Archive | Asia

US withdrawal, the only hope for peace in Afghanistan

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Press TV 

The best case scenario for peace in Afghanistan is US withdrawal of forces from the country and multilateral negotiations between main stakeholders to establish a national unity government, according to Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on a US military announcement which says the Pentagon will deploy a new task force of approximately 300 Marines to Afghanistan’s restive Helmand Province, marking the return to a region where hundreds of troops were killed in fierce combat.

The forces with a unit called Task Force Southwest will deploy this spring to advise the Afghan army and police, senior Marine officers said Friday. The deployment will last nine months and is expected to evolve into a series of similar rotations for the Marines, officials said.

us-military-bases-surround-iranThere are approximately 8,500 US troops in Afghanistan, with most being located at major installations in the capital, Kabul, and at the US airfield in Bagram.

Professor Etler said, “With the lame duck Obama administration quickly coming to an end the question of the US/NATO presence in Afghanistan comes to the fore.”

“The Afghan war which began in 2001 has been the longest that the US has fought. After thousands of casualties and billions of dollars Afghanistan is less secure than any time since the US invasion with one third of the country under Taliban control and a plethora of Takfiri terrorist groups infiltrating the territory,” he stated.

“As things now stand the interminable US/NATO occupation of Afghanistan appears to be headed for another round of escalation,” the analyst noted.

Will Trump follow through on his vow to leave Afghanistan?

Professor Etler said that “there is a new administration set to be installed in Washington.”

“Trump has vociferously stated time and time again that Afghanistan is a rat hole into which the US has heedlessly sent thousands of US soldiers and spent billions of dollars to little if any effect. Trump in a tweet from 2013 succinctly said, ‘Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA,’” he stated.

“The question is will Trump once he’s in the White House live up to his words? And if he does what will happen to Afghanistan? Will it become a hot bed of Takfiri terrorism like Iraq and Syria? The Taliban are an indigenous force motivated by nationalist fervor to expel foreign occupiers of whatever sort. They have demonstrated that they will unrelentingly persist in their resistance no matter how long it takes,” he said.

“The only way out is multinational negotiations in which the Taliban participate as fully vested members. Russia and China, hoping to stem the tide of Takfiri terrorism gaining a foothold on their borders, have already stepped into the breach,” he said.

“Late in 2016, Russian, Chinese and Pakistani officials met in Moscow calling for a flexible approach towards working with the Taliban to foster a peaceful dialogue,” the researched argued.

“The Taliban have also maintained strong links to China, having sent a delegation to discuss the situation in Afghanistan in July 2016 and declaring that they will protect Chinese interests in a $3 billion copper mining project in the northern part of the country,” he stated.

“The best case scenario for peace in Afghanistan is multilateral negotiations between the Afghan government, the Taliban, Pakistan, Russia and China to establish a government of national unity in which the Taliban are full participants,” the analyst noted.

“As with the recently brokered ceasefire in Syria there is no need for US/NATO involvement. In fact, as Trump has previously stated, it’s time for the US to get out and go home. Let the adults resolve the issues that the US and its NATO allies have only exacerbated,” he advised.

“But will Trump do as he says? Will he let others succeed where the US has failed? Only time will tell,” he concluded.

Posted in USA, Afghanistan0 Comments

Weekend Reader: Examining India’s Demonetization: Social Impact, US Backing and Global Implications

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India’s “War on Cash”: The Demonetization Blitzkrieg. The “Ice Nine” Solution

By Sridhar Chakravarthi Raman

The demonetization blitzkrieg of the NDA government was served to the unsuspecting Indian public as a moral crusade to destroy the twin evils of black money and counterfeit notes. But as the days went by the stated objects of the demonetization fell apart and the government did a series of embarrassing flip flops to put forth the view that the object was to usher in a cashless society where the digitally baptized citizens would swipe their plastic cards and waft to and fro in digital wallets with consummate ease.If the overt objectives of the demonetization, i.e eradication of black money and counterfeit notes were indeed laughable, then other concerns about its covert objectives gave rise to legitimate concerns. What then is the hidden agenda of the demonetization exercise?

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The Social Impacts of India’s Demonetization: Banks Threaten Impoverished Farmers…

By P. Sainath

The bank has “decided to use Gandhigiri to try and recover the loans [from you].  For this the bank has decided to do one of the following: 1) Put up a tent opposite your house to protest, 2) Make use of a band, 3) ring bells. “Due to these actions, your standing and image in society are likely to be in danger.” That is the Osmanabad District Central Cooperative Bank (ODCC) promising 20,000 of its clients public humiliation and ridicule.

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Cash Is No Longer King: Currency Wars, The Phasing Out of Physical Money Has Begun

By Shaun Bradley

As physical currency around the world is increasingly phased out, the era where “cash is king” seems to be coming to an end. Countries like India and South Korea have chosen to limit access to physical money by law, and others are beginning to test digital blockchains for their central banks.

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Video: #Humans Of Demonetized India: Why We Poor Have To Suffer?

By Akhil K Prabhakar and Chidhambaram

The victims of Prime Minister Modi’s Demonetization Program, tell their story. Their lives are destroyed.  What was the purpose of this devastating process ordered by the Indian government. Was it a policy blunder or a deliberate intent to undermine and destroy small scale retailers and producers across the land.

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India’s Demonetization Policy Triggers Famine In Rural Areas

By Rahul M

“We can eat only if we work every day,” D. Narayanappa said after returning to Bucharla from Bengaluru on November 4. Like many other Dalits in this village, he migrates to the city to work on construction sites for most of the year, coming home every now and then for a few days.

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India’s Demonetization Undermines the Right to Food and the Right to Life

By Right To Food Campaign

The right to food campaign is dismayed by the Indian government’s reckless attempt to renew currency notes, known as “demonetization”, without any serious attention to the consequences it may have for poor people. This move serves no clear purpose and is a major attack on the right to food and the right to life.

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A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Demonetization Project

By Norbert Haering

Who are the institutions behind this decisive attack on cash? According to USAID: “Over 35 key Indian, American and international organizations have partnered with the Ministry of Finance and USAID on this initiative.”

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“Demonetization”: Beware of the Digital Money Dictatorship

By Dr. Vandana Shiva

As 2017 begins and we flounder in our mad rush to force all of India into a digital economy overnight, it is worth pausing and reflecting on what the digital economy is, who controls the platforms and lines as well as some basic concepts about money and technology which have moulded our lives and freedoms, based on patented systems that are failing the people of “West”. Obsolete systems are moulding our patterns of work and our wellbeing — as a very large country, and as an ancient civilisation — into a cast that is observably too small.

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India, From the Destabilization of Agriculture to Demonetization, “Made in America”

By Colin Todhunter

Emerging evidence indicates that demonetisation was not done to curb corruption, ‘black money’ or terrorism, the reasons originally given. That was a smokescreen. Modi was acting on behalf of powerful Wall Street financial interests. Demonetisation has caused massive hardship, inconvenience and chaos. It has affected everyone and has impacted the poor and those who reside in rural areas (i.e. most of the population) significantly. Who does Modi (along with other strategically placed figures) serve primarily: ordinary people and the ‘national interest’ or the interests of the US?

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The Fukushima Disaster and the Future of Nuclear Power in Japan

NOVANEWS
An Interview with Former Prime Minister Kan Naoto
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Introduction

For more than two decades, the global nuclear industry has attempted to frame the debate on nuclear power within the context of climate change: nuclear power is better than any of the alternatives. So the argument went. Ambitious nuclear expansion plans inthe United States and Japan, two of the largest existing markets, and the growth of nuclear power in China appeared to show—superficially at least—that the technology had a future. At least in terms of political rhetoric and media perception, it appeared to be a winning argument. Then came March 11, 2011. Those most determined to promote nuclear power even cited the Fukushima Daiichi accident as a reason for expanding nuclear power: impacts were low, no one died, radiation levels are not a risk. So claimeda handful of commentators in the international (particularly English-language) media.

