Inside the Trilateral Commission: Power elites grapple with China’s rise

Inside the Trilateral Commission: Power elites grapple with China’s rise (original)

Each new candidate for Commission membership is carefully scrutinized before being allowed entry. As a rule, members who take up positions in their national governments — which is uncannily common — give up their Trilateral Commission membership while in public service. Those include U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

This revolving door between the commission and senior government ranks has always been fodder for conspiracy theorists. Its first director in 1973, Zbigniew Brzezinski, later became U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser. The very existence of the commission, meanwhile, seems predicated on the question of whether governing should be left to the people. It is a question the commission itself has tackled head-on since 1975: Is democracy functioning? Or does someone need to guide it?

That year, three scholars — Michel Crozier, Samuel Huntington and Joji Watanuki — wrote a report for The Trilateral Commission titled “The Crisis of Democracy.” In it, Huntington wrote that some of the problems of governance in the U.S. stem from an “excess of democracy.”

Related:

The Crisis of Democracy – Trilateral Commission – 1975

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The Emperor Elonicus

Everyone is going to hate this column. Musk worshipers are going to hate it because I’m going to blaspheme against Elon Musk. Musk demonizers are going to hate it because I am not going to blaspheme against him enough. Everyone else is going to hate it because they’re sick to the gills of hearing about Musk, and Musk’s destruction of Twitter, or his salvation of Twitter, and censorship, and “hate speech,” and all that stuff.

The Emperor Elonicus

U.S. and NATO scramble to arm Ukraine and refill their own arsenals

Either this narrative about weapon stockpiles, being depleted, is part of the information war or Russia is demilitarizing NATO!?!

U.S. and NATO scramble to arm Ukraine and refill their own arsenals

In Ukraine, the kind of European war thought inconceivable is chewing up the modest stockpiles of artillery, ammunition and air defenses of what some in NATO call Europe’s “bonsai armies,” after the tiny Japanese trees. Even the mighty United States has only limited stocks of the weapons the Ukrainians want and need, and Washington is unwilling to divert key weapons from delicate regions like Taiwan and Korea, where China and North Korea are constantly testing the limits.

So the West is scrambling to find increasingly scarce Soviet-era equipment and ammunition that Ukraine can use now, including S-300 air defense missiles, T-72 tanks and especially Soviet-caliber artillery shells

There are even discussions about NATO investing in old factories in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria to restart the manufacturing of Soviet-caliber 152-mm and 122-mm shells for Ukraine’s still largely Soviet-era artillery armory.

The European Union has approved €3.1 billion ($3.2 billion) to repay member states for what they provide to Ukraine, but that fund, the [ironically-named] European Peace Facility, is nearly 90 percent depleted.

Smaller countries have exhausted their potential, another NATO official said, with 20 of its 30 members “pretty tapped out.” But the remaining 10 can still provide more, he suggested, especially larger allies. That would include France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has advised the alliance — including, pointedly, Germany — that NATO guidelines requiring members to keep stockpiles should not be a pretext to limit arms exports to Ukraine. But it is also true that Germany and France, like the United States, want to calibrate the weapons Ukraine gets, to prevent escalation and direct attacks on Russia.

Washington is also looking at older, cheaper alternatives like giving Ukraine anti-tank TOW missiles, which are in plentiful supply, instead of Javelins, and Hawk surface-to-air missiles instead of newer versions. But officials are increasingly pushing Ukraine to be more efficient and not, for example, fire a missile that costs $150,000 at a drone that costs $20,000.

Journalist [Bolot Temirov] In Moscow After UN Envoy, Rights Groups, Embassies Decry Kyrgyz Deportation Order

Journalist In Moscow After UN Envoy, Rights Groups, Embassies Decry Kyrgyz Deportation Order

[Bolot] Temirov and traditional bard singer Bolot Nazarov, who performed his anticorruption songs on the YouTube channel Temirov LIVE, were arrested in January for allegedly possessing illegal drugs, which the two men say were planted by police.

H/T: Jimmy Dore

Related:

New U.S. Award Names Kyrgyz, Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Figures Among Its 12 Recipients

FactCheck and open-source investigative organization Bellingcat probed Raimbek Matraimov, the controversial former deputy chief of the Customs Service, and his relatives, who are at the center of an alleged corruption scandal involving the funneling of close to a billion dollars out of Kyrgyzstan.

Research on Factcheck.kg’s (Bolot Temirov):

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Colombia’s First Leftist President Charts a New Path on Venezuela + Government of Venezuela and Opposition Resume Mexico Talks

Colombia’s First Leftist President Charts a New Path on Venezuela

While critics derided the meeting as just another propaganda spectacle for Maduro, Petro has sent a signal to opposition parties in Colombia and the international community, particularly the United States, to rethink its approach if they hope to improve relations and achieve a successful political transition in Venezuela.

Related:

The recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela will end in 2023, according to two sources close to the opposition

Guaidó’s possible change of status occurs just as the opposition coalition establishes the rules to select the unitary candidate who will compete in the next presidential elections in 2024.

So Biden can support a new interim president for Venezuela.

Government of Venezuela and Opposition Resume Mexico Talks: What Is on the Table? (+Alex Saab)

Still skeptical of Gustavo Petro.