The Chinese, Russians, Indians, and Pakistanis will fill the void. From Pepe Escobar at unz.com:
The US is on the verge of its own second Vietnam repeated as farce in a haphazard retreat from Afghanistan
US Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade wait for helicopter transport as part of Operation Khanjar at Camp Dwyer in Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 2, 2009. – The US pullout from the Pentagon’s once mighty Bagram Air Base in the dead of night, while Taliban fighters pour across the country, looks a lot like a military defeat. Photo: AFP / Manpreet Romana
And it’s all over
For the unknown soldier
It’s all over
For the unknown soldier
The Doors, “The Unknown Soldier”
Let’s start with some stunning facts on the Afghan ground.
The Taliban are on a roll. Earlier this week their PR arm was claiming they hold 218 Afghan districts out of 421 – capturing new ones every day. Tens of districts are contested. Entire Afghan provinces are basically lost to the government in Kabul, which has been de facto reduced to administer a few scattered cities under siege.
Their new tactical approach works like a dream. First, there’s a direct appeal to soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) to surrender. Negotiations are smooth and deals fulfilled. Soldiers in the low thousands have already joined the Taliban without a single shot fired.
Ivermectin works. Some doctors and scientists have known this since people started getting sick with the coronavirus, but there was an active campaign of medical and media suppression against it, in part because it’s very cheap. That makes the suppressors guilty of some degree of murder, allowing people to die when there was a known remedy. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug placed the same radioactive category as Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment of COVID-19, has reemerged as a promising treatment in the battle to extinguish the pandemic.
New York Times best-selling author Michael Capuzzo has called it the “drug that cracked Covid,” writing that there are “hundreds of thousands, actually millions, of people around the world, from Uttar Pradesh in India to Peru to Brazil, who are living and not dying.”
To that end Dr. Justus R. Hope, MD asks in The Desert Review: Is Ivermectin the new Penicillin?
* * *
As those Indian States using Ivermectin continue to diverge in cases and deaths from those states that forbid it, the natural experiment illustrates the power of Ivermectin decisively.
Cases in Delhi, where Ivermectin was begun on April 20, dropped from 28,395 to just 2,260 on May 22. This represents an astounding 92% drop. Likewise, cases in Uttar Pradesh have dropped from 37,944 on April 24 to 5,964 on May 22 – a decline of 84%.
Delhi and Uttar Pradesh followed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) guidance published April 20, 2021, which called for dosing of .2 mg per kg of Ivermectin per body weight for three days. This amounts to 15 mg per day for a 150-pound person or 18 mg per day for a 200-pound individual.
The other three Indian states that adopted it are all down as well. Goa is down from 4,195 to 1,647, Uttarakhand is down from 9,624 to 2,903, and Karnataka is down from 50,112 to 31,183. Goa adopted a pre-emptive policy of mass Ivermectin prevention for the entire adult population over age 18 at a dose of 12 mg daily for five days.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu announced on May 14 they were outlawing Ivermectin in favor of the politically correct Remdesivir. As a result, Tamil Nadu’s cases are up in the same time frame from April 20 to May 22 – 10,986 to 35,873 – more than a tripling.
Although Big Pharma and Big Media have scrambled to try, they cannot explain away this natural experiment. As I predicted May 12, they would first argue “the lockdowns worked.” The problem with this is that Tamil Nadu has been on strict lockdown for weeks as their cases have done nothing but climb. So the lockdown did not work.
India is not a nation where things normally run all that, and throwing Covid-19 on top makes things that much more gruesome. From Jayant Bhandari at acting-man.com:
Scavengers Out in Full Force
I have just returned from a visit to my family in India. It was hard to escape. To get to the US from India, I needed a COVID test. The Indian government has seriously restricted who can provide COVID testing, treatment, and vaccination. Private doctors and hospitals that are not approved face brutal legal consequences if they provide COVID treatment.
India’s experience with the COVID pandemic was particularly unpleasant… [PT]
Emergency powers were centralized early last year in the hands of the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He gave himself direct control over the bureaucrats of the states, making local governments largely impotent and dependent on him.
In their supreme wisdom, government bureaucrats concluded that because the prefix “COVID-” exists in treatment, vaccination, and testing, they must all be performed at the same place. For my test, I sat in a petri dish of COVID, with those coming out positive sitting right next to me. Desperate, vulnerable old people, who merely wanted to get their jabs, sat among us. Those who were sick for reasons other than COVID were among us too, for the government has required everyone who is sick to be tested for COVID first .
A microcosm of how everything is done in India, the tests were given haphazardly, with samples getting mixed up, nurses spending most of their time fighting among themselves, and — lacking a lineup system — people crowded together, pushing and breathing into the mouths of one another.
