Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Will We be the Next Syria? By Erick San Juan

Will We be the Next Syria? By Erick San Juan

Who could fail to see the parallels between the situation in the Philippines with that of Syria, where the US military, initially prevented from carrying out any sort of military action, eventually got the green light. Thanks to the arrival of a little-known, ultra-violent terrorist group called ‘Islamic State’ [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL]. Now the United States believe it has acquired some sort of moral authority for carrying out what amounts to the illicit invasion of yet another sovereign state.

However, that is just the beginning of the strangeness. Many have questioned how IS, bereft of any sort of sophisticated fighting apparatus - not least of all an air force - could have continuously evaded the mighty US military, even as the terrorist convoys traveled across wide-open desert in broad daylight between Iraq and Syria.

Professor Michel Chossudovsky, writing in Global Research, forwarded the question so many people have been asking: “Why has the US Air Force not been able to wipe out the Islamic State, which at the outset was largely equipped with conventional small arms not to mention state of the art Toyota pickup trucks...The Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory. With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, F16), it would have been – from a military standpoint – a piece of cake, a rapid and expedient surgical operation, which would have decimated the Islamic State convoys in a matter of hours.

Instead, what we have witnessed is an ongoing drawn out six months of relentless air raids and bombings, and the terrorist enemy is apparently still intact,” Chossudovsky concluded.

For anybody who doubts the veracity of that assertion, a declassified US document, obtained by government watchdog Judicial Watch, shows that US policymakers actually encouraged the growth of Islamic extremist groups as a way to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

The heavily redacted document notes, among other disturbing revelations, "the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).” (Source: Robert Bridge @rt.com)

Sad to say that predicates are laid for the next Syria and a possible ‘regime change’? What could have gone wrong when the US Joint Special Operation Task Force Philippines (JSOTF-Phl) is in Mindanao for the longest time and the so-called Coast Watch Center? Are we taken for a ride here? Who benefits if this overstretched war on terrorism, like in Syria (is now going on for six months already) will also happen in our country?

And despite the statement of President Rody Duterte that the US troops should leave the country soon and directing its foreign policy towards better ties with China and Russia, in the midst of the Marawi City siege, the Duterte administration asked help from Uncle Sam. Even though it was through the Department of National Dafense, but still it was the government that made the request for military support from the US.

From the article “'Dirty Duterte' on the ropes as ISIS, US Special Forces crash the Philippines” by Robert Bridge explains – “Clearly, President Rodrigo Duterte – like Syrian President Assad – is facing the ultimate challenge to his presidency. And considering his past pledge to realign Philippine foreign policy away from Washington and towards Moscow and Beijing, the question is an obvious one: Are those US Marines and Special Forces in the Philippines, which, as in Syria, appeared without invitation, there to help the Duterte government, or do they have other ideas in mind, which will only become painfully apparent when it’s too late for the Philippines leader? As is the case with Syrian President Assad, time will tell what is in store for President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. My personal hunch is nothing good.”

Now it can be told, Duterte is fighting several fronts, both domestic and international. He cursed some of the world leaders, including the pope and called them names. His war on drugs metamorphosed into a semblance of gang war like the Mafia vs Cosa Nostra, the Mexican drug cartel war, the chinese Triad vs other drug cartel, etc.

its unusual for a perceived leftist and close to the communists, is being destabilized by CPP-NPA from north to south especially in his home base in Davao. He should stop dealing with the National Democratic Front and instead use his leftist cabinet secretaries to negotiate with the CPP's Central Committee based here.

My unsolicited advice to the president is to stop cursing and playing toughie. I hope by this time, he should have realized that everything seem to backfire. Despite the denial of his people, his health is now affected by too much tension and stress. We have to make him realize that a dangerous 'program' is on and if not controlled by strategic experts which he needed most this time, we could all be part of the so called 'collateral damage' in the process.

Lets get our act together and help save our nation from destruction.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

War Between US and China, Soon a Reality by Erick San Juan

“On the current trajectory,” Allison contends, “war between the U.S. and China in the decades ahead is not just possible, but much more likely than currently recognized.” The reason, he says, can be traced to the problem described in the fifth century B.C.E. in Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War. Sparta, as the established power, felt threatened by the rising might of Athens. In such conditions, Allison writes, “not just extraordinary, unexpected events, but even ordinary flashpoints of foreign affairs, can trigger large-scale conflict.”

Graham Allison’s book “Destined for War” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is just one of the many writers, pundits, professors and journalists who wrote books and articles all pertaining to the possible US and China war. Even yours truly had written articles some few decades ago that the US-China war is inevitable. And what it takes is an ordinary flashpoint of foreign affairs that will trigger a regional conflict or a global war in the process.

As I always say, history repeats itself or people repeats history as what great wars in the past showed which is very much true today, when an existing superpower like Sparta (US today) threatened by a rising power Athens (China today), the possibility of a war is not farfetched and with the alliances in place by both countries, it could be very bloody and a lot of lives will be wasted.

Another analysis by Gideon Rachman, the Financial Times foreign-affairs commentator, considers China’s increasing clout in the broader context of what he calls, in a remarkably ugly phrase, “Easternization,” which is also the title of his well-written new survey (just published by Other Press). The gravity of economic and military power, he argues, is moving from West to East. He is thinking of more than the new class of Chinese billionaires; he includes India, a country that might one day surpass even China as an economic powerhouse, and reminds us that Japan has been one of the world’s largest economies for some time now. Tiny South Korea ranks fourteenth in the world in purchasing-power parity. And the Asian mega-cities are looking glitzier by the day. Anyone who flies into J.F.K. from any of the metropolitan areas in China, let alone from Singapore or Tokyo, can readily see what Rachman has in mind. There is a great deal going on in Asia. The question is what this will mean, and whether “Easternization” is an illuminating concept for understanding it.

One difficulty is that East and West are slippery categories. The concept of European civilization has at least some measure of coherence. The same can be said for Chinese civilization, extending to Vietnam in the south and Korea in the north. But what unifies “the East”? Korea has almost nothing in common with India, apart from a tenuous connection through ancient Buddhist history. Japan is a staunch U.S. ally and its contemporary culture is, in many respects, closer to the West than to anything particularly Eastern. Previous attempts to create a sense of Pan-Asian solidarity, such as the Japanese imperialist mission in the nineteen-thirties and forties, have been either futile or disastrous.

Since nationalism is now the main ideology propping up the legitimacy of China’s regime, no Chinese leader can possibly back down from such challenges as Taiwan’s desire for independence or Tibetan resistance to Han Chinese rule or anything else that might make China look weak in the eyes of its citizens. This is why Donald Trump’s loose talk about revising the One China policy inflamed a mood that is already dangerously combustible. It’s worth bearing in mind that “The China Dream” is actually the title of a best-selling book by Colonel Liu Mingfu, whose arguments for China’s supremacy in an Asian renaissance sound remarkably like Japanese propaganda in the nineteen-thirties. Rachman quotes him saying that “when China becomes the world’s leading nation, it will put an end to Western notions of racial superiority.” The only Western power that might stand in the way of this project of Chinese hegemony is the United States.

Since 1945, the United States, with its many bases in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, has effectively played the role of regional policeman. Partly out of institutional habit, partly out of amour propre, and partly out of fear of seeing its power slip, the United States has had its own issues with nationalism, even before Trump came blundering onto the scene. Joseph Nye, the scholar and former U.S. government official, once argued that accepting China’s dominance over the Western Pacific would be unthinkable, because “such a response to China’s rise would destroy America’s credibility.” In a conversation with Rachman in 2015, another American official put this in saltier terms: “I know the U.S. navy and it’s addicted to pre-eminence. If the Chinese try to control the South China Sea, our guys will fucking challenge that. They will sail through those waters.”

American swagger will always have its enthusiasts. Gordon G. Chang, the author of a 2001 book titled “The Coming Collapse of China,” recently wrote a piece in The National Interest that praised Trump effusively for cutting “the ambitious autocrat down to size” during Xi’s visit to Mar-a-Lago. Trump, Chang recounts, arrived late to greet his guest. He announced a missile strike against Syria over the chocolate cake. He made Xi “look like a supplicant.” Trump may have revelled in this behavior, but Chang’s acclaim is idiotic. Deliberately making the Chinese leader lose face, if that’s what happened, can only worsen a fraught situation. American bluster—the reflex of the current U.S. President in the absence of any coherent policy—is a poor response to Chinese edginess. Now that China has developed missiles that can easily sink aircraft carriers, and the United States is responding with tactical plans that would aim to take out such weapons on the Chinese mainland, a minor conflict could result in a major showdown.

China’s own attitude toward the status quo is far from straightforward. China may dream of sweeping its seas clean of the U.S. Navy. But, if the alternative is the military resurgence of Japan, the Chinese would probably opt for maintaining the Pax Americana. At the moment, though, the United States itself appears to be drifting. Trump has accused Japan of playing the U.S. for a sucker. He has even suggested that Japan and South Korea might build their own nuclear bombs. But the ex-generals and corporate executives who run his foreign policy seem to favor sticking to the world we know. Both of these policies are flawed. There is no ideal solution to the late-imperial dilemma. But the surest way to court disaster is to have no coherent plan at all. (Source: Are China and the United States Headed for War? By Ian Buruma)

 That is the saddest part when leaders are supposed to lead the way for its citizenry’s well-being and the country’s development but when the leader has no plan at all and be blinded by sheer power and arrogance, hell will break loose and deaths of innocent lives will go to waste.

