Today we survive in an epoch of information war and every leader with intent or without intent plays it beforehand coming to power.
The newly elected President of United States of America, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr with his timely written article n a renowned magazine Foreign Affairs entitled as ‘Why America Must Lead Again Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump’ motivates the American citizens and humankind abroad giving them reasons to cast a vote in his errand. The article is of paramount importance as it reveals the glimpses of Washington’s foreign policy for the upcoming years tenure between 2021- 2025. In his entire speech he speaks about his potential courses when he wins the presidency.
Ruins And Renewals
Joe Biden with his piece gave the world a dense and powerful peek of what would America and its brinksmanship be like under its democratic leadership. In his article he left no dimension unmarked and almost discussed each and every aspect from economy, military, middle class, health, free speech and from Afghan to Yemen withdrawal. He did not skip any foes or allies from his scripture. He writes ‘As a nation, we have to prove the world that the United States is prepared to lead again not just with the example of our power but with the power of our example’.
Fight against authoritarianism:He dawns his article by referring to the falling state of democracy against authoritarianism during Trumphood stating ‘today, democracy is under more pressure than any time since the 1930s’. He highlights that during his first year in office a grand ‘Global Summit for Democracy’ will be arranged to revive the soul of free world. He plans to invite not only all the democratic countries but also civil society organizations across globe, technology companies and social media giants to make them recognize their obligations and interests in protecting the democratic societies and freedom of speech. He identifies that such companies should not empower the surveillance states like China. Joe jots: ‘the answer to this threat is more openness, not less: more friendships, more cooperation, more alliances, more democracy.’
Middle class:Middle class also remained a core concern of his speech. Joe Biden underlines the idea that in order to defeat China or any other state, we must shape our innovative edge and unify the economic influence of democracies. He calls the middle class as the greatest asset of United States. He encourages everyone to forget the discrimination of cast and creed and focus towards advancement. He declares to provide every student the essential skills required to obtain a good job in 21st century. In his article he claims to provide $15 an wage raise for workers, creation of ten million new jobs, healthcare, access to quality, eradication of corruption and clean economy revolution.
Trade War:He particularly renounced previous serving President Donald Trump for his ‘ill-advised trade wars’. He states in distinct words: ‘I believe in fair trade’. He considers more than 95 percent of world population living under its border a prospect to tap new commerce and markets.
Core Argument Of Joe’s Script:Joe Biden finally speaks the core of his heart and mind. Joe specks: ‘the wrong thing to do is to put our heads in the sand and say no more trade deals. Countries will trade with or without the United States. The question is, Who writes the rules that govern trade? Who will make sure they protect workers, the environment, the transparency, the middle class wages? The United States not China should be leading that effort’. It seems that Biden is under a security dilemma from China’s nourishing economy. He is committed to belief not to give the harness of world affairs to another country but only America.
China: He affirms to be tough on China. Joe is convinced to cooperate on issues of health security and climate change but is also determined to draw an alliance to challenge for its ‘abusive behaviors’ of human rights violations and for robbing American intellectual property and economic market. He constantly discusses about the created relics since 2017 Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s discharge from office and the restorations that will surge America again. He is well aware of the narrative downfall about US credibility when he writes: ‘diplomacy also requires credibility and Trump has shattered ours’. Joe Biden is very much right when he refers to US global standing and authority as Yan XueTong, Beijing’s prominent expert on China’s foreign policy and U.S.-China relations pens down in his book ‘Leadership and Rise of Great Powers’ about Donald Trump presidency an opportunity for Beijing. Yan believes that United States has become vulnerable under Trump’s administration which has provided China with adequate time to fill the disparity gap between the two states.
No Foreign Military Interventions: Military of United States will be staunch but the role of diplomacy will be superior. One vital aspect to notice is when Joe Biden has explicitly clarified the fact that military should be used ‘only to defend US vital interests and simultaneously wishes a stern withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan and along from Yemen. Later he creates a confusion for the readers when he also desires to fight counter terrorism abroad while keeping its forces at home. It seems like he is referring to the use of artificial intelligence to safeguard its interest across borders as he is sure of the notion to build up the AI more than China. He mentions: ‘We can be strong and smart at same time’.
