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America's South China Sea Fail
Stupid Sh*t: US Failure, Denial, and Escalation in the South China Sea
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By most metrics the US campaign to deter and modify PRC behavior in the South China Sea has been a colossal bust.

The US “Freedom of Navigation” initiative for the South China Sea is, to put it bluntly, completely bogus. The PRC has no interest in impeding the movement of ships in the South China Sea and the US Navy, when it goes into the region to engage in its ostensibly confrontational high risk FONOPs, is simply pushing against Jell-O. The PLAN stays out of the way and lets them sail around.

In early March, the United States sailed a carrier battle group through the South China Sea and flew 226 sorties. Chinese response: Meh.

The second leg of the US maritime “lawfare” strategy, the Philippine arbitration gambit—using arbitration under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea a.k.a. UNCLOS to repudiate the PRC “Nine-Dash-Line” claim to maritime sovereignty over the South China Sea–is probably not going to yield any stunning victories. China has categorically announced it will ignore the ruling, UNCLOS has no enforcement mechanism and, even if the US wanted to step up and do the job on UNCLOS’ behalf, it’s not even a signatory to UNCLOS. Awkward.

And the PRC has funneled billions it might have spent elsewhere into securing its position as the dominant national presence across large swaths of the South China Sea through island building, island development, and expansion of its coast guard fleet.

It should have been realized from the beginning that the US maritime gambit in the South China Sea—conceived by Kurt Campbell, indefatigably promoted by Hillary Clinton as the cornerstone of her “screw the Chinese” excuse me, “smart power in Asia” policy and, for obvious reasons, passionately adored by the United States Navy—was headed for failure.

The PRC had never treated the South China Sea as exclusive territory. Free military and civilian air and sea traffic through the region was always a PRC national priority given the relative weakness of its own navy and air force. For the last thirty years, the PRC’s precarious island/atoll/outpost claims had coexisted with the precarious island/atoll/outpost claims of the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan without military clashes.

Friction was largely confined to resource exploitation: hydrocarbon reserves and fishing operations, with the PRC behaving rather d*ckishly either to exploit these opportunities exclusively or to strongarm its weaker neighbors into cooperation on terms favorable to the PRC.

When Vietnam and the Philippines moved to bring their territorial waters/EEZ claims in line with UNCLOS, theoretically the PRC resource claims were at risk: neighboring countries’ EEZ claims could chew up most of the South China Sea, leaving the PRC shut out of potentially lucrative oil, gas, and fishing plays.

Practically, as opposed to theoretically, is another matter.

The key to the South China Sea has never been its waters. It’s the islands, the atolls, the shoals, the Low Tide Elevations (LTEs). I, for one, already saw signs of the PRC considering migration to a UNCLOS-derived if not compliant island sovereignty basis for its South China Sea claims a few years back.

The PRC can retreat to its hodgepodge of island, atoll, and LTE holdings, assert territorial sea and EEZ claims around them, and put itself in a position in which it could maliciously complicate the enjoyment of the Philippines and Vietnam of their EEZ privileges if and when the Nine-Dash-Line was invalidated.

And the US has got nuttin’ for that. The US doesn’t take positions on sovereignty of landmasses. It hasn’t even acknowledged Japanese sovereignty over the Senkakus/Daioyutai Islands, even as it places them under the aegis of the US-Japan Security Treaty as Japanese holdings to be protected against Chinese attack. The US advocates for the status quo. All it can do is issue non-binding calls for moratoriums on island-related stuff–which are largely ignored.

The Chinese realizes this, and have rooted their position in the South China Sea on digging in on the islands etc. they already occupy.

Indeed, ever since the SCS issue has hotted up, PRC official rhetoric has keyed on“territorial sovereignty” not “maritime sovereignty”. And, on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress this year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi redrew the line:

The Nansha Islands are China’s integral territory. Every Chinese has an obligation to defend them. China has not and will not make any new territorial claims.

China was the first country to discover, name, develop and administer the South China Sea islands. Our ancestors lived and worked there for generations, so we know and love the place more than anyone else. And more than anyone else, we want to uphold peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

History will prove who is a mere visitor and who is the real host.

Wang’s asperity in the last line is perhaps attributable to the fact that, while the US foreign policy commentariat expends much righteous spittle the vital need for America to drive events in the South China Sea, it apparently knows and understands little about the actual issues involved. The most recent illustration was the empty hubbub over the surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island, which the US foreign policy/media combine maliciously or ignorantly conflated into a repudiation of Xi Jinping’s “pledge” not to militarize the Spratly Islands–500 miles away.

Looks small on a map, folks, but it’s a big sea. Would cover most of western Europe.

If anything, the Philippine arbitration challenge to the Nine-Dash-Line served only to intensify the PRC island project. Instead of engaging in endless jaw-jaw with Manila, the PRC went overtly and defiantly unilateral: it has physically grown its islands, poured resources into their development to make the territorial claims appear irrevocable, and integrated them into its national infrastructure without reference to the interests or sensibilities of the Philippines.

And it has placed itself in a position to claim, unilaterally, EEZs around those faux islands, as Japan did with its notorious Okinotoroshima boondoggle, a 200 nautical mile EEZ encircling two uninhabitable, not long for above water existence eroding rocks the size of a couple of station wagons—until the Japanese government secured them with an investment of over half a billion dollars.

If the PRC exacts the ultimate price tag for the Philippine insistence on pursuing arbitration—by geo-engineering the Scarborough Shoal that it currently occupies into a permanent PRC territorial presence (PRC ships currently control maritime access to the fishing grounds)—the Philippine government may begin to question the wisdom of poking a finger in the PRC’s eye by going for arbitration (and, I suspect, by acceding to US sabotage of Philippine bilateral negotiations with the PRC over the shoal in 2012).

It was expected from the beginning that the PRC would never honor the result of the arbitration commission. Now the implications—including the prospect of prolonged economic estrangement between the PRC and the Philippines– are starting to sink in.

China containment strategists are perhaps taking another look at the Aegean Sea dispute as a precedent for the South China Sea. It’s been a frozen conflict between Turkey and Greece for the last 30 years. Nobody touches the islands; nobody interferes with navigation; nobody cares. The PRC would be happy with such an outcome, even if it involves the US Navy sailing around every few weeks on another FONOP.

Perhaps that is why the pro-arbitration forces led by Supreme Court Associate Justice and architect of the Philippine case, Antonio Carpio, are anxiously calling for all candidates for the Philippine presidency to declare their undying loyalty to the arbitration approach before the elections even happen, for fear that a new president may decide to ditch insistence that the PRC adhere to the arbitration outcome in favor of some kind of bilateral workout.

