Primaires américaines: Entre peloton d’exécution circulaire et demolition derby, les primaires républicaines préparent-elles le terrain pour Hillary Clinton ? (Will the GOP demolition derby put a sandersized Clinton back in the White House while the world spins to pieces ?)

https://scontent-mrs1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlt1/v/t1.0-9/12079435_1180506295309628_8509511202672868310_n.jpg?oh=fb7a853604046b1e7b8e59b5f0314d1a&oe=56D1A755
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/12108777_1180392341987690_4351255110804465965_n.jpg?oh=5b82ada72087ba898a6a569a3460d0c0&oe=568833A8&__gda__=1451580558_e28d19eecf1b46a7167b692922f9dd67
 
circularfiringsquad
ReservoirDogs
https://scontent-mrs1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/12107199_10201087549987948_1764194738613947711_n.jpg?oh=bf2d2cd51d9584c10550c10dcb5eeb87&oe=5698920C
flowers-datalab-troop-withdrawalThe U.S. wants to dominate the world, China only wants to keep America from dominating its neighborhood.  America is punching above its weight. So for every $100 the U.S. spends, China may only need to spend $1 to make it even. China’s ambitions are much more modest compared with its national strength, so China is punching below its weight—and could punch higher given the right circumstances.  Although America is much more powerful than China, it costs much more to build aircraft carrier groups and operate them than [for us] to make deterrent [weapons] to keep them away. -*Eric Li (Chinese Stanford- and Berkeley-educated political scientist and venture capitalist)
It is one thing for the experts to be aware that Russia supposedly has these weapons, and another thing for them to see for the first time that they do really exist, that our defense industry is making them, that they are of high quality and that we have well-trained people who can put them to effective use. They have seen, too, now that Russia is ready to use them if this is in the interests of our country and our people. Vladimir Poutine
The operation in Syria — still relatively limited — has become, in effect, a testing ground for an increasingly confrontational and defiant Russia under Mr. Putin. In fact, as Mr. Putin himself suggested on Sunday, the operation could be intended to send a message to the United States and the West about the restoration of the country’s military prowess and global reach after decades of post-Soviet decay. Russia’s swift and largely bloodless takeover of Crimea in 2014 was effectively a stealth operation, while its involvement in eastern Ukraine, though substantial, was conducted in secrecy and obfuscated by official denials of direct Russian involvement. The bombings in Syria, by contrast, are being conducted openly and are being documented with great fanfare by the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, which distributes targeting video in the way the Pentagon did during the Persian Gulf war in 1991. Russia is not only bringing some of its most advanced hardware to the fight, it has also deployed large field kitchens and even dancers and singers to entertain the troops — all signs that Moscow is settling in for the long haul, American analysts said. (…) Russia’s state television network boasted on Monday that from the Caspian, they could reach the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula and the “entire Mediterranean Sea.” It went on to note that trials of the missiles were underway aboard two ships in the Black Sea, which is bordered by three NATO allies: Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. American officials say Russia has closely coordinated with its allies to plan its current fight. Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force, went to Moscow in late July in an apparent effort to coordinate on the Russian offensive in Syria, and he is also spearheading the Iranian effort to assist Iraqi militias. “The broad outlines were decided months ago,” said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Zahner, formerly the Army’s top intelligence officer in Europe and in Iraq. NYT
There are 209 land features still unoccupied in the South China Sea and we could seize them all. And we could build on them in 18 months. Senior Chinese military official
Xi Jinping “will keep pushing” in the South China Sea. They think Obama is distracted and doesn’t want another crisis. Bishop
For the past 175 years, China was weak and couldn’t do much about foreign invasions and encroachments. But now it can. Beijing’s new anti-ship missiles alone, boldly rolled out in last month’s Tiananmen Square military parade marking the 1945 defeat of Japan (for which the U.S. got but slight credit), are testament to that. But in the Chinese view, Beijing has already practically won the battle for the South China Sea without firing a shot. Its swift moves to swallow up islands and reefs over the past year looked like an exercise right out of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, which has been closely studied by Chinese emperors and communist leaders alike, for centuries. “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle,”  the legendary strategist is credited with saying, “but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.” People shouldn’t underestimate the risks. It’s not just the government making it up. The South China Sea is an intractable issue. It’s not just the party line.” Another factor in Beijing’s military buildup is the immense profits being earned by China’s state-run arms industries, he says, most with incestuous connections to the Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army elite. NYT
Quand bien même le coupable serait Daesh, la porosité entre les services turcs et les islamo-nazis est telle qu’on est en droit de penser qu’Erdogan, s’il ne les a pas instrumentalisés, a au mieux fermé les yeux. Dans cette affaire, le président turc a un mobile : son régime est aux abois. Il a beau museler la presse et monter des opérations de police contre ses opposants, rien n’y fait, le pouvoir se délite, attaqué de toutes parts. Un déclin confirmé par la percée électorale récente du HDP, parti pro-kurde. Plus Erdogan s’enferre, plus il persiste. N’ayant pas obtenu la majorité absolue aux élections générales du mois de juin, il a refusé de former un gouvernement de coalition, préférant organiser un nouveau scrutin qui, selon les derniers sondages, s’annonçait très mal pour lui. L’attentat est tombé à pic pour hystériser les nationalistes de tous bords et, si besoin, annuler les élections. Il y aura toujours assez de gobe-mouches. Les Occidentaux, par exemple. Quand Vladimir Poutine fait assassiner, selon