Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Nov 11, 2023
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
A few highlights from the international news this week.
It appears Biden and Xi will meet Wednesday, Nov 15 on the sidelines at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.
An interesting read.
Xi holds four aces as he meets Biden Asia Times Nov 11, 2023
China’s leader Xi Jinping will meet President Biden Nov. 15 in San Francisco with four high cards in his hand. Policy advisers close to Xi express an unprecedented kind of confidence in China’s strategic position.
First, the collapse of Ukraine’s offensive against Russian forces and its commander’s admission that the war is a “stalemate” is a setback for America’s strategic position and a gain for China, which has doubled its exports to Russia since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Second, the US tech war on China has flopped, as Chinese AI firms buy fast Huawei processers in place of chips from Nvidia and other US producers.
Third, the Gaza war provoked by Hamas on October 7 gives China a free option to act as the de facto leader of the Global South in opposition to Israel, an American ally. China now exports more to the Muslim world than it does to the United States.
And fourth, the US military wants to avoid confrontation with China in the Northwest Pacific region as well as its home waters in the South China Sea, where the PLA’s thousands of surface-to-ship missiles and nearly 1,000 fourth- and fifth-generation warplanes give China an overwhelming home-theater advantage in firepower.
Washington has few cards to play, and Biden is likely to respond to his weakened position by back-pedaling on Taiwan.
Steady progress on trade expansion.
China Doubles Number of Ports, Pawing Maritime Silk Road for Global Trade Sputnik Globe November 8, 2023
With the vision of consolidating its commercial prowess, Beijing has organized a network of ports under its management, strategically spanning the Indian Ocean through the Middle East's critical zones, Africa, and Europe.
Initially, China's reach extended to 44 ports worldwide, setting the stage for its maritime ambitions. Over the past decade, this influence has grown to involve port operations in more than 100 locations across 50+ countries.
The Economic Importance of China's Maritime Silk Road
- Trade facilitation enhances China's maritime trade routes and its connectivity with other countries, reducing transportation costs and transit times. This expedites the flow of goods and services, boosting international trade and economic growth.
- Economic cooperation: Through the BRI, Beijing cooperates with partner countries, promoting investment, joint ventures, and economic development. This collaboration can lead to increased mutual trade and investment opportunities.
- Industrial capacity cooperation: The initiative fosters cooperation in various sectors, including manufacturing, infrastructure development, and technology transfer. This can help countries along the Maritime Silk Road upgrade their industries and promote economic diversification.
- Financial integration: As big creditor to major economies, it has established financial institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to support infrastructure financing in BRI countries. This financial integration promotes economic development by funding projects that may otherwise be financially challenging for host countries, especially in the Global South.
A tech workaround for a lack of skilled workers?
US Navy taps 3D printers to rescue its sub-making plan Asia Times Nov 8, 2023
The US Navy hopes 3D printing will keep its ramped-up nuclear submarine production schedule afloat amid a budding military ship-building race with China.
Defense News reported this month that the US Navy aims to build the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) and Virginia-class attack submarines (SSN) on time by 3D printing various metal parts as standard components for installation on the new vessels.
The Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence in Danville, Virginia, is working to help in the transition from the US Navy’s current limited use of 3D printing for small repair parts aboard ships to widespread use in its submarine-industrial base, which is scheduled to boost production to its highest level in four decades.
The Defense News report says the industrial base of companies contributing to US submarine production has shrunk more than 70% since the 1980s, from about 17,000 suppliers to just 5,000 at present. It notes that as recently as 2013 the US Navy would begin building one Virginia-class submarine each year but now plans to perform five times that level of annual production by fiscal 2026.
Submarine maintenance underscores the production challenge. USNI noted in a September 2022 report that less than a third of the US Navy’s SSNs completed maintenance on schedule in the last ten years.
The decision of English government to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium ammunition did result in radiation traveling across Europe back to England.
Fallout From Catastrophic Ukraine Depleted Uranium Explosion Reached England Sputnik Globe Nov 11, 2023
On May 19th I wrote an article for Sputnik about the Khmelnitsky explosion. I had examined gamma radiation data from detectors to the North West of the attack site, which showed increases in radiation from points in Poland near the Ukraine border, and through Germany. I concluded that the belief that a warehouse containing Uranium weapons supplied by the UK had been hit and that the Uranium had exploded in a huge fireball, and that the particles produced by the explosion had drifted with the wind at the time across Europe.
The article produced considerable argument on the internet, with a large number of self-described fact-checkers and “experts” weighing it to say that my conclusions were nonsense.
So, to follow up the Khmelnitsky argument, I have just obtained Uranium data from the AWE using a Freedom of Information request. They sent me the data in an Excel File, and I used the graphical function if Excel to plot the data they sent. Fig 1 plots the filter levels for three of the offsite locations. The results show that I was right. In the May15th -June 15th Offsite Filters operating at the time, there is a very clear signal for the month following the explosion. I have also obtained data for the onsite locations, and these also all show the same footprint increase.
