China’s Goal Is Global Domination, And It Must Suffer The Soviet Union’s Fate

4 08 2020

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

China launched the deadly Coronavirus—as a bioweapon or inadvertently—with so much suffering globally; and like Adolf Hitler’s “Thousand-Year Reich” and the Soviet Union, it must pay with its very existence.  Nothing less will suffice.[2]

Michael Doran (a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.) and Peter Rough (the former director of research in the office of George W. Bush, and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.) have written a seemingly-exhaustive article for the Tablet about China’s role in the future, which is worth reading in its entirety:

American policymakers have long assumed that Chinese and American goals in the Middle East are largely complementary. Beijing, so the prevailing wisdom holds, is fixated on commerce, with a special emphasis on oil and gas. “China’s strategy in the Middle East is driven by its economic interests,” a former senior official in the Obama administration testified last year before Congress. “China . . . does not appear interested in substantially deepening its diplomatic or security activities there.” According to this reigning view, China adopts a position of neutrality toward political and military conflicts, because taking sides would make enemies who might then restrict China’s access to markets.

This oft-repeated shibboleth ignores clear signs that China is very actively engaged in a hard-power contest with the United States—a contest that the Chinese occasionally acknowledge and are capable of winning. In 2016, Xi Jinping toured the Middle East for the first time in his capacity as president of the People’s Republic of China, visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran. Chinese propaganda hailed the trip as a milestone. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a white paper on its Arab policy, the first of its kind. “We will deepen China-Arab military cooperation and exchange,” the paper read. “We will … deepen cooperation on weapons, equipment and various specialized technologies, and carry out joint military exercises.”

The following year, in 2017, the Chinese navy opened a naval base in Djibouti, the first overseas base it has ever established—a tacit renunciation of the traditional Chinese credo of noninterventionism. Djibouti sits on the southern end of the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which guards the passage to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal from the Gulf of Aden. On the northern end, only 18 miles away, lies Yemen.

China is advancing on the Middle East with ruthless determination, because the region is of more vital interest to China than any other, aside from the Western Pacific. Indeed, China is actively working to oust the United States from the Middle East—a reality that the American strategic community would overwhelmingly prefer not to recognize, but one that is nonetheless becoming glaringly obvious.

Don’t believe us? Ask the Uighurs, the brutalized people of Xinjiang province, which the Chinese government is actively colonizing by moving in millions of ethnic Han Chinese. The lucky among the Uighurs, who number some 11 million in total, are trapped in an inescapable web of surveillance and oppression. The unlucky ones, numbering perhaps 1 million, are interned in ideological indoctrination camps where they are exploited as slave labor, tortured, and, according to recent reports, subjected to forced sterilizations.

What motive can China have for its ongoing torment of a small ethnic minority, which brings Beijing an ongoing avalanche of negative publicity in the West? Xi’s policy flows, the experts tell us, from Beijing’s fear of terrorist and separatist movements among the Uighurs, who are a Turkic Muslim people with ethnic and religious ties to their neighbors and to Turkey. Whatever the validity of this analysis, it misses the strategic vector, which again points directly to the Middle East.

Xi’s signature foreign policy achievement is the Belt and Road Initiative, a $1 trillion program that invests in infrastructure projects across the world designed to funnel resources back to a hungry China, thereby creating a global Chinese sphere of interest. The jewel in the crown of the Belt and Road Initiative is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor—a multibillion-dollar program to build highways, rail lines, and pipelines from the port of Gwadar on the Indian Ocean to Xinjiang, the Uighur heartland. The northern terminus of the corridor is Kashgar—a Uighur city which, with cameras in every crevice, is likely the most surveilled metropolitan area in the world. China is crushing the Uighurs, in other words, because their territory sits athwart China’s critical overland supply routes.

How determined is China in its advance toward the Middle East? Determined enough to commit genocide.

The assumption of compatibility between Chinese and American interests in the Middle East is the residue of an otherwise defunct strategic belief system. Call it “harmonic convergence.” From Presidents Nixon to Obama, American leaders mistakenly assumed that globalism would transform China into a kinder, gentler communist power.

This theory began with the basic recognition that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) faced extraordinary pressure to grow its economy to create jobs for an exploding population. By necessity, therefore, Beijing had no choice but to accept several core components of capitalism, chief among them the flexibility that only decentralized decision-making can provide. As China decentralized its economy, so the thinking went, a new middle class would rise and demand more say over government policies. Full-blown democracy might not ensue, but relations between rulers and ruled would become ever more consensual and transactional. The iron laws of market economics would transform the CCP from a tyrant into the largely benign technocratic manager of a giant outsourcing park for Apple and Nike.

Harmonic convergence is a materialist theory of history, a capitalist analogue to Marxism. It assumes economics to be the main driver of human affairs, and it sees the “liberal international order” as the product of the immutable laws of political economy—universal laws that would shave the rough edges off communist China just as they had shaped Europe, America, Australia, Japan, and South Korea into modern liberal states. For decades, successive American presidents from both political parties worked to integrate the economies of China and America, turning them into conjoined twins.

The dynamics on which harmonic convergence focused were real enough. But the theory’s exclusive focus on economics blinded American leaders to countervailing factors—cultural, political, and demographic—of equal or greater weight. Culturally, China sees itself not as one country among many, but as a great civilization that is central to humankind. Politically, the CCP has proved more capable than anyone ever dreamed possible of adapting single-party rule to the demands of a modern economy. Thanks, in part, to the rise of new technologies, the CCP now manages to efficiently surveil 1.4 billion people, permitting them latitude in their economic affairs while ruthlessly policing their political life and social interactions.

CCP oppression of the Chinese people would be troubling but manageable if China were a middling actor on the world stage. But size matters. In 2010, Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, stormed out of an international conference in protest over U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s criticism of aggressive behavior by the Chinese military in the South China Sea. He subsequently justified his rage with this terse observation: “China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that’s just a fact.”

China resents the efforts of the United States to defend and support “small” countries in order to sustain an international order China had no say in creating and whose values—liberalism, democracy, free speech, free and transparent markets—it sees as daggers aimed at the CCP’s continuing rule. Beijing is therefore determined to break the liberal capitalist mold that the West built for it, and its heft gives it the power to succeed.

Of late, some analysts have taken to identifying the source of China’s hostility to the West as “communism.” Though anachronistic, the term is not entirely inaccurate. To be sure, no one in China still believes in the hidebound tenets of Marxist economics. Still, the CCP continues to rely on the one-party state structure and the traditional communist party tools of repression, subversion, and ideological warfare—including, to name just three, the secret police, a global system of front organizations and espionage networks, and a colossal propaganda machine—to advance nationalist ends.

In foreign policy, the CCP remains dedicated to international revolution. The new world they envision, however, is not a Marxist paradise but one in which China will replace the United States as the dominant power in a Sinocentric world order.

In achieving this goal, China’s leaders see business and scientific research as subordinate branches of the national security apparatus. The “Made in China 2025” initiative, which the CCP unveiled in 2015, envisions near-complete Chinese independence from foreign suppliers, especially in next-generation high-tech industries, with the goal of transforming China into the undisputed leader in the fields that will drive global economic growth in the coming decades.

The idea of supplanting the United States as the motor of high-tech innovation is integrally connected to the second track along which the CCP is moving: military modernization and expansion. Although reliable numbers are difficult to come by, between 2000 and 2019, China’s defense budget is estimated to have increased more than fivefold, from $43 billion to $266 billion—a sum that exceeds the combined defense budgets of Russia, Israel, Great Britain, and France. While Beijing’s immediate goal is to gain superiority over the United States in the Western Pacific, its long-term aim is to develop, within three decades, a fully expeditionary military, one capable of projecting power to the four corners of the globe with state-of-the-art weaponry matching or surpassing the firepower of the United States, and one trained in tactics designed to neutralize existing American advantages.

The third track of China’s strategy is political: to make the world more hospitable to the CCP’s single-party state. The new security law for Hong Kong, issued in late June, reminds us that as China grows in stature, it is becoming more aggressive and expansionist and hostile to democracy, not less. The CCP routinely uses front groups to organize expatriate Chinese communities and mobilize them in support of Beijing’s goals. It forces foreign companies operating in China to toe its ideological line in their own homes, and exploits Chinese businesses, universities, and research institutes to infiltrate Western institutions and companies.

In this context, the Middle East presents Beijing with a unique mix of threats and opportunities. On the threat side of the ledger is the fact that around half of China’s oil imports either originate in the Persian Gulf or flow through the Suez Canal. In addition to oil and gas, many of the other resources that feed China’s economy wind their way to ports such as Shanghai or Guangzhou only after passing through Middle Eastern choke points, where they are vulnerable to interdiction by the United States.

On the opportunity side for China, the Middle East is not only the source of much-needed oil, it is also home to the Jewish state. In terms of population, Israel is miniscule, but it is a cyber superpower, a global leader in artificial intelligence, and a spectacular innovator of next-generation weaponry. What China’s heavily bureaucratized one-party state lacks in the capacity to innovate and solve real-world technical challenges quickly, Israel has in spades—along with a unique ability to see inside and understand the capacities of the American techno-military complex. Jerusalem could play an indispensable role in helping Beijing achieve both its “China 2025” goals and its military modernization efforts—if it were not sheltering under the protective umbrella of the United States military.

“The World Island” is the name that Halford Mackinder, the father of modern geostrategy, gave to the single landmass created by the three interlocking continents, Europe, Africa and Asia, whose point of intersection we call “the Middle East.” The power that dominates the World Island commands the globe. The economic lifelines of not just China but also much of the world crisscross the region. Today, the United States military guarantees those lifelines, ensuring American global preeminence. If the era of American primacy in the Middle East were to end, the global balance of power would shift dramatically toward Beijing.

Last June, Rear Adm. Heidi Berg, director of intelligence at the U.S. Africa Command, drew public attention to the problem of the harassment of American forces at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti—the only permanent American base on the continent—by their new Chinese neighbors. The Chinese, she explained to reporters, were working to “constrain international airspace” by barring American aircraft from flying over the Chinese military base, deploying drones that were designed to interfere with U.S. flight operations, and flashing military-grade lasers at American pilots, causing minor injury to their eyes. On more than one occasion, Chinese soldiers have also attempted to infiltrate the American base.

From Beijing’s point of view, hard-power competition with the United States in the Middle East is a direct extension of the military contest in the Western Pacific. In the event of war between China and its Asian adversaries, Beijing intends to deny the United States the ability to operate militarily within “the first island chain”—the string of archipelagos stretching from the Kuril and Japanese Islands in the north, southward through Taiwan and the Philippines, and terminating in Borneo. These islands—America’s unsinkable aircraft carriers—hem in China from the east, turning the Asian behemoth into a peculiarly landlocked country.

To date, Beijing has had no means of breaking out to the sea. But China’s new route through Pakistan to the Indian Ocean changes all that. Beijing calls it the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” (CPEC), because Americans, whose thinking is steeped in harmonic convergence, drop their guard when they hear the word “economic.” In reality, the Pakistan-China relationship is a military alliance in all but name, directed at India. The corridor will terminate on the Indian Ocean at Gwadar, where a port is currently under construction with generous help from the Belt and Road Initiative.

While Beijing is now presenting Gwadar as an entirely commercial venture, upon completion it will certainly become a military base, which will assist Beijing in flanking India. CPEC will also shorten and harden China’s supply lines. Gwadar will serve as a transshipment hub for oil and natural gas and other raw materials that will flow overland through pipelines to Xinjiang, then on to points farther east in China.

To put the strategic import of the China-Pakistan link in quantifiable terms, the total distance from China to the Persian Gulf is over 5,000 nautical miles, through waters that, in time of war, will likely be impassable. By contrast, the distance from the Persian Gulf to Gwadar is less than 600 nautical miles.

The strategic advantages of this base-to-be will transform it into the most lustrous pearl in China’s growing “string of pearls”—the network of entrepôts along the sea lanes of communication that stretch from Hong Kong to Djibouti and Port Sudan on the Red Sea. With the exception of Djibouti, China presents these positions as commercial hubs—but at least some are clearly dual-use facilities that will be openly militarized whenever Beijing is ready to unsheathe its sword.

These martial intentions are not lost on China’s Asian rivals. If viewed from Delhi, Tokyo, Taipei, Seoul, Manila, or Canberra, the hostile purpose of the string of pearls is obvious. In the event of war, China is positioning itself not simply to defend its own energy supply lines but also to threaten the lines of its adversaries, all of whom are highly dependent on Middle Eastern oil. Among the most dependent are Japan and Taiwan, both of which have virtually no domestic oil and gas and rely overwhelmingly on Middle Eastern imports.

Among the pearls, the offensive strategic potential of Djibouti and Gwadar are particularly notable. Djibouti guards the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, a chokepoint in the route between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, through which oil flows to Europe. Gwadar, for its part, is located just off the Gulf of Oman, situated within easy striking distance of the Strait of Hormuz, through which oil destined for India, Japan, and Taiwan must pass.

If Beijing were in a position to interdict the cargo passing through these two key Middle Eastern chokepoints from its new bases in Djibouti and Gwadar, it would have its thumb on the world’s windpipe. Which appears to be exactly the vision that shapes the ambitions of Chinese war planners. A 2016 U.S. Naval War College study warns that within a decade China will have as many as 530 warships and submarines, up from the estimated 400 currently in its fleet. Under current budgets, the United States has little prospect of keeping pace.

