Canada: Jewish National Fund under investigation for funding israel’s (apartheid state) crimes

Canada: Jewish National Fund under investigation for funding Israel’s crimes

Nora Barrows-Friedman
The Electronic Inifada

Canada Park

© Bukvoed
JNF Canada turned the land of three demolished Palestinian villages into a recreational area, Canada Park, with an adjacent settlement for Jews only
Pressured by human rights activists and a Palestinian refugee, the Canada Revenue Agency has begun an investigation into the Jewish National Fund of Canada over its use of charitable donations to build projects for the Israeli military and illegal settlements.

Uses of charitable donations to fund foreign militaries contravenes Canadian law.

JNF Canada’s parent organization, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), predates the establishment of Israel and uses tree-planting as a cover to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their land.

After Israel’s establishment in 1948, the JNF took control of most of the land which had been confiscated from Palestinian refugees. In the 1950s, the JNF became a quasi-state organization, with a policy to lease land only to Jews on an openly discriminatory basis.

Documents show that the JNF has repeatedly used JNF Canada as a conduit to collect funds for its illegal projects, activists say. JNF Canada recently told public broadcaster CBC that it stopped funneling money to the Israeli military in 2016. However, acting as a conduit for its parent organization, funds continue to flow into projects connected to the Israeli military.

And the JNF remains involved in decades-old activities of land theft and expulsion of Palestinians, actions which also violate international law.

In addition to the formal complaint, activists have initiated a petition through parliament calling for JNF Canada’s charitable status to be revoked. It will be presented to parliament and the government will have to respond.

History of expulsion

The audit was launched following an October 2017 complaint filed by four human rights defenders with help from Independent Jewish Voices Canada, an activist group that has mobilized against the JNF Canada for years.

Amongst the complainants is Ismail Zayid, a retired physician now in his eighties who was expelled from his village, Beit Nuba, by Israeli forces during the 1967 War.

During the war, Israel demolished Zayid’s village along with the nearby villages of Imwas and Yalu, and seized the land. JNF Canada then turned the land into a recreational area, Canada Park, with an adjacent settlement for Jews only. Canada Park is inside the occupied West Bank, a fact recognized by the Canadian government.

Like millions of exiled Palestinians, Zayid and his family are barred from returning to their land simply because they are not Jewish.

Zayid began filing complaints with the Canadian government in the 1970s to demand action against the JNF for its role in the systematic expulsion, destruction and demolition of the villages, but told The Electronic Intifada that Canada has failed to hold the charity accountable for any of its illegal actions.

Charging JNF Canada with complicity in Israel’s land-theft policies dating back decades, the complaint explains that when the Israeli military demolishes Palestinian homes and agricultural land, the JNF – as it did with Canada Park – will “then come in and plant rows of trees to stake a claim on that land.” The JNF plants trees “further and further past where the internationally recognized boundaries are,” the complaint adds.

“To me, it’s extremely painful to see that the country that I came to with hope – Canada, as a liberal society that supports international law and human rights – would act differently on this issue,” Zayid told The Electronic Intifada from his home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“It’s not only the material loss of my home and my village and my property, but it’s the excruciating pain of the loss of my hope and my dreams,” he added.

Israeli military projects continue

JNF Canada has boasted of its missions to help with settlements and infrastructure for the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank.

It “contributed directly to the construction of at least one hilltop settler outpost that was declared illegal” by Israel itself, according to the CBC.

In 2014, JNF Canada’s Young Leadership Solidarity Mission helped build a house for the security guard at the Givat Oz VeGaon outpost, a colony led by extremist right-wing settlers who work for Jewish colonization and applying Israeli “sovereignty” over the occupied West Bank.

That outpost “received and ignored at least 18 demolition orders” from the Israeli government, CBC adds.

The Canadian branch of the charity has also sponsored the JNF’s projects for the Israeli army’s benefit, including road building and construction on air force bases.

In 2011, JNF Canada helped plant trees along the Gaza boundary to “not only block the vision of terrorists firing into Israel but [also to] provide pleasant scenery and shade.” A video promoting the project calls the tree-planting “similar to a military operation in every way.”

JNF Canada says that after being informed of the revenue agency’s rules regarding charitable donations, it stopped funding projects for the Israeli army after 2016.

“To be clear, we no longer fund projects located on IDF land and JNF Canada operates in accordance with [Canada Revenue Agency] regulations governing its status as a charitable organization,” JNF Canada CEO Lance Davis wrote in an email to the CBC.

But its parent organization solicits financial donations from abroad, including from Canada, to broadly fund its projects.

The JNF “appears to be carrying out the projects, which it views as its own projects, rather than the projects of independent branches of the organization abroad,” the complaint explains.

For example, in 2017, JNF Canada helped its parent organization build a “perimeter security road” in Netiv HaAsara, a Jewish town near Israel’s boundary with the Gaza Strip, to be used by Israeli patrol units.

perimeter road announcement

© netiv-haasara
JNF Canada’s 2017 Staff Mission report promotes its project to help build a road for Israeli patrols.
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The town is a popular destination for war tourists to gawk at the besieged Gaza Strip from the comfort of tour buses.

JNF Canada also raises money for Brothers For Life, which aids wounded Israeli soldiers and sends former military personnel to lead guided propaganda tours in Israel to promote the army and Zionism, Israel’s state ideology, to tourists.

Furthermore, complainants argue that there is no transparency about where donations collected by JNF Canada are ultimately funneled, even though JNF Canada is only authorized to initiate and fund its own projects.

The JNF, the complaint says, “should be helping JNF Canada in carrying out its own projects, rather than viewing Canadian donors as ‘friends of JNF in Canada’ … who merely send money abroad” to support JNF projects.

Activists in the US have sued the Treasury Department over the JNF’s charitable status. Its charitable status has also been questioned in the UK and in the Netherlands.

In 2013, South Africa’s former ambassador in Tel Aviv publicly rejected a gift from the Israeli government of 18 trees planted in his name by the JNF on land violently expropriated from Palestinian owners.

“Feel good” ethnic cleansing

By using tree-planting and environmental initiatives to help Israel push Palestinians off their land and lease it to Jews only, JNF’s actions over the last century have been emblematic of Israel’s efforts at “greenwashing” its settler-colonial policies.

The JNF admits that it plants forests in semi-arid regions across Palestine where it is “especially difficult for a forest to grow” – including over the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.

Promoting an event with the hashtag #FeelGoodFriday, JNF Canada tweeted over the summer that its parent organization was collaborating with Bedouin communities in the Naqab (Negev) “to protect the environment.”

Yet this “collaboration” belies the JNF’s role in the ongoing displacement and demolition of Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Naqab region in order to make way for Jews.

In October 2012, JNF representatives accompanied Israeli police forces and interior ministry officials in a raid on the Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj and handed out demolition orders.

It has also aided Israeli government plans to expel villagers from Umm al-Hiran to build a Jewish settlement – named Hiran – in its place.

And since 2010, residents of al-Araqib have resisted the JNF’s plans to erase their village and plant a forest over its ruins. Israel has demolished al-Araqib at least 136 times.

Sheikh Sayeh Abu Madiam, the patriarch of the village, was recently sentenced to 10 months in prison for trespassing on his own land.

Canada protects JNF crimes

This is not the first time that the Canada Revenue Agency has nominally investigated the JNF Canada at the urging of activists.

But the Canadian government, in violation of its own laws, has protected the organization and has consistently ignored – or embraced – JNF Canada’s role in Israel’s violent and discriminatory practices.

