Archive for February, 2013

How Reagan Promoted Genocide [Consortiumnews.com]

Posted in Anti-communism, CIA, El Salvador, Genocide, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Nicaragua, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on February 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Special Report: A newly discovered document reveals that President Reagan and his national security team in 1981 approved Guatemala’s extermination of both leftist guerrillas and their “civilian support mechanisms,” a green light that opened a path to genocide against hundreds of Mayan villages, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Soon after taking office in 1981, President Ronald Reagan’s national security team agreed to supply military aid to the brutal right-wing regime in Guatemala to pursue the goal of exterminating not only “Marxist guerrillas” but their “civilian support mechanisms,” according to a newly disclosed document from the National Archives.

Over the next several years, the military assistance from the Reagan administration helped the Guatemalan army do just that, engaging in the slaughter of some 100,000 people, including what a truth commission deemed genocide against the Mayan Indians in the northern highlands.

Vernon Walters, a former deputy director of the CIA who served as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador-at-large in the early 1980s.

Recently discovered documents at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, also reveal that Reagan’s White House was reaching out to Israel in a scheme to circumvent congressional restrictions on military equipment for the Guatemalan military.

In 1983, national security aide Oliver North (who later became a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal) reported in a memo that Reagan’s Deputy National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane (another key Iran-Contra figure) was approaching Israel over how to deliver 10 UH-1H helicopters to Guatemala to give the army greater mobility in its counterinsurgency war.

According to these documents that I found at the Reagan library – and other records declassified in the late 1990s – it’s also clear that Reagan and his administration were well aware of the butchery underway in Guatemala and elsewhere in Central America…

– Right-Wing Butchery –

Despite his aw shucks style, Reagan found virtually every anticommunist action justified, no matter how brutal. From his eight years in the White House, there is no historical indication that he was morally troubled by the bloodbath and even genocide that occurred in Central America while he was shipping hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to the implicated forces.

The death toll was staggering — an estimated 70,000 or more political killings in El Salvador, possibly 20,000 slain from the Contra war in Nicaragua, about 200 political “disappearances” in Honduras and some 100,000 people eliminated during a resurgence of political violence in Guatemala. The one consistent element in these slaughters was the overarching Cold War rationalization, emanating in large part from Ronald Reagan’s White House.

Despite their frequent claims to the contrary, the evidence is now overwhelming that Reagan and his advisers had a clear understanding of the extraordinary brutality going on in Guatemala and elsewhere, based on their own internal documents. As they prepared to ship military equipment to Guatemala, White House officials knew that the Guatemalan military was engaged in massacres of the Mayans and other perceived enemies.

According to a State Department cable on Oct. 5, 1981, when Guatemalan leaders met again with Walters, they left no doubt about their plans. The cable said Gen. Lucas “made clear that his government will continue as before — that the repression will continue. He reiterated his belief that the repression is working and that the guerrilla threat will be successfully routed.”

Human rights groups saw the same picture. The Inter-American Human Rights Commission released a report on Oct. 15, 1981, blaming the Guatemalan government for “thousands of illegal executions.” [Washington Post, Oct. 16, 1981]

But the Reagan administration was set on whitewashing the ugly scene. A State Department “white paper,” released in December 1981, blamed the violence on leftist “extremist groups” and their “terrorist methods” prompted and supported by Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

What the documents from the Reagan library now make clear is that the administration was not simply struggling ineffectively to rein in these massacres – as the U.S. press corps typically reported – but was fully onboard with the slaughter of people who were part of the guerrillas’ “civilian support mechanisms.”

– More Massacres –

U.S. intelligence agencies continued to pick up evidence of these government-sponsored massacres. One CIA report in February 1982 described an army sweep through the so-called Ixil Triangle in central El Quiche province.

“The commanding officers of the units involved have been instructed to destroy all towns and villages which are cooperating with the Guerrilla Army of the Poor [the EGP] and eliminate all sources of resistance,” the report said. “Since the operation began, several villages have been burned to the ground, and a large number of guerrillas and collaborators have been killed.”

The CIA report explained the army’s modus operandi: “When an army patrol meets resistance and takes fire from a town or village, it is assumed that the entire town is hostile and it is subsequently destroyed.” When the army encountered an empty village, it was “assumed to have been supporting the EGP, and it is destroyed. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of refugees in the hills with no homes to return to. …

“The army high command is highly pleased with the initial results of the sweep operation, and believes that it will be successful in destroying the major EGP support area and will be able to drive the EGP out of the Ixil Triangle. … The well documented belief by the army that the entire Ixil Indian population is pro-EGP has created a situation in which the army can be expected to give no quarter to combatants and non-combatants alike.”

