Archive | September 5th, 2017

Proposal for a Lasting Korea Peace Agreement: Signing of a Bilateral North-South Korea Peace Treaty

The president of South Korea Moon Jae-un is currently in Vladivostok for the East Asian Economic Summit (EEF), chaired by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. September 6-7.

A high level North Korean delegation has also been sent to Vladivostok.  

President Moon Jae-in was slated to meet Vladimir Putin shortly after his arrival on September 5 (local time).

The holding of the Moon-Putin talks had been requested by Moscow following a prior meeting at the Blue House in Seoul between president Moon Jae-un and Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation (SCRF). .

The Republic of Korea’s presidential office confirmed that Patrushev also held talks with his counterpart Chung Eui-yong, director of the Blue House (Cheongwadae) National Security Office for President Moon Jae-in. 

While the Moon-Putin Vladivostok talks have been officially confirmed, in all likelihood, the two delegations (North and South Korea) will also meet behind closed doors, with president Vladimir Putin potentially playing a historic role in promoting a bilateral DPRK-ROK understanding, with a view to averting a US led war.  

It is important to note that president Putin had previously warned the Trump administration that “continuing hostility between the US and North Korea was close to deteriorating into a “large-scale conflict” and said the only way to de-escalate tensions was through talks”. (Daily Express, September 5, 2017) 

Also of significance, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe and President Putin will also be meeting in Vladivostok on September 6, on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.

Moreover, two of the three signatories of the 1953 Armistice agreement (namely the DPRK and China) will be present at these meetings. 

The US is not a member of the EEF.  Several important US business interests will nonetheless be present. Has an observer mission been sent by Washington?   

*   *   *

Towards a Bilateral North-South Peace Treaty 

What should be envisaged is the eventual signing of a bilateral Entente between the DPRK and the ROK, with a view to establishing Peace on the Korean Peninsula. In other words, the “state of war” between the US and the DPRK (which prevails under the armistice agreement) should in a sense be “side-tracked” and annulled by the signing of a comprehensive bilateral North-South peace agreement, coupled with cooperation, trade and interchange.

In this regard, what underlies the 1953 Armistice Agreement is that one of the warring parties, namely the US has consistently threatened to wage war on the DPRK for the last 64 years.

The US has on countless occasions violated the Armistice Agreement. It has remained on a war footing. Casually ignored by the Western media and the international community, the US has actively deployed nuclear weapons targeted at North Korea for more than half a century in violation of article 13b) of the Armistice agreement. More recently it has deployed the so-called THAAD missiles, which are also directed against China and Russia.

The US is still at war with North Korea. The armistice agreement signed in July 1953 –which legally constitutes a “temporary ceasefire” between the warring parties (US, North Korea and China’s Volunteer Army)– must be rescinded through the signing of a long-lasting peace agreement.

The US has not only violated the armistice agreement, it has consistently refused to enter into peace negotiations with Pyongyang, with a view to maintaining its military presence in South Korea as well as shunting a process of normalization and cooperation between the ROK and the DPRK.

The fundamental question to be addressed is the following: How can the 1953 Armistice agreement be replaced by a Long-lasting Peace Agreement given Washington’s persistent refusal to enter into negotiations?

If  one of the signatories of the Armistice refuses to sign a Peace Agreement, what should be contemplated is the formulation  of a comprehensive Bilateral North-South Peace Agreement, which would de facto lead to rescinding the 1953 armistice.

This proposed far-reaching agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang would assert peace on the Korean peninsula –failing the signing of a peace agreement between the signatories of the 1953 Armistice agreement.

The legal formulation of this bilateral entente is crucial. The bilateral arrangement would in effect bypass Washington’s refusal. It would establish the basis of peace on the Korean peninsula, without foreign intervention, namely without Washington dictating its conditions. It would require the concurrent withdrawal of US troops from the ROK and the repeal of the OPCON agreement.

Sunshine 2.0. and the Candlelight Movement. The Demilitarization of the Korean Peninsula

Supported by the Candle Light movement, Moon Jae-in’s presidency potentially constitutes a watershed, a political as well as geopolitical landmark.

President Moon Jae-in had worked closely with president Roh Moo-hyun (who pursued the Sunshine Policy). Moon was his chef de cabinet.

President Moon has confirmed his unbending commitment in favor of dialogue and cooperation with Pyongyang, under what is being dubbed Sunshine 2.0 Policy, while also maintaining the ROK’s relationship with the US.

President Moon’s commitment to cooperation with North Korea coupled with demilitarization, will require redefining the ROK-US relationship in military affairs. This is the crucial issue.

Moreover, there are signs of internal disagreement (and conflict) within the ROK government with South Korea’s Defence Minister, Song Young-moo, openly blaming president Moon of leaning in “a direction that strengthens the military standoff,  rather than … dialogue.”

In the present context, Washington controls the ROK Ministry of Defense and has de facto control over ROK foreign policy as well as North South Korea relations. Under the OPCON (“Operational Control”) agreement, the Pentagon controls the command structure of the ROK armed forces.

Ultimately this is what has to be addressed with a view to establishing a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula and the broader East Asian region.

The Repeal of “Operational Control” (OPCON) and the ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC)

In 2014, the government of  President Park Geun-hye postponed the repeal of the OPCON (Operations Command) agreement “until the mid-2020s”. What this signified is that “in the event of conflict” all ROK forces are under the command of a US General appointed by the Pentagon, rather than under that of the ROK President and Commander in Chief.

It goes without saying that national sovereignty cannot reasonably be achieved without the annulment of the OPCON agreement as well as the ROK – US Combined Forces Command (CFC) structure.


As we recall, in 1978 a binational Republic of Korea – United States Combined Forces Command (CFC), was created under the presidency of General Park (military dictator and father of impeached president Park Guen-hye). In substance, this was a change in labels in relation to the so-called UN Command.