Because Canadian politicians across the political spectrum have historically held close ties to the JNF Canada, activists will have to work hard to make sure their complaints are taken seriously.

“The formal political mechanisms are so dominated by the advocates of the JNF,” Rabbi David Mivasair of Independent Jewish Voices Canada told The Electronic Intifada. Mivasair joins Zayid in the complaint to the Canada Revenue Agency.

He said that filing the complaint and the petition is part of a strategy to push JNF Canada supporters to question the organization’s policies.

Mivasair hopes that some people “who give to the JNF without thinking about it” will recognize that supporting JNF Canada is just as harmful “as supporting the whaling industry, the tobacco industry, or the oil industry.”

“I’m hoping that this illegal and inhuman act of allowing our tax dollars to support a charity that is racist and applies discriminatory laws against even its own citizens ends,” Zayid said.

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War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

January 13, 2019

War Essay- The consequences of nuclear war on US society

by Phillyguy for The Saker Blog

Summary

The US emerged from WWII as the world’s leading economic and military power. Since that time US hegemony has been predicated on: 1) unrivaled military strength, 2) control of world’s energy reserves and 3) primacy of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. All of the pillars supporting US global dominance are now being threatened by continuing US economic decline coupled with ongoing economic development of China and other Asian countries, who are increasingly using currencies other than the US dollar, for international trade. US economic decline is fueling global instability and increasing the possibility of conflicts erupting between global powers. Thus the threat of nuclear war hangs over the world.

How did we get here?

The US emerged from WWII, with its manufacturing base intact and was the world’s dominant economic power. This began to change in the mid-1970s, as US corporate profits began to stagnate/decline, a consequence of increasing competition from rebuilt economies in Europe- primarily Germany (Marshall Plan), Japan and Korea (US wars in Korea and Vietnam) and later China (1). To deal with these structural economic problems confronting US capitalism, the directors of economic policy in the government and large corporations faced a decision that would play a major role in shaping global geopolitics for the next 5 decades. They could make large investments in the domestic economy, developing state of the art manufacturing facilities and equipment that would enable US corporations to effectively compete with those in newly emerging economies, or abandon manufacturing and change the structure of the US economy. As we now know, policy makers chose the latter route. This policy was based on economic attacks on poor people and labor, financial deregulation, increased spending on the military and war and rampant financial speculation.

In November 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected president and during his administration, began a frontal assault on organized labor by firing members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) who went on strike over grievances concerning working conditions in 1981. Reagan also instituted tax cuts for the wealthy, which have continued under succeeding administrations (2). In 1993, Bill Clinton entered office and proceeded to attack poor people by cutting public assistance to poor families- signing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and pledging to “end welfare as we know it” (3), facilitated job outsourcing (passage of NAFTA) and deregulated finance by signing the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA) aka Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, which also repealed the Glass–Steagall act, a component of the depression era 1933 Banking Act (4). In 2001, George (“W”) Bush became president and immediately signed legislation cutting taxes for the wealthy, including major cuts to inheritance taxes. Following the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center in NYC, President GW Bush sent US troops to Afghanistan, to ostensibly find Osama bin, head of al-Qaida and alleged leader and organizer of the 911 attacks. In his 2002 State of the Union address, the President gave his now famous “axis of evil” speech, which included North Korea (DPRK), Iran and Iraq (5). This list was later expanded to include Cuba, Libya, Syria and Venezuela (6). In 2003, President Bush invaded Iraq and deposed their leader, Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein.

2008 Financial Crash

The policies instituted above combined to create the 2008 financial collapse, the largest financial disaster since the Great Depression. In an attempt to contain the economic damage resulting from this financial implosion, the US FED bailed out Wall St banks and to prevent further falls in the Stock market, has provided Wall St with a nearly unlimited supply of ultra-cheap funds (circa $4 trillion) for share buybacks and MA deals in what has been referred to as an “orgy” of corporate debt. Despite multiple tax cuts for the wealthy and financial largess of the US FED, and other Central banks including Bank of Japan (BOJ) and European Central Bank (ECB), global capitalism is confronted with slack demand, high levels of excess capacity and skyrocketing debt. In addition, economies in the US and EU are challenged with high employment and anemic job growth.

The economic policies shaped over the last four decades have been continued under Obama and Trump and have played a decisive role in directing US foreign policies since the mid-1970s. The relatively rapid economic decline since 2000 directly threatens US global hegemony and in response the Pentagon has engaged in an increasingly reckless, bellicose and astronomically expensive foreign policy (7, 8). Indeed, the US is currently involved in wars stretching from the Levant, to Caspian Basin, South-west Asia, Persian Gulf, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, to Eastern Europe and Russian border. The staggering economic costs of these wars can be seen with conflicts in Afghanistan (longest running war in US history) and Iraq being estimated to have cost US taxpayers $ 6 trillion (9).

Focus on China

The emergence of China as a potential competitor to US hegemony was recognized by the Obama administration and in response, reoriented US foreign policy with his “Asia Pivot” in 2012 (10). Harvard Professor Graham Allison has warned that the US and China are in “Thucydides Trap” using Athenian historian Thucydides analysis of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), where “it was the rise of Athens, and the fear that this inspired in Sparta, that made war inevitable”

(11). Tensions with China have been heightened by the Trump administration’s protectionist trade policies, tariffs on Chinese exports to the US and out right thuggish behavior, an example being the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, Canada (12, 13). The anti-China campaign is being ratcheting up further with vague accusations of “China’s attempts to obtain trade secrets and intellectual property through a state-coordinated cyberespionage campaign….. a brazen effort by the Chinese to obtain Western technology and other proprietary information”, featured in a prominent piece in the “paper or record” (NYT) by David Sanger (14). Sanger is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (www.cfr.org) which plays a major role in influencing US foreign policy.

Not surprisingly, most of the “analysis” of US-China relations presented by establishment academics such as Graham Allison or corporate media pundits like David Sanger present an accurate picture of economic relationships between the US and China. Unfortunately, consistently lacking is a critical and comprehensive examination of how and why this happened- i.e., decades of deliberate US government and corporate policies which facilitated China’s economic rise and accelerated US economic decline (see above). This is not surprising as intuitions like the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Council on Foreign Relations, Rand Corporation and related “think tanks” along with corporate media are all committed to supporting policies which promote corporate interests and maximize corporate profits.

Thus, campaigns against China and Russia share broad support among the directors of US foreign policy. Collectively, these polices have exacerbated international relations, greatly increasing the threat of a direct military confrontation between the Global powers and potential use of nuclear weapons, as President Trump laid out in his recent National Security Strategy (NSS) speech (15). In his traditional Christmas message Pope Francis stated “The winds of war are blowing in our world and an outdated model of development continues to produce human, societal and environmental decline”. Indeed, The Pope specifically mentioned the decision by US President Trump to recognize Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as Israel’s capital and his bellicose rhetoric towards North Korea, setting up potential new global flashpoints (16). By closely aligning themselves with US policies which increasingly threatens China and Russia with military attack, US “allies”- members of NATO, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, will likely be targeted by Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons in the event of hostilities.

While there has been extensive analysis of US foreign policy and ongoing US wars, there has been surprisingly little inquiry of the consequences of a nuclear attack on the US. Such a discussion is made all the more urgent by the expansion of US/NATO into Eastern Europe and close to the Russian border, the US/NATO supported coup in Ukraine in 2014 (17), conflicts in the Middle East and Trump’s bellicose rhetoric towards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran, China and Russia, US withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord, JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) and most recently, exiting the INF treaty with Russia.