On Feb. 2, 1982, Richard Childress, another of Reagan’s national security aides, wrote a “secret” memo to his colleagues summing up this reality on the ground:

“As we move ahead on our approach to Latin America, we need to consciously address the unique problems posed by Guatemala. Possessed of some of the worst human rights records in the region, … it presents a policy dilemma for us. The abysmal human rights record makes it, in its present form, unworthy of USG [U.S. government] support. …

“Beset by a continuous insurgency for at least 15 years, the current leadership is completely committed to a ruthless and unyielding program of suppression. Hardly a soldier could be found that has not killed a ‘guerrilla…’”

…[then, as it is now] in Washington, there[‘]s no interest, let alone determination, to hold anyone accountable for aiding and abetting the butchery. The story of the Guatemalan genocide and the Reagan administration’s complicity quickly disappeared into the great American memory hole.

For human rights crimes in the Balkans and in Africa, the United States has demanded international tribunals to arrest and to try violators and their political patrons for war crimes. In Iraq, President George W. Bush celebrated the trial and execution of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for politically motivated killings.

Even Rios Montt, now 86, after years of evading justice under various amnesties, was finally indicted in Guatemala in 2012 for genocide and crimes against humanity. He is awaiting trial.

Yet, even as Latin America’s struggling democracies have made tentative moves toward holding some of their worst human rights abusers accountable, no substantive discussion has occurred in the United States about facing up to the horrendous record of the 1980s and Reagan’s guilt.

Rather than a debate about Reagan as a war criminal who assisted genocide, the former president is honored as a conservative icon with his name attached to Washington National Airport and scores of other public sites. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews gushes over Reagan as “one of the all-time greats,” and Democrats regularly praise Reagan in comparison to modern right-wing Republicans.

When the U.S. news media does briefly acknowledge the barbarities of the 1980s in Central America, it is in the context of how the little countries are bravely facing up to their violent pasts. There is never any suggestion that the United States should follow suit.

To this day, Ronald Reagan – the U.S. president who signaled to the Guatemalan generals that it would be alright to exterminate “Marxist guerrillas” and their “civilian support mechanisms” – remains a beloved figure in Official Washington and in many parts of the United States.

[Excerpted]

Full article link: http://consortiumnews.com/2013/02/21/how-reagan-promoted-genocide/

Pentagon spreads anti-China hacking lies [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Australia, Black propaganda, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Capitalist media double standard, China, CIA, Encirclement of China, George W. Bush, Guam, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Korean War, New York Times lie, Obama, Pentagon, PLA, south Korea, Taiwan, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on February 28, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Fred Goldstein on February 25, 2013

Feb. 25 — Dramatic front-page headlines in the New York Times accusing the People’s Liberation Army of China of being behind computer hacking in the U.S. have all the earmarks of a Cold War-style propaganda attack on China.

This bellicose attack comes at the same time that new leadership is about to take over in China. It comes in the context of the U.S. “pivot” to the Pacific and the buildup of military forces there directed at China. It comes at a moment when the Pentagon is facing the prospect of budget cuts. And it comes at a time of intractable economic crisis, when the U.S. government and the financial authorities are desperate to shore up the economy.

Seeming to surface out of nowhere — in the midst of debates about budget cuts, gun control, immigration reform, maneuvers over cabinet appointments and so on — this sudden flare-up of hostility is a dangerous step forward by anti-China hawks in the Pentagon and the establishment.

The China-hacking smear campaign was based upon a 60-plus-page report sent to the New York Times by the computer security firm Mandiant. The Times wrote a 3,000-word lead front-page article, replete with code names, charging that internet protocol addresses pointed to a building in Shanghai that allegedly housed a unit of the PLA.

The Chinese government and the PLA have strenuously and categorically denied the charges. They called the charges irresponsible and pointed to the lack of any proof. Other U.S. experts in cyber security pointed out gross inconsistencies in the report and asserted that no one can pinpoint the location or origin of a computer breakin by the IP address alone. It is common practice among hackers to conceal their origin by directing the IP address to a false location. (Jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2013/01/ — search for “China”)

Be that as it may, what stands out is that the hacking story is being used politically to stir up suspicion and hostility against China and the Chinese military, even though all the alleged targets of the hacking were economic, i.e., unnamed private corporations.