Some analysts argue that the counting of vessels is a meaningless exercise: American ships are larger, more sophisticated, and more lethal than their Chinese counterparts—and may remain that way for decades to come. The American navy, moreover, is supposedly better trained in combined arms conflict and in coordination with allied militaries. Whatever the truth of such assertions, Beijing is not planning to assert its domination over the United States in an epic big-screen set piece event like the Battle of Midway. Instead, it’s chipping away at American power, slowly and methodically, with the aim of persuading America’s allies (and potential allies such as India) that the global balance of power is shifting against Washington, and that they are foolish to rely on the Americans for their security.

China’s Middle East strategy is not hard to parse. It is not trying to defeat the Americans in armed combat; it is waging a campaign of political warfare. To borrow a phrase from the Cold War, Beijing is trying to Finlandize America’s allies. That job does not require a military that can match America’s weaponry gun for gun. It just requires that the Americans appear unreliable.

Even now, before its buildup is complete, the Chinese navy is successfully pinning down and thinning out American forces. In 2018, Secretary of Defense James Mattis changed the name of the combatant command for Asia from United States Pacific Command to United States Indo-Pacific Command. In doing so, he tacitly acknowledged that if war were to break out in Asia tomorrow, the United States navy would have no choice but to increase patrols in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to deter the Chinese from attacking the supply lines of its enemies. The more thinly spread the forces of the United States become, the easier it is to make smaller powers afraid that America won’t be able or willing to protect them.

China’s message to Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea (to say nothing of Saudi Arabia and Israel) is clear: America is in decline; China is ascendant, its rise to glory inevitable.

In recent years, Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, has treated Xi Jinping to lessons on how to erode American prestige on the cheap. In the Syrian civil war, Putin deployed a force that was not large enough to constitute a significant threat to American preeminence, but it was still strong enough to turn the tide of the war. By establishing Russia as the leading actor on the ground in Syria, Putin turned himself into an indispensable interlocutor for America’s allies in the Middle East, especially Israel and Turkey, both of whose leaders began visiting Moscow more often than they flew to Washington.

China’s involvement with Russia’s Syria campaign extended well beyond watching Putin meet with Erdogan and Netanyahu in Moscow on television. Chinese warships were a regular part of Russian naval deployments in the Mediterranean, and the canisters of gas that Bashar Assad’s forces dropped on civilians in the early parts of the war were made in China.

One observable effect of China’s military engagement in the Middle East, through its active military alliance with Russia and elsewhere, over the past decade, is that many of America’s closest Middle Eastern allies have become customers for Chinese arms. In 2017, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) signed a partnership deal with Riyadh to construct a drone manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia. Previously, CASC had entered into only two such deals: with Pakistan, China’s closest ally, and in Myanmar, which it hopes to turn into an ally and thereby flank India in the East.

China is also gaining experience in force projection through its participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions, to which Beijing sends significantly more personnel than any other permanent member of the Security Council. While Beijing receives plaudits from internationalists for this contribution, the Chinese military gains logistics experience, collects valuable intelligence, and forms enduring relationships. Best of all, it dips into the United Nations peacekeeping budget, to which Washington contributes significantly more than Beijing, to help protect China’s growing overseas assets. Of the 13 countries that accepted Chinese peacekeepers between 2012 and 2018, nine were home to significant Chinese investments. In time, at least some of those contingents will swap out their blue U.N. flag for the red flag of the People’s Republic, transforming themselves into official Chinese military missions.

The rise of the naval base in Djibouti provides the model for this kind of transition. Chinese vessels first arrived in the Horn of Africa in late 2008, to cooperate with (but not to join formally) a multinational anti-piracy task force. The move marked a dramatic change: Never before had China sent warships beyond its territorial waters to cooperate with foreign militaries on an issue of mutual interest. Nor had the Chinese navy ever maintained daily communication with the United States military at the tactical and operational levels. Before then, military-to-military engagements between the Chinese and American navies had been limited to formal meetings between senior officers.

At the time, some in the Pentagon did suggest that this change represented the beginning of serious competition with China in the Indian Ocean and the Middle East. The proponents of harmonic convergence, however, drowned those voices out, arguing that the shift in Chinese policy signaled the eagerness of Beijing to become a “responsible stakeholder”: Cooperation against pirates today would open the door to other forms of cooperation tomorrow.

They were wrong. By encouraging such happy thoughts, the Chinese navy made the Americans comfortable with the presence of Chinese warships in the Horn of Africa. Before long, their temporary mission became a permanent base from which lasers are now directed into the eyes of American pilots.

China does have a deep, obvious, and abiding interest in guarding the free flow of oil—that much the proponents of harmonic convergence got right. Nor was the theory wrong in perceiving that China consciously benefits from the regional stability that the United States military provides. There is indeed a genuine overlap between Chinese and American interests. But that is the least interesting half of the story. China is also dedicated to transforming the liberal international order by undermining the United States and supplanting it as the dominant power in the Middle East. The goal of China’s formal neutrality is to manage the contradiction deftly, not least by diverting Western attention from its hostile long-term intentions.

The coordination between Moscow and Beijing in the Middle East is part of a much larger story. “In the past six years, we have met nearly 30 times,” Xi Jinping said about Vladimir Putin last year upon his arrival in Moscow for a state visit. “Russia is the country that I have visited the most times, and President Putin is my best friend and colleague,” Xi said. For his part, Putin replied that Chinese-Russian ties had “reached an unprecedented level” and described the relationship between the two countries as “a global partnership and strategic cooperation.”

These were more than just diplomatic pleasantries. While significant areas of friction remain, China and Russia are now working hand-in-glove in many key areas, including in defense. The U.S. intelligence community’s “Worldwide Threat Assessment” last year led with the statement: “China and Russia are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s.” The assessment did not identify the Middle East as an area of major alignment between China and its Russian partner, but it should have. Together, they are searching for ways to loosen the bonds between Washington and its allies and to strengthen anti-American forces in the region, which are led by Iran.

Harmonic convergence, however, has obscured the nature, extent and even the existence of a Chinese-Russian condominium in the Middle East by overemphasizing the shared Chinese-American interest in regional stability against Russia’s interest in instability—which boosts Russian oil revenue and arms and security exports. Alas, the presumed clash between Russian and Chinese interests is more theoretical than real. As a practical matter, China’s mercantilist approach to energy mitigates friction with Russia over questions pertaining to oil pricing.

Wherever possible, China purchases long-term concessions at favorable rates, thus insulating itself from the vicissitudes of energy markets. Similarly, Putin’s military interventions in Libya and Syria have not threatened China’s interest in stability, which focuses on the oil exporting countries of the Persian Gulf. On the contrary, they have created many opportunities for Chinese diplomacy and commerce. Consequently, little stands in the way of Russia and China forming an active or tacit alliance aimed at weakening the American order in the Middle East, which is an interest that both countries share in common.

Another fact that Americans tend to miss is that China’s economic size and strategic advantages position it as the senior partner in the relationship—meaning that Xi Jinping, not Putin, calls the shots. It is Russia’s job to intervene militarily in the Middle East and, thereby, to take the heat from the Americans. Meanwhile, China benefits from Russia’s “destabilizing” activities.

The behavior of Chinese diplomats at the U.N. is instructive. For at least two decades, they have mostly deferred to their Russian counterparts on the weightiest Middle Eastern issues, such as the Iranian nuclear deal and the Syrian conflict. If approached by American or European diplomats regarding Beijing’s position on an issue under debate, Chinese diplomats indicate that there is no point in discussing matters with them, because they will vote however the Russians decide to vote. By behaving as if Beijing has no independent policy, Chinese diplomats succeed in providing Russia with staunch support while appearing passive almost to the point of indifference. This ploy reinforces the American presumption that trade is all that China really cares about in the Middle East—and that Russia, not China, is the most serious challenger to American primacy in the region.

Russia’s ability to perform as China’s stalking horse in the Middle East depends significantly on its military alliance in Syria with Iran, which has produced the bulk of the ground troops buttressing Bashar Assad’s regime. But Russia cannot afford to pay for the Iranian effort. For that, China’s resources are essential.

While China does not directly subsidize the Syrian war, it is Iran’s biggest trading partner and its biggest source of foreign investment—just as it is Russia’s. While Beijing’s cooperation with Tehran centers on China’s energy needs and nonenergy economic investments, the relationship has also included, for many years, defense cooperation. As the Trump administration’s sanctions have ravaged the Iranian economy, China’s importance to Tehran has only grown.

And Beijing has grown increasingly willing to demonstrate that fact. Last December, China held joint naval exercises with Russia and Iran in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman. The event was notable for being the first of its kind among the three countries, but also for the timing. It came in the midst of significant conflict between Washington and Tehran in which Iranian forces were conducting attacks on tankers hauling oil from the Persian Gulf.

If China were truly neutral in Middle Eastern conflicts, and if it were truly concerned exclusively about trade, then wouldn’t it have refrained from holding joint exercises at that moment—and encouraged its closest friend in the Middle East to settle down, compromise, and get on with the exciting business of building the Chinese and Iranian economies?

Instead, China advertised itself as the silent partner of the Russian and Iranian axis and, by extension, of the so-called “Resistance Alliance,” the string of Iranian allies, including the Assad regime, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis of Yemen.

Of course, Beijing does not explicitly support the malign activities of the Resistance Alliance. On the other hand, neither does it mount opposition to those activities. Iran, too, is China’s stalking horse.

The benefits to China of the destabilizing activities of Russia and Iran in the Middle East are many and substantial. The strategy, first, exhausts America. The last two American presidents have been elected on platforms dedicated to reducing commitments to the Middle East. Sizable segments of both political parties do not understand why the United States is playing a major role in the region, and some significant portion of them advocate leaving it altogether.

Second, the Iranian-Russian axis and the Resistance Alliance damage American prestige. The continuing failures of the United States to prevail over the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, and to outmaneuver Russia in Syria, allow the propaganda machines of Russia, China, and Iran to foster the impression, both inside the Middle East and beyond, that America is past its prime.

Third, keeping the Iranian regime alive and maintaining its military capacity helps the Chinese forces in the region to pin down the American navy, because Iran’s threatening behavior in the Persian Gulf diverts American resources from the Western Pacific.

Fourth, China is sowing division between America and its allies. Few issues have caused a deeper rift between the United States and its European allies than the disagreements over how to handle the Iran challenge in all of its dimensions—not just the nuclear file. The Syria conflict has similarly divided the Americans from their regional allies, especially Turkey, and it has sent very large refugee flows into Europe that have vexed the European Union and roiled its politics.

Finally, support for Iran and Russia, especially in an era of doubts about America’s long-term commitment to the Middle East, forces major allies of the United States such as Saudi Arabia and Israel to hedge their bets by cultivating their ties with Beijing. For American allies, the best way to gain entree to Beijing without annoying the Americans is by accepting its open invitation to engage economically. Indeed, China is now the number one trading partner of Saudi Arabia, from which it imports more oil than from any other country. Israel, for its part, receives significant capital investment from China along with high-level visits from Chinese military brass, and is employing a Chinese company to develop the port of Haifa—despite repeated American requests to cancel the contract.

In a perfect world, neither the Israelis nor the Saudis would choose to manage their Iran problem through Beijing; they would prefer instead to solve it through a strong alliance with the United States. But both are realistic, and they can see clearly that America’s staying power is uncertain.

The very best lies are grounded in truth, and Beijing’s declaration of neutrality is a very good lie. It broadcasts half of the thoughts that are actually in Xi Jinping’s head, openly acknowledging China’s hunger for energy and need to prevent disruption of its supply. But by emphasizing these truths, Beijing’s neutrality deflects attention from its darker objectives.

Tacit support for the military interventions of Russia and for the terrorism and subversion of the Islamic Republic does not threaten China’s economic interests. On the contrary, brutish violence, if kept within limits, is good for business. What is more, a modicum of mayhem also keeps America on its back foot. In short, China is neutral against the United States.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, China’s annual crude oil imports, the highest in the world, averaged 10.1 million barrels per day in 2019. Expert forecasts predict that those imports will rise significantly in volume over the next decade. To mitigate the risk of disruption, China has diversified its portfolio of suppliers. In 2019, the top 10 sources of Chinese oil imports included, in addition to Middle Eastern suppliers, Russia, Angola, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. Spreading a dependency of this magnitude across many different suppliers is also a campaign of influence, part of Beijing’s political warfare against the United States.

The purchase of British oil is a case in point. Between 2018 and 2019, China’s imports from Britain increased more than its demand from any other supplier—by 44%. Is it an accident that China invested so dramatically in the British economy at a moment when London was in heated negotiations with Washington about whether Britain would allow the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to build and operate its 5G network infrastructure? If it is indeed an accident, the Chinese ambassador in London would like to hide that fact from us. When Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently reversed course and decided to phase out Huawei, the ambassador warned him that Chinese companies investing in Britain were “all watching.”

Such threats to punish governments with loss of “private” investment have become a normal part of China’s interaction with close U.S. allies like Britain, Canada, and Australia. In America, however, the prevailing wisdom, based on harmonic convergence, depicts China’s Middle East policy as nothing but a single-minded exercise in resource extraction, as if the Chinese private sector makes decisions on the basis of profit-and-loss calculations, and the bureaucrats in Beijing then run along behind it.

The propensity of Americans to see economics as an autonomous sphere blinds them to a simple fact: China is consciously deploying its economic influence to undermine the American order in the Middle East. Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, Beijing has invested more than $123 billion in the Middle East and North Africa. If these numbers suggest that the region is a top strategic priority, the relative trend lines are even more expressive. China is now the Middle East’s largest source of foreign investment. While China’s global investments decreased by $100 billion in 2018, its investments in the Middle East and North Africa actually grew that year by over $28 billion. Almost three-quarters of that sum went to American allies: Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia—all countries which China designates as “strategic comprehensive partners,” a major honor in the Chinese diplomatic system. By 2018, annual bilateral trade between China and Persian Gulf allies had nearly doubled from a decade before to $163 billion; in 2000, it was only $10 billion. China is now the largest trading partner of Oman, Kuwait, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, and is among the largest partners of Israel.

