests vis-a-vis India.

    He added, ominously without elaborating publicly, “Our posture with Pakistan involves supporting our colleagues at the Department of State as they pursue a diplomatic solution with Islamabad to end the conflict in Afghanistan while ensuring that Pakistan’s equities are acknowledged and addressed in any future agreement.”

    Clearly, Bolton is playing the long game, and Modi government should not fall for it. The geopolitics of Pulwama is highly complicated.





    (No daylight is possible: Saudi Crown Prince and Pak PM in tight embrace)

    The Saudi Crown Prince’s historic visit to Pakistan marks the formal induction of Pakistan into the US-sponsored Middle East Security Alliance. This geopolitical reality will haunt the Modi government’s strident diplomatic campaign against Pakistan every inch of the way in the weeks and months ahead and stymie all Indian attempts to isolate Pakistan.

    On the other hand, Pakistan senses that it has come breathtakingly close to taking revenge against India in Kashmir. The Pakistani establishment thinks, rightly or wrongly, that India’s “East Pakistan moment” has come and it is payback time now. And having embedded itself within the MESA and made itself indispensable to an Afghan settlement that will save face for the US and NATO and provide underpinning for American bases in Afghanistan, Islamabad is brimming with confidence that no matter what Bolton might have whispered to Doval, there is precious little that Washington can do — or will dare to do — to compel it to let go its agenda toward J&K and India.

    https://indianpunchline.com/the-geopolitics-of-pulwama/

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    Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order






    Fortunately the world today is very different from that of 2003, Washington's decrees are less effective in determining the world order. But in spite of this new, more balanced division of power amongst several powers, Washington appears ever more aggressive towards allies and enemies alike, regardless of which US president is in office.

    China and Russia are leading this historic transition while being careful to avoid direct war with the United States. To succeed in this endeavor, they use a hybrid strategy involving diplomacy, military support to allies, and economic guarantees to countries under Washington’s attack.

    The United States considers the whole planet its playground. Its military and political doctrine is based on the concept of liberal hegemony, as explained by political scientist John Mearsheimer. This imperialistic attitude has, over time, created a coordinated and semi-official front of countries resisting this liberal hegemony. The recent events in Venezuela indicate why cooperation between these counter-hegemonic countries is essential to accelerating the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar reality, where the damage US imperialism is able to bring about is diminished.

    Moscow and Beijing lead the world by hindering Washington

    Moscow and Beijing, following a complex relationship from the period of the Cold War, have managed to achieve a confluence of interests in their grand objectives over the coming years. The understanding they have come to mainly revolves around stemming the chaos Washington has unleashed on the world.

    The guiding principle of the US military-intelligence apparatus is that if a country cannot be controlled (such as Iraq following the 2003 invasion), then it has to be destroyed in order to save it from falling into Sino-Russian camp. This is what the United States has attempted to do with Syria, and what it intends to do with Venezuela.

    The Middle East is an area that has drawn global attention for some time, with Washington clearly interested in
    supporting its Israeli and Saudi allies in the region. Israel pursues a foreign policy aimed at dismantling the Iranian and Syrian states. Saudi Arabia also pursues a similar strategy against Iran and Syria, in addition to fueling a rift within the Arab world stemming from its differences with Qatar.


    The foreign-policy decisions of Israel and Saudi Arabia have been supported by Washington for decades, for two very specific reasons: the influence of the Israel lobby in the US, and the need to ensure that Saudi Arabia and the OPEC countries sell oil in US dollars, thereby preserving the role of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.


    The US dollar remaining the global reserve currency is essential to Washington being able to maintain her role as superpower and is crucial to her hybrid strategy against her geopolitical rivals. Sanctions are a good example of how Washington uses the global financial and economic system, based on the US dollar, as a weapon against her enemies. In the case of the Middle East, Iran is the main target, with sanctions aimed at preventing the Islamic Republic from trading on foreign banking systems. Washington has vetoed Syria’s ability to procure contracts to reconstruct the country, with European companies being threatened that they risk no longer being able to work in the US if they accept to work in Syria.

    Beijing and Moscow have a clear diplomatic strategy, jointly rejecting countless motions advanced by the US, the UK and France at the United Nations Security Council condemning Iran and Syria. On the military front, Russia continues her presence in Syria. China's economic efforts, although not yet fully visible in Syria and Iran, will be the essential part of reviving these countries destroyed by years of war inflicted by Washington and her allies.

