Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 1, 2017

The news would have us think that China’s reverse-engineered copy of a Soviet-made diesel aircraft carrier is nuclear-powered and in full commission. It’s not. It’s simply being towed from one construction site to another. But, it is another milestone step in progress and the West needs to pay close attention. With all the excitement over Korean nukes, China obtaining its own aircraft carriers is a bigger step and a bigger threat to China’s neighbors. Heads are turning in Japan and India.

Trump’s “bromance” with China’s President Xi isn’t without precedent. The two are smart. Trump is less-controlled by the big political class. No matter how much Xi may want to resolve peace, any deal he makes with Trump must be pleasing to the Communist Party of China. Perhaps some success with Trump on the Kim dynasty in Korea will help Xi persuade the old boys club in China. But, that would be a first. Old school Chinese don’t like to learn new tricks.

Eventually, Korea will make major steps toward becoming one nation. Then, the US and China will change colors in the South Sea. Both sides will have gotten what they wanted: a stable Korean Peninsula. But, when the conflict in the West Pacific erupts, all bets will be off. It won’t be America who betrays first, the Chinese will make their move after they have their excuse. The ongoing US relationship with Taiwan may be that excuse. And, in the minds of the Chinese, the US will have been wrong.

Xi and Trump will become like old generals who know each other from battle field just as well as from the tea time table. No matter how much conflict they have, they will always be grateful for their cooperation in Korea. That’s what mature generals do. And, that is the current leadership at both ends of the Pacific.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 10, 2017

Xi Jinping’s poker face waned. He’s not happy, though the reasons elude most Western readers. Though not democratic, Xi is a politician. He must balance wisdom with pleasing the veiled powers that overshadow the goings on of China. Those powers won’t hesitate to give the ax to any leader who fails to deliver on their expansionist ambitions. Xi has fought corruption and sought infrastructure. Xi was gaining momentum. Now, the US and Russia are rumbling in both of China’s back yards weeks after Xi announced that, where military tech is concerned, China needs to play “catch-up” or become “ketchup”. This can’t be good for Xi’s inside politics with Chinese elections approaching.

Trump certainly isn’t pulling any punches. Striking Syria while dining with China’s Chairman wasn’t unintentional. Remember, Trump has dealt with the Chinese on many occasion. Xi is difficult to read, except to say his rehearsed Asian smile is waning. A micron might as well be a mile in an Asian smile. In the weeks ahead, remember that Xi is half himself and half the hidden hand that controls all that goes on in China. That’s true of every Chinese president. In all this, Xi met with Trump and all went well. No matter when or how Xi’s career closes, no matter what his true ambitions were, China will go on and history will remember Chinese President Xi as the builder of bridges, inroads, aircraft carriers, and islands.

Xi wanted to remind the US of its Capitalist values: Don’t blame others for your problems. Yet, China clearly doesn’t share those values. Neither does North Korea, the stray dog that has adopted the doorstep at China’s northern back yard.

From China’s vantage point, North Korea is a nuisance and an excuse for an unwelcome US presence. Kim Dynasty narcissism has over-played and pushed the envelope with Beijing. Watch for Chinese heads of State to bark, then look the other way, much how the US does when Israel responds to Palestine.

So, why is the media announcing and discussing the possibilities of dealing with North Korea? True military tactics never make it on television—unless the reporter finds himself accused of a frivolous-like sexual crime and holes-up in an Ecuadoran Embassy to avoid extradition for espionage. It’s discussion on US military options like we saw over North Korea this week that makes it difficult for a US prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian “Espionage” Assange to seem believable from any angle. “Assassination, nuke-up, or surgical strike” are only media talking points to make the greater point: Knock it off or else.

Assassinations are illegal for the US according to the US’ own law, viz Executive Order 12333. It is doubtful, even in Trump’s stock-up on signing pens, that he plans to wipe out that order for North Korea alone—if he does, Assad is his next target and Kim was just an excuse. The US hopes to finish this situation in Korea before a nuclear buildup has time to grow moss. So does China. A “nuke-up” wouldn’t be grand strategy. An internal strike inside North Korea would illicit an avalanche. Anti-Iraq II Donald J. Trump won’t want to create another “vacuum”. A surgical strike would be an assist to something else. What’s really going on? Don’t think for one second that the media does know or that CIA doesn’t.

