Russia Confronts US
US and Hu Rights Violations
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نوروز امسال: نیک پرس
نوروز امسال: نیک پرس
نیک پرس، با افتخار، امیدوار وآرزومند است که فرارسیدن فروردین و نوروز،
این فراشگرد فروزندهٔ فرهنگ ایرانی، بر همهٔ شهروندان شیدا و شیفتهٔ سر زمین کهن و
زرخیز و زرفام، ایران زمین، خجسته و فرخنده باشد!
امید است که نوروز امسال شروع دیگری باشد که ایرانیان در سراسر گیتی،
با فراست وفرزانگی و فرهیختگی پیروزمندانه، بسان پارتیزانهای پیشرو و پیشاهنگ، پژواک
گر و مشعل دار مدنیت ملی، بر فرازستان بشریت باشند تا با اتخاذ گروش به راه و روش اعتقاد
و اعتماد به مقاومت مداوم و مقتدرانهٔ خویش در جهت همبستگی، همگرایی وهمبودگی، هم سویی
وهم گونی ملی و وارستگی سیاسی ـ اقتصادی، آلبته با اهداف دست یازیدن به قلعهٔ ایده
آل های ایرانی، بتوانند چون گذشتهٔ دورتر، اما اکنون بیشتر،
نقشه های ابلیسانه و اهریمنانهٔ جانیان جهانی، یعنی یاغی های اروپايئ
و یانگی ها ی آمریکایی را که با سلاح و سخن تهدید وتحریم، تخریب وترور، تزویر و ترفند،
با آمیزه ای آغشته و آمیخته به دروغ و دیو دروج، و با تکیه بر مدد مزدوران وموریدان
مرتد و مکار، چون دوزخیان دون پایهٔ ایرانی نما، که با دژآهنگی و کژآهنگی سیاسی وبا
سپر سرسپردگی، جاسوسی و سالوسی به همراه چاکری و چابلوسی، در تلاشند تا سرعت سمند تکامل
وتداوم تمدن ایران را سترون سازند را با سرسختی سرآفرازانه وسرورمنشانه با عقل و عاطفه
و علاقهٔ ملی ـ میهنی، سد نمایند!
فروردین 93 .سوئد: نیک پاکپو
ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم!
ریشهٔ، سعودی ـ سلفی، تروریسم
گوینده : نیک پاکپور”NICK PAKPOOR”
گوینده چون گذ شته سعی می کند که تلاش تحلیلی وتشخیصی و تحقیقی خود را، براساس واقعیت های عینی و پر پایه پویش و پژوهش پروسه های تاریخی وتکوینی،تطوری استوار ساخته، تا از داوری عجولانه و غیر عادلانه، پرهیز نماید! تا بدین وسیله توانسته باشم مرزهای مخدوش شده، مغشوش شده، بین طلب کاران وتهبه کاران، تهدید گران، تخریب گران وتجاوزگران، قصابان وغارتگران سیاسی را با مشعل دارن معتقد مقاومت مداوم ومحکم، ملی گرایان ومختارگران مقتدر ومتمدن جهان را که حاضر نیستند، سروری مشتی جلاد جانی، جهادی را، با سر خم کنی پذیرا شوند، را بطور صحیح وصرافانه از همدیگر متمایز، سازم. امید است که منشاء تفکر زنده وزاینده در جهت بیداری، بصیرندگی وبسیجندگی همگانی باشد، یا شاید، کوششی باشد که سیاست را از سطح عامیانه وعوام پسندانه وناآگاهانه به سطح آگاهانه وهوشیارانه وآکادمیک شناسانه، ارتقاء داده باشم ! برای تحقیق وتشخیص تکوینی وتاریخی، ریشه و رویش و افزایش، تروریسم جانی ،جهانی، می بیست عقربه زره بین سنج زمان را به سال های قبل وبعد از جنگ جهانی اول ، عقب گرد داد، یعنی زمانی که امپراتوری تشنه تسلط وتصرف، تاراج وتجاوز بریتانیا با دستپاچکی و desperateکوشش می کند که بر تسلط عثمانی بر مناطق عرب نشین و بادیه نشین یا bedouin ، خاورمیانه به خاطر دست یازیدن به Titanic نفتی، پایان دهد. لذا در سال 1917 میلادی، امپراتوری بریتانیا موفق می شود که Ibn Saud را که بصورت کلان های conjugal به همراه انواع واقسام تشکل هی tribalism - traditional فامیلی، قبیله ای، بدوی،بیابانی زندگی می کردند را به client و colonial خود بدل کند. نیک پاکپور
یاداشت ها: Notes 1-How do you spell ”Terrorist” C I A By William Engdahl 2-Saudi Arabia and CIA Behind Terror Bombings in Southern Russia? By Bill Van Auken 3-Who is behind Syria’s “Opposition Rebels”? Mother Agnes Mariam versus the US Media By Rob Prince 4-Global Terrorism and Saudi Arabia: Bandar’s Terror Network By Prof. James Petras 5-World Renowned Peace Activist Collaborated with Stratfor and CIA By Steve Horn and Carl Gibson 6-Volgograd and the Conquest of Eurasia: Has the House of Saud seen its Stalingrad? By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya 7-Saudi digging own grave with its Middle East policies PressTV 8-Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama by FRANKLIN LAMB 9-Rothschild’s Saudi Lapdog Armed Syrian and Libyan Rebels by Dean Henderson 10-On Western Terrorism from Hiroshima to Drone warfare By Noam Chomsky and Andre Vltchek
توافق یا تطابق ایران با امریکا؟
توافق یا تطابق ایران با امریکا؟
به باور گوینده الیت سیاسی و نظامی ایران که در سه دهه گذ شته با ایستادگی اوستادانه در دفاع از وارستگی ملی، شطرنج سیاسی را شرافتدمندانه و سرافرازانه،بازی کرده است اجازه چینین کاری را به یاغی های غربی و یانگی های امریکایی نخواهد داد تا بساط شبه شوم وابستگی را دوباره در کشور زرفام و زرخیز زروان و زرتشت بگستراند. فراست ، فرزانگی و فریختیگی ایرانیان از فراشگرد فردایی حکایت و روایت می کند که نمازگذارانش بامهراب خون شهیدان به سجده وسپاس چون سپا با همگرای وهم صداءی و همراهی در همبستگی وهمبودگی، سرافرازانه و هو شیارانه به رژه ایستاده اند
Islam growing in UK
Islam fastest growing religion in UK as churches decline
Published on Apr 19, 2014
While Christian Churches in the UK are struggling to draw people to worship, the Islamic community there is burgeoning. Some Muslim groups are doing all they can to counter fears the rapid growth is a challenge to British traditions.
Junk food for Brits.
Health Takeaways: Junk food is first choice for Brits struggling to make ends meet
Published on Apr 18, 2014
Medics in the UK are raising the alarm over issues of growing obesity, with some fearing that being overweight is becoming the norm for many people. But as authorities try to battle the bulge, it seems that having fast food is sometimes more a necessity than a pleasure for some.
Indecision & Paralysis
CrossTalk: Indecision & Paralysis in Ukraine
Published on Apr 18, 2014
With the government in Kiev lacking legitimacy and meaningful political resources, Washington and Brussels face a public relations disaster of epic proportio.
