Archive for May 2014
After the U.S. Topples Previous Elected Ukraine Govt, New Government Kills at 35 Ukrainian Civilians
Ukraine’s new President Poroshenko says the “anti-terrorist operation” needs to be stepped up and needs to be “more efficient” which means more violence and resistance until there is decisive victory, political analyst Daniel Patrick Welch told RT.
RT: On the day of his election victory, Petro Poroshenko said he wants negotiations with the east… but that the military operation needs to be stepped up… Isn’t he contradicting himself?
Daniel Patrick Welch: He has no interest in that. He is lying, he is not contradicting himself. He has absolutely no intention of conducting negotiations, and he has said so in various others forms. He said that the operation needs to be stepped up and needs to be what he called “more efficient”. And we see what it means today, that means involving shelling against civilians, bombs that fall through the air, occupied apartment blocks, fighter jets and helicopter gunships and grenade launchers against urban populations.
RT: We are now seeing intense fighting in the east of Ukraine. Given the incoming president’s position – are we going to see more bloodshed?
DW: Yes, there already has been shelling at the Donetsk airport on Tuesday, which was followed by the RPG attack on a truck evacuating the wounded, in which it is reported to be 35 dead and 50, wounded, according to self-defense sources. It is a huge ramp up, and it is a very scary thing. Remember that he [Poroshenko] refers to all of them as terrorists. Just a couple of weeks ago when we had the referendum in the east, you had an enormous, overwhelming majority of people voting. So what they are saying now is that the entire population of the east oblast are in fact terrorists or as the more radical, the Right Sector and “Svoboda”, call them “kolorady”, Colorado beetles – insects. People are insects and what you do with insects is that you stamp on them and that is the only thing they have in store for these people. It is a very dangerous and scary development, a huge escalation.
RT: Why the West is ok with the way elections were held and with a new president who wants to continue military action against his own people?
Europe and Ukraine: A tale of two elections
Circumstances surrounding the European and Ukrainian elections were far from being a mere coincidence.
The regime changers in Kiev decided to hold a presidential election on May 25, the same day as European Parliament elections, in order to demonstrate their desire to follow a European-centric foreign policy.
Talk about two elections somewhat joined at the hip! In the end, the Ukraine election did actually represent European foreign policy in action – manifested in regime change leading to the specter of civil war.
Few in Europe would have noticed how this process is so far away from “democracy” –instead enshrining intolerance and an ideology of blind confrontation, as represented by this “debate” in Kiev driven by a clueless Yale historian.
Key facts that should be understaood are how the West ignored the Odessa massacre, as well as the detention of Russian journalists; and how the West dismissed the aspirations of eastern and southern Ukrainians as the work of “pro-Russians” or “terrorists.” These people simply became objects of repression – fully supervised by the West, with now the whole regime change theatre of the absurd in Kiev legitimized through an election charade.
Way beyond the established fact of an Atlantic push against Russian western borderlands, Ukraine remains a catfight of local oligarchies. No wonder the new Ukrainian president is also an oligarch; the 7th wealthiest citizen in the land, who owns not just a chocolate empire, but also automotive plants, a shipyard in Crimea and a TV channel. The only difference is that he’s a NATO oligarch
Ukraine Presidential Frontrunner Petro Poroshenko and His Secret Jewish Roots
‘Chocolate King’s’ Father Was Jew Who Took Wife’s Name
Marina Lysak, a Jewish activist who participated in the protest movement known as Maidan, after the central Kiev square where they took place, told JTA that the tent people are there to send a message to whomever prevails in the election.
“The statement is: ‘We are watching you. If you betray us again, we will not remain silent,’ ” Lysak said. Whoever wins on Sunday faces a herculean set of challenges. The first order of business will be dealing with pro-Russian separatist militias that now hold several cities in eastern Ukraine, where Russian speakers constitute a majority.
The new president also must address a looming economic crisis. Since November, the Ukrainian currency, the hryvna, has plummeted, losing 35 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar. Some analysts worry that the heavily indebted nation will soon default.