But Beijing has singled out one Middle Eastern country for special attention. Between 2008 and 2018, bilateral trade with Iraq increased by over 1,000%, from $2.6 billion to more than $30 billion. In 2013, China became Iraq’s leading source of foreign investment and top trading partner, not to mention the recipient of over half of its oil. Iraq is now the third-largest supplier to China, just behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. When President George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, his detractors, including China, accused him of launching a war to seize control of Iraq’s oil reserves. Ironically, no country has benefited more than China from the postwar oil dispensation. Last year, China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Company agreed to a $1.39 billion deal to build a wide variety of projects in southern Iraq, including low-cost housing, education and medical facilities, and tourist centers.

During a five-day visit to Beijing in September 2019, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi elevated formal cooperation even further, announcing that Iraq would join China’s Belt and Road Initiative. For his part, Xi Jinping committed to an “oil for reconstruction program,” where China would construct a wide array of projects in Iraq, ranging from roads and airports, to hospitals, sewage systems, and schools, in return for 100,000 Iraqi barrels of oil per day. The United States military defeated the Islamic State for the Iraqi government, but it was Chinese companies, not American, that have reaped the rewards. Thanks to harmonic convergence, the Americans harbored no resentment toward the Chinese for their apparent good fortune. On the contrary, Washington welcomed the growing Chinese economic role, even giving Beijing credit for joining the “American” project of building the Iraqi economy and stabilizing the country.

As sad as this story is, it gets even worse. While Iraq is a wonderland for Chinese business, it is a hostile environment for Americans, due to the widespread influence of Iranian-backed militias. Last December, Iran launched a campaign, spearheaded by those militias under the guidance of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), to expel the United States from the region as a whole, starting with Iraq. Once again, Iran’s “destabilizing” activities did not receive any visible rebuke from China.

Given the vital importance of China to Iran as its economic lifeline in the era of the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign, one cannot but wonder if Qassem Soleimani received a wink and a nod from Beijing before he launched the violent anti-American campaign that ended in his death. Even if there was no such consultation, the growing influence of China in Iraq still represents yet another example of how Beijing’s use of Iran as a stalking horse pays economic and strategic dividends simultaneously. The IRGC exhausted and confounded American forces in Iraq, thereby creating a vacuum that Iran’s patron, China, is filling.

The realization that China poses a serious threat to the United States in the Middle East comes at an inopportune moment. Public trust in American leaders is at historic lows, and trust in their judgment about the Middle East is especially jaundiced. On both the left and the right, influential voices in the United States demand a reduction of American military commitments. President Obama first planted the idea of retreat in the public mind, with the announcement from his administration of a “pivot to Asia.” This line of thinking is alive and well among supporters of President Donald Trump. “We’re getting out. Let someone else fight over this long bloodstained sand … The job of our military is not to police the world,” Trump said last October. Though he was referring directly to his decision to pull American troops from northeast Syria, his rhetoric signaled agreement with those who favor a broad retreat from the Middle East.

The transformation of the United States into a net energy exporter, thanks to the fracking revolution, has strengthened the bipartisan claim that an American retreat from the Middle East would be both sane and safe. Shouldn’t those who are actually dependent on Middle Eastern oil police the region? While we sympathize with the sentiment behind the question, the simple answer is that no power other than the United States has the wherewithal to contain China. Far from strengthening the United States, a retreat from the Middle East would do severe harm to American interests and deliver a strategic victory of very large proportions to Beijing.

Consider this entirely plausible scenario of the immediate consequences of an American withdrawal. As a first step, Xi Jinping would back Tehran politically and militarily in the development of so-called “anti-access/area denial capabilities.” These are the mix of tactics and weapons that the Chinese military is now deploying inside the first island chain in the Western Pacific with the goal of turning the region into a no-go zone for American forces. With Iran so equipped, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman would become Chinese lakes.

As a second step, Xi Jinping would follow a similar strategy along the coast of the Red Sea. Dramatically expanding the base in Djibouti, he would then transform the Chinese commercial hub in Port Sudan, across the Red Sea from Jedda, into a sister military base. With both of these installations equipped with anti-access/area denial capabilities, the Red Sea, too, would become a Chinese lake.

From Djibouti, Beijing would assist Iran to realize its objective of turning the Houthis into a Yemeni clone of Lebanese Hezbollah—an Iranian-directed militia equipped with a large arsenal of precision guided ballistic missiles capable of destroying Riyadh. Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf sheikhdoms would find themselves surrounded by Chinese and Iranian firepower. Their ability to export oil, the lifeblood of their economies, would become entirely dependent on the goodwill of China, which would be the only power capable of restraining Iran. The leaders of the oil producing Arab states would then race each other to Beijing to see who could kowtow first to the Chinese Communist Party.

Israel, too, would have no choice but to kowtow, as its shipping lanes from the Port of Eilat to Asia would be at the mercy of the Chinese in the Red Sea. No sooner would the Sino-Russo-Iranian axis rise in the Persian Gulf than a revivified Russo-Iranian alliance would appear in Syria, with direct or indirect assistance from the Chinese military. The Israeli prime minister would make his own mad dash for Beijing to negotiate the place of Israel in the new, Sinocentric Middle Eastern order.

As the representative of a country with nuclear weapons, a state-of-the-art military, and a diversified economy, the Israeli leader would likely receive better terms than his Arab counterparts. Xi Jinping would be more than delighted to treat Israel as close friend of China—provided Israel agreed to downgrade its ties with the United States and Europe, establish a Sino-Israeli cyber research and development center in Beijing, participate in a joint missile defense development project, and allow the Chinese navy to conduct port visits in the Haifa harbor that China built and runs.

The swift hegemony of China over the oil transport chokepoints of the Middle East would lead to panic among America’s East Asian allies and India. Was China readying itself to strangle them economically? Should they search for sources of oil from the Western Hemisphere? Should they work with one another to build emergency oil reserve systems?

In response to the panic, Beijing would launch a charm offensive to reassure panicked U.S. allies that China remained fully committed, as always, to freedom of navigation and to the free flow of oil at stable prices. Beijing would then begin the slow, deliberate and systematic work of exploiting its favorable strategic position in the Middle East to transform itself into the undisputed king of the global energy trade, building up positions of unrivaled power at every stage of the oil production process, from extraction, to transport, to refining, and marketing. 

Oil and gas are unique commodities. Their price and availability affect every individual in the world, yet they are controlled by a relatively small group of powerful companies. Merely through the choice of contracting partners and terms of sale, producers and distributors have the power to redirect billions of dollars from one set of pockets to another. Energy companies are thus inherently attractive to Chinese communist leaders, for whom it is second nature to seek out and acquire instruments of mass influence that can be kept under the tight control of a privileged few.

Under the new, Sinocentric Middle Eastern order, companies and individuals critical of America would see their stars rise. This web would include Europe and, indeed, all other regions where Middle Eastern oil and gas are consumed. Nor will the energy self-sufficiency of the United States protect us from Chinese pressure. The recent Saudi-Russian price war serves as a reminder that oil is produced locally but priced globally. When the Saudi-Russian dispute collapsed the price, it threatened to destroy the American fracking industry, on which much of the growth of the American economy is now predicated.

If China succeeds the United States as the dominant power in the Middle East, a major shift in the global balance of power will result, significantly diminishing the clout of the United States, even to the point of eroding the control that Americans exercise, as a free people, over their own destiny.

Retreating from the Middle East would go down as one of the greatest strategic blunders in American history. Nevertheless, the political climate in the United States constrains the options of America’s leaders. The last two presidents gained office by promising to end wars in the Middle East, not start new ones. Neither President Trump nor Democratic candidate Joe Biden will display anything but a reluctance to introduce new forces into the region.

How then, can the United States strike a balance between containment of China and the electorate’s demand for a light touch in the Middle East? The key is finding partners on the ground who will do the work that the American military cannot do.

In American politics today, there are only two available methods for identifying partners and assigning them roles and missions. The first, co-optation, was the method Obama used. Attempting to create a concert system in the Middle East, Obama started from the assumptions that Moscow and Tehran were open, under the right conditions, to being co-opted; and that America and its major allies shared more in common with them than they had heretofore been inclined to acknowledge. Obama saw himself not as the head of a coalition dedicated to undermining Russia and Iran, but as a leader intent on bringing together all of the various regional “stakeholders” and helping them find mutually beneficial solutions to the challenges of the region. America, its allies, and Iran and Russia all shared, Obama believed, a vital interest in containing Sunni radicals such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State, and in stabilizing the Middle East more broadly.

By the lights of this theory, Iran is a status-quo power, merely struggling to hold on to what it has, not attempting to overturn the existing order. The worst policies of Iran—pursuit of nuclear weapons, support for terrorism, and building of subversive militias in surrounding states, to name just three—were indeed ugly, but they were essentially defensive acts. Iran has a weak regular army, which poses no threat of invading its neighbors. Its deep sense of insecurity, historically, has derived largely from the fact that its regional rivals, Israel and Saudi Arabia, had persuaded the United States to take an aggressive position toward it, thus convincing Tehran that America’s real goal was regime change. As long as America sought the destruction of the Islamic Republic, a more productive relationship was impossible.

Obama approached Russia with an analogous set of assumptions—which, intellectually, fit hand-in-glove with the harmonic convergence approach to China. If the United States were to treat Moscow and Tehran as partners, not as adversaries who needed to be contained, then it could change the calculus in Moscow and Tehran. Thus, on one hand, the president repeatedly scolded Saudi Arabia and Israel, lecturing them on the need, in his words, to “share” the region with Iran. Meanwhile, on the other hand, he engaged in an ambitious attempt to arrive at a strategic accommodation with Moscow and Tehran. The main focus of that effort was the Iran nuclear deal, but it included diplomatic engagement over the future of Syria and Iraq as well.

The foundational assumptions supporting this approach, however, were false. Russia and Iran are not simply playing defense against American imperialism. They are anti-status quo powers seeking to oust the United States from the region—and they were backed in turn by a more powerful anti-status quo power, China. Obama’s precipitous withdrawal from Iraq; his repeated announcements that America was war weary and eager to rebuild at home; his refusal to take the lead, whether diplomatically or militarily, in stabilizing Syria; his explanations that East Asia was the new foreign policy priority—all of these and more convinced Moscow and Tehran that the United States was racing for the exits in the Middle East. Once America left, they had good reason to believe that the Chinese would work with them.

Thus, the spirit of partnership that the United States hoped to spark by adopting a more accommodating position on the Iranian nuclear program did not generate a reciprocal response.

On the contrary, the Iranians recognized that Obama’s ambition to complete the nuclear deal gave them a free hand elsewhere in the region. Tehran’s shared interest with Moscow in the survival of the Assad regime generated unprecedented cooperation between the two countries in Syria. The moment the nuclear deal was completed, this cooperation flowered into a full-blown military alliance.

Iran and Russia were not alone in deepening their involvement in the Middle East on the heels of the nuclear deal. In January 2016, Xi Jinping toured the region for the first time, visiting Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and, the highlight of his trip, Iran. Chinese propaganda framed the visit as the arrival not just of a leader, but of China as a great power. The co-optation method of stabilizing the Middle East opened the door to a Sino-Russo-Iranian coalition dedicated to overturning the American order.

The United States cannot leave the Middle East. But neither can it stabilize the region with large numbers of its own ground troops. Nor can it create a concert system with Iran and Russia. Only one option, then, remains: to contain the anti-American powers—China, first among them—by building up a regional coalition made up of America’s traditional allies, which will shoulder much of the work on the ground.

Alas, containment has been getting bad press these days. On July 11, The New York Times reported that China and Iran were on the verge of signing a 25-year trade and military agreement. The article would have us believe that this is a stunning new and dangerous development—the direct consequence of Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. But it is not. As even the article concedes, without digesting the implications, Beijing and Tehran first announced a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” when Xi Jinping visited Tehran in 2016—a year before Trump took office, and only one week after the JCPOA brought sanctions relief to Iran.

The New York Times encourages us to conclude that the only remedy to the Sino-Iranian alliance is a return to Obama’s policy of co-optation. But the great flaw of Obama’s policy was that it forced no hard choices on Iran, which was free to pocket concessions from the West while cooperating even more closely with China and Russia in ways that eroded American power. Tehran could enjoy sanctions relief while building a web of rapacious militias explicitly dedicated to attacking and subverting America’s allies and to driving the United States from the Middle East.

Similarly, Obama’s model of co-optation failed to take advantage of the glaring contradiction at the heart of China’s grand strategy, which seeks to enjoy all the benefits of American hegemony while working, indirectly, to destroy it. Indeed, the contradiction strikes at the core of the Sino-Iranian relationship, which now consists of a delicate balancing act: While China tacitly supports Iran in order to undermine the American position in the Middle East, it cannot afford to take that support too far, lest the blowback harm its economy or provoke a damaging counterreaction from the United States.

The modern Sino-Iranian relationship was forged shortly after the Iranian Revolution, when both Iran and China were still international pariahs united by overt hostility to the American-dominated global order. Since then, China has adopted a more restrained posture—at least in appearance—especially since its accession to the World Trade Organization and its integration into the global economy. China’s economic ties with the United States put limits on China’s support for Iran: In 2018, China’s annual trade relationship with Iran was $42 billion, while its trade relationship with the United States ran at about $737 billion.