Turkish Role in Syria Ch
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, April 7
Published on Apr 7, 2014
Visit http://www.democracynow.org to watch the entire independent, global news hour. This is a summary of news headlines from the United States and around the world as reported by Democracy Now! on Monday, April 7, 2014. Visit our website to read the complete transcript, search the vast news archive, or to make a donation to support our non-profit news program
Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
Madawi Al-Rasheed: Saudi Arabia helped create a network of terrorism to achieve political aims, and while it does come back to bite them at times, they promote a similar ideology and continue to these alliances - April 3, 14
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.
We're continuing our discussion about U.S.-Saudi relations, and we're going to dig in in this segment into the Saudi relationship with al-Qaeda type forces, extreme Islamists.
And now joining us again from London is Madawi Al-Rasheed. She's a visiting professor at the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her recent publications include A History of Saudi Arabia and A Most Masculine State.
Thanks for joining us again, Madawi.
MADAWI AL-RASHEED, MIDDLE EAST CENTRE, LSE: Thank you.
JAY: So I mentioned in an earlier segment that the joint congressional committee investigating 9/11 had found that the Saudi government was responsible for financing and facilitating the 9/11 attacks. And I interviewed Senator Bob Graham, who was cochair of that congressional investigating committee, and I asked him why he thought the Saudis had done this, and his answer was that bin Laden had told the Saudi king or the Saudi royal regime that he had 10,000 fighters that he could send to Saudi Arabia to try to develop an uprising against the Saudi royal family if they didn't help him launch these attacks. I don't know if Bob knows that for sure or not, Bob Graham, I don't know whether it's true or not true in terms of their motivation, but it is a kind of reflection of this very complicated relationship, where on the one hand, bin Laden's force, you know, when he was alive, certainly seemed to make the Saudi regime his main enemy, other than perhaps Shia. He talked about the way the Saudis' royal family had sold out to the Americans and such. On the other hand, there's all kinds of evidence that the Saudis have worked with these forces in Afghanistan and in many other places. So what is the nature of this relationship?
AL-RASHEED: It is a very complex relationship. To begin with, Saudi Arabia wanted to use Islamism in its fight against any external threat that may have an internal impact. I'll give you one example. In the 1950s and '60s, Saudi Arabia saw the threat to its regime coming from the leftist movement in the Arab world, and also from Arab nationalism, and it used Islamism as a counter-force to actually destroy these two movements. And therefore it sponsored Islamic education, it sponsored Islamic opinions that depict these movements as atheism. And also, during the Cold War, it enlisted its ideology on behalf of the West in order to fight battles elsewhere, such as, for example, in Afghanistan. And therefore the Saudi-Wahhabi dimension of all this al-Qaeda is extremely important, although the Saudi regime tries to distance itself from this kind of radicalism.
JAY: I think it's important to note that Eisenhower is quoted as saying that we will use--we being the United States--use the Saudis and their role in defending Mecca to help promote Wahhabism and the Saudi power to fight Nasserism, nationalism, and socialism. I may not have the quote exact, but I'm pretty close. And, of course, we know how much the CIA worked directly with the Saudis in Afghanistan. In fact, bin Laden gets to Afghanistan in a deal between the Saudis and the Americans.
AL-RASHEED: Yes, absolutely. This was part of the Cold War strategy, and Saudi Arabia deployed its ideology and support, and also funds, in order to fight wars elsewhere.
But the problem for Saudi Arabia is when this ideology came back to haunt the country itself. But it is almost like having a battle with your own ideology. And therefore it's very difficult for the Saudis to get rid of this kind of menace. And they haven't learned lessons from 9/11.
So if you look at what is going on in Syria now, they have--the Saudis have created armed rebels who are actually almost working on behalf of the Saudis in Syria, so that the Syrian revolution was derailed and lost its democratic slogans, and now it's--became a sectarian war between different groups, Shia and the Sunnis. And with Saudi intervention, we find that the rebels who were promoted were called the Islamic Front. And we have seen how this was unfolding in Syria.
Until recently, Saudi Arabia allowed its own young men to travel to Syria, or if it didn't allow them, it kept a blind eye. And only recently, just a week before Obama's visit, Saudi Arabia introduced this new antiterrorism law which says that anybody who goes to Syria and come back will face 20 years in prison.
An interesting thing is, yes, we may keep a blind eye on those people going, but we're going to arrest them when they come back. But there was no effort that was obvious to me that they will make sure they will not go there to fight--.
JAY: Well, it may be that they're going to make them stay there and fight, with a law like that.
AL-RASHEED: I think the best thing that Saudi regime can hope for is for them to go and die there.
JAY: That's sort of what I was saying.
There seems to have been a change from the days when the Saudis seemed to be very concerned about attacks on their regime in Saudi Arabia from al-Qaeda forces. There seems to have been a kind of accommodation in some way that now, in fact, it seems that the al-Qaeda type forces are almost, like, part of the way the Saudis wage asymmetrical warfare and use them in leverage. I mean, the most obvious place is in Syria, but you see it in Iraq. But then you see these threats--you know, I talked about 9/11, but we know about Bandar's threat, Prince Bandar's threat to Tony Blair when there was an inquiry into the bribery scandal based on Saudis buying several billion dollars of weapons, and apparently Bandar got a billion-dollar bribe, and Bandar says to Blair, you'd better stop this inquiry or I can't promise there won't be another 7/7 (when the buses blew up in London). And more recently, apparently, Bandar threatened Putin and said, you know, we control the Chechen terrorists. It seems like it's a lever of power in their hands.
AL-RASHEED: Yes, absolutely. And we have seen since 2008 there were no terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. They managed to push al-Qaeda to Yemen, basically. They haven't destroyed it. They haven't, you know, removed it. They simply had forced it to migrate to Yemen. And a lot of Saudis have left Saudi Arabia to go there.
But the interesting thing is it has been used as a sort of a pressure on foreign governments, meaning that, you know, you do as we want you to do or we will not cooperate with you in terms of intelligence cooperation, or we would actually--you know, they wouldn't put it so directly, but, you know, it is a subtle hint that when the Serious Fraud Office in Britain wanted to open up the Al-Yamamah weapons deal and the corruption that was involved with BAE Systems, the Saudis immediately announced that if this serious fraud investigation goes ahead, they will cease to cooperate with Britain on intelligence, meaning that we will not be able to help you catch the terrorist, basically. And it is interesting that they may have had quite a close relationship, they know them so well, but they hold information about them that they're only going to release to those other intelligence services that cooperate with the Saudis, and also in governments that are supposedly friendly governments.
JAY: Right. And the Saudis--one of the intelligence agencies the Saudis cooperate a lot with is the Pakistani ISI, and the Pakistani ISI seems to play the same game: you know, collaborate to some extent with the West in antiterrorist operations; on the other hand, there's lots of evidence the ISI has all kinds of relationship with the Taliban and al-Qaeda type forces. In fact, journalists that have reported on this have been assassinated by the ISI, including one that worked with us.
AL-RASHEED: Yes. I mean, it is the al-Qaeda monster, it's the monster that was created at a particular historical moment and began to haunt all those contributing forces that made it happen and allowed it to flourish throughout the last three decades. And the Saudis had deployed the same strategy in Syria now, whereby individuals can go and join these rebels. They kept a blind eye for a long time. But then now, when international pressure is mounting, because they see how these rebels are really not an alternative to Bashar al-Assad, Saudis introduced this new terrorism law in order to deal with the situation. But whether it will actually work, I have my doubts.
