Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: Foreign policy

China is rapidly outwitting USA – and the West; and converting India into its satellite state

A massive strategic change is occurring in the world.

China is working overtime to use all strategic levers to maximise its self-interest, at the expense of USA (and the West).

I say this because China has sidelined USA in Asia and forced it to seek succour in Australian waters. On the other hand, it has browbeaten India in the South China sea and forced it to retreat. It has also browbeaten all nations that seek to support the Dalai Lama, particularly in Africa. It would be fair to say that China has taken over Africa.

And now with the rapidly growing BRIC grouping (with its intent to delink trade from the US dollar), it is building extensive support for dictatorial, anti-liberty Iran (which gives China clear leverage in the Middle East).

In this process China has roped in India, making India (under the current dispensation) an extremely unreliable partner for the West. Despite the recent defence linkages between Japan, US and India, expect India to become a Chinese satellite. All signs are that India will do the bidding of China than build bridges with "capitalist" West, particularly with US which has supported Pakistan on most occasions.

Remember: India was bitten badly by China in 1962. And while India is pallying up to China, it will be bitten badly again. But given the rampant corruption in India's defence force, and total inability to face the Chinese in battle, India seems to have no choice but to build alliances with China.

In this manner ALL developing nations and ALL ex-communist nations are now coming within Chinese influence. And China's grip is very subtle. Very strategic. Very smart. I admire its enormous strategic talent. Fearsome. That's the only word that comes to mind.

I predict that it is not long now before the Chinese dragon will start spitting fire if the USA and the West try to even remotely block its wishes.

The world's greatest power of the future has arrived.

Whether this will be good or bad is to be seen.  (A reminder: India can be a great power in the future, but not with its current crop of petty, corrupt leaders. To take India to greatness requires very significant policy change which only FTI can bring about. That's not going to happen soon, from the way educated Indians FEAR politics. India is stuck in no man's land).

 

Addendum

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/south-china-sea-region-property-of-the-world-india/933485/

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A much cheaper way to combat terrorism

Andrea Millen Rich has added up The Cost of Getting Bin Laden:

  • a total of 4,452 American soldiers have been killed in action in Iraq
  • a total of 1,566 U.S. troops killed in action in Afghanistan
  • the direct taxpayer cost of both wars had eclipsed $1.1 trillion
  • hundreds of billions have also been spent on homeland security and intelligence gathering efforts (the federal government revealed that it was spending more than $80 billion a year on intelligence gathering—more than twice the pre-9/11 amount. Tthe proposed budget for homeland security efforts in the coming fiscal year will top $71 billion)
  • the government has trampled the First, Fourth, Fifth Sixth, Eighth, and 14th Amendments—all in the name of safeguarding our nation from itself.
  • callous invasions of their privacy via intrusive pat-downs and obscene full-body scans at the country’s airports

Hans-Hermann Hoppe argued in The Myth of National Defense (ed. Hoppe, Von Mises Institute) that government monopoly over defence is ineffective and expensive. As illustration, even though US defence budgets are quite large, they have proved ineffective in protecting US interests. The US defence and policy machine keeps asking for more money but delivers ever less security. Hoppe believes that the World Trade towers attacks could have been prevented merely by allowing pilots carry a pistol costing $50. The $400 billion defence budget couldn’t prevent 9/11. 

Hoppe's argument is interesting but, as I show in DOF, it doesn't lead to the conclusions he arrives at. However, there is something that a state (e.g. USA) can do at a low cost to dramatically increased security – through persuasion and winning people's minds. 

Thus, the other day (4 May 2010) I wrote on Facebook that "They are often extremely naive and even stupid, these Americans. I also think their doctrine of national self-interest has been a BAD doctrine. The national self-interest is best served in the longer term through supporting GOOD, not evil. Each time they support a dictator, they harm America in the long run." 

This holds good for the British as well. When they supported Jinnah's demand for partition on religous grounds, they mixed religion and politics, went against their own liberal tradition, and created the monster of Pakistan that is now almost uncontrollable, and has become the hub centre for terrorism across the entire world.

For years I've been advocating abolition of foreign aid and its replacement with EQUAL AND HONEST relationships across all nations. That means looking at long-term self-interest, not just the short-term. This means focusing on (a) promotion of liberty and good governance across the world, and (b) calling a spade a spade (e.g. not supporting dictators). It also means NEVER giving charity unless there is desperate need.

As I wrote in my FF article on foreign aid:
  • Aid strengthens totalitarian dictators and increases genocides and global terrorism.
  • Genuine well-wishers of the poor should therefore stop all charitable work and become equal partners and friends of the poor. They can, as part of this role, teach poor nations about freedom and good governance. Taking this approach is not only ethical, cheaper, and far more effective, it will also ultimately protect the West from terrorism.
  • it is crucial that Western nations do not directly teach poorer nations; for that could be interpreted as racist arrogance. Freedom must be promoted through poor nations’ own nationals.

There is no doubt in my mind that many effective and cheap methods exist to promote freedom and good governance. They will work invariably better than hard, brutal actions that the West often undertakes without thinking through the long term consequences. If nothing else, these cheaper (but slower) approaches should be part of a mix of strategies. [Note, I'm not against hard brutal actions in principle. They may have a place as well, but should not be seen to be the primary method of engagement]

Currently the fist rules, the handshake is missing. There is no genuine goodwill. That can't work.

