jueves, 26 de marzo de 2015

Chokepoints

El Canal de Suez, un cuello de botella que no te cuento


Son varias las acepciones posibles del términó inglés “chokepoint” en nuestra lengua: punto de estrangulación, cuello de botella, punto estrecho, etc. Veamos la definición del término, en inglés, que ofrece Wikipedia:

In military strategy, a choke point (or chokepoint) is a geographical feature on land such as a valley, defile or a bridge, or at sea such as a strait which an armed force is forced to pass, sometimes on a substantially narrower front, and therefore greatly decreasing its combat power, in order to reach its objective. A choke point can allow a numerically inferior defending force to successfully thwart a larger opponent if the attacker cannot bring superior numbers to bear.

Dicho esto, vayamos a la nota que, sobre los “chokepoints” petroleros, publica hoy Zero Hedge. Las figuras son tan ilustrativas que no hace falta explicarlas. Se habla de Yemen y otros "chokepoints":


Título: The World's Greatest Oil Chokepoints, And Why Yemen Matters

Texto: About half the world's oil production is moved by tankers on fixed maritime routes, according to Reuters. The blockage of a chokepoint, even temporarily, can lead to substantial increases in total energy costs and thus, these checkpoints are crucial to global energy security. While Hormuz remains the largest chokepoint (and along with Bab el-Mandeb explains why Yemen matters so much), Malacca (as we noted previously) is quickly becoming another area of potential problems.

And while Yemen is key for The Strait of Hormuz...


 With Bab el-Mandeb even more specifically problematic if Yemen tensions get too extreme...



...it is China's growing presence near The Strait of Malacca that is perhaps most worrisome for the global energy order...



and here's why...




The Claims...





Ampliación del eje de la Resistencia


Poco sabemos de Yemen, ese extraño país del sur de la Península Arábiga en donde se alcanzan algunas de las temperaturas más altas de la Tierra. Una cosa es segura: el Imperio viene jodiendo parejo desde hace un toco de tiempo. Bueno, un montón de yemenitas dijeron basta. Reproducimos dos noticias recientes sobre la situación en ese país. La primera es del sitio web MOA: 


Título: The Wahhabis' War On Yemen

Texto: Just yesterday I wrote that the Saudis would not dare to attack Yemen. I was wrong with this:

While the Saudi army is now sending some troops to its southern border with Yemen neither the Saudi army nor the Egyptian will want to fight and lose again against the Yemeni tribes. The Pakistanis are unwilling to send troops. The request for troops the disposed president Hadi made will therefore be ignored. No foreign troops will invade Yemen and the Houthis will for now remain the ruling force.

Over night the Saudi air force attacked the Dulaimi military airbase in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.

Yesterday the Houthi led rebellion had kicked the Saudi/U.S. installed president Hadi out of the country and took control over most of its cities including the southern capitol Aden. The Houthi are allied with the former president Saleh, himself a Houthi and replaced two years ago with his vice president Hadi after a U.S. induced light coup. Saleh and the Houthi are supported by significant parts of the Yemeni army. The Saudis had warned that any move against Aden whereto Hadi hat earlier fled would have consequences but no one took that serious.

The Saudis have now announced, through their embassy in Washington(!), that a coalition of Sunni led countries will attack Yemen. These include at least nominally Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. The Saudis say that 100 of its warplanes and 150,000 soldiers will take part in the campaign. They also announced an air and sea blockade against the country.

The U.S. is "supporting", i.e. guiding, the campaign through a coordination cell. The White House statement says:

In response to the deteriorating security situation, Saudi Arabia, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, and others will undertake military action to defend Saudi Arabia’s border and to protect Yemen’s legitimate government. As announced by GCC members earlier tonight, they are taking this action at the request of Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The United States coordinates closely with Saudi Arabia and our GCC partners on issues related to their security and our shared interests. In support of GCC actions to defend against Houthi violence, President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations. 

While U.S. forces are not taking direct military action in Yemen in support of this effort, we are establishing a Joint Planning Cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. military and intelligence support.

While bashing Obama the usual warmongers in Congress support this attack.

There seems to be the idea that Saudi/U.S. selected president Hadi, out now, could be reintroduced through force. The U.S. claims that Hadi was "elected" but with a ballot like this any "election" is a mere joke. There is no way Hadi can be reintroduced by force. The chance to achieve the war's aim is therefore low.

