Since the false flag Douma “chemical weapon attack” and ensuing US missile attack on Syria on April 13, 2018, there has been speculation as to whether China might enter militarily on the side of Russia and Assad against the West and its militant collaborators in Syria. Certainly, Chinese intervention would change the whole equation of power in the region and provide a further insurance policy for the Syrian people. We need to recall, however, that so far, the Russians and the US/allies have been closely coordinating these attacks, with the Russians clearly tipping off the Syrians so they can provide cover and save lives. We might even speculate that the US knows it has been beaten badly in Syria and has secretly appealed to Russia to allow it to save face by launching an anaemic attack designed to look like shock and awe. This would be the best way out for both sides because it would satisfy the US people who expect Trump to make it look great, the Saudis who would see the US as doing its best to comply with the petrodollar agreement (see “Relevant References” below), the Israelis who want a “tough" as well as Assad, who would look like he repelled a US attack.
But if Russia and Assad were ever seriously threatened, would China have any reason to take the risk of aiding Assad militarily? Most Western analysts would be hard put to answer that question.
Very little is known about the meetings and agreements between China and Syria, presumably because neither side wants much fanfare over these, but there are important clues in the foreign-language press that are not being translated and published by Western news outlets (other than ours). The Arabic language site Syrian Expert, for example, reported in 2016 on a meeting in Syria of the Arab-Chinese Association, where the Syrian Minister of Industry mentioned numerous industrial areas that were eligible for Chinese investment. The head of the Chinese delegation said that Syria already had strong relations with 200 major Chinese companies and that agreements, memoranda of understanding and contract projects were already in place. This tells us that, while China has not announced major military ties with Syria, it has every reason to be concerned about its interests there and can probably be expected to defend them if push comes to shove. There are, for example, disputed industrial areas near the E. Ghouta site where the Russians and the SAA have already routed the militants. These areas would certainly be of interest to Chinese investors, who would want safe movement therein.
In July 2017, New Silk Strategies posted our three-part translation of a remarkably brazen Chinese-language article:
This article thoroughly details China’s plans for Syria, focused on a pipeline through Syria from Iran to Europe, crossing through Syria and Iraq. The author called this the Shiite pipeline, a counter-measure to a Western plan to run a pipeline from Qatar to Europe, referred to in that article as the Sunni pipeline. The author detailed the various existing agreements with Syria and specific Chinese goals in Syria, which the author boasted would make China the big winner there. The tone was, to say the least, uncharacteristic of the Confucian humility normally shown by Chinese officials in their public statements, indicating it was intended for domestic consumption. Significantly, the article was posted first at China’s main military site Junshi. But before we were able to complete the translation, it was removed from there and posted at a more-obscure site. No doubt the Chinese had had second thoughts about the possibility that the Western powers would relate this information to the Chinese military and tip the hand of the Pentagon.
Thus we know that China has big plans for Syria and it would not be surprising eventually to find Chinese military personnel in the country. Nonetheless, China is loath to tip its hand, so there are very few reports about Chinese intentions to send troops to fight alongside Assad.
The Middle East Monitor and other sources claimed in Nov 2017 that China has sent 2 units of special operations forces of the “Night Tigers” and the “Tigers of Siberia” to Syria, but this has been denied by Syria and also debunked variously.
However, it is likely that the Chinese would reconsider if at some point, the US were to seriously threaten their vital ally Russia.
In fact, we did find a Chinese-language report posted in 2016 at military.china.com regarding a visit by Chinese military top brass to Syria. While the basic details of this report were published in the Western msm, the historic background was ignored by the Western journalists. Both Russia and China pay close attention to history, culture and international relations, items given short shrift in the West, which focuses on short-term goals and stands ready to betray a partner at any time for quick gain. This is one of the reasons why US foreign policy fails. Below is our translation (all highlighting is ours).
PLA delegation visits Syria: assistance and training for Syrian Army
August 17, 2016
Major General Guan Youfei, head of the PLA delegation
Xinhua News Agency, Damascus, August 15th (Reporter: Che Hongliang)
Lieutenant General Fahd Jassem al-Freij, Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister met with Admiral Guan Youfei, the director of the International Military Cooperation Office of the Central Military Commission, who is visiting Syria on the afternoon of the 14th.
Fahd Jassem al-Freij said that China has thousands of years of history and civilization. Since 1978, the Chinese government has led the people in their struggles and made remarkable achievements in the fields of science, technology and military science. The friendship between Syria and China dates back to ancient times and both sides have maintained close coordination on international issues. Syria supports China’s position on the South China Sea issue and expresses its gratitude to the Chinese government and the army for their assistance to the Syrians. Syria is willing to work with China to promote the continuous development of relations between the two armed forces.
Guan Youfei said that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Syria. Both sides have helped each other for a long time. China has always played an active role in resolving Syrian issue politically and has supported the maintenance of Syria’s independence and autonomy. The relations between the Chinese and Syrian armed forces are traditionally friendly. The Chinese military is willing to continue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the Syrian Army.
The two sides reached consensus on strengthening personnel training and providing Chinese military assistance to Syria.
On the morning of the 15th, Guan Youfei and Lieutenant General Chvarkov of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria exchanged views on issues of common concern in Damascus.
Reuters commented that China does not seem to be interested in military intervention in Syria, but that it praised Russia’s role in the Syrian war.
China has its own security concerns about the violence in this region.
