Pivot To Asia Ramping Up Ominously

Source of map: researchgate.net

The only nation that has hundreds of military bases outside its own borders is about to open a new one. 

A huge new U.S. Marine Corps base on the island of Guam was paid for, in part, by Japan. Why would Japan do this? I read that it was part of a deal during the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia” to get Marines out of Okinawa. Locals there despise the presence of gaijin (foreigners) who rape and kill girls and women, and Okinawans have been struggling for decades to get rid of them.

Why export the misery to Guam? The indigenous population of Okinawa understands all too well what it’s like to live under Japanese imperialism. And taxpayers in Japan are by no means on board with ramping up military spending and abandoning Article 9 as the U.S. is demanding. 

Source: “Japan’s rearmament is a worrying sign” by Jamil Ragland, CTNewsJunkie

Demonstrations against Japan’s remilitarization are common in Tokyo and other Japanese cities these days — but don’t expect to read about it in the U.S. corporate media.

Instead, those who consume corporate media should expect to read more ranting from psychopaths like U.S. Air Force general Michael Minihan. He was in the news this week due to a memo (that the Pentagon disavowed, for what that’s worth) urging preparations for war with China which he predicted will be underway by 2025.

He ordered his underlings to practice shooting targets in the head to prepare.

He’s been quoted as believing that,

“[W]hen you can kill your enemy, every part of your life is better. Your food tastes better. Your marriage is stronger.”

No comment on what we’re all imagining about Minihan’s marriage.

Meanwhile another ex-Marine, weapons inspector Scott Ritter, shared his examination of the shift in U.S./NATO policy toward east Asia and also the “war-fighting domain” of outer space.

A recent statement by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) head Bill Nelson that the US was in a space race with China, when combined with recent moves by both the US and China to militarize space, could send the US on a policy trajectory that transforms established policy regarding space-based activities as being exclusively exploration-driven in nature, to one where conquest and domination become the dominating factors. 

Why do I pay attention to these “coulds” when the clear and present danger of Ukraine escalating into a nuclear confrontation grows daily?

Because weakening Russia and overthrowing Putin is the first stage of the neocon plan to take out China as the U.S.’s only feasible economic competitor. 

Paratroopers take part in a joint military drill among Japan, the US, Britain and Australia at Narashino exercise field in Chiba prefecture on January 8, 2023. Yuichi Yamazaki/AFP/Getty ImagesSource: “‘History might repeat itself’: Chinese ambassador warns Australia to be wary of Japan“, CNN

But the sanctions that were supposed to cripple Russia’s economy have instead strengthened it, and boomeranged on the economies of the U.S. and NATO nations.

Early indications are that sanctions on China are having a similar effect: weakening the dollar, and pushing the targeted nation toward more cooperation with others and diversification of its industrial capacity.

Reporting in The Verge:

[Dutch tech manufacturer] ASML CEO Peter Wennink previously told CNBC that China accounted for around 15 percent of the company’s sales in 2022. 

Wennink has said that any restrictions are unlikely to prevent China from building its own versions of the machines eventually. “If they cannot get those machines, they will develop them themselves,” Wennink told Bloomberg. “That will take time, but ultimately they will get there.”

On the Japanese side, the restrictions are expected to impact companies such as Nikon and Tokyo Electron.

As its old ally Germany has suffered under U.S. leadership from helping to conduct war on Russia via Ukraine, I think it’s reasonable to expect Japan to suffer from helping its old enemy conduct a proxy war on China via Taiwan.

Certainly Australians as traditional allies of the U.S. military empire are increasingly concerned about being targeted as a consequence of hosting bases and spying outposts on their soil, and of their economy unraveling if their extensive trade with China is disrupted. And some observers have speculated that neighboring New Zealand saw the recent resignation of PM Jacinda Ardern because she had lost the battle for Kiwis to remain neutral and nuclear-free.

In the U.S. we have half a million people unhoused and at risk of freezing to death this winter. We have 1 in 5 children growing up impoverished and hungry, and the federal government tells us there is no money for universal health care, student loan forgiveness, or to house and feed the people. Yet, at $858 billion for 2023, the military budget is at it highest point ever, and ominously increasing every year.

Historically, wars have caused untold suffering for populations who had little to no interest in pursuing them. War profiteers hijacked their governments and raked in profits while their people starved and died. 

Are we doomed to repeat these disasters?

An Empire So Arrogant It Sees No Need To Cover Its Butt

What an apt metaphor was the top heavy, bare-assed national costume for Miss USA prior to her being crowned Miss Universe 2023. Videos of contestant R’Bonney Gabriel barely managing the unstable weight of U.S. imperial hubris amid plans to colonize the moon and achieve “Full Spectrum Dominance” in space did not meet any of my criteria for beauty. But of course that wasn’t really the point — exaltation of the mighty U.S. was.

The irony that a Filipino American woman would help glorify U.S. imperialism despite her ancestors having suffered brutal colonization by the U.S. in the Philippines is indicative of where we’re at in 2023; without an understanding of history, it can be difficult to detect irony at all.

Gabriel’s costume is a good visual companion to the unsustainable hubris fairly dripping from my last missive from Maine’s Senator Angus King.

No relation to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and, as a wealthy white man, seriously lacking MLK’s insight into the dangers of U.S. militarism, Senator King establishes the low quality of his response to my concerns about nuclear weapons by starting with a quote from…Ronald Reagan. 

It goes downhill from there.

Notice how his aides have managed to compose an entire letter on the dangers of nuclear war without once mentioning either Ukraine or Russia. (Or, for that matter, China.) We are meant to decode for ourselves threats it does name: “malign actors” and “potential adversaries.” Quite a feat of obfuscation, wouldn’t you say?

King watchers note, however, that our senator recently traveled to Ukraine and met with the president there, did the obligatory photo op, and made remarks comparing Russian Federation President Putin to Hitler. 

Source: News Center Maine

King is not a stupid person nor an ignorant one, but he is willfully overlooking the strong presence of actual neo-Nazis in Ukraine’s government and military. He was also quoted while in Ukraine as saying, “Putin has made it very clear his overall goal is to establish the Soviet Union.” That is a bald faced lie, but he’s counting on the ignorance of his audience back in the U.S. to accept it without question.

Does King have his own imperial ambitions? Perhaps to run for president of the U.S. after helping to funnel billions into the coffers of weapons corporations? Stay tuned.

Historians among us might also take a look at this 2014 story about riding on a nuclear submarine under Arctic ice as the Arctic is another area of special interest for King. The story is quite revealing about U.S.-NATO intentions (on Russia’s extensive northern border, but for heavens sake don’t admit that).