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N.Korea and the Danger of Fake History

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John Adams once said, “facts are stubborn things.” If the Massachusetts founding father were alive today pondering the challenge of North Korea, he might have revised his famous quote to, “myths are stubborn things.”

Perhaps no problem has been the victim of more egregious myths than North Korea. The constant stream of articles about the “hermit kingdom” when, in fact, North Korea isn’t an isolated outpost on Mars, the incessant narrative that Kim Jong Un is crazy (the same was said about his father) and recurring claims that Pyongyang is on the brink of collapse (since the early 1990s) have made it hard to have a reasoned policy debate. But perhaps the most insidious myths have to do with the history of US policy towards North Korea.

Many of us here at 38 North have spent our professional lives studying North Korea—some have spent decades in the US government trying to deal with the growing threat from Pyongyang. Since we have lived through that history, the constant misrepresentation of what happened in the past by government officials, experts, academics and the media is more than disappointing, particularly since there are shelves of books on that history that most people haven’t bothered to read. It is also dangerous. This failure (or refusal) to understand history has led the US down the wrong path more than once in trying to cope with the North and still could, in the future, with potentially disastrous consequences for the US as well as our close allies, South Korea and Japan.

Cases in point are two recent articles in the New York Times, which, on balance, has done great reporting on the unfolding crisis. The first, How Trump’s Predecessors Dealt with the North Korean Threat by Russell Goldman, has a clear theme that they have been snookering us all along. Well, that may have been true for part of the time, but it wasn’t true for all of the time. The article completely misrepresents what happened under the Clinton administration, asserting that North Korea accepted the carrots offered by the administration in the 1994 US-North Korea Agreed Framework—two multi-billion dollar reactors and heavy fuel oil shipments—then cheated when it was supposed to be denuclearizing and learned the lesson that it could profit by provoking the West.

Sounds pretty straightforward, but unfortunately, it is fake history. If the author had bothered to do more research, he would have learned that in 1993, US intelligence estimated that North Korea could have enough nuclear material to build about 75 bombs by the beginning of the next decade. The Agreed Framework ended that threat. In 2002 when the agreement collapsed, the North only had enough material to build less than 5 nuclear weapons. Moreover, Pyongyang had made the mistake of allowing key nuclear facilities to deteriorate into piles of junk. So it couldn’t restart them. In effect, a plutonium production program that had cost tens, maybe hundreds, of billions of dollars to build had been trashed because of the agreement. True, Pyongyang had started to cheat by exploring a uranium enrichment program that could also produce bomb-making material, but that program was nowhere near as advanced and wouldn’t reach fruition for years. Sounds like a good deal to us. But none of this is mentioned in the article.

A second example is an excellent article by Motoko Rich a few days ago on the upcoming US-South Korean joint exercises and whether they should be cancelled in return for North Korea halting its missile tests. Reporters often rely on pundits to provide information. But in this case, the pundit was completely wrong on a critical historical issue relevant to the current policy debate. He stated that when the United States and South Korea previously agreed to cancel military maneuvers, the Team Spirit exercise, in the early 1990s in exchange for the North allowing international inspections of its secret nuclear installations, “the North quickly reneged and continued to develop its nuclear program.”

Once again, fake history. In fact, the suspension of Team Spirit in 1992 led the North to sign an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) allowing inspections of its main nuclear facility. That in turn, led to the discovery by international inspectors that the North may have been secretly producing a small amount of nuclear material that could be used to build the bomb. That never would have happened without the temporary suspension of the exercise. Moreover, as the North started to dig in its heels and resist moving forward with more inspections, the US and South Korea simply restarted Team Spirit. And finally, even before the suspension, senior US military officers had questioned the exercise’s value, arguing that they could accomplish the same military objectives at far lower cost and less political clamor from the North. Sound familiar? Today, many experts are arguing the same thing about the current large US-South Korean joint exercises.

Reasonable people can disagree about how to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat. But history matters, so let’s get our facts straight. That’s the only way to have an informed policy debate.

Posted in USA, North Korea0 Comments

Japan’s Vote for Abe Could Worsen Prospects for Peace With North Korea, China

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Image result for Shinzo Abe CARTOON

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gambled by calling a snap election — and he has won big.

Voters handed Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party a sweeping victory in the Oct. 22 balloting for Japan’s House of Representatives.

The call for the election came in late September after North Korea had just fired another test missile, with its longest delivery system yet. Over the past months, North Korea has tested six missiles, with each test either falling into the Japan Sea or passing over Japan to land in the Pacific. This latest missile flew over Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jung Un, used strong threats after this missile test, saying that he hoped to see Japan sink into the sea. Abe and his hawkish, conservative coalition have been attempting to rebuild Japan’s military capabilities and to scrap its WWII-era constitution that prohibits aggression.

Based on my research in Japanese politics, I believe the party’s electoral victory spells trouble for peace in Asia.

Re-Arming the Military

Abe’s agenda has taken shape in a number of ways. In August, his minister of defense submitted a historic budget request that violates a decades-old unwritten principle. The principle is for Japan’s defense budget to never be larger than 1 percent of GDP. This principle was part of the commitment made after WWII to forever renounce military aggression.

The new budget request is a whopping 5,255 billion yen in military spending (US$48.1 billion) or 2.5 percent of Japan’s GDP for fiscal year 2018. The request includes new land-based missile defense systems to monitor space and provide auto-warnings for missile launches. This technology would assist in detecting potential missile launches from North Korea, and could theoretically intercept them.

In September, the Japanese Navy launched the ship “Myoko” that will patrol the Japan Sea between Japan and Korea. It will guard against potential missile fires by North Korea with anti-missile defense capabilities, identical to those of the US Navy. At the launch, Abe said that the “increasingly severe security environment” posed by North Korea and China must be “squarely faced” by Japan. He referred to the environment awaiting the Myoko’s crew as a “raging sea.”

Many in Japan anticipate the role of Japan’s military will soon change to respond to North Korea. Increasing military spending in the budget now may lead to future increases and spending on more offensive weapons. For example, two years ago, Japan and the US renegotiated their security alliance. Japan agreed to come to the aid of its most important ally if the US or one of its allies were to come under attack. A discussion on changing the Japanese Constitution’s WWII prohibition of aggression is likely to be revived.

