Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Russia-China, Change of Course, China-India, a contest of Models...?

Russia-China, Change of Course, China-India, a contest of Models...?

The final text of Russia’s Strategy-2020, published last week, contains a small but surprising sentence that has not been given the attention it deserves. From the foreign trade and foreign policy section: “The main risks for Russia, linked with the emergence of new centers of power, are rooted in the growth of China’s economic potential and international status.”

The authors believe that the impending conversion of the yuan into a “world currency for settlements, and later into an investment and reserve currency…may undermine the stability of the international currency system, and limit opportunities for the use of the Russian ruble in international transactions.”

“The highly competitive Chinese processing industry… will continue to squeeze out Russian counterparts from the Russian market and prevent the trade and investment expansion of Russian companies abroad,” the authors conclude. They believe that “the consolidation of China’s positions in Central Asia may undermine the prospects of the latter’s further involvement in Russia’s integration projects.” Finally, the authors warn that China’s more active negotiating and interventionist conduct typical of a “newly rich member of the world leaders’ club, the consolidation of the G2 format (the United States and China) in running global economic processes and China’s growing influence in the IMF and the WTO” will come at the expense of other countries, Russia included.

It should be noted, however, that the authors later acknowledge that the task of modernizing Russia, especially Siberia and the Far East, is not possible “without using the Asia-Pacific Region as a resource of national economic development. China is Russia’s number one partner in this region.”

Strategy-2020 is the result of the work of various experts over a long period of time. During the final stage, which took a year and a half, a large team consisting of two dozen working groups was set up on instructions from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. It was led by two prominent liberal economists – Rector of the Higher School of Economics Yaroslav Kuzminov and Rector of the National Economy Academy Vladimir Mau. While this document is not exactly a program for the future president and the government, it describes in detail the current situation and what needs to be done.

The authority of the customer who ordered this strategy makes this product even more important. In such cases, the balance between the actual ideas of the authors and the wishes of the customer is always unclear.

In any event, no high-profile policy document in Russia has plainly stated that China’s rise is a threat. In his recent foreign policy article published a week prior to the election, Putin mentioned in passing the existing problems with China, like immigration, but was very positive about China otherwise. The president-elect wrote that Russia should “catch the Chinese wind” in the sails of its economy. Does the tone of Strategy-2020 suggest a change in Russia’s approach?

It would be wise not to make any far-reaching conclusions on the basis of this document alone. Its status is quasi-official, and Russian officials can always distance themselves from it, which is bound to happen when our Chinese comrades begin asking for explanations. Beijing never lets such statements go without comment. You can write anything about NATO and the United States without eliciting a response, but China is a different story.

At the same time, Russia is clearly apprehensive about the rise of China. For the first time in recent history, Russia is weaker than its neighbor, and the gap will continue growing. This should compel Russian policymakers to take a fresh look at the country’s approach to China. How should Russia co-exist with China today and in the next five to 10 years if the current dynamics persist? The search for an answer to this question will be a major item on the agenda of Putin’s presidency. Judging by everything, Putin is more interested in Europe and the West, which he understands, than in China, which is still largely an enigma for the future president.

For all that, it is unclear why it was necessary to voice such concerns in a high-profile document, especially as the authors were discussing the side effects of China’s development rather than a hostile policy towards Moscow adopted by Beijing. Some of these apprehensions have not yet been confirmed – the issue of a G2 was dropped a couple of years ago when it became clear that nothing of the sort was in the offing.

Russia is unable to do anything about this, and counteractions would be simply inappropriate, whereas such an obvious display of lack of confidence will more likely aggravate than alleviate the asymmetrical nature of bilateral relations.

To be fair, the document contains a number of specific proposals on how to achieve balance in Russia’s opportunities in Asia. Its authors write about the need to diversify economic partners to prevent China from remaining Russia’s main and only partner in the Far East, but the general alarmist tone remains.

These apprehensions are understandable, but making them public will not help Russia. Rather, Russia needs an active and positive program of action towards China with numerous proposals for joint development. This program should originate in Moscow and be preventative in nature. If Russia stands on the sideline, the agenda in Russia’s Asian part will be determined by China just for lack of alternatives. Then Russia’s apprehensions will be confirmed, and China will become a real economic threat. But in that case, Russia will have only itself to blame.....

China's political model is superior to the western liberal democratic one, Chinese intellectuals have begun to argue openly. Eric X Li of Shanghai, for instance, wrote in The New York Times (February 16) that America's competition with China is between two giants that have fundamentally different political outlooks. America sees democratic governance as "an end in itself", while China sees its current model "as a means to achieving larger national ends".

To us Indians living next door to China, that difference has relevance.

Indians see yet another fundamental contest between giants - between two billion-strong nations, each striving for prosperity and the eradication of poverty - using two very different models of governance. China's model today, visibly the more impressive, resembles not socialism with Chinese characteristics, as the late Deng Xiaoping used to say, but an immense pyramid of state-corporate capitalism. The communist party is a holding corporation at the top, while the politburo acts as a board of directors managing the system through a vast network of subsidiaries.

Today's China is not yesterday's Soviet Union. Its economy is intricately meshed in the world's economy. Its exports flood world markets like the Soviet Union's never did. Its three trillion dollars-plus stockpile of foreign exchange reserves makes it way more influential in real terms than the Soviet Union's huge but effectively idle pile of nuclear weapons ever could. China's management model not only helps it acquire influence, it attracts a growing fan club in other developing countries.

India's democratic model of governance, on the other hand, is far less impressive at first sight. It is messy, it is corrupt, its coalitional politics (think Mamata) impels its political managers to be indecisive and its poverty is out there for the world to see.

Many from India's rapidly expanding and impatient middle class, frustrated with bureaucratic inefficiencies in the delivery of public goods and services, have begun to look admiringly over the fence at the Joneses in China. Yet, a close look at the Indian model reveals economic growth over the past decade at an average annual rate of around 7%. Could be better, but second only to China's among major economies. Democratic governance, however deficient, hasn't crippled that performance. Poverty remains agonisingly visible but the number of millions lifted above 'absolute poverty' in the past two decades is, again, second only to China's record. Democracy is a bit slow, but it works.

Citizens of India, irritated as they are with the pace of change, still have powers that the Chinese don't. They, and not any cabal of party bosses, form the national board of directors. They can, and do, throw out any ruling management through regular elections while freely airing frustrations through the media.

They did it once again in recent state elections. They might fret that all they can do is replace a bunch of thieves with a gang of thugs. But the very fact of their electoral power is extraordinary. It generates, on the whole, a decent degree of accountability in the system. And that's the case for democracy being made in a few recent books.

In Democracy Despite Itself, Danny Oppenheimer and Mike Edwards assert that free, fair and regular elections form the fundament of democracy, no matter what the quality of governance might be in a particular country from time to time. Nations that choose their rulers freely have more overall freedom and a higher quality of life than those that don't. In Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson caution that weak, dysfunctional institutions provide incentives to a parasitical elite in an "extractive state" to loot national wealth, which has been the dominant pattern in history. But where a truly inclusive government emerges, through electoral democracy, it can protect individual rights, encourage investment and reward effort to allow prosperity to follow.

So, while a contest continues between China's state-corporate model and the western liberal democratic one, the world should keep an eye on the quieter rivalry over governance models between the world's two largest nations. Ultimately, it is a contest over values and human rights: Must an individual have inalienable rights or should such rights be conditional upon social advancement as decreed by the few?

"They did it once again in recent elections... They might fret that all they can do is replace a bunch of thieves with a gang of thugs"....

The shadow-government of US/EU interests--hide behind AIPAC's back..., pretending to "Lead from behind..."

The shadow-government of US/EU interests--hide behind AIPAC's and other Zionist lobbies' back..., pretending to "Lead from behind..."

One can contrast two ways of thinking about Israel/Palestine. One focuses on the rights and wrongs of the conflict....

However, in relation to the strategy of Israel and its lobbyists abroad, there is an alternative approach, rather in the spirit of the comment made by detective Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon to Bridget O’Shaughnessy, confronted by her demands for help:

You’ve got to convince me that you know what it’s all about, that you’re not simply fiddling about by guess and by God, hoping it’ll come out all right in the end....

