June 17, 2010

Stratfor: China May Support DPRK in Event of Hostilities



Stratfor reports today that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il requested advanced Chinese fighter jets and other weapons systems, but was rebuffed; however, Stratfor believes it is highly likely that Hu Jintao offered, possibly in their place, Chinese support if North Korea came under attack:


North Korea asked China to provide it with the latest J-10 fighter jets and other hardware but was rejected, Chosun reported June 17. According to a high-ranking North Korean source, leader Kim Jong Il made the request to Chinese President Hu Jintao when he visited China in early May. But Hu apparently told Kim that China would protect and support him if attacked.


If true, such news will come as no surprise to Western analysts and military experts, most of whom have been unimpressed by China’s shell game on the Korean Peninsula. China in the past has been accused of aiding the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program. Some attention has also particularly been paid to an alleged Chinese nuclear plant that sits just feet from North Korea’s border, on the other side of which at about a mile distance sits a rail station. (You can locate it on Yahoo or Google Maps by entering these coordinates: 42°53'34.07"N, 130°17'20.35"E or click the annotated image below to enlarge. Nuclear site location on Google Earth map image courtesy North Korea Economy Watch).  North Korea has, in turn, dutifully passed along its nuclear help to regimes such as Pakistan. Both China and North Korea are the key reason Pakistan now has nuclear weapons.



Click to embiggen 


Meanwhile, Jane’s Defence Weekly says that China has proposed a “military technology forum” with Indonesia. The article goes on to point out that Indonesia is increasingly important to the region strategically to both China and the United States, as both navies would like to secure navigational control through its straights and both countries would like to have access to oil and other resources there, as well. Jamestown reported last year, however, that such arrangements have, at least until that time, remained rocky between China and Indonesia. Nevertheless, as we have seen in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia, a weaker US tends to result in cozier relations between China and neighbors eager to keep peace.


It is unfortunate that even as China continues to stand by its close ally, the US seems uninterested in doing the same for its ally Israel (and perhaps others) if attacked. It should be also noted that Iran, which is seeking to destroy Israel is also heavily supported economically and militarily by China as well as Russia. It should serve as a wake-up call for sleeping democracies around the world of the need for solidarity, particularly as this new Axis crisis unfolds – and as the West continues to project division and weakness, that unfolding most assuredly will.



Martin recently completed an internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society and is presently working on his Master's in National Security Studies. He holds a BA in International Relations. Prior to his time in London, he spent several months in Washington, D.C., where he attended several events, toured the White House, Capitol, and Pentagon. He is a member of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, the World Affairs Council, and United Nations Association.

Posted by Martin at 01:50 AM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2010

Coming Soon: How China Meddles



We will be posting a paper soon, research for which will allow us to go into great detail as we explore China’s second-nature pattern of interference in the internal affairs of other states, rich and poor, weak and powerful around the world, including the United States. As the nascent Imperial Chinese Reich expands its pernicious tentacles across the globe, such a paper will no doubt be timely and will add to the chorus of warnings which hopefully those in the State Department and elsewhere within the U.S. Government, as well as the rest of Free World, will begin to take seriously.


It is imperative that free states everywhere stand up and begin to fight back against this detestable dragon, a dragon which is responsible for the greatest genocide in world history against its own people, continues to commit regular atrocities against them, and seeks to export this animalistic behavior to the four corners of the earth.


And remember, this is a regime that even today harvests the organs of its dissidents – and as rumor has it, fillets some dissidents and criminals alive – using their body parts for cosmetics and other purposes.


You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness. – Ronald Reagan, Rendezvous with Destiny, 1964






Posted by Martin at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2009

The Economist's James Miles Misses It on Human Rights

Miles: Need to fix “climate change can’t be interrupted by human rights”



On Monday, the China correspondent for The Economist, James Miles, took some time to talk by phone with Jim Falk, President of the Dallas-Ft. Worth World Affairs Council (of which I am a member). Those of us who are members were invited to take part by listening to the streaming interview on our computers and were also invited to send in questions through a chat-room-like window.


During the hour-long interview, topics ranged from anthropogenic climate change, which received the bulk of the time allotted, the economy – a close second –and human rights, which was relegated to the status of also-ran inglorious-mention status.


The fact that human rights has become an all-but forgotten virtue – nevertheless one most in need of immediate action – is naturally not an exclusive fault of Mr. Miles, though his statements during the interview were probably among the most egregious and reprehensible I’ve heard so far.


The United Nations has become infamous over the past decade about moving in the same direction as Mr. Miles, who should know better. It has spent countless more man hours and millions more in dollars chasing the highly controversial and increasingly repudiated meme of man-made global warming while refusing time and again to address the horrific plight of people around the world suffering unspeakably at the direct hand of other people.


I have also been a witness to this willful ignorance. During a visit to a United Nations Association event at the UN in April of 2008, where human rights was given sickeningly short shrift in favor of radical environmentalism and engaging in partisan and unproductive bashing of the Bush administration.  In her publication, “A Guilt Beyond Crime”,  Julia Pettengill discusses at length not only the consequences of ignoring human rights violations and, in particular, genocide, she also cites numerous experts from both sides of the political isle who point out both lost and future opportunities to prevent and eliminate it.1 You would think with all of her work and the work of countless other NGOs and people around the world that the UN and the internationalist community (of which I include myself) would do something to make it a top priority.


This remains far from being the case. In point of fact, beyond the expected United Nations Security Council resistance one expects to find from self-serving human rights violators Russia and China, the real reason nothing has heretofore been adequately done is that those with a conscience have done very little. And this takes us back to Mr. Miles, who during his interview not only downplayed the importance of human rights around the world and in China specifically, his chilling quotes left no question about the disregard he seems to hold for them altogether.


During the interview, not only did Mr. Miles state that “China’s authoritarianism helps America and the world…”, a point that taken alone could be discussed, along with its moral implications and a talk about the need for America to return to its moral roots. But a more worrisome, revealing juxtaposition came to fore that many human rights campaigners suspected in general existed among some global warming advocates. It was given voice in the interview with Jim Falk when Mr. Miles stated that we can’t let “climate change…be interrupted by human rights”. Interrupted? I am sure I was not the only one picking himself up off the floor after this horrendous statement.


So then, where exactly does this take us?  It is of course not the first time someone has put human rights behind some “greater” momentary cause. Indeed, if we look back through the history of the past century this is precisely how Mao Tse Tung managed to exterminate the better part of a hundred million people. 2 The cause of Communist control of China was more important than a “few people” here or there.  This rationale was also used by countless others during the 20th Century, including Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, the Imperial Japanese, and many of the leaders of the Hutus in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide that killed several hundred thousand men, women, and children with axes, guns, fire, and machetes, the horrors of which are noted in Philip Gourevitch’s tragic bestselling account. 3


But it also gives the excuse China needs today to continue abusing its people with impunity, as well as exporting that abuse around the world, as they have in Africa, and most tragically, in the Sudan. If, in the Sudan, the poster-child for the tragic consequences of ongoing genocide where China continues to export arms, support the regime, and block Security Council and other resolutions and action aimed at stopping that genocide, little or no attention is being paid to human rights, then certainly what we might conceive of as less egregious examples of abuse will go ignored altogether. And the current international mindset is solely to blame.


Miles goes on to admit that he believes “authoritarianism is not a stable [system]”, but if that is the case – and we know that it is – then what other horrors are Mr. Miles and so many of his countless other blind followers of climate change reactionism at all costs await a people currently suffering unimaginable indignities and injustices in the clutches of a brutal, barbaric, and illegitimate regime?


While I can understand the temptation Mr. Miles must face to watch his words about China in order to keep in its good graces (as Bill Gertz has noted and CNN has learned, China tends to translate its displeasure over unfavorable reporting into restricted access)4, there still exists the moral obligation of every reporter – every human being – to remember what this is all about in the end: someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, father, son, uncle, lover, friend taken away in the dark of night by violent men, never to be seen again; organs harvested, torture, rape, forced confessions, dreams wiped from the face of the earth.


There needs to be a sea change in the international community without question. While being good stewards of our natural resources is fundamental, it loses all meaning if in so doing we trample asunder the child, the student, the everyman simply trying to live and with the freedom to make the best choices possible in the process. When one encounters such human rights flat-earthers one can’t help but wonder: when it comes to forgetting, how long is never?






1 Julia Pettengill is an Associate Fellow with the Henry Jackson Society, with whom I had the opportunity to work on occasion and who spoke at one of the events Henry Jackson Society hosted during my internship there.


2  Courtois, Stéphane. (1997). The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press (English).


3  Gourevitch, Philip. (1998). We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families. New York: Picador.


4 Gertz, Bill. (2000). The China Threat: How the People's Republic Targets America. Washington, D.C.: Regnery.

Posted by Martin at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2009

The Shame of Beijing



Kudos to Reuters for once with this headline:



Unafraid China apparently fears YouTube”.



At last, MSM sees the paradox of tyranny. Whether it gets more widely reported, however, is in doubt, given the extent to which many of the corporations which own much of MSM are in bed with the enemies of humanity who run the Communist Chinese regime.


However, one can only hope, especially as China becomes more of a household conversation piece. Indeed, the AP reported that the Chinese are outraged and “accused supporters of the Dalai Lama of fabricating a video that appears to show police beating a Tibetan protester to death”.


Here’s the “fabricated” video. You judge for yourself:




The Chinese foreign ministry had rejected the UN panel’s report on the widespread use of torture by Chinese police [against Tibetans], calling the report… “untrue and slanderous” in November 2008, and accusing the committee members of being prejudiced against China.


Poor Nazi-styled Chinese regime. I know I always feel sorry for the cat when he gets caught brutalizing the canary. What a joke. This is why every informed human being who cares about his fellow man and who has a conscience is calling for regime change in China. May that cry only get louder and louder until this despicable affront to humanity crumbles.  




Posted by Martin at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2008

China's Pernicious PC Hardware Opens Backdoor to Trouble

Is your computer phoning home to Beijing right out of the box?  



Caveat emptor.


If you are looking for a new home computer, printer, electronic picture frame, motherboard, memory, or processor chip, you might want to take a look at the label before putting down your credit card, bagging up that item and carrying it home. If you think finding out where some of those items are made is sometimes tricky, try finding where each component of those products is made.


What’s the fuss? There has been a lot of talk going around for the past couple of years about the very real capability of someone to design or modify a chip in such a way as to program it to do nefarious things. Such a chip could steal your passwords, save your keystrokes, grab screen shots (or with printers, possibly save every document you printed), and phone “home”, sending that private information to whomever Frankenchipped your hardware to begin with. In an article last April in Popular Mechanics, Glenn Derene and Joe Pappalardo point out that,


Software vulnerabilities and online scams receive plenty of public attention. Viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, phishing schemes that trick people into providing financial data—all have made headlines in recent years. The emerging hardware threat is different. Imagine buying a computer, printer, monitor, router or other device in which malevolent instructions, or at least security loopholes, are etched permanently into the silicon.


While experts say that it is less likely that small-time thieves would have the capability to pull off such a stunt, foreign governments certainly have a reason: stealing private information from ordinary people can give you a revenue source that is difficult to dry up, and skimming a little off the top from multiple victims (this is nothing new), is difficult to notice but adds up for the perpetrator. The same goes for information, which can have direct and indirect military value to the government in question. Add to the mix the dawn of today’s computing power and you then can develop a searchable database of people you then wish to further exploit. Need to blackmail a politician or investment banker, or perhaps a military contractor? Imagine an electronic picture frame you bought at Best Buy for your office so it could rotate through your favorite pictures of your children as it sat there seemingly harmlessly next to your computer. But what if, when you connected that picture frame to your computer to upload your pictures to it, it installed a driver infected with a rootkit and one or two Trojan horses? The malware then collected your passwords and other personal data and sent it back to someone in China.


Well, imagine no more. It is a reality and has been for a little while now. Now imagine some of these devices carrying malware which cannot be detected by any of the top 100 antivirus tools out there. And add to that hard drives, usb flash drives, iPods, and literally every and any device you could conceivably connect to your computer – even your monitor – infected with difficult-to-detect malware. I encountered this twice with two brand new Acer laptops purchased last year, for example. It is entirely possible that many average users don’t know what to look for or even how to configure their security software to look for it. Thus the exploit remains undetected. For those who do discover it, they are often met with disbelief by retailers, who quite reasonably assume the virus must have come from the user’s end, rather than being “pre-installed” on their merchandise, which is more often the case for the moment. Yet, things are rapidly changing.


So how serious are countries like China in using a combined form of information warfare against the United States and her allies and how vulnerable are our military and civilian computer systems and networks? According to Larry Greenblatt, Lead Instructor Internetwork Defense, some companies are facing a massive tidal wave of attacks coming in from China, the cyber analogy to the human waves U.S. infantry men faced in the onset of the Korean War.


-Company IT guys are now saying that 70% of the source traffic that hits their firewalls and is blocked is from China. They say it’s difficult to tell how much more made it past the firewall undetected.

- Those digital picture frames, which happen by the way to be made in China, have been found to contain rootkits and Trojan horses that have been sending passwords and other user data back to China - and they still aren't sure if that's all yet. They're calling it the "nuclear bomb of viruses".

And here's the kicker that puts it right in your face:

- DOD can't think of any of the hardware devices they use which are made in the U.S.



Jump ahead to 11:22 in this video to watch the interview NTDTV's Dong Xiang conducts with Greenblatt:



China not only intends to do harm, it also intends to do so through both hardware and software means of compromising computer systems, as if common sense couldn't predict this. More directly, U.S. civilian and military agencies are at risk. And China is clearly not doing so for defensive purposes. According to the 01 June 2002 article in Jane’s by Timothy L Thomas, titled “Confrontation central to Chinese IW aims”, China has shifted decidedly to an offensive, rather than defensive posture.  Since at least the mid-1990s, China has been ramping up its information warfare capabilities, aggressively using novel ways of exploiting security weaknesses to gain access to both civilian and military, home and business computers. In 1999, the now infamous book titled “Unrestricted Warfare” hit the presses, its authors Colonels Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui of the Chinese PLA. Published in English on 11 September 2002, the authors describe a wild array of new scenarios to bring down its stated enemy the United States, including flying planes into buildings. Nevertheless, the information warfare (IW) component could not be overlooked, either. This idea has been aggressively pursued by the PLA, to understate the matter. In the Winter 2001 issue of the Defense Intelligence Journal, the Chinese early on adopted a far broader and more robust spectrum of IW. While the U.S. focused on six fundamental concepts of “battlefield information warfare” or “command and control warfare”. In Nuclear terminology, this could be equated to “counterforce” warfare – specifically targeting assets of direct military value, such as command centers, operations, and so forth. The six pillars of which were Psychological Operations (PSYOP), Military Deception, Operational Security (OPSEC), Electronic Warfare (EW), Physical Attack/Destruction, and Computer Network Attack (CNA), focused on military targets. The Chinese view, influenced by the notion of unrestricted or asymmetrical warfare was that of “information warfare in the broad sense” as well as the narrow interpretation. The U.S. refers to this method as “Information Operations”, the aim to achieve “’full spectrum dominance’ based on “information superiority’”. In nuclear warfare terms, this could be referred to as including counter-value warfare: including targets of indirect military value, such as commerce, industry, the civilian supply chain (food and other essentials), the general public to deplete morale, as well as elected officials and civilian government operations.  There are a number of reasons why this is Chinas preferred method, but one of the more obvious is that extent to which the U.S. relies on technology to do so many things both military and civilian today, without in many instances, an offline Plan B. (As we’ve discussed previously at this blog, this is one of the key reasons why the EMP – electromagnetic pulse – threat to the U.S. is so big.)  


A report published on the web about that time on an Army web site discusses China’s method and philosophy for IW in depth,


How has the information age affected China’s attitude toward warfare? It is fair to say that the major change was a reevaluation of how to evaluate and conduct warfare. China realized that it couldn’t threaten countries as a superpower might do with its current nuclear force, but something it can do with its IW force. For example, China can theoretically threaten U.S. financial stability through peacetime IW. Electrons lie at the heart of not only IW but also the worldwide economic boom associated with stock markets and e-commerce. The characteristics of information (global reach, speed of light transmission, nonlinear effects, inexhaustibility, multiple access, etc.) control the material and energy of warfare in a way that nuclear weapons cannot.[3] IW attempts to beat the enemy in terms of promptness, correctness, and sustainability,[4] and electrons are capable of reaching out and touching someone a long way away. It thus makes complete sense to put a significant effort into developing an information-based capability in both the civilian and military sense. From the Chinese point of view, IW is like adding wings to a tiger, making the latter more combat worthy than ever before.


Recent reports of hacker attacks on U.S. labs indicate that China is moving from theory to practice in security matters as well. The Washington Times reported on 3 August 2000 that hackers suspected of working for a Chinese government institute broke into a Los Alamos computer system and took large amounts of sensitive but unclassified information. Los Alamos spokesman Jim Danneskiold stated that “an enormous amount of Chinese activity hitting our green, open sites” occurs continuously.[5]



The report goes on to explain the philosophical underpinnings behind the Chinese method of IW and it is an interesting read. A June 2008 article in Stratfor.com (Strategic Forcasting) discusses how this threat is developing. Now that China has economic ties in Latin America, Africa, and pretty much everywhere, it will likely build a navy capable of protecting them, and as such, it will seek to build a global empire that is not just an economic one. This is not your father’s Soviet Union. The USSR was China’s sickly older brother, China is by no means sickly or haggardly. Based on testimony before the House Armed Services Committee (and as we know from countless other sources over the years), Sratfor suggests that most alarmingly, China’s singular target for its military capabilities is the United States; “its asymmetric capabilities are uniquely tailored to dealing with the world’s sole superpower”. The hearing discussed four main ways China is seeking to bolster its capabilities against the U.S.: EMP weapons, ballistic missiles, counter space, as well as IW:


China is recognized as having one of the most advanced cyberwarfare capabilities in the world. An untold number of intrusions and attacks on military, government and corporate systems have been traced back to mainland China — often to sources with ties to the PLA. The testimonies of Shinn and Breedlove reinforced many other statements to this affect from U.S. military, government and industry officials. There is little doubt at this point that China would be able to bring massive and well-drilled force to bear in cyberspace in a future conflict. There is substantial concern within the government and military about the U.S. ability to defend the continental United States against such attacks — not only military systems, but targets as diverse as corporate Web sites and power grids.



China also has a long history of asymmetric warfare against not just the United States, but even other Communist states in the region that run afoul of its good graces. As quoted by the 2001 DIJ, Jia Weidong, Beijing Jiefangjun Bao (17 April 1999) explains that,


Asymmetrical warfare has clear smart war features: Asymmetric warfare is grounded in the development of technology, particularly high technology … Information or smart warfare has become the mainstay of asymmetrical warfare. The acquisition of accurate intelligence has always been a prerequisite for successful asymmetrical operations … Asymmetrical warfare is increasingly developing in the direction of no-contact warfare … Asymmetrical warfare will make the battlefield much more multidimensional.



Indeed, the Chinese have even been caught inserting RFID chips into coins finding their way into the pockets of Pentagon contractors on possibly sensitive projects in order to track them. China also appears to have taken advantage of the unbelievable decision by our State Department to outsource passport manufacture to Thailand. And lest we question China’s current resolve, we have the 2006 NBC report on the “Spike in Chinese efforts to steal U.S. technology” – both military and civilian. (Via LexisNexis)


 Since remote cyber attacks – denying capabilities to their enemies while gaining valuable information from them – are such a critical part of China’s four-pillar method of assault, one must consider new ways in which China can enhance the effectiveness of such attacks. One way becomes obvious, as more and more technology is being manufactured in China; technology that can be used to control and relay information. By hard-wiring technology to behave maliciously, the Chinese are taking the battle one step ahead of the somewhat already struggling software solutions already out there for combating malware. Another plus is that finding out if a chip is completely free of malicious programming or not is nearly impossible. Popular Mechanics:


When a software problem is detected, thousands or millions of computers can be fixed within hours with a software patch. Discover a malevolent hardware component, however, and machines need to be fixed one by one by one. On a large network it could take months—if the problem were detected at all.


"There are a whole bunch of functions inside each chip that you have no direct access to," says Stephen Kent, chief information security scientist for BBN Technologies and a member of the Intelligence Science Board, which advises U.S. intelligence agencies. "We passed the point a long time ago when you could combinatorially test all the possible inputs for a complex chip. If somebody hid a function that, given the right inputs, could cause the chip to do something surprising, it's not clear how you could test for that."



The value of such a tool would seem irresistible.  Derene and Pappalardo point out that,


Individuals, companies and federal agencies could all be at risk from foreign governments or criminal enterprises. A computer chip built with a subtle error might allow an identity-theft ring to hack past the encryption used to connect customers with their banks. Flash memory hidden inside a corporation's networked printers could save an image file of every document it printed, then send out the information. In a disturbing national-security scenario, overseas agents might be able to hard-wire instructions to bring down a Department of Defense system on a predetermined date or in response to an external trigger. In the time it took to bring the systems back online, a military assault could be underway.



Further, not only does such a threat exist and has already been  realized in a few small cases here and there, as the authors further show us,


Such tampering wouldn't have to occur in a factory where computer components were built. In fact, repair businesses and subcontractors may pose a greater danger. "A skilled and capable adversary could replace a chip on a circuit board with a very similar one," says John Pironti, a security expert for information technology consulting firm Getronics. "But this chip would have malicious instructions added to the programming." The strategy wouldn't be practical for running a broad identity-theft operation, but it might allow spies to focus an attack on a valuable corporate or government target—gaining access to equipment, then doctoring it with hidden functions.



While the article does mention there is some disagreement as to whether such a method is really possible, since it hasn’t yet been known to have happened on any scale larger than digital picture frames and at the overt hands of a foreign government, the risk is less “severe”. The article counters this with an example of such a method being undertaken by the U.S. against the Soviets once upon a time. However, what we know today is that China is both extremely secretive about its specific activities yet very open about its philosophy and its strategy. Since most so-called experts could not imagine the events of 9-11 or of Pearl Harbor before they occurred simply on that basis, they make themselves – and us – vulnerable to any properly thought-out attack, which when dealing with a power such as China is the very thing we can reasonably expect.


As such, the NSA and DOD are looking into some ways, according to the Popular Mechanics article, to shore up our semiconductor industry, as well as to “guard their electronics supply chains”. This, however is becoming increasingly difficult as Intel and AMD move more of their operations to China and the smaller chip makers follow suit in order to remain competitive. Presently, under 25% of these companies still reside onshore in the U.S. This problem hits home, particularly when we try to imagine where we would get our computers if China were to go to war with us or an ally. Were Ronald Reagan still president, he would likely sign an executive order stopping this, as he did with sensitive technology trade with the Soviet Union; however, we have no such good fortune in Pennsylvania Avenue today. The result is that the DOD and other government agencies have increasingly been forced, in a twist of irony, to rely on outdated and poorer quality technology, created in the U.S., produced in China, and unavailable to the nation that developed it. The ultimate technology sink hole.



The NSA’s Trusted Foundry Access program, designed to incentivize technology developed onshore in the U.S.  or a trusted ally (such that the ally’s security may be), and certify technology forged in those locations seems to lack key components also, according to the Popular Mechanics article:


Ten companies have joined the program since 2004—the inaugural deal, with IBM, cost the government a reported $600 million. To participate, manufacturers need to take measures such as obtaining security clearances for staff members and quarantining computer design tools from the Internet. Further, "The facilities must be on-shore or in a closely allied country," says a Defense Department official involved with the program.


