Archive for the UNSC Category

War Propaganda in Ukraine – The Big Lie and lots of little lies [Workers World]

Posted in Black propaganda, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, EU, European Union, Fascism, FBI, Iraq, Media cover-up, Media smear campaign, Mercenaries / "contractors", NATO, Nazism, Pentagon, Pew Research Center, Psychological warfare, Russia, State Department, Ukraine, UNSC, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Yugoslavia - former FRY on May 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Sara Flounders

May 7, 2014

The U.S. corporate media are in lock step lying and distorting the events in Ukraine. These are many little lies leading to another version of the Big Lie, as explained by Nazi Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels and used to justify U.S. aggression from Vietnam to Iraq and Libya.

The good news is that despite all the lies about Ukraine, every opinion poll shows the U.S. population wants no active involvement there.

Every news feed and articles on Ukraine here are saturated with references to “Russian dominance,” “Russian schemes” and “Russian operatives.” Those who resist the illegal Kiev coup regime might be called “forces,” “terrorists,” “separatists,” “militias” or “saboteurs,” but always with the adjective “pro-Russian” or “Russian-speaking.” They confront “Ukrainian soldiers seeking the unity of Ukraine.”

In news articles, commentators and politicians will use these terms often 10 times or more, even though all the resistance fighters are Ukrainian citizens and many have ethnic Ukrainian names. It is no accident that the media characterize workers who have lived for generations in Ukraine this way.

This ploy is accompanied by massive corporate media demonization of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is called “scheming,” “domineering,” “secretive,” “authoritarian,” “manipulative,” “two-faced,” “overbearing,” and on down the thesaurus list of pejoratives. Pundits call Putin “solely responsible for the crisis” and demand he end it by submitting to Washington’s demands that Ukraine sign the Association Agreement and join the European Union and NATO.

They also want Putin to disarm the eastern Ukraine’s popular resistance to the fascist gangs that just burned 40 people to death in Odessa.

The Kiev coup regime — a completely illegal right-wing grouping that overturned the elected government to seize power in Ukraine — is neutrally described as the “Kiev government” or “Ukrainian government.” The corporate media call the fascist Right Sector and other neo-Nazi forces running this regime’s police and army, “government officials.”

These “officials” meet other officials in the White House, with the United Nations Security Council and with the EU to agree to austerity without the media challenging their legitimacy.

Every U.S. official who discusses the danger of Russian troop movement — within Russia — gets air time. Little to nothing is even reported of U.S. destroyers deploying in the Black Sea, NATO troop deployments eastward, jets and missile bases in eight countries encircling Russia or scheduled “U.S./NATO war games” in the region.

NATO’s expansion of military bases and interlocking U.S. dominated military commands with 28 NATO countries have been relabeled as a Russian campaign to expand its borders.

There are repeated warnings, without proof, about secret Russian agents, but little about CIA head Brennan’s visit to Kiev or the FBI agents and military advisers there.

= Past Lies =

U.S. imperialism has the world’s most powerful media, aimed during the buildup to war to saturate popular consciousness with justification for coming criminal actions. The challenge for corporate power in every war is that it must always hide with a saturation of slanders and non-facts repeated relentlessly this basic reality: Its endless wars are for profits, and the conquest and control of markets and resources.

The corporate media’s role is to set the terms of debate by using an unrelenting bias and a conscious distortion of even well-recognized facts, thus laying the ground for a fraudulent war provocation…

= Majority in U.S. oppose war =

This time the lie campaign is failing. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who sold the murderous Iraq sanctions and the bombing of Yugoslavia, criticized the U.S. corporate media for this failure to sell the conflict with Russia.

On April 30, she told an audience at the militarist, neocon think tank of “foreign policy and business leaders” called the Atlantic Council, “There is not enough of an explanation to the American people as to how important it is to deal firmly with Russia’s attacks on Ukraine. … I am very troubled by today’s poll published by the Wall Street Journal,” which confirms other surveys showing that “Americans want to worry about themselves” so that fewer than one-fifth of the U.S. population want more active U.S. “engagement in Ukraine.”

A USA Today/Pew Research Center Poll released on April 28 reported that the U.S. population opposed by more than 2 to 1 the idea of sending arms or military supplies to the Ukrainian government “to bolster its defenses against Russian forces.” So even with the most twisted, inaccurate and loaded wording on this poll, the best spin the media could put on these figures was that half the population would support economic sanctions.

The slipping position of U.S. imperialism and the growing hardships faced at home do not mean less media war propaganda, but more likely expanding it to a “Big Lie” to prepare for a serious war provocation.

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/05/07/war-propaganda-ukraine-big-lie-lots-little-lies/

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

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Anti-Empire Report #127: “Barack Obama – Indoctrinating a new generation with Washington’s lies” [Williamblum.org]

Posted in DU Depleted Uranium weapons, Genocide, George W. Bush, Historical myths of the US, Iraq, Kosovo, NATO, Nelson Mandela, Obama, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, State Department, Ukraine, UNSC, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes, Yugoslavia - former FRY on April 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

‘Indoctrinating a new generation’

by William Blum

April 7, 2014

Is there anyone out there who still believes that Barack Obama, when he’s speaking about American foreign policy, is capable of being anything like an honest man? In a March 26 talk in Belgium to “European youth”, the president fed his audience one falsehood, half-truth, blatant omission, or hypocrisy after another. If George W. Bush had made some of these statements, Obama supporters would not hesitate to shake their head, roll their eyes, or smirk. Here’s a sample:

– “In defending its actions, Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent – an example they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country, just as they’re doing now. But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years.”