Someone warned the Houthis of the imminent attack and they evacuated their offices before they were hit. They declared that all agreements between Yemen and Saudi Arabia , including the 1934 Taif border treaty line, are now null and void and the Saudi provinces of Najran, Asir and Jizan, long claimed as historic parts of Yemen, would be taken back.

The Yemenis are fiercely independent and dislike the arrogant Saudis. The Houthis especially have been at war for over a decade. There are tons of weapons in the country including some $500 million worth the U.S. "lost" after it delivered them to its allies on the ground. The chances for the Saudis to win in a fight against Yemen are very low. Pat Lang, former military attache in Yemen, writes about the Houthi:

Spectacularly gifted in field craft, endowed with a wry, dry sense of humor and fiercely independent among the clans and against whatever government might be, these perpetually armed little hill men make good friends but bad enemies.

Gregory Johnson, who studied Yemen, explains the roots of Houthi's campaign against the various U.S. supported governments in Yemen. Emad Mostaque describes the economic background. There are two Wikileaks cables (1 2) about the Saudi fight with Houthis in 2009. The Saudis ended that campaign after enduring unexpected losses.

While the Houthi have also enemies inside Yemen, and would likely not rule for long without a new internal political compromise, the attack by outsiders is likely to unite all Yemeni forces except maybe Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.

To see this whole conflict as a sectarian Shia-Sunni proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia is wrong:

While the chief combatants in the civil war are certainly playing the sectarian card to some degree, there is reason to think that Yemen will not necessarily become part of some regional sectarian conflict. Regardless of their foreign ties, both the Shiite Houthis and their Sunni opponents are deeply rooted in Yemen, and they are motivated primarily by local issues.

The main danger now is that the Western powers, Saudi Arabia or Egypt will overreact and seek to intervene, ostensibly to counter Iranian influence or to quash the efforts of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to gain territory. Yet foreign intervention could very well be the worst approach now—further regionalizing what is still a local fight, injecting a stronger sectarian tone into the conflict while threatening to push Yemen closer to implosion.

As Pat Lang concludes:

The Houthi descendants of my old acquaintances are not servants of Iran. They are not dangerous to Western interests. They are dangerous to AQAP. Get it? Salih will return.

Seen like this the U.S. supported Saudi campaign is actually in support of their Wahhabi Al-Qaeda brethren, not in support of the majority of Yemenis. It is stupid (but typical) for the U.S to support such a move. The fight will, like the British dirty campaign against Yemen in the 1960s which Adam Curtis describes, not result in any progress or success for any of its participants.

The only immediate winners those oil producing countries which are currently distressed by low prices. Oil went up by 6% after the Saudis' plans were announced.


***


La segunda nota fue escrita por Finian Cunningham y la reproduce el sitio Strategic Culture Foundation:


Título: Yemen Beware as it Threatens US-backed Order


TextoThe crisis in Yemen is the latest manifestation of the old order desperately trying to cling on to a dwindling power base. That old order has been backed by the United States and its allies among the Persian Gulf Arab dictatorships as a bulwark against a popular uprising that could lead to democratisation in the poorest Middle Eastern country. If such an outcome were to succeed, the repercussions for the autocratic Gulf monarchies would be deeply destabilising. Saudi Arabia, which shares a southern border with Yemen, is the primary concern for this spreading «instability».

That is why the House of Saud is now issuing all sorts of grave warnings of «foreign interference» and blaming Iran for «aggression». Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal this week said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is ready to send in a military force to «protect Yemen’s sovereignty». The GCC comprises the six monarchial states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. All are stalwart American client regimes. 

Meanwhile, Washington is urging Yemeni rival factions to «return to the United Nations-mediated peace talks». Samantha Power, the US representative on the UN Security Council, said: «To preserve Yemen's security, stability and unity, all parties must refrain from any further unilateral and offensive military actions.»

UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, amid warnings of all-out civil war, said this week that imminent talks were scheduled to take place in the Qatari capital, Doha. Al Jazeera reported that «any agreement reached would be signed in [Saudi capital] Riyadh».

The venues of Doha and Riyadh are hardly neutral places to conduct peace talks. The rebels in Yemen, led by the northern Houthi movement, have accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar, along with the US, of repeatedly interfering in the country’s strife to support the old order and to offset any democratic change. Seen from this point of view, the UN-mediated talks are thus being capped with a veto wielded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. That would explain why Washington is so keen to push the talks, knowing that they will not produce anything substantive in terms of democratic progress in Yemen.