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Pakistan, there is no right to kill others and argue national sovereignty

National sovereignty is a convenient myth we create to avoid having to spend our taxes on other people's needs. And it is a reasonable approximation under normal circumstances, but this idea fails entirely when a nation harbours a major terrorist like Osama bin Laden in open sight of its army base in Abbottabad. Then it becomes meaningless tripe.

Always remember: sovereignty ONLY belongs to the individual. Nations are NOT sovereign, but servants of the sovereign people who choose to live inside the nation.

It is mischievous, frivolous, and irrelevant, therefore, for Musharraf to argue that US violated Pakistan's sovereignty when it independently attacked and killed Osama bin Laden.

Musharraf should not forget that Osama killed THOUSANDS of Americans and it was therefore the obligation of the American government to bring Osama to justice. That's what the American taxpayer paid its government to do. And the American government, after a decade of wasted effort, finally achieved this goal with a clean hit to the target.

In doing so, USA also provided conclusive proof to the world that Pakistan is a terrorist state that not only exports terrorists to India but to the entire world. 

India has always said that. Now the entire world knows.

And so, please forget your silly idea of national sovereignty, "nations". That myth is given to you for convenience, subject to your behaving well. It is not licence to kill.

There is no sovereign right of "nations" to support the mass killing of other nations' citizens and then hide behind their so-called "sovereign" borders. Rubbish.

Nations are purely man-made entities, part of a global social contract, and their boundaries can change (or be changed) overnight if they don't behave. ONLY individuals are sovereign. All rights emanate from individuals.

Pakistan, you can't keep killing or support the killing of thousands of people in other countries and expect the world to worship your alleged "sovereignty". That doesn't work.

It goes without saying that this American action establishes the clear model for India in relation to relentless Pakistani export of terrorists to India. I would not be fussed if, based on precise information, India were to launch a similar attack against Pakistani terrorist hideouts. No doubt there will be, in doing so, an almost certain risk of nuclear war, and so there will need to be some further strategic consideration given to this idea, but it is simply not good enough for India to tolerate the constant inflow of terrorism from Pakistan.

Evil must have consequences. In this lifetime.

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What was India thinking – being friendly with Gaddafi!?

India has apparently been trying to be friendly with Gaddafi over the last few years!

Thus, "Datta-Ray writes that in 2007, Qadhafi was proclaiming that the sky was the limit when it came to cooperation between the two [India and Libya]. Not to be outdone, India’s finance minister was waxing eloquent about India’s “unlimited interest” in broadening ties between the two countries." (Source)

But this man is a total monster – the representation of pure evil on earth. I wish I had known this (Sadek's story, below) earlier, but surely India would have known it. And yet, India tried to be friendly with this monster?!

I know the current situation in Libya is beyond my control, and but I do hope that India does the right thing this time – by supporting the people of Libya against Gaddafi – and never supports such monsters in the future.

SADEK SHWEHDI'S STORY (NOT FOR THOSE WITH A WEAK STOMACH)

[Source]

Sadek was a student who had been educated in the US but returned to Libya to complete postgraduate studies. While qualifying as an aeronautical engineer at university in Oklahoma, he arranged forums about the direction of Libya under Colonel Gaddafi. Libya's secret police had obviously been monitoring him, and soon after his return he was detained.

On the morning of June 6, 1984, about 6000 students ranging from six-year-old primary school children to university students were told they were being taken to see Colonel Gaddafi make a speech.

Dozens of buses took them to the major venue in Libya's second city, Benghazi, the Suliman al-Darat Sports Hall.

As they walked into the massive stadium, they saw in the middle of the basketball court a long, thin curtain hanging from the roof.

Finally, at 4pm, the show started, broadcast live on state television. Seven judges appeared and announced they were putting Sadek Shwehdi on trial.

As the students watched, the judges asked: Are you Sadek Shwehdi? He was, he answered.

Had he been disloyal to Muammar Gaddafi? He had not, he said.

The judges said they had evidence he had been – and declared he had been found guilty.

A stunned Sadek was walked over to the centre of the basketball court and the curtain dropped away revealing a noose.

At this point, says Ibrahim, there were sounds of horror from the audience. Some shouted "No!"

The noose was put around Sadek's neck, at which point he began crying and, although 30 years of age, shouted: "I want to see my mother."

The rope was pulled up until he was hanging. But without the usual trapdoor and sudden fall, it was too slow to kill him.

One of Colonel Gaddafi's supporters in Benghazi, a woman called Hoda Benamer, rushed over and began swinging on Sadek's legs, trying to finish him off.

He would not die. So he was lowered to the floor and taken to Hawari Hospital, where five doctors examined him before one injected him with poison.

Still they could not kill him. So one of the doctors filled a sock with sand and pushed it down his throat. They held his nose so he couldn't breathe. Finally, he died.

Far from hiding his regime's brutality – and incompetence – Colonel Gaddafi insisted the botched hanging be replayed on television three times a day.

Colonel Gaddafi appointed Ms Benamer, the woman who hung from Sadek's legs, mayor of Benghazi. She is now one of the wealthiest women in the country.

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