A History and Commentary on the Tree of Life

JIMMY CARTER SAYS PALESTINIANS LIVE IN A “CAGE”

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on October 22, 2010

href=”https://revelation2seven.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/carter.jpg”>JIMMY CARTER SAYS PALESTINIANS LIVE IN A “CAGE”
20. Oct, 2010 Print This Article! 5 Comments

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By ALBERT AJI

Associated Press Writer

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, left, embraces former U.S. President Jimmy Carter as former Irish President Mary Robinson, right, looks on in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. Following a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Elders, an independent group founded in 2007 to support worldwide peace-making and challenge injustice, headed into a meeting with Mashaal. The Elders, who combined Carter, Robinson, former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi and Indian activist Ela Bhatt, are on a regional tour to promote peace talks between Israel and the Arabs.

Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that Palestinians are “living in a cage” in Gaza and that the militant group Hamas must be included in all major efforts for peace.

Carter was in Syria with an international group of veteran statesmen known as the Elders, which includes Ireland’s former President Mary Robinson.

“We believe that Hamas should be included in all the major efforts to peace … It is part of the Palestinian people,” Carter said. He added that “1.5 million Palestinians are held in a cage or prison while their human rights are taken away.”

Israel imposed its blockade of Gaza, a densely populated coastal strip along Israel’s southwest border, following Hamas’ violent takeover in June 2007. The rival Palestinian faction Fatah, led by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, controls the West Bank.

Carter’s remarks came as reconciliation talks between the two Palestinian factions were postponed Tuesday.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, left, shakes hands with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter as former Irish President Mari Robinson, right, looks on in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. Following a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Elders, an independent group founded in 2007 to support worldwide peace-making and challenge injustice, headed into a meeting with Mashaal. The Elders, consisting of Carter, Robinson, former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi and Indian activist Ela Bhatt, are on a regional tour to promote peace talks between Israel and the Arabs
Hamas did not give a reason for the postponement but said in a statement that Fatah officials have said they will not attend talks slated for Wednesday.

A Fatah official said they had suggested to Hamas the talks be held in Lebanon but the rivals insisted on Damascus. The Fatah official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, right, meets with members of the The Elders, the independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. At centre left is former Irish President Mary Robinson, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, third left, Indian activist Ela Bhatt, second left and Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010.

During a meeting in Syria last month, the factions announced they have agreed on steps to reconcile and they scheduled a meeting for this week in Damascus.

Hamas said a new date will be announced.

Deep divisions among Palestinian groups remain. On Tuesday, nine Damascus-based groups that oppose Abbas denounced his recent comments, which said Palestinians would be willing to end all historic claims against Israel if a Palestinian state is established on lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

The factions, including Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, said such remarks “pose a dangerous violation of all Palestinian rights.”

Source: Kansas city.com

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2010’Dramatically Poisonous’ Economy Heading to ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse, Says Acclaimed Economist

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on September 26, 2010


‘Dramatically Poisonous’ Economy Heading to ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse, Says Acclaimed Economist
http://www.activistpost.com/2010/09/dramatically-poisonous-economy-heading.html

By: ActivistPost
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The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy — Manfred Max-Neef

Human World Order
Activist Post

Acclaimed economist Manfred Max-Neef, author of the award-winning book “From the Outside Looking in: Experiences in ‘Barefoot Economics'” recently appeared in a must-see interview on Democracy Now where he says a second, more catastrophic crisis is unavoidable because our economic model is “dramatically poisonous.” Max-Neef explains that “Greed is the dominant value today in the world and as long as that persists, we’re done!” But he doesn’t just mean done economically, he means done as a species.

Friday, September 24, 2010‘Dramatically Poisonous’ Economy Heading to ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse, Says Acclaimed Economist

The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy — Manfred Max-Neef


Human World Order
Activist Post

Acclaimed economist Manfred Max-Neef, author of the award-winning book From the Outside Looking in: Experiences in ‘Barefoot Economics’ recently appeared in a must-see interview on Democracy Now where he says a second, more catastrophic crisis is unavoidable because our economic model is “dramatically poisonous.”  Max-Neef explains that “Greed is the dominant value today in the world and as long as that persists, we’re done!”  But he doesn’t just mean done economically, he means done as a species.

Going beyond facts and figures to describe economics, his philosophy is based on a macro-world view, where he accounts for the biosphere, human creativity, security and happiness, and life in all of its manifestations. He reveals that the majority of economists have great knowledge, more than ever before, but they lack understanding. The two differ as, “knowledge is a function of science, whereas understanding is holistic,” explained Max-Neef.  Using the metaphor of love to simplify: we may read and accumulate great knowledge about love, but we can never fully understand it until we fall in love and experience it.

His philosophy of humanizing economics, or “Barefoot Economics,” stems from spending years living in and studying the culture of poverty to better understand the economics of it.  He concludes that the poverty culture has entirely different principles than our modern culture, where they must depend on enormous creativity, cooperation and solidarity of people. In poverty, “you cannot be an idiot if you want to survive,” he quipped.

He emphatically assures Amy Goodman in the interview that the “next crisis is coming, and it will be twice as much as this one (referring to financial collapse of 2008).”  Only for this one, “there will not be enough money anymore — so that will be it!”  Even more frightening are his views that the ecosystem may be beyond critical tipping points.  He says, “Some important scientists believe that it is definite, we are finished . . . I have not reached that point, but I believe we are close.”

Max-Neef claims the biggest problem is that economists see the biosphere as a subset of the economy, not the other way around, where “economists don’t realize that if the bees disappear, so will he disappear.” In other words, the notion that infinite growth can persist in a finite biosphere is dead wrong.  And we may already have reached a point of no return.

When asked what he thinks needs to change, he replied: “Oh, almost everything! We act systematically against the evidences we have.” He believes the economy will “catastrophically” self-correct and a new model must emerge with principles to humanize the economy in balance with the biosphere. His five principles and values to develop a humanized economy are as follows:

The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy.
Development is about people, and not about objects.
Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.

No economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.
The economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system — the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible. The dominant value that is needed to sustain this new economy is, “No economic interest, under any circumstances, can be more important than LIFE in all its manifestations.”

When the engineered collapse comes, we can bet that the corporate-government will offer up their “solutions.”  It’s not good enough for the Human World Order simply to oppose tyranny; we must also present logical solutions.  Manfred Max-Neef is offering a philosophy to re-humanize the economy.  From the ashes of the collapse will come the opportunity to build a new economy based on human principles of valuing all life.  Ultimately, he is hopeful because of the amazing human creativity and solidarity witnessed among the impoverished.  We shall create our way out of the crisis, but it must take place in an entirely new economic model to be successful.

Please watch the entire interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.  And follow Manfred Max-Neef’s books and speaking engagements here.  Below is an older video describing his work in an indigenous village in South America.



More Human World Order Articles:
Political Solutions Hard to Come By in the Matrix
Collapse Survival Will Be Tribal: Begin Recruiting Now

Extraordinary Times, Intentional Collapse, and Takedown of the U.S.A.

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on August 16, 2010
Extraordinary Times, Intentional Collapse, and Takedown of the U.S.A.
by Richard C. Cook
 
Global Research, April 30, 2008
 
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Much has been written about whether a worldwide plan exists to control events and steer them in the direction profitable to an elite of the rich and powerful. Is this a “conspiracy theory”? While it is difficult to be specific about who exactly may be behind such a conspiracy, if it exists, it is at least clear that the privately-managed  system of global financial capitalism gives ample opportunity for the world’s richest people to combine for their mutual benefit. Further, global financial capitalism itself is based on the monopolization of money-creation by a world banking system that is largely privately owned, even while working through the central banks of the largest and most prosperous nations. This article postulates the existence of a coordinated and longstanding matrix set up by the controllers of money to dominate the movements of history. The article focuses particularly on what seems to have been an attack that has been going on for over a century against the independence of the nations of Russia and the U.S. The article also suggests a series of monetary reforms whereby the U.S. , or any other nation, can  regain its economic identity and preserve its political freedom. The article was written a short distance from the reconstructed colonial capitol building in Williamsburg , VA. On this site on May 15, 1776, the Fifth Virginia Convention voted unanimously to instruct its delegation at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to enter a motion for independence. It may be time to do that again.

 

Russian philosopher P.D. Ouspensky (1878-1947) wrote, “It is a mistake to think the times we are living in are like any other. These are extraordinary times.”

Ouspensky, with his mentor, G.I. Gurdjieff, escaped from Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, during the Russian Civil War. Though academia has failed to acknowledge it, this epochal convulsion was financed in part through the monetary resources of the international financial elite operating out of London, Amsterdam, New York, Paris, Hamburg, and Frankfurt.

It was this elite, acting through Western banks, which appears to have surreptitiously provided the wherewithal for Lenin and Trotsky to destroy the Russian nation after the fall of the Tsarist regime at the end of World War I. Support by the Western financiers is discussed by Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson in his revisionist history, The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism & Orthodoxy. (The Foundation for Economic Liberty , Washington , D.C., 2003) 

The present analysis postulates that the takeover of Russia, whose backbone was the alliance among the House of Romanoff, the Orthodox Church, the land-owing nobility, and thousands of self-governing peasant communes, was one of two major projects which the financiers set out to accomplish early in the 20th century in a longer-range plan to dominate the globe. The other was the control and eventual destruction of the United States of America. That project may be reaching fruition through the ongoing and seemingly purposeful financial meltdown of 2008. 

Why Russia and the U.S. ?

Events affecting nations have their roots in history, and people underestimate how what happens today is conditioned by the past. The respective fates of Russia and the U.S. have been linked for a long time.   

The two countries had a close relationship during the American Civil War, when the Russian fleet anchored in New York and San Francisco harbors. In 1867, Russia sold the huge expanse of Alaska to the U.S. Later, the U.S. provided engineering support for Russian industrial development.

The two continental giants were, during the latter part of the 19th century, becoming the greatest land powers in the world. With Germany , Great Britain ’s chief rival for economic might, added to the mix, the hegemony of the financiers’ power base in Britain and northern Europe was threatened in a way not seen since Napoleon.

Both Russia and the U.S. were largely Christian nations, with a sizeable portion of the American population, especially recent immigrants, being members of the Roman Catholic faith. For centuries nothing had been a greater obstacle to the financial control of nations through war and finance than the Christian religion and its teachings against usury.

Plus neither the U.S. nor Russia had a central privately-owned bank. The U.S. had long since gotten rid of its own central banks, the First (1791-1811) and Second (1816-1836) Banks of the United States . The whole concept of commercial banking having control of a nation’s economy was alien to the Russian and U.S. mindset.

Instead, wealth came from work. This was expressed by President Abraham Lincoln in a December 3, 1861, address to Congress when he said, “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Lincoln could make such a statement because the U.S. economy, as was the Russian, was deeply rooted in the soil. The backbone of the two cultures was the Russian peasant and the American yeoman farmer, as Thomas Jefferson called him. The merchant and artisan economies of the towns and cities in both nations were founded upon the wealth of the countryside which was derived from human and animal labor and from working the land. Even when industrialization began to flourish in the latter part of the 19th century, it was fueled in both countries largely through savings and retained earnings, not bank credit created “out of thin air” through fractional reserve lending.          

Banker Domination

By the early 20th century, the bankers of Europe had a mission before them. If Russia and the U.S. could be controlled, nothing would stand in the way of the rule of humanity by the materialistic pseudo-religion of power and wealth by which the financiers were obsessed. As Max Weber (1864-1920) wrote in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, the acquisition of wealth was viewed as a sign that a person was one of the “elect.” The financiers’ sphere of influence was centered in northern Europe , where the anti-usury doctrines both of the Roman Catholic Church and Martin Luther (1483-1546) had been undermined through the teachings of John Calvin (1509-1564).

As is well known, banking in Europe began in the medieval period with store-front gold merchants who invented fractional reserve banking by lending certificates against a gold reserve held for their customers on deposit. By the time of the Renaissance, banking was centered in Italy and Germany , then spread north and west to the Netherlands , France , and England .

By this time the Catholic prohibition against usury was well-developed. Pope Sixtus V (1585-90) said charging of interest was “detestable to God and man, damned by the sacred canons and contrary to Christian charity.” Theological historian John Noonan wrote that “the doctrine [of usury] was enunciated by popes, expressed by three ecumenical councils, proclaimed by bishops, and taught unanimously by theologians.” (“Development of Moral Doctrine,” 54 Theological Studies, 662, 1993)

Lending of money at interest was often left to the European Jews, where statements in various scriptures, such as the Talmud, appeared to allow the practice when dealing with non-Jews. Some argue that the Vatican worked behind the scenes by using Jews as fronts for their own lending operations.    

In England , the Tudor and Stuart monarchs made a stand against the rise of bankers as issuers of currency. As Susan Boskey writes in her book The Quality Life Plan: 7 Steps to Uncommon Financial Security, “the Mixt Moneys Case of 1604 in England determined money as a public measure to be regulated by the state.” According to Alexander Del Mar, head of the U.S. Department of Weights and Measures in the late 19th century and author of the book, History of Money in America From the Earliest Times to the Establishment of the Constitution, the Mixt Moneys Case determined that “the state alone had the right to issue money.”

