Archive for the Nigeria Category

West should end its hypocrisy on anti-terror war [China Daily]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, France, Iraq, Nigeria, State Department, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, Western nations' human rights distortions on January 29, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Chen Weihua
Jan. 22, 2015

Senior US leaders invited sharp criticism at home for not attending last week’s solidarity rally in Paris against the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed. As a result, US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris this week to make up for the mistake.

However, terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in Nigeria, where Boko Haram fighters killed hundreds of, if not more, ordinary people early this month, have not received the same attention in the US and the Western world as the Paris attack. Yet such double standards and hypocrisy of the Western world is nothing new.

Over the past few years, the US and some Western countries have not responded to the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Beijing, Kunming and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region the way they reacted to the Paris attack.

On several occasions, US State Department spokespersons have used the excuse that they need more information and investigation into the incidents in China to condemn them as terrorist attacks. But they did not ask any such question after the Paris attack.

Some Western news organizations have refused to describe the perpetrators at Kunming railway station in Yunnan province as terrorists, insisting on calling them “knife-wielding attackers”. And on the rare occasions that they have used the word terrorist, they put it within quotation marks as if the ruthless killers in China were any different from those in Paris or elsewhere in the Western world. One CNN report even posed the question, “Terrorism or Cry of Desperation?”, as if killing innocent civilians in China can be somehow justified.

Even though China and the US have common interests in fighting terrorism, some Americans still seem to believe that only those setting off bombs in New York are terrorists while those doing the same in Beijing or any other Chinese city demand a different description.

The West’s double standards are not restricted to China and Nigeria. The decade-old wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, but the mainstream media outlets in the US have largely ignored the tragedies and focused on the loss of their own troops.

If the number of civilian casualties is a measure of the intensity of a terrorist attack, tragedies like the Sept 11, 2001, attacks have occurred multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the Western media don’t seem to care much about them.

Some Western observers have even found excuses for West’s inadequate response to the terrorist attacks in Kunming on March 1 last year in which 31 were killed and 141 injured. But by failing to immediately condemn the attacks against innocent civilians in Kunming and Xinjiang, these people have by default condoned the action of the perpetrators.

It is true that terrorists in the eyes of some could be freedom fighters in the eyes of others. That is why Osama bin Laden was a freedom fighter to the US in the 1980s but a top terrorist in the 21st century. And Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela was still on the US terrorism watch list as late as 2008, years after stepping down as South Africa’s president.

There is no doubt that the US and its allies have failed miserably in their “war on terror” despite the more than 1,000 air strikes launched against the Islamic State group. In spite of the heavy bombardments, we have seen terrorists gaining strength and spreading their tentacles to more areas across the world.

And the Western world responds to this deadly threat with double standards.

The author, based in Washington, is deputy editor of China Daily USA.

Article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2015-01/22/content_19373727_2.htm

Confronting some of the major criticisms of contemporary Sino-African ties [Xinhua]

Posted in Africa, Angola, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan on June 2, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, May 16 (Xinhuanet) — China has shuffled the relative importance of certain political and economic tools, and offered a different style of engagement with Africa. China’s bilateral engagements should be seen as a positive-sum catalyst for African governments to further their own economies and diversify their relations.

Despite widespread views to the contrary, China is not offering an entirely different ideology to the “Washington Consensus” for Africa. Marketisation has been a vital ingredient in China’s own development strides; no nation has improved its level of economic freedom as swiftly. China’s macroeconomic success indicates that more freedom leads to more growth, but stagnant freedom [sic] leads to stagnant growth.

The weight of commodities in Africa’s exports is high in China-Africa trade. However, it is equally high for each of Africa’s major export destinations . This questions Africa’s level o feconomic diversity and industrialisation. For now, natural resources remain Africa’s core competitive advantage in global trade . Africa must capture and allocate associated revenues in ways that enhance productivity, promote economic diversification and industrialisation, and improve living standards. In the meantime, China adds diversity and resilience to Africa’s economic thrust and global emergence.

Low-cost products are offering stiff competition to Africa’s juvenile manufacturing sector. The important challenge facing the continent is not unique to Africa. For instance, in intra-BRIC trade, the composition of Chinese trade is consistent with Africa’s experience. Individual African countries need to be smarter and strategic in building complementary competency with China’s that attaches to global supply chains.

