Drishtikone Newsletter #361: Biden and the Global Chessboard

Guns trained at Russia and everyone engaging with Russia cast as 'evil'. Saudis heckled and threatened. China's major growing industry was brought down overnight and Indian leadership demonized. What is the Biden administration planning for?

Last updated on Oct 16, 2022

Posted on Oct 16, 2022

Photo by Marcelo Chagas
“Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

No war is ever caused by one factor.

But in the end, it is the short-sightedness and overwhelming ego battles that create the petri-dish where strange and crazy decisions are made, which lead to terminal situations.

We are looking at powers drunk on control kool-aid who think they have figured everything and everyone out and can beat the heck out of any situation.

They have the Neanderthal strategy for every situation.

We are dealing with characters and leaders, if you want to even call them that, who are setting up a chess board, where the end will be far more devastating than imagined.

One hopes things don't go the way they are pointing to.  But the chances of deviation seem very slim.


Arctic and Ukraine

Three months back, we had shared a newsletter edition on the Food crisis around the world which we suggested was part of a larger crisis.  Of Control of the resources around the globe.

Drishtikone Newsletter #349: The Control Catastrophe and our Food
Food shortages and sky-rocketing inflations are coming. There are many ramifications. And reasons much larger than a shortage. We are heading towards a catastrophe of overall control by a few. Agriculture just happens to be their biggest target. A deep dive.

One set of conclusions that we got to was that the Ukraine war was not the real issue that the US has with Russia.  The larger issue is the Arctic Circle.  The Ukraine war was a manifestation of the struggle for control over the future Russian polity.

The Western countries - specifically Europe and US - are worried. If Russia - along with China (as it seems right now) - owns that northern frontier, the chances are that Europe and US will be left with almost nothing in the future world order..... It is pretty obvious that the Ukraine war has more to do with Arctic Circle and dominance over it, as opposed to Putin being the devil that he is presented to be. Ukraine war and the belligerence over Putin is primarily to take "control over Russia" to minimize its ownership over the Arctic Circle.

The recent Biden-Harris National Security Strategy is out.  It has many instructive areas of focus.  We will discuss some of them today and later for it gives us a glimpse into the mindset of this administration's vision.

One of the major areas of future action?  

The Arctic.

The villain there?

Russia.

Shockingly, none of the geopolitical commentators or writers have even discussed this in India or mainstream international media.  But that does not mean that the administrative and establishment leads within the major countries like the US, Russia, the UK, China, and India do not get it.  

I am sure they do.

That is why the positions are so well-entrenched.

The US has its national interests.  And valid ones with respect to Russia.  

The critical question is whether you approach those interests with a collaborative mindset or a controlling mindset.

This is what the US Army University Press contributor (a US Govt official website) says in its article titled "Why Alaska and the Arctic are Critical to the National Security of the United States".  Col. Michael Forsyth argues that because of what he perceives as "transgressions" on part of Russia, they cannot be trusted with their claims in the Arctic.  One wonders if the same scrutiny by others of the US transgressions will have any currency.

Source: US Army University Press 

Trust is a serious business.  And, US has a fundamental issue with the trust factor.

Saudi- America muddle

Let us take for instance how Biden's handling of Saudi Arabia shows.

Biden's troubles started during his campaigning when he was professing action against the Saudis by making them pariahs. (Source: NYT)

In March 2022, Biden wanted to visit Saudi Arabia (Source: Washington Times).  But at that time, his calls for an increase in oil production from the Saudis were not even being responded to.

Biden rebuffed as US relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE hit new low - The Guardian

The Saudis are not even willing to take his calls.

And, by the first week of June, he had put the visit "on hold". (Source: The Cradle).

Instead of making things better, Biden dug a further hole for himself and the US.

“I have no direct plans at the moment,” to visit Saudi Arabia, Biden said Friday in Delaware. “There is a possibility that I would be going to meet with both the Israelis and some Arab countries at the time, including, I expect, would be -- Saudi Arabia would be included in that if I did go.” Biden said he’s been working on bringing more peace to the region, while adding, “I’m not going to change my view on human rights.” Asked if he would be open to meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he replied: “We’re getting way ahead of ourselves here.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Finally, he did get to Saudi Arabia in July.  And had that infamous "fist bump moment".

What should have been about the oil production and post-Ukraine war situation became about fighting the past ghosts that Biden, for some reason, just couldn't get away from.  And his Democratic ecosystem won't let him either.

The president’s 24 hours in Jeddah were dominated by photos of his fist bump with the de facto leader of a kingdom Mr. Biden had labeled a pariah. Things went downhill from there. Mr. Biden insisted that, in front of the entire U.S. and Saudi delegations, he had labeled the crown prince the killer of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi Minister of State Adel al-Jubeir was quick to say he didn’t recall hearing that. When Mr. Biden was asked if the foreign minister was telling the truth, he said no—implying that a key Saudi official was a liar. Even the New York Times questioned if Mr. Biden’s account was accurate, noting that he has a history of describing events other meeting participants don’t recall. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Really?!  

You have a major geopolitical situation on your hand with Russia and the Oil and all you can think of is Khashoggi?  If killing innocent human beings was such a moral issue, then almost every American administration would have a far worse record than the Saudi Prince has.  

Hypocrisy aside, Biden's actions and positions smack of either lunacy or hegemonic swagger.  

When he was asked in Paris if he will meet one-on-one with King Salman or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and push them to increase oil production - his answer was No.  No, he would not make that ask of them.

Biden is set to travel next month to Saudi Arabia to participate in a summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council with leaders across the Middle East. There, Biden said he will see the king and crown prince, but he won’t directly ask them about oil production. “No, I’m not going to ask them,” Biden said. “All the Gulf states are meeting. I’ve indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not to the Saudi Arabia in particular. I hope we see them in their own interests concluding that makes sense to do.” (Source: Politico)

Talk about doubling down further when you are already in an abyss!

The OPEC+ responded last week.

Source: "OPEC+ imposes deep production cuts in a bid to shore up prices" / CNBC

American media was by then already running point for the White House agenda and accusing the Saudis of being in Russia's corner.  It came alive when the Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud snapped at Reuters' reporter Alex Lawler and refused to entertain any questions from him.

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The White House meanwhile openly came out with the Saudi-Russia accusation.

Source: "The White House accuses Saudi Arabia of aiding Russia and coercing OPEC oil producers" / NPR

Which the Saudis rejected right away (Source: The Wall Street Journal).

And with an ultimatum and a threat.

The White House national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, told reporters the US president was also looking at a possible halt in arms sales as part of a broader re-evaluation of the US relationship with Saudi Arabia, but that no move was imminent.  On Capitol Hill, anger with the Saudi move was far more palpable, as was the desire for swift and specific retribution for what has been seen as a stunning blunder by a key ally in the Middle East. (Source: "Democrats issue fresh ultimatum to Saudi Arabia over oil production"/ The Guardian)

Retribution?!

Even the lingo and the tone smack of an imperialist manner of dealing with slaves.  It's almost as if Saudi Arabia is Biden's personal colony that he and his administration can slap around at will and call that neanderthal-ic behavior -  diplomacy.

The Democratically aligned US media taking its cue from such behavior starts acting the same way.  Here is an exchange between CNN's Becky Anderson and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir.

Congressmen like Senator Robert Menendez, Richard Blumenthal, and Ro Khanna seemed to have jumped onto the Saudi-Russia bandwagon to further accentuate the response to the Saudis.

Here is the kicker - as the Biden administration was doing this sable-rattling with the Saudis and talking tough, they were also begging them to not bring in the cuts for a month - until after the midterm elections were over.  Which, of course, the Saudis did not care about.

Saudi Arabia has suggested the U.S. asked it to wait a month before it cut oil production, defending a move the White House has heavily criticized as helping Russia's war in Ukraine.  Such a delay in the OPEC+ supply reduction could have staved off price rises at American pumps until after the midterm elections, although the Saudi Foreign Affairs Ministry did not specifically mention the midterms in its lengthy and abrupt statement late Wednesday. (Source: "Saudi Arabia says U.S. asked it to postpone oil supply cut by a month" / NBC news)

This is an important election for the Democrats and Joe Biden because Republicans are threatening to take over the House.  A rise in Oil prices at the gas station and the resultant increase in prices apart from the generally high inflation does not help the Democrats this year.

High gas prices historically are bad news politically for the party in power in Washington and the surge in prices earlier this year contributed to plunging approval ratings for Biden, which have since recovered slightly. Other US goods also are more costly amid the highest annual inflation since 1981 — with overall prices up about 8.3% in August. (Source: NYPost)

Now think for a moment.

You are Joe Biden.  Saudi Arabia is your main ally in the Middle East where you need action on the oil and gas front.  Would you commit yourself to a dead-end even before you enter the office?  

And if you are that retarded and have done that stupid mistake, would you double down on the same "human rights" issue before you even meet the head of the government, who has famously been ignoring your calls until recently?

And this while you need his help to even stay in office and be effective!

Unless you think you can make mince meat of the other guy in the geopolitical arena, here is a great recipe for creating a diplomatic nightmare!

There is something fundamentally off with this whole diplomatic scenario.

40 year high US Inflation and Global Impact

The US has a big impact on the world through how it handles its internal matters.  The biggest export from the US, according to many, is Inflation!

How?

When the money supply is eased via the decisions of the US Fed (lowering of interest rates or creating more dollars) or when the access to credit by the corporates is eased, a new money supply is created.

Where is this used?

For more consumption of products and services.  

Which come from other countries.

So with rising money supply and imports, the currencies of the exporters to the US start appreciating hitting at their ability to export.

To remain competitive, they start devaluing their own currencies. Which is what you are seeing in India as well.

Over time, everyone seems to have been in this great happy la-la-land:

Government lowers interest rates and increases the money supply by printing more money -> US residents buy more products and services and consume unlimitedly -> Other countries keep playing the cat and mouse with their currency valuation.

Except for one thing.

The Federal Deficit in the US and elsewhere keeps rising.

Source: Wikimedia

Currently, the US is facing rising inflation which is at a 40-year high.

A closely watched measure of US consumer prices rose by more than forecast to a 40-year high in September, pressuring the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates even more aggressively to stamp out persistent inflation.  The core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy, increased 6.6% from a year ago, the highest level since 1982, Labor Department data showed Thursday. From a month earlier, the core CPI climbed 0.6% for a second month. The overall CPI increased 0.4% last month, and was up 8.2% from a year earlier. (Source: "Core Inflation at 40-Year High in September, Securing Big Fed Rate Hike" / Bloomberg)

Add in the Ukraine war, and the OPEC+ decision which is leading to the High Oil and Gas prices and we have a really bad situation facing us.

The arrogant and tone-deaf Democratic milieu taken over by the wokes does not help either.

Recently, the former Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard left the Democratic party because of this fascist, wokeist scenario within the party.

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She calls the current Democratic party a "party of warmongers".

Given the inexplicable behavior on the Saudi front and the Ukraine war - when you use the geopolitical lens - she is bang on.  

What she also keeps reiterating is the second part.  

The Military Industrial Complex.

Which enables all these wars.

And this complex hasn't satiated its hunger yet.

Let us move to another theater - China.

Biden Nukes China's Semiconductor Industry

China has been the fastest-growing semiconductor manufacturer in recent years.  In just a few years, China has grown from nothing to almost second place.