Boskey continues: “For over half a century, this ruling alarmed the merchants of London who attempted to defeat the Mixt Moneys decision. The East India Company was the main instigator in the effort, because they were eager to turn a profit by shipping silver to India in exchange for gold.  Success was achieved with the British Free Coinage Act of 1666, which, according to Del Mar, ‘altered the monetary systems of the world.’  He wrote: ‘The specific effects of this law were to destroy the royal prerogative of coinage, nullify the decision in the Mixt Moneys case, and inaugurate a future series of commercial panics and disasters which to that time were totally unknown.’ Moneylenders known as ‘strong room keepers’ began the practice of making interest-bearing loans that were not backed one-hundred percent by the gold reserves remaining in their strong room.”

 

“The British Free Coinage Act of 1666,” continues Boskey, “marked a turning point in the role of currency creation as a public measure to one dominated by moneylenders.  No longer was the act of putting money into circulation directly connected to the actual, existing material riches of a nation.”  

About this time, Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) was writing his now-famous Diary. According to Canadian monetary expert Martin Hattersley, Pepys “was describing in surprised delight the new institution of banking, by which the smart investor, instead of paying the goldsmith for warehousing his valuables, opened an account, and was actually paid interest for having his money looked after!”

 

Pepys was captivated by the familiar but pernicious notion that, instead of working for a living, a person could have his money “work for him.” Aristotle had spoken against this concept 2,000 years earlier: “The most hated sort of wealth getting and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth, this is the most unnatural.” (1258b Politics)

Hattersley continues: “Who paid for Samuel Pepys’ remarkable new service? Basically, the public did. Pepys, leaving his gold with the banker, enabled the latter to lend it out to a third party. Pepys had his ‘money in the bank,’ and the borrower took the gold. The borrower naturally paid interest on the loan. Pepys received interest on his deposit. The same money being (notionally) in the possession both of Pepys and of the borrower meant an increase in the monetary mass of the nation. All the holders of money in the nation, therefore, had the value of their holdings very slightly diluted. There was a profit to the banker on the ‘spread’ between borrowing and lending rates. There was a profit to Mr. Pepys, who at one and the same moment had both money in the bank and an interest bearing investment. Yet the borrower also profited. His loan would be at a lower interest rate than that on capital that had had to be saved up. ‘Smart’ bank financing put him ahead of conventionally financed competitors. All three parties gained, at the expense of the general public, the value of whose money was diluted through inflation of the monetary mass.”
 
Finally, concludes Hattersley, “Skipping forward three centuries (past events such as the South Sea Bubble, tulip mania, the railway boom and the 1929 market crash) we find that the little spot of inflation that Mr. Pepys indulged in has become a universal way of life. The extensive capital development of Canada [and the U.S. ] in the post-World War II boom has been largely financed, not by personal savings and investment, but by the inflation of the money supply. This has left the thrifty who invested their little savings from the hard times of the Great Depression in mortgages, bonds, and life insurance deprived of most of the rewards of their thrift, and has caused the profits of inflation to benefit all who could borrow, build, and then repay their capital in deflated dollars later on.”
 

Hattersley captures the essence of the modern usury-based economy. No longer is life based on honest human labor and the resources of nature, but on financial manipulation. This is why religious people have always viewed usury as a crime. Aristotle placed the usurer in the same category as others who “ply sordid trades,” such as pimps.

Returning to the march of history, in 1688, James II, who had become a Catholic, fled the British throne. Through the “Glorious Revolution,” he was replaced by the Protestants William and Mary of the Dutch House of Orange. The main instrument of power of the financiers who supported them was the Bank of England, founded in 1694.

The next two centuries saw the financiers’ control of world commerce spread through the instrumentality of the British Empire . The bedrock of British policy was “free trade,” which allowed British manufacturers who paid their workers a pittance to undersell their competitors elsewhere. This was aided by having the British pound become the world’s trading currency.

With the First Zionist Congress of 1897, one of the financiers’ geopolitical goals became to support the creation of the nation of Israel , at least partly to dominate the world’s crossroads in the oil-rich Middle East . The oil was needed to fuel the British navy.

The nature and origins of Zionism have been hotly debated in recent years, as the role of Israel on the world stage has grown. One thing seems certain: The Jewish religion is by no means monolithic. But its followers, many of whom opposed the philosophy of Zionism, would now be drawn into the financiers’ power game. From this point on, anyone who even questioned Zionism would be labeled “anti-Semitic.”

As the 20th century advanced, the financier elite became heavily involved in getting rich off world war and the manufacture of the new weapons of mass destruction that modern technology made possible. Warfare and weaponry, combined with control of credit manufactured through the leveraging of industrial production, were to be the primary means of putting nations and their populations into debt. A materialistic slave society was being created, which books like 1984 warned against. Humanity was lured into compliance through the fantasy world brought about by the mass media by means of advertising, cinema, and television. Another enticement was the growing availability of mass-produced consumer goods.

How It Was Done

While World War I and the Russian Revolution still lay a few years in the future, the international financiers quietly took control of the U.S. economic system in 1913 through the Federal Reserve Act and the 16th Amendment to the Constitution which provided for the federal income tax. The purpose of this tax was to use citizens’ earnings to pay the interest on the “funded” national debt. As with the debt owed by the British people to the Bank of England, this would be one so large the principle could never be paid off.

Russia was allied with Britain and France during World War I (1914-18). But the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary had reached a stalemate until the tide was turned by entry of the U.S. on the side of the Allies. Fighting on the eastern front between Germany and Russia was savage. By the end of the war the Russian Revolution broke out, and, after a terrible Civil War, the Soviet Union came into being.

It was the financier-controlled press which goaded President Woodrow Wilson into taking the nation into World War I on the side of England and France. But it was also part of the financiers’ plan to shift the apparent focal point of their financial power from London to New York . This was done through the financing of the war by loans made to the European combatants by the New York banks.

It seemed to be in accord with a plan spelled out decades earlier by Cecil Rhodes, whereby the U.S. would not only be “recovered” for the British Empire, but would appear to become the senior partner in the enterprise. By the start of the 1920s, this objective had been accomplished. German, English, French, and other European taxpayers were all deeply in debt to the U.S. banks for the costs of the war.

Also during the war years the financiers had secured the issuance of the Balfour Declaration signaling British support for the establishment of a Zionist state in Palestine. The 1917 Declaration was made in a letter from Arthur James Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, to Walter Rothschild, Second Baron Rothschild, for transmission to the Zionist Federation.   

During and after World War I, world financial power shifted to the New York banks through which, however, it would be the London-based elite exerting de facto control. It might also be said that starting with U.S. entry into World War I, once you look past the patriotic slogans, the U.S., its vast productivity, and the blood of its population have been used in making this country the worldwide military enforcer of international financier domination.

World War II became the means of consolidating financier control. Prior to that, during the years of the Great Depression, both Russia —aka the Soviet Union—and the U.S. were slipping away from the fold. Stalin had shown his “Bonapartist” tendencies by favoring “Socialism in one country,” as well as by his deadly purges of the financier-controlled Trotskyite faction and his shocking rapprochement with Hitler in 1939 that seemed to foil the financiers’ intent to play off Nazi Germany and the Soviets against each other.

In the U.S., President Franklin Roosevelt had taken steps during the Great Depression to rebuild the U.S. economy by exerting an unaccustomed degree of control over the Federal Reserve System and providing credit at low rates of interest to homeowners, farmers, and businessmen. This made Roosevelt seem to many wealthy Americans “a traitor to his class.”

Roosevelt saw that a healthy and self-sustaining domestic economy is essential for the well-being of a sovereign nation. But instead of looking for ways to create a monetary system based on the productivity of the economy, as Lincoln had done with the Greenbacks during the Civil War, Roosevelt left intact the debt-based system overseen by the Federal Reserve. He added to this system the Keynesian idea of government deficit spending for public works to create employment. This was essentially a system whereby government would try to pay its debts by engendering inflation, a policy that has continued until today.

But World War II thwarted even these stirrings of nationalism in both countries. In both the Soviet Union and the U.S. , the financiers worked the levers of debt to build massive war machines. They were also working through the Western banks, including Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, to achieve the same ends in Nazi Germany. Eventually Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, and the U.S. entered the war. Both during and after the war, operatives from the international financial elite centered in London were the linchpins of a worldwide matrix of spying, assassination, terrorism, industrial espionage, psy ops, media manipulation, and monetary control. This included financing the founding of Israel as the Western bridgehead in the Middle East in 1948.

Despite the creation of an appearance of conflict between the West and the Soviet Union through the Cold War, the financiers continued to work both sides of the fence through their London-based operatives. In the U.S. they created the modern national security state with both the National Security Agency and the CIA firmly under their control. Then, after President John F. Kennedy moved to forestall the neocolonialist Vietnam conflict and replace the Federal Reserve with a U.S. system of silver-backed Treasury currency, he was shot  dead in Dallas ’s Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

In charge of convincing the public that the Warren Commission was correct in concluding that Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, supposedly a lone deranged gunman, were figures associated with the financier elite from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Yale Law School . (See The Kennedy Assassination Cover-Up Revisited by Donald Gibson, 2005.) But in 1979, a report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations stated that Kennedy was killed by a “probable conspiracy.” 

It has been thoroughly documented that since World War II the Western intelligence agencies, all with close ties to the financial world, particularly the New York and London investment banks, have been responsible for engendering wars, revolutions, and mayhem in countries around the world, causing the deaths of millions of people in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and southeastern Europe.

Meanwhile, the worldwide arms industry, also under financier control, have produced the greatest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction ever seen. After Kennedy was killed, the U.S. moved to arm Israel as the leading military power of the region. Today nuclear weapons have proliferated, with Israel , Pakistan , and India becoming nuclear powers in addition to the U.S. , Russia , Britain , China , and France .      

But warfare and weapons cost money, and by the late 1960s the Vietnam War was sinking the U.S. deeper into debt. The U.S. war machine was to be the main tool for financier enforcement of their worldwide plan of domination, but the nation was going broke. The problem was made worse by heavy federal expenditures for the poor and elderly through such programs as Medicare and Medicaid.

But President Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had a plan. The government worked out an arrangement whereby Saudi Arabia and the other OPEC nations would gradually increase the price of oil, with the profits to be used by the oil-producing nations to buy U.S. Treasury debt securities. By 1980 the cost of oil would be ratcheted up from about $3.50 a barrel to $39.50.

The drastic increase of the price of gasoline at the pump acted as a de facto tax on the U.S. economy. But the plan worked. The “petrodollar” and “dollar hegemony” were born, with the dollar becoming the world’s reserve currency. Dollars could flood the world only because in 1971 the Nixon administration had abandoned the dollar’s gold peg as a basis for international currency exchange. Now currencies floated freely in world markets with speculation and inflation rampant. The economies of the world were no longer based on production, but on financial manipulation. It was also the start of the era of monetarism, where the Federal Reserve thought it could regulate the economy by the raising and lowering of interest rates.    

The Kissinger plan also made the U.S. dependent on Middle Eastern oil and turned it into the muscle behind the financiers’ ambition for Israel to dominate the region. So now Americans, who had liberated Europe from the Nazis, had to fight and die for the financiers in the Middle East . The final conquest of Iraq , starting in 2003, and the planned war against Iran are the latest phases. 

Meanwhile, through the financiers’ control of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, the producing economy was shattered through the Fed-induced recession of 1979-83, where interest rates were raised to the highest in history to combat the inflation the financiers had themselves caused by the oil price shocks. By this time, as some allege, the controversial concept of “peak oil”—whether it really existed or not—was being used as a cover for financier manipulation of oil markets by limiting production in order to maintain prices.

By 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected president, the U.S. producing economy had been devastated by the shutdown of factories and the export of jobs. The work of wrecking the economy was completed by Clinton ’s embrace of NAFTA, which has largely eliminated family farming in favor of financier-controlled agribusiness in the U.S. , Canada , and Mexico . Deregulation of the financial industry began in earnest during the Reagan years from 1981-89 and accelerated under Clinton .

By this time, the U.S. economy was being kept afloat only through financial bubbles that allowed the purchase of consumer goods to take place through more family and household debt. We had the merger-acquisition bubble of the 1980s, followed by the George H.W. Bush recession which led to Clinton ’s election in 1992. During the 1990s we had the dot.com bubble fueled by foreign investment. Capital gains taxes on stock price inflation and counting trust funds like Social Security as budgetary assets allowed Clinton to balance the federal budget the last three years of his presidency.

But the dot.com bubble also burst with the loss of $7 trillion of wealth through the crash of 2000-2001. Next came the Bush bubbles—in housing, equity funds, commercial real estate, and hedge funds that have been deflating while threatening to destroy altogether the economic viability of what was once the world’s greatest industrial democracy.

After this, the only bubble left for an economy that appears to be entering terminal depression may be the current fuel/food bubble that could result in the starvation of millions worldwide. Now the longstanding ambition of the financier elite for the destruction of the American republic may finally be realized—with a lot of help, of course, from their American friends.      

“End Times”

Can it be that the last stage of the U.S. takedown is “The Project for the New American Century”? Is this ambitious plan for “global leadership” through military might that was seemingly invented by the “neocons”—many with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship—a Trojan Horse?

It certainly appears that with 9/11 as a pretext, the neocons suckered the U.S. into the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as a means of military occupation of the Middle East . Certainly 9/11 and the Iraq invasion benefited Israel, as some Israeli politicians have frankly stated.