toutes probabilités, son principal opposant Boris Nemtsov à deux pas du Kremlin, nous ne sommes pas coupables : rien ne nous lie à la Russie. Mais, quand Erdogan organise un carnage tout près de son palais présidentiel, nous sommes complices, puisque nous soutenons son régime répressif et vermoulu : c’est même notre allié ! Il y a quelque chose de comique à voir nos gouvernants, Fabius en tête, prendre des airs dégoûtés devant Poutine alors que nous avons, avec Erdogan, un homme de la même engeance, en plus fourbe, dans notre propre camp. Le 28 juillet, un communiqué hallucinant de l’Otan apportait le soutien de ses pays membres au pouvoir turc pour son prétendu juste combat contre les rebelles kurdes. À croire que la menace de Daesh est d’une même nature que le danger que font peser les Kurdes sur la Turquie, où ils représentent entre 16 et 20 % de la population. Fort de ce blanc-seing, le régime islamo-conservateur d’Erdogan en a profité pour s’attaquer aux positions des rebelles kurdes en Syrie ou dans le nord de l’Irak plutôt qu’à celles de ses frères sunnites de Daesh, dont il est, depuis le début du conflit, l’allié objectif et sournois. Si nous ne disons rien, c’est qu’il a acheté notre silence : en échange de notre assentiment, il « fixe » au moins 2 millions de réfugiés qui ont fui les barbares de l’État islamique. Nous autres, Occidentaux, ne sommes pas seulement lâches, ridicules et pathétiques. Pris en otages par le pouvoir turc, nous atteignons aussi le comble de l’abjection en soutenant activement la politique génocidaire d’Erdogan, qui entend bien réserver aux Kurdes le traitement que ses sinistres prédécesseurs du parti des Jeunes Turcs firent subir aux Arméniens en 1915 : l’éradication quasi totale. Pour commettre son crime contre l’humanité, Erdogan bénéficie du soutien sans faille du Prix Nobel de la paix Barack Obama, son « idiot utile », et des pays membres de l’Otan. Sans parler de ses supplétifs que sont les hordes de Daech, devenues des as du meurtre de masse de Kurdes. Franz-Olivier Giesbert
The Democratic presidential nomination … ended late on Oct. 13 with Bernie Sanders’s incredible dismissal of Hillary Clinton’s email quagmire. (…) In normal political competition, you don’t blow off your opponent’s main vulnerability, in Hillary’s case, her credibility.(…) On foreign policy, it is now the party of U.S. isolationism. (…) That this is true was made clear two days before the debate in Barack Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview Sunday. Pressed by Steve Kroft on whether he would intervene as U.S. influence in the Middle East was being displaced by Russia and Iran, Mr. Obama repeatedly demurred. (…) When Mr. Kroft asked if the world was a safer place, Mr. Obama answered: “America is a safer place.” The idea that the world can spin to pieces if the American landmass remains nominally safe was the view of the isolationist wing of the Republicans in 1940. Now the Democrats own it. (…) Most evident from Mr. Sanders and the leftward-running Mrs. Clinton in this debate is how completely the Democratic Party’s politics have devolved into nonstop moralistic ranting about the domestic economy. It is bleeding into demagoguery. (…) Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and of course Hillary Clinton have committed the party to a course of individual legal retribution long demanded by the party’s left. Mrs. Clinton: “My plan would have the potential of actually sending the executives to jail.” (…) These candidates’ nonstop holier-than-thou-ism is in fact a feint. Its purpose is to conceal the reality of seven years of economic under-performance during the Obama presidency. The labor-force participation rate, at 62.4, is where it was in 1977. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ own vocabulary describes the real world out there: discouraged workers, employed part time, not currently looking for work. (…) With chutzpah one has to admire, the party that in two terms weakened, if not wrecked, the economy, now presents itself as its savior. (…) But can Hillary win? Of course. See, “Republicans, circular firing squad, 2015-16.” Daniel Henninger
In the past, the GOP establishment wing always handsomely funded their candidate. It was always the conservatives who were underfunded. (…) in the 2016 election cycle (…) we are about to witness something we have never before seen: A full-on, well-funded-on-both-sides, nuclear war inside the GOP pitting the establishment (mostly former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) versus the Tea Party (Cruz, Ben Carson and others) versus the neo-cons (Florida Sen. Marco Rubio) versus the libertarians (Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul) versus the hybrid (Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has both establishment and Tea Party support). And all of them are going to have millions and millions of super-PAC dollars to spend. (…) It means that campaign consultants will have plenty of money to do what they do best: going negative! (…) Without serious primary opposition and as long as she doesn’t self-implode, she ought to be the Democratic nominee in 2016. If the GOP destroys itself in this circular firing squad analogy, she is going to profit. The Republican nominee will be carrying huge negatives out of the primaries. He will be exhausted, overexposed and perhaps broke for a while. Clinton will be sitting there with that Cheshire cat smile — and $2.5 billion in the bank. (…) The shame of this all is that a Republican can win in 2016. But the path to victory is not through negativity. It is through a breakthrough, inspirational, frankly revolutionary message. So far, no candidate is trying this approach. The Hill

Russie qui a transformé la Syrie en terrain d’expérimentation pour ses nouvelles armes, Chine qui se construit un véritable réseau d’ilôts fortifiés dans une mer revendiquée par pas moins de six Etats différents, Turquie qui pour des raisons électoralistes ferme les yeux sur le massacre de sa minorité kurde et fait chanter l’Europe sur les centaines de milliers de migrants qu’elle déverse sur elle, Iran récompensé à coups de milliards de dollars pour mettre le Moyen-Orient à feu et à sang et menacer de l’arme nucléaire qu’il construit la région et le monde, président américain de plus en plus affaibli et irresponsable passant son temps à trouvr des excuses aux violations de plus en nombreuses d’Etats-voyous comme l’Iran, candidats démocrates de plus en plus démagogiques et isolationnistes, candidats républicains aussi pléthoriques qu’acharnés à l’autodestruction …

Attention: un accident industriel peut en préparer un autre !

