Archive for the Netherlands 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: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/01/pers-a01.html

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Mummified Buddha shown in Hungary stolen from China: government [Xinhua]

Posted in Buddhism, China, Hungary, Netherlands on March 23, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

FUZHOU, March 22 (Xinhua) — Chinese relic experts have determined a 1,000-year-old Buddha statue containing a mummified monk, which is now in possession of a Dutch private collector, is a relic stolen from an east China village in 1995.

The Cultural Relic Bureau in east China’s Fujian Province said on Sunday that judging from research and media reports, experts have confirmed that the statue on show in Hungarian Natural History Museum was a relic stolen from Yangchun Village in Fujian in 1995.

The bureau will continue the relic investigation in the village and search for more information while reporting to the national cultural authorities in order to identify and trace the stolen relic in compliance with normal procedures, said a bureau spokesman.

The statue was on a “Mummy World” exhibition at the Hungarian Natural History Museum that opened in October last year and was originally scheduled to be on display until May 17, but was pulled from the exhibition on Friday as the museum said “the Dutch owner withdrew the statue without giving any reason.”

Villagers in Yangchun burst into tears while other [sic] lit fireworks after seeing the statue via Chinese TV news earlier this month.

The bureau immediately dispatched experts to the village to investigate the issue. Through the research, experts found a large amount of photos, relics and historical records including a pedigree suggesting the mummy was a…former ancestor (or Zushi in Chinese) of the local clan.

The statue, formerly housed in the village temple, was stolen in 1995. It wore a hat and clothes when sitting in the temple, and was worshiped as an ancestor…

Excerpted/edited by Zuo Shou

Full article link with photos: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-03/22/c_134087352.htm

GCHQ & NSA perpetrate massive theft of SIM card encryption keys: Snowden [The Intercept]

Posted in ACLU / American Civil Liberties Union, National Security Agency / NSA, Netherlands, NSA, U.K., USA on February 21, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

21 February 2015

by Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley

Full article link:  https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/19/great-sim-heist/

Original article headline:  “The Great SIM Heist:  How Spies Stole the Key to the Castle”

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Related article:  “European Lawmakers Demand Answers on Key Theft” – https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/20/gemalto-heist-shocks-europe/

 

 

Dutch intelligence services do whatever US asks: Snowden [Xinhua]

Posted in France, National Security Agency / NSA, Netherlands, NSA, Russia, US imperialism, USA on February 5, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

2015-1-22

THE HAGUE, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) — Dutch intelligence services do whatever the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States tells them to do, and the Americans see the Dutch as “subordinates” who always provide “unlimited access,” disclosed Edward Snowden in an excerpt of an interview with Dutch press made public…

Snowden made these remarks regarding the Dutch intelligence services AIVD (General Intelligence and Security Service) and MIVD (Military Intelligence and Security Service). The full interview will be broadcast by Dutch broadcaster NOS on Wednesday night and published in Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant Thursday morning.

In the excerpt, Snowden said the U.S. relationship with almost all European intelligence services is good, but only a few of them are feared by the Americans; the French secret service, for example.

“The Dutch services are much less respected. They are not valued because of their capacities, but because of the free pass they offer,” he said.

Snowden reaffirmed his doubts over the effectiveness of massive wiretapping. “When we look at the Paris attacks specifically, we see that France passed one of the most intrusive, expensive surveillance laws in all of Europe last year and it did not stop the attack. This is consistent with what we have seen in every country…The problem with ‘mass surveillance’ is that you are burying people under far too much data,” he said.

In the full interview, Snowden will also discuss the new Dutch intelligence laws and the call for new capacity regarding tapping, as well as his personal situation in Moscow, announced the Dutch press.

Snowden came to international attention in June 2013 after disclosing thousands of classified documents that he acquired while working as an NSA contractor. In August 2014, he was granted a one-year asylum by the Russian government.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/europe/europe/2015-01/22/c_133936683.htm

Mass surveillance doesn’t stop terrorism: Snowden [Xinhua]

Posted in France, National Security Agency / NSA, Netherlands, NSA, Russia, Spain, U.K., US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on January 27, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

THE HAGUE, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) — American whistleblower Edward Snowden has reaffirmed his doubts about the effectiveness of massive wiretapping, citing the recent attacks in Paris as an example.

“France passed one of the most intrusive, expensive surveillance laws in all of Europe last year and it did not stop the attack,” Snowden said in an interview broadcast by Dutch TV channel NOS on Wednesday. “This is consistent with what we have seen in every country.”

The mass surveillance has not stopped a single attack in the United States, he said. “It didn’t stop the attacks in London, didn’t stop the attacks in Spain, didn’t stop the attacks in Boston.”

Snowden came to international attention in June 2013 after disclosing thousands of classified documents he acquired while working as a contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). He is charged in the United States with espionage and was granted asylum by Russia in August 2013.

