Tagged with "Iran"
TRUMP’S TRAVELS: “Stirring up Iranophobia to Boost Arms Sales” while Pandering to Global Terrorism
Category: BEYOND ILLUSION
Tags: Trump 2017 Saudi Arabia Iran

TRUMP’S TRAVELS: “Stirring up Iranophobia to Boost Arms Sales” while Pandering to Global Terrorism

Niraj Srivastava
21st Century Wire

President Trump embarked on his first visit abroad on May 19, travelling first to Saudi Arabia (May 20-21), and after that to Israel and the West Bank (May 22-23).The visits were very important, both regarding what was said, and what was left unsaid.

In Riyadh, Trump held talks with King Salman and his advisors and signed agreements for sale of US weapons to the Kingdom. He also met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, as well as those representing 55 Muslim-majority states, most of them Sunni. A “Riyadh Declaration” was issued at the end of the visit.

There were several important outcomes and developments during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia. First, Trump signed an agreement for sale of US weapons worth $350 billion to the Saudis over a period of ten years. Of this, weapons worth $110 billion would be supplied immediately, the rest being supplied later.

This is the single largest arms deal in history—more than what the Obama Administration sold to the Saudis during its entire term. Moreover, it includes advanced weapon systems such as THAAD, Patriot missiles, precision guided munitions, attack helicopters, tanks, and artillery. This deal will keep the US arms industry humming for quite some time.

On their part, the Saudis reportedly promised to invest $200 billion in infrastructure and other projects in the US. Trump wants this investment mainly in the “Rust Belt” states of Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin—his core constituency.

Second, the Riyadh Declaration welcomed the creation of the “Islamic Military Coalition” (IMC) to combat terrorism, with a reserve force of 34,000 troops (called a Sunni NATO by some observers), to be contributed by the 55 Muslim-majority states mentioned above. It also announced that a “Middle East Strategic Alliance” would be set up under Saudi leadership by 2018. Finally, the Declaration said that a “global centre for countering extremist thought” would be established in Riyadh.

Third, both Trump and the Saudis repeatedly stated that Iran was the source of terrorism, sectarianism, and instability in the region. They adopted an openly confrontational stance towards Tehran and called for “isolating” it. In response, the Iranian Foreign Ministry accused the US of stirring up “Iranophobia” to boost arms sales in the region.

Fourth, the core problem of the Middle East—the Arab-Israeli issue—was not even mentioned in the Riyadh Declaration. Instead, all attention was focussed on terrorism, and specifically on Iran, which was described as the fountainhead of all evil. This marks an important shift in regional priorities—the Arab-Israeli dispute, which is the primary source of regional instability has been put in the deep freeze; its place has been taken by terrorism, for which Iran and its allies are being [wrongly] blamed.

There were many ironies in what happened in Riyadh and Tel Aviv. First, the fountainhead of terrorism in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia, aided by Qatar. Together, they are responsible for the emergence and support to outfits such as ISIS and Nusra Front, earlier known as Al-Qaida, which have wreaked havoc in Syria. Riyadh cannot support terrorism and host a “global centre for countering extremism” at the same time.

Second, in the name of fighting terrorism unleashed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the US, Saudis, and their allies are very likely to intensify their efforts to effect regime change in Syria and possibly Iran, which has been unjustly demonised. It is possible that the 34,000 troops of the “Islamic Military Coalition,” headed by Gen. Raheel Sharif, former Chief of the Pakistani Army, may be used for this purpose.

Other targets of the IMC may include the Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Yemen will likely witness more death and destruction when the Saudis get more lethal weapons from the US.

Third, prospects for a just solution to the Arab-Israeli dispute have receded further. The issue is no longer even on the agenda of the US, Saudis, and their Arab and other Sunni allies. This means that the situation in the Occupied Territories could worsen, as the Palestinians become more frustrated and Israel is further emboldened to rain death and destruction on them.

Fourth, sectarianism in the region is likely to grow further, with the “Sunni NATO” aiming at regime change in Syria and destabilisation of Iran. In fact, instability is likely to grow wherever there is a significant Shia population, such as Pakistan.

In a nutshell, the real objective of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel was to mobilise the Sunnis of the Arab and Islamic countries for a war against Iran, Syria, and other Shias in the region, with the help of Israel. As of now, the Saudis and their allies are closer to Israel than to some other Muslim-majority states such as Iran and Syria. Who would have thought that this could happen?

