China's New Roads to Russia - nsnbc International
F. William Engdahl (NEO) : I know of no comparable global Great Project to equal what is now unfolding, bit-by-bit, as China reveals more about her Silk Road Economic Belt high-speed railway infrastructure network. And it's now clear that the road will be filled with entire new cities, industrial zones, construction, improving standards of living for hundreds of millions of people previously abandoned. The implications for founding a new global alternative to the bankrupt dollar system are immense.
RIA Novosti/Oleg Zoloto - Chinese company wins $390mn contract to develop Russian high-speed railway
The Chinese don't dither around when they've reached a consensus. The project of President Xi Jinping to develop a new economic space across Eurasia from Beijing to the borders of the European Union, which he unveiled during one of his first foreign visits as President in 2013 in Kazakhstan, is now known as the New Silk Road Economic Belt.
The project is emerging as the centerpiece of a renaissance in infrastructure construction that will transform and lift the entire world economy for decades. For the economic space encompassing China and Asia, a recent study estimated that over the next years some $8 trillion of infrastructure investment will be needed to bring those economies into modern standards of commerce and development.
A Rail Renaissance
China began several years ago drawing up plans for a colossal Eurasian and Asian rail infrastructure series of high-speed railroads to provide a future alternative to transport trade to the world. In 2010 Wang Mengshu of the Chinese Academy of Engineering revealed in an interview that China was examining plans to construct a high-speed railway system that will weave together high-speed rail links across Asia and Europe by 2025.
That same year China began what then was the first leg of three planned rail legs. The domestic Chinese part of one route starts in Kunming in Yunnan Province and runs south to Singapore. A second route starts in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and connect Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan with Germany. A third line will connect the city of Heilongjiang in northern China with Eastern and Southern European countries via Russia. At that time China's aim was to create a pan-Asian rail network to connect 28 countries with 81,000 kilometers of railways.
With Chinese diligence, the country began buying the state-of-the-art high-speed rail equipment from Germany, France, Japan and Canada. By 2010 China had developed its own high-speed rail systems, with advanced trains which run at over 350 kilometers per hour. By 2012 China had built 42 high-speed lines inside China, conceived in their national planning as preparation to launch the greater Eurasia and Asia expanded rail links. China understands the economic value of infrastructure as few nations today. Given the extent of deployment internally since then, today China stands to become the world's leading exporter of advanced high-speed railway technology to the nations of Asia and Eurasia including Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
On September 7, 2013 in a speech before Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, China's newly-installed President Xi proposed, for the first time officially, his global New Silk Road strategy, suggesting that China and Central Asia join to build a "Silk Road Economic Belt ' to boost cooperation.
Xi proposed that Kazakhstan and other relevant Central Asian countries, including Russia, increase communication and promote regional economic integration in terms of both policy and law. He proposed concretely that China and Central Asian countries compare notes on their respective economic development strategy and work together to formulate plans and measures for regional cooperation. Xi also said that they should work to improve traffic connectivity to open the strategic regional thoroughfare from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea, and set-up a network of transportation that connects Eastern, Western and Southern Asia. Xi also proposed trade be done with local-currency settlement and not via the US dollar to improve their immunity to financial risks from US future financial warfare, the kind of financial warfare the US Treasury initiated around that time against Iran oil payments and in March 2014 against Russia. At that time Russia was focused on the war in Syria, on hosting the showcase Sochi Winter Olympics and had not yet clearly formulated its own Eurasian Economic Union in detail. The US coup d'etat in Ukraine that began with Maidan Square protests in November 2014 and escalated into a de facto war situation on the part of NATO against Russia since then, dramatically concentrated Russian energies on developing alternative strategies and firm partners and allies to withstand what were clear threats to Russia's very existence as a sovereign nation. At the same time China was being confronted by US encirclement in the East China Sea and across Asia known as Washington's military "Asia Pivot," aka China Pivot strategy, of containing China's future economic and political emergence. Ironically, those very US escalations of military pressure brought the two giants of Eurasia - China and Russia - closer together than ever in history.
New Silk Road begins
Those events, which no one could have clearly foreseen in 2010, catalyzed the most dramatic series of changes in world geopolitics since May, 1945. Only this time, as the American Century is sinking in debt and economic depression, Eurasia is rapidly emerging as the most dynamic and far the largest and richest region in the world in terms of resources and especially human resources.
This fact was underscored by the recent visit of China president Xi to three key member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. A day before Xi was to be one of the honor guests at the May 9 Victory Day celebrations, he had closed door talks with Vladimir Putin. After those talks Putin announced that the two countries had signed a decree on cooperation in connecting the development of the Eurasian Economic Union with the Silk Road Economic Belt project. "The integration of the Eurasian Economic Union and Silk Road projects means reaching a new level of partnership and actually implies a common economic space on the continent," Putin said.
China agreed to also invest $5.8 billion in the construction of the Moscow-Kazan High Speed Railway, a major boost at a critical time for a project that will be extended to China through Kazakhstan, a part of the route of the new Silk Road project. The total cost of the Moscow-Kazan high speed railroad project is $21.4 billion.
Wasting no time, on May 13, China Railway Group announced it had won a $390 million contract from Russia to build the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway which is to be further extended to China as part of the new Silk Road project. A consortium led by China Railway with two Russian companies will jointly survey and conduct regional development planning and design for the Moscow-Kazan segment of the Moscow-Kazan-Yekaterinburg high-speed railway line in 2015-2016 according to a report from RT in Moscow.
Chinese participation in the planned Moscow-Kazan. Ekaterinburg High-Speed Rail segment will integrate Russia into the New Silk Road Economic Belt
The day before, on May 7, China's Xi was in Astana meeting with Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev to concretize Kazak participation in the New Silk Road. China, Kazakhstan and Russia are all founding members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well. Construction on the China-Kazakh part of the New Silk Road high-speed rail line is already underway from China's side.
The visits of Xi to Kazakhstan and Russia were followed with a three day visit of Xi to Belarus on May 10. Belarus is geographically a critical potential link in a more peaceful world, between the countries of the European Union and the Eurasian countries within the developing New Silk Road project. After their meetings Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko announced he too had agreed to make Belarus a platform for the development of the New Silk Road Economic Belt. Lukashenko revealed that 20 years before as a member of the Parliament of the new independent Belarus as the Soviet Union dissolved he made a visit to China: "I adopted China's step-by-step economic reform style in Belarus..." That puts the three key countries of the new Eurasian Economic Union - Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus - fully in the New Silk Road Economic Belt project.
Opening Eurasia to real development
One intriguing and potentially very strategic side benefit of the vast Silk Road Eurasian Economic Union integration that has just been decided will be the dramatic change in the development possibilities of some of the world's richest undeveloped raw materials, including of gold. Russia and Central Asian states hold perhaps the world's largest reserves of every imaginable metal and minerals.
Both China and Russia have been building their central bank gold reserves as rapidly as possible. Economic exploitation of gold reserves in Central Asia could become a significant support for that effort.
During Soviet times gold was part of Soviet National Bank reserves but considered a "capitalist relic." After 1991, in the chaotic collapse of the Soviet Union, Western intelligence agencies in cooperation with Italian organized crime and criminal former Soviet senior bureaucrats organized the theft of the entire gold reserves, more than 2,000 tons of bullion, from the Soviet Gosbank vaults, a crime announced by bank chairman Geraschenko, himself reportedly a secret participant in the theft, to an astonished Russian parliament.
