Tagged: First Amendment
Law 35: The Chinese Takeover
The Chinese Takeover
Republican lawmakers have urged Blinken to tell Beijing that its aggression against India and Taiwan is not ‘acceptable’. They have also asked Blinken to raise human rights violations, unfair trade practices, expansion in the Indo-Pacific and China’s leading role in the fentanyl crisis in the United States. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023)
“China’s leading role in the fentanyl crisis in the United States”? China is responsible for American physicians’ prescribing opioids to Americans, of course! and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), “who is responsible for protecting the public health” according to its website, is responsible for nothing in an opioid crisis that has claimed more than half a million American lives. Of course!
The weather balloon conspiracy
(For details, see Law 33: Weather Balloon from China, as well as the comments section.)
When someone apologizes to you for an accident, you may scold them for negligence or clumsiness, but not for intentional wrongdoing (such as airspace violation for spying) because then you are calling them liars and reject their apologies. The U.S. is provoking China, calling her a liar and rejecting her apologies, which means America refuses to turn the page and threatens China with retaliation. “Never again,” in this context, means “We are going to teach you a lesson.” This is a menace, and they know the implications of menace in international law.
The number of American provocations against China these last months and weeks appalls me, as a European. Next, they’ll say China gave Putin the green light for the military operation in Ukraine; they’ll say Putin asked Xi whether China minded if Russia started the operation and Xi said “You have our support.”
China’s Ukraine hypocrisy: Readies drones for Russia & calls out West for arms to Kyiv. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023)
When you’ve got, in this war, a party that has just made known it will send weapons to Ukraine “as long as it takes,” after a whole year of war already, you know their plans are not to reach peace in six months as a contrived CIA report that was pumped into the media made believe (just after a U.S. top general had publicly said it will be “very, very hard”). You know this party is on the contrary expecting a decade-long war. So, if you lend a hand to belligerent country A, although you began with opposing arming belligerent country B, you are not “duplicitous”; in fact, you are trying to deter the Brandon party to further carry out the bellicose strategy aiming at war “as long as it takes,” because you want a peace deal and your acts are no different from your words.
What prevented NATO from granting Ukraine their military shield, like the “oil for security deal” between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia? It is not right, after such a lack of anticipation, to try to amend one’s mistakes with precipitous sanctions and arms supplies. – Ukraine will be a battlefield “as long as it takes.” This is not weapons Ukraine should ask for: it is full belligerence of NATO countries or peace with Russia.
Arming Ukraine cannot make this country win the war in the foreseeable future, so, absent direct belligerence by NATO, Russia is the only possible winner. A ceasefire and peace deal should be agreed by Ukrainian authorities, and that probably means relinquishing the newly annexed regions, no more no less. NATO countries have failed to anticipate and prevent this; if they think Russia has more such operations in store for the future, they should provide some countries with a military shield, such as the shield with which the United States is covering her friend Saudi Arabia. Arming Ukraine cannot be a substitute for lack of anticipation, something that should be obvious after a whole year of sanctions and financial and military support.
One may question my expectations about the war as waged to this day, but what are NATO’s expectations to begin with? One American general said it will be “very, very hard” to chase Russians from the newly annexed regions, then, a few days later, a CIA report talked about ending the war in six months. So much for the consistency. Zero credibility. Let them admit publicly that their policy of arming Ukraine is a 10-year or longer war plan, and China’s position will become much clearer. “As long as it takes” means war for years, it’s not going to be six months. Those who oppose this are those who may be said to be for peace.
A non-neutral (although nonbelligerent) party to a conflict will be deemed tainted with partiality by a neutral, impartial judge. The non-neutral U.S.’s talking of Chinese “disinformation” regarding the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is therefore partial. It may or may not be true in the final analysis: an impartial judge will decide after hearing all parties. On the other hand, the U.S.’s talking about “poisonous” disinformation is hostile, and the statement will be recorded as such, as hostile toward China.
The American rhetoric and its use of fighting words shall be stressed in the record. Needless to say, “poisonous” hints at pests, such as snakes. And the idea that the Chinese “poison the well” (“The well has been poisoned by Chinese and Russian disinformation, said the special envoy”) hints at lepers and other outcasts from the European Middle Ages, who were accused of poisoning wells. The record shall stress that the American party has abandoned the language of diplomacy and is now resorting to the language of incitement.