And then there’s the sensitive question of clearing encampments from the scorched earth of Maidan, where most tents are pitched on asphalt laid bare by demonstrators who pried the cobblestones loose to hurl them at government forces.
The leading candidate for these tasks is Petro Poroshenko, 48, an oligarch from Odessa and the head of a confectionary empire. Polls predict Poroshenko will take 30 percent of the vote in the first round of balloting.
Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister recently released from jail after serving three years on what she claims were charges trumped up by the Yanukovych regime, is expected to finish second with anywhere from 6 to 18 percent.
Assuming no candidate takes more than 50 percent of the vote — more than 20 are competing — a runoff election between the top two finishers would take place on the following Sunday.
Jewish community leaders have remained officially neutral about the candidates, but many Ukrainian Jews support Poroshenko, a former foreign minister rumored to have Jewish roots.
“He has a unique set of skills that absolutely make him the man for the job,” said Igor Schupak, a Jewish historian and director of the Dnepropetrovsk-based Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine Museum. Business know-how and foreign relations experience “give Poroshenko a toolbox that places him in a league of his own in comparison to the other candidates.”
The sense that Poroshenko is the preferred candidate only when compared to other lesser options isn’t an uncommon one, even among those working to put the oligarch in office.
“He’s no saint — none of them are,” said Svetlana Golnik, who volunteers with the Poroshenko headquarters twice a week in downtown Kiev. “But he is cleaner than most other oligarchs and he delivers on his promises. Anyway, right now he’s what we have to work with.”
James Temerty, a non-Jewish Canadian business magnate who founded the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter to promote interethnic dialogue, said it would be very difficult for Poroshenko to make significant changes without further destabilizing the economy.
“The best hope here is to move toward Europe, and that will stop the corruption gradually,” Temerty said. “He said he’d do it.”
According to the popular Russian television channel Russia-1, Poroshenko’s father was a Jew named Alexei Valtsman from the Odessa region who in 1956 took on the last name of his wife, Yevgenya Poroshenko.
Poroshenko’s media team did not reply to JTA requests for comment, but they are not indifferent about the subject.
Last year, Poroshenko’s spokeswoman asked Forbes Israel to remove her boss’ name from a list of the world’s richest Jews, a magazine source confirmed.
Moshe Azman, a chief rabbi of Ukraine, said he asked Poroshenko directly about the rumors.
“He told me he wasn’t Jewish,” Azman said.
Even if the rumors were true, Poroshenko wouldn’t be the only candidate for president with Jewish roots. Vadim Rabinovich, a billionaire media mogul and founder of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, is running on a platform combining a tolerant attitude toward Ukrainian minorities with plans to dispense with Ukraine’s quasi-federal political system and reduce taxes.
Air Force One landed at Bagram Air Field, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, after an overnight flight from Washington. Obama was scheduled to spend just a few hours on the base and had no plans to travel to Kabul, the capital, to meet with Hamid Karzai, the mercurial president who has had a tumultuous relationship with the White House.
Obama’s surprise trip came as the U.S. and NATO withdraw most of their forces ahead of a year-end deadline. Obama is seeking to keep a small number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 to train Afghan security forces and conduct counterterrorism missions. But that plan is contingent on Karzai’s successor signing a bilateral security agreement that Karzai has refused to authorize.
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said the president had not finalized the troop decision and no announcement was expected during the Afghanistan visit. But Rhodes indicated it was possible Obama could announce his decision during a foreign policy speech Wednesday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
At least 2,181 members of the U.S. military have died during the nearly 13-year Afghan war and thousands more have been wounded. There are still about 32,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, down from a high of 100,000 in mid-2010, when as Obama sent in additional soldiers to quell escalating violence.
This was Obama’s fourth visit to Afghanistan as president, but his first since winning re-election in 2012.
Rhodes said Obama was passing on a meeting with Karzai in order to avoid injecting himself into Afghanistan’s presidential elections. Karzai was given advance notice of Obama’s trip, Rhodes said, though it was unclear how far ahead of time.