JAY: And I guess the Americans have been so part of this policy of working with extreme Islamists that they can't say or don't want to say much about it.
AL-RASHEED: Yes. I mean, it is a well-known fact now. You know, the archives will be open and declassified information will be available, and future historians will probably write incredible books with concrete evidence. Now we get the information from leaked documents or from journalists who are actually in the field at the time and can report on us where the weapons to so-called rebels are coming from and who is sponsoring them.
JAY: Okay. In the next segment of our interview, we're going to discuss why Saudi Arabia considers Iran such a mortal enemy. Please join us with Madawi Al-Rasheed on The Real News Network.
Media 'staged' Syria
The Truthseeker: Media 'staged' Syria chem attack (E36)
Published on Mar 23, 2014
BBC 'total fabrication from beginning to end' of Syria 'atrocity'; call to revoke visas for intel agents posing as reporters in NATO targets; CIA caught infiltrating CNN, and Operation Mockingbird is back.
Seek truth from facts with UK Member of Parliament George Galloway; Illinois University Professor of International Law Francis Boyle; investigative reporter John Helmer; ordinary Syrians; and Ukraine covergirl 'Julia'.
'Schizophrenic US strategy
'Schizophrenic US strategy makes them bad peacemakers for Ukraine'
Published on Apr 18, 2014
More than seven hours of talks between Russia, Ukraine, US and EU diplomats have been unable to make a significant breakthrough - according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Resegregation of Schools
The Resegregation of American Schools
ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones discusses her year-long investigation into how one of desegregation's success stories in Tuscaloosa, Alabama became one of the most segregated school systems in the country, as well as the high levels of segregation in northern schools 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education -
Nikole Hannah-Jones joined ProPublica in late 2011 and covers civil rights with a focus on segregation and discrimination in housing and schools. Her 2012 coverage of federal failures to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act won several awards, including Columbia University's Tobenkin Award for distinguished coverage of racial or religious discrimination.
Prior to coming to ProPublica, Hannah-Jones worked at The Oregonian and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. She has won the Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award three times and the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. She has also gone on reporting fellowships to Cuba and Barbados where she wrote about race and education.
TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
As Maryland is poised to become the next state to decriminalize marijuana, MD Delegate Keiffer Jackson Mitchell and LEAP Executive Director Neill Franklin debate whether it can end the racial disparity in drug-related arrests - April 11, 14
Keiffer Jackson Mitchell is a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for the 44th district in Baltimore City, and voted for the bill decriminalizing marijuana in the state of Maryland.
Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), is a 33-year police veteran who led multi-jurisdictional anti-narcotics task forces for the Maryland State Police and ran training for the Baltimore Police Department. After seeing several of his law enforcement friends killed in the line of fire while enforcing drug policies, Neill knew that he needed to work to change these laws that cause so much harm but do nothing to reduce drug use.
TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. LegalizationJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
This week, the Maryland Senate voted 34 to eight to decriminalize marijuana. It will soon be the law here in Maryland after Governor Martin O'Malley said he'll sign the bill, which would impose only civil fines, rather than criminal offenses, on those caught with less than ten grams of marijuana.
But what else is in the bill? There'll be fines for multiple offenses. A second violation would carry a $250 fine, and a third offense would have a $500 fine. Also, a violator who is younger than 21 would have to appear in court.
Maryland will be joining 24 other states that have either decriminalized marijuana or legalized it.
Now joining us in-studio to unpack how this will affect everyday citizens are our two guests.
Neill Franklin is the executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, otherwise known as LEAP. He's worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years and witnessed the war on drugs firsthand.
Also joining us is Keiffer Jackson Mitchell. He's a member of the Maryland House of delegates for the 44th District in Baltimore City, and he voted for the bill decriminalizing marijuana in the state of Maryland.
Thank you both, gentlemen, for joining us.
KEIFFER J. MITCHELL, DELEGATE, MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES: Thank you.
NEILL FRANKLIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LEAP: Thanks for having me.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. So let's just jump right into this. Keiffer, I'm actually going to start off with you--actually, you know, let's first start off with Neill, because I know at the end of the day we all recognize that the war on drugs is not working. And we are seeing--I want to pull up this chart--how it affects disproportionately African Americans. So you can see in these two charts there's twice as many blacks going to jail as whites for marijuana possession despite usage levels being about the same.
Neill, I know that you're critical a bout the bill because you guys are pushing, really, for legalization. But isn't this a step in the right direction? Oh, absolutely it's as step in the right direction. Obviously, I would prefer to legalize it, tax and regulate.
And the reason I think it's better for us to keep looking forward to tax and regulate is because even though we're not going to be criminally charging people for possession of ten grams or less of marijuana, what happens when they can't afford the $100 fine? Okay? Certain people will be able to afford the fine, but our poor communities will not. Folks in our poorer communities will not. And I believe it then becomes--a bench warrant may be issued, or if they don't show up in court, then we're back into the criminal realm. So in that sense it's still problematic.
And in decriminalization, as what this bill is about, still does nothing to get our marijuana dealers off of our street corners. Okay? It's still, you know, thousands if not millions of dollars going into the hands of criminal gangs and organizations, and ultimately ending up in the pockets of the cartel. And, again, marijuana across this country, really, around the globe, is roughly 60 percent of all the profits being made in the entire illicit drug trade. So, again, moving to a place of legalization, you know, tax, and regulation will bring that money away from criminal organizations, out of the pockets of criminal gangs, and into the pockets of our citizens and our state coffers.
DESVARIEUX: Keiffer, I wanted you to--get your response, address that first point that Neill made about us actually just getting back to where we started, people not being able to afford these fines.
MITCHELL: Right. Right. Well, we--you know, the bill, I think, is--it's a step in the right direction as it relates to criminal--in terms of the civil penalties. You know, you have the escalating fine of $100 to $250, and $500 on a third offense.
The fact remains that, you know, marijuana is still illegal in the state of Maryland. And to show that it is still illegal, you have these penalties. You know. I don't think if we had lowered the fine or anything like that, I don't think it would send much of a message that it is still a illegal narcotic in the state of Maryland and other states. So, you know, I think the $100 fine is right, and I actually think that the $250 and $500 fine is also right, with all due respect, a step in the right direction.
As--I always call him Colonel in everything, 'cause that was his title--as Colonel Franklin has said, that, you know, it's not going to get the drug dealers off the corners, things like that. But I always remind people from the study, Maryland spends about $106 million just on enforcing marijuana policy or arrest or prosecution. So you take that $106 million. Now you can start using that money to really go after the enforcement of the larger dealers. So I think that's a step in the right direction.
DESVARIEUX: Neill, I see you nodding your head, but--.
FRANKLIN: I'm nodding my head about the money that we're currently spending, you know, with criminalization. And, you know, the time and energy that our police department is wasting on this.
I might disagree a little bit with that, what--the savings going back into law enforcement, you know, to work on other, you know, drug dealers and whatever. I think, personally, I would like to see that money go to education and treatment and go into our school systems. And I know you won't mind [incompr.] maybe part of it can go there because he's a teacher, he's an educator. So I think that we need to continue to pull the police out of the drug-management business and put more of our resources into health and education.
