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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>CHINA: November 13, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Bay.gif\" /></p>\n<p>How will historians in 2060 frame the 2019 Hong Kong crisis?<br />\n &ldquo;The first battle of the Second Cold War&rdquo; is one possibility, though Russia&rsquo;s 2014 Crimean invasion deserves that cruel award.</p>\n<p> PERHAPS the first Cold War isn&rsquo;t over. The USSR&rsquo;s communist dictatorship collapsed in 1991. China&rsquo;s party tyranny didn&rsquo;t. In 1989, the Kremlin didn&rsquo;t order its puppet regimes to murder protesting citizens en masse. On Nov. 9,1989, the Berlin Wall cracked without a shot.<br />\n Not so in China. On June 4, 1989, the People&rsquo;s Liberation Army attacked peaceful pro-freedom protestors in Beijing&rsquo;s Tiananmen Square and murdered over 2,000 Chinese citizens.<br />\n Hong Kong&rsquo;s first major 2019 demonstration commemorated the Tiananmen Square massacre&rsquo;s 30th anniversary. That demonstration was pro-freedom, not anti-government.<br />\n The Hong Kong-Tiananmen Square connection suggests Hong Kong is a continuation of the 20th century&rsquo;s great battle between imperial tyrannies &mdash;monarchies, Reichskanzlers, Politburos &mdash; and political systems that protect essential individual freedoms such as free expression and assembly.<br />\n Chinese President Xi Jinping is a tyrant. Xi and his Communist Party brutes run a police state that uses Karl Marx&rsquo;s bogus 19th-century theory of history as propaganda cover. Marxist-Socialist Workers Paradises &mdash; plural &mdash; whether in Russia, Cuba, Venezuela or China, have always employed terror and committed mass murder. Marxist tyrannies corrupt their own societies.<br />\n Hong Kong residents know that fellow Chinese living outside the Hong Kong special administrative region face totalitarian restrictions.<br />\n Mainland China today &mdash; China under Beijing&rsquo;s boot &mdash; is an authoritarian national socialist state. National socialist &mdash; Nazi &mdash; that&rsquo;s a German acronym. China&rsquo;s &ldquo;state capitalist&rdquo; system &mdash; a corrupt nexus of government, industry and spies stealing technology &mdash; gamed the international economic order until President Donald Trump&rsquo;s administration said no more.<br />\n There&rsquo;s more to it than tariffs. The Politburo knows China must reform its domestic economy, but that involves breaking the money-skimming &ldquo;rice bowls&rdquo; of connected party members and PLA senior officers, and permitting more freedom.</p>\n<p> XI AND his propagandists have spent the last six years portraying China&rsquo;s dictatorship as a successful ideological competitor to what they label the U.S.-led &ldquo;liberal international order,&rdquo; or LIO. The LIO, however, is a straw man that Xi&rsquo;s &ldquo;fake news&rdquo; brigadistas attack with propaganda tropes employed by 19th-century European nobles and 20th-century Nazis and communists. Authoritarians of every stripe fear the creativity of individual freedom.<br />\n Hong Kong&rsquo;s demands for liberal freedoms and its distrust of Beijing shame Xi and his propagandists.<br />\n Which is why Hong Kong is under attack by the Chinese Communist Party.<br />\n Consider the past 10 days. On Nov. 8, security forces killed a student protestor. Another was wounded Nov. 11. On Nov. 12, Beijing sycophants claimed mobs had brought the city to &ldquo;the brink of total collapse.&rdquo;<br />\n Beijing blames the U.S. and Britain for the violence. But accusing adversaries of doing what communist sympathizers and agents are actually doing was a standard Cold War Soviet and Red Chinese tactic.<br />\n Stuart Heaver (reporting from Hong Kong for The Independent) thinks Beijing is already invading. &ldquo;There may be no tanks,&rdquo; Heaver wrote, but many locals believe &ldquo;PLA troops are already here, disguised as Hong Kong riot police ...&rdquo; They intend &ldquo;to impose Tiananmen by stealth and create a climate of fear.&rdquo;<br />\n The suspect police &ldquo;are often heard speaking in Putonghua dialect,&rdquo; Heaver writes. Putonghua is Mandarin (Beijing) Chinese. Most Hong Kongers speak the Cantonese dialect. Eighty-five to 95 million Chinese living along the south China coast speak Cantonese or Hakka, a related &ldquo;southern&rdquo; dialect.<br />\n Which leads to a linguistic connection that disturbs Beijing&rsquo;s mandarins (pun intended): Seventy percent of Taiwan&rsquo;s 24 million people speak Hakka.