Archive for the ‘GEOPOLITICS’ Category

2018 IRANIAN UPRISING MEETING IN NEW YORK

September 26, 2018

Fox News on September 23, 2018, reported on comments by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ahead of the 2018 Iranian Uprising Summit in New York. Presiden Donald Trump’s lawyer called for support for the Iranian resistance movement MEK. Excerpts below:

Giuliani advocated that a “peaceful” overthrow of the current Iranian vanguard is the only solution for a prosperous nation and stable Middle East.

…a fall, he said, could come at any moment.

“Who would have known the timeline in Russia or the timeline in Poland or the timeline in Hungary. When it happens it happens. We generally see a very repressive, very militaristic regime and think it can’t be overthrown. We don’t realize as people’s desire for freedom reaches a boiling point it can overcome that,” he continued. “Then it just happens. That’s what is going to happen here. We are going to wake up one morning and someone has been overthrown. It may not happen tomorrow, but it is inevitable the way they are oppressing people.”

“It is terrible that they have to be pressured this way…President Trump shows the world the road that President Reagan took in terms of communism. When he embraced solidarity, he said this protest movement is because these people are being oppressed. They are being treated horribly and because Iran is investing money in terrorism and not the people. That’s why the people are starving.”

Anti-government protests have been spilling out across Iran since January, of which Trump has tweeted support for those taking to the streets. And since withdrawing from the deal with Tehran, the president has stated he would be willing to “re-negotiate” what he deemed to be one of the worst deals ever formulated by Western leadership.

So what would such a new deal look like?

“There is no doubt what a re-negotiated deal would mean, and that is complete and absolute denuclearization of Iran and a change in which it supports terrorism throughout the world,” Giuliani conjectured. “Because they are an existential danger to us and to Israel and we can’t accept that. Those two things would be critical.”

“In other words, if they promised to de-nuclearize and they promised not to threaten the U.S. and Israel, [and] our allies, but they remained the kind of militaristic religious fanatic that kills people they aren’t going to keep their promise,” Giuliani noted.

“We call on the United States to expel the Iranian regime’s operatives from America. We urge Western governments to shut down or restrict the regime’s embassies, which are control centers for espionage and terrorism; and to expel this regime’s criminal forces from Syria and Iraq,” the [MEK’s] Paris-based female leader, Maryam Rajavi, told the thousand-plus crowd via video feed. “Iran’s seat at the United Nations does not belong to the terrorist regime ruling it. That seat belongs to the Iranian people and Resistance.”

“Of the last ten years that I have been involved with them [MEK] and I come to this event every year,” he added. “This is the first time I see hope that there can be real change in Iran.”

Comment: Iran has since ancient Greece been a challenger to the West. After it was taken over by a theocratic regime during the Cold War. It was a major strategic defeat for the United States and the West. Iran has since then developed into a major power in Eurasia and is projecting geopolitical power into Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.

Iran is working closely to Russia, another Eurasian challenger to the West.

President Trump’s speech to the United Nation General Assembly on September 25, 2018 targeted the Islamisat regime in Tehran: “They do not respect their neighbors or their borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond”

“We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants death to America and that threatens Israel with annihilation,” Trump said.

The United States is presently using the economic weapon against Iran much in the same way as against the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration. There are now clear signs that the regime in Tehran has weakened. A hopefully ”peaceful” overthrow is possible. It is important that the leading European allies of the United States join the sanctions against Iran.

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US AND ALLIES COUNTERING CHINA IN THE PACIFIC

September 13, 2018

Taipei Times (Taiwan) on August 30, 2018 published an article of Reuters on the growing challenge of China to the West in the Pacific area. Concessionary loans and gifts by China are closely watched. For excerpts see below:

The US, Australia, France and Britain plan to open new embassies in the Pacific, boost staffing levels and engage with leaders of island nations more often in a bid to counter China’s rising influence in the region, sources have said.

The battle for influence in the Pacific matters because each of the tiny island states has a vote at international forums such as the UN and they also control vast swathes of resource-rich ocean.

…Australia, New Zealand and the US have said they would increase economic aid and expand their diplomatic presence to countries in the region….

[A] US official said Washington needed to have adequate representation in the Pacific countries to let their governments know what options were open to them.

The US government source said the US would boost diplomatic staffing numbers in Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and potentially Fiji within the next two years.

