Tuesday 9th of August 2022

broomstick diplomacy…….

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her visit to Taiwan in “no way contradicts” Washington’s long-standing policy on the self-governed island after touching down in Taipei on Tuesday, despite stark warnings from China.

"Our Congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy," Pelosi said in a statement after landing. 

The US official said her discussions with Taiwan's leaders would focus on "reaffirming our support for our partner and on promoting our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region."

Taiwan was not listed on Pelosi's official itinerary for the trip, which includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but speculation had mounted in recent days that the third highest-ranking figure in the US government would visit the island, prompting a harsh reaction from Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of its territory under the 'One China' policy acknowledged by the United States.

China regards the trip as highly provocative and threatened "unbearable consequences" for Washington if it went ahead. On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian warned the US, “if you play with fire, you will get burned."

After Pelosi landed on Tuesday, the ministry said the trip would have a "severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations" and "seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Beijing said Pelosi's presence on the island “undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait" and cautioned Washington it was on a "dangerous path."

Pelosi is the first speaker of the US House or Representatives to visit Taiwan in over two decades. Taiwan, which officially calls itself the Republic of China (ROC), has been self-ruled since the 1940s but has never officially declared independence from Beijing.





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a mentally ill woman…….

 Witchcraft conviction overturned after 329 years


A school teacher and her class convinced Massachusetts to axe a 1692 Salem Witch Trial conviction 

The US state of Massachusetts has overturned a witchcraft conviction from over 300 years ago after a school teacher and her pupils campaigned to clear the name of a mentally ill woman condemned during the notorious Salem Witch Trials. 

The exoneration of 22-year-old Elizabeth Johnson Jr comes as part of a $53 billion state budget bill signed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday, some 329 years after the woman was accused of being a witch.

Johnson Jr was among over 200 people suspected of practicing witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials between 1692 and 1693. The trials, which were fueled by superstitions, fear of disease and other paranoia saw 19 people hanged and one person crushed to death by rocks. Johnson was one of 10 others found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, due to an order by Governor William Phips in 1693, those executions were stayed. Johnson Jr died in 1747 at the age of 77.

While most of the women branded witches during the trials have since had their names cleared, Johnson Jr was until now left out, presumably due to her having no descendants fighting to clear her name.

That prompted civics teacher Carrie LaPierre and her students at North Andover middle school to launch a campaign to clear the woman’s conviction, aided by state senator Diana DiZoglio who helped champion the cause and ultimately included the motion in the state’s annual budget bill.

LaPierre told the New York Times that she got the idea while she and her class were covering the notorious witch hunt as part of the school’s yearly curriculum. 

During the lessons, she came to the realization that unlike the dozens of women and men found guilty by Salem city officials, Johnson's name was never officially cleared.

The class then petitioned a local lawmaker about the prospects of getting the ruling overturned, and their plea eventually landed with the Massachusetts State Senator DiZoglio.

DiZoglio testified to the state senate about the case last May, saying 'We will never be able to change what happened to victims like Elizabeth but at the very least can set the record straight.”








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the moral universe…….




Why would the US want to “defend Taiwan”? What does “defending Taiwan” even mean? Who are we defending from what – and why?

We’re trying to save the people of an island in China from communism by giving them democracy. This is our business because we are the people who decide what is right and wrong and we decided Chinese communism is wrong. So we will start a nuclear standoff with a superpower country because we really just are that moral. We are so moral that we don’t even care if everyone dies, just as long as they know how moral we are.

These people are telling you, without evidence, that they are the eternal arbiters of some kind of static, permanent moral architecture of the universe that they are still in the process of inventing.

These people say: “we are always right about everything,” and if you then ask them if they were wrong 5 years ago when they weren’t dressing little boys up like girls, injecting them with hormones, and cutting their dicks off, they will tell you “we were never wrong – we just continue to get more right.”

Just try to listen to these people. When they are telling you about how there is a fixed moral order that they alone define and which is also constantly changing – “democracy” – they will say “we just keep getting more right everyday.”

Now, you’re dressing prepubescent boys up as girls and having them do sex dances for adult homosexual men. So if you just keep getting more correct in your morality, where will you be in five years? Where in ten?


  • The concept of declaring yourself arbiters of an eternal and universal global morality is totally insane. (Not even religions do that. At least not to the extent that they say they have a right to just go around bullying everyone on earth into accepting their beliefs. Well, I guess Islamic terrorists do do that. But no one else does.)
  • If there was an actual universal global morality, it couldn’t constantly be changing.
  • This is all totally fake gibberish that no one takes seriously other than some small group of people who think the world is actually Marvel Comics movies. The other people supporting it either don’t understand what is actually going on, and think that China and Russia are planning to attack America, or they are vicious homosexuals and Jews.

