Tour d’horizon – 1 July 2019


1.  Canada Day – Everyone wears shorts – It probably won't snow today in Canada.

2.  China Trade – IMO the Chinese Communist Party and China have no intention of accepting a future in which the Middle Kingdom is other than the dominant world power.  In that context the Chinese will probably make some sort of deal with the US to take the heat off their declining economy- more Chinese purchases of US goods – paper agreements on Chinese underhanded trade practices but nothing that amounts to a basic Chinese change of policy.

3.  North Korea – Look to see a limited US/NOKO agreement on a freezing of nuclear status rather than a removal of NOKO nuclear weapons.  Trump is a practical man who wants apparent success before 2020 bites him.  He correctly, IMO, sees that a North Korea flooded with foreign capital, investment and consumer goods will be set on a path that the North Korean Communist Party will not be able to control.  It is interesting how much more control Trump has over Korean policy than he has over Cuba policy or the evolving disaster in the ME.  Why?  There is no Korean-American pressure bloc, nor the Zionist juggernaut.

4.  Hong Kong – The Chinese Communist Party will suppress autonomy in Hong Kong.  It is just a matter of time.  Socialist governments inevitably become more and more repressive and are required to rule through fear and police coercion.  A Hong Kong that defies centralized Communist rule is a threat to the party throughout the country.  It is just a matter of time.

5.  Turkey – The Neo-Ottomans are in the process of devouring large parts of northern Syria.  This process is something like an anaconda slowing engulfing a large animal.  We are now in the phase of this devouring in which there is a lot of nonsense about de-militarized zones, supposed cease fires, entrenched Turkish "observation posts" placed so as to keep the SAA and friends from getting at HTS and the other jihadis in Idlib Province.  If successful this will be followed by plebiscites and petitions by local puppet government for annexation.  This Turkish process of acquiring northern Syria is  greatly assisted by the continuing Bolton/Pompeo/neocon policy of regime change in Syria.  Under the sway of this policy we continue to do our best to impede the reconstruction of Syria and refugee return with all sorts of baloney in the MSM about Syrian government atrocities against returning Syrians.  We also are doing everything possible to discourage a Syria Kurd-Syrian government rapprochement.  IMO Trump has delegated attention on this to the neocons in his house and should take this function away from them in this area.

5. Iran – We continue  to squeeze Iran into a smaller and smaller space  in the belief that their knees will buckle and that they will then accept an Israeli view of their future, one in which they are rug manufactures and pistachio growers for the world under Israeli tutelage.  IMO this is nonsense.  They will not accept that any more than the Palestinians will accept Jared Kushner's vision of a re-birth of King Solomon's mythic realm in which Palestinians are perpetual serfs.  Eventually, the Iranians will fight us.

6.  Tucker  Carlson as a replacement for the 'stache?  Good idea!  Make the 'stache ambassador to Turkey or Israel.  pl

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69 Responses to Tour d’horizon – 1 July 2019

  1. Jack says:

    Spot on as usual.
    The totalitarian CCP is the real strategic threat but Trump in his craving for pageantry is gonna let them get away like his predecessors for the past decades. It is only a matter of time before they suppress Hong Kong. I’ve read that PLA have been issued HK police uniforms and provocateurs have been sent to incite violence that will then be used to repress the people who don’t want to live under the jackboot of the CCP. The CCP is extremely vulnerable right now and instead of ratcheting up the pressure by preventing any US investor from financing CCP entities Trump is going for a “headline” win. His primary focus is the stock market.
    As far as the ME is concerned it should be obvious to even the most casual observer that Bibi and MbS are in the catbird seat. Khamenei should learn the lesson of KJU.

  2. Israel would then have two ambassadors. Send him to an unpleasant place where he can do little damage. How is East Timor these days?

  3. TI says:

    “This Turkish process of acquiring northern Syria”
    I don’t see why Turkey would outright annex northern Syria instead of creating puppet regimes there. They didn’t annex northern Cyprus either, and the population there are ethnic Turks. A significant part of the Turkish public already seems to be very unhappy about the presence of large numbers of Syrian refugees in Turkey and doesn’t like the idea at all that they will eventually acquire Turkish citizenship. Annexation of northern Syria would bring even more Arabs and Kurds into the Turkish polity, which must be a nightmare for any Turkish nationalist (the higher birth rates of Turkey’s Kurdish minority as compared to ethnic Turks are already somewhat of a demographic time bomb). It’s not clear to me that “Islamic solidarity” will be stronger than Turkish nationalism.

