U.S. bombers to Australia: New deployment, old issue

There was a better answer than this.

In 2016, I wrote about the recent purchase by a China-based company of a 99-year lease on parts of the port of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.  The company, Landbridge, would execute the terms of the lease, which included port operations and a commercial fuel depot at a location close to where the U.S. Marines are deployed to Darwin, through an Australian subsidiary set up for the purpose.

Landbridge has connections to the Communist Party through its interactions with government officials in its homebase of Rizhao, a port city in Shandong Province.  The company’s owner, Ye Cheng, has also referred to Landbridge’s port lease in Darwin as Landbridge’s participation in Xi Jinping’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative – certainly not evidence of detachment by the company from the Party.  One Belt, One Road is a government project, not the vision of Chinese “private” industry (to the extent there ever was such a thing, or still could be a year on from the Xi regime’s comprehensive 2021 business crackdown).

When the Landbridge deal was being negotiated, Continue reading “U.S. bombers to Australia: New deployment, old issue”

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TOC Ready Room 6 October 2022: Ukraine; or, the world in a pickle

What wrong and right with the world; Ukraine update.

This won’t be a thematically unified post, which is why it’s being put up as a Ready Room.

In some ways, public dialogue on weighty matters is getting sillier and sillier, to the point that one can’t even join the discussion because the premises are so off that there’s no discussing it sensibly.  (I’ve written about this Babel-ization of public communication before, going back to Trump’s first year in office and even prior to that.  Rounds of ritual chanting have largely taken the place of thoughtful speech in the mainstream media and much of standard politics.  The Left is about nothing but this now – people who stray from the model are actively punished –  and although there are still parsable sentences and paragraph-length thought-packages coming from the Right, the pattern is present there as well. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 6 October 2022: Ukraine; or, the world in a pickle”

TOC Ready Room 24 August 2022: Notes on the Boxes of Mar-a-Lago; the end of an old order continues

What’s wrong and right with the world.

The big news from the last 48 hours is that the Biden White House actually did know in advance of the Mar-a-Lago raid, and in fact had been involved in the issue of the documents held at Mar-a-Lago since at least April of 2022 (and probably earlier).  So the original claim that the Biden White House didn’t know about it was false.

That point has been gone over vigorously since it came out Monday night.  But the latest information on the Mar-a-Lago/classified information dust-up also confirms my previous discussion of the classification issue (and here).

In addition to that discussion, I offer as preparation an excellent 7-odd minutes with Megyn Kelly and former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright, which packages a pretty comprehensive overview of the things that matter. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 24 August 2022: Notes on the Boxes of Mar-a-Lago; the end of an old order continues”

TOC Ready Room 22 July 2022: Biden returns from MidEast, with prejudice; CNN v. Bannon; Bonus tag

What’s wrong and right with the world.

We’re on deck with a full-up Ready Room today, after a relatively extended blogging hiatus.  Strap in for some serious (if selective) situational awareness.

Biden’s Middle East adventure

It turns out to be a good thing I didn’t get the segment on President Biden’s Middle East trip posted on Sunday, as originally planned.  Quite a bit has ensued since Sunday, all of it fallout from the essential failure of Biden’s junket, and the fallout is significant.  It’s what needs to be highlighted up front.

Here’s the short list of fallout items.  We’ll look at a few implications with each topic.

On Sunday, a senior Iranian official made a rare statement about nuclear weapons, and baldly averred that Iran is capable of producing them. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 22 July 2022: Biden returns from MidEast, with prejudice; CNN v. Bannon; Bonus tag”

TOC Ready Room 6 May 2022: Intel superheroes of America

What’s wrong and right in the world.

Unfortunately, U.S. officials handed NBC a disclosure on Thursday that the U.S. had assisted Ukraine in targeting the Russian cruiser Moskva, which was sunk by a Ukrainian anti-ship missile attack on 14 April.

Touting such activities in the media is foolish and unnecessary.  Providing assistance in locating and identifying Russian weapon systems that are then immediately targeted can be read as becoming a belligerent in the war.

Crowing over it, in the manner we saw Thursday, also looks like taking credit for superficial politics’ sake, and that always comes off as weak and undisciplined.

It’s one thing to announce without caveat that you attacked something, take full responsibility, and issue an unmistakable warning through your tone and your terse explanation of why.

But that’s not what U.S. officials did. Continue reading “TOC Ready Room 6 May 2022: Intel superheroes of America”