One potential flaw in the program is that it covers "just a slice of the life cycle," says Jim Gosler, a Sandia National Laboratories researcher who has spent time probing U.S. electronics systems to identify vulnerabilities. "You have to make sure the component stays trusted—they get out and about" once the equipment leaves the factory and goes into service.


More critically, even well-funded initiatives can't permanently withstand the forces pushing microchip production offshore. Ultimately, trying too hard to isolate American chip-making might simply help foreign-owned chip manufacturers challenge U.S. dominance in the field. "It's a pretty hairy situation to look out 10 or 15 years and have to ask, ‘Where are we going to get our technology?'" the Defense official says.


Meanwhile, many of the prevailing political winds seem to be pushing against any serious pursuit of a solution. Bill Gertz in his 29 June 2007 article (via LexisNexis) reveals how the Commerce Department is actively engaging in pushing to loosening more “export controls on goods to China [that] will assist Beijing's intelligence services in identifying U.S. technology for purchase or theft for its military buildup." The insanity is that while that was going on (and it certainly went on as well ad nauseam during the Clinton administration), Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff stated (again, via the Popular Mechanics article, as well as an earlier one), “Increasingly when you buy computers they have components that originate ... all around the world. We need to look at ... how we assure that people are not embedding in very small components ... that can be triggered remotely."


Another plan under development from DARPA involves finding a way to scan computer chips for malicious items in a way analogous to how software virus scanners scan for malicious code written into software.  The agency is currently contracting with Raytheon, MIT, Johns Hopkins University “and others” to make this happen. Given the continued problem with Chinese foreign nationals in our universities and the often lackluster security there, one has to wonder how bullet-proof such developments might be, once we in fact find a way to do it. Popular Mechanics quotes one expert as saying, "Even if you found something, you could never be confident you found everything," Nevertheless, if the U.S. is serious about  doing this, nothing is impossible. The question is, particularly in light of the current face of Washington and with heavy financial strings being tugged by powerful interests with strong Chinese economic ties, as well as general apathy on the consumer and industry level, how serious are we?




Posted by Martin at 03:32 AM | Comments (3)

October 07, 2008

Dictatorships and Double Standards: Exhibit One: Africa



Ignore the fact that Al Jazeera wrote this article, it covers something that has been covered throughout across the pond, but not as much in the States.


The interesting takeaway here is that France, unlike China, has a conscience. When France’s people - even those high up - are caught selling arms to support a civil war costing hundreds of thousands of lives for oil, French authorities are civilized enough to know it is wrong. China, which is exploiting Sudan in even a more egregious wholesale fashion, however, would likely arrest the first Chinese citizen who opened his mouth in condemnation of its policy. Indeed, for China a better comparison would likely be Nazi German participation in the Spanish civil war; it's bloodthirsty generals rubbing their evil hands together with glee, while hundreds of thousands of innocents young and old alike parish.


Where is the worldwide condemnation for that? Obviously, CO² is far more important than human lives at the UN these days. As Ambassador John Bolton rightly has pointed out on various occasions, the UN cannot even agree on a definition of terrorism, cannot spare the forethought to keep offending states off the Human Rights and related commissions and workgroups, and without replacing Russia and China with Germany and Japan on those two permanent seats on the Security Council, cannot stop the carnage, which will likely continue utterly unabated. Perhaps this is partly what the late Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick would have described in her essay, "Dictatorships and Double Standards", had she written it today. May God rest their souls.



Posted by Martin at 04:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oliver Stone & China

No Honor Among Thieves, Bad Directors or Communists



Here's the quote to take away:


“But that is where the similarities end. For while Bush exits the White House a pariah, Stone hopes that W. – a $30 million project funded partly with Chinese money because no big Hollywood studio would touch it – will salvage a career that has been taking on water for more than a decade.”


Interesting and noteworthy for Mr. Bush, especially after genuflecting for nearly eight years to the Communist regime (following another eight years of Clinton and another four years of the elder Bush), you’d think you’d be in better graces with the vile dictatorship in Beijing, let alone its tools in Hollywood. Apparently, such an assumption is off and what Reagan said about alligators is true. I wouldn’t have guessed it. It just goes to show what Jimmy Carter should have learned decades ago: it doesn’t pay to appease evil regimes, Mr. President, nor does it pay to appease the Chamber of Commerce and more or less turn a deaf ear to our national security interests with respect to the unfriendly Asian super power.



Posted by Martin at 04:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2008

Rule One: Communists Always Lie



Here’s a picture you weren’t supposed to see:



Click to expand


Yep, you guessed it; and it’s not too hard to guess when you’re dealing with communists. This is a photo presently making its way around the web in some parts of the world showing what are apparently members of the Chinese military carrying Tibetan Monks’ robes. Why would this be? Allegedly, this was just prior to a riot where Tibetan monks were accused of violence. Such violence naturally is what Beijing says “forced” it to use repressive, cruel, human rights-violating tactics such as beating dissidents and arresting them without trial, and of course blocking press access to Tibet so that pictures like these and all the ones with blood in them wouldn't expose further just how worthy of regime change the Butchers of Beijing are.


We know this is pro forma by the classic militant socialist regime playbook. The Soviets used agent provocateurs quite a lot to root out opposition in the USSR and satellite countries. Hitler, too, used this tactic throughout the Reich. I wonder if this photo will make it to the Western press.



Posted by Martin at 03:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 03, 2008

Architects for Autocrats: Enduring Tributes to Cruelty



If there’s one thing an architect should know how to do, it’s draw a line. With a limited prodding, perhaps more of them will give it a try.”


Richard Lacayo, “the Architecture of Autocracy” in the May/June 2008 issue of Foreign Policy.


Toward the end of his piece, Lacayo quotes the architect Will Alsop, who recently sought to justify work for the Butchers of Beijing by explaining, “The thing about China is that it’s opening up…it will change in the future and architects will be part of that opening up.” Alsop failed to explain how this modern architecture helped “open up” (by this we assume he includes democratization as part of his definition) Mussolini’s Italy, or even earlier, the Roman Empire under the Caesars, ancient Babylon, or Egypt; or how, more appropriately, it “opened up” ancient China after the building of the Great Wall and Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum.  


Lacayo responds to Alsops rosy assumptions by pointing out that,


“The people who offer that defense have a perfectly good point. But here’s the catch. That position takes as a given the optimistic Western assumption that authoritarian regimes will “evolve” into something more like democracies. But if anything, Russia under Putin began evolving in the opposite direction [as has China since Tiananmen]. That may change under Medvedev, or it may not. The Chinese authorities probably think they have arrived already at a new model for society, one that mixes a quasi-free market economy with limited freedoms. And it’s a model they are happy to propose to the rest of the developing world, impeccably dressed by all the best architects.”


Indeed, if China is evolving away from totalitarianism, it certainly remains rather evangelical about it.   


Clearly, those who financed the industrialization of the Nazi Reich often sought to console themselves with the thought Germany would somehow bloom into some sort of human-rights loving happy place at the last moment before it began another World War and committed horrendous internal abuses leading to the deaths of millions of innocents and combatants. But I doubt there’s ultimately little consolation when your own handiwork stands as a testament to the glory of the darkest sort of regime, save the day someone flies over it and drops a bomb on it to put it out of its misery.



Posted by Martin at 03:40 PM | Comments (2)

April 14, 2008

Why Chinese Power Must Be Resisted



An interesting article on the rise of Chinese soft power can be found here via the Daily Mail.


It among other things points to data which suggests China and India will be the first and second most powerful economies by mid-century, and bemoans a darker world led by the despicable Communist regime from Beijing. Many films have been made imagining what the world would have looked like had the Nazis or the Soviets won their respective bids for world domination and by all accounts, none quite captures the full misery of a planet encased in Sino-Communist hegemonic power.  


Many in the Free World would happily surrender to a Communist China rise just as quickly as they were willing to surrender to a Nazi German rise or a Soviet rise in the world, many of them believing such regimes were not as bad as some might imagine; they were equally as wrong then as they are now. They were also wrong in believing that such regimes were without cracks and impervious to change from within or without. The democratic world – and the rest of the world – has and always will be what we who are free make of it in terms of its success. If we allow those who wish to give up to steer the ship, their self-fulfilling prophesy will provide no surprises. We find ourselves today right where we were in the 1930s and 1970s precisely because of those whom we have chosen to be our leaders. For the sake of human rights, of the light on a hill that shines so brightly for humanity and civility around the world, for those locked in darkness and the sake of our own, however, we must renew our souls again.




Posted by Martin at 08:53 AM | Comments (1)

October 06, 2007

Communist China Hates Your Children



I know this has been covered ad nauseam in the press lately:


All of the recalls and such of toys deemed harmful to kids and food deadly to pets coming from our fine friends who swore to destroy us.


Well, now it’s time for a little comic relief. (Not sure who the artist is since I received this in an e-mail; so if anyone does, I'll add the proper creds.)




As they say, comedy works best when based on truth, even if it's grating.



Posted by Martin at 01:57 PM | Comments (2)

September 21, 2007

China and Russia Spying at Cold War Levels



Blogbat said this was so over a year ago; now Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell confirms it yet again.


According to the AFP, in his written testimony today before the House, McConnell stated that, “US undercover agencies must simultaneously battle traditional state foes and Al-Qaeda, as it tries to infiltrate US territory to pull off spectacular terrorist attacks.” Video courtesy leelin:



That AFP report also reminds us that, “In July, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress that China's espionage operations were a ‘substantial concern’ and Beijing was stealing US secrets to boost its fast developing military and economy.”


BLOGBAT RELATED: The GRU more than made up the difference in the 1990s


BLOGBAT VIDEO: "Chatter" last year stated explicitly that Russian Intel had reached Cold War levels.



Posted by Martin at 08:03 PM | Comments (0)

Chinese Embassies Directing Student-Operatives



The Chinese Consulates and embassies have caught sending letters to Chinese students in the U.S. to write the United States Senate and House of Representatives on behalf of the Communist Chinese government, but is this where such illegal activity ends? Not even close.


Video courtesy of leelin 


As with any agent, only those students who are considered “trustworthy” by the Communist regime to remain loyal are permitted to study abroad amidst the influences of the non-Communist world. In addition to years and years of political indoctrination, students are selected after intense political and social scrutiny, which includes a thorough background investigation into their family, friends, psychological and emotional profile, religious connections, and anything else which might indicate political disloyalty to the extremist dictatorship.  


Students in fact are an important part of the Chinese strategy for collecting information and affecting policy in the  countries in which they are attending school. As the story explains, these students are being used to unlawfully influence the policies of a foreign government by directly petitioning it (a strategy that other countries like Mexico also use). Chinese students also await orders to carry out other political operations where they live, including assisting direct leftwing political activity and in projects which may indirectly assist leftwing goals, such as participation in gang-related criminal activity.


 In addition to the use of Chinese students as political change-agents, another example is the well-known use by the Communist government of graduate students for gaining access to various open-source R&D linked to classified technology from various angles sufficient to outline and define the purpose and type of classified technology under development (and whether it warrants deeper penetration).


A key player in all of this is the Chinese Students and Scholars Friendship Association, considered by many a front group in propagating and maintaining CCP control over its foreign students.   


Another purpose of these networks is to export repression of Chinese ex-pats and exact revenge on dissidents, many of whom are under constant threat of deadly reprisals that often include among the victims any family members.


One article in 2005 points to information provided by defectors that further raised alarms:


A large network of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spies is rampant in the U.S., say members of Congress, Ivy League academics, and two defecting CCP officials.


The spies aim not only to steal military and technology secrets but also to influence, repress, and even control the ideals and actions of Americans.


In defecting in Australia early in June, CCP officials Mr. Hao Fengiun and Mr. Chen Yonglin sparked a string of headlines, first in Australia then in Canada, about a massive network of CCP spies in Western countries that could far exceed previously held estimates of the problem.



The article goes on to detail three areas of CCP spy influence.


This month’s incident of the (most recent) Clinton fundraising fiasco with Chinese operative Hsu is only a tiny pixel in a matrix of a much larger pernicious strategy that uses chiefly students followed by Chinese national “business” leaders to bring to heal what the Communists in China consider their greatest threat, which is also the greatest example of liberty and prosperity and proof of Communist ideological vapidity anywhere on the globe:  The United States. Even if such a strategy were only effective 10% of the time, given the sheer number of Chinese nationals in the United States at present and some of the sensitive positions they hold, there still exists a significant danger. Therefore it is important that we maintain a number of those currently holding Chinese passports that can be effectively monitored and managed and that such nationals not be allowed to act at the behest of their government while here. It should be our desire to offer every foreign student the opportunity to experience all that an American experience can offer, and that includes the freedom to explore new ideas and challenge old, without fear of persecution by their home countries. It also involves protecting that American experience from extinction by a foreign power.  



Posted by Martin at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2007

On China and the Americas

Cuban: Chinese "everywhere" in Panama



Awhile back I met with a Cuban who has traveled extensively throughout Latin America. As we discussed those travels and time spent in Panama there was an interesting description of the extent to which Chinese nationals have poured into the country that owns the western hemisphere’s most strategic waterway, as well as those surrounding it.


It was a chilly winter day in 1997, according to Bill Gertz in “China Threat”, that the government of Communist China began taking its first major steps toward a foothold in the western hemisphere and establishing reciprocal power parity with U.S. and allied forces in South Korea, Japan, and elsewhere around the South China Sea. China would also have another major semi-permanent spot from which it could branch out and solicit expanded trade in South and Central America beyond its Hutchison-Whampoa base in the Bahamas and Cuba; some of that trade including arms.


Former Secretary of Defense under President Reagan Casper Weinberger, as if carrying the torch of wisdom from the old guard, described the Chinese takeover of the Panama Canal and U.S. inaction as “catastrophic”, according again to Gertz in his countless articles and several books. However such warnings have been and continue to be sounded elsewhere; certainly in my earlier posts here and what others have posted, written, and spoken within the hallowed halls of the intelligence community and the armed forces, in the media, and elsewhere. They predicted and we are realizing the threat of Chinese missiles – nuclear missiles – secreted into the former naval deepwater ports of Balboa and Cristobal, sparking fears of another Cuban Missile Crisis; the threat of small arms, operatives, and support personnel the fear of another Sovietization of Latin America, or worse: using America’s porous border to ferry in an endless number of trained, ideologically obeisant insurgents (here to destroy the America Americans don’t want to destroy). Is this truly possible coming from our leading trading partner?


Not only Chinese weapons, but Chinese: “What surprised me was that there were Chinese everywhere…” the Cuban remarked, and then added, “but it’s the same in other countries around there, too. There are so many of them, you know.” So many of them coming from a Communist country that does not allow its citizens to travel abroad freely; especially citizens disloyal to the Communist cause as enunciated by the State. Their travels abroad must benefit the State somehow; if the state has a purpose for them to be out of the country and trusts them to be ideologically loyal outside the safe borders of the regime, then and only then do we see their faces. And we do see the faces of Chinese nationals en masse across the Americas: we see them in our universities, companies, representing Chinese front organizations, and giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies. While it should be noted that China’s regime of ideological loyalty abroad is an imperfect one, even when 50% remain loyal to a regime whose stated values are antithetical to democratic existence, they pose a grave threat. As millions of Latin American illegal aliens pour into the United States with a clear pro-communist or at least a decidedly anti-American worldview, at the same time, we are seeing a record escalation in the number of Islamic terrorists present in Latin America, hailing many times from regimes in south and west Asia receiving arms and enjoying close relations with China. Could it be China has seen its opportunity to maximize its strategic momentum by using advisors and other means to coordinate and expand the types of threats the U.S. is facing in its own hemisphere? Does any of this fall short of the definition of a Cold War or at least a prelude to a very hot one? Clearly, common sense says it may well be to the first and a very resounding no to the last.


One might ask if common sense even exists any longer in Washington or if the Zeitgeist that haunts our generation is a changing of the guard that marks the division of ages. As the Cuban put it, “Panama is a friendly country”. Panama and its people are friendly and open to every kind of newcomer, but this lack of widespread discernment of power emanating from Asia can be – and is being – exploited; they ask few questions and assume the best. Yet, once they have sold their souls to China, there can be no easy road for turning back. This is also what President Bush is asking of Americans in the illegal immigration debate: that we apparently smile and pat ourselves on the backs for going down like noble martyrs for some invented Crawford piety; being accepting of every harmful and hurtful thing as we watch human trains carrying AK-47s, biological, chemical or nuclear threats march across our borders so business leaders may get another fast buck to store in offshore accounts. As you read this, you may have begun to see just how the immigration debate and America's strategic national interests have once again conjoined themselves indivisibly. However, I hope a larger picture is also coming into focus.



The matter of the hour is that China, our strategic enemy, is exploiting our known weaknesses, as any good and decent enemy worth his salt should be well expected to. The difficulty arises when we fail while our enemy fails not. Our open borders and our lack of sufficient strategic presence in Latin America or serious high-level concern for something far worse than the Soviet Union has left the door wide open. And it only proffers to become something more so in that regard. Certainly, we can hope for a revolt to overthrow the Communist dictatorship in China, but pinning our futures on a cloud which may bring rain or simply evaporate (and worse yet, lies in the hands of others, not ourselves) is folly in the worst order. Were war to break out over Taiwan (or be there another casus belli), China with its presence in the Americas (along with its allies) will be able to respond rapidly and in force against the American homeland, targeting both vital counterforce assets and countervalue (civilian, industry, and infrastructure) ones, amassing a toll rivaling or surpassing that of our own Civil War. This third strategic leg as part of a whole that includes the ability to cripple our economy presently appallingly intertwined with theirs, the threat of destabilizing forces within our borders becoming active, attacks on U.S. assets in the Pacific, and the ability to disable satellite communication links neccesary for the dispersed U.S. command structure will make such a war the most costly in U.S. history during a time in which Washington’s moral resolve is the weakest. Or China could simply use one of its ports in Panama to lob a crude missile with a crude nuclear warhead 60 miles over the continental United States that would detonate and create an electromagnetic pulse that would douse every light upon every hill from Canada to Mexico. What does an overwhelming Chinese presence mean in the Western hemisphere? It represents a clear and present threat to national security, sovereignty, and interests of the United States both long and short term. For the U.S. not to push back and begin doing so soon will be to place the noose over our heads ourselves and pull the lever.



Posted by Martin at 01:33 AM | Comments (1)

June 05, 2007

Tiananmen Square: Resistance is Beautiful



This video commemorates the 18th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, 4 June 1989 and the heroes who willingly gave life for liberty to show those who followed the way.



Blogbat supports and is in solidarity with the Chinese people yearning for nothing more than to be free. Let them take what is rightfully theirs; let freedom reign and eradicate the backward, brutal Communist Party from every segment of Chinese government. Let Hu Jintao yield to democracy or let him hang like Ceausescu.




The Shocking Exposure of Chinese Police Torturing Spiritual Followers

VIDEO: Tibetan Refugees Shot by Chinese Troops


Former Doctor at a Chinese People's Liberation Army Hospital before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the United States House of Representatives, 27 June 2001

Report: Cosmetics firm using remains of executed Chinese

U.S. State Department Assessment of Human Rights in China 2006

Nasty Business: Corporate Deals with Nazi Germany



Posted by Martin at 02:25 PM | Comments (2)

May 08, 2007

Chinagate, China Today



Three months ago the U.S. Stock Market shook. The epicenter? China. The shakeup was due to unanticipated action by the Chinese government. The result? Now both sides of the Pacific have a proof-of-concept:  China need not do much to shake the U.S. economy and can do it on the slightest whim.


Two months ago, melamine was found to have been deliberately and illegally added in China to pet food products intended for U.S. consumers. Melamine has contaminated over 40 brands of pet food, causing serious illness and death in tens of thousands of American pets. Some are now concerned that such contamination may have found its way into the human food supply. Currently, the U.S. imports 1/3 of food products from China. Now both sides of the Pacific have a proof-of-concept: China need only manipulate or add one invisible ingredient in the mix to shake U.S. food shelves.


This month a document was obtained from the infamous “D.C. Madam” with the names of thousands of Washington clients, many of whom no doubt politicians, government employees, journalists, and so on. Who wants to bet that Chinese agents (the most active in the U.S.) had a copy of that list before ABC knew it existed? Who is willing to bet the Chinese have similar lists of such indiscrete clients at nearly every level of government and influential business across the country already collected as much as humanly possible? After the Chinagate scandals during the Clinton years, it’s hard to imagine the need for another proof of concept that China could shake the lives of American politicians and business leaders within our own borders who do not tow a China-friendly U.S. foreign and economic policy; however, for those who might have forgotten, this month’s big news could prove to be another lesson as well. If my guess concerning the names on that list is correct (and measuring also just how easily the personal data of ordinary Americans has been compromised en masse and most troubling: how certain sources I know with clearance – both high- and low-level military and defense contractor sources, no less – compromise their public trust for nothing more than an ego boost) we may have an unpleasent trifecta of events upon us, the confluence of which portends much more unpleasentness to come if we do not change course.


Perhaps, just perhaps, we have nothing about which to concern ourselves here, but the obvious vulnerability nonetheless should raise alarm bells even without a China known to aggressively seek information compromised by the blackmailed through swallows and other means; a China sworn to keep U.S. dollars flowing in and funding its military buildup (with stolen U.S. technology); a China intent on keeping the spotlight off of its Nazi-like human rights record and adventurist aims in the region; a China determined to become a superpower by first standing on the shoulders of giants (as Sun Tzu put it), then becoming so big its feet stomp one former giant into the ground that its leaders have already sworn to destroy.  


Is this another step in Chinese strategic evolution? If so, how did we get here? Was the Chinagate scandal the original proof of concept that China could influence American policy with its misbehavior? At what point did U.S. officials simply roll over and allow China to do what the Soviet Union had only dreamt of doing in its heyday?


Perhaps the trailer for the movie Chinagate due out this summer best explains that question; it seems to proffer much toward where we’ve been and why we’re here, as well as where we may be headed:


Chinagate: Sneak Preview



Posted by Martin at 01:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2007

Crossette: Red China's Growing Footprint


Barbara Crossette, former New York Times UN Bureau Chief now writing for the United Nations Association of the United States posted an article today about China’s emerging role as world human rights savior.

Crossette proffers, "But a groundbreaking new poll shows that China's official policy may have been out of line with public opinion among the Chinese people, who strongly support action anywhere human rights abuses are severe"  [Emphasis added]. One could certainly say that.

Crossette in her article makes note of a recent poll taken in China for which over 70% of respondents said they would like to see both the UN and China take a more active role in preventing genocide and other atrocities in places like Darfur, Sudan, among others; however, we are left wondering why even as Crosette doesn't appear even to understand the weight of the facts about which she is writing.

The Chinese public's endorsement of Security Council action was even more pronounced when asked not specifically about Darfur but more broadly about UN action to stop abuses. China led all nations with 76 percent of those polled saying that the council has the responsibility to protect people from severe rights violations such as genocide "even against the will of their own governments." (74 percent of Americans agreed.) And 72 percent of Chinese said the Security Council "should have the right to authorize the use of military force…to prevent severe human rights violations such as genocide."

It is curious the way in which only polls that further the already-decided-upon policies of the Chinese Communist dictatorship are given an unusual blessing by that regime and allowed to even take place:

Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland (PIPA), which publishes WorldPublicOpinion.org, said that while it hasn't always been easy to poll in China, for this survey "we were able to ask all of the questions that we wanted without any interference at all." Kull, who is also the editor of WorldPublicOpinion.org, works with the polling firm Globescan in framing surveys.

