Archive | June 16th, 2015

Why the Bear is Back: Russian Military Presence in Vietnam

NOVANEWS
Global Research
Russian Navy

Russia-Vietnam ties that seemed to be cooling after the end of the Cold War are warming up all over again. More than 20 years after Moscow abandoned its largest foreign base, Russian military aircraft are once again welcome visitors at Cam Ranh Bay.

The renewed Russian presence in Vietnam has predictably set the alarm bells ringing in the Pentagon, with the Commander of the US Army in the Pacific confirming that Russian strategic bombers circling the massive American military base in Guam are being refuelled at Cam Ranh Bay.

On March 11 Washington wrote to Hanoi, requesting that the Vietnamese authorities not assist Russian bomber flights in the Asia-Pacific. The Vietnamese reaction was to remain publicly silent. According to Phuong Nguyen of the Washington-based Center for Strategic & International Studies,

From the perspective of many Vietnamese officials who fought against the United States during the war, Moscow helped train generations of Vietnamese leaders and supported Hanoi during its decades of international isolation.

Nguyen adds:

Few things are more vital to Vietnam than an independent foreign policy. Given Vietnams complex history, its leaders do not want their country to be caught between major powers again. Anything that resembles U.S. interference in Vietnams dealings with Russia could unnecessarily aggravate this fear.

Although the Vietnamese consider the US an increasingly important partner in Southeast Asia, its Russia that tops the pecking order. A per an agreement inked in November 2014, Russian warships visiting the deep water port of Cam Ranh only have to give prior notice to the Vietnamese authorities before steaming in whereas all other foreign navies are limited to just one annual ship visit to Vietnamese ports.

Why Vietnam matters

Located at the gateway to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Vietnam is of critical importance to Russia. Permanent basing of air and naval assets in Vietnam helps the Russian Pacific Fleet solve its problem of having to pass through the narrow straits of the Sea of Japan to gain access to the Pacific.

To be sure, the current Russian presence is minimal compared with the firepower of the 1980s, when Moscows Pacific fleet consisted of an incredible 826 ships, including 133 submarines, 190 naval bomber jets and 150 anti-submarine aircraft. Even back then, Moscows buildup was hardly aggressive. According to Alvin H. Bernstein of the US Naval War College, it was unlikely to have a specific, aggressive, regional intent since that would be quite out of character for a power that has revealed itself as cautious and non-confrontational.

Three decades on, Moscow under President Vladimir Putin is once again seeking to enhance its role as both an Asian and global power, and as Bernstein noted, the country wants to be prepared for all contingencies and opportunities.

Its also part of Vietnams Look East policy. In fact, much before US President Barack Obama announced its pivot to Asia, Russia was already pivoting East, making inroads into once pro-American countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

However, it is in Vietnam where Russian diplomacy is in overdrive. But first a quick flashback.

Vietnam is a small country with a military that punches way above its weight. For those with short memories, the Southeast Asia country handed out resounding defeats to France and the U.S. in back to back wars. Stupendous bravery, clever battle tactics and a never-say-die spirit were decisive in winning those wars, but a key factor was that the Vietnamese had powerful friends.

During the Vietnam War, Russia played a critical role in Vietnams defence, supplying a massive quantity of weapons. Over the course of the 21-year war Russian assistance was worth $2 million a day. In return, Vietnam offered Russia free use of the Cam Ranh Bay base. As part of this agreement, the Russians stationed MiG-23 fighters, Tu-16 tankers, Tu-95 long range bombers and Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft at the base.

Cam Ranh became Moscows largest naval base for forward deployment outside Europe. Some 20 ships were berthed daily at the base, along with six nuclear attack submarines. The base played a pivotal role in helping Russia in its Cold War faceoff against American-led forces in Asia and the Pacific. For instance, when the U.S. Seventh Fleet sailed up the Bay of Bengal to put pressure on India during the 1971 India Pakistan War, the Russian Pacific Fleet was quickly able to dispatch nuclear-armed submarines and warships to defend India.

