Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Is America Being Destroyed by Vested Interests? by Erick San Juan

Is America Being Destroyed by Vested Interests? by Erick San Juan

In world history there were many wars, big and small, short and long, fought for whatever reasons. Although some wars were avoided to happen due to the intervention of cooler heads (like the United Nations) and several party talks to come up with peaceful resolutions.

Unfortunately, some analysts believe that certain ‘peace talks’ led to the regime change of a sovereign state and has left the nation in shambles. America is clearly being destroyed by vested interests from within. We’re not even sure now if American critics of their government are mere patriots or working for foreign interests.

Details of this programmed scenario can be found in the article ‘North Korea Would be Stupid to Trust the US’ by Jacob G. Hornberger (Global Research, October 01, 2017) - To many mainstream pundits, the solution to the crisis in Korea is for U.S. officials to sit down and “talk” to North Korea in the hopes of negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement. While it won’t guarantee that a deal will be worked out, they say, “talking” is the only chance there is to resolve the crisis.

According to Hornberger, “They ignored an important point: Any deal that would be reached would involve trusting the U.S.  government to keep its end of the bargain. And trusting the U.S. government would be the stupidest thing North Korea could ever do. That’s because as soon as U.S. officials found it advantageous, they would break the deal and pounce on North Korea, with the aim of achieving the regime change they have sought ever since the dawn of the Cold War more than 70 years ago.”

“Look at what U.S. officials did to Libya.  Muammar Qaddafi, agreed to give up his nuclear-weapons program in return for regime security. That turned out to be a stupid move. As soon as U.S. officials saw an opening, they pounced with a regime-change operation. Today, Qaddafi is dead and Libya is in perpetual crisis and turmoil. That wouldn’t have happened if Qaddafi had a nuclear deterrent to a U.S. regime-change operation.”

“Look at what U.S. officials are doing to Iran. They entered into a deal in which the U.S. government agreed to lift its brutal system of sanctions, which has brought untold suffering to the Iranian people, in return for Iran’s abandoning its nuclear-weapons program. After the deal was reached and Iran had complied, U.S. officials broke their side of the deal by refusing to lift their brutal system of sanctions and even imposing more sanctions. U.S. officials also now looking for any excuse or justification for getting out of the deal to which they agreed.”

“Even longtime partners and allies of the U.S. government can never be certain that the Empire won’t suddenly turn against them.”

“Look at Syria, which for a time served as a loyal partner and ally of the U.S. government, as reflected by the secret agreement to torture Canadian citizen Mahar Arar on behalf of U.S. officials and report their findings back to the CIA. Later, U.S. officials turned on Assad’s ruler, Bashar al-Assad, in a regime-change operation.”, Hornberger added.

“Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. Recall the countless agreements that U.S. officials made in the 1800s with Native Americans. U.S. officials were notorious for breaking them once it became advantageous to do so. Native Americans were entirely justified in accusing U.S. officials of speaking with a “forked tongue.”

“If you were a North Korean, would you trust U.S. officials? Would you give up the one thing that is deterring a U.S. regime-change operation in return for a promise from U.S. officials that they would not initiate a regime-change operation? That would really be a stupid thing to do, from the standpoint of North Korea. As soon as the U.S. government found it advantageous to break the deal and invade North Korea, engage in another state-sponsored assassination, or impose a new round of regime-change sanctions, they would do it.”

“Talking” to North Korea will do no good because North Korea will never trust the United States to fulfill its part of any deal that is worked out. There is but one solution to the crisis in Korea: withdraw all U.S. forces from that part of the world immediately and bring them home. Anything less will only continue the crisis or, even worse, result in a very deadly and destructive war.”

Like the other sovereign states that are not in tune with what Uncle Sam wants, more sanctions are more likely than peaceful talks, and in the end war or regime change might just be the best for the west.

And in the latest report by Steve Holland (@atimes, 10-3-2017) : The White House  ruled out talks with North Korea except to discuss the fate of Americans held there, again appearing to rebuke Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said Washington was directly communicating with Pyongyang on its nuclear and missile programs.

“We’ve been clear that now is not the time to talk,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters, reiterating a tweet from President Donald Trump at the weekend that was seen as undercutting Tillerson.

“The only conversations that have taken place were that … would be on bringing back Americans who have been detained,” Sanders said. “Beyond that, there will be no conversations with North Korea at this time.”

Tillerson said during a trip to China that the United States was directly communicating with North Korea on its nuclear and missile programs but that Pyongyang had shown no interest in dialogue.
Trump, who has traded insults and threats with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in recent weeks, later dismissed any prospect of talks with North Korea as a waste of time.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump wrote on Twitter, using his sarcastic nickname for Kim.

“Save your energy, Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” Trump wrote.

It was not the first time the White House and State Department have seemed at odds on policy issues, but when asked if Trump still had confidence in Tillerson as secretary of state, Sanders said: “He does.”

A senior administration official said Tillerson misspoke.

“I think it was just him misspeaking. He was just acknowledging the fact that we do have channels and we might have reason to talk if North Korea’s behaviour changes sometime down the road,” the official said.

Dialogue with North?

Tillerson said in Beijing that the United States had multiple direct channels of communication with Pyongyang and that it was probing North Korea to see if it was interested in dialogue.

The top US diplomat expressed hope for reducing tensions with North Korea, which is fast advancing towards its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

“We are probing, so stay tuned,” Tillerson told a small group of reporters. “We ask: ‘Would you like to talk?'” He said the United States had “a couple of, three, channels, open to Pyongyang.”

Another US official said Tillerson may have overstated the status of US lines of communication with North Korea for the benefit of his Chinese hosts, who have been pushing the Trump administration to do more to lure Pyongyang to the negotiating table.”

There are more to come, may it be word war or the real shooting war. But who’s interests?

God forbid!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Be Wary of People Pretending to be Your Friends by Erick San Juan

Be Wary of People Pretending to be Your Friends by Erick San Juan

Is there nobody minding the store? This is the general perception now being felt by the ordinary ‘Juan dela Cruz’ who once part of the diminishing middle class. Why is this so? Seems to be an ongoing demolition job to topple the present administration. Obviously, since day one, one issue after another were being thrown at the President’s men but of course the target is the president himself.

The war on drugs and its so-called casualties is the favorite among all the other campaign promises that were mentioned before his entry to the Palace.

Opposition from some sectors were very quick to throw criticisms from EJKs (Extra Judicial Killings) to alleged police payola to meet certain quotas in the killing spree of supposed drug addicts and pushers from the lower class of our society. But the perennial problem remains – where are the big fishes in this war on drugs, a selective one, so they say.

In DU30’s circle of friends when he was still a local politician from Davao, they are still around and some sectors are not happy with this at all. How can the Duterte administration succeed in its war on drugs and corruption at that, when some people in his loop of friends are rumored to be involved in such alleged shady activities? Just asking.

So can we rightfully say that the citizenry is right to criticize that this is just a ‘big show’ for the real big people behind are still free and are in the government, some elected, some appointed.

We are doing our part to help this administration work even if we are not sometimes satisfied with some of the people around PRRD who are actually doing things that are quite damaging to the image of the president and his administration.

To compound the problem, the much-praised people in the economic team of the government, no thanks to their PR operators, are really serious to make the populace suffer even more. With the comprehensive tax reform bill passed on the House of Representatives which the ball is now on the Senate, this is another round of hardships for the Filipino people.

On top of these, are the already approved increases in the prices of water, electricity and petroleum products. Can’t we help but ask, where is the promise of a better life from the change that was supposed to be felt in the first year of the current leadership.

According to former DILG Sec. Raffy Alunan, ‘foreign investors are leaving including huge hot money coming out and cancellation of contracts for call centers despite the glowing propaganda. The ills of society and government are deeply entrenched as ever. The NPA, not the left but the non-performers and rotten are still in the government service. Others are barnacles that remain constant, unmoving and untouched.’ Raffy is correct, reason so many Duterte supporters are demoralized. One example is the ouster of former SBMA chairman Martin Diño without a formal advance notification and replaced by Atty Wilma Eisma, who’s known as a former executive officer of Mar Roxas at DOTC snd also close to former Exec. Sec. Jojo Ochoa.

We respect and adhere to PRRD’s plans for this country but if he will not check the people around him who are now in the process of gradually destroying his goals for a better Philippines, we will all go down with him and this could create chaos, as some perceived.

With the almost done war in Marawi City that is now in its more than four months of bloody encounter, what went wrong? Again some fake news and more hyperbole are creating more boo-boos and some may wonder are there really people deliberately pulling down the administration to the pits?

