Category Archives: China

Parasite Empire Unravelled

So before Covid, a local school where one of my kids used to attend, had prominent race issues. Namely, teachers were being accused of being blind to obvious racist incidences against black students. The normalized notion of racism was so rampant that the school was forced to embrace some sort of deprogramming sessions by a parent-led committee on the issue.  However, this committee itself was ultimately deemed rather racist in its own way by the school’s black alumni group. To me, at the end, it became rather obvious that the whole momentum was part of a corporate political campaign for the Democratic Party establishment.  The same people who raised their fists and said “Black Lives Matter” turned out to be the supporters of Joe Biden who has bragged that he was the architect of crime bills and The Patriot Act—the very root of the school to prison pipeline, the racist, colonial “war on terror,” the prison industrial complex and so on.  Is irony completely dead as “reality” continues to be stretched to fit the ruling class interests? In the end, I felt so dirty and violated to be a part of that committee’s activities.

Fast forward to the Black-Lives-Matter-only-if-you-are-vaccinated era, and this school is voluntarily implementing a strict mandatory vaccine policy with few exemptions.  My son doesn’t like to gossip and he never really talks behind anyone’s back. But the other day, he said that the whole school is basically bullying the few kids that have not received the experimental injections.  He was particularly upset about his Black friend being given a hard time, after being subjected to the blatant racism previously.

There are some harsh numbers regarding race-related matters and the Covid “vaccines”.  In NYC, where Covid “vaccine” mandates are effectively shutting people out from indoor activities, roughly half the Black people have chosen not to receive the experimental injections. How can anyone justify segregating half the Black people from indoor activities? What is that?  And what is wrong with businesses that, without a mandate, voluntarily exclude unvaccinated people from entering their premises when statistical risk factors for getting the illness in question range from obesity to old age to having chronic conditions.  To be clear, the efficacy of the Covid injections are being debated by scientists and doctors vigorously, along with their safety issues. Yet, there are business owners who are calling themselves “community leaders” for being medical cheerleaders for big pharma, proud of being brown-nosed social climbers at the expense of those who make their own medical choices.  And if we take the whole US,  40% of small Black-owned businesses have been wiped out.  This whole virus event is a giant urban renewal push disguised as war on virus—don’t they realize what people have gone through with war on crime, war on drugs and so on?

The cozy Covid life for privileged, resourced people who can work from home or afford not to work is propped up in many ways at the expense of many who are suffering under the economic restructuring process for the oligarchy.  An unprecedented wealth transfer from the already exploited population to extremely rich and powerful people has been ongoing for the past two years, while the kind of neoliberal restructuring they’ve been dreaming about has been implemented in the name of saving lives.

It’s really demoralizing to really understand that the mechanism of exploitation and subjugation is rather simple.  The power of the wealthy oligarchs is so huge that they own everything.  They own the media.  They own the politics.  They own the governments. They own the scientists. They own the military.

And the same people who own everything tell us that we have to respect the separation of powers, we have to rely on “representative democracy,” and we have to obey the legal system which is ultimately ruled by Supreme Court judges who are appointed by, well, the same people who own everything. Needless to say, the whole thing is made to divide us and consecrate the rich and powerful as priests of capitalism, because they own everything and all powers are designed to concentrate in their hands, while  the people are effectively deprived of all power.

In the US, the power of the people is represented by two corrupt corporate political parties.  I mean, they don’t really represent people, but they pretend that they do.  The situation is so obvious and blatant that it is tedious to even mention, but the reality is that this mechanism of two corporate entities engaging in ritualistic battles within a strictly curated capitalist framework has been so effective in staging the appearance of “democracy” that it is hard to discuss the social dynamics in the US without it.  No matter what ideological leaning one has as an American, the larger than life theater of historical myths, dramas, glories of wars, nationalistic emotions and the reverence of the American flag are likely to be a part of the internalized authority which builds its footings in the minds and the bodies of those who are born on this land.

Today, many of the rich and powerful are associated with the Democratic Party—for example, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Bill Gates, and so on. This is strange because it is the Republican Party that is supposed to represent business interests. Recent numbers also indicate the trend:  “Some recent US figures on the distribution of income by party: 65 percent of taxpayer households that earn more than $500,000 per year are now in Democratic districts; 74 percent of the households in Republican districts earn less than $100,000 per year. Add to this what we knew already, namely that the 10 richest congressional districts in the country all have Democratic representatives in Congress“.

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter because when people play politics—meaning you cheer for one of the corrupt political parties—you are not supposed to talk about how money controls social institutions and how our values, beliefs and norms are determined by the interests of the ruling class, and how the economic caste order effectively enforces capitalist imperatives to perpetuate the reign of money and violence.

Believe it or not, today, this sort of understanding is labeled as “conspiracy.”  Right, you are a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nut case if you happen to call out corporate crimes, their criminal conspiracies and so on and so forth.   How obvious can it get? Rich people dominate corporate politics with the good old righteousness of exceptionalism, and a colonial attitude with the kinder, gentler face of liberal politics, and it is perfectly OK to call a simple Marxist analysis of exploitation a “conspiracy.”

The tendency to obscure the mechanism of capitalism is mirrored exactly among many of those who oppose the overwhelming push for Covid lockdowns, Covid “vaccine” mandates and so on. For many of those who stand on the other side of the virus event, the entire mobilization is described as a “communist takeover.” That’s right.  All those diehard capitalists who have been conspiring to perpetuate their interests through World Economic Forum, IMF, World Bank and so on are communists now. How convenient?  You can’t have capitalism without opportunism.

But the whole thing makes perfect sense. Both ends of the capitalist spectrum, fascists and social democrats, have always struggled to perpetuate capitalist hegemony together. At the end of the day, their ultimate goal is to perpetuate the capitalist caste hierarchy and their righteous positions within it.  One step with the left leg goes forward as the right leg moves forward to balance the momentum of the imperial hegemony — just as the hopelessly corrupt Hilary Clinton gives birth to a Donald Trump Presidency, which, in turn, gives the Democratic Party a reason to exist.  Left, right, left, right, the empire moves forward as it gently shifts its weight left to right.  As they march the imperial-scape together, they sing derogatory smears against any revolutionary momentum.  Both sides are free to argue and fight as long as they adhere to the imperial imperatives of capitalism.  The corporate media ensure that the narratives are told to fit this dynamic.  Those who do not belong to the dynamics are portrayed as “others”–fringe extremists to be demonized from multiple angles.

How does the empire gain its mythical aura of authority?  Easy. They play a good old protection racket scheme against unsuspecting “good people.”  For example, they tell people that terrorists are coming, while “secretly” funding the killers in ways which are not so secret to the people. People get the idea: “Oh I see. we have to pay the protection fee. Otherwise, we get fucked up.” Or, for example, they tell people that plague is coming, and force people to get injected with special medicines.  If the people refuse, their jobs are taken away, their families are split apart, you can’t eat at a restaurant and so on. They can effectively turn everyone into a dangerous element with an infection until proven “healthy” by the designated means of the authority.  There goes the presumption of innocence along with informed consent out of the door.

This is a big deal. There is a huge reason why an authority must prove someone guilty without a reasonable doubt.  Otherwise, people can be arbitrarily accused of committing any crime and then punished for it.  And without informed consent, people can be forced to drink Cool Aid just because they are told to do so. Moreover, as soon as the feudal overloads deal with the life and death of the people, they effectively consecrate themself as gods.  A politician would claim that Covid “vaccines” are sent by God.  Cultural figures would start accusing those who refuse the medication of “defying the law of nature,” defying “science” and so on, effectively turning Bill Gates and the rest of the snake oil salesmen into gods of our times.

So now it seems that even this pretend “democracy” is being taken away by the acceptance of decrees under an “emergency” just like any other fascist take-over.

Colonizing humanity and nature

How is it even possible, though?  The capitalist assaults come in stages. First, it attacks to destabilize, infiltrate and tear communities apart.  It destroys the fabric of communities and turns vital institutions useless.  It cultivates the ground on which the invaders can turn themselves into the new providers of artificial social relations, resources and facts. Then the colonizers embark on domesticating people with their own beliefs, norms and values to exploit them and subjugate them.

Social institutions are taken over by capital. As they lose their functions for the people, they are further bought and sold by the oligarchs to transform themselves into machines for the ruling class interests. In every step of the process, people are mobilized to destroy and reassemble their own institutions only to be domesticated by the resulting fake institution for the ruling class. Corporate NGOs, corporate think tanks, paid academics, paid scientists, corporate politicians are always ready to help in this regard.  This is how education has been taken away from the people.  This is how healthcare has been taken away.  This is how politics has been taken away.

The people’s institutions are intentionally deprived of resources so that they must rely on the rich and powerful to function.  Then, privatizing and corporatizing transform the institutions into entities for profit, indoctrination and domestication. The more you struggle financially, the more you are likely to be trapped in a cycle of exploitation—an ironic reality imposed by the capitalist hierarchy in which those who could gain the most by overthrowing the establishment are pressured the most to obey the capitalist imperatives. Meanwhile those with privileged positions are conditioned to protect the status quo. Hierarchies of ideas, ideologies, religions, and people are formed.  The caste system built by all elements permeates the empire—what’s good for the empire naturally floats as the opposing elements sink systemically and structurally. People are forced to compete in serving the interests of the oligarchs regardless of the ultimate consequences to them.

This is how people are indoctrinated to hate the system that gives power to the people—socialism, and are forced to crave the system that strangles them—capitalism.  Here is a brief summary of how socialism is actively demonized in our society:

1. Point out results of imperial assaults against socialist countries and claim socialism doesn’t work.

Examples:

  • Give them economic sanctions, then call the countries “economic disasters”.
  • Send death squads to destabilize their countries, then call the enemies of the western hegemony “strong man,” “dictator,” “butcher” and so on.
  • Attempt to overthrow the government by massive propaganda campaigns, then call them oppressive.

2. Claim that no ideology, country or government is perfect, in order to ignore the injustice and inhumanity systematically and structurally imposed on the entire capitalist hegemony and beyond by the western ruling class.

