What Japan and the Europeans really want is to outsource their defense to somebody else, that is, the United States. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:
Tokyo wants Europe to do more about China. But neither Japan nor the E.U. pull their own weight.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told European leaders that they should increase the continent’s military presence in Asia to help Tokyo put “tremendous pressure” on the People’s Republic of China. In return Kishi proposed sending two armored divisions to Europe to help face down a revived Russian Federation.
Hah, hah, hah! Only kidding about the latter. Japan isn’t in the armored division business. Or inclined to send Japanese troops overseas. Or even to do that much to constrain Beijing. After all, Tokyo believes that confronting China is primarily America’s job. However, the minister would like Europe to join America in helping to defend Japan. Such a deal!
Kishi testified before the European Parliament’s committee on security and defense. He urged the European Union to “continue and expand” security cooperation with Japan in the “Indo-Pacific region.” He advocated cooperation “against authoritarianism,” telling the panel that “I highly commend the point that the EU strategy sets out the strengthening of presence and action in the Indo-Pacific.” An unnamed Japanese official told the South China Morning Post: “Japan hopes to use this opportunity to get more involvement from the EU in the region.”
Apparently, Tokyo isn’t satisfied with the defense welfare that it receives from the U.S. Now it hopes the Europeans, who have been as shameless as the Japanese in forever cheap-riding on Washington, to “visibly increase their military presence” in the Indo-Pacific. If Europe went along with his proposal, Japan would become a double-dipper, a notable achievement since it long has devoted less effort to the military even than the Europeans!
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, Propaganda
Tagged China, Defense, Europe, Japan, Russia
Why unlimited fiat debt doesn’t create unlimited price inflation. From Lance Roberts at realinvestmentadvice.com:
At the recent Jackson Hole Economic Summit, Jerome Powell unveiled the Fed’s new monetary policy designed to create inflation. In today’s #Macroview, we will discuss the 5-reasons why the Fed will not get inflation, and why deflation is the bigger risk.
The current assumption is that the Fed’s new policy will lead to higher inflation.
“The new policy regime is an important evolution in our thinking about how to achieve our goals and another step toward greater transparency, The policy change positions us for success in achieving our maximum employment and price stability goals in the future.” – Fed Reserve Bank of NY, John Williams, via WSJ
What exactly is this new policy? Well, that’s the interesting part, no one actually knows. However, as noted by the WSJ:
“The Fed said it would now seek to hit its 2% inflation target on average, and that it wouldn’t raise rates just to ward off the theoretical threat of inflation posed by a strong job market. The Fed, however, didn’t say how it would determine the average, and several regional Fed officials suggested that a 2.5% jobless rate was as much as they would tolerate. At the same time, with the economy in deep trouble, there is little expectation inflation will test the Fed’s target for years.”
So, to be clear, the Fed’s new policy is simply to “average the inflation rate” over a period of time and let the unemployment rate fall to as low as 2.5%. The last time the unemployment rate was at 2.5% was for one quarter in 1953 just before the 1954 recession set in.
Most Americans would rather not look back on the two atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan 75 years ago this month. From John Pilger at consortiumnews.com:
When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.
At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.
I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties.
I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.
He described a huge flash over the city, “a bluish light, something like an electrical short”, after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. “I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead.”
Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukemia.
“No Radioactivity in Hiroshima Ruin” said a New York Times headline on September 13, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”
We say we’re helping our allies, but in reality they’re part of our empire, an empire that has an exorbitant price. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:
U.S. foreign policy is dominated by a constant search for allies. Big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak. It doesn’t matter. The more the merrier, rather like acquiring more Facebook Friends than anyone else, thereby winning bragging rights.
This incessant search for new allies turned into farce with NATO’s celebration when Montenegro and North Macedonia were admitted. Members of the transatlantic pact exulted, apparently believing that they finally could rest easy, sure that Vladimir Putin’s Slavic hordes would be kept at bay by the vast new armies added to NATO’s ranks.