Vulnerability to War

The job of military strategists, like that of prosecuting and defense attorneys in a legal case is to assess the strength and weakness of their opponent(s) and design strategies taking into account these features (18). In the case of the US, the strengths are pretty obvious. The US possesses formidable military power, albeit being gradually confronted by Russia and China, and the dollar is still the dominant currency in the international monetary system, although its strength is being eroded by growing US debt and competition from the Euro and Chinese renminbi, which was recently added to IMF’s basket of reserve currencies. The primacy of the dollar is also seeing competition from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (19).

The structural features of US society make it extremely susceptible to nuclear war. Some of these attributes include: population density, energy dependence, reliance on information technology and social instability.

1. Population Density A dozen regions comprise the major economic centers which drive the US economy (20). Approximately 2/3 of the US population lives on littoral areas of the country- 38% on the East Coast (Atlantic Ocean), 16% on West Coast (Pacific Ocean) and 12% on the Gulf Coast (21).

2) Energy US society is highly energy dependent. The US has 5% of the world’s population but consumes 18% of the world’s energy. Approximately 65% of electricity is generated from fossil fuel (oil, natural gas and coal) while 20% is obtained from nuclear power (22, 23). Nuclear power plants rely on electrically powered pumps to circulate water around the reactor cores to keep them from overheating. When these pumps cease functioning, the reactor cores overheat and literally undergo a “meltdown” releasing highly radioactive uranium fuel assemblies into the environment, which occurred during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in Ukraine (24) and the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan (25).

3) Transportation and Agriculture. Our transportation “system” relies on energy inefficient automobiles and planes as the primary means of local and distant travel. US agriculture is extremely energy-dependent, requiring 10 calories of energy to produce 1 calorie of food (26). Further, the average food commodity transits 1500 miles from production point to consumption site- e.g., California strawberries in PA (usually transported on diesel fueled trucks; 27).

4. Information Technology – The functioning of our society- industries and businesses which provide jobs and keep our economy running, healthcare, educational system and the government all rely on information flow to function (28). This system encompasses local computers, the internet and fiber optic cables serving as data pipelines, computer server farms and “cloud” storage facilities, all of which consume lots of electricity (29).

5. Social Instability Our society is extremely polarized- exemplified by the election of Donald Trump in November, 2016. Following Trump’s election, there has been a rise in racist, neo-Nazi groups as we saw in Charlottesville, VA (30).

Likely Targets

In the case of a major conflict, key targets in the US will include military installations, major cities and energy infrastructure, the last two being “soft” targets, easily hit and difficult to defend. Attacks on energy related facilities will include electrical generating stations, oil and natural gas production sites and refineries, storage facilities, pipelines and loading docks. Also targeted will be fiber optic cables and computer server farms and storage facilities. When this happens, the US economy and society will completely cease normal functioning. Electrical generation will stop and the pumps required for distribution of potable water and operation of sewage treatment plants stop working, resulting in the rapid development of Cholera epidemics, as observed in Yemen (31, 32). Rapidly dwindling supplies of gasoline and diesel fuel mean that transportation is greatly restricted, businesses, hospitals and education facilities, heavily reliant on electricity and information technology completely stop functioning. Energy intensive agricultural production rapidly declines resulting in food shortages and starvation. Lack of electricity causes the electric pumps circulating water around reactor cores of the 98 nuclear power plants currently operating in the country (23) to stop, resulting in core meltdowns, producing Fukushima and Chernobyl- like nuclear disasters across the US. These economic and social disruptions will likely lead to vast social panic and unrest across the country, resulting in violent confrontations such as occurred in Charlottesville, VA, 2017.

There is no way an energy intensive, technologically advanced society like the US can adapt to conditions following a major war. This will likely lead to complete destruction of the US as a country and may well lead to extinction of the human species. With the exception of a handful of journalists such as Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Steve Lendman, Geopolitical analyst, Helen Caldicott, Australian physician and anti-nuclear activist, and discussion of a “nuclear winter” following a nuclear war (33), there has been little discussion about the direct impact of a major war on US society by mainstream media outlets.

Concluding Remarks

The US is very vulnerable to any nuclear attack, and from my perspective, it is doubtful that US society will survive such an event. Unfortunately, it appears that the only approach the US is following to address its structural economic decline is an increasingly bellicose and belligerent foreign policy. Indeed, in September, 2017, President Trump gave a speech in front of the UN, referring to DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, as “Rocket Man” and stating he would “totally destroy North Korea”.

Not to be outdone, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said at a recent UNSC meeting “if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed”. Russia and China share a border with North Korea and thus will be directly affected by any war on the Korean Peninsula, potentially leading to a nuclear war, as recently pointed out by William Polk (34, 35). Rather than toning down their bellicose rhetoric, the Trump administration, along with members of Congress have continued issuing threats against China and Russia. Speaking to the UN General Assembly in September, 2018, President Trump and his top advisors delivered “fiery” speeches against Iran (36).

Final Points

1. The US is the only county in the world to have used nuclear weapons, which were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan at the end of World War II (37). Following the “success” of these attacks, the Pentagon had detailed plans to use over 200 atomic bombs to strike 66 “strategic” targets in the Soviet Union (38) and since that time, plans to attack Russia have been continuously upgraded (39, 40).

2. The ruling elite in the US are well aware of continuing (accelerating?) US economic decline and looming strategic debacles confronting the Pentagon in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria (7-9). At the same time Russia, China and Iran are incorporating increasingly sophisticated military hardware into their armed forces (for an excellent analysis see 41, 42). The US response has been an increasingly reckless, bellicose and astronomically expensive foreign policy.

3. Once nuclear weapons are used, the chances of a rapid escalation are very high.

4. The use of mini-nukes has been pushed by US military planners as representing “less risk” to the civilian population. Indeed, the US is currently undertaking a $1.3 Trillion upgrade of existing nuclear weapons, which began under the Obama Administration (43). Trump has announced the US will leave the INF treaty unless Russia discontinues certain missile programs (44).

5. In the event of a nuclear war, the devastation will be rapid and very widespread and there is no preparation for such an event. US infrastructure will be completely destroyed, which will likely tear our society apart.

I was a “baby boomer” and grew up when the US and Soviet Union were testing atomic bombs. I recall my Mom, a member of “Women for Peace”, putting a bumper sticker on our family car that read “Our Only Shelter is Peace”. This is still true today.

Notes

1. The “Decline” of U.S. Economy: A Historical Comparison. By Chen Dezhao, China Institute for International Studies; Link: http://www.ciis.org.cn/english/2011-11/18/content_4635120.htm

2. Reagan insider: ‘GOP destroyed U.S. economy’. By Paul B. Farrell Market Watch Aug 10, 2010; Link: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reagan-insider-gop-destroyed-us-economy-2010-08-10

3. The End of Welfare as We Know It- America’s once-robust safety net is no more. By Alana Semuels The Atlantic, Apr 1, 2016; Link: www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/04/the-end-of-welfare-as-we-know-it/476322/

4. Banking Act of 1933 (Glass-Steagall) June 16, 1933. Federal Reserve History; Link: http://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/glass_steagall_act

5. Text of President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address. Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2002; Link: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/onpolitics/transcripts/sou012902.htm

6. Global Warfare: “We’re Going to Take out 7 Countries in 5 Years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..” Video Interview with General Wesley Clark By General Wesley Clark and Amy Goodman Global Research, May 14, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/we-re-going-to-take-out-7-countries-in-5-years-iraq-syria-lebanon-libya-somalia-sudan-iran/5166

7. Losing by “Winning”: America’s Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria By Anthony H. Cordesman Aug 13, 2018; Link: www.csis.org/analysis/losing-winning-americas-wars-afghanistan-iraq-and-syria

