Beyond the Cusp

October 10, 2016

Let’s Play “Can We Find a Trump to Trump This?”

 

The media coverage of items dragged from the depths of Donald Trump’s past would be a whole lot more believable had they treated anything from the Clinton’s pasts or presents with equal severity and critical research. So they have found another outrageous thing Donald Trump said and the Republican Party mainstays are all a twitter, on Twitter and Facebook, castigating their presumed candidate because they actually have moral compasses and core values instead of the win at any cost and damn the rules because the media will protect us and pooh-pooh any charge from our past and present because the political reality in the United States is the media has become the publicist and attack dog of the Democrat Party. Notice the amount of time the media spent on the item of the second about how the Clintons used the Democrat Central Committee to assist them in destroying the campaign and hopes of Bernie Sanders. If you blinked or coughed you missed that coverage entirely. Or how Hillary literally laughed in the faces of the Benghazi Committee and the members of Congress taking the deaths of four Americans including an Ambassador and two brave men who gave their every last breath trying to protect the staff and the Ambassador while President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton were doing everything in their power to help the whole affair disappear in a blizzard of misinformation and commanding relief efforts to stand down so as not to make a federal case of protecting these people. Those two men held off the entire attacking terror force we now know for eight long hours always checking the skies for help which never came. They sent out radio plea after radio plea describing their situation and giving exact coordinates of the mortar placements which were bombarding their position. All that President Obama and the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were doing was damage control and minimizing any hope these men had that their country’s leadership actually cared enough to send in the Marines, literally. How silly and ridiculous their efforts must have appeared to the exact people charged with presumably tearing down nations to bring them to safety must have appeared as they put out one fire after another which were being lighted to send hope and tell these men and their protected that help was on the way. Assisting forces were boarding helicopters and warming up fighter jets only to be commanded by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to power down their efforts because these people were not worth risking their careers at such a crucial stage in the reelection campaign of President Obama and the future election, or is it supposed to be coronation, of President Hillary. That is what mattered then and that is what matters now, the placement of Hillary upon her throne.

 

Where are the investigations into the Clinton Foundation or has all suspicions now been squelched and another fire put out just as all those, and this was their terminology, “Bimbo Explosions” were handled all those years as Willian Jefferson Clinton was the rising star of the Democrat Party from Little Rock and these continued “Bimbo Explosions” while he was President wagging his finger at the camera and the American People claiming, “I did not have sex with that woman Miss Lewinski.” Notice how such womanizing and actual sexual escapades are being silenced as if Hillary never assisted these cover-ups and the entire media machine has silenced all mention of anything untoward from the Clinton Sex Machine which was Bill Clinton’s driving force while climbing and maintaining his political stardom. The media is downplaying the potential for mischief which will present itself with Bill Clinton back in the White House as First Husband where he will be sent to travel the globe and rub elbows and whatnot with the wives of other nation’s Presidents and Prime Ministers. Is this the picture we want for the United States?

 

 

We are being treated to every lewd and unsolicited glance from the past of a man who never expected to actually be running for President of the United States and did not have handlers his entire life scripting his way around every failing and misspeak as many in the political class have had the luxury of for these past fifty to sixty years. While Hillary resided in the hallowed halls of the political game Donald was working in the real world and actually had real world failings and missteps which remained unsanitized making for such fine targets for today’s media. The media has on record the entire playlist of past Donaldisms right next to the “Do not ever allow see the light of day” playlist of Clintonisms. Imagine yourself thrust into the limelight having your entire past and that of anyone who was close such as a wife, husband, college roommate or just about anyone else and every prank from summer camp, as we’re sure if Donald Trump ever assisted in short-sheeting a counselor’s bunk we will hear of this as the ultimate in horrific behavior two days before the election on Sunday, November 6 as the lead in every Sunday newsprint. The story will be retold on all the talk shows and will lead with nothing else being covered with interviews with the traumatized counselor who is needless to say traumatized by this coverage out of the blue and not because of post-traumatic stress disorder from the short-sheeting. Nor has he been likely to have sought, as might be claimed, psychiatric help to get past this horrific experience brought on by young Donald who has obviously never matured from that day forward. This is the typical type of story we are being treated to as if they have any bearing on how Donald Trump will serve as President while how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acted in that service to the country is inconsequential as it has no bearing on how she will act as President. Tell me how that makes any sense.

