Archive for the Myanmar Category

Cooking the Books: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the China Lobby and Cold War Propaganda, 1950-1962 [Asia-Pacific Journal / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in "War on Drugs" pretext, Afghanistan, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Black propaganda, China, China-bashing, CIA, Colombia, Connection to drugs and narcotics, Cuba, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Karzai puppet regime corruption, Korean War, Law enforcement, Media smear campaign, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama, PLA, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela on April 20, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 37, No. 1, September 14, 2013.

Jonathan Marshall

As influential contributors to national policy, intelligence professionals inevitably face strong political and bureaucratic pressures to shape their assessments to fit official or factional policy. In the modern era, such pressures have contributed to costly, even disastrous, escalations of the Vietnam War, the arms race, and, most notoriously, Washington’s conflict with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.2

Intelligence on the international narcotics menace has been particularly subject to such pressures ever since U.S. leaders vowed to wage “war” on the illicit drug trade more than a half century ago.3 In recent years, influential interest groups and policy makers have leveled epithets like “narco-terrorism” and “narco-communism” against targets such as Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, Panama, Syria, the Taliban, and Venezuela to justify harsh policies ranging from economic sanctions to armed invasion, while ignoring or downplaying evidence implicating U.S. allies (the Nicaraguan Contras, the Afghan mujahedeen and Karzai administration, the Colombian military, and so forth).4 Given the stakes, critical scrutiny of such claims, and rigorous attention to de-politicizing intelligence on international narcotics matters, may be as vital to preventing foreign policy disasters as is ensuring sound intelligence on more traditional matters of national security.

To shed historical light on the dangers of turning international drug enforcement into a political weapon, this paper re-examines a classic case of alleged manipulation of narcotics intelligence: the vilification of Communist China by U.S. Commissioner of Narcotics Harry J. Anslinger at the height of the Cold War. His inflammatory rhetoric denouncing the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as an evil purveyor of narcotics went largely unchallenged in the Western media during the 1950s and early 1960s, when Anslinger acted as America’s leading drug enforcement official and its official representative to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). As we shall see, his charges strongly reinforced Washington’s case for diplomatic isolation of China, including its exclusion from the United Nations.

In 1971, as relations between Washington and Beijing began to thaw, the official U.S. line on China’s responsibility for drug trafficking abruptly reversed. At about the same time, a young scholar named Alfred McCoy published an authoritative volume on the modern history of the international heroin trade, contesting Anslinger’s claims and pinning blame for much of the traffic on U.S. military allies in Southeast Asia.5 Since then a number of historians have endorsed McCoy’s conclusions and characterized Anslinger’s conduct as the work of a master bureaucrat (or ideologue) bent on augmenting his agency’s prestige and power by inflating Cold War stereotypes of the PRC.6

This paper reexamines and extends their work by asking the question made famous by Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker during the Watergate hearings: What did he know, and when did he know it? As Kevin F. Ryan has observed, “it is unclear how much the FBN actually knew about [China’s involvement in] the international narcotics trade (and how much was simply convenient rhetoric) . . .”7 McCoy and most subsequent historians have relied on ex post rejections of Anslinger’s claims by U.S. and foreign law enforcement officials in the aftermath of the opening to China. But can we be sure Anslinger had no evidence to support his charges? If so, did Anslinger simply invent his claims, or did other interested parties feed him misleading or false information? And, equally important, what did Anslinger know but choose to ignore about drug trafficking by American allies, including those covertly backed by the Central Intelligence Agency?

New evidence, including recently declassified files of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Central Intelligence Agency, along with overlooked public materials from that period, sheds important new light on the state of Anslinger’s knowledge and probable motives. The records, unavailable to or unused by previous historians, provide strong new confirmation of Anslinger’s manipulation of intelligence to serve both his agency’s bureaucratic interests and a militantly anti-Communist foreign policy agenda at the expense of genuine narcotics enforcement. They leave open the possibility that Chinese traffickers continued to smuggle opiates out of the mainland into the 1950s, but do not challenge what is widely accepted today about the communist government’s attempt to suppress cultivation and trafficking…

— Anslinger’s Questionable Sources: the SCAP Connection —

…In reassessing the credibility of Anslinger’s claims, one of the most striking facts to note is that Anslinger had no full-time agents stationed in the Far East until 1962.37 (The U.S. Customs service had jurisdiction over narcotics investigations in the region, with offices in Hong Kong and Japan.)38 He thus depended heavily on agents of friendly governments — and particularly on partisan intelligence sources connected with U.S. occupation forces in Japan (SCAP) and Nationalist China.

Anslinger acknowledged that SCAP intelligence provided among “the first reports we received about the Communist narcotic smuggling in the Far East.”39 He made a SCAP account of heroin trafficking in Japan the centerpiece of his first all-out assault against Communist China before the CND in May 1952.40 The report declared that “Investigations, arrests, and seizures in Japan during 1951 proved conclusively that communists are smuggling heroin from China to Japan, and are using the proceeds from the sale thereof to finance party activities and to obtain strategic materials for China.” In support of that strong claim, it [among other allegations] cited one seizure of heroin that carried the seals of a pharmaceutical laboratory in northern China. But more than a half dozen other cases cited in the document simply involved heroin smuggled into Japan from Hong Kong — typically by Chinese from Taiwan (“Formosans”). Evidently, for Anslinger, heroin carried from British-controlled Hong Kong by smugglers from Nationalist-controlled Taiwan was proof of a Communist conspiracy…

…neither SCAP intelligence nor its sources could ever be considered “reliable,” except politically…42