However,from the start of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi on March 11 2011,the harsh reality of nuclear power was exposed to billions of people across the planet, and in particular to the population of Japan, including the more than 160,000 people displaced by the disaster, many of whom are still unable to return to their homes, and scores of millions more threatened had worst case scenarios occurred. One authoritative voice that has been central to exposing the myth-making of the nuclear industry and its supporters has been that of KanNaoto, Prime Minister in 2011. His conversion from promoter to stern critic may be simple to understand, but it is no less commendable for its bravery. When the survival of half the society you are elected to serve and protect is threatened by a technology that is essentially an expensive way to boil water, then something is clearly wrong. Japan avoided societal destruction thanks in large part to the dedication of workers at the crippled nuclear plant, but also to the intervention of Kan and his staff, and to luck. Had it not been for a leaking pipe into the cooling pool of Unit 4 that maintained sufficient water levels, the highly irradiated spent fuel in the pool, including the entire core only recently removed from the reactor core, would have been exposed, releasing an amount of radioactivity far in excess of that released from the other three reactors. The cascade of subsequent events would have meant total loss of control of the other reactors, including their spent fuel pools and requiring massive evacuation extending throughout metropolitan Tokyo, as Prime Minister Kan feared. That three former Prime Ministers of Japan are not just opposed to nuclear power but actively campaigning against it is unprecedented in global politics and is evidence of the scale of the threat that Fukushima posed to tens of millions ofJapanese.

The reality is thatin terms of electricity share and relative to renewable energy,nuclear power has been in decline globally for two decades.Since the FukushimaDaiichiaccident, this decline has only increased in pace. The nuclear industry knew full well that nuclear power could not be scaled up to the level required to make a serious impact on global emissions. But that was never the point. The industry adopted the climate-change argument as a survival strategy: to ensure extending the life of existing aging reactors and make possible the addition of some new nuclear capacity in the coming decades—sufficient at least to allow a core nuclear industrial infrastructure to survive to mid-century.The dream was to survive to mid-century, when limitless energy would be realized by the deployment of commercial plutonium fast-breeder reactors and other generation IV designs. It was always a myth, but it had a commercial and strategic rationale for the power companies, nuclear suppliers and their political allies.

The basis for the Fukushima Daiichi accident began long before March 11th 2011, when decisions were made to build and operate reactors in a nation almost uniquely vulnerable to major seismic events. More than five years on, the accident continues with a legacy that will stretch over the decades. Preventing the next catastrophic accident in Japan is now a passion of the former Prime Minister, joining as he has the majority of the people of Japan determined to transition to a society based on renewable energy. He is surely correct that the end of nuclear power in Japan is possible. The utilities remain in crisis, with only three reactors operating, and legal challenges have been launched across the nation. No matter what policy the government chooses, the basis for Japan’s entire nuclear fuel cycle policy, which is based on plutonium separation at Rokkasho-mura and its use in the Monju reactor and its fantasy successor reactors, is in a worse state than ever before. But as Kan Naoto knows better than most, this is an industry entrenched within the establishment and still wields enormous influence. Its end is not guaranteed. Determination and dedication will be needed to defeat it. Fortunately, the Japanese people have these in abundance. SB

The Interview 

Q: What is your central message?

Kan: Up until the accident at the Fukushima reactor, I too was confident that since Japanese technology is of high quality, no Chernobyl-like event was possible.

But in fact when I came face to face with Fukushima, I learned I was completely mistaken. I learned first and foremost that we stood on the brink of disaster: had the incident spread only slightly, half the territory of Japan, half the area of metropolitan Tokyo would have been irradiated and 50,000,000 people would have had to evacuate.

Half one’s country would be irradiated, nearly half of the population would have to flee: to the extent it’s conceivable, only defeat in major war is comparable.

That the risk was so enormous: that is what in the first place I want all of you, all the Japanese, all the world’s people to realize.

Q: You yourself are a physicist, yet you don’t believe in the first analysis that people can handle nuclear power? Don’t you believe that there are technical advances and that in the end it will be safe to use?

Kan: As a rule, all technologies involve risk. For example, automobiles have accidents; airplanes, too. But the scale of the risk if an accident happens affects the question whether or not to use that technology. You compare the plus of using it and on the other hand the minus of not using it. We learned that with nuclear reactors, the Fukushima nuclear reactors, the risk was such that 50,000,000 people nearly had to evacuate. Moreover, if we had not used nuclear reactors—in fact, after the incident, there was a period of about two years when we didn’t use nuclear power and there was no great impact on the public welfare, nor any economic impact either. So when you take these factors as a whole into account, in a broad sense there is no plus to using nuclear power. That is my judgment.

One more thing. In the matter of the difference between nuclear power and other technologies, controlling the radiation is in the final analysis extremely difficult.

For example, plutonium emits radiation for a long time. Its half-life is 24,000 years, so because nuclear waste contains plutonium—in its disposal, even if you let it sit and don’t use it—its half-life is 24,000 years, in effect forever. So it’s a very difficult technology to use—an additional point I want to make.

Q: It figured a bit ago in the lecture by Professor Prasser, that in third-generation reactors, risk can be avoided. What is your response?

Kan: It’s as Professor Khwostowa said: we’ve said that even with many nuclear reactors, an event inside a reactor like the Fukushima nuclear accident or a Chernobyl-sized event would occur only once in a million years; but in fact, in the past sixty years, we’ve had Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima. Professor Prasser says it’s getting gradually safer, but in fact accidents have happened with greater frequency and on a larger scale than was foreseen. So partial improvements are possible, as Professor Prasser says, but saying that doesn’t mean that accidents won’t happen. Equipment causes accidents, but so do humans.

Q: Today it’s five years after Fukushima. What is the situation in Japan today? We hear that there are plans beginning in 2018 to return the refugees to their homes. To what extent is the clean-up complete?

Kan: Let me describe conditions on site at Fukushima. Reactors #1, #2, #3 melted down, and the melted nuclear fuel still sits in the containment vessel; every day they introduce water to cool it. Radioactivity in the vessel of #2, they say, is 70 sieverts—not microsieverts or millisieverts, 70 sieverts. If humans approach a site that is radiating 70 sieverts, they die within five minutes. That situation has held ever since: that’s the current situation.

Moreover, the water they introduce leaves the containment vessel and is said to be recirculated, but in fact it mixes with groundwater, and some flows into the ocean. Prime Minister Abe used the words “under control,” but Japanese experts, including me, consider it not under control if part is flowing into the ocean. All the experts see it this way.

As for the area outside the site, more than 100,000 people have fled the Fukushima area.

So now the government is pushing residential decontamination and beyond that the decontamination of agricultural land.

Even if you decontaminate the soil, it’s only a temporary or partial reduction in radioactivity; in very many cases cesium comes down from the mountains, it returns.

The Fukushima prefectural government and the government say that certain of the areas where decontamination has been completed are habitable, so people have until 2018 to return; moreover, beyond that date, they won’t give aid to the people who have fled. But I and others think there’s still danger and that the support should be continued at the same level for people who conclude on their own that it’s still dangerous—that’s what we’re saying.

Given the conditions on site and the conditions of those who have fled, you simply can’t say that the clean-up is complete.

Q: Since the Fukushima accident, you have become a strong advocate of getting rid of nuclear reactors; yet in the end, the Abe regime came to power, and it is going in the opposite direction: three reactors are now in operation. As you see this happening, are you angry?

Kan: Clearly what Prime Minister Abe is trying to do—his nuclear reactor policy or energy policy—is mistaken. I am strongly opposed to current policy.