The Times reported this incident in a sensational manner, conjuring up images of China destroying U.S. electrical grids, water supplies, communications systems, ad nauseam. The leap from alleged economic corporate spying, which takes place on a regular basis among all major companies and all governments, to a lurid military-spun fantasy about subversive Chinese aggression is calculated to stir up antagonism against China.

* ‘Cyber security’ & the military-industrial complex *

Mandiant is a cyber security company that has cashed in on the recent anti-China boom. It works for the Fortune 100. Cyber security is a $30 billion industry, and Mandiant had revenue of $100 million in 2012, up 60 percent from the previous year. (Reuters, Feb. 22)

Mandiant operates out of Arlington, Va., and is tied to the military and the CIA. Its CEO and founder, Kevin Mandia, has worked for Lockheed Martin and U.S. Air Force intelligence. Its chief security officer, Richard Bejtlich, has worked for the Air Force Internet Warfare Center and the Air Intelligence Agency.

They are part of a growing wing of the military-industrial complex. For example, a keynote speaker at a Mandiant-sponsored conference held at the Washington Ritz-Carlton hotel last October was retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the National Security Agency and then of the CIA. Hayden is part of the Chertoff Group, run by former head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

It should be remembered that the U.S. and Israel developed the Stuxnet virus, which sabotaged Iran’s nuclear facilities. This is far more than mere espionage. It was an act of warfare. These are the forces behind the report.

The Times story and the Mandiant report are nothing less than a “nongovernmental” attack organized by the U.S. government and the Pentagon to lay the basis for further military measures against China.

The report was leaked to the New York Times. It could have been handled in a completely toned-down style or behind closed doors, the way many matters of the gravest importance are handled. Making it public in such a dramatic way was the real political aggression. Buried in the Times article on the report was the admission that the Times has a “business relationship” with Mandiant.

The Times is the most prestigious mouthpiece of the U.S. ruling class. It could never have issued such a sensational blast at the PLA without prenotification and thorough consultation with the Pentagon and the State Department, as well as the White House. In fact, President Barack Obama previewed the attack with a strong reference to “our enemies” and cyber attacks in his State of the Union speech. This was clearly a coordinated offensive.

It should be recalled that former New York Times reporter Judith Miller worked with the Bush administration and the Pentagon to sell the Iraq war, writing front-page articles about how Saddam Hussein was stockpiling “weapons of mass destruction.” She and the Times were ultimately discredited when the reports proved false, but they helped pave the way for the U.S. invasion.

Similarly, the timing of the race to push forward the Mandiant report was partly driven by the Pentagon’s plans to bolster its Cyber Command staff from 900 to 4,900. Thus the report was also aimed at protecting this projected increase in a key Pentagon program at a time of talk about general austerity and Pentagon cutbacks.

The capitalist media are understood by Marxists to be an integral part of the capitalist state. They are sometimes described as the fourth arm of the state — the means of ideological and informational compulsion. The treatment of the Mandiant report was truly a state-to-state transaction, giving the capitalist government a safe distance should it find it diplomatically necessary to dodge and double talk.

* Critical time for China *

This report was a shot across China’s bow just when new leadership is about to take over. It is a flagrant threat and an attempt at destabilization. Washington and Wall Street are demanding that China move more vigorously toward abandoning state-owned corporations and state planning and open up wider to a complete takeover by the capitalist class and imperialism.

The top agencies of the U.S. government, the imperialist think tanks, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank — all are pressuring the Chinese leaders to make more political space for the bourgeoisie to organize in China under the slogan of “reform.”

The new leadership under Xi Jinping takes over after the previous leaders crushed the left wing at the top of the party, led by Bo Xilai. The new leaders are now faced with an encouraged and stronger right wing. This newest, most brazen threat to China’s armed forces is undoubtedly calculated to send a message to the new leadership that the U.S. wants to see a deepening of capitalist reforms and opening up to imperialism — or else.

*U.S. ‘pivot’ toward Asia *

These actions must be seen as part of Washington’s so-called “pivot” toward Asia — a euphemism for increasing its encirclement and military pressures on China. The present media attack is directed at the element within China regarded by the Pentagon as its primary adversary in the world: the People’s Liberation Army.

