Archive for March, 2011

All-Star ‘Party’ Due out June 15 – Chinese Epic Film Commemoration of CPC’s 90th Anniversary “ The Founding of a Party” w/ POSTER, PHOTO [CRIEnglish.com / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Andy Lau 刘德华, China, CPC, Liu Ye 刘烨, Mao Zedong, Sweet & Sour Cinema on March 31, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

A poster of the film "The Founding of a Party" ("Jian Dang Wei Ye") [Photo: yule.sohu.com]

"The Founding of a Party", the all-star historical epic that pays tribute to the 90th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, will hit local cinemas on June 15, Sohu.com reports.

The release will come two weeks prior to the July 1 anniversary celebrations.  Previous reports said the film would be available in both regular and IMAX formats.

Some of the movie’s 100-plus celebrity cast members joined co-director Han Sanping on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 in Beijing to release four posters of the movie.

Liu Ye, who plays Mao Zedong in the film, told the media about the pressure he was under in portraying the role, but credited makeup artists for increasing his confidence in making him look like Mao.

The 140-minute film features A-list actors fleshing out a long list of historical figures, among them Chow Yun-Fat (as Yuan Shikai), Chen Kun (as Zhou Enlai), Chang Chen (as Chiang Kai-shek), Dong Jie (as Soong Ching-ling), Andy Lau (as Cai E), and Tang Wei (as Tao Yi).

Compared to the film "The Founding of a Republic", Han’s 2009 extravaganza which also featured a similar cast scale, the co-director said that the new film would be "much better" in terms of plots and scenes.

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Obama authorizes secret CIA support for Libya rebels: report [Xinhua]

Posted in CIA, Libya, Obama, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on March 31, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

WASHINGTON, March 30 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing the Central Intelligence Agency to conduct covert operations to help rebels in Libya, media reports said here on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as the presidential “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, reported Reuters, quoting government sources.

But so far, there is no official response from the administration.

Obama, in his interview with U.S. television networks on Tuesday, did not rule out sending arms to Libyan rebels, while U.S. media and politicians are debating whether the country should arm them.

“I think it’s fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could,” he said in the interview with ABC.  “We’ re looking at all our options at this point.”

When asked by ABC host Diane Sawyer if the U.S. will send ammunition to rebels in Libya in a day or two, Obama refused to give any details, saying he would not talk about operations “at that level…”

Full article here

U.S. survey says majority oppose Libya involvement – Obama’s approval rating also hits all-time low [Xinhua]

Posted in Economic crisis & decline, Hillary Clinton, Libya, Obama, US imperialism, USA on March 31, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

WASHINGTON, March 30 (Xinhua) — A survey released Wednesday indicated majority of U.S. voters oppose the U.S. military campaign in Libya, while President Barack Obama’s approval rating hit an all-time low at 42 percent.

According to poll results released by Quinnipiac University, 47 percent surveyed oppose Washington’s involvement in Libya, while 41 percent support the mission.

The survey also gave Obama negative ratings how he handled the conflict, with 58 percent saying he has not clearly articulated the goal of U.S. involvement.  Sixty-one percent of respondents in the poll said removing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from power is not worth having American troops "fight and possibly die."

Obama has taken heat from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the Libya conflict. The Congress is worried with both its clarity and duration, while panning Obama for not consulting Congress before taking action.  Obama sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Pentagon Chief Robert Gates and top military officer Mike Mullen to explain the campaign to Congress Wednesday.

Also according to the survey, Obama’s approval ratings took a major hit, with just 42 percent of voters approved of what he is doing in office, while 48 percent disapprove of it.  What’s more troubling is that fifty percent of voters believe he does not deserve a second term next year while 41 percent said he does.  The presidential election is next year.

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“The return of colonial theology” by Yitzhak Laor [Haaretz.com]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Bahrain, Cameron, France, Genocide, Iraq, Islamophobia, Italy, Libya, Obama, Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, US "War on Terror", USA, Western nations' human rights distortions, Yemen on March 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

~ Our political map, with its constant shift to the right, reflects precisely this colonial logic, which has become the logic of our lives: The West is allowed what the natives are not. ~

[At least t]wo other Arab uprisings are going on aside from the civil war in Libya.  But no one in Washington has called on Bahrain’s government to step down, and Saudi Arabia, which cuts off the hands of thieves, has been allowed to invade the emirate to take part in the suppression there.  Protesters are being slaughtered daily in Yemen, and the West is helping.  As always, Arab blood, high octane, is on sale.

To claim that this is a double standard is like complaining that a missile has a warhead and a tail.  For two decades now, states have been taken apart in the name of "human rights":  Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and now Libya, using human-rights missiles deployed against humans.  Western media outlets are already producing a global discourse about "a war with values" and "contradictions between values and strategy," as if strategy didn’t include "values."

Once again the West is quoting Homer and dropping business and partnership with Muammar Gadhafi in favor of ratings, oil and especially the use of the machinery of war.  The public likes this, until it has to pay in blood and money.  After the graves are covered, the mood can change.  In general, indifference – the progeny of the malls, reality TV and beach vacations – takes control.

Something is rotten there.  Not only the corruption of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi or French President Nicolas Sarkozy.  Not only the dismantling of the welfare state, the disappearance of the left, but – in place of all this – the return of colonial theology. It begins at home with the great hostility toward Arabs and Muslims, and now, with the help of Gadhafi’s drugged [sic] image, another "no-fly zone," which has turned, with a great global wink, into a tremendous, high-tech shooting gallery.

