How Western Media Fabricate The “China Experts”

How Western Media Fabricate The “China Experts”

August 06, 2020

by Thorsten J. Pattberg for The Saker Blog

NEW YORK – A media professional from China asks: “Why do the Western media always promote the same ‘China experts’ who preach China doom, over and over again?” The answer is quite simple: The game of ‘expert testimonials’ is rigged.

‘Expert testimonials’ is not a level playing field. Never was. It is no coincidence that you will always see the same China experts and the same Chinese dissidents paraded in the news. Our key media are collusive. It means they act in concert.

If they act in concert, they project power. Here’s a definition of power by Hannah Arendt: “Power corresponds to the human ability not just to act but to act in concert. Power is never the property of an individual; it belongs to a group and remains in existence only so long as the group keeps together.”[i]

Yes, our media are corrupt beyond hope. And society is largely to blame: We often feel intimidated by the manipulative press, and powerless. We condemn cronyism, misconduct, and cheating in business, politics, and sports. But exposing the rampant corruption in the media and education? That remains a taboo.

Nobody knows exactly why they get away with it. Of course, they won’t report their own corruption. Also, journalism is inherently feminine (not the gender, the characteristics!); so manipulative journalism is always defensible, is always right, is always the victim.

Expert testimonials in journalism are witnesses that support the argument or mouth-piece what the journalist wants to say. For example, the New York Times will not directly call for violent riots in Hong Kong; instead it will offer expert testimonials that violence is indeed justified.[ii]

The expert testimonials in journalism are not the same as the ‘expert testimony’ used in the legal system. The press is illegitimate; it is not a governmental institution; it is not under oath, and it is absolutely not required to be neutral.

Most persuasive pieces of journalism have at least two testimonials. There are three kinds of testimonials. The first and most vital one is the ‘expert testimonial’. Without quoting a real expert, the journalist, who is by definition a non-expert on anything except journalism, is simply not credible. The second kind of testimonial is ‘plain folks’. That’s the taxi driver, the man from the corner shop, ordinary people. This creates sympathy. The third kind of testimonial is what this author calls a ‘negative-positive’. It means that someone with an opposing view, negative, is quoted, but in such an manipulative way, that it actually helps the journalist, hence the “positive.”

Plain folks are almost always made-up. Negative-positives are a manner of writing. But the expert testimonials shouldn’t be fake. That “expert” should ideally be consulted by the journalist.

Here’s an example (you may want to skip this exercise, if in hurry, and continue in the main text below) of three testimonials in one article. See, if you can guess which kind of testimonials they are. It’s from a British Guardian propaganda piece,[iii] by a certain Adam Gabbatt. The Guardian rushes to the defense of Chris Buckley from the New York Times, who’s a notorious propagandist. Since this is the global Western anti-China coalition, if one of their press soldiers gets into trouble in China, the others will naturally close ranks:

A: “I regret that Chris Buckley has been forced to relocate outside of China despite our repeated requests to renew his journalist visa,” Abramson said. [Ms. Abraham, a Harvard graduate, is the chief executive editor of the New York Times.]

B: Lawyers for Wen Jiabao’s family denied reports of their riches as untrue in October. “Some of Wen Jiabao’s family members have not engaged in business activities. Some were engaged in business activities, but they did not carry out any illegal business activity. They do not hold shares of any companies,” the statement said.

C: Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the piece “smears China’s name and has ulterior motives”, later insisting that the China’s critics were attempting to destabilize the country and were “doomed to failure”.

As a general rule, for every New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Guardian, The Diplomat, or Forbes piece (etc.) there should be at least one expert testimonial in it! [Other testimonials are optional.] That said, you can image that there must be, in theory, a huge market for expert testimonials out there. Right?

Now, think: Does it not make perfect strategic sense, since tens of thousands of China articles must be mass-produced every year in the West, for the Western media to have a ‘ready-made’ stall of loyal experts to ask for phony testimonials any time they want? Better still, how about jointly fabricating EXACTLY the experts (and dissidents) we later want to see at the top!

So they fabricate experts. It’s not illegal, see. And not just any experts: Their buddies and friends and mutual benefactors. Those are the David Shambaugh, Ezra Vogel, Minxin Pei, Orville Schell (now out of favor, it seems), and Roderick Macfarquhar, to name a few.

Now, of those five experts mentioned, all of them are associated with Harvard University, and all were prominently featured in the New York Times. So, understandably, many readers get very upset every time they spot such obscene, shameless favoritism. For example when Harvard man and New York Times journalist Michael Forsythe prominently features a fellow Harvard man, Minxin Pei.[iv] Or when Evan Osnos, a Harvard man from The New Yorker, prominently features all of them Harvard experts in his book. So that he can get “conversations”[v] with them. And his buddies promote his book in The New York Times.[vi] Or the Guardian.[vii] Or Mr. Forsythe’s spouse, also Harvard, also New York Times, miraculously gets to promote her own book in the New York Times.[viii] Yes, the New York Times people are not stupid: they try to disguise cronyism. So NY Times Kirsten Didi Tatlow gets to write about NY Times Mr. Forsythe’s wife’s book.[ix] And NY Times Christ Buckley gets to interview David Shambaugh, alright.[x] NY Times Javier C. Hernandez, also Harvard, gets the Ezra Vogel interview.[xi] And NY Times Austin Ramzy interviews Evan Osnos, right![xii]

Journalists are un-elected. They enjoy relative low status in society in exchange for the privilege of fools. Some hang around with politicians and pose as ‘political analysts’. Others pose as ‘intellectuals’ by collaborating, say, with enough “Harvard” scholars: The journalists get artificial respectability, the scholars gets gratuitous media coverage. For them, it’s a win-win situation. The big loser, of course, is the global audiences to whom – not even talking about US colonialism – the vanity and the arrogance of these few privileged men is sold as “correct” information and news about China.

Remember when back in the old days the media set out to expose the corruption of the elites? Well, they didn’t. They joined the corrupt elites.

It gets worse. Think about this: Why would the New York Times EVER change the status quo? They have absolutely no incentives to do so. They would be stupid to reform. In fact, upon reading this, they will probably even tighten the status quo. Out of pure spite.

This all reminds your author of the following story from the Mahabharata: There’s this great guru, Drona, who promised prince Arjuna to make him “the greatest archer in the world.” Then one day they go into the forest and meet Eklavya, who trained all by himself under the idol of Drona. Eklavya is clearly the better archer! But Drona cannot tolerate this, because it would completely ruin the royal narrative. So they politely ask Eklavya to cut off the thumb of his right hand. Which he reluctantly does. To preserve the status quo. Uninterruptedly, Drona now goes on to fulfill his promise and make Arjuna “the greatest archer in the world.”

This is exactly how it is: The New York Times & Co act in concert and are systematically empowering their own buddies and protégées from Harvard as “the greatest China experts in the world.” And to the rest of the world, especially to the 1.3 million Chinese: cut your talented limbs off, will you!

The author is a German cultural critic and frequent commentator on Sino-Western affairs.  He describes himself as “Thorsten J. Pattberg, Asia specialist, PhD comparative literature and linguistics, unbeknownst writer, polyglot, monster, idiot”.

[i] Hannah Arendt, On Violence (1970), Harcourt Brace & Company, New York

[ii] http://www.east-west-dichotomy.com/why-the-ny-times-promotes-violence-in-hong-kong/
[iii] The Guardian, China forces New York Times reporter Chris Buckley to leave country, Dec 31, 2012, London
[iv] The New York Times, Q. and A.: Minxin Pei on the Future of Communist Rule in China, Feb. 29, 2016, New York
[v] http://www.livestream.com/roosevelthouse/evan-osnos-chasing-fortune
[vi] The New York Times, Q & A: Evan Osnos on the ‘Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China’, May 13, 2014, New York
[vii] The Guardian, Age of Ambition; The New Emperors reviews – two studies on modern China, July 6, 2014, London
[viii] The New York Times, China’s ‘Leftover’ Women, Oct. 11, 2012, New York
[ix] The New York Times, Rejecting the ‘Leftover Women’ label, April 24, 2013, New York
[x] The New York Times, Q. and A.: David Shambaugh on the Risks to Chinese Communist Rule, March 15, 2015, New York
[xi] The New York Times, Q. and A.: Ezra F. Vogel on China’s Shifting Relations With Japan and Taiwan, Nov 12, 2015, New York
[xii] The New York Times, Q & A: Evan Osnos on the ‘Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China’, May 13, 2014, New York

“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, August 04, 2020

To read this article in other versions, click: French, German, and Russian.

First published November 4, 2017. Revisions to the English Text, December 10, 2017

Author’s Note 

Since this article was first published in 2017, YouTube has decided to Censor the short video produced by South Front which is largely based on the declassified documents quoted in this article. 

US nuclear threats directed against Russia predate the Cold War. They were first formulated  at the height of World War II under the Manhattan Project when the US and the Soviet Union were allies.  

The plan to bomb 66 Soviet cities was “officially” formulated in mid-September 1945, two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan.  

Had the US decided NOT to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclear arms race would not have taken place. 

Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of “Deterrence” agains the US which had already formulated plans to annihilate the Soviet Union.

Flash Forward to 2020: Nuclear War is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon. In the post Cold War era, under Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury”, nuclear war directed against Russia, China, North Korea and Iran is “On the Table”.

A one $1.2 trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing. 

Michel Chossudovsky, August 4, 2020

***

According to a secret document datedSeptember 15, 1945, “the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union  with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas.

All major cities of the Soviet Union were included in the list of 66 “strategic” targets. The tables below categorize each city in terms of area in square miles and the corresponding number of atomic bombs required to annihilate and kill the inhabitants of selected urban areas.

Six atomic bombs were to be used to destroy each of the larger cities including Moscow, Leningrad, Tashkent, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa.

The Pentagon estimated that a total of 204 atomic bombs would be required to “Wipe the Soviet Union off the Map”. The targets for a nuclear attack consisted of sixty-six major cities.

To undertake this operation the “optimum” number of bombs required was of the order of 466 (see document below)

One single atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima resulted in the immediate death of 100,000 people in the first seven seconds. Imagine what would have happened if 204 atomic bombs had been dropped on major cities of the Soviet Union as outlined in a secret U.S. plan formulated during the Second World War.

Hiroshima in the wake of the atomic bomb attack, 6 August 1945

The document outlining this diabolical military agenda had been released in September 1945, barely one month after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August, 1945) and two years before the onset of the Cold War (1947).

Video produced by South Front

The secret plan dated September 15, 1945 (two weeks after the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, see image below) , however, had been formulated at an earlier period, namely at the height of World War II,  at a time when America and the Soviet Union were close allies.

It is worth noting that Stalin was first informed through official channels by Harry Truman of the infamous Manhattan Project at the Potsdam Conference on July 24, 1945, barely two weeks before the attack on Hiroshima.

The Manhattan project was launched in 1939, two years prior to America’s entry into World War II in December 1941. The Kremlin was fully aware of the secret Manhattan project as early as 1942.

Were the August 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks used by the Pentagon to evaluate the viability of  a much larger attack on the Soviet Union consisting of more than 204 atomic bombs? The key documents to bomb 66 cities of the Soviet Union (15 September 1945) were finalized 5-6 weeks after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings (6, 9 August 1945):

“On September 15, 1945 — just under two weeks after the formal surrender of Japan and the end of World War II — Norstad sent a copy of the estimate to General Leslie Groves, still the head of the Manhattan Project, and the guy who, for the short term anyway, would be in charge of producing whatever bombs the USAAF might want. As you might guess, the classification on this document was high: “TOP SECRET LIMITED,” which was about as high as it went during World War II. (Alex Wellerstein, The First Atomic Stockpile Requirements (September 1945)

The Kremlin was aware of the 1945 plan to bomb sixty-six Soviet cities.

The documents confirm that the US was involved in the “planning of genocide” against the Soviet Union.

Let’s cut to the chase. How many bombs did the USAAF request of the atomic general, when there were maybe one, maybe two bombs worth of fissile material on hand? At a minimum they wanted 123. Ideally, they’d like 466. This is just a little over a month after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Of course, in true bureaucratic fashion, they provided a handy-dandy chart (Alex Wellerstein, op. cit)

Pentagon Plans to Destroy Dozens of Soviet Cities and the So-called Cold War

The Nuclear Arms Race

Central to our understanding of the Cold War which started (officially) in 1947, Washington’s September 1945 plan to bomb 66 cities into smithereens played a key role in triggering the nuclear arms race.

The Soviet Union was threatened and developed its own atomic bomb in 1949 in response to 1942 Soviet intelligence reports on the Manhattan Project.

While the Kremlin knew about these plans to “Wipe out” the USSR, the broader public was not informed because the September 1945 documents were of course classified.

Today, neither the September 1945 plan to blow up the Soviet Union nor the underlying cause of the nuclear arms race are acknowledged. The Western media has largely focussed its attention on the Cold War US-USSR confrontation. The plan to annihilate the Soviet Union dating back to World War II and the infamous Manhattan project are not mentioned.

Washington’s Cold War nuclear plans are invariably presented in response to so-called Soviet threats, when in fact it was the U.S. plan released in September 1945 (formulated at an earlier period at the height of World War II) to wipe out the Soviet which motivated Moscow to develop its nuclear weapons capabilities.

The assessment of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists mistakenly blamed and continue to blame the Soviet Union for having launched the nuclear arms race in 1949, four years after the release of the September 1945 US Secret Plan to target 66 major Soviet cities with 204 nuclear bombs:

“1949: The Soviet Union denies it, but in the fall, President Harry Truman tells the American public that the Soviets tested their first nuclear device, officially starting the arms race. “We do not advise Americans that doomsday is near and that they can expect atomic bombs to start falling on their heads a month or year from now,” the Bulletin explains. “But we think they have reason to be deeply alarmed and to be prepared for grave decisions.” (Timeline of the Doomsday Clock, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 2017)

IMPORTANT: Had the US decided NOT to develop nuclear weapons for use against the Soviet Union, the nuclear arms race would not have taken place. 

Neither The Soviet Union nor the People’s Republic of China would have developed nuclear capabilities as a means of “Deterrence” agains the US which had already formulated plans to annihilate the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union lost 26 million people during World War II.

The Cold War List of 1200 Targeted Cities: 

This initial 1945 list of sixty-six cities was updated in the course of the Cold War (1956) to include some 1200 cities in the USSR and the Soviet block countries of Eastern Europe (see declassified documents below). The bombs slated for use were more powerful in terms of explosive capacity than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Source: National Security Archive

“According to the 1956 Plan, H-Bombs were to be Used Against Priority “Air Power” Targets in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe. Major Cities in the Soviet Bloc, Including East Berlin, Were High Priorities in “Systematic Destruction” for Atomic Bombings.  (William Burr, U.S. Cold War Nuclear Attack Target List of 1200 Soviet Bloc Cities “From East Germany to China”, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

Source: National Security Archive

Washington, D.C., December 22, 2015 – The SAC [Strategic Air Command] Atomic Weapons Requirements Study for 1959, produced in June 1956 and published today for the first time by the National Security Archive www.nsarchive.org, provides the most comprehensive and detailed list of nuclear targets and target systems that has ever been declassified. As far as can be told, no comparable document has ever been declassified for any period of Cold War history.

The SAC study includes chilling details. According to its authors,  their target priorities and nuclear bombing tactics would expose nearby civilians and “friendly forces and people” to high levels of deadly radioactive fallout.  Moreover, the authors developed a plan for the “systematic destruction” of Soviet bloc urban-industrial targets that specifically and explicitly targeted “population” in all cities, including Beijing, Moscow, Leningrad, East Berlin, and Warsaw.  Purposefully targeting civilian populations as such directly conflicted with the international norms of the day, which prohibited attacks on people per se (as opposed to military installations with civilians nearby).National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

List of Cities

Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order. National Security Archive, op. cit.

From the Cold War to Donald Trump

In the post Cold War era, under Donald Trump’s “Fire and Fury”, nuclear war directed against Russia, China, North Korea and Iran is “On the Table”.

What distinguishes the October 1962 Missile Crisis to Today’s realities:

1. Today’s president Donald Trump does not have the foggiest idea as to the consequences of nuclear war.

2, Communication today between the White House and the Kremlin is at an all time low. In contrast, in October 1962, the leaders on both sides, namely John F. Kennedy and Nikita S. Khrushchev were accutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. They collaborated with a view to avoiding the unthinkable.

3. The nuclear doctrine was entirely different during the Cold War. Both Washington and Moscow understood the realities of mutually assured destruction. Today, tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity (yield) of one third to six times a Hiroshima bomb are categorized by the Pentagon as “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”.

4.  A one trillion ++ nuclear weapons program, first launched under Obama, is ongoing.

5. Today’s thermonuclear bombs are more than 100 times more powerful and destructive than a Hiroshima bomb. Both the US and Russia have several thousand nuclear weapons deployed.

Moreover, an all war against China is currently on the drawing board of the Pentagon as outlined by a RAND Corporation Report commissioned by the US Army  

“Fire and Fury”, From Truman to Trump: U.S Foreign Policy Insanity

There is a long history of US political insanity geared towards providing a human face to U.S. crimes against humanity.

Truman globalresearch.ca

On August 9, 1945, on the day the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, president Truman (image right), in a radio address to the American people, concluded that God is on the side of America with regard to the use of nuclear weapons and that

He May guide us to use it [atomic bomb] in His ways and His purposes”. 

According to Truman: God is with us, he will decide if and when to use the bomb:

[We must] prepare plans for the future control of this bomb. I shall ask the Congress to cooperate to the end that its production and use be controlled, and that its power be made an overwhelming influence towards world peace.

We must constitute ourselves trustees of this new force–to prevent its misuse, and to turn it into the channels of service to mankind.

It is an awful responsibility which has come to us.

We thank God that it [nuclear weapons] has come to us, instead of to our enemies; and we pray that He may guide us to use it [nuclear weapons] in His ways and for His purposes” (emphasis added)

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020

US Navy seizes ship carrying supplies from China to Iran: Fars

By News Desk -2020-08-05

File Photo of U.S.S. Rampage

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 P.M.) – The U.S. Navy has allegedly seized a ship that was en route to Iran, carrying zeolite needed for manufacturing oxygen concentrators for coronavirus-infected patients.