Most people who follow such things are convinced that the 1999 US/NATO bombing of the Serbian province of Kosovo took place only after the Serbian-forced deportation of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo was well underway; which is to say that the bombing was launched to stop this “ethnic cleansing”. In actuality, the systematic deportations of large numbers of people did not begin until a few days after the bombing began, and was clearly a reaction to it, born of Serbia’s extreme anger and powerlessness over the bombing. This is easily verified by looking at a daily newspaper for the few days before the bombing began the night of March 23/24, 1999, and the few days following. Or simply look at the New York Times of March 26, page 1, which reads:

… with the NATO bombing already begun, a deepening sense of fear took hold in Pristina [the main city of Kosovo] that the Serbs would NOW vent their rage against ethnic Albanian civilians in retaliation. [emphasis added]

On March 27, we find the first reference to a “forced march” or anything of that nature.

But the propaganda version is already set in marble.

– “And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized, not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. one of that even came close to happening in Crimea.”

None of that even came close to happening in Kosovo either. The story is false. The referendum the president speaks of never happened. Did the mainstream media pick up on this or on the previous example? If any reader comes across such I’d appreciate being informed.

Crimea, by the way, did have a referendum. A real one.

– “Workers and engineers gave life to the Marshall Plan … As the Iron Curtain fell here in Europe, the iron fist of apartheid was unclenched, and Nelson Mandela emerged upright, proud, from prison to lead a multiracial democracy. Latin American nations rejected dictatorship and built new democracies … “

The president might have mentioned that the main beneficiary of the Marshall Plan was US corporations 1, that the United States played an indispensable role in Mandela being caught and imprisoned, and that virtually all the Latin American dictatorships owed their very existence to Washington. Instead, the European youth were fed the same party line that their parents were fed, as were all Americans.

– “Yes, we believe in democracy – with elections that are free and fair.”

In this talk, the main purpose of which was to lambaste the Russians for their actions concerning Ukraine, there was no mention that the government overthrown in that country with the clear support of the United States had been democratically elected.

– “Moreover, Russia has pointed to America’s decision to go into Iraq as an example of Western hypocrisy. … But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people and a fully sovereign Iraqi state that could make decisions about its own future.”

The US did not get UN Security Council approval for its invasion, the only approval that could legitimize the action. It occupied Iraq from one end of the country to the other for 8 years, forcing the government to privatize the oil industry and accept multinational – largely U.S.-based, oil companies’ – ownership. This endeavor was less than successful because of the violence unleashed by the invasion. The US military finally was forced to leave because the Iraqi government refused to give immunity to American soldiers for their many crimes.

Here is a brief summary of what Barack Obama is attempting to present as America’s moral superiority to the Russians:

The modern, educated, advanced nation of Iraq was reduced to a quasi failed state … the Americans, beginning in 1991, bombed for 12 years, with one dubious excuse or another; then invaded, then occupied, overthrew the government, tortured without inhibition, killed wantonly … the people of that unhappy land lost everything – their homes, their schools, their electricity, their clean water, their environment, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their archaeology, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their state-run enterprises, their physical health, their mental health, their health care, their welfare state, their women’s rights, their religious tolerance, their safety, their security, their children, their parents, their past, their present, their future, their lives … More than half the population either dead, wounded, traumatized, in prison, internally displaced, or in foreign exile … The air, soil, water, blood, and genes drenched with depleted uranium … the most awful birth defects … unexploded cluster bombs lying in wait for children to pick them up … a river of blood running alongside the Euphrates and Tigris … through a country that may never be put back together again. … “It is a common refrain among war-weary Iraqis that things were better before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003,” reported the Washington Post. (May 5, 2007)

How can all these mistakes, such arrogance, hypocrisy and absurdity find their way into a single international speech by the president of the United States? Is the White House budget not sufficient to hire a decent fact checker? Someone with an intellect and a social conscience? Or does the desire to score propaganda points trump everything else? Is this another symptom of the Banana-Republicization of America?..

Full text of Anti-Empire Report #127, with notes: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/127

U.S. bombing of Serbia, after 15 years [Workers World]

Posted in Fascism, GDR / East Germany, Germany, International Action Center, Kosovo, NATO, Pentagon, Serbia, UNSC, Wall Street, Yugoslavia - former FRY on March 29, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 25, 2014

by Sara Flounders

The following statement was issued March 24 by the International Action Center in advance of a demonstration outside the United Nations in New York set for 5 p.m. on the same day. It was 15 years ago on this day that the United States began bombing Serbia in its quest to break up Yugoslavia and further expand NATO. The demonstration will demand recognition of Kosovo as part of Serbia and U.S./NATO hands off the Balkans, Ukraine and Russia.

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On the 15th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Serbia, and as new, even more ominous dangers arise in Ukraine and Crimea, it is important to remember history.

Wall Street dominates peoples through the destructive strategy of “divide and rule.” In the Balkans and in Eastern Europe this has meant policies aimed at breaking solidarity among different nationalities and religions by imposing sanctions and economic destabilization and by funding right-wing and fascist organizations and granting immediate recognition to their regimes.

It was U.S. and European Union criminal policy that broke the Yugoslav Federation into six unstable, impoverished micro-states. They executed this crime by bombing Bosnia in 1994 and carrying out a 78-day bombing in 1999 of Serbia, especially the Serbian province of Kosovo. These wars aimed at expanding the U.S.-commanded NATO alliance into the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics.

Despite U.S. and German commitments to the former Soviet Union not to expand NATO one inch further if Soviet troops were withdrawn from East Germany, NATO has now expanded to 12 countries in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and former Soviet Republics.

After the massive destruction of schools, hospitals, industries and communication in Yugoslavia in 1999, Washington still agreed, in the imposed ceasefire and in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, that Kosovo is historically part of Serbia and would remain an autonomous part of sovereign Serbia, although under U.S./NATO occupation and administration. In 2008, in violation of this signed U.N. agreement, the U.S. recognized the puppet government it had set up and that government’s illegal declaration of independence for Kosovo. The overwhelming majority of the people of Serbia of all nationalities opposed this theft of Kosovo by NATO. They continue to raise the slogan: “Kosovo is Serbia.”

