ASIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ASIA

Dec 18 10:39

The Israel Lobby Cowbird

How Israel lobbying organizations flit about Washington, hatching operatives into the U.S. federal government to pursue a solitary goal—advancing the interests of a foreign state.

How is the Israel lobby like a swarm of cowbirds?

Cowbirds use the devious strategy of brood parasitism, arriving at the nest of more parentally-oriented birds to lay their own eggs. Cowbirds then enjoy unburdened freedom to forage and thrive while their own young are raised, fed and protected by unsuspecting parents. If an avian host dares remove the cowbird’s offspring, the host’s own eggs—if not the entire nest—will likely be destroyed by the watchful cowbird.

Dec 18 10:35

“The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US?” Conference

“The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US?” is an all-day conference which will take place April 10 in the National Press Club ballroom in Washington, DC. Questions will be addressed by experts of all ages and backgrounds from academia, government, independent research organizations and alternative news media shut out of public discourse. The conference is co-sponsored by the American Educational Trust’s publication Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Inc (IRmep).

Register online for “The Israel Lobby: Is It Good for the US?” today at http://IsraelLobbyUS.org

Dec 18 10:31

Iran nuclear deal within grasp

The US-Iranian negotiations for a nuclear deal are slated to resume on Monday amidst growing optimism that this could be the end of the year-long endgame under way, and an accord is in sight, finally. The US secretary of state John Kerry recently said that the effort will be to reach an accord even before the extended deadline of end-June.

The target is to reach a political agreement by March 1, 2015and a comprehensive agreement by July 1. To be sure, if there was any disappointment that the deal couldn’t be struck yet after intense talks began an year ago, that has dispelled. The mood in Tehran bazaar is “bullish”, according to New York Times, sensing that a deal with the US is in the works.

The main reason for this growing optimism is that the two sides have a good idea by now of each other’s ‘red lines’ and also the grey area where give-and-take is possible. In sum, there is no more a need for brinkmanship or grandstanding.

Dec 18 08:19

A (mild) thaw in US-Russia ties

Reports on the meeting between the US secretary of state John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the American Embassy Residence in Rome suggest that an urgent need has arisen for the Obama administration to seek the Kremlin’s cooperation in the Middle East crisis.

The Indian pundits must be surprised how such bonhomie could exist between Washington and Moscow at the UN SC on the very same day (Friday) in New York when the US state department mildly censored Delhi for doing ‘business’ with Russia during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India.

Plainly put, that’s how the international system works, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi not only understood it perfectly well but has also been prescient about the imperatives of a Russian-American working relationship sooner rather than later, and of course the transitory nature of the current chill in Russia’s relations with the West.

Dec 17 19:36

Children ‘Clean’ Oil Spill With Kitchen Utensils in Bangladesh

Waking Times

Bangladesh struggles to deal with devastating oil spill in world’s largest mangrove forest, home to dolphins and tigers.

Dec 17 13:59

Sydney Siege Aftermath: Australian Government Seeks More Anti Terrorism Laws

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Right on schedule, following a high profile terrorist attack, the government of Australia is now “investigating new security laws” and other methods that can be used to gut the civil liberties, privacy, and general way of life of Australian citizens. Only a day after the Sydney Siege, Australian “lawmakers,” intelligence agencies, legal branches, and other government officials sprung into action in order to discuss the possibility of passing yet another law allowing the collection and housing of telecommunication and Internet data of Australian citizens...

Dec 17 10:14

Pepe Escobar, Eurasian Integration vs. the Empire of Chaos

Welcome to the new trans-Eurasia choo-choo train. At over 13,000 kilometers, it will regularly traverse the longest freight train route in the world, 40% farther than the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Its cargo will cross China from East to West, then Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally Spain.

The Yiwu-Madrid route across Eurasia represents the beginning of a set of game-changing developments. It will be an efficient logistics channel of incredible length. It will represent geopolitics with a human touch, knitting together small traders and huge markets across a vast landmass. It’s already a graphic example of Eurasian integration on the go. And most of all, it’s the first building block on China’s “New Silk Road,” conceivably the project of the new century and undoubtedly the greatest trade story in the world for the next decade.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What does Chinese government do to get the things it wants economically?!?

It pushes technology, and drives win/win deals.

What does the US government do to get what it wants economically?!/ It wages wars.

And what is wrong with this picture?!?

BLOODY EVERYTHING.

Dec 16 15:08

“A Taboo on Telling the Truth About Palestine”

We are complicit in the creation of the modern Middle East. By honoring the taboo described by Edward Said, we made and now sustain Israel, not as a democracy which it claims to be, but as a war machine designed to extend the American empire over the bodies of dead children in Gaza and the WestBank.

There is no taboo against speaking of ISIS. The taboo related to ISIS is its connection to another American creation, the modern state of Israel.

Hedges opens a door into the darkness of our refusal to acknowledge our major role in Israel’s creation myth. He sees ISIS as an emulation of the modern state of Israel.

Dec 16 15:02

Is the U.S. Government incapable of breaking free from the domination of its Zionist masters?

The US Congress passed the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 at the beginning of December.

As is made clear in the article by Clovis Maksoud, former Arab League ambassador to the United States, transmitted here, at a time when European states are, hesitantly, moving toward holding Israel accountable for its crimes and taking meaningful action to end the occupation, the United States is, defiantly, moving in the opposite direction, confirming its national subservience to Israel and its continuing support (in its acts if not its rhetoric) for perpetual occupation.

Dec 16 14:42

Russia Pivots to Eurasia for Trade and Military Alliances

The United States' renewed cold war policy to isolate Russia is dividing Europe and changing the orbit for China and Asia.

Dec 16 09:04

The ''Shape-Shifting Sheik'' and the ''Sydney Siege''

Tony Cartalucci
Activist Post

Suspect had multiple aliases, granted political asylum by Australian government, interviewed by Australian media, spent years as fake pro-Western "Shia'a cleric" condemning Iran and Syria before recently "converting" to Sunni and supporting ISIS.

Another embarrassing chapter has unfolded for Western intelligence and security communities in the wake of the so-called "Sydney Siege." The suspect named by the media as "Man Haron Monis" also has gone by the names "Manteghi Boroujerdi" and "Mohammad Hassan Manteghi" and was an individual now confirmed to have long been on the radar of the Australian government, media, law enforcement, and court system since his arrival on Australian shores almost two decades ago...

Dec 15 20:35

Inside an internet addiction treatment center in China

At the Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in Beijing, children must take part in military-style activities, including exercise drills and the singing of patriotic songs. They are denied access to the internet. One of the first experiences internees undergo is brain monitoring through electroencephalography (EEG). The programme is run by psychologist Tao Ran, who claims the brains of internet and heroin addicts display similarities.

Dec 15 15:07

Senate torture report reveals American sadism

The global ‘war on terror,’ conceived by the Israelis and launched by their American lackeys shortly after the false-flag attacks of 9/11, is nothing short of a cruel hoax on the world.The sadists and megalomaniacs who have executed this comical ruse may well evade justice in this lifetime, but history will record their foul deeds so that future generations will rightly view them as the monstrous villains that they have proven to be.

A particularly cringe-worthy revelation is that the CIA practiced “rectal feeding” where prisoners on hunger strikes were force-fed through their rectum in order to keep them alive. The RT commentary cited above writes that, “At least five CIA detainees were subjected to ‘rectal rehydration,’ or rectal feeding, the Senate report reads, in order to keep prisoners alive who allegedly otherwise refused to eat.”

Dec 15 14:44

5 Reasons to Question the Official Story of the 'Sydney Siege'

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

In the aftermath of yet another highly publicized terror attack (or at least the potential for a high profile attack) in Australia by foreign-born jihadists, the Western public is once again experiencing a variety of emotional reactions that they have carefully been trained to experience whenever such events take place at home or abroad...

Dec 15 13:25

Miko Peled: This is NOT Recognition

As the recognition by European countries of a so called “State of Palestine” continues, it is becoming obvious that this is nothing but an old colonial trick dusted and reused. The fact that liberal Zionist hypocrites the likes of the Israeli writers Amoz Oz and David Grossman are all over it says it all.

In Palestine, speaking out against injustice is no longer enough. In fact it was never enough. As people of conscience we must act for the removal of the injustice and its replacement with a free, democratic system. But many forget that in order to achieve this there must be a struggle. A real struggle, and not some intellectualized version of a struggle as is often suggested by some Israeli liberals, is the only way to defeat racist, colonialist regimes.

Dec 15 13:20

The new European ‘arc of instability’

What’s certain is that the Empire of Chaos won’t relent in its strategy of heating up the new arc of instability – inside Europe, across the economic/financial spectrum – and instrumentalizing its pre-fabricated New Iron Curtain from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

The European Council on Foreign Relations and Berlin think-tank Friedrich Ebert Stiftung have just reached more or less the same conclusion.

If the dangerous stand-off between the EU and Russia over Ukraine is not solved, the EU could face, up to 2030, a military build-up in eastern Europe; a new arms race with NATO as a protagonist; and a semi-permanent “zone of instability” from the Baltic to the Balkans and the Black Sea.

Dec 15 10:35

Who Created Cartoon Character "Man Haron Monis" Behind "Sydney Siege" Circus?

Tony Cartalucci
Activist Post

Previously an outspoken critic of Iranian government, was interviewed by Australian media in 2001, loved Western society...

As predicted, the suspect amid the "Sydney Siege," has long been on the radar of Australian law enforcement, as well as a frequent visitor to Australia's court system.

Before that, however, he came to Australia as a political refugee, an opponent of what he called the "Iranian regime," and was even interviewed by Australia's ABC network in 2001 as part of an ongoing anti-Iranian propaganda campaign...

Dec 15 07:00

America's Terrorist Mercenaries Wreak Havoc in Sydney

Tony Cartalucci
Activist Post

Reports indicate that a gunman dressed in Al Qaeda or "Islamic State" (ISIS) attire has taken hostages in a cafe in the Australian city of Sydney. Demands made by the gunman include being allowed to contact Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and bringing him the Al Qaeda/ISIS flag.

The latest incident should be examined in the context of ISIS' genesis and the source of its ability to seemingly menace the entire planet with violence and acts of terrorism with seemingly inexhaustible resources...

Dec 14 19:20

Sydney siege: Hostages held in central cafe. Live Video, Updates

At least one gunman has taken several people hostage at a cafe in the centre of the Australian city of Sydney. Pictures on Australian television have shown at least three people with their hands up against a window, and a black flag with Arabic writing. Hundreds of armed police have sealed off the normally busy Martin Place in Sydney's central business district. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described the incident as "deeply concerning". "All Australians should be reassured that our law enforcement and security agencies are well trained and equipped and are responding in a thorough and professional manner," he said in a statement.

Dec 14 14:43

Citigroup managing director found dead in the bathtub

Another banker? Citigroup managing director, dies in suspected suicide

Citigroup managing director Shawn D. Miller was found dead in the bathtub of his New York City apartment...Police believe Miller killed himself, Detective Martin Speechley, an NYPD spokesman, told Bloomberg News Wednesday. However, the official cause of death will remain a mystery until the autopsy report is concluded.

