Saturday, August 31, 2013

Obama decides to strike Syria, seeks congressional approval

Democracy and Class Struggle says Larry Wilkerson on the Real News has said Obama got to far forward in the Foxhole and has been pulling back, is this Congressional ploy a delaying tactic or strategic retreat - we will soon find out.

Communist Party of the Philippines denounces Hagel vist

The framework agreement, set to be completed in the next few weeks, will virtually bring back US basing rights, allow the US to use the Philippines as a vast military outpost, raise the number of US troops in the Philippines, and increase the frequency of US troop rotation.

By CPP Information Bureau
30 August 2013

CPP denounces Hagel visit, Aquino subservience to US government

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced the arrival in the Philippines of US Pentagon Chief Chuck Hagel “which has no other aim but to further boost the US campaign to project its power and strengthen its military foothold in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The CPP issued this statement as Hagel met with Aquino in Malacañang to further discuss the so-called framework agreement presently being forged in negotiations held in Washington.
The CPP averred that the framework agreement which is set to be completed in the next few weeks will virtually bring back US basing rights, allow the US to use the Philippines as a vast military outpost, raise the number of US troops in the Philippines and increase the frequency of US troop rotation.

“The US wants to forge an agreement similar to what it has with Singapore where the US Navy is allowed to deploy and operate resupply vessels. The US Navy is also allowed to use a naval base, a ship repair facility and an airfield. The US maintains permanent presence of US fighter jet squadrons of which are rotated a month at a time. It also uses Singapore as a logistics coordinating center for its Pacific command.

“The Filipino people must denounce and oppose the strategic framework agreement because it violates Philippine national sovereignty,” said the CPP. “They must reject claims of the US government that such arrangements do not touch on matters of sovereignty.”

“Philippine sovereignty is trampled when the US military is allowed to deploy and operate its own equipment, to have unlimited access to air and seaport facilities, operate surveillance equipment, launch and deploy military drones for intelligence and combat, dock its nuclear-capable warships and to land and launch its fighter jets and set up military command posts,” pointed out the CPP.

The CPP further asserted that Benigno Aquino III’s worsening subservience to the US imperialist government makes the establishment of an independent foreign policy even more untenable. “In particular, a peaceful resolution to the South China conflict is being made more difficult because of Aquino’s acquiescence to US dictates and interference on the matter.”

For More Background on US Military Activity in Asia visit :

Ignored Shocking Story by Dale Gavlak That Could Derail Attack on Syria

Dale Gavlak is a Middle East correspondent for Mint Press News and has reported from Amman, Jordan, writing for the Associated Press, NPR and BBC.

An expert in Middle Eastern affairs, Gavlak covers the Levant region, writing on topics including politics, social issues and economic trends.

Dale holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago.

See Also :

Hands of Syria Protest London - 31st August 2013

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Protest in Tunisia against War on Syria


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Australian Protest Against War on Syria- Melbourne 31st August 2013

See Also :

Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack

                                               The Face of Terror - Prince Bandar

This article is a collaboration between Dale Gavlak reporting for Mint Press News and Yahya Ababneh. 
Ghouta, Syria — As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week’s chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit.
Interviews with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders said at least 355 people had died last week from what it believed to be a neurotoxic agent, appear to indicate as much.
The U.S., Britain, and France as well as the Arab League have accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out the chemical weapons attack, which mainly targeted civilians. U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to launch military strikes against Syria in punishment for carrying out a massive chemical weapons attack. The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assad’s guilt was “a judgment … already clear to the world.”
However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.
“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.
Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”
Ghouta townspeople said the rebels were using mosques and private houses to sleep while storing their weapons in tunnels.
Abdel-Moneim said his son and the others died during the chemical weapons attack. That same day, the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is linked to al-Qaida, announced that it would similarly attack civilians in the Assad regime’s heartland of Latakia on Syria’s western coast, in purported retaliation.
“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K.’ “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”
“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.
A well-known rebel leader in Ghouta named ‘J’ agreed. “Jabhat al-Nusra militants do not cooperate with other rebels, except with fighting on the ground. They do not share secret information. They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” ‘J’ said.
Doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers to be careful about asking questions regarding who, exactly, was responsible for the deadly assault.
The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders added that health workers aiding 3,600 patients also reported experiencing similar symptoms, including frothing at the mouth, respiratory distress, convulsions and blurry vision. The group has not been able to independently verify the information.
More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government.

