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Munich Security Conference 2023: Visions and eNtiTiES

by Cat Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 07:14:25 PM EST

Today is a big day for mahjong gamblers. This year's invitionaly tournament, 17 - 19 February, unlike the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Atlantic Council, G7, G20, and NATO assemblies, much less "interagency" brain-storming sessions in either presidential office of Ukraine or USA, is "the center of international diplomacy," according to the  Munich Security Foundation chairperson and team members. Joe Kaeser (kaiser, caeser), the foundation's advisory council leader is also chairman of Siemens Energy AG supervisory board of directors. Joe "helps to maintain and advance the high quality of the annual Munich Security Conference (MSC) and the MSC's other events, including the annual Core Group Meetings and the "Munich Security Report" which this year was written by McKinsey & Company management consultants.

Otherwise, Joe purportedly collaborates with th MSC Chairman Dr. Christoph Heusgen who was Germany's permanent ambassador to the UN, on strategic decisions, thematic focus, and partnership development." Defense, Global Order, Human Security, Sustainability, and Technology are topical concerns featured by the foundation's circle of grantors and "Transatlantic To-do List" sponsors. American Friends of the MSC purportedly promote the activities of such as the German Marshall Fund, Estée Lauder Companies, the Rockefeller family, retired federal appointees, venture capitalists, and K-Street law firms.

Surprising the brain dead perhaps, the grand theme of MSC 2023 is "Russia's invasion of Ukraine" or "No alternative to Ukrainian victory" or "Re:Vision" of the MSC coalition "defending" enlargement and strength of a liberal, slide-rule-based agenda and  values-conscious competition

Viewed from bureaucratic, free-trading Brussels, Biden's climate policy looks more sleek, geopolitically muscular—and, notably for the EPP, more appealing to voters on the right than anything actually coming out of the EPP-led Commission.

Accordingly, Deutsche Welle skirted an ensemble cast of characters in order to valorize the sophomoric struggles of Zelensk* ("David on the Dnipro"), Scholz ("Germany in the World"), and Macron ("France in the World") to re-animate Main Stage I.

This publication is dedicated to colloquial proceedings moderated by Chairman Dr Heusgen and depicted by persons bearing press passes to round table contact line edification of un-free, un-banked, un-connected, insecure and terrorized persons dodging bullets, missiles, UAPs formerly-known-as UFOs, debt collectors, digital ecosystems, *flation, supremacists, large or small molecule pathogens of unknown origin, weather anomalies, passive aggressive wild life, lies, damned lies, or dismisinformation, taxes, bloc heads, women and minorities, pervasive anti-social behaviors and dissociative personality disorders, attributed to PUTIN's brutal war of choice.

DW security talking points
• Zelensk*: "We need speed -- speed of our agreements, speed of our delivery... speed of decisions to limit Russian potential. There is no alternative to speed"
security: Ukraine's victory
• Scholz: Putin's "revisionism"
security: send tanks
• Macron: "It is not the time for dialogue[,] because we have a Russia which has chosen war, which has chosen to intensify the war, and which has chosen to go as far as committing war crimes and to attacking civilian infrastructures"
security: invest substantially in defense spending
• Heusgen: "Vladimir Putin committed a breach of civilization" adding that it was the first time since World War II, that a country in Europe "denied the right of existence of another country and started an all out war."
security: unity of the international community
• Pistorius: "What is new is that all this is taking place while a war is being waged on European soil by Russia against Ukraine"
security: military funding > 2% of GDP
Who is attending?
Participants at the conference include 40 heads of state and government and nearly 100 ministers. Russia will again be a notable absence, with its leadership for the first time in two decades not being invited. Other high-profile speakers expected on Friday include China's ["]top foreign policy official["] Wang Yi and US Vice President Kamala Harris [!].
fmprc | Wang Yi to Visit France, Italy, Hungary, and Russia and Attend the 59th Munich Security Conference in Germany, 13 Feb
He will also attend the 59th Munich Security Conference and deliver a speech at its China session to communicate the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security advocated by President Xi Jinping, make clear China's abiding commitment to peaceful development and share China's position on major international issues in light of the theme of the Conference.
French President Emmanuel Macron Meets with Wang Yi, 16 Feb readout
On February 15, 2023 local time, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Wang Yi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, at the Elysee Palace in Paris....
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on February 17, 2023
...Wang Wenbin: On February 16 local time, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi who was visiting France co-chaired the 23rd China-France Strategic Dialogue with French President's diplomatic counselor Emmanuel Bonne, and met with President of the Constitutional Council and former Prime Minister of France Laurent Fabius. ...
Ukrinform | Kuleba announces over 10 meetings at MSC, 17 Feb
... "I will make the most of my time in Munich. In addition to participating in the events of the Munich Conference, I have more than 10 negotiations scheduled. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, head of Brazil's Foreign Ministry [Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira], head of the Foreign Affairs Office of China's Communist Party Central Committee [sic] Wang Yi, and many others"...
fmprc | Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (14.02.23)
fmprc | Qin Gang Holds Talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (14.02.23)
by Cat on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 08:13:20 PM EST
AP | Zelensk* pushes for speedy support to avoid more deaths, 16 Feb press pool flourishes
...U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris was scheduled to address the conference on Saturday [18 Feb]. She will lay out what's at stake in the war, and why it matters, to bolster the case for maintaining U.S. support for Ukraine for as long as necessary, the White House said.

