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All Comments / By Eamonn Fingleton
 All Comments / By Eamonn Fingleton
    In discussing this week’s Grenfell Tower tragedy in London, the British politician David Lammy has resorted to coruscating language. The inferno, he says, was a case of “corporate manslaughter.” Although he has not been specific about who he is accusing, several entities evidently have a lot of explaining to do. This includes most obviously the...
  • Ten years after In The Jaws Of The Dragon was published, this from The Economist

    https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21737517-it-bet-china-would-head-towards-democracy-and-market-economy-gamble-has-failed-how

    “How the West got China wrong. It bet that China would head towards democracy and the market economy. The gamble has failed”

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  • @NoldorElf
    IF that were the main reason, there would be no export deficits.

    There would be:

    1. Balanced trade
    2. HIgh levels of capital investment (US corporations are not spending, but hoarding cash)
    3. A positive correlation between productivity and unemployment (the data shows the opposite)


    Somehow Germany and Japan, as Fingleton in his other articles have documented, maintain export surpluses. I would recommend reading Fingleton as he is an expert in this field.

    I'm skeptical about automation taking out most jobs.

    “I’m skeptical about automation taking out most jobs.”

    Sure, it will only take out the manual labour currently being done with low-skilled, cheap labour, both home-grown and imported, freeing them up to be even more fecund than they are now. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

    Interesting to see the first-world flip over into the third-world in mere decades.

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  • “As several British commentators have pointed out, all the evidence is that had the building been run and maintained in the way that was originally intended (with borough council officials maintaining a hands-on approach), the disaster would probably never have happened. ”

    That is extremely hard to believe. For it to be true the councils who were grossly negligent would have had to suddenly become non-negligent just because they didn’t have an intermediary. Why would this be so? They ignored their own regulations over and over again, why would putting them in direct control improve things?

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  • @Anon
    "More recently another aspect of deregulation that has come in for widespread denunciation has been so-called zero-hours contracts. Under such contracts, employers are not required to guarantee workers any minimum number of working hours. Many critics consider the concept to have gutted workers’ bargaining power."

    Zero hours contracts have been around for decades, working perfectly well, as they still do for skilled workers where demand exceeds supply. For example, many IT contractors are effectively on zero hours, in that when the work is finished, the company have the right to release the contractors before the contract expires. "Bank nurses" can pick and choose the hours they work, without fear that the NHS won't call again if they turn down some work.

    The huge difference between the situation now and in, say, 1974, is that there's now an almost infinite supply of low-skilled workers, thanks to the EU accession of Poland, Romania etc. In many factories or warehouses there's a two-tier workforce - people who were employed before 2005, on full time contracts and generally paid above minimum wage - then the more recent "employeees", provided by an agency and on minimum-wage zero hours contracts.

    The gutting of worker bargaining power is a supply and demand issue - the numbers on zero hours are a symptom, not a cause. Those like the Guardian who weep crocodile tears over ZHCs are the same people who want effectively open borders.

    Last time around, the Black Plague (if we may still call it that) solved the labour supply/demand problem, and that led to nearly 700 years of increasing liberty and self-determination in the English-speaking world. Let’s hope it doesn’t take a similar pest, brought in no doubt by our highly prized migrants, as so many of these once controlled or eradicated diseases have been lately, for the common folk to get back some of the power they have lost in the last few decades.

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  • These would be the same civil servants who have made the NHS such a raging success. Good luck with that!

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  • Further study shows that it was EU safety regs combined with the environmental regs. You have this entirely backwards.

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  • The MSM have decided that the local council is to blame, as is Theresa May. But the London mayor is not. Somewhat unusually the chain of command and responsibility has managed to leapfrog a whole tier of government.

    This is nothing to do with the mayor being a swarthy Muslim. Nothing at all.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
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  • @Mark F.
    America produced more manufactured goods last year than ever. But with far fewer people due to automation. That's the main reason manufacturing jobs are in decline.

    IF that were the main reason, there would be no export deficits.

    There would be:

    1. Balanced trade
    2. HIgh levels of capital investment (US corporations are not spending, but hoarding cash)
    3. A positive correlation between productivity and unemployment (the data shows the opposite)

    Somehow Germany and Japan, as Fingleton in his other articles have documented, maintain export surpluses. I would recommend reading Fingleton as he is an expert in this field.

    I’m skeptical about automation taking out most jobs.

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    "I’m skeptical about automation taking out most jobs."
     
    Sure, it will only take out the manual labour currently being done with low-skilled, cheap labour, both home-grown and imported, freeing them up to be even more fecund than they are now. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

    Interesting to see the first-world flip over into the third-world in mere decades.

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  • Many in the world will rethink WTC towers, especially tower 7.

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  • @Logan
    If a 20 pound baby falls 100 feet, it's going about 55 mph by the time it reaches ground level, and generates roughly 1900 foot-pounds of force.

    Thanks Logan. None of the current Lions crew, still less Gatland’s recent locally-based call-ups, could make that pass. Maybe an All-Black?

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  • @Anon
    "More recently another aspect of deregulation that has come in for widespread denunciation has been so-called zero-hours contracts. Under such contracts, employers are not required to guarantee workers any minimum number of working hours. Many critics consider the concept to have gutted workers’ bargaining power."

    Zero hours contracts have been around for decades, working perfectly well, as they still do for skilled workers where demand exceeds supply. For example, many IT contractors are effectively on zero hours, in that when the work is finished, the company have the right to release the contractors before the contract expires. "Bank nurses" can pick and choose the hours they work, without fear that the NHS won't call again if they turn down some work.

    The huge difference between the situation now and in, say, 1974, is that there's now an almost infinite supply of low-skilled workers, thanks to the EU accession of Poland, Romania etc. In many factories or warehouses there's a two-tier workforce - people who were employed before 2005, on full time contracts and generally paid above minimum wage - then the more recent "employeees", provided by an agency and on minimum-wage zero hours contracts.

    The gutting of worker bargaining power is a supply and demand issue - the numbers on zero hours are a symptom, not a cause. Those like the Guardian who weep crocodile tears over ZHCs are the same people who want effectively open borders.

    Those Accession-country peons are as a consequence of their (locally) pitiful pay, thrust squarely into the Working Tax Credits zone. Bring the family, claim for the lot. Claim the rent. NHS treatment for grandma. Even better, let them stay home and just claim for the kids. If you don’t have any, just invent some.

    16 hrs a week playing at some notional private enterprise “self-employed” set-up will pull in a good wedge, and more importantly, a whole raft of benefits provided you can demonstrate dependents. So we get car-washing by hand, hairdressing, tailoring and alterations, nailbars, and mini-cab driving.

    Any savings one makes living temporarily and illegally crammed into a local authority semi or (dare I say it) towerblock flat, hot bedding, or two families to a room, go a long, long way to an early and wealthy retirement in Transylvania. Or Togo. With maybe a couple of extra girlfriends or even wives. Whose many, many uncontraceptived children will be motivated to make a similar fortune … guess where?

    Meanwhile the same setup won’t even keep the local Brits in oven-chips and lager. They have to pay London prices for everything, all their lives, and eventually die in poverty (homeless, of course). Probably unable to “afford” a family at all.

    Well done ‘British’ Business! Almost all the costs of your non-corporation-tax-paying rackets, including the wages have been palmed off on the working, PAYE, IR35-paying public. Enjoy your private islands and yachts. This can go on forever, obviously …

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  • @TWS
    Wasn't this caused by green regulation? Putting a flammable cladding on the building to save energy? Regulations are to blame. When will you look up at the fields of crosses blighting your landscape and realize your windfarms do nothing but kill birds? Does the cult of Gaia know no bounds?

    Not directly. As there are non-flammable claddings with similar insulation characteristics that could have been used. And probably even the “flammable” material could have been used safely if properly installed.

    However, you point out a real problem. When I used to teach classes about how to deal with water-damaged buildings, I would point out that some new materials and assemblies that were going up for “energy conservation” reasons would react less well to getting wet.

    A common response was, “So you’re in favor of wasting energy and killing the planet!”

    Facepalm.

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  • @El Dato
    Frankly I don't see where "deregulation" comes into this at all.

    Like, at all.

    Bad cladding practice, bad regulation regarding cladding practice, silly, possibly corrupt acquisition of inappropriate cladding, and non-enforcement of fire regulations, yes.

    But deregulation?

    Might as well be aliens.

    Actually, mostly is (though I don't debase myself in cheering the death tool as some commenteros are wont to do)

    Now, how come this doesn't happen in France where "HLMs" are the urban blight of the "banlieues", as well as sources of cultural enrichment?

    Deregulation, if it means anything, presumably refers to a smaller number of regulations.

    Being opposed to deregulation, therefore, seems to mean being in favor of a larger number of regulations.

    But when it comes to safety the issue is simply not the number of regulations, it’s whether they are the right regulations.

    I’ll go out on a limb here and state that this tragedy was the result of one or more factors. None of which have anything at all to do with the number of regulations existing.

    1. Regulations were inadequate or just wrong. Possibly because the “greenness” of a material was inappropriately privileged over its fire safety.

    2. Regulations were not followed, whether in using the wrong material or in not installing it properly.

    3. Tying in with 2, regulations were not properly inspected nor enforced.

    Increasing the number of regulations will simply not prevent another such disaster. The solution is to have the right (not necessarily more) regulations, and then enforce them properly.

    Fewer, but well chosen and strictly enforced, regulations are infinitely preferable to more but less well enforced regulations.

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  • @Expletive Deleted
    Oh I see. The Daily Mail strikes again.

    Grenfell Tower fire is believed to have started shortly before 1am when a fridge on the seventh floor exploded. Samira Lamrini said: 'The man whose flat it was came out and said it was his flat. He was a slim, tall, white British man.
    'He was pointing at the fire on a lower floor and said, 'That's my flat, that's it'. He said it was his fridge that had exploded.
    'He started filming it on his phone. He was upset but I don't think he had a clue about the scale of what was happening.
    'After that the fire went up in minutes, it was so fast. The speed with which it took hold was terrifying. It was like a tissue being set alight. It just went whoosh, so quickly. I didn't see him after that.' (Daily Mail 15/06/2017).
     

    'People have lost their lives. I can't bear it': Ethiopian taxi driver whose faulty fridge started the inferno' says he'll 'never get over' how many were killed. Behailu Kebede raised the alarm as the Grenfell Tower inferno began to spread, his neighbours have said. Father of one, a taxi driver from Ethiopia,discovered the fire in his fourth floor kitchen ahead of blaze.Tower block resident Maryam Adam said he knocked on her door to warn her at 12.50am on Tuesday night. (Daily Mail 16/06/2017).
     
    Ms Lamrani (who seems to be Moroccan, and therefore reasonably aware of the subtle differences between Ethiopians and Brits) is also, surprise surprise, the source of the flying baby story, among other tales.

    Lamrini then said she saw a woman from a ninth or tenth story window with a baby.
    The woman signaled she was going to drop the child to those below, crying out "I'm about to throw my baby. Please catch the baby!" according to Lamrani.
    Moments later, she did.
    A man ran from the crowd of witnesses to catch the falling child. He then took the child to safety.
    Lamrani calls it was a "miraculous" rescue.
     