Were the neocons also acting on behalf of the financial controllers in London and elsewhere? And was one reason the neocons were so eager to engage in a “clash of civilizations” against the Islamic world the Koranic prohibition of usury which states, “Those who charge Usury are in the same position as those controlled by the devil’s influence. This is because they claim that Usury is the same as commerce. However, God permits commerce, and prohibits Usury.” (Koran, Al-Baqarah 2:275)

Prior to 9/11, the Bush administration got Congress to cut taxes for the highest income brackets, reversing Bill Clinton’s budget surpluses. The tax cut remained in effect, even as the massive expenditures on the Middle Eastern wars mounted. The consequence has been to bring the federal government to the brink of bankruptcy.

The last official act of this phase could well be the ultimate insanity of a U.S. attack on Iran . If successful, this would complete the Western conquest of the Middle East but may start a larger conflict that could eventually force the U.S. to withdraw its forces once the money runs out. Israel would then be at liberty to sweep in to dominate a region that U.S. military power had devastated.   

Whatever may happen overseas, the U.S. economy at home is on the verge of collapse. It if does, we will have to retreat to our own shores and face here the edifice of a ruined nation with no manufacturing base, a crumbling infrastructure, an aging population, insufficient food, poorly developed resources, and the collapse of the dollar. Of course the prophets of doom who claim that overpopulation must inevitably lead to Malthusian scarcity will take all this as justification of their prejudices. The rumored North American Union, with its currency the amero, could then follow, both under the control of the financiers.   

Meanwhile in Russia, things took a surprising turn when the Russian people threw out their communist controllers in 1991 and established a Russian republic. The financiers immediately took over through the government of Boris Yeltsin and began to divide up the nation’s resources through their local allies, the “oligarchs.” But the Russian people refused to comply. Despite desperate poverty, they elected Vladimir Putin, a nationalist leader who moved quickly to establish a self-governing Russian state that the financiers and the Western press clearly intend to take down. Russia is now back on the world scene, and a revival of the Orthodox Church is taking place. The drama in that country has not been entirely played out it seems.  

As far as the U.S. is concerned, the financiers will have used us for a century, then thrown us in the trash. The U.S. may well be replaced by China, which the financiers seem to be grooming as the world’s next military enforcer. China has the advantage of an absolutist one-party system which has achieved remarkable success in terrorizing its huge population into obedience and passivity. The financiers would not hesitate to sacrifice hordes of Chinese to fight both Russia and what may remain of the U.S. By this time, the European Union will likely have its own unified nuclear deterrent to protect the financial centers. The time may come when there will be Chinese bases in the U.S. as occupiers/military police.

The wisest and safest course for U.S. foreign policy could be a new alliance with Russia that would rekindle our affinity with that nation from over a century ago. But how likely is this in a world ruled by the financiers where the destruction of the two nations is a long-term goal?

One of the tools of financier domination in the meantime will likely be worldwide famine engineered by artificial shortages. This has already started and may cause hundreds of millions of people to die and their resources to be seized. The smokescreens for this will not only be peak oil but also global warming as a means of dealing with the world’s “surplus eaters.” Numerous non-profits and NGOs are greasing the skids with their insistent lobbying against even responsible economic development.

Now in the U.S. we will likely see riots, panic, martial law, plagues, epidemics, and prison camps, much of which has already begun with police crackdowns, anti-terrorist exercises, declining public health, erosion of civil liberties, and the world’s largest prison population. 

It is likely that the “American Century” is over and that the “New American Century” will really be the “No American Century.” Outside of select pockets of prosperity around financial centers, resorts, and military installations, the U.S. is being destroyed. As an example, the residents of once-prosperous towns in Michigan have turned to the illegal manufacture of meth-amphetamine now that the jobs are gone.  

We have been used and abused, though often suckered into it by our own stupidity and greed. We have allowed ourselves to serve the will of an alien force—the world’s financial elite. Our payback now appears to be a looming national catastrophe.   

Economic Restructuring

 

Economically, what is left of America must be rebuilt from the ground up. The flaw is not in the productivity of nature, the availability of resources, our ingenuity, nor our ability to work. The flaw has been in the capitalist financial system.

We must now rebuild three things: American family farming, since a nation that cannot feed itself cannot long exist; then infrastructure and manufacturing, which will require energy conservation and redevelopment of our energy resources; then income security tied to productivity but not always to employment—a basic guaranteed income for all. The best available treatment of the history and benefits of a guaranteed income may be found in Steven Shafarman’s new book, Peaceful, Positive Revolution, Tendril Press, 2008.

The concept of a guaranteed income as a benefit of a modern industrial economy has been around for a long time. But it is often confused with job-creation. As indicated earlier, during the 1930s, British economist John Maynard Keynes came up with the idea of using government deficits to try to out-run unemployment through government-controlled pump priming. But in the long run his methods were doomed to fail as debt-based economic growth eventually reached its limits due to inflation. This is where we are today, with President George W. Bush now the largest deficit spender in history. 

The most successful attempt to define a rationale for an honest and democratic monetary system, one based on human labor and not financial chicanery, was the Social Credit movement founded by British engineer C.H. Douglas (1879-1952). He first set forth his ideas in his book Economic Democracy in 1918 and continued to teach his system for the next thirty years, attracting a considerable following in Great Britain , Canada , New Zealand , and Australia .

Douglas explained the dynamic whereby the incredible productivity of modern technology can readily be harnessed to provide the material sustenance for all members of society, but fails to do so because there is a chronic shortage of purchasing power from the cumulative societal income realized through wages, salaries, and dividends. The main reasons income cannot keep pace with prices is that the latter include retained earnings for savings and reinvestment, along with depreciation of capital—i.e., the tools and facilities of production.

But the “gap” between prices and earnings (what Keynes was to call “aggregate demand”) was viewed by Douglas as a benefit of a modern industrial economy rather than the curse which in the Depression was causing farmers to dump their milk in the fields because consumers lacked the money to purchase it.

Douglas saw this gap as the natural appreciation of the potential producing economy to which everyone in society was entitled as monetized shares. He said this appreciation should manifest in regular payments of a National Dividend by government from a calculated credit account not dependent on taxation or government borrowing. The National Dividend could be paid by a combination of regular stipends to citizens and/or through a system of price subsidies. And it would be non-inflationary.

Douglas went further by explaining that in real life the price-income gap was in fact filled—nature abhors a vacuum—but by bank lending at usury. This was why the banks got richer, while everyone else struggled just to survive. Banks also use their credit creating ability to acquire securities, such as Treasury bonds, with the government paying interest that is compounded because the debt is constantly being re-financed. Interest on the U.S. national debt is expected to exceed $500 billion in fiscal year 2009. To pay it, many social programs will be cut. 

The technical explanation is provided by Canadian Social Credit expert Wallace Klinck, “Expanding interest charges being paid on exponentially compounding debt accumulates due to an industrial cost accountancy error related to allocating capital charges in retail prices which do not distribute equal incomes within the same production cycle. The growing disparity between prices and incomes is progressively worsened by the replacement of human labor by capital (technology).”

Under the current system, the banks steal the fruits of economic wealth which properly belong to the public as a whole, both workers and non-workers, and while the financiers were well aware of Douglas ’s system, they hated it. Word went out in the 1920s that his name was never to be mentioned in the British press. John Maynard Keyes was said to have developed his own deficit-spending theories as a means to counter Douglas ’s influence. And when Douglas visited the U.S. in the late 1930s, he was told to his face that he would never be allowed to introduce his ideas in this country.

Next Steps

To accomplish a program of real reform will require a strong president but possibly a political revolution to get one. Congressman Ron Paul has made history as the first major presidential candidate to call for the abolishment of the Federal Reserve. He is right. The first thing a president worthy of the name should do is eliminate the Federal Reserve as a bank-of-issue, get rid of our debt-based monetary system, and depose the bankers and Wall Street financiers from the seats of power. Ron Paul is also right that the U.S. should withdraw its military from overseas and stop trying to control the world.

What Ron Paul’s candidacy proves is that in the internet age, with financial crises jumping from the headlines every day, and authorities such as Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson manifestly having no intention of making real changes, the public is ready to listen to new ideas. But even progressive analysts are so locked into outmoded concepts that they fail to realize an entirely new type of monetary system is needed.      

The basic concept that must be understood, as expressed repeatedly by this author in past articles, is that credit is a power of nature that is part of the human “commons.” Credit allows society to materialize value by drawing from future potential productivity into present actualized reality. Credit therefore should be treated legally as a public utility, like water or electricity.

Credit is not a mathematical abstraction that should be manipulated into building pyramids of debt. Such practices are suicidal for an economy. Rather credit is organic, deriving ultimately from human labor (including mental labor, as in the application of technology), along with the sun, the soil, natural resources, and the rain. Thus we have gone full circle to the beginning of this article, where Russia and the U.S. were cited as the two nations that best understood where real wealth comes from.     

The management of credit may be licensed to responsible private parties who are accountable to public authority, but it should never be given away or “privatized” to individuals or corporations who manipulate it mainly for their own profit, as banks do today. It is the privatization of credit through the banking systems of the world which has loaded humanity with debt, rendered short-term profits the highest priority of all business endeavor, and made modern industrialization as much a curse as a blessing.

Note that credit differs in this discussion from the legitimate investment of capital derived from profits or savings whereby an individual risks a portion of his wealth through a contract with a producing entity. Capital markets that facilitate this type of investment fall under the category of commerce, not usury.   

A national monetary system should reflect the treatment of credit as a public utility and thereby make possible responsible economic activity and the fair distribution of wealth. Some of the measures which should be implemented are contained in the American Monetary Institute’s draft American Monetary Act. (www.monetary.org/) The resulting currency could be issued, not in the form of debt instruments like Federal Reserve Notes, but silver-backed Treasury certificates as in President Kennedy’s program of 1963.

Features of a new monetary system could be as follows: 

  • A guaranteed income, followed by a National Dividend, should be paid directly to citizens from a Treasury credit account without recourse to either taxation or government borrowing. (C.H. Douglas’s theory of the National Dividend as the monetization of the net appreciation of the productivity of a modern industrial economy is set forth in this author’s Global Research article entitled, “An Emergency Program of Monetary Reform for the United States ,” April 26, 2007.) The National Dividend, currently estimated at over $12,000 per capita annually, could be distributed in a variety of ways, in addition to a subsistence stipend. This could include price subsidies for consumer purchases, taking over existing Social Security payments, universal health insurance, or payments to women with young children. Another way to issue a National Dividend would be to monetize food production, whereby anyone who delivers food products to wholesalers receives a government payment as a producer’s subsidy, thereby discounting food at the consumer point-of-sale. This would work in a similar fashion to farm parity pricing programs of bygone days. As explained by Wallace Klinck, “Social Credit policy is to compensate retail prices at the point-of-sale. It is not, however, to subsidize production which would be subject to consumer choice and fully supported by consumers having at all times financial income adequate to fully liquidate the costs of production. That is, production policy is to be determined essentially by consumers—this being the Social Credit concept of genuine economic democracy with maximum decentralization, or dispersion, of power over production policy. Price controls under the present financial cost-accountancy system, where continued economic activity is dependent upon an inflationary expansion of credit to meet rising costs arising consequent to flawed accountancy, is demonstrably impossible. Price regulation, however, would appear to be both necessary and realistic under a self-liquidating Social Credit system of finance. Although not generally recognized, prices are ‘controlled,’ (or manipulated) under the present system of finance in a most deleterious manner.”
  • The government should also spend money directly into circulation, as it did with Greenbacks in the 19th century, both for operating expenses and for infrastructure projects at the federal, state, and local levels. A national infrastructure bank could be capitalized by state and local infrastructure bonds without any impact on the federal budget. Such spending would again be without recourse to borrowing or taxation. Infrastructure spending could be either through grants or low-interest loans. As with Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s current proposed infrastructure bank legislation, the program could specify that a requisite proportion of funding be spent on American-made products such as steel.
  • We should reform banking by eliminating the catastrophic privately-controlled fractional reserve system. Instead, the government should lend money at a low rate of interest to banks, then use the proceeds to help pay for legitimate government expenditures in the areas of regulation or services. Use of the proceeds, combined with the new Greenbacks and savings from no longer having to pay interest on an unnecessary national debt, would eliminate the need for the federal income tax, allowing the 16th Amendment to be repealed. In fact, under a monetary system such as the one described herein, probably three-fourths or more of the current societal tax burden could be eliminated.
  • In order to clear the way for these reforms, bankruptcy reorganization of the entire $50 trillion of existing debt in the U.S. should be undertaken, with debt being restructured and paid down over time or simply written off. Bank lending for speculation, such as for mergers and acquisitions, equity and hedge fund speculation, and purchase of securities on margin has been explosively enabled through bankers’ ability to move massive amounts of funds electronically. These leveraging practices should be outlawed, as they are abuses of the public interest. (According to the London Times, one John Paulson made $3.7 billion in hedge fund trading last year. “Mr. Paulson’s firm, Paulson & Co, made a fortune from shorting America ’s sub-prime mortgage markets.”) A national fuel conservation program with real teeth should also be instituted. And at least half of the U.S. military budget should be eliminated, with half of the remainder devoted to energy R&D and domestic public works. Employees of the military-industrial complex will find many new career opportunities as the domestic economy revives.         

As these measures are taken, the United States will no longer be dancing to the financiers’ tune. We would be helping prepare a future where man’s inhumanity to man as expressed through war and financial exploitation is no longer glorified. Such a future would be a milestone in the eventual enlightenment of the human race. But these are measures that must be implemented now, before it is too late. 

