Zeit und Chancen liegen auf Seite von China und Nordkorea

Does Kim Jong-Un’s Strategy Make Sense?

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

„Looking at the recent North Korean testing of two intercontinental missiles, it may seem that Pyongyang wishes to increase tensions in the region. A more careful analysis, however, shows how the DPRK is implementing a strategy that will likely succeed in averting a disastrous war on the peninsula.“

In the last four weeks, North Korea seems to have implemented the second phase of its strategy against South Korea, China and the United States. The North Korean nuclear program seems to have reached an important juncture, with two tests carried out at the beginning and end of July. Both missiles seem capable of hitting the American mainland, although doubts still remain over Pyongyang’s ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to mount it on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). However, the direction in which North Korea’s nuclear program is headed ensures an important regional deterrent against Japan and South Korea, and in some respects against the United States, which is the main reason for North Korea’s development of ICBMs. Recent history has repeatedly demonstrated the folly of trusting the West (the fate of Gaddafi remains fresh in our minds) and suggests instead the building up of an arsenal that poses a serious deterrence to US bellicosity.

It is not a mystery that from 2009 to date, North Korea’s nuclear capacity has increased in direct proportion to the level of distrust visited on Pyongyang by the West. Since 2009, the six-party talks concluded, Kim Jong-un has come to realize that the continuing threats, practices, and arms sales of the United States to Japan and South Korea needed to be thwarted in some way in the interests of defending the sovereignty of the DPRK. Faced with infinitely lower spending capacity than the three nations mentioned, Pyongyang chose a twofold strategy: to pursue nuclear weapons as an explicit deterrence measure; and to strengthen its conventional forces, keeping in mind that Seoul is only a stone’s throw away from North Korean artillery.

This twofold strategy has, in little more than eight years, greatly strengthened the ability of the DPRK to resist infringement of its sovereignty. In contrast to the idea commonly promoted in the Western media, Pyongyang has promised not to use nuclear weapons first, reserving their use only in response to aggression against itself. In the same way, a pre-emptive attack on Seoul using traditional artillery would be seen as intolerable aggression, dragging Pyongyang into a devastating war. Kim Jong-un’s determination in developing conventional and nuclear deterrence has succeeded in establishing a balance of power that helps avoid a regional war and, in so doing, contributes to the strengthening of overall security in the region, contrary to what many believe.

The reason the United States continues to raise tensions with Pyongyang and threaten a conflict is not out of a concern for the protection of her Japanese or South Korean allies, as one may initially be led to think. The United States in the region has a central objective that does not concern Kim Jong-un or his nuclear weapons. Rather, it is driven by the perennial necessity to increase forces in the region for the purposes of maintaining a balance of military force (Asian Pivot) and ultimately trying to contain the rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). One might even argue that this strategy poses dangers not only to the entire region but, in the case of a confrontation between Washington and Beijing, the entire planet, given the nuclear arsenal possessed by the United States and the People’s Republic of China.

In this respect, the triangular relationship between China, North Korea and South Korea takes on another aspect. As always, every action is accompanied with a reaction. The statement that Beijing would prefer to get rid of the DPRK leadership is without foundation. Central in the minds of Chinese policy makers is the threat of a US containment that could undermine the country’s economic growth. This strategic planning is well known in Pyongyang, and explains in part why the DPRK leadership still proceeds with actions that are not viewed well by Beijing. From the North Korean point of view, Beijing derives an advantage from sharing a border with the DPRK, which offers a friendly leadership not hostile to Beijing. Pyongyang is aware of the economic, political, and military burden of this situation, but tolerates it, receiving the necessary resources from Beijing to survive and develop the country.

This complex relationship leads the DPRK to carry out missile tests in the hope of gaining many benefits. First of all, it hopes to gain a regional, and possibly a global, deterrence against any surprise attacks. Secondly, it forces South Korea to have a symmetrical response to DPRK missile tests, and this strategy, coming from North Korea diplomacy, is far from improvised or incongruous. In recent years, South Korea’s response has come in the form of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, designed to intercept missiles. As repeatedly explained, it is useless against North Korean rockets, but poses a serious threat to the Chinese nuclear arsenal, as its powerful radars are able to scout much of China’s territory, also being ideally positioned to intercept (at least in theory) a responsive nuclear strike from China. In a nutshell, THAAD is a deadly threat to China’s strategic nuclear parity.

From the point of view of the four nations involved in the region, each has different aims.

For the United States, there are many advantages in deploying the THAAD: in increases pressure on China, as well as concludes an arms sale that is always welcomed by the military-industrial complex; it also gives the impression of addressing the DPRK nuclear problem adequately.

 

South Korea, however, finds itself in a special situation, with the former president now under arrest for corruption. The new president, Moon Jae-in, would prefer dialogue rather than the deployment of new THAAD batteries. In any case, after the latest ICBM test, Moon required an additional THAAD system in the Republic of Korea, in addition to the launchers already there. With no particular options available to conduct a diplomatic negotiation, Seoul is following Washington in a spiral of escalation that certainly does not benefit the peninsula’s economic growth.

 

Ultimately, the PRC sees an increase in the number of THAAD carriers close to the country, and the DPRK is growing in its determination to pursue a nuclear deterrent.

 

Indeed, the strategy of the Pyongyang is working: on the one hand, they are developing a nuclear weapon to deter external enemies; on the other, they are obligating the PRC to adopt a particularly hostile attitude towards South Korea’s deployment of THAAD. In this sense, the numerous economic actions of Beijing towards Seoul can be explained as a response to the deployment of the THAAD batteries. China is the main economic partner of South Korea, and this trade and tourism limitation is quite damaging to South Korea’s economy.

This tactic has been used by North Korea for the last several years, and the results, in addition to the recent economic crunch between the PRC and South Korea have indirectly led to the end of the reign of the corrupt leader Park Geun-hye, an ever-present puppet in American hands. The pressure that the DPRK applies to bilateral relations between China and South Korea increases with each launch of an ICBM carrier, which is the logic behind these missile tests. Pyongyang feels justified in urging its main ally, China, to step up actions against Seoul to force it to compromise in a diplomatic negotiation with Pyongyang without the overbearing presence of its American ally pushing for war.

The main problem in the relations between South Korea, China and North Korea is represented by American influence and the need to prevent a rapprochement between these parties. As already stated, the United States needs the DPRK to justify its presence in the region, aiming in reality at Chinese containment. Pyongyang has been isolated and sanctioned for almost 50 years, yet serves to secure China’s southern border in the form of a protected friend rather than an enemy. This situation, more than any United Nations sanction to which the PRC adheres, guarantees a lasting relationship between the countries. Beijing is well aware of the weight of isolationism and economic burden on North Korea, which is why Beijing is symmetrically increasing pressure on South Korea to negotiate.

In this situation, the United States tries to remain relevant in the regional dispute, while not having the capacity to influence the Chinese decisions that clearly rely on other tactics, specifically putting pressure on South Korea. In military terms, as explained above, Washington can not start any military confrontation against the DPRK. The consequences, in addition to millions of deaths, would lead Seoul to break relations with Washington and seek an immediate armistice, cutting off the United States from negotiations and likely expelling US troops from its territory. Ultimately, there is no South Korean ability to influence the political process in the North while they continue to be flanked by the United States in terms of warfare (very aggressive joint exercises). The influence Washington can exert on Pyongyang is zero, having fired all cartridges with over half a century of sanctions.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that the United States cannot afford to attack the DPRK. Pyongyang will continue to develop its own nuclear arsenal, with Beijing’s covert blessing in spite of its officially continuing to condemn these developments. At the same time, South Korea is likely to persevere with a hostile attitude, especially in regard to the deployment of new THAAD batteries. Sooner or later, Seoul will come to a breaking point as a result of further restrictions on trade between China and South Korea. As long as Seoul is able to absorb Chinese sanctions, little will change.

What will lead to a major change in the region will be the economic effect of these restrictions that will eventually oblige Seoul to consider its role in the region and its future. Seoul’s leadership is aware of three situations that will hardly change, namely: Pyongyang will never attack first; Beijing will continue to support North Korea rather than accept the United States on its border; and Washington is not able to bring solutions but only greater chaos and a worsening global economic situation to the region. In the light of this scenario, time is all on the side of Beijing and Pyongyang. Eventually the economic situation for Seoul will become unbearable, bringing it to the negotiating table with a weakened and certainly precarious position. Beijing and Pyongyang have a long-term common goal, which is to break the bond of submission between South Korea and the United States, freeing Seoul from Washington’s neo-conservative programs to contain China (on a Russia containment model).

Indirectly coordinated work between Beijing and Pyongyang is hardly understandable to Western analysts, but examining every aspect, especially with regard to cause-and-effect relationships, these decisions are not so incomprehensible and even more rational in a broader viewing of the region and its balance of power. On the one hand, Seoul sees the DPRK offering peace, stability and prosperity based on a framework agreement between Seoul, Pyongyang and Beijing. This would also particularly benefit South Korean trade with China, eventually returning to normal relationships between countries, with important economic benefits.

The alternative is an alliance with Washington that would completely eliminate the economic benefits of a healthy relationship with Beijing. This could even potentially lead to a war involving millions of deaths, fought on South Korean soil and not in the United States. The United States does not offer any solutions to South Korea, either in the short or long term. The only thing Washington is offering is a fixed presence in the country, together with a stubborn anti-Chinese policy that would have serious economic consequences for Seoul.

As paradoxical as it may seem, Kim Jong-un’s rockets are much less of a threat than is Seoul’s partnership with Washington in the region, and in fact seem to offer Seoul the ultimate solution to the crisis in the peninsula.

Fake News vor 100 Jahren: Britische Kriegsanleihen 1914 kaum begehrt, Zentralbank interveniert und lügt

„None Of It Was True“: 103 Years Later, The FT Admits It Lied And Colluded With The Bank of England

Tyler Durden's picture

When one strips away the lies about central banks‘ „inflation and employment“ mandates and focuses on what they really do – which is to keep asset prices artificially supported and volatility suppressed – the motive behind virtually every central bank act becomes readily apparent: preserve (and increase, if possible) confidence in the market and economy, while saying anything and everything that helps achieve this, or in other words, lie but don’t get caught.