Examples:

  • Claim that socialism and capitalism are the same when they are not historically and in practice.  Capitalism is a system guided by forces of accumulated wealth and power. It manifests as imperialism at the global scale. Historically, socialism has emerged to counter imperial exploitation and subjugation. Socialist countries have been vehemently assaulted by organized forces of imperialism.  The equation totally dismisses these obvious historical dynamics, while also obscuring the very nature and mechanism of capitalism, itself.  This position is often expressed with the use of the word totalitarianism.  Although the term has been largely normalized in the western cultural sphere, historically, this term has been used by reactionary forces to equate fascism (which operates within the framework of capitalism) and socialist countries with the intention of demonizing socialist countries.
  • Claim that all violence must stop as the capitalist hegemony targets a socialist country, knowing that the imperial hegemony can topple the socialist country by many means if the country stops engaging in self-defense.
  • Demonize political leaders who defy the western hegemony saying that although the West is atrocious the dictators aren’t worth saving anyway.

3. Utilize an emotional personal anecdote in demonizing “socialism” in its entirety, totally ignoring its inner workings to forward the interests of the people, imperial dynamics and so on.  Reactionary voices of those who betray their countries of origin in seeking to secure positions within the empire are often promoted by the capitalist media.

Examples:

  • “My grand dad was killed by communists.”
  • “My family members were imprisoned by a socialist regime.”
  • “So and so is killing its own people.  I know because I’m from there and you are not.”

4. Simply rely on propaganda lies concocted by capitalist social institutions.

Examples:

  • Just mock, ridicule and demonize socialists.  The notion is fully normalized so there is no need to explain. The burden of proof is on those who defy the notion.
  • Engage in 1, 2 and 3 using the propaganda lies.

Where is this giant monster swinging right to left, guided by the selfish motives of the ruling class, going?  Is it going to put us all in a digital prison as it continues to digitalize, financialize, and transhumanize, colonizing humanity and nature?  Is it going to declare a war against China?  These are very significant concerns, but it is unlikely that they will be on the table for all of us to examine anytime soon.  Our thoughts and ideas are constantly, systemically and structurally beaten into shapes by layers of capitalist institutions over and over so that they fit into the capitalist framework. Then the momentums of pros and cons are safely exchanged within the imperial framework at the expense of the people who struggle to secure their livelihood within it.

When we are beaten by the capitalists, we are put against each other.  As we fight back, we are forced to attack our fellow community members as our institutions are further colonized as I described above. In the corporate political theater billions of dollars are spent in picking between hardened corporatist Joe Biden, and “reality TV show star” Donald Trump, but we cannot embrace the political institution which can truly function as our own—such a drastic shift is firmly demonized, again, as “socialism,” “communism,” Marxism and so on.

Look at how doctors and nurses are forced to be complicit in the ongoing virus event. They are forced to limit treatment options.  Effective early treatments such as Ivermectin or HCQ, which have saved countless lives in other countries, are being ridiculed as snake oil, because as long as there are effective treatments for the virus, the experimental gene therapy drugs can’t have emergency use status.  All this goes on as Covid “vaccine” deaths are blatantly covered up in the US and in other Western countries. The health professionals are forced to put people on deadly ventilators, deadly remdisivir, and deadly sedatives—the real reason why there are so many deaths in the US, along with the fact that obesity is a hidden killer in patients with seasonal respiratory illness.  The more they try to protect their positions within the institution, the more they compromise the whole institution. Doctors, scientists and the rest of the healthcare professionals who wish to protect the institution by speaking the truth about the virus and experimental injections are censored, harassed and fired for doing so, while those who obey are forced to be complicit in failing their patients with profit-oriented protocols.

This is what the system does when it’s driven by, and for, the oligarchs.

Their exploitive schemes create crises on many fronts—environmental crisis, health crisis, housing crisis, economic crisis, psychiatric crisis, you name it. The ruling class officially designates a chosen crisis to impose prepackaged corporate “solutions” for more profits, more power grab and readjustment of the capitalist trajectory.  In the process, they destroy vital social institutions and reassemble them for domestication.  Nothing else matters other than the chosen crisis and the associated corporate schemes. Other crises deepen as the capitalist trajectory is recalibrated and the capitalist hierarchy is readjusted. They will not run out of crises as long as they exploit and subjugate.  Crises are not predicaments for those who can buy their way out of anything, they are opportunities for them.  And they have nothing to lose in the process.  We are forced to do their work of destroying our own institutions.  We are forced to do their work of turning them into our cages.  They can buy most of anything, and if they can’t, they destroy it, then they can simply buy and sell any remaining elements, repackage them as something else and sell them back to the people.

See how it works?

As we further lose our connections to ourselves, to each other, to our community and nature, we are freely subjected to propaganda and indoctrination through ruling class sanctioned entities. Psychology has been applied to adjust individuals to the hardships of capitalist behavioral conditioning. Sociology has been applied to shape collective behaviors within the capitalist framework. Economics has been applied to justify the capitalist domination. Politics has been applied to ritualize the normalization of the feudal hierarchy. Now, we see science being applied to shift the trajectory of exploitation and subjugation.

Our behaviors are largely based on establishment-supplied social relations, facts, culture, and so on.  We don’t generally act because we perceive actual events in our lives.  Most of us go through our lives on auto-pilot mode within the structurally sanctioned capitalist framework.  The Covid event clearly shows this aspect of our lives.  People wear masks, social distance and follow lockdown measures when clearly stipulated; however, at the personal level, most of us do not act like there is a deadly plague out there.  The masks, very possibly contaminated with the “deadly virus” are thrown away everywhere without being treated as biohazard materials.  People wear masks only to enter a restaurant, then take them off to eat with strangers stuck in an enclosed space. As soon as we are born into our society, we learn to perceive the capitalist framework as our guiding principle over our actual perceptions.  This makes us extremely vulnerable to top-down mobilization, as we see with the virus event.  As soon as we are systemically and structurally forced into following instructions, then facts, our perceptions, and experts’ opinions become totally irrelevant before the decrees coming out of the establishment. The process of colonization of humanity and nature has been ongoing for generations, deeply affecting how we are, and it is accelerating.

Being deprived of our actual perceptions based on material reality, and the subsequent manufacturing of our perceptions based on the imperatives of the ruling class interests contributes to acute divisions among dissidents as well.  The urgency of capitalist oppressions together with marginalization of ideological positions has often cornered those who voice their concerns into prescribing “solutions” based on their own condition, regardless of the consequences to others.  This often happens over class lines, or against those who are victims of imperial violence.  The classic example was seen during the imperial war against Syria.  Many anti-war dissidents had taken a position in support of the US military intervention of Syria to varying degrees due to the western demonization of the Syrian government, western propaganda that glorified the US backed terrorists as victims of Syrian violence and etc.  (Those who stand with enemies of the empire are strongly urged to amend their anti-imperial positions. This urging comes from across the spectrum; for instance, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges and others who are considered “dissidents” adamantly demonized leaders of targeted countries and repeated official propaganda narratives justifying the toleration of violence against those countries–By the way, both Chomsky and Hedges also hold starkly discriminatory opinions against unvaccinated people, echoing their strong condemnations of the middle eastern leaders.)

This has resulted in acceptance of the US military attacks and the US support for violent opposition groups inside Syria. Those American people who insisted on saving the children of Syria by bombing Syria and by supporting brutal terrorists, who would behead children, failed to see the great sacrifice paid by the majority of Syrian people, who were in support of their government and their military.  Activist communities were split into pieces, while the momentum greatly exacerbated the US led war against the Syrian government.   The situation began to turn as independent journalists—Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett and others—started to report from Syria on the actual situation—in which the majority of the Syrian people have approved the determined government policy against the west backed terrorists and the US colonial policies which had strangled Syrian people on many grounds.

The war on virus, which has directly targeted our entire society, as well as the global dynamics, has presented itself as a great divider among us.  Our alienated perceptions have effectively prevented our ability to understand the course of action taken by others.  The excruciating hardship of those who wear masks 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, or more, to keep their jobs, or the anger and bitterness of those who were forced to be vaccinated against their will to remain employed,  or the predicaments faced by those who chose to be fired for their medical choice, are not shared by those who do not share the circumstances and perspectives.  The virus event kept people away from each other, prevented freedom of speech, and prevented freedom of assembly while deeply dividing people on many grounds.  It is appalling that US media outlets actually told their audience to cut their ties to friends and family members who are not vaccinated.  Anger, frustration, fear and hatred have been boiling in our communities.

Sadly, the situation is not any better among those who oppose the draconian virus measures. For example, some people see anyone who complies with a government mandate as an enemy, even if non compliance would have meant a total loss of livelihood.  I’ve seen a sad instance in which a bar owner, who courageously spoke against the government “vaccine” mandate for his customers, was mocked and ridiculed for complying with the strict mandate, though not doing so could have resulted in loss of his business.  This sort of atmosphere effectively prevents constructive community actions.  It prevents natural growth of genuine social relations among the people based on creativity and practical means.  The real struggle involves real observations of facts and spontaneous reactions to associated events. Ultimately, it cannot be prescribed by those who stand outside of the particular circumstance.  Without the existence of a genuine institution for the people to coordinate overall strategies and educate people about the mechanism of exploitation, this sort of arbitrary behavior of purging would emerge only to exacerbate alienation and division among those who should be united to counter the ruling class assaults. What Lenin said in last century still stands on this regard. It also cultivates a defeatist attitude to embrace martyrdom as the only plausible goal of resistance.

The establishment understands this mechanism very well.  That is why organized efforts of socialists, communists, and Marxists have been vehemently attacked by the US empire.  As long as we stand with the establishment in demonizing any potential to build revolutionary momentum, we are bound to stay within the framework of the exploitation. Our goal is to change the exploitive system to the one that benefits our mutual well-beings.  We are not the enemies of each other.  On this point, we have a lot to learn from the Syrian government, which has been allowing reconciliation between those who took weapons against the people and those who lost their family members by the violence.

Anti-Chinese sentiment

I have already written briefly about China and the virus event here, and here.  This topic continues to be crucial because China continues to present itself as the biggest obstacle to the western capitalist hegemony.  Although China is fully integrated in the global market economy, it continues to resist western domination of its social fabric through western neoliberalization and financialization.  This makes total sense if we understand the very reason why China opened itself to the market economy—it has done so to put its economic activities under the guidance of the Communist Party of China.  It allows China to grow economically in providing for its people while preventing western propaganda infiltration, development of western guided black market, and western capitalist restructuring of Chinese social structure.