And I think that the police should focus more, use the time that they're going to have now, to focus more on violent crime, to focus more on robberies and rapes and crimes against our children, domestic violence. We know we have a problem in Baltimore with both domestic violence investigations and rape investigations, and I think we could focus more on that.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. So--. Oh, sure. Please.
MITCHELL: Real quick, on the fine piece before we leave that, the $100, $250, and the $500. That money also is going to be going toward drug education and drug treatment. So, you know, that money is not just going into the general fund just to sit in the general fund, but it is supposed to go toward drug treatment.
DESVARIEUX: So we know where you two stand. But let's bring in the American public's opinion. So there was a recent New York Times-CBS poll that found that the majority of Americans actually support legalization. So, Keiffer, shouldn't the legislation that's put in place be reflective of that? Shouldn't we be pushing for legalization, then?
MITCHELL: Oh, I am one of the minority. I should be counted as a minority in that New York Times-CBS poll. I am not there yet as it relates to legalization. I still believe that marijuana is a gateway drug. I would like to see more studies about the legalization of marijuana.
So far, right now Colorado and Washington are legalized. I think it's still too early to find out what are not just the whole ramifications of that, but also, you know, what are the unintended consequences of legalization that they are seeing in Washington and Colorado, and also remind people that it wasn't their legislators that voted for it; it was a referendum by the public at the polls. So, you know, those are the things that took place as it relates to legalization.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Neill, what's your take on that?
MITCHELL: Well, obviously, the polling that we're talking about continues to move in the direction of more support nationally from our citizens, more support for legalization. Every year, the percentages go up.
I think I have an advantage over most people in looking at this because I've been in law enforcement for a number of years, worked, you know, on the front lines of the war on drugs. But that's not where it ends. I've also been on [incompr.] I've also cochaired committees dealing with--from a health perspective, dealing with treatment and education in Harford County. I did that for a number of years. I've traveled around the country. I've traveled around the globe. I've got this--I've had the opportunity to literally see this from a mountaintop perspective, you know, looking down around the entire landscape on this drug-management issue. And so I see it differently.
I see that the current illicit marketplace is the gateway. It is the environment that is the gateway, not a particular substance or drug, but the environment that we have of drug dealers acting on our corners hiring kids to sell drugs, marijuana and other drugs, recruiting them from our schools, bringing them out onto the street corners, to sell drugs in schools to other children. We've created an environment with policies of prohibition that puts more drugs into the hands of our young people than any other scheme we could possibly imagine. This is the worst. And we realized that back during the times of alcohol prohibition. That's why alcohol prohibition only lasted 13 years instead of four decades.
DESVARIEUX: So you obviously don't agree with that, Keiffer.
MITCHELL: Well, like I say, it's still too soon. I mean, we're dealing with marijuana, but you also--.
And I agree that the war on drugs has not worked and the amount of resources we have. You know, there's no question about that. I also believe that the war on drugs has created this racial disparity in terms of who gets locked up and who doesn't and where the enforcement is taking place.
But on the other hand, I also believe that, you know, with marijuana, in terms of what I've read and what I've learned, is that marijuana is a gateway drug. And then where do we stop, in terms of the legalization? You know, you have heroin. [incompr.] a district in West Baltimore where I come into contact with heroin addicts all the time. You can just go a few blocks over here to Lexington Market, in that area, and look at the number of methadone clinics that are in that area and look at the number of people who are hanging around getting their methadone for the day but who are out there, who still want that hit or something like that.
I think there needs to be a combination: instead of just the enforcement, the educational piece, you start off young, you get into the schools.
We've lost--. I am a Democrat, alright? I'm a big-time Democrat. But, you know, when Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan were talking about the war on drugs, they started going into the schools, giving kids the education, and you had the "just say no" type campaign. I still believe that you have to get and spend your resources and time in the schools to get them while they're young.
And also there are some other programs that are put in place in terms of jobs. You know, kids I talk to who are dealing drugs and that sort of nature, you know, they want jobs. But they're not--if they can make a lot of money standing on a street corner instead of flipping burgers somewhere, they're going to look at taking care of their families and making that money. But you have to get them other resources out there for that.
DESVARIEUX: So, Keiffer, if I'm understanding you correctly, do you think legalization would just lead to just more usage and therefore--?
MITCHELL: That's what I--I believe it would lead to--I think it would send a wrong message, and I do believe that it will lead to more usage.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Neill, do you have any--to counter that?
FRANKLIN: Well, we are really at the same place for the most part of this. Putting our resources into education and treatment first in front of law enforcement and criminalization, yeah, that's where we should be and that's where we're not at the moment.
The other side of that coin as it relates to those wonderful programs in our schools, you know, educating our kids, the other side of that coin is the family. You see, once the family unit is actually more effective in keeping kids away from using drugs and doing things that will harm them. There's more legal things out there that will harm our kids than those that are illegal.
But our policies of prohibition have destroyed, for instance, the black family, the mass incarceration and the disparity issues. You know, when you have so many--according to the NAACP, one in nine black children have a parent or parents in the criminal justice system. For white children it's one in 54. Okay?
Now, when you have families, when you send someone to prison, you send the entire family to prison. And we know when you send someone to prison they do not return to us a better person. For the most part, they're going to return to us and our communities in worse shape than what they were when they went in in how they treat people, because when you go in, you have 24 hours to decide whether you're going to be the prey or predator while you're in prison. Most people return to us as predators, because they are not correctional facilities. In addition to that, when they do return to us, very difficult to get a job because now they're strapped with a criminal record. Okay? That frustration, many of them can't even live with their families if their families are living in public housing, because they're a convicted drug felon. You know, that does nothing for our communities. That does nothing for the children who live in those households in working to keep them from using drugs or becoming involved in the drug trade.
I think it has to be some of both. I think it has to be, obviously, putting our money and resources into education and treatment. And then, on the other side of that coin, we have to eliminate the illicit trade. We have to take the money out of that business so people will feel comfortable working at and feel good about working at places like McDonald's and Walmart and some of the other places.
DESVARIEUX: And the way you take the money out is by legalizing it.
FRANKLIN: That's the only way to take the money out.
DESVARIEUX: Okay. Alright. Let's move on a little bit. And I want to get your take on just why do we not know enough about--. I want to speak specifically about legalization in Colorado, 'cause I know you were there, Keiffer. Can you just describe a little bit about what you witnessed? And I'll get your response to--.
MITCHELL: Last year, I was there for a conference, and I walked around downtown Denver in the tourist area. And I guess they call it LoDo. And the smell of marijuana was inescapable. You could smell it as a tourist. Now, I don't know if they've done anything to rectify that or to, you know, curb it, but it jumped out at you. You know, it is one thing when it's cigarette smoke. You know, people know what cigarette smoke is. But when I was out there in the tourist area, it was out there. I don't think they're allowed to smoke in restaurants or bars and cafes at all. But you--you know, I saw people smoking marijuana sitting on a bench at a bus stop or walking down a street smoking.
And, you know, I grew up in an area where I don't do drugs, don't do it, and it was out there, and it made for an unpleasant experience for me as a tourist walking around Denver.
And this past November of last year, the mayor of Denver was in Washington, D.C., and I talked to him and I told him about my experience, and he said that, you know, when the referendum came to light and it was implemented, there were some unintended consequences that kind of left holes along what local jurisdictions can do in terms of a time and place about marijuana and where they can smoke it, and then the dealing. They still have to work out the kinks.
