Vince Dhimos answered a question at the French language sector of Quora. Notes [in brackets] are by Vince and were added after the answer was posted at Quora.
Translation of question and answer:
SHOULD THE INTERN ATIONAL COMMUNITY RECOGNIZE GOLAN AS BELONGING TO ISRAEL?
Truth is elusive and hard to pinpoint. However, there are certain criteria for finding it. For instance, when an entire political region or country adheres to a narrative that shows only one side of an issue in such a way that serves the political or economic interests of the country, while other regions or nations disagree, this suggests that the narrative of that country is not objective.
Further, when a Westerner mentions the "international community," he is generally not referring to the community of all nations. He is usually referring to only those nations that have subjugated themselves to the US Establishment, ie, the group we sometimes call the Deep State, which is responsible for virtually all the wars fought in the world. The citizens of these countries have been indoctrinated to believe that they and their media are independent and free, and that freedom and independence do not exist in countries that are not aligned with the US. Interestingly, however, many Westerners are now questioning the narratives devised and disseminated by the Western Establishment.
The opposite of this Western definition of “international community” is the totality of all nations, including those not aligned with the US Empire. This much broader community, which includes Russia and China and their allies, is roughly represented by the UN, although the UN has been forced to relinquish much of its power to the US, which acts like a tyrant, even writing its own “international laws” in the form of sanctions and embargoes, all of which are in fact illegal under the UN system. The problem that the world faces today is that there is in fact a dual system of laws, one controlled by the US (and supported by its allies and NATO) and the other by the UN. Interestingly, the East, as represented by Russia and China, is bringing balance to this system through its opposition to US tyranny and the US is growing weaker (as evidenced by its retreat from the Middle East) while the East is growing stronger. If we project this trend into the future, we can glimpse a new multipolar world that will eventually upend the old monopolar world. This portends great changes in Israel and its relations with the rest of the Middle East.
As for the Golan Heights, the Western narrative follows the Israeli logic, which insists that Arab nations attacked Israel first and therefore supposedly deserve to lose tracts of their land. However, experts on the subject disagree.
One dissenter from this narrative is Alain Gresh, a Cairo-born Jewish journalist who is considered by Robert Fisk of the UK The Independent to be required reading for high ranking officials and every Arab in the Middle East.
"... On June 5, 1967, Israel destroyed the Egyptian and Syrian aircraft on the ground, which initiated the hostilities. Initially, the Israelis claimed it was the Egyptians who attacked. France Soir even ran a headline declaring that the Egyptians attacked first but we know today that this is false. However, the argument that prevailed is that Israel was threatened with extermination. [This argument has indeed prevailed. In fact, whenever I post about the 6 Days War at Quora, I get hysterical blowback by readers with Israeli-sounding names who insist that the war started when Israel was attacked. This narrative is the only support for the Israeli claims to occupied territories. Note that even today, the Israelis justify their attacks on Syria with the claim that the Iranian soldiers there are about to attack Israel. They’ve been “about to attack” for several years now. Occasionally Israel claims their attack on Syria “just barely prevented” an Iranian attack. Likewise, Israel has been predicting for years that Iran is “about to” develop a nuke and once it is developed, they will try to destroy Israel.] In France, there is real emotion around this issue. There are great demonstrations of support for Israel. We now know from the archives and statements of the Israeli generals that at no time did they believe they were threatened with extermination! This is a war that Israel had been planning for a long time to claim Jerusalem and all of historic Palestine. The Egyptian army was defeated very quickly, and so was the Syrian army. Israel is the great victor of this war, has historic Palestine in its grip, and occupies Golan and Sinai.”
Dominique Vidal, journalist and historian, director, with Bertrand Badie, of the annual publication of The State of the World (The Discovery), in turn writes:
"When asked why I am passionate about the Arab-Israeli conflict, I always quote "my" morning of June 5, 1967: whereas on Europe 1, I happened to hear Julien Besançon report on the destruction of the Egyptian air raid by Israeli raids, I went down the street ... and read France-Soir proclaiming "The Egyptians attack Israel." In fact, "little David" had just launched against the "great Goliath" a preventive war in which he would quadruple his territory, occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, as well as the Sinai and Golan. The lie is so big that, for its second edition, Pierre Lazareff's newspaper retracted it ... "
Thus the Israeli claim to the Syrian Golan Heights is based on the false narrative that Syria and Egypt were the aggressors in the 6 Days War and that Israel was simply defending itself.
If we rectify this false narrative and describe the Six Days War objectively, we instantly see that Israel has no justifiable claim to the lands it seized during that war, including, of course, the Golan Heights, which today the UN (the true International Community) correctly assigns to Syria.
So why does the US insist now that the Golan belongs to Israel? The underlying motivation for this outrageous claim on the part of Donald Trump is that a very large percentage of his voters are “Christian” Zionists, a group of several million Americans who constitute the vast majority of American Evangelicals. These people base their support for Israel on a blatant misinterpretation of a Bible prophecy. They assert that the modern secular state today called Israel is the religious Israel that was resurrected from the dead (from the dry bones) as prophesied in Ezekiel 37. However, that chapter says, in verse 24, that the resurrected Israel was to be “obedient to God’s decrees.” The problem is that a WIN/Gallup poll shows that 65% of Israelis have no religion at all!
Thus we see that the reason for Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights (and to other territories) is false, and that Donald Trump’s support for this claim are purely political propaganda based on shaky religious doctrine and have no justification in reality.
by World League of Citizens and Civil Organizations
First appeared in Russian in the Kyrgyz newspaper Vecherniy Bishkek and just now at New Silk Strategies.
There are several US NGOs working in the former Soviet Central Asian countries. These include NED, USAID and the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The latter is generously funded by grants from the Soros Open Society foundations, and although Soros has slyly avoided claiming direct ties to this NGO, it is clear that it is in fact his brain child because 1) its name is easily identified because of the word “open” included therein, and 2) The Open Society Foundations admit that they grant funding to OGP, as reported at the Open Society Foundation web site, which proudly reports that the Open Society Foundations will award it $5 million in the next 3 years if conditions are met.
All three of the above-mentioned NGOs were directly involved in the violent and illegal coup d’etat in the Kievan Maidan in 2014, which plunged a peaceful country into a civil war and degraded its economy, making Ukraine the poorest country in Europe according to the IMF. Thus, despite their false claims that they want to bring democracy and clean government to Third World countries, they are simply wolves in sheep’s clothing. Russia became aware of the dangers posed by these NGOs and banned them all several years ago – USAID in 2012, Soros’ Open Society Foundation and NED in 2015. Of course, there are other US NGOs that have clandestinely and indirectly funded security risks such as the candidacy of Alexey Navalny. The protests in Hong Kong are also indirectly funded by US NGOs. Indeed, whenever we learn of large-scale protests anywhere in the world in countries that are not closely aligned with the US (for example, today’s protests in Egypt), it is not unreasonable to suspect the clandestine involvement of US NGOs.
Despite the fact that the web sites of all these NGOs claim they are concerned with the well-being of the countries in which they operate, statements made by high-ranking US government officials tell another story and demonstrate that any country in which US NGOs (including certain church groups) operate are exposed to a major security risk. Therefore, US NGOs purporting to “promote democracy or freedom or transparency of government,” or “combat corruption” for example, or in any way try to get involved in the workings of the government, must be urgently banned and removed and their agents must be deported as soon as possible.
Let us consider one high ranking official’s statements about US involvement in Central Asian countries formerly controlled by the Soviet Union.
General Joseph Votel, the commander of US Central Command of the US armed forces, testified before the US Senate. Eurasianet.org reports on Votel’s testimony:
“The Kyrgyz Republic has increasingly aligned its interests with Russia and China,” Votel testified, citing the closure of the US air force base in Manas in 2014 and the subsequent breakdown of US-Kyrgyzstan military ties. Votel laid the blame with Kyrgyzstan's government: “Despite the Kyrgyz armed forces’ desire to improve military-to-military cooperation with CENTCOM, Kyrgyz senior civilian leaders have shown little interest in improving military relations,” he said.
“Russia ... maintains significant influence in Central Asia, where the countries of the former-Soviet Union rely on Russia to varying degrees for their economic and security needs,” Votel testified this week. “This is problematic as Russia’s efforts could limit US engagement options and provide Moscow additional levers of influence, particularly as NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan are dependent on Central Asian partners for logistical support. Since 2014, Russia has increased Eurasian integration efforts to reassert Moscow’s dominant influence along the periphery or buffer zone. Likewise, an increasingly assertive China is testing Russia’s dominance in the economic and security arenas of Central Asia but also posing challenges to US influence. China seeks to capitalize on regional concerns over what it perceives as waning US influence and support.”
“In contrast to Kyrgyzstan, the US's military ties with Uzbekistan appear to be on the rise. Last year, Votel testified that the US was “cautiously optimistic” about Uzbekistan after the transition following the death of former president Islam Karimov. But he also noted that prospects were limited due to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's continuation of his predecessor's policy of not allowing foreign military bases or joining alliances.