A few days earlier, the government had given notice of the rate of tests and further restricted where they could be performed. A bribe-taking system would have been my preference to bypass government restrictions, but no such system has evolved yet. Nevertheless, corruption has exploded, and self-centeredness, apathy, a dog-eat-dog environment has come to the surface. You see this everywhere; the scavengers are out in full force.
I went to a private COVID hospital. The situation in government hospitals is far worse, beyond my capacity to cope with it.
Just three weeks after adding Ivermectin, Delhi now leads India out of the deadly second surge of the COVID pandemic. Cases that had peaked at 28,395 on April 20 plummeted nearly 80% to just 6,430 on May 15. Deaths peaked May 4, and now they are also down 25%.
On May 10, the Indian State of Goa adopted an even more ambitious policy of preemptive Ivermectin for all adults in the state. The Chief Minister of Goa is Dr. Pramod Sawant, a progressive 49-year-old physician persuaded by science. In particular, he read Dr. Pierre Kory’s Dr. Tess Lawrie’s and Dr. Andrew Hill’s robust meta-analyses. As a direct result, Goa has seen a drop in cases from 3,124 the day after the announcement to 1,314 five days later.
Meanwhile, three other Indian states have followed Goa’s lead in adding Ivermectin: Uttarkhand, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. And, as expected, they have seen a drop in new daily cases as well, with Uttar Pradesh down nearly 75% from a peak of 37,944 just four days after they began following the April 20 AIIMS guidance to just 10,505 on May 16.
The tragic story in all this is that the Indian state of Tamil Nadu installed a new leader on May 7, 2021. He suddenly reversed their state’s decision to adopt Ivermectin. Readers of my book all know about Peruvian President Sagasti’s fateful decision to outlaw Ivermectin. Before taking power, the COVID deaths had dropped 14 fold to almost nothing with Ivermectin use. However after Sagasti was elected, Ivermectin was stopped, and deaths roared back at 13 fold.
The pompadour in search of a brain has just the thing for India to keep it out of China and Russia’s Belt and Road Initiative: a Green New Deal that India doesn’t want and couldn’t possibly afford. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:
Despite the fact that a “Green BRI doppelganger” has been on the books since 2018, the plan was generally acknowledged to be an unworkable green boondoggle and fell out of interest for quite some time. Now it is being revived.
As the China-Russian-Iran alliance continues to gain new momentum spreading win-win cooperation and development across Asia, Africa and the World, the dying unipolar system run by detached militarists, financiers and technocrats is doubling down on its weird mix of 1) a “scorched earth” offensive threat to “dissuade” China and Russia from continuing on their current trajectory and 2) a “positive” green game on which nations are invited to tie their destinies as an alternative to China’s BRI.
Everyone reading this should already be aware of the “scorched earth” Full Spectrum dominance policy targeting Russia and China.
However, what is less appreciated even among the most geopolitically savvy anti-imperialists today is what sort of “positive” green game is being deployed to subvert the $3 trillion Belt and Road Initiative which has already won over 136 participating nations and which geopolicians understand to be a mortal threat to their desired world order.
Spearheaded by the Chinese and Russian governments, new economic alliances are forming across Eurasia. From Pepe Escobar at The Asia Times via zerohedge.com:
Ho Chi Minh, in his eternal abode, will be savoring it with a heavenly smirk. Vietnam was the – virtual – host as the 10 Asean nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, on the final day of the 37th Asean Summit..
RCEP, eight years in the making, binds together 30% of the global economy and 2.2 billion people. It’s the first auspicious landmark of the Raging Twenties, which started with an assassination (of Iran’s Gen. Soleimani) followed by a global pandemic and now ominous intimations of a dodgy Great Reset.
RCEP seals East Asia as the undisputed prime hub of geoeconomics. The Asian Century in fact was already in the making way back in the 1990s. Among those Asians as well as Western expats who identified it, in 1997 I published my book 21st: The Asian Century (excerpts here.)
RCEP may force the West to do some homework, and understand that the main story here is not that RCEP “excludes the US” or that it’s “designed by China”. RCEP is an East Asia-wide agreement, initiated by Asean, and debated among equals since 2012, including Japan, which for all practical purposes positions itself as part of the industrialized Global North. It’s the first-ever trade deal that unites Asian powerhouses China, Japan and South Korea.
By now it’s clear, at last in vast swathes of East Asia, that RCEP’s 20 chapters will reduce tariffs across the board; simplify customs, with at least 65% of service sectors fully open, with increased foreign shareholding limits; solidify supply chains by privileging common rules of origin; and codify new e-commerce regulations.
When it comes to the nitty gritty, companies will be saving and be able to export anywhere within the 15-nation spectrum without bothering with extra, separate requirements from each nation. That’s what an integrated market is all about.