The pattern of world war is in the offing. The pretext is already there to see. With so many flashpoints, economic crunch, talking about peace but terrorism proliferate unabated, cyber-attacks which could lead to possible banking and stock market collapse, all signs of chaos are now in the offing. Lets all be vigilant..

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Threat of War is Real by Erick San Juan

Threat of War is Real by Erick San Juan

China has for the first time extracted gas from an ice-like substance under the South China Sea considered key to future global energy supply.

Chinese authorities have described the success as a major breakthrough.

Methane hydrates, also called "flammable ice", hold vast reserves of natural gas.

Many countries including the US and Japan are working on how to tap those reserves, but mining and extracting are extremely difficult.

The element, a kind of natural gas hydrate, was discovered in the area in 2007, but this is the first time the country is able to successfully extract combustible ice from the seabed, in a single, continuous operation on a floating production platform in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea, about 300km southeast of Hong Kong, state-run Xinhua news agency reports.”

Methane hydrate global sources are estimated to exceed the combined energy content of all other fossil fuels.”

Estimates of the South China Sea’s methane hydrate potential now range as high as 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas equivalent, sufficient to satisfy China’s entire equivalent oil consumption for 50 years.

The commercial production of methane hydrate would reduce China’s dependence on energy imports, which accounts for nearly 60% of its crude oil needs, making it the world’s No. 2 importer by volume, after the U.S.

Methane hydrate will also aid China’s efforts to shift to natural gas from coal, which accounts for nearly 70% of its primary-energy consumption, which has caused harmful pollution to China’s cities.

China’s discovery of methane hydrates off the coasts of Vietnam and the Philippines is what has prompted China to aggressively pursue the occupation of Philippine and Vietnamese shoals and their conversion to artificial islands in order to safely conduct its exploration and production of methane hydrate.

This explains China’s placement of an oil rig platform off the coast of Vietnam which triggered international showdowns with Vietnam.

The Recto Bank (Reed Bank) area located only 50 miles west of the Philippine island of Palawan is considered a methane hydrate honey pot. The Philippines estimates that the Sampaguita Field within Recto Bank may also hold large deposits of natural gas equivalents in the form of methane hydrates. (Source: Rodel Rodis, Why China will declare war if PH drills for oil)

Now that the question was answered on the real intention of China in the disputed area in the South China Sea especially on our territories, there is no doubt that what China’s soft power approach now with our President is part and parcel of China’s ‘looting’ of our mineral resources.

The threat of war is real because China has already succeeded in extracting methane hydrates (flammable ice) in the SCS and if we will conduct our own oil exploration and extraction, we will disrupt their flammable ice operation in the process.

With our domestic problems on terrorism and the war on drugs, China easily extended help with these two problems. We all know that President Duterte has somewhat gave up on our claim in the disputed areas in the SCS by saying that there is no point of going to war if we are establishing friendship with China. In effect we are allowing the extraction of this mineral by China without doing anything. And not even a joint project? Where is the so called bilateral talks towards bilateral agreement to peaceful resolution of the territorial dispute? Are we taken for a ride here with our full consent? Just asking?

Pres. Rody Duterte should be very careful with his discreet plan of action because so many international think tanks are watching and studying his 'chess game'. One example is the perception that a China inspired revolutionary government was sabotaged by international terrorist organuzation, ISIS.

According to Solgen Jose Calida, Pres. Duterte knew about the plan of the Maute group to attack Marawi. It jibes with my info of a bigger plan of terrorism which could affect the nation.

Even before Pres. Duterte left for his China trip, I alerted him through Sec. Bong Go, NSA Sec. Jun Esperon and other cabinet secretary friends to make sure that my assessment will reach him. I told all of them to reactivate the 'Situation Room' so PRD can preempt any possible threat and mischief.

This plan had been successful during the time of former Pres. Fidel Ramos because of former NSA Joe Almonte's appreciation of strategic intelligence. Any one who knows me and internet information about me will prove me right. Maybe they thought all the while that I was just scare mongering.

Before Duterte left for Russia, he only secured Davao city by putting additional military contingent there. He even brought his top level officials to Moscow and let Budget Sec. Ben Diokno as his caretaker head.

When the Maute siege started, Pres. Duterte knew that the Maute's plan is real and immediately returned to Davao. Despite his statement of giving timetable to finish the Maute's it all failed due to the support of the ISIS to the Maute group.

Good thing that DND Sec. Delfin Lorenzana seeked the assistance of the US forces in fighting the real enemy, the ISIS. Despite the noise of the pro-Beijing left, now is the ripe time that the US can prove them wrong by finishing the ISIS terror group before a spill over can reach Metro Manila which could fully destroy Duterte's administration.

There are so many Filipino experts who can be of help. We have to swallow our pride once and for all and tap them for our nation's sake.

This is a matter of sovereignty, we are in a dire strait and we need an immediate solution to this problem. Many soldiers and people died. We have to remind the president that his nationalism is now being tested. We don't even have to give up our mineral resources to anyone, its for our country’s future generations. There are other ways than going to war to assert our rights to our resources, there is still time to find solutions to such predicaments.

As Filipinos, this is the right time to do action and unite. Let us help our President, our nation. God bless our country.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rumored ISIS In Ph Now a Reality by Erick San Juan

Rumored ISIS In Ph Now a Reality by Erick San Juan

The recent attack at the Resorts World casino-hotel has created another atmosphere of fear now in the metro and we can’t blame the public to speculate on the possibility that the ISIS terror group is now in Metro Manila. The timing is suspect because the ongoing war on terror against the ISIS-linked Maute group et al in Marawi could somehow created the fear that it will reach Metro Manila. So every time that a so-called attack for whatever reason and nature could be linked to the terror group.

Thanks to the NCRPO headed by PNP Gen. Oscar Albayalde, despite the rumored conspiracy theory including ISIS claiming the Resort World tragedy Albayalde's team closed the case by confirming that the mischief was done by a known gambler named Jesse Carlos.

In the February 2016 article of Joseph Chinyong Liow - ISIS reaches Indonesia: The terrorist group’s prospects in Southeast Asia he writes – “On January 14, militants killed four civilians and wounded at least 20 in a terrorist attack in Jakarta, in the first successful operation that the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has launched in Southeast Asia. For several months, security officials from several Southeast Asian governments had been warning that ISIS supporters might mount an attack in the region. The signs were ominous: increased chatter on Malay and Indonesian language sites expressing support for ISIS, a steady stream of Southeast Asians departing for conflict zones in Syria and Iraq, and the arrest of ISIS sympathizers in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Indonesian counter-terrorism authorities had already received intelligence that militants were planning to mount attacks over the holiday period a couple of weeks earlier, which prompted the arrest of several militants and foiled a potential earlier attack.

The fact that Southeast Asia is not yet on the radar of the core ISIS leadership, however, or that the number of Southeast Asians fighting under the ISIS standard pales in comparison with the number of Europeans or Australians, should not be grounds for complacency. ISIS will always struggle to gain considerable popularity in Southeast Asia. The social, political, economic, and cultural conditions in Indonesia and Malaysia are such that the appeal of the ISIS brand of extremism will always remain limited. Even in Thailand and the Philippines, where Muslim minorities suffer more persecution, the conditions they face are nowhere near those confronted by alienated Muslims in Europe.

Even if extremists do eventually create an ISIS in Southeast Asia, its origins will lie not in Raqqa but in the fringes of Indonesian society, in the climate of extremism that reemerged amid the political activism that followed the fall of Suharto, Indonesia’s long-ruling dictator, in 1998. In that sense, the threat remains at heart a local phenomenon, even as it may find some form of transnational expression. So although ISIS’ ideology will always receive an airing, it will have to compete with radical and extremist groups of various ideological, political, and operational stripes.

Some analysts have warned that competition among presumptive leaders of ISIS in Indonesia will trigger more violence, and there is every likelihood of that happening. Others worry that ISIS may offer opportunities for existing groups to make common cause. This has not happened yet. The fallout between Jemaah Islamiyah and Indonesian ISIS supporters is well documented. But it would be foolhardy to dismiss the possibility of alliances for tactical, if not doctrinal, reasons. There are indications that the rivalry between ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, which Jemaah Islamiyah supports, has started to taper off. There is also evidence that the Indonesian jihadist ideologue, Aman Abdurrahman, has tried to unite disparate pro-ISIS groups. Counter-terrorism establishments in the region should tune in closely to any chatter among Indonesian groups that points in this direction.

The world is transfixed on the possibility, however unlikely it may be, that a transnational, violent network might someday span Europe, the Middle East, and all the way to Southeast Asia. Such concerns are not new: recall the Comintern during the Cold War, and al Qaeda just a few years ago. But the real danger is not that the black banner of ISIS will be raised the world over but that the appearance of ISIS would trigger dynamics among existing jihadist groups and personal networks within Indonesia, possibly joined by groups from the Philippines and Malaysia, that may well escalate into further violence.”

