Archive for the Philippines Category

CNN joins spy plane ride as US prepares new military provocations in South China Sea [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Australia, Black propaganda, Capitalist media double standard, China, China-bashing, Corporate Media Critique, Economic crisis & decline, Encirclement of China, False flag, Media smear campaign, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, Psychological warfare, South China Sea, State Department, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Vietnam on May 24, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Peter Symonds
23 May 2015

Just days after a CNN news crew joined a P8-A Poseidon surveillance aircraft over a Chinese-administered islet in the South China Sea, it is clear the flight was a calculated provocation aimed at ramping up pressure on China. American officials immediately exploited the reportage to underline Washington’s determination to challenge Chinese territorial claims in these key strategic waters, regardless of the consequences…

Article’s original title: “US prepares new military provocations in South China Sea”

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/23/scse-m23.html

RELATED ARTICLES:

“Beijing strongly protests against US spy plane encounter” [China Daily] – http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2015-05/22/content_20794899.htm

“US prepares to challenge China in the South China Sea” [World Socialist Website] – http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/21/scse-m21.html

“Is the US planning a “Gulf of Tonkin” incident in the South China Sea?” [World Socialist Website] – http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/05/18/pers-m18.html

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Obama’s cheap shot at China misguided [China Daily]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Australia, Black propaganda, China, China-bashing, China-US relations, Encirclement of China, Japan, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, Psychological warfare, South China Sea, south Korea, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on March 31, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Stephen Harner

2015-1-29

Using the State of the Union address to deliver a “cheap shot”…is what President Barack Obama did on Jan 20, when he declared “…as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest growing region”.

And what he said next was just as provocative: “That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. Why should we let that happen? We should write the rules…” Obama was clearly referring here to the US-crafted Trans-Pacific Partnership, seeking a way to spur the Congress to grant him the “fast track” authority needed to bring talks to conclusion.

That he would allege a competitive threat or rivalry with China, which is not participating in the TPP talks and was never invited to do so, to trigger congressional action evidences once again how the Obama administration has cynically made the myth of a “China threat” a central feature of its “pivot to Asia” political and economic strategy.

When first introduced, this was Pentagon-driven military and security-oriented. Its goal was to maintain US military and political hegemony in the region by reorienting toward China and augmenting through new weapons, protocols, and battle plans, Cold War alliances with Japan, [s]outh Korea, the Philippines, and Australia.

Since then the “pivot” has been embellished and informed by a distinctly neoliberal “universal values” agenda that conflates US political and economic ideology with commercial interests and by preventing any substantive change to the “rules” established in the post-World War II “American century”.

For Obama the only rules that can or should be followed – particularly, in Asia – are those recognized by the United States: “In the Asia-Pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules – in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, how they participate in meeting common international challenges….”

Many US readers will find nothing remarkable or untoward in such a statement. They fail to understand how people in Asia read and respond to the same words…

Excerpted / edited by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2015-01/29/content_19434305.htm

‘Spring Rising’ Protests decry 12 years of U.S. wars abroad [Workers World]

Posted in Afghanistan, Cuba, DPR Korea, Genocide, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Mexico, Obama, Pakistan, Palestine, Pentagon, Philippines, Police brutality, Police State, Russia, Ukraine, US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, Venezuela, War crimes on March 26, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 23, 2015

Antiwar actions called Spring Rising, focusing on the 12th anniversary of the criminal U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and continued war in Afghanistan, were held in Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis and other cities around the United States. Spring Rising was initiated by Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and mother of U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan who was killed in Iraq.

In Washington there were four days of actions, including a teach-in, political lobbying and a bus tour of sites of war contractors. The culminating action was on March 21, with a rally of several hundred people, some carrying U.S.-flag-draped coffins, that gathered in front of the White House and marched to the Capitol, with stops at the offices of defense contractors.

Groups that sent delegations to D.C. included Code Pink, Answer Coalition, United National Antiwar Coalition, Veterans for Peace, World Can’t Wait, World Beyond War, Fight Imperialism, Stand Together and the International Action Center.