That is why we are flooded with anti-Chinese rhetoric today.

All western wars are ultimately imperial in nature.  War on virus is not an exception. Those who operate within the capitalist framework— including those who claim to resist the lockdowns and the experimental Covid injections—express their disdain toward the imperial enemy as a gesture to express their allegiance to the empire even when they must oppose their feudal overlords.

Historically, the western capitalist mobilizations—war on poverty, war on drugs, war on terror and so on—that reshape and perpetuate its structural integrity occur in tandem with imperial dynamics. The slogans and talking points have always included anti-communist/anti-socialist elements.

The war on drugs was about destruction of minority communities as much as about destruction of Latin American movements to defy the US hegemony. The war on terror ended up destroying the middle eastern countries which have cooperated with the US hegemony to varying degrees.  The US simply does not tolerate an alternative system that demonstrates the viability of social relations outside of the imperial framework. Millions have perished.  One out of hundred people became refugees. Countries were destroyed. The momentum of war on terror exacerbated institutionalized racism and structural violence within the US as well, ultimately depriving people of legal rights through the National Defense Authorization Act, the Patriot Act, installation of the surveillance state, militarization of police and etc.

China has experienced capitalist onslaughts of colonialism, colonial wars, chemical/biological attacks, proxy wars, propaganda campaigns, regime change operations, trade embargoes, trade sanctions, economic war and more even before it embarked on the path of socialism with its revolution.

China has seen it all.

There is a reason why we keep hearing “China is complicit,” “the Chinese system is coming,” and “China is violating human rights” over and over. Because the war on virus follows the same rule.  It restructures our society to perpetuate the oligarchy, and the momentum of exploitation and subjugation parallels the imperial violence against targeted countries.  This is why hundreds of military bases are surrounding China, while multiple propaganda projects are being carried out—Hong KongTibetUyghur, continued lies about Tiananmen Squareoutright deceptions stating China has killed millions of its own people.

As long as the movement of resistance being built in the west stays within the framework of imperial exploitation and subjugation, ultimately, it will serve the empire very effectively.  The oscillation between fascism and social democracy applies within imperial dynamics as well.  For example, within the imperial framework, Nazi Germany was cultivated by the US industries to assault USSR, its failure to do so then became a justification for the US to construct its imperial hegemony.  Famously, Nazi scientists and even some political figures were absorbed into the US empire (see Operation Paper Clip).  The current atmosphere emerging is not new or any more deadly than the imperial essence, itself.  This dynamic is crucial to understand.  Failure to do so would allow another oscillation within the empire which could perpetuate the empire.  On the surface, China seems to be a part of the momentum generally referred to as the “Great Reset.”  However, meanwhile, the western allies in the pacific are also arming themself to encircle China militarily.  China is under tremendous pressure to accept western led financialization and neoliberalization of their social structure.  The situation greatly echoes how USSR and its allies were subjected to containment and encirclement.  China seems to recognize the dynamics very well as I explain shortly.

Or, down the road, the fascist “Great Reset” might grow into a modern day economic Nazi to give a legitimacy to its counterpart within the western hegemony just like how the US achieved its imperial status after the WW2.  The history could certainly rhyme.  Such a possibility can’t be ruled out, but who wants to become another Nazi to be destroyed by the empire?  All players understand these dynamics.  The US won’t allow its own allies to threaten its own interests, while some allies are very eager to please the empire by playing their role in enforcing imperial imperatives—see how draconian measures in pushing big pharma vaccines, along with digitalization, financialization and the rest of the 4th Industrial Revolution, are forcefully forwarded in Australia, Canada and so on.

Perhaps the role of Israel in the imperial dynamics should be pointed out here to illustrate the dynamics.  The violence which has been inflicted by the Israeli regime against neighboring countries and beyond serves the war-based US economy while punishing those who defy the imperial hegemony. Israel plays a violent guard dog for the empire under US protection, takes on the blame for it and sustains itself in this imperial relationship. Israel has been faithfully playing its role in the war on virus by relentlessly vaccinating its people while introducing various associated measures as well.  Again, understanding the war on virus requires understanding imperial dynamics.

Meanwhile, China clearly understands its position within the imperial dynamics.  China is not about to impose on itself a deadly neoliberal restructuring such as the USSR suffered as it was being demolished. China is not about to accept colonial war on its soil in any form including biological attacks, proxy war or economic war.  If China sees its economic sphere as a part of its socialism with Chinese characteristics, it stands to reason that China would have to confront the waves of the western socio-political-economic restructuring associated with the virus event appropriately.

It’s none of western business if China decides to prepare itself for potential western biological attacks with any measures it deems necessary considering that the US owns the biggest pile of WMDs along with hundreds of bio weapon facilities across the globe, along with the history of actually using such weapons during the Korean War and on other occasions.

It’s none of western business if China develops its own Covid vaccines and virus measures in order to protect its financial sovereignty against western waves of Covid-related neoliberal restructuring and financialization.

It’s none of western business if China ends up succeeding in all of the above and turning the occasion into an opportunity to strengthen its economic viability, scientific progress and international presence with the overwhelming approval of its people.

Parasites devouring paralyzed hosts

Twisting around fear and putting people against each other in consecrating the unconditional authority of corporate entities over families torn apart, communities destroyed, and individuals rendered hopeless and hateful is not anything nature meant for us humans.

We are looking at parasites devouring paralyzed hosts.  This is the very essence of an inhumane social formation called capitalism described precisely by Karl Marx. It is revealing that the formation is called “communism” even by those who claim to “resist”.

Again, the colonized institutions ultimately act as cages for capitalism. They work together to recalibrate the caste system.

Over and over we’ve been deceived.  We are mobilized to play ritual battles on political theaters. We are mobilized to play “activism” on social theaters. We are mobilized to play good citizens on cultural theaters. We are mobilized to fight “others” on colonial theaters of war.  As long as we run around within the framework of the oligarchs, we just shift the blame among ourselves and we keep fine tuning the very feudal hierarchy that traps us as expendable beings.

The wealth and power hoarded by the parasitic minority never belong to them. They are blessings of nature and humanity belonging to the harmony among us. Those oligarchs have only one thing—they are astronomically richer than the rest. They monopolize what belongs to us all in order to domesticate humanity and nature. But life can’t be contained by their primitive cage.  So they have been modifying life to fit within the narrowly defined framework of their own kingdom. We became dumber, we are less brave, we are more cynical and hypocritical.  None of it is acceptable from any angle from which we look at it. The current social formation is extremely destructive to our species. If we fail to grasp the situation, gene therapy drugs, psychotropic drugs, behavioral conditioning and so on will be fully used to exacerbate the situation, commodifying our minds and bodies as our lives are more and more digitized and financialized.  If we become the products to be consumed, we are subjected to planned obsolescence, reduced quality, reduced diversity and so on just like any other items around us.  They spread their tentacles in taking over social institutions.  They freely attenuate and amplify the roles of institutions in orchestrating the material reality to suit their interests.  Again, they paralyze people with illusions, lies, deceptions, drugs, carrot and stick and eat us alive.  We do not deserve this parasitic social formation.

We need a system which firmly ensures that the material reality reflects a harmony of man and nature.  For one thing, the ridiculous rituals of corporate politics, corporate slogans for health, and so on have no place in getting us out of this feudalism of money and violence.  How can we all step back a little and take a look at what is really going on, calling out the parasites for what they are?  How can we recognize that the same colonizers who destroyed countries across the globe have embarked on psychological asymmetrical urban warfare against us? We are told that we are all in this together only to find ourselves shooting each other. We are told to flatten the curve only to see our communities flattened to be swallowed by corporate entities. How can we build our communities with social relations based on our needs?  How can we build social institutions which can help us build a social formation that serves us all?

The parasites devour the hosts because they do not have the ability to engage in the creative process of life. They must lie and deceive to imprison the subject population so that the captive beings are forced to construct the kingdom for the parasites. Parasites are not the all-seeing gods which they present themselves to be.  In order to survive and embrace the blessings of the universe as one of the species on our planet, we must recognize this destructive state of being and somehow move beyond it.

We are hardly the only ones screaming.  We are a fraction of a huge momentum of humanity continuing to make a point about our species’ obvious predicaments. The following words came from George L. Jackson shortly before he was murdered in California’s San Quentin Prison (I thank John Steppling for mentioning the quote recently):

Settle your quarrels, come together, understand the reality of our situation, understand that fascism is already here, that people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love in revolution.

— George L. Jackson, Blood in my Eye, January 1, 1972

Like Fred Hampton said:

… you can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail the revolution. You can run a freedom fighter around the country but you can’t run freedom fighting around the country. You can murder a liberator, but you can’t murder liberation.

— Fred Hampton,  Speech delivered on April 27, 1969 (Movement Vol. 5. No. 12, The Movement Press, January, 1970)

The post Parasite Empire Unravelled first appeared on Dissident Voice.

After a Year of Biden, Why Do We Still Have Trump’s Foreign Policy?

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President Biden and the Democrats were highly critical of President Trump’s foreign policy, so it was reasonable to expect that Biden would quickly remedy its worst impacts. As a senior member of the Obama administration, Biden surely needed no schooling on Obama’s diplomatic agreements with Cuba and Iran, both of which began to resolve long-standing foreign policy problems and provided models for the renewed emphasis on diplomacy that Biden was promising.

Tragically for America and the world, Biden has failed to restore Obama’s progressive initiatives, and has instead doubled down on many of Trump’s most dangerous and destabilizing policies. It is especially ironic and sad that a president who ran so stridently on being different from Trump has been so reluctant to reverse his regressive policies. Now the Democrats’ failure to deliver on their promises with respect to both domestic and foreign policy is undermining their prospects in November’s midterm election.

Here is our assessment of Biden’s handling of ten critical foreign policy issues:

  1. Prolonging the agony of the people of Afghanistan. It is perhaps symptomatic of Biden’s foreign policy problems that the signal achievement of his first year in office was an initiative launched by Trump, to withdraw the United States from its 20-year war in Afghanistan. But Biden’s implementation of this policy was tainted by the same failure to understand Afghanistan that doomed and dogged at least three prior administrations and the U.S.’s hostile military occupation for 20 years, leading to the speedy restoration of the Taliban government and the televised chaos of the U.S. withdrawal.