    If a 20 pound baby falls 100 feet, it’s going about 55 mph by the time it reaches ground level, and generates roughly 1900 foot-pounds of force.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Thanks Logan. None of the current Lions crew, still less Gatland's recent locally-based call-ups, could make that pass. Maybe an All-Black?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “More recently another aspect of deregulation that has come in for widespread denunciation has been so-called zero-hours contracts. Under such contracts, employers are not required to guarantee workers any minimum number of working hours. Many critics consider the concept to have gutted workers’ bargaining power.”

    Zero hours contracts have been around for decades, working perfectly well, as they still do for skilled workers where demand exceeds supply. For example, many IT contractors are effectively on zero hours, in that when the work is finished, the company have the right to release the contractors before the contract expires. “Bank nurses” can pick and choose the hours they work, without fear that the NHS won’t call again if they turn down some work.

    The huge difference between the situation now and in, say, 1974, is that there’s now an almost infinite supply of low-skilled workers, thanks to the EU accession of Poland, Romania etc. In many factories or warehouses there’s a two-tier workforce – people who were employed before 2005, on full time contracts and generally paid above minimum wage – then the more recent “employeees”, provided by an agency and on minimum-wage zero hours contracts.

    The gutting of worker bargaining power is a supply and demand issue – the numbers on zero hours are a symptom, not a cause. Those like the Guardian who weep crocodile tears over ZHCs are the same people who want effectively open borders.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Those Accession-country peons are as a consequence of their (locally) pitiful pay, thrust squarely into the Working Tax Credits zone. Bring the family, claim for the lot. Claim the rent. NHS treatment for grandma. Even better, let them stay home and just claim for the kids. If you don't have any, just invent some.

    16 hrs a week playing at some notional private enterprise "self-employed" set-up will pull in a good wedge, and more importantly, a whole raft of benefits provided you can demonstrate dependents. So we get car-washing by hand, hairdressing, tailoring and alterations, nailbars, and mini-cab driving.

    Any savings one makes living temporarily and illegally crammed into a local authority semi or (dare I say it) towerblock flat, hot bedding, or two families to a room, go a long, long way to an early and wealthy retirement in Transylvania. Or Togo. With maybe a couple of extra girlfriends or even wives. Whose many, many uncontraceptived children will be motivated to make a similar fortune ... guess where?

    Meanwhile the same setup won't even keep the local Brits in oven-chips and lager. They have to pay London prices for everything, all their lives, and eventually die in poverty (homeless, of course). Probably unable to "afford" a family at all.

    Well done 'British' Business! Almost all the costs of your non-corporation-tax-paying rackets, including the wages have been palmed off on the working, PAYE, IR35-paying public. Enjoy your private islands and yachts. This can go on forever, obviously ...

    , @The Alarmist
    Last time around, the Black Plague (if we may still call it that) solved the labour supply/demand problem, and that led to nearly 700 years of increasing liberty and self-determination in the English-speaking world. Let's hope it doesn't take a similar pest, brought in no doubt by our highly prized migrants, as so many of these once controlled or eradicated diseases have been lately, for the common folk to get back some of the power they have lost in the last few decades.
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  • anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @epnngg
    On a side note...I couldn't help but notice that despite the totally engulfed high rise, the structure did remain standing. Compare that to the Twin Towers and especially Building 7 that had a "furniture fire" burning on its upper floors collapsing rapidly into their own footprints after only a few hours of fire. Odd.

    Odd, indeed.

    So odd, that the original 2006 Presidential Commission Report on the 9/11 disaster had not one word about the collapse of Building 7.

    (A half-assed 2007 addendum, subsequently rushed out to quell the resulting shitstorm of criticism, made a feeble attempt to explain 7′s collapse in innocuous terms.)

    But, there you go. Noticing things.

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  • @NoldorElf
    Let's face it, these neoliberals and neoconservatives have sold people a bill of goods:

    - First they send manufacturing overseas. I'll note that nati0ns like Germany, who were smarter about the economic policy still have manufacturing. Fingleton is an expert on Japan, so he can speak to that better than I can. They have a manufacturing sector, hint, hint.

    Free trade is also responsible for other problems, such as the illegal immigration crisis. NAFTA bankrupted a lot of Mexican farmers and effectively halted wage growth in Mexico.

    - Second they deregulate the banking sector. The 2008 Financial Crisis is their fault. Disgracefully nobody was sent to jail over them.

    - Third, all these needless wars. They make the defense industry rich. They sure as hell have not made the world a safer place. Quite the opposite. ISIS is their fault. The Unz review has a pretty extensive set of articles describing this situation.

    - Fourth, their other policies of privatizing everything and deregulating everything have led to this crisis. This fire is an example of the consequences.

    There is an alarming similarity between this and the 19th century, where the rich ruthlessly exploited the poor. It looks like the elite have looted society in their greed.

    Eamonn Fingleton points out some very important facts about how messed up this whole situation is.

    America produced more manufactured goods last year than ever. But with far fewer people due to automation. That’s the main reason manufacturing jobs are in decline.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NoldorElf
    IF that were the main reason, there would be no export deficits.

    There would be:

    1. Balanced trade
    2. HIgh levels of capital investment (US corporations are not spending, but hoarding cash)
    3. A positive correlation between productivity and unemployment (the data shows the opposite)


    Somehow Germany and Japan, as Fingleton in his other articles have documented, maintain export surpluses. I would recommend reading Fingleton as he is an expert in this field.

    I'm skeptical about automation taking out most jobs.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Let’s face it, these neoliberals and neoconservatives have sold people a bill of goods:

    - First they send manufacturing overseas. I’ll note that nati0ns like Germany, who were smarter about the economic policy still have manufacturing. Fingleton is an expert on Japan, so he can speak to that better than I can. They have a manufacturing sector, hint, hint.

    Free trade is also responsible for other problems, such as the illegal immigration crisis. NAFTA bankrupted a lot of Mexican farmers and effectively halted wage growth in Mexico.

    - Second they deregulate the banking sector. The 2008 Financial Crisis is their fault. Disgracefully nobody was sent to jail over them.

    - Third, all these needless wars. They make the defense industry rich. They sure as hell have not made the world a safer place. Quite the opposite. ISIS is their fault. The Unz review has a pretty extensive set of articles describing this situation.

    - Fourth, their other policies of privatizing everything and deregulating everything have led to this crisis. This fire is an example of the consequences.

    There is an alarming similarity between this and the 19th century, where the rich ruthlessly exploited the poor. It looks like the elite have looted society in their greed.

    Eamonn Fingleton points out some very important facts about how messed up this whole situation is.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark F.
    America produced more manufactured goods last year than ever. But with far fewer people due to automation. That's the main reason manufacturing jobs are in decline.
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  • @El Dato
    Frankly I don't see where "deregulation" comes into this at all.

    Like, at all.

    Bad cladding practice, bad regulation regarding cladding practice, silly, possibly corrupt acquisition of inappropriate cladding, and non-enforcement of fire regulations, yes.

    But deregulation?

    Might as well be aliens.

    Actually, mostly is (though I don't debase myself in cheering the death tool as some commenteros are wont to do)

    Now, how come this doesn't happen in France where "HLMs" are the urban blight of the "banlieues", as well as sources of cultural enrichment?

    “Frankly I don’t see where “deregulation” comes into this at all.”

    Well, I do.– Deregulation of immigration that is.

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  • @Expletive Deleted

    A white man in whose kitchen the fire started (allegedly because of a fridge which is possible) is said to have had his clothes packed and moved out of his flat into the hall, before he informed the neighbors.
     
    The man who allegedly (since we have only the neighbour woman's account for this) watched his fridge combust, and then diligently packed his gear and thoughtfully woke up said neighbour as he headed for the stairs was Mr Behailu Kebedi, an Ethiopian taxi driver of a most un-white countenance. And it's been all over the papers since day one. So I don't know where you got that little tidbit from.

    There are all sorts of unlikely tales swirling around the tower, such as the unnamed man catching a mystery baby tossed from 10th floor (in the dark and smoke? What is the likely trajectory and terminal velocity, at sea-level, of a healthy infant? Do not attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once).
    I also heard two women on the radio claim that they were starting a collection for the inhabitants because the entire building was occupied by people from a single town, their hometown, in Morocco. It may well have seemed like that to them, I dunno.

    The baby would have been going too fast to survive the deceleration, and I never believed it, Thanks for the clarifications inc about the baby story coming from the same person who identified as a tall white man as the fire starter.

    Ms Adam is with child, and in certain cultures a pregnant woman is believed to have the power of the Evil Eye. Adam, (the neighbour) was quite clear that after she was informed she looked in his flat, seeing there was already a fire in the man’s kitchen, yet he had already taken time to pack clothes ect because she saw them in the hall outside his door

    It would be a very unusual person to go out the kitchen, where a fire was (unpredictably) developing and filling the place with smoke , and into the bedroom to take the appreciable amount of time to pack luggage. Dubious.

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  • I did Jury Service a couple of years ago and the defendant (Sexual Abuse case) was a Moroccan who was living here illegally. I seemed to be the only person who was surprised that he had been here twenty years.

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  • @Expletive Deleted
    I lived on the top floor, coincidentally the 14th, of a block in a notoriously grim estate from '86 to '93.
    Ancient, probably 1940s gas cooker, acquired from where I don't remember. All the flats had North Sea gas, which was a blessing as the electric underfloor heating (just resistance wires cast into the floorslabs I think, or something equally primitive) was unusable due to the cost. Built in the days when nuclear was going to make the leccy "too cheap to meter".
    You could fill the oven with bricks and use the heavy iron monster of a stove to keep warm.
    Less active people (single mums with a handful of children, oldsters, and alcoholics/druggies downstairs) used SuperSer type butane canister (I think 13kg?) heaters or tall Aladdin-type paraffin (kerosene) things (which worried even me at the time).
    The building reeked like a trawler. The lifts (elevators) were off as often as not, and the stair was narrow, windowless and almost a spiral.
    The Council seemed think this was all fine and dandy. Otherwise they'd have had to rehouse all the paupers in buildings where they had a chance of surviving the winter without their (painfully saved up for and purchased) gas and paraffin deathtraps. Quite a few had had the electric cut off for debt, and the card meters ripped through their allowance in no time, being on a premium rate.

    As I wrote elsewhere, there are still Councils which try to apply 1st World standards, and others which don’t. The nearer to London, the more the latter predominate.

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  • Frankly I don’t see where “deregulation” comes into this at all.

    Like, at all.

    Bad cladding practice, bad regulation regarding cladding practice, silly, possibly corrupt acquisition of inappropriate cladding, and non-enforcement of fire regulations, yes.

    But deregulation?

    Might as well be aliens.

    Actually, mostly is (though I don’t debase myself in cheering the death tool as some commenteros are wont to do)

    Now, how come this doesn’t happen in France where “HLMs” are the urban blight of the “banlieues”, as well as sources of cultural enrichment?