    China and Russia’s containment strategy in the Middle East aims to defend Syria and Iran diplomatically using international law, something that is continuously ridden roughshod over by the US and her regional allies. Russia’s military action has been crucial to curbing and defeating the inhuman aggression launched against Syria, and has also drawn a red line that Israel cannot cross in its efforts to attack Iran. The defeat of the United States in Syria has created an encouraging precedent for the rest of the world. Washington has been forced to abandon the original plans to getting rid of Assad.

    Syria will be remembered in the future as the beginning of the multipolar revolution, whereby the United States was contained in military-conventional terms as a result of the coordinated actions of China and Russia.

    China’s economic contribution provides for such urgent needs as the supply of food, government loans, and medicines to countries under Washington’s economic siege. So long as the global financial system remains anchored to the US dollar, Washington remains able to cause a lot of pain to countries refusing to obey her diktats.


    The effectiveness of economic sanctions varies from country to country. The Russian Federation used sanctions imposed by the West as an impetus to obtain a complete, or almost autonomous, refinancing of its main foreign debt, as well as to producing at home what had previously been imported from abroad. Russia’s long-term strategy is to open up to China and other Asian countries as the main market for imports and exports, reducing contacts with the Europeans if countries like France and Germany continue in their hostility towards the Russian Federation.


    Thanks to Chinese investments, together with planned projects like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the hegemony of the US dollar is under threat in the medium to long term. The Chinese initiatives in the fields of infrastructure, energy, rail, road and technology connections among dozens of countries, added to the continuing need for oil, will drive ever-increasing consumption of oil in Asia that is currently paid for in US dollars.

    Moscow is in a privileged position, enjoying good relations with all the major producers of oil and LNG, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, and including Iran, Venezuela and Nigeria. Moscow’s good relations with Riyadh are ultimately aimed at the creation of an OPEC+ arrangement that includes Russia.

    Particular attention should be given to the situation in Venezuela, one of the most important countries in OPEC. Riyadh sent to Caracas in recent weeks a tanker carrying two million barrels of oil, and Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has taken a neutral stance regarding Venezuela, maintaining a predictable balance between Washington and Caracas.

    These joint initiatives, led by Moscow and Beijing, are aimed at reducing the use of the US dollar by countries that are involved in the BRI and adhere to the OPEC+ format. This diversification away from the US dollar, to cover financial transactions between countries involving investment, oil and LNG, will see the progressive abandonment of the US dollar as a result of agreements that increasingly do away with the dollar.

    For the moment, Riyadh does not seem intent on losing US military protection. But recent events to do with Khashoggi, as well as the failure to list Saudi Aramco on the New York or London stock exchanges, have severely undermined the confidence of the Saudi royal family in her American allies. The meeting between Putin and MBS at the G20 in Bueno Aires seemed to signal a clear message to Washington as well as the future of the US dollar.


    Moscow and Beijing's military, economic and diplomatic efforts see their culmination in the Astana process. Turkey is one of the principle countries behind the aggression against Syria; but Moscow and Tehran have incorporated it into the process of containing the regional chaos spawned by the United States. Thanks to timely agreements in Syria known as “deconfliction zones”, Damascus has advanced, city by city, to clear the country of the terrorists financed by Washington, Riyadh and Ankara.

    Qatar, an economic guarantor of Turkey, which in return offers military protection to Doha, is also moving away from the Israeli-Saudi camp as a result of Sino-Russian efforts in the energy, diplomatic and military fields. Doha’s move has also been because of the fratricidal diplomatic-economic war launched by Riyadh against Doha, being yet another example of the contagious effect of the chaos created by Washington, especially on US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    Washington loses military influence in the region thanks to the presence of Moscow, and this leads traditional US allies like Turkey and Qatar to gravitate towards a field composed essentially of the countries opposed to Washington.

    Washington's military and diplomatic defeat in the region will in the long run make it possible to change the economic structure of the Middle East. A multipolar reality will prevail, where regional powers like Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran will feel compelled to interact economically with the whole Eurasian continent as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

    The basic principle for Moscow and Beijing is the use of military, economic and diplomatic means to contain the United States in its unceasing drive to kill, steal and destroy.

    From the Middle East to Asia

    Beijing has focussed in Asia on the diplomatic field, facilitating talks between North and South Korea, accelerating the internal dialogue on the peninsula, thereby excluding external actors like the United States (who only have the intention of sabotaging the talks). Beijing's military component has also played an important role, although never used directly as the Russian Federation did in Syria. Washington’s options vis-a-vis the Korean peninsular were strongly limited by the fact that bordering the DPRK were huge nuclear and conventional forces, that is to say, the deterrence offered by Russia and China. The combined military power of the DPRK, Russia and China made any hypothetical invasion and bombing of Pyongyang an impractical option for the United States.