Now, instead of helping the Afghan people recover from two decades of U.S.-inflicted destruction, Biden has seized $9.4 billion in Afghan foreign currency reserves, while the people of Afghanistan suffer through a desperate humanitarian crisis. It is hard to imagine how even Donald Trump could be more cruel or vindictive.

  1. Provoking a crisis with Russia over Ukraine. Biden’s first year in office is ending with a dangerous escalation of tensions at the Russia/Ukraine border, a situation that threatens to devolve into a military conflict between the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear states–the United States and Russia. The United States bears much responsibility for this crisis by supporting the violent overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine in 2014, backing NATO expansion right up to Russia’s border, and arming and training Ukrainian forces.

Biden’s failure to acknowledge Russia’s legitimate security concerns has led to the present impasse, and Cold Warriors within his administration are threatening Russia instead of proposing concrete measures to de-escalate the situation.

  1. Escalating Cold War tensions and a dangerous arms race with China. President Trump launched a tariff war with China that economically damaged both countries, and reignited a dangerous Cold War and arms race with China and Russia to justify an ever-increasing U.S. military budget.

After a decade of unprecedented U.S. military spending and aggressive military expansion under Bush II and Obama, the U.S. “pivot to Asia” militarily encircled China, forcing it to invest in more robust defense forces and advanced weapons. Trump, in turn, used China’s strengthened defenses as a pretext for further increases in U.S. military spending, launching a new arms race that has raised the existential risk of nuclear war to a new level.

Biden has only exacerbated these dangerous international tensions. Alongside the risk of war, his aggressive policies toward China have led to an ominous rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, and created obstacles to much-needed cooperation with China to address climate change, the pandemic and other global problems.

  1. Abandoning Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. After President Obama’s sanctions against Iran utterly failed to force it to halt its civilian nuclear program, he finally took a progressive, diplomatic approach, which led to the JCPOA nuclear agreement in 2015. Iran scrupulously met all its obligations under the treaty, but Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA in 2018. Trump’s withdrawal was vigorously condemned by Democrats, including candidate Biden, and Senator Sanders promised to rejoin the JCPOA on his first day in office if he became president.

Instead of immediately rejoining an agreement that worked for all parties, the Biden administration thought it could pressure Iran to negotiate a “better deal.” Exasperated Iranians instead elected a more conservative government and Iran moved forward on enhancing its nuclear program.

A year later, and after eight rounds of shuttle diplomacy in Vienna, Biden has still not rejoined the agreement. Ending his first year in the White House with the threat of another Middle East war is enough to give Biden an “F” in diplomacy.

  1. Backing Big Pharma over a People’s Vaccine. Biden took office as the first Covid vaccines were being approved and rolled out across the United States and the world. Severe inequities in global vaccine distribution between rich and poor countries were immediately apparent and became known as “vaccine apartheid.”

Instead of manufacturing and distributing vaccines on a non-profit basis to tackle the pandemic as the global public health crisis that it is, the United States and other Western countries chose to maintain the neoliberal regime of patents and corporate monopolies on vaccine manufacture and distribution. The failure to open up the manufacture and distribution of vaccines to poorer countries gave the Covid virus free rein to spread and mutate, leading to new global waves of infection and death from the Delta and Omicron variants

Biden belatedly agreed to support a patent waiver for Covid vaccines under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but with no real plan for a “People’s Vaccine,” Biden’s concession has made no impact on millions of preventable deaths.

  1. Ensuring catastrophic global warming at COP26 in Glasgow. After Trump stubbornly ignored the climate crisis for four years, environmentalists were encouraged when Biden used his first days in office to rejoin the Paris climate accord and cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline.

But by the time Biden got to Glasgow, he had let the centerpiece of his own climate plan, the Clean Energy Performance Program (CEPP), be stripped out of the Build Back Better bill in Congress at the behest of fossil-fuel industry sock-puppet Joe Manchin, turning the U.S. pledge of a 50% cut from 2005 emissions by 2030 into an empty promise.

Biden’s speech in Glasgow highlighted China and Russia’s failures, neglecting to mention that the United States has higher emissions per capita than either of them. Even as COP26 was taking place, the Biden administration infuriated activists by putting oil and gas leases up for auction for 730,000 acres of the American West and 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico. At the one-year mark, Biden has talked the talk, but when it comes to confronting Big Oil, he is not walking the walk, and the whole world is paying the price.

  1. Political prosecutions of Julian Assange, Daniel Hale and Guantanamo torture victims. Under President Biden, the United States remains a country where the systematic killing of civilians and other war crimes go unpunished, while whistleblowers who muster the courage to expose these horrific crimes to the public are prosecuted and jailed as political prisoners.

In July 2021, former drone pilot Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison for exposing the killing of civilians in America’s drone wars. WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange still languishes in Belmarsh Prison in England, after 11 years fighting extradition to the United States for exposing U.S. war crimes.

Twenty years after it set up an illegal concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to imprison 779 mostly innocent people kidnapped around the world, 39 prisoners remain there in illegal, extrajudicial detention. Despite promises to close this sordid chapter of U.S. history, the prison is still functioning and Biden is allowing the Pentagon to actually build a new, closed courtroom at Guantanamo to more easily keep the workings of this gulag hidden from public scrutiny.

  1. Economic siege warfare against the people of Cuba, Venezuela and other countries. Trump unilaterally rolled back Obama’s reforms on Cuba and recognized unelected Juan Guaidó as the “president” of Venezuela, as the United States tightened the screws on its economy with “maximum pressure” sanctions.

Biden has continued Trump’s failed economic siege warfare against countries that resist U.S. imperial dictates, inflicting endless pain on their people without seriously imperiling, let alone bringing down, their governments. Brutal U.S. sanctions and efforts at regime change have universally failed for decades, serving mainly to undermine the United States’s own democratic and human rights credentials.

Juan Guaidó is now the least popular opposition figure in Venezuela, and genuine grassroots movements opposed to U.S. intervention are bringing popular democratic and socialist governments to power across Latin America, in Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Honduras – and maybe Brazil in 2022.

  1. Still supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and its repressive ruler. Under Trump, Democrats and a minority of Republicans in Congress gradually built a bipartisan majority that voted to withdraw from the Saudi-led coalition attacking Yemen and stop sending arms to Saudi Arabia. Trump vetoed their efforts, but the Democratic election victory in 2020 should have led to an end to the war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Instead, Biden only issued an order to stop selling “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia, without clearly defining that term, and went on to okay a $650 million weapons sale. The United States still supports the Saudi war, even as the resulting humanitarian crisis kills thousands of Yemeni children. And despite Biden’s pledge to treat the Saudis’ cruel leader, MBS, as a pariah, Biden refused to even sanction MBS for his barbaric murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

  1. Still complicit in illegal Israeli occupation, settlements and war crimes. The United States is Israel’s largest arms supplier, and Israel is the world’s largest recipient of U.S. military aid (approximately $4 billion annually), despite its illegal occupation of Palestine, widely condemned war crimes in Gaza and illegal settlement building. U.S. military aid and arms sales to Israel clearly violate the U.S. Leahy Laws and Arms Export Control Act.

Donald Trump was flagrant in his disdain for Palestinian rights, including tranferring the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to a property in Jerusalem that is only partly within Israel’s internationally recognized border, a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation.

But nothing has changed under Biden. The U.S. position on Israel and Palestine is as illegitimate and contradictory as ever, and the U.S. Embassy to Israel remains on illegally occupied land. In May, Biden supported the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, which killed 256 Palestinians, half of them civilians, including 66 children.

Conclusion

Each part of this foreign policy fiasco costs human lives and creates regional–even global–instability. In every case, progressive alternative policies are readily available. The only thing lacking is political will and independence from corrupt vested interests.

The United States has squandered unprecedented wealth, global goodwill and a historic position of international leadership to pursue unattainable imperial ambitions, using military force and other forms of violence and coercion in flagrant violation of the UN Charter and international law.

Candidate Biden promised to restore America’s position of global leadership, but has instead doubled down on the policies through which the United States lost that position in the first place, under a succession of Republican and Democratic administrations. Trump was only the latest iteration in America’s race to the bottom.

Biden has wasted a vital year doubling down on Trump’s failed policies. In the coming year, we hope that the public will remind Biden of its deep-seated aversion to war and that he will respond—albeit reluctantly—by adopting more dovish and rational ways.

The post After a Year of Biden, Why Do We Still Have Trump’s Foreign Policy? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

What Kind of Threat is China?

@wei006119 他親口承認即使中國走上民主道路,美國也要千方百計的搞垮他。 #美國狼子野 #不願有人比美國強大 ♬ 原聲 – Sunyui Wei

The “brutalist philosophy” of the US was made public (曝光) by Robert Daly, a former US diplomat stationed in Beijing, in 2015. Currently, he is the director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States. No diplomatic niceties here, Daly frankly states the policy of the US: China must never reach the level of the US.

Paolo Urio, a professor emeritus at the University of Geneva, points out in his book, America and the China Threat: From the End of History to the End of Empire (Clarity Press, 2022), that the US has “started to understand that China’s development risked putting an end of the world that America made, the foundation of the dominant U.S. role in the world … certainly for the U.S. establishment, the major threat.” (p 5)

The Barack Obama administration with its “pivot to Asia” sought to contain China. (p 22)

Obama boasted in his 2016 State of the Union Address of US leadership:

Surveys show our standing around the world is higher than when I was elected to office, and when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead–they call us. (p 27)

One might argue that the mere fact that Obama felt the need for such bluster indicated some anxiety.

“American reactions to China’s rise is the fear of losing the U.S. capacity to lead the world, to lose the status of sole super-power that sets the rules of the international system…” (p 232) President Joe Biden recognizes that fear to which he said “That’s not going to happen on my watch because the United States is going to grow and expand.” (p 235)

America and the China Threat examines the validity of the the China threat and whether the US will succeed in denying China’s ascendancy. The book is divided into three chapters with a concluding section. In chapter one, Urio debunks myths about the United States and China. In chapter 2, he examines the ideological differences between the US and China throughout history. Chapter 3 is titled “The Policy and Power Divide,” which again examines the differences over time between the US and China. The book concludes by pondering the question “If America Is Back, Then What Kind of America Is It?”