    Read More
    • Agree: TWS
    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
    "Frankly I don’t see where “deregulation” comes into this at all."

    Well, I do.-- Deregulation of immigration that is.
    , @Logan
    Deregulation, if it means anything, presumably refers to a smaller number of regulations.

    Being opposed to deregulation, therefore, seems to mean being in favor of a larger number of regulations.

    But when it comes to safety the issue is simply not the number of regulations, it's whether they are the right regulations.

    I'll go out on a limb here and state that this tragedy was the result of one or more factors. None of which have anything at all to do with the number of regulations existing.

    1. Regulations were inadequate or just wrong. Possibly because the "greenness" of a material was inappropriately privileged over its fire safety.

    2. Regulations were not followed, whether in using the wrong material or in not installing it properly.

    3. Tying in with 2, regulations were not properly inspected nor enforced.

    Increasing the number of regulations will simply not prevent another such disaster. The solution is to have the right (not necessarily more) regulations, and then enforce them properly.

    Fewer, but well chosen and strictly enforced, regulations are infinitely preferable to more but less well enforced regulations.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Expletive Deleted

    A white man in whose kitchen the fire started (allegedly because of a fridge which is possible) is said to have had his clothes packed and moved out of his flat into the hall, before he informed the neighbors.
     
    The man who allegedly (since we have only the neighbour woman's account for this) watched his fridge combust, and then diligently packed his gear and thoughtfully woke up said neighbour as he headed for the stairs was Mr Behailu Kebedi, an Ethiopian taxi driver of a most un-white countenance. And it's been all over the papers since day one. So I don't know where you got that little tidbit from.

    There are all sorts of unlikely tales swirling around the tower, such as the unnamed man catching a mystery baby tossed from 10th floor (in the dark and smoke? What is the likely trajectory and terminal velocity, at sea-level, of a healthy infant? Do not attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once).
    I also heard two women on the radio claim that they were starting a collection for the inhabitants because the entire building was occupied by people from a single town, their hometown, in Morocco. It may well have seemed like that to them, I dunno.

    Oh I see. The Daily Mail strikes again.

    Grenfell Tower fire is believed to have started shortly before 1am when a fridge on the seventh floor exploded. Samira Lamrini said: ‘The man whose flat it was came out and said it was his flat. He was a slim, tall, white British man.
    ‘He was pointing at the fire on a lower floor and said, ‘That’s my flat, that’s it’. He said it was his fridge that had exploded.
    ‘He started filming it on his phone. He was upset but I don’t think he had a clue about the scale of what was happening.
    ‘After that the fire went up in minutes, it was so fast. The speed with which it took hold was terrifying. It was like a tissue being set alight. It just went whoosh, so quickly. I didn’t see him after that.’ (Daily Mail 15/06/2017).

    ‘People have lost their lives. I can’t bear it’: Ethiopian taxi driver whose faulty fridge started the inferno’ says he’ll ‘never get over’ how many were killed. Behailu Kebede raised the alarm as the Grenfell Tower inferno began to spread, his neighbours have said. Father of one, a taxi driver from Ethiopia,discovered the fire in his fourth floor kitchen ahead of blaze.Tower block resident Maryam Adam said he knocked on her door to warn her at 12.50am on Tuesday night. (Daily Mail 16/06/2017).

    Ms Lamrani (who seems to be Moroccan, and therefore reasonably aware of the subtle differences between Ethiopians and Brits) is also, surprise surprise, the source of the flying baby story, among other tales.

    Lamrini then said she saw a woman from a ninth or tenth story window with a baby.
    The woman signaled she was going to drop the child to those below, crying out “I’m about to throw my baby. Please catch the baby!” according to Lamrani.
    Moments later, she did.
    A man ran from the crowd of witnesses to catch the falling child. He then took the child to safety.
    Lamrani calls it was a “miraculous” rescue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Logan
    If a 20 pound baby falls 100 feet, it's going about 55 mph by the time it reaches ground level, and generates roughly 1900 foot-pounds of force.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Verymuchalive
    I had the misfortune to live in a British High Rise for a short period. The Council was strict but sensible. Only buildings of 5 storeys or less were permitted to have mains gas. I lived on the third floor, but as it was a 14 storey block, I could only have electricity.
    Portable propane and similar were absolutely verboten. They could and did evict people for this practice.
    I would be grateful if you could direct me to the source of this story.

    I lived on the top floor, coincidentally the 14th, of a block in a notoriously grim estate from ’86 to ’93.
    Ancient, probably 1940s gas cooker, acquired from where I don’t remember. All the flats had North Sea gas, which was a blessing as the electric underfloor heating (just resistance wires cast into the floorslabs I think, or something equally primitive) was unusable due to the cost. Built in the days when nuclear was going to make the leccy “too cheap to meter”.
    You could fill the oven with bricks and use the heavy iron monster of a stove to keep warm.
    Less active people (single mums with a handful of children, oldsters, and alcoholics/druggies downstairs) used SuperSer type butane canister (I think 13kg?) heaters or tall Aladdin-type paraffin (kerosene) things (which worried even me at the time).
    The building reeked like a trawler. The lifts (elevators) were off as often as not, and the stair was narrow, windowless and almost a spiral.
    The Council seemed think this was all fine and dandy. Otherwise they’d have had to rehouse all the paupers in buildings where they had a chance of surviving the winter without their (painfully saved up for and purchased) gas and paraffin deathtraps. Quite a few had had the electric cut off for debt, and the card meters ripped through their allowance in no time, being on a premium rate.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    As I wrote elsewhere, there are still Councils which try to apply 1st World standards, and others which don't. The nearer to London, the more the latter predominate.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sean
    Stuffed full of people who would have the right to buy and resell after a few years and trouser several hundred grand or more. Third Worlders having being given a massive gift like that had every the long standing advice to stay inside flats during a conflagration in the building. Some were ordered back inside by the firemen, and they obeyed.

    One person made sure he got out, but he may have quite a while to think it through. A white man in whose kitchen the fire started (allegedly because of a fridge which is possible) is said to have had his clothes packed and moved out of his flat into the hall, before he informed the neighbors. The neighbour saw the luggage in the hall and the fire in his kitchen. So the fire likely started (or was started) quite a while before the alarm was raised. The man also behaved oddly outside. Yeah he got out with his stuff in plenty of time. He should get serious time in gaol.

    The dry rise pipework (enabling the fire brigade to use hoses on any, even the topmost, floor may have had the valves stolen for scrap value.

    I agree about deregulation.

    A white man in whose kitchen the fire started (allegedly because of a fridge which is possible) is said to have had his clothes packed and moved out of his flat into the hall, before he informed the neighbors.

    The man who allegedly (since we have only the neighbour woman’s account for this) watched his fridge combust, and then diligently packed his gear and thoughtfully woke up said neighbour as he headed for the stairs was Mr Behailu Kebedi, an Ethiopian taxi driver of a most un-white countenance. And it’s been all over the papers since day one. So I don’t know where you got that little tidbit from.

    There are all sorts of unlikely tales swirling around the tower, such as the unnamed man catching a mystery baby tossed from 10th floor (in the dark and smoke? What is the likely trajectory and terminal velocity, at sea-level, of a healthy infant? Do not attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once).
    I also heard two women on the radio claim that they were starting a collection for the inhabitants because the entire building was occupied by people from a single town, their hometown, in Morocco. It may well have seemed like that to them, I dunno.

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    Oh I see. The Daily Mail strikes again.

    Grenfell Tower fire is believed to have started shortly before 1am when a fridge on the seventh floor exploded. Samira Lamrini said: 'The man whose flat it was came out and said it was his flat. He was a slim, tall, white British man.
    'He was pointing at the fire on a lower floor and said, 'That's my flat, that's it'. He said it was his fridge that had exploded.
    'He started filming it on his phone. He was upset but I don't think he had a clue about the scale of what was happening.
    'After that the fire went up in minutes, it was so fast. The speed with which it took hold was terrifying. It was like a tissue being set alight. It just went whoosh, so quickly. I didn't see him after that.' (Daily Mail 15/06/2017).
     

    'People have lost their lives. I can't bear it': Ethiopian taxi driver whose faulty fridge started the inferno' says he'll 'never get over' how many were killed. Behailu Kebede raised the alarm as the Grenfell Tower inferno began to spread, his neighbours have said. Father of one, a taxi driver from Ethiopia,discovered the fire in his fourth floor kitchen ahead of blaze.Tower block resident Maryam Adam said he knocked on her door to warn her at 12.50am on Tuesday night. (Daily Mail 16/06/2017).
     
    Ms Lamrani (who seems to be Moroccan, and therefore reasonably aware of the subtle differences between Ethiopians and Brits) is also, surprise surprise, the source of the flying baby story, among other tales.

    Lamrini then said she saw a woman from a ninth or tenth story window with a baby.
    The woman signaled she was going to drop the child to those below, crying out "I'm about to throw my baby. Please catch the baby!" according to Lamrani.
    Moments later, she did.
    A man ran from the crowd of witnesses to catch the falling child. He then took the child to safety.
    Lamrani calls it was a "miraculous" rescue.
     
    , @Sean
    The baby would have been going too fast to survive the deceleration, and I never believed it, Thanks for the clarifications inc about the baby story coming from the same person who identified as a tall white man as the fire starter.

    Ms Adam is with child, and in certain cultures a pregnant woman is believed to have the power of the Evil Eye. Adam, (the neighbour) was quite clear that after she was informed she looked in his flat, seeing there was already a fire in the man's kitchen, yet he had already taken time to pack clothes ect because she saw them in the hall outside his door

    It would be a very unusual person to go out the kitchen, where a fire was (unpredictably) developing and filling the place with smoke , and into the bedroom to take the appreciable amount of time to pack luggage. Dubious.

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  • @The Anti-Gnostic
    The building was clad in aluminum and polyethylene composite, and residents reported blue flame in units. This has been widely reported and you can do your own homework. So you get two phenomena that, among other lapses, turn a unit fire into The Towering Inferno: the cladding chimneys hot gases up the side of the building before combusting itself, and small propane bombs go off in individual units.

    Fundamentally of course, the local government which owned and managed this monument to Peak Social Democracy had no pricing signals and no profit-and-loss discipline and therefore no incentive to bring this relic up to current industry standards.

    I do hope the Inquiry gets to the bottom of this question and doesn’t whitewash it out of existence.
    Mark Steyn reckons that there may have been as many as 600 people living in Grenfell Tower ( 120 flats of 1 or 2 bedrooms ) If you think 200 bedrooms, that’s 3 persons per bedroom. See https://www.steynonline.com/7921/the-great-fire-of-a-new-london
    The High Rise in which I briefly lived is in part of Britain where the number of 3rd World immigrants is low. The Local Authority, even with anti-social tenants, tries to maintain 1st World standards. It is committed to demolishing all its High Rises.

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  • @Corvinus
    "There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable “green” cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves."

    Sources or retract.