Since Putin became president in 1999, the Russian central bank has been steadily restocking its central bank gold. Today according to official IMF statistics, Russia's Central Bank has managed to accumulate 1238 Tons of gold reserves. In April alone Russia bought 30 tons.
The existence of central bank gold reserves has been shrouded in mystery for the country allegedly the world's largest gold reserve holder, the US Federal Reserve Bank. In 2011 IMF Director General Dominique Strauss-Kahn demanded an independent physical audit of Federal Reserve gold. The Federal Reserve gold has never been audited. Strauss-Kahn reportedly had information that the 8000 tons of gold reported to be held by the US was gone.
The IMF head became concerned reportedly after the United States began "stalling" its pledged delivery to the IMF of 191.3 tons of gold agreed to under the Second Amendment of the Articles of Agreement to fund what are called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). Some days later a bizarre hotel sex scandal forced the abrupt resignation of Strauss-Kahn and an end to IMF calls for a gold audit.
Whatever the true state of US Fed gold reserves, it's clear that both Russia and China are stocking gold bullion to back their currencies as they carefully create a new architecture to replace the US dollar system.
Despite US financial warfare efforts, Russia state finances are also remarkably healthy in comparison with those in the West. In the USA government debt officially is well over $17 trillion or 105% of GDP. Greek debt is 177% of GDP. The Eurozone countries average debt to GDP is 91% and Germany 74%.
In Russia state debt is about 18% of GDP. China's debt is around 43% according to latest IMF data.
Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and China have all substantially increased their official gold reserves since the first quarter of 2000. Now it emerges that gold is intended to be a vital element in the OBOR - One Bridge, One Road - Silk Road project.
At a Dubai commodities conference in April this year, Albert Cheng, Managing Director of the World Gold Council, revealed that China is consciously looking to integrate its search for gold with the Silk Road economic project over the next ten years. He cited a statement from Xu Luode, President of Shanghai Gold Exchange and a National People's Congress (NPC) delegate who proposed to integrate gold market development into the strategic development plan of Silk Road Economic Belt at the March, 2015 meeting of the Chinese Central Committee. He suggested a mechanism to involve major gold producers and users along the new rail routes through Kazakhstan and Russia. He also proposed that the Chinese government's development of those resources make the Shanghai Gold Exchange the trading hub, and be integrated into the Silk Road Economic Belt plan.
The opening of the new network of Eurasian high-speed rail infrastructure will open entire new areas of mineral riches to development. On May 11, 2015, China's largest gold mining company, China National Gold Group Corporation (CNGGC), signed an agreement with Russian gold miner Polyus Gold to deepen ties in gold exploration. Announcing the deal, Song Xin, general manager of CNGGC and President of the China Gold association, said, "China's Belt and Road Initiative brings unprecedented opportunities for the gold industry." Song Yuqin, Deputy General Manager of the Shanghai Gold Exchange stated, "The gold trade is expected to become a significant component of transactions by 'Belt and Road' countries."
The Eurasian region in fact holds every conceivable mineral and rare earth metal known in vast quantities. That will now become economically feasible to develop with presence of high-speed freight rail infrastructure.
The Great Silk Road Economic Belt is clearly going to happen and fast. The emerging reality of the network of New Silk high-speed rail infrastructure, a wide-spanning network of road and rail links between all Asian and Central Asian nations, will be the heart of a new economic world. It is a well-known phenomenon of economics that as transportation infrastructure is developed there is a stronger GDP growth in each connected nation, a multiplier effect as entire new markets grow up. Clearly Eurasia is the place to be as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have demonstrated.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".
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Global Research - China's President On Russia's Role in Crushing Fascism: "To Remember History, To Open the Future"
China's President On Russia's Role in Crushing Fascism: "To Remember History, To Open the Future"
Introductory note by Anatoly Karlin
This article originally appeared at The Unz Review
President Xi Jinping (pictured right, meeting the Patriarch Kirill) penned an op-ed in a Russian newspaper on May 6th in which, in stark contrast to the typical Western bile and hostility, he acknowledges the role of the Soviet Union in defeating Nazism and warns off against attempts to revise that outcome, be it on paper or in real life.
I am translating it in full for two reasons.
First, it constitutes a first-hand glance at official relations between China and Russia, which - much to the consternation of neocons, Russophobes, Sinophobes, and Western imperialists - are instead of fighting each other for make benefit of the US are instead building strong relations and continuing to ink dozens of deals whose total value now probably stands at close to a trillion dollars.
Second, to explicitly give the lie to Western propaganda that Russia is somehow "isolated" by the fact that none of Washington's European stooges turned up at the Victory Day parade in Moscow this May 9th. Who cares? Not many Russians, at any rate. China, India, and dozens of other countries did turn up. That's the world's second superpower and the representatives of half of humanity. As for Obama, Merkel, Hollande, and Dave - quite frankly, the air is cleaner for their absence.
*Soundtrack - Russians and Chinese are Brothers Forever*
To Remember History, To Open the Future
by Xi Jinping
On May 9th, Victory Day in the world war against fascism, at the invitation of Russia's President Vladimir Putin, I will visit Russia and take part in the celebrations in Moscow devoted to the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This sacred day I will celebrate together with the Russian people and the entire world.
Everyone remembers that the aggressive wars begun by the fascists and militarists inflicted unprecedented damage and suffering on the peoples of China, Russia, and the countries of Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. The relentless struggle between justice and evil, light and darkness, freedom and slavery, was joined by the peoples of China, Russia, and more than 50 other countries, as well as by all the other peace-loving peoples of the world, who stood up as one and formed a broad international anti-fascist and anti-militarist front. All these nations fought in bloody battles against the enemy, and in so doing defeated the most evil and brutal aggressors, bringing peace to the world.
I remember, in March 2013, when I first visited Russia on a state visit, I laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin walls. There was a depiction of a soldier's helmet and a red banner on the tomb, and there burned an eternal fire, symbolizing the unbroken life and unwavering fearlessness of our fallen heroes. "Your name is unknown, your deeds are immortal." They will never be forgotten by the Russian people, the Chinese people, or anyone else.
China was the main theater of military operations in Asia during the Second World War. The Chinese people stood up before anyone else in the struggle against the Japanese militarists, waged the longest war, fought in the hardest conditions, and, like Russia, suffered the most enormous losses. The Chinese army and people fought stoically and persistently, locking down and destroying numerous contingents of the Japanese aggressors. At the cost of a huge national sacrifice - the lives of more than 35 million people - a great victory was finally won and an enormous contribution was made to victory in the world struggle against fascism. The exploits of the Chinese people in the war against the militarists, just like the exploits of the Russian people, will be immortalized forever in history and will never die.