But are things moving steadily backward? Three reactors are indeed in operation. However, phrase it differently: only three are in operation. Why only three? Most—more than half the people—are still resisting strongly. From now on, if it should come to new nuclear plants, say, or to extending the licenses of existing nuclear plants, popular opposition is extremely strong, so that won’t be at all easy. In that sense, Japan’s situation today is a very harsh opposition—a tug of war—between the Abe government, intent on retrogression, and the people, who are heading toward abolishing nuclear reactors.

Two of Prime Minister Abe’s closest advisors are opposed to his policy on nuclear power.

One is his wife. The other is former Prime Minister Koizumi, who promoted him.

Q: Last question: please talk about the possibility that within ten years Japan will do away with nuclear power.

Kan: In the long run, it will disappear gradually. But if you ask whether it will disappear in the next ten years, I can’t say. For example, even in my own party opinion is divided; some hope to do away with it in the 2030s. So I can’t say whether it will disappear completely in the next ten years, but taking the long view, it will surely be gone, for example, by the year 2050 or 2070. The most important reason is economic. It has become clear that compared with other forms of energy, the cost of nuclear energy is high.

Q: Thank you.

Interview by Vincenzo Capodici

Introduction by Shaun Burnie

Translation by Richard Minear

Tages Anzeiger (Zurich), February 4, 2016

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A Well-Kept Open Secret: Washington Is Behind India’s Brutal Demonetization Project

NOVANEWS
 
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In early November, without warning, the Indian government declared the two largest denomination bills invalid, abolishing over 80 percent of circulating cash by value. Amidst all the commotion and outrage this caused, nobody seems to have taken note of the decisive role that Washington played in this. That is surprising, as Washington’s role has been disguised only very superficially.

US-President Barack Obama has declared the strategic partnership with India a priority of his foreign policy. China needs to be reined in. In the context of this partnership, the US government’s development agency USAID has negotiated cooperation agreements with the Indian ministry of finance. One of these has the declared goal to push back the use of cash in favor of digital payments in India and globally.

On November 8, Indian prime minster Narendra Modi announced that the two largest denominations of banknotes could not be used for payments any more with almost immediate effect. Owners could only recoup their value by putting them into a bank account before the short grace period expired. The amount of cash that banks were allowed to pay out to individual customers was severely restricted. Almost half of Indians have no bank account and many do not even have a bank nearby. The economy is largely cash based. Thus, a severe shortage of cash ensued. Those who suffered the most were the poorest and most vulnerable. They had additional difficulty earning their meager living in the informal sector or paying for essential goods and services like food, medicine or hospitals. Chaos and fraud reigned well into December.

Four weeks earlier

Not even four weeks before this assault on Indians, USAID had announced the establishment of „Catalyst: Inclusive Cashless Payment Partnership“, with the goal of effecting a quantum leap in cashless payment in India. The press statement of October 14 says that Catalyst “marks the next phase of partnership between USAID and Ministry of Finance to facilitate universal financial inclusion”. The statement does not show up in the list of press statements on the website of USAID (anymore?). Not even filtering statements with the word “India” would bring it up. To find it, you seem to have to know it exists, or stumble upon it in a web search. Indeed, this and other statements, which seemed rather boring before, have become a lot more interesting and revealing after November 8.

Reading the statements with hindsight it becomes obvious, that Catalyst and the partnership of USAID and the Indian Ministry of Finance, from which Catalyst originated, are little more than fronts which were used to be able to prepare the assault on all Indians using cash without arousing undue suspicion. Even the name Catalyst sounds a lot more ominous, once you know what happened on November 9.

Catalyst’s Director of Project Incubation is Alok Gupta, who used to be Chief Operating Officer of the World Resources Institute in Washington, which has USAID as one of its main sponsors. He was also an original member of the team that developed Aadhaar, the Big-Brother-like biometric identification system.

According to a report of the Indian Economic Times, USAID has committed to finance Catalyst for three years. Amounts are kept secret.

Badal Malick was Vice President of India’s most important online marketplace Snapdeal, before he was appointed as CEO of Catalyst. He commented:

 Catalyst’s mission is to solve multiple coordination problems that have blocked the penetration of digital payments among merchants and low-income consumers. We look forward to creating a sustainable and replicable model. (…) While there has been (…) a concerted push for digital payments by the government, there is still a last mile gap when it comes to merchant acceptance and coordination issues. We want to bring a holistic ecosystem approach to these problems.

Ten months earlier

The multiple coordination problem and the cash-ecosystem-issue that Malick mentions had been analysed in a report that USAID commissioned in 2015 and presented in January 2016, in the context of the anti-cash partnership with the Indian Ministry of Finance. The press release on this presentation is also not in USAID’s list of press statements (anymore?). The title of the study was “Beyond Cash”.

“Merchants, like consumers, are trapped in cash ecosystems, which inhibits their interest” in digital payment it said in the report. Since few traders accept digital payments, few consumers have an interest in it, and since few consumers use digital payments, few traders have an interest in it. Given that banks and payment providers charge fees for equipment to use or even just try out digital payment, a strong external impulse is needed to achieve a level of card penetration that would create mutual interest of both sides in digital payment options.

It turned out in November that the declared “holistic ecosystem approach” to create this impulse consisted in destroying the cash-ecosystem for a limited time and to slowly dry it up later, by limiting the availability of cash from banks for individual customers. Since the assault had to be a surprise to achieve its full catalyst-results, the published Beyond-Cash-Study and the protagonists of Catalyst could not openly describe their plans. They used a clever trick to disguise them and still be able to openly do the necessary preparations, even including expert hearings. They consistently talked of a regional field experiment that they were ostensibly planning.

“The goal is to take one city and increase the digital payments 10x in six to 12 months,” said Malick less than four weeks before most cash was abolished in the whole of India. To not be limited in their preparation on one city alone, the Beyond-Cash-report and Catalyst kept talking about a range of regions they were examining, ostensibly in order to later decide which was the best city or region for the field experiment. Only in November did it became clear that the whole of India should be the guinea-pig-region for a global drive to end the reliance on cash. Reading a statement of Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, USAID Mission Director to India, with hindsight, it becomes clear that he stealthily announced that, when he said four weeks earlier:

India is at the forefront of global efforts to digitize economies and create new economic opportunities that extend to hard-to-reach populations. Catalyst will support these efforts by focusing on the challenge of making everyday purchases cashless.

Veterans of the war on cash in action

Who are the institutions behind this decisive attack on cash? Upon the presentation of the Beyond-Cash-report, USAID declared: “Over 35 key Indian, American and international organizations have partnered with the Ministry of Finance and USAID on this initiative.” On the website catalyst.org one can see that they are mostly IT- and payment service providers who want to make money from digital payments or from the associated data generation on users. Many are veterans of,what a high-ranking official of Deutsche Bundesbank called the “war of interested financial institutions on cash” (in German). They include the Better Than Cash Alliance, the Gates Foundation (Microsoft), Omidyar Network (eBay), the Dell Foundation Mastercard, Visa, Metlife Foundation.

The Better Than Cash Alliance

The Better Than Cash Alliance, which includes USAID as a member, is mentioned first for a reason. It was founded in 2012 to push back cash on a global scale. The secretariat is housed at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDP) in New York, which might have its reason in the fact that this rather poor small UN-organization was glad to have the Gates-Foundation in one of the two preceding years and the Master-Card-Foundation in the other as its most generous donors.

The members of the Alliance are large US-Institutions which would benefit most from pushing back cash, i.e. credit card companies Mastercard and Visa, and also some US-institutions whose names come up a lot in books on the history of the United States intelligence services, namely Ford Foundation and USAID. A prominent member is also the Gates-Foundation. Omidyar Network of eBay-founder Pierre Omidyar and Citi are important contributors. Almost all of these are individually also partners in the current USAID-India-Initiative to end the reliance on cash in India and beyond. The initiative and the Catalyst-program seem little more than an extended Better Than Cash Alliance, augmented by Indian and Asian organizations with a strong business interest in a much decreased use of cash.

