“Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable.” ― Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
This marks our double century.
Thanks to your encouragement, contributions, sharing and feedback, we have reached till this landmark. With family and work, this newsletter and its varied content at the quality expected of it, is not an easy task. Personally, I sleep no more than 5 hours every day to make it happen. It is a commitment that I have to myself and the coming generation.
The generation of our parents were in the survival and rebuilding mode. They just had to survive. That was their commitment to us. Specifically, after centuries of rule and slavery and a devastating partition.
Competing narratives, looking beneath the layers of our politics, history and geopolitics was not something that they had the bandwidth or resources for. They created a platform so that our generation could grow up with enough education to look into all that. Before we hand over that baton to the coming generation, we have to ensure what they get from us has clarity and realism.
At Drishtikone, we have been working behind the scenes in the last few weeks to take the entire platform private and have control over its content, archives etc. Plus we want to make this platform sustainable. We will keep the newsletter free forever. But, in the coming months we will have content that is clear, detailed and useful which would be available to paying subscribers only. That will take some time.
We will keep the paying option open however, so that if anyone still feels this newsletter is worth paying for they can use that option. It will be a very nominal amount so it does not hurt anyone. You don’t have to pay, for this newsletter will remain free always.
China’s obedient poodle
For all his faults, Donald Trump and his administration at least had a spine when it came to dealing with China. The Democratic party has been compromised by the Islamist/CCP combine so comprehensively that it’s President and administration seem to be showing signs of being “nice little obedient poodles of the Chinese Communist Party”.
We had discussed in exhaustive detail as to why the signs of Biden playing obedient soldier of Xi Jinping were evident in his first call to the Asian leaders. In those calls, he had replaced the Free and Open Indo-Pacific vision of the QUAD (US, India, Australia, and Japan) to Secure and Prosperous Indo-Pacific region. Please read this newsletter edition for a factual understanding of why this shift is so significant - Issue #184: Biden = End of US Power = Chinese Global Supremacy
Those words that the Trump administration was using (Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)) had a history within the context of how the Asian powers had begun to see the future of their engagement with China.
Now, it seems that Biden’s masters have asked him to kneel down even further. The capitulation of Biden's administration in front of China, even before he takes office, is getting worse by the day.
He has started calling the region - “Asia-Pacific” region - as opposed to Indo-Pacific. Check out the video at the 0.50 timeframe.
This was followed by the remarks of General Lloyd Austin. He too did not disappoint the Chinese Communist Party.
Why is this significant?
Well, the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece had come out with a directive (on November 25th) for Biden administration (after his calls with the Asian premiers) that his addressing the region as Indo-Pacific was against Chinese interests. So he better change his semantics and, well, fall in line.
There are two geographical concepts to describe Asia and the Pacific: "Asia-Pacific" and "Indo-Pacific." The term "Asia-Pacific" was widely used before the Trump administration. But after Trump took office, the use of "Indo-Pacific" replaced it. Both terms are currently imbued with political meanings, but there are subtle differences. The "Asia-Pacific" involves economic and cooperative connotations, while the term "Indo-Pacific" is directly associated with geopolitical competition and alliance confrontation. (Source)
If you think this was just a harmless rant, well, the article clearly specified the context.
That is what they wanted Biden to make this change.
By contrast, the term of "Indo-Pacific" has been very rudely transformed into a geopolitical concept by the Trump administration. Though the term is often put after an adjective of "free and open," it is mostly used for China-targeted issues. The backbone of the Indo-Pacific concept is the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, Japan, India and Australia. Whenever they hold meetings or conduct military exercises, all media reports relate the events to China. There is no economic cooperation organization corresponding to "Indo-Pacific," but only the military exercises and intelligence cooperation agreements that have played a role among the four countries. Taiwan authorities have repeatedly vowed to become part of the "Indo-Pacific strategy," showing naked antagonistic ambitions. (Source)
And, that makes sense now. Because not just did Biden and Austin replace Indo-Pacific with Asia-Pacific as obedient poodles, then went a step further to prove their poodle-ism to their masters. They completely committed the mention of QUAD, which has been the central arrangement in the Asian region to handle China.
No one expects the US to go and engage in a war with China. But it is in the US interest to challenge the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party in global affairs. Specifically when its favorite sport in every theater of action is to engage in “debt-trap diplomacy” or neo-colonial enterprise.
You may also want to read our other newsletter edition Issue #185 - the Indian Ocean and Global Trade for more details on this.
The question is why is Biden acting like a waiter for Xi Jinping? And, why is no one even asking the right questions? Let us see two things which will explain the reason. You can call it compromised, arrogant, or masochistic politicians and media but the impact of what happened before the elections and what is being reported now is going to decide the future of the US in a very fundamental way.