I will say – starting a fight with China is a sort of funny way to get the fact that you lost a war with Russia out of the media. That is funny. I think someone has to be laughing about that one.

“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards your chopping your son’s dick off” is not a real belief system.

These people are lying to you on purpose in the most absurd possible ways – just really ridiculous stuff like trannies – and using these lies to get you to do things.










not just me…..

The arrival of the US House speaker, the highest ranking US official in decades, in Taiwan sparked tensions with China, which considers the self-ruled island an inalienable part of its territory.


Several digital billboards installed on storefronts and at the railway station in the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung were spotted showing messages condemning the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the images posted on Weibo social media platform. At least one of them called the high-ranking American lawmaker an "old witch", whose trip to the island was a "major provocation against the homeland's sovereignty".










turning crap into crap…..

Former President Donald Trump has condemned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting Taiwan, calling her trip “China’s dream.” Trump previously argued that Pelosi’s visit, which led to large-scale Chinese military drills and a severing of some diplomatic links with the US, would “cause great friction and hatred.”

“Crazy Nancy Pelosi, what the hell? What was she doing in Taiwan?” Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Wisconsin on Friday. “She was China’s dream. She gave them an excuse. They’ve been looking for that excuse, she gave it. Everything she touches turns to you-know-what.”

Pelosi visited Taiwan on Tuesday, after repeated warnings from Beijing that doing so would have diplomatic and military consequences. Although Taiwan has governed itself since 1949, China still claims sovereignty over the island and considers high-level visits like Pelosi’s to be tacit endorsements of Taiwanese independence. The US has officially recognized Beijing’s claim over Taiwan since the 1970s under the One-China policy.

Following Pelosi’s visit, China launched large-scale military exercises, imposed trade restrictions on Taiwan, sanctioned Pelosi and her family, and cut communications with Washington on key issues like maritime security, transnational law enforcement, and climate change. As China’s military drills continued into the weekend, Chinese military officials are reportedly refusing to answer calls from their American counterparts.

While in office, Trump oversaw a pivoting of US foreign policy from the Middle East to China, with the Pentagon’s 2018 National Defense Strategy naming China as the top “strategic competitor,” and waged a trade war against Beijing for much of his term. When Covid-19 emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2020, Trump immediately branded it “the China virus,” and later accused China of “destroy[ing] the world” with the pathogen.

However, while more than half of the US Senate’s 50 Republicans praised Pelosi for following through with her visit, Trump argued beforehand that it was a bad idea.

“Why is Nancy Pelosi getting involved with China and Taiwan other than to make trouble and more money, possibly involving insider trading and information for her cheatin’ husband?” he asked in the run-up to the trip, referring to her husband’s purchase of semiconductor stocks ahead of a successful vote by Congress on a bill to subsidize the industry in the US.

However, Paul Pelosi sold this stock at a loss before the vote, with a spokesman saying the decision to sell was made to combat “misinformation” linking the purchase to the vote. Pelosi has denied ever sharing insider information with her husband.

Pelosi also met with the chairman of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer while in Taiwan, as the company’s planned Arizona factory looks set to benefit from the US subsidies, once President Joe Biden signs the bill into law.

“Everything she touches turns to Chaos, Disruption, and ‘crap,’” Trump continued. “The China mess is the last thing she should be involved in… Crazy Nancy just inserts herself and causes great friction and hatred. She is such a mess!!!”










dangerous ally….




The most likely way we could get into a war with China is if we continue to act as a proxy or deputy sheriff for the US in the region. Nancy Pelosi is doing her best to provoke China.

Malcolm Fraser was right about ‘our dangerous ally’.

The US is the most aggressive and violent country in the world. It is addicted to a belief in its exceptionalism, grounded in aggression and violence both at home and abroad, and finding it hard to admit mistakes.

Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war.

The record is clear. Time and time again we have allowed ourselves to be drawn into the imperial wars of the UK and then the US. We have forfeited our strategic autonomy.

Over two centuries, the US has subverted and overthrown numerous governments. It has a military and business complex that depends on war for influence and enrichment. It funds our War Memorial and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and many other fronts for US military and business interests.

Records show that the US is a much more aggressive and violent country than China.

