FTAC: China’s Behavior, Our Military, and Calls for War — It’s Complicated


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China’s Behavior: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2020/11/27/a-short-note-on-chinas-contemporary-political-sins/

United States Military: no other on earth works as broadly and as hard at establishing its Land Air Sea Space superiority in arms.

Calls for war?

US President Donald Trump has described the coronavirus pandemic as the “worst attack” ever on the United States, pointing the finger at China.

Mr Trump said the outbreak had hit the US harder than the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War Two, or the 9/11 attacks two decades ago.

His administration is weighing punitive actions against China over its early handling of the global emergency.

BBC. “Trump says coronavirus worse ‘attack’ than Pearl Harbor”. May 7, 2020.

The base nods its collective head, raises its fists, and shouts its opinion — always someone else’s ideas and words — on the social network.

From the Awesome Conversation

We appear to use our military superiority — and we have it in many areas — judiciously to alter geopolitical space in well defined ways, to hem in ambitious enemies (such as Russia where it has bogged down in Ukraine), and to dampen the spirit for aggression in places like the South China Sea. We don’t just pack our kits and go off to obliterate cultures, governments, and societies. Life just ain’t that simple. I have primer on the subject: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2020/11/27/a-short-note-on-chinas-contemporary-political-sins/ — anywhere one waltzes in, from Wal-Mart to the Thousand Talents program (our research departments have taken a lot of Chinese grant money, but the same has been also a setup for Chinese espionage) — the realpolitik gets quite tough (for affordable everything — add in the borrowing on the U.S. national debt).

Fair for web search: “China, Wal-Mart”; “Thousand Talents Program”; “U.S., China, Debt”, “Ukraine, American Anti-Tank Weapons”; “China, USA, South China Sea”.

Are Far Right / Far Left Americans just plain lazy when it comes to looking into issues independently?

You tell me.

Too often online, one may come across the “Two Minutes Hate” entirely without legitimacy, sophistication, or substance.

This is not asking 320 million Americans to come up to speed in International Affairs in the way of, say, Belfer Center, but at least take in the best of available, valid, and reliable / clear, accurate, complete reportage. Citizens think; mobs mouth slogans.

In the tags section of this post, I’ve thought of a few dimensions that may need to be approached in some fresh way. I believe I have seen an ugly coarsening of competitive norms between China and the United States in the course of President Trump’s tenure. “Beat the other guy!” Well, we approach deals and games with that competitive zeal, but whether our partner in tennis or in trade, we’re generally not inclined to destroy the same without some related punitive motive. China’s “debt trap diplomacy” and the guile associated with the Thousand Talents Program indicates ambition to dominate more than facilitate healthy development and financial exchange.


FTAC: A Quick Comment on the Social Networks and Information Traps


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Why make much ado?

The cause: the emotional distress of reactionary conservative at the thought of responsible executive management and oversight of large (immense!) social networking platforms.

Here is reason.

From the Awesome Conversation

Most platforms are only “common carriers” — they support communications / “content” and, if large, attend to some maintenance of normal community standards. The systems that support extremism include “dark web” and specialized communities that one has to know how to access via the “out there” or radical vines.

Of course the idea of self-proclaimed “patriots” invading the Capitol and attempting to disrupt the validating of possibly the most well observed and secured election in American history would be mind boggling but for the agitprop and disinformation industries and the self-selected “echo chambers” that surround those who fall into cult-like information traps.

Here’s another and related excerpt from today busyness, and it follows from an absurd and irresponsible statement of fact that wasn’t factual. From the Awesome Conversation –>

“Free Speech” is a right that Government cannot limit” — not true. Criminal law prohibits speech associated with conspiracy and incitement; tort law addresses libel and slanders. While we may enjoy a great bandwidth in expression, we treat adult sexual material differently than we do other content – I hope you don’t have a problem with that – and professional and responsible publications prove themselves sensitive to differentiating between valid-reliable information and bunk.

Most of the public understands differences between mainstream media and partisan publications.
The major common carriers – like Facebook – believe they have cultural, political, and social responsibilities that include the discouragement of disinformation and the encouragement of good civil conduct whatever the speaker’s beliefs and thoughts may be.

I’ve owned this one a long time and here own up to not having yet read it! ๐Ÿ™‚ However, I know of it and reviews may be easily found online:

Published by HarperCollins, 1992.