Destabilizing the Region

The requested increase in military spending in August had an immediate effect on the region and possibilities for peaceful relations.

A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted China’s concern over the new plan and accused Japan of inflating the threatposed by China in order to take a more offensive stance in Asia.

The relationship between China and Japan is already tense. The two nations are engaged in a dispute over the Senkaku Diaoyutai islands in the East China Sea. This disagreement flared up last summer when China stepped up military activity near the islands. Then in February, President Trump reaffirmed the US commitment to come to Japan’s aid with conventional and nuclear weapons in a statement signed by both leaders.

Abe’s victory confirms that Japanese people take these threats seriously. Their fears may play into a developing brinksmanship between Japan and North Korea that could, in my opinion, implicate the United States.

Trump will visit Asia in November, and his stay in Japan includes a visit with Japanese who were abducted by North Korea during the 1970s and ’80s. Doing so may open old wounds with North Korea — the stories of abduction provoke strong feelings for the Japanese people who will be reminded of North Korea’s past offenses. Prospects for peaceful resolution with North Korea are becoming more slim, strengthening Abe’s case for building out Japan’s offensive capabilities.

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US Reps Pass “Harshest Sanctions Ever” Against North Korea

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  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to the machine plant managed by Jon Tong Ryol in this undated photo released by North Korea
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gave field guidance to the machine plant managed by Jon Tong Ryol in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang April 1, 2015. | Photo: Reuters
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a crippling sanctions act against North Korea over its nuclear program that would also heavily target China.

The United States House of Representatives have passed a bill titled the ‘The Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act’ that would level the “harshest sanctions ever” against North Korea.

RELATED:  Russia ‘Opposes’ Latest Massive US-Led War Games in Waters off Korea, Japan

The bill’s name comes from Otto Warmbier, a U.S. college student that died shortly after his custody in North Korea.

Warmbier, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, was arrested for stealing a political poster from a staff-only area of his Pyongyang hotel, which is a major crime in North Korea. He was charged with committing hostile acts against the state and sentenced to 15 years hard labor. In June, Warmbier was released with severe neurological damage of an unknown cause. He was taken to University of Cincinnati hospital where he died shortly after arrival.

The bill was put forward to “impose the most far-reaching sanctions ever directed at North Korea,” according to Andy Barr, a Republican Congressman who introduced the bill to the House floor.

Not only do the new round of sanctions target North Korean ventures, but it would also ban any company that does business with North Korea from doing business with U.S. companies.

“In short, foreign financial institutions that deal with anyone involved in these areas will face a clear choice: They can either do business that will ultimately benefit North Korea or they can do business with the United States,” Barr said during the hearing. “They cannot do both. The goal is to incentivize foreign banks to sever ties to anyone involved in the North’s economic activity and ultimately cut off Pyongyang’s access to the resource it needs in pursuit of its nuclear ambitions.”

China is the main target of the hefty sanctions, as China is the primary business patron of North Korea.

The sanctions will focus especially on North Korea’s main exports, oil and textiles.

The bill also allows U.S. President Donald Trump the ability to lift the sanctions based on certain contingents.

RELATED: UK’s Boris Johnson: Trump ‘Duty’ Is to Prepare for War with North Korea

“Renaming this legislation the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act won’t bring him back. But it will remind the world that there is nothing to be gained and everything to lose by working with such an evil regime,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy after the bill was passed.

The bill will now have to be passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Trump to take effect.

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Russia ‘Opposes’ Latest Massive US-Led War Games in Waters Off Korea, Japan

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The drills involve 40 warships from the U.S., Japan and South Korea, as well as three nuclear submarines and a nuclear-powered carrier strike group.

 

The United States and its Japanese and South Korean junior partners have begun holding massive military drills off the Asian nations’ coasts in a show of force meant to convey to North Korea the allies’ military capabilities while also practicing the neutralization of alleged “threats” from Pyongyang.

The practices, which involve over 40 warships, three nuclear submarines, and a nuclear-powered carrier strike group deployed in a line stretching from the Yellow Sea west of the peninsula into the Sea of Japan, have drawn a swift rebuke from Russia.

“We decisively condemn North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests. At the same time, we oppose the excessive military activity of several countries of the region that provoke such tests,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers’ Meeting, noting that the moves simply inflame tensions with Pyongyang.

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the drills are intended to practice the interoperability of the three countries’ fleets and their ability to detect and track any alleged missile threats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as North Korea is officially called.

The USS Ronald Reagan – a 100,000-ton, 333-meter nuclear-powered supercarrier – is among the strategic vessels taking part in the drills. The U.S. Navy’s biggest warship in Asia, with a crew of 5,000 sailors, sailed around 160.93 km (100 miles), launching almost 90 F-18 Super Hornet sorties from its deck, in sight of South Korean islands.

The provocative drills also involved American Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Stethem, Japanese Kongo-class guided missile destroyer JDS Kirishima and a South Korean Sejong Great-class destroyer – all of which are equipped with the Aegis combat systems capable of long-range ballistic missile defense.

The exercises come ahead of President Donald Trump‘s first official visit to Asia, set to start in Japan on Nov. 5, with South Korea to follow.

North Korea has slammed the warship gathering as a “rehearsal for war.” On Monday, North Korea´s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Kim In Ryong warned a U.N. General Assembly committee that the Korean peninsula is in the midst of an acutely tense situation especially in light of Trump’s threats to annihilate the North.

In his comments to the ASEAN defense gathering, Shoigu once again raised the proposal that the U.S. and its junior partners suspend military drills in the region in exchange for North Korea ending its nuclear and missile programs. Throughout the year, both Russia and China have raised the so-called “double freeze” as a solution to spiraling tensions.

“We are confident that a roadmap based on the Russian and Chinese initiatives should become the foundation for the use of political and diplomatic mechanisms aimed at resolving the North Korea issue,” Shoigu added.

While Washington has not ruled out the eventual possibility of direct talks with the North to resolve the stand-off, Pyongyang says it won’t hold talks until the White House drops its hostile stance and threats of potential nuclear attack.