The graph in Fig 1 shows that the Uranium in air in South East England went up by about 600ng/cubic metre from particles released by the Khmelnitsky explosion. What does this mean? The mean size of a Uranium particle is below 1 micron. An individual inhales about 24 cubic metre a day. So, if the particles were there for a month, or 30 days we can average the lung intake as 0.432mg. Doesn’t sound much, does it? But it converts into 200 million particles per person in the area, and of course in the track of the plume in the UK. Not good, given the effects we found in Fallujah.
My study of Fallujah, published in 2010, showed that there was a huge increase in cancer and congenital malformation in babies, and general horrifying signal of genetic damage in the population after the use of Uranium weapons there in the second 2003 Iraq war. We later identified excess Uranium in the mothers of the birth defect children using hair samples and mass spectrometry, tracking the increases back to the 2003 exposures by cutting the long hair samples into sections, a kind of historic ice core way of interrogating the past.
Narrative details of Oct 7 are beginning to shift.
Israel revises down its death toll from the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks to about 1,200 National Public Radio Nov 11, 2023
TEL AVIV, Israel — In a text message to journalists on Friday, a spokesperson from Israel's Foreign Ministry said "around 1,200" is now what he called "the official number of people" killed by Hamas militants on Oct. 7. That's about 200 fewer victims than Israel had been citing for more than a month.
Israeli media quote unnamed officials as saying some remains were initially misidentified. Many of the bodies were burned and mutilated that day, and the process of identifying them is still underway.
The number of hostages being held in Gaza remains at around 240.
The Oct. 7 attacks, and the large number of casualties, prompted Israel to launch air and ground strikes on Gaza, where Palestinian health officials say more than 11,000 people have been killed.
Helicopter Footage Sparks Debate Over Israeli Friendly Fire Incidents ZeroHedge Nov 9, 2023
Disturbing footage from the early days of the Israel-Hamas war has become a topic of controversy over a month later, as one major Israeli newspaper strongly suggests it shows helicopter footage of Israeli forces firing indiscriminately on civilians "approximately an hour after the onset of the [Hamas] terror attack" on Oct. 7, while media fact checkers - including those dropping 'community notes' on X, insist the clip does not show the IDF firing on concertgoers - and that Israeli forces instead "mainly fired within Kibbutzim at the directive of IDF soldiers on the ground, precisely, as stated in the source, that they couldn't differentiate."
While the footage began circulating shortly after the attack, major Israeli daily outlet YNetnews appears to have been the first to delve deeper on the pilot cam footage from aboard one or more of the AH-64 Apache choppers which responded to the Oct.7 Nova attack. The IDF-produced footage (first published last month) shows the gunships firing on a multitude of targets - including vehicles and groups of people. Possible targets include Hamas and Israeli civilians alike, and perhaps groups of Palestinian civilians who were pouring across the breached Gaza border fence. When the footage was initially released, the IDF presented it as showing Hamas invaders being destroyed. Upon further analysis, coupled with the Ynet reporting, raises the specter of large-scale "friendly fire" which may have occurred.
Brazil questions Israeli terrorrist attack claim Russia Times Nov 19, 2010
Brazilian authorities have warned against jumping to conclusions after Israel claimed to have foiled a terrorist attack by an Iran-funded Hezbollah cell in the South American country. The case is ongoing and must not be used by outside governments to promote their own interests, Brazilian Justice Minister Flavio Dino said.
In a social media post on Thursday, Dino called the claim that a cell linked to Lebanon-based Hezbollah had plotted to kill Jews in Brazil a “hypothesis,” stressing that no foreign agency could presume the outcome of the investigation.
Dino stressed that the Brazilian investigation had started “before the outbreak of the ongoing tragedies on the international scene.”
The Brazilian Federal Police issued a similar statement, highlighting national authority over the probe and pledging it would follow the facts rather than be directed by expectations from elsewhere.
Phil Giraldi (fmr CIA): Unpardonable and Unpunishable war crimes
(26:43 min) Nov 8, 2023
Intel-Roundtable w/ Larry Johnson & Ray McGovern: Did Bibi know of Hamas attack? (23:20 min) Nov 10, 2023
Beginning about 11 min mark the conversation shifts to Israeli forces contribution to the loss of life on October 7, 2023 due to friendly fire or deliberate fire related to Hannibal Directive.
The livestream videos this week by Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current events in Israel/Hamas/Gaza, secondary subject China and third subject Ukraine/Russia conflict. The interviews are generally posted on Monday through Friday if would like to view them in a more timely manner. The link opens in the LIVE column, occasionally an interview only appears in VIDEOS section.
What is on your mind today?