–Anslinger and the China Lobby–

Many of Anslinger’s detailed allegations about large opium-growing regions in China, heroin laboratories in Chinese cities, and smuggling directives by Chinese government agencies originated from Nationalist China, whose representative to the CND issued grandiose allegations against the mainland’s new Communist masters.55 In 1951 Nationalist China provided the CND laboratory with its only “authenticated” samples of opium from the mainland. These samples were in turn used to implicate the PRC whenever the lab found a chemical match with opium seized by a member nation, including the United States. This stunning conflict of interest — perhaps fraud is not too strong a word — was uncovered only in 1963 following an inquiry by the Polish representative to the CND.56

Anslinger’s uncritical reliance on intelligence from Nationalist China was all the more irresponsible because he knew all about that regime’s own sordid history of profiting from the drug trade. Throughout much of the 1930s, a senior Treasury agent based in China sent Anslinger voluminous, detailed reports implicating senior government officials in opium trafficking. Indeed, history Chiang Kai-shek rise to power was smoothed by the muscle and financial support of China’s most infamous criminal syndicate, the Green Gang.57

In the 1950s, Anslinger collaborated closely with the “China Lobby,” a network of Nationalist Chinese officials and American supporters who sought to maintain high levels of aid to Taiwan while denying diplomatic recognition to the PRC…

…Anslinger helped the China Lobby in another key respect — by delegitimizing serious charges that some of its own personnel were tainted by the illegal drug trade. In 1960, Anslinger helped the Taiwan regime suppress publication of the first scholarly study of the China Lobby, because it contained the sensational claim:

There is . . . considerable evidence that a number of [Nationalist] Chinese officials engaged in the illegal smuggling of narcotics into the United States with the full knowledge and connivance of the Nationalist Chinese Government. The evidence indicates that several prominent Americans have participated in and profited from these transactions. It indicates further that the narcotics business has been an important factor in the activities and permutations of the China Lobby…61

–The FBI, Customs and CIA v. Anslinger–

Most Americans were in no position to question Anslinger’s assertions about China. Out of public view, however, many official experts in the U.S. and allied governments rejected his claims—including some in his own bureau.

The British Foreign Office, for example, dismissed his sources, which included Nationalist Chinese press accounts and claims by arrested traffickers in Japan, as “very dubious.” British Home Office official John Henry Walker privately derided Anslinger’s “annual onslaughts on Red China” as largely unsubstantiated and speculated that Anslinger sought to grab headlines because he was “under pressure in Washington and having to fight to keep his job…”70

–What the FBN Knew about the CIA and the Golden Triangle Drug Trade–

[I’ve excerpted this particularly sensational section which is quite long, but highly recommend reading it in its entirely – Zuo Shou]

It is notable that the single biggest redaction from the 1956 CIA study, when it was quietly declassified several decades later, concerns Thailand. For it was the CIA’s assets in Thailand who bore more responsibility than any other group in the “Golden Triangle” for the resurgence of the opium trade after the Communist victory in China in 1949. It is thus critical to explore what Anslinger must have known but chose not to disclose about the CIA’s drug-trafficking allies in the region.

Several excellent studies of the Golden Triangle in the 1950s provide rich background — without necessarily answering the question of what Anslinger knew.79 In brief, by January 1950, the People’s Liberation Army had driven thousands of Chinese Nationalist soldiers from the Eighth and Twenty-Sixth armies out of Yunnan province into Burma and French Indochina. In northeast Burma, more than 10,000 men under the command of General Li Mi found sanctuary in the wild hill country settled by minority peoples, many of whom cultivated opium as a traditional cash crop. Having themselves profited from opium for many years in Yunnan, the KMT forces — named for the Kuomintang party that ruled Nationalist China — began trafficking once again from Burma, both to make ends meet and to finance their schemes to reconquer China.

Washington’s interest in using Li Mi’s forces to contain the Chinese Communists soared after the start of the Korean War. By direction from President Truman in December 1950, the CIA secretly began supplying the KMT by air and with ground caravans through Thailand.80 Security was provided by the CIA-backed Thai national police, who in turn were eager to market the KMT’s opium to the legal Thai national opium monopoly and to international traffickers.

After several hapless forays by the KMT into southern China in 1951 and early 1952, Washington gave up serious hope of using them to roll back Communism in China. Meanwhile, as the CIA’s “covert” mission became widely known, U.S. relations with Burma worsened and Washington grew alarmed at the possibility of a retaliatory invasion by Communist China.81 The United States tried in vain to persuade the KMT forces to decamp for Taiwan, but the Chinese insisted on staying put — and in the words of one U.S. ambassador, “continuing nefarious operations in Burma and Thailand including opium smuggling racket.”82 Tabling preparations for war, they focused instead on building a drug empire that helped boost the region’s opium exports from an estimated 40 tons before World War II to more than three hundred tons by 1962.

Washington’s role in this trade was much more than incidental.83 As U.S. officials understood early on,84 the Thai national police, under the ruthless and brutal General Phao Sriyanon, “had become the largest opium-trafficking syndicate in Thailand,” in McCoy’s words. He adds:

CIA support for Phao and the KMT seems to have sparked . . . a ‘takeoff’ in the Burma-Thailand opium trade during the 1950s: modern aircraft replaced mules, naval vessels replaced sampans, and well-trained military organizations expropriated the traffic from bands of illiterate mountain traders.

