The Decline of Western Power 346


Boris Johnson sees himself as the heritor of a world bestriding Imperial mantle, but in truth he cannot bestride the Irish Sea. The overshadowing of the G7 summit by his peculiar concern that Irish sausages should not be eaten by those in Northern Ireland who do not believe in evolution, was a fascinating examplar of British impotence as he failed to persuade anybody else to support him. It looks like Danish bacon for the shops of Belfast and Derry will have to be imported through Dun Laoghaire and not through Larne. Ho hum.

The really interesting thing about the G7 summit is that it wasn’t interesting. Nobody expected it to change the world, and it won’t. John Pilger pointed out the key fact. Twenty years ago the G7 constituted two thirds of the world economy. Now they constitute one third. They don’t even represent most of the world’s billionaires any longer, though those billionaires they do represent – and indeed some of the billionaires they don’t represent – were naturally pulling the strings of these rather sluggish puppets.

It used to be that any important sporting event in any developing country would feature hoardings for western multinationals, such as Pepsi Cola and Nestle baby milk. Nowadays I am watching the Euros football pitches surrounded by electronic hoardings in Chinese. The thing about power is this; it shifts with time.

None of the commitments made on covid or climate change constituted any new money, any real transfer of wealth or technology. It was a non-event. Nobody will ever look back at anything beyond the personal as having started last weekend in Cornwall.

From there, pretty well the same people moved on to pretend to bestride the world militarily at NATO, where the first job was to pretend they had not lost the long Afghan war they have just, err, lost.

At NATO, they stuck out their tongues at China, which has upset them a lot by becoming the world’s most powerful nation. China was accused of an aggressive military posture, which is amusing in its utter lack of truth. Other than some construction of tiny artificial islands (which China is in fact wrong to claim can generate maritime claims according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea), it is very difficult to understand on what this NATO accusation of aggression is based.

If China really is trying to outdo many centuries of western Imperial conquest – stretching up to the recent destructions of Libya and Syria – by building tiny artificial islands, it is a plan of extreme cunning and patience. NATO seem to have discovered their new enemy by reading Ian Fleming.

Let me tell you something that actually is true. I cannot think of any instance in world history of any power enjoying the level of economic dominance currently enjoyed by China, and yet showing such restraint and lack of interest in Imperial conquest. It is not China which is sailing aircraft carriers towards Boris Johnson, it is the other way round. In fact the restraint China shows in not carrying out the simple task of sinking Johnson’s silly aircraft carrier, undermines the propaganda of thousands of NATO press officers and social media operatives, including the UK’s very own 77th Brigade and Integrity Initiative.

It is even sillier to attempt to terrify us all with the thought that the Russians are coming. I know it upsets the Putin fans when I say it, but Russia’s share of the world economy has declined just as the G7 share has. As Russia was always, and still is, poorer than the poorest of the G7 nations, the NATO attempt to portray Russia as a great threat is really rather silly. If there is truth in the story of a couple of super military intelligence officers traveling widely but not killing many people, and of cunning Russian computer hackers engaging in cyber warfare while leaving cyrillic fingerprints behind, in a manner strangely identical to the CIA guidance on how to lay Russian false flags as shown in the Wikileaks vault 7 releases, then it is still difficult for me to understand why this would all require trillions of dollars in military hardware to stop it.

Interrupting hacking with Trident missiles seems neither cost effective nor proportionate. But then I am not an ace NATO military strategist.

Follow the money. Of course the NATO show is all about diverting simply incredible amounts of our money and resources into the military industrial complex, which is permanently profitable for politician backhanders; the arms industry remains the only “legitimate” industry more corrupt than banking, which is quite a feat.

I shall sleep safe in my bed at night knowing that the money NATO spends just this year to keep me safe from the Russian and Chinese tanks which are absolutely poised to roll up Princes Street, could have eliminated malaria forever. God bless our glorious leaders.

———————————————

 
 
Forgive me for pointing out that my ability to provide this coverage is entirely dependent on your kind voluntary subscriptions which keep this blog going. This post is free for anybody to reproduce or republish, including in translation. You are still very welcome to read without subscribing.

Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

Choose subscription amount from dropdown box:

Recurring Donations



 

Paypal address for one-off donations: [email protected]

Alternatively by bank transfer or standing order:

Account name
MURRAY CJ
Account number 3 2 1 5 0 9 6 2
Sort code 6 0 – 4 0 – 0 5
IBAN GB98NWBK60400532150962
BIC NWBKGB2L
Bank address Natwest, PO Box 414, 38 Strand, London, WC2H 5JB

Bitcoin: bc1q3sdm60rshynxtvfnkhhqjn83vk3e3nyw78cjx9
Ethereum/ERC-20: 0x764a6054783e86C321Cb8208442477d24834861a

Subscriptions are still preferred to donations as I can’t run the blog without some certainty of future income, but I understand why some people prefer not to commit to that.


346 thoughts on “The Decline of Western Power

1 2 3
  • Giyane

    Yesterday I looked up John Collins, co- founder with William Lovett of Chartism. They were both locked up in Warwick Gaol in 1839 for Hate Speech for a year or more, and they wrote their manifesto in Jail. The Chartists in Birmingham had their meetings spied on by paid police informers, which shows nothing much has changed in 200 years. They were feted on their release and lent a carriage to bring them back to Birmingham.

    Conditions and punishments in Jail were severe, and fellow members united to assist their wives and families while they were inside. Could they ever have imagined what giant oaks were to grow from their humble acorns planted in 1839?

    A salutary lesson from the past.

  • Theophilus

    “As Russia was always, and still is, poorer than the poorest of the G7 nations,”

    With all due respect it does rather depend on whether you are talking about dollar denominated GDP or the PPP version. Purchasing power parity takes Russia ahead of France and the UK. If you then adjust for the size of the Russian informal economy you find that Russia is a bigger economy than Germany and coming closer to Japan.
    GDP is not a particularly good method of measuring the size of an economy. Even so common sense would tend to indicate that the Russian economy is capable of supporting an investment level in infrastructure and military hardwarel far in excess of anything the UK and France could contemplate. At the same time they have immensely strengthened their national balance sheet with very low debt despite an energetic sanctions campaign by the US and co.

    • Pigeon English
      1. I believe CM talks per capita
      2. What if Russian state borrowed 1 Trillion and Russian people borrowed another Trillion to match UK borrowing?😀
      3. How many people are in equity in UK?
        As long as we can pay no problem unless 2008 happens again!(why should not?)
      4. By PPP list is China ,USA, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, France, UK
      • Pigeon English

        Printing money is OK for me but if China pulls the plug and asks for gold for their products We are fuc***.

        Gold reserves

        • USA:   8000 (Disputable if so much)
        • Germany:   3300
        • Italy:   2500
        • France:   2500
        • Russia:   2300
        • China:   2000 (disputable if so little)
        • 17 place – Uk:   300
          • DunGroanin

            And lose. Both the war and any remaining gold. Most of the e pensive new real estate is already in hawk to foreign nationals who have used the fiat monies to gain legal title here. Including despots and old and new drug lords. Including the absurd art markets run out of Sotheby’s and their stablemates.

          • Bayard

            Last time it was tea we were importing and China wouldn’t take anything for it except silver, which resulted in the West running out of silver. Now we can give China our fiat currency which is worthless outside the UK, the only place you can spend sterling, so it is hardly surprising if they come here and spend it, buying up our land.

    • Paul Torgerson

      Yes Russia does have a higher GDP in terms of PPP, but in terms of PPP per person, it falls a little behind. PPP per person in Russia is int$29,000, UK int$47000, France int$49,000. In terms of per person GDP (PPP) it is similar to some of the poorest EU countries such as Greece (int$30,000), Bulgaria (int 25,000)

      • Pigeon English

        There is interesting coincidence/correlation between highest gdp/capita and Debt per capita.
        How do we incorporate that? What I am trying to say is following.
        Person A has mortgage free flat worth 300,000 person B house worth 1 million with 800,000 mortgage.
        Person B appears much richer but from accounting point A is richer.
        One of the reasons to introduce PPP was trying to mitigate imperfections of GDP

    • McCourt26

      Tend to agree with you.
      My observations of a month in Moscow 8 years ago was that its economy and infrastructure was around the level of Italy at the time.
      I would guess it is more advanced than Italy today and its development continues on an upward trajectory.
      By definition it must have more GDP than the West states to maintain what is easily the most advanced military in Europe by any metric you wish to apply.
      To suggest that Russia is on a par with Bulgaria and Greece etc is either mischief making or ignorance.
      Moscow is every bit as affluent and sophisticated as London, Paris or Berlin IMO.

