Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why Does the West Hate North Korea?

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New sanctions, and once again, new US-ROK military exercises right next door; new intimidations and new insults. For no other reason than because the country that never attacked anyone, is still determined to defend itself against appalling military, economic and propaganda provocations. 
How much more can one country endure?
More than 60 years ago, millions of people above the 38th parallel died, were literally slaughtered by the US-led coalition.
After that, after its victory, the North Korea was never left in peace. The West has been provoking it, threatening it, imposing brutal sanctions and of course, manipulating global public opinion.
Why? There are several answers. The simple one is: because it is Communist and because it wants to follow its own course! As Cuba has been doing for decades… As several Latin American countries were doing lately.
But there is one more, much more complex answer: because the DPRK fought for its principles at home, and it fought against Western imperialism abroad. It helped to liberate colonized and oppressed nations. And, like Cuba, it did it selflessly, as a true internationalist state.
African continent benefited the most, including Namibia and Angola, when they were suffering from horrific apartheid regimes imposed on them by South Africa. It goes without saying that these regimes were fully sponsored by the West, as was the racist madness coming from Pretoria (let us also not forget that the fascist, apartheid South Africa was one of the countries that was fighting, on the side of the West, during the Korean War).
The West never forgot nor ‘forgave’ the DPRK’s internationalist help to many African nations. North Korean pilots were flying Egyptian fighter planes in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. The DPRK was taking part in the liberation struggle in Angola (it participated in combat operations, alongside the People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA)), it fought in Rhodesia, Lesotho, Namibia (decisively supporting SWAPO) and in the Seychelles. It aided African National Congress and its struggle against the apartheid in South Africa. In the past, it had provided assistance to then progressive African nations, including Guinea, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Mali and Tanzania.
The fact that people of the DPRK spilled their blood for freedom of the most devastated (by the Western imperialism) continent on earth – Africa – is one of the main reasons why the West is willing to go ‘all the way’, trying to “punish”, systematically discredit, even to liquidate this proud nation. The West is obsessed with harming North Korea, as it was, for decades, obsessed with destroying Cuba.
The West plundered Africa, an enormous continent rich in resources, for centuries. It grew wealthy on this loot. Anybody who tried to stop it, had to be liquidated.
The DPRK was pushed to the corner, tormented and provoked. When Pyongyang reacted, determined to protect itself, the West declared that defense was actually “illegal” and that it represented true “danger to the world”.
The DPRK refused to surrender its independence and its path – it continued developing its defensive nuclear program. The West’s propaganda apparatus kept going into top gear, spreading toxic fabrications, and then polluting entire Planet with them. As a result, entire world is convinced that the “North Korea is evil”, but it has absolutely no idea, why? Entire charade is only built on clich├ęs, but almost no one is challenging it.
Christopher Black, a prominent international lawyer based in Toronto, Canada, considers new sanctions against the DPRK as a true danger to the world peace:
 “Chapter VII of the UN Charter states that the Security Council can take measures against a country if there is a threat to the peace and this is the justification they are using for imposing the sanctions. However, it is not the DPRK that is creating a threat to the peace, but the USA which is militarily threatening the DPRK with annihilation. The DPRK has clearly stated its nuclear weapons are only to deter an American attack which is the threat to the peace.
The fact that the US, as part of the SC is imposing sanctions on a country it is threatening is hypocritical and unjust. That the Russians and Chinese have joined the US in this instead of calling for sanctions against the US for its threats against the DPRK and its new military exercises which are a clear and present danger to the DPRK is shameful. If the Russians and Chinese are sincere why don’t they insist that the US draw down its forces there so the DPRK feels less threatened and take steps to guarantee the security of the DPRK?  They do not explain their actions but their actions make them collaborators with the USA against the DPRK.”
US/NATO Threatens the DPRK, China and Russia’s Far East
The US/NATO military bases in Asia (and in other parts of the world) are actually the main danger to the DPRK, to China and to the Russian “Far East”.
Enormous air force bases located in Okinawa (Kadena and Futenma), as well as the military bases on the territory of the ROK, are directly threatening North Korea, which has all rights to defend itself and its citizens.
It is also thoroughly illogical to impose sanctions on the victim and not on the empire, which is responsible for hundreds of millions of lost human lives in all corners of the Globe.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  Fighting Against Western Imperialism Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania - a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his websiteor his Twitter.


