Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Filipino President Calls for US Forces to Leave Within 2 Years

On a visit to Japan, newly-elected President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has just now called for all US forces to vacate his country within 2 years:

This move would be a serious blow to the USA's security plans in East Asia, allowing China to wrest control over the South China Sea unchallenged and expand its hegemony over the East Asia region.

This is what the United States has reaped from its Atlanticist-centred foreign policy. Let's remember that Asia represents a larger portion of the world's population and its economy than beloved Europe does.

Here's my own small letter to NYT on this:
In contrast to the falsely contrived accusations that Trump is Putin's stooge, Rodrigo Duterte is indeed a genuine Manchurian Candidate for Beijing. His presidential campaign received initial seed money from Chinese mining companies fronting for Beijing. His anti-drug campaign rhetoric dovetailed with that of Maoist guerrillas who similarly claimed to be fighting drug lords for control of the jungles. And unlike Trump who publicly advocates NATO spending cuts, Mr Duterte cannily never made any mention of expelling Americans during his election campaign. Had Washington gotten any serious inkling that Duterte was going to expel US forces, the US would have weighed in early on to support Duterte's electoral rivals - just like how the powerful NATO lobby and Deep State quickly began rallying their backbiting against Trump after he antagonized them with his loose talk. A real foreign stooge behaves like Rodrigo Duterte, and not like Donald Trump. The cliché Red-baiting that's sprung up against Trump and reached such grotesque levels, is an example of of the depths partisan electoral mud-slinging has sunk to. However, it's no surprise that Russia would prefer Trump to win, given that Hillary Clinton is basically a blank cheque for Atlanticist hawks to stamp their own Moscow-fixated foreign policy agenda upon. It's also another reason why other actors - whether China or AlQaeda or ISIS - have so easily been able to pursue their own expansionism with little challenge from the US.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Wikileaks: Muslim Quota Recommended for Obama Cabinet

Hacked emails show that a member of the transition team set up to help establish Obama's Whitehouse had recommended a list of Muslims who could be appointed to Obama's cabinet. The person who gave this recommendation was lawyer and executive Preeta D Bansal

This is the same Preeta D Bansal who led the US Council on International Religious Freedom in advocating that then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi be denied visa to prevent him from entering into the United States.

ISRO Starts Lunar Lander Tests

ISRO has begun its activities in connection with testing a lunar lander required for the Chandrayaan-2 mission:

This mission is due to launch at the end of 2017 or early 2018, and will deploy  a rover on the Moon, in addition to an orbiter. This will be the first ever lunar mission to land at the Moon's polar regions.

59 Police Killed, 117 Wounded in Militant Attack in Quetta

A militant attack on a police training academy in Quetta, the capitol of Balochistan province in Pakistan, has killed 59 and wounded 117:

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Wikileaks: Greenpeace Sought Clinton Aide's Help to Deal with Modi

Hacked emails have revealed that the environmental NGO Greenpeace sought to obtain the help of Clinton aide John Podesta to intercede with the Modi govt after it imposed restrictions on the group's funding:

So the crooks at Greenpeace, who were on the back foot over their use of foreign funds, then tried to get a foreign govt to help salvage their position in India. It once again shows how badly vigilance against the antics of NGOs is needed.

I'm thinking that hacking is a good way to deal with these NGOs, to expose them more aggressively.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Trump TV: Donald's Revenge

Donald Trump may go full Berlusconi if he loses the US presidential election, with rumors swirling of his plans to launch his own television news network, which some have dubbed 'Trump TV':

Trump himself took another opportunity to slam the overwhelming media bias favoring  Hillary Clinton in this election, by making some barbed jokes in his speech at a charity dinner the other night:

Non-Leftist Indians have never bothered to try pursuing their own Berlusconi strategy in creating their own TV news alternatives. Right now we've got Arnab/NewsHour and a few others, but nobody cares enough to deepen the field of choice.

In the age of Apple-TV and other purely internet-based digital distribution services, new possibilities exist for content providers to connect with mass audiences.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Clinton Campaign Ad Features Khizr Khan

Clinton's campaign has released an attack ad featuring Khizr Khan in order to deal a final blow to Donald Trump's presidential campaign:

I find it ironic that Khan can posture like this, even while being someone who salutes Pakistan army - the sectarian defenders of a sectarian state.

Caspian Report: Make in India

Caspian Report gives its analysis of Modi's "Make in India" plan to improve India's economic growth:

Philippines Re-Aligns With China

In a major blow to the US, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced at a high-profile event in Beijing that he was cutting military ties with the US and was switching over to China, saying the US had "lost":

Needless to say, the Americans are dumbfounded by Duterte's brash style, and don't know how to respond. The Chinese have played their cards well, and are reaping the benefits. A primarily Atlanticist foreign policy establishment is showing its limits in grappling with the rise of China. Naturally, their efforts will now mainly revolve around spinning public relations damage control, reassuring the American people and allies that the situation is still under control.

It remains to be seen what Philippines' largest trading partner Japan will say about this latest move (China is 2nd-largest, US is 3rd)

My take on this is that India's leverage will only increase from these developments. The US is losing its smaller dominoes in the region, and can now only rely on larger friends to help it. Japan will certainly feel more vulnerable - I'm betting that recent Japan-Philippines military exercises made possible by changes in Japan's constitution will also soon be shelved. Thailand will be increasingly drawn into China's orbit now that the King is dead, just as Nepal was. It was only due to India's strong catch-up efforts after suffering debacles in Nepal and Sri Lanka, that we were able to salvage those situations. But the US may not easily be able to regain influence it's losing in Philippines, and soon Thailand - especially when the Democrat-led Whitehouse refuses to push aside the ascendant Atlanticsts who always only treat Asia policy as an afterthought.

Even worse for the US - will Duterte now become the Chavez of East Asia, acting as a thorn in America's side?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Could France Help India Put a Lander on Mars?

India and France are looking at how to put a lander on Mars:

“India is one of the best partners and customers for France,” says CNES president, Jean-Yves Le Gall who adds in times to come ISRO and CNES can hopefully jointly explore planets like Venus and Mars where India is already planning missions.
Blamont wants India and France to jointly launch an orbiter to Venus that will then send balloons down into the little understood atmosphere of the Venus.
“After India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, the next step has to be a lander. A lander on Mars is not easy, but it will be interesting to undertake,” says Le Gall.
Earlier this year on India’s republic day, at the summit meeting between India and France a letter of intent was indeed inked to explore landing on Mars.
France may soon know a lot about it, as it's already getting the direct experience right now:

The Importance of Huma Abedin

Huma Abedin is more than just a simple aide to Hillary Clinton: