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Porkins on Sputnik: China Defends 10% Military Budget Increase as ‘Proportionate and Low’

The Chinese government recently announced a near 10% increase in their military budget for 2018. Chinese state media have defended the decision, saying it is part of a modernization program, calling the increase “proportionate and low.”

The increase is the biggest jump in Chinese military spending in recent years. In 2014, the total was $132 billion, which grew to $145 billion in 2015, $147 billion in 2016 and will reach $175 billion next year. Zhang Yesui, a spokesperson for the first annual session of the 13th NPC, explained that the extra money is not to increase China’s overall military capacity, but to update and modernize their armed forces:

“A large part of the growth of the defense budget is to make up for the low military spending in the past and is mainly used to upgrade equipment and improve the welfare of servicemen and women and the living and training conditions of grassroots troops.”

Sputnik spoke to political analyst Pearse Redmond about the geopolitical struggles that are the underlying reasons for China’s consistently growing military expenditure:

“As China becomes more and more integrated in the global economy it understands that maintaining economic superiority requires more security. In Africa, where China has poured vast sums of money into various projects, they have also been quietly building small military bases and developing relationships with various African military and security forces. For example, in Djibouti, once the exclusive military domain of the US, China now operates a naval base adjacent to the Port of Doraleh, which is west of Djibouti City.”

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The Ochelli Effect: Trump Duck Dynasty

From Ochelli.com

Aaron Franz, a cornerstone contributor to the Ochelli Effect, joins us for a rare Tuesday flanked by Porkins himself Pearse Redmond. Unique conversation is what we got. Trump scandals, The ever-shifting sands of the middle-east, and a march to madness in America all seem to be fair game. Chuck is still sick but moving forward with all he can. It was a good thing Aaron was with us, and Pearse kept everything flowing. By The Way, What is news? What should be the focus in the information wars? Is musical Chairs the official game of the Orange-White HouseAre Trump Era Bimbo-Eruptions the Newest Normal? trump duck dynasty, and The Trumpets duck the real questions about the bastard president. Butt-head without Beavis = Trump Jr.? The next wave of Drug Cartels. The Global Heroin market. Shall we dance? Playmates, Porn Stars, Propetual Warfare, Oh My …

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Show Notes:

US military will not pursue Taliban into Pakistan

Porkins Policy Radio episode 113 Michael Swanson on Ken Burns Vietnam Propaganda

Michael Swanson, the author of The War State, joins me for an in-depth discussion of the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Vietnam documentary series. I begin the conversation by discussing my own fascination with the Vietnam War. I talk about the influence my father has had on my understanding of the war, touching on his experiences with the army when he was drafted in 1969. Michael and I then dive into the film itself. We look at some of the serious flaws and aspects that the we felt were left out with the film including the CIA and drug trafficking. Michael and I dive deeper into the bizarre narrative that Burns and Novick craft, whereby the politicians and military leaders are never shown actually making policy decisions, but instead are shown as making bad choices with good intentions. Michael and I explore this concept in some depth and offer up our own reasons for why the Vietnam war was not started “in good faith by decent men.” Michael and I also critique the way in which the Gulf of Tonkin Incident is handled in the film. We explain how the film avoids admitting that the whole incident was made up and instead repeats an outright lie.

In the second hour Michael and I talk about some of the government talking heads that appear in film such as: John Negroponte, Leslie Gelb, Rufus Philips, and Donald Gregg. We explore their backgrounds and the destructive impact they had on the Vietnamese people. I talk with Michael about the Phoenix Program which is only briefly touched on in the whole series. We explore why Burns and Novick lay most of the blame of the Phoenix Program at the feet of the Vietnamese. Michael also elaborates on this by talking about the negative portrayal of the Vietnamese through out the film. We pay particular attention to North Vietnamese leader Le Duan and South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem. Michael and I also discuss the documentaries skewed version of the assassination of Diem, and how yet again the CIA is almost completely airbrushed out of it. Michael and I touch on Lucien Conein’s integral role in the assassination as well as heroin trafficking. We also discuss the CIA’s war in Laos and discuss the overarching agenda behind the film. Michael and I also talk about the impact of Vietnam and its parallels with the Iraq and Afghan War.

Download PPR episode 113

Show Notes:

The War State

The War State (book)

Wall Street Window

PPR Special Michael Swanson Ken Burns Vietnam Extra

The Vietnam War

Douglas Valentine: Expectations for PBS/Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War”

Reflections on the Vietnam War and the Ken Burns/PBS Series: John Ketwig

Alfred W. McCoy: The History of the Southeast Asian Drug Trade

What the Pentagon Papers Do and Do Not Reveal w/ Peter Dale Scott (1971)

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