Tag Archives: WWIII

Pentagon Concludes America Not Safe Unless It Conquers the World

By Paul Craig Roberts
July 10, 2015
Counter Punch

War-USA-400x293The Pentagon has released its “National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015,” June 2015.

The document announces a shift in focus from terrorists to “state actors” that “are challenging international norms.” It is important to understand what these words mean. Governments that challenge international norms are sovereign countries that pursue policies independently of Washington’s policies.  These “revisionist states” are threats, not because they plan to attack the US, which the Pentagon admits neither Russia nor China intend, but because they are independent.

Be sure to grasp the point: The threat is the existence of sovereign states, whose independence of action makes them “revisionist states.”  In other words, their independence is out of step with the neoconservative Uni-Power doctrine that declares independent action to be the right of Washington alone. Washington’s History-given hegemony precludes any other country being independent in its actions. By definition, a country with a foreign policy independent of Washington is a threat.

The Pentagon’s report defines the foremost “revisionist states” as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. The focus is primarily on Russia. Washington hopes to co-op China, despite the “tension to the Asia-Pacific region” that China’s defense of its sphere of influence causes, a defense “inconsistent with international law” (this from Washington, the great violator of international law), by turning over what remains of the American consumer market to China.  It is not yet certain that Iran has escaped the fate that Washington imposed on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, and by complicity Palestine.

The Pentagon report is sufficiently audacious in its hypocrisy, as all statements from Washington are, to declare that Washington and its vassals “support the established institutions and processes dedicated to preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty, and furthering human rights.”  This from the military of a government that has invaded, bombed, and overthrown 11 governments, murdering and displacing millions of peoples,  since the Clinton regime and is currently working to overthrow governments in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina.

In the Pentagon document, Russia is under fire for not  acting “in accordance with international norms,” which means Russia is not following Washington’s leadership and behaving as a vassal, which is the behavior to which the Uni-Power is entitled

In other words, this is a bullshit report written by neocons in order to foment war with Russia.

Nothing else can be said about the Pentagon report, which  justifies war and more war until no one exists.  Without war and conquests, Americans are not safe. This path to nuclear Armageddon is being drilled every day into the heads of Americans and Washington’s vassals in Europe by the Western presstitute media. “War makes us safe!”

Washington’s view toward Russia is the same as Cato the Elder’s view toward Carthage. Cato the Elder finished his every speech on any subject in the Roman Senate with the statement “Carthage must be destroyed.”

This Pentagon report tells us that war with Russia is our future unless Russia agrees to become a vassal state like every country in Europe, and Canada, Australia, Ukraine, and Japan.  Otherwise, the neoconservatives have decided that it is impossible for Americans to tolerate living in a world in which countries make decisions independently of Washington.  If America cannot be The Uni-Power dictating to the world, better that we are all dead.  At least that will show the Russians.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

US, NATO powers intensify preparations for nuclear war

By Thomas Gaist
June 26, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

25a0a-war-looms-for-obama-in-iran-syria-and-north-korea-img_The NATO military alliance is preparing to implement a more aggressive nuclear weapons strategy in response to alleged “Russian aggression,” according to NATO sources cited by the Guardian Wednesday evening.

Proposed changes include provisions for greater involvement of nuclear forces in ongoing NATO military exercises along Russia’s borders and new guidelines for nuclear escalation against Russia, according to the NATO officials.

The alliance’s nuclear doctrine has been the subject of quiet, informal discussions “on the sidelines” of the ongoing NATO summit. The new policies will be formally articulated and confirmed at an upcoming conference of the alliance’s Nuclear Planning Group, which was rescheduled for an earlier date this week as word got around about the secretive planning.

“There is very real concern about the way in which Russia publicly bandies around nuclear stuff. So there are quite a lot of deliberations in the alliance about nuclear weapons,” an unnamed NATO diplomat told the Guardian.

The claim that discussion about a revision of nuclear weapons policy is in response to Russian aggression turns reality on its head. In the aftermath of the US and NATO-backed coup in Ukraine last year, the major imperialist powers have engaged in a relentless militarization of Eastern Europe, including the establishment of a rapid reaction force of 40,000 troops.

This week, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the US would permanently deploy tanks, military vehicles and other equipment to countries bordering Russia. There are also ongoing discussions about directly arming Ukraine, beyond the extensive assistance the right-wing government already receives.

NATO is now planning to respond to any attempt by Russia to maintain or counter US imperialism’s aggressive moves in Eastern Europe with even more massive military response, including nuclear weapons.

An indication of the thinking of NATO strategists was provided by a report in the Financial Times. In the event of a conflict involving one of the Baltic countries, “Russia might…accuse the alliance of escalating the conflict and threaten to use intermediate range nuclear weapons.” The Times quotes Elbridge Colby, of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS): “NATO does not need a total nuclear rethink. But it needs to be realistic about how it would respond and willing to show Putin that he would not get away with it.”

This scenario builds on allegations from the US that Russia has violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), allegations that the Russian government has denied. US officials have stated that the Pentagon is preparing to launch preemptive attacks against missiles or other targets in Russia, including with nuclear weapons, in response to Moscow’s alleged violation of the treaty.

The announcement of major revisions to NATO’s nuclear strategy came just days after the publication of an extensive report, “Project Atom: Defining US Nuclear Strategy and Posture for 2025-2050,” by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The main portions of the report were authored by a career US government strategist and senior CSIS analyst, Clark Murdock, a man who previously worked in high-level strategy jobs at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Department of Defense (DOD), the US Air Force and the National War College. The report included contributions from a large team of researchers and experts, including panels from the CNAS and the National Institution for Public Policy (NIPP).

The thrust of the CSIS analysis is that the US must make its nuclear arsenal easier to use in a war with Russia, China or some other power. The military must adopt “a US nuclear strategy designed for twenty-first century realities,” based on new generations of tactical warheads and delivery systems.