The US assumes a moral superiority it denies to others. It is blinded by its own ideological delusions and self righteousness

Many of our political, bureaucratic, business and media elites have been on American drip feeds like the Australian America Leadership Dialogue for so long that they find it hard to think of the world without American global hegemony. We had a similar and dependant view of the UK in the past. That ended in tears in Singapore.

In this blog, Is war in the American DNA?, I have drawn attention repeatedly to the risks we run in being “joined at the hip” to a country that is almost always at war. The facts are clear. The US has never had a decade without war. Since its founding in 1776, the US has been at war 93 per cent of the time. These wars have extended from its own hemisphere to the Pacific, to Europe and most recently to the Middle East. The US has launched 201 out of 248 armed conflicts since the end of World War II. In recent decades most of these wars have been unsuccessful. The US maintains 800 military bases or sites around the world, including in Australia. The US has in our region a massive deployment of hardware and troops in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Guam. China has one off shore naval base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa primarily to combat pirates.

Just think of the US frenzy if China had a string of similar bases in the Caribbean or its ships patrolled the Florida Keys.

The US has been meddling extensively in other countries’ affairs and elections for a century. It tried to change other countries’ governments 72 times during the Cold War. Many foreign leaders were assassinated. In the piece reproduced in this blog The fatal expense of US Imperialism, Professor Jeffrey Sachs said:

“The scale of US military operations is remarkable … The US has a long history of using covert and overt means to overthrow governments deemed to be unfriendly to the US … Historian John Coatsworth counts 41 cases of successful US-led regime change for an average of one government overthrow by the US every 28 months for centuries.”

The overthrow or interference in foreign governments is diverse, including Honduras, Guatemala, Iran, Haiti, Congo, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Chile, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently, Syria. Compare that to China!

And this interference continued with the undermining of the pro-Russian government in Ukraine by the US-backed Maidan coup in 2014. Gorbachev and Reagan agreed that in allowing the reunification of Germany, NATO would not extend eastwards. But with US encouragement, NATO has now provocatively extended right up to the borders of Russia. Not surprisingly, Russia is resisting.

The US encouraged the recent “democratic” insurrection in Hong Kong. It almost succeeded.

Despite all the evidence of wars and meddling, the American Imperium continues without serious check or query in America or Australia.

I suggest several reasons why this record has not been challenged.

The first is what is often described as America’s “manifest destiny”; the God-given right to interfere in other countries’ affairs. This right is not extended to others because many Americans see themselves as more virtuous and their system of government better than others. Biden today dresses up this manifest destiny in terms of democracy versus autocracy. And Nancy Pelosi blunders into a provocative trip to Taiwan. Some ally!

The ignorance and parochialism of ordinary America and its politicians of other countries is legendary but possibly just as important is their resistance to any relief of ignorance. That may not seem unusual — but it is dangerous for a country with overwhelming military power employed around the globe.

Anyone who has been stuck with a travel group of parochial Texans will know what I mean!!

The second reason why the American Imperium continues largely unchecked is the power of what president Dwight Eisenhower once called the “military and industrial complex” in the US. In 2021 I would add “politicians” who depend heavily on funding from powerful arms manufacturers and military and civilian personnel in more than 4,000 military facilities. Congress increase the enormous military budget year after year.. The intelligence community and many universities and think tanks also have a vested interest in the American Imperium.

This complex co-opts institutions and individuals around the globe. It has enormous influence. No US president, nor for that matter any Australian prime minister, would likely challenge it. Morrison and Albanese have the same view on the US imperium.

Australia has locked itself into this complex. Our military and defence leaders are heavily dependent on the US Departments of Defence and State, the CIA and the FBI for advice. We act as their branch offices.

But it goes beyond advice. We willingly respond and join the US in disasters like Iraq and the Middle East. While the UN General Assembly votes with large majorities on nuclear proliferation, Israel and Diego Garcia we remain locked into the position of the US and a few of its mendicants.

Our autonomy and independence are also at great risk because our defence/security elites in Canberra have as their holy grail the concept of “interoperability” with the US. This is mirrored in US official and think-tank commentary on the role they see for us in our region.Our new Defence Minister Marles now even tops all this all up. ‘Interoperable’ now becomes ‘interchangeable’ and we are to operate ‘seamlessly’ with US forces.

So powerful is the US influence and our willing cooperation that our foreign policies have been largely emasculated and sidelined by the defence and security views of both the US and their media acolytes in Australia.

The concept of interoperability does not only mean equipment. It also means personnel, with increasingly large numbers of Australian military personnel embedded in the US military and defence establishments, especially in the Pacific Command in Hawaii.