The US once sought alliances to achieve a common purpose and enhance its security – in theory, at least. Having decided to intervene in Europe in World Wars I and II and the Cold War, it good policy to cooperate with allied powers. (Not that joining the conflicts themselves necessarily made any sense. For instance, the New World had no security stake in the Great War, the imperial murderfest that brought mankind communism, fascism, Nazism, the Second World War, and endless Middle Eastern conflicts in succeeding years.)
Today, however, alliances have gone from means to ends for Washington policymakers. Of course, Europe should be defended, but not by America: the Europeans collectively outclass Russia on most every important measure of national power, and nothing suggests that Vladimir Putin hopes to achieve conquests that Joseph Stalin eschewed. Since NATO serves no necessary military purpose, it has become something very different, a welfare organization by which Americans subsidize the defense of European states which neither feel threatened nor see any reason to invest in their militaries since America has promised to do the job. Indeed, Washington’s defense guarantee almost makes it stupid for Europeans to even field militaries, other than for ceremonial purposes.
I grew up in Los Alamos and have a deep interest in the atomic bomb story. While that story is one of the most important of the twentieth century, it surely is one of the least investigated and analyzed. From Greg Mitchell at antiwar.com:
What Chris Wallace didn’t tell you on the Fox News special adapted from his new bestseller.
Chris Wallace of Fox News has published his first book, Countdown 1945. It’s about the final days of the run-up to dropping the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You might have hoped that it would be a bit contrarian – like some of his interviews and commentary on that network.
Would he question what Robert Jay Lifton and I have called “The Hiroshima Narrative” that has held sway in the media and popular culture since President Truman announced the attack on August 6, 1945? That narrative has insisted that the bomb, and only the bomb, could have ended the Pacific war against Japan and thereby saved hundreds of thousands or even a million American lives.
Sadly, based on the evidence of an hour-long Fox News special, which he hosted this past Sunday night, and on his book – now a national bestseller – the answer is no. The only thing remarkable about Wallace’s arguments are that they offer nothing new, as if no challenging evidence or counter-narratives have been raised over the past 75 years.
Why does this matter today? Among the many issues Wallace failed to mention on Fox: America’s official “first-use” policy, initiated in 1945, which enables any president to respond to a non-nuclear attack or threat by launching our nuclear missiles, remains fully in effect today. The enduring defense of the use of the bomb against two cities in 1945 to “save American lives” can only encourage, or at least enable, possible future use – by the U.S. or any other country. In fact, polls show that large numbers of Americans say they would support a nuclear first-strike in response to a grave danger posed by North Korea or Iran.
Demographics can be destiny, and the demographics of the peoples responsible for much of Western Civilization portend a bleak future. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
If Western elites were asked to name the greatest crisis facing mankind, climate change would win in a walk.
Thus did Time magazine pass over every world leader to name a Swedish teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg, its person of the year.
On New Year’s Day, the headline over yet another story in The Washington Post admonished us anew: “A Lost Decade for Climate Action: We Can’t Afford A Repeat, Scientists Warn.”
“By the final year of the decade,” said the Post, “the planet had surpassed its 2010 temperature record five times.
“Hurricanes devastated New Jersey and Puerto Rico, and floods damaged the Midwest and Bangladesh. Southern Africa was gripped by a deadly drought. Australia and the Amazon are ablaze.”
On it went, echoing the endless reports on the perils of climate change to the planet we all inhabit.
Yet, from the inaction of the carbon-emitting countries like India, China, Russia and the USA, the gravity with which Western elites view the crisis is not shared by the peoples for whom they profess to speak.
Posted in Collapse, Culture, Debt, demographics, Economy, Environment, Governments, History, Immigration, Politics
Tagged Europe, Japan, Population
Is the economic slowly circling the drain? From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:
If we are to measure the concept of “economic recovery” in real terms, then we would have to look at the fundamentals (not stock markets) and whether or not they’re improving. Unfortunately, not all economic data is presented to the public honestly. Very often it is mired and obscured in a fog of disinformation and false standards.