    The building was clad in aluminum and polyethylene composite, and residents reported blue flame in units. This has been widely reported and you can do your own homework. So you get two phenomena that, among other lapses, turn a unit fire into The Towering Inferno: the cladding chimneys hot gases up the side of the building before combusting itself, and small propane bombs go off in individual units.

    Fundamentally of course, the local government which owned and managed this monument to Peak Social Democracy had no pricing signals and no profit-and-loss discipline and therefore no incentive to bring this relic up to current industry standards.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    I do hope the Inquiry gets to the bottom of this question and doesn't whitewash it out of existence.
    Mark Steyn reckons that there may have been as many as 600 people living in Grenfell Tower ( 120 flats of 1 or 2 bedrooms ) If you think 200 bedrooms, that's 3 persons per bedroom. See https://www.steynonline.com/7921/the-great-fire-of-a-new-london
    The High Rise in which I briefly lived is in part of Britain where the number of 3rd World immigrants is low. The Local Authority, even with anti-social tenants, tries to maintain 1st World standards. It is committed to demolishing all its High Rises.
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  • @Anonymous
    An estimate of how much this fire will save in tax revenues would be a nice number to have. Just sayin'

    An estimate of how much this fire will save in tax revenues would be a nice number to have. Just sayin’

    If not the British people, at least the British buildings are doing their best to resist the third world horde. Brings a tear to the eye, it does.

    Some mood music for the occasion:

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  • @The Anti-Gnostic
    There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable "green" cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves.

    “There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable “green” cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves.”

    Sources or retract.

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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    The building was clad in aluminum and polyethylene composite, and residents reported blue flame in units. This has been widely reported and you can do your own homework. So you get two phenomena that, among other lapses, turn a unit fire into The Towering Inferno: the cladding chimneys hot gases up the side of the building before combusting itself, and small propane bombs go off in individual units.

    Fundamentally of course, the local government which owned and managed this monument to Peak Social Democracy had no pricing signals and no profit-and-loss discipline and therefore no incentive to bring this relic up to current industry standards.
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  • @The Anti-Gnostic
    There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable "green" cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves.

    An estimate of how much this fire will save in tax revenues would be a nice number to have. Just sayin’

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    An estimate of how much this fire will save in tax revenues would be a nice number to have. Just sayin’

    If not the British people, at least the British buildings are doing their best to resist the third world horde. Brings a tear to the eye, it does.

    Some mood music for the occasion:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_sY2rjxq6M

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  • @The Anti-Gnostic
    There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable "green" cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves.

    I had the misfortune to live in a British High Rise for a short period. The Council was strict but sensible. Only buildings of 5 storeys or less were permitted to have mains gas. I lived on the third floor, but as it was a 14 storey block, I could only have electricity.
    Portable propane and similar were absolutely verboten. They could and did evict people for this practice.
    I would be grateful if you could direct me to the source of this story.

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    I lived on the top floor, coincidentally the 14th, of a block in a notoriously grim estate from '86 to '93.
    Ancient, probably 1940s gas cooker, acquired from where I don't remember. All the flats had North Sea gas, which was a blessing as the electric underfloor heating (just resistance wires cast into the floorslabs I think, or something equally primitive) was unusable due to the cost. Built in the days when nuclear was going to make the leccy "too cheap to meter".
    You could fill the oven with bricks and use the heavy iron monster of a stove to keep warm.
    Less active people (single mums with a handful of children, oldsters, and alcoholics/druggies downstairs) used SuperSer type butane canister (I think 13kg?) heaters or tall Aladdin-type paraffin (kerosene) things (which worried even me at the time).
    The building reeked like a trawler. The lifts (elevators) were off as often as not, and the stair was narrow, windowless and almost a spiral.
    The Council seemed think this was all fine and dandy. Otherwise they'd have had to rehouse all the paupers in buildings where they had a chance of surviving the winter without their (painfully saved up for and purchased) gas and paraffin deathtraps. Quite a few had had the electric cut off for debt, and the card meters ripped through their allowance in no time, being on a premium rate.
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  • Stuffed full of people who would have the right to buy and resell after a few years and trouser several hundred grand or more. Third Worlders having being given a massive gift like that had every the long standing advice to stay inside flats during a conflagration in the building. Some were ordered back inside by the firemen, and they obeyed.

    One person made sure he got out, but he may have quite a while to think it through. A white man in whose kitchen the fire started (allegedly because of a fridge which is possible) is said to have had his clothes packed and moved out of his flat into the hall, before he informed the neighbors. The neighbour saw the luggage in the hall and the fire in his kitchen. So the fire likely started (or was started) quite a while before the alarm was raised. The man also behaved oddly outside. Yeah he got out with his stuff in plenty of time. He should get serious time in gaol.

    The dry rise pipework (enabling the fire brigade to use hoses on any, even the topmost, floor may have had the valves stolen for scrap value.

    I agree about deregulation.

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    A white man in whose kitchen the fire started (allegedly because of a fridge which is possible) is said to have had his clothes packed and moved out of his flat into the hall, before he informed the neighbors.
     
    The man who allegedly (since we have only the neighbour woman's account for this) watched his fridge combust, and then diligently packed his gear and thoughtfully woke up said neighbour as he headed for the stairs was Mr Behailu Kebedi, an Ethiopian taxi driver of a most un-white countenance. And it's been all over the papers since day one. So I don't know where you got that little tidbit from.

    There are all sorts of unlikely tales swirling around the tower, such as the unnamed man catching a mystery baby tossed from 10th floor (in the dark and smoke? What is the likely trajectory and terminal velocity, at sea-level, of a healthy infant? Do not attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once).
    I also heard two women on the radio claim that they were starting a collection for the inhabitants because the entire building was occupied by people from a single town, their hometown, in Morocco. It may well have seemed like that to them, I dunno.
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  • Fingleton is very sharp on Far East economics and Advanced Manufacturing, but often weak on British domestic matters. This is not surprising, since he has spent nearly all of the last 50 years in Japan.
    So is the case here. British tower block living is almost entirely a social housing phenomenon.
    Nearly all were built between 1955 and 1976 with massive subsidies from Central to Local Government, who were the landlords. In 1976, Britain went cap in hand to the IMF and building stopped permanently.
    Right from the start, the vast majority were poorly constructed and insulated and employed noxious materials like asbestos that have since been banned.
    Not very surprisingly, few Local Authority tenants were keen to live in these buildings and they were used to dump “anti-social” tenants.
    Problems of insulation and dampness quickly became insuperable in many areas. From the late 1980s, they have been demolished as a result. Most noticeably, Glasgow has been demolishing the highest domestic housing in Europe. The ( amusingly named ) Red Road scheme bit the dust a few years back.
    The social housing to replace this stock has been built for Housing Associations, not Local Authorities and has been low- and medium-rise ( 4 to 6 storeys, rather like tenements )
    Grenfell Road was therefore an Architectural Dinosaur. Most Local Authority housing of the period was expected to last 60 years. Grenfell Road lasted 43 years. Even then, it was being used to dump 3rd World immigrants and “Syrian refugees”. Even with expensive refurbishment, it and similar housing schemes were unlikely to survive to 2050.
    I think any inquiry will recommend that High Rises of this provenance be demolished sooner ( 10 to 15 years ) rather than later. With the exception of a few High Quality blocks in a few select areas – central Aberdeen springs to mind – very few will exist shortly, and an aberrant and bizarre period of British Architectural History will be closed.
    The High Rise was a result of massive Central Government subsidy, without which they would not be built. But also massive Deregulation: Local Authorities ignored or circumvented their own planning regulations. They awarded contracts to companies in contravention of building and environmental regulations.
    Of course, Fingleton was in London at the time – except he wasn’t living in a Tower Block !

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  • @TWS
    Wasn't this caused by green regulation? Putting a flammable cladding on the building to save energy? Regulations are to blame. When will you look up at the fields of crosses blighting your landscape and realize your windfarms do nothing but kill birds? Does the cult of Gaia know no bounds?

    There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable “green” cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    I had the misfortune to live in a British High Rise for a short period. The Council was strict but sensible. Only buildings of 5 storeys or less were permitted to have mains gas. I lived on the third floor, but as it was a 14 storey block, I could only have electricity.
    Portable propane and similar were absolutely verboten. They could and did evict people for this practice.
    I would be grateful if you could direct me to the source of this story.
    , @Anonymous
    An estimate of how much this fire will save in tax revenues would be a nice number to have. Just sayin'
    , @Corvinus
    "There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable “green” cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves."

    Sources or retract.
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  • On a side note…I couldn’t help but notice that despite the totally engulfed high rise, the structure did remain standing. Compare that to the Twin Towers and especially Building 7 that had a “furniture fire” burning on its upper floors collapsing rapidly into their own footprints after only a few hours of fire. Odd.

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    • Replies: @anonymous
    Odd, indeed.

    So odd, that the original 2006 Presidential Commission Report on the 9/11 disaster had not one word about the collapse of Building 7.

    (A half-assed 2007 addendum, subsequently rushed out to quell the resulting shitstorm of criticism, made a feeble attempt to explain 7's collapse in innocuous terms.)

    But, there you go. Noticing things.
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  • TWS says:

    Wasn’t this caused by green regulation? Putting a flammable cladding on the building to save energy? Regulations are to blame. When will you look up at the fields of crosses blighting your landscape and realize your windfarms do nothing but kill birds? Does the cult of Gaia know no bounds?

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    • Agree: German_reader
    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    There seems to be a hypothesis forming that this fire morphed into an inferno because a 27-story tower was retro-fitted with flammable "green" cladding, and stuffed full of Third World tax-eaters with portable propane stoves.
    , @Logan
    Not directly. As there are non-flammable claddings with similar insulation characteristics that could have been used. And probably even the "flammable" material could have been used safely if properly installed.

    However, you point out a real problem. When I used to teach classes about how to deal with water-damaged buildings, I would point out that some new materials and assemblies that were going up for "energy conservation" reasons would react less well to getting wet.

    A common response was, "So you're in favor of wasting energy and killing the planet!"

    Facepalm.
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  • If Donald Trump can keep his nerve, he will soon have consigned the North Korean nuclear farce to history – and in doing so will have done much to change the narrative of his hitherto faltering presidency. It is his Cuban-missile-crisis moment. Firmness and level-headedness are necessary in equal measure. And a victory will be...
  • North Korea is not china’s problem. China was not then, and is not now, complicit to this debacle. The north korean “problem” was created by the “empire-of-chaos” not long after WWII when they installed their puppet Lee Syn Man (Syngman Rhee) south of the 38th parallel to run a new country called “south korea”.

    gclub
    http://www.golden-slot.com

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  • @Sean

    The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea. That tends to ensure that trade talks with these mercantilist nations are consigned to the backburner.

    Moreover at times of tension, Pentagon officials inevitably take charge. As the East Asians have gleefully realized for generations, the Pentagon is a remarkably soft touch on trade, and in return for the merest hortatory support for its military objectives will pull the rug from under the most carefully conceived plans drawn up elsewhere in Washington to get East Asia to open up.
     