US Considers Plan B to Undermine Syria’s Peace Process

US Considers Plan B to Undermine Syria’s Peace Process PETER KORZUN | 27.02.2016 | WORLD


The recently concluded Russia and US-brokered peace accord on Syria has many opponents inside Syria and internationally. The Islamic State and Jabhat an-Nusra – the groups not covered by the truce agreement – control more than half of the country’s territory, including Aleppo, oil deposits and pipeline routes.
The Ahrar ash-Sham and Jaish al-Islam groups have refused to support the agreement if Jabhat an-Nusra is not a party to it.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper last week that Syria’s moderate opposition should be provided with anti-aircraft missiles «to change the balance of power on the ground».
Turkey expressed caution and pessimism about the implementation of the truce amid continuing violence.
In view of many snags on the way, the US is considering a set of options, including tearing up the just concluded agreement to put in doubt its credibility as a reliable partner. 
Speaking on February 23, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned of the prospect of a more violent Syria if a cease-fire agreed to with Russia fails to lead to a political transition for the war-torn country. The Secretary admitted that, that Russia played a key role in the peace plan. «Without Russia's cooperation I'm not sure we would have been able to have achieved the agreement we have now, or at least get the humanitarian assistance in», he noted. He also spoke of Russia’s broad cooperation in Vienna’s meetings on Syria, which «could not have happened without Russia’s input», as well as Moscow’s teamwork in reaching Iran’s nuclear deal. 
But then the US foreign chief warned the situation in Syria «could get a lot uglier» if the fighting goes on among multiple factions, including government forces and opposition groups. «It may be too late to keep it as a whole Syria if we wait much longer», he said.
Speaking on the options, Kerry referred multiple times to a «Plan B» alternative to diplomacy.
It is the first time Kerry has spoken of partition and the first admission of the fact than Plan B (a far larger military effort – the kind of conflict that the US has been trying to avoid) exists. Many Republicans, including Donald Trump, are calling for a «safe zone» in northern Syria, allegedly, to protect the increasing number of displaced people.
In their recent meetings in the White House, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Joseph Dunford, and Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan have voiced increasingly hawkish views towards Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported on February 23 citing a senior administration official.
Adam Entous, the author of the often cited Wall Street Journal article, writes that US intelligence agencies have warned Obama that if the US leaves so-called «moderate» militants at Russia’s mercy, then the Saudis or some other group could break ranks with America and send portable anti-aircraft weapons to Syria to down Russian warplanes. Aside from expanding the CIA program, other options under discussion include providing intelligence support to moderate rebels to help them better defend themselves against Russian air attacks and to possibly conduct more effective offensive operations, officials said.
On February 24, Secretary Kerry elaborated on the plan. He said it would take 15,000 to 30,000 ground troops to maintain a so called «safe zone» inside northern Syria, citing previously unheard estimates provided by the Pentagon.
«Our Pentagon estimates that to have a true safe zone in the north of the country you may have upwards of fifteen to thirty thousand troops. Now are we ready to authorize that? Are we ready to put them on the ground?» Kerry asked the Senate panel. The Secretary said that creating a safe zone isn't as simple as it sounds. In addition to controlling the airspace, Kerry said, a large troop presence would be required to shield the population from Islamic State attacks on the ground. In late November, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration was pressing Turkey to send additional troops to seal its border with Syria. Pentagon officials estimated that it could take as many as 30,000 troops to seal the border on the Turkish side to enable a broader humanitarian mission.
In early December, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon estimated that the ground force needed to enforce a safe zone in northern Syria would be «substantial».
Two of America’s most seasoned diplomats – Nicholas Burns, a former US undersecretary of state for political affairs, and James Jeffrey, former US ambassador to Iraq and Turkey – argued recently in The Washington Post that Russia should be invited to participate in the coalition that secures the safe zone, but that the United States and its partners should establish one anyway, in the event that Russia refuses.
Moscow is unaware of the availability of US plan B for Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told a conference of the Valdai discussion club titled «Middle East: From Violence to Safety».
«US statements on the availability of some plan B give rise to concern. We know nothing about it», he said. «We are confident that now we should focus all efforts on implementing the ceasefire agreements that have been reached».
Creating any kind of «safe zone» in Syria without the UN Security Council’s «say so» or the consent of Syrian government is a flagrant violation of international law. Inking an agreement on Syria with Russia and, almost simultaneously, discussing with lawmakers a plan B, which envisions the deployment of thousands of troops, is an example of dope-the-rope tactics. It puts into question the reliability of the US as negotiation partner. Creating a no-fly zone would most likely mean the US would have to enforce that rule against Russian jets – a potentially dangerous scenario. Aside from the inherent physical and political risks of putting a large number of American troops on the ground inside Syria, the US effort to partition the country will inevitability result in resistance and possible confrontation with Russia. This is a very dangerous development of event to make the entire diplomatic effort go down the drain. 