If I understand Henry k. Broder all right, on the basis of a brief look, his position is very similar to that of many of Israel’s British supporters. The underlying conception is of the country as an isolated outpost of Western civilization, among the barbarian hordes....LOL

Let us, simply for the sake of argument, accept the view of the rights and wrongs of the conflict implicit in this version, and ignore the simplistic nature of the picture. What I simply cannot understand is how on this basis one can construct a coherent strategy for the country which gives it a realistic prospect of long-term survival....

In 1919, the former Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, Count Czernin, remarked: 'We had to die. But we could choose the means of our death, and we chose the most terrible.' Peoples in Europe, and also the Middle East, have been living with the consequences of that choice for almost a century.

In my view, the long-term prospects of a Jewish settler state in Palestine would be acutely problematic, at the best of times. However, the history of the country since 1967 has seen a repeated failure to take the least-worst option, which has boxed it into a dead end from which I have difficulty seeing any way out....

At the same time, Israel is able to exercise a very large amount of influence both on the United States, and on the European powers. And this influence has been deployed to get Americans and Europeans to pursue reckless courses -- not least, in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Meanwhile, Israel also has a large nuclear arsenal....

You may be confident that the Israeli government are 'supreme realists'. I think your confidence is quite delusional. Indeed, I am skeptical as to whether Netanyahu can afford to be a 'realist', as to look soberly at the options open to Israel would entail recognizing that the whole course Zionists of his stripe have pursued for decades has been disastrous for their country....

The catastrophic potentialities of this situation frighten the living daylights out of many, for reasons which have rather more to do with concerns for the fate of many a country... than for that of anyone in the Middle East.

In relation to other peoples, I think there is a lot to be said for the Hippocratic principle of trying to avoid harm. Emotional involvement is however not directed any more or less to Israelis than to Lebanese, Palestinians or indeed Iranians....

My impression of the Europeans both on a personal level and through anecdotes from others is that very many of them – perhaps up to half – believe in their moral superiority. And it is strikingly clear among very many European tourists to Lebanon, Syria, Iran....etc.!

Mr. Straw who did not come across as yet another sanctimonious European trying to lecture those benighted fools on their stupidity.

But this presumed moral superiority is the road to perdition, in my opinion, and possibly war, in my opinion.

The victory of Israel in 1967 War was indeed a disaster for Israel, for Jews, , for USA, for EU, and for Arabs in particular and Muslims in general.

It elevated a war between Arabs and Israelis into a religious war between Judaism and Islam.

There are 2 mosques at the site of the Temple Mont – one is built on the site were God had gathered all prophets for a prayer led by the Prophet Mohammad and the other is built on the site where the Prophet Mohammad had ascended to Heaven during his Night Journey.

These sites cannot remain under the control of non-Muslims in any future peace deal.

Yet my Jewish friends tell me that Israelis will never give that up....?

So the war in and for Palestine will continue; in my opinion unless something else is attempted.

And as it continues, it will inflame more and more religious passions.

The alternative, in my opinion, is a conference attended by US, Israel, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinians to forge a new peace soonest....

Once these principals have agreed on a settlement, others such as EU, OIC, the Russian Federation, and China could be brought in to help implement it. EU, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Japan, and Korea will be needed to open their cheque-books and write big cheques to under-write the Peace.

Almost certainly a new dispensation must be created for the area between the Jordan River to the Sea – since the 2-state solution is long dead .....

After De Gaulle’s June 18 1940 speech, this French lawyer went to see him in order to find out what he could do to help. Knocked at De Gaulle’s hotel room and introduced himself. De Gaulle stated that he was just the person that he (De Gaulle) wanted to see; a lawyer to help him draft the post War French Constitution. And if someone else watched those two, during darkest days of 1940, working on a post-war French constitution, that person would have thought them to be stark raving maniacs....

Geostrategic context:

1- There is a pan-European policy....
2- This coercive diplomatic policy increased in tempo and intensity as the US and NATO positions in Iraq, Lebanon and in Afghanistan - indeed in South Asia - deteriorated.
3- At several junctures during the last 8 years; namely in 2003, in 2006, in 2007, and in 2010 the Iran Nuclear file could have been closed by US and EU.
4- This has been a Trans-Atlantic policy that twice - in the last 7 years, brought the world close to a war in the Middle East (perhaps even WWIII)....

Well, I do not buy this explanation of Israel, Shoah guilt, etc.

The Russian Federation had to publicly warn the United States and Europe that "attack on Iran was attack on Russian interests".

In my opinion, US and EU did not take these enormous risks on behalf of Israel, Jews, etc.

In effect, those who argue thus are attributing super-human cunning and cohesion to at most 12 million Jews on this planet.

I take the much simpler explanation: destruction of the independent geopolitical autonomy of Iran - a state in close proximity to where 40% of world energy is shipped....

Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, there has not been a Muslim state with Strategic Autonomy until 1980....

Of course, Israeli leaders love the attention lavished on them by the Western powers--it fits right into their own hubris, their inflated sense of self-importance, and their delusions of being special....

Western antipathy to Iran has long surprised me, but perhaps it shouldn't. As many have emphasized, the influence of Israel and its lobby groups is surely profound. Taken alone, however, it's questionable whether they're quite enough to account for everything we see.

In much the same way that America became the Great Satan, the hostage crisis in 1980 and everything that followed (the mullahs, the desperate war with Iraq, the demonization of America and so on) almost certainly set attitudes towards Iran in stone for many in the west. Not a few of these are presumably now at the pinnacle of their power and influence, not only in the US but also elsewhere.

Entrenched attitudes, particularly when their roots feed on fear and anger and incomprehension, don't shift easily. We may not, therefore, need to fall back on deeper calculated agendas, to account for this otherwise apparently incomprehensible irrationality. Human foibles have perhaps provided a decent chunk of the following wind that Israel has needed.

Question is, I guess, whether the sheer scale of the strategic error under contemplation at last allows saner influences to gain the upper hand....?

...“Unless you’re so far over on the neocon side that you’re blind to geopolitical realities, there’s an overwhelming consensus that this is a bad idea,”

What is of more interest are the possible implications of a strike by Israel and/or the United States and later NATO, or a coalition of the Zioconned willing... Israel and the U.S. are playing each other right now, and unlike what some anti-American sites continuously purport, Israel is not the U.S., nor vice-versa... Yes, Israel has significant influence in U.S. Middle Eastern foreign policy, but they do have different agendas, . In this regard, Obama is a very interesting character, and he seems to have been groomed and hand chosen for this particular time. The zeitgeist is right for him, and he is right for the zeitgeist. I believe his allegiance is with his progenitors, that being the intelligence services, CIA to be exact.... I believe there is a battle currently going on behind the scenes as it relates to Israeli influence in U.S. politics and policy. Both constituencies are in bed together on many and ALL issues pertaining to the immediate countries surrounding Israel....and the infamous White House Murder INC's Shenanigans in the Levant and beyond, but it's a very uneasy alliance when it comes to Iran and Energy in a larger sense..., and both sides have eyes wide open and one foot out of the bed ready for a quick exit when that bed catches fire....the U.S. side being closest to the door, and there are no windows, so the U.S. has the upper hand....

BURMA, The Lynchpin of Asia, Realpolitik and economic interests...

BURMA, The Lynchpin of Asia, Realpolitik and economic interests...

NEW DELHI – Isolated and impoverished by decades of international sanctions, Myanmar (Burma) has emerged in recent months as both a beacon of hope and a potential new Asian flashpoint. With Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi freed from two decades of house arrest to campaign vigorously for a seat in parliament in the special election to be held on April 1, Burma’s commitment to rejoining the international community appears to be genuine. But this opening has other consequences, most importantly setting the stage for a new “great game” of strategic competition.

This illustration is by Chris Van Es and comes from <a href="http://www.newsart.com">NewsArt.com</a>, and is the property of the NewsArt organization and of its artist. Reproducing this image is a violation of copyright law.

No one should be surprised that Burma is a locus of interest for great powers. After all, it is larger than France and with a similar population size. In his recent book Monsoon, Robert Kaplan notes that in the Middle Ages three kingdoms lay between Thailand (then called Siam) and India. One was Myanmar, which means “that which is central.” Centuries later, Burma remains central, not only in matters of Asian security, but also for the country’s vast and still mostly untapped natural wealth.