While we await these epochal changes, more modest steps may be in order. The author is often asked for personal financial advice. His advice is to invest in yourself and in other people. Plant a robust home garden. Learn new skills. Start community food co-ops that buy local products. Establish local currencies and barter networks. Join or form a union. Raise bees. Put kids through school. Get out of debt. Pray and meditate. Become politically active. Demand change.
Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. federal government analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. His articles on economics, politics, and space policy have appeared on numerous websites. His book on monetary reform is entitled We Hold These Truths: The Promise of Monetary Reform and will be published this autumn by Tendril Press. He is also the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age, called by one reviewer, “the most important spaceflight book of the last twenty years.” His website is at www.richardccook.com. Questions, comments, or contributions may be directed to economicsanity@gmail.com .

Richard C. Cook is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Richard C. Cook

China Backs Iran Against The Great Satan

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on August 12, 2010
 

by Joe Vialls

Spanish version

22 December 2004

from Vialls Website

recovered through WayBackMachine website

Combine China’s recent Iranian energy mega-deal with Vladimir Putin’s new strategic coalition, which includes nuclear-capable Brazil, and it rapidly becomes clear that New York’s “Fortress Americas” fallback initiative is already dead in the water

 

Twenty years ago ‘The Great Satan’ referred only to a collection of murderous Zionist Jews who illegally invaded Palestine in the 1940s, to butcher the residents and steal their land for Ben Gurion‘s “Yisrael”.

But as Zionists later took firm control of the United States, and forced the use of American soldiers in the 1990 Gulf War against Iraq, a subtle change slowly took place. In the minds of about 70 percent of the global population, America had simply become Zionist Headquarters, and was thus itself anointed ‘The Great Satan’.

Nowadays the contempt and hatred of the civilized world is being directed against ordinary American citizens, who in the future will pay a heavy price for failing to remove a handful of Zionist madmen from Wall Street while they still had the chance to do so. The rest of the world will no longer tolerate the megalomaniac ‘New Zion’, and is now taking active steps to destroy it.


Back in November 1962 when President Kennedy forced the removal of Russian missiles from Cuba, very few Americans stopped to ponder whether, at some point in the distant future, the tiny island of Cuba would decide to exact revenge on the United States for this very public humiliation. Forty years ago it all seemed most unlikely, but today the wheel has turned full circle, and a little Fidel Castro payback appears to be just over the horizon.


Based on received intelligence, it seems likely that the Island of Cuba will soon be used as ‘point man’ in a grand plan to deny American warships and other vessels safe transit through the Gulf of Mexico.

Quite apart from thoroughly humiliating New York and Washington, such a move will have a far more devastating effect if tankers are denied access to the southern American oil terminals. Without oil imported through its critical southern oil terminals, and also possibly facing denial of access to underwater oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, America will collapse in less than six months.


How this will be brought about is a long and sometimes complicated story, but bear with me and I will try to make the multi faceted components of this truly multinational operation as clear as I can, in a report normally limited to a mere 3,000 words. To do this we must first circle the globe, picking up seemingly random pieces of the operational jigsaw on the way, until the last piece slips neatly into place less than 200 miles south of Florida Keys.


As you may expect, there is really nothing random about the process at all – merely the understandable caution and strategic camouflage of a multinational coalition closing in on the most dangerous and brutal nation on Planet Earth since early in the 20th Century.

During the last thirty years alone, America’s Zionist controllers have ordered the calculated murder of more than six million innocents around the world, and the world is not prepared to tolerate another six million innocents being murdered by Zion during the next thirty years.


Much has happened during the past few months, so now we have to slip back in time in order to discover the intriguing answers to why Middle East LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) is now heading east rather than west; why Russia has forged an ironclad coalition with China, India and Brazil, and why the Zionists really want the UN‘s International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed El Baradei removed from office.

Finally we will have to show the connections between these events and future mayhem in the Gulf of Mexico.

On 10 November 2004, the India Daily reported that,

“Russian President Putin is taking a lead role in the most powerful coalition of regional and superpowers in the world. The coalition consists of India, China, Russia and Brazil. This will challenge the superpower supremacy of America.” …

“He [Putin] wants to establish a long-term Russian footprint in Latin America in order to expand Moscow’s geopolitical influence in the region. Brazil is very open to the coalition concept where these large countries support each other in term of trade, economics, international politics and defense.”

Just this single strategic move means that the new coalition embraces just over three quarters of the world’s total population, eighty percent of its natural resources, and a majority of technical and scientific experts.

Nor does it end there, because the coalition automatically includes the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is presently comprised of:

  • China
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan

Dangerously for America, the coalition will soon have another important member, Iran, currently due to enter informally in a few months time through the SCO “back door” because of a mammoth energy deal. We will return to Iran shortly.


Obviously from the Zionist perspective, the most disturbing new member of the coalition is Brazil, because New York has long believed and insisted that the whole of Central and South America is under its personal “protection”, which is just another way of claiming that Zionists can pillage the place whenever they want to, proved by countless CIA atrocities in almost every American country south of Puerto Rica. Now then, what would happen to this cozy pillaging arrangement if Russia-friendly coalition partner Brazil decided to develop nuclear weapons?


On 16 November 2004, just six days after Vladimir Putin formally introduced Brazil as a member of the new coalition, IAEA inspectors from Geneva visited Rio de Janeiro. Just eight days later on 24 November 2004, Brazilian Energy Minister Eduardo Campos announced that the IAEA had issued Brazil with a permit to commence the experimental stage of uranium enrichment.


Paranoia immediately swept down Wall Street at the speed of light, and within hours the White House was pathetically whining that IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei should be removed from office. Dark hints by the New York Times that El Baradei had “not been doing enough in Iran”, were just a hasty smoke screen.

For many years the Zionists had a fallback plan in case global conquest became impossible.

Code-named “Fortress Americas“, the plan relied on the USA being able to conquer both Canada and South America, thereby building themselves an impregnable redoubt in the Western Hemisphere, to provide cover while rebuilding their strength.

I wrote two long reports on this top-secret plan, for those who wish to study the details.


With Brazil now a full coalition partner with Russia and China, “Fortress Americas” was already doomed to failure, especially because Vladimir Putin had been economical with the truth when he named the coalition members.

Venezuela had already signed up in secret, but this was kept under wraps for fear of alerting the CIA to what was to come next. As most readers know, Venezuela has massive oil reserves that America relies on heavily, and premature exposure might have led to rash military action against the country, in order to seize the Venezuelan oilfields in the sacred name of “American National Security”.


In its normal crude way, the CIA had already given advance warning of this intent by planning to shoot down Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s aircraft in late September, when he was en route to address the United Nations in New York. Fortunately for Chavez and his country, Venezuelan Intelligence received advance warning and blocked the President’s flight.

The CIA shoot-down was to be followed 14 hours later by “phase 2”, an attack on the Presidential barracks while the country was still in shock about President Chavez’s ‘accidental death’, thus capturing Venezuelan oil and handing it to America on a plate.


Of course the CIA should have cancelled “Phase 2” the minute it knew that the Presidential aircraft had not taken off from Caracas for New York, but sadly the CIA planners forgot, and the Presidential barracks attack force was swiftly overwhelmed by a very alert Venezuelan military.

Needless to say, “Phase 2” proved that “Phase 1” was very real and accurate intelligence, in turn proving that the Zionists had yet again ordered the murder of a head of state for monetary gain, a long standing tradition on Wall Street.

Within days Russia ‘agreed’ to provide Venezuela with fifty Mig 29 fighters, because it was obvious that Wall Street would try again later if a deterrent was not put in place, and Chavez could hardly rely on America to send spare parts for his fleet of aging F-16s.

New York was furious of course, but could hardly do anything about it. And besides, what harm could 50 Mig interceptors a thousand miles away do to America? New York had made the fatal error of assuming that the Migs in question were being delivered exclusively to protect Venezuela against American bombers or troop transports.


In fact, all fifty aircraft are Mig 29 SMTs, the very latest in Russian technology with enhanced attack payload capacity and a Plasma Stealth System.

Hardly the aircraft one would choose for a Red Baron dogfight at 15,000 feet, now is it?

All Venezuelan Mig 29 SMTs are painted dark blue, which may be part of the stealth system, but more commonly denotes that the aircraft will be used for low level attacks over water. When nosey European diplomatic officials asked Venezuelan Air Force generals why they needed such sophisticated aircraft, the generals responded “To protect the Panama Canal”. When asked against whom, the air chiefs wouldn’t specify.


What absolutely no one outside Russia and Venezuela knew until two weeks ago, is that 20 of the fifty Mig 29 SMTs are fully equipped to carry and fire the devastating SS-N-25 [and now SS-N-26] “Onyx, a devastating and completely unstoppable Mach 2.9 ramjet anti-ship cruise missile which skims the waves at twenty feet, before delivering a knock out blow to its maritime target more than 200 kilometers away.


So great is the kinetic energy at the point of impact on the target, that Onyx can sink an American aircraft carrier or supertanker using only a conventional penetrating warhead. Those scientists who might doubt this should calculate the impact energy of 5,500 pounds of missile striking a carrier or tanker at a terminal velocity of 2,460 feet per second.

It is understood that Russia is providing Venezuela with a stockpile of forty anti-ship Onyx missiles.

Concurrently on the other side of the world, more pieces of the strategic jigsaw were falling into place, and on 2 December 2004 the Asia Times published “China Rocks the Geopolitical Boat with Iran Oil Deal“, which is probably one of the top stories of the century, but it was not repeated by the Australian media.

Heck no, because this was utterly devastating news for the energy-hungry west, and thus not fit for public exposure:

“A mere two months ago, the news of a China-Kazakhstan pipeline agreement, worth US$3.5 billion, raised some eyebrows in the world press, some hinting that China’s economic foreign policy may be on the verge of a new leap forward. A clue to the fact that such anticipation may have totally understated the case was last week’s signing of a mega-gas deal between Beijing and Tehran worth $100 billion.

Billed as the “deal of the century” by various commentators, this agreement is likely to increase by another $50 to $100 billion, bringing the total close to $200 billion, when a similar oil agreement, currently being negotiated, is inked not too far from now.


“The gas deal entails the annual export of some 10 million tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas (LNG) for a 25-year period, as well as the participation, by China’s state oil company, in such projects as exploration and drilling, petrochemical and gas industries, pipelines, services and the like.

The export of LNG requires special cargo ships, however, and Iran is currently investing several billion dollars adding to its small LNG-equipped fleet.”

Though America officially refers to Iran as part of the “Axis of Evil”, this does not stop it importing very large quantities of Iranian LNG through third parties.

Now all that will come to a grinding halt, because Iran must naturally focus exclusively on filling its mammoth Chinese commitments. Thus on 2 December 2004, the block on external energy supplies to America started in earnest.


At the same time, Iran effectively came under China’s protection, because any American attack on Iran will impact directly on Chinese National Security by severing its energy resources. It is but a small step for Iran from there to full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and overall protection by the Russian-Chinese Axis.


There is a curious oriental twist here, because the mammoth Iranian LNG contract with China will also have a major negative impact on “Coalition of the Willing” partner Australia. Back in 2002 there was a huge fanfare when the Australian Government trumpeted news of an annual 3.3 million ton LNG export deal to China, due to commence in 2006 and last for 25 years.

Does this sound familiar?


Unfortunately for Australia, the Iranian-Chinese deal was effective the day it was signed in late November 2004, and both countries have admitted that between them they will need to build another 87 LNG tankers just to keep up with their initial supply from the huge Iranian Pars gas field.

In the view of this author, the Chinese will default on the Australian deal, which is probably a suitable punishment for the obsequious cretins in Canberra who agreed to “help” the Zionists in Iraq.

America is already desperately short of energy, and it can only get worse. Iraq is producing nothing at all as usual, and the Republican Guard will ensure it stays that way.

OPEC will slow down production in January because it actually has to. If the OPEC countries keep pumping at their present outrageous rates to please America, they will eventually destroy their own economies by terminally damaging their producing wells. This leaves the largest single oil producer in the world, Russia, to increase or decrease world oil production to suit its own (or its new coalition’s) global agenda.


The New Russia-China-India-Brazil coalition really means business, and it would be wise to remember that after reforms at the United Nations, all four will have permanent seats on the Security Council.

But that is after the likely confrontation in the Gulf of Mexico, designed to either make America withdraw completely from the rest of the world and become relatively poor, or face devastating and total economic ruin. It has been suggested to me that the choice will probably be left to the American people, if they can terminate a few dozen Zionists fast enough.


Despite Venezuelan claims that they want to use the Mig 29 SMTs to protect the Panama Canal (which is true to a certain extent), their most obvious use initially appears to be that of defending Venezuela against an American aircraft carrier strike on Caracas, or elsewhere in the country. Yes they can do that, because any U.S. carrier getting close enough to launch its aircraft against Venezuela, can in turn be sunk very swiftly indeed by one or two of the lethal and unstoppable Onyx missiles.

However, this would not stop a strike by long range ALCMs dropped by B-52 bombers, another cowardly Zionist weapon of mass destruction.

What then?


This is where the really clever bit comes in. Russia has arranged for the Venezuelan pilots to receive their advanced Mig 29 training in Cuba, which already has six earlier version of the aircraft. So the Cuban instructors are well up to the job, but don’t have the latest Mig 29 SMT model that the Venezuelan Air Force has.