“Ever since the Korean War, the allies have agreed that the American four-star would be in “Operational Control” (OPCON) of both ROK and US military forces in wartime …. Before 1978, this was accomplished through the United Nations Command. Since then it has been the CFC [US Combined Forces Command (CFC) structure]. (Brookings Institute)

Moreover, the Command of the US General under the renegotiated OPCON (2014) remains fully operational inasmuch as the 1953 Armistice (which legally constitutes a temporary ceasefire) is not replaced by a peace treaty.

Concluding Remarks

It should be understood that a US led war as formulated by Defense Secretary Mad Dog James Mattis against North Korea would engulf the entire Korean nation.

Given the geography of the Korean peninsula, the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea would inevitably also engulf South Korea. This fact is known and understood by US military planners.

The US sponsored state of war de facto is directed against both North and South Korea. It is characterised by persistent military threats (including the use of nuclear weapons) against the DPRK. It also threatens the ROK which has been under US military occupation since September 1945.

Currently there are 28,500 US troops in South Korea. Yet under the US-ROK OPCON (joint defense agreement) discussed earlier, all ROK forces are  under US command.

What has to be emphasized in relation to Sunshine 2.0 Policy is that the US and the ROK cannot be “Allies” inasmuch as the US threatens to wage war on North Korea as well as South Korea.

The “real alliance” is that which unifies and reunites North and South Korea through dialogue against foreign intrusion and aggression.

The US is in a state of war against the entire Korean Nation.

And what this requires is the holding of bilateral talks between the ROK and the DPRK with a view to signing an agreement which nullifies the Armistice and sets the term of a bilateral “Peace Treaty”.

In turn this agreement would set the stage for the exclusion of US military presence and the withdrawal of the 28,500 US forces.

Moreover, pursuant to bilateral Peace negotiations, the ROK-US OPCON agreement which places ROK forces under US command should be rescinded.  All ROK troops would thereafter be brought under national ROK command.

Bilateral consultations should also be undertaken with a view to further developing economic, technological, cultural and educational cooperation between the ROK and the DPRK.

Without the US in the background pulling the strings under OPCON, the threat of war would be replaced by dialogue. The first priority, therefore would be to rescind OPCON.

What is presented above is a summary of a  longer text prepared in the context of  Prof. Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation at the Korea International Peace Forum’s June 10th commemoration conference, marking  the 30th anniversary of the 1987 June Democratic Uprising (6월 민주항쟁), ROK National Assembly, Seoul, June 10, 2017.

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Retired FBI Agent Sues DOJ for Records on Contributions Made by a Clinton Ally to McCabe’s Wife

NOVANEWS
 

Over the weekend, Judicial Watch announced that it had filed a lawsuit against the DOJ on behalf of retired special agent Jeffrey Danikseeking records related to roughly $700,000 in political contributions made by groups tied to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a long-time Clinton confidant, to the wife of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe…the same Andrew McCabe who was conveniently overseeing multiple Hillary Clinton investigations at the time and even oversaw components of her email investigation. Here’s more from Judicial Watch:

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia in support of Danik’s October 25, 2016, and February 28, 2017, FOIA requests for records about McCabe’s “conflicts of interest” regarding his wife’s (Dr. Jill McCabe’s) political campaign, and McCabe’s reporting to the FBI of any job interviews or offers.  Specifically, the two FOIA requests seek:

Text messages and emails of McCabe containing “Dr. Jill McCabe,” “Jill,” “Common Good VA,” “Terry McAuliffe,” “Clinton,” “Virginia Democratic Party,” “Democrat,” “Conflict,” “Senate,” “Virginia Senate,” “Until I return,” “Paris,” “France,” “Campaign,” “Run,” “Political,” “Wife,” “Donation,” “OGC,” Email,” or “New York Times.”

In 2015, a political action committee run by McAuliffe, a close friend and political supporter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, donated nearly $500,000 to Jill McCabe, wife of McCabe, who was then running for the Virginia State Senate. Also, the Virginia Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe had significant influence, donated an additional $207,788 to the Jill McCabe campaign. In July 2015, Andrew McCabe was in charge of the FBI’s Washington, DC, field office, which provided personnel resources to the Clinton email probe.

The Judicial Watch lawsuit comes after Danik’s two previous FOIA requests went unanswered. Meanwhile, Danik says he’s pursuing records on McCabe’s conflicts because he knows he’s “not the only retired (or serving) FBI special agent who is concerned about Mr. McCabe’s conflicts of interest on the Clinton email matter.”

 “I am saddened by how the FBI’s reputation has been tarnished by the poor judgement and ethics of its leadership,” stated Mr. Danik. “I know I’m not the only retired (or serving) FBI special agent who is concerned about Mr. McCabe’s conflicts of interest on the Clinton email matter.  The agency seems to be illegally hiding records about this scandal, which is why I’m heading to court with Judicial Watch.”

“We’re honored to help Mr. Danik hold accountable the FBI—the agency he served for decades,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “We believe Mr. McCabe’s text messages and emails will be particularly enlightening to the public seeking answers about the Clinton email debacle.”

Of course, for those who haven’t followed Andrew McCabe so closely, this is the same former Acting FBI Director who is also being investigated for sexual harassment and violations of the Hatch Act (see: FBI Director McCabe Subject Of Three Separate Federal Inquiries Into Alleged Misconduct: Report“).

A couple of days ago we noted that, according to a report from Circa, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe may have made a serious error by refusing to recuse himself from the Michael Flynn investigation.  As it turns out, per court documents reviewed by Circa, McCabe may have harbored a personal vendetta against Flynn after he intervening on behalf of an FBI Special Agent, Robyn Gritz, who had accused McCabe and other top FBI officials of sexual discrimination.  Apparently the lack of inter-agency camaraderie didn’t sit well with McCabe as other FBI agents subsequently confirmed that his complete disdain for Fylnn was readily apparent.