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/03/25/u-s-bombing-serbia-15-years/

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

Obama pushes war on Syria with new tactic [Workers World]

Posted in Bill Clinton, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, CIA, France, Germany, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lenin, Media smear campaign, NATO, Obama, Pentagon, Russia, Sarkozy, Syria, Tony Blair, U.K., UNSC, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Zionism on September 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Fred Goldstein
Sept. 9, 2013

* Another step to war *

On Sept. 3, Republican senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, brokers for the Pentagon hawks, met with President Obama and came away saying that they now support plans for missile strikes against Syria. Graham said the attacks were going to be “a little more robust” than he had thought. There was talk of attacks on Syrian aircraft, artillery and rockets, and assurances from Obama that the attacks would be aimed at “shifting the momentum on the battlefield.” McCain called the meeting “encouraging” and said it would be “catastrophic” not to support the strikes.

This message signifies a convergence between the Obama administration and the aggressive militarists in the Pentagon and the ruling class. It is another dangerous step toward a military adventure.

+ Mass skepticism +

Sept. 2 — President Barack Obama and his administration are demanding that Congress underwrite a military adventure that will bring death and destruction to the Syrian masses, despite all the smooth, sanitizing phrases about so-called precision cruise missile “surgical strikes,” “limited targets,” and “deter and degrade.”

The intended attack on Syria holds the potential to trigger a much wider conflict, which will bring suffering and hardship not only to the people of the Middle East but to the workers and the oppressed in the U.S.

The whole world expected Obama to announce missile strikes on Syria on Aug. 31. But at the last minute he decided to opt for the tactic of dragging Congress into an endorsement intended to legitimize an act of imperialist aggression that has already been decided upon.

The fact that his move to take it to Congress has become controversial is a measure of the degree to which the Pentagon and previous presidents have obliterated constitutional legality, which says clearly that only Congress can declare war. But in his speech, Obama did not formally surrender the right to make war without congressional authority, he only said it would produce a “stronger” mandate — if the Congress does what it is legally required to do and votes on the question.

This stratagem of pressuring Congress into becoming an open accomplice to a military strike was made necessary when the attempt to drum up support for war with a battery of lies alleging Syrian government chemical warfare “atrocities” flopped.

+ Danger signals from London +

A powerful signal of impending U.S. isolation came when the British Parliament voted against participating in the attack. The British capitalist government, which during the Iraq war was called a “U.S. poodle” by the British masses, backed away from being drawn into the U.S. military adventure.

In addition, the German imperialists distanced themselves from the adventure. NATO will not go along. The normally docile Arab League did not endorse the strikes. The U.N. Security Council would not endorse the strikes. And the ruling class in the U.S. is divided over what to do.

Only the French imperialists, the former colonial rulers of Syria with strong interests in the country, were willing to endorse the attack.

This time around, the imperialist allies are afraid of being dragged into a U.S. military adventure at a time when the working classes of the capitalist world are suffering mass unemployment, declining wages, growing poverty and inequality. The U.S. has engaged in at least three major wars in the last decade and the population knows that trillions of dollars have been spent on these military adventures. Yet austerity for the workers is deepening as the criminal bankers and bosses pile up record profits and incomes.

Still in the minds of the masses are images of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell standing before the United Nations on Feb. 5, 2003, pointing to charts, reports and satellite photos that allegedly proved the existence of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. They also haunt the minds of bourgeois politicians, like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose reputations and/or careers were ruined because they hitched themselves to the fraudulent deceptions of the U.S. imperialist establishment. Ten more years of war followed the Powell speech.

Flash forward to today. The allies all know that U.S. charges defy all logic and they fear future exposure. The Syrian government would not gas its own people — right in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus — at the very moment that it welcomed U.N. inspectors on to the site of the alleged attack. Nor would it resort to such weapons at the moment when it is making military progress against the counterrevolutionary forces.

In the struggle for world support, it would be suicidal for the government in Damascus to risk alienating world opinion by carrying out such an act. No one in the Middle East, except for the puppet governments of the Arab League and other allies of U.S. imperialism, even pretends to believe it.

The only ones to benefit from such an act, if it took place, would be Washington, which has long planned to overthrow the government in Damascus and now feels it necessary to carry out direct military aggression, after all else failed.

+ Masses suffering from ‘intervention fatigue’ +

The Wall Street Journal of Sept. 2 aptly quoted James Lindsay, a former Clinton administration official: “The public has a clear case of intervention fatigue after 12 years of engagement overseas, the longest stretch in U.S. history.”

In fact, a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken the week that all the horrific reports of alleged Syrian atrocities were headlined in the capitalist media said that only 9 percent of respondents were for military intervention.

Rumors about a difficult upcoming vote for the strikes in Congress are being attributed to partisanship, factionalism, etc. But politics aside, in spite of the pressure for war, the politicians still need to get elected and many may not want to be tied to another disastrous military adventure.

For the anti-imperialist movement, the most significant political development to emerge from this crisis is this: The material basis of popular support for imperialist war has been eroded by previous wars and by the devastating global economic crisis.

This greatly strengthens the long-term prospects for mobilizing the masses against the Pentagon’s adventures, in Syria or elsewhere. The hawks in the Pentagon are moving in the opposite direction than the masses of people, and a clash is inevitable.

+ ‘Chemical weapons’ frame-up long in making +

There is a tendency in the capitalist media to call Obama inept for getting the U.S. into a bind. The fact is that the foundation of this crisis was laid back in March 2011, when Washington decided to foment an anti-government opposition in Syria with the aim of overthrowing the sovereign government of Bashar al-Assad.

In August 2011, after consultations at the highest level, with the hawkish secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, playing a leading role, Obama announced that President Assad had to go. In quick succession, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nikolas Sarkozy and German President Angela Merkel followed suit, calling for Assad to step down.

This was a definitive signal that U.S. imperialism intended to go all the way with “regime change” in Syria.

Washington and the Pentagon undoubtedly thought this was going to be easily achieved. But exactly one year after saying Assad must go, the government in Damascus was still there and fighting off the imperialist-sponsored counterrevolutionaries as well as the al-Nusra jihadists.