IAC participants came from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Durham, N.C., and linked the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the U.S support of armed fascist, right-wing and mercenary forces in Ukraine, Venezuela and Syria, as well as to racist and militarized police repression at home.
San FranciscoPhoto: Alyssa Eisenberg

San Francisco
Photo: Alyssa Eisenberg

Anti-war demonstrators rallied March 21 at Powell and Market streets in San Francisco and then marched through the downtown area to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Demonstrators raised a number of demands: “Stop President Obama’s AUMF” (the proposed new three-year authorization for the use of military force); “End U.S. war and occupation;” “In the Middle East and Central Asia — U.S. out!;” “No to U.S. sanctions and intervention” against Iran, Venezuela, Korea, Cuba, Mexico, Russia, Philippines, Haiti and everywhere; and “Free Palestine — End U.S. Aid to Israel — Fund People’s Needs, Not Endless War.”

The protest was initiated by the Answer Coalition and endorsed by many groups, including the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, the Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition, BAYAN USA, Haiti Action, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, the Palestine Youth Movement and Workers World Party.

Indicting ‘Hellfire Reaper’ brass

Two actions in central New York protested the anniversary of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. On the morning of March 19, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars were arrested after trying to deliver a “citizen’s indictment” for war crimes to Hancock Air Base commanders. Demonstrators also blockaded the main gate of the base with giant books, including “Living under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from U.S. Drone Practices in Pakistan,” a report from New York University and Stanford law schools.

Soldiers dragged the books away as “evidence,” opening the possibility that their anti-U.S. war information could be introduced at future activist trials.

“Hellfire” Reaper drones targeting Afghanistan are piloted out of Hancock by soldiers in the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard. Drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians are also trained at the base. Common Dreams estimates that over 2,500 people have been killed by U.S. covert drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. (commondreams.org)

On Feb. 17, the Obama administration okayed the widespread export of U.S. armed drones, as U.S. defense corporations push for bigger profits in the global drone market.

The Upstate Coalition has waged a nonviolent campaign against drone warfare at the base since 2010; there have been over 160 anti-Reaper arrests at Hancock in the last five years.
Syracuse, N.Y.Photo: Ellen Grady

Syracuse, N.Y.
Photo: Ellen Grady

In the afternoon people assembled at a downtown Syracuse, N.Y., street corner and held up signs protesting past and present wars, including Obama’s request for new war powers from Congress. One speaker talked of being in Baghdad in 2003 as part of a U.S. peace delegation and confronting U.S. Marines who entered the city during the U.S. “Shock-and-Awe” offensive.

A Syracuse University student denounced extensive military funding at the school, including the new Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and the drone-radar defense contractor, Syracuse Research Corporation.

As a steady stream of workers driving home honked in support of the rally, a military veteran spoke of the dreadful effects of war on U.S. soldiers. In addition to post-traumatic stress disorder, he named sexual assaults on 25 percent of women soldiers by other U.S. soldiers and homelessness. Twenty-five percent of homeless people are vets, who are disproportionately people of color.

From reports by Sara Flounders, Terri Kay and Minnie Bruce Pratt.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2015/03/23/protests-decry-12-years-of-u-s-wars-abroad/

American hegemony cannot bring security to Asia [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, Diaoyu Islands, Encirclement of China, Japan, Pentagon, Philippines, South China Sea, US imperialism, USA on June 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

June 6, 2014

American defense secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a speech at the Shangri-La Defense Dialogue in Singapore on May 31st. In addition to defending America’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, he also declared that the Diaoyu islands fall under the mutual defense treaty with Japan and voiced support for Japan’s right to collective self-defense. Moreover, he placed emphasis on his criticism of China and made use of many threatening words.

In response to this irresponsible speech, the deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Wang Guanzhong pointed out that Hagel’s speech was filled with terms that will incite unrest in Asia. China had not foreseen that Hagel would deliver such an offensive speech. His accusations against China were unreasonable.

In order to maintain its hegemony and enjoy an economic dividend from the rapid development of Asia, America has devised a series of new Asia-Pacific strategies such as “Back to Asia”, “Pivot to Asia” and “U.S. Asia-Pacific Re-balance Strategy” to expand its military presence in Asia. America’s so called “U.S. Asia-Pacific Re-balance Strategy” has increasingly aroused concern and anger among many of the countries affected on the one hand, and become the butt of criticism of influential strategists at home. We find ourselves in total disagreement with Hagel’s groundless accusations – he would do well to subject himself to similar critical analysis.