Just five years ago, China’s semiconductor device sales were $13 billion, accounting for only 3.8% of global chip sales. In 2020, however, the Chinese semiconductor industry registered an unprecedented annual growth rate of 30.6% to reach $39.8 billion in total annual sales, according to an SIA analysis [1]. The jump in growth helped China capture 9% of the global semiconductor market in 2020, surpassing Taiwan for two consecutive years and closely following Japan and the EU, which each took 10% of market share. Sales data for 2021 are not yet available.  If China’s semiconductor development continues its strong momentum – maintaining 30% CAGR over the next three years – and assuming growth rates of industries in other countries stay the same, the Chinese semiconductor industry could generate $116 billion in annual revenue by 2024, capturing upwards of 17.4% of global market share [2]. This would place China behind only the United States and South Korea in global market share. (Source: Semiconductors.org)

China's largest chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) recently achieved a breakthrough when it was able to crack the quasi-7-nanometer (nm) despite US restrictions to the latest Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUV) machines from ASML of the Netherlands.

Source: "China's Semiconductor Breakthrough" / The Diplomat

Last week the US Department of Commerce came out with rules that are potentially devastating.

Source: BIS

Now trade curbs are a common way of managing and controlling different players within the various industries by the US administrations.  Several measures have been taken from time to time in even the semiconductor industry to restrict the Chinese industry.

But this was different.

Last week, the U.S. government enacted sweeping rules that aimed to cut off China from key chips and semiconductor manufacturing equipment.  As part of those rules, “U.S. persons” that support the development or production of certain chips in China, including those for military uses, require a license to do so.  The rule appears quite wide-ranging and companies are scrambling to figure out what it means in practice. (Source: "Globally critical chip firm tells U.S. staff to stop servicing China customers after Biden export curbs" / CNBC)

This ambiguous yet pointed rule has led to "mass resignations of American executives from Chinese firms"  (Source: Independent.co.uk)

Check out stories on Yahoo / Benzinga / CNBC

Lidang, CEO & Co-founder @HedgehogLabHQ shared what this all meant for the Chinese industry.

Jordan Schneider, an analyst at the Rhodium Group puts it in almost the same terms.

Source: Twitter

Here is the complete thread from Jordan.

Thread by @jordanschnyc on Thread Reader App
@jordanschnyc: THREAD: The US government’s new export controls are wreaking havoc on China’s chip industry. New rules around “US persons” are driving an “industry-wide decapitation.” The following is the translation...…

The language and the US stance look ominous.

Source: Foreign Policy / Bloomberg

What does this mean?  Abishur Prakash, co-founder of the Center for Innovating the Future puts it very succinctly.

“The latest chip rules are a sign that Washington is not trying to rebuild relations with Beijing. Instead, the U.S. is making it clear that it’s taking this competition more seriously than it ever has, and is willing to take steps that were once unthinkable,” Prakash said. (Source: "America’s ‘once unthinkable’ chip export restrictions will hobble China’s semiconductor ambitions" / CNBC

Not trying to rebuild relations with Beijing.

And, do we imagine the Chinese to just take the devastation of their critical industry lying down?

Retaliation will be imminent.

But a break of relations is what the Biden administration wants.

And this seems to be a recurring theme coming from this government.

Guns are trained at Russia and everyone who has any contact or interaction with Russia is being cast as 'evil'. Saudis are being heckled and threatened. China's major growing industry was brought down overnight.

What more could go wrong here?

Well, there could!

Gas crisis in Europe and its consequences

Ever since the Ukraine conflict started and the EU took stringent positions against Russia, the Putin administration ratcheted up their game where it would hurt Europe the most.

Natural Gas.

When Gazprom announced on July 21 that routine maintenance work on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was complete, Europe breathed a sigh of relief. But just five days later, the Russian gas giant issued a caveat: the pipeline will now operate at just 20 percent of its capacity, down to 33 million cubic meters per day. The price of natural gas soared past $2,000 per 1,000 cubic meters on the back of the news. (Source: "What Are the Kremlin’s Calculations in Its Gas War With Europe?" / Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

In early September, Russia's Gazprom shut down the natural gas pipeline to Europe for 3 days which was extended subsequently.