So, in other words, what I thought that he was saying was that it kind of put the cart before the horse, so to speak, to say this is what we need to do. So I think locally there needs to be some things put in place to allow--you know, if they were going to smoke marijuana, but, you know, not all of us need to be around it.
DESVARIEUX: Yeah, these are some legitimate concerns. You have people who are saying, you know, if you legalize it, then, you know, these unintended consequences are going to be arising.
Neill, how do you deal with that?
FRANKLIN: And I agree. And that not only will change; it is changing there, because, first of all, this is something new. for most people. Okay? And, you know, a lot of that is just celebration. You know, oh, wow, we have the freedom to do what we want to do. But that is changing as the local jurisdictions put, you know, policies in place, you know, so the people will be writing people tickets. You're smoking on a park bench? Here's your $50 ticket or whatever that fine is going to be. But I think it goes even beyond that. It goes to the place of what we did with tobacco products.
So it's a social thing. You know, it's people--also people at the bus stop bench saying, you know, hey, put out the joint until you get home, okay? You know, I don't want to smell it. I understand, you know, it's legal now, but no. You know. And that's what we've done with tobacco products. You know, people actually feel like outcasts who smoke tobacco products today. And it will be the same socially. We will apply that pressure to people who are smoking marijuana so you won't have that environment. You know, like, today, when you go outside and you're out and about, I very seldom smell cigarette smoke. I can't remember the last time I had. This is new with marijuana, and it'll change, just like we've done with tobacco.
And, also, with tobacco what we've done over the past couple of decades, the most--one of the most, if not the most addictive drugs known to man, nicotine, reduced consumption by about 40 percent. We've sent no one to prison. We don't have any shoot-outs in our streets. And our kids aren't coming out of school to sell it on street corners, because it's regulated and controlled. But social pressure and regulations in place locally have reduced our tobacco consumption.
DESVARIEUX: Alright. Neill Franklin, executive director of LEAP, and Keiffer Jackson Mitchell, thank you both for joining us.
MITCHELL: Thank you.
DESVARIEUX: And, of course, you can follow us on Twitter @therealnews, and you can send me comments, questions @Jessica_Reports.
Thank you so much for joining us on The Real News Network.
: US and Hu Rights Violations
: Russia Confronts US
: Russia United state
US Drone Kills 21 in Yemen, Including Civilians
US Drone Strike Kills 21 in Yemen, Including CiviliansAt Least Five Bystanders Killed in Attack Along Highwayby Jason Ditz, April 19, 2014 "Antiwar"A US drone attacked a highway in Yemen’s southeastern Bayda Province, killing at least 21 people, including a number of civilian bystanders, and wounding many more.The strike targeted a pickup truck carrying 16 people, and was
apparently a “signature strike” on the assumption the truck was carrying
al-Qaeda. Though none of the slain were identified, reports dubbed all
16 “suspected militants.”
The other five slain and six wounded in the strike were in other
nearby cars, and there wasn’t even a pretext of suspicion about any of
them, all labeled civilian bystanders who just happened to be in the
line of US fire.
Yemen’s government reported the attack as targeting unnamed “senior
al-Qaeda fighters,” but offered no additional details. It is the seventh
US drone strike against Yemen in two months.
Iranian Army unveils new defense achievements
Iranian Army unveils new defense achievementsBy presstvThe Iranian Army has unveiled five new domestically designed and produced pieces of military equipment during a ceremony attended by senior Iranian military officials.A six-barrel 12.7mm Gatling-type machine gun dubbed Moharram and a smart composite armor were two pieces of military hardware that were unveiled during the ceremony in Tehran on Sunday with Commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces Brigadier General Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan in attendance.The Moharram Gatling-type machine gun has a firing rate of 2,000-2,500 rounds per minute, and can be mounted on pickup trucks, tanks, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, warships and frigates to strike aerial, sea and ground targets.The indigenous smart composite armor is built of Shear Thickening Fluid (STF) or liquid armor. It can resist steel core anti-armor bullets and has been developed according to international standards.The Iranian Army also unveiled a home-made battle tank dubbed Sabalan. Iran’s Sabalan tank has been designed based on the experience and know-how gained from designing the indigenous Zolfaqar and Samsam battle tanks. The tank is armed with a 105mm smoothbore gun, state-of-the-art fire control system and sophisticated communications systems.A 155mm Howitzer dubbed Hoveyzeh and a superheavy tactical vehicle named Zoljanah were two other military pieces that were showcased on Sunday. A howitzer is a type of artillery piece characterized by a relatively short barrel and the use of comparatively small propellant charges to propel projectiles at relatively high trajectories with a steep angle of descent.Zoljanah tactical vehicle has five axles, of which the first two and the last are controllable. It can cross rivers and streams to a depth of 1.5 meters, and carry a maximum load of 30 tons.In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and has attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.
Death toll in S. Korean ferry disaster rises to 49
Death toll in S. Korean ferry disaster rises to 49 as divers find 13 more bodiesBy RTDivers have recovered 13 more bodies from the South Korean ferry that
capsized on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 49. A total of 253
people, most of them high school students, are still unaccounted for.
Rescue divers were finally able to get inside the ferry after
numerous failed attempts, media quoted officials as saying.
Strong currents and poor visibility made it difficult for the
search and rescue operation to take place.
"At 11:48 p.m. (14:48 GMT) the joint rescue team broke a
glass window and succeeded in getting inside the vessel,"
the South Korean government said in a statement.
Search efforts recovered 16 more bodies overnight and authorities
said that cranes would be used to lift the ship in order to
locate the other bodies.
The South Korean government is facing a backlash from angry
relatives of ferry victims. Up to 100 people clashed with police
as they tried to march from the southwestern island of Jindo, the
center of the rescue operations, to the mainland via a bridge
towards the capital of Seoul.
Police blocked their way by forming two lines as protesters began
to push and shove, Reuters reported.
family member of a passenger missing after the South Korean ferry
"Sewol" capsized is blocked by police during a protest in Jindo calling
for a meeting with President Park Geun-hye and demanding the search and
rescue operation be speeded up, April 20, 2014. (Reuters / Kim Kyung
Earlier, relatives were gathered at a gymnasium in Jindo, where
they have spent the past four days awaiting news.
The ferry capsized while on its way from Incheon, in the
northwest, to the southern resort island of Jeju. It was carrying
over 400 people. Rescuers have so far managed to save 179
The disaster is now being referred to as South Korea's deadliest
vessel accident in 21 years.
The captain of the ferry, Lee Joon-seok, was arrested on Saturday
and is facing a total of five charges, the most serious being
negligence of duty and violation of maritime law.
family member of missing passengers (C) who were on the South Korean
ferry Sewol which sank in the sea off Jindo, cries as she found the name
of her family in the list of fatalities at a port where family members
of missing passengers gathered, in Jindo April 20, 2014. (Reuters /
The captain explained that his delayed order to evacuate was due
to the fact that there were no rescue ships nearby at the time
and people could have been swept away by strong currents.
“At the time, the current was very strong, temperature of the
ocean water was cold and I thought that if people left the ferry
without proper judgment, if they were not wearing a life jacket,
and even if they were, they would drift away and face many other
difficulties," he said.
