Archive for the Denmark Category

“A decisive turning point in the crisis of American imperialism” – AIIP is here [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Assassination, Australia, Beijing, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Denmark, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Engels, France, Germany, IMF - International Monetary Fund, India, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Obama, Pentagon, Police State, south Korea, Taiwan, Torture, Trotsky, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on April 2, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

1 April 2015

Yesterday was the deadline for countries to sign up as founding members of the China-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It will go down in history as marking a significant defeat for the global foreign policy and strategic objectives of United States imperialism.

Against strenuous opposition from Washington, more than 40 countries have now indicated they want to be part of the AIIB. Major European powers including Britain, France and Germany, as well as Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands, are on board. Almost all countries in the South East Asian region, which count China as their major trading partner, have also signed up. India is also a signatory, together with Taiwan.

The most significant blow against the US was struck by Britain, its chief European ally, which announced its decision to join on March 12. It opened the floodgates for others to follow, including two key US allies in the Asia-Pacific -— Australia and South Korea. Japan is also reported to be considering joining, possibly as early as June.

The full significance of the US defeat and its far-reaching implications emerge most clearly when viewed from a historical perspective.

One of the chief objections of the Obama administration to the new bank was that it would undermine the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Together with the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944, they constituted central pillars of the global economic order established after World War II by the United States, which played the central role in rebuilding world capitalism following the devastation of the 1920s and 1930s and the wars and revolutionary struggles it produced.

Of course, both of these institutions, together with the Marshall Plan for the restabilisation of war-torn Europe, operated to the economic and strategic benefit of American imperialism.

But while America drew enormous gains from the post-war order, it was not narrowly conceived. There was a recognition in ruling political and economic circles that if American capitalism was to survive, it would have to use the enormous resources at its disposal to ensure the growth and expansion of other capitalist powers, above all, those against which it had fought a bitter and bloody conflict.

Post-war reconstruction enabled the expansion of Germany and turned it once again into the industrial powerhouse of Europe. At the same time, concessions to Japan on the value of its currency -— it was pegged at 360 yen to the dollar -— opened up export markets for its industry. The decision to build trucks and other military equipment in Japan during the Korean War laid the foundations for the development of Japan’s auto industry, as it incorporated, and then developed, the advanced production techniques that had been established in the US.

The industrial and economic capacity of the United States, even when it took reactionary forms as in the case of the Korean War, was utilised to facilitate a new phase of global capitalist expansion—the post-war boom.

What a contrast to the present situation! American capitalism is no longer the industrial powerhouse of the world, ensuring the expansion of the capitalist economy as a whole. Rather, it functions as the global parasite-in-chief, as its rapacious banks, investment houses and hedge funds scour the world for profitable opportunities, engaged not in the production of new wealth, but in the appropriation of wealth produced elsewhere, often via criminal or semi-criminal operations.

In the immediate post-war period, the US was the champion of free trade, recognising that the restrictions and beggar-thy-neighbour policies of the 1930s had produced a disaster. Today, through measures such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and similar arrangements being prepared with regard to Europe, Washington seeks to forge exclusivist agreements aimed at protecting the monopoly position of US corporations. America, Obama has stated, must write the global rules for trade and investment in the 21st century.

American influence in the post-war period was not confined to the immediate economic sphere. Notwithstanding all its contradictory features, American society appeared to have something to offer the world as a whole, which had suffered decades of war, fascism and military forms of rule, along with economic devastation.

Again, the contrast with the present situation could not be starker. American democracy, once held up as a beacon for the rest of the world, is a withered caricature of its former self, no longer capable of concealing the dictatorship of the financial and corporate elites.

Social conditions are characterised by deprivation and state violence, reflected not least in the daily police killings. America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, and in Detroit, once the centre of the American industrial economy, paying the highest wages, water shutoffs are being imposed. The US government carries out torture, abductions, assassinations and mass spying on its own people and others around the world. The country is ruled by criminals who cannot be held accountable for their crimes.

In the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the removal from the scene of its global rival, the American ruling class was gripped by the idea that while its economic position had been severely weakened -— the stock market crash of 1987 was a harbinger of things to come -— American hegemony could nevertheless be maintained by military means.