"We're always asking questions about the reliability of the data we're getting, particularly when we're dealing with authoritarian governments," said Kull, who called the Chinese results in this poll "striking." PIPA has also done polling in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where there was initial resistance to public opinion polls.  

Given China’s own horrible human rights record however (read: millions of political prisoners, tortured, murdered, thousands having their organs harvested, the export of arms to rogue or terrorist regimes and organizations), it is also strange that Crossette would not spend more time discussing the apparent hypocrisy of that regime and begin to question its motives for both allowing the poll and pushing forward with enlarging its footprint in global affairs.

Beijing and its axis vision of globalization is seeking its own hegemonic role in the world, and as much wishes to become a state which is seen as a leader at the UN particularly in the UN Security Council and particularly in pushing for intervention through force. While China has built ties with African and other troubled spots around the world in the past (China was very cozy with the Rwandan regime that massacred hundreds of thousands in that country’s genocide in 1994), China has been recently moving more aggressively to play more of a force-related role through various pretenses, in classic early-adventurist style.

So it should be no surprise that the regime known for gagging all public opinion with which it does not agree would be willing today to allow such a poll to be conducted under its watch. Yet, what does the poll really tell us? Kull is also struck by the popularity in the poll for a stronger UN:

"We have an extraordinary set of questions here about [what people think] about the UN and what they want the UN to do," said Kull. "It's really quite amazing: virtually universal support for a much stronger UN, a much more robust UN with a standing peacekeeping force, regulating universal arms trade, go into any country to inspect for human rights violations….It's quite a story."

As for popular Chinese support for a stronger UN, there really is a story behind the story: namely the pronounced desire of the Chinese people to see themselves freed of the tyranny that binds them. Given the abuses that continue all across China at the hands of that regime, their support for a stronger UN can almost certainly be seen as a cry for help.



Posted by Martin at 08:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2007

Reagan: A Time for Choosing



Address on behalf of Senator Barry Goldwater

Rendezvous with Destiny

October 27, 1964


Parts of this speech were posted December 02, 2004 on this blog. The full text of this speech can be read below. The ideas in this speech as articulated by President Reagan are at the core of what this blog is all about (the quote of his on the banner at the top of this page is from this speech). In today's murky political waters, it's a necessity to remember what our principles are in the clearest possible manner. This is certainly an older speech by contemporary definitions; men and nations do fade, but ideas remain constant.



 You-Tube video credit: JohnJ2426


Thank you very much. Thank you and good evening. The sponsor has been identified, but unlike most television programs, the performer hasn't been provided with a script. As a matter of fact, I have been permitted to choose my own ideas regarding the choice that we face in the next few weeks.


I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course. I believe that the issues confronting us cross party lines. Now, one side in this campaign has been telling us that the issues of this election are the maintenance of peace and prosperity. The line has been used "We've never had it so good."


But I have an uncomfortable feeling that this prosperity isn't something on which we can base our hopes for the future. No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income. Today, 37 cents of every dollar earned in this country is the tax collector's share, and yet our government continues to spend $17 million a day more than the government takes in. We haven't balanced our budget 28 out of the last 34 years. We have raised our debt limit three times in the last twelve months, and now our national debt is one and a half times bigger than all the combined debts of all the nations in the world. We have $15 billion in gold in our treasury--we don't own an ounce. Foreign dollar claims are $27.3 billion, and we have just had announced that the dollar of 1939 will now purchase 45 cents in its total value.


As for the peace that we would preserve, I wonder who among us would like to approach the wife or mother whose husband or son has died in South Vietnam and ask them if they think this is a peace that should be maintained indefinitely. Do they mean peace, or do they mean we just want to be left in peace? There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in doing so lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well, I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.


Not too long ago two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are! I had someplace to escape to." In that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.


You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down--up to a man's age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order--or down to the ant heap totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.


In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the "Great Society," or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a "greater government activity in the affairs of the people." But they have been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves--and all of the things that I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say "the cold war will end through acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism." Another voice says that the profit motive has become outmoded, it must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state; or our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century. Senator Fullbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the president as our moral teacher and our leader, and he said he is hobbled in his task by the restrictions in power imposed on him by this antiquated document. He must be freed so that he can do for us what he knows is best. And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government." Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me--the free man and woman of this country--as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government"--this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.


Now, we have no better example of this than the government's involvement in the farm economy over the last 30 years. Since 1955, the cost of this program has nearly doubled. One-fourth of farming in America is responsible for 85% of the farm surplus. Three-fourths of farming is out on the free market and has known a 21% increase in the per capita consumption of all its produce. You see, that one-fourth of farming is regulated and controlled by the federal government. In the last three years we have spent $43 in feed grain program for every bushel of corn we don't grow.


Senator Humphrey last week charged that Barry Goldwater as President would seek to eliminate farmers. He should do his homework a little better, because he will find out that we have had a decline of 5 million in the farm population under these government programs. He will also find that the Democratic administration has sought to get from Congress an extension of the farm program to include that three-fourths that is now free. He will find that they have also asked for the right to imprison farmers who wouldn't keep books as prescribed by the federal government. The Secretary of Agriculture asked for the right to seize farms through condemnation and resell them to other individuals. And contained in that same program was a provision that would have allowed the federal government to remove 2 million farmers from the soil.


At the same time, there has been an increase in the Department of Agriculture employees. There is now one for every 30 farms in the United States, and still they can't tell us how 66 shiploads of grain headed for Austria disappeared without a trace and Billie Sol Estes never left shore.


Every responsible farmer and farm organization has repeatedly asked the government to free the farm economy, but who are farmers to know what is best for them? The wheat farmers voted against a wheat program. The government passed it anyway. Now the price of bread goes up; the price of wheat to the farmer goes down.


Meanwhile, back in the city, under urban renewal the assault on freedom carries on. Private property rights are so diluted that public interest is almost anything that a few government planners decide it should be. In a program that takes for the needy and gives to the greedy, we see such spectacles as in Cleveland, Ohio, a million-and-a-half-dollar building completed only three years ago must be destroyed to make way for what government officials call a "more compatible use of the land." The President tells us he is now going to start building public housing units in the thousands where heretofore we have only built them in the hundreds. But FHA and the Veterans Administration tell us that they have 120,000 housing units they've taken back through mortgage foreclosures. For three decades, we have sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan. The latest is the Area Redevelopment Agency. They have just declared Rice County, Kansas, a depressed area. Rice County, Kansas, has two hundred oil wells, and the 14,000 people there have over $30 million on deposit in personal savings in their banks. When the government tells you you're depressed, lie down and be depressed.


We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they are going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. Well, now, if government planning and welfare had the answer and they've had almost 30 years of it, shouldn't we expect government to almost read the score to us once in a while? Shouldn't they be telling us about the decline each year in the number of people needing help? The reduction in the need for public housing?


But the reverse is true. Each year the need grows greater, the program grows greater. We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet. But now we are told that 9.3 million families in this country are poverty-stricken on the basis of earning less than $3,000 a year. Welfare spending is 10 times greater than in the dark depths of the Depression. We are spending $45 billion on welfare. Now do a little arithmetic, and you will find that if we divided the $45 billion up equally among those 9 million poor families, we would be able to give each family $4,600 a year, and this added to their present income should eliminate poverty! Direct aid to the poor, however, is running only about $600 per family. It would seem that someplace there must be some overhead.


So now we declare "war on poverty," or "you, too, can be a Bobby Baker!" Now, do they honestly expect us to believe that if we add $1 billion to the $45 million we are spending...one more program to the 30-odd we have--and remember, this new program doesn't replace any, it just duplicates existing programs--do they believe that poverty is suddenly going to disappear by magic? Well, in all fairness I should explain that there is one part of the new program that isn't duplicated. This is the youth feature. We are now going to solve the dropout problem, juvenile delinquency, by reinstituting something like the old CCC camps, and we are going to put our young people in camps, but again we do some arithmetic, and we find that we are going to spend each year just on room and board for each young person that we help $4,700 a year! We can send them to Harvard for $2,700! Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that Harvard is the answer to juvenile delinquency.


But seriously, what are we doing to those we seek to help? Not too long ago, a judge called me here in Los Angeles. He told me of a young woman who had come before him for a divorce. She had six children, was pregnant with her seventh. Under his questioning, she revealed her husband was a laborer earning $250 a month. She wanted a divorce so that she could get an $80 raise. She is eligible for $330 a month in the Aid to Dependent Children Program. She got the idea from two women in her neighborhood who had already done that very thing.


Yet anytime you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we are denounced as being against their humanitarian goals. They say we are always "against" things, never "for" anything. Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn't so. We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem.


But we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments to those who depend on them for livelihood. They have called it insurance to us in a hundred million pieces of literature. But then they appeared before the Supreme Court and they testified that it was a welfare program. They only use the term "insurance" to sell it to the people. And they said Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the government has used that tax. There is no fund, because Robert Byers, the actuarial head, appeared before a congressional committee and admitted that Social Security as of this moment is $298 billion in the hole. But he said there should be no cause for worry because as long as they have the power to tax, they could always take away from the people whatever they needed to bail them out of trouble! And they are doing just that.


A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary...his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee $220 a month at age 65. The government promises $127. He could live it up until he is 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now, are we so lacking in business sense that we can't put this program on a sound basis so that people who do require those payments will find that they can get them when they are due...that the cupboard isn't bare? Barry Goldwater thinks we can.


At the same time, can't we introduce voluntary features that would permit a citizen who can do better on his own to be excused upon presentation of evidence that he had made provisions for the non-earning years? Should we allow a widow with children to work, and not lose the benefits supposedly paid for by her deceased husband? Shouldn't you and I be allowed to declare who our beneficiaries will be under these programs, which we cannot do? I think we are for telling our senior citizens that no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds. But I think we are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program, especially when we have such examples, as announced last week, when France admitted that their Medicare program was now bankrupt. They've come to the end of the road.


In addition, was Barry Goldwater so irresponsible when he suggested that our government give up its program of deliberate planned inflation so that when you do get your Social Security pension, a dollar will buy a dollar's worth, and not 45 cents' worth?


I think we are for an international organization, where the nations of the world can seek peace. But I think we are against subordinating American interests to an organization that has become so structurally unsound that today you can muster a two-thirds vote on the floor of the General Assembly among the nations that represent less than 10 percent of the world's population. I think we are against the hypocrisy of assailing our allies because here and there they cling to a colony, while we engage in a conspiracy of silence and never open our mouths about the millions of people enslaved in Soviet colonies in the satellite nation.


I think we are for aiding our allies by sharing of our material blessings with those nations which share in our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world. We set out to help 19 countries. We are helping 107. We spent $146 billion. With that money, we bought a $2 million yacht for Haile Selassie. We bought dress suits for Greek undertakers, extra wives for Kenyan government officials. We bought a thousand TV sets for a place where they have no electricity. In the last six years, 52 nations have bought $7 billion worth of our gold, and all 52 are receiving foreign aid from this country.


No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this Earth. Federal employees number 2.5 million, and federal, state, and local, one out of six of the nation's work force is employed by the government. These proliferating bureaus with their thousands of regulations have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. How many of us realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? They can impose a fine without a formal hearing, let alone a trial by jury, and they can seize and sell his property in auction to enforce the payment of that fine. In Chico County, Arkansas, James Wier overplanted his rice allotment. The government obtained a $17,000 judgment, and a U.S. marshal sold his 950-acre farm at auction. The government said it was necessary as a warning to others to make the system work. Last February 19 at the University of Minnesota, Norman Thomas, six-time candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said, "If Barry Goldwater became President, he would stop the advance of socialism in the United States." I think that's exactly what he will do.


As a former Democrat, I can tell you Norman Thomas isn't the only man who has drawn this parallel to socialism with the present administration. Back in 1936, Mr. Democrat himself, Al Smith, the great American, came before the American people and charged that the leadership of his party was taking the part of Jefferson, Jackson, and Cleveland down the road under the banners of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. And he walked away from his party, and he never returned to the day he died, because to this day, the leadership of that party has been taking that party, that honorable party, down the road in the image of the labor socialist party of England. Now it doesn't require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? Such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment. Our Democratic opponents seem unwilling to debate these issues. They want to make you and I believe that this is a contest between two men...that we are to choose just between two personalities.


Well, what of this man that they would destroy? And in destroying, they would destroy that which he represents, the ideas that you and I hold dear. Is he the brash and shallow and trigger-happy man they say he is? Well, I have been privileged to know him "when." I knew him long before he ever dreamed of trying for high office, and I can tell you personally I have never known a man in my life I believe so incapable of doing a dishonest or dishonorable thing.


This is a man who in his own business, before he entered politics, instituted a profit-sharing plan, before unions had ever thought of it. He put in health and medical insurance for all his employees. He took 50 percent of the profits before taxes and set up a retirement program, a pension plan for all his employees. He sent checks for life to an employee who was ill and couldn't work. He provided nursing care for the children of mothers who work in the stores. When Mexico was ravaged by floods from the Rio Grande, he climbed in his airplane and flew medicine and supplies down there.


An ex-GI told me how he met him. It was the week before Christmas during the Korean War, and he was at the Los Angeles airport trying to get a ride home to Arizona for Christmas, and he said that there were a lot of servicemen there and no seats available on the planes. Then a voice came over the loudspeaker and said, "Any men in uniform wanting a ride to Arizona, go to runway such-and-such," and they went down there, and there was this fellow named Barry Goldwater sitting in his plane. Every day in the weeks before Christmas, all day long, he would load up the plane, fly to Arizona, fly them to their homes, then fly back over to get another load.


During the hectic split-second timing of a campaign, this is a man who took time out to sit beside an old friend who was dying of cancer. His campaign managers were understandably impatient, but he said, "There aren't many left who care what happens to her. I'd like her to know I care." This is a man who said to his 19-year-old son, "There is no foundation like the rock of honesty and fairness, and when you begin to build your life upon that rock, with the cement of the faith in God that you have, then you have a real start." This is not a man who could carelessly send other people's sons to war. And that is the issue of this campaign that makes all of the other problems I have discussed academic, unless we realize that we are in a war that must be won.


Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy "accommodation." And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer--not an easy answer--but simple.


If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based upon what we know in our hearts is morally right. We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Let's set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace--and you can have it in the next second--surrender.


Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face--that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand--the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.


You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay." There is a point beyond which they must not advance. This is the meaning in the phrase of Barry Goldwater's "peace through strength." Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits--not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."


You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.


We will keep in mind and remember that Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny.


Thank you very much.




Source: The Reagan Foundation


More can be found from the President here.




Posted by Martin at 04:48 PM | Comments (1)

December 19, 2006

Russia: A Prequel Portending?



Below is my latest video, “Empire: Prelude to Revanchism” (5:45). What you need to take away from this is the extent and seriousness of the Neo-Sovietist buildup that has wasted no time since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Even as far back as Yeltsin’s day have espionage, armament expansions, the building of strategic axis relationships, and internal repression expanded, not diminished. Today the USSR is the CIS. On the figure of human rights: over 300 journalists murdered so far. Watch video for quotes from more news accounts and their sources.




But this need not be the case, if the Russian people will courageously stand together as did the people who brought about the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, what Putin envisions does not need to be so. The people of Russia hold the power, but they must take it.



Posted by Martin at 01:58 AM | Comments (2)

December 04, 2006

Russia's Spies: Was West Blinded by Cutbacks?



Some news accounts are actually now saying that Britain might have had a long history of being infiltrated by Russian spies.


You don’t say! What an epiphany!


Britain has often been literally “owned” by Russian and Soviet spies since well-prior to World War II. Does anyone recall the success of the Great Illegals, the Magnificent 5, Kim Philby, et al? It’s a list of double-agents working in intelligence all over the world ostensibly for Britain, but not really, not to mention others reporting on political developments inside confidential British halls, developments in science and technology, and so forth.


Philby, by no means the only one, but one of the grandest among the Cambridge 5 succeeded in becoming Britain’s man in charge of Section IX – Britain’s counter-Soviet section. Philby and others of course passed so many secrets on to the Soviets that often Russian leaders knew better what was going on in the most secret parts of British government than did Britain’s own government. This of course led to failures of many of Britain’s intelligence operations and shouts by British Labour Party members that MI6 needed to be done away with, since it was obviously such a weak case. Besides, they added, there’s no real Soviet problem (or some such precursor to a steaming dish of crow).  


Enter today:


“…The [Sunday Telegraph] quoted unnamed government sources as saying that Russian agents are as active in Britain now as they were during the height of the Cold War.” (London fears diplomatic fall-out over 'poisoned' spy: report AFP / LexisNexis)


Who said this was so before this press account? Ah yes, I remember. It was I, among a few others.

"’The sophisticated ring represents the greatest espionage threat facing Britain’, it added, claiming that more than 30 spies are now operating in Britain.”


And why? Weak counterintelligence, of course. Why does the UK have weak CI? Ah yes, Labour. Spaciba! Of course Democrats in Washington also have scars from their own denials of Soviet espionage: Alger Hiss and countless others appointed to high places in Washington government circles.


“Most were monitoring the movements and activities of exiled Russians and opponents of President Vladimir Putin's government, it added, although other areas of interest were the finance, energy, defence and electronics industry.”


Brilliant. We can all sleep knowing the newswires are letting us in on these difficult-to-research facts. A better question is why is this allowed to continue. And why are the Chinese allowed to do it in the US along with the Russians relatively unmolested? Though some other articles are suggesting there are a number of former Russian spies in hiding both in the US and UK, which was something else some of us anticipated.


If I recall, I stated five days ago,


The question Putin has to be asking himself is this: is there another Visili Mitrokhin out there quietly documenting every damning piece of evidence against the Kremlin and Lubyanka. What if there are several? And if so, how long before la ruse de la Russieist am Ende.


The German was for Putin’s time as a spook working in East Germany, the French is free of charge.


In fact, this probably just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, I will assume the cockroach rule applies: for every one you find out in the light, scores are hiding out of sight. And when scores turn out, it means they are literally bleeding out the cracks. A few days before my post above, even Canada was turning up Russian illegals (spies using false papers to gain entry). Even Canada!


It’s fast becoming a messy turkey shoot. And Vladimir Putin is far more the amateur than his ego had led him to believe. I’m sure the Democrats in Washington are right on it though, as is Labour in London…


I admit I have my doubts as to whether the newly discovered realization that the British Isle has been a de-facto ward of Russian intelligence operatives will move anyone in the Labour government to do anything of consequence to change it. After all, if Labour hates anything more than hostile foreign spies on its soil – even ones basically committing radiological terrorism – its MI6 followed closely by MI5 (though America’s CIA is certainly up there ahead of the Russians too).


Oh, but post-Cold War Russian activity is a relatively new development. Not exactly:


Flashback 1992:


On April 15th Tatyana Samolis, spokeswoman for the Russian foreign-intelligence service (SVR), said: “We have begun reducing our intelligence network in Germany and other countries. We hope our colleagues from the German intelligence service will follow suit.'' The cut in Russian agents worldwide was put officially at 30%. However, on June 29th the German prosecutor-general, Alexander von Stahl, said Russian intelligence was “currently making considerable efforts to expand its network of agents on German soil.'' His office reckoned some 300 former East German spies had transferred their allegiance to the SVR. Samolis called this statement a deliberate attempt to “whip up fear''. She grumbled that none of Russia's “opposite numbers'' among intelligence services were proposing to reduce their espionage in Russia.


Curiously, both sides are telling the truth.


The SVR is indeed reducing its international operations, yet spying goes on apace. The espionage is partly by the SVR, keeping up the tradition of its predecessor, the defunct KGB. But more often than not it is carried out by the GRU, the ex-Soviet military-intelligence service. The GRU is almost beyond the reach of civilian control, as indeed are the ex-Soviet armed forces (see next story). On the other side, the Russians are right that western intelligence services are monitoring Russian affairs as closely as they can. Their masters are anxious about developments in Russia and need to be well briefed. (Jane’s Foreign Report, “Russian Spies”, 30 July 1992.)


In fact, there is zero firewall seperating the type or extent of activity of the Soviet Union and present-day Russia, as is often believed. What in fact happened is that Russia changed some names and the West pulled back.


Sadly as we now know, much of Western counterintelligence efforts that did exist at the end of the Cold War were stripped nearly to the bone in the naïve belief they were no longer needed. Meanwhile, Russia reorganized and redeployed… en masse.






To the Success of our Hopeless Cause!


More-on the Putintate Putz: Radiating the Love


Ode to the Putintate Putz





Soviet-Era Intelligence & Ideology (Part I)


Soviet-Era Intelligence & Ideology (Part II)


The Life and Times of a Puny Putintate Putz


Russia: Secrets Well-Ignored and Poorly-Kept


Russia: Oil Slick of Contradictions


Let’s Talk About the Axis of Oil


Moving Forward on the EMP Threat


Most Muscovites Say US Ally, Not Adversary


Putin Deplores Collapse of USSR


Wormwood: The Moscow Legacy


The Axis of Oil


Russian Oil


Axis of Oil: Village of the Damned


Russia: Pensions, Poverty, and People-Herding




Posted by Martin at 03:24 AM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2006

Ode to the Putintate Putz



As luck would have it, everything has managed to hit the fan with respect to Russia while I'm too busy to blog about it. So, I threw together this little video blog instead (4 minutes). I think it sums up the whole picture rather nicely. The name of the video is "Chatter" and you'll see why. :) But also give some thought to what types of "chatter" are going on today and what it means for the interests of the Free World.




Music is by the Russian Red Army Choir with the audio remix by yours truly. Audio samples courtesy of the SVR (in Russian, Farsi, and Tajik), China's MSS or other service, the CIA, and the Mossad (of over-the-air messages from so-called "number stations" from clips available on the web).


Images come courtesy of the web via newswire, government or other odd source (most images have been stored on my computer for some time, so it's always challenging to know precisely).


Russia is making the revival of its aggressive counterintelligence state felt around the world, as the CIS seeks to remove enemies and forge alliances with states like China, North Korean, Iran, Syria, and others. Putin, a former KGB spook has been leading Russia back toward a reputation of significant influence in every corner of the globe.


The Empire is dead; long live the Empire.



Related YouTube (MUST WATCH):

Litvinenko on Politkovskaya's Murder
- by stochasticprocess


ALEXANDER LITVINENKO, POLITKOVSKAYA: Putin Kills Our Own People - by nggr89079123



Blogbat related:


Soviet-Era Intelligence & Ideology (Part I)


Soviet-Era Intelligence & Ideology (Part II)


The Life and Times of a Puny Putintate Putz


Russia: Secrets Well-Ignored and Poorly-Kept


Russia: Oil Slick of Contradictions


Let’s Talk About the Axis of Oil


Moving Forward on the EMP Threat


Most Muscovites Say US Ally, Not Adversary


Putin Deplores Collapse of USSR



Posted by Martin at 05:35 PM | Comments (2)

November 21, 2006

The Case Against Breaching the Levee



Remember when I said that the wishful thinking of Henry Kissinger and his followers would be the (only) thing to set us up for defeat in Iraq just as it was in Vietnam, thereafter enabling them to declare to the world the fight was un-winnable? Well, well, well. How timely my post on Kissinger was, wasn’t it?


LONDON -- Military victory is no longer possible in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television interview broadcast Sunday.


Kissinger presented a bleak vision of Iraq, saying the U.S. government must enter into dialogue with Iraq's regional neighbors – including Iran – if progress is to be made in the region. (AP/Washington Post)


And in case you wondered if he had changed or learned a thing since Vietnam: "I think we have to redefine the course, but I don't think that the alternative is between military victory, as defined previously, or total withdrawal." No, we prefer mire much better.


