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Jack Speer-Williams 

Term limits! We need Citizen Legislators, not Career Politicians.

Through surrogates,* the International Banking and Monetary Cartel secretly finances the political campaigns of career politicians for the presidency and seats in Congress.

*Surrogates: Jeffrey Katzenberg, Haim Saban, Sheldon Adelson, George Marcus, Ronald Perelman, Steven Silberstein, Benjamin Klein, Mark Epstein, Bernard Schwartz, Michael Bloomberg, Donald Sussman, George Soros.

The mainstream corporate media of North America and Europe is owned and tightly controlled by the banking oligarchs; and that control is used to support the career politicians who will sponsor pro-banking/anti-citizen laws and Executive Orders.

This is done, of course, to keep paid puppets (career politicians) in office for the benefit of the banking oligarchs.

Without this oligarchical financial and media support, no one can be elected to high public office anywhere in the entire alignment of Western countries: this is particularly true in the United States of America.

These oligarchs are fascists, as the most basic definition of fascism is corporatists secretly controlling government.

Once a nation’s central government is completely known to be controlled by corporatists, that government is no longer a government that even slightly tries to represent the people, but is now a solid corporatism for the sole benefit of the oligarchs.

The oligarchs hide their creeping corporatism behind such words as Free, Trade, andAgreements, usually known as FTAs.

While the FTAs do free the oligarchs from having to obey national laws, the agreements also call for the enforcing of corporate laws on governments – such as huge financial reparations being paid to the oligarchs and/or their corporations from taxpayers, by way of their governments.

The ever more liberal (libertine) governance that comes smelling out of Washington, like rotten eggs, has long supported fascism and is well on its way of introducing full-fledged, full-blown corporatism into America. The alleged progressive voters (regressive voters) have always supported more and more corporatism, without ever knowing what they were doing. But call it liberal or progressive and the clueless libertines and regressives are all for it.

The liberal and progressive president, William J. Clinton, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. In 1994, President Clinton also signed the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. The United States of America has been hemorrhaging jobs ever since those signings – signings that had been passed with majority votes by “bought and paid for” career politicians in Congress.

Senator Bernie Sanders accused his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, of supporting disastrous free trade deals. And the senator was right. Bill and Hillary have both never been anything more than career sock puppets of the cartel of foreign banking oligarchs.

Hillary Clinton is the physical and mental embodiment of a graft-taking and blackmailed career politician. All career politicians have committed serious crimes for which they can be blackmailed by the bankers through banker control of the media.

Do it or we’ll expose you on Fox News and all other media outlets. Then you’ll be indicted on your way to a long prison term.

Americans who can see through the media’s political machinations know what to expect with a Hillary Clinton presidency; it’ll be much more of the same, but far worse. Lady Clinton has been accompanied by a deplorable and arrogant recklessness all her personal and public life. Another president named Clinton will most assuredly continue our agony, with no ecstasy possible.

So far, the Obama administration has been successful in not getting us into a nuclear war with Russia or China, even though the Neocons* in the US Defense Department have been trying their very best to provoke Russia and China into World War III.

*The Neocons are predominantly dual Israeli/US citizens, who share a passion for human slaughter with their familial masters – the International Banking and Monetary Cartel.

Hillary Diane (nee Rodham) Clinton has already said we should start WW III, with one of her typical psychotic statements: We should shoot down the Russian planes in Syria.

Does the lady not understand the Russians were destroying the war machines of the terrorists? Did she not understand that downing a Russian plane could bring about a nuclear WW III?

Surely a President Hillary Clinton will continue America’s “humanitarian” wars against humanity.

But once again, it looks like we’ll have another congenital liar as president;  the lady has had a long and tortured relationship with the truth.

And with her native belligerency and lack of spirituality, the nuclear option will always be in a President Clinton’s To-Do basket. The woman is a threat to all life on earth.