<br />\n In the past four years, Beijing has repeatedly threatened to invade Taiwan. Would that ignite World War III?</p>\n<p> BEIJING should be forewarned. Tiananmen Square did not end the desire for freedom. Crushing Hong Kong won&rsquo;t either.</p>\n', created = 1574429175, expire = 1574515575, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:a8771bd3cd66260a602737c529960baf' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>VENEZUELA: September 25, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Bay.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n<p>In 2018, the BBC reported U.N. officials were comparing the Venezuelan refugee problem to the &ldquo;Mediterranean crisis&rdquo; spurred by the civil wars in Syria and Libya.</p>\n<p> THE COMPARISON still has unfortunate merit. Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro and his regime wage what amounts to a slow war of oppression and starvation on their own people. Thanks to the regime&rsquo;s catastrophic socialist economic policies, life for Venezuelans lacking regime connections is wretched.<br />\n So they flee. 4.3 million Venezuelans (13 percent of the population) have fled Maduro&rsquo;s gulag, and 5,000 more flee each day. U.N. refugee experts expect the figure to rise to 5 million by January 2020 and 5.8 million by mid-2020. Maduro shrugs &mdash; fewer people to oppose him.<br />\n Diplomats call Venezuela the biggest humanitarian crisis in the hemisphere and a crisis with troubling and potentially violent regional consequences.<br />\n Here are some quantifiable consequences: Colombia hosts at least 1.3 million Venezuelan refugees. Peru has 800,000 refugees, Chile 300,000, impoverished Ecuador 260,000 and Brazil about 180,000. Others spread throughout the hemisphere.<br />\n Maduro&rsquo;s relentless man-made humanitarian disaster definitely has immediate and potential security consequences.<br />\n On Sept. 23, the U.S. and 11 other signatory governments invoked a sometimes-controversial Western Hemisphere mutual defense pact negotiated and signed in the late 1940s: The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance of 1947, nicknamed the Rio Treaty. The U.S. State Department often refers to it by its Spanish acronym, TIAR.<br />\n Mutual defense pacts are for war. TIAR was last invoked on 9/11. It was activated during the Cuban missile crisis.</p>\n<p> THERE IS a military threat element. Maduro recently threatened to reignite neighboring Colombia&rsquo;s quiescent civil war by supporting Marxist guerrillas based in Venezuela. In fact, the Venezuelan military recently deployed 150,000 troops on the Colombian border.<br />\n A U.S. State Department press release made that point clear. &ldquo;Recent bellicose moves by the Venezuelan military to deploy along the border with Colombia as well as the presence of illegal armed groups and terrorist organizations in Venezuelan territory demonstrate that Nicolas Maduro not only poses a threat to the Venezuelan people, his actions threaten the peace and security of Venezuela&rsquo;s neighbors.&rdquo;<br />\n But the refugee crisis is central to this &ldquo;soft and hard&rdquo; power application of the Rio Treaty.<br />\n A flood of refugees is not a military invasion. However, an unrelenting refugee exodus can have war-like economic and social effects on host nations. &ldquo;War-like&rdquo; isn&rsquo;t a stretch. Refugee waves have shaken politically and economically fragile central African states and sparked internal violence.<br />\n Colombian President Ivan Duque said addressing the Venezuelan refugee problem has cost his nation 0.5% of its annual GDP. That may seem small, but it represents a lot of money Venezuela has forced Colombia to spend. Brazil reported the refugee influx has strained health and education services in its poor northern states. Regional economic costs and social stress &mdash; hence the logic of invoking a mutual defense treaty.<br />\n How Maduro has stayed in power despite stiff international political and economic sanctions is no secret. Cuban intelligence agents and military advisers watch Maduro&rsquo;s army. There are no signs of a providential coup d&rsquo;etat in Caracas. Russian and Chinese economic and political aid has insulated regime elites. Both nations continue to import Venezuelan oil.</p>\n<p> INVOKING THE Rio Treaty adds spine to the sanctions. Russia, China and Cuba can continue to support their basket-case Venezuelan protectorate, but doing so risks alienating the rest of the Western Hemisphere.