Crisis In The Making

With the events in India taking front stage….I wrote about the situation on my other blog, In Saner Thought…….in case you may have been busy and missed the piece……

Source: The Mysterious Sub-Continent – In Saner Thought

The subject is so interesting that I felt the need to write two op-eds on the subject…..well at least to me…..

We have the battle against ISIS…..we have North Korea flexing its muscle…..the world seems to be in turmoil……conflict upon conflict….but here is one that is so far being done under the radar of the news…..this conflict pits India against China…..a conflict that has been a sore spot since the 60’s….

Sino-China Conflict…….was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan uprising, when India had granted asylum to the Dalai Lama. India initiated a Forward Policy in which it placed outposts along the border, including several north of the McMahon Line, the eastern portion of a Line of Actual Control proclaimed by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1959.

Unable to reach political accommodation on disputed territory along the 3,225-kilometre-long Himalayan border,  the Chinese launched simultaneous offensives in Ladakh and across the McMahon Line on 20 October 1962. Chinese troops advanced over Indian forces in both theatres, capturing Rezang la in Chushul in the western theatre, as well as Tawang in the eastern theatre. The war ended when China declared a ceasefire on 20 November 1962, and simultaneously announced its withdrawal from one of the two disputed areas. Indian posts and patrols were removed from Aksai Chin, which came under direct Chinese control after the end of the conflict.

You see the dislike has been festering for over 50 years…..until recently it has gotten to the point of notice by the world…..

Buried in the Himalayas in the Siliguri Corridor, also known as the Chicken’s neck, Chinese and Indian military forces sit on the respective sides of their vague borders and entrench themselves for what could become a shooting war between nuclear powers.

Both Beijing and New Delhi see the conflict as a shoving match for dominance in the Himalayas, an age-old struggle between the two states that most recently went hot in 1962, before either state had perfected nuclear bombs.

But now a Chinese construction project aiming to build a road that can support 40 ton vehicle traffic threatens a critical passage in India and risks alienating New Delhi from its ally, Bhutan.

Source: China and India are edging closer to a war in Asia that neither can back down from

But what are the areas of dispute that could bring these two nations to the point of war?

The biggest bone of contention is Tibet & Dalai Lama.
This led to the first ever war between these two nations. China is very sensitive about the territorial sovereignty and having Dalai Lama run a shadow government in India has historically been a major irritator for them.

Following Tibet are two border disputes – one in a region called Aksai Chin and another in a region called Arunachal Pradesh. Both nations claim both regions although China controls the former and India the latter. In both these places the geography favors the current arrangement. With both nations nuclear armed, it is inconceivable for any solution other than formalizing the status quo. However, both nations have a fairly noisy nationalist brigade that doesn’t want to lose face by stating that reality. Thus, the border remains unresolved leading to frequent flare up of anger. Balaji Viswanathan’s answer to Why did China invade India in 1962?

The third one and the one rapidly becoming important is the domination of Indian Ocean through a Chinese strategy termed the String of Pearls. Here is a map from that Wiki page. The stars in red circles are China’s plans for naval bases, stars in blue circles are American bases and Indian flags are Indian bases. Red circles surrounding India’s naval bases are feared by India as containment strategy.
Indian government is spending a lot of energy from preventing this from
happening. This includes both defensive punches such as pulling Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar and Bangladesh back to Indian sphere of influence and offensive punches such as a counter-containment strategy in South China sea. Vietnam And India Sign Oil, Naval Agreement Amid South China Sea Disputes, Angering Beijing. From India’s perspective, China cannot have it both ways – either both nations stick to their respective oceans or both nations get involved in both places.

The fourth bone of contention that is yet to erupt fully is water. What is the strategic significance of the Tibetan Plateau to China and India? A lot of subcontinent’s water supply comes from the Tibetan Plateau and this is one historic reason why India was uncomfortably having any hostile power control that plateau. However, as China continues to dam in the Tibetan Plateau, the water scarce subcontinent will face greater pressures. China and India are yet to have any kind of water sharing agreement.

Source: China’s Creeping Invasion of India | The Diplomat

This could be problematic for the Trump government…..these two are major trading partners….if bullets fly what will Trump do?  How will he settle this conflict?

Slogans will not work.  A campaign speech will not help.  Diplomacy is not high on the Trump agenda….so the only decision to be made is…..which side will we choose?

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Throw Momma In Jail

Since the erection of Trump and his AG the use of jail time is going to be the answer to everything negative in out society.