In late September there were two massive explosions (2.3 and 2.1 on the Richter scale) on two underwater pipelines connecting Russia to Germany that led to the Nord Stream gas leaks in four places - two in Denmark’s exclusive economic zone and two in Sweden’s exclusive economic zone.  These gas leaks led to an estimated 300,000 tons of methane being released into the atmosphere. (Source: CNBC)

Source: CNBC

So while Russia closes down its supply of gas to the European countries, where will the gas for the winter come from?

Norway.

And it is not going to be pretty there as well.

Countries are counting on Norwegian fuel to get them through the winter months — and to help fill their stocks for years ahead.  But even as Oslo ups exports to Europe, the do-gooding home of the Nobel Peace Prize faces pointed criticism from the continent, including charges that its windfall oil and gas revenue amounts to war profiteering. (Source: Washington Post)

The question that one needs to ponder is - what does all this mean for Europe's polity?

Cornered Europe is Changing

The Left in Europe is greatly confused.

On the one side, it has protested NATO many times.  But in these days, they are protesting against Russia for Ukraine as well.

As a result, the messaging at the European protests in March was at times confused and inconsistent: Some were filled with Ukrainian flags and explicitly in support of the Ukrainian people and their resistance. Others displayed the rainbow “peace” flag ubiquitous in Europe during the Iraq War and featured calls against increased military spending and the prospect of NATO expansion. The uncertain response of Europe’s peace activists is both a reflection of a brutal, unprovoked invasion that stunned the world and of an anti-war movement that has grown smaller and more marginalized over the years. The left in both Europe and the U.S. have struggled to respond to a wave of support for Ukraine that is at cross purposes with a decadeslong effort to untangle Europe from a U.S.-led military alliance. They also fear that short-term expediency — supporting Ukraine through increased European defense spending and a strengthening of NATO — will prolong the conflict and potentially widen it, but they have struggled to identify concrete alternatives as feeble diplomatic efforts have so far faltered. (Source: The Intercept)

Europe has been changing and that means its polity is changing as well.

Italy, for example, had its far-right leader Giorgio Meloni, as its Prime Minister.  Italy's dismal economic and growth record in the last 25 years has made the new type of leadership an imperative.

Since the 1990s, Italy has been the only advanced economy that stopped growing. In 1995, Italy’s productivity was higher than America’s, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Today, it is lower than that of almost all European countries. Political crises and economic crises have fed into each other. (Source: LA Times)

And she is under watch.

After all, European Union slapped sanctions against Hungary which has a far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban. (Source: Luis School of European Political Economy)

Why?

Because there is no respect for civil rights, the independence of the judiciary, and the freedom of the press.

France is facing its own political crisis.  The French want Emmanuel Macron's resignation and his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen in instead.

Ever since the Ukrainian crisis began, causing a severe energy crisis across Europe, anti-NATO sentiments have been rising among the Europeans.  In France, petrol pumps have been running dry as worker’s strike continues in the refineries of the major French oil companies.  The strike staged by France’s hard-left CGT union at refineries of ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies was originally intended to last three days but it has now entered its 13th day.  "It is continuing everywhere," a CGT representative said, adding that there had been no contact from TotalEnergies since Saturday's call by the union for the company's bosses to start wage negotiations.  (Source: "Paris Protesters Call on France to Leave NATO as Energy Crisis Deepens")

With rising gas prices and long queues for petrol, the French were questioning their presence within NATO itself.

In Germany, things are "under control" for now, but things may change.

The leader of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has demanded party leaders in the west of the country shape up and look to match their eastern colleagues after a string of poor results in state elections.  The party's mood has not been lifted by internal chatgroup messages published by broadcasters NDR and WDR this week. These showed dozens of its Bundestag members indulging in fantasies about seeing "the traitor" Angela Merkel behind bars, and hoping for an economic collapse that would bring down "the old regime." Co-leader Alice Weidel said such messages were unacceptable. (Source: DW)

The far right is growing in Germany.  This week, a 75-year-old pensioner, Elizabeth R was arrested for being the ringleader of a terrorist plan to attack German politicians and power infrastructure.