Thus, on Aug. 20, 2011, the Obama administration rolled out the “chemical weapons” frame-up plan. Obama, based on nothing, announced out of the blue that if Damascus used chemical weapons, it would have crossed a “red line” and changed his “calculus.” Such warnings and subsequent lies about the use of chemical weapons were repeated over and over by the administration and in the capitalist media, laying the groundwork for this latest frame-up.

What triggered this talk of chemical weapons was the military progress that the Assad forces were making against the reactionary forces, who were also suffering splits on the ground. This frame-up was prepared long in advance, and it is part of a larger goal of destroying the government of Syria.

+ War against Syria as preparation for wider war +

But the war against Syria and the preparation for intervention must be seen as part of a broader Pentagon strategy. Syria is the front line of a de facto alliance of the forces of resistance to imperialism in the Middle East, including Hezbollah and Iran.

Many hawks in the Pentagon and in the capitalist government have wanted to attack Iran ever since it announced its nuclear program. Hezbollah delivered a defeat to the Israeli Zionist state and has played a key role in helping the Syrian government take back territory from the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” which is an instrument of the Pentagon and the CIA.

Russia has supported Syria diplomatically and militarily. Furthermore, Syria is Russia’s primary ally in the Middle East and, with Iran, one of only two countries in the region where Russian warships can dock. This relationship goes back to the days of the USSR and has been continued by the present reactionary capitalist leaders of Russia on a pragmatic basis since the overthrow of the Soviet Union.

In addition to supporting Syria, Russia, in defiance of Washington, has given refuge to Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the global spy network of the National Security Agency. In addition, President Vladimir Putin has been persecuting pro-U.S. businessmen and politicians in Russia. There has also been antagonism over the U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems and other issues.

On different levels, the war against Syria is both a war and an opener for a wider war, a proxy war against Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. The aim is to overthrow the Syrian government, break up the nexus of resistance which centers on Damascus, set up a regime that would threaten Hezbollah, close down Russia’s naval facility and port privileges, and drive the Russians out of the country. And this could set the stage for U.S. aggression against Iran.

This is the broader geopolitics of the struggle against Syria.

+ Syria and post-Soviet era of ‘reconquest’ +

This broader struggle must be understood in terms of the nature of imperialism. It is a permanently aggressive, war-like and expansionary system, as Vladimir Lenin described in his classic work, “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,” written in 1916.

Syria is one of a number of countries that achieved independence and were able to partially or fully break with imperialism during the Soviet era. With all its contradictions, the Soviet Union was an alternative socialist system that was antagonistic to imperialism and gave varying degrees of economic, political and military support and protection to oppressed countries struggling for independence. The very existence of the USSR made it possible for hundreds of millions of people to break with imperialism.

The collapse of the USSR set the stage for the imperialists to try to take back all the territory and influence that they had lost during the three-quarters of a century marking the Soviet era.

The post-Soviet era has been the era of reconquest. This is what has driven imperialist war and intervention since the collapse of the USSR and Eastern Europe — just as the Cold War and the struggle between the two antagonistic social systems drove imperialist war and militarism after World II. And it was the struggle among the imperialist powers for domination of the globe that drove the two world wars in the first half of the 20th century.

This is what accounts for the wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, the permanent threats to Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and now the war against Syria.

+ Capitalist politics as the art of deception +

Capitalist politics is the art of deception and, above all, deceiving the masses. W hen the decision to go to war approaches, the level of deception reaches staggering heights.

No one should be deceived for a moment by the lies told by Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the entire capitalist media, which are beginning to march in lock step towards war.

Every word uttered by the administration is designed to conceal its predatory aims. The claim that cruise missile strikes — launching powerful warheads that can cause massive destruction — is not aimed at “regime change” is a complete falsehood. That is the fundamental U.S. government goal and has been since March 2011, when the counterrevolutionary campaign began.

Minimally, the strikes are aimed at helping the U.S.-supported forces on the ground regain the military initiative they have lost to government forces. Strikes would also be aimed at pushing back al-Nusra. But the main aim of regaining the military initiative is the overthrow of the Assad government, pure and simple — i.e., “regime change.” Washington has to deny this.

A time-tested part of capitalist pre-war deception is the attempt to create war fever by framing up the intended target of aggression as the aggressor. This “aggressor” invariably then carries out “atrocities,” possesses “weapons of mass destruction” or commits other acts that require imperialism to wage war.

Before or during every war since the invasion of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines in 1898, down to the Gulf of Tonkin frame-up of the Vietnamese in 1964 that resulted in the deployment of 500,000 troops to Vietnam, to the wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya, the victims of U.S. aggression have been put in the dock by the politicians and propagandists of the war machine.

But they haven’t succeeded this time around. The attempt to drum up international and domestic war fever to get approval for an attack on Syria has fallen flat. Washington has been growing more and more isolated.

Whatever the immediate outcome of the vote in Congress, and whether the strikes are carried out as planned, Washington and the Pentagon will not give up their designs on ruling the entire Middle East.

Nor will the system change its nature. Under imperialism, periods of peace are only interludes between wars. And the last two decades, since the collapse of the USSR, have been a period of perpetual war and intervention.

The only way to stop war is to destroy imperialism root and branch and the monopoly capitalist system on which it rests.

Fred Goldstein is the author of “Low-Wage Capitalism” and “Capitalism at a Dead End,” which has been translated into Spanish as “El capitalismo en un callejón sin salida.”

Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

US Misrepresents its Role in Korean War and in Armistice Agreement as UN Command [Netizen blog]

Posted in DPR Korea, Korean War, south Korea, UNSC, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on July 13, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Rhonda Hauben

June 26, 2013

July 27 of this year will be an important anniversary. It will be the 60th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement which provided the means to end the hostilities of the Korean War.