The Chinese and Russian peoples supported each other, helped each other, they were comrades in arms in the war against fascism and militarism, and built a friendship with each other forged with blood and life. In the most difficult times of the Great Patriotic War, many of the best sons and daughters of the Chinese people decisively joined in the battle against German fascism. Mao Anying - the eldest son of Chairman Mao Zedong - fought on many battles as a political officer of a tank company of the 1st Belorussian Front, up to the storming of Berlin. The Chinese fighter pilot Tang Duo, as deputy commander of a fighter company of the Soviet Army, distinguished himself in air battles against the fascist forces. Children of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party and descendants of the fallen heroes of the Chinese Revolution, when studying at the Ivanovo international boarding school, despite that they were still only children, nonetheless went off to dig trenches, prepared Molotov cocktails, prepared food and clothes for the fighters, chopped trees, dug out potatoes, and looked after the wounded in hospitals. Apart from that, many of them regularly donated blood - 430 millilitres once per month for the soldiers at the front. The Chinese female journalist Hu Jibang, small and weak, underwent the entire war from the first day to the last, through bullets and fire, writing about the resilience and courage of the Soviet people, the barbarous cruelty of the fascist hordes, and the joy of the Russian soldiers and people in their times of triumph. It emboldened the armies and peoples of both countries, raising their will to fight to the end, to the final victory. Alongside the above heroes there are many other representatives of the Chinese people who contributed to the Great Patriotic War while remaining unknown soldiers.
The Russian people gave the Chinese people valuable political and moral support in their war against Japanese invaders. This included large convoys of arms and war material. More than 2,000 Soviet fighter pilots joined the Chinese air force and helped in the air battles over China. More than 200 of them died in battles over Chinese soil. In the closing phase of the war, Red Army soldiers of the Soviet Union were sent to north-east China. Together with the Chinese army and people they fought against the Japanese militarists, which helped China tremendously in achieving final victory. The Chinese people will always remember the Russians, both soldiers and civilians, who gave their lives for the independence and liberation of the Chinese nation.
The famous Russian historian Vasily Klyuchevsky said, that, having forgotten history, our soul can get lost in the darkness. To forget history is to commit treason. The Chinese and Russian peoples stand ready, together with all peace-loving countries and peoples, and with the automost determination and decisiveness, to oppose any actions or attempts to deny, distort, and rewrite the history of the Second World War.
This year, China and Russia will hold a series of events to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Second World War. There will also be many other events conducted by the UN and other international and regional organizations. The purpose of these events and celebrations is to demonstrate our determination to defend the results of the Second World War, to protect international equality and justice, and to remind out contemporaries that it is necessary to preserve and guard the peace that was won for humanity at too high a price.
The hard lessons of the Second World War tell people, that humanity's coexistence is not subject to the laws of the jungle; that world politics is diametrically contradictory to belligerent and hegemonic power politics; and that the path of human development is not founded on the principle of "winner takes all" or in games with zero-sum outcomes. Peace - yes, war - no, cooperation - yes, confrontation - no, mutual gains are honored, while zero-sum results - are not: This is what constitutes the unchanging core and essence of peace, progress, and the development of human society.
Today, mankind has unprecedentedly good opportunities for the realization of our goal - peace, development, and the formation of a system of international relations that is ever more strongly based on the spirit of cooperation and mutual benefits. "Unity - is strength, while self-isolation - is weakness." Cooperation and the win-win principle should be adopted as the basic orientation of all countries in international affairs. We have to unite our own interests with the common interests of all countries, find and expand on the common points of interests of different parties, develop and establish a new conception of multilateral win-win, to always be ready to extend a helping hand to each other at difficult times, to partake together of rights, interests, and responsibilities, and to collectively collaborate to solve growing global problems such as climate change, energy security, cybersecurity, national disasters, and so on. In short, we are in it together on our planet Earth - the homeland of all humanity.
The Chinese people and the Russian people - they are both great peoples. In the years of grief and misery, our indestructible camaraderie was cemented in place with blood. Today the peoples of China and Russian will hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder defend peace, promote development, and make their contributions to lasting world peace and human progress.
"Michel Chossudovsky (CRG) : The US led war against the Islamic State is a big lie. Going after "Islamic terrorists", carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to "Protect the American Homeland" are used to justify a military agenda."
The Mideast's S-U-N-N-I Problem
Twenty-six Things About the Islamic State (ISIL) that Obama Does Not Want You to Know About
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is a creation of US intelligence. Washington's "Counter-terrorism Agenda" in Iraq and Syria consists in Supporting the Terrorists.
The incursion of the Islamic State (IS) brigades into Iraq starting in June 2014 was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation supported covertly by the US, NATO and Israel.
The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One "State Sponsor of Terrorism."
The Islamic State is protected by the US and its allies. If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have "carpet" bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June.
The Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map below). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, CF-18) it would have been -from a military standpoint- a rapid and expedient surgical operation.
In this article, we address 26 concepts which refute the big lie. Portrayed by the media as a humanitarian undertaking, this large scale military operation directed against Syria and Iraq has resulted in countless civilian deaths.
It could not have been undertaken without the unbending support of the Western media which has upheld Obama's initiative as a counter-terrorism operation.
THE HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF AL QAEDA
1... The US has supported Al-Qaeda and its affiliated organizations for almost half a century since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war.
2... CIA training camps were set up in Pakistan. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan jihad.
"Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad."
3... Since the Reagan Administration, Washington has supported the Islamic terror network.
Ronald Reagan called the terrorists "freedom fighters". The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades. It was all for "a good cause": fighting the Soviet Union and regime change, leading to the demise of a secular government in Afghanistan.
4... Jihadist textbooks were published by the University of Nebraska. "The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings."
5... Osama bin Laden, America's bogyman and founder of Al Qaeda was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihadist war against Afghanistan. He was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerilla training camp.
Al Qaeda was not behind the 9/11 Attacks. September 11, 2001 provided a justification for waging a war against Afghanistan on the grounds that Afghanistan was a state sponsor of terrorism, supportive of Al Qaeda. The 9/11 attacks were instrumental in the formulation of the "Global War on Terrorism".
THE ISLAMIC STATE (ISIL)
6... The Islamic State (ISIL) was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain's MI6, Israel's Mossad, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri'asat Al-Istikhbarat Al-'Amah ( ????? ??????????? ???????).
7... The ISIL brigades were involved in the US-NATO supported insurgency in Syria directed against the government of Bashar al Assad.
8... NATO and the Turkish High Command were responsible for the recruitment of ISIL and Al-Nusrah mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011. According to Israeli intelligence sources, this initiative consisted in:
"a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria." (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011.)
9...There are Western Special Forces and Western intelligence operatives within the ranks of the ISIL. British Special Forces and MI6 have been involved in training jihadist rebels in Syria.
10... Western military specialists on contract to the Pentagon have trained the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons.
"The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday." ( CNN Report, December 9, 2012)
11... The ISIL's practice of beheadings is part of the US sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
12... Recruited by America's ally, a large number of ISIL mercenaries are convicted criminals released from Saudi prisons on condition they join the ISIL.Saudi death row inmates were recruited to join the terror brigades.
13...Israel has supported the ISIL and Al Nusrah brigades out of the Golan Heights. Jihadist fighters have met Israeli IDF officers as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu. The IDF top brass tacitly acknowledges that "global jihad elements inside Syria" [ISIL and Al Nusrah] are supported by Israel.
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights' border with Syria, 18 February 2014?"
SYRIA AND IRAQ
14... The ISIL are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors.
15... US Senator John McCain has met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria. 16... The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of a US-NATO bombing campaign under a "counter-terrorism" mandate, continues to be supported covertly by the US. Washington and its allies continue to provide military aid to the Islamic State.