Today, thanks to the FT, we have proof of precisely this, in what may be the first recorded instance of a central bank openly lying in an attempt to preserve market stability… and getting caught.

On Tuesday, the Bank of England admitted that the UK government failed to find enough investors to fully cover its its 1914 War Loan, and was forced to turn to the central bank to help plug a deficit of more than £100m in the fundraising. However, it did so only after it lied to the public that the bond was oversubscribed:

Despite claims it was swamped with buyers, the 1914 War Loan raised less than a third of its £350m target, attracting a very narrow set of investors, according to BoE employees writing on the Bank Underground website today.“  The bloggers uncovered the cover-up by trawling through the bank’s old ledgers.

As the FT notes, „the debt yielded 4.1 per cent, well above the 2.5 per cent payable on other government debt at the time, but it still failed to attract a wide enough pool of investors.“

So why lie? For the same reason to this day central bankers around the world lie at every possibly opportunity: to preserve confidence in a fragile system, which can collapse the moment doubt spikes.

The government decided that news of a failed bond sale would have been “disastrous” to the general public, and so schemed with the Bank to plug the gap, the BoE now says. The central bank bought the outstanding securities on offer, and covered its tracks by purchasing the bonds in the name of its chief cashier, and listing them on its balance sheet as “other securities”.

Ironically, the FT which reported of the BOE’s blog finding, was instrumental in publicizing and disseminating the lie on November 23, 1914, something which many have accused the paper of doing today.

The Financial Times played its role in convincing the public that the sale was a success, publishing a segment (which appears to be an advert) claiming that the debt was oversubscribed and offering “further particulars of this magnificent investment… upon request.”

It was all a lie. This is how the BOE’s bloggers justify it:

For the Bank of England and economic policymakers more generally, this early failure led to the realisation that managing the national debt was a complex and, in war times, perhaps Herculean task. The episode marked an important step on the Bank’s transformation from private institution to a central bank. A decade after the Armistice, the altered role of the Bank prompted creation of a Parliamentary commission to examine its functions, ultimately setting it on a path to nationalisation.

Did this clear intention to mislead the public lead to any consequences? Here’s the FT’s take: „The BoE’s intervention uprooted the UK’s long-held laissez faire approach to capital, as the government prioritised the war effort over private investors. And although the hoodwink worked, the authors suggest that the failed sale prompted some soul-searching at the central bank:“

Unfortunately, over a century later, the soul-searching has led to zero tangible results, as lies in the name of preserving public confidence and avoiding „disastrous“ – but true – news continue unabated, and those who dare to expose them are branded as „conspiracy theorists“ and, more recently, Russian sympathizers.

As for the FT, the principal agent employed in propagating the central bank’s lies, it had this to say:

Clarification: On 23 November 1914, a piece published in the Financial Times claimed the UK government’s War Loan was “oversubscribed”, with applications “pouring in”. The item described this as an “amazing result” that “proves how strong is the financial position of the British nation”. We are now happy to make clear that none of the above was true.

Well, thanks for „coming clean.“ We, for one, can’t wait to find out what current stories and narratives the FT will admit some 103 years from today that it is „happy to make clear“ were lies.

„Russland in die Enge treiben“: Neue Sanktionen, die alle Firmen bestrfen, welche mit/in Russland geschäften wollen

Russian PM: „The U.S. Just Declared Full-Scale Trade War On Russia“

Tyler Durden's picture

Several hours after President Trump officially signed the new Russian sanctions into law – despite his reservations and his statement that while he favors „tough measures to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior by Iran, North Korea, and Russia, this legislation is significantly flawed“ – Russia responded when moments ago Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on his FaceBook page that any hopes of improving Russian relations with the new US administration are dead, that the Trump administration demonstrated complete impotence by transferring executive power to Congress „in the most humiliating manner“, and most notably, that the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia.

From Medvedev’s facebook page:

The signing of new sanctions against Russia into law by the US president leads to several consequences. First, any hope of improving our relations with the new US administration is over. Second, the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia. Third, the Trump administration demonstrated it is utterly powerless, and in the most humiliating manner transferred executive powers to Congress. This shifts the alignment of forces in US political circles.

 

What does this mean for the U.S.? The American establishment completely outplayed Trump. The president is not happy with the new sanctions, but he could not avoid signing the new law. The purpose of the new sanctions was to put Trump in his place. Their ultimate goal is to remove Trump from power. An incompetent player must be eliminated. At the same time, the interests of American businesses were almost ignored. Politics rose above the pragmatic approach. Anti-Russian hysteria has turned into a key part of not only foreign (as has been the case many times), but also domestic US policy (this is recent).

 

The sanctions codified into law will now last for decades, unless some miracle occurs. Moreover, it will be tougher than the Jackson-Vanik law, because it is comprehensive and can not be postponed by special orders of the president without the consent of the Congress. Therefore, the future relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States will be extremely tense, regardless of the composition of the Congress or the personality of the president. Relations between the two countries will now be clarified in international bodies and courts of justice leading to further intensification of international tensions, and a refusal to resolve major international problems.

 

What does this mean for Russia? We will continue to work on the development of the economy and social sphere, we will deal with import substitution, solve the most important state tasks, counting primarily on ourselves. We have learned to do this in recent years. Within almost closed financial markets, foreign creditors and investors will be afraid to invest in Russia due to worries of sanctions against third parties and countries. In some ways, it will benefit us, although sanctions – in general – are meaningless. We will manage.

Separately, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia retains the right to impose new counter-measures, adding the US sanctions are short-sighted, and risk harming global stability. He concludes that and attempts to pressure Russia will not make it change course.

Echoing Lavrov, earlier on Wednesday the permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia said Moscow „won’t bend“ and has no plans to change its policies following Donald Trump’s signing of new anti-Russian sanctions.

“Those who invented this bill, if they were thinking that they might change our policy they were wrong, as history many times proved. They should have known better that we do not bend and do not break,” Nebenzia told journalists in New York.

„Some of the US officials were saying that this is a bill that might encourage Russia to cooperate… This is a strange form of encouragement. But it is not our habit to be resentful children,“ continued the diplomat, who promised that Moscow would „not relent on finding means and ways“ to cooperate in the international arena over issues such as Syria.

The Kremlin also chose not to escalate the situation further. “This changes nothing. There is nothing new here,” Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told the media in Moscow. “Counter-measures have already been taken.”

Venezuela vor dem Bürgerkrieg? nachverfolgen, wie USA involviert ist

July 28, 2017

Countdown To War On Venezuela

On Sunday Venezuela will hold an general election of participants of a constitutional assembly. Half of the representatives will be elected from regular electoral districts. The other half will be elected from and by eight special constituencies like „workers“, „farmers“, „employers“, etc. The second part may be unusual but is no less democratic than the U.S. system which gives voters in rural states more weight than city dwellers.

The new assembly will formulate changes to the current constitution. Those changes will be decided on in another general vote. It is likely that the outcome will reinforce the favorite policies of a great majority of the people and of the social-democratic government under President Manduro.

The more wealthy part of the population as well as the foreign lobbies and governments have tried to prevent or sabotage the upcoming election. The U.S. has used various economic pressure points against the Venezuelan government including economic warfare with ever increasing sanctions. The opposition has held violent street rallies, attacked government institutions and supporters and called for general strikes.

But the NYT propaganda pictures of opposition rallies in the capitol Caracas show only small crowds of dozens to a few hundred of often violent youth. The opposition calls for general strikes have had little resonance as even the feverish anti-Maduro Washington Post has to concede:

In the wealthier eastern half of the city, most businesses closed to support the strike called by the opposition, which is boycotting the vote and calling for its cancellation.The main highways of the capital city were largely closed down in the early morning, and reports surfaced of national police lobbing tear gas at strikers in the center. In the poorer neighborhoods in the west, the strike appeared less pronounced, with more businesses open and more people on the streets.

(Translation of the WaPo propagandese: „Not even the rich opposition neighborhoods of the city closed down completely. Attempts by the opposition to block central roads were prevented by the police. In the poorer parts of the city the opposition call for a strike was simply ignored.“) The opposition is only active within the richer strata of the population and only in a few big cities. The poor rural areas have gained under the social-democratic governments and continue to favor it.

In an op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times the „regime change“ lobby of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) laid out the steps towards an upcoming war in Venezuela:

Since the plebiscite, Venezuela’s opposition has taken steps toward establishing a parallel government. This might remain a symbolic initiative. But if the opposition continues down this road, it will soon be looking for international recognition and funding, and will at least implicitly be asserting the parallel government’s claim to the legitimate monopoly on the use of force. After that it will seek what every government wants: weapons to defend itself. If it succeeds, Venezuela could plunge into a civil war that will make the current conflict seem like high school fisticuffs.

(The WOLA was also involved in Hillary Clinton’s coup in Honduras.)

The CIA is quite open about the plans:

In one of the clearest clues yet about Washington’s latest meddling in the politics of Latin America, CIA director Mike Pompeo said he was “hopeful that there can be a transition in Venezuela and we the CIA is doing its best to understand the dynamic there”.He added: “I was just down in Mexico City and in Bogota a week before last talking about this very issue, trying to help them understand the things they might do so that they can get a better outcome for their part of the world and our part of the world.”

The piece notes:

In Venezuela, [the U.S. government] has sought to weaken the elected governments of both Mr Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, who was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup. Some of the effort has been in distributing funds to opposition groups through organisations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, while some has been in the form of simple propaganda.In May 2016 unidentified US officials told reporters in a background briefing that Venezuela was descending into a deepening “crisis” that could end in violence.

We can conclude that the upcoming violence in Venezuela is not a spontaneous action of the opposition but the implementation of a plan that has been around since at least May 2016. It is likely to follow the color revolution by force script the U.S. developed and implemented in several countries over the last decade. Weapon supply and mercenary support for the opposition will come in from and through the neighboring countries the CIA head visited.