At present, China is too dependent on exports to the United States, too weak militarily, and its energy supply lines are too vulnerable to risk direct confrontation with the United States; instead, China mounts indirect challenges through Iran and Russia. A return to the cooptation approach will assist Beijing in its strategy of having it both ways. More specifically, it will strengthen the Russian-Iranian alliance, turning it into a more effective sword for China to swing at the American regional security structure.

If the Russian-Iranian alliance should die, or become weak and ineffectual, China will not step in directly to build it back up—because Beijing fears a direct confrontation with the United States. The first priority of American policy, therefore, is to remove the sword from China’s hand by crushing the Russian-Iranian alliance. The domestic American political climate will not permit the use of large numbers of American troops in this project, but four other tools do exist:

1) Economic sanctions. The Trump administration has been imposing these effectively. The Iranian economy is in perilous condition, and the economic situation of Iran’s allies, the Assad regime and Lebanese Hezbollah, are equally dire.

2) Clandestine operations. In recent months, Iran has experienced a wave of mysterious fires and explosions at industrial complexes and military installations. One of these events, at the nuclear fuel enrichment site at Natanz, reportedly set back the country’s nuclear program significantly. A foreign hand is suspected in at least some of these episodes, and the finger of suspicion points most often at Israel. But the sabotage could just as easily be the result of a joint American-Israeli operation.

3) Direct military action by allies. The Turks and the Israelis have both carried out very effective operations in Syria that have significantly degraded not just Iranian but also, in the case of the Turks, Russian capabilities.

4) Selective and judicious use of American military capabilities. The killing of Qassem Soleimani in December did more to shake the Iranian regime than any step the United States has taken in the last 30 years, with the possible exception of the invasion of Iraq. It not only removed from the game an indispensable player, but it boosted the morale of America’s allies and demoralized its enemies.

These tools, taken together, can effectively remove the Russo-Iranian sword from the hand of China. They are already being used. Are they the result of a conscious Trump administration strategy, or have they simply materialized as a set of ad hoc responses to the president’s insistence that his national security team contain Iran aggressively, yet with an economy of force? Whatever the answer, they point the way forward. The goal of American policy should be to use them separately and in coordination so as to increase their lethality.

The greatest advantage that the United States has in its competition with China and, indeed, with any of its adversaries, is hard power. In the realm of trade and investment, Washington simply cannot compete with China and hope to win. If it is to contain China successfully, then it will win with its sledgehammers: military power and economic sanctions. In the Middle East, what America’s allies crave most is the security that comes from the might of the American military. Nothing does more to encourage allies to hedge their bets and cozy up to Beijing than the fear that the United States has decided to abandon military competition as a tool of statecraft.

As China works to make the Middle East a factor in the Western Pacific balance of power, the United States should respond by bringing the Pacific to the Middle East. China’s energy supply lines and its aspiration to become the dominant power in the Persian Gulf should become a regular and significant part of America’s discussions with its Pacific partners and India. The goal of this dialogue should be to arrive not just at a shared picture of the threat but also at strategies for assuring that China’s supply lines remain highly vulnerable. China’s partners and potential partners in its plan to become a Middle Eastern military power—Iran, Djibouti, Pakistan, Iraq, and others—should be put on notice that the days of harmonic convergence are over. Support for Chinese hard-power aspirations must come at a steep price. The U.S. must bury harmonic convergence as an organizing principle, or risk ceding control of the international system to a hostile, anti-democratic power.[3]

As I have written:

China’s economy was almost in free-fall before it unleashed the Coronavirus and caused so much suffering globally.  Now, the consumers of the world must boycott anything and everything containing Chinese components for the next twenty years—by “voting” with their pocketbooks—just as Americans did with German and Japanese cars after their savagery in World War II.[4]

And I added:

[Y]es, China’s evil leadership tier thirsts for power, but so did the Soviet leadership that is no more. Perhaps symbolic is that China’s aircraft carrier the Liaoning was a Soviet-era rusting hulk that the Chinese acquired and put a [flat top] on. For the longest time, [China] couldn’t land jets on it, and it was a joke. . . .

The longer that India exposes the weak underbelly of the Chinese military, the better. However, it appears that China is willing to sacrifice Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center in order to subjugate its residents and snuff out democracy. Similarly, it is “reeducating”—persecuting—at least 120,000 and possibly over 1 million Uyghurs.[5]

At the very least, the thoroughly-evil regime of Xi Jinping in China must be crushed.

Lastly, Putinism in Russia will die with the death of the country’s brutal dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin.  And cut off China’a oil supplies and it is dead in the water, quite literally.[6]

 

Xi Jinping and Coronavirus

 

© 2020, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-20-6-30). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See Timothy D. Naegele, The Coronavirus and Similar Global Issues: How to Address Them, 137 BANKING L. J. 285 (June 2020) (Naegele June 2020) (Timothy D. Naegele) [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, please click on the link to the left of this note]; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/can-we-coexist-with-asias-communists/ (“Can We Coexist with Asia’s Communists?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/coexistence-with-china-or-war/ (“Coexistence With China Or War?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/the-coronavirus-must-become-chinas-chernobyl-hastening-the-collapse-of-its-evil-regime/ (“The Coronavirus Must Become China’s Chernobyl, Hastening The Collapse Of Its Evil Regime”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/why-should-the-world-trust-china-ever-again/ (“Why Should The World Trust China Ever Again?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/china-infects-the-world-then-lies-and-blames-america/ (“China Infects The World, Then Lies And Blames America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/20/expert-warns-quarantine-process-failed-as-china-stands-ready-to-crash-world-economy/ (“Expert Warns Quarantine Process Failed, As China Stands Ready To Crash World Economy”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/china-is-americas-enemy-and-the-enemy-of-free-people-everywhere/ (“China Is America’s Enemy, And The Enemy Of Free People Everywhere”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”)

[3] See https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/israel-middle-east/articles/china-middle-eastern-kingdom (“China’s Emerging Middle Eastern Kingdom”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/china-must-be-crushed/ (“China Must Be Crushed”) and https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/world/asia/cold-war-china-us.html (“Caught in ‘Ideological Spiral,’ U.S. and China Drift Toward Cold War”—”Relations are in free fall. Lines are being drawn. As the two superpowers clash over technology, territory and clout, a new geopolitical era is dawning”)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/china-must-be-crushed/ (“China Must Be Crushed”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/will-america-be-the-great-and-glorious-republic-of-the-past-or-the-social-and-cultural-marxist-hellhole-that-is-the-promise-of-the-mobs/#comment-24915 (“Will America Be The Great And Glorious Republic Of The Past, Or The Social And Cultural Marxist Hellhole That Is The Promise Of The Mobs?”); see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_aircraft_carrier_Liaoning (“Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning”) and https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jul/8/us-admirals-china-sea-carrier-operation-meant-mess/ (“China Sea carrier operation meant as message to Beijing, say U.S. admirals”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghurs#Persecution_of_Uyghurs_in_Xinjiang (“Persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang”) 

[6]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”)





China Must Be Crushed

16 07 2020

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

China launched the deadly Coronavirus on the world—as a bioweapon or inadvertently—and it must pay with its very existence, and not be pampered as some would suggest.

Steven Lee Myers and Paul Mozur have written in the New York Times:

One by one, the United States has hit at the core tenets of Xi Jinping’s vision for a rising China ready to assume the mantle of superpower.

In a matter of weeks, the Trump administration has imposed sanctions over punitive policies in Hong Kong and China’s western region of Xinjiang. It took new measures to suffocate Chinese innovation by cutting it off from American technology and pushing allies to look elsewhere. On Monday, it challenged China’s claims in the South China Sea, setting the stage for sharper confrontation.

And President Trump said on Tuesday that he had signed into law a bill to punish Chinese officials for the new security law that curbs the rights of Hong Kong residents, along with an executive order ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong.

“The power gap is closing, and the ideological gap is widening,” said Rush Doshi, director of the China Strategy Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, adding that China and the United States had entered a downward “ideological spiral” years in the making.

“Where’s the bottom?” he asked.

For years, officials and historians have dismissed the idea that a new Cold War was emerging between the United States and China. The contours of today’s world, the argument went, are simply incomparable to the decades when the United States and the Soviet Union squared off in an existential struggle for supremacy. The world was said to be too interconnected to easily divide into ideological blocs.

Now, lines are being drawn and relations are in free fall, laying the foundation for a confrontation that will have many of the characteristics of the Cold War — and the dangers. As the two superpowers clash over technology, territory and clout, they face the same risk of small disputes escalating into military conflict.

The relationship is increasingly imbued with deep distrust and animosity, as well as the fraught tensions that come with two powers jockeying for primacy, especially in areas where their interests collide: in cyberspace and outer space, in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, and even in the Persian Gulf.

And the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with China’s recent aggressive actions on its borders — from the Pacific to the Himalayas — has turned existing fissures into chasms that could be difficult to overcome, no matter the outcome of this year’s American presidential election.

From Beijing’s perspective, it is the United States that has plunged relations to what China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said last week was their lowest point since the countries re-established diplomatic relations in 1979.

“The current China policy of the United States is based on ill-informed strategic miscalculation and is fraught with emotions and whims and McCarthyist bigotry,” Mr. Wang said, evoking the Cold War himself to describe the current level of tensions.

“It seems as if every Chinese investment is politically driven, every Chinese student is a spy and every cooperation initiative is a scheme with a hidden agenda,” he added.

Domestic politics in both countries have hardened views and given ammunition to hawks.

“What cooperation is there between China and the United States right now?” said Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore. “I can’t see any substantial cooperation.”

The pandemic, too, has inflamed tensions, especially in the United States. Mr. Trump refers to the coronavirus with racist tropes, while Beijing accuses his administration of attacking China to detract from its failures to contain the virus.

Mr. Trump, in a statement delivered from the Rose Garden Tuesday evening that focused harshly on China and his presidential rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr., referred to the pandemic as “the plague pouring in from China,” and said that the Chinese “could have stopped it.”

Both countries are forcing other nations to take sides, even if they are disinclined to do so. The Trump administration, for example, has pressed allies — with some success in Australia and, on Tuesday, in Britain — to forswear the Chinese tech giant Huawei as they develop 5G networks. China, facing condemnation over its policies in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, has rallied countries to make public demonstrations of support for them.

At the United Nations Humans Rights Council in Geneva, 53 nations — from Belarus to Zimbabwe — signed a statement supporting China’s new security law for Hong Kong. Only 27 nations on the council criticized it, most of them European democracies, along with Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Such blocs would not have been unfamiliar at the height of the Cold War.

China has also wielded its vast economic power as a tool of political coercion, cutting off imports of beef and barley from Australia because its government called for an international investigation into the origins of the pandemic. On Tuesday, Beijing said it would sanction the American aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin over recent weapons sales to Taiwan.

With the world distracted by the pandemic, China has also wielded its military might, as it did by testing its disputed frontier with India in April and May. That led to the first deadly clash there since 1975. The damage to the relationship could take years to repair.

Increasingly, China seems willing to accept the risks of such actions. Only weeks later, it asserted a new territorial claim in Bhutan, the mountain kingdom that is closely allied with India.

With China menacing vessels from Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia in the South China Sea, the United States dispatched two aircraft carriers through the waters last month in an aggressive show of strength. Further brinkmanship appears inevitable now that the State Department has declared China’s claims there illegal.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, Zhao Lijian, said on Tuesday that the American declaration would undermine regional peace and stability, asserting that China had controlled the islands in the sea “for thousands of years,” which is not true. As he stated, the Republic of China — then controlled by the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-shek — only made a formal claim in 1948.

“China is committed to resolving territorial and jurisdictional disputes with directly related sovereign states through negotiations and consultations,” he said.

That is not how its neighbors see things. Japan warned this week that China was attempting to “alter the status quo in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.” It called China a more serious long-term threat than a nuclear-armed North Korea.

Michael A. McFaul, a former American ambassador to Russia and professor of international studies at Stanford University, said China’s recent maneuvering appeared to be “overextended and overreaching,” likening it to one of the most fraught moments of the Cold War.

“It does remind me of Khrushchev,” he said. “He’s lashing out, and suddenly he’s in a Cuban missile crisis with the U.S.”

A backlash against Beijing appears to be growing. The tensions are particularly clear in tech, where China has sought to compete with the world in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and microchips, while harshly restricting what people can read, watch or listen to inside the country.

If the Berlin Wall was the physical symbol of the first Cold War, the Great Firewall could well be the virtual symbol of the new one.

What began as a divide in cyberspace to insulate Chinese citizens from views not authorized by the Communist Party has now proved to be a prescient indicator of the deeper fissures between China and much of the Western world.

Mr. Wang, in his speech, said China had never sought to impose its way on other countries. But it has done exactly that by getting Zoom to censor talks that were being held in the United States and by launching cyberattacks on Uighurs across the globe.

Its controls have been hugely successful at home in stifling dissent and helping to seed domestic internet giants, but they have won China little influence abroad. India’s move to block 59 Chinese apps threatens to hobble China’s biggest overseas internet success to date, the meme-laden short-video app TikTok.

Last week, TikTok also shut down in Hong Kong because of China’s new national security law there. The American tech giants Facebook, Google and Twitter said they would stop reviewing data requests from the Hong Kong authorities as they assessed the law’s restrictions.

“China is big, it will be successful, it will develop its own tech, but there are limits to what it can do,” said James A. Lewis, a former American official who writes on cybersecurity and espionage for the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Even in places where China has succeeded in selling its technology, the tide appears to be turning.

Beijing’s recent truculence has now led the United Kingdom to block new Huawei equipment from going into its networks, and the Trump administration is determined to cut the company off from microchips and other components it needs. To counter, Beijing has redoubled efforts to build homegrown options.