“Our nuclear weapons will never be a subject matter of negotiations as long as the United States’ policy of pressure on the DPRK has not been uprooted once and for all,” North Korea´s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho told TASS in an interview earlier this month.

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Remember Hiroshima: No Danger of Nuclear War? The Pentagon’s Plan to Blow up the Planet

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This article was first published by GR in January 2016

More than 2000 nuclear explosions have occurred since 1945 as part of nuclear weapons’ testing.

Officially only two nuclear bombs (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 6 and 9, August 1945) have been used in an act of war.

The media consensus is that a nuclear holocaust is an impossibility. 

Should we be concerned? 

Publicly available military documents confirm that nuclear war is still on the drawing board  of the Pentagon. It is also part of the US presidential election campaign.

Compared to the 1950s, however, today’s nuclear weapons are far more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for a first strike pre-emptive nuclear attack.

Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books.

War is Good for Business: Spearheaded by the “defense contractors” (Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, British Aerospace  et al), the Obama administration has proposed a one trillion dollar plan over a 30 year period to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons, bombers, submarines, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) largely directed at Russia and China.

A new arms race is unfolding. Russia has in turn responded to US threats through a major modernization of its strategic nuclear weapons arsenal.

Political Insanity

The use of nuclear weapons is casually endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons are instruments of peace-making. Her election campaign is financed by the US military industrial complex which produces the WMDs.

Meanwhile, scientists on contract to the Pentagon have endorsed the use of tactical nuclear weapons, which are said to be “harmless to the surrounding  civilian population because the explosion is underground.” The tactical nukes are bona fide thermonuclear weapons, with an explosive capacity between one third and six times a Hiroshima bomb. They have been cleared for battlefield use (in the conventional war theater) by the US Senate and their use does not require the approval by the Commander in Chief.

The people at the highest levels of government who make decisions regarding the use of nuclear weapons haven’t  the foggiest idea as to the implications of their actions.

Cold War versus Post Cold War Nuclear Doctrine 

A recently released classified Pentagon document (1959) confirms that during the Cold War, 1200 cities extending from Eastern Europe to the Far East were targeted for systemic destruction.

Source: National Security Archive

According to 1956 Plan, H-Bombs were to be Used Against Priority “Air Power” Targets in the Soviet Union, China, and Eastern Europe.

Major Cities in Soviet Bloc, Including East Berlin, Were High Priorities in “Systematic Destruction” for Atomic Bombings.  (William Burr, U.S. Cold War Nuclear Attack Target List of 1200 Soviet Bloc Cities “From East Germany to China”, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 538, December 2015

Excerpt of list of 1200 cities targeted for nuclear attack in alphabetical order. National Security Archive

Today’s List of Targeted Cities 

This policy of nuclear bombing of targeted cities is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon. While today’s list of targets remains classified, cities in Russia, China, the Middle East, North Korea are on the target list. An Associated Press report quoting Pentagon sources (June 4, 2015) confirms that:

The Pentagon has been actively considering the use of nuclear missiles against military targets inside Russia, …  Three options being considered by the Pentagon are the placement of anti-missile defenses in Europe aimed at shooting Russian missiles out of the sky; a “counterforce” option that would involve pre-emptive non-nuclear strikes on Russia military sites; and finally, “countervailing strike capabilities,” involving the pre-emptive deployment of nuclear missiles against targets inside Russia.

The AP states: “The options go so far as one implied—but not stated explicitly—that would improve the ability of US nuclear weapons to destroy military targets on Russian territory.” In other words, the US is actively preparing nuclear war against Russia.

Robert Scher, one of Carter’s nuclear policy aides, told Congress in April that the deployment of “counterforce” measures would mean “we could go about and actually attack that missile where it is in Russia.” According to other Pentagon officials, this option would entail the deployment of ground-launched cruise missiles throughout Europe.

The criminality and recklessness of the foreign policy of Washington and its NATO allies is staggering. A pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russian forces, many of them near populated areas, could claim millions of lives in seconds and lead to a nuclear war that would obliterate humanity.

Even assuming that the US officials threatening Russia do not actually want such an outcome, however, and that they are only trying to intimidate Moscow, there is a sinister objective logic to such threats.” (Niles Williamson, Military Madness: US Officials Consider Nuclear Strikes against Russia, World Socialist Website, June 5, 2015, emphasis added)

Nuclear Tests Worldwide

Over 2000 Nuclear Tests have been conducted since 1945. Scroll down for video

Source: Wikipedia, click to enlarge

Undeclared Nuclear States under NNPT: India, Pakistan, Israel, DPRK

 

Source Wikipedia

The Deployment of Nuclear Weapons by Nine Nuclear States

Source: www.Sipri.org

Nuclear Sites in the US 

“Map of major U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure sites during the Cold War and into the present. Places with grayed-out names are no longer functioning and are in various stages of environmental remediation.” (Wikipedia). Scroll down for Google Map.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Google Maps and Daily Mail 

‘The map was produced from data suppled by the Defense Department and nuclear watchdog groups.

It shows where the warheads are (in red on the map), where the civilian nuclear power plants can be found (in green) and the location of labs and nuclear weapons plants (in blue). Daily Mail 

Five “Non-Nuclear States” (Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Turkey)
Possess and Deploy Nuclear Weapons

Five non-nuclear states (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey) have deployed the B61 tactical (thermonuclear) against targets in the Middle East and the Russian Federation.. The latest and more advanced version is the B61-12, which is contemplated to replace the older B61 version.

Source: National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005

 Video: Simulation of More than 2000 Nuclear Detonations Since 1945

Today’s Potential Targets for US Nuclear Attacks

Are countries in the Middle East potential targets for a nuclear attack? (For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky,  Dangerous Crossroads: Is America Considering the Use of Nuclear Weapons against Libya? Global Research, April 2011).

originalThe tactical nuclear weapons were specifically developed for use in post Cold War “conventional conflicts with third world nations”.  In October 2001, in the immediate wake of 9/11, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld envisaged the use of the B61-11 tactical nuclear bomb in Afghanistan.The targets were Al Qaeda cave bunkers in the Tora Bora mountains.

Rumsfeld stated at the time that while the “conventional” bunker buster bombs “‘are going to be able to do the job’, … he did not rule out the eventual use of nuclear weapons.” (Quoted in the Houston Chronicle, 20 October 2001, emphasis added.)