  • Fwl

    I thought there was something going on with the G7; a sort of subtle recognition that US tec companies don’t pay proper taxes abroad and that NATO members (save for UK and US) don’t pay proper contributions to NATO defence and that this is perhaps being sort of re-balanced.

  • mark golding

    In Craig’s astute analysis it is clear China has become the world’s most powerful nation and the union formed with Russia and Iran assures an adequate clean energy supply to sustain forward economic growth. China has trounced America to the point where the U.S. borrows from China to buy Chinese goods!

    Nevertheless one cannot crow or revel in the realization that Western power is declining. In an attempt to verify those latent cyrillic fingerprints left behind by Russian shadows, the realization, as Craig enlightens, is strangely identical to the CIA guidance on how to lay Russian false flags; and false flags are the mechanisms to further conflict, regain power and keep a war economy going to enrich the military industrial complex while a dishonest main-stream media remains the opposition because it gives the UK/US/IS criminals cover for their illegal and treasonous actions.

    Once again the cornerstone of our bilateral relations is military power and the fear of nuclear escalation.

    The Covid inspired Mobile Emergency Messaging System won’t provide a nuclear bunker, won’t stop a nuclear winter and won’t stop a deranged President in the designated 5 minutes to access his nuclear football from a covert bunker and launch the final battle.

    • wiggins

      Nuclear Bombs are a myth. More fear porn…yes, there is Nuclear Energy run power stations, but, bombs Nah !
      TNT max at most of the Japanese sites.

  • remember kronstadt

    The Chinese government is sending thousands of students a year to Oxford and Cambridge which reveals their intention to establish a university of spies.

    • Giyane

      Kronstadt

      From what I have seen in Birmingham Chinese students are completely missing the concept of God, which is very astonishing when compared with our own history. I’m certain they aren’t sending their youngsters to spy on our to them completely irrational ideas.

      I’ve no idea whether this gap in their education comes from communism or from long before that, but I am very sure that the Chinese Communist leadership feels threatened by religious infection and maintains a stonewall against the spread of any religious beliefs.

      The dons see it as a wonderful opportunity for our country to I infiltrate China by nobbling their students for our intetes6ts. A kind of neo-liberal group-think which blinds them to what you are suggesting, that the Chinese want to spy on our technology or political thought.

      That would be complete loss for us, not only to surrender our ideas, but surrender our instincts towards faith. Nightmare scenario and worst of all possible results. Imho

      • Bayard

        “From what I have seen in Birmingham Chinese students are completely missing the concept of God, “

        I’m not sure Chinese religious philosophy has ever embraced monotheism.

      • Godfree Roberts

        Educated Chinese have always rejected ‘belief’ Gods, like our Greco-Roman God of religion.

        To them, the Divine is implicit: the Condition of all appearance, prior to space and time, in and as which we arise, live, and pass away.

        The Divine of the Tao Te Ching and the Zen Patriarchs is Self-Radiant Love-Bliss Consciousness is .

        The real thing, in other words. Accept no substitutes.

        • fishnishandchips

          Exactly… For example Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism is flourishing in China, with many Tibetan teachers freely travelling and giving teachings to thousands of Chinese Buddhists all of the time. In the Tibetan refugee settlements in India the Monasteries take on Chinese students and many are given ordination in India. The situation as ever is never black and white and it is a folly to assume that Chinese people have given up on spiritual philosophy and practice after two thousand years of Buddhism at the heart of the human culture there. Dharma practice is alive and well as it should naturally be. Of course Chinese society has also embraced capitalist passion, they are a profoundly consumerist society just as we are. Giyane moaning about a lack of spiritual substance in Chinese culture is well off the mark.

          • Fwl

            Religion with traditional Chinese characteristics is encouraged in China whereas religion with western characteristics is frowned upon. However, what on the can looks like western religion on opening may taste very different. This is how it is everywhere. We see a religion or religious practice abroad and sometimes we project freedom or love or other ideals on it but we look at our own and see only cynical institutions, passive or corrupt. Others see our religions and see freedom and love but consider their home ones to be cynical and corrupt. We take and transform. Does it matter – we see what we want to see but in so doing we develop and create new practices and ideas. One reason why some cultural appropriation is probably normal and can be a sort of yeast (although obviously irritating if patronising).

            In any event Chinese religious ideas are very interesting and the Zen poet translator Roger Hinton is a wonderfully inspiring expounder of some of these ideas – see for eg his books Existence or Hunger Mountain. His discussions of how the structure of languages function is fascinating. If the grammar is fundamentally different in Chinese and English does that reflect a basic different mind set and approach to reality, or does it just tend to lead to a different approach (if so is this still the case or was it just the case for an historic elite), and does it really matter? If you like space read Existence. Hinton is both concrete, earthy and ephemeral.

      • mark golding

        Keep in mind Giyane the Chinese government government formally recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam.

    • DunGroanin

      These red ricks have high level Mandarin courses that have sent many a English student to become superproficient in Mandarin
      Many end up working in high end Mayfair shops earning multiples more than an average student or graduate as they become no more than shop servers to the aver more big spenders who come to part with their new millions and billions never themselves having to learn a SINGLE word of ENGLISH.

      The realpolitik of finance hedges its bets as it also tries to conquer.

    • Alyson

      There are 1000 Chinese students in each UK university. That is a lot. They have enough clout to dictate that the Dalai Lama cannot visit and lecture and so any invitation has to be withdrawn. This has been part of university life for many years. We do not have any concept of oversight and treat them the same as any other ethnicity in multi cultural Britain.

  • james

    craig,

    with all due respect, to quote you here –

    ” it is still difficult for me to understand why this would all require trillions of dollars in military hardware to stop it.”

    In reference to the constant demonization of russia, i personally think it is blatantly obvious…. war = money… preparation for war – same.. without an enemy to focus on, the mass hypnosis on just how bad russia is would come tumbling down… and the powers that be can’t have that.. i think you underestimate russias strength and position as the largest country in the world too… i don’t believe those paying for all the anti russia propaganda miss this though.. their inability to exploit russias vast wealth must really underlie much of this as i see it… i am surprised you are unable to understand or appreciate this..

    • mark

      It’s weird.

      Are the G7 talking about the ‘ Red Terror’ or rival capitalists?

      Putin I think is/was genuinely ashamed about the drunkard Yeltsin’s complete handover of the Russian people’s handover of their accrued assets to the West.

      The beneficiaries of this largesse were the old alleged Communist Soviet defenders of which Putin was one.

      So what we see now are Putin’s oligarchs versus other ( non Putin’s ) oligarchs.

      China is a different kettle of fish.

      True – where there is money there is corruption but the Communist Party of China is much more tight than capitalist Russia.

      Trying to keep tabs on 1.4 billion people is fraught with problems and the ‘ Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics ‘ is a tricky interpretation.

      But I do believe that China and Russia are more intent on trading rather than warring.

      As Craig says the Chinese are taking a much greater share of world GDP and obviously the declining/failing West does not like that.

      But – short of nukeing the Chinese or the Russians into the Stone Age is not much of a policy as it assumes that the West will not suffer a retaliation.

      This might be the position of that idiot John Bolton but you can’t reshape the world if you have just obliterated it.

      Trade is the key and we had all better get on despite our criticisms and try and build a better more prosperous world for all.

      Sounds idealistic but the contradiction is to destroy the world and start again.

      Not quite Socialism or Barbarism – maybe the realisation that we only have two options and one of them is unthinkable.

      • james

        thanks mark… i agree with your general overview here.. i think it is a manufactured game plan towards russia as russia is not fitting in – read – being subservient- with the wests agenda… of course neither is china, but the west has less leverage towards china then it appears to have towards russia.. maybe this will change.. one thing it has really done is pushed russia and china together -something that both krissinger and brez were very opposed to seeing happen..