But, according to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), McCabe’s apparent conflict of interest in the Flynn investigation may not be his only issue these days as he’s also the subject of an ongoing investigation for an alleged violation of the Hatch Act for illegally campaigning in his wife’s Virginia Senate race.  Per Circa:

Gritz also filed a complaint against McCabe with the main federal whistleblower agency in April, alleging social media photos she found show he campaigned for his wife’s Virginia state senate race in violation of the Hatch Act.

FBI employees are held to a higher standard than other federal workers under the Hatch Act and may not “endorse or oppose a candidate for partisan political office or a candidate for political party office in a political advertisement, broadcast, campaign literature, or similar material if such endorsement or opposition is done in concert with a candidate, political party, or partisan political group.”

The OSC told Circa  that complaint is still being actively investigated.

For those who aren’t familiar, this is the same Senate race in which McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, took nearly $500,000 from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to fund her campaign.  Of course, Terry McAuliffe is a long-time confidant of the Clinton family and was rumored as a potential running mate for Hillary.  All of which was apparently overlooked when former FBI Director James Comey allowed McCabe to participate in the investigation of Hillary’s email scandal.

And just when you thought McCabe’s issues couldn’t get much worse, Circa notes that the Justice Department Inspector General is also investigating allegations from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley that McCabe may not have properly disclosed campaign payments to his wife on his ethics report.

You may be good but you’re no Clinton, Mr. McCabe.

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USA: Why Is the Media Promoting Antifa?

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Why Is the Media Promoting Antifa? Self-proclaimed “Anti-Fascists” Promoting Violent Protest

 

Over the past week, the anarchist affiliation Antifa (“Anti-fascist”) has received widespread and favorable coverage in the establishment media.

On August 18, the New York Times, the main newspaper voice for the Democratic Party, published a major front-page feature article, “Antifa Grows as Left-Wing Faction Set to, Literally, Fight the Far Right.” The piece, written by Thomas Fuller, Alan Feuer, and Serge F. Kovaleski, showcased the views of the movement with interviews of its members.

The article presents Antifa as a serious force for fighting fascism, all but inviting readers to sign up.

“Unlike most of the counterdemonstrators in Charlottesville and elsewhere,” the Times reports, “members of Antifa have shown no qualms about using their fists, sticks or canisters of pepper spray to meet an array of right-wing antagonists whom they call a fascist threat to American democracy.”

The newspaper interviewed several members of the affiliation, who, the Timesstates, believe “the ascendant new right in the country requires a physical response.” The quotes are all presented favorably, including one from a self-identified member of Antifa, who argues that “physical confrontation” with Nazi groups is necessary, “because Nazis and white supremacists are not around to talk.”

The Times article is not the only example. On August 20, NBC’s “Meet the Press” carried a segment featuring Mark Bray, author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook and Lecturer at Dartmouth.

Bray was also invited to write an op-ed in the Washington Post, owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The column, “Who are the antifa?,” published on August 17, was in effect a free advertisement, encouraging readers to support or join the movement. One photo caption read,

“Antifascists may seem like a novelty, but they’ve been around for a very long time. Maybe we should start listening to them.”

The prominent and sympathetic coverage for Antifa from the Times, the Post and NBC is politically sinister. The Times has a policy of excluding any genuinely left-wing opinion, while “Meet the Press,” the most widely-watched Sunday news program, never interviews or features in its panel discussions anyone outside what is considered acceptable by the political establishment.

At the same time as it is giving favorable coverage to Antifa, the TimesPost and other media outlets have collaborated with Google in the effort to suppress genuine left-wing opposition, including the World Socialist Web Site and other sites.

The promotion of Antifa serves several interrelated functions. First, the physical violence of a handful of protesters in any large demonstration is regularly used as a pretext for police provocation. This is true not only in the US, but in Europe and around the world. Police give the “anti-fascist” and anarchist groups a free hand to carry out provocations, which are then exploited to carry out a violent crackdown.

The groups themselves are easily infiltrated by police provocateurs, who encourage violent acts for the desired end.

The politics of the various groups that comprise Antifa are, moreover, entirely compatible with those of the Democratic Party, and serve a purpose for that section of the political establishment.

Since before Trump was elected, the Democratic Party has sought to channel widespread popular opposition to Trump behind the military and intelligence apparatus. Indeed, the conflicts within the ruling class since the Nazi rampage in Charlottesville have culminated in the strengthening of the grip of the military and financial elite over the Trump administration. The first product of this restructuring was Trump’s announcement of a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

The Democrats and affiliated media, particularly the Times, have sought to bury the basic class issues—the fight against social inequality, war, and authoritarianism—through the promotion of a series of diversionary issues.

The Times has relentlessly promoted the anti-Russia campaign, seeking to channel mass opposition to Trump behind the demand for more aggressive measures against the government of Vladimir Putin. It has encouraged the conception that the United States is divided by immense racial divisions, promoting both the identity politics of the Democratic Party and providing respectful and even admiring coverage of what it calls “white nationalists.” It has also prominently featured the Jacobin magazine, affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America, which supports the Democratic Party.

The promotion of Antifa conforms to this agenda. Indeed, many of the groups involved in Antifa are essentially factions of the Democratic Party. By Any Means Necessary, BAMN, which is mentioned by name with a link to its website in the Times article, is among the most fervent advocates of the racialist politics of the Democrats. It received national attention in 2014 for its campaign for Affirmative Action, which was waged in alliance with the Democrats and sections of the corporate elite and military.

Adherents of Antifa claim they are fighting the fascist threat by physically preventing neo-Nazis from getting a hearing, denying them access to schools and cities where they may reach followers. Ignored, however, is the role of the Democrats and the social and political conditions that create fascism.