Also, Lee Joon-seok appeared on South Korean television on
Thursday to deliver a message to the families devastated by the
disaster. "I am really sorry and deeply ashamed. I don't know
what to say," he said.
Earlier, investigators revealed that the captain of the vessel
was not at the helm at the time of the incident, and had left his
third officer in command. Local authorities issued arrest
warrants for Lee, the officer left in charge, and one other crew
member, for not providing proper assistance to the passengers
during the accident.
Two crew members were also detained, including the third officer
who was in command of the ferry at the time of the incident.
The vice principal of Danwon High School – who was responsible
for the care of hundreds of high school students on the ferry
trip – committed suicide, police confirmed on Friday. Kang
Min-gyu was found hanging from a tree on the island of Jindo,
where the parents of students who are still missing are staying.
Kang was rescued from the ferry before it sank and is believed to
have taken his own life out of guilt.
Divers are continuing their search, with 256 people still
unaccounted for. The cause of the accident still remains unknown,
although investigators suspect that the vessel could have struck
a rock or made a sharp turn, causing it to overturn.
Korean rescue workers carry the body of a passenger onboard the
capsized passenger ship Sewol, at a port where family members of missing
passengers are gathered, in Jindo April 19, 2014. (Reuters / Issei
The South Korean government has been criticized for its handling
of the incident. A spokesperson for the aggrieved families spoke
out against the authorities in a television broadcast on Friday
morning, accusing the government of lying to them.
"The government lied yesterday," he said. "Is this
the reality of South Korea? We plead once more, please save our
The spokesperson alleged that the South Korean government has
lied about the size of the rescue effort, claiming that it is
actually much smaller.
Amateur footage of the moment when the ship
began to capsize has been posted online. It shows how the
passengers were told to stay put on the ship, even when it
started to tilt. Some critics have argued that if an order to
evacuate had been issued earlier, more people could have been
Four Afghans die in US-led airstrike
Four Afghans die in US-led airstrikeBy presstvA US-led airstrike in Afghanistan’s northern province of Parvan has killed four people, Press TV reports.One person was also injured in the strike that was carried out on Sunday.Afghan officials have repeatedly slammed US-led forces in Afghanistan for the high rate of casualties in such attacks, which the United States claims target Taliban militants.So far there has been no official confirmation of the Sunday airstrike.Civilian casualties caused by foreign forces have fueled anti-US sentiment in Afghanistan.Thousands of people have died in US-led airstrikes in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion of the country.A large number of Afghan civilians, including many women and children, have been also killed during night raids by foreign forces and CIA-run killer drone strikes.The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains across the country.The United States seeks prolonged presence of its troops in Afghanistan, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai has warned that he will not allow that if it means more civilian killings.
Russia on Eastern Ukraine shooting: Kiev must fulfill Geneva de-escalation pledge
Russia on Eastern Ukraine shooting: Kiev must fulfill Geneva de-escalation pledgeBy RTThe Russian Foreign Ministry expressed outrage over the deadly gun
battle on Saturday night in the protester-held city of Slavyansk in
eastern Ukraine. It said Kiev must deliver on its commitment to
de-escalate the violence.
Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU agreed this week in Geneva on
a roadmap to calm tension down in protest-gripped eastern
Ukraine. The agreement includes disarmaming paramilitary groups
on both sides of the conflict.
Yet on Saturday night an apparent raid by a Right Sector radical
paramilitary unit ended with up to 6 people killed in Slavyansk,
a city in Ukraine’s Donetsk region controlled by anti-Kiev
Moscow condemned the violence on Sunday and said it indicates
Kiev’s unwillingness to implement the Geneva agreement.
“The Russian side is outraged with the provocation, which
indicates that Kiev is unwilling to put in check and disarm
nationalists and extremists,” the ministry said in a
The ministry added that Moscow “insists on the strict
implementation by the Ukrainian side of its commitments to
de-escalate the situation in southeastern Ukraine.”
The Geneva document agreed on Thursday after marathon
negotiations is aimed at defusing the Ukrainian political crisis.
In addition to disarming paramilitary groups, it provides for an
amnesty for protesters not involved in violent crimes and
preparation of constitutional reform to provide greater autonomy
for Ukrainian regions.
Six reported Eastern Ukraine deaths in overnight checkpoint raid
Six reported Eastern Ukraine deaths in overnight checkpoint raidBy RTSix people have been reportedly killed in a gunfight in Slavyansk, a city in eastern Ukraine held by anti-government protesters. The fatalities include four protesters and two attackers, who are believed to be from the Right Sector paramilitary.The deaths came after a night attack on a protester checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, Rossiya 24 reported. Four cars drove by the checkpoint and opened fire at local residents manning it, killing three people and seriously injuring several others.One gunshot victim died later in hospital from a head wound, local medics said. Two others are undergoing treatment.The checkpoint was in the control of 26 civilians armed with bats. Their lack of firearms was due to a so-called “Easter truce” announced by both the Kiev authorities and the protest leaders to de-escalate tension.As the civilians ran from the checkpoint, a group of 20 protesters with firearms were called from their camp in the city. They opened fire on the attackers, killing two of them and sending the rest running, according to a Life News report.The protesters captured two of the attackers’ four cars, which were damaged in the gunfight. Footage of the equipment confiscated showed firearms including a machine gun, a night vision device, aerial photos of Slavyansk, military uniforms, camping tools and other things handy for guerrilla warfare.There was also a medallion with Right Sector paramilitary symbols, which implicated the radical nationalist movement in the attack.The attackers may have been planning a subsequent raid on the protester-held TV tower in Slavyansk, which is marked by a circle on the maps discovered at the captured cars, protest leader, Vyacheslav Ponomaryev, said.
The protester’s self-defense force HQ told Interfax that there
were reports of gunfire near four other checkpoints overnight,
but no clashes happened at either of them.
In a separate incident in central Slavyansk, two people have been
injured overnight, after a group of unidentified gunmen fired at
them. Two young men were shot in the leg after they ignored an
order to stop and tried to flee, RIA Novosti reported. The report
gives no account of events after the shooting, but both victims
are now in hospital.
Protest leaders ordered a curfew in Slavyansk between 12:00pm and
06:00am in response to the overnight violence.
The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the night’s violence on Sunday,
saying it puts in question Kiev’s ability to disarm radical
Protesters in eastern Ukraine have captured government buildings
across the Donetsk region over the past two weeks. They call the
authorities in Kiev illegitimate and are demanding a referendum
to vote on autonomy for their region. Similar calls are coming
from other eastern Ukrainian regions.
Kiev deployed military and special operation troops to the
Donetsk region in a bid to crackdown on what they referred to
“terrorist actions” by the protesters. The crackdown so far has
been futile, with a number of troops switching sides to the
There are indications that the Kiev authorities simply do not
have enough loyal troops to crackdown on the protest. On Saturday
the Interior Ministry called on former members of the Berkut riot
police, which had been branded as thugs and criminals by the new
authorities, to return to service.
The ministry said the Berkut troops must forget their past
grievances and protect Ukraine from what Kiev calls a secret
invasion by a covert Russian operation. The allegations have not
been confirmed by an OSCE observer mission in the Donetsk region.
Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU signed an agreement this week
in Geneva aimed at de-escalating the tension in Ukraine. One of
the key points in it is disarming militias and paramilitary units
in the country. But neither Right Sector and similar pro-Maidan
groups nor the anti-Maidan militias in the east seem to be
willing to take the first step.