Reserve Bank of India’s IMF-Chicago Boy

The partnership to prepare the temporary banning of most cash in India coincides roughly with the tenure of Raghuram Rajan at the helm of Reserve Bank of India from September 2013 to September 2016. Rajan (53) had been, and is now again, economics professor at the University of Chicago. From 2003 to 2006 he had been Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. (This is a cv-item he shares with another important warrior against cash, Ken Rogoff.) He is a member of the Group of Thirty, a rather shady organization, where high ranking representatives of the world major commercial financial institutions share their thoughts and plans with the presidents of the most important central banks, behind closed doors and with no minutes taken. It becomes increasingly clear that the Group of Thirty is one of the major coordination centers of the worldwide war on cash. Its membership includes other key warriers like Rogoff, Larry Summers and others.

Raghuram Rajan has ample reason to expect to climb further to the highest rungs in international finance and thus had good reason to play Washington’s game well. He already was a President of the American Finance Association and inaugural recipient of its Fisher-Black-Prize in financial research. He won the handsomely endowed prizes of Infosys for economic research and of Deutsche Bank for financial economics as well as the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Prize for best economics book. He was declared Indian of the year by NASSCOM and Central Banker of the year by Euromoney and by The Banker. He is considered a possible successor of Christine Lagard at the helm of the IMF, but can certainly also expect to be considered for other top jobs in international finance.

As a Central Bank Governor, Rajan was liked and well respected by the financial sector, but very much disliked by company people from the real (producing) sector, despite his penchant for deregulation and economic reform. The main reason was the restrictive monetary policy he introduced and staunchly defended. After he was viciously criticized from the ranks of the governing party, he declared in June that he would not seek a second term in September. Later he told the New York Times that he had wanted to stay on, but not for a whole term, and that premier Modi would not have that. A former commerce and law Minister, Mr. Swamy, said on the occasion of Rajan’s  departure that it would make Indian industrialists happy:

I certainly wanted him out, and I made it clear to the prime minister, as clear as possible. (…) His audience was essentially Western, and his audience in India was transplanted westernized society. People used to come in delegations to my house to urge me to do something about it.

A disaster that had to happen

If Rajan was involved in the preparation of this assault to declare most of Indians’ banknotes illegal – and there should be little doubt about that, given his personal and institutional links and the importance of Reserve Bank of India in the provision of cash – he had ample reason to stay in the background. After all, it cannot have surprised anyone closely involved in the matter, that this would result in chaos and extreme hardship, especially for the majority of poor and rural Indians, who were flagged as the supposed beneficiaries of the badly misnamed “financial-inclusion”-drive. USAID and partners had analysed the situation extensively and found in the Beyond-Cash-report that 97% of transactions were done in cash and that only 55% of Indians had a bank account. They also found that even of these bank accounts, “only 29% have been used in the last three months“.

All this was well known and made it a certainty that suddenly abolishing most cash would cause severe and even existential problems to many small traders and producers and to many people in remote regions without banks. When it did, it became obvious, how false the promise of financial inclusion by digitalization of payments and pushing back cash has always been. There simply is no other means of payment that can compete with cash in allowing everybody with such low hurdles to participate in the market economy.

However, for Visa, Mastercard and the other payment service providers, who were not affected by these existential problems of the huddled masses, the assault on cash will most likely turn out a big success, “scaling up” digital payments in the “trial region”. After this chaos and with all the losses that they had to suffer, all business people who can afford it, are likely to make sure they can accept digital payments in the future. And consumers, who are restricted in the amount of cash they can get from banks now, will use opportunities to pay with cards, much to the benefit of Visa, Mastercard and the other members of the extended Better Than Cash Alliance.

Why Washington is waging a global war on cash

The business interests of the US-companies that dominate the gobal IT business and payment systems are an important reason for the zeal of the US-government in its push to reduce cash use worldwide, but it is not the only one and might not be the most important one. Another motive is surveillance power that goes with increased use of digital payment. US-intelligence organizations and IT-companies together can survey all international payments done through banks and can monitor most of the general stream of digital data. Financial data tends to be the most important and valuable.

Even more importantly, the status of the dollar as the worlds currency of reference and the dominance of US companies in international finance provide the US government with tremendous power over all participants in the formal non-cash financial system. It can make everybody conform to American law rather than to their local or international rules. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has recently run a chilling story describing how that works (German). Employees of a Geran factoring firm doing completely legal business with Iran were put on a US terror list, which meant that they were shut off most of the financial system and even some logistics companies would not transport their furniture any more. A major German bank was forced to fire several employees upon US request, who had not done anything improper or unlawful.

There are many more such examples. Every internationally active bank can be blackmailed by the US government into following their orders, since revoking their license to do business in the US or in dollars basically amounts to shutting them down. Just think about Deutsche Bank, which had to negotiate with the US treasury for months whether they would have to pay a fne of 14 billion dollars and most likely go broke, or get away with seven billion and survive. If you have the power to bankrupt the largest banks even of large countries, you have power over their governments, too. This power through dominance over the financial system and the associated data is already there. The less cash there is in use, the more extensive and secure it is, as the use of cash is a major avenue for evading this power.

Posted in USA, India0 Comments

leaders Moved to Afghanistan from Pakistan

NOVANEWS

Image result for balochistan photos

By Sajjad Shaukat

The armed forces of Pakistan have broken the backbone of the Taliban and other militant outfits

by the successful military operation Zarb-e- Azb, which has also been extended to other parts of

the country, including Balochistan. And Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI has broken the

network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of

terror attempts.

Since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to

the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have

surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province,

peace has been restored in Balochistan. In these circumstances, Taliban leaders have moved to

Afghanistan from Pakistan.

This fact has also been verified by a feature story of the Associated Press (AP), under the

caption, “Leaders of the Taliban may have moved to Afghanistan from Pakistan,” Published on

November 26, 2016.

The AP wrote, “After operating out of Pakistan for more than a decade, the leaders of

Afghanistan’s Taliban movement may have moved back to their homeland to try to build on this

year’s gains in the war and to establish a permanent presence…if confirmed, the move would be

a sign of the Taliban’s confidence in their fight against the US-backed government in Kabul. It

could also be an attempt by the militants to distance themselves from Pakistan.”

The AP reported, “The Taliban’s leaders have been based in Pakistani cities, including Quetta,

Karachi and Peshawar, since their rule in Afghanistan was overthrown in the 2001 US invasion

after the 9/11 attacks.”

According to this news agency, “Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid who said that the

leadership shura, or council, relocated to Afghanistan “some months ago,” although he would not

say to where…one Taliban official said that the shura had moved to southern Helmand province,

which the insurgents consider to be part of their heartland and where most of the opium that

funds their operations is produced. The official refused to be identified because of security

reasons…other Taliban sources said the justice, recruitment and religious councils had also

moved to southern Afghanistan. The statements could not be independently

confirmed…Mujahid, however, said Kabul officials were aware of the moves, prompted by

battlefield gains that the insurgents believed would put them in a strong position once talks with

the Afghan government aimed at ending the war were restarted. Dialogue broke down earlier this

year.”

The AP wrote, “The insurgents have spread their footprint across Afghanistan since international

combat troops scaled down in 2014. They have maintained multiple offensives and threatened at

least three provincial capitals in recent months: Kunduz, in northern Kunduz province; Lashkah

Gar, in Helmand in the south; and Tirin Kot in Uruzgan…the US military has conceded the

insurgents have gained ground, although definitive breakdowns are difficult to verify. This year,

Afghan security forces are believed to have suffered their worst losses since 2001, with the

military estimating 2016 fatalities at more than 5,000 so far.”