The Americans are making believe there is no such thing as a “just cause” (justa causa), but their practice and precedents show that they cannot claim to have an international doctrine of nonaggression; the U.S. cannot claim to consider aggression by itself a breach of international law. On the contrary, their practice shows they act under the notion there are just causes of war, and therefore they shall be asked not to claim, without reason and evidence, that there are no or cannot be just causes whenever the U.S. herself is not involved in a conflict outbreak. For neutral parties, the question whether Russia had a right to send troops in Ukraine or not remains open, by application of the just cause doctrine.
On the other hand, absent a just cause doctrine, aggression of one state by another cannot be a just cause to be hostile to the former, because to claim to have a just cause, one needs a just cause doctrine. Furthermore, absent such a doctrine, any country has the discretionary and unaccountable right to remain neutral, that is, nonbelligerent and neutral.
In other words, faced with the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, if foreign countries 1/ abide by a just cause doctrine, then a decision not to remain neutral supposes a just cause, which can only be that the Russians themselves have no just cause, and if 2/ they do not abide by such a doctrine, the decision to remain neutral or not is unrelated to any such ground. If it is unrelated to the issue of causes, it remains out of discussion: it is entirely discretionary, the people of these states are, for all intents and purposes, mute. Therefore, NATO’s so-called free countries are expected to abide by a just cause doctrine: that their decision not to remain neutral remains undiscussed, namely, the fact that it is taken for granted that Russia does not have a just cause for intervention in Ukraine, is self-contradictory.
U.S. fighter jet destroys object over Canada. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023) – User: Canada has no Air Force?
The North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD is combined U.S.-Canadian surveillance. The U.S. consisting of two mainland parts divided by Canada (see Alaska), for all intents and purposes Canada is not sovereign over Canadian skies vis-à-vis the U.S.
German FM [foreign minister] concedes ‘War with Russia a mistake.’ (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023) [The German minister of foreign affairs had said Germany is in war with Russia, before conceding it was a mistake.]
She is incompetent. There could hardly be another utterance proving she is “unfit for the job” as much as the one she made. Her government’s position, in terms of international law, is that Germany and other NATO countries are not belligerent parties in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and therefore eschew any responsibility if Russia takes hostile military measures against them, in which case they would act, accordingly, in self-defense. A foreign minister so blatantly ignorant of the international-law underpinnings of her government’s stance, is unfit for the job, there’s no other word.
NATO Nation [Germany] defends India’s oil trade with Russia despite sanctions; ‘None of Our Business’. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Feb 2023)
Last time I checked, Germany was a member of the sanctions party. Therefore, India’s buying cheap oil from Russia is 100% Germany’s business, for two reasons: 1) the sanctions party is the cause of the discount, while Europe gets its energy at inflationary price from the U.S., Qatar, and others, & 2) the sanctions party should ensure that its sanctions policy is effective, and that means it should ensure that all friends dance to the same tune, otherwise the party is only harming itself. A sanctions party that looks the other way when India and others benefit from hampering the sanctions is a joke.
Let the situation be known to the Germans (but I doubt the speech will make news there, to start with), some will begrudge their government for the nonsense, others will begrudge India for her non-cooperative “friendship,” others will begrudge both.
At some point, it was thought by some that winds blow on the moon because the NASA pictures of the manned moon landing show the stars and stripes waving in the wind, but in fact the stars and stripes was just creased because of storage, and the first men on the moon did not care to straighten their flag before saluting it, and the flag is still.
I’ll believe there are female soldiers fighting when I see one die on the battlefield. It’s easy to put a woman in uniform in front of cameras for the show.
They are always showing us women in uniform, in time of peace, but now and then you hear or read that this or that army’s doctrine is that women are not sent to the battlefield. Typists in uniform! Wonderful equality where I will be asked to sacrifice my life and my female colleagues will wear the same uniform and sport the same medals while being exempted from this little service, a mere trifle. You think I’m a dog? – Oh yes, it’s teamwork, we all contribute: I contribute with dying, and you with staying alive.
Anti-racism protests in Tunisia after President Kais Saied’s migration speech [Kais said, according to journalists, “migration from Sub-Saharan Africa was aimed at changing Tunisia’s demographics”] (Al Jazeera English, YouTube, Feb 26, 2023)
The social democrats in power in Denmark say the same as Kais and implement the most restrictive immigration policy of the whole of Europe, while singing antifascist anthems like the others.
(I don’t know if “was aimed at” is a correct report; if correct, the assertion is problematic: aimed by whom? Is there a mastermind behind these migrations? If Kais’s speech is rightly reported, then I am not claiming Denmark’s authorities “say the same” as strictly as if it were only about demographic change.)