Investigators believe Miller killed himself after going on a drug, methamphetamine and alcohol bender, according to the Daily News, which said that cops found controlled substances in the apartment.

The banker was discovered by the building’s doorman on Tuesday afternoon, after his boyfriend was unable to get a hold of him. His body was found with a laceration to his neck, the NYPD said. He was pronounced dead by paramedics that arrived to the apartment.

Dec 14 12:23

10 George Orwell Quotes That Predicted Life In 2014 America

1) “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.” Though many in the modern age have the will to bury their head in the sand when it comes to political matters, nobody can only concern themselves with the proverbial pebble in their shoe. If one is successful in avoiding politics, at some point the effects of the political decisions they abstained from participating in will reach their front door. More often than not, by that time the person has already lost whatever whisper of a voice the government has allowed them.

Dec 13 15:07

Israel’s Jews NOT Palestinians who are trapped in their public narrative

The only threat to Israel’s very existence is its on-going colonization of the occupied West Bank (ethnic cleansing slowly and by stealth) and the sickening Zionist self-righteousness that justifies it.

It’s Israel’s Jews not the Palestinians who have got to make the first major move if there is ever to be peace based on justice for the Palestinians and security for all. And what does that first major move have to be?

AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT A TERRIBLE WRONG WAS DONE TO THE PALESTINIANS BY ZIONISM IN THE NAME OF ALL JEWS AND THAT THIS WRONG MUST BE RIGHTED

Dec 12 20:39

A Chinese city is burning money for power instead of coal

A power plant in Luoyang City in central China is burning money as a cleaner alternative to coal. China’s economic growth may be cooling down but the energy sector has plenty of money to burn. A power plant in Luoyang City, in the country’s central Henan province, is using old banknotes rather than coal as fuel for its furnaces and to provide power for the region. According to reports from the official Xinhua news agency, a tonne of blazing banknotes can help contribute 660 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy and generates far less pollution than the fossil fuel traditionally used

Dec 12 12:48

The New Cold War Policy Has Backfired

What is occurring is a radical shift in U.S.-European diplomacy – in a way that according to textbook theory is inherently unstable and unworkable.

In following U.S. New Cold War confrontation, Europe has been acting against its own economic interests. Its neoliberal Third Energy law has effectively blocked Russia from having any economic gain in selling more gas to Europe.

The world’s geopolitics, major trade patterns and military alliances have changed radically in the past month. Russia has re-oriented its gas and oil trade, and also its trade in military technology, away from Europe toward Eurasia.

Dec 12 12:44

The United States of Torture

Want to abolish torture by US government agents? Then abolish the American empire.

There’s no shortcut, no way to ensure that “national security” won’t trump elementary ethics in the future – not unless we permanently ditch our imperial ambitions and restore our old republic. Until then we’ll remain the United States of Torture.

Dianne Feinstein was the canary in the coalmine. If even the senior Senator from California, as stalwart an ally of the CIA and the National Security State as one is likely to find, was upset enough to make such a fuss about the Senate torture report then it had to be pretty awful. The release of the 600-page report summary confirmed our worst suspicions.

Dec 11 11:36

Imagine Hillary exposed as the neocon she is

HOW THE MEDIA FEEDS AND MAINTAINS PARTISANSHIP AS IT HIDES THE TRUTH

If real evidence of Hillary’s malfeasance was produced, it would gore the ox of the Neocon agenda as well.

Allegations of creating a Mideast arms bazaar with a pipeline from Libya to Syria is not only a Democratic party tar baby, but shows all of Washington to be engaged in reckless weapons-peddling, where any militant group in the Mideast could seize the day along with the weapons and come out on top.

Dec 11 07:26

CIA Cited Israeli Court Rulings to Justify Torture

The report revealed that the Agency’s lawyers used the rulings from Israel's Supreme Court to construct a legal case to justify the illegal interrogation methods.

The controversial report published Tuesday by the United States Senate Intelligence Committee on the torture methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) revealed that the Agency’s lawyers used the rulings from Israel’s Supreme Court to construct a legal case to justify the illegal interrogation methods.

Dec 11 06:42

Shielding Israel’s Secret Nukes

You know something doesn’t wash when the contrary views are as overwhelmingly held as on this matter. The resolution passed on a vote of 161-5.

Neither Israel nor the United States says publicly that Israel has nuclear weapons, but just about everyone else in the world takes it as a given that it does, which would make it the only state in the Middle East that does.

The stated rationale for the United States casting last Tuesday one of the very lonely votes it sometimes casts at the United Nations General Assembly, on matters on which almost the entire world sees things differently, warrants some reflection.

The resolution in question this time endorsed the creation of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East and called on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to renounce any possession of nuclear weapons, and to put its nuclear facilities under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Dec 11 06:14

Symbolic European gestures of state recognition won’t advance the Palestinian cause

If George Washington could revisit us today he would say that America's passionate attachment for Israel has produced the variety of evils he described in his 1796 address.

At the time of writing there is a French initiative underway. Its purpose is, it seems, to get a new Security Council resolution in which the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 would be a key component…

Will Obama administration veto this new peace initiative ?

Dec 10 15:04

Game over, Japan

In April, the Japanese government raised the sales tax rate from 5% to 8%, which while doing nothing for the government’s ability to cover debt payments, did significant damage on the country’s growth in terms of GDP.

Clearly that didn’t work out very well, so they’re postponing the planned second increase in the sales tax.

But by doing that, the country’s credit rating was promptly downgraded by Moody’s.

While it’s astonishing that Japan’s rating is still as high as it is, the shift downwards is critical.

This is the beginning of the end. The Japanese government is running out of moves. If they raise taxes, they lose growth; if they don’t, they lose the last remaining shred of confidence from investors that they’ll ever make good on their debt.

Game over, Japan. Hara-kiri seems to be the only option at this point.

Dec 09 11:26

CrossTalk: Arab Spring Mirage

With the judicial exoneration of Egypt’s former President Mubarak, we are forced to consider the condition of the so-called Arab Spring. Or even ponder if there was even such a thing. And whether Washington actually prefers dictators and monarchs in the region, notes Peter Lavelle.

CrossTalking with David Ottaway, Wael Eskandar and Hafsa Kara-Mustapha.

Interesting that they are only just beginning to wake up to the farce. Its like calling the Kiev coup a revolution. This is what analyst Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT almost four years ago about the uprisings “wrong to call it Arab Spring, that was a term used by Western journalists to justify the Iraq invasion and imply ‘democracy’ would spread!”

Dec 09 11:20

Russia, Turkey pivot across Eurasia

This is what the New Great Game in Eurasia is all about.

The latest, spectacular “Exit South Stream, Enter Turk Stream” Pipelinistan gambit will be sending big geopolitical shockwaves all across Eurasia for quite some time. This is what the New Great Game in Eurasia is all about.

In a nutshell, a few years ago Russia devised North Stream – fully operational – and South Stream – still a project – to bypass unreliable Ukraine as a gas transit nation. Now Russia devises a new sweet deal with Turkey to bypass the “non-constructive” (Putin’s words) approach of the European Commission (EC) concerning the European “Third Energy Package”, which prohibits one company from controlling the full cycle of extraction, transportation and sale of energy resources.

Dec 09 11:17

UN Reveals Israeli Links With Syrian Rebels

Why is Israel supporting Syrian Rebels?

Reports by UN observers in the Golan submitted to 15 members of Security Council detail regular contact between IDF officers and armed Syrian opposition figures at the border.

Reports by UN observers in the Golan Heights over the past 18 months reveal the type and extent of cooperation between Israel and Syrian opposition figures. The reports, submitted to the 15 members of the UN Security Council and available on the UN’s website, detail regular contacts held on the border between IDF officers and soldiers and Syrian rebels.

Dec 09 11:13

Don’t Risk War With Russia

Washington rushes to court open conflict with Moscow against every rational interest.It is not wise to provoke a powerful enemy unless a vital national interest is at stake, which is not the case with Ukraine and Crimea.

Today, more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there are many indications that Washington is slipping into a new and completely unnecessary confrontation with Moscow, only this time it is not being run largely out of sight by the CIA. Much of the new conflict is being conducted openly, with sanctions and resolutions by Congress, regular appearances in unstable regions overseas by senior state department officials and politicians, and trainings in new media political organizing funded by quasi non-governmental organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Dec 08 12:38

CrossTalk: Arab Spring Mirage

With the judicial exoneration of Egypt’s former President Mubarak, we are forced to consider the condition of the so-called Arab Spring. Or even ponder if there was even such a thing. And whether Washington actually prefers dictators and monarchs in the region, notes Peter Lavelle.

CrossTalking with David Ottaway, Wael Eskandar and Hafsa Kara-Mustapha.

Dec 08 08:44

US meddling to blame for ‘all Arab world sufferings’ – Sudan president

The bloody conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Libya are the result of the interference by the US, which wants to gain control over the rich natural resources of those countries, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir told RT.

“The people in Sudan believe that the since the fall of the Soviet Union [in 1991], injustice and oppression has prevailed around the globe as the US became the sole hegemon and began running things with impunity in many regions, including ours,” Bashir said.

In his interview with RT’s Arabic Channel, the Sudanese president labeled Washington’s policies in Middle East and North Africa as “harmful and destructive.”

“Just look at what’s now happening in Iraq and how it spread to Syria. All the suffering that is going in the Arab world is the work of the US,” he said.

Dec 08 08:40

U.S. Arms Deal Will Increase Israel’s Kill Power

Whether the Defense chief is Hagel or Carter, the military industrial power center goes forward.

What exactly, we must ask, is the rationale for adding this air power expense to the Israeli budget?

In October of this year, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon came to Washington to visit with his counterpart,U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

He and Hagel finalized a weapons deal that they say benefited the U.S. and Israel.

The weapons deal was not even reported until Friday of this past week.

Dec 08 08:36

Kissinger Geopolitics

During his Washington years, Kissinger was part eminence grise/eminence noir. Manipulating events for his own self-interest.

At age 91, maybe senility set in. Or a time of reflection. At the same time, trying to have things both ways.

Unwilling to atone. Even late in life. Once a war criminal. Always one.

Dec 07 20:02

Japan's third quarter recession deeper than forecasted

Japan's economy shrank more than initially forecast in the third quarter of 2014, according to revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures.

The economy contracted by 1.9% in annual terms from July to September, well above a preliminary reading of 1.6%.

It also shrank 0.5% on a quarterly basis, compared to an initial estimate of 0.4%, data showed on Monday.

A big fall in business spending plunged the economy into a deeper recession.

Dec 07 14:29

For-Profit Colleges Hired Strippers to Recruit Students

The U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Florida are going after the operator of a now-defunct chain of for-profit colleges that, among other things, hired strippers to lure students into enrolling at the schools. The target of the federal case is FastTrain II Corporation and its owner, Alejandro Amor, who ran seven private schools across Florida until they closed in 2012.

Dec 07 12:10

Fuel crisis forced shut down of biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine

Kiev Regime – a Disaster Awaiting Meltdown

Was the forced shutdown of the biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine last week a result of the country’s fuel crisis? That crisis is itself a product to the political crisis that the Western sponsors have engendered in the country with the illegal coup in Kiev earlier this year.

