Saturday, March 1, 2014

China's r'rising terrorism or is it criminal gangs?---mayhem in Kunming.

China is a huge country and it is obvious that on the scale of that size, 'things will happen at the extreme edge.' One only has to look at the tragedy of the gun lobby in the USA ands the terrible attacks in schools to realize that anything is possible in such large and expanded geographical areas.
There is a difference in China of course. China has embarked on a huge economic growth pathway and a massive increase in its middle class and wealthy sectors. Obviously not all groups are feeling the gains of such changes, including ethnic and religious minorities, particularly those in the far West of the country.
At this point in time, it is not known who is responsible for the carnage at the railways station in Kunming. No doubt the authorities will use it to clamp down on other more rationale opposition to the mammoth State apparatus.
However, there is no justification for this latest attack on innocent people. Of course the State will react to protect the people--and its own position as the one and only 'holder of power in China.'
As yet more change in China becomes apparent, they will join other nations who are beset with opposition groups who would take such violent actions. The harder the State hits back, rather than addressing the causes of extreme fanatical, sometimes 'religious' based grievances, then more violence along the lines we are witnessing on other unfortunate regions will eventuate. Hopefully China will not attract the 'forces' that exists around the world, in opposition to the policies of the USA. They never seem to deviate from the role of 'world policemen.' Maybe the events in Ukraine will allow the Chinese to 'resolve' the issue away from the prying cameras of the media. There are no winners in all of this.

Russia's 'sense of history/damaged psyche,' combined with Putin's lust for total power!

Call it an accident of geography; call it the 'darker side' of Russian history---either way, when the former are combined with a leadership that is determined to take the world back to the very worst tensions of the Cold War era, then we have the makings of extreme danger, for Ukraine and the wider region.
Russia has been attacked many times in the past, sometimes vain the plains of Ukraine; it has signed 'agreements,' that have either been turned upside down by other parties (Nazi Germany) and now by the Russians themselves.
Russia has historically controlled the Crimea and it has also had designs on the Baltic states, and in that sense by travelling less violent methods of achieving its goals, perhaps nit would have garnered a level of international support on the world stage. That Russia/The Soviet Union, has always had a strong interest in this 'border area' or in its words, 'outer Russia,' is well accepted, but what Putin and his tame Duma have approved today, is capable of taking the world to the brink of the very worst of the Cold War days.
Russia has a strong sense of grievance, one not well understood in the West, and it will not easily respond to calls from the UE or the UN to step back from the chasm that it now teeters so  very close to.
The USA may speak out, but militarily it would be most unwise to ramp up the tension beyond that Obama has already indicated. It may pressure the EU to take a stronger stance, but no one in the West wants to go down a journey that would undo so much of what has been achieved since WW2. Russia knows this. Putin is playing with the sensibilities of the West. If he does step back, expect some pretty nasty economic hits, via his control of the gas lines that feed Western Europe.
That too is a dangerous game; it will feed into efforts by the said countries to develop their own alternate arrangements, re 'green fuels. Perhaps that is not a bad thing.
Russia has always had strong/controlling, bordering on the megalomaniac leaders. Once in power they massage the rule of law in order to maintain it. They use their national media (RT) to appear to be a voice of reason, but if any 'independent' speaks out,' then reporters 'disappear, get killed or the  news outlets are closed down. So much for freedom of expression in Russia. (The only freedom that exists is that which is sanctioned by the State and which criticises events outside of Russia--RT makes for 'interesting' viewing).
Events are rolling out as I write this blog. It is possible that things will change so quickly as to make this blog well and truly out of date.
Let us all hope that a modicum of rationality will prevail in this unfortunate journey of the
'New Russia.'