Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January 10, 2016

Happy Birthday H-Bombs Marshall Kim

By Eric Margolis



“Let’s begin 2016…with the thrilling explosion of our first hydrogen bomb, so that the whole world will look up to our socialist, nuclear-armed republic and the great Workers’ Party of Korea!” - Kim Jong-un

North Koreans may be happy, but the rest of the world certainly is not. Predictably, the US, Japan, China, Australia and South Korea seethed with fury at the explosive North Koreans. China scowled and muttered.

This hypocrisy and hysteria made world equity markets, already reeling from new Chinese financial blundering, crazy as uninformed investors ran for the lifeboats. The UN shook its tiny fist at North Korea, ignoring that the US, Britain, France, Russia and China are all in violation of the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

There was not a peep about nuclear scofflaws, Israel, Pakistan and India. Nor mention that today’s outraged South Korea and Taiwan had been caught by CIA red-handed trying to make their own nuclear weapons.

Is North Korea’s claim of a hydrogen weapo…

Neoliberalism Raises Its Ugly Head in South America: Washington Targets Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina

by JACK RASMUS



After 9-11, the United States focused its most aggressive foreign policy on the Middle East – from Afghanistan to North Africa. But the deal recently worked out with Iran, the current back-door negotiations over Syria between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and the decision to subsidize, and now export, U.S. shale oil and gas production in a direct reversal of U.S. past policy toward Saudi Arabia – together signal a relative shift of U.S. policy away from the Middle East.

With a Middle East consolidation phase underway, U.S. policy has been shifting since 2013-14 to the more traditional focus that it had for decades: first, to check and contain China; second, to prevent Russia from economically integrating more deeply with Europe; and, third, to reassert more direct U.S. influence once again, as in previous decades, over the economies and governments in Latin America.

Following his re-election in 2012, Obama announced what was…

Russia, as Explained to Russians by Americans

by WILLIAM BLUM


There is a Russian website [inosmi = foreign mass media] that translates propagandistic russophobic articles from the western media into Russian and publishes them so that Russians can see with their own eyes how the Western media lies about them day after day. There have been several articles lately based on polls that show that anti-western sentiments are increasing in Russia, and blaming it on “Putin’s propaganda”.

This is rather odd because who needs propaganda when the Russians can read the Western media themselves and see firsthand all the lies it puts forth about them and the demonizing of Putin. There are several political-debate shows on Russian television where they invite Western journalists or politicians; on one there frequently is a really funny American journalist, Michael Bohm, who keeps regurgitating all the western propaganda, arguing with his Russian counterparts. It’s pretty surreal to watch him display the worst political stereotypes of Americans: ar…

Does North Korea Need Nukes to Deter US Aggression?

By Mike Whitney

Here’s your U.S. foreign policy quiz for the day:

Question 1– How many governments has the United States overthrown or tried to overthrow since the Second World War?

Answer: 57 (See William Blum.)

Question 2– How many of those governments had nuclear weapons?

Answer— 0

Does that mean North Korea needs nuclear weapons to deter US aggression?

Yes and no. Yes, nuclear weapons are a credible deterrent but, no, that’s not why North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb last Tuesday. The reason North Korea detonated the bomb was to force the Obama administration to sit up and take notice. That’s what this is all about. North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, wants the US to realize that they’re going to pay a heavy price for avoiding direct negotiations. In other words, Kim is trying to pressure Obama back to the bargaining table.

Unfortunately, Washington isn’t listening. They see the North as a threat to regional security and have decided that additional sanctions and isola…

Saudi-Iranian spat: Another skirmish in the oil war

Pepe Escobar

Saudi Arabia is a beheading paradise. But this PR nightmare is the least of all problems in an oil crisis. Once again, the heart of the matter is – what else – black gold.


So far, the House of Saud’s whole energy strategy has boiled down to shaving off its oil production no matter what it takes, even issuing bonds to cover its massive deficits.

Now the strategy has been moved one step ahead via a flagrant provocation: the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

The House of Saud believes that by stoking the flames of a Riyadh-Tehran confrontation it may raise the fear factor in the oil supply sphere, leading to higher oil prices (which it needs), while maintaining the Holy Wahhabi Grail of keeping imminent Iranian oil off the market.

From the beginning, Riyadh bet on the possibility of extra energy-related sanctions on Iran in case Tehran forcefully responded to its beheading provocation. Yet Iranians are too sophisticated to fall for such a crude tap.

Persian Gulf traders ha…