According to the Fars News Agency, the U.S. warships seized the ship near the Chinese port of Qingdao on Wednesday morning.

“Only one imported part is used for production of oxygen concentrators, which is zeolite, and we are forced to purchase it from France and import it to the country through several intermediators,” Peyman Bakhshandeh-Nejad, the CEO of Zist Tajhiz Danesh Pouya company in Iran, told the Fars News Agency.

He said that that the ship’s cargo could lead to the production of 4,000 to 5,000 oxygen concentrator systems to be used by the patients.

An oxygen concentrator is a device that concentrates the oxygen from a gas supply (typically ambient air) by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream.

A pioneering knowledge-based company in Iran had also in April produced a special oxygen concentrator system which can be used by the coronavirus patients at home.

“Oxygen concentrator is the knowledge-based product of the company. When the lungs are not powerful enough to pump the necessary oxygen into the blood, the system can increase the purity of the lungs’ oxygen,” Ali Ebrahimi, the CEO of the company, said.

He added that the system has been manufactured in three home, central and portable versions.

Ebrahimi said that one of the most important applications of oxygen concentrator systems is for coronavirus patients who can use it at home without any need to visiting hospital.

Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now

by JOHN PILGER

Photograph Source: Oilstreet – Own work – CC BY 2.5

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open.

At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.

I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties.

I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He described a huge flash over the city, “a bluish light, something like an electrical short”, after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell. “I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead.”

Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukaemia.

“No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin” said The New York Times front page on 13 September, 1945, a classic of planted disinformation. “General Farrell,” reported William H. Lawrence, “denied categorically that [the atomic bomb] produced a dangerous, lingering radioactivity.”

Only one reporter, Wilfred Burchett, an Australian, had braved the perilous journey to Hiroshima in the immediate aftermath of the atomic bombing, in defiance of the Allied occupation authorities, which controlled the “press pack”.

“I write this as a warning to the world,” reported Burchett in the London Daily Express  of September 5,1945. Sitting in the rubble with his Baby Hermes typewriter, he described hospital wards filled with people with no visible injuries who were dying from what he called “an atomic plague”.

For this, his press accreditation was withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared. His witness to the truth was never forgiven.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an act of premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of America’s war propaganda in the 21st century, casting a new enemy, and target – China.

During the 75 years since Hiroshima, the most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war in the Pacific and to save lives.

“Even without the atomic bombing attacks,” concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, “air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. “Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that … Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war [against Japan] and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.”

The National Archives in Washington contains documented Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by the US made clear the Japanese were desperate to sue for peace, including “capitulation even if the terms were hard”. Nothing was done.

The US Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US Air Force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. Stimson later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the [atomic] bomb”.

Stimson’s foreign policy colleagues — looking ahead to the post-war era they were then shaping “in our image”, as Cold War planner George Kennan famously put it — made clear they were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the [atomic] bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the atomic bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.”

The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Harry Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.

The “experiment” continued long after the war was over. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States exploded 67 nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific: the equivalent of more than one Hiroshima every day for 12 years.

The human and environmental consequences were catastrophic. During the filming of my documentary, The Coming War on China, I chartered a small aircraft and flew to Bikini Atoll in the Marshalls. It was here that the United States exploded the world’s first Hydrogen Bomb. It remains poisoned earth. My shoes registered “unsafe” on my Geiger counter. Palm trees stood in unworldly formations. There were no birds.

I trekked through the jungle to the concrete bunker where, at 6.45 on the morning of March 1, 1954, the button was pushed. The sun, which had risen, rose again and vaporised an entire island in the lagoon, leaving a vast black hole, which from the air is a menacing spectacle: a deathly void in a place of beauty.

The radioactive fall-out spread quickly and “unexpectedly”. The official history claims “the wind changed suddenly”. It was the first of many lies, as declassified documents and the victims’ testimony reveal.

Gene Curbow, a meteorologist assigned to monitor the test site, said, “They knew where the radioactive fall-out was going to go. Even on the day of the shot, they still had an opportunity to evacuate people, but [people] were not evacuated; I was not evacuated… The United States needed some guinea pigs to study what the effects of radiation would do.”

Like Hiroshima, the secret of the Marshall Islands was a calculated experiment on the lives of large numbers of people. This was Project 4.1, which began as a scientific study of mice and became an experiment on “human beings exposed to the radiation of a nuclear weapon”.

The Marshall Islanders I met in 2015 — like the survivors of Hiroshima I interviewed in the 1960s and 70s — suffered from a range of cancers, commonly thyroid cancer; thousands had already died. Miscarriages and stillbirths were common; those babies who lived were often deformed horribly.

Unlike Bikini, nearby Rongelap atoll had not been evacuated during the H-Bomb test. Directly downwind of Bikini, Rongelap’s skies darkened and it rained what first appeared to be snowflakes.  Food and water were contaminated; and the population fell victim to cancers. That is still true today.

I met Nerje Joseph, who showed me a photograph of herself as a child on Rongelap. She had terrible facial burns and much of her was hair missing. “We were bathing at the well on the day the bomb exploded,” she said. “White dust started falling from the sky. I reached to catch the powder. We used it as soap to wash our hair. A few days later, my hair started falling out.”

Lemoyo Abon said, “Some of us were in agony. Others had diarrhoea. We were terrified. We thought it must be the end of the world.”

US official archive film I included in my film refers to the islanders as “amenable savages”. In the wake of the explosion, a US Atomic Energy Agency official is seen boasting that Rongelap “is by far the most contaminated place on earth”, adding, “it will be interesting to get a measure of human uptake when people live in a contaminated environment.”

American scientists, including medical doctors, built distinguished careers studying the “human uptake’. There they are in flickering film, in their white coats, attentive with their clipboards. When an islander died in his teens, his family received a sympathy card from the scientist who studied him.

I have reported from five nuclear “ground zeros” throughout the world — in Japan, the Marshall Islands, Nevada, Polynesia and Maralinga in Australia. Even more than my experience as a war correspondent, this has taught me about the ruthlessness and immorality of great power: that is, imperial power, whose cynicism is the true enemy of humanity.

This struck me forcibly when I filmed at Taranaki Ground Zero at Maralinga in the Australian desert. In a dish-like crater was an obelisk on which was inscribed: “A British atomic weapon was test exploded here on 9 October 1957”. On the rim of the crater was this sign:

WARNING: RADIATION HAZARD 

Radiation levels for a few hundred metres

around this point may be above those considered

safe for permanent occupation.

For as far as the eye could see, and beyond, the ground was irradiated. Raw plutonium lay about, scattered like talcum powder: plutonium is so dangerous to humans that a third of a milligram gives a 50 per cent chance of cancer.

The only people who might have seen the sign were Indigenous Australians, for whom there was no warning. According to an official account, if they were lucky “they were shooed off like rabbits”.

Today, an unprecedented campaign of propaganda is shooing us all off like rabbits. We are not meant to question the daily torrent of anti-Chinese rhetoric, which is rapidly overtaking the torrent of anti-Russia rhetoric. Anything Chinese is bad, anathema, a threat: Wuhan …. Huawei. How confusing it is when “our” most reviled leader says so.

The current phase of this campaign began not with Trump but with Barack Obama, who in 2011 flew to Australia to declare the greatest build-up of US naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region since World War Two. Suddenly, China was a “threat”. This was nonsense, of course. What was threatened was America’s unchallenged psychopathic view of itself as the richest, the most successful, the most “indispensable” nation.

What was never in dispute was its prowess as a bully — with more than 30 members of the United Nations suffering American sanctions of some kind and a trail of the blood running through defenceless countries bombed, their governments overthrown, their  elections interfered with, their resources plundered.

Obama’s declaration became known as the “pivot to Asia”. One of its principal advocates was his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who, as WikiLeaks revealed, wanted to rename the Pacific Ocean “the American Sea”.

Whereas Clinton never concealed her warmongering, Obama was a maestro of marketing.”I state clearly and with conviction,” said the new president in 2009, “that America’s commitment is to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Obama increased spending on nuclear warheads faster than any president since the end of the Cold War. A “usable” nuclear weapon was developed. Known as the B61 Model 12, it means, according to General James Cartwright, former vice-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that “going smaller [makes its use] more thinkable”.

The target is China. Today, more than 400 American military bases almost encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to South-East Asia, Japan and Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, as one US strategist told me, “the perfect noose”.

A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Commissioned by the US Army, the authors evoke the infamous catch cry of its chief Cold War strategist, Herman Kahn – “thinking the unthinkable”. Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war.

Kahn’s apocalyptic view is shared by Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, an evangelical fanatic who believes in the “rapture of the End”. He is perhaps the most dangerous man alive. “I was CIA director,” he boasted, “We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses.”  Pompeo’s obsession is China.

The endgame of Pompeo’s extremism is rarely if ever discussed in the Anglo-American media, where the myths and fabrications about China are standard fare, as were the lies about Iraq. A virulent racism is the sub-text of this propaganda. Classified “yellow” even though they were white, the Chinese are the only ethnic group to have been banned by an “exclusion act” from entering the United States, because they were Chinese. Popular culture declared them sinister, untrustworthy, “sneaky”, depraved, diseased, immoral.

An Australian magazine, The Bulletin, was devoted to promoting fear of the “yellow peril” as if all of Asia was about to fall down on the whites-only colony by the force of gravity.

As the historian Martin Powers writes, acknowledging China’s  modernism, its secular morality and “contributions to liberal thought threatened European face, so it became necessary to suppress China’s role in the Enlightenment debate …. For centuries, China’s threat to the myth of Western superiority has made it an easy target for race-baiting.”

In the Sydney Morning Herald, tireless China-basher Peter Hartcher described those who spread Chinese influence in Australia as “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows”. Hartcher, who favourably quotes the American demagogue Steve Bannon, likes to interpret the “dreams” of the current Chinese elite, to which he is apparently privy. These are inspired by yearnings for the “Mandate of Heaven” of 2,000 years ago. Ad nausea.

To combat this “mandate”, the Australian government of Scott Morrison has committed one of the most secure countries on earth, whose major trading partner is China, to hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American missiles that can be fired at China.

The trickledown is already evident. In a country historically scarred by violent racism towards Asians, Australians of Chinese descent have formed a vigilante group to protect delivery riders. Phone videos show a delivery rider punched in the face and a Chinese couple racially abused in a supermarket. Between April and June, there were almost 400 racist attacks on Asian-Australians. 

“We are not your enemy,” a high-ranking strategist in China told me, “but if you [in the West] decide we are, we must prepare without delay.” China’s arsenal is small compared with America’s, but it is growing fast, especially the development of maritime missiles designed to destroy fleets of ships.

“For the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack… This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy…”

In Washington, I met Amitai Etzioni, distinguished professor of international affairs at George Washington University, who wrote that a “blinding attack on China” was planned, “with strikes that could be mistakenly perceived [by the Chinese] as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma [that would] lead to nuclear war.”

In 2019, the US staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War, much of it in high secrecy. An armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB – blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

It is fear of such a blockade that has seen China develop its Belt and Road Initiative along the old Silk Road to Europe and urgently build strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in the Spratly Islands.

In Shanghai, I met Lijia Zhang, a Beijing journalist and novelist, typical of a new class of outspoken mavericks. Her best-selling book has the ironic title Socialism Is Great! Having grown up in the chaotic, brutal Cultural Revolution, she has travelled and lived in the US and Europe. “Many Americans imagine,” she said, “that Chinese people live a miserable, repressed life with no freedom whatsoever. The [idea of] the yellow peril has never left them… They have no idea there are some 500 million people being lifted out of poverty, and some would say it’s 600 million.”

Modern China’s epic achievements, its defeat of mass poverty, and the pride and contentment of its people (measured forensically by American pollsters such as Pew) are wilfully unknown or misunderstood in the West. This alone is a commentary on the lamentable state of Western journalism and the abandonment of honest reporting.

China’s repressive dark side and what we like to call its “authoritarianism” are the facade we are allowed to see almost exclusively. It is as if we are fed unending tales of the evil super-villain Dr. Fu Manchu. And it is time we asked why: before it is too late to stop the next Hiroshima.

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John Pilger can be reached through his website: www.johnpilger.com

هذا هو الشهر الفاصل

ناصر قنديل

مع خولنا شهر آب ندخل أخطر شهور العام، وربما أعوام سبقت. فهو الشهر الذي سيتقرر خلاله اتجاه الإدارة الأميركية في التعامل مع لبنان واستطراداً مع المنطقة، وهذا الاتجاه الذي سيجد ترجمته في شهر أيلول، سيبقى حاكماً لعام على الأقل، لأن إعادة انتخاب الرئيس دونالد ترامب ستعني التمديد للنهج الذي يكون قد اختاره، وانتخاب منافسه ستعني مواصلة نهج سلفه حتى ترسم السياسة الجديدة، بعد مئة يوم على الأقل من تسلم الرئيس لمقاليد الحكم في كانون الثاني، ما يعني أن لا سياسات أميركية جديدة قبل أيار المقبل، سيكون الرئيس الجديد محتاجاً لاستثمار سياسات سلفه خلال الفترة الانتقالية، وتركها تؤتي بعض ثمارها قبل تبديلها.

الخيارات الأميركية أساسية في تقرير سياسات فريقين فاعلين في الملفات اللبنانية والإقليمية، هما أصحاب الأموال، وأصحاب السلاح، وفي طليعة أصحاب الأموال يقف صندوق النقد الدولي وتقف أوروبا، ويقف بعض حكام الخليج، وكلهم ينتظرون للإفراج عن بعض الأموال خلال الفترة الفاصلة عن شهر أيار المقبل، طبيعة الضوء الأميركي، أحمر أم اصفر أم أخضر؛ وأصحاب السلاح وفي طليعتهم كيان الاحتلال وجيشه، والجماعات الإرهابية، ودول إقليمية تجس النبض بحثاً عن دور تتقدمها تركيا، جميعهم ينتظر التوجه الأميركي، تصعيداً أم تبريداً.

الخيارات الأميركية محكومة بضوابط هي الأخرى، فالوضع الداخلي ليس مريحاً للرئيس ترامب على أكثر من صعيد، والمواجهة الدائرة مع روسيا والصين على ملفات مختلفة تجعل الخيارات في المنطقة محكومة بعدم التورط بمواجهات أشد تعقيداً تجد في التورط الأميركي في المنطقة فرصة لخوض حروب استنزاف ضدها، كما أن انزلاق الوضع نحو مواجهة بلا ضوابط أمر تسعى إدارة الرئيس ترامب لتفاديه، ومثله اللاعبون تحت ظلال سياساته لا يرغبون باختبارات للقوة تذهب إلى المناطق اللزجة مع خطر انفلات المكابح وحدوث الانزلاق إلى منطقة الخروج عن السيطرة، سواء بالضغوط المالية أو الضغوط الأمنية والعسكرية.

الخيارات الأميركية خلال شهر آب هي بين خيارين، الأول فتح قنوات تفاوض على سقوف منخفضة عن تلك التي تضمنتها دعوات المبعوث الخاص إلى سورية جيمس جيفري لانسحاب متزامن ومتوازن أميركي إيراني من سورية، وقد رفضتها إيران وحلفاؤها، ودعوات معاون وزير الخارجية ديفيد شنكر للبنان لقبول خط فريدريك هوف أساساً لترسيم حدود النفط والغاز مع كيان الاحتلال، وقد رفضها لبنان. أما الخيار الثاني فهو الدفع بالتصعيد خطوة إضافية في الملفين المالي والأمني، لمزيد من الضغط أملاً بفرض المقترحات الأميركية الهادفة لتأمين سور أمني وقانوني يحمي كيان الاحتلال من مخاطر مواجهات مقبلة، ولأن حزب الله والمقاومة في لبنان التي يمثل الحزب رأس حربتها، المعني الأول بالملفين وعلى الجبهتين، بمثل ما هو المعني الأول بالملف الحكومي في لبنان، يصير كل ما سنشهده خلال هذا الشهر من أحداث تمت جدولتها زمنياً بصورة مسبقة مدروسة، كقرار المحكمة الدولية، أو ستظهر كمفاجآت، كاستقالة وزير الخارجية المرتقبة، رسائل مباشرة لرسم وجهة الحركة الأميركية مباشرة أو بالواسطة، أو بالونات اختبار لرؤية الخيارات المقابلة، مع تسريبات عن زيارة قريبة لمعاون وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد شنكر إلى بيروت لتحريك التفاوض حول الترسيم البحري.

رد المقاومة على جيش الاحتلال، وتوقيته وحجمه ونوعه، لن يكون معزولاً عن قراءة هذه الرسائل، والتريث ليس حرباً نفسية وفقاً لقاعدة الوقوف على «إجر ونص» فقط، بل هي بعض الاستثمار لعامل الوقت، لأن الفرصة ذهبية ليكون الرد عامل ترجيح في ضربات الجزاء التي ستحسم مصير المباراة.

Neither Trump Nor Biden Really Matter to China or Russia

Neither Trump Nor Biden Really Matter to China or Russia - TheAltWorld

Finian Cunningham July 30, 2020

Well, according to the Trump campaign, Democrat rival Joe Biden is the candidate whom Chinese leaders are rooting for to win the presidential election in November. “Beijing Biden” or “Sleepy Joe” would be a gift to China, so it goes.

In turn, trying to out-hawk the Republican incumbent, the Biden campaign paints Trump as being “soft” on China and having been “played” by Chinese counterparts over trade, the corona pandemic and allegations about human rights.

Biden, the former vice president in the previous Obama administrations, has vowed to impose more sanctions on China over allegations of rights violations. He claims to be the one who will “stand up” to Beijing if he is elected to the White House in three months’ time.

Last week, Biden declared he was “giving notice to the Kremlin and others [China]” that if elected to the presidency he would impose “substantial and lasting costs” on those who allegedly interfere in U.S. politics. That’s war talk based on worthless intel propaganda.

Trump meanwhile asserts that no-one is tougher than him when it comes to dealing with China (and Russia for that matter).