      • SA

        The intrinsic problem here is the nature of neoliberal capitalism. It’s main value is profit preservation for the ruling class. There is no other consideration . Safety and well-being if the rest of us is secondary. We have seen this clearly in the 2007 crash and aftermath and we are seeing it in the milking of the pandemic for profits and consolidations. If a nuclear answer is needed it will be done whether in a limited way or otherwise. The main aim here is to subjugate China to trade rules of the ruling capitalists. Free trade is a decoy.

  • Aidworker1

    This is a wonderful piece – I wish you were writing in a National newspaper or on the BBC website!

    • BrianFujisan

      ‘Rocks would melt with the sun before I’d ever set foot in the House of Lords’

      I dunno… But I suspect the same of Craig Ever Writing for War Criminals like the Bairns Bombing Corporation

      • BrianFujisan

        ‘Rocks would melt with the sun ..Alex Salmond comment after 2014 indy ref

  • FranzB

    CM – “I cannot think of any instance in world history of any power enjoying the level of economic dominance currently enjoyed by China, and yet showing such restraint and lack of interest in Imperial conquest.”

    Repression continues in Tibet. A spiritual centre, Larung Gar, has suffered from demolitions and evictions.

    https://freetibet.org/news-media/na/suicide-larung-gar-nun-confirmed

    The person responsible for much of the recent repression in Tibet, Chen Quanguo, is now in charge of the Uyghur region.

    https://freetibet.org/take-action/ban-chen/chen-in-tibet

    Repression in Tibet takes many forms.

    https://freetibet.org/news-media/na/counter-photo-exhibition

    • nick

      None of which has anything to do with “Imperial conquest”, bad though they are. Both Tibet and the Uighur region have been part of China for a long time.

      • FranzB

        Just like Scotland has been part of the UK for long time. I still support independence for Scotland. And I support independence for Tibet, which is what the people of Tibet want.

    • Blissex

      «Chen Quanguo, is now in charge of the Uyghur region.»

      Sinkiang is not a “Uyghur region”, it has been for thousands of years a multiethnic region, mostly owned by China since 2,000 years ago, and occasionally taken back and forth by other powers.

      As to the Uyghur chinese, who largely immigrated to and occupied several parts of Sinkiang “only” a few hundred years ago, that the chinese government is paranoid about them is motivated by non-trivial worries, one being that al-Qaeda and other well funded Saudi terrorists groups have been training a a lot of anti-chinese Uyghurs in guerrilla wars around the place, and also because only 10 years ago there was a “pogrom” against the chinese minority in Sinkiang

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_2009_%C3%9Cr%C3%BCmqi_riots

      The first day’s rioting, which involved at least 1,000 Uyghurs, began as a protest but escalated into violent attacks that mainly targeted Han people. China’s People’s Armed Police were deployed and two days later hundreds of Han people clashed with both police and Uyghurs. PRC officials said that a total of 197 people died, most of whom were Hans, with 1,721 others injured and many vehicles and buildings destroyed.

      That was on a much smaller scale of the genocidal massacre of the chinese immigrants and other minorities in Indonesia organized by the USA and Suharto:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_mass_killings_of_1965%E2%80%9366

      But still that riot looked like an attempt of some in the anti-chinese Uyghur side to begin ethnically cleansing the Han chinese minority or at least terrorize them. Is there any record of the Han chinese minority in Sinkiang rioting to massacre Uyghur chinese people?

      • Alyson

        The Chinese move Han Chinese into areas of ethnic minorities and change borders and property use to make it consistent with Chinese Government policy. Tibetan land use of winter pasture and summer pasture now is fenced off. China expresses anger at any mention of the Dalai Lama, who incidentally was prophesied to be the last incarnation by the first of them, as I read in a book written in 1912 when a previous incarnation was the spiritual leader and Brits were wandering around the area quite a lot. They move ethnic minorities into mainland China to disperse their cultures. There is a problem with hardline Muslim missionaries building influence in Muslim areas. But resistance to colonisation is not confined to any particular country or cultural group. China is very big and holds perhaps a third of the world’s population.

        Russia has protected Israel and Iran through negotiations put in place by Kissinger and renegotiated by Netanyahu. Israel feels confined by the agreement to only extend their lebensraum within the borders of Palestine, though those borders get stretched a bit into Syria by multinationals mining companies with their own agendas, and our Priti spent our foreign aid on shares in these Occupied territory industries.

        Israel has a lot of influence over the US and the UK. They are finding the agreements with Russia irksome. This is a further complication and a new leader in Israel may test those agreements and potentially destabilise alliances.

  • Baalbek

    I find it fascinating how some people can recognize the ceaseless propaganda about the Russian “threat” for what it is, but when it comes to equally baseless propaganda about China they turn into frothing-at-the-mouth neocons ranting about “the CCP” and how China is out to rule the world and destroy democracy.

    Americans and people who follow right-wing “populists” like Steve Bannon seem to be particularly susceptible to propaganda painting China as the next Big Threat. How does someone who is astute enough to see through the Russiagate nonsense convince themselves that when it comes to China the untrustworthy MSM is in fact telling the truth?

    What is it about China that triggers these people and causes them to throw logic and common sense out the window?

    • Tom Welsh

      There may be an insatiable need for a “threat” of some kind or other, so that the less danger is perceived from Russia, the more must be feared from China.

      Mostly projection.

      • SA

        The new threat now is UFOs. This is a safe one, because without naming any actual country we can now have a Carte Blanche open cheque to spend on ‘defense’ on a phantom’ threat which can be refined to attack either Russia or China

    • bevin

      “What is it about China that triggers these people and causes them to throw logic and common sense out the window?”

      Racism.
      Which is also what underlies much of the “West’s” colour revolution propaganda. It is no accident that Navalny , for example, has been spouting the nastiest racism to his followers in Russia- the basic message addressed to the fans of NATO and Uncle Sam in eastern europe has always been to get onside with the White ‘race’ and turn their backs to Asia. And the poor.

  • nick

    It’s a pity you spoiled an otherwise clear-sighted article by a rather silly crack at Boris Johnson. The twaddle about “sees himself as the heritor of a world bestriding Imperial mantle” was a common meme among Remainers in the Brexit arguments; the only people I ever heard referring to that kind of thing were Remainers who attributed Imperial nostalgia to their opponents. The fact that they obviously never listened to anyone on the Leave side has a lot to do with their losing the referendum.
    Boris may be an untrustworthy person, unfit to be a government minister; but he isn’t an idiot, and those who attribute foolish beliefs to him are saying more about themselves than about Boris Johnson.

    • U Watt

      Johnson’s imperial delusions are childlike and toe curling. The silly positioning of an aircraft carrier offshore during the G7 and his intention to send it to the S China Sea could only be impressive to GB News watching OAPs.

    • DunGroanin

      Do you even know a little of DePfepflls background? His mother and father? His entry into the posh schools and university? The Bullingdons? These people believe they OWN the world and their inapt progeny are steeped in the same entitlement. Sociopaths hothoused from birth in boarding schools to be the psychopath CEO’s of the real owners of the world.
      I blame the moronisation of the populace in subservience to such Toads of Toad Halls upon the daily cultural propaganda that ‘celebrates’ the aristocracy through a overwhelming amount of period drama which has over taken its stablemate the (how we single handedly won) the Second World War nonsense. Both designed to keep everyone in their own place.

    • SA

      You seem to ignore that Boris opting out for supporting Brexit was not ideological, it was tactical. Boris has refined the tactic of being everything to everyone, blaming everyone else and appearing to be above it by refining the art of lying.

  • CasualObserver

    As Adam Curtis told us years ago with his excellent documentaries, power is no longer about national willy size, its about money, with national politicians no longer having the ‘Power’ they used to have, but merely being the cats paws of giant corporations and assorted billionaires.

    As for NATO, we ought to remember its raison d’etre as expressed by Ernie Bevin, it was to keep the Germans down, the Russians out, and the Americans in. Clearly two of those reasons have long since ceased to have any meaning, and even the third is a shadow of what it once was. Its clear that NATO like any large organisation sees self perpetuation as its primary mission, and there’ll be quite a number of corporations producing essentially useless military equipment who will be anxious to facilitate that aim. 🙂

    • Shatnersrug

      Adam Curtis’s documentaries are not excellent! they are deliberately obtuse and dishonest. The full of liberal paranoia designed to steer middle aged guardian readers towards alcoholism and eventual approval of Nick Cohen articles.