Click image to order book directly from Global Research

The use of the B61-11 was also contemplated during the 2003 bombing and invasion of Iraq as well as in the 2011 NATO bombings of Libya.

In this regard, the B61-11 was described as “a precise, earth-penetrating low-yield nuclear weapon against high-value underground targets”, which included Saddam Hussein’s underground bunkers:

 ”If Saddam was arguably the highest value target in Iraq, then a good case could be made for using a nuclear weapon like the B61-11 to assure killing him and decapitating the regime” (Defense News, December 8, 2003).

The 1996 Plan to Nuke Libya 

The B61-11 tactical nuclear weapon was slated by the Pentagon to be used in 1996 against Libya: “Five months after [Assistant Defense Secretary] Harold Smith called for an acceleration of the B61-11 production schedule, he went public with an assertion that the Air Force would use the B61-11 [nuclear weapon] against Libya… “(http://www.nukestrat.com/us/afn/B61-11.htm,)

“Senior Pentagon officials ignited controversy last April [1996] by suggesting that the earth-penetrating [nuclear] weapon would soon be available for possible use against a suspected underground chemical factory being built by Libya at Tarhunah.  (David Muller, Penetrator N-Bombs, International Action Center, 1997)

Tarbunah has a population of more than 200,000 people, men, women and children. It is about 60 km East of Tripoli. Had this “humanitarian bomb” (with a ”yield” or explosive capacity of two-thirds of a Hiroshima bomb) been launched on this “suspected” WMD facility, it would have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, not to mention the nuclear fallout…  The man behind this diabolical project to nuke Libya was Assistant Secretary of Defense Harold Palmer Smith Junior. “Even before the B61 came on line, Libya was identified as a potential target”. (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – September/ October 1997, p. 27 )

Concluding Remarks

Nagasaki, August 9, 1945

Nuclear war –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

What we are dealing with is the criminalization of the State, whereby officials in high office are complicit in fostering the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons. The media has camouflaged the implications of America’s post Cold war nuclear doctrine, which was formulated in a secret meeting at US Strategic Command Headquarters on Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2003.

On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, commemorating when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held behind closed doors at Strategic Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

Senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex were in attendance. This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima. The meeting was intended to set the stage for the development of a new generation of “smaller”, “safer” and “more usable” nuclear weapons, to be used in the “in-theater nuclear wars” of the 21st Century.

In a cruel irony, the participants to this secret meeting, which excluded members of Congress, arrived on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing (August 6) and departed on the anniversary of the attack on Nagasaki (August 9). (Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research, Montreal, 2012)

The Hiroshima Day 2003 meetings had set the stage for the “privatization of nuclear war”. Corporations not only reap multibillion-dollar profits from the production of nuclear bombs, they also have a direct voice in setting the agenda regarding the use and deployment of nuclear weapons.

All the safeguards of the Cold War era, which categorized the nuclear bomb as “a weapon of last resort”, have been scrapped. “Offensive” military actions using nuclear warheads are now described as acts of “self-defense”. During the Cold War, the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) prevailed, namely that the use of nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union would result in “the destruction of both the attacker and the defender”.

In the post Cold war era, US nuclear doctrine was redefined. There is no sanity in what is euphemistically called US foreign policy. At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable…

Stay informed, spread the word far and wide. To reverse the tide of war, the broader public must be informed. Post on Facebook/Twitter.

Confront the war criminals in high office.

What we really need is real “Regime Change in America”.

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China’s Belt and Road: Geopolitical Analysis of Regional Impediments

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China’s Belt and Road: Geopolitical Analysis of Regional Impediments. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh

China’s colossal industrial overcapacity needs global markets and it drives the country to explore wide-scale and costly corridors for overland access to the east and west.

China’s vision to establish a brand new international currency in lieu of the US dollar under powerful bloc of BRICS nation;

China and Russia’s shared efforts to shatter petrodollars and of the highest concern, China’s mega “Belt and Road” project is cautioning the US about its future economic hegemony in the region. Remember, the entire global violence of any sort, anywhere has its ultimate roots in economic interests.

China is laboring on its Central Asia economic corridor without a bump, though this robust economy’s CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor] as well as Bangladesh-China-India- Myanmar road network could meet a number of obstructions. China has even fixed eyes on the US-occupied Afghanistan as a potential ground for another “Belt and Road” whose foreign policy is entirely at the discretion of the US.

Pakistan went through never-before-seen warnings of Washington under Trump, which were primarily instigated as a result of Pakistan-China’s joint economic scheme. The week following Trump’s critical comments against Pakistan in the UN Summit in September, the Secretary of Defense James Mattisflew to India in an apparently provocative official trip and spoke of India’s role in Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, Washington couldn’t hold back and unearthed that CPEC is passing through the disputed region [Kashmir]. The US Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Chinese One Belt One Road project is controversial. India objects to CPEC because it may automatically bestow Kashmir to Pakistan once the project comes into practice. At this point, the US and India’s strategic interests coincide.

The US’s posture towards the project has turned upside down. In July last year, the US ambassador to Pakistan David Hale had welcomed the deal and stated:

“The United States welcomes the project and is supportive of any effort that brings about economic growth and development in Pakistan”.

China is working to craft an additional economic corridor that commences from China’s southwestern provinces and runs across Myanmar, Bangladesh and ends up in India’s Kolkata. Recently, China released a white paper vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative to join CPEC with Bangladesh-India-Myanmar corridor. China has come to the sense that India’s disapproval may keep the project from progress, so the latest scheme seems to have surfaced to appease India.

It is believed that CPEC is a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, while China calls the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar corridor also important. India is apathetic to the latest Belt and Road project. Beijing recently said it was willing to wait for New Delhi to join the project. India’s green light to the latest Belt and Road project may suggest that it has no issue with CPEC passing through disputed Kashmir claimed by India.

Even though India skipped China’s Belt and Road forum in May and made its opposition to CPEC clear, Beijing has continued building the controversial project, saying it has nothing to do with a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan.