"We will make sure that we do everything possible within our power to strengthen Ukraine's position on the battlefield. So that if and when there are negotiations, Ukraine will be in the strongest position in a negotiation," Harris told MSNBC in an interview that aired Friday.

Americans feel a sense of 'moral outrage' and a 'responsibility' to stand with Ukraine
Polish President Andrzej Duda [not a scheduled MSC speaker] said Russia's invasion must be stopped or it will not end with Ukraine.

"So there is no other option but for us to support Ukraine as much as we can," he said....

by Cat on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 08:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 09:02:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Global Times | Munich security forum starts, not stage for peace saboteurs, 17 Feb
China-France sideline antithesis of MSC "unspeakable awkwardness"
Europe, the biggest victim of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, has become increasingly disappointed that the US dragged it into the state of conflict for Washington's own benefit, but they cannot openly express opposition, [Institute of International Relations prof.] Li [Haidong]said, "How to prevent Europe from being taken hostage by the US is actually the real challenge to European security."
However, the Financial Times said
...In Russia's war on Ukraine "we are facing a rupture with civilisation, and we have to accept the consequences of that", Heusgen said. "No one can expect us to offer Lavrov, who is basically Putin's mouthpiece, a forum for his propaganda."

Iranian officials were also disinvited, a response to the brutal suppression of protests by women in Iranian cities. Wolfgang Ischinger, who chaired the MSC from 2008 to 2022, said the decision to trim the guest list in this way was the right one. But he admitted to feeling a twinge of regret.
The advantage of Munich is you don't have to negotiate about meeting in Helsinki or Alaska -- if you're both in the Bayerischer Hof [hotel] you just go to the second floor and have a half-hour bilateral," Ischinger said....

that the "MSC is going back to its roots," emphasizing that the majority of participants are from the West, and features the largest US congressional delegation in the MSC's history. Some are worried that it will become an "echo chamber" of the US and its allies.
by Cat on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 09:37:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...features the largest US congressional delegation..

In Dutch we call it a "snoepreisje", extracurricular holiday trip. For bi-partisan discussion with no opposition voices. A lot of fun isn't ... but in the church of evangelists, the customary weekly sermon in a silent parochial setting.

Love to hear the hardliners, warmongers and neocons ... how I miss John "the crashpilot" McCane. One certainty with John, his associates are up to no good. 🤣

No peace ☮️

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 08:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico | Negotiations ongoing for Blinken meeting with [any] Chinese official in Munich, 17 Feb
Beijing's condition that the U.S. formally request the meeting had slowed progress in the talks, said a Washington, D.C.-based diplomat with knowledge of the discussions.

"It's a two-way discussion to land a meeting," the diplomat said, adding that the Biden administration "won't bend the knee" to get the meeting.

Another Washington, D.C.-based diplomat with knowledge of the talks said Blinken had requested a meeting but "had no response from China" as he boarded his flight for Munich on Thursday. < checks watch > But there are signs that Blinken is operating under the assumption that a Munich meeting with Wang Yi is highly likely....

Stalker 1 won't apologize for shooting down spy balloon
"'I expect to be speaking with President Xi,' Biden said in remarks at the White House."
archived The Bat Man Space - Stalker
by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 12:31:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Munich Security Conference 2023 on YouTube
4 years, at least, of collateral material in "Videos"
first Feb 2023 upload: "Townhall on Migration "Resetting Migration: Moving Toward Opportunities", runtime 1 hr feat. Romdhane (PM - TN), Ylva Johansson (EC Home Affairs-SE, Veronica Escobar (TX-16, USA)
by Cat on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 08:36:01 PM EST
18 Feb live stream programming (all times ET, because D.C.)

03:00 Defending the UN Charter and the Rules-Based International Order
04:00 More Than the Sum of Its Parts: The Birth of Geopolitical Europe? Ursula von der Leyen, Sanna Marin, Christiane Amanpour
09:30 On Shifting Sands: Fostering Stability in the Sahel
10:30 "To Greener Pastures: Advancing Joint Climate Action"
11:30 The Other Zeitenwende: Maintaining a Balance of Power in the Indo-Pacific

by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 12:48:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Defending the UN Charter and the Rules-Based International Order
Mauro Luiz Iecker Vieira, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Francia Márquez, and Enrique Manalo moderated by Christoph Heusgen

More Than the Sum of Its Parts: The Birth of Geopolitical Europe?
Ursula von der Leyen, Sanna Marin, Christiane Amanpour balance the Greatest B-School Shibboleth Evah: a+b+c > a+b+c