To render assistance, US advocates of the pivot have overtly stuck their fingers in the Philippine political pie.

Ground zero for the SCS strategy in Washington is the Center for Strategic and International Studies. I can’t say its staked its reputation on the success of the South China Sea strategy (if a US geostrategic gambit fails, it’s inevitably not the fault of the think tank that conceived and promoted it), but for CSIS it’s spelled C$I$ if you get my drift: money and clout.

Confirming the hand-in-glove relationship between Philippine and US champions of the arbitration process, CSIS’s Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative echoed Carpio’s declaration by issuing a desperate (and, given the supposedly apolitical character of UNCLOS proceedings) rather awkward call for the arbitration panel to hand down its ruling during Aquino’s presidency so whoever succeeds him after the May elections would have to eat the cake that had already been baked:

The timing of the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on the Philippines’ case against China’s nine-dash-line claims has critical geopolitical implications for Asia’s security. Specifically, a decision delivered well before the Philippine presidential election this May would allow the administration of President Benigno Aquino to respond strategically and with continuity, whatever the outcome

A decision delivered after May would in effect roll the dice by putting a new leadership team in Manila in charge of managing the court’s determination.

If the decision is released and a new administration ignores it to pursue the bilateral negotiations that China has demanded all along, it decreases the incentive for other small nations to turn to international law and arbitration. If the Philippines didn’t get anything out of pursuing its case, why should Vietnam or Malaysia follow in the future?

Why indeed?

Anxiety in US pivot-land was further expressed in a David Ignatius op-ed in the Washington Post. It employed the classic “that guy over there is responsible for the problems with my strategy” ploy in faithfully transcribing pivot-pappy Kurt Campbell’s spin on why his South China Sea had accelerated instead of deterred PRC adventurism and we’re headed for “a dangerous showdown”:

What makes this dispute so explosive is that it pits an American president who needs to affirm his credibility as a strong leader against a risk-taking Chinese president who has shown disregard for U.S. military power and who faces potent political enemies at home.

“This isn’t Pearl Harbor, but if people on all sides aren’t careful, it could be ‘The Guns of August,’ ” says Kurt Campbell, former assistant secretary of state for Asia, referring to the chain of miscalculations that led to World War I. The administration, he says, is facing “another red line moment where it has to figure out how to carry through on past warnings.”

“You don’t want the Chinese to lose face,” says Campbell. “But you want their leadership to understand that if they continue along this path, they risk spiraling the relationship into a very negative place.”

As can be seen, the “other guy” is not just Xi Jinping, who refused to bow before the majesty of the pivot er, excuse me, rebalancing to Asia. It’s Barack Obama, whose reservations about the utility of FONOPs is a byword in Washington, and whose skepticism concerning Clinton-derived foreign policy was memorably characterized as “who exactly is in the stupid sh*t caucus? Who’s in favor of doing stupid sh*t?”.


The strategy hasn’t delivered. Do we admit the strategy isn’t delivering? No, we blame the other guys and, of course, try to escalate ourselves out of our embarrassment. And we put the onus on the current US president for being a wimp if he doesn’t go along. And pin our hopes on the incoming president (Hillary Clinton, it looks like), who is irrevocably committed to pursuing the confrontational policy (since she is its public face and terminally mistrusted by the PRC as a result), to keep the ball rolling.

Campbell’s convo with Ignatius actually looks like an interesting US recapitulation of the Philippine move to push escalation, encourage China hawks, sideline the skeptics, and lock in the policy pre-emptively to sidetrack growing doubts that might complicate transition into a new administration. Great minds think alike, I guess (and lesser minds club together to connive at mutually beneficial logrolling).

And the possibility that the PRC will island-build the Scarborough Shoal and occupy it—thereby removing it from the maritime realm and into the safe haven of an irresolvable territorial dispute—has apparently given Kurt Campbell the willies.

My favorite line from the Ignatius piece was:

[T]he White House has an intense interagency planning process underway to prepare for the looming confrontation. Options include an aggressive tit-for-tat strategy, in which the United States would help countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam build artificial islands of their own in disputed waters.

I would like to think President Obama turned to Campbell (or whatever pivot-friendly worthy who contributed this brainwave) and said, “So we should have been building islands all along? Really? Like the Chinese? So what we’ve been doing for the last five years, the whole maritime strategy with the Navy, the FONOPs, the UNCLOS? Wait, don’t tell me. IT WAS STUPID SH*T!”

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: China, Kurt Campbell, South China Sea 
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  1. bob sykes says:

    As a matter of fact, these so-called Freedom of Navigation Operations are really Innocent Passage Operations (see Wiki), and as such they implicitly recognize China’s claims. The apology for the B 52 overflight proves that. China has successfully imposed its will on the region, and unless the US decides to start a shooting war (which it might) the issue is settled.

  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    There is no happy ending to this. China’s arms buildup will continue for as long as it can afford it or until it matches the USA. China and the USA have already taken their relationship down an adversarial path. From a Chinese perspective it has little choice. It wants the United States out of Asia. The South China Sea, Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands are simply symptoms of that goal. China will continue to arm until it is able to establish control of these despite US and other objections. The eventual removal of the United States beyond the second island chain is a prerequisite to resolving matters to the PLA’s satisfaction. I am afraid John Mearsheimer (The Tragedy of Great Power Politics) and Alderic Au (China: The Aztlan Protocol), in their very different ways, have seen the future with clarity. It presents the US with some uncomfortable choices. The rub is they won’t get any easier; time is on China’s side. At some point in the next few years, we may expect a ‘doctrine’ and it will not be Monroe’s.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    , @anon
  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “if you look at how we’ve operated in the South China Sea, we have been able to mobilize most of Asia to isolate China in ways that have surprised China, frankly, and have very much served our interest in strengthening our alliances.”

    Quote from the Obama interview in the Atlantic. What’s your take on this?

    So far, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines have been organized against China. India’s military establishment would also like to get involved and join the US in counter Chinese efforts in the South China Sea but hasn’t made a decision. Australia hasn’t gone along with the US line and people there generally seem more suspicious of Americans as creating instability in the region.

  4. @Anonymous

    What, exactly, would be the loss for the United States, if it conceded Chinese dominance over the South China Sea, subject to the right of merchant vessels to sail unimpeded through international waters (which, to my knowledge, the PRC does not contest and is not likely to contest)? If the Phillipines and Vietnam and Taiwan want to contest mineral resources in the area, they are sovereign countries and free to set their own foreign policy. But why should the U.S. be involved? The British conceded naval sovereignty in the Gulf of Mexico to the U.S. in the 19th Century, and, to my knowledge, never regretted the decision.