The so-called “pivot” is not new. It comes after a long history in which U.S. imperialism, and particularly its admiralty, have regarded the Pacific Ocean as a “U.S. lake.” The recent application of this doctrine is the “pivot” and is part of a multipronged offensive.

Consider some recent history:

Both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations escalated military pressure on China. Clinton moved a vast arsenal of naval and air weapons systems to Japan and Guam The Bush administration sent an additional carrier force to the Pacific and announced the deployment of more submarines to the region.

The Obama administration went further. It expanded its joint naval exercises with Japan to prepare for the defense of disputed islands, abandoning the historic hands-off U.S. position. The U.S. sent Marines to Australia and restored military cooperation with Indonesia and New Zealand. Over the last three years the Obama administration has carried out the largest joint military exercises in Asia since the Korean War.

In January 2010, the Pentagon sold advanced military equipment to Taiwan, an island historically part of China that is politically separate only because it became the refuge of counterrevolutionary armies driven from the mainland in 1949 by the Chinese Revolution.

In July of that year, the U.S. and south Korea carried out a major military exercise in the Yellow Sea simulating war with China.

Washington has also strengthened its south Korean puppets militarily and is programmed to set up a theaterwide anti-missile system involving Taiwan, south Korea and Japan — all aimed at China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In addition to military moves, anti-China economic measures are in the works. A Trans-Pacific Partnership that would include most of the nations in the region, plus the U.S., has excluded China.

* Pentagon wants contracts, not cutbacks *

The Pentagon is under pressure to make cutbacks in military spending, both from the masses who need the money and from the bankers who want to grab the money. The global suspicion generated by the hacking headlines is calculated to bolster the cyber war capabilities of the Pentagon and justify its huge budget by painting China as an “enemy” that must be defended against. It is supposed to provide support for new weapons systems that the Pentagon has in mind for its encirclement of China — including new generations of missile ships, long-range drones, new piloted bombers and ballistic missiles. All can be deployed outside the range of China’s defenses.

These types of big-ticket items were built up during the Cold War against the USSR and China, and made the military-industrial complex the dominant economic and political force in U.S. capitalist society. The anti-China hacking story is part of the campaign not only to ward off budget cuts but to increase the hundreds of billions of dollars handed over to the Pentagon for war

Finally, this attack comes at a time of stagnating U.S. economic growth that has led to mass unemployment and underemployment and declining wages. Because the masses have little money to spend, Pentagon spending becomes more integral to holding up the economy. It should be noted that with a dip in Pentagon spending in the fourth quarter of 2012, the economy shrank 0.1 percent.

The working class and the oppressed peoples must not be taken in by the attention-grabbing headlines against China and the PLA. It is the workers in both countries who will suffer from any escalation of Cold War-style tension generated by the Pentagon and the White House.

Schools are closing, hospitals are being shut down, social services are being cut, no money is spent on jobs, and prisons are filled with predominantly Black and Latino/a youth. The capitalist profit system is bringing more and more hardship to the people.

The enemies of the workers here are not the Chinese people or the Chinese government. The real enemies are the big capitalists who are running society into the ground at the expense of the masses. And one of the biggest concentrations of avaricious capitalists is military contractors — merchants of death who profit from war and war preparation.

As for “hacking,” technology is the product of the millions of people who have created it, not just in this generation but going back to long before the pyramids were built. This technology was created by humanity; it should belong to humanity as a whole to be used for its benefit. No group of avaricious monopolists should be allowed to own, control and use it against the people.

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2013/02/25/pentagon-spreads-anti-china-hacking-lies/

US preparations for cyber war against China [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Assassination, Australia, Corporate Media Critique, India, Internet Global Hegemony, Iran, Israel, Japan, Myanmar, National Security Agency / NSA, New York Times lie, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, Protectionist Trade War with China, south Korea, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam on February 24, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

23 February 2013

The Obama administration, working hand-in-hand with the American media, has opened up a new front in its aggressive campaign against China. A slew of articles, most notably in the New York Times, has appeared over the past week purportedly exposing the involvement of the Chinese military in hacking US corporations and hinting at the menace of cyber warfare to vital American infrastructure such as the electricity grid.

The Times article on Tuesday based itself on the unsubstantiated and self-serving claims of a report prepared by cyber-security company Mandiant alleging that a Chinese military unit based in Shanghai had been responsible for sophisticated cyber-attacks in the US. (See: “US uses hacking allegations to escalate threats against China”). The rest of the media in the US and internationally followed suit, with articles replete with comments from analysts, think tanks and administration officials past and present about the “Chinese cyber threat”, all but ignoring the emphatic denials by China’s foreign and defence ministries.