Burma’s strategic importance reflects, first and foremost, its geographic location between India, China, Thailand, and Southeast Asia. Ringed in the north by the southern ridges of the Himalayas, to the east by foothills of dense teak forests, and to the west and south by the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, Burma’s geography has always shaped the country’s history and politics.

In 1885, during an earlier era of great power competition in Asia, Lord Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill’s father, impulsively annexed Burma to the British Raj in India following the Third Anglo-Burmese War. Thant Myint-U, a leading historian of contemporary Burma (and the son of former United Nations Secretary-General U Thant), likened Churchill’s move to “throwing Burma off a cliff.”

Only in 1937, by a decree of the British viceroy, was Burma finally separated from British India. But the Japanese invasion five years later subjugated Burma and its people to colonial rule once again, with the conquering sweep of the Imperial Japanese Army checked only at Imphal, in India’s Manipur state.

The end of the British Empire in 1947 gave Burma its freedom, but did not end its travails. The assassination of Aung San (Suu Kyi’s father and the leader of Burma’s independence movement) destabilized the country, paving the way for the army to take over. Under its long-serving military junta, Burma shut itself off from the world, internalized its problems, and stagnated as the rest of Asia boomed. The world reciprocated, isolating Burma economically and diplomatically.

It was to this Burma that I journeyed from Imphal some 10 years ago, the first Indian foreign minister to travel overland to its neighbor since independence. India’s Border Roads Organization had recently completed the first all-weather road connecting the two countries since WWII. Journeying on this “road to fabled Mandalay,” I recorded in my diary, was a highlight of “one of the most memorable, satisfying, and happy foreign visits in my experience as Foreign Minister.”

China, too, has endeavored for centuries to bind Burma to itself, mostly in search of a southern route to India and the Indian Ocean. In recent decades, China took advantage of the international community’s shunning of Burma to secure its own strategic interests, building highways, railways, ports, and pipelines that connect southern and western China to the Indian Ocean.

But trade has not been China’s only motivation for investing so heavily in Burma. China also views Burma as vital to its quest for security, as well as to the regional expansion of Chinese power.

Reflecting its fears about the potential for Chinese encirclement, democratic India, after early hiccups of doubt, set aside its scruples about Burma’s military regime. India’s cultural, economical, social, and sometimes military ties with Burma – indeed, with the entire region – are older than China’s. So, for reasons of Realpolitik, India expanded its activities and investments in Burma throughout the last two decades of the junta’s rule.amp#160;

Sometimes the competition with China is direct. At the Shwe gas fields along the Burmese cost, estimated to be among the largest reserves in the world, two pipelines are to be constructed: one to China from the nearby port of Kyauk Phru, and the other to India from the port of Sittwe.

For Thant, this strategic competition is worrying. The “crossroads through Burma,” he argues, cannot “be a simple joining up of countries,” because the regions of “China and India that are being drawn together over Burma are among the most far-flung parts of the two giant states, regions of unparalleled ethnic and linguistic diversity….isolated upland societies that were, until recently, beyond the control of Delhi or Beijing.”

While China seeks strategic depth in Burma, India’s interests there are now reanimated by the international community’s opening to a country that appears to yearn for the same democratic freedoms that Indians possess. And, in Aung San Suu Kyi, who studied in New Delhi (as did her mother, Daw Khin Kyi, who was Ambassador to India and Nepal in 1960), Burma possesses a charismatic moral leader who reminds Indians of their country’s own founders.

As a result, Realpolitik and economic interest alone will no longer shape the great game playing out in Burma. Ideals and the quest for freedom will also play a critical role....

Jaswant Singh is the only person to have served as India’s finance minister (1996, 2002-2004), foreign minister (1998-2004), and defense minister (2000-2001). While in office, he deepened launched the.. Full profile

Monday, March 26, 2012

On the Brink of Third World War....?

On the Brink of Third World War....???

By Brig Nadir Mir

[Last article (recovered from cache), perhaps the reason why.]

2012 onwards, the world is on the brink of Third World War. All sane and peace loving men would pray and strive that it is averted. For the horoscope of the times point towards a global catastrophe in the making. The guns of August 1914 – 1st World War paled in front of the Panzer Blitzkrieg of September 1939 Second World War. The Third World War during Cold War was averted between NATO and Warsaw Pact Forces. If war breaks out in 2012 onwards, Nukes shall speak and tragically billions may die. If there is war, it will most likely spread to be global plus nuclear, and without method in the madness. This apocalyptic scenario may yet come to pass, unless it is stopped in its tracks.

Opposing Alliances. US globalists (left over Neocons, Zioconned Military – Industrial complex and their ilk) led NATO still want to dominate the world (despite their disaster in Iraq – Afghanistan). It is not only that the Western World’s global dominance stands challenged, but the march of history may be reversed. From the 1500′s (seafaring age) scientific discoveries, industrialization, political revolutions, colonialism, and technology ascendency, the world has been controlled by western powers. British Empire, Napoleon’s France, Hitler’s Germany and more recently USA have all been part of the Western world’s bid for global hegemony or control. Now the west is really in decline. USA the great power, land of mass production faces economic stagnation if not full decline. EU faces its own economic predicament. Some Europeans and Americans find the idea of a powerful Germany leading Europe (a natural process) as unacceptable so far. Two World Wars were fought among other reasons to prevent Germany from its rightful place under the sun. An Intra European conflict may be brewing for leadership of Europe. Even as US – NATO alliance conflicts with the dialectic alliance Russia – China.

US Geo strategy has been embroiled in Afghanistan and Iraq, but now seeks to extend the war to Iran – Pakistan. Of course the real war is against Russia – China, the opposing alliance. Washington sees China rising (US trying to contain it from Pacific to Indian Ocean) Russia resurgent, Islamic world defiant (with Arab Spring likely to turn Anti west,) Israel endangered, besides Western economic decline.

American politics for 2012 and the Presidential Elections are upping the war ante (forcing President Obama to strike Iran or support Israel in doing so) or risk losing his reelection. Delhi seeks US Power to denuke, balkanize, deIslamize Pakistan, before US departure from Afghanistan region. Israel is straining on the leash before Iran develops the Nuclear Arsenal. This will change the strategic balance followed by Nuclear Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt etc.

In Afghanistan US seeks to retain a (25000 strong force) SOF/Air Force for denuclearization of Iran – Pakistan. It may seek independence of Baluchistan (with Indian support.) A clash with Pakistan is likely though not inevitable. Delhi wants to use American Power to fight Pakistan (but absurdly believes it can escape the nuclear conflagration). The war with Iran is even nearer 2012. US – NATO may attack Iran followed by Pakistan or both together. An Israeli attack on Iran is even more likely and Indian attack on Pakistan (Cold Start) always remains a possibility.

Russia – China are Allies against US – NATO Geo strategy (Iran and Pakistan are joining this alliance but also the Battle Space.) China is rising economically, Russia is resurgent strategically. After Iraq, Afghanistan, they have seen Libya humbled by NATO power. The US –NATO model of regime change by sponsoring local militants – Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, in Libya (NATO trained anti Gaddafi Rebels), Syria (Syrian Rebels plus ex Libyan Rebels ) In Iran (non Persian ethnic groups, anti regime Diaspora ) in Pakistan (instead of regime change, keeping pliant puppets in power, or sponsoring Baluch rebels against Pakistan.) In Russia, President Putin himself has accused the US of instigating opponents of United Russia. In China, using India for fermenting trouble in Xinjiang, Tibet etc. All this is unifying the alliance of Heart land powers Russia –China and critical Rim land state actors Iran – Pakistan into an Anti US – NATO alliance. But events are moving too fast. The Mayan Prophesy of 2012 catastrophic year approaches. US – NATO-India clash with Pakistan or US – NATO- Israel clash with Iran will lead by default or design to multi regional war going Global.

The combined Geopolitical space of Pakistan – Afghanistan –Iran – Iraq (backed by) Russia – China is beyond the US – NATO reach (It has already over reached) Putin’s reported warning to his generals, ‘Prepare for Armageddon’,must be taken seriously. Putin is a great leader in the tradition of Russian History....??? China has already alerted its Navy in the Pacific. North Korea can always do the unpredictable, more so now with the young Kim in power!