It is not unreasonable to suspect Ms. Hillary Clinton to be behind the recent and mysterious deaths of four of her top-level Insiders. These were key advisors, people who had access to condemning evidence concerning Ms. Clinton: Seth Rich, Shawn Lucas, Victor Thorne, and John Ashe are no longer among the living.

In point of fact, the Clinton body count has steadily increased over the years from Vince Foster, to Walter Scheib, to Mary Mahoney, to James McDougal,  and Charles Ruff – plus forty to one hundred and twenty others.*

*Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service recently released a report that the father (Vincent Fleck) of Hillary’s physician (Dr. Daniel Fleck) was found dead just twenty-four hours after he released a summary of Mrs. Clinton’s medical record which included Complex Partial Seizures and her Subcortical Vascular Dementia.

Born on the 26th of October, 1947, Mrs. Clinton grew up during the Cold War of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) with the Soviet Union. But perhaps the lady does not know that the nuclear bombs of today are 17,000 times more powerful than the atomic bombs that existed at the beginning of our long Cold War with the Soviet Union. Or does the former American Secretary of State have such an affinity for war that she is willing to overlook the ghastly reality that the US/NATO/Israeli and Russian/Chinese arsenals are full of thousands of such horridly powerful bombs?

Destroying countries that are too small or weak to fight back is one thing, Mrs. Clinton, but a war with Russia or China is something else entirely.

Hillary Clinton has supported every American foreign war or military escalation for the last two decades. Such rash, reckless militarism has given her the support of the Israeli dual citizens (Neocons) who have controlled the US foreign policy for unilateral wars of aggression since George Bush, the elder, was president.

Additionally, as president, Mrs. Clinton would most likely inherit the power to name three to four US Supreme Court justices, which would mean the death of our American Constitution.

As Madame Secretary of the US State Department, Mrs. Clinton proved her obvious incompetence and her total obedience to her oligarchical masters with her Benghazi scandal and the major part she played in bombing Libya, the country with the highest standard of living on the entire African continent.

Did Hillary fly the bombers that utterly destroyed the Libyan nation and its people? Did she personally bomb and destroy Libya’s Eighth Wonder of the World – their deep underground river project that held the real potential of turning the deserts green with food?

No, but she played a major part in the destruction of a sovereign nation and proved it when she spoke on CBS TV.

After Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi was brutally assassinated by Hillary’s assisted Al-Qaeda terrorists, the woman went before worldwide TV cameras and cackled demonically: We came. We saw. He died.

Few who saw and heard Mrs. Clinton’s confession did not feel icy chills up their spines. Her voice and demeanor, at that moment, gave us all a look into the dark absence of any soul within  Hillary Clinton.

Now, due in large part to Mrs. Clinton, Libya is not only a failed and chaotic state in the midst of a full-blown civil war, but ISIS has taken root there. “Thanks, Hillary.”

It was during this period of Hillary’s State Department career that the Clintons became wealthy – extremely wealthy. When leaving the White House, Hillary bemoaned that she and Bill were broke. But as Secretary of State, Hillary began, in earnest, her play-for pay practice of using public office for private gain, which solved her monetary problems with her self-styled, tax-free Clinton Foundation – a true racketeering enterprise protected by racketeers too important to indict or jail. There are a hefty mounds of empirical evidence that would throw Hillary into prison in any kind of just judicial system not controlled by the monetary and banking oligarchs.

At something resembling warp speed, the Clintons became super wealthy. In spite of always being on government employee payrolls, the Hillary Clintons suddenly had over $300 million and a Foundation of over $3 billion. How do government employees become super  wealthy?

The Clintons figured out ways of cashing in on their past and current governmental positions. They sold favors to everyone from thugs (trying to stay out of prison) to leaders of adversarial countries wanting an edge on America.

High-rolling globalists and foreign governments (especially Saudi Arabia)  have poured over three billion dollars into the Clinton Foundation, with little of that money ever going to charities or doing any charitable work.

CNN claims that corporations and foreign governments gave Hillary and Bill (for their Foundation?) twenty-six million dollars for speeches (and the use of their private jets).

The Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments with poor human rights records and even poorer histories of violations against women (think Saudi Arabic, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman).

The most burning question with regard to so much money going to the Clintons and their Foundation is a simple question – what did Hillary and Bill promise, do, or exchange (other than giving speeches) for so many undercover dollars flowing indirectly to them by way of their Foundation?

Will American citizens end up paying off the Clinton chits?

Needless to say, the Clintons have no need for food stamps. Hillary and Bill’s daughter, Chelsea, married hedge-fund owner Marc Mezvinsky in 2010. Their wedding ceremony is said to have cost the Clintons over three million dollars.

In the spring of 2016, the New York Post lambasted Mrs. Clinton for her wearing of a $12,495 Armani jacket during her New York primary victory speech. In that speech, Clinton went on and on about the awful inequality of incomes in the United State of America. The poor woman has little shame and  I suspect has less common sense. She certainly has no charisma. Has anyone ever witnessed a more boring, tiring public figure?

The kind of legislation a President Hillary Clinton would sponsor would not simply be fatuous, it would be  obstructive of any kind of economic recovery or of even a slight reversal of our police state toward our personal freedoms. If Hillary attains the White House, it would mark the nadir of our once great country, both in terms of personal freedom, and prosperity.hillary

None of the above exposures of Mrs. Clinton’s inadequacies for the highest office in our land touch upon Hillary’s rather extensive homosexual past and present, which may or may not be germane, if the woman confessed to her sexual proclivities. Otherwise, as president, Clinton would be open to blackmail, especially considering her rather close relationship with the suspected Saudi Arabian agent, the beautiful seductress – Huma Abedin.*

*Huma Abedin was Hillary’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Department of State and is currently Clinton’s chief advisor and sole roommate on the presidential campaign trail.

The frumpy Mrs. Clinton is a fishwife twin of Germany’s traitorous Angela Merkel. Hillary is the face of special interest corruption in government.  Some people think Hillary Clinton is either incompetent or criminal; I think she’s both.

In essence, fundamentally, and in summation, I’d say Hillary personifies the 3Ds: Dirty, Dangerous, and Dull.

The very fact that Hillary Clinton was allowed to run for the US presidency, rather than being imprisoned, should have been a loud alarm to all of us. But those whom the gods wish to destroy first turn into Hillary supporters.

Hillary, however, will be our next president for two reasons: we have too many uneducated voters in America; and the electronic voting machines will be fixed.

Expect financial chaos and civic paralysis during yet another Clinton presidency.

The one-percenters (the Controllers  who will make Hillary president) have a motto:Ordo ab chao (Order out of Chaos). They already have chaos, but they want more. They want hellacious levels of chaos in America. Ms. Hillary Clinton will help to provide them with as much chaos as they want.

And as the malapropism king, little George Bush, once said, “It will take time to restorechaos and order.”

Hillary Clinton will become the titular head of a country that has fallen to the oligarchs, far from the divine grace and glories of the Andrew Jackson presidency.

The despotic/con-artist cult that is controlling and ruining our federal  government must be routed out of Washington – out of our country – if our traditional way of life has any hope of survival.

The United States has been fractured culturally and economically during the eight years of the Obama presidency; as a result, the Global Peace Index has ranked America at No. 103 among the most peaceful nations in the world.

And with all the “pay-back” due us,  created by the Bushes and Obama with their destruction of so many countries in the Middle East, America has never been less secure.

Still, none of the Bushes or Obama got us into a war with Russia or China, something Mrs. Clinton is subject to do.

But during the years of Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama, we have had exploding unemployment, greatly increased welfare dependency, more unilateral wars for the bankers, along with increased racial tensions.

Barack Obama doubled our national debt, matching the indebtedness of all preceding US presidents combined. During the Obama years we lost six million small businesses, acquired thirteen million more Americans on food stamps, and saw home ownership fall by 5.6%.

But you gotta love a guy who takes some time off. Thus far, Mr. Obama’s vacations have only cost the American people seventy million dollars.