The Zaporozhiya nuclear power station, which was forced to shut down on November 28, is located on the Dneiper River in southeast Ukraine. It is not only the biggest in the country, it is also the largest operating facility in Europe, with an output of 6,000 megawatts. Ukraine relies on four nuclear power plants for the supply of about half of all its electricity requirements.

Dec 07 12:06

Ukraine’s Made-in-USA Finance Minister

Though it’s difficult for an outsider to ascertain the relative merits of these insider deals, they could reflect negatively on Jaresko’s role as Ukraine’s new finance minister given the country’s reputation for corruption and cronyism, a principal argument for the U.S.-backed “regime change” that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February.

The substantial U.S. government sum invested in Jaresko’s WNISEF-based equity fund also sheds new light on how it was possible for Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland to tally up U.S. spending on Ukraine since it became independent in 1991 and reach the astounding figure of “more than $5 billion,” which she announced to a meeting of U.S.-Ukrainian business leaders last December as she was pushing for “regime change” in Kiev.

Dec 06 10:41

Disgusted, Russia Officially Gives Up Any Pretense of “Dialog” With the AngloZionist Empire

It is painfully clear that Russia considers the USA an arrogant bully which Russia can stop and that Russia considers the regimes in power in the EU as voiceless colonies. Equally clear is the fact that the Russians are fed up with trying to plead or reason with anybody in the West. The Americans are too arrogant, the Europeans too spineless.

On March 1st of this year I wrote a piece entitled “Obama just made things much, much worse in the Ukraine – now Russia is ready for war“. Russia did not want that war, it was imposed on her at a time when Russia was not ready. Nevertheless, today Putin informed us all that Russia refuses to submit, that she accepts the challenge and that she will prevail.

Dec 06 10:37

Happy Christmas in Land of Unholy Misery!

What sort of churchman defends a regime that has turned Bethlehem into a prison...

Christian priests who support the regime that trashes Bethlehem

When I criticised one of the 12 MPs who recently voted against Palestinian statehood, I found myself immediately under attack in the press from a local churchman for my “anti-Israel outburst”. His own outburst was a catalogue of misinformation.

Dec 06 10:35

America on “Hot War Footing” as House Paves Way for War with Russia

Mainstream Media Blacks Out as U.S. House of Representatives Passes Dark War on Russia Resolution 758.

America is on a war footing. While, a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an “operational level”. Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to conduct a war against Russia.

The adoption of a major piece of legislation by the US House of Representatives on December 4th (H. Res. 758) would provide (pending a vote in the Senate) a de facto green light to the US president and commander in chief to initiate –without congressional approval– a process of military confrontation with Russia.

Global security is at stake. This historic vote –which potentially could affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people Worldwide– has received virtually no media coverage. A total media blackout prevails.

Dec 05 10:14

Americans Losing Faith in Democracy

Americans feel increasingly powerless to influence policies either to address their economic plight or to curtail the nation’s overseas military adventures.

Kurt Campbell, who was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs until last year, had an interesting op-ed the other day that relates to the growing inequality of income within the United States to a lowering of the international standing of the United States and of its ability to sustain international engagement abroad.

For the American public, lack of active support for an active foreign policy is not only a matter of competition for scarce resources. It also involves a sense of empowerment, or a lack thereof. The public will care less and be less informed about foreign policy to the extent that it does not believe it has a say that really matters in determining that policy.

Dec 05 08:49

Crashing Yen Leads To Record Number Of Japanese Bankruptcies

Last week, Zero Hedge first showed a chart so simple, even a Krugman could get it: at this point (and really ever since USDJPY 110 and higher), any incremental Yen devaluation is destructive for the Japanese economy, leading to an unprecedented surge in defaults. And here is Japan Times confirming what we said, with a report that "Corporate bankruptcies linked to the yen’s slide hit a new record in November, highlighting the strains on small and midsize companies as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe campaigns for re-election on his deflation-busting economic strategy."

Dec 05 04:58

Toyota Widens Airbag Recall in Asia

Dec 03 13:01

Gazprom to build new 63 bcm Black Sea pipeline to Turkey instead of South Stream

The new project will include a specially-constructed hub on the Turkish-Greek border. Russia’s energy minister Aleksandr Novak said it will supply customers in Eastern and Southern Europe.

Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller said the energy giant will build a massive gas pipeline that will travel from Russia, transit through Turkey, and stop at the Greek border – giving Russia access to the Southern European market.

The new pipeline to Turkey will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. A total of 14 bcm will be delivered to Turkey, which is Gazprom’s second biggest customer in the region after Germany.

Russia’s energy minister Aleksandr Novak said that the new project will include a specially-constructed hub on the Turkish-Greek border for customers in southern Europe.

Dec 03 12:45

MH17: What is the Joint Investigation Team, What Is It for, Who’s Leading it and Why is Malaysia Excluded?

Several authors have recently asked why Malaysia is not part of the MH17 joint investigation team and why is Ukraine, a suspect in this case, part of it? The questions we should first be asking are what exactly is the joint investigation team, in which legal framework is it operating and why was it established?

Dec 03 09:19

The Risk of Misreading Russia’s Intent

Official Washington’s “group think” on Ukraine holds that the crisis is all about Russian “aggression” and “expansionism” even with comparisons to Hitler. But such a hyperbolic interpretation of intent can create its own dangerous dynamics.

Much of the discourse over the past year about responding to Russian moves in Ukraine has been couched in terms of the need to stop aggressive expansionism in its tracks. Hillary Clinton has even invoked the old familiar analogy to Nazi expansionism in likening some of the Russian actions to what Germany was doing in the 1930s.

With or without the Nazi analogy, a commonly expressed concept is that not acting firmly enough to stop Russian expansionism in Ukraine would invite still further expansion.

Underlying such arguments are certain assumptions about wider Russian intentions.

Dec 03 09:16

Der Spiegel Tones Down Anti-Putin Hysteria

The mainstream U.S. news media continues to spew out a steady flow of anti-Russian propaganda over the Ukraine crisis, but the prominent German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has begun to temper its belligerent tone, finally reflecting the more nuanced reality.

Last summer, the German news magazine Der Spiegel was swept up in the Western hysteria over Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine crisis, even running a bellicose cover demanding “Stop Putin Now” and blaming him for the 298 deaths in the July 17 crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.

At the time, I was being told by a source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts that the emerging scenario pointed more toward an extremist group associated with the Ukrainian government although not under the control of Kiev’s senior leadership. But the major media in the U.S. and Europe refused to rethink the early “conventional wisdom.”

Dec 03 09:11

Pssst! Is Israel going crazy?

Is Israel cracking up? There have been more and more reports in recent days that suggest the political culture is going crazy; and that there’s nothing to hold that craziness down.

Israel’s leaders are catering to knuckleheads and crazies because there’s a political payoff. Max Blumenthal saw/predicted a lot of this with his book of a year ago that the mainstream has done its best to ignore.

Now at last the global community is frightened by this trend; the New York Times says Netanyahu’s initiative is “heartbreaking” for those who believe in Israeli democracy.

Dec 02 10:29

In the six months since Thailand's military coup, the United States has exported tens of millions of dollars' worth of military equipment to the unelected government there

In the six months since Thailand's military coup, the United States has exported tens of millions of dollars' worth of military equipment to the unelected government there. This finding is based on a new analysis of US Census Bureau export data conducted by Truthout.

The records, which run through September, show that since the May 22, 2014, coup, the United States has delivered $11 million in parts for military aircraft, more than $1 million in parts for guided missiles and three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters worth more than $40 million.

The Thai military government, which calls itself the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), has mandated widespread censorship on television, radio, in print and in social media. It has also outlawed criticism of the military authorities, as well as gatherings of more than five people.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And just WHY would the US government support a military dictatorship in Thailand?!? For the same bloody reasons it supports such governments all over the world: stability (at the cost of democracy) and US profits.

Please remember the following, as reported in an article published by Mount Holyoke College:

"The Department of Labor indicates that 50% of garment factories in the U.S. violate two or more basic labor laws, establishing them as sweatshops. Sweatshops exist wherever there is an opportunity to exploit workers who lack the knowledge and resources to stand up for themselves. Typical sweatshop employees, ninety percent of whom are women, are young and uneducated. Many of them are recent or undocumented immigrants who are unaware of their legal rights. Young women throughout the world are subject to horrible working conditions and innumerable injustices because corporations, many of which are U.S.-owned, can get away with it."

And as reported at globalethicsnetwork.org last May:

One of the biggest hallmarks of sweatshop labor is that the workers are simply underpaid, especially considering the kinds of working conditions they endure. Minimum wage levels in countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, and China, are significantly lower than that of the United States. The federal minimum wage per hour in the United States is currently at 7.25 dollars, while it is 1.48 dollars in Thailand, 69 cents in the Philippines, and 67 cents in China. However, workers are frequently paid less than these estimates suggest—amounts barely enough to survive on even considering the lower cost of living in these regions.

And ladies, BEFORE you buy any kind of a garment from the after Christmas sales, please look at the tag, and note the country of origin.

Because if we can, finally, buy "fair trade organic coffee", where the people who nurture the plants to maturity and harvest, get some more money for their labor, we should be able to buy "fair trade garments", where the people who do the hardest labor get reasonably rewarded.

Dec 02 09:31

In the six months since Thailand's military coup, the United States has exported tens of millions of dollars' worth of military equipment to the unelected government there

In the six months since Thailand's military coup, the United States has exported tens of millions of dollars' worth of military equipment to the unelected government there. This finding is based on a new analysis of US Census Bureau export data conducted by Truthout. The records, which run through September, show that since the May 22, 2014, coup, the United States has delivered $11 million in parts for military aircraft, more than $1 million in parts for guided missiles and three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters worth more than $40 million.
Comment

Dec 02 08:02

Russia takes Asia Pacific states as key oil and gas partners — ministry official

Russia takes Asia-Pacific states as main partners in the oil and gas sector, director of the department of oil and gas production and delivery at Russian Energy Ministry Alexander Gladkov said at the opening of the Russian stand at the 20th Offshore South East Asia Conference and Exhibition (OSEA 2014) on Tuesday.

Russia “counts on development of mutually beneficial cooperation in this sphere,” he said.

Dec 01 12:16

UNGA — Adopted Six Resolutions regarding Israeli Occupied Territories

Just look at the nations controlled by the grubby little bribe takers: Stephen Harper of Canada and Australia’s Tony Abbott, who either voted against the six resolutions, or abstained; openly admitting that land-theft and prisoner-of-war slaying are permissible, as long as the Jewish State of Israel can cloak them in some kind of constitutionally fraudulent legalese.

Dec 01 12:13

‘Western sanctions aimed at regime change in Russia’ – Lavrov

“Western leaders publicly state that the sanctions must hurt [Russia's] economy and stir up public protests. The West doesn’t want to change Russia’s policies. They want a regime change. Practically nobody denies that,” Lavrov told a leading think-tank in Moscow.