  4. catherine says:

    ”Make the ‘stache ambassador to Turkey or Israel. ”
    Heaven forbid! Put him on a plane and drop him out over Houthis territory in Yemen instead.

  5. Walrus says:

    China has successfully transitioned from a command to a market based economy, in the process boosting the standards of living for hundreds of millions of its people. That is an achievement that makes Roosevelt’s new deal look like a local lemonade stand.
    If America is to prosper it is going to have to contemplate the fact that the chinese are not stupid little yellow people ruled by ignorant and brutal dictators. They are struggling towards a Chinese version of a modern society that understands democratic ideals but also understands the damage unfettered personal ambition has caused China in the past. They are not Americans. Don’t expect them to behave that way.

  6. turcopolier says:

    China Joe Biden took their money to build his family’s fortune, and still said they are stupid little brown people. Was that Chinese money talking? you meant him? China has partially transitioned to a market economy but their political system is still a Communist dictatorship.

  7. Fred says:

    “The totalitarian CCP is the real strategic threat”
    And #2 on Fortune Magazine’s “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” is busy making New Zealand as authoritarian as only a former head of the International Union of Socialist Youth can make it. Thanks to an Australian who, like Sauron, can’t be named and whose rational is whatever the Government of New Zealand says it is and don’t let them catch you with a copy of his/her/xer’s manifesto because the mere possession of such a thing is a felony there. Of course, Orange Man Bad, so don’t pay any attention to what is happening to civilization down under.

  8. Fred says:

    “China has successfully transitioned from a command to a market based economy, …”
    Ross Perot didn’t realize that the “giant sucking sound” of jobs crossing the border included a few million that went East with all the outsourcing the globalists demanded of the political left/right/center.
    “If America is to prosper…”
    American prosperity has been the envy of the planet for a couple of generations. That China, after the collapse of the USSR, has finally seen that communist economic theory and practice doesn’t work should not be a surprise. America is still prospering inspite of the contempt of its own intellegensia and insatiable greed of an olgiarchy that would be as happy in Beijing as Boston or, dare I say, NYC.

  9. ted richard says:

    there is an expression that goes….. everyone needs an F-U million ($) if they want to exert control of their life.
    at the end of WW2 the united states had the single largest pot of F-U millions the world had ever seen and we managed to piss it all away within my lifespan of 70 years.
    if you want to blame china or russia or whomever go ahead but for my money we all ought to look in the mirror at the absolute vision-less garbage we have chosen to vote for and accept to lead us for decades and now, there is very little sand left in the hourglass.

  10. Jack says:

    China is a market economy only if you believe Alibaba and Huawei are private companies. They are controlled by CCP and are at their service. CCP understands the West better than we understand them. Wall St and the big corporates in their quest for short-term benefits have allowed the CCP to become the biggest strategic threat by financing them and providing them with technology. Their economy is riddled with non-tariff barriers. I know first hand as I’m on the board of companies that has tried to penetrate their market. Unless you have a JV with a Chinese partner and establish manufacturing there you don’t have a chance. And there have been too many instances where the JV partner once they’ve learned your technology move out leaving you high and dry. There’s no recourse as the Chinese legal system is biased in favor of CCP entities.
    This has nothing to do with denigrating the Chinese people and their culture. In fact they are hostage to CCP authoritarianism. We are all witness to what is happening in Hong Kong. CCP is extremely vulnerable right now. Instead of pressing and allowing the Chinese people to determine their own destiny Trump is allowing the CCP to mock him by giving him headlines only to turn on him when this moment passes.

  11. turcopolier says:

    Snooopy was MACVSOG’s mascot. We had cartoons of him riding into battle just like this one.

  12. Godfree Roberts says:

    “Chinese underhanded trade practices”? Oddly, none are revealed in the WTO or its TRIPS database. Should we search further or accept the fact that we’ve been beaten fair and square at a game whose rules we wrote?
    “a North Korea flooded with foreign capital, investment and consumer goods will be set on a path that the North Korean Communist Party will not be able to control.” Isn’t that what we predicted for China? Besides, 80% of South Koreans (the non-capitalists) trust President Kim.
    “The Chinese Communist Party will suppress autonomy in Hong Kong”. If they didn’t suppress it when we infiltrated 600 rioters and agents from HK for the 1989 Tiananmen caper, then murdered a dozen of their unarmed soldiers and twenty unarmed cops, then exfiltrated them again to HK (see Operation Yellow Bird), then they’re not going to suppress it now.
    Hong Kong, under our ‘democracy’ is the most unequal city on earth, with 23% of its children living in poverty and home ownership at 49%. Compare these figures to the mainland’s 1% and 78% and you can see why Beijing can afford to wait: our model has failed.