***

Niraj Srivastava is  a former Ambassador of India who has served in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Libya, among other countries

READ MORE TRUMP NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire TRUMP Files

 

China’s Newer, Shinier New World Order | Corbett Report Tags: Corbett Report China Iran Swift Trade

China’s Newer, Shinier New World Order

The only thing left to say is that the false choice between the Chinese-led world order and the American-led world order are not the only options on the table.

James Corbett | April 29, 2017

Two weeks ago I discussed the baby steps that China and Russia are taking toward creating an alternative financial infrastructure to the SWIFT Network and the Washington Consensus (read: Wall Street Consensus). The steps may be small, but they're all going in the same direction: away from a US/NATO-led world order and toward a world where there is a China/Russia-led alternative.

The latest example of this Chinese-led world order will be on display in Beijing in mid-May when heads of state from 28 different nations convene the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The forum comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity between China and a spate of countries along China's proposed trillion dollar "Silk Road Economic Belt" and "Maritime Silk Road" known as the "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI).

This diplomatic activity, much of which has been making headlines in recent weeks, includes:

  • A pledge to deepen cooperation between Greece and China as part of the BRI.
  • A commitment to strengthen ties between Egypt and China under the BRI framework.
  • An offer to involve India in the BRI, starting with the BRI forum in Beijing next month.
  • An agreement between Russia and China to "conjugate" their relationship in the BRI and the Eurasian Economic Union.
  • And even, incredibly, an invitation for the US to join the "symphony" of the BRI and the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

And that's just the headlines from April. You may not know it if you're only consuming #fakenews from the western MSM propaganda outlets, but the American-led world order of the post-WWII era is being severely tested right now.

So it looks like freedom is on the march and the globalists are on the run. Right, gang? We've got this globalism thing licked! Bye bye to the American Empire and hello peace, cooperation and stability!

...If only. Sadly, as I stressed last month, these new initiatives aren't really steps away from globalism, they're just steps toward the creation of a different global order. Globalization 2.0, if you will.

But don't take my word for it. "Globalization 2.0" is exactly what the Chinese government is calling it. Meet the new globalization, only cosmetically different from the old globalization.

In their recent article on "China’s Belt and Road Initiative ushers in ‘Globalization 2.0’," the (Communist party mouthpiece) People's Daily contrasts the post-WWII, American-led "Globalization 1.0" of "aggressive" economic growth and "imbalanced development" with the balanced, inclusive growth of the beloved Chinese Communist Party's Belt and Road Initiative. The article quotes "renowned Chinese experts" from the (Communist Party run) Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who make the case for the government's proposed globalization reboot with all the patriotic fervor of an academic with a gun barrel pressed to his temple:

According to Zhang Yunling, director of the academic division of International Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), humanity entered the era of “Globalization 1.0” after World War II, focusing on connecting the world via multilateral and regional cooperation. Prior to 2008, Globalization 1.0 has indeed promoted rapid economic growth, but the anti-globalization trend is always waiting, ready to strike, as imbalanced development between regions and communities is inevitable, Zhang noted.

The Belt and Road Initiative, on the other hand, offers a distinctly Chinese way of looking at global governance and cooperation.

“The versions of globalization led by the East and the West are different. The West tends to be more aggressive, while the East emphasizes inclusiveness. That makes homogeneity one of the key factors in cooperation, but we are trying to show that heterogeneity does not necessarily get in the way of cooperation,” said Ren Jingjing, another expert with CASS.

Nor is this "Globalization 2.0" meme a mere one-off by an underpaid, overworked ChiCom propaganda writer.

"AIIB is recharging globalisation," blares a China Daily headline.

The BRI "helps to usher in a new era of globalisation" explains a draft communique for the BRI Forum.

"Will China Assume the Leadership of Globalization?" asks the Foreign Policy Journal.

Are you beginning to get the picture?

The Chinese government is, naturally enough, framing this globalization reboot as a flowering of peace, cooperation, and development with its Eurasian partners...and, hey, look at that, there's a bit of economic benefit in there for China, as well! Who would have thunk it?