Never before had [Burma’s] Shan States encountered smugglers with the discipline, technology, and ruthlessness of the KMT. Under General Phao’s leadership Thailand had changed from an opium-consuming nation to the world’s most important opium distribution center. The Golden Triangle’s opium production approached its present scale . . .85

The Golden Triangle would remain the world’s largest exporter of opiates until supplanted in the 1980s by a new set of CIA allies in South Asia, the Afghan mujahedeen and Pakistani military intelligence.86

All of this was top secret—so much so that the very existence of the operation to support the KMT guerrillas was kept from the CIA’s deputy director for intelligence, most or all top State Department officials, and the U.S. ambassadors to Burma and Thailand.87 The CIA went to especially great lengths to hush up the drug-related murder of one agent and widespread opium trafficking under its auspices.88 So is it fair in retrospect to hold Anslinger responsible for ignoring or underplaying the U.S.-Thailand drug connection?

Washington’s lies fooled no one on the scene and could not have fooled Anslinger. A review of the often-overlooked public record shows that Anslinger must have known more than to sound the alarm about the emergence of the KMT and its U.S.-supported Thai allies as one of the world’s largest narcotics-trafficking syndicates. Ignorance was simply not a credible excuse.

As early as May 1950, the New York Times reported on the presence in Northeast Burma of “an aggregation of refugee Nationalist troops” who “operate pretty much as a law unto themselves” and “have been engaging extensively in opium dealing.” The story noted that the United States planned to open a consulate “at the little northern Thailand city of Chiangmai to watch American interests in an area of increasing importance in Southeast Asia,” a tip that U.S. authorities were in touch with the KMT.89

Less than two years later, the respected London Observer accused “certain Americans” of joining Thai officials and KMT officers in “making large profits” from the “guns for opium trade.” The story pointed to the large quantities of American-made weapons and ammunition flown to General Li Mi “from a certain trading company in Bangkok in which Americans have an interest.” (As we will see, that was a reference to the CIA’s Sea Supply Company.) Amazingly, the American embassy in Bangkok confirmed the allegation. “It cannot be denied that we are in the opium trade,” one U.S. diplomat told the reporter.90 In case Anslinger missed the story, the Washington Post made it the subject of an editorial: “It is somewhat startling to read the allegation that in supporting the Chinese Nationalist effort in northeastern Burma to harass the Chinese Communists, Americans have gone into the opium business!…”91

…Anslinger could hardly deny the obvious any more. The narcotics commissioner now acknowledged publicly that, “More opium moves to and around Chiengrai in northern Thailand than any other place in the world in illicit traffic.” But he still blamed Red China, choosing not to draw attention to the pro-American parties responsible for bringing the drugs to the world market.101 “By an accident of history,” wrote one journalist friendly with Anslinger who nonetheless appreciated the irony, “the middlemen between Yunnan and Thailand are anticommunist Chinese. . . . They grow opium and add it to the supplies they get from China and neighboring tribal villages of Laos and Burma…”102

–Conclusion–

Anslinger’s sweeping rhetoric against “Red China” today strikes most historians—rightly so—as an anachronistic product of the McCarthy era. But the long litany of arrests, interrogation reports and statistics that Anslinger cited to back up his claims sounded authoritative and proved persuasive to Westerners all through the 1950s and into the 1960s…

…Anslinger, however, went far beyond…limited claims [of PRC involvement in illegal narcotics trade] to condemn the Beijing regime as a uniquely grand and evil purveyor of narcotics. Such strong charges demanded equally strong evidence. Anslinger never provided it and almost certainly never had it. With the opening of FBN records, we now know that its Communist China files hold no credible reports implicating the Maoist regime in drug smuggling. Furthermore, other U.S. and British officials privately called Anslinger on the matter at the time, savaging the credibility of his sources. The CIA’s definitive study of the question in 1956 demonstrates that Anslinger pushed his incendiary charges at the United Nations and in the media despite clear intelligence to the contrary. At the same time, Anslinger ignored or downplayed readily available public and private evidence that America’s allies — and its own officials — were contributing far more than Communist China to the growth of the Far East drug trade and the expansion of the world heroin market.

Clearly, the FBN chief chose to put anti-communism, national security [sic], and bureaucratic self-interest ahead of his agency’s declared mission. These disparate values meshed seamlessly. By serving up a steady supply of lurid claims to feed the propaganda mills of professional Cold Warriors and China Lobbyists, Anslinger bought protection against budget cuts, premature retirement, loss of authority to rival agencies, and any weakening of the nation’s drug laws. Today one must agree with the British Home Office official who concluded disparagingly in 1954 that Anslinger had “strong motives for emphasizing the responsibilities of other countries for illicit traffic in the United States and for attributing this traffic to Communist sources.”129 Anslinger’s deplorable record should remind us today of the need for critical scrutiny of claims related to drug trafficking to avoid letting our own era’s propaganda warriors generate fear and revulsion to escalate international conflicts.

Excerpted; full article (with notes) link: http://japanfocus.org/-Jonathan-Marshall/3997?utm_source=September+16%2C+2013&utm_campaign=China%27s+Connectivity+Revolution&utm_medium=email

Xinhua Insight: “Mao fans, minority worship?” – Deification, sober appreciation of Chairman Mao [Xinhua / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in Buddhism, China, Economy, Education, Employment, Labor, Mao Zedong, Mao Zedong, Myanmar, PLA, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives on January 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Xinhua writers Wang Jiaquan, Li Huaiyan

XISHUANGBANNA, Yunnan, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) — Chairman Mao is another God in the largely Buddhist hamlet of Man’en, where most ethnic Dai villagers enshrine the founding father of New China at home, though the “great helmsman” was de-deified after the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

A large portrait of Mao Zedong hangs high in the living room of Ai Pa, with a smaller image of a senior Myanmar monk by its side. This arrangement was a suggestion from the Buddhist clergyman, who presided over a prayer service for Ai’s new house in 2000.