The neo-Nazi groups are themselves at present a minuscule social force, unable to organize more than a few hundred people for their major rallies, including the demonstration in Charlottesville. Trump and his fascistic advisers (including the now-departed Stephen Bannon), however, are seeking to exploit political confusion and alienation to develop an extra-parliamentary far-right nationalist movement.

To the extent that a fascist movement will develop, it is because they receive the backing of a section of the ruling elite under conditions in which the policies of the ruling class go unchallenged. That is, it is the subordination of the working class to the Democratic Party and its various affiliates, to which Antifa contributes, that creates the ability for fascistic groups to grow.

In terms of its social basis, Antifa attracts disoriented layers particularly among the middle class on the basis of a program compatible with the aims of the Democratic Party and the ruling elite, and which is indifferent and even openly hostile to the mobilization of the working class. It is for this reason that they are being promoted in the media.

A principled struggle against the threat of fascism and the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants, democratic rights, health care, and living standards requires a fight against the entire political establishment and the capitalist system upon which it is based. It is not punch-ups with Nazis, but the independent political organization and mobilization of the working class, on a socialist program, that is the urgent task.

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The Rohingya of Myanmar

NOVANEWS

The Rohingya of Myanmar – Pawns in an Anglo-Chinese Proxy War Fought by Saudi Jihadists

Media attention is directed to some minor ethnic violence in Myanmar, the former Burma. The story in the “western” press is of Muslim Rohingya unfairly vilified, chased out and killed by  Buddhist mobs and the army in the state of Rakhine near the border to Bangladesh. The “liberal human interventionists” like Human Rights Watch are united with Islamists like Turkey’s President Erdogan in loudly lamenting the plight of the Rohingya.

That curious alliance also occurred during the wars on Libya and Syria. It is by now a warning sign. Could there be more behind this than some local conflict in Myanmar? Is someone stocking a fire?

Indeed.

While the ethnic conflict in Rankine state is very old, it has over the last years morphed into an Jihadist guerilla war financed and led from Saudi Arabia. The area is of geo-strategic interest:

Rakhine plays an important part in [the Chinese One Belt One Road Initiative] OBOR, as it is an exit to Indian Ocean and the location of planned billion-dollar Chinese projects—a planned economic zone on Ramree Island, and the Kyaukphyu deep-sea port, which has oil and natural gas pipelines linked with Yunnan Province’s Kunming.

Pipelines from the western coast of Myanmar eastwards to China allow hydrocarbon imports from the Persian Gulf to China while avoiding the bottleneck of the Strait of Malacca and disputed parts of the South China Sea.

It is in “Western interest” to hinder China’s projects in Myanmar. Inciting Jihad in Rakhine could help to achieve that. There is historic precedence for such a proxy war in Burma. During World War II British imperial forces incited the Rohingya Muslim in Rakhine to fight Burmese nationalist Buddhists allied with Japanese imperialists.

The Rohingya immigrated to the northern parts of Arakan, today’s Rakhine state of Myanmar, since the 16th century. A large wave came under British imperial occupation some hundred years ago. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh continued over the last decades. In total about 1.1 million of Muslim Rohingya live in Myanmar. The birthrate of the Rohingya is said to be higher than that of the local Arakanese Buddhists. These feel under pressure in their own land.

While these populations are mixed in some towns there are many hamlets that belong 100% to either one. There is generally little integration of Rohingya within Myanmar. Most are officially not accepted as citizens. Over the centuries and the last decades there have been several violent episodes between the immigrants and the local people. The last Muslim-Buddhist conflict raged in 2012.

Since then a clearly Islamist insurgency was build up in the area. It acts under the name Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and is led by Ataullah abu Ammar Junjuni, a Jihadist from Pakistan. (ARSA earlier operated under the name Harakah al-Yakin, or Faith Movement.) Ataullah was born into the large Rohingya community of Karachi, Pakistan. He grew up and was educated in Saudi Arabia. He received military training in Pakistan and worked as Wahhabi Imam in Saudi Arabia before he came to Myanmar. He has since brainwashed, hired and trained a local guerrilla army of some 1,000 Takfiris.

According to a 2015 report in the Pakistani newspaper Dawn there are more than 500,000 Rohingya in Karachi. They came from Bangladesh during the 1970s and 1980s on the behest on General Ziaul Haq’s military regime and the CIA to fight the Soviets and the government of Afghanistan:

Rohingya community [in Karachi] is more inclined towards religion and they send their children to madressahs. It is a major reason that many religious parties, especially the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, the JI and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, have their organisational set-up in Burmese neighborhoods.

“A number of Rohingya members living in Arakan Abad have lost their relatives in recent attacks by Buddhist mobs in June 2012 in Myanmar,” said Mohammad Fazil, a local JI activist.Rohingyas in Karachi regularly collect donations, Zakat and hides of sacrificial animals and send these to Myanmar and Bangladesh to support the displaced families.

Reuters noted in late 2016 that the Jihadist group is trained, led and financed through Pakistan and Saudi Arabia:

A group of Rohingya Muslims that attacked Myanmar border guards in October is headed by people with links to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said on Thursday, citing members of the group.

“Though not confirmed, there are indications [Ataullah] went to Pakistan and possibly elsewhere, and that he received practical training in modern guerrilla warfare,”  the group said. It noted that Ata Ullah was one of 20 Rohingya from Saudi Arabia leading the group’s operations in Rakhine State.Separately, a committee of 20 senior Rohingya emigres oversees the group, which has headquarters in Mecca, the ICG said.

The ARSA Jihadists claim to only attack government forces but civilian Arakanese Buddhists have also been ambushed and massacred. Bugghist hamlets were also burned down.