More advanced tactical nuclear weapons will enable Washington to threaten and launch small nuclear wars, without being “self-deterred” by concerns that its actions would lead to a nuclear holocaust, the CSIS report argues.

“The United States needs to develop and deploy more employable nuclear weapons,” the CSIS wrote, including “low collateral damage, enhanced radiation, earth penetration, electromagnetic pulse, and others as technology advances.”

Such advances, the report argues, are the only way to counter the erosion of American technological superiority by the growth of the Chinese and Russian nuclear arsenals, together with the addition of as many as nine new governments to the “nuclear club.”

Under the “Measured Response” theory advocated by the CSIS and Murdock, these types of highly mobile nuclear strike forces could engage in “controlled nuclear operations,” firing “low yield, accurate, special effects” nukes against enemy targets without leading to a full-scale nuclear war.

By “forward deploying a robust set of discriminate nuclear response options,” the US could launch tactical nuclear strikes “at all rungs of the nuclear escalation ladder,” Murdock wrote.

Such “small-scale” nuclear conflicts would inevitably claim tens, if not hundreds of millions of lives, even assuming they did not escalate into a global nuclear war.

The continental US, according to this theory, would be protected from the consequences of regional-scale nuclear warfare by the deterrent effect of Washington’s huge arsenal of high-yield strategic weapons. Any “controlled” nuclear conflicts started by the US government, moreover, would not involve nuclear operations targeting or launched from North America.

“The US homeland would not be engaged in the US response to a nuclear attack on a regional ally,” the CSIS wrote.

In barely veiled language, CSIS is suggesting that the US should utilize allied and client governments as staging areas and arenas for “controlled” atomic warfare.

As the product of collaboration between an extensive network of ruling-class policy theorists, such proposals are extremely ominous and represent a grave warning to the international working class.

There have been other calls for a significant expansion of US nuclear weapons capacity. In comments to the Atlantic Council earlier this week, US Congressman Mac Thornberry, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called for a “national conversation about building new nuclear weapons.”

“That’s something we haven’t been able to even have a conversation about for a while, but I think we’re going to have to,” Thornberry declared.

Late last year, the Obama administration announced plans for a $1 trillion, three-decades-long upgrade of nuclear weapons capability.

In the writings of the CSIS and the other discussions within the state apparatus, there is a degree of insanity. The strategists of American imperialism are coldly calculating the best tactics for waging and winning nuclear war. Yet this insanity flows from the logic of American imperialism and the drive by the financial aristocracy to control—ever more directly through the use of military force—the entire world.

NATO announces expansion of military force targeting Russia

By Niles Williamson
June 25, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

russia_wants_war_NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels Wednesday and Thursday agreed to the enlargement of the organization’s Response Force to 40,000 troops from the current level of 13,000. On Tuesday, ahead of the meeting, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced the positioning of hundreds of American tanks, military vehicles and heavy artillery pieces in the Baltic States as well as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

This buildup of troops and military equipment is part of a long-term reorientation of NATO directed against Russia. There is only one conclusion the Kremlin can draw from such threatening and aggressive measures: Washington and its European allies are preparing to go to war against Russia. Moscow is undoubtedly preparing accordingly.

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spelled out the implications of the US-NATO policy at the conclusion of NATO war games in Poland last week, declaring: “The peaceful period after the Second World War is over. We cannot defend our European way of life if we don’t do more for our defense.”

The international working class should take this statement as a dire warning. If the post-World War II period of peace is over, the build-up to World War III has begun.

At the opening of the Brussels meeting on Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg disingenuously declared that NATO was not seeking “confrontation,” adding that “we do not want a new arms race.” He claimed the expanding deployment of NATO forces in Eastern Europe was purely a defensive response to Russian “aggression” in Ukraine.

“We are carefully assessing the implications of what Russia is doing,” he said, “including its nuclear activities.”

Stoltenberg called on alliance members to meet pledges made at the NATO summit in Wales last September to increase their defense budgets to two percent of gross domestic product (GDP). NATO released figures Monday indicating that the majority of member states are falling far short of the two percent threshold. The report stated that overall defense spending by NATO will fall by 1.5 percent in 2015 to $893 billion. The United States, Poland, Estonia, Great Britain and Greece are the only countries in the alliance that will meet the two percent goal.

The expansion of the Response Force is one of numerous initiatives agreed to at the Brussels meeting. The defense ministers finalized plans to establish six new NATO command centers, to be located in Lativa, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria.

According to Stoltenberg, the new centers, each initially staffed by 40 people, will facilitate strategic planning, military exercises and the deployment of the newly formed 5,000-strong Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). This rapid deployment force will be tasked with mobilizing against Russia within days, once it is called upon to do so.

On Monday, US Defense Secretary Carter announced that Washington would contribute bombers, fighter jets, surveillance drones, Special Operations troops and other military resources to the VJTF.

The defense ministers also agreed to grant the supreme allied commander of NATO forces in Europe, US General Phillip Breedlove, authority to deploy troops on much shorter notice in order to facilitate the operations of the VJTF.

The Brussels meeting highlighted the mounting danger of the conflict with Russia escalating into a nuclear war. The assembled ministers held sideline discussions over NATO’s nuclear strategy in light of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recently announced plan to add 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to the country’s stockpile and US accusations that Moscow has violated the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The Guardian quoted an anonymous official as warning that Russia’s statements had lowered “the threshold when it comes to nuclear weapons.” The official added that NATO was “closely examining it carefully as part of the overall examination of Russia’s activities in Europe and how we at least in NATO must unfortunately react.”

A meeting of NATO’s Nuclear Planning Group is expected to take place later this year. According the Guardian, among the issues to be discussed is an “enhanced role for nuclear weapons in NATO military exercises.”

US Ambassador to NATO Doug Lute told reporters, “There is a general assessment under way in Washington, and a parallel assessment here in NATO, to look at all the possible implications of what Russia says about its nuclear weapons… and what we actually see on the ground in terms of development and deployment.”

