Category Archives: U.S.

Gorbachev on U.S.-Russia Relations: ‘We May Not Live Through These Days’ | TIME

Gorbachev, whose policies played a key role in ending the Cold War as well as democratizing Russia and the satellite states of the former Soviet Union, warned that the standoff between the U.S. and Russia could lead to another Cold War, Reuters reports.

“This is extremely dangerous, with tensions as high as they are now. We may not live through these days: someone could lose their nerve,” he wrote Wednesday in the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazet.

Gorbachev on U.S.-Russia Relations: ‘We May Not Live Through These Days’ | TIME

“someone could lose their nerve”

I get the sense that this means someone could fire nuclear weapons in fear that the other side may go first.

Gorbachev is telling us that tension between the US and Russia is so high that the two are at a tipping point. Something small could literally put the two into a great-power nuclear war.

Now we really need to pay attention to world events. We need to be ready for something that might serve as an excuse to launch nuclear war. My gut tells me to pay attention to the Middle East.

There is talk of Israel considering an attack on Iran in June 2015. That attack just might set off a massive war. If something like that happens, then that could be the excuse needed to start a great-power nuclear war.

 

Pentagon Considering Deployment of Nuclear Missiles in Europe | Washington Free Beacon

The Pentagon is considering the re-deployment of nuclear cruise missiles in Europe in response to a new Russian cruise missile that the United States has charged violates a 1987 nuclear treaty, a senior Pentagon official told Congress on Wednesday.

Brian P. McKeon, deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, said U.S. cruise missile deployments are among a range of options being considered if Russian fails to return to compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

McKeon did not provide details of the military options being studied but said they ranged from “reactive defense, to counterforce, to counter value defense measures.”

Pentagon Considering Deployment of Nuclear Missiles in Europe | Washington Free Beacon

Here is my comment for the Pentagon: Do it yesterday!

Giving up your U.S. passport? It’s going to cost you

Thinking about bidding Uncle Sam goodbye? Not so fast. Renouncing U.S. citizenship isn’t cheap, and can result in enormous tax bills for decades to come.

A record 3,000 Americans chose to give up their passports last year, driven in part by new regulations that have turned tax preparation into a massive headache for the 7.6 million U.S. expats required to file returns while living abroad.

But as more Americans are finding, ditching the U.S. can be an expensive affair. Earlier this year, the government increased the renunciation fee to $2,350, more than four times what it used to cost.

On top of that, some U.S. citizens are slapped with a giant “exit tax” bill — sometimes millions of dollars — when they renounce.

Giving up your U.S. passport? It’s going to cost you – Dec. 10, 2014

Reports: Obama Mulling Sanctions on Israel | Washington Free Beacon

While Obama is mulling sanctions on Israel for construction in Jerusalem, it is trying to stop Congress from new sanctions on Iran.

The possibility of sanctioning Israel for its ongoing construction sends a signal that the Obama administration is willing to go further in its denunciations of Israel then any previous White House.

At the same time, the White House is vigorously pushing Congress against passing new sanctions on Iran.

When asked to address the reports Thursday afternoon, Harf declined to take a stance.

“I’m obviously not going to comment one way or another on reported internal deliberations,” she said. “We’ve made clear our position on settlement activity publicly and that hasn’t changed.”

When pressed to address whether the White House has reached a point at which it believes its harsh rhetoric against Israel is not enough, Harf again demurred, stating that she would not “address hypotheticals.”

Reports: Obama Mulling Sanctions on Israel | Washington Free Beacon

Why does this make any kind of sense?

Let us punish our friends and reward our enemies. This makes perfect sense when you consider that liberals punish the successful and reward the unsuccessful in the US. Why not do it internationally? The entire foundation of modern liberalism flips everything upside-down. Generally, the successful cheated and the unsuccessful were victimized (by the successful.) Internationally, there can be only one reason that Iran is our enemy: The US and the West victimized Iran. And Israel is victimizing the Palestinians.

Please note that this thinking will mean the end of the West is coming. Modern liberalism is so other worldly that it cannot exist on the planet Earth for long. But when it goes it is going to take you with it unless you are prepared.

Russia Looks to Revive Nuclear Missile Trains to Counter U.S. Attack Capability | The Moscow Times

Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces are considering bringing back iconic Soviet-era nuclear missile trains as Moscow pumps money into a complete overhaul its aging nuclear arsenal.

According to an unidentified source in the Russian military-industrial complex quoted by the TASS news agency on Thursday, the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology — makers of the Topol, Yars and Bulava missiles — is designing a next-generation missile launching train.

“While the decision to start manufacturing [missile trains] is still pending, the probability is high that it will happen,” the source was quoted as saying, explaining that technical studies and cost estimates are still being conducted.

“In the best-case scenario, they will be deployed by the end of the decade, probably somewhere around 2019,” he said.