The government of Myanmar alleges that Ataullah and his group want to declare an independent Islamic State. In October 2016 his group started to attack police and other government forces in the area. On August 25 this year his group attacked 30 police stations and military outposts and killed some 12 policemen. The army and police responded, as is usual in this conflict, by burning down Rohingya townships suspected of hiding guerrilla forces.

To escape the growing violence many local Arakanese Buddhist flee their towns towards the capitol of Rankine. Local Rohingya Muslim flee across the border to Bangladesh. Only the later refugees seem to get international attention.

The Myanmar army has ruled the country for decades. Under economic pressure it nominally opened up to the “west” and instituted “democracy”. The darling of the “west” in Myanmar is Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Her party won the elections and she has a dominant role in the government. But Aung San Suu Kyi is foremost a nationalist and the real power is still held by the generals.

Aung San in Burma National Army uniform (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

While Aung San Suu Kyi was propped up as democratic icon she has little personal merit except being the daughter of Thakin Aung San, a famous leader of the Burma Independence Army (BIA) and the “father of the nation”. In the 1940s Thakin Aung San was recruited by the Imperial Japanese Army to wage a guerrilla war against the colonial British army and the British supply line to anti-Japanese forces in China:

The young Aung San learned to wear Japanese traditional clothing, speak the language, and even took a Japanese name. In historian Thant Myint-U’s “The River of Lost Footsteps,” he describes him as “apparently getting swept away in all the fascist euphoria surrounding him,” but notes that his commitment remained to independence for Myanmar.

The ethnic strife in Rakhine also played a role in the British-Japanese conflict over Burma:

In April 1942, Japanese troops advanced into Rakhine State and reached Maungdaw Township, near the border with what was then British India, and is now Bangladesh. As the British retreated to India, Rakhine became a front line.Local Arakanese Buddhists collaborated with the BIA and Japanese forces but the British recruited area Muslims to counter the Japanese.

“Both armies, British and Japanese, exploited the frictions and animosity in the local population to further their own military aims,” wrote scholar Moshe Yegar

When the British won against the Japanese Thakin Aung San change sides and negotiated the end of British imperial rule over Burma. He was assassinated in 1947 with the help of British officers. Since then Burma, later renamed to Myanmar, was ruled by ever competing factions of the military.

Thakin Aung San’s daughter Aung San Suu Kyi received a British education and was build up for a role in Myanmar. In the 1980s and 90s she quarreled with the military government. She was given a Nobel Peace Prize and was promoted as progressive defender of human rights by the “western” literati. But she, and the National League for Democracy (NLD). she leads, were always the opposite – ultra-right fascists in Buddhist Saffron robes. The hypocrites are now disappointed that she does not speak out in favor of the Rohingya. But doing so would put her on the opposite side her father had famously fought for. It would also put her in opposition to most of the people in Myanmar who have little sympathy for the Rohingya and their Jihadi fight.

Moreover – the Chinese OBOR projects are a huge bon for Myanmar and will help with its economic development. The Saudis and Pakistani send guerilla commanders and money to incite the Rohingya to Jihad in Myanmar.  This is a historic repeat of the CIA operation against Soviet influence in Afghanistan. But unlike in Afghanistan the people of Myanmar are not Muslim they will surely fight against, not join, any Jihad in their country. The Rohingya are now pawns in the great game and will suffer from it.

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The Need for US-North Korea Peace Talks

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The Need for US-North Korea Peace Talks: Jimmy Carter. “They Want a Peace Treaty to Replace the [1953] Ceasefire”
Statement From Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Current U.S.-North Korea Relations

The harsh rhetoric from Washington and Pyongyang during recent months has exacerbated an already confrontational relationship between our countries, and has probably eliminated any chance of good faith peace talks between the United States and North Korea. In addition to restraining the warlike rhetoric, our leaders need to encourage talks between North Korea and other countries, especially China and Russia.

The recent UN Security Council unanimous vote for new sanctions suggests that these countries could help.  In all cases, a nuclear exchange must be avoided. All parties must assure North Koreans they we will forego any military action against them if North Korea remains peaceful.

I have visited North Korea three times, and have spent more than 20 hours in discussions with their political leaders regarding important issues that affect U.S.-DPRK relations.

In June 1994, I met with Kim Il Sung in a time of crisis, when he agreed to put all their nuclear programs under strict supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and to seek mutual agreement with the United States on a permanent peace treaty, to have summit talks with the president of South Korea, to expedite the recovery of the remains of American service personnel buried in his country, and to take other steps to ease tension on the peninsula. Kim Il Sung died shortly after my visit, and his successor, Kim Jong Il, notified me and leaders in Washington that he would honor the promises made by his father. These obligations were later confirmed officially in negotiations in Geneva by Robert Gallucci and other representatives of the Clinton administration.

I returned to Pyongyang in August 2010, at the invitation of North Korean leaders, to bring home Aijalon Gomes, an American who had been detained there. My last visit to North Korea was in May 2011 when I led a delegation of Elders (former presidents of Ireland and Finland and former prime minister of Norway) to assure the delivery of donated food directly to needy people.

During all these visits, the North Koreans emphasized that they wanted peaceful relations with the United States and their neighbors, but were convinced that we planned a preemptive military strike against their country. They wanted a peace treaty (especially with America) to replace the ceasefire agreement that had existed since the end of the Korean War in 1953, and to end the economic sanctions that had been very damaging to them during that long interim period. They have made it clear to me and others that their first priority is to assure that their military capability is capable of destroying a large part of Seoul and of responding strongly in other ways to any American attack. The influence of China in Pyongyang seems to be greatly reduced since Kim Jong Un became the North Korean leader in December 2011.

A commitment to peace by the United States and North Korea is crucial.

When this confrontational crisis is ended, the United States should be prepared to consummate a permanent treaty to replace the ceasefire of 1953. The United States should make this clear, to North Koreans and to our allies.