The lop-sided distribution of economic power, of China over Africa, means that China does have an advantage in negotiating the rules of engagement. However, local considerations have gained traction through learning-by-doing. Meanwhile, China’s investment and trade encourage Africa’s economic growth, which has altered the way in which the rest of the world views prospects on the continent and Africa’s own expectations.

China’s engagements have provided rogue states [sic] in Africa with a possible trap-door from pressures to reform their political and economic institutions. However, since 2000, only Egypt and Guinea’s measured governance effectiveness has declined, while countries like Angola, Nigeria and Sudan have maintained their levels of political and economic freedom. In short,Chinese engagement hasn’t necessarily led to a reversion.

China is not squeezing traditional partners out. In terms of FDI stock and flows, China trails advanced economies and faces stiff competition from other emerging markets.

The charge is not only that Chinese support provides fertile soil for poor governance and corruption, but also that the country is free-riding on Africa’s past debt relief, adding new layers of additional debt. However, China is a small lender on the continent; Russia forgave USD 20 bn in cold war-related debt in 2008…

Edited / excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2012-05/16/c_131591316.htm

“Secret SAS squadron sent to spy in Africa” – Australia covertly expands military ops [The Age]

Posted in Africa, Australia, Kenya, Nigeria, USA, Zimbabwe on April 15, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Rafael Epstein and Dylan Welch
March 13, 2012

A secret squadron of Australian SAS soldiers has been operating at large in Africa, performing work normally done by spies, in an unannounced and possibly dangerous expansion of Australia’s foreign military engagement.

The deployment of the SAS’s 4 Squadron – the existence of which has never been publicly confirmed – has put the special forces unit at the outer reaches of Australian and international law.

The Age has confirmed that troopers from the squadron have mounted dozens of secret operations over the past year in African nations including Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.

They have been out of uniform and not accompanied by Australian Secret Intelligence Service officers with whom undercover SAS forces are conventionally deployed…

…But the operations have raised serious concerns within the Australian military and intelligence community because they involve countries where Australia is not at war….

…While the SAS has worked alongside Australia’s intelligence agencies for decades, the creation of a dedicated squadron mirrors the US model, where the military and the intelligence services have closer links…

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/secret-sas-squadron-sent-to-spy-in-africa-20120312-1uwjs.html

“The age of the Reaper” by Pepe Escobar – War-mongering on an international scale [Voltaire Network]

Posted in Afghan quagmire, Afghanistan, Brazil, BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, China, Colombia, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, NATO, NATO invasion, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Psychological warfare, Russia, Somalia, South Africa, Syria, UNSC, US "War on Terror", US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, Yemen on October 6, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

— Arrogance and shameless doublespeak reign supreme in the world of diplomacy. Respect for international law and human rights is a farce. Never has this come across so blatantly as in President Obama’s speech on 21 September before the UN General Assembly. Revealing in terms of the hypocrisy and imperialist interests that pervade Washington’s policies all over the world, the speech was also Obama’s crowning moment as an Israeli doormat. —

Sept. 23, 2011

The Reaper was not formally invited to the United Nations General Assembly annual bash in New York.

In ancient times, he used to be known as the Grim Reaper. Grim the wily fellow still is – always under many guises. Reinventing the concept of death from above, he may call himself MQ-9 Reaper and strut his stuff equipped with Hellfire missiles.

Or he may wear a business suit and incorporate the persona of the president of the United States.

* Get me to the target on time *

Barack Obama, from his UN podium, told the world, “Let there be no doubt: the tide of war is receding.”

Neo-Orwellian spin doctors could hardly top him on this one. Referring to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s operation of bombing Libya into democracy, Obama stressed, “This is how the international community is supposed to work.”

Virtually on cue, that usual suspect, a “NATO official”, leaked that the alliance had just extended its mission to bomb Libya for another 90 days before the green card expired next Tuesday. Of course, the smart NATO bombs only recognize bad guys, and don’t commit collateral damage.

As for the “international community” – which now comprises only NATO members and Persian Gulf monarchies, to the exclusion of everybody else – it will still “have to respond to the calls for change” in the Middle East, according to Obama. Signaled targets, not surprisingly, were Syria and Iran.

