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

Donald Trump’s Claims About Filling The SPR Are Not True

Last week, as expected, former President Donald Trump announced he is throwing his hat in the ring for the 2024 presidential election. The move was widely expected, and as he is prone to do, Trump made a number of questionable claims in the speech announcing his candidacy.

Donald Trump’s Claims About Filling The SPR Are Not True

Related:

No, Former President Trump Did Not Fill The Strategic Petroleum Reserve

DeSantis and Future Foreign Policy Disasters + His Military Secrets

With his refusal to go along with lockdowns and mask mandates during the pandemic, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis emerged as a hero to many in libertarian circles. But as his name is now consistently put forward as a prospective or even likely 2024 Republican Presidential candidate, those who view him favorably should take a sober second look. On foreign policy in particular, DeSantis promises to continue the disastrous policies of his predecessors, which have made us uniformly less free, less safe, and much poorer.

DeSantis and Future Foreign Policy Disasters

Related:

“I was screaming and he was smiling”: DeSantis ran Guantanamo torture

YouTube: Ron DeSantis’s Military Secrets: Torture & War Crimes

China’s Reported Pause Of Russian Oil Imports Ahead Of The West’s Price Cap Is Revealing 🤨

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that some Chinese buyers have allegedly paused their import of Russian oil ahead of the West’s looming price cap on that resource, which if true would be very revealing in the context of that country exploring the parameters of a New Détente with the US. According to them, those buyers supposedly want to see if they can get better deals from Moscow after the price cap enters into effect, thus signaling opportunistic and not necessarily unfriendly intentions.

China’s Reported Pause Of Russian Oil Imports Ahead Of The West’s Price Cap Is Revealing

[3-8-22] Trump Calls Out ‘Fake News’ Over Reports He Did Nothing for Ukraine

Trump Calls Out ‘Fake News’ Over Reports He Did Nothing for Ukraine

“The fake news media refuses to report that I was the one who, very early and strongly, gave the anti-tank busters (Javelins) to Ukraine, while Obama/Biden was giving blankets, to great and open complaints,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday.

“Then [President Joe] Biden came in, and canceled the remaining military equipment that was packed, loaded, and ready to be shipped. Now the fake news media is trying to say that Trump gave Ukraine nothing, and it was Biden who is their great friend and gave them weaponry. The dishonesty is so unbelievable. All I can do is report it!”

“When Trump was elected, the first thing they did was send in the Javelin,” U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy Jim Townsend said at the time. “It wasn’t exactly high-end, but we were very happy, and they built on a very firm foundation.”

Related:

Trump Says Russia-Ukraine Tensions ‘Would Never Have Happened’ Under His Presidency:

The Russian Embassy in Washington said if the U.S. was “truly committed to diplomatic efforts to resolve the internal Ukrainian conflict” it would “abandon plans to supply new batches of weapons for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

On the claim that Obama didn’t send military weapons to Ukraine (supposedly he just didn’t send Javelins)

U.S. officials were concerned that providing the Javelins to Ukraine would escalate their conflict with Russia. Key allies, including Germany, were not keen on sending weapons into the conflict zone, said Michael Kofman, an expert on Russia and senior research scientist at the CNA Corporation.

The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, which became law in November 2015, called for “lethal assistance such as anti-armor weapon systems, mortars, crew-served weapons and ammunition, grenade launchers and ammunition, and small arms and ammunition.”

Macron rejects ‘confrontation’ as he relaunches Asia strategy

Macron rejects ‘confrontation’ as he relaunches Asia strategy

“We don’t believe in hegemony, we don’t believe in confrontation, we believe in stability,” Macron said.

Macron said a coordinated response was needed to tackle the overlapping crises facing the international community — from climate change to economic turmoil triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Our Indo-Pacific strategy is how to provide dynamic balance in this environment,” he said.

“How to provide precisely a sort of stability and equilibrium which could not be the hegemony of one of those, could not be the confrontation of the two major powers.”

The Indo-Pacific Strategy doesn’t sound as innocent as Macron makes it out to be:

The new US Indo-Pacific Strategy document released in February has two interesting components, one overt and one covert. The document overtly declares the US is an “Indo-Pacific power.” Covertly, its aim is to “tighten the noose around China.” Arguably, minus the military might, China’s nearly a decade-long “Belt and Road Initiative” cannot be perceived as a grand national strategy aimed at controlling Eurasia or the Asia Pacific or any region for that matter. Yet the BRI is mythologized into such a geostrategic game-changer that it has rattled the US and its allies in the Asia Pacific. The BRI, at best, is nothing more than a mere geopolitical overland and maritime “chessboard” based on trade and investment.

BRI and the ‘Indo-Pacific’ Strategy: Geopolitical vs. Geostrategic