Urio begins by dismantling the myth of a free market upon which US capitalism is rooted. The Swiss author cites Adam Smith who promoted “a market free from the realization of rent (in his time, the rent from land) that is not the result of work.” (p 44) The market that exists now, writes Urio, is one massively tilted in favor of a tiny wealthy minority. (p 45)

Next, Urio exposes the myth of democracy. Within capitalist countries, the major problem, finds Urio, are the interferences of the economy and major political organizations. (p 48) And, of course, there is the influence of money. (p 49) Concerning the protest movement in Hong Kong, Urio writes that the West depicts it as “a desperate demand for democracy due to the interferences of the Chinese dictatorship. There is certainly some truth in this…” (p 53) What was this “some truth”? Urio did not elaborate. He did state that it was not about a democratic deficit but rather the inequality in Hong Kong.

Urio makes clear later that China is not a dictatorship. (p 86-92) The government serves the needs of the Chinese people and is supported widely by the people. (p 91)

Urio derides what passes for democracy in western media: a merger between political and economic elitists. (p 57) The US, he says, is a non-democracy: a plutocracy. (p 341) In contrast,
author Wei Ling Chua wrote, “The strength of China’s political system is that they need not compromise with corporate interests like in the West…”1

Sometimes Urio makes perplexing statements. For example, on page 254, Urio writes Switzerland is the “world’s most democratic country.” He didn’t elaborate on this disputable claim that would best have been omitted from the manuscript. He also writes, “Since the beginning of the 20th century the U.S. has not won a single great war on its own.” (p 61) Two riders hang on this claim. First there is nothing great about war. But obviously, Urio refers to a large war. In the 20th century, there were only two large wars: WWI (which many call the Great War) and WWII. There were so many combatants involved in these large wars that renders “on its own” nugatory. The US has won a few wars on its own (e.g., the invasion of Panama and Grenada), but such wars against comparatively tiny opponents reveals the US to be at best a bully. A bully is a morally deficient person. That the United States is a morally flawed entity is clear from the deeply racist history of European settler-colonists having spawned the country through wars and broken treaties against the Original peoples on Turtle Island. (p 207-209) This was followed by the forced transer of Africans to provide slave labor. (p 79-83) Urio did not mention, what is usually omitted from history, that Indigenous peoples were also enslaved in America.2

American superiority and invincibility is another myth that is deflated in America and the China Threat. The US is a warring nation, having been at war for 229 out of 239 years (93%) of its existence from 1776 to 2015. (p 66) To that number can be added the continuation of warring from 2016 to 2022. The belief in military superiority is dangerous reveals Urio, especially when applied to China: “The consequence of over-estimating present power can be … devastating if a competitor is on an ascending trajectory as far as its power resources are concerned.” (p 74)

China’s last war was its shameful, truncated invasion of Viet Nam in 1979.

Another myth debunked about China is the claim that it has a state-capitalist economy. Urio explains that, among other reasons, China is a socialist-market economy: land is collective property, its anti-neoliberal orientation is people first, and banking is controlled by the state.( p 94-95)

To anyone closely observing the agricultural and technological leaps by China, the myth of China being a copycat manufacturer is balderdash. Robert Temple wrote of the myriad inventions that sprang first from the Chinese mind in The Genius of China: 3000 Years of Science, Discovery and Invention (1998), based on the research of Dr. Joseph Needham. Chinese innovations today are a continuation of its historical creativity.

However, China’s being at the technological, innovative forefront chagrins many westerners. A prime example is the vendetta against the 5G, and 6G on the way, communications leader Huawei. This has evoked enormous jealousy and consternation among US elitists. Among the many examples of Chinese excellence is its state-of-the-art high-speed train network, including maglevs; cutting-edge AI and robotics technology; quantum computing breakthroughs; it announced plans to construct the Circular Electron–Positron Collider (CEPC), five times larger than the CERN Large Hydron Collider in Switzerland; China continues research into nuclear fusion and its “artificial sun” — Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) — project has sustained a nuclear fusion reaction for more than 17 minutes; in space, there is humanity’s first soft landing on the far side of the moon, China is the first nation to carry out an orbiting, landing, and rovering mission on Mars successfully on its first try. The US shut China out of participation in the International Space Station, so China put the Tiangong space station into orbit, to which China invites foreign participation.

Won’t the growing Chinese middle class demand a western style political system? The expectation that Chinese would pine for the purportedly superior western political system likeliest reflects western smugness. One ought to give the highly educated Chinese more credit. The mere fact is that China has risen so far and so fast, conquered extreme poverty, and is preparing put a nuclear-powered research station on the moon while a sizeable segment of the West still struggles with tent cities, hunger, unemployment, stagnant wages, drug addiction, etc. Why would Chinese people opt for the western political system that has wrought so much misery?

Oria also debunks the notion of China becoming imperialist. Chairman Xi has on many occasions denounced hegemony. As Oria notes, the West seems stuck in projecting itself onto other countries. (p 114)

American ideology is predicated on its chosenness, its exceptionalism, its having a manifest destiny, being the indispensable nation, and being the leader of the free world. (p 120-131) Being the leader, it has the right to decree what is right or wrong and to intervene at its choosing. Writes Urio, “the U.S. tendency has remained, constantly and consistently, to intervene everywhere, whenever possible, by any means, to diffuse the good news of the new world order.” (p 131)

The Monroe Doctrine has been expanded around the world. Thus, the US breaks promises and sends military assets to the Russian frontier, to the former Soviet republic, Ukraine — what Russia has indicated is a redline. The US feels no embarrassment to tell NATO-ally Germany to not buy Russian gas. “This is another example of how the U.S. plans to lead the world and tell its allies what their interests are.” (p 145)

The key US-designated adversary, though, is China. (p 150)

Urio contrasts the static ideology of the US with the Chinese view of the world as perpetually changing. Thus, China remains prepared to adjust accordingly to seek harmony. The vehicle for that harmonization since 1949 has been Marxist-Leninism adapted to Chinese circumstances. Confucianism, molded to the present circumstances, holds the ruler is duty-bound to be moral and look after the people. (p 171, 187, 203) To this end, the Chinese people, writes Urio, will stand by the CPC as long as they can live comfortably. (p 186)

Urio identifies the US as in decline because the politicians have favored the capitalists over the well-being of the country and its people. (p 243) Spending for the military-industrial complex is rampant (p 244) and has diminished spending in other social areas. (p 247) It is a priority markedly different than in China.

Militarism is obviously out of the question to any sane analysis against a formidable, nuclear-armed China. Propagandizing is left as a tactic of choice. The US has targeted, in particular, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong. Available facts belie western propaganda, disinformation, and incitement concerning these regions. Moreover, given that the continental US is based on the genocide and dispossession of the Original peoples, that Hawai’i was dispossessed from the Hawaiian people, that Guam, Saipan became administered territories of the US through far flung wars, it seems, moderately speaking, outrageous to criticize another country.

Under Xi, the goal is attaining the Chinese Dream. Part of paving the way for the Chinese Dream means getting the economy right. In terms of economic growth China is faring extremely well, but as is detailed in America and the China Threat, getting the balance right between rural and urban, among the regions, and the narrowing the gap between the wealthy and struggling people (China has a high GINI coefficient) is a work in progress. Urio finds, “The overall result is that China is improving the living conditions of all strata of its society, thus realizing a satisfactory level of social cohesion, stability, unity and harmony, in spite of the persistence of disparities.” (p 287)

One challenge for China, and other nations, is obtaining a level playing field in global commerce to break the stranglehold of the US dollar. Urio describes how this is being realized by China and other countries. China has entered several economic associations, among them the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS, and effective since 1 January 2022, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a “free” trade agreement among the Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Some indications point to the supremacy of the US dollar eroding.

Near the end of the book, the lynchpin of the Chinese policy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is fleshed out. The BRI is daring and brilliant. With a road belt across Eurasia and a maritime road connecting Africa, the BRI encircles the globe. It is an ever-expanding project encouraging economic development, sharing possibilities among several countries, and attracting the interest of other countries. Who’d like to be left out of such a massive project? The US is opposed to the BRI since it represents leadership by China. Part of the genius of the BRI is that it skirts much of the US military encirclement of China. Says Urio, “BRI is above all a geo-strategic project that, if fully realized, will allow China to reclaim its status as a world power, thereby putting an end to the unipolar ‘world America made.'” (p 337)

Biden and preceding administrations have not understood that it is economic not military values that will attract other countries. (p 349) China seeks win-win relationships, respects national sovereignty, and does not interfere in the domestic affairs of other nations. (p 351)

On January 18, 2022, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng spoke to a forum hosted by Renmin University:

Let the 1.4 billion Chinese people live a good life and satisfy the people’s yearning for a better life is the goal of the Communist Party of China. You must know that there are still 1 billion people in China who have never been on a plane, and more than 200 million Chinese families do not have toilets. The proportion of Chinese people who have obtained a college degree or above is only 4%, compared with 25% in the United States. This is what we should attach great importance to and strive to change. Compared with whether GDP is super beautiful, we value our ideology, governance ability, and contribution to the world to catch up and surpass, and strive to be more advanced, more in line with people’s expectations, and more in line with the trend of the times.

Does that sound threatening? America and the China Threat lays out the background and foreground to the dynamism between the US and China. One can comprehend the apprehension of US empire observing the unabating ascendance of China, and the US’s unwillingness to accept the rise of China. For most observers it is a fait accompli. The US can squawk about China ascendancy or work with it. Volens nolens, China will continue ascending.

  1. Wei Ling Chua, author of Democracy: What the West Can Learn from China (review: location 1692.
  2. See Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America (2016).
The post What Kind of Threat is China? first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Excellent Xinjiang Health Statistics vs US Alliance Lies

The US and its allies are countering the re-emergence of China with a Sinophobic confection of new alliances (the AUKUS and the Quad), military threats, jingoism and false propaganda about a falsely claimed Uyghur Genocide in Xinjiang. The UK Uyghur Tribunal admits that there have been no mass killings in Xinjiang but absurdly asserts that application of globally-praised Chinese family planning in Xinjiang is “genocide.” However excellent health, infant mortality, maternal mortality, life expectancy, population growth, per capita GDP, education, literacy and birth rate outcomes in Xinjiang and China contradict Sinophobic US, UK, and Australian claims of a Uyghur Genocide.