      His docs good for taking the piss out of though!

      Ben Woodhams: The Loving Trap – YouTube, 2m 57s

      • Squeeth

        @Shatnersrug

        Fnar!

        “national politicians no longer having the ‘Power’ they used to have, but merely being the cats paws of giant corporations and assorted billionaires.”

        No, power is being exercised through corporations to exclude the working class.

    • Blissex

      «keep the Germans down, the Russians out, and the Americans in. Clearly two of those reasons have long since ceased to have any meaning»

      I would not be so sure, the USA do their geopolitics in the long term, and they are very worried still about Germany, and a possible Germany-Russia alliance, so all three reasons are still current. Look at it from an USA point of view: Germany defeated militarily in both WW1 and WW2 all three of England, France, Russia, at the same time, and in both cases all three survived only thanks to USA loans, supplies and intervention. The same applies to Japan BTW: a desperately poor, overcrowded rocky island managed in WW2 in a couple of years to conquer most of Far East Asia, and take control of half of the Pacific away from the USA. Obviously Germany and Japan are still at the top of the USA’s geopolitical worries, as they are still top countries with immense strengths in technology and organization.
      The next countries that the USA want to keep down are the BRICs, and currently they are trying to keep down mostly China, as Russia has already been surrounded, isolated and broken up. In the next decades the USA will no doubt apply the same treatment to India, and after that to Brazil in the more distant future.

      There are plenty of documents that show that the USA elites think long term, for example:

      https://www.jstor.org/stable/40396396
      “Opening and dividing China”, The World Today, May 1992:

      “Needless to say, not all these regions are like to have the same views on foreign policy questions. Coastal regions would be less willing to see relations with the United States deteriorate, or take a hard line with Honk Kong or Taiwan. Worries over stategies of “peaceful evolution” pursued by outsiders would be different if one thought of Islamic, Mongolian, or Taiwanese ideals. In sum, domestic reform in China is helping create several Chinas, with potentially different foreign policies. […] As the Soviet empire collapses, it is time to ask far-reaching questions about the shape of the Chinese empire. Of course there are major differences between the two cases, but there are nevertheless increasing signs that as China continues its economic reforms and opens to the outside world, it will also run the risk of fragmenting.”

      For an even older example of the same long term against another geostrategic adversary of the USA:

      https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/11/republished-the-nonsense-of-the-special-relationship-.html

      “Britain which, then in alliance with Japan, challenged the USA for naval dominance in the Pacific. In the end, Britain would reluctantly break the Japanese alliance in 1923 under US pressure. In hindsight, that was probably the moment at which the British Empire’s fate was settled for good. In 1916 Woodrow Wilson had backed the so-called ‘Big Navy’ act, of which he said ‘Let us build a Navy bigger than hers [Britain’s] and do what we please.’ Wilson resolved to build ‘incomparably, the greatest Navy in the world’ aiming to make the US Navy equal to any two others in the world.”

  • Dave

    The Chinese are Homo sapiens like everyone else on the planet. Surely the restraint in their international behavior is related to the fact that their meteoric rise has been sharply enabled by western business corporations, especially American ones, eager to outsource and capitalize on weak regulations and a compliant citizenry who will work for a tiny fraction of the cost of western labor. Let’s wait and see what happens now that this strange symbiosis is appearing to weaken. The question for America will be whether Trump put the brakes on this before China became powerful enough to seriously challenge them.

    • michael norton

      Yes,
      Mr. Richard Nixon brought China in from the Cold.
      Otherwise, he thought, they would become a powerful rogue state, such as North Korea is now viewed.

      But capitalist corporations saw this new situation, as win, win.
      No environmental concerns, no health and safety at work, no strike concerns, no pension concerns, no health care concerns, just the largest work force on Earth, striving to earn a pittance and grateful for it.
      I doubt Richard Nixon thought in half a century China would be the rival of the U.S.A.

      But this is where we are now, and it is scary.

      • pretzelattack

        the main reason nixon went to china was to use the sino soviet split effectively to advance empire interests.

  • DunGroanin

    Palestine thread is closed. Hence post here.

    Like I said when apparently a ‘right wing’ nut was to take over from Nutty Yahoo – how would we be able to tell the difference?

    As the demented Hitler youth types march in Jerusalem ‘jumping in the air chanting “death to Arabs” Gaza is air attacked again in retaliation against – balloons!

    What fresh hell is this? There is no difference. A ceasefire just so demented Joe could have a G7.
    I’m going to post balloons to the Palestinians.

    The chanters chant Jerusalem belongs to Israel – NO. CHILDREN. IT DOES NOT.
    It NEVER will.

    Singing 99 red balloons …

  • fonso

    US power has been in relative decline for a long time. The American Century probably only lasted about two decades, from 1940 to 1960. The US today, for all its overseas military bases, is an unhappy and unsuccessful society with crumbling infrastructure and oligarch owned politics. It is riddled with racial and cultural divisions, uncaring for its poor, and addicted to guns, militarism and mass incarceration. We hear endlessly that life in totalitarian China is a kind of hell, but as a model for other societies the US is itself a non-starter.

    • Blissex

      «The American Century probably only lasted about two decades, from 1940 to 1960.»

      That is a huge understimate. Consider the cases of the Spanish English empires (both of them devoured by the USA one after another) the Portoguese, Dutch, French Empires: they also had their peaks of a few decades, but after that peak they remained powerful for a long time.

      As to the date of 1960 for the end of the peak for the USA empire, here is a telling quote, from a meeting between V Bonham-Carter, an important english politicians and President JF Kennedy:

      14 May 1963 diary entry: «[President Kennedy] went on to describe how [de Gaulle] was now blocking all progress in Europe – in defence, economic, etc. I asked him how he thought this road-block could be broken. He said, ‘The root of the matter is that not only you in Britain but we in the USA have now become debtors and not, as we always used to be, creditors. The gold reserve has ebbed at the following rate (he then gave the figures for the last few years).»

      «The US today, for all its overseas military bases, is an unhappy and unsuccessful society with crumbling infrastructure and oligarch owned politics. It is riddled with racial and cultural divisions, uncaring for its poor, and addicted to guns, militarism and mass incarceration.»

      But what matters in the USA is not how the servant classes are doing, but how the upper-middle and upper classes are doing, and they are doing very well, and even better since Reagan. The USA elites in 1980 chose the Dixie/Brazil/Dubai social model, back to the Gilded Age.

      «We hear endlessly that life in totalitarian China is a kind of hell»

      Same for Russia, but it is largely propaganda. China (and Russia) are developing countries like say Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico (and Brazil, Turkey for Russia), and for the vast majority of the population, especially minorities, life in China and Russia is freer and more prosperous than in those USA protectorates. One of the most ridiculous propagandas is the fantasy of uyghur “genocide” when their numbers have tripled in a few decades, as compared to the frequent massacres of minorities in Egypt, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arabia/Yemen. Sure some “anti party” minorities are repressed in China, but the chinese government would never tolerate pogroms against them. Consider this piece of propaganda that tries hard to turn white (or rather “light grey”) into black:

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/10/china-celebrating-diversity-suppressing-xinjiang-communist-party

      While other countries have used denialism as a tactic to combat perceived threats of internal ethnic diversity – insisting on the singularity and indivisibility of one’s nation by recognising as few minorities as possible, or perhaps none at all – the Chinese communist game plan was the opposite: to recognise ethnic diversity into irrelevance. To shepherd it into extinction. […] The goal was technically not assimilationist. A hundred years from now – even 200 or 500 – there should still be Tibetans, Uyghur, Miao, and so on. But these monikers should not matter, except on festive occasions. The plan has been remarkably effective. For some minority groups, such as Manchu and Zhuang, it is not uncommon for individuals to speak nothing but flawless Mandarin. Meanwhile, the provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi and Guizhou – once sites to some of the bloodiest ethnic violence in world history – have been transformed into “colourful” and “harmonious” lands of diverse cultures ready to welcome authenticity-seeking tourists. This plan is not benign or nonviolent, let’s be clear.»