It appears that the answer to all our crime problems is more jail time and longer sentences.

You could go to prison for life for selling drugs…depends on your race the amount of jail time…..of course you could get a hardy sentence if you rob someone using a weapon of sorts….but of all the dumbest jail terms is the one for sexting.

Sexting?  Yep, that inappropriate form of communication of sending sexual explicit photos and such through the text on your phone……teens seem to be the big users of this art form…..

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill to criminalize “sexting” among teenagers. But that’s not all. This ominous bill also punishes their parents by making them face a 15-year mandatory, minimum sentence.

H.R. 1761, the Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017, seeks to “criminalize the knowing consent of the visual depiction, or live transmission, of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and for other purposes.”

Any person who, in a circumstance described in subsection (f), knowingly—employs, uses, persuades, induces, entices, or coerces a minor to engage in any sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct, or transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct; produces or causes to be produced a visual depiction of a minor engaged in any sexually explicit conduct where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and such visual depiction is of such conduct; or transmits or causes to be transmitted a live visual depiction of a minor engaged in any sexually explicit conduct.

I believe that something needs to be done….but throwing parents into prison for up to 15 years is a bit excessive.  But that is always a conservative’s answer to some crime…..more jail time….and we know how well that has worked for the War on Drugs.

Maybe get the parents more involved in their kids lives….instead of throwing them some electronics and ignoring them will help them in the long run.

Let’s say that the parent are thrown into prison does the child become the ward of the state?  Who will pay those bills?

As usual the Congress does what it does best….NOTHING that solves a problem only to create new ones.

Somewhere I believe there is something written about “cruel and unusual punishment”….if not there should be.  (that is called “sarcasm”)

It Takes Two

Charlottesville!  They came, they protested, they rioted.

There was a protests led by the neo-Nazis and the Left brought out their big guns (pun) to meet the clubs and shields of the Far Right.  And as one might expect violence ensued.

It was the alt-Right (I will try to stop using this term for it legitimizes hate) and the Antifa head to head…after the smoke cleared our president had to throw his two cents worth in the discussion…..

President Trump doubled down on Saturday’s widely criticized “many sides” statement during a press conference Tuesday at Trump Tower, claiming “there is blame on both sides” in regards to the fatal white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, the New York Times reports. Trump had tried to walk back his original statement on Monday, but on Tuesday he called it “excellent” and a “fine statement,” according to USA Today. He said he didn’t condemn white supremacists on Saturday “because I didn’t know all the facts.” “I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct,” the president said.

On Tuesday, Trump went ever further in his “many sides” argument, condemning the “alt-left” groups that were “very, very violent.” He went on to say both sides—including the side that counts neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK as members—contain some “very fine people,” ABC News reports. “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” Trump said. “Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.” He said many of the people in Charlottesville just didn’t want to see a statue get torn down, pointing out that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee and this week, Stonewall Jackson,” Trump said. “Is it George Washington next?”

Not bad for a press conference about infrastructure…but Trump’s observation of “many sides” well DUH!  There has to be an antagonist for there to be a riot.  It is not like masturbation.

It all began around the city’s decision to remove some Confederate statuary….the neo-Nazis/KKK/ white nationalist and others sent out fliers about the protest of the removal and the Antifa decided that they would join in the fun.

About here I have used Antifa a couple of times and most have no idea what I am writing about, right?

Antifa are autonomous anti-racist groups that monitor and track the activities of local neo-Nazis. They expose them to their neighbors and employers, they conduct public education campaigns, they support migrants and refugees and they pressure venues to cancel white power events.

The vast majority of anti-fascist organizing is nonviolent. But their willingness to physically defend themselves and others from white supremacist violence and preemptively shut down fascist organizing efforts before they turn deadly distinguishes them from liberal anti-racists.

The movement traces its roots to the militant leftists who in the 1920s and 1930s brawled with fascists on the streets of Germany, Italy, and Spain. It revived in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, when anti-racist punks in Britain and Germany mobilized to defeat neo-Nazi skinheads who were infiltrating the music scene. Via punk, groups calling themselves anti-racist action—and later, anti-fascist action or antifa—sprung up in the United States.

Of course if you are on the Right then you see these people as disgusting thugs that are looking for trouble…but not the same for the disgusting thugs on the Far Right that are looking for trouble.  Trump has pointed his crooked finger at the Antifa but his assertions are not quite accurate…..

The publication, The Atlantic, explains way better than I……

Source: What Trump Gets Wrong About Antifa – The Atlantic

These days of rising racism then naturally there would be a rise with the Antifa.  The Atlantic again explains the rise in their September issue.