And then, also on cue, the usual “US officials” leaked that the Obama administration was assembling what the Washington Post described as “a constellation of secret drone bases for counter-terrorism operations in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula”. Signaled targets, already engaged, are Somalia and Yemen.

As for the excuse, no surprises; it’s that same old al-Qaeda bogeyman. Once again, industrial-military complex “defense contractors” started uncorking their Moet.

* A killer low-cost airline *

As these contractors know so well, Washington is now involved in no less than six wars – or “kinetic” whatever, as the White House defines them – in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

For our friend the MQ-9 Reaper, the sky, literally, is the limit. He’s expanding his footprint from AfPak to the whole of East Africa up to the Gulf of Aden. He’ll now be based in Ethiopia as well as in the Seychelles, that lovely Indian Ocean archipelago famous for its fabulous beaches and 10-star [sic] resorts.

The “hunter-killer” fleet of MQ-9 Reapers – that is, capable in Pentagonese of both “surveillance” and “strike” – parked in a hangar near the main passenger terminal at Victoria, in the Seychelles, will bring to a whole new level the concept of low-budget airline.

Although they are being depicted as innocent toys flying over Somalia “to support ongoing counter-terrorism efforts”, bottles of supplemental Moet can be bet that sooner or later the exploits of this killer low-cost airline will hit the headlines.

Naturally, no MQ-9 Reapers will be bombing the al-Qaeda-linked Libyans formerly known as rebels who are now exercising total military control of Tripoli.

This will only happen after Libyan hardcore Islamists start getting into their Talibanization groove – be it as part of a Transitional National Council government or as a guerrilla force fighting NATO. The Pentagon always respects the motto of taking better care of its future enemies than its current friends.

In this newspeak-drenched “improved circles of surveillance” universe, there’s hardly a thought about collateral damage. Even an establishment think-tank such as the Brookings Institution has stressed that for every “terrorist” killed, “10 or so civilians also died”. More realistic estimates point to a ratio of 15 civilians to every “terrorist” biting the dust.

And this while the Pentagon-promoted, American Playstation way of war never ceases to be upgraded; Reapers or sons of Reapers will soon perform their chores by themselves, using just state of the art software and alien to human intervention.

Which bring us once again to Obama.

* This freedom is not for you *

At his UN pulpit, Obama stressed, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” This does not apply to Palestinians – because if he said it did the current president of the United States believes he would hit the unemployment lines in November 2012…

…Obama also did not even try to mention, even in passing, the pre-1967 borders of a future Palestinian state – something that virtually the whole planet supports. No wonder, considering that recently Obama could not even persuade the Israeli government to stop building settlements on stolen land.

As far as Washington’s position on the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN is concerned, torrents of bites [sic] have tried to explain how the US must abide by Israel’s demands while pretending it’s not at Israel’s beck and call.

On the eve of a showdown at the UN Security Council, Palestine had secured the nine votes out of 15 it needed to be recognized as a state – and thus win at least a resounding moral victory, even considering the inevitable US veto.

Significantly enough, the votes were by the five BRICS emerging powers – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – plus Bosnia, Gabon and Nigeria. Germany, Colombia and the US were poised to vote against it. So inevitably Washington unleashed major hardcore pressure on Bosnia (a Muslim-majority country), Gabon and Nigeria (a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, OIC).

It does not matter that the idea of a Palestinian state is a virtual consensus among the international community – the real flesh and blood one, not that ghost brandished by Washington.

Yet a glance at the map, comparing the erosion of Palestinian land from 1946 to 2011, is enough to show Israel has already killed the two-state solution, regardless of what happens at the UN.

What matters are the “facts on the ground” of Israel as the supreme dominatrix of US foreign policy as well as the US Congress being Israel’s bitch. What matters is Obama trying to entice Muslims with flowery rhetoric in Istanbul and Cairo just to meekly submit, and when the going gets tough, to feel the dominatrix whip.

And all this while from northern Africa to the Middle East multitudes are fighting for the same “freedom” Americans (and Israelis) apparently enjoy, but are forever denied to Palestinians.

Whatever happens at the UN, Israel’s got the deal of the century. Under the cover of a return of the living dead “peace process”, successive Israeli governments get to steal Palestinian land, build illegal settlements and procrastinate, while the US pays the heavy political price.

