China’s Belt and Road Forum, hosted with great fanfare, signals the priority of this flagship connectivity initiative while also underlining its credentials as the new ‘shaper’ of global trends and norms. Exhorting all countries to participate, Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested that ‘what we hope to create is a big family of harmonious co-existence.’ But India, an emerging economy that shares a contested border with China, worries about containment and new pathways for aggression from Pakistan. Other nations wonder if hegemonistic designs are hidden behind the rationality of connectivity and trade. The policy initiative aims to enhance China’s centrality in the global economic unilateral approach in how the project is conceived and implemented so far belies the rhetoric of multilateralism emanating from Beijing. Taking inspiration from the ancient Silk Road trading route, China’s One Belt One Road initiative, or OBOR, hopes to link more than 65 countries, encompassing up to 40 percent of global GDP. Xi’s signature foreign paradigm – linking China to Asia, Europe and Africa via an ambitious network of ports, roads, rail and other infrastructure projects. Beginning in China’s Fujian province, the projected Maritime Silk Route passes through the Malacca Strait to the Indian Ocean, moving along the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, ending in Venice.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 25, 2017.
A tectonic geopolitical shift happened in Astana, Kazakhstan, only a few days ago, and yet barely a ripple registered in Atlanticist circles. At the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded in 2001, both India and Pakistan were admitted as full members, alongside Russia, China and four Central Asian ‘stans’ (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). So now the SCO not only qualifies as the largest political organization – by area and population – in the world; it also unites four nuclear powers. The G-7 is irrelevant, as the latest summit in Taormina made it clear. The real action now, apart from the G-20, also lays in this alternative G-8. Permanently derided in the West for a decade and a half as a mere talk shop, the SCO, slowly but surely, keeps advancing a set up that Chinese President Xi Jinping qualifies, in a subdued manner, as ‘a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.’ That’s the least one can say when you have China, India and Pakistan in the same group.
Central bank caution beefs up stock gains (Reuters) Pound Drops as BOE’s Carney Says Not Yet Time to Raise Rates (BBG) Oil Just Hit Its Lowest Level of the Year (BBG) Britain charges Barclays, ex-bosses over ‘unlawful’ Qatari deal (Reuters) Senate GOP Sets Ambitious Deadline on Health-Care Vote (WSJ) Both Parties Have a Lot to Lose in Georgia and S. C. Special Elections (WSJ) House speaker vows to complete tax reform in 2017 (Reuters) The New Face of Trump’s Legal Team Is the Christian Right’s Pitbull (BBG) Russia probe focuses on role of Flynn partner (Reuters) Among the iPhone’s Biggest Transformations: Apple Itself (WSJ) Democrats protest Senate Republican healthcare secrecy (Reuters) Texas Is Too Windy and Sunny for Old Energy Companies to Profit (BBG) Whole Foods CEO hints at another brand under Amazon (Reuters) Robots Are Eating Money Managers’ Lunch (BBG) Trump seen hardening line toward Pakistan after Afghan war review (Reuters) Peak Banking Globalization Hasn’t Come and Gone, BIS Says (BBG) Soros Says U. K. Is Approaching ‘Tipping Point’ as Brexit Bites (BBG) Supreme Court to hear major case on political boundaries (Reuters) Ex-BlackRock Exec’s Gas Bet Pays Off With $6.7 Billion Takeover Deal (BBG) Millennials Are Helping America Save More Money (BBG) Tesla driver in fatal ‘Autopilot’ crash got numerous warnings: U. S. government (Reuters) Boeing lifts 20-year industry demand forecast to $6 trillion (Reuters) Virginia police probe Muslim girl’s killing as ‘road rage’ incident (Reuters
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.
The disputed of territory of Kashmir, lying in the north of the sub-continent between India and Pakistan, does not often feature in the world news media, but recently the little-known yet most sensitive region has received attention, not only because of boundary clashes between the armies of India and Pakistan but because there have been some dramatic incidents in the Indian-administered region. Tension is rising, as indicated by comments from politicians and media in both countries, which have been swinging from casual abuse to extremes of frenzied condemnation. *** The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in India is a right-wing, religiously-based ultra-nationalist political party with a large following which actively supports the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which bases its policies on the aspirations of a strongly nationalistic community. The leader of the VHP, Acharya Dharmendra, declared in a speech on June 2 that India should drop a nuclear bomb on Pakistan for creating tension at the border. It is a rogue nation and India must teach that country a lesson. It is important for peace in the Indian subcontinent. So far as can be determined, no Pakistani politician has yet made such a statement, publicly, at least, but the feeling in Pakistan as regards the use of nuclear weapons is much the same as in India: very many citizens of both countries believe that nuclear weapons just make a bigger bang. This is worrying, to put it mildly, especially as these two well-armed nations are squaring up to each other over the Kashmir imbroglio.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 16, 2017.
