Pivot To Asia, Round Two

I’ve been hoping to find a digest of reliable information and analysis about U.S./NATO war plans aimed at China. Here is my second attempt, an imitation of my friend JK’s valiant efforts on Ukraine news (her mini-digest “contains information you are not likely to read/hear in the Western/U.S. media.” If you want to get on her list, message me.) 

A lot has happened since my first attempt back in February; but, since I don’t read or speak either dialect of Chinese (or Japanese or Korean), I feel ill-qualified to edit news from China. Maybe someone among the readers here will consider taking this on?


BLINKEN IN CHINA: Did it accomplish anything?  (9:41)

Andy Boreham, Reports on China, June 20, 2023


“The common interests of the two countries should be valued, and their respective success is an opportunity instead of a threat to each other.” Chinese President Xi Jinping


Corporate media slanders China, Cuba – A lie so blatant even the Pentagon must deny it

by Sara Flounders, Worker’s World, June 16, 2023


Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, Carlos Fernández de Cossío Domínguez, called the [Wall Street Journal] reports “totally mendacious and unfounded… Cuba rejects all foreign military presence in Latin America, including the many U.S. bases and troops” and the U.S. occupation of Guantanamo. 

(Note from LS: Touché)


NATO opening an office in Japan

Bruce Gagnon, Organizing Notes, June 17, 2023


NATO is planning to open a liaison office in Japan (likely hosted at Yokota Air Base), the first of its kind in Asia. The station will allow the military alliance to conduct periodic consultations with Japan and key partners in the region such as South Korea, Australia and New Zealand as China emerges as ‘a new challenge’


Strategies of Denial

by Gray Anderson, New Left Review, June 15, 2023


passage of the Inflation Reduction and CHIPS Acts made tangible the ‘deep integration of domestic policy and foreign policy’. Restrictions on the export of crucial AI and semiconductor components to China.. confirmed the drive to monopolize ‘chokepoint’ or ‘stranglehold’ technologies, a veritable declaration of economic war. ‘These actions’, a CSIS analysis concluded, ‘demonstrate an unprecedented degree of US government intervention to not only preserve chokepoint control but also begin a new US policy of actively strangling large segments of the Chinese technology industry – strangling with an intent to kill.’ 


What’s behind U.S.-driven reforms coming to the World Bank?

Conor Gallagher, Naked Capitalism (link is to Popular Resistance share), June 14, 2023


Change is coming to the World Bank.. It’s difficult to predict exactly how the new mission will play out, but one thing is clear: the efforts are being driven by the desire to counter/thwart Beijing’s expanding global influence.. And it looks like the reforms will go hand in hand with pushing the debunked narrative that Chinese lending is a debt trap while also trying to relegate China to the backseat in the growing number of distressed countries.

(Note from LS: Since China kicked butt on accomplishing the “eradicate poverty” goal previously expressed as the World Bank’s mission, PR spin is sorely needed.)


The Hegemon Will Go Full Hybrid War Against BRICS+

Pepe Escobar, Strategic Culture, June 12, 2023


U.S. Think Tank Land – inebriated by their self-created aura of power – always telegraphs in advance what they’re up to. That was the case with Project 9/11 (“We need a new Pearl Harbor”). That was the case with the RAND report on over-extending and unbalancing Russia. And now that’s the case with the incoming American War on BRICS as outlined by the chairman of the New York-based Eurasia Group.


U.S. Navy preparing for war with China – COI #432 (51:51)

Kyle Anzalone & Connor Freeman, Conflicts of Interest, June 10, 2023

China portion begins around 11:40

Excerpt (from Antiwar.com post describing the contents of the video):

..details a top US admiral – the head of INDOPACOM – saying he’s been tasked by the president and the Pentagon chief to win direct a war with China over Taiwan


Taiwan Says It’s in Talks on Being Brought Under US Nuclear Umbrella

Dave DeCamp, Antiwar.com, May 28, 2023


Taiwan’s foreign minister said last week that the US and Taiwan are in talks on the possibility of the island being brought under Washington’s nuclear umbrella, a step that would make a catastrophic war between the US and China much more likely.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu made the comments before Taiwan’s parliament


Psy-ops warriors: Tiananmen Square and the media-pack

Gregory Clark, Pearls & Irritations, June 12, 2023


Fixing an American Mess: China, Iran, and Pakistan link up to secure Afghanistan

F.M. Shakil, The Cradle, June 13, 2023


As part of their strategic partnership agreement for 2021, China reportedly pledged a $400 billion investment in Iran over the next 25 years, while Pakistan hosts the flagship project of the BRI, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is in this complex security context that the first-ever trilateral anti-terrorist parley between China, Iran, and Pakistan took place last week.


The generational divide in Australian politics is widening

Alan Patience, Pearls & Irritations, June 17, 2023


AUKUS is becoming a rallying point for those who are fed up with the old politics. Local [Australian Labor Party] branches.. are rising up to condemn the Albanese government’s morally flawed commitment to the project. Indeed that commitment is likely to become counterproductive for the government at the next election. 