Despite Cam Ranh Bays importance to Moscow geopolitically and its value as an intelligence gathering post, the Russian presence practically evaporated after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Military bases of the scale of Cam Ranh Bay cost an insane amount of money to operate and Russia no longer had cash to burn. In 2001, even the listening station was abandoned.

China gets Klubbed

Although the Russian military presence declined, strong ties continued to bind Russia and Vietnam. In the backdrop of Vietnams high-decibel spat with China for control of the oil-rich Spratly Islands, Hanoi went on a high-octane hardware hunt. Vietnams legendary air force acquired 24 Su-30 combat jets from Russia, and by the end of 2015, it will operate 36 Sukhois, becoming the third largest operator of this advanced super-maneuverable aircraft.

However, it is the Vietnam Peoples Army Navy (VPAN) that is really beefing up. In 2009, Vietnam signed a $3.2 billion deal with Russia that includes six Kilo class submarines and construction of a submarine facility at Cam Ranh Bay.

Another big-ticket acquisition is that of 50 Klub supersonic cruise missiles for its Kilos, making Vietnam the first Southeast Asian nation to arm its submarine fleet with a land attack missile.

Weighing two tons, the Klub has a 200 kg warhead. The anti-ship version has a range of 300 km, but speeds up to 3,000 km an hour during its last minute or so of flight. According to Strategy Page, the land attack version does away with the high speed final approach feature and that makes possible a larger 400 kg warhead.

What makes the Klub particularly dangerous when attacking ships is that during its final approach, which begins when the missile is about 15 km from its target, the missile speeds up, reports Strategy Page. Up to that point, the missile travels at an altitude of about a hundred feet. This makes the missile more difficult to detect. That plus the high speed final approach means that it covers that last 15 km in less than 20 seconds. This makes it more difficult for current anti-missile weapons to take it down.

Russian built submarines armed with the potent Klubs are expected to play a critical role in any conflict in the South China Sea. According to one analyst, the land-attack cruise missiles mark a massive shift advancing Vietnams naval capabilities. Theyve given themselves a much more powerful deterrent that complicates Chinas strategic calculations.

It is believed Chinese warships have no effective defense against missile like Klub, which why they have gone ballistic about Russia selling them to Vietnam.

While the Kilos are being built, Russia and India are currently in charge of training Vietnamese officers who will work in the submarines.

Further Russian firepower

Plus, in 2011 the VPAN acquired two Gepard-class guided missile stealth frigates from Russia at a cost of $300 million, with the Gepard fleet set to increase to six by 2017. These versatile ships are equipped for surface attacks, anti-submarine warfare and air defense.

The VPANs other acquisitions include four Svetlyak-class fast patrol boats with anti-ship missiles; 12 frigates and corvettes of Russian origin; and two Molniya-class missile fast attack ships built with Russian assistance, with four more expected by 2016.

Vietnam has also acquired advanced radars; 40 Yakhont and 400 Kh-35 Uran anti-ship missiles; Kh-59MK anti-ship cruise missiles; R-73 (AA-11 Archer) short-range air-to-air missiles; 200 SA-19 Grison surface-to-air missiles; two batteries of the legendary S-300 surface-to-air systems; VERA passive radio locators; and two batteries of the K-300P Bastion coastal defense missiles.

Economic angle

According to a research paper by Portugal-based academics Phuc Thi Tran, Alena Vysotskaya G. Vieira and Laura C. Ferreira-Pereira,

The acquisition of military capabilities is critical, not only purely for the sake of defense and strategic calculations, but also for the important function it plays in the safeguarding of both economic interests and the security of oil field explorations in the South China Sea. This latter aspect is particularly critical given the role that Russia has been playing herein. Indeed, the lions share of these exploitation projects has being undertaken by Vietnam jointly with Russia.

While defense gets more traction in the media, it is energy thats the single biggest area of cooperation between Moscow and Hanoi. The Russia-Vietnam joint venture Vietsovpetro has generated big dividends for both countries. The company has produced more than 185 million tons of crude oil and more than 21 billion cubic meters of gas from oilfields in the South China Sea. Nearly 80 per cent of Vietnamese oil and gas comes from Vietsovpetro, and the income corresponds to around 25 per cent of GDP.