Saudi involvement

In a recent article for Business Insider, reporter Geoffrey Ingersoll highlighted Saudi Prince Bandar’s role in the two-and-a-half year Syrian civil war. Many observers believe Bandar, with his close ties to Washington, has been at the very heart of the push for war by the U.S. against Assad.
Ingersoll referred to an article in the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks alleging that Bandar offered Russian President Vladimir Putin cheap oil in exchange for dumping Assad.
“Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” Ingersoll wrote.
“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Bandar allegedly told the Russians.
“Along with Saudi officials, the U.S. allegedly gave the Saudi intelligence chief the thumbs up to conduct these talks with Russia, which comes as no surprise,” Ingersoll wrote.
“Bandar is American-educated, both military and collegiate, served as a highly influential Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., and the CIA totally loves this guy,” he added.
According to U.K.’s Independent newspaper, it was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first brought allegations of the use of sarin gas by the regime to the attention of Western allies in February.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the CIA realized Saudi Arabia was “serious” about toppling Assad when the Saudi king named Prince Bandar to lead the effort.
“They believed that Prince Bandar, a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world, could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and, as one U.S. diplomat put it, wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout,” it said.
Bandar has been advancing Saudi Arabia’s top foreign policy goal, WSJ reported, of defeating Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies.
To that aim, Bandar worked Washington to back a program to arm and train rebels out of a planned military base in Jordan.
The newspaper reports that he met with the “uneasy Jordanians about such a base”:
His meetings in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah sometimes ran to eight hours in a single sitting. “The king would joke: ‘Oh, Bandar’s coming again? Let’s clear two days for the meeting,’ ” said a person familiar with the meetings.
Jordan’s financial dependence on Saudi Arabia may have given the Saudis strong leverage. An operations center in Jordan started going online in the summer of 2012, including an airstrip and warehouses for arms. Saudi-procured AK-47s and ammunition arrived, WSJ reported, citing Arab officials.
Although Saudi Arabia has officially maintained that it supported more moderate rebels, the newspaper reported that “funds and arms were being funneled to radicals on the side, simply to counter the influence of rival Islamists backed by Qatar.”
But rebels interviewed said Prince Bandar is referred to as “al-Habib” or ‘the lover’ by al-Qaida militants fighting in Syria.
Peter Oborne, writing in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, has issued a word of caution about Washington’s rush to punish the Assad regime with so-called ‘limited’ strikes not meant to overthrow the Syrian leader but diminish his capacity to use chemical weapons:
Consider this: the only beneficiaries from the atrocity were the rebels, previously losing the war, who now have Britain and America ready to intervene on their side. While there seems to be little doubt that chemical weapons were used, there is doubt about who deployed them.

It is important to remember that Assad has been accused of using poison gas against civilians before. But on that occasion, Carla del Ponte, a U.N. commissioner on Syria, concluded that the rebels, not Assad, were probably responsible.
Some information in this article could not be independently verified. Mint Press News will continue to provide further information and updates . 

Dale Gavlak is a Middle East correspondent for Mint Press News and has reported from Amman, Jordan, writing for the Associated Press, NPR and BBC. An expert in Middle Eastern affairs, Gavlak covers the Levant region, writing on topics including politics, social issues and economic trends. Dale holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago. Contact Dale at
Yahya Ababneh is a Jordanian freelance journalist and is currently working on a master’s degree in journalism,  He has covered events in Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Libya. His stories have appeared on Amman Net, Saraya News, Gerasa News and elsewhere.

See Also :

Saudi Prince Bandar behind chemical attack in Syria: Report

Democracy and Class Struggle says remember Bandar "Bush" and 911 and all the Saudi's involved in that atrocity which led to invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq the same man is now running the Anti Syria War.
Read the Corbett Report below. Also read Report from a veteran AP Reporter about Saudi supply of Chemical weapons to Syrian rebels. If one good thing could come from this conflict it is the overthrow of Saudi regime and the trial of Bandar Bush
picture Prince Bandar
Syrians in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta say Saudi Arabia provided chemical weapons for an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group which they blame for the August 21 chemical attack in the region, a Mint Press News report says.

The article co-authored by a veteran AP reporter, said interviews with doctors, residents, anti-government forces and their families in Ghouta suggest the terrorists in question received chemical weapons via Saudi spymaster Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud.

The report quoted the father of a militant as saying that his son and 12 others were killed inside a tunnel used to store weapons supplied by a Saudi militant leader, known as Abu Ayesha.

The man described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

Anti-government forces, interviewed in the article, complained they were not informed of the nature of the weapons they had been given, nor did they receive instructions how to use them.

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” said one militant.

Another militant accused the Takfiri militants of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front of refusing to cooperate with other insurgents or sharing secret information. “They merely used some ordinary rebels to carry and operate this material,” he said.

“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” he added.

The authors noted that the doctors who treated the chemical weapons attack victims cautioned interviewers against asking questions regarding who exactly was responsible for the deadly assault.

Also more than a dozen militants interviewed said their salaries came from the Saudi government. They reportedly said Prince Bandar is referred to as “al-Habib” (the lover) by al-Qaeda militants fighting in Syria.

According to Independent, it was Prince Bandar’s intelligence agency that first accused the Syrian government in February of using sarin gas in a bid to rally support for Riyadh’s efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

And The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Saudi spy chief is considered by the CIA as "a veteran of the diplomatic intrigues of Washington and the Arab world [who] could deliver what the CIA couldn’t: planeloads of money and arms, and...wasta, Arabic for under-the-table clout."


United States: Rally in Times Square Says "U.S. Hands Off Syria"

Friday, August 30, 2013

Syria - Geo-political Analysis by James Corbett

Democracy  and Class Struggle says this is not a Class analysis of the Syrian conflict but a Geopolitical analysis, it makes  available some interesting information which should feed into a fuller class analysis of the Syrian conflict.

See also:

Larry Wilkerson: With Saudi Arabia heavily funding the opposition and Iran backing Assad, the Syrian civil war has spiraled into a global struggle for power with the potential for greater catastrophe

See Also :

'If US so confident of Assad's crimes, why don't they publish evidence?'