Well, not until next week anyway. Russia is donating four [Onyx equipped] Mig 29 SMTs to Cuba free of charge, for use in training the Venezuelan pilots and then to add to their own inventory.

Agreement has also been reached for joint exercises in the future, using Cuban airspace.

All of a sudden, America will be facing the same deadly threat it faced when arguing with China about the future of Taiwan. Basically, China demonstrated the awesome accuracy and power of its SS-N-22 Sunburn and SS-N-25 Onyx missiles against moving unmanned maritime targets, and the U.S. Fleet swiftly withdrew.


So how is the U.S. Navy going to feel when every dark blue Mig 29 SMT flying off a dirt strip in Cuba (yes, they can do that), is possibly carrying an Onyx missile capable of sinking any American ship within a tactical radius of 600 miles?


It seems beyond doubt that the main message will get through, i.e. that if America dares to attack Venezuela or even little Cuba, every supertanker approaching the American southern oil terminals through the Gulf of Mexico, will be sunk by an invisible Mach 2.9 missile exploding in a white fireball.


Worse still, there is the possibility that some of America’s offshore oil platforms in the Gulf might also be destroyed, causing savage blowouts that will burn for ten years or more.

There will be those who read this report with cynicism, sneering as always that no one would dare do this to the “only remaining superpower on earth”.

You think not?

Yesterday morning Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez flew to Beijing, where Chinese officials have said he will be on an official visit extending until Monday 27 December, a total of five days straight. Evidently the Chinese regard President Chavez as a very important Head of State, which is hardly surprising when you understand the reason for his visit.


Until the Zionists tried to murder him back in September, Chavez was reasonably happy supplying America with 2.7 million barrels of oil per day, which is about 80% of Venezuela’s total production.

The attempt on his life was one giant step too far though, so Chavez is now in Beijing negotiating to sell the entire 2.7 million barrels per day to China instead.
 

Return to The Actual Iran Case
Return to Temas  /  Sociopolitica

 

 

 

 

 

What collapsing empire looks like

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on August 9, 2010

Friday, Aug 6, 2010 12:07 ET

What collapsing empire looks like

By Glenn Greenwald

(updated below)

As we enter our ninth year of the War in Afghanistan with an escalated force, and continue to occupy Iraq indefinitely, and feed an endlessly growing Surveillance State, reports are emerging of the Deficit Commission hard at work planning how to cut Social Security, Medicare, and now even to freeze military pay.  But a new New York Times article today illustrates as vividly as anything else what a collapsing empire looks like, as it profiles just a few of the budget cuts which cities around the country are being forced to make.  This is a sampling of what one finds:

Plenty of businesses and governments furloughed workers this year, but Hawaii went further — it furloughed its schoolchildren. Public schools across the state closed on 17 Fridays during the past school year to save money, giving students the shortest academic year in the nation.

Many transit systems have cut service to make ends meet, but Clayton County, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, decided to cut all the way, and shut down its entire public bus system. Its last buses ran on March 31, stranding 8,400 daily riders.

Even public safety has not been immune to the budget ax. In Colorado Springs, the downturn will be remembered, quite literally, as a dark age: the city switched off a third of its 24,512 streetlights to save money on electricity, while trimming its police force and auctioning off its police helicopters.

There are some lovely photos accompanying the article, including one showing what a darkened street in Colorado looks like as a result of not being able to afford street lights.  Read the article to revel in the details of this widespread misery.  Meanwhile, the tiniest sliver of the wealthiest — the ones who caused these problems in the first place — continues to thrive.  Let’s recall what former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson said last year in The Atlantic about what happens in under-developed and developing countries when an elite-caused financial crises ensues:

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or — here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique — the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk — at least until the riots grow too large.

The real question is whether the American public is too apathetic and trained into submission for that to ever happen.

UPDATE:  It’s probably also worth noting this Wall St. Journal article from last month — with a subheadline warning:  “Back to Stone Age” — which describes how “paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue.”  Utah is seriously considering eliminating the 12th grade, or making it optional.  And it was announced this week that “Camden [New Jersey] is preparing to permanently shut its library system by the end of the year, potentially leaving residents of the impoverished city among the few in the United States unable to borrow a library book free.”

Does anyone doubt that once a society ceases to be able to afford schools, public transit, paved roads, libraries and street lights — or once it chooses not to be able to afford those things in pursuit of imperial priorities and the maintenance of a vast Surveillance and National Security State — that a very serious problem has arisen, that things have gone seriously awry, that imperial collapse, by definition, is an imminent inevitability?  Anyway, I just wanted to leave everyone with some light and cheerful thoughts as we head into the weekend.

The Elders’ View Of the Middle East

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on August 8, 2010

The Elders’ View Of the Middle East
By Jimmy Carter
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/04/AR2009090402968.html

During the past 16 months I have visited the Middle East four times and met with leaders in Israel, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza. I was in Damascus when President Obama made his historic speech in Cairo, which raised high hopes among the more-optimistic Israelis and Palestinians, who recognize that his insistence on a total freeze of settlement expansion is the key to any acceptable peace agreement or any positive responses toward Israel from Arab nations.

Late last month I traveled to the region with a group of “Elders,” including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil and Mary Robinson of Ireland, former prime minister Gro Brundtland of Norway and women’s activist Ela Bhatt of India. Three of us had previously visited Gaza, which is now a walled-in ghetto inhabited by 1.6 million Palestinians, 1.1 million of whom are refugees from Israel and the West Bank and receive basic humanitarian assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Israel prevents any cement, lumber, seeds, fertilizer and hundreds of other needed materials from entering through Gaza’s gates. Some additional goods from Egypt reach Gaza through underground tunnels. Gazans cannot produce their own food nor repair schools, hospitals, business establishments or the 50,000 homes that were destroyed or heavily damaged by Israel’s assault last January. We found a growing sense of concern and despair among those who observe, as we did, that settlement expansion is continuing apace, rapidly encroaching into Palestinian villages, hilltops, grazing lands, farming areas and olive groves. There are more than 200 of these settlements in the West Bank.

An even more disturbing expansion is taking place in Palestinian East Jerusalem. Three months ago I visited a family who had lived for four generations in their small, recently condemned home. They were laboring to destroy it themselves to avoid much higher costs if Israeli contractors carried out the demolition order. On Aug. 27, we Elders took a gift of food to 18 members of the Hanoun family, recently evicted from their home of 65 years. The Hanouns, including six children, are living on the street, while Israeli settlers have moved into their confiscated dwelling.

Daily, headlines in Jerusalem newspapers say that certain areas and types of construction would be excluded from the settlement freeze and that it would, at best, have a limited duration. Increasingly desperate Palestinians see little prospect of their plight being alleviated; political, business and academic leaders are making contingency plans should President Obama’s efforts fail. We saw considerable interest in a call by Javier Solana, secretary general of the Council of the European Union, for the United Nations to endorse the two-state solution, which already has the firm commitment of the U.S. government and the other members of the “Quartet” (Russia and the United Nations). Solana proposes that the United Nations recognize the pre-1967 border between Israel and Palestine, and deal with the fate of Palestinian refugees and how Jerusalem would be shared. Palestine would become a full U.N. member and enjoy diplomatic relations with other nations, many of which would be eager to respond. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad described to us his unilateral plan for Palestine to become an independent state. A more likely alternative to the present debacle is one state, which is obviously the goal of Israeli leaders who insist on colonizing the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A majority of the Palestinian leaders with whom we met are seriously considering acceptance of one state, between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. By renouncing the dream of an independent Palestine, they would become fellow citizens with their Jewish neighbors and then demand equal rights within a democracy. In this nonviolent civil rights struggle, their examples would be Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. They are aware of demographic trends. Non-Jews are already a slight majority of total citizens in this area, and within a few years Arabs will constitute a clear majority.

A two-state solution is clearly preferable and has been embraced at the grass roots. Just south of Jerusalem, the Palestinian residents of Wadi Fukin and the nearby Israeli villagers of Tzur Hadassah are working together closely to protect their small shared valley from the ravages of rock spill, sewage and further loss of land from a huge settlement on the cliff above, where 26,000 Israelis are rapidly expanding their confiscated area. It was heartwarming to see the international harmony with which the villagers face common challenges and opportunities.

There are 25 similar cross-border partnerships between Israelis and their Palestinian neighbors. The best alternative for the future is a negotiated peace agreement, so that the example of Wadi Fukin and Tzur Hadassah can prevail along a peaceful border between two sovereign nations.

The writer was the 39th president. He founded The Carter Center, a nongovernmental organization focused on global peace and health issues.

Afghanistan: Training Ground for War on Russia

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on August 8, 2010

NATO Trains Finland, Sweden For Conflict With Russia
By Rick Rozoff
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14538

A Swedish newspaper reported on July 24 that approximately 50 troops from the country serving under NATO in the so-called International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had engaged in a fierce firefight in Northern Afghanistan and had killed three and wounded two attackers.The report detailed that the Swedish troops were traveling in armored vehicles and “later received reinforcements from several soldiers in a Combat Vehicle 90.” [1]

The world has become so inured to war around the world and seemingly without end that Swedish soldiers engaging in deadly combat as part of a belligerent force for the first time since the early 1800s – and that in another continent thousands of kilometers from their homeland – has passed virtually without notice.A Finnish news story of the preceding day, possibly about the same incident but not necessarily, reported that “A Finnish-Swedish patrol, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), came under fire in northern Afghanistan” on July 23rd. [2]Three days before that a Swedish commander in the north of Afghanistan, where Finnish and Swedish troops are in charge of ISAF operations in four provinces, acknowledged that “During the last three months, six serious incidents have occurred in our area.” [3]The same source revealed that in the upcoming weeks Swedish troop numbers are to be increased from 390 to 500.The Svenska Dagbladet reported that over a twelve week period attacks on Swedish-Finnish forces in the area have doubled and that seven attacks preceded the deadly firefight described earlier.

“In April, a Norwegian officer was killed by a suicide bomber in a province under Swedish-Finnish control, and several vehicles have been attacked along Mazar-i-Sharif’s main road since.” [4]

Like Sweden, Finland has also increased troop deployments to Afghanistan lately, ostensibly to provide security for next month’s elections but, given the escalation of fighting in the nation’s north, certainly to remain there for the duration of NATO’s South Asian deployment, one which a German official recently stated would last eighteen years from 2001 onward. In early July Finland dispatched 70 more troops to join the 100 already stationed in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh Province bordering Kunduz where German troops are waging an almost two week long military offensive.

Last month Finnish forces in the area were attacked twice and a rocket attack struck close to Finnish barracks in the capital of Kabul.Troops from the other Scandinavian nations have fared even worse. Three Danish soldiers were killed in a bomb attack in Helmand on June 17, bringing the country’s death toll to 26. Norway has lost four soldiers.

To illustrate the integration of Finland and Sweden military forces in Afghanistan and under NATO control in general, in late June it was announced that Sweden was purchasing 113 armored vehicles from Finland. Approximately 1,200 of the Finnish-made vehicles “have been ordered by other customers and [they are] currently used operationally in Finland, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia, for example in operations in Afghanistan.” [5]

NATO Deployment In Afghanistan “Improves Readiness For Defense Of Finland”Last month a major Finnish daily newspaper in a feature called “Afghanistan: Now it’s Finland’s war, too” contained this striking revelation:”[F]rom the point of view of the Finnish Defence Forces, there is still another important reason for the Afghanistan operation: it improves readiness for the defence of Finland.

“The Finnish source quoted the former commander of the nation’s troops in Afghanistan, Ari Mattola, as saying, “This is a unique situation for us, in that we will get to train part of our wartime forces. That part will get to operate as close to wartime conditions as is possible.” [6]

Comparable claims about the Afghan war being the training ground for military action on their borders – and that can only mean in relation to Russia – have been made by defense and military officials in the Baltic states, Poland and Georgia.Early this month Finnish Defense Minister Jyri Hakamies divulged that he would further drag his nation into NATO’s plans for a drive east aimed against Russia and is paraphrased as asserting that “NATO had approached Finland with an opportunity to take part in cyber warfare training and the country should accept NATO’s offer.” [7]

NATO’s Article 5: Cyber Warfare And Nuclear WeaponsOn June 15 US President Barack Obama and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves met at the White House with American National Security Adviser James Jones, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, and discussed cyber security – which is to say, as the Finnish Defense Minister more honestly called it, cyber warfare. The Estonian president, raised in the United States and a former Radio Free Europe employee, “thanked the United States for its assistance in establishing the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center in the Estonian capital of Tallinn….” [8]

The head of the U.S. Strategic Command, Gen. Kevin Chilton, indicated this May what US and NATO cyber warfare plans might include when he said that “the White House retains the option to respond with physical force – potentially even using nuclear weapons – if a foreign entity conducts a disabling cyber attack against U.S. computer networks….” [9]

The NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania authorized the establishment of the Alliance’s cyber warfare center in Estonia in 2008 and last month the Pentagon complemented that initiative by approving a unified U.S. Cyber Command. For two years American and NATO officials have spoken bluntly about invoking NATO’s Article 5 war clause, used for the invasion of Afghanistan and the buildup to that of Iraq, in response to alleged Russian cyber attacks.Encirclement Of Russia: Finland Offers NATO 237,000 Troops, 1,300 Kilometer BorderThis January Finland released a Security and Defense Policy Report which stated that “Finland regards NATO as the most important military security cooperation organisation”, and that “there will continue to be a strong case for considering Finland’s membership of NATO in the future”. [10]

Mandatory weapons interoperability is a key component of full NATO membership and in April the Finnish Defense Ministry announced “the team of Norwegian Kongsberg and US Raytheon has been selected to fulfill Finland’s future Medium Range Air Defense Missile System (MRADMS) requirements….The new NATO-compliant anti-aircraft missile system will replace the Russian-made BUK systems purchased in 1996 that will be taken out of service. The key reason for giving up the Russian systems is their lack of compatibility and interoperability with NATO systems….” [11]

The Helsinki Times of July 23 quoted Finnish Russian experts Esa Seppanen and Ilmari Susiluoto on Russian responses to what is now an all but certain development: Finland’s joining NATO and providing the Alliance a new 1,300-kilometer border with the nation that has always been NATO’s main target.The two scholars are quoted as saying that “Russia is concerned about Finland’s NATO option. It will not remain passive if Finland becomes a member.” The article also says that “NATO is marketed in Finland as a global peacekeeper. However, the Russians see it as a territorial threat specifically aimed at them” and “Russia fears that NATO membership would bring NATO’s military structures to Finnish soil.”