To the south of China’s Central Asia Belt and Road corridor, China seeks to build one through its narrow border with Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor to connect to new markets along the route. Besides trading purposes, China’s Afghanistan Belt and Road project is intended to establish security in the region as well as undercut the US’s military agenda. On the other hand, Afghanistan’s conflict is on the upheaval with no imminent end which is barring China from moving ahead. To this end, China’s Afghanistan scheme would be blocked as long as US forces are stationed in Afghanistan.

It is not over; China’s Myanmar-Bangladesh-India economic corridor with limited progress in place is facing problems ed in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Has the Rohingya’s crisis been engineered to challenge China’s Belt and Road.

The fury that broke out last August in this state imperils China’s massive economic interests. As China expands its geo-political influence and opens up economic corridors to its southern neighbors, it needs peace and stability in Rakhine state. China has business interests accounting for billions of dollars in investment in Rakhine where violence hinders the implementation of ongoing Belt and Road project.

China’s impulse to back Myanmar is said to include cementing its foothold in Myanmar and proactive efforts to cut short the West’s intervention in the countries south of China’s borders. Rakhine’s violence is no less than Kashmir’s dispute to interrupt China’s Belt and Road constructions. On August 25, the insurgent group called ARSA conducted a spate of attacks on a number of Myanmar military’s outposts and killed enough to prompt military into a sweeping and brutal reaction.

Hired media outlets gave vent to Rakhine’s violence and scattering of people to draw global attention into Myanmar’s “crisis”. Yet, some of the world’s major countries including China, Russia and India have refused to specifically condemn the ongoing violence in Rohingya.

In a video message released recently, the front man, Ata Ullah, who is believed to have been born to a Rohingya family in the Pakistani city of Karachi and to have lived in Saudi Arabia, strongly rebuked Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya. Myanmar’s authorities have asserted that ARSA has links to militants trained by Pakistani Taliban and declared it a “terrorist organization”.

To our surprise, analysts even opined that the climax of Rakhine’s violence is a favorable opportunity for infiltration by networks with a global terrorist agenda such as the Islamic State group (ISIS).

Is the UN acting and responding on behalf of Western interests against China? In February, the UN accused the Myanmar’s military of mass killings and rape of Muslims in Rakhine’s villages. The UN held a closed-door briefing on the crisis. Myanmar barred a UN fact-finding mission from visiting Rakhine state.

Last September, reports appeared that Myanmar was negotiating with Russia and China to protect Yangon from any UN Security Council actions. Noteworthy is that China refrained to step into Myanmar’s crisis, yet the unfolding chaos and the UN’s purposeful attack on Myanmar’s government compelled Beijing it to protect Mandalay. News emerged that China opposed UN involvement in Myanmar’s crisis.

China continues to provide diplomatic protection to Myanmar as some Western nations press the government and military on the Rakhine issue.  In March, China along with Russia blocked a brief UNSC statement when the 15-member body met to discuss the situation in Rakhine. It suggests that certain circles within the UN are working against the interests of China and Russia.

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Korean War: 600,000 Tons of American Bombs on the North. Every City was Destroyed ‘Video’ 

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Part 22

This episode details the UN bombing campaign over North Korea and the results for the people on the ground.

The majority of civilians killed in the Korean War were killed in North Korea by air attack. (This segment on the bombing of North Korea was censored from the US version of this documentary.).

Extensive war crimes committed by the United States. 

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China Gains Ground in Global Ranking of Research

Academic research papers from China garner the second most worldwide citations, after those from the United States but ahead of those from the United Kingdom, according to a new study.

The analysis was conducted by Amsterdam-based information and analytics company Elsevier and commissioned by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Citations are the way in which scholars give credit to other researchers and acknowledge their ideas. They indicate how seriously research is taken by other scientists.

Elsevier assessed the performance of the UK’s research base between 2010 and 2014 and compared it with seven other countries: China, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.

The analysis found that in 2014, research papers originating in China accounted for 18.1 percent of all citations, a sharp increase from the 11 percent it had in 2010.

In comparison, the UK’s share in 2014 was 10.7 percent, which was slightly down from the 11 percent they garnered in 2010. The US saw its share slip from 39.4 percent in 2010 to 35 percent in 2014.

In 2014, China accounted for 19.6 percent of the world’s most heavily cited articles, while the UK produced 15.2 percent.

The report said:

“The global research landscape in recent years has become increasingly complex and fluid, and it can only become more so as emerging research nations grow their research bases.”

Authors said the UK and other research-intensive nations are seeing their global shares in key research indicators eroded by emerging countries, “especially by China”.

“As China and other rising research nations succeed in their desire to emulate and even surpass the research performance of countries like the US and the UK, their shares will naturally become larger while the erstwhile powerhouses see theirs shrink,” the report said.

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The Communist Party of China (CPC) at Its 19th National Congress. President Xi’s Battle against Corruption

NOVANEWS

Foreign analysts and media look to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China for clues about China’s future. It is no secret that President Xi Jinping, during his almost five years as China’s senior-most leader, has strengthened the Party’s role in governing China — and foreigners have questions. I’m asked these questions by foreign media and I think it useful to state and examine them.

What is it about the Party, the CPC, and its governing philosophy, that makes Xi so committed to enhancing the Party’s governing power? What are the Party’s positions and policies, organization and governance, vision and challenges? Why has China opted for perpetual CPC leadership? What innovations has Xi brought to the Party’s leadership role in the economy and society? Why has Xi elevated “strict discipline of the Party” to the highest level of national importance, the fourth of his “Four Comprehensives” for governing China? Why is his anti-corruption campaign so relentless?

Answers to these questions lead to a more basic question: How has the Party led China to its remarkable development and modernization? How has the Party adapted to changing conditions, kept up with the times? What can we learn from the Party’s history, its triumphs and tragedies? What is it about the Party’s recent past that it mustnow be rejuvenated?

But can a system with a perpetually ruling party discipline itself, itself establish credible checks-and-balances?

What challenges does the Party face? What does the Party consider its greatest dangers? And what are its enduring ideals, its visions for the future? Under Xi’s core leadership, how might the Party’s role in governing China develop over the next five or ten years?

