sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

News and Views

Regular blogging should resume next week. For now, the mail.

LindaG - No help here. America is falling apart because too many people under 40 don't appreciate true freedom.
Yes. Many of them are victims of a weak or even sinister education. Many have been brainwashed by the corrupt, lying mainstream media. But keep in mind that President Trump beat Hillary Clinton and it wasn't a cliffhanger in the Electoral College. There is hope.
WSF - No reasoned answer from me. My response would be no intervention - their country, their problem. Sanctions yes! Anything that weakens communist China is in our best interest.
We're already tariffing China and we're in trade negotiations. Hong Kong is a distraction in that effort for both great powers. China blames the US for the unhappiness of the HK people, but they are blind to the truth that not everyone wants to be the slave of Chinese overlords.
Beans - They are going to be non-existent soon. And we'll sit back and do nothing because too many Dems and Repubs in Congress are being paid by the ChiComs.
The PRC is cheap in many ways but it spends lavishly on K Street lobbyists.
In a fair and just world, we'd be standing back, waiting to see if any Americans need rescuing by US Marines.
Sort of a "Wind and the Lion" scenario?
But, well, it's not our fight. 

I can see protecting Taiwan, as we do have interests there. Same with Singapore. But HK? Sorry to say, as much as I'd love to see us save them, I don't know how without going to full war with the ChiComs.

Sanctions, trade war, that sort of thing, as WSF said above, yes, very much so. Choke those SOBs until they can't swallow a single grain of rice. Choke that country until the country erupts in civil war and rightly breaks up into 2-4 separate nations.

Hong Kong could have stayed with Britain a lot longer, but they screwed that up, didn't they? And, seriously, they (the HKers) trusted the ChiComs to follow an agreement? The ChiComs? Oh, puleeze.  

Sorry, as Pinochet would say, the only good Commie is a dead commie. And these people trusted commies to keep their words. Ooops.

What's that phrase, "Not my monkeys, not my Circus."

This would be somewhat the equivalent of ComChina coming to the aid of Portland if we had to take over that failed city-state.

Let them live or die on the vine. Maybe some clandestine 3rd party help not linkable back to the US, but other than that, nope.
I see the scenario through a slightly different prism, however, I can't guess how it will all turn out. There is one play that I'm directly involved with that might bring about a win-win, but as this insurrection deepens, that may not be possible.
Paul L. Quandt - The alternative to not fighting the ChiComs now is seeing them roll over us ( U.S. ) a few years down the road. However, I'm not sure that we can take them on at the same time as dealing with our domestic communists.
A shooting war with Communist China is a zero sum game at this point. It's interesting because the topic on the street in Beijing is 'the coming war with America'. That's not the topic on the street in any US city including DC. Sure there were people like John Bolton, who wanted to see a nuclear war, toe-to-toe with the Ruskies and Chinese, but that's insanity. You have to be a denizen of the Beltway to be that sort of crazy.
Fredd said about Mousey Tongue - Although Mao Tse Tung is no longer calling the shots in China, his protege's are still keeping the revolution alive. Does anyone think that Mao would have come to some sort of compromise with these guys? Not on your life. And Xi is a chip off the ol' block. I fear that Hong Kong will probably suffer the fate that many cities did when under seige: a blockade, and 8 million people there depend on things coming in to sustain them. When those are denied, then what?

Yes, bad things are coming to Hong Kong going forward.
The worst thing for Hong Kong would be that the PRC would walk away. Face and national policy both don't allow that, but Hong Kong is not self-sustaining at the moment. There are big economic problems there, which are part of the reason for the rioting. The deep dissatisfaction comes with a growing group of very poor people who have no way out of the hole they're in.  
When the British handed over HK, it was on the order of 20 or 30% of the PRC's GDP. Now it's something like 2%. Times changed and HK was unable to pivot toward viability. 
LSP - Hong Kong? What's that? We're too busy on Orange Man Bad and they're obviously colonial oppressors. Just look at all those US flags.
The HK people were angry at the British and now they'd do anything to get them back. Interesting how that works.
Ed - All commies, foreign and domestic, hate our flag, eh?
They hate the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God.  The coastal elites would nuke everyone in fly-over country if they thought that they could get away with it. If Hillary was elected in 2020, you know she'd try.
Jim - It appears to me the interesting times in Hong Kong are about to get more interesting.
One thing is certain, Beijing has a tiger by the tail. They don't want to hold on but really don't want to let go. The population is galvanizing behind the resistance and the resistance can put millions of people on the street to show support for the movement.
raven - "Don't fight the way your enemy fights best". In this case, on a battlefield defined as an island- 
Why assume this is limited to Hong Kong? 
Taiwan is watching these developments very closely as is Macao. And as are all of the nations that signed onto the Belt Road Project. It's very disturbing to Beijing.
Why wouldn't the Hong Kong rebels try to establish a wider field of conflict to bring the pain closer to home for the PRC- aka Beijing, the relatives of officials, etc. The island is ideal for the old "first with the most" N.B. Forest concentration of force idea, but the hornets nest can pop up anywhere. And the Chinese are no different than us, in that they have not had an existential fight in a long time. They may have taken for granted the same thing we have, that wars are fought on others territories, and there is no domestic kinetic price to pay. 