When Ai requested a portrait from the monk to be used as a “home guardian” after the ceremony, the monk insisted his image be placed in a subordinate position to that of Mao, saying that Mao was a real savior and guardian of the ethnic Dai people.

Loving almost all Mao things, from his quotations to the passionate red songs, Ai Pa remains a loyal Mao fan even though his family suffered during the Mao era.

Ai’s family was classified as a landlord during the land reform in the 1950s, and his father fled to neighboring Myanmar only a few days after Ai’s birth in 1957 in fear of penalties as denouncement campaigns against landlords swept Menghai County in Xishuangbanna, southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

As the descendant of a landlord, Ai Pa had to face discrimination when he grew up. He was rejected when he registered to join the People’s Liberation Army.

Indeed, Ai does think his family was wronged. “My ancestors were all poor peasants. It was not until my grandpa reclaimed some wasteland that our family began to own some paddy fields and hire a few laborers,” he says.

However, all the adversities have not resulted in a resentful Ai Pa. “A Buddhist should not return grudge for grievance,” says the 56-year-old man.

In addition, he says, he admires Chairman Mao because the late leader was a man who truly wanted to do good for the people, and he appreciates the value of equality that emerged in the Mao era.

Most villagers owned no land before the land reform in Xishuangbanna, where the feudal lord claimed ownership of all land and peasants had to shoulder the heavy and inescapable burden of taxation, according to He Ming, an ethnic studies professor at Yunnan University in Kunming.

Ai Pa recalls that when he was a child, old people in the village told him that Chairman Mao was like the Monkey King in the traditional Chinese fairy tale of the Pilgrimage to the West, who was invincible and was commissioned by the Heaven to bring fairness and equality to the world.

WHY NOT MAO?

Three decades into China’s reform and opening-up drive, Man’en, as well as many other remote villages, has witnessed drastic economic and social transformation.

Satellite television broadcasts, mobile phones, motorcycles, cars, highways and the Internet have shortened the distance between them and the outside world. And yet Mao has remained an icon in the hamlet that has more than 6,000 villagers.

A Mao portrait bought in Beijing is always regarded as a very precious souvenir for local villagers, while Mao’s mausoleum is usually a must-go for their maiden trips to the national capital, says Ai, who is also chief of Man’en village.

Like Ai Pa and his fellow villagers, the ethnic Blang people in Jiliang, another village with a population of over 2,000 in Menghai, are also Mao worshipers. They have his images printed on glazed bricks on the outside walls of their new homes.

However, these ethnic minority hamlets are not isolated cases. A survey by the Horizon Research Consultancy Group in 2008 in 40 Chinese cities and towns, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, showed that 11.2 percent of respondents enshrine Mao Zedong at home, way ahead of those that worship the Buddha, God of Wealth, and other gods.

In the words of Huang Jisu, a sociologist, playwright and cultural critic, Mao worship is a quite complicated phenomenon and has a strong social background, and is also related to personal experiences.

However, Huang doesn’t believe there is a geographical, age or social class division in regard to people’s attitude toward Mao.

For example, Huang says, there are also Mao fans in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai, while some young people in universities also admire him. Huang also notes that it is not rare for entrepreneurs and millionaires to admire Mao.

However, Huang stresses that admiration for Mao does not necessarily mean the admirers want to go back to the Mao era.

“It’s quite natural for Mao, such a great man, to have admirers. Just as pop stars can have so many fans, why not Mao?” says 58-year-old Huang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

As for Mao fans, Huang says, ordinary people psychologically need a great person to hold in high esteem, and Mao has filled – and fills – that need.

In Huang’s view, the greatest good that Mao did for the nation was the Chinese revolution he led, which ended the nation’s survival crisis that had lasted a century.

PASSION IN LENS

Both Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-shek failed to lead the nation out of that crisis, and Mao was an unrivaled great man of his century, Huang says.

Sun Dahong, a photographer who has published an album featuring ethnic Mao fans, argues that the modern passion for Mao has nothing to do with a personality cult.

“It’s never a political fervor that creates blind followers like those during the Cultural Revolution, but a kind of spontaneous affection or emotion that has sprouted at the grassroots and passed from generation to generation,” says Sun, a former provincial deputy police chief of Yunnan…

…”There have always been concerns that today’s society is one without belief, but I have rediscovered it among the ordinary people. Mao worship is an instinctive expression of their emotion and perhaps even reflects a higher level of spiritual need,” Sun says.

“To his worshipers, Chairman Mao stands for auspice and victory, represents social justice and is a man that leads them to common wealth. So they believe in, respect and love Chairman Mao,” Sun says.

Also a Mao fan, Sun actually shares some similarities with Ai Pa. Sun’s mother, a provincial cadre in Yunnan, was persecuted to death during the Cultural Revolution when Sun and his younger brother were both in Shanxi Province receiving reeducation from local peasants.

His mother’s death has been a lingering anguish but Sun has never blamed or hated Chairman Mao. After all, he says, blames for personal grievances should not all go to a policy maker.

As for Mao’s errors, a controversial topic, Sun would like to quote a man he met in Dehong, an autonomous prefecture of ethnic Dai and Jingpo, when shooting his album:

“Chairman Mao’s contributions and merits are like a majestic mountain, but his faults can be measured in just a handful of earth.”