The vote to the constitutional assembly will proceed as planned. The opposition will attempt to sabotage it or, if that fails, proceed with violence. Weapons and tactical advice and support have likely already been provided through CIA channels.

The Venezuelan government is supported by a far larger constituency than the U.S. aligned right-wing opposition. The military has shown no sign of disloyalty to the government. Unless there is some unforeseeable event any attempt to overthrow the government will fail.

The U.S. can further hurt Venezuela by closing down oil imports from the country. But this will likely increase U.S. gas prices. It would create a some short term inconvenience for Venezuela, but oil is fungible and other customers will be available.

To overthrow the Venezuelan government has been tried since the first election of a somewhat socialist government in 1999. The U.S. instigated coup in 2002 failed when the people and the military stood up against the blatant interference. The „regime change“ methods have since changed with the added support of a militant „democratic opposition“ fed from the outside. The use of that tool had negative outcomes in Libya and Ukraine and it failed in Syria. I am confident that the government of Venezuela has analyzed those cases and prepared its own plans to counter a similar attempt.

The U.S. just ordered the relatives of its embassy employees out of the country. Such is only done when imminent action is expected.

Posted by b at 05:52 AM | Comments (7)

Der US- Staat/die Polizei konfisziert (=stiehlt) ungerechtfertigt (aber legal!) mehr als Einbrecher stehlen …

… und die US-Bürger haben keine juristische Handhabe, sich dagegen zu wehren. Wer sich einen Anwalt leisten kann, den kostet der und das Verfahren meist mehr, als der Wert des konfiszierten Guts.

 

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/26/policing-for-profit-jeff-sessions-co-s-thinly-veiled-plot-to-rob-us-blind/

Policing for Profit: Jeff Sessions & Co.’s Thinly Veiled Plot to Rob Us Blind

“Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism. It is the aim of the Bill of Rights, if it has any remaining aim at all, to curb such prehensile gentry. Its function is to set a limitation upon their power to harry and oppress us to their own private profit.”

— H.L. Mencken

Let’s not mince words.

Jeff Sessions, the nation’s top law enforcement official, would not recognize the Constitution if he ran right smack into it.

Whether the head of the Trump Administration’s Justice Department enjoys being the architect of a police state or is just painfully, criminally clueless, Sessions has done a great job thus far of sidestepping the Constitution at every turn.

Most recently, under the guise of “fighting crime,” Sessions gave police the green light to rob, pilfer, steal, thieve, swipe, purloin, filch and liberate American taxpayers of even more of their hard-earned valuables (especially if it happens to be significant amounts of cash) using any means, fair or foul.

In this case, the foul method favored by Sessions & Co. is civil asset forfeiture, which allows police and prosecutors to “seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime.”

Under a federal equitable sharing program, police turn asset forfeiture cases over to federal agents who process seizures and then return 80% of the proceeds to the police. (In Michigan, police actually get to keep up to 100% of forfeited property.)

This incentive-driven excuse for stealing from the citizenry is more accurately referred to as “policing for profit” or “theft by cop.”

Despite the fact that 80 percent of these asset forfeiture cases result in no charge against the property owner, challenging these “takings” in court can cost the owner more than the value of the confiscated property itself. As a result, most property owners either give up the fight or chalk the confiscation up to government corruption, leaving the police and other government officials to reap the benefits.

And boy, do they reap the benefits.

Police agencies have used their ill-gotten gains “to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear,” reports The Washington Post. “They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.”

Incredibly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that, according to The Washington Post, “in 2014, law enforcement took more stuff from people than burglars did.” As the Post notes, “the Treasury and Justice departments deposited more than $5 billion into their respective asset forfeiture funds. That same year, the FBI reports that burglary losses topped out at $3.5 billion.”

In 2015, the federal government seized nearly $2.6 billion worth of airplanes, houses, cash, jewelry, cars and other itemsunder the guise of civil asset forfeiture.

According to USA Today, “Anecdotal evidence suggests that allowing departments to keep forfeiture proceeds may tempt them to use the funds unwisely. For example, consider a 2015 scandal in Romulus, Michigan, where police officers used funds forfeited from illicit drug and prostitution stings to pay for …  illicit drugs and prostitutes.”

Memo to the rest of my fellow indentured servants who are living through this dark era of government corruption, incompetence and general ineptitude: this is not how justice in America is supposed to work.

We are now ruled by a government so consumed with squeezing every last penny out of the population that they are completely unconcerned if essential freedoms are trampled in the process.

Our freedoms aren’t just being trampled, however. They’re being eviscerated.

At every turn, “We the People” are getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.

Americans no longer have to be guilty to be stripped of their property, rights and liberties. All you have to be is in possession of something the government wants. And if you happen to have something the government wants badly enough, trust me, their agents will go to any lengths to get it.

If the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights.

Here’s how the whole ugly business works in a nutshell.

First, government agents (usually the police) use a broad array of tactics to profile, identify, target and arrange to encounter (in a traffic stop, on a train, in an airport, in public, or on private property) those  individuals who might be traveling with a significant amount of cash or possess property of value. Second, these government agents—empowered by the courts and the legislatures—seize private property (cash, jewelry, cars, homes and other valuables) they “suspect” may be connected to criminal activity.

Then—and here’s the kicker—whether or not any crime is actually proven to have taken place, without any charges being levied against the property owner, or any real due process afforded the unlucky victim, the property is seized by the government, which often divvies it up with the local police who helped with the initial seizure.

In a Kafkaesque turn of the screw, the burden of proof falls on the unfortunate citizenry who must mount a long, complicated, expensive legal campaign to prove their innocence in order to persuade the government that it should return the funds they stole. Not surprisingly, very few funds ever get returned.

It’s a new, twisted form of guilt by association, only it’s not the citizenry being accused of wrongdoing, just their money.

Motorists have been particularly vulnerable to this modern-day form of highway robbery.

For instance, police stole $201,000 in cash from Lisa Leonard because the money—which Leonard planned to use to buy a house for her son—was being transported on a public highway also used by drug traffickers. Despite the fact that Leonard was innocent of wrongdoing, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the theft on a technicality.

Police stole $50,000 in cash from Amanee Busbee—which she planned to use to complete the purchase of a restaurant—and threatened to hand her child over to CPS if she resisted. She’s one of the few to win most of her money back in court.

Police stole $22,000 in cash from Jerome Chennault—which he planned to use as the down payment on a home—simply because a drug dog had alerted police to its presence in his car. After challenging the seizure in court, Chennault eventually succeeded in having most of his money returned, although the state refused to compensate him for his legal and travel expenses.

Police stole $8,500 in cash and jewelry from Roderick Daniels—which he planned to use to purchase a new car—and threatened him with jail and money-laundering charges if he didn’t sign a waiver forfeiting his property.

Police stole $6,000 in cash from Jennifer Boatright and Ron Henderson and threatened to turn their young children over to Child Protective Services if they resisted.

Tenaha, Texas, is a particular hotbed of highway forfeiture activity, so much so that police officers keep pre-signed, pre-notarized documents on hand so they can fill in what property they are seizing.

As the Huffington Post explains, these police forfeiture operations have become little more than criminal shakedowns:

Police in some jurisdictions have run forfeiture operations that would be difficult to distinguish from criminal shakedowns. Police can pull motorists over, find some amount of cash or other property of value, claim some vague connection to illegal drug activity and then present the motorists with a choice: If they hand over the property, they can be on their way. Otherwise, they face arrest, seizure of property, a drug charge, a probable night in jail, the hassle of multiple return trips to the state or city where they were pulled over, and the cost of hiring a lawyer to fight both the seizure and the criminal charge. It isn’t hard to see why even an innocent motorist would opt to simply hand over the cash and move on.

Unsurprisingly, these asset forfeiture scams have become so profitable for the government that they have expanded their reach beyond the nation’s highways.

According to USA Today, the U.S. Department of Justice received $2.01 billion in forfeited items in 2013, and since 2008 local and state law enforcement nationwide has raked in some $3 billion in forfeitures through the federal “equitable sharing” program.

So now it’s not just drivers who have to worry about getting the shakedown.

Any American unwise enough to travel with cash is fair game for the government pickpockets.

In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been colluding with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and local police departments to seize a small fortune in cash from American travelers using the very tools—scanners, spies and surveillance devices—they claimed were necessary to catch terrorists.

Mind you, TSA agents already have a reputation for stealing from travelers, but clearly the government is not concerned about protecting the citizenry from its own wolfish tendencies.

No, the government bureaucrats aren’t looking to catch criminals. (If so, they should be arresting themselves.)

They’re just out to rob you of your cold, hard cash.

Think about it for a moment. You pay a hefty fee just to be able to walk free. It’s called income tax. As former presidential candidate Ron Paul recognizes, “The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.” And if you refuse to pay any of that so-called income tax, you’ll be severely fined and/or arrested and put in jail.

One more thing: you don’t really own your property. That is, your house or your land. Even when you pay off the mortgage, if you fail to pay your property taxes, government agents will evict you and take your home.

This is not freedom.

There was a time in our history when our forebears said “enough is enough” and stopped paying taxes (a pittance compared to what we are forced to shell out in taxes today) to what they considered an illegitimate government. They stood their ground and refused to support a system that was slowly choking out any attempts at self-governance, and which refused to be held accountable for its crimes against the people. Their resistance sowed the seeds for the revolution that would follow.

Unfortunately, in the 200-plus years since we established our own government, we’ve let the corporate elite and number-crunching bureaucrats pilfer our bank accounts to such an extent that we’re back where we started.

Once again, we’ve got a despotic regime with an imperial ruler doing as it pleases.

But what if we didn’t just pull out our pocketbooks and pony up to the federal government’s outrageous demands for more money? What if we didn’t just line up to drop our hard-earned dollars into the corporate collection bucket, no questions asked about how it will be spent? What if, instead of meekly tolerating the government’s ongoing efforts to rob us blind, we did something about it?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if the government can just take from you what they want, when they want, and then use it however they want, you can’t claim to be anything more than a serf in a land they think of as theirs.