Here is the underlying cause of all US-waged wars outside the Americas since 1973:
Making Saudi Arabia great again Part 1
Making Saudi Arabia great again Part 2
Making Saudi Arabia great again Part 3
WASHINGTON’S LONG HISTORY OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT AND USE
Please go to the following site for the post:
Apparently, the Weebly platform does not allow the user to change the title of a post that contains a typo. Sorry about that.
by Professor Arthur Noble
“Not only is America run by fanatical ideologues with a messianic complex, the front man for the whole show is an imbecile and a sociopath of the very highest order who thinks bringing the world to the brink of war is like the games he probably plays on his Xbox.”1
Early in April 2018 there were warnings that the Skripal case would not be the last instance in the relentless campaign by the US and NATO to demonize Russia. Now, alarmingly, the fanatical crusade has been foolishly supported by Theresa May and her government and by French President Emmanuel Macron. Many predicted that Skripal would very likely be followed by another staged chemical attack which the US and its allies would again blame on President Assad and exploit as an excuse to attack Syria. Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, predicted the attack on 13 March 2018, exactly one month before it happened on Friday 13 April.2
The attack was yet another in a long string of blatant American violations of international law and was roundly condemned by France’s Marine Le Pen for its inherent dangers and the servile compliance of Britain and France to Washington:
“These strikes against Syria bring us on a path with unpredictable and potentially damaging consequences. France again loses an opportunity to appear on the international stage as an independent and balanced power in the world.”3
On 10 March 2018 US Secretary of Defence James Mattis admitted that the Pentagon and the CIA have “no conclusive evidence” to prove that the Syrian government used chlorine gas in militant-held areas in Eastern Ghouta.4 Yet, contradictorily, the trio of aggressors attacked Syria after directly blaming President Assad, without any evidence, for the alleged chemical attack. “The sentence first, then the verdict”, as per the famous pronouncement of the Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Responding to the American-French-British intervention in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the US and its allies “struck civil and military facilities” and “violated the UN Charter and international law”; and that Washington had launched “an aggression against a sovereign state which is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism”.5
Significantly, the air strikes were carried out just a few hours before the arrival of the fact-finding team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The Russian Foreign Ministry noted: “There’s every reason to believe that the purpose of the attack on Syria was to obstruct the work of the OPCW inspectors.” (One might add: “to destroy the sites”, where no chemical substances would likely have been found.) Moscow further described it as an “intimidation act [carried out] under an absolutely far-fetched pretext of the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities”.6 The Syrian Foreign Ministry agreed that it was aimed at preventing the inspectors from exposing the West’s “lies and fabrications” and said that it will merely strengthen the resolve of the Syrian people to continue their now almost fully successful fight against ISIS and lead only to an escalation of the global situation.7
The Skripal affair and the ensuing assault on Syria also coincide with Trump’s appointment of his new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, America’s former Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W Bush. The Atlantic describes Bolton as a “perennial war hawk [...] prone to supporting illconsidered wars” (including the Iraq war of which he was an architect); a man “ill-suited for the role”; and (curiously) “representing a set of views diametrically opposed to the policies that helped the President secure his job”,8 including his promise to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
The Activist Post reacted to Bolton’s appointment with an article headed “John Bolton: Trump needs to confront Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and embrace Forever War”. It spelled out what Bolton considers to be the foreign policy priorities of Washington increasingly aggressive war-oriented administration: “Vladimir Putin’s Russia is on the prowl in Eastern Europe and the Middle East in ways unprecedented since the Cold
Are we seeing the final stage of the 1992 Wolfowitz Doctrine which brazenly advocated that America must do everything in its power to retain (or now rather regain) its global hegemony and superpower status, including ensuring that Russia, China, Iran and other regional powers – but especially Russia – be prevented from attaining enough power to challenge the US? In short, Wolfowitz was a “US blueprint for total global supremacy” in the context of which, significantly, the notorious New World Order conspirator and Wolfowitz hawk Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives that “the expansion of NATO is essential”.10
Brzezinski, New World Order globalist fanatic, is notorious for his statement that it is “easier to kill than to control”,11 foreshadowing Hillary Clinton’s gleeful comment on the death of Khadafi: “We came, we saw, he died.”12
After the Wolfowitz programme for global domination suffered major setbacks in Ukraine and Crimea, its Neocon propagators were forced to shift their sights directly onto Russia and label their ultimate target,
President Putin himself, “a chemical weapon threat to practically the entire world”.13 Yet it is the US itself has a massive stockpile of its own chemical weapons and was caught using them in June 2017 when it launched air strikes on Syria’s northern city of Raqqa with white phosphorus, a chemical which is banned internationally following the 1980 Protocol on Incendiary Weapons.14
The US has not only arrogantly appointed itself as global chief prosecutor for the usage of chemical weapons, but also holds the biggest store of chemical weapons in the world and has refused since 1997 to destroy them. After World War II Washington created the largest chemical weapons factory ever, the so-called Edgewood Arsenal in the State of Maryland.
During the Vietnam War, in the so-called “Operation Ranch Hand”, the White House allowed fifteen different types of chemical weapons to be tested – the world’s first usage of herbicides and defoliants for the military purposes. The defoliant and chemical weapon called “agent orange” had long-term impacts on the Vietnamese people in Vietnam itself and on those who fled in the mass exodus between 1978 and the early 1990s.15 The estimated amount of chemical substances used by Pentagon in the 1961-1971 period amounts to 100,000 tonnes.16 During the 78 days of NATO’s 1999 air strikes on Yugoslavia, which like those on Syria took place without the necessary UN Security Council authorisation, the US, Germany and the UK used depleted uranium munitions but were never invested or punished by the illegally constituted ICTY (International Criminal Court for Yugoslavia), receiving instead its full and jubilant vindication. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević was accused of war crimes but was twice exonerated by NATO’s farcical Hague Inquisition.17 In a campaign reminiscent of the Nazi propaganda machine of Goebbels the Western media systematically distorted and manipulated the facts, methodically maligning and wrongly punishing the Serbs.