The US military and industrial complex and its associates have a vested interest in America being at war and our defence establishment, Department of Defence, ADF, Australian Strategic Policy Institute and others are locked-in American loyalists.

AUKUS has locked us in even more. In AUKUS we are effectively fusing our Navy with that of the US so that we can operate together in the South China Sea and threaten China.We are surrendering more and more of our strategic autonomy by encouraging the US to use Northern Australia as a forward base against China as if the US does not have enough giant military bases ringing China in Japan,ROK and Guam

The third reason for the continuing dominance of the American Imperium is the way the US expects others to abide by a “rules-based international order” that was largely determined at Bretton Woods after World War II and embedded in various UN agencies. That ‘order’ reflects the power and views of the dominant countries in the 1940s. It does not recognise the legitimate interests of such newly emerging countries as China, which now insist on playing a part in an international rules-based order.

The US only follows an international rules-based order when it suits its own interests. It cherry picks what best suits at the time. It pushes for a rules-based system in the South China Sea while refusing to endorse UNCLOS (Law of the Sea) or accept ICJ decisions. The invasion of Iraq was a classic case of breaking the rules. It was illegal. The resultant death and destruction in Iraq met the criteria for war crimes. But the culprits have got off scot-free. Only Tony Blair has suffered reputational damage.

It is a myth that democracies like America will behave internationally at a higher level of morality. Countries act in their own interests as they perceive them. We need to discount the noble ideas espoused by Americans on how they run their own country on the domestic front and look instead at how they consistently treat other countries.

The US claims about how well they run their own country are challenged on so many fronts. Alongside great wealth and privilege, over 40 million US citizens live in poverty, they have a massive prison population with its indelible racist connotations, guns are ubiquitous and they refuse to address the issue. Violence is as American as cherry pie. It is embedded in US behaviour both at home and abroad. Donald Trump incited an attack on the Capitol.

The founding documents of the US inspire Americans and many people throughout the world. “The land of the free and the home of the brave” still has a clarion call. Unfortunately, those core values have often been denied to others. When the Philippines sought US support it was invaded instead. Ho Chi Minh wanted US support for independence but Vietnam was invaded.

Like many democracies, including our own, money, media and vested interests are corrupting public life. ‘Democracy’ in the US has been replaced by ‘Donocracy’, with practically no restrictions on funding of elections and political lobbying for decades. House of Representatives electorates are gerrymandered and poor and minority group voters are often excluded from the rolls. The powerful Jewish lobby, supported by fundamentalist Christians, has run US policy off the rails on Israel and the Middle East. The powerful private health insurance industry has mired the US in the most expensive and inefficient health services in the world.

The US Congress is crippled. The Supreme Court is stacked.

Many democracies are in trouble. US democracy is in more trouble than most. There is a pervasive blindness. Is it drifting to another civil war, fascism or just anarchy?

A major voice in articulating American extremism and the American Imperium is Fox News and Rupert Murdoch who exert their influence not just in America but also in the UK and Australia. Fox News supported the invasion of Iraq and is mindless of the terrible consequences. Rupert Murdoch applauded the invasion of Iraq because it would reduce oil prices. Fox and News Corp are leading sceptics on climate change which threatens our planet.

But it is not just the destructive role of News Corp in the US, UK and Australia. Our media, including the ABC are so derivative. It is so pervasive and extensive, we don’t recognise it for its very nature. We really do have a ‘white man’s media’. We see it most obviously today in the way legacy media spew out an endless daily conveyor belt of anti-China stories.

Our media is full of the death and destruction in the Ukraine but far worse has occurred in Yemen at the hands of Saudi Arabia supported by the US. Our White Man’s Media gives us a Washington/London view of the world. A lot is western propaganda.

Despite continual criminal and often unsuccessful wars, the overthrow or subversion of foreign governments and declining US economic influence, US hegemony and domination of Australian thinking continues. Despite all the evidence, why do we continue in denial?

One reason is that as a small, isolated and predominantly white community in Asia we have historically sought an outside protector, first the UK and when that failed, the US. The colonial mind set is still with us.

We are often told that we have shared values and common institutions first with the UK and now with the US. But countries will always act first in their own interests as Australian farmers are finding as the US grabs our markets in China. Hardly protecting our back!

Another reason why we are in denial about the American Imperium, is, as I have described, the saturation of our media with US news, views and entertainment. We do not have an independent media. Whatever the US media says about China or defence will inevitably gets a good run in our derivative media.