There’s joker in the North Korean deck and it is stacked to favor the West. We’ll just have to keep watching.

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Encore of Revival: America, April 10, 2017

Senate Democrats are now making noises about 60-vote cloture being removed for legislation. The cloture rule was removed 55-45 for Supreme Court nominees. Why Democrats have brought up the discussion for removing the cloture rule altogether remains a mystery, unless they expect to use fear as a preventative tactic in 2018. However, once an idea is introduced, even if by fear, the idea is up for valid discussion. Had Democrats hoped to retain cloture for legislation, they should have allowed Republicans to bring it up first. Now, elimination of the cloture rule altogether is inevitable.

The White House is in somewhat of a shakeup. Chief “Strategerist” Steve Bannon is getting shuffled, but no reasons seem to be valid. We may not find out the real reasons for at least two years, once the presses cool off, the stakes aren’t as high, and people aren’t so tight-lipped about inside baseball.

Trump ordered a 59-Tomahawk cruise missile strike on Syria after 80 were killed with nerve gas. The missiles targeted what was thought to be the base for the gas attack. Russia is also on the scene. The nerve gas was banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Putin responded with his usual worldview of nationalist, socialist victimhood. Whatever he and his crew resort to is necessary because of what the West took from them in the zero sum game. Putin is a true Hitler—gentle and endearing as a teddy bear who never raises his voice before his audience, compassionate, polite, never rude, never tough to critique directly, only strong to march behind, and everything he does is excused by what “they did to us”.

Syria’s use of banned chemical weapons could have been a ploy all along, by the Russians and their allies, to draw Trump’s action to justify escalation. Though it may have been bait from the Russian’s view, it might have been brilliant for Trump to tell the world that the US isn’t pantie-whipped anymore and to draw Russia’s attention to the Middle East while the USS Carl Vinson carrier group goes to North Korea.

Nearly 100k jobs were created in March alone, over 200k in February. An accurate presidential poll—Investor’s Business Daily—ranked Trump at 34% approval. Since Trump took office, Americans have only seen two results: a boom in jobs and an onslaught from the news industry. The people haven’t heard much from Trump directly because he is too busy keeping promises, no matter how politically controversial those promises are.

With good and bad news, people’s political opinions haven’t changed; they have only strengthened. And, that strengthening is just now getting started.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 3, 2017

China continues an uphill battle with the Western media. Sunflower students were cleared of all charges in their occupation of their nation’s legislature three years ago, almost to the day. Joined by leaders Lin and Chen, Joshua Wong from Hong Kong’s Umbrella movement urged the release of a Taiwanese college instructor, Lee Ming-che, from China’s custody. Lee is an advocate for human rights and is being held for matters of “national security”.

The best way to understand the Hong Kong Umbrella movement’s end game is regime change in China. Hong Kong has no military and pro-independence Hong Kongers don’t seem to be advocating mandatory military draft enrollment for all Hong Kong males. Taiwanese males not only have mandatory draft enrollment, but have a minimum compulsory service time after finishing school. Taiwan’s student movement interrupted secret government talks between the US adversary China and the US ally Taiwan. Taiwan purchases military equipment from the US, including Apache gunships and F-16 fighters, though trade was the primary concern of the Taiwanese protest. Both military and trade are China-related talking points from President Trump, especially this week. No such talking points related to the Hong Kong protests.

The Taiwanese movement was led by young men who would serve in their nation’s military, disrupted the government’s legislature for three weeks, and resulted in change. The Hong Kong protests were led by young men forbidden by their government from serving in their military, occupied public streets for three months, and only led to international attention. The only way to gauge the Hong Kong protests as a success is if the goal was to stir international attention in the media to raise sentiment against China—enough sentiment that China’s government changes enough to grant Hong Kong independence. That is quite a significant change, enough for China to consider the matter one of national security.

So, then, viewing activism as a matter of “national security” in China makes sense. Hong Kong’s status with China and human rights are topics Western media readers are interested in. By detaining people who live outside of China inside of China, activists such as Joshua Wong are receiving all the ammunition they need, courtesy of China.

China truly is in a war against the Western newspapers. That is probably why economics are Beijing’s primary tool against North Korea, while Donald Trump seems to have a different strategy in mind.

