Thursday, August 18, 2005 / World / Asia-Pacific - China sets up squads to combat terrorism / World / Asia-Pacific - China sets up squads to combat terrorism: "'The new squads are aimed at improving the ability of the police to
handle terrorist crimes, riots and other emergencies,' said a statement
on Xinhua, the official news agency."

This article is interesting because it reflects a reality that exists and for the fact that the Chinese are admitting it. Specifically the article gives these figures "...the authorities dealt with 74,000 protests and riots nationwide last year, involving more than 3.7m people, compared with 10,000 incidents in 1994."

Interestingly enough there is a criticism of the plan and of the society itself from a professor at Renmin University in Beijing who said "The crux of the problem lies in an unbalanced society which lacks justice and equality,"

Again, evidence of a society in flux and a society becoming more and more unstable.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Margaret Carlson - The Wrong General

The Huffington Post | The Blog: "I guess we could have guessed, but there it was on page A7: sex had
raised its ugly head and the distinguished, brilliant career of Byrnes
was gone, poof, just like that. He'd been told to 'knock it off,' that
is an adulterous affair, but continued to make phone calls. That was
all it took. Byrnes was separated form his wife in mid-2004 and they
are now divorced."

It's just incredible that General Dan K. McNeill is standing in judgment of General Kevin P. Byrnes. General Byrnes has a consensual affair with a non military female while being separated from his wife. The General was seperated in 2004. His divorce just became final. Margaret Carlson has this one right. A travesty of hideous magnitude. The General McNeill who is to pass judgment on General Byrnes is the one who covered up two murders of detainees in Afghanistan. Consensual affair while separated from wife/ covering up two murders of detainees in Afghanistan. Humm. Priorities in the wrong place- what a surprise.

Monday, August 15, 2005

SPIEGEL Interview with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew: "It's Stupid to be Afraid" - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

SPIEGEL Interview with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew: "It's Stupid to be Afraid" - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

This is an excellent interview given by Lee Kuan which goes over a number of issues I worry about. As the leader of Singapore he has a close view of the changing world as it relates to the emergence of China and India in the world. And while reading the article it's important to remember that he's the leader of a small country near China and so his comments, while cogent, relevant and insightful, are colored by the need to remain somewhat diplomatic when speaking of China. Personally I see the moves that China is making as similar to the moves made by Germany and Japan prior to World War II. Lee is asked about whether China is going to become a military problem for the west. Lee says, "They must avoid the mistakes made by Germany and Japan. Their competition for power, influence and resources led in the last century to two terrible wars." Clearly there is a reason to see the analogy. When asked about the direct military competition with the United States Lee has this to say, "I believe the Chinese leadership have learnt: If you compete with America in armaments, you will lose. You will bankrupt yourself. So, avoid it, keep your head down, and smile, for 40 or 50 years."

Skirting around the issue of the growth of the militant, nationalism that is growing in China, Lee hedges his bets with this comment, "I don't know whether the next generation will stay on this course. After 15 or 20 years they may feel their muscles are very powerful."

I believe that China is creating it's own unstoppable momentum with regards to war over Taiwan. The increase in nationalism, the ease at which they are relearning and reembracing the idea of Taiwan as being their birthright, (much as the Germans believed Alsace-Lorraine and part of Poland was their land) and the pressures of modernization on the peasant/farmer/poor are all combining to make an inevitable war. Lee sees it a bit more diplomatically. "Their objective is to raise the level of damage they can deliver to the Americans if they intervene in Taiwan. Their objective is not to defeat the Americans, which they cannot do. They know they will be defeated. They want to weaken the American resolve to intervene. That is their objective, but they do not want to attack Taiwan." I disagree with Lee there. China does want to bluff their way into getting Taiwan without a war but the preparations for that war will make it inevitable. A good article all in all. Lee is a brilliant leader who has led Singapore successfully for a while.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Epoch Times | Convert the Chinese Communist Party into the People’s Party

The Epoch Times | Convert the Chinese Communist Party into the People’s Party: "This is the reality in China, total absence of justice in many places,
the ordinary people have no place to right a wrong, and complaints can
be heard everywhere. The CCP corruption also caused social morality to
degenerate. The entire China is like an apple, rotten gradually from
the core to outside."

This is a link to a speech by Han Guangsheng, the former Chief of the Justice Bureau in Shenyang City. As a member of the Chinese Communist Party he has particular insights into the problems in China. He defected to Canada in 2001. In a nutshell he identifies many of the issues that are in play in China today. An obvious structual change in Chinese society today is the idea of there being a 'class struggle' which is no longer supported. What this means is that the idea and reality of the little guy, the farmer, the peasant, is no longer supported. As in a previous article the social net for farmers and others is now gone. The glue tha provided validity and stability is now gone.

China is and was a totalitarian state, the difference now is that the CCP rule is moretenuouss as the society fragments into haves and have nots. This is important because China is one billion people with nuclear weapons. This is important because China is one billion people with a government ruled by factions in competition, some of those factions aremilitaristicc and believe in war to acheive their goals. Since the Tiananmen Square Massacre the hardliner/militaristic faction has been in ascendancy.

The problem here is that the world depends on China to remain a rational actor on the world stage and as China spirals downward toward it's implosion that rational actor is moving toward irrationality. The internal pressures of that coming implosion demand answers which would relieve the pressure and traditionally war is a solution often found by weakened governments. China is becoming more militaristic as witnessed by the rhetoric about Taiwan and by their actions in putting more military assets across from Taiwan. China is becoming more harsh with internal dissent as witnessed by the continuing Falun Gong crackdown. Classic reactions by governments loosing their grip. The article is worth a read.