    As in the past, the economic lifeline extended to Pyongyang by Moscow and Beijing proved to be decisive in limiting the effects of the embargo and the complete financial war that Washington had declared on North Korea. Beijing and Moscow’s skilled diplomatic work with Seoul produced an effect similar to that of Turkey in the Middle East, with South Korea slowly seeming to drift towards the multipolar world offered by Russia and China, with important economic implications and prospects for unification of the peninsula.

    Russia and China – through a combination of playing a clever game of diplomacy, military deterrence, and offering to the Korean peninsula the prospect of economic investment through the BRI – have managed to frustrate Washington’s efforts to unleash chaos on their borders via the Korean peninsula.

    The United States seems to be losing its imperialistic mojo most significantly in Asia and the Middle East, not only militarily but also diplomatically and economically.

    The situation is different in Europe and Venezuela, two geographical areas where Washington still enjoys greater geopolitical weight than in Asia and the Middle East. In both cases, the effectiveness of the two Sino-Russian resistance – in military, economic and diplomatic terms – is more limited, for different reasons. This situation, in line with the principle of America First and the return to the Monroe doctrine, will be the subject of the next article.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/ne...rld-order.html
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    Last edited by OhOh; 20-02-2019 at 02:13 PM.

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    Russia and China – through a combination of playing a clever game of diplomacy, military deterrence, and offering to the Korean peninsula the prospect of economic investment through the BRI – have managed to frustrate Washington’s efforts to unleash chaos on their borders via the Korean peninsula.
    It seems someone hasn't told them that the Korean peninsula consists of two countries.


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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Russia and China Are Containing the US to Reshape the World Order



    https://www.strategic-culture.org/ne...rld-order.html
    Quite frankly I'd rather a world based on U.S. values, as flawed as they may be at the moment, than those Of Russia and China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Quite frankly I'd rather a world based on U.S. values, as flawed as they may be at the moment, than those Of Russia and China.
    I'm sure most of their citizens would too, if they were allowed to speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Korean peninsula consists of two countries.
    I'm sure both will be invited if theyhaven't been already.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    U.S. values
    Which ameristani values would you like to offer that are being adhered too currently?

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    if they were allowed to speak.
    Such freedoms of expression the western countries have. As long as you keep to the party line. If not just cancel their citizenship or ship to them off to a small Caribbean/South Pacific island and let them rot in the sun. Cooling facial showers are mandatory, as are posing in afternoon pyramid building games, using human beings and guard dogs. Oh how much fun showing the videos at Easter time family gatherings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Such freedoms of expression the western countries have. As long as you keep to the party line. If not just cancel their citizenship or ship to them off to a small Caribbean/South Pacific island and let them rot in the sun. Cooling facial showers are mandatory, as are posing in afternoon pyramid building games, using human beings and guard dogs. Oh how much fun showing the videos at Easter time family gatherings.
    A lot better than having to drink of cup of Putin's "special" tea or being disappeared into a chinky "re-education" camp.

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    To date the U.S. government hasn't imprisoned or disappeared any journalists for what they wrote.
    At least we are able to know what's going on. Look at the current Mueller investigation for example. Can you imagine anything like that being reported in either of those two aforementioned countries, or even being allowed to happen for that matter.
    I say aformentioned because if I mention the name of the country or anything about it my internet connection gets miseabled for a couple of days.
    "In my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Can you imagine anything like that being reported in either of those two aforementioned countries, or even being allowed to happen for that matter.
    Are you really suggesting the "investigation"actually proved or disproved anything other than childish ameristan political infighting attached to a convenient tag?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    To date the U.S. government hasn't imprisoned or disappeared any journalists for what they wrote.
    Although baldy orange cunto would if he could.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Are you really suggesting the "investigation"actually proved or disproved anything other than childish ameristan political infighting attached to a convenient tag?
    No, I'm suggesting it occurred.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Although baldy orange cunto would if he could.
    Anbsofuckinglutely. I imagine it quite frustrates him that he can't have people shot at will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    No, I'm suggesting it occurred.
    And what pray were the benefits, to ameristani citizens and the rest of the world, who benefited and what were the outcomes.

    In my opinion lose/lose/lose all around. But it keeps the MSM busy and of course some TD posters. More hits = more revenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    And what pray were the benefits, to ameristani citizens and the rest of the world, who benefited and what were the outcomes.

    In my opinion lose/lose/lose all around. But it keeps the MSM busy and of course some TD posters. More hits = more revenue.
    What is the context of this waffle?

