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Wed, 31 Aug 2016
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Eye 1

Pakistan to get eight new attack subs from Chinese government

The Chinese government will supply eight modified diesel-electric attack submarines to Pakistan by the year 2028.

In Islamabad the head of Pakistan's next-generation submarine program made the announcement to the country's National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense, while on a August 26 visit to Naval headquarters.

The announcement confirms that the project is going forward, but is it not clear whether a contract has been signed. Rear Admiral Syed Hassan Nasir Shah announced in April that a contract had been secured by the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) to construct four of the eight submarines, with the other four being built by the China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC). The submarines will be fitted with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems.

The agreement between the two nations is valued at $4 to $5 billion and it's anticipated that China will extend a low interest rate loan. Some speculation surrounds what type of submarine the Pakistani Navy will receive. In April 2011, the China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corp signed a contract to supply six Type 032 Qing-class conventional attack submarines by 2016 or 2017.

Eye 2

If this doesn't disqualify Killary for president, what will?

© Glen McCoy
Even the traditionally 'establishment' Wall Street Journal is waking up to the utter incredulity of an American media (and citizenry) which appears capable of cognitive dissonance on an epic scale when it comes to Hillary Clinton. As Kimberly Strassel explains the latest emails show that State and the foundation were one seamless entity.

This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton's server turned into a waterfall. This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.

In March this column argued that while Mrs. Clinton's mishandling of classified information was important, it missed the bigger point. The Democratic nominee obviously didn't set up her server with the express purpose of exposing national secrets—that was incidental. She set up the server to keep secret the details of the Clintons' private life—a life built around an elaborate and sweeping money-raising and self-promoting entity known as the Clinton Foundation.

Snakes in Suits

Washington says it's no longer against al-Qaeda, only Daesh

"We're not focused on the former al-Nusra Front [al-Qaeda in Syria]. We're focused on Daesh [ISIS]. And that's what we're fighting and that's where therefore we look and where we target". US Defense Department press briefing, 16 August 2016.
Central to America's war against terrorism was al-Qaeda as being the specific target, but, on August 16th, a US Defense Department spokesperson said that al-Qaeda is no longer an enemy of the United States at all, and that only ISIS is America's enemy in the war against terrorism.

However, Congress never authorized anything but al-Qaeda to be the enemy in the war against terrorism. Consequently, President Obama is now violating the law by his no longer targeting al-Qaeda at all, and he is also ignoring the law by his targeting ISIS (as he has long been doing) without requesting a new authorization from Congress to do so - an authorization that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress would be virtually certain to grant immediately. This new war-authorization would need to rectify a key failing of the original war-authorization, by naming "jihadism" specifically as America's enemy, so that regardless of what a particular jihadist group is, it can legally be a target to eliminate. Under the existing resolution, only al-Qaeda can be targeted, because that was the group which was ultimately determined to have caused 9/11, and because the existing war-authorization is restricted to only the organization that perpetrated that specific jihadist act. This new war-authorization would thus need to replace, instead of modify, the existing authorization, so that US military action can legally be taken against any jihadist group, and not only (as at present) against al-Qaeda.


Putin says Arctic region must stay free from geopolitical gambling

© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia would remain committed to the peaceful exploration of the Arctic on the condition its national interests are observed.

"I'm certain that the Arctic must be regarded as a space for an open and equitable dialog, based on the principles of universal and indivisible security, where there will be no place for geopolitical games by military blocs, backstage deals or struggle for spheres of influence," Putin said in a message of greeting to the participants in the international meeting of the Arctic Council's member-states and observer countries and the international scientific community. The message was read out by the Russian Security Council's secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, the Security Council's press-service has told TASS.

Comment: Russia plans new coastal military division in Far East


Kerry in India to boost strategic and commercial ties after military agreement

US Secretary of State John Kerry is in India for strategic and commercial talks as the two countries try to improve security and economic ties, in part to counter China's growing influence.

Kerry, along with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, is leading the American delegation to India for the second strategic dialogue between the two nations.