On Shifting Sands: Fostering Stability in the Sahel
Ousmane Kane, Robert Dussey, Nathalie Loiseau, Svenja Schulze, Abdou Abarry moderated by Jana Puglierin

To Greener Pastures: Advancing Joint Climate Action
Mia Mottley, Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, John F. Kerry, Jennifer Morgan and Johan Rockström moderated by Edith Kimani

The Other Zeitenwende: Maintaining a Balance of Power in the Indo-Pacific —Main Stage panelists Hayashi Yoshimasa (FM-JP), James Cleverly (State sec.-UK), Mélanie Joly (FM-CA), Park Jin (FM-ROK), Joshua Walkr (pres/CEO Japan Society)—AFAICT, recorded only as group portrait

by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 08:42:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
rollcall | Despite criticism, Biden hasn't slowed [OIL & GAS] production, 13 Feb
...In its first two years the Biden administration approved nearly 6,500 applications for permits to drill, according to Bureau of Land Management data. This slightly outpaces the Trump administration, which approved just under 6,300 permits during its first two years.

And to the chagrin of many environmental groups, the [INFLATION REDUCTION ACT] signed last August will guarantee certain levels of [FED INTEREST RATE] production moving forward. As part of the deal struck with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., the law tied solar and wind development to federal leasing and required the administration to move forward with offshore leasing sales it had previously canceled.

chumps, you sure fooled PUTIN
While the industry, through representatives including the American Petroleum Institute, has suggested that there needs to be an increase in the number of leases offered for sale by the federal government, Biden and congressional allies have repeatedly pointed to the number of unused leases these companies currently hold as evidence these are not necessary.

"They invested too little of that profit to increase domestic production, and when I talked to a couple of them, they say, 'We're afraid you're going to shut down all the oil wells and all the oil refineries anyway, so why should we invest in them?'" Biden said.
During an ad-libbed portion of the speech Biden added that "we're going to need oil for at least another decade." Biden did qualify this by saying we would likely need oil beyond that, but it still drew swift criticism from Republicans. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said Biden and his Democratic colleagues were "living in a green hallucination."

Thanks for all the storage tanks!
by Cat on Mon Feb 20th, 2023 at 08:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
First, I'm annoyed that I had to learn about EU27 personal income tax credit from RT. I know what is wrong with US government and the scurilous Inflation Reduction Act "green" policy. And I'd like to believe that eurotrib can agree what is that EC "transparency" and "accountability" is as wrong as two left feet. Digame. Which quintile benefits from nationalist-baiting personal income privacy protection?

Russian Disinformation Embargo | Italy kills off 'wicked' green initiative, 20 Feb

The Italian government has scrapped a climate-friendly tax credit program, claiming it had cost more than €110 billion ($117 billion) and led to widespread fraud. According to Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, the "reckless policy" was a threat to public finances.

"We have decided to stop the effects of a wicked policy that has benefited a few citizens but has placed a burden on each of us from the cradle onwards of €2,000 ($2,132) per head," Giorgetti told reporters on Thursday.

The so-called Superbonus 110 initiative, which was one of several programs aimed at reducing the environmental impact of properties, entitled homeowners to a tax credit of up to 110% on the cost of upgrading their home.

exactly zero provisions of the American "IRA" compare
Introduced after the Covid-19 lockdowns ended, the program has led to a surge in home renovations, boosting Italy's economic activity.

However, the initiative has been criticized by former Prime Minister Mario ["pragmatic federalist"] Draghi, who called it "a system without checks" after it was revealed that $4.6 billion of fraud had been linked to the scheme.

Meanwhile, former Italian premier Giuseppe Conte, whose government introduced the Superbonus system in 2020, warned the move would deal "a fatal blow" to the construction sector. "We're putting at risk 25,000 companies and 130,000 jobs," he claimed.

The president of the ANCE national building association, [MISOGYNIST!] Federica Brancaccio, echoed the warning, adding that if the government stopped the tax credits without coming up with a structural solution, then "thousands of companies will be permanently without liquidity and construction sites will stop completely, with serious consequences on families."

LibDem Dispatch| taly scraps green tax credit scheme as construction sector suffers, 17 Feb
Superbonus 110 initiative led to a surge in home renovations but has been blighted by widespread fraud
Giancarlo Giorgetti, the economy minister, told a press conference on Thursday that the "reckless policy" was a threat to public finances.
"We have decided to stop the effects of a ["]wicked policy["] that has benefited a few citizens but has placed a burden on each of us from the cradle onwards of €2,000 per head," he said.

The Superbonus 110, part of a series of green home bonus schemes that have also ended, was a flagship policy of the populist Five Star Movement and introduced by Giuseppe Conte's government in 2020.

Homeowners could claim the subsidy [sic] by subtracting the costs of works, such as installing insulation systems, heat pumps[,] and solar panels or replacing an old boiler, from their tax returns over a five-year period [!], or pass the onus [sic; s/b expense] on to the building contractor, who subtracted it from their taxes or sold [?!] the credit [sic] to a bank, which in turn was refunded by the government.
The Superbonus was also criticised by former prime minister Mario Draghi, who described it "a system with very few checks" after it was revealed that €4.4bn-worth of fraud was connected to the scheme.
ANCE, the national building association,said 25,000 firms could fold. Federica Brancaccio, the association's president, said that if the government stopped the tax credits without coming up with a structural solution then "thousands of companies will be permanently without liquidity and construction sites will stop completely, with serious consequences on families".