    Prescient post by Eamonn Fingleton, Trump got rolled by the Chinese in the recent trade deal. He granted them a massive concession: the right to have their investments in the US to be treated no differently than the British's ect. In return he got nothing at all that had not been already conceded before the talks. The Chinese must have promised Trump the moon and the stars over Korea, and Trump, under the influence of foreign policy advisers.

    I’ve seen several reports of times when a relatively dovish South Korean regime was elected and looked at some sort of rapproachement with the North they were bought off with technology transfers, trade restiction easements etc.
    In other words, American Jobs.

    The Warmongers are the enemy of the American people.

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  • […] the Pentagon and State Department have seen as useful sacrifices to avert impending disasters. He notes […]

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  • Sean says:

    The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea. That tends to ensure that trade talks with these mercantilist nations are consigned to the backburner.

    Moreover at times of tension, Pentagon officials inevitably take charge. As the East Asians have gleefully realized for generations, the Pentagon is a remarkably soft touch on trade, and in return for the merest hortatory support for its military objectives will pull the rug from under the most carefully conceived plans drawn up elsewhere in Washington to get East Asia to open up.

    Prescient post by Eamonn Fingleton, Trump got rolled by the Chinese in the recent trade deal. He granted them a massive concession: the right to have their investments in the US to be treated no differently than the British’s ect. In return he got nothing at all that had not been already conceded before the talks. The Chinese must have promised Trump the moon and the stars over Korea, and Trump, under the influence of foreign policy advisers.

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    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    I've seen several reports of times when a relatively dovish South Korean regime was elected and looked at some sort of rapproachement with the North they were bought off with technology transfers, trade restiction easements etc.
    In other words, American Jobs.

    The Warmongers are the enemy of the American people.
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  • Trump’s hands are tied by the bullshit political posturing needed for reelection. If Trump came out today and said this whole NK deal wasn’t worth a damn he would be viciously attacked from all sides. 70 years of stupid anti-communist, America the indispensible nation propaganda has seeped into the average American’s tiny brain.

    The average American is stupid enough to believe that there is something we should and can do for every problem in the world. So naturally, he believes if nothing is done the guy is a coward or incompetent.

    They might even impeach Trump if he ignored NK or said it was insignificant.

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  • The US has absolutely no means to ‘hold Kim’s feet to the fire’. Look how they’re trying to do it now. Is there anything more pointless than sailing a nuclear submarine into the port of a politically unstable half-nation?

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  • @Quartermaster
    Tell Peking that if the Norks go nuke, then we help Japan and South Korea go nuke.

    Anyone blaming this on the US is simply insane. The situations in Iraq and Libya are not comparable. And the US didn't start the effort to bring down Libya, although it was idiotic to support the French and Brits. That mess in on Obama's feckless head.

    China is not in a good position on this, and has been the guarantor of the Norks for years. If they won't help, stop trade with them.

    Japan needs no US help to obtain nuclear weapons. The reason Japan has an uneconomical rocket program and unnecessary, unwanted nuclear power is to maintain its barely covert nuclear weapons capability.

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  • @bach

    It is fair to say that all the more important East Asian nations have a vested interest in exaggerating the North Korean threat. The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea.
     
    Neocon garbage.

    America is an imperial power and uses SKorea and Japan as military outposts with a view to regional hegemony.

    The US divided the Koreas, keep it divided, and refuses detente with NKorea. The North's pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons are predicated by America's aggression and hostilities towards it. Indeed, even when North Korea offered to give up nukes in exchange for a non-aggression pact, the US balked.

    It takes courage to put his name behind such garbage,

    hehehehe

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  • bach says:

    It is fair to say that all the more important East Asian nations have a vested interest in exaggerating the North Korean threat. The more terrifying North Korea is made to appear, the more desperately Washington will seek out advice and help from China, Japan, and South Korea.

    Neocon garbage.

    America is an imperial power and uses SKorea and Japan as military outposts with a view to regional hegemony.

    The US divided the Koreas, keep it divided, and refuses detente with NKorea. The North’s pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons are predicated by America’s aggression and hostilities towards it. Indeed, even when North Korea offered to give up nukes in exchange for a non-aggression pact, the US balked.

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    • Replies: @denk
    It takes courage to put his name behind such garbage,

    hehehehe
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  • @Anonym
    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

    Libya and Iraq didn't have a superpower across the Yalu river ready to send millions of soldiers over the border in case the US wants to help South Korea annex the North.

    Libya and Iraq didn’t have a superpower across the Yalu river ready to send millions of soldiers over the border in case the US wants to help South Korea annex the North.

    It doesn’t matter to the Kims if China is prepared to protect North Korea. The Kims are interested in protecting themselves. They suspect, probably correctly, that the Chinese would love to replace the Kims with a more pliable pro-Chinese regime if the chance offered itself.

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  • Dear Leader Kim needs to work on longer range missiles and nooklear fusion bombs double time.
    Or at least get them into subs and stay hidden.. NK has always said it would only attack after being attacked. So dont attack them and dont threaten them.

    After destroying the north’s farm land, the least the US can do is leave them alone as they seem to get along just fine with people who dont constantly threaten and bully them.

    Kim went on a Pig inspection after threatening to sink Australia. If US troops based there attack NK, they have every right to sink that fat useless tub of a joke.

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  • @romar
    Agreed. The US is far too full of hubris for its own good - and to the detriment of all of us.
    Leave NK alone, no god appointed you to police the world. Leave off bullying the world, and you'll sleep better.
    And by the way, forget about assigning chores to China: they are not your underlings. They look after their own interests.
    Stick to your usual errand boys.

    A little Wiki research shows that the peoples of Korea, China, and Japan have been interacting for the last 2000 years; they have lots of experience with each other. So it seems to me that the best policy for the US government would be to fulfill all treaty obligations (if needed, not “proactively”), but otherwise allow the governments of China, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan to settle there own problems. They have had at least as much success as the western nations have had, and over a much longer time period.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    I thought the article was saying that China and Japan ect will try to keep open access to US markets and they'll use North Korea to distract the US from Trump's trade reforms.

    That’s one of the author’s arguments, based on the premise that the US is simply there because China, South Korea, and Japan ask it to deal with North Korea.

    It doesn’t even make sense as these countries are on opposite sides of the conflict and killed hundreds of thousands of each other in the first go around, and in any future second go around, China will be on the other side and won’t have open access to US markets.

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  • @Randal
    Most observers seem to be of the opinion that the relationship between China and NK is particularly weak at the moment. It's quite possible the NKs have China in mind as much as the US as far as nuclear deterrence is concerned, in the longer run.

    Most observers seem to be of the opinion that the relationship between China and NK is particularly weak at the moment. It’s quite possible the NKs have China in mind as much as the US as far as nuclear deterrence is concerned, in the longer run.

    If so, they already have missiles that will reach China. No, what is precipitating this is Kim’s development of ICBMs.

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  • “…hitherto faltering presidency…”? Hey writer, the Huffington Post is over there.

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  • This author (Eamonn Fingleton) is irrational. For Kim Jong-Un to give up his nukes would literally be suicide for him (see Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi).

    The US govt had an agreement going that it reneged on, under Bush. Why is that a good thing?

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  • @Quartermaster
    Tell Peking that if the Norks go nuke, then we help Japan and South Korea go nuke.

    Anyone blaming this on the US is simply insane. The situations in Iraq and Libya are not comparable. And the US didn't start the effort to bring down Libya, although it was idiotic to support the French and Brits. That mess in on Obama's feckless head.

    China is not in a good position on this, and has been the guarantor of the Norks for years. If they won't help, stop trade with them.

    Cute if they won’t help then stop trade with them and also the billions upon billions of Fed paper they buy,read my lips we won’t tell China jack shit well except as propaganda for the dumbed down American population that is and you must be one of them…

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  • @Dan Hayes
    Eamonn:

    You say that North Korea's nuclear ambitions need be ended quickly and decisively.

    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

    Ignore it.
    It just one more barking mad neocon warmonger.

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  • @Anonymous
    The entire premise of this article - that the US is simply putzing around northeast Asia because China, South Korea, and Japan ask it to - is completely wrong. The US is there because it was a beachhead to contain the Soviet Union and now China.

    I thought the article was saying that China and Japan ect will try to keep open access to US markets and they’ll use North Korea to distract the US from Trump’s trade reforms.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    That's one of the author's arguments, based on the premise that the US is simply there because China, South Korea, and Japan ask it to deal with North Korea.

    It doesn't even make sense as these countries are on opposite sides of the conflict and killed hundreds of thousands of each other in the first go around, and in any future second go around, China will be on the other side and won't have open access to US markets.
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  • The entire premise of this article – that the US is simply putzing around northeast Asia because China, South Korea, and Japan ask it to – is completely wrong. The US is there because it was a beachhead to contain the Soviet Union and now China.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    I thought the article was saying that China and Japan ect will try to keep open access to US markets and they'll use North Korea to distract the US from Trump's trade reforms.
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  • Usa is still at war with NK. Usa currently has a “truce” with NK.

    Its about time to negotiate an end to the war!

    What’s really going on?

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  • Tell Peking that if the Norks go nuke, then we help Japan and South Korea go nuke.

    Anyone blaming this on the US is simply insane. The situations in Iraq and Libya are not comparable. And the US didn’t start the effort to bring down Libya, although it was idiotic to support the French and Brits. That mess in on Obama’s feckless head.

    China is not in a good position on this, and has been the guarantor of the Norks for years. If they won’t help, stop trade with them.

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    • Replies: @bluedog
    Cute if they won't help then stop trade with them and also the billions upon billions of Fed paper they buy,read my lips we won't tell China jack shit well except as propaganda for the dumbed down American population that is and you must be one of them...
    , @RodW
    Japan needs no US help to obtain nuclear weapons. The reason Japan has an uneconomical rocket program and unnecessary, unwanted nuclear power is to maintain its barely covert nuclear weapons capability.
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  • @Dan Hayes
    Eamonn:

    You say that North Korea's nuclear ambitions need be ended quickly and decisively.

    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

    Agree.

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  • @Mao Cheng Ji

    All those suggestions that Kim Jong-un is a seriously irrational – even suicidal – opponent seem particularly off-base.
     
    I agree. And therefore, there's no reason for western paranoia; all they have to do is to stop threatening N.Korea, respect its independence and self-reliance. Juche=autarky; leave them alone, let them run their experiment.

    Agreed. The US is far too full of hubris for its own good – and to the detriment of all of us.
    Leave NK alone, no god appointed you to police the world. Leave off bullying the world, and you’ll sleep better.
    And by the way, forget about assigning chores to China: they are not your underlings. They look after their own interests.
    Stick to your usual errand boys.

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    • Replies: @Dave Shanken
    A little Wiki research shows that the peoples of Korea, China, and Japan have been interacting for the last 2000 years; they have lots of experience with each other. So it seems to me that the best policy for the US government would be to fulfill all treaty obligations (if needed, not "proactively"), but otherwise allow the governments of China, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan to settle there own problems. They have had at least as much success as the western nations have had, and over a much longer time period.
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  • In recent days, China has repeatedly called for a peaceful settlement of the crisis. This is a warning to the US not to attack North Korea. Another Korean War looms, and we will lose if it happens.