The armistice was recognized as a temporary means to stop the military action. It included a recommendation that it be followed by a political conference three months later to hammer out a political agreement which would serve as a peace treaty ending the Korean war.

The political conference has never been held. And no means has yet been created to settle the unresolved issues of the Korean War.

At the UN on Friday, June 21, the permanent mission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), more commonly known as North Korea, held a press conference. (1) Sin Son Ho, DPRK’s Ambassador to the United Nations, presented journalists with a statement outlining the background of a serious problem remaining from the Korean War, a problem that needs to be resolved if the tension on the Korean Peninsula is not to escalate.

He documented how the United States, without any authority from the United Nations, changed the name of the Unified Command it was to direct, to the name ‘UN Command’. This change falsifies the nature of the US role in the Korean War and in the Armistice, making it appear that the US is acting under the authority of the United Nations. The decisions made by what is called the ‘UN Command’ are made by the US. The US is not acting as a subsidiary or representative of the UN when it acts under the name of the “UN Command”. Yet the false appearance given is that the US is acting under the authority of the UN.

The DPRK Ambassador explained how this misrepresentation was accomplished by the US in July 1950. On July 7, a Security Council Resolution (SC 84, 1950) was passed putting the US as the head of what was called in the resolution the Unified Command, but with no oversight obligations by the UN for the actions of the US. On July 25, 1950 the US submitted a report to the Security Council in which it replaced the name Unified Command with the name ‘UN Command’.

Subsequently, the US uses the designation UN Command despite the fact that this creates a false impression that there is a role played by the UN in Korean Armistice activities. The US even uses UN Command as its designation in the actual Armistice Agreement.

The DPRK has at various times tried to get the US to drop its misleading use of the title UN Command. In November 1975, Resolution 3390 (XXX) B was passed by the UN General Assembly calling for negotiations between the relevant parties so that the US would no longer use the misleading designation ‘UN Command’ to represent the US military role. The US has not fulfilled on the obligation to carry out these negotiations. Instead the US at the time argued that changing its designation as the UN Command would affect the oversight provisions provided for in the Armistice Agreement.

Subsequently, the DPRK points out that in the 60 years since the Armistice Agreement was signed, any oversight provisions it may have included no longer exist and the actual decisions regarding the agreement currently are made through negotiations between the Korean People’s Army (KPA) and the US military authority.

In view of the facts, Ambassador Sin said, the existence of the UN Command is an “anachronism.” Instead of agreeing to dissolve it, however, he explained, the US is projecting that it can serve as a “multinational force command” which would constitute the “matrix of an Asian version of NATO.”

Two former UN Secretary Generals have spoken out against the continuing use by the US military of the name ‘UN Command’. Ambassador Sin noted that both Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan have gone on record confirming that there is no UN military activity related to the US claim that it is the UN Command.

At the June 21 noon press briefing by the Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a question was raised asking for Ban Ki moon’s views on the issue. The journalist asked(2):

“As I am sure you know, just now, Sin Son Ho, the Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, held a press conference in which he said he called for the dismantling of the “UN Command” uh, in South Korea, and he said it is not really a UN body at all, and quoted Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan to that effect. So what I wonder is as, as, the office of the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, as the head of the UN system, has, does he, what is his position on the legal status in terms of the UN of the ‘UN Command’? And separately, does he have any, what…would be, what’s his response to a call to, to dismantle this entity?”

In apparent agreement with the DPRK, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary General, Eduardo del Buey responded:

“But the United Nations has never had any role in the command of any armed forces deployed in the Korean peninsula. In particular, the United Nations did not at any time have any role in the command of the forces that operated in Korea under the Unified Command between 1950 and 1953.”

In response, to the part of the question relating to Ban Ki-moon’s view on the US representing itself as the UN Command, the Deputy Spokesperson promised a future reply. He noted that:

“Well, first of all, as you know, the Secretary-General is just getting off the plane from China now, so he is going to be reading the transcript of the statement by the Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and we’ll have something later on to say.”

To an email asking for further clarification of the Secretary General’s view about the DPRK’s call for the dissolution of the ‘UN Command’, the Deputy Spokesperson answered by referring to the Secretary General’s view that with respect to an issue related to the Armistice Agreement(3):

“This is a matter for the parties to the Agreement. The United Nations is not party to the Armistice Agreement.”

Does this mean Ban Ki-moon believes that the misuse of the UN name by the US is an issue to be solved by the parties to the Armistice Agreement, and is not a concern for the UN?

In his press briefing Ambassador Sin said that if the US did not dissolve the UN Command, the DPRK is considering once again pursuing this issue at the UN General Assembly, which in November 1975 had already urged the US to dissolve the UN Command (See 3390(XXX)B 1975).

Ambassador Sin explained that “due to the existence of the ‘UN Command’, the security mechanism on the Korean peninsula has become war-oriented not peace-oriented.”

“In other words,” he elaborated, “the existence of the ‘UN Command’ is not serving the peace building efforts on the Korean peninsula. On the contrary, it is the root of evil or tumor laying a stepping stone for the US armed forces of aggression toward the DPRK and the realization of the America’s Pivot to Asia strategy.”

Ambassador Sin proposed that “If the United States has real intention to put an end to hostile relation with the DPRK, it should make the right decision to dissolve the ‘UN Command’ and replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace regime as proposed by the DPRK this year when we mark the 60th year since the Armistice Agreement was signed.”

Article link, with footnotes: http://blogs.taz.de/netizenblog/2013/06/26/us-misrepresents-its-role-as-un-command/

The Anti-Empire Report #118 by William Blum – “Eavesdropping on the Planet” [WilliamBlum.org]

Posted in Anti-communism, Australia, Canada, CIA, EU, European Union, FBI, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Libya, National Security Agency / NSA, New Zealand, NSA, Pentagon, U.K., UNSC, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Yugoslavia - former FRY on July 6, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

June 26, 2013

…Eavesdropping on the planet

The above is the title of an essay that I wrote in 2000 that appeared as a chapter in my book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower. Here are some excerpts that may help to put the current revelations surrounding Edward Snowden into perspective …

Can people in the 21st century imagine a greater invasion of privacy on all of earth, in all of history? If so, they merely have to wait for technology to catch up with their imagination.

