Tag Archives: Biden administration ineptitude

Detente: The Vital Word Missing From Discourse On Russia And China, by Caitlin Johnstone

We don’t have to love Russia or China, nor do they have to love us, but trying to coexist with them makes a lot more sense than overt hostility. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

On a recent 60 Minutes interview with Norah O’Donnell which focused on the Biden administration’s China policy, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken talked about the United States as a defender of the rules-based international order and the importance of bringing Beijing into compliance with it.

“Our purpose is not to contain China, to hold it back, to keep it down:  it is to uphold this rules-based order that China is posing a challenge to,” Blinken said. “Anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we’re going to stand up and defend it.”

Now, had Blinken been speaking to an actual journalist, he would have been asked in what specific ways defending “the rules-based order” against China would differ from trying to contain China and keep it down. He would have also been asked what business a nation that has killed millions and displaced tens of millions in illegal wars just since the turn of this century while deliberately starving civilians to death with sanctions and blockades has proclaiming itself the defender of any “rules-based order”.

But Blinken was not talking to a journalist. Blinken was talking to Norah O’Donnell.

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The Fundamental Economic Problem with Biden’s Rescue Plan, by Antón Chamberlin

It’s never worked, but that’s never stopped devout believers in government that government can tax, spend, and borrow a nation to prosperity. From Antón Chamberlin at mises.org:

March 31 gave us a statement on the American Jobs Plan, and April 28 saw President Joe Biden speak on it to the American people (well, roughly 8 percent of the American people). The goal of the law is the following:

While the American Rescue Plan is changing the course of the pandemic and delivering relief for working families, this is no time to build back to the way things were. This is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy. The American Jobs Plan is an investment in America that will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and position the United States to outcompete China. Public domestic investment as a share of the economy has fallen by more than 40 percent since the 1960s. The American Jobs Plan will invest in America in a way we have not invested since we built the interstate highways and won the Space Race.

By increasing government spending, the Biden administration seeks to address infrastructure like highways, ports, and airports, as well as the electrical grid and broadband internet. For a longer list of the goals of the bill, read the full statement here.

This move, of course, will be lauded by many and disputed by others. But it does not seem too much to assume that both sides will miss the main problem with this bill. The Left will adore it for its brave use of the state to improve the lives of Americans, while the Right will abhor the bill since it is not their preferred form of big government spending (how dare we spend perfectly good money on infrastructure that could be used to murder innocent people in the Middle East?). What both sides fail to recognize is the economic reality of any and all state actions, a reality pointed out to us by Murray Rothbard in his 1956 article, “Toward a Reconstruction of Utility and Welfare Economics.” In that article, without having to rely on a single ethical judgment, Rothbard concludes the apodictic advantages of the market and the perennial waste of government expenditure.

Rothbard begins his reconstruction with two scientific principles: the unanimity rule and demonstrated preference. In Rothbard’s words, Wilfredo Pareto’s Unanimity Rule (reintroduced by Lionel Robbins) states, “We can only say that ‘social welfare’ (or better, ‘social utility’) has increased [sic] due to a change, if no individual is worse off because of the change (and at least one is better off).”1

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Facing the Facts of War with Russia, by Douglas MacGregor

We don’t have the military wherewithal to back up a war guarantee to the Ukraine. From Douglas MacGregor at theamericanconservative.com:

The Biden administration appears willing to get us into a fight we’re not ready for.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L) and US Vice President Joe Biden (2nd R) meet on March 10, 2011 with their delegations in Moscow. (ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP via Getty Images)
 

Conflict with Russia may be inevitable. Kiev’s strident threats to resolve the crisis in Eastern Ukraine with force of arms, combined with Washington’s refusal to acknowledge that Moscow actually has legitimate national security interests in Eastern Ukraine, makes it so. Equally troubling, the president sees no particular reason why he should explain to the American people why Washington’s readiness to support Kiev’s use of force against Russia makes strategic sense for America.