17... US and allied bombings are not targeting the ISIL, they are bombing the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria including factories and oil refineries.
18... The IS caliphate project is part of a longstanding US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan.
THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM (GWOT)
19... "The Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT) is presented as a "Clash of Civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives.
20... U.S. sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen.
These various affiliated Al Qaeda entities in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are CIA sponsored "intelligence assets". They are used by Washington to wreck havoc, create internal conflicts and destabilize sovereign countries.
21... Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) (supported by NATO in 2011), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Indonesia, among other Al Qaeda affiliated groups are supported covertly by Western intelligence.
22... The US is also supporting Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China. The underlying objective is to trigger political instability in Western China.
Chinese jihadists are reported to have received "terrorist training" from the Islamic State "in order to conduct attacks in China". The declared objective of these Chinese-based jihadist entities (which serves the interests of the US) is to establish a Islamic caliphate extending into Western China. (Michel Chossudovsky, America's War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, Chapter 2).
23... The Terrorists R Us: While the US is the unspoken architect of the Islamic State, Obama's holy mandate is to protect America against ISIL attacks.
24... The homegrown terrorist threat is a fabrication. It is promoted by Western governments and the media with a view to repealing civil liberties and installing a police state. The terror attacks by alleged jihadists and terror warnings are invariably staged events. They are used to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
In turn, the arrests, trials and sentences of "Islamic terrorists" sustain the legitimacy of America's Homeland Security State and law enforcement apparatus, which has become increasingly militarized.
The ultimate objective is to instill in the minds of millions of Americans that the enemy is real and the U.S. Administration will protect the lives of its citizens.
25... The "counter-terrorism" campaign against the Islamic State has contributed to the demonization of Muslims, who in the eyes of Western public opinion are increasingly associated with the jihadists.
26... Anybody who dares to question the validity of the "Global War on Terrorism" is branded a terrorist and subjected to the anti-terrorist laws.
The ultimate objective of the "Global War on Terrorism" is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America.
The Obama Administration has imposed a diabolical consensus with the support of its allies, not to mention the complicit role of the United Nations Security Council. The Western media has embraced the consensus; it has described the Islamic State as an independent entity, an outside enemy which threatens the Western World.
Michel Chossudovsky, Centre for Research on Globalisation
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World on Fire: UN Helpless as Crises Rage in 10 Critical Hot Spots
World on Fire: UN Helpless as Crises Rage in 10 Critical Hot Spots
"We need more support and more financial help. But, most importantly, we need political solutions." -U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations is fighting a losing battle against a rash of political and humanitarian crises in 10 of the world's critical "hot spots."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says even the U.N.'s 193 member states cannot, by themselves, help resolve these widespread conflicts.
"Not a single country, however powerful or resourceful as it may be, including the United States, can do it," he warned last week.
The world's current political hotspots include Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic - not forgetting West Africa which is battling the spread of the deadly disease Ebola.
Historically, the United Nations has grappled with one or two crises at any given time. But handling 10 such crises at one and the same time, said Ban, was rare and unprecedented in the 70-year history of the United Nations.
Although the international community looks to the world body to resolve these problems, "the United Nations cannot handle it alone. We need collective power and solidarity, otherwise, our world will get more and more troubles," Ban said.
But that collective power is conspicuous by its absence.
Shannon Scribner, Oxfam America's humanitarian policy manager, told IPS the situation is serious and Oxfam is very concerned. At the end of 2013, she said, violent conflict and human rights violations had displaced 51 million people, the highest number ever recorded.
In 2014, the U.N. appealed for assistance for 81 million people, including displaced persons and others affected by protracted situations of conflict and natural disaster.
Right now, the humanitarian system is responding to four emergencies - those the U.N. considers the most severe and large-scale - which are Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan, and Syria.
These crises alone have left 20 million people vulnerable to malnutrition, illness, violence, and death, and in need of aid and protection, she added.
Then you have the crises in Yemen, where two out of three people need humanitarian assistance; West Africa, with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea asking for eight billion dollars to recover from Ebola; in Somalia, remittance flows that amount to 1.3 billion dollars annually, and are a lifeline to millions who are in need of humanitarian assistance, have been cut or driven underground due to banking restrictions; and then there is the migration and refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, where almost 1,000 people have died trying to escape horrible situations in their home countries, Scribner said.
The United Nations says it needs about 16 billion dollars to meet humanitarian needs, including food, shelter and medicine, for over 55 million refugees worldwide.
But U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Monday virtually all of the U.N.'s emergency operations are "underfunded".
Last month, a U.N. pledging conference on humanitarian aid to Syria, hosted by the government of Kuwait, raised over 3.8 billion dollars.
But the United Nations is appealing for more funds to reach its eventual target of 8.4 billion dollars for aid to Syria by the end of 2015.
"We need more support and more financial help," said Dujarric. "But, most importantly, we need political solutions."
But most conflicts have remained unresolved or stalemated primarily due to sharp divisions in the Security Council, the U.N.'s only political body armed with powers to resolve military conflicts.
Asked if the international community is doing enough, Scribner told IPS there is no silver bullet for dealing with these crises around the world because there are so many problems causing them: poverty, bad governance, proxy wars, geopolitical interests playing out; war economies being strengthened through the shipment of arms and weapons; ethnic tensions, etc.
The humanitarian system is not built for responding to the crises in the 21st century.
She said Oxfam is calling for three things: 1) More effective humanitarian response by providing funding early on and investing more in local leadership; 2) More emphasis on working towards political solutions and diplomatic action; and 3) Oxfam encourages the international community to use the sustainable development goals to lift more people out of poverty and address inequality that exists around the globe today.
Scribner said the combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of everyone else by next year given the current trend of rising inequality.
The conflicts in the world's hot spots have also resulted in two adverse consequences: people caught in the crossfire are fleeing war-torn countries to safe havens in Europe while, at the same time, there is an increase in the number of killings of aid workers and U.N. staffers engaged in humanitarian work. Over the weekend, hundreds of refugees and migrant workers from war-devastated Libya died in the high seas as a result of a ship wreck in the Mediterranean Sea. The estimated death toll is over 900. On Monday, four staff members of the U.N. children's agency UNICEF were reportedly killed in an attack on a vehicle in which they were riding in Somalia, while four others were injured and remain in serious condition.
Ian Richards, president of the Coordinating Committee of International Staff Unions and Associations (CCISUA), told IPS: "We're appalled at the loss of our colleagues in Garowe, Somalia and are very concerned for those injured. They truly were heroes doing great work in one of the world's most dangerous locations."
He said the United Nations has been clear that it will continue to operate in Somalia and "our work is needed there."
"We support the work of our colleagues in these difficult circumstances," he said.
At the same time, Richards told IPS, "We should not lose sight of a context in which U.N. staff and, in the case of local staff, their families, are increasingly targeted for their work."
It is therefore important, he said, that the secretary-(g)eneral and the General Assembly fully review the protection the U.N. provides to staff in locations where their lives are at risk, so that they may continue to provide much-needed assistance in such locations.
Oxfam's Scribner told IPS attacks on aid workers have steadily risen over the years - from 90 violent attacks in 2001 to 308 incidents in 2011 - with the majority of attacks aimed at local aid workers. They often face more danger because they can get closer to the crisis to help others.