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Endless Regional Chaos: American Presence in Afghanistan

The geographic location of Afghanistan has always occupied a central role in many geopolitical studies. Donald Trump’s reasons for reinforcing US troops in the region are driven by the continuing US need to prevent a complete Eurasian integration among regional powers.

The April peace talks between Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Russia and China seemed to have put an end to the persistent and dominant American presence in the country. In Washington, following fifteen years of war and a series of failures, many had come to the conclusion that the time had come for the United States to return home.

Trump had throughout his electoral campaign criticized the foreign policy of his predecessors, giving the indication that he would be looking to leave Afghanistan once he assumed the presidency.

The road plan for Afghanistan laid out by the April peace talks seemed to offer the prospect of national reconciliation between the Taliban and the central authority in Kabul, assisted by parties with great interest in the country like India and Pakistan, given their geographic proximity, as well as Russia, China and Turkey.

The first talks in April 2017 capitalized on America’s absence at the conference as well as on the will of the protagonists to reach an agreement after fifteen years of war and terror. Afghanistan is a key crossroad in the eastward expansion strategy that illustrates the special partnership between Russia and China, as seen with the steady progress of the Silk Road 2.0 initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union. Given Afghanistan’s geographic position, sharing boundaries with Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, it is useful to emphasize the role the country could play as a commercial and energy hub in the not too distant future.

Due to incompetence or perhaps due to facing insurmountable pressures, Donald Trump is undergoing a gradual and inexorable diminution with the elimination of all the most representative members of his administration. At the same time, the appointment of military personnel to civilian roles has pushed the administration into unexplored directions not foreshadowed in the electoral campaign. Trump spoke of less US military presence in the internal affairs of other nations. But as we shall see, nothing could be further from the truth.

The appointment of Generals McMaster, Kelly and Mattis (Mattis perhaps being the most powerful US defense secretary since the end of World War II) is Trump’s attempt to withstand and bargain with the most significant elements of America’s deep state. A strong military component in the White House helps ensure continuity in US foreign policy. Contrary to what was professed during the elections, Donald Trump immediately traded American foreign policy in exchange for explicit GOP backing for key legislation that will help secure a 2020 re-election. Without bills on health, tax and immigration reform being passed, there will be no arguments in favor of the GOP and Trump during the midterm and presidential elections in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

The deep state in Washington has slowly but inexorably taken over Trump’s presidency, a task made all the simpler by Trump’s character, which dismisses his lack of experience with an overweening self-confidence. The military component of the deep state, in concert with GOP leaders, took less than six months to quash Trump’s electoral promises and turn the president’s foreign policy into a dangerous reprise of the Obama and Bush years.

More and more frequently, American intervention in foreign lands lead to situations of uncontrollable chaos, with no real central authority able to govern and obey Washington’s orders. The current state of the Middle East is reflective of this. In Afghanistan, Washington, especially Mattis, is cognizant of the country’s rebirth under Sino-Russian leadership after fifteen years of America’s presence. This is a scenario that the US deep state is not willing to tolerate.

Leaving aside Afghanistan’s huge amounts of natural resources (about one trillion in precious metals), as well as its strategic location linking east and west, a peaceful Afghanistan led by a single central authority would hardly cohere with US objectives in the country. The US loves to consider itself the indispensable nation for peace in Afghanistan, when actually it is the main obstacle to peace.

For American foreign policy continuity, Afghanistan needs to remain in a chaotic situation. Above all, the US military industrial complex is not willing to surrender its political and military power in the country, only to be substituted by Moscow or Beijing. With these unofficial motives, General Mattis announced a surge of several thousand American troops to the country. It is immediately clear that numerically and tactically, four or five thousand soldiers will make no difference. The intent is purely demonstrative, as seen in Syria with a few missiles lobbed at an empty airbase. The purpose is to send a clear and unambiguous message to Russia, China, Pakistan and even India, to the effect that without American consensus, no strategic reorganization is permissible in Afghanistan.

General Mattis and all those who for decades have been constantly thinking of MacKinder’s geopolitical theory (Heartland Theory) are aware of the strategic importance of keeping Afghanistan hostile towards regional powers like China and Russia. The USSR’s war in defense of the country, and the socialist superpower’s subsequent collapse, offers a historical warning.

In April, Moscow and Beijing, with the tacit approval of New Delhi and Islamabad, launched a peace process in Kabul that should have facilitated talks between the central authority and the Taliban to bring about a truce that would bring to an end the violence and destruction that had over fifteen years left the country bleeding in endless poverty and suffering.

The American surge will not advance American interests in the country. It will not change the delicate balance negotiated between the parties back in April. It will not affect the efforts of Moscow and Beijing to stabilize the country. It will only buy Washington more time by bombing and killing civilians, always viewed by American generals as an acceptable and privileged option available to them.

Like in other parts of the world, the presence of American troops does not fully explain the long-term goals of military planners. Afghanistan in some respects resembles a similar situation to Southeast Asia. In South Korea, the American presence has persisted since 1950, and with it the destabilization of the Korean peninsula. As in Asia, the central purpose of the American presence in Afghanistan is to occupy geo-strategic zones in order to prevent Eurasian integration between powers like India, China and Russia. Secondly, it is the constant presence of troops and military bases in locations close to or around the two major powers of China and Russia that aims to overburden and thereby diminish the defensive capabilities of these two strategic threats. In 1962, when the USSR did something similar in response to the US deployment of patriot missiles in Turkey, it started building up its offensive capability in the Western Hemisphere using Cuba as a military base. The US was willing to go to war to halt this domestic threat and for weeks the world was on the verge of a nuclear conflict. Only dialogue between American and Soviet leaders averted this threat to human existence.