Washington not only pays for the settlements but fights virtually all of Israel’s enemies, lethally antagonizes 1.3 billion Muslims all over the world, spends trillions of dollars and goes bankrupt deploying a “war on terror”.

Which brings us to yet another impersonation by the Grim Reaper.

He may be a MQ-9 in AfPak or in the new Seychelles-Somalia killer route. He may be channeled by the president of the United States. And he may answer by the name of Bibi. He’s here, there, everywhere. Fear the Reaper. Or else …

[Edited by Zuo Shou]

Article link: http://www.voltairenet.org/The-age-of-the-Reaper

“From Munich to Tripoli: Appeasement Aids Aggression” by Yoichi Shimatsu [4th Media]

Posted in Austria, China, Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia, Diplomat, Fascism, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Korean War, Morocco, NATO, Nazism, Nigeria, Qatar, Sarkozy, Spain, Turkey, U.K., UNSC, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia - former FRY on October 2, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Coco Chanel famously said: “My friends, there are no friends.” The French fashion designer, a Nazi collaborator during the wartime occupation, would have found a comfortable fit in with the “Friends of Libya” in New York. The meeting, a sequel to an earlier summit in Sarkozy’s Paris, is aimed at expanding international support for the NATO-installed National Transitional authority in Tripoli. The well-attired diplomats and cologne-drenched corporate executives at the New York conference, now as in Coco Chanel’s lifetime, are doing what they do best: appeasement of aggression.

The present generation of appeasers is following the textbook of surrender written by Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier, the “statesmen” who sanctioned Adolf Hitler’s takeover of Czechoslovakia in late September 1938. The prime ministers of Britain and France were latecomers in recognizing the Nazi re-division of the world and therefore had no claim to the war booty. Instead of sharing the fascist loot, they had to satisfy their constituents with scraps from the Fuhrer’s table – mainly face-saving photo opportunities to show that their diplomatic mission was a “success.” History surely repeats itself with the Libyan debacle.

* Peace on the Cheap *

“Peace in our time” was, of course, a fraud, which certainly did not fool Hitler, who came away from Munich convinced that the Western democracies were ready to yield all of the capitals of Eastern Europe along with Vienna and Prague. The appeasement epidemic soon infected Stalin’s Moscow with the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement in 1939, a compromise that lulled the Soviet Union into a surprise attack.

Since the Munich dictat, the roles have changed. Today, it is Russia and China going hat in hand to the British-French-American victory celebration. Contemporary appeasement arises from the same source as the sell-out at Munich: amorality, the failure to adhere to higher principles. Individuals or countries lacking a coherent social ethos and personal code of conduct, tempered in real-world struggle, easily fall prey to the notion that “might makes right”. Instead of standing up to threats, they kneel to the powerful as if before a demigod.

* World Body in Shame *

Governments are prone to appeasement because their diplomats and bureaucrats are amoral, being mere functionaries who operate under rules and not principles. The United Nations, as a hierarchy of governments and a diplomat’s club, has a longer record of betraying the principle of self-determination than even its discredited predecessor, the League of Nations. Instead of defending sovereignty, the UN more often than not has been a violator, as it was in the Korean conflict, Vietnam War, partition of Yugoslavia and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two Security Council resolutions to “protect civilians” in Libya provided pseudo-legitimate cover for a foreign invasion by the special forces units from the French, British, Qatari and Jordanian armies bolstered by jihadist recruits from across the Middle East, Turkey and Afghanistan. The logic behind “protection of civilians” is similar to Hitler’s pretext for seizing Czechoslovakia, which was to “save” its German-speaking minority. The one big difference between then and now is that Chamberlain and Daladier did not have the power of veto.

The Libyan rebels, it should be recalled, rejected the UN offer to send a peacekeeping mission to Benghazi. Their objective from the start was to establish an Islamist Emirate in the Magreb under sharia law, arguably more repressive than Taliban rule. The jihadists have already slaughtered many more civilians, especially blacks, than the UN could have ever rescued.

The current suggestion to impose a U.N. operation inside Libya is, on a practical level, nonsense. The Libyan state holds more than $160 billion in foreign assets has no foreign debt and can raise adequate funds for reconstruction from forward contracts on oil delivery. In contrast, the UN is a pauper agency with a $5 billion annual budget and a chronic debt. It is Libya that can afford to finance the United Nations, not vice versa. In addition, the risk potential for a UN presence in Tripoli is massive, considering the ominous parallels with its mission in Iraq and, more recently, Nigeria, were its personnel were mass-murdered by truck bombs. How many more human lives do the appeasers intend to throw away?