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    India Bombs Pakistan, Targeting Terrorist Camps In Cross-Border Air Raids; Pakistan Vows Retaliation


    With most of the world distracted by President Trump's second summit meeting with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, tensions between two nuclear-armed powers flared roughly 2,000 miles West in the contested border region of Kashmir.

    In retaliation for one of the deadliest terror attacks in the history of the long-running Kashmiri insurgency - earlier this month, a Muslim ‘mujahidin’ drove a car loaded with explosives into a bus packed with Indian paramilitary soldiers, killing more than 40 - Indian fighter jets carried out a tactical strike on what the Indian government described as a training camp for the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), killing more than 300 militants and infuriating the government in Islamabad, which condemned the attack and insinuated that it could launch a counter-strike of its own, with Prime Minister Imran Khan warning the nation of 200 million and its armed forces to "remain prepared for all eventualities."

    Unsurprisingly, the two countries offered contrasting descriptions of the attack. Here's more from Al Jazeera:

    Indian fighter jets on Tuesday crossed into Pakistani territory, conducting what the foreign ministry in New Delhi termed a "non-military pre-emptive action" against armed group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), dramatically escalating tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours weeks after a suicide attack in the disputed Kashmir region.

    Pakistan reported the Indian airspace incursion, with military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor saying its air force jets were scrambling to respond, forcing the Indian aircraft to "release [their] payload in haste while escaping".

    Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, however, asserted that the jets had hit their target, and that "a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated".

    "The government of India is firmly and resolutely committed to taking all necessary measures to fight the menace of terrorism," he told reporters in New Delhi. "Hence this non-military pre-emptive action was specifically targeted at the Jaish-e-Mohammed camp."


    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-26/pakistan-threatens-retaliation-after-india-kills-300-terror-camp-bombing





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    Chexit raises it's head.

    ICJ Delivers Chagos Advisory Opinion, UK Loses Badly


    "Earlier this afternoon the ICJ delivered its Chagos advisory opinion. Briefly, the Court found that the separation of the Chagos archipelago from the British colony of Mauritius was contrary to the right to self-determination and that accordingly the decolonization of Mauritius was not completed in conformity with international law. As a consequence, the Court found that the UK’s continuing administration of the archipelago, which includes the largest US naval base in the Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia, is a continuing internationally wrongful act, which the UK was under an obligation to cease as soon as possible. The Court was almost unanimous – its decision not to exercise discretion and decline giving an opinion was made by 12 votes to 1, while its findings on the merits were made by 13 votes to 1 (Judge Donoghue dissenting). The AO and the various separate opinions is available here.

    Here are some key takeaways.

    First, on the issue of the exercise of discretion/propriety to give an opinion, the key issue here was whether, in answering the questions posed by the General Assembly the Court would be effectively deciding on a bilateral dispute between states over territorial sovereignty, which one of them (the UK) did not consent to (for more background on this issue see Dapo’s earlier post here). Here Judge Tomka joined Judge Donoghue in thinking that the Court should have declined giving an opinion, consistently with his prior position in the Kosovo AO. The Court effectively gets around this problem by labeling the advisory proceedings as being about decolonization, an issue in which the UNGA has a longstanding interest, rather than about sovereignty.

    Technically, the Court is right, except that its finding on the illegality of the decolonization process inevitably impacts on the British sovereignty over Chagos – either the UK really has no sovereignty over the islands at all, or it is the sovereign but is obliged to relinquish that sovereignty to Mauritius as soon as practicable. The situation is comparable to some extent to the South China Sea arbitration, in which the arbitral tribunal technically avoids issues of sovereignty but by deciding on the nature of certain maritime features, and their (in)ability to project maritime areas, it effectively completely demolishes China’s claim to these areas.

    Second, this shows just how important questions of characterization and framing can be. This is particularly true of the formulation of the question, which as I argued before was VERY clever on the part of Mauritius (as later adopted by the GA). Readers will recall that the question is in two parts:

    (a) “Was the process of decolonization of Mauritius lawfully completed when Mauritius was granted independence in 1968, following the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius and having regard to international law, including obligations reflected in General Assembly resolutions 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, 2066 (XX) of 16 December 1965, 2232 (XXI) of 20 December 1966 and 2357 (XXII) of 19 December 1967?”;

    (b) “What are the consequences under international law, including obligations reflected in the above-mentioned resolutions, arising from the continued administration by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of the Chagos Archipelago, including with respect to the inability of Mauritius to implement a programme for the resettlement on the Chagos Archipelago of its nationals, in particular those of Chagossian origin?”.
    Again, by avoiding the use of the term ‘sovereignty’, Mauritius and the GA defused the likelihood of the Court dismissing the case as involving a bilateral dispute, as does the use of the term ‘continued administration’ in part (b). When asked to reformulate or narrow down the question, the Court expressly refused to do so, and indeed said that it sees no reason to interpret it restrictively (paras. 136-137). In her dissent, Judge Donoghue openly floats the option of the Court narrowing down the question and providing a limited answer on the merits, something she would have been happy with – in fact she expresses no disagreement of principle with the Court’s findings on the merits.