Russia:Red Bear also remains in Joe’s list of dialogue and likewise China it is ready to stand against Moscow with its allies for its violation of the international norms, cybertheft, corruption and disinformation campaigns entitling it as ‘President Vladimir Putin’s kleptocratic authoritarian system’. Vladimir Putin remains the only serving president he called upon with name in his entire article giving him some personal messages of liberty and makes it apparent that only United States will lead the world and technology.
Restoration of treaties and alliances:He is ready to restore America’s old partnerships and alliances forming NATO more effective and competent while reinvesting in collaborations with Australia, Japan, South Korea, India and Indonesia. He particularly mentions an ‘ironclad commitment’ for Israel. He wishes to negotiate on the deals that Donald Trump discarded during his regime for instance Paris Peace Agreement, New START, Nuclear Non-proliferation deal with Iran and North Korea. He believes that already a lot of time has been wasted and cannot be recovered therefore it is urgent to repair and rise America again.
 YAN, X. (2020). Chapter 9 Conclusion. In LEADERSHIP AND THE RISE OF GREAT POWERS (p. 198). S.l.: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRES.
Why are some Muslims, from India to the U.S Voting against their Natural Allies
Recent national elections in the U.S. and regional elections in India have presented an interesting conundrum. The numbers show that some Muslims, are voting in a counter-intuitive fashion. Given the rise of Islamophobia and right-wing religious nationalism, both in the U.S. and in India, one would surmise that Muslims would vote overwhelmingly to the left of center. But both, in India and in the U.S., many Muslims have however chosen to send a message to the center-left – your sympathetic rhetoric and your verbal condemnations of Islamophobia is not enough, we want to see concrete policies that improve our political and economic conditions. Neither the promises of Joe Biden, nor the fear of Hindu-nationalism is influencing their vote. These Muslims are, for sure, in a minority albeit a growing one. Politicians on the center-left may ignore them at their own peril.
In the U.S.
In the U.S., President-Elect Joe Biden’s campaign outreach to Muslims went far beyond that of any presidential candidate in the past. Biden’s campaign had a manifesto for American Muslims and a designated outreach person. Biden spoke at Muslim conventions and even quoted from Islamic scripture. He dropped an “inshallah” in the debates. Biden promised to end the so called ‘Muslim-Ban’ on day one and has repeatedly condemned Islamophobia. Biden spoke up for Uyghur Muslims in China and Kashmiris in India and has opposed the annexation of West Bank. He has promised to resume relations with the Palestinians and restore aid to them. Even Imran Khan, the PM of Pakistan, a self-proclaimed champion of Muslims, does not have such an impressive pro-Muslim curriculum vitae, he has repeatedly refused to speak up for the Uyghurs.
While a majority of American Muslims campaigned very aggressively for the Biden-Harris ticket and raised millions of dollars for the Democrats, the exit polls indicate that only 69% of American Muslims voted for them. On the face value that is a huge win, but if you look at in comparison to the past it is troubling. Despite the fact that Biden went far beyond any other candidate in his outreach to Muslims, and the Islamophobia of President Trump is well documented, Biden has garnered the least percentage of votes by a Democratic presidential candidate in the last four elections according to exit polls conducted by the Council on American Islamic Relations.
A possible explanation for this relatively weak performance is that, for some Muslims his “iron-clad” support for Israel and his willingness to work with pro-Hindutva operatives in the U.S., make his opposition to Islamophobia sound less credible. Words are not enough. If his electoral promises do not actually translate into actual policies, one can expect further decline in Muslim support for Democrats. American Muslims are a rapidly growing and politically engaged community that is over represented in swing states.
A closer reading of the exit polls suggest that things are worse than they seem. The exit polls show that while 17% American Muslims voted for Trump (up from 13% in 2016), 11% declined to reveal who they voted for. It is possible that they lean heavily towards Trump, hence the secrecy. That would mean that in spite of all his Islamophobic rhetoric, Trump may have doubled his support among American Muslims. One Trump supporter told me he voted for Trump because Trump did not invade a single Muslim country in four years unlike Biden who supported the invasion of Iraq.