Indeed, Samantha Power has taken to discredit the Houthi movement by alleging that it is responsible for all the recent violence in the country. Power told the UN Security Council this week that the Houthi rebels have «consistently undermined Yemen’s transition». Amazingly, or perhaps not, she did not make mention of Saudi-backed extremists who last week killed more than 130 people in two mosque bombings in the capital, Sanaa. Ironically, it is the US and Saudi Arabia and their unswerving support in sustaining the old regime that is undermining «transition» to a more democratic and peaceful polity in Yemen.

The old regime in Yemen is headed up by Mansour Hadi, who is openly backed by the US and Saudi Arabia. For nearly 30 years he served as the vice president under the strong-arm dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was also backed to the hilt by Washington and Riyadh. 

Saleh was notorious for his kleptocracy, siphoning of huge wealth for his family and entourage from Yemen’s modest oil industry. His son was made commander of the Republican Guard and was being groomed for succession until the Arab region’s popular protests in 2011 threatened to upset the family-run apple cart. Despite a brutal crackdown against largely peaceful protests, in which hundreds were gunned down on the streets of the capital, the American and Saudi sponsors of Saleh managed to stave off his overthrow by spinning out «talks» and eventually coming up with a «deal» that afforded the dictator and his ruling clique lifetime immunity from prosecution. As part of that US-Saudi-brokered «compromise», Saleh’s long-time deputy, Mansour Hadi, was made president in February 2012 after a non-contested «election». His presidency was only supposed to be a transitional position until the advent of full elections and the reconstitution of a representative parliament.

For the past three years, the US-Saudi process of transition has been nothing but a cynical rearguard action to retrench the old order, in which the majority of Yemen’s 24 million population are shut out from democratic control of the country’s politics and economics. The old kleptocratic order would thereby persist in its disenfranchisement of the Yemeni population while serving the geopolitical interests of Washington and its client Arab monarchies. Prime among those interests is the deterrence of democratic change in the region, as American political analyst Noam Chomsky has consistently argued. 

The northern-based Houthis are adherents to a Shia sect of Islam. They have received political support from Shia Iran, but Saudi claims of Iranian fifth columnists are wildly overblown. Also, in the Houthis’ recent push for democratic change in Yemen their political vision has been notably inclusive of all religions and tribes. The Houthis, also known as Ansarullah, have spearheaded the ouster of the old regime simply because they have felt the most grievances of exclusion under the old Western, Saudi-backed order. 

Last September, Houthi frustration over continual delay in the promised political transition boiled over when they took over the capital Sanaa by force of arms. One of its leaders Mohammed Abdulsalam said then: «This is a strategic victory for all Yemenis. But it is only the beginning of a long campaign to defeat corruption endemic in Yemen’s governing system. Today is the beginning of an age different from the past as the voice of all of the nation is being heard».

The Houthi movement can therefore be rightly seen as much more than just a narrow Shia sect, and one that seems to be genuinely agitating for a more democratic, inclusive Yemen. 

When the Western-Saudi puppet president Hadi was forced last September to speed up the overdue transition, it is notable that Saudi Arabia began issuing dire warnings of Yemen’s collapse and Iranian foreign aggression, as it has once again cited this week. Meantime, Riyadh began to step up its support for Al Qaeda-linked groups in Yemen, who embarked on a campaign of car bombings and shootings in the capital and other towns loyal to the pro-democracy movement. Warnings of chaos had a self-fulfilling quality because of covert Saudi sponsoring of chaos. One month after the Houthis took over Sanaa in September last year, a car bomb claimed by Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (which is linked to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) killed more than 50. Last week, saw another atrocity when two Shia mosques were bombed by the same group, killing more than 130. In between those atrocities there have been numerous other massacres carried out by the Al Qaeda-linked extremists, mainly directed at the Houthi community.

The systemic link between Saudi rulers and Islamist terror groups is not a matter of contention. It has been well documented elsewhere, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Syria. So too are the links between US and NATO allies and the same terror groups who function as proxies for regime change or pretexts for foreign military intervention. There are contradictions, of course, such as Saudi Arabia (and Qatar) claiming to be allies in the US-led so-called war on terrorism against Al Qaeda. Washington and Riyadh claim to be waging a counterinsurgency campaign in Yemen against Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, which the US has targeted with its aerial drones for the past decade.
Western powers, including the US, Britain, France and Germany, followed moves by the Persian Gulf monarchies to shut down embassies in Yemen earlier this year. This had the effect of heightening tensions and destabilising the country. The rush to evacuate Yemen had the unmistakable air of a forced abandonment to contrive a state of emergency, which would undermine the Houthi push for political transition. This puts Samantha Power’s recent accusations against the Houthis in a more enlightening context. 