  13. Norbert M Salamon says:

    With respect short of Plato’s philosopher king there is no conceivable government type which can operate with 1.5 billion people [or 1.3 billion for India, or close to 400 million for USA] as an effective leadership in socio economic sense for the benefit of the citizen except one man with central power.
    It doth appear that selecting engineers for top spot in China works better than any and all western types as Obama [a constitutional lawyer, who disregarded the Constitution of USA], Trump, a real estate developer [no understanding of other cultures], and Macron or numerous others sans De Gaulle [Eisenhower] military excellence, Mrs. Merkel [ a trained scientist] and Russia’ Putin spying background [thus understanding the short coming of all other government systems,

  14. Elsi says:

    Exactly, and what is happening now in HK is not a “timely” democratic protest against the CCP, so timely that just coincide in time with the harshest presure by the US on economic war.
    What is happening in HK is a typical “colour revolution” of those of Gene Sharp manual, of the same kind of that intended the other day in Tbilisi to prepare the terrain for to try to avoid Russia back into PACE.
    Let’s talk about that guy named Joshua Wong and his “umbrellas revolution” movement in Hong Kong, another paragolpist attempt by the US to undermine China’s sovereignty using the well-known weapons of the “citizen movements” that act under the support of the CIA.
    What is the US goal in Hong Kong through people like Joshua Wong? It is very clear: to turn the island into an epicenter of subversion financed with foreign capital, from where it will be easier to destabilize, directly, the mainland.
    Joshua Wong has made a career in the Hong Kong Transition Project, a program of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), one of many US interventionist lobbies that is chaired by Madeleine Albright.
    The NDI is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), two key CIA organizations that serve as a screen for human rights and “social” penetration in countries where the United States seeks regime change.
    According to Thierry Meyssan, for 30 years, the NED has been in charge of the legal part of the illegal operations of the CIA. These are the so-called “color revolutions”, opposition movements that seek to overthrow governments to replace them by US client regimes.
    Hong Kong is still under the influence and ambitions of London, Washington and Wall Street. The “Occupy Central” movement, which emerged in 2014 among a group of agitators, has direct financial and political links with the West, specifically, with the United States and Great Britain.
    In the wake of the 2014 protests, its leaders Joshua Wong, Benny Tai and Martin Lee were invited to Washington in 2015 to receive a prize from the NED branch, the Freedom House Foundation, another CIA partner that moves its involutionist tentacles in the world.
    But what noboby will tell you, neither the MSM nor the “alt-media” and blogs, is that there are massive demonstrations in support of China and the police in HK:

  15. turcopolier says:

    Are you an operative of the CCP?

  16. turcopolier says:

    Godfree Roberts
    Yes. The CCP has managed to maintain control thus far.

  17. Elsi says:

    沒有, sir, no need, I just find this information in Twitter…

  18. CK says:

    Bolton as anything is an abomination. Send him to be ambassador to Plato’s Retreat.

  19. Jack says:

    CCP “hasbara” on SST!
    Enjoy the freedom of expression here that is denied by CCP in China.

  20. Barbara Ann says:

    On Iran: Is Franz Kafka the new WH Press Secretary? “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.

  21. Barbara Ann says:

    Norbert M Salamon
    It is the duty of every freedom-loving citizen to conceive of, build, maintain and fight for just such an inconceivable type of government. This is everything America stands for.
    The Chinese economic miracle came at a high cost. The CCP is now an Orwellian Leviathan that controls what every Chinese can think, though many won’t realize it until the first serious recession hits. What is Sic Semper Tyrannis in Chinese?

  22. MP98 says:

    Is “Elsi” a cover name for a Chinese diplomat?