Huang Jisu agrees that Mao’s mistakes should be put under critical analysis, but he argues that criticism should be based on facts instead of rumors or even slanders.

“For such an epoch-making man, he is always a giant, no matter what the comments are, be it praise or censure,” Huang says.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-12/25/c_132994178.htm

Oliver Stone joins Jeju residents’ battle against naval base [The Hankyoreh / 한겨레]

Posted in Australia, Cambodia, China, Encirclement of China, Hiroshima, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nagasaki, North wind campaign, Obama, Okinawa, Philippines, Protest action, south Korea, Taiwan, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Vietnam, World War II on August 10, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

August 5, 2013

* Acclaimed director is touring Asia in criticism of the US government’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy *

By Huh Ho-joon, Jeju correspondent

“Ever since the Second World War, the US has been building military alliances and setting up military bases overseas. A lot of those bases are in Japan and Korea. Jeju Island is less than 500 kilometers from Shanghai. It could end up on the front lines if a military conflict breaks out between the US and China.”

Internationally renowned filmmaker Oliver Stone said this about the naval base currently under construction on Jeju Island. The 67-year-old director, whose works on the Vietnam War include “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July,” met with the Hankyoreh on Aug. 3 at the Peace Center in Gangjeong Village in Jeju.

Noting the US’s overseas military strategy, Stone said the issue with the Jeju base was “global, not regional.”

“The Obama administration has adopted a ‘pivot to Asia’ strategy as a way of containing China,” he said. “It’s similar to the way the Soviet Union was contained during the Cold War. And in its push to do this, Washington has built or is building military alliances not just with South Korea and Japan, but with the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, and Myanmar. It’s a foolish, paranoid strategy.”

In view of this strategy, the Jeju naval base may be a military extension of the US forces, who could eventually end up using it, Stone said.

The director said he came to Jeju after seeing documentaries by US directors on Gangjeong Village and the April 3 Uprising of 1948 and reading articles on the villagers battle against the construction.

“I wanted to see for myself,” he said. He arrived on the island on Aug. 2 for a three-day stay.

As soon as he arrived, he went to visit film critic Yang Yun-mo, who was arrested while campaigning against the base, as well as people involved in the Grand March for Life and Peace, an event organized to call for a halt to the construction. On Aug. 3, he went to see activists opposing the base in their battle against police at the construction site in Gangjeong – a visit that left him looking very troubled.

“They’re calling the people who oppose the base ‘pro-North Korea,’ but that’s a very simplistic expression and their methods are easy to attack,” Stone said. “But the residents and activists are very sincere about their home, their rights, and this beautiful island of Jeju.”

He also spoke on environmental concerns, noting the base was “destroying beautiful soft coral reefs and contaminating the water.”

“I’ve heard that Jeju water was some of the cleanest and best in the world,” he said. “What happens when it ends up getting polluted?”

“The Gangjeong residents and activists aren’t alone in their battle against the base. This is going beyond South Korea and turning into a worldwide issue,” he continued. “I don’t know how this battle is going to go, but the residents’ fight will not be forgotten.”

Following his trip to Jeju, Stone plans to head to the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where atomic bombs were dropped during the Second World War. There, he plans to attend a conference opposing atomic and hydrogen bombs before traveling on to Okinawa, site of a large US military base.

Article link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/598369.html

Commentary: No more irresponsible remarks on Myanmar-China pipelines [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, Germany, India, Myanmar, Poland, Russia, south Korea on August 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Xinhua writer Wu Liming

BEIJING, July 29 (Xinhua) — Irresponsible remarks on the Myanmar-China oil and gas Pipeline project should stop as the scientifically proven feasible project has benefited multiple parties.

A Myanmar-China natural gas pipeline (Myanmar section) started to deliver gas to China on Sunday, signalling a landmark step for the huge energy transmit project, which also includes building a crude oil pipeline.

Western criticism of the cross-border pipelines is totally irresponsible and ill-disposed.

Firstly, the project has undergone scientific study and strict examination and conform [sic] with local regulations and laws.

Sources with the investors say operations of the two pipelines have been conducted in strict accordance with specifications and patterns of international pipeline projects since the beginning of the pre-feasibility study stage.

Secondly, it is wrong to say that only China benefits from the project, while deliberately turning a blind eye to the comprehensive benefits enjoyed by Myanmar and its people.

The huge project will dramatically upgrade Myanmar’s strategic and economic position in Southeast Asia, not to mention dozens of millions of U.S. dollars Myanmar will gain from “road toll fees” and transit fees.

The Bangkok Post of Thailand said in a recent report that the pipelines would make Myanmar a “trade hub” of Southeast Asia and the country would consequently be on track to becoming Asia’s newest crossroads.

The project is expected to generate momentum for local economic development. More than 220 local enterprises participated in the construction of the pipelines.

It will also bring more job opportunities and improve the livelihood of local people living along the pipelines.

The companies running the pipelines have so far donated 20 million U.S. dollars for use in education, medical treatment, health and disaster relief. Besides, 45 schools and 24 clinics have been built, which benefit nearly 1 million local people.

As a matter of fact, the project is co-invested by six parties from four countries — China, Myanmar, South Korea and India.

Why do some Western critics make irresponsible remarks on the project? It stems from their shady mentality.

On the one hand, they are unwilling to see an intimate relationship between China and Myanmar and are jealous of the huge strategic energy project. On the other hand, they are unwilling to see China’s success in diversifying its energy imports and its achievement in ensuring energy security.