And it did happen... the ISIS in Southeast Asia, and now in the Philippines as what Indonesian defense minister told at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an international security forum last Sunday.

Speaking in Singapore amid a bloody standoff between Philippine troops and militants fighting under the IS flag in Marawi city, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu called the militants "killing machines" and urged full-scale regional cooperation against them.

"I was advised last night, 1,200 ISIS in the Philippines, around 40 from Indonesia," Ryacudu told the Shangri-La Dialogue, using another name for the IS group.

The threat of heightened terrorism, including the impending return of hundreds of Southeast Asian fighters who fought with IS in Syria and Iraq, has been a hot-button issue at the three-day Singapore summit also attended by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

Hundreds of Islamist gunmen rampaged through Marawi, a largely Muslim city of 200,000 in the south of the mainly Catholic Philippines, on May 23 after government forces attempted to arrest their leader, Isnilon Hapilon.

Up to 50 gunmen are still controlling the city center nearly two weeks  after the start of fighting that has killed 177 people including 120 militants.

"How can we tackle these foreign fighters? We have to be comprehensive," said Ryacudu, a retired general.
"We have to find... complete ways but we must exercise caution, they are killing machines. Their aim is to kill other people so that's why it's our responsibility that we have common understanding, consensus and common proceedings on how to fight these foreign fighters."

Philippine Defense Undersecretary Ricardo David, speaking at the same forum, said the 1,200 figure for total IS fighters in the Philippines mentioned by Indonesia was new to him.

"I really don't know, my figure is about 250-400, a lot less," he told reporters.

But David said there were 40 foreign IS fighters among those who seized parts of Marawi, eight of whom have been killed by government forces.

Earlier, Philippine officials said the slain foreign fighters were from Malaysia, Indonesia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Chechnya.

"Our intelligence estimates that there are about 40 foreigners that fought in the Marawi incident," David said.
The Philippine official added that the foreign fighters used "back channels" in the Sulu and Celebes Seas near the borders of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia to enter the southern island of Mindanao and link up with local terror groups.

"That's why they were able to muster the operations in the area of Marawi," David said. (Source:Agence France-Presse)

But for whatever its worth, when the Intel Center, an organization of international security analysts leaked to the press that the Philippines is now the 7th failed state, it alarmed me. What a coincidence that another international security group PROTECT had a security forum at MOA and Rohan Gunaratna, a terror expert lecturer confirmed that the ISIS is now in our country. i immediately alerted the president and his key people to activate immediately his SITUATION ROOM as contingency to avert any terror attack while he's in Cambodia,Hong Kong and China. Good thing that he made DOJ Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre as caretaker head. Aguirre has good contact with the intelligence community that averted any mischief while Pres. Duterte was abroad. The rest is an ongoing pocket wars that could escalate like what's happening in Syria and other parts of the world. What happened in Marawi can now be considered another Aleppo.

 We all have to be vigilant and help the Duterte administration to stop this stupidity and put an end to terrorism and violence. If not we could be part of the so called collateral damage.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Terrorism Blame Game by Erick San Juan

Terrorism Blame Game by Erick San Juan

Once again, our country is in the limelight due to the unfortunate Marawi City siege orchestrated by the local terrorist Maute clan/group  and supported by the international terror network of ISIS. And it happened while President Rody Duterte is out of the country – in Russia.

While the region is distracted by the missile launching of North Korea, there is far greater problem happening right here in our home, a symbolic move by ISIS from the Middle East to East Asia. But it has been for a while now that President Duterte has been warning that the ISIS terror group is already in Mindanao and the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police should be ready for any eventualities.

Was the government caught unaware that such group will attack sooner than they expected? Some believe that timing is suspect and that the country is ripe for a regime change. Why is this so?

Remember that Pres. Duterte is very vocal (and can be read also) through his actions that he is gradually pulling away from the claws of Uncle Sam. He also gained several international critics on his war on drugs that his men in uniform (allegedly) are engaged in extra judicial killings (EJK).

Some pundits believe that there are several financiers that is backing the operation in Marawi siege, both local and international. May be some narco politicians and drug lords and those hurt by the president’s harsh words and comments.

In the article by Tony Cartalucci, 'ISIS Touches Down in the Philippines', he writes – “Both the Maute group and Abu Sayaff are extensions of Al Qaeda’s global terror network, propped up by state sponsorship from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and fed recruits via a global network of likewise Saudi and Qatari funded “madrasas.” In turn, Saudi Arabia and Qatar’s state sponsorship of global terrorism for decades has been actively enabled by material and political support provided by the United States."

This arrangement Carlucci added, provides Washington both a global mercenary force with which to wage proxy war when conventional and direct military force cannot be used, and a pretext for direct US military intervention when proxy warfare fails to achieve Washington’s objectives.

This formula has been used in Afghanistan in the 1980s to successfully expel the Soviet Union, in 2011 to overthrow the Libyan government, and is currently being used in Syria where both proxy war and direct US military intervention is being applied.

Maute and Abu Sayaff activity fits into this global pattern perfectly.

The Philippines is one of many Southeast Asian states that has incrementally shifted from traditional alliances and dependency on the United States to regional neighbors including China, as well as Eurasian states including Russia.

"The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, cancelling his meeting with Russia is a microcosm of the very sort of results Maute and Abu Sayaff are tasked with achieving in the Philippines. Attempts by the US to justify the presence of its troops in the Philippines as part of a wider strategy of encircling China with US military installations across Asia would also greatly benefit from the Islamic State “suddenly spreading” across the island nation."

"Likewise, violence in Malaysia and Thailand are directly linked to this wider US-Saudi alliance, with violence erupting at each and every crucial juncture as the US is incrementally pushed out of the region. Indonesia has likewise suffered violence at the hands of the Islamic State, and even Myanmar is being threatened by Saudi-funded terrorism seeking to leverage and expand the ongoing Rohingya humanitarian crisis."

That reported US-Saudi sponsorship drives this terrorism, not the meager revenue streams of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, goes far in explaining why the terrorist organization is capable of such bold attacks in Southeast Asia even as Russia and Iranian backed Syrian troops extinguish it in the Middle East.

"With US President Donald Trump announcing a US-Saudi alliance against terrorism – the US has managed to strategically misdirect public attention away from global terrorism’s very epicenter and protect America’s premier intermediaries in fueling that terrorism around the world."

The Philippines would be unwise to turn to this “alliance” for help in fighting terrorism both the US and Saudi Arabia are directly and intentionally fueling., said Carlucci.

Instead – for Southeast Asia – joint counter-terrorism efforts together would ensure a coordinated and effective means of confronting this threat on multiple levels.

By exposing the deep military industrial complex role in regional terrorism – each and every act of terrorism and militancy would be linked directly to and subsequently taint the 'plotters' in the hearts and minds of Southeast Asia’s population.

This paves the way for a process of exposing and dismantling 'state sponsored' funded fronts – including Saudi-sponsored madrasas and some international funded NGOs – both  of which feed into regional extremism and political subversion. As this unfolds, each respective nation would be required to invest in genuine local institutions to fill sociopolitical and economic space previously occupied by these foreign funded fronts.

Until then, Asia should expect the plotters to continue leveraging terrorism against the region. If unchecked, Asia should likewise expect the same progress-arresting instability that has mired the Middle East and North Africa for decades.

When the Intel Center, a global organization of top intelligence and geo strategic experts leaked to the international media that our country is now the 7th FAILED STATE, i know that the globalist program is ON.

This is the best time to give our support to our president because no matter what and he needs more prayers and moral support than ever to get through this crisis.

Who wants to be part of collateral damage. Lets get our act together. God bless our country.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

China's Double Talk by Erick San Juan

China's Double Talk by Erick San Juan

We are living in very exciting times of war threats and countries being dragged on the brink of actual shooting war. There is the ever threatening North Korea with its stubborn leader and the bully in the region that is making the neighborhood nervous.

In the midst of ‘warm friendly talks’, President Rodrigo Duterte said that China’s Xi Jinping threatened the country of a war if we insist of oil drilling in our territories in the South China Sea. Below is our leader's version of what transpired between Him and President Xi :

“I said, Mr. Xi Jinping, I will insist that it is ours and we will drill oil,” Duterte said in a speech in Davao City.

“Sinabi ko talaga harap-harapan, that is ours and we intend to drill oil there. My view is I can drill the oil. Ang sagot sa akin, ‘Well we are friends. We don’t want to quarrel with you. We want to maintain warm relationship, but if you force the issue we will go to war.’ Ano pa bang sabihin ko?”

The mere fact that this incident came from the President himself, still some people ‘clarified’ the incident as not true or it is not what it was meant to be.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying sought to make light of Duterte's comments, noting he and Xi had agreed to "strengthen communication" on important bilateral issues.

"During the meeting, leaders of the two countries exchanged views in depth on future development of China-Philippines relations and relevant issues. Both sides agree to strengthen communication on important issues related to the development of bilateral relations, and to proceed in a healthy, stable and correct path of good neighborly relations and cooperation," Hua said.

"In the future, China is willing to make joint efforts with the Philippines to implement important consensus reached by both heads of state, to properly handle disputes between the two countries through peaceful, friendly and cooperative (methods), to continuously deepen and expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields and to push forward a healthy and stable development of China-Philippines relations," Hua added.