In testimony earlier this month, Robert Scher, the US assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans and capabilities, Defense Secretary Carter’s key nuclear policy aide, told Congress that the Pentagon was considering a variety of options for responding to alleged violations of the INF treaty, including preemptive missile strikes against Russia.

Speaking of recent statements from Moscow, Ivo Daalder, former US ambassador to NATO, said, “It should scare people. Now we are in a situation where it’s not inconceivable that there might be a military confrontation, and this kind of bluster contributes to the possibility of miscalculation.”

Lukasz Kulesa, research director for the European Leadership Network, told the Wall Street Journal that NATO should rein in its public rhetoric, but escalate behind-the-scenes maneuvers such as flying nuclear-capable B-52s over the Baltic states.

“This is a way to signal back to Russia that the United States is also capable of delivering a nuclear blow,” Kulesa said.

Last week, as part of the annual Sabre Strike military exercises, a US B-52 was flown over Latvia for the first time. It dropped dummy bombs in an air strike called in by Latvian soldiers. The strike was carried out in Adazi, less than 200 miles from the Russian border.

US paratroopers taking part in the Sabre Strike exercises practiced seizing airfields in Lithuania and Poland.

Global economic impact of violence reached $14.3 trillion in 2014

By Evan Blake
June 23, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

War is hellThe economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2014 measured a staggering $14.3 trillion, or 13.4 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to the combined economic output of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

This represents a spending increase of $1.9 trillion, or 15.3 percent, since 2008, according to the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) think tank. The report defines the economic impact of violence as the “flow on effects on the world economy and the opportunity cost due to the misallocation of resources into non-productive areas associated with violence.”

Most of the total expenditure stems from deaths and displacement due to internal conflict, military spending, GDP losses from conflict, increasing homicide and violent crime rates, and spending on internal security officers, including police.

In total, more than $3 trillion was poured into military spending in 2014, with the US accounting for over $1.3 trillion alone. The study found that expenses related to the military, internal police forces and homicides combined to have the highest impact on costs, accounting for 68.3 percent of the total.

The costs needed to support refugees and internally displaced people have increased by 267 percent since 2008, to $128 billion, as the total number of displaced people reached 59.5 million in 2014, the highest level since World War II. Still, UN peacekeeping costs account for less than 0.17 percent of total violence containment expenditure.

The three most prominent targets of American imperialism in the recent period, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have seen a substantial portion of their resources squandered on war. The US-stoked civil war in Syria, which has ravaged the country for four years, is estimated to have absorbed 42 percent of the country’s GDP in 2014, while Afghanistan spent 31 percent of its GDP on military and police expenditures, and Iraq spent 30 percent in 2014.

The GPI report ranks the nations of the world according to their “level of peacefulness,” based on 23 different qualitative and quantitative measurements from 162 states, covering 99.6 percent of the world’s population. Since the first report in 2008, the divide between the most and least “peaceful” countries and regions has steadily deepened, as US-led imperialism has plunged large parts of the world into deepening violence.

Syria again ranked on these terms as the least peaceful country in the world, while Libya experienced the most severe decline, according to the ranking system. Ukraine saw the second biggest decline, due to the eruption of fighting between pro-Russian separatist forces and NATO-backed fascist militias in east Ukraine.

The Middle East and North Africa region saw the most marked decline in average rankings, while Europe as a whole continued to see increases in peacefulness, as Iceland was again ranked the most peaceful, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Japan, Australia and the Czech Republic.

The US was ranked at 94th place, between Peru and Saudi Arabia. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Central African Republic, in that order, were the bottom five countries in the index.

Significantly, the report found that deaths caused by terrorism increased by 61 percent from 2012-13 and have more than doubled since 2008, resulting in 17,958 people being killed in terrorist attacks in 2013. Of those deaths, 82 percent occurred in just five countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.

These figures once again expose the essential truth that the so-called War on Terror has in fact empowered terrorist organizations in those countries that have been targeted by American imperialism. Despite the constant invocation of “national security” as the centerpiece of the war, the vast majority of terrorist attacks take place outside the advanced capitalist countries.

While much of the data compiled in the report is useful in portraying the immense scale of the costs of imperialist war and internal political repression, the GPI rankings system is flawed and the authors themselves present a rose-tinted view of the current geopolitical situation. At one point, the report declares that, “Over the last sixty years, the world has become more peaceful. There has been a marked and consistent downturn in levels of violence and conflict since the end of the Second World War.”

Later, however, the report notes that the intensity of military conflict has increased dramatically in recent years, with 180,000 people killed in 2014 alone, a nearly fourfold increase from 49,000 in 2010. However, it glosses over the present threat of a major conflict between nuclear-armed powers and covers up of the machinations of the US-led imperialist order, effectively playing into the hands of the forces spearheading the drive to war.

Regarding the potential for such a global conflict arising from the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea, which are being driven through the US “pivot to Asia” directed against China, the authors write: “Although the likelihood of further military skirmishes in the disputed waters is high, a large-scale military engagement remains unlikely.”

In their overview of the crisis in Ukraine, the line of the US State Department comes through clearly: “The conflict began with Russia’s military takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula following the overthrow of the government of Viktor Yanukovych in late February. From April it extended to the Ukrainian mainland, when separatist militias—made up of some locals, as well as mercenaries linked to the ousted regime, local criminal gangs and Russian nationalist volunteers—began to seize urban centres across south-east Ukraine, backed heavily by Russian weapons, intelligence and finance, with regular Russian troops intervening directly if necessary to prevent a separatist defeat.”

There is no mention whatsoever of the role played by the US, which backed far-right nationalist and outright fascistic organizations such as Svoboda and the Right Sector to overthrow Yanukovych, and hand-picked the emergent government with puppets like Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and billionaire oligarch President Petro Poroshenko.

Above all, the worldwide escalation in military spending and domestic policing indicate the advanced stage of the buildup to a new world war involving the major imperialist powers.

Has Washington Gone Looney Tunes?