A further reason for the continuing US hegemony in Australian attitudes is the seduction of Australian opinion leaders over decades who have benefitted from American largesse and support – in the media, politics, bureaucracy, business, trade unions, universities and think-tanks. Thousands of influential Australians have been co-opted by US money and support in travel, ‘dialogues’ like AALD, study centres and think tanks. That is real ‘foreign influence’. China is a minor player along side the US.

In so far as China is any sort of distant threat it would be much less so if we were not so subservient to the US. The great risk of war with China is if we continue to act as a proxy for the US. Pine Gap would be the first Chinese target.

We are a nation in denial that we are ‘joined at the hip’ to a dangerous ,erratic and risky ally. Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war. The greatest military risk we run is being led by the nose into a US war with China.

Joe Biden is smoothing a few rough edges but he and his foreign affairs advisers are mired in the old US myth of ‘exceptionalism’. He can’t even control a leader of his own Party in Congress.

We are in the process of wilfully abandoning our strategic autonomy. We are becoming a proxy and vassal for the US , a very aggressive and violent country.


This is an edited version of an earlier post.










The dismissal…..



the old woman pelosi smells…..


By Patrick Lawrence / Original to ScheerPost 


The Japanese have a wonderful expression they sometimes use to describe Westerners when they are behaving obtusely. In such cases they say Americans and Europeans are bata kusai, butter-smelling. There is an interesting story behind this strange locution. It is a good time to relate it.

When Westerners began to arrive in Japan in the mid–19th century, disrupting two centuries and some of isolation, the Japanese found, among their many other peculiarities, that they stank of animal fat. This was so because at the time of Commodore Perry’s “black ships” and the great “opening” of the Japanese islands, dairy products were not part of the Japanese diet. To the Japanese, in consequence, Westerners gave off a sour, unpleasant odor, which they named the smell of butter.

It was a long time, well into the modern era, before the Japanese started consuming milk, cheese, and butter. So the expression stuck. Bata kusai came to mean whatever the Japanese found in Westerners to be coarse, insensitive, gauche, or gracelessly assertive.

I have long treasured the Japanese idiom for its earthiness and, the important thing, because it is a reminder of how we Westerners tend to be unaware of the way we come over to others. John Wayne was bata kusai. Huge American cars with chrome fins were bata kusai. American trade negotiators hectoring the Japanese about rice and baseball bats were bata kusai. Ronald Reagan was bata kusai.

And Nancy Pelosi, bringing the Japanese phrase into the wider Asian context, is emphatically bata kusai. The House speaker has just given off a reek of butter that seems to have sent the whole of East Asia in search of hankies.  

It is obvious now that Pelosi knows absolutely nothing about diplomacy as it is conducted at the other end of the Pacific. For my money she knows nothing about statecraft altogether and anywhere, but let us set this aside for the moment.

Asian diplomacy is very different from Western practice. There is much about it that  Westerners would consider informal. Something of the Roman principle at times comes into it: Qui tenet teneat, he who holds may go on holding—in other words, let us proceed from where we are. Unwritten understandings are central to the process. Confrontation is a very last resort. Mahogany tables, fountain pens, and formal agreements come only after all the easily attainable objectives have been achieved—the symbolic gestures, the low-hanging fruit. There is typically no rush in Asian diplomacy.

Pelosi is asleep to these differences. To East Asians she has come over as a butter-smelling clod—clumsy, indelicate, incapable of nuance, not the slightest interested in the perspectives of others, ignorant of how she was looked upon. Given she has offered the world a display of how American diplomats and administration officials conduct our trans–Pacific relations, we must conclude that America is destined to get nowhere in the world’s most dynamic region in the course of our century. Those purporting to serve as our statesmen and stateswomen simply do not have the intelligence or the craft.

We saw evidence of this even in the few days Pelosi spent on her pointless wander. This is my point.

To begin with a bit of background, Washington’s plan since it began to consider China’s admirable rise from poverty a threat to America’s security has been to unite the rest of Asia in a coalition dedicated to containing China and limiting its further development. I date this thinking to the mid–Obama years, when Hillary Clinton was named secretary of state.

That was a very unfortunate appointment. Clinton bears within her the sort of paranoia we used to associate with Goldwater Republicans—among whom she took her place early in life. It was while Clinton was running State that we had the “pivot to Asia.” In hindsight, the pivot was the first, inchoate declaration that a second Cold War was on the way. Now that I am thinking of it, I do not see all that much distance between the Clinton mainstream of the Democratic Party and the glazed-eyes ravings of Mike Pompeo, who ran State during the Trump administration. He carried on about “our allies and partners” just as Clinton did, dreaming of how we would all gang up against “Communist China.”