It’s up to “We the People” to demand reform.

These injustices will continue as long as we remain silent.

As American journalist H.L. Mencken observed:

The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty. It would surprise no impartial observer if … the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet. Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.

In other words, make them hear you.

And if they won’t listen, then I suggest it’s time for what Martin Luther King Jr. called for when government doesn’t listen: “militant nonviolent resistance.”

More articles by:

John W. Whitehead is the president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People.

Forensische Untersuchung der DNC Daten bei Guccifer 2.0 und Wikileaks

Ergebnis: Die DNC Daten wurden geleakt, nicht gehackt. Und im Fall von Guccifer 2.0 wurde zu den Daten eine russische „Spur“ hinzugefügt, die die Daten als russichen Hack erscheinen lassen sollten. Es ist durchaus vorstellbar, dass dies zur Diskreditierung der Wikileaks Daten des DNC geschehen sollte, die einige Wochen zuvor geleakt worden waren.

An anderer Stelle habe ich bereits darauf hingewiesen, dass die geleakten Daten von Guccifer 2.0 auf einer amerikanischen Blogseite geschehen sind und weder vom WordPress-Betreiber noch irgendwelchen US-Staatsdiensten wegen Geheimnisverrat sofort deaktiviert oder vom Netz genommen wurden.

NSA Officials and Computer Expert: Forensic Evidence Proves DNC Emails Were LEAKED, Not Hacked

Preface by Washington’s Blog: We asked top NSA whistleblower Bill Binney what he thought about a report claiming that the DNC emails were transferred too quickly to have been accessed by a hacker, and could only have been copied by a DNC leaker. This article is his response.   Background here and here.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Was the “Russian Hack” an Inside Job?

Executive Summary

Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computers, and then doctored to incriminate Russia.

After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device, and that “telltale signs” implicating Russia were then inserted.

Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack. Of equal importance, the forensics show that the copying and doctoring were performed on the East coast of the U.S. Thus far, mainstream media have ignored the findings of these independent studies [see here and here].

Independent analyst Skip Folden, a retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US, who examined the recent forensic findings, is a co-author of this Memorandum. He has drafted a more detailed technical report titled “Cyber-Forensic Investigation of ‘Russian Hack’ and Missing Intelligence Community Disclaimers,” and sent it to the offices of the Special Counsel and the Attorney General. VIPS member William Binney, a former Technical Director at the National Security Agency, and other senior NSA “alumni” in VIPS attest to the professionalism of the independent forensic findings.

The recent forensic studies fill in a critical gap. Why the FBI neglected to perform any independent forensics on the original “Guccifer 2.0” material remains a mystery – as does the lack of any sign that the “hand-picked analysts” from the FBI, CIA, and NSA, who wrote the “Intelligence Community Assessment” dated January 6, 2017, gave any attention to forensics.

NOTE: There has been so much conflation of charges about hacking that we wish to make very clear the primary focus of this Memorandum. We focus specifically on the July 5, 2016 alleged Guccifer 2.0 “hack” of the DNC server. In earlier VIPS memoranda we addressed the lack of any evidence connecting the Guccifer 2.0 alleged hacks and WikiLeaks, and we asked President Obama specifically to disclose any evidence that WikiLeaks received DNC data from the Russians [see here and here].

Addressing this point at his last press conference (January 18), he described “the conclusions of the intelligence community” as “not conclusive,” even though the Intelligence Community Assessment of January 6 expressed “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the DNC … to WikiLeaks.”

Obama’s admission came as no surprise to us. It has long been clear to us that the reason the U.S. government lacks conclusive evidence of a transfer of a “Russian hack” to WikiLeaks is because there was no such transfer. Based mostly on the cumulatively unique technical experience of our ex-NSA colleagues, we have been saying for almost a year that the DNC data reached WikiLeaks via a copy/leak by a DNC insider (but almost certainly not the same person who copied DNC data on July 5, 2016).

From the information available, we conclude that the same inside-DNC, copy/leak process was used at two different times, by two different entities, for two distinctly different purposes:

-(1) an inside leak to WikiLeaks before Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2017, that he had DNC documents and planned to publish them (which he did on July 22) – the presumed objective being to expose strong DNC bias toward the Clinton candidacy; and

-(2) a separate leak on July 5, 2016, to pre-emptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish by “showing” it came from a “Russian hack.”

*  *  *

Mr. President:

This is our first VIPS Memorandum for you, but we have a history of letting U.S. Presidents know when we think our former intelligence colleagues have gotten something important wrong, and why. For example, our first such memorandum, a same-day commentary for President George W. Bush on Colin Powell’s U.N. speech on March 5, 2003, warned that the “unintended consequences were likely to be catastrophic,” should the U.S. attack Iraq and “justfy” the war on intelligence that we retired intelligence officers could readily see as fraudulent and driven by a war agenda.

The January 6 “Intelligence Community Assessment” by “hand-picked” analysts from the FBI, CIA, and NSA seems to fit into the same agenda-driven category. It is largely based on an “assessment,” not supported by any apparent evidence, that a shadowy entity with the moniker “Guccifer 2.0” hacked the DNC on behalf of Russian intelligence and gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

The recent forensic findings mentioned above have put a huge dent in that assessment and cast serious doubt on the underpinnings of the extraordinarily successful campaign to blame the Russian government for hacking. The pundits and politicians who have led the charge against Russian “meddling” in the U.S. election can be expected to try to cast doubt on the forensic findings, if they ever do bubble up into the mainstream media. But the principles of physics don’t lie; and the technical limitations of today’s Internet are widely understood. We are prepared to answer any substantive challenges on their merits.

You may wish to ask CIA Director Mike Pompeo what he knows about this. Our own lengthy intelligence community experience suggests that it is possible that neither former CIA Director John Brennan, nor the cyber-warriors who worked for him, have been completely candid with their new director regarding how this all went down.

Copied, Not Hacked

As indicated above, the independent forensic work just completed focused on data copied (not hacked) by a shadowy persona named “Guccifer 2.0.” The forensics reflect what seems to have been a desperate effort to “blame the Russians” for publishing highly embarrassing DNC emails three days before the Democratic convention last July. Since the content of the DNC emails reeked of pro-Clinton bias, her campaign saw an overriding need to divert attention from content to provenance – as in, who “hacked” those DNC emails? The campaign was enthusiastically supported by a compliant “mainstream” media; they are still on a roll.

“The Russians” were the ideal culprit. And, after WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016, “We have emails related to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” her campaign had more than a month before the convention to insert its own “forensic facts” and prime the media pump to put the blame on “Russian meddling.” Mrs. Clinton’s PR chief Jennifer Palmieri has explained how she used golf carts to make the rounds at the convention. She wrote that her “mission was to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.”

Independent cyber-investigators have now completed the kind of forensic work that the intelligence assessment did not do. Oddly, the “hand-picked” intelligence analysts contented themselves with “assessing” this and “assessing” that. In contrast, the investigators dug deep and came up with verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of the alleged Russian hack.

They found that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else. Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider. The data was leaked after being doctored with a cut-and-paste job to implicate Russia. We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.

The Time Sequence

June 12, 2016: Assange announces WikiLeaks is about to publish “emails related to Hillary Clinton.”

June 15, 2016: DNC contractor Crowdstrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: On the same day, “Guccifer 2.0” affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the “hack;” claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”

We do not think that the June 12 & 15 timing was pure coincidence. Rather, it suggests the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to “show” that it came from a Russian hack.

The Key Event

July 5, 2016: In the early evening, Eastern Daylight Time, someone working in the EDT time zone with a computer directly connected to the DNC server or DNC Local Area Network, copied 1,976 MegaBytes of data in 87 seconds onto an external storage device. That speed is many times faster than what is physically possible with a hack.

It thus appears that the purported “hack” of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 (the self-proclaimed WikiLeaks source) was not a hack by Russia or anyone else, but was rather a copy of DNC data onto an external storage device. Moreover, the forensics performed on the metadata reveal there was a subsequent synthetic insertion – a cut-and-paste job using a Russian template, with the clear aim of attributing the data to a “Russian hack.” This was all performed in the East Coast time zone.

“Obfuscation & De-obfuscation”

Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled “Vault 7.” WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA’s Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015.

Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the “Marble Framework” program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as “news fit to print” and was kept out of the Times.

The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima, it seems, “did not get the memo” in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: “WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.”

The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use “obfuscation,” and that Marble source code includes a “deobfuscator” to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a “forensic attribution double game” or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.

The CIA’s reaction was neuralgic. Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates “demons,” and insisting, “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

Mr. President, we do not know if CIA’s Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA’s Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review.

Putin and the Technology

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today’s technology enables hacking to be “masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin” [of the hack] … And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.”

“Hackers may be anywhere,” he said. “There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can’t you imagine such a scenario? … I can.”

Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental. The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times. This is our 50th VIPS Memorandum since the afternoon of Powell’s speech at the UN. Live links to the 49 past memos can be found at https://consortiumnews.com/vips-memos/.

FOR THE STEERING GROUP, VETERAN INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS FOR SANITY

William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center

Skip Folden, independent analyst, retired IBM Program Manager for Information Technology US (Associate VIPS)

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Michael S. Kearns, Air Force Intelligence Officer (Ret.), Master SERE Resistance to Interrogation Instructor

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)

Lisa Ling, TSgt USAF (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Edward Loomis, Jr., former NSA Technical Director for the Office of Signals Processing

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former U.S. Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA

Coleen Rowley, FBI Special Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel (ret.)

Cian Westmoreland, former USAF Radio Frequency Transmission Systems Technician and Unmanned Aircraft Systems whistleblower (Associate VIPS)

Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA

Sarah G. Wilton, Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.); Commander, US Naval Reserve (ret.)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat

Plant die USA einen erweiterten Krieg gegen den Iran?