Given the Trump administration’s reckless policy of ramping up hostility towards China in recent months, that begs the question: how could a future Biden administration begin to be even more aggressive – short of going to war?

Relations between Washington and Beijing have plummeted to their worst levels since the historic detente initiated by President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s. The precipitous downward spiral has occurred under President Trump’s watch. So, how exactly could a prospective President Biden make the relationship more adversarial?

The truth is both Trump and Biden are equally vulnerable to domestic partisan criticism about their respective dealings with China. The belated high-handed approach that both are trying to project is pockmarked with risible hypocrisy.

The Trump campaign scores a valid point when it recalls how former Vice President Biden smooched and feted Chinese leaders with economic opportunities in the American economy.

Likewise, Trump stands accused of lavishing praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping while ignoring the impending coronavirus pandemic because Trump’s top priority was getting a trade deal with China.

The fact that both American politicians have U-turned with regard to China in such nasty terms must leave the authorities in Beijing with a deep sense of distrust in either of the would-be presidents.

Biden at one time waxed lyrical about his close relationship with Xi, but as his bid for the presidency heated up, Biden stuck the proverbial knife in the Chinese leader calling him a “thug”.

For his part, Trump previously referred to Xi as a “dear friend” while dining him with “beautiful chocolate cake” at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, but his administration has since slammed the Chinese leader as “authoritarian”. Trump’s racist slurs over the pandemic being “Kung Flu” and “Chinese plague” must give President Xi pause for disgust with the falseness.

At the end of day, can either of these presidential candidates be trusted to pursue principled U.S.-China relations going forward? The toxic anti-China campaigning by both indicates a level of puerile treachery which foreshadows no possible return to any kind of normalcy.

One distinction perhaps between Trump and Biden is the latter is promising to repair relations with Western allies to form a united front against China. To that end, a hawkish confrontational policy under Biden may have more impact on U.S.-China relations than under Trump. Trump has managed to alienate European allies with his broadsides over trade tariffs and NATO spending commitments. Although Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has recently urged “an alliance of democracies” to confront China, that rallying call is likely to fall on deaf ears with European allies irked by Trump’s brash style. Biden on the other hand could bring a more unified Western policy of hostility towards Beijing (and Moscow) by affecting a more appeasing attitude towards Europe. In that way, Biden would be more preferred by the Pentagon and foreign policy establishment than Trump, just as Hillary Clinton was in 2016.

However, it is doubtful that Beijing is paying too much attention to what either candidate is saying or posturing at. If both of them can flip so much from talking softly to shouting loud anti-China profanities then their individual characters may be deemed malleable and unscrupulous. Both have shown a shameless streak in stoking anti-China bashing for electioneering gain. Trump pulled that trick last time out in 2016 when he railed against China for “raping America” only for him to discover “deep friendship” with Xi following that election. Now he has reverted to hostility out of self-serving calculation to whip up anti-China sentiment among voters. And Biden is apt to do the very same.

Forget about such fickle personalities when it comes to reading U.S. policy towards China. Beijing will be looking at the longer trajectory of how U.S. policy turned towards a more militarized approach with the “Pivot to Asia” under the Obama-Biden administration in 2011. Indicating how Deep State continuity transcends Democrat or Republican occupants of the White House, the next major indicator was in the Pentagon planning documents of 2017 and 2018 under Trump which labelled China and Russia as “great power rivals”. The American “ship of state”, it may be concluded, is therefore set on a collision course with both Beijing and Moscow in terms of ramping up a confrontational agenda. Who sits in the White House scarcely matters.

For Trump and Biden to trade barbs about which one is “softer” on China or Russia is irrelevant in the bigger picture of U.S. imperialist ambitions for global dominance. The logic of a waning American empire and the concomitant inherent belligerence to compensate for the perceived loss of U.S. global power are the issues to follow, not whether Trump or Biden clinch the dog-and-pony race to the White House.

POMPEO’S DILEMMA: US IS RUNNING OUT OF AIRCRAFT CARRIERS AND TARGETS TO UP PRESSURE AGAINST CHINA

The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan cruising around somewhere near China

Source

02.08.2020

As South Front reported last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dedicated a major address to insulting and threatening China. However, his extravagant rhetoric and threats to further increase US pressure on the Asian giant have a major flaw. The deployment of US military assets to menace China’s frontier zones are already at historically high levels, leaving very little room for additional pressure short of an amphibious landing or missile strike.

As reported by the South China Morning Post last week, US military aviation flights around its maritime borders in July were the highest on record. According to the Beijing-based South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), during the week ending 25 July US air force E-8C surveillance planes were spotted closer than 100 nautical miles to the southeast coast of Guangdong province on four separate occasions.

“At the moment the US military is sending three to five reconnaissance aircraft each day to the South China Sea,” SCSPI said. “In the first half of 2020 – with much higher frequency, closer distance and more variety of missions – the US aerial reconnaissance in the South China Sea has entered a new phase.”

US planes have ventured “unusually close” to Chinese airspace several times since April. The closest flight to date was in May when a US navy P-8A Poseidon – designed for anti-submarine warfare – almost reached the 12 nautical mile limit near Hainan Island, on China’s southernmost tip.

SCSPI said its statistics showed flights by US planes approaching up to 50 to 60 nautical miles off the mainland were “frequent”. A record of 50 sorties – flying from US land bases located in the vicinity of the South China Sea – was set in the first three weeks of July, coinciding with separate Chinese and US military exercises in the area.

On peak days, SCSPI said it had counted as many as eight US aircraft, including the aircraft types P-8A EP-3E, RC-135W and KC-135. One such peak occurred on July 3, as aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz, along with their respective strike groups, entered the region.

The two aircraft carrier strike groups conducted drills in the area on two separate occasions, commencing on July 4 and July 17. In between the exercises, the US State Department issued a statement describing China’s claim to the disputed waterway as “unlawful” and adding that Washington supported the other Southeast Asian claimants.

The resource-rich South China Sea is one of the world’s busiest waterways, with around a third of international shipping passing through it. China claims most of the area while Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia all have overlapping claims.

The range of US military planes involved in the South China Sea missions was an indication of their purpose, according to SCSPI director Hu Bo. These included anti-submarine patrol, communication signal collection, and radar frequency detection, among others.

With the People’s Liberation Army also exercising in the Paracel Islands earlier this month, the US intelligence aircraft were probably collecting data on the PLA electronics, Hu said, adding. “The increasing US military operations have become the largest risk and potential source of conflicts.”

These operations have led to a number of incidents, and occasionally crises, in the past. The most serious occurred in April 2001 when a US navy EP-3E Aries II flew to within 59 nautical miles of Hainan Island and collided with an intercepting PLA navy J-8II fighter.

The Chinese pilot died and the US plane was forced to land on Hainan, giving then-president George W. Bush the first diplomatic crisis of his tenure.

In 2014, 2015 and 2017, the Pentagon repeatedly accused Chinese fighters of nearly causing accidents by making “unsafe” interception manoeuvres with US spy planes near the Chinese coast in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Yellow Sea.

Hong Kong-based military commentator Song Zhongping said the PLA could be expected to send fighters out to intercept and expel US aircraft on every close reconnaissance mission.

“The PLA has developed a standard operating protocol on these US planes approaching Chinese airspace. With more frequent US provocations, the PLA will have more frequent interceptions too,” he said.

“It poses a challenge to pilots’ skills and training, but the PLA has also become quite proficient to avoid possible accidents or collisions.” LINK

The record number of military flights was accompanied by a large spike in navy deployments as well, with three aircraft carriers cruising around the South China Sea during June and July. Prior to the extended excursions of the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz mentioned above, the USS Theodore Roosevelt had wound up its latest trouble-plagued deployment to the north-western Pacific, much of which was spent at Guam as the crew desperately tried to contain an outbreak of the Coronavirus, with a short patrol towards China’s maritime border zone.

While the US’ increasingly hostile and hysterical tone against China has done nothing to alter the latter’s implacable resolve to pursue and defend their maritime claims and vital national interests, the US its placing its allies and partners in the region in an increasingly difficult position, South Korea in particular but also Japan and others, as they try to maintain amicable relations with China whilst hosting substantial US military forces whose distant commanders seem determined to pick a fight with China.

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The Sprit of Apollo-Soyuz Is Alive… With the Russia/China Space Alliance

The Sprit of Apollo-Soyuz Is Alive… With the Russia/China Space ...

Matthew Ehret August 1, 2020

Forty five years ago, Cold Warriors in the Pentagon and CIA shook their fists angrily at the stars- and for good reason.

On July 17, 1975 the first international handshake was occurring in space between Russian Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov and American astronaut Thomas Stafford as the first official act kicking off the historic Apollo-Soyuz cooperative mission. Taking place during age of nuclear terror on Earth, the Apollo-Soyuz represented a great hope for humankind and was the first ever international space mission leading the way to the MIR-USA cooperation and later International Space Station. Starting on July 15 as both Russian and American capsules launched simultaneously and continuing until July 24th, the Apollo-Soyuz cooperation saw astronauts and cosmonauts conducting joint experiments, exchanged gifts, and tree seeds later planted in each others’ nations.

As hope for a bright future of cooperation and co-discovery continued for the coming decades with mankind’s slow emergence as a space faring species, affairs on earth devolved in disturbing ways. A new era of regime change operations, Islamic terrorism and oil geopolitics took on new life in the 1980s and as globalization stripped formerly productive nations of their industrial/scientific potential, the Soviet Union collapsed by 1991. During this dark time, the consolidation of a corporatocracy under NAFTA and the European Maastricht Treaty occurred and transatlantic globalists gloated over the collapse of Russia and the rise of a utopian end-of-history, unipolar order.

In some ways, today’s world of 2020 is different from that of 1975 and in other ways it is disturbingly similar.

Today, a new generations of Cold Warriors has come to power in the Trans Atlantic Deep State who are willing to burn the earth under nuclear fire in defense of their utopian visions for world government which they see fast slipping away to the Multipolar alliance led by Russia and China. The clash of open vs closed system paradigms represented by the NATO/City of London cage on the one hand and the New Silk Road win-win paradigm of constant growth on the other has created a tension which is visceral and pregnant with potential for both good and evil.

This schism has also split American space policy between two opposing paradigms:

On the one hand a Deep State space vision for full spectrum dominance is defining Space Force (America’s newest branch of the military created in December 2019). Run out of the Pentagon and the most regressive neocon ideologues, this program calls for weaponizing space against the Russian Chinese alliance (and the rest of the world). Another, more sane vision for space is represented by leading NASA officials like Jim Bridenstine who have created NASA’s Artemis Accords calling for a framework for peaceful international cooperation in space. Bridenstine and other NASA officials have worked tirelessly to bring Russia and the USA into cooperative alliances on matters of space mining, asteroid defense and deep space exploration ever since President Trump’s 2017 directive to put mankind back on the moon for the first time since 1972 with plans to go to Mars following soon thereafter.

While U.S.-Russia space collaboration has moved at a snails pace even losing ground won in 1975, the Apollo-Soyuz spirit has expressed itself in another part of the world brilliantly, with the Russian-Chinese pact to jointly build a lunar base announced on July 23 by Roscosmos chief Dimitry Rogozin saying: “Recently, we have agreed that we will probably research the Moon and build a lunar research base together – Russia and China.”

This pact follows hot off the heals of the September 2019 agreement between both nations to jointly collaborate on Lunar activities over the coming decade which would begin with the Chang’e 7 lander and Luna 26 orbiter searching for lunar water in 2022. The Russia-China agreement also announced “creating and operating a joint Data Center for Lunar and Deep Space Research.”

On the same day that Rogozin announced the lunar research base, China’s Tianwen-1 (“Quest for Heavenly Truth”) launched on a Long March-5 carrier rocket from Hainan carrying an orbiter and rover scheduled to arrive in Mars’ orbit in February 2021. Once the rover lands on the surface of the red planet on May 2021, China will become the second nation to complete a successful soft landing after America (which has made 8 such landings since 1976, two of which are still operational). China’s orbiter will join the three American, two European and one Indian orbiters currently circling Mars.

Due to the fact that the Earth-Mars proximity is at it’s closest phase, several other important Mars launches have also occurred, with the United Arab Emirates launching the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission in history from Japan on Monday. This will be followed in short order by America’s Perseverance Mars Rover which will be launched from Cape Canaveral and will join the Curiosity rover that landed in 2012.

NASA has stated that Perseverance’s mission will involve seeking signs of microbial life, ancient life and subsurface water as well as “testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources (such as subsurface water), improving landing techniques, and characterizing weather, dust, and other potential environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.”

What makes this Russia-China pact space pact additionally important is that it creates a potential flank in the anti-China space cooperation ban signed into law with the 2011 Wolf Act. By integrating into China’s advanced space program, Russia (which currently suffers from no similar bans to cooperation from western powers) may provide a lateral pathway for cooperation with China needed to bypass the ban. Russian-USA plans to cooperate on such programs as the Lunar Gateway station orbiting the moon still exists as well as other Soyuz-U.S. collaborative launches that have been planned through 2021 so hope on this level is not without foundation. Even though America has regained the capability to launch manned space craft with the Crew Dragon launch of this year, Bridenstine has said:

“We see a day when Russian cosmonauts can launch on American rockets, and American astronauts can launch on Russian rockets. Remember, half of the International Space Station is Russian, and if we’re going to make sure that we have continual access to it, and that they have continual access to it, then we’re going to need to be willing to launch on each other’s vehicles.”

Putin’s Strategic Open System Vision

We also know that since President Trump’s April 6, 2020 executive order making lunar and mars mining a priority of American space policy, he and President Putin have held four discussions in which space cooperation has arisen. While neocon war haws in the Pentagon and British military intelligence scream of Russian/Chinese aggression and accuse Russia of testing anti-satellite ballistic weapons, the first bilateral U.S.-Russia space security talks have restarted since 2013.

Four days after Trump’s executive order, Putin addressed American and Russian astronauts on board the ISS and said:

“We are pleased that our specialists are successfully working under the ISS program with their colleagues from the United States of America, one of the leading space powers. This is a clear example of an effective partnership between our countries in the interests of all mankind.”

Putin went on to say:

“I believe that even now, when the world is confronted with challenges, space activities will continue, including our cooperation with foreign partners, because mankind cannot stand still but will always try to move forward and join forces to advance the boundaries of knowledge… despite difficulties, people sought to make their dream of space travel come true, fearlessly entered the unknown and achieved success.”

The impending economic collapse has forced certain uncomfortable truths to the surface: 1) we will get a new global economic and security system soon, 2) that system will be of a closed system/unipolar nature or it will be an open system/multipolar character. If it is an open system then humanity will have learned that in order to successfully exist within a creative, evolving universe, we must tie our fates to becoming a self-consciously creative, evolving species locking our economic, cultural and political realities into this discoverable character of reality.

If the new system is of a closed/entropic order as certain advocates of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset are proclaiming, then a much unhappier fate awaits our children and grandchildren which would make World War II look like a cake walk.

China and Iran: The Century’s Most Important Geo-Strategic Transformation- by Nasser Kandil الصين وإيران أهم تحوّل جيواستراتيجيّ في القرن

The Sino-Iranian “understanding” has become the predominant preoccupation for the strategic planning elites in the United States represented by its deep state, open think tanks, and numerous study centers, and has overturned balances formerly relied on in their thinking and planning. This “understanding” will guarantee the flow of Iranian oil to China at a lower cost and in quantities exceeding oil production in the years preceding the embargo, in exchange for an Iranian resurgence financed by China and executed by Chinese and Iranian companies. Such resurgence will be encompassing and will include development in a large number of areas. It will involve the development in the manufacturing of means of public, clean energy, and commercial transportation: civilian planes, trains, railways, electric cars, commercial vessels and oil tankers; the development of quarries and mines and the manufacture of basic industrial materials: steel, iron, and marble; the building of hospital networks and a modern pharmaceutical industry; the improvement and upgrading of scientific centers for research; the building of electronic factories for the production of computers and smart phones; the building of a new network of giant airports and ports; and large housing projects for new cities. Militarily, it will pave the way for an understanding about the development of Iran’s encryption capabilities and its building up of new encryption systems, building up of bases for building solid fuel and missile manufacturing, and building-up of air-defense systems and satellites.

The Americans estimate that the value of this “understanding” in today’s world price market is 4 trillion U. S. dollars, in spite of its announced value of 500 billion dollars by the China and Iran. They believe that the proclamation of this understanding is, on one hand, the announcement of the death of the American policy of economic sanctions targeting Iran and China, and on the other, the presence of China and its readiness to progress towards the Mediterranean, the Gulf, and the Sea of Oman, through building an advanced political, economic, and services base in Iran. The Americans anticipate a 500% growth in the purchasing power of the Iranian currency, and a 300% growth in individual income in Iran within the first 5 years of this “understanding.”

They believe that Iran will have an economy similar in status to that of Germany and Japan in the 1960’s. They also believe that it will become the first and uncontested military power in the Middle East based on the significant military power it currently possesses, and which (in view of the “understanding”) is expected to dramatically increase.

Some American experts have compared the “understanding” with the agreement between Egypt in the time of President Jamal Abdel Nasser with the former Soviet Union, and believe that the Sino-Iranian “understanding” carries tenfold the danger which the Cairo-Moscow agreement had carried in its golden days. There appears to be a consensus that the “understanding” will lead to the rise of a world giant, namely China, and a regional giant, namely Iran, with only two ways of damage mitigation to the American presence and interests. The first is a quick diffusion of tensions in the Middle East through a speedy resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in which the United States magically appears as the friend of the Arabs and isolates them from Iran. The second is an American-Russian strategic understanding which includes joint solutions for the crises in the area, and comprehensive joint cooperation in economic, political, and strategic spheres. They point to the petrification in the American strategic and political mind, which has the surface appearance of being pragmatic and not dogmatic, as a definitive obstacle preventing from any step towards mitigation of the serious damage anticipated to result from this “understanding”. Evidence of structural defects in U.S. strategic planning and accompanying political paralysis eliminate any expectation that mitigating steps could be taken.