This is common currency now. Antony Blinken, Pompeo’s replacement, rarely misses a chance to reference our allies and partners and the coming coalition. A kooky piece of big think published in The Wall Street Journal the other day names this idea “Rimland”—some chain of nations that will all line up seamlessly, casting aside whatever else they have on their minds, to surround not just China, but Russia, too, and win the great 21st century war for… for the 21st century, I suppose.

Here’s the thing. The thought of an alliance of like-minded nations uniting to wave the “democrats vs. authoritarians” banner and acting in concert against China has been—forgive the reference, this is the clearest way to say this—a form of masturbation from the first. It is the kind of thing that sounds good to people in Washington offices who do not travel and wish things were other than what they are.

Asians can read maps, believe it or not. Asians have interests and little interest in ideologies. Asians have relations with China that they find have many advantages. Asians have no interest in a confrontation with China—and certainly not in any kind of open conflict. However, among people who, by and large, have never walked to and fro among Asians such that they understand them as anything other than dehumanized digits, pulling East Asia together in an anti–China consortium seems a capital idea and easy as pie: All Washington has to do is tell Asians what to do.

I have found it remarkable to note how enduring this masturbatory fantasy has proven over the years. Whenever evidence of its untethered silliness arises, it is simply not discussed. You haven’t, I am certain, read or heard anything of this in our mainstream media, even though a police reporter from Wichita would be able to tell you all about it after a short while on assignment at the far end of the Pacific.  

And so you are in the dark, maybe—where you are supposed to be—as to the lasting significance of Nancy Pelosi’s big blunder. In a true, live-fire test of the allies-and-partners bit, it crashed somewhere in the South China or East China Seas. We await word of the remains. 

Pelosi’s first stops were in Singapore and Malaysia, the former a long-obedient client, the latter having somewhat a mind of its own in matters to do with East and West. What happened during these stopovers? I will explore this fully in the next paragraph.

Nothing. There were no joint statements of solidarity, nothing about alliances and partnerships against the mainland, and certainly no ringing endorsements for Pelosi’s courageous journey to Taiwan. Silence is at times worth a thousand words.

Koreans are casually known as the Irish of the East for their refreshingly forthright manner. Pelosi’s arrival in Seoul came to more than merely nothing-to-say courtesies. There was no delegation to meet Pelosi at the airport, to her reported irritation. President Yoon Suk-yeol said he was on vacation and could not meet her; a telephone conversation would have to do.

I am reminded of a friend in college who called the girl of his desires for a date. “I can’t,” she said, “I have to do my laundry tonight.” This seems to approximate what Yoon told Pelosi.  

Wow, given South Korea is one of five Pacific nations with which the U.S. has formal alliances—along with Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia— Diplomatic snubs do not get a lot more pointed.

Pelosi flew to Seoul straight from Taipei, and the reek of butter seems to have been strong by the time her plane put down. United Daily News, one of the big Taiwan dailies, had by that time reported a poll in which nearly two-thirds of those asked thought Pelosi’s visit was destabilizing and unwise. So much for the “big welcome” we read and heard about in the corporate media.

At writing, China has begun several days of live-fire military drills that Beijing is pleased to describe as dress rehearsals for a full blockade of the island should matters come to it. There is now speculation—interesting speculation, but speculation—that Taiwan citizens may now swing on the pendulum and want the governing Democratic Progressive Party to back off its pro-independence position and the U.S. to back off its open encouragement of the DPP.

Pelosi’s final stop in Asia was in Japan, America’s most reliable ally in East Asia. What did we hear from Premier Fumio Kishida? The Chinese ought to stop those exercises because they are dangerous, he said in his formal statement. It is in what the premier left unsaid that he made his point.     

After all these years, nobody in Asia seems to like the smell of butter.








counterproductive posturing…..




House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “surprise” trip to Taiwan last week should be “Exhibit A” as to why interventionism is dangerous, deadly, and dumb. Though she claimed her visit won some sort of victory for democracy over autocracy, the stopover achieved nothing of the sort. It was a pointless gesture that brought us closer to military conflict with zero benefits.

As Col. Doug Macgregor said of Pelosi’s trip on a recent episode of Tucker Carlson Tonight, “statesmanship involves advancing American interests at the least cost to the American people. None of that is in play here. … Posturing is not statesmanship.”

Pelosi’s trip was no outlier. Such counterproductive posturing is much celebrated by both parties in Washington. Neoconservative Senators Bob Menendez and Lindsey Graham were thrilled with Pelosi’s stop in Taipei and used it as a springboard to push for new legislation that would essentially declare war on China by declaring Taiwan a “major non-NATO ally.”