This set the stage for the release on Wednesday of Obama’s “Administration Strategy on Mitigation of Theft of US Trade Secrets,” which, while not formally naming China, cited numerous examples of alleged Chinese cyber espionage. In broad terms, the document laid out the US response, including “sustained and coordinated diplomatic pressure” on offending countries and the implied threat of economic retaliation via “trade policy tools.”

US Attorney General Eric Holder warned of “a significant and steadily increasing threat to America’s economy and national security interests.” Deputy Secretary of State Robert Hormats declared that the US had “repeatedly raised our concerns about trade secret theft by any means at the highest levels with senior Chinese officials.”

The demonisation of China as a global cyber threat follows a well-established modus operandi: it is aimed at whipping up a public climate of fear and hysteria in preparation for new acts of aggression—this time in the sphere of cyber warfare. Since coming to office in 2009, Obama has launched a broad economic and strategic offensive aimed at weakening and isolating China and reinforcing US global dominance, especially in Asia.

Accusations of Chinese cyber theft dovetail with the Obama administration’s economic thrust into Asia through its Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a new multilateral trade agreement aimed at boosting US trade at China’s expense. The protection of “intellectual property rights” is a central component of the TPP, as the profits of American corporations rest heavily on their monopoly over markets via brand names and technology. Allegations of cyber espionage will become the pretext for new trade war measures against China.

However, the more sinister aspect of the anti-Chinese propaganda is the US preparation of war against China. Under the banner of its “pivot to Asia,” the Obama administration has put in train a far-reaching diplomatic and strategic offensive aimed at strengthening existing military alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines and Thailand, forging closer strategic partnerships and ties, especially with India and Vietnam, and undermining close Chinese relations with countries like Burma and Sri Lanka.

Obama’s “pivot to Asia” has already resulted in a dangerous escalation of maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea as Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, encouraged by the US, have pressed their territorial claims against China. The focus on these strategic waters is not accidental, as they encompass the shipping lanes on which China relies to import raw materials and energy from the Middle East and Africa. The US is establishing new military basing arrangements in Australia, South East Asia and elsewhere in the region to ensure it has the ability to choke off China’s vital supplies in the event of a confrontation or war.

The Pentagon regards cyber warfare as a vital component of the huge American war machine and has devoted considerable resources towards its development, especially under the Obama administration. In May 2010, the Pentagon set up its new US Cyber Command headed by General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), drawing on the already massive cyber resources of the NSA and the American military.

US accusations of Chinese cyber espionage are utterly hypocritical. The NSA, among other US agencies, has been engaged in electronic spying and hacking into foreign computer systems and networks around the world on a vast scale. Undoubtedly, China is at the top of the list of prime targets. The Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed this week that at least 14 million computers in China were hacked by 73,000 overseas-based users last year, including many cyber attacks on the Chinese Defence Ministry.

The US has already engaged in aggressive, illegal acts of cyber sabotage against Iran’s nuclear facilities and infrastructure. Together with Israel, it infected the electronic controllers of the gas centrifuges used in Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant with the Stuxnet worm, causing hundreds to spin out of control and self-destruct. This criminal activity took place alongside more traditional forms—the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists and other acts of sabotage by Israel.

It is inconceivable that the Pentagon’s cyber capacities are being deployed for purely defensive purposes against the “Chinese threat.” Indeed, in taking over as cyber warfare chief in 2010, General Alexander outlined his credo to the House Armed Services subcommittee. After declaring that China was viewed as responsible for “a great many attacks on Western infrastructure,” he added that if the US were subject to an organised attack, “I would want to go and take down the source of those attacks.”

Last August, the US Air Force issued what was described by the New York Times as “a bluntly worded solicitation for papers advising it on ‘cyberspace warfare attack capabilities,’ including weapons to ‘destroy, deny, deceive, corrupt or usurp’ an enemy’s computer networks and other hi-tech targets. The same article referred to the Pentagon’s research arm, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, hosting a gathering of private contractors wanting to participate in “Plan X”—the development of “revolutionary technologies for understanding, planning and managing cyber warfare.”