Because local aid workers are familiar with the landscape, speak the local language, and understand the local culture, and this also puts them more at risk, she said.
Deadly challenge of keeping Syria health-care workers safe
"That is why it is not a surprise that local aid workers make up nearly 80 percent of fatalities, on average, since 2001," Scribner added.
Last year on World Humanitarian Day, the New York Times reported that the number of attacks on aid workers in 2013 set an annual record at 460, the most since the group began compiling its database, which goes back to 1997.
"These courageous men and women aren't pulling out because they live in the very countries where they are trying to make a difference. And as such, they should be supported much more by the international community," Scribner declared. (copyright) © 2015 IPS North America
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Real Face of War: New Video of Ukraine Conflict Stirs Up Internet (Graphic photos - 18+)
New Breakaway Republic Is Announced in Ukraine to Join Donetsk and Luhansk Republics
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.
A group of residents in the region of Odessa, one of Ukraine's largest cities, is trying to break away from the Ukrainian government that was formed after the coup in Kiev in February 2014.
As the first anniversary approaches of the 2 May 2014 massacre by U.S.-backed Ukrainian Government thugs against pamphleteers in Odessa's Trade Unions Building, who had opposed the 22 February 2014 U.S. coup in Ukraine, there has been forming in Odessa a movement for complete independence from the U.S.-coup-imposed Ukrainian regime. Ukraine's U.S.-imposed regime's response is to crush this incipient movement before word of its existence can even get out to the rest of the world.
That May 2nd massacre sparked Ukraine's civil war, by terrifying all Ukrainians who respected Russian culture and who considered themselves to be part of it (and such Ukrainians dominated the southeastern half of Ukraine). It showed them that the rabidly anti-Russian, pro-nazi regime which had recently been installed by the U.S., was seeking nothing less than their own destruction. (The scenes from it, and testimony from its witnesses, were absolutely horrific.) Throughout the entire southeastern half of Ukraine's territory, the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama's coup overthrew, had received large majority electoral support, as a consequence of which, Ukraine's southeastern half became - after Obama's anti-Russian coup - a tinderbox for civil war, and for potential separation from the northwestern, nazi-tolerant (often even overtly pro-Hitler), half of Ukraine.
Thus, on April 7th, an announcement by P.S. Kovalenko was made of some courageous individuals who on April 6th were attempting to establish the Odessa People's Republic. The headline was: "Odessa People's Republic declared its independence and secession from Ukraine." This was a naive thing for them to do, publicly and without any military, opposing a heavily armed nazi regime, as they are doing.
Then, on April 8th was headlined by them, "The head of the Odessa National Republic declared the intention to unite with the Donbass."
Donbass is the region, encompassing two major cities to the east of Odessa, Luhansk and Donetsk, and their surrounds, the entire area of which had voted 90%+ for Viktor Yanukovych, the President whom Obama overthrew in the February 2014 coup, the coup in which America's CIA paid the Right Sector army of the Hitler-admiring Dmitriy Yarosh to dress like state security troops and then to gun down anti-Yanukovych demonstrators, so that Yanukovych would be blamed. Yarosh had the key assistance of the head of the other major nazi party in Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, who had led the Maidan protests that served as PR cover for the coup. But the actual troops were Yarosh's; they were Right Sector - the same far-right group who organized and largely executed the May 2nd massacre in Odessa.
On April 11th was bannered, "About the situation in the capital of the Odessa national Republic." This reported that:
The security forces (SBU) arrested several dozen residents of Odessa, supporters of New Russia. Those arrested were subjected to severe torture.
Here is the text of the official statement sent by the head of the EPD [People's Republic of Odessa]:
"Odessa again, is choking on the blood of their sons. At this time, the Nazis did not wait for May to act. Punishers of 'Security Service of Ukraine' arrested several dozen supporters of the New Russia. According to information received, they are now trying the most sophisticated, almost medieval torture-methods. I was told about this by reliable and trusted sources.
"On the outskirts of the city there were created some form of 'national guard'.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to refer to the movement "Antimaydan" some leaders who for some unknown reason, I have ranked me to the 'agent of the SBU.' I would like to know: on the basis of what you have done such a strange thing (that has nothing to do with reality). [He is saying that he supports the anti-corruption sentiments of the vast majority of Maidan demonstrators but not the nazis who used them as cover for Obama's coup.] The time will come when you will be ashamed of that accusation.
"Long live the united and indivisible Novorossia!"
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People's Republic of Odessa
"Balta city, 04/10/2015"
During the months following the May 2nd massacre, the Obama-installed regime had repeatedly insulted Odessans, and reasserted its hostility and contempt toward them. In fact, President Poroshenko, who was 'elected' in an election among only far-right candidates that was held only outside Donbass and mainly in the northwest, actually went to Odessa on 13 November 2014 and he insulted the people there by saying, in a nationally televised "us" versus "them" tirade that clearly left the vast majority of Odessans as being in the "they" category:
"We will have our jobs. They will not. We will have our pensions. They will not. We will have care for children, for people, and retirees. They will not. Our children will go to schools and kindergartens. Theirs will hole up in basements [from our bombs]."
And that's what he actually did; he specifically targeted schools. A retired Ukrainian general whose sympathies had been with Hitler's troops displayed the nerve to respond to a Ukrainian soldier's statement that his function was ethnic cleansing, by saying on a U.S.-funded television station in Ukraine, "I want to offer the Ukrainian artillerists medals, to those who shell the city [Donetsk], the houses and the civilian population, ... for they [artillerists] have deserved it [medals]. ... The shelling there is done as intimidation, ... not just object destruction, but intimidation [to get the population to flee to nearby Russia]."
In other words: by bombing and shelling the schools, hospitals, etc., in Donetsk, Lugansk and the surrounding regions, that land will become uninhabitable or intolerable, so that even the survivors will need to flee to nearby Russia. This way, the Western aristocrats who want to buy dirt-cheap access to that region's natural resources (and such privatization of state assets is demanded 'reform' of Ukraine by the U.S.-controlled IMF) will not be bothered by the locals who object to the ripping-up of the land on which they live. Those locals will be dead or otherwise gone.
So, whereas the residents in Odessa are probably overwhelmingly in support of the local separatists' goal, they will be too terrified of the U.S.-imposed regime to back publicly any such breakaway movement.
This is how the U.S., under the Obama regime, no less than under that of his Republican predecessor, is spreading 'democracy.'
Here is Poroshenko receiving multiple standing ovations during his speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on 18 September 2014, asking for U.S. taxpayers to send him U.S.-made weapons.
And then, virtually 100% of the U.S. Congress voted to donate to his regime these weapons. They did this on 11 December 2014, almost a month after he had told the people who reject the U.S.-imposed government that, "Our children will go to schools and kindergartens. Theirs will hole up in basements [from our bombs]."
This land-clearing operation is being done via tanks and bombers, not via bulldozers. Bullets, bombs (and often landmines), are the technique that's used. The residents of Odessa aren't likely to want to join that type of fate.