  23. Julian says:

    Col., a bunch of world weary Americans/Westerners seize every post about US arrogance and overreach as fuel for their own cynicism and inner guilt complex. Hence they fetishize other societies they perceive to have greater moral invigoration and wisdom. Of course the Chinese ‘middle class’ are deeply unhappy, the increasingly urbanizing China is falling into a behavioral sink, and the Middle Kingdom as a whole teeters on the brink of environmental catastrophe. Iran has major problems with immigrant populations from Afghanistan, drug abuse, corruption, and power struggles among the elite.
    Western-ness has become akin to an original sin; we can’t enter into the promised land, but the ‘brown people’ can. They’ll be the empathetic, tolerant, ecologically sensitive humanitarians we aren’t (lol). The depressive self-preoccupation is all so tiresome. You can just tell these people get a jolly from the notion the 21st century won’t be American – indeed, America is going to get taught a richly deserved lesson! Masochism masquerades in the garb of enlightenment.
    None of this is to suggest the machinations of late stage empire aren’t happening. It’s about how various factions of the population relate to certain objective realities.

  24. Fred says:

    “there is no conceivable government type which can operate with… close to 400 million for USA] as an effective leadership in socio economic sense for the benefit of the citizen except one man with central power.”
    You’ll just love living under Comrade Kamala.

  25. Gary Dmytryk says:

    Way off topic, but many of you would be interested in the new anti-interventionalist policy think tank being endowed jointly by George Soros and one of the Koch brothers. Trita Parsi and Andrew Bacevich are among the staff. See the articles in the American Conservative, and the Boston Globe, .

  26. Eugene Owens says:

    TI –
    I believe you are correct about a Turkish puppet state in NW Syria. That process started back in 2016 when the Turkish Army occupied al Bab, Azaz, and Jarabulus. They installed Turkish civilian officials to ‘oversee’ the locals. They have brought in Turkish police, civil servants, and even some teachers. And are starting to do the same in the Afrin District. So, they may not make it a Turkish Province like Ataturk did to Syria’s al-Iskenderun District, but maybe a partial-annex. A quasi-colony? Perhaps not in Idlib though as Erdogan is getting cold feet there.
    As far as northern Cyprus, the Turks do not have to actually annex the place. They have a large occupation army there, plus Navy, AF and CG contingents. In addition, the northern Cyprus Security Force of local conscripts is commanded by a Turkish Army general and much of the officer corps is also from Turkey. According to the UN northern Cyprus is one of the most militarized areas in the world. It is effectively a Turkish puppet state.

  27. Walrus says:

    Jack, everything you say about chinese business behaviour is true, but according to our family’s experience, the bait and switch techniques that have sucked in western businesses go back at least as early as 1934, when my father started trading there. It’s not just a CCP thing, if Peking was run by card carrying Republican Chinese, they would do exactly the same.
    I know personally know two businessmen who got sucked in by the “huge Asian market” spiel and lost their businesses as a result. One suicided.
    If you want some laughs about another, different, market, read “carpet wars” about the fiendish Persians who built that rug industry. The East learned to suck in greedy westerners a very long time ago.

  28. turcopolier says:

    EO and TI
    You folks underestimate the intensity of neo-Ottoman irredentism. A puppet state would be for them only an intermediate step. They want Idlib and are doing well in their campaign to get it. You do know that most prople in Hatay are Arabs who did not want to be annexed to Turkey?

  29. Walrus says:

    Col. Lang, not Biden specifically. My point is that China and the CCP deserve some respect for their achievements, even if they are Communists. It should also be apparent as “Elsi” indicates, that China has different threats and priorities from the West.
    For example Americans fear government attacks on property rights, Chinese people fear civil disorder.

  30. turcopolier says:

    Like Canadians? Seriously, when I was a young fellow I remember hearing an old man address a waiter in a Chinese restaurant as “boy.” I was shocked and have never heard onything like that after.

  31. ancientarcher says:

    Do you trust Chinese statistics?
    No doubt, over time, the Chinese govt. will exert increasing control over Hong Kong. Over the last 10 years, I have seen a significant de-anglicisation of Hong Kong – whether street signs or signage at shops, they have slowly moved to Chinese characters. The steady sinification of Hong Kong has been on for some time now. They will move the peg of the HKD to the Renminbi next. But then, I believe it is inevitable that Hong Kong becomes fully Chinese indistinguishable from the mainland in every respect. And not just because there is no power big enough to stop them. The cultural, financial and political influence of mainland China is just too big!

  32. DH says:

    Sir, thank you for the background.