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  • Neither anonymous “intelligence sources” nor Malcolm Rifkind dwell in the palace of truth. If they say it’s sunny, you should take your umbrella.

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  • It is crucial that he continue to hold Kim’s feet to the fire. North Korea’s nuclear ambitions need to be ended promptly and decisively. Why? Because, as the world’s knitters know to their advantage, “a stitch in time saves nine” – it is better to fix a problem when it is small than to wait and let it get out of hand.

    On the other hand, nuclear weapons are the only effective guarantee of national sovereignty in the modern world. It’s arguably better if countries like NK can effectively defy would-be world hegemons like the US.

    The embarrassment for North Korea’s tubby leader Kim Jong-un is massive – and it is hardly alleviated by the fact that, as the London Telegraph has pointed out, there is a distinct possibility that one or more foreign military powers hacked into the launch to ensure its failure.

    LOL! So are Rifkind and Fingleton bullshitters, or are they ignorant of the substantial numbers of launch and mission failures experienced by every country that has tried to develop long range missile technology?

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  • @Anonym
    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

    Libya and Iraq didn't have a superpower across the Yalu river ready to send millions of soldiers over the border in case the US wants to help South Korea annex the North.

    Most observers seem to be of the opinion that the relationship between China and NK is particularly weak at the moment. It’s quite possible the NKs have China in mind as much as the US as far as nuclear deterrence is concerned, in the longer run.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Anonym
    Most observers seem to be of the opinion that the relationship between China and NK is particularly weak at the moment. It’s quite possible the NKs have China in mind as much as the US as far as nuclear deterrence is concerned, in the longer run.

    If so, they already have missiles that will reach China. No, what is precipitating this is Kim's development of ICBMs.
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  • Mr. Fingleton is obviously deaf and blind to the perfidy of the USA.

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  • “Rifkind could have added that Japan and South Korea, where many of the chips in the North Korean rocket were probably made, may also have played a part in the outcome.”

    I’d want to be sure about the sourcing and possible back doors in our own high tech military components and software before I did too much chortling about this.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Now that Xi knows that Kim’s missiles can be cyber-neutered and then destroyed, he must be thinking a lot about that greatest chocolate cake, as well as wondering whether opening up the Chinese economy would cost him less than having to deal with a seriously hobbled NK while facing stiff American sanctions and tariffs. My guess is Trump was educating Xi about the latter during the main course at Mar-a-Lago.

    As an aside, I liked the way The Donald described the cake using his signature hyperbole to “brand” the deed as his own doing. The guesstimates of an 150+ IQ seem on the mark to me.

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  • anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The US has been threatening to nuke N Korea from the time of the Korean war so is it any wonder they decided to obtain a nuclear deterrent for themselves? For every action there’s a reaction. US and S Korean forces hold massive military exercises and openly declare themselves to be practicing ‘decapitation’ drills, meaning training to kill the N Korean leadership. When the N Koreans respond with their usual blustery rhetoric then that’s reported worldwide as aggression on their part. We only get half the story. How about an attempt at defusing tension by doing things such as signing a peace treaty and stopping these provocative military maneuvers? They’re not coming over here, we’re going over there.
    Kim Jong-un supposedly went to school in Switzerland so he’s unlikely to be as detached from reality as many make him out to be. Since he was picked as the best successor by his father it’s unlikely he’s as cartoonish in real life as the propaganda says he is. Mocking him as “tubby” is schoolyard childish, especially in light of the fact that the US is world headquarters of morbid obesity.

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  • All those suggestions that Kim Jong-un is a seriously irrational – even suicidal – opponent seem particularly off-base.

    I agree. And therefore, there’s no reason for western paranoia; all they have to do is to stop threatening N.Korea, respect its independence and self-reliance. Juche=autarky; leave them alone, let them run their experiment.

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    • Replies: @romar
    Agreed. The US is far too full of hubris for its own good - and to the detriment of all of us.
    Leave NK alone, no god appointed you to police the world. Leave off bullying the world, and you'll sleep better.
    And by the way, forget about assigning chores to China: they are not your underlings. They look after their own interests.
    Stick to your usual errand boys.
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  • Interesting counter point, isn’t one of the sticking points regarding NK that the Chinese would not want US troops on their border, so Chinese cooperation would need to be sought on the basis of the US removing troops from SK?

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  • @Dan Hayes
    Eamonn:

    You say that North Korea's nuclear ambitions need be ended quickly and decisively.

    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

    Libya and Iraq didn’t have a superpower across the Yalu river ready to send millions of soldiers over the border in case the US wants to help South Korea annex the North.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Randal
    Most observers seem to be of the opinion that the relationship between China and NK is particularly weak at the moment. It's quite possible the NKs have China in mind as much as the US as far as nuclear deterrence is concerned, in the longer run.
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    Libya and Iraq didn’t have a superpower across the Yalu river ready to send millions of soldiers over the border in case the US wants to help South Korea annex the North.

    It doesn't matter to the Kims if China is prepared to protect North Korea. The Kims are interested in protecting themselves. They suspect, probably correctly, that the Chinese would love to replace the Kims with a more pliable pro-Chinese regime if the chance offered itself.
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  • @kauchai9127
    North Korea is not china's problem. China was not then, and is not now, complicit to this debacle. The north korean "problem" was created by the "empire-of-chaos" not long after WWII when they installed their puppet Lee Syn Man (Syngman Rhee) south of the 38th parallel to run a new country called "south korea". An estimated tens of thousands of innocent koreans died protesting and opposing this move from the gun barrels of the empire's troops at this forced partitioning of their country. South Korea is to-date still an "illegitimate" country setup without the consent of the korean people which led to the 1950-53 korean war when kim jong-un's grandfather attempted a futile effort to reunify the whole country.

    The international community should put not only the empire's feet but its big fat ass to the fire.

    Exactly. The US created North Korea from the ruins of its murderous assault on the peninsula. Repeatedly over the years, North Korea, with Chinese assurances, has offered by stop its nuclear program if the US and its vassal South Korea will de-escalate their frequent war games and general military build up.The US – not North Korea – is the recalcitrant party is this dispute, though this truth is of course hidden by the MSM.

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  • Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “All Kim needs to do is show that he is serious about shutting down his nuclear program.”

    Not gonna happen.

    US has been invading too many nations on trumped-up charges.

    What happened to Gaddafi?

    North Korean regime is horrible, but it’s only rational for it not to trust the US and have some insurance against invasion. And nukes are it.

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  • North Korea is not china’s problem. China was not then, and is not now, complicit to this debacle. The north korean “problem” was created by the “empire-of-chaos” not long after WWII when they installed their puppet Lee Syn Man (Syngman Rhee) south of the 38th parallel to run a new country called “south korea”. An estimated tens of thousands of innocent koreans died protesting and opposing this move from the gun barrels of the empire’s troops at this forced partitioning of their country. South Korea is to-date still an “illegitimate” country setup without the consent of the korean people which led to the 1950-53 korean war when kim jong-un’s grandfather attempted a futile effort to reunify the whole country.

    The international community should put not only the empire’s feet but its big fat ass to the fire.

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    • Replies: @JGarbo
    Exactly. The US created North Korea from the ruins of its murderous assault on the peninsula. Repeatedly over the years, North Korea, with Chinese assurances, has offered by stop its nuclear program if the US and its vassal South Korea will de-escalate their frequent war games and general military build up.The US - not North Korea - is the recalcitrant party is this dispute, though this truth is of course hidden by the MSM.
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  • Eamonn:

    You say that North Korea’s nuclear ambitions need be ended quickly and decisively.

    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor, Randal
    • Replies: @Anonym
    The Koreans would be out of their minds to do so. They should be aware what awaits them if they are bereft of nuclear weaponry. Libya and Iraq serve as prime examples.

    Libya and Iraq didn't have a superpower across the Yalu river ready to send millions of soldiers over the border in case the US wants to help South Korea annex the North.
    , @Anonymous
    Agree.
    , @Bill Jones
    Ignore it.
    It just one more barking mad neocon warmonger.
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  • China is now widely seen as the coming superpower. But few even among the west’s China-watchers understand quite how fast this geopolitical freight train is approaching. Moreover, most western observers assume that China’s ambitions are being opposed by its East Asian rival, Japan. In the words of the Economist, Japan is “standing in the way”...
  • @alt-right liberal white
    thats funny, china actually does pretty freaking well considering that it has nearly zero military presence around the globe. Im not disagreeing with your point, at least not completely. But the fact that china does as well as it does without a global military presence or ability to globally project military power pokes quite a few holes in your thesis.

    To be honest, it does sound to me like you're looking for a fight. I hear this rhetoric all the time. I heard the same BS from the people that supported the iraq war and also the current war against isis as well. Recent history shows how amazingly EASY it is to get the american public on board with sub rosa imperialist adventures that are ostensibly portrayed as "defensive" actions. The fact that our secretary of war is called the "secretary of defense" says everything you need to know about american psychology.

    If america can have a military with excellent global power projection then great, Im all for it, whatever. But dont be surprised if said military ends up being used towards blatantly imperialist aims, its almost a guarantee that it would be.

    “…To be honest, it does sound to me like you’re looking for a fight…”

    You’re projecting…something. I don’t know what. If I keep guns in my house does that mean I want to shoot all my neighbors? No it doesn’t your statement is equivalent to saying if you have guns you want to shoot your neighbors and that’s not factual.

    Preparing for war is not promoting war. Some people have a hard time with this idea. I don’t know why. It’s something in the mental makeup of people generally on the Left that they think this way. Any attempt to defend yourself is somehow an aggressive move on everyone else. It’s nonsensical and wrong.

    You ever hear of the Polynesian Island that gave up war? True story. There had some ritual fighting that stopped at the first bloodshed. They did this because war was so costly to their society. Along comes a group of people from another Island. Many of the elders refused to fight so almost all the Men were killed and the Women and Children were enslaved. Now you may think that nonviolence won but I think the nonviolent people lost as they’re dead.

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  • @dfordoom

    Peace and love is great but some people are assholes and will attack you and kill if they think they can get away with it. If we know this is going to happen better to fight on their territory and kill their people than ours. This is not to say I’m looking for a fight. I’m just stating the fact that some people suck and have to be deterred by violence.
     
    When you're showing a willingness to "fight on their territory and kill their people" that does sound kind of aggressive and imperialist. It also sounds severely paranoid. It's a mindset that views every other country as an enemy. They hate us and want to hurt us so it's better to kill them first. The trouble with that is that other countries really will start to hate you because you have a habit of wanting to "fight on their territory and kill their people."

    There's this guy on my street and I think he might hate me. I should go down to his house and kill him and his family, just in case they decide to take my stuff. Better to "fight on their territory and kill their people."

    Paranoia is a terrible thing. It's even worse when you don't recognise that you're slipping into paranoiac thinking.