“This year, he suggested that the optimism was warranted. “We are now seeing positive changes within Uzbekistan that are leading to improved military-to-military relations, to include increased military professionalization and training,” he testified. “CENTCOM is also working to improve its military’s logistics and sustainment systems to better support previously transferred U.S. defense equipment. We also continue efforts to bolster Uzbekistan’s special operations forces.”
He also noted: “Our bilateral relations [with Uzbekistan] serve to counter Russian and Chinese influence in the region.”
“As was the case last year, Kazakhstan represents the US's “most advanced military relationship in Central Asia,” Votel said, despite the fact that “[r]eliance on Russian-produced equipment presents challenges to developing a more robust defense sales relationship.”
“In Tajikistan, the US continued its focus on helping the country secure its long border with Afghanistan. ‘While US-Tajik relations are positive, Russia is increasingly impinging on U.S. influence and spreading inaccurate information about Afghanistan and the region,’ Votel said.”
Please note that, while Votel warns that Russia (as well as China) is gaining influence in the region, he does not explain why this is not good for the citizens of these countries! He knows that the Western readers are highly prejudiced against Russia (as well as China) and will automatically assume that Russian influence is bad while American influence is good.
However, the citizens of Central Asia are aware of the devastation that the US has brought to Vietnam, N. Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya and others, and the crippling trade wars unleashed by the US, while Russia, on the other hand, has done much to bring peace and stability to these countries and to sell them arms that are in many ways superior to Western arms, including vital air defences – particularly in view of the recent failure of US defences in Saudi Arabia.
Thus, despite US military strength and wealth, there is nothing the US government can do to reverse the trend in Central Asia to reject US influence and rely on their partnership with Russia and China.
In the video linked above, we see part of the Ukrainian ethnic cleansing campaign involving the bombing of residential areas of the Russian speaking eastern part of Ukraine. The shootdown of Malaysian flight MH17 was cover for this bombing and also served as a pretext for NATO to invade this region and finish the ethnic cleansing operation. Only fear of Russia prevented a slaughter of the kind NATO perpetrated in Kosovo.
Shortly after the violent illegal US-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, it became clear that the people living in the Russian speaking eastern region of Ukraine known as Donbass were in complete disagreement with the new government, which was intent on ethnic (cultural, linguistic) and political cleansing to rid itself of all traces of Russian sympathy, even though the majority of Ukrainians throughout the country were speakers of Russian at least as a second language and were not yet infected with the irrational Russophobia imported from the US.
The solution was the classic American one practiced in the Middle East and in Kosovo: attack the dissenters militarily. After all, as GW Bush famously said, if you are not for us you are against us. Thus the Ukraine military began a bombing campaign, starting by bombing the international airport in the region and then systematically shelling and bombing civilian areas. It was not until Russia warned them of consequences that they stopped the bombing. However, the shelling and cannon fire persist to this day and civilians are bearing the brunt.
It was during the first phase, the aerial bombing, that Malaysian flight MH17 was shot down over Donbass and immediately, before any investigation could possibly be conducted, the entire West blamed Russia. Many believed a BUK missile was the cause of the shootdown, because, as the accusers asserted, the missile was made in the Soviet Union and there were BUKs in the Russian army. What no one wanted to admit was that this was also the main missile in the Ukrainian armed forces as well, which used almost exclusively Russian made arms.
I had written about this MH17 story before:
MH17 TURNABOUT: UKRAINE’S GUILT NOW PROVEN
INVESTIGATORS REFUSE TO LOOK AT EVIDENCE IN MH17 SHOOT-DOWN FROM RENOWNED DETECTIVE
In the first of the two above-linked articles, we find a quote that would, if true, be the basis of a false flag shootdown of a commercial airliner ordered by a Western (probably Ukrainian) agent in order to justify a NATO attack that would slaughter civilian Russian speakers in Donbass:
Quote from Zero Hedge:
“In the film, Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad Makhathia and the head of the Malaysian Government’s investigative team and Colonel Mohamad Sakri, director of the National Security Council, say that a 9,000-strong NATO contingent was ready to enter the Donbass.”
This, and the fact that the Ukraine military was using commercial air traffic as cover for its bombing campaign, would explain why the Ukraine authorities did not bother to close the air space above the civil war zone.
"Finally": the Dutch parliament investigates the crime of Ukraine
October 04, 2019
by Ukrainian political scientist Vladimir Kornilov
More than five years have passed since the tragedy of flight MH17 over the Donbass, but not until now has the Dutch parliament instructed the government to investigate the question that everyone reasonably asked from the very first minutes after the disaster: why Ukraine did not close its airspace over the military conflict zone. It is not surprising that a number of Dutch media outlets are adding the word "Finally" to the headlines of news about this event.
In the Netherlands, this issue has been stressed constantly at various levels. The local press described in detail the chronology of events that preceded the tragedy, clearly pointing to Ukraine’s guilt in allowing flights over the Donbass, although it was well aware of the danger to civilian aircraft. Moreover, the country's Security Council issued an unequivocal verdict in the fall of 2015: Ukraine is guilty, since it was obliged to close airspace, but did not.
However, the International Investigation Team, leading the investigation of the disaster, constantly ignored this conclusion. Politicians from different parties periodically requested a report from the government and the oversight bodies responsible for the investigation regarding the reasons for this strange position. Last year, after regular inquiries, Foreign Minister Stef Blok told parliamentarians that the government “has no evidence” of Ukraine’s guilt. In other words, the case is closed before it is even opened.
And then suddenly everything changed. The reason was the former volunteer of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Vladimir Tsemakh, or rather, the fact that Ukraine extradited him to Russia during a recent exchange of prisoners. The Dutch media, for lack of culprits in the case of the downed Boeing from the filing of Ukraine, spread reports that Tsemakh was almost a key witness, and therefore they painfully took up the report that he was returning home. Now they’ve decided to get their revenge on Kiev.
Initially, a debate in the lower house of parliament on the MH17 trial was scheduled for this Tuesday; the trial is set to begin next March. Minister Blok was going to report on the government’s decision the previous day to allocate 54 million euros for a trial that, according to the Ministry of Justice, could last four years.
In fact, however, the entire meeting discussed the actions of Kiev in the Tsemakh case, and this resulted in accusations against Ukraine. The corresponding draft decision was submitted by deputies from the Christian Democratic Appeal party, a member of the ruling coalition, and the opposition Socialist Party. Then the deputies of almost all parliamentary factions joined him.
By this decision, the parliament obliged the government to take steps to investigate the inaction of Ukraine, which did not completely secure the airspace for civilian flights, and to report to the deputies about the results. Moreover, this should be done as soon as possible. The initiator of the project, Chris van Dam, simply explained hurriedly: "Time is running out. Memory is erased, data is lost." It seems that the decision and especially the complete unanimity of the parliamentarians was an unpleasant surprise for the government.
The media reported that the lower house of the Dutch parliament intends to initiate an investigation into the role of Ukraine in the case of the crash of flight MH17. Political analyst Yuri Pochta on Sputnik radio commented on the initiative of the Dutch parliament.
Moreover, the arguments of the head of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, who tried to fight off the pressure of the deputies, are amazingly frank. For example, Blok repeated several times that in order to investigate the acts of Ukraine, "they will also have to cooperate with Russia." Apparently, the minister considers this a big problem for himself. Even parliamentarians expressed surprise during the debate about what prevented the head of the foreign ministry from meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov during their recent meeting at the UN General Assembly.
Most surprisingly, the Dutch deputies and newspapers quite calmly give arguments about the responsibility of Kiev. No one is particularly embarrassed to write that so far this country [Ukraine] has been perceived as an ally and partner, and now, after the extradition of Tsemakh, "good relations with Ukraine have changed." The parliamentarians spoke directly about this during the debate, outlining the approach of their authorities with a simple formula: "Geopolitics versus justice."
So much for the whole push for justice, for the rule of law. Thus the Dutch do not hesitate to admit that the results of the investigation into the downed Boeing’s case directly depend on their country's relations with Russia, Ukraine or someone else. They would quarrel with Malaysia – they would also blame it, but so far geopolitics does not require this.
It is thanks to this original approach of the Dutch to justice that we should not expect a sharp change in the rhetoric of this country and the general course of the investigation. In the course of the parliamentary debate, almost unambiguous conclusions were sounded about the direct involvement of Russia in the aforementioned tragedy. The ambiguous preliminary results of investigators, who clearly ignored data on the Ukrainian origin of the Buk missile shell, which was allegedly found in Donbass, were not called into question. And, of course, none of the deputies demanded to consider alternative versions of the tragedy.
But in any case, the unanimous decision of the Dutch parliament to begin the process of investigating the actions and, most importantly, the criminal inaction of Ukraine in July 2014 can be considered a breakthrough. Now the government is obliged to inform the deputies of the steps taken in this direction as soon as possible. Thus, the response is unlikely to be limited to unscheduled furloughs.