Now the deposed puppet-president Mansour Hadi has set up a base in the southern port city of Aden – the old British colonial «Protectorate». Hadi and his clique are calling for foreign military intervention from the Saudi-led GCC states to «restore order» – a phrase that reveals more than intended. It is patent that the Aden remnant is speaking according to a US-Saudi script aimed at giving a legal fig leaf for justifying foreign interference, whose real intent is to roll back a popular uprising. 

In this Yemeni development there is an unerring analogy with the Bahrain pro-democracy movement. In mid-March 2011 when a Bahraini popular uprising was threatening to overthrow the kleptocratic regime of the Al Khalifa monarchy, the Saudis led a GCC military force into the Gulf island-state to crush that pro-democracy movement. Again, as with Yemen, the Saudis invented the pretext of Iranian aggression as a political cover for its actions. The Americans and the British, too, went fully along with the Saudi ruse in Bahrain to crush a democratic opening and to shore up the old order. 

The old order of autocratic, despotic rule in the Arab region is sacrosanct, as far as Washington and its petrodollar allies are concerned. Democracy, or even the mere possibility of democracy, cannot be tolerated. For that would threaten the fascist order that underpins American global hegemony. Yemen is now entering dangerous political territory. It is threatening the Washington-ordained order, not just in the country, but in the entire oil-rich region. A US-backed Saudi-led military intervention to «restore order» is therefore on the way. That could take the form of an overt invasion, as in Bahrain, or a ramped-up covert terror campaign to drown the country in blood. 

miércoles, 25 de marzo de 2015

Cada vez más cerca de la guerra


Rostislav Ishchenko es el presidente del Center for Systematic Analysis and Forecasting, con sede en Ucrania. Acaba de escribir un dramático análisis sobre las posibilidades de una confrontación militar entre los EEUU (y su títere, la NATO) y la Federación Rusa. Cada vez más cerca de la guerra, chicos; no es joda. Reproducimos el artículo tal cual lo publica hoy el sitio web The Vineyard of the Saker: 


Título: We live in a state of military alert

Texto: For the second year in a row, almost uninterrupted military exercises are taking place in Russia. The number of troops involved is comparable to or even greater than the number of participants in the largest exercise held by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact military alliance – even though the Soviet armed forces totaled 3.5 million in 1991 and today the Russian Federation’s armed forces barely number 1.5 million.

Strategic bombers are constantly on patrol. These aircraft have not only reverted to old areas of combat duty, but are also developing new ones. The navy is being strengthened at a rapid pace. To ensure a global presence for military aircraft and warships, a network of bases is being prepared, including in Latin America. When the Russian leadership asserts that it is not in talks about bases, that is most likely true.

Thus Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay, which is used to refuel Russian bombers, cannot be called a Russian military base because it has no such status. But in effect it is. In fact, it is so effective that the United States demanded in a panic that Vietnam stop Russia’s bomber-refueling flights, only to meet with a refusal. Such a refusal detracts from the superpower’s prestige. The outcome was predictable, but the situation was so distasteful to the United States that it took the risk.

Actually the attempt to prevent Russia from using Cam Ranh to refuel its aircraft is not the United States’ only attempt to counteract Russia. The Black Sea is regularly visited by NATO ships, with the obligatory participation of U.S. warships. NATO’s naval exercises in the Black Sea have also become a regular practice. No sooner does one group of ships leave the region than another shows up to take its place. In the Baltic states, the presence of NATO ground troops has been increased.

Characteristically, it was U.S. troops and equipment that were sent there. Plans have been announced to strengthen the NATO forces in Poland by rearming the Polish army and by transferring additional troops there from other countries in the bloc (most likely they will also be Americans). There is also talk of a deployment of U.S. troops to Bulgaria and Romania.
At the same time, the two sides are conducting media campaigns to intimidate each other. In the United States, the topic du jour is the provision of lethal weapons to the Ukraine, which is supposed to dramatically enhance the combat capability of the helpless Ukrainian army (sort of like giving the Aegis Combat System to a Zulu).