Now, that the elections are over, we come to know about a facet of Hunter Biden that everyone was talking about but finding no mention in the mainstream media. Rather, social media and mainstream media worked hard to completely black out the whole conversation. Check this news report.
In addition to Delaware, the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York also scrutinized Hunter Biden’s finances, according to the person with direct knowledge of the investigation. The person said that, as of early last year, investigators in Delaware and Washington were also probing potential money laundering and Hunter Biden’s foreign ties. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. (Source)
Does that sound like a déjà vu?
If not, listen to this exchange with Christian Amanpour, a journalist whom I highly respected until just sometime back. Until operatives (have no better word to use right now) like her arrogantly shot down even the hint that Hunter Biden and Joe Biden were compromised by China, and at the very least someone needs to investigate. Specifically a journalist! Where did the traditions of Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Seymour Hersh go?
That smirk on Amanpour’s face will forever define her for me from here on. When she was being implored to simply do what journalists do in such cases - investigate the truth - as opposed to giving certificates of morality around.
"As you know, I am a journalist and I follow the facts, and there has never been any issue with corruption"
There is a serious shift happening in geopolitics as we speak. The US administration will now be on the defensive and be a glorified “obedient poodle to CCP” going forward. The days of the US as a world super-power are over.
Is Russia wagging along with China as well?
But the QUAD is disturbing many others as well. Russia in particular. Today Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov went all out against the QUAD and said it in a way as if India was some kid being misled by the “West“ against China. Primarily because the Indian administration is not beholden (read bought) anymore to the Russian intelligence as say previous governments were. Indira Gandhi had, after all, been rumored to be on KGB payroll at one time. (read our earlier issue Issue #11 - Congress, Communists.. everyone was sold.. everyone!) So it’s a case of a master getting worked up with the sudden independence of his slave - and out came the “how dare he?! needs to be put in place!” kind of remark.
Speaking at the Russian International Affairs Council, Lavrov said India was currently an object of the western countries’ “persistent, aggressive and devious policy”. “They are trying to engage India in anti-China games by promoting Indo-Pacific strategies, the so-called ‘Quad’. At the same time, the West is attempting to undermine Russia’s close partnership and privileged relations with India,” he added. Lavrov said the West had launched a “new game”, postponing Russia and China for later. “It is trying to draw all others into a unipolar world by any means possible,” he said. (Source)
Not that Russia and China are in bed together, but in India, the history of the Communists has been such that they have collaborated on issues of common interest - read, control over Indian administration - even when they were against each other.
The message for the rest of the QUAD (TRIO?) is to discount the US participation and any positive backing from Russia as well, for it won’t be forthcoming anymore. It will be better to move on their own.
If at all, the US Navy may actually be at the beck and call of the CCP honchos going forward. Just deal with it.
so-called farmers show who they report to - destabilizing forces against India
The so-called farmers’ organizations in India supposedly protesting for the rights of farmers, are now coming out to show who they really are - forces working to destabilize India at the behest of those outside.
This became crystal clear from their letter to the Government of India. Points #9 and 10 articulate the intention of forces interested in breaking India. Whereas #9 talks about releasing those who have plotted against the security of the country, #10 is to dilute and corrupt the legal framework as laid down by the judgment of the Supreme Court and Indian Constitution with respect to Right to Free Speech (please read issue #198). The language of #10 specifically is steeped in Communism-speak.
Who are they specifically hoping to free? Well, their posters and verbal statements make that clear.
From the protest stage at Tikri border, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) plans to demand the release of several “intellectuals and human rights activists” — booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for alleged Maoist links and for instigating Delhi riots — on Human Rights Day on Thursday. Pictures of more than 20 accused, including Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira, booked under the stringent UAPA, will be installed on a stage near the Tikri border. (Source)
Now, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira are criminals who have been booked by the National Investigation Agence (NIA) for:
(1) plotting to assassinate PM Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and
(2) destabilizing India while working with US-designated terror organizations like LeT and Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI.
Please read our earlier newsletter edition for a factual and detailed review of why these people have been arrested in the first place and also which forces outside India are backing them and their agenda - #151 - The Naxal-ISI plot to destabilize India. I can assure you it will be an eye-opener.
That is why when politicians from Justin Trudeau, who is being handled by the Chinese Communist Party as well (see next section) and parliamentarians in the UK start pronouncing how their hearts beat for the Indian farmers, specifically the Sikh ones, you know something is going on that is far bigger than just a few farmers agitating in India.
Justin Trudeau - leaked documents bare his stink
IN 2018, the US indicted Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhou for fraud while trying to skirt the sanctions.