The ultimate goal of the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by some Western nations is to stir public protests and oust the government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Dec 01 12:04

Der Spiegel Tones Down Anti-Putin Hysteria

While the major U.S. media has become one continuous conveyor belt of anti-Russian propaganda, Der Spiegel finally seems to have slowed down the assembly-line manufacturing of lies and exaggerations by offering its readers a bit of honesty about how this crisis began.

Last summer, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel was swept up in the Western hysteria over Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine crisis, even running a bellicose cover demanding “Stop Putin Now” and blaming him for the 298 deaths in the July 17 crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine.

Nov 30 06:20

UNGA — Adopted Six Resolutions regarding Israeli Occupied Territories

The United Nations General Assembly adopted six resolutions regarding Israeli occupied territories through a recorded vote last night, addressing the areas of Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan.

In terms of Jerusalem, the Assembly voted on a resolution confirming that all legislative and administrative measures taken by Israel to change the legal status of the Holy City of Jerusalem are null and void.

Nov 30 05:56

‘Western sanctions aimed at regime change in Russia’ – Lavrov

“Western leaders publicly state that the sanctions must hurt [Russia's] economy and stir up public protests. The West doesn’t want to change Russia’s policies. They want a regime change. Practically nobody denies that,” Lavrov told a leading think-tank in Moscow.

The ultimate goal of the anti-Russian sanctions imposed by some Western nations is to stir public protests and oust the government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Nov 29 07:26

Fukushima Clean-Up Based On Shady Science And Tax Payer Rip-Off

Richard Wilcox, PhD
Activist Post

History is indeed little more than the register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind. - Gibbon

In my article "Scandal-Ridden Japan" (1) I discussed the difficulty of decommissioning the fatally damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant #1 (FNPP#1). To give credit to Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company), most of the fuel rods which were an extreme danger at unit 4 have been removed and the rest will be placed in dry cask storage by end of year. But that was easy pickins compared to the entire process of “cleaning up” (with scrub-brush, mop, bucket, soap and water and a little elbow grease) three wrecked nuclear reactors which it is admitted will take at least 40 years.

Rome wasn't built in a day and took quite awhile to fall...

Nov 20 08:12

Asian demand for crude to drive switch to renminbi

The increasing demand for crude in Asian countries such as China was enough reason for the region to prepare to pay for trade in the Chinese currency renminbi (RMB), an HSBC official said.

Georges Elhedery, HSBC head, Global Banking and Markets (Mena), noted that the region was slow to adopt RMB since trade between the Middle East and China was still highly dependent on the greenback.

“The Middle East has been slow in adopting RMB but we’re starting to see a shift in the region towards the Chinese currency,” Elhedery told Gulf Times in a meeting with reporters at the HSBC offices in Doha.

He explained that minimal oil and gas exports to the West have made the region dependent on Eastern buyers such as South Korea, Japan, and China, which was critical in setting the international price of crude.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yet another nail in the coffin of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

Nov 17 09:36

What did the Brisbane G-20 summit accomplish?

President Barack Obama was equally effusive, saying the gathering was not a “chinwag,” an Australian word for meaningless talk. Rather, he said, “it has been a good week for American leadership.” At a press conference, Obama listed expanding trade, a visa accord with China, and “a big advance on climate change” as tangible achievements.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So the headline accomplishment is a deal to take seriously a problem that was made up in the first place. Left unsaid in this article is the agreement by the G20 to consider bank savings accounts as investments in the bank, subject to loss if the bank gets into trouble.

Nov 13 10:14

President Putin Pledges to Increase Trade with China and Asia to Rebuke Sanctions

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obama faces an impossible task at APEC and the G-20. Russia has products other nations want to buy, while all Obama has to offer is speeches and dubious promises.

Nov 13 09:48

Azerbaijan Risks New Armenia Conflict as Military Chopper Downed

Azerbaijan shot down an Armenian helicopter that it said violated its airspace in an attack that may trigger fresh confrontations between the two countries over a disputed region.

The Mi-24 helicopter was “trying to attack” Azeri positions near a cease-fire line when it was hit, the Defense Ministry in Baku said on its website. Armenia’s Defense Ministry said the aircraft was unarmed and called its downing an “unprecedented provocation.”

“This is the worst military incident in more than 20 years since the cease-fire,” Thomas de Waal, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said by e-mail from Washington.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war as the Soviet Union collapsed that claimed about 30,000 lives and displaced 1.2 million people. The latest rupture of the 1994 cease-fire marks a potentially dangerous turn in the Caucasus flashpoint located between Turkey, Iran and Russia, which has a mutual defense pact with Armenia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is not just the chopper which got shot down, but its crew, which could be dead; there are no indications in this story that there were any survivors.

This could get nasty in a heartbeat, because Armenia and Azerbaijan have had rough relations over the years, due to Armenia having seized Nagorno-Karabakh, and the reality Russia has a mutual defense pact with Armenia.

To all the adults in the room in the bowels of geopolitics, wherever the heck you are, whatever the heck you are doing, please drop it, and see what you can do to hold this fragile peace together.

As you understand, the risks of a war in this region may well be a prelude to a much wider military confrontation.

Nov 10 10:49

Obama leaves for China, Myanmar, Australia tour

Obama left Washington in the pre-dawn hours en route to an air force base in Alaska, where his plane refueled before traveling on to Beijing.

The US leader was accompanied on his eight-day trip, which also includes visits to Myanmar and Australia, by his national security adviser Susan Rice and several other top aides.

The China leg of his trip will be dominated by Obama's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, where the White House said it expects "candid and in-depth conversations."

The relationship between the two superpowers, which US Secretary of State John Kerry has called the "most consequential" in the world today, has been marred by tensions over the South China Sea, cyberspying and human rights issues.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In this set of meetings here, Obama is doing what Obama does best; campaigning. But of course, it's not for votes; it's for certain financial opportunities and considerations, which he most likely will not get.

China is avoiding doing business transactions in the dollar, and this trend is not going to stop.

China has a trade surplus. As reported on 7 November, 2014 in businessinsider.com:

China recorded a better-than-expected trade surplus of $45.41 billion in October, customs said Saturday, but weaker export and import growth could be a worrisome sign for the world's second largest economy. October's trade surplus expanded 46.3 percent from the same month last year, exceeding market expectations for a $42.3 billion surplus, according to a survey of 11 economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-china-trade-surplus-expands-to-45.41-bn-in-october-2014-11#ixzz3Igij9KAv

The US has a trade deficit. As reported by AP on 4 November 2014:

The U.S. trade deficit rose in September as exports slumped, a sign that the world's biggest economy is starting to feel the impact of weakening global growth. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the trade deficit rose 7.6 percent to $43 billion in September. That marks the first increase in four months. A deficit occurs when a country imports more than it exports. Economic slowdowns in Europe and China appear to have hurt demand for American-made goods. Since September, the dollar has appreciated in value more than 4 percent against the euro to $1.25, making U.S. products less competitively priced abroad. Exports fell 1.5 percent to $195.6 billion, led by declines in shipments of industrial supplies, consumer products and capital goods such as engines and computers.

And "...cyberspying and human rights issues" will be on the agenda?!?

Please.

As if the US government wasn't spying on China (and everyone else, apparently, after the revelations of NSAgate!!)

And after the Patriot Act, US torture of prisoners of war, the Homeland Security Act,the NDAA, and the way Americans are treated by police, Obama doesn't have much "wiggle room" on those two issues at all.

Nov 07 11:53

No Asia trade pact expected on Obama's trip to region

The White House downplayed any expectations on Thursday (Nov 6) of progress on a much-awaited Pan-Pacific trade deal during President Barack Obama's upcoming trip to Asia.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would encompass 40 per cent of the global economy and include 12 nations, has been the subject of protracted negotiations.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One major brick wall is the TPP demand to prohibit all labeling of GMO products. Many Asian nations already have mandatory labeling of such products such as Japan and would view having to reverse their policy as a sign of weakness towards the United States.

Nov 07 07:40

Coast Guard to keep out Chinese boats

Patrollers with Japan Coast Guard are warning suspected Chinese poachers to keep away from islands in the Pacific. They concerned the crews may try to dock to escape a severe tropical storm.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This will cause a major diplomatic upset! You do not deny sailors shelter from a storm!

Nov 02 08:54

Japan risks Asian currency war with fresh QE blitz

The Bank of Japan is mopping up the country's vast debt and driving down the yen in a radical experiment in modern global finance

Oct 31 08:58

Special Report: Tsunami evacuees caught in $30 billion Japan money trap

Thirty billion dollars in funding for roads, bridges and thousands of new homes in areas devastated by the tsunami in Japan three and a half years ago is still languishing unspent in the bank. That means Keiko Abe is heading into a fourth winter of sub-zero temperatures in a cramped, temporary dwelling that is succumbing to the elements.

Oct 11 07:13

Home> InternationalJapan, US Revising Defense Plans With Eye on China

Japan and the United States are revising their mutual defense guidelines for the first time in nearly two decades to respond to China's military expansion and increase Japan's role in regional defense.

An interim report released Wednesday says the U.S. and Japan are pursuing a wider partnership that requires "enhanced capabilities and greater shared responsibilities."

The revision, the first since 1997, comes at a time of heightened Japan-China tensions over islands claimed by both countries in the East China Sea, as well as continuing concern about North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons development.

"What we need to address today is quite different from what we were aiming for in 1997," Koji Kano, a Defense Ministry official in the Japan-U.S. cooperation division, told reporters earlier this week. "The point is how Japan and the U.S. can respond better in the current environment."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: the US government is looking at a war against both China and Russia.

Sep 11 08:39

Japan may receive offensive military weapons from US amid rising tensions with China, N. Korea

The United States could provide offensively geared weapons to the Japanese military within five years, Tokyo officials say. The discussions between the two countries come as Japan’s rivalry with China intensifies and alliances shift among Pacific powers.

Sep 10 08:10

Bank of Japan Buys Government Debt at Negative Yield

Tuesday marked another milestone in the topsy-turvy world of monetary easing in Japan: The Bank of Japan bought short-term Japanese government debt at a negative yield for the first time, according to market participants.

The BOJ scooped up some of the three-month No. 477 Treasury bill, which has traded at a negative yield for the past two trading days amid strong demand, the market participants said.

Normally, people who buy debt expect to get their money back plus some interest. Negative yield means the buyer gets back less than he or she puts in.

Why would the Bank of Japan buy under such conditions?

Aug 24 07:18

Chinese ships log 20th intrusion into Senkaku waters this year

Four China Coast Guard vessels intruded into Japanese territorial waters Sunday morning near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard said.

It was the 20th intrusion by Chinese government ships this year and the first since Aug. 12.

Aug 06 10:09

Southeast Asia’s top Islamic militant found alive two years after US jubilantly declared his death

The Philippine military said Wednesday one of Southeast Asia’s top Islamic militants was alive, more than two years after jubilantly declaring he had been killed in a US-backed airstrike.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More proof positive that one cannot believe ANYTHING the US government says.