This week’s propaganda about the “Chinese cyber threat” provides the justifications for stepping up the already advanced US preparations for conducting cyber-attacks on Chinese military and civilian targets. Amid the rising tensions between the US and China produced by Obama’s “pivot to Asia”, reckless American actions in the sphere of cyber warfare only compound the danger of open military confrontation between the two powers.

Peter Symonds

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/02/23/pers-f23.html

Also see: “US uses hacking allegations to escalate threats against China” [World Socialist Web Site] – http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/02/21/hack-f21.html

China mulls BBQ ban in major cities to combat air pollution [Xinhua]

Posted in Alternative Energy, China, Energy, Environmental protection, Law enforcement on February 23, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

YES – DO IT. Chinese don’t barbeque in their backyards, like US citizens. Chinese don’t have backyards. The BBQ this article is talking about are private restaurants and street vendors who BBQ on the street using rinky-dink troughs; the fuel is some sub-standard charcoal which just pours out clouds of thick smoke. Popular with the masses, but extremely deleterious and a kind of widespread blight on the streets of China — Zuo Shou

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — The pressures of severe air pollution have prompted China’s environmental watchdog to consider pushing forward a legal ban on barbecues in densely populated urban areas.

Barbecues should be strictly controlled in cities to cut emissions of pollutants, according to a draft technical guideline issued earlier this month by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) to solicit public opinions.

The draft especially advises major cities to adopt legislation banning barbecue-related activities.

On Wednesday, an anonymous official with the MEP said the guideline is designed to provide a package solution to the country’s PM2.5 air pollution problem.

PM2.5 refers to fine particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter, which can embed deeply in people’s lungs.

The official called on the public to abstain from barbecues in cities and adopt a more environmentally-friendly way of life through various means, including reducing energy consumption in the cooking process, using food preparation techniques that produce less smoke and less pollution and setting off fewer firecrackers.

A Sunday report from the MEP attributed the higher-than-normal PM2.5 readings during the Spring Festival holiday to the use of firecrackers, which people set off as a traditional way of celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The draft also specifies response measures in industrial, agricultural and other sectors to reduce pollution, including better oil quality for cars and more efficient uses of energy.

It also proposes “significantly reducing” PM2.5 by 2020.

Once adopted, the guideline would serve as a suggestion and reference, according to the draft.

Article link:

Commentary: Hacking allegations against China both baseless and revealing

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-US relations, Internet Global Hegemony, Iran, PLA, Psychological warfare, Shanghai, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on February 21, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) — U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant on Monday claimed in a report that hackers related to the Chinese military attacked some U.S. websites, once again stirring up the “Chinese hackers threat.”

Mandiant put forward as its main evidence a claim that many of the cyber attacks were launched from IP addresses registered in the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai.

However, one does not need to be a cybersecurity expert to know that professional hackers usually exploit what is called the botnet in other parts of the world as proxies for attacks, not their own computers.

Thus, it is highly unlikely that both the origins of the hackers and the attacks they have launched can be located.

That is why China’s foreign ministry and defense ministry both described the firm’s report as “amateurish” when they dismissed Mandiant’s false accusations.

However, it is beyond belief that a firm specialized in the field of cybersecurity could be so indiscreetly desperate as to jump to a conclusion so full of loopholes, unless it has a good reason.

If one takes a closer look at Mandiant’s report, it is not too difficult to find that it reeks of a commercial stunt.

In a statement accompanying the firm’s report, Kevin Mandia, founder and CEO of Mandiant, seems to do nothing but market the products and services of his company.

“Given the sheer amount of data this particular group (the hackers) has stolen, we decided it was necessary to arm and prepare as many organizations as possible to prevent additional losses,” he said.

Next time, the CEO could simply say: “See the Chinese hackers? Hurry up, come and buy our cybersecurity services.”

Moreover, the much-hyped threat can also be attributed to some U.S. politicians and businessmen who always seek to use China to pursue their personal political and commercial interests, especially at a time when the U.S. Congress is about to approve a budget plan for the country’s new fiscal year.

Without targeting China as a “presumed enemy,” they might run short of excuses to demand more money to build an even stronger cyber military force or buy cybersecurity hardware and services from a company whose CEO used to serve in the U.S. air force [sic].

As the birthplace of the World Wide Web, the United States already has a matchless superiority and ability to stage cyber attacks across the globe.

Currently, the U.S. military has established a significant cyber force, including the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, which is a regular military unit tasked with carrying out cyber missions.

