China and it’s Hemisphere of Influence.

In the age of global superpowers or even hemispheric powers, China is not on the same level as the United States (US) or even Russia. The United States has enjoyed unparalleled power and influence in the western hemisphere since the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.

Since American expansion and the spread of liberalism following the end of World War Two and the Cold War, the United States has gone unmatched in terms of influence, not only in their own hemisphere but around the world.

China has serious military and monetary power. It had begun to spread it’s influence, most notably in Africa while struggling to command similar influence in it’s own hemisphere. The subject of hemispheric influence or lack thereof has come to light in recent months. Following the election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States, the US has taken a more aggressive foreign policy toward Pyongyang. Trump had asserted that North Korea is “behaving very bad” and “China has done very little to help” in a tweet sent out in March.

As tensions have risen between the United States and North Korea, China is being dragged into the role of mediator as the Unites States threatens unilateral action against Pyongyang. During a meeting between both Presidents of China and the United States, President Xi Jinping informed President Trump that China does not have as much influence over North Korea as is assumed.

What does this mean? well, if China lacks influence over Pyongyang that means the Americans will step in with military action. With possible support from China, Russia, Japan and South Korea. The consequences of such action would be an unimaginable death toll. For China to show it is a superpower and has hemispheric influence, they would need to act. Be it diplomatically or militarily. If they wish to reduce the influence of the US in the region.

Now is the time for China to step up and on the other hand, now is the time for the US to grow its influence to greater levels.

I’ll finish with this: How would China feel about a divided North Korea or an occupied North Korea by American forces? US forces on the door to China and on the border of Russia would not be a good.

History.state.gov. (2017). Milestones: 1801–1829 – Office of the Historian. [online] Available at: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1801-1829/monroe [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].

Twitter. (2017). Donald J. Trump on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/842724011234791424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.latimes.com%2Fpolitics%2Fla-pol-updates-everything-president-1489761191-htmlstory.html [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].

Sowed Seeds

Trump triumphs, brexit rolls on and all things in the middle are questioned. With Trump’s win in the USA, on the back of a campaign inspired by hate and division but powered bytrump the simple need of jobs, of an income, trumped the ideals of the left. The working class were left behind, that’s a fact, not only in the USA but across the globe. As society progressed on through the 80’s and the middle classes increased, people and politicians no longer had to worry about poverty or low income, they could then turn their focus on how they lived. Human rights, work life balance, yoga, new cars and other technologies.

As we entered the era of making ‘money from money’ things became a lot riskier. As the globe became interconnected through the financial markets (globalisation) what happened on one side of the word now affected the other side of the world.

The crash of 2008 shrunk the middle class, people were now less well off, in debt, behind on mortgage payments and with no disposable income for luxury good or vacations to distract them from the world’s woes, people were now forced to become politically aware and politically engaged.

Over the past 8 years of recession, with slow change and a loss of confidence in the financial policies of the neoliberals, a loss of confidence in the well established politicians and now the media, people have begun to revolt. As mentioned above, Donald Trump won the USA Presidential election and Britain have voted to separate from the European Union. Left wing and right wing parties have gained significant ground. Duterte in the Philippines, openly confessed to killing people has been pushing a new war on drugs with thousands dead in three months, killed by the police, killed by other gangs and vigilantes. Marion-Le Pen, a far right politician in France, presidential hopeful for 2017. Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain which has
transformed the Spanish political scene. fractured-eu

Whats next for 2017? will Europe begin to separate?
will France elect a far right President?
how about war in the South China Sea or in Eastern Europe with the build up of NATO forces in Poland. All I know is that some bad seeds have been sowed and what grows wont be good for anyone.

Aleppo

Please click on the link below and fill out the details.

What we have allowed to happen to Aleppo is a disgrace and we all should be ashamed. We have facilitated the destruction of a an enitre country, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, including women and children. We have allowed war crimes to go on unchallenged and yet, it continues. It needs to end now.

LINK ->  Email to TD’s

 

The Genius of Photography.