Trump and the Question of Insurrection

Here the speech —

NBC News, January 7, 2021.

Here is what took place beforehand —

In the days before Trump supporters’ insurrection, the Department of Defense placed major limitations on the tactics, equipment, and resources the DC National Guard could make use of in dealing with rioters, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Pentagon officials sent memos on January 4 and 5 barring DC guardsmen from receiving ammo and riot gear, engaging with protesters (except for self-defense), sharing equipment with local police, and using surveillance or air assets without explicit approval from President Donald Trump’s acting Defense Secretary, Christopher Miller, according to The Post.

Sonnemaker, Tyler. “The Pentagon blocked the DC National Guard from receiving riot gear or interacting with protesters without explicit approval from Trump’s defense secretary.” Business Insider, January 8, 2021.

There’s more to the Business Insider report and worth the time.

You heard him: “Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy . . . .”

That “egregious assault” will have included the most well observed election in American history as well as possibly the most secured.

For a look at claims against, well, reality, the Federal Government offers through its Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) this page: #PROTECT 2020 RUMOR VS. REALITY.

The CISA page for the 2020 elections features guidance helpful to the nation’s election managers and has been designed to counter domestic false claims and rumors as well as foreign created or influenced disinformation.


FTAC: Reflection on the Political Power of the World Wide Web in America 14 Years After the General Uptake of ‘Broadband Internet’


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I don’t really want to introduce this lift of my own words ๐Ÿ™‚ because it’s telegraphed well as is. Let’s try this that way.

From the Awesome Conversation

The World Wide Web is in civilizational terms still a new communications technology, and about 14 years ago, broadband and the advent of powerful search engines and networks made it an ideal tool for political friends and enemies alike. Here is the program of one of our enemies — https://conflict-backchannels.com/2020/02/13/active-measures/ Another term (on which I haven’t worked): “Hybrid Warfare”.

I try to sustain our broadest American Freedom of Speech character across partisan lines, but we must be aware — or become aware — of sophisticated agitprop, disinformation, disingenuous information, etc. across partisan lines. The vast majority here are Americans whether Democratic or Republicans. We work things out. We don’t choke down political language or presentations without critical facility of our own and an immense treasure in research capability.

The BackChannels blog is mine and represents probably the most consistently semi-productive thing I’ve been doing for about a decade.

I would view the former politically correct fascists on campus and the emerged Far White Right in Charlottesville as projects that have simmered beneath the former political surface and simply amplified and coalesced their national political presence by way of both surface and “dark web” social channels. They’re the “violent radicals” of our day and most of us should want to repopulate the positions around the aisle.

We have had enough bullying from extremists Far Out Left and Far White Right.

Additional Comment

Unlike our Russian counterparts who cannot today choose between lives in a modern and vibrant authentic democracy, Americans may choose at this time to live with modern demand for integrity and responsibility in their speech and thereby inhabit an authentically modern and revolutionary ever new world.


FTAC on Trump, the Show Business President, and the Assault on the Capitol Building

The finger pointing between Democrats and Republicans and sundry others is, sadly, part of the nearly medieval chaos into which America has sunk throughout President Trump’s divisive tenure. Nonetheless, as Americans take notes from mainstream media, specialized press, and partisan presses of all kinds, the data simply compiles to suggest the deepest manipulation of public events by this one president.

Here are the first two bullets of four summarizing reporting in Business Insider —

  • The Pentagon placed major restrictions on the DC National Guard leading up to Wednesday’s insurrection, The Washington Postย reported Thursday.
  • Officials curtailed the ability of DC guardsmen to deploy troops, receive ammo and riot gear, engage with protesters, share equipment with local police, and use surveillance without explicit approval from President Trump’s acting defense secretary, Christopher Miller, according to The Post.

Sonnemaker, Tyler. “The Pentagon blocked the DC National Guard from receiving riot gear or interacting with protesters without explicit approval from Trump’s defense secretary.” Business Insider, January 8, 2021.

Do Americans, no less than their Russian counterparts, really want to live in the medieval world?

Putin’s Russian pseudo-democracy is, for all intents, an authoritarian state devoted to the absolute will of its leader. By comparison, the United States of America has been an authentic democracy with political power distributed and checked and balanced down to the citizen / voter.