Experts describe the “understanding” as the most prominent geo-strategic transformation of the century and the beginning of a new international era. They believe that dealing effectively with its consequences is beyond the ability of any U.S. Administration as long as its considerations begin with the protection of the interests of cartels and the military-industrial complex, irrespective of the resulting constant tension with Russia, and the protection of the interest of lobbies supporting Israel, with disregard to the resulting hatred for Americans in Arab and Islamic milieus.

الصين وإيران أهم تحوّل جيواستراتيجيّ في القرن

ناصر قنديل

تنشغل الأوساط الأميركية التي تعبر عن النخبة التخطيطية، أو عن الدولة العميقة، أو عن فرق التفكير المفتوحة، ومراكز الدراسات المتعددة، بقضية باتت تطغى على ما عداها، وقلبت موازين التفكير والتخطيط الأميركيين، عنوانها التفاهم الصيني الإيراني، الذي سيضمن تدفق النفط الإيراني نحو الصين بسعر مخفّض وبكميات تزيد عن كميات الإنتاج الإيراني في زمن ما قبل العقوبات الأميركية، مقابل نهضة إيرانية تموّلها الصين وتنفذها شركات صينية وإيرانية، لتطوير صناعة الطائرات المدنية وقاطرات سكك الحديد ومساراتها، وبناء مصانع للنسيج والجلود والصناعات الغذائية، وتطوير صناعة الصلب والحديد، والرخام والمناجم التعدينية والحجرية، وبناء شبكات مستشفيات ومصانع أدوية حديثة، وتطوير مراكز البحث العلمي، وبناء مصانع لتصنيع الإلكترونيّات بما فيها الحواسيب وأجهزة الهاتف الذكية، إضافة لشبكات جديدة من المطارات والمرافئ العملاقة، والمشاريع السكنية الضخمة لمدن جديدة، ومصانع للسيارات الكهربائية الصديقة للبيئة، والسفن التجارية وناقلات النفط، وعلى الصعيد العسكري، سيتيح التفاهم تطوير قدرات التشفير الإيرانية لبناء أنظمة جديدة للشيفرات، وقواعد لبناء الوقود الصلب لصناعة الصواريخ، وشبكات الدفاع الجوي والأقمار الصناعية.

يقدّر الأميركيون قيمة الاتفاق بالأسعار الرائجة عالمياً الاتفاق بأربعة تريليون دولار، رغم أن المعلن من جانبيه الصيني والإيراني هو خمسمئة مليار دولار، ويعتبرونه إعلان وفاة سياسية للعقوبات الأميركية التي تستهدف إيران من جهة، ومن جهة مقابلة حضوراً للصين بجهوزية التقدم نحو البحر المتوسط والخليج وبحر عمان، من خلال بناء قاعدة متطورة صناعياً واقتصادياً وخدمياً في إيران، ويتوقعون أن يرتفع مستوى القدرة الشرائية للعملة الإيرانية 500% خلال خمس سنوات، وأن يرتفع مستوى دخل الفرد 300% خلال السنوات الخمس الأولى من الاتفاق، ويعتقدون أن إيران ستصبح في وضع اقتصاديّ يشبه كلاً من ألمانيا واليابان في الستينيات من القرن الماضي، بالإضافة للمقدرات العسكرية الهائلة التي تملكها وستزداد، لتصير القوة العسكرية الأولى في الشرق الأوسط بلا منازع.

يقارن الخبراء الأميركيّون هذا الاتفاق باتفاق مصر أيام الرئيس جمال عبد الناصر مع الاتحاد السوفياتي فيقولون إنه اتفاق الصين وإيران يعادل عشر مرات درجة الخطر التي مثلها اتفاق القاهرة وموسكو في أيامه الذهبية، وثمة إجماع على اعتبار الاتفاق طريقاً لنهوض عملاق عالمي هو الصين وعملاق إقليمي هو إيران، لا يمكن الحدّ من الخسائر التي سيجلبها على الحضور والمصالح الأميركية إلا بأحد طريقين، إنهاء سريع للتأزم في المنطقة بحل للصراع العربي الإسرائيلي، بطريقة سحرية تظهر أميركا صديقاً للعرب وتعزل إيران عنهم، أو بتفاهم استراتيجي روسي أميركي، يتضمن حلولاً مشتركة لأزمات المنطقة، وتعاوناً شاملاً في القضايا الاقتصادية والسياسية والاستراتيجية، ويجيبون أن تحجُّر العقل الأميركي الاستراتيجي والسياسي، رغم كونه في الظاهر غير عقائدي وبراغماتي، يشكل عقبة حاسمة دون القدرة على السير بخطوات مناسبة للحد من أضرار هذا الاتفاق، الذي يكفي عدم القدرة على التنبؤ بحدوثه للدلالة على ما تعانيه عملية رسم الاستراتيجيات من مشاكل بنيوية، تجعل السياسة في حال عجز كامل.

الوصف الذي يطلقه الخبراء على الاتفاق، أنه أبرز تحول جيواستراتيجي في القرن، وأنه بداية لمرحلة جديدة على المستوى الدولي، وأن التعامل مع تداعياته يفوق طاقة أي إدارة أميركية، طالما أن حسابات الإدارات تبدأ من مراعاة مصالح كارتلات الصناعات العسكرية رغم ما تتسبب به من توتر مستمر في العلاقة عم روسيا، واللوبيات الداعمة لـ«إسرائيل» وما تتسبب به من كراهية للأميركي في الأوساط العربية والإسلامية.

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Russophobia Goes Viral Again… And Fatally No Cure

Russophobia Goes Viral Again… And Fatally No Cure – The 21st Century
REUTERS Lucas Jackson

Source

July 31, 2020

This week saw U.S. media reports claiming that Russian military intelligence is spreading disinformation about the coronavirus to sow discord ahead of the November presidential election. Such reports are nothing but more bombast and reprehensible Russophobia as part of a chronic mental condition which seems to have no cure.

Meanwhile, British media reported claims that Russia and China were targeting Germany with interference campaigns in order to undermine the transatlantic alliance. More bombast and reprehensible Russophobia augmented with Sinophobia.

Hardly a week goes by without some such lurid Western media “report” of malign Russian or Chinese plot to subvert Western democracy. Suitably, in this time of global pandemic, the political phobia seems to be going viral.

It can be reasonably posited that as certain nations undergo severe political and economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic, there is a tendency to find a scapegoat as a means to “explain” the crisis. The United States and Britain stand out as the globe’s worst casualties from the pandemic. President Donald Trump in particular has seen his much-vaunted “economic success” turn to dust. Out of trauma to his ego, Trump has taken to blaming China for “the plague”. Trump’s cheap-shot politicization also resonates with a deeper political agenda to create a Cold War with China.

The pandemic has also exacerbated an explosion in popular protests across the U.S. over systemic police brutality and racism. The mix has created a climate of chaos and discontent in American society not seen for decades. Thrown into the mix is sharp partisan rivalry between supporters of this president and his opponents. The bitter factionalism is set to intensify as the nation heads to presidential elections in less than 100 days.

Given the upheaval and turmoil, it is all too tempting to find a distraction in the form of “foreign interference”. A Cold War legacy of Russophobia and Sinophobia is being resurrected to provide a convenient political escape route for deep-seated structural problems.

Both sides of the American political divide seem adept at playing the xenophobic interference card. Republican Trump this week claimed that foreign interference would abuse mail-in voting systems and suggested the election should be postponed. There is no evidence for such concern.

Likewise, Trump’s opponents in the Democratic party and their sympathetic news media outlets are adept at playing the same nefarious game.

Ever since Trump was elected to the White House in 2016, his opponents have obsessed over alleged Russian interference without ever providing any evidence for their outlandish speculations.

Chief among the exponents of such conspiratorial thinking is the New York Times, the so-called “newspaper of record”. The Times is a diehard pro-Democrat and “never-Trump” organ. The paper also has a long history of serving as a conduit for U.S. intelligence agencies. Its nadir of propagandist functioning was making the false case of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the genocidal U.S. and British war on that country. Indeed, some of the journalists who peddled that propaganda are still working at the paper and penning the most recent Russophobic articles.

In recent weeks, Russophobia at the Times has become feverish. On June 26, it launched a series of stories, amplified across U.S. media, claiming that Russian intelligence was operating a “bounty-hunter” scheme for assassinating American military in Afghanistan.

On July 16, the Times headlined with “Russian hackers trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research”.

This week, the “paper of record” announced “Russian intelligence agencies push disinformation on pandemic”.

The fiendish thing about such “stories” is the cleverly disguised lack of evidence. They all rely on unsubstantiated allegations made by anonymous sources who hide their vacuous “details” behind national security pretenses. This is an audacious affront to journalistic standard and ethics, but the one “advantage” is that the claims are sealed off from being definitely critiqued and disproven because the lack of evidence precludes a specific rebuttal. The upshot is the innuendo is permitted to linger and sow doubts.

The problem for the propagandists, however, is that the credibility of the “reporting” becomes threadbare with each cycle of unsubstantiated allegations. The increased frequency of the cycle indicates the propagandists are realizing their diminishing potency in the eyes of the public and hence try to compensate by narrating ever-more lurid stories.

In the final analysis, the political and economic problems facing the United States and Britain are endemic. The abysmal failure over the coronavirus pandemic is but one accelerant of a chronic collapse. The chaos and division in those societies is of their own making from the corruption of the political and economic system. Trying to resurrect a Cold War with Russia or China is a futile attempt to postpone a reckoning over inherent problems.

President Trump’s indulgence in conspiracies about China is consistent with his conspiracies about quack medical remedies. His conspiratorial psychosis is reflected in the derangement of his Democrat opponents and their media concerning alleged malign Russian interference. The chaos and division attributed to foreign powers is actually a bipartisan vice for avoiding the radical challenge facing the U.S. and its Western vassals like Britain.

A virus without a cure can become fatal. Russophobia is a virus without any cure as far as the Western political establishments are concerned. The result can be deadly. But deadly mainly for their own societies from not addressing real problems.The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Foreign Interference in Elections: Is it Real or Just Political Noise?

Foreign Interference in Elections: Is It Real or Just Political ...

Philip Giraldi

July 30, 2020

A recently concluded British Parliamentary inquiry has determined that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 Brexit referendum, which resulted in the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. But, ironically, it also concluded that Russia might not have interfered given the fact that the British government never bothered to try to find out if there had been any attempt made by the Kremlin to manipulate the voting.

The Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee is reportedly perplexed by the lack of official interest in what might have been a foreign intelligence operation that had major impact, all too plausible given that it is assumed that Moscow would have welcomed Brexit as a first step that will eventually put an end to European political and economic unity.

So, no one knows if Russia or anyone else interfered in Britain, which is perhaps just as well as inquiries into voting in the U.S. also in 2016 have likewise created nothing but confusion and no smoking pistol. And, of course there is a question of definitions of interference. Millions of pounds were spent on advertising by those pro- and con-Brexit, just as billions were spent in political adverts in the United States. Much of the “information” provided in that fashion was deliberately misleading, often fearmongering, both in the U.K. and the U.S., suggesting that the problem is much bigger than one country’s possible attempt to influence the vote, if that even took place.

There were similar claims about Russian generated fake news and “a massive hacking attack” in the French presidential election in 2017, while Germany’s Federal Election was notable for a lack of any identifiable Kremlin interference in spite of warnings from some observers that Berlin would be targeted.

So, while claims of Russian interference in elections are fairly common, they are difficult to prove in any serious way. And one should recognize that the “victimized” governments and political parties have strong motives to conjure up a foreign enemy to explain to the public why things are going wrong, be it for coronavirus fumbling or for general political ineptitude. To be sure, as the allure of blaming Russia has faded China is increasingly being targeted by American politicians as a scapegoat, indicating that there must always be a foreigner available to blame for one’s problems.

The most recent nugget to come out of the U.S. Congress on foreign interference in elections originates with Adam Schiff, the sly head of the House Intelligence Committee. In an interview with MSNBC, Schiff revealed that U.S. intelligence has obtained information suggesting multiple nations could be trying to meddle in the 2020 U.S. elections, to include feeding or “laundering” possible disinformation through Congress.

Schiff explained how various nations us different tactics to get “fake news” messages through to the American voters. Some governments openly support a particular candidate or policy, while others like the Chinese provide misinformation during their trade negotiations with Washington. He observed that “The Russians may get involved in hacking and dumping operations or social media campaigns. The Iranians may have their own tactics and techniques like the North Koreans may have theirs.”

letter signed by Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va has asked for a counterintelligence briefing for Congress regarding foreign efforts to interfere in the upcoming election. It includes “We are gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November.”

Democratic Party presidential candidate presumptive Joe Biden also has confirmed that he has received briefings about Russian alleged plans to interfere in November saying “The Russians are still engaged in trying to delegitimize our electoral process. China and others are engaged as well in activities that are designed for us to lose confidence in the outcome.”

Of course, there are a number of things to say about the claims that other nations are possibly planning to meddle in the voting. First, the list of possible players being presented by Schiff and others is all too convenient, kind of like a Congressional dream list of bad boys. Russia pops up because of longstanding claims about it, but China is a new entry in the game because it all ties up into a neat package, including the “Wuhan virus” and its challenges both to American economic supremacy and to U.S. naval power in the South China Sea. And of course, there are Iran and also North Korea.

One should ask what exactly China, Iran and North Korea stand to gain by attempting to “interfere” in the election? What message could they possibly be sending and what would be the mechanisms they would use to get their points of view across to a skeptical American public? In a campaign that will undoubtedly cost hundreds of billions of dollars in advertising and other “messaging,” what exactly is the possible place of Iran and North Korea?

There is also a lack of “realism” in the Schiff comments. By far the country that interferes the most in U.S. politics is Israel. Israel and its domestic Lobby initiate legislation relating to the Middle East and Israeli diplomats, lobbyists and soldiers all have free access both to Capitol Hill and to the Pentagon. If a Congressman dares to speak up against the Jewish state’s crimes he or she is smeared in the media and eventually forced out of office by a well-funded pro-Israel opponent. No other country gets away with all that. As it is highly likely that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be pulling out all the stops to reelect Donald Trump in November, why isn’t the Jewish state included on Schiff’s list?

And then there is the tantalizing bit about concerns over disinformation being “laundered” through Congress. It is difficult to imagine what exactly Schiff is referring to as the corrupt gasbags in Congress already constitute one of the world’s biggest sources of false information, second only to the fully coopted U.S. mainstream media.

In any event, if some countries that are accustomed to being regularly targeted by the United States are taking advantage of an opportunity to somehow diminish America’s ability to meddle globally, no one should be surprised, but it is a politically driven fantasy to make the hysterical claim that the United States has now become the victim of some kind of vast multi-national conspiracy to interfere in its upcoming election.

موسكو طهران وبكين… نموذج اقتصادي متكامل

د. حسن مرهج

من الواضح أنّ السياسية الصينية في المنطقة تسير وفق مسارين:

الأول – تسعى الصين إلى الالتفاف على العقوبات الأميركية وبناء تحالفات استراتيجية مع دول عديدة تناهض السياسات الأميركية في المنطقة، في محاولة لإنشاء منظومة سياسية وعسكرية واقتصادية، توازي شبكة العلاقات الأميركية قوة وتنظيماً وتأثيراً في سياسات المنطقة.

الثاني – هناك رغبة صينية واضحة لوضع حدّ للتحكم الأميركي في السياسات الدولية والإقليمية، ولا سبيل لوضع آلية تُقيد السياسات الأميركية، إلا بتحالفات مع دول قوية في المنطقة، وعلى رأس تلك الدول الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية.

انطلاقاّ من هذين المسارين، ترى الصين أنّ إيران واحدة من أهمّ الدول لربط آسيا بأوروبا من خلال مبادرة الحزام والطريق، التي تمثل المحرك الأساس للسياسة الخارجية الصينية منذ أعلنها الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ في العام 2013، ولاعب أساسي في الحفاظ على استقرار منطقة الخليج العربي التي تعدّ الشريان الرئيس لوصول النفط إلى الصين.

وعليه، بات واضحاً أنّ أحد أهمّ أوجه العلاقة الصينية الإيرانية، تعزيز المصالح الاقتصادية والاستراتيجية، بُغية تقويض الأهداف الأميركية في المنطقة، إذ يبدو واضحاً أنّ الصين وإيران تعملان منذ مدّة على شراكة استراتيجية لمدة 25 عاماً، والواضح أيضاً أنّ الشراكة ستسمّى شراكة استراتيجية شاملة بين الصين وإيران.

وبما أنّ علاقات إيران مع الصين جادّة وتشكّل أساس التعاون الاقتصادي والاستراتيجي بين البلدين في شكل وثيقة مدتها 25 عاماً، فمن الطبيعي أن تهتمّ الدول الغربية بهذه العلاقات، وبشكل أساسي فإنّ السياسة الأنجلو ساكسونية للأميركيين والبريطانيين هي التركيز على الضغط على إيران من أجل إبعادها عن الصين وروسيا، لكن فشلت هذه السياسة، وفشلت معها السياسة الأميركية لاستعمار إيران، وما يؤكد هذا الأمر أنّ الصين ستُشارك في “بناء البنية التحتية الأساسية لإيران” كجزء من مبادرة “حزام واحد وطريق واحد”؛ هذا المشروع الذي يُعدّ مشروعاً للتكامل الاقتصادي بين البلدين.

فقد أدركت الصين وإيران وضمناً روسيا، أنّ الاتحاد والتعاون هما الوسيلة الوحيدة لتعزيز التبادل على المستويات كافة، وبات ضرورة لمحاربة المشكلات الداهمة التي يمثلها تنامي النفوذ الأميركي في الشؤون الداخلية للدول، حيث أن النفوذ الأميركي أجبر طهران وبكين وموسكو على تحييد الخلافات الثانوية، وتبني استراتيجية موحدة من أجل المصلحة المشتركة للدفاع عن مصالحهم في المنطقة.

والواضح أن أحداث مثل الحرب على سورية، والأزمة في ليبيا، والإطاحة بالنظام الديمقراطي في أوكرانيا، والعقوبات على إيران، والضغط المباشر على بكين في بحر الصين الجنوبي، كلها عوامل سرّعت في التكامل بين الصين وإيران وروسيا.