Aug 06 09:40

THE PALESTINIAN CONNECTION TO HIROSHIMA

Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick explained eloquently about the real reasons for dropping the bombs instead of the mythology that is told in school books in America. But does that really make any difference on the horror of what Truman and his generals visited on humanity? Those of us in the medical field understand clinically what radiation poisoning does to the human body but politicians also know that and Truman had detailed reports from the earlier experiments. I met so many hibakushas (survivors of the nuclear blast) and their children and grandchildren. Many told us of the dramatic death of children by leukemia and other cancers and of the congenital deformities. It was more than we could take even as visitors so I can only begin to imagine the actual feelings of people here.
*

Aug 06 07:41

Japanese Sanctions against Russia May Go into Force on August 5 - Reports

The Japanese sanctions against Russia, announced last week, may come into effect on Tuesday, the Kyodo news agency reported, citing a diplomatic source.

Japan's government may approve the package of sanctions during a cabinet meeting on August 5, which would bring them into effect in the second half of the same day, the agency said.

Aug 05 10:02

New war risk on Russian periphery amid Armenia-Azeri clashes

The leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan may meet this week in a bid to defuse escalating tensions between the two countries after at least 18 soldiers were killed in the worst clashes in two decades.

“Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan will hold talks with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on 8-9 August,” Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said on the government’s website.

Azerbaijan has yet to agree to the negotiations, ANS TV reported, citing Novruz Mammadov, deputy head of Aliyev’s office.

President Vladimir Putin plans separate meetings with the two leaders at the end of the week, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told Itar-Tass.

The skirmishes between the South Caucasus countries, which border Turkey and Iran, flared amid the worst geopolitical standoff since the Cold War between Russia and the US over the conflict in Ukraine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This situation is NOT being helped by the reality that the US has been selling arms to the Azerbaijan government.

The following statement was reported at Asbarez.com in June of this year:

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Eric Rubin, explained on Thursday that U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan is not for use against Armenia. Speaking before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), Rubin explained that arms sales to Baku are only for counterterrorism purposes and that the U.S. is seeking a resolution to the Artsakh conflict. “Where we do provide security assistance to Azerbaijan, we are careful to ensure it is used in full compliance with the law to counter terrorism, support the operational readiness of U.S. Armed Forces or coalition partners to counter terrorism, ensure Azerbaijan’s border security as long as it is determined that such assistance will not undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan or be used for offensive purposes against Armenia,” Eric Rubin told the Helsinki Commission.

Sounds like great diplo-speak, doesn't it?!? Soothing, following all protocols, dotting the "i-s" and crossing the ts.

But once arms are sold to the government of Azerbaijan, there is no way for the US government to guarantee where the arms are going,or these the arms are going to be ultilized, period, end of discussion.

Eric Rubin understands this clearly, and the cynicism and hypocrisy in these statements are so horrific that they stink to high heaven.

This is yet another attempt to destabilize Russia, which supports Armenia in this fight, by arming the Azerbaijan government against Armenia.

Aug 05 07:18

US Cluster Bombing Legacy Continuing To Cost Lives In Laos

The Vietnam War era’s dark legacy of pervasive cluster bombing is still costing lives in Laos, nearly 40 years after the end of all hostilities in Southeast Asia. In this documentary feature, Journeyman Pictures meets the brave women who are trying to clear the bomb fields.

Laos has the notorious reputation for being the most heavily bombed country in the world. During the Vietnam War, the US dropped 2 million tonnes of explosives on Laotian territory. Even today, there is estimated to be up to 80 million unexploded munitions scattered across the countryside. Removing them is job that will likely take more than a lifetime to complete.

Jul 29 10:28

China, Japan and Russia zero in on Latin America

The leaders of China, Russia and Japan all descended on Latin America in recent weeks, jostling with the United States to increase their influence, invest and tap into resource-rich markets.

The latest arrival was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday was in Trinidad and Tobago, the second stop on a five-country tour that began on Friday in Mexico.

Abe’s visit began just as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up his tour, which included stops in Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba. Xi signed more than 100 trade agreements on the trip.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the region for a week from July 11, stopping in Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua and Cuba.

The United States remains Latin America’s top trade partner, but gone are the days when Washington could take the region for granted as its backyard.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As this economic evolution continues, particularly with Russia and China, watch the US dollar get dumped in favor of direct trade in the yuan and ruble.

Jul 16 08:35

Riots in Myanmar put US on the spot

A visit to Myanmar next month by United States Secretary of State John Kerry is set to pose a diplomatic challenge, as skepticism rises in Congress over Washington’s embrace of Naypyitaw’s democratic transition.

The trip will precede President Barack Obama’s own visit to Myanmar in November.

Rampages by Buddhist right-wingers against minority Muslims – and the recent interrogation and detention of journalists – have soured hopes for Myanmar’s transition and reforms.

Calls are emerging from Congress for Mr Kerry to roll back part of the red carpet extended to Myanmar’s quasi-civilian government – for example, Washington has lifted various sanctions and initiated limited military-to-military cooperation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Earlier this lifetime, I never thought I would be able to put the words "bloodthirsty" and "Buddhists" into the same sentence. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

But of course, the government in Myanmar loves this, because ethnic infighting between the Buddhist majority and Muslim minority takes the focus off the myriad problems with the government here, which is so collectively crooked it has to screw its socks on on the morning.

Jul 10 09:36

The World’s Next Oil Shipping Corridor: The Arctic Ocean

It’s colder than the Persian Gulf, needs more icebreakers than the Suez Canal and passes less picturesque beaches than the Mediterranean, but the so-called Northern Sea route connecting Europe to Asia via the northern coast of Russia has its advantages.

It’s a shorter and quicker route, and thus more energy efficient. And it avoids many of the geopolitical flash points that make shipping risky–instead of the Strait of Malacca, the Horn of Africa and Egypt’s Suez region, boats can hug the coat of Russia for a chilly but uneventful ride.

Jul 08 09:12

This US-Trained, Dictator-Loving General Could Be Indonesia’s Next President

On July 9, the people of Indonesia will directly elect their president for only the second time ever. Quickly ascending in the polls is Prabowo Subianto, a former lieutenant general in the Indonesian armed forces, who as of July 1 has virtually tied as front-runner. Prabowo's rise to prominence is alarming many journalists, scholars, and human rights organizations, who accuse him of human rights abuses, including claims that his military unit took part in mass executions, forced displacement, kidnapping, rape, and torture.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Hey, just like Poroshenko in Ukraine, this guy is our kind of guy!!" - official White House Souse.

Jul 08 09:08

Russia approves creation of BRICS foreign exchange fund

The Russian Government signed a draft agreement on the creation of a $100 billion pool of currency reserves that the BRICS countries are forming to guard against financial shocks. According to the document, the countries’ dollar reserves will remain on the balance sheets of their central banks. However, these reserves can be made available at the request of one of the parties.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

2015 looks as though it will be a very nasty year for the US dollar.

Jul 02 09:04

U.S. welcomes Japan’s move to lift of ban on military intervention

The United States Tuesday welcomed a historic shift by Japan to expand the role of its military by reinterpreting the terms of the nation’s US-imposed constitution.

“We have followed with interest the extensive discussion within Japan on the issue of exercising its right under the UN Charter to collective self-defense,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

“We welcome the government of Japan’s new policy regarding collective self-defense and related security matters.”

After months of political horse-trading and browbeating of opponents, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his cabinet had formally endorsed a reinterpretation of rules that have banned the use of armed force except in very narrowly-defined circumstances.

Under the new definition, Japanese troops will now be able to come to the aid of allies — primarily the United States — if they come under attack from a common enemy, even if Japan is not the object of the attack.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This sets the stage for a shooting war against China, the economic rise of which has financial centers in the US mightily spooked.

Countries are now competing to do business in the Yuan, and bypassing the US dollar all together.

Jun 30 10:05

Japan set for landmark easing of constitutional limits on military

Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defense policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major step away from post-war pacifism and a big political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The change will significantly widen Japan’s military options by ending the ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack. It will also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations and “grey zone” incidents short of full-scale war, according to a draft government proposal made available to reporters.

The change will likely rile an increasingly assertive China, whose ties with Japan have chilled due to a maritime row, mutual mistrust and the legacy of Japan’s past military aggression, but will be welcomed by Tokyo’s ally Washington, which has long urged Japan to become a more equal partner in the alliance.

Jun 27 07:38

China aims to break U.S. hold in Asia with rival to World Bank

Beijing diplomats on charm offensive to rally support for new institution free from U.S. control.

China wants to set up a multilateral development bank in Asia to break the U.S.’s financial hold on the continent, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing officials familiar with the matter.

It said that Chinese officials have been touring Asia and the Middle East drumming up support for a new institution with $100 billion in capital, with a view to financing major development projects such as infrastructure. The FT said 22 countries across the region have expressed interest so far.

Such an institution would be a direct rival to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which China thinks are too much influenced by the U.S. and its ally, Japan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US government would rather go to war with China than to see this happen.

There is only one, MINOR problem here; the American people are war weary, and infinitely more geopolitically savvy than when the US government went to war against Afghanistan and Iraq, and do not want any ore war, period, end of discussion.

War against China, to prevent its economic ascent, isn't a hard sell to the American people; it is a no-sell.

Apr 05 13:11

Tons Of Radioactive Fukushima Water Spills Into Pacific Ocean

TEPCO believes they have accidentally spilled 12 tons of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant has spilled into the Pacific Ocean.

Jan 15 16:09

Iran rial slides, 'dollar' text messages appear blocked

TEHRAN, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Iran's currency has slid 20 percent against the dollar in the last week despite central bank intervention, and Iranians concerned about the economy said on Tuesday attempts to send text messages using the word "dollar" appeared to be blocked.

The central bank reportedly pumped $200 million dollars into the market last Wednesday after new and much tougher U.S. sanctions prompted nervous Iranians to change rials into hard currency, accelerating a rise in the price of dollars on the open market.

Dec 11 06:50

Thailand: Stage Set for Another Color Revolution

Tony Cartalucci, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

What happens when the UK's globalist nexus Chatham House, the US's International Crisis Group (ICG) run by George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, lawyers like Robert Amsterdam, and media giants like BBC, CNN, the Guardian, and the Economist get together to back street protests? Color revolution . . .

Dec 09 09:59

AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?

Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

Nov 26 14:39

My View From the Bowl, past Bernanke, Obama, South Korea, and the toilet paper.

The U.S. is in debt huge to China, and although China isn't our largest debtor; it is truly the only one on the world stage with the ability to act alone with the same menacing ability as the U.S. claims it still cans.

The reality?:

1) China could crash our economy within 4 hours if it felt it wanted to, AND that it would be a viable interest to its people and longevity. It CHOOSES not to due to the following-
a- Our dollar is kept just strong enough to attract goods from China which we all purchase and keeps China's people employed making all the stuff we used to. China wants its people working.

Nov 19 07:40

Bird Flu Outbreak in Hong Kong

AFP

HONG Kong is scrambling to contain an outbreak of bird flu after recording its first human case of the illness since 2003.

A 59-year-old woman now in a serious condition in hospital.