A l’heure où, de l’Iran à l’Etat islamique et à la Turquie et de la Russie à la Chine et à la Corée du nord, tout ce que la planète compte d’Etats voyous ou faillis multiplient les menaces dans les 15 mois qui leur restent …

Et où,  après avoir abandonné l’Irak tant aux djihadistes qu’à l’Iran et avec les conséquences catastrophiques que l’on sait sur la Libye et la Syrie et à présent l’Europe et Israël, le prétendu chef du Monde libre s’inquiète enfin de l’Afghanistan

Pendant qu’aux Etats-Unis mêmes, le premier débat des primaires démocrates voit la victoire facile d’une Hillary Clinton de plus en plus déportée vers une démagogie de gauche toujours plus radicale et isolationniste …

Retour avec une tribune libre du printemps dernier de l’ancien membre du Congrès républicain John LeBoutillier …

Sur le croisement entre un peloton d’exécution circulaire (digne de la fin du fameux premier film de Quentin Tarantino) et un demolition derby …

Qu’est effectivement devenue, emportée par des possibilités de financement complètement folles, la primaire républicaine …

Où le candidat qui survivrait à un tel traitement …

Pourrait être tellement affaibli que la candidate démocrate …

Avec les conséquences que l’on imagine pour le reste du monde …

N’en ferait alors plus qu’une bouchée ?

The coming GOP demolition-derby circular firing squad

Former Rep. John LeBoutillier (R-N.Y.), contributor
The Hll

The Coming GOP demolition-derby circular firing squad:

1. With the announcement two weeks ago that four super-PACS — headed by the mysterious Robert Mercer from Long Island, N.Y. — had donated a stunning $31 million to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign, a new era of GOP primary battles was launched.

2. In the past, the GOP establishment wing always handsomely funded their candidate.

3. It was always the conservatives who were underfunded.4. And thus the primary outcome was preordained: After the initial dustup-up in Iowa and perhaps South Carolina, the establishment money wore the conservative(s) down and ultimately prevailed in a war of attrition.

5. That is not going to happen in the 2016 election cycle.

6. No, we are about to witness something we have never before seen: A full-on, well-funded-on-both-sides, nuclear war inside the GOP pitting the establishment (mostly former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) versus the Tea Party (Cruz, Ben Carson and others) versus the neo-cons (Florida Sen. Marco Rubio) versus the libertarians (Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul) versus the hybrid (Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has both establishment and Tea Party support).

7. And all of them are going to have millions and millions of super-PAC dollars to spend.

8. Do you know what that means?

9. It means that campaign consultants will have plenty of money to do what they do best: going negative!

10. And that means by late this summer — when the televised GOP debates begin — the negative ads are also going to commence. The targets are predictable.

11. Walker is today the unquestioned leader in the race. He is ahead in both Iowa and New Hampshire. He draws support from both the establishment and the Tea Party. So he is going to be in the cross hairs of both the Bush team and the Tea Party group of Cruz, Carson, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and anyone else who lays claim to that vote.

12. Expect both sides to go after Walker — big time — and try to reduce his support.

13. By the way, watching that carefully will be Ohio Gov. Jon Kasich, who is poised to join the race but knows that Walker has to deteriorate in order for there to be room for another Midwestern GOP governor in this crowded field.

14. Walker is being backed by the Koch brothers and their network of supporters and donors — a very, very considerable asset for the Wisconsin governor.

15. Rubio, who did very well in his announcement speech and subsequent TV appearances, has yet to score with GOP primary voters in polls in Iowa or New Hampshire — or nationally, for that matter. Could it be that a very young-looking Latino pol who talks about his immigrant heritage and was in favor of a pathway to citizenship (i.e., « amnesty » as the GOP base refers to it) before doing a 180 degree switcheroo is the wrong fit for the GOP primary voter (older, overwhelmingly white, against amnesty and not particularly sympathetic to the classic immigrant success story)? Time will indeed tell.

16. So each faction — armed to the teeth with millions of dollars — will go on the attack in hopes of reducing their opponents and thus capturing those precious voters in a multi-candidate field.

17. Bush and Cruz go after Walker; Paul goes after Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.); everybody goes after Bush; Santorum, Carson and Cruz go after each other; Rubio goes after Bush.

18. The problem is the dirty little secret of negative campaigning: Yes, those negative ads do work. But they also redound to the detriment of the candidate doing the negative attacking. In other words, when you go negative, your own negative ratings go up.

19. That is the price you pay for trying to destroy your opponent, instead of focusing on a positive, uplifting, inspirational message.

20. This thing is going to be a total mess.

21. Two other things to consider:

The late entrant. Could there be a candidate who we are not yet talking about who could wait a bit and watch this circular firing squad destroy itself, and then come into the race unbloodied and clean and « above the fray »?

Hillary Clinton. Without serious primary opposition and as long as she doesn’t self-implode, she ought to be the Democratic nominee in 2016. If the GOP destroys itself in this circular firing squad analogy, she is going to profit. The Republican nominee will be carrying huge negatives out of the primaries. He will be exhausted, overexposed and perhaps broke for a while. Clinton will be sitting there with that Cheshire cat smile — and $2.5 billion in the bank.

22. The shame of this all is that a Republican can win in 2016. But the path to victory is not through negativity. It is through a breakthrough, inspirational, frankly revolutionary message. So far, no candidate is trying this approach.