The full evidence to remain top secret - shame on you Kerry and Obama

Fool Me Twice, Shame on US

Michael Ratner: Obama administration asserting the use chemical weapons by Assad feels like déjà vu of the lead-up to the Iraq War

Kerry: 'Intel' shows 'thug & murderer' Assad carried out chemical attack

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Syria: US Intel: “No Smoking Gun”, “No Direct Evidence”

Ironically, while President Obama has called for military intervention, US intelligence has cast doubt on the official story, pointing to the fact that the “evidence” is shady and that there is no “smoking gun”:

An intercept of Syrian military officials discussing the strike was among low-level staff, with no direct evidence tying the attack back to an Assad insider or even a senior Syrian commander, the officials said. So while Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that links between the attack and the Assad government are “undeniable,”

U.S. intelligence officials are not so certain that the suspected chemical attack was carried out on Assad’s orders, or even completely sure it was carried out by government forces, the officials said. (AP, August 29, 2013).

Humanity is at a Dangerous Crossroads :

War Imminent? US ready to decide on Syria strike 'on its own'

See Also:

Washington Saber Rattling on Syria Intensifies - Vijay Prashad Interview from Lebanon

See Also

Andrew Murray speaks at Rally against War on Syria

Lindsay German speaks at Rally against War on Syria

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tariq Ali speaking at Rally against War on Syria

This video was recorded before the Cameron defeat in British Parliament for War in Syria - however that vote was only one battle won - there is still war to be fought to ensure that the vote against war is not overturned in the coming weeks.

Historic Defeat for David Cameron on Syria in British Parliament on question of War and Peace

Democracy and Class Struggle says No British prime minister on record has been defeated on a matter of peace and war - except David Cameron tonight - history in the making

Chemical Hypocrisy: Lies and Disinformation on the Road to War

Moral Obscenity: Toxic background to US chemical 'highground'

Gareth Porter : Israeli Intelligence principal source of claim that Syrian Government carried out chemical attack

See also by Gareth Porter :

'Bizarre to take action in Syria before UN report'

Mounting evidence raises questions about Syrian chemical weapon attack

Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs

There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters — which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the Aug. 21 chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a premeditated provocation by the Syrian opposition.

The extent of U.S. foreknowledge of this provocation needs further investigation because available data puts the “horror” of the Barack Obama White House in a different and disturbing light.

On Aug. 13-14, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major and irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and U.S. Intelligence [“Mukhabarat Amriki”] took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors.

Very senior opposition commanders who had arrived from Istanbul briefed the regional commanders of an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development” which would, in turn, lead to a U.S.-led bombing of Syria.

The opposition forces had to quickly prepare their forces for exploiting the U.S.-led bombing in order to march on Damascus and topple the Bashar al-Assad government, the senior commanders explained. The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive.

Indeed, unprecedented weapons distribution started in all opposition camps in Hatay Province on Aug. 21-23. In the Reyhanli area alone, opposition forces received well in excess of 400 tons of weapons, mainly anti-aircraft weaponry from shoulder-fired missiles to ammunition for light-guns and machine guns. The weapons were distributed from storehouses controlled by Qatari and Turkish Intelligence under the tight supervision of U.S. Intelligence.

These weapons were loaded on more than 20 trailer-trucks which crossed into northern Syria and distributed the weapons to several depots. Followup weapon shipments, also several hundred tons, took place over the weekend of Aug. 24-25, and included mainly sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles and rockets. Opposition officials in Hatay said that these weapon shipments were “the biggest” they had received “since the beginning of the turmoil more than two years ago”. The deliveries from Hatay went to all the rebel forces operating in the Idlibto-Aleppo area, including the Al Qaida affiliated jihadists (who constitute the largest rebel forces in the area).

Several senior officials from both the Syrian opposition and sponsoring Arab states stressed that these weapon deliveries were specifically in anticipation for exploiting the impact of imminent bombing of Syria by the U.S. and the Western allies. The latest strategy formulation and coordination meetings took place on Aug. 26. The political coordination meeting took place in Istanbul and was attended by U.S. Amb. Robert Ford.

More important were the military and operational coordination meetings at the Antakya garrison. Senior Turkish, Qatari, and U.S. Intelligence officials attended in addition to the Syrian senior (opposition) commanders. The Syrians were informed that bombing would start in a few days. “The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days,” a Syrian participant in the meeting said. Another Syrian participant said that he was convinced U.S. bombing was scheduled to begin on Thursday, Aug. 29. Several participants — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that the assurances of forthcoming bombing were most explicit even as formally Obama is still undecided.

The descriptions of these meetings raise the question of the extent of foreknowledge of U.S. intelligence, and therefore, the Obama White House. All the sources consulted — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that officials of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” actively participated in the meetings and briefings in Turkey. Therefore, at the very least, they should have known that the opposition leaders were anticipating “a war-changing development”: that is, a dramatic event which would provoke a U.S.-led military intervention.

The mere fact that weapon storage sites under the tight supervision of U.S. intelligence were opened up and about a thousand tons of high-quality weapons were distributed to the opposition indicates that U.S. intelligence anticipated such a provocation and the opportunity for the Syrian opposition to exploit the impact of the ensuing U.S. and allied bombing. Hence, even if the Obama White House did not know in advance of the chemical provocation, they should have concluded, or at the very least suspected, that the chemical attack was most likely the “war-changing development” anticipated by the opposition leaders as provocation of U.S.-led bombing. Under such circumstances, the Obama White House should have refrained from rushing head-on to accuse Assad’s Damascus and threaten retaliation, thus making the Obama White House at the very least complicit after the act.

Meanwhile, additional data from Damascus about the actual chemical attack increases the doubts about Washington’s version of events. Immediately after the attack, three hospitals of Doctors Without Borders (MSF: médecins sans frontières) in the greater Damascus area treated more than 3,600 Syrians affected by the chemical attack, and 355 of them died. MSF performed tests on the vast majority of those treated.