By F. William Engdahl
June 22, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

P434234234Given a series of recent speeches by leading US officials and actions, the question must be frankly posed: Has Washington gone collectively looney tunes? Even as the governments of the EU are moving to buck US pressures and ease the sanctions, the Obama Administration seems intent on marching in the direction of a nuclear confrontation with Russia. As the ancient Greek expression puts it, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad…” The following recent developments fit that pattern quite nicely, thank you.

On June 5, Ashton Carter, the neo-conservative Obama Defense Secretary gave clear indications he is prepared to be far more provocative against Russia than his fired predecessor, Chuck Hagel. Carter convened a special meeting in Stuttgart, Germany of two dozen US military leaders and US Ambassadors in Europe at the headquarters of US European Command. He told them, “We have something that has taken a sad turn recently, which is Russia.”

That in itself was not so notable as were the reports that the neo-con US Defense Secretary, “Ash”—that is his nickname, appropriately enough—Carter discussed at the Stuttgart meeting returning US short-range nuclear missiles to European NATO countries to target Russia.

On June 7, just two days after Carter’s Stuttgart remarks, UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, told the press that the UK might again place American nuclear missiles on British soil because of what he termed “heightened tensions” with Russia. The Foreign Secretary said there were “worrying signs” about the increased activity of Russian forces and that the UK would “consider the pros and cons of taking US intermediate-range weapons.”

The UK Telegraph reported that Ash Carter was considering unilaterally abrogating a Cold War-era treaty with Russia’s predecessor, the Soviet Union, and re-deploying nuclear-capable missiles in Europe.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Hammond went on to reveal what a psychologist might clinically call paranoid schizophrenia. First he sounded the war drums, declaring boldly, “We have got to send a clear signal to Russia that we will not allow them to transgress our red lines.” The last NATO politician to foolishly talk about red lines was US President Barack Obama in Syria in 2013 and that nearly landed the US in a Middle East conflagration so dangerous that his own generals reportedly threatened to resign. Then, in the next breath, Hammond the tough guy talking about re-stationing US intermediate-range nuclear missiles on UK soil, blurts out, “At the same time, we have to recognize that the Russians do have a sense of being surrounded and under attack and we don’t want to make unnecessary provocations.”

Does that mean the UK will only make “necessary” provocations? Indeed, the intellectual and moral quality of western politicians in the last decades has become laughable.

Neither Britain nor France, both NATO countries with nuclear arsenals, signed the 1987 INF Treaty, something Moscow at the time vehemently protested.

Germans agree US Pershing II missiles

In 1983 the German Bundestag agreed to allow the deployment of American Pershing II middle-range nuclear missiles on German territory, at the same time the Reagan Administration announced it was initiating an anti-ballistic missile defense system, later dubbed Star Wars. Both decisions led to a state of extreme military tensions between the Warsaw Pact and NATO until the USA and Soviet Union agreed to sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in December 1987 which provided for destruction of all middle range weapons on both sides.

Significantly, that was one year after Washington and Saudi Arabia had deliberately collapsed the price of crude oil to well below $10 a barrel, devastating the Soviet hard currency dollar budget that was essential to obtain technologies to counter the US Star Wars and other NATO military threats.

Now Washington seems to be saying, to quote the words of the great New York Yankees baseball catcher, Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.” But 2015 is not at all the same world as 1983, and the Russian Federation, especially in de facto alliance with China and others, is not the bankrupt Soviet Union of 1983.

NATO to take Kaliningrad?

It seems that the Pentagon is considering far more mad moves than merely returning mid-range nuclear missiles to Europe. According to hackers who managed to enter the system of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, that tiny Baltic country is getting ready to militarily annex Russia’s Kaliningrad region. It reads like a fantastic rewrite of the 1950’s Peter Sellers satire film, The Mouse that Roared, with Lithuania cast in the role of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, declaring war this time, not on the United States, but on the Russian Federation.

Kaliningrad is a Russian Oblast today of some 960,000 ethnic Russian inhabitants. It became part of the Soviet Union in 1945, at the Potsdam Conference, when the US and British Governments agreed to the transfer to the Soviet Union of the city of Koenigsberg, renamed Kaliningrad, and the area adjacent to it.

Because of Washington’s eastward expansion of NATO after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, Kaliningrad is situated now between NATO members Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. Because it is the only Russian Baltic Sea port “ice-free” all year round, it plays a vital strategic role in harboring the Russian Baltic Naval Fleet and three Russian air force bases.

When the Bush Administration announced it was stationing US missiles in Poland in 2007 as part of its upgraded Ballistic Missile Defense deployment, tensions between Moscow and Washington reached a break point, as Russia threatened to station nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, a threat dropped in 2009 as a response to Obama’s feint, called “reset.” For NATO, using tiny Lithuania today as her proxy, to seize Kaliningrad, would amount to a declaration of nuclear war against Russia.

According to Lithuanian news portal Delfi, the hacked documents of the Lithuanian Defense Ministry reveal that ongoing NATO maneuvers in the region would provide the cover for the surprise attack. Right now some 2,100 soldiers from nine NATO member states part of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) are taking part in military exercises in northwestern Poland. Later this summer, NATO’s “Allied Shield” will be also held in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, involving 15,000 troops from 19 NATO member states and three partner nations, including Sweden, later this month.

Who violates INF?

Moscow accuses Washington of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty by placing missile defense launchers in Poland and Romania, capable of firing Tomahawk thermonuclear cruise missiles at Russian and Belarus targets.

To cover over the brazen US INF violations, Ash Carter claims the Obama Administration “suspects” Russia has tested ground-launched cruise missiles with a range that is not allowed by the INF treaty. Testing missiles, even if true, and Washington has produced no proof, is a far cry from deploying nuclear-capable missiles in Poland and Romania and to planning the invasion by NATO of one of Russia’s prime military enclaves, Kaliningrad.