Reuters Sandwich | Italy blocks sale[?!] of tax credits stemming from home renovations, 16 Feb
The 110% 'superbonus' was introduced in 2020 under a centre-left [?] administration, but the government said it proved too expensive, costing more than 100 billion euros, with only the wealthiest people using it. Rome also ordered public administrations to stop buying credits [?!] related to work that has already begun.

The government's decision provoked the ire of the opposition [?] 5-Star Movement, the main sponsor of the 110% bonus in 2020, and of some sector lobbies.

Italy's national building association ANCE said in a statement that the government had decided to "sink families and businesses in the name of unspecified reasoning."

Cut to the quick: Can anyone out there point to an article in VdL's Green Deal competition that's spells "tax credit" solidarity with Ukraine?
by Cat on Mon Feb 20th, 2023 at 05:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I never knew you were a EU taxpayer! And I'm pleased to learn it.

First, I'm annoyed that I had to learn about EU27 personal income tax credit from RT.

I imagine that's because RT is your first stop for information about the EU. Are you suggesting that the story has been suppressed in other media markets?

If it's not bigger news, it's probably because construction scams in Italy are depressingly recurrent, due to weak governance and widespread economic crime. As far as I know the scheme has no particular connection to the EU as such.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2023 at 10:55:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AUG. H.R.5376 - Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 signed by Biden
rebates, tax credtis w/personal note
DEC. post-FIT "green" technology
w/note to applicable US terminology
DEC. Additional Information on Clean Vehicle Provisions of Inflation Reduction Act
qualified manufacturer EV tax credits
DEC. Buy American
recalling College of Commissioners' romance with "Buy European", "Marshall Plan," and a "Green (New Deal)" precludes reality awareness in practice.

:: Cat FAQ

  1. I was a US taxpayer for 33 years. Now I am not; I do not earn taxable income. Althouh I am disabled, I am ineligible for SSA subsidy, because the montly grant I receive from family is > USD 700.00. However, given federal poverty level (FPL) crieria for HH size 1 adult, I am eligible for two federal subsidies—premium-free-to-me Medicaid insurance benefits and a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) credit of USD 23.00/mo payable to any fed-qualified grocer in my US state of residence—and one FCC carrier rebate, LIFELINE USD 25.00/mo, applicable to any subscriber service fee.
  2. My first bookmark connection each day is eurotrib (ET -5 hrs ); second is tabloid USAToday, then one sub/reddit, tabloid Sputnik, APsplainin, tabloid RT, tabloid Politico A/B, euractiv, tabloid DW, descending so forth into legislative pubs and commentary blogs in order to assess headlines of the day. I do not utilize "newsfeeds". (Incidentally, I dropped tabloid FAZ in December, because they were billing me an amount greater than advertised.)
  3. So far, Frank (IE, ES) and Oui (NL) have debriefed personal stories about HH energy efficiency projects with varied levels of detail relating to gov-funded "incentives." In gerneral, eurotrib contributers approach effects of historical and active gov policies from the top of the pyramid. It's not an unusual attitude; I, too, am susceptible to abstract statements. But it does disappoint me sometimes.
  4. "As far as I know the scheme has no particular connection to the EU as such": an excellent example of the pratfalls of abstraction that afflict some "European" constituents' participation in EU political economy alias democracy.
by Cat on Tue Feb 21st, 2023 at 01:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry if my snark offended you.
First, I'm annoyed that I had to learn about EU27 personal income tax credit from RT.

So (in the context of your daily reading list) you were expecting to see this news first on ET?

Yes, I agree that ET is disappointing these days.

But anyway (is this news to you?) the EU is neither a unified political entity nor a single media market. In the case of energy efficiency, the EU squeezes out directives which national governments implement, or pretend to, in different ways. The 110 program certainly boosted work in the construction industry, and no doubt reduced energy consumption somewhat; but the fact that it was only available to people or entities paying tax is a fundamental flaw. The other flaw is the 110% aspect, which doesn't require actual corruption to inflate costs -- increased costs are mutually beneficial to the contractor and to the home owner.
BUT it also invited organised corruption.
So, a poorly-designed national scheme (thank you Cinque Stelle).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2023 at 03:23:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Tue Feb 21st, 2023 at 03:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About offending you?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2023 at 05:20:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"To Greener Pastures: Advancing Joint Climate Action"
FASTER @24:28 : Two questions, please. One on the World Bank, now under new management—Should the World Bank continue to finance fossil fuels? And the second question—What is the scope of compromise between Europe and the US on the IRA? Sorry. To identify myself, I'm Juven Faster. I'm climate editor at Georges Media in London.
KAMANI: I see you looking at [former-] Secretary Kerry. I assume the question is for him.
KERRY: What's the second part of the question?
FASTER: The first question, the World Bank ...
KERRY: I got the World Bank.
FASTER: OK. Second, What is the space for compromise between Europe and the US on IRA?
KERRY: Oh. OK. um [CHUCKLES] I was—I'm not being rude, and I'm not being arrogant, but I'm tempted to say , Europe should sort of get over it. The truth is, Europe should do the same thing. That's really what should happen. I've just described to you and Johann, and everybody here has described, a world which is not transforming fast enough, and, please, I'm totally joking, when I say that get over a piece of it. Europe is our partner. Europe has—we wouldn't have a solar industry, if it weren't for Germany.
by Cat on Mon Feb 20th, 2023 at 06:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair comment. The EU should do the same thing. Turning a huge oil tanker around takes time, and market forces won't do it for us.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 21st, 2023 at 11:08:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 10:47:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Politico.eu.com | US formally accuses Russia of crimes against humanity in Ukraine, Harris says, 18 Feb degrees of atrocity on the wrong side of history