From the Awesome Conversation

I happen to have this on the clipboard — https://www.businessinsider.com/pentagon-hindered-dc-national-guard-response-to-insurrection-attempt-report-2021-1 . The data adds to the impression of staging from the top.

From the closely observed and possibly most secured election in American history to the courts rejection of multiple lawsuits without discoverable / reviewable basis in reality to the latest event, it’s hard seeing how patriotic and reasoning Americans can by the mythology of a go-it-alone President against the majority of the People of the United States. Add the character issues associated with the impeached President — and that from the longest list of high-integrity sources — and it just doesn’t wash. (Not surprisingly, Republicans in other races have lost seats: say whatever one may to further the demonizing of the Dems, if more ordinary Americans keep voting, it looks like more Republicans will keep losing until DJT is back in the wings and the Party recovers its integrity. The 2020 election (and so many RVAT testimonies) showed the Republicans were willing to vote for a Democratic President.

Ours has not been a medieval society from its founding forward. We want some integrity in public officials of either party and lots of information that can be corroborated and found valid and reliable with all of the modern critical facility and research tools at hand.


A Little Wisdom Having to do with Empiricism and Integrity


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Only two words really matter with information — empiricism and integrity. Where we dismiss the former, people will entertain anything; where the latter goes missing, people will tell others anything — and they’ll do it for greed and lust expressed as money and power.


We know the characteristics of good information.

There is the reporter’s standard, “clear, accurate, and complete”.

The empiricist may want to know what is cogent, valid, and reliable — and in what precise measure against chance (probability).

Most of the time we want to know “how things work”, and we want answers we may rely on for making decisions, but in difficult times — or just with troubled machinery — we may want to know as well why things don’t work.

Agitation, disinformation, and propaganda fail always the two-part test: is it true? Is it honest?

Related on BackChannels



FTAC: On Handling China and Its Abuses and Civilizational Challenges


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“China is our enemy!”

That articulated attitude and belief provided the impetus for this response.

From the Awesome Conversation

From Nixon’s day forward, China has been an American trading partner, its chief source of cheap labor (since when have we complained about the prices of goods “Made in China”?), a major contributor — as well as thief — associated with our college- and university-level science programs, a major purchases of our agricultural and other products, and a major lender responding to OUR national lifestyle and its debts. Perhaps unwittingly but more likely knowingly, Beijing has become a capital for capitalism.

Our war fighting capability has and will continue to trim China’s “exuberance” in the South China Sea but to responds to the breadth of China’s efforts to subject the world to its abuses and subvert it to its worldviews requires a broader spectrum of response than the penchant of some to launch missiles.


Additional Comment

I’m sure I’m not the only foreign affairs observer who has heard through Facebook the drumming for war with China. The modern truth: we are every day at war with China across the broadest spectrum of competition imaginable, from banking to superficial ideological arguments; in fact, the realpolitik comes down always to banking, business, global competition for influence and trade, and appropriate western support for broad enfranchisement in political power and the promotion of human rights.

Beijing, along with Moscow and Tehran — and briefly across the term of the Trump Administration in Washington — has chosen an updated expression of civilizational narcissism and centralized feudal power, albeit vested in the Chinese Communist Party and a powerful head of state — as standing behind its brand in the world and has acted accordingly and, well, disrespectfully in its handling of its clients around the world. As word gets around and states rise to the defense of their own leadership and cultural and political influences, one may expect China’s ambitious political methods to find resistance in negotiated banking, business, cultural, and trade agreements and policies.

Related on BackChannels (and as noted above): https://conflict-backchannels.com/2020/11/27/a-short-note-on-chinas-contemporary-political-sins/

Recommended web searches: “China’s Billionaires”; “China, Human Rights”; China, Debt Trap Diplomacy”; “China, Dominance, South China Sea”; “China, Biological Warfare Convention”; “China, Covid-19, Origins”.

China’s business and political elites are certain to see themselves in the mirror created by the World Wide Web, and they themselves — as well as the world and their greatest business and state clients — will see how they respond to information accurately conveying and detailing their own image.


Congress Reconvenes to Certify Vote

Live at posting, January 7, 2021.

HE lied to his base, and his base believed him.

HE lied to the Republican Party, but some did not believe him.

See the record formed by RVAT volunteered video testimonies on that.

HE lied to the American People, and most knew better than to take him at his word.

Posted to YouTube by Guardian News, July 16, 2018.

Posted to YouTube by Jose, November 23, 2020.