The #BringBackOurGirls campaign has become the loudest voice for U.S. imperialism and military domination of Africa. It’s only message is that the U.S. “do something” – as if American is not already responsible for the death of millions of Africans in Congo, Somalia and elsewhere. #BringBackOurGirls masks the reality that Washington’s real mission is to protect corporate theft of Nigeria’s wealth.
When tragedies occur, questions arise. If a close relative is injured in a car accident, the affected family may ask a number of questions for both clarity and guidance. One question certain to come up is “who or what is responsible for the accident?” Most people wouldn’t accept an answer to this question from just anyone. Instead, concerned family and community members would probably seek verifiable evidence that leads to logical conclusions about the nature of the incident.
The #BringBackOurGirls campaign doesn’t appear interested in asking the difficult questions necessary to understanding the forces behind the kidnapping of 300 young girls in Nigeria. The campaign instead calls for US intervention to track down the so-called “terrorist” organization, Boko Haram. US imperialism responded quickly by sending marines to Nigeria, escalating US militarization in a country already dominated economically and politically by the West. #BringBackOurGirls supporters achieved their objective of further US militarization at the expense of African people. The #BringBackOurGirls campaign is thus not a social movement at all, and it must be clearly understood that there is much more to the kidnappings in Nigeria than the campaign is willing to address.
The motives of the #Bringbackourgirls campaign are unclear. The US corporate media is focusing most of its attention on hand selected US-based Nigerians demanding US intervention. Is the campaign’s main objective to bring the young Nigerian women back to their families, as it claims? Or is it to enhance US militarization and neo-colonialism in Africa? So far, the campaign’s use of social media and street outreach only reinforces public confusion around US imperialism in Africa.
Today, US economic hegemony is increasingly being challenged both in the region and the world by socialist China. US imperialism’s response is to further entangle Africa into its war machine. The US African Command (AFRICOM) currently has relations with all but two African countries (Eritrea and Zimbabwe). In every corner of Africa, AFRICOM has vastly increased its footprint through drone surveillance, weapons distribution, and the training of African security forces in friendly states. AFRICOM’s purported mission is to protect US “national security” interests, a euphemism for the protection of plundered resources. The agency does this by arming and training African armies to serve the interests of US imperialism.
US imperialism has been conducting military operations in Nigeria since at least 1999. AFRICOM, officially established in 2007, became involved in the training and deployment of security forces in the Niger Delta. It is in this resource rich region where Shell Corporation exports much of Nigeria’s vast oil reserves to the West. The Shell Corporation is responsible for the mass impoverishment of Nigerian farmers and workers. The #BringBackOurGirls support for further intervention from the US puppet state in Nigeria masks the reality that US imperialism is protecting the corporate theft of the country’s wealth from the Nigerian people.
[I]n 2011, the US-NATO armed foreign terrorist insurgents in Libya [were] responsible for toppling one of the last economically independent countries in Africa. The Libyan Jamahiriya nationalized oil wealth and provided Libyans with free healthcare, education, and housing. Chairman Muammar Gaddafi was a staunch supporter of African liberation movements. He also supported Palestinian resistance against Zionism and Israeli settler colonialism. For his opposition to US hegemony, Gaddafi was murdered without trial and Libya was bombed to bits. In NATO’s 2011 bombing campaign, an estimated 100,000 Libyans were murdered and 50,000 were reported disappeared. In cities like Sirte, Black Libyans were lynched and driven into exile by racist, Western-backed terrorists. Since the fall of independent Libya, evidence of terrorist elements causing chaos across Northern Africa has become impossible to ignore. Seymour Hersh’s revelation that Libya was a virtual supply station for US-NATO backed terrorists in the campaign to destabilize Syria exposes US imperialism’s role in the proliferation of terrorism in Africa.
Think about it. When was the last time Canada or Mexico threatened war against the U.S.?
The U.S. declared war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq using his invasion of Kuwait as a pretext, but given that Kuwait was tinkered with by the British and then the U.S. throughout much of the 20th century to the detriment of historic neighbor Iraq, it is difficult to argue that the U.S. Iraq war was really necessary if the West kept its paws off Kuwait to begin with (notwithstanding the fact that Saddam intended to move away from the U.S. dollar as a default currency for oil and instead move towards a gold standard, which cost Saddam his life).
