Young Master Smeet

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  • in reply to: Hong Kong #222454
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    “In recent years, China has introduced a raft of measures to accelerate opening-up and foster a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment, in a bid to better accommodate overseas investors.”

    “In the first eight months of this year, Chinese exports to the United States, rather than falling, expanded 22.7 percent year on year, according to official data.”

    “With a large market, complete industrial chain and favorable business environment, China has become a “strong magnetic field” for foreign investment.”

    “”If American companies are prevented from operating in China, our competitors will be able to take advantage of China’s economies of scale and rapid adoption of technology to outcompete U.S. companies everywhere else, including in our home market,” said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council.”

    I’ve mislaid the source, but I’m sure I can find it. But the picture painted is of a country fully integrated into the world capitalist order, seeking investment by and from capitalists. I’m sure, though, these must just be pro-capitalist lies, right?

    in reply to: Afghanistan #220849
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Nothing from Chomsky yet, but here’s what he said in May

    “Department of Defense clarified that 2,500 troops would leave Afghanistan by September 11. In a March 14 article, meanwhile, the New York Times had noted that the U.S. has 3,500 troops in Afghanistan even though “[p]ublicly, 2,500 U.S. troops are said to be in the country.” The undercount by the Pentagon is obscurantism. A report by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, furthermore, noted that the United States has about 16,000 contractors on the ground in Afghanistan. They provide a variety of services, which most likely include military support. None of these contractors—or the additional undisclosed 1,000 U.S. troops—are slated for withdrawal, nor will aerial bombardment—including drone strikes—end, and there will be no end to special forces missions either.”

    Looks like he’s wrong on this: but maybe that was the plan. But still, i think this is suggestive: “No lessons have been learned from this history. The U.S. will “withdraw,” but will also leave behind its assets to checkmate China and Russia. These geopolitical considerations eclipse any concern for the Afghan people.”

    In simple terms, continued instability is the US interest. I doubt China will go into Kabul, but I think they will secure their border and maybe try to prevent any aid to the Uighurs.

    in reply to: Afghanistan #220847
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    The real British attitude to Afghan refugees

    A good article, and worth a read. Something that we’ve not heard much about is the Brereton report “The report found evidence of 39 murders of civilians and prisoners by (or at the instruction of) members of the Australian special forces, which were subsequently covered up by ADF personnel.[5][6][7] The report stated 25 ADF personnel were involved in the killings, including those who were “accessories” to the incident. Some of those believed to be involved were still serving with the ADF.[8] The unlawful killings discussed by the report began in 2009, with most occurring in 2012 and 2013.[9]”

    The law has been changed here to prevent a similar report happening, or the guilty being held to account. 39 murdered people is the minimum of crimes committed by the Nato forces.

    in reply to: Afghanistan #220824
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    I believe the Taleban control the passes into Afghanistan, so they’ll be able to collect duty on all imports/exports (especially if they continue the opium trade, which is a bargaining chip they retain).

    Just imagine if instead of the war, the Nato allies had spent $2.2 Trillion buying wheat from Afghanistan over 20 years.: for all those emoting in the House of Commons about how much they care for Afghans, that would truly have changed the society there.

    in reply to: Afghanistan #220810
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant
    in reply to: Afghanistan #220794
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Alan,

    the rank and file of the IS forces may have been recruited from the MB, but the core command/control and expertise was former regime officers, perhaps activating a stay behind operation. They provided the know-how, IS were not your usual ragtag bunch.

    In that context, subsistence and personal survival played a huge part, but, as I think ALB has noted, there are regional/tribal differences and they may find reflection in remnant parts of the Afghan army. An ideology can always be found when it is needed.

    I’m just looking at this as a possible ‘moderating’ influence.

    in reply to: Afghanistan #220784
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    A bit of perspective: at the end of the Troubles, the IRA had 300 men ‘in the field’ with about another 450 in support (compare with the Taliban’s 75,000). By the end of the Troubles, the British had about 17,000 troops in the six counties, and they couldn’t suppress the IRA.

    Now, the question is, have the 300,000 Afghan Army troops gone away, or gone to the Taliban, to what extent could a stay behind force limit Taliban operations in the same way the IRA did.

    Let’s remember, the core of ISIS was former Ba’athist officers who’d been put out of a job. The Taliban need to assimilate the Afghan National Army, especially it’s officers.

    in reply to: Afghanistan #220734
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    The rumours seem to be circulating that the Afghan army was basically ordered to stand down; and that the top government officials have been flying with suitcases stuffed with dollars.

    Biden keeps repeating that the Afghan army numbered 300,000, so there is a big question of how a well equipped well paid for army of that size could evaporate so quickly.

    I’ve seen analysis that neither the Taliban nor the Afghan army really existed, but the locals are just taking the cash: the phrase there were cousins on both sides seems to resonate.

    in reply to: State Capitalism: The Wages System Under New Management #220468
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant
    in reply to: Chinese Tensions #219004
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Just because Western rivals are making propaganda out of atrocity, doesn’t mean atrocities aren’t being committed:

    “In 2014, just over 200,000 IUDs were inserted in Xinjiang. By 2018, that figure had increased more than sixty percent to nearly 330,000 IUDs, with this rise taking place at a time when everywhere else in China, Han women were getting the devices removed.41 In 2018, eighty percent of all IUD insertions in China were performed in Xinjiang despite the region accounting for just 1.8 percent of China’s population.42

    “According to its own budget documents, the Xinjiang government invested tens of millions of dollars into a birth control surgery programme from 2016 onwards, including the provision of community cash incentives for women to get sterilized.43 This has led to sterilization rates rising seven-fold in Xinjiang between 2016 and 2018, to more than 60,000 procedures; again, this occurred precisely when sterilizations are at a record low in other regions of China.44 While the rate of sterilization nationally continued to gently fall from forty to around thirty five women per 100,000, in Xinjiang it increased sharply from thirty to around 245 women per 100,000.45 The city of Khotän in the Uyghur-dominant southwest budgeted for 14,872 sterilizations in 2019, accounting for more than thirty four per cent of all married women of childbearing age.”