And the guy keeps with tradition: such as handing his successor more foreign policy disasters than he inherited.

And while many Americans overlook the fact that Obama has bloodied his hands with millions of displaced, impoverished, dying, and dead in the Middle East, the man, for eight years, committed cardinal sins: he continued the Bush practice of torturing human life in some of the over 700 US military bases around the world.

Some of Obama’s unpardonable crimes include the torture of children in front of their parents. Our President Obama and former Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, should both be tried as war criminals, as only God can forgive them.

John KiriakouFreed CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou says, “I would do it all again” [to help expose torture].

Torture has proven time and again it does not work: torturees will confess to anything. Torture is worthless in obtaining workable intel data. So why has Obama allowed so much of it? His actual statement was … I don’t want to offend the [United States/NATO/Israeli] intelligence community.

Appearing to be inoffensive is about the kindest yet most honest truth anyone can make concerning Obama.

I still, however, do not think the man understands what he reads off his teleprompters.

It is embarrassing to see Barack stumble around hemming and hawing when his teleprompters go on the blink. You would think an American president would have some slight or insignificant understanding of the events of our day.

Today, we have but two realistic choices for the US presidency: one a known screaming negative, the other a possible positive.

trump v hillarySounding like a bully, a braggart, and a buffoon is not the best way to conduct a political campaign; but, I prefer a clown with a soul to a practically soulless psychotic, who has a lust for using public office for personal gain, no matter the cost to those she swore to serve.

Perhaps as a presidential candidate Mr. Trump is merely “wingin’ it”. But even so, he could very well throw up a bit of a roadblock – even if temporarily – blocking the oppressive march of the banking oligarchs toward their iron-fisted despotism and planned poverty.

Donald Trump is an outlier. He has never been one of the throng of career politicians who have so long been ruining our country. And as a non-career politician, Mr. Trump is not only our best chance, he may be our last chance.


Post Script: Call him a mountebank if you like, but Mr. Trump had one sterling attribute this past primary season none of the other candidates had – he had absolutely no political or governmental experience.

Nuclear Blackmail and America’s Fantasy War with China

RAND came up with a new report on the economic costs of war with China, Thinking the Unthinkable.  In RAND’s view the war won’t escalate beyond a limited conventional war fought in the West Pacific and over Chinese territory, China gets devastated beyond its ability to resist and keep military forces in the field, we win, the world economy staggers but carries on, The End.

I beg to differ, for reasons given in my current piece for Asia Times, RAND’s ‘Unthinkable’ War with China.

It’s always possible that I’m out of line here, but I think RAND’s public confidence is borderline delusional.

The PRC is narrowing the conventional military disparity with the US and it seems most likely sooner or later, maybe around 2025, the US is going to have to bring nukes into the equation to make sure it can win a war with China.

That’s what we had to do with the Soviet Union—that’s why we’ve still got those nukes at Incirlik in Turkey—and I don’t see any reason why this wouldn’t happen in Asia.

My personal theory is that Thinktankistan has been put on notice not to provide any oxygen to the nuclear narrative right now because, if a nuclear exchange is seen as feasible, then Japan, South Korea, and even Taiwan are going to want to have their own nuclear deterrent.

Faith in the technical capabilities of Raytheon missile defense ain’t gonna cut it, in my opinion, if we’re talking about a clutch of Chinese missiles making it through the shield to take out US bases in Japan and that nice THAAD installation in South Korea…and they might be nuclear-tipped.

If everybody’s got nukes, they not only don’t need the US nuclear umbrella; they’ve got their own defense and security policies and the US, instead of acting as the maestro of the China-containment orchestra, is just the fat guy with the tuba in the back row who provides some extra oompah to support the front line players.

The PRC therefore has two incentives to abandon its old fashioned No First Use/MAD deterrent based on a few ICBMs.