Some, however, would like the Biden administration to go further. Back in the United States, both of West Virginia's senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito, introduced a resolution to recognize Russia's war on Ukraine as a genocide.
by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 11:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 04:13:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

gov.uk | PM speech at Munich Security Conference - 18 February 2023
"What's at stake in this war is even greater than the security and sovereignty of one nation. It's about the security and sovereignty of every nation."
outlookindia | 'It's Time To Double Down On Support For Ukraine': UK PM Rishi Sunak

...The Prime Minister also called on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to provide long-term security guarantees for Ukraine. Such commitments are necessary to shield Ukraine from future Russian aggression and to protect the system of international rules that have helped keep peace since the end of World War II, Sunak said. ...
seattlepi AP | UK PM splashes cold water on prospects of quick trade deal - "democratic deficit"
...Sunak met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during Saturday's Munich Security Conference as British and EU officials try to capitalize on a recent thaw in relations to resolve their differences. Sunak's office said the two leaders agreed that recent cooperation in the response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine should be extended to all aspects of the relationship between Britain and the EU....
by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 03:04:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The losers option ... plan XYZ

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 07:33:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
scheduled agenda item: Main Stage I Conversation, 10:45-11:15

introduction: Heusgen
prepared remarks: Wang Yi
select Q&A (@ 00:12:18): Wang and Wolfgang Ischinger ( pres. MSC Board of Trustees, pres. MSC Foundation Council) with an invitation to "take a moment during the day to look at these rather gripping photographs and videos" of Russian war crimes.

WANG:...Put simply, we will work with all sides, sustain our efforts, and work until the day peace arrives. Thank you.
ISCHINGER @19:36: Thank you very much, sir. Now, I have collected a couple of questions. We have very limited time, but among the questions most urgently asked are questions about the relationship between CHina and the United States. We have all recently witnessed the—what I may call with your permission—"the balloon crisis". My question is a very simple one [?]. Are you going to and is your delegation going to use the opportunity of this Munich Security Conference platform, which is actually an ideal platform for these types of purposes, to enter into a discussion with those present from the Joe Biden administration to return hopefully to a somewhat more normal level of discourse between Beijing and Washingto, because, of course, you have some larger issues to discuss above and beyond the balloon crisis, but my impression has been that the balloon crisis has stood in the way of returning to a more normal discussion?
WANG: It seems that everyone is following very closely the balloon incident, and [it] has become the center of heated discusions. I'll talk about some facts.
Wang's simple answer to Ischinger's "simple question"
We have very clearly told the United states, this is an unmanned airship that is civilian in nature. I thas limited self-steering capability and veered off course to enter the United States due to westerly influence. We asked the United States to handle it calmly and professionally, based on consultation with the Chinese side. Regretably, the United States disregards these facts and used advanced fighter jets and downed a balloon with its missiles. This is, I would say, absurd and hysterical. This is a hundred percent abuse of the use of force. It is a violation of international, customary practice, in particular, the Chicago Convention on International CIvil Aviation [1944 et seq.]. We do not accept this....
Don't know from where Politico and France24 translations are coming since this is Wang's only public appearance and don't care to rummage recesses of Blinken phobia.

res ipsa loquitur

by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 07:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Beyond the Alliance: Partnering up for European Security"
panel discussion feat. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Pres. Maia Sandu (MD), Pres. Sauli Niinistö (FI), PM Mette Frederiksen (DK), German Marshall Fund of the United States Pres. Heather Conley.

by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 11:09:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 17th, 2023 at 09:30:13 PM EST
Stalker 2 victory!
DW | Top US, Chinese diplomats meet after 'spy balloon' spat, 18 Feb wagging finger
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

"We can confirm that Secretary Blinken concluded a meeting with... Wang Yi on the margins of the Munich Security Conference," a US State Department official said on condition of < wipes tears > anonymity. The meeting took place at an < wipes tears > undisclosed location away from the media, the US State Department said in a statement.

but Biden's "mouthpiece"
Ned Price said that Blinken warned his counterpart that the balloon incident "must never occur again." Blinken also warned about "the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia or assistance with systemic [sic] sanctions evasion," according to Price.
< wipes tears >
Biden hopes to speak with Xi soon

US President Joe Biden addressed ["]the spat["] in remarks earlier this week, telling the public that US defense and intelligence communities were still searching [16 Feb, 17 Feb, 18 Feb] for the debris of the three objects that were shot down last weekend and that they were likely [figuratively] tied to private companies.