It added, “A permanent Taliban presence in Afghanistan would send a message to followers and

fighters that the insurgents now control so much territory that they can no longer be dislodged by

government security forces, said Franz-Michael Mellbin, the European Union’s ambassador in

Kabul…but such a move could also be part of the Taliban’s attempt to try to create a more

independent position, as parts of the Taliban would like to be under less direct pressure from

Pakistan.”

The AP reported, “Ghani has failed to bring them into a dialogue aimed at peace. After a year-

long diplomatic offensive, Ghani in late 2015 cut ties with Islamabad and has since openly

accused Pakistan of waging war on Afghanistan, using the Taliban as its proxy. Pakistani

authorities deny accusations that their powerful ISI intelligence agency supports the

insurgents…with the major councils based in Afghanistan.”

It said, “If the move is confirmed, it could also indicate a unity among leaders, who have recently

been portrayed by some observers, including the US military, as suffering widening divisions

and struggling for cash—even though the opium production under their control has an annual

export value of $4 billion, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.”

The news agency mentioned, “The Taliban’s leadership shura consists of 16 elected officials

who oversee activity across Afghanistan, give permission for any changes in planning and

strategy, and mediate disputes among military commanders…the military commanders include

Mullah Yaqoub, the son of the movement's founder, Mullah Mohammad Omar—who was

declared dead last year—and Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the brutal Haqqani network and a co-

deputy leader with Yaqoub…the Afghan Taliban are led by Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada,

who took over after the death of Mullah Omar’s successor, Akhtar Mansoor, in a US drone strike

this year. High-ranking Taliban officials say Haibatullah is not engaged in day-to- day decision-

making. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to

reporters.”

The AP disclosed, “A senior Taliban commander, Asad Afghan, told The Associated Press the

move would consolidate the insurgents’ military gains and help lay the ground for a dominant

position if and when peace talks resume…we are in the last stages of war and are moving

forward, said Afghan, who is closely involved in formulating the insurgents' war strategy..we are

the real government in Afghanistan, he said. The move across the border would give the

movement more focus at a time it needs to be quick, clear and more secure about our decisions.”

However, almost all the terrorists or terrorist groups and insurgency in Pakistan, especially

Balochistan have their connections in Afghanistan. The porous border between Pakistan and

Afghanistan is frequently used by human and drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists. Their

easy access through unguarded porous border provides opportunity to miscreants to cause havoc

inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. For effective counter terrorism measures, strong border-control

management is vital at Pak-Afghan border. But, Afghan rulers are using delaying tactics in this

respect by rejecting Islamabad’s positive proposals.

Notably, as part of the dual strategy, based in Afghanistan, American CIA, Indian RAW and

Israeli Mossad are in connivance with the Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of

Security (NDS) and other terrorist groups. Based in Afghanistan, operatives of these foreign

agencies who are well-penetrated in the terrorist outfits like Islamic State group (Also known as

Daesh, ISIS, ISIL), Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and their affiliated Taliban groups are

using their militants to destabilize Tibetan regions of China, Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan and

Pakistan’s Balochistan by arranging the subversive activities. In this connection, the China-

Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is their special target. The militant groups have conducted

several terror attacks in various regions of Pakistan, especially the recent ones in Balochistan

province which has become center of the Great Game owing to the ideal location of Balochistan.

There is no doubt that as part of the double game of their countries, escalation of tension at Pak-

Afghan border is deliberately engineered by the elements such as CIA, RAW and Mossad which

are opposed to peace talks and improvement of bilateral relations between Pakistan and

Afghanistan. Hence, their countries always shift the blame game to Pakistan.

Undoubtedly, Afghan peace and reconciliation process is a reality, despite of its slow pace and

continual interruptions. The positive trajectory of constructive relations between Islamabad and

Kabul raised alarm-bells amongst the US-led adversaries who are attempting to affect the

progressive Pak-Afghan relations through smear and sinister scheming.

Although Taliban leaders have moved to Afghanistan from Pakistan, yet especially America,

India and puppet rulers of Afghanistan will continue blame game against Islamabad, because,

despite the prolonged war of more than 15 years, the US-led entities or NATO have failed in

coping with the resistance of those Taliban who are fighting for the liberation of their country.

America, India, Israel and some Western countries are also against Pakistan, as the latter is the

only nuclear country in the Islamic World.

Posted in Afghanistan, Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

India Activates Dangerous Arms Race in South Asia

NOVANEWS

Image result for INDIAN LEADER CARTOON

By Sajjad Shaukat

It is most regrettable that by ignoring the modern global trends like renunciation of war, peaceful

settlement of disputes and economic development, India has activated dangerous arms race in

South Asia.

In this respect, India test-fired its longest range surface-to-surface nuclear ballistic missile Agni-

5 from the Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha on December 26, this year.

Agni-5 is capable of striking a target of more than 5,000 km away. The missile can carry a

nuclear warhead of more than one tone. It can target almost all of Asia including Pakistan and

China and Europe.

While, the Agni-6 is reported to be in early stages of development and the most advanced

version, with a strike-range of 8,000-10,000 km.

New Delhi already has in its arsenal—the Agni 1, 2, 3 and 4 missile systems and supersonic

cruise missiles like Brahmos.

According to Times of India, “Once the Agni-V is inducted, India will join the super exclusive

club of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500km) alongside the US,

Russia, China, France and the UK.”

It is notable that in its report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) had

disclosed on February 22, 2015 that India is the world’s largest recipient of arms—“India (14

percent of global arms imports), China (4.7 per cent), Australia (3.6 per cent) and Pakistan (3.3

per cent).” In its report of 2016 also SIPRI pointed out India’s arms-import.

New Delhi’s military is acquiring a slew of new equipments from combat aircraft to submarines

and artillery. It is currently finalising a deal with France’s Dassault Aviation to buy 126 Rafale

fighter jets in a contract worth an estimated $12 billion.

Although peace and brinksmanship cannot co-exist in the modern era, yet India seeks to

destabilize Asia through its aggressive designs, activated with new arms race.

And as part of the double standard, America brushed aside the Indian poor record regarding the

safety of nuclear weapons and materials. And despite, Indian violations of various international

agreements and its refusal to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Comprehensive Test Ban

Treaty (CTBT) and Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),

Washington signed a pact of nuclear civil technology with New Delhi in 2008. During American

President Barack Obama’s visit to India, on January 25, 2016, the US and India announced a

breakthrough on the pact which would allow American companies to supply New Delhi with

civilian nuclear technology.

On November 2, 2010, US agreed to sell India the most expensive—the new F-35 fighter jets

including US F-16 and F-18 fighters, C-17 and C-130 aircraft, radar systems, Harpoon weapons

etc. Besides acquisition of arms and weapons from other western countries—especially Israel,

America is a potential military supplier to India. US also pressurized IAEA and the Nuclear

Suppliers Group to grant a waiver to New Delhi for obtaining civil nuclear trade on larger scale.

In fact, US wants New Delhi to continue anti-China and anti-Pakistan role. Beijing is

apprehensive about the emerging threat, as during the last visit of Obama to New Delhi, the

intent of President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was quite clear, while

mentioning about free sea lanes and air passages in the South China Sea.

In this connection, tension arose between India and China in the recent past, when Indian army

erected a military camp in Chumar Sector of Ladakh at the Line of Actual Control (LAC)-

disputed border, situated between the two countries. Similarly, tension remains over the Line of

Control (LoC) in Kashmir, as India keeps on violating the ceasefire-agreement in wake of the

unresolved issue of Kashmir.

It is mentionable that under the Pak-China pretext, Indian ex-Army Chief, General Deepak

Kapoor disclosed on December 29, 2010 that the Indian army “is now revising its five-year old

doctrine” and is preparing for a “possible two-front war with China and Pakistan.”