The recent elections in Bihar has an interesting story to tell. The state is clearly polarizing as most gains have been made by parties on the extremities. Prime minister Modi’s right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) went from winning 53 wins in the 2015 elections to winning 74 of the 243 seats in 2020. A significant swing in favor of Hindutva ideology. The Communist Party (CPI-ML) gained 9 seats, it had 3 seats in 2015 to 12 seats in 2020. The communist parties combined had a 400% increase, they went from 4 to 16 seats. The parties in decline are the so-called secular centrist parties. The Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) which is the biggest single party in the state lost five seats (80-75) and the Indian National Congress (INC), the grand old party of India, also lost ground (27-19).
Clearly the secular center is shrinking. The biggest surprise of the elections was the performance of Asaduddin Owaisi’s All Indian MajlisIttehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), a Muslim party, which in the past five years has gone from 0-5 seats. The Majlis won in predominantly Muslim area of Seemanchal and is being accused by commentators of stealing the secular vote away from secular parties. Some are describing Majlis as BJP’s B-Team.
It is interesting that now in Indian politics, the code for Muslim vote is ‘the secular vote’. Indian Muslims are now the last line of defense for the rather rapidly shriveling secular space. The criticism of Owaisi and the Majlis for denting the prospects of secular parties in Bihar is both misplaced and inaccurate. The question that is important is not why Owaisi’s Majlis, a party historically based in Hyderabad (South India) is contesting elections so far in the North of India. The key question is why are Muslims in Bihar voting for Majlis? A party that has no record of governance in their region.
In a speech months before the elections, Owaisi predicted a tectonic shift in Seemanchal’s politics and he said that it was coming because of the profound injustices and inequities that plague Muslims of that region. If secular parties that have governed the state for decades had delivered good governance to Muslims, Owaisi would have stayed at home.
Muslims are increasingly disillusioned by secular and left politicians. Islamophobia was on the rise even before Trump became President and 37% of American Muslims, pre-covid pandemic, were found hovering near the poverty line. There is much discontent. I think just as 17-25% American Muslims voted for Trump rejecting the centrist politics of Democrats – many Muslims in Bihar too are frustrated by the failure of secular parties to improve their material condition. The region of Bihar where Owaisi’s party won five seats is the poorest and infrastructurally the least developed area of the state. Voting for secular parties for decades did not help them much. They have been voting without hope. They too are tired of the lip service.
Muslims of Bihar are fortunate that they have an alternative in Majlis and they are able to reject both Indian secularists and Hindu nationalists unlike some American Muslims who feel that they are stuck between Republicans who are Islamophobic and Democrats who promise much but deliver little. The minority of Muslims who appear to be voting counter intuitively, seemingly against their own interests, either for Donald Trump in the U.S. or the Majlis in Bihar, are clearly sending a signal to secular politicians – do not take our vote for granted, you need to earn our vote.
The center-left may be a natural ally of Muslims, but if it does not deliver for Muslims, they may lose their vote in ever increasing numbers.
Which Coronavirus Policies Succeed, And Which Fail: N.Y. Times Analysis Confirms Mine
According to an analysis by and in the New York Times on November 18th, which is headlined “States That Imposed Few Restrictions Now Have the Worst Outbreaks”, “Coronavirus cases are rising in almost every U.S. state. But the surge is worst now in places where leaders neglected to keep up forceful virus containment efforts or failed to implement basic measures like mask mandates in the first place, according to a New York Times analysis of data from the University of Oxford.”
At Strategic Culture, on May 21, I had published my own analysis, which was based upon tracking the data globally and within countries, and within the various states of the United States, which analysis concluded that countries (and states) which apply the least-stringent regulations in order to keep as low as possible the spread of the virus are failing the most to contain or limit that spread. I labelled those the “libertarian” countries, and I noted that what I called the “socialist” countries — the nations which were the most strictly imposing scientifically confirmed regulations in order to keep those numbers down — were having the best success at limiting the spread of this virus. My study was global, and its headline was “Ideology and Coronavirus”. Unlike the Times article, I was forthright about the ideological implications of the coronavirus data — because those implications are vastly important. (The handling of this pandemic is providing reams of data that test the effectiveness of the various locales’ predominant ideology at dealing with a global life-or-death years-long public-health emergency in regions throughout the world. This is like a global laboratory experiment testing the two opposite ideologies: libertarianism, which is against government regulation, versus socialism, which applies government regulation. No government is purely one or the other, but those are the two poles.)