As is widely accepted, the Diaoyu Islands, Xisha, Zhongsha and the Nansha islands have formed an integral part of China’s territory since ancient times – there is no shortage of historical and legal evidence to support China’s claims. China has nevertheless shown great restraint and patience in its calls for regional peace and stability, even when confronted with unreasonable demands and provocation on the part of other countries. China has exercised military restraint over the issues concerning the Diaoyu Islands, Huangyan Island and even the Xisha islands. Meanwhile, Japan’s ‘Self-Defense Force’ jets have incessantly intruded into the East China Sea, far from the Diaoyu Islands to harass and threaten unarmed Chinese patrol aircraft.

Ships of the Philippine navy have harassed and threatened defenseless Chinese fishermen. Armed Vietnamese vessels have deliberately collided with Chinese government ships and fishing boats. China has never yet drilled a single oil well in the South China Sea, while countries such as Vietnam and Philippines have long been producing oil and gas in the area. We are curious about Hagel’s motives in directing his accusations against China, while ignoring the efforts and sacrifices made by China in the interests of regional peace and stability.

Hagel’s criticism of China as a ‘rule-breaker’ is a typical example of the hypocrisy of American politicians. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has met with approval from more than 150 countries since it was passed some thirty years ago. In pursuit of its own interests America, the self-styled “world policeman” and “supreme power” did not join the convention. With its own history of double standards, America has no business agitating for international laws and rules and attacking other countries for not abiding by these international rules.

China is no longer the downtrodden victim that it may have been one hundred years ago. China has no intention of stirring up trouble, but it will not sacrifice core national interests. Even in the face of provocation from Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, China remains tolerant and insists on peaceful settlement of disputes through bilateral negotiations. However, China is still forced to take counter-measures.

We hope the nations involved do not interpret our tolerance as a sign of weakness. We hope they will turn back to the path of solving disputes through negotiation. Moreover, we also wish that America would abide by its promise of not taking sides in sovereignty disputes in Asia. In this way regional peace and stability and the long-term interests of nations in the region can be secured.

The countries mentioned above would be considerably less presumptuous without the support of America. In this sense, America is the chief instigator of unrest in Asia. America’s insistence on its policy of hegemony offers nothing to Asian security and serves only to fuel disorder.

The article is edited and translated from《美国霸权带不来亚洲安全》, source: People’s Daily Overseas Edition, author: Zhang Junshe, a researcher with the Navy Military Academic Research Institute.

Article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/n/2014/0606/c98649-8737769.html

Washington boasts of military buildup against China [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Black propaganda, China, China-US relations, Encirclement of China, Japan, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, Russia, South China Sea, US "War on Terror", US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on June 9, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

3 June 2014

If anyone was fooled by the media analyses portraying President Barack Obama’s speech at West Point last week as a turn toward “moderation” and “restraint,” or tempted to think that the World Socialist Web Site was exaggerating in describing the address as a blueprint for “permanent and global war in pursuit of the interests of the US financial elite,” they only need read the bellicose tirade delivered by his defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, in Singapore on Saturday.

The occasion for Hagel’s provocative speech was the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual meeting of Asia-Pacific defense ministers, together with their civilian and military chiefs of staff. The conference is ostensibly a forum for “dialogue” and “confidence building” aimed at furthering regional security and cooperation.

Instead, the Pentagon chief delivered an address that spelled out in detail the measures Washington is taking to build up its military power in the Asia Pacific for the purpose of encircling China while containing and rolling back its influence in the region.

In essence, Hagel’s speech is a corollary to the May 28 commencement address given by Obama at West Point. Critics of the presentation at the US Military Academy have pointed out that, while the administration had announced its “pivot to Asia” as a strategic axis of US foreign policy, Obama made no mention of this turn in what had been billed as a major foreign policy speech.

In point of fact, Obama did touch on the essence of the so-called “pivot” in his address, making a series of menacing statements in relation to China and suggesting that Washington would have to prepare for a military response to its rising global rival.

He placed China in the same category as Russia, presenting the two countries as threats to regional peace and security. “China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors,” Obama declared.