</p>\n', created = 1574429176, expire = 1574515576, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:005df693c9a9f83f4ef758a983ca1a05' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>IRAN: September 18, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Bay.gif\" /></p>\n<p>Two previous Iranian-proxy drone attacks on Saudi Arabian petro-targets look suspiciously like rehearsals for the Sept. 14 attacks on the Abqaiq oil production complex and Khurais oil field.<br />\n The attacks, on May 14 and Aug. 17, 2019, would have provided Iran with intelligence regarding Saudi air surveillance operations while combat-testing the strike and guidance capabilities of its armed drones and cruise missiles. Those attacks should have alerted the Saudis to quickly improve the local air defenses of key oil shipment &ldquo;chokepoints&rdquo; like Abqaiq.<br />\n Apparently, they didn&rsquo;t.</p>\n<p> CLARIFYING LABELS helps define key military and technological issues in all three attacks. Drone is slang for an unmanned aerial vehicle. A UAV might be autonomous (self-guided and controlled) or remotely piloted (RPV) with digital links connecting UAV and pilot. Three decades ago, UAVs and cruise missiles were distinct species, but technology has blurred some differences. An Iranian &ldquo;suicide drone&rdquo; that hits a target is functionally a slow, cheap cruise missile; the term Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) has emerged.<br />\n Turning to the previous attacks: On May 14, &ldquo;explosive-laden drones&rdquo; blasted two pumping stations on the East-West Pipeline linking eastern Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea port of Yanbu.<br />\n The pipeline, just south of Iraq, was quickly repaired. The attack occurred two days after Iranian agents attacked two oil tankers &mdash; another type of petro-target. The tankers were near the Persian Gulf&rsquo;s Strait of Hormuz &mdash; a geographic shipping chokepoint. Yanbu is an alternative export route circumventing Hormuz. The drone-delivered geopolitical message is obvious.<br />\n Some commentators speculated the attack came from Iraq, not Yemen. Drones attacking from the north, not the distant west? Perhaps. Pro-Iranian Hezbollah militias infest western Iraq.<br />\n On Aug. 17, 10 armed UAVs struck the &ldquo;super-giant&rdquo; Shaybah oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia at the edge of The Empty Quarter near the United Arab Emirates border. Ten arriving near-simultaneously signals a coordinated attack. The drones flew 1,000 kilometers from Yemen; they hit infrastructure but failed to disrupt production.</p>\n<p> SAUDI OFFICIALS called it the &ldquo;biggest attack in the depth&rdquo; ever conducted against the kingdom. It recalled a July 2018 long-range drone attack on the UAE&rsquo;s Abu Dhabi airport. Yemeni Houthi rebels claimed Sammad-3 drones they manufactured (alleged range 1,400 kilometers) did the deed. The UAE denied the attack occurred. The Sammad-3 is an Iranian design.<br />\n Why target Abqaiq and Khurais? Abqaiq, which processes about 7 million barrels of oil a day to remove impurities before export, is a global energy chokepoint. It is also a static target packed with volatile substances ready to blow. Khurais is Saudi Arabia&rsquo;s second-largest oil field and pumps about 1.5 million barrels a day. Damage them and oil prices spike.<br />\n And oil prices have risen.<br />\n Media sources report over 20 drones and missiles conducted the attacks; U.S. photos support that. Abqaiq took 17 hits and Khurais at least two.<br />\n Houthis quickly claimed they launched the attacks. However, to hit Abqaiq, Yemeni UAVs must cover 1,300 kilometers on a direct path. Blaming Houthi proxy forces smacks of shop-worn Iranian &ldquo;plausible deniability&rdquo; scams.<br />\n Media report that American officials believe the mix of drones and cruise missiles employed in the attack were launched from Iranian territory. The U.S. has the satellite and electronic assets to back that assertion with facts but not for public display.<br />\n The U.S. claim makes sense without the classified intel. Drones and missiles launched from southwestern Iran need only fly 600 to 650 kilometers, passing over Kuwaiti or Iraqi territory to attack. Shorter distances increase the likelihood of multiple UAVs arriving simultaneously, aiding attack coordination. Circuitous, low-level routes help mask launch sites. Attack from an unexpected direction can help evade air defense radar and surveillance detection.