According to some reports, even our very own Ambassador to China denied Beijing’s bullying. Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana, who joined the first Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) between Manila and Beijing last week, said there was no threat from the Chinese side during the talks.

But pundits believe that as our Philippine ambassador to China, Chito should have waited for China's ambassador to speak to clarify the incident. "Parang sya ang mouthpiece of China"
"But by own experience in the bilateral talks, [there were] no threats, no bullying, everything was frank but friendly, candid but productive," he told ANC.
"The whole idea...therefore that China was bullying us and threatening us just doesn’t pass," Sta. Romana added.

Although the above-mentioned statements clarified that there was no threat, still we have to be wary in dealing with China because Beijing said time and again that they will not honor the ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration and that they will settle any disputes only through bilateral talks.
Again, the politicians and the ordinary Filipinos are divided on how to deal with this development in the Manila-Beijing relations. Actually, if we will going to base on the Filipino culture’s view on friendship, it is a big no-no that friends treat each other wrongly like giving threats when they feel that their interest is at stake.
On the other hand, it's not only PRRD but some nationalists have already doubts that the US will come to our rescue if China will attack us.
Some pundits believe that China’s war threat is baseless due to the fact that China just launched its Belt and Road Initiative and going to war or just merely a war threat is not in their immediate agenda. Peace for development is their top priority for now.
But war or no war threat, the reality is China with its soft power using the One Belt One Road op is actually building an empire to export its surplus, giving soft loans and in the process creating the debt trap. And for those who cannot pay in cash will pay in kind like some land and rich mineral resources. Translation- possibly making the indebted Philippines a province of China without firing a single shot. Be vigilant!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Who Do We Believe? By Erick San Juan

Tightening the Belt on a Bumpy Road? Who do we believe?

The recently concluded Belt and Road Forum as initiated by and held in Beijing, China promised a lot to boost economies of countries included in the modern silk road. But many economic and political analysts believe that in the long run it is China that will benefit the most in such a huge endeavor.

Billions of dollars in infrastructure will reportedly be given as soft loans under the guise of soft power op to gain confidence among leaders from Europe to Africa and Asia. The much needed materials for infrastructure are already in excess capacity of construction materials from China. Projects outside China are very much needed for these materials and investing on the Belt and Road initiative will favor China’s goods to reach the countries in the silk road.

Although reality check, problems may arise in the modern silk road. Unlike before, everything was smooth sailing so to speak. But now several factors have to be considered like terrorism plus the age-old piracy and of course geopolitical aspect as what is happening in the East and South China Sea.

Some other points have to be considered as what was pointed out by Bloomberg’s editorial – “The risk, for China no less than participating countries, is that vaulting ambitions could doom the project’s chances of success. What’s held back infrastructure development in Asia isn’t so much a lack of funding but a dearth of viable projects. Inevitably, as it has within China, politically motivated lending will produce more white elephants, burdening host countries with unsustainable debt burdens."

"Strategists might rationalize these losses as the price for support and stability along China’s periphery. But the costs may not be so easy to sustain. Fitch Ratings has already warned of the risk to banks’ balance sheets as loans sour. Exporting China’s investment-heavy development model will also ease pressure on inefficient state-owned enterprises to reform and slash overcapacity. And with China blocking capital outflows and holding onto reserves in order to bolster the yuan, there’s simply less money to waste on bad projects.

Nor is there any reason to think that building more roads and pipelines will in itself achieve China’s larger stated goals: to promote economic growth and hence political stability. Pouring money into development projects could just as easily encourage graft in countries along the route, fuel anti-Chinese fervor and encourage sabotage attacks. China’s historic preference for dealing with authoritarian governments—and raising few questions about their governance—can breed resentment among ordinary citizens, risking future problems.

China’s experience with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, one of the main Belt-and-Road funders, is instructive. The institution’s flashy launch in 2014 inspired fears that Chinese leaders were seeking to overturn the global financial order. These fears were misplaced. Run by a cadre of international professionals and adhering to high standards, the AIIB is, according to one estimate, unlikely to lend much more than $2 billion annually for its first five years. That will limit its influence, but also its losses.

China needs to apply the same rigor to Belt-and-Road projects, which should be scrutinized not only for their headline numbers but their long-term viability. Lenders need to be transparent about financing terms and considerate of borrowers’ ability to repay. Project officers should consult with local farmers, merchants and NGOs, not just bureaucrats, or worse, corrupt leaders; environmental concerns should be aired and addressed. And along with infrastructure, China should be promoting greater openness in economies along the route."

"Most of all, China needs to treat the Belt and Road with care and a clear-eyed appreciation of risk. That will likely result in fewer, less high-profile projects. But they—and China—will be the stronger for it.”

Some pundits also fear the debt trap that developing countries may fall into in order to go with the flow of building huge projects in the process. Like in our case there is so much to loose if we will find out one day that our debt to China is so big that we will be compelled under China’s conditions especially in our sovereign territories.

Even DLSU Professor Richard Heydarian warned of getting loans from China. Forbes.com also warned that the projected Philippine debt of $167 billion to help finance ambitious programs under Dutertenomics could baloon to $452 billion in 10 years and could lead to debt bondage to China.

Remember the China's Northrail project during PGMA's watch, it balooned to P1 billion despite the project was scrapped.

When China’s political clout and 'soft touch op' will be used as leverage, are we really ready to thread the bumpy silk road when China will tighten the belt for us to pay our debts?

Just asking.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Philippines Will Soon be a Province of China? By Erick San Juan

Philippines Will Soon be a Province of China? By Erick San Juan

The Duterte administration has gone a long way in its nine months in office traveling and has already visited 16 countries and garnered around $34 billion in ‘pledges’ which are combined aid and investments from China and Japan alone. These travels had cost us $5.5 million or about PhP270 million  according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III. That is supposedly a small investment with big return value. (Source: PCIJ)

The bulk of the pledged investment loans came from China which is in line with China’s President Xi Jinping’s One Belt, One Road Initiative that will take place in May 14 and 15 in Beijing. Pres. Rody Duterte will attend the meeting after his visit in Cambodia and Hongkong. What is this initiative all about?

"Previously known as “One Belt, One Road”, the initiative is being spearheaded by the Chinese government to improve trade and economic integration across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The strategy uses free-trade agreements and infrastructure projects – including roads, ports and railways – to create a modern Silk Road spanning some 65 countries, which have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$21 trillion. It includes both an economic land “belt” through Eurasia, and a maritime “road” to connect coastal Chinese cities to Africa and the Mediterranean."

Through China’s ‘initiative’ countries from different continents can be linked via massive infrastructure projects like high speed trains by land or sea. But according to former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez, it is not as simple as it may seem for those countries that will join the Belt Road Initiative.

“Methinks PRRD will make the Philippines a part of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ plan, make the Philippines its Southeast terminus. This would make the Philippines potentially a part of China's economic orbit which would generate immense economic benefits to the Philippines but would have serious geopolitical and security implications for the country. The overall effect on the country's well being must be carefully studied by the country's economic, security, defense, political, geopolitical and geostrategic braintrust and not decided by only a limited group."

"Should such membership in China's economic orbit come to pass, it would have deep geopolitical and security implications as well as impact on our Exclusive Economic Zone claims especially our one million square kilometer West Philippine Sea, 90% of which China claims, and even extend China's influence on the development and protection of our huge 13 million hectare Benham Rise."

"Such economic engagement would have serious implications on China's achieving its Strategic Triangle Goal and China's geo-strategic move to break out of the First Island Chain towards the Second Island Chain and consequently control of the Western Pacific. This would prejudice the security and geopolitical position of our treaty ally United States and its allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand and of course Taiwan."

"Considering the Belt and Road Plan's impact on the Indo Pacific and global balance of power, especially on the status of the US as the hegemon,  I do not expect the US to simply sit out and watch the economic and geopolitical consequences to unfold without talking counteraction.” (Golez)

Blinded by the economic gains that one country can get from joining the B&RI, that they overlooked the geopolitical implications in the long run. This is what I have been saying all along as a warning that we are the planned future province of China.

Another analysis taken from the article of Malou Mangahas of PCIJ - "Trojan-horse trap?" These days, the Duterte administration is willing to bet that China can turn around its dismal record of projects in the Philippines. But some Filipino scholars on China say the Philippines should be more cautious when dealing with its giant neighbor.

“These are people, companies that felt that just because they have political connections, they can bribe, they can bring all their hanky-panky in our country,” commented U.P. political science assistant professor Jaime Naval. “Huwag naman tayo pagisa sa sarili nating bansa (We shouldn’t let ourselves be taken advantage of in our own country).”

China is “also very astute like the West and we have to be as astute as them,” said Naval, a China and ASEAN specialist. “They’re not giving because they love us, they’re giving because they take something back.”

He recalled reading a study that asserted that “for every one renminbi that China gives as ODA, it gets back six renminbi.” Said Naval: “It’s a political tool. It’s a given. I accept that. But we should not be naive that China is benevolent, that it hasn’t wrung us dry.”

“There’s a big difference between ODA coming from China and ODA coming from Europe, and U.S., and Japan,” Naval continued. He said that while “ODA from these developed countries are normally on health and education and certain advocacies that have something to do with the politics of the land and democracy…when it’s an ODA from China, it is extractive. There will be digging for minerals, they will get lumber, they will be harvesting natural resources.”