    • Replies: @Karl
  5. The Philippines is Poland of the late 1930s. It has a security guarantee from the USA, as did Poland from the UK. But the USA cannot quickly defend the Philippines. That nation’s army has no tanks, its Air Force has no jet fighters, and its Navy no capital warships, only patrol boats. Yet this bogus guarantee from a paper superpower may prompt its leaders to act foolishly defiant, as did Poland’s. This may prompt war over some petty dispute.

    On the other hand, the USA imports little of value from the Philippines, other than more workers with visas. China would be foolish to venture into those 7000 islands, with friendly yet independent people with little natural resources to covet. The USA dumped this colony after clear cutting all its valuable hardwood forests.

    Our best strategy with China is peace and trade, and if that fails, let it be known that we will sit back at bases in Guam and Australia and impose a blockade using mines and subs and aircraft so that no Chinese ship can sail through Indonesia or the Pacific. Meanwhile, truthfully tell the Philippine elite that we will back them, but can’t stop the Chinese should they foolishly invade. They must keep that fact in mind when discussing tiny island disputes. Oh, and tell our own Admirals this same fact, and order them to keep our powerful yet vulnerable carrier groups, east of Guam.

    • Replies: @Historian
    , @Big Bill
  6. Avery says:

    US Navy has 10 carrier battle groups that cost about $10 billion each to build, and about $4-$5 billion each annually to operate. They got nothing to do, so they go around the world looking for trouble. They are useless relics. So US has to create friction out of thin air to justify wasting all that money to overtaxed US taxpayers.

    I am no expert on China, but from what I know, Chinese have largely kept to themselves in their several 1000 year old history. They have had clashes with neighboring countries from time to time (e.g Vietnam), but have not ventured far from their neighborhood.

    More often than not, they themselves have been invaded: by Mongols, by Western imperial powers (opium wars), by Japan…….

    And what is the benefit to American taxpayers for US to get involved in a local dispute: None.
    Like the other poster said, let China, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, etc sort it out amongst themselves. There will be some pushing and shoving, maybe some shots fired across the bow of some ship, but nothing will come out of it. None of countries there want a major war. Some years ago Chinese invaded Vietnam’s border region to “teach them a lesson”. They got a bloody nose, decided they have “taught” enough, and wisely withdrew before things spiraled out of control.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  7. It looks like the PRC is trying to push back the US Navy. In a confrontation, the US would have to stand back much further and launch air strikes than if there were no island base to worry about.

    The islands form a defensive perimeter and make it harder to contain or blockade Chinese shipping.

    It reminds me of the Chinese game of Go, here you try to surround territory.

  8. Karl says:

    >> The PLAN stays out of the way

    Tell that to the USS Chancelorsville

    I’m RIGHT HERE in the West Philippine Sea

    Where are you? In your yuppie desk in some yuppie county?

    • Replies: @Historian
  9. Karl says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    >> But why should the U.S. be involved?

    Protect & preserve its interests. If China can do it, others can do it

    • Replies: @anon
  10. Rehmat says:

    The Ziocon think tanks like ‘Center for a New American Security (CNAS)’ are preparing groundwork for Obama administration’s new deadly war against China for the control of South China Sea. The Washington-based CNAS in its 2012 report stated: “The geostrategic significance of the South China Sea is difficult to overstate. To the extent that the world economy has a geographical center, it is in the South China Sea.”

    Nearly 50% of the goods transported between continents by ship go through the South China Sea, accounting for over $1.2 trillion in US trade annually. The area has vast, largely untapped natural resources – including oil reserves of seven billion barrels and an estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

    After America’s defeat in Iraq – Obama announced US military focus away from Iraq and Afghanistan and renewed commitment to assert America’s position in the Asia-Pacific region. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the Asia-Pacific region is growing in importance for the US economy and national security, so the nation needed to maintain “our military’s technological edge and freedom of action”.

    China was quick to warn the US to keep its dirty fingers away from the South China Sea. “Our national defense modernization serves the objective requirements of national security and development and also plays an active role in maintaining regional peace and stability. It will not pose any threat to any country,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin.

    Numerous US submarines, both nuclear and non-nuclear have long been guarding US interests in South China Sea for a long time. However, recently, China has declared its presence as an act of aggression in China’s territorial water. In March 2010 Chinese assistant minister of foreign affairs Cui Tiankai told visiting US deputy secretary of state James Steinberg and the US national security council’s Jeffrey Bader that China viewed the South China Sea as part of China’s “core interests”, on a par with Taiwan and Tibet.

    The discovery of huge oil/gas reserves has started under-water arms race among the other South China Sea littoral states, like Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan and Brunei. China has over 60 submarines including nine nuclear-powered – to counter US Navy exploiting some of these states’ claims against China.

    On the larger scale, the US by challenging China in the South China Sea has created tens of billion dollars business for armament industry. Australia is spending $36 billion to upgrade its Navy. North Korea is expanding its large fleet of mini-submarines. Japan is adding another eight to its existing 16 boat-fleet. South Korea is selling mini-submarines to Indonesia. Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan and Bangladesh. Germany has sold three submarine to Israel. India has bought submarines from Russia and Israel.

    • Replies: @Rich
  11. China has took the US relationship down an adversarial path long ago. The country is dominated by the communist party. Not even the military is independent of the party. It’s the armed wing of the party and the officers are all party officials. The military has been writing about war with the US since the early 90s. None of that would have been published without party approval.

    It would be extremely foolish for China to provoke a war. The west would be able to quickly strangle China without making a direct attack on China by simply sweeping the oceans of any ship flying a Red Chinese flag, and announcing that no Chinese cargos would be landed by Maersk and other lines.

    The Chinese have not taken US sailings near their artificial islands with equanimity. They have loudly protested every time. They have also protested over flights. Let them protest. They have no standing to make such complaints as their “islands” are artificial constructs and are not recognized under international practice.

    Let them lose face. They are asking for it and deserve it. They are acting dishonorably and acting the part of the neighborhood bully.

  12. Historian says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    The Philippines is Poland of the late 1930s. It has a security guarantee from the USA, as did Poland from the UK.

    That’s not a bad analogy.

    The Poles initially welcomed a full German invasion because it triggered the Anglo-French security guarantee. Their greatest fear was that the Germans would take Danzig and the Corridor, and stop there. In that case, they knew that the British and French would sit on their hands.

    Wake me up when the Chinese march into Manila. Otherwise, there’s no point getting all worked up over a bunch of uninhabited islands.

    China would be foolish to venture into those 7000 islands, with friendly yet independent people with little natural resources to covet.