</p>\n<p> DON&rsquo;T BELIEVE the fearmongers. The attacks are desperate acts by a desperate and vulnerable Iranian regime. But note this: Geopolitical risk never left the oil market. North American oil and gas production has risen. However, those barrels and cubic feet buffer but do not eliminate energy disruption by violent regimes bent on troublemaking.</p>\n', created = 1574429176, expire = 1574515576, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:73df02d8ee9a76c427cee46d719de64e' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>CHINA: September 11, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Bay.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n<p>In May, I wrote a column arguing China&rsquo;s pervasive spying and influence operation in America has no historical precedent.<br />\n Beijing literally targets the whole of American society.</p>\n<p> AMERICAN scientific, commercial and economic creativity interests China&rsquo;s spies. Intellectual property has financial value and may assist a weapons program. However, China&rsquo;s strategic operation has deeper objectives, such as infiltrating the political and educational sinews that ungird a society.<br />\n Press reports in April that Chinese spies had penetrated the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston spurred the May essay. MD Anderson is arguably the world&rsquo;s top cancer research facility. Chinese spies filched years of cancer research data &mdash; much of that research paid for by Texas and U.S. taxpayers.<br />\n China&rsquo;s intellectual property theft is more than tax theft. Since the spying robs U.S. institutions and corporations of products and royalties, over time it becomes a form of trade theft, a long-range, indirect attack on U.S. future productivity.<br />\n Stealing knowledge may have immediate payoffs, but the drain on future productivity eventually contributes to weakening the U.S.<br />\n Seeding key American corporations, research and educational institutes, and media organizations with people China can influence or blackmail might eventually weaken American will to counter Chinese imperial adventurism. The U.S. has the political will to contest China&rsquo;s slow invasion of the South China Sea. However, after 20 years of funding research and buying influence, America might not be so willing.<br />\n The MD Anderson case had hints of social and political penetration. Both Science Magazine and The Houston Chronicle reported the National Institutes of Health had evidence that described &ldquo;conflicts of interest or unreported foreign income by five faculty members.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> OTHER PERSONNEL were forced to retire or resign, several of them ethnic Chinese. Chinese government apologists immediately screamed &ldquo;profiling&rdquo; and racist discrimination. I argued that the truth is China&rsquo;s dictatorship abuses ethnic Chinese. If you disagree, check out Tiananmen Square and the current threat to Hong Kong. The communist dictatorship employs hi-tech digital and surveillance systems to monitor the behavior of its own citizens, in other words, to oppress political opposition. The U.S. government believes some Chinese companies are really spy operations, Huawei in particular. The company has tight links with the Chinese government, which means it has tight links with the Chinese Communist Party.<br />\n In December 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei&rsquo;s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, on charges that she had violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. She remains in Canada awaiting an extradition hearing. She faces criminal charges, but U.S. investigators suspect she cooperates fully with Chinese intelligence. Last week, China demanded her release.<br />\n The Huawei 5G (fifth generation) mobile broadband and cellphone system worries Washington. 5G is more than voice and video. This powerful system connects the &ldquo;internet of things,&rdquo; &ldquo;things&rdquo; that could open your garage door or open a dam&rsquo;s floodgates. What if a terrorist or a saboteur were to open the floodgates? If the saboteur were a Chinese agent, would this be an act of war? As it is, hackers have successfully penetrated some of Huawei&rsquo;s broadband gateway systems.<br />\n In June 2019, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command published this tough assessment of China&rsquo;s intersecting business, trade and spy activities: &ldquo;Although trade has benefitted both China and its trade partners, Chinese use of espionage and theft for economic advantage, as well as diversion of acquired technology to the military, remains a significant source of economic and national security risk to all of China&rsquo;s trading partners.