The US and COVID-19

This post is actually an update on the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, now called COVID-19. Here in Italy we have been in lockdown nationwide since March 10, which is the proper way to handle such an outbreak. We will get to why in due course. But, the particular focus here will be on the United States and its handling of this crisis, which will be reflected in the UK, too. It has yet to really affect the US. But it will, and hard, and that will affect the election and policy into the future, like the need for universal healthcare, for instance. We will examine that, too, and why, as I have many friends and all of my blood relatives in the US. What happens there will be particularly relevant to the world at large. COVID-19, as we have gradually found out, is anything but a ‘mild flu’, as many of our American leaders have tried to paint it. Continue reading “The US and COVID-19”

MbS and his game of chicken

Saudi Prince bin Salman (MbS) is at it again. In a move to consolidate his power further, several Saudi princes of lower rank have been arrested, starting on the 6th of March. As of now, up to 20 have been detained. They are accused of plotting a coup against MbS, in cahoots with several Americans and several other nationalities. Among those arrested are Mohammed bin Nayef and his half-brother, Nawaf, who were picked up at a private desert camp on Friday. There are rumors that the king is near death or is actually dead, which would explain the talk of a coup. But there is more to the story than appears on the surface. Continue reading “MbS and his game of chicken”

Will Idlib be the Sultan’s Waterloo?

On 19 Dec 2019 the Syrian Army (SAA), backed by Russian air support and contingents of Iranian and Hezbollah troops, began a renewed offensive in the Idlib governate of Syria with the aim of enforcing the Sochi Memorandum of Understanding. The ongoing action will clear the M4 and has already cleared the M5 highways that run through Idlib, thus eventually connecting the Russian base at Latakia on the Mediterranean with eastern Syria, as well as connecting Damascus with all points north and east. The action has enraged one Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the wannabe Sultan, for reasons outlined below. He has invested heavily in the takfiri fighters in Idlib. And now all of Aleppo has been liberated. Syrians have been celebrating in the streets and a large number of reinforcements for the SAA are pouring into the region. The question then arises, is the battle for Idlib the Sultan’s Waterloo? Continue reading “Will Idlib be the Sultan’s Waterloo?”

Chinese New Year, the year of “The Rat on the Crossbeam”

Every year at the start of the lunar New Year (Chinese New Year), I send out a letter with a forecast for the year. Those letters are the main geopolitical letters for the year, and they look back at historical precedents in a cycle of 60 years to gain a sense of what lies ahead for the current year. So, the last Metal Rat year was in 1960, and before that, 1900. What follows is a bit of fun, going through each of the twelve animal signs. I do this every year, too, but normally as a promo for a Chinese astrology program I helped develop 16 years ago (at the moment unavailable). The future of that program is now up in the air, so I am posting the promo here. Most people know their yearly animal sign. So, for a more lighthearted look at the year ahead for each of the signs, read on… Continue reading “Chinese New Year, the year of “The Rat on the Crossbeam””

A little trouble in big China

[Update at end] If we were to read the news regarding China these days – and how can we not – one might be forgiven for thinking that a grave, deadly pandemic was in danger of sweeping across that nation, and putting the rest of the world at peril as a result (written 28 Jan 20). The rumor mill in social media has been alive and thriving in that regard. What are we talking about here? – the novel coronavirus, a.k.a. 2019-nCoV. There are rumors of a bio-weapon, Big Pharma trying to make a quick buck, the Chinese government on the verge of collapse, those lying Chinese covering up the true number of cases, the barbaric practices of the Chinese regarding animals (yes, that’s a trending tweet), and so on. A recent exchange on social media about this disease has prompted this article, especially any possible connection with Chinese New Year. For more info, read on. But first, a short video: Continue reading “A little trouble in big China”

Regime change has come to Russia!

You read that title correctly. On 15 Jan this year, Medvedev and his entire cabinet resigned. But, before Russia and Putin critics get too excited, the establishments in the Western nations are not going to like what happens next. After years of being ignored, vilified, ostracized and threatened by the West – by the US and UK especially – Russia has decided now to think of herself first, of her citizenry, and is pulling away from globalism as it has existed in these past years, as well as from entanglements with neoliberal economics and the ‘rule of law’ as put forward by the West. Expect for demonization of Russia and all sorts of wild speculation to spike now in the Western press. “Putin has weaponized Russian sovereignty!” Continue reading “Regime change has come to Russia!”

Ukraine Air flight 752: What really happened? (updated below)

Def: SNAFU: Acronym, military, ca.1941: a confused or chaotic state; a mess (more on the definition later). In the early hours of 8 Jan 2020 the Iranian IRCG lobbed 22 missiles into two military bases in Iraq – the al-Assad Air Base, which is the main American air base in the north of Iraq, and the American base in Iraqi Kurdistan at Erbil, in their Operation Martyr Soleimani. There were no reported casualties, but there was heavy damage to the bases. In the aftermath of the attack, some 4+ hours later, the Iranians shot down Ukraine Airlines flight 752, killing all 176 passengers and crew, a domestic flight, which had departed Tehran at 6:12 am. Most of the people on the plane were Iranian or of Iranian descent. It has been called human error, but was it really? We will examine that in this instalment as well as the wider picture for Iran. Continue reading “Ukraine Air flight 752: What really happened? (updated below)”

Soleimani

Red flags can signify many things. There is one in particular that reflects the old maxim: Revenge is a dish best served cold. On 4 January the Iranians hoisted their red flag on the top of Jamkaran Mosque, in Qom, Iran in response to the assassination of their favorite son, Major General Qasem Soleimani. He was targeted in what has turned out to be an act of treachery by the Trump administration, which we will examine in due course, and in what will probably come to be known as one of the greatest blunders of foreign policy strategy in recent US history. If this already sounds like an apologist piece, read on, because appearances are often deceptive and as is usually the case, there is more to this than meets the eye. Continue reading “Soleimani”

The Great Australian Fires of 2019/2020 (updated at end)

Australia is currently undergoing its largest bush fires in its short national history, which can also be seen as a very serious illness. An ‘illness’ you say? Probably the most widespread fires in its recorded history is an ‘illness’!? In fact, yes. And this is not downplaying what is happening there. As of this writing (2 Jan) there have been 18 fatalities (updated below), but the total land swept by the fires is 5,900,000 hectares (22,780 square miles), an area almost equal to the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut combined. We will look at the factors contributing to the fires here, but before we start, we also pray for a swift end to them, and hold our support for the families who have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones. Continue reading “The Great Australian Fires of 2019/2020 (updated at end)”