Now with the latest statement on the possible of drug transshipment of illegal drugs through the country to the United States courtesy of the 14K and the Chinese Bamboo Triad, the designed scenario is programmed to drag us all to the dog. The president should review his information about the Chinese Triad controlling even the 14k of Hongkong and the defunct Bamboo gang of Taiwan. Triad in the Philippines  has basically linked in all walks of life. Reason they survive any transition of administration. A top intelligence officer, a Chinese Triad expert told me once that covert China’s economy includes all money making ventures. It is inclusive, everything that can deliver money to China is part of their economic strategy.

China is now even warning us not to blame China in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu that slipped thru our Bureau of Customs (Daily Tribune Sept.27,2017). During our meeting with the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations at Romulo’s Restaurant with several VIP’s from China as guests, i even thanked China for tipping off the shipment but the big question is, I knew for a fact that smuggling of drugs in China is very strict that even the father in law of drug lord and Taiwan fugitive Richard Chen , a former China’s custom official was killed due to corruption. How come the huge volume of shabu was released in China and transported to the Philippines. The untold story about the shipment will be exposed soon.

Beware!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Day of Reckoning is On by Erick San Juan

The Day of Reckoning is On by Erick San Juan

The country will commemorate the declaration of Martial Law by the late President Ferdinand Marcos more than four decades ago. Of course the country is again divided between pro and anti Marcos, wherein those who bitterly reminisce the so-called brutalities during the Martial Law days and for those who appreciate the legacy of the Apo of infrastructure and development projects which is only now realized that Marcos raked a lot of money through grease money known in our local lingo as 'tongpats'. The mere fact that when Marcos entered Malacanang in 1964-5, the peso was P4 pesos per dollar and left in February 1986 with P22 pesos per dollar. It compounded due to external debts and interest rates. Plus 'yon ninakaw ng Marcos family ay ninakawan din ng mga past leaders and corrupt government officials'. During the 60"s, we are second to Japan as the most progressive nation in Asia and when Marcos and family left for Hawaii, we're categorized as the 'sick man of Asia'

Some anti- martial law groups see the present administration’s Martial Law version now imposed in Mindanao region somehow similar to former President Marcos’ Military rule and will stage their usual protest rally come September 21. The protest will focus on the past Martial Law or the present one in Mindanao or against the Duterte administration altogether. It could be a big one as the left leaning progressives estimated due to an alliance of several sectors of society emboldened by the church leaders hardline stand against Duterte's anti drug campaign perceived as victimizing only the poor and petty drug users-pushers but up to now only few narco-politicians who are known distributors of shabu killed. Where are the big fishes, the real source of shabu and substance in making it? Why is the government not demanding an explanation from China who openly delivers shabu through our very own customs bureau instead of stopping it at China's customs and ports? Why the script of China tipping off our customs when the Triad plan got leaked by foreign intelligence to PDEA? These are several questions whispered and will be the outcry by militants this time.

Although the present administration already declared September 21 as a National Day of Protests, there will be no classes for students and no work for government offices, in lieu of possible violence or untoward incidents of some protesters.  A good strategy to avoid further escalation of any troubles in the process.

We should be vigilant this time around for a possible 'mutually assured destruction' in the offing if the government will not gather its act together. It’s not a walk in the park like the past EDSA people power (1 and 2). There are several undercurrents now working towards achieving a scenario of possible destabilization efforts. A bloody one? God forbid, a probability this time.

Some pundits believe that what this country need is something like a bloody revolution in order to find its true cleansing of all corrupt officials - whatever position in the government and hoodlums in uniform and those foreign nationals, underworld who are dealers of illegal drugs that gave out huge amount of money to corrupt people in government. Yes, it could be a bloody one but if it will remove all the impurities in the government, and so be it. A harder way to learn our lessons.

As much as possible, we don’t want any violence at all but it seems that the situation is already ripe for such, i hope we can still stop it. But the signs are all over, there are efforts in some sectors and factions from the opposition and some pretending to be friends of President Duterte trying to implement a designed scenario in order to destabilize the nation.

We have given some warnings and the way things are going, some sectors in the society are not happy on what is happening especially in the war on drugs campaign plus the ongoing hearings in both houses of Congress involving appointees of Pres. Rody. And now even PRRD’s supposed link with some known corrupt political families (coupled with some ‘favors’) are criticized by oppositions and ordinary citizens alike especially in the social media.

But the recent news in the cases filed at the Sandiganbayan versus Mrs. Imelda Marcos is a welcome development. In the report from Rappler - Ombudsman prosecutors asked the Sandiganbayan to convict former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte 2nd District Representative Imelda Marcos for graft, over a corruption case that has spanned 26 years.

In a 28-page memorandum filed on August 29, the prosecution pointed out to the anti-graft court that evidence has been admitted without comment from the Marcos camp in relation to 10 counts of violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Based on the charges filed in 1991, Marcos was accused of unlawful financial interests in non-governmental organizations in Switzerland and various local business enterprises from 1968 to 1986, the period where she held various government positions.

The widow of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos served as minister of human settlements and Metro Manila governor from June 1976 to February 1986 and as member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984.

The graft case is one of the oldest pending cases at the Sandiganbayan.

Those who testified against Marcos include former solicitor general Francisco Chavez, former central bank governor Jaime Laya, former Philguarantee chairman Cesar Virata, and former Philguarantee president Victor Macalincag who died recently.

The prosecution panel, in the memorandum, told the anti-graft court that it had "successfully discharged its duty of proving the guilt" of the former First Lady "beyond reasonable doubt."

"Hence, a verdict of conviction for the aforementioned crimes is sought against the accused," the prosecution panel said.

The submission date of the memorandum coincided with President Rodrigo Duterte's announcement that an emissary of the Marcos family offered to return some of their ill-gotten wealth.

The Marcos family's ill-gotten wealth has been the subject of numerous cases both here and abroad. It reached an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion during the Martial Law years, a period also marred by human rights abuses. What about Imelda and children's SALN( Statement of Asset and Liabilities Networth) where in when they returned to the Philippines, they all filed an ordinary wealth figure and after a year they're Income tax return ballooned like magic.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) has so far recovered P170 billion since 1986. Duterte, however, has threatened to abolish the PCGG.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos later denied that talks have been initiated, but said they trust Duterte will "end decades of cases" against their family.”

Will justice be served to the Filipino people as the former First Lady will put an end to the unfinished revolution of Edsa Uno by conviction on the cases that had long been sleeping in the halls of the Sandiganbayan?

Methinks KARMA is now running after the KLEPTOCRATS. "May sa jinx talaga, pati si Pres. Duterte inaabot ng malas magmula ng nagbigay sya ng open support to this ingrate family. "

May God bless the Philippines!

Are We Prepared for Manmade Chaos? By Erick San Juan

Are We Prepared for Manmade Chaos? By Erick San Juan

A real war is like a thief in the night. Nobody will be told or ask to prepare.

Although a country’s leader should take the cue from the continuous word war from the current spat between US President Donald Trump (and the people in his loop) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

But one can’t help but ask - there are so many missing links that must be answered. Why is Kim and Trump telegraphing their punches? Who will strike first?

“The North Korean nuclear test last September 4, its sixth and most powerful, has once again exposed the extremely volatile and precarious state of global geopolitics and the great danger of a descent into a nuclear world war.

The unstable regime in Pyongyang has concluded that its only hope of self-preservation, in the face of provocative threats from a perceived unstable Trump administration, is to try and expand its nuclear arsenal as quickly as possible. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is acutely conscious of the brutal end of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, after they abandoned their so-called weapons of mass destruction.

While the actions of North Korea are certainly compounding the risk of conflict, prime responsibility for pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war rests with US imperialism. Moreover, as the (deliberate) reckless and belligerent statements from Trump and his officials demonstrate, North Korea’s limited nuclear weaponry and reactionary nationalist bombast will not prevent the US from using its military might, including its huge nuclear arsenal, against the North Korean people.

Question is, whose funding and supplying Kim Jong-un's technology and firepower?

After a meeting between Trump and his top military and national security advisers, US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis warned North Korea that it face “a massive military response” to any threat to the US or its allies.

“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea,” Mattis continued, “but as I said, we have many options to do so.” President Trump “wanted to be briefed on each one of them,” he added.

I believe the statement of Secretary Mattis that they have a more superior technology controlled by the consortium of the military industrial complex. The so called killing machine without destroying a nation's ecology. They even have killer robots and drones just like in the movies.