PBS | Biden says 3 unidentified objects shot down likely not spy balloons, 16 Feb
Joe Biden: The intelligence community's current assessment is that these three objects were most likely balloons [figuratively] tied to private companies, recreation, or research institutions studying weather or conducting other scientific research.
< wipes tears >
Laura Barrón-López: President Biden also said that the U.S. military and Canadian military are working to try to get the debris out of the ocean, the lake [depths], the Yukon territory, but, ultimately, weather [read: windchill, snow, and ice floes] is actually proving that recovery effort to be pretty difficult
without a "compression chamber" to house special ops divers.
by Cat on Sat Feb 18th, 2023 at 10:31:49 PM EST
landssakes. "Readout" of the Stalker's covert op fell into MSM spin cycle and can't get out.
US State | Secretary Blinken's Meeting with People's Republic of China (PRC) Director of the CCP* Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi, 18 Feb
The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
The Secretary reiterated President Biden's statements that the United States will compete and will unapologetically stand up for our values and interests, but that we do not want conflict with the PRC and are not looking for a new Cold War < wipes tears >. The Secretary underscored the importance of maintaining diplomatic dialogue and open lines of communication at all times.

* often confused with One Burma policy

by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 01:29:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oligarch and autocrat fan club

Politico.eu.com | Meet the Russian shadow delegation in Munich

...In the margins of the conference Khodorkovsky, former Russian tycoon, onetime political prisoner[,] and now a leading Putin critic is being sought out. [I]n bilateral chats, to the last query about whether Putin can hold on to power, Khodorkovsky says the only way the Russian leader will is if the West offers a helping hand by losing its nerve, engaging in premature negotiations[,] and pushing Ukraine into a dubious deal.
European conservatives face internal revolt over Berlusconi's anti-Zelensk* comments (14.02.23) and "Marshall Plan" cash-for-ceasefire (13.02.23)
"Let's call it Minsk 6," he tells me as I sit with him and other Russian opposition figures in a [Bayerischer Hof?] hotel bar ...
msn reuters | Time to ramp up support for Iranian people, former Shah's son says
..."It's important we have to have a component of domestic pressure on the regime because external pressure by sanctions weakens the system but it is not enough to do the job," [Reza] Pahlavi told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference....
by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 02:15:18 AM EST
Chinese peace plan for Ukraine greeted cautiously by the west | The Guardian |

China would launch its peace initiative on the anniversary of the war, and has already been consulting Germany, Italy and France on its proposals. He said the peace plan would underscore the need to uphold the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the UN Charter. But at the same time he said the legitimate security

Diplomats who have been briefed by China are unclear how specific Beijing intends to be or whether the plan will lapse into vacuities about peaceful solutions that are sometimes a feature of Chinese diplomacy. A Chinese move to portray the west as warmongers could find echoes in the global south.

Wang Li clearly didn't understand intent of MSC 2023. Did China 🇨🇳 take proposal to Lithuania? Or Poland, Romania, UK, US or yet to Ukraine?

This Chinese balloon won't fly ... impossible, one year too late. This was the Russian proposal of December 2021.

Part of Chinese theater ... purely self-interest and wishful thinking. Reads like a good fortune cookie. 😄

Damage done through sanctions and complete, complete failure of diplomacy has caused a permanent break in relationships East and West. Arrogance of military might crushing ordinary people. Law of capitalism.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 05:37:38 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 05:38:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The war in Ukraine is just a first stepping stone to weaken the USSR-China Communist Bloc ... the CCP is fully aware and has been for a number of years. Europe has been torn apart in self-interests and thus weakened on the global economic stage ... ultimately to detriment of America that foolishly destroyed the EU economic might and unity for peaceful coexistence with European Russia. There will be no winners in war.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 10:35:08 AM EST
Blinken and Wang Yi held the hourlong talks in Munich | Global News |

Blinken and Wang Yi, the Chinese Communist Party's most senior foreign policy official, held the hourlong talks in Munich, where they were attending an international security conference.

Wang, the director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, repeated that insistence in a speech at the conference and accused the U.S. of violating international legal norms in destroying the object with a missile fired from an U.S. fighter jet.

"The actions don't show that the U.S. is big and strong, but describe the exact opposite," Wang said.

Wang also accused the U.S. of denying China's economic advances and seeking to impede its further development.

"What we hope for from the U.S. is a pragmatic and positive approach to China that allows us to work together," Wang said.