Source: The Rise of Antifa – The Atlantic

Sad to say that our society has come to this….a repeat of the history of the 1920 and 30’s…..Left versus Right in the streets of a town near you.

Who’s The Enemy Today?

Since I began writing and analyzing stuff the US has had a wide array of so-called “enemies”…..those entities that pose a problem to the American worldwide agenda.

Until the 1990’s Russia was our leading adversary….We have had Grenada, Panama, the Balkans, al-Qaeda, the Taleban, ISIS, Iraq and so many minor “enemies” and in all that time, since 1979, the one constant has been Iran.

These days there seems to be a couple constant ones also……Russia (again), the various terrorist organizations, Iran (as always) and North Korea.

I am an old fart so I can look back at recent history and see the long line of potential “enemies”….it is almost like the soup du jour…..it changes on a whim from the powers that lead.

I do a lot of reading daily and the other day I was reading a pro-Libertarian site, Hornsberger’s Blog, that was covering this ever changing landscape of “enemies”…….

…….Everyone needs to resign himself to the discomforting reality of living under a national-security state and an overseas empire: There is always going to be an official enemy or official enemies. It never ends. The process is perpetual.

How else could the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA justify their ever-increasing budgets, influence, and power? Official enemies are the coin of the realm. They never run out of official enemies.

Source: A Constantly Shifting Array of Official Enemies – The Future of Freedom Foundation

This “enemies” thing is a classic propaganda ploy….give the populace something or someone to fear.

This “enemies” thingy is so touchy that the advisers in the White House are debating which is which and who is who….to the point that it could become an internal civil war….

But this time the “enemies” are internal…….

An internal White House enemies list of alleged Obama loyalists to be fired early in the Trump administration is a key contributor to a long-running feud between the National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, two senior administration officials tell The Daily Beast.

Team Trump never acted on the list, the officials said, and now those employees have finished their tenure at the National Security Council and returned to their home agencies.

Source: White House ‘Enemies List’ Drove McMaster-Bannon Feud

Enemy to the Left, enemy to the Right, enemies all around…..

Not much new here…Nixon had a list…..and Clinton, Bubba not Hillary, had a list…but this White House enemies list has a different feel to it….if you know what I mean.

Here A Nuke, There A Nuke

The mash-up with North Korea should be making Americans nervous…..not that anything will happen today….but we have started down a path that could end badly for all people involved.

Recalling the hysteria of the 1950’s….the “Duck and Cover” exercises the interest in “bomb shelters”….it’s all coming full circle.

How about a quick tour of the world of nukes?

The USA has more nukes than hairs on one’s butt….like wise for Russia….then there is China, Pakistan, India, North Korea and Iran…..let’s not forget France and Israel….my point is there are a lot of nukes just waiting to be used….and we seldom talk about those nukes.

Seriously?

Just how many are there?

There are five nuclear weapon states in the world: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States. These are officially recognized as possessing such weapons by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

This treaty acknowledges and legitimizes their arsenals, but they are not supposed to build or maintain them forever. Indeed, they have committed to eliminate them.

There are also four other countries that have nuclear weapons: Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. These countries didn’t sign the Treaty, and together possess an estimated 340 nuclear weapons.

Okay but how many are there?

Let’s count them up……there are about a total of 15,000 nukes waiting…..but a breakdown to avoid any confusion…..Russia–about 8,000….US–around 4,000……France, China, UK, Pakistan, India, Israel less than 200 each….then there is North Korea that has 0 but the ambition for a greater role is there.

Now that we have a total…..what kind of damage are we talking about?

According to Telegraph research, it is estimated that the US and Russian arsenals combined have power equating to 6,600 megatons. This is a tenth of the total solar energy received by Earth every minute.

According to the NukeMap website, the dropping of the B-83, the largest bomb in the current US arsenal, would kill 1.4m people in the first 24 hours. A further 3.7m people would be injured, as the thermal radiation radius reached 13.km.

Likewise, the “Tsar Bomba” is the largest USSR bomb tested. If this bomb was dropped on New York, it is estimated that it could kill 7.6m people and injure 4.2m more. The nuclear fallout could reach an approximate area of 7,880km on a 15mph wind, impacting millions more people.

With all that destructive power you would think that players would be happy with their possessions, right?

Oh, Hell NO!

It appears the US has come up with a better idea…..