Below are some key relevant data on China and Xinjiang (42% Han Chinese, 58% ethnic minorities), and by way of comparison data for the US, UK, Australia, and Apartheid Israel (serial war criminal occupier countries), Indigenous Australians (socio-economically disadvantaged survivors of a 2-century Australian Genocide of Aboriginals), Occupied Palestine and Occupied Afghanistan (war criminally occupied countries), and India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh (major impoverished but democratic neighbours of China).

(1). Annual population growth: 0.2% (Australia) 0.3% (China), 0.4% (the US), 0.6% (UK), 1.0% (Bangladesh), 1.0% (India), 1.8% (Apartheid Israel), 1.8% (Xinjiang), 2.0% (Pakistan), 2.1% (Indigenous Australians), 2.3% (Occupied Afghanistan), and 2.5% (Occupied Palestine).

(2). Life expectancy in years: 83.9 (Australia), 83.5 (Apartheid Israel), 81.8 (UK), 79.1 (US), 77.5 (China), 74.7 (Xinjiang), 74.6 (Occupied Palestine), 73.6 (Indigenous Australians), 73.6 (Bangladesh), 70.4 (India), 67.8 (Pakistan), and 66.0 (Occupied Afghanistan).

(3). Under-1 infant deaths per 1,000 births: 3 (Australia), 2.5 (Apartheid Israel), 3.5 (UK), 5.5 (US), 6 (Indigenous Australians), 6.8 (Xinjiang), 9 (China), 16.5 (Occupied Palestine), 24.5 (Bangladesh), 29.5 (India), 48.5 (Occupied Afghanistan), and 58.5 (Pakistan).

(4). Under-5 infant deaths per 1,000 births: 3 (Apartheid Israel), 3.5 (Australia), 4 (UK), 7 (US), 7 (Indigenous Australians), 10.9 (Xinjiang), 11 (China), 19 (Occupied Palestine), 29 Bangladesh, 36 (India), 62.5 (Occupied Afghanistan), and 71.5 (Pakistan).

(5). Maternal deaths per 100,000 births: 3 (Apartheid Israel), 6 (Australia), 7 (UK), 17.9 (Xinjiang), 19 (US), 20 (Indigenous Australians), 27 (Occupied Palestine), 29 (China), 140 (Pakistan), 145 (India), 173 (Bangladesh) and 638 (Occupied Afghanistan).

(6). GDP per capita: $65,134 (US), $54,763 (Australia; perhaps about 2 times lower  for the socio-economically disadvantaged Indigenous Australians), $46,376 (Apartheid Israel), $41,855 (UK), $10,001 (China), $8,575 (Xinjiang),  $3,424 (Occupied Palestine), $2,116 (India), $1,846 (Bangladesh), $1,187 (Pakistan), and $470 (Afghanistan).

(7). Adult literacy:  99.0%  (US), 99.0% (Australia), 99.0%  (UK), 97.1% (Apartheid Israel), 96.7% (Occupied Palestine), 96.4% (China), 96.3% (Xinjiang), 72.2% (India), 61.5% (Bangladesh), 56.4% (Pakistan), and 38.2% (Occupied Afghanistan).

(8). Annual births per 1000 of population: 12.4  (US), 12.0 (Australia), 12.0  (UK), 12.1 (China; as per (1) higher for Uyghurs), 17.9 (Apartheid Israel), 18.6 (Bangladesh), 18.7 (India), 21.6 (Pakistan), 28.3 (Occupied Palestine), and 37.5 (Occupied Afghanistan).

These data show that Xinjiang is performing as well as or better than China in most of these parameters but has a much higher birth rate and population growth rate. Conversely, the shocking data on Indigenous Australians, Occupied  Palestine,  and Occupied Afghanistan show that the genocidal Occupiers (Australia, Apartheid Israel and the US Alliance, respectively)  are grossly violating  Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War (the Fourth Geneva Convention) that unequivocally state that the Occupiers are inescapably obliged to provide their conquered Subjects with life-sustaining food and medical requisites “to the fullest extent of the means available to them”.

A holocaust involves the deaths of a huge number of people. However genocide is precisely defined by Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide thus: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”.

In Xinjiang there have been no mass killings or expulsions, and birth control policies are much less restrictive for Uyghurs than for Han Chinese. Deaths from violence and imposed deprivation total 2.2 million (the WW1 onwards Palestinian Genocide) and 6.7 million (the 2001 onwards Afghan Genocide; it is worsening under deadly US and US Alliance sanctions, and through the US crippling impoverished Afghanistan by freezing $9.5 billion in Afghan reserves).

Here is a shocking testament to massive lying by Western mainstream journalist, editor, politician, academic and commentariat presstitutes – if you Google the terms “Uyghur Genocide”, “Palestinian Genocide” and “Afghan Genocide” you obtain the following results (deaths in brackets): 221,000 (“Uyghur Genocide”; 0 deaths), 11,200 (“Palestinian Genocide”; 2.2 million deaths) and 6,960 (“Afghan Genocide”; 6.7 million deaths). Similarly, searches of the mendacious ABC (the Australian taxpayer-funded equivalent of the mendacious UK BBC) for these terms yield the following results: 95 (for “Uyghur Genocide”), 0 (“Palestinian Genocide”) and 0 (“Afghan Genocide”).

The Sinophobic claims made by US and US Alliance politicians and propagandists of “genocide” in Xinjiang are patently false. China  can and indeed must be legitimately criticized for the one party state, air pollution, the death penalty, censorship, the surveillance state, harsh treatment of Uyghurs, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, and dissidents in general, and the harshness of its de-radicalization measures and associated human rights abuses in Xinjiang. However set against those harsh treatments are avoidance of the entrenched deadly jihadi extremism found in Muslim countries from West Africa to South East Asia.  It should be noted that the China-threatening US has an appalling record of covertly supporting non-state terrorism (including jihadi non-state terrorism) from Latin America to South East Asia.

For a detailed and documented analysis see Gideon Polya, “Excellent Xinjiang Health, Growth & Education Outcomes Contradict Sinophobic US Lies,” Countercurrents. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Please disseminate this to everyone you can.

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Why Washington’s Focus on “Credibility” is a Recipe for War

The most pressing threat to global security right now isn’t so-called “provocations” by either Russia or China. It is the United States’ misplaced obsession with its own “credibility”.

This rallying cry by Washington officials – echoed by the media and allies in London and elsewhere – is code for allowing the US to act like a global gangster while claiming to be the world’s policeman. US “credibility” was apparently thrown into question last summer – and only when President Joe Biden held firm to a pledge to pull US troops out of Afghanistan.

Prominent critics, including in the Pentagon, objected that any troop withdrawal would both suggest the US was backing off from a commitment to maintain the so-called “international order” and further embolden the West’s “enemies” – from the Taliban and Islamic State (IS) group to Russia and China.

In a postmortem in September, General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, echoed a view common in Washington: “I think that our credibility with allies and partners around the world, and with adversaries, is being intensely reviewed by them to see which way this is going to go – and I think that damage is one word that could be used.”

At the same time, a former defence official in the George W Bush administration judged US credibility after the Afghanistan withdrawal at “rock bottom“.

The only way this understanding of US “credibility” makes sense is if one disregards the disastrous previous two decades of Washington’s role in Afghanistan. Those were the years in which the US army propped up a bunch of wildly unpopular kleptocrats in Kabul who ransacked the public coffers as the US launched an arms’ length drone war that ended up killing large numbers of Afghan civilians.

To bolster its apparently diminished “credibility” after the troop withdrawal, the US has imposed crushing sanctions on Afghanistan, deepening its current famine. There have also been reports of CIA efforts to run covert operations against the Taliban by aiding its opponents.

Cold War relic

Washington’s “credibility” was also seemingly in peril when US and Russian officials met in Geneva this week for negotiations in the midst of a diplomatic, and potential military, standoff over Ukraine.

The background are demands from Moscow that Washington stops encircling Russia with military bases and that Nato end its relentless advancement towards Russia’s borders. Nato should be a relic of a Cold War-era that officially ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991. Moscow dissolved its own version of Nato, the Warsaw Pact, more than three decades ago.

Russia had been given verbal assurances in 1990 by George HW Bush’s administration that Nato would not expand militarily beyond the borders of what was then West Germany. Seven years later, President Bill Clinton signed the Nato-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, which committed Russia and Nato not to treat each other “as adversaries”, while Nato reiterated that there would be no “additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces” in former Eastern bloc states.

Every subsequent US administration has flagrantly broken both of these pledges, with Nato troops now stationed across eastern Europe. Perhaps not surprisingly, Moscow feels as menaced by Nato’s aggressive posturing, which serves to revive its Cold War fears, as Washington would if Russia placed military bases in Cuba and Mexico.

No one should forget that the US was prepared to bring the world to the brink of armageddon in a nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union in 1962 to prevent Moscow from stationing nuclear missiles in Cuba.

Historic alliance

Despite the current clamour about the need for the US to maintain its “credibility”, Washington was in fact only being asked at the Geneva talks to start honouring, 30 years late, commitments it made long ago and has repeatedly violated.

The latest flashpoint is Ukraine, Russia’s neighbour, which has been roiling since a coup in 2014 overthrew the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Moscow. The deeply divided country is split between those who want to prioritise their historic ties with Russia and those who want to be embraced by the European Union.

Moscow – and a proportion of Ukrainians – believe Washington and Europe are exploiting the push for an economic pact to engineer Ukraine’s subordination to Nato security policies, directed against Russia. Such fears are not misplaced. Each of what were formerly Soviet states that became an EU member has also been recruited to Nato. In fact, since 2009 it has been an official requirement, through the Treaty of Lisbon, that EU member states align their security policies with Nato.

Now US “credibility” apparently depends on its determination to bring Nato to Russia’s front door, via Ukraine.

US perfidy

Reporting on a working dinner with Russian diplomats last Sunday, before the Geneva meeting, Wendy Sherman, the US deputy secretary of state, recast that perfidy as the US stressing its commitment to “the freedom of sovereign nations to choose their own alliances”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, is being widely made out to be the aggressor after he posted tens of thousands of troops at the border with Ukraine.