Trump himself warned of a US nuclear attack against North Korea when he declared last month that it confronted “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” A White House readout from his phone call yesterday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explicitly declared that the US stood ready to use “the full range of diplomatic, conventional and nuclear capabilities at our disposal.”

Trump was asked on Sunday:

“Will you attack North Korea?”

He refused to rule out pre-emptive military strikes, simply declaring: “We’ll see.”

The US president has repeatedly said that he would not signal a military attack in advance, compounding the uncertainty, and hence fears in Pyongyang.

Furthermore, as the crisis on the Korean Peninsula has escalated, the divisions in the Trump administration have resulted in an incoherent policy, which swings wildly between threats of all-out war and suggestions of talks, further inflaming the already explosive situation. This 'moro-moro' or political circus in the US political spectrum could be stage managed to make believe that the US government is in disarray and pretending to be weak. And this could provoke it's enemies to act while the US is in internal turmoil including the so called believed to be 'weather engineered' hurricanes destroying states like Texas.

In the aftermath of yesterday’s nuclear test, the White House, along with the American media, has turned its fire on China and Russia, underscoring the fact that the US confrontation with North Korea is bound up with far broader strategic aims. American strategists regard domination of the vast Eurasian land mass as the key to US global hegemony and China as the chief obstacle to that goal. (Trump, North Korea and the Danger of World War, By Peter Symonds, Global Research, September 05, 2017)

That is in the area of geopolitics but we overlooked the fact that their (big nations) countries’ economy are already overheating despite the propaganda that everything is well and healthy especially in the case of China. The full page advertisements in our major dailies (Manila Bulletin and Philippine Star) and other nations major dailies show how healthy is China’s economic condition. But is it the truth or another ‘fake news’? Just asking.

Another point raised by Peter Symonds (in the same article) – “The most dangerous factor in this highly volatile situation is the profound economic, social and political crisis of US imperialism—of which Trump is the most malignant expression. His administration confronts deep internal divisions and a huge and mounting social crisis, which is generating massive domestic opposition, as a result of its incompetence and indifference to the human suffering caused by the Houston flooding. The danger is that Trump will resort to a war against North Korea with incalculable consequences, as a means of directing acute domestic class tensions outwards against an external foe.

At the same time, these social tensions, in America and around the world, are fueling the coming revolutionary upheavals of the working class. The crucial issue is the building of a revolutionary leadership, to forge a unified international movement of workers guided by a scientific socialist program and perspective to put an end to the capitalist system and its outmoded division of the world into rival nation states. That is the perspective for which the International Committee of the Fourth International and its sections fight.”

And there is another perspective pointed out by Stephen Lendman on the same issue – “Regardless of current or likely more advanced DPRK capability later on, the nation’s history shows it threatens no other nations.

Its nuclear and ballistic missile weapons are solely for defense – deterrents against feared US aggression.

The real menace lies in Washington, not Pyongyang. (Posted @Global Research, August 16, 2017)

For whatever it’s worth the world is in the brink of another world war and sadly our domestic word war among politicians is also on the brink of an internal revolution. Are we ready for a new 'Bolshevik Revolution' through a revolutionary government? Are we prepared for a domestic revolution and the war against the real target of the globalist? Just asking..

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fog of War By Erick San Juan

Fog of War By Erick San Juan

The perceived bully in the region that might start a regional conflict in the process has issued another threat.

North Korea warned the US that it would pay a ‘due price’ for spearheading a UN Security Council resolution against its latest nuclear test, as Washington presses for a vote to impose more sanctions on Pyongyang.

The call for additional sanctions came after the North’s sixth nuclear test on September 3, which Pyongyang said was an advanced hydrogen bomb.

North Korea has also threatened to fire missiles into waters off the Pacific island of Guam, home to US military bases, as a show of force.

The United States wants the Security Council to impose an oil embargo on the North, block its export of textiles and freeze the financial assets of leader Kim Jong-un, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters.

The North’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said the United States was “going frantic” to manipulate the Security Council over Pyongyang’s nuclear test, which it said was part of “legitimate self-defensive measures.” (Asia Times, 9/11/17)

Japan and NATO were quick to push for such sanctions on DPRK in order to halt its efforts in building nuclear arms or whatever kind of materiel they are making.

The persistent word wars between North Korea and the United States and its allies are making the countries in the region nervous for it might lead to real shooting war. Although one might notice that this is going on for quite some time now and one may wonder who benefits?

In the article by Mike Whitney (published at Global Research, 9/10/17 and CounterPunch, 8/9/17) he writes – “Donald Trump isn’t going to start a war with North Korea. That’s just not going to happen.

Not only does the United States not have the ground forces for such a massive operation but, more important, a war with the North would serve no strategic purpose at all. The US already has the arrangement it wants on the Peninsula. The South remains under US military occupation, the economic and banking systems have been successfully integrated into the US-dominated western system, and the strategically-located landmass in northeast Asia provides an essential platform for critical weapons systems that will be used to encircle and control fast-emerging rivals, China and Russia.

So what would a war accomplish?

Nothing. As far as Washington is concerned, the status quo is just dandy.”

So what could be the reasons of keeping a bogeyman in the region?

“The crisis has clearly tightened Washington’s grip on the peninsula while advancing the interests of America’s elite powerbrokers. I seriously doubt that Trump conjured up this plan by himself. This is the work of his deep state handlers who have figured out how to use his mercurial personality to their advantage.

Does Trump know anything about the history of the current crisis?  Does he know that North Korea agreed to end its nuclear weapons program in 1994 if the US met its modest demands?  Does he know that the US agreed to those terms but then failed to hold up its end of the bargain?   Does he know that the North honored its commitments under the agreement but eventually got tired of being double-crossed by the US so they resumed their plutonium enrichment program?  Does he know that that’s why the North has nuclear weapons today, because the United States broke its word and scotched the agreement?

That’s not conjecture. That’s history.” (Ibid)

History tells us a lot on why the Korean Peninsula crisis is still a crisis and the role of the big powers which made it difficult for both Koreas to achieve its unification.

Have we forgotten the 'detente' involving China's Mao Tse Tung and Russia's Nikita Kruschev in 1964? North Korea's Kim il Sung felt betrayed and this time, his grand son, Kim Jong Un is playing a different but confusing game plan.

"China may be the real target of North Korea's pressure."(Agence France Presse September 7,2017) China suspected that North Korea's escalating nuclear provocations are putting China, a known ally in a bind and assessed as part of a strategy to twist Beijing's arm into orchestrating direct talks between Pyongyang and Washington which could cause embarassment to China.

So, who is the real bully in the region and will benefit in the process?

“Now the North has hydrogen bombs and Washington is still playing its stupid games. This whole fake crisis is a big smokescreen designed to conceal Washington’s imperial machinations. Trump is using Kim’s missile tests as a pretext to extend the Pentagon’s military tentacles deeper into Asia so the US can assume a dominant role in the world’s fastest growing region. It’s the same game Washington has been playing for the last hundred years.  Unfortunately, they’re pretty good at it.” (Mike Whitney, writer, based in Washington) 

This fog of confusion could lead to a real war soon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Think Out of the Box by Erick San Juan

Think Out of the Box by Erick San Juan

We are now a nation being challenged once more with several issues emanating from the present administration’s policies concerning its war on drugs and corruption.  The latest word wars among government officials - appointed and elected has created more problems than solutions.

Filipino people are fed up with such bickering and endless “he said, she said” rhetoric in the midst of high prices of commodities and utilities that affects the daily life of an ordinary Juan De la Cruz.  Pundits are asking,"Where are the promises pertaining to a better life for every Filipino especially the poor?" Even the middle class families are slowly inching towards the lower class status.

Are we seeing a repeat of the past administration’s promises that were never fulfilled that has created the hardships we have today? Particularly, the supposed positive economic results of foreign investments. Is it still the same ‘old trickle- down effect’ or all B.S. and just taking this country for a ride?

News of investments that will bring jobs via build, build, build seems to be trapped in the drawing board yet. Or the observation of some analysts that we are being herded (like a herd of cattle) into a debt trap. Which is which? Are we really moving towards industrialization? Meaning more jobs – more buying power for the needy and more opportunities for growth?

There seems to be a problem, to some geopolitical experts on our relationship with China – economically. More skeptics are saying that we are being pushed towards a debt trap which we are not aware of due to the ‘friendly ties’ that PRRD used with China, a.k.a. soft power on the part of China. And on the occasion of the launching of the so-called One Belt, One Road (OBOR op) operation initiated by China, it was assessed by some geopolitical-economists that we will be used as dumping grounds of manufactured goods from China. Translation – the true economy of China lies on its manufacturing which seems to be overheated and they have to unload these somewhere and it is a win-win solution to recover from their economic downturn.