US – NATO war against Iran could be catastrophic, but against Pakistan it could be dooms day! US – NATO may have Turkish/Saudi support against Syria but in Pakistan’s case both Saudi Arabia – Turkey will support Pakistan. In fact War against Pakistan is very complicated plus suicidal!

Firstly Pakistan is neither threatening nor attacking anybody. It is on high moral ground, despite US – propaganda on militants to nuke insecurity!

Secondly Pakistan will be defended by its Soldiers and People. (190 million despite US – Indian attempts to divide them on different lines).

Thirdly Pakistan will defend itself at any level – sub conventional (asymmetrical), conventional (armed forces) above conventional (nuclear –WMD)

Fourthly There will be no foreign inspired civil war in Pakistan. Pakistanis are united to defend the mother land. Even militants are on the wane or will fight foreign invaders. A few Baluch rebels are being instigated by Delhi – Neocons.... (The Baluch should be appeased by Islamabad). All major and minor political parties and people want an end to the Afghan War and peace in Pakistan.

Fifthly Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Russia will support Pakistan even for different Geopolitical reasons.

Sixthly A low intensity war in Geopolitical black hole of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq will defeat US – NATO (with war weary public, declining economy at home). A perfect catastrophe! A conventional war, more so on two fronts for Pakistan (US – NATO strike in the west, and Indian Cold Start in the east) will quickly reach nuclear threshold. If Pakistan is being destroyed by enemy fire power plus nukes it will strike back into India and attacking forces / region. Loose nukes from a destroyed Pakistan could explode in Israel – western cities leading to a nuclear retaliation chain cycle. The war going Global, nuclear destructive and radioactive. The Russian view that attack on Pakistan with lead to Thermonuclear War was in this context.

A war the US led NATO cannot win. With hundreds of millions or billions dead only a sick, demented man could term it as a victory. The real winner of the Second World War was USA whose homeland was untouched, and rose to become the sole super power. If there are any victors, it would be Russia – China unless the war involves them directly (something which the globalists hope to achieve – lure Russia – China by attacking Iran).

The Arab Spring – Muslim World would revolt in Anti Americanism as war with Iran – Pakistan and carnage becomes apparent. The western homeland and initiators of attack will be burnt by the flames they help ignite themselves (albeit radioactive fires).

It is near midnight. Geopolitics of Peace is the solution. The US – NATO must relent on Afghanistan, of course no war with Iran and no interference in Baluchistan. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

Besides the innocent people of Iran and Pakistan, the cultured people in Europe and good hearted, charity giving, amiable folks in USA are being duped by their Neocons/Zioconned and hawks plus globalists. Shocked when the bastion of capitalism, Wall Street came under siege and fearing rapid collapse, war abroad is their illogical choice. Even in Israel, half the population is against the coming war. Over all the good Jewish people, with their historical sense of survival seek peace and security. Pakistan is not anti Semitic, but has deep sympathy with people in Palestine. Still peace in the Middle East would be welcome to all. The American globalists however are adamant to drive the American Titanic into the global iceberg. But this war will be self defeating for all.

A new paradigm shift is needed, rather than beating the drums of war. Moscow under President Putin has a great role to deter the American war hawks, aided by the peace loving Chinese. The Germans and other anti war Europeans, besides the good people of USA must join hands to abort this global conflagration. Russia’s key role in global peace, security for Israel, no attack on Iran, establishment of Palestine State, US – NATO exodus from Afghanistan, no interference in Baluchistan, return of Kashmir to Pakistan, US – China amity, all have to be part of Geopolitical peacemaking and war avoidance.

The alternative global nuclear war is too apocalyptic to contemplate....

West and Arab lackeys-Clients Losing Geopolitical Battle in Syria....Iran not keen to walk Turkey's red carpet....

Zioconned utterly criminal West and Arab lackeys-Clients Losing Geopolitical Battle in Syria....Iran not keen to walk Turkey's red carpet....

Global Water Security....

ICA 2012-08 2 February 2012

“New Phase in Syria Crisis: Deal-making toward an Exit” The 3rd Millennium crusaders US, UK ,France and other NATO members along with their ‘democracy lover’ Arab clients in Gulf Cooperation Council, Riyadh and Qatar with an Islamists ruled Ankara have been halted at Homs in Syria with stiff military ,political and strategic resistance internationally by Moscow and Beijing in UNSC and elsewhere. The delicate task of defusing the violent conflict situation and then working out some solution to save face has been entrusted to Kofi Annan; former secretary general of UNO, not Washington’s favorite .Kofi had described US led 2003 invasion of Iraq against the UN Charter and hence illegal .So an agreement on Annan is a significant trend in itself. In the Arab- Israeli conflict in the Middle East, it has been said that you cannot begin a war against Israel without Egypt (now in the throes of a revolution) and cannot have peace without Syrian participation .The conflict in Syria has many dimensions and very wide ranging ramifications .In the overall strategic balance between US led West and Russia and China; Syria, Moscow’s old client state from Soviet era allows berthing of Russian naval warships at Syrian ports. Moscow will not give up its presence in Eastern Mediterranean .For Shia Iran and Shias of Lebanon , Syria is crucial link and corridor for self defence against US led West and its nukes possessing implant Israel .China with its huge investments in Iran will rely more and more on Tehran for its expanding energy requirements and any weakening of Tehran via the demise of the minority Shia Alawite elite Assad regime in Damascus would be detrimental to its economic and long term strategic interests . New Delhi administration remains in disarray at home and under the malevolent influence of IMF pensioners and the powerful US/India corporate interests and lobbies and has been dithering but has not caved in entirely on Iran and Syria .It is a good sign that the new powerful Uttar Pradesh Baron Mulayam Singh Yadav whose support the government needs ,has called for the removal of Montek Singh Ahluwalia , a recent contender for the top IMF job as the current head of the Planning Commission of India. India’s neoliberal policies at home have led to the loot of public resources , whether in 2G wireless spectrum or in iron ores or coal . More than anything else, Syria is also a key battle ground for Shia - Sunni conflict led by Riyadh and Tehran, a conflagration which West has done its best to ignite? It will be terrible for the Muslim Ummah, the region and the world. Washington has partially succeeded in Iraq but with unpleasant outcome i.e. Tehran has been strengthened. Greater West Asia, land of civilizations including the Mesopotamian, mother of almost all, has been the battleground of many historic battles since ancient times. In Turkey’s Haraan, across the border with Syria ,the Parthians had defeated the Roman emperor Crassus Marcus Licinius in 53 BC, capturing the legion standards and taking the loot to Ctesiphon (near Baghdad-now under Shia Iraqis , Tehran’s allies ), then the winter capital of the Parthians and later of Sasanians. Crassus, had attacked the Parthians with a large force to gain military glory and be at par with the other triumvirs, Julius Caesar and Pompey. After he lost the war at Carrhae near Harran, he was killed. The present day Western emperors, Obama of USA and Sarcozy of France have stoked the conflict in Syria after their ‘successes in destroying Libya to augment their electoral chances in forthcoming presidential elections at home. Reportedly 7000 Syrians including a few thousand members of security forces have been killed in Syria so far .It has been estimated that before the NATO invasion of Libya , five thousand Libyans had lost lives .After the Nato bombing and the regime change in Tripoli , some estimates put the number of dead , including brutal lynching of Col Kaddafi , between sixty to one hundred thousands have been killed .The country has been divided and a civil war is enfolding , with Al Qaeda and many Muslim extremists getting into positions of power .The last have got hold of Kaddafi’s missiles which can be employed anywhere in the world.

West loses geopolitical battles in Ukraine and central Asia In the current era ,after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a triumphant US led capitalist West went about dismantling the Union of Socialist Republics and ‘induced’ Moscow’s erstwhile allies in Europe to join NATO and EU in spite of the promises to the contrary made to Gorbachev . US & NATO forces dismembered the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual Slav and orthodox Yugoslavia, which with religious and ethnic affinities was strategically closer to Russia.