Identified only as Elizabeth R in accordance with German legal norms, the 75-year-old retired teacher from the eastern state of Saxony is suspected of having been what investigators have called the “ideological brains” behind the far-right group, which had planned kidnappings and attacks on power facilities meant to cause blackouts across Germany.  (Source: "Woman, 75, held in Germany accused of leading far-right terror plot" / The Guardian)

You see, the rise of the "far-right" in Germany is not just a small shift happening independently.

It is a response to the overall stance taken by Europe in the Ukraine conflict and the extreme positions taken by the US.

Last Sunday’s Lower Saxony state election took place amid the deepest crisis since the end of World War II. The results saw the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) almost double its vote to 10.9 percent. Horrendous energy and food inflation is decimating real wages and driving millions of workers into poverty. The NATO powers are escalating their proxy war against Russia ever further towards a nuclear world war, and Germany wants to make its army the strongest military force on the continent.  But these issues hardly played a role in the election campaign, because all the establishment parties agree on the essential questions. They are organizing social devastation and pushing militarism. That is why many voters stayed home and why the election results were determined by secondary issues.  (Source: "Lower Saxony state election and the strengthening of the far-right Alternative for Germany" / World Socialist Web Site)

Interestingly, as is the narrative these days, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party members have been called pro-Putin and denounced.

Politicians from a far-right party in Germany who are on a visit to Russia, and plan to travel to Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine, have been accused of supporting Vladimir Putin’s war and of undertaking a “propaganda trip”.  The five Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) politicians said their aim was to “see for ourselves in situ the humanitarian situation”, but were asked to provide details of their visit to the party leadership, which apparently knew nothing about it in advance. The deputy leader of the party, Peter Boehringer, said the trip was not taking place on behalf of the AfD. (Source: "Far-right German politicians accused of pro-Putin ‘propaganda trip’ / The Guardian)

If you thought that Putin's war on Ukraine was only about Russia and the US, then you are wrong.  We are looking at very serious consequences within Europe.

As protests, shortages, a bad economy, and ultra-nationalist-less-global parties make strongholds, there could be massive fissures opening up in Europe.

Poking India

For quite some time American and European administrations, the media, and think tanks have been poking the Modi administration about India's stance on Russia.

And, this time, as the responses from Dr. Jaishankar have shown, the Indian establishment is not holding back.

India has done oil deals with Russia for its energy needs and continues to work with Russia in many areas.  For an administration that wants to pin Russia down, this is very disconcerting.

But all this has meant that battle is being fought in the public arena by the US forces.

For example, there has been a sharp increase in anti-Hindu disinformation in recent months.

In July the signal on the Hinduphobic code words and memes reached record highs that could inflame a spill out to real world violence, especially in light of escalating religious tensions in India and the recent beheading of an Indian shopkeeper. Social media platforms largely are unaware of the code words, key images, and structured nature of this hatred even as it is surging.  “There is, unfortunately, nothing new to the bigotry and violence faced by the Hindu population,” said John J. Farmer Jr., director of both the Miller Center and the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “What is new is the social media context in which hate messages are being shared. Our prior work has shown a correlation between the intensity of hate messaging over social media and the eruption of real-world acts of violence.” (Source: "Rutgers Report Finds Increase in Anti-Hindu Disinformation" / Rutgers Univ)

Frivolous, yet high-profile campaigns against the Indian government have become more commonplace in the US media.

For example, a full-page ad appeared in Wall Street Journal on  October 13 in the newspaper timed with Ms. Sitharaman’s visit to Washington, by Devas co-founder, U.S. citizen Ramachandra Vishwanathan and Washington-based NGO “Frontiers of Freedom”.  The ad called out to U.S. State Department to apply “Magnitsky Act” sanctions on eleven Indian government officials: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Antrix Corp Chairman Rakesh Sasibhushan, Attorney General Tushar Mehta, Supreme Court Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian, PC Special Law Judge Chandra Shekhar, CBI DSP Ashish Pareek, Sanjay Kumar Mishra of the Enforcement Directorate, ED Deputy Director R Rajesh, Add Attorney General N Venkataraman, and ED Dy Director A Sadiq Mohamed.