Calls for a total decoupling of China’s supply chain from American tech companies are unrealistic in the short term, and would prove massively expensive in the longer term. Still, the United States has moved to pull Taiwan’s microchip manufacturing — crucial to the supply chains of Huawei and other Chinese tech companies — closer to its backyard, with plans to support a new Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing plant in Arizona.

Mr. Wang, the foreign minister, urged the United States to step back and seek areas where the two countries can work together. Pessimism about the relationship is nonetheless widespread, though most Chinese officials and analysts blame the Trump administration for trying to deflect attention from its failure to control the pandemic.

“It is not difficult to see that under the impact of the coronavirus in this U.S. election year various powers in the U.S. are focused on China,” Zhao Kejin, a professor of international relations at Tsinghua University, wrote in a recent paper. “The China-U.S. relationship faces the most serious moment since the establishment of diplomatic relations.”

While he eschewed the idea of a new Cold War, his alternative phrasing was no more reassuring: “The new reality is China-U.S. relations are not entering ‘a new Cold War’ but sliding into a ‘soft war.’”[2]

China’s economy was almost in free-fall before it unleashed the Coronavirus and caused so much suffering globally.  Now, the consumers of the world must boycott anything and everything containing Chinese components for the next twenty years—by “voting” with their pocketbooks—just as Americans did with German and Japanese cars after their savagery in World War II.  Nothing less will suffice.[3]

As I wrote recently:

[Y]es, China’s evil leadership tier thirsts for power, but so did the Soviet leadership that is no more. Perhaps symbolic is that China’s aircraft carrier the Liaoning was a Soviet-era rusting hulk that the Chinese acquired and put a [flat top] on. For the longest time, [China] couldn’t land jets on it, and it was a joke. . . .

The longer that India exposes the weak underbelly of the Chinese military, the better. However, it appears that China is willing to sacrifice Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center in order to subjugate its residents and snuff out democracy. Similarly, it is “reeducating”—persecuting—at least 120,000 and possibly over 1 million Uyghurs.[4]

At the very least, the thoroughly-evil regime of Xi Jinping in China must be crushed.

 

 

© 2020, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-20-6-30). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/world/asia/cold-war-china-us.html (“Caught in ‘Ideological Spiral,’ U.S. and China Drift Toward Cold War”—”Relations are in free fall. Lines are being drawn. As the two superpowers clash over technology, territory and clout, a new geopolitical era is dawning”)

[3]  See Timothy D. Naegele, The Coronavirus and Similar Global Issues: How to Address Them, 137 BANKING L. J. 285 (June 2020) (Naegele June 2020) (Timothy D. Naegele) [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, please click on the link to the left of this note]; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/can-we-coexist-with-asias-communists/ (“Can We Coexist with Asia’s Communists?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/coexistence-with-china-or-war/ (“Coexistence With China Or War?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/the-coronavirus-must-become-chinas-chernobyl-hastening-the-collapse-of-its-evil-regime/ (“The Coronavirus Must Become China’s Chernobyl, Hastening The Collapse Of Its Evil Regime”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/why-should-the-world-trust-china-ever-again/ (“Why Should The World Trust China Ever Again?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/china-infects-the-world-then-lies-and-blames-america/ (“China Infects The World, Then Lies And Blames America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/20/expert-warns-quarantine-process-failed-as-china-stands-ready-to-crash-world-economy/ (“Expert Warns Quarantine Process Failed, As China Stands Ready To Crash World Economy”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/china-is-americas-enemy-and-the-enemy-of-free-people-everywhere/ (“China Is America’s Enemy, And The Enemy Of Free People Everywhere”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/will-america-be-the-great-and-glorious-republic-of-the-past-or-the-social-and-cultural-marxist-hellhole-that-is-the-promise-of-the-mobs/#comment-24915; see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_aircraft_carrier_Liaoning (“Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning”) and https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jul/8/us-admirals-china-sea-carrier-operation-meant-mess/ (“China Sea carrier operation meant as message to Beijing, say U.S. admirals”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghurs#Persecution_of_Uyghurs_in_Xinjiang (“Persecution of Uyghurs in Xinjiang”)





Bring It On!

30 10 2019

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Some of us have lived through this period of time before.  Only the faces change.  

We were in Berkeley for the “Free Speech” and anti-Vietnam War riots.  We were in Washington, D.C. when the city was set ablaze after Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in Memphis.  We were there when Watergate broke, and we lived through that too.  We lived with 9/11, and watched Iraq turn into a graveyard for so many Americans and their dreams, while still others were maimed for life, and trillions of dollars were wasted . . . for nothing.[2]

The title of this article is the rallying cry of Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—who has written:

Sunday morning, President Trump announced that the world’s worst terrorist, the head of the ISIS caliphate who had raped an American woman, had received justice.

About to be captured and carried off in a helicopter by U.S. special forces, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up with an explosive vest in a compound in northwest Syria. The long search for the sadist and fanatic had ended in triumph. No U.S. troops were lost.

That evening, Trump went out to the fifth game of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros. As his face was flashed on the big screen, the stadium erupted with people booing and chanting, “Impeach Trump!” and “Lock him up!”

That Trump is not cheered at a D.C. baseball game is not odd, for the spectators are not working-class Trumpians. Series tickets cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, and the spectators are drawn from a town that gave Donald Trump 4% of its votes in 2016.

The mutual distrust in this city was on display when Trump told the press yesterday morning that he had not alerted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the impending U.S. raid, because he was afraid of leaks.

“I wanted to make sure this kept secret,” said Trump. “I don’t want to have people lost. … We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. … A leak could have cost the death of all of them.”

The Russians, however, were alerted we were coming, as they control the airspace over the compound we were targeting. And Trump thanked the Russians for their cooperation.

Also left out of the loop was the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, one of the “Gang of Eight” that is almost always given a heads-up about major military operations. Schiff is conducting secret hearings to drum up support for Trump’s impeachment and removal for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

It is imprecise to say this city is divided over Trump. It is rather almost solidly united behind what millions of Middle Americans believe to be a deep state-media conspiracy to overturn the 2016 election and effect a coup d’etat against a president whom this city detests but fears it cannot defeat in 2020.

A week ago, this writer noted the astonishing number of foreign capitals that were on fire with protests that go beyond marching and demonstrating — to riot, rebellion and even revolution. As with the “yellow vest” protests that shut down Paris on many weekends this past year, and the disorders in Hong Kong, the epidemic had spread to Beirut, Barcelona and Santiago, Chile.

In Iraq, over 200 have been killed and thousands injured in protests this month against the Baghdad regime. In Algeria, now six months after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was forced to step down, rioters still battle the army.

The thread common to these uncivil, often-violent disruptions?

A conviction that the cause the protesters are advancing is so critical, noble and necessary that democratic rules may be dispensed with and law and order suspended in pursuit of the cause.

Saturday’s Washington Post describes the mindset that is taking hold in D.C. among militants, using as an example the Extinction Rebellion group’s dragging of a boat into the street at 16th & K to block traffic for hours to call attention to rising sea levels.

“Blocking traffic may only be the beginning,” wrote Marissa Lang. “As protests in the District continue at a rate of about two a day, activists looking to stand out from crowds that march near the White House or the Mall have resorted to more disruptive measures in recent weeks — a tactic that experts said will probably escalate.”

She cites sociology professor Dana Fisher: “There has been a lot of discussion among people on the left who use protests as a tactic that peaceful, traditional protests may not be enough. … That could mean … more people blocking traffic. … I think we’re going to see a lot more people coming into D.C. to get arrested.”

Fisher continues: “When activists don’t feel like their grievances are being heard or responded to … the natural progression is to get more confrontational and, sometimes, to get more violent. … I’m … surprised it’s taken so long.”

Who wins when leftists go lawless — in liberal citadels like D.C.?

This thinking echoes the famous “bodies upon the gears” speech of Mario Savio at the famous 1964 University of California, Berkeley campus riot: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that … you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop!”

After Berkeley came civil disobedience; the burning of ROTC buildings; and urban riots marked by looting, shooting and arson. Out of that came Richard Nixon’s 49-state landslide, Ronald Reagan, and Republican triumphs in five of six presidential elections starting in 1968.

Bring it on.[3]

To those at the stadium in our nation’s capital who booed the President—and chanted, “Impeach Trump!” and “Lock him up!”—they are the dregs of society, without a purpose in life.  Pat Buchanan is right: they are not working-class Americans, but the privileged elite; and they occupy a town that gave Donald Trump only four percent of its votes in 2016.  They do not relate to you and me.  They are like the Hollywood-do-nothings who prance around spouting meaningless platitudes, and feeling entitled.

Trump is right not to trust any Democrats, or those on the far-Left, or their media lackeys—or the RINOs in the Republican Party such as the despicable Mitt Romney.  Yes, lots of us are ashamed that we voted for him and the equally-despicable Paul Ryan and others.[4]  And yes too, Russia’s killer and dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin whom I despise is more trustworthy than the un-American racist anti-Semite Barack Obama and his co-conspirators who have engaged in sedition, such as Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters and Jerry Nadler.[5] 

A rising number of Americans are understanding, finally, that we are in the midst of this great nation’s second Civil War: a fight for the soul of America, which will determine its destiny for years and generations to come.  Abraham Lincoln stood at a similar precipice, and stared into the abyss, and he destroyed the enemy.  While it took generations to heal, he saved our great Republic.  Had he failed, we might not be one nation today.[6]  Donald Trump is his worthy successor.

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-19-9-27.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/the-middle-east-is-not-americas-fight/ (“The Middle East Is Not America’s Fight”)

[3]  See https://buchanan.org/blog/is-democracy-a-dying-species-137638 (“Is Trump Facing a 1960s-Style Revolt?”)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/#comment-20531 (“The Despicable Mitt Romney Must Be Driven From The GOP”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-19656 (“Echoes Of The Despicable John Bolton”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”) (see also the extensive comments beneath these three articles) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”)

[6]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/this-is-war-abraham-lincoln-and-ronald-reagan-understood-this-and-donald-trump-does-too/ (“This Is War—Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan Understood This, And Donald Trump Does Too”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/impeachment-may-become-the-singular-obsession-in-washington-and-dominate-news-coverage/ (“Impeachment May Become The Singular Obsession In Washington, And Dominate News Coverage”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/ulysses-s-grant-an-american-hero/ (“Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero”)

 

 





Is Democracy A Dying Species?

22 10 2019

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The United States has the purest form of democracy in the world.  Does this mean that it is perfect, and without flaws?  Certainly not.  But we are blessed by our Founders’ inherent wisdom, which has stood the tests of time.  Years ago, I wrote:

I believe in this country, and I believe in Americans of all colors, faiths and backgrounds. The United States is the only true melting pot in the world, with its populace representing a United Nations of the world’s peoples. Yes, we fight and we even discriminate, but when times are tough—like after 9/11—we come together as one nation, which makes this country so great and special. Also, all of us or our ancestors came here from somewhere else. Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists.[2]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has asked the question that is the title of this article:

What happens when democracy fails to deliver? What happens when people give up on democracy?

What happens when a majority or militant minority decide that the constitutional rights of free speech, free elections, peaceful assembly and petition are inadequate and take to the streets to force democracy to submit to their demands?

Our world may be about to find out.

Chile is the most stable and prosperous country in Latin America.

Yet when its capital, Santiago, recently raised subway fares by 5%, thousands poured into the streets. Rioting, looting, arson followed. The Metro system was utterly trashed. Police were assaulted. People died. The rioting spread to six other cities. Troops were called out.

President a Sebastian Pinera repealed the fare hike and declared a national emergency, stating, “Chile is at war against a powerful, implacable enemy who does not respect anything or anyone and is willing to use violence and crime without any limits.”

How does a democracy that has spawned within itself a powerful and implacable enemy deal with it?

Last week, tens of thousands of Lebanese of all faiths and political associations rioted in Beirut and Tripoli to demand the overthrow of the regime and the ouster of its president, speaker of parliament and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. All must go, the masses demand.

In Barcelona, Friday, half a million people surged into the streets in protest after the sentencing in Madrid of the secessionists who sought to bring about the independence of Catalonia from Spain in 2017.

In all of China, few enjoy the freedoms of the 7 million in Hong Kong. Yet, for five months, these fortunate and free Chinese, to protest a proposal that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China, stormed into the streets to defy the regime and denounce the conditions under which they live.

These protests have been marked by riots, vandalism, arson and clashes with police. “Hong Kong streets descended into chaos following an unauthorized pro-democracy rally Sunday,” writes the Associated Press. Protesters “set up roadblocks and torched businesses, and police responded with tear gas and a water cannon. Protesters tossed firebombs and took their anger out on shops with mainland Chinese ties.”

What are the Hong Kong residents denouncing and demanding?

They are protesting both present and future limitations on their freedom. The appearance of American flags in the protests suggests that what they seek is what the agitators behind the Boston Tea Party and the boys and men at Concord Bridge sought — independence, liberty and a severing of the ties to the mother country.

Yet, because the Communist regime of Xi Jinping could not survive such an amputation, the liberation of Hong Kong is not in the cards. The end to these months of protest will likely be frustration, futility and failure.

Perhaps it is that realization that explains the vehemence and violence. But the rage is also what kills the support they initially received.

In 1960s America, the first civil rights demonstrations attracted widespread sympathy. But the outburst of urban riots that followed in Harlem, Watts, Newark, Detroit and 100 cities after Martin Luther King’s assassination sent millions streaming to the banners of Gov. George Wallace in the campaigns of 1968 and 1972.

When the “yellow vest” protests broke out in 2018 in Paris, over a fuel tax, the demonstrators had the support of millions of Frenchmen.