Needless to say, the completion of the China-Myanmar pipelines has substantially changed the strategic map of China’s energy supply channels, and to a certain extent, alleviated China’s “Malacca Dilemma.”

At present, as many as 80 percent of China’s oil imports depend on the supply line going through the Malacca and Singapore straits, while the maritime route is patrolled by fleets headed by the U.S. navy.

In fact, energy diversification is a widely-accepted practice and a strategy pursued by the international community.

The European Union, for instance, is planning the Nabucco project which aims to transmit gas from the Caspian region to Europe.

Germany and Russia have jointly built the Nord Stream Pipeline which goes through the Baltic Sea, while Poland complained about it because the pipeline bypasses its territory.

All in all, the China-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines have shown the strategic political trust between the two countries, and the project has benefited both sides economically. Therefore, there is no need for irresponsible remarks on it any more.

Editor: Lu Hui

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-07/29/c_132584106.htm

Western media hypes China’s non-existent ‘live execution’ of pirates [Asia Times]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Capitalist media double standard, China, China-bashing, Chinese TV program, Corporate Media Critique, CPC, Guardian's anti-China campaign, Law enforcement, Media smear campaign, Myanmar, New York Times lie, U.K., USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Western nations' human rights distortions on March 29, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I was seeing articles about a ‘live execution’ to be televised in China, but I’ve watched Chinese TV on the mainland for several years and the Western articles did not compute at all. Turns out it was all based on a rumor from South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper that is prone to print rumors and lies regarding mainland news. Of course the UK is just horrified, horrified about the death penalty in the first place, a summarily hypocritical stance given that government’s proclivity to slaughter countless civilians in wars and covert operations abroad without any judicial process whatsoever. – Zuo Shou

by Peter Lee

March 8, 2013

The Western media outrage on the execution in China of Naw Kham focused on the circus surrounding the televising – or non-televising – of the event, which followed the conviction of the Burmese pirate and several of his associates for the massacre of 13 Chinese crew members of two ships on the Mekong River in October 2011…

…By its own – and Western – standards, China’s capture, trial, and execution of Naw Kham appears a model of legality. According to China’s Global Times, the PRC was tempted to assassinate him via a drone strike in his foreign hideout, but declined.

Neither was he shot in the head by special forces and his corpse secretly dumped in the ocean, as was done with Osama bin Laden. Nor was he torched in his hideout with incendiary grenades, as the San Bernadino Sheriff’s Department did to alleged murderer and cop killer Christopher Dorner just a few weeks ago.

Instead, Naw Kham was captured, tried in a Chinese court, and executed by lethal injection, together with three accomplices. The PRC…understandably decided to celebrate this demonstration of Chinese political and legal efficacy with a 21st century wall-to-wall coverage live media festival on the occasion of the execution.

Western media outlets, whose prime directive appears to be to deny the People’s Republic of China any hint of a soft-power victory, were determined to shoehorn the execution of Naw Kham and his fellows into the Butchers of Beijing template.

The heavy lifting was done by the South China Morning Post’s John Kennedy, who…misconstrued CCTV’s promise of live, execution-related coverage from the scene to coverage of the lethal injection itself.

The relevant screen cap from CCTV read “Death sentence to be carried out” and “Live broadcast and more details to be revealed tomorrow”. Perhaps not the finest moment in chyron-writing. However, it’s not just CCTV. If one Googles “Timothy McVeigh TV execution”, (Timothy McVeigh was the Oklahoma City bomber who murdered 168 people and was executed in 2001) the first hit is: McVeigh Execution: C-Span Video Library. Spoiler: the video does not show the actual execution of Timothy McVeigh.

Another hit from the first page of results: TV coverage of McVeigh execution keeps focus on victims. Written by the AP TV writer, David Bauder, the article relates:

During the moments that lethal drugs were coursing through McVeigh’s veins – unseen to television viewers – ABC showed footage of survivors and relatives
And one more: Networks Plan McVeigh Execution Coverage.

John Kennedy, a Canadian and “a longtime resident of southern China” according to the South China Morning Post “Authors’ list” but obviously unaware of such ancient, tedious, and non-Chinese media history, then doubled down with the tweet:

CCTV said, unambiguously and in plain Chinese, it’s going to live broadcast the execution. I’m not going to put words in its mouth. If it turns out CCTV is deliberately misleading the public to boost viewership (and in a way or two I hope it is), that’s a story in itself.

With that, Western reporters were off to the races.

In a story titled “China TV Kills Live Execution Plans at Last Minute”, ABC News Beijing Bureau declared (I suspect on the strength of John Kennedy’s post that live coverage of the actual execution had been promised):

…but as the program neared its close, the station abruptly changed plans and did not show the execution.

The piece rather shamefacedly hedged its bets in the last paragraph:
For whatever reason, CCTV did not broadcast the actual execution.

Maybe the reason was that the Chinese government had never announced its intention to broadcast the actual execution anyway.

Not good enough for UPI’s Kristen Butler, who linked to the ABC News story in order to buttress her piece, “China’s CCTV Cuts Live Execution Broadcast at Last Minute”, staffers adding the apparently ludicrous sub-head: “State-run CCTV cut short the live execution after a poll on Chinese Twitter, Weibo, showed firm opposition”.

Butler provided no documentation for the assertion that the Weibo poll prompted CCTV to drop its plans to broadcast the actual execution; in keeping with the fug of ambiguity that pervades this story, perhaps she or her editors felt that alternate interpretations of “after” – for instance, referring merely to temporal sequence and not causality – shielded UPI from the need to come up with any sourcing for the claim.