We must also cite the Iraqi chemical attacks against the Iranian troops and innocent Kurds “approved” by Washington between 1980 and 1988 period. White House officials do not like to be reminded of these facts but still “justify” them as being for “the good” of the US.
In 2005 the Italian state television network, RAI, broadcast a documentary containing footage and testimony proving that the American military committed a war crime by using chemical weapons in Iraq, including in civilian areas. The film, Fallujah: the hidden massacre, specifically examined the use of white phosphorous, an incendiary and corrosive chemical agent, during the US assault on that city in November 2004. Former US soldiers, Iraqi doctors and international journalists were interviewed, and graphic images were shown of Iraqi civilians killed by chemical weapons.18
Is it not the US itself that the world should be bombing for its creation, storage and deployment of chemical weapons?
Update: At the time of writing, reports are being received that Swiss chemical experts have discovered traces of a Western-made nerve agent in the UK samples.
Arthur Noble, British citizen born 1941 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, studied German and French at Queen’s University Belfast and Music at the University of Vienna. PhD in German, Belfast 1968. University posts in Canada, England and Australia (University of Queensland). 1990 Professor of German (Chair of Modern German Language and Literature) in the University of Metz and 2000 in the University of Nancy 2, France. Retired since 2004. Pianist and church organist. Publications include nine books and numerous articles (mostly in German) on German authors, German dialects, linguistics, philosophy, politics and music. Writes for the British Church Newspaper. 1986 awarded Life Fellowship of the International Biographical Association in Cambridge.
By NSS staff
No matter how optimistically you look at it, all signs scream that the US and allies are about to attack the sovereign country Syria based on an unproven rumour, and judging by Donald Trump’s past MO, he might be expected to launch the attack without awaiting a thorough investigation.
The entire Western corporate media got wind of, and unanimously decided to spread, the rumour of a chemical attack in Douma, a suburb of Damascus and the rumour that the attack was ordered by Bashar al-Assad, who just hates his constituents so much for voting for him that he wants them dead – before elections, mind you.
One of the first reports of the incident came from the New York Times, stating:
“On Saturday afternoon, 15 people, including women and children, reported breathing problems after an airstrike in their area, Mahmoud Aadam, a spokesman for the Syrian Civil Defense, the so-called White Helmets [NSS highlighting], who rescue people in the wake of airstrikes, said via Facebook Live on Sunday.”
Before reading any further, you need to know some things about the aforementioned White Helmets and their credibility or lack thereof. According to Vanessa Beeley, a tireless investigative journalist who travels frequently to Syria to get the back story on the corporate media’s invariably anti-Assad reports on Middle East events, the White Helmets, who have been lionized by Hollywood, are, frankly, a bunch of phonies funded by $millions from the US and UK, do not really rescue anyone (except occasionally terrorists), have ties to terrorist groups and mislead the public by calling themselves Syria Civil Defence, even though there is a real civil defence group by that name that antedates them by decades and actually rescues people without fanfare using professional methods.
We had originally linked to an article in 21st Century Wire written by Beeley but that became inaccessible after we had posted the link so you can try this one, which worked last time we checked. Please read everything Vanessa says about the White Helmets and you will see that the US has zero grounds for invading Syria.
Now recall that Assad comes in a package with Putin and accusations against one often are stealthily aimed at the other and vice-versa. The accusation that Russia poisoned ex Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia is a prime example, and in fact, one of the cock-and-bull stories about the poison that harmed them has it that it somehow came from Syria. If one did not know better, one might suspect that the UK investigators were trying desperately to find an excuse to attack Syria.
“Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world.”
Since this is true, how is it possible for the White Helmets, which are headquartered in Coventry, England, to arrive at the scene and take photos of the damage and the victims? (This also raises a secondary question: How do they have time to take all these photos when there are supposedly over 100 victims requiring urgent treatment?)
The reason the army is there is because this is the last stronghold of the militants in the Damascus area. So if the militants control the area within the army’s cordon, why would they have allowed a Western-based group, the White Helmets, to enter and treat people? The people who are being liberated from rebel-held areas are telling horror stories (captured on video) of being treated as prisoners and slaves (for example, in tunnel building). They are all happy to be going to areas under the control of the man Trump calls an animal.
It doesn’t add up.
Vanessa Beeley on White Helmet hoax
Another film exposing the White Helmets
Please click on the link above for the latest update on the chemical weapons story.
By Vince Dhimos
You will have heard by now of the chemical attack in E. Ghouta, Syria, near Damascus, on Sunday April 4, 2018. We’ve gotten used to the scenario.
Though no investigation has been done into the identity of the perpetrators, Trump’s immediate response was a tweet blaming Russia, Iran and Assad (interesting that Turkey is not blamed, even though that is one of the countries acting as guarantors of the peace). White House Homeland Security and counter-terrorism adviser Thomas Bossert said nothing is off the table, so of course, nuclear war is an option. But he forgot: In the Western world, when one is targeting Russia, one thing is always off the table, ie, an investigation to determine whether they are actually guilty.
That was Trump’s MO at Shayrat, where 59 US Tomahawk missiles slammed into an airbase suspected of having been used for launching a chemical attack at Khan Sheykhun. No investigation was conducted to establish guilt. When the Exceptional Nation says you are guilty, you are guilty. It has godlike powers.
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their means, and my people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end thereof?
But the US never acts alone. Example: Tony Blair falling in line after GW Bush to attack Iran.