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/07/22/pers-j22.html

Trump pulls plug on CIA’s Syrian “revolution”

22 July 2017

The news first reported by the Washington Post on July 19—that the Trump administration is winding up a five-year-old, formally covert CIA operation to train, arm and even pay the salaries of Islamist militias in Syria—has further fueled the ferocious political war in Washington over allegations of “collusion” between Trump and Moscow.

Senator John McCain, the Republican chair of the Armed Services Committee, issued a statement from Arizona, where he is recovering from surgery related to brain cancer, that “any concession to Russia, absent a broader strategy for Syria, is irresponsible and short-sighted.”

A more hysterical denunciation came from Washington Post columnist and former chief speechwriter for George W. Bush, Michael Gerson, who accused Trump of carrying out a “complete surrender to Russian interests in Syria” and acting “precisely as though he has been bought and sold by a strategic rival” with his “ignoble cutoff of aid to American proxies.”

The claims that cutting off the spigot of arms and money to the so-called “rebels” in Syria represents some kind of a strategic capitulation to Russia are ludicrous. The decision, reportedly taken by Trump together with his national security advisor Gen. H.R. McMaster and CIA Director Mike Pompeo in advance of the G20 summit in Hamburg, was a foregone conclusion.

What used to be referred to as the “Free Syrian Army” has ceased to play any major role in Syria. Syrian government forces, backed by Iranian-aligned militias and, since September 2015, Russian air support, have driven the “rebels” out of every major urban center and into the rural areas of Idlib province, where they have been engaged in bitter internecine combat against each other.

The government’s retaking of eastern Aleppo in December 2016 spelled the final debacle for the US strategy of carrying out a war for regime change using CIA-backed Sunni Islamist militias as Washington’s proxies.

This criminal strategy was initiated in the wake of the 2011 US war for regime change that toppled the government of Libya and ended in the lynch-mob murder of its leader, Muammar Gaddafi. Islamist fighters and huge quantities of weapons were funneled from the eastern Libyan port city of Benghazi into Syria.

By 2013, this had turned into what one US official described to the New York Times as a “cataract of weaponry,” poured into Syria by the CIA, working with Saudi Arabia and the other right-wing Gulf oil monarchies, together with Turkey. Tens of thousands of Islamist foreign fighters were also funneled in to wage a bloody sectarian civil war, whose victims now number in the hundreds of thousands of dead and millions of displaced refugees. Some of these same elements, whose crossing of international borders was facilitated by Western intelligence agencies, returned to carry out terrorist attacks in Europe.

The CIA claimed to have “vetted” some 40 “moderate rebel” militias deserving of US arms and money. In reality, most of these groups were largely indistinguishable from elements like the Al-Nusra Front, and either ended up in an alliance with this Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate or surrendered their American weapons to it.

The defeat of the CIA-backed “rebels” was a function not merely of the increased firepower supplied by Russia and Iran, but of the hostility toward these militias of broad layers of the Syrian population, which viewed the Assad regime, despite its repression and corruption, as the lesser evil.

Contrary to the propaganda put out by the US State Department and its pseudo-left apologists, the rebels were not the champions of some struggle for democracy or “revolution,” but rather right-wing sectarian gangsters, who systematically looted the areas under their control and beheaded those who expressed any opposition to their obscurantist ideology.

The ending of the CIA’s arming and funding of the largely spent Al Qaeda-linked “rebels” signals not an end to the conflict in Syria or any significant rapprochement with Moscow, but is rather part of the preparations for a wider war.

The Pentagon is continuing to train and arm its own proxy forces, both the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces—comprised primarily of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia—in the north, and Sunni militias in the southeast, near the US special forces base established at al-Tanf near a strategic Syrian border crossing with Iraq and Jordan.

This is only one of a string of bases set up by the US military in what amounts to a stealth invasion and occupation of Syria. The Turkish state-run news agency, reflecting the hostility of the regime in Ankara to the US alliance with the Syrian Kurds, published an article pinpointing the location of 10 secret US bases in the north of Syria, along with detailed information about the number of troops and type of weaponry and equipment deployed at each of them. Earlier this month, the Trump administration asked Congress to vote its approval for the building of new “temporary” bases in both Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon continues to carry out deadly airstrikes against Syrian targets, with the independent monitoring group Airwars reporting at least 415 civilians killed by US bombs and missiles last month alone. This estimate undoubtedly leaves many of the dead uncounted, and the numbers will rise dramatically as the US escalates its siege of Raqqa.

While the Reuters news agency quoted one US official as saying that the scrapping of the CIA program was a “signal” to Russia that Washington wants to improve ties, the real aim is to drive a wedge between Moscow and Iran in order to better prepare for war against the latter. This is the central purpose of the US military buildup in Syria and Iraq, where Iranian influence has steadily grown.

Those setting policy in the Trump administration, largely the cabal of retired and active duty generals who hold all the key security posts, see Iran as the principal obstacle to the bloody and protracted US campaign to establish its hegemony over the Middle East and Central Asia. The American military brass is particularly bitter over the fact that Washington’s war of aggression in Iraq served largely to strengthen Iranian influence in the region.

Two days before the report in the Washington Post on the ending of aid to the “rebels,” the Trump administration provided formal certification that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement it negotiated with the US and five other powers. The move came only after hours of wrangling in the White House, with Trump agreeing reluctantly to certify only on the basis of a decision to impose a new set of unilateral US sanctions against Tehran that are themselves in violation of the accord and designed to provoke a confrontation.

Washington is also reportedly mounting a campaign to pressure the European powers to toe the US line by adopting a punitive policy toward Tehran. But the other signatories to the agreement—Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia—are all looking to conclude major trade and investment deals in Iran, with the French energy conglomerate Total leading the way with a $1 billion agreement to develop gas production.

Such tensions with Europe will only fuel Washington’s drive toward a wider war. Faced with the decline of its economic and political global dominance, the parasitic and criminal American ruling class, personified in the figure of Trump, increasingly sees war as the only way out of economic and social crises for which it can offer no progressive solution.

A US war against Iran, a nation of over 77 million people, would eclipse even the bloodbaths carried out by the Pentagon and the CIA in Iraq and Syria, while posing the real threat of a nuclear third world war.

Bill Van Auken

US Anti Russia Spin

July 16, 2017

As Anti-Trump / Anti-Russia Campaign Fails – Yascha Mounk Feeds New Lies

The U.S. borg is vehemently trying to set up Russia as an enemy of the „west“. Their anti-Russian propaganda has become part of the campaign against U.S. President Trump who seeks détente with Russia. It requires intense efforts to denigrate the country, its citizens and its leaders. Here is an example of how such propaganda is fabricated.

Yascha Mounk is:

a Lecturer on Political Theory at Harvard University’s Government Department, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund, and a Nonresident Fellow at New America’s Political Reform Program.

He is a self declared liberal internationalist who has been published and quoted by lots of international media.

Yesterday Mounk tweeted this:


bigger

The Mounk tweet is a series of lies:

Need a reminder of the human cost of dictatorship? All these are journalists who criticized Putin–and died under mysterious circumstances

The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin is dully elected and not a dictator. The Russian Federation may not be a „liberal democracy“, but it is a democracy. The picture is old. It shows all Russian journalists who died during their work since 1991. Most of them died as war- or crime-correspondents and were not involved in politics at all. The death of most of those journalists is not mysterious. Getting blown up by artillery during the wars in Chechnya, Yugoslavia or Ukraine is no mystery at all. Most of these journalists never criticize Putin. They were already dead before Putin had any significant political role.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) lists 82 killed Russian journalists since 1992, most of them died due to war or related to civil crimes or corruption. There are about 80 portraits of journalists in the picture Mounk tweeted.

Two recognizable portraits and names therein are of Vlad Listyev, a TV entertainment producer killed in 1995 over some controversy about lucrative advertisement on public TV. Another portrait is of Dmitry Kholodov, killed in 1994 while investigating mafia connections within the Russian military. At the time of their death Putin was a minor bureaucrat in Saint Petersburg. He did not gain power until he became acting president at the end of 1999.

According to the CPJ numbers more Russian journalists were killed during the eight years of Yeltsin’s presidency (1992-2000) than in the 17 years of Putin’s presidencies since. Mounk claims „All these are journalists who criticized Putin …“ when more than half of them were already dead before Putin became known and to power. It was during the time of the „Harvard boys“ who robbed Russia blind that most of these journalist were killed. The Russian system, thanks to the Harvard driven „reforms“ and criminal privatization under Yeltsin, is a rough terrain for investigating oligarchs and mafia businesses. But there is no evidence, none at all, that Putin was ever involved in the decease of any journalist.

The first original publishing of the Mounk picture may have been as early as 2009. A piece on journalists remembrance in Russia from 2014 already includes the pic. The reverse image search shows that the picture has been has been used by several news-outlets since.

Every aspect of the Mounk tweet is a lie.

But Mounk’s lies have by now been re-tweeted over 22,000 times. Many of those who see it will believe the claims he makes. They will trust a widely publish Harvard academic. But the tweet, as well as nearly all other claims about Russia one sees in „western“ media, is pure propaganda. It is like the editorial in today’s New York Times that claims „Russia’s oil-dependent economy [is] in trouble“ while all Russian economic numbers turned positive and all indicators point to accelerating growth. It is fake news.

The anti-Russian propaganda campaign is now part of the „liberal“ campaign against U.S. president Trump. It is failing. Trump’s support is steady if not increasing despite daily new revelation about his (non existent) „collusion with Russia“ and the (non existing) „Russian interference“ in the U.S. election.

The purveyors of the propaganda stories are in despair. Each and every new fire they try to stoke dies off within a day or two. The temptation then is to invent and push ever bigger lies about Trump, Russia and their non-existing connections.

The fake news Mounk spits out, and which disqualify him as an academic, is a sign of their accelerating panic.

Posted by b on July 16, 2017 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

Asymetrische Kriegsführung gegen Russland und China mit Nordkorea als Hebel

The US Bill H.R. 1644 to kill Russian food export and Chinese trade

The US Bill H.R. 1644 to kill Russian food export and Chinese trade

by Scott Humor

H.R. 1644, the Korea Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act

President Trump signed the ‘Buy American, Hire American’ executive order.