Dr. Renato de Castro, who holds the Charles Lui Chi Keung Professorial Chair in China Studies at De la Salle University, for his part observed, “With Chinese deals,‘yung binigay ng mga Greeks, sabi nga…’beware of the Greeks giving gifts, it’s a trap.’ You become dependent on Chinese aid. You become dependent on Chinese market. That’s why we become strategically and politically vulnerable to Chinese agenda.”

In de Castro’s view, “you don’t allow someone whom you have a territorial dispute (with) to dominate… this is very dangerous kasi we still have territorial disputes with China so that will give China a leverage in resolving those disputes. That would favor China (and) solve those disputes on Chinese terms, because China has economic leverage.”  (With research and reporting by Karol Ilagan, PCIJ, May 2017)

That’s what make it too complicated in our case (and with the other claimants in the disputed area in the SCS) because we have something that might be taken away from us because we became ‘too friendly’ with China. In giving too much attention with our economic gains, we overlooked the shortfalls like giving up our territories.

Wake up guys!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

War Bells Are Ringing by Erick San Juan

War Bells Are Ringing by Erick San Juan

Mobilization of military hardwares and preparation being done by soldiers are signs that there is an impending war and in the words of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi – “If war breaks out, the consequences would be unimaginable.”

The reason for the ringing of alarm bells of a coming war is that major players are on the war games and the world is nervously waiting on who will hit the button and implement the “first strike policy” or will do a preemptive strike on the stubborn leader of North Korea.

The "extraordinary" mobilization of bomber aircraft was reportedly acknowledged by China's foreign ministry, giving no further details.

The general assumption is that China is taking a defensive position in case the US administration of President Donald Trump follows through on its repeated threats of carrying out pre-emptive strikes on North Korea's nuclear facilities.

Traditionally, an ally of the communist government in Pyongyang, Beijing is widely assumed to be protecting its junior partner by flexing a deterrence force against the US. China has openly urged the US not to take unilateral military action against North Korea over the latter's controversial nuclear program.

Beijing has been calling for a diplomatic solution to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, a crisis which seems to be intensifying following a dire warning this week from US Vice President Mike Pence that the "sword is ready," which was met with reciprocal threats from North Korea that it would "reduce the US to ashes."

Despite calls for diplomacy from China, it is also clear that Beijing is becoming exasperated with North Korea, known formally as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. China is perplexed by what it sees as the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-Un forming an "epicenter of instability" on its borders.

Earlier this month, there was even an editorial carried by Chinese state-run media warning that China might be forced to launch its own military strikes on North Korea if it comes down to the "bottom line" of preserving stability and security in the region. (Source: Finian Cunningham, Would China Strike North Korea?)

So is it going to be China against North Korea or China versus the US? Just asking.

And the tension among the key players in this war game was intensified in the exchange of words at the UN Security Council meeting wherein China always wanted to resolve the NoKor issue about nuclear missile production and testing through dialogue between US and NoKor thus stopping the US and South Korea military exercises near the Korean Peninsula in the process to ease the tension further. The use of force is not necessary when they can solve the matter through a dialogue.
As reported by Reuters that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was dismayed by Wang Yi’s tough words is confirmed by his response – “We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea, we will not reward their violations of past resolutions, we will not reward their bad behavior with talks.”

Wang Yi however received strong support from his Russian ally, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov reported by Reuters to have addressed the UN Security Council as follows – “Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov cautioned on Friday that the use of force would be “completely unacceptable.”

“The combative rhetoric coupled with reckless muscle-flexing has led to a situation where the whole world seriously is now wondering whether there’s going to be a war or not,” he told the council. “One ill thought out or misinterpreted step could lead to the most frightening and lamentable consequences.”

Gatilov said North Korea felt threatened by regular joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises and the deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier group to waters off the Korean peninsula.
Both China and Russia also repeated their opposition to the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea. Gatilov described it as a “destabilizing effort,” while Wang said it damaged trust among the parties on the North Korea issue.

These arguments between Tillerson, Wang Yi and Gatilov in the UN Security Council, and the toughly worded commentary in the People’s Daily, illustrate the folly of the confrontational course the Trump administration has followed towards North Korea over the last few weeks.

Instead of isolating North Korea from China, and getting China to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, China – exactly as I predicted – is blaming the US as much as North Korea for creating the crisis, and is not only resisting US demands for further sanctions, but is actually increasing its support for North Korea.” (Source: Alexander Mercouris Editor-in-Chief at The Duran newsletter online)
The North Korea dilemma for the UN and the rest of the world is still in the process of who will be strong enough to hold its reign so as not to start a stronger provocation that may lead us all to another world war.

Although there was an analysis in the past that the next global war will start in the Korean Peninsula aggravated by alliances of the major world powers, methinks that as long as cooler heads treat the situation with utmost diplomacy and reason, humanity can still enjoy a peaceful world... for the meantime.

But many in the know are worried about the global military industrial complex top secret agenda of the war cycle. I was told that "if the program is on, sometimes you can delay it but nobody can stop it."

God forbid!

Duterte's Art of War by Erick San Juan

Duterte's Art of War by Erick San Juan

In October of last year President Duterte told the Americans that there will no longer be any joint military exercises with them. The cancellation of several joint military exercises with the US, namely the US-Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex) and Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise (Carat) and stopping the US from using Philippine ports for freedom of navigation operations and refusal to allow the US to develop the strategic Bautista Airbase on the island province of Palawan are just among the factors that China are not comfortable with.

Even the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague was not tackled by the present leadership when they went to China. Also the decision that our fishermen can fish in the waters inside our economic zone/territorial waters is in the hands of China’s leadership, and several other conditions that are favorable to China. So, Mr. President is this what you call ‘independent foreign policy’?

And the most recent one when our top defense officials visited our fellow Filipinos in the Kalayaan island group or Spratly, China was quick in saying that we have to ask for permission first from them or we will face the consequences.

I hope that PRRD's 'One step forward, two steps backward' strategy will prosper.

As what was cited in detail by Prof. Richard Javad Heydarian in his latest article Duterte's 'China honeymoon comes to a close – “Weeks earlier, Beijing was openly vexed when Duterte announced with bravado that he will visit and plant the Philippine flag in the hotly-disputed Thitu Island (Pag-asa to Filipinos), the second largest naturally-formed land feature in the Spratlys. The island, which hosts an airstrip and civilian and military populations, has been under Manila’s administration since the 1970s. He also ordered troops to occupy and protect Philippine-claimed land features in the area.
Duterte later cancelled his plan to visit the features, in a convoluted nod towards Beijing’s displeasure. “China sent word, ‘Please do not do that,’ Well, in the meantime, just do not go there. Please?'”

Duterte said in explaining his decision to walk back his decision. “So, because of our friendship with China, and because we value your friendship, I will not go there to raise the Philippine flag. Maybe I’ll send my son.”

Soon thereafter Duterte gave the go-ahead to defense minister Delfin Lorenzana and armed forces chief of staff Eduardo Año to visit the disputed land feature, which China also considers part of its national territory under its wide-reaching nine-dash map. It was the first time in years that top Filipino defense officials traveled to the features. Lorenzana later described the trip as routine.”

“We hope that the Philippine side could cherish the hard-won sound momentum of development [in] bilateral relations [we] are experiencing,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang in response to last week’s visit by top Filipino defense officials to disputed Spratly island features. “[China is] gravely concerned about and dissatisfied with this, [and] has lodged representations with the Philippine side.”

The ministry also cautioned Manila to “faithfully follow the consensus” reached between the two national leaders in October last year.

Sec. Ernesto Abella, Duterte’s spokesman, fired back by saying that the trip was “part of efforts to improve the safety, welfare, [and] livelihood of Filipinos residing and living in the municipality of Kalayaan,” using the Philippines’ preferred word for the Spratlys.

In response to reports that a nearby Chinese military detachment at Subi Reef tried to drive away the plane that carried Filipino defense officials, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the president’s office said “The Philippines has long been undertaking customary and routine maritime patrol and overflight in the West Philippine Sea,” and that they “are lawful activities under international law.”

With the budget of 1.6 billion pesos for the refurbishment and upgrade of Filipino facilities in the Spratlys, is a clear sign that Duterte administration is seriously saying to China that we will never just give up our territories because of ‘friendship’ and ‘economics’.

The president should be wary in dealing with big nations like China, US and Russia. He has to calculate his statements which could be music to the ears of some leaders or noise to few that cannot forget.

The Program is On: It's War by Erick San Juan

The Program is On: It's War by Erick San Juan

Through the years in all my writings and radio broadcasts I closely monitored China’s moves either by soft or hard power, influencing countries like ours due to our alliance with the US. Even before the advent of the internet, I have written the imminent war betwen US – China and if that happens all their allies could be dragged into a global war just like in our case. Like what I always say as a reminder that when the program is on, it can be delayed but it will push through just like this war. Unfortunately, the drums of war is getting louder this time and the fear of many is just one button away from a nuclear war.