A more recent example, of course, is the apparent poisoning of ex Russian spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia. The identity of the substance was almost immediately declared and, because it was alleged to have been developed in Russia, it was immediately declared to be of Russian origin, even though the developer had posted on his web page details that would enable anyone anywhere to make the stuff. By this reasoning, if a person is shot with a Winchester rifle, the CEO of the Winchester Company is automatically guilty and may be sentenced without a trial.
Now imagine a court of law sentencing a suspected criminal to hard time before the trial could be held. No, that could not happen, you say. You would call it a miscarriage of justice. And yet, such a miscarriage is exactly what the UK committed. On the strength of a mere suspicion, it ordered dozens of Russian diplomats expelled from the UK. And as if to show that all of this was part of the same plot, and that such a miscarriage of justice is now standard procedure throughout the West, the US and dozens of European countries followed suit and expelled some Russian diplomats. “Proof” was simply that the UK had declared Russia guilty. It was the same principle on which Russia was declared guilty of “meddling in US elections.”
Now if you were following the Skripal case and the statements issued by the authorities, you knew that UK foreign minister Boris Johnson had posted on his Facebook page that not only did his government suspect that the poison to which the Skripals had been exposed was from Russia, but a representative of the prestigious Porton Down lab had told him unequivocally that this poison was indeed definitely from Russia, no doubt about it. Even though the lab had not yet performed its investigation on the substance.
Later, Porton Down did conduct a thorough investigation and issued a statement that it was impossible – and not even within their purview – to determine the origin of the toxin. Oops.
Upon publication of this information, Boris saw fit to remove his post declaring what the Porton Down official had told him, but of course, had not told him at all because Boris was obviously lying.
Now this seemingly minor story is actually a key in our assessment of the UK administration’s integrity and trustworthiness. Firstly, it lied without a second thought, not even taking into consideration the possible consequences of the lie. That is, excuse the expression, really really stupid. Inexcusably stupid and not worthy of any adult, let alone high-ranking officials. Even the Soviet Union had not lied with such little concern over the possibility of getting caught. It was unprecedented.
So why all the fuss to get a conviction without any investigation? Many observers connected this accusation against Russia with the planned false flag events in Syria that the Russian defence ministry had warned of, citing chemical labs found by the Syrian army in E. Ghouta.
Normally, it might be considered bad journalism to come right out and accuse a country of perpetrating a false flag event. But the US did not hesitate to jump on the anti-Russia band wagon and expel diplomats in imitation of the UK. So if the entire West can accuse Russia of something without proof, then a journalist can do likewise. After all, isn’t the US exceptional? Well why should we hesitate to imitate an exceptional nation?
But the main reasons we do not hesitate are as follows
In addition, China has added a nuclear option of its own, ie, the new Chinese oil futures market denominated in yuan with an option to convert the yuan into gold. There is nothing like that anywhere in the world and it must be a temptation to the Saudis to just cave in to the Chinese and abandon the old burdensome petrodollar agreement that ties them awkwardly to the US in ways that its subjects could not approve of. On the other hand, if the Saudis really want the US to get rid of Assad for them, and they do, then they must have their proxies in Syria stage a false flag now because it is their last chance before the door slams on its US ally. The crown prince has just covered himself by saying “Assad can stay.” He had no other choice but to pretend he is ok with Assad because the de facto ruling coalition is now Iran, Turkey, Syria and Russia. But in reality, his Wahhabi subjects will never accept the Shiites Assad and Rpouhani and the anti-Saudi and anti-Israel Erdogan. But what the crown prince is asking the US for is suicidal because Russian chief of staff Valery Gerasimov has warned that the Russians will retaliate against anyone attacking Assad.
Thus there can be only one possible explanation for the US’ seemingly insane drive to war, and that is, that the US has been banking on the Saudis’ continued compliance with the afore-cited US-Saudi agreement, which would enable the Fed to continue printing money (quantitative easing, ie, QE1, QE2, QE3 QE∞) without ever having to worry about economic consequences (à la Weimar Republic). You can imagine how tempted you might be if you had a crooked friend who did unsavoury and criminal things – analogous to the Saudi’s sponsorship of terrorists – and he promised you an unlimited amount of money if you helped him get away with his wickedness and to take revenge on his enemies, as the US did by attacking Iraq, inciting war between Iran and Iraq, killing Ghadaffi, bombing Kosovo (where the Saudis are now sending “aid” in the form of Wahhabist mosques and imams to teach the violent cult of Wahhabism), threatening Iran and Syria, and helping portray the evil kingdom as a progressive state that is planning to issue driver’s licenses to women and allow cinemas to be opened – as if these secondary actions could possibly make up for their sponsorship of Al-Qaeda and ISIS. That is, you can imagine how tempted you might be to promote all this evil if you had no moral compunctions whatsoever.
This is briefly what we have going in Syria. And Washington’s concern over the possible collapse of the dollar is the only explanation – and hence the default explanation – for the absolutely hysterical, frenzied attempt to frame Russia and risk a nuclear conflagration that could destroy planet earth. It’s all about the dollar.
So what can be done? It all depends on whether America puts God over country or vice-versa.
If you have an unshakable belief that lying and deceit for the creation of false flag events to prop up a wilting dollar and thereby threatening peace and stability and risking nuclear war is wrong – absolutely wrong and immoral, and in fact, a grave sin against God, and is therefore off the table, no matter what the economic consequences, no matter what happens to your country, or to the US dollar, then you already know the answer.
Since I wrote this piece, I found a very important eye-witness account by Vanessa Beeley, here:
And that’s my Sunday morning sermon.
Linked below is a video from Eva Bartlett's site showing jubilant crowds of rebel-held hostages going home. Donald Trump said Assad was a murderer. So why are they so happy to be in the hands of his army? (Once the truth comes out, the current crop of Western government officials will join dubbya in infamy.