The investigation will be required to assess the decision of the Kiev authorities not to close the airspace above the war zone at an altitude of more than ten kilometres and the actual use of civilian airliners to cover their military aircraft heavily bombing the peaceful cities of Donbass. Since Ukraine’s guilt in this is obvious and does not require special evidence, it is possible that ultimately the conclusions of the investigation on this issue will be associated with the trial. And then some of the former Ukrainian high-ranking officials will find themselves in hot water.
by Vince Dhimos
According to his own web site, Chas W. Freeman was Director for Chinese Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from 1979-1981. He was the principal American interpreter during the late President Nixon’s path-breaking visit to China in 1972.
I need to say I have the highest regard for anyone who can competently serve as a simultaneous interpreter. This has got to be the most difficult mental feat of all, with the possible exception of solving Rubik’s cube.
In an article published at Consortium News, Freeman confirms the postulate I put forward in my recent article that the push to grant Most Favoured Nation status to the PRC, first promoted by Richard Nixon, is solid evidence that the US pretext for war in N Korea and Vietnam, namely, “stopping the spread of communism,” was phony. It was always about containing Russia. And I would add that the target was not the Soviet Union, it was the Russian people and the leadership of Russia, whichever leaders were in charge. In other words, it was raw Russophobia at the top levels of government. It led to countless deaths and destruction and accomplished nothing beyond pitting the world against itself.
“President Richard Nixon, who had already come to the conclusion that no world order excluding China could be stable, feared the geopolitical consequences of a Soviet military conquest or humiliation of China. He switched U.S. policy from using Taiwan to contain the PRC to enlisting the PRC to contain the U.S.S.R.” [Remember that Kissinger was Nixon’s national security advisor at this time and visited Beijing to lay the groundwork for the subsequent visit there by Nixon. It is impossible to conceive of the trade agreement with China not having been instigated by Kissinger]
“The politically expedient abandonment of solemnly negotiated commitments to China concerning the Taiwan question devalued our word as Americans. It has left a legacy of Chinese distrust that continues to hobble Sino-American relations today. A reputation for reliability, once lost, is almost impossible to restore.”
Aside from Freeman’s lack of any explanation for how this “hobbles Sino-American relations,” his column papers over a key issue: that of Taiwanese trust! The Taiwanese, not the Chinese communists, were the ones completely betrayed by the US in those early negotiations. The PRC got fabulously rich, while Taiwan struggles to survive.
“The PLA prepared to bring the Chinese civil war to an end by conquering Taiwan. As 1950 began, the United States, which continued to maintain diplomatic relations with Chiang’s government, declared that it did not consider Taiwan strategically significant enough to intervene to save it.
“But in mid-1950, north Korea stormed over the 38th parallel to unify all of Korea under its rule. Two days later, the United States placed the 7th Fleet between Chiang’s forces and the PLA. The stated purpose of this U.S. intervention was to preclude the expansion of the war in Korea to other parts of Asia.
“Washington demanded that each side in the Chinese civil war cease attacks on the other. U.S. intervention effectively suspended but did not end their war, which is in abeyance but unconcluded to this day.”
Actually, saving the Taiwanese people from harm made sense! I lived in that country for 3 years in the 80s and came to admire and love these people that the US government unceremoniously threw to the dogs. I will add that I also admire and love the mainland Chinese and believe that their government is run by competent people. From my unique perspective, having spent time in both countries, I can see how both are worthy of recognition as sovereign nation states. In fact, the PRC has a special relationship with the Taiwanese such that a qualified Taiwanese professional can easily gain residence and work in the PRC. Thus they are not enemies and do not perceive each other as such, and if the US were capable of practicing skilled diplomacy, a lasting official relationship could be established between the two nations and also between them and the US. But that is not the aim of today’s US, which specializes in dividing people rather than uniting them, demonizing one country while coddling another, in ways designed to lead to perpetual war and strife. The failure of US Middle East policy is emblematic of this pernicious habit.
“For the next 20 years, American diplomats worked hard to sustain the legal fictions that there was only one China; that its government was in Taipei, not Beijing; that this government could and should represent China internationally; and that it was not a government in exile because Taiwan was part of China. I took part in our defense of these propositions. It worked until 1971, when the international community rebelled and rejected Taipei’s preposterous continuing representation of China in the UN.”
Yes, true, but this misses the main point, namely, that the US had committed itself to a relationship with Taiwan that the US violated disgracefully in 1979! It was a relationship that had benefitted the people of Taiwan and the US. The issue of who represented the Chinese people and nation was beside the point. Further, it was the PRC that maintained there was only one China and it still does so today.
I took a class in newspaper Chinese in Taipei and our text book contained a reprint of a local newspaper article about the pull-out of the US embassy personnel from Taipei in 1979. It was done late at night so as to attract the least notice. However, the Taiwanese, feeling grievously betrayed by Carter, protested in such numbers that the US limos could only travel at a snail’s pace. Hard objects were thrown and damage was done. Who could blame them?
The Americans see only one possibility, and that is, the zero-sum game of either PRC or Taiwan as legitimate governments. However, it never seems to have occurred to them that this was an either-or foisted on them by the PRC and they were not obliged to accept it. They simply took the easy way out.
After all, when Congress under Carter agreed to grant the PRC Most Favoured Nation status, it held all the cards and the grindingly poor PRC held essentially none. The US was powerful and rich and could have offered the PRC free trade without caving in to the bullies demanding that it cut ties with Taiwan. It could have recognized both nations as sovereign while recognizing the PRC as representing mainland China. That is, it was not obliged morally to accept the premise that only one of these nations was legitimate. But it stupidly allowed itself to be trapped into the straw man premise that it could only recognize one of the two governments. It was false to postulate that by recognizing them both, it was schizophrenically accepting the logical impossibility of two Chinese governments. It could have accepted them both but not as sole representatives of the Chinese people. After all, the Chinese people in Taiwan had their own viewpoint that the US should have and could have respected. And BTW the Taiwanese are thoroughly Chinese. In fact, they have the reputation of speaking a perfect Mandarin, whereas many people in Chinese provinces speak with non-standard accents and pronunciations of words when trying to speak the national language. Sadly, though, the Taiwanese dialect is threatened with extinction.
If Taiwan wished to consider itself representative of all of China (which was absurd, of course), it had the right to do so, with or without US backing. Likewise, Beijing could also claim to represent all of China including Taiwan, though this was equally unfair. The fact is, the US, as the stronger of the partners, had the perfect right to recognize the PRC and Taiwan both as entities separate from each other, regardless of whether they individually saw themselves as representing China. Indeed, de facto, the US still does trade with the Taiwanese insular Republic of China and the mainland PRC and there is nothing either side can do to stop this. There are also diplomatic relations for issuing visas and other services, in facilities that serve as embassies and consulates but go by other names. It’s a word game. If the US had continued to recognize the government of the ROC in the 80s, the same free trade agreement it maintains now would not be affected in the least, and the US would have more leverage in its relations with the PRC. As things stand now, however, other countries began to imitate the US in turning their backs on Taiwan. Most countries have followed suit. Panama is the latest to fall.
But Jimmy Carter, who thought of himself as a sort of peacemaker, was emotionally and ideologically incapable of standing up to the PRC, and by by caving in to its demand to de-recognize the ROC, he embroiled the world in a tug-of-war that will be extremely difficult to escape from. He has given wings to the dragon and these are now permanent. In this sense, he pursued a dangerous diplomacy like that of Obama, who to uphold his image as a peace maker, created conditions for the terrorist take-over of much of Syria. Thus, when the now-famous miles-long caravans of white Toyota pickups with heavy artillery mounted on their beds, were streaming across the desert during Obama’s so-called war on terror, US warplanes, which had enough ordnance to wipe out all of these terrorists, simply stood down as they streamed into, took over and terrorized populated areas where it later became necessary for aviation to bomb them, with heavy civilian casualties, such as in Aleppo and Raqqa. Clearly the war on terror was a fraud and it in fact provided cover for the terrorists. Even today, the US is insisting that Russia and Syria stop killing jihadists in Idlib, where the locals are held hostage to these miscreants.
And to what end did the US allow China to create a staggering trade deficit in the US? To drive a wedge between Russia and China, ie, an utterly failed mission! Typical US overreach. Thanks to a constant barrage of sanctions, and now a trade war, as well as anti-Russia and anti-China rhetoric on the highest levels in Washington, the two countries have never been closer together than they are today. How could any sentient person have expected otherwise?
Thus, nothing, absolutely nothing, has been gained through US cowardice and an irrational desire to control a part of the world whose peoples and cultures it will never understand and never value except as potential pawns in an absurd game to punish Russia for being Russian.
The article below was originally posted as a translation from the Italian at Voltairenet.com.
Hong Kong, the Treaty of Nanjing Returns
by Manlio Dinucci
Clearly, some young people in Hong Kong have adopted British culture - after the handover to China of their special province. They do not know the history of their country and what they owe to the Peoples’ Republic of China. For their great grandparents, London had brought only misery and desolation, causing the collapse of the Middle Kingdom.