As I said in my previous post, it’s no doubt largely because among Rockefeller/Nixon Republicans “no mediocre deed goes unrewarded.”  But I imagine it’s tough staking out any good territory after liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have taken all the good ones; you’re sort of stuck with being in the middle of the road with only the long yellow stripe and some road kill to keep you company.


A rather cheeky piece today in Newsday by James Pinkerton titled “Henry the Cold Warrior: ‘I’m Still a Player’” I think explains Kissinger’s rationale best (hint: it isn’t any real concern for world affairs – so nothing’s changed). Speaking in an imaginary Kissinger voice, Pinkerton explains:


Some observers might note I am changing my tone - and they would be correct. In September, Bob Woodward's big book, "State of Denial," revealed that I was a "powerful, largely invisible influence on Bush's Iraq policy." What was I telling the White House? My line then was, "Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy."

Did I believe what I was saying then? Not really. But it's what George W. Bush and my old pal Dick Cheney wanted to hear. My words made them happy, getting me back in the White House, where I am happy - a win-win! And my influence was "invisible," of course, until it became visible in Woodward's book. Gee, I wonder how that happened? Chalk up more billings for Kissinger-McLarty Associates: Big clients want to be assured that I'm still wired into Washington power. […]


Thirty-five years ago, when [James] Baker was a tennis-playing lawyer in Houston, I traveled to Moscow and Beijing to work out a public "peace with honor" for the Vietnam conflict - although privately, to be sure, I called it a "decent interval" until we lost. And I had the same idea when I told the BBC that we had to "redefine the course" in Iraq, short of victory.

Now Baker has the same kind of decent interval in mind - I guess he wants a Nobel, too. Can't blame him for that.

But first, I have to get myself back in the middle of the Iraq debate. Which I have now done, thank you very much.



Dr. Kissinger’s ideas of course were so successful in Vietnam, he fully believes we should ply them again here.


And what’s next for this band of Judases? Dr. Kissinger, President Bush, Secretary Baker, Senator McCain and some others are stepping up to move aggressively forward on this Union of North America idea, regardless of how many eggs it breaks. But even the most ardent internationalist who also cares about democracy and the plight of the people would want to openly debate and evaluate the merits each step along the way. No bother for this team however. Mit volldampfen voran!


They champion among themselves the notion that by stepping out to simplify North America we are breaking new ground and moving into the future; that the American people will like it once they get used to it. But shouldn’t a free society be free to debate something which will so radically alter its future? Or are we only free to debate such things when the outcome is assumed to be the one desired among some? Again one has to wonder what more moderate internationalists have to say, to say nothing of Americanists.


To be fair to Bush, Kissinger, Willie, and the Boys however, probably none of them are pushing this hard-court press because they mean harm, they just aren’t too stellar in understanding the complexities of governmental and international affairs. And the populist pulse can be difficult to detect living behind the ivory curtain. They are hopelessly flat-footed, but even more to the point, flat-earthed. And their great idea of internationalism will, as Samuel P. Huntington1 put it, run headlong into insurmountable differences between vastly entrenched civilizations, namely Western, East Asian, Muslim, but others as well. Since the Kissinger Republican and internationalist is uninterested in religion or ideology – and obviously not democracy, the single thing which could unify such cultures, as Aung San Suu Kyi has pointed out, is no longer in play. Nature abhors a vacuum, does it not? Believing that economics will fill it is hollow in the greatest sense, and worse only plays to the strangely similar hollow ideology of communism; materialism to materialism. Their misguided belief that nationalism causes all wars and misery and that internationalism will cure all, and a belief in change with no popular and deeply meaningful raison d’etat, illustrates a sad ignorance or disregard for history. At least if they want things to last beyond their generation.


For what the Kissinger team sees as a new idea is actually so old, history records it numerous times, and on that point Kissinger must surely be forgetting one or two of them. In point of fact, internationalism has been tried ad nauseum and it collapsed precisely because it disconnected government with the needs and will of the people. Today’s EU, after which the Kissinger internationalists wish to model North America, is already suffering a de-popularization of the notion of union because the EU government as yet has still not put in place any democratic mechanism for the European people. As such, the more tightly integrated Europe becomes and the more each state cedes its sovereignty, the less the European people find they have a say in the affairs which affect them. It is a fact that such a cycle of history however has ebbed and flowed down through the ages in some form or another consistent with the technology and knowledge of political theory. We tend to emphasize the nuances and give each period a different title, but in reality there’s much more of a pattern which deserves understanding.


The last great example of great Western internationalism was the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne, under which local governments ceded their sovereignty in the hope the new Empire would bring peace and stability to the region. But time revealed that the expansive, centralized government could not address the needs of the people. Instead, it served to merely fatten its elite. It soon fell to what Westerners consider today the nationalist era. Before the Holy Roman Empire of course there was a form of nationalism – localized provinces in Europe run by local authorities, who fought over territory, enjoyed localized dialects, customs, and even religions. And there were great wars between various alliances, as there are today. Before those times were the times of the original Roman Empire, and before that another fracturing of localized control which followed Alexander’s Empire from Greece. Indeed, as Solomon once said, there is nothing new under the sun. All that has been done will be done again, and what will be has been. The only truly innovative thing to come along was the founding of the United States and the ideas and ideals built into it. Ideas that President Bush apparently wants to see return to just those: disembodied ideas. Intangible in the backward momentum and therefore unthreatening to the mediocre, the fence-sitter, the principally directionless.


 Internationalism, in fairness, had and has with it some good ideas, but as power often does without democratic constraints, it corrupts and goes too far. In that context we should remember that it is no accident that democracy and nationalism began sweeping the West at the same time, nor was it that the great thinkers Locke, Hobbs, Paine and others came forward to articulate that need. The people were rising up, declaring themselves to be the state. And, if a similar large-scale North America Union were a spontaneous movement of the people – particularly the middle class, educated in what it meant for them, we would be dealing with a different set of circumstances. But unfortunately, this is a top-down movement foisted by elites against the people, without regard for who gets crushed in the process, to which no person whether a reasonable internationalist or a nationalist can be expected to stand by without a word.


When Americans called and wrote to Washington by the millions because they wanted to block illegal immigration, Bush essentially told them to “eat cake” by sending unarmed National Guard to the border, whom the border patrol then needed to guard, leaving more segments of the border unwatched. But to stave anything, even electorally, like the French Revolution, Bush and his cohorts will soon count on the votes of millions of newly legalized illegal aliens to dilute the water enough to shut the American people out of any say in their own destiny - or simply rely on another election in which the Hobson's choice of dumb and dumber exists. It also through different means is being sought in Canada and possibly in Mexico (though heavy Nationalist elements in Mexico may be only using a weakened U.S. for some good old-fashioned expansionism).


The simple fact that there are people in Washington who really believe any worthwhile internationalist world government is just around the corner have some learning to do. They must understand that the vast divergence of cultures, will, ironically, only grow greater the more denationalized and further regionalized they become, if history is our guide. In the process however, we will only get more bureaucracy and less responsiveness to the people than we have today. For the moderate internationalist in the very least, a great deal of work is necessary, both in terms of the slow, natural evolution internationalists believe exists (and which to some extent does, at least on a cyclical basis) and how to carry on democratically regardless. But whether you’re an internationalist or not, we certainly do not need the inept, self-serving leadership coming from the likes of Dr. Kissinger, President Bush, et al. This is a matter of millions of lives, not a summer yachting with a few of your closest friends.



1 Samuel P. Huntington’s article “The Clash of Civilizations” appeared in the Summer 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs. It is considered the bible among many internationalists. It is not without error however, as Huntington refers to the French Revolution for example, as the first instance of nationalism. Even if one agrees nationalism began in that time period, Huntington shouldn't have ignored that other little-known revolution in the Americas waged a few short years earlier. Huntington however rightly points out that ideology and belief systems among ordinary people can cause ordinary people to coalesce and can then lead to nationalism, even democracy. While we approve of such populist mechanisms on Wall Street, apparently it is no longer an acceptable way to get the business of state done.



MORE here at Right Truth on Bush and "America as an idea" - like dear old grandpa after they pulled the plug: remembered by many, missed by some.



Posted by Martin at 01:54 PM | Comments (3)

November 16, 2006

Headline of the Day: McCain One of Us?

Senator, you are no Ronald Reagan (Updates Below)



A headline for a Reuters puff piece today reads, "McCain Calls for 'Common Sense Conservatism'".


The article actually reads like a campaign flyer, with not even the slightest hint of criticism of the man the media would love to have run against (and lose to) a Democrat in 2008.


Ad absurdum, ad infinitum, here's McCain's shiniest quote of the day: "We lost our principles and our majority. And there is no way to recover our majority without recovering our principles first."


Thank you, Senator. Unfortunately, part of getting back to our Reagan-Gingrich principles involves getting rid of you. Since you've already expressed your desire to see us get there again, we hope you don't mind.


Senator John McCain wouldn't know common sense or conservatism if it bit him on the rear end.


Meanwhile, conservatives will be anxious to hear when John McKerry stops siding with Democrats, communist front groups, virulent anti-Americanism, violent foreign nationals, criminals, China, corrupt businesses, the pro-abort lobby, the anti-gun/anti-self-defense lobby, pro-Hillary-care, pro-big government types, tax-raisers, and pork-barrel spenders, and maybe we might begin to wonder if the good senator has returned to a little common sense of his own.


As for the pro forma "glorious-leader" coverage by Reuters, does MSM really think conservatives are stupid enough to think McCain is one of us? Well, yes but, they're also completely off the reservation.


I truly enjoy opportunities for uproarious laughter, as I know you do reading this. Once again Reuters and John McCain miss getting conservatives so badly they provide us with an ample supply.


Here’s to you, McClueless!



UPDATE: To bolster the possibility the Reuters article was nothing but a puff piece, apparently someone in the U.S. Senate (McKerry perhaps) did a Google blog search for "McCain". No doubt it was to read about how wonderful he is! What a crack-up!



AUDIO UPDATE: Mark Levin as always says it better than anyone else. To paraphrase this clip, "Senator, I served with Ronald Reagan, I knew Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Senator, you are no Ronald Reagan." (8 minutes)




Also check out what another YouTuber had to say about our "born-again" conservative (hint: don't get excited at the end John, it's called s-a-r-c-a-s-m).



Posted by Martin at 04:39 PM | Comments (2)

November 15, 2006

Thought of the Day: Avoiding the Kissinger of Death

Formulating a coherent foreign policy 2008 forward



In foreign policy, acting on what you wish to be but is not is like driving up to a red light and accelerating in the hope the light will change before you transgress the intersection, thus avoiding a serious collision.


Yet this wishful thinking is increasingly becoming U.S. policy around the world. Aside from any rare occasion of luck, this liberal policy guarantees negative, if not disastrous results.


As we witnessed in Vietnam and have also seen to various degrees and in various forms with Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea, China, Russia, and others, including right here in North America with our current border and trade policies with Latin American states, such wishful thinking is unhelpful. In reality, those who oppose us will only gain in number as respect for U.S. policy in the far-abroad and the near-abroad continues to dissolve.


Casting aside all lessons re-learned during the Reagan era, we seem doomed to repeat a spiraling cycle of avoidable losses, which could be side-stepped were common sense again to replace mugwumpian, prevaricatory, and beltway and academia ad populum thinking. In other words, were we to abandon the political autism brought into effete popularity decades ago in large part by the Kissinger mentality and revived (because no mediocre deed goes unrewarded) by the Clinton administration and this Bush administration, the needs of Americans and the rest of the world would be much better served.



Posted by Martin at 01:38 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2006

Hailing from Planet Sharia:

The galaxy might infer a whole new connotation for “illegal alien”



As we ponder surrendering to Islamofascist terrorism and the states like Russia and China who fund it now that the Democrats control our war funding via Congress, and as both parties are keen on triggering an even greater flood of dangerous thugs across our borders and through our ports, I recalled this great Cox & Forkum cartoon from last year:



Interestingly, no donkeys came out of that spacecraft. If there’s a Planet Pig out there, I feel for it…



Posted by Martin at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2006

The China Question

A General Assessment of China’s Likely Future Strategic Intentions



This work was adapted from an academic piece written earlier this year.


There seems readily apparent a divergence of opinion within Western circles on the future strategic intentions of China. This divergence is complicated by being divided along ideological as well as economic lines, which often crisscross and diverge from one another and at other times run completely parallel. On the one hand there is the strange alliance between those both on the political left who are ideologically driven and those of various political affiliations whose interest in profit takes center stage. Both groups have become willing to overlook both the condition of workers in China or any future threat by the regime and are essentially two sides of the same coin. This coin makes up a powerful coalition for the status quo in Western policy towards China and the unlikelihood of any change in our policy of not tying economic favors to human rights or strategic concerns. This is likely much more the case in light of recent US elections. Bill Gertz refers to those friendly to communist Chinese interests as “red-teamers”. On the other hand there is the “blue team,” which is made up largely of anti-communist conservatives, human rights groups, and military strategists who use some of the CPC’s own language and actions taken in the public and private spheres to compare it to Nazi Germany in both form and intent.


In the face of what has proven to work against the Soviet Union – strategic economic policies coupled with a hardening of our intelligence and military infrastructure, many (not all, but many) on the ideological left in the US see China as a victim of US hegemony (as they see many other groups and regimes, including North Korea and radical Islam). They believe strongly that the only way to bring about a less combative China and a China less threatening to its neighbors as well as US interests is to draw down further our strategic profile in the region and by increasing rather than decreasing our scientific and technological cooperation. Believers in this policy maintain that once this is adequately achieved and the US and China achieve parity, China will no longer seek to undermine us economically or strategically. It is also important to point out that adherents to this view of Sino-US relations also deny Chinese involvement in significant continued weapons proliferation in Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and other states as a result of Chinese direct involvement through its state-run enterprises and the PLA. They believe with some current accuracy that China is still a loosely clung ball of mud and straw; however, they may not wish to precisely examine the CCP-run government’s resolve to change toward the more pernicious and its statements to use practical resources to bring that about, including the political life-support provided by Western investors.


While attending a luncheon at the Federal Reserve in Dallas a few months ago, I picked up a sizable brochure touting the myriad economic opportunities for investors in China. The publication, "China’s Churn", was written by FED economist Maredith Walker after her guided tour through China. Walker has since been promoted to a spot in the New York FED. But certainly her tour guides didn’t really need to show her the pretty new buildings or modern town centers in Pudong, Wenzhou, Beijing, or Honk Kong, among others. Two figures have made industrialists glaze over with drunken delight. The first is a potential workforce and consumer market 7 times the size of that in the United States. The next is the wage rate for those living in China: suppressed by officials to make it far below that of even the poorest LDCs and LLDCs in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere. China has also shown growth potential – with a 7-8% rate of annual growth, which obviously is enormous. And finally, what makes this market possible is political willingness to allow trade to go forward by Washington. The publication quotes Alan Greenspan (former FED chair) as declaring that,


China, with a population of 1.2 billion people, has an economy that when measured taking into account the purchasing power of alternative currencies is larger than that of Japan and may be approaching half the size of the U.S. economy.


Indeed, the publication in its introduction states that China is currently expected to surpass Japan to become the world’s second-most powerful economy behind that of the United States. So for investors only interested in milk and honey and not interested in whether there is a fish hook awaiting them or their better interests (not to mention the plight of dissidents in China, many of whom are being forced into labor through the Laogai system producing products for the West), China looks irresistibly succulant.


Many so-called “blue teamers” of course see China’s churn as something akin to the massive economic explosion seen in early Nazi Germany, where western investors infused large amounts of assets into Germany’s economy, allowing the state to build the world’s most modern and ready force while ironically, keeping it no secret before or during the fact. The dollar reigned supreme and human rights and national security took a back seat, some assert. But assuming China is attempting to follow in “Hitlerian” footsteps, how likely is consummation?


First, the CCP must maintain ideological control during its unprecedented economic and information expansion. Almost twenty years after the Tiananmen massacre, Chinese citizens have more access to Western influence via the internet and other media as well as Western travelers and through academic exchange programs than in any time in its history. CCP allows this for three reasons: it hopes the contact will help to help in its propaganda push toward the West, it hopes to use exchanges (particularly in government, technology and the sciences) to help it gather more intelligence political and S&T that it can use strategically, and it hopes that controlled access to the West will help persuade Chinese citizens that Western ideals of liberty and freedom go too far and therefore should be curtailed in China. (It might also be argued that some in the West are making similar calculations that the interchange will go the other way).


At the same time, China attempts to strengthen filters on information flow to ensure desired results. One method is by rewarding outside journalists and other members of the media, politicians, and the business community for helping maintain a positive image of China abroad. This reward program works much like a club for which its members are granted access to exclusive opportunities within China. And for those who do not play along: no access to China at all. This helps to make it far more likely that documentaries coming out of China pass along mostly state-approved content (e.g. anything one might happen to see on the Discovery Times Channel). China is also working hard to control its citizens’ access and expressions of thought on the internet. With the help of willing western accomplices Google, Yahoo, and others, China has censored search results and been given the whereabouts of internet dissidents such as Li Zhi, among others. China truly the nascent counterintelligence state is also using the internet offensively, to steal technology from other states and to attack computer networks abroad (as we addressed in our group discussion last week).


China is also using the internet along with a variety of “on the ground” resources to go after ideological diversion within the regime. According to the most recent figures I could find from 2000, 2.7 million of the presently estimated 60 million Christians have been arrested. Of those, 440,000 were sentenced to forced labor and re-education. 200,000 Christians have been forced to flee their homes and families and over 10,000 have recently been martyred for their faith. Another 20,000 have been disabled through brutal torture, nearly 130,000 are under constant surveillance, and at least 1,120,000 face fines and other penalties for simply practicing their Christian faith. This says nothing of devout Buddhists such as those in Tibet, Muslims, Hindus, or other religious minorities – or even what the state considers heretical communists (Clearharmony.net). Dissident Hao Wu of course has been a recent poster child for reform, but there are many who obviously are no longer alive to tell their story.


Among the two ways that China has used its capitalistic instincts to buttress its lacking social conscience has been first with the harvesting of organs of dissidents and common criminals while selling them abroad through the black market, according to 2001 congressional testimony by Dr. Wang Guoqi before the Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights. The other came later through accounts in the press that tissue from dead prisoners was being offered for the production of skin care products being sold in Europe, which naturally has brought forth some comparisons to the infamous Nazi lampshade.


Those doubtful of a more open CCP-controlled China also point to continued aggressive espionage, rate of military modernization (including its ICBM nuclear forces), and refusal to abide by key treaties to which China is signatory, such as aspects of GAT, Kyoto, and various non-proliferation agreements, particularly with respect to North Korea, to which Chinese officials still refer to their relationship with Pyongyang as “closer than teeth and gums”. As for the accessibility of raw materials necessary to keep China’s war machine churning, not only is Middle Eastern oil viable for China, as the somewhat outdated DIJ (Defense Intelligence Journal, Vol. 10, Number 1, Winter 2001) assessment states, but Russian oil is too. As long as Sino-Russian relations remain strong (and there are many things to make that so), China will have access to that market and other Russian markets for raw goods (and lest we forget, Russian armaments). Incidentally, the DIJ estimation of Russian decline appears to be sadly off from present realities and trends. Putin’s consolidation of power internally and externally – the latter by a re-emphasis on military prowess – coupled with the great success of much-needed Gazprom services in Europe are two leading components of this. So China most likely will be able to enjoy a stable ally to the north so long as politics between the two remain good. 


It seems reasonable that those who gather information about China not simply from those ordained to dispense information by the Chinese Information Ministry, might have a better footing on the true political climate in Beijing, so I am inclined to lean more “blue” in that respect. Beijing’s military goals seem in little doubt and those who debate them have yet to produce anything worthwhile in regard to proof that CCP intentions are in any way friendly to the West or the region. But, the question is whether Beijing’s wish list will match its “get list”, particularly by 2015. Even as Beijing prepares to host the 2008 Olympics Berlin-style, it may not be able to then follow through with its flight of fancy. Again, China appears to lack somewhat the efficiency on the ground the Soviets maintained through their “progress” operations in the former Eastern Bloc (though it's good to avoid going overboard in underestimating their ability to exert control). China is largely rural, allowing in theory for more detachment from centralized government and little of that may significantly change by 2015 even as infrastructure as expected improves. But without real purges, local authorities will still be able at times to be bought off or be driven by conscience more than ideological dogma. Word is arising from personal sources inside China that in some cases, communist dogma is being ignored with respect to enforcement of laws against religious groups. Officials, it is said, have expressed in some cases that because they could see the benefit to the community in lower crime and improved citizenship behavior within a particular religious sect and among members of the community at large, they’ve been persuaded to passively or even actively lend their support to those groups in direct opposition to the Chinese Communist Party. We may also see many of those not arrested but who sympathized with the Tiananmen demonstrators now arising to positions of authority in technology, law enforcement, and the many of the commanding heights of governmental totality.


Another thing which might hamper the regime’s goals of strategic supremacy in the region and China’s stated goal of bipolarity with the US globally is the timing of China’s population apex. In other words, the availability of the greatest number of military-capable males in contrast to its closing the strategic technology gap before the effects of family-reduction policies begin to be felt with the emerging adult population. Now of course one can assume Chinese leaders will work with whatever they have whenever they decide they are ready to make any kind of move either against Taiwan or other opponents; however, it is nonetheless worthy of noting. In the March/April issue of Foreign Policy magazine, an article titled “The Geopolitics of Sexual Frustration” notes that the current overall ratio of males to females at 120 to 100 respectively is creating quite a bit of angst among males in search of something to do. One can also surmise this passing peak of battle-able males is being eyed by nervous Chinese generals. So while political corruption, disenchantment with totalitarianism on the local and perhaps among some at the national level, along with a growing distaste for the effete leadership in Beijing may be growing, one cannot discount the state taking whatever actions are necessary for the CCP to hold on to power and to project that power internally and externally (the ends often being one and the same), while firing up militant nationalism with communist characteristics (which invariably means purges) as an indispensable component in that. Further, if prior action is any indicator of future performance, we might be wise to expect it.


Thus, it would seem right to re-examine our policy toward China on at least two levels: that of human rights and of protecting our strategic best interest (and in the case of a communist China, the two are really inseparable). Perhaps an economic middle ground can be found for our anxious investors, but were hostilities to erupt (either hot or cold), China has already promised to use those economic ties to harm us – and harm us right now they could. While it would without question do them harm also, they’re not a democracy and they can to some large extent ignore the effects on their populous by sheer use of suppressive tactics, so long as a. the regime is not already significantly weakened under its cloak, b. internal resistance (social and perhaps militant) is not perceived to be propelling itself with solid forward momentum difficult to oppose, and c. the water level outside the dock remains unchanged. In other words, so long as relative Chinese power remains the same internally as it was when China pulled out of US markets, the regime may be able to ignore the dire consequences such action would have on the economic lives of its citizens. Even in a best-case scenario, US elected officials would need to acknowledge economic losses and at least appear to diligently seek to mitigate them. “Standing on the shoulders of giants” is both the practical and preferred strategy chosen by Red China to advance its agenda against US interests, from spying to economic entanglements to political influence both licit and illicit, and a possibly potent one.