MSF director of operations Bart Janssens summed up the findings: “MSF can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack. However, the reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of the events — characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers — strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.” Simply put, even after testing some 3,600 patients, MSF failed to confirm that sarin was the cause of the injuries. According to MSF, the cause could have been nerve agents like sarin, concentrated riot control gas, or even high-concentration pesticides. Moreover, opposition reports that there was distinct stench during the attack suggest that it could have come from the “kitchen sarin” used by jihadist groups (as distinct from the odorless military-type sarin) or improvised agents like pesticides.
Some of the evidence touted by the Obama White House is questionable at best.

A small incident in Beirut raises big questions. A day after the chemical attack, Lebanese fixers working for the “Mukhabarat Amriki” succeeded to convince a Syrian male who claimed to have been injured in the chemical attack to seek medical aid in Beirut in return for a hefty sum that would effectively settle him for life. The man was put into an ambulance and transferred overnight to the Farhat Hospital in Jib Janine, Beirut. The Obama White House immediately leaked friendly media that “the Lebanese Red Cross announced that test results found traces of sarin gas in his blood.” However, this was news to Lebanese intelligence and Red Cross officials. According to senior intelligence officials, “Red Cross Operations Director George Kettaneh told [them] that the injured Syrian fled the hospital before doctors were able to test for traces of toxic gas in his blood.” Apparently, the patient declared that he had recovered from his nausea and no longer needed medical treatment. The Lebanese security forces are still searching for the Syrian patient and his honorarium.

On Aug. 24, Syrian Commando forces acted on intelligence about the possible perpetrators of the chemical attack and raided a cluster of rebel tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Jobar. Canisters of toxic material were hit in the fierce fire-fight as several Syrian soldiers suffered from suffocation and “some of the injured are in a critical condition”.

The Commando eventually seized an opposition warehouse containing barrels full of chemicals required for mixing “kitchen sarin”, laboratory equipment, as well as a large number of protective masks. The Syrian Commando also captured several improvised explosive devices, RPG rounds, and mortar shells. The same day, at least four HizbAllah fighters operating in Damascus near Ghouta were hit by chemical agents at the very same time the Syrian Commando unit was hit while searching a group of rebel tunnels in Jobar.

Both the Syrian and the HizbAllah forces were acting on intelligence information about the real perpetrators of the chemical attack. Damascus told Moscow the Syrian troops were hit by some form of a nerve agent and sent samples (blood, tissues, and soil) and captured equipment to Russia.

Several Syrian leaders, many of whom are not Bashar al-Assad supporters and are even his sworn enemies, are now convinced that the Syrian opposition is responsible for the Aug. 21, chemical attack in the Damascus area in order to provoke the U.S. and the allies into bombing Assad’s Syria. Most explicit and eloquent is Saleh Muslim, the head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) which has been fighting the Syrian Government.

Muslim doubts Assad would have used chemical weapons when he was winning the civil war.
“The regime in Syria … has chemical weapons, but they wouldn’t use them around Damascus, five km from the [UN] committee which is investigating chemical weapons. Of course they are not so stupid as to do so,” Muslim told Reuters on Aug. 27. He believes the attack was “aimed at framing Assad and provoking an international reaction”. Muslim is convinced that “some other sides who want to blame the Syrian regime, who want to show them as guilty and then see action” is responsible for the chemical attack. The U.S. was exploiting the attack to further its own anti-Assad policies and should the UN inspectors find evidence that the rebels were behind the attack, then “everybody would forget it”, Muslim shrugged. “Who is the side who would be punished? Are they are going to punish the Emir of Qatar or the King of Saudi Arabia, or Mr Erdogan of Turkey?”

And there remain the questions: Given the extent of the involvement of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” in opposition activities, how is it that U.S. intelligence did not know in advance about the opposition’s planned use of chemical weapons in Damascus?

And if they did know and warned the Obama White House, why then the sanctimonious rush to blame the Assad Administration? Moreover, how can the Obama Administration continue to support and seek to empower the opposition which had just intentionally killed some 1,300 innocent civilians in order to provoke a U.S. military intervention?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In Rush to Strike Syria, U.S. Tried to Derail U.N. Probe by Gareth Porter

WASHINGTON, Aug 27 2013 (IPS) - After initially insisting that Syria give United Nations investigators unimpeded access to the site of an alleged nerve gas attack, the administration of President Barack Obama reversed its position on Sunday and tried unsuccessfully to get the U.N. to call off its investigation.

The administration’s reversal, which came within hours of the deal reached between Syria and the U.N., was reported by the Wall Street Journal Monday and effectively confirmed by a State Department spokesperson later that day.

In his press appearance Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry, who intervened with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to call off the investigation, dismissed the U.N. investigation as coming too late to obtain valid evidence on the attack that Syrian opposition sources claimed killed as many 1,300 people.

The sudden reversal and overt hostility toward the U.N. investigation, which coincides with indications that the administration is planning a major military strike against Syria in the coming days, suggests that the administration sees the U.N. as hindering its plans for an attack.

Kerry asserted Monday that he had warned Syrian Foreign Minister Moallem last Thursday that Syria had to give the U.N. team immediate access to the site and stop the shelling there, which he said was “systematically destroying evidence”. He called the Syria-U.N. deal to allow investigators unrestricted access “too late to be credible”.

After the deal was announced on Sunday, however, Kerry pushed Ban in a phone call to call off the investigation completely.

The Wall Street Journal reported the pressure on Ban without mentioning Kerry by name. It said unnamed “U.S. officials” had told the secretary-general that it was “no longer safe for the inspectors to remain in Syria and that their mission was pointless.”