In 1937, when the Imperial Japanese government expressed sincere regret for attacking and sinking the U.S.S. Panay, an American gunboat that had been patrolling China’s Yangtze River, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew was not satisfied. He warned the Japanese Foreign Ministry that “Facts mean more than Statements.”

Grew was right. A Biden-Harris guarantee of support for the Ukrainian government’s plan to reconquer its lost territories, including Luhansk, Donetsk, or Crimea, is about as meaningless as the British government’s 1939 guarantee of assistance to the Poles in the event of a German attack on Poland.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided not to retaliate against the Japanese. FDR knew there was no public support in the United States for a war with Japan or any other great power. FDR also resisted pressure from the U.S. Navy’s admirals to retaliate because he knew America’s armed forces were not ready for a full-scale war. As for our British friends, they were not ready to weaken their fleet in the Atlantic to join a fight against Japan when the threat of war with Germany was growing.

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A Hundred Days of Joe, by James Howard Kunstler

A hundred days in and the Biden administration has yet to do anything right. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

America’s first animatronic president outside of Disney World routinely does a disappearing act every weekend. Where does he go? Does his management team plug him into a recharging station? Does he rest on a catafalque in some sub-basement of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue like one of the fabled undead from the Hollywood crypt classics?  Or do they just stuff him into a closet where the rolling podiums and teleprompters are stored?

It’s unclear exactly what his duties were in eight years as vice-president, besides running interference for his busy son, Hunter, who followed the Veep around the world like a Roomba vacuum cleaner picking up nickels and dimes, but Joe did have to answer to the then-Bigger Guy, Barack Obama, and one wonders if that is not still the case. Does he actually meet regularly with go-between Susan Rice, or just wait for instructions, go where he is told to go, and read what has been prepared for him to read?

The executive regime, whatever it actually consists of, has rolled out an impressive first hundred days agenda of orders and acts designed to obliterate whatever remains of an American common culture and a US economy based on the transactions of free individuals. The easiest, and most readily damaging, was to simply reverse the previous administration’s policy of controlling our border with Mexico. All you had to do was order the border agents to do nothing — and let the restless folk to the south hear that the welcome mat was laid out. Voila! An out-of-control border! Just what you want!

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Escobar: Russia “Would Really Not Want” Cold War 2.0, by Pepe Escobar

You really get the feeling the Biden administration is just spoiling for a war against Russia or China or both. So far cooler heads have prevailed, but it’s disquieting that none of those cooler heads have been Americans. From Pepe Escobar at The Asia Times via zerohedge.com:

The Triple Yoda, Nikolai Patrushev, hopes cooler heads can avoid sanctions such as the SWIFT ‘nuclear option’…

The Beltway was always fond of describing the late Andrew Marshall – who identified emerging or future threats for the Pentagon and whose proteges included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz – as Yoda.

Well, if that’s the case, then Chinese national security supremo Yang Jiechi – who recently made shark fin’s soup out of Tony Blinken in Alaska – is Double Yoda.

And Nikolai Patrushev – Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation – is Triple Yoda.

Amid current ice-cold US-Russia relations – plunged into their worst state since the end of the Cold War – Triple Yoda, discreet, diplomatic and always sharp as a dagger, remains a soothing voice of reason, as demonstrated in a stunning interview by Kommersant daily.

Patrushev, born in 1951, is an army general who worked for KGB counter-intel in Leningrad, during the USSR days. Starting in 1994 he was the head of quite a few FSB departments. From 1999 to 2008 he was the FSB director, and led counter-terror ops in the North Caucasus from 2001 to 2003. Since May 2008 he is Russia’s top security advisor.

Patrushev rarely talks to the media. Thus the importance, for global public opinion, of highlighting some of his key insights. Let us hope the Beltway will be listening.

Patrushev clearly states that Russia does not want Cold War 2.0: “We would really not want that.” And he hopes that “common sense will prevail in Washington.”

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Why is the Biden Administration Pushing Ukraine to Attack Russia? by Ron Paul

There’s plenty of competition, but this may be the Biden administration’s stupidest initiative. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.com:

On March 24th, Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky signed what was essentially a declaration of war on Russia. In the document, titled Presidential Decree No. 117/2021, the US-backed Ukrainian leader declared that it is the official policy of Ukraine to take back Crimea from Russia.