 

There has been one other item which has bothered us since the very first primary where Donald Trump won so handily against some extremely stiff competition and how every word he uttered in a debate were the only quotes the media ever played unless there was a complete failure by one of the other candidates. Did anyone notice how Donald Trump was considered a serious candidate and one capable of leading the campaign of one of the major political parties in the United States. The media was his campaign and they did their part to get him the nomination right before they turned on him like a rabid dog might one morning turn on its owner seemingly for no reason. The difference is there was a reason and that is the media has their dog in this race. Somehow Donald Trump was the media’s favorite and there was a reason. Any legitimate Republican even to include Ted Cruz, the media’s backup for Donald, would have cleaned Hillary Clinton’s clock in this election and the political world knows this. It had become apparent that Donald Trump is not only running against the Democrat Party, the Clinton machine, both Bill and Hillary Clinton and the media but also the Republican Party as well. The Republicans have yet to put up even the tiniest squeal of protest against the treatment and have actually piled and heaped shame upon Donald themselves and are now heading for the exits in a well-rehearsed fire drill making Donald persona non grata even in his own party and have made it appear even his running mate will have nothing to do with him after this well held secret was waiting in the wings to be used at this juncture. The Republican Party knew this was coming as each and every one who was questioned as the story was breaking or even before it broke so that these reactions of Republican elites could be aired with the story were ready and willing to throw Donald Trump under the bus. One need ask why?

 

The Republican Party has their candidate for the Presidency and she is Hillary Clinton. That is correct, both major parties are running Hillary Clinton for President and her path to the White House was supposed to be a cleared path with the least presentable and least probable candidate being chosen by the Republicans and then denigrated and destroyed by the same Republican Party such that Hillary would have her deserved and rightful coronation. This is the dirty little not-so-secret secret of this entire campaign from both parties. Was there any Republican who was being seriously considered potentially a threat to a Hillary Clinton victory? Jeb Bush with all his millions would have walked off with the election but he was destroyed before he got started. He was likely promised by the Democrats to be given his turn after Hillary Clinton serves her eight years and he will get four. Who were the front runners from the start? Remember? There was Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and John Kasich. All the stars were eliminated by the media one-by-one and the Republican Party never cried foul and simple whimpered along in tacit agreement with the decimation of their candidate field leaving only candidates Hillary might be capable of defeating. Even with this field they had to go to a Donald Trump candidacy to even be able to pretend Hillary was the better choice. There wasn’t a bigger clown to ridicule than Donald Trump but something went awry. What was that they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men are trying to put Humpty together again but Hillary keeps falling off her perch and cracking into a million pieces before our eyes and it is not news. Her excuses lead like she was suffering from pneumonia which was why she fainted at the 911 rally and had to be slid away from all coverage, as required to keep the lie going, into a van without escort or Secret Service protections and media circus one would expect. Then this weak and eviscerated pneumonia victim then turned up escaping her minders waving to all who passed by from Chelsea’s New York apartment chipper as the first day of spring. Then there was her bright and shiny perky Hillary at the first debate and we are anticipating an equally medicated and scripted Hillary with the little bug in her ear feeding her every word and every thought guiding her along while Donald Trump is left to his own devices completely abandoned by all. Trump should place a sign over his campaign headquarters stating, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” He was cherry picked as the only person Hillary Clinton could easily beat six ways come November 8, Election Day and she has proven unable to even manage this. What would have been her chances against any competent candidate? None, negligible and without a doubt her rise would have been an impossible Herculean task. Alas, poor Sisyphus is going to have a new task in Hades. Sisyphus will be tasked with pushing Hillary Clinton up the hill to a microphone only to have her tumble back to the bottom every time.