But as Frederick Engels had earlier explained in refuting another exponent of “force theory,” the notion that economic developments—the advance of industry, credit and trade—and the contradictions to which they gave rise could be “blown out of existence” with “Krupp guns and Mauser rifles” was a delusion.

The past 25 years of American foreign policy, based on the use of cruise missiles and drones, combined with invasions and regime-change operations grounded on lies, have produced one debacle after another.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost, as other capitalist powers, great and small, begin to conclude that hitching themselves to the American juggernaut is the surest road to disaster. That is the historic significance of their decision to join the AIIB.

How will American imperialism respond? By increasing its military provocations, threatening to plunge the world once again into war.

Charting the rise of American imperialism in the late 1920s, Leon Trotsky noted that in the period of crisis, its hegemony would operate “more openly and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom,” and that it would attempt to extricate itself from its difficulties and maladies at the expense of its rivals, if necessary by means of war.

However there is another, and, in the final analysis, decisive, aspect to the economic decline of American imperialism, marked so powerfully by the events of yesterday.

For decades, the American working class was disoriented by the idea of a continually rising power -— that America’s “best days” were always ahead. Reality is now coming home with ever-increasing force.

Events are shattering the delusions of the past and will propel the American working class on to the road of revolutionary struggle, creating the conditions for the unification of the international working class in the fight for world socialist revolution.

Nick Beams

Article link:

US torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Albania, Austria, Belgium, CIA, Croatia, Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, George W. Bush, Germany, Greece, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Iceland, Italy, Libya, National Security Agency / NSA, NATO, NSA, Poland, Police State, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Torture, Turkey, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Ukraine, US "War on Terror", US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on December 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Alex Lantier
12 December 2014

The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.

In 2005, the Council of Europe tasked former Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty with preparing a report on secret CIA prisons in Europe. He released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European states in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. The states involved included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.

The existence of approximately 1,000 CIA flights and of secret prisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Bucharest (Romania), Antavilas (Lithuania), and Stare Kiejkuty (Poland) has since been confirmed.

Nonetheless, after the US Senate recognized CIA use of the grisliest forms of torture — including murder, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates to stand on broken limbs —officials across Europe reacted by insisting that they should enjoy immunity.

Top officials of the Polish government, which is appealing a July ruling against it over its role in CIA torture by the European Court on Human Rights, denounced the report. “Certain secrets should stay that way,” said Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Polish prosecutors have been investigating the case for six years, including a two-year investigation of former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, without bringing any charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he arrived at Stare Kiejkuty. One medical officer there noted: “We are basically doing a series of near-drownings.”

Other detainees at Stare Kiejkuty, which housed Saudi, Algerian and Yemeni detainees, were subjected to mock executions with a power drill while standing hooded and naked.
Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski lamely claimed that CIA officials did not explain how they planned to use their secret prisons in Poland. “It was a question as we saw it only of creating secret sites,” he said, adding that he closed down the facility in 2003 because “the Americans’ secret activities began to worry” Polish authorities.
Lithuanian officials confirmed that the black site named “detention center Violet” by the US Senate report appears to be the Lithuanian detention center near the capital, Vilnius, identified in a 2009-2010 parliamentary investigation. Lawmaker Arvydas Anusauskas told Reuters, “The US Senate report, to me, makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi detainee now kept at Guantanamo Bay, has stated that he was kept and tortured at the site. Washington paid the Lithuanian government $1 million to “show appreciation” for operating the prison, according to the US Senate report, though the funds were reportedly paid out through “complex mechanisms.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has asked Washington to confirm whether or not the CIA tortured prisoners at its secret prisons in Lithuania.

British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the issue of torture and Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya, saying that it had been “dealt with from a British perspective.” He told the public to trust British intelligence to police itself, as official investigations had “produced a series of questions that the intelligence and security community will look at … I’m satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

In fact, the CIA torture report has revealed the advanced state of collapse of democratic forms of rule not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What has emerged across Europe since the September 11 attacks is the framework of a police state far more technically powerful than even the most ruthless dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe. The methods deployed as part of the “war on terror” will also be used against opposition in the working class to unpopular policies of austerity and war.

European governments participate in the digital spying on telecommunications and Internet activities of the European population, carried out by the US National Security Agency and its local counterparts, as revealed by Edward Snowden. They also are planning joint repression of social protests, based on talks between German federal police, France’s Gendarmerie, and other security forces with the European Commission.