But that support dissipated when protesters began smashing windows of boutique shops on the Champs-Elysee, assaulting police and desecrating monuments and memorials.

This reversion to violence, ransacking of stores and showering of police with bricks, bottles and debris, is costing the protesters much of the backing they enjoyed. In the trade-off between freedom and order, people will ultimately opt for order.

Yet, one wonders: Why are these outbursts of violent protests and rioting taking place in stable, free and prosperous societies?

Chile is the most stable and wealthy country in South America. Catalonia is the most prosperous part of Spain. Paris is hardly a hellhole of repression. And Hong Kong is the freest city of China.

If the beneficiaries of freedoms and democratic rights come to regard them as insufficient to produce the political, economic and social results they demand, what does that portend for democracy’s future?

For, despite the looting, arson and attacks on cops in Hong Kong, Xi Jinping is not going to order his satraps to yield to popular demands for autonomy or independence. Nor is Madrid going to accept the loss of Barcelona and secession of Catalonia. Nor is the conservative Chilean government going to yield to the street rebels and revolutionaries. Nor is Paris going to back down to the “yellow vests.”

Yet, one wonders: If the “end of history” and worldwide triumph of democratic capitalism thesis has, as most agree, been disproven, is it possible that the Age of Democracy is itself a passing phase in the history of the West and the world?[3]

Americans have not given up on democracy at all.  While many are at odds with their fellow citizens about the direction that our great nation should take, they are exercising their rights of free speech dramatically, for an often-troubled world to see.  Is it a pretty sight?  Is democracy in action an edifying experience?  Not always, but it is a sign that our great democracy is functioning.  

The rifts in our body politic cut across lots of fracture lines: Donald Trump or no Trump[4]; abortions or no abortions[5]; foreign wars or no foreign wars[6]; the admission of illegal immigrants or none[7]; man-made “global warming,” or one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated on Mankind by the “eco-Nazis”[8]; — . . . and the list goes on and on.

If one person could be said to have been at the very heart of the cleavages in our society today it is the racist and anti-Semite Barack Obama, who did more than any other president to resew the seeds of racism in America today, and to divide this country along fault lines that are “fragile” in the best of times.[9]  By leading the treasonous efforts to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump, there is no doubt that Obama engaged in sedition, which is consistent with his character.[10]

Pat Buchanan was correct when he observed that “the rage is . . . what kills the support they initially received”—and we have seen all of this before (e.g., during the Vietnam War era), and survived.  George Orwell warned about it in his prescient Animal Farm, where all of the animals were considered equal until the Pigs accreted power and control, and subjugated the other animals (or “disbelievers”) until they reigned supreme.[11]

Abraham Lincoln and his trusted generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, dealt with the harsh realities of divisions within our great nation that might have torn it asunder—and they prevailed.[12]  At times, the forces of division (and of evil and darkness) must be destroyed, not simply defeated.  Nothing less will suffice. This was certainly true of Adolph Hitler and his “Thousand-Year Reich.”

Lastly, Pat Buchanan was mistaken in the conclusion of his article above.  In the United States, the Left is being given enough rope to hang itself, like its alter egos did before.  And most Americans are myopic: they are focused on their own lives, and do not really care what goes on in the world outside—as long as it does not affect them—which is understandable.

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-19-9-27.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) (citing http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ and http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/2951-ilene/31177-interview-with-timothy-d-naegele)

[3]  See https://buchanan.org/blog/is-democracy-a-dying-species-137638

[4]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/this-is-war-abraham-lincoln-and-ronald-reagan-understood-this-and-donald-trump-does-too/ (“This Is War—Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan Understood This, And Donald Trump Does Too”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/impeachment-may-become-the-singular-obsession-in-washington-and-dominate-news-coverage/ (“Impeachment May Become The Singular Obsession In Washington, And Dominate News Coverage”)

[5]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-3298 (“55 Million American Babies Killed Since Roe v. Wade“—”One can only conjecture as to the contributions they would have made, which are forever lost like the contributions of more than 60 million human beings who were killed by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and their thugs”)

[6]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/the-middle-east-is-not-americas-fight/ (“The Middle East Is Not America’s Fight”)

[7]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[8]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[9]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the articles); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”)

[10]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”)

[11]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm“)

[12]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/ulysses-s-grant-an-american-hero/ (“Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero”)

 

 





This Is War—Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan Understood This, And Donald Trump Does Too

9 10 2019

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

God love him, Ronald Reagan destroyed the Soviet Union’s Evil Empire, and brought down Communism, and made the world safer for democracy—and the United States into the world’s preeminent and only superpower that it is today, with no peers.  Yet, he was maligned and hated from Day One; and the same forces that are seeking to destroy Donald Trump tried desperately to destroy Reagan’s presidency too.  Their appetites, and perpetual and insatiable thirst for blood, were whetted by having destroyed one conservative president, Richard Nixon.  Reagan was their next target; and Iran Contra was their preferred means of taking him down.  However, they failed.  Much to their everlasting contempt, disgust and dismay, Reagan is lionized today.

The script is repeating itself with Trump.  And there are RINOs in the GOP (or Republicans In Name Only), such as the despicable Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan—two losers, with respect to whom lots of us are ashamed of having voted for them—who are aligned with the Democrats’ efforts, and with those of other radical far-Leftists and their “fellow travelers” in the media.[2]  Clearly, this is a war, every bit as sinister as the prospects for war that Abraham Lincoln faced.  Yet he stood tall and faced down our enemies, foreign[3] and domestic[4], and it changed the course of America forever.[5]

There are reasons to believe that Donald Trump will follow Lincoln’s path, and prevail.  The “Pigs” of George Orwell’s Animal Farm are trying to take over, and subjugate all of the others animals—which are us—and they must be stopped . . . and yes, destroyed.[6]  They are a threat to our great Republic, and to our way of life.  Gregg Re and John Roberts have written at Fox News:

The White House outlined in a defiant eight-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats on Tuesday why it will not participate in their “illegitimate and unconstitutional” impeachment inquiry, charging that the proceedings have run roughshod over congressional norms and the president’s due-process rights.

Trump administration officials called the letter, which was written by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and obtained by Fox News, perhaps the most historic letter the White House has sent. The document tees up a head-on collision with Democrats in Congress, who have fired off a slew of subpoenas in recent days concerning the president’s alleged effort to get Ukraine to investigate political foe Joe Biden during a July phone call with Ukraine’s leader.

“President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process,” the letter stated. “Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice. In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”

The document concluded: “The president has a country to lead. The American people elected him to do this job, and he remains focused on fulfilling his promises to the American people.”

Responding to the letter, Pelosi accused Trump of “trying to make lawlessness a virtue” and added, “The American people have already heard the President’s own words – ‘do us a favor, though.’” (That line, from a transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader, in reality referred to Trump’s request for Ukraine to assist in an investigation into 2016 election interference, and did not relate to Biden.)

Pelosi continued: “This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections. … The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction. Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable.”

Substantively, the White House first noted in its letter that there has not been a formal vote in the House to open an impeachment inquiry — and that the news conference held by Pelosi last month was insufficient to commence the proceedings.

“In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step,” the letter stated.

It continued: “Without waiting to see what was actually said on the call, a press conference was held announcing an ‘impeachment inquiry’ based on falsehoods and misinformation about the call.”

Despite Pelosi’s claim that there was no “House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry,” several previous impeachment inquiries have been launched only by a full vote of the House — including the impeachment proceedings concerning former Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

White House officials told Fox News the vote opening the proceedings was a small ask, considering the implications of potentially overturning a national election.

The letter went on to note that “information has recently come to light that the whistleblower” who first flagged Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president “had contact with [House Intelligence Committee] Chairman [Adam] Schiff’s office before filing the complaint.”

And Schiff’s “initial denial of such contact caused The Washington Post to conclude that Chairman Schiff “clearly made a statement that was false,” the letter observed.

Multiple reports surfaced this week that the whistleblower had a prior “professional relationship” with one of the 2020 Democratic candidates for president. On Friday, lawyers for the whistleblower did not respond to questions from Fox News about the whistleblower’s possible previous relationship with any currently prominent Democrat.

The letter added: “In any event, the American people understand that Chairman Schiff cannot covertly assist with the submission of a complaint, mislead the public about his involvement, read a counterfeit version of the call to the American people, and then pretend to sit in judgment as a neutral ‘investigator.'”

The White House was dinging Schiff for reciting a fictional version of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader during a congressional hearing. Schiff later called his statements a “parody.”

“Perhaps the best evidence that there was no wrongdoing on the call is the fact that, after the actual record of the call was released, Chairman Schiff chose to concoct a false version of the call and to read his made-up transcript to the American people at a public hearing,” the letter stated. “The chairman’s action only further undermines the public’s confidence in the fairness of any inquiry before his committee.”

Ukraine’s president has said he felt Trump did nothing improper in their July call, and DOJ lawyers who reviewed the call said they found no laws had been broken. The White House released a transcript of the conversation last month, as well as the whistleblower’s complaint, which seemingly relied entirely on second-hand information.

Separately, the letter asserted multiple alleged violations of the president’s due-process rights. It noted that under current impeachment inquiry proceedings, Democrats were not allowing presidential or State Department counsel to be present.

Democrats’ procedures did not provide for the “disclosure of all evidence favorable to the president and all evidence bearing on the credibility of witnesses called to testify in the inquiry,” the letter noted, nor did the procedures afford the president “the right to see all evidence, to present evidence, to call witnesses, to have counsel present at all hearings, to cross-examine all witnesses, to make objections relating to the examination of witnesses or the admissibility of testimony and evidence, and to respond to evidence and testimony.”

Democrats also have not permitted Republicans in the minority to issue subpoenas, contradicting the “standard, bipartisan practice in all recent resolutions authorizing presidential impeachment inquiries.”

The letter claimed that House committees have “resorted to threats and intimidation against potential Executive Branch witnesses,” by raising the specter of obstruction of justice when administration employees seek to assert “long-established Executive Branch confidentiality interests and privileges in response to a request for a deposition.”

“Current and former State Department officials are duty bound to protect the confidentiality interests of the Executive Branch, and the Office of Legal Counsel has also recognized that it is unconstitutional to exclude agency counsel from participating in congressional depositions,” the letter stated.

Additionally, the letter noted that Democrats reportedly were planning to interview the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry at an undisclosed location — contrary, the White House said, to the constitutional notion of being able to confront one’s accuser.

According to a White House official, the bottom line was: “We are not participating in your illegitimate exercise. … If you are legitimately conducting oversight, let us know. But all indications are this is about impeachment.”

The document came as the White House aggressively has parried Democrats’ inquiry efforts. One of the administration’s first moves: the State Department on Tuesday barred Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, from appearing before a House panel conducting the probe into Trump.

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public to see,” Trump tweeted.

The strategy risked further provoking Democrats in the impeachment probe, setting up court challenges and the potential for lawmakers to draw up an article of impeachment accusing Trump of obstructing their investigations. Schiff said Sondland’s no-show would be grounds for obstruction of justice and could give a preview of what some of the articles of impeachment against Trump would entail.

But, as lawmakers sought to amass ammunition to be used in an impeachment trial, the White House increasingly has signaled that all-out warfare was its best course of action.

“What they did to this country is unthinkable. It’s lucky that I’m the president. A lot of people said very few people could handle it. I sort of thrive on it,” Trump said Monday at the White House. “You can’t impeach a president for doing a great job. This is a scam.”

House Democrats, for their part, issued a new round of subpoenas on Monday, this time to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting White House budget director Russell Vought. Pelosi’s office also released an open letter signed by 90 former national security officials who served in administrations from both parties, voicing support for the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to look into Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.

“A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer by ensuring that serious wrongdoing can be investigated and addressed, thus advancing the cause of national security to which we have devoted our careers,” they wrote. “Whatever one’s view of the matters discussed in the whistleblower’s complaint, all Americans should be united in demanding that all branches of our government and all outlets of our media protect this whistleblower and his or her identity. Simply put, he or she has done what our law demands; now he or she deserves our protection.”

The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees were investigating Trump’s actions alleging he pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, potentially interfering in the 2020 election. The former vice president, for his part, has accused Trump of “frantically pushing flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories and smears against me.” And, Biden’s campaign has sought to have Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who has accused Biden of possible corruption, removed from the airwaves.

Biden has acknowledged on camera that in spring 2016, when he was vice president and spearheading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire top prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings — where Hunter had a lucrative role on the board despite limited relevant expertise. Critics have suggested Hunter Biden’s salary bought access to Biden.

The vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in critical U.S. aid if Shokin, who was widely accused of corruption, was not fired.

“Well, son of a b—h, he got fired,” Biden joked at a panel two years after leaving office.[7]

Bravo.  Never has an American president stood taller, to fight off the efforts of barbarians and to protect our great Republic, for future generations of Americans.  Lincoln did this.  Reagan did too.  And now Trump.  All were besieged from almost every quarter; and ultimately the great Lincoln paid with his life.  But the United States survived; and it will this time too.  The barbarians at our gates must be spurned and, yes, destroyed.  They have not left any other choices.

