Cold War No. 2? Who Will Win if We Take on China?
It’s the last day of November. Can y’all believe it?! Time flies, does it not? So welcome to our USA Really daily podcast for this last day of November. This one’s gonna be short but sweet, but it’s got some pretty riveting pieces.
But let’s start this thing off with your LAST reminder about our Global Democracy Award contest. What’s that you ask, if you’ve never heard this podcast before. Well, I’m glad you ask. It’s this thing where we want to give you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN CASH. You heard right. Just get busy writing up an essay or poem or some such BY TOMORROW on the theme of the US government’s interference in other countries, send it off to us, and if we like it, we’ll reward you with a cool few thousand dollars.
Aaaand if one way to win fat stacks of cash isn’t enough for you, then also definitely check out our page Zuckerberg Wanted, where we’re looking for solid evidence of the government enforcing illegal censorship online, and especially on social networks. In both cases, you could find yourself the happy owner of several thousands of dollars, so check both of these items out!
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, then let’s jump right into the articles with today’s opinion piece: “POMEPEO’S OWN CATERWAULING AND MEDIA- PILE-ON” by Luis Lázaro Tijerina. It looks like he’s not much of a Pompeo fan. He writes: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not known as a very subtle would-be statesman when it comes to creating the noose to politically hang himself and his allies in their support for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Shall we say he has his own brand of “caterwauling”, except his howls and political screaking are made ironically with Washingtonian language that sounds pragmatic and tough to his political adversaries, but in the end is void of clarity and cool assessments, when it comes to implanting a foreign policy in general. One could almost say that Pompeo likes to pose as a benign mafia boss from a Hollywood movie. But when Pompeo talks about how Saudi Arabia “contributed millions of dollars to the U.S.-led effort to fight Islamic State”, he fails to mention that it is also about the ‘Kingdom’ purchasing millions of dollars of United States’ military hardware which maintains the well-being of the United States military complex, which could care less for instance that “56,000 people have been killed in Yemen since early 2016.” You know what they say—the love of money is the root of all evil. Anyways, check out this analysis for more insightful thoughts on Pompeo.
Next up is our “This Day in History” piece, which you know you love. On this day in 1864, the Battle of Franklin in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign in the Civil War took place in Franklin, Tennessee, and it was one of the worst disasters for the Confederate. They launched a number of frontal assaults, but they just couldn’t manage to break through the Union’s line. They suffered no less than 1,750 soldiers killed, 3,800 wounded and 702 missing in action, while the Union forces only lost 189 killed, 1,033 wounded and 1,104 missing in action. Then on this day in 1942, the Battle of Tassafaronga in the Pacific Theater of WW2 took place. This battle is also sometimes referred to as the Fourth Battle of Savo Island or, in Japanese sources, as the Battle of Lunga Point. The battle was a nighttime naval clash that took place during the Guadalcanal campaign in Ironbottom Sound near the Tassafaronga area on Guadalcanal. During the fight, a US warship force of five cruisers and four destroyers under the command of Rear Admiral Carleton H. Wright attempted to surprise and destroy a Japanese warship force of eight destroyers under the command of Rear Admiral Raizo Tanaka. And on this day in 1999, America saw the Seattle WTO protests when about 40,000 people surrounded the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, with members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) convening at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. The Conference was to be the launch of a new millennial round of trade negotiations. So what came of the protest? Well, head on over to the piece for more details on all three of these events.
And hey, remember the Cold War, right? Good times wasn’t it? Well, isn’t there going to be a new cold war with China? Not a good idea. This weekend’s G-20 summit in Buenos Aires matters less for the main proceedings than for President Trump’s expected encounter with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump has lately seemed intent on escalating their quarrel over trade, and Xi has shown no sign of backing down. With neither side willing to compromise, the dispute runs the risk of causing a complete breakdown in U.S.-China relations, and poses the single biggest threat to global peace and stability. Of course, China has given the hawks plenty of material. In recent weeks, it has, to be sure, blocked consensus and bullied delegates at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit; harassed a U.S. Navy vessel on the open seas; arrested the Chinese president of Interpol and students agitating for workers’ rights; continued to shrink the space for open debate in Hong Kong; and, ignoring a global outcry, whitewashed the re-education camps in which a reported million Muslim Uighurs in western China may have been incarcerated. Of course, no one knows what’s going to happen here, but it sounds like China is just itching for some trouble!
Next up, we’ve got a look at the military’s recruitment practices. Apparently thousands of people get rejected from joining every year due to health reasons that really probably aren’t that serious, or at least shouldn’t prevent someone from being a military engineer or something like that. Not everyone in the military has to be a soldier, right? This one’s called: “Department of Disqualified: Pentagon Prefers Transgenders to Promising Military Specialists.” It also points out that the number of people who want to join the military is dropping anyways, so we probably can’t afford to just be turning people away. We don’t want to argue that the military should give up its strict medical and physical standards entirely. Given the unique mission and demands that the military puts on servicemembers, these standards are necessary for many roles. But out of the 30,000+ applicants across all services and components who are medically disqualified each year without an appeal for a waiver, there are many who would provide tremendous value to the military despite their medical conditions — applicants who are “worth the risk.” Anyways, this is a pretty in-depth piece, so definitely check it out for all the details.
Alright, as we said, short and sweet. So let’s take a look at tomorrow’s opinion piece and that’ll be that for the night. It’s called “Facebook is failing its black employees and its black users” and it’s by Pradeep Banerjee. It tells a story that is on the one hand surprising, and on the other, not surprising at all. Banerjee writes: ““Facebook has a black people problem,” says Mark Luckie, a former manager at the social network's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Luckie joined Facebook about a year ago. “I was really excited. Facebook is an amazing company that reaches a lot of people,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I didn’t plan to leave.” He saw his job at Facebook as an opportunity to make difference in the lives of black people on the influential social network. But life at Facebook was not as rosy as he had imagined. Within a year, seeing the discrimination that black people and people of color faced at Facebook and the way black people were being treated on the social media platform, he became disillusioned. Describing a culture in which loud support for ethnic minorities clashes with their actual treatment, he said he eventually "lost the will to advocate on behalf of Facebook" and no longer wished to be a part of it. So, he decided to quit. And quit he did even without a job lined up, such was his disenchantment with the company.” Well, sounds like he had a wonderful time there, doesn’t it? So what did he do next? How did he move on and how is he responding to his time at Facebook? Well, you’re going to have to read the piece tomorrow to find out!
And with that, we wrap things up for the night. Thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and keep it right here for all the news you need to know.