Conclusions

Washington cares for nothing other than its own interests. But twenty-five years after the end of the Cold War, the world is changing, and more and more fruitful efforts to replace the chaos wrought by US policies can be seen with peaceful, mutually beneficial cooperation increasingly being the order of the day. The road to economic prosperity and a re-established unity among the Afghan people is still a work in progress, but once the country manages to establish its independence, Washington will have a hard time dictating conditions. Countries like Russia, China and India have every intention of using diplomacy and peacekeeping to prevent a dangerous escalation in Afghanistan.

India and China have some divergence over the future of the region, but by the start of the 2017 BRICS conference, they had already resolved a border dispute that lasted over two months. The ability to create diverse organizations like BRICS, AIIB and SCO provides the opportunity to begin any kind of negotiation with a legal and economic foundation. This represents a commendable example of overcoming differences through diplomacy and economic benefits.

While the United States exhales the last breaths as a declining global power, no longer able to impose its will, it lashes out in pointless acts like lobbing 60 cruise missiles at Syria or sending 4000 troops to Afghanistan. Such acts do not change anything on the ground or modify the balance of forces in Washington’s favor. They do, however, have a strong impact on further reducing whatever confidence remains in the US, closing the door to opportunities for dialogue and cooperation that may otherwise have offered themselves.

Trump promised isolationism. His generals, behind the scenes, have managed to make this electoral promise come true, leaving Washington alone in the international arena in the near term.

Posted in USA, AfghanistanComments Off on Endless Regional Chaos: American Presence in Afghanistan

Nazi-syllabus School Set Up in Syrian Area Controlled by Terrorist Armed Groups

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Israeli-syllabus School Set Up in Syrian Area Controlled by Terrorist Armed Groups
Featured image: A makeshift school in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp which is home to 80,000 Syrian refugees (Source: Save the Children)

An Israeli-US organisation has set up a school in the northern Syria governorate of Idlib, which is under the control of armed groups [terrorists], Russia Today reported on Monday. The Israeli syllabus is being taught in the school, with textbooks intended to provide Syrian pupils with a different perspective about Israel.

An Israeli news website reported that the school has 90 Syrian pupils and 15 teachers. It is an addition to two similar schools which have been established in areas controlled by the armed groups near the borders of the occupied Golan Heights.

Businessman Moti Kahana, a former Israeli air force soldier who holds dual Israeli-US citizenships, is the head of the organisation behind the schools. He hopes that the syllabus will entrench a different perspective about Israel and that pupils will go on to study in Israeli universities.

“In this way,” Kahana explained, “we hope to change the popular Syrian position towards Israel.”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on Nazi-syllabus School Set Up in Syrian Area Controlled by Terrorist Armed Groups

Unwinding the Iran Nuclear Deal

NOVANEWS
 

The big mistake, apparently about to be made by President Trump, in undoing the nuclear agreement made by President Barack Obamawith Iran is not just that he intends to go backwards, it is that he doesn’t intend to go forwards. (To be fair, neither did Obama.)

What the Iranians negotiated about was not so much the “bomb” – to be or not to be – but about their pride and their position in the world and their right to become a thriving economic and political power inured from sanctions or military threats. (Sanctions were imposed before the nuclear issue came to the fore.)

The nuclear program was first and foremost about creating leverage so that Iran could regain the sort of respect that the offspring of the Persian Empire once was given. Second, it was about making sure that Iran is not found short when its oil reserves start to shrink. (Iran also has heavily invested in solar energy.)

For Iran, negotiations were a suggestive game of hide and seek, played in front of all-angled, reflecting mirrors. They were not about actually building a bomb or, as we used to say in Pakistan’s pre-bomb days, of being “a screwdriver away from completing a bomb”.

I don’t actually believe that Iran ever had the intention of building a nuclear bomb. But it was not unhappy that the West thought it was. It did want to frighten the West. It did want to forestall what it believes is the Americans’ true ambition – to bring about “regime change”.

Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, has spoken a number of times about how nuclear weapons go against the principles of Islam. Islam is a language of love and brotherhood, not of a nuclear holocaust. I believe him, not out of naivety, but because I know Iran is a deeply religious society and that the ayatollahs take Islamic teaching earnestly. Children are brought up to take values seriously, to love not hate, and to take care of the poor and widowed. War is a last resort. Reading the Koran, nuclear weapons could never be justified.

Iran doesn’t go easily to war. Saddam Hussein inflicted war on Iran for no good reason, other than to demonstrate the muscle of a dictator. Iran had never tried to build up a deterrent against Iraq. (The US and the UK supported Saddam and provided him with weapons.)

Akbar Ganji, an Iranian journalist and dissident, wrote in Foreign Affairs that Khamenei

“is not a crazy, irrational or reckless zealot searching for an opportunity for aggression. Khamenei considers science and progress to be “Western civilization’s truth”.

He is a great reader of Western novels and considers Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” “to be the best novel that has been written in history”.

He is an intellectual who enjoys the company of other intellectuals including secular opposition ones. Unfortunately, he was attracted as a young man to the writings of the Egyptian, Sayyid Qutb, whose severe Islamic thinking inspired Osama bin Laden. He has since moderated his opinions.

Nevertheless, he wants, as does most of Iran’s elite, for the most populated country in the Middle East, after Egypt, be treated as a force to be reckoned with in Middle East politics. He does not like Iran being ignored when it comes to how to deal with Syria, Afghanistan or Israel.

Obama didn’t want to be seen to “cosy up” to Iran’s government, so the nuclear deal was as far as he was prepared to go. This was an opportunity forgone.

So what happens? Iran is seen as a “spoiler” who gets in the way of rational Western policies and supports the Syrian government, deploys Hizbullah and like-minded armed groups and supports Hamas in Palestine to counter Western, Israeli and Saudi Arabian interests.