“During my investigation, people called me a traitor and said I was making things up,” Marty told the Tribune de Genève. “The Europeans disappointed me. Germany, the United Kingdom, and many others blocked the establishment of the truth. In fact, most European countries actively participated in a system that legitimated large-scale state crimes.”

“I think we must recall, and it is very important, that this operation, this anti-terrorist policy, was decided and carried out under the aegis of NATO,” Marty told Swiss television channel RTS.

“The United States invoked Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that if one member of the alliance is attacked militarily [e.g., as Washington claimed, on September 11], all NATO members are required to come to its aid,” Marty said. Once this was accepted, he added, “there were a whole series of secret accords between the United States and European powers. And all the European countries pledged to grant total immunity to CIA agents, which is manifestly illegal.”

The European powers’ participation in the CIA torture program underscores the utter hypocrisy of the humanitarian pretensions used to justify operations ranging from NATO wars in Syria and Libya to this February’s NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in Ukraine.

The ferocious opposition of the European ruling elites to attempts to bring this criminality to light is the clearest indication that the democratic rights of the population cannot be secured by appeals to any section of the state. The defense of the population’s democratic and social rights is a question of the revolutionary mobilization of the working class in an international struggle against European capitalism.

Article link:

Massive NSA spying on European Union, Germany [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, National Security Agency / NSA, Netherlands, New Zealand, NSA, Saudi Arabia, Spain, U.K., US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on July 13, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Patrick Martin
1 July 2013

The US National Security Agency spied on officials of the European Union, infiltrated its computer network and bugged the EU’s headquarters in Brussels as well as diplomatic offices in Washington DC and New York City, according to a report published by the German magazine Der Spiegel.

The magazine said it learned of the spying from secret documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden, now threatened with criminal prosecution and a possible death sentence for exposing illegal US government spying.

An NSA document dated September 2010 specifically mentions the EU offices at the United Nations headquarters in New York as a “location target” for eavesdropping.

Even more serious is the apparent electronic eavesdropping of the Brussels office building where the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council are located. A security investigation by the EU five years ago monitored calls that were being made from the building’s telephone system.

“Security officials managed to track the calls to NATO headquarters in the Brussels suburb of Evere,” Der Spiegel reported. “A precise analysis showed that the attacks on the telecommunications system had originated from a building complex separated from the rest of the NATO headquarters that is used by NSA experts.”

This revelation may have the most explosive consequences for US-European relations, since NATO, nominally a military alliance between the US, Canada and numerous European countries, has apparently been used as a screen for US surveillance of its supposed allies. Der Spiegel said the Snowden documents also revealed that the NSA taps a half billion phone calls, emails and text messages in Germany every month. The magazine quoted an NSA document saying, “We can attack the signals of most foreign third-class partners, and we do it too.”

In NSA parlance, the United States is the sole first-class nation, with Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand rated as second-class partners, and less favored European countries such as France and Germany rated as third-class partners. Only the four second-class partners, all of whom participate in and facilitate the US-led spying on the entire world, are ostensibly exempted from NSA surveillance.

Many of the third-class partners have agreements to share communications data with the US, including Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, according to a report Sunday in the British Observer newspaper. This does not stop the NSA from carrying out large-scale surveillance of communications in and through these countries, however.

The surveillance of Germany is much more intensive than that of France—as many as 30 million connections monitored daily compared to 2 million—and the spying is on the same level as that carried out by the United States against Iraq, Saudi Arabia and China.

Many high-ranking European officials issued statements of outrage and protest. It is doubtful that these representatives of the European ruling class are as surprised by the revelations as they claim to be, and they no doubt are engaged in similar surveillance of their own populations and of their American counterparts…

Excerpted; full article link:

Chicago NATO Summit: Obama Showcases American Fascism [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Afghanistan, Denmark, Economic crisis & decline, Fascism, France, Greece, NATO, Pentagon, Sarkozy, U.K., US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on May 26, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Wayne Madsen


President Obama wanted to showcase his adopted hometown of Chicago to the leaders of 60 NATO members and partnership countries. Instead, with his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel holding the political reins as mayor of Chicago, Obama showed the foreign heads of state and the international media a city in total police state lockdown.