Currently, the Dutch government is studying its new intelligence laws and the call for an even broader tapping capacity covering even all internet cable traffic such as emails.

Snowden said this is unnecessary and mass surveillance doesn’t prevent attacks or help capture terrorists, noting the Boston Marathon bombers who killed three people and wounded more than 260 in April, 2013, had been known to the NSA prior to the attacks.

“The problem with mass surveillance is that you are burying people under too much data,” he explained.

In July 2013, Snowden handed asylum applications to several countries, including the Netherlands. However, the asylum request at the Dutch Embassy in Moscow was chanceless, because the Netherlands has no embassy asylum anymore.

During the NOS interview in a Moscow hotel, Snowden admitted that he would still love to come to the Netherlands. For now he will continue to stay in Russia on a three-year residence permit that enables him to stay there until 2017.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/europe/europe/2015-01/22/c_133938443.htm

China “dissatisfied” with Hagel’s remarks [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Diaoyu Islands, Encirclement of China, Japan, Netherlands, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, South China Sea, Taiwan, US imperialism, USA on April 15, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, April 8 (Xinhua) — China is “dissatisfied” with remarks made by U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel in an ASEAN defence ministers meeting and in Japan, a Chinese military leader said here Tuesday.

The straightforward comment came when Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, met with Hagel.

“I can tell you frankly, your remarks made in the ASEAN defence ministers meeting and to Japanese politicians were tough, and with a clear attitude. The Chinese people, including myself, are dissatisfied with such remarks,” he told Hagel at the presence of the press.

In an interview with Japan’s Nikkei newspaper on Saturday, Hagel criticized China’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea as provocative and unilateral.

Last week, Hagel hosted talks with defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Hawaii, where he also brought up topics of growing U.S. concern about territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

On the Diaoyu Islands issue, the U.S. has repeatedly said it took no position but Secretary Hagel has publicly backed Japan’s claim and welcomed Japan’s review of the self-defense aspect of its constitution, Fan said.

On the South China Sea issue, China holds a consistent claim and is backed by historical evidence. “But Secretary Hagel is partial to the Philippines and pointed fingers at China, though the Philippines occupied some of China’s reefs,” Fan said.

Fan blamed U.S. House of Representatives passage of a Taiwan-related bill to stir cross-strait trouble, which is “totally wrong”, despite the peaceful development momentum for the cross-strait situation.

“China hopes the U.S. can be a responsible great power and do more to promote regional stability and the friendship between the two countries and militaries,” Fan said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama met during the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands not long ago and reaffirmed the building of a new model of relationship between big countries, Fan said.

Fan called on the Chinese and U.S. militaries to cherish development and move forward stable and healthy growth of a new model of military relations…

Excerpted; full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-04/08/c_126368544.htm

DPRK Women Jeer at Park Geun Hye of S. Korea for Her Babble [KCNA]

Posted in DPR Korea, Germany, INS, Korean Central News Agency of DPRK, Korean Reunification, Netherlands, Nukes, south Korea on April 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Pyongyang, April 1 (KCNA) — Park Geun Hye, the chief executive of south Korea, made reckless remarks of no help to the Korean nation during her recent trip to Germany.

Like an uneducated woman, she said that Germany and south Korea are “alike” and she has many things to learn and wants to follow the example of Germany.

In this regard, women in the DPRK are now jeering at her turpitude.

An Kyong Hui, a Pyongyang citizen, told KCNA:
It was not long ago that being an ignoramus, Park Geun Hye made a foolish speech, written by her aides, on the DPRK’s nuclear issue while visiting Netherlands, only to expose herself to public disgrace.
In Dresden of Germany this time, she mentioned her “three-point proposal toward the north” as if she was taking pains to ensure “peaceful unification”, but it became a laughing-stock. Her “proposal” was rejected even in south Korea as it is too poor to meet a response from the DPRK.
As a woman, I feel sorry to see Park behaving like a babbling countrywoman rather than a “president” wherever she goes.

Kim Un Gyong, a doctor at the Moranbong District People’s Hospital in Pyongyang, said:
In Germany Park talked nonsense that the DPRK suffers economic difficulty and food shortage, with a script cooked up by the Intelligence Service on the basis of defectors’ vituperations.
Disgusted at such nonsense, media of south Korea blamed her aides for having offered distorted information, questioning that Park went back to the 20th century.
What she does reminds people of a childish girl or a slow-witted person who does not know to act her age.
It is ridiculous for Park to care about others’ economic situation with south Korea faced with economic collapse and destitution.
She had better mind her own business, refraining from spinning gossip about others. -0-

KCNA English homepage: http://www.kcna.kp/kcna.user.home.retrieveHomeInfoList.kcmsf?lang=eng