The Australian government is expected to name its first High Commissioner to Tuvalu within weeks, rushing to fill a post Canberra decided upon establishing only several months ago, said a government source who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to talk to the media.

Britain would open new High Commissions in Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa by the end of May next year, while French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to organize a meeting of Pacific leaders early next year, diplomatic and government sources have said.

Comment: This development is welcome. Since 2017 there is greater focus in the West on the China challenge.This is not only in the economic and financial fields.The United States is reacting to China’s long time economic aggression. In June 2018 a 65-page report (”How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World”) on the techniques used by China was published in Washington.

The report is breaking down the Chinese government’s economic aggression into five broad categories, including protecting its home market for domestic producers, securing control of natural resources, and seeking dominance of leading-edge high-tech industries. There is also a list of more than 50 types of policies used by China — from cybertheft of intellectual property to blocking foreign access to key raw materials it controls — used to meet those objectives.

A further threat to the United States and Allies is the growing Chinese aircraft carrier force that is of vital interest to Beijing in its quest for regional dominance. This is only a first step in the search for global control. The present target is the Western Pacific. With growing influence there are more distant goals as the East and South Pacific and even the Mediterranean.

CHINA’S ECONOMIC AGGRESSION

August 5, 2018

China is a leading revisionist power wanting to take over and dominate technology industries of the future: artificial intelligence, robotics, high-tech shipping, aerospace and more.

Included in the China 2025 strategy is stealing from the United States and other Western countries.

Technology transfer is systematically used by the Chinese. Western and mainly American companies who want to produce and sell in China have to turn over technology to the buyers.

China is evading export controls. Since the Tiananmen square massacre in 1989 US prevents the Chinese from buying sensitive military equipment. They use very complex operations to avoid the controls.

There are large trade deficits. Big state backed Chinese funds are buying technology in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the United States.

For decades nothing has happened until the Trump administration brought it up with the Chinese and demanded changes.

US introduced tariffs on high technology industries and China has retaliated. The present tariffs are 25 percent on 50 billion US dollars of Chinese exports.

China is now planning to dump cheap robotics tech into US markets. These types of actions has been going on since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2001.

Bill Clinton started the Chinese on the path they presently are on by letting China into the WTO. He represented the globalist idea that it would be possible to change Chinese society and open it up by bringing it into the international trade system.

As a result the United States has during 17 years lost 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs.

In contrast the US wants free and fair trade but not ”a fool’s trade”.

Presently American trade deficits with Europe are 150 billion dollars and with China more than double the amount, 376 billion US dollars.

American Policy Advisor Michael Pillsbury has in his book ”The Hundred-Year Marathon – China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower” (2015) described how the United States played an indispensable role in creating China’s booming economy. It was in the mistaken belief that the rise of China would bring cooperation and free trade.

According to Pillsbury the goal of China is to succeed by 2049, onehundred years ofter the Communist takeover in 1949. The Chinese regard America and its leaders as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise. Along with other books the work of Pillsbury is an eye-opener.

Pillsbury points to the book by Colonel Liu Mingfu, “The China Dream” (2010) as an important inspiration for Xi Jinping’s increasingly totalitarian policies. The author clearly states that China wants to dominate the world.

Using classical Chinese strategy the leadership in Beijing is preparing so called ”assassin’s maze” weapons to destroy American satellites and target US aircraft carriers.

There has been World Bank assistance to China but no demands for Beijing introducing free market reforms. The Chinese government is still controlling most of China’s larger industries.

Pillsbury presents evidence from secret briefings that China is actively working to promote the decline of the United States. One method is sales of arms to America’s enemies.

Further Reading

”Death by China: Confronting the Dragon — A Global Call to Action” (2011) by Peter Navarro reveals the real China behind the mask. The Chinese Communist Party’s is aggressively building up China’s military and at the same time its economy while destroying jobs in America.

Peter Navarro has also directed the documentary ”Death By China: How America Lost Its Manufacturing Base”. The film is from 2013 and Peter Navarro is presently leading the White House National Trade Council. There are a number of interviews with experts, officials and businessmen in the documentary. One expert warns that America does not have free trade with China. Instead it is a ”rigged trade” that benefits China and harms both American and Chinese citizens. During the five years that has passed since the production of the film the problem has become more acute. Trade deficits have been growing and more jobs have been shipped from the United States to China.

A key tool of the regime in Beijing is currency manipulation. China pegs its currency at a low level against the American dollar. In reality that is the equivalent of a 40 percent tariff on American sales in China and a similar subsidy for Chines goods sold in America.