And the instigator of all of this—the un-American traitor, racist and anti-Semite, Barack Obama—should pay with his life for his sedition.[8]

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-19-9-27.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/#comment-19961 (“The Totally-Despicable Mitt Romney: Shame”)

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/#comment-19986; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)  

[4]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/#comment-17183 (“Trump Can Ignore America’s Courts”)

[5]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/washington-is-one-of-the-sickest-cities-on-earth/ (“Washington Is One Of The Sickest Cities On Earth”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/ (“When Will The Actual Shooting Begin In America’s Second Civil War?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/americas-left-is-vile-and-evil/ (“America’s Left Is Vile And Evil”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/is-putin-right/ (“Is Putin Right?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/the-u-s-supreme-court-is-a-tragic-pathetic-joke/ (“The U.S. Supreme Court Is A Tragic, Pathetic Joke”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/the-democrats-are-evil-but-smart-while-the-republicans-are-neanderthals-and-dumb/ (“The Democrats Are Evil But Smart, While The Republicans Are Neanderthals And Dumb”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/the-mueller-report-a-monumental-travesty/ (“The Mueller Report: A Monumental Travesty”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/the-american-lefts-feeding-frenzy/ (“The American Left’s Feeding Frenzy”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”)

[6]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm“)

[7]  See https://www.foxnews.com/politics/impeachment-inquiry-white-house-not-comply-pelosi (“White House announces it will not comply with ‘illegitimate and unconstitutional’ impeachment inquiry”)

[8]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/impeachment-may-become-the-singular-obsession-in-washington-and-dominate-news-coverage/ (“Impeachment May Become The Singular Obsession In Washington, And Dominate News Coverage”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”)





Impeachment May Become The Singular Obsession In Washington, And Dominate News Coverage

30 09 2019

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Like it or not, this is what the far-Left Democrats and their kindred spirits in America’s so-called “mainstream media” have wrought.  They are the party that gave us the senseless and tragic Vietnam War during which more than 55,000 Americans died—and many more were maimed, and to this day are “walking wounded”—and the party that gave us Watergate.  And yes, lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again.  

Today, they have a blood thirst for destroying the presidency of Donald Trump; and the father and progenitor of this is the un-American traitor, racist and anti-Semite, Barack Obama.  Instead of healing racial divisions in this great nation, he exacerbated them and fed them.  Few Americans took time to read his book before his election as our president in 2008, “Dreams from My Father.”[2]  If they had, they would have realized fully his un-American and racist views.  

Having grown up in Hawaii and Indonesia, he never lived on the U.S. mainland until he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, and later Columbia University in New York City, during which time he admitted to being a “druggie.”  A direct quote:

Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.[3]

He attended the church of the racist Jeremiah Wright for many years[4]; and he openly embraced the notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.[5]  Because Obama smiled, and seemingly supported American values, many in the United States were fooled by who he was and really is.  Deceit may be the hallmark of his life. 

Perhaps the once-respected New York Times has put these issues in their starkest form, in the following article by Alexander Burns and Nick Corasaniti, albeit not intending to do so:

After the 2016 election, Democratic leaders reached an all but unanimous conclusion: To defeat President Trump in 2020, they would have to do more than condemn his offensive behavior and far-right ideology, as Hillary Clinton had done. They would need, above all, to promote a clear and exciting agenda of their own.

They took that lesson to heart in the midterm elections and afterward, capturing the House of Representatives with a focus on health care and then attempting to impress the electorate by passing legislation on matters like campaign finance reform and the minimum wage. As Democratic presidential contenders pushed campaigns built on big ideas, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi resisted a chorus of calls for impeachment, even from some of her party’s leading 2020 candidates.

Yet 13 months before the next election, Democratic leaders are now steering into a protracted, head-on clash with Mr. Trump. By seeking the Ukrainian government’s help in tarring former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mr. Trump left them no choice, they say, but to pursue an impeachment inquiry that could consume the country’s attention for months.

Ms. Pelosi has indicated she aims to move the process along with haste, in part to avoid an election-year conflagration, but the exact course of the inquiry is impossible to foresee.

All 19 Democratic presidential candidates now support the impeachment inquiry, and many Democrats are optimistic that voters will as well, because Mr. Trump is so unpopular and the allegations against him are grave and easily grasped. For now, Republicans are the party on the defensive, flummoxed by the cascading disclosures about Mr. Trump that have threatened to upend his re-election campaign.

But there is also a general recognition, at every level of the Democratic Party, that impeachment could complicate their candidates’ efforts to explain their policy ideas to the country and persuade voters they have a vision beyond ousting Mr. Trump. The party has been disappointed too many times, its leaders say, by betting that Mr. Trump’s violations of political and cultural norms would bring about his downfall.

On Friday evening, Ms. Pelosi declared at a conference of New Jersey Democrats in Atlantic City that she would not allow the 2020 election to become a campaign about impeachment. Insisting the inquiry “has nothing to do with the election,” she said the campaign would be fought on other terms.

“That’s about facts and the Constitution,” Ms. Pelosi said of the impeachment process. “The election is about all of the issues and policies that we have a difference of opinion with the Republicans on, and they are very drastic — and they have nothing to do with impeachment.”

Ms. Pelosi has already advised the newest members of her caucus — the ones who secured the majority last year — that they will have to execute a careful balancing act in the coming weeks, to show voters in their districts that they can continue to pass important legislation. She is said to be particularly focused on a proposal to lower prescription drug prices that she unveiled last week, before the Ukraine saga began.

But even before impeachment, House Democrats were gaining little traction with policy bills that withered in the Republican-controlled Senate. Polls have shown their proposals to be popular, but they have been routinely overshadowed in the news by Mr. Trump.

There is little doubt that impeachment will become a singular obsession in the political world and dominate news coverage for as long as the inquiry is underway. A few early polls on impeachment suggest that public support for the inquiry is somewhat stronger than opposition to it, but those numbers could easily change in either direction as the process unfolds.

Diane Feldman, a Democratic pollster, said it would be difficult for the party to communicate with voters on issues besides impeachment for the duration of the process. But candidates up and down the ballot had to try to drive a message about policy all the same, she said.

“I think it’s worth the effort, but it’s a long shot,” Ms. Feldman said. “That we not put all of our eggs in the impeachment basket seems to me extremely wise.”

However, Ms. Feldman said, the impeachment process could also “add some clarity to risks that Trump presents to our national security and foreign policy” and sharpen the overall Democratic case against his re-election.

The task of balancing impeachment against policy priorities will be especially delicate for lawmakers elected last year, including dozens who won narrow victories in historically Republican districts. Democrats are defending a sizable number of seats that Mr. Trump carried in 2016, in parts of the country like upstate New York, Oklahoma City and northern Maine, where the impeachment issue is likely to stir backlash.

Congressional Republicans are likely to struggle in a different way, as they face pressure from their party’s conservative base to defend Mr. Trump even as he behaves in erratic or legally questionable ways.

Democratic presidential candidates are attempting their own juggling act, mixing denunciations of Mr. Trump’s actions on Ukraine with detailed policy promises. Mr. Biden, the candidate most directly connected to the impeachment uproar, has repeatedly denounced Mr. Trump but has declined to reorient his activities around responding to the president. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Mr. Biden’s leading competitor in the primary, has reminded voters this week that she was the first major Democratic candidate to demand Mr. Trump’s impeachment. But she, too, has not dwelled on the subject in her speeches, and she has indicated she would prefer to avoid a sprawling, open-ended process.

And at the same Democratic gathering in New Jersey where Ms. Pelosi spoke on Friday, Senator Cory Booker urged his party to avoid “partisan glee” about the prospect of impeaching Mr. Trump. Talking to reporters outside the event, he said Democrats should keep campaign considerations separate from impeachment: “It’s just something that I need to deal with in a very sober way,” he said, “away from politics.”

But Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren may be among the only Democratic candidates who can count on breaking through the din of impeachment with regularity, along with Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and perhaps Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. For the rest of the Democratic field, strategists say, the next stage of the primary race may have less to do with delivering high-minded policy arguments on the national level than courting voters in the early primary and caucus states with personal appeals — as an impeachment battle rages in the foreground.

Meredith Kelly, a Democratic strategist, said the experience of the last presidential race had not faded in the party’s thinking. A veteran of the 2018 campaign to seize the House, Ms. Kelly said Democratic candidates would have to both build a “methodical” case against Mr. Trump during the impeachment inquiry and also keep detailing “a proactive vision of what you stand for.”

“It was a lesson from 2016: You couldn’t only call out Donald Trump without your own positive vision for the country,” said Ms. Kelly, who advised Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential campaign. “You cannot stop talking about kitchen-table issues and your vision for the country.”

Democratic voters this week expressed a combination of enthusiasm for impeachment and anxiety about potential political complications — and, at times, a desire to stay focused on policy.

At Mr. Biden’s campaign stop in Las Vegas on Friday, Rick Carter, 74, a voter from Henderson, Nev., said he had been highly skeptical of impeaching Mr. Trump until the recent revelations about Ukraine. The newest allegations, he said, were “pretty clear, to the point.”

Still, Mr. Carter said he hoped candidates would continue training their attention on subjects like the cost of prescription drugs.

“I want to start focusing on what the American people need,” he said.

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, said that even in the tumult of impeachment there were opportunities for Democrats to emphasize policy. He pointed to Ms. Warren’s campaign as one that was plainly “breaking through on policy” even amid Mr. Trump’s constant provocations.

“The House has passed a lot of bills that have gotten very little news coverage,” he noted. “But when members go home and have interactions with their constituents, they’re going to spend a lot of time talking about their legislation to have Medicare negotiate for lower prices and give all people the benefit of lower drug prices.”

And while the impeachment process unfolds, Mr. Garin added, Democrats could likely count on Mr. Trump not to deliver a broad, policy-based message of his own.

“Trump’s not really making any effort to do anything but rally his base on this,” Mr. Garin said. “And in doing that, I think he’s probably aggravating his situation with voters in the center.”[6]

If anyone is dazzled by or believes the current crop of far-Left Democrats, one need only hark back to the words and tragic deeds of Germany’s Adolf Hitler, the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Tse-tung, who killed millions.[7]  Or read (or reread) the words of George Orwell in his prescient “Animal Farm,” where all of the animals were equal until the “Pigs” reigned supreme and were masters over—and subjugated—the other animals.[8]

The Pigs of today have taken over and reside in the Democratic Party; and to mask their evil intentions, they coined the title “progressives,” which is the farthest thing from who and what they really are.  The Times‘ article is correct: “[T]he exact course of the [impeachment] inquiry is impossible to foresee.”  Having lived through the Watergate saga and tragedy, which was unfolding just as I was leaving the U.S. Senate, I know that impeachment assumes a life of its own, and consumes and sucks out the air from everything else.

The Times‘ writers add:

All 19 Democratic presidential candidates now support the impeachment inquiry, and many Democrats are optimistic that voters will as well, because Mr. Trump is so unpopular and the allegations against him are grave and easily grasped.

President Trump is loved by vast numbers of dedicated American supporters; and his poll numbers exceed those of Obama at this point in their respective presidencies.  And the allegations against the President with respect to Ukraine do not remotely compare with the corruption of Joe Biden and his son Hunter vis-à-vis that country.[9]

For Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to assert that “she would not allow the 2020 election to become a campaign about impeachment”—and “[i]nsisting the inquiry ‘has nothing to do with the election,'” and that “the campaign would be fought on other terms”—is laughable, absurd and pathetic.  She was first elected to Congress in 1987, while Watergate was breaking wide-open fifteen years before, in late 1972 and early 1973, just as I was leaving the Senate.  At best, she is naïve or duplicitous, but more likely she is engaged in outright lying.[10]  All other issues are buried and consumed by impeachment, period . . . unless, God forbid, there is a direct attack on the United States or some other national tragedy.

The Times’ writers are correct:

There is little doubt that impeachment will become a singular obsession in the political world and dominate news coverage for as long as the inquiry is underway.

And the Democratic pollster, Diane Feldman, was correct when she said it would be difficult for the party to communicate with voters on issues besides impeachment for the duration of the process. Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, was mistaken when he said that Democrats could likely count on President Trump not to deliver a broad, policy-based message of his own.  The President will tout his accomplishments far and wide, to the long-neglected—and taken for granted by the Democratic Party—African-Americans, and others who have benefited.

Again, my sense today is that what we will witness in the months to come may be very similar to the Vietnam War and Watergate eras.  The fabric of our great nation will be ripped wide-open, pitting friends and loved ones against each other.  I love this country, and no other.  I want to see it flourish, and all Americans benefit. However, I am very concerned about the months to come, and the effects they will have on America—and how our enemies abroad view us and our vulnerabilities, which they may seek to exploit.

Political pundit Dick Morris believes that many Democrats in Congress are fearful of attacks from their Left, and losing in their primaries; and hence, Nancy Pelosi has embarked on impeachment to give them cover.  He may be correct.  However, the larger issue—which they seem blind to see—is that the country may be ripped apart to a much greater extent than even during the Vietnam War and Watergate. The Democrats and their captive far-Left media and the “Deep State” are determined to end the presidency of Donald Trump.

However, they do not realize, much less fully, how strongly other Americans feel about him and his presidency.  Abraham Lincoln was hated by a large segment of America, yet he persevered and saved the nation. The United States today may be approaching a similar juncture, pitting brothers against brothers and sisters against sisters.  The Trump faithful have watched Obama and his fellow co-conspirators attempt to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump—which is an attempted coup, and treasonous and seditious. Yet, no one has been indicted, convicted and gone to prison.

The rule of law in America has been turned on its head; and vast numbers of Americans are very angry.  Some are angry that Trump was ever elected in the first place, while others—in vast numbers—are angry that the Left has tried to destroy the Trump presidency and nullify their votes.  I am deeply concerned that the United States is heading toward its second Civil War.  Also, I do not see anything on the horizon that will bring us together again as one nation.  If we are moving toward a new Civil War, will it become a shooting war?  Quite possibly.  I do not discount that outcome at all.