  33. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Thank you for your comment. I only ask that you be kind enough to describe how a democratically elected government could function with 1.5 billion citizens
    a., 1 representative per million citizens a government of 1500 “house members” guaranteeing chaos[a la European parliament with 750 or so members from 15 or so parties for 450 million citizens]
    b., something approaching the size of US Congress 400 odd seats each for about 3 million citizens. Heck the US Congress [or the Canadian Parliament] can not act in the general interest of her citizens with fewer citizens per representative [and far fewer citizens per Members of Parliament in Canada]

  34. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Sorry Fred, I have no use for Ms. Kamala for she stands for nothing consistent – whatever direction the daily wind blows she will follow.

  35. aleksandar says:

    If and only if he was a french speaking canadian, no offense.
    We are used to call waiters ” boys ” or ” garçon ” instead of ” garçon de café ” that is the proper job title.!

  36. Walrus says:

    I think i am trying to say that characterising all other nations based on how far they have progressed towards an “ideal”’ that just happens to be what Americans want to think of themselves is not helpful to anyone.
    It makes about as much sense as Australians debating how Australian the Chinese are becoming or the French wondering the Chinese “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” quotient. Chinese are not Americans.
    I am not uncritical of China. I am concerned for example, by the Orwellian Chinese “social credit” scheme, but not because I think it undemocratic, but because our own Governments may try to replicate it here,,,,,for the children and against terrorism of course.

  37. turcopolier says:

    My, how sophisticated you Canadians are.

  38. Barbara Ann says:

    I do not need to describe it, you cited an example yourself; India, whose population is forecast to exceed 1.5 billion within a decade, is a functioning democracy.
    Granted, it comes down to the definition of “effective leadership”. But then I would flip the question around and ask how long the CCP will be deemed “effective” when China hits its first serious modern crisis – be that economic, environmental, or whatever. Let us see then how the Chinese choose to express their feelings about their self-appointed masters. Judging the efficacy of a political system on a very few decades of one way travel in the standard of living seems premature. But in any case, if the Chinese are happy with their system good luck to them.
    The current problems of the US Congress have far more to do with the rampant political corruption much discussed on this blog, than with scale. I for one remain certain that this can be overcome. It must, what is the alternative – appoint a President-for-life or create a US politburo? So long as Americans choose to remain free of such a system, democracy can be made to work at any scale. In the end it comes down to faith, self-confidence and the will to make it succeed – all the things that made America the great nation it is.

  39. Jack says:

    Joshua Wong rebuttal.
    Over 2 million people in HK took to the streets. That’s the equivalent of 70 million people in the US protesting. That’s serious discontent with CCP authoritarianism. People in HK want to be free and no US plot can entice that many people to come out on the streets against the CCP puppets.
    BTW, would you care to provide the CCP spin on 2.5 million Uighyurs in concentration camps? Re-education?

  40. Eugene Owens says:

    pl –
    Perhaps you are right about full annexation?
    But I disagree about Idlib. The Russian VVS is actively participating with the SyAAF to bomb and strafe Erdogan’s allies in Idlib. Two thirds of the province has been, and continues to be heavily bombed. Erdogan may have been doing well in Idlib last year, but he is now starting to lose his grip there. The province is completely under the control of jihadis except for a few TKK OPs. The only area he is doing well at in Idlib is on the Kabani Front where he is heavily supplying his Syrian Turkmen allies.
    Or maybe my armchair theorizing is full of bullpucky? I’ve been wrong before.

  41. Fred says:

    You’ll be getting her – unless you vote for Trump. Enjoy election 2020.

  42. TI says:

    “According to the UN northern Cyprus is one of the most militarized areas in the world. It is effectively a Turkish puppet state.”
    I know, Turkey has also promoted settlement of Turks from Asia minor there to cement its control. But no formal annexation, so I don’t see why they would do that in Syria. A puppet regime under heavy Turkish influence suits them just fine imo.

  43. TI says:

    “You do know that most prople in Hatay are Arabs who did not want to be annexed to Turkey?”
    Yes, I understand that. But there’s also the question whether the Turkish public is keen on more Arabs as citizens, some Turks at least aren’t happy at all about their increased demographic presence:
    I suppose Erdogan and his Islamists would be fine with that, since it suits their Islamist agenda and they’d expect Syrian refugees to be a grateful and reliable voting bloc once they’ve been enfranchised. But Turkey also is a very nationalist country, so imo there’s a certain contradiction between neo-Ottoman expansionism and the narrowly nationalist sentiments of many Turks. I’m not sure Erdogan can afford to totally ignore those sentiments.