    "As I depart Munich, I am motivated by the accomplishments our Allies and partners have made in support of Ukraine through collective unity, action, and sacrifice. We will remain unified and see victory for Ukrainians fighting for their country's fate. My next stop is Türkiye."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 10:37:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
🇺🇸 Yes please do 🤣🤣

I read somewhere the cause lies with new radar filters to illuminate smaller objects? 🌏 🇨🇳

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 10:59:42 AM EST
I hoped the Chinese would understand the grief caused inside the Pentagon an by extension inside the White House ... so many issues on our plate to deal with ... a Russian pre-emptive nuclear strike passing the NORAD Maginot line.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 11:00:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 02:43:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | You ain't no middleman: EU and NATO slam China's bid to be a Ukraine peacemaker, 24 Feb monomania
"China's position builds on a misplaced focus on the so-called 'legitimate security interests and concerns' of parties, implying a justification for Russia's illegal invasion, and blurring the roles of the aggressor and the aggressed [sic]," Nabila Massrali, the EU's foreign policy spokeswoman, said in a press briefing.
What is your greatest strength?
Crisis management. I think I can stay cool and be efficient in stressful situations which is much needed in my job.
"The position paper doesn't take into account who is the aggressor and who is the victim of an illegal and unjustified war of aggression," Massrali, said, calling the Chinese position paper "selective and insufficient about their implications for Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine."

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said China's stance was anything but neutral.

"It is not a peace plan but principles that they shared. You have to see them against a specific backdrop.

APEC (1989 FTA): CN, CN-hk, CN-tw, RU, ID, SG, VN, TH, PH, MX, PE, CL, BN, PG, MY, KR; US, AU, JP, NZ, CA
G20 (1999 NGO) FR, DE, IT, ES, JP, UK, US, EU-CO, EU-EC, AU, CA; RU, CN,  AR, BR, IN, ID, KR, MX, SA, ZA, TR
INSTC (2000 TNC): AM, AZ, BY, BG, IN, IR, KZ, KG, OM, RU, TJ, TR, UA, SY
EAS (2005 East Asia Summit): CN, RU, IN, KR, ASEAN; US, AU, JP, NZ
SCO (2001 NGO): CN, RU, IN, PK, KZ, KG, TJ, UZ, IR, AM*, AF*, AZ*, BY*, TR*, LK*, KH*, SA*,EG*
BRICS (2009 FTA): CN, RU, BR, IN, ZA; AR*, DZ*, EG*, ID*, IR*, CM*, ML*, SN*, TH*, UZ*, FJ*, ET*, KZ*
UTLC (2018 TNC): CN, KZ, RU, BY
And that is the backdrop that China has taken sides, by signing for example an unlimited friendship right before Russia's invasion in Ukraine started," she said at a press conference in Estonia.
prisoner's dilemma: Don't let Russia ["]win["], NATO chief warns US
"China's plan is vague and does not offer solutions," Ivana Karásková, who heads the China Observers in Central and Eastern Europe think tank based in Prague. "The plan calls on Russia and Ukraine to deal with the issue themselves, which would only benefit Russia [?!]
< eyebrow >
China continues to oppose what it calls unilateral sanctions and asks for the sanctions to be approved by the UN Security Council -- well, given the fact that the aggressor
FR, UK, and US
is a permanent UNSC member with a veto right, this claim is beyond ridiculous."
archived a negotiated settlement
by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 03:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse | FACT SHEET: On One Year Anniversary of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine, Biden Administration Announces Actions to Support Ukraine and Hold Russia Accountable, 24 Feb
Imposing extensive sanctions on Russia's economy: Today, in coordination with G7 partners and allies, the Departments of the Treasury and State will implement sweeping sanctions against key revenue generating sectors in order to further degrade Russia's economy and diminish its ability to wage war against Ukraine. This will result in sanctions being imposed on over 200 individuals and entities, including both Russian and third-country actors across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that are supporting Russia's war effort. ... It also includes the targeting of Russia's future energy capabilities in a manner that does not impact current production to minimize market disruption. The United States also is expanding its sanctions authorities to Russia's metals and mining sector, tailored to minimize market disruption.
LET US HELP YOU HELP US! < wipes tears >
Restricting exports to Russia: Today, the Department of Commerce will take several export control actions, listing nearly 90 Russian and third country companies, including in China among other countries, on the eNTitIEs List for engaging in sanction evasion and backfill activities in support of Russia's defense sector. These listings will prohibit the targeted companies from purchasing items, such as semiconductors, whether made in the U.S. or with certain U.S. technology or software abroad. Commerce will also take action alongside G7 partners and allies to align measures on industrial machinery, luxury goods, and other items, as well as issue new restrictions to prevent components found in Iranian drones from making their way onto the battlefield in Ukraine.
so-called unilateral sanctions: US is not "a party to the conflict" between RU and UA. Parties of the TFEU are not "a party to the conflict" between RU and UA. EU is not "a party to the conflict" between RU and UA. NATO is not "a party to the conflict" between RU and UA.
by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 03:37:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 07:10:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 02:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Placed his personal life in the hands of a fanatical dictator one cannot negotiate with ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 06:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whitehouse | Remarks by President Biden and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine in Joint Statement, 20 Feb Mariinsky Palace, Kyiv, Ukraine
ZELESK*:...To Ukraine, we remain constantly in communication with the President of United States over the course of this large-scale war.  And this is the first visit over 15 years.  And this is really the most important visit of the whole history of Ukraine-U.S. relationship.
BIDEN:...Kyiv has captured a part of my heart, I must say. And I've come here six times as Vice President, once as President. And in 2009, as Vice President, when I first came here. Then back in 2014, I came three times in the aftermath of the Revolution of Dignity. And I again came in 2015 to address the Rada about the work of building a strong democracy. And I came in 2017, just before I left office as Vice President.