* Guernica, Again *

It is no wonder, then, that the ruling council treats reluctant recognition from Moscow and Beijing with unconcealed contempt. Pretoria and Caracas, in contrast, are shown the uneasy degree of respect accorded to adamant enemies. Global power relations are based on fear not friendship. Coco Chanel and Machiavelli were right about that.

Real men and women fight not for compromises but for their political beliefs and personal convictions. The spineless diplomacy demonstrated at Munich, and more recently in Paris and New York, achieves nothing. The only realistic choice is to fight aggression, even if it means certain defeat. The shining example for moral courage handed down to us from the 1930s came with the Spanish Civil War, when a brave population without the support of a prostrate League of Nations stood up to the combined military might of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, Franco’s legions and his Moroccan auxiliaries. The fascist horde invaded Spain in defiance of a League arms embargo, which was enforced only against the republican side, as was the case in the one-sided U.N. sanctions against Libya.

Today, the NATO jets that pound Sirte are the equivalent of the Hilter’s Condor bombers, which leveled the beleaguered Spanish Basque town of Guernica. Then the League failed to challenge the fascist assault on Spain, while now the UN takes a step further into the moral quagmire by backing the NATO proxy regime. The fall of Madrid to the fascists had horrifying consequences for the republicans and the International Brigades. Yet the blood of innocents and fighters spilled on Spanish soil provided the moral rationale and inspiration for the crucial victories at Stalingrad and Midway.

* Struggle On *

The moral grounds for resisting the fascist offensive were not given by the Comintern commissars or church prelates; leadership of the spirit came the writers and commentators who conveyed the words of the Spanish people to the world. Millions were moved to action by the slogan “They shall not pass”, voiced over the radio by the female communist leader Dolores Ibarruri, better known as La Pasionaria. Her comrade-in-arms Louis Aragon, a French poet and intellectual, emerged from Surrealism, a cultural movement that advocated total resistance [sic] to bourgeois hypocrisy[.] Ernest Hemingway, the journalist and novelist whose his democratic instincts were based on the ideals tested by America’s own Civil War, helped to raise the Lincoln Brigade of valiant American volunteers.

Whenever the amoral embrace the immoral, it is then up to the intellectuals and artists to summon ordinary people to find in themselves the courage to fight on. What the diplomats and corporate chieftains in their bestial stupor can never understand is this paradox of history: [w]ith triumph, the aggressors seal their defeat; but for the people, from the ashes of defeat arises victory. The battle of Libya, by no means over yet, is just the beginning of the third world war. As far as morality goes, it is the acid test for each of us.

Yoichi Shimatsu is Editor at Large for April Media.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://en.m4.cn/2011/09/20/from-munich-to-tripoli-appeasement-aids-aggression/

NATO’s War on Libya is Directed against China: AFRICOM and the Threat to China’s National Energy Security [Globalresearch.ca]

Posted in Africa, Algeria, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Beijing, Brazil, China, China-bashing, China-US relations, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Egypt, Energy, France, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Libya, MI6, NATO, Nigeria, Obama, Pentagon, Portugal, Russia, Sudan, Tunisia, U.K., US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on September 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Sept. 25, 2011

(Maps, diagrams and footnotes can be viewed at original article’s webpage – Zuo Shou)

The Washington-led decision by NATO to bomb Gaddafi’s Libya into submission over recent months, at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of at least $1 billion, has little if anything to do with what the Obama Administration claims was a mission to “protect innocent civilians.” In reality it is part of a larger strategic assault by NATO and by the Pentagon in particular to entirely control China’s economic achilles heel, namely China’s strategic dependence on large volumes of imported crude oil and gas. Today China is the world’s second largest importer of oil after the United States and the gap is rapidly closing.

If we take a careful look at a map of Africa and also look at the African organization of the new Pentagon Africa Command — AFRICOM — the pattern that emerges is a careful strategy of controlling one of China’s most strategically important oil and raw materials sources.