8. The Costs of War: counted in TRILLIONS. Dec 13, 2017 by Phillyguy for the Saker blog; Link: thesaker.is/the-costs-of-war/

9. United States Budgetary Costs of the Post-9/11 Wars Through FY2019: $5.9 Trillion Spent and Obligated by Neta C. Crawford Nov 14, 2018; Link:

watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2018/Crawford_Costs%20of%20War%20Estimates%20Through%20FY2019%20.pdf

10. The president’s Asia legacy is not worst in recent history. But it’s not the best either. By Michael J. Green Sept 3, 2016; Link: foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/03/the-legacy-of-obamas-pivot-to-asia/

11. The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? By Graham Allison, The Atlantic, Sept. 24, 2015; Link: http://www.belfercenter.org/publication/thucydides-trap-are-us-and-china-headed-war

12. Trump could make Obama’s pivot to Asia a reality By Josh Rogin Washington Post January 8, 2017; Link:

www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/trump-could-make-obamas-pivot-to-asia-a-reality/2017/01/08/a2f8313a-d441-11e6-945a-76f69a399dd5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4a446c392185

13. Washington using legal cover to conceal economic banditry by Finian Cunningham RT Dec 12, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/op-ed/446285-china-us-economy-huawei/

14. U.S. Accuses Chinese Nationals of Infiltrating Corporate and Government Technology By David E. Sanger and Katie Benner Dec. 20, 2018; Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/us/politics/us-and-other-nations-to-announce-china-crackdown.html

15. Trump’s National Security Strategy: The return of “great power” military conflict By Bill Van Auken 20 Dec 2017; Link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/20/pers-d20.html.

16. Pope laments ‘winds of war’ blowing around the world in Christmas message. Chicago Tribune. Dec 25, 2017; Link: www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-pope-francis-christmas-message-20171225-story.html

17. It’s not Russia that’s pushed Ukraine to the brink of war By Seumas Milne. The Guardian Apr 30, 2014; Link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict

18. Striking a Strategic Balance – Putin’s Preventive Response By Rostislav Ishchenko [Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard] Oct 22, 2018; Link: http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-striking-a-strategic-balance-putins-preventive-response/

19. 21st century reserve currencies – (how long) will the dollar-euro dominance prevail? Kevin Koerner and Franziska Winkler Deutsche Bank Nov 15, 2017; Link: http://www.dbresearch.com/servlet/reweb2.ReWEB?rwnode=RPS_EN-PROD$HIDDEN_GLOBAL_SEARCH&rwsite=RPS_EN-PROD&rwobj=ReDisplay.Start.class&document=PROD0000000000455549.

20. The Dozen Regional Powerhouses Driving the U.S. Economy by Richard Florida

Mar 12, 2014; Link: http://www.citylab.com/life/2014/03/dozen-regional-powerhouses-driving-us-economy/8575/

21. People- Geographic Distribution of US Population; Link: http://www.theusaonline.com/people/geographic-distribution.htm

22. What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? Link: www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3

23. Nuclear Power in the USA (Updated Oct, 2018); Link: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-t-z/usa-nuclear-power.aspx

24. Backgrounder on Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident; Link: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/chernobyl-bg.html

25. Fukushima Daiichi Accident; Link: http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident.aspx

26. How to Feed the World By Michael Pollan. Newsweek, May 19, 2008; Link: michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/how-to-feed-the-world/

27. How Far Does Your Food Travel to Get to Your Plate? Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA); Link: cuesa.org/learn/how-far-does-your-food-travel-get-your-plate

28. More Dependence on Internet Leads to More Cyberattacks Worldwide by Elizabeth Lee. VOA, Aug 26, 2017; Link: http://www.voanews.com/a/dependence-on-internet-leads-to-more-cyberattacks/4001728.html

29. The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy. Our computers and smartphones might seem clean, but the digital economy uses a tenth of the world’s electricity — and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment. By Bryan Walsh. Time, Aug. 14, 2013; Link: science.time.com/2013/08/14/power-drain-the-digital-cloud-is-using-more-energy-than-you-think/

30. Charlottesville rally violence: How we got here. By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Aug. 14, 2017; Link: www.cnn.com/2017/08/14/us/charlottesville-rally-timeline-tick-tock/index.html

31. Yemen is currently facing the largest documented cholera epidemic in modern times. A new report warns it could get worse. By Alanna Shaikh, MPH UN dispatch May 08, 2018; Link: http://www.undispatch.com/yemen-is-currently-facing-the-largest-documented-cholera-epidemic-in-modern-times-a-new-report-warns-it-could-get-worse/

32. Cholera epidemic in Yemen, 2016–18: an analysis of surveillance data. By Anton Camacho, et al. The Lancet Global Health Lancet Glob Health 2018; 6: e680–690; Link: www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2214-109X%2818%2930230-4

33. The Risk of Nuclear Winter by Seth Baum May 29, 2015; Link: fas.org/pir-pubs/risk-nuclear-winter/

34. America on the Brink of Nuclear War: Background to the North Korean Crisis By William R. Polk Sep 6, 2017;

Link: www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/06/mayday-korea-america-on-the-brink-of-nuclear-war

35. America on the Brink of Nuclear War: What Should We Do? By William R. Polk Sep 7, 2017; Link: www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/07/america-on-the-brink-of-nuclear-war-what-should-we-do).

36. President Trump’s Efforts to Isolate Iran at the U.N. Backfired By W.J. Hennigan Sep 26, 2018 Time; Link: http://time.com/5407295/donald-trump-iran-united-nations/

37. Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Gratuitous Mass Murder, Nuclear War, “A Lunatic Act” By Stephen Lendman Global Research, Aug 09, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/hiroshima-and-nagasaki-gratuitous-mass-murder-nuclear-war-a-lunatic-act-2/5467504

38. “Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II When America and the Soviet Union Were Allies. By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, Oct 27, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/wipe-the-ussr-off-the-map-204-atomic-bombs-against-major-cities-us-nuclear-attack-against-soviet-union-planned-prior-to-end-of-world-war-ii/5616601

39. The U.S. Government’s Plan Is to Conquer Russia by a Surprise Invasion by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog Dec 11, 2018; Link: thesaker.is/the-u-s-governments-plan-is-to-conquer-russia-by-a-surprise-invasion/

40. The US is Planning a Major War with Russia and China. By James ONeill, Global Research, Dec 24, 2018; Link: www.globalresearch.ca/the-us-is-planning-a-major-war-with-russia-and-china-reports/5663819

41. Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning Byby Andrei Martyanov, 2018 (Book); Link: www.amazon.com/Losing-Military-Supremacy-American-Strategic/dp/0998694754

42. Solari Report- quarterly interview with The Saker Nov 21, 2018; Links: thesaker.is/solari-report-quarterly-interview-with-the-saker-2; www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDsL2Fm2Ddc

43. U.S. Nuclear Modernization Programs. Arms Control Association Aug 13, 2018; Link: http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/USNuclearModernization

44. US demands Russia ‘end or modify’ missile it doesn’t like to save INF treaty RT. Dec 7, 2018; Link: http://www.rt.com/usa/445791-usa-demands-russia-scraps-missile-inf/

Next Generation 5G and the US-China “Cellphone War”: The Arrest of Meng Wanzhou

Global Research, December 20, 2018
Global Research 16 December 2018
Trade War

Updated, December 20, 2018

The unspoken US policy objective behind the arrest of  Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on trumped up charges, consists in breaking China’s technological lead in wireless telecommunications. 