He went on to describe the territorial disputes in the South and East China seas, which Washington has deliberately inflamed and turned into global flash points, accusing China of “regional aggression” that could “ultimately impact our allies, and could draw in our military.” And he vowed to back Southeast Asian governments in maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea.

Yet there was no mention of the “pivot,” no declaration of a new over-arching strategic turn by the US and its massive military machine to confront China in the Asian-Pacific theater. Instead, the president told the American people that the principal threat faced by the United States was “terrorism,” the same boogeyman that has been used to justify US aggression abroad since the beginning of the century. No doubt this lack of an explicit statement of US strategy in a major presidential speech was deliberate.

Hagel was asked directly by one of the participants at the conference in Singapore why Obama does not explain the “pivot” to the American people with the same forcefulness with which the defense secretary and other US officials promote it in Asia. The answer is obvious. The popular reaction to a public campaign in support of a policy of military provocation and aggression against a nuclear-armed China would be one of horror and virulent opposition. So, the thinking in ruling circles undoubtedly goes, better to lead the population unwittingly to the brink of a global conflagration than risk a political firestorm.

In the somewhat more discreet atmosphere of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Hagel felt under no such compunction. He positively boasted of the US military buildup in the region.

Hagel declared that the “pivot” or “rebalance” to Asia “is not a goal, not a promise, or a vision—it’s a reality.”

He pointed to the ten-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) reached between Washington and the corrupt Aquino regime in the Philippines offering Washington virtually unrestricted rights to deploy US military forces in that country.

Similarly, he touted the close alliance established between the Obama administration and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who heads up the most right-wing Japanese government in postwar history…

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/03/pers-j03.html

Russia-China strategic accords in view [Workers World]

Posted in Afghanistan, Beijing, China, Iran, Iraq, NATO, Philippines, Russia, Shanghai, South China Sea, Ukraine on May 28, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Manlio Dinucci on May 22, 2014

This article by Manlio Dinucci was published in Il Manifesto on May 20 and translated by Workers World managing editor John Catalinotto from Italian.

While NATO convenes its 28 defense ministers in Brussels on May 21 to strengthen its forces to confront Russia, which includes improving the training of Kiev’s military and paramilitary forces (including squads that have attempted the murder of the secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party), and the European Union adopts new sanctions against Russia, this aggression is being answered not from Moscow but from far-away Beijing.

President Putin begins his official visit to China on May 21, during which the two countries will sign 30 bilateral agreements, whose first effect will be to neutralize Washington’s plan aimed at “isolating Putin’s Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world.”

The agreements’ scope is strategic. A contract worth $270 billion between the Russian state company Rosneft and China’s National Petroleum Company provides that Russia will supply more than 700 million tons of oil to China over the next 25 years. Another contract provides that the Russian state company Gazprom will supply 38 billion cubic meters of gas per year to China by 2018, or about a quarter of what it provides today to Europe.

The Chinese plan investments amounting to $20 billion, concentrated in infrastructure. Moscow plans to strengthen the pipeline between eastern Siberia and the Pacific, joining it to a 2,500-mile pipeline to supply China. Beijing is also interested in making investments in the Crimea, in particular for the production and export of liquefied natural gas, and for the modernization of agriculture and the construction of a cereal terminal.

At the same time, Moscow and Beijing are planning to abandon the dollar as the currency for trade in the Asian region. And Russia is planning its own payment system, modeled on China’s “Union Pay,” whose credit cards can be used in more than 140 countries, ranking it second in the world after Visa.

Russian-Chinese cooperation will not be limited to the economic arena. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, according to diplomatic sources, will make a “substantial declaration” on the international situation.

Their convergence on strategic interests will be exemplified by a strategic joint exercise that navies of the two countries plan to carry out in the South China Sea, taking place just after a large U.S. air and naval exercise in the Philippines. And a military agreement under which Moscow will supply Beijing with the multirole fighter Sukhoi Su-35, Lada class submarines and the most advanced S-400 missile defense systems has practically been concluded.