People gather at the site of an air strike in a residential area in Sanaa on March 26. (photo by Islamic Republic News Agency)
and Rule' the Muslim World
Yemen is the latest casualty of a neoconservative strategy commissioned by the US Army to 'capitalise on Sunni-Shia conflict' in the Middle East - the goal is nothing short of 'Western dominance'
Yemen is on the brink of "total collapse" according to the UN high commissioner for human rights. Saudi Arabia's terror from the air, backed by Washington, Britain, and an unprecedented coalition of Gulf states has attempted to push back the takeover of Yemen's capital Sanaa by Shiite Houthi rebels.
As Iran-backed Houthi forces have pressed into Aden, clashing with Yemeni troops loyal to exiled President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, the US has provided live video feeds from US surveillance drones to aid with Saudi targeting. The Pentagon is set to expand military aid to the open-ended operation, supplying more intelligence, bombs and aerial refuelling missions.
Yet growing evidence suggests that the US itself, through its Gulf allies, gave the northern Houthis a green light for their offensive last September.
US advanced warning
As David Hearst reported in October 2014, the Houthi offensive was "conducted under the nose of a US military base in Djibouti" from where CIA drones operate. "The Houthis are even protecting the US embassy in Sanaa."
Hearst revealed that the Houthis had been emboldened by a quiet nod from Saudi Arabia, under the watchful eye of US intelligence.
A year earlier, then Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar met with Houthi leader Saleh Habreh in London. The Saudis wanted to mobilise the Houthis against the Islah Party, Yemen's Muslim Brotherhood branch that shared power with President Hadi, so that they "cancel each other out" in conflict.
But Islah refused to confront the Houthis, and Riyadh's green light backfired, allowing the Iran-backed militia to march unhindered to the capital.
The US was involved. Sources close to Hadi say they were told by the Americans about a meeting in Rome between Iranian officials and the son of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, to secure his assurances that government units loyal to Saleh would not oppose the Houthi advance.
Three years ago, Ali Abdullah Saleh was replaced by Hadi in US-Saudi backed negotiations that granted him immunity from prosecution. Audio leaks and a UN Security Council report prove Saleh's extensive collusion with the Houthis to the extent of supervising their military operations.
Yet President Hadi, who fled in the wake of the Houthi offensive, "said he was informed of the meeting in Rome by the Americans, but only after the Houthis had captured Sanaa." [emphasis added]
The US, in other words, despite being aware of the impending Iran-backed operation, did not pass on intelligence about this to its own asset in Yemen until after the Houthis' success.
According to another source close to President Hadi, the UAE also played a key role in the Houthi operation, providing $1 billion to the Houthis through Saleh and his son Ahmad.
If true, this means in sum that US intelligence had advanced warning of the Houthi offensive and Saleh's role in it; the UAE had reportedly provided funding to Saleh for the operation; and the Saudis had personally given the Houthis the green light in hope of triggering a fight to the death with Yemen's Brotherhood.
According to Abdussalam al-Rubaidi, a lecturer at Sanaa University and chief editor of the Yemen Polling Center's "Framing the Yemeni Revolution Project,"
local reports in Yemen refer to "an alliance... between the Houthis, the United States, and Saleh's Republican Guard," to counter Ansar al-Sharia, the local al-Qaeda branch. Some Yemeni politicians also said that "the Americans gave a green light to the Houthis to enter the capital and weaken Islah".
Why would the US do nothing to warn its Yemeni client-regime about the incoming Houthi offensive, while then rushing to support Saudi Arabia's military overreaction to fend off the spectre of Iranian expansion?
Divide and rule
The escalation of the crisis in Yemen threatens to spiral into a full-scale Sunni-Shia regional war-by-proxy.
Since 9/11, every country in the region touched by major US interference has collapsed into civil war as their social fabric has been irreversibly shattered: Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya.
The ensuing arc of sectarian warfare bears uncanny resemblance to scenarios explored in a little-known study by an influential Washington DC defence contractor.
The 2008 RAND Corporation report was sponsored by the US Army Training and Doctrine Command's Army Capability Integration Centre. It set out US government policy options for prosecuting what it described as "the long war" against "adversaries" in "the Muslim world," who are "bent on forming a unified Islamic world to supplant Western dominance".
Muslim world adversaries include "doctrinaire" Salafi-jihadists; "religious nationalist organisations" like "Hezbollah and Hamas that participate in the political process" but are also "willing to use violence"; secular groups "such as communists, Arab nationalists, or Baathists"; and "nonviolent organisations" because their members might later join "more radical organisations" .
The report suggests that the US Army sees all Muslim political groups in the region that challenge the prevailing geopolitical order as "adversaries" to be countered and weakened.
Among the strategies explored by the US Army-sponsored report is "Divide and Rule," which calls for "exploiting fault lines between the various SJ [Salafi-jihadist] groups to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts," for instance between "local SJ groups" focused on "overthrowing their national government" and transnational jihadists like al-Qaeda.
This appears to be the strategy in Libya and Syria, where local insurgents, despite affiliations with al-Qaeda, received covert US aid to overthrow Gaddafi and Assad.
The RAND report recommendeds that the US and its local allies "could use the nationalist jihadists to launch proxy IO [information operation] campaigns to discredit the transnational jihadists... the United States and the host nation could even help the nationalist jihadists execute a military campaign to stamp out al-Qaeda elements that are present locally."
US support for such "nationalist jihadists" would, however, need to be packaged appropriately for public consumption. "Because of the nature of the nationalist terrorist groups, any assistance would be mainly covert and would imply advanced IO capabilities."
This illustrates the confusion in US defence circles about the complex relationship between transnational and national jihadists. According to Dr. Akil Awan, an expert in jihadist groups at Royal Holloway, University of London, before 9/11 the concerns of national jihadist groups were "often very local and parochial". This changed after 9/11, as al-Qaeda's "brand value became irresistible to many local groups, who then pledged allegiance to bin Laden in savvy PR campaigns".
"Funding national jihadist groups is not a particularly bright idea," said Dr. Awan. "Yes it might undermine support for global jihadist groups like al-Qaeda, but whoever proposed it has a very poor memory in terms of recent US foreign policy by proxy warfare and the inevitable blowback effect - case in point: Afghanistan. Supporting violent groups for your own foreign policy objectives is also incredibly damaging to local democratic or peaceful voices, and other civil society actors."
The US Army-backed report did show awareness of this risk of "blowback," noting that the "divide and rule" strategy "may inadvertently empower future adversaries in the pursuit of immediate gains".
Capitalising on sectarianism
According to Dr. Christopher Davidson of Durham University, author of After the Sheikhs: the Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies, the current crisis in Yemen is being "egged on" by the US, and could be part of a wider covert strategy to "spur fragmentation in Iran allies and allow Israel to be surrounded by weak states".
He suggests that the Yemen war serves US interests in three overlapping ways. It tests whether or not Iran will "ramp up support for Houthis". If not, then Iran's potential role "as a reliable, not expansionist regional policeman (much like the Shah) will seem confirmed to the US."
The war could also weaken Saudi Arabia. Pushing the House of Saud into a "full-on hot war," said Dr. Davidson, would be "great for the arms industry, [and] gives the US much needed leverage over increasingly problematic Riyadh... If the regime in Saudi Arabia's time is up, as many in the US seem to privately believe, in the post $100 a barrel era, this seems a useful way of running an ally into the ground quite quickly".
