Comrades in arms
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always.”―
When they come!
First it was CRIMEA...
Russia versus Ukraine
From Bloomberg News:
The escalating conflict in Ukraine marks an unfortunate tendency in the world of international relations: The people responsible for defusing the crisis are losing their ability to be diplomatic.
The latest gaffe came June 14, when Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia tried to calm a mob that had attacked the Russian embassy, overturning cars and hurling Molotov cocktails, to protest the shooting down of a Ukrainian military transport plane near Lugansk, in which 49 people were killed. Deshchytsia ended up joining the protesters in singing a popular ditty first performed by right-wing soccer fans: "Putin khuilo, lalala lalala." Khuilo is a profanity that could be roughly translated as "penis head," which the singers were using to refer to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Ukrainian foreign minister later said he had sung with the crowd to defuse the situation: "At that moment, the important thing was to hold the people back." U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt bought this version, tweeting that the foreign minister was "a skilled diplomat and a credit to Ukraine."
From Washington Post:
On Saturday night, the strong words over the Ukrainian crisis took an unusually vulgar turn: Ukraine’s interim foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia, called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "d---head."
“I am ready to be here with you and say, ‘Russia, get out of Ukraine,’ ” Deshchytsia said as he tried to calm protesters outside the Russian Embassy in Kiev. “Putin is a d---head, yes.”
The Chinese Bully Strategy versus the Philippines
MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III called for nations around the world to do more to support the Philippines in resisting China’s assertive claims to the seas near his country, drawing a comparison to the West’s failure to support Czechoslovakia against Hitler’s demands for Czech land in 1938.
Like Czechoslovakia, the Philippines faces demands to surrender territory piecemeal to a much stronger foreign power and needs more robust foreign support for the rule of international law if it is to resist.
“We should do more such things in the future. For those small islands, only a few troopers are able to station on each of them, but there is no food or even drinking water there. If we carry out the cabbage strategy, you will not be able to send food and drinking water onto the islands. Without the supply for one or two weeks, the troopers stationed there will leave the islands on their own. Once they have left, they will never be able to come back.”
“If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?” he said. He later added, “At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough’? Well, the world has to say it — remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II.” P.NoyFromNYT:
“Since [the standoff], we have begun to take measures to seal and control the areas around the Huangyan Island,” Maj. Gen. Zhang Zhaozhong, of China’s People’s Liberation Army, said in a television interview in May, using the Chinese term for Scarborough. (That there are three different names for the same set of uninhabitable rocks tells you much of what you need to know about the region.) He described a “cabbage strategy,” which entails surrounding a contested area with so many boats — fishermen, fishing administration ships, marine surveillance ships, navy warships — that “the island is thus wrapped layer by layer like a cabbage.”
There can be no question that the cabbage strategy is in effect now at Ayungin and has been at least since May. General Zhang, in his interview several months ago, listed Ren’ai Shoal (the Chinese name for Ayungin) in the P.L.A.’s “series of achievements” in the South China Sea. He had already put it in the win column, even though eight Filipino marines still live there.
General Zhang also seemed to take some pleasure in the strategy. Of taking territory from the Philippines, he said: “We should do more such things in the future. For those small islands, only a few troopers are able to station on each of them, but there is no food or even drinking water there. If we carry out the cabbage strategy, you will not be able to send food and drinking water onto the islands. Without the supply for one or two weeks, the troopers stationed there will leave the islands on their own. Once they have left, they will never be able to come back.”
The Shanghai-based news-blog, The Shanghaiist.com, a particularly strident pro-government local newspaper, Weweipo, published a war-mongering article describing the “Six Wars China Is Sure to Fight In the Next 50 Years.”
The article essentially predicts that most of China’s current border disputes will eventually lead to war.
Over the next 50 years, the article expects China to be engaged in war over the following issues:
1. Taiwanese unification (2020-2025)
While China and Taiwan currently have fairly peaceful relations, the mainland continues to strive for “unification.”
2. South China Sea islands (2025-2030)
According to a translation of the original article, as published by StratRisk.com, following the inevitable "return" of Taiwan, “South East Asian countries” will “already be shivering.” This momentum will be the driving force behind negotiations to “reconquer” South China Sea islands like the Spratlys, which neighboring governments like Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all lay claim to.
3. “Southern Tibet" (2035-2040)
Though China and India share a long border along China’s southwest region, a Himalayan area claimed as "southern Tibet" is the main point of contention between the two huge nations. The article suggests that “the best strategy for China is to incite the disintegration of India” by dividing the nation into several smaller countries so “India will have no power to cope with China."
4. East China Sea islands (2040-2045)
Unsurprisingly, the newspaper reaffirms that the East China Sea island groups of Diaoyu and Ryukyu, known in Japan as Senkaku and Okinawa, belong to China. While the article says the conflict won’t take place until 2040, other scholars have estimated that a war between China and Japan, and likely the U.S., could happen sooner.
5. “Outer” Mongolia (2045-2050)
“If Outer Mongolia can return to China peacefully, it is the best result, of course; but if China meets foreign intervention or resistance, China should be prepared to take military action,” the article reads.
6. “Recover the territory seized by Russia” (2055-2060)
The article recognizes the current good relations between China and Russia but insists that “China never forgets the lands lost to Russia” in past centuries, adding that “when the chance comes, China will take back the lands.”