NATO’s expansion in the Nordic countries would finish off the military-political stability of the entire region. The Baltic Sea would become ‘NATO’s sea,’ with the exception of Kaliningrad and the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland.” [12]In addition to securing NATO’s encirclement of Russia from the Barents to the Baltic to the Blacks Seas, an article titled “Finland Rearms,” in reference to the Finnish government recently agreeing to boost military spending to 2% of its budget – a standard NATO demand – says

“By raising their spending, Finland pulls more of its weight in the alliance and thus is more likely to get a favorable response to any future requests for defense aid. Finland is a member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program, and, with their new emphasis on added security, are likely to grow a closer relationship in the future.With Finland in NATO the bloc would gain an additional “237,000 troops, beefed up with the latest infantry weapons and heavy armor….” [13]

Finland, Sweden Forced Into NATO And Overseas Wars Against Will Of The People

In a recent newspaper interview the Finnish Speaker of the Parliament Sauli Niinisto spoke of the surreptitious campaign underway – indeed almost completed – to pull his nation into an expanding worldwide military alliance despite its citizens not only being opposed to but not even aware of it.He characterized the process in this manner:

“The logic of silent agreements has been brought very far in thinking in which closer Finnish participation in NATO is seen to bring us security points from the United States and NATO.” [14]

Niinisto listed several instances of how NATO is transitioning Finland into full membership without public debate or cognizance. Referring to the purchase of NATO interoperable fighter jets, he said that “It was a silent preliminary contract involving confidence that more supplies would come later.”

He also cited Finland’s participation in NATO’s international Rapid Response Force as well as in the European Union’s Nordic Battlegroups. More will be said later about the integration of the EU and NATO in global deployments and strike forces but this (not so) hypothetical observation by the Finnish Speaker offers an initial insight:”

All European defence activities are always under the NATO umbrella. What if the EU could be collectively a NATO member? What would Finland do then? Would Finland secede? The EU now seeks to act as a collective in all organisations. Why would security policy be a big exception?” [15]An identical campaign, covert and concerted, in being conducted in Sweden, where as in Finland polls regularly register a majority of citizens opposed to NATO accession, and is being addressed and combated by the Sptoppa smyganslutningen till NATO/Stop surreptitious accession to NATO, whose web address is: http://www.stoppanato.se

European Union, NATO Symbiosis: Global Battlegroups And War In The Caucasus

Mention has already been made of the European Union Battlegroups and on July 21 Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels – to “address the North Atlantic Council on the priorities of the Swedish EU Presidency” [16] – further endorsed the project and “expressed his support here [Brussels] for the EU’s battlegroup concept, under which about 1,500 troops from three or more countries are on standby on a six-month rotation.

“The article the preceding is taken from added “Bildt, whose country holds the six-month rotating EU presidency…said there was ‘huge demand’ for Europe in the world and that the best way for the EU to improve its crisis management capability, of which battlegroups are a part, is by implementing the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. “He said they must remain ready to be deployed within 10 days.”

As to where such deployments may occur in the future, “Bildt also hopes to secure backing from fellow EU foreign ministers early next week for a one-year extension to the EU’s peace monitoring mission in Georgia” and “says he will insist on the mission’s right to monitor the situation in the two regions [Abkhazia and South Ossetia]….” [17]

He was referring to re-deploying European Union monitors – including troops – to the borders of Georgia with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where in the latter case a war erupted last August after a Georgian assault and a Russian response. Bildt and the EU in fact don’t consider that there are national borders connecting the three states but that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are part of Georgia. Russia, which has recognized the independence of both, disagrees and as such opposes EU troops returning to the area, where Abkhazia has accused them of collaborating with the Georgian government of Mikhail Saakashvili in launching attacks on its territory.

What Bildt is actually advocating is something substantially more serious and fraught with the danger of a conflict far worse than the war of last August.The Chairman of the Georgian Parliamentary Commission on Defense and Security, Givi Targamadze, said on July 21 “The deoccupation [regarding Russian troops] of this territory [Abkhazia and South Ossetia], but not the presence of the observation mission in an expanded format, is important for us. However, U.S troops’ participation in the mission will be a step forward.” [18]

That is, the EU will insinuate itself into South Caucasus conflict zones and US troops will be inside the Trojan Horse. If that scenario evolves, troops from the world’s two major nuclear powers can face off against each other in the next war.Three days after visiting NATO Headquarters Bildt was in Afghanistan, during the exact moment the battle described at the beginning of this article occurred, to meet with US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke and to visit an ISAF European Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).

Regarding the effective merger of EU and NATO international security and military missions and how the EU is being employed to hasten NATO’s absorption of nations like Sweden and Finland, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who will turn his post over to former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen this week, in early July “expressed frustration…over the lack of progress in NATO’s relationship with the European Union” and said:

“I will leave my office in three weeks’ time frankly disappointed that a true strategic partnership that makes such eminent sense for both organisations (NATO and the EU) has still not come about. “I am convinced that if … North America and Europe are to defend their values and interests and solve [common] challenges, then we will need to do a much better job of combining the complementary assets of NATO and the EU. We should work together where necessary, not just where we can.

“Our missions, our geographical areas of interest, our capabilities…are increasingly overlapping, not to speak of our memberships. Our definition of the security challenges and the means to tackle them is also increasingly a shared one.” [19]Scheffer added “NATO-EU relations will be an important part of thealliance’s new Strategic Concept, which serves as guidelines for all actions,” a subject doubtlessly addressed with Bildt, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, two weeks later. [20]

Applying NATO’s War Clause GloballyAt the same press conference the NATO chief said “I hope the new Strategic Concept will finally lay to rest the notion that there is any distinction between security at home and security abroad. Globalization has abolished the protection that borders or geographical isolation from crisis areas used to provide.” [21]

Significantly, Scheffer affirmed that NATO’s Article 5 mutual military assistance provision can “apply outside NATO territory as much as inside.” [22]To the South Caucasus, for example.Four previous articles in this series have addressed NATO’s plans to absorb Finland and Sweden as full members [23] and US and NATO plans to confront Russia in what the Alliance calls the High North, the Arctic Ocean and by extension the Baltic Sea. [24]

Scandinavian Nations Move Military Into Arctic CircleSweden’s and Finland’s Scandinavian neighbors Denmark and Norway, both NATO members, have recently joined the battle for the Arctic.Last month Norway revealed that it was moving it Operational Command Headquarters from the south of the nation at Stavanger north to Reitan outside Bodo, “thus making Norway the first country to move its military command leadership to the Arctic.” [25]

Last year “Norway’s government decided to buy 48 Lockheed Martin F-35 jets at a cost of 18 billion crowns ($2.81 billion), rating them better than rival Swedish Saab’s Gripen at tasks such as surveillance of the vast Arctic north.” [26]

A few days after the Norway’s announcement that it was shifting its military command headquarters to the Arctic the Danish government said that increasing competition for resources and more importantly military advantage in the Arctic “will change the region’s geostrategic significance and thus entail more tasks for the Danish Armed Forces”.Because “The risk of confrontation in the Arctic seems to be growing,” Denmark plans to “set up a joint-service Arctic Command and is considering expanding the military base at Thule in northern Greenland, which was a vital link in US defences during the Cold War” and “create an Arctic Response Force, using existing Danish military capabilities that are adapted for Arctic operations.” [27]

Copenhagen itself has no direct claim to the Arctic but is using Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both effectively colonies, for a military buildup that can only be aimed against Russian claims in the region.An article titled “Danish militarization of Arctic” adds these details:”The higher focus on the Arctic is part of the Danish defence plan for the period 2010-2014 approved by Parliament, the Folketinget, on 24 June.

“Denmark [is also considering applying] fighter jets in monitoring operations and sovereignty protection at and around Greenland. The country might also consider to give the Thule Base a more central role in cooperation with partner countries.” [28]

The partners in question are fellow NATO members and Arctic claimants the United States, Canada and Norway. From August 6 to 28 Canada will conduct its major annual Arctic military exercise, Operation NANOOK, with “land, sea and air forces operating in the Baffin Island region.” [29] This year Canadian special forces will join the war games. ”

Col. Michael Day, commanding officer of Canada’s Special Operations Forces Command, said units such as the Special Operations Regiment and Joint Task Force 2 have rarely been involved in northern military exercises.” [30]

Arctic: Russia’s Last Stand Against Missile Shield First Strike ThreatTwo previous articles [31] have examined the fact that the Arctic Circle is the only spot on the planet where Russian nuclear deterrent and retaliation capacities can be based in order to evade potential US and NATO missile shield-linked first strikes.Earlier this month former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev appeared on Russian television and warned that “missile defense installations in Europe are a threat to Russia” and “are aimed at creating a situation that makes it possible for NATO to be first to launch a nuclear strike while staying under the shield.” [32]

On June 30th the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen was in Poland where Washington intends to install interceptor missiles and “said he was hopeful Washington and Warsaw could wrap up talks on a deal tied to a anti-missile plan opposed by Russia….[33]

On July 13-14 Russia carried out test launches of two Sineva intercontinental ballistic missiles and “The United States was reportedly unable to detect the presence of Russian strategic submarines in the area before they launched the missiles.”

As a government official said of the tests, “Russian submarines not only fired ballistic missiles while submerged, they also did it from under ice floe near the North Pole, which proves that the Russian Navy has retained the capability of moving under Arctic ice and striking targets while undetected.” [34]At the beginning of this month NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer officiated over a change of command for the Alliance’s top military commander, swearing in Admiral James Stavridis. The latter’s comments at the event included: “With me are over seventy thousand shipmates – military and civilian – in three continents from the populated plains and coasts of Europe to the bright blue of the Mediterranean Sea; from the high mountain passes of Afghanistan to the distant Arctic Circle.” [35]

The simultaneous and coordinated US and NATO military buildup in the Arctic Ocean, the Baltic Sea and the Barents Sea are moving the line of confrontation with Russia ever closer. With Finland’s and Sweden’s integration into NATO the armed forces of both nations will have something far more formidable and dangerous to contend with than firefights in Northern Afghanistan.

Notes

1) The Local, July 24, 20092) NewsRoom Finland, July 23, 20093) Stockholm News, July 20, 20094) Radio Sweden, July 20, 20085) Swedish Wire, June 26, 20096) Helsingin Sanomat, June 19, 20097) Xinhua News Agency, July 3, 20098) Government Security Information, June 17, 20099) Global Security, May 12, 200910) Defense Professionals, June 25, 200911) Ibid12) Helsinki Times, July 23, 200913) Strategy Page, June 29, 200914) Helsingin Sanomat, June 16, 200915) Ibid16) Trend News Agency, July 21, 200917) Defense News, July 22, 200918) Trend News Agency, July 22, 200919) Trend News Agency, July 7, 200920) Ibid21) Xinhua News Agency, July 7, 200922) Ibid23) End of Scandinavian Neutrality: NATO’s Militarization Of Europe

US lawmaker calls for sanctions on China, Russia

Posted in News by ababblinbrook on August 7, 2010

(AFP) – 4 days ago

WASHINGTON — The United States should immediately impose sanctions on Russia and China under a US law that punishes major investments in Iran’s energy sector, a senior US lawmaker said Monday.

“It’s time to implement our sanctions laws and demonstrate to Russia and China that there are consequences for abetting Tehran and flouting US sanctions,” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

Ros-Lehtinen, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said firms run by the Russian and Chinese governments had invested “huge sums” in Iran’s energy sector, “effectively bankrolling” Tehran’s alleged nuclear weapons program and its backing of Islamist groups.

She did not offer details, but US officials have noted that Chinese firms have been stepping in to fill the void left by companies leaving Iran because of UN and US sanctions.

“Russia and China appear determined to continue to facilitate Iran’s dangerous policies. This must not be allowed to continue without serious repercussions,” she said.

Her comments came as a top US State Department official, Robert Einhorn, was on a trip to Asia set to include a stop in Beijing to press China to fully enforce sanctions on Iran.

China has invested around 40 billion dollars in the Islamic republic’s oil and gas sector, but Chinese imports of Iranian oil fell in the first half of 2010, a senior Iranian official told Mehr news agency on Saturday.