I doubt if it has ever crossed Trump’s mind that by cutting Iran in he could achieve quite a lot. No, cut it out and squeeze it even more than it ever has been.

He has the tool at hand – reneging on the Obama deal. All he has to do is to persuade the intelligence agencies to manufacture some sort of a case that Iran is not doing its part to honour the deal. Hence the enormous pressure he has put on them.

If Trump succeeds in his aim will other countries party to the solemn agreement ratified unanimously by the UN Security Council go along with him?

China won’t for a start – it purchases 30% of Iran’s oil. Is Trump going to punish China just when it needs Beijing’s help over the real bombs in North Korea?

The EU will think on not dissimilar lines. Airbus needs that big new market – 173 new planes so far have been ordered.

Again, the world has to find a way to stop Trump in his tracks.

Posted in IranComments Off on Unwinding the Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran, ‘Israel’ and the Big Mess in Washington

NOVANEWS
Iran, Israel and the Big Mess in Washington

In the big mess of the current American foreign policy, which is an effect of the internal political mess, Iran represents the biggest issue.

It is unclear whether Donald Trump is acting in this way in order to cancel everything made by his predecessor or because he is controlled by the Israel Lobby (which dominates both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party). At any rate, he seems to operate in order to undermine at any cost the JCPOA agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) signed by Iran and its western counterparties and indeed led by Barack Obama.

In order to understand what is going on, it may be useful to remember that the goal of the Joint Plan of Action – signed on July 14th, 2015 – was almost the complete annihilation (98%) of Teheran’s low-enriched uranium stock and the reduction of two-thirds of the Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plants during the following thirteen years, besides the commitment by Iran to give up building a new plant for the production of heavy water. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been in charge of monitoring the progress of the agreement and, in order to do so, it has nearly unlimited access to Iranian nuclear facilities. These few facts are enough to understand that Rohani’s Iran has accepted a virtually unconditional surrender, canceling any even remote possibility to build an atomic bomb in the next fifteen-year period.

In order to push the agreement with Teheran through the suspicious Congress, Barack Obama agreed on a quarterly monitoring. According to that, the US President must notify Congress every 90 days of Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (bear in mind that the Senate had praised unanimously the furious statement of Netanyahu, who had come to Washington to communicate the total Israel’s disapproval towards the agreement). Now, it’s Donald Trump’s turn to make this review.

The first two reports passed without any objection, but with difficulty. According to the New York Times’ account of the second report – that occurred a few days ago – the presidential team (which in turn had received the report from IAEA, according to which Teheran was fulfilling the agreement) had a hard time convincing Trump not to raise further difficulties. However, the third review will arrive in three months and everything suggests that Donald Trump will cling to any pretext in order to blame Teheran and undermine the agreement. Moreover, the United States, following a President’s decision, have already augmented the sanctions against Iran (because of the Syrian war), without waiting for the JCPOA review.  Trump took the opportunity of the G-20 meeting to dissuade other countries from getting back to “business as usual” with Iran.

Rohani has just won the elections for the second time, notwithstanding the opposition’s protests – thus demonstrating that he had acted according to the will of the people – and he is now facing the challenge of “keeping calm”. Actually, after agreeing on everything, he has remained with nothing in his hands. Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, explicitly said:

“Iran’s patience has limits”.

If this line is crossed, the first to rejoice would be Tel Aviv, followed closely by the bipartisan majority of the Senate. And the consequences would be unforeseeable. Also because the “five plus one” countries who signed the agreement are the members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, and the exit of the United States from the agreement would surely cause enormous repercussions on the whole North Atlantic Alliance. Not to mention that Turkey, a member of the Alliance, is moving constantly towards the new “Silk Road” of Xi Jinping.

As it is clear that Russia and China sympathize with Teheran – and indeed have both been among the guarantors of the agreement – for the western community a possibility remains open, that is Europe might consider valid the JCPOA agreement also in case of a unilateral exit of the United States from the agreement. That would cause further tension both with Washington (that would lose many potential economic deals) and with Israel, which keeps considering the dismissing of Hezbollah and Bashar al Assad as a primary goal (and damaging Iran by doing so), regardless the state of implementation of the nuclear agreement.

In three months – in October – Donald Trump will have to make up a way to refuse the third certification of Iranian compliance (assuming that Teheran won’t lose patience). For example by instigating a series of accusations against Iran. But, in order to set up this new show, Trump needs the media, which are not his friends. The media will have to decide whether it is more important to support Israel, which controls them – but is allied with Donald Trump on this subject – or if it will be more urgent to criticize Trump.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, IranComments Off on Iran, ‘Israel’ and the Big Mess in Washington

U.S. Rescues ISIS Field Commanders in Syria. “The Terrorists R Us”

NOVANEWS

The new evidence regarding the U.S.-led international coalition interested in pursuing political interests in Syria instead of fighting ISIS continue to be reported. There are a lot of facts proving the assistance of the U.S. special services to high-ranking ISIS field commanders.

Against the background of the successful steps of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) towards Deir Ezzor and the defeat of ISIS, Washington has started to evacuate its agents for further use in other areas.

On August 26, the United States Air Force helicopters evacuated two European ISIS commanders along with their families from the settlement of Al-Treif, which is located to the north-west of Deir Ezzor.

In addition, on August 28, the international coalition aviation relocated more than 20 ISIS commanders from Albu Leil village to a military airbase in northern Syria.

It’s not the first when the U.S. intelligence agencies ‘rescue’ field commanders in Syria. In May 2017, the U.S. helicopters picked up dozens of ISIS leaders and foreign mercenaries from the settlement of Al-Kasrah. Let us remind you, that the similar operations were carried out near Raqqa in June/July 2017.

Posted in USA, SyriaComments Off on U.S. Rescues ISIS Field Commanders in Syria. “The Terrorists R Us”

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