Now, at least in the Western press, the TV event was a public relations rout [sic]:

New York Times: Chinese TV Special on Executions Stirs Debate/ Divided Chinese See a Live TV Program About Executions as Crass, or Cathartic

NPR: China’s Broadcast Of Drug Lord’s Final Hours Sparks Controversy

Reuters: “Execution parade” of four behind Mekong murders angers Chinese

The Guardian: China divided on TV ‘execution parade’: judicial resolve or crude voyeurism

Wall Street Journal: Debate Swirls Around China Execution Broadcast

Virtually alone on the opposite side of the ledger, Sinostand’s Eric Fish had questioned the “actual execution to be televised” meme before the fact and was excoriated by commenters for correctly predicting actual events…

With this generous evidentiary and analytic standard, it is surprising that the China’s Western critics confined themselves to the transitory pleasures of China bashing, media criticism, and fisking of CCTV chyrons…

Asia Online’s original article title: “Did China Execute the Wrong Pirate?” — Full article link: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/CHIN-01-080313.html

Also see related: ‘The Teapot Tempest of “Live Execution Broadcast” Showing Dyslexia And Moving Goal Post of Moral Schizophrenia’ [Hidden Harmonies Blog] — http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2013/03/the-teapot-tempest-of-live-execution-broadcast-showing-dyslexia-and-moving-goal-post-of-moral-schizophrenia/

“Armistice Agreement Withdrawal: North Korean Belligerence? ” by Stephen Gowans [what’s left blog]

Posted in Australia, Black propaganda, Canada, Capitalist media double standard, China, Corporate Media Critique, DPR Korea, Hillary Clinton, Korean War, Myanmar, Nukes, Obama, Pentagon, Sanctions as weapon of war, south Korea, U.K., UNSC, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on March 20, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 16, 2013

Why has North Korea withdrawn from an armistice agreement that has kept overt hostilities on the Korean peninsula at bay since 1953? Does the withdrawal portend an imminent North Korean aggression? Hardly. North Korea is in no position to launch an attack on its Korean neighbour, or on the United States, at least not one that it would survive. North Korean forces are dwarfed by the US and South Korean militaries in size, sophistication and fire-power. The withdrawal serves, instead, as a signal of North Korean resolve to defend itself against growing US and South Korean harassment, both military and economic.

– US provocations –

For decades, North Korea has been subjected to the modern form of the siege. “The aim of the siege is to reduce the enemy to such a state of starvation and deprivation that they open the gate, perhaps killing their leaders in the process and throw themselves on the mercy of the besiegers.” [1] North Korea withstood the siege, and even flourished, during the years it was able to trade with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe’s socialist countries. But with the demise of Soviet socialism, the country has bent, but not broken, under the pressure of US-led sanctions of mass destruction.

Sanctions against North Korea are multi-form, and include a trade blockade and financial isolation. Significantly, no country in history has been menaced by such wide-ranging sanctions for so long. North Korea is, as then US president George W. Bush once remarked, the most sanctioned nation on earth. [2] Sanctions, military harassment (which I’ll come back to in a moment), and the US nuclear threat — Washington has threatened North Korea with nuclear annihilation on countless occasions [3] — have forced the North Koreans to bulk up militarily, build ballistic missiles, and test nuclear devices in order to survive.

Led by Washington, the UN Security Council has authored a number of resolutions to deny North Korea rights of self-defense and other rights that other countries are free to exercise: the rights to: build ballistic missiles; withdraw from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty; launch satellites; sell arms abroad; and transfer nuclear technology to other countries. These are rights that every permanent member of the UN Security Council exercises freely. They are also rights that many other countries enjoy with impunity.

On top of besieging North Korea, Washington and South Korea have for decades kept up a campaign of unrelenting military harassment in the form of regular war games. The latest war games began March 1 and will last for two months. Undertaken as practice in mobilizing US troops and military hardware from abroad for rapid deployment to the Korean peninsula, the war games this year have activated not only US and South Korean militaries, but British, Canadian, and Australian forces, as well. While labelled “defensive,” the war games force the North Koreans onto a permanent war footing. It can never be clear to North Korean generals whether the latest US-South Korean mobilization is a drill or preparation for an invasion. The effect is to force Pyongyang to maintain its military on high alert, an exhausting and expensive exercise.

The view propagated by Western officials and, in train, the Western mass media, is that the sanctions are aimed at correcting North Korea’s “bad behaviour” and that the war games are carried out to deter North Korean aggression. But what’s called “bad behaviour” — the building of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles — is Pyongyang’s reaction to the US-led permanent state of siege. A tiny country with a military budget dwarfed by South Korea’s and the United States’ [4] is not credibly an offensive threat to Washington and Seoul, but the United States and South Korea are unquestionably offensive threats to the DPRK (the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.)

After the UN manoeuvred the Security Council to slap still more sanctions on North Korea, and began its latest round of war games, the Wall Street Journal alerted the world that “North Korea [had] moved to further stoke tensions with South Korea…” [5] On the contrary, the United States had further stoked tensions with North Korea.

– A dead letter –

There are three reasons to regard the armistice agreement as existing in form alone, and not substance.

First, the purpose of the agreement was to set the stage for a permanent peace. Despite North Korea repeatedly asking Washington to enter into a peace agreement, none has been struck. After one North Korean entreaty for peace, then US secretary of state Colin Powell said “We don’t do non-aggression pacts or treaties, things of that nature.” [6]

Second, the agreement was to be followed by the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the Korean peninsula. The Chinese withdrew, as did most members of the UN forces. But US forces, which have remained in South Korea for the last 60 years, have become a permanent fixture on the peninsula. Incredibly, South Korean forces remain under US command.