The so-called Russian INF Treaty violations that are being used as a pretext for Washington to again place intermediate-range missiles in Europe, aimed at Russian targets, were supposedly committed by Moscow in 2008, according to New York Times reports. But it was only in 2013, just prior to their launching Maidan Square protests that led to the Washington coup d’etat in Ukraine, did the US State Department even raise the possibility of violation. Then it was only in July, 2014 when, according to the New York Times, that US President Obama had written a letter to President Putin accusing Russia of those 2008 testing violations.viii

The leak of the letter at the time, July, 2014, fit conveniently with the Obama Administration demonization of Putin’s Russia. The NATO Supreme Commander, US General Philip M. Breedlove stated in April 2014 that the alleged 2008 Russian “violation” required a response. “A weapon capability that violates the INF, that is introduced into the greater European land mass, is absolutely a tool that will have to be dealt with. It can’t go unanswered.”

Little wonder Russian analysts accuse Washington of setting loose a propaganda barrage, blaming Russia for violations, so that they could justify returning their nuclear missiles to European NATO and Asia where they would target both Russia and China.

Mad, heated-up people in Washington, London and elsewhere in NATO are literally playing nuclear “chicken.” Are the Poles, Lithuanians, Germans and British that stupid that they cannot see the larger consequences of the Washington NATO game? Or are they that suicidal? After all, it is they who would become a thermonuclear ash-heap, not the United States. Just as it has been the German and other EU economies which have suffered massively under US-imposed Russia sanctions.

How ridiculous this all is. Roaring mad mice streaming out of the cracks in the august edifices of Washington and London and Vilnius, squeaking and running about in a mad frenzy. It’s Looney Tunes rebaked in Washington these days. But Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat did a better job than these guys.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Who’s Behind Asia-Pacific’s Growing Tensions?

By Tony Cartalucci
June 18, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

F201307020907394598748414Increasing tension in the Asia-Pacific between China and nations surrounding its territory, appears to be an unstoppable and inevitable lead-up to regional conflict and perhaps even global war.

In reality, for those who have studied history, this is a familiar rerun. Change the characters and place current events in the context of the early 1900’s and we see the lead up to World War II and more specifically, the events that set the stage for the fighting in the Pacific.

Some may believe this is a rerun of when Japan was the sole aggressor in the region, expanding beyond its means before finally meeting its match. Predicated on this misconception, these same people would believe that China has now traded places with Imperial Japan, and is expanding recklessly at the expense of regional and global peace and stability.

However, this is indeed a misconception.

World War II: Setting the Record Straight

To make this clear, we must consider the words of a contemporary of the period before World War II and the words of warning he offered regarding the true nature of tensions at that time. He was United State Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, two-time recipient of the Medal of Honor, and a man who fought America’s wars on multiple continents throughout his entire adult life and part of his childhood – he lied about his age to enlist in the Marine Corps early.

In his seminal writing “War is a Racket,” he speaks specifically of tensions in the Asia-Pacific at the time and offered advice on how to avoid what would be a catastrophic war (emphasis added):

At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don’t shout that “We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation.” Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only.

Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.

The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.

The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon’s shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.


The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can’t go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.

General Butler alludes to the fact that America’s posture in Asia-Pacific would inevitably provoke war. To answer why precisely the United States was conducting naval maneuvers off Japan’s shores before the outbreak of World War II, one must consider America’s openly imperialist “Manifest Destiny” which saw the seizure and occupation of islands across the Pacific, up to and including the Philippines which still to this day suffers the effects of constant US military, political, and economic meddling – but at the time the island nation was literally occupied as a conquered territory by the US.

The Pacific theater of World War II was then, not a battle between good and evil nor between democracy and empire – it was a battle between two empires who sought to impose their will upon lands beyond their borders.

One could argue though, that Japan’s actions may have been driven more by a need to counterbalance long-standing Western hegemony in the Pacific, rather than a desire to conquer the planet. While certainly the Japanese sought empire, much of what precipitated World War II was an attempt by the Japanese to push out Western imperialism that surrounded Japan and openly sought to eventually impose its rule upon Japan itself.

China Today

We can see something similar today in Asia Pacific. The stated goal of US foreign policy, particularly the “Pivot to Asia” is to reestablish American preeminence in the Pacific region, thousands of miles from American shores. There exists policy papers drafted from corporate-financier funded think tanks that openly call for the encirclement and isolation of China to thwart its rise as a regional economic and military power.

This is not because the United States fears Chinese troops storming the beaches of California, but because they fear China challenging and displacing American influence where it shouldn’t be in the first place.

The term “String of Pearls,” taken from the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute’s report “String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoral,” refers to a “string” of geopolitically important ports, pipelines, and other installations China is building stretching from the Middle East and North Arfica (MENA), past Pakistan, India, and Myanmar, and all the way back to China’s shores in the South China Sea.

The SSI report openly lays out plans to disrupt Chinese interests along this “string,” a strategy in 2006 that would tangibly manifest itself beginning with the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011which saw extremists eventually pushed Chinese interests out of the MENA region, to various conflicts today regarding destabilization in Myanmar and Pakistan, as well as “island disputes” in the South China Sea.

In virtually every point along the “string” the SSI report covered, we now see concerted violence and political chaos whose source stems from US State Department-funded nongovernmental organizations and movements everywhere from the Middle East, to Baluchistan, Pakistan, to Myanmar, and of course to the governments of Japan and the Philippines, subservient to US interests since the end of the Second World War.

The SSI report would conclude by stating the following carefully coded wording:

The United States, through its diplomacy, economic policies, and military strategy has an unprecedented opportunity to shape and influence China’s future direction. Overcoming the potential challenges posed by the “String of Pearls” and the successful integration of China as a responsible stakeholder in the international system are necessary for the future prosperity and security of states in the region and across the globe.