But Ban, who has generally been regarded as a pliable instrument of U.S. policy, refused to withdraw the U.N. team and instead “stood firm on principle”, the Journal reported. He was said to have ordered the U.N. inspectors to “continue their work”.

The Journal said “U.S. officials” also told the secretary-general that the United States “didn’t think the inspectors would be able to collect viable evidence due to the passage of time and damage from subsequent shelling.”

The State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf, confirmed to reporters that Kerry had spoken with Ban over the weekend. She also confirmed the gist of the U.S. position on the investigation. “We believe that it’s been too long and there’s been too much destruction of the area for the investigation to be credible,” she said.

That claim echoed a statement by an unnamed “senior official” to the Washington Post Sunday that the evidence had been “significantly corrupted” by the regime’s shelling of the area.

“[W]e don’t at this point have confidence that the U.N. can conduct a credible inquiry into what happened,” said Harf, “We are concerned that the Syrian regime will use this as a delay tactic to continue shelling and destroying evidence in the area.”

Harf did not explain, however, how the Syrian agreement to a ceasefire and unimpeded access to the area of the alleged chemical weapons attack could represent a continuation in “shelling and destroying evidence”.

Despite the U.S. effort to portray the Syrian government policy as one of “delay”, the formal request from the United Nations for access to the site did not go to the Syrian government until Angela Kane, U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, arrived in Damascus on Saturday, as Ban’s spokesman, Farhan Haq, conceded in a briefing in New York Tuesday.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said in a press conference Tuesday that Syria had not been asked by the United Nations for access to the East Ghouta area until Kane presented it on Saturday. Syria agreed to provide access and to a ceasefire the following day.

Haq sharply disagreed with the argument made by Kerry and the State Department that it was too late to obtain evidence of the nature of the Aug. 21 incident.

“Sarin can be detected for up to months after its use,” he said.

Specialists on chemical weapons also suggested in interviews with IPS that the U.N. investigating team, under a highly regarded Swedish specialist Ake Sellstom and including several experts borrowed from the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, should be able to either confirm or disprove the charge of an attack with nerve or another chemical weapon within a matter of days.

Ralph Trapp, a consultant on proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, said he was “reasonably confident” that the U.N. team could clarify what had happened.

“They can definitely answer the question [of] whether there was a chemical attack, and they can tell which chemical was used,” he said, by collecting samples from blood, urine and hair of victims. There was even “some chance” of finding chemical residue from ammunition pieces or craters where they landed.

Trapp said it would take “several days” to complete an analysis.
Steve Johnson, who runs a programme in chemical, biological and radiological weapons forensics at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom, said that by the end of the week the U.N. might be able to answer whether “people died of a nerve agent.”

Johnson said the team, if pushed, could produce “some kind of view” on that issue within 24 to 48 hours.

Dan Kastesza, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and a former adviser to the White House on chemical and biological weapons proliferation, told IPS the team will not be looking for traces of the nerve gas sarin in blood samples but rather chemicals produced when sarin degrades.

But Kastesza said that once samples arrive at laboratories, specialists could make a determination “in a day or two” about whether a nerve agent or other chemical weapons had been used.'

The real reason for the Obama administration’s hostility toward the U.N. investigation appears to be the fear that the Syrian government’s decision to allow the team access to the area indicates that it knows that U.N. investigators will not find evidence of a nerve gas attack.

The administration’s effort to discredit the investigation recalls the George W. Bush administration’s rejection of the position of U.N. inspectors in 2002 and 2003 after they found no evidence of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the administration’s refusal to give inspectors more time to fully rule out the existence of an active Iraqi WMD programme.

In both cases, the administration had made up its mind to go to war and wanted no information that could contradict that policy to arise.

Questions Grow As U.S. Pushes For War with Syria

Ayssar Midani Syrian Activist: Satellite imagery proves Syrian chemical weapons attack staged by rebels

Corbett Report : Ayssar Midani, a French Syrian citizen and political activist, joins us from Damascus to talk about the latest developments in Syria. We talk about the history of the terrorist jihadi insurgency in the country and their prior use of chemical weapons, the latest attack and claims of satellite evidence proving that the attack was not launched by government officials, and the likely consequences of a US-led strike on the country

For Full Audio of Report :

See Also;

Rather than attacking Syria directly the U.S. and NATO have been running a proxy war by arming and funding the Syrian rebels (aka the FSA) funneling these resources through their allies in the region.

To obscure the source of this support Qatar has been used to purchase weapons from countries like Sudan and then route them to Syria via Turkey.

Qatar is a close military ally of the U.S. They provided tank support in the Gulf war of 1991 and Qatar served as the US Central Command headquarters during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Fast forward to January of 2013 when it was revealed that emails and a large quantity of sensitive documents from Britam Defence a, UK-based military contractor, were leaked by a hacker.

These documents exposed a proposal coming from Qatar to launch false flag chemical weapons attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government.

According to the documents the plan had the full support of Washington and enormous sums of money had been offered to for the project.

“We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.

We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.

Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?

Kind regards


The person sending the email was David Goulding, the managing director of Britam, the addressee was Phillip Doughty Dynamic Director and founder of Britam Defence.

By accessing the servers the hacker was able to obtain scans of Doughty’s passport, resume as well as the passports of the Ukranian operatives that the email suggested should be used to carry out the attack.