I would point out, though, that there is relatively accurate information out there in certain areas of the global economy, and it tells us our economic structure is destabilizing. Beyond that, even the rigged numbers are moving into negative territory. But what does all this mean for the holiday retail season, one of the mainstream’s favorite gauges of US financial health? And, if 2019’s holiday profits sink, what does this tell us is going to happen in 2020?
First, let’s start with what we know…
Since we live in a “globalized” economy where everything is supposedly “interdependent”, it helps to examine international export numbers. The US doesn’t manufacture and export much of anything anymore beyond agricultural products, but global markets do expect us to consume the goods of other nations. A decline in exports indicates a failing global economy, but in particular a failing US consumer economy.
In competition with Asia, the West has a weak hand. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
I’ve never been much of a gambler. On the rare occasions I’ve played poker, I almost always came out ahead, but I almost never bluffed and, probably more important, I always played with amateurs like myself, never with players who really knew what they were doing.
Of course, the business of governance is far more important than a friendly poker game between friends. All the more reason why, when political leaders are making their assessments as to the national future, they should make sure they have a winning hand, prior to betting heavily.
Every day, we’re reminded that the Asian powerhouse is moving ahead at a pace that’s unheard of in the West. It’s almost as though the clocks stopped in the West ten years ago, but Asia kept on advancing in every way.
This is clear to anyone who has had feet on the ground in Asia in recent years. Yet, every day in the Western media, the illusion is presented that the West is still running the show, and Asia is a lesser player.
Posted in Business, Culture, Economics, Economy, Education, Eurasian Axis, Geopolitics, Governments, Labor, Law, Politics
Tagged Asia, China, Japan, South Korea
Just because a president tells you he’s not taking the country into war doesn’t mean he won’t take the country into war. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran reminds me of President Franklin Roosevelt’s similar campaign against Japan prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
After England declared war on Germany, owing to the latter’s invasion of Poland, the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to entry into the war. That was because they recognized that U.S. interventionism into World War I, which cost the lives and limbs of tens of thousands of American soldiers and severely infringed on the liberty of the American people, had accomplished nothing.
Americans had no interest in doing it again. Their mindsets were similar to those of our American ancestors, whose founding foreign policy was to avoid involvement in Europe’s forever wars.
In his 1940 campaign for president, Roosevelt told the American people that he was with them in their opposition to foreign wars. He said to them, “I’ve said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, Horseshit, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Iran, Japan, President Trump
Wind and solar power aren’t working out as planned in Germany and Japan, and because they’re shutting down their nuclear power, they’re more at the mercy of imported hydrocarbons than they’ve ever been. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:
Recently, the Japanese government announced that they will be shutting down the remaining 7 nuclear reactors at the Daiichi plant that was hit by a major earthquake and tsunami in 2011. This will bring the total number of nuclear reactors down to 33 (compared to 54 in 2011), only 7 of which are in active operation at any given time. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a good thing.
Since the tsunami hit on April 11, 2011 killing 18 000 civilians, there has been a tendency to refer to the event falsely as “Japan’s nuclear crisis”. The fear that has spread across the world resulted in one of the most devastating attacks on sovereign nations which could have only been executed had we done this to ourselves.
Japan – a nation which became the world’s 3rd largest economy due largely to its commitment to advanced scientific and technological progress and early embrace of nuclear power, has lost much of the energy self-sufficiency it once enjoyed when 25% of its electricity came from nuclear which today has fallen to 3%. Since the shutdown Japan has been forced to massively increase its imports of oil, natural gas and coal bringing in 9 million barrels/day and building 45 new coal plants. This dependency has not only subject it to the whims of the speculative markets, but also to the uncertain stability of the Middle East oil production.