The declaration that Ukraine would take back Crimea from Russia also followed, and was perhaps instigated by, President Biden’s inflammatory and foolish statement that “Crimea is Ukraine.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was a chief architect of the US-backed coup against Ukraine in 2014, continued egging on the Ukrainians, promising full US support for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine. Many Americans wonder why they are not even half as concerned about the territorial integrity of the United States!

Not to be outdone, at the beginning of this month US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin – who previously served on the board of missile-maker Raytheon – called his counterpart in Ukraine and promised “unwavering US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.” As the US considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory, this is clearly a clear green light for Kiev to take military action.

Washington is also sending in weapons. Some 300 tons of new weapons have arrived in the past weeks and more is on the way.

As could be expected, Moscow has responded to Zelensky’s decree and to the increasingly bellicose rhetoric in Kiev and Washington by re-positioning troops and other military assets closer to its border with Ukraine. Does anyone doubt that if the US were in the same situation – for example, if China installed a hostile and aggressive government in Mexico – the Pentagon might move troops in a similar manner?

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Biden Administration on Aggression Tour of Europe Against Russia, China, by the Strategic Culture Editorial Board

Heaven forbid! There are countries in this world that would rather not see the US running it. From the Strategic Culture Editorial Board at strategic-culture.org:

Biden asserted that China wanted to supplant the United States as the world’s leader, as if that in itself is a crime.

This week saw a frenetic foray by the Biden administration to provocatively wind up tensions with Russia and China. Lamentably, judging by European acquiescence, the Americans can claim some success in their nefarious aim. But such “success” is a dangerous slide toward conflict, a baleful dynamic that the sycophantic leaders of the European Union are facilitating.

President Joe Biden has said, rather disingenuously, that he is not seeking confrontation with Russia nor China. But it is difficult to conclude otherwise from the statements and actions of this president and his top officials since he occupied the White House two months ago.

His secretary of state Antony Blinken – America’s most senior diplomat – arrived in Europe this week in what was the first in-person meeting for European and NATO leaders with the Biden administration. The week kicked off with the United States, Canada, Britain and the European Union unveiling coordinated sanctions against China over alleged human rights abuses.

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Blinken’s Pièce de Théâtre Failed; Its Script Was Passé, by Alastair Crooke

The Biden administration is further cementing an important strategic partnership—between China and Russia. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Blinken, having read out the prepared ‘grievances’ indictment, found that the anti-hero, Yang Jiechi, instead of being chastened, hit back.

A Global Times editorial assessed that the China-U.S. Anchorage talks would come to be seen as “a landmark in history”. For the first time, U.S. hegemony was treated disdainfully; for the first time, the U.S. ‘right’ to claim its values – its ‘style’ of democracy – as universally applicable, was publicly and flatly contradicted. Even the posture of ‘speaking from strength’ was dismissed, and the U.S.’ pressure of an alliance ‘bloc’ system ‘despised’. All spoken with an air of impunity (you need us, more than we need you). Strong stuff; no wonder Blinken looked shell-shocked.

Yet, this was not ‘it’. Anchorage was, in practice, a play of several acts. Well before ‘Opening Night’, a supportive cast was being mobilised as chorus to the play’s anticipated moment of climax: The Quad (U.S., Japan, Australia, and India) were warmed up; NATO activated, and the Europeans co-opted.

Even before the audience could take their seats, a small early drama was enacted in Moscow. It set in place the scenery to the climatic Act that was expected at Anchorage. The EU High Representative who had travelled purposively to read the ‘Riot Act’ to Moscow for its treatment of demonstrators, and of Alexei Navalny himself, was completely nonplussed to find the tables entirely turned – it was the EU that was led to the Moscow dock, chastised for criminalising Catalonian leaders as seditionists, and presented with videos of European police heavy-handedness in dealing with demonstrators. The first crack to the mould appeared.

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