Nov 15 03:16

Mongolia's "Color Revolution" & Banker Colonization

As the bipolar Cold War system ended, a transitory phase of globalization was initiated in order to pave the way for global governance.

The color revolutions of the 21st century were a highly sophisticated method of transforming nation states into such a world system.

Mongolia experienced the draft form of color revolution in its "Red Rose Revolution" in the 1990's. The sparsely populated country was easier to manipulate due to its corrupt politics and post-Communist identity crisis.

As with many buffer states, Mongolia regarded it as beneficial economically, geo-strategically and security-wise to cooperate with larger powers such as the U.S. [1]

Nov 13 05:47

Spectacular opening ceremony of the Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou, China

Laser beams, fireworks and water jets exploded from the banks of the Pearl River as China marked the opening of the Asian Games, two years after dazzling the world with a gala opener to the Beijing Olympics. The opening ceremony paid tribute to coastal Guangdong province's seafaring heritage. The venue on Haixinsha island was configured like a sailboat for the opening festivities designed by Chen Weiya, who was Zhang Yimou's deputy when he crafted the Beijing ceremony.

Nov 10 09:54

Japan may put troops near disputed isles

Tokyo is considering placing troops on a remote Japanese island in the East China Sea to monitor China's expanded naval activities that have worried its neighbours, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The defence ministry wishes to create a "coastal security surveillance team" with the main mission to radar-monitor Chinese naval activities, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, citing ministry sources.

Japanese defence officials are considering placing about 200 troops on Yonaguni, Japan's westernmost island, roughly 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Taiwan, the Yomiuri said.

The Japanese military regularly sends patrol aircraft to the region but has no permanent monitoring facility there, the Yomiuri said.

A defence ministry official denied the report, saying no such decision has been made.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Whether or not these reports are true, they only serve to ratchet up tensions in the region, rather than calm things down.

Nov 09 06:48

Barack Obama Asia trip: 'Progress being made to end mistrust with Muslims'

The president said his efforts to improve the relationship between Muslims and the West have been "earnest" and "sustained". Still, he said the progress is "incomplete" and there is more work to do.

Though issues of terrorism and extremism often dominate the tensions between the Muslim world and the West, Mr Obama said the relationship must expand beyond security issues.

"What we're trying to do is make sure that we are building bridges and expanding our interactions with Muslim countries," Mr Obama said during a joint news conference with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Nov 08 18:29

Muslims in shock over police 'terror' leak

Apparently released via file-sharing software, the files and the background on how they were compiled reveal that Japanese police, under pressure from U.S. authorities, trawled Tokyo in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, in search of intelligence data among the city's tiny Muslim community. According to victims of the leak, in some cases the Security Bureau tried to recruit them as spies.

Nov 05 05:21

Barack Obama leaves for Asia to seal business deals

The drubbing handed out to Mr Obama's Democratic congressional allies in Tuesday's mid-term elections by disillusioned voters has increased pressure on the president to create jobs.

The US leader is taking 200 chief executives of American firms to India, where a senior aide has said the White House is hoping for "tangible benefits".

The executives are drawn from the fields of technology, publishing and chemicals, among others, seeking opportunities in India's booming economy, which is one of the few bright spots in the struggling global economy. Boeing and Lockheed Martin will strengthen their bids for an $11 billion deal for 126 fighter jets.

Oct 30 04:59

Empire - The Asian Arms Race

Oct 26 05:52

Anti-war protester hurls shoes at ex-Australian prime minister John Howard on live TV

Peter Gray flung his shoes at John Howard, a key Bush ally on the Iraq war, after demanding that the former leader defend his decision to send 2,000 troops to support the US-led 2003 invasion.

'That's for the Iraqi dead!' Mr Gray shouted as he flung the shoes during the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's live Q&A programme. The shoes missed their target and Mr Gray was escorted from the studio.

Oct 12 23:12

US airbase threatened in Kyrgyzstan as Russian-backed parties poised to take power

The staunchly nationalist Ata-Zhurt party had taken a clear lead by Monday afternoon in what international observers from the OSCE called a "vibrant" election which "reflected the will of the people of the Kyrgyz Republic".

Oct 11 04:39

In the crosshairs of US drones

Residents live under a constant fear of being hit as dozens of unmanned drones buzz the skies over North and South Waziristan. The drones frighten children and women who sometimes become the victims, especially if the intended targets are anywhere close to their homes.

According to local tribal sources, the Americans have planted several spies whose job is to insert microchips in vehicles which are then tracked and taken out by missiles fired from drones.

When the US drone attacks started several years ago, their priority was to get the al-Qaeda leadership, But a lot has changed since then, and it appears the Americans have expanded their targets to include foreign fighters, the Pakistani Taliban, and al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

Oct 03 09:38

U.S. troops' presence in the Philippines altruistic?

One can never, for one second, believe that American troop presence anywhere is ever altruistic, from the standpoint of US government foreign policy objectives.

Oct 02 15:01

It was very sad that Quran was burnt: Craig Blomberg

One of the most distinctive and important teachings of Jesus was love for one’s enemies. Muslims as a whole are not Christians’ enemies, but even if a few Christians think so, that gives them no reason to violate their Lord’s teaching on loving the people they think are their enemies.

Sep 29 20:45

Americans are NOT Stupid

"Ok. I'm a little mixed up over the Palestinians and the Israelis . . . which one is throwin' the rocks?"

Sep 18 21:12

JAMES PETRAS: IMPERIALISM AND IMPERIAL BARBARISM

Excerpts from Petras thesis:

Imperialism, its character, means and ends has changed over time and place.

Under pressure from nationalist and socialist anti-imperialist movements and regimes, colonial structured empires gave way to new nationalist regimes. Some of which restructured their economies, diversifying their productive systems and trading partners.

Aug 30 22:34

Putin: U.S. Rearming Georgia

"There would have been no aggression and blood if not the rearmament of Georgia two years ago; we had been telling this to our partners, including to our European friends; and everyone kept silence; and how did it all ended? It led up to the war. This rearmament continues today," Putin said.

This is Russia's escape clause in the flawed 6-point ceasefire agreement which Sarkozy screwed up while he was so busy looking in the mirror at himself on the world stage.

Aug 28 11:22

Afghan militants in US uniforms storm 2 NATO bases

U.S. and Afghan troops repelled attackers wearing American uniforms and suicide vests in a pair of simultaneous assaults before dawn Saturday on NATO bases near the Pakistani border, including one where seven CIA employees died in a suicide attack last year...

Aug 27 13:33

GORDON DUFF: WHY AMERICA MUST HAVE AN ANTI-WAR UPRISING

What is war? All war is class struggle. If we still had more communists around, they would remind us. Rich people start wars, poor people die and resources are stolen, banks emptied and all of it hidden behind flag waving and childish scare tactics. War is part of the grander plan. Is war politics or is it economics?

At one point in the last 2 years, it was estimated there there were as few as 12 “potential Al Qaeda suspects” in Afghanistan.

The person reading my water meter is a “potential suspect.” To a paranoid or law enforcement officer, anything that moves is a “person of interest.” A “suspect” is a person of interest who isn’t sleeping or dead.

Aug 11 04:14

Intifada Palestine Wish you a Blessed Ramadan

Both God’s blessing and his generosity are best exemplified this month, as giving alms to the poor, suppressing greed and lust, along with feeling for suffering of the other all dominate interaction between people, bringing out the finest in both men and women.
The Intifada Palestine Team

Aug 08 10:37

US plans another Kyrgyzstan base

The US is planning to construct a USD 10 million military base in the southern city of Osh, Kyrgyzstan, where more than 300 people died in deadly clashes in June, Press TV reported.

The US Defense Department says the base, called Osh Polygon, will feature a range of facilities and weapons training services, including a secure garrison compound with officers' quarters and barracks for enlisted personnel, range facilities, crew-served weapons and explosive ordnance, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your tax dollars at work, folks; while the US economy is in spectacular meltdown, and homeless Vets sleep in our streets.

Aug 05 18:36

Chinese Carrier Killer Missile Could Shift Pacific Power Balance

Nothing projects U.S. global air and sea power more vividly than supercarriers. Bristling with fighter jets that can reach deep into even landlocked trouble zones, America's virtually invincible carrier fleet has long enforced its dominance of the high seas.

China may soon put an end to that...

Jul 25 07:26

Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima'

Dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceed those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to a new study.

Iraqi doctors in Fallujah have complained since 2005 of being overwhelmed by the number of babies with serious birth defects, ranging from a girl born with two heads to paralysis of the lower limbs. They said they were also seeing far more cancers than they did before the battle for Fallujah between US troops and insurgents.

Jul 24 07:59

Handcuffed to history in South Asia

by Aijaz Zaka Syed

I sometimes wonder if Shakespeare had India and Pakistan’s leaders in mind when he wrote those immortal lines in As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.”

No matter who is in power in Delhi or Islamabad, the script of the carefully choreographed diplomatic spectacle never seems to change. From their famous encounter at Tashkent to the tense handshakes at Simla and Agra, and from Vajpayee’s historic bus trip to Lahore to the bitterness of Kargil, the more the narrative changes, the more it remains the same.

Jul 08 09:04

Uzbekistan - US worked with Al Qaeda allies to try to oust Karimov?

According to Wayne Madsen, 30 July 2005, there is evidence that the USA was involved in the revolt against President Karimov's government in the town of Andijan on May 17.

Jul 05 10:25

In Azerbaijan, key to Afghanistan efforts, Clinton walks tightrope on democracy

After a major speech in Poland encouraging democracy, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled Sunday to a country that has tossed bloggers in jail, held elections widely considered flawed and abolished term limits for its president.

But she took a notably cautious approach there on the issue of democratic reforms.

That's because the country is Azerbaijan, a key transit route for U.S. troops and supplies heading for Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is far more to this meeting than talks about than transiting troops and supplies to Afghanistan here and improving US/Azerbaijani relations, and was notably absent from in this article.

Take a good look at the following map:

http://www.thetravelalmanac.com/atlas/iran.htm

Azerbaijan borders Iran at Iran's northwest border, at the Caspian Sea.

Although consultation regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh regional conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan may have been the "good reason" for this meeting, the real reason may well be to find out what Azerbaijan is prepared to do - or not do - when the US and/or Israel attacks Iran.

Jun 29 20:45

Israeli Nuclear Espionage: The Art of Keeping America at Risk for Fun and Profit

Israel agreed to sell South Africa nuclear weapons.

More than that, it makes any aid America gives Israel illegal. If Israel is nuclear, which is now official, and in violation of international treaties, just as with Iraq and Iran, then America has to demand inspections and disarmament. There is no choice. This is the law. Law for Iran, law for Iraq is also law for Israel. Israel has expected this day for years.

Jun 29 07:36

On the developments in Kyrgyzstan

Two sister nations have been made to confront each other and shed blood as a result of well-planned provocations and plots designed and executed in a very professional way. These two nations have lived together as brothers and sisters throughout our history and shared the same homeland and culture.

Jun 29 05:37

Jeju islanders want love, not war

By Matthew Reiss

Plans for a missile base on South Korea's Jeju island, 450 kilometers, from Shanghai have threatened to disturb a precarious balance of power in the East China Sea. But Washington's aspirations to use the base have been blocked by residents of the island.

