Strength of Consent

The people of Hong Kong are in their 15th straight week of protest against the People’s Republic of China’s moves to intervene in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, to impose yet more PRC controls over a nominally free, “two systems” city.

People of all ages, many unmasked and some carrying children, walked more than 2 miles from a shopping district, where usually busy stores were shuttered, to downtown Hong Kong. Many chanted, “Five demands! Not one less!,” “Fight for freedom!” and “Revolution of our times!”

Those five demands, which do not add up to freedom, but are a necessary early step on the path to freedom, are these:

Intransigence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that if he’s reelected later this month, he’ll begin annexing territories in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea.  Naturally, the Palestine Liberation Organization and its European Union apologists are in a snoot over it. An anonymously presented EU spokesperson says

The policy of settlement construction and expansion…is illegal under international law and its continuation, and actions taken in this context, undermine the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace[.]

The PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi says that

A Different Sort of National Security Threat

This one demographic; it’s the potential for population collapse in the People’s Republic of China.  Most of the nations of the world outside Africa face population declines, but none seem as severe as the PRC’s is looking to be.

In 2016, after the one-child policy was abandoned, there were 17.86 million births. This dropped to 17.2 million in 2017 and 15.2 million in 2018—the third-lowest rate since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

That might be an accelerating drop, although three data points don’t make for a strongly measured trend.

Brexit and Sovereignty

This is amazing.  And an utter betrayal.

Senior MPs opposing a no-deal Brexit sought assurances from the EU that their bid for a three-month delay would be granted, it has emerged.
European leaders were sounded out before MPs, including the “rebel alliance,” passed a bill…forcing Boris Johnson to ask for an extension.

For the EU to participate in such scruffy deal would seem to be a naked interference in sovereign British domestic politics.

Except that….

On the one hand, this is those MPs selling out British sovereignty.

Carrie Lam and Hong Kong

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she’ll fully and formally withdraw her/People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s extradition bill completely.  She even issued a formal statement claiming that, among other things.  Many are touting this, and the other things, as major concessions to the demonstrators that have been in the streets of Hong Kong in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, for the last several months.

Those protestors have been demanding the bill’s formal and irrevocable withdrawal, Lam’s resignation, and an independent investigation into police misbehaviors during those protest demonstrations, among others things.

Countrymen

Claudia Rosett, of the Independent Women’s Forum, had an excellent op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.  In essence, Rosett compared the PRC of 1989’s Tiananmen Square (she was there) with Hong Kong’s situation today (she was in Hong Kong over the summer), and her essential conclusion is

that for all China’s economic advances, it remains a brutal, dehumanizing tyranny in which the ruling Communist Party would rather destroy people than give them a genuine say in their government.

After all, we’re getting the same thing, so far, in Hong Kong:

Rather than give in to their legitimate demands, the Communist Party is readying its guns.

Surrender, Or Else

That’s Teheran’s latest demand regarding the nuclear weapons deal that the European signatories have shown themselves so desperate to preserve.

Iran will “take a strong step” away from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers if Europe cannot offer the country new terms by a deadline at the end of this week, a government spokesman said Monday as top Iranian diplomats traveled to France and Russia for last-minute talks.

Never mind that those European nations hold all the cards that we don’t hold, and that Iran is in no position to make demands on anyone.  Iran has Europe thoroughly cowed.

Surrendering to the Extorter

This is what Europe is getting ready, meekly, to do.

European diplomats are getting behind a French initiative to provide Iran economic relief from US sanctions in return for its full compliance with a multinational nuclear accord….

The “initiative” centers on these articles of surrender:

preliminary agreement aimed at allowing Iran to be able to sell at least 700,000 barrels of oil a day—more than double its current exports.
It also envisions a credit line of some $15 billion so Iran could draw on hard currency….

Tactically Sound?

Perhaps, but perhaps strategically disastrous.  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the queen to prorogue the current parliament, and the queen agreed, in order to block it from blocking him from taking Great Britain out of the European Union on schedule 31 October without a deal in the likely event that the EU continues its intransigence in negotiating.  Prorogation is the formal end of an existing session of Parliament, and normally it’s done just prior to the beginning of the next session, to clear the decks for that session.

Pro-EU

Too many Brits in Parliament plainly favor the European Union over their own nation.  That’s what opposition MPs seem to do, as they look to block a no-deal departure from the EU by Great Britain, even expressing a willingness to bring down the government to achieve that end.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a (new) deal, for all that he’s willing to take Great Britain out of the EU on schedule if Brussels continues to refuse to negotiate at all, much less in good faith. The MPs’ obstruction serves only to undercut such leverage as Johnson might have in these post-May efforts.