    Another excellent point. The Philippines would be a liability for China, just like they were for us in the early 20th century. What would the Chinese want with 100 million Tagalog speakers and a bunch of coconut plantations?

    • Replies: @utu
    , @RadicalCenter
  13. Historian says:

    Tell that to the USS Chancelorsville

    They should come home to Newport News, which is a lot closer to Chancellorsville, Virginia.

    I’m RIGHT HERE in the West Philippine Sea

    Why? Are you Filipino or something?

    What are you so anxious to hand the Philippines control over the South China Sea? And what have you got against the Vietnamese, Bruneians, Malaysians, and Taiwanese?

    Stop rattling around on someone else’s doorstep looking for trouble. Come back home and build a bridge or something.

  14. It’s the same old story: the US go hunting for another war, for no good reason other than to have a war.

    The rest of humanity will not be safe until the US is neutered, defeated, or exhausted.

  15. utu says:

    Until March 1939 Poland was courted by Hitler. Hitler wanted Poland to become his ally in his crusade against Bolsheviks. While war against Bolsheviks would be popular in Poland an alliance with Hitler was not. The press in Poland was very anti-German (similar mechanism like in the US). Poland accepted guarantees offered by London. Did Polish diplomans realize that the British offer was made in bad faith? Anyway, German plan was sound: a quick defeat of France and then moving troops to Poland against Russia. It is possible to imagine that this course of events would be good for the 3 million Jewish population of Poland. All countries allied with the III Reich who maintained semi-sovereignty offered much better protection to Jews than countries that fought against Hitler and became occupied territories like Poland after September 1939. Polish government escaped from Poland during September 1939 and decided to continue war against Germany as the government in exile. This costed Polish and Jewish populations of Poland dearly. There was nobody like Marshal Petain to sign a surrender treaty with the III Reich.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    In what sense did the UK act in bad faith? It declared war when it was against its own interests.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Tom Welsh
  17. utu says:

    Yes, they did declare war. But Poland was sacrificed as the first line of defense and it worked delaying Hitler move against the West for 6-8 months. I do not blame British diplomats. They did what presumably was good for the Great Britain. I blame the Polish diplomats that they did not keep flirting with III Reich longer. The UK did nothing to avert the fate of Poland and actually accelerated Poland’s demise.

    • Replies: @anon
  18. @Quartermaster

    and this is why china is building the modern version of the silk road.

  19. anon • Disclaimer says:

    “It wants the United States out of Asia.”

    And why shouldn’t it? WHY should the USA be in Asia at all? Its called the United States of AMERICA not the United States of ASIA. Why should it be any skin off America’s nose not to be in Asia? I don’t see China messing around in the Gulf of Mexico now do you? This is just Washington pursuing its foolish old policy of ‘fishing in troubled waters’. Ordinary Americans would be a million times better off if their government would just abandon its pretensions to global geo-political hegemony.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  20. anon • Disclaimer says:

    And what exactly are the US interests in the South China Sea that the Chinese are supposedly so desperately threatening?

    • Replies: @Karl
  21. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    Look, As long as there is any thing left to lift off of American tax payers/etc… the MIC and Congress critters will continue to feed. It’s ”Cost Pluss” meaning, no matter what anythibng costs, the folks get paid on top as a %. You need to clean house, and it wouldn’t be very pretty!

    In the end, everybody dies. so why not the bastards and devils die soon… ? It’s up to the masses to assert themself… get rid of the devils… ! God will say ”Thankyou!”

    On the other hand… if God enjoys to see this shit, we’re all f’ked!

    I don’t hear much about the so called ” Nutron Bomb” these days… it just kills and don’t lay waste the environment. that or some kind of Biological, would be ok. do something for Christ’s sake!

    Before the earth is way too messed up! Make a Manhatten project to stop Fuckashima from polluting the Earth, you dumb shits!!!!!

  22. Tom Welsh says:

    How would everyone feel if a greatly expanded Chinese Navy were to cruise around the Gulf of Mexico, while the Chinese government made bellicose statements about how the USA couldn’t behave as if it owned the area? Or maybe the Mediterranean?

  23. Tom Welsh says:

    It was FDR who acted in really bad faith. First, he persuaded the Germans to press their claim to Danzig. Simultaneously he wound up the Poles to oppose the German claims tooth and nail. Then he went off to persuade the British and French that they should guarantee Poland’s territorial integrity, implying that they would go to war if Germany invaded Poland. This initiative was accompanied by copious reassuring noises, strongly implying that if the USA didn’t actually declare war the same day as Britain and France, it would be close behind backing them up all the way.

    Those assurances turned out to be exactly as valid as the promises to Soviet leaders that NATO would not expand one inch east of Germany. And exactly as valid as the hundreds of “binding and irrevocable” promises made to Native American tribes.

    See the pattern here?

  24. anon • Disclaimer says:

    “delayed Hitler’s move against the west for 6-8 months”.

    He had no wish to make any move against the west at all. He sought lebensraum in east Europe. Actually the declaration of war TURNED an unwilling Hitler westward.

    The pledge to Poland was absolutely insane. Probably the craziest thing the British government ever did. But the Poles were probably just as crazy for taking it at face value. Madness all around.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Karl
  25. @Historian

    My wife is Filipina and I love her without end. But I am an American, and she is now an American, as of course are our children — not just by birth or naturalization but by loyalty and identity.

    We both think that the job of the US military is to protect Americans’ lives, property, freedom of movement, and interests, not to protect the Philippines.

    No Asian country is worth going to war against China.

    Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Australia, etc., had better get together and massively build up the size and capabilities of their navies, air forces, and other military forces, because China indeed will not stop taking whatever it can until met with strong deterrence or force. That deterrence and force can no longer come primarily from the USA.

  26. @anon

    I wish that I could improve upon the way you express the sentiment, but I cannot. Well said, sir, well said.

    I’d give Hawaii its independence, whether it wants it or not. The only interest that the U.S. has in the Pacific is freedom of navigation for merchantmen, and no one is threatening that to my knowledge.

    • Replies: @anon
  27. utu says:

    You think Hitler would move against Soviet Union w/o securing hist western border? Taking out France with or w/o war declaration was part of the plan. To take France he had to secure his eastern border first. Since Poland did not become his ally as he initially planned he had to attack Poland first. The UK changed the history by giving guarantees to Poland. This was the only way they could to stop Hitler from making Germany a continental superpower and challenging the Anglo-American order by saving the Soviet Union’s ass.

    • Replies: @anon
  28. Avery says:

    {… by saving the Soviet Union’s ass.}

    Soviet Union saved the ass of Western Europe and UK.
    The British expeditionary force ran like chickens to Dunkirk, and could have been completely annihilated if Hitler chose to: Hitler let them escape to England.