(Note from LS: AUKUS is a military alliance to threaten China — Australia’s largest trading partner — and its provision to station nuclear submarines in Australia is a violation of that nation’s constitution.)


Fukushima plan a nuclear threat to Asia-Pacific

Shaun Burnie, China Daily, June 13, 2023


There is no scientific, legal or moral justification for Japan to deliberately contaminate our shared and common marine environment. And concerned citizens, scientists, maritime lawyers, the fishing communities across the Asia-Pacific and the world’s leading oceanography universities and institutes have spread public awareness about the nuclear dangers, something that has rarely been done before.

Item#13 (mainstream media source)

Space race: how the U.S. and China are locked in a battle to become superior in space

Rachel Shilke, Breaking News Reporter, Washington Examiner, June 20, 2023


China launched its Tiangong space station in 2022, working as the sole operator and user. Tiangong was created after China was excluded from the [International Space Station], largely because of the U.S.’s reservations over Chinese space programs and their ties to the [People’s Liberation Army].

(Note from LS: “Breaking news” from mainstream media alleges U.S. is “locked in battle” with China for space dominance, but “U.S. remains superior.” Delusional thinking by the declining empire.)

Want to know more about how space figures into plans for war on China? 

More details and link to register for a July 15 Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space webinar here. (Note that the NY time should read EDT not EST.)

Peacewashing The War In Ukraine

It’s hard to argue with the view that NATO is a lot better at winning narrative competitions than it is at winning wars. From “How Nato seduced the European Left” by Lily Lynch on Unherd:

Previously, in the Nordic countries, Atlanticists have had to sell war and militarism to largely pacifist publics. This was achieved in part by presenting Nato not as a rapacious, pro-war military alliance, but as an enlightened, “progressive” peace alliance.

Fast forward to last week when a self-styled “peace summit” in Vienna produced the absurd statement shared above, eliciting the following statement from participant Magyar Békekör:

From the final text of the declaration issued by the International Peace Bureau, which emerged from obscurity, even the passage in the original draft, which mentioned NATO’s “co-responsibility”, was omitted.

In their closing statement, the organizers of the conference demand an immediate ceasefire and negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. Civilian diplomatic intervention is envisaged at their countries’ embassies, including the Russian one, while condemning Russia.

The group organizing the peace conference did not demand the opinion of the participants in approving the final declaration, nor did they initiate an open discussion about it. At the end of the “peace summit” it was read aloud, as if meeting with everyone’s agreement. [emphasis mine]

Manufacturing consent for an ongoing war of choice by the U.S./NATO in Ukraine is not peace work, despite window dressing provided by the presence of luminaries of the Democratic Party-aligned “peace” movement in the U.S. like Joseph Gerson and Medea Benjamin.

Lynch, like many, sees the NATO war on the former Yugoslavia as a turning point.

Kosovo changed everything. In 1999 — the 50th anniversary of Nato’s founding — the alliance began what academic Merje Kuus has called a “discursive metamorphosis”. From the mere defensive alliance it was during the Cold War, it was becoming an active military compact concerned with spreading and defending values such as human rights, democracy, peace, and freedom well beyond the borders of its member states. The 78-day Nato bombing of what remained of Yugoslavia, ostensibly to halt war crimes committed by Serbian security forces in Kosovo, would forever transform the German Greens.

I remember a principal from a military family urging me to read a tome on “Responsibility to Protect” when he was my supervisor and I was teaching about genocides, around 2005. I thought the notion absurd at the time and quite possibly dangerous. 

Events in the decades since have shown my fear was not misplaced.

As some have argued persuasively, NATO’s purpose is not to win wars but to generate profits for uber wealthy military-industrial titans that own and operate the U.S. government.

So what looks like failure to the general public e.g.

Documented equipment losses from Ukraine’s spring offensive

looks like success to them e.g.

Peek into the stock portfolios of Congress or the Supreme Court and you’ll see a built in incentive to keep pushing wars and never mind about winning, or even ending, them.

It gets worse. Lynch on new strategies to prey on younger people:

In February, Nato held its first ever gaming event. A young employee of the alliance joined popular Twitch streamer ZeRoyalViking to play Among Us and casually chat about the danger disinformation poses to democracy.* With them was a mountaineer influencer and environmental activist named Caroline Gleich. As their astronaut avatars navigated a cartoon spaceship, they spoke about Nato in glowing terms. By the event’s end, the stream had turned into a recruitment effort: the alliance employee talked about the perks of his job and encouraged viewers to check the Nato website for employment opportunities in fields such as graphic design and video editing.

I’ve written before about the hollowing out of major “peace” organizations here in the U.S., and about the role of major “environmental” organizations in maintaining consent for the Pentagon’s climate crimes. 

This is the result of designating wars as Republican or Democratic Party projects: liberals hate the former while cheerleading for the latter. 

I’m part of a small group opposed to all of the U.S./NATO’s many wars — no matter what letter happens to be after the name of the person currently in the White House.

*My note: The “dangers of disinformation” is a signature trope of the DNC-social media-corporate media-narrative- management complex, which others have covered in depth here and here.