    Third, when it comes to self-determination, the key question for the Court to decide was whether it was already a rule of customary law by 1968, when Mauritius was granted independence – see this recent post by Orfeas and Sarah for more background. This is an admittedly a very difficult question – at what point in time exactly does a rule of customary IL actually crystallize? And the Court completely fudges it. It simply relies on a series of GA resolutions, to which it expressly ascribes a normative character (para. 153), and just asserts that self-determination was already customary at the relevant time. No state practice, no opinio juris, no nothing – just good plain assertion, as the Court is so often wont to do.

    Fourth, the Court’s conclusion that Mauritius did not genuinely consent to the separation of Chagos is quite rushed (para. 172), and effectively turns around the application of a standard of heightened scrutiny in situations when consent is expressed by a subordinate administration. The Court seems to be saying here (by implication) that only something like a referendum could have constituted a free expression of the will of the people. The Court thus then logically concludes that the answer to question (a) was that the decolonization of Mauritius was not lawfully completed.

    Fifth, proceeding to question (b), the Court effectively treats the consequence of (a) as a matter of state responsibility, holding (para. 177) that ‘the United Kingdom’s continued administration of the Chagos Archipelago constitutes a wrongful act entailing the international responsibility of that State’ which is of a continuing character. Then, para 178: ‘Accordingly, the United Kingdom is under an obligation to bring an end to its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible, thereby enabling Mauritius to complete the decolonization of its territory in a manner consistent with the right of peoples to self-determination.’

    This is obviously where the UK just totally lost the case. There’s no silver lining here. The Court could have chosen to fudge this somewhat, but it went full in (and again, did so virtually unanimously, even if some of the judges were not entirely comfortable with the language of state responsibility).

    Finally, the Court noted that all UN member states must cooperate to finalize the decolonization of Mauritius (para. 180), since self-determination is an obligation erga omnes, and that the GA must ensure the protection of the human rights of the expelled Chagossians (para. 181). The ‘all states’ obviously includes the United States re Diego Garcia and all.

    It is very interesting just how brief the Court’s answer to question (b) is – the big blow to the UK is of course the framing of its presence in Chagos as a continuing wrongful act. Otherwise, however, the Court wanted to be as non-prescriptive as possible. Even on the matter of the return of the Chagossians it says more through silence than words.

    It remains to be seen, of course, how the UK government will react to all this. Things are not going all that well in Whitehall anyway, and there’s now not only Brexit, but also Chexit, to worry about."

    https://www.ejiltalk.org/icj-deliver...k-loses-badly/

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archi...lands/#respond

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    "This is an advisory opinion, not a judgment," it said, adding however that Britain would "carefully" examine it.
    3,000 years later....

    "Yeah, hang on, we haven't finished reading it yet".

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Which ameristani values would you like to offer that are being adhered too currently?
    Maybe you could tell us all how Russia and China will improve world freedom. Improved freedom of the press? improved criticism from opposition parties? Improved freedom of assembly? Improved human rights? You so obviously see the current system is flawed.
    Please demonstrate how those basic democratic principles will be improved by Russia and China around the world. How well has their support worked so far? Let's see. They support DPRK that bastion of freedom. Syria oh yes I forgot Assad is the father of democracy, the Arab Mandela. Iran well known for freedom especially womens rights. Bu I digress and await your answer on how wonderful the world will be with Russia and China in and the U.S. out. No doubt the first line will be the usual tedious obfuscation "What about the USA". The old politicians trick of when you have no answer criticise the other party.
    I'm not holding my breath as you well know you cannot and will not as you have no answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    Maybe you could tell us all how Russia and China
    utilising the star posters evasive posts as standard:

    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    "Yeah, hang on, I haven't finished writing the world's history, yet".
    and



    I refer you back to my previous posts on this topic .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .......................

    (DOS Error Message: Too many to list, stack overflow warning, re-booting)
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    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by OhOh; 27-02-2019 at 10:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    utilising the star posters evasive posts as standard:
    Since his post is on the topic you started, perhaps you should respond to it rather than trying to waffle your way out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    you should respond
    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    "Yeah, hang on, I haven't finished writing the world's history, yet".
    Already have done.

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