    France, with modern tanks, and a large, competent army was routed in a matter of weeks.
    Western Europe was conquered by Nazis in a few months.
    80% of Nazis war machine was chewed up on the Eastern front.
    Their best divisions were turned to scrap metal and hamburger meat: the latter to fertilize the rich agricultural lands of Ukraine and Russia
    When allies landed at Normandy in 1944, Red Army had already crushed the Nazi invaders and was racing toward Berlin. Allies waited until that late date, hoping that Nazi Germany and USSR would wipe each other out. As soon as they realized that the Red Army would reach the English Channel sooner or later, they decided to land to keep Western Europe out of Stalin’s hands.

    At the Battle of Bulge, beaten down German forces routed the US military: except for a couple exceptions, e.g. the heroic defense at Bastogne, GIs ran. Since Nazis no longer had air cover, as soon as the cloud cover lifted, US air force decimated what armor Nazis had remaining, and it was game over.

    If Hitler had not invaded USSR, European capitals would be flying the swastika today, and the official language of the Nazi Empire would be German.

  29. Rich says:

    I’m not quite sure what you’re talking about when you write about “America’s defeat in Iraq.” How was the US defeated in Iraq? Did the US lose territory? Was the American Army wiped out? Is Saddam Hussein back in power? Are the Iraqis still paying off the family members of suicide bombers? Iraq is in a shambles, the country barely a shadow of its former self, millions of its people dead, cities destroyed, how, and by what measure, did the US lose? The US was never serious about turning Iraq into a liberal democracy, the US wanted to destroy Iraq as a viable nation and cause sectarian violence that prevents Iraq from ever threatening US interests again. The US has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams.

  30. Agent76 says:

    Aug 26, 2015 How the West Re-colonized China

    The “Chinese dragon” of the last two decades may be faltering but it is still hailed by many as an economic miracle. Far from a great advance for Chinese workers, however, it is the direct result of a consolidation of power in the hands of a small clique of powerful families, families that have actively collaborated with Western financial oligarchs.

    • Replies: @utu
  31. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    Thank you. I would also not have made Hawaii a state, but given it its independence. Ditto Puerto Rico. Had America not gotten a ‘footprint’ in the Pacific (Guam, Wake island, Philippines etc.) via the completely needless Spanish-American war, the Pacific conflict with Japan in 1941-45 would almost certainly never have happened either.

    • Replies: @Karl
  32. Agent76 says:

    March 6th, 2016 US sends aircraft carrier to challenge China in South China Sea

    The United States has dispatched an aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, along with two destroyers and two cruisers, to the South China Sea. While the Pentagon played down the significance of this massive show of force, indicating it was routine,The dispatch of a carrier strike group follows an escalating campaign of condemnations and provocations over the past year against China’s land reclamation and alleged militarisation of Chinese administered-islets in the South China Sea.

    • Replies: @anon
  33. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Everything you have said is untrue or the opposite of the truth. Hitler sought expansionism in the east. He wanted no war with Britain or the United Kingdom. They declared war on him in a complete negation of statesmanship and strategic thinking. Poland was doomed in any case. The Polish military-political elites were just to stupid to see that.

    As for saving the USSR’s “ass”, between June 1941 and May 1945 German losses in the east were 4,900,000, killed or wounded versus 580,000 from ALL of North Africa, Sicily, Italy and northwest Europe.

    Without the USSR the Anglo-Americans would have had to have killed-wounded about five million more German soldiers, about NINE times more then they actually did.

    • Replies: @utu
  34. Big Bill says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    On the other hand, the USA imports little of value from the Philippines

    That’s not true! We still have some coaling stations there for our dreadnoughts. Teddy Roosevelt set it up after the Spanish American War. And we have one in Puerto Rico, too. That’s why we need to make Puerto Rico and the Philippines the 51st and 52nd states. We cannot submit to the nefarious Chinese! Ever!

    • Replies: @anon
  35. utu says:

    “in a complete negation of statesmanship and strategic thinking” – You project your lack of understanding here.

    By offering guarantees to Poland any chances of German-Polish alliance against the Soviet Union were buried. If Hitler had 30-50 Polish divisions the Soviet Union would be defeated. That’s how Anglo-Americans saved the Soviet Union’s ass. The question is why? Once you answer this you will appreciate the excellence of strategic thinking on the part of Anglo-Americans. I’ll give you a hint: The Anglo-American project carried out by its elites goes beyond and often goes against the welfare of their respective populations. In other words they did not do it for you.

    • Replies: @anon
  36. utu says:

    Will Chinese elites be co-opted by the western elites and oligarchy? What will it take? Once this happens nothing will stop the NWO and the full spectrum control of humanity.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @Agent76
  37. @Quartermaster

    Honestly that comment was actually very foolish. China is not alone in its approach to US provocation in its own area of interest. There is another nuclear power that has seen US perfidy at work and has the ability to make the US sweat for its temerity. It is not China that is causing problems but the US as usual! However now such American actions cannot be accomplished with impunity. The US will pay for its egregious activity!

  38. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    ok I think you make some points..


    ll give you a hint: The Anglo-American project carried out by its elites goes beyond and often goes against the welfare of their respective populations. In other words they did not do it for you.



  39. Karl says:

    >> And what exactly are the US interests in the South China Sea that the Chinese are supposedly so desperately threatening?

    do you wait for your tool shed to be on fire, before thinking about buying fire insurance for your house?

    To answer your question: a shit ton of natural resources. The US has as much right to grab them as the Chinese, or anyone else.

    By the way, the Chinese are ALL OVER Africa – are even building a military base in Djibouti. So don’t try to sell me any sob stories about how they are not in the global hegemony game

    • Replies: @denk
    , @anon
  40. Karl says:

    >>> the Pacific conflict with Japan in 1941-45 would almost certainly never have happened either

    Next you’ll be blaming the USA for the Rape of Nanking. “We made them do it because we hurt their feelings!”

    By the way, why do you think it would have been ok for the Japanese to occupy Southeast Asia & China, but not ok for the Americans to do it?

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    , @anon
  41. dingo says:

    The Americans seized Diego Garcia several decades ago, evicted all the native inhabitatants, and built a huge military base covering the entire island, so that the Pentagon could control the Indian Ocean. This was a far more radical act that what China is now doing.

    But it’s all very temporary colonialism – sea level rise is now exponential, and already eating away at Diego Garcia, and will do the same to the Paracels, Spratleys and other reefs in the South China Sea. They are all just stupid holes in the ocean that empires try in vain to fill with money and munitions.