China requires strong leadership to maintain stability given China’s unique, complex challenges: domestically (slower growth, industrial overcapacity, endemic pollution, imbalanced development, income disparity, social injustice, social service demands) and internationally (regional conflicts, sluggish economies, volatile markets, trade protectionism, ethnic clashes, terrorism, geopolitical rivalries, territorial disputes).

Xi’s unprecedented anti-corruption campaign has won strong public support. His determination to root-out corruption and cut the wasteful and detested perks of officialdom is altering how officials in government, and executives in state-owned enterprises, work and even think.

But some foreign analysts see Xi’s anti-corruption campaign as a weapon of political power, thus reflectingtheir superficial and one-dimensional understanding of China. Befitting the size and complexity of the country, for almost every decision of importance, China’s leaders have multiple motivations or reasons.

For the anti-corruption campaign, I can see ten motivations or reasons.

First, to state the obvious, officials who are manifestly corrupt are brought to justice. To manage China’shuge society, there must be respect for law and judicial impartiality.

Second, by combatting corruption the Party increases public trust, building confidence in the Party’s leadership.

Third, by combatting corruption the Party functions more effectively and efficiently, making decisions for the general good, not biased by personal benefits.

Fourth, corruption distorts markets, so that by reducing corruption, resources are allocated more efficiently.

Fifth, corrupt officials impede economic reform because change threatens their private interests. The removal of corrupt officials facilitates reform.

Sixth, corrupt officialsthwart rule of law for personal interests and prosecuting them strengthens rule of law for the national interest. Rule of law is exceedingly important, the third of Xi’s “Four Comprehensives.”

Seventh, some corrupt officials, in addition to enriching themselves, have non-standard political ambitions that could destabilize the system; their removal helps maintain national unity and political stability, which is essential for China.

Eighth, for China to become a world business center, China must have world-class business ethics and standards.

Ninth, combatting corruption benefits China’s entire society, elevating morality and restoring Chinese civilization as a paragon of ethics and integrity.

Tenth, for China to become a global role model, China must exemplify morality and rectitude.

The CPC is a work in process. For the world to understand the China, it must understand why the Party asserts that its continuing political leadership is optimum for China’s development. One key is the Party’s adaptability, stressing experimentation and testing of new policies.

The benefits of a system with a single leading party include implementing critical policies rapidly and assuring that strategies which require long-term commitment, have long-term commitment – for example, China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”.

The Party’s leadershipis deemed essential for China to continue its current development. Yetto continue to earn its leadership, the Party has a higher obligation to enhance rectitude of governance, standards of living and personal well-being — which includes rule of law, transparency in government, public oversight, institutionalized checks and balances, increasing democracy, various freedoms, and human rights.

Going forward in the ‘new era’, the Party faces challenges – furthering economic reform and transformation, and guiding social development and transition – while at the same time, improving transparency and building institutions that are self-regulating. The Party claims a historic mission. The Party will continue to be judged by the results.

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Making History: China and Russia Are Transforming “Enemies” into “Friends”

NOVANEWS

In the previous articles, the military and economic means by which the United States initially aimed for global hegemony were addressed, detailing how the US became the (declining) superpower it is today. In both analyses I highlighted how the threat of US military power is no longer credible, and how sanctions and the strong-arming behavior of corporate giants and international bodies (IMF, World Bank, BIS, etc) have ceased their effectiveness.

This has made the United States increasingly irrelevant, leaving in the process a vacuum to be filled by emerging powers like China and Russia, which effectively ushers in a new world order based on multipolarity. In this third and final part of the series, I will dive into the specific events that show how the military, economic and diplomatic combination of Iran, Russia and China have forged, by known as well as less-known means, an alternative world order to the unipolar American one.

Russia, China and Iran have in recent years drawn enormous benefit from the declining military and economic power of the United States, further propelled by a general mistrust of Washington’s diplomatic and political abilities, both with Obama and now with Trump. The two previous articles showed that Moscow, Beijing and Tehran, even as they addressed different situations, shared similar interests and came to coordinate their military, economic and diplomatic strategy.

The success of the Euro-Asian triptych is based on the essential principle of transforming enemies into neutral players, neutral players into allies, and further improving relations with allied nations. In order for this project to be realized, economic, military and diplomatic efforts are variously employed, depending on the country and the general regional context. The flexibility shown by Moscow and Beijing in negotiations has delivered historic deals, not only in the energy sector but also in the military sphere and also in education and poverty reduction, as seen in Africa.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Syria are three countries that, when analysed individually, reveal this precise strategy of Russia, China and Iran. Particular attention is focused on the Middle East for several reasons. It is the region where America’s declining military power, unable to achieve its geopolitical objectives in Syria, meets with the progressive loss of Washington’s economic influence, highlighted by the increasingly precarious position of the petrodollar that is about to be challenged by petroyuan deals between Saudi Arabia and China.

From Enemies to Neutrals

The military defeat of Syria’s enemies was mainly due to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) together with Iran (plus Hezbollah) and Russia’s military cooperation, together with Beijing’s diplomatic and economic support. Thanks to the strategy adopted by Putin in Syria, Russia was able to stop the advanced project of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, France, the United Kingdom, Jordan and Israel to dismantle Syria. The Russian Federation gradually entered into the Syrian conflict, and the military results immediately favored the axis of resistance, the US military unable to intervene directly to change the course of events.

The consequences of this choice have led historic allies in the region to doubt Washington’s real commitment to the region and America’s military ability to intervene in a conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and change its course in favour of Riyadh, Doha, Ankara or Tel Aviv. The new Trump administration has showed itself not to live up to the expectations of Saudi regional hegemonic plans, even though the Kingdom agreed to buy up to $110 billion worth of US weapons and commit to further investments in the US.

Riyadh is in an even tighter position than one would ordinarily think. It has to individually support the weight of the petrodollar, which is increasingly shaky thanks to the Chinese desire to eliminate forms of payment in US dollars by switching to the petroyuan. Moreover, Riyadh sees little tangible benefits to the US militarily backing its aggressive anti-Iran policies, even though Trump has shown to different ideas than Obama on the Iran deal. Saudi Arabia shares a common interest with Israel in the region with regard to their shared anger concerning Washington’s diminishing effectiveness in the region.