One can argue whether those soldiers are massed for an invasion of Ukraine, as is being widely assumed in the western media, or as a show of force against a US-led Nato that believes it can do whatever it pleases in Russia’s backyard. Either way, a miscalculation by either side could prove disastrous.

According to the New York Times, General Milley has warned the Russians that an invasion force would face a prolonged insurgency backed by US weaponry. There are reports that Stinger anti-aircraft missiles have already been delivered to Ukraine.

Similarly, Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, has threatened“confrontation and massive consequences for Russia if it renews its aggression on Ukraine”.

Drumbeat of war

This reckless way of projecting “credibility” – and thereby making confrontations and war more, not less, likely – is currently on show in relation to another nuclear-armed power, China. For many months, the Biden administration has been playing what looks like a game of chicken with Beijing over China’s continuing assertion of a right to use force against Taiwan, a self-governing island off the coast of China that Beijing claims as its territory.

Few countries formally recognise Taiwan as a state, and nothing in relations between Taipei and China is settled. That includes heated disagreements over the division of airspace, with Taiwan – backed by the US – claiming that a whole chunk of southeast mainland China falls within its “defence zone”. That means the scaremongering headlines about record numbers of Chinese warplanes flying over Taiwan need to be taken with a large pinch of salt.

The same disputes apply to China and Taiwan’s respective claims to territorial waters, with a similar potential for provocation. The pair’s conflicting views of what constitutes their security and sovereignty are a ready hair-trigger for war – and in circumstances where one party possesses a large nuclear arsenal.

Nonetheless, the Biden administration has stomped into this long-simmering feud by feeding the media with alarmist headlines and security analysts with talking points about a possible US war with China over Taiwan. Top Pentagon officials have also stoked concerns of an imminent invasion of Taiwan by China.

Diplomatically, President Biden snubbed his nose at Beijing by inviting Taiwan to attend his so-called “democracy summit” last month. The event further inflamed Chinese indignation by showing Taiwan and China in separate colours on a regional map.

The CIA has announced the establishment of a new espionage centre with an exclusive focus on China. According to CIA director William Burns, it is necessary because the US is faced with “an increasingly adversarial Chinese government”. That “adversary”, however, poses no direct threat to US security – unless Washington chooses provocatively to bring Taiwan under its security umbrella.

Washington’s drumbeat has been so constant that a recent poll showed more than half of Americans supported sending US troops to defend Taiwan.

Nuclear hard line

The picture is the same with Iran. US “credibility” is being cited as the reason why Washington needs to take a hard line against Tehran – goaded, as ever, by Israel – on its presumed ambitions to build a nuclear bomb.

Israel, of course, has had its own large arsenal of nuclear weapons for decades – entirely unmonitored and in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Both the US and Israel fear Iran wants to level the nuclear playing field in the Middle East. Israel is determined to make sure that only it has the power to make nuclear-backed threats, either against others in the region or as leverage in Washington to get its way.

President Barack Obama’s administration signed an agreement with Iran in 2015 placing strict limits on Tehran’s development of nuclear technology. In return, Washington lifted some of the most punishing sanctions on the country. Three years later, however, President Donald Trump reneged on the deal.

Now Iran suffers the worst of both worlds. The US has again intensified the sanctions regime while demanding that Tehran renew the deal on worse terms – and with no promise, according to US Secretary of State Blinken, that the next US administration won’t tear up the agreement anyway.

US “credibility” does not depend, it seems, on Washington being required to keep its word.

In the background, as ever, is the threat of joint military reprisals from Israel and the US. In October, Biden reportedly asked his national security adviser to review Pentagon plans for a military strike if this one-sided “diplomatic process” failed. A month later, Israel approved $1.5bn for precisely such an eventuality.

Drunk on power

Washington’s emphasis on its “credibility” is actually a story the US elite tells itself and western publics to obscure the truth. What is really prized is America’s ability to enforce its economic interests and military superiority unchallenged across the globe.

After the Korean and Vietnam wars, and the US overthrow of the elected government of Iran to reinstall its dictator-monarch, there is barely a corner of the planet where the US has not meddled. In Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and its so-called “backyard”, Latin America, US “credibility” has required interventions and war as an alternative to diplomacy.

In October 2019, as Trump suggested that US troops would be pulled out of Syria – where they had no authorisation from the United Nations to be in the first place – Leon Panetta, a former defence secretary and former head of the CIA, observed that the decision had “weakened the US” and “undercut our credibility in the world”.

He added: “There isn’t an ally that we’ve around the world that doesn’t now distrust us and worry about whether or not we will stand by our word.”

But this kind of credibility is built not on principle, on respecting others’ national sovereignty, or on peace-building, but on the gangsterism of a superpower drunk on its own power and its ability to intimidate and crush rivals.

Washington’s “word” is only selectively kept, as its treatment of Russia and Iran highlight. And enforcement of its “credibility” – from breaking commitments to threatening war – has had a predictable effect: they have driven Washington’s “enemies” into an opposition camp out of necessity.

The US has created a more menacing adversary, as Russia and China, two nuclear powers, have found a common purpose in asserting a countervailing pressure on Washington. Since the late summer, the two have held a series of war games and joint military exercises, each of them a first.

The world is entering what looks like a new, even more complex cold war, in which any misunderstanding, mishap or false move could rapidly escalate into nuclear confrontation. If it happens, the pursuit of US “credibility” will have played a central part in the catastrophe.

First published in Middle East Eye

The post Why Washington’s Focus on “Credibility” is a Recipe for War first appeared on Dissident Voice.

A Short History of the US-Pakistan Relationship

On January 10, 2022, National Security Advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf said, “It [Pakistan] is still not [free from US influence] and I doubt that there is any country which is free from it.” He added that the country does not have any financial independence, being dependent on loans from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other foreign organizations. “When we cannot [fulfill] the demands, we seek foreign loans. When you procure loans, your economic sovereignty is compromised.” These comments are not entirely stunning; they encapsulate the ambivalent essence of the US-Pakistan relationship. While the Pakistani elite greatly enjoys its self-imposed subservience to the American empire, it never just sits back and rest on its laurels. It continuously tries to exploit what little room for maneuver it has within the bond of servility to further more selfish, regional interests – ones which either demand too much from the patron or don’t neatly align with the US’ hegemonic ambitions.

Anticommunism

Unlike the many postcolonial nations of the time which exuded a great degree of interest in the development of an independent project, Pakistan was totally craven; its creators displayed a surprising lack of enthusiasm in the paraphernalia of sovereignty. They were only interested in somehow securing money, regardless of the consequences which the people would have to face later. Every option was on the table. In The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power, Tariq Ali notes that “the new rulers of Pakistan developed an early communal awareness that to survive they had to rent their country.” Washington was approached as a possible buyer but it rejected the offer to buy Pakistan “as it was busy securing Western Europe and Japan, as well as keeping an eye on China, where the Eighth Route Army was beginning to threaten a Communist victory.” However, this did not stop Pakistan from trying to sell itself.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, continued to consistently market his country as an important ally against Soviet expansionism. Ali remarks that he hysterically “insisted that Soviet agents were present in Kalat and Gilgit in search of a base in Baluchistan.” These same sentiments were shared in a more sophisticated manner by then foreign minister Zafarullah Khan. “[H]e pleaded with the United States to shore up Pakistan, whose people were genetically anticommunist, since this was the best way to protect India against the Soviet Union, which would send its armies through the Khyber Pass.” Pakistan’s persistence in peddling threats about USSR paid off in May 1954 when it signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement, through which the US provided resources and training to the Pakistani army, with the general aim of turning the new nation into a pliant Third World state. In September 1954, Pakistan was officially anointed as a crusader against the godless Communists, joining the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization together with Thailand and the Philippines.

Exactly one year later, in September 1955, Pakistan joined another pro-Western organization known as the Baghdad Pact, which included King Faisal’s Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Britain. As Pakistan chummed up with its anti-Soviet friends, the inflows of money into the ruling class’ pockets increased. From 1953 to 1961, Pakistan received around $2 billion in assistance from the US. These wads of cash, however, did not signify a thoroughgoing bilateral camaraderie, one in which the imperialist benefactor would come to the help of its junior partner at all cost. Apart from acting as another chess piece in the anticommunist game, Pakistan served no other significant function for USA. Therefore, the latter felt no need for fulfilling all the demands of the former. In fact, what happened during the initial years of 1960s was the opposite. In United States and Pakistan in the 21st Century: Geostrategy and Geopolitics in South Asia, Syed Tahseen Raza writes:

The Sino-Indian Border struggle in 1962 paved the way for closer US-India ties because neutral India, desperate to have weapons in the immediate aftermath of Chinese aggression, made a frantic plea for US help. The US was pleased because this was an opportunity to wean India off the influence of the Soviet Union by offering help in a time of crisis. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s inching closer with China was not liked by the United States. When American finally decided to give arms aid to India in November 1962, Pakistan was not consulted before as was promised to them and this deeply offended the leaders of Pakistan. The [John F.] Kennedy administration, on the whole, tried to balance the American relationship with South Asia on equal footing and therefore did not view Pakistan as more important than India.

Feeling threatened by USA’s growing closeness with India, Pakistan extracted from the former, on November 5, 1962, a pledge “that it will come to Pakistan’s assistance in the event of aggression from India.” This pledge, nonetheless, did not help Pakistan during the Second Kashmir War (1965) when it undertook dangerous military adventures (Operation Gibraltar and Operation Grand Slam) against India. When the war started, the US cut aid to both Pakistan and India. A similar situation developed six years later. When New Delhi decisively intervened in East Pakistan’s civil war in late 1971, Washington was unwilling to directly support the Pakistani army’s Operation Searchlight against Bengali insurgents (though it did send part of its Seventh Fleet in the Bay of Bengal). The country’s eastern wing seceded to form the state of Bangladesh, dismembering Pakistan in a humiliating way. Spurred by this defeat, Pakistan’s governing caste realized that the continued existence of the nation was dependent on nuclear parity with India.