Probably a high percentage of American voters assumed that billionaire Trump was a genius in economics. However, astute economists, including Reagan budget director David Stockman, agree that the new budget bill that Trump signed – against his will so he says – coupled with his new war cabinet, may be the last straw on the way to US bankruptcy. Not only that, Trump’s bet on the fracking industry appears to be problematic to say the least. Every one of the major US oil companies, while able to develop strong sales turnovers, have not had much luck turning profits. So far, the balance sheets look a lot like those or the US government, with mostly loans on the assets side.
So how is it that a man who was able to earn billions for himself has such a penchant for accruing debt for his people?
Perhaps the simple answer is that business economics is not anything like macroeconomics, which is similar to chess, while business is more like checkers. America is becoming more and more predatory-capitalist, or as they call it in Britain, corporatist. There may be a few cracks to fall through as an honest business person, but it is much more likely to succeed if you are a fast talker and not bound by those outmoded handicaps called morals and principles. That free-wheeling sort of mentality can make you rich, but when applied to world trade, it can cause complications.
We had written before about the predatory aspect of US trade policies, namely the decision to slap sanctions on anything or anyone aiding Russia in the NordSteam II project, a pipeline intended to supply cheap Russian gas to Europe (the key to Germany's economy, for one thing). As part of this strategy, Trump took a sales trip to Poland to talk the gullible Polish government into setting up an extravagantly expensive receiving terminal for extravagantly expensive US LNG, which would be used to supply domestic needs as well as forward the gas to Europe, in an effort to wean the continent off cheap gas. Sure, he was president, all he had to do was snap his fingers. It was a lot like the scheme of super salesman Milo Minderbinder in Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22. Bomber pilot Minderbinder got a deal on Egyptian cotton and another deal on chocolate and began marketing chocolate-coated cotton. Trump could have mentored Milo.
This lack of macroeconomics expertise could explain Donald’s success as a politician but his difficulty making ends meet in his Treasury Department.
Trump also fell into a trap that was not intended as a trap. That is, when Putin showed the world his video presentation of Russia’s hypersonic missiles that can zoom through all known air defence systems, he made it crystal clear that he was not inviting competition, ie, a renewed arms race with the country that spends ten times more than Russia on "defence," but au contraire, was trying to show the US that this is not the time for an arms race, but rather for the bargaining table. But not only did the pathologically competitive Trump see the new Russian arms as a challenge and immediately decide to buy more flying toys that can be bypassed or, as the case may be, hit by Putin’s hypersonic missiles, but the Pentagon and lawmakers all fell into the old rut of wanting to defend and protect not the public but America’s reputation as the Exceptional and Indispensable Nation, while feeding the defence contractor cronies who had funded their campaigns. We had shown that the US’ preference for feeding the defence industry over US security was the Achilles heel of the defence department, which is hopelessly inefficient and bound to break the bank.
Thus roughly another nearly $700 billion was earmarked for defence in the next budget, thanks mostly to Trump. Much of this will be spent on ships, all of which can be sunk in a matter of minutes by Putin’s hypersonic Kinzhal, and new air defences, which Putin showed are now also useless.
But beyond the killer budget, America’s efforts – headed by Trump – have been focused on using political, rather than economic, means to make America if not great at least prosperous again.
The contrast with China’s policies could not be more stark.
Whereas China resorts to the old standard free market principles, and has come up with an ingenious and potentially profitable project, OBOR (One Belt One Road – now more commonly known as BRI – Belt and Road Initiative), to unite its trading partners in Eurasia, Europe and Africa, the die-hard US seems only capable of using the same old boring threats and other forms of bullying to force its clients to “buy American.” And as if BRI were not enough, China just last month opened its new oil futures market in Shanghai, with the novel twist of denominating its shares in petroyuan convertible to gold, as we reported here. A translation we featured in July 2017 had already foreshadowed the Chinese oil futures market, which is now a reality and is a direct threat to the USD.
Trump’s trade war with China is also problematic. Firstly, most economists worth their salt will tell you that slapping tariffs on imports is a lousy idea that rarely works because the trading partner you are targeting can do likewise to you. And sure enough, China is eyeing all kinds of tariff targets, such as Harley-Davidsons, Apple, Intel, Boeing, foodstuffs such as soybeans, fruit, pork, and autos. China also has the option of scaling back treasury purchases or even selling off dollar reserves. Russia will do its part as well. Trump may be right in one respect: The US has a huge trade deficit with China, buying much more from them than it sells to them, and China is therefore more vulnerable than the US in terms of imports – but that is only if we forget that dollars are US exports. Considering the USD, China can theoretically win the trade war hands down.
Even so, the timing may not be so good for Trump. Even as the US dreams of becoming the world’s biggest oil exporter, precisely the fracking industry stands to lose the most as a result of Trump’s new tariffs. His 25% tariff on steel will make this commodity significantly more expensive, benefitting steel workers for now, but also threatening to drive up the price of US oil even more by raising the price of the steel pipes used in the oil fields.
Just the prospect of these tariffs has also had a dampening effect on world stock and oil prices, whereas the US needs high oil prices just to break even in the oil market, which so far is drowning in debt, as reported here, here, here and pretty much anywhere you look.
The good news is that if the US can lay down the stick and pick up the carrot, and if it can beat its swords into ploughshares, there is no limit to the prosperity that may await the country.
But to achieve this will require a cultural tectonic shift. The American people themselves will have to do an about-face, learning responsibility and a serious attitude toward life, putting aside petty differences and becoming a truly united nation. As such they will have to go to war against an irresponsible government that exploits their differences, their lack of will and self-sacrifice and their Pollyanna view of themselves and their country. So far, while they are not as eager to go to war as they have been in the past, they have a long way to go before they change their way of thinking, actively demand peace of Washington and make a real change.