 

Sisyphus Pushing Hillary Up the Hill

Sisyphus Pushing Hillary Up the Hill

 

Sisyphus may as well represent the media, the Democrat Party, the Republican Party, talking heads from Sunday Morning News shows, the nightly news anchors, etc. Actually, to parse a phrase, “Never was so much owed by so few to so many,” can refer to Bill and Hillary who owe a debt for her successes and covering her many failures in deed and character to the entirety of the political and media empires which have congealed around protecting her path to the White House. What is so surprising is that it will take a landslide victory by such a great margin to get past the fixes already in place in the crucial states to make President Hillary a certainty. Donald Trump is not going to need the undecided battleground states as those are fixed where such opportunity presents; such as Philadelphia having 125% turnout with 98% voting for the Democrat and other noted irregularities such as Chicago in all too many elections. Trump is going to need to win in places where the powers that be do not expect him to even have a snowball’s chance in Death Valley on an August afternoon such as taking New York or California, something we have believed he might be able to pull off and they put some early efforts in place in both these states, or any other solid Democrat stronghold. Perhaps he can take Illinois or Minnesota or Maine or anywhere in New England or the great northwest of Oregon (OK, no hope in Oregon) and Washington (not much better then Oregon) and if he takes any of these there will be no amount of cheating or vote buying or rigging that will prevent his landslide. If Pennsylvania and New York go to Trump early in the reporting as the polls close, then the gig is up and Hillary is finished. That is the reality and they know this which is why Donald Trump will be made into the most hideous monster of a human being since Idi Amin Dada. The torrents of the media are on the verge of demon Trump all the time. Expect even comedy and other venues of shows on television to start with anti-Trump campaign assistance. We can expect the late night shows to begin blasting away at the latest “Did you hear this scandalous item from Trump’s past?” They will talk about things he presumably did in grade school as if he did them yesterday in Times Square. Expect people from Trump’s past, real and imaginary, to be presented as witnesses to his character, or lack thereof, and a string, a procession coming to the microphone given their fifteen seconds of fame where all they need do is say, “I’m Joe Six Pack and Donald Trump is an evil monster who left me without hope or any future when he destroyed my car, house, dreams, relations with Marilyn Monroe or whatever fiasco of a life tragedy they can claim and the public will be expected to realize, oh my gosh, how could I ever vote for such a mean and evil person while Hillary Clinton will remain wrapped in her cocoon protected from prodding or other harms. No words about Benghazi, old news; or the e-mails, not prosecutable; or pay to play, no proven quid pro quo; or her losing of the Rose Law Firm tax files until the statute of limitations was passed and then they were in a white house clothes closet found by the cleaning crew, old news; or her presumed ill health, simply pneumonia and what a miracle recovery, isn’t she wonderful; her lying to Congress and to the relatives of the dead about Benghazi, not Benghazi again, can’t you leave that old news alone; cleaned server hard drive, really want to try that again; and any wrongdoing by the Clintons is either old news, been there-done that, that again, we tired of hearing about that, doesn’t mean anything, “never happened, OK, happened but doesn’t matter, OK matters but you sure it was Hillary, that again?”

 

This election is not about Donald Trump or anything he ever did as anything Trump has done did not result in dead bodies, dead United States Ambassador and two former Navy Seals left hanging to die, lies and cover-ups of felonies, risking and compromising United States top secret information, selling lies to Congress and the American people, and a trail of continuous scandals and cover-ups longer and deeper than anything, oh wait, here’s a grandmother who was denied a visit by her great-grandchildren because Trump had to lead a parade. Ridiculous, yes, but also an example in jestful hyperextension of reality not that far stretched. And we have yet to get into the lies and mischaracterization of Hillary’s proven positions on numerous foreign policy and international relations. A simple pair of examples would be her being capable of handling Vladimir (the Invader) Putin better than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s presumed love for Israel against Donald Trump the presumed anti-Semite whose daughter is an Orthodox practicing Jew and whose every child is married to or dating a religious and/or Zionist Jew while Chelsea also married a Jew who is a Democrat leftist progressive whose parents were members of Congress and his father later served time in federal prison for fraud, is a wealthy hedge fund manager and alumnus of Goldman Sachs thus bigtime Wall Street connection, but to his credit Marc Mezvinsky has an upbringing and adulthood which were shaped by a strong Jewish background amid all the politics according to media reports. Trump’s eldest daughter actually converted, Chelsea has not and probably never will convert thus her children will not be Jewish by religious law while Ivanka Trump will raise their children as true and honest Jews by Halacha. This Jewish connection to the potential next Presidential family is unprecedented in American and Jewish history with few Jews outside of Israel ever being so close to the seat of power. Benjamin Disraeli as the Victorian Prime Minister of Britain being probably the most famous exception may soon have some competition but that remains to be seen. Remember that much of the Trump controversies are manufactured from deeds of a man outside of politics and on the wrong side of the media and both parties’ elites and was chosen to be the sacrificial lamb at the coronation of Hillary Clinton, who has been unofficially but practically cleansed of all her and her husband’s wrongdoings by a complicit media and political elites, and they have now realized they chose a wolf from amongst the sheep.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 4, 2016