China is not giving away money or goods to be used in infrastructure via the OBOR op, there are ‘soft loans’ and maybe some geopolitical maneuverings on the leadership of countries, especially claimants in the contested areas who joined in the OBOR.

Of course when data/statistics that are sourced from Chinese-controlled sites – it’s all rosy and healthy economy, but the big questions is: is it the true picture? Or just ‘fake news’, as the trending word nowadays?

From the words of Mehreen Khan – “The true state of China's economic fortunes remain a mystery to the world. The latest round of official quarterly GDP statistics from Beijing's National Statistics Bureau show the economy has slowed to its lowest level in 25 years. Quarterly growth is at its lowest rate since the depths of the financial crisis six years ago.

Yet the government's estimates have long been dismissed as an accurate barometer of what's really going on in the Chinese economy.

"There has been a long history in China of the official GDP data understating true GDP during a boom and overstating it during a slowdown", wrote Willem Buiter in September- a former Bank of England rate-setter and influential economist at Citi.

Questions over China's "actual" rate of growth have been thrown into sharp relief after a summer of turmoil in financial markets. Sudden anxiety over a Chinese "hard-landing" left investors dumbstruck. Billions were wiped off global stock indices and authorities were forced to suspend trading to prop up equity prices.

China data-watching has now become the main driver for global economic sentiment.”

I will not dwell into technicalities here, our country should be more concern on how President Rody Duterte and his so called economists handle the crisis once the huge red dragon will hit the bottom, and unfortunately, we will go down with it. Are we prepared? Or some will say – it is better to wage war and fight that outside enemy to save China’s internal crisis. But still, who will be minding the store once it hit us?

Possibly Pres. Duterte can feel the heat this time. Our peso is on a free fall, high prices of commodities was compromised by bird flu hype, infestation, the month long Marawi siege, the shocking control of top Chinese drug lords of our political system and possibly behind terrorism to weaken our nation. That even the Marcoses are even attempting to dupe him of the fools gold and stale gold certificates to avert the global class suit the Marcoses will face soon. Pres. Duterte was even advised by some vested interests to implement a revolutionary government which will surely fail time due to the infighting from within including his political  party mates.  The president should think and act out of the box if he wants to survive this crisis by design.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Epicenter of War by Erick San Juan

Epicenter of War by Erick San Juan

So many issues are now being thrown at the present administration’s ability to handle matters of great concern specifically of drugs and corruption. Campaign promises that has to be curtailed in order to achieve a better life to every Filipino. Are these just lip service after one year in office and there seems to be no major accomplishment?

Yes, these two problems are deeply rooted to the core of the society’s socio-political life. Admittedly, past administrations seemed oblivious that such problems existed and the current leadership is painstakingly trying very hard to diminish the effects of such menace.

The entry of huge amount of shabu at the Bureau of Customs vis-à-vis the age-old corruption in the Bureau seems to disregard the marching order of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to clean this country of drugs and corruption. Accepting the fact that the BOC needs a total overhaul right at its roots to clean the bureau of the mafia within to avoid illegal shipments of contraband.  But what about the problem emanating from without?

Pres. Duterte should have realized that transnational shipment of illegal drugs is much harder to curtail than the ones circulating in the country through corrupt politicians and scalawags in uniform. The mere fact that most oppositions (sometimes even pro-PRRD) have been criticizing the present leadership on its soft dealing with China when it comes to the illegal entry of illegal drugs. Obviously most key personalities involved in the illegal trade are Chinese. And so much for all the “palusot” from the Chinese customs on how on earth that hundreds of kilos of smuggled shabu are coming in our ports without their knowledge. Is the Chinese leadership too lax in solving their own drug problem that they also want to export these illegal drugs to us in their favor, economically?

That was my question i asked last saturday at the meeting of Philippine Council for Foreign Relations at Romulo's Restaurant in Bel Air, Makati City from one of the mainland VIP's who attended our meeting as speaker for the China's Council for Foreign Relations. I reiterated to the CCFR group that I know that China's custom is very strict especially with illegal drugs but how come that billions of pesos worth of shabu passes and cleared thru their port and out of the blue, when it entered the Philippine port and delivered, their customs personnel tipped off our customs bureau which led to a bungled operation and non-coordination with our own anti-illegal drugs unit, the PDEA. The rest was history that pressured Commissioner Nick Faeldon to resign.

The Duterte administration should be wary because problems emanating from illegal drugs are going overboard and oppositions are finding ways to use these to destroy and humiliate him. From EJK and human rights violations to police brutality and corruption among “friends” dealing with illegal drugs are easy target to justify a call for a regime change. Even PRD's son is now being dragged into the fray.

Another issue of grave importance is our sovereign rights to our territories that is being challenged again by the Chinese government. The one exposed by Congressman Gary Alejano on the Pag-asa islands.

News reports came out that last week, a Philippine lawmaker, Congressman Gary Alejano, released images showing Chinese coast guard, naval, and civilian vessels within a stone’s throw of Pag-asa, or Thitu Island — a significant Philippine possession in the disputed Spratly group of islands. Pag-asa, which is administered as part of Kalayaan municipality, an archipelagic cluster in the South China Sea.

Shortly after their release, Alejano’s allegations regarding the presence of Chinese vessels were independently verified by Gregory Poling of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI). AMTI’s perusal of satellite imagery acquired on August 13 showed multiple Chinese vessels in the area, including “nine Chinese fishing ships and two naval/law enforcement vessels.” A Philippine fishing boat was also docked at a nearby unoccupied sandbar.

The incident remains highly murky, with neither Chinese authorities nor the Philippine government having officially commented on the claims levied by Alejano. Philippine Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio described the events underway near Pag-asa as an “invasion of Philippine territory” on Saturday, calling on Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Cayetano and President Rodrigo Duterte to step in.

One of the features under question in the area is the Sandy Cay. Carpio noted that Sandy Cay, an unoccupied sand bar, “is a Philippine land territory that is being seized (to put it mildly), or being invaded (to put it frankly), by China.” (Sandy Cay should not be conflated with the Vietnam-occupied Sand Cay, another feature in the Spratly group.)

Aside from the relatively short list of facts concerning current events — that there are Chinese vessels near Pag-asa Island and both the Philippine and Chinese governments are rather silent about the whole affair — there is little else to be said conclusively at this point. Regardless, whatever is happening, there appears to be a potentially significant change to the status quo in the South China Sea in 2017. We won the arbitration case at the International Court at the Hague but now China is grabbing our islands with consent in the process.

The context of the ongoing Chinese naval and coast guard activity is crucial. First, the Philippines, along with nine other Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, has just concluded a draft framework on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea.

Second, it has been less than a year since Duterte visited Beijing, concluding a range of agreements and broadly lowering the geopolitical tensions between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea — tensions that appeared to have reached their apotheosis last year as a Hague-based arbitral tribunal ruled almost completely in the Philippines’ favor in a major case concerning maritime entitlements and other issues in the Spratly group.

Beyond the context and the facts, however, analysts are left mostly to speculate about possible Chinese intentions and the factors governing the Philippine government’s remarkable silence about an unusually broad Chinese presence near Pag-asa.

 Instead, Duterte has said that the Chinese are there to “patrol” since “we are friends.”

“China assured me that they will not build anything there. I called the Ambassador, I said, when I read – (They said) ‘We will assure you that we are not building anywhere there,'” the Philippine president added. The assurances were reportedly delivered by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Duterte’s remarks on Monday raised more questions than answer. If there was an existing understanding, why did neither the foreign secretary nor the minister of defense issue clarifications early last week? Second, did Duterte order Philippine Navy vessels to stand down from the area and allow the Chinese Coast Guard and People’s Liberation Army-Navy access to the waters near Pag-asa and Thitu Island? Finally, how does the president explain reports of Philippine fishing vessels being denied access to the waters if these are indeed friendly patrols?

Given the legal stakes involving Sandy Cay highlighted above, the Duterte government’s nonchalance about ongoing Chinese activities at Pag-asa remains unconvincing. Perhaps the Philippine government will soon offer a more compelling rationale for the ongoing activities, before it’s too late. (Source: Ankit Panda, August 22, 2017)

I hope that Pres. Duterte will soon realize that he's being perceived by critics as a 'China doll' willing to be a governor-general of Philippine Islands, Province of China. As the saying goes, 'Only fools don't change their mind.'  PRD was believed to be a socialist bit his change of heart with the left could also happen despite China's ongoing salamization of our country. He has to act fast before we become the epicenter of a looming war between the US and China.