VOLTAIRE NETWORK | ROME (ITALY) | 24 SEPTEMBER 2019
Hundreds of young Chinese, in front of the British Consulate in Hong Kong, sing the God Save the Queen and shout "Great Britain Saves Hong Kong", a rally call in London by 130 parliamentarians who ask that British citizenship be given to residents of the former colony. In this way, Britain is emerging in world public opinion, particularly among young people, as a guarantor of legality and human rights. To do this, History is being erased.
It is therefore necessary, before any other consideration, to know the historical episodes which, in the first half of the 19th century, brought the Chinese territory of Hong Kong under British rule.
To penetrate China, then ruled by the Qing dynasty, Britain resorted to the distribution of opium, which it shipped by sea from India where it held the monopoly. The drug market spread rapidly in the country, causing serious economic, physical, moral and social damage that provoked the reaction of the Chinese authorities. But when they confiscated stored opium in Canton and burned it, the British troops occupied this city and other coastal cities with the first Opium War, forcing China to sign the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842.
In Article 3 it states: "As it is obviously necessary and desirable for British subjects to have ports for their ships and their stores, China will forever cede the island of Hong Kong to Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain. and her heirs ". In Article 6 the Treaty stipulates: "Since Her Britannic Majesty’s Government was obliged to send an expeditionary force to obtain compensation for the damage caused by the Chinese authorities’ violent and unjust procedure, China agrees to pay to Her British Majesty the sum of $ 12 million for expenses incurred.
The Nanking Treaty is the first of the unequal treaties by which the European powers (Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Italy), Tsarist Russia, Japan and the United States secured in China, by the force of arms, a series of privileges: the cession of Hong Kong to Great Britain in 1843, the sharp reduction of taxes on foreign goods (at a time when European governments were erecting customs barriers to protect their industries), the opening of the main ports to foreign vessels and the right to have urban areas under their own administration ("concessions") exempted from Chinese authority.
In 1898 Great Britain annexed the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong and the so-called News Territories, conceded by China to be "rented" for 99 years.
The widespread dissatisfaction with these impositions exploded towards the end of the 19th century in a popular revolt - that of the Boxers - against which intervened an international expeditionary force of 16,000 men under British command, in which Italy also participated (and France, NdT).
Landing in Tianjin (T’ien Tsin) in August 1900, the force sacked Beijing and other cities, destroying many villages and massacring the population. Later, Britain took control of Tibet in 1903, while Czarist Russia and Japan shared Manchuria in 1907.
In China, reduced to a colonial or semi-colonial state, Hong Kong became the main door of exchange based on the plunder of resources and slave labour exploitation of the population. A huge mass of Chinese were forced to emigrate mainly to the United States, Australia and South-East Asia, where they were subjected to similar conditions of exploitation and discrimination.
A question arises spontaneously: Which history books are young people who ask Britain to "save Hong Kong" studying?
Il Manifesto (Italy)
NYT CHEERLEADS US COLOUR REVOLUTION IN HONG KONG
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A SPONTANEOUS PROTEST (eg, Hong Kong)
There are two NGOs in Hong Kong that receive funding from the NED (National Endowment of Democracy), an organization that is dedicated to meddling in the internal affairs of foreign countries for the purpose of regime change and has instigated and promoted the overthrow of democratically elected governments, including the government of Ukraine that was overthrown in 2014. These 2 NED-funded groups are Human Rights in China and the Laogai Research Foundation.
In the following you will find our translation of an article from RIA Novosti with commentary by Vince Dhimos.
It is easy to see why the US has lost the hearts and minds of the Middle East (the Arab Youth Poll tells the story). After all, the US has slapped crippling sanctions on Syria, virtually banning the rebuilding of the country its policies have destroyed. Yes, folks, rebuilding Syrian schools is banned under US policy!
Opening of a school in Damascus rebuilt with funds raised in Russia
In Damascus, a secondary school has been opened that was damaged during the fighting and rebuilt with [private] funds raised in Russia.
The renovated school is located in the Barza region of northeast Damascus.
During the years of intense hostilities, the school was shelled by militants; internally displaced persons lived in the building.
Funds for repairs were raised by the Inter-Religious Working Group to Assist Syria as part of the Presidential Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations.
"We arrived in your hospitable country to open a school renovated with funds that our faithful, Christians and Muslims, collected bit by bit," said hieromonk Stefan, secretary for inter-Christian relations of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, at the opening ceremony.
“The guarantee that peace in Syria will ultimately be established is your children. If they are brought up in a peaceful spirit as patriots of their country, no one and nothing will divert them from the peaceful path,” the hieromonk added.
The head of the Department of Education of Damascus, Gassan Al-Lyahham, thanked the Russian side for the implementation of the project. “Thanks to this initiative, we can see what real friendship looks like,” he said.
Now the school has a capacity for 200 students.
Other educational institutions plan to join the school.
After unification, the number of students will increase by a factor of six.
Vince Dhimos answered a question on Quora.
Q: While the USA fought so hard and went to many wars to stop the spread of communism around the world, why it allowed China to continue the path of communism and let it grow economically?
Vince Dhimos, Editor-in-Chief at New Silk Strategies (2016-present)
Answered 3m ago
Vince: This is an excellent question and Richard Nixon is a perfect illustration for the real motivation — ulterior motive — behind US wars in the first 3 decades after WW II.
The pretext for the wars in N Korea and Vietnam was “to stop the spread of communism.” But Nixon, for example, who is reputed to be perhaps the most anti-communist president of all, while initially supporting the Vietnam war, later advocated for the potentially disastrous and absurd idea of granting communist China Most Favoured Nation status (his secretary of state Henry Kissinger may have been the brains behind this idea). He left office before his administration could successfully initiate the legislation toward this end, but the Carter administration went on to fulfil this Nixon dream with the passage of a law in Congress granting MFN status to China.
So if “stopping the spread of communism” was not the real motive for the bloody failed Korean and Vietman wars foisted on the public by adept US propagandists in msm and government, what could have been the real motive for all the carnage inflicted on both US service men and helpless villagers in Asia?
By the process of elimination, two possible motives stands out:
1—to weaken Russia
2—to drive a wedge between Russia and China.
In fact, at least one legislator did mention, during the debate over the granting of MFN status, that separating the two partners USSR and China would be one of the advantages of this new relationship with China — although that point was generally kept away from public view.
The other main argument was equally absurd: free trade with China would open up a vast new market. It was obvious to mentally competent people back then that this vast new market was a buyer's market, not a seller's market for the US, and that it would create a massive trade deficit with China, but that was hardly ever mentioned in the frenzy to get this disastrous legislation passed.
At any rate, there is no reason to swallow the government position that the Korean and Vietnamese wars had something to do with stopping communism.
It seems now in retrospect that Russophobia, which had infected the West – starting in England – for almost 2 centuries, was the real motive for the campaign for rapprochement with China. The desire to drive a wedge between Russia and China is still very much a motive of US foreign policy makers. This would potentially weaken both countries, and that is still the main goal of the incompetent US policy makers. The harder they struggle to reach the goal, the farther from their grasp it slips, because both countries can see the truth and are working harder than ever to move toward an alliance for defence and for economic survival.
Relevant to US foreign policy
The real government of the US. It’s not the people
The Kennan Institute at the Wilson Centre says it “is committed to improving American expertise and knowledge of Russia, Ukraine, and the region.” But wouldn’t knowledge of Russia include an in-depth coverage of the Russians’ love of their leader and the reasons for it. You’d think so. Instead it posted a piece on Aleksey Navalny, a US-backed Russian politician trained at Yale in the ways and means of overthrowing Putin. Although Navalny has been convicted of fraud, he is still organizing thugs who stage oft-times violent riots, the latest of which caused several million roubles worth of damage to a car rental business and a restaurant along the route of the riot. But the Kennan institute portrays Navalny – known affectionately in Russia as the “hateful blogger,” as a hero in their recent post on him. After all, if an idea is worth supporting, it’s worth rioting and vandalizing for. (Oh, but the writer of the piece omitted to tell us about the violent riots, just portrayed Navalny as a clever fellow who knew how to manipulate the Russian local elections and called him a hero.)
Like many liberal US think tanks, the Wilson Centre is keen on spreading across the globe its conception of US-style “democracy.”
However, in the US style “democracy,” politicians are elected on the basis of lies, often-false promises and almost always-false assumptions, and, according to a Pew Research poll no one is happy with their government. I had shown here that, thanks to this chicanery and manipulation of minds, there is actually nothing resembling democracy in America, which is de facto controlled by a list of interest groups. It is amazing that any American could believe that he or she is in any way participating by his/her vote to the decision making process.