في جانب آخر مُتعلق بعمق العلاقة الإيرانية الصينية، نجد أنّ جوهر هذه العلاقة يرتكز على الاقتصاد، في المقابل ومن خلال تحليل القوة الاقتصادية نجد أن المنظمات العابرة للحدود مثل منظمة التجارة العالمية وصندوق النقد الدولي والبنك الدولي، تضمن دور واشنطن كزعيم اقتصادي، والركائز التي تدعم مركزية الولايات المتحدة في الاقتصاد العالمي يُمكن أن تُعزى إلى السياسة النقدية للبنك الاحتياطي الفيدرالي ووظيفة الدولار كعملة احتياط عالمية، خاصة مجلس الاحتياطي الاتحادي لديه قدرة غير محدودة لطباعة النقود ولتمويل القوة الاقتصادية للقطاعين الخاص والعام، وكذلك لدفع الفاتورة الواجبة للحروب المكلفة جداّ، وضمن ذلك فإنّ الدولار الأميركي يلعب دوراً رئيسياً كعملة احتياطية عالمية، وكذلك يستخدم كعملة للتجارة، وهذا يُحتم على كلّ بنك مركزي امتلاك احتياطيات بالعملة الأميركية، وتكريس أهمية واشنطن في النظام الاقتصادي العالمي. من هنا فإنّ إدخال اليوان الصيني والتومان الإيراني في التعاملات التجارية بين بكين وطهران، ومن الممكن أن تتسع مروحة هذه التعاملات بالعملات المحلية للبلدين، لتشمل دولاً عديدة ترغب بالابتعاد عن مخاطر التعامل بالدولار الأميركي، كلّ ذلك وسائل وأجراس إنذار الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين حول خطر تآكل مكانة العملة الأميركية.

في المحصلة، فإنّ الصين وإيران وضمناً روسيا بحاجة لإيجاد نظام اقتصادي بديل، لتأمين الجوانب الحيوية للاقتصاد المحلي، فقد لقد لعب انهيار سوق الأسهم في الصين، وانخفاض قيمة الروبل في روسيا، والعقوبات غير القانونية المفروضة على إيران، دوراً عميقاً في تثبيت أهداف موسكو وطهران وبكين، لإيجاد نقاط التلاقي بين البلدان الثلاثة، ولتشكيل منظومة اقتصادية قادرة على ضعضعة الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم.

The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

July 30, 2020

by Pepe Escobar for The Saker Blog and originally posted at Asia Times

When the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups recently engaged in “operations” in the South China Sea, it did not escape to many a cynic that the US Pacific Fleet was doing its best to turn the infantile Thucydides Trap theory into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The pro forma official spin, via Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz, is that the ops were conducted to “reinforce our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules-based international order, and to our allies and partners”.

Nobody pays attention to these clichés, because the real message was delivered by a CIA operative posing as diplomat, Secretary of State Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo: “The PRC has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”, in a reference to the Nine-Dash Line. For the State Dept., Beijing deploys nothing but “gangster tactics” in the South China Sea.

Once again, nobody paid attention, because the actual facts on the sea are stark. Anything that moves in the South China Sea – China’s crucial maritime trade artery – is at the mercy of the PLA, which decides if and when to deploy their deadly DF-21D and DF-26 “carrier killer” missiles. There’s absolutely no way the US Pacific Fleet can win a shooting war in the South China Sea.

Electronically jammed

A crucial Chinese report, unavailable and not referred to by Western media, and translated by Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Wing Polin, is essential to understand the context.

The report refers to US Growler electronic warplanes rendered totally out of control by electronic jamming devices positioned on islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

According to the report, “after the accident, the United States negotiated with China, demanding that China dismantle the electronic equipment immediately, but it was rejected. These electronic devices are an important part of China’s maritime defense and are not offensive weapons. Therefore, the US military’s request for dismantling is unreasonable.”

It gets better: “On the same day, former commander Scott Swift of the US Pacific Fleet finally acknowledged that the US military had lost the best time to control the South China Sea. He believes that China has deployed a large number of Hongqi 9 air defense missiles, H-6K bombers, and electronic jamming systems on islands and reefs. The defense can be said to be solid. If US fighter jets rush into the South China Sea, they are likely to encounter their ‘Waterloo.’”

The bottom line is that the systems – including electronic jamming – deployed by the PLA on islands and reefs in the South China Sea, covering more than half of the total surface, are considered by Beijing to be part of the national defense system.

I have previously detailed what Admiral Philip Davidson, when he was still a nominee to lead the US Pacific Command (PACOM), told the US Senate. Here are his Top Three conclusions:

1) “China is pursuing advanced capabilities (e.g., hypersonic missiles) which the United States has no current defense against. As China pursues these advanced weapons systems, US forces across the Indo-Pacific will be placed increasingly at risk.”

2) “China is undermining the rules-based international order.”

3) “China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Implied in all of the above is the “secret” of the Indo-Pacific strategy: at best a containment exercise, as China continues to solidify the Maritime Silk Road linking the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

Remember the nusantao

The South China Sea is and will continue to be one of the prime geopolitical flashpoints of the young 21st century, where a great deal of the East-West balance of power will be played.

I have addressed this elsewhere in the past in some detail, but a short historical background is once again absolutely essential to understand the current juncture as the South China Sea increasingly looks and feels like a Chinese lake.

Let’s start in 1890, when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

That is the embryo of the US Empire of Bases – which remains in effect.

It was Western – American and European – colonialism that came up with most land borders and maritime borders of states bordering the South China Sea: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam.

We are talking about borders between different colonial possessions – and that implied intractable problems from the start, subsequently inherited by post-colonial nations.

Historically, it had always been a completely different story. The best anthropological studies (Bill Solheim’s, for instance) define the semi-nomadic communities who really traveled and traded across the South China Sea from time immemorial as the Nusantao – an Austronesian compound word for “south island” and “people”.

The Nusantao were not a defined ethnic group. They were a maritime internet. Over centuries, they had many key hubs, from the coastline between central Vietnam and Hong Kong all the way to the Mekong Delta. They were not attached to any “state”. The Western notion of “borders” did not even exist. In the mid-1990s, I had the privilege to encounter some of their descendants in Indonesia and Vietnam.

So it was only by the late 19th century that the Westphalian system managed to freeze the South China Sea inside an immovable framework.

Which brings us to the crucial point of why China is so sensitive about its borders; because they are directly linked to the “century of humiliation” – when internal Chinese corruption and weakness allowed Western “barbarians” to take possession of Chinese land.

A Japanese lake

The Nine Dash Line is an immensely complex problem. It was invented by the eminent Chinese geographer Bai Meichu, a fierce nationalist, in 1936, initially as part of a “Chinese National Humiliation Map” in the form of a “U-shaped line” gobbling up the South China Sea all the way down to James Shoal, which is 1,500 km south of China but only over 100 km off Borneo.

The Nine Dash Line, from the beginning, was promoted by the Chinese government – remember, at the time not yet Communist – as the letter of the law in terms of “historic” Chinese claims over islands in the South China Sea.

One year later, Japan invaded China. Japan had occupied Taiwan way back in 1895. Japan occupied the Philippines in 1942. That meant virtually the entire coastline of the South China Sea being controlled by a single empire for the fist time in history. The South China Sea had become a Japanese lake.

Well, that lasted only until 1945. The Japanese did occupy Woody Island in the Paracels and Itu Aba (today Taiping) in the Spratlys. After the end of WWII and the US nuclear-bombing Japan, the Philippines became independent in 1946 and the Spratlys immediately were declared Filipino territory.

In 1947, all the islands in the South China Sea got Chinese names.

And in December 1947 all the islands were placed under the control of Hainan (itself an island in southern China.) New maps duly followed, but now with Chinese names for the islands (or reefs, or shoals). But there was a huge problem: no one explained the meaning of those dashes (which were originally eleven.)

In June 1947 the Republic of China claimed everything within the line – while proclaiming itself open to negotiate definitive maritime borders with other nations later on. But, for the moment, there were no borders.

And that set the scene for the immensely complicated “strategic ambiguity” of the South China Sea that still lingers on – and allows the State Dept. to accuse Beijing of “gangster tactics”. The culmination of a millennia-old transition from the “maritime internet” of semi-nomadic peoples to the Westphalian system spelled nothing but trouble.

Time for COC

So what about the US notion of “freedom of navigation”?

In imperial terms, “freedom of navigation”, from the West Coast of the US to Asia – through the Pacific, the South China Sea, the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean – is strictly an issue of military strategy.

The US Navy simply cannot imagine dealing with maritime exclusion zones – or having to demand an “authorization” every time they need to cross them. In this case the Empire of Bases would lose “access” to its own bases.

This is compounded with trademark Pentagon paranoia, gaming a situation where a “hostile power” – namely China – decides to block global trade. The premise in itself is ludicrous, because the South China Sea is the premier, vital maritime artery for China’s globalized economy.

So there’s no rational justification for a Freedom of Navigation (FON) program. For all practical purposes, these aircraft carriers like the Ronald Reagan and the Nimitz showboating on and off in the South China Sea amount to 21st century gunboat diplomacy. And Beijing is not impressed.

As far as the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is concerned, what matters now is to come up with a Code of Conduct (COC) to solve all maritime conflicts between Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and China.

Next year, ASEAN and China celebrate 30 years of strong bilateral relations. There’s a strong possibility they will be upgraded to “comprehensive strategic partner” status.

Because of Covid-19, all players had to postpone negotiations on the second reading of the single draft of COC. Beijing wanted these to be face to face – because the document is ultra-sensitive and for the moment, secret. Yet they finally agreed to negotiate online – via detailed texts.

It will be a hard slog, because as ASEAN made it clear in a virtual summit in late June, everything has to be in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

If they can all agree on a COC by the end of 2020, a final agreement could be approved by ASEAN in mid-2021. Historic does not even begin to describe it – because this negotiation has been going on for no less than two decades.

Not to mention that a COC invalidates any US pretension to secure “freedom of navigation” in an area where navigation is already free.

Yet “freedom” was never the issue. In imperial terminology, “freedom” means that China must obey and keep the South China Sea open to the US Navy. Well, that’s possible, but you gotta behave. That’ll be the day when the US Navy is “denied” the South China Sea. You don’t need to be Mahan to know that’ll mean the imperial end of ruling the seven seas.

Russia and the next Presidential election in the USA

Source

Intro: not a pretty picture

Let’s begin with a disclaimer: in this article, I will assume that there will be a US Presidential election in the Fall. Right now, it appears to be likely that this election will take place (there appear to be no legal way to cancel or delay it), but this is by no means certain (see here for a machine translated and very interesting article by one Russian analyst, who predicts a diarchy after the election). Right now, the state of the US society is both extremely worried (and for good reason) and potentially explosive. It is impossible to predict what a well-executed false flag attack could do to the US. There is also the possibility of either a natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, etc.) or even an unnatural one (considering the condition of the US infrastructure, this is almost inevitable) which could precipitate some kind of state of emergency or martial law to “protect” the people. Finally, though at this point in time I don’t see this as very likely, there is always the possibility of a coup of some kind, maybe a “government of national unity” with the participation of both parties which, as Noam Chomsky correctly points out, are basically only two factions of what could be called the Business Party. There might come a point when they decide to drop this pretense too (just look at how many other pretenses the US ruling elites have dropped in the last decade or so).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn used to explain that all governments can be placed on a continuum ranging from, on one end, “states whose power is based on their authority” to, on the other end, “states whose authority is based on their power“. In the real world, most states are somewhere between these two extremes. But it is quite obvious that the US polity currently has gone very far down the “states whose authority is based on their power” path and to speak of any kind of “moral authority” of US politicians is really a joke. The (probable) upcoming “choice” between Donald “grab them by the pussy” Trump and Joe “creepy uncle” Biden will make this joke even more laughable.

Right now, the most powerful force in the US political system must be the financial sector. And, of course, there are many other powerful interest groups (MIC, Israel Lobby, the CIA and the ridiculously bloated Intel community, Big Pharma, the US Gulag, the corporate media, Oil, etc.) who all combine their efforts (just like a vector does in mathematics) to produce a “resulting vector” which we call “US policies”. That is in theory. In practice, you have several competing “policies” vying for power and influence, both on the domestic and on international front. Often these policies are mutually exclusive.

Last, but certainly not least, the level of corruption in the US is at least as bad as, say, in the Ukraine or in Liberia, but rather than being on the street and petty cash level, the corruption in the US is counted in billions of dollars.

All in all, not a pretty sight (see here for a good analysis of the decline of US power).

Yet the US remains a nuclear power and still has a lot of political influence worldwide and thus this is not a country anyone can ignore. Including Russia.

A quick look at Russia

Before looking into Russian options in relation to the US, we need to take a quick look at how Russia has been faring this year. The short of it would be: not too well. The Russian economy has shrunk by about 10% and the small businesses have been devastated by the combined effects of 1) the economic policies of the Russian government and Central Bank, and 2) the devastating economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic, and 3) the full-spectrum efforts of the West, mostly by the Anglosphere, to strangle Russia economically. Politically, the “Putin regime” is still popular, but there is a sense that it is getting stale and that most Russians would prefer to see more dynamic and proactive policies aimed, not only to help the Russian mega-corporations, but also to help the regular people. Many Russians definitely have a sense that the “little guy” is being completely ignored by fat cats in power and this resentment will probably grow until and unless Putin decides to finally get rid of all the Atlantic Integrationists aka the “Washington consensus” types which are still well represented in the Russian ruling circles, including the government. So far, Putin has remained faithful to his policy of compromises and small steps, but this might change in the future as the level of frustration in the general population is likely to only grow with time.

That is not to say that the Kremlin is not trying. Several of the recent constitutional amendments adopted in a national vote had a strongly expressed “social” and “patriotic” character and they absolutely horrified the “liberal” 5th columnists who tried their best two 1) call for a boycott, and 2) denounce thousands of (almost entirely) imaginary violations of the proper voting procedures, and to 3) de-legitimize the outcome by declaring the election a “fraud”. None of that worked: the participation was high, very few actual violations were established (and those that were, had no impact on the outcome anyway) and most Russians accepted that this outcome was the result of the will of the people. Furthermore, Putin has made public the Russian strategic goals for 2030,which are heavily focused on improving the living and life conditions of average Russians (for details, see here). It is impossible to predict what will happen next, but the most likely scenario is that Russia has several, shall we say, “bumpy” years ahead, both on the domestic and on the international front.

What can Russia reasonably hope for?

This is really the key question: in the best of situations, what can Russia really hope for in the next elections? I would argue that there is really very little which Russia can hope for, if only because the russophobic hysteria started by the Democrats to defeat Trump has now apparently been completely endorsed by the Trump administration and the all the members of Congress. As for the imperial propaganda machine, it now manages to simultaneously declare that Russia tried to “steal” COVID vaccine secrets from the West AND that Russian elites were given a secret COVID vaccine this Spring. As for the US Dems, they are already announcing that the Russians are spreading “disinformation” about Biden. Talk about PRE-traumatic stress disorder (to use the phrase coined by my friend Gilad Atzmon)…

Although I have no way of knowing what is really taking place in the delusional minds of US politicians, I am strongly suspecting that the latest hysteria about “Russia stealing COV19 vaccine secrets” is probably triggered by the conclusion of the US intel community that Russia will have a vaccine ready before the US does. This is, of course, something absolutely unthinkable for US politicians who, (sort of) logically conclude that “if these Russkies got a vaccine first, they *must* have stolen it from us” or something similar (see here for a good analysis of this). And if the Chinese get there first, same response. After all, who in the US legacy media would ever even mention that Russian or Chinese researchers might be ahead of their US colleagues? Nobody, of course.

I would argue that this mantric Russia-bashing is something which will not change in the foreseeable future. For one thing, since the imperial ruling elites have clearly lost control of the situation, they really have no other option left than to blame it all on some external agent. The “terrorist threat” has lost a lot of traction over the past years, the “Muslim threat” is too politically incorrect to openly blame it all on Islam, as for the other boogeymen which US Americans like to scare themselves at night with (immigrants, drug dealers, sex offenders, “domestic terrorists”, etc.) they simply cannot be blamed for stuff like a crashing economy. But Russia, and China, can.

In fact, ever since the (self-evidently ridiculous) “Skripal case” the collective West has proven that it simply does not have the spine to say “no”, or even “maybe”, to any thesis energetically pushed forward by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. Thus no matter how self-evidently silly the imperial propaganda is, the people in the West have been conditioned (literally) to accept any nonsense as “highly likely” as long as it is proclaimed with enough gravitas by politicians and their legacy ziomedia. As for the leaders of the EU, we already know that they will endorse any idiocy coming out of Washington or London in the name of “solidarity”.

Truth be told, most Russian politicians (with the notable exception of the official Kremlin court jester, Zhirinovskii) and analysts never saw Trump as a potential ally or friend. The Kremlin was especially cautious, which leads me to believe that the Russian intelligence analysts did a very good job evaluating Trump’s psyche and they quickly figured out that he was no better than any other US politician. Right now, I know of no Russian analyst who would predict that relations between the US and Russia will improve in the foreseeable future. If anything, most are clearly saying that “guys, we better get used to this” (accusations, sanctions, accusations, sanctions, etc. etc. etc.). Furthermore, it is pretty obvious to the Russians that while Crimea and MH17 were the pretexts for western sanctions against Russia, they were not the real cause. The real cause of the West’s hatred for Russia is as simple as it is old: Russia cannot be conquered, subdued, subverted or destroyed. They’ve been at it for close to 1,000 years and they still are at it. In fact, each time they fail to crush Russia, their russophobia increases to even higher levels (phobia both in the sense of “fear” and in the sense of “hatred”).

Simply put – there is nothing which Russia can expect from the upcoming election. Nothing at all. Still, that does not mean that things are not better than 4 or 8 years ago. Let’s look at what changed.

The big difference between now and then

What did Trump’s election give to the world?

I would say four years for Russia to fully prepare for what might be coming next.

I would argue that since at least Russia and the AngloZionist Empire have been at war since at least 2013, when Russia foiled the US plan to attack Syria under the pretext that it was “highly likely” that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians (in reality, a textbook case of a false flag organized by the Brits), This means that Russia and the Empire have been at war since at least 2013, for no less than seven years (something which Russian 6th columnists and Neo-Marxists try very hard to ignore).