The analysis in the Times article shows a chart, and represents on it almost all of the states, as dots that indicate both the amount of regulation which has been applied, and the lowness of the infection-rate which has resulted; and, at the upper left corner on it, are the two Dakotas, as “Weak recent containment measures and many cases,” while at the bottom rightmost corner is Hawaii as “Strict measures and fewer cases.”
The Times chart is showing, only locally within the United States, during just the past few weeks, what my analyses had shown, regarding not only the international and longer-term data, but also within the United States itself and recently, not only longer-term and internationally. One of my articles, on November 1st and titled “The Highest Covid-Infection-Rate States”, showed the infection-rate for all 50 states, and noted that, “In 2016, the top 17 [the states with the highest rates of this infection in 2020] voted for Trump, and the bottom 5 voted for Clinton. All but 3 of the top 24 voted for Trump, but from numbers 25 to 45, there was a political mixture. The highest infection-rate state, North Dakota, has a Covid-19 infection-rate that is 14.6 times higher than the lowest Covid-19 infection-rate state, Vermont.” Of course, the Republican Party (Trump’s Party) is the more libertarian Party, and the Democratic Party (Clinton’s Party) is the more socialist (though actually just as totalitarian) of the two Parties. (Both Parties represent only their billionaires, who also own and control the media; and this is the way that America’s aristocracy controls the Government. For example, the very pro-Democratic-Party website PoliticalWire quoted from and linked to the NYT’s article, but always fails to include any of mine, because I am critical against both Parties. Truly independent news-media are almost non-existent in the United States.)
Whereas the Times’s chart of “Avg. new cases per 100,000” failed to include Vermont, Vermont is the state that has, for the longest time, been among the best three on not only cases per million but also deaths per million, from this virus, and substantially better even than Hawaii, and both states are among the two or three that in recent decades have been the strongest for Democratic candidates, and the weakest for Republican candidates. However, Vermont especially is politically independent, and, so, it has a Republican Governor, Phil Scott, whose record on containing this virus has been the best in the nation; and he was just re-elected in a landslide, 69% of the votes (largely because of this terrific record). Right now, however, the number of daily new cases has shot up suddenly about fivefold in just the past week; so, Phil Scott’s record is in jeopardy. If that surge quickly ends, then he could become the strongest Republican to run against Kamala Harris or Joe Biden in 2024. He would not only receive almost all Republican votes (since that’s his Party), but also at least a third of Democratic votes, and almost all independent votes. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he would be the likeliest to win the Republican nomination, because (just as is true about the Democratic Party) that Party’s billionaires will be making that choice. (It was blatantly true also with regard to Biden and Harris.) This epidemic will be a major political challenge both in 2022 and in 2024. Anyone who wants to see Governor Scott’s press conferences regarding this crisis, so as to know precisely what his coronavirus-policies have been, can see them here. His November 20th press conference is here. He and his governing team receive and answer there many intelligent questions, so that the policies which have led to the best results in America are amply explained there.
On November 16th in South Dakota (and then repeated nationally on National Public Radio on November 20th), reporter Seth Tupper headlined “Two States, Different Paths: Vermont Keeps Virus Low While Rivaling SD’s Economy” and provided a thorough report, including graphs of infection-rates over time, comparing two states, South Dakota, which has the nation’s second-highest infection-rate (after only North Dakota’s 9%) of 7.8%, versus Vermont, which has the nation’s lowest infection-rate, of only 0.5% — one-fifteenth as high. Tupper explained the different policies that the Governors of those two states had applied, and how those policies produced vastly different results for the infection-rates and the death-rates in their states’ populations, but only moderately higher increase in unemployment in Vermont than in South Dakota, which at the peak in April had reached 16% unemployment in Vermont, versus only 10% peak in South Dakota; and, by the time of August, both states had nearly identical low unemployment-rates. Whereas the death-rates from the disease soared around a thousand fold, between April and November, in South Dakota, the death-rate remained virtually flat, almost no increase, in Vermont, throughout that entire period. However, both states were now experiencing soaring infection-rates during the current, second, wave of the epidemic.