The film has been a great success and one of the most popular documentary films on Netflix for many years. It has also been made available for free on YouTube.

PROTECTING A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC REGION

August 2, 2018

National Interest on July 31, 2018, published an article on US policy in the Indo-Pacific region. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo free and open means all nations will be able to protect their sovereignty from coercion and enjoy open access to seas and airways. Excerpts below:

Mike Pompeo [recently] announced a $25 million initial investment for a digital connectivity and cyber-security partnership to help develop internet infrastructure in the region.

Financially, that’s small potatoes compared to China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative. But China’s program focuses on linking Indo-Pacific countries to China. The U.S. program is about opening the Indo-Pacific to the world.

But perhaps the most important thing about Pompeo’s regional diplomatic offensive is its focus on promoting private-sector investment. China’s investments in the region are state-led and state-run. That means there are lots of diplomatic strings attached, as everyone in the region understands.

There’s only one country that wants to close the Indo-Pacific, and that’s China. It won’t succeed anytime soon, but China’s closure strategy has been successful in at least important patch at the heart of the region, the South China Sea. By militarizing the waters at the very center of the Indo-Pacific, China has thrown down a gauntlet in front of all of its maritime neighbors. China knows that its neighbors are too weak to actively resist, even if they have no interest in joining China.

The U.S. Navy regularly runs freedom of navigation operations(FonOps) in the South China Sea to remind the world that China does not own the global commons.

Those U.S. ships and planes need a stable base from which to operate and—in an emergency—at which to find refuge….The Navy and Air Force both need a safe harbor in the backyard of the Indo-Pacific, and they seem to have found it in Australia’s northern outpost of Darwin.

On May 30, the storied U.S. Pacific Command was officially renamed the Indo-Pacific Command…Pompeo defined the Indo-Pacific as a region stretching “from the United States west coast to the west coast of India.” Over at the Department of Defense, that just happens to be the exact territory covered by USINDOPACOM.

Though USINDOPACOM is headquartered in Hawaii and is responsible for major U.S. deployments in Japan and South Korea, the two maritime cornerstones of American power in the Indo-Pacific are Guam on the right and Diego Garcia on the left. Now Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, is falling into place as the keystone at the center of the arch.

The American arch around the South China Sea is a defensive posture. China’s military buildup, like its Belt and Road Initiative, is fundamentally about offense.

As Pompeo stressed in Washington, “where America goes, we seek partnership, not domination.” In eastern Europe, NATO has a program it calls the Partnership for Peace . [The American] Indo-Pacific initiative could become a civilian equivalent in Asia.

The United States has had an open-door policy in Asia for more than one hundred years. It has always been based on business first, and force only as a last resort. Pompeo’s Indo-Pacific initiative fits squarely in that time-honored tradition. The architecture of a free and open Indo-Pacific may be supported by the military arch, but its upper stories will be built by private enterprise, and its doors will be open to everyone—including China.

Comment: From a geopolitical standpoint the American initiative is welcome. There are now three cornerstones in the Indo-Pacific Partnership of Peace: Diego Garcia, Darwin and Guam.

It may be time to think about the Southeast Pacific where Chile’s rapid economic growth and stable politics has shifted trade and strategic orientation to the Asia-Pacific away from the Southern Cone of South America.

The geopolitical significance of the South Pacific is increasing.

Easter Island, known locally as Rapa Nui, is situated more than 3,218 kilometers (2,000 miles) west of mainland Chile. Its control from the mainland is possible through a substantial military presence in capital Hanga Roa.

Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. After the constitutional reforms of 2007, it extended Special Status. The islands are mainly inhabited by Polynesians, who at times call for self-determination within the Pacific Islands Forum.

Another Chilean island possession is the Juan Fernández Islands, are populated predominantly from mainland Chile.

Chile has a long coast and its maritime geography includes 6,435 km of coastline, 4,300 km on the mainland and the remainder distributed along Chile’s Antarctic and Pacific Island territories.

The maritime territory, including its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, covers more than 4.5 million square kilometers.

Chile aspires to have expeditionary capabilities similar to those of other South Pacific maritime powers such as Australia. The maritime expansion in the Southeast Pacific should be welcomed by other regional maritime powers, such as Australia.

It is quite possible that Chile in the future could have to decide if it wants to join the Pacific Partnership of Peace. This would lead to greater cooperation with the United States and Australia.