–Denmark has a population of just 4M, it would be so easy to become outnumbered in your own land. Who wants that?
On Google, I find Denmark’s population to be 5.8M. But this is not the relevant demographic figure, which is, rather, the percentage. Does Denmark have a greater percentage of foreign population than other European countries already to make a valid claim that its native population is being outnumbered compared with more populated nations? If, with a small population, Denmark has an even smaller percentage of foreigners, the argument is contrived.
However, this was not my point, which was the irony of finding a social-democratic party implementing the most restrictive immigration policy in Europe when the same parties in other countries have been so vocal for immigration. My interlocutor is saying, in her own way, that the platforms of social democracy depend on demographics, but I don’t believe this. It’s just that political parties scramble for seats and they’ll say anything. And Danes voting for social democrats to carry out an anti-migrant policy is just as comical as their remaining loyal members of their national church without believing in anything according to polls. (See Law 13: Is the church of Denmark a religious organization?)
Speaking at Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, [Giorgia] Meloni without naming [India’s minister of foreign affairs] Jaishankar said that “Europe’s problem has become World’s problem”. Last year, Jaishankar said that “Europe thinks that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.” Jaishankar made these comments amid persistent efforts by Europe to make India take tough position on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. (Hindustan Times, YouTube, March 2023)
I don’t want to be harsh with a woman but this lady campaigned on a platform for family values while being a single mother. The true message of such a campaign, therefore, was that she was too busy, as a VIP, to build a family for her child and that family is a loser’s thing. So much so that she eventually married her –I don’t know how to call that– boyfriend or comfort toy in a flurry, a few days ago. Europe’s problem is its inescapable decadence, and this is not a world’s problem but the problem of those who are dying and will be replaced.
Europe’s decadence is inescapable because the measures available to these countries against decadence cannot be genuine any longer. For instance, the “reaction” against decadence of family values is Giorgia Meloni, a single mother. This is not reaction, but aggravation and acceleration.
A single-parent home (and in these I include any home where the mother has a boyfriend instead of a legitimate husband) may have many causes, such as death; I may retract what I just said about this lady if I am told she had actually bonded with a man and the man died or they had to separate because of force majeure, not the banal, predictable story of people incapable of bonding because family makes no sense to them.
When the beacon blinds you
A blogger from France using WordPress, which is owned by the American Automattic, Inc., and writing a good deal of contents in English, I have always had daily clicks from the U.S., but I think I am noticing a pattern. Lately, I took positions against the U.S. administration in its relationships with both Russia and China, and that stopped the clicks from the U.S. It comes back slowly after a few days. I had noticed the same pattern before and I can’t help thinking this is not coincidental. It is a temporary drop or stop of clicks, noticeably from the U.S., provoked by some kinds of content, and it has become somewhat predictable. It’s as if there were a software somewhere intent on deterring bloggers to post some kinds of content, lest blog stats be impacted. I guess they don’t make it permanent because they don’t want to lose platform users, and they probably hope that a temporary impact can be deterrent enough.
One user (about me): Here’s the 50c. wumao. Another user (to the former): Sounds lame…
Thank you. I reported the (former’s) post as “intimidation,” as it is inconvenient enough to be denounced, without reason, as a foreign paid agent, but contrary to a couple of previous experiences with reporting this one still shows up for me. Apparently, this kind of one-word expletives is content with which YouTube is okey, and while it is fond of flaunting its harsh speech rules and regulations, it is full of such pollution, as everyone knows. It makes one think they reserve their censorship for articulate thought-of criticism.
If what was reported [about the Nord Stream sabotage] is not right, why the US, Norway and leaders involved did not sue the award-winning journalist?
Journalism on issues of “general interest” is protected by the American First Amendment, public officials cannot hope to win a libel case in these conditions. But this stops at the American border, and the lack of response by Norwegian personalities, if some are named, might be a clue of guilt. At least, these Norwegians may be challenged to sue the writings, they may be asked why they do not, whereas that would be irrelevant in the U.S., where libel suits by public personalities are a nonstarter.
Law 31: Aurangzeb’s Ghost
“UP [Uttar Pradesh] Boy Kills Self Over Study Pressure | Another Life Lost In Kota.” (Mirror Now, YouTube) [Kota is known as India’s “cram city,” where “students from across the country pay steep fees to be tutored for elite-college admissions exams.”]