The Yemen conflict also "diverts global attention from IS [Islamic State] in Levant and the increasingly obvious uselessness or unwillingness of the US-led coalition to act against it".
Davidson points out that there is precedent for this: "There have been repeated references in the Reagan era to the usefulness of sectarian conflict in the region to US interests."
One post-Reagan reiteration of this vision was published by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Strategic and Political Advanced Studies for Benjamin Netanyahu. The 1996 paper, A Clean Break, by Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Richard Perle - all of whom went on to join the Bush administration - advocated regime-change in Iraq as a precursor to forging an Israel-Jordan-Turkey axis that would "roll back" Syria, Lebanon and Iran. The scenario is surprisingly similar to US policy today under Obama.
Twelve years later, the US Army commissioned a further RAND report suggesting that the US "could choose to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world... to split the jihadist movement between Shiites and Sunnis.” The US would need to contain "Iranian power and influence" in the Gulf by "shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan". Simultaneously, the US must maintain "a strong strategic relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government" despite its Iran alliance.
Around the same time as this RAND report was released, the US was covertly coordinating Saudi-led Gulf state financing to Sunni jihadist groups, many affiliated to al-Qaeda, from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon. That secret strategy accelerated under Obama in the context of the anti-Assad drive.
The widening Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict would "reduce the al-Qaeda threat to US interests in the short term," the report concluded, by diverting Salafi-jihadist resources toward "targeting Iranian interests throughout the Middle East," especially in Iraq and Lebanon, hence "cutting back... anti-Western operations".
By backing the Iraqi Shiite regime and seeking an accommodation with Iran; while propping up al-Qaeda sponsoring Gulf states and empowering local anti-Shia Islamists across the region - this covert US strategy would calibrate levels of violence to debilitate both sides, and sustain "Western dominance".
The Pentagon's neocon fifth column
The concept of "the long war" was first formulated years earlier by a little-known Pentagon think-tank known as the Highlands Forum. The Forum regularly brings together senior Pentagon officials with leaders across the political, corporate, business and media sectors in secret meetings.
Formally founded under the authority of Bill Clinton's then defence secretary William J. Perry, the Pentagon Highlands Forum was established to coordinate interagency policy on information operations. Originally run through the Office of the Secretary of Defence, the Forum now reports to the Office of the Undersecretary of Defence for Intelligence, the Defence Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA), the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), among other agencies.
The Highlands Forum also works closely with the Pentagon federal advisory committee, the Defence Policy Board, of which arch-neocon Richard Perle (co-author of the "Clean Break" strategy) was a member from 1987 to 2004. Under the Obama administration, Defence Policy Board members have included leading neocon statesman, such as William Perry and Henry Kissinger.
RAND Corp. in particular is a longstanding Forum partner.
Despite its bipartisan pretensions, the Pentagon Highlands Forum is an overwhelmingly neoconservative network. Its acolytes, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, Deputy Defence Secretary Robert Work, and DoD intelligence chief Mike Vickers, hold the reigns of Obama's military strategies.
Today, they are busily executing the US Army's "divide and rule" strategy to forcibly reconfigure the Middle East by proxy sectarian violence. How much of the chaos is "blowback," and how much of it is intended, is difficult to determine.
In any case, the latest casualty of this doomed strategy is Yemen. © 2014 Middle East Eye
Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is a bestselling author, award-winning investigative journalist, and noted international security scholar, as well as a policy expert, film maker, strategy and communications consultant, and change activist. His debut science fiction thriller novel, ZERO POINT, was released in August 2014. His previous non-fiction book was A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It (2010), which inspired the award-winning documentary feature film, The Crisis of Civilization (2011).
Houthis capture presidential palace in Aden: Sources
'Yemen crisis: clearly a failure of US foreign policy'
The US, which not long ago called Yemen an example of successful counter-terror strategy, underestimated the power of the Houthis in the country as they have already gained control over several cities, said Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan-African News Wire.
A coalition of Gulf nations, led by Saudi Arabia, has launched a military operation in Yemen. It's aimed at stopping the advance of Shia Houthi militants who control the capital Sana'a, and the coastal city of Aden.
RT: Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf countries are getting involved in the situation in Yemen. Where do you see this heading?
Abayomi Azikiwe: It's a very dangerous situation. What this represents is the total collapse of US foreign policy in Yemen. They have evacuated their special forces. Approximately 100 of them were stationed in Yemen. At the same time US diplomatic personnel have also been evacuated. The US-backed President Hadi had called for such an intervention.
RT: What reaction do you expect from Iran now?
AA: The Iranians are of course backing the Houthi militia groups because they are part of the Shia alliance that exists throughout the region. Therefore, they will have some political support. But I don't see them directly intervening militarily in Yemen in response to this escalation by Saudi Arabia. But it is clearly something that has the endorsement of the Obama administration. They have lost their capacity in a sense to intervene directly and are utilizing Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] as a proxy force that will try to bolster Hadi in Yemen.
RT: Just six months ago President Obama was calling Yemen a success story. He said: "This strategy of taking out terrorists, who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years." Do you think Washington has been taken by surprise by the latest developments?
AA: Washington has its hands full in Syria, in Iraq, and in other geopolitical regions. This is why they want to rely on the Gulf Cooperation Council. But there was clearly a miscalculation on a part of the Obama administration that they underestimated the power of the Houthi groups inside the country which took control in September of the capital of Sana'a. Just recently they took control of the city of Taiz; they have been moving South over the last several days towards Aden. So it's clearly a failure of US foreign policy in Yemen.
RT: The city of Aden is home to a major oil refinery and is a major shipping hub. Could we see the Houthi rebels taking control over these supplies as well?
AA: It will be very interesting to see what happens if the Saudis and the GCC utilizes air power. It could perhaps halt their advances. But in the long-term, if the Saudis are not willing to put in massive ground forces then there could be whole struggle developing around the control of Aden. Also, we have to keep in mind that in the South there is a huge separatist movement that is resurfacing: Yemen was divided between the North and the South up until about 25 years ago. The South was a socialist-oriented republic, and the North was more allied with the US and the West. This is another fact that has to be taken into consideration. These separatist movements have been growing over the last several months.
RT: Yemen is seeing a total security collapse. Could it be the next front in the expansion of Islamic State?
AA: We'll have to see if there is any significant IS intervention. Al-Qaeda has been operating there for a while. This is the raison d'ętre that the US has utilized for carrying out these drone attacks against the people in Yemen, particularly the so-called al-Qaeda bases there. But it remains to be seen what role the IS may have if they decide to enter in greater numbers in Yemen.
'Houthi behaved 'badly', like overthrowing Saleh'
Saudi Arabian military "is notoriously unreliable" and it is unlikely they would do well in Yemen, says Charles Schmitz, Middle East expert.
Charles Schmitz: "Saudi Arabia has a long involvement inside of Yemen, it has a lot of contacts, there are a lot people who support Saudi Arabia inside of Yemen. I'm not sure what their military involvement will be. Their military is notoriously unreliable and in a Yemeni context, I don't think it's going to do very well. So I'm not sure what their objectives are," he told RT.
Meanwhile, Iranians are strongly supporting the Houthis, Zaidi Shia group, but it's yet a question "whether they would support them militarily". "It's not just the Houthi, but it's the Houthi and the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. He is the one who commands the most of the military forces, the regular military forces. I think they have the upper hand militarily, and I'm not sure how much support they would need from the Iranians," he said.