CHANGING CHINA’S PREDATORY TRADE PRACTICES

May 4, 2018

Reuters reported on May 3, 2018, that the Trump administration’s top economic officials had arrived in China.

They will try to get the Chinese government to open its markets and give up its predatory trade practicies.

The officials want to bring down the trade deficit by 20 percent or around 100 billion dollars. The also seek to get China to allow U S businesses to operate and sell in China without having to partner with a Chinese company. The existing rules are helping China to transfer U S technology and know-how in a way that is damaging to America.

China has for years been conquering the world’s export markets. This conquest has vaporized manufacturing jobs and driven down wages from the heartland of America. The China wars are fought over everything from decent jobs, livable wages, and leading-edge technologies to strategic resources such as copper and steel.

In an op-ed in a large US daily newspaper, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is writing that the “economic relationship with China that has become increasingly unbalanced — and, over the long term, dangerous — for the U.S.” Rubio announces new legislation to combat intellectual property (IP) theft.

China’s trade policies are two-faced: “One face [that] outwardly offers soaring and seductive promises of an emerging global economic order that will become more open and equitable as nations increase trade and commerce with China. … The other face speaks inwardly to China’s ultimate geopolitical intentions.”

Rubio says China is stealing IP for nearly $600 billion annually from just the U.S. The Florida Senator calls on Congress to support the administration’s efforts to reform trade with China. Next week he will introduce the Fair Trade With China Enforcement Act to “guard the American people against China’s nefarious influence on national and economic security, directly targeting China’s tools of economic aggression.” The legislation would ban the sale of all sensitive technology or intellectual property to Chinese entities and impose a shareholding cap on Chinese investors in American corporations to prevent undue influence in corporate governance.

Comment: This is an excellent initiative. It is time to push back when it comes to the dark side of the rise of China. Other Western countries ought to act now to address the mounting problems of the Beijing challenge.

The rise of China has resulted in efforts along the Asian rimland to balance against the challenge to the established territorial status quo and national interests. China uses geographical proximity, overall strength, offensive capabilities, and offensive intentions. The size and position at the heart of the Asian landmass sends a geopolitical message. The Chinese military is modernizing its navy and air force, investing in anti-access/area denial technologies, and build aircraft carriers. Declarations such as the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone send a troubling message across the region. But China is not the only challenge on the World Island in the geopolitical theory of Halford Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman. The West is presently challenged by the three empires on the rimland of Eurasia: China, Russia and Iran/Persia.

“MAP WARFARE” – CHINA CLAIMS NEW TERRITORY

May 3, 2018

National Interest on April 30, 2018, reported that China is extending its territorial claims in the South China Sea. A group of Chinese scholars have recently published a ”New Map of the People’s Republic of China”. Excerpts below:

Instead of dotted lines, as reflected in China’s U-shaped Nine-Dash Line claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, the new map [is based on an old map from 1951]…

The Chinese researchers claim that through analysis of historical maps, the 1951 solid-line map “proves” beyond dispute that the “U-boundary line is the border of China’s territorial sea” in the South China Sea.

They also claim that the solid administrative line overlaying the U-boundary “definitely indicated that the sovereignty of the sea” enclosed within the U-boundary “belonged to China.”

The study, edited by the Guanghua and Geosciences Club and published by SDX Joint Publishing Company, has not been formally endorsed by the Chinese government.

…many experts believe that it’s Beijing’s latest effort to recover from a humiliating legal defeat in 2016, when an arbitration body at The Hague constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) struck down much of China’s claims in adjacent waters in a ruling that favored the Philippines.

Last year, China began to introduce a new quasi-legal doctrine in the South China Sea.

According to the new “Four Sha” doctrine, China lays sovereign claims over the Pratas, Paracels and Spratly group of islands, as well as the Macclesfield Bank area (known in Chinese as Dongsha, Xisha, Nansha, and Zhongsha respectively).

Instead of treating them as a collection of disputed land features, each group of islands or land features is treated as an integrated archipelagic body with its own maritime boundaries, sovereign land with a corresponding title to claim an exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The new doctrine was advanced by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials during a closed-door meeting with US State Department officials in Washington last August, according to news reports and Pentagon sources.

The “new map” should thus be understood as yet another attempt to present old wine in a new bottle…the 1951 map presents “the continuous line” of a claim, which was “recognized by the international community in the corresponding historical period.”