The leak also included hundreds of other documents containing detailed financial and operational information for Britam Defence, including scores of signed contracts weekly assessments and incident reports for projects in multiple countries. Among these were details regarding a contract with Saudi Arabia to help prepare their forces for a war with Iran. The leaks also depicted a tight business relationship with the infamous war profiteer Haliburton.

The documents acquired by this hacker were not easy to come by, most of the places where they were uploaded were taken down very quickly without explanation. However we managed to get the files and we’ve spent some time analyzing them. After investing this time it’s very clear to us that they are real. But don’t take my word for it. Just take a look in the description for the download link and go verify for yourself.

This leak was never mentioned by the mainstream media at all in the United States or Europe, and there was no investigation whatsoever even though what was being discussed here was clearly plans to commit a war crime. Three months passed and on March 19th sarin gas was used in Syria near Aleppo. Israel and the U.S. promptly blamed the Syrian government for the attacks even though many of those who were killed were Syrian government soldiers.

Obama began talking about the event as a red line that had been crossed and the war mongers began their saber rattling in ernest.

However the U.N. insisted on investigating the issue themselves, and on May 6th, 2013 UN investigator, Carla Del Ponte, went public stating that evidence from their investigation indicated that it was Syrian rebels that had used the sarin gas and that there was no indication that the Syrian government had launched any chemical attacks whatsoever


Monday, August 26, 2013

Documentary on Maoism in China now. Commentary is in Japanese, but there's lots of Chinese talking, and there are Chinese subtitles throughout.

Democracy and Class Struggle publish this video because it contains views of some Maoists in China. We do not endorse views in this hostile Japanese NHK video.

Subtitles from Dowland group, you can refer to this blog leftist Qingdong "heated debate about Mao Zedong" ... and right Cui Weiping published in the new financial "New Century" on the article "Waiting evaluation of Mao Zedong heritage" ...

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

CRPP Statement on arrest of JNU student Hem Mishra




Condemn the Arrest of Student and Cultural Activist Hem Mishra
by the Maharashtra Police!
Release Hem Mishra Unconditionally!

It was on the evening of 23rd August that we at the CRPP received a call from a common friend about the alleged arrest of Mr. Hem Mishra, a JNUite and cultural activist. It was disclosed from an anonymous number to Mr. Shamsher Singh Bisht that Hem Mishra has been arrested by the Gadchiroli police. Mr. Shamsher Singh Bisht was told by the caller to inform Hem’s family. Apart from this there was no information as to where he was arrested and in which police station he was kept.
After a whole day’s effort through lawyers and journalist friends finally in the evening of the 24th the DIG Rajendra Kadam admitted to the media that Hem Mishra was arrested on the 23rd morning and was produced before the court on the 24th evening to be remanded to police custody for 10 days. All these looks clean. But when one digs deeper it is evident that Hem Mishra has been incommunicado for the last four days or so. It is again self explanatory that he has been picked up much earlier by the Maharashtra police and has shown the arrest only on the 23rd to fit to the rule book.
The possibility of Hem being tortured in these days cannot be ruled out given the track record of the police. While his friends and lawyers were trying to trace down the whereabouts of Hem, the local media was abuzz with the arrest of a Maoist/Naxalite with two alleged couriers of a certain Narmada, a Maoist leader. Except a few diligent journalists the media was taken in by the sensational news provided by the police. As usual the police officials were soon to tell the media, once they admitted his arrest, that they got incriminating stuff from Hem. But beyond that hyperbole of a statement the same officials kept mum on what this incriminating material that they had seized from him! The police further claims Hem to be a courier for the Maoists from Uttarakhand! And further to add meat to the story they claim that he was arrested at a very sensitive place between Aheri and Etapally which is a stronghold of the Maoists. Anyone who is conversant with the modus operandi of the police in these regions or for that matter anywhere given their illustrious record of impunity will vouch that the arrest has happened somewhere else and it has been shown in this region deliberately.
Given the sensation driven reporting in a sizeable section of the media the natural curiosity is that why Hem Mishra has in the first place been to this area? Anyone who knows Hem Mishra—as testified by his friends—recalls a person sensitive to the issues confronting the adivasis of Central and Eastern India as well as someone who would find himself on the side of the masses of the people. A cultural activist he has been active in JNU and outside singing for the cause of the adivasis, against Operation Green Hunt, against the increasing instances of impunity of the state. He has been active in the student politics on JNU campus and elsewhere as an activist of the Democratic Student’s Union. As an executive member, Hem Mishra has also been part of the efforts of the CRPP to provide legal aid and in the larger campaign for the release of the political prisoners.
Given his sensitivity to people’s issues, Hem has been an avid traveller often venturing into different regions of the subcontinent that normally don’t attract others. He has also been part of several fact finding missions to record the plight of the people under the scourge of the fascist violence of the state and other private business interests out to loot and plunder the land and resources of the people. He was very impressed with the work undertaken by Dr. Prakash Amte and his family in Gadchiroli and had often expressed his wish to visit the place. Perhaps he also had this wish to look for some alternate means of medication for the persisting pain in his left hand after two complicated surgeries, albeit huge financial difficulties, to get some relief for a physical disability.
The arrest and then framing up of Hem Mishra is a tell tale case of any person in the subcontinent to find himself/herself at a potentially “sensitive” place to be incriminated by the security/intelligence agencies as per their whims. And it is difficult for any other common sense to prevail where one can still refuse to accept the hysteria and frenzy of the ideology of the so-called ‘war against terror’ and believe with conviction that a person can still go to these places and s/he has their right to not be incriminated or harassed. The lawlessness of the law in these regions comes out in the ugliest fashion when someone from the urban centre gets framed by the security agencies. Otherwise the everyday life of the people in these regions has several such untold stories to tell, abound with miseries.
The arrest and framing of Hem Mishra is a step further from the security forces/intelligence agencies to further trample on the rights of the people who have been raising their voices against the worst kinds of miseries they have been subjected to by the state and its forces in the name of growth and development. Perhaps Gadchiroli is the only district which is administered by no less than 40 plus IAS/IPS officers. All claims of the state to bring the government and the administration to the people have only resulted in more and more arrests, intimidation, torture, rape and loot. The arrest of Hem shown at such a “sensitive” area where the atrocities of the state on the people are the maximum is also an indicator of things to come. Anyone who raises their voice in support of the people in these regions will also be subjected to the same treatment. Only a massive mobilisation of public opinion against such vindictive and incriminating conduct of the state can push back this grand design of the Indian State to build a Garrison State.
We strongly demand the unconditional release of Hem Mishra.