Given the Tunisha Sharma precedent (see “Breakup as abetment to suicide” in Law 28), I assume someone’s got to be arrested. As breaking up with one’s girlfriend can be construed as abetment to suicide absent any clue of mens rea, most certainly academic pressure is “cram jihad.” Find the culprits and act; do not wait for your BJP MLA to scold you.
BJP MLA: “If this is cram jihad, justice shall be done!”
Marital Rape or the Offense of Sex Denial?
The notion of marital rape is a scam designed to destroy the institution of marriage. Marriage duty is a thing, and these duties include sex. A woman who does not want sex with her husband should file for divorce. If something must be criminalized at all, it should be denial of sex to one’s legitimate spouse, because it is fairer overall to criminalize a denial of rights than one’s getting their due.
In case so-called “rape” applies to acts of torture on occasion of sex, then said crime is torture, battery; a new crime of marital rape is not needed at all. And if the wife does not accept acts that a court would perhaps be reluctant to characterize as torture, she should file for divorce. As soon as she makes her wish to divorce known, sex without her consent could be deemed a crime. This is no “marital” rape yet because the marital duty would be suspended during the divorce procedure.
The Indian Supreme Court is set on canceling the so-called “Exception 2 of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)” about rape, which decriminalizes marital rape: “Sexual intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, the wife not being under 15 year of age is not rape.”
The first part of this short essay (paragraphs 1 & 2) tells you about my position on the Supreme Court’s intentions. I now would like to comment on this “Exception 2.” The mention of the wife’s age is strange because: “Marriage for men below the age of 21 years and women below 18 years is a punishable offence under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.” Even if Exception 2 mentioned the wife’s age as “being under 18,” rather than 15, that still would be strange, as it makes no sense to hypothesize a situation where the wife is under 18 because if the wife is under 18, then, given the 2006 Act, marriage is void; it is no marriage at all but rather a criminal offense, and there cannot be a “marital” rape where there is no marriage in the first place.
“Police Files Case Against 8 People for Dancing with [17th-century Mughal King] Aurangzeb’s Photo in Maharashtra.” (Times Now, YouTube)
What is their crime? I mean, “dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo” may be an obvious crime but what is it? I’m a foreigner.
Answer from a YouTube user: “Aurangzeb killed and forcefully converted many Hindus and demolished thousands of temples. This was done by all kinds of Muslim rulers actually, but celebrating and chanting slogans [praises of a man] who destroyed India, it is obvious good people with sentiments and non-Muslims will get hurt. This is the same as if one were celebrating and dancing with the picture of Osama Bin Laden, who killed thousands of Americans and destroyed the Twin Towers, and expecting Americans not to feel bad about this.”
So, the crime of dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo is incitement to terrorism (even though Aurangzeb lived more than three hundred years ago)? American law does not care about people’s feelings being hurt by this kind of political speech, because the law promotes free speech and the free flow of ideas. “Because of the First Amendment, incitement to terrorism or other forms of crime and unlawful violence is constitutionally protected free speech, unless it can be proven that the speech is ‘directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action’ and ‘is likely to incite or produce such action’.” (Wikipedia: Incitement to Terrorism) People dancing with Bin Laden’s photo in the U.S. would not be arrested or summoned, and tried, even if angry mobs wanted to lynch these people, in which case they would get police protection.
Media: There is no offence in a saffron bikini, India guarantees freedom of speech. Media: FIR [“first information report” by police] against 8 for dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo. [For an explanation of saffron bikini, see Law 29: “Saffron Bikini.”]
Year in, year out, in all museums and galleries of world capitals, there are permanent and temporary exhibits on Mughal art, Mughal miniatures, Mughal civilization, Mughal history…, but here “FIR against 8 for dancing with Aurangzeb’s photo.”
“Ahead of the 2024 General Election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned the BJP workers against making irrelevant remarks against movies as it hampers the development agenda of the party.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Jan 18)
Avoid remarks on Raj Kundra porn case and Bollywood filth as if the party’s finances depended on it!
Remarks on lowbrow movies are necessary.
Pioneering Menstrual Leave in Communist Kerala
“Pioneering Move by the Kerala Government | Menstrual Leave for College Students Announced.” (Mirror Now, YouTube)
One fails to see the point of a leave for students unless there are the same kind of truancy rules for students as for school children. In Europe, university students are free to attend the lessons or not; their presence is expected only in case of assignments. If students think they can pass exams without attending lessons, the choice is left to their own appreciation. Therefore, a leave would not make any sense there. This is not the workplace. But a menstrual leave at the workplace, which would allow women to be on paid leave about one day per month (one day out of twenty days), while their male colleagues must keep working, would have, in reaction, consequences you don’t want to imagine.