Huawei and Meng were charged with bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in relation to skirting American sanctions on Iran. (Source)
Meng was arrested in Canada at the request of the US (Source) and a case went on in the Canadian courts for her extradition to the US. Enraged by the arrest of Meng, China kidnapped and arrested two Canadian nationals - Michael Spavor, and the former diplomat, Michael Kovrig in retaliation.
Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance had canceled the military drill in the Winters of 2019. Although Vance allowed Canadian Armed Forces personnel to compete at the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, he canceled winter military exercises with the PLA in 2019 because of concerns from the US. (Source)
These exercises would have involved training for Chinese commanders, including 1-and 2-star generals at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and other various military facilities specifically in Canadian cold weather military tactics. (Source) In light of what is happening on the Indo-China border in the Himalayas, this was obviously an India-centric tactic from the PLA.
Given the warnings from the Pentagon and the way China had acted in such a high-handed manner, the cancelation was the right thing to do. But not as per Trudeau and the Canadian liberals. The rank and file of the Trudeau establishment panicked.
“The CAF’s decision to cancel the cold weather training panicked Trudeau, who demanded that Canada’s military not cancel any more engagements with the PLA without explicit permission first, and that the news of the cancellation had to be told to the PLA gently, to let them save face,” Rebel News reported.
Were they benevolent, scared, or simply bought?
The rot in the US and Canada is so embarrassingly deep-rooted involving politicians all the way to the top that it would be a miracle if the West, the way it is today even exists a hundred years from now.
market corner - 10 quick bytes
- Swiggy takes Modi’s street vendors scheme for delivery; partners to bring 36,000 food sellers online - more
- Swiggy and Zomato to move 10% of the delivery fleet to EVs in 2021 - more
- Instamojo has enabled the digitization of more than 2 lakh small businesses across the country, across the last two quarters - more
- 72% of customers want brands to be inspirational: Wunderman Thompson study - more
- ADB cuts India's FY21 contraction forecast to 8% on the back of faster recovery - more
- Budget 2021 may allot up to Rs 80,000 crore for Covid-related spend - more
- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission took a major step toward the possible breakup of Facebook Inc. by formally filing an antitrust lawsuit. Facebook to give up Instagram and WhatsApp? - more
- Walmart plans to increase exports out of India three times to $10 billion by 2027 - more
- Govt to sell up to 20% stake in IRCTC via OFS; stock nosedives 13% - more
- Airbnb hits $47 billion value in IPO - more
Pakistan selling Hindu/Christian girls as concubines in China: US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel D Brownback has claimed that Pakistan is marketing Hindu and Christian women as "concubines" and "forced brides" to China. He observed that it was happening "because there's not effective support and there's discrimination against religious minorities that make them more vulnerable”. (Source)
Trudeau’s love for China’s PLA: An aide of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had opposed a move by the Canadian military last year to cancel training with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) due to security concerns, according to a media report. Citing secret government documents, The Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Wednesday that Canada’s global affairs department pushed back against a decision by Gen Jonathan Vance, Chief of Defence Staff, to cut interactions with the PLA. (Source)
Wear Diapers: China to Cabin crew: Cabin crew deployed in special flights to high-risk Covid-19 destinations should wear disposable diapers to cut down bathroom visits, China’s aviation regulator has said, as fewer toilet visits will cut down the risk of infection. The recommendation is part of a new set of guidelines for airlines and flight and cabin crew issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). (Source)
YouTuber kills pregnant GF in the live stream: 30-year-old Russian YouTuber Stas Reeflay pulled a mean prank on his girlfriend Valentina Grigoryeva during one of his live streams, which went wrong. Reeflay locked her out, while she was in a bikini, on the balcony in the freezing cold. Unable to bear the cold, Valentina was declared dead during the live stream. According to a report on Zee News Hindi, Stas took up the challenge after a user offered him USD 1300. (Source)
SanFran restaurants decimated: Based on credit card usage data gathered by Mastercard and shared with San Francisco's Chamber of Commerce, about 293 of 344 (or 85%) of bars and restaurants are presumed closed throughout SoMa, FiDi and their adjoining neighborhoods. (Source)
Meena Kumari - a hidden facet
Meena Kumari was probably the most eminent doyenne of the Indian film industry. Very few actresses have portrayed pathos the way she did. Her personal life was no better. One can never forget her role in Pakeeza and her dances, which though “staged” at many points carried the graceful ways that she had.
Not many know that she was an amazing poet - sensitive, poignant and touching - and a singer with a very soothing and beautiful voice. During her life she did come very close to Gulzar as well. Gulzar was a new rising poet, who was also an assistant director to Bimal Roy. It is said that she handed all her diaries (full of poems) to him while she was on her death bed for him to publish later. Which he did.
Listen to her beautiful poetry in her own voice.
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