  42. @Karl

    Prior to World War II, Southeast Asia, in large part, was French Indochina. Indonesia was the Dutch East Indies. Hong Kong and Singapore were British. I don’t think it was worth the bones of a single American GI to prevent the replacement of European colonial powers by a Japanese one. Japanese occupation would have sparked the same indigeneous resistance as had European colonization, although I admit the Japanese would have been more ruthless in suppressing it. But so what? Let Asians sort out their own troubles. Same for China: by 1950 China was governed by murderous Chinese despots. How was that worse or better for the U.S. than murderous Japanese occupiers?

  43. Kiza says:

    Will Chinese elites be co-opted by the western elites and oligarchy?

    This is a hundred trillion yuan question. The Chinese elite were serving the Western elite around the middle of the 20th century, but this is why China fell apart into PRC and Taiwan. The contemporary Chinese elite is very self-aware and even a bit racist, just like the Japanese elite. Without a huge war and a defeat of China (just like Japan’s), I could not imagine the contemporary and the near future Chinese elite being co-opted to be the governors of the Eastern Province of the Great AngloZio Empire. I see the future as two blocks: Anglo-Zio and Chinese-Russian. The former declining, the latter rising.

  44. Agent76 says:

    Once you know this everything will be easy to view.

    A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use? It is a Small World at the Top, and the largest banks hold a total of $25.1 trillion dollars or enough to fund the federal U.S. government for over 7 years or roughly $3500 per person on earth.

    Here is the .01% list: Which Corporations Control the World?

  45. denk says:

    *By the way, the Chinese are ALL OVER Africa – are even building a military base in Djibouti. So don’t try to sell me any sob stories about how they are not in the global hegemony game*

    the chinese are in africa doing legit biz, u’r all over africa committing false flag terrorism to sabotage chinese investments….cuz u are unable to compete fair n square.
    isnt that your standard m.o. all over the world ?
    thanks to those made in usa terrarists like boko haram, isis..
    these days china even has to pay the host country to protect its workers or even bring in their own troops.

    no prize guessing , who’s the crook in africa, never mind the world ?

    exhbit sudan…
    *Thanks to Wikileaks we know that the USA via the CIA has been paying the salaries of the South Sudanese Army (SPLA) since 2009. In other words, both the soldiers (“rebels”) supporting Riek Machar and the soldier supporting President Salva Kiir are being paid by the USA, paid to kill each other?*

    good nite.

    • Replies: @utu
  46. utu says:

    30,000 Chinese workers were evacuated from Libya when the US (France+…) decided to make a regime change there or rather to create a chaotic field so in foreseeable future nothing constructive can be done there by anybody and most of all by Chinese. The result was bad for Chinese, bad for Arabs/muslims, bad for humanity in general but good for neocons and Israel. I guess America (and Israel) became quite an experts in doing things bad for humanity.

    “You have surpassed all nations in impertinent fables, in bad conduct, and in barbarism. ” ” I would not be in the least bit surprised if these people would not some day become deadly to the human race.” – Voltaire (about Jews).

    • Replies: @denk
  47. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Lets us try to reverse that:

    China sends aircraft carrier to challenge America in the Gulf Of Mexico. Now how would Americans like that? What business would China have sticking its nose in a sea so far from its shores?

    Americans just go out of their way to look for trouble……

  48. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Big Bill

    I always thought the Puerto Rico thing was because of the “evil” German Kaiser and his nefarious designs on the Panama canal. Anyways thank God for Teddy Roosevelt looking out for us all.

  49. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Hitler would not have defeated the Soviet Union no matter how many Polish divisions he had. You all very seriously underestimate the USSR. Its vast size, incredibly brutal winters, absence of almost any decent roads, different railway gauge, primeval forest and swamps and the tenacity of the peoples living there who had no reason to love a brutal invader who regarded them as sub-humans to be exterminated. The Soviet Union would have crushed Nazi Germany all by itself without any help at all from the west. It just would have taken longer and cost more lives.

  50. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The US has as much right to grab them as the Chinese…

    So I guess the Chinese have as much rights to oil and natural gas in the Gulf Of Mexico as the USA does right?

    …are even building a military base in Djibouti.

    The USA has over 1,000 military bases all around the world.

  51. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Why would I blame the USA for the rape of Nanking?

    I don’t think it would be “okay” for either Japan or America to occupy southeast Asia or China sport. But Japan is a country in Asia so at least it is in their neck of the woods. America didn’t seem to have any problem with the Dutch occupying Indonesia, the British India, or the French Indochina.

    Morally I see nothing to pick from any of these players but I don’t see how extending America thousands of miles across the Pacific ocean made any geopolitical sense. And had America just stopped at the west coast a bloody war with Japan seems improbable to me. I kind of think avoiding war is not such a bad thing. It should also be borne in mind that the war that brought America into the Pacific and Asia was the foolish and needless Spanish-American war, absolutely 100% a war of choice for America, since Spain was not the slightest threat to the USA in 1898.

    In a final act of chutzpah, Americans committed in the Philippines the very atrocities they falsely accused the Spanish of doing in Cuba.

  52. denk says:


    the chinese m.o.
    *One of the reasons China has become such an attractive investor to these African countries is because the Chinese model is decidedly different from that of the US and the western powers. Specifically, the Chinese don’t view aid in terms of loans, grants, or charity. Rather, they view financial aid in terms of mutually beneficial cooperation – win-win investment as the Beijing sometimes calls it. To be fair, there
    are of course instances of corruption, some negative byproducts in terms of uneven distribution, environmental degradation, and other effects which come with all forms of investment, regardless of who’s doing the investing. But what the Chinese offer is hard investment in infrastructure: roads, factories, airports, railways, ports, satellite and telecommunications networks, etc. that are required for them to get a return on their investment and to be able to further expand their economic investment on the continent.* [1]

    the murkkan m.o.
    *in a nutshell, economic hitmen, false flag, regime change, biowarfare…, imf*

    who’s the crook, its a no brainer !

    murkka has vast resources, it gathers the cream of the world’s talents, it almost monopolise cutting edge technology, why does it has to resort to such lowdown tactics ?
    cuz it has spent most of its resources in building up a military juggernaut to rule the world, thats its objective.
    it has no desire to compete fair n square with china or anybody else.

    if u cant beat them…..kill them !
    thats the murkkan mantra.

