China: A New Philosophy of Economics

Global Research, November 16, 2018

China’s economic philosophy is a far cry from that of the west. 

The west consistently seeks to undermine the interests of their partners, be it for trade or political agreements; be it partners from the west, their smaller and weaker brothers; or from the east; or from the south – there is always an element of exploitation, of “one-upmanship”, of outdoing a partner, of domination. Equality and fairness are unknown by the west.

Or, when the concept was once known, at least by some countries and some people, it has been erased by indoctrinated neoliberal thinking – egocentricity, “me first”, and the sheer, all-permeating doctrine of “maximizing profits”; short-term thinking, instant gratification – or more extreme, making a killing today for a gamble or deal that takes place tomorrow. Futures trading – the epitome of manipulating economic values. Only in the capitalist world.

This has become a key feature of western commerce and trading. It’s manipulation and exploitation over ethics; it’s Profits Über Alles! – Doesn’t it sound like fascism? – Well it is. And if the partner doesn’t fall for the ruse, coercion becomes the name of the game – and if that doesn’t work the western military move in with bombs and tanks, seeking regime change – destroying the very country the west wants to dominate. That’s western brutal economics – full hegemony. No sharing.

China’s approach is quite different. It’s one of sharing, of participating, of mutual benefits. China invests trillions of dollars equivalent in developing countries – Asia, especially India and now also Pakistan, Africa, South America, largely for infrastructure projects, as well as mining of natural resources. Unlike the gains from western investments, the benefits of China’s investments are shared. China’s investment and mining concessions are not coerced, but fairly negotiated. China’s investment relationship with a partner country remains peaceful and is not ‘invasive’ and abusive, as are most of those of the west – which uses threats and guns to get what they want.

Of course, the west complains about Chinese investments, lying how abusive they are, when in reality the west is upset about Chinese competition in Africa and South America – Continents that are still considered part of the western domain, as they were colonized for about thousand years by western powers and empires – and as of today, African and Latin-American countries are neo-colonized, no longer (for now) with brute military force, but with even more ferocious financial strangulation, through sanctions, boycotts and embargos; all highly illegal by any international standards. But there aren’t any international laws that are upheld. International courts and judges are coerced to obey Washington’s dictates, or else… literally “or else”; and these are serious threats.

Take the case of West and Central Africa, former French colonies. The French West African zone includes eight countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo; and the French Central African area comprises six countries – Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. All 14 countries have a common currency, the CFA franc (CFA = Communauté financière africaine – African Financial Community). 

They are two separate currencies, though always at parity and therefore interchangeable. The Western and Central African monetary union have separate central banks, the Banque Centrale des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest, BCEAO, headquartered in Dakar, Senegal; and the Banque des États de l’Afrique Centrale, BEAC, in Yaoundé, Cameroun. Both currencies are guaranteed by the French treasury. This means in fact, that the economy of these 14 countries not only depends on France, but setting the value of the currency (at present one € = 655 CFA francs) is entirely the prerogative of the Banque de France (French Central Bank). This ultra-complicated setup between the two groups of former and new French colonies is not only a matter of French accounting, but foremost a means to confuse and distract the mostly innocent observer from a flagrant abusive reality.

With the French control over the West- and Central African currencies, the foreign trading capacity of these countries is reduced to what France will allow. France has a de facto monopoly on these countries’ production. Should France stop buying their “former-new” colonies goods, the countries go broke, as they have been unable to develop alternative markets under the French yoke. Thus, they are always at the mercy of France, the IMF, World Bank and the African Development Bank. – From labor slaves up to the early 1960s, they have become debt slaves of the neoliberal age. 

In addition, to back this French Treasury guarantee, 85% of the countries’ foreign exchange reserves are blocked by the French Central Bank and may only be used by the respective counties against specific permission – and – as a loan. – Imagine! – The “former” French colonies have to borrow their own money from the French Central Bank. Similar debt enslaving is going on in former British and Portuguese colonies, though, none of them is as abjectly abusive as are the French. 

Big wonder that Chinese investors are highly welcome in Africa. And knowing western manipulating and deranged mindsets, no wonder that China is demonized by the west as exploiting Africa to the bones, when exactly the contrary is the case. But almighty western lie-propaganda media has the brainwashed western populace believe China is stealing African natural resources. Chinese fairness is indeed tough competition against the usual western trickery and deceit.

In Africa, China is not only focusing on buying and trading natural resources, but on training and using local African brainpower to convert Africa from a western slave into an equal partner. For example, to boost African autonomy, China is using an approach, Ghadaffy intended to apply – entering the wireless phone system, conquering some of the market with efficient batteries, and providing cheaper and more efficient services than the west, hence directly competing with the western exploited African telephone market. Chinese phones also come with their own browsers, so that internet may eventually be accessed in the remotest places of Africa, providing a top tool for education. Challenging the EU and US dominated multi-billion-dollar market, is just one of the reasons Ghadaffy was miserably murdered by French-led NATO forces. Of course, China’s presence is a bit more difficult to kick than was Ghadaffy’s. 