    (Finley, again).

    It does seem to be an uneven application of the child bearing policies of China.

    I think there are two issues: firstly, the raw numbers of humans affected (a by-product of this colonial endeavour happening under a greater world population than, say, the genocides in Australia), and secondly, the planned and deliberate character (again, most previous genocides have tended to be sotto voce, unofficial, and, usually, ad hoc).

    in reply to: Chinese Tensions #218993
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    I believe in some of the re-education centres they are being made to speak mandarin, so there does seem to be an element of cultural suppression. The PRC says this is to help integrate them into the economy and get proper jobs: which I believe was one of the ways Welsh was deprecated. I think the difference is the Chinese State is doing this consciously and systematically.

    Forced sterilisation does seem to be beyond the normal oppressive scale, the PRC shouldn’t get plaudits for stopping short of murder.

    in reply to: Billionaire taxes #218981
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Farmer Gate’s

    “The billionaire couple, in less than a decade, have accumulated more than 269,000 acres of farmland across 18 states, more than the entire acreage of New York City. The farmland was purchased through a constellation of companies that all link back to the couple’s investment group, Cascade Investments, based in Kirkland, Washington.”

    Bill Gates is the biggest farmland landowner in America, apparently.

    “70,000 acres in north Louisiana, where their farmland grows soybeans, corn, cotton and rice, to 20,000 acres in Nebraska, where farmers grow soybeans. They bought and later sold an additional 6,000 acres in Georgia, NBC News found. In Washington, the Gateses own more than 14,000 acres of farmland that includes potato fields so massive that they are visible from space and some of which are processed into french fries for McDonald’s. And in Florida, farmers grow carrots on their property. These land holdings are separate from their previous investments in companies that support large-scale farming like Monsanto and the tractor manufacturer John Deere.”

    in reply to: Chinese Tensions #218980
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    I think that links back to the problems with the idea of genocide itself: it is about destroying a people as a people, so acts like forced sterilisation, forced adoption, etc. are genocidal, especially as they tend to the elimination of the Uighurs as Uighers. The aim does seem to be that they will lose any cultural, linguistic identity at the end of this.

    Part of the problem is that the bar is set by the Holocaust, as the most extreme version of genocide (or the Rwanda case).

    It does seem China is going beyond oppression into a form of elimination, even if, it seems, they need the labour of the Uighers as well.

    in reply to: Chinese Tensions #218949
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    This is a useful backgrounder on the situation in Xianjing.

    Why Scholars and Activists Increasingly Fear a Uyghur Genocide in Xinjiang

    “In addition, an important foreign policy angle potentially explains why China has chosen this moment to impose a “security state” in Xinjiang and suppress the Uyghurs. In 2013, the PRC government adopted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global infrastructure development strategy which aims to invest in nearly seventy countries and international organizations and promote a China-led Eurasian integration. As the grand strategy within Xi Jinping’s “China Dream,” it seeks to balance against American primacy while securing the northwest frontier: as the key gateway to Xi’s vision, stability within the territory of Xinjiang is considered paramount.”

    What is happening in Xianjing is settler colonialism, full bored and conscious on the part of the Chinese authorities, seeking to build a demographic majority in a border region: “At each turn, the Chinese authorities appear to have grossly over-reacted to the perceived Uyghur threat, coming finally in 2014 to view the group as dangerous, unco-optable and uncontainable – a circumstance not unknown in colonial and quasi-colonial borderlands managed by an insecure state.”

    “Viewed through this lens, the situation begins to resemble a colonial genocide, where the perpetrator targets the indigenous peoples on the frontier because of their growing resistance to the former’s predatory behaviour.”

    ““It’s genocide, full stop. It’s not immediate, shocking, mass-killing on the spot type genocide, but it’s slow, painful, creeping genocide. These are direct means of genetically reducing the Uighur population.””

    The aim may not be to absolutely wipe out the Uighurs, but to reduce them to a demographic rump and shore up China’s Western border.

    “Kazmi’s point about the US being itself imperialist and more interested in maintaining its position as global hegemon, supported by its UK partner in the “special relationship,” is well made. In the US, the Left has been similarly slow to react to the Xinjiang crisis owing to its reticence toward the idea of finding common ground with Trump-era Republicans.132 But in June 2020, something happened that provoked a shift: following publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s memoir, The Room Where It Happened, it emerged that Trump had secretly encouraged Xi to continue constructing internment camps to detain Uyghurs. This revelation, argues investigative journalist Casey Michel, has opened up “an opportunity for the left to move into the moral vacuum Trump has created – and that [Joe] Biden, and Democrats more broadly, are suddenly moving to fill.””

    It’s clear that meaningfully PRC is committing democide/genocide.

    in reply to: Jerusalem Again #218279
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Alan, Hear, hear. It’s been tough, a lot of people have sided with the rocket launches. It’s taken some quiet ‘No war but the class war’ phraseology. Hamas’ rockets are rational, they cost $500 compared to $40K for Iron Dome rockets, but likewise Israel struck at the homes and property of richer Palestinians. The pass and fell of mighty powers.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 2,664 total)