This is the reason why I never get tired reminding our government and the past administrations that China’s goal of making Luzon their province will soon happen if we allow it. I am with former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez in his detailed article – “The Philippines faces a very serious security challenge in two fronts and how it plays out could critically affect the balance of power in the Asia Pacific Region and beyond” referring to the Scarborough Shoal and Benham Rise.
"Golez said of the Chinese activities: “I do not believe the survey ship conducted harmless scientific research contrary to what the Chinese officially announced. I believe it conducted what it is capable of doing to promote China’s interest and prejudice Philippine interest.”

A former Navy captain, Golez said China had two objectives:

“(1) Oceanographic survey – to determine the characteristics of the undersea, study the thermocline patterns; data on thermoclines are very important for identifying possible submarine hiding areas, which are of critical importance in future submarine warfare in China’s so-called First and Second Island Defense Chains;

“(2) Hydrographic seismic survey – to study what could be under the seabed, to determine through sound reflection and refraction possible oil and gas. Considering the vastness of Benham Rise, the likelihood of such deposits is very strong, many times larger than at Malampaya (westside, in Palawan).”

I believe China is interested in Benham Rise because of two strategic reasons:

Oceanographic data for use in future attack and ballistic submarine deployment.

Data on strategic natural resources like: fish (China’s food supply is getting very critical) and energy (oil, gas, methane etc. they need alternate supplies to support their rapid industrialization and help ease their Malacca dilemma wherein around 80% of their oil supply can be interdicted or blockaded in the Malacca Strait or even the Indian Ocean)

China’s long range plans for sure include soft targets they can seize using hard power or using soft power and skillful diplomacy and alliance building to secure their geopolitical objectives and strategic food and energy resources.

I submit that Benham Rise is one of them. It's a big, strategic objective.

A master of diplomacy like China would certainly aspire to make the Philippines a part of its orbit in the same manner that it is building alliances in the Indian Ocean, far Africa and South America using their soft power.

Why would the Philippines and Benham Rise be of strategic interest to China?

It’s because of the geo-strategic concept of The First Island Chain and The Second Island Chain.”
In China’s goal of securing these two island chains, the Philippines is in the middle and the only way to achieve their goal is to annex our country just like their plan with Taiwan.

Benham Rise as I wrote before could be the next Pearl Harbor as we see the confluence of events and the present leadership must be very wary in dealing with China and not believe China hook, line and sinker.

China lied many times before regarding the status of the contested area in the South China Sea, all for civilian use but now it’s a military fortress. And God forbid that they will do that again in Benham Rise. Be very wary Mr. President.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Major Wars In The Offing By Erick San Juan

Major Wars In The Offing

By Erick San Juan

Russia and Iran have said that they will respond to further American military actions following the air strike in Syria last week.

The Trump administration has said that more strikes are possible, but Russia and Iran are both pledging that "we will respond with force" if any more attacks are conducted...

In a joint statement, the command center for the two countries and allied groups said: "What America waged in an aggression on Syria is a crossing of red lines. From now on we will respond with force to any aggressor or any breach of red lines from whoever it is and America knows our ability to respond well." (Source: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com)

We are gradually approaching some exciting times and the world is at the edge wherein a tiny spark could ignite the tinderbox that will start a major global conflict. And the newly elected US President plays the major role that may lead humanity to war or peace.

In the article ‘Will The U.S. Be Drawn Into Fighting Two Major Wars Simultaneously?’ one in the Syrian crisis and the other with North Korea. Sadly, the campaign promise of President Trump of not engaging in regime change on sovereign states, here we are witnessing a possible regime change scenario that will put the world in danger to the next global war. The usual promise of a politician meant to be broken or only fools don't change their mind?

Is a regime change necessary in solving the North Korean crisis? What is at stake for the rest of the world if ever such scenario will push through?

“NBC News is reporting that President Donald Trump is considering various military options for North Korea, and one of those options includes "killing dictator Kim Jong-Un"...

The National Security Council has presented President Donald Trump with options to respond to North Korea's nuclear program -- including putting American nukes in South Korea or killing dictator Kim Jong-Un, multiple top-ranking intelligence and military officials told NBC News.

After seeing what happened in Syria and hearing these threats openly discussed in the U.S. media, what do you think Kim Jong-Un is thinking at this point?

One member of Congress is warning that "millions can die" if a military strike against North Korea goes badly.

Once U.S. missiles begin flying, North Korea can start firing off their nukes and their vast arsenal of chemical warheads almost instantly.

Could you imagine what would happen if large numbers of deadly nerve gas warheads started exploding in downtown Seoul, downtown Tokyo and at U.S. military bases in Japan?

The carnage would be off the charts, and this is a scenario that we want to avoid at all costs.

Unfortunately, it seems like we are coming closer to a conflict with North Korea with each passing day.

In fact, today we learned that an aircraft carrier strike group headed by the USS Carl Vinson is sailing in the direction of North Korea right now...

Amid rising tensions with North Korea, China's nuclear envoy went to North Korea to assess the situation.

The aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships had been scheduled to leave from Singapore for port visits to Australia on Saturday, but Admiral Harry Harris, head of U.S. Pacific Command, ordered the strike group to head north toward Korean waters instead.”

If the above-mentioned scenario will develop into a shooting war what comes after will be far greater devastating for the world’s economy. Why is this so?

What was not told was the dumping of US dollar by both Russia and China. Suddenly, at St. Petersberg, in the hometown of Pres. Vladimir Putin  it was terrorized by bomb explosion while Putin was there. 

Is the Korea threat for real? South Korean security analysts said that South and North Korean governments have been in an open communication including relatives from both camps. So what is the US strike force for?

“So what happens if the U.S. starts fighting two major wars simultaneously, the biggest debt bubble in the history of the planet starts bursting, and the U.S. stock market crashes by 50 percent as some analysts are projecting? US super elites are wary that hidden forces are trying to destabilize America. Will this be the main reason that the real major war is in the offing?

Some Americans still have memories of living through the Great Depression and World War II, but most of us have been living in a bubble of peace and prosperity for so long that we don't think that anything could ever come along and threaten our way of life.

And since the election of Donald Trump, interest in "prepping" has dropped to the lowest level that I have ever seen.”

We ain’t seen nothing yet that is far greater crisis than major wars happening at the same time. And the first strike policy of the US if implemented will burst that bubble of peace and prosperity. And the rest will surely be part of a bad history.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tipping Point of War by Erick San Juan

Tipping Point of War by Erick San Juan

In the history of the world, several wars were fought in the Asia-Pacific region and with the continuing provocation after provocation between nations especially in the hottest contested area – the South China Sea, the Philippines could be the next battleground in the theater of war between US and China.

As a writer and observer of events unfolding through the years, we have written this war scenario between the US and China as imminent several years ago as we connect the dots so to speak. Unfortunately we are coming to the realization of that forecast, a program that is on and was only delayed but will materialize sooner than we think. With the new hotspot, the Benam Rise, an underwater landmass 250 kilometers (155 miles) off the east coast of the main island of Luzon, are we seeing another Pearl Harbor in the offing?

We don’t want to be an alarmist, we are just observing the confluence of events like some pundits who believe that the recent moves of China is not actually helping its Asian neighbors in the process. Instead the whole neighborhood is nervous that a war might broke out any moment. In this case the long-awaited ‘Asian century’ may take another century to become a reality due to some circumstances beginning with China’s aggressive behavior in its military build up in the region and its secret-secret real economic situation.

According to Gary Shilling (Bloomberg) the following are the issues that will make Asian countries uneasy.

"Globalization is largely completed. There isn’t much manufacturing in North America and Europe left to be moved to lower-cost developing economies. At the same time, the West is basically saturated with Asian exports, and those countries are competing fiercely among themselves for limited total export demand. Also, exports are shifting among those countries as low-end production moves from China to places such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, much as they shifted out of Japan in earlier decades. As economies grow, a greater share of spending is on services and less on goods.

The shift from being export-led economies to ones driven by domestic spending, especially by consumers, has been slow. Chinese leaders want this transition, but it is moving at glacial speed. At 37%, Chinese consumer spending as a share of GDP is well below major developed countries such as the US at 68.1%, Japan at 58.6%, and even Russia at 51.9%.

There are government and cultural restraints. Almost all developing Asian economies are tightly controlled by governments. Top-down regimes stoutly resist reform and often persist until they’re overthrown by revolutions. The current Mao dynasty in China, as I’ve dubbed it, seems seriously worried about popular unrest due to the lack of promised economic growth and is reducing what little political liberty was previously allowed. President Xi is now the Big Brother with lots of little brothers insuring proper thoughts and actions, even at the local level.

In Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is enmeshed in a multibillion-dollar investment scandal. In the Philippines, crime and drug trafficking are so rampant that President Rodrigo Duterte was elected on a platform of eliminating drug dealers, even by murderous vigilante squads. South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye was thrown out over corruption.

Population problems endure. Despite the need for new workers in Japan as its population falls and ages, women are still discouraged from entering the labor force, and Japan continues to be unwelcoming toward newcomers. There’s no such thing as an immigration visa despite the fact that 83% of Japanese hiring managers have difficulty filling jobs, versus a global average of 38% in the last five years.