    murkka has been using terrorism, regime change, *environment ngo*, *human rights ngo*, biowarfare [sars, ebola] , to sabotage chinese investments from afpak [the gwadar proj] to myanmar, sri lanka [regime change] bangladesh, all of africa.
    all over the world, the chinese have been hemorrhaging monies , never mind thousands of workers slain by shadowy terrarists, courtesy of unitedsnake. !
    as u pointed out, in libya alone china suffered a loss of 30b, 30000 of its workers had to flee from the marauding terrorists.

    its just the tip of an iceberg.
    thats why the chinese needs the Djibouti base now, to protect its investments from further attacks.

    i heard beijing cops started to carry sidearms from 2015 after the waves of terrorist attacks from uighurs militants.
    thank you very much washington !

    gentleman vs crook
    exhibit kenya
    how the *son of kenya* do his motherland
    * Since the beginning of the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, the growth rate had increased from 3.9 to 7.1% of GDP and poverty had declined from 56 to 46%. These exceptional results were achieved by reducing economic ties with post-colonial Anglo-Saxon partners and replacing them with more equitable agreements with China. To put an end to the Kenyan miracle, Washington and London decided to topple President Kibaki and impose a devoted opportunist: Raila Odinga *
    do read the gory details. !


  53. denk says:

    have u been under some rock all these yrs ?

    every fucking skirmish bet china and the snake is at china’s doorstep, that should’ve told u something.

    so i heard some chinese wrote about ways to deter a murkkan attack, a scenario openly discussed, analysed by the pentagoons, think tanks, politicos, media pundits for yrs and run thru their fav war game simulator for feasibility studies. [sic]
    these creeps chew over how to start a war, how to screw some country as if they’re talking about the weather, charming fellas .! [1]
    i’d say if the chinese dont prepare some contingency plan the ccp would be derelict of its duty.
    doncha think so, or is this beyond your grasp too kid ?

    *The country is dominated by the communist party. Not even the military is independent of the party. *

    apparently u have never heard about the mic ?
    actually its much more complex these days, the mic has mutated into the military/industrial/prison/big pharma complex, a veritable 500 lb monster.

    u prolly figure murkka is some kind of democracy merely cuz every four yr u gotta choose bet a dem or a repug ?
    well i’ve got news for u kid..
    all these election brouhaha is just a circus for your entertainment !
    the mippc is the one runing the show , not clinton, or trump or sanders , whoever figurehead u happen to elect. !

    how does prez for change obama worked out these past 8 yrs, yet the same obama bots are now smitten by trump the great white hope !
    fool me once, ……
    , hehehehehe

    to make a long story short…
    u epitomise the chinese idiom, *robber cryiny robbery* [2]

    these creeps mean biz, they aint just talking shop.
    murkkan gunboats have been picking fight at china’s doorstep dozens of times since 1949, culmulating in the current provocation.

    the english version, *pot calling kettle black* is too lame, it suggest equal opportunity blame on both parties. thats hogwash , cuz compared to the snake, china almost looks like an angel, warts n all !

  54. denk says:

    *Why the American Embassy in Manila would want to summon a front running presidential candidate regarding his China policy at this early?

    What if a candidate is not committed to their interests in the region, are they going to assassinate him at this period of the campaign, or sabotage the elections away from his favor?

    The White House understands this growing grassroots’ departure from US exceptionalism and the move towards geopolitical independence, and it is now trying to intimidate the people’s candidate even this early in the election campaign.

    [the smear campaign is already on….]

    The stupid presidency of BS Aquino will be filing criminal cases against Duterte as dictated by his puppet masters at the US embassy.

    “Allies of President Benigno Aquino III are preparing to file charges against PDP-Laban presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte for his supposed role and involvement in extrajudicial killings as mayor of Davao City.* [1]


    rings a bell ?

    pro beijing nepalese king birendra removed by cia/raw with *extreme termination*…entire family wiped out !

    sri lankan prez ousted by cia/raw, now stalked by unhcr for *war crimes*,

    thai prez yingluck ousted by *swarming adolescents*, now facing corruption charges,

    malaysian pm najib reeling from a concerted media smear campaign led by war street journal ?

    brazil’s ex prez lula publicly humuliated, somebody wanna sabotage his 2018 election bid ?

    what’s the common thread to these gents ?
    their friendship with the chinese !

    etc etc……………….
    just the tip of an iceberg !



    take care mr Duterte, from now on u’ve a bullseye painted on your back !

    ditto to, dozens of progressive writers have been summoned to their creators lately,
    many sites sabotaged, attacked, co-opted, especially those doing *con theories*

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Karl
  55. utu says:

    Who runs this site
    What is your take on Ben Fulford? Who pays his bills?

    • Replies: @denk
  56. denk says:

    no idea, at first i thought its some ph guy but then he speaks in first person term when talking about murkka.
    ben fulford i heard about this name a lot, not familiar w his writings, so he is the site owner ?

    are u saying he is a paid shill ?
    i havent found anything resembling disinfo there since i
    discovered it several mths back, the article that i quote tie in with peter lee’s take here , that the next ph prez might not follow washington’s dictat in the scs, so the neocons are currently rushing to push out the icc verdict to bind the ph gov to it.

  57. Karl says:

    >> [Hitler] sought lebensraum in east Europe

    why did they need it ?

    Can anyone show me even ONE foreign ministry in SE Asia that has made a statement expressing displeasure with the US Navy patrols in the West Philippine Sea?

    • Replies: @Avery
    , @denk
    , @denk
    , @anon
  58. Karl says:

    >> take care mr Duterte

    I’ve spoken to Mr Duterte twice. Just running into him on the streets of Davao city. Which is a nicer place to live in than iSteve’s town.

    He has no problem with americans, or foreigners in general. He signed the license for the American Chamber of Commerce to open an office in Davao City. He opened doors for American companies who were looking for agriculture deals. He gave licenses to two medium-size American companies who have opened up back-office-by-wire offices in Davao. One is next to Venue music hall, down at the bottom of Quirino Blvd. Another one is at Damosa IT Industrial Park. Across the street from which, by the way, is the only place in Mindanao which has NewYork-Jewish/Italian-deli style offerings.

    In general, he allows the city’s own Chamber of Commerce to dominate the economic thinking/planning in town. And they do a pretty good job

    • Replies: @denk
  59. Sam J. says:

    What’s the South China sea to the US? It’s not or trade or boats that go through there. We don’t have any trade or boats anymore. Maybe we should get some trade or boats to go through there first then we’ll worry about the Chinese Islands.

  60. Avery says:

    {Can anyone show me even ONE foreign ministry in SE Asia that has made a statement expressing displeasure with the US Navy patrols in the West Philippine Sea?}

    Why should they complain?
    A foreign state is running interference against their regional rival.
    The foreign state is doing so free of charge.
    And they don’t have to risk anything.