Russia, for its part, is filling the media with information on electronic warfare devices that can be mounted under the fuselage of a plane or in the cockpit of a helicopter and used to disable any electronic system within a radius of hundreds of kilometers, destroy any quantity of airborne missiles, and maybe even make bullets fly backwards. Another favorite theme of the Russian media is the immense superiority of any given Russian arm over its foreign counterparts.

All this indicates that Washington and Moscow are seriously considering a situation where the armies of the two nuclear superpowers come into direct contact. On the one hand, there is a hasty buildup of arms and moving of troops to the front lines, where possible. On the other hand, each side is trying to psych the other out to undermine its will to resist before weapons are even used. To that end, they talk up the latest super-powerful weapons that can kill “seven at one blow.”1

It’s small wonder that Russia appears much more active in this regard. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), which took into account the capabilities of NATO and the Warsaw Pact (after which all members of the Warsaw Pact and three former Soviet republics became members of NATO), placed restrictions on the signatories’ number of key armaments. As a result, in terms of tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery pieces with a caliber of more than one hundred millimeters, and attack helicopters, Russia’s armed forces are significantly outnumbered by their probable enemy in the European theater of war, without taking into account the United States’ ability to quickly transfer additional troops and equipment to Europe.

Russia’s suspension of the CFE Treaty doesn’t change the situation. Thousands of pieces of military equipment cannot be delivered to the troops overnight, just as it is impossible to provide trained crews instantly. Therefore it is necessary to frighten the enemy with quality.
That all this is not a joke is evidenced by the fact that, since January 2015, the word war is increasingly being used by world leaders. Note that it isn’t just U.S. senators who were damaged in Vietnam, such as McCain, who are talking about it, but major European leaders.

Hollande spoke of the threat of war when he and Merkel rushed to Putin to beg for a truce in the Donbass. A Russian invasion is the subject of discussions, expectations, and the almost perverted lust of the Baltic political elites, who are all abuzz about reports that after the Ukraine they will be “Putin’s next victim.” Polish politicians talk about war as if it were a likely occurrence, with a former minister of foreign affairs advising his fellow citizens on live television that, if Russia decides to go to war, they should pack their bags and flee to Australia.

All this is extremely dangerous, not only because Ilf and Petrov were spot on when they wrote that if everyone expects a fire, then the Rookery2 is bound to burn. Constantly keeping an army in a high level of combat readiness comes at a steep material and emotional cost. Moreover, if soldiers of two superpowers get close enough to see one another (i.e., to shoot at one another), the risk of an incident will increase. Finally, at some point military preparations escape politicians’ control and begin to dictate the agenda.

No one wants war but everyone is getting ready for it. Just in case, additional forces are being deployed, an information war is being waged, attempts at financial and economic sabotage are being launched, and allies are being recruited. So far, it all amounts to a flexing of muscles designed to show that both sides are ready for anything. But as such a game advances, it leaves less room for maneuver. At some point, you have to take responsibility for your words, actions, hints, and promises to allies. Otherwise you will lose face and be defeated without going to war. As the confrontation escalates and the saber rattling grows louder, it becomes more difficult to retreat and to save face.

We live in a state of military alert. Sometimes such circumstances are inconsequential; a compromise is found or one side concedes in time. More often than not, it is impossible to back down, and there is no room for compromise. Today, the confrontation between Russia and the United States has gone too far for either side to give way without suffering catastrophic consequences. There are no available resources to ensure a compromise; thus it must be achieved through a third party, but there are no willing parties. We are at a decisive point in the confrontation: it is clear that only one side will survive, but it is not clear whether the United States will give up without a fight or risk starting a military conflict.

So far they have never left the battlefield without having tried all means. At some stage, it might occur to them that provoking a conventional (non-nuclear) conflict will frighten Russia, because it will show Moscow that the United States is not afraid of a direct military confrontation with it, and nuclear Armageddon will be avoided, because Russia will have to back down.

I think that in such a case the United States will soon be faced with a choice: to surrender Europe to Russia or start a nuclear war itself. NATO’s quasi armies, although they have a significant quantitative advantage, are no match for the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and the United States does not have enough troops in Europe to seriously affect the course of events.

In short, the most reliable way to avoid war is not to start thinking about it and preparing for it. We have already passed that stage. The only thing left is just not to start a war, although that is a very complex matter.