Of course, by “international system,” SSI means that which Wall Street, Washington, London, and Brussels created, controls, and are the sole benefactors of. To ensure clarity on this point, an earlier paper written in 1997 by US policymaker Robert Kagan titled “What China Knows That We Don’t: The Case for a New Strategy of Containment,” on the same subject of “integrating China” into the existing “international order” states (emphasis added):

The present world order serves the needs of the United States and its allies, which constructed it. And it is poorly suited to the needs of a Chinese dictatorship trying to maintain power at home and increase its clout abroad. Chinese leaders chafe at the constraints on them and worry that they must change the rules of the international system before the international system changes them.

New Tensions Same as the Old Tensions 

It’s very clear then that tensions in Asia Pacific, amid which the US attempts to pose as an indispensable mediator of, are in fact the intentional, premeditated consequences of long-standing, well-documented US foreign policy. It is clear that a rising China was not the cause of the last World War, nor will it be the cause of the next. The cause is rather the same tiresome special interests which have driven all of the World Wars – those centered in the West unable to accept regional influence and a multi-polar world, and those interests who will only settle for global hegemony.With the true perpetrators of rising tensions in the Pacific identified, and the consequences well-studied of when last these perpetrators stoked such tensions, those nations faced with the choice of playing proxies for Wall Street and Washington or readjusting and even profiting from the rise of China, have one last chance amid a closing window of opportunity to ensure history does not tragically repeat itself, yet again.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

3-minute video: Tell the truth now, or be ridiculed/ridiculous after ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ trance breaks

By Carl Herman
June 12, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

a1e20-obamaemperorhasnoclothes

hat tip: TheSOTTReport (and here)

3-minute video, Still You Believe by Osama and the Bin Ladens:

The Emperor’s New Clothes is the story of current wars and central “monetary” policy: “official” stories easily and completely refuted by anyone caring to look at the facts. All three are tragic-comedies because even children see the truth with just a few moments of attention.

This was the theme of a conference paper; full professional explanation and documentation here.

In The Emperor’s New Clothes story, upon public initial conversations of the facts, the emperor continues the pretense, along with “officials.” However, the illusion is shattered within moments as the “whole town” began speaking about what was clear for everyone upon minimal attention.

Earth will either have lawful arrests of .01% War Criminals or World War 3. These War Criminals center in the US, UK, and Israel, with UN complicit silence in Orwellian opposite of their Charter.

The outcome we have depends on how many humans choose to state obvious truths of unlawful wars, bankster looting, and corporate media lying to “cover” these crimes (among ~100 crucial areas of concern).

Look into your future, please, to confirm one of two general outcomes:

  1. You participate to upgrade from Earth’s Emperor’s New Clothes status. Whether we win or not is out of our hands.
  2. Your response to this call is weak; humanity either wins or loses.

For you, personally, again please confirm your general status after each outcome:

  1. All are proud of your actions, including your family and you. This party and future take place on Earth if we win, and in some other dimension if our numbers are insufficient.
  2. None are proud of your actions, including your family and you. You will feel ridiculous on Earth if we win, and ashamed in some other dimension if we lose Earth to these .01% literal psychopaths.

Choose wisely.

**

Note: I make all factual assertions as a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History, with all economics factual claims receiving zero refutation since I began writing in 2008 among Advanced Placement Macroeconomics teachers on our discussion board, public audiences of these articles, and international conferences. I invite readers to empower their civic voices with the strongest comprehensive facts most important to building a brighter future. I challenge professionals, academics, and citizens to add their voices for the benefit of all Earth’s inhabitants.

**

Carl Herman is a National Board Certified Teacher of US Government, Economics, and History; also credentialed in Mathematics. He worked with both US political parties over 18 years and two UN Summits with the citizen’s lobby, RESULTS, for US domestic and foreign policy to end poverty. He can be reached at Carl_Herman@post.harvard.edu

Note: Examiner.com has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers), so some links in my previous work are blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. Or, go to http://archive.org/web/, paste the expired link into the box, click “Browse history,” then click onto the screenshots of that page for each time it was screen-shot and uploaded to webarchive. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (blocked author pages: here, here).

Obama Wants More Sanctions against Russia

By Stephen Lendman
June 10, 2015
Global Research

 

25a0a-war-looms-for-obama-in-iran-syria-and-north-korea-img_Obama commented after two days of G-7 discussions. He repeated tired old demagogic boilerplate we’ve heard many times before.

“(W)e’re…here to stand up for the fundamental principles that we share as democracies: for freedom; for peace; for the right of nations and peoples to decide their own destiny; for universal human rights and the dignity of every human being,” he blustered.

Fact: Democracy in America is pure fantasy. Monied interests control everything. Ordinary people have no say whatever. Elections are farcical when held.

Fact: Throughout his tenure, Obama waged war on fundamental freedoms – including targeting more whistleblowers of government wrongdoing than all his predecessors combined and making America a Big Brother society more than earlier.

Fact: Peace is anathema for US policymakers. Endless direct and proxy wars rage.

Fact: Sovereign independent nations are targeted for regime change.

Fact: America is the world’s leading human rights abuser on a global scale.

Obama took credit for nonexistent economic recovery. Protracted Main Street Depression conditions exist.

Real unemployment tops 23%. Tens of millions wanting jobs can’t find them. Those created are rotten low-pay, poor or no-benefit part-time or temp ones.

“(I)n the global economy, America is (not) a major source of strength,” as Obama claims.

He urged punishing Greece more than already by forcing greater austerity cuts on people least able to tolerate them.

He outrageously corporate written TPP and TTIP trade legislation include “high standards to protect workers, public safety and the environment.”

Their provisions are polar opposite. They’re anti-consumer, anti-environmental nightmarish bills.

G-7 countries remain “strongly united in support of Ukraine,” said Obama. He promised continued political, economic and technical support. He omitted explaining heavy weapons America supplies Kiev to continue waging naked aggression on its own people.

“Russian forces continue to operate in eastern Ukraine, violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he claimed.

“This is now the second year in a row that the G7 has met without Russia – another example of Russia’s isolation – and every member of the G7 continues to maintain sanctions on Russia for its aggression against Ukraine.”

Fact: The whole world knows Washington and Kiev partner in waging dirty war without mercy on Donbass Ukrainians rejecting fascism – wanting real democracy.