It is noteworthy that after 9/11, both India and Israel which had openly jumped on Bush’s anti-

terrorism enterprise are acting upon a secret diplomacy, targeting Pakistan and China. It could be

assessed from the interview of Israel’s ambassador to India, Mark Sofer, published in the Indian

weekly Outlook on February 18, 2008. Regarding India’s defense arrangements with Tel Aviv,

Sofer had surprisingly revealed, “We do have a defense relationship with India, and “with all due

respect, the secret part will remain a secret.” In fact, with the support of Israel, New Delhi has

been acquiring an element of strategic depth by setting up logistical bases in the Indian Ocean for

its navy.

Particularly, fast growing economic power of China coupled with her rising strategic relationship

with the Third World, and especially Pakistan—after signing of agreement, “China-Pakistan

Economic Corridor” which is, though for the benefit of South Asia, but, has irked the eyes of

Americans, Indians and Israelis. Owing to jealousy, America desires to make India a major

power to counterbalance China in Asia.

Notably, on July 20, 2011, while hinting towards Pak-China ties, the then US Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton urged India to be more assertive in Asia, saying that as American ally, the

country should play more of a leadership role. She explained, “India has the potential to

positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific.”

It is owing to the US dual policy that New Delhi openly follows threatening diplomacy in South

Asia. In this context, in May 1998 when India detonated five nuclear tests, it also compelled

Pakistan to follow the suit. The then Defense Minister George Fernandes had also declared

publicly that “China is India’s potential threat No. 1.” Now, by setting aside peace-offers of

Beijing and Islamabad, New Delhi has entangled the latter in a deadly arms race.

While, international community has been making strenuous efforts for world peace in wake of

global financial crisis and war against terrorism, but India has particularly initiated deadly

nuclear arms race in South Asia where people are already facing multiple problems of grave

nature. Majority of South Asian people are living below the poverty level, lacking basic facilities

like fresh food and clean water. Yielding to acute poverty, every day, some persons commit

suicide.

Even, Indian civil society organizations, while complaining of excessive defense spending,

recently, pointed out that the government spends very little amount for the betterment of people.

Indian defense analyst Ravinder Pal Singh, while indicating New Delhi’s unending defense

expenditures at the cost of poverty-alleviation, calls it guns-versus- butter question.

Nevertheless, by ignoring regional problems and especially resolution of Indo-Pak issues,

particularly the Kashmir dispute which remains a nuclear flashpoint, Indian rulers state that they

do not have any belligerent policy. But, it becomes a big joke of the 21st century, reminding a

maxim, “armed to the teeth, but no enemy”, if we take cognizance of India’s increasing defense

purchases and her aggressive designs. Nonetheless, if India continues activating dangerous arms

race in South Asia, it can occlude in a nuclear war.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,
Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in India0 Comments

Open Letter to the Japanese Prime Minister on Eve of Visit to Pearl Harbor

NOVANEWS

by Dr:Richard Falk

Image result for Shinzo Abe CARTOON

[Prefatory Note: The press release and open letter to the Japanese Prime Minister concern the complex issues surrounding the ethos and politics of apology. I would have liked the statement to include an acknowledgement of accountability by the U.S. Government. President Barack Obama, several months ago, took a step in that direction by his visit to Hiroshima, the first sitting American president to do so, but he deliberately avoided language that could be construed as an apology, representing the event as ‘a tragedy’ of warfare, which it was of course, but it was also a flagrant violation of the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weaponry and an act of war that defied the prohibition of customary international law on violence that cannot be justified by ‘military necessity. Yet the open letter as it reads is primarily an initiative emanating from Japan, in worried reaction to the moves of Prime Minister Abe to disvalue, and if politically possible, abandon the constitutional provisions adopted after World War II to ensure that Japan would not again victimize itself and its neighbors by a revival of militarism in the future. That assurance is now in jeopardy. I am proud to be among the signatories. The full list follows the Japanese original version of the open letter, issued on Christmas Day. The letter is preceded by a press release also released today.]

 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Abe Calls for Clarification of His Understanding of the Asia-Pacific War

Washington, DC/Tokyo, Japan (December 25, 2016) – 53 international scholars, artists, and activists sent an Open Letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the eve of his upcoming visit to Pearl Harbor.

The signers include Oliver Stone, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker, his co-author of “The Untold History of the United States” Peter Kuznick of American University, Richard Falk of Princeton University, Tetsuya Takahashi of the University of Tokyo, Lim Jie-Hyun of Sogang University (Korea), Shue Tuck Wong of Simon Fraser University (Canada), and Gavan McCormack of Australian National University.

Assessing the Prime Minister’s statements about the war, the signers ask whether he still doubts that Japan’s Asia-Pacific War was a war of aggression. They ask whether he has plans to visit China, Korea, other Asia-Pacific nations and other Allied nations to “mourn” the major victims of Japan’s war.

As Peter Kuznick comments, “Unlike Germany, Japan has never made a sincere effort to deal with or atone for its wartime atrocities that resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people. Prime Minister Abe has been in the forefront of efforts to whitewash Japanese history. We hope he will take this opportunity to once and for all correct that shameful record.”

As Mark Selden of Cornell University observes, “The time has come to lay to rest the denial of wartime responsibility and war atrocities by Japan and other nations to reduce frictions in an Asia-Pacific region that is experiencing rising conflicts.”

*************************************************************************

 Oliver Stone and internatonal scholars and activists send an Open Letter to Prime Minister Abe on the eve of his Pearl Harbor visit

53 international scholars, artists, and activists sent an Open Letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the eve of his upcoming visit to Pearl Harbor. See below English and Japanese versions, followed by the list of signers.

USS Arizona Memorial, which Mr. Abe plans to visit.

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe 

On the Occasion of Your Visit to Pearl Harbor 

December 25, 2016

Dear Mr. Abe,

You recently announced plans to visit Pearl Harbor in Hawai’i at the end of December 2016 to “mourn the victims” of the Japanese Navy’s attack on the U.S. naval base on December 8, 1941 (Tokyo Time).

In fact, Pearl Harbor was not the only place Japan attacked that day. The Japanese Army had attacked the northeastern shore of the Malay Peninsula one hour earlier and would go on to attack several other British and U.S. colonies and bases in the Asia-Pacific region later that day. Japan launched these attacks in order to secure the oil and other resources of Southeast Asia essential to extend its war of aggression against China.

Since this will be your first official visit to the place where Japan’s war against the United States began, we would like to raise the following questions concerning your previous statements about the war.

1) You were Deputy Executive Director of the “Diet Members’ League for the 50th Anniversary of the End of War,” which was established at the end of 1994 in order to counter parliamentary efforts to pass a resolution to critically reflect upon Japan’s aggressive war. Its Founding Statement asserts that Japan’s more than two million war-dead gave their lives for “Japan’s self-existence and self-defense, and peace of Asia.” The League’s Campaign Policy statement of April 13, 1995 rejected offering any apology or issuing the no-war pledge included in the parliamentary resolution to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of war. The League’s public statement of June 8, 1995 declared that the majority parties’ resolution draft was unacceptable because it admitted Japan’s “behaviors of aggression” and “colonial rule.” Mr. Abe, do you still hold such views about the war?

2) In the Diet questioning period of April 23, 2013, you as Prime Minister stated that “the definition of what constitutes ‘aggression’ has yet to be established in academia or in the international community.” Does that mean that you do not recognize Japan’s war against the Allied and Asia-Pacific nations and the preceding war against China as wars of aggression?

3) You state that you are going to visit Pearl Harbor to “mourn” the 2,400 Americans who perished in the attack. If that is the case, will you also be visiting China, Korea, other Asia-Pacific nations, or the other Allied nations for the purpose of “mourning” war victims in those countries who number in the tens of millions?

As Prime Minister, you have pressed for Constitutional revision including reinterpretation and revision of Article 9 to allow Japanese Self-Defense Forces to fight anywhere in the world. We ask that you reflect on the signal this sends to nations that suffered at Japan’s hands in the Asia-Pacific War.