Like a mammoth vacuum cleaner in the sky, the National Security Agency (NSA) sucks it all up: home phone, office phone, cellular phone, email, fax, telex … satellite transmissions, fiber-optic communications traffic, microwave links … voice, text, images … captured by satellites continuously orbiting the earth, then processed by high-powered computers … if it runs on electromagnetic energy, NSA is there, with high high tech. Twenty-four hours a day. Perhaps billions of messages sucked up each day. No one escapes. Not presidents, prime ministers, the UN Secretary-General, the pope, the Queen of England, embassies, transnational corporation CEOs, friend, foe, your Aunt Lena … if God has a phone, it’s being monitored … maybe your dog isn’t being tapped. The oceans will not protect you. American submarines have been attaching tapping pods to deep underwater cables for decades.

Under a system codenamed ECHELON, launched in the 1970s, the NSA and its junior partners in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada operate a network of massive, highly automated interception stations, covering the globe amongst them. Any of the partners can ask any of the others to intercept its own domestic communications. It can then truthfully say it does not spy on its own citizens.

Apart from specifically-targeted individuals and institutions, the ECHELON system works by indiscriminately intercepting huge quantities of communications and using computers to identify and extract messages of interest from the mass of unwanted ones. Every intercepted message – all the embassy cables, the business deals, the sex talk, the birthday greetings – is searched for keywords, which could be anything the searchers think might be of interest. All it takes to flag a communication is for one of the parties to use a couple or so of the key words in the ECHELON “dictionary” – “He lives in a lovely old white house on Bush Street, right near me. I can shoot over there in two minutes.” Within limitations, computers can “listen” to telephone calls and recognize when keywords are spoken. Those calls are extracted and recorded separately, to be listened to in full by humans. The list of specific targets at any given time is undoubtedly wide ranging, at one point including the likes of Amnesty International and Christian Aid.

ECHELON is carried out without official acknowledgment of its existence, let alone any democratic oversight or public or legislative debate as to whether it serves a decent purpose. The extensiveness of the ECHELON global network is a product of decades of intense Cold War activity. Yet with the end of the Cold War, its budget – far from being greatly reduced – was increased, and the network has grown in both power and reach; yet another piece of evidence that the Cold War was not a battle against something called “the international communist conspiracy”.

The European Parliament in the late 1990s began to wake up to this intrusion into the continent’s affairs. The parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee commissioned a report, which appeared in 1998 and recommended a variety of measures for dealing with the increasing power of the technologies of surveillance. It bluntly advised: “The European Parliament should reject proposals from the United States for making private messages via the global communications network [Internet] accessible to US intelligence agencies.” The report denounced Britain’s role as a double-agent, spying on its own European partners.

Despite these concerns the US has continued to expand ECHELON surveillance in Europe, partly because of heightened interest in commercial espionage – to uncover industrial information that would provide American corporations with an advantage over foreign rivals.

German security experts discovered several years ago that ECHELON was engaged in heavy commercial spying in Europe. Victims included such German firms as the wind generator manufacturer Enercon. In 1998, Enercon developed what it thought was a secret invention, enabling it to generate electricity from wind power at a far cheaper rate than before. However, when the company tried to market its invention in the United States, it was confronted by its American rival, Kenetech, which announced that it had already patented a near-identical development. Kenetech then brought a court order against Enercon to ban the sale of its equipment in the US. In a rare public disclosure, an NSA employee, who refused to be named, agreed to appear in silhouette on German television to reveal how he had stolen Enercon’s secrets by tapping the telephone and computer link lines that ran between Enercon’s research laboratory and its production unit some 12 miles away. Detailed plans of the company’s invention were then passed on to Kenetech.

In 1994, Thomson S.A., located in Paris, and Airbus Industrie, based in Blagnac Cedex, France, also lost lucrative contracts, snatched away by American rivals aided by information covertly collected by NSA and CIA. The same agencies also eavesdropped on Japanese representatives during negotiations with the United States in 1995 over auto parts trade.

German industry has complained that it is in a particularly vulnerable position because the government forbids its security services from conducting similar industrial espionage. “German politicians still support the rather naive idea that political allies should not spy on each other’s businesses. The Americans and the British do not have such illusions,” said journalist Udo Ulfkotte, a specialist in European industrial espionage, in 1999.

That same year, Germany demanded that the United States recall three CIA operatives for their activities in Germany involving economic espionage. The news report stated that the Germans “have long been suspicious of the eavesdropping capabilities of the enormous U.S. radar and communications complex at Bad Aibling, near Munich”, which is in fact an NSA intercept station. “The Americans tell us it is used solely to monitor communications by potential enemies, but how can we be entirely sure that they are not picking up pieces of information that we think should remain completely secret?” asked a senior German official. Japanese officials most likely have been told a similar story by Washington about the more than a dozen signals intelligence bases which Japan has allowed to be located on its territory.

In their quest to gain access to more and more private information, the NSA, the FBI, and other components of the US national security establishment have been engaged for years in a campaign to require American telecommunications manufacturers and carriers to design their equipment and networks to optimize the authorities’ wiretapping ability. Some industry insiders say they believe that some US machines approved for export contain NSA “back doors” (also called “trap doors”).

The United States has been trying to persuade European Union countries as well to allow it “back-door” access to encryption programs, claiming that this was to serve the needs of law-enforcement agencies. However, a report released by the European Parliament in May 1999 asserted that Washington’s plans for controlling encryption software in Europe had nothing to do with law enforcement and everything to do with US industrial espionage. The NSA has also dispatched FBI agents on break-in missions to snatch code books from foreign facilities in the United States, and CIA officers to recruit foreign communications clerks abroad and buy their code secrets, according to veteran intelligence officials.