The administration of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak announced commitments in 2008 and 2009 to purchase and deploy a fleet of Aegis destroyers equipped with US anti-ballistic missile and radar systems, built jointly by Hyundai and Lockheed-Martin. To date, opposition to construction of the base and a pending lawsuit have delayed preparation of a home port for the ships. But following the March 26 sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan, the government has grown less tolerant of dissent.

Jun 27 07:53

Bangladesh hit by general strike

Dozens of political activists have been arrested in Bangladesh after the main opposition parties called for a dawn-to-dusk general strike across the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good for the Bangladesh

Jun 26 06:39

The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order

The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 1
by Andrew Gavin Marshall at Globalresearch.ca.

There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:

For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.[1]

Jun 25 15:13

Russia plans second military base in Kyrgyzstan

The Kremlin tried and failed to win approval for the base in the south of the country last year but saw its chances evaporate when the man it was close to making a deal with, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, was deposed in a coup earlier this year.

However, as the interim government that succeeded him struggles to maintain order after an outbreak of ethnic violence in the south of the country that left more than 200 people dead, the Kremlin has quietly revived the controversial plan.

The base, to be located in either Osh or Jalalabad, would extend Russia's geopolitical influence deep into Central Asia and bolster its position with both China and the United States.

Jun 25 09:39

Kyrgyzstan: Picking Up the Pieces

Kyrgyzstan joined the rank of failed states this month: its central government lacks legitimacy and depends heavily on external aid, with the US base looming large, while the people are largely destitute, harassed by local thugs and drug barons, and looking to Moscow for a way out.

The issues at stake are the referendum next Sunday to legitimise the interim government, and the drug trade, which Bakiyev’s clan still controls and is loathe to give up. Heroin comes from Afghanistan via Tajikistan and is repackaged in Osh before being transported west to Uzbekistan and north to Kazakhstan and Russia, according to the UN. The killing two weeks ago of Aibek Mirsidikov, one of the drug kingpins in the area, threatened the Bakiyev clan’s control. The rest is history.

Jun 25 06:58

US to build troop training centre in Tajikistan: envoy

The United States plans to build a facility for training local troops in the ex-Soviet Central Asian state of Tajikistan, the US ambassador said here Friday.

"The plan... is almost 10 million dollars to build this national training centre for the Tajik armed forces," Ken Gross told journalists at a briefing in the capital, Dushanbe.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Great: we're ringing in Russia with military bases in Central Asia, while the infrastructure here at home is collapsing!

Jun 22 17:23

Russia pushing for control of fuel supplies to crucial US airbase

Russia is pushing to impose a direct fuel supply deal on the US's airbase in Kyrgyzstan that would allow it to force a rapid closure of the base once it is no longer necessary to support Nato operations in Afghanistan.

"Ultimately it's in the security interests of Russia for the US to be using this base for its operations in Afghanistan, but under a very, very strict mandate," said Ana Jelenkovic, Central Asia analyst at Eurasia Group.

"If Russia is able to monitor the destination of the fuel, it limits the ability of the US to stay there in the base long-term. It makes the Americans staying there at Manas contingent always on some Russian support."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is not a deal that NATO and the US are probably keen to have happen, but it may be the only way to keep the US base at Manas supplied.

Jun 18 10:04

Kyrgyzstan Violence Claims Up To 2,000 Lives

Kyrgyzstan's interim president said Friday that 2,000 people may have died in the ethnic clashes that have rocked the country's south – many times her government's official estimate – as she made her first visit to a riot-hit city since the unrest erupted.

The deaths have been due to rampages led mainly by ethnic Kyrgyz against Uzbeks.

The United Nations said that as many as 1 million people may eventually need aid in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, including the refugees, internally displaced, host families and others who may suffer from the unrest.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that this violence and unrest was orchestrated to keep the country from going to the polls at the end of this month to elect new leadership.

Jun 17 10:26

Kyrgyzstan: Eurasian Geopolitics 101

For the moment, the Pentagon is breathing a sigh of relief. Vital US fuel supply flights from its Manas base to Afghanistan resumed last week even as Kyrgyzstan slid into chaos. At least 171 and possibly as many as 500 have died in rioting in southern Kyrgyzstan this week, almost all ethnic Uzbeks, with thousands injured. More than 80,000 fled to neighbouring Uzbekistan, forcing it to close its borders as it cannot cope with more. On Monday, China began evacuating the majority of its 1000 nationals.

Jun 14 16:40

Russia peers into Kyrgyz void

This is an internal conflict, and Russia does not see the conditions for participation in its settlement," a Kremlin spokesperson told reporters in Moscow on Saturday. Russia was providing emergency humanitarian support, she said.

However, she made a hugely significant revelation: "In his capacity as chairman of the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO] council, [Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev has ordered consultations to be held among secretaries of the member states on Monday to work out a collective response." (The members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a very measured, "adult in the room" stance from Medvedev, in behalf of both Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

Jun 14 09:47

Russia deploys hundreds of extra soldiers to Kyrgyz military base

Russia has deployed hundreds more soldiers to protect its military base in Kyrgyzstan, in the wake of fresh unrest that had left almost 100 people dead in the Central Asian country as of Sunday.

Three Ilyushin Il-96 military planes with a battalion of Russian paratroopers on board have landed at the base in Kant, the Interfax news agency reported. A Russian battalion typically ranges from 350 to 800 soldiers, depending on the situation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is an interesting development, in light of the fact that Russia had previously declared it was sending no troops to Kyrgyzstan to quell the rioting.

As reported last Saturday, 12 June, at

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7050247.html

"Otunbayeva asked Russia early Saturday to send in troops, but the Kremlin said it would not meddle into what it described as Kyrgyzstan's internal conflict.

"It's a domestic conflict, and Russia now doesn't see conditions for taking part in its settlement," Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said in Moscow. She added that Russia will discuss with other members of a security pact of ex-Soviet nations about the possibility of sending a joint peacekeeping force to Kyrgyzstan.

Timakova said Russia would send a plane to Kyrgyzstan to deliver humanitarian supplies and help evacuate victims of the violence."

One has to wonder why Russia would believe that its base in Kyrgyzstan would come under any kind of attack.

Jun 14 09:07

100,000 Uzbek Refugees Flee Deadly Chaos, Bound For Border

The United States, Russia and the United Nations worked on humanitarian aid airlifts while neighboring Uzbekistan hastily set up camps to handle the flood of hungry, frightened refugees. Most were women, children and the elderly, many of whom Uzbekistan said had gunshot wounds.

The interim government had planned a referendum to approve a new constitution on June 27, but it now appears unlikely the vote will take place. New parliamentary elections are scheduled for October, but the violence appears aimed at undermining the interim government before then.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It looks as though the interim government of Kyrgyzstan is about to unravel.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

One has to wonder if Bakiyev, the former president, will be returned to power, under these circumstances.

Jun 13 11:29

Kyrgyzstan Death toll grows as Kyrgyzstan ethnic violence escalates

Mobs of Kyrgyz men rampaged through southern Kyrgyzstan today, slaughtering ethnic Uzbeks and burning down houses in a third day of ethnic bloodshed.

The country's interim government granted its security forces shoot-to-kill powers and promised to send a volunteer force to the region – but the violence continued to rage, taking the death toll since Thursday night to more than 100.

Opponents of the new government said it had failed to impose political stability, and was letting the country drift towards civil war.

Jun 13 10:55

Official: 30 killed in Kyrgyzstan village

Ethnic rioting spread Sunday in southern Kyrgyzstan, where at least 80 people have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded. Thousands of Uzbeks fled after their homes were torched by roving mobs of Kyrgyz men.

Fires destroyed much of Osh, the second-largest city in a Central Asian country that hosts U.S. and Russian military air bases. Stores were looted and the city was running out of food.

Gunfire rang out Sunday in another major southern city, Jalal-Abad, where the day before a rampaging mob burned a university, besieged a police station and seized an armored vehicle and other weapons from a local military unit. Thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metals bars and hunting rifles gathered at the city's horse racing track, shouting anti-Uzbek slogans while police stayed away.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That the current Interim President Roza Otunbayeva has begged Russia for troops underscores how utterly critical the situation has become for her government.

Jun 13 09:56

Malaysia to send aid convoys to Gaza

Ahlul Bayt News Agency (ABNA.ir), Former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammad has disclosed a plan to send shipments of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to break the Israeli blockade.

Jun 13 04:53

Thai government tells US it's in charge

"We ourselves also see some difficulties in negotiating and discussing with the Red Shirts," Kiat told AFP. "If the US extends a helping hand, I don't know if it will have different results."

(*The Thai government should consider that the US entertained the idea of using a nuke , on an oil leak)

Jun 12 15:29

CIA Seeks Chaos in Kyrgyzstan?

The town of Osh, the 'southern capital of Kyrgyzstan', has long ago become a major cross-point for the Great Heroin Way..."

There may be more to this than meets the eye, see Russia criticizes US, NATO over Afghan drugs from March where they complain that a surge in heroin smuggling is endangering Russia's national security, and (just this week) Medvedev Seeks War on Afghan Drugs, But U.S. Is Tepid. Anyone want to guess which recently-independent western-backed state is the Euro-hub for all these drugs?

Jun 11 11:17

Japanese PM Naoto Kan warns of Greece-level 'collapse' under debt pile

New Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, seeking to lay the groundwork for a future sales tax rise, warned on Friday that the country risked defaulting on its borrowing if it failed to rein in its massive public debt.

Jun 05 20:10

Gordon Duff: Pakistan’s Role In Afghanistan

THE KEY TO PAKISTAN’S SECURITY IS AFGHANISTAN

THE KEY TO AFGHANISTAN’S SECURITY IS PAKISTAN

US policy in Afghanistan hasn’t so much failed as it hasn’t even materialized. With the original rationale for overthrowing the Taliban their relationship with Osama bin Laden now long forgotten, buried with, not only the death of bin Laden many years ago but much more. No ties between bin Laden and 9/11 have ever been established, none of the training camps seen in the online videos existed anywhere but in fiction, truth is such a delicate thing. Children in Afghanistan are taught to be fighters from birth. Training an Afghan to fight is like training a fish to swim.

Jun 05 09:34

Burma is trying to build nuclear weapons and missiles, says US senator

The Burmese Government is attempting to build nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, according to a military defector who smuggled photographs and documents of secret nuclear equipment out of the isolated dictatorship.

Evidence presented by the former Burmese officer and weapons engineer suggests that the country is still a long way from creating usable nuclear weapons. But the fact that it has even a nascent nuclear programme will cause international alarm at a time when the West is struggling to contain the ambitions of Iran and North Korea.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Memo to Senator Jim Webb: the US, in its invasion and occupation of Iraq, gave the world a magnificent object lesson as to what can happen to a nation which does not have a nuclear deterrent.

The Bush administration used the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which it did not, as the springboard for its attack against, and occupation of, Iraq.

Welcome, Senator Webb, to the wonderful world of unintended geopolitical consequences.