Russia has also made considerable investments in Vietnams heavy and light industries, transportation, post, aquatic culture and fishing. These projects have led to other spinoffs impressed by the profits generated by Russian corporations, a slew of other companies such as Mobil, BP and TOTAL have ramped up investments in Vietnam.

Vietnams strategic hedging towards Russia is closely connected to its economic cooperation in oil exploration, which brings significant economic benefits to both sides. Strong defense ties between the two countries has enabled Vietnam to acquire modern military equipment, providing the country with the ability to advance joint explorations of oil and gas despite growing Chinese opposition towards these projects.

At the same time, Russia is returning to reclaim its great power legacy. It offers Moscow a myriad of opportunities to secure political and economic influence with the various emerging powers in the heart of the most dynamic region on the planet.

But, dont blame Vietnam since this country is not an exception but a confirmation to the prevailing Asian rule. As professor Anis Bajrektarevic well states in his luminary work No Asian Century:

What becomes apparent, nearly at the first glance, is the absence of any pan-Asian security/multilateral structure. Prevailing security structures are bilateral and mostly asymmetric. They range from the clearly defined and enduring non-aggression security treaties, through less formal arrangements, up to the Ad hoc cooperation accords on specific issues. The presence of the multilateral regional settings is limited to a very few spots in the largest continent, and even then, they are rarely mandated with (politico-military) security issues in their declared scope of work. Another striking feature is that most of the existing bilateral structures have an Asian state on one side, and either peripheral or external protégé country on the other side which makes them nearly per definition asymmetric.”

Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a New Zealand-based journalist and foreign affairs analyst. According to him, he writes on stuff the media distorts, misses or ignores. Rakesh started his career in 1995 with New Delhi-based Business World magazine, and later worked in a string of positions at other leading media houses such as India Today, Hindustan Times, Business Standard and the Financial Express, where he was the news editor.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

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Happy Birthday Magna Carta

NOVANEWS

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Paul Craig Roberts

Monday, June 15, 2015, is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. In his book, Magna Carta, J.C. Holt, professor of medieval history, University of Cambridge, notes that three of the chapters of this ancient document still stand on the English Stature Book and that so much of what survives of the Great Charter is “concerned with individual liberty,” which “is a reflexion of the quality of the original act of 1215.”

In the 17th century Sir Edward Coke used the Great Charter of the Liberties to establish the supremacy of Parliament, the representative of the people, as the origin of law.

A number of legal scholars have made the irrelevant point that the Magna Carter protected rights of the Church, nobles, and free men who were not enserfed, a small percentage of the population in the early 13th century. We hear the same about the US Constitution–it was something the rich did for themselves. I have no sympathy for debunking human achievements that, in the end, gave ordinary people liberty.

At Runnymede in 1215 no one but the armed barons had the power and audacity to make King John submit to law. The rule of law, not the rule of the sovereign or of the executive branch in Washington acceded to by a cowardly and corrupt Congress and Supreme Court, is a human achievement that grew out of the Magna Carta over the centuries, with ups and downs of course.

Blackstone’s Commentaries in 1759 fed into the American Revolution and gave us the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Geneva Conventions extended the rule of law to the international arena.

Beginning with the Clinton Administration and rapidly accelerating with the George W. Bush and Obama regimes and Tony Blair in England, the US and UK governments have run roughshod over their accountability to law.

Both the US and UK in the 21st century have gone to numerous wars illegally under the Nuremberg Standard established by the US and UK following Germany’s defeat in WWII and used to execute Germans for war crimes. The US and UK claim that unlike Germany they are immune to the very international law that they themselves established in order to punish the defeated Germans. Washington and London can bomb and murder at will, but not Germany.