Author’s note: first posted at Strategic Culture
Trump’s Election Shenanigans Pale Before The Threats From Melting Polar Glaciers
Despite Joe Biden exceeding the magic number of 270 that guarantees a majority in the electoral college, President Donald Trump has not conceded. Does he have a plan to overturn the wishes of the electorate?
According to Trump he did not lose, he was cheated out of a legitimate win by voter fraud and ballot stuffing. Accordingly, he has filed lawsuits in those critical states with narrow margins of victory for Biden — so far without tangible success — to block certification of the vote and persuade Republican legislatures to overturn the state vote as fraudulent and award the electoral votes to him.
Trump’s window of action is narrowing. A major target state was Michigan with 20 electoral votes. However, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has now certified Biden’s victory meaning he should get its electoral votes.
While Trump’s shenanigans continue, the world faces a real danger of melting ice sheets and glaciers. A long term denier of global warming, Mr. Trump now accepts it but believes the earth will right itself without any effort by humans.
Scientists meanwhile are particularly concerned with the Florida-sized Thwaites glacier in the Antarctic. Its collapse they fear could destabilize surrounding glaciers eventually causing catastrophic global sea level rises measured not in inches but feet.
The glacier rises 60 to 75 feet above water across its 75 mile face. Remembering that 90 percent of it is under gives some notion of the quantity of ice. The Nathaniel B. Palmer research vessel is conducting a survey this winter for the first time as part of a five-year international research program to learn just how fast the glacier is melting and how much it might be adding to rising seas.
The problem is the shape of the glacier under the water and the warming waters eating away that core while the ice on top gets thicker and thicker as the glacier retreats inland. At some point the glacier is likely to collapse of its own weight into the ocean. Scientists who have modeled the scenario fear the process is unstoppable once it starts. Worse it puts much of the West Antarctic ice sheet at risk of following it into the sea. Any wonder then that Thwaites is also known as the Doomsday glacier.
At the other pole the Greenland ice sheet had a record-breaking 2019, shedding the most ice since 1948 — an estimated 532 billion tons. It of course increases coastal flooding along the eastern seaboard particularly the Carolinas and Florida. Fortunately for the residents, the 2020 melt from Greenland, while well above the 1981 to 2010 average, was lower than recent years particularly 2019.
Donald Trump does not believe he lost the election and he does not believe in global warming. Christmas is just around the corner and it’s reassuring to know he believes in Santa Claus . . . and the tooth fairy.
Fisheries, Food Security and the Issues of Climate Change and its effect on the Indo-Pacific
The living natural resources in the Indo-Pacific is taken to be one of the richest assets of the Indo-Pacific and...
International Conflicts from the View of Trade Expectations Theory
Does economic interdependence between great powers have a significant effect on the probability of war between them? This once seemingly...
Bye Diego … (Geopolitics of Sports)
The news of Diego Maradona’s death plunged the football world into grief and deprived football fans of the existence of...
Addressing the climate emergency and advancing the SDGs through circular economy
Accelerating the adoption of circular economy principles, policies and practices is essential if we are to make the progress on...
Libya: Lights and shadows of the peace process
After six days of intense closed-door talks between the 75 delegates of the various Libyan factions summoned to Tunis by...
European sanctions against Turkey are more likely than ever
Another scandal erupted in relations between Turkey and the EU – on November 22, the Turkish merchant vessel, Roseline A,...
ADB $300 Million Loan to Promote Macroeconomic Stability in Pakistan
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $300 million policy-based loan to help promote macroeconomic stability in Pakistan by...
Defense3 days ago
Biden, Modi and the Malabar Exercise 2020
Middle East2 days ago
Netanyahu-Pompeo secret meeting with MBS: A clear message to Joe Biden and Iran
Green Planet3 days ago
Climate Change – call for a united front
Defense2 days ago
On the Universality of the “Logic of Strategy” and Beyond
Middle East2 days ago
Iranian nuclear problem again: The storm clouds are gathering
Southeast Asia2 days ago
The 2020 Myanmar Election and China: Push and Pull factor in ‘Paukphaw’ friendship
Energy News3 days ago
$600 Million ADB Loan to Expand Energy Access in Eastern Indonesia
Russia1 day ago
The Coming Bipolarity and Its Implications: Views from China and Russia