LeBoutillier is a former Republican congressman from New York and is the co-host of « Political Insiders » on Fox News Channel, Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. He will be writing weekly pieces in the Contributors section on the « State of the 2016 Race. »

Voir aussi:

GOP circular firing squad to put Hillary in the Oval Office

Daniel Henninger
The Australian
October 16, 2015

Democratic presidential candidates from left, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee for the Democratic presidential debate. Source: AP

The Democratic presidential nomination was fun while it lasted.

It ended late on October 13 with Bernie Sanders’s incredible dismissal of Hillary Clinton’s email quagmire.

The smile that illuminated Hillary’s face as Bernie folded actually looked genuine. She accepted Bernie’s political pardon with a handshake and an effusive, “Thank you, Bernie, thank you”.

In normal political competition, you don’t blow off your opponent’s main vulnerability, in Hillary’s case, her credibility.

Notwithstanding an official FBI investigation, that problem looks to be behind her now, at least with unsettled Democrats.

From wherever Joe Biden was sitting on Wednesday, the hill to the presidency just got steeper, because Democratic donors from New York to Hollywood were concluding that she’s going to be all right.

A residual minority of progressives will stick with Sanders through the primaries, but an American politician preaching “revolution” won’t win a presidential nomination.

These staged debates do poorly at revealing who could be a competent US president. See “Debates, 2007-08”. But they are useful at surfacing the ideas that define either party. Here is what we learned about the Democrats.

On foreign policy, it is now the party of US isolationism.

That this is true was made clear two days before the debate in Barack Obama’s 60 Minutes interview on Sunday.

Pressed by Steve Kroft on whether he would intervene as US influence in the Middle East was being displaced by Russia and Iran, Obama repeatedly demurred.

When Kroft asked if the world was a safer place, Obama answered: “America is a safer place.”

The idea that the world can spin to pieces if the American landmass remains nominally safe was the view of the isolationist wing of the Republicans in 1940. Now the Democrats own it. Or as Sanders made clear in the debate: Hell no, he won’t go in a world of “quagmires”.

Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee mainly outbid each other’s commitments to going nowhere. Chafee did mention Vietnam, which Sanders knows is the origin of Obama’s withdrawal of his party from a lead role in the world’s affairs.

The essential statement came from Clinton, on Libya in 2011: “Our response, which I think was smart power at its best, is that the United States will not lead this”.

Former senator Jim Webb stood on the stage as the unwelcome ghost of Democrats past — senators like Patrick Moynihan, Joe Lieberman, Sam Nunn, John Glenn, David Boren, Henry Jackson and Mike Mansfield. That’s all gone.

The price for making isolation America’s foreign policy again may be paid in the next 15 months.

By the way, with the explicit opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership by Clinton and Sanders, the party is abandoning a free-trade commitment dating back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Reciprocal Tariff Act of 1934. This is not your father’s Democratic Party.

Most evident from Sanders and the leftward-running Clinton in this debate is how completely the Democratic Party’s politics have devolved into non-stop moralistic ranting about the domestic economy. It is bleeding into demagoguery.

Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Sanders and of course Clinton have committed the party to a course of individual legal retribution long demanded by the party’s Left. Clinton: “My plan would have the potential of actually sending the executives to jail”.

These candidates’ non-stop holier-than-thou-ism is in fact a feint. Its purpose is to conceal the reality of seven years of economic underperformance during the Obama presidency.

The labour force participation rate, at 62.4 per cent, is where it was in 1977. The Bureau of Labour Statistics’ own vocabulary describes the real world out there: discouraged workers, employed part time, not currently looking for work.

With chutzpah one has to admire, the party that in two terms weakened, if not wrecked, the economy, now presents itself as its saviour.

What is striking about the candidates’ economic proposals is how disconnected they are from a private sector economy.

The Democrats have disappeared into a sealed world of public sector economics, running the spectrum from prescriptive mandates, like the $US15 ($20) minimum hourly wage (a $US10 minimum-wage commitment destroyed Wal-Mart’s earnings this week), to wishful thinking, like Sanders’s “tuition-free” public-college education. In Clinton’s version, college would be “debt-free”.

CNN’s uncurious Anderson Cooper didn’t ask the senator how it could be “free”, But Sanders answered it himself: “I pay for my program, by the way, through a tax on Wall Street speculation”.

It is so fantastic.

The Democrats, not least Obama and Clinton, seem to have discovered El Dorado itself in “Wall Street”, a city of infinite gold dust to finance their economic pyramids in perpetuity.

Sanders may not become the nominee, but the Vermont socialist represents the logical ending point of the modern Democratic Party’s belief system: It’s all free!

But can Hillary win? Of course.

See, “Republicans, circular firing squad, 2015-16.”

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Voir également:

Why Beijing Isn’t Backing Down on South China Sea
Jeff Stein

Newsweek

10/10/15

Late last month in Shanghai, a top Chinese businessman gave me and three other visiting journalists as clear a distillation as any of Beijing’s attitude toward the United States. “The U.S. wants to dominate the world, China only wants to keep America from dominating its neighborhood,” said Eric Li, a prominent Stanford- and Berkeley-educated political scientist and venture capitalist.

Li’s comment was offered less as an argument than a statement of fact, one we heard again and again, in various forms, from a wide variety of Chinese sources—ranging from senior military, foreign affairs and business officials down to provincial bosses and journalism students—during our 10-day visit. All of which would have been merely an interesting, if worrisome, collection of anecdotes to bring home had not both Beijing and Washington ratcheted up their bellicose statements in the past few days over who has rights to what in the South China Sea.