True, at least until now, this was has been 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic, but this is a real existential war of survival for both sides: only one side will walk away from this struggle. The other one will simply disappear (not as a nation or a people, but as a polity; a regime). The Kremlin fully understood that and it embarked on a huge reform and modernization of the Russian armed forces in three distinct ways:

  1. A “general” reform of the Russian armed forces which had to be modernized by about 80%. This part of the reform is now practically complete.
  2. A specific reform to prepare the western and southern military districts for a major conventional war against the united West (as always in Russian history) which would involve the First Guards Tank Army and the Russian Airborne Forces.
  3. The development of bleeding-edge weapons systems with no equivalent in the West and which cannot be countered or defeated; these weapons have had an especially dramatic impact upon First Strike Stability and upon naval operations.

While some US politicians understood what was going on (I think of Ron Paul, see here), most did not. They were so brainwashed by the US propaganda that they were sure that no matter what, “USA! USA! USA!”. Alas for them, the reality was quite different.

Russian officials, by the way, have confirmed that Russia was preparing for war. Heck, the reforms were so profound and far reaching, that it would have been impossible for the Russians to hide what they were doing (see here for details; also please see Andrei Martyanov’s excellent primer on the new Russian Navy here).

While no country is ever truly prepared for war, I would argue that by 2020 the Russians had reached their goals and that now Russia is fully prepared to handle any conflict the West might throw at her, ranging from a small border incident somewhere in Central Asia to a full-scaled war against the US/NATO in Europe.

Folks in the West are now slowly waking up to this new reality (I mentioned some of that here), but it is too late. In purely military terms, Russia has now created such a qualitative gap with the West that the still existing quantitative gap is not sufficient to guarantee a US/NATO victory. Now some western politicians are starting to seriously freak out (see this lady, for example), but most Europeans are coming to terms with two truly horrible realities:

  1. Russia is much stronger than Europe and, even much worse,
  2. Russia will never attack first (which is a major cause of frustration for western russophobes)

As for the obvious solution to this problem, having friendly relations with Russia is simply unthinkable for those who made their entire careers peddling the Soviet (and now Russian) threat to the world.

But Russia is changing, albeit maybe too slowly (at least for my taste). As I mentioned last week, a number of Polish, Ukrainian and Baltic politicians have declared that the Zapad2020 military maneuvers which are supposed to take place in southern Russia and the Caucasus could be used to prepare an attack on the West (see here for a rather typical example of this nonsense). In the past, the Kremlin would only have made a public statement ridiculing this nonsense, but this time around Putin did something different. Right after he saw the reaction of these politicians, Putin ordered a major and UNSCHEDULED military readiness exercise which involved no less than 150,000 troops, 400 aircraft & 100 ships! The message here was clear:

  1. Yes, we are much more powerful than you are and
  2. No, we are not apologizing for our strength anymore

And, just to make sure that the message is clear, the Russians also tested the readiness of the Russian Airborne Forces units near the city of Riazan, see for yourself:

This response is, I think, the correct one. Frankly, nobody in the West is listening to what the Kremlin has to say, so what is the point of making more statements which in the future will be ignored equally as they have been in the past.

If anything, the slow realization that Russia is more powerful than NATO would be most helpful in gently prodding EU politicians to change their tune and return back to reality. Check out this recent video of Sarah Wagenknecht, a leading politician of the German Left and see for yourself:

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already.

The example of Sahra Wagenknecht is interesting, because she is from Germany, one of the countries of northern Europe; traditionally, northern European powers have been much more anti-Russian than southern Europeans, so it is encouraging to see that the anti-Putin and anti-Russia hysteria is not always being endorsed by everybody.

But if things are very slowly getting better in the EU, in the bad old US of A things are only getting worse. Even the Republicans are now fully on board the Russia-hating float (right behind a “gay pride” one I suppose) and they are now contributing their own insanity to the cause, as this article entitled “Congressional Republicans: Russia should be designated state sponsor of terror” shows (designating Russia as a terrorist state is an old idea of the Dems, by the way).

Russian options for the Fall

In truth, Russia does not have any particularly good options towards the US. Both parties are now fully united in their rabid hatred of Russia (and China too, of course). Furthermore, while there are many well-funded and virulently anti-Russian organizations in the US (Neo-cons, Papists, Poles, Masons, Ukrainians, Balts, Ashkenazi Jews, etc.), Russian organizations in the US like this one, have very little influence or even relevance.

Banderites marching in the US

Banderites marching in the US

However, as the chaos continues to worsen inside the US and as US politicians continue to alienate pretty much the entire planet, Russia does have a perfect opportunity to weaken the US grip on Europe. The beauty in the current dynamic is that Russia does not have to do anything at all (nevermind anything covert or illegal) to help the anti-EU and anti-US forces in Europe: All she needs to do is to continuously hammer in the following simple message: “the US is sinking – do you really want to go down with it?”.

There are many opportunities to deliver that message. The current US/Polish efforts to prevent the EU from enjoying cheap Russian gas might well be the best example of what we could call “European suicide politics”, but there are many, many more.

Truth be told, neither the US nor the EU are a top priority for Russia, at least not in economic terms. The moral credibility of the West in general can certainly be described as dead and long gone. As for the West military might, it is only a concern to the degree that western politicians might be tempted to believe their own propaganda about their military forces being the best in the history of the galaxy. This is why Russia regularly engages in large surprise exercises: to prove to the West that the Russian military is fully ready for anything the West might try. As for the constant move of more and more US/NATO forces closer to the borders of Russia, they are offensive in political terms, but in military terms, getting closer to Russia only means that Russia will have more options to destroy you. “Forward deployment” is really a thing of the past, at least against Russia.

With time, however, and as the US federal center loses even more of its control of the country, the Kremlin might be well-advised to try to open some venues for “popular diplomacy”, especially with less hostile US states. The weakening of the Executive Branch has already resulted in US governors playing an increasingly important international role and while this is not, strictly speaking, legal (only the federal government has the right to engage in foreign policy), the fact is that this has been going on for years already. Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

Another possible partner inside the US for Russian firms would be US corporations (especially now that they are hurting badly). Finally, I think that the Kremlin ought to try to open channels of communication with the various small political forces in the US which are clearly not buying into the official propaganda: libertarians, (true) liberals and progressives, paleo-conservatives.

What we are witnessing before our eyes is the collapse of the US federal center. This is a dangerous and highly unstable moment in our history. But from this crisis opportunities will arise. The best thing Russia can do now is to simply remain very careful and vigilant and wait for new forces to appear on the US political scene.

The Global Reset – Unplugged. “The Deep State”

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, July 24, 2020

Conspiracy Theory

First published by GR on June 17, 2020

Imagine, you are living in a world that you are told is a democracy – and you may even believe it – but in fact your life and fate is in the hands of a few ultra-rich, ultra-powerful and ultra-inhuman oligarchs. They may be called Deep State, or simply the Beast, or anything else obscure or untraceable – it doesn’t matter. They are less than the 0.0001%.

For lack of a better expression, let’s call them for now “obscure individuals”. 

These obscure individuals who pretend running our world have never been elected. We don’t need to name them. You will figure out who they are, and why they are famous, and some of them totally invisible. They have created structures, or organisms without any legal format. They are fully out of international legality. They are a forefront for the Beast. Maybe there are several competing Beasts. But they have the same objective: A New or One World Order (NWO, or OWO).

These obscure individuals are running, for example, The World Economic Forum (WEF – representing Big Industry, Big Finance and Big Fame), the Group of 7 – G7, the Group of 20 – G20 (the leaders of the economically” strongest” nations). There are also some lesser entities, called the Bilderberg Society, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Chatham House and more.

The members of all of them are overlapping. Even this expanded forefront combined represents less than 0.001%. They all have superimposed themselves over sovereign national elected and constitutional governments, and over THE multinational world body, the United Nations, the UN.

In fact, they have coopted the UN to do their bidding. UN Director Generals, as well as the DGs of the multiple UN-suborganizations, are chosen  mostly by the US, with the consenting nod of their European vassals – according to the candidate’s political and psychological profile. If his or her ‘performance’ as head of the UN or head of one of the UN suborganizations fails, his or her days are counted. Coopted or created by the Beast(s) are also, the European Union, the Bretton Woods Organizations, World Bank and IMF, as well as the World Trade Organization (WTO) – and – make no mistake – the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. It has no teeth. Just to make sure the law is always on the side of the lawless.

In addition to the key international financial institutions, WB and IMF, there are the so-called regional development banks and similar financial institutions, keeping the countries of their respective regions in check.

In the end its financial or debt-economy that controls everything. Western neoliberal banditry has created a system, where political disobedience can be punished by economic oppression or outright theft of national assets in international territories. The system’s common denominator is the (still) omnipresent US-dollar.

“Unelected Individuals”

The supremacy of these obscure unelected individuals becomes ever more exposed. We, the People consider it “normal” that they call the shots, not what we call – or once were proud of calling, our sovereign nations and sovereignly elected governments. They have become a herd of obedient sheep. The Beast has gradually and quietly taken over. We haven’t noticed. It’s the salami tactic: You cut off slice by tiny slice and when the salami is gone, you realize that you have nothing left, that your freedom, your civil and human rights are gone. By then it’s too late. Case in point is the US Patriot Act. It was prepared way before 9/11. Once 9/11 “happened”, the Patriot Legislation was whizzed through Congress in no time – for the people’s future protection – people called for it for fear – and – bingo, the Patriot Act took about 90% of the American population’s freedom and civil rights away. For good.

We have become enslaved to the Beast. The Beast calls the shots on boom or bust of our economies, on who should be shackled by debt, when and where a pandemic should break out, and on the conditions of surviving the pandemic, for example, social confinement. And to top it all off – the instruments the Beast uses, very cleverly, are a tiny-tiny invisible enemy, called a virus, and a huge but also invisible monster, called FEAR. That keeps us off the street, off reunions with our friends, and off our social entertainment, theatre, sports, or a picnic in the park.

Soon the Beast will decide who will live and who will die, literally – if we let it. This may be not far away. Another wave of pandemic and people may beg, yell and scream for a vaccine, for their death knell, and for the super bonanza of Big Pharma – and towards the objectives of the eugenicists blatantly roaming the world – see this. There is still time to collectively say NO. Collectively and solidarily.

Take the latest case of blatant imposture. Conveniently, after the first wave of Covid-19 had passed, at least in the Global North, where the major world decisions are made, in early June 2020, the unelected WEF Chairman, Klaus Schwab, announced “The Great Reset”. Taking advantage of the economic collapse – the crisis shock, as in “The Shock Doctrine” – Mr. Schwab, one of the Beast’s frontrunners, announces openly what the WEF will discuss and decide for the world-to-come in their next Davos Forum in January 2021. For more details see this.

Will, We, The People, accept the agenda of the unelected WEF?American Hubris Robust in a Cataclysmic Global Pandemic

It will opportunely focus on the protection of what’s left of Mother Earth; obviously at the center will be man-made CO2-based “Global Warming”. The instrument for that protection of nature and humankind will be the UN Agenda 2030 – which equals the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). It will focus on how to rebuild the willfully destroyed global economy, while respecting the (“green”) principles of the 17 SDGs.

Mind you, it’s all connected. There are no coincidences. The infamous Agenda 2021 which coincides with and complements the so-called (UN) Agenda 2030, will be duly inaugurated by the WEF’s official declaration of The Great Reset, in January 2021. Similarly, the implementation of the agenda of The Great Reset began in January 2020, by the launch of the corona pandemic – planned for decades with the latest visible events being the 2010 Rockefeller Report with its “Lockstep Scenario”, and Event 201, of 18 October in NYC which computer-simulated a corona pandemic, leaving within 18 months 65 million deaths and an economy in ruin, programmed just a few weeks before the launch of the actual corona pandemic. See COVID-19, We Are Now Living the “Lock Step Scenario” and this and this.

The Race Riots

The racial riots, initiated by the movement Black Lives Matter (funded by the Ford Foundation and Soros’ Open Society Foundation), following the brutal assassination of the Afro-American George Floyd by a gang of Minneapolis police, and spreading like brush-fire in no time to more than 160 cities, first in the US, then in Europe – are not only connected to the Beast’s agenda, but they were a convenient deviation from the human catastrophe left behind by Covid-19. See also this.

The Beast’s nefarious plan to implement what’s really behind the UN Agenda 2030 is the little heard-of Agenda ID2020. See The Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic: The Real Danger is “Agenda ID2020”. It has been created and funded by the vaccination guru Bill Gates, and so has GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations), the association of Big Pharma – involved in creating the corona vaccines, and which funds along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) a major proportion of WHO’s budget.

The Great Reset, as announced by WEF’s Klaus Schwab, is supposedly implemented by Agenda ID2020. It is more than meets the eye. Agenda ID2020 is even anchored in the SDGs, as SDG 16.9 “by 2030 provide legal [digital] identity for all, including free birth registration”. This fits perfectly into the overall goal of SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

Following the official path of the UN Agenda 2030 of achieving the SDGs, the ‘implementing’ Agenda ID2020 – which is currently being tested on school children in Bangladesh – will provide digitized IDs possibly in the form of nano-chips implanted along with compulsory vaccination programs, will promote digitization of money and the rolling out of 5G – which would be needed to upload and monitor personal data on the nano chips and to control the populace. Agenda ID2020 will most likely also include ‘programs’ – through vaccination? – of significantly reducing world population. Eugenics is an important component in the control of future world population under a NOW / OWO – see also Georgia Guidestones, mysteriously built in 1980.

The ruling elite used the lockdown as an instrument to carry out this agenda. Its implementation would naturally face massive protests, organized and funded along the same lines as were the BLM protests and demonstrations. They may not be peaceful – and may not be planned as being peaceful. Because to control the population in the US and in Europe, where most of the civil unrest would be expected, a total militarization of the people is required. This is well under preparation.

In his essay “The Big Plantation”, John Steppling reports from a NYT article that a

“minimum of  93,763 machine guns, 180,718 magazine cartridges, hundreds of silencers and an unknown number of grenade launchers have been provided to state and local police departments in the US since 2006. This is in addition to at least 533 planes and helicopters, and 432 MRAPs — 9-foot high, 30-ton Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles with gun turrets and more than 44,900 pieces of night vision equipment, regularly used in nighttime raids in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

He adds that this militarization is part of a broader trend. Since the late 1990s, about 89 percent of police departments in the United States serving populations of 50,000 people or more had a PPU (Police Paramilitary Unit), almost double of what existed in the mid-1980s. He refers to these militarized police as the new Gestapo.

Even before Covid, about 15% to 20% of the population was on or below the poverty line in the United States. The post-covid lockdown economic annihilation will at least double that percentage – and commensurately increase the risk for civil turbulence and clashes with authorities – further enhancing the reasoning for a militarized police force.

China’s Crypto RMB

None of these scenarios will, of course, be presented to the public by the WEF in January 2021. These are decisions taken behind closed doors by the key actors for the Beast. However, this grandiose plan of the Great Reset does not have to happen. There is at least half the world population and some of the most powerful countries, economically and militarily – like China and Russia – opposed to it. “Reset” maybe yes, but not in these western terms. In fact, a reset of kinds is already happening with China about to roll out a new People’s Bank of China backed blockchain-based cryptocurrency, the crypto RMB, or yuan. This is not only a hard currency based on a solid economy, it is also supported by gold.

While President Trump keeps trashing China for unfair trade, for improperly managing the covid pandemic, for stealing property rights – China bashing no end – that China depends on the US and that the US will cut trading ties with China – or cut ties altogether, China is calling Trump’s bluff. China is quietly reorienting herself towards the ASEAN countries plus Japan (yes, Japan!) and South Korea, where trade already today accounts for about 15% of all China’s trade and is expected to double in the next five years.

Despite the lockdown and the disruption of trade, China’s overall exports recovered with a 3.2% increase in April (in relation to April 2019). This overall performance in China exports was nonetheless accompanied by a dramatic decline in US-China trade. China exports to the US decreased by 7.9% in April (in relation to April 2019).

It is clear that the vast majority of US industries could not survive without Chinese supply chains. The western dependence on Chinese medical supplies is particularly strong. Let alone Chinese dependence by US consumers. In 2019, US total consumption, about 70% of GDP, amounted to $13.3 trillion, of which a fair amount is directly imported from China or dependent on ingredients from China.

The WEF-masters are confronted with a real dilemma. Their plan depends very much on the dollar supremacy which would continue to allow dishing out sanctions and confiscating assets from those countries opposing US rule; a dollar-hegemony which would allow imposing the components of The Great Reset scheme, as described above.

At present, the dollar is fiat money, debt-money created from thin air. It has no backing whatsoever. Therefore, its worth as a reserve currency is increasingly decaying, especially vis-à-vis the new crypto-yuan from China. In order to compete with the Chinese yuan, the US Government would have to move away from its monetary Ponzi-scheme, by separating itself from the 1913 Federal Reserve Act and print her own US-economy- and possibly gold-backed (crypto) money – not fiat FED-money, as is the case today. That would mean cutting the more than 100-year old ties to the Rothschild and Co. clan-owned FED, and creating a real peoples-owned central bank. Not impossible, but highly improbable. Here, two Beasts might clash, as world power is at stake.

Meanwhile, China, with her philosophy of endless creation would continue forging ahead unstoppably with her mammoth socioeconomic development plan of the 21st Century, the Belt and Road Initiative, connecting and bridging the world with infrastructure for land and maritime transport, with joint research and industrial projects, cultural exchanges – and not least, multinational trade with “win-win” characteristics, equality for all partners – towards a multi-polar world, towards a world with a common future for mankind.

Today already more than 120 countries are associated with BRI – and the field is wide open for others to join – and to defy, unmask and unplug The Great Reset of the West.

*

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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 Organization around 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; New Eastern Outlook (NEO); RT; Countercurrents, Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press; The Saker Blog, the 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.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2020

Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to a media question on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on US-Chinese relations

Source

Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to a media question on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on US-Chinese relations

July 26, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Question: Can you comment on the recent statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the US-Chinese relations?