In this system, as long as the Establishment operatives give the people the illusion that they are in charge, they accept the fraud. At bottom, they want peace, but in the matrix of available options, they somehow suspect that peace is a subversive trap and they therefore reject the concept out of hand and would never be caught dead voting for a “peace” candidate, even if one could be found (Ron Paul is the only exception. He almost got elected). They want, on some level, a sustainable debt but are brainwashed into believing – without requiring proof – that not spending more and more on arms for the military would dangerously weaken the US. Thus they are locked into a set of assumptions, including the assumption that peace is subversive and anti-American and that fighting the debt by not investing excessively in arms and military adventures would weaken them and enable the enemy to enslave them. These two assumptions are the most important but not nearly the only ones – and few citizens require any evidence to support them. These two assumptions support a common narrative promulgated by both major political parties. Americans who deny either of these assumptions are unpatriotic or even traitors and, so goes the given wisdom, if an enemy manages to conquer America, it will be their fault.
Although attitudes differ somewhat between the two parties, some of the many additional assumptions that the American msm and political class insist their underlings accept include the assumption that:
̶ Russia, China, Iran and Assad’s Syrian government are enemies that harbour sinister plans to take over the the Western world and the Middle East, respectively. The US must invest in arms that can counter any arms Russia or China possess, no matter who much congress must spend to acquire them. In this way, it is virtually impossible for any politician to strongly oppose the profligate spending that drives the unwieldy national debt.
̶̶ The Sunni Wahhabists of Saudi are reliable allies (even though they sponsor al-Qaeda and ISIS) but the Shiites in Iran, Syria and Iraq, who successfully fight these terrorists, are not to be trusted. Until recently, this assumption has been shared by both sides of the aisle (though not so much by the grassroots). The Kashoggi killing has made it possible, for now, to mildly criticise Saudi, and even Congress has made purely symbolic moves in that direction. But until that grisly event, no federal politician had dared to breathe a word of reproach in Riadh’s direction, despite the kingdom’s sponsorship of ISIS and al-Qaeda and the latter’s rebrandings.
̶ Capitalism, even the increasingly predatory variety dominating the US economy, is indispensable to the economic health of the nation and any attempt to reform it would be dangerous and automatically lead to communism and gulags, making slaves of all Americans. Reincarnations of Mao and Stalin would emerge, goes the narrative.
̶ Iran is a tyrannical nation that harbours plans to destroy Israel and take over the Middle East (even though Europe does not think so, and even though Iran knows that if it were to attack Israel unprovoked, it would lose the option to trade freely with other countries – indeed it would lose the support of its most staunch supporter Russia, so of course it will not do it). AIPAC would rain fire and brimstone on any candidate who spoke too softly on Iran.
̶ Israel must be supported by the US regardless of its apartheid, its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, its territorial confiscation, and its refusal to comply with humanitarian UN rules. Anyone opposing any Israeli policy, regardless of how warlike or inhumane, is a dangerous far-leftist. Christian Zionism, the most powerful voting bloc in the world, supported by AIPAC, decrees this. In this way, the general assumptions of the nation overcome the time-honoured Constitutional ban on favouring one religion over others.
̶ The US is entitled to invade or infiltrate and change foreign regimes as it sees fit because it is morally superior to all other nations.
̶ The US is exceptional and is perfectly entitled to write its own international laws and to ignore the ones on the books at the UN unless they favour the US. Israel enjoys the same privileges.
̶ The Federal Reserve must be given free rein to set monetary policies as it sees fit, even though it is not officially a branch of the government. No one may challenge its freedom to set and implement these policies even though the constitution says “Congress shall coin money and set the value thereof.” No politician would dare to challenge the power of the Fed and no moderator in a TV debate would ever give a candidate for federal office a question that could lead to such a challenge.
Essentially no candidates for federal office would dare to challenge any of the above assumptions and their debate moderators are aware that questions that might challenge them are off limits. Can this really be democracy? Is this a bad dream?
Assumptions for conservatives:
̶ Providing state-administered health care, even in life-or-death cases, is a dangerous policy that would bankrupt the US (this despite the fact that many prosperous countries around the world have socialized medicine).
̶ The limitation of individual rights to own the gun of their choice is absolutely out of the question, regardless of whatever gun violence may be occurring at any given time.
The above conservative assumptions may, however, be challenged by liberals, but doing so is dangerous to careers.
̶ For liberals, there is a need to censor certain kinds of speech, such as criticism of Israel or criticism of gender choice.
̶ For liberals, Russia did the US irreparable harm by “meddling in the US elections.” Some Republicans also buy this absurd assumption.
̶ For liberals, gender is up to the individual to choose and any country (except close allies like Saudi and the UAE) that denies its citizens the right to choose its own gender is a human rights violator and needs US NGOs to initiate and finance a colour revolution to topple its regime.
The above liberal assumptions can be challenged by conservative politicians but doing so can be hazardous.
Further, since there are two political parties that have different subsets of unproven assumptions that are simply taken as givens by the adherents, the country is permanently divided by these secondary assumptions that are in fact virtually meaningless – such as the assumption among conservatives that any form of gun control would automatically lead to more murders and forfeiture of freedom, while any form of government assistance to individuals is evil and is the source of the unsustainable debt, and, on the other hand, the assumption among Democrats and many Republicans as well that US style democracy is vital to America’s health and any country that does not adopt this mode of governance is a threat to the very existence of the US and the entire planet and must be challenged by US reformers via NGOs and other actors, and even invaded if necessary. This insistence that all nations implement US style democracy (which I have shown does not even exist) has caused NATO to take its warships and aircraft to the very borders of Russia and China, flirting with the possibility of a nuclear WW III by accident.
The characteristic US style of governance, based on certain of the above assumptions for liberals and certain ones for conservatives, creates a perpetual divide which makes it impossible to define any kind of purpose and direction of the nation. Such governance might therefore be termed an “incoherent democracy.” One political group will point to the promotion of gender choice and say “this is who we are,” while another, pious, group will point to the religion-based support of Israel (notwithstanding its cruel wars on Arabs) and say “this is who we are” while still others will point to tolerance for drug use and unlimited immigration and say “this is who we are.” Yet, sadly, there is no consensus and in reality, there is no “we” because no one can define the hopelessly splintered America.
The ill effects of the above outlined deficit of meaningful democracy and this political division of the American people are evident everywhere:
̶ a rapidly growing income gap that threatens the existence of the middle class,
̶ a staggering and unsustainable debt that threatens the value of the US dollar and its position in the world of finance and threatens America with hyperinflation,
̶ and a military that is perpetually at war with countries that are not threatening to the American people, wars that it always loses.
In short, Americans live with a constant low-key tension, chaos and sense of doom that robs everyone of their peace of mind and, yes, of the happiness that everyone would admit that they long for if they were free to speak their mind. But, of course, admitting that would be to challenge the sacred cow assumptions.
On the other hand, there is a kind of “democracy” in Russia that is based mostly on truths rather than lies. While Americans are taught to hate and fear, for example, Syria, Iraq, Russia and China, and are taught by their warmongering politicians on both sides of the aisle that it is necessary for the US military and NATO to conduct various provocations such as taking their warplanes and warships to the very shores of Russia and China and conducting menacing and provocative in-your-face drills in order to deter these countries from carrying out imaginary plans that neither country has ever enunciated, the Russian government simply tells their people the truth about these provocations, showing them why it is necessary to develop effective arms to thwart aggression by the US and its allies (such as Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian’s plan to destroy Kaliningrad unprovoked, as reported by Reuters). Thus, the US invents enemies, while Russia and China confronts the real, declared enemy, Washington.
Thanks to its particular variety of democracy aimed at pleasing the average Russian rather than just the oligarchs, Russia has made major strides in the Middle East, where the US and Israel have learned to respect its military might and where governments are turning to it for assistance in economy (such as the Russian industrial zone in Egypt’s Suez area and the Kalashnikov factory in Venezuela), diplomacy (such as arbitration in the return of refugees from Lebanon to Syria), security, eg, a strong Russian hand against Israel’s missile attacks on its neighbours and effective deterrence against US aggression in Syria, achieved thanks to ingenious novel weapons including electronic warfare systems that do not harm humans or property but effectively prevent attacks, and arms sales everywhere (particularly now that US air defences have failed in the Houthi attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities).
Thanks to this Russian form of democracy, which we can call “coherent democracy,” and which involves a strong hand in government, not in deceiving the populace as US democracy regularly does, but in actually giving its people what they need and want, Russia has the healthiest and most stable economy of any world power, as I explained here.
Now the reason US democracy ideologues give for defending “democracy” (and exporting it to countries not aligned with the US) is freedom. They insist US style democracy gives people “freedom.”
However, like most Westerners, they reference only individual freedom, which is the form of freedom least capable of providing for human needs such as security, social harmony, economic health and peace.
So what other form of freedom is there, you ask (assuming you are an indoctrinated Westerner)?