In 2009, China became Iran’s premier trading partner, with bilateral trade worth 21.2 billion dollars against 14.4 billion dollars three years earlier.

Crisis Awaits World’s Banks as Trillions Come Due

Posted in News by revelation2seven on July 15, 2010

By JACK EWING  |  July 11, 2010  |  New York Times

FRANKFURT — The sovereign debt crisis would seem to create worry enough for European banks, but there is another gathering threat that has not garnered as much notice: the trillions of dollars in short-term borrowing that institutions around the world must repay or roll over in the next two years.

The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the International Monetary Fund have all recently warned of a looming crunch, especially in Europe, where banks have enough trouble raising money as it is.

Their concern is that banks hungry for refinancing will compete with governments — which also must roll over huge sums — for the bond market’s favor. As a result, credit for business and consumers could become more costly and scarce, with unpleasant consequences for economic growth.

“There is a cliff we are racing toward — it’s huge,” said Richard Barwell, an economist at Royal Bank of Scotland and formerly a senior economist at the Bank of England, Britain’s central bank. “No one seems to be talking about it that much.” But, he added, “it’s of first-order importance for lending and output.”

Banks worldwide owe nearly $5 trillion to bondholders and other creditors that will come due through 2012, according to estimates by the Bank for International Settlements. About $2.6 trillion of the liabilities are in Europe.

U.S. banks must refinance about $1.3 trillion through 2012. While that sum is nothing to scoff at, analysts seem most concerned about Europe because the banking system there is already weighed down by the sovereign debt crisis.

How banks will come up with the money is an open question. With investors worried about government over-indebtedness in Greece, Spain, Ireland and other parts of Europe, many banks have been reluctant or unable to sell bonds, which they typically use to raise money that they lend on to businesses and households.

The financing crunch has its origins in a worldwide trend for banks to borrow money for shorter periods.

The practice of short-term borrowing and long-term lending contributed to the near-collapse of the world financial system in late 2008 when short-term financing dried up. Banks suddenly found themselves starved for cash, and some would have collapsed without central bank support.

Government bank guarantees extended in response to the crisis also inadvertently encouraged short-term lending. The guarantees were typically only for several years, and banks issued bonds to match.

Other banks took advantage of the gap between short-term and long-term rates, borrowing cheaply from money markets or central banks and lending to their customers at higher, long-term rates.

A study in November by Moody’s Investors Service found that new bond issues by banks during the past five years matured in an average of 4.7 years — the shortest average in 30 years.

Since then, worries about Greek and Spanish debt and whether Europe is headed for another recession have caused new problems. Investors are unsure which institutions are in good shape and which are sitting on piles of bad loans and potentially tainted government bonds.

Bond issuance by financial institutions in Europe plunged to $10.7 billion in May, compared with $106 billion in January and $95 billion in May 2009, according to Dealogic, a data provider. New issues have recovered somewhat since, to $42 billion in June and $19 billion so far in July.

Bank stress tests being conducted by European regulators could help if they succeed in convincing markets that most banks are healthy. Bank regulators plan to release results of the tests, covering 91 large banks, on July 23.

Sandeep Agarwal, head of financial institutions debt capital markets in Europe at Credit Suisse, predicted that the market could be separated into haves and have-nots, with the healthy banks raising money fairly easily but weaker banks required to pay a premium. “There is cash at the right price for many institutions, not all institutions,” Mr. Agarwal said.

That could add pressure on the weakest banks to merge, seek government help, or scale back their activities. Some might even fold. The Landesbanks in Germany, savings banks in Spain or other institutions that have struggled may be forced to confront difficult choices.

A shortage of bank finance also could create quandaries for the European Central Bank, which appears anxious to wean banks from the cheap cash that it began providing in the heat of the global financial crisis.

If institutions are unable to raise the money that they need on the open market, the European Central Bank would have to decide whether to continue to prop them up.

“Banks that have trouble tapping new funding sources will have to shrink,” the Bank for International Settlements said in its annual report in late June. The institution, based in Basel, Switzerland, brings together the world’s main central banks.

Stephen G. Cecchetti, head of the monetary and economic department at the institution, called the refinancing issue “a vulnerability and something to be watched.” But, he added, in a telephone interview, “I am confident that national authorities will take the necessary actions so that it isn’t a problem.”

Banks insist that they enjoy the trust of the markets and will be able to raise the cash they need.

“We’re in a comfortable position,” said Horst Bertram, head of investor relations at Bayerische Landesbank, Germany’s largest Landesbank, which is owned by the state of Bavaria and local savings banks. He said that as a result of government backing and a radical restructuring last year, the bank had ample cash and limited need for new financing.

Commerzbank, partly owned by the German government after a bailout, said its liquidity was well within regulatory limits. Commerzbank “can refinance at any time at market conditions,” the bank said.

Even if there is no market meltdown, banks still face a transition to a period of higher interest rates that will weigh on profits.

The cost of borrowing is likely to rise faster than banks can pass it on to customers, analysts say.

Jean-François Tremblay, a Moody’s vice president who has studied the refinancing issue, said that so far banks had managed to roll over debt better than expected. They have increased customer deposits, drawn on cash from central banks, or simply reduced their lending and their need for new financing — which is exactly what some economists feared.

The Bank of England estimates that British banks will need to issue £25 billion in bonds every month to meet their refinancing needs, which the central bank puts at £800 billion, or $1.2 trillion. That means banks will have to sell new bonds at double the rate they have been issuing so far this year.

“There is a risk that banks alleviate their own funding pressures by further constraining credit conditions for customers,” the Bank of England said last month in its Financial Stability Report. “That would dent economic recovery and so raise credit risk for all banks.”

Tagged with:

The Drums of War? Pentagon Provokes New Crisis With China

Posted in News by revelation2seven on July 15, 2010

By Rick Rozoff  |  Global Research

Three news features appearing earlier this week highlight tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China that, at least in relation to the language used to describe them, would have seemed unimaginable even a few months ago and are evocative more of the Korean War era than of any time since the entente cordiale initiated by the Richard Nixon-Mao Zedong meeting in Beijing in 1972.

To indicate the seriousness of the matter, the stories are from Global Times, a daily newspaper published in conjunction with the People’s Daily, official press organ of the ruling Communist Party of China, and Time, preeminent American weekly news magazine. Both accounts use as their point of departure and source of key information a July 4 report in Hong Kong’s major English-language daily.

On July 6 writer Li Jing penned a news article for Global Times called “US subs reach Asian ports: report,” which detailed the following recent developments:

“Three of the largest submarines of the US Seventh Fleet surfaced in Asia-Pacific ports last week, the South China Morning Post reported Monday [July 5]. The appearance of the USS Michigan in Pusan, South Korea, the USS Ohio in Subic Bay, the Philippines, and the USS Florida in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia was a show of force not seen since the end of the Cold War, the paper said, adding that the position of those three ports looks like a siege of China.” [1]

The piece from the Hong Kong newspaper cited was entitled “US submarines emerge in show of military might: Message unlikely to be lost on Beijing as 3 vessels turn up in Asian ports,” and was in fact dated July 4.

The author, South China Morning Post Asia correspondent Greg Torode, described the simultaneous arrival of three “Ohio-class submarines” equipped with “a vast quantity of Tomahawk cruise missiles” as a reflection of “the trend of escalating submarine activity in East Asia….” [2]

He further added this noteworthy data: “Between them, the three submarines can carry 462 Tomahawks, boosting by an estimated 60 per cent-plus the potential Tomahawk strike force of the entire Japanese-based Seventh Fleet – the core projection of US military power in East Asia.”

The author quotes without identifying his name or nation a veteran Asian military attache with reported close ties to both Chinese and U.S. military officials: “460-odd Tomahawks is a huge amount of potential firepower in anybody’s language.

“It is another sign that the US is determined to not just maintain its military dominance in Asia, but to be seen doing so…that is a message for Beijing and for everybody else, whether you are a US ally or a nation sitting on the fence.” [3]

On July 8 Time magazine’s Mark Thompson elaborated on the earlier report with language, including that of his title, “U.S. Missiles Deployed Near China Send a Message,” derived from the South China Morning Post piece, which Thompson claims contained information planted by “U.S. officials…on July 4, no less” [4] in a clear signal to the government in mainland China.

The Time journalist added details, though, not in the original story, replete with a good deal of editorializing that perhaps serves the same source he attributes the contents of the Hong Kong article to and for the same reason: As a shot across the bow to China.

His account of last week’s deployments included: “A new class of U.S. superweapon had suddenly surfaced nearby. It was an Ohio-class submarine, which for decades carried only nuclear missiles targeted against the Soviet Union, and then Russia.”

The U.S. has eighteen nuclear-powered Ohio class ballistic missile submarines, fourteen still armed with nuclear warhead-tipped Trident missiles and four which “hold up to 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each, capable of hitting anything within 1,000 miles with non-nuclear warheads.”

“The 14 Trident-carrying subs are useful in the unlikely event of a nuclear Armageddon, and Russia remains their prime target. But the Tomahawk-outfitted quartet carries a weapon that the U.S. military has used repeatedly against targets in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and Sudan.” [5]

With the arrival of the USS Ohio in the Philippines, the USS Michigan in South Korea and the USS Florida “in the strategic Indian Ocean outpost of Diego Garcia” [6] on the same day, “the Chinese military awoke to find as many as 462 new Tomahawks deployed by the U.S. in its neighborhood.” [7]

The Time report also revealed that all four Ohio class Tomahawk-armed submarines were operationally deployed away from their home ports for the first time.

Thompson wrote that the coordinated actions were “part of a policy by the U.S. government to shift firepower from the Atlantic to the Pacific theater, which Washington sees as the military focus of the 21st century.”

Regarding the submarines still carrying Trident missiles, he rhetorically added, “Why 14 subs, as well as bombers and land-based missiles carrying nuclear weapons, are still required to deal with the Russian threat is a topic for another day.” [8]

All three journalists cited – Jing, Torode and Thompson – place the U.S. submarine deployments within a broader and also a more pressing context.

The South China Morning Post writer stated: “In policies drafted under then-president George W. Bush, a Republican, and continued by the administration of his successor, Democrat Barack Obama, the Pentagon is shifting 60 per cent of its 53 fast-attack [as distinct from ballistic and guided missile] submarines to the Pacific – a process that is now virtually complete.

“But the presence of the larger cruise-missile submarines shows that, at times, the US forward posture will be significantly larger.”

The USS Ohio, for example, “has been operating out of Guam for most of the last year, taking advantage of the island’s expanding facilities to extend its operations in the western Pacific.

“It is due to return soon, but the Florida and the Michigan are likely to remain in the region for many months yet, using Guam and possibly Diego Garcia for essential maintenance and crew changes.”

Additionally, “The presence of the Florida, based on the US east coast, appears to confirm the US is still routinely bringing submarines under the arctic ice cap to East Asia.” [9]

Just as the Pentagon is moving nuclear submarines under the northern polar ice cap to the Indian Ocean, so it has recently reached an “agreement [that] will allow troops to fly directly from the United States over the North Pole” to Afghanistan and “the region” by way of Kazakhstan, which borders China as well as Russia. [10]

The U.S. military “siege of China” is proceeding on several fronts, on land as well as under water and in Central as well as South and East Asia. But what primarily had been a policy of surveillance and probing China’s perimeter is now entering a new phase.

That the U.S. currently has over 60 per cent of the Tomahawk cruise missiles assigned to its Japan-based Seventh Fleet near China emphasizes the qualitative escalation of Washington’s show of strength vis-a-vis Beijing. One related to, as was seen above, a strategic shift of attack submarines nearer China and also to the crisis on the Korean Peninsula that was exacerbated by the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, in March.

There has even been speculation that U.S. submarine deployments and other “messages” delivered to China of late were designed to pressure Beijing into taking a tougher stance toward North Korea over the Cheonan incident. What journalists have been referring to as messages would in an earlier age have been called saber-rattling and gunboat diplomacy.

U.S.-China relations sharply deteriorated this January when the Obama administration finalized an almost $6.5 billion arms sales package for Taiwan which includes 200 Patriot missiles. [11] An article on the subject in the New York Times on January 31 was titled, revealing enough, “U.S. Arms for Taiwan Send Beijing a Message.”

China suspended military ties with the U.S., and bad blood has persisted throughout the year, resulting in Secretary of Defense Robert Gates scrapping plans to visit Beijing early last month when he was effectively disinvited by Chinese officialdom on the prompting of the military.

The White House and the Pentagon have been sending a number of unequivocal – and increasingly provocative – messages to China this year.

The new U.S. administration signalled a confrontational approach early on. In May of 2009 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, barely three months in her post, stated, “The Obama administration is working to improve deteriorating U.S. relations with a number of Latin American nations to counter growing Iranian, Chinese and Russian influence in the Western Hemisphere….” [12]

Later in the year then Director of National Intelligence (and retired admiral and former commander-in-chief of the Pacific Command) Dennis Blair released the latest quadrennial National Intelligence Strategy report which said “Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea pose the greatest challenges to the United States’ national interests. [13]

While Blair headed up the Pacific Command (PACOM) from 1999-2002, his role included overseeing a vast area of the planet that includes China (since the Ronald Reagan administration assigned it to that military command in 1983).