The specter of Communism can no longer survive. The CCP has already become a synonym for brutality and deception. The CCP has already given up communism and class struggle itself. The CCP has already allowed capitalists to join the Party. The CCP is no longer the political party for the proletariat or the working class.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

4-Star General Relieved Of Duty

4-Star General Relieved Of Duty: "Neal A. Puckett, a military defense lawyer in Alexandria, said it may
be unprecedented to have a four-star general relieved of command for
allegations of an affair."

General Kevin P. Byrnes allegedly had an affair and is relieved of command on the same day that his divorce is finalized. Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, the senior commander in Iraq during the Abu Ghraib torture and abuse scandal, is being considered for promotion to a four star General. If this is true then its a sick perversion of what is accepable behavior in the government now and what is not. Sanchez should have been shown the door and under no circumstance should he be promoted. The story that this is possible comes from the Guardian and so is a bit suspect. The story about why General Byrnes is being canned is coming from the Washingto Post and so has a bit more credibility. Still and all, if this is what Byrnes is being punished for then again, it's a mind numbing indication of what this Administration thinks is important and what they don't think is important.

China suicide bus bombing wounds 31 .:. New Kerala - India's Top Online Newspaper

China suicide bus bombing wounds 31 .:. New Kerala - India's Top Online Newspaper

A further word on this Chinese Suicide Bus Bombing. If the reports are to be believed it is an act of a individual farmer who had grudges against the system as it exists now in China. Apparently the tenets of Communism have changed and the ideal of "From each according to his ability to each according to his need" and is no longer valid. The Chinese health care system seems to be 'pay as you go' system. In other words, no money no health care. In the late 1970s, 94 per cent of China's villages were covered by cooperative medical schemes. As the collectives were disassembled during the market reforms of the 1980s, coverage rates fell to around seven per cent.

The suspected bomber, Huang Maojin, is said to have died on the spot.

Huang, 42, was a farmer from Fujian's Gutian County.

According to a suicide note found by police, he had been suffering from lung cancer for about two years.

In the letter, Huang said he had a dispute with one of his neighbours in 2002. He claimed he had been unfairly treated by the local public security department and was sentenced to jail until the end of 2003.

The imprisonment delayed treatment of his illness, he claimed.

Huang's family was heavily in debt and his children were unable to go to school because of lack of money, the letter said. Source: China Daily

No idea where they could have found a suicide note on a guy who was holding the bomb. A bit convenient but if we take it on face value then we are looking at not a muslim attack on the society but a society attack on itself. Perhaps more dangerous in the long run. Bomb making materials are said to be readily available in China and that bombings of this nature are common. The end of the socialist/communist structure seems to be the most important part of this story as well as the level of desperation combined with the level of violence that is possible with the supplies at hand. It makes for an increasingly shaky and unstable China which is a massive problem to the rest of the world.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Suicide Bombing - Fuzhou Boxun News

Suicide Bombing - Fuzhou Boxun News

Don't even know what to really think about this one. Some of the pictures to be seen are really grim and bloody. The official line is that the bomber was a disgruntled farmer. It's also reported that the pictures were from regular people who snapped pictures with their camera phones and digital cameras on scene and escaped the police confiscating the cameras and pictures.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Innocence Project: Thomas Doswell

The Innocence Project: Thomas Doswell

For 19 years, Doswell has maintained his innocence. Refusing to confess to a crime he did not commit, Doswell was turned down for parole four times. Only one week after exculpatory test results returned from the Allegheny County Crime Lab, prosecutors agreed to join in Doswell’s motion to vacate his conviction and sentence.

This sort of thing always reminds me of the stories of Red China where the political prisoners are 'reeducated' to conform to the values of the society. They remain in prison until they 'confess' and 'see the light' The same goes for prisoners in the United States. If Thomas Doswell would only have confessed and taken responsibility for something he didn't do then he would have been out of prison a long time ago. This applies also for the trial. If Doswell would have only 'copped a plea' to something he didn't do he would have found the system to be much more lenient toward him. However, being innocent is no defense and has no place in the bureacracy and system that metes out punishment. It also shows that it's fairly easy to convict someone without them actually being guilty of anything. Congratulations to Thomas Doswell and his belief in his own innocence.

My Way News - CNOOC Expected to Drop Bid for Unocal

My Way News: "SHANGHAI, China (AP) - Hong Kong-traded shares in CNOOC Ltd. (CEO)
gained sharply Tuesday following a report that the Chinese offshore oil
company plans to soon drop its $18.5 billion offer for Unocal Corp."

This sounds like good news if it is true. The report is very short and gives a superficial view of the problems with the attempted Chinese acquisition. The national security problems highlighted in the congressional hearing on the CNOOC bid for Unocal have been put onto the front burner and so has the entire issue of Chinese strategic economic moves which are hostile to US interests. The Chinese undoubtedly do not wish this issue to be fuurther highlighted and the United States to become motivated to pay attention to their efforts and to do something about it. Therefore it's only logical that this particular buyout attempt will be dropped with the desire to move attention away from Chinese strategic moves to secure their own energy supply within their overall strategic strategy. As witnessed by the congressional hearing the moves being made by China deserve the scrutiny they are now getting and dropping the bid for Unocal won't stop that scrutiny.