When RCEP meets BRI
The same scratched CD will be playing non-stop on how RCEP facilitates China’s “geopolitical ambitions”. That’s not the point. The point is RCEP evolved as a natural companion to China’s role as the main trade partner of virtually every East Asian player.
It had better not be, because the US would lose. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ominously warned on Friday.
He spelled out what he meant to commentator Larry O’Connor:
“The Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north. … They absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight.”
Pompeo had just returned from a Tokyo gathering of foreign ministers from the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad,” the group of four democracies — U.S., Japan, Australia, India — whose purpose is to discuss major Indo-Pacific geostrategic issues.
Exactly what kind of “ally and partner” the U.S. is to be “in the fight” between India and China over disputed terrain in the Himalayan Mountains was left unexplained. We have no vital interest in where the Line of Control between the most populous nations on earth should lie that would justify U.S. military involvement with a world power like China.
And the idea that Japan, whose territorial quarrel with China is over the tiny Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, thousands of miles away, would take sides in a Himalayan India-China conflict also seems ludicrous.
Yet, tensions are rising between the U.S. and China, as the list of ideological, political and economic clashes continues to lengthen.
And there is a transparent new reality: China seems in no mood to back down. Continue reading →
Close on the heels of breaking the Chabahar-Zahedan rail project agreement, Iran appears set to deny India’s state-run ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), exploration and production rights for the key Farzad B gas field.
The granting of rights to OVL was already delayed with New Delhi moving slowly on the issue, but came to a complete standstill after the 2018 imposition of US sanctions on Tehran.
Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency quoted India’s External Affairs Ministry (EAM) as saying on Thursday Tehran would develop the Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf region “on its own” and might engage India “appropriately at a later stage”.
Translation: “Stop stalling for Trump’s sake and make good on your promises or the project goes to China.”
Because that’s where this leads in light of the announced mega-deal between Iran and China worth a reported $400 billion.
This is a good survey and analysis of one of the world’s hottest hot spots. From F. William Engdahl at lewrockwell.com:
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent video conference suggested that the US might move some of its troops from Germany to the region around India, citing growing US security concerns in the Asian region. Given the dramatic rise in tensions between India and China over disputed borders in the region of Nepal and Bhutan where several soldiers from both sides reportedly died in hand-to-hand combat, the question is whether Washington is deliberately trying to fan fires of war between the two Asian giant powers. As unlikely as that might be at present, it indicates how unstable our world is becoming amid the ‘coronavirus economic depression’, and the perceived power vacuum of a US in retreat.
Speaking to a virtual Brussels German Marshall Fund Forum on June 25,Secretary of State Pompeo was asked about recent statements that the US military planned withdrawing a contingent of its forces from Germany. He replied that the Chinese threat to India and Southeast Asian nations was one of the reasons America was reducing its troop presence in Europe and deploying them to other places. He cited unspecified recent Chinese actions as “threats to India, threats to Vietnam, threats to Malaysia, Indonesia and the South China Sea challenge,” adding, “We are going to make sure the US military is postured appropriately to meet the challenges.”
Pepe Escobar knows a very important of the world that most Americans know little about—Eurasia. From Escobar at consortiumnews.com:
The Indo-China border is a strategic chessboard and it’s gotten way more complex.
Valley near Kangan, Kashmir. (Kashmir Pictures, Flickr)
It was straight from an Orientalist romantic thriller set in the Himalayas: soldiers fighting each other with stones and iron bars in the dead of night on a mountain ridge over 4,000 meters high, some plunging to their deaths into a nearly frozen river and dying of hypothermia.
In November 1996, China and India had agreed not to use guns along their 3,800 km-long border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which sports an occasional tendency to derail into a Line Out of Control.
Yet this was not just another Himalayan scuffle. Of course there were echoes of the 1962 Sino-Indian war – which started pretty much the same way, leading Beijing to defeat New Delhi on the battlefield. But now the strategic chessboard is way more complex, part of the evolving 21st Century New Great Game.
The situation had to be defused. Top military commanders from China and India finally met face to face this past weekend. And on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister spokesman Zhao Lijian confirmed they “agreed to take necessary measures to promote a cooling of the situation.”
The Indian Army concurred: “There was mutual consensus to disengage (…) from all frictions areas in Eastern Ladakh.”
Unlike many websites, Straight Line Logic does not solicit donations. If you're going to lay out your hard-earned money, you should get something in exchange. If you like the site and want to support it, buy The Golden Pinnacle or The Gordian Knot, either as a book or download. The links are on the right-hand side of the page, in the Blogroll section. You'll be supporting the site, and getting a great book and hours of enjoyable reading.