So, while it's apparent that a divergence of opinion within Western circles on China’s endgame may well continue to be exist along ideological and economic lines, it is the responsibility of the US government to see to the protection of its long-term interests and base them on sound principles rather than political ones. Intentions are a tricky thing to pinpoint, but they can be inferred by the presence of militant ideologies and hostile policies repeatedly verbalized and carried out by such things as intensified spying and military buildups. By cutting off many economic ties to the Soviet Union the U.S. won concessions on human rights and strategically as well. The same can be said with North Korea. If China balks, at least then we know we are dealing with a weaker and hostile China rather than a strong or even superior hostile China that has tentacles firmly suctioned to every hemisphere including our own. Until Chinese leaders ameliorate their foreign policy both by seeking to end the stream of remarks by officials on the order of “war with the US is inevitable” along with other rhetoric which threatens East Asia and also ceases activity necessary to prepare to make good on past or future threats, we need to learn from the pages of history. Indeed, those pages are plentiful with examples set forth by the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and others and are followed by communist China, thus we must also study them and prepare lest we be hoisted on our own petard. To any degree a hoisting should occur, it most certainly would be unpleasant for us, let alone China’s own people and closest neighbors.



Posted by Martin at 03:47 PM | Comments (1)

November 05, 2006

Thought of the Day: Communist China's Enablers

Western appeasers and useful idiots



Libs and McCain Republicans can often be simplistic. For instance, when you say “China” to a lib or a McCain Republican, chances are the only thing he or she is thinking is of cuisine with funny-looking mushrooms and “Horsie Go Slowly” playing in the background.


The fact there are real people with real human interests and needs and rights that are being violated by their government which is being subsidized by greedy Western businessmen and winked at by ideologically misguided liberal elitists scarcely if ever enters their minds.



EARLIER POST: Quote of the Day - Woolsey on China



Posted by Martin at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2006

Oops, I Did It Again...



So Kim Jong Il blinked. At least for now he did, and who didn’t see it coming? After all, he was making China look bad and above all we must remember who the puppet is and who the master is. China reminded Kim yesterday.


So what pushed China to the panicked realization it had really hosed the pooch? An educated guess starts both with its observations of the United States’ likely next move to proffer nuclear armaments to Japan, South Korea, and possibly Taiwan together with a severely chilling economic wind blowing in the region as well as the utter horror of not having been able to guess that obvious response ahead of time. Almost certainly this past week has given Beijing a mere lick and a promise of any sleep. In short, it was a smorgasbord of nearly every one of Hu Jintao's worst red nightmares riding out by day.


Alternatively, if the Chinese were poking around to find how far they could go via the proxy in Pyongyang, now they know. Go there and be very afraid.


Of course this is just a temporary lull in the saga so don’t put down that popcorn just yet; after all, they are communists. And just like every evil villain before, their meager attention spans don’t exactly allow for the most nimble recollection of their own foibles, let alone the foibles of previous dictators who eventually met the long sword of justice. China and North Korea are no different than their like-minded forbears and will lick their wounds and make their next move eventually. Maybe more drama in the South China Sea, some fun in the Caribbean or a bit of Middle Eastern or African provocateuring, who knows? Or Pyongyang does something else. Communists are a bit like those old 8-track players: You may not entirely know what’s next, but you know you’ve heard it before and there aren’t many songs before it plays again.


As for China building a fence along the border with North Korea, it’s probably to keep more film crews from sneaking out of North Korea to tell the world the blunt truth of life under absolute communism. Meanwhile, the New York based communist Workers World Party celebrates one documentary that actually closed its eyes long enough to show a favorable view of life in North Korea: “At last a movie has been made by a U.S. film crew about North Korea that makes an effort to understand that country, not just demonize it.” Who’d want to demonize a country that kills millions of its own people by torture, beatings, and starvation, putting the rest in concentration camps? Of course, the WWP, North Korea, and China all were no doubt arrided to find the leftwing Discovery Times Channel as usual blames the United States for not propping up yet another regime that proves that communism is a failure. It all must be terribly embarrassing for dictators and far-lefties alike. Or maybe not. After all, simple minds, simple pleasures.


Kudos to the Bush administration on this one.



H/T Drudge.



Posted by Martin at 02:23 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2006

A Good North Korea Policy Model

Foreign policy ideas that matter



Mark Levin’s opening segment yesterday hit the nail right on the head concerning what we should be kicking around instead of the dead horse of obviously socially very liberal former congressman Mark Foley.


In the first snippet below, Levin discusses exactly what we need to do about North Korea and Iran, as well as China and Russia. Taking up the Reagan mantel, Levin reminds us of what that leadership would look like in the world – particularly in such stormy times. Along with China and North Korea, Levin also notes that it's time with respect to Russia and Iran et al that if “If they arm our enemies, we’ll arm theirs”. If Russia chooses to act as if the first Cold War were still alive, so need we (10 mins.):




And what does the dem leadership say we should do about China’s little communist attack terrier? In this second snippet, Mark shows us what those dems would like to have us do: channel Jimmy Carter non compos corpus. In fact, the same Jimmy Carter who went to North Korea in the 90s to broker that brilliant disarmament success, also now is planning on trying the same with Tehran – presumably because Jimmy was also such a brilliant success with Iran once before. Even after the fall of the Soviet Union thanks to Reagan, libs still think appeasement is the answer. To wit, Levin plays a sound byte from future Frenchman and former plagiariser Democrat Senator Joe Biden’s mens rea: “Deal directly with, not negotiate, just lay down, have a straight out, flat out talk with North Korea…and find out if there is any possibility of them ceasing and desisting…”. In other words, this dem says we should “just lay down” and after the North Koreans and Chinese have their way with us, we’ll see if there’s “any possibility” they will consider going away. Levin goes on brilliantly from there (providing as well the timeline of Clinton and UN failures leading up to today) (6 mins.):




While the somewhat Nixonian Bush administration isn't exactly the perfect model of Reaganescence in its foreign policy, 60% is still better than 0%, and it should be remembered on Election Day. And while it’s not emphasized enough, if we don't like our Republican candidates, we have only ourselves to blame for not getting involved in the primary process which selects those candidates. Nevertheless, even though the Bush administration may not be perfect in foreign policy matters, outside of the Americas it's still morally right and much better than any repackaged form of peanut-farmer-inspired surrender the dem leadership may try to proffer.


There is also little doubt that the Bush administration has done much better than the easily-played Clinton administration when it comes to North Korea. While the left seems to think that Pyongyang went along by the rules during the 90s and only began working on nukes after Bush somehow managed to offend the ruffled pedophile with the bad wig Kim Jong Il, the same intellectually-challenged dems for whatever reason overlook the fact that it takes time to build a nuclear bomb. In other words, if the North Koreans are testing a bomb today, they were no doubt working on it all those years during the Clinton administration when they told Madeleine Not-So-Bright they would make nice in return for the US and Asian democracies paying tribute to the terrorist state. Surprise, surprise, communists once again lied like communists always do. And of course, since China was running its network of spies within various levels of US government with impunity during the Clinton years, no doubt Chinese intelligence was passed along to North Korea letting Pyongyang know there was nothing to worry about.


Mark Levin’s correct: we need to call China’s bluff and help Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan to go nuclear. Additionally, we should strengthen strategic ties in that region in a similar form to that of NATO, which was developed to be the strategic balance to Warsaw Pact communist expansionism during the first Cold War. You’ll see just who really controls North Korea when that process begins. And were North Korea unresponsive to China and run by a lone nut with a hostage crisis-making mentality and not a puppet government as the pro-China dem leadership seems to think, then our East Asian allies will be prepared for that, too. We must provide a way for those allies to defend themselves against either threat. As Levin rightly points out, both China and its Mini-Me North Korea need to be intelligently addressed, the growing shadow of their menace contravened in the region.



UPDATE: Jane at ALR: Jong Il and Maddie BFF



Posted by Martin at 01:58 AM | Comments (4)

September 26, 2006

Quotes of the Day: An Arm and a Legacy



Clinton presidential library…with real books and new-fangled computers!



I am fully unable to decide upon just one quote for today, thanks to the former president with the personal problems. Bill Clinton of course still thinks he has a legacy to save from the bonfires of history...and his vanity. So he thought he would waltz onto Chris Wallace’s show and talk about building more trailer parks to the 21st Century, never anticipating that someone would point out that the ex-president had no clothes (as too well we know). Therefore, in order of appearance are my favorite three quotes for today:



Bill Clinton to Chris Wallace: "I got closer to killin' [bin Laden] than [Bush]".


– You got close and CHOSE not to do it. News Alert: That makes it by far much worse, Mr. Clinton; never mind the fact you did so on more than one occasion over eight years and after bin Laden had declared war on us and attacked us here and abroad. Of course, maybe if the Bush staff hadn’t needed to spend the first four months in the White House recovering from all of the deliberate acts of sabotage and vandalism your people left in their wake along with an uncooperative transition and that prolonged and obnoxious fight against the alleged Right Wing Conspiracy by your Vice President long after the election was decided, who knows what real conspiracies intelligence might have uncovered.



Another Clinton quote from Sunday’s interview: "I never criticized President Bush"


– Really? Is that another bold-faced lie or should we suppose this depends on the meaning of “never”? Bill Clinton: the only president in US history to have an asterisk automatically inserted after every sentence.



The last quote however comes to us from Sean Hannity, who was responding to a caller about our being shown the Clinton we’d all heard about but never had fully seen until Sunday’s meltdown: "Clinton exposed himself…"


– An unfortunate choice of words but true on all counts. While Bill had his front to Monica, his back was quite literally exposed to China, Russia, Iran, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas… need I go on? This is why character matters. A president whose only regret is that he never inhaled should have never made it past bus driver. And he couldn't have done it without Ross Perot. Clinton’s outburst Sunday only showed to those who still doubted that you can take the boy out of the trailer park, but you can never get the trailer park out of the boy. Indeed, the legacy never falls far from the doublewide.




Posted by Martin at 02:15 AM | Comments (4)

September 20, 2006

Russia: Secrets Well-Ignored and Poorly-Kept




Is Putin’s Russia becoming the first major intelligence regime? And if so, what does this portend to future Russian political and military ambitions across the globe if the regime is now run by a not-so-nascent espionage political class?


Recently the person we’ve come to know as the last Soviet dictator, Mikhail Gorbachev expressed a few regrets about his time at the head of the USSR, most notably, that he was not as strong or strict as Putin. But Putin too has his regrets: he has openly expressed regret at the demise of the Soviet Union (calling it a "national tragedy of enormous scale"), so much so that he's brought back many of the former institutions. Russians today would feel completely at home with their parents’ generation in many respects. On the glasnost (or appearance – not openness) side of things, Russians once again sing the Soviet national anthem as their own. They look out in the “near-abroad” and call it the Commonwealth of Independent States (similar to one name given internally for the Soviet Union in its time). But more substantially, while internally freedoms and descent are being quashed under what I’ve recently dubbed as Putin’s “velvet terror” (exacerbated no doubt by his “Khodorkovsky complex” – similar to Andropov’s “Hungarian complex”), externally Moscow is using whatever means available to throw its weight around, extending its influence far beyond the CIS and Eastern Europe.


Today Russia is still a big player in providing arms, advisors, and influence in regimes set diametrically against Western interests. Russia is also a big player in keeping Europe in tow through the domination of its fossil fuel giant Gazprom, which is essentially a state-run enterprise from top to bottom, and filled from top to bottom with Putin’s political yes-men and SVR (Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki), Russia’s successor to the KGB.


Many experts agree and for good reason that the Soviet Union was the world’s greatest counterintelligence state. Indeed, even despite the failures caused by the elimination of ¾ of Soviet intelligence agents during Stalin’s purges, the Kremlin’s failure to properly assess information gathered by agents in the field because the information did not conform to existing Party biases and assumptions (Stalin’s costly denials about imminent Nazi German intentions and the demand for devotion of ever greater resources to his paranoia about the British come to mind), the Soviet Union had without argument the most extensive and highly successful human intelligence network anywhere in the world.  


From early on Soviet NKVD and OGPU agents succeeded in penetrating the “commanding heights” of any power they wished. Britain and its security and intelligence services were not immune, nor in Washington the White House, State Department, War Department, and OSS (World War II predecessor to the CIA), nor either were the governments of Italy, France, Spain, and anyone else, including Nazi Germany, from the placement of agents at the most sensitive positions within the inner circles of power. In the UK among the many the Soviets had cultivated, were the so-called “Magnificent 5”, five British university students who later entered various important positions in British government, including at Whitehall. Among the likes of Kim Philby were those responsible for handing over so much political and technical secret information that Stalin knew more about the meeting at Yalta with Churchill and Roosevelt than did Churchill or Roosevelt; as well he knew more about the British TUBE ALLOYS project to develop a nuclear bomb than did many among the most privy in British government. Kim Philby was later placed in charge of MI6 Section IX, which was the British anti-Soviet counterintelligence directorate, with obviously unpleasant consequences for the West.


The KGB also pioneered the art of agent provocateur to a degree of success never before seen on the world stage, as well as that of organizing terrorist proxies working on its behalf, such as Palestinian groups who received direct funding and material support from Lubyanka. Work done by Nazi Germany to destabilize the Sudetenland, Austria, and Poland prior to the Wehrmacht invasion pales by comparison.


And Soviet agents ran their networks effectively unopposed until the start of the Cold War, but still enjoyed an SIS and CIA severally throttled by political elements within both Western countries until the Reagan/Thatcher era, enabling the Soviets to run arms and personnel even into the US homeland across Mexican and Canadian borders and sea ports (though the Soviets found it harder to place illegals (illegally present operatives operating under false papers) in the US later on than in the Soviet Union’s ideological heyday). At the same time however, Soviet successes in stealing Western technology were legend in the vastness of their success. By some estimates, stolen Western technology made up for over 70% of Soviet technological advances and saved the cash-starved regime billions of dollars – no doubt helping to keep it on life support for many more years than might otherwise have been sustainable. Though most of its agents became more interested in working for cash than politics, this shortcoming was easy to overlook since because of the lax realities of Western counterintelligence, risks were relatively slim and the payout was not.


The main obstacle for the most successful intelligence state in world history however was not nearly so much the man in the field as the political bosses at the top who refused and at times severely punished the messenger when he brought information which did not connect with prior political assumptions.


This main obstacle is no longer in the way. In an even much greater way than former Soviet leader Yuri Andropov (an ex-KGB chief) could have imagined, the government under Vladimir Putin (also a former KGB man) has unfettered latitude to follow the policies dictated by thorough and correct intelligence analysis. No longer forced to comport information with ideology, spies and analysts are the true beneficiaries of Gorbachev’s “glasnost” and “perestroika” movements.



At a time with US human information gathering at one of its weakest partly due to Clinton-era cutbacks in CIA manpower (by some accounts up to 80%), not much is known of Russian activities apart from the occasional spy we’ve managed to catch in the past few years or evidence of SVR background work in Iran, Saddam’s Iraq, Syria, and other hotspots. This lack of eyes coupled with a general lack of interest in political circles in the West also aid the SVR phoenix in its daily tasks.


It may strike some as remarkably naïve that President Bush would claim to have looked into Putin’s soul and seen only goodness, particularly since the first President (and former head of CIA) Bush was no stranger to the world of deception. But George W. Bush would not be alone in making too brief an assessment of his Muscovite counterpart. One must only look at the administrations of Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter to see this apathy in the West – even in the face of a full-scale Cold War – is nothing new. But time may be the only thing that tells. We do know there has yet been very little movement to harden assets against Chinese espionage – a force which promises and in many respects is outdoing the old KGB in the sophistication and success of its work, and one can only imagine that interest in Russian activity may be even further pushed back on the list of priorities among many in Washington. But we do both at our peril. While many may believe that the military coup failed when the KGB led by Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov attempted it against Gorbachev in 1991, what they may not see is that what failed was a coup against a coup (as Khrushchev learned, Soviet coups didn’t always involve tanks). As Alexei Yegorov then-head of counterintelligence said after taking part in the failed military coup in ’91 as he was being led away: “Everything is clear now. I am such an old idiot. I’ve really f****ed up.” As Christopher Andrew Points out in “The Sword and the Shield”, “Instead of repudiating its Soviet past, however, the SVR saw itself as the heir of the old FCD (First Chief Directorate – foreign intelligence)”. Russian secret services today are nothing more than the proud heirs of their KGB legacy, but they no longer work as mere caretakers of the asylum.


As such, it could be reasoned that the most productive of KGB tactics still prevail today in Putin’s Russia and with its influence abroad, but perhaps with greater freedom and efficiency than in former times. The Russian mob today is likely little more than the “dirtyworks” operating arm of the SVR, where everything from assassinations and kidnappings to nuclear technology sales can be conducted in such a way that responsibility is sidestepped and focus is not seriously drawn or couched in foreign governments as a national security threat emanating out of Moscow. But this tactic too is nothing new: As one senior Italian diplomat (and honeytrap victim) discovered during the Cold War, Soviet agents were quite adept at this. After he was lured into an illicit affair with a female KGB swallow, it was then discovered that embarrassingly compromising photographs were surreptitiously taken. The diplomat was told that these photographs of him (being seduced by a Soviet agent) had actually been taken by a criminal gang(1) and that Soviet officials acting allegedly as the white-hatted intermediary would be happy to step in and prevent their publication by these criminal elements, provided the Italian diplomat cooperate by working for the KGB. Blackmail of corporate interests of course also went on both as a key source of S&T and as a way to get those corporations to ply political pressure on their Western governments in support of Soviet aims. As Bill Gertz mentions in his new book “Enemies: How America's Foes Steal Our Vital Secrets--and How We Let It Happen”, along with a human spying campaign that equals if not exceeds that undertaken by the Soviets, Russian SIGINT agents today together with other operations additionally continue to aggressively hack into US government computer networks. What's more, Russia still refuses to outlaw spamming by Russian "criminal" elements (a technique infamous for taking advantage of using malicious code embedded into e-mail which can then be used to break into a computer or computer network and steal or alter information). Many of the most aggressive hacking attempts have been noted as coming out of Russia and Eastern Europe (as well as China). With the pilfering of government and private personnel and client records (as I covered extensively here) also comes another asset: blackmail – an invaluable asset for an intelligence organization whose historical use of the tactic is pro forma. The plundering of our national secrets today surely has Ronald Reagan spinning in his grave but he may be the lucky one.


While we would enjoy the idea of better opportunities for relations between Westerners and the average Russian, the Putin government is proving to be nothing more than the old barn with a new paint job; a dictatorship of the intelligence officer.



RELATED: The entire Matt Drudge radio interview with Bill Gertz recorded three days ago can be found at a blog called "Drudge Report Archives". (DRA appears to be unafilliated with Matt Drudge's show or website The Drudge Report.)



Posted by Martin at 04:29 AM | Comments (5)

September 13, 2006

PLANET MORONIA: More Rope-Weaving at Google



I’m sure many of us have read from Drudge today that Google is set to start a for-profit charity to supposedly fix poverty, and the far-left’s “new AIDS” global warming.* Part of that plan, according to the NYT piece mentioned by Drudge, is to develop a super-fuel efficiant car, which in turn might be offered to countries like China at substantial profit for Google: "Six months into the job, [Google.org executive director Dr. Larry Brilliant] has traveled […] to China to discuss clean energy alternatives," for the allegedly altruistic reason of helping the environment. Of course, contrary to what many may think about any charity Jesse Jackson may have founded, Google is actually officially planning to establish this as a for-profit entity, which would of course help to keep it out of trouble later on when its "charity" work was disovered to have added to other Google-babies which will in fact be passing profits back to the founders.


Naturally a lot of questions will come about from a for-profit corporation founded with $1 billion for questionable ends, though there isn’t necessarily anything inherently wrong with the concept founding a charity on a for-profit basis. But there’s little doubt the Chinese will be able to offer extensive consultation for this based on much experience, perhaps as a way to say “thanks” for being the handmaiden in oppressing and censoring China's own people or as a simple gesture of fraternity in worldview. Maybe other Google groupies like Hu Jintao will even come to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.


The report says that the purpose of the for-profit status is to allow “it to fund startup companies, form partnerships with venture capitalists, and even lobby Congress”. I wonder where Google learned that trick. So this “charity”, given Google’s dubious record and loyalties, essentially plans to start up what amount to front organizations, attempt to entangle honest businesses into uncomfortable alliances, and apply pressure on political officials in a potential three-way quid pro quo of quantifiable questionability.


While I have no problem with charities' inherent right to exercise free speech (I would be very happy to see current tax restrictions on 501(c)(3) type groups stricken, which currently prevent those groups from making their Constitutionally protected voices heard), Google however should be viewed with suspicion, if for no other reason than its ability to leverage massive amounts of information which in turn could be used to pressure elected officials or others into giving it what it wants. Further, as a part of its parent Google, such a charity, though public, would be able to conceal details of its earnings as part of those of Google's overall. What's more, Its founders have proven the parent company incredibly dishonest and given to extreme ideological pursuits in the past and actively supporting the extremism of others (such as cooperating with oppressive regimes in acts of oppression and refusing to cooperate with Western governments during reasonable inquiries and basically giving aid to dangerous criminals, infringing on user-privacy across the board, being caught in blatant hypocrisy in that area, censoring advertisers with which it does not agree, and a host of other far-left political activities). And the latest news from the Mountain View, CA based company which might at some point open doors for Google and other Western companies and interests (who tow the line to Google et al) to provide cleaner energy in China seems to indicate we can expect nothing less than more of the same.






* Blogbat has labeled global warming the left’s “new AIDS” because of how cynically the left has used AIDS over the past two decades and its suffering victims to advance its own agenda that, as history has shown us, leads only to indignity, poverty, violence, and poor health among its realm of subjects. Naturally, when it no longer suited the left to promote the needs of AIDS sufferers, it quickly fell out of the left's favor, just like the famines and atrocities still raging in Africa.


Posted by Martin at 11:39 PM | Comments (1)

August 24, 2006

Big Terrorism and Immigration Roundup

Smaller tragedies and bigger tragedies



So much today, so here’s a quick roundup on all matters dealing with illegal immigration, Iran and other terrorist plotters. I think I tie them all together rather nicely, if I do say so. But then again, the fact they do tie together so well did make it rather easy:


Iraq then Iran


A US General now says there is “clear evidence” of Iranian involvement in terrorist activities in Iraq. As if the shelling of Kurdish outposts in northern Iraq by Iran weren’t sufficient provocation to turn Tehran into the 8th wonder of the world: a lake made entirely of glass.


Iran is simply holding up its part of the bargain with Syria on supplying munitions and men against Iraq and Israel. Where did Iran and Syria learn how to better use terrorists as proxy agents in indirect warfare? Well, from the Soviet Union, of course. As for communists and their love of such tactics past and perhaps present, that’s for another time…



Fairly Unbalanced


Courtesy the Daily SmailOur friends at the British rag the Daily Mail have done it again with their slanted coverage of the two creepsters (the ones who look like death-warmed over in the cutsie photo shot the DM arranged) who were kicked off a plane by a unanimous 150 passengers last week. You can read my original post on this here. The Daily Mail, which seems to have a habit of not posting comments by opposing viewpoints, had this to say (inflammatory language noted in boldface, my musings in brackets):


Two Asian [used to confuse the reader – the DM means Pakistani – just like the ones arrested in the real terror plot last week] students have revealed their shock and despair after being thrown off a plane because other passengers feared they were suicide bombers.


Manchester Umist students Sohail Ashraf and Khurram Zeb, both 22, said they sympathised with nervous travellers, but urged people not to be paranoid about Muslims.


"We might be Asian, but we're two ordinary lads who wanted a bit of fun," Mr Ashraf told the Daily Mirror. [Aw, how touching]


"Just because we're Muslim does not mean we are suicide bombers." [But when you behave strangely and dress in heavy coats in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record, you get to have some extra attention. Might I also add that the passengers couldn’t know you were Muslim, they just knew you looked suspicious.]