Iran has not threatened any nation in a very long time. Israel has accused Iran of wanting to nuke Israel for decades, but the only nation of the two that has been proven to have weaponized nukes is the accuser.
Syria did not want war, but became the enemy “flavor of the month” as the U.S. made sudden, wild accusations about Assad using chemical weapons against his own people, despite the fact that prior to the accusations, he had not used them against his people. It was later shown that the U.S.-backed, Al Qaeda associated Al Nusra rebels who committed acts of atrocities against Syrians, including chemical weapons secretly smuggled across the border with Turkey courtesy of Saudia Arabia and a stockpile in now-chaotic Libya – remember Benghazi?
The Ukraine doesn’t want war, but the Soviet Union in the past, and the U.S. today, seem to want to push this nation to war because it’s democratically elected government rejected financial ties with Europe in favor of similar ties to Russia.
Libya didn’t want war, but when Gadhafi sought to unite African nations around their own gold-backed currency, it cost him his life.
The nation of Georgia didn’t want war, but a brash young leader, backed by the U.S., sought to pick a fight with Russia and lost.
The list can go on and on, but when you examine the headlines from the past few years, it seems the only nations that seem to desire wars are the U.S., Britain, France, Israel and Saudi Arabia. We citizens of the United States must demand an explanation from our leaders as to why we seem to come up with vague, sudden reasons to go to war in far off countries with no immediately identifiable benefits for the average American citizen.
U.S. Charges Chinese Army Individuals With Hacking in Unprecedented Move
The Justice Department announced charges against individuals in the Chinese military, accusing them of hacking U.S. companies for trade secrets, the first time the U.S. government has publicly accused employees of a foreign power with cybercrimes against U.S. firms.
The move to charge five individuals who allegedly worked for the People’s Liberation Army to hack into U.S. company systems marks a major escalation of the fight with China over such intrusions. U.S. government officials have long complained that China aggressively targets U.S. companies for trade secrets that would give Chinese companies a competitive advantage—a charge China has denied, saying such accusations have no basis in fact.
The charges have been filed against five people who allegedly worked for a part of the People’s Liberation Army known as Unit 61398 in Shanghai, these people said. The hackers allegedly stole some of the design information for a nuclear power plant, as well as cost and pricing information from a solar panel firm, these people said.
An indictment unsealed Monday charges five individuals, named Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu and Gu Chunhui, with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse.
China says U.S. hacking accusations lack technical proof
(Reuters) – Accusations by a U.S. computer security company that a secretive Chinese military unit is likely behind a series of hacking attacks are scientifically flawed and hence unreliable, China’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
The statement came after the White House said overnight that the Obama administration has repeatedly taken up its concerns about cyber-theft at the highest levels of the Chinese government, including with Chinese military officials.
The security company, Mandiant, identified the People’s Liberation Army’s Shanghai-based Unit 61398 as the most likely driving force behind the hacking. Mandiant said it believed the unit had carried out “sustained” attacks on a wide range of industries.
The Chinese Defence Ministry, which has already denied the charges, went further in a new statement, slamming Mandiant for relying on spurious data.
“The report, in only relying on linking IP address to reach a conclusion the hacking attacks originated from China, lacks technical proof,” the ministry said in a statement on its website (www.mod.gov.cn).
“Everyone knows that the use of usurped IP addresses to carry out hacking attacks happens on an almost daily basis,” it added.
“Second, there is still no internationally clear, unified definition of what consists of a ‘hacking attack’. There is no legal evidence behind the report subjectively inducing that the everyday gathering of online (information) is online spying.”
As hacking is a cross-border, anonymous and deceptive phenomenon, by its very nature it is hard to work out exactly where hacks originated, the statement said.
NSA spied on Chinese govt and telecom giant Huawei – Snowden docs
The US National Security Agency (NSA) has spied on Chinese leaders and businesses, new Snowden docs indicate. Yet it seems that China’s telecom giant, Huawei, was the core target for the NSA campaign in China.