Failing this, if the American people continue to show a severe lack of will power and seriousness, there is no use looking to their politicians for hope. The change will have to come from abroad.
But after all, who among the passengers of a sinking ship would refuse a rescue from a ship under any other flag? A healthy dose of reality may just be exactly what the doctor ordered.
I first learned the phrase He is Risen in an Eastern Orthodox church and it now seems like the most appropriate thing for Christians to say to each other on Easter morning.
A Syrian pastor once told me that the Syrian government had the policy of gifting cement to any group expressing the desire to build a church. It seemed so counter-intuitive to me that a majority-Muslim government of a Muslim country would do this, that I was shocked and didn’t know whether to believe it or not.
But I later learned, some time after the West and its terror-sponsoring Saudi allies had invaded Syria bent on destroying the country, under the harmless-sounding slogan “Arab Spring,” that the Syria under Bashar al-Assad and his father had always been the most tolerant country in the Middle East, where no one ever asked anyone what their religion was. This is the only sensible approach in a multi-confessional country that desires internal peace. The approach works fairly well in the US, for example, despite thy hundreds of different denominations and the existence of Muslims, Buddhists, atheists and a host of other belief and non-belief systems.
So the obvious question is: why would the entire West gang up on the leader of the most tolerant and peace-loving government in the Middle East, using, of all things, fighters imbued with the spirit of Wahhabism, the most intolerant and violent cult in the world, to achieve the senseless overthrow – or should I say regime change?
No matter how much the media and political class maligned Assad, it was obvious that something was terribly wrong and that if the West had its way, Western intervention would wind up eliminating Christianity from another nation (after Iraq) that was one of the first to embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ.
You can chocolate-coat a road apple but it is still inedible. Conversely, you can cover a person with lies and if he is true to himself, he still remains who he is.
Assad is still a pure-hearted man who passionately loves his country. He celebrates Christmas along with his Eastern Orthodox compatriots. He belongs to the gentle sect of the Alawites, who have always accepted Jews and Christians in their midst. And all of the polls taken by Westerners in an attempt to detract from his popularity show that the majority still loves this man.
Something sinister and terrible has happened to the once-Christian West. Westerners readily bought the propaganda that led us into a war that produced casualties in a credible range from 150,000 to 460,000, depending on whose figures you accept, and drove the majority of the Assyrian Christians from Iraq, where they had lived peacefully side by side with their Muslims brothers (they considered them such) for 2000 years. Today, these same Westerners are still showing little resistance to the lies that are aimed at ousting Assad and the lies aimed at igniting a war with Iran – even though it was the Saudis who supported the terrorists in Syria and Iraq and it is the Iranian troops that fought and still fight ISIS and Al-Qaeda in both Syria and Iraq. Somehow we are supposed to hate these people but admire the “bold young leader of Saudi Arabia,” now being portrayed as a reformer, even though his country continues to support terrorists (middleeasteye.net reports that Saudi TV recently featured interviews with some nice gentlemen who happen to be members of Al-Qaeda). The irony is that these reforms, including allowing women to drive and the introduction of cinema, are political features that have long existed in Iran and yet the media and political class ignore their existence there (Iran is in fact a leader in movie making). It is clear that some are more equal than others in our topsy-turvy Western media.
Anyone paying a bit of attention to the Western press and TV news is asking to the deceived. If you really want to know what is happening in the Middle East, China or Russia, for example, I recommend reading the local media of those regions (choices include www.almasdarnews.com, https://sana.sy/en/, https://southfront.org/, http://www.tehrantimes.com/ for the Middle East, http://www.globaltimes.cn/ and http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/ for China and https://www.rt.com/news/ and https://sputniknews.com/ for Russia. The Western media shriek hysterically that all media from countries that fail to kow-tow to Washington are “fake news.” However, much of what is reported in the above-cited media, while ignored at first in the West, is reported later here. In other words, reading these sites will put you ahead of the curve in your news consumption and enable you to decide early which Western positions are correct and which are erroneous, sometimes dangerously so.
At any rate, there is no reason why Western Christians should be listening to the Washington elites who are obviously desperate to destroy Christianity in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Just say no to Western media in God's name.
And just say yes to the One who said: ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. And if you are a Western Christian, just say, with your Eastern brethren, He is risen.
By Vince Dhimos
Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on this date in 2018 based on a complex formula. Basically, that means Christians think of today as the day Jesus was crucified in 33 AD by a religious-ethnic group who induced the world’s most powerful empire to do its dirty work.
I am always moved to compassion on Good Friday, when a just man who spoke truth to power was murdered just for being what he was and speaking the truth as He understood it, defying the hypocrites of His day who claimed to be the keepers of God's law but only traded in religion for their own personal gain.
It is a day when I don’t have much to say and, quite honestly, prefer to be alone. Because what happened that day was unspeakable. Words fail me.
Particularly since nothing has changed since then. Nothing. They are still murdering innocents in the name of the empire.
Today, a great empire, incited by a statelet in the region where Christianity got its start, supports the overthrow of a small Middle Eastern state that played a major role in the birth of Christianity and whose leader is known as a protector of Christians in the region. The empire, purporting to be “Christian,” supported a movement that brought forth terrorists from over 80 nations to tear this region apart, kill and banish its people, and subject it to authoritarian and violent rule by followers of a religion that is the most violent and intolerant in the world. The leader, known as a protector of Christians, is condemned by the great empire for allegedly killing his own people even though it is the great empire that supported, via the Arab Spring, the terrorists who did, and still do, the killing.