Menstrual leave for university students means there are truancy rules at Kerala universities same as for school children. Where students are free to attend lessons or not (absent individual assignments), a leave is meaningless, for you don’t need a leave where to show up is up to you. This tells you all you need to know about Communism in Kerala and its “pioneering” measures. Either they’re all children or their measures are window-dressing. Try the same at the workplace and we’ll see how frivolously shifting greater workload on men’s shoulders will be welcome.
“Harmeet Dhillon, a prominent Indian-American attorney, has claimed attacks by her fellow Republican party leaders over her religion. Dhillon, who is running for Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman, has alleged that she is facing bigoted attacks because of her Sikh faith.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube)
As she says in the tweets presented in the video, she received “threats” by donors that they would stop donating if she adopted this or that line of conduct. Strange as it may seem, such kinds of threats by donors are supposedly illegal in the U.S., so a donor is supposed to give money to a candidate without knowing what the candidate’s choices will be once elected. The law was designed to prevent corruption, but what sense does it make? It’s as if a donor were blindfolded and threw a cheque in the air and the candidate on which the cheque falls could pocket it. No, people donate because they wish this or that policy, and the American anticorruption law is absurd.
As to Dhillon’s religion, as more and more GOP candidates define themselves as upholders of Christian values, you bet they find the idea of a Sikh chairperson a little odd. She can cry about discrimination but party members chose who they want as chair, and if they don’t want a Sikh woman, and even don’t conceal they don’t want her because she is a Sikh (or a woman or both), to the best of my knowledge there is no civil rights recourse open to her because the GOP is a private organization, like a club, and same as the law does not compel you to invite Sikhs at your wedding party, which is private, it does not compel you to have a Sikh chair if you don’t want a person as chair because she is a Sikh. She nonetheless has the right to complain about discrimination before the public opinion.
According to the film The Gandhi Murder, 2019, by Karim Traïdia and Pankaj Sehgal, British and Indian police knew there was a plan to assassinate Gandhi but decided not to prevent it, that is, they are complicit in the assassination.
Entrapped by the Commission for Women
“A day after S. M., the chief of the Delhi Commission for Women, alleged that she was harassed and dragged by a drunk driver, a video of the incident shows her confronting the man, who has been arrested. S. M. has alleged that when she tried to stop the driver, her arm was trapped in the car window [she apparently tried to grab the keys in the car] and she was dragged 15 metres.” (NDTV, YouTube, Jan 20)
This “inspection,” as the DCM chief calls it (“We keep doing inspections but this one was different, I decided to stand alone on Delhi streets. I wanted to understand what a woman goes through.”), looks like entrapment to me. This is a police job, as kerb-crawling is illegal: Is she a police officer? Even if she were, I disapprove of entrapment and many judges disapprove of it too. With these kinds of “inspections,” you prepare the police state where police entrap poor men from the lower class by promising them crores of rupees and providing them with guns and bombs, and then arrest them for terrorism for saying “yes” (when, in fact, the man only wanted to swindle them and go away with the money 🤑). I disapprove of the Commission for Women’s methods. And of S. M.’s trying to grab the driver’s keys.
Sorry but if this man is condemned there is something wrong with India. He is an altruist. Imagine you contrive a completely unnatural situation, a lone woman on the roadside in the dead of night pretending she’s waiting for her relatives to pick her up but they are not coming. The man stops his car, asking, out of human benevolence, if she needs a lift. She says she is waiting for her relatives to pick her up, so he leaves. Then, he drives by again, say fifteen minutes later. The woman is still there. Shame on her relatives to let her wait alone in the dead of night! He offers to give her a lift again because he sees that her relatives are not responding, are not reliable on this occasion (he doesn’t know it is a made-up story). She then starts to scold him and tries to grab his keys. Who in the world would not think she is a psycho and he must flee? Normally, when police start to act rough, they must shout “You’re under arrest!”, so that people realize what is happening; here I think she started acting rough without disclosing her identity and the driver thought he was assaulted.
Sorry but when you see helpless people, it is human instinct to try to help if one can, and we all know it is not safe for a woman to stand alone in the dead of night.