Using as pretext the 119 attacks on US symbols of economic and military might in New York and Washington, which more and more people are now coming round to believe was an inside job, Washington, instead of attacking Saudi Arabia and Egypt, from where most of the hijackers originated, first bombed Afghanistan, coercing ally Pakistan into joining it or get bombed to stone age and installed a former UNOCOL consultant Hamid Karzai as the new ruler in Kabul after the Taliban leadership disappeared into Pakistan and northern Alliance marched into Kabul. Then on flimsy grounds Washington illegally invaded Iraq in 2003 for its oil. Almost a million and half Iraqis have died since then; the country divided, devastated, destroyed and poisoned with depleted Uranium waste. Taking advantage of the unraveling of USSR into many states now in utter disarray, under the pretext of US led 'War on terror' in Afghanistan, Washington acquired bases in the heart of central Asia; in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the last next door to China’s turbulent Turkic speaking Uighur province of Xinjiang.

Washington then organized US franchised (like McDonalds, KFC outlets) street revolutions financed by US non-governmental fronts and organizations, CIA and Washington’s envoys in former Russian allies in Europe and in Moscow’s near abroad. It succeeded in Serbia (from which Montenegro was detached making it landlocked), Georgia and Ukraine, but failed in Belarus. In Uzbekistan, where the regime change was attempted a few weeks after Kyrgyzstan regime change in March 2005, feisty Islam Karimov expelled the US forces from its air force base.

The February 2010 results of Ukraine’s bitterly fought presidential elections giving victory to Victor Yanukovich, a pro-Russian former prime minister, against maverick ‘Orange Revolution’ heroine prime minister Yulia Timoshenko, Washington favourite, confirmed the US roll back from Kiev.http://tarafits.blogspot.in/2010/02/ukraine-elections-confirm-rollback-of.html Pro-Moscow April 2010 ‘Revolution’ in Kyrgyzstan
Then the Geopolitical Battle in Kyrgyzstan over US Military Lily pond in central Asia was lost after Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the capital Bishkek on 7 April, 2010 in the wake of wide spread violence in which 75 people were killed and 400 wounded. Ms. Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, took over .The new regime, dependent on a resurgent Russia is pro Moscow .US still remains an unwelcome ‘guest’ at the Kyrgyz Manas airbase....


Assad’s Stand at Baba Amr, Homs; a Turning point in Middle East! In 1982 when the Sunni Moslem Brotherhood rose and assassinated over 100 Alawite officers and Baath party officials in the Syrian town Hama ,Bassar Assad’s uncle ,Rifaat was sent by late president Hafez Assad to pacify the town .He had allegedly butchered between 20,000 to 40000 inhabitants ,creating a new phrase .”Rule or die” .Any further continuation of Western intervention would resulted in ‘you haven’t yet seen anything ‘violence. In this continuing struggle, with the West losing ground, the battle at Baba Amr. Homs could become a historic turn around. I am copying below a very well researched and cogently written account of the current situation in Syria based on reliable sources, giving military and diplomatic moves and countermoves in Syria, the region and around the world. K.Gajendra Singh 22 March 2010.Mayur Vihar, Delhi. http://tarafits.blogspot.com/2011/08/amb-rtd-k-gajendra-singh-cv-post.html New Phase in Syria Crisis: Dealmaking toward an ExitBy Sharmine Narwani Published 21 March 2012 in English.al-akhbar http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/new-phase-syria-crisis-dealmaking-toward-exit In recent weeks, there has been a notable shuffle in the positions of key external players in the Syrian crisis. Momentum has quite suddenly shifted from an all-out onslaught against the Assad government to a quiet investigation of exit strategies. The clashes between government forces and opposition militias in Baba Amr were a clear tipping point for these players – much hinged on the outcome of that battle. Today, the retreat of armed groups from the Homs neighborhood means one thing: the strategy of militarizing the conflict from within is no longer a plausible option on which to hang this geopolitical battle. Especially not in an American or French election year, when anything less than regime change in Syria will look like abject failure. And so the external players are shifting gears – the more outspoken ones, quietly seeking alternative options. There are two de facto groups that have formed. Group A is looking for a face-saving exit from the promised escalation in Syria. It consists of the United States, European Union and Turkey. Group B, on the other hand, is heavily invested in regime-change at any cost, and includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some elements of the French, US, British, and Libyan establishments. Before Baba Amr, these two groups were unified in maximizing their every resource to force regime change in Syria. When the UN Security Council option was blocked by Russia and China, they coalesced around the General Assembly and ad-hoc “Friends of Syria” to build coalitions, tried unsuccessfully to bring a disparate opposition fighting force (Free Syrian Army) under central leadership, pushed to recognize the disunited Syrian National Council (SNC), and eked out weekly “events” like embassy closures and political condemnations to maintain a “perception momentum.”But those efforts have largely come to a standstill after Baba Amr. A reliable source close to the Syrian regime said to me recently: “The regime eliminated the biggest and most difficult obstacle – Baba Amr. Elsewhere, it [eliminating armed militias] is easier and less costly at all levels. Now both political and military steps can continue.” Dealmaking Begins in EarnestThe first clear-cut public sign of this new phase was the appointment of Kofi Annan as UN envoy to Syria. Annan is an American “concession” that will draw out this dealmaking phase between the Syrian government, opposition figures and foreign governments potentially until the May 2012 parliamentary elections. This phase is what the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and other BRIC countries have sought from the start: the creation of a protective bubble around Syria so that it has the time and space necessary to implement domestic reforms that will not harm its geopolitical priorities. Syria threatens to blast open a Pandora’s Box of newly-motivated “soldiers of God.” And while sectarian anger may be the fuse, the conflagration will take place on a major geopolitical fault line in the Mideast, at a delicate time, on one of Israel’s borders. Dealmaking and dialogue can be seen everywhere suddenly. Annan is only a figurehead masking these multilateral efforts. Reports are coming in that the US has kept a steady dialogue with the Syrian regime throughout. Opposition religious figures – mostly Muslim Brotherhood in their day-job guises – have met with the regime in recent weeks. And prominent Syrian reformists who reject military action and are open to dialogue with the regime, are now being sought out by various European governments. The European Union (EU) kicked things off in March in a joint foreign ministerial communiqué rejecting military intervention in Syria. This was swiftly followed by Kofi Annan’s strong warning against external efforts to arm the Syrian opposition, with various Americans making similar soundings in his wake. One very prominent Syrian reformist who has remained engaged with both sides of this conflict, confided that the externally-based Syrian opposition are now “looking over each other’s shoulders – none yet dares to speak out.” The fact is, says the source, “They are getting military assistance, but nowhere near enough. They need much, much more that what they are getting, and now the countries backing this opposition are developing conflicting agendas.” Three high-level defections from the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) were announced within days of that conversation, hinting further at the fundamental policy shifts occurring in all circles, behind the scenes. The game has changed along Syria’s borders too. Turkey, a ferocious critic of the Assad government this past year, is reconsidering its priorities. A participant in a recent closed meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reveals the emptiness of Turkish threats to form a “humanitarian corridor” or security zone on their Syrian border. Davutoglu says my source, insisted in private that “Turkey will not do anything to harm Syria’s territorial integrity and unity because that will transfer the conflict into Turkish territory.” Recent deliberations with Iran also seem to have resonated with the Turks. During Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi’s January visit to Ankara, a source tells me that an understanding was reached. The Iranian FM is said to have warned Turkish leaders that they were leveraging a lot of goodwill – painstakingly built up in the Muslim/Arab world – in return for “no clear benefit” in Syria. According to my source, the Turks were encouraged to strike a bargain to regain their regional standing – the key concession being that Assad would stay through the reform period. A Hard Dose of Realpolitik Although Turkey has backtracked from its belligerent public posture, there are still elements in the country that remain rigid on Syria. The same is true for the US and France. The fact that 2012 is an important election year in both countries plays a part in the strategy shuffle, but there are other pressing concerns too. One major worry is that there aren’t a lot of arrows left in the quiver to fire at Syria. Without the UN Security Council granting legal authority to launch an offensive against Syria, there are only piecemeal efforts – and these have all been tried, if not yet exhausted: sanctions, demonstrations, arming militias, cyberwarfare, propaganda, diplomatic arm-twisting, and bribing defectors. But a whole year has passed with no major cracks in support from the regime’s key constituencies and that has caused some debate about whether this kind of tactical pressure may ultimately backfire.In Washington in particular, alarm bells have been ringing since militant Islamists infiltrated the Syrian opposition militias, some pouring in from Iraq where they were only recently targeting American interests. The US has spent the better part of a decade focusing its national security apparatus on the threat from Al Qaeda and militant Islam. The execution of Osama Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda-related figures was meant to put a seal on this problem – at least in the sense that the organization has shriveled in size and influence. But Syria threatens to blast open a Pandora’s Box of newly-motivated “soldiers of God.” And while sectarian anger may be the fuse, the conflagration will take place on a major geopolitical fault line in the Mideast, at a delicate time, on one of Israel’s borders – and changing winds could fan those flames right back in the direction of the United States and its allies. That is a red line for the US military and a sizeable chunk of the Washington political establishment. There are other Americans, however, who are unable to view the Syrian crisis outside the prism of Iran and its growing regional influence. US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman, who has spent years now orchestrating the defeat of the Iran-led “Resistance Axis,” is one such player in the capital. Feltman is part of Group B, alongside Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The battle in Syria has become an existential one for Group B. They have played too hard and revealed too much, to be able to re-assert themselves into any impartial regional role in the future – unless there is a changing of the guard in Syria. As Group a moves toward a face-saving exit from the crisis, we are going to witness a re-telling of events in Syria. The Western “mainstream media” and major international NGOs, which have served as little more than propaganda tools for various governments seeking to escalate the Syrian crisis and vilify the Assad government, are suddenly “discovering” dangerous elements in the Syrian opposition. This scene-setting is just as deliberate as the false narratives we have witnessed from Group A since the start of the crisis. Group B, on the other hand, remains unable to take its eye off the Syrian brass ring and may continue to employ increasingly brazen and foolhardy tactics to stimulate chaos inside the country. Syria may be Group B’s graveyard unless they are brought into these deals and promised some protection. I suspect, however, that they will instead be utilized as a valuable negotiating tool for Group A – brought into play if dealmaking is not working to their advantage. While negotiations plod on over Syria, we can be assured that most external players have little or no consideration for actual Syrians. The regime will be focused on the long haul, which includes ridding the country of armed groups, ensuring that major roadways are free of IEDs and snipers, implementing a watered-down reform program with token opposition members to give lip service to progress, and becoming even more entrenched in the face of regional and foreign threats. Meanwhile, the West and its regional allies will happily draw out a low-boil War of Attrition in Syria to keep the Syrian regime busy, weakened and defensive, while further seeking to cement their hold on the direction of the “Arab Spring.” They will pull levers to create flare-ups when distractions or punishments are warranted, with nary a care to the lives and livelihoods of the most disenfranchised Syrians whose blood is this conflict’s main currency. It will never be certain if there was a revolution in Syria in 2011. The country became a geopolitical battleground less than a month after the first small protests broke out in various pockets inside Syria. And it is not over by a long stretch. Syria will continue to be the scene of conflict between two regional blocs until one side wins. This may be a new phase in Syria today where players are converging to “cut some losses,” but be assured that they are merely replenishing and repositioning their reserves for a broader regional fight. Sharmine Narwani is a commentary writer and political analyst covering the Middle East. She is a Senior Associate at St. Antony's College, Oxford University and has a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in both journalism and Mideast studies. You can follow Sharmine on twitter@snarwani. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect Al-Akhbar's editorial policy....