The Indian government has not taken this nicely.  (Source: Attack on Indian sovereignty, says Centre on Wall Street Journal advertisement / The Hindu)

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, Teaneck Democrats have been spewing anti-Hindu venom and trying to pass a hate-filled resolution.  They are targeting the Indian government leadership and their party directly!

The Teaneck Democratic organization is in the crosshairs of state and national Indian American leaders after they passed a controversial resolution that potentially divides New Jersey’s Hindu and Muslim communities by labeling some U.S.-based Hindu organizations as foreign hate groups.  Alexandra Soriano-Taveras, the Teaneck Democratic municipal chairman is now taking heat from fellow Democrats after a national Hindu organization has threatened to urge their community to withhold vote sin the upcoming election from all New Jersey Democrats unless the resolution was pulled back. (Source: New Jersey Globe)

There have been very clear indications of a break with the Indian administration in the Democratic party set up where the party's agenda is now bordering on hate speech and promoting violence against the Indian community, specifically those who have any sympathy for the incumbent Indian government.  

Where are the US and the World headed?

Let us get some basics out of the way.

Russia is not Iraq or Libya.

Putin is not Gaddafi or Saddam.

Both, in terms of intelligence and capability.

One wrong calculation and we could be staring at armageddon.  

Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction.  Putin has.  

And, he has the means to deliver them.  Decisively.

“Good morning to you,” the presenter said, to which the ex-Putin advisor replied: “Good morning. Well it’s not good morning ... for everybody.”  He continued: “For Western countries, for you, British listeners, I would say that Vladimir Putin told us he would be ready to use nuclear weapons against Western countries, including nuclear weapons against Great Britain.  Mr Markov said “your cities will be target..” before being interrupted.  Mr Putin warned he would be prepared to use weapons of mass destruction to “protect” his country in an address to the nation on Wednesday.  “When the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal,” Russia’s president said. (Source: Independent)

Meanwhile, Europe and US have been maneuvering bravely in this situation by threatening Russia back as well.  

EU's foreign policy chief had a threat just this week threatening to annihilate the entire Russian army if there was a nuke strike against Ukraine.

A Russian nuclear strike against Ukraine would trigger "such a powerful answer" from the West that the Russian army would be "annihilated," said Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief. (Source: Euronews)

Fool-hardy or tone-deaf.  You decide.  Ukraine?  The guy is threatening to nuke and strangle Europe!

Biden administration meanwhile has been doing its own threatening to Russia.

The United States for several months has been sending private communications to Moscow warning Russia’s leadership of the grave consequences that would follow the use of a nuclear weapon, according to U.S. officials, who said the messages underscore what President Biden and his aides have articulated publicly. (Source: Washington Post)

We are not diplomacy or geopolitics experts, but since when did threats become the best way to deal with heavily armed strong-headed, and intelligent "bullies"?

And, while you are at it, throw Saudis and the Chinese in his court and push India away from your side by demonizing its leadership, and you have the perfect situation to bring a World War upon the world! 

I am not sure who is advising whom right now and what kind of information is floating in the intelligence circles leading to such asinine decisions and stances, but it looks absolutely clear that we are heading for something worse this winter.

Worse than what we can predict.

In fact, half-jokingly, I remarked yesterday to my wife:

Given how things are shaping, we are probably just weeks away from the Third World War.

Video Corner: 3000-year-old 'new' perspectives

There is wisdom in old cultures and civilizations.  Native American voices have been mostly silenced.  Very few surface.  And when they do, one ought to listen.

Here is a wonderful presentation that I just loved.  Please watch it for timeless wisdom it offers.

Diné musician, scholar, and cultural historian Lyla June outlines a series of timeless human success stories focusing on Native American food and land management techniques and strategies.  Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne), and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe toward personal, collective, and ecological healing. She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives, and solutions. Her current doctoral research focuses on Indigenous food systems revitalization

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