Foundations of Pay to Play

 

The Clinton Foundation, or should we call it the Clinton’s Fundnation, where donations of varying sizes were deposited often in direct correlation to the length of time they were granted with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Well, not all the visits with Secretary of State Clinton were linked to contributions to the Clinton Foundation; some were linked to very impressive payments for speeches by one former President William Jefferson Clinton. Of course we are told that there is no smoking gun or definitive proof or actual links, well, provable links. It is remarkable the degree to which far too many highly placed law enforcement agencies and individuals voluntarily develop tunnel vision. It is a miracle they can drive a car safely with such obstructed eyesight. Yet the news has been filled with reports about the horrors and downright dastardly practices and unconscionable business relations which apparently have plagued Donald Trump over the years. We can only assume that previously law enforcement and business oversight and enforcement departments have suffered an equal measure of tunnel vision when it came to policing the business deals of Donald Trump. Of course the surprising item is the lack of law suits brought against Donald Trump if so many of his business dealings were actually as fraudulent as we have been led to believe. There was one business venture though which truly could have qualified as fraudulent had it actually made the guarantees or promises claimed by the media, and that was Trump University. Fortunately for Donald Trump the only actual guarantees given by Trump University were that one might be able to benefit and enrich themselves with the lessons and they would receive a diploma and a picture of them with the facsimile of Donald Trump. The picture with the cardboard Mr. Trump was only worth slightly less than the wisdom one might have gleaned from the lessons. So, there has seemingly been loads of the blind leading the blind in law enforcement around both Presidential candidates if the media reporting on one and the claims of ignoring direct evidence on the other are to be believed. This leads to one big question, which one is the least crooked and least seriously soaked in criminal behavior and thus the lesser choice to be President.

 

I know what you’re thinking, where am I going with this and that I sure started with some twisted and tortured lack of logic. Well, why should editorial commentary here be any less confusing and in the dark than the rest of the media? If you answer is because you have come to expect better, then thank you for your confidence and read on, it will hopefully be worth your time. The problem is that far too many of the politicians are crooked as a broken and twisted ancient oak tree with the varieties of corruption, insider trading (which is actually legal for members of Congress and the members of the Administration of the President), bought and paid for political hacks, politician turned lobbyist and other crimes of unimaginable complexity and criminal behavior obvious even to the most casual of observers which reach out from the rotting central core of the political tree in the ever outward reaching branches seeking new and more imaginable ways to deceive and steal. Are there some politicians who are clean, respectable and trusted to work for their electorate? Astonishingly, yes. Unfortunately they are also the politicians shunned by the opposition party and their own party and unfortunately cannot seem to get together on issues due to their different beliefs and political orientations. If only there were some means of getting the true representatives of the people to work to clean up the rest of the political quagmire, that would be simply grand. Unfortunately most of the truly honest representatives of the people fall into one of a few categories, socialists even bordering on communist, religious conservatives often referred to as the religious right, and the true believers of causes which are as varied as often separate be the narrowest of degrees yet still chasing mutually exclusive dreams as one can paint. There are likely more than a dozen of causes which come under the ecological umbrella from save the whales or the seal cubs to save the rain forests as well as stop acid rain who sometimes protest with the save the oceans and even save the polar bears who have been taking care of themselves quite well. Then there are those who want electric cars, hydrogen cell cars, universal transports which take everyone to their destinations, public transport such as busses, light rail or subways and those who want to ban all vehicles which run on petroleum even including aircraft and the rigs without which we would soon have less choices of food and other goods, but that is not their concern. There are some who desire making the United States a Christian based nation where Christianity would become the recognized religion of their state or even the nation. And then there are our favorites, the constitutionalists who simply desire to have the United States return to the limitations intended by the Founding Fathers.