The “one China” policy that, while perhaps not perfect, has kept the peace for more than 40 years is to be scrapped and replaced with one sure to provoke a war. Who benefits?

Foolishly taking the US to the brink of war with Russia over Ukraine is evidently not enough for Washington’s bipartisan warmongering class. Risking a nuclear war on two fronts, with both Russia and China, is apparently the only way for Washington to show the rest of the world it’s serious.

The Washington Post’s neoconservative columnist Josh Rogin accurately captures the mindset in Washington DC with a recent article titled, “The skeptics are wrong: The US can confront both China and Russia.”

For Washington’s foreign policy “experts,” those of us who don’t believe a war with both Russia and China is a great idea are written off as “skeptics.” Count me as one of the skeptics!

During the Cold War there were times of heightened tension, but even in the darkest days the idea that nuclear war with China and the Soviet Union could be a solution was held only by only a few madmen. Now, with the ideological struggles of the Cold War a decades-old memory, such an argument makes even less sense. Yet this is what Washington is selling.

The US fighting a proxy war with Russia through Ukraine and Nancy Pelosi provoking China nearly to the point of war over Taiwan is meant to show the world how tough we are. In reality, it demonstrates the opposite. The drunken man in a bar challenging everyone to a fight is not tough. He’s foolish. He has nothing to gain and everything to lose from his display of bravado.

That is interventionism at its core: a foolish policy that provokes nothing but anger overseas, benefits no one in the US except the special interests, and leaves the rest of us much poorer and worse off.

There may be plenty to criticize about China’s government and policies. They are far from perfect, particularly in protection of civil liberties. But have we already forgotten that our own government shut down the country for two years over a virus, and then forced a huge number of Americans to take an experimental shot that is proving to be as worthless as it is dangerous? Let’s look at the log in our own eye before we start lobbing missiles overseas.










a bulwark against time and history…...


By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News


We witnessed a major breach in trans –Pacific relations last week in consequence of Nancy Pelosi’s self-indulgent, utterly failed maunder through East Asia. We also watched a turn of great magnitude in global geopolitics, given China’s inevitable rise as a world power and America’s inevitable decline.

It may be — it is too soon to tell just yet — that last week’s events will prove to be enduringly momentous, warranting their own chapter in the history texts of the future.  

I see good and bad in this, and in my view the former will outweigh the latter in the medium and long term.

As readers will know, I am always on for another failure in American foreign policy. House Speaker Pelosi just gave us the biggest and best we have seen in years, although the Ukraine mess is a contender for the title. Equally, I favor each step the non –West takes toward the condition of parity it seeks, and that I count it as a 21st century imperative. We will see many of these in the post–Pelosi era, if I may call it that. 

During the two-and-some hours Xi Jinping and Joe Biden spoke by telephone prior to the Pelosi misadventure, the Chinese president made a few points it is useful to note. Here is one, as Global Times, the English-language paper owned by People’s Daily, summarized the Foreign Ministry readout of the call:

“Faced with a world of change and disorder, the international community and the people around the world expect China and the U.S. to take the lead in upholding world peace and security and in promoting global development and prosperity. This is the responsibility of China and the U.S. as two major countries.”

The key thought there is joint responsibility, the duty the People’s Republic and the U.S., as the world’s most powerful nations, share toward the rest of the human community. I read it as some 5–to–midnight effort on Xi’s part to talk sense into Biden.


Sudden Breach 

When Pelosi went ahead anyway, the breach was sudden. Apart from the live-fire military exercises, which we read Sunday are going to be held regularly, Beijing severed diplomatic relations with the U.S. in a range of areas — drug interdiction, illegal migrants, cross-border crime and so on. Among these, are several big ones: Talks on climate change and contacts on the defense side, at policy and operational levels, are canceled. So are consultations on maritime security.

In effect, Beijing has given up on the joint responsibility Xi urged Biden to think about. Any spirit of bilateral cooperation that survived the past several years of Washington’s diplomatic assaults, military provocations, and the whittling away of Washington’s commitment to the One China principle is now dead.

This noted, I do not read China’s move as an indication it intends to abandon its efforts on questions such as climate change or maritime security. Not at all. I anticipate it will act responsibly; it will simply not bother acting in any kind of concert with the U.S.   

The dangers implicit in China’s policy response to Pelosi’s stupidity are obvious. The larger point is that, once again, a person who is of low intellect and unworthy of respect has tumbled the world into a completely unnecessary new era of tension, the bitter taste of which we are soon to know.