    Give us ONE legitimate reason how US Navy expending American taxpayer funds in SE Asia is benefiting your average Joe and Jane Taxpayer here in the US.

  61. denk says:

    mr duterte wants to go back to bilateral talk with china like previous prez, thats until u muscle in to arm twist asean to gang up on china.

    did u pass some *friendly advice* to mr duerte to *stay the course with washington on scs…..or else* ?

  62. denk says:

    malaysia didnt want to join the anti china posse’, then within six months it was hit by a string of *accidents*

    mh370 *missing*,
    mh17 shot down,
    airasia exploded in mid air,
    mh148 engine malfunction, a near miss,
    helicopter exploded in mid air with pm najib’s chief of staff onboard. [perhaps somebody thought najib was with him ?]
    pm najib currently savaged by a vicious media campaign led by the war street journal, on his alleged corruption,….

    may be these are just *bad luck*

  63. denk says:

    *It appears [1] that Malaysia may be a target of Washington’s asymmetric warfare: one of its commercial airliners was shot down over Ukraine; another just disappeared without a trace—to this day. Now, Malaysia is in the midst of extreme political turmoil after $671 million mysteriously appeared in Prime Minister Razak’s personal bank account and he was unable to convincingly explain to the public how it got there*

    mathematically its almost a certainty.

    ian fleming’s fundamental law of probability…
    once an accident, twice could be coincidence,
    thrice……enemy action

  64. denk says:

    pm najib,
    *The late-night abduction at a Sabah resort yesterday could be an attempt to further drive Malaysia and China apart, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak acknowledged today.

    Najib noted the abduction of two women, including a Chinese national, came as warm relations between China and Malaysia cooled over a missing Malaysian jet.

    He said the abduction could increase the tension between the two countries, but expressed confidence that it would not cause their ties to be weakened.

    “This must be avoided. There may be those who are attempting to drive a wedge between us and China. They may be trying to take advantage of the situation,” Najib was quoted saying in Australia by The Star.*

    • Replies: @denk
  65. denk says:

    on sabah kidnapping of chinese and tw tourists……

    * The attackers were believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf, a militant Philippine Muslim group that has carried out seaborne kidnappings for ransom in the region before, said a Philippine intelligence official who didn’t give his name because he was not authorized to speak to the media Philippine maritime security units and anti-kidnapping operatives were working with Malaysian authorities to achieve a “speedy resolution of the case,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

    At a regularly scheduled briefing ThursSuday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China’s consulate in Kuching city mobilized staff to deal with the kidnapping and urged local authorities to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens.
    receptionist’s abductions.

    China’s ties with Malaysia have come under stress recently because of anger among Chinese over the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, which was carrying 153 Chinese. The plane has yet to be found.

    Last November, suspected Abu Sayyaf militants killed a Taiwanese tourist and kidnapped his wife from a resort in the Semporna area. The woman was released a month later in the southern Philippines.

    Authorities didn’t say whether a ransom was paid. Such deals are normally not immediately disclosed to the media, if at all.

    The Abu Sayyaf had tenuous historical links to international militant networks, including al-Qaida [1], but a U.S.-assisted [2] Philippine military crackdown on the group’s heartland in Sulu province in the southern Philippines has weakened it considerably in recent years. The group has about 300 fighters and is more focused on ransom kidnappings than on the global jihadi cause.*



    anybody who hasnt figured out who’s the paymaster of aq or its myriad franchises
    pse raise your hand !

    start a fire, then come back to the crime scene in firefighters’ grabs.
    works like a charm since 1875.

    same old same old in the scs *police action*

  66. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Why did they need it?

    Read Mein Kampf. Hitler was convinced Germany needed large territorial expansion to the east to make her a world power like the British empire and the USA. He also wanted the fertile lands of the Ukraine so that Germany would always be 100% self-sufficient in food. He was well aware of how the British starvation blockade wrecked Germany in the great war. He also sought the vast mineral and coal deposits of the east Ukraine too, actually picking this over Moscow as an objective in the fall of 1941, against the unanimous advice of the German general staff.

    As for the southeast Asian nations “not objecting” to the USA safeguarding THEIR (but not America’s) interests, why would they? If say, somebody was dumb enough, to just give you a million dollars for free with no strings attached, why would YOU object? The USA, because of very powerful ethnic lobbies, the military-industrial complex and its own peculiar political pathologies, is one of the very few countries in the world that makes no effort to act in a manner consistent with its own best interests. How does America guaranteeing the safety of Estonia possibly make Americans any more secure? Does Estonia protect America’s border from Mexico? What does America gain from risking a possible nuclear war with Russia over Estonia for? I bet most Americans couldn’t even find it on an unmarked map of Europe.

  67. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    RE: “And what is the benefit to American taxpayers for US to get involved in a local dispute: None.”

    Completely agree.

    RE: “I am no expert on China, but from what I know, Chinese have largely kept to themselves in their several 1000 year old history.”

    Strongly disagree. Historically, China has been just as aggressive, if not more so, than many of the European powers. Almost all Chinese territory outside the Yellow River basin is the direct result of military expansion: everything south of the Changjiang River, west of the Hexi Corridor, and northeast of the Great Wall are all the results of relentless campaigning and forced integration.

    Granted, China has been on the receiving end more often recently, but that’s the exception rather than the rule. It wasn’t exactly the Swiss that came up with The Art of War, you know what I mean?

    • Replies: @Avery
  68. Avery says:

    {It wasn’t exactly the Swiss that came up with The Art of War, you know what I mean?}

    Again, my knowledge of China is somewhat superficial.
    You know more about Chinese history than I do.
    But I am basing what I wrote on some common observations.

    First: China keeping to themselves does not mean they were peaceful; they fought bloody wars amongst themselves. For centuries various Chinese kingdoms were fighting each other.
    And as a result of those wars they developed highly advanced methods of warfare.
    I imagine Sun Tsu based his writings mainly on his observations of Chinese fighting each other. Same as Machiavelli basing his writings on what he observed in Italy.

    But I don’t know on what basis do you say that Chinese have been more aggressive than European colonial powers.

    Is there an equivalent of French Indochina for the Chinese ?
    Where ? No need to point out how far Vietnam is from Europe.
    Is there a Chinese equivalent of the British Empire?
    Yes, Chinese on occasion invaded their neighbor Vietnam, for example.
    But that is very different from French travelling 1000s of miles in force and subjugating a country, is it not ?

    Even in recent history, Taiwan and mainland China are at odds: both are ethnic Chinese. If mainland China went to war with Taiwan, it would be no different than the Civil war here in the States. It would still be keeping it to themselves.

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