This is just one more signal that China is in Africa – and Asia and Latin America – not just for the legendary American Quick Buck, but for genuine investments in long-term economic development which involves developing transportation networks, efficient and independent financial systems which may escape the western SWIFT and FED / Wall Street banking system through which US sanctions are imposed. This may involve the creation of government controlled blockchain currencies – see also Venezuela’s hydrocarbon-backed Petro – and linking African currencies to the Yuan and the eastern SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) monetary system – freeing Africa from the dollar hegemony. With the help of China and Russia, Africa may, in fact, become the forerunner of crypto-currencies – and, in the case of west-and central Africa, the 14 countries would be able to gain financial autonomy, and to the chagrin of the French Central Bank, manage their own financial resources, breaking loose from under the little-talked about French yoke. It is quite conceivable that with Chinese development assistance Africa will become an important trading partner for the east, leaving western exploiting and abusing business and banking magnates behind in the dust.

The Overseas Private Investment Cooperation (OPIC), a US private lending as well as investment guarantee agency – is upset about US investors losing out to Chinese and wants US corporations to compete more aggressively – which is precisely what Africa rejects, America’s violent bombing approach to impose her trade and concession rules with the coercing help of the IMF and the World Bank. Africa is seeking – finally – sovereignty, deciding over her own financial and political destiny. This includes choosing investors and trading partners of their liking.

Many African and South American countries prefer China’s yuan-investments, rather than Washington’s US-dollar investments. Its ‘softer’ money coming from the Chinese. For China it’s also a way of diverting the world from the US-dollar, providing incentives for countries to divest their dollar reserves into yuan reserves. That’s is already happening at accelerating speed. 

China’s outlook at home and abroad is nothing less than spectacular. On the home front, they are building cutting-edge technology transport infrastructure, such as high-speed railways, for example, connecting Shanghai and Hangzhou, cutting travel time from one and a half hour in half. China’s high-speed bullet train connects for the first time Hong Kong with the mainland, cutting travel time Hong Kong to Beijing from 24 hours to 9 hours.

In October 2018, after nine years construction, President Xi Jinping opened the world’s longest sea crossing bridge, linking Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. The bridge is 55 km long – about 20 times the length of San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge. In urban development, existing and new multi-million people cities are planned, expanded and stamped out of the ground in less than a generation.

China has just built a US$ 2.1 billion AI (Artificial Intelligence) industrial park, and is not sleeping either on the environmental protection and development front, investing billions in research and development of alternative clean energies, especially solar power and its storage potential, next generation beyond lithium batteries, ranging from lithium solid state to electrolyte materials to graphene batteries and eventually to copper foam substrate. And that’s not the end of the line. Each battery technology offers increased capacity, safety and charging and discharging speed.  

On the domestic and international front, the Belt and Road (B and R) Initiative – the New Silk Road – is China’s President Xi’s phenomenal geo-economic initiative to connect the world from China with several transport routes and develop in a first step Western China, Eastern Russia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe – all the way to the frontiers of western Europe. This massive economic development program includes industrial parks, trade and cultural interchanges, research and development through existing universities and new science and learning centers. Maritime routes are also foreseen entering Africa through Kenya and Southern Europe and the Middle East via the Greek port of Piraeus and Iran – a southern route is also planned to enter the southern cone of Latin America.  

The endeavor is so huge, it has recently been inscribed into the Chinese Constitution. It will mobilize in the coming decades and possibly century trillions of yuan and dollar-equivalent of investments, mostly from China, Russia, the other SCO countries, as well as European partners  – and foremost the Beijing-based AIIB (Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank) which has already 70 member countries, among them Australia, Canada, Western European nations and close to 20 prospective new countries; but not the United States of America.

This giant project, is of course, not without challenges. While the need for proof of “credit worthiness” by being tied to the IMF and World Bank of the eighties and nineties had since long faded into oblivion, China is still bound to the IMF and WB. – Why? – In my opinion it proves two things, The People’s Bank of China – the Chinese Central Bank – is still controlled by the FED and BIS (Bank for International Settlement, alias, central bank of all central banks), and a strong Fifth Column that doesn’t yield an inch of their power. The Chinese leadership could implement the necessary changes towards full financial sovereignty – but, why is that not happening? – Western threats and their secret services have become ever more sophisticated abduction and “neutralizing” machines over the past 70 years. 

The next question is what’s the Chinese lending limit to countries who have already or will subscribe to the Belt and Road Initiative to help them repay western debt and integrate into the new eastern economic model and monetary system? The question is relevant, because China’s money supply is based on China’s economic output; unlike western currencies which are purely fiat money (hot air). 

Also, how will ownership of foreign assets, i.e. infrastructure funded and perhaps built, dealt with? – Will they become Chinese property, increasing China’s capital base and flow of money? – Or would they be negotiated as long-term concessions, after which a country may repay to acquire sovereign ownership, or transfer part or all of the assets to China as a shareholder. These are relevant considerations, especially with regard to the huge B&R investments foreseen in the coming years. These decisions should be made autonomously by Chinese leadership, totally outside the influence of western monetary czars, like IMF and WB. 

Another issue which is steadily and increasingly cropping up in the west, of course to demonize China and discourage “western civilized” (sic) countries to associate themselves with socialist China – is China’s concept of “Social Credits”. It is largely based on what the west calls a dictatorial, freedom-robbing surveillance state – with cameras and face-recognition everywhere. Of course, totally ignoring the western own Orwellian Big Brother Surveillance and lie apparatus which calls itself democracy – and in fact is a democracy for then the elite of the plutocrats, gradually and by heavy propaganda brainwashing converting what’s left of ‘democracy’ into outright fascism – we, in the west, are almost there. And this, to the detriment of the “Silent Lambs” – as per Rainer Mausfeld’s latest book, in German, “Why are Lambs Silent” (German Westend-Verlag). Yes, that’s what we have become: “Silent Lambs”.