From the Saudi point of view, everything went downhill within a relatively short period. The defeat in Syria that coincided with the agreement on the nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – JCPOA) between Iran and the 5+1 countries. In both these scenarios, Riyadh feels the profound betrayal of its old North American ally. The Chinese economic pressure on Riyadh to accept yuan payments for oil, coupled with the growing ability of Moscow to effectively intervene in the region, and the renewed diplomatic and political role of Iran thanks to the JCPOA agreement, has left Riyadh on a certain path to destruction. The only solution is a strategic change that could affect the region in a significant manner.

The visit of Saudi King Salman to Moscow to sign trade agreements (an investment fund of over 1 billion dollars has been created) was of symbolic importance. The King’s actions, conducted in person, reflected recognition of Russia’s new dominant role in the Middle East as a result of American intentions to withdraw influence in the region. The need for the Saudi king to appear in person in Moscow also directly concerns the succession to the throne, with Mohammed bin Salman to inherit the keys to the kingdom, in spite of the disasters in Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis caused by the clash with Qatar. In a situation of extreme weakness, especially with oil prices so low, the Saudi monarchy is left with few cards to play and has to initiate a dialogue with Moscow and possibly start some kind of cooperation in various fields related to energy and investment. Initially, the main excuse for the Moscow meeting between Putin and the Saudi king was to coordinate the production and sale of petroleum and gas, a necessity for both countries given falling oil prices over the last 24 months. The first goal achieved by Putin and the Saudi king appears to be a spike in oil prices to acceptable levels, following Washington and Riyadh’s failed strategy to bankrupt Moscow by plunging oil prices.

Secondly, the meeting focused on the acceptance of Riyadh’s defeat in Syria, recognizing Assad as the only legitimate leader of the Syrian Arab Republic.

A lot is developing behind the scenes, and this is evident with Riyadh now recognizing a political solution as the only way to end the conflict, something never mentioned by Saudi state representatives. It will be very difficult for Riyadh to give up the regime-change project, even if the political, diplomatic, military and economic pressure from China and Russia increases. A common faith accompanies Riyadh and Tel Aviv, as shown with both repeatedly trying to persuade Putin to abandon his friendship with Iran and Assad, but without success. The loyalty demonstrated by Moscow to Tehran and Damascus has also had a positive effect on the Saudis, who must recognize that while Putin may have different views on certain issues, he is a man of his word; unlike the United States, where new administrations may sometimes throw friends under the bus, Putin maintains his promises, even under extreme pressure. In this sense, Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran deal is a demonstration of good will to Israel and Saudi Arabia by the new administration.

Saudi Arabia finds itself with very low monetary reserves as a result of the lowered price of oil and involvement in several wars. To add to this is a military defeat in Syria and an even bigger debacle in Yemen. To cap it all off, the United States, its most valuable ally, is increasingly disinterested in the fate of the Saudi monarchy and the kingdom, thanks to increasing energy independence as a result of fracking. Adding to this, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has split as a result of the economic warfare against Qatar, representing another example of Washington not supporting Riyadh to the full extent the monarchy in Saudi Arabia would have been expecting. The reasoning for Riyadh is as simple as it gets. If Washington is not able to support Saudi Arabia militarily, but Riyadh has to bear the burden economically, then the Kingdom is in enormous trouble and needs alternatives like Russia and China. It is unthinkable for Saudi Arabia to continue supporting petrodollar hegemony while Iran becomes a regional leader in the Middle East.

The best way is by negotiating with the main players, and Russia looks like the perfect mediator, as recently announced. China is just waiting for all these disputes to settle down to bring to bear its  economic power to definitively relegate to the past the last forty years of chaos in the region stemming from Saudi-Iranian rivalry.

For Riyadh, even if the attempt to separate Russia and Iran were to fail, it would nevertheless bring about relations that send a clear signal to the West. The purchase of S-400s is a clear demonstration of expanding Russian influence in the Middle East, and Riyadh perhaps has an understandable fear of American retaliation in the event that it starts to change course regarding the sale of oil in currencies other than the dollar.

Moscow has achieved a diplomatic miracle with Saudi Arabia, thanks to the military efforts in Syria, Chinese economic pressure through the issuing of petroyuan, and Iranian diplomatic success, stemming especially from the nuclear energy agreement, which has served to rehabilitate Tehran on the international political scene.

The purchase of advanced Russian weapons systems sends a clear signal and indicates that the Saudi kingdom is ready to assume a more neutral position and has started to knock on the door of the multipolar world, an acknowledgement of Chinese economic power and the military-technological predominance of the Russian Federation.

From Neutral to Friends

In transforming itself into a more neutral country, Riyadh may be attempting to balance American economic and military influence with Russian and Chinese support. The importance for Russia and China in having a neutral country with great spending capacity in the region should also be noted. In the case of Turkey, Russian intervention in Syria, coupled with Turkish aspirations to become a Euro-Asian energy centre, progressively pushed Moscow and Ankara together. As a result of effective diplomatic work following Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet, relations have gradually improved, occurring in parallel to the operational success achieved by the Syrian army and Russian Air Force against Turkish-backed terrorists. The military defeat of Turkey was already clear twelve months ago. In the last three to four months, Erdogan seems to have changed priorities, focusing on the Kurdish issue and on growing relations with Qatar (the political movement of the Muslim Brotherhood is key in both countries and essential to their relationship). In the meantime, Turkey is distancing herself from her NATO allies, gravitating more and more towards the orbit of the “axis of resistance” that consists of Iran, Iraq and Syria.

The Syria peace talks held in Astana laid the foundation for diplomatic efforts by Tehran and Moscow to persuade Ankara to abandon the military option (even though this was already clear once Russia decided to intervene). Instead, Ankara would be encouraged to open up important energy deals between Ankara and Moscow. It seems that Ankara has now decided to become an energy hub, carrying Turkish Stream gas from Russia to Europe as well as gas from Qatar and Iran. It even seems that China has every intention of connecting with the Turkish facilities for the supply of gas and oil, thus increasing Ankara’s role as a central energy-transit hub for the region.

The other aspect that has firmly convinced Erdogan to yield on Syria concerns the Kurdish issue. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), consisting mainly of Kurdish fighters, operate in Syria under the command and on behalf of the US-led international coalition. Ankara has nominated the Kurds of the SDF as an armed extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), considered a terrorist group in Turkey. This divergence between Washington and Ankara has continued to grow, even during the Trump administration, contrary to forecasts during the US election period.

