An interview that is ageing well; posted on August 8, 2022; but conducted on May 23, 2022
Truth in Advertising: Feel free to watch Ray at the beginning of this interview, BUT by far the most interesting remarks come from interviewer Michael Wong who has a lot more than just book knowledge on China.
Michael is, in effect, interviewed by Ray starting at about minute 45. So, you may wish to fast-forward to that point – particularly if you hear Ray repeating things you may have heard from him.
Michael Wong’s comments turn out to be unusually prescient in the light of the current crisis over Taiwan. Bear in mind that this interview was conducted on May 23, 2022. Ray has learned a lot from Michael Wong.
You hear the Australian commentator say, “I can’t bite my tongue any longer.”
Well, good for him; and good for SKYNEWS/Australia for allowing him to un-bite his tongue. So many tongues keep getting bitten in Western corporate media outlets that it seems something of a miracle that some commentators do not drown on their own blood.
Also Making Sense, Dmitri Trenin
REQUIRED READING: Dmitri Trenin: Russia cannot afford to lose in Ukraine, but neither can the US – is there a non-nuclear way out of the deadlock? An escalation can lead to a bigger and more dangerous conflict. Are Moscow and Washington ready to take the risk?
Granted, Trenin is a Russian, but in his case the de rigueur sneer/snub reflexively applied is entirely inappropriate. He is also the former Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center and former research fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome. Sane Russian specialists in the U.S. (granted, an endangered species) give Trenin the very respectful hearing he has earned over decades.
Well, good luck, Kyiv, building that case. Here the Times is adhering to its long tradition of publishing all the news that’s fit to print to get the U.S. into war. The particular drivel from today, however, should earn Times reporters Michael Schwirtz, Christiaan Triebert, Kamila Hrabchuk and Stanislav Kozliuk a ‘Pulitzer Prize for yellow journalism’.
Their article is transparent – not worth the time to debunk in any detail. But just assume that, for some reason, the Russians wanted to kill valuable Ukrainian P.O.W.s who are providing first-hand intelligence on the infamous pro-Nazi Azov troops – first-hand because they are from those same units. Why would the Russians want to kill them? OK, assuming that, for some reason, they did want to kill them, are there not easier ways to do away with P.O.W.s in your custody than to launch a precision missile strike?
Ray interviewed on The Critical Hour By Ray McGovern, August 2, 2022
The interview came just a couple of hours after Nancy Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan, so we focused on how top European officials are likely to react to what China – and not only China – considers a grave, gratuitous provocation.
With NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg having recently announced a “fundamental shift” east to include China as a “systemic challenge”, and with the proxy war in Ukraine going south, will the leaders of Europe follow the likes of Jake Sullivan and Antony Blinken and, lemming-like, jump off the cliff – alienating China as well as Russia?
We noted that Russia today was swift in supporting China’s stand on the Pelosi visit – as swift as China was in supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Would sensible leaders in Europe really want to take on both Russia AND China just because the naive twins, Sullivan and Blinken, think it’s a good idea?
It was worth it. “Biden didn’t want to look ‘soft’ cancelling Pelosi’s Taiwan visit.”
“Former CIA officer Ray McGovern says US President Joe Biden could have prevented US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan but didn’t want to “seem soft” on China with mid-term elections coming up.
“He said Ms Pelosi’s visit is a ‘provocation’.
“’If the Chinese reply, as I think they will, with some rather strong military measures, will that be unprovoked? Sorry, it will be provoked,’ he told Sky News Australia.”
(Interview of Ray on The Critical Hour) By Ray McGovern, August 1, 2022
Nancy Pelosi and her still-up-in-the-air (so to speak) visit to Taiwan remain center stage: Will she or won’t she try to droop in there – perhaps as early as tomorrow – and risk likely military reaction by China?
“What will she do? I’ll leave it to you …” That’s as far as the old song takes us. (Fair warning: I was able to sing a few verses during the interview. Given the serious, high stakes in what we were discussing, it seemed an attempt at some lightness might be in order, if only to catch our breath.)
I expressed wonderment at the 7th grade-level remarks recently by White House national security spokesman John Kirby: (Friday: “There’s no reason for China and the U.S. “to come to blows” should House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit”. (Today: “There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit … into some sort of crisis or conflict, or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait. And yet, over the weekend, even before Speaker Pelosi arrived in the region, China conducted a live-fire exercise.”)
Easy for Kirby to Say
Quick, someone tell Kirby how China feels about this. And point out that, just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to avoid “coming to blows”.
I explained that Biden should be appropriately frightened that, if Pelosi tries to visit Taiwan, things could quickly go bump in the night – this time in waters near China.
On April 13, 2021 amid rising tensions near Russia and Ukraine, Biden had the good sense to cancel the deployment of two heavily armed warships to the Black Sea immediately following a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Again Turn the Warships Around?
After Biden’s unusually long telephone conversation Thursday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden might conceivably be better able to see Xi’s point of view. Might he even order the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and its battle group to stay well clear of the waters around Taiwan for the next few days?
Granted, this would leave Speaker Pelosi hoist with her own petard, so to speak. But, understandably, the White House reportedly is angry at Pelosi for putting Biden on the horns of this distasteful dilemma, with some officials suspecting that Pelosi’s high drama is aimed at discrediting him, one way or another. (He is, after all, damned if he acts, and damned if he doesn’t.)
Perhaps Pelosi expected that Biden would order her not to include a Taiwan on her trip. The President would then be seen as soft on China.
But discredit or sabotage ol’ Dem Biden? Yes. Let’s face it, Democratic Party movers and shakers are bound to be busy these days thinking about alternatives to Biden for 2024.
(from Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation) July 28, 2022
“Listen carefully, my daughter, my son, to my instructions and attend to them with the ear of your heart. This is advice from one who loves you; welcome it and faithfully put it into practice.” —Prologue, The Rule of St. Benedict
… Listening in the Benedictine sense is not a passive mission. Benedict [c. 480–547] tells us we must attend to listening. Listening is an act of will.
Listening cracks open the door to another Benedictine concept which most of us would rather run from — that of obedience. Obedience comes from the Latin, oboedire, to give ear, to harken, to listen.
In Benedictine spirituality there is an inherent connection between listening and responsive action.
To obey really means to hear and then act. We are not being truly attentive unless we are prepared to act on what we hear. If we hear and do nothing more about it, then the sounds have simply fallen on our ears and it is not apparent that we have actually heard them at all.
So, what about us, a millennium and a half after Benedict?
We Americans are, of course, the beneficiaries of how Washington, Paine, and Franklin actively listened.
Gen. George Washington’s soldiers acted on what they heard from Tom Paine in 1775:
These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Washington’s troops “stood it” then. Will we summon the courage to listen to the “signs of the times” and “stand it” now – like winter, not just summer, soldiers?
Are we up to Benjamin Franklin’s challenge to “keep” the Republic that the Framers of our Constitution gave us? We can meet this new ‘American Crisis’, but only if we listen and act.
*Noah Principle: No more awards for predicting rain; awards only for building arks.
Peter Lavelle’s intro: When you are losing a battle, with little or no possibility of victory, that is when you should seek an end to the conflict. But that is not the case with Ukraine today. The longer the conflict lasts, the worse it gets for Kiev. It would seem that is Washington’s plan.