They also claim that it provides “appropriate descriptions and drawing-methods for the sea boundary in [the] historical period,” ensuring the “certainty of the integrity, continuity and border of China’s seas.”

The academics argue that the new map should serve as the basis of China’s claims in the area, since it “more vividly, accurately, completely and scientifically” characterizes and proves Beijing’s sovereignty in adjacent waters.

If Beijing moves to back the academics’ assertions, it could inflame already boiling tensions with smaller Southeast Asian claimants, which have opposed China’s expanding military footprint and extensive reclamation activities.

What is clearer is that China is still determined to provide quasi-legal cover for its rising domination of the South China Sea.

China Topics on July 25, 2016 reported on an even more aggressive claim of territory by China that claimed that the Pacific Ocean is Chinese. Excerpts below:

The map infers Hawaii belongs to China and [that] Hawaii was stolen from China by the United States, which must give it back of face the consequences.

The map was the work of the person or persons behind a blog called the “Ministry of Harmony”…

The original post in 2014 claimed China’s Ministry of Education had released a new world map where China claims most of the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii and most of Micronesia.

It said Xinhua, China’s propaganda media machine, reported the ministry issued a directive ordering “all educational facilities and government offices to replace their outdated world maps with the current iteration,”…

Emmanuel Mori, who then was President of the Federated States of Micronesia, reportedly dismissed the map as “absurd” and accused China of “cartographic rape.”

In the map, China also claims Mexico’s Clarion Island and France’s Clipperton Island. The ministry said both islands will be granted full autonomy.

Hawaii and other American territories such as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will be combined to form a new Chinese province called “Xinmeiguo,” …

The ministry defended the new “251-dash map” by pointing to several Qing-era documents that show the Carolines, the Northern Mariana and Marshall Islands were under Chinese control hundreds of years ago.

“The study of what constitutes Chinese territory is ongoing,” said one ministry official.

IRAN AS CHALLENGER TO WESTERN CIVILIZATION

May 2, 2018

Hoover Institution’s The Caravan in December 2017 published an article on Western grand strategy to stop Iran’s strategic offensive in the Middle East. Excerpts below:

The United States, weary from its Cold War exertions, envisioned a “peace dividend,” and elected a domestic-agenda-first president. America would bask in its “unipolar” moment while handling foreign affairs on a case-by-case “just get through the news cycle” mode of operation. The U.S. would begin to ease its burden of leading the world in defense of the established international system.

But in fact, a new world order was taking shape.

…the power centers of three continents were emerging by design and self-defined historical “inevitability” into political-ideological structures intended to transcend the modern international state order and to recreate neo-imperialistic spheres of influence. Russia toyed with the idea of democracy, soon was gripped by kleptocracy, and then in the twenty-first century under a neo-tsarist, neo-commissar ruler would begin a pattern of probing Western European weaknesses while envisioning itself as a transnational “Eurasian” realm. The People’s Republic of China finally bade farewell to Chairman Mao even while the Party would continue to make use of his cultic adoration. China would amass wealth and power from responsible participation the global economy until near the end of the new century’s first decade, it would reveal itself both as seeking an “harmonious” world order even as it assertively began to deconstruct aspects of that order which failed to display “Chinese characteristics.”

The third power center of what may …be imagined as the new century’s dreikaiserbund (Three Emperors’ League) is the Islamic Republic of Iran. By a deft mixture of diplomatic stratagems, support for terrorist agents, military and paramilitary deployment of a variety of militias, and a “foreign legion” in the form of Shia Lebanon’s Hezbollah, as well as a brilliantly-executed nuclear “deal” with the United States, Iran has turned itself in a strikingly short time into the suzerain of the northern swath of the Middle East from western Afghanistan, through Iran itself, Shia Iraq, the satellite Assad regime in Syria, and most of Lebanon to the Mediterranean beaches. Iran is consolidating this after winning the major war for Syria with the decisive intervention of the Russian army and air force (providing Moscow with air, land, and naval bases in the process) while becoming recognized as a “threshold” nuclear weapons power that is reshaping the regional balance of power to its advantage.

This new Iran was launched in 1979 by the Islamist Revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini which overthrew Shah Reza Pahlavi and riveted American emotions by storming the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and taking diplomatic personnel hostage for 444 days. As shocking as this was to Washington, the symbolic power message it carried has still not been fully grasped.