(The list of signers follows the Japanese version.)

 

真珠湾訪問にあたっての安倍首相への公開質問状

 

2016年12月25日

親愛なる安倍首相、

安倍首相は先日、1941年12月8日(日本時間)に日本海軍が米国の海軍基地を攻撃した際の「犠牲者を慰霊する」目的で、12月末にハワイの真珠湾を訪問する計画を発表しました。

実際のところ、その日に日本が攻撃した場所は真珠湾だけではありませんでした。その約1時間前には日本陸軍はマレー半島の北東沿岸を攻撃、同日にはアジア太平洋地域の他の幾つかの英米の植民地や基地を攻撃しています。日本は、中国に対する侵略戦争を続行するために不可欠な石油や他の資源を東南アジアに求めてこれらの攻撃を開始したのです。

米日の開戦の場所をあなたが公式に訪問するのが初めてであることからも、私たちは以下の質問をしたく思います。

1) あなたは、1994年末に、日本の侵略戦争を反省する国会決議に対抗する目的で結成された「終戦五十周年議員連盟」の事務局長代理を務めていました。その結成趣意書には、日本の200万余の戦没者が「日本の自存自衛とアジアの平和」のために命を捧げたとあります。この連盟の1995年4月13日の運動方針では、終戦50周年を記念する国会決議に謝罪や不戦の誓いを入れることを拒否しています。1995年6月8日の声明では、与党の決議案が「侵略的行為」や「植民地支配」を認めていることから賛成できないと表明しています。安倍首相、あなたは今でもこの戦争についてこのような認識をお持ちですか。

2) 2013年4月23日の国会答弁では、首相として「侵略の定義は学界的にも国際的にも定まっていない」と答弁しています。ということは、あなたは、連合国およびアジア太平洋諸国に対する戦争と、すでに続行していた対中戦争を侵略戦争とは認めないということでしょうか。

3) あなたは、真珠湾攻撃で亡くなった約2400人の米国人の「慰霊」のために訪問するということです。それなら、中国や、朝鮮半島、他のアジア太平洋諸国、他の連合国における数千万にも上る戦争被害者の「慰霊」にも行く予定はありますか。

首相としてあなたは、憲法9条を再解釈あるいは改定して自衛隊に海外のどこでも戦争ができるようにすることを推進してきました。これがアジア太平洋戦争において日本に被害を受けた国々にどのような合図として映るのか、考えてみてください。

 

  1. [endif]Ikuro Anzai, Professor Emeritus, Ritsumeikan University 安斎育郎、立命館大学名誉教授
  1. [endif]Herbert P. Bix, emeritus professor of history and sociology, Binghamton University, SUNY ハーバート・P・ビックス、ニューヨーク州立大学ビンガムトン校歴史学・社会学名誉教授
  1. Peter van den Dungen, Formerly, Lecturer in Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK, and general coordinator of the International Network of Museums for Peace ピーター・バン・デン・デュンゲン、元ブラッドフォード大学(英国)平和学教員、世界平和博物館ネットワーク総括コーディネーター
  1. Alexis Dudden, Professor of History, University of Connecticut アレクシス・ダディン、コネチカット大学歴史学教授
  1. Richard Falk, Albert G. Professor of International Law and Practice, Emeritus, Princeton University リチャード・フォーク、プリンストン大学国際法名誉教授
  1. John Feffer, Director, Foreign Policy In Focus, ジョン・フェッファー、「フォーリン・ポリシー・イン・フォーカス」ディレクター
  1. Norma Field, Professor emerita, University of Chicago ノーマ・フィールド、シカゴ大学名誉教授
  1. Kay Fischer, Instructor, Ethnic Studies, Chabot Collegeケイ・フィッシャー、シャボット・カレッジ(カリフォルニア州)講師
  1. Atsushi Fujioka, Emeritus Professor, Ritsumeikan University 藤岡惇、立命館大学名誉教授
  1. Joseph Gerson (PhD), Vice-President, International Peace Bureau ジョセフ・ガーソン、国際平和ビューロー副会長
  1. Geoffrey C. Gunn, Emeritus, Nagasaki University ジェフリー・C・ガン、長崎大学名誉教授
  1. Kyung Hee Ha, Assistant Professor, Meiji University 河庚希、明治大学特任講師
  1. 1Laura Hein, Professor, Northwestern University ローラ・ハイン、ノースウェスタン大学教授(米国シカゴ)

14.Hirofumi Hayashi, Professor, Kanto Gakuin University 林博史、関東学院大学教授

  1. Katsuya Hirano, Associate Professor of History, UCLA平野克弥、カリフォルニア大学ロスアンゼルス校准教授
  1. IKEDA Eriko, Chair of the Board, Women’s  Active  Museum on War  and  Peace(wam) 池田恵理子 アクティブ・ミュージアム「女たちの戦争と平和資料館」(wam)館長
  1. Masaie Ishihara, Professor Emeritus Okinawa International University 石原昌家、沖縄国際大学名誉教授
  1. Paul Jobin, Associate Research Fellow, Academia Sinica, Institute of Sociology

ポール・ジョバン 台湾国立中央研究院社会学研究所 アソシエート・リサーチ・フェロー

  1. John Junkerman, Documentary Filmmaker ジャン・ユンカーマン、ドキュメンタリー映画監督
  1. Nan Kim, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ナン・キム(金永蘭)、ウィスコンシン大学ミルウォーキー校准教授
  1. KIM Puja, Professor of Gender History, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies金 富子、ジェンダー史、東京外国語大学教授
  1. Akira Kimura, Professor, Kagoshima University 木村朗、鹿児島大学教授

23.Tomomi Kinukawa, Instructor, San Francisco State University絹川知美、サンフランシスコ州立大学講師

  1. Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University ピーター・カズニック、アメリカン大学歴史学教授
  1. Kwon, Heok-Tae, Professor, Sungkonghoe University, Korea 権赫泰(クォン・ヒョクテ)、韓国・聖公会大学教授
  1. Lee Kyeong-Ju, Professor, Inha University (Korea) 李京柱、仁荷大学教授
  1. Miho Kim Lee, Co-founder of Eclipse Rising ミホ・キム・リー、「エクリプス・ライジング」共同創立者
  1. Lim Jie-Hyun, Professor of transnational history, director of Critical Global Studies Institute, Sogang University 林志弦(イム・ジヒョン)、西江大学教授(韓国)
  1. Akira Maeda, Professor, Tokyo Zokei University 前田 朗、東京造形大学教授
  1. Janice Matsumura, Associate Professor of History, Simon Fraser University, Canada ジャニス・マツムラ、サイモンフレイザー大学(カナダ)歴史学准教授

31.Tanya Maus, PhD, Director, Wilmington College Peace Resource Center, Wilmington, Ohio タニア・マウス、ウィルミントン大学(オハイオ州)平和資料センターディレクター