 

Founding Fathers of the United States

Founding Fathers of the United States

 

Those chasing causes, dreams some call them, are probably the least harmful as they are easily predictable and can be clearly understood. The less than honest politicians are also predictable once their motivations and those who own their pocketbook are understood. There are those who have so many positing bribes, sorry, contributions and charitable donations, which work their way back to the politicians through nefarious and twisted paths making them not so obvious. Let us say that a politician or group of politicians receive contributions to their campaigns and to supportive political action committees (PACs) as well as donations to charities or other groups who also contribute to the election campaigns where all this cash finds its way back to the politicians and they simply promote a bill which provides funding for some aid package helping the poor or the sick in impoverished nations which in turn buy drugs or food using much of the aid from the United States from those who initially arranged the funding from the varied sources for their campaigns. The twisted paths and the indirect funding leads to crossing the eyes of any investigations such as there is nothing directly untoward making these actions prosecutable. There are thousands of scams which have been operating for more years than any care to admit. Ask historians or political studies professors and one can learn that these problems assisted in the fall of empires past and have predated writing. There are theories about what is the oldest profession and it very well may turn out it was politician and the first politician was the individual who convinced the leader of their clan that they needed a religion and they should be the priest or medicine man or any position which did not require brawn as much as brains. That politicians got to eat without having to hunt as hunting was dangerous and too often the hunting parties came back minus one or more members while priests or medicine men stayed at the camp near the fires and out of the rain.

 

We have come a far way since then and now we have entire echelons of politicians in layers upon layers doing all sorts of functions. But in modern society the politician is not the greatest menace, just the most efficient ones where the greatest concentration of money can be found. The menace are those faceless individuals who sit in offices and cubicles making up rules and regulations and even law in some instances when directed to flesh out legislation which is all too often loosely written and paints broad swipes leaving room for interpretations and that leads to mischief. There was a temporary position a number of years back which was referred to as the Regulations Czar whose lead individual was Cass Sunstein known officially as Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. The position was directed to review laws and legislation from the last fifty years or so and define or formulate new regulations which could be enacted with a special emphasis to use these reviews to enact and formulate regulations supporting policies the Administration was having difficulty passing through Congress. How many thousands of additional regulations were discovered hiding in laws recent or ancient we probably will never discern. Things have gotten to a choking point with the numbers of regulations, requirements and other rules holding an equivalence of laws that the average citizen cannot be expected to even have knowledge of the extents and depth of what is considered illegal and can place one on the wrong side of the law in court. The sad truth is difficult to put one’s arms around but be it the United Statesor be it Briton or any nation in Europe or potentially the entire world, the reality is we all break laws as part of our normal everyday lives and the criminality of living increases by thousands of new laws and regulations annually. This is the real criminal output of politicians who are paid to pass laws which outright or through inferred regulations give those who can pay an advantage over the rest of the population. This is the crooked legacy which is almost as criminal as the money stolen from our pockets through taxes, fees or higher prices so that others can benefit from corrupt politicians. This is why elections matter and primary elections this year proved to be the surprising ones which mattered. In the United States the choice is between two political forces either of which will provide the media, and especially us if we choose, more to cover than they will know what to do with. One will have half the media screaming about the illegalities with the other half excusing it while the other will have half most of the media claiming they are completely lost as to what are the motivations of the actions from the White House and others will play the game of guess what’s up next. Either way we will have plenty of news we just as soon would rather tune out, but it will affect our lives and the effects will be anywhere from minor inconveniences to drastic enough to threaten the entire planet. The real problem is none of the candidates, including third party, have even an inkling about the state of the world and what needs be done to repair the most egregious of the difficulties or threats, and it will be some of the threat which will offer the greatest danger if not mitigated and mitigated right out of the gate. Many will claim that will simply cause more difficulty but indifference to the world of problems has worked so well that we’ll gladly risk actually addressing threats and problems over leading from so far behind you may as well not be there at all, which too often was the case, Benghazi anyone? Please America, choose well.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 8, 2016