What is at stake is a coordinated US and allied intelligence initiative to ban China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd from the “next generation” state of the art 5G global mobile phone network.

The intelligence operation is led by “Five Eyes”, a so-called “intelligence-sharing alliance to combat espionage” between the US and its four (junior) Anglo-Saxon partners: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.  

Western media tabloids repeatedly refer to legitimate “national security concerns” as a justification for the banning of China’s telecom equipment.

What is at stake is a fierce battle in the global wireless telecom industry. 

Spy Chiefs Meet Behind Closed Doors in Nova Scotia 

On July 17, the spy chiefs from the “Five Eyes” nations travelled from Ottawa to Nova Scotia for a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (who was on a Nova Scotia tour including meetings with NS Premier Stephen McNeil)

The meeting with the “Five Eyes” spy chiefs hosted by Trudeau was held at an (unnamed) coastal resort in Nova Scotia. It was casually described by The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) as “an informal evening after intense talks in nearby Ottawa”. Nearby?

The encounter with Canada’s Prime Minister was neither informal nor spontaneous. His presence at that meeting served to provide a “political green-light” to the “Five Eyes”  “intelligence campaign” against China:

“Trudeau, …  dropped in on the gathering to share some thoughts about geopolitical threats [from China and Russia].

In the months that followed that July 17 dinner, an unprecedented campaign has been waged by those present – Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand and the UK – to block Chinese tech giant Huawei from supplying equipment for their next-generation wireless networks.

This increasingly muscular posture towards Beijing culminated in last week’s arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver, over alleged breaches of US sanctions with Iran. (Sidney Morning Herald, December 13, 2018)

CIA Director Gina Haspel and Britain’s MI6 Chief Michael Younger were in attendance. The intent of this meeting was crystal clear. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou was part of a broader intelligence strategy directed against China which had been planned well in advance.

Trudeau’s July 16-17 tour in Nova Scotia was reported upon. Sofar, the Canadian media has failed to mention Trudeau’s July 17, 2018 meeting with the “Five Eyes” chiefs of intelligence.

.

Screen-scan  of Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2018

Failure of the US Telecom Industries

It’s what you call “Fair Competition”. Bring in the Spy Chiefs!

Let’s face it : The US based telecom conglomerates are up against the wall.  The industry is in a shambles.

Moreover, the US no longer produces smart phones. Its manufacturing base in Silicon Valley has been closed down. US smart phone companies increasingly rely on China not only for cellphone production but also for the development of intellectual property.

China is not only the largest producer of cellphones Worldwide, it is a leader in wireless technology. According to an August 2018 report by Deloitte Consulting:

China is winning the race against the United States to build a faster nationwide wireless network that uses 5G technology, billed as the mobile industry’s future. Unless the U.S. moves more quickly, it will be at a major disadvantage when it comes to creating dominant new companies in the emerging space….

Accordingly, countries that adopt 5G first are expected to experience disproportionate gains in macroeconomic impact compared to those that lag,” the report’s authors said.

U.S. companies have been sounding the alarm over a purported race against China over 5G, perhaps playing to the fears and strategic desires of the Trump White House. (Fortune, August 7, 2018)

Global Research is based in Montreal.

The complicity of the Canadian government in the arrest of  CFO Meng Wanzhou on behalf of the Trump White House is reprehensible. It puts in jeopardy Canada’s longstanding economic, social and cultural ties with the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

UPDATE

Did the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) play a role in the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou on December 1, 2018?

The arrest of Meng Wanzhou on December 1 in Vancouver coincided with the evening dinner meeting between presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

Moreover, according to China’s news agency Xinhua Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau had advanced knowledge of the arrest and did nothing to prevent it from happening:

“…He didn’t notify the Chinese side. Instead, he let this kind of nasty thing to happen and assisted the US side’s unilateral hegemonic behaviour – this has hurt the feeling of Chinese people.”

As outlined above, Prime Minister Trudeau had already granted the green-light to the “Five Eyes” intelligence chiefs at the July 17 secret meeting in Nova Scotia.

Huawei portrayed by CSIS as a threat to National Security

While news reports and official statements intimate that Huawei constitutes a potential cybersecurity risk, Ms. Meng Wanzhou was arrested on December 1, 2018 in Vancouver for allegedly having violated the US sponsored Iran sanctions regime.

What was the role of Canada’s Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) in the arrest of Meng Wanzhou?  CSIS Director David Vigneault hosted the “Five Eyes” meeting of spy chiefs in Ottawa and Nova Scotia on July 17. Prime Minister Trudeau was present at the Novo Scotia meeting.

December 4, 2018: Three days after the arrest of Meng Wenzhou, Canada’s spy chief David Vigneault addressed a luncheon meeting at the Economic Club (EC) of  Canada in Toronto, intimating that “hostile states [China] are targeting large [Canadian] companies and universities”.  According to Vigneault:

 “Many of these advanced technologies are dual-use in nature in that they could advance a country’s economic, security and military interests.”

In his address, Canada’s spy chief warned of the danger of “state-sponsored espionage through technology such as next-generation 5G mobile networks.” (Globe and Mail December 4, 2018)

“Canadian Security Intelligence Service director David Vigneault’s comments come as three of the country’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing allies have barred wireless carriers from installing equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.in the 5G infrastructure they are building to provide an even-more-connected network for smartphone users.

On December 3, 2018, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, publicly raised security concerns about Huawei telecommunications being involved in his country’s communications infrastructure.

Both Canada and Britain are conducting security reviews of the Chinese company’s 5G technology.

Mr. Vigneault said large corporations typically hold the most valuable information but they try to put in state-of-the-art cyberdefences, while Canadian universities are largely unaware how they are vulnerable to economic espionage and the threat of infiltration by unnamed state actors who would use their expertise to gain an edge in military technologies. Huawei has developed research and development partnerships with many of Canada’s leading academic institutions.” (Globe and Mail, December 4, 2018, emphasis added)

It should be noted that the meeting and the specific theme of David Vigneault’s presentation at the Economic Club on December 4, 2018 had been scheduled well in advance of the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou on December 1.  (See Economic Club )
.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research,  Montreal, December 16, 2018, updated December 20, 2018

*     *     *

Selected Article

America’s “Cell Phone War” against China: HuaWei CFO Meng Wanzhou Held Hostage by Canada

By Christopher Black, December 14, 2018

It is clear the US is pushing the battle line to our door … We can completely regard the US arrest of Meng Wanzhou as a declaration of war against China.”

China’s Toughness v. Weak-Kneed Russia: Beijing’s Response to Arrest of Meng Wanzhou

By Stephen Lendman, December 14, 2018

In response to the lawless arrest, detention, and mistreatment of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities in Vancouver on December 1, acting as a Trump regime proxy, Beijing demanded her immediate release, warning of “grave consequences” otherwise.

“Five Eyes” Intelligence Agencies Behind Drive Against Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei.

By Nick Beams, December 14, 2018

Evidence has come to light that US operations against the Chinese telecommunications giant HuaWei (华为) and the arrest and detention of one of its top executives, Meng Wanzhou, to face criminal charges of fraud brought by the US Justice Department are the outcome of a coordinated campaign by the intelligence agencies of the so-called “Five Eyes” network.

Trump and China: Towards a Cold or Hot War?

By Marc Vandepitte, December 12, 2018

At first glance, the dispute between the US and China revolves around unfair competition and theft of intellectual property. On closer inspection it is about something much more fundamental, namely frantic attempts by Washington to preserve its hegemony over this planet. Are we heading for a clash between the two titans?