It is too easy to demonize China for attempting to create a more harmonious, cohesive and peaceful society. Granted, this surveillance in China as in the west, demolishes to a large extent individualism, individual thinking, thereby limiting human creativeness and freedom. This is a topic which the Chinese socialist government, independent of western critique, may have to address soon to keep precisely one of the key principles of Chinese society alive – ‘social cohesiveness’ and a sense of equality and freedom. 

What is the “Social Credit” system? – It is a digital footprint of everything the Chinese do, as private citizens, as corporate managers in production as well as banking, workers, food sellers, in order to basically create an ambiance of full transparency (that’s the goal – far from having been reached), so as to establish citizens’ and corporations’ “creditworthiness”, in financial terms, but also assessing crime elements, political inclinations, radicalism, to prevent potential terror acts (interestingly, in the case of most western terror acts, officials say the ‘terrorists’ were known to the police – which simply leaves you to conclude that they acted in connivance with the forces of order); and to enhance food safety in restaurants and by other food sellers. 

In other words, the aim is to establish corporate and individual “score cards” which will work as a rewards and punishment system, a “carrot and stick” approach. Depending on the crime or deviation from the rule, you may be reprimanded and get ‘debits’ – which you may wipe out by changing your behavior. Living under the spell of debits may limit, for example, your access to comfortable or speedy travel, better and speedier trains, air tickets, certain cultural events and more.

Yes, the idea of creating a stable domestic society has its drawbacks – surveillance – demolition of much of individualism, creativity, by implanting conformity. The government’s axiom is “we want a society where people don’t desire to break the rules, but the earliest stage is that they are afraid to break the rules.”  

In the end, the question is, will the “Social Credits” approach to societal living, meaning a total surveillance state with every data recorded into a network of total control, be beneficial or detrimental for the Chinese goal to push ahead with her extraordinary and mostly egalitarian economic development approach, transport and industrial infrastructure, scientific research and cultural exchange – called Belt and Road, alias the New Silk Road? – Only the future will tell; but the Chinese are not alone. They have solid partners in the SCO – and long-term economic development endeavors never work in linear values, but with the unknown of dynamics to which humans are uniquely adapted to adjust. 

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Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organizationaround the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from NEO

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Rewarding Jihadists for Terrorism

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Even ideological extremists need monetary and other incentives to carry out CW and other atrocities.

According to ISIS documents obtained by RT Arabic, their fighters were paid for their services – in silver for CW attacks wrongfully blamed on Damascus, gold for downing a helicopter, cars for taking down an aircraft, incentives to try harder – payments for “fight(ing) the enemies.”

Even ideologically driven jihadists need motivation. Financial ones work best, the same way they do for individuals involved in legitimate work.

According to Iraqi Lt. Col. Jaber Asaad, evidence “confirms that the group possessed chemical weapons that are banned throughout the world.”

They include sarin, chlorine, and other toxins, supplied by foreign countries, transported to Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, used as US-supported weapons of war.

“A huge number of (ISIS and other jihadists) arrived in Iraq (and Syria) from other countries. You can talk about hundreds of thousands of people, including the families of terrorists – wives and children who were smuggled illegally into” these countries, largely from Turkey and Jordan, perhaps from Israeli occupied Golan as well,” Asaad explained.

The US wages all its wars of aggression without mercy. Unofficial rules of engagement permit anything goes – fundamental rule of law principles flagrantly violated.

Throughout the history of US wars, notably during and since WW II, the Pentagon used and continues using banned chemical, biological, radiological incendiary and cluster munitions.

Radioactive, chemically toxic and poisonous depleted uranium, white phosphorous able to burn flesh to the bone on contact, and other illegal weapons are also used.

In all its war theaters, Washington flagrantly breaches international, constitutional and US statute laws pertaining to warfare. 

Notably US operations repeatedly breach the 1945 Nuremberg Principles, prohibiting “crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Fourth Geneva protecting civilians in times of war, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, prohibiting crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

Coverup and denial is official US policy. A Pentagon statement lied, saying “(a)s a matter of policy, the coalition will not publicly discuss the use of specific weapons and munitions in operations.” 

“However, every weapons system in the US inventory undergoes a legal review to ensure the weapon complies with the Law of Armed Conflict.”

State-sponsored deception is also longstanding US policy. Since WW II, notably post-9/11, US crimes of war and against humanity far continue to exceed serious wrongdoing by other nations.

Under Republicans and undemocratic Dems, America is an outlaw state. Its endless wars of aggression threaten everyone everywhere.

It opposes the rules-based international order – threatening mass destruction by asserting the preemptive right to use nuclear weapons, even against non-nuclear states.

Its “peace” agenda features endless wars of aggression. Its rage for dominance may kill us all.

What Genghis Khan Can Teach Us About American Politics

What Genghis Khan Can Teach Us About American Politics

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 15.11.2018

What Genghis Khan Can Teach Us About American Politics

The brutal warlord understood how to govern shrewdly and even humanely.