The following video was published by X22Report on Jun 14, 2017 The democratic party is now taking it to the next level they are now suing the President. Germany wants complete control of communications and wants to finger print children. India and Pakistan join the Shanghai Cooperation. US soldiers are not fighting in Philippines. Trump give the Pentagon more power to deploy troops. The forces in Syria bring in a missile launcher across the border in Syria. There was an event near DC and a senator was shot. This false flag is now being used for many different agendas.
The crimes committed by the US forces by bombing units of the Syrian Arab Army that were advancing to liberate the Al-Tanf crossing on the border with Iraq, and before it in Al-Thardah Mountain in Deir Al-Zour, and then Al-Shaerat Airport were not random or coincidental. They were, as in the case of the war crimes committed by US aircrafts against the Syrian people and Syrian infrastructure, calculated, and are part of the general geopolitical scheme to divide the region. The truth is that any connection between Syria and Iraq has been forbidden since the two countries’ independence in the middle of the 20th century. The Baghdad Pact of 1955, which included Britain, Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan was meant contain the Arab national tide on the one hand, and to counter what then was called Soviet influence in the region on the other hand. Although this alliance fell in 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared a set principles in a private letter to Congress, which became known as the Eisenhower Doctrine. According to these principles, any country could request US economic aid or aid of the US armed forces if subjected to threats from another country. This was what Camille Chamoun did in 1958, when the nationalists in Lebanon rebelled to pursue the Arab national line and against Chamoun’s attempt to rig elections. Eisenhower responded to Chamoun’s request and sent the Marines to Beirut to preserve the ‘neutrality’ of Lebanon’s foreign policy, despite its ‘sympathy’ with Arab issues. After Sadat signed the Sinai 2 Agreement, and later the Camp David Accords, President Hafez al-Assad tried to compensate for the Arabs’ loss of Egypt by establishing a Levantine Front. He went to Iraq, Jordan and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Beirut.
Facebook has been aiding abusers of human-rights — such as China, Turkey, Russia and Pakistan — to curb the freedom of expression of their people. “On the same day that we filed the report, the ‘Stop Palestinians’ page that incited against Palestinians was removed by Facebook… for ‘containing credible threat of violence’ which ‘violated our community standards.’ On the other hand, the ‘Stop Israelis’ page that incited against Israelis, was not removed. We received a response from Facebook stating that the page was ‘not in violation of Facebook’s rules.’” – Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of The Israel Law Center. According to Darshan-Leitner, Facebook’s insistence that it cannot control all the content on its pages is disingenuous, if not an outright lie. After all, its algorithms are perfectly accurate when it comes to detecting users’ shopping habits. There is a problem at Facebook. On May 8, the social media platform blocked and then shut down the pages of two popular moderate Muslim groups — on the grounds that their content was “in violation of community standards” — without explanation. Had these pages belonged to the radicals who incite followers to violence, however, the move would have been welcome, and would have corresponded to Facebook’s Online Civil Courage Initiative, founded in Berlin in January 2016, to “challeng[e] hate speech and extremism online,” in the effort to prevent the use of social media as a platform for recruiting terrorists.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 7, 2017.
Today’s post is a little different than most, and highlights the very strange case of a few Democratic IT Staffers who have apparently fled to Pakistan while under investigation. If what The Daily Caller reported yesterday is accurate, it’s certainly something to keep your eye on. First a little background. Politico reported the following back in March. Two House Democrats this week fired technology staffers linked to an ongoing criminal investigation, more than a month after the couple in question was barred from House computer networks. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N. Y.) confirmed to Politico that Hina Alvi’s last day as an IT support staffer in his office was Tuesday. Her husband, Imran Awan, was working for Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) as of Tuesday evening, but a spokeswoman for Fudge said midday Wednesday that Awan was no longer an employee. As of Wednesday, Awan was still working as a technology adviser for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), although he’s been blocked from accessing the House computer system since early February. Alvi, Awan and three other House aides, including Abid Awan and Jamal Awan, relatives of Imran Awan, and Rao Abbas, are all linked to the criminal investigation being conducted by the U. S. Capitol Police.
Everything Gets Worse (Part XII) – Pakistan vs. India After 70 years of so-called independence, one has to be a professional victim not to look within oneself for the reasons for starvation, unnatural deaths, utter backwardness, drudgery, disease, and misery in India. Intellectual capital accumulated in the West over the last 2,500 years – available for free in real-time via the internet – can be downloaded by a passionate learner. In the age of modern technology, another mostly free gift from the West which has significantly leveled the playing field, societies that wanted economic convergence with the West, such as Japan, Korea, Singapore, HK, China, etc., have either achieved it rapidly, or have strongly trended toward it. *** Given that Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has been at the helm for only three years, it is hard to blame him in general for any of the above mentioned monstrosities marring daily life in India. The best the head of the executive of an extremely diverse and complicated country can achieve is to nudge the Titanic in the right direction.