Perhaps the fascist display of law enforcement brute force suppression of largely peaceful demonstrators and the pre-emptive arrest of protesters who were hit with trumped up charges of “terrorism” prior to the start of the summit, were in keeping with NATO’s new mission: projecting to all parts of the globe a U.S.-centric military force that seeks to defend the financial elites and “new world order” from popular political change.

Why else would Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari be present at the “North Atlantic” Treaty Organization summit? Afghanistan and Pakistan are far from the North Atlantic. In effect, NATO, which, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Warsaw Pact, and Soviet Union, should gone the way of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) into the ash heap of history, has become a “Global Treaty Organization.” The mission of this global “defense” organization has little to do with defense but is a modern-day offensive centurion force with the mission of protecting arcane empires that are collapsing faster than the Roman Empire [sic].

Much has been written and spoken about NATO’s mission after the end of International Security Assistance Force military operations in Afghanistan in 2014. However, based on the rhetoric from U.S., British, and NATO officials, NATO will be a key component in enforcing the “Obama Doctrine,” [sic] which sees NATO as an enforcement arm for the imposition of pro-Western regimes in nations that don’t measure up to Western standards of “democracy.” The Obama Doctrine, which considers it in America’s and NATO’s interest to take on a “responsibility to protect” U.S.-supported opposition forces in targeted nations such as Libya and Syria, will be used to interfere in the domestic affairs of other nations in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America and Caribbean,[…]

NATO also seeks to maintain the Cold War by placing an anti-ballistic missile shield in eastern Europe that is, despite statements to the contrary, aimed at Russia, in addition to Iran. And it should not be forgotten that Chicago is the corporate headquarters of top Pentagon war contractor Boeing Corporation whose annual profits exceed the yearly gross domestic products of a number of NATO member states.

NATO is a huge racket for defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and other companies that benefit from NATO’s military spending. At a time when banker dictated austerity measures are squeezing the life blood out of NATO members like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, and Belgium, NATO has reached an agreement that will see thirteen member states contribute to the purchase of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that will be shared among all 28 member states. One of the chief beneficiaries of the deal is Northrop Grumman, which will sell NATO five Global Hawk unmanned drones at a whopping cost of $1.4 billion. The drone deal comes at a time when Greece is slashing pensions for retirees and Portugal is canceling public holidays at the behest of the Shylockian central bankers of Frankfurt, London, New York, and Washington.

Robert Gates, before stepping down last year as Obama’s Defense Secretary, warned that NATO would descend into “collective military irrelevance” unless its member states boosted defense spending. With European nations barely able to maintain their social service programs and public infrastructure support in the face of banker-imposed draconian austerity budgets, defense spending is a low priority. However, NATO has come up with a way to pool declining defense budgets to award lucrative contracts for “shared” defense systems for NAO [sic] members. The chief architect of this new “smart defense” initiative is Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary General and former Danish Prime Minister who committed Danish troops to foolhardy military adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rasmussen, a cheerleader for NATO’s defense contractors, spent part of his time in Chicago visiting defense contractor exhibits set up in the media area of Chicago’s McCormick Place, the venue for the NATO summit.

NATO has approved two dozen shared defense projects that include, in addition to the drone project, common use of new maritime patrol aircraft, interoperability of weapons systems on fighter aircraft, and a common ground surveillance system…

…Rasmussen has a personal interest in maintaining his stewardship of NATO in Brussels and his good relations with the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany, and other NATO member states. Europe has not had a United Nations Secretary General since Kurt Waldheim of Austria held the post. After Secretaries General from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, it is Europe’s turn next. Neo-conservatives have been quietly pushing Rasmussen as a candidate for the top UN post after South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon’s second term expires. Rasmussen, meanwhile, is able to curry favor with members of NATO and the European Union, an influential voting bloc in the United Nations, from his NATO perch in Brussels.

Although much was reported about France’s new Socialist President Francois Hollande remaining committed to a withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, two years ahead of NATO’s planned withdrawal date, it should be noted that Hollande remains a committed Atlanticist who will not reverse the decision of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, to reintegrate French troops into NATO command structures. Just as Socialist President Francois Mitterand was more pro-NATO than his conservative predecessors, Charles de Gaulle and Georges Pompidou, Hollande is more pro-NATO than conservative Jacques Chirac.