  44. Elsi says:

    沒有, seriously…

  45. Elsi says:

    Rebuttals from Joshua Wong are not valid rebuttals, any independent source besides of that?
    Last from HK ( no privileged info, available to anybody wanting to see…)
    The “pro-democratic” activists assault the HK Parliament ( like in Tbilisi, btw..oh, man, this is so from the book..) and feeling that not enough “democratic and sovereign”, thye have planted the British colonial flag in the tribune:
    Btw, since you ask me, let me ask you, would you tolerate this assault on your Congress?

  46. Jim S says:

    Mr Roberts,
    I read your article on the Uyghurs and the BRI with interest. I think we agree that China’s fears of clandestine activity in the NW are founded. The Party’s security measures have thus far been effective. It’s ironic that the BRI further exposes China to the extremist activity which it must be secured against; actually, this poses something of a strategic dilemma for China, doesn’t it? China’s economic future rests with the BRI and trade with Muslim countries, but China wishes to avoid becoming entangled in the politics of Islam. The Uyghurs aside, what is China’s approach to tensions between Turkey and Iran? Most maps of the BRI have it connecting Tehran and Istanbul (until recently they also connected Kiev and Moscow).
    This question may be of interest to a forum filled with ME specialists. Incidentally, stories of the re-education camps are beginning to percolate through Muslim consciousness. Those stories don’t seem to paint as favorable a picture as your article.
    As for Tiananmen, for the purposes of discussion I’m willing to accept the claim of three dozen soldiers and policemen killed if you are willing to discuss the 3,000 to 10,000 civilians killed when the PLA cleared the square. The streets ran red with blood. That’s not suppression? When Deng received the report of the death toll, he is said to have been quite surprised it was so low; some believe he had been willing to accept 100,000 deaths to break up to protests. So perhaps you are correct that by the Party’s standards it wasn’t suppression. What lessons from Tiananmen will the Party apply to Hong Kong?

  47. Elsi says:

    BTW, would you care to provide the CCP spin on 2.5 million Uighyurs in concentration camps? Re-education?

    No way that I care, since, as I have already left crystal clear, I have no idea on CCP spin, but occurs to me that those may well be ISIS Uyghurs, couldn´t they be? Thus, yes, re-education may be then a possibility. In the end, what wpuld you prefer, re-education, or obliteration by the Russian Air Forces in Idlib?

  48. Tidewater says:

    Do you have any information on what Turkey is doing in Qatar? I know that Turkey is building a new air base there. It should be finished soon, I would think. And Turkey reportedly plans to station as many as ten thousand troops there. Is that accurate? Do you know how many Turkish troops are stationed in Qatar at the moment? There could be at least three thousand right now?
    Why? What is all this about?

  49. Eugene Owens says:

    TI –
    And it has been a Turkish puppet state for 45 years. Ankara seems happy with that. Would that change in the future as Colonel Lang thinks – who knows?

  50. Eugene Owens says:

    Tidewater –
    I don’t have an answer. Back four years ago when they first set up the Qatar-Turkey Combined Joint Force Command there were only about 100. It was a mix but mostly HQ personnel. Two years ago when the Saudis and Emiratis started threatening Qatar it was supposedly beefed up with five to six hundred troops. They have probably sent many more by now. I’ve also seen the 3000 figure.
    Probably a lot of Turkish civilians there also. They have opened Turkish schools, a hospital, and cultural center in Qatar. Plus Turkish engineers and technician. Undoubtedly paid for with Qatari Riyals. And the Turks are getting Qatari LNG, probably at a good discount.

  51. Thirdeye says:

    Nailed it. Large industrial combines with heavy state intervention and a labyrinth of rules for foreigners doing business have been features of east Asian economies since the rise of Imperial Japan. That sort of national project enterprise is how Mitsubishi originated. Then we saw essentially the same thing with the Chaebols of South Korea and now we’re seeing it in China. I suspect that the current paradigm of Chinese economic development is more about emulating the Japanese model than any leftover CCP ideology. It grates on our Western sensibilities but it is effective.

  52. Tidewater says:

    Thanks. I’ve started to try to pay more attention. I always took Turkey for granted. No longer. It looks like the S-500 has reached a decisive stage and is going into production. This is big news. And Turkey will have a hand in producing it! Also, some of the billions in Qatar investment in Turkish banks etc. is being pulled out. Loss of faith?
    I think we should look for a major provocation by Iran or Iranian proxies on July 4, tomorrow.