—-

The admirable and underappreciated foreign affairs intellectual Adda B. Bozeman, professor emerita of Sarah Lawrence College at that time, stepped up to give context to the Iranian upheaval. The revolution, she wrote, should be seen “as a victory for the general cause of Islam and as a defeat not so much for the Pahlavi dynasty as for the Iranian nation-state.”1 The key to understanding would be the ancient “Persian World-State.” The Sassanian Empire of Persia had been conquered by Islamized Arabs in 630 AD, but then would be followed by “Iran’s conquest of Islam” as Arabs came to recognize and adopt Persian statecraft and administrative practices; these would provide a governing structure for the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates as well as those of the Mongols and Turks. Historically, Bozeman said, this Iranization of the Middle East eventually would prove more powerful than later Westernization.

Against this, US policy has ranged from contradictory to incoherent: from President Obama’s “Deal” which the region has taken to mean “The U.S. looks with favor on the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran to paramount power in the Middle East” to President Trump’s refusal to certify the “deal” while nonetheless keeping to its provisions while threatening to block Iran’s ambitions and expansive neo-imperial actions in unexplained ways.

Taken together, all this makes “Rolling Back Iran” the most perplexing, task in American strategy today…

1 Bozeman, “Iran: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Tradition of Persian Statecraft,” in Orbis, Summer, 1979, pp. 387-402.

Comment: The Hoover article is an important contribution to the view that the main challengers today to the United States and thus the Western world are China, Russia and Iran. Professor Bozeman’s analysis is still one of the best on the ancient Persian statecraft’s role in the imperial aspiration of the present Iranian republic. It has inherited the deception and lies used by the ancient Persian empire against classical Greece. The Orbis journal article of 1979 is not the only work by Bozeman that should be studied by American strategists. She deserves to be studied in Europe as well. She was of Latvian origin.

IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL MUST BE FIXED OR NIXED

May 1, 2018

Fox News on April 30, 2018, reported on the American reaction to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bombshell news on Iran covert nuclear program. Excerpts below:

President Trump called the Iran nuclear deal a “horrible agreement for the United States” in response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bombshell allegations about Tehran’s covert activity…

The president said it shows Iran is lying about its nuclear weapons program.

“That is just not an acceptable situation,” Trump said.

Trump said Netanyahu’s claims show Iran is “not sitting back idly.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded, “The United States is aware of the information just released by Israel and continues to examine it carefully. This information provides new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons. These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people. The Iranian regime has shown it will use destructive weapons against its neighbors and others. Iran must never have nuclear weapons.”

Trump said: “So we’ll see what happens,” when asked about the announcement. “I’m not telling you what I’m doing. [A lot] of people think they know. And on or before the 12th, we’ll make a decision.”

The president made the comments during a joint press conference with visiting Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

Trump said that overall, “what we’ve learned has really shown that I have been 100 percent right.”

Netanyahu said during his earlier presentation that new intelligence shows Iran lied about never having nuclear weapons and lied again by not coming clean under the terms of the 2015 deal. “The Iran deal … is based on lies,” he said.

The information was obtained within the past 10 days, Israeli officials told Fox News. Netanyahu said the files were moved to a “highly secret” location in Tehran, and contained materials spread over 55,000 pages and 55,000 files on 183 CD’s.

“The nuclear deal gives Iran a clear path to producing an atomic arsenal,” Netanyahu said Monday.

“The Iran Deal was and has always been a foreign policy debacle. But today’s stunning intel presentation [by Netanyahu] provides even more troubling context. All along it was built on a crumbling foundation of lies, deception, and naivete. This ‘deal’ should be shredded,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., tweeted.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday ratcheted up the Trump administration’s rhetoric against Iran and offered warm support to Israel and Saudi Arabia in their standoff with Tehran.

“The United States is with Israel in this fight,” Pompeo said.

The 2015 deal gave Iran relief from crippling sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

Comment: The Israeli information that Tehran has lied about its program to build nuclear weapons is a stunning feat by Israeli intelligence. Iran’s information offered at the time of the nuclear deal in 2015 was pure deception. The technique of Iran/Persia using lies and deception goes back to the ancient Iranian empire. The Iran deal is based on lies and should be renegotiated or nixed. Iran is a growing strategic threat in the Middle East and its aggression stretches from Syria in the north to Yemen in the south. The Gulf states must be more involved in stopping Iran’s destabilization in the region.