US: Two Military Bases Under Construction in Syria

US: Two Military Bases Under Construction in Syria PETER KORZUN | 10.03.2016 | WORLD


According to a military source from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the US is allegedly constructing two military airbases in the Syrian Kurdistan to increase its presence and step up military support for the Syrian Kurdish forces.
The source said most of the work on a runway in the oil town of Rmeilan in al-Hasakah province was complete while a new air base southeast of Kobani, straddling the Turkish border, was being constructed with scores of US experts and technicians involved in the project.
Syrian Kurdish officials had recently said, the Rmeilan airstrip was being used by US military helicopters for logistics and deliveries.
According to satellite imagery previously obtained by the security analysts Stratfor, the US military started renovating and expanding a disused airbase near north-eastern borders with Iraq, where is significantly close to the Islamic State (IS) major stronghold of Mosul in Iraq.
The United States sent dozens of special operations troops to northern Syria last December to advise opposition forces in their fight against the militant group Islamic State.
They have also dropped supply munitions to rebels in the province.
The Syrian Kurds control wide areas of northern Syria and their militia is a major partner in the US-led coalition against IS. The US military ties with the Syrian Kurds have grown deeper despite the concerns of NATO ally Turkey, which views the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terrorist organization not recognized as such by Washington.
The special US presidential envoy to the coalition against Islamic State, Brett McGurk, visited Kurdish-controlled northern Syria several weeks ago in what appeared to be the first declared trip to Syrian territory by an Obama administration official in three years.
Despite the divisions on the Kurdish issue, Turkey has also deepened cooperation with the CIA and other US spy agencies. CIA Director John Brennan has made repeated trips to Ankara, including in January, for meetings on counterterrorism operations. The CIA and its Turkish counterpart, known as MIT, operate a secret coordination center close to the Syrian border. The CIA-MIT partnership extends beyond work against foreign fighters, according to officials who said the agency flies drones over Syria from the Incirlik air base.
It would be propitious to note that just a few days ago Saudi Arabia acknowledged that the US-led anti-IS coalition has held a «political» discussion about a potential ground troops deployment in Syria. 
In an interview with Reuters, an aide to Saudi Arabia's defense minister, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, confirmed that defense ministers from the anti-Islamic State coalition debated placing ground troops on the ground in Syria during a ministerial meeting in Brussels last month.
The United States announced on March 5 the start of the operation to free the city of Mosul, the stronghold of the Islamic State in Iraq.
The air bases in Syria are important as a springboard for intensifying the efforts to liberate Mosul and strike IS formations in case they are driven from Iraq into the Syrian territory. It explains the increase of US military presence on Syrian soil.
Meanwhile, McGurk confirmed that coalition forces have blocked supply routes between the Iraqi city and Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic state in Syria. This means literally pushing Islamic State back inside Syria, and retaking the entire Kurd-populated northern sector bordering Turkey.
The news about the US military activities in Syria came at the time a popular uprising in Islamic State stronghold Raqqa reportedly resulted in dozens of deaths as militias clashed with the terrorist group’s fighters.
The Russia-supported Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the US-led coalition are competing in a race for Raqqa. Competition is a great driving force here. The US must do something to restore its image as Russia’s military operation in Syria has proven to be a commonly recognized success.  
The very fact that the United States operates military facilities in Syria significantly escalates the level of its ground involvement in the conflict. Last October the US announced its decision to send Special Operations Forces (SOF) to Syria.
The SOF deployment was significantly expanded in December, 2015.
It all goes to show the US military is preparing a military action pretty soon. The Syrian Kurds are tough fighters when it comes to defending their territory. It may not be the case when it comes to pushing IS formations from Raqqa. By the end of last year, the US created the Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) playing down the Kurdish element to make it look like a multiethnic and multisectarian group. The true extent of Arab support is not known and Turkey has been engaged in a decades-old conflict with its own Kurdish minority, it does its best to prevent the Syrian Kurds from expanding. 
A military operation will inevitably put American and allied forces closer to the areas where Russian and Syrian forces operate. It’s worth to note here that the US has denied any cooperation with Russia in Syria other than a formal memorandum of understanding about air safety to prevent the two militaries' air forces from colliding by accident.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said there was «no intent» to discuss with Russia the deployment of US troops to Syria.
The United States is refusing to hold coordination with Russia on military issues in Syria, failing to act seriously and in an adult-like manner, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference in late January.
Since then, the issue was on the bilateral agenda only once. On February 18, the US military revealed that Russia granted a US request not to target American special operations forces deployed to northern Syria. «When the decision was made to put special operators into Syria, there was a formal request made geographic areas specifically, not pinpoint locations, to protect the safety of our people», said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook at a briefing.
The admission that the US military had a separate track for negotiating with the Russian Defense Ministry beyond the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last year to «deconflict» aircraft was first disclosed by Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., commander of US Air Forces Central Command.
Military bases in Syria commit Washington to a prolonged military presence in the country to parallel the decade-plus long military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The predictable military drift from air strikes to taking territory provides a perpetual pretext for US intervention in Syria and the region, as the Rimelan airfield borders both Iraq and Turkey.
In the long run, a ground operation may lead to the de facto split of the country with the US and Russia directly supporting different sides in the fight against the common threat.
Operating a military base in Syria is a game changing decision that presupposes boots on the ground. The US administration appears to be prone to achieve a quick victory and boost the Democratic candidate’s chances in the presidential race. The risk is great as it may have the opposite effect of the expected outcome, especially, if the military infrastructure is built to support a unilateral action without due coordination with other actors and in defiance of previous agreements and in violation of international law as the US-led coalition has neither an agreement with the Syrian government, nor a resolution of the UN Security Council.