Entrapment is morally wrong
Entrapment contrives unreal situations where lawful citizens are pushed by police toward acceptance of crime. The official swindlers can easily persuade you to commit a crime because they are not afraid of consequences, as they are the ones whom criminals are supposed to fear in real situations. If we were criminals designing a crime, all of us would have doubts about outcome, risks, consequences, the worth of it, even moral pangs, and at any time one or several of us may desist. When police officers entrap a man, however, they have none of these doubts: therefore, they can be persuasive as no criminal can.
The entrapped man is persuaded that crime is riskless and the reward assured, his moral balance is impaired. Police are making him willing to act, sweep all his scruples away, on the notion that the deterrent effect of the law is nonexistent. Whereas we all agree that legal deterrence plays a major role in public order, police arrest a man whom they made believe in his invulnerability. This is the old tale of Gyges’s ring in Plato: Would you act the same if you possessed a ring granting you the power of invisibility? Turns out the ring does not exist, and police were spinning a tale; the only guilt of the man they arrest is his gullibility.
The salient point about entrapment is the superpower of persuasion held by law enforcement officers as comedians, actors, a power which no criminal can have because they all stake their own lives. I am not talking about covert agents in criminal organizations, who risk their lives if uncovered; entrapment is something different. With entrapment, agents have no greater stake than the success or failure of the operation, while the “victim” of their theatrical acting wants to think in real-life terms but is presented with a picture of reality that he would never accept had a police department not intended to alter his perception, and the more incredible the lies (they can give the illusion of invulnerability because they have the state behind them, with bottomless sources of cash and arms) the more impressive they must be.
The next day, Jan 21, the story took a new spin as some BJP members, finding that the driver was an AAP member, perhaps even AAP worker, claimed the incident was staged. (The two main political forces in Delhi currently are Hindutva BJP and Woke AAP.)
“Just a week after China and Bhutan held a meeting and decided to push forward boundary negotiations, India’s Foreign Secretary V. M. Kwatra made a two-day visit to the Buddhist kingdom.” (NDTV, YouTube, Jan 20)
The King of Bhutan is ready to be Dictator of India at the invitation of RSS-BJP, a Buddhist party that renounced the caste system following the teachings of Gautama Buddha.
Criminal v. Enemy
“US designates Russian Wagner mercenary force a crime organization.” (Al Jazeera English, YouTube, Jan 21)
They are defiling the language of justice by applying it to their discriminatory politics. If Wagner is a criminal organization, by the same token Blackwater (now Constellis) is a criminal organization, but as their politics is against Wagner and not against the underpinnings of the organization, which would allow a regime to criminalize Wagner and other such organizations, they are not telling the law but defiling it.
Someone, willing to establish distinctions, calls my attention on the fact that the Wagner group recruits members among prison inmates, contrary to Blackwater. This person thus believes the Wagner Group can be called a criminal organization and Blackwater otherwise. To be quite frank, he or she seems to have recanted this point of view, as the message only appears in my notifications, not on the public thread. Of course, the recruitment is completely immaterial, and the remark amusing at best, by showing how hasty reasoning (convicted recruits = criminal organization) can lead one astray. As the army itself is not infrequently a possible form of alternative punishment for convicted criminals (boot camps), the remark is even more futile. And if using the workforce of convicted criminals were itself criminal, the whole penitentiary system of the U.S. would be.
Absent a serious ground distinguishing the Wagner Group from other mercenary organizations, to label it a “criminal organization” is a misuse of law. The move shows the limits of proxy war. If America wants to act against the Wagner Group, it should declare it an enemy organization. An enemy is someone who, although they use the same means as us, acts contrary to our interests. Declaring Wagner a criminal rather than an enemy organization is contemptible on two grounds: 1) it allows U.S. to pretend staying out of the war; 2) it calls criminal an enemy, that is, someone using the same means as America (Blackwater). Again, if Wagner is criminal, Blackwater is criminal, and law enforcement that goes against one criminal and not against the other although both commit the same crime, is discriminatory.
“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised alarm over Beijing’s intentions over Taipei and said China is ‘no longer comfortable’ with status quo on Taiwan.” (Hindustan Times, YouTube, Jan 22)
The U.S. is not comfortable with the status quo, as they went from “U.S. pledges support for one-China principle” to “Taiwan is a sovereign state” in November 2020. The one-China principle was the status quo, but the U.S. denounced it. This 2020 shift was an incredibly hostile move toward China. – America is the status quo breaker, but they are spinning a yarn where China is the status quo breaker. This is undignified.