Both governments illegally and unconstitutionally (the UK Constitution is unwritten) spy on their citizens, and the Bush and Obama executive branches have eviscerated, with the complicity of Congress and the federal courts, the entirely of the US Constitution except for the Second Amendment, which is protected by the strong lobby of the National Rifle Association. If the gun control “progressives” have their way, nothing will be left of the US Constitution.

Washington and its European satellites have subordinated law to a political and economic hegemonic agenda. Just as under the heyday of colonialism when the West looted the non-white world, today the West loots its own. Greece is being looted as was Ireland, and Italy and Spain will not escape looting unless they renege on their debts and leave the EU.

Western capitalism is a looting mechanism. It loots labor. It loots the environment, and with the transpacific and transatlantic “partnerships” it will loot the sovereign law of countries. For example, France’s laws against GMOs become “restraints on trade” and subjects France to punitive law suits by Monsanto. If France doesn’t pay Monsanto the damages Monsanto claims, France is subject to punitive sanctions like Washington applies to Russia when Russia doesn’t do what Washington wants.

A new slave existence is being created in front of our eyes as law ceases to be a shield of peoples and becomes a weapon in the hands of government. Eight hundred years of reform is being overturned as Washington and its vassals invade, bomb, and overthrow governments that are out of step with Washington’s agenda. Formerly self-sufficient agricultural communities are becoming wage slaves for international agribusiness corporations. Everywhere privilege is rising above law and justice is being lost.

The concentration of wealth and power is reminiscent of the aristocratic era and of Rome under the Caesars. The demise of the rule of law has stripped ordinary people of security and dignity. Peoples of the world must protect themselves by acting in defense of the Great Charter’s principle that governments are accountable to law. Governments unaccountable to law are tyrannies whatever they might call themselves, no matter how exceptional and indispensable they declare themselves to be.

Monday in Westminster in London, the International Tribunal for Natural Justice is forming. If my understanding of this work of Humanitad is correct, we have a cause for hope. Perhaps the Tribunal will try the criminals of our time, almost all of which are “leaders” of Western governments, on the Internet with juries and prosecutors so that populations everywhere can witness the evil that every Western government represents.

Once the West is perceived as the evil force that it is, it will have to reform and again embrace Edward Coke’s vision of the Great Charter or become an unimportant backwater while the rest of the world goes on to better things. The world is saved once the world ceases to bow down to the American Caesar

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SAUDI ZIO-WAHHABI is celebrating its 100th beheading this year

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On the upside, unlike the brutal, dull-knife beheadings we see carried out by the Islamic State (ISIS) savages, at least the Saudis use a long sword which enables them to smite the head off in one fell swoop.

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime on Monday beheaded a Syrian drug trafficker and a national convicted of murder, taking to 100 the number of executions in the kingdom this year. Under the Gulf state’s strict Islamic sharia legal code, drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery and apostasy are all punishable by death.

The number of executions has surged in 2015 compared with the 87 recorded by AFP for all of last year. But it is still far below the record 192 which rights group Amnesty International said took place in 1995.

CLICK SCREEN BELOW TWICE TO SEE VIDEO OF ACTUAL SAUDI BEHEADING

Anyone looking for a job?

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Zio-Islamophobic Ayaan Hirsi Ali advises Canada to maintain active surveillance of all mosques

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Zio-Islamophobic Ayaan Hirsi Ali advises Canada to maintain active surveillance of all mosques and Islamic schools

 

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Zio-Islamophopic Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former ex-politician, and now a CIA agent at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government, warns that the violent doctrine of Islam is spreading in Canada through the foundation of mosques, Islamic centres and Islamic schools by wealthy Gulf state investors with the most radical of extremist goals.

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Zio-Islamophopic Hirsi Ali says, “You should be looking out for the sprouting of mosques and Islamic centres. You should be looking out for the establishment of Islamic schools and anything that costs money,” she said via a video link from Boston. “Countries like Saudi Arabia and the oil-wealthy Gulf countries that have absolutely everything that money can buy, yet many of them choose, for their philanthropy, radical Islamic goals, institutions, activities, jihad.