      • Bayard

        “The USA elites in 1980 chose the Dixie/Brazil/Dubai social model, back to the Gilded Age.”

        i.e precisely the sort of society that their ancestors fled Europe to get away from.

        • Blissex

          “The USA elites in 1980 chose the Dixie/Brazil/Dubai social model, back to the Gilded Age.”

          «the sort of society that their ancestors fled Europe to get away from»

          There is a book, “Seeds of Albion” that argues well that early English colonies were settled by four different groups, one of them were royalist Cavaliers who settled in Dixie areas to recreate there the feudal society threatened by Levellers and by bourgeois Parliamentarians in England, with serfs being Irish and African slaves instead of English villains. After three centuries they seem to have won the argument as what kind of country the USA and the UK must be.

  • Nick

    The Chinese government are complete children, way worse in that respect than Boris and his cronies. They haven’t tangled with the US and they won’t invade Taiwan, because they’re scared to put their money where their mouth is. Yes, they have manpower, but their hardware is all knock-offs of Western systems, like everything in modern China.
    Chinese soft power should be a concern, though, because of the ideology behind it: selfish, cowardly, constantly striving to save face. They will be even worse world leaders than the Americans have been.

    • Xavi

      We’ve been brainwashed to think it’s brave to nuke and chemical weapon women, children and old folk from 20,000 ft. I get that. But who brainwashed you into thinking the US is also characteristically generous and unconcerned about saving face?

      • Nick

        No one. I don’t think those things are characteristic of the US. I said I think the Chinese are worse, not opposite.

          • Nick

            Yes, of course. I follow Craig Murray and like all his followers am really disgusted at people not starting wars. Grow up.

          • Nick

            I don’t want the Chinese to invade Taiwan. I’m saying their reluctance is not evidence of a more responsible attitude. I thought that would have come through from my comment but happy to clarify for you.

          • Tom+Welsh

            Nick, Taiwan is actually part of China. Just as most of Ukraine has been part of Russia for 1,000 years or so.

            The terrible disruption caused when the Western nations and Japan invaded and occupied China has not yet been wholly undone. Hong Kong and Taiwan are obviously Chinese – the only reason they are not governed from Beijing is the stubborn insistence of Washington and London in maintaining them as splinters in China’s flesh.

    • Pigeon English

      What makes do you think that Chinese are

      1. cowards
      2. like children
      3. trying to safe face

      China is in a race with Quantum computing, Nuclear fusion and other world challenges.
      Not to mention High speed rail, Moon, Mars Vaccine 5G etc.
      Every couple of years you should update yourself and check what is happening around the world

      • Nick

        You people might get in the habit of reading what a chap has written before haranguing him on what he hasn’t. I didn’t say Chinese race, I said Chinese government. The CCP. Who did not personally come up with any of those toys. And you only have to look at how THEY carry on to see my point – the Winnie-the-Pooh thing, the grovelling apologies forced out of anyone who mentions Taiwan, the ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats. They’re pathetic. And at the same time, very vicious.

        • Tom+Welsh

          Nick, you sound very rigidly dogmatic.

          Consider who has advocated communism. Jesus Christ. All traditional societies without exception (as far as anthropologists know).

          It’s much harder to share and help others altruistically in a vast, overcrowded society such as today’s. Criminals and psychopaths can hide and fool others so much more easily than in small group.

  • Eric+Zuesse

    “John Pilger pointed out the key fact. Twenty years ago the G7 constituted two thirds of the world economy. Now they constitute one third.”

    You don’t include any links in this article, and this statement of yours needs one, because no web-search produces any such statement from Pilger.

  • amanfromMars

    Some of the boys are back in town downtown, Craig, with something new to file and field to multitudinous audiences. And it’s nothing at all like anything else tried before ……. which is certainly different and must surely be classed as, if not evolutionary progress, a quite revolutionary quantum leap, although as both is it also quite something else even greater to be trailed and trialed/betatested and deployed/engaged and employed.

    amanfromMars 1 Wed 16 Jun 12:26 [2106161226] …… saying a big hello on
    https://forums.theregister.com/forum/1/2021/06/16/hellosystem_maclike_freebsd_project_05/

    AWEsome AIdDevelopments for Heavenly Palaces*

    Applications on the menu install on demand, so, for example, if you select Blender for the first time, a dialog reads “Blender needs to be downloaded before it can be used. Do you want to download it now?” Click Yes and it installs ready for use.

    That’s with AI a SMARTR Application of Leading Components for Future ProgramMING Projects.

    * And whenever deployed and employed and enjoyed in service of a SinoSoviet Treat is it considered much more as a Phantom Threat to be countered and opposed rather than engaged and embraced for JOINT** Programming Projects delivered and supplied from Live Operational Virtual Environments.

    Something for the President to seek clarification on from the President whenever they can chat freely today in Geneva.

    **….. JOINT Operations Internetworking Novel Technologies

    A little something to quiz the MoD on in order to be able to correct them should they choose to deny any direct previous knowledge of in a submission delivered to them a short while ago with particular and peculiar regard to Advanced Warfighting Experiments in the great schema of things. ….. https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events/events/army-warfighting-experiment/

    The private sector upping IT’s Greater IntelAIgent Gamesplay to provide the public sector new vectors to direct and administer universal wealth to? Yes, definitely, …. it is at least that.

    Put that in your pipe and give it a toke, Boris. It is what you are missing and causing you to stumble and fall at every opportunity opened up for …. well, government Red Teams would normally be leading such programming and projects, wouldn’t they? Who’s leading those for Almighty Blighty/Great Britain? Anyone you can share news about without falling foul of authorities/NDAs/OSAs? Or is such as is necessary for great diplomatic progress with government offices, absent in-house with all available potential talent being grown at home, effectively leaderless …… hence the resultant crushing and crashing chaos/madness and mayhem failing administrations?

  • Stevie Boy

    Reality check time.
    Won’t be fooled again ?

    “The U.S. government’s accusation of genocide against China stems from a single source: a June 2020 paper by Adrian Zenz, a right-wing German researcher affiliated with the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and neoconservative Jamestown Foundation (CIA Front) in Washington, D.C. Articles by the Associated Press, CNN, and BBC also relied on Zenz’s article to claim that plunging Uyghur birth rates and the application of birth control measures in Uyghur counties of the Xinjiang region were proof of a policy of “demographic genocide.” “

    https://consortiumnews.com/2021/02/22/the-us-genocide-accusation-against-china/

    As to the relative wealth of Russia, China, etc. It’s always fun to look at the relative debt of each nation, see.
    https://www.usdebtclock.org/world-debt-clock.html

    • Xavi

      Outstanding report by Gareth Porter and Max Blumenthal. Penetrates the ‘iron dome’ of Western propaganda, also known as news.

    • Blissex

      «relied on Zenz’s article to claim that plunging Uyghur birth rates and the application of birth control measures in Uyghur counties of the Xinjiang region were proof of a policy of “demographic genocide.”»

      Considering that the Uyghur population has tripled in a few decades, that they have been exempt from the one child policy, that their current net birth rate is about ten times that of the Han majority, that “demographic genocide” hallucination is pure shamelessness:

      https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/431a/96153009b330bfea29a2fadd980750a6edf9.pdf

      “In the early 1800s the population under the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty was roughly 60% Turkic and 30% Han. In 1953, a People’s Republic of China census registered 4.87 million of which 75% were Uyghur and 6% Han. In 1964 the census documented 7.44 million of which 54% were Uyghur and 33% Han. After the beginning of the economic reforms, Xinjiang registered 13.08 million of which 46% were Uyghur and 40% Han. In terms of the 2000 census, Xinjiang’s 18.46 million people are 45.21% Uyghur and 40.57% Han. The current population situation is similar to that of the Qing when many Han lived in the area.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uyghurs#Population

      “As early as 2003, however, some Uyghur groups wrote that their population was being vastly undercounted by Chinese authorities, claiming that their population actually exceeded 20 million. Population disputes have continued into the present, with some activists and groups such as the Uyghur Congress and Uyghur American Association claiming that the Uyghur population ranges between 20 and 30 million. Some have even claimed that the real number of Uyghurs is actually 35 million.”