The development of nuclear weapons was smoothed by conjunctural reasons. In neighboring Afghanistan, the communists, who had backed the 1973 military coup by Prince Daoud after which a republic was proclaimed, withdrew their support from him. In April 1978, the Shah of Iran convinced Daoud to turn against the communist factions in his army and administration. In response to increasingly harsh state repression, left-wing officers in the military stormed the Presidential Palace in Kabul. The government was turned over to Noor Mohammed Taraki, a communist professor who became the President of the Revolutionary Council of Afghanistan. These developments – which were extensively supported by the USSR – came to be known as the Saur (April) Revolution. The US was terrified. It crafted a subversive plan that made General Zia’s dictatorship in Pakistan a principal node for sending jihadists to Afghanistan. Singularly focused on destabilizing Afghanistan’s communist regime, and, by extension, Soviet Union, USA cared less about Pakistan developing its nuclear programme in the 1980s.

War on Terror

America’s benign attitude toward Pakistan changed with the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the ultimate end of the Cold war. “[S]ans the American aim of defeating communism as their top priority,” comments Raza, “Pakistan was not given any extra consideration.” The “US Intelligence Report,” which had been indicting Pakistan for its nuclear quest, came to be invoked more frequently. When India conducted its Nuclear Test in March 1998, the Bill Clinton administration tried to prevent Pakistan from following suit, offering the resumption of the sale of F-16 aircraft (which had been frozen by George H.W. Bush when he did not certify Pakistan’s non-possession of nuclear devices) and economic and military aid. But Pakistan demanded more. Raza remarks: “Pakistan wanted tough punitive action against India. When the G-8 meeting on 17-18 May 1998 didn’t take very harsh measures against India in accordance with Pakistan’s expectations, bowing to public pressure, Pakistan decided to go for the Nuclear Test, which it ultimately carried out on 28 May, 1998.”

In response to Pakistan’s nuclear test, the US imposed sanctions, which included restriction of the provision of credits, military sales, economic assistance, and loans. These were, nevertheless, limited in scope and were not sustained. US-Pakistan relations exited this period of downturn in an explosive manner after 2001, thanks to the murky dynamics cultivated by imperialism in Afghanistan. After the USSR left in 1988, Pakistan maintained a strong footprint in Afghanistan to gain “strategic depth” against India, continuing to nurture the Islamist extremism that was earlier used to mobilize jihadist fighters from all over the world against USSR. These actions had severe repercussions. When hardhats of jihadism attacked New York in 2001 to express their disgruntlement with America’s bases in Saudi Arabia, the destruction of Iraq and support for Israel, Pakistan was caught in a dilemma. Networks of battle-hardened fighters that it had built along with the USA were now on the attack radar of its imperialist sponsor.

With limited options, Pakistan decided to join the US War on Terror, declaring support for the Hamid Karzai government in Kabul. “By providing the USA with help in the invasion of Afghanistan,” Justin Podur clarifies, “Pakistan was able to save its clients and its own personnel from destruction, as much of the Taliban and al-Qaeda crossed the border to Pakistan or went to ground and Afghanistan was taken over by US-friendly warlords.” This tactical move had its own disruptive consequences for Pakistan’s social osmosis. General Pervez Musharraf came to be accused of treason for supporting the USA against fellow Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This political effect complicated military operations. As the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) made the Pakistan army take action against insurgents operating in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, casualties increased, eroding the state’s legitimacy in the region. When Pakistan cooperated with the insurgents on the sly, it faced US threats.

Conflicts

The convoluted workings of the War on Terror have had a destructive impact on Pakistan’s economy. It has lost $150 billion – 41% or two-fifths of the country’s total economy size, more than the $13 billion that it received from the US between 1999 and 2013. Since the US invasion of Afghanistan, more than 80,000 Pakistani civilians, security forces personnel and women and children have been killed in gun, bomb and suicide attacks. On average, every year Pakistan suffered losses of $7.7 billion – more than the country’s total expenditures on education, health and other social safety schemes. With the growing advance of the Taliban in Afghanistan, current Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in September 2021, saying: “Since 2001, I have repeatedly warned that the Afghan war was unwinnable. Given their history, Afghans would never accept a protracted foreign military presence, and no outsider, including Pakistan, could change this reality. Unfortunately, successive Pakistani governments after 9/11 sought to please the United States instead of pointing out the error of a military-dominated approach.”

Scarred by the War on Terror, Pakistan has been frustrated to see USA establish an alliance with India as part of an anti-China containment strategy. The US and Indian elites have found a common interest in countering China; India is embroiled in disputes on its land borders with China and the US and its allies are contesting China’s claim to maritime territories across shipping routes in the Indo-Pacific region. It is against this background that Pakistan has returned to China’s “all-weather friendship,” initiated in the 1960s by General Ayub Khan who felt betrayed by Washington’s overtures to India in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian border conflict. China has become Pakistan’s closest strategic ally, supplying it with modern defense equipment. Pakistan supports China’s stance on Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan, and China backs Pakistan on its Kashmir issue with India. Over the past five years, this cooperation has been further cemented by China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its local cognate China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), entailing over $60 billion worth of Chinese investments in infrastructure consisting mostly of loans.

Despite the economic heft of China, Pakistan still needs Washington’s support, both to get disbursements of its $6 billion bailout package from the IMF and to be removed from the terror-financing and money-laundering watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s “grey list,” a designation that encumbers Islamabad’s global financial operations. War on Terror cooperation had converted Pakistan into a major non-NATO ally of the US in 2004, granting it various military and financial privileges. The designation had also eased Pakistan’s access to IMF facilities. With the deterioration of Pakistan’s relationship with USA, accessing funds has become difficult. In October-November 2021, IMF withheld the release of a $1 billion tranche under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to Pakistan until the government agreed to close commercial bank accounts held by the armed forces and other state entities and remitted $17 billion worth of public funds into a single treasury account. It is believed that USA, the single largest financial contributor to the IMF, had a hand in the reform demands.

In a June 2021 interview on HBO’s documentary news series Axios, Khan had said, “Pakistan will “absolutely not” allow the CIA to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan.” To change this policy decision, USA started using IMF monetary policy as a bargaining chip to force cash-strapped Islamabad to agree to Joe Biden administration’s counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan. These events highlight the conflictual nature of the contemporary US-Pakistan relationship. And it seems that both the parties have failed to arrive at a proper resolution till now. Yusuf’s criticism is significant in this regard as he was the one chosen for mending ties with the US. He has spent a decade or more in the think tank and security policy circle in the US capital as associate vice president for Asia at the Institute of Peace, a US government-backed institution. The Pakistani government had recently elevated him from the position of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister to NSA to signal seriousness in creating a new rapport with the US. It seems that Pakistan will have to wait longer for such a reset in relationships.

The post A Short History of the US-Pakistan Relationship first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Battle at Lake Changjin: China’s Anti-war Film

For decades, Hollywood has produced a plethora of films extolling American military prowess in warfare. Aside from Oliver Stone films and a few others, e.g., Casualties of War, usually these Hollywood films depict the United States as a force for good defeating fascists and other evildoers. Never-ending US militarism has provided a cornucopia of potential war scripts for Hollywood. Currently designated bête noires have already featured in Hollywood war films. In 1984, Hollywood made Red Dawn about an invasion of the US by the Soviet Union. In 2012, Red Dawn was updated to the other source of US demonization, China. However, capitalism and the lust for profits caused a switcheroo. The Chinese market is very lucrative for Hollywood. Consequently, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) bogeyman was substituted in as invading the American homeland.

The Soviet Union and Russia have produced a number of war films, albeit to little fanfare in the West. In the western world, Hollywood has been ruling the movie roost. Recently, however, Chinese film production has grown by major leaps and bounds, and blockbusters have been among the film fare. China is now the world’s largest cinema market, and it is expected to continue to grow.

The major Chinese film of 2021 was a war epic, The Battle at Lake Changjin. It was produced at a cost of $200 million and grossed $905 million worldwide. It was commissioned by the Communist Party of China for its 100th anniversary in 2021.

The year previously, 2020, China honored the 70th anniversary of its People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) that made the sacrifice to fight the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. This war is encapsulated in The Battle at Lake Changjin.

A basic outline of what preceded China’s entry into the war on the Korean peninsula is that the DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the south were engaged in a civil war, a war precipitated by the US splitting the country in two. The DPRK had advanced throughout the ROK except for a small southern pocket when the US decided to interpose itself into the war on the side of the ROK. The US would also manage to bring the United Nations on board, bringing other countries to its side. This massively tipped the scales, and the war pushed north over the 38th parallel. China had warned the US on numerous occasions to stay away from the Yalu River that delineates the Korean border with China. (For detailed and footnoted substantiation read A.B. Abrams’ Immovable Object: North Korea’s 70 Years at War with American Power. Review.)

Near the beginning of the movie, viewers see US planes strafing the environs of the Yalu River. China was very reluctant to enter the war, having not so long ago emerged from its own civil war. At the time China was a poor country looking to get back on its feet. But as pointed out in the film, that generation had to fight to spare a future generation from having to fight the war.

Thus, the 9th Army of the PVA is sent across the Yalu River during the frigid winter of 1950. The PVA was ill equipped, and they were going up against the best equipped and most formidable army of that epoch. At Changjin Lake temperatures plunged to -30°C. The film depicts ferocious fighting, numerous casualties, gore, and deaths on both sides. The remnants of the fleeing UN army made it to the port in Hungnam and escaped on vessels. The UN-US military would retreat back over the 38th parallel.

China had won that battle, but jingoism is muted.

Despite warnings from the Chinese side, the US breached the Yalu River, and China responded. Nowadays, a scenario plays out in Europe where Russia has warned the US against further eastward expansion.

The US ought to have drawn some lessons from the debacle of losing to “Mao Zedong’s peasant army.” But history reveals the US was forced to withdraw from Afghanistan by peasants with AK-47s; to flee from peasant fighters in Viet Nam; told to leave from war-ravaged Iraq; and it is still mired in the abject embarrassment it helped cause in Syria, reduced to being a thief of oil and wheat.

The Battle at Lake Changjin also commits Hollywood-style theatrical excesses. However, there is no glorification of warring in the film. The sensitive viewer can only conclude that war as a means to settle differences or to impose oneself on another is barbaric and immoral. But when one side resorts to violence, the other is forced to fight back or to submit. As Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata put it: a choice of dying on one’s feet or living on one’s knees.

The film’s obvious message is that violence must be rejected by the peoples of all countries. But not only that: violence in all its forms must be rejected by humanity. The violence of oppression, brutality, inequality, poverty, racism, intolerance, etc all carry the seeds of greater violence that leads to all-out war.

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