And of course, any allegation that will make North Korea look even more like a rogue nation is always attractive to the US, to China's embarrassment.

Jun 01 23:09

Japanese PM Resigns Over Failure to Move US Base

Just over a week after being forced to make a public apology, admitting that his campaign promise to get the US to abandon a military a base in Okinawa would go unfulfilled, Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama Yukio has tendered his resignation, putting an end to his eight month reign.

Jun 01 19:48

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama Will Announce His Resignation

The main cause of the collapse in polls was the result of his backtracking last month on a pledge to relocate U.S. troops stationed on Okinawa.

May 30 09:12

Japan party quits coalition over US base

Japan's Social Democratic Party, SDP, has decided to leave the ruling coalition government amid a row over the controversial presence of the US military in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obama's bullying (and using that false flag attack n the South Korean warship) to force Japan's PM to allow the US base to stay on Okinawa might bring down the entire Japanese Government.

In diplomatic circles this is known as a "whoopsie!"

May 29 22:23

In Japan, U.S. Losing Diplomatic Ground to China

When Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited Japan’s new leaders in October, not long after their historic election, he pressed so hard and so publicly for a military base agreement that the Japanese news media labeled him a bully.

May 28 08:21

Russia wants '100% proof' N.Korea sunk ship

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia will not support efforts to punish North Korea for sinking a South Korean warship until it is fully convinced Pyongyang was behind the incident, a foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday.

"We need to receive 100 percent proof of North Korea's role in the sinking of the corvette," the spokesman, Igor Lyakin-Frolov, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"Our specialists are currently studying the materials of the investigation. We need to draw our own conclusions about what happened. Everything will depend on the situation and the body of evidence."

May 27 23:35

Beijing suspects false flag attack on South Korean corvette

WMR's intelligence sources in Asia suspect that the March attack on the South Korean Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, the Cheonan, was a false flag attack designed to appear as coming from North Korea.

One of the main purposes for increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula was to apply pressure on Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to reverse course on moving the U.S. Marine Corps base off Okinawa.

May 27 16:33

IMF calls for gradual rise in Japan sales tax

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. Take from the people to give to the bankers. "

May 24 22:48

Japan premier incites anger over U.S. base

Okinawans were outraged Sunday that Japan's prime minister reneged on his campaign pledge to move a U.S. military base off their island, a decision that upholds a long-standing agreement with Washington.

May 23 09:54

Hatoyama Accepts U.S. Base on Okinawa, Says He Has ‘No Choice’

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama decided to move a U.S. military base within Okinawa in adherence to a bilateral agreement, saying security threats from countries such as North Korea trump local sentiment to shift it elsewhere.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How LUCKY for the US that North Korea (nudge nudge wink wink) "attacked" a South Korean ship just when Japan wanted to kick the US out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 20 10:00

MSM: ‘Act of aggression’ sank Korean ship

North Korea has threatened “full-scale war” after an international report concluded a torpedo fired by one of the reclusive regime’s submarines sank a South Korean navy ship in March.

A multinational team of independent investigators concluded that North Korea was behind the sinking of the 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan that killed 46 sailors.

The international team, including five Australian Defence Force personnel and experts from America, Britain and Sweden, analysed the shattered hull and parts of a torpedo found on the sea bed.

The investigators say fragments, lettering and propellers on the torpedo match North Korean-manufactured torpedos acquired by the South seven years ago.

May 20 02:06

Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes kill two

The interim government of Kyrgyzstan has declared a state of emergency in the southern city of Jalalabad after two people died in clashes.

Shots were fired as police tried to stop ethnic Kyrgyz protesters from storming an Uzbek university.

May 19 06:58

Plenty of swine flu vaccines, not one volunteer to take them

On Day One of the swine flu vaccination drive for healthcare professionals, the BMC found the vaccine had no takers. Over 2,000 city-based professionals, who had worked in isolation wards and screening centres when the virus had first struck, had consented to taking the vaccine, but none turned up.

May 18 06:56

Massacre in Thailand and Obama’s Foreign Policy Stance

When the White House is quiet as protesters are butchered in the streets of Bangkok Thailand, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicity. One can only imagine what the U.S.’ response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the U.S. media and Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand’s blood bath.

Thailand was thus transformed into a U.S. client state and given money, guns, and U.S. government intelligence to battle Thailand’s “communists.” This relationship has equaled numerous Thai dictatorships that have a very bloody history, including the shooting of untold numbers of protesters that the Thai government named “communists,” or their modern equivalent, “terrorists.”

May 18 06:44

Bracing for the worst in Bangkok as troops gather

Further in, families lolled on plastic mats laid on the pavement damp with rain, seemingly unperturbed by the prospect of an imminent military onslaught. The deadline of a government ultimatum on protesters to leave had expired over an hour before, and a reported 30,000 troops were getting into position all around them.

Refusing to leave the protest site in Bangkok, scores of women with children have found shelter at the Wat Pathum Wanaram Buddhist temple, wedged between two ultramodern shopping malls. They idle on rattan mats amid sculptured hedges around saffron-robed monks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Making martyrs out of these protesters may well be the undoing of the current Thai government.

May 18 05:38

17,000 Form Human Chain At U.S. Base In Japan

— Thousands of Japanese linked hands and encircled a Marine Corps base in Okinawa on Sunday to protest its presence on the island, putting more pressure on Tokyo to resolve an impasse over the base's future.

About 17,000 residents surrounded the Futenma air base early in the afternoon, chanting slogans and completing a human chain twice for several minutes each time, city official Hitoshi Nakou said. The base covers about 1.9 square miles (4.92 sq. kilometers), and sits in the middle of Ginowan, a city of about 93,000.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unless this situation is resolved, Hatoyama and his party are going to lose their collective shirts in the next election.

May 17 14:06

Thai Protestors Using Improvised RPGs

May 16 08:53

Thailand Protests Worsen For Third Straight Day, Gov't Declares 'Live Fire Zone'

Thailand's leader defended the deadly army crackdown on protesters besieging the capital's heart, saying Saturday the country's very future was at stake. Protesters dragged away the bodies of three people from sidewalks – shot by army snipers, they claim – as soldiers blocked major roads and pinned up notices of a "Live Firing Zone."

"I insist that what we are doing is necessary," Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said in a defiant broadcast on national television, making it clear he would not compromise. "The government must move forward. We cannot retreat because we are doing things that will benefit the entire country."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, the wholesale slaughter of protesters is going to "...benefit the entire country.?!?

The Thai government, through its actions, just may have a real revolution on its hands.

The US is evacuating all of its diplomatic personnel out of Thailand immediately, which indicates that they know this situation is very much likely to worsen.

May 15 08:54

THAI TROOPS OPEN FIRE, DEATH TOLL SOARS...

May 14 11:06

Death toll rises as anti-government protests escalate in Thailand

At least eight people were killed and up to 121 injured during a day of violence between anti-government protesters and troops which drew months of stand-off in Bangkok closer to an endgame.

Dozens more were injured today, seven fatally, according to reports from hospitals, as troops used teargas and fired live and rubber bullets in an attempt to bring to an end two months of protests in which more than 30 people have died and more than 1,400 people have been injured.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Rather than coming to an "endgame", it is highly possible that the actions by the Thai government will simply exacerbate an already volatile situation.

May 14 09:21

Russia Ready To Assist To Resolve Tibet Issue

Addressing the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said if all the parties to the conflict made sincere efforts to separate purely "pastoral" contacts from politics, this could bring about a solution to the problem, and Moscow was ready to assist in this regard.

China, which has always claimed Tibet as its territory, condemns world leaders who meet with the Dalai Lama as it accuses the Tibetan monk of heading a separatist movement seeking independence for Tibet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Lavrov can generally be counted upon for his quiet pragmatism; this offer of mediation is certainly a demonstration of that quality, which may possibly bring some calm to a very tense situation.

May 14 08:59

Thai Protests: Violence Erupts In Bangkok

Late Thursday, the army moved to seal off the Red Shirt encampment in an upscale commercial district of the capital. Some 10,000 protesters, women and children among them, have crammed into the area.

The Red Shirts see Abhisit's government as serving an elite insensitive to the plight of most Thais. The protesters include many supporters of former prime minister Thaksin whose allies won elections in 2007 after his ouster. Two subsequent pro-Thaksin governments were disbanded by court rulings before Abhisit was elected by Parliament.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Making martyrs out of its own citizens will prove very counterproductive for the Thai military and government, both domestically, and internationally.

May 13 09:58

Thai protester shot, killed during violent clashes with police

Earlier, the leader of the Red Shirt movement, Seh Daeng, was shot in the head while being interviewed, according to a journalist who witnessed the shooting. He was in critical condition.

May 06 13:44

Japanese PM's Reversal on US Base May Have Political Cost

Political analysts in Japan say Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's reversal on a key campaign pledge is likely to cost him in coming elections. Mr. Hatoyama told residents of Okinawa this week it will probably be impossible to completely move a U.S. marine base off the island.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aren't the Japanese supposed to slice themselves open when they fail to keep a promise??? :)

Apr 27 01:52

Japanese Military Joins U.S. And NATO In Horn Of Africa

Japanese navy commander Keizo Kitagawa recently spoke with Agence France-Presse and disclosed that his nation was opening its first overseas military base – at any rate since the Second World War – in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

Apr 26 09:03

Thailand is close to civil war as its British-born PM rejects deal with angry Red Shirts

So how did Thailand, a mostly Buddhist nation of 66 million, come from economic success to such a stark political precipice?

The country, officially a constitutional monarchy, has experienced 18 military coups since 1932 – but continues to hold elections.

Thais are glancing nervously at the army, believed to be badly split behind a brittle façade of unity. Generals have launched 18 coups since 1932, but almost as great a fear now is that enlisted men could join protesters and help turn the protests into a full-scale uprising.

Apr 21 11:32

Exiled Kyrgyz leader insists still president

Kyrgyzstan's ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev insisted on Wednesday that he was still the rightful leader of his country, breaking several days of silence after his flight into exile.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Napoleon said the same thing. And if Bakiyev thinks the US will back him in a war against the new Russian=backed government of Kyrgyzstan, then he is crazy!

Apr 14 10:42

US: No troops flights for now through Kyrgyzstan

Apr 14 08:25

Japan islanders reject US base

Three mayors from a Japanese island, slated to host a US military base, are to write a letter to President Barack Obama expressing their refusal to the plan. The move is to protest against the Japanese government’s decision to relocate the Futenma US Marine Corps Air Station in Okinawa to the Tokunoshima Island.

Apr 12 07:46

At the Geopolitical Crossroads of China and Russia: Kyrgyzstan And The Battle For Central Asia

It not only borders China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but is only separated from Russia by a single nation, Kazakhstan. To gain an appreciation of Russian and Chinese concerns over hundreds of thousands of U.S. and NATO troops passing through Kyrgyzstan, imagine a comparable amount of Chinese and Russian soldiers regularly passing through Mexico and Guatemala, respectively. For almost nine years and at an accelerating rate.

It is not only a military "hard power" but also a "soft power" threat that the Western role in Kyrgyzstan poses to Russia and China.

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