The pair were marched off the jet at gunpoint after fellow passengers alerted officials on the flight back from Malaga, Spain. [The DM makes this sound as if they were all but executed by firing squad. I wonder how the DM reports on the treatment of Israeli civilians bombarded by Iranian-donated terrorist missiles. I suppose we’ll need to wait on that one…]



Border: Catch and Release at an End? Read the Fine Print


Associated Press announced with the deceptive headline today that the catch and release program of ICE had been eliminated. Asterisk. Actually, catch and release continues for the vast majority of illegals – Mexican nationals (many of whom are here for criminal reasons or simply to mooch off the system... or be exploited by our ignoble slave-factories). In all fairness to the AP though the deception is really all Chertoff’s et al. The ones to be caught – the now-famous OTMs will be caught and detained… when they’re caught. Unfortunately, if we were to employ any serious effort to catch all of the OTMs intending terrorist behavior, we might wind up straining out all the illegals, and that would be very bad for big business as it apparently strives to make its last big profit before the terrorists shut down the party. The latest figures of course show that over 150,000 OTM’s were caught in the past several months… remember that 2x1 ratio I mentioned here? For every illegal we capture, 2 get in no moleste – and that’s the low estimate. Imagine 350,000 OTMs a year getting into this country (probably bringing weapons caches and everything they could ever possibly want to conduct sabotage, recon, and bloody terrorist acts right here on our soil). And apparently some were sporting al Qaeda-style military arm patches: Fox News and others reported tonight that some arm patches with logos including depictions of 9/11 (seen above) and Arabic scrawl were found in the no-man’s land along the border.


But this kind of operation should be nothing new, so why should we respond any differently than the last time militants were crossing our borders:


Sandinista guerillas formed the basis for a KGB sabotage and intelligence group established in 1966 on the Mexican US border with support bases in the area of Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Ensenada… Among the chief sabotage targets across the US border were military bases, missile sites, radar installations, and the oil pipeline (codenamed START) which ran from El Paso in Texas to Costa Mesa, California. Three sites on the American coast were selected for DRG [Soviet sabotage and assassination units] landings together with large-capacity dead-drops in which to store mines, explosives, detonators and other sabotage materials. A support group codenamed SATURN was given the task of using the movements of migrant workers (braceros) to conceal the transfer of agents and munitions across the border. SATURN’s headquarters was a hotel belonging to a Russian-born agent, codenamed VLADELET (“Proprietor”), in Ensenada fifty miles from the US border in… Baja California. VLADELET’s two sons, both born in Mexico but assessed by the KGB as “Russian patriots,” owned a gas station which was selected as a hiding place for DRGs and their equipment as well as a base from which to conduct sabotage in the United States.


(Andrew, Christopher, and Mitrokhin, Vasili. The Sword and the Shield p. 363)



Now if we can find a whole soccer stadium of Mexican nationals to chant “Osama, Osama, Osama!” during a game against the US team (not to mention the undesirables who protested waving Mexican flags a few months ago right here in the US), I think the terrorists should have no trouble at all finding willing accomplices just as well as the Russians did. Wisdom demands we take notice and take action.



Borderline National Tragedy


Photo Courtesy The TennesseanMeanwhile OTOTMs (other than other than Mexicans) continue on their rampage wreaking havoc on American families. The latest victim: Mary Sadler of Bellevue, Tennessee. Mary was beaten to death by an illegal alien who decided to drop in and demand money. Why not? He came to this country illegally and demanded free healthcare, a free ride free and clear from immigration authorities so Wal-Mart can meet its quota, so why shouldn’t he think he could just walk into a person’s house uninvited and make demands; he already did that once. By the looks of the smashed up interior of the home, it looks as if Mary put up quite a fight. I wonder if some in Washington might call her a vigilante.



Hopeful Signs on the Business Front


Some businesses have begun suing competitors who are undercutting them by hiring illegals. Aside from a good move all around, winning such suits (and some have already been so resolved) will then provide something to go on for any federal investigators who might for once be interested in leveling sanctions on unethical businesses. But as good as this news is, don't forget to vote this November!



Posted by Martin at 02:33 AM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2006

Blue Helmets: UN Peacetakers?



Angel at Woman Honor Thyself blog lays out the ugly truth in another excellent piece about UN peacekeepers in Africa and elsewhere and asks whether societies are always healthier after the blue helmets than they were beforehand.


One of the most egregious of human rights violations of course has been the sexual abuse of women and underage girls at the hands of these “peacekeepers”. The fact that many of the so-called peacekeepers hail from hardline or dictatorial (and at time strongly misogynistic) regimes seems also evidence of politics over practicality being the chief factor in their selection.


The fact is that the damage done by these wolves in sheep’s clothing can be far worse than that done in their absence with respect to destroying any hope for justice outside a war-torn region. This loss of hope may at the end of the day be the most damaging thing for families who would like to rise above the atrocities already committed against them by rival factions. It is also noteworthy to point out that where there is abuse, more violence, not less in the long run is likely to come of it. Since women are the backbone of any society, if they are unhealthy, then too most likely will be their progeny. Similarly, even the fabric among their peers is disrupted, which too will impede the progress of the culture as a whole both economically and politically.


Can instability in a particular locale be a beneficial thing for some outside interests? Certainly. We already know that states past and present like Nazi Germany, The Soviet Union, North Korea, Iran, China, etc. along with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda all look for unstable states (e.g. Sudan, Ethiopia, Lebanon) in which they can freely exploit the people and natural resources for their benefit. There is additionally the chance to sell arms to a strife-ridden area so that profits may be made and better knowledge of new weapon systems may be gauged. Such groups are also happy to find such chaotic cover to do other business undetected. Whether UN peacekeepers in particular who happen to come from harsh regimes have this in mind is probably doubtful, but the results of their behavior are cause for significant concern not just for the individual victims left in their wake, but in the broader geopolitical sense.



RELATED: BBC February 2006: "Peacekeeper Sex Abuse 'Too High'" (as if there were some acceptable level...)


Posted by Martin at 05:51 PM | Comments (1)

August 17, 2006

Star Wars: A New Saga

Red Planet follow up



It's certainly getting more press, as this blog pointed out two weeks ago, that China (and others) are looking or will be looking to space as the new strategic domain of military conquest and strategic advantage against the United States and her allies. Specifically, China and others intend to maintain various types of vehicles that can be launched into space to target US communications and other important satellites (along with other possible targets) affecting the security of the US and her interests.


Yesterday Reuters quoted Gen. Kevin Chilton, who heads the Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado as having stated quite bluntly: "If it's a space launch, we can't afford to relax."


General Chilton was speaking during an annual conference on the matter of missile defense.


General Chilton went on to say,



Foes would be foolish not to be thinking of how to deny the United States the advantages of space, on which it relies heavily for military and commercial purposes, said Chilton, who took over the space command a month and a half ago.


"And in the future, I'm convinced they'll strike at these capabilities, if nothing else to attempt to level the playing field," he said.


[…]Chilton said his goal was to learn all this in the object's first orbit of the Earth so the United States could take unspecified actions "before an adversary can cripple us."



As I mentioned on August 02,



[…]China and allies North Korea and Iran have made no secret of their desire to target US satellites as a preemptive move in any serious conflict with the US. Tactics mentioned include using killer satellites and detonating a nuclear-tipped missile in lower orbit, using the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) to fry the circuitry of satellites – especially those most of which are not hardened.


Certainly, an attack on communications and infrastructure is a key aspect in the book on cutting the war with your enemy short; we know that and certainly they know that.


Another aspect of the use of space is perhaps that of keeping nuclear warheads on satellites which can be launched and detonated high above the target – even an entire continent – creating an EMP that would completely kill most if not all non-hardened technology civilian and military that was invented since the end of the 19th century.


The fact that China wishes to militarize space is no surprise; nor is it that anyone else sees it, be they Russia, Iran, China’s “Mini-Me” North Korea, other bad guys or any of the good guys.


The question now is whether we can protect the technology that protects our technology. Seeing is one thing, but preventing is entirely another. While it is important that we both more closely monitor launches by potentially hostile powers and harden our assets in space, we also need to harden the walls that prevent access by foreign agents interested in stealing information that could render those defenses (be they technological or relating to our tactics) moot.


It is no doubt no secret that anything of intelligence value to our adversaries will be targeted by agents physically attempting to gain access (in the spirit of Aldrich Ames, Vilyam “Willie” Genrikhovich Fisher, et al) and by those exploiting technological (specifically IT) security vulnerabilities – something the NSA noted in the Reuters article is still an ongoing aggressive and at times effective threat.


We also must become prepared to deal with any attempt at setting off an EMP from low orbit whether its primary target be our space assets or, perhaps more ominously, something back on earth.



Posted by Martin at 08:25 PM | Comments (1)

August 02, 2006

Planet Obvious: China War Machine Looks to Space

Red Planet War Preps



Photo courtesy AFPIn a stroke of common sense genius, a team of unidentified pointy heads at China’s National Defense University (and likewise elsewhere) have published a report admitting that China’s next strategic area of military involvement will be outer space. Bravo. Of course, this might be China admitting it’s lagging behind collecting on its wish list. After all, even the Soviets talked less and just did. And given China’s claim it wishes this to start international talks on space militarization, maybe it also knows it’s behind the US in (yet) some (other) aspect out there.


Nevertheless, it’s been obvious (despite some articles by the AFP) that China desires very badly to militarize space and even gain supremacy in this area, so China’s expressed desire for courtship is no shock to the literate. And as if no one could see this when so much of what is known of American military methods is now based on satellite technology, from JDAM technology to reconnaissance, communications, navigation, and eventually even anti-missile satellites. Indeed, China (and others) may well see American space-based strategic technologies as the Achilles’ heel of US capabilities.


To some extent they may be right. It’s indeed no secret that the current US model relies heavily on high technology utilization and perhaps less so on preparations for multi-front, multi-theatre actions, even in light of activities that have been and look to be expanding and not diminishing across the globe.


US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s infamous pre-9/11 doctrine of maintaining forces sufficient only for a single-front war and more recent statements by other officials (elected and not) after 2001 who seem to think technology is one of the only factors (if not the primary factor) in war-winning seem to be examples of some domestic disconnect. But, if what they are saying be the case, then why have we still not taken overwhelming action against foreign spying. Even after the release of the stunningly damaging book (The Sword and the Shield by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin) on the Cold War KGB (revealing the exposure of thousands of Soviet operatives and operations), KGB’s successor the SVR, China’s spies and operatives, and those from many other countries and organizations (including Hezbollah) have increased their numbers and activities within the US and against her interests around the world, not decreased them, since 1999. Almost, if not, just as bad are the steadily easing trade restrictions on the export of technology to regimes such as China or to countries which have weaker export restrictions than we do. 


Further, China and allies North Korea and Iran have made no secret of their desire to target US satellites as a preemptive move in any serious conflict with the US. Tactics mentioned include using killer satellites and detonating a nuclear-tipped missile in lower orbit, using the EMP (electromagnetic pulse) to fry the circuitry of satellites – especially those most of which are not hardened.


Certainly, an attack on communications and infrastructure is a key aspect in the book on cutting the war with your enemy short; we know that and certainly they know that.


Another aspect of the use of space is perhaps that of keeping nuclear warheads on satellites which can be launched and detonated high above the target – even an entire continent – creating an EMP that would completely kill most if not all non-hardened technology civilian and military that was invented since the end of the 19th century.


The fact that China wishes to militarize space is no surprise; nor is it that anyone else sees it, be they Russia, Iran, China’s “Mini-Me” North Korea, other bad guys or any of the good guys.



Posted by Martin at 10:11 PM | Comments (2)

August 01, 2006

Quote of the Day: Aung San Suu Kyi



Some, particularly ruthless dictatorships seeking to absolve themselves of their unattractive human rights records, have argued that notions of individual liberty and human rights for all and especially for women and children are purely Western in origin and cannot take into account the cultural differences in non-Western LDCs (less developed countries).


So it’s best to lay this to rest with a quote from a Burmese national who would know about “national culture” being used to “justify the policies and actions of those in power”:


It is precisely because of the cultural diversity of the world that it is necessary for different nations and peoples to agree on those basic human values which will act as a unifying factor...the values that democracy and human rights seek to promote can be found in many cultures. Human beings the world over need freedom and security so that they may be able to realize their full potential.


- Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese political activist and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient.



Posted by Martin at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)


A material reality transcending dialect




Tonight the world waits with baited breath. 17 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, The Soviet Union, Ceausescu, the beginning of the end for the regime in Beijing, Cuban transition may be upon us.



To the horror of Chavez, Kim Jong Il, Hu Jintao, Ahmadinejad, Assad, and the rest, a corner stone is crumbling.



Many reports are saying Castro’s less charismatic younger brother (75 year old Raul Castro) is poised to be a more radical and tight fisted ruler. But change, the loss of Fidel, and an even more insufferable belligerent in the presidential palace can also mean things are ripest for freedom's reprise.



Infidel Castrato’s upcoming demise may be the beginning of the end for the iron and clay feet of post-Soviet communism.


So watch out Tehran, Pyongyang, and Beijing, as the dominoes fall and consider this: Your time is coming up. As millions with the open fields of freedom in sight crush the gates of tyranny, the rusted iron bars and posts will soon give way and be utterly smashed into the ground in the insuing rush.












Posted by Martin at 02:56 AM | Comments (2)

July 31, 2006

Quote of the Day: Woolsey

Liberty with Chinese Characteristics



Precursors to Revolution in China – and China knows it:


[Taiwan] is a living, breathing example that things can be different, that the world does not need a communist party in Beijing in order to have a reasonably run and prosperous Chinese society. Indeed the whole philosophy which, at least nominally, is held by the rulers in Beijing, is already on the ash heap of history.


- Former CIA director R. James Woolsey, The Defense Intelligence Journal, Winter 2001.


It’s an older quote, but worth bearing repeating; it is equally if not more true today than it was in the early days of American mobilization into Afghanistan, and certainly speaks of something undying despite best efforts by CCP officials since June 1989. Call it a movement for freedom and  “eternal peace”.





Posted by Martin at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2006

Two (Track) China Policy



Some who happened to hear Secretary Rice’s interview with talk radio host Laura Ingraham earlier this week might have noticed the interesting juxtaposition served up between State’s apparent China assessment and that of the Pentagon, which the same day released its upgraded assessment of China’s military threat (one that we are continuing to financially feed and encourage with weak diplomacy). Fortunately, more and more are finally catching on.


But naturally, China had nothing but guilty tantrums for the blue-teamer Pentagon report.


China Confidential:


[Chinese] state media quoted foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao as saying that China was "strongly resentful of and firmly opposed to ... the 2006 China Military Power Report."


The 58-page document, according to Liu, reflected a "Cold War mentality" and an attempt to "wantonly interfere in China's internal affairs."


First, I would love to hear what China means by the phrase “to wantonly interfere in … internal affairs.” Maybe China excludes from its definition meddling in foreign elections, stealing technology, and attempting to influence the political lives of Americans of Chinese descent to support the motherland else their family members back home should suffer. Actually, that all sort of sounds like some pretty good evidence of a Sino Cold War mentality (even without their other meddlings outside this country), doesn’t it.


Secondly, I think we’d all love for China to point out the portions of the content of the report with which China disagrees. On the other hand, I’m sure dictators are handicapped by the need only to make inane assertions with their own press without having to ever back them up with reason, so we can’t expect too much out of Beijing.


That final item is one of the reasons dictatorships are inherently weak. For a bunch of die-hard Communists, they sure seem to lose the plot of Darwinism: Survival of the fittest occurs through the strengthening of the better through resistance. Since China’s Communist Party does not allow itself to be challenged internally, it broadcasts to the world it is ideologically very weak or destined to become so through fainéant insulation.


It’s not lacking importance however that we deal with China for what it is, rather than what we wish it had been. Right now, China is the major player and supplier behind every rogue nation and two-bit Islamic terrorist state with which the US is dealing. China has made it clear through ongoing relationships with these entities, along with its moves to consolidate partnerships and political singularity with states in the Americas, not to mention war-mongering remarks that have been emanating from its leaders for over a decade, that it is preparing for war with the US. In other words, China is behaving just like a Communist country would be expected to behave. The surprise of it among some here in the State Department and elsewhere is the only astonishing aspect.


Once again, it is going to require conservatives to save the day, just as conservatives did with the Soviets. The Rockefeller Republican types and Democrats may loathe conservatives, but they must also thank them.




Posted by Martin at 02:23 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2006

Special Needs Dept.: What Else Do You Need

China supplying Iran’s nuke program



Kids, I know this will be a big shock to all of you, but guess who is behind Iran’s nuke enrichment program? I know, I can hardly believe it myself. I wonder what the President will say. Wait, I bet he’ll say we need to invest in China’s economy. After all, China and Iran both are doing work American politicians won’t do: preparing for war.


H/T Drudge




Sino-Pakistani Militaries Enjoying Good Relations:

"The JF-17 Thunder, equipped with advanced electronics and weapon systems, was a joint venture between Pakistan and China, the statement said."


Atlas Shrugs on the Dark Cloud Looming


Right Truth Weighs In on Iran


Regime Change Iran



Posted by Martin at 09:44 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day



When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike, you do not wait until he strikes before you crush him.


– President Franklin D. Roosevelt



Posted by Martin at 02:32 PM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2006

From 'Blackstar' to New Constellations



According to Aviation Week in March the pentagon’s much anticipated Two-Stage-to-Orbit Blackstar has been shelved for budgetary reasons.


But could it be the prototypes were merely concept vehicles using what now by military standards would be obsolete technology? If such were the case, it may actually mean that something else is rather imminent. With American military technology literally decades ahead of its civilian counterpart, this is not only possible, but even likely.


Aviation Week has been following the saga of the Blackstar for 16 years now, and, as far as anyone on the outside knows, it has never seen anything beyond testing and simulation, though some theorize it may have become operational in the ‘90s.


But why mothball a project that could allow for surprise sub-orbital or low-orbital flights over countries like Iran, China, and Russia. According to the director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, these and other countries have gotten good at playing satellite cat-and-mouse, this in part due to the highly predictable nature of spy satellite orbits. Aviation Week:


The manned orbiter's primary military advantage would be surprise overflight. There would be no forewarning of its presence, prior to the first orbit, allowing ground targets to be imaged before they could be hidden. In contrast, satellite orbits are predictable enough that activities having intelligence value can be scheduled to avoid overflights.


Well, assuming someone else didn’t see the vehicle-carrying plane take off or the vehicle launch from that plane.


So if the Blackstar is to be shelved (assuming it has been), what might that next-generation technology look like and what advantages would it offer? Well, certainly AI comes to mind. AI technology the military is comfortable talking about has proven to be more than impressive both in aerial reconnaissance, on the ground, and even in combat roles. Taking into account Moore’s law that says technology doubles every two years, and factoring that exponentially for the military’s knack for unimaginable black R&D development which in theory then would grow the gap between civilian and military technology every year, and the fact we are on a war footing, it’s easy to imagine we wouldn’t mothball a tool that is needed without finding something else to do the job even better.


When you have some developers openly discussing the need for us to respect silicon-based intelligence in the same fashion we do carbon-based intelligence, it also lends one to consider just what may have brought such developers to wax philosophical about a few circuit boards with wings and camera lenses, and more to the point, what might be just around the corner.


Indeed, every aspect of reconnaissance and autonomous vehicle technology we know about has undergone a virtual revolution in the past decade; everything from digital imaging and other sensory, automation, and efficiency, to the ability to actively evade defenses and engage them without the need for human intervention.


That said, obviously any speculation a Blackstar successor would be fully automated is just that. Additionally, some of Blackstar’s possible missions and the cost-need for duel-use technology may well require such a replacement to Blackstar also to be manned, or, as the case is with some of the automated Stryker vehicles the Army is testing, able to function with or without men onboard.


On the other hand, another advantage we’ve seen over the past ten years is the advantage implicit in being small; lower all-around costs and better stealthing: The vehicles are less expensive to develop and are much smaller and more difficult to track than a large bird like Blackstar. If such a vehicle were completely automated, the advantages both in terms of detectability and predictability would be obvious. And we already know this because of the resounding successes of currently tested autonomous aviation technology, such as the X-45A, and technology currently fully in use. With smaller aircraft also comes the ability to land on shorter landing strips, providing better flexibility and possibly better secrecy.


Another advantage: fuel costs and efficiency, along with possibly much longer missions.


And a smart strategic paradigm shift might explain why a spy plane would no longer be the vehicle of choice for flying cargo into space.


And of course protecting human assets can’t be ignored either. In fact, Israel is currently undergoing a bit of a revolution that may wind up completely automating much of its air force. Right now, the Israelis use of drones now accounts for 65% of its flights: 18,000 of its 28,000 known missions. Granted, the missions these drones are currently fulfilling over the West Bank differ in some respects, it seems the concept would logically carry over to larger-scale tasks.


Whatever happens to the Blackstar (and whatever is next in the air or on the drawing board) of course we’ll have to wait a couple of decades to truly know (barring some major conflict or other events), but rest assured that even with intelligence supplied by Chinese, Russian, and other sources, Iran need only know one thing: that we know.



Posted by Martin at 07:42 PM | Comments (1)

April 21, 2006

Quote of the Day



Terrorism is the preferred weapon of weak and evil men.


- The Great President Ronald Reagan



If the man who rightly identified the Evil Empire were to expound on that, he’d most likely add that totalitarianism is the preferred weapon of strong and evil men; and we all know that strong and evil men use weak and evil men to do their dirty work.



Terrorism is merely a part of which its sum is totalitarianism. And none knew that better than the Gipper. We need to see more of that clarity in our foreign and trade policies.


Posted by Martin at 05:24 PM | Comments (2)

April 20, 2006

Quote of the Day



He who does not punish evil, commands it to be done.


- Leonardo da Vinci



Not that anyone expects John McCain and the open borders crowd, or the China-enablers to get this, but it’s comforting to know that Americans who will be voting in November do.


Posted by Martin at 09:21 PM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2006

China's Trojan Nukes

Lest another critical matter of security be obfuscated by the illegals’ mess…



Another critically important national security issue to call our senators and representatives about:


Lest we forget, China is poised to take control of scanning inbound overseas cargo entering US ports for nuclear bombs.


That’s right, the same communist regime which declared that “War with the US is inevitable” and the same communist regime that threatened to nuke LA (which would no doubt cause a war with Mexico) has been given a green light to be the fox to watch the hen house.


Additionally, they will have access to sophisticated detection equipment - equipment they could theoretically figure out how to defeat for other scenarios.


The still pro-China-heavy CIA says it has no worries about this, which of course is how you know it's problematic. In fact, there are still many, many in CIA and State who are red-teamers, or those favorable to the regime.


Hutchison-Whampoa, a Hong Kong firm run by billionaire Ki Ka-Shing will get the contract to do what is hundreds of times more of a risk to us than the now-defunct Dubai port deal. And with China's (and Russia's) tight relationship with a budding nuclear Iran, could "oops" be the vehicle of plausible deniability that allows an Iranian nuke to enter the country? Even the CIA got this one right in a report to Congress in 2003.


Indeed, the beginning of this article from a Chinese publication says it all:


The military implementation of the George W Bush administration's unilateralist foreign policy is creating monumental changes in the world's geostrategic alliances. The most significant of these changes is the formation of a new triangle comprised of China, Iran and Russia.