“The most spectacular claim—that North Korea is, at present, “capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks”—

is backed up entirely by an anonymous blob of “expert studies and classified intelligence reports.”… it is “impossible to verify.”

 

Coming to Russia, don’t complain about its weather. Remember that our climate was designed as a weapon against invading armies. At the end of April 2017, the United States government apparatchiks have officially  divorced themselves from reality by starting two initiatives, both being a severe infringement on Russia’s sovereignty. First is an announcement of the US government tender to run a “refugee resettlement center” in Moscow for the Eurasian countries each of which having its own US Embassy. So far there has been no official Russia’s reaction to this announcement.

On April 29, the US House of Representatives passed a newly minted H.R. 1644: Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act. Despite of its title, the Bill targets Russia, China, Iran and Syria by a slew of measures that normally would be implemented only in a time of war.

At the look of it, the US Congress members claim to enforce the control over implementation of the UN Security Council resolution that limits the trade of the DPRK with other countries, and bans the supply of weapons, aircraft, missiles, nuclear and other technologies. However, the document also provides the “legal basis” for US military control over Russian ports in the Far East and in Syria, and also over the Iranian and Chinese ports.

What the Russian politicians and observers found the most amazing was the fact that the UN Security Council has never requested the US to provide control over implementation of its resolution on the DPRK.

As it is being presented, the H.R. 1466 Bill is an affront not only to common sense, but also to the fundamental norms of international law. For starters, if it becomes a law the Bill will allow the US military to inspect, search and seize any vessel or aircraft suspected in violation of the anti North Korea sanctions per their own discretion. It also gives the US military the authority to inspect the sea ports in Russia, Syria, Iran and China, implying that resisting will result in much broader sanctions against these four countries.

If adopted and signed into law by President Trump, the bill will also sanction Russia’s global food trade due to the North Korean workers being employed in Russia’s agricultural sector, at the time when Russia overtakes the US and Canada as a major grain supplier. The Bill, apparently, stands to completely ban the trade of Russia’s produced food over the world in order to replace it with the US produced Genetically Modified Organisms that the US sells as food.

The Bill has also targets Russia’s Far East ports and fleet and its Navy base in Syria. It seeks to impede Russia’s right to freedom of navigation, and its LNG and oil transported by sea.

But, why stop there?

The H.R. 1466 Bill seeks to put a stoppage to the Chinese trade with the US, it also seeks to impose the MANDATORY ASSET BLOCKING on the unspecified Chinese capital and properties located on the territory of the US and elsewhere.

In essence this Bill is an act of naked aggression and interference in the affairs of the sovereign states.

Below I posted information on the bill’s authors and their political contributors, so you would be able to see for yourself how much the US agricultural lobbies have been investing into this piece of legislature along with the pro-Israel lobbies, and Aerospace and Defense contractors like the Raytheon Company and Boeing.

Overall, the H.R.1466 is a very ambitious Bill, and I have to give credit to its real authors (not to the US Representatives, who landed their names to it); they manage to hide its real targets so deep that only a few people with the knowledge of the reality can actually read it.

Take for example a provision of “within the last 365 days” that allows retrospectively blanket target Russia and China. According to the Bill, any Chinese and Russian vessel including military, and aircraft carrying on regular passenger flights to the US, are the subject to seizure by the US authorities due to a simple fact that these countries’ fleets have been visiting the North Korean ports and the North Korean workers have been legally allowed to work in Russia and China. You can judge for yourself, from the excerpts posted below.

If this Bill is signed into the law, we might assume that it will place a halt to passenger flights between the US and Russia, and between China and the US.

Another important point of this Bill is a designation of the north Korean citizens as “slaves” and the country as a “terrorist state.” To designate an entire nation of twenty five million people as “terrorists” is some serious kooky-bananas. A similar attempt made by a military junta in Kiev Ukraine to designate as “terrorists’ the population of Donetsk and Lugansk republics has previously been rejected by the UN Security Council.

According to the GovTrack: “This was a vote to pass H.R. 1644 in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.”

“H.R. 1644 amends the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 to modify and increase the President’s authority to impose sanctions on persons in violation of certain U.N. Security Council resolution regarding North Korea. Specifically, the bill expands sanctions to deter North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs, targets those individuals overseas who employ North Korean slave labor, cracks down on North Korean shipping and use of international ports, and requires the administration to determine whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism.”

232 republicans and 187 democrats voted for this bill. Only one republican voted against, Thomas Harold Massie, an American engineer and politician who has been the United States Representative for Kentucky’s 4th congressional district.

As in case of imposing anti-Russian sanctions after the US staged military putsch in Ukraine (STAND for Ukraine Act H.R. 5094 in May 2016), the US lawmakers use a completely artificial and staged anger with the North Korean leader to attack trade and freedom of navigation of Russia, China, Iran and Syria.

It’s important to understand that, going forward, it won’t matter what steps these four countries would take to satisfy the US government demands, their “guilty” status has been already predetermined and written into this Bill by a provision “within the past 365 days.”  The Bill dictates that the moment president Trump signs it into the law, the US grants itself the “right” to start seizure of Russia’s, Chinese, Iranian and Syria capital, properties, vessels and aircraft, civilian as well as military, on the territories under the direct jurisdiction  of the US laws, if not all over the world.

On average, it takes about a year for the US lawmakers to come up with a piece of legislature, so we can safely assume that H.R. 1644 was in development before the presidential elections. An anti – North Korea hysteria has started in March with an over exaggerated reaction to a video presumably made by the country.

It’s all started on March 21st, when the New York Times’ Russell Goldman reported that “Korea Flexes Its Military Muscle on YouTube, With Added Effects

“North Korea released a propaganda video this week depicting a United States aircraft carrier and a warplane being destroyed in computer-generated balls of fire, the latest salvo in an escalating war of words between the two nuclear powers.”

A video in question was posted on March 18th by the state NK agency, and is a compilation of random images on the US troops and some computer generated graphic. The simple fact that it was released in Korean language shows that it was intended to be for the Korean audience only.

One has to be hard-pressed to find any threat in this sort of video. However, based on this video the US “Military Experts” concluded that the North Korea intended a missile launch within days.”

Not being “the US military expert,” I was absolutely right to assume that this was just another utterly fake threat that the U.S. cooked up in order to target Russia’s ports and to disrupt the international trade and freedom of navigation of Russia and China by deploying its fleet near the Russia’s Far Eastern borders.

There is a school of thoughts that the North Korean leader was recruited by the UK secret services while being a student of an elite boarding school there. That would explain his bizarre behavior and playing right into the hands of the US propaganda, and also his spat with China and his attempts to ruin the country’s relations with Russia that had been cherished so much by his father. Shortly before his death, ill and frail Kim Jong-il boarded a train and took a week long journey to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin. Their meeting was unofficial, and we still don’t know what was discussed, but I bet that the old man asked Putin to take care of his people. Putin is not known to ever renegade on his promises.

===========================================================

PART II: The H.R. 1466 and its authors

The first draft of the Bill passed the House of representatives on March 21, 2017 allegedly in response to a “threatening” video.

Anyone who is familiar with the way the US laws are being written and adopted would know that it takes months and sometimes years to write something into a law. The high velocity with which this Bill passes through the US Congress indicates a premeditated event.

The Bill claims to enforce the UN Resolution on the North Korea, without naming one. The reason why the US House of Representatives fails to name any particular UN resolution that they seek to “enforce” is because there is NONE that would warrant such measures. In essence, with the H.R. 1466 the US lawmakers seek to place a stoppage to the global trade and maritime activities, and they see targeting Russia and China as the best place to start.

The Western Media reporting on the H.R. 1466 Bill mentioned the UN Security Council resolution #2270 adopted on March 2nd, 2016.

The latest UN resolution condemning the N. Korean missile test was adopted on March 23rd, 2017, two days after the US Senate passing the H.R. 1466.

RES/2345 The Resolution reads: “This resolution renewed for another 13 months the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee.”

According to the draft of this Bill, its first version was submitted on March 21, 2017 and the second was reported in the House of representatives on April 28, 2017.

Following our tradition to look at people behind the political events, the following is the list of authors and sponsors of this Bill.

Text: H.R.1644 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]

[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[H.R. 1644 Introduced in House (IH)]  115th CONGRESS  1st Session  H. R. 1644   To enhance sanctions with respect to transactions relating to North  Korea, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES  March 21, 2017

March 21, 2017

Mr. Royce of California (for himself, Mr. Engel, Mr. Yoho, and Mr. Sherman) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, Financial Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, Oversight and Government Reform, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

April 28, 2017

Additional sponsors: Mr. Connolly, Mr. Bera, Mr. Abraham, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Cook, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, Mr. Keating, Mr. Sires, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Poe of Texas, Mr. Austin Scott of Georgia, Mr. Guthrie, Mr. Barr, Mr. McCaul, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mrs. Wagner, Mrs. Mimi Walters of California, and Mr. Sam Johnson of Texas

Authors of the Bill

Edward Randall “Ed” Royce, a member of the United States House of Representatives for California’s 39th congressional district, is listed as the main author of this bill.

Edward R. Royce is listed by the non-government political watchdogs as the top second  US representative that received pro-Israel campaign contributions –  $233,943

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Ed Royce: $4,041,553

NORPAC is a bipartisan, multi-candidate political action committee working to strengthen the United States–Israel relationship – $114,243

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Real Estate $344,349
Securities & Investment $321,400
Insurance $261,850
Pro-Israel $233,943
Lawyers/Law Firms $171,975
Health Professionals $107,185
Commercial Banks $101,000
Misc Finance $88,700
Republican/Conservative $70,740
Accountants $66,250

Top 10 Organizations Funding

Organization Contributions
NORPAC $114,243
Royce Victory Fund $35,100
Morgan Stanley $17,500
Mutual Pharmaceutical $15,600
Blackstone Group $13,500
Rida Development $13,500
First American Financial Corporation $12,700
Seville Classics $12,240
Arnold and Porter $12,200
Wells Fargo $12,000

Contributions above are for the last two years of available data, Nov 29, 2014 – Nov 28, 2016.