    “…When you’re showing a willingness to “fight on their territory and kill their people” that does sound kind of aggressive and imperialist. It also sounds severely paranoid. It’s a mindset that views every other country as an enemy. They hate us and want to hurt us so it’s better to kill them first…”

    Both of the objections to what I said are simplistic. I ask you if your so full of love for your common Man why don’t you go to Baltimore Maryland and walk around at night? The reason you won’t it there’s a very high likelihood that you’ll be mugged, beaten and possibly killed. Now I know Baltimore is not the world but there are places like that. To deny this is silly. I ask all of you who think I’m paranoid just how many years have there been of international peace? Not a lot.

    If you’re well armed and everyone knows it then they are less likely to attack you. This is not rocket science. Many people don’t get the “universal love for all meme” but all of them understand force.

    To the commenter on how China does so well with out international forces they have the US to keep order but that’s breaking down so they are rapidly adding mobile forces.

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  • Steve Forbes once joked that if you ever find yourself in a middle seat on a plane and want to create some elbow room, try starting a conversation about U.S. monetary policy. It is a subject whose power to bore the pants off fellow passengers may diminish in coming years. Of dozens of potentially explosive...
  • Some of the ideas here are crazy. Arms race with China??? Our defense industry has so much rot we can’t make a decent jet fighter for a reasonable price. Even if we could the Chinese get the plans from I assume the Jews as they steal all our other tech data and sell it to China.

    Star Wars?? I admit I’m for this kind of spending but I’m also rational enough to see that we’ve gotten very little for the vast amounts of money we spent. Israel has an anti-missile defense, the US, not so much and of course Israel will sell it to the Chinese.

    Besides where are we going to get the money to build all this stuff? As long as the FED, not owned by the US but by Jews, then we have no control over our interest rates, quantity of money or much of anything monetarily wise.

    The Jews own the US and are driving into the ground with glee. They don’t give a damn about us. My only consolation is they will be screwed by the Chinese in the end but that won’t help me much in a apocalyptic race mixed third world US permanently about to have a Super-Balkan race war.

    And who says the Japanese will stick with us? They’ve screwed us on trade for decades. If we change trade relations then they could just ally with China. China might be willing to do so to not have them on our side. Even if they are on our side just exactly how will the Japanese help us?

    It seems to me we must get control of our money supply as the Japanese and Chinese have done. They don’t allow Jews to scrape off of the National budget for every penny of money created. When they make money it’s theirs. In the same way debt is not the near the problem for them as they own the banking system and the money supply. We take over the FED and then start channeling money into industry instead of take overs and financial engineering. Without doing this the rest is pointless. The Jews who run things want us to to fail.

    “…Even if Trump manages to duck the impeachment bullet…”

    The only way to do this is break open 9-11 and the the various scandals around Congress having sex with children. Trump and most everyone doesn’t want to do this because it would show what a rotten piece of shit our leaders are and it would undermine faith in the country but I say it needs done. Where we are now all the Chinese and Japanese need to do to roll Trump is pay off the Congress. We’re in a terrible fix.

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  • “To get back into the game Trump needs to win broad support for a muscular industrial policy, in which government would lead the nation in reaching agreed industrial objectives.”

    One way to get the Republican party on board with this: Frame it as a national defense thing. Say the US must be self sufficient in all technologies the US military uses, and that govt must step in to remedy any deficiencies in that regard.

    In the meantime , aggressively block any technology transfers relevant to defense.

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  • @Anonymous
    It has a powerful military now. It's just not as powerful as America's. It doesn't need to be as powerful as America's and compete with America in an arms race.

    China has historically taken the long view and has kept its own counsel. Short-term thinking in Washington and elsewhere fails to grasp that element of Chinese culture. 1.4 billion+ Chinese represent a long-term challenge and opportunity. Who has patience in Washington these days?

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  • @Anonymous
    The arms race isn't sufficient since China has no reason to enter one. Its credibility isn't based on being a militarily and technologically dominant. An arms race initiated by the US would have to be backed up with provocations and intentions to initiate war with China.

    The US will act through surrogates, and claim to be concerned about the Tibetans or Taiwan’s right to a unilateral declaration of independence.

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  • @Sean

    It has a powerful military now. It’s just not as powerful as America’s
     
    Yes they don't need more than they have, which not going to overheat their economy and stop it growing. China does not want an an arms race now, because it cannot win an arms race now, but if the Chinese economy is left alone to expand it certainly will be able to achieve military supremacy in a generation or two, and then they will start encroaching on us in every way. So we must not waste the opportunity we currently have by leaving China alone.

    The arms race isn’t sufficient since China has no reason to enter one. Its credibility isn’t based on being a militarily and technologically dominant. An arms race initiated by the US would have to be backed up with provocations and intentions to initiate war with China.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    The US will act through surrogates, and claim to be concerned about the Tibetans or Taiwan's right to a unilateral declaration of independence.
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  • @Anonymous
    It has a powerful military now. It's just not as powerful as America's. It doesn't need to be as powerful as America's and compete with America in an arms race.

    It has a powerful military now. It’s just not as powerful as America’s

    Yes they don’t need more than they have, which not going to overheat their economy and stop it growing. China does not want an an arms race now, because it cannot win an arms race now, but if the Chinese economy is left alone to expand it certainly will be able to achieve military supremacy in a generation or two, and then they will start encroaching on us in every way. So we must not waste the opportunity we currently have by leaving China alone.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The arms race isn't sufficient since China has no reason to enter one. Its credibility isn't based on being a militarily and technologically dominant. An arms race initiated by the US would have to be backed up with provocations and intentions to initiate war with China.
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  • @Sean
    But no one in the US believed that the Chinese meant business, until they sent all the elite divisions of the Chinese army into Korea , just as no one believe Putin would annex part of Ukraine until it happened. Experience has taught China that its threats must have credibility, and for that there has to be a powerful military.

    It has a powerful military now. It’s just not as powerful as America’s. It doesn’t need to be as powerful as America’s and compete with America in an arms race.

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    • Replies: @Sean

    It has a powerful military now. It’s just not as powerful as America’s
     
    Yes they don't need more than they have, which not going to overheat their economy and stop it growing. China does not want an an arms race now, because it cannot win an arms race now, but if the Chinese economy is left alone to expand it certainly will be able to achieve military supremacy in a generation or two, and then they will start encroaching on us in every way. So we must not waste the opportunity we currently have by leaving China alone.
    , @Ivy
    China has historically taken the long view and has kept its own counsel. Short-term thinking in Washington and elsewhere fails to grasp that element of Chinese culture. 1.4 billion+ Chinese represent a long-term challenge and opportunity. Who has patience in Washington these days?
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  • @Anonymous
    No it wouldn't, just as it wasn't helpless during the Korean War when China was even weaker.

    But no one in the US believed that the Chinese meant business, until they sent all the elite divisions of the Chinese army into Korea , just as no one believe Putin would annex part of Ukraine until it happened. Experience has taught China that its threats must have credibility, and for that there has to be a powerful military.

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    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It has a powerful military now. It's just not as powerful as America's. It doesn't need to be as powerful as America's and compete with America in an arms race.
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  • @Sean
    Strategic foolishness such as you suggest would make China helpless to stop Taiwan declaring independence by threatening war and a nuclear strike on America, as they did not so long ago, and they would probably lose North Korea and Tibet, like Russia lost Georgia and Ukraine.

    No it wouldn’t, just as it wasn’t helpless during the Korean War when China was even weaker.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    But no one in the US believed that the Chinese meant business, until they sent all the elite divisions of the Chinese army into Korea , just as no one believe Putin would annex part of Ukraine until it happened. Experience has taught China that its threats must have credibility, and for that there has to be a powerful military.
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  • Strategic foolishness such as you suggest would make China helpless to stop Taiwan declaring independence by threatening war and a nuclear strike on America, as they did not so long ago, and they would probably lose North Korea and Tibet, like Russia lost Georgia and Ukraine.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    No it wouldn't, just as it wasn't helpless during the Korean War when China was even weaker.
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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    The US has the power to cause trouble in China's backyard. China could do like Russia, which refrained and then it lost the Ukraine. This is with nuclear weapons.What would it have lost next? A nuclear missile defence capability being developed by the US would strike at the heart of China's credibility, they cannot afford to stay out of any arms race.

    The US has been doing that since the PRC’s inception:

    https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Tibet-Modern-Studies-Paperback/dp/0700617884

    Why would China have to keep up with the arms race? China has always been behind the US militarily and technologically. The PRC’s credibility isn’t based on military or technological superiority. Unlike the Soviet Union, which was. China intervened in the Korean War against the US when it was much more backward and had basically no industrial capacity, and the military and technological gap between the US and PRC was enormous. That gulf had no impact on China’s credibility then, and the gap today won’t either. Military pressure will have to be backed by the intent to wage war.

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  • @Anonymous
    Exactly. The "military pressure" and threats are meaningless without the intent to actually wage war. If China refrained from entering the arms race, then the US would have to provoke China or move closer to initiating war in order for military pressure to have any purchase.

    It seems less like the US is trying to start an arms race with China, and more like the US may try to apply its North Korea strategy on China: threaten China militarily and try to provoke it into some sort of military retaliation which can then be used as an excuse for economic sanctions and isolation.

    The US has the power to cause trouble in China’s backyard. China could do like Russia, which refrained and then it lost the Ukraine. This is with nuclear weapons.What would it have lost next? A nuclear missile defence capability being developed by the US would strike at the heart of China’s credibility, they cannot afford to stay out of any arms race.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    The US has been doing that since the PRC's inception:

    https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Tibet-Modern-Studies-Paperback/dp/0700617884

    Why would China have to keep up with the arms race? China has always been behind the US militarily and technologically. The PRC's credibility isn't based on military or technological superiority. Unlike the Soviet Union, which was. China intervened in the Korean War against the US when it was much more backward and had basically no industrial capacity, and the military and technological gap between the US and PRC was enormous. That gulf had no impact on China's credibility then, and the gap today won't either. Military pressure will have to be backed by the intent to wage war.
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  • @MarkinLA
    The United States is the most powerful economy in the world and if it amps up the tension and starts an arms race China will no more be able to cope than the Soviet Union could.

    Kind of stupid for the Chinese to enter an arms race with the US unless the US intends to attack them. Kind of stupid for us to start an arms race unless we intend to attack China.

    Maybe we should just acknowledge the stupidity of attacking China and save both our and China's money.

    You must have led a sheltered life. If we leave them alone they will leave us alone–until they are strong enough to not have to leave us alone, and then they will come for us. At which time we will not be strong enough to win.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @MarkinLA
    The United States is the most powerful economy in the world and if it amps up the tension and starts an arms race China will no more be able to cope than the Soviet Union could.

    Kind of stupid for the Chinese to enter an arms race with the US unless the US intends to attack them. Kind of stupid for us to start an arms race unless we intend to attack China.

    Maybe we should just acknowledge the stupidity of attacking China and save both our and China's money.