For decades, beginning in the 1950s, the Swiss company Crypto AG sold the world’s most sophisticated and secure encryption technology. The firm staked its reputation and the security concerns of its clients on its neutrality in the Cold War or any other war. The purchasing nations, some 120 of them – including prime US intelligence targets such as Iran, Iraq, Libya and Yugoslavia – confident that their communications were protected, sent messages from their capitals to their embassies, military missions, trade offices, and espionage dens around the world, via telex, radio, and fax. And all the while, because of a secret agreement between the company and NSA, these governments might as well have been hand delivering the messages to Washington, uncoded. For their Crypto AG machines had been rigged before being sold to them, so that when they used them the random encryption key could be automatically and clandestinely transmitted along with the enciphered message. NSA analysts could read the messages as easily as they could the morning newspaper.

In 1986, because of US public statements concerning the La Belle disco bombing in West Berlin, the Libyans began to suspect that something was rotten with Crypto AG’s machines and switched to another Swiss firm, Gretag Data Systems AG. But it appears that NSA had that base covered as well. In 1992, after a series of suspicious circumstances over the previous few years, Iran came to a conclusion similar to Libya’s, and arrested a Crypto AG employee who was in Iran on a business trip. He was eventually ransomed, but the incident became well known and the scam began to unravel in earnest.

In September 1999 it was revealed that NSA had arranged with Microsoft to insert special “keys” into Windows software, in all versions from 95-OSR2 onwards. An American computer scientist, Andrew Fernandez of Cryptonym in North Carolina, had disassembled parts of the Windows instruction code and found the smoking gun – Microsoft’s developers had failed to remove the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for two keys. One was called “KEY”. The other was called “NSAKEY”. F ernandez presented his finding at a conference at which some Windows developers were also in attendance. The developers did not deny that the NSA key was built into their software, but they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there without users’ knowledge. Fernandez says that NSA’s “back door” in the world’s most commonly used operating system makes it “orders of magnitude easier for the US government to access your computer.”

In February 2000, it was disclosed that the Strategic Affairs Delegation (DAS), the intelligence arm of the French Defense Ministry, had prepared a report in 1999 which also asserted that NSA had helped to install secret programs in Microsoft software. According to the DAS report, “it would seem that the creation of Microsoft was largely supported, not least financially, by the NSA, and that IBM was made to accept the [Microsoft] MS-DOS operating system by the same administration.” The report stated that there had been a “strong suspicion of a lack of security fed by insistent rumors about the existence of spy programs on Microsoft, and by the presence of NSA personnel in Bill Gates’ development teams.” The Pentagon, said the report, was Microsoft’s biggest client in the world.

Recent years have seen disclosures that in the countdown to their invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States had listened in on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, and all the members of the UN Security Council during a period when they were deliberating about what action to take in Iraq.

It’s as if the American national security establishment feels that it has an inalienable right to listen in; as if there had been a constitutional amendment, applicable to the entire world, stating that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the government to intercept the personal communications of anyone.” And the Fourth Amendment had been changed to read: “Persons shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, except in cases of national security, real or alleged…”

Excerpted; full “Anti-Empire Report #118” link here: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/118

“US Financial Sanctions Against the DPRK As the Cause of Nuclear Tests on Korean Peninsula” – China collaborates with US’ coercion against DPR Korea [Blogs.taz.de]

Posted in Black propaganda, Capitalist media double standard, China, Corporate Media Critique, CPC, DPR Korea, Korean War, Media smear campaign, Nukes, Sanctions as weapon of war, UNSC, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, World War II on April 14, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

3.4.2013

by Rhonda Hauben

A few weeks ago I was invited to comment on what I felt the change in China’s government and the Communist Party leadership will mean for the future of China and for the UN. (1) I am not an expert on China, but I have by now had the experience of observing China’s activity at the UN and particularly in the Security Council for almost seven years.

What I have observed recently, is that in some areas, like the Syrian conflict, China continues to insist on its long standing principle to support negotiations and to work toward a political settlement of the conflict. But in other areas, particularly the situation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) China has seemed to be subordinating its emphasis on the peaceful settlement of conflicts to go along with the coercive actions proposed by the US government against the DPRK. (2)

One recent example occurred when the DPRK launched a satellite in December 2012. Some members of the Security Council complained that this was a violation of a resolution forbidding the DPRK from launching a ballistic missile. Though both a satellite launch and a ballistic missile launch use a rocket to do the launch, these forms of launches are not the same.

As Professor Bruce Cumings, the noted historian on the subject of the Korean Peninsula, explained in a talk he gave at Columbia University on March 2, 2013 (3):

1. A ballistic missile needs a reentry shield
2. A ballistic missile has to have targeting on reentry
3. A ballistic missile has to have a warhead.

The satellite launch by the DPRK did not have these three characteristics. As such, the satellite launch was significantly different from a ballistic missile launch.

The DPRK submitted statements to the Security Council and to General Assembly meetings explaining that there is an international treaty recognizing all nations right to the peaceful use of space. (4) The DPRK is a signatory of that treaty. The DPRK notes that there have been many satellite launches but only their satellite launch is classified as that of the launch of a ballistic missile. This is an indication, they explain, of the hostility of the US toward the DPRK.

In this situation neither China nor any other member of the Security Council asked that the DPRK be invited to present its view of this conflict to the Security Council members as provided for in Article 31 of the UN Charter. Instead the Security Council expanded the sanctions it has imposed on the DPRK by issuing a new resolution against the DPRK, Resolution 2087( S/RES/2087(2013)), on January 22.

Instead of the members of the Security Council providing a process to engage the DPRK in negotiations, as China and other members of the Security Council had done in a few instances in the past, (5) all the members of the Security Council went along with the US government program of coercion and punishment of the DPRK.