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani

Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General

Rona Wilson
Secretary, Public Relations  

India : Democratic Students Union condemn the arrest of Comrade Hem on fake charges by the Maharashtra police!

Comrade Hem Pandey playing the drum

Condemn the arrest of Comrade Hem on fake charges by the Maharashtra police!

Resist the ongoing witch-hunt of students, intellectuals and activists who dare to stand up against systemic injustice, oppression and state repression!

Immediately & Unconditionally release Hem who was on his way for medical treatment!

The Maharashtra police has arrested Hem Mishra reportedly from around Gadchiroli and having framed him as a “prominent naxal courier”. Canards and lies are already making the rounds in the corporate media about his alleged “links” and so on. Hem is a member of Democratic Students Union; a cultural activist since his days in Uttarakhand till he also joined the Revolutionary Cultural Front in JNU; an Executive Committee member of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners; and till recently he has been a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University doing his BA in Chinese from SLL&CS. Hem has been struggling over the years with certain physical challenges in his left hand.

He has undergone repeated surgery and the ensuing complications left him in agonizing pain. He has had to undergo two rounds of expensive operations in the recent past from Vellore. He had on several occasions shared his wish to pay a visit to Prakash Amte’s People’s hospital in Gadchiroli to enquire about the possibility of free treatment therein. Early this week he had left from Delhi with the same purpose and was picked up by the notorious Maharashtra police somewhere in Maharashtra on his way to the hospital. Hem is a prominent student and cultural activist. He is well known among the political circles in Delhi and Uttarakhand.

Yet the police are trying to frame him with bogus charges like, he is a ‘prominent Naxal courier!!’ Hem has a played a prominent role in exposing as well as countering the anti-people designs of the state through songs, poetry, plays and street theatres in the capacity of a cultural activist lending his voice to that of the oppressed. He, as part of an organized politics, shares the vision for a radical social transformation of the society towards a new democratic society and a new democratic culture – free of oppression, injustice and inequality.

His arrest therefore doesn’t come as a shock. The state right now is in a spree to clamp down on students and democratic rights activists and trying to stifle voices of dissent. We strongly condemn this witch-hunt of activists. We must unitedly and resolutely fight the fascist designs of the state and its targeting of political activists

Friday, August 23, 2013

Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack: A False Flag Operation?

For more information:

Syria Rebels testing Tekkim chemicals to use as chem weapons
Report: Syrian officials claim chlorine, saline mix used in Aleppo attack
Syria: Jihadist Al-Nusra Front Siezes Chemical Factory Near Allepo
Syria chemical weapons: finger pointed at jihadists
UN accuses Syrian rebels of chemical weapons use
U.N. Chemical-Weapons Experts Arrive in Syria
U.K., France Call for UN Probe of Alleged Syrian Gas Attacks

Asian Financial Crisis Two ? India the epicentre

Eighty five billion US dollars a month are being pumped into the system, and fears of a winding back have seen billions in funds pulled out of emerging market economies.

The crisis  extends beyond Asia and Brazil is struggling has emerging markets hit currency problems - Brazil has a five year currency low against US dollar.Brazil's central bank has announced a $60bn plan to prop up the value of the national currency.

However India is the epicentre of the Asian Crisis followed by Indonesia and signs are the crisis is deepening.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Indian Rupee in Free fall : Rupee Vs Dollar : From 1990 to 2013 History

Democracy and Class Struggle says the rise of Neo Liberalism in Indian marks demise of the Rupee. Rupee Indicator of serious Economic Crisis in India for Neo Liberalism..

The immediate trigger for India’s currency crisis were the comments made on May 22 by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the U.S. central bank may soon pare back its $85 billion per month bond-buying program. Nervous overseas investors responded by pulling more than $11 billion dollars out of Indian stocks and bonds.

More fundamentally, the crisis is rooted in a dramatic slowing in India’s economic growth and its growing, massive dependence on inflows of foreign capital to meet its current account deficit.

In the last fiscal year, which ended March 31, India recorded growth of 5 percent, the lowest in a decade, and far less than the minimum 8 percent needed to prevent a rapid rise in unemployment.