NATO’s Libya campaign was and is all about oil [sic]. But not about simply controlling Libyan high-grade crude because the USA is nervous about reliable foreign supplies. It rather is about controlling China’s free access to long-term oil imports from Africa and from the Middle East. In other words, it is about controlling China itself.

Libya geographically is bounded to its north by the Mediterranean directly across from Italy, where Italian ENI oil company has been the largest foreign operator in Libya for years. To its west it is bounded by Tunisia and by Algeria. To its south it is bounded by Chad. To its east it is bounded by both Sudan (today Sudan and Southern Sudan) and by Egypt. That should tell something about the strategic importance of Libya from the standpoint of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM long-term strategy for controlling Africa and its resources and which country is able to get those resources.

Gaddafi’s Libya had maintained strict national state control over the rich reserves of high quality “light, sweet” Libyan crude oil . As of 2006 data Libya had the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, some 35%, larger even than Nigeria. Oil consessions had been extended to Chinese state oil companies as well as Russian and others in recent years. Not surprisingly a spokesman from the so-called opposition claiming victory over Gaddafi, Abdeljalil Mayouf, information manager at Libyan rebel oil firm AGOCO, told Reuters, “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like the Italians, French and UK companies. But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.” [This statement must be pointed out as having questionable representation. Other Libyan counter-revolutionary leaders have pledged that business with China and the other noted countries will proceed normally – ZS] China and Russia and Brazil either opposed UN sanctions on Libya or pressed for a negotiated settlement of the internal conflict and an end to NATO bombing.

As I have detailed elsewhere,1 Gaddafi, an old adherent of Arab socialism on the line of Egypt’s Gamal Nasser, used the oil revenues to improve the lot of his people. Health care was free as was education. Each Libyan family was given a state grant of $50000 towards buying a new house and all bank loans were according to Islamic anti-usury laws, interest free. The state was also free of debt. Only by bribery and massive infiltration into the tribal opposition areas of the eastern part of the country could the CIA, MI6 and other NATO intelligence operatives, at an estimated cost of $1 billion, and massive NATO bombing of civilians, destabilize the strong ties between Gaddafi and his people.

Why then did NATO and the Pentagon lead such a mad and destructive assault on a peaceful sovereign country? Clear is that one of the prime reasons was to complete the encirclement of China’s oil and vital raw material sources across northern Africa.

* Pentagon alarm over China *

Step-by-step in the past several years Washington had begun to create the perception that China, which was the “dear friend and ally of America” less than a decade ago, was becoming the greatest threat to world peace because of China’s enormous economic expansion. The painting of China as a new “enemy” has been complex as Washington is dependent on China to buy the lion’s share of the US Government debt in the form of Treasury paper.

In August the Pentagon released its annual report to Congress on China’s military status. 2 This year the report sent alarm bells ringing across China for a strident new tone. The report stated among other things, “Over the past decade, China’s military has benefited from robust investment in modern hardware and technology. Many modern systems have reached maturity and others will become operational in the next few years,” the Pentagon said in the report. It added that “there remains uncertainty about how China will use its growing capabilities… China’s rise as a major international actor is likely to stand out as a defining feature of the strategic landscape of the early 21st century.”3

In a matter of perhaps two to five years, depending on how the rest of the world reacts or plays their cards, the Peoples’ Republic of China will emerge in the controlled Western media painted as the new “Hitler Germany.” If that seems hard to believe today, just reflect on how that was done with former Washington allies such as Egypt’s Mubarak or even Saddam Hussein. In June this year, former US Secretary of the Navy and now US Senator from Virginia, James Webb, startled many in Beijing when he told press that China was fast approaching what he called a “Munich moment,” when Washington must decide how to maintain a strategic balance, a reference to the 1938 crisis over Czechoslovakia when Chamberlain opted for appeasement with Hitler over Czechoslovakia. Webb added, “If you look at the last 10 years, the strategic winner has been China.” 4

The same massively effective propaganda machine of the Pentagon, led by CNN, BBC, the New York Times or London Guardian will get the subtle command from Washington to “paint China and its leaders black.” China is becoming far too strong and far too independent for many in Washington and in Wall Street. To control that, above all China’s oil import dependency has been identified as her Achilles Heel. Libya is a move to strike directly at that vulnerable Achilles heel.