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Encore of Revival: America, February 27, 2017

Because haters are allowed to hate, certain things need to be said.

This is not any endorsement of pedophilia nor any recommendation that pedophilia laws be loosened.

This is a prediction.

Anything bad will increase when it is confronted with hate. Secretary Flynn’s conversations were reported to Trump the wrong way, by both Flynn and the press. He lost his job, some major networks were uninvited to an unofficial press “gaggle”, the same work continued, and unified complaints of the press and the dissidents backfired into more support for Trump and Flynn’s work. This week, the same media sought to make headlines concerning Milo Yiannopoulos.

The video version going viral (seen on The Providence,  but also others) makes accusations about “protecting” a criminal by not giving a name. The same presumption—in the video, in the media’s response, and in what happened with Flynn—is that “telling the press” is how to report a crime. Actually, “protecting a criminal” involves withholding names when asked by police. Informing the public through the press before informing the proper authorities of a crime could suggest defamation or even interference with police work. Milo can’t accuse anyone of a crime without proof. A small press interview is not the place to ask for a criminal to be named—unless the interviewer wants to obstruct the due process of law.

Many sex crime cases are difficult to prove in court, even with evidence. And, even with evidence, telling the press can lead to a mistrial. Telling anyone about a crime without evidence can lead to defamation charges. Milo wasn’t “protecting criminals” merely on account of not giving names to a curious podcast host, no matter how many podcast hosts might like to think so.

Over the last few weeks, the press has demonstrated a flamboyantly inflated view of itself, even in other areas. Mainstream voices in the news media think they are the authorities on anything they talk about. Take Chris Wallace’ interview with Reince Priebus for instance. No one is trying to tell the media what to do, but the media consistently tries to tell the country what to do—they try to boss everyone, from the voters to the president. When the president turns away press agencies with declining viewership, at unofficial meetings, the press cries about the country being under assault. The country is under assault, the question is, “From whom?”. The problem runs far deeper than a red-blue color pallet can render.

Back to Milo and pedophilia—exploiting Milo’s bad remarks in this way will ripple a dangerous effect. He did make overly-sexualized remarks, as he often does. He did come across as if his story motivates his attention-grabbing manner. As a journalist and senior editor attempting to explain many sides of a big problemMilo dispassionately attempts to introduce the complex problems of sexual relations—a topic that encyclopedias couldn’t contain; there is no way that can’t sound like an endorsement to people who are largely unfamiliar with the horrid things that happen behind closed doors. He was careless, crass, and should have been more aware of how people would react. But far more importantly than the right or wrong of Milo’s character assassination, as we saw in this past election, all press is positive press.

Shock-value reporting of sex outside marriage preceded rampant sex outside marriage. Shock-value reporting of homosexuals preceded legalization of homosexual marriage. This time, the press is reporting with shock-value a discussion on “endorsing pedophilia”. Guess what is going to eventually happen anyway, no matter what is said about what is said anyway.

“Coming out of the closet” as a homosexual has nearly reached its peak of headline-power. Now, when people announce that they are homosexual, the presses don’t stop anymore. But, the press loves to stop for the capital “P” word almost as much as people love to hate to read it in headlines. Thanks to this “whatever-we-call-it” gaggle episode with Milo and CPAC and resigning from Breitbart, the new thing to talk about won’t start with an “H” or an “L” or a “G” or a “B” or a “T” or a “Q”, it will start with a “P”.

Many people will identify with Milo, in both his past and how he is a spicy-sweet blend that can never be perfectly understood. His support will grow. His new media group will take off. His re-negotiated book, with likely extra chapter, will sell more copies. Many people will announce that they have secretly had the same thing happen to them, but were afraid to speak out, until now. Children will learn another new word at an early age. And, eventually as unfortunately, from the topic getting such attention in the press, pedophilia will unfortunately increase to a point where, unfortunately, sex laws could be changed by a popular vote.

And, the press’ hunt for hate didn’t help to stop the spread. The remaining question is whether the press is just ignorant of its unbiased power to endorse everything it reports as good or bad, or if the eventual outcome was what agents of the press wanted from the beginning. Changing laws about sex sure has sold a lot of newspapers. But, only God knows the intentions of the heart. That’s true of the press, just as it is true of us all.

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