      Considering the policy of deliberately shrinking the population of China with the several decades of “One Child Policy” (which has become the “Three Child Policy recently) for the urban Han, and the zero or negative growth rate of the majority Han, the chinese government could be much more credibly accused to be a Uyghur controlled conspiracy that is successfully pursuing the “demographic genocide” of the Han majority, which is also (but less) ridiculous

  • michael norton

    Apra Harbour is probably the nearest U.S.A. naval base to China.
    I, 600 miles of open water to Taiwan.
    It is considered one of the best natural ports in the Pacific Ocean.
    Let us see if the British aircraft carrier pulls in to Apra
    after it has gone between Taiwan and mainland China?

  • Baron

    You’re wrong, Mr. Murray, on being critical of the West portraying Russia as a threat, the country’s strength measured in PPP dollars is about a third above the UK, google for it, and for buying tanks and fighter jets, it’s not the GDP per capita but gross GDP.

    The individual Russians may be poorer (as indeed are the Chinese burghers) than a citizen of every G7 country, but what you and every other pundit making such a statement forgets is that a Russian Ivan doesn’t compare himself with neither a man in Burkina Faso nor one in the USA, he looks back what he had ten, twenty, thirty years ago and what he expect to have in his pocket in ten … .. years in the future, he does so because he lives in Russia and not in Burkina Faso or the USA, that’s what people in every country do, it explains why over two thirds of the Russian electorate voted for Putin two years ago, and why in 2016 the Donald got in to the Oval Office, the former appreciated that their standard of living is now noticeably better with Putin in charge than it was at any time under either Boris or the bolshie thugs, the latter the opposite, the revolted against those in governance that allowed just one percent of the population to own close to half of the country’s wealth, and the real income of the majority of the Americans hasn’t changed for close to 40 years.

  • Ronny

    Perhaps you missed Chinese soldiers moving border markers deep into Nepalese territory? Beating Indian soldiers to death? Making preposterous claims on Bhutanese territory? Ramming Vietnamese fishing boats? Unilaterally declaring Kazakh citizens to be Chinese and arbitrarily detaining them in camps? etc etc etc

    • Astrid

      Even assuming that the Chinese are fully to blame in each of these situations (I’m only aware of the Indian border skirmishes, where the non-use of artillery was agreed to by both sides to prevent escalation and where there’s colorable claims and blames on both sides), they’re very minor actions from a country of 1.4 billion with an economy equal to the USA. Compare this counting to what the US/UK backed Zionists have done in the last 30 years, and the Chinese are innocent babes by comparison. And compared to the USA or the British Empire, their behavior so far should merit sainthood by comparison.

    • bevin

      The question is not how we missed these things but how you came to ‘know’ them.

    • Coldish

      Ronny (01.00): thank you for mentioning these claims. Could you provide some links to contemporary reports from both sides?

    • ET

      I seem to remember British Navy vessels doing some ramming of Icelandic fishing boats during the “cod war.” Chagos Islands? Falkland Islands? Pot and kettle.
      Not that that makes it ok. It’s the hypocracy of condemning others for what one does oneself with pompous sanctimony.
      Ditto cyber warfare, propoganda etc etc. Oh the chinese collect data on all it’s citizens but not the west……………

  • Giyane

    A capitalist is somebody who believes that they can use capital to distort society in order to give themselves supremacy over others in society.

    A communist believes collective purpose can achieve the same disgusting goal and an Islamist sees the same opportunities for personal advancement in distorting Islam for their own personal gain.

    Humans are remarkably good at deceiving themselves that what is in their own personal.interests must be for the good of aĺl. But the degrees of hypocrisy differ in proportion to the method of their achieving their personal supremacy.

    Religious manipulation being the most toxic of all social manipulation because religion aspires to the purest intentions, while BoJo merely proclaims Mammon as a tool for English supremacy uber alles, including over the Scots and the Irish, and any other specks of humanity that occupy the same space as he.

    • ginger ninja

      Do you think we’ll ever find a common purpose that unites us, as a species?

      I once thought the international space station would be a stepping stone towards something greater. In my mind the Yanks ruined that one.

    • Tom+Welsh

      A true communist believes that the resources and productive efforts of society should be shared out as equally as possible. “To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities”. A noble aspiration. although difficult to bring about in reality.

      The Chinese government seems to have taken a longer step toward that goal than anyone else since the Stone Age. And the Chinese people seem to appreciate it.

      • Giyane

        Tom Welsh

        I should have said the hypocrisy is in inverse proportion to the claims of polity. We can see BoJo and his planning buster Tory greed carving up the countryside and erecting 15 metre high sheds everywhere in the excuse of HS2. Wot you going to Do about it? In your face Tory Greed. And we have seen China doing the same.

        But the other side if this Total Excess is , in both cases , ecarcerating their opponents and enforcing of Hare Crime. So No thank you Mr Xi. No thank you Mr B. You can stick your 24/7 absolute Stalinist control We are not going to trade our freedom.of thought for slave wages in one of your tin and plaster board stationary tanks.

        At least BoJo and Xi are only offering worldly prosperity in exchange for mental slavery. In other words what the BBC state propaganda machine likes to call a social contract.
        The Islamist deal is : the Western or Eastern Empires , take your pick they are equal, get the world’s entire mineral wealth in exchange for social issues being subcontracted to madmen like Erdogan who will force you at gunpoint to believe their complete tripe.

        Is there any difference between the social contract of the Empires and the bum deal of Group 4 subcontractor mafia like Erdogan?
        The Empires offer slavery and prison for disagreeing. The subcontractors, who used to be called dictators and are now called Warlords, are sadists who swap a country’s wealth for the exclusive priveledge to torture the people.

        Empire is shite and the empire’s mafia franchises are shite. The SNP is an empire mafia franchise. I think I’d rather deal with Empire than these sick franchise bastards.
        Empire’s deal is slavery without hypocrisy, while the mafia franchises want to lure you with brave slogans like Scottish Independence and then play with you like fucking cat with trapped mouse.

        All I’m saying is , you get less mind-boggling hypocrisy if you cut out the snake oil winklepicker/ stilettos clad mafia like Erdogan or the SNP

    • DunGroanin

      Capitalists are an invention by the Bankers to divert attention from their avarice.
      Communists are a invention by the Bankers to keep the attention on capitalists so the populace don’t storm the banks.

      The Punch and Judy show playing in every part of the world and history near you for several centuries.

      Or, if that still escapes understanding.
      Just because you may prefer Pepsi doesn’t mean you aren’t buying an equally noxious sugary sweet drug addiction.

      AGUA!

  • Sean_Lamb

    “Other than some construction of tiny artificial islands (which China is in fact wrong to claim can generate maritime claims according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea”

    The Chinese claim is quite complex. As far as I understand it they aren’t particularly fussed about whether these built-up reefs generate a territorial claim or not, rather they claim they have a right to build them because they are in their economic exclusive zone.
    And they are in their EEZ because the Spratly Islands (that recently were thought to be genuine islands and hence generating an EEZ) belong to China.

    Now as it happens the largest of the Spratly Islands is occupied by China – only it is the Republic of China (sometimes called Taiwan). The US government had no issue at all with the Spratly Islands belonging to China when they only recognised the Republic of China (ie Taiwan) as the legitimate China. When they switched to recognise the People’s Republic of China they immediately began to encourage their client states (ie South Vietnam and the Philippines) to start making salami style encroachments into the Spratly Islands – including when Taiwan abandoned the second largest island just prior to a typhoon hitting, having the Philippines immediately occupy it.

    Then the UN Tribunal on Law of Sea surprised everyone by ruling at the behest of the Philippines that the Spratly Islands weren’t islands after all, but only rocks (hence incapable of generating an EEZ). Although the Philippines tries to have it both ways by sometimes claiming an EEZ based on the now “rocks” they have occupied in the Spratlys.

    Presumably if the Republic of China ever decides to stop being the Republic of China and become Taiwan, they will have to hand their island back to the Mainland. But that will depend on the manner in which they obtain independence. Meanwhile China has built its bases in an attempt to maintain its influence in the area, in preference to acting like the UK did in the Falklands and declare “The Xi’s not for turning” and turf Taiwan and the Philippines off their respective islands or rocks.