Leave a living legacy Mr, President!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Saber Rattling Bluff by Erick San Juan

Saber Rattling Bluff by Erick San Juan

In these exciting times it is like we are on the edge of our seats breathtakingly awaiting a possible nuclear world war. Or its just some saber rattling orchestrated by the super elites controlling the alliance of military industrial complex and using real life puppets.

“Why? Because there will be no nuclear launch or missile launch or other military attack. Why? Because to do so would be sheer lunacy. Nobody in his right mind who wants to win a war will never telegraph his punches. Its either an element of surprise, the so called 'first strike policy' vis-a-vis a 'mutually assured destruction'.

The North Korea leadership, Kim Jong-un who's living a good life and has his own 'Ibiza of North Korea', unless it has a death wish, will absolutely not initiate military violence. While it may engage in back-and-forth hyperbolic rhetoric, it will not provide the excuse for a reprisal that will devastate the country and destroy his  government. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his political counsel know that to start a war would be lunatic and suicidal. As Vox notes:

“North Korea is more rational than you think: The assumption that the country is run by a lunatic is not only incorrect — it’s dangerous.”

The rationale political figures on the US side are aware of this as well.

Donald Trump sounds lunatic, but he can’t be considered suicidal in the conventional meaning of the word, as he’ll not be in the line of fire. However, to start a nuclear conflagration that leads to massive deaths of not only North Koreans but South Koreans, Japanese, and American military personnel in the region would be a 'hara kiri' for Trump’s business interests. The devastation and fall-out among allies would render the Trump brand radioactive.

So no, there will not be a military response from either side. The American side could not emerge from initiating such an asymmetric attack with any pretense of international prestige or high standing intact.

The record is clear, no nuclear power has ever dared attack another nuclear power. There has been all kinds of braggadocio but never a military confrontation. Consider the current situation in the Doklam Plateau where there has been a standoff for 50-plus days between two populous nuclear powers, India and China. Neither side has yet resorted to violence.

North Korea has never attacked the US. It is only the US, when it intervened in a Korean civil war, that engaged in battle against North Korea. So what moral authority has the North Korea to threaten the U.S.? After all, when discussing military threats it is the US holding hostile military maneuvers in Korean waters (not North Korea holding military maneuvers in US waters).

The US lack of diplomacy — all stick and little or no carrot — has demonstrated to be a failure in achieving denuclearization. (Source: Kim Petersen @Global Research, August 14, 2017)

I have written some articles on denuclearization and methinks that this is not possible as long as countries with nuclear warheads will not even disclose on the number of such warheads they keep in their nuclear arsenals. Only time will tell when one superpower will push the button that will start a world war and end humanity.

When cooler heads prevail, there is a solution to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula sans the intervention of the 'super elites' through the current leadership of Washington.

According to Stephen Lendman (Challenging America’s Military Madness, Global Research, August 13, 2017) – “It’s time for China, Russia, South Korea, Japan and other world community nations to challenge America’s imperial recklessness.

The risk of possible nuclear war is too great to stay silent. Failure to act could let the unthinkable happen. South Korea especially is threatened.

War on the peninsula risks unthinkable carnage on both sides of the DMZ. Following his May election, President Moon Jae-in urged outreach to resolve longstanding differences with Pyongyang. He suggested meeting Kim Jong-un face-to-face.

Instead, he become hostage to the 'super elites' imperial agenda, supporting illegal sanctions on the DPRK, suggesting they be strengthened.

At the same time, he called for a “complete and thorough overhaul” of Seoul’s already formidable military. He’s more amenable to provocative US THAAD missile systems on South Korean territory, menacing the region.

Over 70 years since WW II ended, South Korea and Japan remain occupied by US forces, provoking North Korea, China and Russia, affording America’s allies the illusion of protection.

Cooler heads among strategic leaders could still neutralize the war threats and preempt the hostile rhetorics which could risk a possible nuclear war on the peninsula, is the best way to stop it.

Big powers are thuggish bully, taking full advantage of the world community’s failure to confront Them responsibly – smashing weaker countries like tenpins.

Suddenly, Kim Jong-un made a news  statement aborting his plan of attacking Guam. It’s the best way, maybe the only way, to save Guam, East Asia and humanity from the risk of devastating nuclear war – affecting all regional countries if launched.

All possible scenario to stop this stupidity of a nuclear war should be considered for humanity to prevail unless we will see the last of the mushroom cloud in the horizon.

Lets still be vigilant.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

US-Russia Historical Legacy by Erick San Juan


US-Russia Historical Legacy by Erick San Juan

During a time of crisis in U.S.-Russia relations, it is not in vogue to talk about their shared history, a time when ideological and political differences didn’t prevent the governments and people of both countries from helping each other and contributing to bringing stability to the world order.

The events of World War II should be another reminder that Russia and the U.S. have a common historical legacy and were close allies when they joined the anti-Hitler coalition. Under the 1941-1945 Lend-Lease Act, the U.S. provided the Soviet Union with more than $11.3 billion in financial aid. In addition, Washington sent a significant amount of food and provisions, in addition to 375,000 American trucks (one-third of all Soviet trucks), 15,000 planes, and 2,000 locomotives. The U.S. delivered the aid partly by its Arctic convoy through Russia’s northern cities of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk.

Even though the Western front in Europe was opened only in June 1944, it was primarily the Soviet Union that had to withstand Nazi Germany and face a great number of casualties. However, it is historically wrong to claim that the U.S. didn’t contribute to the fight against Nazi Germany and just focused their efforts in the Pacific battleground. After all, the Lend-Lease program contributed to the Soviet fight against Germany, both at the front and behind the lines.

Although Russians and Americans may assess the key events of World War II differently, the victory of 1945 was and remains shared. In fact, it is a matter of the common memory: the second front, the Lend-Lease program and even the famous American canned meat, which many Soviet soldiers saw as the best food in the world. The symbol of the Soviet-American alliance as part of the anti-Hitler coalition became and remains the April 25 historic link-up between Soviet and American soldiers at the Elbe River in 1945.

Meanwhile, World War II is not the only example when Russia and the U.S. cooperated closely. During World War I, they were allies as well and fought against Germany as part of the Entente, which also comprised the United Kingdom and France. (Through the lens of history: When Russia and the US were allies by Victoria I. Zhuravleva, May 9, 2016)

And there were other wars and conflicts in history that the US helped Russia and vice versa in order to bring peace and harmony. But today, there are forces who wanted war between the two nuclear superpowers.

“The 'war party' in the U.S. is escalating to a fever pitch for war, not only with Russia but now also with China. While the media and the Congress continue making up new excuses to attack Trump, to subvert his effort to build constructive relations with Putin and Xi Jinping, the 'reptilians' and their assets in the U.S. have dropped any pretense of sanity, demanding preparation for a nuclear world war.

Secretary Tillerson today drew out the battle lines in a press briefing at the State Department. Asked about the new sanctions on Russia passed overwhelmingly by the Congress, Tillerson was direct: “I think the American people want the two most powerful nuclear powers in the world to have a better relationship.... Neither the President nor I is very happy about how Congress went about the sanctions bill, but we can’t let it take us off-track in trying to restore the relationship.”

Some people in the Trump Administration did not get the message—or are out to wreck it. Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at a press conference July 31 in Estonia with the three Presidents of the Baltic states, spoke with the coldest of Cold War rhetoric: “A strong and united NATO is more necessary today than at any point since the collapse of communism a quarter-century ago, and no threat looms larger in the Baltic states than the specter of aggression from your unpredictable neighbor to the east.” Today in Georgia, Pence claimed that Russia was occupying one-fifth of Georgian territory (referring to Abkhazia and South Ossetia), then said: “We stand here today in the gap—on a front line of freedom, a front line compromised by Russian aggression nearly a decade ago.”

The same end-game confrontation is being launched by the Congress against China, going for the kill on Trump’s effort to bring the U.S. and China together in the New Silk Road process. And some strategic think tank are seeing the real agenda of Xi Jinping to allegedly go to war soon.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), speaking on NBC this morning, said that “There is a military option to destroy North Korea’s [nuclear] program, and North Korea itself. If there is going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong-un], it will be over there. If thousands are going to die, they are going to die there, they’re not going to die here.” He claimed President Trump agreed, referencing Trump saying that China could stop North Korea’s nuclear program but wasn’t doing enough.