Iran not keen to walk Turkey's red carpet....
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts - In a major setback for Turkey's self-promotion as a pivot of regional diplomacy, Tehran could rebuff Ankara's bid to hold the next round of multilateral nuclear talks in Istanbul. As a result, unless Ankara sends Tehran some reassuring signals, it is a sure bet that the talks will be held elsewhere.

Although no official announcement has been made, reports from Tehran indicate that compared to two years ago, when Iran trusted Turkey enough to consider inking an agreement with it, together with Brazil, that called for Turkey's safekeeping of Iran's enriched uranium, today a good deal of that trust has disappeared, replaced with a growing Iran disquiet about Turkey's perceived ill intentions toward Syria and, indirectly, Iran.

Nuclear talks between Iran and the "Iran Six" (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, Great Britain, China, Russia and France - plus Germany) are due to take place in April. Yet, as of this writing, no final decision on the venue has been announced, despite intense efforts by the Turkish Foreign Ministry to secure Istanbul. The perceived excesses of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who has boldly stated that the "military option" on Syria is now on the table, have moved Tehran in the opposite direction.

"The neo-Ottomanist Davutoglu has crossed the line with his hawkish line against Syria, which simply means that Turkey is acting as a NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] pawn in the Middle East, and therefore he should not be rewarded by hosting the Iran negotiations in Istanbul," says a Tehran University political science professor who prefers to remain anonymous.

After hosting five rounds of anti-Damascus summits of Syrian opposition groups and repeatedly stating that Turkey regards the situation in Syria as tantamount to an "internal problem", Turkey has created a new image problem for itself, ie, being seen as in bed with reactionary Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia and other oil sheikdoms which are American client states and now want to add Syria to the list.

But this is unlikely to happen, or happen easily, in part because two important regional players, Russia and Iran, are united in preventing a tectonic shift in regional balance favoring the Western hegemonic powers; both Moscow and Tehran have denounced Turkey's embrace of a NATO anti-missile radar that poses a national security risk to both countries. Yet these countries are supposed to have "zero problems" with Turkey in terms of Davutoglu's foreign policy doctrine. (See
Misstep in Turkey's neighborly ties Asia Times Online, October 12, 2011).

According to the Tehran professor, "Turkey's problems with its neighbors, including Iraq, are piling up fast and that means zero success for its doctrine of 'zero problems'". With Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan under cancer treatment, Davutoglu and his pro-NATO foreign policy team may be enjoying a greater hand in devising policy, which may be an unfortunate development backfiring on Turkey in the near future.

Despite its growing suspicion of Turkey's regional intentions, Iran's policymakers and pundits are not yet ready to forego the possibility of "win-win" relations with Ankara, in light of burgeoning Iran-Turkey trade and energy connections that are expected to grow in the coming years.

Turkey has requested a waiver from the Western energy sanctions on Iran, as have several European nations, and with or without a role in the nuclear talks, it has a vested interest in maintaining the present trend of economic ties with Iran.

Nor can Turkey use the potential leverage of signaling its willingness to allow an Israeli strike on Iran via its airspace - such a move would be very badly received by Turkish Muslim public opinion and would spell doom for Davutoglu and others in the government if they ever consented to such a scenario. (See
The myth of an Israeli strike on Iran Asia Times Online, April 7, 2005.)

An equally important factor militating against holding the nuclear talks in Istanbul is that compared to early last year, when Iran was still entertaining the terms of the "Tehran declaration" that stipulated that Iran would ship out a bulk of its stored uranium to Turkey for the sake of a fuel swap, today the feeling in Iran is that the declaration is moot in light of Iran's nuclear advances in manufacturing 20% enriched uranium, as well as uranium metal.

Instead of focusing on a fuel swap, Iran's focus now for the coming nuclear talks is to put a brake on the many sanctions on Iran, which is why Tehran may opt for Vienna or Brussels, the headquarters of both European politics as well as Swift, the giant financial clearing house that recently cut off Iranian banks.

What gives Iran a modicum of hope for a successful "rollback" strategy is (a) an open division in the ranks of the European Union over Iran, (b) the EU's decision to back away from banning European insurance companies from dealing with Iranian oil shipments, and (c) the growing number of European countries seeking a waiver from the Iran oil embargo.

The latter has clearly put a huge dent in the recent EU decision to halt all Iranian oil imports by July, reflecting the internal fissures that are based on pure energy needs - particularly for countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece, the three largest Iran oil importers.

As for Vienna, the headquarters for the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the benefit of holding the nuclear talks there for Iran consist of the fact that Iran's cooperation with the IAEA is increasing and there are hopeful signs of the IAEA backtracking from some of its recent unsubstantiated statements regarding Iran's nuclear program.