The most recent rhetorical artillery exchanges began in September when Admiral Harry Harris, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee he favored sending U.S. warships and aircraft to the South China Sea in a challenge to Beijing’s territorial claims to artificial islands in the region. Then this week, anonymous “defense officials” doubled down on U.S. intentions, saying the Obama administration was considering “freedom of navigation operations,” which, according to Reuters, would “have American ships and aircraft venture within 12 nautical miles of at least some artificial islands built by Beijing.” And the Navy “will do so,“ said a spokesman, Commander William Marks, “at a time of our choosing.”

Such swagger drew a heated rebuke from China, further raising the potential of a Sino-American military clash in the South China Sea, swatches of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. Beijing and Tokyo are also butting heads over competing territorial claims in the East China Sea. « We will never allow any country to violate China’s territorial waters and airspace in the Spratly Islands, in the name of protecting freedom of navigation and overflight, » Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in response to a question about possible U.S. patrols. « We urge the related parties not to take any provocative actions, and genuinely take a responsible stance on regional peace and stability.”

Such exchanges appear to be moving China and the U.S. toward a much feared, yet long expected, military confrontation. Just as unsettling, both sides seem confident they can prevail. The conversations we had in Beijing and Shanghai late last month suggested that China is confident, perhaps overly so, that it can triumph in a standoff with the world’s leading, nuclear-armed superpower, at least as long as it’s confined to its own neighborhood.

“There are 209 land features still unoccupied in the South China Sea and we could seize them all,” a senior Chinese military official said bluntly, on a not-for-attribution basis so that she could “speak frankly.” “And we could build on them in 18 months.”

To her and other Chinese officials, Washington’s deployment of F-22 stealth fighters and the nuclear supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan to Japan over the summer revealed aggressive American designs on the region—but nothing China couldn’t handle.

“America is punching above its weight,” offered Li, the venture capitalist, referring to the financial strains of maintaining and deploying U.S. forces around the globe while its national debt and domestic entitlements soar. “So for every $100 the U.S. spends, China may only need to spend $1 to make it even.

“China’s ambitions are much more modest compared with its national strength,” he continued, “so China is punching below its weight”—and could punch higher given the right circumstances. “Although America is much more powerful than China, it costs much more to build aircraft carrier groups and operate them than [for us] to make deterrent [weapons] to keep them away.”

When Chinese officials look at the map, they smile. They see American forces deployed far beyond their own shores—a geopolitical weakness. “The South China Sea has been Chinese for 900 years, since ancient times,” a senior official at China’s oldest foreign policy think tank said during a background briefing in Shanghai. It’s a sentiment shared from the top of the government down to ordinary citizens, it seems, stoked relentlessly by President Xi Jinping and China’s state-controlled media.

For the past 175 years, China was weak and couldn’t do much about foreign invasions and encroachments. But now it can. Beijing’s new anti-ship missiles alone, boldly rolled out in last month’s Tiananmen Square military parade marking the 1945 defeat of Japan (for which the U.S. got but slight credit), are testament to that.

But in the Chinese view, Beijing has already practically won the battle for the South China Sea without firing a shot. Its swift moves to swallow up islands and reefs over the past year looked like an exercise right out of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, which has been closely studied by Chinese emperors and communist leaders alike, for centuries. “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle,”  the legendary strategist is credited with saying, “but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”

Bill Bishop, a leading China expert and publisher of the influential Sinocism newsletter, who recently left Beijing after several years there, is deeply worried about China’s rising nationalism and muscle-flexing. « People shouldn’t underestimate the risks, » he said in a Newsweek interview. « It’s not just the government making it up. The South China Sea is an intractable issue. It’s not just the party line.” Another factor in Beijing’s military buildup is the immense profits being earned by China’s state-run arms industries, he says, most with incestuous connections to the Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army elite.

Fluent in Chinese and a former CEO of Red Mushroom Studios, a Beijing-based developer and operator of online games, Bishop predicts Xi Jinping “will keep pushing” in the South China Sea. “They think Obama is distracted and doesn’t want another crisis, » he said. If Obama does propel the Navy into harm’s way, as he seemed on the verge of doing this week, « It’s going to be interesting. »

Or hair-raising. Such was the case in 2010, when a Chinese fishing trawler intentionally rammed two Japan Coast Guard vessels in disputed territories in the East China Sea. On the brink of a wider conflict, both sides calmed down and negotiated protocols to avoid further clashes. Likewise, Xi and Obama worked out arrangements at their Washington summit to avoid clashes between U.S. and Chinese military aircraft over the South China Sea. But that may have just been a delaying tactic. Back in the East China Sea, China is worrying Japan again with the creation of a Coast Guard fleet, construction of big new surveillance ships and reported plans to build two bases close to the disputed Senkaku Islands.

« Nobody wants a conflict,” Bishop said, “but it doesn’t seem like this is going to be a happy place for a long time.”

A rare note of caution on the Chinese side was sounded by the Shanghai think tank official, who is the author of several books on modern Sino-U.S. relations. « My advice to the Chinese government is not to make it worse,” he told the visiting reporters. “Wait for time for it to be solved.”

A short-term triumph over the United States (or Japan, or Vietnam or the Philippines), he suggested, could turn into a long-term setback for China.

« Some would say,” he said, leaning forward with a slight smile, “we picked up the seeds but lost the watermelon. »

Voir encore:

Middle East
Russian Military Uses Syria as Proving Ground, and West Takes Notice
Steven Lee Myers and Eric Scmitt
NYT
Oct. 14, 2015

Russian soldiers with their plane, a Sukhoi Su-34 strike fighter, which NATO calls a Fullback, this month in Latakia, Syria. Credit Russian Defence Ministry Press Service, via European Pressphoto Agency

WASHINGTON — Two weeks of air and missile strikes in Syria have given Western intelligence and military officials a deeper appreciation of the transformation that Russia’s military has undergone under President Vladimir V. Putin, showcasing its ability to conduct operations beyond its borders and providing a public demonstration of new weaponry, tactics and strategy.