Lastly, this is not like a football game or other sporting event, where if our favored team loses we are disappointed or even “heartbroken,” but we move on to another day. This is about the future and survival of our great nation, and of the American people. Get it wrong, and our offspring’s future may be dark beyond comprehension. We have enemies who would like to destroy us, in an instant.[11]  Perhaps all of this is what Obama meant when he envisioned a “fundamental transformation” of America[12]—to be completed in 2020—because the Trump presidency is a repudiation of the un-American traitor, racist and anti-Semite, and his presidency.[13]

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-19-9-27.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”)

[3]  Id. at 93; see also pp. 120, 270.

[4]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah_Wright_controversy (“Jeremiah Wright controversy”)

[5]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/#comment-14760 (“Obama Reminds Voters Why They Backed Trump”)

[6]  See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/28/us/politics/democrats-impeachment.html (“Democrats’ 2020 Campaign Message: Not Impeachment, They Insist”)

[7]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

[8]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm“)

[9]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/washington-is-one-of-the-sickest-cities-on-earth/ (“Washington Is One Of The Sickest Cities On Earth”)

[10]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Pelosi (“Nancy Pelosi”)

[11]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/#comment-19986; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[12]  See https://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/transformers/ (“Transformers”)

[13]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/ (“When Will The Actual Shooting Begin In America’s Second Civil War?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/americas-left-is-vile-and-evil/ (“America’s Left Is Vile And Evil”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/is-putin-right/ (“Is Putin Right?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/the-u-s-supreme-court-is-a-tragic-pathetic-joke/ (“The U.S. Supreme Court Is A Tragic, Pathetic Joke”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/the-democrats-are-evil-but-smart-while-the-republicans-are-neanderthals-and-dumb/ (“The Democrats Are Evil But Smart, While The Republicans Are Neanderthals And Dumb”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/the-mueller-report-a-monumental-travesty/ (“The Mueller Report: A Monumental Travesty”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/the-american-lefts-feeding-frenzy/ (“The American Left’s Feeding Frenzy”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”)





China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That

13 01 2011

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

While it would certainly be nice to think of China as a benign, friendly, democratic nation, if not an ally of the United States—which makes the computers and cellphones that Americans use, and provides most of the products sold in Walmart stores—the fact is that China is our enemy, now and in the future.  A failure to recognize this fact has serious national security implications for our great nation.  Those who cavalierly dismiss this and similar assessments, as nothing more than the rantings of “Cold Warriors,” may be condemned to repeat and relive the world wars of the past.

Does this mean that we will be in a shooting war with China any time soon, or that we should gird for war in the future?  No, but it means that we must maintain and strengthen our military might, and do nothing to diminish it.  We face deadly challenges elsewhere in the world too: for example, from North Korea, Iran, Russia and terrorists.  However, we must never underestimate the threat from China, America’s rising Asian rival globally.  Among other things, there is a “disconnect” between China’s civilian and military leaderships, which may grow dramatically—and it does not bode well for the future.

As the Wall Street Journal reported:

China conducted the first test flight of its stealth fighter just hours before U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sat down with President Hu Jintao here to mend frayed relations, undermining the meeting and prompting questions over whether China’s civilian leadership is fully in control of the increasingly powerful armed forces.[2]

In early 2001, at the beginning of George W. Bush’s presidency, China’s military tested his metal by forcing down one of our spy planes near the island of Hainan. There were serious questions raised then—as they are being raised now—about whether China’s civilian leadership was fully in control of the country’s military.

Also, the New York Times had a fine article recently, which stated in part:

Older Chinese officers remember a time, before the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 set relations back, when American and Chinese forces made common cause against the Soviet Union.

The younger officers have known only an anti-American ideology, which casts the United States as bent on thwarting China’s rise.

. . .

Chinese military men, from the soldiers and platoon captains all the way up to the army commanders, were always taught that America would be their enemy.[3]

Viewed in its starkest terms, China has threatened a nation-ending EMP Attack against the United States already—which went largely unnoticed by most Americans, even though such an attack might kill all except 30 million of us.[4] In addition to its submarine forces that have been expanded greatly in the past decade, China’s military is deploying new ballistic missiles that can sink U.S. aircraft carriers, and are potentially game-changing, unprecedented threats to our supercarriers and their carrier battle groups.[5]

Also, China is preparing to build an aircraft carrier, which symbolizes the ambition to move far beyond its own shores[6].  Its growing anti-satellite capabilities and quite soon its fifth-generation fighter, not to mention its ongoing Cyberwarfare and economic warfare, are alarming to say the least.

Barack Obama manipulated the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress to ratify the “90 percent useless and 10 percent problematic” New START Treaty with Putin’s Russia—from which the next Republican administration should withdraw[7], just as George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major American advances in missile defense.  However, the United States’ focus must be on China, not on an essentially-Third World, backwater country like Russia.[8]

As one China military-affairs specialist put it:

Clearly, China’s communist leadership is not impressed by the [Obama] administration’s ending of F-22 production, its retirement of the Navy’s nuclear cruise missile, START Treaty reductions in U.S. missile warheads, and its refusal to consider U.S. space warfare capabilities. Such weakness is the surest way to invite military adventurism from China.[9]

On the positive side, China represents an enormous consumer market.  Yet, even on that front, caution is advised and prudence is required.  As the Wall Street Journal noted:

It’s tempting for U.S. companies to believe they can rely on access to hundreds of millions of new consumers in China and other emerging-market countries for the lion’s share of future profits. But they had better be prepared for a wide variety of unforeseen barriers.[10]

The United States has other issues and problems with China, including but not limited to Chinese adoption policies that foist “sick” children on unsuspecting, needy American adoptive parents, leading to tragic human suffering and other consequences[11]; China’s human rights abuses, including political prisoners who often serve their terms in an archipelago of labor camps scattered across the country called Laogai[12]; North and South Korea—and their respective international protectors, China and the U.S.—which might be heading for a showdown in the future[13]; and China’s expanding influence in the world, such as its willingness to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone[14].

China has a violent history, which is of recent vintage.  Indeed, the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Tse-tung were the most ruthless killers of their own people in the 20th Century, and perhaps in the entire history of mankind.  Mao was directly responsible for an estimated 30-40 million deaths between 1958 and 1960, as a result of what his regime hailed as the “Great Leap Forward.”[15] Even though human rights activist Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize—after having been sentenced to prison for putting his name to the “Charter 08″ human-rights manifesto, which says that the Chinese people “see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values”—he was denied the right to have a representative collect the prize for him.[16]

Perhaps the best hope for a democratic China at peace with the world rests with the expansion of human rights in the country, as well as consumerism and capitalism; and greater civilian control over the country’s potentially-renegade military.  Whether this hope comes to fruition, or ends up as a pipe dream, remains to be seen.  Will China’s bluster and swagger lead to war, or dissipate over time; and are the United States and China on a collision course in the Western Pacific and elsewhere?[17] Only time will tell.  However, one can never forget that China’s violent past was only a short time ago, and its human rights abuses continue to this day.

© 2011, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704428004576075042571461586.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

[3] See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/world/asia/12beijing.html?_r=3&hp=&pagewanted=all

[4] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[5] See, e.g.http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/27/china-deploying-carrier-sinking-ballistic-missile/

[6] See, e.g.http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fa7f5e6a-09cc-11e0-8b29-00144feabdc0.html#axzz18PUuKHZh

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014: see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1167 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1245

[8] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

[9] See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/27/china-deploying-carrier-sinking-ballistic-missile/

[10] See, e.g.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704852004575258541875590852.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks

[11] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-348 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-434 (“[B]oth Russia and China have used the U.S. as dumping grounds for their ‘sick’ children”)

[12] See, e.g.http://www.naegele.com/documents/BretStephens-FromAthenstoBeijing.pdf (“How strong can China be if it is terrified of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo?”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-824

[13] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1012

[14] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1177

[15] As I have written:

Like Stalin, Mao’s crimes involved Chinese peasants, many of whom died of hunger from man-made famines under collectivist orders that stripped them of all private possessions.  The Communist Party forbade them even to cook food at home; private fires were outlawed; and their harvests were taken by the state.  Those who dared to question Mao’s agricultural policies—which sought to maximize food output by dispossessing the nation’s most productive farmers—were tortured, sent to labor camps, or executed.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/

[16] See infra note 12; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Xiaobo#Nobel_Peace_Prize

[17] See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1188





Sarah And Todd Palin: The Big Winners?

12 11 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The biggest winners in the 2010 American elections may prove to be former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and her husband Todd.  She became the darling of the Tea Party movement, which energized the moribund Republican Party and may decide its future—and that of its “establishment.”  While there is a long list of other potentially-strong GOP candidates, the often-outspoken Sarah Palin has “caught fire” and connects with her audiences like few politicians can.[2] Barack Obama did this prior to the 2008 elections, but he has lost his luster and credibility, and faded.[3]

Palin has established herself as a force to be feared and reckoned with in Republican politics, and is formidable.  As Michael D. Shear noted in the New York Times:

Ms. Palin wasn’t on any ballot. But the self-described “Mama Grizzly” had plenty at stake  . . .  as she sought to bolster her credentials as the Republican Party’s most powerful kingmaker and the voice of the newly empowered Tea Party movement. Ms. Palin was anything but timid in the midterm elections, endorsing dozens of candidates, including in some of the most high-profile races.[4]

Indeed, most candidates won whom Sarah Palin had endorsed—resulting in “plenty of victories that Ms. Palin and her allies have already begun to point to as evidence of her political prowess and her ability to shape and direct the unwieldy frustration that is fueling American politics.”[5] A political analyst for CBS News, Nicolle Wallace, stated: “My observation of Sarah Palin is that she is one of the shrewdest political figures in our country at this moment.  She’s also one of the most electric.”[6]

Germany’s SPIEGEL ONLINE observed:

“If there was one true victor on election night  . . .  it was the Tea Party movement. . . .  What matters now is whether the Tea Party can manage to establish itself as an independent power in Washington, as a voice of dissent next to the Republicans—in order to profit even more from the wave of dissatisfaction that is sweeping the land.”

“Then anything would be possible in two years. Even the prospect of the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, as the first female president of the United States.”[7]

If Sarah Palin is a winner, one might ask: why include Todd Palin too?  Because he is a man’s man; and for many men such as yours truly, the Palins are running as a team—as they did in Alaska—and Todd adds legitimacy to Sarah Palin’s candidacy and potentially brings in male voters.  For far-Left and mainstream Democrats alike, especially women, Hillary Clinton provided legitimacy to Bill Clinton’s runs for the presidency, amidst almost non-stop allegations of peccadillos, adultery and worse.

As the 2012 elections loom, and as Barack Obama’s presidency effectively ends[8], Hillary and Bill Clinton represent a team to which many Democrats may flock once again.  For members of the Tea Party movement and Republicans and “disenchanted” Democrats, the Palins represent a breath of fresh air too.  Indeed, it is not beyond the pale to believe that two women might face off for the American presidency in 2012, Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, which would be historic!

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2] Right after the 2010 elections, the Rasmussen polling organization released the following results, looking ahead to the 2012 elections:

On the Republican side, it’s a dead heat between the ex-governors—Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Sarah Palin of Alaska, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely GOP Primary voters.

Asked who they would vote for if the Republican presidential primary were held today, 20% say Romney, 19% Huckabee and another 19% Palin. . . .

Romney and Palin are tied among male GOP voters, while Huckabee has a slight edge among female voters.

In October 2009 when Likely Republican primary voters were given a choice of five potential presidential nominees, Huckabee led with 29% support, followed by Romney with 24% of the vote and Palin at 18%.

Rounding out the list of seven candidates chosen by Rasmussen Reports for the question, with their levels of support, are former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (13%), Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (6%), Texas Congressman Ron Paul (5%) and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (3%).  Seven percent (7%) prefer some other candidate, and eight percent (8%) are undecided.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/november_2010/gop_voters_like_three_candidates_best_for_2012

Thus, Sarah Palin has moved up in the polling results; and the full effects of Tea Party-supporter voting in the GOP primaries may not be reflected in the Rasmussen polling data.

[3] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama (see postings beneath the article as well)

[4] See http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/palin-proves-that-mama-grizzly-has-bite/

[5] See id; see also http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2010-11-12-1Apalin12_CV_N.htm

[6] See http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/03/earlyshow/main7017707.shtml

Among the winners whom Palin endorsed: John Boozman of Arkansas for the U.S. Senate; Rand Paul of Kentucky for the Senate; Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire (which holds the first presidential primary) for the Senate; Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania for the Senate; Susana Martinez of New Mexico for governor (who may prove helpful with the growing block of Hispanic voters); and Nikki Haley of South Carolina for governor (who may be helpful when Palin’s presidential campaign moves to South Carolina).

As the New York Times’ Michael D. Shear points out, there were losers too:

In Delaware, Ms. Palin all but created the Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, helping thrust the young woman onto the national political stage over the strenuous objections of the Republican elite in Washington. And in the end, Ms. O’Donnell never had a chance, handing what most likely would have been a Republican Senate seat to Democrats.

And in Nevada, Republican celebration was muted when their top target—Harry Reid, the Senate’s majority leader—handily defeated Ms. Palin’s chosen candidate, Sharron Angle, to return to Washington.

In Ms. Palin’s home state, Alaska, political turmoil still reigns thanks to her support of Joe Miller, the Tea Party favorite who defeated Senator Lisa Murkowski in the state’s  Republican primary this year. But with “write-ins” leading Mr. Miller, Ms. Murkowski may retain her seat.

Still, as potential 2012 presidential contenders begin lining up support and cashing in chits, Ms. Palin will have plenty of places to look for support. In addition to the Senate and governors’ races, there are dozens of lesser-known House candidates who had earned her blessing.

See http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/palin-proves-that-mama-grizzly-has-bite/

[7] See http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,727235,00.html

[8] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama (see postings beneath the article as well)








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