Not to be outdone is the 'reptilian' imperial “divide and conquer” madness, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) sent a letter to the President calling for the suspension of “all mergers and acquisitions in the U.S by Chinese entities.” Keep in mind that Trump wisely invited China to bring its Belt and Road infrastructure development program to the U.S., to help restore the devastated infrastructure and industrial capacity of the nation. Schumer ranted: “It is my assessment that China will not deter North Korea unless the United States exacts greater economic pressure on China. The U.S. must send a clear message to China’s government.”

The message is clear indeed—the Congressional leaders from both parties will not allow the rebuilding of the U.S. economy, and would rather launch World War III than to see Trump’s plan succeed.” (EIR Daily Alerts August 2 and 3, 2017)

With efforts of some countries to maintain peace in the world to achieve development goals in the process there are also war mongers who want war in order to destroy humanity.

Now we really have to repeat the good part of history when US and Russia are partners and allies in keeping the world safe against evil-minded people.

“It should remind people about the feeling of happy unity, which Soviet and American soldiers experienced in 1945. This unity should remain forever in U.S.-Russia relations despite the political environment in the Kremlin or the White House, no matter how different leaders try to reassess their common history. It is very crucial to withstand any attempts to distort history and pass over in silence the shining examples of a common past.” (Victoria I. Zhuravleva)

Methinks Zhuravleva is politically and strategically correct. You can read and hear saber-rattling but the common denominator is their important interest of controlling the outer space.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Checkmate by Erick San Juan

Checkmate by Erick San Juan


Djibouti, a resource-poor nation of 14,300 square miles and 875,000 people in the Horn of Africa, rarely makes international headlines. But between its relative stability and strategic location—20 miles across from war-consumed Yemen and in destroyer range of the pirate-infested western edge of the Indian Ocean—it is now one of the more important security beachheads in the world. Its location also matters greatly to global commerce and energy, due to its vicinity to the Mandeb Strait and the Suez-Aden canal, which sees ten percent of the world’s oil exports and 20 percent of its commercial exports annually.

Since November 2002, the country has been home to Camp Lemonnier, a U.S. Expeditionary base—the only American base on the African continent—along with other bases belonging to its French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese allies. The United States maintains numerous small outposts and airfields in Africa, but officially regards Lemonnier as its only full-scale military base on the continent. (Source: Joseph Braude and Tyler Jiang @ HuffPost)

For fifteen years (and another renewal for ten years), the US military and its allies dominate the Djibouti nation and now two key players are joining the band – China and Saudi Arabia. In January 2016, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry announced an agreement with Djibouti to host its first-ever base beyond the South China Sea, and construction commenced days later.Though Beijing called the installation a “logistics and fast evacuation base,” the Asian power’s “near-abroad” rivals, such as Taiwan, opined that it is more likely the beginning of a new, aggressive military buildup to rival the United States. Six weeks later, Saudi Arabia declared that it would construct a base in Djibouti, apparently as part of its newly assertive policy of countering Iranian proxies politically and militarily throughout the region.

Both new players have made substantial economic and soft power investments in the country to boot. Since 2015, Beijing has poured over $14 billion into infrastructure development. Saudi Arabia, itself a prominent donor to Djibouti’s public works, has spent generously on social welfare projects for the country’s poor; built housing, schools and mosques for its swelling Yemeni refugee population; and dispatched teachers and preachers from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, long a pillar for the promulgation of Saudi-backed interpretations of Islam. Augmenting Saudi aid, moreover, has been further spending by some of its Arab military allies. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have poured millions into charitable work over the past few months—and the UAE in particular is working to spur economic development along the lines of the “Dubai model.” Even cash-poor North Sudan, newly returned to the Saudi orbit after a year-long alliance with Iran, began construction of a hospital in Djibouti in early February.

Neither the timing nor the confluence of these projects are mere coincidence. America’s perceived diminishing global military footprint has begun to affect the calculation of allies and rivals alike, and the outsized role Djibouti is poised to play in its neighborhood presents a case in point of the consequences. An examination of the changing role the country plays in American, Chinese, and Arab security policy offers a glimpse into potential conflicts as well as opportunities arising from the shift and some steps Americans can take to prepare for both. (Ibid)

The strategic location of Djibouti is the main reason why the above-mentioned countries are maintaining its military presence in that small country.

With the advent of the 'One Belt, One Road' project initiated by China, the new military base in Djibouti will secure China’s interest in the region. This could be China’s main goal due to the presence of US (and its allies) military base there.

In the article ‘US vs China in Djibouti’ by Thomas Mountain, the rivalry between China and US has gone beyond the South China Sea and the new arena also posts a threat in the African and Middle East region.

“The tiny country of Djibouti sitting at the strategically critical entrance from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea is quickly turning into the latest confrontation between the USA and China in Africa.

Djibouti, home to the only US  permanent military presence in Africa, has recently notified the American military that they have to vacate Obock, a small secondary base which will see the installation of some 10,000 Chinese troops in their place.

The announcement, made the day after US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Djibouti last May (2015) is deeply worrying for Pax Americana for it comes on top of a major package of economic investments by China that has Djiboutian President Guelleh openly talking about the importance of his new friends from Asia. Sounds familiar?

China is about to complete a $3 billion railroad from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Africa’s second largest country to Djibouti, Ethiopia’s only outlet to the sea. China is also investing $400 million in modernizing Djibouti’s notoriously undersized port, where for the past 17 years (since the Ethiopians tried and failed to take Eritrea’s port of Assab during Ethiopia’s war against Eritrea from 1998-2000), Ethiopia has been forced to import 90% of its fuel and food from.

The US military pays Djibouti $63 million a year for the use of Camp Lemonnier, home to 4,000 US troops and one of the worlds largest drone bases used to terrorize the populations of Yemen and Somalia. This is a pittance really, when compared to the hundred$ of million$ a year that the Chinese investments will bring into Djiboutian government coffers.

The fact that 10,000 Chinese troops are being installed next door to such a critical US military base is causing powerful members of the US Congress to suddenly discover that Djibouti, long a de facto province of Ethiopia, is a “major violator of human rights”, dangerously “undemocratic”, and that it is time for “regime change” in the tiny country of about half a million people, long one of the poorest and most repressive on the planet. Again, sounds familiar?

So don’t be suprised if we wake up one morning and find that in the name of “democracy” there has been a military coup in Djibouti and that the Chinese, like what they are experiencing in South Sudan, find themselves with the short end of the stick when it comes to their rivalry with the USA in Africa.”

Like what I have been saying for quite some time now, the war between US and China is inevitable and that it will happen either in this region or in Africa-Middle east area.

Let's watch the confluence of events.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

War on Drugs: No End in Sight by Erick San Juan

War on Drugs: No End in Sight by Erick San Juan


The war on drugs is very much on the table in the present administration’s future goals just like in the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rody Duterte. Like what PRRD has been emphasizing, that the illegal drug flourished during the past administrations and international drug trafficking is very much active due to the advance technology via the internet.

Given the fast electronic money transfer, undetected, and using various ways of transporting illegal drugs across borders and continents, winning the war against this menace is farfetched. More cooperation from other countries near and far, using the latest technology on how to catch the drug traffickers are very much needed. New out of the box strategies and policy should be the immediate agenda of our national security to preempt other nations agenda of like 'Greek bearing gifts' and a perceived involvement in indirect 'state sponsored' narco operation.

After the self-imposed deadline of the Philippine National Police to end the drug problem in December 2016, the current leadership told the nation that the drug problem is so enormous and that they needed more time and resources. But the hanging question remains, mostly from the netizens (and ordinary people sans the internet), where are the ‘big fish’ and the so-called Chinese drug lords?  Who are the importers of billions of Shabu that even passes the customs Greenlane caught unnoticed? It’s always the petty drug users and pushers ‘in slippers’ that are caught and presented in the media (if they are still alive).

From “Meth gangs of China play star role in Philippines drug crisis” by John Chalmers published @reuters : The arrest of Hong, who has pleaded not guilty, added to the ranks of Chinese nationals seized in the Philippines on narcotics charges. Of 77 foreign nationals arrested for meth-related drug offenses between January 2015 and mid-August 2016, nearly two-thirds were mainland Chinese and almost a quarter were Taiwanese or Hong Kong residents, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Remember Lim Seng, the mainland Chinese chemist for opium operation branded by Marcos as drug lord whose real boss was Siochi, a Binondo based drug lord and money launderer, friends of top level people during FM time as per record of CANU( Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit). The pattern of operation was just modified but the 'signature' is still there. Known in the trade as “cooks” and “chemists,” meth production experts are flown into the Philippines from Greater China by drug syndicates to work at labs like the one caught at Mount Arayat. Thanks to foreign agents. China isn’t only a source of meth expertise – it is also the biggest source of the meth and of the precursor chemicals used to produce the synthetic drug that are being smuggled into the Philippines, especially via Sulu and other parts of the country, according to local drug enforcement officials.