Casey CHALK

Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Winston Churchill, even Barack Obama: there are many historical figures who Americans have turned to for inspiration in this political distemper. That’s especially true with the midterm elections only a week in the books. But I’ve recently found an even more surprising leader who offers a number of political lessons worth contemplating: Genghis Khan.

I’m quite serious.

As a former history teacher, I picked up Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World because I realized I knew relatively little about one of the most influential men in human history. Researchers have estimated that 0.5 percent of men have Genghis Khan’s DNA in them, which is perhaps one of the most tangible means of determining historical impact. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Mongolian warlord conquered a massive chunk of the 13th-century civilized world—including more than one third of its population. He created one of the first international postal systems. He decreed universal freedom of religion in all his conquered territories—indeed, some of his senior generals were Christians.

Of course, Genghis Khan was also a brutal military leader who showed no mercy to enemies who got in his way, leveling entire cities and using captured civilians as the equivalent of cannon fodder. Yet even the cruelest military geniuses (e.g. Napoleon) are still geniuses, and we would be wise to consider what made them successful, especially against great odds. In the case of Genghis Khan, we have a leader who went from total obscurity in one of the most remote areas of Asia to the greatest, most feared military figure of the medieval period, and perhaps the world. This didn’t happen by luck—the Mongolian, originally named Temujin, was not only a skilled military strategist, but a shrewd political leader.

As Genghis Khan consolidated control over the disparate tribes of the steppes of northern Asia, he turned the traditional power structure on its head. When one tribe failed to fulfill its promise to join him in war and raided his camp in his absence, he took an unprecedented step. He summoned a public gathering, or khuriltai, of his followers, and conducted a public trial of the other tribe’s aristocratic leaders. When they were found guilty, Khan had them executed as a warning to other aristocrats that they would no longer be entitled to special treatment. He then occupied the clan’s lands and distributed the remaining tribal members among his own people. This was not for the purposes of slavery, but a means of incorporating conquered peoples into his own nation. The Mongol leader symbolized this act by adopting an orphan boy from the enemy tribe and raising him as his own son.

Weatherford explains: “Whether these adoptions began for sentimental reasons or for political ones, Temujin displayed a keen appreciation of the symbolic significance and practical benefit of such acts in uniting his followers through his usage of fictive kinship.” Genghis Khan employed this equalizing strategy with his military as well—eschewing distinctions of superiority among the tribes. For example, all members had to perform a certain amount of public service. Weatherford adds: “Instead of using a single ethnic or tribal name, Temujin increasingly referred to his followers as the People of the Felt Walls, in reference to the material from which they made their gers [tents].”

America, alternatively, seems divided along not only partisan lines, but those of race and language as well. There is also an ever-widening difference between elite technocrats and blue-collar folk, or “deplorables.” Both parties have pursued policies that have aggravated these differences, and often have schemed to employ them for political gain. Whatever shape they take—identity politics, gerrymandering—the controversies they cause have done irreparable harm to whatever remains of the idea of a common America. The best political leaders are those who, however imperfectly, find a way to transcend a nation’s many differences and appeal to a common cause, calling on all people, no matter how privileged, to participate in core activities that define citizenship.

The Great Khan also saw individuals not as autonomous, atomistic individuals untethered to their families and local communities, but rather as inextricably linked to them. For example, “the solitary individual had no legal existence outside the context of the family and the larger units to which it belonged; therefore the family carried responsibility of ensuring the correct behavior of its members…to be a just Mongol, one had to live in a just community.” This meant, in effect, that the default social arrangement required individuals to be responsible for those in their families and immediate communities. If a member of a family committed some crime, the entire unit would come under scrutiny. Though such a paradigm obviously isn’t ideal, it reflects Genghis Khan’s recognition that the stronger our bonds to our families, the stronger the cohesion of the greater society. Politicians should likewise pursue policies that support and strengthen the family, the “first society,” rather than undermining or redefining it.

There are other gems of wisdom to be had from Genghis Khan. He accepted a high degree of provincialism within his empire, reflecting an ancient form of subsidiarity. Weatherford notes: “He allowed groups to follow traditional law in their area, so long as it did not conflict with the Great Law, which functioned as a supreme law or a common law over everyone.” This reflects another important task for national leaders, who must seek to honor, and even encourage, local governments and economies, rather than applying one-size-fits-all solutions.

He was an environmentalist, codifying “existing ideals by forbidding the hunting of animals between March and October during the breeding time.” This ensured the preservation and sustainability of the Mongol’s native lands and way of life. He recognized the importance of religion in the public square, offering tax exemptions to religious leaders and their property and excusing them from all types of public service. He eventually extended this to other essential professions like public servants, undertakers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and scholars. Of course, in our current moment, some of these professions are already well compensated for their work, but others, like teachers, could benefit from such a tax exemption.

There’s no doubt that Genghis Khan was a brutal man with a bloody legacy. Yet joined to that violence was a shrewd political understanding that enabled him to create one of the greatest empires the world has ever known. He eschewed the traditional tribal respect for the elites in favor of the common man, he pursued policies that brought disparate peoples under a common banner, and he often avoided a scorched earth policy in favor of mercy to his enemies. Indeed, as long as enemy cities immediately surrendered to the Mongols, the inhabitants saw little change in their way of life. And as Weatherford notes, he sought to extend these lessons to his sons shortly before his death:

He tried to teach them that the first key to leadership was self-control, particularly mastery of pride, which was something more difficult, he explained, to subdue than a wild lion, and anger, which was more difficult to defeat than the greatest wrestler. He warned them that “if you can’t swallow your pride, you can’t lead.” He admonished them never to think of themselves as the strongest or smartest. Even the highest mountain had animals that step on it, he warned. When the animals climb to the top of the mountain, they are even higher than it is.