The DPRK has explained that in response to hostile actions by the US and the use of the Security Council to support hostile action by the US, the DPRK needs to develop its nuclear defense capability. On February 12, 2013, the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test. The Security Council then issued Resolution 2094( S/Res/2094(2013)) on March 7 imposing additional sanctions on the DPRK, including a set of financial sanctions which are intended to reimpose substantial financial hardship on the DPRK. These financial sanctions are part of the focus of Resolution 2094.
These sanctions, journalists were told, were negotiated by the US and China and then accepted by the other 13 members of the Security Council. This is a process similar to that which was used in creating Resolution 2087 punishing the DPRK for launching a satellite.

There is prior experience with what the US puts forward as its use of financial sanctions against the DPRK, which has been called coercive diplomacy. It is significant to recognize that the imposition of such US financial sanctions against the DPRK preceded the first nuclear test undertaken by the DPRK. In September 2005, the US government used a little known provision of the US Patriot Act, Section 311 to blacklist a bank, the Banco Delta Asia, because the DPRK had $25 million of its funds in the bank. This resulted in the funds of this bank being frozen and the DPRK losing access to the funds in its account for two years. These financial sanctions were imposed in a such a manner that they represented a threat that any bank doing business with the DPRK would be vulnerable to similar sanctions, effectively denying the DPRK access to the international banking system. (6)

Prior to the imposition of these financial sanctions against the DPRK by the US, the DPRK had not tested any nuclear device. And it was only after the DPRK carried out a nuclear test that the US State Department became willing to negotiate about ending these financial sanctions.

So the US blacklisting of the Banco Delta Asia, an action taken by the US Treasury Department against the DPRK, was the Godfather of the DPRK’s determination to develop its nuclear capability. There are present and past US government officials, however, who erroneously claim that the Banco Delta Asia sanctions were effective in stopping the DPRK’s nuclear program.(7) The opposite is the reality. The US financial sanctions against the DPRK were one of the significant factors which the DPRK cites which convinced them of the need for a nuclear weapon as a defense against such US hostility.

Hence the financial sanctions wielded by powerful nations are the thrust to spread nuclear proliferation not a means to contain proliferation. The focus on the form of financial sanctions in Resolution 2094 demonstrates the failure of the UN Security Council to learn from past experience. The DPRK has documented how it has been the victim of a hostile policy on the part of the US since its origin as a result of the US imposed division of Korea after WWII.(8)

Over 60 years ago, the US artificially divided Korea, a nation which prior to this division had a history of over 1000 years as a single nation. After WWII, Korea was divided into two states using a US manipulated UN General Assembly process in 1948 to consolidate the division.(9) That division continues until today.

Under the Patriot Act Section 311 provision used to justify the blacklisting of the Banco Delta Asia bank, a bank in Macao, China, the US government had no obligation to present evidence to back up its claims. But in documents submitted to the US government, Stanley Au, the chief stockholder of the Banco Delta Asia, effectively demonstrated that the claims presented by the US government against his bank were fallacious.(10)

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the action taken against the Banco Delta Asia has been described in testimony presented at US government hearings, as a politically motivated action targeting China. According to one of the former government officials who helped to plan this action, the Banco Delta Asia was intended as a “symbolic target.” Describing this action at one of several hearings discussing the blacklisting of Banco Delta Asia, David Asher said (11):

“(T)here’s an old saying in Chinese, ‘You kill the chicken to scare the monkeys’. We didn’t go out and cite a multitude a Chinese financial institutions that have been publicly identified as working with North Korea over the years….We did need to designate one small one though, and that one small one sent a message to all the other ones….”

Asher explained that the purpose of the action by the US government against the Banco Delta Asia was to target North Korea and its access to the international banking system. An even more important purpose for the US government officials planning this action, he clarifies, was to issue a threat to the Chinese banking system.

The imposition of similar financial sanctions by the UN Security Council in Resolution 2094 demonstrates its surrender to US pressure to create a resolution based on illegitimate processes previously undertaken by the US government. The US government action against the Banco Delta Asia in 2005 was an early foray into creating a system of punishment that its advocates falsely claim was effective to stem proliferation. But in reality, the opposite is the case. The blacklisting of the Banco Delta Asia represented an abusive use of the international finance system against a victim nation.

Financial sanctions as imposed on nations like the DPRK not only harm that nation and its people, but they also end up creating havoc in the international financial system. The international financial system was being used as a political weapon, rather than being protected so that its integrity could be maintained.

With the US Treasury Department blacklisting the Banco Delta Asia, it was not only the DPRK that lost access to its funds, but also private bank account holders at the bank had their funds frozen.
After the US Treasury Department actions against the DPRK in 2005, only one mainstream US media organization, the McClatchy Newspapers carried stories investigating the actions by the US Treasury Department against the Banco Delta Asia. Also a blog called China Matters and several other online publications like OhmyNews International, then an English edition of the Korean online publication OhmyNews, carried articles which helped to expose the US Treasury Department’s false claims and the support of these US government actions by the mainstream US media.

The acquiescence by UN Security Council members to sanctions designed by the US against a smaller nation like the DPRK, both in 2006 when the Security Council passed Resolution 1718 condemning the DPRK, and more recently when the Security Council passed Resolution 2094 supporting similar sanctions, demonstrates the need for a vibrant watchdog media and for netizens who will monitor what is being done by the Security Council. It is important to have a netizen media that will probe what is behind the actions taken by the Security Council and what the real effects of such actions are on the peoples and nations that such sanctions target.

The example of the US blacklisting of Banco Delta Asia demonstrates that the use of financial sanctions by nuclear powers like the US against small nations like the DPRK will not stop nuclear proliferation. Instead, it will serve to convince small nations that they need a means to protect themselves against abuse by powerful countries like the US and UN Security Council actions supporting such abuse. It will also hasten efforts by other nations to create an alternative architecture to the current US dominance of the international financial and banking systems.

Full article link, including endnotes: http://blogs.taz.de/netizenblog/2013/04/03/us-sanctions-against-dprk-as-godfather-nuclear-tests/