Thanksgiving 2020

 

What a year this has been? But it could have been much worse & left the future far more cloudy than it is now at this Thanksgiving time. 

The CoronaVirus has been a once-in-a-century level potential catastrophe. Remember how scary & horrible it seemed in March 2020. In actuality, it has been terrible and it is far from over even now. But there is little doubt that this horrible pandemic would be in our rear-view mirror by Thanksgiving 2021. 

1. Health Care 

So our first Thanks go to President Trump and his team for launching his Multi-Pronged Launch on Friday, March 13 in the Rose Garden of the White House. It was obvious two weeks later that America’s Power had been Unleashed. 

In the diagnosis & treatment phase, America is now in the forefront of CoronaVirus testing. In the therapeutic phase, Regeneron, Lilly & others have developed treatments to cure even older patients with risk factors as we saw in the case of President Trump. This week we have seen vaccine announcements from Pfizer & Moderna. These together give us confidence that by Thanksgiving 2021 much of the danger from this pandemic will be behind us & the world will have resumed its normal life.

For this we are thankful to the front-line health care workers, pharmaceutical researchers for their valiant & tireless efforts to save the world as it were. 

2.Monetary Authorities

But nothing happens without money & people cannot survive a near closure of the economy without financial support from the monetary sector. On Monday, March 23, US Federal Reserve Chairman Powell went on national Tv to reassure the American people & the world’s financial system that the Fed would work hand in hand with the US Treasury to protect the US economy and markets. 

That same week, the US Congress worked together & with incredible speed, under President Trump’s leadership, to approve a $2 trillion CoronaVirus relief bill, the largest ever financial package in history. This package delivered monies to workers, small businesses & large businesses to protect them from stoppage of business because of CoronaVirus. In addition, each family of four, under a specified income level, received direct payment of money from the Federal Government. Look at the scale of what they did, courtesy of The Market Ear:

 

This fiscal stimulus & the balance sheet expansion of the US Federal Reserve was critical in keeping the US economy & the financial system healthy. For that we are thankful to the Trump Administration, the US Congress & the US Federal Reserve. 

But unlike the health impact of the CoronaVirus, this increase in money supply will not be in our rear-view mirror by Thanksgiving 2021. The increase in the US Federal Debt has been stupendous. Simultaneously unemployment levels in the country have increased, especially at the lower income segment. In an irony of ironies, Disney announced on this Thanksgiving Eve  that it will layoff 32,000 employees in the first half of 2021. What a way to say Thank you to those kept that company running through the Pandemic!

What will be required to pull America from the financial impact of CoronaVirus? A joint & multi-partisan effort like what America did after World War II. Is that realistic? We will find out by Thanksgiving 2021. 

3. An Adversary for next 10 years or more 

Remember what America had to do as the world tried to recover from the financial ravages of World War II? America had to face a new global adversary called the Soviet Union. It was not just America’s adversary but an adversary to all Democratic nations. 

Now look around and notice that America & the Democratic world has a brand new global adversary, a joint military-cum-economic adversary that may be more powerful than the Soviet Union was.

It appears that China has come through its own-created Virus Pandemic stronger than America & the world’s Democracies. China is now projecting its military force not just in Asia but also across the Indian Ocean. And, unlike vs. the Soviet Union, the US has suffered from a lack of military bases in China’s front & backyard. 

Why the past tense? Because of the bravery & fight back of a relatively small number of soldiers from India’s Bihar Regiment against a numerically stronger Chinese force in Galwan Straits, a far away & mountainous pass in the Himalayan range.

The Chinese troops had surprised the small number of Indian soldiers sent to monitor China’s agreed upon dismantling of their illegal forward post. The Chinese troops suddenly turned on this small Indian contingent & killed about 20 Indian soldiers with rods with nails & barbed wire. 

But the valiant soldiers of Bihar regiment refused to take this lying down, They returned with reinforcements and killed about 35-45 Chinese soldiers in vicious hand-to-hand fighting. This electrified the entire nation of India. Gone was the earlier pacific Indian attitude of what will more fighting achieve? In a single deliberate stupid action, President Xi’s hand-picked general made the entire country of India into a nation ready to militarily confront China on land in the Himalayan range and in the waters of the Indian Ocean. 

Labels apart, India & USA are now allies in fact, if not in word, in combating China. This is a development that will last this entire decade. China’s greater challenge is America & American engagement in the South China Sea & the Pacific. India is at most a secondary front for China. But for India, China is the primary & greatest military challenge and India is now geared to meet this challenge militarily & economically by boycotting Chinese goods from entering India. 

Prime Minister Modi understands how critically important the fight by the soldiers of Bihar regiment was for India and his government. So what has he done to thank those 20 soldiers & to keep memory of their sacrifice alive?

  • Brahma Chellaney@Chellaney – July 30 – JUNE 15 INDIA-CHINA CLASHES: India, after honoring its 20 fallen soldiers as martyrs, revealed today that their names would be inscribed on the National War Memorial in New Delhi. Contrast this with China still refusing to divulge its losses after barring funerals for its fallen.

   

Having a large, militarily powerful adversary for China in its backyard is a major plus for America’s military challenge to China. India can force China to maintain 600,000-800,000 troops on the India-China line of control & maintain Chinese front-line aircraft to defend against India’s large front-line aircraft. None of this will be available to China if an engagement breaks out between USA & China in the South China Sea.

Actually India is now developing & testing offensive capabilities to attack Chinese assets even in the South China Sea. About 3 weeks ago, the Indian Air Force ran a mission in which its SU-30 MKI planes flew & fired the supersonic Brahmos cruise missile to destroy a target 4,000 km or 2825 miles away.

That, analysts, say was a message to China. Because the distance & trajectory used in the test are nearly identical to what would needed for SU-30MKI planes to take off from their South Indian airbase to destroy targets in the South China Sea. Watch the 60- second map-based explanation from about minute 4:15 to 5:15 in the video below:

 

And all this thanks mainly to the valiant & supreme sacrifice of the 20 Indian soldiers who died fighting China in the Galwan Straits. We are thankful to them. We also get that USA & Asian Democracies are also thankful to them. Their sacrifice has opened a whole new chapter in global geostrategic competition that will last at least this entire decade. 

 

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