Maria Zakharova: We noted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on US-Chinese relations made on July 23 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.

We were surprised by the defiant tone of Mr Pompeo’s statements, which predictably contained crude references to China, its social and political system and its leaders. Unfortunately, these things are common in US foreign policy diplomacy these days.

The tension in relations with Beijing being provoked by Washington, in addition to harming the United States and China, is also seriously complicating international affairs. These two countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council and play an important role in global affairs. Together with the other Security Council members, they bear a special responsibility for maintaining global stability.

We regard Pompeo’s statement on the possibility of dragging Moscow into the US anti-Chinese campaign as yet another naive attempt to complicate the Russian-Chinese partnership, and drive a wedge into the friendly ties between Russia and China. We intend to further strengthen our cooperation with China because we regard this cooperation as the most important factor in stabilising the situation around the world.

The ’Americanized’ Europe is Crumbling towards Bankruptcy and Chaos

The ’Americanized’ Europe is Crumbling towards Bankruptcy and Chaos

By George Haddad

Sofia – Until World War II, old Colonialism has prevailed in the world [excluding the Soviet Union which was besieged and isolated]. Production [i.e. industry and industry-based agriculture] was the center of the colonial system. The metropolitans [European colonial countries] were the “factory of the world”. As for the colonies and semi-colonies that were once called the “Third World”, they were obliged by force to be:

  1. Sources of raw materials [crude and agricultural] to supply the metropolitan industry.
  2. Markets for metropolitan industrial and agricultural products.

The so-called “price-cutter” was being forcefully imposed on the peoples of the colonial and semi-colonial countries, that is, they were forced to buy the commodities of European countries at high prices [higher than their real value], and to sell their raw materials at low prices [lesser than their real value].

The ruling capitalist classes of the colonials sewed up most of these “surplus” profits resulting from the aforementioned “price cuts” [the price differences]. But it was “waiving” a portion of less or more of those “surplus profits” to increase the living standards of the popular masses in colonial Europe, to anaesthetize them and obtain their support for a colonial policy, and at least make them condone that policy.

The historical consequence of that colonial system was that progress and affluence in the colonial Europe countries happened on the expense of the colonial and semi-colonial peoples of the third world by slaughtering, subduing, humiliating, and starving them.

The Second World War marked a turning point in the previous world order; on the one hand, the former socialist camp emerged, and on the other hand, the old colonial system collapsed due to the revolutions in the colonies and semi-colonies. The former colonial metropolitan countries [which emerged from the war weak and semi-destroyed] could no longer forcefully impose their “production” on the third world. Socialist thought spread like wildfire through the “Third World”. A large group that antagonize communism, especially in its economic and social aspects, embraced many groups that were hostile to or disagree politically, religiously and ideologically with communism. Accordingly, a realistic possibility for the global capitalist system as a whole to collapse saw light. But the American geostrategic intervention, militarily, politically, and economically, had blocked this possibility.

Not only did the United States emerge from the war safe and sound having distanced itself from the battlefields, but rather, it emerged wealthier and literally became the “World Bank” for gold reserves and thousands of billions of capital fleeing its countries due to the wars, revolutions, and the collapse of the old colonial system. This accumulation of global capitals in the US led to the emergence of multinational companies and major global capitalist monopolies alongside their Jewish capital nuclei and the adoption of the dollar as the main international currency, as well as the emergence of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] to control the dollar process in the global economy as a whole. This led to a paradigm shift in the global capitalist system, which was to transfer the centre point of the global capitalist economy from “production” to “financing”, represented by loans, employment, and investments, which was the basis for the emergence of the new neoliberal system, American globalization, and the so-called “savage capitalism”. Due to these mechanisms, America worked and is still working to dominate the world.

This “paradigm shift” of the world capitalist-imperialist system resulted in the following:

  1. The insane increase of the financial sector’s share in the global economy from 5% in the aftermath of World War II to 50% today.
  2. Centralizing the global economy around the dollar, i.e. placing it under the mercy of the dollar-printing machine owned by the Jewish financial group that controls the American Central Bank’s “governor” called “Federal Reserve Bank”.
  3. Turning the US, almost completely, into a parasitic state. As American production now represents less than 18% of the American economy, which in turn represents less than 20% of the global economy; whereas – the US – consumes more than 40% of global production.
  4. Europe itself, with its rich history, has turned into a US-influence zone. Consequently, Europe became a producer and the US a consumer of its production [and others production] in exchange for a dollar currency, which is constantly losing its purchasing value. This means that Europe gradually lost all the extra wealth it had looted from colonial and semi-colonial peoples for hundreds of years, in just a few decades in favour of the US. And that is to say, Europe is living day to day on its production, which in turn gradually loses its marketing value due to the peg to the dollar that is gradually losing its purchasing value in favour of the American-Jewish monetary monopoly of the dollar.
  5. And by seeking to obtain profits in any way, the global American-Jewish monopolistic monetary bloc objectively encouraged industrialization and increased production in what was called the “Asian Tigers”: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc., as it “neglected” and also objectively encouraged the overwhelming industrial revival of China that is governed by the Communist Party, whose population is 50% more than the combined population of Europe and America. These countries produced in huge quantities industrial commodities [with international specifications] that are much cheaper than expensive European ones because their labour remuneration is much lower than the “pampered” labour remuneration in Europe. The production of ex-colonial countries made a fierce and deadly competition for European production, whose proportion has shrunk considerably in the world trade.

Finally, under the same general economic laws of capitalism, the inflated balloon of rentier financial capital [interest – speculative] exploded, and the financial-economic crisis in the US erupted spilling over to Europe in 2008. The main cause behind this continues crisis is the explosive collision between the infinite and senseless rise in profits resulting from the fiscal usurious-speculative policy and the limited purchasing power of consumers. The US has been able to partially and interim deal with the consequences of the crisis, thanks to its capacity to print more dollars, which the world has no choice but to “receive” gratefully [!]. As for Europe, it is impossible to do so. Therefore, its situation is worse than that of the US, and it “is solving” the problems resulting from the crisis by inflation, unemployment and lowering the living standard of the European masses.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Whether this pandemic is a form of biological warfare [as US President Donald Trump suggests in his repeated accusations to China], or a “natural” phenomenon as a result of environmental pollution due to the brutality of the capitalist greed system dealing with nature, the economic crisis is quickly and severely making its way into Europe: production is shrinking at a very high level below zero, unemployment is exacerbating, social services are disastrously diminishing, the educational system is collapsing, and prices are skyrocketing.

And if the US presented the “Marshall Plan” to Europe after World War II, to dominate it, then the US today [which is today embroiled in crisis] cannot and does not want to help Europe; but rather it wants, if possible, to overcome its crisis at the expense of Europe.

Diplomacy is reciprocal

July 25, 2020

Diplomacy is reciprocal

Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

The US suddenly ordered China to end operations from its embassy in Houston, Texas (remember when they did the same to Russia). However, diplomacy is reciprocal and the Chinese so far refrained from a further provocative reaction. They are implementing a fair tit for tat measure, closing the US Consulate in Chengdu, keeping options open for further retaliation. They could have fanned the flames and closed the US Consulate in Hong Kong, or even a bigger one in Beijing, but kept to a fair reciprocal closure – so far.

More about the Consulate spat https://www.moonofalabama.org/

China responded to Mr Pompeo’s highly advertised ‘very important’ speech this week in short, not giving Pompeo that attention that he so craves. The Chinese stance is that Mike Pompeo maliciously attacked the Communist Party of China (CPC) and China’s socialist system, and he made remarks that ignored the facts, were full of ideological bias and turned black into white, which showed his Cold War mentality. From the Chinese Foreign Ministry: “Some US politicians have deliberately stirred up ideological disputes, talked about changing China, denied China-US relations, and provoked China’s relationships with other countries. Their purpose is to suppress China’s development and divert the public’s attention from their own country. These tricks cannot fool the Americans and international community.”

The US have stopped all basic diplomatic standards in a grab for their self-delusional rules-based international order. Just recently, Pompeo announced that they will not respect or accept any of the agreements in the South China Sea. He must be thinking that all of the ASEAN countries like him enough to drop their raft of regional negotiated agreements.

Despite Chinese accusations that the US opens their diplomatic pouches, which is in flagrant violation of all Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular relations, the most important is the following which shows that China is still keeping to fair diplomatic and pragmatic standard:

“It must be emphasized that China has no intentions to change the US in terms of its social system, and the US cannot change China either.”

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1800221.shtml

Having followed the Russian reactions on these types of actions by the US toward Russia, we have become accustomed to the frustratingly pragmatic and clinically diplomatic methods of dealing with western bullying. The Chinese are different and they enthusiastically take part in the war of words that is reaching cold war status if one adds in the trade war announced by Mr Trump +- two years ago and which he thought would be ‘easy to win’. What we see now as reaction to the US provocation to China in the US social sphere, many ordinary Americans are deeply into the ‘crush China’ rhetoric which attempts to blame China for all of the US ills.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202007241079970310-us-heading-towards-quagmire-in-the-south-china-sea-by-inciting-tensions-with-beijing-activist-warns/

While it remains unclear if this can be written off completely to electioneering and election rhetoric, what does clarify is that the harm done is not easily fixed, no matter the reason. It is however quite breathtaking how far Pompeo will push this, hoping for retaliation which he can then use to prove himself and the current US administration right. It is beyond a level of comprehension that Pompeo and Co could really think that they will make war against China.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202007/24/WS5f1a5b8da31083481725be24.html

In this time of ‘rhetorical cold war of words’, Godfree Roberts who regularly writes on China for the Unz Review started a new weekly newsletter, Here Comes China, Skulduggery, Good News, Offbeat Opinions, chock-a-block full of what is happening in China.

Godfree has offered the first four newsletters free to Saker readers. From economics, to space, to China-Iran Trade and Military Partnership, to the cleanup and recovering of the Yangtze river, a Hong Kong section, the media war on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and an in-depth look at Human rights in China, this newsletter stands unique in its scope and its presentation of Western opinions and Eastern opinions.

Godfree’s new book on China is just about ready for release. The book is called:

Why China leads the world: Democracy at the bottom, Data in the middle, Talent at the top.
A preview: https://www.herecomeschina.com/why-china-leads-the-world-the-book/

I also want to draw the readers’ attention to a two part essay written on Mao, Mao Reconsidered, and published in greanvillepost.com. Part 1Part 2

China Sitrep – 5 selected topics from the Here Comes China newsletter:

Trump Empowers CIA to Launch Cyberattacks

The secret authorization, known as a presidential finding, gives the spy agency more freedom in both the kinds of operations it conducts and who it targets–including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, which are mentioned directly in the document. The finding allows the CIA to more easily authorize its own covert cyber operations, rather than requiring the agency to get approval from the White House. The “very aggressive” finding “gave the agency very specific authorities to really take the fight offensively to a handful of adversarial countries,” said a former U.S. government official. The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities. [MORE]

Belt and Road Finds New Life in Pakistan

China and Pakistan have signed deals for two hydro-power generation projects costing $3.9 billion in the disputed Kashmir region, and another to revamp the South Asian nation’s colonial-era railways for $7.2 billion — the most expensive Chinese project yet in Pakistan. The Chinese financing has helped rid Pakistan of an electricity deficit that left exporters unable to meet orders and major cities without electricity for much of the day. [MORE]

T.P. Wilkinson: The Yemen

The West encourages dissolution of state entities that could engage in normal relations with China or any other potential competitors. The Yemen is one of those long-term victims of British imperialism. When Britain nominally withdrew from Egypt, Nasser promoted his new government’s participation in his movement for Arab unity, opposed by British clients in Riyadh (the Saud family’s Wahhabi gangsters). The Saud family would like to have annexed the Yemen but could not without war against Egypt-against which the tiny mob had no chance. So David Stirling led a counter-insurgency funded by the British and Saudis to drive Egypt out of the Yemen and leave the country as a quasi-protectorate of Britain/US. Attempts to change that have been fought for decades but until a decade ago the client regime was well protected. Clearly chaos is profitable for the empire which between Somalia and Yemen prevent any stability in opposition to its interests. Not only do Somalia and Yemen lie close to the Suez route they also form part of the ancient East African trading basin that links Asia with Africa. As part of the overall strategy of Denial, this policy is aided by the designs of the mob in Riyad which lacks the population to occupy territories it would like to annex.

Xinjiang

This section from Here Comes China is an in-depth analysis. I suggest you read it in the newsletter itself. Main points:

Islam is neither the Uyghurs’ native religion nor their only one but, in its Wahhabi form, has caused problems around the world, for which we can thank to two fervent Christians, Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski,[2] who considered a united Eurasia, “The only possible challenge to American hegemony.” In 1979, months before the Soviet entry into Afghanistan, Brzezinski drafted and Carter signed a top-secret Presidential Order authorizing the CIA to train fundamentalist Muslims to wage Jihad against the Soviet Communist infidels and all unbelievers of conservative Sunni Islam and the Mujahideen terror war against Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan became the largest covert action in CIA history.[2] Brzezinski’s ‘Arc of Crisis’ strategy inflamed Muslims in Central Asia to destabilize the USSR during its economic crisis and, when Le Nouvel Observateur later asked if he had any regrets, Brzezinski snapped, “What is most important to the history of the world? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe?”

Twenty years later, in 1999, the CIA’s Islam strategist, Graham E. Fuller, announced, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”[3]

Today, NED money supports the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) which calls China’s Xinjiang Province ‘East Turkistan’ and China’s administration of Xinjiang as ‘Chinese occupation of East Turkistan,’ runs articles like, “Op-ed: A Profile of Rebiya Kadeer, Fearless Uyghur Independence Activist,” and admits that Kadeer seeks Uyghur independence from China.

Faced with an armed insurrection, most states impose martial law or a state of emergency, as Britain did in Malaya from 1945 to 1957 and the US did with the Patriot Act, but China decided–despite popular outrage–to write off its losses and play the long game and founded The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),[1] a political, economic, and security alliance, with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, who stopped funneling money and providing corridors for Uyghur terrorists to move into and out of China. The SCO has since expanded to include India and Pakistan and Iran has begun the accession process, making it world’s largest security pact in both area and population and the only one whose membership includes four nuclear powers.

Forming the SCO was easier than assuaging public outrage. An unheard-of lawsuit by victims’ relatives accused the government of reverse discrimination so they stepped up security and published their objectives:

  1. restore law and order
  2. prevent terrorists from inflicting more violence
  3. use ‘high-intensity regulation’
  4. contain the spread of terrorism beyond Xinjiang
  5. purge extremists and separatists from society.

Neighborhood community centres–labelled ‘concentration camps’ in the western press–educate rural Uyghurs about the perils of religious extremism and train them for urban jobs.
In 2013 President Xi toured Eurasia and proposed the Belt and Road Initiative for three billion people, designed to create the biggest market in the world with unparalleled development potential, and built a gas pipeline to China from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan which, like China’s other western pipelines, power lines, and rail and road networks, runs through the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Beijing then moved jobs to Xinjiang and opened vocational schools to train rural youth in literacy and job skills and swore to protect its neighbors from terrorism in exchange for their pledge to reciprocate. To create jobs in the province Xi directed investment from forty-five of China’s top companies and eighty Fortune 500 manufacturers to Urumqi. Corporate investment increased from $10 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2017 and infrastructure investments of $70 billion in both 2017 and 2018 lifted the annual goods shipments past 100 million tons with a goal of hourly departures to fifteen European capitals. Half a million Uyghurs have relocated from remote villages to cities and, as a result, 600,000 Uighurs were lifted out of poverty in 2016, 312,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018. The last poor Uyghurs will join the cash economy in mid-2020.

The PBOC, China’s central bank, is partnering with ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to test the use of its sovereign digital currency, AKA Central Bank Digital Currency, CBDC. The regulator is working with Didi to apply digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) to the ride-hailing app, which currently serves a total of over 550 million users and is often described as China’s Uber. According to Didi, “the government seeks to support the development of the real economy sectors with innovative financial services.” Didi has more than 30 million daily ride-sharing orders and its bike-sharing daily orders reached 10 million. Meituan and Bilibilibili are also cooperating with banks in the digital yuan project. Meituan’s service platform has over 240 million consumers and five million local merchants, and Bilibilibili is China’s largest video-sharing website.

Sign up for your free one month sub to Godfree’s very extensive newsletter here. At the Saker blog, only a fraction of all the material can be covered.

Interview: Iran’s former ambassador to China, Mehdi Safari on 25-year historic agreement with China.

Source

Interview: Iran’s former ambassador to China, Mehdi Safari on 25-year historic agreement with China.

July 23, 2020

Interview with the Al-Alam News channel, Iran’s former ambassador to China, Mehdi Safari, revealed his thoughts and important details about the comprehensive 25-year historic agreement currently being finalised between Iran and China.

From: http://middleeastobserver.net/irans-fmr-beijing-envoy-on-comprehensive-25-year-long-deal-with-china/

Description:

In an in-depth interview with the Al-Alam News channel, Iran’s former ambassador to China, Mehdi Safari, revealed his thoughts and important details about the comprehensive 25-year historic agreement currently being finalised between Iran and China.

Al-Alam News

Transcript:

Interviewer:

What is the nature of the policy pursued by Tehran with regards to the East, and is it related to the current situation in Iran?

Safari:

Look. To answer your question, I would say, after the success of the Islamic Revolution, the motto of the (foreign) policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran was “Neither East, nor West”. However, the Islamic Republic had and still has diplomatic relations with all states except Israel and America, which we consider to be our enemies; or if we felt that a side is showing hostile behavior (towards Iran).

You used the slogan “Neither East, nor West”. The part “Neither East” existed when the Soviet Union was still a part of the global system and had its own policies, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation changed its policies. You also saw how our relations with our neighboring countries in the north have developed and become stronger.