* China moves into Africa *

The involvement of Chinese energy and raw materials companies across Africa had become a major cause of alarm in Washington where an attitude of malign neglect had dominated Washington Africa policy since the Cold War era. As its future energy needs became obvious several years ago China began a major African economic diplomacy which reached a crescendo in 2006 when Beijing literally rolled out the red carpet to heads of more than forty African states and discussed a broad range of economic issues. None were more important for Beijing than securing future African oil resources for China’s robust industrialization.

China moved into countries which had been virtually abandoned by former European colonial powers like France or Britain or Portugal.

Chad is a case in point. The poorest and most geographically isolated African countries, Chad was courted by Beijing which resumed diplomatic ties in 2006.

In October 2007 China’s state oil giant CNPC signed a contract to build a refinery jointly with Chad’s government. Two years later they began construction of an oil pipeline to carry oil from a new Chinese field in the south some 300 kilometers to the refinery. Western-supported NGO’s predictably began howling about environmental impacts of the Chinese oil pipeline. The same NGOs were curiously silent when Chevron struck oil in 2003 in Chad. In July 2011 the two countries, Chad and China celebrated opening of the joint venture oil refinery near Chad’s capital of Ndjamena. 5 Chad’s Chinese oil activities are strikingly close to another major Chinese oil project in what then was Sudan’s Darfur region bordering Chad.

Sudan had been a growing source of oil flows to China since cooperation began in the late 1990s after Chevron abandoned its stake there. By 1998 CNPC was building a 1500 km long oil pipeline from southern Sudan oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea as well as building a major oil refinery near Khartoum. Sudan was the first large overseas oilfield project operated by China. By the beginning of 2011 Sudan oil, most all from the conflict-torn south, provided some 10% of China’s oil imports from taking more than 60% of Sudan’s daily oil production of 490,000 barrels. Sudan had become a point of vital Chinese national energy security.

According to geological estimates, the subsurface running from Darfur in what was southern Sudan through Chad into Cameroon is one giagantic oil field in extent perhaps equivalent to a new Saudi Arabia. Controlling southern Sudan as well as Chad and Cameroon is vital to the Pentagon strategy of “strategic denial” to China of their future oil flows. So long as a stable and robust Ghaddafi regime remained in power in Tripoli that control remained a major problem. The simultaneous splitting off of the Republic of South Sudan from Khartoum and the toppling of Ghaddafi in favor of weak rebel bands beholden to Pentagon support was for the Pentagon Full Spectrum Dominance of strategic priority.

* AFRICOM responds *

The key force behind the recent wave of Western military attacks against Libya or more covert regime changes such as those in Tunisia, Egypt and the fateful referendum in southern Sudan which has now made that oil-rich region “independent” has been AFRICOM, the special US military command established by the Bush Administration in 2008 explicitly to counter the growing Chinese influence over Africa’s vast oil and mineral wealth.

In late 2007, Dr. J. Peter Pham, a Washington insider who advises the US State and Defense Departments, stated openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM, is the objective of “protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance … a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.” 6

In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is associated with the neo-conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated:

“This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy…has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it…China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels—roughly a third of its imports—come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that…perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years…

Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa—especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline—will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.”7

It is useful to briefly recall the sequence of Washington-sponsored “Twitter” revolutions in the ongoing so-called Arab Spring. The first was Tunisia, an apparently insignificant land on north Africa’s Mediterranean. However Tunisia is on the western border of Libya. The second domino to fall in the process was Mubarak’s Egypt. That created major instability across the Middle East into north Africa as Mubarak for all his flaws had fiercely resisted Washington Middle East pollicy [sic]. Israel also lost a secure ally when Mubarak fell.

Then in July 2011 Southern Sudan declared itself the independent Republic of South Sudan, breaking away from Sudan after years of US-backed insurgency against Khartoum rule. The new Republic takes with it the bulk of Sudan’s known oil riches, something clearly not causing joy in Beijing. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, led the US delegation to the independence celebrations, calling it “a testament to the Southern Sudanese people.” She added, in terms of making the secssion happen, “the US has been as active as anyone.” US President Obama openly supported seccession of the south. The breakaway was a project guided and financed from Washington since the Bush Administration decided to make it a priority in 2004. 8