This post was published at Acting-Man on April 21, 2017.
It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby committing two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime. To the extent that the U.N. participated in these war crimes along with Washington’s European, Canadian and Australian vassals, all are guilty of war crimes. Perhaps the U.N. itself should be arraigned before the War Crimes Tribunal along with the E.U., U.S., Australia and Canada. Quite a record. Western Civilization, if civilization it is, is the greatest committer of war crimes in human history. And there are other crimes – Somalia, and Obama’s coups against Honduras and Ukraine and Washington’s ongoing attempts to overthrow the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Washington wants to overthrow Ecuador in order to grab and torture Julian Assange, the world’s leading democrat. These war crimes committed by four U.S. presidents caused millions of civilian deaths and injuries and dispossessed and dislocated millions of peoples, who have now arrived as refugees in Europe, U.K., U.S., Canada, and Australia, bringing their problems with them.
While US officials have upped their death count from the Afghan MOAB drop to 94, Indian authorities are claiming that at least500 Pakistani nationals (who had been protecting the ISIS operatives in this area) were killed in the US bombing in Nangarhar province. One India reports that the area that was targetted was controlled by the Islamic State and protected by the Pakistan army, sources say. The operation that was jointly coordinated by the 201 Selab Corps of the Afghanistan army targeted the caves and tunnels that were used as hiding places by the IS. It is now clear that the Pakistan army was backing these IS operatives in Afghanistan, official sources also confirmed. Indian agencies who are coordinating withe counterparts in Afghanistan have learnt that there are no civilians living in the area. There were a large number of stooges of the Inter-Services intelligence who have been protecting the IS operatives in this area. The US action comes at a time when there was a huge build-up of IS forces in Afghanistan.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 15, 2017.
It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession. Clinton twice launched military attacks on Serbia, ordering NATO to bomb the former Yugoslavia twice, both in 1995 and in 1999, so that gives Bill two war crimes. George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and attacked provinces of Pakistan and Yemen from the air. That comes to four war crimes for Bush. Obama used NATO to destroy Libya and sent mercenaries to destroy Syria, thereby commiting two war crimes. Trump attacked Syria with US forces, thereby becoming a war criminal early in his regime. To the extent that the UN participated in these war crimes along with Washington’s European, Canadian and Australian vassals, all are guilty of war crimes. Perhaps the UN itself should be arranigned before the War Crimes Tribunal along with the EU, US, Australia and Canada. Quite a record. Western Civilization, if civilization it is, is the greatest committer of war crimes in human history. And there are other crimes – Somalia, and Obama’s coups against Honduras and Ukraine and Washington’s ongoing attempts to overthrow the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Washington wants to overthrow Ecuador in order to grab and torture Julian Assange, the world’s leading democrat. These war crimes committed by four US presidents caused millions of civilian deaths and injuries and dispossessed and dislocated millions of peoples, who have now arrived as refugees in Europe, UK, US, Canada, and Australia, bringing their problems with them, some of which become problerms for Europeans, such as gang rapes.
One day after the Trump administration demonstratively used the GBU-43/B Massive Ordinance Air Blast bomb (MOAB, also known as Mother Of All Bombs) the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in the US arsenal in Afghanistan, in a clear show of force meant to send a signal to North Korea, it released a video of the explosion. Afghan officials said 36 militants were killed in the strike in Nangarhar province, near the Pakistan border, where the US military previously estimated ISIS had 600 to 800 active fighters. There were no civilian casualties, according to the Ministry of Defense statement, which also said several ISIS caves and ammunition caches were destroyed. U. S. officials said precautions were taken to avoid civilian casualties. The ISIS commander in the area was among the dead, Afghanistan’s presidential palace said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 14, 2017.
Ron Paul’s thought-provoking speech on the House floor from February 2009 seems as appropriate now as it did then… *** Ron Paul: ‘Madam Speaker, I have a few questions for my colleagues. What if our foreign policy of the past century is deeply flawed and has not served our national security interest? What if we wake up one day and realize that the terrorist threat is the predictable consequence of our meddling in the affairs of others, and has nothing to do with us being free and prosperous? What if propping up repressive regimes in the Middle East endangers both the United States and Israel? What if occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan is directly related to the hatred directed toward us?
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 11, 2017.