&rdquo;<br />\n The assessment reinforced INDO-PACOM Commander Adm. Philip Davidson&rsquo;s February Senate Armed Services Committee testimony. &ldquo;Beijing is leveraging its economic instrument of power in ways that can undermine the autonomy of countries across the region,&rdquo; (the Pacific), Davidson said. China uses short-term credit that comes &ldquo;with strings attached: unsustainable debt, decreased transparency, restrictions on market economies, and the potential loss of control of natural resources.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> TO COUNTER China&rsquo;s pervasive threat, the U.S. must attack China&rsquo;s money &mdash; it&rsquo;s economy. The time to do that is now.</p>\n', created = 1574429176, expire = 1574515576, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:36b1bcb39f6295024d684021e5371567' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>CHINA: September 4, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Bay.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n<p>Freelance correspondent Michael Yon reports that one can feel the collective political and emotional change on Hong Kong&rsquo;s streets &mdash; change that may have dire consequences.</p>\n<p> AT THE END of August, I emailed Yon a couple of questions based on an observation he made in a videocast shot some 10 days prior. (See michaelyon-online.com. He livestreams via Facebook.) In the video, Yon said Hong Kong&rsquo;s populace showed signs of moving from protest to civil unrest. My questions: What&rsquo;s the current situation? And will communist China crack down (i.e. armed intervention)?<br />\n Yon is a former U.S. Army Green Beret and schooled in judging what political scientists call the &ldquo;collective human dynamics&rdquo; of social, political and economic stress in a society. Detectives, shoe-leather reporters and military vets call that a &ldquo;feel for the streets.&rdquo;<br />\n East Germany provides a historical example of the stages of resistance, the escalating trend (or gradient) Yon noticed. In 1989, East Germans moved from secret police-enforced silence to public protests to civil disobedience involving the vast majority of East German citizens. To employ a buzz term, East Germans were &ldquo;collectively mobilized&rdquo; in bitter opposition to their communist jailers. The Berlin Wall cracked; mass civil disobedience toppled the regime. Did that make it a bloodless insurgency? I&rsquo;d remind a pinhead making that argument that the long siege called the Cold War wasn&rsquo;t bloodless.<br />\n Responding on Sept. 1 to my sitrep request, Yon&rsquo;s email began: &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been in more than 40 protests so far and can say with certainty that the mood becomes more violent week by week.&rdquo;<br />\n What started as protests aimed at specific government actions had become &ldquo;general civil unrest.&rdquo; Protests during the first month (June) were mostly &ldquo;about specific items that were severable and solvable if the leaders were wise,&rdquo; Yon wrote. But &ldquo;they were unwise.&rdquo;<br />\n Yon was referring to Hong Kong&rsquo;s government (led by Carrie Lam) and Beijing&rsquo;s central communist dictatorship. (Beijing administers Hong Kong through its Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.) The government leaders unwisely employed police to forcefully confront protestors.</p>\n<p> POLICE OVERREACTION and treating protestors as criminals enraged Hong Kongers (the name many prefer). The escalation process began as protests &ldquo;drifted into general civil unrest where the obvious majority of people were just sick of the police and government in totality. The general population seems to view the government as illegitimate.&rdquo; Yon cited the July 1 incident as an early indicator of this sentiment. On that date, protestors broke into Hong Kong&rsquo;s legislative council offices. He witnessed the event firsthand.<br />\n Let me interject a point here, one I made in a column written this summer. Yon referenced that column in a videocast as historical context for Hong Kong&rsquo;s hot summer. Beijing&rsquo;s bouts of ham-handed authoritarian bullying and the regime&rsquo;s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of political dissenters have led many Hong Kongers to conclude the communists are slowly reneging on the Sino-British Declaration of 1984 that assured Hong Kong&rsquo;s autonomy until 2047. This deep distrust of Beijing&rsquo;s dictatorship seeds fear, a volatile emotion, especially when several million people share it. Distrust also motivates people to respond politically.