“It’s safe to say that the majority of the meth we have comes from China,” said PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon.

China’s dominant role in the Philippine meth trade has not dissuaded President Duterte from cozying up to Beijing, even as he declares drugs to be his country’s greatest scourge. Duterte is waging a brutal anti-narcotics campaign that has killed more than 2,000 people and led to the arrest of more than 38,000. Police are investigating some 3,000 more deaths.”

And yet President Duterte announced the intention of China to help in the war against drugs. Duh?

Comes the Chinese-sponsored One Belt One Road initiative. Could this be another soft power op to take the world for a ride? Just asking.

But what is in stake for the nations in the OBOR?

“China’s planned pan-Asia railway network, reaching from Kunming in the north to Singapore in the south, is a signature project in Beijing’s One Belt One Road (Obor) initiative.

The economic benefits, if the 3,900 km network connecting all mainland Southeast Asian states with the Middle Kingdom goes forth as planned, could be enormous. There may also be troublesome aspects to countenance too, however: namely an increase in cross-border drug trafficking.

Infrastructure upgrades facilitate the exchange of people, goods, and culture. Yet they can also empower criminals seeking easier and speedier access to new destinations. Transporting illicit drugs via high-speed rail is nothing new.

The Taiwan High Speed Rail line that runs the length of the island’s west coast is an established pipeline for drug runners. In China, arrests of drug traffickers on its high-speed rail system are not uncommon.

One of the latest and most curious cases involved a Chinese smuggler returning from Myanmar with a batch of hollowed-out dragon fruits containing 1,031.28 grams of methamphetamine tablets.

The planned network is currently only moving ahead on the central sections connecting Kunming, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, with regional geopolitics stalling the eastern and western routes. Given its reach, this line is the most crucial, however.

The country that stands to benefit most is the landlocked, impoverished nation of Laos. An upland nation of 6.5 million people, currently, it has a very meager railway. With the central line in place, its leaders hope to make it a land-linked regional transit center.

Construction officially commenced in December 2016 for the Laotian portion of the line. Running from the China-Laos border to the capital, Vientiane, the route’s total length is 414 km, with bridges and tunnels comprising 62% of a line that traverses rough mountainous terrain.

International narcotics intelligence believe that High-speed rail suits individual drug runners perfectly, with passengers typically allowed 40 kg of luggage per person. At present, traveling from northern Laos to Bangkok takes close to 30 hours by automobile, and even longer during the rainy season. The Luang Namtha to Vientiane drive can be exceptionally draining due to the terrain. But with high-speed rail, a run from northern Laos to Bangkok will easily be reduced to a comfortable five to seven hours.

Laos is the focus here because it is the starting point of the Southeast Asian drug trade. The recent arrests of prominent Laotian drug lords confirmed the rising status of Laotian nationals as leader players in the regional trafficking web.

Alarmingly, the distribution network of Laotian drug lord Xaysana Keopimpha, mapped by the Thai Narcotic Suppression Bureau, followed almost the exact route of the central line. Drugs purchased from jungle depots near Laos’ border with Myanmar were then transported down to Vientiane before crossing into northeastern Thailand, Bangkok, and onward to the entire region. (Source: Is China’s pan-Asia rail network a drug smuggler’s dream? By By Zi Yang, 6/23/17 @atimes)

Is this the prize we have to pay to be linked in the rail system that will bring about more drugs and more deaths?  In the end, who benefits?

 Unsolicited advice to President Duterte is to catch and jail the big fishes, the main source of drugs. Dont be blackmailed by some people pretending to be your friends. Rumor mill especially in the diplomatic circle is full of innuendos as to who are the brains not only of the drug trade but basically all illegal trade interconnecting with top honchos in the government service. If not addressed immediately, there will always be a repeat of history on how leaders fall and there will be no end in sight against his war on drugs and could even backfire when the family of aggrieved lowly users-pushers will file a class suit in the near future...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nation's Prosperity at Stake by Erick San Juan

Nation's Prosperity at Stake by Erick San Juan

First year in power of the Duterte administration and one year after The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling in favor of the Philippines’ claim in the disputed area in the South China Sea, where are we now? Whether we like it or not, the bottom line here is still economics.

We are nearing the ten-year life of productivity of the Malampaya natural gas and we must look into other sources of energy to supply the growing need of the country’s populace. Economic managers and those in the energy department should have considered such important factor to make the Dutertenomics work. Although the president himself said that in time, he will talk to China’s Xi Jinping when it comes to our claim in the South China Sea which the PCA granted us. But Mr. President, we are being overtaken by events and after a year, China’s massive building of military structures are now in place in the SCS where most of our claim is located.

Unfortunately, China’s aggressiveness was based from its “systematic campaign to delegitimize the tribunal and its judges, adopting a “three-nos” policy of non-participation, non-recognition, and non-compliance with the final verdict. At the time, Beijing dismissed the award as a “null and void” decision and “nothing more than a piece of paper.”

Still, Duterte faces growing domestic pressure to adopt a tougher line with Beijing, which many believe has used cordial ties (translation-soft touch op) as cover to consolidate its control over key features. Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, a prominent supporter of the arbitration strategy, lambasted the president’s supposed lack of “discernible direction, coherence, or vision” in foreign policy.

He has heavily criticized some of Duterte’s remarks, particularly his announcement that he “will set aside the arbitral ruling” in the interest of better relations with China. “This incident [Dutetre’s remark] graphically explains Philippine foreign policy on the South China Sea dispute after the arbitral ruling,” exclaimed Carpio during a high-profile event marking the arbitration award’s first anniversary.

He reiterated the importance of the ruling, since it secured “the Philippines vast maritime zone larger than the total land area of the Philippines.” Instead of setting aside the arbitration award, the magistrate called upon the government to consider filing additional arbitration cases against Beijing if the latter continues its non-compliance with the award.

Senior former government officials, including former Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario, who played a key role in the arbitration proceedings, have echoed similar sentiments against the president. Others have openly accused the Duterte administration of soft-pedaling territorial issues in short-sighted exchange for Chinese economic incentives.” (Source: Has Duterte’s China engagement backfired? By Richard Javad Heydarian @ Asia Times online)

We have to move fast and firm to our claim which is included in our EEZ in order to survive the years ahead for the generations to come. What is at stake to claim what is rightfully ours?

According to U.S. oilfield services company Weatherford, one concession - SC 72 - contains 2.6-8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. That would be as much as triple the amount discovered at the Malampaya project, an offshore field that powers 40 percent of the main island of Luzon, home to the capital Manila.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration believes that beneath the South China Sea could be 11 billion barrels of oil, more than Mexico's reserves, and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Most foreign firms with capital and technology needed to develop those reserves, however, don't want to risk being caught up in spats over jurisdiction and have avoided concessions offered in disputed waters.

Manila's state-run Philex Petroleum (PXP.PS) has the controlling stakes in two stalled concessions, the 880,000-hectare SC-72 at the Reed Bank and the 616,000-hectare SC-75 off the island of Palawan.

The court verdict on July 12 sparked a surge in energy stocks the next day, with Philex shares up as much as 21 percent.

Philex says it is seeking a meeting with Philippine energy officials regarding the potential to lift a suspension order on drilling activities in the Reed Bank, in place since December 2014.

"It's a matter of national importance. We don't want to move on our own without guidance from the government," Philex Chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters.

"We will need a partner ... no local company has the expertise that we need."

Department of Energy spokesman Felix William Fuentebella said there were no immediate plans to lift the suspension as the department awaited guidance from new President Rodrigo Duterte.

"The moratorium stays. We are exploring ways to resolve the conflict peacefully and we follow the lead of the President," he said.

Manila and Beijing have both expressed a desire to resume talks, but the Philippines says it could not accept China's pre-condition of not discussing the ruling. (Source: Philippines' oil still in troubled waters after South China Sea ruling by Enrico Dela Cruz)

Now that President Rodrigo Duterte considers resuming energy exploration in the tension-laden South China Sea before the year ends, let us wait and see for China’s leader’s reaction. If the reason for delaying the talk with China on the arbitral ruling is economics then let it be the reason. It is still economics to assert our rights to our claim in order to develop and make Dutertenomics work.