Arrogating the right to divide the entire world into military zones, areas of operation, has never been attempted by any other nation, any group of nations, not even all the nations of the world collectively (in the United Nations or otherwise). But the U.S. has and does do just that. It has even added two new Unified Combatant Commands – Northern Command and Africa Command – in recent years, in 2002 and 2007 respectively.

The Pacific Command is the oldest and largest of the six current regional commands (the others being the Africa, Northern, European, Central and Southern Commands), and was formed during the dawning of the Cold War in 1947. Its area of responsibility takes in over 50 per cent of the world – 105 million square miles – 36 nations and almost 60 per cent of the world’s population.

300,000 troops from all major branches of the U.S. armed forces – the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy – are assigned to it, 20 per cent of all active duty American service members.

Pacific Command is in charge of military defense treaties with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Korea.

The U.S. is also alone in assigning the world’s oceans and seas to naval commands. Washington has six naval fleets – the Fourth Fleet (the Caribbean, Central and South America) was reactivated in 2008 after being disbanded in 1950) – and just as Pacific Command is the largest unified, multi-service command, so the Seventh is the largest forward-deployed fleet, with 50-60 warships, 350 aircraft and as many as 60,000 Sailors and Marines at any given time. It is based in Japan and its area of responsibility includes over 50 million square miles of the (largely western) Pacific and Indian Oceans.

The U.S. also has eleven aircraft carriers, ten of them nuclear-powered and all eleven part of strike groups. [14] (China has no and Russia one carrier.)

The Time magazine article quoted from earlier mentioned that the deployment of four U.S. guided missile submarines to East Asia and the Indian Ocean is not the only development that China needs to be concerned about. The U.S. is simultaneously presiding over six-week biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises in Hawaii with over 20,000 troops, 36 warships and submarines (25 American) and 180 planes and helicopters.

This year’s RIMPAC, which began on June 23 and is to be completed by the end of July, includes for the first time the participation of France, Colombia – with which the U.S. has recently concluded an agreement for the use of seven of its military bases [15] – and the Southeast Asia nations of Malaysia and Singapore. The other countries involved are Australia, Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru, South Korea and Thailand. The five-week war games involve “missile exercises and the sinking of three abandoned vessels playing the role of enemy ships.” [16]

The combined task force commander for RIMPAC 2010 is commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, whose area of responsibility is approximately 50 million square miles of the eastern Pacific, Vice Admiral Richard Hunt, who stated, “This is the largest RIMPAC that we’ve had,” and one which “clearly focuses on maritime domain awareness dealing with expanded military operations across the complete spectrum of warfare.” [17]

Time’s Mark Thompson also wrote: “Closer to China, CARAT 2010 – for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training – just got underway [July 5] off Singapore. The operation involves 17,000 personnel and 73 ships from the U.S., Singapore, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

“China is absent from both exercises, and that’s no oversight.” [18]

This February Cobra Gold 2010, “the largest multinational military exercise in the world,” [19}, was launched in Thailand (separated from China by only one nation, either Laos or Myanmar) and as with all previous Cobra Gold war games was run by U.S. Pacific Command and the Royal Thai Supreme Command. Joining the U.S. and Thailand in this year’s exercises, designed “to build interoperability between the United States and its Asia-Pacific regional partners,” [20] were the armed forces of Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and, for the first time, South Korea.

From June 8-25 the latest U.S. Air Force-led Red Flag Alaska air maneuvers were held near the eastern Pacific. “The Red Flag exercises, conducted in four-to-six cycles a year by the 414th Combat Training Squadron of the 57th Wing, are very realistic aerial war games. The purpose is to train pilots from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries for real combat situations.” [21]

Over a thousand airmen from five nations – the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Romania and Belgium – assembled at Alaska’s Elmendorf and Eielson Air Force Bases for air combat training which “unites forces from all over the world.”

“South Korea, a country already accustomed to working with U.S. troops, is also in Alaska to strengthen the two nations’ ties after the sinking of a South Korean warship by a North Korean submarine.

“‘We have the American Air Force in Korea, and the coalition and the combined working environment is very important,’ said Lt. Hoon Min Kim, a member of South Korea’s air force. ‘And being able to perform under a combined environment is therefore essential as well.'” [22]

The incorporation of progressively more Asia-Pacific nations into what has been referred to as an Asian NATO is by no means directed solely at North Korea nor is it understood as such by officials in Beijing.

Participants in that arrangement, among them Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Mongolia, have troops serving under NATO in Afghanistan. Recently 140 new South Korean forces arrived at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to reinforce a base in Parwan province recently subjected to repeated rocket attacks. Seoul’s troop strength in the war zone is now at 230.

This month the government of Singapore announced it will increase its soldiers in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force to “a record 162, from 97 last year.”

“Next month, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will send a 52-man unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) team – its biggest deployment to Afghanistan – to Oruzgan [Uruzgan], one of two provinces where Singapore has troops.” [23]

Earlier this year NATO announced that Mongolia and South Korea have become the 45th and 46th nations to provide it with troops for the war in Afghanistan. Mongolia borders both China and Russia and is the object of intense efforts by the U.S. to increase military cooperation and integration. [24] On July 6 NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Dirk Brengelmann paid a two-day visit to South Korea, where he stated, “Our security interests and security interests of countries like Korea coincide today more than ever.”

A news report of his visit paraphrased his comments as asserting that “The world’s biggest military alliance, NATO, is looking to increase cooperation with South Korea and other partners beyond Europe and North America,” and added that “Speaking of cooperation, Brengelmann noted NATO’s show of support for South Korea in light of the sinking of its warship Cheonan….The diplomat said some NATO members also serve on the U.N. Security Council and that the NATO members will try to ensure any Security Council action on the Cheonan sinking will represent their views expressed in the NATO statement.” [25]

Another country that shares borders with China and Russia, Kazakhstan, has allowed the U.S. and NATO transit and overflight rights for the Afghan war and last week the nation’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed a law permitting the Pentagon to ship “special cargo” – armored vehicles – through his country.

The U.S. and NATO have transited hundreds of thousands of troops through the Manas Air Base (now Transit Center at Manas) in Kyrgyzstan, which also borders China, since 2001 and in recent months troops have passed in and out from Afghanistan at the rate of 55,000 a month, 660,000 a year. [26] Washington has announced plans to open new training bases in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the second nation also adjoining China.

With Afghanistan and Pakistan, which also have borders with China, the U.S. and NATO have a military presence in five nations on China’s western flank and a foothold in Mongolia. The U.S. and NATO war in South Asia will enter its tenth year this autumn with no sign of Western military presence departing from China’s backyard.

The U.S. military remains ensconced in Japan and South Korea, has returned to the Philippines (including camps in Mindanao), is solidifying bilateral and multilateral military relations with practically all nations in Southeast Asia, and for the past five years has cultivated India as a military partner. [India is currently an observer at the RIMPAC exercises.) Japan, Taiwan and Australia are being integrated into a U.S.-designed regional and broader global interceptor missile system.

The U.S. is conducting regular military exercises, building military partnerships, stationing troops and opening bases around China’s periphery, in addition to the positioning of warships, submarines and aircraft carriers in the waters off its coasts.

What alarms China most at the moment, though, is a proposed joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise in the Yellow Sea, enclosed by both Koreas to the east and China to the north and west.

China’s Global Times recently quoted Xu Guangqian, military strategist at the People’s Liberation Army’s Academy of Military Sciences, issuing this warning: “China’s position on the Yellow Sea issue demonstrates its resolution to safeguard national rights and interests. It also reflects that China is increasingly aware of the fact that its strategic space has confronted threats from other countries.” [27]

China, which just concluded six days of naval drills of its own in the East China Sea, had more reason to be concerned when it was disclosed earlier this month that a U.S. aircraft carrier would join the maneuvers off its Yellow Sea coast.

On July 8 China renewed its opposition to the planned U.S.-South Korean war games, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang telling reporters, “China has expressed its serious concerns with relevant parties. We are firmly opposed to foreign military vessels engaging in activities that undermine China’s security interests in the Yellow Sea or waters close to China.” [28]

An unsigned editorial in the Chinese Global Times of July 8 stated, “Beijing sees the joint exercise not only as being aimed at Pyongyang, but also as a direct threat to its territorial waters and coastline,” and blamed South Korean President Lee Myung-bak for worsening relations between the two nations:

“It is not known whether Lee had thought of China’s reaction when he announced in May the drill with the US.

“Did he foresee Chinese people’s anger? Or, did he intend to provoke the country on the other side of the Yellow Sea?

“It is a shame and a provocation on China’s doorstep.

“If a US aircraft carrier enters the Yellow Sea, it will mean a major setback to Seoul’s diplomacy, as hostility between the peoples of China and South Korea will probably escalate, which Beijing and Seoul have been working for years to avoid.” [29]

President Lee met with his American counterpart, Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the Group of Eight summit in Toronto late last month, during which a previous arrangement to transfer wartime command of South Korean forces to the nation in 2012 were postponed if not abandoned. In Obama’s words, “One of the topics that we discussed is that we have arrived at an agreement that the transition of operational control for alliance activities in the Korean peninsula will take place in 2015.” In the five-year interim “if war were to break out on the Korean peninsula the United States would assume operational command of South Korean forces.” [30]

If Washington is planning direct intervention on the Korean Peninsula as its military buildup in the region, including off China’s shores, might indicate, the words of former South Korean president Kim Young-Sam a decade ago are worth recalling. Two years after stepping down as head of state, Kim revealed to one of his nation’s main newspapers that he had intervened to prevent a second Korean war, that his government “stopped US President Bill Clinton from launching an air strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities in June 1994.”

He initiated a last-minute phone conversation with the U.S. president which “saved the Korean peninsula from an imminent war,” as “The Clinton government was preparing a war” by deploying an aircraft carrier off the eastern coast of North Korea “close enough for its war planes to hit the North’s nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.”

Furthermore, Kim warned the U.S. ambassador in Seoul that “another war on the Korean peninsula would turn all of Korea into a bloodbath, killing between 10 and 20 million people and destroying South Korea’s prosperous economy.” [31]

Any catastrophic event on the Korean Peninsula, and war is the ultimate cataclysm, could lead to hundreds of thousands of North Korean refugees fleeing to Russia and millions to China.

The nearly nine-year war in Afghanistan being waged by the U.S. and NATO has led to an explosion of violence and destabilization in three nations flanking China: Afghanistan itself, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Also, since 2001 Afghanistan has become the world’s largest producer of opium and hashish, flooding the European and other drug markets. A forum entitled “Afghan Drug Production – A Challenge to the International Community” was held in Moscow a month ago.

A Russian report on the meeting stated “The situation around drug production in Afghanistan has gained a catastrophic character. Some 100,000 people died globally from Afghan drugs in 2009 alone. In all, Afghan-made opiates have claimed one million human lives in the past decade, and 16 million more ruined their health.” [32] 30,000 of the drug-related deaths occurred in Russia. The United Nations estimates that Afghanistan currently accounts for 92 per cent of world opium cultivation.

China and Russia are viewed as, if not challengers to U.S. global dominance, impediments to its further consolidation. And not in the military sphere but in the fields of economics, trade, energy and transportation. Destabilization of their neighborhoods and frontiers is one manner of limiting competition.

All means fair and foul are employed to eliminate obstacles to uncontested supremacy, and what the world’s sole military superpower (the term is President Obama’s from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech) truly excels at is expanding its international military machine with an unflinching willingness to use it.

Notes

1) Global Times, July 8, 2010
2) South China Morning Post, July 4, 2010
http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2c913216495213d5df646910cba0a0a0/?vgnextoid=6c48dbee25999210VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=teaser&ss=Asia+%26+World&s=News(Subscribers only)
3) Ibid
4) Time, July 8, 2010
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2002378,00.html?xid=rss-topstories
5) Ibid
6) South China Morning Post, July 4, 2010
7) Time, July 8, 2010
8) Ibid
9) South China Morning Post, July 4, 2010
10) Kazakhstan: U.S., NATO Seek Military Outpost Between Russia And China
Stop NATO, April 14, 2010
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/kazakhstan-u-s-nato-seek-military-outpost-between-russia-and-china
11) U.S.-China Military Tensions Grow
Stop NATO, January 19, 2010
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/u-s-china-military-tensions-grow
12) Associated Press, May 1, 2009
13) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, September 16, 2009
14) U.S. Consolidates Military Network In Asia-Pacific Region
April 28, 2010
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/s-consolidates-military-network-in-asia-pacific-region
15) Colombia: U.S. Escalates War Plans In Latin America
Stop NATO, July 22, 2009
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/colombia-u-s-escalates-war-plans-in-latin-america
16) Time, July 8, 2010
17) Navy Times, July 6, 2010
18) Ibid
19) American Forces Press Service, January 13, 2010
20) Ibid
21)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Flag_(USAF)
22) KTUU TV, June 24, 2010
23) AsiaOne, July 1, 2010
24) Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia
Stop NATO, March 31, 2010
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/mongolia-pentagon-trojan-horse-wedged-between-china-and-russia
25) Yonhap News Agency, July 6, 2010
26) Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia
Stop NATO, April 7, 2010
http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/kyrgyzstan-and-the-battle-for-central-asia
27) Global Times, July 6, 2010
28) Agence France-Presse, July 8, 2010
29) Global Times, July 8, 2010
30) Agence France-Presse, July 27, 2010
31) Agence France-Presse, May 24, 2000
32) Itar-Tass, June 9, 2010