Perhaps if American politicians were to embrace this side of the Great Khan, focusing on serving a greater ideal rather than relentless point-scoring, we might achieve the same level of national success, without the horrific bloodshed.

theamericanconservative.com

Yes, What About Yemen?

By Jeremy Salt
Source

Yemen_Flag_2a6d4.jpg

After the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, many are asking ‘But what about Yemen?’ Yes, indeed, what about Yemen, but what about Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Somalia? What about Egypt in 1956, what about Iran in 1953 and what about Palestine from 1917 to the present day?

There is a string of ‘what abouts?’ going all the way back to the French occupation of Algeria in 1830.  The ‘western’ presence in North Africa and the Middle East is an unbroken record of criminality, invasion, occupation, massacre, assassination and overthrow stretching back over two hundred years.

The ‘west’ is always killing someone somewhere, or helping someone else to kill them. Nothing has ever stopped it.  Not 9/11 and certainly not the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Even now Britain is ramping up its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, consolidating its position as a partner in the slaughter of Yemenis.

This is the template for what we now see around us.  In the Middle East, the ‘west’ has been a curse. But what is ‘the west’?

No more than a useful cover, basically for three countries, Britain, France, and the US.  Their outriders, Australia, Canada, other European states, in it for the money, or bullied and intimidated into joining the ‘coalition of the willing’ or whatever propaganda phase is cooked up to conceal the massacre of millions, are no more than useful bit players masquerading as independent countries.  To this list has to be added the Arab regimes prepared to sell out anything that can be defined as an Arab cause in return for ‘western’ approval, pre-eminently Palestine. Previously covert dealings with Israel by Gulf states are now right out in the open.

From 1798 when French warships arrived off the coast of Egypt until 1956 when Britain and France were humiliated at Suez, it these two countries that brought havoc to the Middle East, wave after wave and country after country.  If the Palestinians lost Palestine it was because the British gave it to the Zionists. If the Zionists have nuclear weapons it is because France gave them their nuclear reactor.

These two powers have an appalling record wherever you want to look. Their ‘peace conference’ after the end of the First World War was a ‘more war’ conference. Wars on the people of Palestine and Iraq, along with the wars already running, on the people of Egypt and Algeria, where the French butchered Algerians in the streets of Paris in the 1960s, having butchering them in their occupied home country. They massacred them and asphyxiated them with smoke in the caves where they were hiding. So much for la mission civilisatrice.

By the 1960s, finally, exhausted, militarily and financially, no longer able to hang on to their empires, the two governments had to let go and hand power over to the third pillar of the ‘western’ imperium, the US.

Having conspired to overthrow the Syrian government in 1949 and the Iranian government in 1953, the US was planning to overthrow the Syrian government again in 1956 at the very moment Britain France and British, Zionist colony in Palestine attacked Egypt.

Eisenhower knew nothing of the simultaneous plot to destroy the Egyptian government. Deceived by Britain and France, he was furious.

Threatening Britain with an end to financial aid, and seizing the opportunity to let France and Britain know who was boss in the Middle East from now on, he quickly brought the attack on Egypt to an end.

No longer able to start wars of their own, Britain and France now follow the US wherever it wants to go, into Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, running in to grab whatever they can from the chaos.

The consequences for the people of the Middle East are deaths on a massive scale and refugees pouring out of their ruptured countries, drowning in the Aegean or the Mediterranean while the killing continues somewhere else.

No ‘western’ country takes any responsibility for any of this. When ‘migrants’ jump ashore from rubber boats or press against border fences, the collective ‘west’ is affronted as if this humanitarian crisis had nothing to do with it, as if these people were the cause of the problem rather than the symptom.

Morality, justice, law, human rights, civilization, democracy are all irrelevant, indeed an insult when coming from the mouths of the politicians responsible for this devastation. The clichés are uttered and the caravan of death moves on.

Witness Khashoggi. They want him forgotten as soon as possible so they can get on with business as usual, i.e. selling weapons so the Saudis can bomb more buses and wedding parties in Yemen and starve more children to death.

It surely has escaped no-one’s attention that all the countries or territories they or their colonial implant in the Middle East, Israel, invade, bomb or occupy, with the single exception of the Balkans in the 1990s, are almost wholly or predominantly Muslim?

Syrian, Yemeni, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia and Palestine recurrently over the past seven decades and just about everyone in the Muslim world at some point, going back to 1798.

They have killed millions of mostly innocent people. Those that did take up arms were resisting invasion and occupation. Did Fouad Zakaria really have to ask, after 9/11, ‘why do they hate us?’ If there is a ‘clash of civilizations,’ who does anyone think has created it and whose blood was really shed along ‘Islam’s bloody borders,’ as described by Samuel Huntington?

Have a look at a map of the Middle East and North Africa. At some point, virtually all of it has come under ‘western’ attack.  The exceptions happen to be those pandering rulers that give the ‘west’ what it wants and keep on giving.