Fact: It’s common knowledge in Western capitals that no “Russian aggression” exists. The Big Lie otherwise drowns out hard truths.

Obama’s claim about sanctions hurting Russia are way overblown. EU countries supporting Washington’s agenda do so at their own expense.

Russia is strong and resilient. Its partnership with other BRICS countries represents a strong counterweight to G-7 dominance. America’s attempt to influence its geopolitical policies failed.

“…Sanctions against Russia will remain in place so long as (it) continues to violate its obligations under the Minsk agreements,” Obama blustered.

“Our European partners reaffirmed that they will maintain sanctions on Russia until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented, which means extending the EU’s existing sectoral sanctions beyond July.”

“And the G7 is making it clear that, if necessary, we stand ready to impose additional, significant sanctions against Russia.”

Fact: Russia scrupulously observes all three Ukraine ceasefire agreements – the latest one in February this year.

Fact: Washington and its proxy Kiev junta violated them straightaway – wanting war, not peace.

Blaming Russia irresponsibly for crimes they committed indicates protracted war, increased US saber rattling, more sanctions and other hostile policies risking direct confrontation.

America is the greatest threat to world peace and stability. As long as EU countries go along with its imperial agenda harming their own interests, the unthinkable is possible – the nightmare of potential humanity destroying nuclear war.

With lunatics in charge in Washington, the unthinkable could become reality.

A Final Comment

G-7 countries Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan foolishly yield to US pressure on bashing Russia.

A joint communique following two days of talks said “the duration of sanctions should be clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

“(W)e…stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require.”

It bears repeating. Russia is wrongfully blamed for US/Kiev high crimes. All G-7 countries know what they won’t admit, including America – the greatest threat in history to world peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

G7 leaders escalate war threats against Russia

By Thomas Gaist
June 9, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

During their second day of discussions in the resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the German Alps on Monday, the leaders of the major imperialist powers affirmed their commitment to a policy of escalating strategic and military pressure against Russia.

“We need to keep pushing Russia,” Obama said. “Russian forces continue to operate in eastern Ukraine, violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“The G7 is making it clear that if necessary we stand ready to impose additional significant sanctions against Russia,” Obama declared.

An official communiqué released by the G7 powers—the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada—reaffirmed Obama’s anti-Russia comments. It warned that the assembled powers would devise “further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia.”

The hypocrisy and recklessness of Obama and his G7 counterparts is breathtaking. They are denouncing Russian “aggression” in Ukraine, which they plunged into civil war by backing a fascist-led putsch last year that toppled a pro-Russian government. Now, US and NATO armed forces are conducting air, sea and ground exercises all along Russia’s borders. In Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea, and the Black Sea, the US and its allies are rehearsing the opening stages of an all-out war with Russia.

Last week, US defense officials testifying before the US House of Representatives indicated that the Pentagon is considering launching pre-emptive strikes against Russian targets, including with nuclear weapons (see: US officials consider nuclear strikes against Russia). These statements are no doubt now being carefully studied by the Russian military.

NATO’s recently-formed Rapid Response Force, which has been assembled to serve as the spearhead of a NATO ground war against Russian forces, is set to conduct military exercises in Poland starting today. The so-called “Baltops” exercises are to involve thousands of US-NATO troops and will take place simultaneously in Sweden, Germany and the Baltic Sea.

A quarter century after the Stalinist dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the “Cold War,” Washington is preparing new forward-deployments of its nuclear arsenal to Europe. In an interview with the BBC given the preceding day, British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond made clear that plans for new US nuclear deployments to Europe are far advanced.

Hammond told the BBC Sunday that Britain may soon withdraw from the INF treaty, clearing the way for Britain to serve as a staging area for an American nuclear build-up against Russia, just as it did prior to 1991, when US nuclear weapons were stationed at the Royal Air Force’s Greenham Common base.

“There have been some worrying signs of stepping up levels of activity both by Russian forces and by Russian-controlled separatist forces,” Hammond said. “We have got to send a clear signal to Russia that we will not allow them to transgress our red lines.”

The US and European ruling elites’ strategy of endlessly bullying Russia by threatening it with war and nuclear strikes poses immense dangers to the world’s population. Even assuming that the ruling elites of the NATO powers are not immediately seeking to provoke outright war with Russia, the constant drumbeat of NATO threats and military exercises immensely heightens the danger of war breaking out accidentally.

With thousands of jet fighters, warships, and armored units on heightened alert throughout the region, the world is only a few miscalculations away from a clash between NATO and Russian forces that could rapidly escalate into war.

The immense dangers posed to the world’s population arising from the US and NATO war drive against Russia are being hidden from masses of workers in the United States and worldwide. No one in the official media are asking how many people would die if the military maneuvers being practiced by Russian and NATO forces in their exercises turned into the real thing. Instead, much of the media coverage of the G7 summit focused on controversy over whether Obama was drinking alcohol-free beer yesterday.

The relentless military escalation at this G7 summit testifies to the breakdown and historic bankruptcy of capitalism. Without the unification and mobilization of the international working class in revolutionary struggle against imperialism and war, it is not only likely, but inevitable, that NATO war threats will at some point unleash all-out war.

Russian leaders have already warned that they are on alert for signs of an imminent first strike by NATO and are holding Russian nuclear forces ready to respond to such an attack, should it come (see: Russian President Putin says Ukraine crisis threatens nuclear war).

The second main priority of the assembled leaders was to coordinate the imposition of austerity measures that have already set in motion the collapse of large parts of the European economy.

Even as Obama denounced Putin for “wrecking his country’s economy,” the social cuts, mass layoffs and other “economic restructuring” measures dictated by the Western banks and financial institutions are pushing millions into poverty and ravaging key social infrastructure across Southern and Eastern Europe.