<br />\n Civil unrest is a political response. We can speculate on others. The city&rsquo;s citizens could kowtow (an apt Chinese word) to Beijing&rsquo;s demands, or continue to resist, in this case resisting to protect Hong Kong&rsquo;s treaty-guaranteed freedom.<br />\n Or has their cause gone beyond autonomy? Yon considered that. Sometime during the past three weeks, he mused, the situation went beyond civil unrest. &ldquo;It is clear that a growing number want to overthrow the HK government,&rdquo; he said. Though he had yet to hear anyone say it, he bet that &ldquo;within just a week or so they will be saying it.&rdquo; He speculated an insurgency could erupt because &ldquo;clearly many protestors would rather see the city burn than just surrender.&rdquo;<br />\n That&rsquo;s an informed reporter&rsquo;s dire impression. What would ignite this insurgency? I fear my second question is the likely answer: Beijing&rsquo;s army or the Peoples Armed Police attacking Hong Kong&rsquo;s citizens.</p>\n<p> BEIJING MUST de-escalate the Hong Kong crisis. If the regime resorts to force and kills hundreds, if not thousands, of Hong Kong citizens, President Donald Trump will use that heinous act to unite the world against communist China.</p>\n', created = 1574429176, expire = 1574515576, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:bab1b4b6de33ffa77b6268ad77b45c81' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>COMBAT TECHNOLOGY: August 28, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Bay.gif\" /></p>\n<p>The desire to ensure technological reliability and, ultimately, combat superiority, guided the Trump administration&rsquo;s mid-July decision to terminate U.S. plans to sell the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey.</p>\n<p> GIVE TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan his due. On the global diplomatic stage, Erdogan can display power-player skills diplomats can admire, no matter what they tell reporters. For example, like President Donald Trump, Erdogan uses the perception of tumult and impulsiveness to gain political and diplomatic advantage. Surprise agitates; the unexpected momentarily boggles. Erdogan says something &mdash; anything &mdash; provocative and sensational, waits four beats (or tweets) as adversaries react and semi-credentialed talking idiots pontificate, and then shifts rhetorical fire and nation state-empowered ire to his real diplomatic target.<br />\n Deep background: The boggle tactic is classic. Sun Tzu and Machiavelli would both endorse it, with the caveat that savvy leaders must concede it has physical and common-sense restraints. Other human beings may initially boggle, but people aren&rsquo;t stupid. To paraphrase Lincoln, boggle diplomacy won&rsquo;t fool all people all the time. Strategic advice to bogglers: Don&rsquo;t let your ego lead you into a dead-end alley.<br />\n The F-35 clash left Erdo in a box canyon (cowboy for dead end). Clever word games, diplomatic jive and media posturing differ from high-performance stealthy military aircraft loaded with sensors &mdash; real-world airplanes that give the United States and its reliable allies a huge edge in combat. Combat: life or death for American military personnel. Combat makes or breaks the Pentagon&rsquo;s research, development and acquisition (RDA) systems and its training regimen. To Hell with the Beltway Clerks, propagandists and political operatives spouting on cable talk shows. American taxpayers &mdash; a group that includes the fathers, mothers, families and hometown friends of American military personnel &mdash; demand their money&rsquo;s worth, combat that results in victory and brings our warriors back alive.<br />\n American taxpayers spent billions on the F-35.</p>\n<p> WHICH IS one of many reasons Erdogan&rsquo;s fall 2017 agreement with the Kremlin to purchase Russia&rsquo;s S-400 &ldquo;Triumph&rdquo; surface-to-air missile defense system was strategically foolish and damaging, for the Turkish economy, for Turkish military security and even for The Ego Sultan (Erdogan) himself. That decision cost the Turkish air force the F-35&rsquo;s capabilities. Turkish aerospace companies lost component manufacturing contracts. Erdogan&rsquo;s decision was plane stupid, and he paid for it in trump cards. (If you object to the double pun, too bad.)