"[Houthi] are a class, a group of people in the far North; their ancestor ruled Yemen for a long, long time, for a thousand years. During the regime of the republic they were discriminated against, and they fought the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh, ironically because now they are allied with him. But at the time they fought his regime because they felt that it oppressed them. Because they were attacked by the Yemeni regime in a war in 2004-2010 they very much want to guarantee their security, they very much want to guarantee an upper military hand particularly in the North. They simply have done that. We know that now they are trying to set up a national regime. That is going to be more difficult for them. They do not have experience leading the country. We’ll have to see what they are going to do. Thus far they have been behaving quite badly: they've imprisoned journalists, they've attacked their political opponents in the beginning to behave exactly like the President that they overthrew in 2011."
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
"Through Egypt, a major beneficiary of Saudi aid, the kingdom is backing plans for a combined Arab military force to combat Iranian influence around the region. With another major aid recipient, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia is also expected to step up its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, potentially setting off an arms race in the region."
"Taking matters into our own hands is the name of the game today," said Jamal Khashoggi, a veteran Saudi journalist and former adviser to the government. "A deal will open up the Saudi appetite and the Turkish appetite for more nuclear programs. But for the time being Saudi Arabia is moving ahead with its operations to pull the carpet out from underneath the Iranians in our region." Read Article...As U.S. and Iran Seek Nuclear Deal, Saudi Arabia Makes Its Own Moves
Yemen's Response to Saudi Aggression "Will Devastate the Arab Kingdom, Change the Map of the Region"
Yemen Conflict Must Not Grow Into Arab-Iran Conflict - Lavrov
Bombs Continue to Fall On Yemen As Arab States Announce New Military Force
The Geopolitics behind the War in Yemen (I)
"Saudi Arabia invades Yemen
"what the Huthis have done in five years of their rule in the capital (from September to February) to weaken Al-Qaeda turned out to be much more significant than Yemen's entire anti-terrorist campaign with the participation of the United States, which began in 2002..." Sergei Serebryakov, senior officer at the Center for Arab Studies of the Institute of Oriental Studies said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. After terrorist attacks and attacks on mosques, many terrorist groups have been destroyed...." USA and Saudi Arabia invade Yemen to defend their oil
..."Because the only thing that can save Yemen is the return of all conflicting parties to the negotiating table. Russia's participation in the process could be very useful",said Elena Suponina."USA and Saudi Arabia invade Yemen to defend their oil
Egypt and the Reasons Behind the Broad Economic Support
AL Summit on Yemen and regional Issues: Putin Responds
The Money Trail: How the US Fostered Yemen's Separatist Movement
Yemen and the Art of International Subterfuge
A Flimsy Pretext to Attack Yemen
"U.S. and Saudi geo-strategic interest in containing the influence of Iran has trumped international law and any concerns about the lives of the people of Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain,"....Calls for Diplomacy Unheeded as Saudi-Led Assault Pummels Yemen
Israeli Fighter Jets Join Saudi Arabia in War on Yemen
"Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in." Read more...US-Saudi Blitz into Yemen: Naked Aggression, Absolute Desperation
Saudi Arabia consulted US before launching military operation in Yemen - ambassador
Justifications to attack Yemen baseless: Nasrallah
5 facts you need to know about Yemen and its conflicts
Thousands Protest Against Saudi Airstrikes in Yemeni Capital
US Warships in Red Sea Ready to Respond in Yemen - CENTCOM
Former Yemeni FM asks Egypt to secure Bab al-Mandeb Strait
Yemen Ground Invasion By Saudi, Egyptian Troops Imminent
Hysteria on the Cheap: Terror-Mongers Cry Wolf Over Iran
As Saudi Arabia and Allies Continue Airstrikes, Sorrow and Rage in Yemen Iranian, Russian FMs Likely to Meet on Yemen
Ansarullah: Yemen Army, Popular Committees Line up against Saudi Aggression
"Hypocrisy Empire (IV)"
Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen Contrary to Int'l Law, Violate Sovereignty - Iran
Yemenis Take to Streets in Sanaa
|Lavrov: Time to decide if we want UN
focused & effective or on the sidelines
Article from RTLavrov: Time to decide if we want UN focused & effective or on the sidelines - February 23, 2015
The UN would be effective in settling international disputes, if some member-states didn't try to use it for dominating world affairs, Russian Foreign Minister believes, adding that such efforts led to bombings in Serbia, war in Iraq and chaos in Libya.
Sergey Lavrov has called for the UN, about to celebrate its 70th anniversary, to be an independent and effective leader in global decision-making, despite attempts by some of its members to usurp the organization's functions.
"It's time to answer the question: do we really want the see the UN an effective and influential instrument of preserving peace and security or are we ready to allow it turn into the arena of propagandist struggle, with the UN being excluded from the process of finding key solutions to international problems," Lavrov said, at the open debate for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), held on Monday in New York.
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Lavrov listed episodes in recent history, which he sees as violations of the UN charter, caused by a will to dominate world affairs.
"It's enough to remember the bombings of Serbia, the occupation of Iraq under a false pretext... and the rude manipulation of the Security Council mandate leading to destruction and on-going chaos in Libya," the minister said.
The Russian Foreign Minister has denounced attempts at either turning the UNSC into a body for unconditional and bulk approval of decisions made by the "leader," or for making it steer away completely from decision-making.
Lavrov talked of "unsavory methods... such as massive pressure on sovereign states, attempts at imposing on them decisions and standards in politics, economics and ideology."
"Such approaches are in no way keeping with the principles on which the UN is based," and counter an objective tendency of spread of global economic and political might, Lavrov added.
"For those unwilling to obey there are techniques of inspiring inner conflicts and carrying out regime change operations," the foreign minister said. "One example is open encouragement of the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine."
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The UNSC resolution, clamping down on funding of the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), initiated by Russia and approved earlier this month is one of the positive examples of the council's independent work, Lavrov believes. The resolution on eliminating chemical weapons in Syria is another such example, according to the minister.
'Cold War mentality should be in the ash heap of history'
Several officials referred to the times of the Cold War in their speeches at the Monday UNSC meeting, expressing their concerns that such confrontation is not yet history.
"The use of sanctions mechanisms in line with the statutes attributes to the exclusive competence of the Security Council. Unilateral restrictive measures and attempts of exterritorial use of national legislation are nothing more than a manifestation of archaic, bloc ways of thinking," Lavrov said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi - who chaired the debate, as China holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for February - called the Cold War mentality worth "the ash heap of history." Relations between the countries should be built upon principles of equality and cooperation, he said, adding that "no country in the world has the right to impose its will upon others and displace legitimate governments."
Wang Yi also warned the countries of the threats of the use of military power, and expressed concerns over continuing attempts to rewrite history by bettering the reputations of Nazi criminals.
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Dozens of countries - not only UN Security Council members - took part in the meeting, which was initiated by China and was aimed at discussing key security issues and emerging threats while the world celebrates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
On the sidelines of the Security Council open debate, Russia's Sergey Lavrov met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. While in New York, Lavrov also held meetings with the foreign ministry officials of China, Uganda, Venezuela, Serbia, and New Zealand.
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