The US and India have set an ambitious goal of increasing annual trade to around $500 billion.

"I'm very, very confident that we will continue to strengthen what President Obama has called the defining partnership of the 21st century," Kerry said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Kerry will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday during the two-day visit.

Comment: Meanwhile: India to invest over $300 million in logistics center for Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet parts


India to invest over $300 million in logistics center for Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet parts

© Marina Lystseva/TASS
India intends to invest more than 20 billion rupees ($300 million) in the creation with Russia's assistance of a logistics center of spare parts for Russia's Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters at the facilities of India's state-owned aerospace and defense company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a source in the Indian Defense Ministry told TASS on Tuesday.

"To date, the main problem in the operation of Su-30MKI is a chronic lack of spare parts due to their complex and lengthy delivery, as well as the dispersion of their production capacities," he said. "The establishment with Russia's assistance of a logistics center of spare parts for the Su-30MKI fighter at HAL facilities will help solve this problem, and India plans to invest over 20 billion rupees in it."


Uzbekistan: Fears of instability surface as President Karimov suffers stroke

© www.jamestown.org
Uzbekistan President Islom Karimov
Stroke fells autocratic leader with whom Moscow has had a difficult relationship but whose brutal methods have kept his country stable. Confirmation that Uzbekistan's President Islom Karimov has been taken critically ill following a brain hemorrhage will be causing concern in Moscow.

Along with Kazakhstan's leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, Karimov is the last remaining leader of a former Soviet republic to have achieved power as his republic's Communist Party First Secretary before becoming the republic's President when the USSR fell apart. He has exercised autocratic control over Uzbekistan ever since, being the only leader Uzbekistan has known since it became independent.

Karimov has run Uzbekistan with an iron fist, heading a regime notorious for its human rights abuses and its brutal treatment of internal dissidents. These methods have been ruthlessly effective, with no evidence of any serious opposition to Karimov's rule at the present time.

Though Uzbekistan is a poor country, it is rich in natural resources and with a population of 31 million is one of the biggest of the former Soviet republics. It has also historically been the cultural centre of Central Asia, with cities like Samarkand and Bukhara famous for their monuments and history. Its size, potential wealth and location at the heart of Central Asia make its stability critically important for Moscow.

Comment: Uzbekistan became an independent nation on 31 August 1991.Anti-Islamism and ethnic identity have been the state's primary claims to fortify a hard authoritarian regime consisting of little to no civil society progression coupled with horrific human rights abuses. Like the Eye of Sauron, the West will be attracted to this turn of events and attempt to proxy a successor, in suit to its "surround Russia" agenda. Russia, as well, will be on guard for any societal upheaval, be it a natural fallout or instigated by Western subterfuge.

Red Flag

Venezuela: Accusations US and opposition are planning a coup

© www.cnn.com
President Nicolas Maduro, one against many
Venezuela is accusing the United States and the country's political opposition of planning a coup for Thursday, the day that government opponents have called for a march to demand a recall vote against President Nicolas Maduro.

The Foreign Ministry's North America agency issued a statement Monday protesting U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby's call for the release of the jailed former mayor of San Cristobal, Daniel Ceballos, who was taken from his home early Saturday by state intelligence agents and moved back to prison in central Guarico state. He had been under house arrest.

The socialist government said Ceballos was planning to flee before the Thursday protest in Caracas and carry out violent acts to destabilize the country. But the move alarmed the opposition, Washington and human rights groups who consider him a political prisoner.

"The brand and authorship of the coup being planned for September 1, 2016, in Venezuela, in collusion with the anti-democratic opposition and international right, has become clear...," said a North America office statement published on the Foreign Ministry's website. It said President Barack Obama's government "is seeking to destabilize Venezuela and the region in its final days to legitimize its imperial plans against peace and the development of the people." Venezuela's government has frequently accused Washington and the country's opposition of plotting coups. U.S. officials regularly deny the accusations.