It has been clear for some time, as I have argued severally in this space, that Cold War II was to be a two-front proposition. The second front is now officially open, given the extent China has just severed ties with the U.S. We are beyond rhetoric and figures of speech now, and Cold War II will start to get expensive — for both sides, unfortunately.

China is sure to escalate its military modernization programs, especially in areas such as nuclear submarines, where it is weak relative to the U.S. Pentagon spending will rise commensurately, we can safely assume. This may be what the military-industrial complex and its clerks on Capitol Hill have sought all along. What good is a Cold War that consists mostly of words? There is no money to be made in words. Now comes the open-ended spending on hardware.

“We are beyond rhetoric and figures of speech now, and Cold War II will start to get expensive — for both sides, unfortunately.”

Americans are now on notice: The Chinese no longer want or expect anything from them. This is a very disadvantageous position for Americans to be in. Leverage, pressure, coercion, whatever you want to call it: The U.S. is in for a notable loss in these respects. Now that I am on the subject of self-inflicted damage, let us consider the rest of it.

The Biden regime’s thinking about China, such that it has been capable of any, has been amateurish as far back as the 2020 political campaigns. Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, and Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, and the man they advised had this idea that they could cooperate with Beijing on serious but soft stuff such as climate change, compete with China on the economic side and confront China on security questions — Taiwan, the South China Sea, proliferation and related issues.

I invite readers to the comment thread because I would truly like to know: Is there any reason under the sun China should give this cockamamie notion — let’s work together while we threaten you right up to your shoreline — a second thought? If there is, Beijing missed it: The Chinese have never taken this silliness seriously. Look again at the list of areas where it just cut ties. It announces this openly while indicating that China no longer holds out any hope that the U.S. will grow up.

Another entry in the loss column: Nancy Pelosi just led America further down the road into the isolation the 21st century has in store for it given that its foreign policy cliques appear incapable of reading our time accurately.


Choosing a Side

The U.S. has for a long time tried to persuade, cajole, or coerce Asians to choose a side in the Sino–U.S. rivalry. This has so far resulted in a lot of humoring, parrying and hollow gesturing to keep the clumsy giant mollified. Pelosi’s tour  through Asia — Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan — was a kind of put-up-or-shut-up moment. She made the with-us-or-against-us question concrete. And Asians shut up: None had anything favorable to say to the U.S. about the Taiwan crisis. We now know: East Asian “allies and partners” are simply not going to follow the U.S. into a dangerously adversarial standoff with China. 

Now to the Europeans. Well, the British will follow the U.S. where wise men fear to tread because they have this restorationist “global Britain” dream in their heads. Do you think the European Union will back the U.S. in an open conflict over Taiwan — or in most other fights the U.S. is inclined to pick, for that matter? I see no chance of it.

What proportion of humanity does seem ready to cast its lot with the U.S. as trans–Pacific relations get hot in the way of U.S.–Russian relations? We cannot say with precision, but as a thumbnail measure, those nations refusing to recognize the sanctions regime Washington has led since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine account for two-thirds of global gross domestic product.

Assuming the U.S. policy cliques continue making their customary mistakes, and at this point I do, the Sino–U.S. breach Pelosi just made acute will force the same choice on this two-thirds of the planet that the Ukraine crisis has. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.

The estimable Chas Freeman, the retired ambassador from whom I never stop learning, considers the just-noted percentage and reckons that as China continues to emerge as a global power, the Group of 7 advanced post-democracies will be eclipsed by an ever-more consequential Group of 20, in which China will figure prominently. I can’t stand the phrase “game-changer,” but for those who don’t mind it, Freeman is describing one.

As China gives up on the nation whose foreign policy has in recent years been reduced to playing the role of spoiler, work on the new world order often considered in this space is very likely to accelerate. Post–Pelosi ties between China and the Russian Federation will continue to elaborate and consolidate — this is more or less a given among those who think sensibly about the topic.

We will see rapid advances (another frequent topic in these columns) in the partnerships and trade and diplomatic arrangements — no formal alliances just yet — among non–Western nations in all hemispheres.

All to the good, the perils Pelosi has just inflicted upon us notwithstanding.  

The U.S. now operates as a bulwark against time and history — a hopeless but destructive project. I do not think this is at all reductionist. China just emerged as the site where this contradiction is destined to be sharpest. Nancy Pelosi speaks for a power elite that simply does not like the 21st century and insists that, somehow, America can make the rest of the world remain with it in the 20th.

Don’t think so, actually.


Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site.  His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon site

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.