  53. Tidewater says:

    I think I just lost a post when I tested the link I provided. I am going to provide it again without checking to see if it works. ‘Tour d’horizon’ means ‘overview’ and my feeling is that we are now inside the horizon. Therefore what I am recommending here is relevant, if not exactly about China. Are you familiar with a Melbourne organization called Breakthrough-National Centre for Climate Restoration? They can be found at
    They are bringing out videos and publications designed for discussion groups. I am reading one of their papers now by David Spratt and Ian Dunlop. ‘Existential climate-related security risk. A scenario approach.’ There is a foreward by Admiral Chris Barrie, AC RAN Retired. They also have a video on YouTube called: ‘Homefront: Australian Military Leaders on Climate Emergency.’
    If this link fails the google link will get anyone curious there. I find these folks to be impressive. Also, it’s fun hearing it in the indigenous language, which I believe is called ‘Strine.’

  54. Barbara Ann says:

    Would flying an RC-135 into Iranian airspace with the transponder spoofed to an Iranian code on the anniversary of the USS Vincennes shoot down of Iranian civil flight 655 be classed as a major provocation?

  55. Eugene Owens says:

    Tidewater –
    There has been discussion in Turkish Cypriot newspapers regarding stationing S-400s in northern Cyprus. A bad mistake IMHO, as it would put them at risk. But if true it could be they are going to try to enforce their claim on potential offshore natural gas fields.

  56. Eugene Owens says:

    BA –
    What USAF or RAF general would be stupid enough to use a 100 million dollar aircraft with 30 crewmembers as bait to start a war? If they were going to do that why not use a fighter, maybe a Wild Weasel armed with radar homing missiles.
    Moon needs to lay off the moonshine.

  57. seydlitz says:

    is not HK Chinese taken originally by the British at gun point,the west cannot intimidate a nation of 1.5 billion people who have a nuclear arsenal.,

  58. John Minehan says:

    Chinese history tends, even more than most countries, to be a cycle of “booms and busts.” The improvement of living standards in the PRC since 1979 is an enormous achievement.
    The problem is that, if Chinese history is an indicator, it can collapse nearly as rapidly.
    The efforts of the Party, post-Tiananmen Square have been to avoid another crisis and further instability by increasing living standards while keeping a higher level of social control by the government than would be acceptable in the West.
    So far, it has worked. One Belt/One Road (“OBOR’) is probably focused more on stability within the PRC than on the PRC’s economic place in the World.
    It gives the “Young Emperors,” with family money behind them a chance to build a place in the world (and avoid getting involved in Politics or Social Movements in the PRC). Thus, OBOR might have value even if he does not have short-term economic returns that justify it. on the other hand, Xi becoming leader for life, neutralizes a significant advantage the PRC had over other authoritarian systems: a clearer and less arbitrary system for succession.
    The PRC has the potential to be the greatest, most hegemonic economic and cultural power the world has ever seen . . . or the biggest basket case.

  59. John Minehan says:

    Athens and Sparta clashed. Thebes (and, later, Macedon) won.
    As Kurt Vonnegut said, “So it goes.”

  60. John Minehan says:

    But, past a certain point, that kind of structure may (or may not) be competitive. Japanese keiretsu have not been beneficial to Japan in the “Lost Decade” (going on almost 30 years at this point) period.

  61. John Minehan says:

    i think this VASTLY over-estimates our capabilities and ambitions . . . .

  62. John Minehan says:

    It is in many places.
    But that is the problem (including for governments run by people of the Islamic faith, that operate on other principles).

  63. John Minehan says:

    Well, the PRC HAD a good system for selecting the top leaders . . . until Xi altered it . . . .

  64. John Minehan says:

    Well, in 1989, the PRC did not control Hong Kong. Now, they both control it and are responsible for it.
    Let’s see what they do.

  65. John Minehan says:

    Quiet obviously . . . unless the system fails.

  66. turcopolier says:

    John Minehan
    So, the CCP had it right until Xi took over?

  67. John Minehan says:

    They had what most authoritarian systems lack: a good plan for succession. During the period of the Reign of the Five Good Emperors/Nerva–Antonine dynasty, the Principate had it too.

  68. John Minehan says: The system in the PRC is flawed . . . but pragmatic and adoptable . . . but what recent changes mean is an open question.

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