Pentagon mulls deployment as Poland asks for 10,000 troops
Pentagon mulls deployment as Poland asks for 10,000 troopsBy RTThe Pentagon may deploy more ground troops in Poland, although the
number may be much smaller than what the eastern European NATO member
wants to see. Washington is seeking to reassure allies amid fears of a
Warsaw and Washington may announce the deployment of additional
American troops in Poland next week, Polish Defense Minister
Tomasz Siemoniak said following a meeting with his US
counterpart, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on
He added that Poland would play a leading role in the NATO
build-up of troops in Eastern Europe, “under US patronage,” the
Washington Post reported. He added that the US needs to
“re-pivot” back to Europe from Asia to counter “Russian
aggression” in Ukraine.
Siemoniak earlier called on the Pentagon to deploy as many as
10,000 American troops in his country. Poland already hosts some
100 to 150 US military servicing a battery of surface-to-air
Patriot missiles, which was deployed in 2010 to give Warsaw more
confidence for hosting elements of the NATO anti-ballistic
missile shield in Europe.
The Polish minister’s calls were mirrored by NATO’s top military
commander, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, who said in an interview
this month that one of the options the alliance has on the table
is to move a 4,500-member combat brigade from Fort Hood, Texas,
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel(L) and Poland’s Minister of National
Defense Tomasz Siemoniak(R) conduct a press conference April 17, 2014
(AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards)
The Pentagon so far has not given any details about the planned
deployment, saying it has multiple options under consideration.
But a senior US official told Fox news on Friday that around 130
soldiers may be sent to Poland on a rotational basis.
The US military also announced on Friday the dispatch of a US
Army company of about 150 soldiers to Poland to take part in a
two-week land-forces exercise.
NATO’s military response to the Ukrainian crisis was to deploy
additional aircraft for patrols in European airspace and to send
American warships into the Black Sea.
Relations between Russia and the West became strained after an
armed coup in February deposed President Viktor Yanukovich
following months of protests. Moscow considers the events to have
been orchestrated by the EU and the US and does not recognize the
post-coup authorities as legitimate.
Moscow reserved the right to use its military force in Ukraine,
should massive violence occur there targeting ethnic Russians. It
also accepted Crimea, when it voted to break up from Ukraine and
become part of Russia. Russia is eyeing the ongoing turmoil in
eastern Ukraine cautiously, where Kiev is trying to suppress anti-government protests with the
use of military force.
NATO members in Eastern Europe are concerned that the Russian
military is strong enough to defeat their national militaries and
have been calling on the US to ensure their protection from
possible aggression. Moscow believes that the alliance is seeking
justification for its existence by blowing the tension over
Ukraine out of proportion.
A Second Wind for China’s String of Pearls Strategy
A Second Wind for China’s String of Pearls Strategyby Nina Lebedeva, … with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow "Veterans Today"[ Editor's note:
We are happy to welcome a new NEO scholar Nina Lebedeva today with the
first of her two part article on China's strategy to oppose the growing
Western threats to its trading routes.
Nina is a leading scholar at the Institute for Near-East Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the major supporter of our partner New Eastern Outlook.
The West is doing this despite there being in international
waters and under a huge body of maritime case law, an area where the
usual corruption has never seemed to have penetrated.
Much is in motion now with China's recent highly publicized
visit to Germany to put the plans for the New Silk road project on the
world stage. It was a huge flank attack on US domination of Europe via
the double hammers of the Federal Reserve (partially European anyway)
and the US military.
But China does not use its
military to close business deals. China has no interest is destabilizing
countries or exporting color revolutions. They are into trade...period.
At the end of the day…domination and money, by a small cabal
But what we see with the Western hegemony is a bogus foreign
policy, similar to the phony Iran nuclear weapons hoax, where the US and
NATO were using to push the West’s new generation missile systems
closer to Russian and its federated states.
Neither the US or Europe has a credible military threat on the planet.
So all of the phony war propaganda is nothing more that the
usual smokescreen behind which a small group of elitists are pursuing
their own private economic interests where all of the rest of us are
really considered plantation constituents, despite the
pretend-a-democracy game they give us to play with.
The “War” is purely a financial hegemony one, and not even to
enrich those in the countries having to fight and die in them. The real
threat, our own domestic criminals, have attacked and looted us like
the Vandal and the Mongols and so far we have put up a pitiful
resistance, that of a doomed people.
The US sanctions threat overkill, and conducting diplomacy
via terrorism is just speeding up the process of the targets of our
aggression speeding up their defensive measures.
These will of course have to include a new reserve currency
and a completely separate trade settlement system to “sanction the
scanctonistas”. It is going to be quite a show, and a sad one I am
afraid… Jim W. Dean ]
China has been accumulating gold as a hedge for the dollar self destructing as ‘the ‘ reserve currency
- First published April 15, 2014 -
The naval maneuvers conducted from January 29 to February 14,
2014 by a small squadron of the PCR’s navy in the Eastern part of the
Indian Ocean literally blew up the media.
They served as a rude “awakening”, in the words of
“Australian” newspaper, to politicians and security experts in the USA,
Australia, India, and other countries, who are all still skeptical of
Beijing’s long term intentions to establish a navy capable of projecting
power within and beyond this zone.
These were the first exercises conducted by the Chinese navy in the
waters between Australia and the Java Island in the Indonesian
Archipelago, and also the first time it used the Straits of Sunda and
Lombok to enter and exit from the Indian Ocean.
These straits, as well as the Strait of Malacca,
were recognized by the USA long ago as critical “choke points” that
would be strategically important for establishing an economic blockade
of the Middle Kingdom should there arise a minor or major Sino-American
There was essentially nothing
illegal about the maneuvers, as they were held in international waters.
Nevertheless, Australia’s air force dispatched a P-3 Orion aircraft to
conduct surveillance and reconnaissance of the exercises.
String of Pearls strategic ports
For China, this was a thematic, important step in
the implementation of its “string of pearls” strategy, aimed at
protecting its oil flows, affirming the country as a global naval power
with diverse interests throughout the world, and overcoming attempts by
the USA to cut off access to or from China via the world’s oceans.
Furthermore, an important task lay in minimizing potential threats in
the most complex and vulnerable choke point at the junction of two
oceans, named the “Malacca Dilemma” by Hu Jintao in 2003.
Remember that the “string of pearls” concept was put forward by
Christopher Pehrson, a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force, and
subsequent analyst at the Pentagon. The phrase was first used in January
2005, in a report to US military officials prepared by the Booz-Allen
Hamilton consulting company.
It explicitly showed the world the growing influence
of China in Southeast and East Asia and the Indian Ocean due to the
appearance on maps of such strategic points as Hainan Island, the Woody
Islands close to Vietnam, Chittagong (Bangladesh), Sittue and the Coco
Islands (Myanmar), Hambantota (Sri Lanka), Gwadar (Pakistan), the
Seychelles Archipelago, etc.
Initially, Chinese politicians and pundits reacted to the elegantly
named concept with skepticism, apparently because it originated in
Washington. However, the global academic community successfully
introduced it into the lexicon, and it began to appear on the pages of
magazines, newspapers, and studies.
The Chinese gradually implemented the multipurpose strategy according to the developed plans A, B and C. The essence of plan A lay in the utilization (in addition to Malacca) of the remote straits of Sunda and Lombok.