The strikes have involved aircraft never before tested in combat, including the Sukhoi Su-34 strike fighter, which NATO calls the Fullback, and a ship-based cruise missile fired more than 900 miles from the Caspian Sea, which, according to some analysts, surpasses the American equivalent in technological capability.

Russia’s jets have struck in support of Syrian ground troops advancing from areas under the control of the Syrian government, and might soon back an Iranian-led offensive that appeared to be forming in the northern province of Aleppo on Wednesday. That coordination reflects what American officials described as months of meticulous planning behind Russia’s first military campaign outside former Soviet borders since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Taken together, the operations reflect what officials and analysts described as a little-noticed — and still incomplete — modernization that has been underway in Russia for several years, despite strains on the country’s budget. And that, as with Russia’s intervention in neighboring Ukraine, has raised alarms in the West.

In a report this month for the European Council on Foreign Relations, Gustav Gressel argued that Mr. Putin had overseen the most rapid transformation of the country’s armed forces since the 1930s. “Russia is now a military power that could overwhelm any of its neighbors, if they were isolated from Western support,” wrote Mr. Gressel, a former officer of the Austrian military.

Russia’s fighter jets are, for now at least, conducting nearly as many strikes in a typical day against rebel troops opposing the government of President Bashar al-Assad as the American-led coalition targeting the Islamic State has been carrying out each month this year.

The operation in Syria — still relatively limited — has become, in effect, a testing ground for an increasingly confrontational and defiant Russia under Mr. Putin. In fact, as Mr. Putin himself suggested on Sunday, the operation could be intended to send a message to the United States and the West about the restoration of the country’s military prowess and global reach after decades of post-Soviet decay.

“It is one thing for the experts to be aware that Russia supposedly has these weapons, and another thing for them to see for the first time that they do really exist, that our defense industry is making them, that they are of high quality and that we have well-trained people who can put them to effective use,” Mr. Putin said in an interview broadcast on state television. “They have seen, too, now that Russia is ready to use them if this is in the interests of our country and our people.”

Russia’s swift and largely bloodless takeover of Crimea in 2014 was effectively a stealth operation, while its involvement in eastern Ukraine, though substantial, was conducted in secrecy and obfuscated by official denials of direct Russian involvement. The bombings in Syria, by contrast, are being conducted openly and are being documented with great fanfare by the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, which distributes targeting video in the way the Pentagon did during the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

That has also given officials and analysts far greater insight into a military that for nearly a quarter-century after the collapse of the Soviet Union was seen as a decaying, insignificant force, one so hobbled by aging systems and so consumed by corruption that it posed little real threat beyond its borders.

“We’re learning more than we have in the last 10 years,” said Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, noting the use of the new strike fighters and the new cruise missile, known as the Kalibr. “As it was described to me, we are going to school on what the Russian military is capable of today.”

The capabilities on display in Syria — and before that in Ukraine — are the fruits of Russia’s short, victorious war in Georgia in 2008. Although Russia crushed the American-trained forces of Georgia’s government, driving them from areas surrounding the breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russia’s ground and air forces performed poorly.

The Russians lost three fighter jets and a bomber on the first day of the war that August, and seven over all, according to an analysis conducted after the conflict. Russian ground forces suffered from poor coordination and communication, as well as episodes of so-called friendly fire.

In the war’s aftermath, Mr. Putin, then serving as prime minister, began a military modernization program that focused not only on high-profile procurement of new weapons — new aircraft, warships and missiles — but also on a less-noticed overhaul of training and organization that included a reduction in the bloated officer corps and the development of a professional corps of noncommissioned officers.

Russian military spending bottomed out in the mid-1990s but has risen steadily under Mr. Putin and, despite the falling price of oil and international sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea, it has surged to its highest level in a quarter-century, reaching $81 billion, or 4.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, a common measure of military expenditure.

The Russian advancements go beyond new weaponry, reflecting an increase in professionalism and readiness. Russia set up its main operations at an air base near Latakia in northwestern Syria in a matter of three weeks, dispatching more than four dozen combat planes and helicopters, scores of tanks and armored vehicles, rocket and artillery systems, air defenses and portable housing for as many as 2,000 troops. It was Moscow’s largest deployment to the Middle East since the Soviet Union deployed in Egypt in the 1970s.

“What continues to impress me is their ability to move a lot of stuff real far, real fast,” Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of United States Army forces in Europe, said in an interview.

Since its air campaign started on Sept. 30, Russia has quickly ramped up its airstrikes from a handful each day to nearly 90 on some days, using more than a half-dozen types of guided and unguided munitions, including fragmentary bombs and bunker busters for hardened targets, American analysts said.

Russia is not only bringing some of its most advanced hardware to the fight, it has also deployed large field kitchens and even dancers and singers to entertain the troops — all signs that Moscow is settling in for the long haul, American analysts said.

“They brought the whole package,” said Jeffrey White, a former Middle East analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “It showed me they could deploy a decent-sized expeditionary force.”

For now, Russia’s focus in Syria is mainly an air campaign with some 600 marines on the ground to protect the air base in Latakia. Mr. Putin has excluded the idea of sending in a larger ground force to assist the Syrians.