Money and weaponry trump morality every time. What is the shocking murder of one man compared to the hundreds of billions to be made from arms sales and other deals with Saudi Arabia?

Amorality is the name of their game. They armed Saddam. They helped him use chemical weapons against his Iranian enemy. They looked the other way when he used them against the Kurds and when they had no more use for him they hanged him.

They bought Libya’s oil and brought Muammar al Qadhafi in from the cold until he began setting up financial structures to take Africa out of the hands of the IMF. Then they destroyed his country and killed him. Hillary Clinton guffawed when told of his murder.

Trump promised to end the wars but did not. That is not the reason he is hated by the pseudo-liberals, from the babbling talk show hosts to the editors of their house journals, the Washington Post and the New Yorker.

They couldn’t care less how many Syrians, Yemenis or Palestinians died last week. They hate Trump because he is not one of them. He offends them by his presence. He does not look like them and he does not talk like them. Neither do they have any affinity with the people he represents, including the soldiers from impoverished regions and decaying cities who fight the wars they support.

They just want this execrable creature gone, by whatever means it takes, removed permanently from their line of sight.

They like Hillary. She is a woman, after all, a feminist icon who crashed through the glass ceiling by being as bad as the men and worse than most.  This is what is called a victory for women everywhere.  She is a feminist who has never shown any compassion for the murdered women and children of Palestine, Syria, and Yemen. Her sympathies lie with those who kill, torture or imprison them.

Of course, Clinton’s only interest is herself.  However, the biological fact of gender apparently trumps everything and would have trumped Trump had not the scheming, diabolically cunning Vladimir Putin corrupted the elections from somewhere in the heart of the Kremlin. The man with the orange hair was his Manchurian candidate.

They have no evidence for any of this because there is none. It is fiction from start to finish. From the Washington Post to the New Yorker these pseudo-liberals cling to their fictive version of history because they cannot accept that Clinton lost because the American people had enough common sense to reject her.

Is Trump worse than Hillary would have been? Who knows? Who cares? Outside the serried rank of the pseudo-liberals baying for Trump’s blood, who gives a rat’s arse? Let the Americans fight their civil war. The more damage they do to each other the less the damage they might be able to do to other people.

 

US Pressure Fails to Affect Russia’s Growing Arms Exports

US Pressure Fails to Affect Russia’s Growing Arms Exports

ARKADY SAVITSKY | 12.11.2018 |

US Pressure Fails to Affect Russia’s Growing Arms Exports

On November 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Commission for Military Technology Cooperation with Foreign States. He noted that “Our capabilities in the military technical sphere must be used to modernize and upgrade all our industries, to support our science and to create a powerful technological potential for the country’s dynamic development.” The president called for “renewed efforts, not only, in preserving, but also, in strengthening Russia’s leading position on the global arms market, primarily in the high-tech sector, amid tough competition.”

The US efforts to press other countries into suspending military cooperation with Russia are inefficient. The number of customers, especially in the Middle East and Africa, is growing. The demand for Russia’s military production is especially high in the Asia-Pacific Region, accounting for almost 70% of all arms sales, including India (35%), China (12%) and Vietnam (10%).Today, Russia’s overall military exports are equal to around $15 billion, with the global order book of $55 billion. According to Alexander Mikheev, the head of Rosoboronexport, the sole state intermediary agency for Russia’s defense exports / imports, Russia has already exported arms to over 40 countries, signing 1,100 contracts worth about $19 billion in 2018 – a 25% increase compared to the last year.

The president’s speech coincided with the opening ceremony of Airshow China 2018 (Nov. 6-11), one of the five largest aerospace exhibitions in the world, Russian manufacturers scored a big success. 14 defense producers displayed over 200 units of hardware.

China has defied US threats to go through with the large deal to buy S-400 air defense systems and Su-35 multifunctional fighters (ten jets already delivered). The joint programs, such as the development of a heavy AHL helicopter and a long-range powerful aircraft, are in force. The order book of China’s imports exceeds $7 billion, growing from 5% to 14-15%. The two nations are involved in a joint project to produce diesel-electric submarines Amur-1650 (export version of Lada Project 677). This is a $2 billion deal. China confirmed the plan to purchase six Mi-171A2Y “Ansat” helicopters, which will make a 5,000 km long demonstration tour across Southeast Asia, including stops at Hanoi (Vietnam), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Bangkok (Thailand) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

VKO concern “Almaz-Antey” used the Airshow China 2018 event to introduce the Viking – the export version of the Buk-M3 anti-aircraft missile system. Viking boasts the range of 65 km. 36 targets can be tracked and engaged simultaneously. It has the capability of striking tactical ballistic and cruise missiles as well as sea and ground targets. The Radioelectronic Technologies Company (KRET) presented over 40 exhibits, including the multipurpose airborne multipurpose radar with AFAR “Beetle-AME” designed to  detect and track aerial, surface and ground targets at the same time. The Russian-Chinese long-overhaul CR929 jet attracted public attention at the air show. Its basic version will carry 280 passengers over a distance of 12,000 km.