As I noted above, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has recently moved the Doomsday Clock forward to ‘two and a half minutes to midnight.’ The Bulletin gave the following reasons for this latest, extraordinary increase in their estimate of world destruction: North Korea conducted two more nuclear weapons tests, the second, in September, yielding about twice the explosive power of the first, in January. Pyongyang also relentlessly tested missiles, achieving a rate of about two launches per month in 2016. In his 2017 New Year’s statement, Kim Jong-un declared he would soon test a missile with an intercontinental range. The UN Security Council passed new sanctions against North Korea in November 2016 in an effort to further limit the country’s access to cash, but there is no guarantee those sanctions will succeed where others have failed. Meanwhile, Russia is building new silo-based missiles, the new Borei class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines, and new rail-mobile missiles as it revamps other intercontinental ballistic missiles. The United States forges ahead with plans to modernize each part of its triad (bombers, land-based missiles, and missile-carrying submarines), adding new capabilities, such as cruise missiles with increased ranges. As it improves the survivability of its own nuclear forces, China is helping Pakistan build submarine platforms. And Pakistan and India continue to expand the number of weapons in and the sophistication of their nuclear arsenals.
India’s Rapid Degradation This is Part XI of a series of articles (the most recent of which is linked here) in which I have provided regular updates on what started as the demonetization of 86% of India’s currency. The story of demonetization and the ensuing developments were merely a vehicle for me to explore Indian institutions, culture and society. *** Tribal cultures face an inherent contradiction. They create poison from within to grow more collectivist, controlling and tyrannical – members of the populace looks for nannies, and they readily find sociopaths to exploit that need. Their lack of organizational skills, their inability to engage in economic calculation and their irrationality lead to massive internal stresses and the ultimate devolution of such an unnatural society. India finds itself in a situation where it is grasping for more totalitarianism to solve the problems that totalitarianism created. The demonetization exercise was an assertion of India’s underlying tribal and collectivist culture.
This post was published at Acting-Man on March 23, 2017.
On the heels of yesterday’s McCain meltdown exclaiming that Rand Paul “is now working for Vladimir Putin,” the Kentucky Senator released a short statement… “Currently, the United States has troops in dozens of countries and is actively fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen (with the occasional drone strike in Pakistan). In addition, the United States is pledged to defend 28 countries in NATO. It is unwise to expand the monetary and military obligations of the United States given the burden of our $20 trillion debt.“ And then appeared on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ to explain…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 16, 2017.
Although these motions against “Islamophobia” are not legally binding, extremists have already started demanding them as laws. People in hostile societies put their lives at risk by speaking against the majority; meanwhile, shutting out any criticism against hardliner behaviour in the West actually means giving extremists a license to keep on committing atrocities. Motions such as these are how most Muslim societies — and other authoritarian states — were founded: by depriving citizens of the basic right to express a difference of opinion, and worse, on the pretense of “doing good.” The blasphemy laws of Pakistan were introduced on the premise of protecting the sanctity of the people’s religious beliefs, but the laws only ended up meting out public death sentences to innocent and marginalized victims. A resolution, M-103, seeking to condemn so-called “Islamophobia,” was introduced a few weeks ago in the peaceful country of Canada by Liberal Party MP Iqra Khalid in the House of Commons, sparking a controversy. A similar motion, labelled M-37, was later tabled in the Ontario provincial legislature by MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers on February 23, 2017, and was passed by the provincial parliament. M-37, like its predecessor, demanded that lawmakers condemn “all forms of Islamophobia” and reaffirm “support for government efforts, through the Anti-Racism Directorate, to address and prevent systemic racism across government policy, programs and services”. Although these motions are not legally binding, extremists have already started demanding them as laws. There are, of course, no comparable motions against “Judeophobia” or “Christianophobia”.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 9, 2017.
For months now, Europe Union member states have been devastated by numerous terrorist attacks and acts of violent crime, many of which were perpetrated at the hands of people who sought asylum from persecution in their home countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. Here is just a small sample of our headlines from the past couple of months: 12 Dead, 48 Injured After Pakistan-Born Refugee Rammed Truck Into Berlin Christmas Market Machete-Wielding Man Shot At Paris Louvre After Attacking Soldier, Shouting “Allahu Akbar” “War In Paris” – ISIS Claims Responsibility For Deadly Attacks Killing 127: The Full Summary ISIS Mastermind Behind Istanbul Terrorist Attack Was A “Refugee” Protected By Europe Sweden Creates 55 “No-Go Zones” As It Loses Control Of Refugee Crisis But despite the violence that seems to follow Europe’s growing migrant population, European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos says that member states are falling short of fulfilling “their duty” to help international refugees. As such, Avramopoulos has threatened economic penalties as early as September for states that refuse to accept their ‘fair share’ of 160,000 Syrian refugees currently residing in Italy and Greece. Per Yahoo News: The EU on Thursday stepped up warnings that countries could be punished if they fail to share the burden of mainly Syrian refugees stranded in Greece and Italy. Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said member states had until September to take in 160,000 Syrian and other refugees from the two countries, which have been on the frontline of the migration crisis.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 3, 2017.