To emphasize the convergence of interests between Moscow and Beijing, Putin is speaking at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which will be chaired by Xi Jinping, to be held in Shanghai on May 20-21 with the participation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. That’s a slap in the face for the United States, which, after having spent $6 trillion in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now sees China increasing its economic presence in these countries.

China is buying about half of the oil produced in Iraq and is making large investments in the oil industry; in Afghanistan, China is investing primarily in mining, after Pentagon geologists discovered rich deposits of lithium, cobalt, gold and other metals. And, by opening outlets for Iran to the east, Russia and China effectively nullify the embargo carried out by the U.S. and the EU.

It’s not going any better for Washington on the western front. The possibility, proposed by the Obama administration, of reducing within a decade the gas furnished by Russia to Europe by more than 25 percent and replacing it with liquefied natural gas supplied by the United States, is proving to be a bluff. This is confirmed by the fact that, despite the sanctions announced by Berlin, German companies continue to invest in the Russian energy industry — the RMA Pipeline Equipment, a manufacturer of valves for oil and gas pipelines, is opening its largest facility in the Volga region. And Gazprom has already signed all the contracts, including one for $2.75 billion, with the Italian company Saipem (Eni) for the implementation of the South Stream gas pipeline that, bypassing Ukraine, will bring Russian gas via the Black Sea up to Bulgaria and from there into the EU.

Even if the U.S. were able to block the South Stream, Russia could divert the gas to China. From now on, the “East Stream” is open.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/05/22/russia-china-strategic-accords-view/

Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

US military basing deal in the Philippines: A step towards neocolonial rule [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, China, China-US relations, Encirclement of China, George W. Bush, Iraq, Neo-colonialism, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, South China Sea, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on May 27, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

17 May 2014

The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between Washington and Manila, signed on April 28, starkly exposes the reactionary character of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia.” As US imperialism sets out to militarily encircle and isolate China, posing the risk of global war, it is seeking to impose neocolonial rule on oppressed countries throughout Asia.

The EDCA’s ten pages effectively convert the Philippines, a former US colony, into a US military base, under a legal framework virtually indistinguishable from the neocolonial decrees Washington imposed during hated wars in US-occupied Iraq or Afghanistan. This deal was prepared behind the backs of the US and Filipino working class, by the Obama administration and the corrupt regime of President Benigno Aquino III.

The deal grants to the United States exclusive use of an undisclosed number of “agreed locations,” for which no rent shall be paid and on which the Pentagon can base an unlimited number of forces. US forces and contractors in the country are not subject to Philippine law, having extraterritorial immunity from local jurisdiction. Only one designated Filipino will be allowed access to US bases in the country, and that only after he has obtained permission from US forces.

The ten-year deal renews automatically, and the Philippine judiciary and other branches of government are explicitly prohibited by Article XI of the document from reviewing any disputes pertaining to the EDCA.

In content and in form, the EDCA is a reactionary and illegal document. It does an end run around the Philippine Senate, which is constitutionally required to authorize any foreign troops or bases in the country, presenting the deal as an agreement between the Pentagon and the Philippine military. The semblance of independent Philippine partnership in the deal is a political fiction: the Philippine military was created by the United States during its fifty-year colonial rule, and much of the current top brass was trained at the US Military Academy at West Point.

The formulation of the EDCA and its adoption by Washington and Manila without any significant protest is a warning to the international working class.

The move to establish US neocolonial rule in the Middle East, which under the presidency of George W. Bush took the form of the invasion of Iraq, was not an aberration, but an expression of the world strategy of the American ruling class. Looking to shore up its eroded position within the world economy, Washington is bent on militarily controlling the world. Under Obama, the Democratic Party has taken up the neocolonial policy of the Bush administration and expanded it into a drive for domination over all of Eurasia…

…The EDCA and the Obama administration rely on petty-bourgeois “left” groups on both sides of the Pacific. While groups in the United States such as the International Socialist Organization function as thinly-veiled propagandists for Obama’s foreign policy, the Philippine Maoists have worked up noxious anti-Chinese hysteria that serves to justify Manila’s collaboration with the “pivot to Asia.”

They feed off the broader atmosphere stoked by the Philippine press, which publishes headlines alleging invasions by Beijing of Philippine territory in the South China Sea on a weekly basis…

Joseph Santolan

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/05/17/pers-m17.html