India has also defied the US pressure and will start receiving receive S-400s in the fall of 2020. The $5 billion deal was signed in October during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi. Russia and Vietnam have signed a $4.5 billion package of deals, including the $1 billion purchase of a batch of Russian Su-30 MK2 fighters and a $2 billion agreement on the sale of six Russian diesel-electric Project 636.1 Varshavyanka (Kilo) submarines. A Mi-35M attack helicopters deal with to Bangladesh is expected to be inked soon. In February, Russia signed a $ 1.14 deal with Indonesia to supply 11 Su-35 4++ generation fighters.

2018 is rich in international defense shows. As of November 12, Russia has taken part in about 20 international exhibitions and forums, such as the Eurasian Air Show in Turkey’s Antalya, International Far Eastern Maritime Show in Vladivostok and ADAS-2018 defense exhibition in the Philippines (for the first time). It intends to attend some more large ones till the end of the year.

Russia has also taken part in the Indo Defense 2018 show (Nov.7-10) to display over 200 systems and equipment units. There were two weapons presented for the first time ever in Jakarta: the 122 mm projectile for Tornado-G MLRS and 140 mm projectile for ship-based Ogon flame throwing launcher.

There will be the IDEAS-2018  exhibition in Pakistan in late November, EDEX-2018 will be held in Egypt in mid-December, and Chile will host the EXPONAVAL – 2018 naval exhibition in early December. Russia will take an active part in all of them though its presence at Le Bourget Paris air show in June was very limited and it decided to take no part in Farnborough – 2018 air show in July. Moscow prefers the shows where it has more potential customers. This year, some new systems were offered to potential buyers, such the Viking and Tor-E2 anti-aircraft missile systems, Sprut-SDM1 light floating tank, Karakut and Sarsar vesselsIl-78MK-90A aerial tanker and Il-76MD-90A (E) military cargo aircraft. The Sprut-SDM1 light tank is a special case. The airborne light amphibious tank with firepower of MBT has no rivals in the world.

The US-imposed sanctions have failed to reduce the demand for Russian weapons. China, India as well as many other countries refuse to bow. New ways to pay for the deals without dollars are sought. For instance, India will pay for S-400s in Russian rubles. The talks to get around dollars are underway with China. Some deals may be temporarily postponed, some talks frozen, but all in all, the US policy of using sanctions to reduce Russia arms exports and thus weaken the competitor has failed. The most important agreements, including the S400 deal with Turkey, a NATO country, have not been affected. This agreement will also skirt dollar payments. The Russian arms sales are on the rise.

NATO membership for Ukraine & Georgia would bring out the bear in Russia

Robert Bridge
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. Former Editor-in-Chief of The Moscow News, he is author of the book, ‘Midnight in the American Empire,’ released in 2013.
NATO membership for Ukraine & Georgia would bring out the bear in Russia
Western leaders argue that the growth of NATO along Russia’s border together with the militarization of Eastern Europe is necessary for preserving peace with Moscow. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There has been an unmistakable trend in the realm of geopolitics since the start of the new millennium – of which Ukraine and Georgia may represent the next phase – and it bodes absolutely disastrous for the future of mankind. Indeed, it may very well lead to its ultimate destruction. I am talking about NATO’s incessant encroachment upon Russia’s borders amid a crumbling arms treaty architecture.

Despite past promises that such a scenario would never happen, and regardless of which US leader was holding power in Washington, NATO’s relentless eastward advance – under the guise of one excuse or another – has been ongoing for many years.

A history of deception

Despite the relatively upbeat, positive mood that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, West-Russia relations were already strained by 1999 as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland were newly absorbed into the Western military bloc. This was considered outrageous by many observers at the time since the Warsaw Pact had been dissolved almost a decade earlier.

However, the wheels really began to fall off the apple cart called ‘global stability’ when then-US president George W. Bush announced in late 2001 that he would withdraw the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM). Predicated on the suicidal rationale of “mutually assured destruction,” the arms control treaty managed to keep the peace for 30 long years between the nuclear powers. Putin called the decision “a mistake.

The purpose of mentioning that abrogated treaty is that it has fueled Russia’s anxiety with regard to NATO’s ulterior motives ever since. With ABM out of the way, the United States was able to move forward with a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. Despite some fits and starts by the Bush administration, and unfulfilled assurances by the Obama administration that the US would cooperate with Moscow on the system, such a partnership never transpired.

In May 2016, NATO announced that the missile defense base in Romania was fully operational.

Now, had Moscow sat back and done nothing, hoping that NATO would eventually accede to its request for cooperation, then the anti-missile defense system smack on Russia’s border would have been a real game-changer. But as we know, Russia did not sit back and do nothing. In fact, it did something rather incredible. Vladimir Putin revealed in March that Russia had developed – with mind-boggling swiftness – a number of advanced weapons systems, including a nuclear-powered cruise missile with nearly unlimited range. That weapon alone essentially makes NATO efforts to neutralize Russia’s nuclear deterrent obsolete.

Unfortunately, the US missile-defense system smoking in Russia’s geopolitical backyard is not Moscow’s only concern. Behind an advance guard comprised of Western media propaganda and think-tank fallacies, organizations responsible for disseminating unfounded accusations of ‘Russian aggression,’ NATO forces have been able to make serious inroads inside the territories of member states, primarily those that are situated close to or on the Russian border.

Poland, for example, despite already having a rotational US troop presence in its country, is now seeking a permanent US military footprint, even willing to pay $2 billion for the pleasure. In September, prior to a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Donald Trump said he would consider the proposal “very seriously.”