    Exactly. The “military pressure” and threats are meaningless without the intent to actually wage war. If China refrained from entering the arms race, then the US would have to provoke China or move closer to initiating war in order for military pressure to have any purchase.

    It seems less like the US is trying to start an arms race with China, and more like the US may try to apply its North Korea strategy on China: threaten China militarily and try to provoke it into some sort of military retaliation which can then be used as an excuse for economic sanctions and isolation.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    The US has the power to cause trouble in China's backyard. China could do like Russia, which refrained and then it lost the Ukraine. This is with nuclear weapons.What would it have lost next? A nuclear missile defence capability being developed by the US would strike at the heart of China's credibility, they cannot afford to stay out of any arms race.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sean
    I said economic destablisation of China through military pressure, and talking about war is military pressure not war . The United States is the most powerful economy in the world and if it amps up the tension and starts an arms race China will no more be able to cope than the Soviet Union could. China is developing too fast for it to work a generation hence, and this is the right time.

    Israel has been using the excuse of insecurity in the face of an possible Iranian nuke missile for not continuing to meaningfully put land on the table for peace as Ehud Barak tried to do. Iran wasn't smashed by Obama, so he didn't remove Israel's threat-of-Iranian-attack excuse for not giving the West Bank back, and he got nowhere with his peace deal . I don't know why he did not act so as to further his aim of settling the middle east problem. But remember his aim was an equitable solution. Obama would have toppled Iran to make Israel helpless, while Trump would be doing it to make the West Bank Arabs helpless.

    Trump doesn't see the middle east as a problem with a solution, but as a conflict, and as Conner Cruise O'Brian said, conflict does not have a solutions, it has an outcome. Trumps objectives ar domestic and to achieve them he must make the opposition to him in the US weaker by removing the strongest part of it: Liberal Jews. When push comes to shove the left wing of the Israel Lobby is going to balk at thwarting the US President who'll allow what no Israeli leader dares contemplate . Trump will make all my predictions come true including the one about Iran http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/donald-trump-iran-has-formally-been-put-on-notice-for-firing-missile/news-story/08306261048b7e5421513c8bfd60c7e1

    There might be a need for an actual attack or (less likely) Iran will submit and totally disarm, in either case destroying Iran as a threat to Israel frees Israel for an initiative. Trump needs to save Israel from the fate that Barak and van Creveld predict in order to to nullify the US opposition to his domestic policies.

    The United States is the most powerful economy in the world and if it amps up the tension and starts an arms race China will no more be able to cope than the Soviet Union could.

    Kind of stupid for the Chinese to enter an arms race with the US unless the US intends to attack them. Kind of stupid for us to start an arms race unless we intend to attack China.

    Maybe we should just acknowledge the stupidity of attacking China and save both our and China’s money.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Exactly. The "military pressure" and threats are meaningless without the intent to actually wage war. If China refrained from entering the arms race, then the US would have to provoke China or move closer to initiating war in order for military pressure to have any purchase.

    It seems less like the US is trying to start an arms race with China, and more like the US may try to apply its North Korea strategy on China: threaten China militarily and try to provoke it into some sort of military retaliation which can then be used as an excuse for economic sanctions and isolation.
    , @Sean
    You must have led a sheltered life. If we leave them alone they will leave us alone--until they are strong enough to not have to leave us alone, and then they will come for us. At which time we will not be strong enough to win.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I said economic destablisation of China through military pressure, and talking about war is military pressure not war . The United States is the most powerful economy in the world and if it amps up the tension and starts an arms race China will no more be able to cope than the Soviet Union could. China is developing too fast for it to work a generation hence, and this is the right time.

    Israel has been using the excuse of insecurity in the face of an possible Iranian nuke missile for not continuing to meaningfully put land on the table for peace as Ehud Barak tried to do. Iran wasn’t smashed by Obama, so he didn’t remove Israel’s threat-of-Iranian-attack excuse for not giving the West Bank back, and he got nowhere with his peace deal . I don’t know why he did not act so as to further his aim of settling the middle east problem. But remember his aim was an equitable solution. Obama would have toppled Iran to make Israel helpless, while Trump would be doing it to make the West Bank Arabs helpless.

    Trump doesn’t see the middle east as a problem with a solution, but as a conflict, and as Conner Cruise O’Brian said, conflict does not have a solutions, it has an outcome. Trumps objectives ar domestic and to achieve them he must make the opposition to him in the US weaker by removing the strongest part of it: Liberal Jews. When push comes to shove the left wing of the Israel Lobby is going to balk at thwarting the US President who’ll allow what no Israeli leader dares contemplate . Trump will make all my predictions come true including the one about Iran http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/donald-trump-iran-has-formally-been-put-on-notice-for-firing-missile/news-story/08306261048b7e5421513c8bfd60c7e1

    There might be a need for an actual attack or (less likely) Iran will submit and totally disarm, in either case destroying Iran as a threat to Israel frees Israel for an initiative. Trump needs to save Israel from the fate that Barak and van Creveld predict in order to to nullify the US opposition to his domestic policies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    The United States is the most powerful economy in the world and if it amps up the tension and starts an arms race China will no more be able to cope than the Soviet Union could.

    Kind of stupid for the Chinese to enter an arms race with the US unless the US intends to attack them. Kind of stupid for us to start an arms race unless we intend to attack China.

    Maybe we should just acknowledge the stupidity of attacking China and save both our and China's money.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sean
    If Obama had toppled Iran i would not have helped Israel very much because Israel West bank Arabs are the problem, and I always said it was Iran's support for the Palestinians that made Iran a threat to Israel . Obama could have forced Israel to the table for a final settelment, if he had smashed Iran

    As for military pressure on China nemisis had not long to wait;-

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-steve-bannon-china-south-sea-war-chinese-us-president-special-counsellor-a7556546.html
    Donald Trump's closest advisor Steve Bannon thinks there will be war with China in the next few years
     
    It begins.

    So you were wrong about your prediction regarding Iran, as you are with most things.

    “War with China” is one of those general predictions that everyone and their mother has been making. It’s not some unique position.

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  • @Anonymous
    Sean's comments can be pretty interesting, although they tend to be fanciful and wrong. And a lot of them do seem to be pilfered as you say from the kind of "analysis" you see in documentaries by hacks like Adam Curtis.

    Before The Unz Review, Sean would breathlessly comment at Steve Sailer's blog about how Obama would bomb Iran by 2012..

    If Obama had toppled Iran i would not have helped Israel very much because Israel West bank Arabs are the problem, and I always said it was Iran’s support for the Palestinians that made Iran a threat to Israel . Obama could have forced Israel to the table for a final settelment, if he had smashed Iran

    As for military pressure on China nemisis had not long to wait;-

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-steve-bannon-china-south-sea-war-chinese-us-president-special-counsellor-a7556546.html
    Donald Trump’s closest advisor Steve Bannon thinks there will be war with China in the next few years

    It begins.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    So you were wrong about your prediction regarding Iran, as you are with most things.

    "War with China" is one of those general predictions that everyone and their mother has been making. It's not some unique position.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @5371
    You are always good for missives from a parallel universe, although I was disappointed to find that some of your most bizarre flights of fancy are simply pilfered lock, stock and barrel from Adam Curtis "documentaries".

    Sean’s comments can be pretty interesting, although they tend to be fanciful and wrong. And a lot of them do seem to be pilfered as you say from the kind of “analysis” you see in documentaries by hacks like Adam Curtis.

    Before The Unz Review, Sean would breathlessly comment at Steve Sailer’s blog about how Obama would bomb Iran by 2012..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    If Obama had toppled Iran i would not have helped Israel very much because Israel West bank Arabs are the problem, and I always said it was Iran's support for the Palestinians that made Iran a threat to Israel . Obama could have forced Israel to the table for a final settelment, if he had smashed Iran

    As for military pressure on China nemisis had not long to wait;-

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-steve-bannon-china-south-sea-war-chinese-us-president-special-counsellor-a7556546.html
    Donald Trump's closest advisor Steve Bannon thinks there will be war with China in the next few years
     
    It begins.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @5371
    You are always good for missives from a parallel universe, although I was disappointed to find that some of your most bizarre flights of fancy are simply pilfered lock, stock and barrel from Adam Curtis "documentaries".

    Good to know you’re following my links, even if not my line of reasoning. But if you met me, one thought would flash through your mind: can I take him? Nations are like that too.

    [MORE]

    Anyone who wants to know what prominent political circles in Germany are thinking should read the newspaper columns by ex-Green Party leader Joschka Fischer. The former anarchist and street fighter, who made a political career with the Greens, and then as foreign minister oversaw the first Bundeswehr (armed forces) missions abroad, never distinguished himself with an independent opinion. He provides, however, a sensitive measure of political trends. He sets his course according to the prevailing wind, before others even perceive this.
    [...]
    On Monday, in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he published an “Outsider’s view” headlined, “Europe’s Agenda 2017: Squeezed between Presidents Putin and Trump, the EU cannot remain a ‘soft power.’” He calls the coming to power of Trump on January 20 a “watershed moment” for Europe, which will deeply shake the EU. He sketches out a scenario in which Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump attempt “to destabilise the EU by supporting nationalist forces and movements within its member states.”

    http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/3rd-july-1971/31/enoch-powell-on-the-balance-of-power

    There are, roughly speaking, four possible patterns, or classes of pattern (V (1) EEC including reunited Germany v the Warsaw powers.

    (2) EEC v Warsaw powers including reunited Germany.

    (3) Reunited Germany v an entente between the EEC (less West Germany) and the Warsaw powers.

    (4) United Europe including reunited Germany v one or more extra-European blocs. There are two variants of this, where ‘ Europe’ (a) does, or (b) does not, include Soviet Russia (from its border with Poland to the Pacific).

    Of these alternatives, no. 2 is not open to serious discussion: quite apart from any reaction on the part of West Germany’s allies, her own vested interest in the retention of the capitalist system, as well as the economic and physical preponderance of West over East Germany, rule it out. The mirror-image no. 1 looks equally intolerable, viewed from the East: a political unit extending from the North Cape to Sicily and from Ireland to East Germany’s eastern frontiers would appear from the East to be a monster, threatening both in itself and in the magnetic attraction it would exercise over the Danubian countries. [...]

    A logical contradiction can be lived with, long and sometimes happily, in real life, and that is what Germany is doing with the objectives of a political integration of Western Europe and a reunification of Germany; but it cannot be rationalised, and that is what Helmut Schmidt, as a working politician writing a book, attempted to do and failed. In the end, however, the contradiction has to get itself resolved in real life: one imperative drives out the other. My bet is that German reunification will drive out Western Political unification and the EEC: some day, I don’t know how, or when, I think we are going to get pattern no. 3.

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  • Trump has already done all I needed of him in exchange for my vote: destroy the Bush dynasty and the Clinton crime family, i.e., both party establishments. And he has kick-started a movement of my people that won’t end with him. Anything else he gets done is just gravy. Hell, if I were him, I’d resign and head back to my home and enjoy the last 10-20 years of my life in tranquil repose.

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