The future of nuclear weapons might not be huge and mega destructive but smaller, tactical, and frighteningly, more common. The U.S. Air Force is investigating more options for “variable yield” bombs  — nukes that can be dialed down to blow up an area as small as a neighborhood, or dialed up for a much larger punch.

The Air Force currently has gravity bombs that either have or can be set to low yields: less than  20 kilotons. Such a bomb dropped in the center of Washington, D.C., wouldn’t even directly affect Georgetown or Foggy Bottom. But a Minuteman III missile tipped with a 300-kiloton warhead would destroy downtown Washington and cause third-degree burns into Virginia and Maryland.

Source: US Military Eyes New Mini-Nukes for 21st-Century Deterrence – Defense One

With all this talk about nukes…..I recall the days of my youth when we would have a school drill for a nuke attack….we would crawl under our desks and put our hands over our ears and head between the knees…..now that I think about it were we “kissing our butts good-bye?”

With all the nukes now and the years to come….can we survive a true nuclear attack?

Acute radiation syndrome (ARS) results from exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation. This may be the result of an accident, such as exposure of individuals to x-ray diagnostic and therapeutic devices, or a possible large scale exposure following a nuclear facility accident (for example the Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents). It may also be the result of an intentional act of terrorism, involving the use of a radiological dispersal device (i.e., dirty bomb), an improvised nuclear device, or may involve an attack on a nuclear power plant, or any number of potential nuclear scenarios. Following the 9/11 attacks, and more recently the use of non-conventional weapons and toxic industrial compounds in the Syrian civil war and in Iraq by both state and non-state actors, the possibility of intentional exposure to radiation seems to be rising. Since the primary objective of these perpetrators is to create fear and panic to the general public, and since most of the public, as well as first responders, healthcare providers, and the mass media, may have misunderstandings regarding such an event, radiation is attractive. On top of that, the shortage of available medical countermeasures (MCMs) against ARS could make it even worse. The major goals of a response plan to a radio-nuclear emergency are to protect the public, as well as the emergency personnel while performing their duties. To achieve these goals, local, regional and national resources should be brought together to address such an incident of national impact. In a radio-nuclear exposure scenario, the numbers of casualties, some with life-threatening injuries and resulting complications, may be very high. This means major challenges of assessing the precise levels of individual exposure, and possible delayed medical support and care to those who need it. In any case, these are regarded as complex and resource-intensive efforts, driving research towards approving novel MCMs against ARS. This syndrome involves life-threatening injuries especially to the hematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and the neurovascular systems. Victims exposed to high levels of ionized radiation show a prodromal phase in the first few hours following exposure, followed by a latent phase, which shortens as the radiation dose increases, and finally, develop a manifest phase. The bone marrow involvement is considered as the major contributor to mortality.

Source: Surviving a Nuclear Attack | RealClearDefense

This FYI piece started with a bang (pun not intended) and ended with a deep feeling of paranoia the closer we get to the “Nuclear Mid-Night”.

An “Independent” President?

We can take that term “independent” in a couple of ways….. could be separate from the political process or he could be an outsider that will clean up DC.

First, draining the swamp…..made for an excellent campaign slogan but in reality DC runs off of a different game plan that that of a CEO…..to get an agenda moving through Congress he will need a couple of the old time alligators or without them he will be the most ineffective president that we have had in years….maybe even of all time.

His inner circle have people in it that do not like government at all…..they are there to blow it up so it can be remade….people like Bannon.  The problem there is that it does not help any Trump agenda making its way through Congress.

If we are talking about him as a political independent then that is doomed to fail.  Why?

The Dems will never work with him after all the attacks that he and his minions have leveled at them.  He is busy alienating the GOPers also starting with a couple of Repub. Senators then onto the Senate majority leader, McConnell.

His stepped up attacks are falling on deaf ears for if he wants to move anything through the Senate then he will need McConnell……but not so much after the attacks….

President Trump isn’t ready to wrap up a new public feud with Mitch McConnell. The president’s first tweet of the day on Thursday called out the Senate majority leader, marking the second straight day he has done so. “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done,” he wrote. “Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!” Hours later, he added another: “Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!” As the New York Times reports, this all started earlier in the week when McConnell—whose wife, Elaine Chao, is Trump’s transportation secretary—said that the president had “excessive expectations” about how fast legislation could be passed by Congress.