China also has a looming labor shortage and severe limits to economic growth due to its earlier one-child policy, which resulted in about 400 million Chinese not being born. Low fertility rates are also destined to reduce the populations of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea. At the other end of the population spectrum are Asian countries like Indonesia and India, whose population is expected to exceed China’s by 2022.

Military threats are growing in Asia, and could severely disrupt stability and retard economic growth if they flare up. China is exercising its military muscles by challenging US military influence in the region by, among other actions, building military islands on reefs in the South China Sea. Japan is abandoning its post-World War pacifism and shifting from defensive to offensive capabilities. The Russians are also making military threats. The region contains five nuclear-armed countries: China, India and its rival Pakistan, Russia, and — most troubling — North Korea, which is testing long-range missiles. China isn’t happy about that, but it wants North Korea as a buffer between it and South Korea as well as a deterrent to its old foe, Japan.

There may well be an “Asian century” in the future, but don’t hold your breath. It took about a millennium for the West to develop meaningful democracy, the rule of law, large middle classes that support domestic economies and all the institutions that are largely lacking in developing Asian lands." (Shilling)

We are living in these troubling and exciting times, and like what President Duterte said several times in his speeches, he is afraid of a miscalculation that might happen among the many warships in some hotspots in the region that could possibly trigger the next war.

We are now on the verge of tipping point. Our country is now perceived as the epicenter of world war in the offing.

May God forbid.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Beware of the Twin Arrows by Erick San Juan

Beware of the Twin Arrows by Erick San Juan

If one country could not do anything with geographical matters because it is by far a work of nature, man-made strategy has to be done in order to find solutions to the problem.

In an article “China’s Maritime Choke Points” published at GeoPolitical Futures website, the map showing China’s maritime choke points best explain why China created island where there is no land through reclamation and in the process set up military stations which they denied time and time again that they are not militarizing the area.

Based on the map that one can find at GeoPolitical Futures website – “There are two seas to the east of China – the East China Sea to the north and the South China Sea to the south, with Taiwan positioned in between. Air and naval forces based in Taiwan are, at least in theory, able to prevent movement between the two seas. The Taiwan Strait is fairly narrow and movement by the Chinese to Taiwan’s east forces China to pass near the Philippines to the south, and or through the Ryukyu Islands to the north. Passage through the Ryukyu Islands could be blocked by hostile naval forces or by land-based aircraft and missiles.

Therefore, China has a naval problem. It must assume that in war, it will have two different maritime theaters of operation, the East and South China seas, and will have difficulty moving forces from one to the other. Consequently, it needs a strong navy.”

That is why Taiwan and Luzon (the northern part of the Philippines) are the target future provinces of China in order to achieve its goal of creating a safe passage in the region, translation – Chinese-controlled areas.

“Therefore, it is clear why the Chinese care so much about the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea. Until they can guarantee that these islands are not controlled by hostile forces, their ability to create a Chinese-controlled channel through the islands framing the South China Sea is limited. They need to clear the islands, both to allow themselves access and to deny anyone the ability to use the islands to cripple operations in the first place. The Chinese are trying to take the first step in guaranteeing their access to the global sea lanes.

China’s naval forces remain inadequate for conflict with the United States. The Chinese have adopted an interim strategy of using air- and land-based anti-ship missile systems to keep the U.S. Navy far to the east and south of the choke points. But these missiles are vulnerable to U.S. air and missile suppression. Therefore, the Chinese are combining them with naval operations intended to intimidate regional nations from working with the United States. As we see in the Philippines, these operations have had the opposite effect. But from the Chinese point of view, this does not change the geographic reality and therefore cannot be seen as a failure, but merely reinforcing the core strategic reality.

One alternative option for the Chinese, if they are unable to mount amphibious operations, is to return to a strategy from the 1960s and use support for insurgencies in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to create political shifts that would eliminate major threats to Chinese movements. But such insurgencies could force an increase in U.S. naval presence in the region.” (Ibid)

Could it be that China has something to do with the latest communist insurgencies and bold activities in the country despite NDF? Just asking.

Methinks that the Chinese initiative in the One Belt, One Road operation especially in the new 21st century Maritime Silk Road has something to do with China’s plan of creating access to several sea lanes for geopolitical and economic reasons. It has to be done especially if the mighty US is always on the guard to every move of China’s military – may it be in sea, land or air.

In the long run Chinese projects that involve several countries in order to help them economically will benefit China more and make the Xi's China Dream a reality. Although reality checks otherwise, China’s big problem is geography and it is in this area that will stop China from expanding its reach and bypassing the rights of other sovereign nations like the Philippines.

China's Xi Jinping has been spending a lot for their global propaganda machine like the every Tuesday's whole page ad at Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin plus their weekly China Daily Asean edition being given free in strategic places including 5 Star hotels showing too rosy pictures of China.

But what was not told is the internal problem in China, both political and economic where capital flight continue due to Xi's expansion program of its military industrial complex allies. A big bubble is in the offing.

We have to be wary at all times in order to avoid a scenario that will make us the next battleground of an impending proxy war. We have to support our president at all cost if it will save our country from dangers.

Beware not only about 'Operation Reverse Arrow' of getting the Philippines without firing a single shot through 'soft touch' op and using their sleepers, dupes and rags to riches ethnic pro China families. And worst the 'Operation Twin Arrows' of attacking Taiwan using their own 'Lily Pad' of islands. I don't want to be an alarmist but be VERY VIGILANT!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Benham Rise Ruckus by Erick San Juan

Benham Rise Ruckus by Erick San Juan

There is so much fuss on the Benham Rise issue that has actually created tensions even President Rodrigo Duterte himself has already said that there is an agreement between Beijing and Manila before his defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana came out with a statement that the Chinese ship was doing a survey in the area, translation – an incursion.

President Duterte said that the Chinese have no incursion because we have an agreement and that some people are just blowing it up. It was a research ship. We were advised of it way ahead. Unsolicited advice, Who are the “we” here Mr. President? Many netizens are asking. Because the people in your loop, in your cabinet seems at a lost on whatever that agreement was. We mentioned in our past article that foreign policy of the land should involve its people. The perception seems that the “independent” foreign policy that the President wants is also independent from the people – his constituents. And now the President’s detractors especially in the social media are attacking him due to this ‘decision’.

Even some solons were demanding the Palace on the content of the so called ‘agreement’ with China to do ‘research’ in Benham Rise.

Benham Rise is an underwater landmass 250 kilometres (155 miles) off the east coast of the main island of Luzon. In 2012, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the Philippines' undisputed territorial claim to Benham Rise.

Some pundits fear that like what happened in the South China Sea, the disputed areas before are now claimed by China and structures were already in place.  And it’s not farfetched that because of the strategic location of the Benham Rise, China will use it as its listening post, possibly a place for its submarine and believed to be another entry point in grabbing Taiwan (Xi's China dream) in the process.

Pundits believe that PRRD  allows such ‘incursion’ for economic reason because China is good in using ‘soft power’ to lure other leaders to kowtow to its whims. And unfortunately, our president is perceived being duped due to the billions of dollars loan given by China to help us improve our economy.

We want to help this administration that is why we all have to be vigilant and help our country against people who are taking advantage of our weakness as a nation, particularly our military.

We already given up some territories in the SCS and now this. Could it be that the alleged plan of China's Xi to make our country as its province is true together with Taiwan?

The recent news about what Taipei’s defense minister said recently that “China is aiming advanced medium-range ballistic missiles at Taiwan as part of a growing military threat towards the island is very alarming.

The announcement came after Taiwan said for the first time last week that it is capable of launching missiles at China as it warned of an increased invasion risk.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be brought back into its fold, by force if necessary, even though the island has been self-governing since the two sides split after a civil war in 1949.

Ties have worsened since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, ending an eight-year rapprochement.

The DF-16 (Dongfeng 16) is capable of precise strikes against Taiwan and has been deployed by the Rocket Force of the People’s Liberation Army, defense minister Feng Shih-kuan said.

Feng told lawmakers the development comes as China “strengthens its weaponry modernization and military hard power”.

He did not say how many missiles had been deployed or where.

Taiwan has said China is targeting the island with around 1,500 missiles — this is the first time the defense ministry identified the DF-16 as among them.

Beijing has severed all official communications with Taipei since Tsai became leader in May and has been accused of blocking the island’s political representatives from attending international events. (Source: AFP 3-20-2017)

We knew about this plan of China’s annexation of Luzon with Taiwan for so long and talked about it on our radio program and in writing. The possibilities are getting stronger as we witness the slow but sure way of encirclement of our territories by China using soft 'touch' operation.

Our nation’s patriots are urging PRRD not to let it happen under his term not in the future. God bless the Philippines.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Global War Design by Erick San Juan

Global War Design by Erick San Juan

Another global hotspot is brewing and if not manage with cool heads and by strategic thinkers, another regional conflict is in the offing. We are referring to the Korean Peninsula – the North and South Korea that lately has become another tinderbox that is waiting for a 'spark' that could trigger its explosion.

Like the most talked about controversial ADIZ courtesy of China in the region, there is another far worse controversy that is not welcome in the region – THAAD.

In his article “The Korean Crisis and the THAAD Missile Deployment: A Growing Tinderbox in the South”, Caleb Maupin writes: “As the first military hardware associated with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, commonly called THAAD, arrives in the southern region of the Korean Peninsula, the tensions around and within the  region seem to be escalating. A number of ongoing crises in South Korea are starting to take their toll, and could have regional and global implications.