The great empire has illegally invaded the small terrorist-infested state under the flimsy pretext of fighting the terrorists but still breathes hatred for its leader. Until September 2015, this great empire was unable – or unwilling – to defend the small state, whose army was about to be driven into the sea despite the presence of the empire’s air force, which was not there to help the people.
Meanwhile, another world power has entered the small state for the purpose of fighting these terrorists, and within a short time, the small state’s army was quickly winning back their own territory thanks to the air power of this second world power. When the terrorists were finally under control, the great empire claimed victory over the terrorists, even though it was the state and its allies, notably the second world power, who had vanquished the enemy on the ground. The great empire also established illegal bases on this territory and prevented the other power and the state army from entering its own territory there, even killing national soldiers, all the while self-righteously condemning the state’s president for supposedly causing all the murders that the great empire itself had caused by supporting the terrorists in the first place, calling them moderates and rebels.
The great empire is not backing down, still pretending that the invaded state, Syria, and the other world power, Russia, are somehow in the wrong. Yet the only “wrong” is the fact that Syria and Russia, and their terror-fighting ally Iran, refuse to bow down to the great empire, the US.
Just as in the year 33, most adherents to the popular religion – Christians in this case – simply take the path of least resistance and stand by the empire in its murderous invasion. They speak of God and country, but these are weasel words. Their country is their god and, while they may pay lip service to God Almighty on Sunday morning, there is no other god but the empire in their hearts and minds.
As it was in 33, so it is in 2018. Nothing has changed.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
By Vince Dhimos
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
They keep making movies about Putin, and the latest one (click on video link above), by Andrey Kondrashov, has a scene where Kondrashov asks Putin what love is (starting at about minute 15:32).
Forrest Gump, in the film of that title featuring Tom Hanks, has a short scene where Forrest says to his childhood sweetheart: “I am not a smart man. But I know what love is.” Forrest shows this love by his actions and words but would have been hard put to articulate it.
I used to wonder what a smart Forrest Gump would have been like. I no longer wonder.
Vladimir Putin is a smart person who knows what love is, and his definition of love is distinctly Russian. In a way, I think that as president, Putin weaponizes love, and I mean that respectfully, in a good sense, because I love and admire Putin and know that he is on the right track. What I mean by that is that Putin loves the people he deals with, including the meanest creatures on earth, the Saudi royals, or the very best, his Russian co-workers and constituents. His love draws them at least momentarily into his world where he can touch not only their minds but their hearts. In this way, he achieves peace without the need to use coercion, threats, or insults in the way that has become the trademark of US “diplomacy.”
If you will click on the video link above and go to minute 15:32, you can hear this conversation.
(My translation below is not a slavish copy of the subtitles. For example, the word dobroe (доброе) in Putin’s explanation means “kind” in this context, not just “good” as rendered by the Russian translator.)
Kondrashov: Vladimir Vladimirovich, in recent years you have repeatedly said that there is nothing more important in life than love. Tell us, what is love?
Putin: Love is a kindly attitude toward people. It’s the feeling that everyone is a part of others. It’s a very important part of our life. The life of all nations in our country.1 It is a warm feeling toward family and loved ones. Your attitude toward your country. It’s this inner feeling of self-sacrifice and goodwill to others. A phenomenon so common in our country. It also means loyalty to your homeland. I rarely observe this phenomenon outside our own country.
1Russia is a collection of nations, each with its own culture and often with its own distinctive language and religion. At the same time, the central government cultivates a loyalty to Russia per se. This is observed, for example, in the leadership of Chechnya, a Muslim province, whose leader Ramzan Kadyrov has long shown strong loyalty to President Putin and has aided Russia in dealing with and eliminating terror there. Unlike the US, when Siberia, sort of a “wild East” you could say, was settled by the first Russian speakers, they respected the different cultures there and allowed them to keep their own identities, instead of “conquering” them or exterminating them. This respect for other cultures and the sovereignty of peoples (nations) is a fundamental aspect of Russian life, political and cultural, and has manifested in recent years as the Multipolar World touted by Putin, who, thanks to this respectful, loving policy, is becoming a uniting factor in the Middle East and North Africa and in the world at large. Love is his source of strength, just as US leaders’ rude, arrogant manner is their source of weakness.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. James 5:16
America can be great – again or for the first time, depending on how you see it – if it can man up and confess its sins instead of hiding them, as Congress tried to hide the Song my massacre. Countries can get great by learning from their mistakes.
Below is our translation of an article by Andrey Veselov from RIA Novosti.
Massacre in Song my
Why did US soldiers kill women and children in Vietnam?
A half-century ago, on March 16, 1968, soldiers of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment of the US Army entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai and completely destroyed it, killing 504 peaceful civilians. Many of them were brutally tortured and women were raped. There were no weapons in the village. The Song Mai (Vietnamese preferred usage) massacres became one of the symbols of the Vietnam War. In the United States, the crime was not recognized at first, and today they are still trying not to remember this. The correspondent of RIA Novosti visited Song My and talked to witnesses of the monstrous massacre.
The punitive operation began at about 5:30 in the morning. Following artillery fire, the soldiers of Charlie Company landed in landing helicopters on the western outskirts of the village and immediately opened fire on the peasants working in the rice fields. Moving along the road, they threw grenades at the windows and doors of houses. Some residents were killed on the spot, others were driven to other premises or wastelands and shot there.
"The brains were white. Everything else was red.”
Pam Ti Tuan is 80 years old. When the Americans attacked the village, she was thirty. She still remembers the incident in detail.
"It's impossible to forget. I often dream at night about the soldiers coming back, and then I scream,” she says. The Americans broke into the house and the whole family - mother, father, grandmother, two brothers, sister, Ti Tuan herself and her two young daughters - were pushed out.