The other vital form of freedom is national freedom, ie, sovereignty, the freedom of a people to determine and control their own destiny. While individual freedom can provide a citizen with a perplexing array of options, including one’s very own choice of gender, the choice to buy a gun for defence, the choice to burn the national flag if so desired, the choice to work or go on welfare, the choice to start your own business (Russians also have this choice, BTW), or your own blog (Russians also have this choice) etc, Russia emphasizes national freedom, also known as sovereignty. Thanks to their coherent form of democracy, Russian people know that their government is dedicated to ensuring their security against Western aggression, not leading them into wars against countries that are not a threat to Russians just to please the blood thirst of a few twisted oligarchs. To defend their sovereignty, the Kremlin has banned a list of foreign agents, mostly US NGOs like USAID, NED and Soros’ Open Society foundations that are busy in other parts of the former Soviet Bloc setting up propaganda systems and civil organizations designed to topple leaders willing to trade and confer with the Russians – leaders like Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who attempted to stay on good terms with both Russia and the West but was toppled by a US-backed illegal and violent coup, sponsored and aided by the above-named NGOs and no less than the State Department, when he declined to make Ukraine an associate member of the EU (a bloc that is now crumbling) and thereby bring it into the US sphere of influence. This same regime change pattern is also being pursued in Kyrgyzstan, as I explained here and in Hong Kong, as I explained here. Russia is currently coping with a colour revolution attempt by Aleksei Navalny, a US-trained puppet eerily similar to Juan Guaido. While Guaido got his regime change training at Harvard, Navalny received training in the World Fellows program at Yale, which has also trained colour revolution leaders of other countries. Navalny is supported by many Americans who naively think he aims to improve conditions in Russia. Russia defends not only its own sovereignty (national freedom of choice) but also that of other countries, and has forced the “democracy”-exporting US to stand down in Syria, Venezuela and Iran and has also counteracted Israeli missile strikes in Syria and Lebanon.
By contrast, the US “democratic” system that denies its people a preferred coherent direction can be likened to an airliner in which the passengers vote every two hours or so on the direction in which they want to fly. A flight posted as Chicago-bound, for example, may wind up landing in Seattle, depending on how the vote turned out. This is an absurd example, of course, but so is a country whose people have no coherent direction or goals and are voting for candidates that only serve the interest of interest groups that despise them. In fact, the latter case is actually more absurd.
A look at the current presidential hopefuls reveals that none of them list anything like “ending the endless US wars” as part of their platform. Now, if you took a poll among Americans and asked if they think peace is a vital goal for their country, most would say yes. But if you watched the televised presidential debates every four years over the last half-century, you would have heard almost no moderator asking questions pertaining to this vital issue. Ron Paul was a standout in that he raised this issue as central to his platform. In fact, the enormous success of his crowd funding showed that the US grassroots was ready for this issue to be raised. But the Establishment operatives who designed the questions in the debates made sure that no direct questions were raised that would give a possible peace candidate a chance to show-case his or her views and promises in that area. Today the US has a possible peace candidate in Tulsi Gabbard but after her televised appearance at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame event, where she came out strongly against US invasions, her Facebook presentation was pulled and then restored. Clearly the powers that be do not want their precious war industry tampered with. Yet they call this democracy?
A further look at the presidential candidates’ platforms shows that no one is challenging the power of AIPAC to virtually choose the candidate of its choice.
Nor are any candidates challenging the debt and promising to fix it.
You can’t call the US a democracy until these sacred cows are challenged. It probably won’t happen until the US dollar loses its hegemonic status and God only knows what will happen then to the world economy.
Made in USA: Democratic Navalni
by Manlio Dinucci
The Western Press films the challenger, Alexei Navalny: a Russian blogger funded by the NED/CIA. In addition to the fact that his audience is restricted to the middle class in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, his visibility masks the genuine opposition within Russia: inside the Kremlin, a number of high officials miss the time when they were able to spend their week-ends in the West.
VOLTAIRE NETWORK | ROME (ITALY) | 29 MARCH 2017
A police officer smashes down the door with a portable battering ram; another one enters, pointing a pistol and strikes several times, a man who, roused by the storm in, reached for a baseball bat; yet other police officers point their guns at a child who has already raised his arms: scenes of ordinary “legal” violence in the United States, reported a week ago, with video clips by the New York Times, that talks about the “trail of blood” triggered by these “raids”, carried out by former soldiers, who have been recruited into the police force, applying the same raid techniques that would be applied in raids in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Our mass media shield our eyes from all this. These same media outlets splash on the front page [photos of] the Russian police arresting Alexei Navalni in Moscow for a demonstration that had not been authorized. An “affront to fundamental democratic values” – this is how the US State Department defines it and firmly requires his immediate release and that of the others detainees. Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative of Foreign Policy, also condemns the Russian government because “it prevents the fundamental freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly from being exercised”. Thus, in support of the new champion of “democratic values”, everyone is united in the new campaign launched against Russia in tones that typify the Cold War.
Who is Alexei Navalni? From his official profile, we read that he trained in the US, at Yale University, as a “fellow” (a chosen member) of the “Greenberg World Fellows Program”. This programme was established in 2002, and each year, just 16 individuals with attributes that make them “global leaders” are selected from all around the world. They form part of a network of “leaders globally committed to making the world a better place”. At the moment, this network is composed of 291 fellows from 87 countries, one in contact with the other and all linked to the US centre, Yale.
Navalni is, at the same time, the co-founder of the movement “Alternative democracy”. This is one of the beneficiaries of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a powerful US “private non-profit foundation” which funds, which are even provided by the Congress, openly or under the counter, thousands of non-governmental organizations in more than 90 countries to “advance democracy” . NED, a CIA outlet for covert operations, was and is, particularly active in Ukraine. It was here that it supported (according to what is reported) “the Maiden Square Revolution which crushed a corrupt government which stood in the way of democracy”. The result of the Maiden Square Putsch: an even more corrupt government has come into power. Indeed, its democratic character finds expression in the Neo-Nazis that hold key positions in it.
In Russia, activities of “undesirable non-governmental organizations” is prohibited and this is why NED has not stopped campaigning against the Russian government. Thus NED accuses it of spearheading an aggressive foreign policy to bring within its sphere of influence, states that previously formed part of the USSR. This charge is the foundation of the basis for the US/Nato strategy against Russia. The technique, now consolidated, is that of the “orange revolutions”: gaining mileage on the back of genuine or invented cases of corruption and other bones of dissatisfaction so as to whip up an anti-government rebellion, which will weaken the state from within, while increasing military, political and economic pressure externally. Alexei Navalni’s activities should be viewed in this context. He specialized at Yale as a lawyer, defending the rights of the vulnerable against abuse by the powerful.
Il Manifesto (Italy)
There is a plethora of reports and analyses on the latest Houthi air strike on Saudi oil processing facilities at Saudi Aramco that caused a major spike in oil prices around the world. The following is a series of articles and links to help the interested reader understand what is happening and what can be expected in the future. Introductory notes and notes [in brackets] are by Vince Dhimos.
Once again, we are reminded of the 1974 pact, which I have dubbed the Petrodollar Agreement, concluded between Richard Nixon and King Faisal, which enjoins the US to use its armed forces to defend the Saudi dictators – at variance with the Constitution – and obliges the Saudis to use no other currency but the US dollar in trade settlements and as reserves. I had written extensively about this risky agreement that, by all appearances, has led the US to wage useless and extravagantly expensive wars in the Middle East (although the special special relationship with Israel has reinforced the destructive effect).
Probably the best equipped to analyse the situation in depth is David Hearst, editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. His is also the scariest column of our series because it indicates that the US has lost considerable power in the Middle East and is flopping about like a landed fish. Trump makes plenty of noise, just as he did in Syria when he said he was ready to hit Assad’s facilities again but then declined to do so after hearing from the Russians, or after promising to unleash hell on Venezuela but then declined to do so when the Russians landed their bombers there, or when he made a suspiciously phony-sounding claim that he had ordered a strike on Iran but then called back the bombers. Putin, who knows Trump’s MO well, likes to quote, in such instances, the proverb: the dog barks and the caravan moves on.
Trump and the Saudis sowed chaos. Iran is giving it back
17 September 2019
A cursory look at the balance of power in the region will show how unequal a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran will be
Shock and awe.
The words the Pentagon used when it enjoyed a monopoly on the use of force and was about to rain it down on Saddam Hussein, are coming back to haunt it, two presidents on.
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are shocked and awed by Iran. Tehran - and not Washington - is adept at mounting displays of rapid dominance to disorientate its enemy. No greater display of shock and awe could have been mounted than the one that hit two of Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil terminals on Saturday.
Drones or missiles?
The Saudis were defenceless and the target was hit with pinpoint accuracy. Try, as the US might, to avert the attention to Iran, there is little doubt that at least some of the drones and possibly missiles used in the attack flew over Kuwait, which means that they were flying south from Iraq.
The attack was witnessed and recorded by a bird hunter on the triangular border of Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia
The attack was witnessed and recorded by a bird hunter on the triangular border of Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. In three different clips sounds of low flying drones or missiles are heard -- all of whom are travelling south.
In the video which has gone viral on social media, the bird hunter refers to four to five smaller planes which were followed by what he thought were missiles. He said he was near Salmi where the three borders meet at the time of the attack on Saturday morning.