In the face of Europe’s declining defense budgets, with Britain trimming its defense spending by 8 percent and economically hard hit countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Latvia, and Portugal showing no appetite for spending on unneeded war machinery, NATO still plans to expand. Although expansion was not a top priority in Chicago, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Georgia are all waiting to join NATO.

NATO’s Partnership for Peace and cooperation agreements has brought Sweden, Finland, Austria, Malta, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Australia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, and other nations into the organization as de facto associate members. NATO is also pressuring Scotland’s Scottish National Party to commit to maintaining an independent Scotland’s membership in the alliance even though the SNP’s platform calls for withdrawal from NATO.

The anti-NATO protesters understood that NATO is an anachronism and should be abolished during a time when workers and students are seeing pensions, social security programs, college tuition aid, and health care programs being slashed while Obama, Rasmussen, David Cameron, and other Western leaders advance continued spending on irrelevant and redundant military hardware. Protest marches on Boeing’s headquarters in Chicago, the home of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the NATO summit venue at McCormick Place indicates to the world that the protesters targeted the real threats to security in the United States and the other member states of NATO.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link:

“Israeli soldier clubs Danish protester with rifle” – Iconic video document of Israeli brutality [Guardian / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in Denmark, Israel on May 5, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Harriet Sherwood
16 April 2012


Denmark has demanded an explanation from the Israeli government for video footage showing a senior Israeli army officer striking a Danish activist in the face with an M16 rifle, an act which has been sharply criticised by the Israeli prime minister, president and chief of staff.

In the video, Lt Col Shalom Eisner, deputy commander of the Jordan Valley territorial brigade, is clearly seen slamming his rifle into the face of Andreas Ias. There was no obvious reason for the assault in the clip, which was broadcast on Israeli television and posted on YouTube…

[see original article for YouTube video link]

Full article link:

“Is another European empire collapsing before our eyes?” by Wayne Madsen [Strategic Culture Organization]

Posted in Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Currency wars, Denmark, EU, European Union, France, Germany, Ireland, Nazism, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, U.K., USA, Wayne Madsen Report on June 8, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 15, 2011

*** Excerpt ***

The history of Europe is one of successive collapsed empires. Some, such as the Roman, Holy Roman, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian empires, simply overextended themselves and collapsed due to nationalist uprisings coupled with domestic political and economic inertia. Others, like the German Nazi, Soviet [sic], Italian fascist, Napoleonic French, Spanish, and Portuguese empires collapsed as a result of their military aggression and incessant subterfuge from external forces.

The European Union appears to be suffering from the same symptoms as those experienced by the first category of failed European empires: over-extension, a stagnant and bloated bureaucracy, and economic collapse. As Europe strives to become a more unified and federal union, there has been a backlash from across its member states, with a North-South divide and economic turmoil now threatening to bring down the whole house of cards.

The rise of nationalist political parties in some of the EU’s heretofore staunchest pro-EU member nations and the collapse of some EU national economies due to predatory banking policies and America’s flooding of the global financial system with cheap dollars – a central bankers’ contrivance known as “quantitative easing” — has created fault lines in Europe that not only threaten to bring down the euro and drive the European Central Bank into extinction but prompt some members to leave the EU altogether.

Although there have always been degrees of Euro-skepticism throughout Europe since the coming into force of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993, which transformed the European Economic Community into the European Union and created the euro, anti-EU feelings now run the full gamut from right to left. Anti-EU fervor has not only increased in the traditionally Euro-skeptic nations of Denmark, the United Kingdom, and France but has gained a strong foothold in the earliest supporters of European integration, including Ireland, the Netherlands, Finland, Greece, and most importantly, Germany…

Full article here:

US aircraft still bombing Libya [Granma Internacional]

Posted in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Libya, NATO, Norway, Pentagon, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Yemen on April 18, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

France calls for more NATO action

WASHINGTON, April 13.—U.S. air force planes are still bombing targets in Libya despite having transferred the command of operations to NATO, the Pentagon admitted today, ANSA reports.

Colonel David Lapan, spokesperson for the Department of Defense, confirmed that U.S. aircraft attacked antiaircraft defense positions of troops loyal to Muammar al Gaddafi.

Lapan’s statement coincided with increasing reports of divisions within NATO, where many commands are insisting that the balance cannot be loaded [sic] in favor of the rebels without a greater contribution from U.S. forces.

Continue reading