In its official communique, the G7 powers demanded that the Ukrainian government continue to implement austerity policies that, as in Greece, are pushing broad layers of the population into poverty. The Kiev regime must “decisively continue the necessary fundamental transformation in line with IMF and EU commitments,” the joint G7 communique demanded Monday.

In remarks after Monday’s G7 session, German Chancellor Angela Merkel threatened Greece, insisting that it “does not have much time left” to reach a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union and European Central Bank (the “troika”). Such a deal would transfer a new loan of some €7 billion to Athens in exchange for new social cuts to the Greek economy, which has already been eviscerated by years of brutal austerity.

The precise makeup of the social cuts, which are to be directed largely against the salaries and pensions of government workers, were a major topic of discussion at the G7 talks, Merkel said. The German chancellor will reportedly meet for informal discussions with Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras during EU meetings with heads of state from Latin America scheduled for later in the week.

Despite criticizing the European Commission’s proposals for the Greek economy as “borderline insulting,” Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis nonetheless affirmed his determination to “come to an agreement” with the troika and the big banks.

“It is time to stop pointing fingers at one another and it is time that we do our job,” he said.

US media escalate anti-China propaganda over alleged hacking

By Thomas Gaist
June 6, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

After receiving a quiet go-ahead from the Obama administration this week, the New York Times, the Washington Post and the US television networks trumpeted unsubstantiated accusations that Chinese hackers have stolen personal data on millions of government employees from US government servers.

The alleged cyberattacks, which the corporate media strongly suggests have originated with the Chinese government, supposedly involved lifting files on some 4 million federal workers from servers of the Office of Personnel Management.

While the Obama administration has stopped short of directly accusing the Chinese government of involvement in the hacking, belligerent voices in the media and political establishment are already speaking as if Beijing’s involvement is certain.

None of the media reports is based on actual journalism. Instead, the reporters involved, whether at the major daily newspapers or the television networks, are taking their cues from the White House, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The report by the New York Times, for example, “Chinese Hacking of US Data May Extend to Insurance Companies,” has all the appearances of a semi-official US government press release. It lays out, not demonstrable facts, but rather an argument that serves the political aims of the US ruling class.

In the upside down, war-mongering narrative advanced by the Times, a growing wave of Chinese cyberattacks has been launched against the US, in spite of supposed efforts by the Obama administration to de-escalate cyber-tensions between the two governments.

“The intrusions also suggest that President Obama’s efforts over the past three years to engage China’s leadership in a dialogue that would limit cyberattacks has failed. The pace of the attacks is unabated, and the scope has grown,” the Times warned.

Painting the alleged hacks in grandiose and ominous terms, the Times proclaimed that the world is facing a “new era in cyberespionage,” in which the US population at large will face cyberattacks similar to those allegedly launched against US business and state institutions in recent years.

“Spies are no longer stealing just American corporate and military trade secrets, but also personal information for some later purpose,” the newspaper warned. “The attackers seem to be amassing huge databases of personal information about Americans.”

Readers should perhaps stop now to rub their eyes in disbelief. Only a few days ago, the main news story in the United States was the effort of the US National Security Agency to “amass huge databases of personal information about Americans.”

Moreover, this was accomplished, not by a murky hacking operation, but by a massively funded government program, authorized at the highest levels, that seized all telecommunications and Internet data generated by all telecoms, ISPs and corporations like Google and Yahoo!

The legislation signed into law by Obama Tuesday, and hailed by the Times as a breakthrough for civil liberties, only changed one aspect of this massive surveillance operation—described by the NSA internally as an effort to “capture it all”—by shifting responsibility for collecting telephone metadata from the NSA to the telecoms. All other NSA programs to spy on the American people and the population of the world continue entirely as before.

The media attack on China thus serves two purposes: to distract attention from the real and growing threat to democratic rights and privacy in the United States, which comes from Washington, not Beijing, and to further the campaign of anti-Chinese provocation and saber-rattling which the Obama administration calls its “pivot to Asia.”

Whatever the reality of the latest hacking allegations, the attribution to China is extremely dodgy and unsubstantiated. While the Times assured readers that there is “little doubt among federal officials” that the attacks were launched from China, it acknowledged that the White House has declined to publicly finger the Chinese state as the source “because of a broader diplomatic strategy.”

In part, the unwillingness of the White House to publicly stand behind the accusations against the Chinese government, even as the American corporate media screams them at the top of its lungs, is a demonstration of the extremely inflammatory nature of the charges, which verge on declaring that China is at war with the United States.

Even as it orchestrates a military, political and media campaign aiming to intimidate China and whip up public support for military action in the Far East, the Obama administration wishes to preserve its ability to maneuver diplomatically and extract concessions from Beijing through political and diplomatic pressure.

The announcement that discussion on cyberwarfare will be central to the upcoming meeting between US and Chinese officials on “Economic and Strategic Dialogues” indicates that the issue is being used to bully China.

In April, the US Defense Department issued a report claiming that China launched a wave of hacks against US military information networks during 2014.

It cannot go unremarked that the hysterical condemnations of alleged Chinese cyberattacks by the US establishment have been steadily escalated even as the US has developed massive data mining operations against the Chinese government and military.

NSA internal documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden showed that the spy agency has implanted “persistent” forms of malware technology on Chinese servers. Once embedded, the advanced malware technology used by the NSA can remain concealed indefinitely while transmitting data back to its controllers, performing manipulations of infected systems, and replicating itself on other networked computers.

There is little doubt that China conducts cyberespionage against the US government and military. But such efforts are dwarfed by the massive resources employed by the Pentagon, CIA and other US government agencies.

This week’s events make clear that the alleged hacking will provide occasion for expanded use of similar technologies within the US. In response to supposed cyberthreats, the NSA demanded authority this week to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance against US-based Internet users and networks.

Previously, the National Security Agency has technically only enjoyed legal authorization to conduct dragnet electronic surveillance against servers and networks located overseas, despite the fact that the distinction between “overseas data” and “US data” has been rendered largely meaningless by the globalization of production and the revolution in communications and information technology that has unfolded since the 1970s.