Even better, from Iran’s point of view, was the row that followed the attacks, between a justifiably irate Iraqi prime minister and Pompeo.
Initially, the Americans released satellite pictures of the oil tanks being hit from the northwest – evidence that the drones and missiles came from Iraq, not eastwards from Iran. However they were soon forced to backtrack and claim the attacks came directly from Iran.
[Iraqi Prime Minister] Adel Abdul Mahdi’s statement, which he compelled the Americans to endorse, was a masterful mixture of denial and confirmatory threat. He denied the attack had been launched from Iraqi soil - in contradiction to the intelligence briefing he had just received - and threatened anyone against using proxies on Iraq’s soil.
This was aimed at Pompeo, as much as it was anyone else.
Another Gulf war
Months before, the US had floated the idea with Abdul Mahdi that the US wanted to bomb Iraqi Hezbollah, another Iranian proxy militia, from where a drone strike against Saudi Arabia had originated.
Abdul Mahdi persuaded Pompeo to stand that attack down. The US instead allowed Israeli drones to strike Iranian-backed Popular Mobilisation Units (PMUs) or al-Hashd al-Shaabi targets from Kurdish bases in Syria. [Hashd al-Shaabi is a big headache for the Iraqi government and the US because, though it had been deemed a paramilitary force, backed by Iran, it also is now recognized as part of the official Iraqi armed forces. This is why it was futile for Israel to attack it in mid-July and why the West is careful not to condemn it as an Iranian terrorist group. Politically, the US presence is hanging on by a thread in Iraq and must be extremely careful to keep up the pretence that it is there to fight terrorists (though US pols have already said US troops must be there to offset Iranian influence But the Iranian forces and Iraqi forces are like a set of Siamese twins and no longer separable. A powerful parliamentary bloc in Iraq condemned the attack and blamed both Israel and the US, calling it an “act of war.” Trump’s wiggle room just keeps shrinking. Russia, grasping this weakness, has just told Israel it will no longer tolerate further Israeli attacks in Syria and has given Assad the green light to use its S-300 system to shoot down invading Israeli aircraft] Was the US, let alone a president fighting re-election, prepared for another Gulf War? Had not his country seen enough war this century?
After these attacks, Abdul Mahdi faced intense domestic pressure from his political allies to publically name Israel as the aggressor. He refused for the very reason that he today denies where the retaliatory drones came from.
Had he named America’s principle ally in the region, he would have declared that a state of war existed between thousands of US troops on his soil and al-Hashd, Iraq’s best troops, which he is trying painfully to re-integrate into his national forces.
Did America really want that to happen? Was the US, let alone a president fighting re-election, prepared for another Gulf War? Had not his country seen enough war this century?
Abdul Madhi’s arguments hit home.
Scrambling around for ways of delivering a “proportionate” response, Trump and Pompeo did not have an answer then and do not have one now.
'Locked and loaded'
To date, Iran and its network of militias in Yemen and Iraq have shot down a US drone, blown holes through tankers off the Emirati ports [this attack was not proven to be done by Iran], seized a British tanker, attacked airports, pipelines and oil terminals, and now have delivered the biggest strike against Saudi oilfields in the long and war-torn history of the Gulf.
Neither during the Iran-Iraq War, nor Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War, nor in the Second Iraq War, has Saudi Arabia ever had to halve its oil production, as it has done this week.
By so doing, Iran is sending Trump a clear message: "You want chaos? You want to tear up international treaties negotiated by your predecessor and slap sanctions on us? Well, we can give you chaos, and you will soon find out how vulnerable your allies are.”
Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, has used every international forum for months to signal Iran’s intentions to fight back. He said this in August in Stockholm: "President Trump cannot be unpredictable and expect others to be predictable. Unpredictability will lead to mutual unpredictability and unpredictability is chaos.”
Zarif was not listened to then. Maybe he will be now.
A cursory look at the balance of power in the region will show Trump how unequal a conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran will be.
The strategic depth
It has taken Iran decades to create what it calls a “strategic depth" of battle-hardened militias by whom it has always stood, funded, armed and trained. And it is not about to abandon them now, however much they are hit by Israel.
Saudi Arabia has also funded and backed militias in the region, particularly in Syria, but is notorious for dumping its allies and talking instead to their enemies. This happened in Syria and Yemen.
Iran, which has survived decades of sanctions and war, has a high pain threshold. It has developed its own arms industry and it can defend itself.
Saudi Arabia has a very low pain threshold and cannot defend itself. As Trump himself reminded it, the kingdom would not last for two weeks without American protection.
Iran’s regional network is in place and fully functioning. Its weapons are locked and loaded. It has built a strategic alliance with two of the region's other military powers - Russia and Turkey - which appears able to survive considerable tensions in Syria.
Saudi Arabia’s regional network is crumbling. Its closest ally, the United Arab Emirates, has clearly parted company with the Saudi coalition assembled to fight the Houthis in Yemen. The UAE's announcement that its forces were leaving Yemen took the Saudis by surprise.
Then came the fight between rival proxy militias over the southern port of Aden, which involved Saudi and Emirati planes bombing each other’s Yemeni proxies. The Emirati plan - to install southern separatists in the south and leave the north to rot – clearly does not solve Riyadh’s problem, all of which continues in the north.
The tensions between the Saudis and the Emiratis over Yemen burst into state-controlled media.
When six Emiratis soldiers died recently, there was some evidence to believe that they had been killed in Libya, not in Yemen. The Emiratis could not admit their forces were fighting alongside Khalifa Haftar and thus breaking the international embargo.
The Saudi state run al Arabiya channel, which ironically is based in Dubai, refused to tow the official Emirati line and said merely the soldiers had been “killed”. They refused to describe them as martyrs.
This led to an extraordinary outburst from a UAE activist close to the government in Abu Dhabi, Hamed al Mazroui. Mazroui described Al Arabiya as "the whore of all media, with no competitor". He deleted the tweet but kept up his fire on its director Abdulrahman al-Rashed.
On the ground, the Houthis understand what the Emirates are trying to do and the implicit Faustian pact the UAE is making with Iran - you keep the north, we will have the south. The Houthis exchanged prisoners with Emirati-backed militias, while they refused a prisoner exchange with forces loyal to the exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Wider afield, Iran now has established ties with Turkey and Russia, despite the very different agendas the three regional powers pursue in Syria. Not content with the chaos it has created in its own backyard, Saudi Arabia is continuing to seek new battlegrounds and opening up new fronts.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has lost patience, as he puts it, with Turkey over its handling of the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last Octobar in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. [Well, after all, the grisly murder, apparently ordered by the prince, took place in a Saudi embassy in Turkey!]
Accordingly, he has decided to step up his campaign against Turkey by fishing in Cypriot waters. The Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Adulaziz al Assaf said during a visit to Cyprus that Saudi Arabia supports the Greek Cypriots against Turkey’s oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean.
Running out of allies
Not surprisingly, the Saudis are finding themselves with no ally to protect them. They cannot fight Iran alone. Stupidity and inexperience are the two guiding lights of its de facto ruler, the crown prince. Who else could have promised to take the battle "into the heart of Iran" only to find himself dousing fires in the heart of Saudi Arabia?
He is alone, save for a reluctant and quixotic US president who has fewer cards to play than he has. Trump’s behaviour is not a great return for the investment of hundreds of millions of riyals that bin Salman spent on US arms contracts.
The least that could be said of previous generations of Saudi leaders was that for all their faults, they kept cautious control of their region. They knew how to balance competing interests and played host to most of them.
Mohammed Bin Salman has thrown caution to the wind and now finds himself with few cards to play. Yemen, Oman and Jordan are hostile. Qatar and Turkey have openly sided with Iran. The Emiratis pursue their own agenda.
Unlike Iran, the Saudis are not used to hardship and are profoundly ill suited to waging a regional war which they themselves promoted. Perhaps that is why a profound silence will follow the show of shock and awe that took place on Saturday.
Analysis on RT blames US defence failure.
The US and its allies have acted on the assumption that the more money you throw at defence, the safer you are. The massive Houthi strike on the Saudi oil fields is proof that this is nonsense. Saudi has US Patriot defences and now it has wrecked oil processing facilities.
NSS has written previously on the myth that the Saudi use of exclusively dollars as reserves and for settlements in its oil business will keep the dollar afloat forever. Major investors in Treasuries believe this implicitly. Will they continue to keep the faith now after this? Will the next thing to fall be the dollar?
On the other hand I respectfully disagree with this analysis because it ignores the main point, namely, that the US has no business agreeing to defend another country. The Constitution says the armed forces are there to defend the nation, not a foreign dictatorship.
US defense failure… Why Washington has to blame Iran over Saudi attacks
The devastating blitz on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry has led to a flurry of accusations from US officials blaming Iran. The reason for the finger-pointing is simple: Washington’s spectacular failure to protect its Saudi ally.
The Trump administration needs to scapegoat Iran for the latest military assault on Saudi Arabia because to acknowledge that the Houthi rebels mounted such an audacious assault on the oil kingdom’s heartland would be an admission of American inadequacy.
Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars in recent years purchasing US Patriot missile defense systems and supposedly cutting-edge radar technology from the Pentagon. If the Yemeni rebels can fly combat drones up to 1,000 kilometers into Saudi territory and knock out the linchpin production sites in the kingdom’s oil industry, then that should be a matter of huge embarrassment for US “protectors.”
American defense of Saudi Arabia is germane to their historical relationship. Saudi oil exports nominated in dollars for trade – the biggest on the planet – are vital for maintaining the petrodollar global market, which is in turn crucial for American economic power. In return, the US is obligated to be a protector of the Saudi monarchy, which comes with the lucrative added benefit of selling the kingdom weapons worth billions of dollars every year.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Saudi Arabia has the world’s third biggest military budget, behind the US and China. With an annual spend of around $68 billion, it is the world’s number one in terms of percentage of gross domestic product (8.8 per cent). Most of the Saudi arms are sourced from the US, with Patriot missile systems in particular being a recent big-ticket item.
Yet for all that financial largesse and the finest American military technology, the oil kingdom just witnessed a potentially crippling wave of air assaults on its vital oil industry. Saudi oil production at its mammoth refinery complex at Abqaiq, 205 miles (330 kms) east of the capital Riyadh, was down 50 per cent after it was engulfed by flames following air strikes. One of the Saudi’s biggest oilfields, at Khurais, also in the Eastern Province, was also partially closed.
There are credible reports that the damage is much more serious than the Saudi officials are conceding. These key industrial sites may take weeks to repair.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got it half right when he claimed, “Iran launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply”.
Yes, it is unprecedented. But Pompeo and other US officials have most likely got it wrong about blaming Iran.
Some Trump administration officials told US media that “cruise missiles” were responsible for the giant fireballs seen over the Saudi oil facilities. One was quoted anonymously as saying: “There’s no doubt that Iran is responsible for this… there’s no escaping it. There is no other candidate.”
In a hurried effort to substantiate accusations against Iran, satellite images were released which show what appears to be the aftermath of the air strike on the Abqaiq refinery complex. US officials claim the location of the explosions indicate the weapons originated not from Yemen to the south, but from either Iran or Iraq.
Even the normally dutiful New York Times expressed doubt about that claim, commenting in its report: “The satellite photographs released on Sunday did not appear as clear cut as officials suggested, with some appearing to show damage on the western side of facilities, not from the direction of Iran or Iraq.”
The accusations made by Pompeo and others are assertions in place of substantiated claims.
It is noteworthy that President Donald Trump refrained from openly blaming Iran by name, merely hinting at the possibility. If Pompeo is so adamant in fingering Iran, why didn’t Trump? Also, the president made a telling remark when he said he was “waiting for verification” from Saudi Arabia “as to who they believe was the cause of the attack.” Again, if US officials are explicitly accusing Iran then why is Trump saying he wants “verification” from the Saudis?
For its part, Iran has flatly dismissed the allegations that it had any involvement, saying that statements by Pompeo were “blind” and tantamount to setting up a conflict.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi also rejected claims that his country’s territory might have been used by pro-Iranian Shia militants to launch the air strikes.
The Houthi rebels in Yemen have issued unambiguous statements claiming responsibility for the air raids on the Saudi oil installations. They were specific that the weapons were drones, not missiles, adding with details that 10 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were deployed.
Notably too, most US media reported initially that the attacks were by drones flown from Yemen. Associated Press reported a level of sophistication in the attacks whereby drones were used first to disable the US Patriot radar systems before other UAVs proceeded to execute the air strikes.
It therefore seems that US officials are attempting to switch the story by blaming Iran. It is reckless scapegoating because the logical consequence could elicit a military attack against Iran, in which event Tehran has warned it is ready for war.
The rationale for blaming Iran is that the Yemeni rebels (which Iran supports politically) are just not capable of using drones with such dramatic success against the Saudi oil industry. The culprit must be Iran, so the rationale goes. This is a follow-on from alleged sabotage by Iran against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf earlier this summer.
However, a timeline shows that the Houthis are more than capable of launching ever-more powerful ballistic missiles and deeper penetrating drones into Saudi territory. The rebels have been using drones from the beginning of the war which the US-backed Saudi-UAE coalition launched on the southern Arabian country in March 2015.
Over the past four years, the Houthi aerial firepower has gradually improved. Earlier, the Saudis, with American defense systems, were able to intercept drones and missiles from Yemen. But over the last year, the rebels have increased their success rate for hitting targets in the Saudi interior, including the capital Riyadh.
In May this year, Houthi drones hit Saudi Arabia’s crucial east-west pipeline. Then in August, drones and ballistic missiles were reported to have struck the Shaybah oil field near the border with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as the Dammam exporting complex in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.
The Yemenis claim they are taking the war to Saudi Arabia and the UAE after years of relentless air strikes on their homeland which have resulted in nearly 90,000 dead. A recent UN report censured the US, Britain and France for possible complicity in war crimes through their military support for the Saudi coalition.
There must be trepidation among the monarchs in Saudi Arabia and the UAE that the rebels from war-torn and starving Yemen are now coming after them with drones that could demolish their oil economies. What’s more, the much-vaunted American protector is not able to deliver on its strategic bargain, despite billions of dollars of Pentagon weaponry. That’s why Washington has to find an excuse by casting Iran as the villain.
Tulsi taunts Trump
Tulsi Gabbard, candidate for the US presidency, criticised Trump for saying he is waiting for word from Saudi as to who the Kingdom says is responsible and has repeated the tired old phrase that he is “locked and loaded” ready to attack whoever destroyed the Saudi Aramco plants. She says it sounds like he is a pimp treating the men and women in uniform as prostitutes.
On Monday US President Donald Trump said his country was “locked and loaded”, ready to respond to Saturday’s drone attacks targeting two Saudi Aramco plants in Saudi Arabia, which set the oil facilities ablaze and prompted the kingdom to halt about half of its crude output.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) iverbally attacked US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy on Monday evening.
In a video released on Twitter, Gabbard denounced the idea of defending Saudi Arabia: “We are not your prostitutes. You are not our pimp.”
Gabbard was responding to President Trump’s statements about a potential US response to a recent attack, claimed by Houthi rebels, on oilfields in Saudi Arabia that threatened global oil supplies and the security of a key Washington ally.
On 16 September, Donald Trump said the US was “locked and loaded” and ready to respond to drone attacks on a Saudi Aramco petroleum processing facility in Saudi Arabia. US officials claimed evidence pointed to Iranian involvement, despite the Yemeni Houthi rebels claiming responsibility.
The US president did not mention Iran, but wrote on Twitter he had “reason to believe that we know the culprit” behind the series of attacks on the Abqaiq facility that disrupted more than half of the kingdom’s oil output and will affect global supplies.
Trump tweeted: “[We] are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] as to who they believe was the cause of this attack and under what terms we would proceed!”
Important reading from Global Research:
Will Trump Take Neocon Bait and Attack Iran over Saudi Strike?
By Rep. Ron Paul
The recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities by Yemeni Houthi forces demonstrate once again that an aggressive foreign policy often brings unintended consequences and can result in blowback. Read more...
Trump Awaits Orders from Saudis; and Why the Houthis Could Have Done It
By Juan Cole
Trump’s bizarre infatuation with strongmen and dictators was on full display in his response to Saturday’s drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities. Read more...
Impact of Yemeni Attack on Saudi ARAMCO Oil Facilities
By Peter Koenig and Press TV
When the Saudis agreed in the early 1970’s as head of OPEC and on behalf of OPEC, to sell crude only in US-dollars, the US Administration offered them in turn – “forever” military protection, in the form of multiple military bases in the Saudi territories. Read more...
Trump: Saudi Arabia’s Bitch
By Kurt Nimmo
“Saudi Arabia’s Bitch”. That’s what Democrat candidate Tulsi Gabbard calls President Trump for his slavish reliance on Saudi Arabia to declare Iran responsible for last weekend’s attack on Saudi oil resources. Read more...
Sanders Warns Trump Against Illegal Iran Strike
By Bryant Harris
The attack on the Saudi Aramco oil facility over the weekend and President Donald Trump’s subsequent tweet that the United States is “locked and loaded” immediately prompted presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to fire back. Read more...
The Ansarullah’s Drone Strike against Saudi Arabia’s Oil Facilities Was a Classic “David vs. Goliath” Moment?
By Andrew Korybko
This weekend’s massive drone strike by Yemen’s Ansarullah rebels against the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia was a classic David vs. Goliath moment where a smaller force inflicted a devastating blow against their much larger opponent, one which even surpasses its legendary predecessor because of its potential global consequences. Read more...
“Drone Attack” on Saudi Oil – Who Benefits?
By Tony Cartalucci
Following an ambiguous and evidence-free description of the supposed attacks, the BBC even included an entire section titled, “Who could be behind the attacks?” dedicated to politically expedient speculation aimed ultimately at Tehran. Read more...