    • Coldish

      Sean_Lamb (05.43): Interesting. Craig was for a time a specialist on marine law at the F.O. Maybe he could comment.

    • craig Post author

      The Law of the Sea is entirely clear – to generate an exclusive economic zone you must have a population – otherwise how can you have an economy. So if the Spratly Islands don’t have a population they are indeed rocks, or sandbars – just like Rockall, which cannot generate an EEZ.
      The concern is that the development of artificial islands is to make them capable of sustaining a population and thus a claim – which would not be legitimate. It’s specifically ruled out.

      • Sean_Lamb

        Again, China doesn’t base its claim to an EEZ on the artificial islands, it bases its claim on its sovereignty over Taiping Island – sovereignty but at the moment not occupation.

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/taiwan-minister-christens-projects-on-taiping-among-spratly-islands-1450018669

        That is the island the UN Tribunal has termed a “rock”

        It then uses Article 60(1) : “In the EEZ the coastal State shall have the exclusive right to construct
        artificial islands” – to justify its island construction.

        In fact you will find countries build maritime claims on far less promising patches of sand, such as Australia’s Ashmore Reef. Although presumably if anyone bothers to ask the UN tribunal on the law of the sea they will turn out to be rocks as well. However, at the moment Australia doesn’t seem to be in a rush to update its maritime maps.

      • Blissex

        «The Law of the Sea is entirely clear»

        There are two interesting points about UNCLOS that are rarely mentioned:

        • The USA have not agreed to it, so their using it against China is to say the least very funny.
        • The country that has the largest claims and the most artificial bases in the Spratlys is Vietnam (and China-Taiwan is not far behind China-mainland) and apparently UNCLOS does not apply to either Vietnam or China-Taiwan, only to China-mainland.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:South_China_Sea_claims_map.jpg
        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Spratly_with_flags.jpg
        https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/how-vietnam-quietly-built-10-islands-asias-most-disputed-sea

        The reality of the situation seems to me actually this:

        • Vietnam has been for years taking over the Spratlys from China to control the sea lanes on which Japan, Korea-south, China-mainland, China-Taiwan and all of Vietnam’s neighbours rely for a large part of their trade.
        • China-Taiwan and China-mainland are playing catch-up with Vietnam to protect their trade lanes from the threat of a vietnamese blockade.
        • The USA could not care less militarily as to whether China or Vietnam control the Spratlys, a small american fleet could wipe out all those jumped-up little islands in a few hours if they were in a hurry, in a few days if lazy. The South Chine Sea is still under complete USA control.
        • Therefore the contest in the Spratlys is purely between China and Vietnam, and the USA are supporting Vietnam as a way to provoke and demonize China, knowing very well that to the USA the vietnamese bases are irrelevant, as the USA could wipe them out easily.
      • ET

        Indeed, Rockall. What a farce.
        https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/may/30/who-owns-rockall-legal-history-hancock

        “Tom McClean, an SAS veteran, endured 40 days roped to the outcrop in 1985 in order to assert the UK’s claim.”

        Look at the pcture. Now tell me UK isn’t trying it on like China. (Rhetorical)

        With Scottish Independence will the claimed sovereignty move to Scotland?

        As a complete and light hearted aside, when I play the game “Civilisation” I try to settle all those little rocks on the map. The AI civs get highly annoyed 😀

  • Oliver

    On the Russia / China question I entirely agree that ‘our’ treatment of and rhetoric surrounding these countries is monstrously unfair and hypocritical. But of one thing, Craig, you can be certain: in either country you would have considerably less freedom of speech than you do in the UK and your treatment by the the state powers would be considerably harsher.

    • T

      That no longer washes I’m afraid, as you well know. Not only from Craig’s persecution but Julian Assange’s too. You just expose yourself as one more apologist for monstrous hypocrisy.

    • Astrid

      Did you get that line from the same place as Biden’s longer about USA never interfere in the election of other countries?

  • Tom Stone

    Aircraft carriers became obsolete in 1982 during the Falklands war.
    At this point they are nothing but floating sarcophagi which might last an hour in a conflict.
    And it won’t take a “Major Power”, drones and cruise missiles are cheap and very widely distributed, even if the Ford class aircraft carriers had working catapults ( And elevators and power plants) it would only take one drone to put them out of action.
    1,000 drones at $1,500 a pop VS an $8, 000,000,000 carrier.
    We’d be much better off if our politicians spent that $8B on hookers and blow.

    • michael norton

      Tom Stone, if as you say aircraft carriers became obsolete forty years ago, what is it that the Royal Navy know which you do not?
      They are still asking for them to be built.

      • Blissex

        «what is it that the Royal Navy know which you do not?
        They are still asking for them to be built.»

        Threre obvious reasons for the Royal Navy: 1) Many small countries do not have the missiles needed to sink a carrier. 2) Career boost for Navy officers. There is a third political reason: posturing, and that is what really matters.

      • Bayard

        “what is it that the Royal Navy know which you do not?”

        The importance of keeping the MIC happy and national prestige up, I expect.

    • Wikikettle

      Tom Stone. Exactly. Israel ran out of expensive Iron Dome missiles against Gaza prison camp made fireworks. Building aircraft carriers for China is counter the 20 that US has, plus the French and British 3. US is also courting India to blockade China at Malllaca Straits. Both Vietnam and India in my opinion are misguided not befriending a neighbour.

      • Wikikettle

        All this talk of “Freedom of Navigation Excersises” has little worth for Iran, Russia and China. UK stopped an Iranian tanker entering the Mediterranean at Gibraltar. Egypt stopped an Iranian tanker using the Suez Canal. Turkey can instantaneously bottle up the Russian fleet in the Bosphorus. The EU ordered a German war ship to board another in International Waters. Freedom of Navigatin my posterior.

        • Wikikettle

          Sailing our Carrier between Taiwan and China will be a mistake we will regret bittly. It will be the final insult to hummilate China.

        • Tom+Welsh

          “Turkey can instantaneously bottle up the Russian fleet in the Bosphorus”.

          Thanks for the laugh, Wikikettle. If Turkey tries to do that, it will be breaking its treaty obligations – an act of war.

          In any case, the Russian fleet can destroy anything in the Med without leaving the Black Sea.

    • Blissex

      «Aircraft carriers became obsolete in 1982 during the Falklands war.»

      Actually they became obsolete in 1942, when it became obvious at Midway that the USA could easily wipe out all the enemy aircraft carriers they wanted, even a fleet belonging to a “great power” like Japan was. The USA built built 151 (one hundred and fifty one) carriers in 3-4 years during WW2, even if 91 of them were light-tonnage “escort” carriers (the equivalent of today’s helicopter carriers), and “only” 60 were full carriers.

      The real question is when the USA aircraft carriers became obsolete. The claim “1,000 drones at $1,500 a pop VS an $8, 000,000,000 carrier.” seems wildly moronic to me for several reasons, among them range, and cruise missiles are too slow and dumb to be effective.

      The weapons that can really sink USA carriers are nuclear submarines and long range aircraft with very high speed torpedoes and missiles (and with sophisticated electronic warfare accessories), and those can be afforded only by major 2nd rate powers like Russia or China (or Germany or Japan or France, but if they tried to develop them the USA would not be amused).

      However another of those counter-factuals that can be fascinating is what would have happened at Midway if the Japanese Navy had bet everything on submarines (and some smaller ships) instead of capital ships and aircraft carriers. Given that their naval warfare planners were absolutely sure that they would lose the war in 2 years when they started it, they might have well decided to try something unconventional. But I guess that the shadow of the great victory at Tsushima still influenced their thinking and their obsession with “face”.

      • Kempe

        Problem with that is that the Japanese carriers were sunk by aircraft launched from US carriers. Every side that used aircraft carriers during WW2 suffered some loses, that by itself doesn’t make them obsolete. The German navy relied heavily on submarines and like the Japanese lost three quarters of them.

        • michael norton

          The U.K. carrier fleet, will always be attended by at least one hunter-killer nuclear submarine.
          The Chinese know that the U.K. also have nuclear powered, nuclear armed submarines, one these would probably be China side of the carrier fleet, during this six month escapde.