READ MORE: Trump mulls idea of permanent US military base in Poland, says Warsaw ‘likes it very much’

Meanwhile, coming shortly after a large-scale US-led military exercise called Saber Strike 18 on the territory of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, NATO is now in the middle of Trident Juncture 18 drills (October 25-November 7), involving some 45,000 troops from 31 countries. Designed to prepare for an act of aggression from a “foreign belligerent,” Western scare tactics of late make the identity of the fictional bogeyman rather obvious.

Taking aim at Ukraine and Georgia

For anyone who believes that US-led NATO would be content with 29 members in its rapidly growing military clique has not been following the arc of political events.

Undoubtedly, one of the worst recent flash-points in NATO-Russia relations came in February 2014, when a series of violent protests, prompted by Kiev opting out of an association agreement with the European Union, led to the ouster Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the overthrow of the government. A number of American – not Russian – politicians and diplomats, including the late John McCain and Victoria Nuland, appeared on the streets of Kiev at the height of the unrest, not just stoking the glowing embers of opposition, but literally helping to determine who would lead the country. However, it is Russia that is blamed to this day in the Western media for its “invasion of Ukraine.”

Much of that fabrication was based on a democratic referendum in Crimea, held at the height of hostilities when extreme-right forces were threatening the entire country, in which some 97 percent voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation. One year after that historic vote, Western media were forced to admit that positive sentiments towards Russia had not changed.

Yet even today, many Westerners still believe that Russia seized Crimea through military force thanks to comments like this example from a British tabloid: “In 2014, Russian forces annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea, rapidly incorporating it into the Russian Federation.” Funny, not a single mention of a referendum among those 17 misguided words.

READ MORE: Crimea is Russian, the matter is finished

Another event that has allowed the Western world to portray Russia as the world’s foremost beast of burden is the five-day conflict between Russia and Georgia. Once again, here is how the Western media regularly explains that event: “Russia launched a large-scale land, air and sea invasion in 2008, accusing Georgia of aggression against Russian separatists in the South Ossetia region.” It’s pretty clear who sounds like the aggressor here since the above sentence puts the cart before the horse. In fact, it really was Georgia that was responsible for attacking and killing Russian peacekeepers stationed in South Ossetia, thereby triggering a Russian response.

It is largely on the basis of these two events, of which the Western public has an extremely poor understanding due to their agenda-based media, that an argument is being made with increasing frequency for Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO.

Needless to say, such a scenario would set West-Russia relations back to the Stone Age.

And that may be more literally the case than one would first realize, since we are now dealing with the possibility of nuclear weapons loose in the region. This comes after Donald Trump announced his intention to leave the decades-old Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

READ MORE: US quitting landmark INF treaty is ‘fact’, Moscow prepares response to ‘questions’ – Lavrov

Analysts say such a move would bring the world closer to the outbreak of nuclear war.

Andrei Kelin, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s European Cooperation Department, said the risk of Georgia joining NATO, at a time when the US is talking about withdrawing from yet another arms treaty, would force Russia to respond with a “defense belt near Sochi.”

We will have to spend colossal resources on preventing likely actions by a hypothetical enemy, this is inevitable,” Kelin told an audience at the Valdai discussion group, which meets annually in Russia. Ukraine’s accession to the alliance would also present equally serious considerations, and would force Russia “to shift the emphasis of our defense structures towards the south.”

In other words, unless some intelligent people start speaking up in the West, describing the reality of the situation in that Russia poses no threat to Western interests, then the likelihood of some future catastrophe will increase by a degree of magnitude.

While Kelin described Ukrainian and Georgian accession to NATO as “very unlikely” for the time being, we should keep in mind that most people also thought it “very unlikely” just five years ago that US-Russia relations would hit rock bottom in a matter of just months.

If one thing is certain these days, it would surely have to be the level of uncertainty in the world of geopolitics. That should be of tremendous concern to all of us.

@Robert_Bridge

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

‘Issue of Sovereignty’: Macron Wants EU to Be Less Dependent on Dollar

Emmanuel Macron

‘Issue of Sovereignty’: Macron Wants EU to Be Less Dependent on Dollar

November 12, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron admitted on Sunday that the European nations have so far failed to provide a viable alternative to the US dollar, and are excessively dependent on the American currency.

In an interview with CNN, the French president said currently Europe didn’t have ‘a clear alternative’ to the dollar because “de-facto there is an international extraterritoriality of the dollar due to its strength”.

“Until now, we fail to make the euro as strong as the dollar. We made a great job during the past years but it’s not yet sufficient,” he said, when asked whether the EU will come up with a response to the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in terms of currency.

Macron suggested that European corporations and entities were deeply dependent on the US dollar.

“This is an issue of sovereignty for me. So that’s why I want us to work very closely with our financial institutions, at the European levels and with all the partners, in order to build a capacity to be less dependent from the dollar,” he told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

Macron meanwhile, elaborated that such an alternative was not intended to rival the dollar, but was necessary for “the stability of the global order”:

“It doesn’t mean to be opponents – but I think for the stability of the global order, you’ll need a strong currency like [the] dollar, but you need some alternatives. Euro has to be one of these alternatives, which means we have to better enhance our financial structures and the financing of our players at the euro-zone level.”

 

SourceSputnik

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