Trump called McConnell to complain about the remark Wednesday morning in what Fox News describes as a “tense” 10-minute conversation. A few hours after that, he tweeted, “Senator Mitch McConnell said I had ‘excessive expectations,’ but I don’t think so. After 7 years of hearing Repeal & Replace, why not done?” McConnell’s camp has downplayed the rift. At CNN, Chris Cillizza notes that White House social media chief Dan Scavino also criticized McConnell, and Cillizza doesn’t get the strategy. “From where I sit, this was a needless fight to pick that could have decidedly negative consequences” for Trump’s agenda. In particular, Trump will need McConnell for the two mentioned in his most recent tweet, tax reform and infrastructure spending, notes the Washington Post. One person who disagrees: Fox’s Sean Hannity, who tweeted that McConnell is “weak” and should retire.

If he wants to be independent of party politics then he is destined for a year of failures.

Unfortunately being an independent is a good thing in my book…..but not the way the Trump is going about it.  There is a reason this country has been so successful in these 200+ years…..and alienating Congress is not the way to “move the country to greatness”.

Without a political coalition then he has nothing but slogans, threats and adverbs.  He is looking at a long non-productive 4 years unless something changes.

I apologize for all the redundancy but it is necessary to emphasize the point…..to be truly “independent” is a lonely place in DC.

We’ve Heard This Tune Before

First let me say tyhat I have written more about North Korea in the last 3 months than anytime in the previous 10 years.

What little expertise I have is on the Middle East….I leave Asia to those better qualified to write on the region.  But in this case all the rhetoric and chest thumping is very similar to the days before two Gulf Wars.

I am talking about the political rhetoric…….

Gulf War 1 or Desert Storm as it was known worldwide was predicated on lies.  Yes, Iraq had invaded Kuwait but the “sources” that were used to go to war were the Iraqis inhumane treatment of hospital patients….especially when he took the “iron lungs” and left the occupant on the floor to die.  When that did not work the public into a frenzy then the old reliable was used…..Saddam was looking to get nuclear weapons…that worked…the country was so outraged at this prospect that war was inevitable.

Then there was the run up to Gulf War 2……many different situations were floated to whip the public into a war frenzy….of course there was the usual WMDs….then again with the nukes….Saddam was in search of yellow cake uranium…eventually the country was worn down and to war we went (again).

Well this time it is that small country of North Korea…..the rhetoric continues…..NK is working on a nuke weapon……then he, Li’l Kim, fired off some missiles that kept getting larger and traveling further…….until we have a missile with the capability of reaching as far inland as Chicago.  The problem was that their guidance systems sucked so the missile would not be accurate for another year or more.

Then there was the nuke warheads…..we know he has exploded several bombs but according to intel NK has not figured out how to miniaturize the warhead to fit on a missile.

Well that intel was mistaken…… The Washington Post is out with a chilling report about North Korea’s nuclear capabilities: It says Pyongyang has figured out how to make a nuclear warhead small enough to be carried by a missile. The news comes from a newly completed assessment by US intelligence officials, and it suggests that the North has passed the crucial milestone years ahead of schedule. It’s not known whether the North has actually tested such a warhead, though it has boasted of doing so. Combined with the nation’s progress in testing intercontinental ballistic missiles, which could someday reach US shores, the news will only raise the pressure on President Trump and the international community.

With that intel now available our president has taken to the airways to threaten NK…….

Trump made a jarring statement: “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” he told reporters, per ABC News. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” He said Kim Jong Un has been “very threatening” and reiterated that the North “will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

That looks like a Trump impression of Churchill….and a bad impression at that.

He has drawn a line in the sand….but there is a small problem with the intel…….It remains unclear just how firm the new assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency is, notes the Atlantic. The Post reporters were read an excerpt of the report and did not see it in its entirety. “What we don’t know … is how confident the agency is in its assessment and what its assessment is based on. Nor is it clear whether other US intelligence agencies share this view.”

It appears that we have threatened war on some possibly shabby intel….maybe it would be more prudent to wait until all agencies weigh in before we go to war…..Just a thought.

After the “Fire and Fury” threat from Trump then it was Kim’s time to shine……

North Korea says it is examining its operational plans for attacking Guam to contain US bases there, the AP reports. The army said in a statement distributed Wednesday by the state-run news agency that it is studying a plan to create an “enveloping fire” in areas around Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles.

Yes shabby intel…..this is the same prediction that the DIA made in 2013….is it true this time or is it just a re-release of an old memo?

But dammit the MSM has taken this story and run with it……doing what they do best…..misleading the public to support a much desired war.

I can recall the shabby intel that got us into our last war….how about you?

Has the Fire and Fury started yet?

Stay Tuned!