The new portion of revelations from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, published by Der Spiegel and The New York Times, has exposed the great interest of the US secret service in obtaining data from China.
It has been revealed that America’s NSA has multiple targets in the world’s second largest economy, among them the Chinese Trade Ministry, national banks, leading telecommunications companies and the country’s top officials, like former Chinese President Hu Jintao.
But even against that background, one Chinese company received the special attention of the NSA: it is Huawei Technologies, the world’s second largest network equipment supplier, which employs 150,000 specialists around the world and can boast an impressive $38.6 in annual revenues.
The company produces a large number of electronic products, among which are cutting edge network equipment, such as WLAN routers and fiber optic hardware. For the America’s NSA, which is craving total domination in global cyberspace, full control over these technologies is decisive.
Back in 2012 Congress called on US firms to avoid doing business with the Chinese telecom giant snapping at the heels of America’s Cisco Systems Inc., the world’s #1 telecom equipment producer, due to a national security threat the company posed, according to them. Another Chinese telecom giant, the ZTE Corp, was also named as a threat to US security.
Uproar in China and other Asian nations over ‘US spies through embassies’ reportPublished time: October 31, 2013 14:32
Edited time: November 01, 2013 03:43
China and a number of South Asian governments have demanded an explanation from Washington over allegations that US embassies – as well as embassies of US allies – were used for NSA surveillance.
The diplomatic row has been caused by the Sydney Morning Herald’s report, which said the NSA collected its data in Asian countries by having its equipment installed inside US embassies and also in the diplomatic missions of the other ‘Five Eye’ nations, which includes Australia, Britain and Canada.
Beijing said it was “extremely concerned” by the news and was seeking clarification from the US.
“We also demand that foreign embassies in China and their staff respect the Vienna Convention … and other international treaties and not get involved in any activities which do not accord with their status or post and harm China’s security and interests,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said on Thursday.
The news of the data collection facilities operating out of the embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Bejing, and Dili was based on the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden.
The news that the US agency carried out espionage through foreign embassies has also provoked outrage in Indonesia, with the country’s Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, saying the issue had been raised with the US chargé d’affaires in Jakarta.
(Reuters) – An Egyptian court jailed more than 160 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to up to 15 years in prison on Sunday, pressing a crackdown on the Islamist group before a presidential election former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win.
Defendants chanted “Down with military rule” as Judge Hassan Fareed handed down 10-year jail terms to 126 Brotherhood supporters accused of violence and membership of a terrorist group in one of the cases. A further 37 people received 15-year sentences in a second case related to an alleged attempt to blow up a Cairo metro station.
The security forces have detained thousands of Brotherhood supporters since the military deposed president Mohamed Mursi last July following mass protests against his rule.
Sisi, expected to easily win the May 26-27 vote, has signaled there will be no reconciliation with the Brotherhood.
Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, who was among 683 people sentenced to death last month, made a rare address in court, rejecting the accusations leveled against his group.
“We have never responded to any attack against us with violence,” said Badie, addressing the judge in footage uploaded to Youtube. The judiciary was being used in a political conflict the likes of which Egypt had never seen before, he said.
When the National Security Agency was caught eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone, it was considered a rude way to treat a friend. Now U.S. intelligence officials are saying—albeit very quietly, behind closed doors on Capitol Hill—that our Israeli “friends” have gone too far with their spying operations here.
According to classified briefings on legislation that would lower visa restrictions on Israeli citizens, Jerusalem’s efforts to steal U.S. secrets under the cover of trade missions and joint defense technology contracts have “crossed red lines.”
Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and unseemly, counterspies have told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, going far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan. A congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony “very sobering…alarming…even terrifying.” Another staffer called it “damaging.”
The Jewish state’s primary target: America’s industrial and technical secrets.
“No other country close to the United States continues to cross the line on espionage like the Israelis do,” said a former congressional staffer who attended another classified briefing in late 2013, one of several in recent months given by officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the State Department, the FBI and the National Counterintelligence Directorate.