It's our nation's prosperity on the line Mr. President. Your living legacy.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

War Games: Dress Rehearsal for a Real War by Erick San Juan

War Games: Dress Rehearsal for a Real War by Erick San Juan

“Chinese strategy in the South China Sea is expansionary in aim, incremental by design and realist in orientation.”

A revelation made by three PLAN officers on the real goal of China in the South China Sea from the article of Ryan Martinson and Katsuya Yamamoto posted at The National Interest (July 9, 2017) - Three PLAN Officers May Have Just Revealed What China Wants in the South China Sea.

“Jin, Hui and Wang reflect mainstream thinking in the PLA Navy, their views suggest that the new bases were always intended to alter the military balance in the South China Sea—regardless of how Chinese diplomats prefer to highlight their civilian character. Chinese decision-makers probably believe that the balance now tilts strongly in China’s favor, and this is unlikely to change until American completes its great “pivot” to Asia, if it ever does.

We take some comfort in the trio’s apparent desire to avoid armed conflict in the South China Sea. However, their attitudes suggest that the Chinese military may be too cocksure about its own ability to manage a military crisis at sea. Particularly worrisome, America is the assumed adversary, but never do the authors even mention the role nuclear weapons might play in a crisis.”

For obvious reason that China or its head President Xi Jinping is too stubborn and will never engage in multilateral talks nor even acknowledge the ruling at the Permanent Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague that favors the Philippines on its territorial claim.

In its designed intention to expand and increase its territory, setting up military installations is just secondary to ensure that they have a strong foothold on the said extension from the mainland. And the mere fact that the US is the assumed adversary in their grand design, a military conflict is surely in the offing and the region (and the rest of the world) should be wary on who will strike the first nuclear missile.

It jive with the analysis of Prof. Graham Allison of Harvard Kennedy  School warning the US and China could fall into a "Thucydides Trap", a war between Greeks, a dominant superpower and Sparta, the challenger.

Another was the lecture of RAND think tank last August 2016 entitled "War With China, Thinking Through the Unthinkable talking about who will strike first if a crisis overheated.

As I have written before and lectured since 1998, war between the US and China is inevitable, it can be delayed but it will materialize into a shooting war and it could be sooner given the provocations and tension in the South China Sea.

Like the month-long Exercise Talisman Sabre 2017 war games. This year is the largest ever of the biennial training and interoperability exercise hosted by Australia, with more than 30,000 troops, including personnel from the United States, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Canada participating.

However, as China continues to grow, and the United States continue to pursue total military supremacy, the system now threatens to inflame the very thing it was designed to prevent, large-scale conflict between the region’s most powerful states. The very scenario simulated in Talisman Sabre.

With conflict of this scale considered likely enough to necessitate such enormous preparations, Australian politicians, policymakers, and media outlets should be deeply engaged in a public dialogue centered around defining national interests, defense priorities, and how our relationships with other states reflect these. Instead, Australia sleepwalks along the path of military expansion and confrontation, incapable and unwilling to diverge from American security priorities where they do not reflect our own.

While the public relation branches of the defense forces involved only ever refer to the objectives of the exercise with ambiguous terms like “high end war-fighting”, in bare fact, Talisman Sabre simulates a large-scale confrontation between conventional forces, requiring coordination between all branches of the US military, as well as those of their Asia-Pacific allies. It is a dress-rehearsal of the new American battle doctrine, the Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons (JAM-GC), which was developed to ensure continued US military dominance of the Western Pacific and the South China Sea, in the face of growing Chinese military capabilities.

In 2015, during the last iteration of Talisman Sabre, the Australian public was treated to a rare moment of political candour when Greens Senator Scott Ludlam publicly criticized the event, stating that he did not believe that it was in the nation’s best interests “to be preparing for a war with China”. (Source: War games could inflame what they aim to prevent: conflict with China by Stuart Rollo [writer focused on Asia-Pacific politics] @the guardian)

Opposition to such huge military exercise (war games) even from among Australia’s government officials (elected) is not new because they know the already tensed situation in the region will only be aggravated by such military war games by involving big players.

There are bigger problems coming (soon) that the Duterte administration will have to face and find solutions to in order to survive, not for him alone but for the whole country. Let us help this administration if Duterte will realize the nation's predicament and threats. If possible make a Council of Advisers to augment the National Security Council to address immediately what trouble we're facing.  Whether we like it or not he is our president and if ever he will fail, the whole Filipino nation will be dragged and we will be 'Fili-finish'.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

FONOP and the Next World War

FONOP and the Next World War
By Erick San Juan

Our country has its own share of security problems, both from local and foreign threats and we are suffering the backlash of the global war on terror where the stage for these terror groups/network has reached our soil. As we tried to finish this nightmare in our country’s history, the threat outside is still very much alive. I am talking about the South China Sea.

According to a June 30 report from Reuters – “China has built new military facilities on islands in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday, a move that could raise tensions with Washington, which has accused Beijing of militarizing the vital waterway.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, said new satellite images show missile shelters and radar and communications facilities being built on the Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs in the Spratly Islands.

The United States has criticized China’s build-up of military facilities on the artificial islands and is concerned they could be used to restrict free movement through the South China Sea, an important trade route.

Last month, a U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in a so-called freedom of navigation operation, the first such challenge to Beijing’s claim to most of the waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

China has denied U.S. charges that it is militarizing the sea, which also is claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Trump has sought China’s help in reigning in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and tension between Washington and Beijing over military installations in the South China Sea could complicate those efforts.

China has built four new missile shelters on Fiery Cross Reef to go with the eight already on the artificial island, AMTI said. Mischief and Subi each have eight shelters, the think tank said in a previous report.”

Some pundits observed that because of the ongoing North Korea’s nuclear and missile ops, Trump Administration is easy on China due to Beijing’s help in resolving the said issue peacefully for it is well known that NoKor is a friend of China.

“But the Trump administration needs to make it clear that the current balance of power in Asia, while uneasy, is acceptable, but Chinese hegemony is not."

That is the argument Ely Ratner makes in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs:

“In recent years, however, China has begun to assert its claims more vigorously and is now poised to seize control of the sea. Should it succeed, it would deal a devastating blow to the United States’ influence in the region, tilting the balance of power across Asia in China’s favor.” […]

“U.S. policymakers should recognize that China’s behavior in the sea is based on its perception of how the United States will respond. The lack of U.S. resistance has led Beijing to conclude that the United States will not compromise its relationship with China over the South China Sea. As a result, the biggest threat to the United States today in Asia is Chinese hegemony, not great-power war. U.S. regional leadership is much more likely to go out with a whimper than with a bang.”

The commentary comes amid uncertainty regarding the Trump administration’s foreign policy in the region. Many have noted that North Korea has distracted Washington from the issue of the South China Sea, with some speculating that Trump is holding off pressure on that issue – as he implied he has with trade – in exchange for help on the Korean peninsula.

The foreign policy establishment, led by Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, tried to reassure allies in the region this week that the US is not ceding influence in the Pacific to China.

Speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday Mattis said of naval exercises that” This (Freedom of Navigation exercise) is our policy. We will continue this.” He added, “could it change if circumstances change? Of course, but right now Secretary Tillerson and I give him the military factors — and we’re in league together on this, so I don’t think anything is going to change.” (Ibid)

Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) has long been a major issue for Uncle Sam because the SCS where China has claimed almost all of the area based on its nine-dash line theory and now that it has been militarizing the area, the threat on FONOP is for real. No matter how China puts it, the reclaimed area is now militarized and for a very obvious reason that it was built.

“When reporting on the South China Sea, it has become commonplace for media around the world to draw upon think tank research detailing China’s developing military capable facilities in the region.

Some use the information to bolster campaigns to convince the US Trump administration that China presents an imminent threat to the country’s interests, including freedom of navigation. But the deepening drumbeat for the US to militarily confront China in the South China Sea should be considered with a healthy dose of skepticism.

One report by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies describes China’s latest construction projects in the South China Sea, concluding that it “can now deploy military assets including combat aircraft and mobile missile launchers to the Spratly Islands at any time.”

This is fact. But the AMTI director also warned in a subsequent interview to “look for deployment in the near future”. This implies that China intends to use these facilities to do so. This is supposition.” (Source: Mark Valencia posted @atimes.com)

The threat of war is for real and this FONOP issue will be the spark that will light the tinderbox to the next world war.

Please wake up to reality!

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..