First of all, China is neither western nor eastern, as it is located in east Asia. Well, this applies to Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and India. All of these countries are located in East Asia. We had and will always foster diplomatic relations with the aforementioned countries. Therefore, our policy did not change. All the relationships that existed between us and these countries were mutual and equal. But why did this desire for a relationship with China rise to the surface and why did this relationship become strategic? I would like to give you a clarification. To start with, this relationship is needed by both China and us. After the Americans began to besiege China from the east… If you go back in memory, you would remember the issue of the three islands that were the subject of a dispute between China and Japan. Americans wanted to create a disputed area. Then, after the South China Sea issue (the disputed islands), another issue came up with Vietnam and the Philippines regarding Chinese oil reserves. The Chinese also felt that Obama had revived their closed base in northern Australia. They also felt that if they do not find another path across the sea, they might encounter problems that they don’t have the time to deal with, especially with their current trade situation, and the energy-related crisis in general.

Well, China brought up Mr. XI Jinping’s idea about ​​the west, the west of the country, and revived the principle of “One Belt, One Road”, i.e. the Silk Road. In other words, it is turning towards the East. China could have started (its project) from three routes: (1) through Russia to northern Europe, (2) through the Islamic Republic of Iran towards the central and southern European states, or (3) crossing the ocean to head to the continent of Africa.

China launched this project (for many reasons). (First,) in the past, this country used to import only one million barrels of oil in the past. Six years ago, it imported five million barrels. While today, it imports 11, 500, 000 barrels of oil, 5, 500, 000 barrels of which passes through the Persian Gulf. Well, now let us see. Which country has 2, 200 kilometers of maritime borders? The Islamic Republic of Iran. Which country has oil and gas here (in this region)? The Islamic Republic of Iran also. This is the main factor that enables us (Iran) to become China ‘s strategic partner. From the Chinese perspective, energy security is more important than the provision of energy. If energy provision is important, energy security is even more important. Well, who can provide all of these (services)? In this region, we are the ones who can do that.

Second, China is the world’s top trader, to say the least. I personally believe that China enjoys the world’s number one economy. The reason (for this success) is that Americans, who say “we are number one”, print $600 billion or $700 billion four or five times a year and inject them in the market. Now, China wants to guarantee the security of its trading operations in our region, in the Indian Ocean and in the Gulf of Oman. It sees that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country fighting terrorism (ISIS) and drug trafficking. So what have these factors succeeded to achieve? It made our country a strategic partner of China.

Interviewer:

Did this policy come after you (Iranians) lost hope in the West? And how is it consistent with the policy of “Neither East, nor West”?

Safari:

First of all, our relationship with China did not begin recently. We have enjoyed strong relations and ties with this country for many years. However, it is a well-known fact that today’s China is significantly different from the China of 10 or 20 years ago. Today’s China is completely different in terms of technology, trade, its construction of power stations, etc. So we can see that China can fulfill our needs. Instead of turning towards Europe and America that are imposing limitations and restrictions on us, we can now get our needs (from China). And when I say now, this does not mean just today. This project was launched 15 or 20 years ago. Take a close look. The Chinese have been working hard and actively in Iran for 20 years. Check the number of dams, power stations, steel plants, mines and petrochemicals (built in Iran by China). Therefore, this relationship did not begin yesterday nor today.

Perhaps China’s political view of the West and America has changed during the past five or six years. Now, it is turning more towards us, to its west – as I’ve mentioned before. The need of the two parties (for this relationship) became bilateral and mutual, which led to setting up a cooperation project that would last for 25 years. Therefore, I can say that this matter (the cooperation) is not related to recent developments. China has been importing our oil for years. We have also been exchanging economic cooperation, finance, and projects in various fields. Why is this subject being discussed now? Regarding our view of the West or East, if we take a look at the comprehensive partnership project with China, we will find that it paves the way for relations with most European states – with Austria, Germany, France, Romania, the former Yugoslavia, or even Sweden – in addition to our neighboring states. I honestly do not know the reason for this great sensitivity over our cooperation with China. Go and take a look at our cooperation and agreements with Austria and Germany. All of these (cooperation) offers were raised in the various specialized joint committees. Therefore, these steps are not new. The motto of the (foreign) policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, “Neither East, nor West”, hasn’t changed. Our view of the former Soviet Union or the West is still the same. However, when the Soviet Union changed its policies and came to the negotiating table, we came to a balanced agreement and started dealing with the Union.

Interviewer:

Does China’s historic anti-colonial policy play a role in Tehran’s decision to turn to the East?

Safari:

Of course. If you noticed, China never had any conflicts with us, nor did it wage any wars against us. There were no border skirmishes or disputes between us. China is a very rich country in terms of culture, and as you mentioned, it is not opportunistic. These factors were important in (our choice) to deal with China. On the other hand, this country (China) had some needs that led it to turn towards our country. Therefore, these needs from both sides were complementary, which led to the crystallization of this comprehensive partnership.

Interviewer:

Do you feel like you were obliged to turn to China, or is this plan a part of Iran’s foreign policy in general?

Safari:

No, I personally think that this is a real strategy that we have been following for almost 20 years. Today, the cooperation project has reached a state of maturity. This project was brought up six years ago during the visit of Mr. Xi Jinping to Iran, but there was a delay from our end. Now I say that this project shouldn’t be delayed any further. We have to begin this project sooner rather than later.

At the time, we were in the midst of talks with the West, and this was, in my opinion, the reason for the delay in the comprehensive partnership project with China. We had this strategy before us 20 or 25 years ago, and we have been engaging in all kinds of cooperation with China. However, the conditions China is living under led it to conclude and sign such an agreement with us. Of course, as I’ve mentioned earlier, when it (China) was turning to the West (for cooperation), it did not sign (any agreements) with us. It rather signed (agreements) with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Russia, and other countries, because of the reasons I explained earlier. However, the circumstances surrounding China have changed, due to its trade, economic and political differences with America and the West in general.

Interviewer:

Can you tell us more about this agreement (with China)?

Safari:

This comprehensive partnership includes an energy component. This energy component is divided into two subsections: (1) oil and gas, and (2) the construction of power stations and the use of renewable energy. In the energy component, China pledged to buy our oil for 25 years. And (in return) what do we guarantee for 25 years? To sell our​​ oil to them. China also showed its intention to invest in and provide the necessary financing for our refineries and petrochemical plants, and we too would like this (financing) idea to be put into effect, especially on our coastlines which we use for exportation. With regards to energy and the construction of power plants, there is a willingness by both sides to build power stations in various regions jointly (in terms of financing) as it is considered a part of Iran’s infrastructure.

There is also a section regarding investment in renewable energy. Here, I would like to give an example with regards to solar (power) systems, or solar energy plants. As you know this has two implications. On the one hand, the situation of us here in the Islamic Republic of Iran is more favorable than China in this field. On the other hand, China is one of the highly developed countries and it occupies first place in renewable energies. Every year, it generates about 20 GW of these energies per day around the country. Moreover, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a very suitable place for such projects, (especially keeping in mind) the deserts (we have) and how such projects help (us) fight the problem of desertification in the country.

We would like for the Chinese to come and build solar cell (plants) in Iran, and to develop our power stations. Secondly, regarding electrical energy, you know that the Chinese also rank first in the world in (building) private and public vehicles such as buses. Therefore, we are thinking about starting joint work in this sector in Iran

There is also the subject of transportation, which includes roads and railways. Well if China actually wants to turn to the East and revive the Silk Road, then all the aforementioned is included in the project. China must prepare and start making high-speed trains for the transportation and transit of various goods through the Islamic Republic of Iran to the West, and from the North to the South and vice versa. In other words, (we are referring to) the transit of goods from Chabahar to Mashhad, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and vice versa; and from Mashhad to Tabriz, Europe, and other states neighboring Iran. Therefore, transportation offers both parties an incentive to cooperate.

With regards to tourism, China has 250 million tourists (that travel) annually, while we have two million tourists. If every year, three million Chinese citizens came (to Iran) with their rich culture, and wandered in the country, we will witness an increase in job opportunities in the field of tourism and handicrafts. You must know that the Chinese love our handicrafts. If it happened that our handicrafts found their way into the Chinese market, i.e. one billion and four hundred million people, imagine if each one of them bought only a vase! When Coca-Cola went to China, and it should not have been allowed to go there, one of the company’s managers said “if each one of them (Chinese people) drank only one can, this would mean one billion and four hundred million cans!” Our handicrafts and carpets are extremely popular in China. We are looking to create job opportunities. If the Chinese were present in the tourism sector and worked to strengthen our infrastructure, we would succeed in attracting Chinese tourists. Once that is done, you would see the significant outcomes of this project.

Interviewer:

What does China want from this agreement?

Safari:

I have already told you about China’s interests, and the conditions the US put China under. The transit of China’s goods, and having access to raw materials, whether from Iran or from the south, in addition to the provision of energy and the maintenance of energy security, are both very important for China. Any disruption that might occur along the trade route, or any difficulty that might arise in the process of obtaining raw materials, can cause the country great problems.

I have told you that we were very late to sign this agreement. Because of this delay, China has gone its own way, and has concluded agreements and treaties with other countries. China reached Europe via Russia, Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Georgia and Azerbaijan. We took too long to establish this partnership. During my last interview I said frankly, we should have signed this joint cooperation agreement six years ago. China had many interests (in working with Iran). We were the ones who took too long (to sign). As for them (Chinese), they secured their interests through (agreements with) other countries.

Interviewer:

Is there any indication that Iran will grant China any concessions?

Safari:

We fought our neighboring country (Iraq) for eight years (to gain back) two inches of land. So do you believe we would give away our islands (to China)? Where was this news written? Who said that? It is these agents of the West who are creating such an atmosphere after they saw that they have failed to achieve their goals of undermining (the achievements) of the Islamic Republic. China came to invest in power stations, and the manufacture of cars and spare parts in these areas. Chabahar Port was mentioned (in the agreement) but for what? In order to transport goods. Kish and Qeshm Islands were mentioned as places for investment in power stations and construction. The news (about giving away our islands) are totally false and beyond belief.

Interviewer:

There are mixed opinions about this agreement with China. What do you have to say about that?

Safari:

Those who are against (this agreement) fell under the influence of (rumors that circulated) on cyberspace, and began to raise these false issues. They think that they can (break this agreement). If you have noticed, the US Secretary of State is against this agreement. (He said) “If this agreement is to be signed, we should not lift the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran”. This (opposition) indicates that we (Iranians) are on the right track. He (Pompeo) said “for this reason (i.e. lifting the sanctions), we (Iranian) shouldn’t do that (i.e. cooperate with China).” He also says that we and Russia have worked together to kill people in Syria, while (in fact) they (Americans) were supporting ISIS. You (Americans) are claiming that Russia is a bad country, and it kills people. If so, then how do you team up with Russia at the United Nations to maintain sanctions and ensure they are not lifted? That is why it is clear that the West is behind this atmosphere (of opposition to the agreement). Western regimes are creating this atmosphere.

This also applies to reactionary states in the region. How do these reactionary states cooperate with China in the area of ​​investment and give it their oil, but when it comes to the Islamic Republic they say that China should not work with us because (by doing that) it would be supporting terrorism, while we all know that (it is) these (very) states that support ISIS and terrorism in the region?! Therefore, in my opinion, this cooperation is beneficial to both sides. (Certain) foreign states know that such cooperation would help us overcome this impasse.

Interviewer:

Will we witness such an agreement with other states?

Safari:

Let me tell you something. I told other states that a text similar to the text (of this agreement) was presented in most joint committees (between us and these states). It would be interesting for you to know that there are some subjects (that were included in our agreement with China), but we avoided discussing with European states. However, we have signed similar agreements with most European and Asian states.

I hope that we sign the agreement (with China) and launch this project as soon as possible, which is in the interest of both countries. If we start this work (which covers the fields of) tourism, energy, environment, agriculture, health, pharmacy, road construction, and financing, then I promise you we will create more than three million jobs. If about one or three million Iranians got involved with handicrafts, their work will bring prosperity to tourism and handicrafts in our country. We are looking to create jobs. If we get the necessary finance, we will create enough jobs to push our economic wheel forward and begin exporting.

Interviewer:

Which states will oppose this agreement and how are Iran and China planning to face the upcoming obstacles – if there were any?

Safari:

I think that the countries who are against the agreement, and I mean America, Israel and the Arab states, have started to create a hostile environment (regarding this agreement) in cyberspace. I think, for the benefit of our country, we should ignore them. In order to address this issue, we must run these projects as soon as possible so that the Iranian people can witness the results, then these issues will be automatically resolved. Of course, in addition to this atmosphere (of opposition), the West may exert pressure on China to go back on this agreement, and this is an important point. Therefore, we have to further our interests, and implement this agreement in the areas that I’ve mentioned to you. This agreement, especially in (the section regarding) infrastructure projects, can be very beneficial to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to our dear (Iranian) people. Don’t forget my words. I don’t know if I’ve already mentioned this or not. Imam Khomeini (may God bless him and grant him peace), once said: “If Westerners praise you, know that you have made a mistake; and if they disparage you, know that you are on the right path, and continue what you have started.

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China Is Ready for a Space War

Source

 July 24, 2020

On July 21, in 1969, Americans Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. They were the first of a select group of Americans to be the only humans to do so. Fast forward to more recent times: in May, the world saw America return to launching American’s to space with the SpaceX launch to the International Space Station. Now, in just ten days, NASA will launch its Perseverance rover to Mars, the latest in a fleet of American vehicles on the red planet. The historic anniversary of Apollo 11 and NASA current activities remind us of both America’s dominant history as well as its current dynamism in space.

Under NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s strong leadership, NASA’s long-awaited Commercial Crew Program (CCP) has come to fruition with the May 30 launch of two NASA astronauts to the station and subsequent successful docking—signifying America’s return to putting people into space under its own flag, and not relying on the services of others—especially countries like Russia that are strategic competitors. Moreover, this return occurs with an embrace of the dynamism of the free market. NASA is getting out of the business of putting astronauts and material into low-Earth orbit. Not only can NASA buy these services at competitive market rates from American firms, stimulating a new sector of the U.S. economy, it can now focus on its greater national priority—expanding U.S. access to deeper space—the Moon, Mars, and beyond.  

This represents the next generational leap for NASA—Apollo took Americans to the moon, and the space shuttle cemented American leadership in building the International Space Station—but NASA was stuck in low-earth orbit. By transitioning the earth to orbit taxi/freight business to American commercial launchers, it can now take Americans to the Moon, Mars and beyond. This major shift in NASA’s operations gets lost in media commentary, coming at the same time that China’s space program has made great strides. 

Chinese announcements come frequently—plans for Chinese landers, Chinese crew on the Moon, new Chinese space launchers, Chinese plans for a space station, and an upcoming Chinese launch to Mars.  It all sounds impressive—but let’s remember, as NASA has learned, it is easier to announce plans than it is to accomplish them. In considering most of China’s ambitious plans, it’s worth noting that NASA’s already done all of that—most of it decades ago.

  • China on the moon?  Let’s look back forty years—NASA put Americans on the Moon in six crewed missions between 1969 and 1972; and is sending Americans back by 2024, with a sustained American presence on the moon through the Artemis program by 2028.  Overall, more than fifty missions to the Moon have failed, including recently by an Israeli company.  While talking about the Moon is easy, getting to the Moon is hard. 
  • China plans for space launch?   Setting aside its long history, America has revolutionized space launch in recent years through both commercial and government launchers, with SpaceX (and others working on it) re-taking the low-earth orbit launch market and building the world’s current heaviest launcher, the Falcon Heavy, and NASA building the Space Launch System which will be the heaviest still when it launches with a third more lift capability in 2021.
  • A Chinese space station?  Over twenty years, NASA evolved the U.S. space station Freedom into a U.S.-led international coalition for the $100 billion International Space Station with Russia, Japan, Canada and eleven members of the European Space Agency. The United States shouldered over half of the overall cost of building it, including thirty-six space shuttle missions. It has been continuously manned for almost twenty years (it will be twenty years in November 2020)—with 151 Americans (three times more than the next highest nation, Russia with about fifty).
  • A Chinese Mars mission?  NASA has had eight successful Mars landers/rovers (Viking I/II, Pathfinder, Spirit/Opportunity, Phoenix, Curiosity and InSight) and launched at least six successful Mars orbiters, including some which have returned exquisite science about the planet—the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) includes the HiRISE (The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment at the University of Arizona—the powerful HIRISE camera takes pictures that cover vast areas of Martian terrain while being able to see features as small as a kitchen table.  Only two nations—the United States and the former USSR—have successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars (and the Soviet lander, Mars 3, failed twenty seconds after landing), and only four have successfully put spacecraft in orbit: the United States, the former USSR, European Space Agency and India.  More than twenty-eight missions to Mars have failed—and China will try again this year, after having last tried to reach Mars in 2011.  Since then, with three rovers (Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity) and one planned for launch in July (Perseverance), Mars has been an American frontier. Getting to Mars is hard, too.

NASA runs the most comprehensive space exploration program of the solar system, with more missions than the rest of Earth combined.  For a quick survey of the solar system, NASA’s Mariner 10 and MESSENGER spacecraft are the only missions to have explored Mercury but the European Space Agency’s BepiColumbo is on its way. The United States and USSR both sent missions to explore Venus in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, followed by the European Space Agency and Japan in the 2000s. Mars has largely been an American frontier not only for its rovers but for its orbiters as well, including the OdysseyMars ExpressMars Reconnaissance OrbiterMars Orbiter MissionMAVEN, and the Trace Gas Orbiter. Others are launching to Mars this year, with the UAE, India, and China sending missions that could join the Americans there. The only ten missions to Jupiter and Saturn have been U.S. missions, although some required the participation of the European Space Agency, and America is the only nation to send missions to Uranus and Neptune (Voyager 2) and Pluto (New Horizons).

As China is making new developments in space, NASA’s dominance in that region makes it the envy of the planet. In addition to its impressive history, NASA is currently running more than eighty-five active missions to explore the solar system, the Commercial Crew Program is now coming to fruition, it is returning Americans to the moon, and developing the hardware go to Mars. This is happening in addition to NASA’s contributions to the U.S. economy, and to education in America, both of which help make the case for continued investment in NASA and to maintain NASA’s lead over China and other strategic competitors. As China continues its progress, Americans need to remember their country’s historical, current and future dominance in space. This context is important for recalling, especially when it comes to China, that it is easier to plan a mission than it is to achieve the mission’s end goal.


By Shay Stautz
Source: National Interest

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