Hutchison-Whampoa is a PLA robot, catering to nothing more than the strategic interests of the Chinese Communist Party. This is the same company that bribed Panamanian leaders under Clinton’s watch in the 1990’s so that they could gain control of the Panama Canal and the strategic ports and bases located there, from where China could easily conceal short-range nuclear missiles aimed anywhere in the continental US.


With this latest deal however, China doesn’t need those missiles anymore. They not only control the Trojan horse, they control the city gates through which it will pass.


From Worldnet Daily (linked at top):


''Li Ka-Shing is pretty close to a lot of senior leaders of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party,'' Larry M. Wortzel, head of a U.S. government commission that studies China, told the Associated Press.


U.S. officials also insist the CIA has no security concerns about Hutchison's port operations, which would be supervised by Bahamian customs officers. If the equipment detects any nuclear device, it would set off alarms monitored by Bahamian inspectors [note here that Hutchison Whampoa has done huge business with the Bahamas and in fact has a large operations facility there, so is there too much trust, or, could someone be bribed?] and by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Virginia [note this customs oversight is off-site and therefore more vulnerable to having data altered, particularly under an apathetic nose].


''The equipment operates itself,'' said Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration said, according to AP.


Then why do we need the Chinese?


As WorldNetDaily reported in 2003, declassified U.S. government intelligence reports uncovered by the public-interest group Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act portrayed Li's relationship with the Chinese government as close and influential.


A U.S. Army South "Intelligence Update" stated, "Li is directly connected to Beijing and is willing to use his business influence to further the aims of the Chinese government."


Regarding Hutchison Whampoa's controversial takeover of the Panama Canal, the intelligence report stated, "Li's interest in the [Panama] canal is not only strategic, but also as a means for outside financial opportunities for the Chinese government."


Which begs the question yet again, when sanctions and embargos worked against Cuba, South Africa and the Soviet Union why not China? Is greed overtaking good foreign policy? Of course it is.


An "Intelligence Assessment" from the U.S. Southern Command's Joint Intelligence Center stated Li "has extensive business ties in Beijing and has compelling financial reasons to maintain a good relationship with China's leadership."


In addition, Li was the founder and a board member of the China International Trust and Investment Corporation, or CITIC. In a 1997 report entitled, "Chinese Military Commerce and U.S. National Security," the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy reported that CITIC acted as a "shell" or front operation on behalf of China's Peoples' Liberation Army.


The Judicial Watch complaint concluded that the billionaire is "an agent of the government of the Peoples' Republic of China."



This deal must be stopped at all costs.


To add insult to injury, some no-doubt leftover Clintonistas in the State Department have decided it would be a smart idea to buy 11 thousand computers from China. Computers of course made with stolen US technology, but that's beside the point. As an IT professional, I can assure you it is bad and it is not the path to good security. The Epoch Times asks if China can sustain an arms race. The answer is no, but we can sustain it for China - and are.


The late Chinese dictator Deng Xiaoping once said with respect to it's climb to challenge the United States and defeat her, "We must bide our time and hide our capabilities". But why hide them when so much of Washington is in denial?



Call or e-mail your US Senator here


Call or e-mail your US Representative here


Contact the White House here, or by telephone and e-mail:


Comments: 202-456-1111

Switchboard: 202-456-1414

FAX: 202-456-2461






A good related article by Newsmax


A question or two from Voteswagen blog




Posted by Martin at 12:37 AM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2006

Tugging on the Mau Statue



Apparently in a bid to attract investors and hush the growing democratic movements springing up all over China like springtime flowers, the fat old men in Beijing have decided to pass a law ostensibly granting more recognition of and protection for private property rights.


In China you have two sanctioned hemispheres of political thought: left and lefter (sounds like a movie and for good reason). This mock choice rings similar to that offered Soviet citizens in elections held where they had the choice of either voting for Lenin or... voting for Lenin.


Those in the Party who oppose the new property law oppose it as if they were the pious guardians of true socialism, according to an article in The Standard, a state-controlled Chinese business publication.



The conservative argument has fueled opinion that a law protecting private property would speed privatization and exacerbate the widening gap between rich and poor, which is leading to unrest in the countryside.



Widening the gap between rich and poor is not likely. In the old days, everyone but the communist chiefs was dirt poor, while the Party elite lived in Saddam-like inexplicable luxury - the new royal dynasty of the modern Sino age.


Today more Chinese are enjoying a better lifestyle than before - and so this is narrowing the gap between the Party aristocrats in Beijing and the man on the street. Well, there is a catch, as you might imagine. It's all provided the man on the street is a faithful Party member. Yes, you knew there had to be a catch, and, in Communist-run China it's still all about who you know and whether the state has a strategic purpose in allowing you to do your thing. In the same fashion, Hitler's regime as you might recall, much like mafia bosses allowed friends of the party (at home and abroad) to prosper as they helped directly or indirectly to build the Nazi war machine.


So, if you are Chinese and happen to be on the poor end of any current economic gap, then you're experiencing nothing new in a country whose ruling party has about as much if not less concern for the life of its citizens than did the Imperial Japanese when they invaded the mainland more than half a century ago.


The article goes on to say that "Proponents reject that argument [of the widening gap], saying one of the purposes of the law is to help ordinary people protect their land from arbitrary grabs by officials, which have been a key flashpoint for protests and even riots in recent years."


But of course the dirty little secret is that the people have no way to insure that such a law, even if effective, will remain for any length of time. The point of fact is that in such a dictatorship, a law like this one can be repealed just as quickly as it was initially enacted. Here people can just as quickly and easily be deprived of life and liberty as offered a gold Mercedes and a flat with central heat at the whim of their rulers.


The Party commissars are granting some small concessions, it’s true. But only in hopes that the people's grievances will be stymied. But freedom is a hunger that only grows the more you feed it, and, like a fire will not be assuaged once it tastes the air.


The Hobson’s choice really rests then with the tyrants of Beijing; if they shut it all down now Soviet-style, they awaken more quickly the already awakening West and face a populous almost on the brink of pushing back hard even now. And if the Communist rulers do nothing, the ghost of Tiananmen will blow across the country and sweep out the Communist party in the manner to which the world in recent decades has become fortunately quit accustomed.


No doubt many Chinese look forward to the day when the Mau statues topple and red becomes the color of humiliation for the ousted butchers of Beijing. In that moment the good people of China too will relish the fact that freedom is for all men an historically proven inevitability.


Posted by Martin at 12:45 AM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2006

Let’s Talk About the Axis of Oil

Iran & China: close as teeth and gums



According to an article Monday in the World Tribune Iran and China are talking about a “major energy deal that would involve the swap of oil for technology.”


This helps to further flesh-out why China has been dragging its feet on the idea of economic sanctions’ talks to prevent Tehran from furthering its nuclear arms program, as many, even the Washington Post pointed out several months ago.


Both articles cite diplomatic sources from the West or others who claim the deal could turn Iran into the biggest supplier of oil to China worth more than $100 billion. It would also free China of concerns about Russian oil and would of necessity at the moment place her in strategic opposition to Israel (well, aside from the fact Israel is one of those democracies the butchers of Beijing love to hate).


Though many have been aware of a long-standing Sino-Iranian relationship, the article mentions the managing director of Iran’s leading petrochemical company Petropars, who credits China for being a major player in developing Iranian energy to this point. Petropars' director also “called for the transfer of Chinese technology” and “cited China’s growing demand for oil” as reasons for a longstanding good relationship, and he’s right: Iran needs CCP (Chinese Communist Party) China and CCP China needs Iran.


So we shouldn’t be fooling ourselves into thinking this will change any time soon. Nor should we fool ourselves into thinking it has been any different in the somewhat recent past.


As I stated back in August 2003,


U.S. Strategy.com reported in July that China was working with North Korea to bolster Iran's nuclear arms program by selling arms and providing advisors to the country. I would imagine it is fairly safe to say the Chinese and North Koreans would not be selling nuclear technology to anyone they thought would use it against them, so that means those weapons are most likely to be pointed in a direction North Korea approves of. Possibly where China has its missiles aimed too: The U.S. and her interests.


Then there's that Washington Post article I mentioned earlier, which provides a few things to think about:


Beijing has also provided Iran with advanced military technology, including missile technology, U.S. officials say. In April, the Bush administration imposed sanctions on Chinese manufacturers of equipment that can be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.


And there’s some indication Iran is allowing China to set up strategic information-gathering positions near the Iraqi border (as they no doubt have done near Afghanistan).


But it’s not just a love affair between China and Iran. When one looks out on the broad spectrum of relationships in the region one sees the following patterns emerge:


North Korea and Iran

China and Iran

Iran and Syria

Iran and Hamas/PA (Palestinian Authority)/Hezbollah

PA and Egypt

PA and Libya

Libya and Egypt

Egypt and Pakistan

Libya and Pakistan

Pakistan and China

China and North Korea


These along with other countries are part of what I call the Axis of Oil. Each of these countries has been involved in either swapping arms, nuclear technology, or other assets, or all three over the course of the past several years. Not to mention Hamas, PA, Hezbollah, Iranian and other al Qaeda connections.


China’s dictator Hu no doubt is as happy as Hitler over the deal that will provide what every outward-looking dictatorship needs in the mechanized age: fields and fields of the black stuff; and Iran will get what it needs to further terrorize the middle east and beyond. According to that WAPO article: “China has become a major exporter of manufactured goods to Iran, including computer systems, household appliances and cars.” That and all the high technology China acquired from the US under Sandy Burger’s watch in the Clinton years, and even today. Since there is no doubt that China’s international businesses are fronts for its military, there’s also no doubt about its purpose in establishing bonds with what we consider the more formally recognized rogue states.


A good economic relationship between the two countries is the same as a good military one and will help bolster the two countries’ collective strategic aims and abilities, along with those of their international partners.


Not to sound like a broken record, but none of this is new; however, it is time we started seriously sitting up and taking notice.



RELATED: Atlas Shrugs blog (credit for the above image) has a posted good amount of valuable links and quotes on this topic.



Posted by Martin at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2006

Google and Privacy, Wolves and Lambs

Fresh tales of Hosea and the Harlot



Courtesy Gaaagle.comGoogle recently has been called to the carpet for its recent willingness to cooperate with any request made by the Chinese government while refusing do lift a finger for the US, repeatedly citing in the case of the latter, of all brazen things, privacy as its reason.


"Why would Google or anyone else turn over data that might create further risks for their customers? The public policy gains don't outweigh the risks," she said.


The question was asked by a liberal US-based privacy activist, and it’s a good question. Why would Google or anyone else turn over data that might create further risks for their customers, especially those at risk of life and limb and political persecution in despotic regimes like China.


To understand this, we first must understand a liberal’s definition of privacy and when it’s acceptable to violate it, and a conservative’s view of the same:



Liberal: “Privacy” means protection from the prying eyes of the US government, even in times of war or when crimes have been committed.


Exception I: When China or another totalitarian regime noted for its repression and gross human rights violations asks you to make an exception.


Exception II: When you are a non-governmental American leftist group or corporation and wish to swoop down in big-brother style to collect information from customers or other citizens which is none of your business. (Note Google and Real Networks, both run by lefties and, oddly enough infamous for their spying habits).


Conservative: “Privacy” means protection from anyone’s prying eyes, period.


Exception I: Unless a crime is being committed (crime defined by American standards, not Chinese).


Exception II: Unless the US is at a time of war and the information to be gathered is immediately germane.



 So now that we have that covered, let’s continue.


Rife with double-standards even Reuters could see, Google this week has managed to embrace Chinese meddling in their business affairs and blithely accept Beijing’s violation of user privacy while at the same time refusing the US government (and earlier, the EU) any similar courtesy, even if it’s to protect children from child predators. Reuters:


Google's resistance contrasts with a deal the company has struck with the Chinese government to censor some searches on a new site in China, a move that has drawn sharp criticism from members of the U.S. Congress and human rights activists.


So we begin our contrasting of Google’s two-faced approach (taken from that article), beginning with Google in America:


"Google users trust that when they enter a search query into a Google search box ... that Google will keep private whatever information users communicate absent a compelling reason," attorneys for Google said in the filing.


The legal spat also comes amid heightened sensitivity to privacy issues by the company as it recently began offering a new version of its Google Desktop service that vacuums up data stored on user PCs and makes it accessible on the users' other computers. For customers who consent to the service, copies of their data are stored on Google's central computers.


Privacy activists have rallied to the defense of Google for fighting the U.S. government request…


Said privacy activists also seem strangely silent on the matter of Google Desktop in the US or anything Google in China, however. Of course Reuters doesn’t mention whether these are liberal, libertarian or conservative privacy activists, leading us to assume they asked every single one. Naturally, it’s pretty clear these are liberal activists since we do see a large pair of blind spots, one shaped like Google and the other shaped like China – so it does quack like a duck.


The American Civil Liberties Union, with other civil rights groups, bookstores and alternative media outlets filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Google.


No mention if any alternative media in China (or librarians in Cuba) were asked for their opinion of the farce.


To finish we turn now to Google in China:


Oh, wait. We don’t have any statements from Google explaining why not safeguarding the privacy of Chinese citizens from draconian government invasion is acceptable. Further, Google also didn’t seem to care to answer (or wasn’t asked by Reuters) why Google wants its privacy respected in the US while also not respecting the privacy of its own US users of Google Desktop.


Google’s lack of US-loyalty is the most alarming, however, and is evidenced in yet another way not touched on by anyone as far as I’ve learned: At the same time Google Earth global satellite mapping software has changed out some of its high-resolution images of countries like Iran (available on Keyhole before it was bought out by Google and transformed into Google Earth) and replaced them with much lower resolution ones. Google Earth is also pointing out (and often offering detailed information on) US military installations (including nuclear installations) and providing the sharpest images of the same.


Clearly this takes us around in circles with the only one theme a constant: Google, a publicly traded US company, only resists sharing information with the US government, all others are heartily welcome to look inside Google’s secret vault.


I think it’s clear that what is needed is for companies like Google to be reigned in and compelled to respect human rights, national security and consumer privacy, just as companies were forced to do during the Reagan era and in those previous. Otherwise we not only will face risks to consumers at home, we risk losing all respect abroad for US foreign policy objectives particularly dealing with human rights.


RELATED: For another and more artistic look at Google's shady dealings, visit Gaaagle.com, where you can also find the image originally published there that is used at the top of this post.



Posted by Martin at 01:52 AM | Comments (1)

February 11, 2006

Yahoo! Update

The price of doing business with the devil: human blood



Apparently Yahoo! helping the Chinese regime jail dissidents is nothing new. It happened also several months ago when Yahoo! agreed to let the Commie-fascists peruse the e-mail of another dissident, leading to his trip to the Chinese gulag.


Way to go Yahoo!, that’s two swastika stickers for you in one year.


Congress had better put a stop to this now if our country’s stance on human rights is going to be taken seriously at all. They need to break up this little love affair, lock US companies in their bedrooms and revoke Chinese MFN status.


RELATED: Ugly Bird Award Given to Yahoo!


Posted by Martin at 03:59 AM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2006

First Winner: Ugly Bird Award

“Quisling” doesn’t begin to do justice



Winner of the Ugly Bird Award this time is Yahoo! for lending its hand in crimes against humanity.


The dateline this time is China, where Yahoo! stands accused of the unthinkable: of helping the brutal Communist regime of Beijing find a political dissident so that he could be abducted by Communist jack-boot thugs. Yahoo! assisted in this travesty by willingly handing over to the government information that helped the repressors identify Li Zhi, who had dared exercise his freedom of speech as a writer.


Yahoo! defended its complicity in the crime by saying it had to abide by local laws, but declined to confirm or deny it furnished the government with the information, according to one report.


But this holds little excuse - not if the local laws call for human rights violations - or have we sunk that far? Would Yahoo! cooperate with Nazi Germany to locate Jews it knew about? Based on what we see here I doubt we could have trusted the internet company had they been around then. Certainly it is also reasonable to say that if this prisoner is tortured (which he probably will be) or dies, then his blood (and his family’s loss) is on the hands of Yahoo!.


This all has come to light of course only a short while after Google was caught restricting the free access of Chinese citizens to the internet in cooperation with Beijing, while all the while refusing to do so in Europe at the EU’s request claiming censorship.


But if Google has proven it is nothing more than a dictator’s shill, Yahoo! has shown us it is nothing more than a dictator’s oberkapo.


This is criminal by any decent standard of human dignity and decency and heads at Yahoo! and others who take a similar course should roll.


The Ugly Bird Award is given out at different times to a person, group, corporation or a country engaged in supporting cruel dictatorships or terrorist states (really, the same thing) that egregiously violate fundamental human rights.


RELATED: Birds of a Feather


Posted by Martin at 12:00 AM | Comments (2)

February 05, 2006

NFTGJ: Birds of a Feather



Just a thought to ponder:


Who's courting South and Central America these days? China, Cuba, Iran, (formerly) Saddam's Iraq, Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda. Wow, what birds of a feather.


Posted by Martin at 12:03 AM | Comments (2)

February 01, 2006

Blogbat Publicitus: Chinese Ambassador in Dallas



I look forward to attending a curious luncheon tomorrow. The luncheon will be provided on behalf of the Dallas World Affairs Council and will feature Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Zhou Wenzhong, at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Zhou has stated his purpose for the visit is of assuaging growing American awareness that Communist China is not our friend. In his own words, he wishes the repressors of Beijing be “seen as a friend and not as a rival” (the complete opposite of what fashionable Chinese generals and Defense Ministers are saying).


Wenzhong also plans to meet with a few congressmen, though their names were not readily known. However, what is probably readily known is that the Ambassador will attempt bribes, blackmail, and other tactics (pro-forma for Chinese officials visiting the West, as history has shown) to secure China’s foreign interest in a complacent and apathetic West.


Earlier in 2005 Wenzhong as then-Vice Minister of Foreign affairs accompanied Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong on a trip to firm up alliances in South and Central America, as part of an extensive campaign not altogether free of results.


The ambassador has been influential in Chinese aussenpolitik since the early 1970’s with his first post on staff with the Beijing Diplomatic Service Bureau.


The brutal Communist dictatorship which Wenzhong happily serves has long been known for its summary executions, organ harvesting, religious persecution, support for dangerous foreign governments and horrible treatment of its own historic and cultural Chinese treasures. All of course brought to you by the Chinese Communist Party, and more recently by Bribed U.S. Pols, Nike and other sponsors. It is now pulling out all the stops as it seeks to rebuild old Soviet Satellites and get its economic Trojan horse through the gates of the West, no doubt as the latest installment of its beloved prequels in the never-ending 5-Year Plan saga.


The regime is without a doubt the government of choice for Western mega-corporations such as Google, which fully and blithely cooperates with any oppressive and controlling measure Beijing wishes to impose on the search giant, even as Google refuses to make any such concessions for other governments including its own - even in the search for child predators. In the spirit of Vladimir Lenin, Google and other promiscuous U.S.-based corporations seem now to be in the rope-weaving business.


So are we to believe the latest overture in Zhou Wenzhong's and his homeland's public relations campaign? Somewhere the ghost of Winston Churchill might wonder.


It will be interesting to note, I’m sure, with whom Wenzhong rubs shoulders tomorrow at the luncheon (as well as during other U.S. visits).


Sponsors for Wehnzhong’s luncheon tomorrow include Texas Instruments, Mary Kay and American Airlines.   





Front Page Magazine on Useful Idiots


Blogbat: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Publishes Pro-China Palaver


Posted by Martin at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2006

Quote of the Day: Noch Bemerkelt



This is an important inclusion:


...[C]hina doesn't abide by any rules.


- German Chancellor Angela Merkel


She made the statement about China's non-competitive economic practices during today's news conference with US President Bush at the White House, which ended just a few minutes ago. The statement was part of an example of countries besides Iran which have been unwilling to work with the international community.


Posted by Martin at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2005

Moving Forward on the EMP Threat



Reagan Administration Former Assistant Defense Secretary Frank J. Gaffney Jr. has a new book out. The book, “War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World”, describes what Gaffney and numerous other experts are saying is the most serious tactical danger to the future survival of the United States as a sovereign and prosperous nation, let alone a world power. According to the former assistant secretary of defense (see an excerpt from his new book here via The World Tribune), that danger comes from an electromagnetic pulse (EMT) attack, which Gaffney describes as nothing short of an “electromagnetic tsunami”.


Frank Gaffney has been traveling the country and doing the media circuit recently and I had the chance to hear him speak in May at the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Dallas on this subject, along with former CIA director R. James Woolsey.


Why would such an attack be the preferred method for an enemy state or organization? In a word: maximum damage with maximum efficiency.


Damage: The damage from such a device, if executed properly, would utterly devastate America’s current electrical and electronic infrastructure. Everything from modern cars to computers to heart defibrillators would be internally damaged or destroyed. But never mind this, because so would the power grid and as such there would be no electricity to power these devices even if they were protected from the pulse by hardening or some other mitigating element.


Efficiency: The technology and delivery system (and therefore the total cost and investment) in such a weapons system are relatively low. The ingredients include a primitive nuclear explosive device delivered and detonated at about 300 miles above the target (such as the continental United States).


The device’s explosion will send ahead of the fireball an electromagnetic pulse sufficient to wipe out most power grids and electronics in the area the size of the Continental United States.


And, EMCC (a German electronics testing group) has indicated that since many modern electronic components are no longer shielded by metal form factors but by pastic etc., their components are further vulnerable:


Aircraft to road vehicle bodies are increasingly made of plastics instead of metal. A real lightning problem has come up with the substitution of metal hulls with carbon, as protection by the Faraday Cage was lost and lightning induced currents are flowing across cables and electronics: close to all LEMP tests show "positive" results. The photo [ABOVE] shows LEMP test on a sensor cable loom.


The delivery system can be something as cheap as any system capable of reaching this altitude, such as an old scud missile (delivered from sea or from one of our nearby “neighbors”), or a cheap satellite (we should be especially concerned about Iran and other less-than-friendly powers around the world and in this hemisphere seeking both to acquire satellite and satellite delivery system technology). Gaffney points out that Iran (often funded and supported by Russia and China incidentally) “In addition to their successful ship launched Scud missile test, the Iranian military has reportedly performed tests of its Shahab 3 medium range ballistic missile in a manner consistent with an EMP attack scenario.” Gaffney also mentioned in May that several former Soviet EMP scientists have been employed by North Korea.


For a more limited, but nearly as devastating effect, a single nuke could be flown by small plane or other aircraft over the eastern seaboard (or other important region) with such a bomb on board and detonated, creating a regional catastrophe with nationwide ripples.


An even more limited (but still in many ways effective) tactic would be to employ an EMP device over a strategic military asset or ally.


More bold would be an attempt to do this over several regions at once. Such a move as this one would be as destructive or more than a single, high-altitude bomb over the US mainland, while also compounding the psychological effect of it (though, at such a point, a calamity of the scale of a national EMP attack would already be too extensive for most to truly comprehend, so the effect would probably only be fully appreciated by historians).


Even as Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld speaks publicly about a “lean” fighting force, heavy on electronic technology and light on manpower, Gaffney quotes one Chinese military strategist,


As soon as its computer networks come under attack and are destroyed, the country will slip into a state of paralysis and the lives of its people will grind to a halt. (Su Tzu Yun, World War: The Third World War — Total Information Warfare, 2001.)


The Chinese and North Koreans are already known to have invested large sums in battlefield applications of EMP technology and the Chinese are also on record at least as far back as 1999 in calling for total, asymmetrical warfare.