According to the MapLight disclamer, “Contributions data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org). Legislative data from GovTrack.us. ”

—–

Eliot L. Engel Democrat (Elected 1988), NY House district 16

I wrote in details about the Representative Eliot Lance Engel in connection to his anti-Russia activities in authoring  STAND for Ukraine Act H.R. 5094 in May 2016

Eliot Lance Engel has been reported as being a recipient of the  pro-Israel campaign contributions $191,150

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Eliot L. Engel: $1,596,646

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Pro-Israel $191,150
Real Estate $123,000
Health Professionals $105,925
Lawyers/Law Firms $95,186
Securities & Investment $68,025
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $55,700
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $36,350
Education $34,300
Building Trade Unions $34,000
Public Sector Unions $31,500

Top 10 Organizations Funding

Organization Contributions
NORPAC $28,000
St Georges University $20,000
Natural Food Source Incorporated $16,200
Duty Free Americas $16,200
Stroock Stroock and Lavan $11,100
Nimeks Organics $10,800
Baystate Medical Center $10,800
Boeing Company $10,000
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $10,000
Raytheon Company $10,000

Contributions above are for the last two years of available data, Nov 29, 2014 – Nov 28, 2016.

—-

Ted S. Yoho Republican (Elected 2013), FL House district 3

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Ted S. Yoho: $721,346

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Crop Production & Basic Processing $72,411
General Contractors $39,451
Real Estate $35,177
Agricultural Services/Products $24,839
Health Professionals $23,960
Livestock $23,300
Special Trade Contractors $22,150
Pro-Israel $17,000
Securities & Investment $13,400
Printing & Publishing $11,800

Top 10 Organizations Funding

Organization Contributions
Islands Mechanical $15,400
Anderson Columbia Company $13,400
Angel Investor $10,800
National Cattlemens Beef Association $10,000
Hennessey Arabian Horses $10,000
Florida Congressional Committee $10,000
American Crystal Sugar $7,500
Cecil W Powell And Company $6,400
Lockheed Martin $6,000
Vallencourt Construction $5,900

Brad Sherman Democrat (Elected 1996), CA House district 30

Brad Sherman has reputedly received $93,580 in pro-Israel campaign contributions.

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Brad Sherman: $1,575,550

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Real Estate $122,900
Securities & Investment $109,475
Pro-Israel $93,580
Lawyers/Law Firms $72,198
Insurance $69,300
Accountants $60,330
Building Trade Unions $57,500
Misc Finance $51,300
Health Professionals $46,575
TV/Movies/Music $46,015

Top 10 Organizations Funding

Organization Contributions
NORPAC $25,720
Hackman Capital Partners $16,200
Capital Group Companies $15,400
Majestic Realty $10,800
Pachulski Stang Et Al $10,800
Saban Capital Group $10,800
Keyes Automotive Group $10,800
United Food and Commercial Workers Union $10,000
Honeywell International $10,000
Deloitte Llp $10,000

Contributions above are for the last two years of available data, Nov 29, 2014 – Nov 28, 2016.

The US Representatives sponsoring the Bill

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen   is  listed as a recipient of the pro-Israel campaign contributions  –  $138,800

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Republican (Elected 1988), FL House district 27

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: $1,453,178

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Pro-Israel $140,650
Real Estate $85,650
Lawyers/Law Firms $80,048
Foreign & Defense Policy $53,750
Transportation Unions $38,000
Health Professionals $36,150
Republican/Conservative $34,700
Building Trade Unions $29,000
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $27,300
Defense Aerospace $26,750

Top 10 Organizations Funding

Organization Contributions
Duty Free Americas $20,500
NORPAC $18,850
Leon Medical Centers $16,450
Southern Wine and Spirits $15,400
Clearpath Foundation $10,800
Badia Spices $10,800
Irving Moskowitz Foundation $10,800
Tate Enterprises $10,700
At and T Incorporated $10,000
Operating Engineers Union $10,000

Contributions above are for the last two years of available data, Nov 29, 2014 – Nov 28, 2016. Contributions fro

The US representative Ralph Lee Abraham, Jr.

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Ralph Lee Abraham: $649,364

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Crop Production & Basic Processing $76,435
Health Professionals $61,950
Agricultural Services/Products $33,200
Oil & Gas $23,950
Commercial Banks $23,450
Real Estate $22,775
Lawyers/Law Firms $20,850
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $17,900
Misc Business $15,100
Forestry & Forest Products $14,000

Top 10 Organizations Funding

Organization Contributions
American Society of Anesthesiologists $15,000
American Sugar Cane League $10,000
National Association of Realtors $8,500
Farm Credit Council $8,000
Intermountain Management $6,300
Centurylink $6,250
Central Management $5,400
Moore Oil $5,400
Lasalle Management $5,400
Hospital Administrator $5,400

Contributions above are for the last two years of available data, Nov 29, 2014 – Nov 28, 2016. Contributions from political

William R. Keating (D-MA) U.S. House

Total Campaign Contributions Received by William R. Keating: $1,094,550

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Lawyers/Law Firms $76,117
Building Trade Unions $67,500
Public Sector Unions $53,500
Transportation Unions $48,500
Industrial Unions $47,000
Real Estate $40,549
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $39,000
Special Trade Contractors $30,475
Defense Aerospace $30,000
Crop Production & Basic Processing $26,500

Top 10 Organizations Funding

Organization Contributions
Superior Plumbing $21,700
Nixon Peabody LLP $13,320
United Food and Commercial Workers Union $10,000
Honeywell International $10,000
Plumberspipefitters Union $10,000
Carpenters and Joiners Union $10,000
Operating Engineers Union $10,000
Painters and Allied Trades Union $10,000
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $10,000
Ironworkers Union $10,000

Contributions above are for the last two years of available data, Nov 29, 2014 – Nov 28, 2016. Contributions from political parties and from

Democrat David Nicola Cicilline the U.S. Representative for Rhode Island’s 1st congressional district, an author of the US-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Act

Steven Joseph “Steve” Chabot, the US Representative for Ohio’s 1st congressional district

Listed as the US legislator that received the most Pro-Israel campaign contributions:

Paul Cook (CA-8) reportedly received 3.300 in pro-Israel campaign contributions.

Ted Poe has reportedly received $11,250 in pro-Israel campaign contributions. 

Andy Barr is reported to receive $35,750 in pro-Israel campaign contributions.

Michael T. McCaul reported to receive  $37,650 in pro-Israel campaign contributions.

Ted Lieu reported to receive $56,395  pro-Israel campaign contributions

Only five sponsors of the Korean Bill, Austin Scott, Steven Brett Guthrie, Ann Louise Wagner, Marian Elaine “Mimi” Walters and Samuel Robert “Sam” Johnson, have not been listed as a recipient of pro Israel campaign contributions.

According to the MapLight: ” U.S. Congress illuminates the connection between campaign contributions and legislative votes in unprecedented ways.”

 

==================================

Notable excerpts from the H.R. 1466 Bill

Text: H.R.1644 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Shown Here: Referred in Senate (05/04/2017)

The devil is always in the details, the Russia’s agricultural trade is targeted by the following:

b) Expansion of Additional Discretionary Designations.–Section

104(b)(1) of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of

2016 (22 U.S.C. 9214(b)(1)) is amended–(4) by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:

 

“(M) knowingly, directly or indirectly, engaged in, facilitated, or was responsible for the exportation of workers from North Korea in a manner intended to generate significant revenue, directly or indirectly, for use by the Government of North Korea or by the Workers’ Party of Korea;

 “(3) a list of foreign persons that knowingly employ North Korean laborers, as described in section 104(b)(1)(M)”

 

Putting aside the bizarre rhetoric of the freedom of movement as being an “exportation of workers,” this point is directly targeting Russia that is known to issue 20,000 work visas for the North Korea’s citizens annually. The migrant workers from North Korea are mostly employed by the agricultural companies, they also known to create cooperatives to rent land for production of agricultural products. Russia is a host to the biggest community of the North Korean nationals most of whom live in Vladivostok area on permanent and semi-permanent basis.

The Bill seeks to declare the Korean community members work in Russia as being in a “violation of the UN resolution.”

———————

(1) In general.–Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this subsection, and annually thereafter  for 5 years, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that specifically describes the compliance of foreign countries and other foreign  jurisdictions with the requirement to curtail the trade described in subsection (b)(1).

“(2) Form.–The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.”.

—-

Provisions targeting the sea ports and freedom of navigation

SEC. 104. Amendments to enhance inspection authorities.

Title II of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (22 U.S.C. 9221 et seq.), as amended by section 102 of this Act, is further amended by striking section 205 and inserting the following:

  1. Enhanced inspection authorities.

“(a) Report required.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section, and annually thereafter for 5 years, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report—

“(A) identifying the operators of foreign sea ports and airports that have knowingly—

“(i) failed to implement or enforce regulations to inspect ships, aircraft, cargo, or conveyances in transit to or from North Korea, as required by applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions;

“(ii) facilitated the transfer, transshipment, or conveyance of significant types or quantities of cargo, vessels, or aircraft owned or controlled by persons designated under applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions; or

“(iii) facilitated any of the activities described in section 104(a);

“(B) describing the extent to which the requirements of applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions to de-register any vessel owned, controlled, or operated by the Government of North Korea have been implemented by other foreign countries;

“(C) describing the compliance of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the sanctions mandated in applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions;

“(D) identifying vessels, aircraft, and conveyances owned or controlled by the Reconnaissance General Bureau of the Workers’ Party of Korea; and

“(E) describing the diplomatic and enforcement efforts by the President to secure the full implementation of the applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions, as described in subparagraphs (A) through (C).

“(2) FORM.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.

“(b) Specific findings.—Each report required under subsection (a) shall include specific findings with respect to the following ports and airports:

“(1) The ports of Dandong, Dalian, and any other port in the People’s Republic of China that the President deems appropriate.