Video: Behind the US Attack on Chinese Smartphones

By Manlio Dinucci, December 12, 2018

After having imposed heavy taxes on Chinese merchandise – 250 billion dollars – President Trump, at the G-20, accepted a “truce” by postponing further measures, mainly because the US economy has been struck by Chinese retaliation.

On World Human Rights Day, the Inhumane Treatment of Huawei Meng Wanzhou by Canadian Authorities Becomes Clearer

By Adam Garrie, December 10, 2018

After summoning the Canadian Ambassador in Beijing, China has now summoned the American Ambassador to discuss the status of Meng Wanzhou – the Chinese political prisoner who remains behind bars in Canada in spite of having committed no wrongdoing.

Trump’s Trade War with China: Imagine What Would Happen if China Decided to Impose Economic Sanctions on the USA?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, November 29, 2018

What Trump does not realize is that the trade deficit with China contributes to sustaining America’s retail economy, it also contributes to the growth of America’s GDP.

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China Warns of Escalation Over Huawei Incident

By Stephen Lendman
Source

EU countries, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and most other nations are virtual US colonies, co-opted to do Washington’s bidding – even when harming their own interests.

Canada’s unacceptable arrest and detention of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou was all about Ottawa acting as a US proxy, serving its aim to aid corporate America against foreign competition – by whatever it takes to give US enterprises an  international advantage by fair or foul means.

China warned of “grave consequences” if Meng isn’t unconditionally released. If extradited to America as the Trump regime demands, she faces potential longterm imprisonment over Huawei allegedly circumventing illegal US sanctions on Iran.

No nations or enterprises anywhere should observe them. Going along with illegal US actions amounts to complicity with its imperial agenda, its hot and cold war on one country after another.

According to international law, sanctions on nations may only be imposed by Security Council members. When individual nations impose them on others unilaterally or together with other states, it’s flagrantly illegal.

Republicans and undemocratic Dems weaponized sanctions, one of the ways they wage war by other means. The Vienna-based International Progress Organization calls their use “an illegitimate form of collective punishment of the weakest and poorest members of society, the infants, the children, the chronically ill, and the elderly.”

Washington uses them to target sovereign independent nations politically, economically and financially – a bipartisan conspiracy against rule of law principles and responsible governance, a US specialty against virtually all nations it aims to transform into subservient vassal states.

Along with endless wars of aggression, other hostile actions, and supportive major media propaganda, that’s what imperialism is all about – Washington’s aim to rule the world unchallenged, humanity’s greatest threat.

The longstanding US aim for global dominance risks unthinkable nuclear war, things heading ominously in this direction. If waged, armageddon could follow. More on this below.

On Sunday, China’s Global Times (GT) warned Canada and the US of an escalating row over the Huawei incident, saying:

“By calling on its allies, the US has gradually formed a collective encirclement and suppression of Chinese high-tech enterprise Huawei. It is a wicked precedent,” adding:

“For those countries that seek to ingratiate themselves to the US without regard to China’s interests, China should firmly fight back, causing a heaving price for them.”

“Canada crossed the line by helping the US detain an executive of Huawei…” Currently under house arrest in Vancouver after release on bail, the cost of extraditing her to America will be severe, China warned.

Beijing “needs to prepare for the possibility of conflict escalation,” said GT. It’ll defend its interests against hostile US/Canadian actions.

In retaliation against Meng’s unacceptable treatment by Ottawa, Chinese authorities detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor – perhaps to be held until Meng is unconditionally released, free from extradition to America, able to resume her normal activities unobstructed.

Responding to unacceptable made-in-the-USA toughness with similar actions is the only effective way to counter it, a previous article explained.

The message would be delivered more clearly to the Trump regime if Beijing arrests and detains US nationals in China, holding them until Meng is freed, her safety secured, the issue over her unacceptable arrest and detention resolved.

Beijing needs to show that hostile actions against its enterprises and officials won’t be tolerated – delivering the message to Washington and its proxies clearly.

A previous article discussed longstanding US plans for nuclear war on Russia. Likely similar plans target China and Iran – madness risking destruction of planet earth and all its life forms if any of this is implemented.

Extremist US military planners and politicians want NATO used as a dagger against all sovereign independent nations, wanting them conquered and controlled – why unthinkable nuclear war is possible, maybe likely, what ordinary people in America and elsewhere don’t understand, what major media never explain.

Washington’s prime targets are Russia, China and Iran. If war is waged against them, notably Moscow and Beijing, it’s highly likely that nuclear weapons will be used for the first time in earnest, leaving major US cities vulnerable to retaliation.

An earlier article described the horror of nuclear immolation. If a thermo-nuke is detonated over midtown New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any other major US city, they’d be incinerated with unimaginable force.

Nothing can withstand the destructive power and widespread firestorm of a thermo-nuke detonation, incinerating everything in its path, vaporizing structures and people over a wide area – miles from ground zero, leaving nothing but irradiated smoldering rubble.

It’s not a pretty picture. Virtually one in affected areas could escape. Superheated hurricane-force winds would incinerate them.

Nuclear weapons are unforgiving. Armageddon by these WMDs is real, why eliminating them entirely may be the only way for humanity to survive.

Life on earth hangs in the balance as long as these weapons exist – notably in the hands of warrior state America hellbent on global conquest and dominance.

China’s Toughness v. Weak-Kneed Russia in Dealing with the US

By Stephen Lendman
Source

The only language Washington understands is toughness. The US bullies and bludgeons other nations with impunity because most governments fail to challenge its imperial lawlessness – showing weakness, not strength.

Appeasement is counterproductive and self-defeating. Refusing to tolerate hostile US actions is the only effective response. Nothing else can work.

Diplomacy with Washington accomplishes nothing. Republicans and undemocratic Dems don’t negotiate. They demand. 

They can never be trusted, repeatedly and consistently breaching international law, treaties, conventions, and bilateral agreements – how all hegemonic regimes operate, by their own rules, no others.

The US treats Russia, China, and all other sovereign independent countries as enemies or adversaries, not partners.

It rejects mutual cooperation with other nations, seeking dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations.

Russia believing a partnership with Washington exists is pure fantasy. Republicans and Dems want the country transformed into a US vassal state by whatever it takes to achieve their aim, including possible nuclear war.

It may be inevitable if the Kremlin continues to believe improved relations with Washington can be achieved through patience. 

It hasn’t worked out this way for over a century. Russian patience smacks of self-defeating appeasement. Chances of US policymakers turning a new leaf, seeking rapprochement over confrontation with the Kremlin, is virtually zero.

It’s long past high time Russian patience ran out, toughness with Washington replacing it, no longer tolerating its bullying, illegal sanctions, and other hostile actions.

It’s the only way to get the attention of US policymakers, the only language they understand, the only way to show Moscow no longer will tolerate being treated like a punching bag – without punching back.

In response to the lawless arrest, detention, and mistreatment of Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities in Vancouver on December 1, acting as a Trump regime proxy, Beijing demanded her immediate release, warning of “grave consequences” otherwise.

Granting her bail under unacceptable conditions after 10 days of harsh detention, placing her under virtual house arrest until the Trump regime’s unlawful extradition demand is resolved one way or the other, preventing her from doing her job, constitute illegal affronts to her fundamental rights.

When Russian nationals are unlawfully arrested and held as political prisoners in America, notably Maria Butina most recently, Russia does little more than protest, an ineffective weak-kneed response achieving nothing.

China responded to Meng’s unlawful arrest and detention with toughness. Former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was arrested and detained – reportedly for not properly registering as an NGO in the country, according to AP News.