But even if a nation’s military infrastructure is hardened and survives EMP attacks, if her homeland civilian assets are wiped out, then that military’s ability to fight for any length of time is also eliminated (which is pretty much warfare 101). Troops would soon run out of equipment, parts, weapons and food – and would likely need to be recalled in any event to keep and maintain order in the homeland. In sort, as the song goes, “Turn Out the Lights, The Party’s Over”.


Of course, being suddenly relegated to (really less-than) 19th Century status without the benefit of 19th Century infrastructure and with three times the population nationally (and many more times that in urban areas) of our 19th Century great-great-grandparents would wind up killing far more Americans than a single direct nuke attack of an American city. It would probably also pave the way to American vassal status, as undoubtedly we would face a coming loss of sovereignty, our freedom and all which we have built and shared with the world in the way of American ideals to an opportunistic foreign power.


The essential fact that the hostile powers with sufficient manpower would not stand still and wait while we re-gathered ourselves should not be lost on anyone. We might be surprised with who suddenly jumps over to that list of hostile powers once there was perceived a mortal wound. For many long-standing allies of weaker status, such a shift in global power would be terrifying and no doubt lead to their silence or even complicity with the subsequent global superiority grabs by the remaining major powers. Whether to be living in the continental US or anyplace else in such an environment might be a Hobson’s choice of high order.


But in any case, Gaffney (and others) are right to point out now that a comprehensive strategy must be devised and implemented to prevent an EMP attack here.


But we must also help our allies prepare to defend against such an attack. An EMP attack on one of our key allies could also affect us economically and strategically.


Such a strategy would include hardening electrical infrastructure and electronics, improving tactical defense and intelligence capabilities and waging an effective diplomacy campaign (this includes an economic aspect, as Reagan understood with the Soviets, and as others have ascribed with respect to all contemporary powers of concern). The question will be whether such a strategy will be implemented in such a way as to discourage (or prevent) such an attack on our territory, assets and interests.




Blogbat Publicitus: Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar Day 2 (24 May 2005)


EMP Commission Report Executive Summary


Congressional Record: Statement of Dr. George W. Ullrich Deputy Director of the Defense Special Weapons Agency


Frank J. Gaffney Jr.'s Bio


Asymmetric Warfare - National Defense University


China's Space Capabilities and the Strategic Logic of Anti-Satellite Weapons


Asymmetrical Warfare Cuts Both Ways


For the science bug: A (slightly different and less ominous) application and example of electromagnetic power


Posted by Martin at 06:46 PM | Comments (6)

November 20, 2005

General Tso's Chicken




Another News-spin translation for you. Last time it had to do with France, this time China and methinks it appropriate the two should sit side-by-side. This time yet another AP story up for the dubious obfuscation award for managing to do an Irish jig around the more obvious and bigger story sitting like a pink elephant in the middle of the room:


BEIJING (AP) - China will buy 70 Boeing 737 airliners, a U.S. official said Saturday as President Bush arrived on a visit expected to include discussion of Beijing's surging trade surplus with the United States.


That is, 70 more, even though most Chinese civilians will never see the inside of an airplane unless they manage to throw off that barbaric regime.


"It's a very important thing and I think it's a testament to how our approach to China is yielding real results," [National Security Council Director for Asian affairs Mike] Green told reporters traveling in China with Bush. "In this case, an order for 70 737 aircraft from Boeing."


“We are proud to have convinced china to buy this finely woven rope”, Green concluded.


Beijing often announces large purchases of American airliners in connection with visits by U.S. leaders in an effort mollify Washington's frustration over China's trade surplus, which hit a record $162 billion in 2004.


To reward the US by buying planes from the US to be used in conjunction with future military action against the US.


It is expected to pass $200 billion this year.


Good Cold War foreign policy.


China is a key growth market for Boeing and its European rival Airbus Industrie.


Cute little tiger cub; look how it grows.


Boeing says it expects Chinese carriers to buy more than 2,600 new aircraft worth $213 billion as the country's economy grows and more people travel. It says it hopes the single-aisle Boeing 737 jet, which carries about 150 passengers, will make up the bulk of China's new purchases.


Hangers are already being set up for the necessary modifications.




Added notes


As far as Bush’s visit to China goes, these are the things we have learned:

-          Bush talked tough on human rights and Taiwan after it was learned a few more Chinese spies had been caught stealing secrets in the US.

-          China was repentant and agreed to pay the full amount for the 70 new 737’s planned in part of their military buildup against the US.

-          China brags about being Boeing’s first major customer after the events of 9/11

-          Before Bush realized it, he was trapped.

-          With all due respect to the Bush administration, it seems negotiating with Bush’s team must be a lot like outsmarting a puppy.



Posted by Martin at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2005

Blogbat Publicitus Weekly Roundup II



In case you’re all wondering what I’ve been up to, much is the answer. You might find a couple of my adventures this week to be of moderate interest:


Monday I attended the Stephen A. Philbin Media Awards luncheon hosted by the Dallas Bar. Our featured keynote speaker was none other than former Secretary of State, James A. Baker III, who gave an interesting talk covering everything from Al Qaeda to gas prices to China. Of course there was some buzz about Harriet Miers, particularly since she served as former president for both the Dallas Bar and the Texas state Bar. Her name seemed to draw polite applause when it was mentioned from the podium and murmurs at the table.


That wasn’t the only topic at the table of course. We had two journalists from the Dallas Morning News dining with us as well; one a crime reporter, the other having just returned from covering New Orleans. The latter had some quite interesting tales to tell – and later that evening an award for a piece she had done earlier that year. The Dallas Morning News of course still suffering the embarrassing blow of having to repay advertisers after it was learned its circulation numbers were bloated.


A friend of mine who used to work for the paper says the management-top-heavy company still hasn’t learned anything yet. Beyond there being too many chiefs and not enough Indians at the company, they still haven’t lifted a finger to prepare for the demands of the 21st Century, as if in denial that they are quickly becoming an antique. The friend, who also has worked for other Belo holdings he says were suffering similar problems told me that another such outlet in trouble for many of the same reasons was TXCN Texas Cable News. He predicts that as long as the companies continue to run things like the federal government, they’ll continue to suffer layoffs and other woes.


Wednesday I dropped in at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas to hear W. Michael Cox, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist speak over lunch. Richard W. Fisher, President and CEO of the Dallas Fed also spoke briefly. The talks were interesting, but not nearly so much so as the food, the literature or the company.


Before we were escorted into the dining hall I did manage to pick up something published by the Dallas Fed about China. The shiny new publication was chock full of ways the venturing investor could take advantage of Chinese workers currently being exploited by their government to help bankroll the Communist state’s military buildup. Of course, it wasn’t exactly laid out in this fashion. Not much mentioned either about the government’s harvesting of organs from political dissidents, bulldozing of churches, rampant infanticide or that nasty habit of supplying Iran and North Korea with all sorts of duel-use technology. Nor any mention of the duel-use potential of the technology we are shipping over there for them to cheaply assemble.


As for the luncheon, turnout was great; the fact that I was the only guy at a table that seats 8 that happened to be seating 7 charming and delightful gals wasn’t so bad either. During our introductions one of the more fascinating tales to emerge was that of one of the women who had just returned from Jordan where she worked for an Arab-Israeli magazine. During her time working near Amman, she managed even to learn some Arabic. But the other stories at the table were also interesting ones.


Posted by Martin at 11:25 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2005

China Marks 56 Years of Institutionalized Terrorism



Below, the latest report from the Associated Press, translated into human. Words translated are emboldened. We should always endeavor to help the Chinese people become likewise.



BEIJING (AP) - Tens of thousands of Chinese marked the 56th anniversary of Communist rule terror in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Saturday with the country military enjoying the benefits of two decades of rapid economic growth but still facing deep-seated social problems stubborn human rights advocates.


The crowds in the square enthusiastically waved Chinese flags (at gun point) and posed for pictures as security forces looked on placidly menacingly.


Security was tight in the capital Beijing at the start of the weeklong holiday to help enforce the spontaneous demonstration of support. Police bomb squads were out in force, and human rights groups said authorities have been expelling people with grievances from the capital to prevent disruptions to the sea of waving Chinese flags, a common move during politically sensitive periods in backward regimes run by common thugs afraid of the people. Sort of like Saddam Hussein making sure only supporters cast ballots so he could garner 99.9% of the vote.


On Friday, Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to press forward with rapid economic military development but did not mention democratic reforms or any changes to one-party rule, touting the supremacy of the Communist Party to the surprise of everyone. He only alluded to the social problems facing the country and that he has a security official hold his hand while he goes to the potty at night because the people SCARE him.


"China has undergone earthshaking changes and achieved world-stunning successes," Wen said at a reception for more than 1,500 foreign and Chinese guests at the Great Hall of Against the People in the heart of Beijing.


Though the economy is booming, the party is increasingly sensitive to calls within its ranks to do more to narrow the gap between rich and poor and stamp out corruption, so it plans to either execute or put in a rat infested prison anyone who brings any of it up. If this doesn’t work, it will probably be time for another purge.


Increasing numbers of poverty-stricken farmers are protesting against widespread graft, industrial pollution and seizures of land for development. (Apparently David Souter left an impact during his visit to the dictatorship). Analysts have warned that widening income disparities between the cities and countryside, bulldozing churches, raping, beating and kidnapping citizens; selling the organs of the condemned and rising unemployment could threaten social stability.


Reforms launched after the West decided to prop up the fledgling empire in the late 1970s have fueled decades of rapid economic development which have transformed Chinese society. But while city residents party members are buying their first cars/tanks and taking their first overseas vacations foreign espionage trips, farmers in the vast countryside still labor as they have for centuries.


"History has eloquently proved that socialism with Chinese characteristics such as strong racial overtones, a road that we have been following all along, is the only right path that leads us forward into our best rendition of Hitler’s Germany," said Wen, whose speech was punctuated frequently by applause and the occasional execution gunfire of a slothful clapper here or there.


"We will firmly press ahead with economic restructuring," he said, adding that the goal is "achieving a sustained, rapid and sound economic development so we can build more nukes and oppress more people. We are very excited about this."



Truly, it is time this 56-year old monster be done away with. The chinese people have suffered enough. They certainly don't deserve to have the terror begun by the Japanese Imperial invasion in the 1930's carried on by traiters in her midst - the communist elites. 


- More on the 56-year-long Terror of Tiananmen from the Blogbat archives

- Chinese Stormtroopers Caught on Video as They Bulldoze Church





Posted by Martin at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

September 02, 2005

Folks Will Remember This Decade



This has been a decade of our most bitterly disputed presidential election, the revealing of the largest corporate scandals on record, the worst foreign attack on our soil and now the worst natural disaster in American history. And soon all of this will possibly be followed by the worst energy crisis ever. We are being literally jarred awake as one who falls asleep at the wheel and drives off into the containing wall.


And the decade is only half-over.


Anyone still like to "party like it’s 1999"?


Posted by Martin at 01:49 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2005

Blogbat Publicitus:

Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar Day 1



Speaking to us tonight was noted and almost always eloquent commentator George F. Will, who offered to us some interesting observations on the life and times of nation building, the key ingredients thereof for other countries and those that have gone into our own.


Will said that the road to a democracy china - and Iraq etc. was one which lead simply down the way of economic prosperity since, as he stated, trade and commerce promote civility and civility is the antithesis of war. It was by implication that this method was really the only ingredient necessary, as Will cited US policy toward China since the Nixon days forward as proof in the pudding. But he seems to overlook the obvious, which is that the pudding is still in the oven. As Will himself pointed out, quoting Leon Trotsky – “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you”. This can also apply to the fact that a well-fed crocodile is merely a stronger crocodile tomorrow who still wants to eat you. Clearly, what is needed alongside any economic development is moral development among private citizens and within their government – for it is disregard for human rights and a love of corruption which squelch long-term development. Whether Will simply did not play this up sufficiently is up for debate, but he did seem to realize a common morality and civility were key factors in the building of the US from the time of its inception. Will rightly pointed out that long before we had the economic and political revolution in the late 18th century, we had a moral and cultural one. And I suppose that even George Will realizes this on some level, for during the course of his speaking in this vein, he posited whether the Iraqis will prove to be at such a point in history or not.


In describing what he thinks has made America great – he points out with absolute accuracy that not only was commerce necessary - he cites the important role of Alexander Hamilton in that development - but a deep sense of morality. And he is right, but this also must be the case in order for despotic regimes such as China to come around. Indeed a great part of the success in West Germany after World War II was not only the introduction and growth of commerce but the moral turning and renewed sense of conscience and respect for human rights and civility that protected and allowed for an environment in which just commerce could flourish along with the great wealth it produces not just for the elites, but also for the average man or woman – as true long-term evidence of democracy. Without morality the strong by rule of nature abuse the weak and in that you will have one form of bondage or another, but rather equal be it commercial fiefdom or communism.


Will also fielded several questions from the audience, including ones on the matter of illegal immigration. Sadly here, he seemed to feign ignorance of the real issue: illegal immigrants rather than immigrants in general are what most Americans find objectionable from a moral standpoint as well as a national security and infrastructural one. This issue of course is the one the average American has no trouble distinguishing but many in Washington and New York etc. as well as academia and even the Pew Research Center seem not to luminously understand (hat-tip to Cam Edwards for the Pew story). Finally after being pinned down by a direct question about the legality and morality of illegal immigration by a third member of the audience, Will seemed to backpedal from the strong-arm avoidance tactic and admitted he believed illegal immigration as opposed to legal immigration was wrong and that borders should be strengthened – and even almost slipped and used the “S” word – as in “sealed”. But this took a lot of arm-twisting to bring him to acknowledge the distinction and it might be also said his overriding romanticization of illegals was no sign encouragement for those of us who still realize a sever blindness has stricken many on the east coast, who are as yet apparently unaware of the necessary common sense clarity available apparently only to those on the “front lines” at present.


But Mr. Will is an enjoyable commentator in person as he is elsewhere whether he presents his ideas in spoken form or written. And even though he may be wrong or failing to fully convey his beliefs on a few matters it certainly was good to hear from him tonight.


Tomorrow we will be hearing from  Larry P. Arnn (who also addressed us this evening as well) discussing “Statesmanship in Wartime”. Larry is president of Hillsdale College. After Larry Arnn Malise Ruthven will be speaking. Malise is an expert on comparative religion and author of A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America. He will be discussing the Origins of Islam. After lunch we will be treated to hearing from Frank Gaffney Jr., founder of the Center for Security Policy as he talks to us about “Meeting the Domestic Terror Threat”. Judging by an interview with a local (Dallas) radio talkshow today, this will probably deal in some large measure with the growing concern for Iran’s deployment of an electromagnetic pulse (or EMP) device. The dangers of EMP’s of course are something about which former CIA director R. James Woolsey has spoken and written over the years and no doubt will come up for discussion when Woolsey closes out the event by speaking to us concerning “The Long War of the 21st Century: How We Must Fight It”. We’ll have more on all of this at the end of the day, as it were.


Related Post March 30: Details of the National Leadership Seminar in Dallas


Posted by Martin at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2005

China, Iran and Cuba and Ultralights




Strategic use of ultralights is on the rise, Strategypage.com says, particularly among axis nations.


But the light aircraft have not only become en vogue among these governments but they have also caught on with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.


An example of one of the untralights’ possible roles by StrategyPage is low-cost reconnaissance, particularly for governments in guarding their borders or other assets. Another possible use is by the smuggler. But to see why the above parties may have truly become interested one need only consider the lethal potential offered by a low-flying, relatively quiet ultralight (or even glider) carrying a biological, radiological or even conventional payload. Such a use might offer a significant advantage against a given civilian or military target either by directly (or indirectly) ferrying resources across borders to a gathering point near or directly to a certain target. The latter no doubt is why Hezbollah would have interest in untralights, and one simply has to wonder the same about countries like Iran, Cuba and China.


Posted by Martin at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)

Sino Textile War Machine

WTO’s MFA Expiration Boon for China, Bust for DNs




In January 2005 a WTO rule expired that had protected textile trade for developing nations for the past 30 years against the more aggressive and perhaps anticompetitive practices of non-developed nations which use slave-labor and other resources to outstrip them.


For small developing nations especially, such as Lesotho, the agreement, known as the Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA) was especially critical. According to the Asia Times,



A few years ago, the tiny kingdom of Lesotho appeared to have a lot on offer for investors: cheap labor, generous tax incentives and proximity to the regional powerhouse, South Africa. Textile manufacturers certainly seemed to like what they saw. Taiwanese entrepreneurs started arriving in Lesotho in 2000. By investing in the country, they were also able to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This United States program was set up to allow duty-free access to the American market for a wide selection of exports from countries in sub-Saharan Africa that met certain conditions, such as respect for human rights and the rule of law.


After the Taiwanese came mainland Chinese, Mauritian and Malaysian textile firms. By 2003, Lesotho had grown into a major textile manufacturer in Africa, producing 31% of textiles exported to the US under AGOA. According to official statistics, some 50,000 people depended on Lesotho's textile industry for their livelihood in 2004, compared to 20,000 two years before.



MFA’s demise has been especially catastrophic however:



During a four-day visit to Lesotho in December, the then US Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, told journalists that his country had "a great respect for what Lesotho is accomplishing". But even as Zoellick was lavishing praise on the country's textile sector, its prospects looked grim. Toward the end of the year, six textile factories shut down - leaving 6,650 employees without work. Enraged union leader Billy Macaefa blamed the closures on the expiry of the Multi-Fiber Agreement (MFA)…


The removal of quota restrictions means that poor African producers are no longer protected from the stiff competition that the Asian mass producers pose. Asian countries are expected to enjoy unlimited access to the duty-free American market after the lifting of the quotas. A WTO study released in September showed that China and India would probably come to dominate about 80% of the global textile market in the post-MFA era, while the remaining 20% would be shared by the rest of the world.



The article goes on to say that according to a British charity, “27 million workers around the world could lose their jobs as a result of the end of the quota system. Lesotho, Malawi and South Africa have already reported cuts in thousands of jobs in the textile industry.”


Those jobs will be picked up mostly in the rapidly growing Chinese industrial base, however it will also include workers in labor camps and other abuses of human rights and it will be helping to further develop a significant future aggressor nation.


And some African nations, such as the relatively small kingdom of Swaziland, they stand to lose over 30,000 jobs – and over 80% of their total exports. Such a loss will be nothing less than a national crisis for this kingdom. And the problem in other African countries also continues to grow more serious.


Another complication in the matter has been recent currency fluctuations of the South African Rand and the US Dollar. The good news however is a recent move by US officials to regulate certain Chinese commodities to better safeguard exports for the fledgling African exporters.






EU May Impose Sanctions to Curb Sino Market Influx


Samizdata: The Chinese Cheap Clothes Menace


Posted by Martin at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005

Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar, Dallas




-Martin Kite-Powell



I and a guest will be in attendance this May 23-24 at Westin Park Central in Dallas for the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar, which will be addressing the topic "America’s War Against Islamic Terrorism". The invitations actually came a couple of weeks ago, but with everything else going on the news of it has had to wait.


Among those who will be speaking on the first day will be Washington Post and ABC News commentator George F. Will on the question of “Containment or Preemption?”.


On day two we will be hearing from a variety of speakers including Larry P. Arnn, Ph.D Hillsdale College on “Statesmanship in Wartime”, Malise Ruthven, author, A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America on “The Origins of Islamism”, Frank J. Gaffney Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy on “Meeting the Domestic Terror Threat” and finally former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who will be speaking to us on “The Long War of the 21st Century: How We Must Fight It”.  


More about the speakers:


George F. Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, commentator and author, according to the Post Writers Group is, "…one of the most widely recognized, and widely read, writers in the world. With more than 450 newspapers, his biweekly Newsweek column, and his appearances as a political commentator on ABC, Will may be the most influential writer in America."


Will has also written articles for Newsweek and was the Washington Editor for National Review.  His education background includes studies at Trinity College in Hartford, and Oxford and Princeton universities. Will also taught political philosophy at Michigan State University and the University of Toronto. Other political work includes his time as a staff-member for U.S. Senator Gordon Allott. After his time on staff for the senator, Will decided to head into journalism where we now find him.


Larry P. Arnn is also involved with the Claremont Institute and has stated clear positions on many topics including domestic ones such as repealing the income tax. Larry is also a professor of history as well as the president of Hillsdale College.


Malise Ruthven is an expert in comparative religion. According to the biography at the Center for Ismaili Studies website, his background includes,


…the author of Islam in the World, The Divine Supermarket: Shopping for God in America, A Satanic Affair: Salman Rushdie and the Wrath of Islam and several other books. His Islam: A Very Short Introduction has been published in several languages, including Chinese, Korean, Romanian, Polish, Italian and German. His most recent book, A Fury for God: The Islamist Attack on America, explores the religious and ideological background behind the atrocities of September 11, 2001.


A former scriptwriter with the BBC Arabic and World Services, Dr Ruthven holds an MA in English Literature and a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University. He has taught Islamic studies, cultural history and comparative religion at the University of Aberdeen, the University of California, San Diego, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire and Colorado College. Now a full-time writer, he is currently working on Fundamentalism: A Very Short Introduction and Arabesque and Crucifix, a study in comparative religious iconography.



Frank J. Gaffney, in addition to being the founder and president of Center for Security Policy has also written for several well-known publications including National Review and spoke last year before the Congressional Committee on International Relations. Many of his online articles can be found at Townhall.com, Jewish World Review and FrontpageMag.com.


R. James Woolsey, who joined The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in 2002 as a Distinguished Advisor, has also written several articles for the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, FrontPageMaga.com, The Weekly Standard, The Financial Times, The New York Times Online and for the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also released a whitepaper discussing the dangers we now face as we begin to fight World War IV.


Woolsey is best known for his time as Director of Central Intelligence from 1993-1995, but has also served in many other significant government posts including Under Secretary of the Navy and participated in delegations to the START, NST and SALT I U.S.-Soviet arms talks. He has also been involved in various capacities with numerous civilian projects and organizations as well as the law firm in which he was a partner, Shea & Gardner in Washington, D.C.


On the so-called Wahhabi moderates, Woolsey states in 2002,


If you want to a feel for the intellectual infrastructure – if you can call it that – of [Wahhabi] thinking, there are websites where one can go to pull in what the sermons are on any given Friday throughout Saudi Arabia. I looked at one such set of sermons two or three weeks ago before some discussions we were having at the Defense Policy Board. And the three main themes that week were that all Jews are pigs and monkeys. The second major theme was that all Christians and Jews are the enemy it is our obligation to hate them and destroy them. And the third was that women in the United States routinely commit incest with their fathers and brothers and it is a common and accepted thing in the United States. This is not extraordinary. This is the routine Wahhabi view. One Wahhabi cleric was interviewed by a Washington Post reporter a few weeks ago in Saudi Arabia. The Post reporter asked him: ‘Tell me. I'm a Christian. Do you hate me' And the Wahhabi cleric said, ‘Well, of course if you're a Christian, I hate you. But I'm not going to kill you.' This is the moderate view. And we need to realize that just as angry German nationalism of the 1920s and the 1930s was the soil in which Nazism grew, not all German nationalists became Nazis, but that was the soil in which it grew. So the angry form of Islamism and Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia today is the soil in which anti-Western and anti-American terrorism grows.



Posted by Martin at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2005

Redux #5


...I thought this called for a re-run



Earlier Blogbat Top Posts:


Turmoil in the Americas: Made in China


How Bad Are Human Rights in CCP-Controlled Red China?


SHOCKING VIDEO: Stormtroopers' Rape of Human Rights in China


The Communist-Islamofascist Incest Triangle


Posted by Martin at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)