          • Bayard

            Do you really think that the UK would start a nuclear war with China if China, say, put a ship across the bows of our aircraft carrier and forced it to turn back to avoid a collision?

          • michael norton

            Let us pretend that the Royal Navy Carrier Fleet attempts to slip through the sea between Taiwan and China to prove a point that that area is designated as open seas and not just the sea controlled by communist China.
            Does any one thin the communist party of China will order the Queen Elizabeth to be sunk?

            If the Chinese did and a holocaust was avoided,
            how do you think the Western World would then view China.
            Do you think the Western World would continue to business with China?

            They would forever after be looked at in the same way as Iran or North Korea is now viewed.

          • Bayard

            That was an example of not answering the question worthy of a politician. I asked, do you think the UK would use nuclear force against China if they forced our aircraft carrier to turn back and you replied that the Chinese wouldn’t use nuclear weapons to sink it.

        • Blissex

          «Problem with that is that the Japanese carriers were sunk by aircraft launched from US carriers.»

          It took some effort to avoid reading the subsequent “The real question is when the USA aircraft carriers became obsolete”, by which it was clear that I was referring to aircraft carriers from all other countries.

          Indeed after WW2 very few countries bothered to build carriers other than the USA because it was so obvious that they would be wiped out by the USA navy if they ever wanted. The only countries that built or acquired them did so for purely “posturing” reasons, as in New Labour and the recent two “postcard perfect” carriers.

          «The German navy relied heavily on submarines and like the Japanese lost three quarters of them.»

          Those German submarines defeated the English Empire in WW2, as they and some surface ships defeated it in WW1 too, so they worked pretty well.

          The USA Navy claimed that the USA submarines in the Pacific won the war against Japan (or at least shortened it by many years) because they stopped the flow of merchant ships bringing oil and other raw materials to Japanese war factories.

          • Kempe

            “Those German submarines defeated the English Empire in WW2, as they and some surface ships defeated it in WW1 too,”

            Really? Their objective was to force Britain to surrender by starving her out. On both occasions they were unsuccessful.

          • Blissex

            «Their objective was to force Britain to surrender by starving her out. On both occasions they were unsuccessful.»

            On both occasions they were indeed successful: England was on the verge of abject surrender in 1916 and in 1941, having run out of money, munitions and weapons and barely having civilian supplies, and they were only saved by surrendering instead to the USA, so the USA Navy started fighting the German submarines for them to get USA supplies to England paid for by USA loans (and “concessions”). I wrote the “German submarines defeated the English Empire” advisedly, I did not write that they defeated the USA too.

            My argument was that the Japanese, while being vastly inferior to the USA in might, had they bet everything on submarines in WW2, *might* have made the sea war in the Pacific intolerably costly for the USA Navy, instead of being overwhelmed in conventional surface ship naval battles. Given how good the German submarines were, the Japanese should have copied them, and a two pronged attack on the USA Navy by large Germans and Japanese submarine fleets in the Atlantic and Pacific *might* just have delayed American victory for long enough to get an armistice.

            The USA Navy takes that kind of threat very very seriously, so they have done amazing things to be able to track enemy submarines passing though various areas.

      • Phil Espin

        Blissex, aircraft carriers are vulnerable to land based ballistic missiles too. Apart from “second rate major powers” Iran has these in abundance, perhaps N Korea too. Another good motive for China to control as many islands in the S China Sea as they can. Andrei Martyanov lays it all out pretty convincingly. It’s only with the threat of nukes that USA maintains its carriers. If push comes to shove they will make good reefs.

        • Blissex

          «aircraft carriers are vulnerable to land based ballistic missiles too»

          Oh please! The russians would not be boasting of their carrier killers if just any ballistic missile could do the job, or any old torpedo, USA carriers of course have impressive defensive rings around them. It takes, as I wrote, “very high speed torpedoes and missiles (and with sophisticated electronic warfare accessories)” to penetrate those defensive rings, and not many countries have the engineering and technology that the russian defense sector has developed.

          «Apart from “second rate major powers” Iran has these in abundance, perhaps N Korea too. Another good motive for China to control as many islands in the S China Sea as they can.»

          That looks like the usual “axis of evil” propaganda, with China-mainland associated with it. There are two interesting details about that though:

          * The Vietnam Communist Party have built many more bases in the Spratlys than China-mainland, why are the USA supporting that, given that the Vietnamese Communists can use them as platforms for USA carrier-killing missile batteries?

          * If China-mainland has deployed batteries of USA carrier-killing missiles on their Spratlys, where is the evidence? Why isnt’t the Pentagon screaming loud against such an “act of aggression”?

  • Blissex

    «Other than some construction of tiny artificial islands (which China is in fact wrong to claim can generate maritime claims according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)»

    There is a “subtle detail” that even our blogger, never mind the mainstream media, fail to mention and it is the rush to build bases in the Spratlys was started by the Communist Party of *Vietnam*, with the transparent purpose to have the option to blockade ship lanes from the Persian Gulf and south-east Asia to China-mainland, China-Taiwan, Japan, Korea-south, in order to achieve regional dominance; it is the Communist Party of Vietnam that has made the most extensive claims in the South China Sea and built the most bases until recently.

    Both China-mainland and China-Taiwan have reacted purely defensively, building their own bases in the area, to protect their vital ship lanes, but USA propaganda only ever attacks China-mainland, and not Vietnam (or China-Taiwan).

    https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/how-vietnam-quietly-built-10-islands-asias-most-disputed-sea
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:South_China_Sea_claims_map.jpg
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Spratly_with_flags.jpg

    • Kempe

      Even the Chinese military have doubts as to the usefulness of these islands. They’re too small and too far from the mainland to be defensible or re-supplied if a conflict did flare up. Three of the islands have airstrips long enough to handle military aircraft but none have ever been used. The reason could be political or the logistical effort needed and there is credible evidence that the islands are already sinking and cracking up; possibly due to their hasty construction, inferior materials or rising sea levels; possibly a combination of all three.

      https://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-manmade-south-china-sea-islands-vulnerable-in-a-war-2020-12?r=US&IR=T

      • Blissex

        «Even the Chinese military have doubts as to the usefulness of these islands. They’re too small and too far from the mainland to be defensible or re-supplied if a conflict did flare up»

        It depends against which opponent: the numerous Vietnamese bases are even weaker, but they would work well enough as resupply points for small Vietnamese warships to harass and stop civilian ships belonging to Japan, Korea-south, Thailand, Indonesia, China-mainland, China-Taiwan, Malaysia; the only purpose of the Chinese bases is to to be used to get the Vietnamese out of rest of the Spratlys if they ever try a blockade. It is only in a real war, that is against the USA or Japan, that the they would be useless, and as you say the Chinese know that well.

        With very limited exceptions the Chinese mindset that they are the center of the world, plus the game of “go”, predisposes them to a defensive mindset, e.g. their amazing and very wise and humane “Great Underground Wall of China” for their strategic nuclear weapons (which has been partly copied by Pakistan).

  • John O'Dowd

    So Nicola Sturgeon has appointed the wife (Dorothy Bain) of one of the judges (Alan Turnbull) who convicted and threatens to jail Craig Murray of a non-existent crime (Jigsaw Identification) with no victim, and absolutely no evidence of harm to anyone (other than the pride of the head judge) to succeed the hapless and useless (other adjectives my be applied) Mr Wolfe as Lord Advocate to head the corrupt and nepotistic Crown Office.

    We are not, I hasten to add a banana republic (Oh no – we grow no bananas and remain a feudal monarchy) so let’s quell that one!

    But if we were a republic, and if we did grow bananas then……..

  • Bob

    Well, well, well. It appears that the plight of Julian Assange has caught the attention of none other than David Icke: ‘Julian Assange imprisoned for exposing and humiliating [‘The] Elite [‘]. apparently Julian’s family has been speaking with Tucker Carlson on Fox News over in the States.

    • Dom

      If you’re one of the good guys, like Bob, you despise JA and his revelations about our betters.

    • Kempe

      I’d have thought the last thing the poor sod needed was David Icke on his side. Hasn’t he got enough problems?

1 2 3

Comments are closed.