Now Sudan has suddenly lost its main source of hard currency oil revenue. The secession of the south, where three-quarters of Sudan’s 490 000 barrels a day of oil is produced, has aggravated economic difficulties in Khartoum cutting some 37% off its total revenues. Sudan’s only oil refineries and the only export route run north from oilfields to Port Sudan on the Red Sea in northern Sudan. South Sudan is now being encouraged by Washington to build a new export pipeline independent of Khartoum via Kenya. Kenya is one of the areas of strongest US military influence in Africa.9

The aim of the US-led regime change in Libya as well as the entire Greater Middle East Project which lies behind the Arab Spring is to secure absolute control over the world’s largest known oil fields to control future policies in especially countries like China. As then US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is reported to have said during the 1970’s when he was arguably more powerful than the President of the United States, “If you control the oil you control entire nations or groups of nations.”

For the future national energy security of China the ultimate answer lies in finding secure domestic energy reserves. Fortunately there are revolutionary new methods to detect and map presence of oil and gas where even the best current geology says oil is not to be found. Perhaps therein lies a way out of the oil trap that has been laid for China. In my newest book, The Energy Wars I detail such new methods for those interested.

F. William Engdahl is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

(Maps, diagrams and footnotes can be viewed at original article’s webpage)

Article link: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26763

How can China break US dollar’s dominance? [People’s Daily]

Posted in Africa, China, Economic crisis & decline, Nigeria, South Africa, USA on September 26, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

(China Youth Daily)

Sept. 20, 2011

Edited and Translated by People’s Daily Online

With the internationalization of the RMB progressing on schedule, it is predicted that at least 40 percent of the trade volume of 2015, or about 100 million U.S. dollars, between China and Africa, which is equal to the total trade volume of 2010 between China and Africa, will be settled with RMB, according to the lasted research report issued in the beginning of September by the largest bank of Africa Standard Bank Group.

This is another achievement China has made since it launched the cross-border RMB settlement in 2009. Pang Kaige, chief executive officer of the Standard Bank (China), also said that it is quite possible that countries including South Africa and Nigeria will take RMB as their foreign reserves.

Now, it is two years since China decidedly launched the cross-border RMB settlement pilot project in the wake of the financial crisis, and cross-border RMB settlement has grown from a few domestic pilot cities to all of China. However, the RMB’s process of “going global” is still in its preliminary stage. China’s foreign reserves are still increasing, and China still has to face risks from the depreciating U.S. dollar.

China’s foreign reserve issue is a reflection of the current imbalanced global economy and turbulent global system. Once the credit of the U.S. dollar is shaken, the economy of the whole world will suffer: Whoever depends more heavily on it will suffer more.

Economist Li Caiyuan said, “China’s huge foreign reserve indeed has made China in a passive position. In the long run, China will suffer losses. But practically speaking, China should really not abandon the interest of the securities before finding better investment channels.”

He believes China has only two fundamental ways to solve this problem. One, China should use the U.S. dollar less while expanding its domestic demand greatly, thus reducing the exports to the United States and increasing the imports. Two, China should use RMB more and expand the scale and range of cross-border RMB settlements.

Guo Shengxiang from the China Actuarial Science Development and Research Center under the Peking University predicts that if a bidirectional exchange agreement is established between the RMB and other currencies, a “one-to-many” exchange, financing and settlement system with the RMB as the center will be established. If a currency exchange center is established around this system and a financing cash pool is established in it, it is possible that the RMB will be the “third pole of the global financial center.”

Only when the RMB can “go global,” “stay” in the world and “come back” through smooth channels can China’s economy shake off the yoke of the U.S. dollar or the euro fundamentally.

Obviously, it will be difficult. Li said that the U.S. dollar has been the world’s reserve currency since World War II thanks to the country’s great industrial, scientific and military strength as well as the rapid overseas expansion of U.S. enterprises and financial institutions. At present, there remains a considerable gap between the comprehensive strength of China and the United States.

“China is taking a unique economic development path, and the RMB cannot copy the success of the U.S. dollar,” Li said. The U.S. dollar is becoming increasingly “hollow,” with most of the country’s industries transferred overseas except the arms and financial services industries. By contrast, the RMB remains “solid” based on China’s strong manufacturing industry and real economy. While paying attention to European and U.S. markets, Chinese companies should also make investments elsewhere to expand their living space.

Article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90780/7600231.html