I knew I'd be back, but I wanted to be sure.  Even though we'd -- the election were over, Barack and I were out of office, I decided to make one more trip, before the next President was sworn in, to Kyiv.

whitehouse | Remarks by President Biden Ahead of the One-Year Anniversary of Russia's Brutal and Unprovoked Invasion of Ukraine, 21 Feb The Royal Castle in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
As we gather tonight, the world, in my view, is at an -- at an inflection point. The decisions we make over the next five years or so are going to determine and shape our lives for decades to come.

That's true for Americans. It's true for the people of the world.

And while decisions are ours to make now, the principles and the stakes are eternal. A choice between chaos and stability.  Between building and destroying. Between hope and fear. Between democracy that lifts up the human spirit and the brutal hand of the dictator who crushes it.  Between nothing less than limitation and possibilities, the kind of possibilities that come when people who live not in captivity but in freedom. Freedom.

Freedom.  There is no sweeter word than freedom. There is no nobler goal than freedom. There is no higher aspiration than freedom. (Applause.)

whitehouse | Readout of President Biden's Meeting with President Andrzej Duda of Poland, 21 Feb
...On the eve of the one-year anniversary of Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine, the leaders reflected on their shared efforts to support Ukraine, impose consequences on Russia, and strengthen NATO....
archived Westinghouse and Bechtel 2040
by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 03:04:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US special op show is over!

Blinken tours Turkey's earthquake zone, pledges $100M in aid, 19 Feb "deconstrusting the obvious"

Stalker 2 took a helicopter tour Sunday of one of the provinces worst-affected* by the Feb. 6 earthquake
Türkiye FM Mevlut Cavusoglu's "helicopter pitch"
"This is going to be a long-term effort," Blinken said at Incirlik Air Base, a joint U.S.-Turkish facility that has coordinated the distribution of disaster aid. "The search and rescue, unfortunately, is coming to an end. The recovery is on, and then there will be a massive rebuilding operation."
President Joe Biden announced $85 million for Turkey and Syria days after the earthquake ... The additional [$100M] aid includes $50 million in emergency refugee and migration funds and $50 million in humanitarian assistance, Blinken said.

The secretary of state is making his first trip to NATO [member] Turkey since he took office two years ago. Blinken arrived at Incirlik Air Base, near Adana, on Sunday after [SECURING HIS TARGET, dinner, and a shower at] the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

* how not to apply a superlative adjective
by Cat on Sun Feb 19th, 2023 at 07:31:58 PM EST
"2023 like World War One a hundred years ago" interview

Jens Oeconimus said:

So far we have depleted our stocks, but at some stage, of course, we need to get more ammunition produced. We saw this war was moving into a war of attrition, and a war of attrition is a battle of logistics.

Sun Tzu said:

It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on. The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice. Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs. Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away. When their substance is drained away, the peasantry will be afflicted by heavy exactions. With this loss of substance and exhaustion of strength, the homes of the people will be stripped bare, and three-tenths of their income will be dissipated; while government expenses for broken chariots, worn-out horses, breast-plates and helmets, bows and arrows, spears and shields, protective mantles, draught-oxen and heavy wagons, will amount to four-tenths of its total revenue.
(merits duplication in The cost of doing business)
by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 11:14:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bloomberg | McKinsey Plans to Eliminate About 2,000 Jobs, 21 Feb
Under a plan dubbed Project Magnolia, the management team is hoping the move will help preserve the compensation pool for its partners, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing non-public information. The firm, which has seen rapid growth in its headcount during the past decade, is looking to restructure how it organizes its support teams to centralize some of the roles.

The plan is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, and the final number of roles to be eliminated from its 45,000 workforce could still change, one of the people said. That headcount is up from 28,000 just five years ago and 17,000 in 2012.  

"We are redesigning the way our non-client-serving teams operate for the first time in more than a decade, so that these teams can effectively support and scale with our firm," DJ Carella, a company representative, said in an emailed statement. Carella said the firm is still hiring professionals who deal directly with clients.

The firm posted a record $15 billion in revenue in 2021, and surpassed that figure in 2022, one of the people said.

by Cat on Wed Feb 22nd, 2023 at 11:19:57 PM EST
by Cat on Fri Feb 24th, 2023 at 09:58:37 AM EST

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