First, naturally, is that the threat of a nuclear deterrent based on first use or launch on warning becomes more useful, maybe necessary, as the US packs offensive capabilities, including dual use (nuke as well as conventional) enabled fighter-bombers and cruise missiles into the East Asian theater.

Second, triggering a nuclear arms race in Asia shreds the US nuclear umbrella that underpins US leadership of the pivot, fragments the alliance, and allows the PRC to target—and intimidate—US allies bilaterally and bring its local superiority to bear.

Interesting element of PRC leverage, isn’t it?  Evaluations of PRC current and future nuclear policy (and the US dance of provocation and accommodation with China) should probably weight this factor pretty highly.

China isn’t the only country with the ability to upset the US nuclear applecart.

If the genuine history of US strategy for East Asia is written, it will of course cover the multi-decade effort to d*ck with China.  But it will also include the secret history of the US effort to direct and control Japanese rearmament as an asset for US hegemony, while keeping a rein on Japanese geo-strategic ambitions…and keeping Japan from turning the nuclear assets covertly gifted by the Pentagon into a declared nuclear weapons capability (Joseph Trento can write that section).

This is not a theoretical issue.  Shinzo Abe is a dyed-in-the-wool anti-American revisionist Japanese nationalist who is determined to exploit the US eagerness to remain the official East Asian hegemon to extend Japan’s geopolitical sway into East Asia and restore its dignity as a full-fledged regional power.

For Team America, keeping a leash on Japan and the US in the driver’s seat for Asian security policy is Job One.  That means the pot has to keep boiling enough to keep the US in control of the pivot polarization narrative and development of security alliances with the Philippines, Vietnam, et al.  while  keeping things calm enough that Japan stays on rez as a nominal junior partner of the coalition, whose military adventurism is still officially circumscribed by the principle of “collective self defense” in support of US operations.

As it pays lip service to US leadership, Japan has used the US pivot to develop its own bilateral security ties down ASEAN way and with India—and is reaching out to the Tsai Ying-wen government on Taiwan, which probably gives US planners a distinct case of the collywobbles.

Japan is, in other words, edging toward the full formal resumption of a “normal” role in overseas military affairs, one in which it officially pursues its own interests and doesn’t just follow US policy.

If Japan goes nuclear, it’s pretty much game over.  The US becomes just another passenger on the pivot bus.  So Japan can also use its nuclear weapons potential as leverage over the US to shape policy and extract concessions.

Which means, in my opinion, RAND has to pretend, at least publicly, that nuclear weapons are not a factor in Asian strategy in order to defend the status quo of US leadership and nuclear monopoly.

Privately, I suspect, it’s another matter entirely, and US strategy is shaped both by Chinese and Japanese nuclear blackmail.

Peter Lee edits China Matters and writes about Asia for CounterPunch

Dangerous Seas: China and the USA

In just the past five months, warships from both countries—including Washington’s closest ally in the region, Japan—have done everything but ram one another. And, as Beijing continues to build bases on scattered islands in the South China Sea, the U.S. is deploying long-range nuclear capable strategic bombers in Australia and Guam.

At times the rhetoric from both sides is chilling. When Washington sent two aircraft carrier battle groups into the area, Chinese defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujun cautioned the Americans to “be careful.” While one U.S. admiral suggested drawing “the line” at the Spratly Islands close to the Philippines, an editorial in the Chinese Communist Party’s Global Times warned that U.S. actions “raised the risk of physical confrontation with China.” The newspaper went on to warn that “if the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a U.S.-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea.”

Earlier this month China’s Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said Beijing should prepare for a “people’s war at sea.”

Add to this the appointment of an extreme right-wing nationalist as Japan’s defense minister and the decision to deploy anti-ballistic missile interceptors in South Korea and the term “volatile region” is a major understatement.

Some of these tensions go back to the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco that officially ended WW II in Asia. That document, according to Canadian researcher Kimie Hara, was drawn up to be deliberately ambiguous about the ownership of a scatter of islands and reefs in the East and South China seas. That ambiguity set up tensions in the region that Washington could then exploit to keep potential rivals off balance.