Hi everyone.

Back a long time ago I listed a number of documentaries I recommended you to go and watch. This is one of them The Genius of Photography a multi part documentary. So I believe there are 5 episodes, episode 4 seems to be in 2 parts, each episode is around 56 minutes long and well worth a watch. ENJOY!!

Fixing the Shadows 1/5

Document for Artists 2/5

Right Time, Right Place. 3/5

Snap Judgments 4/5

Paper Movies 4/5

We Are Family 5/5

 

 

My top must watch Documentaries.

Below is a list of Documentaries that I’ve seen and recommend. They are informative and thought provoking.

1. Bitter Lake by Adam Curtis

2. No end in sight. (Critical look at the American lead invasion of Iraq).

3. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara.

4. Chasing Ice. (A multi-year chronicle of the planet’s rapidly melting glaciers).

5. The Genius of Photography. (mutli-TV series BBC)

6. Inside Job. (An examination of the 2008 financial crises).

7. Finding Vivian Maier (Street Photographer who took over 100,000 pictures)

8. Manufacturing Consent. (Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky)

9. the shock Doctrine. (Naomi Klein)

10. Inequality for all. (Robert Reich)

11. Waiting for Superman. (An examination of the school system in the USA and its decline).

What a bloody mess….

Today, we now see a great divide in the world. In Europe we have the occupation of Crimea by Russia and a “civil” war in Ukraine. We have the collapse of Yemen with Iran and Saudi Arabia engaging in a proxy war. 5 years of civil war in Syria has seen the death of over 200,000 people, including nearly 11,000 children and nearly 7,000 women. The rise of ISIS has seen the deaths of thousands as militia from Syria, Turkey, Iraq, the Kurds, the Iraqi Army, Jordan, and west try to contain ISIS.

Due to this, we see the deaths of thousands of innocent people in these conflict zones. Trapped refugees, lack of food and the lack of action will only see the number dead rise and those in trouble will increase.

What we need to do is to start engaging in more balanced negotiations. The favouring of one side at whatever cost has never helped (Palestine and Israel) but prolonged the conflict and increased the possibility of it spreading.

To sum up, keep the west out of the middle east and Africa (militarily).

News Headlines.

Ireland

  • Two Brothers aged 9 have been killed after stabbing incident in Charleville, Co.Cork. A third body was also found, 16kms south. 
  • Prison Officers have announced work stoppages for two prisons later this month.
  • Labour TD has stated that campaigner Philomena Lee deserves and apology from the state. 
  • Talks between Greyhound Recycling Company and SIPTU have adjourned at the Labour Relations Commission.
  • Bishop objects to LGBT centre grant on moral grounds. 

International Headlines

  • NATO leaders agree Russia should face more sanctions for its actions in eastern Ukraine. 
  • Women found beheaded in London back garden. 
  • UK to arm Kurds fighting in Northern Iraq
  • The death toll from the ebola virus has risen to more than 1,900 – WHO.
  • Suicide kills 1 in every 40 seconds – WHO. 
  • Oklahoma, medical failures to blame for botched execution. 
  • Columbia University Senior to Carry Dorm Mattress Around Campus in Call for Rapist’s Expulsion.
  • Fast Food workers in the United States to hold national strike for $15 wage. 
  • Comedian Joan Rivers dies aged 81. 
  • More than 35 people have been killed in heavy monsoon rain in Pakistan. 
  • Protesters camp outside the parliament in Pakistan.  
  • South Korean soldiers face murder charge after bullying claim. 
  • Lesotho Prime Minister forced into hiding after claims of an attempted military coup on Saturday.
  • Rare outbreak of Dengue fever in Tokyo.  
  • 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Peru.
  • Caribbean storm Cristobal strengthens.
  • UN calls for the release of Fijian peacekeepers held by Syrian Rebels.
  • Asteroid 2014 RC to pass earth by 25,000 miles this Sunday.  

 

Soucres: Irish Times, The Journal, CNN, BBC, The Guardian and Time.