“(2) The ports of Abadan, Bandar-e-Abbas, Chabahar, Bandar-e-Khomeini, Bushehr Port, Asaluyeh Port, Kish, Kharg Island, Bandar-e-Lenge, and Khorramshahr, and Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“(3) The ports of Nakhodka, Vanino, and Vladivostok, in the Russian Federation.

“(4) The ports of Latakia, Banias, and Tartous, and Damascus International Airport, in the Syrian Arab Republic.

“(c) Enhanced security targeting requirements.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary of Homeland Security may, using the Automated Targeting System operated by the National Targeting Center of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, require enhanced screening procedures to determine whether physical inspections are warranted of any cargo bound for or landed in the United States that—

“(A) has been transported through a sea port or airport the operator of which has been identified by the President in accordance with subsection (a)(1) as having repeatedly failed to comply with applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions;

“(B) is aboard a vessel or aircraft, or within a conveyance that has, within the last 365 days, entered the territory, waters, or airspace of North Korea, or landed in any of the sea ports or airports of North Korea; or

“(C) is registered by a country or jurisdiction whose compliance has been identified by the President as deficient pursuant to subsection (a)(2).

(c) Mandatory and discretionary asset blocking.—Section 104(c) of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (22 U.S.C. 9214(c)) is amended—

(1) by striking “of a designated person” and inserting “of a person designated under subsection (a)”;

(2) by striking “The President” and inserting the following:

“(1) MANDATORY ASSET BLOCKING.—The President”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(2) DISCRETIONARY ASSET BLOCKING.—The President may also exercise such powers, in the same manner and to the same extent described in paragraph (1), with respect to a person designated under subsection (b).”.

subsection (b)is called” b) Expansion of additional discretionary designations.—Section 104(b)(1) of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (22 U.S.C. 9214(b)(1))

Under section “205. Enhanced inspection authorities the US government grants itself “enhanced authorities” and the US doing so unliterary, using its own domestic legislature and   on behalf of all the UN members and even the permanent members if the UN Security Council Russia and China, without ever getting the authorization from the UN Security Council.

“(c) Enhanced security targeting requirements.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary of Homeland Security may, using the Automated Targeting System operated by the National Targeting Center of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, require enhanced screening procedures to determine whether physical inspections are warranted of any cargo bound for or landed in the United States that—

“(A) has been transported through a sea port or airport the operator of which has been identified by the President in accordance with subsection (a)(1) as having repeatedly failed to comply with applicable United Nations Security Council resolutions;

“(B) is aboard a vessel or aircraft, or within a conveyance that has, within the last 365 days, entered the territory, waters, or airspace of North Korea, or landed in any of the sea ports or airports of North Korea; or landed in any of the sea ports or airports of North Korea; or

“(C) is registered by a country or jurisdiction whose compliance has been identified by the President as deficient pursuant to subsection (a)(2).

—-

“(C) is registered by a country or jurisdiction whose compliance has been identified by the President as deficient pursuant to subsection (a)(2).”

“(d) Seizure and Forfeiture.—A vessel, aircraft, or conveyance used to facilitate any of the activities described in section 104(a) under the jurisdiction of the United States may be seized and forfeited under—

“(1) chapter 46 of title 18, United States Code; or

“(2) part V of title IV of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1581 et seq.).”.

 

SEC. 204. Determination on designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

(a) Determination.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a determination whether North Korea meets the criteria for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.

 

===============================================

The Russia’s lawmakers response to the Bill

A senior Russian senator says the American bill allowing the US Navy to enforce international sanctions on North Korea through the control of Russian ports is a violation of international law, and is equal to a declaration of war.

The realization of this [US] bill includes a proposed force scenario in which the US Navy would conduct compulsory inspections of all ships. Such a scenario is simply unthinkable because it means a declaration of war,” RIA Novosti quoted upper house Committee for International Relations head Konstantin Kosachev as saying.

The senator emphasized that no one had given the United States official powers to enforce the UN Security Council resolution on North Korea, and said that Washington is trying to establish the primacy of US laws over international law.

The deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for Defense and Security, Frants Klintsevich, said that the possibility of external control over Russian sea ports was out of the question, but the mere fact that US lawmakers were discussing the proposal was definitely a hostile act.

He added that it was extremely unlikely that the US motion would force North Korea to change its course.

What immediately draws attention is the list of nations where US congressmen want to have special control over sea ports,” he said. “These are Russia, China, Iran and Syria. The United States is again trying to expand its jurisdiction all over the globe. It is as if they were telling Russia, China, Iran and Syria that these nations are suspects in crime, which is nonsense, according to international law.”

Another deputy head of the same committee, Andrey Krasov, said that the US bill will face an appropriate response from Russia, should it be passed.

The US administration will receive a symmetrical adequate response to any unfriendly steps toward Russia and our allies. In any case, no US ship will enter our waters,” Krasov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Last week, Russia expressed support for a Chinese initiative at the UN Security Council aimed at resolving the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The draft resolution proposes that North Korea refrain from missile and nuclear testing, and that the United States and South Korea undertake not to hold any military exercises in the region.

In addition, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov has urged Washington and Seoul to reconsider their decision to put the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the Korean Peninsula, warning that it will serve as a “destabilizing factor” in the region.

—-

Thanks to our Navy researcher LeDahu for pointing out this piece of the US legislature that I missed because new anti-Russia sanctions have been deceptively disguised as an enforcement of the UN anti-Korea sanctions. Come to think of it, the same way the Stand for Ukraine Act was actually a list of sanctions against Russia.

Scott Humor

Director of Research and Development

author of The enemy of the State

Follow me on twitter

Featured image: 1 kilogram gold coin minted in Korea depicting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

 

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

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88 Comments

  1. Well this is real straight forward. If Trump signs this it is a clear declearation of war. If Russia or China except this then they have folded and are no longer a country.
    Notice at the same time Syria is to be split by US backed Kurds starting at the Med right to US controled Iraq.

    This feels like it folks, it’s on, world under US rule or war.

    • The neocons control Washington. Trump has caved under, and yes, if they try to enforce this, there will be war with Russia, China and Iran. May as well hide under your desks, for all this is worth. Our country’s stupidity and blatant disregard for other countries’ sovereignty is worse now then ever before in history. They WILL get their war … hope they realize there will be no survivors.

  2. Surely there would have been drafts of this legislation circulating for awhile? In the back corridors of the Capitol? If so, I would imagine the Russians already have some version of the draft?

    Is this why the RF diplomats were ordered out of the US by Obama at Christmas? To ensure that any “back” networks were broken?

    Also – Vitaly Churkin? He’d be able to call BS on the fallacy that this nonsense had UN auspices.

    | Also | reminds me of the “Patriot” Act that was “here’s one we prepared earlier” immediately after 9/11. Along with Building 7 that was what convinced me 9/11 was an inside job _ with some career experience in the slow! slow! slow grind of govt. (And they are all the same, everywhere) – the slow grind of govt – and here was a ready- written Patriot Act ready to roll…..

    So yes….. Many of us have been scratching our heads at the confected “kabuki” of the North Korean “crisis”, and here, now, a final piece is added to the jigsaw, and the picture takes shape…

    • It will be interesting to see how the Zionazies deal with Moon Jae-in if he wins the South Korean Presidential election. He wishes to deal with the North diplomatically, not with the usual deranged aggressiveness that is the Zionazies’ psychopathic trade-mark.

      • Usually they take care of that before and during the election. Watch for allegations of “voting irregularities” and how they cast and count the vote. Most likely, a “peace” candidate doesn’t stand a chance of being declared the winnner. No matter how many voters support peace.

  3. i forgot to add this above. If Trump signs this then the next day the US dollar will or will not be the reserve currency. Depending on if Russia and China fold or not.
    This does require a response and not just another we will take measures later.. Dump the dollar, block the sea lanes, a real response.

    The neocons believe only they are crazy enough to risk Nuclear war, they are counting on that

    • This aggressive bill would be a response to a failed one world project. The last ditch effort before a Masada type scenario is fulfilled. The USD in its current state will of course change as soon as the yuan goes gold backed.
      This bill in an attempt to capture real trade as empty USD derivatives fail. There is nothing real in the US economy. There is a high likelyhood that there is nothing real in the US Navy either.

  4. OK _ why? why would the US introduce this legislation?

    War on OBOR

    We are just days away from a meeting with earth-tremor geo-political implications _ the May dates One Belt One Road meeting in place, china.

    Stop, dear Sakerites and really let the implications of OBOR percolate:
    (Quoting Pepe Escobar) OBOR is an immensely ambitious $1.4 trillion project potentially touching 64 nations, no less than 4.4 billion people and around 40 per cent of the global economy which will, among other features, create new “innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive” trade horizons …..

    Does OBOR conflict with the ubiquitous “US interests” – ? ….. !!!
    (If “lucky” the US will be left wallowing as a NAFTA backwater)

    Does the US, with its self-declared “exceptionalism” and “Ruler of the World” Hegemon sit back quietly and just “allow” Russia-China-Iran and 110 other countries to trade freely, without the US reserve currency?

    Hell no!

    So the options are:
    1/ Hot war
    2/ Asymmetrical war
    3/ 1+2 + +

    The US legislation discussed here, PLUS the associated article on the US State Dept establishing a NGO refugee/migrant centre in Moscow are the SAME piece of asymmetrical strategy.

    The OBOR traverses Central Asia. In fact it cannot function without a stable, client-state Central Asia. So where is the US about to stir up (more) trouble? Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
    The very essential link in the China-Russia-Iran OBOR.

    Refs:
    http://katehon.com/article/2017-forecast-global-trends
    http://thesaker.is/the-ultimate-21st-century-choice-obor-or-war/
    https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201608311044816377-g20-geopolitical-juncture/

    The US actions reminds me of this quote from Karl Rove:

    “That’s not the way the world really works anymore.
    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.
    And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    The US State Dept is about to “create a new reality” in Central Asia. Probably using its good proxies, some new variant of ISIS.