The current standoff between China and Japan over the Senkakus/Diaoyu islands—the Japanese use the former name, the Chinese the latter—is a direct outcome of the Treaty. While Washington has no official position on which country owns the tiny uninhabited archipelago, it is committed to defend Japan in case of any military conflict with China. On Aug. 2 the Japanese Defense Ministry accused China of engaging in “dangerous acts that could cause unintended consequences.”

Tokyo’s new defense minister, Tomomi Inada, is a regular visitor to the Yasukuni shrine that honors Japan’s war criminals, and she is a critic of the post-war Tokyo war crimes trials. She also has called for re-examining the 1937 Nanjing massacre that saw Japanese troops murder as many as 300,000 Chinese. Her appointment by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems almost calculated to anger Beijing.

Abe is also pushing hard to overturn a part of the Japanese constitution that bars Tokyo from using its military forces for anything but defending itself. Japan has one of the largest and most sophisticated navies in the world.

Over the past several weeks, Chinese Coast Guard vessels and fishing boats have challenged Japan’s territorial claims on the islands, and Chinese and Japanese warplanes have been playing chicken. In one particularly worrisome incident, a Japanese fighter locked its combat radar on a Chinese fighter-bomber.

Behind the bellicose behavior on the China and U.S. sides is underlying insecurity, a dangerous condition when two nuclear-armed powers are at loggerheads.

From Beijing’s perspective, Washington is trying to “contain” China by ringing it with American allies, much as the U.S. did to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Given recent moves in the region, it is hard to argue with Beijing’s conclusion.

After a 20-year absence, the U.S. military is back in the Philippines. Washington is deploying anti-missile systems in South Korea and Japan and deepening its military relations with Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. The Obama administration’s “Asia pivot” has shifted the bulk of U.S. armed forces from the Atlantic and the Middle East to Asia. Washington’s Air Sea Battle strategy—just renamed “Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons”—envisions neutralizing China’s ability to defend its home waters.

China is in the process of modernizing much of its military, in large part because Beijing was spooked by two American operations. First, the Chinese were stunned by how quickly the U.S. military annihilated the Iraqi army in the first Gulf War, with virtually no casualties on the American side. Then there was having to back down in 1996, when the Clinton administration deployed two aircraft carrier battle groups in the Taiwan Straits during a period of sharp tension between Beijing and Taipei.

In spite of all its upgrades, however, China’s military is a long ways from being able to challenge the U.S. The Chinese navy has one small aircraft carrier, the U.S. has 10 enormous ones, plus a nuclear arsenal vastly bigger than Beijing’s modest force. China’s last war was its disastrous 1979 invasion of Vietnam, and the general U.S. view of the Chinese military is that it is a paper dragon.

That thinking is paralleled in Japan, which is worrisome. Japan’s aggressive nationalist government is more likely to initiate something with China than is the U.S. For instance, the crisis over the Senkaku/Diaoyus was started by Japan. First, Tokyo violated an agreement with Beijing by arresting some Chinese fishermen and then unilaterally annexed the islands. The Japanese military has always had an over-inflated opinion of itself and traditionally underestimated Chinese capabilities.

In short, the U.S. and Japan are not intimidated by China’s New Model Army, nor do they see it as a serious threat. That is dangerous thinking if it leads to the conclusion that China will always back down when a confrontation turns ugly. Belligerence and illusion are perilous companions in the current tense atmosphere.

The scheduled deployment of the U.S. Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile systems has convinced Beijing that the U.S. is attempting to neutralize China’s nuclear missile force, a not irrational conclusion. While anti-missile systems are billed as “defensive,” they can just as easily be considered part of the U.S.’s basic “counterforce” strategy. The latter calls for a first strike on an opponent’s missiles, backstopped by an anti-ballistic missile system that would destroy any enemy missiles the first strike missed.