<br />\n Turkey&rsquo;s purchase of the S-400 placed a digital Russian &ldquo;spy&rdquo; within NATO&rsquo;s air defense network. The F-35 is a &ldquo;networking&rdquo; weapon. In stealth mode, the F-35 can detect targets and relay the information to non-stealthy U.S. and allied aircraft. Are you worried about Russian interference in U.S. elections? The S-400&rsquo;s technology gives Russia an intimate look at NATO&rsquo;s command and control communications technology.<br />\n Which is why the purchase puts Turkey&rsquo;s continued operational cooperation with NATO in doubt.<br />\n In a July 2018 column, I wrote, &ldquo;Denying Turkey the F-35 amounts to the U.S. kicking Erdoganist Turkey out of NATO.&rdquo; In August 2019, I&rsquo;ll acknowledge Turkey continues to cooperate strategically (NATO aircraft still use the huge Turkish airbase at Incirlik). However, my 2018 assessment is correct for combat operations pitting NATO aircraft against near-peer combatants with access to Russian intelligence.<br />\n If Pentagon insiders want to argue, dig: In July, Department of Defense Undersecretary for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord stated, &ldquo;Turkey&rsquo;s purchase of the S-400 is inconsistent with its commitments to NATO and will have detrimental impact on Turkish interoperability with the alliance.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> COMPROMISED defense technology is a pervasive problem that goes beyond the F-35. On Aug. 20, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC, &ldquo;The threat of having Chinese telecom systems inside of American networks or inside of networks around the world presents an enormous risk, a national security risk. Our mission set is to find a way to reduce that risk ...&rdquo;<br />\n Pompeo was assessing cyber and communications risk, but they are analogous to a NATO ally compromising the F-35s capabilities by deploying Russian missiles.</p>\n', created = 1574429176, expire = 1574515576, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:5b106a2bb57b7bb4a5a4e690d6e37070' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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Austin Bay

11/18/2019 - 12:25am
CHINA: November 13, 2019 How will historians in 2060 frame the 2019 Hong Kong crisis? “The first battle of the Second Cold War” is one possibility, though Russia’s 2014 Crimean invasion deserves that cruel award. PERHAPS the first Cold War isn’t over. The USSR’s communist dictatorship collapsed in 1991. China’s party tyranny didn’t. In 1989, the...
09/27/2019 - 6:57pm
VENEZUELA: September 25, 2019 In 2018, the BBC reported U.N. officials were comparing the Venezuelan refugee problem to the “Mediterranean crisis” spurred by the civil wars in Syria and Libya. THE COMPARISON still has unfortunate merit. Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro and his regime wage what amounts to a slow war of oppression...
09/22/2019 - 10:43pm
IRAN: September 18, 2019 Two previous Iranian-proxy drone attacks on Saudi Arabian petro-targets look suspiciously like rehearsals for the Sept. 14 attacks on the Abqaiq oil production complex and Khurais oil field. The attacks, on May 14 and Aug. 17, 2019, would have provided Iran with intelligence regarding Saudi air surveillance operations...
09/13/2019 - 5:34pm
CHINA: September 11, 2019 In May, I wrote a column arguing China’s pervasive spying and influence operation in America has no historical precedent. Beijing literally targets the whole of American society. AMERICAN scientific, commercial and economic creativity interests China’s spies. Intellectual property has financial value and...
09/04/2019 - 1:31pm
CHINA: September 4, 2019 Freelance correspondent Michael Yon reports that one can feel the collective political and emotional change on Hong Kong’s streets — change that may have dire consequences. AT THE END of August, I emailed Yon a couple of questions based on an observation he made in a videocast shot some 10 days prior. (See...
08/31/2019 - 1:53pm
COMBAT TECHNOLOGY: August 28, 2019 The desire to ensure technological reliability and, ultimately, combat superiority, guided the Trump administration’s mid-July decision to terminate U.S. plans to sell the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey. GIVE TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan his due. On the global diplomatic stage, Erdogan can...
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