  1. David McNeill, Adjunct Professor, Sophia University デイビッド・マクニール、上智大学非常勤講師
  1. Gavan McCormack, Emeritus Professor, Australian National University ガバン・マコーマック、オーストラリア国立大学名誉教授
  1. Katherine Muzik, Ph.D., marine biologist, Kauai Island キャサリン・ミュージック、海洋生物学者(ハワイ・カウアイ島)
  1. Koichi Nakano, Professor, Sophia University 中野晃一、上智大学教授
  1. NAKANO Toshio, Professor Emeritus, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies中野敏男、社会理論・社会思想、東京外国語大学名誉教授
  1. Narusawa Muneo, Editor, Weekly Kinyobi, 成澤宗男、『週刊金曜日』編集部
  1. Satoko Oka Norimatsu, Editor, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus 乗松聡子、『アジア太平洋ジャーナル:ジャパンフォーカス』エディター
  1. John Price, Professor of History, University of Victoria, Canada ジョン・プライス、ビクトリア大学(カナダ)歴史学教授
  1. Steve Rabson, Professor Emeritus, Brown University (U.S.A.) Veteran, United States Armyスティーブ・ラブソン、ブラウン大学(米国)名誉教授 米国陸軍退役軍人
  1. Sonia Ryang, Director, Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University ソニア・リャン、ライス大学(テキサス州)チャオ・アジア研究センターディレクター
  1. Daiyo Sawada, Emeritus Professor, University of Alberta ダイヨウ・サワダ、アルバータ大学名誉教授
  1. Mark Selden, Senior Research Associate, East Asia Program, Cornell University マーク・セルダン、コーネル大学東アジア研究プログラム上級研究員
  1. Oliver Stone, Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker オリバー・ストーン、アカデミー賞受賞映画監督
  1. Tetsuya Takahashi, Professor, University of Tokyo 高橋哲哉、東京大学教授
  1. Nobuyoshi Takashima, Professor Emeritus, the University of Ryukyus 高嶋伸欣、琉球大学名誉教授
  1. Akiko Takenaka, Associate Professor of Japanese History, University of Kentucky竹中晶子、ケンタッキー大学准教授
  1. Wesley Ueunten, Associate Professor, Asian American Studies Department, San Francisco State University ウェスリー・ウエウンテン、サンフランシスコ州立大学アジア・アメリカ研究学部准教授
  1. Aiko Utsumi, Professor Emeritus, Keisen University内海愛子、恵泉女学園大学名誉教授
  1. Shue Tuck Wong, Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University シュエ・タク・ウォング、サイモンフレーザー大学(カナダ)名誉教授
  1. Yi Wu, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Clemson University イー・ウー、クレムゾン大学社会学・人類学部助教授
  1. Tomomi Yamaguchi, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Montana State University 山口智美、モンタナ州立大学人類学准教授
  1. Lisa Yoneyama, Professor, University of Toronto リサ・ヨネヤマ、トロント大学教授

Posted in Japan0 Comments

Pakistan Responds to Nazi Nuclear Threat

NOVANEWS
Pakistan Responds to Israeli Fake News with Nuclear Threat
  • A Pakistani nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missiles Shaheen II
    A Pakistani nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missiles Shaheen II | Photo: Rueters
Pakistan’s defense minister issued a stern warning in response to the supposed “news.”

The danger of so-called fake news appears to have reached a new dangerous high, when Pakistan’s defense minister responded to an Israeli fake news article which claimed that Israel would “destroy” Pakistan with a nuclear attack.

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“Israeli def min (Defense Minister) threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak (Pakistani) role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a nuclear state too,” Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, tweeted on Friday.

His tweet caused widespread confusion, with many users asking if it was a fake tweet, while others traded belittling comments about the nuclear and foreign policy intentions of both sides.

On Dec. 20, an article on the AWDnews website claimed that the former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon threatened to “destroy” Pakistan with a nuclear attack after Pakistan planned to “send ground troops to Syria as part of an international coalition to fight against Islamic State.”

WATCH: Rear Window – Anti-Nuclear Protests

“As far as we are concerned, that is a threat, if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do, we will destroy them with a nuclear attack,” a fabricated quote attributed to Yaalon read.

On Saturday, the Israeli Ministry of Defense said that both the quote attributed to Yaalon, “was never said” and that the reports in the AWDNews article “are entirely false.”

RELATED: Israel Retaliates Against Countries Who Supported UN Vote

The outlet is referred to as “a mostly right-wing conspiracy site with a preoccupation for world war,” according to the Media bias/fact check website which monitors fake news sources.

As information circulated that the Pakistan minister was retaliating to a fake news story, a number of Twitter users blasted Asif, saying that as a minister his comments were reckless and irresponsible. Asif has not yet made any follow-up tweets.

Amid real historical tensions between India and Pakistan, in September, Asif had threatened to also use nuclear weapons against India.

Both Pakistan and Israel possess a relatively small nuclear arsenal, although Israel has never officially confirmed it. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, estimated in 2016 that the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K., India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea possess over 15,000 nuclear weapons.

Pakistan does not currently have any forces in the Syrian conflict, but has given its support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government forces.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump created controversy for his recent comments on nuclear proliferation. “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” he tweeted on Thursday.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

Burma: Govt Investigation Commission Concludes First Trip to Arakan State

NOVANEWS

Image result for Arakan State Investigation Commission PHOTO

RANGOON — A government commission examining a series of militant attacks and human rights violations by security forces in northern Arakan State wrapped up their first investigation trip to the area on Tuesday.

The Arakan State Investigation Commission, led by Burma’s military-appointed vice president U Myint Swe, toured villages in Maungdaw Township on Sunday. They visited the police outposts that were attacked by militants on Oct. 9 and Muslim villages where rights groups have reported that abuses including rape, extrajudicial killings and arson were committed by government troops.

The 13-member commission was formed in earlier this month by Burma’s President U Htin Kyaw to look into the causes of attacks on police in Maungdaw Township, to investigate outside allegations of crimes committed during area clearance operations, as well as to document deaths, injuries, destruction and other damage.

On Tuesday, Human Rights Watch said the commission’s composition and mandate raised serious doubts that it would conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the alleged abuses, including those of murder and sexual violence. The organization added that since October 9, 2016, at least 1,500 buildings had been destroyed, driving thousands of ethnic Rohingya from their homes in northern Arakan State.

State-run newspapers reported that as of Monday, the commission’s delegation had visited at least eight such villages, interviewing locals and carrying out on-the-ground inspections.

Commission member Dr. Aung Tun Thet told state-run newspapers that they would try to submit a report that would be acceptable to both local and international parties.

“We learned that Muslim villagers there were in fear. The commission will expose the truth based on our findings,” he said.

Posted in Asia, Far East0 Comments

Arakan Attacks Linked to Group in Saudi Arabia

NOVANEWS

RANGOON — The International Crisis Group (ICG) said that militant attacks in northern Arakan State were linked to a Muslim insurgent group based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and were aiming to secure the rights of the Rohingya as citizens within Burma.

In an article published in Time magazine on Tuesday, the ICG said that a group called Harakah al-Yaqin, or “Faith Movement” in Arabic, was involved in the attacks against Burma government forces in Arakan State in October and November, based on interviews the ICG conducted with members of the armed group.

“This new armed group is overseen by a committee of Rohingya émigrés based in Mecca. The public face of its operations in northern Arakan, also called Rakhine, is Ata Ullah (known by several aliases), who is the main speaker in several videos released by the group. He was born in Karachi to a Rohingya father and grew up in Mecca. He is part of a group of 20 Rohingya who have international experience in modern guerrilla warfare and are leading operations on the ground in northern Arakan,”  the article reads.

The ICG is an international NGO based in Brussels, Belgium. Tim Johnston and Anagha Neelakantan, the directors of ICG’s Asia Program, wrote the report.

The story added that, “It [the “Faith Movement”] has spent at least two years training hundreds of local recruits in guerilla warfare and explosives. Several hundred Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have also traveled to Arakan in recent weeks to join up.”

On Oct. 9, militants attacked three border guard posts in Maungdaw Township in northern Arakan State, killing nine police officers and stealing weapons and ammunition.

On Oct. 14, the government announced that the attacks were “assisted by foreign funding and the support of members of foreign terrorist organizations,” based on the interrogations of four captured militants.

Burmese authorities also accused Havistoohar, the leader of the Aqa Mul Mujahidin group, of carrying out the Maungdaw attacks. Havistoohar had completed a six-month Taliban training course in Pakistan and received funding from Middle Eastern organizations, authorities claimed.

It is not clear if Havistoohar is related to Harakah al-Yaqin, the organization mentioned in the latest ICG article.

Posted in Far East0 Comments

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