China and Words Whispered on the Winds

 

For as long as there have been predictive winds of the economic variety, the prediction has been whispered from quiet corners to shouted from the rooftops claiming this would be the time that China was finally going to pay for their economic shenanigans and face economic collapse. We have been extremely quiet about these predictions of doom on the horizon as the one thing the Chinese had been very adept at was finding some manner of continuing to meet predicted gains month after month, year after year. Their predictive gains have become somewhat more reasonable from the early 1990s where the reported gains stood around 11% to this past year where they reported merely 6% and are continuing to predict this can be continued. The problem the Chinese leadership is facing is they have pretty much run out of rabbits to pull from their hat and it is time to accept that even in China there can be a recession. But perhaps a little look back might help to explain.

 

China had some really rough years where Chairman (and virtual god) Mao Zedong was the absolute ruler and was executing the usual five year plans which are so precious to so many dictators. Equally precious to such five year plans is that they completely and utterly destroy the national economy and tens of millions die of starvation and other privations. The Chinese have literally tried everything in order to assure that whomever was at the top made a relatively high prediction of economic growth even to have gone to a fairly complete privatization resorting to a market based free enterprise system which had kept growth at around six to as high as nine percent for the past decade plus. To continue reaching such unrealistic goals the Chinese government has gone so far as to build entire cities where nobody was going to live just to add to profits. This also assisted the areas of the Chinese economy which is dependent on the price of copper. Building cities, even those nobody is going to inhabit, still required a fair amount of copper to install all the wiring necessary for a modern environment and using so much copper supports a higher price aiding the Chinese economic indicators.

 

Can the Chinese leadership find some miracle to pull off continued reported gains? Of course they can. After all, lying is always an option and that will work until the people rise up and overthrow the government demanding real and honest leadership. The Chinese watched the breakup of the Soviet Union and know that a contributing factor was pretending they could manipulate and lie their way to prosperity and the people would not be bothered by their lies. Apparently they were misled and paid the consequences. The problem in Russia was despite the change in governance there was little change in who governed and who owned all the wealth. China has wisely decentralized their economy and relied on free market principles throughout almost all sectors of their economy.

 

The Chinese leaders have found the one main problem with a free market economy, eventually even these engines need to cool off for a while and that causes an unavoidable recession. This creates one big headache for the leadership in China; they are expected to show profits and economic growth of at least five to six percent every year, period. That will be a real stretch in the next couple of years as their free market sector has reached the apex as things stand and now need to cool the system and take a few quarters, possibly a year or even two of reset and a settling of the economy before the next drive and prosperity again making all happy. The problem is the Chinese Communist Party insists in progress and growth every year or else heads will roll. In China, that is meant quite literally, thus the excessive need to find some way or reporting progress and gains in the economy. This would have been less of a problem had the economy not been buoyed with false growth figures in construction of uninhabited cities and the enforcement of a one child policy cause a drastic set of circumstances. Now China is facing a recession with a glut of male children entering adult life with poor prospects for matrimony coupled with an economic downturn thus even their rescinding the one child policy, it came far too late for these men in a society bereft of women. This adds another component which historically has almost always been solved in the same manner, finding a means of sacrificing a significant number of male citizens between the ages of twelve to twenty-something. That method has always been war.