UNITED STATES, INDIA, AUSTRALIA, AND JAPAN: ALIGNING GEOPOLITICALLY

April 9, 2018

Washington Times on April 8, 2018, published an article on how the United States and India can work together to counter communist China’s aggressive economic and military moves across Asia. Excerpts below:

How might the United States and India, the world’s largest democracies, work more effectively together toward countering communist China’s increasingly aggressive economic and military moves across Asia?

That question loomed over a private, in-depth diplomatic conference this weekend on the future of U.S.-Indian relations.

The second annual U.S.-India forum played out under strict, off-the-record rules on reporting comments to foster what organizers said they hoped would be the most honest dialogue between high-level current and former officials and others from both countries.

But several in attendance spoke openly on the sidelines with The Washington Times about a China-inspired urgency for increased U.S.-Indian military ties and a more robust democracy- and capitalism-driven development and foreign investment plan to counter Beijing’s surging regional influence.

The Trump administration sent Alice G. Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, among others. Ms. Wells voiced concern about China’s fast-moving One Belt One Road initiative, through which Beijing pumps cash into infrastructure projects to buy access to resources around the region.

Ms. Wells told The Times that the initiative — laden with billions of dollars worth of China-funded projects in countries on every side of India, from Sri Lanka to Nepal to Pakistan — “lacks transparency and sustainability” and is saddling those nations with “predatory debt.”

But for all of our concerns about One Belt One Road, we have to have a positive vision,” she said.

“India and the United States and Japan and Australia and others have to stand for something, and we have to be able to provide countries with alternatives, options and sensible financing that meets the highest standards,” she said.

Ms. Wells and others stressed that President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi see eye to eye on the matter.

Several at this weekend’s conference told The Times that the U.S. and India need to get serious about expanding their military-to-military alliance to make clear who controls the Indo-Pacific.

“China’s activities create a large amount of impetus for a more focused and more action-oriented India and U.S. navy-to-navy, maritime-to-maritime, country-to-country engagement,” former Indian Vice Adm. Pradeep Chauhan told The Times.

Nitin Pai, co-founder of an Indian think tank on international policy, went further, telling The Times that there is “no choice. We’ve got to be able to manage China’s increasing influence in the Indian Ocean region, including the military aspect of it.”

In Mr. Pai’s mind, a dangerous military strategy undergirds Beijing’s expanding investment in regional seaports, though China presents the investment as purely economic and benevolent.

He argued that India should more deeply engage in operations beyond the Indian Ocean — more toward Chinese-claimed waters near East Asia — through joint exercises with the U.S. and others, including Japan, Australia, South Korea and Vietnam.

“India should be sending its naval forces east of Singapore so that we play an active role in the balance of power in the Western Pacific,” he said. “In my view, we have no choice but to do this.”


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Many say Mr. Trump’s popularity here stems from his recent halt on all nonessential U.S. aid to India’s rival, Pakistan. But Mr. Mehta told The Times that Indians were excited about the U.S. president before he cut aid to Pakistan.

Rajan Navani, who manages an organization pushing digital-sector international trade for India, [said]: “It makes complete sense for India and the U.S. to align geopolitically when it comes to China.”

James Carafano, the head of national security and foreign affairs research at The Heritage Foundation, told The Times that he has “misgivings about India’s ability to think as a global power.”

“India knows it can’t live in a world where Beijing is the new London, and basically what Beijing is doing right now is an attempt to re-create the British Empire in reverse,” Mr. Carafano said. “The Indians know they can’t compete with China without technology that only the U.S. is likely to deliver, and they know that’s why they should work us.

“As for why we should work with them, look, the U.S. has to be strong in Europe, the Mideast and in Asia, simultaneously, and we just can’t do that without partners,” he said. “From a military strategic standpoint, the biggest thing we get from partnering with India is geography. It’s control of the Indian Ocean, which most of the world’s stuff travels through. We have a joint notion with India to keep it open to all, while the Chinese want to control it.”

Michael Pillsbury, the head of Chinese strategy at the Hudson Institute, said: …New Delhi realized the gravity of the situation last summer during a standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along a disputed Himalayan border territory after Beijing suddenly begun building a road through the area.

“I predict more U.S. military sales to India very soon,” Mr. Pillsbury said.

Total U.S.-Indian trade continues to rise, hitting nearly $120 billion last year, and Indians are by far the top recipients of H-1B visas, which provide highly skilled, educated Indian labor to the U.S. tech sector.