China is pledged not to use nuclear weapons first, but, given the growing ring of U.S. bases and deployment of anti-missile systems, that may change. China is considering moving to a “launch on warning” strategy, which would greatly increase the possibility of an accidental nuclear war.

The AirSea Battle strategy calls for conventional missile strikes aimed at knocking out command centers and radar facilities deep into Chinese territory. But given the U.S.’s “counterforce” strategy, Chinese commanders might assume those conventional missiles are nuclear tipped and aimed at decapitating China’s nuclear deterrent.

According to Amitai Etzioni of Washington University, a former senior advisor to President Jimmy Carter, “China is likely to respond to what is effectively a major attack on its mainland with all the military means at its disposal—including its stockpile of nuclear arms.”

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that if China moves to “launch on warning,” such a change “would dramatically increase the risk of a nuclear exchange by accident—a dangerous shift that the U.S. could help to avert.”

President Obama is said to be considering adopting a “no first use” pledge, but he has come up against stiff opposition from his military and the Republicans. “I would be concerned about such a policy,” says U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “Having a certain degree of ambiguity is not necessarily a bad thing.”

But given the possibility of accidents—or panic by military commanders—“ambiguity” increases the risk that someone could misinterpret an action. Once a nuclear exchange begins it may be impossible to stop, particularly knowing that the U.S. “counterforce” strategy targets an opponent’s missiles. “Use them, or lose them” is an old saying among nuclear warriors.

In any case, the standard response to an anti-missile system is to build more launchers and warheads, something the world does not need more of.

While China has legitimate security concerns, the way it has pursued them has won it few friends in the region. Beijing has bullied Vietnam in the Paracel islands, pushed the Philippines around in the Spratly islands, and pretty much alienated everyone in the region except its close allies in North Korea, Laos and Cambodia. China’s claims—its so-called “nine dash line”—covers most the South China Sea, an area through which some $5 trillion in trades passes each year. It is also an area rich in minerals and fishing resources.

China’s ham-fisted approach has given the U.S. an opportunity to inject itself into the dispute as a “defender” of small countries with their own claims on reefs, islands and shoals. The U.S. has stepped up air and sea patrols in the region, which at times has seen Chinese and American and Japanese warships bow to bow and their warplaneswing tip to wing tip.

The recent decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague that China has no exclusive claim on the South China Sea has temporarily increased tensions, although it has the potential to resolve some of the ongoing disputes without continuing the current saber rattling.

China is a signatory to the 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty, as are other countries bordering the South China Sea (the U.S. Senate refuses to ratify the Treaty). China has never tried to interfere with the huge volume of commerce that traverses the region, a trade that, in any case, greatly benefits the Chinese. Beijing’s major concern is defense of its long coastline.

If the countries in the region would rely on the Law of the Sea to resolve disputes, it would probably work out well for everyone concerned. The Chinese would have to back off from their “nine dash line” claims in the South China Sea, but they would likely end up in control of the Senkakus/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.

But to cool the current tensions Washington would also have to ratchet down its military buildup in Asia. That will be difficult for the Americans to accept. Since the end of WW II, the U.S. has been the big dog on the block in the western Pacific, but that is coming to an end. According to the International Monetary Fund, China surpassed the U.S. economy in 2014 to become the world’s largest. Of the four largest economies on the globe, three are in Asia: China, Japan and India.

Simple demographics are shifting the balance of economic and political power from Europe and the U.S. to Asia. By 2015, more than 66 percent of the world’s population will reside in Asia. In contrast, the U.S. makes up 5 percent and the European Union 7 percent. By 2050, the world’s “pin code” will be 1125: one billion people in Europe, one billion in the Americas, two billion in Africa, and five billion in Asia. Even the CIA predicts, “The era of American ascendancy in international politics that began in 1945—is fast winding down.”

The U.S. can resist that inevitability, but only by relying on its overwhelming military power and constructing an alliance system reminiscent of the Cold War. That should give pause to all concerned. The world was fortunate to emerge from that dark period without a nuclear war, but relying on luck is a dangerous strategy.

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