Declining to confirm his arrest and detention, China’s Foreign Ministry said his activities in the country are illegal.

According to Xinhua, he’s suspected of engaging in activities detrimental to China’s national security – his arrest and detention likely in response to Canada’s targeting of Meng, a tit-for-tat action, the only way to get Ottawa’s attention.

On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau turned truth on its head, claiming his country “always (observes) the rule of law.”

Canada is a US imperial, political, economic, and financial junior partner – notably involved in its wars of aggression.

In deference to Washington, Ottawa is hostile to sovereign independent states the US targets for regime change. Its authorities acted as a US proxy in the lawless arrest and detention of Meng.

China arrested and detained a second Canadian national, entrepreneur Michael Spavor. He’s held on suspicion of endangering the nation’s national security – as convenient a reason as any other in response to Meng’s mistreatment.

Canadian authorities were notified of the arrests and detention of both individuals. What’s going on appears to be Beijing’s response to Meng’s illegal arrest and detention.

Perhaps both Canadian nationals will be held until she’s unconditionally released, free from extradition to America, able to resume her normal activities unobstructed.

Responding to unacceptable made-in-the-USA toughness with similar actions is the only effective way to counter it.

Arresting one or more US nationals, holding them until Meng is unconditionally released, would notify Washington more emphatically that China won’t tolerate unlawful actions against its citizens by the US, Canada, or any other countries.

On Wednesday, Chinese nationals involved in hi-tech work were warned to avoid travel to America.

They were told to remove sensitive work-related information from cell phones and laptops when traveling to the West, notably if have to go to the US. It’s hazardous to their rights and welfare based on what happened to Meng.

In November, the Trump regime’s Beijing embassy revoked 10-year multiple-entry visas issued to certain Chinese researchers specializing in Sino/US relations.

Some of them had their cell phones and computers intrusively checked by US customs officers. Washington wants China marginalized, contained, and isolated.

It wants its aim to become an economic, industrial, and technological powerhouse undermined. Its repeated South China Sea provocations risk military confrontation between both countries.

China’s tough responses to unacceptable US provocations near its territory, along with the arrest and detention of two Canadian nationals, likely in response to what happened to Meng, is the only language these countries understand.

Russia’s failure to respond to unacceptable US toughness the same way shows weakness, not strength.

The only way to get its attention is by responding to its unacceptable actions in kind. Diplomatic outreach and patience with the US are counterproductive and self-defeating.

Following China’s playbook in dealings with Washington is Russia’s only effective strategy. It’s long overdue.

A Final Comment

China’s Global Times said Beijing “will take revenge if Canada does not restore Meng Wanzhou’s freedom.”

Based on its actions so far, it means what it says, and it has lots more tough options to use in dealing with the US and Canada if necessary.

The White House Anxiety Disorder

Hussein Samawarchi

I searched for hours on end for statements released by Syrian, Iranian, and Iraqi officials about the NAFTA agreement but failed to find anything. It seems as if these three countries do not think it is any of their concern or, perhaps, they just believe that Canada, Mexico, and the United States are sovereign nations who maintain the right to indulge in agreements without foreign intervention.

I decided to widen my search and looked for positions taken by the same three Middle Eastern countries regarding defense and military agreements between the United States and European or Far East nations and found nothing of significance.

There are a lot of political stances in Iran, though, about certain issues like further improving national education institutes and medical care. Also, political statements in Syria regarding the necessity to keep the fight against terrorism while diverting much of the national budget towards the rebuilding of the country’s infrastructure. The majority of Iraqi political statements tackle such domestic matters as the strengthening of national unity and improving the public services sector.

Iraq, Iran, and Syria do mention the United States but only in the scope of its meddling in their affairs. They don’t seem to care about it at all when it comes to its choices in bilateral agreements with other countries and the way its government runs things.

Iranian politicians speak frequently about how the United States is actively trying to impoverish the Islamic Republic’s economy. Syrian politicians talk about how the US military has invaded a part of their land and how those Chinook helicopters have become the preferred airline for members of Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group]. Iraqi politicians still wonder why Trump sent an envoy to tell them [not ask them nicely] how to run the country in light of the recent elections; they are perplexed as to whether he was serious in thinking that they would abide by his unrealistic expectations.

It is high time to do some explaining about the meaning of patriotism for those occupying the White House.

It is not enough to say that you love your country. Neither is it enough to fly its flag over your front porch. Loving your country is protecting its borders from occupiers and defending its name from shame. To truly love your country is to uphold democracy, freedom, equality, and honor. Those factors will create a better environment for education, culture, and economy. They will also raise the name of your nation up high between other nations, rendering citizens proud of their nationality.

Patriotism is all that and more. You are not a patriot if you knowingly incorporate the name of your nation with theft, murder, and destruction. Blasting an Iraqi bomb shelter on top of the heads of nearly 500 civilians brings indescribable shame to your flag; so does supplying arms to Daesh members for the purpose of shooting Syrian women. There’s also the matter of dispatching wave after wave of the so-called precision bombs to the Saudis – the fact that scores of little Yemeni children never made it back home from school has not put the US in the list of the top ten humanitarian countries. Not even in the top 190.

One wonders if, by some miracle, Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin would come back to see what the constitutional government they helped create has evolved into. I see them organizing a revolution backed up by the many decent Americans who can’t make ends meet because their money is being sent to a foreign Zionist army committing daily atrocities against Palestinians. They would surely succeed and claim the White House but would also probably not manage to clean it up because many more Monica Lewinskys are always on standby to bring down anyone who defies the Zionist agenda.

The American administration says it is working seamlessly to prevent closer ties between Iraq, Syria, and Iran. It appears that smooth borders between the three neighboring countries in accordance with enhanced diplomatic agreements create a source of anxiety for the Americans.

With the elevated level of awareness that the leaders and people of the three countries have, it is impossible to break them apart. This option is out of the question. The only solution left is to tend to the anxiety problem, which brings us to the results of my third and final search.

It turns out that all three countries have an incredible number of professional practitioners in the area of mental health. Since it is very difficult for our psychiatrists to travel to the US because Trump has placed so many regulations against granting visas for citizens of Islamic countries, an aircraft can be sent to Washington for free. He is welcome to bring along Pompeo, Bolton, Pence, and the rest of the gang suffering from acute anxiety disorder and they wouldn’t have to pay a single cent because medical treatment in these countries is free for those who can’t afford it and for guests.

Lessons in true patriotism are also free of charge.

Source: Al-Ahed News

NYT: Uproar Over Dissident Rattles Saudi Royal Family, King Has No Capacity To Handle Crisis

 

 

Ben Hubbard, David D. Kirkpatrick

As international outrage grew at Saudi Arabia over the apparent killing of the Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, an alarmed King Salman dispatched a senior royal to address the matter with Turkey’s president.

Prince Khalid al-Faisal returned home from Ankara with a bleak message for the royal family: “It is really difficult to get out of this one,” Prince Khalid told relatives after his return, one of those family members recalled this week. “He was really disturbed by it.”

Saudi Arabia is facing perhaps its greatest international crisis since the revelation that its citizens planned and carried out the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Members of the ruling family are increasingly worried about the direction of the country under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old favorite son of King Salman and the kingdom’s day-to-day ruler.

But unlike 2001, when the royal family came together to protect its collective interests, this time that may not be possible. Instead, there is deep concern, as royals search, so far in vain, for a way to contain the crown prince, who has consolidated power so completely that nearly everyone else is marginalized.kha

The one person who could intervene is the king himself, but senior princes have found it nearly impossible to bring their concerns to the 82-year-old monarch, and some doubt he is fully aware of what is happening or willing to change course.