Regarding the latter, IAEA head Yukiya Amano has come under new fire in the form of an article in London's Guardian newspaper casting serious doubt on his neutrality, depicting him as unduly pro-American. [1] With both the IAEA leadership and the EU's foreign policy machinery on the defensive to some extent, Iran's diplomatic chips are increasing, which may not be the case if the talks were held in Istanbul, under a cloud over the Syria controversy.

1. See
Nuclear watchdog chief accused of pro-western bias over Iran March 16.

Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) .

Despite thawing relationship, China still spying on Taiwan....

Despite thawing relationship, China still spying on Taiwan...., in fact China, Japan, France, Israel, Russia and South Korea have the most active Spy agencies in the World....

Four suspected spies have been detained in China during the last fourteen months.
By Peter Enav,

When Taiwanese security personnel detained a suspected spy for China at a top secret military base last month, they may have had a sense of deja vu.

Chiang's arrest followed that of Maj. Gen. Lo Hsieh-che, who had access to crucial information on Taiwan's U.S.-designed command and control system, and civilian Lai Kun-chieh, who the Defense Ministry says tried without success to inveigle Patriot-related secrets from an unnamed military officer. A fourth alleged spy was detained on non-defense-related charges.

The cases show that China is seeking information about two systems that are integral to Taiwan's defenses and built with sensitive U.S. technology. A major breach could make Taiwan more vulnerable to Chinese attack.

Though relations between the two have warmed in recent years, Beijing has never recanted a vow to retake the island, by force if necessary.

Information about the U.S.-supplied defense systems could also help the People's Liberation Army understand other U.S. defenses. Taiwanese officials, however, say their systems are secure, and U.S. experts say American secrets will remain protected in any case.

The possibility that Taiwan might give up military secrets is certainly a worry for the U.S., its most important foreign partner.

Despite shifting recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, Washington continues to sell the island sophisticated military equipment, and sees it as an element in a string of Asian defense relationships that stretches from South Korea to Australia. Any confirmed leak of U.S. defense secrets from Taiwan to China could undermine U.S. willingness to continue providing military equipment and technology to the island.

"We are concerned whenever this type of incident occurs," a U.S. defense official said in an email response to an Associated Press request for comment on the recent espionage incidents. "However, Taiwan has taken aggressive steps in the last year to protect itself from intelligence threats." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

China and Taiwan have been spying on each other for decades, and U.S. intelligence agencies have also been active on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, including sharing sensitive mainland-related data with Taiwan. But the recent arrests represent a big upsurge in both the seriousness and quantity of Taiwan spy cases compared with previous years.

At the heart of the China's Taiwan espionage efforts are two systems with substantial U.S. technology — the Lockheed Martin and Raytheon-built Patriot missile defense system and the Lockheed-designed Po Sheng command and control system.

The Patriot uses sophisticated radar to track incoming aerial threats, then launches high-performance missiles to bring them down. The Po Sheng network — the Chinese name means Broad Victory — allows Taiwan's army, air force and navy to exchange battlefield information in real time. That is a big advantage in coordinating responses to the attack China has promised if Taiwan ever moves to make its de facto independence permanent....

Defense expert Arthur Ding of Taiwan's Institute for International Relations said successful penetration of the Patriot system could wreak havoc with Taiwan's air defenses, a key component in turning back any future Chinese attack.

Former Taiwan Deputy Defense Minister Lin Chong-pin said it is not surprising that China was targeting the Patriot and Po Sheng systems.

"These are several of our key capabilities which have been helped by the U.S.," he said. "They are the main obstacles to seizing Taiwan by force."

Deputy Defense Minister Andrew Yang agreed, calling Patriot and Po Sheng "a critical Taiwanese asset." But he told The AP, "The systems have not been compromised."

Beijing's biggest Po Sheng catch to date was almost certainly Maj. Gen. Lo, described by local media at the time of his arrest 14 months ago as the most effective Chinese spy on Taiwan since the 1960s, when a deputy defense minister was picked up in a sweep of communist agents.

Lo headed the army command's communications and information office, and according to Taiwan's defense ministry, he was recruited by the Chinese as a spy in 2004 when he was a military attache based overseas.

Taiwanese news reports say that Lo was arrested on the heels of U.S. surveillance, which determined that he had been recruited by a sultry female spy while serving in Bangkok. The reports said Lo had been blackmailed into providing Beijing with secrets involving electronic warfare and overall strategic planning.

The Defense Ministry says Lo's exposure to Po Sheng was limited. Last July he was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on espionage charges.

Like Lo, Capt. Chiang had access to sensitive military secrets. Taiwanese news reports said he passed information about an early warning radar system through a Taiwanese businessman working in China.

Citing unidentified military sources, Taiwan's Apple Daily newspaper described the system as a joint Taiwan-U.S. air defense called "yellow net" that can track Chinese missiles launched at the island.

The defense ministry has acknowledged that Chiang had worked at a ground command center in northern Taiwan, without elaborating on what he did there.

The Apple Daily said officials concluded that a major motive for his alleged spying had been a desire to get money to impress his girlfriend with frequent visits to expensive nightclubs.

Two former U.S. government officials familiar with American defense sales to Taiwan said that despite some Taiwanese media reports, China's recent espionage activity on the island does not threaten the integrity of U.S. defense technology. They said Washington withholds sensitive information like sofnd equips highly classified electronic components with anti-tamper devices.

Still, more than just U.S. technology is at stake when Chinese spies target Taiwanese defense networks, one of the former officials said.

"How Po Sheng is used, the network layouts, what systems are integrated into the network and what are not, all this would be very useful for the Chinese to know," he said.

This kind of knowledge — which would not necessarily compromise U.S. technology — could help the Chinese pinpoint weaknesses in the island's overall defense alignment.

While insisting that China's espionage efforts had not undermined Taiwan's ability to defend itself, Yang, the deputy defense minister, said they showed that China has never let up on trying to steal Taiwan's most vital military secrets, despite Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's recent moves to try to lower tensions across the Taiwan Strait amid rapidly improving commercial and political relations.

"Nothing has really changed," Yang said. "Beijing has continued its espionage activities despite the improvement in ties."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

AFRICOM REPORT: Combating Chinese Economic Encroachment in Central Africa....

AFRICOM, bringing you Thousands of Tribes with Flags to your neck of the World soon....

AFRICOM REPORT: Combating Chinese Economic Encroachment in Central Africa....


"The increased US presence in Central Africa is not simply a measure to secure monopolies on Uganda’s recently discovered oil reserves; Museveni’s legitimacy depends solely on foreign backers and their extensive military aid contributions – US ground forces are not required to obtain valuable oil contracts from Kampala. The push into Africa has more to do with destabilizing the deeply troubled Democratic Republic of the Congo and capturing its strategic reserves of cobalt, tantalum, gold and diamonds. More accurately, the US is poised to employ a scorched-earth policy by creating dangerous war-like conditions in the Congo, prompting the mass exodus of Chinese investors. Similarly to the Libyan conflict, the Chinese returned after the fall of Gaddafi to find a proxy government only willing to do business with the western nations who helped it into power."

"As the US uses its influence to nurture the emergence of breakaway states like South Sudan, the activities of Somalia’s al-Shabaab, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and larger factions of AQIM in North Africa, i.e. Al-CIAda.... offer a concrete pretext for further US involvement in regional affairs.The ostensible role of the first African-American US President is to export the theatresque War on Terror directly to the African continent, in a campaign to exploit established tensions along tribal, ethnic and religious lines. As US policy theoreticians such as the Satanic & Barbaric monster Henry Kissinger, willingly proclaim, "Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World,” the vast expanse of desert and jungles in northern and central Africa will undoubtedly serve as the venue for the next decade of resource wars."

Seoul nuclear security summit: just another meeting of the elites....

March , 2012 -- Seoul (WMR) -- Seoul nuclear security summit: just another meeting of the elites....

As President Barack Obama and other world leaders gather here in Seoul, the South Korean capital, not much is expected to come from the second-ever Nuclear Security Summit, other than lofty statements by world leaders and photo ops.

Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize based on his nuclear counter-proliferation interest and the subject has become one of his signature causes. The first Nuclear Security Summit was hosted by Obama in Washington, DC in 2010. Obama is currently riding high in popularity in South Korea considering his recent announcement that Seoul-born Jim Yong Kim, the President of Dartmouth, is his choice to head the World Bank. That decision is yet another feather in the cap of South Korea, with former South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon serving his second term as UN Secretary General.

While the summit in Seoul will discuss how to secure rogue nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear terrorism, the subject of Iran's and North Korea's nuclear programs, the latter a weapons-grade program, will be high on the agenda. Yet, neither nation is taking part in the Seoul Summit.

However, a number of nations that have either shunned the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or conducted secret nuclear weapons acquisition programs are present at the Seoul summit, including the host nation, South Korea. Fifty-three nations are represented in Seoul, many of them by their heads of government, including the United States, China, Russia, India, Japan, France, Britain, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, and South Africa. Deputy Prime Ministers or Foreign Ministers will represent 13 of the nations at the summit.

Not on the agenda will be Japan's secret "turn key" nuclear weapons program, part of which, a covert plutonium enrichment operation, was conducted at the quake- and tsunami-destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Saudi Arabia, which was part of a secret nuclear weapons acquisition program that relied on the nuclear material and technology smuggling network of Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan, is only represented in Seoul by
the President of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, not by King Abdullah. The United Arab Emirates, which has also been identified as a potential acquirer of nuclear weapons, is represented in Seoul by Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahayan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Egypt, which was known to have nuclear weapons desires under the Hosni Mubarak regime, is merely represented in Seoul by the Egyptian Foreign Minister.

Libya is not represented in Seoul. Libya's ousted leader Muammar Qaddafi turned his nuclear weapons production material over to the United Nations in 2003, only to be faced in 2011 with a NATO-led attack on his country. That fact has not been lost on either North Korea or Iran, which have seen cooperation with a hypocritical West as potentially committing national suicide.
Syria, which was accused of having a covert nuclear weapons program, is under siege by Western- and Gulf Arab-supported rebels and not represented in Seoul. Turkey, which may have nuclear weapons goals, has supported the Syrian rebels and is represented in Seoul by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Of the nations represented in Seoul and in addition to South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, non-NPT nations that obtained nuclear weapons covertly will be present, including Israel, India, and Pakistan. South Africa, which gave up its nuclear weapons in the early 1990s when apartheid ended, will be represented by President Jacob Zuma. Taiwan, which obtained nuclear weapons expertise as a result of its secret agreement with Israel and apartheid South Africa, will not be present in Seoul.

Israel, represented in Seoul by Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, is happy that Arab countries, which have in the past, wanted to focus on Israel's nuclear weapons arsenal, have undergone regime change, including Libya and Egypt.

The feeling among observers in Seoul is that the nuclear summit is merely an opportunity for South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, a former CEO of the Hyundai conglomerate, to showcase South Korea to the world. However, world leaders are arriving as wintery rain and snow, along with blustery cold winds, have welcome them to South Korea. On March 26, President Obama visited the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The parts of the zone regularly visited by tourists was closed during Obama's visit.

Essentially, the Nuclear Security Summit has become yet another opportunity for the world elites to gather to hobnob with one another, no different from the G-20 and similar world and regional summits. Nothing of any substance will be accomplished at the Seoul summit except for grand dinners, bilateral meetings, and photo ops. As for the White House Press Corps traveling with Obama and his infamous White House Murder INC,...., their focus is based on a non-curious view of the main subject of the summit with total ignorance of the fact that the host, South Korea, and nearby Japan and Taiwan, have conducted secret work on acquiring nuclear weapons. If something is not contained in an White House or summit press release, most of the corporate media have chosen to opt for the official pabulum, which they pass on to their Sheeple viewers, listeners, and readers....

Friday, March 23, 2012

China And South Korea Differ On Their Maritime Boundaries....

China And South Korea Differ On Their Maritime Boundaries....

By Steven Borowiec

A dispute with South Korea over a remote reef has prompted a tense exchange of words between the two countries. There could be more to come.

It was named Socotra Rock when discovered by the British in 1900. It’s called Ieodo in South Korea, and Suyan Rock in China. Regardless of what it’s called, there usually isn’t much reason to discuss a reef that lays 149 kilometers from the nearest piece of South Korean territory and 247 kilometers from the closest part of China. But the area has the potential to become a flashpoint between two of Asia’s biggest economic and military powers.

Seoul summoned Chinese diplomats on March 12 to explain a remark made a few days earlier by a top Chinese official for maritime affairs. The official claimed that Socotra Rock falls in Chinese waters, and argued thatChinese vessels regularly patrol the area, making it rightly Chinese.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak responded by claiming Socotra. Leetold reporters the same day that Socotra “fallsnaturally into South Korean-controlled areas.” He also noted the fact that the rocks are closer to South Korea than to China.

The basis for debate over Socotra is South Korea and China’s disagreement over maritime delineations in the area. The two countries insist on different Exclusive Economic Zones, and the disputed reef is located at the overlap of the two lines.

U.N. maritime law states that an EEZ extends 370 kilometers from a country's territory, although the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea states that a submerged reef can’t be claimed as territory by any country. Still, this hasn’t stopped China and South Korea from arguing over which country is entitled to administer the area.

One could ask why two large nations with plenty to keep themselves busy with are fighting over a set of rocks far out at sea. But in addition to likely being located in an area of oil and mineral deposits, the Socotra issue is connected to some serious political and military maneuvering taking place in the area.

South Korea is expanding its naval capabilities in the region. For example, on Jeju Island, not far from Socotra, the South Korean government is pushing ahead with the construction of a major naval base. Defense against China is believed to be the primary motivation for the base’s establishment. South Korea is also seeking a military presence nearer to Socotra and China, to strengthenits claims of control and provide a foothold in the event of conflict. Without a base on Jeju, South Korea’s navy must operate in the area from Incheon, nine hours to the north.

Amid virulent local protests that have seen multiple arrests, the government has begun blasting rock face in scenic areas of Jeju to make way for the base. Locals are for their part protesting damage to the idyllic local environment. (Jeju is home to a wide range of unique wildlife and fauna, and is said to have a special, peaceful atmosphere that would be compromised by a large military installation).

Still, flaws in the base’s design and construction have been pointed out by analysts, and the government is apparently rushing the construction ahead of next month’s election and China’s claim over Socotra. South Korea is also establishing an integrated regional defense missile system in the area, apparently with China in mind.

China, meanwhile, has expanded its navy as its economy and general global profile have grown. But its build-up around Socotra could set off an arms race with South Korea. China’s official military budget for 2010 was $78 billion, with some analysts suggesting that more than one-third of that is pegged for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The PLAN has taken a particular interest in the South China Sea and has boosted its presence, and some say claims, in the area in recent years. It is also an area of busy shipping lanes and one with strategic importance to China’s claim to Taiwan.

In addition, China has built a major base in Yalong Bay that hosts submarines capable of quickly moving throughout the area.

Unsurprisingly, all this has meant that vessels from the two countries have already clashed in the area. South Korea has felt pressure to expand its Coast Guard and naval fleets in the Yellow Sea after violent clashes with Chinese fishing vessels in 2011. On December 12, a South Korean Coast Guard officer was stabbed to death by a Chinese fisherman who was fishing illegally in South Korean waters. That was only the bloodiest in a series of similar incidents.

China is South Korea’s leading trading partner, and the two countries are expected to begin discussions of a free trade agreement over the next couple of months. But they’ve already experienced friction this month over North Korean defectors being held in China. South Korea has asked that the defectors be treated as a humanitarian issue, while China, considering the North Koreans economic migrants, is likely to repatriate them.

There’s still a chance for a peaceful resolution. At a news briefing on March 12, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin said that bilateral negotiations would be needed to confirm jurisdiction.

However, an official from South Korea’s Blue House stated: “We have no intention of allowing this to become a serious problem, based on the fact that Ieodo naturally falls under our jurisdiction.” This approach echoes the South Korean line on the Dokdo islets dispute with Japan, implying that the rocks of course belong to the South and so there is no debate to be had.

Both countries are stubborn and ambitious, adding an additional layer of potential misunderstanding – or even conflict – in an already fraught part of the world....