Category Archives: military affairs

Why Palau is at the center of the latest U.S.-China saber rattling

Public Domain image

Like most people, you probably missed the recent news that Palau has invited the United States to build a military base there.

Chances are you have no clue where Palau is, and you also likely have no clue why the announcement is news.

Here’s the simple answer: Palau has chosen to side with the U.S., and not China, as it seeks long term safety.

Mind you, neither the U.S. nor China has any designs on invading Palau; if either nation did, it would make mince meat of the land and its roughly 18,000 residents in mere hours. However, Washington and Beijing know Palau is one of the many island nations in the Pacific that could define the 21st century military relationship between the world’s two superpowers.

The U.S. eyes locations like Palau as opportunities to limit any hopes China might have of expanding its military reach. China sees islands like Palau as necessary to ensure something akin to parity with the U.S. in the region. Put more bluntly, Washington doesn’t trust Beijing, and Beijing doesn’t trust Washington; as a result, a military game of chess plays out in locations that are mere dots on a world map.

By itself, the decision by the Palau government means little. However, much like the game of dominoes, once one falls, the pressure increases on the others to withstand the tide working against it.

And away we go: Russian official says U.S. claim of arms deal a “delusion”

U.S. official: I thought we had a deal.

Russian official: Uh, no.

Who do you believe?

The Guardian helps answer the question.

Ryabkov said a freeze was “unacceptable” adding that Moscow would not approve a New Start treaty extension before the US election on 3 November.

“If the Americans need to report to their superiors something about which they allegedly agreed with the Russian Federation before their elections, then they will not get it,” Ryabkov said.

So, do you have your dollars on Trump or your rubles on Putin?

The indefensible Trump

Photo: Anthony Moretti 20Jan2017

To defend Donald Trump now must mean you possess an almost base need to make fun of people who dislike him.

He certainly does.

To defend Donald Trump now must mean you have a fundamental disregard for American values.

He certainly does.

To defend Donald Trump now must mean you have you have a depraved indifference to human rights.

He certainly does.

What justification is there to support a man who is willing to turn the American military on the American people? For Trump, unleashing the military feeds a perhaps psychotic lust for power, which he instead suggests is affirming law and order.

When Americans witness overwhelming police and military force mowing down people who have no chance to defend themselves (Tiananmen Square, 1989, or Tahrir Square, 2011) in the name of, yes, law and order, we recoil at the idea that a political leader would seek to silence fellow citizens in such brutal ways. We call it un-American. We demand our government respond appropriately. We remind ourselves such bloodbaths wouldn’t happen here.

They might.

Earlier this evening, the president did not object to protesters being tear gassed and forcefully removed from an area around the White House so he could walk to a nearby church, take hold of a Bible and raise it as if it were a prized possession. He also told the country he’d mobilize “thousands and thousands” of military personnel if states governors didn’t bring in the National Guard to restore, you got it, law and order.

This is the same Donald Trump who has said nothing over the past four days that might have demonstrated leadership and responsibility. He cares nothing about America’s racial divide. He is morally empty.

Are you?