With the progressive use of the SDF in Syria by the international coalition headed by the US, Trump and Erdogan’s strategies have ended up clashing. Trump needs to give his domestic audience the impression that the US is devoted to fighting ISIS, even if this means relying on Kurdish soldiers that entails severing relations with Turkey. Erdogan sees this as a matter of national security. The situation has escalated to a point where a few days ago, a diplomatic dispute led to the suspension of the issuing of visas from the respective embassies in Ankara and Washington. Erdogan considers American aid to the Kurds as a betrayal of the worst kind from a NATO ally. A natural reaction to these actions by the US, therefore, was the the agreement between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey to preserve territorial integrity vis-a-vis the Kurdish issue.

The blessing of the Chinese and Russians is evident in this situation. In order to pacify the region, rebuild it and incorporate it into the One Belt One Road project, the Maritime Silk Road, and the North-South Transport Corridor, wars have to stop and diplomacy must prevail. For Ankara, it is a unique opportunity to exit the war in Syria without appearing as one of the defeated factions (hence the Turkish participation in the Astana talks with Russia and Iran). At the same time, Turkey emphasizes the importance of its geographical position as a centre for energy distribution on the Eurasian supercontinent. This is all at the expense of the US, with Turkey breaking free from Washington’s pressure.

Moscow has already removed all sanctions against Turkey, and vice versa, greatly increasing trade with considerable prospects for growth in the coming years. As for weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Russian influence is expanding, thanks to the S-400 systems in the process of being sold to Ankara over the vehement protests of many NATO countries. The S-400 system is a further effort to deter US aggression, but is also the first indication of Ankara’s will to diversify, this time militarily, constituting a pillar of the new multipolar world order.

Ankara, after numerous diplomatic and military failures, has rebuilt its role in the region alongside Iran and Qatar, in a context where its partnership with Moscow and Beijing will guarantee Erdogan a margin of maneuver to progressively disengage from the NATO system that has brought so many problems to the country. A future entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) could seal Ankara’s passage into the multipolar world, becoming in the process a fully fledged ally of Moscow and Beijing. In the meantime, it is already possible to say that Moscow and its allies have succeeded in the unlikely task of turning a nation that was on the brink of a direct involvement in Syria in the effort to remove Assad into one of the most important guarantors of Syria’s territorial integrity. Erdogan has agreed to Assad staying in power into the near future, and has even agreed to help fight terrorists in Syria, as evidenced with the recent Turkish military operations in Idlib.

How deep these new friendships between Moscow, Riyadh and Ankara are yet to be tested. Erdogan and the Saudi monarchs have been known not to keep their word. At it stands, this appears to be an economic, political and military masterpiece of the Iranian, Russian and Chinese triad. The war in Syria has almost been won; the terrorist groups supported by the Saudis and Turks have been neutralized; and the conditions for a full Eurasian economic and military integration of Riyadh and Ankara have been set.

Supporting Friends in need.

Ultimately, it is worth pointing out the contribution of Russia, China and Iran to the Syrian government and people. Over the six years of aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic, Iran has never failed to contribute in terms of manpower, equipment and logistical support in the battle against terrorism. Moscow, in the early stages of the conflict, even before intervening directly, took steps to settle the Syrian foreign debt to Russia, and in fact lent money by providing armaments, energy and logistics as a way of actively contributing to the defeat of terrorists in Syria.

The People’s Republic of China has already paved the way for the future of Syria in economic terms, declaring the country an important transit route and a final destination of a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Chinese economic power will allow Damascus to rebuild a nation devastated by six years of terrorism and foreign aggression. With Russian military capabilities, Damascus will have all the necessary means to end the conflict and stabilize the country, laying the foundation to prevent any future Western aggression. From a political and diplomatic point of view, the joint actions of Tehran, Beijing and Moscow, together with Damascus, are an integral part of the axis that stretches from Iran to Iraq and Syria and arrives at the Mediterranean, or could even go to Turkey. With the combination of economic, military and political elements, Syria has survived almost unprecedented aggression, emerging as the winner, thus ensuring its ability to determine its future autonomously without external impositions.

Series Conclusions

The path traced by Moscow, Beijing and Tehran is expected to stabilize the Middle East, thanks to the resolution of the Syrian conflict. Some key elements of this global change we are witnessing are: Chinese economic pressure on the Saudis to accept payment for oil in yuan; the eradication of terrorism in Iraq and neighbouring countries, thereby circumventing sanctions imposed on Iran by the US and its allies; and transforming Turkey into a regional energy-distribution centre.

The RPC intervenes economically in a number of regions, particularly in the Middle East, to support Russian military power through money, diplomacy, economic investment (OBOR) and by providing liquidity to allies, as seen with Moscow when it was hit with Western sanctions. For Beijing, the decline in terrorism is a key factor in fostering China’s development of the Silk Road 2.0 infrastructure, allowing Beijing to enter into areas destroyed in the Middle East to offer easy reconstruction plans. At the moment, Syria, Egypt, Libya and Pakistan seem to hold great importance for China’s future strategies.

Russia and China lead organizations such as the BRICS, the UEE, the SCO, and the AIIB. The grand strategy is to support the creation of an alternative to the US dollar-based neoliberal world order and to contain the effects of declining US empire. Nations will increasingly have to choose between two systems: whether the multipolar world order, based on friendship and win-win cooperation, or the unipolar one, based on the America’s declining military and economic power.

Strong Chinese economic support, together with Russian military might as well as Iran’s importance in the Middle Eastern region, are successfully shielding countries like Syria from American military interventions, driving a wedge between old US allies and paving the way for Washington’s planned economic and military isolation in the region. Thus, countries similarly facing US pressure, such as South Korea, Mexico and Venezuela, will increasingly gravitate toward the multipolar world led by Russia and China, accelerating the decline and influence of the United States beyond the Middle East.

The multipolar world order is here to stay. The US is no longer the lone superpower but rather one among two other nuclear-armed powers. The sooner the US realizes this, the better it will be for humanity and for peace around the world.

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