Michael Kofman, an analyst with the CNA Corporation, a nonprofit research institute, and a fellow at the Kennan Institute in Washington who studies the Russian military, said that the operations over Syria showed that Russia has caught up to the capabilities the United States has used in combat since the 1990s. That nonetheless represented significant progress given how far behind the Russians had fallen.

“Conducting night strikes, with damage assessments by drones, is a tangible leap for Russia into a mix of 1990s and even current Western combat ability,” he said.

The Russian Air Force suffered a series of training accidents over the spring and summer — losing at least five aircraft in a matter of months — which Mr. Kofman described as “teething pains” as pilots increased operating tempo under Mr. Putin’s orders. Even so, Russia’s aviation is “often painted in the West as some sort of Potemkin village, which is not the case.”

He and others said that the biggest surprise so far has been the missile technology on display. The cruise missiles fired from Russian frigates and destroyers in the Caspian Sea were first tested only in 2012. With a range said to reach 900 miles, they had not been used in combat before, and despite the loss of four cruise missiles that crashed in Iran in one salvo, they represent a technological leap that could prove worrisome for military commanders in NATO. He noted that the advances in missile technologies improved the precision and firepower even of aging Soviet-era ships or aircraft.

“This is an amazingly capable new weapon,” he added.

Russia’s state television network boasted on Monday that from the Caspian, they could reach the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Peninsula and the “entire Mediterranean Sea.” It went on to note that trials of the missiles were underway aboard two ships in the Black Sea, which is bordered by three NATO allies: Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.

The Moskva, a guided-missile cruiser that is the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, based in the newly annexed Crimea, has also deployed with other ships off the coast of Syria, providing air defenses for the aircraft and troops Russia has deployed. Those missiles effectively protect the skies over Syrian territory under control of the government from aerial incursions, and all but block the establishment of a no-fly zone in Syria, as many have called for.

American officials say Russia has closely coordinated with its allies to plan its current fight. Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force, went to Moscow in late July in an apparent effort to coordinate on the Russian offensive in Syria, and he is also spearheading the Iranian effort to assist Iraqi militias. “The broad outlines were decided months ago,” said Lt. Gen. Richard P. Zahner, formerly the Army’s top intelligence officer in Europe and in Iraq.

American officials, while impressed with how quickly Russia dispatched its combat planes and helicopters to Syria, said air power had been used to only a fraction of its potential, with indiscriminate fire common and precision-guided munitions used sparingly. It is clear the Russians are already harvesting lessons from the campaign to apply to their other military operations, said David A. Deptula, a retired three-star Air Force general who planned the American air campaigns in 2001 in Afghanistan and in the gulf war.

“Essentially,” he said, “Russia is using their incursion into Syria as an operational proving ground.”

Voir de plus:

Iranian Ballistic Missile Tests Could Violate Nuke Deal
Experts: ‘Clear violation’ of international agreements
Adam Kredo
Free Beacon
October 12, 2015

Iran’s recent test firing of a ballistic missile does not violate the recent nuclear deal, Obama administration officials said on Monday. However, nuclear experts disagree and are calling on the administration to hold Iran accountable for violating international agreements barring such action.

Iran announced over the weekend that it had successfully test-fired a domestically produced long-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile.

Iran maintained that the test does not violate the nuclear deal, though U.S. experts quibbled with this analysis.

Asked to address the reports on Monday, John Kirby, a spokesman for the State Department, said that the administration is “aware of reports that Iran is conducting a new round of missile tests.”

“We will take appropriate actions at the United Nations if these tests violate any existing UN Security Council resolutions,” Kirby said in the statement. “Separately, we remain confident in our ability to defend ourselves and our allies in the region. And we will continue to work closely with our regional partners to boost their capabilities to defend themselves against any threats by Iran.”

However, Secretary of State John Kerry has stated in the past that such tests would not violate the accord. The State Department maintains that this is still its position.

Kerry informed Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) in recent correspondence obtained by the Free Beacon that a ballistic missile test would not violate the accord.

“It would not be a violation of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] if Iran tested a conventional ballistic missile,” Kerry wrote to Rubio.

Ballistic missile testing is not addressed in the nuclear accord, but rather by newly implemented U.N. Security Council resolutions.

“Since the Security Council has called upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, any such activity would be inconsistent with the UNSCR and a serious matter for the Security Council to review,” Kerry wrote to Rubio.

Iran has also maintained that its ongoing ballistic missile work does not violate the JCPOA. Iranian official have said that it will continue to violate U.N. resolutions barring such work.

“To follow our defense programs, we don’t seek permission from anyone,” the Iranian diplomat Abbas Araqchi was quoted as saying over the weekend by Iran’s IRNA news agency.

U.S. nuclear experts took issue with Iran’s interpretation and said that the recent missile test is an opportunity for the Obama administration to put its foot down.

Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described the situation as a “test case” for the Obama administration.

“This is a clear violation of Annex B paragraph 3 of UNSCR 2231 (2015) and a test case for the Obama administration to make it clear to Iran that a violation of UNSCR 2231 will be considered a violation of the JCPOA despite Iranian regime protestations to the contrary,” Dubowitz said.

Iran is prohibited under this resolution from testing missiles and “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

The test came several days after Iran’s parliament issued a report declaring that Tehran would violate the JCPOA’s restrictions on weapons. A translation of the report performed by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies noted that the parliament was rejecting U.N. resolutions that are “apparently the JCPOA’s only legal backing.”

Other experts said the test marks a clear violation of the deal, one that the administration should immediately address.

“If the missile launch is not a violation of the Iran deal, then it shows just how comically bad the Iran deal actually was: it’d be a nuclear deal that doesn’t stop Iran from developing missiles to deliver nuclear weapons,” said Omri Ceren, managing director at the Israel Project, an organization opposed to the terms of the final deal.

