Friday, December 14, 2018

Not much happened

Syria shot down a Russian plane on 17 Sept, and Russia said it would give Syria some S-300 missiles that a) had IFF that the S-200 missiles lack, so Syria would be unable to shoot down another Russian plane; and b) are capable of shooting down IAF planes. The missiles have been delivered, but no IAF planes have been shot down (and nor has another Russian plane). So no news.

Mr Jamal Khashoggi was murdered on 2 October, and everyone predicted something would happen. It didn't. MbS, the current unofficial ruler of Saudi Arabia (unofficial until his father's death, when he becomes the official ruler) is still supported by Trump, May, Macron, and Merkel and doesn't seem to be going anywhere (well, to world meetings like the G20, but not out of power); many want him replaced by another prince in the al-Saud tribe, but that hasn't happened, and the more time that passes since Jamal's death, the less likely it is that anyone will do anything. So no news.

The war in Yemen continues, and the New York Times is doing just as it did in Vietnam. Back when LBJ was president, the Vietnam war was necessary since North Vietnam attacked a US Navy ship in international waters, an incident equivalent to Pearl Harbor, and major US gains meant the war would soon be won. After Nixon took office, the war was an illegal action involving many war crimes, all based on Nixon's lie that North Vietnam attacked a US Navy ship in international waters, no progress was being made, and the US was absolutely unable to defeat North Vietnam was was just wasting money and US lives. During the last 5 years, rinse and repeat: while Obama was president, the US was helping the Saudi coalition stop terrorism in the Yemen; now that Trump is president, the war is all Trump's fault and is illegal and murdering thousands of babies and is in the newspapers daily, but the Congress voted not to vote on the war, and even if it ordered Trump to stop (as it ordered Obama to stop his regime change in Libya), Trump could just ignore them and no one could do anything. So, again, no news.

Huawei was winning the war for smartphones against the US, so the US declared Huawei illegal, asked all countries to arrest any Huawei officer travelling through them, and Canada obliged and arrested the CFO, who was denied bail for a week or two, but finally was bailed out with a multimillion (Canadian) dollar bail and an ankle bracelet. The US hopes it can get Huawei phones banned outside of China, and shut down the company. Not clear what will happen.

China is trying to figure out what to do. As the Chinese propaganda channel said back during the ZTE crisis, the US owns Android and iOS, so the US can prohibit export, and stop all smartphone production outside the US, but Trump didn't go that far with ZTE, just a few billion dollars in fines, and they could keep making Android phones. Now it is Huawei, and this looks more serious. China retaliated by arresting some Canadians, but it's not clear what Canada will do. The US is too close and too dangerous, and letting a few Canadians die in Chinese gaols is a small price to pay.

Unless, of course, things escalate to the point of war between the US and China, but Canada will probably write off any Canadians arrested in China, and say, 'Good Canadians don't ever go to China.' Not clear if China will try arresting some Americans, or what the US might do if China did.

Likewise, the US arrested a Russian who was in the US for an NRA convention and says she's a shpion. Her lawyers told her to confess she was an unregistered lobbyist, and now it's not clear what the US will do: deportation or prison. Or what Russia will do. The Ukraine is trying to get US warships into the Sea of Azov. Many US 'experts' say that MAD is no longer. The US has AD for any nation foolish enough to defy the orders of the US, orders which, as Thrasymachus would say, are legal and must be obeyed unless a nation is foolish enough to risk its own obliteration as happened to any nation that defied Rome back in the day. With the US, nations that never defied the US were obliterated, but those nations had no one to defend them (and not much in the way of defences).

Now the establishment media wants the US to force the DPRK, Russia, and China to comply with US military expansion, or else. But so far, nothing has happened. Some of us believe that, unlike places like Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan and Syria and the Yemen, the DPRK, Russia, and China could do something, but a lot of damage would be done to any of them that provoke the US, so they might lay low and let the US do whatever it wants. Or not. And the US hasn't tried to do to any of those three what it did to Iraq and Libya and Afghanistan and Syria and the Yemen.

Trump is still planning regime change in Iran in '19 to help with his re-election. Mueller is hoping to convince the Congress to impeach and convict, but he probably can't.

So things are likely to remain just as they are, and the children in the Yemen will continue to starve.