"Together with the rest of us we were led to a ditch (a shallow irrigation canal for watering near rice paddies), our neighbours, several dozen people, were with us," recalls the Vietnamese woman. On the way soldiers shouted, swore, beat us with rifle butts and kicked us, sometimes shooting. People were lined up along the edge of the canal, forced to turn their backs, kneel and raise their hands. We did not think that they would kill us. We completely obeyed them and did not resist! But they opened fire. The slain fell into the water one by one."
Together with Thi Tuan, we came to the very moat where her family and neighbours were killed. "I saw them shooting my father. I can still see it! His head just exploded. I could not believe it - his brains were completely white. Everything else was red," she says.
When shots rang out, Thi Tuan grabbed her daughters and jumped into a ditch, pretending to be dead. Everyone around them was dead and wounded.
"People were screaming horribly. The Americans could not kill them all right away. The wounded were finished off. I whispered to my daughters not to move and to remain silent. At one point it seemed to me that they were dead, so quietly they lay. It was terrible! I almost screamed when I thought they were dead. If I had screamed, I would also have been killed. "
Thi Tuan’s daughters survived, but the rest of the family all died.
Together with the children, Thi Tuan spent several hours among the dead, although the Americans had already left. I was afraid they would return. In all, about 70 people died in that ditch.
"She then worked all her life in the countryside," the neighbours said. She did not go anywhere, grew rice and vegetables. Crafted carvings of wood. She remained very calm and friendly, although she had experienced the sort of thing that can drive a person crazy. She was lucky. She survived herself and her children survived. "
"I looked like a basket of meat"
Another survivor of the slaughter was Fan Thanh Kong. In 1968, he was only 11 years old. A year later, a picture of a little frightened boy circulated all around the planet.
"Mom was getting us ready for school when we heard explosions and shots. We decided to hide. My father dug a small dugout in advance and were going to wait there. But the soldiers found us and forced us out,” says Thanh Kong.
He remembers that there were three soldiers - two white men and one black man. "The whites aimed at us, smoked and laughed. And the black man shot the cows and set fire to our barn. Then they began to discuss what to do with us. They ordered us to return to the dug-out. When we came down, they threw three grenades at us and ran away,” continues Thanh Kong.
"I think mother understood everything. She realized that they wanted to kill us like that, with grenades,” the Vietnamese fellow said. "So she told me to go with my sisters and brother to the very depths of the dug-out." And she stayed at the exit. She was torn to pieces. The rest also died. Only I survived."
They took Thanh Kong for dead and wanted to bury him too.
"I looked like a basket with meat, covered in blood. It didn’t occur to anyone that I was alive," - he says.
At the very last moment the boy woke up and miraculously escaped being buried alive.
The reason for the incredible cruelty of the Americans is still unclear. According to one version, the headquarters of the guerrilla National Liberation Front of South Vietnam - the Viet Minh, or as the Americans call them, the Viet Cong, could have been in the village. Shortly before this "Charlie" company had suffered losses: several soldiers had been blown to bits by mines.
In other words, retaliation. But in the village the soldiers found neither partisans nor weapons. So they took "revenge" on ordinary peasants.
"There were no guerrillas here," says Thanh Kong. – It wasn’t like that at all. The Americans wanted the Vietnamese to work for them. A special camp was organized nearby. And in Song My, no one wanted to work for the Americans. So it was an act of intimidation: to show the inhabitants of other villages what awaits them."
"There are good Americans too"
Song my was destroyed entirely, nothing remained. Later, the village was rebuilt.
For the Vietnamese government, it was a matter of honour, and on the site of wooden huts there appeared stone houses. The only thing that has survived from the old village is a well. American soldiers threw the corpses there, and possibly even the living.
In Song My there is a modest memorial and a museum. Thanh Kong worked as a caretaker there for years until he retired a year ago. On the walls of the two rooms of the museum are grim photographs - absolutely peaceful people, peasants (this can be clearly seen from their clothes) with terrible wounds and injuries: heads with shot wounds, entrails exposed and lolling out, faces distorted by pain. And next to them American soldiers - laughing and setting fire to their homes.
The truth about the crime was not revealed immediately by any means. Washington denied everything.
One congressmen tried to initiate an investigation, but the White House said: it was a bunch of "lies and fiction.”
Everything changed after the photos were published. Ronald Haeberle of Charlie Company took pictures during the slaughter, but did not make them public for a year. Not until November 1969 did he sell the photographs to several American and European publications. At that point a major scandal broke out.
As a result, only one person was convicted - Lieutenant William Kelly. By special order of President Richard Nixon, he served his sentence at home. And three years later he was released.
In the museum, Thanh Kong points to the portrait of the gunner of the helicopter, Lawrence Colburn, and says: "There are good Americans too."
Colburn joined the crew of the observation helicopter OH-23, who accidentally witnessed the massacre and stopped it, opening warning fire.
"The US does not want to remember what happened here. For them it's a disgrace. Of course, they do not help us in any way,” concludes Thanh Kong.
In Hanoi, we meet with the senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Van Rinh. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War, formerly, Deputy Minister of Defence, and today, President of the Association of Victims of "Agent Orange" / dioxin.
Americans used chemical warfare agents, infecting 14 percent of the country's territory, poisoning millions of Vietnamese. Exposed children were born with mutations.
"Very many crimes of the US Army in Vietnam have not yet been uncovered," the general said. “The scale is so monstrous that it is very difficult to know the truth. They themselves will never admit it on their own."
Indeed, if it were not for Haeberle’s random photographs, the world would never know about the Song My tragedy and the White House would still confidently deny it.
But in many other places where the US military was operating, there were no photographers.