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China and Russia criticise Libyan bombing campaign – so why didn’t they block military action in the UN Security Council? [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, Africa, Beijing, Bill Clinton, Brazil, China, Egypt, Germany, India, Iraq, Libya, Russia, Serbia, Tunisia, UNSC, USA on March 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Chan
25 March 2011

The ongoing bombing of Libya by the US and its European allies has provoked increasingly strident criticisms from Russia and China.  While pointing to the underlying American and European strategic interests involved, the objections are not driven by any genuine humanitarian concern or principled opposition to neo-colonial war.  Rather Moscow and Beijing are concerned that Washington is once again using its military might to advance its strategic ambitions at their expense.

The sharpest criticism came from Russian Premier Vladimir Putin on Monday.  He denounced the UN resolution as “defective and flawed”, and likened assaults on Libya to “medieval calls for crusades”.  He said: “I am concerned by the ease with which decisions to use force are taken in international affairs.  This is becoming a persistent tendency in US policy.”  Putin recalled the NATO bombing of Serbia under the Clinton administration and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq under Bush. “Now it is Libya’s turn, under the pretext of protecting the peaceful population.”

A front page article on Tuesday in the People’s Daily—the official mouthpiece of Chinese Communist Party—criticised the UN resolution, declaring: “Historical experience has shown that humanitarian intervention is only an excuse for military intervention in other countries’ domestic affairs… They claim to be motivated by morality but in fact they are driven by narrow political and economic interests.”

It is certainly the case that the US and European powers have intervened militarily in Libya to protect their interests—not only in that country, but as a measure aimed against the revolutionary movements in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia. However, China and Russia are seeking to do the same.

China and Russia both hold a veto in the UN Security Council and could have blocked the resolution, but instead they abstained, along with Germany, India and Brazil, effectively giving a green light for the US, UK and France to carry out their criminal project. Last month, China and Russia voted for a UN resolution imposing sanctions on Libya, thus largely accepting the bogus “humanitarian argument” that measures were needed to stop Gaddafi regime’s attack on civilians.

The manoeuvres of China and Russia in the UN were nothing more than an attempt to delay the impending Western intervention that would undermine their own interests.  It was only after the US and its allies began to speak openly of ousting Gaddafi that China, Russia, India and Brazil issued statements expressing “regret” over the bombing of Libyan civilians and called for a ceasefire.

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Libya Crisis: abstention by Russia, China, Germany not enough – “Liberal fascism” of US-UK-France let loose by apparent appeasement policy [The 4th Media]

Posted in Africa, Brazil, China, Environmental disaster, Georgia, Germany, India, Iraq, Japan, Libya, Nukes, Russia, UNSC, USSR on March 29, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Anna Varfolomeeva

March 22, 2011

By abstaining from voting against the military intervention in Libya, Russia, China and Germany India, and Brazil gave away their rights from clearly making their voices heard. The abstention did not speak much as would a "NO" vote against military intervention in Libya.

The three countries on March 18 had serious reservations voting in a U.N. resolution calling for a no-fly zone over  Libya, and held back from clearly stating their position which could have had a stronger impact and further amplified the position of the African Union which had also stood against any military intervention in Libya.

Voting at the UN

China’s UN ambassador, Li Baodong, said his country had "serious concerns" with parts of the resolution, while stressing the importance China attaches to the position of the Arab League.

"In view of the concerns and stance of the Arab countries and African Union and the special circumstances that currently apply in Libya, China and other countries abstained, and did not block the passing of the resolution," Jiang Yu, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said.

Russia’s Vitaly Churkin was less equivocal, describing the vote as "most regrettable" and calling for an immediate ceasefire in Libya.’

Reuters reported that "at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Russian and Chinese envoys said the resolution’s backers failed to explain adequately how the no-fly zone would work and what the rules of engagement would be."

Critics of the UN vote point out that the members who abstained – China, India, Russia, Brazil and Germany – include three of the five most populous nations in the world and account for nearly half of the world’s population. They created an impact if they voted against the resolution. They could have stayed firmly on their principles and shown that the new world order, the multi-polar world is really coming into existence. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

“The very existence of such regimes [as in Libya] shows the whole world the possibility of other principles to build society, aside from the liberal one that is based on almighty personality and its material needs . Independent Libya gives a hope to the peoples of the world to organize their own political space at their own discretion,” Aleksandr Sotnichenko, the director and senior analyst of Saint Petersburg Centre of Middle Eastern Studies, wrote in his article The intervention in Libya. Liberal fascism.

China and Russia have always stood for this kind of independence.  And the right for self-determination has always been something the Chinese government fought for [sic].  Moreover, Libya was one of the few countries that supported Russia and did not criticize it during the war with Georgia in 2008 when with the help of modern technologies and information war it was accused [of] killing innocent people.  This time Libya faced the same kind of crisis and Russia pretended to have a short memory in a shameful act of stepping aside.  That’s why it’s so disappointing to see the countries staying away from the tragedy of the Libyan nation.

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Chinese imperial seal sold for 17 mln+ USD at French auction – Relic likely looted by Eight-Power Allied Forces [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, France on March 29, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 27, 2011

A Chinese imperial jade seal used by Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795) sold for 12.4 million euros (17.45 million U.S. dollars) on Saturday at an auction in southwest France, setting the highest price for seals.

The white jade imperial seal of 9.85-centimeter, with carvings of intertwined dragons on top, was one of a number used by Emperor Qianlong, the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty, and was initially valued at 1.5 million euros (2.1 million dollars).

French media said the imperial seal was hammered in a Toulouse- based auction house to a Chinese bidder, who refused to give his name.

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