Russia Looks to Revive Nuclear Missile Trains to Counter U.S. Attack Capability | The Moscow Times

China: The Window Is Closing [for Waging War]

“There is a two-year window until Obama leaves office. China is well aware that that window is closing and he will be replaced by someone likely to prove less feckless.”

As the denouement of the China economy approaches, the Politburo’s window for waging war is closing.  Their best chance is when they still have an air of inevitability.

And China continues to prepare for war.  They have done a good job of convincing their neighbors that one is coming. Over 60% of people in countries bordering the South China Sea fear Chinese aggression and expect war.  They continue to convince themselves that war is inevitable.  A Chinese Government film made in late 2013 made for consumption within the party and the military, Silent Contest, began with these words:

“The process of China’s achieving a national renaissance will definitely involve engagement and a fight against the U.S.’ hegemonic system.  This is the contest of the century, regardless of people’s wishes.”

The basis of the film is that the US used cultural engagement with the Soviet Union to destroy that country and is also using cultural engagement to contain and divide China.  The fact that China considers itself to be involved in a titanic “contest of the century” with the U.S. would be news to most Americans.  Now if the Chinese were actually planning on a war with the U.S., they would have a schedule and a list of things to do.  Things like demonising contact with foreigners, tightening control of public opinion and stockpiling of oil. Well, check, check and check.

China: The Window Is Closing

China-US Relations: The Return of Mao’s Noose | The Diplomat

By pivoting to Asia, Washington is placing a bet that Beijing desperately wants to avoid a disastrous conflict as much as it does, and that the status quo in the region will endure. By tightening the noose, Beijing is trying to call its bluff. As Sun Tzu might observe, both sides are trying to win without fighting.

For now, that may be a viable strategy. But even if China continues its steady growth, avoids threatening its neighbors, and generally demonstrates that it is a responsible stakeholder in the international system, it is inconceivable that it would allow another superpower to have the best real estate in its own neighborhood. At some point, the U.S. and China’s national visions will collide. When that happens, Washington and Beijing will both have to make a monumental decision about the future of East Asia, and the rest of the world.

China-US Relations: The Return of Mao’s Noose | The Diplomat

US Collision Course With Turkey – Business Insider

“The IS crisis has put Turkey and the US on a collision course,” the report says. “Turkey refuses to allow the coalition to launch military strikes from its soil. Its military also merely looked on while IS besieged the Kurdish town of Kobani, just across its border. Turkey negotiated directly with IS in the summer of 2013 to release 49 Turks held by the terrorist group. In return, Ankara reportedly secured the release of 180 IS fighters, many of whom returned to the battlefield. 

“Meanwhile, the border continues to serve as a transit point for the illegal sale of oil, the transfer of weapons, and the flow of foreign fighters. Inside Turkey, IS has also established cells for recruiting militants and other logistical operations. All of this has raised questions about Turkey’s value as an American ally, and its place in the NATO alliance.”

US Collision Course With Turkey – Business Insider

America Musn’t Neglect Its Nukes – NYTimes.com

Earlier this month the Pentagon released a devastating assessment of its own management of the nation’s nuclear arsenal. The report, authored by two widely respected former four-star officers, judged that America’s nuclear weapons complex — particularly the personnel who operate and maintain it — is near its breaking point, worn down by years of neglect, lack of funding and unnecessarily invasive and inquisitorial screening of employees. This malaise has been exacerbated by bouts of apathy and even hostility on the part of prominent voices in and out of government: The prevalent attitude is that there are more important national security priorities and, among some, that nukes are useless and should be left to rust.

The situation is considerably worse than we thought — even worse than in 2007 when it was revealed that the Air Force had inadvertently transported six live nuclear weapons from North Dakota to Louisiana. Last week a senior Pentagon official claimed in a background briefing that unless immediate and substantial action is taken to modernize antiquated infrastructure, prioritize the issue, and relieve suffocating bureaucratic pressure, the nation’s nuclear complex risks coming apart at the seams.

America Musn’t Neglect Its Nukes – NYTimes.com

Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty | Newgeography.com

With his questionably Constitutional move to protect America’s vast undocumented population, President Obama has provided at least five million immigrants, and likely many more, with new hope for the future. But at the same time, his economic policies, and those of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, may guarantee that many of these newly legalized Americans will face huge obstacles trying to move up in a society creating too few opportunities already for its own citizens, much less millions of the largely ill-educated and unskilled newcomers.

Democratic Party operatives, and their media allies, no doubt see in the legalization move a step not only to address legitimate human needs, but their own political future. With the bulk of the country’s white population migrating rapidly to the GOP, arguably the best insurance for the Democrats is to accelerate the racial polarization of the electorate. It might be good politics but we need to ask: what is the fate awaiting these new, and prospective, Americans?

Legal but Still Poor: The Economic Consequences of Amnesty | Newgeography.com