Earlier media reports said Iran was once attacked by U.S. military intelligence agencies through the Internet, while, according to China’s foreign ministry, a majority of the cyber attacks against China come from the United States.

In fact, the credibility of the United States has already been seriously questioned because of its government’s habit of accusing other nations based on phoney evidence.

In 1993, the United States accused “Yinhe,” a Chinese cargo ship, of carrying banned material for making chemical weapons to Iran. However, no suspected goods were found after a joint Chinese-Saudi inspection.

Similarly, facts will eventually prove that the cyber attacks accusations are groundless and will only tarnish the image and reputation of the company making them, as well as that of the United States.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-02/20/c_132181511.htm

Attacks originating from U.S. rank first among overseas hackings in China: FM [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, USA on February 20, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhuanet) — Attacks originating from the United States rank the first among overseas hackings in China , Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news conference Tuesday in response to the accusations of China launching cyberattacks on U. S. in U.S. cybersecurity firm Mandiant’s report.

In 2012, about 73,000 overseas IP addresses controlled more than 14 million computers in China and 32,000 IP addresses remotely controlled 38,000 Chinese websites, Hong Lei said.

Also, the Chinese army is one of the top victims.

From January to March, the websites of China’s Ministry of National Defense and China Military Online suffered 240,000 cyberattacks, according to the Ministry of National Defense.

“The Chinese army has never supported any hackings,” the ministry said in a statement. Some U.S. accusations are unprofessional and false, it added.

China bans all cybersabotage activities, including hackings, and in fact always resolutely fights them, the ministry said.

China, like other countries, faces a severe threat of cyberattacks and is one of the major victims of cyberattacks, the ministry added.

Mandiant on Monday released a report which alleged that a secret Chinese military unit in Shanghai was behind years of cyberattacks against U.S. companies.

China’s military spokesman said Mandiant’s report was groundless in fact because the report came into the conclusion that the source of attack came from China only with the discovery that attacks were linked to IP addresses based in China.

First, as known to all, it is a common sense and method on the Internet to conduct hacking attacks by peculating IP addresses, the spokesman said, “it happens almost everyday.”

Second, there has been no clear and consistent definition on cyberattacks around the world. The report is lack [sic] of legal basis to assert cyber espionage only by collecting some routine cyber activities, Geng said.

Earlier, the People’s Daily, an opinion leader in China, said that allegations from the U.S. serve as an excuse for Washington to expand its cybersecurity forces and levy more technology restrictions on China as a containing measure.

Meanwhile, Wen Weiping, a professor at the School of Software and Microelectronics at Peking University, said cybersabotage targeting China is rising rapidly, but Beijing has seldom accused other countries of launching the attacks.

International rules could regulate the hackings but cannot eradicate them and hacking accusations, said Cui Baojiang, an expert on information studies at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

To fundamentally address the problem, every country has to keep strengthening its own cyberdefense system, said Cui, adding that China’s cyber security capacity has been improved but still heavily relies on imported technologies.

(Source: Agencies)

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-02/20/c_132180786.htm

China opposes hacking allegations: FM spokesman [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, PLA, Russia, Shanghai, USA on February 20, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) — A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday said allegations of Chinese hacker attacks are groundless, reiterating the government’s position on fighting cybercrime.

Spokesman Hong Lei made the remark at a regular press briefing when asked to comment on a report by U.S. security company Mandiant stating that the company had traced cyber attacks waged against U.S. companies and government agencies to a unit of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Hong said cybercrime is an international problem and should be solved through international cooperation on the basis of mutual trust and respect.

“Groundless criticism is irresponsible and unprofessional, and it will not help to solve the problem,” he said.

China has been a major victim of cyber attacks and opposes all forms of such activity, Hong said, adding that China has made and enforced laws that ban such activity.

He cited a report released by China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center stating that 73,000 foreign IP addresses had been linked to attacks on 14 million Chinese computers.

He pointed out that the number of attacks originating from the United States ranked at the top.

Hong said China, Russia and several other countries submitted an international code of conduct on information security to the United Nations in 2011.

“China has called on the international community to make a code of conduct for cyberspace on the basis of the submission and make joint efforts to build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace,” he said.

Hong said the government also objects to media allegations claiming that hacker attacks have been traced to a building in Shanghai owned by the PLA.

Hong said he does not know how such evidence could be discovered, as cyber attacks are often carried out internationally and are typically done so anonymously.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-02/19/c_132178666.htm