The goal was to lay an oil pipeline with a length of 2380 km starting
in 2010 for a total price of 2.5 billion USD from ports in the Bay of
Bengal in Myanmar to Kunming, the capital of the Yunnan Province, and in
the participation in the possible construction of an oil pipeline in
northern Malaysia or a canal across the Kra Isthmus.
Plan B envisaged a material presence in the Indian Ocean by creating a
network of bases, ports, large storage facilities, and other facilities
in the group of friendly countries listed above, and in a decade or
two, by placing a naval contingent in the Indian Ocean.
According to plan C, China formed a plan to construct “land bridges”,
access roads, aqueducts, and viaducts to strengthen relations of its
landlocked southern provinces with neighboring ASEAN countries, and to
provide them with access to the Indian Ocean.
To this end, railroads and highways were constructed
from Kunming and Nanning to Hanoi along the Irrawaddy River, etc. In
Central Asia, branches of a Karakoram Highway stretching 750 km are
being constructed, and pipelines to the port of Gwadar are being laid.
However, according to the estimates of both the
Chinese themselves and their foreign colleagues, such grandiose plans,
including the solution of the critical “Malacca Dilemma”, obviously
cannot be implemented in a short period of time. They required
substantial capital investment, adherence to established goals, and most
importantly – overcoming the instability and “tyranny of distance” of
the regions where the majority of the planned projects are located, the
well known politico-economic pragmatism and efforts to minimize
potentials risks of the Chinese notwithstanding.
Strait of Malacca, key shipping lane
A decade has passed since. The world has changed. The situation in the Indian Ocean has changed. The Indian Ocean is now a global energy highway and major choke point.
The economies of the Asian giants, China and India, as well as Japan
and South Korea, and to a lesser extent Europe and the USA, depend to a
significant degree on the complicated and risk-laden energy flows along
routes running East and West in the Indian Ocean.
This naturally raises the question: in what areas did Beijing succeed
and fail last time, and how should it improve? The capabilities of
Beijing in the region have been overestimated by Indians, who are not
eager to see Beijing grow too powerful right under their nose, but have
been underestimated by Americans.
For example, analyst E.Erickson considers China to possess only modest capabilities.
According to his observations, one or two Chinese
ships appear in the naval theater only when necessary, for example, to
evacuate Chinese citizens from Libya when it was engulfed in crisis in
February 2011, a major floating hospital to examine and treat the
population in the area of the Indian Ocean in 2010 and 2013, and
finally, a squadron of ships to participate in anti-piracy campaigns
Numerous Russian experts agree with
E. Erickson, and consider the infrastructure potential established by
the Chinese in this area to be insufficient to oppose the USA and its
Strait of Malacca
Meanwhile, it is impossible to ignore the fact that
China has been steadily increasing its presence in the region in
different ways. For example, Chinese navy ships are using ocean
communications increasingly often. There are numerous examples.
At the end of July 2012, a Chinese destroyer with two escort ships
went through the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal to participate in
maneuvers off the coast of Syria.
In September 2013, a Chinese amphibious assault ship was also spotted
there. In October 2013, Beijing first mentioned that Chinese nuclear
submarines had begun to patrol the Indian Ocean on a rotating basis.
In January 2014, the Chinese patrol ship
“Yancheng” navigated the Suez Canal to reach the Mediterranean Sea and
participate in the transportation and disposal of chemical weapons from
Syria. According to expert estimates, by 2015 China will possess a fleet
of submarines twice as large as the USA’s.
China’s unprecedented decision to send a squadron of ships to the
Horn of Africa in 2008 has been regarded with great curiosity by
politicians, military analysts, and the media throughout the world. They
have all wondered whether whether such an act can be explained solely
by China’s desire to protect its economic and trade interests.
Is this step an attempt to exploit the opportunity
to train navy ships a substantial distance from the shores of the Middle
Kingdom? Or is Beijing trying to show off its growing role as a
powerful and responsible global player in the world and its oceans?
Responding to these questions, many political
scientists have come to the conclusion that the participation of Chinese
ships in international anti-piracy campaigns in the Gulf of Aden is a
test of the strength and capabilities of the Chinese Navy, its newest
equipment and logistics, and the skill of its teams for future
operations in the Indian Ocean and the “blue waters” of the world’s
oceans. This experience will surely benefit Beijing in conflict
situations over, say, Taiwan in the South China Sea, for protects sea
lines of communication (SLOCs), etc.
All this was conjectured by one of the “fathers” of Beijing’s naval
doctrine, declared at the turn of the century – Shi Yong-Sheng, an
admiral and former head of the Navy, who considered it necessary to
establish a twenty-first century navy.
It would have to be capable of reliably protecting
China’s coastal zone, utilizing advanced and high-tech equipment as well
as adequate systems of the most modern weaponry, and composed of
well-trained personnel, in order to achieve the accession of Taiwan, to
establish control of the South China Sea, and to expand China’s
influence in the western area of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
(To be continued)
leading scholar at the Institute for Near-East Studies at the Russian
Academy of Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
Editing: Jim W. Dean and Erica P. Wissinger
Takfiris decapitate seven Syrian soldiers
Takfiris decapitate seven Syrian soldiers:ReportBy presstvIn a recent heinous crime by militants in Syria, Takfiri terrorists have captured and decapitated seven soldiers in the east of the Arab country.The so-called Jund al-Aqsa terrorist group beheaded seven Syrian soldiers in the town of Banesh in eastern province of Idlib on Wednesday, the Syrian website Hadath News reported.The terrorists used cars to drag the soldiers on the streets before they killed and decapitated them.The terrorists also abused the corpses and used sharp instruments to distort their features.Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in March 2011, many reports and videos have been released on similar horrific crimes committed by foreign-backed militants against the Syrian people and soldiers in Syria.In February, a disturbing video emerged showing al-Qaeda-linked militants in Syria’s central province of Homs beheading a man believed to have been a Shia supporter of the government.The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which posted the video, said the beheading was conducted by militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).Reports show that the Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
Troops required near Russia-Ukraine border
Troops required near Russia-Ukraine border: MoscowBy presstvRussia says its extra troops that are stationed near the border with neighboring Ukraine are there due to the ongoing instability in the crisis-hit eastern European country."We...have forces in the region of the Ukrainian border. Some of these forces are based there permanently, others are there to reinforce against the backdrop of what is happening in Ukraine itself," said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with Rossiya 1 television on Friday.He argued that because of Ukraine’s recent experience of a “military coup,” it seems natural for Moscow to take any “precautionary measures” in order to ensure its security.Peskov added that Russia, as a sovereign state, can deploy its military forces anywhere in the country it deems necessary.Moreover, the Kremlin spokesman said the accusations that his country has a role in what is happening in Ukraine are baseless.On April 17, Kiev’s interim government together with the United States, Russia and the European Union reached a deal calling for all sides to "de-escalate" the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine, where anti-Kiev protesters have seized buildings in several towns and cities.This came two days after Kiev launched massive military operations against pro-Russian activists in the country’s eastern cities after demonstrators defied a deadline set by the Ukrainian government to lay down arms and leave occupied state buildings.Pro-Russia protests gained momentum in the eastern parts of Ukraine after Crimea declared independence from the former Soviet state and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16, in which almost 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining Russia, with a turnout of over 83 percent.