The cynic might subtly suggest that, in fact, the entire BRI is about economic benefit, namely securing access to important foreign markets along major global trade routes for China's export-dependent economy. After all, projects like the construction of a $1.3 billion dollar railway from Khartoum to Port Sudan, financed by Chinese "development aid" through export credits, are at least as valuable to the Chinese government—which is looking to get oil from the interior of Africa out to a port where it can be shipped back to China—than it is to the people of Sudan. And the Chinese get a way to put their enormous foreign reserves—built up over decades of huge trade surpluses—to better use than buying up US treasuries.

The Chinese would hail these self-serving aid projects as paragons of "win-win cooperation," but perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it's "win-win-win cooperation," with the first two wins being China's and the third, smaller "win" falling to the recipient country (like crumbs from the master's table falling on the dog).

But even that cynical view of China's globalization spree isn't quite cynical enough.

As the Indian Economic Times points out, there are aspects of the BRI that simply do not make sense from a purely economic point of view. Like the proposed $62-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).  The CPEC is an umbrella for a number of infrastructure investments that China is making in Pakistan, from transportation network construction to energy projects to the development of special economic zones. But, as the Times notes in a recent editorial on the project: "Even Pakistani analysts have questioned its economics."

So what is it about?

"Responding to Indian concerns about the CPEC passing through territory that is still legally India’s — Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Aksai Chin — Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi recently said that the CPEC was an economic project for the 'purpose of serving economic cooperation and development. It has no direct link with political and boundary dispute.' Wang then dangled a carrot, stating, 'Obor is for common development of all participants. So, we welcome India to take active part in building the Obor.'"

Or, to translate from the diplomatic doublespeak: "This project totally isn't about politics, boundary disputes or geopolitics...but we'll let you in on it if you settle your boundary disputes!"

In other words, China is putting itself in the driver's seat of India-Pakistan rapprochement through its infrastructure investment in both countries. The strategy becomes even more evident when India and Pakistan's pending accession to the Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization is taken into consideration. China is using its economic might to build geopolitical clout, and at the same time reshaping Eurasia in its own image.

The signs of this strategy are everywhere, but buried deep behind the headlines of stories about China's growing bilateral and multilateral trading relationships. And even those headlines aren't being reported in the western mainstream press (surprise, surprise).

Like this story about Iran's relationship with China. As part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's nuclear program, the P5+1 countries stipulated that Iran must redesign its Arak heavy water research reactor to minimize plutonium production. Annex 1 of the JCPOA begins by addressing Arak and stipulating that it is re-purposed for "peaceful nuclear research and production needs and purposes, including testing of fuel pins and assembly prototypes and structural materials."

So guess who is taking the lead in overseeing this work? If you guessed China, then give yourself a check mark. They just reached an initial agreement with Iran on the commercial contract for the reactor redesign. "China will do the follow-up work with all parties involved in accordance with the comprehensive nuclear deal and the consensus reached by all parties," Chinese spokesman Lu Kang gloated at a press conference announcing the deal.

Oh, and hey, look at this headline from three days after news of the agreement broke: "China, Iran agree to promote Belt and Road cooperation." Gee, I wonder if there's any connection here?

Once again, China is using its economic carrot to steer geopolitical events.

For those of you who are still thinking that anything is better than the American-led globalization of the last 50 years, I have some bad news. As I've pointed out many, many times in numerous reports over the last few years, it is the same cabal of globalists who created the current mess who are shepherding China's rise and the creation of the Chinese-led "globalization 2.0." Although I've provided numerous examples of this in those above-mentioned reports, one just has to look at the latest headlines to find yet another example of this false dialectic at work:

"World Bank Group, China-led AIIB agree to deepen cooperation."

Meet the new globalization, same as the old globalization.

The only thing left to say is that the false choice between the Chinese-led world order and the American-led world order are not the only options on the table. It is still possible for free humanity to withdraw its participation from the statist systems of control (economic, financial, monetary, commercial and social) that under gird this system of regional competition for global dominance. But if this is a race to the finish line, then free humanity is far behind and time is running out.

 

 

What Donald Trump Does Not Want You To Know About Iran Tags: Trump Iran World at War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0yWdA8rhDY

Published on 5 Feb 2017 by WeAreChange

In this video, we go over the latest diplomatic disaster between Donald Trump and Iran. We cover Sean Spicer's lies about Iran attacking the American Navy and the how this situation is getting out of hand quickly. We give you the real reasons why this is happening and the importance of this decision by the Trump administration. For more news like this join us on https://www.patreon.com/WeAreChange

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