Comment: Looking over one's shoulder can be a good thing when the Big Guys up north boast to "lead from behind." See also:


China regulator to curb news promoting "Western lifestyles"

© www.slideshare.net
China will crack down on social and entertainment news that promotes improper values and "Western lifestyles", the country's broadcasting regulator said, the latest effort at censorship in an already strictly regulated media environment. President Xi Jinping has embarked on an unprecedented drive to censor media that do not reflect the views of Communist Party leaders. Authorities have already issued rules limiting "foreign-inspired" television shows and put tougher penalties on the spread of rumours via social media.

Social and entertainment news must be dominated by mainstream ideologies and "positive energy", the official Xinhua news agency said late on Monday, citing the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT). News content should not make improper jokes, defile classics, or "express overt admiration for Western lifestyles", the regulator said in a circular, according to Xinhua. "They should also avoid putting stars, billionaires or Internet celebrities on pedestals", and not advocate overnight fame or hype family disputes, Xinhua said.

Xi has been explicit that media must follow the party line, uphold the correct guidance on public opinion and promote "positive propaganda". The term "positive energy" is a catch phrase that has been favoured by China's propaganda and internet authorities under Xi, referring to content that is morally uplifting and patriotic.

The government aggressively censors the internet, blocking many foreign sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, which it deems a potential challenge to party rule or a threat to stability. Regulators say such controls are necessary in the face of growing security threats, and are done in accordance with law.

Comment: Citing security threats, Beijing is legislating media values and censuring content. Self preservation on China's part? Or just another version of MSM? The world doesn't seem to present many options: some degree of state media censorship, or 'anything goes', as in the West, which really translates to the freedom to spread lies, and the cultural disease of Western hedonism and 'democratic values'. Which would you choose?


Brazil's Dilma Rousseff confronts Senate of scoundrels

© Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
Dilma Rousseff during a final session of debate and voting on Rousseff's impeachment trial in Brasilia, Brazil, August 29, 2016.
Dilma Rousseff entered the Senate and calmly stared down her accusers. She left with her head held high after exhorting those Senators to vote with their conscience.

Most of those politicians present probably had no idea what conscience means; they're no more than corrupt messenger boys. But the Brazilian collective unconscious - Jung to the rescue - will be marked.

President Dilma Rousseff, in a detailed, occasionally emotional speech, defended herself with honor and dignity from accusations she committed a "crime of responsibility". She was not actually facing a political cesspool, but that 'Angel of History' so beloved by Walter Benjamin. History will judge her kindly.

Meanwhile, it ain't over till a dodgy politico sings. As I write, Rousseff is on the way to be stripped from the presidency of the world's 8th largest economy by a bunch of scoundrel-cum-coward politicos. Her only fear, she said, was the "death of democracy". Rousseff's impeachment means in practice that democratic voting in one of the world's largest democracies will be cancelled by a parliamentary coup remote-controlled by oligarchic interests. This is not, and never was, about justice; it's about dirty, nasty politics.

There is no techno-bureaucrat argument whatsoever capable of proving the President should be impeached because of state budget maneuvers that did not yield a single cent for her pockets, or to the detriment of the Treasury - and this in an astonishingly corruption-infested nation.

If we had to rely on a single formulation to explain this charade to a global audience this should be it: The current parliamentary/institutional/big business/big banking/corporate media coup is the tool used by Brazilian oligarchs to smash the wealth distribution drive that preceded, via President Lula, the US-provoked global 2008 crisis of capitalism.

The Lula and subsequent Dilma presidencies had adopted a very Chinese "win-win" model. There was a sort of unwritten pact between social classes: The rich got even richer while the poor got less poor.

But then the crisis hit BRICS member Brazil with a vengeance. There was no Plan B - apart from exporting commodities; the boom was over and traitors/conspirators in the opposition saw an opening to reclaim power on the wheels of the highly selective 'Car Wash' corruption investigation. And yet, this being KafkaLand, the parliamentary impeachment drive against Dilma is in fact a diversionary tactic devised to "tame" Car Wash, so it wouldn't hit oligarch-controlled right-wing politicians.