The PRC needs to be very careful what they unleash. It does not take a lot of dedicated levers to destabilize a nation dependent of modern infrastructure.
China has always been ripe for balkanization. I could go deeper with this, but suffice that the different provinces in China only cooperate with Bejing to the extent that they are forced to.  I've written about this in the past. It's an embarrassment to the central government, but it's a fact. 
Old NFO wishes - Can we trade 'em California, Oregon, and Washington for Hong Kong??? Please???
And Austin, TX. Make sure to throw that in the deal.
Paul L. Quandt responds to Old NFO - I think that you are wishing to throw out the baby with the bath water. Not everyone in those states are the evil forces which you rightly dislike.
Yes indeed. I lived in CA until just last year when I made a CALEXIT.
Mike_C - Hahaha! Only if you mean Washington DC. I'd offer Manhattan NYFC and Los Angeles County (Chicoms already own the port, I think) as well. But not CA, OR and WA.

More seriously, I wish the people of Hong Kong all the best, but they, for the most part, are NOT like us. While the HK Chinese are often entrepreneural go-getters, they also tend to be loud, grasping, rude, and ill mannered by Western norms. There is a reason the Chinese diaspora are often hated in Southeast Asia. The "Overseas Chinese" themselves will tell you that it's because the natives are lazy and ignorant as well as fundamentally stupid, and the hatred is entirely borne of jealousy. I am not entirely certain it is the case that the natives are always to blame and the Overseas Chinese always the unfairly maligned "good guys". Intelligence and hard work certainly are huge contributors to the success of Overseas Chinese in SE Asia, but nepotism and an overarching sense of cultural superiority are also at play.

A while back I semi-facetiously suggested granting visas to any HK citizen who wanted to emigrate to the US, on the basis of them being political refugees credibly threatened with death. Those with over, say $500k USD in transferable assets get to live wherever they want (and can afford). The remainder must move to a specific set of cities [1] for at least 5 years, or until they have paid a certain amount in federal taxes (amount to be determined). 

Yes, I claimed that the HK man on the street is not necessarily a great fit for the US, but he is an infinitely better prospect than many of those being imported from MENA, sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America. Also, removing the human capital from HK (or rather facilitating its self-removal) will torque off the Chicoms and remove much of the value of their prize. And granting them refugee status will further reveal the hypocrisy of our internal enemies and traitors (as well as upsetting a number of sincere and genuine, but misguided persons).

[1] My personal list of destination cities would include: Detroit; Baltimore; Camden, NJ; Flint, MI; St Louis; Memphis, TN; Milwaukee; Cleveland.
I continue to endorse your immigration plan. But if they were all offered Memphis, they'd move to Germantown, which is adjacent and very nice... 
Larry - Los Angeles County (Chicoms already own the port, I think)

Not any more. The Bad Orange Man forced them to sell it last year following a review.
Yes, exactly.
Camperfixer - Guessin' the protestors aren't too worried about their "social standing" points level. Bravery comes in many forms.

Brings to mind this admonition from our Declaration: 

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Our Forefathers left England for a reason...yet it appears far too many on the Left demand a return to that level of government oppression. Not happening on my watch, and I believe the rats are running scared, as they should be.
They wear masks for the most part, but most of the key violent players are from the lowest rung on the social scale anyway and have little to lose. 
Kle - I have sympathy for the HK-ers, but I see no positive outcome for them. Not a lot we can do to help either, outside of keeping pressure up on the Dollars side.

I mean, yes, we can do the whole strategic nuclear exchange thing, but I don't see much Human life in HK on the other side of it.
Odds on you're right, but I hold out some hope. Call me Polyana. There is a way forward for all concerned (The LL Plan) but I don't know if it will work.
Howard Brewi - This is a question rather than a comment but you seem to have the contacts that may answer it. Certain members of my family claim that Australian newse reports that we left behind 50 nucular weapons, airplanes and missles when we pulled back in Syria. 
No. We have forty nuclear weapons (tacitly declared nuclear weapons) at Incirlik Air Force Base (Turkish: İncirlik Hava Üssü) in Turkey. There are US, RAF and Turkish forces there.
Turkey is our NATO ally at present and we have basing agreements with them, with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, etc. The quality of our relationship with Turkey is in question and back when President Trump took office, they started with the "Death to America" chant and we tariffed them to the point where they said that they wanted to be friends. 
I have not seen anything in the normal news feeds I look at and it seems that if it were true the Democrats would be all over it. Supposedly the Rushians now control this material. I am not trolling you, just would like some explaination.
I hope that this helps. The Military Industrial Complex in the US wants another never-ending war in the Middle East. Putting us in the middle of a big civil war means that we'll spend billions and billions on it. Maybe trillions. It's how they make money and they buy a lot of influence in Congress. You're seeing their tantrum at being denied a war play out. War is a racket and a lot of people make a lot of money when the US invades a shit hole like Syria. It pits us against Turkey, Syria, Russia, Iran, and every terrorist group that lives in Syria. The Syrian Kurds are not particularly pro-USA, but they like our money and they're fierce fighters. The US never had nuclear weapons in Syria. We never have had an Air Force base in Syria to speak of.  Most US missions flew from Iraq, Turkey, Bahrain or from aircraft carriers in the Med, or the Red Sea. Sometimes they flew from Italy. The US does not confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons officially.