“But even if the launch doesn’t violate the agreement, it’s a blatant violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution that gave the agreement force under international law,” Ceren explained. “So either it violates the deal, or it violates the resolution that gives the deal force, and either way the Iranians are playing the Obama administration for chumps.”

Voir enfin:

 Honte à nous, complices d’Erdogan !
L’État turc profite d’un attentat commis avec la complicité ou non de ses services secrets pour l’attribuer aussitôt à ses adversaires.
Franz-Olivier Giesbert
15/10/2015

Désolé d’interrompre le débat-fleuve à propos de la France pays de « race blanche » qui passionne nos chers confrères, mais il se passe, en dehors de nos frontières, des infamies que nous ne pouvons plus continuer à recouvrir d’un mouchoir blanc.

L’incendie du Reichstag est devenu une spécialité turque : l’État profite d’un attentat commis ou non avec la complicité de ses services secrets pour l’attribuer aussitôt à ses adversaires, qu’il peut alors réprimer sans pitié. Adolf Hitler avait ouvert la voie en 1933. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, le président turc, la suit sans vergogne.

Le pouvoir turc a apparemment signé son crime en accusant tout de suite le Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) d’être à l’origine de l’attentat le plus meurtrier de l’histoire du pays, perpétré à Ankara samedi dernier. Que ce soit le mouvement kurde de résistance armée qui ait décidé de tuer des manifestants pacifistes et pro-kurdes est totalement invraisemblable. Mais Erdogan, père Ubu affairiste, rongé par ses obsessions comme par des poux, n’a jamais été à une carabistouille près.

Quand bien même le coupable serait Daesh, la porosité entre les services turcs et les islamo-nazis est telle qu’on est en droit de penser qu’Erdogan, s’il ne les a pas instrumentalisés, a au mieux fermé les yeux. Dans cette affaire, le président turc a un mobile : son régime est aux abois. Il a beau museler la presse et monter des opérations de police contre ses opposants, rien n’y fait, le pouvoir se délite, attaqué de toutes parts. Un déclin confirmé par la percée électorale récente du HDP, parti pro-kurde.

Plus Erdogan s’enferre, plus il persiste. N’ayant pas obtenu la majorité absolue aux élections générales du mois de juin, il a refusé de former un gouvernement de coalition, préférant organiser un nouveau scrutin qui, selon les derniers sondages, s’annonçait très mal pour lui. L’attentat est tombé à pic pour hystériser les nationalistes de tous bords et, si besoin, annuler les élections.

Il y aura toujours assez de gobe-mouches. Les Occidentaux, par exemple. Quand Vladimir Poutine fait assassiner, selon toutes probabilités, son principal opposant Boris Nemtsov à deux pas du Kremlin, nous ne sommes pas coupables : rien ne nous lie à la Russie. Mais, quand Erdogan organise un carnage tout près de son palais présidentiel, nous sommes complices, puisque nous soutenons son régime répressif et vermoulu : c’est même notre allié !

Il y a quelque chose de comique à voir nos gouvernants, Fabius en tête, prendre des airs dégoûtés devant Poutine alors que nous avons, avec Erdogan, un homme de la même engeance, en plus fourbe, dans notre propre camp. Le 28 juillet, un communiqué hallucinant de l’Otan apportait le soutien de ses pays membres au pouvoir turc pour son prétendu juste combat contre les rebelles kurdes. À croire que la menace de Daesh est d’une même nature que le danger que font peser les Kurdes sur la Turquie, où ils représentent entre 16 et 20 % de la population.

Fort de ce blanc-seing, le régime islamo-conservateur d’Erdogan en a profité pour s’attaquer aux positions des rebelles kurdes en Syrie ou dans le nord de l’Irak plutôt qu’à celles de ses frères sunnites de Daesh, dont il est, depuis le début du conflit, l’allié objectif et sournois. Si nous ne disons rien, c’est qu’il a acheté notre silence : en échange de notre assentiment, il « fixe » au moins 2 millions de réfugiés qui ont fui les barbares de l’État islamique.

Nous autres, Occidentaux, ne sommes pas seulement lâches, ridicules et pathétiques. Pris en otages par le pouvoir turc, nous atteignons aussi le comble de l’abjection en soutenant activement la politique génocidaire d’Erdogan, qui entend bien réserver aux Kurdes le traitement que ses sinistres prédécesseurs du parti des Jeunes Turcs firent subir aux Arméniens en 1915 : l’éradication quasi totale.

Pour commettre son crime contre l’humanité, Erdogan bénéficie du soutien sans faille du Prix Nobel de la paix Barack Obama, son « idiot utile », et des pays membres de l’Otan. Sans parler de ses supplétifs que sont les hordes de Daech, devenues des as du meurtre de masse de Kurdes.

Ce qu’on appelait depuis le XIIe siècle le Kurdistan est aujourd’hui partagé entre la Turquie, l’Iran, l’Irak et la Syrie, ou ce qu’il en reste. Un peuple d’à peu près 35 millions de personnes, avec sa propre langue et une forte identité culturelle qui transcende les religions, musulmane, chrétienne ou yézidie, cohabitant pour l’heure face aux deux ennemis communs : l’État islamique et le pouvoir turc.

Ce peuple joue sa vie. Plus nous nous en lavons les mains, plus elles deviennent sales..

Laisser un commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion / Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion / Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion / Changer )

Photo Google+

Vous commentez à l'aide de votre compte Google+. Déconnexion / Changer )

Connexion à %s

%d blogueurs aiment cette page :