At the same time, economic expansion in India, whose population of 1.3 billion is projected to soon eclipse China as the world’s largest, presents what many see as a vital growing market for U.S. companies.

Ms. Wells, meanwhile, stressed that the wider alliance known in diplomatic circles as “the Quad” — the U.S., India, Japan and Australia — is suited to grow such a framework but needs to think more creatively about how to increase private investment.

“How do we tap our private sectors, which is a huge asset that we have?” said Ms. Wells. “[We must] work with our private sectors through trade development authority and feasibility studies and provide the private sectors with the information they need to be able to tap into what is a huge demand for infrastructure in this region.”

THREE EURASIAN EMPIRES CHALLENGING THE WEST

April 7, 2018

China is the leading predator state on the world island (Eurasia and Africa). Its rise is not peaceful. Instead it is a predator state. The first step is the militarization of islands in the South China Sea. Other predator empires on the world island are Russia and Iran/Persia. Historical examples of predator empires are Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

Typical for these empires is territorial aggression – grabbing territory and resources. They claim that nearby territories (both land and maritime) have been ”stolen” from them. They are guided by a philosophy of grievance or victimization by historical injustices. China is a typical example of this tendency. Recently Russia has been claiming territory in Eastern Europe, occupied Crimea and areas in eastern Ukraine. The question now is if Moscow will claim and re-occupy for instance Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia.

Iran is presently seeking to destabilize the Middle East in search of greater influence. Behind this might also be a wish for territorial expansion.

China is involved in a border conflict with India and has a history of controlling tributary states. Some of these were Nepal, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia but also Mongolia and Korea. The doctrine of Confucius stated that the ruler of China was the Son of Heaven. His example drew ”barbarians” from neighbouring states to Chinese civilization. The foreigners admired the superior culture of China and its civilization. Chinese influence and control was the ”tribute system” which comprised all interstate relations. Trade was used for control and it was also an elaborate ritual. Tribute missions were dispatched to the Chinese capital. It was both a sign of subjugation and a profitable privilege.

One sign that the United States is presently taking a tougher stand against China’s and Russia’s attempt to grab resources is that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is becoming more risk-averse since 2017. Chinese and Russian companies and investors now face more roadblocks. However, most of the deals that CFIUS has sought to block since 2017 have not been announced.

Among the companies that have disclosed they have withdrawn their CFIUS applications and canceled their deals are U.S. electronics maker Inseego Corp, which tried to sell its MiFi mobile hotspot business to Chinese smartphone maker TCL Industries Holdings, and Texas oil producer ExL Petroleum Management LLC, which sought to sell its assets to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s L1 Energy.

By comparison, in the entirety of 2014, the last year for which CFIUS has released official data, nine deals were withdrawn after CFIUS began an investigation.

CFIUS has likely reviewed a record-setting 250 to 300 transactions in 2017, according to Anne Salladin, a CFIUS expert with the law firm Stroock and Stroock and Lavan LLP – up sharply from 147 deals in 2014

The European Union Commission has suggested that EU introduces a similar institution to CFIUS.

Another predatory aspect of China policy is the attempt to buy influence in harbors near to what is by the U.S. Navy defined as ”world maritime chokepoints. Among the most important of these in the Indo-Pacific are the Korean Straits, Makassar Strait between Sulawesi and Borneo, the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra and the Strait of Malacca between the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra. Further west are the Strait of Hormuz and Bab el Mandeb.

Furthermore China cheats in the international trading arena. It uses illegal trade subsidies. Counterfeiting is rampant. The currency manipulation is extensive. The unfair trade practices include lax environmental, health and safety standards.

The U.S. China Commission has urged congress to define in legislation currency manipulation as an illegal export. Such manipulation should be added to other prohibited subsidies. American and European leaders should openly condemn China’s commercial use of its UN veto. It must act responsibly to enjoy the benefits of the international marketplace.

China and Russia have since the Cold War reasserted their influence regionally and globally. Their military capabilities are designed to deny America access in times of crisis and to contest the ability of the United States to operate freely in critical commercial zones during peacetime. In short, they are contesting the American geopolitical advantages and trying to change the international order in their favor. The latest US National Security Strategy document of December 2017 says that China and Russia seek to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests. In short they want a state-driven world economic model.

It is time to protect and defend the West against the three predator empires in Eurasia. To do this the United States should to a greater extent retain overmatch. This should be recognized in a positive way by Canada, Europe, Israel and Australia.