Gleanings and observations.1:36 PM, Apr 24, 2015 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
It is not certain that Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin, actually said, “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” but if he didn’t, he certainly thought it, and if still around would like to claim that prophesy as his own. IBM has announced plans “to help a little-known Chinese company (Teamsun) absorb and build upon key technologies” that IBM licenses, according to the New York Times. The buyer knows what to do with that intellectual property: its advisor, Shen Changxiang, is the former supervisor of the cybersecurity of China’s strategic missile arsenal, was in charge of computer security research for China’s increasingly potent navy, and is a long-time critic of his nation’s reliance on U.S. technology. Teamsun makes no secret of its goal: eliminating the need to buy American products. IBM wants access to China’s market for its “rope”, and the price it is willing to pay is teaching China how to make its own. Perhaps that technology will help the regime to improve its already formidable Great Firewall of China, the web-filtering infrastructure that blocks content the leadership prefers to make unavailable to the masses.
There is more, and worse. Teamsun announced that it plans to “absorb” this intellectual property and technology from other companies such as Google [which should know better, given past dealing with the People’s Republic, unenthusiastic about an open Internet], and Oracle, and replace those companies’ products in world markets. And IBM will also be licensing advanced chip technology and other stuff to Chinese companies. The goal, according to IBM CEO, desperate to reduce the 10% slide in her shares in the three years of her reign, is to “create a new and vibrant system of Chinese companies producing homegrown computer systems for the local and international markets.” Thanks. Whether that is Mr. Shen’s sole interest is unclear, but it seems unwise to assume that he has no uses for this technology other than marketing computer systems. Cyberwarfare, his specialty, leaps to mind.
Then, in an act of whatever the Chinese word is for chutzpah, Premier Li Keqiang informed a U.S. delegation led by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker that China’s ability to cooperate with President Obama’s battle against climate change, ranked by some in the administration as far more important than the battle against ISIL, would depend on the willingness of GE and others to turn over their cutting edge intellectual property to China. This, say the Chinese negotiators according to the Financial Times, would be “part of richer countries’ commitments to a climate change summit this year in Paris”. Li Keqiang undoubtedly is a student of Lenin’s handling of relations with the “richer countries”, but student exceeds teacher when it comes to turning capitalists’ quest for short-term profits to a communist regime’s advantage.
Not to be outdone in narrowness of vision and a desire to prove Lenin right, a group of business executives, members of the Young Presidents’ Organization, visited Teheran in the guise of tourists (allowed under America’s soon-to-be-gutted sanctions program), but with the intention of “getting involved here” as one “tourist” put it -- the quotation marks are those used by the Financial Times to describe these visitors. At the purely social dinners organized by the Iranian hosts, tables were labeled “real estate”, “luxury”, “information and communications technology” so that the Americans could be certain of sitting with Iranians eager to do business. “Everybody loves us here,” exclaimed one American naïf. Well, not everyone. There is that nasty Ayatollah, calling for “Death to America.” But not yet to the American businessmen who will certainly help him earn the cash with which to finance his nuclear ambitions. After, as one profit-hungry businessman put it, helping Obama to sell his deal by speaking about “what we saw.” More precisely, “what we were allowed to see.” A good time was had by all, to the tune of “Happy”, a song to which some young Iranians danced last year, to the consternation of what have come to be called “the hardliners”, who promptly clapped the kids in jail.
May 4, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 32 • By LEE SMITH
Last week, the Obama administration urged Saudi Arabia to halt its air campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who have wrested control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The White House’s professed concern was that Riyadh’s Operation Decisive Storm was killing too many civilians. Unfortunately, that’s hardly surprising since Iranian proxies, like Hezbollah and Hamas, typically stash their missiles and rockets in civilian areas. Presumably, the Houthis have read from the same playbook.
9:35 AM, Apr 23, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
As always, Winston Churchill said it best. Here he is on March 24, 1938, speaking less than two weeks after the Anschluss, the Nazi annexation of Austria:
8:01 AM, Apr 23, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A new poll finds that a majority of voters believes President Barack Obama is "being too soft" on the terror-sponsoring Iranian regime. Only 2 percent believe Obama is "being too tough."
The findings come from a new poll conducted and released by Fox News.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:45 PM, Apr 22, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on the situation with Yemen and how it plays into the pending nuclear deal with Iran.
9:16 AM, Apr 21, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Bloomberg's Eli Lake reports Tuesday that the Obama administration kept secret until the beginning of April Iran's two to three month breakout time for a nuclear weapon, saying "the administratio
11:14 AM, Apr 18, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Marco Rubio told a crowd of Republicans in New Hampshire Friday that President Obama should "never have entered into these negotiations" with Iran over nuclear weapons. The Florida Republican who is running for president told the conference, sponsored by the New Hampshire GOP, that a nuclear armed Iran is "unacceptable."
12:54 PM, Apr 17, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
That was Henry Kissinger’s famous sally about the war between Iran and Iraq, back in the 80s. Now, the big rivals in that part of the world are not actually nations, in the conventional sense. They are, rather, movements with aspirations to more than just physical territory. They are out to conquer the the Muslim world.
5:15 PM, Apr 16, 2015 • By LEE SMITH
One of the important pieces of news to come out of Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi’s visit to the White House Tuesday is that Iraq will be receiving delivery of F-16s. At Commentary, Max Boot asks if this is such a wise move, “Why Are We Giving F-16s to an Iranian-Infiltrated Government?”
11:17 AM, Apr 15, 2015 • By HUSSAIN ABDUL-HUSSAIN
Here in Kuwait, as in the rest of the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, there is a sense that the Middle East is changing. In the Gulf media, there seems to be a consensus in support of Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led military campaign launched to beat Houthi insurgents and reinstall Yemen's government under President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi. Almost everyone wants to see Iran and its allies, like the Houthis, cut to size, and almost everyone is excited to see Arab governments flex their military muscles. Even those who are questioning the campaign couch the debate not in terms of regional political doctrines like Arab nationalism or Islamism, but rather in terms of national sovereignty and constitutionality.
Hosted by Michael Graham.10:33 AM, Apr 10, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on how both President Obama's pending nuclear deal with Iran, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 can be defeated.