“The king has no capacity to handle it,” said an employee of a senior prince, speaking on condition of anonymity like others in this article because of fear of repercussions.

Speaking of Crown Prince Mohammed, he said, “He is No. 1 and No. 2.”

Since the Saudi state was founded in 1932, the royal family has at times been torn by disagreements, even an assassination. But the thousands of princes and princesses who make up the House of Saud have ultimately found ways to preserve the dynasty. There was simply too much at stake to let family rifts get in the way of lavish lifestyles, exorbitant allowances and unrivaled privileges.

Then came Crown Prince Mohammed — young, brash and eager — who has systematically dismantled the system of consensus that kept the peace for decades.

With all the power in his hands, the crown prince also abandoned the traditional Saudi foreign policy style that used quiet, behind-the-scenes deal making and checkbook diplomacy. Instead, he moved aggressively, launching a disastrous military intervention in Yemen; kidnapping the Lebanese prime minister; and rupturing relations with Qatar and Canada. Meanwhile, he marketed a new Saudi Arabia abroad in which a dynamic economy would boom and women would drive.

That pitch won over fans who saw him as exactly the kind of leader the kingdom needed to shake off its conservative past. Among those fans was the Trump administration, which made him the pillar of its Middle East policy.

But his rise irked many of his cousins, who now fear the worst as they helplessly watch the kingdom’s reputation become toxic.

Turkish officials have said a 15-member hit team from Saudi Arabia was waiting for Mr. Khoshoggi and dismembered him inside the consulate. It seems unlikely that such an operation could have been undertaken without the crown prince’s knowledge.

Such a prospect has created something the prince’s relatives thought they’d never see: a problem they cannot buy their way out of. And none appear willing or able to match the young prince’s Machiavellian tactics.

“They aren’t a particularly draconian bunch,” said another longtime associate of the royal family, describing the philosophy of some princes as, “We just want to eat burgers and go on foreign holidays.”

Associates of the royal family say that senior princes don’t have the access to King Salman that they had to previous kings, making it hard to voice concerns. Some princes cannot enter the royal court or the king’s palace unless their names have been placed at the door ahead of time, one member of the royal family complained.

Otherwise, they see the king at official events where it is considered bad form to raise thorny issues or they visit him at night when he is playing cards, also a bad time for serious talk.

At the same time, Prince Mohammed has been scrambling to mitigate the damage. One Western adviser said that even he had been taken aback by the outrage.

“He was in real shock at the magnitude of the reaction,” the adviser said.

The palace turmoil has been reflected in Saudi Arabia’s shifting explanations for what happened to Mr. Khashoggi. For weeks, the government officials insisted that he had left the Istanbul consulate shortly after he arrived and they had no idea of his whereabouts.

Early Saturday, Saudi state-run media said Mr. Khoshoggi had been killed in a fistfight inside the consulate and that 18 unidentified Saudis were being held in connection with his death. It was the kingdom’s first admission that Mr. Khoshoggi was dead.

The crown prince has steadfastly rejected the pleas of Wall Street executives to postpone an investor conference he is scheduled to host next week in Riyadh, even as one after another participant has canceled because of the scandal, including United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Instead, the crown prince formed a crisis committee of representatives of the intelligence agencies, Foreign Ministry and security services to update him throughout the day on the latest in the Khashoggi scandal. He has recalled his younger brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman, the ambassador to Washington, accelerating plans to name him as a kind of national security adviser to bring order to what largely has been an ad hoc policy process.

The royal court has threatened to retaliate against any moves taken against the kingdom, suggesting it might use its influence on the oil markets as leverage over the global economy. One closely allied commentator suggested that sanctions against the kingdom could push it and the Muslim world “into the arms of Iran.”

The terse announcement early Saturday that Khashoggi died inside the consulate during a fight appeared to be part of a strategy of acknowledging his death but shifting the responsibility away from the crown prince.

Officials were known to have been weighing whether to blame Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy head of intelligence and a confidant of the young prince. People with knowledge of the plan said it would accuse General Assiri of having orchestrated a plot intended to capture Mr. Khashoggi but that it ultimately killed him — an explanation the Saudis hope will help to shield the crown prince from further recriminations.

On Saturday, General Assiri was removed from his post, state media reported, along with at least three other high-level officials. It was not made clear whether the dismissals had any connection to the Khashoggi case.

While Saudi Arabia was traditionally ruled by senior princes who divided major portfolios and made big policy decisions by consensus under the king, many of those once once-powerful princes have seen their power cut. Some have been removed from prominent posts. Others were locked in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton last year on accusations of corruption made by Crown Prince Mohammed. Still others and their families are banned from travel and too scared they might be arrested to speak up.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the previous crown prince and counterterrorism czar, remains under virtual house arrest. He, his wife and their two daughters found out earlier this year that their Saudi bank accounts had been drained, a relative said.

The sons of the former king, Abdullah, who died in 2015, have been neutralized. One was removed as the head of the National Guard, accused of corruption and stripped of assets, including the horse track he inherited from his father. His brother, a former governor of Riyadh, is detained, as is another son of another former king. Yet another brother is hiding out in Europe, scared that he could be kidnapped and sent home.

That leaves only the crown prince’s father, King Salman, to check his power.

“There is one person inside Saudi Arabia who can challenge Mohammed bin Salman and it is the king,” said Joseph A. Kechichian, a scholar at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh.

But the king must consider not only the stain of the Khashoggi issue on his son’s reputation, but also how to continue the reform program known as Vision 2030 that the crown prince has begun, Mr. Kechichian said.

Others question whether the king’s health allows him to grasp all that is happening.

“One worries about the mental state of King Salman,” said Madawi al-Rasheed, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and author of many books on Saudi Arabia. “Is he really in a position to make these decisions at this late age?”

Removing such a powerful crown prince could prove hugely disruptive, and few princes would want the job with a resentful Mohammed bin Salman scheming against his replacement. But one Western diplomat with long experience in the kingdom suggested that the king might check the young prince by reducing his power, perhaps redistributing control of the security services to other respected princes.

“The brand has been irreparably tarnished — domestically they really do need to do something to rein MBS in,” the diplomat said, referring to the crown prince by his initials. “They need to do something to corral him.”

One of the few with the stature to urge the king to make such a shift might be Prince Khalid, who flew to Ankara to see the Turks. A son of the late King Faisal and now governor of Mecca Province, Prince Khalid, 78, is esteemed in the family as measured and intelligent. That the king sent him on such a touchy mission indicates that he already has the monarch’s trust. His half brother, Prince Turki al-Faisal, was a longtime friend and patron of Mr. Khashoggi in the decades when he worked in the Saudi establishment before he turned critical of Crown Prince Mohammed.

Some foes of the crown prince have hoped for a challenge for the throne from the king’s brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz. Prince Ahmed, 73, is the youngest of seven sons of the late King Abdulaziz who all shared the same mother, Hussa bint Ahmed al-Sudairi. The Sudairi seven, as they were known, formed a powerful bloc within the family and passed the throne from brother to brother — a pattern that might have extended to Prince Ahmed if King Salman had not redirected the line of succession to his own son.

So critics of Prince Mohammed were electrified last month when Prince Ahmed addressed protesters on the street in London who were chanting against the royal family over the war in Yemen.

“What does this have to do with the Al Saud?” Prince Ahmed said, in comments caught on video. “Those responsible are the king and his crown prince.”

When asked about the war in Yemen, he replied, “I hope the situation ends, whether in Yemen or elsewhere, today before tomorrow.”

Source: NYT, Edited by website team

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