Third, the agreement prohibits “the introduction into Korea of reinforcing combat aircraft, armoured vehicles, weapons and ammunition…” The US violated the agreement by introducing nuclear weapons into South Korea in 1958. And it’s questionable whether the war games-related deployment of massive amounts of US military hardware to Korea doesn’t violate the agreement, as well.

– What Washington wants from North Korea –

On March 11, U.S. national security adviser Tom Donilon announced publicly that what Washington wants from North Korea is open markets and the country’s integration into the US-led system of global capitalist exploitation. At least, that’s what he meant when he said, “I urge North Korea’s leaders to reflect on Burma’s experience.” [7]

Burma (Myanmar) turned its self-directed, locally-, and largely publicly-owned economy into a capitalist playground for foreign investors.

When Myanmar’s military took power in a 1962 coup, it nationalized most industries and brought the bulk of the economy under government control, which is the way it stayed until three years ago. Major utilities were state-owned and health-care and education were publicly provided. Private hospitals and private schools were unheard of. Ownership of land and local companies was limited to the country’s citizens. Companies were required to hire Myanmar workers. And the central bank was answerable to the government. In other words, Myanmar’s economy, inasmuch as it markets, labor and natural resources were used for the country’s self-directed development, was very much like North Korea’s. And like North Korea, Myanmar was an object of US hostility, subject to sanctions, and targeted by US-orchestrated low-level warfare.

Bowing to US pressure, Myanmar’s government began in the last few years to sell off government buildings, its port facilities, its national airline, mines, farmland, the country’s fuel distribution network, and soft drink, cigarette and bicycle factories. The doors to the country’s publicly-owned health care and education systems were thrown open, and private investors were invited in. A new law was drawn up to give more independence to the central bank, making it answerable to its own inflation control targets, rather than directly to the government.

To top it all off, a foreign-investment law was drafted to allow foreigners to control local companies and land, permit the entry of foreign telecom companies and foreign banks, allow 100 percent repatriation of profits, and exempt foreign investors from paying taxes for up to five years. What’s more, foreign enterprises would be allowed to import skilled workers, and wouldn’t be required to hire locally.

With Myanmar signalling its willingness to turn over its economy to outside investors, US hostility abated and the sanctions were lifted. President Obama dispatched then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton to meet with Myanmar’s leaders, the first US secretary of state to visit in more than 50 years. William Hague soon followed, the first British foreign minister to visit since 1955. Other foreign ministers beat their own paths to the door of the country’s military junta, seeking to establish ties with the now foreign investment-friendly government on behalf of their own corporations, investors, and banks. And business organizations sent their own delegations, including four major Japanese business organizations, all looking to cash in on Myanmar’s new opening. Announcing the easing of US sanctions, then US secretary of state Hilary Clinton enthused, “Today we say to American business: Invest in Burma!” [8]

That, then, is what the United States wants for North Korea: for a US secretary of state to one day announce, “Today we say to American business: Invest in North Korea!”

– Effects, not causes –

In the US view, North Korea is a militaristic, aggressive state, bent on provoking South Korea and its American overlords and setting the peninsula aflame, for reasons that are never made clear. Pyongyang must, therefore, be deterred by sanctions and displays of US military “resolve.” Yet North Korea has never pursued an aggressive foreign policy, hasn’t the means to do so, and unlike the United States and South Korea, has never sent troops into battle on foreign soil. (South Korea hired out its military to the United States as a mercenary force to battle nationalists seeking independence in Vietnam.) By contrast, the DPRK’s militarism, expressed in its Songun (military first) policy, is defensive, not aggressive, mercenary or imperialist.

It is a misconception that the incursion of North Korean forces into the south in 1950, marking the formal start of the Korean War, was an invasion across an international border. The boundary dividing the two Koreas had been drawn unilaterally by the United States in 1945, and never agreed to by Koreans. The Korean War was a civil war in which sovereigntists, and collaborators with the Japanese, now with the Americans, battled over control of their country, aided by foreign militaries. Had the United States not intervened the country would have been re-united under a socialist government committed to independence.

The US view, far from providing an accurate account of North Korea and its relationship with the United States, turns reality on its head. The reality is that US public policy, including foreign policy, is largely shaped by corporations, banks, and elite investors, through lobbying, the funding of think tanks, and placement of corporate officers, Wall Street lawyers, and ambitious politicians dependent on the wealthy for campaign financing and lucrative post-political job opportunities, into key positions in the state.

US foreign policy seeks to protect and enlarge the interests of the class that shapes it, by safeguarding existing, and securing new, foreign investment opportunities, opening markets abroad for US goods and services, and ensuring business conditions around the world are conducive to the profit-making imperatives of US corporations.

From the perspective of the goals of US foreign policy, North Korea’s publicly-owned, planned economy commits the ultimate sin: it reserves North Korean labor, markets and natural resources for the country’s own welfare and self-development. Accordingly, US foreign policy aims to reduce North Korea to such a level of deprivation and misery that the people overthrow their leaders and open the gate, or the leaders capitulate and heed Donilon’s urging to follow Myanmar’s capitulatory path. All attempts to resist integration into the US-superintended global capitalist system are deceptively presented by the United States as evidence of North Korea’s bellicosity, rather than what they are: acts of self-defense against an imperialist predator.

Article link [includes footnotes]: http://gowans.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/armistice-agreement-withdrawal-north-korean-belligerence/

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