“For the outside, for the non-Muslim, especially in the West where we believe in the freedom of religion and the freedom of conscience, when people come here and establish a network of schools, Islamic centres, mosques, it all falls within our freedoms and our laws but we rarely take an interest in the content of what is being preached and what’s being disseminated.”

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Hirsi Ali warned Canadian parliamentarians that some North American Muslim communities are heavily influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood and “Medina Muslims” who advocate abandoning mainstream social values, beliefs and customs to follow their strict interpretation of Islam, including holy war against the West.

Effectively combating radical influences and the resulting spread of Islamic terrorism has not, and will not, happen until Canada, the United States and other western nations really define what the problem is and how to identify it, she told the committee.

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“Medina Muslims,” are comprised of fundamentalists and radicals, both violent and non-violent, who at a minimum want to live under sharia law, which dictates moral, economic, military and social behaviour.

Beginning in the seventh century, the Prophet Muhammed and the then-new religion of Islam used the Saudi Arabian city ” IT WAS NO EAUDI ARABIA THEN”  Shosh” as a base to conquer enemy armies and their empires. Its name is now shorthand for the militarization of Islam that modern Medina Muslims want to replicate, she said.

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“I don’t know how big the Medina group is, I think today it’s much bigger than it was after 9/11.” “It will be too late to focus on the Medina Muslims only after they engage in acts of jihad, but I would like us to start focusing on them early on … in the weeks, the months and the years that they are preaching, preparing and cultivating the minds of young people.”

“If an imam or a mosque or a Muslim centre is teaching that absolutely everything that’s in the Quran, particularly in Medina, and absolutely everything that the Prophet Muhammad said and did, particularly in Medina, is what the practice of Islam is, then you should have red flags all over the place.”

In addition, “If they’re preaching sharia law, even though it’s Canada where it seems inconceivable to practice sharia law, you have a red flag.”

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A random survey of 100 representative mosques in the U.S. was conducted to measure the correlation between Sharia adherence and dogma calling for violence against non-believers.  Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all.  Mosques that presented as Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts. 

In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts.  The leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshipper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques.  Fifty-eight percent of the mosques invited guest imams known to promote violent jihad.  The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite guest imams who were known to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises.

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UK Muslim Public Affairs Committee founder accuses Zio-Nazi Gestapo of stealing his shoe

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Zio-Nazi Gestapo Mossad sneaked into his home and stole one of his shoes. The message, which was posted on Facebook alongside a black-and-white image of a boy wearing one shoe, is written under the head ‘are Zionists trying to intimidate me.’

In a public Facebook post, Asghar Bukhari, a founding member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, said someone had tried to intimidate him by taking his footwear as he slept.

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Within hours, the rant had prompted dozens of mocking tweets, with the hashtags #MossadStoleMyShoe and #ShoeishConspiracy trending on Twitter, with one user telling him to ‘put a sock in it’.

In response, he issued a bizarre, 15-minute YouTube rant in which he said, ‘they’re stealing people’s homes in Palestine. You think a shoe is a big deal for them?’

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A number of readers also created memes mocking Mr Bukhari’s assertions that a member of the Zio-Nazi Gestapo Secret Intelligence Service, better known as Mossad, had rearranged his footwear.

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AFGHANISTAN: Elderly man accused of being a spy is beheaded by Zio-Wahhani ‘ISIS’

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AFGHANISTAN: Elderly man accused of being a spy is beheaded by the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ‘ISIS’ doing business as Khorasan .

WARNING: CHILDREN DO NOT WATCH THIS 

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Saudi Zio-Wahhabi ‘ISIS’ in Afghanistan, bearing the name of Khorasan, is doing what other factions of ISIS do:

kill opponents and destroy places of worship and other buildings, relics, and items of cultural significance…Just like the Taliban mujahideen did to all the Buddhist temples and statues there. 

The video was released under the title “Healing Lives By Beheading a Spy Part 1. Stay tuned for Part 2.

CLICK SCREEN BELOW TWICE TO SEE VIDEO:

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