Philippines: NPA holds 1001st Brigade HQ personnel as POW, exacts 11 casualties in enemy camp blast

The NPA detonated a bomb inside the headquarters of the 71st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Barangay (village) Pangibiran, Mabini town in the evening of 5 August, killing six enemy troops and wounding five others.
By DANIEL IBARRA, Spokesperson
NPA Sub-regional Command
Compostela Valley - Davao Gulf Sub-region
21 August 2013

NPA holds 1001st Brigade HQ personnel as POW, exacts 11 casualties in enemy camp blast

Giving justice to two victims of extra-judicial killings and to peasant victims of Armed Forces of the Philippines atrocities, operatives under the Compostela Valley-Davao Gulf Subregional Command of the New People’s Army exploded its command detonated bomb inside the headquarters of the 71st Infantry Battalion in Barangay (village) Pangibiran, Mabini town, killing six AFP troops and wounding five others.

The bomb explosion last 5 August at 8:00pm was preceded by the arrest of Private First Class Rodello Canada Arigonan (serial number 776045), a 1001st Brigade Headquarters utility personnel. Arigonan was caught by the NPA operatives on 3 August, at 11:00pm in the vicinity of the military headquarters at Barangay Mapaang, Maco town.

Members of the Military Intelligence Battalion under the 101st Brigade - 10th Infantry Division of the AFP were responsible for the killing of Eddie Canon, a civilian and municipal coordinator of a progressive partylist group in Barangay San Isidro, Mawab town last 25 May; and of Ramil Lintas, a motorcycle driver of Barangay Calabcab, Maco town last 25 July.

Indeed, it is ridiculous how Maj. Jake Obligado, Civil-Military Operations Battalion chief, would repeat the lie that the NPA blast violates the international humanitarian law. When, truth to tell, the AFP perpetrates the worst forms of violence in the countryside with its US-designed (counter-insurgency program) Oplan Bayanihan. The military’s counter-revolutionary campaign forces the evacuation and dislocation of peasants to kowtow to the interest of landgrabbers and big miners in Compostela Valley. Military units, like the children-killer 71st Infantry Battalion, are responsible for the most despicable crimes against the people.

As the NPA keeps custody of Arigonan as its Prisoner of War, it will hold accountable elements of the reactionary armed forces who continue to abuse poor peasants and indigenous peoples in the countryside. The NPA actively seeks and pursues revolutionary justice in the face of the US-Aquino regime’s continuing apathy.

The hated regime condones human rights abuses that has only emboldened the AFP, Philippine National Police, and paramilitary forces under the prevailing culture of impunity.

Revolution Reversed: Egypt winds back clock as Mubarak released from prison

International Law Requried Manning to be a Whistleblower

Manning states he's 'female', wants to live as 'Chelsea'

Bradley Manning In His Own Words After Being Sentenced to 35 years

There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people


As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
Quoted by Bradley Manning at his sentencing of 35 years in prison for speaking the truth about crimes of US Imperialism.

Democracy and Class Struggle says Bradley Manning's actions have nothing to do with gender has the US army psychologists have been claiming but everything to do with the fact that Bradley Manning was a human being, something which the psychologists of war will never understand. 

The following is a transcript of the statement made by Pfc. Bradley Manning as read by David Coombs at a press conference on Wednesday after Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
The decisions that I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in. Since the tragic events of 9/11, our country has been at war. We’ve been at war with an enemy that chooses not to meet us on any traditional battlefield, and due to this fact we’ve had to alter our methods of combating the risks posed to us and our way of life.
I initially agreed with these methods and chose to volunteer to help defend my country. It was not until I was in Iraq and reading secret military reports on a daily basis that I started to question the morality of what we were doing. It was at this time I realized in our efforts to meet this risk posed to us by the enemy, we have forgotten our humanity. We consciously elected to devalue human life both in Iraq and Afghanistan. When we engaged those that we perceived were the enemy, we sometimes killed innocent civilians. Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability.
In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture. We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.
Patriotism is often the cry extolled when morally questionable acts are advocated by those in power. When these cries of patriotism drown our any logically based intentions [unclear], it is usually an American soldier that is ordered to carry out some ill-conceived mission.'
Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy—the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, the Japanese-American internment camps—to name a few. I am confident that many of our actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.
As the late Howard Zinn once said, “There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.”
I understand that my actions violated the law, and I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.
If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Alan Rusbridger Interview 'Snowden data destruction won't harm our reporting'

Alan Rusbridger, editor for the Guardian The British government has given the Guardian newspaper an ultimatum: delete all data on Edward Snowden's leaks or risk getting shut down

David Cameron signs off on smash the Guardian hard disks - what was on them that made the British Prime Minister act in this way ?

Philosophical Framework for US Foreign Policy: Moral Hazards and Absolute Evil

Paul Jay and Max Blumenthal discuss US foreign policy from Bush to Obama and the concept that in "defense of civilization", every crime is acceptable.

Democracy and Class Struggle  says it is not often we get such profound discussions about the underlying philosophy of US Imperialism and we see it as a continuation of the Hiroshima Speech of Oliver Stone who raises many of the same issues has Max Blumenthal.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

U.S. film director Oliver Stone Hiroshima speech【Japan banned video】 US Asian Pivot Strategy Exposed

American director Oliver Stone in the "Atomic Bomb Memorial Day" on the occasion of visit Hiroshima and gave a speech which compared Germany and Japan after World War II.

He made fiery criticism of Japan's political situation and government leaders and called for reflection on the United States, Japan and China relations , and the case of the Diaoyu Islands.

The United States intended to return to Asia by Japan to contain China

Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this video has it highlights Obama's US Asian Pivot Strategy and the serious dangers of this strategy. Continuing assault on North Korea is part of this strategy to contain China.

Oliver Stone like Democracy and Class Struggle see's the spectre of War in Asia and the revival of Japanese Militarism, his appeal at  Hiroshima to the "other "Japan is timely and we hope not in vain.

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