The most prominent source of tension is the new missile system being erected in cooperation with the United States. The narrative in US media surrounding THAAD is that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, smeared as “the crazy North Koreans,” is threatening to destroy the Republic of Korea located in the south. The new missile system is said to simply be a mechanism for protecting a vulnerable, democratic US ally, that faces being wiped out. Mark Toner of the US State Department described the erection of THAAD as “frankly a response to a threat.”

Who is mad about THAAD? And Why?

Objections to THAAD are not only coming from Pyongyang. Moscow and Beijing have both spoken up against the new missile system for reasons that are routinely ignored in US media discourse.

South Korea is hardly unprotected and alone. This is the reason why wealthy Koreans are migrating worldwide to avoid a possible shooting war in the offing. Many Koreans in the Philippines are creating their own Korean towns in key cities where they can do commerce.

The United States already has 28,500 troops in South Korea. It also has F-16 fighter aircraft and A-10 bomber jets. South Korea’s military is also very well stocked, with F-35 Fighter Jets, Aegis Destroyers, and all kinds of military hardware purchased from the United States.

The THAAD missile system being erected in a contract with Lockheed-Martin, in cold war terms, is a “strike enabling system.” Once the system is completed, the US and South Korean forces that are already in the Peninsula are free to launch an attack on North Korea, China, or Russia. The THAAD system, modeled after Israel’s Iron Dome, would prevent retaliation strikes aimed at disabling the attackers. THAAD enables the US and South Korea to begin striking countries in the region, while shielding themselves from any response. Furthermore, THAAD includes a radar system that will closely monitor regional activity, not only in North Korea, but also in northern China.

Its not hard to tell why Russia and China are loudly objecting to this multi-billion dollar military project. Strike enabling systems with penetrating radars are not a mechanism of defusing tension, in an already tense region. THAAD is the latest development in the Pentagon’s ongoing “Asian Pivot,” moving forces into the Pacific. Similar moves have already escalated tensions in the South China Sea.”

The Pentagon’s ‘Asian Pivot’ is still very much in place and has already created an arms race and a modern day cold war producing more tension in the already tense region.

Even within South Korea “many Koreans have protested against the completion of the THAAD project. The demonstrators, by and large, are not even subversives nor radicals, but simply patriotic Koreans who believe hostile moves against their Chinese and Russian neighbors do not serve the country’s interest. Among opponents is the well-known politician Lee Jae-myung, who is one of the “big three” likely to run in the upcoming Korean presidential election.

Lee Jae-Myung, who wants the US military presence scaled back, is one of the so called “big three” expected to run in the upcoming election. More and more Koreans agree with his argument that allying with the United States against the north, China, and Russia, is not in the people’s best interest. Furthermore, less than 4% of the population stands behind the disgraced President Park. South Korea could soon be moving in the same direction as the Philippines, where the long standing neoliberal, pro-American status quo was shaken up by the election of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

With the THAAD controversy boiling, amid bribery scandals, impeachment proceedings, discontent with the status quo, and renewed tensions with the North, and ailing economy, the southern half of the Korean peninsula is gradually becoming more and more of a global hotspot. The point of disagreement seems to be about the role southern Korean will play in the world. Will it remain an extension of US influence in Asia, or will the southern half of the Korean peninsula follow in the footsteps of its powerful Chinese neighbors and northern countryfolk? Will Koreans in the south declare their economic, political, and military independence from the United States and Japan?

These questions, which have driven so many uprisings, protests, military coups, and strikes since 1945 are not going away any time soon. (Source: Caleb Maupin, political analyst and activist based in New York)

It seems more and more flashpoints are created due to geopolitical and economic issues between nations in the hottest spot in the world, the Asia-Pacific region and the programmed design of a global war is inevitable and the delay is getting shorter like a ticking bomb.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In the Brink of War by Erick San Juan

In the Brink of War by Erick San Juan

The world, is in the brink of war as tensions from different parts of the planet occur almost on a regular basis showing off their latest firepower like what North Korea did recently.

“North Korea’s launch of four missiles on Monday was a training exercise for a strike on US bases in Japan and was supervised by leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang’s state media said Tuesday.

Three of the four missiles came down provocatively close to Japan, in waters that are part of its exclusive economic zone, representing a challenge to the US administration. Another was fiund at east asia.

Washington and Tokyo have sought an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the launch, likely to be scheduled for Wednesday.

Under UN resolutions, Pyongyang is barred from any use of ballistic missile technology, and the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said on Twitter that the world “won’t allow” North Korea to continue on its “destructive path55.”

But six sets of UN sanctions since its first nuclear test in 2006 have failed to halt Pyongyang’s drive for what it insist are defensive weapons.

Kim Jong-un ordered his military “to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out anytime”, KCNA reported, and to be ready to “open fire to annihilate the enemies” when ordered.” (By Agence France-Presse, March 7, 2017)

The scud missiles fired by North Korea provocatively near Japan and over the Korean Peninsula are clear signs of war provocations which Kim Jong-un said that “an actual war may break out anytime”.  US allies like Japan and South Korea have reacted strongly against such actions by North Korea :

‘This clearly shows North Korea has entered a new stage of threat’
—Shinzo Abe, Japan’s PM

`The results of the North having a nuclear weapon in its hands will be gruesome beyond imagination’
— Hwang Kyo-ahn, South Korea’s acting President

Even Beijing has become increasingly frustrated with Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile activities, and last month announced a suspension of all coal imports from the North until the end of the year — a crucial source of foreign currency.

Pyongyang wants to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US mainland — something Trump has vowed would not happen.

It has undoubtedly made progress in its efforts in recent years, although questions remain over its ability to master re-entry technology and miniaturize a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile warhead. (Ibid)

For over a decade since its first nuclear test and sanctions were already given to NoKor by the United Nations, and now this? How come? What happen to UN’s sanctions? Questions that have to be addressed soon before an actual war of Kim will materialize.

On the other side of the globe, “Trump’s 'Moderate' Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War” the title of Mehdi Hasan’s article – “Did you know that the Trump administration almost went to war with Iran at the start of February?

Perhaps you were distracted by Gen. Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser or by President Trump’s online jihad against Nordstrom. Or maybe you missed the story because the New York Times bizarrely buried it in the midst of a long piece on the turmoil and chaos inside the National Security Council.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to the paper, wanted the U.S. Navy to “intercept and board an Iranian ship to look for contraband weapons possibly headed to Houthi fighters in Yemen. … But the ship was in international waters in the Arabian Sea, according to two officials. Mr. Mattis ultimately decided to set the operation aside, at least for now. White House officials said, "that was because news of the impending operation leaked.”

Get that? It was only thanks to what Mattis’s commander in chief has called “illegal leaks”, that the operation was (at least temporarily) set aside and military action between the United States and Iran was averted.

Am I exaggerating? Ask the Iranians. “Boarding an Iranian ship is a shortcut” to confrontation, says Seyyed Hossein Mousavian, former member of Iran’s National Security Council and a close ally of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Even if a firefight in international waters were avoided, the Islamic Republic, Mousavian tells me, “would retaliate” and has “many other options for retaliation.”

Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council and author of the forthcoming book “Losing an Enemy — Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy,” agrees. Such acts of “escalation” by the Trump administration, he tells me, “significantly increases the risk of war.”

So why would a retired Marine Corps general such as Mattis be willing to provoke a conflict with Tehran over a single ship? The fact is that Mattis, too, is perceived to be obsessed with Iran. He has hyperbolically called the Islamic Republic “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East” and — in a Trump-esque descent into the world of conspiracy theories — suggested Tehran is working with ISIS. “Iran is not an enemy of ISIS,” Mattis declaimed in 2016, because “the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked” by ISIS “is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I’m sure.”

According to the Washington Post, in the run-up to the talks over Iran’s nuclear program, “Israelis may have questioned Obama’s willingness to use force against Iran. … But they believed Mattis was serious.” The general, in his capacity as head of U.S. Central Command, even proposed launching “dead of night” airstrikes on Iranian soil in 2011, in retaliation for Tehran’s support for anti-American militias in Iraq — a proposal rejected by White House officials who were worried that it “risked starting yet another war in the Middle East.”

Mousavian is puzzled by the defense secretary’s hawkishness: “He is one of the most experienced U.S. generals and he knows … the consequences of confrontation with Iran would be tenfold what the U.S. experienced in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”

Mattis allegedly has been tied to some of the worst war crimes of the Iraq invasion. It was he who gave the order to attack the village of Mukaradeeb in April 2004 — a decision he would later admit took him only 30 seconds to approve — which killed 42 civilians, including 13 children, who were attending a wedding there. “I don’t have to apologize for the conduct of my men,” he told reporters.

Six months later, in November 2004, it was Mattis who planned the Marine assault on Fallujah that reduced that city to rubble, forced 200,000 residents from their homes, and resulted, according to the Red Cross, in at least 800 civilian deaths.”

We are all living dangerously that any moment a war may broke out and with the political bickering among our country’s 'pulpolitikos', we are really looking for trouble as if nobody is minding the store – again?