 

This brings us to another side of China of late, pressing her claims to areas beyond her natural borders and the stationing of troops as a provocation on these fronts. Much of these provocations have been taken in the South China Sea where Chinese activities and demands are threatening long existent and heavily traveled sea trade routes. Add in the Spratly Islands which are claimed somewhat obviously by the Philippines and Viet Nam and add in China and you have instant conflict. This conflict over the Spratly Islands goes far further than the land based claims as should China successfully claim the islands they would also set solid their claim to the South China Sea as their own little private bathtub square in the middle of some of the most heavily travelled sea lanes in the world. This would allow China to control these sea lanes demanding taxes be paid on all cargo, disrupt naval exercises and travel in what are considered as international waters and be a provocation to war all rolled up in one package. The Spratly Islands are likely the end goal of the island building exercises taken by China in the South China Sea and could quickly escalate into an open confrontation should China use their newly built Blue Water Navy to enforce their claims to these waters. Additionally, there are the conflicting claims over the Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese claim and the Senkaku Islands as the Japanese claim (see map below). These two sets of claims are both very sensitive areas but thus far the Chinese appear to be more concerned with their claims for the Spratly Islands as they would cement the South China Sea as strictly Chinese and thus grant China control of the busiest Asian sea lanes and one of the most heavily traveled sea lanes internationally. This might also be the case simply due to the Japanese having a far more developed naval capability compared to Viet Nam and the Philippines and nothing more.

 

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

Diaoyu Islands as the Chinese Claim
Senkaku Islands as the Japanese Claim

 

The likelihood of an actual war breaking out over the Spratly Islands is considered by many to be a remote possibility. Of course the possibility of China building an island chain to the Spratly Islands and then placing Chinese troops, aircraft and shore batteries and placing naval assets moored to the Spratly Islands is also considered remote. The potential for open conflict with the Philippines calling in their support guaranteed by the United States could be a potential for a quickly escalating situation over the South China Sea, an area the United States desires to be open and free of any interference with trade as much as anybody. Even the Japanese have direct concerns over the Chinese increased territorial claims into the South China Sea. This could easily become a future flashpoint though such is unlikely until some situation would force the United States to emphasize their presence elsewhere pulling assets out of the western Pacific region. One such scenario would be a war in the Middle East threatening the oil shipments from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf oil kingdoms where the United States would also be bound by treaty obligations. With the current United States Navy cut down to well under former levels of actual warships and also less support vessels meaning that the Navy would not be capable of staging on two separate fronts without leaving large segments of the world outside the reach of American naval assets. This is the situation faced currently as the number of front-line aircraft carriers has been reduced such that with one being refurbished then there would not be a full battle group to send into a crisis area forcing the redistribution of assets from areas considered less threatened, though where that might be is a difficult judgement in itself.

 

China is facing economic downturn for the immediate future barring some unforeseen manipulation of forced conflict requiring wartime production which would permit direct government infusions stimulating the economy in an unnatural means which would only make recovery from such a step even more drastic when the correction comes. No nation can continuously show the kinds of gains China has claimed indefinitely and eventually there must be a cooling-off period as the market resets and decides on its next direction for expansion. China did have the advantage of not being a modern, first-world economy after World War II and then struggling through the Mao Zedong five year plan years where things actually managed to worsen thus allowing for a long stretch of recovery, modernization and finally incorporating free market principles and now China is at a top point from which a reset is long, long overdue and pretty much unavoidable short of declaring war. One hopes that even China has progressed beyond using war as an economic stimulus where all markets are crashed to support the war effort allowing for a period of growth and rebuilding when the war is over. One had also best pray that the same is true in the Middle East where the people have reached the end of patience with dictators and are revolting in nation after nation which could threaten to engulf the Middle East, North, the Horn and parts of Central Africa and potentially Europe starting from Turkey and moving westward and northward and even including Russia in a bid to regain some of the lost power of the Soviet Era. Any blow-up in the Middle East and affected areas could be exactly the opening China would need to cement their claims to the waters and international shipping lanes of the western Pacific-Indian Ocean routes and disrupting world trade in hopes of using taxation of trade and other measures to continue to show profits at any cost. As long as tariffs and trade wars are considered a viable economic tool to be found in some national tool kits, then the world is still a dangerous place as long as that remains so.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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