Notas:

1 Refers to Seven at One Blow, the Brothers Grimm story of a tailor who kills seven flies with one swipe.

2 Refers to a communal apartment depicted in The Little Golden Calf.

martes, 24 de marzo de 2015

Entrevista


Lo que sigue es una larga entrevista realizada al ex Secretario Asistente del Tesoro estadounidense, el conservador Paul Craig Roberts. Roberts, un brillante analista de su propio país, revisa desapasionadamente la trayectoria de los EEUU en los últimos años y sostiene que la única esperanza de la Humanidad es que el Imperio se derrumbe. La entrevista fue realizada y publicada por el sitio web The Vineyard of the Saker (http://thesaker.is/the-saker-interviews-paul-craig-roberts/). Acá va: 


Título: The Saker interviews Paul Craig Roberts

Epígrafe: I had been wanting to interview Paul Craig Roberts for a long time already. For many years I have been following his writings and interviews and every time I read what he had to say I was hoping that one day I would have the privilege do interview him about the nature of the US deep state and the Empire. Recently, I emailed him and asked for such an interview, and he very kindly agreed. I am very grateful to him for this opportunity.

Entrevista:

The Saker:  It has become rather obvious to many, if not most, people that the USA is not a democracy or a republic, but rather a plutocracy run by a small elite which some call “the 1%”.  Others speak of the “deep state”.  So my first question to you is the following.  Could you please take the time to assess the influence and power of each of the following entities one by one.  In particular, can you specify for each of the following whether it has a decision-making “top” position, or a decision-implementing “middle” position in the real structure of power (listed in no specific order)

-Federal Reserve
-Big Banking
-Bilderberg
-Council on Foreign Relations
-Skull & Bones
-CIA
-Goldman Sachs and top banks
-“Top 100 families” (Rothschild, Rockefeller, Dutch Royal Family, British Royal Family, etc.)
-Israel Lobby
-Freemasons and their lodges
-Big Business: Big Oil, Military Industrial Complex, etc.
-Other people or organizations not listed above?

Who, which group, what entity would you consider is really at the apex of power in the current US polity?

Paul Craig Roberts: The US is ruled by private interest groups and by the neoconservative ideology that History has chosen the US as the “exceptional and indispensable” country with the right and responsibility to impose its will on the world.

In my opinion the most powerful of the private interest groups are:

-The Military/security Complex
-The 4 or 5 mega-sized “banks too big to fail” and Wall Street
-The Israel Lobby
-Agribusiness
-The Extractive industries (oil, mining, timber).

The interests of these interest groups coincide with those of the neoconservatives. The neoconservative ideology supports American financial and military-political imperialism or hegemony.

There is no independent American print or TV media.  In the last years of the Clinton regime, 90% of the print and TV media was concentrated in 6 mega-companies.  During the Bush regime, National Public Radio lost its independence.  So the media functions as a Ministry of Propaganda.

Both political parties, Republicans and Democrats, are dependent on the same private interest groups for campaign funds, so both parties dance to the same masters.  Jobs offshoring destroyed the manufacturing and industrial unions and deprived the Democrats of Labor Union political contributions. In those days, Democrats represented the working people and Republicans represented business.

The Federal Reserve is there for the banks, mainly the large ones.The Federal Reserve was created as lender of last resort to prevent banks from failing because of runs on the bank or withdrawal of deposits.  The New York Fed, which conducts the financial interventions, has a board that consists of the executives of the big banks.  The last  three Federal Reserve chairmen have been Jews, and the current vice chairman is the former head of the Israeli central bank. Jews are prominent in the financial sector, for example, Goldman Sachs.  In recent years, the US Treasury Secretaries and heads of the financial regulatory agencies have mainly been the bank executives responsible for the fraud and excessive debt leverage that set off the last financial crisis.

In the 21st century, the Federal Reserve and Treasury have served only the interests of the large banks.  This has been at the expense of the economy and the population. For example, retired people have had no interest income for eight years in order that the financial institutions can borrow at zero costs and make money.

No matter how rich some families are, they cannot compete with powerful interest groups such as the military/security complex or Wall Street and the banks.  Long established wealth can look after its interests, and some, such as the Rockefellers,  have activist foundations that most likely work hand in hand with the National Endowment for Democracy to fund and encourage various pro-American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in countries that the US wants to influence or overthrow, such as occurred in Ukraine.  The NGOs are essentially US Fifth Columns and operate under such names as “human rights,” “democracy,” etc.  A Chinese professor told me that the Rockefeller Foundation had created an American University in China and is used to organize various anti-regime Chinese.  At one time, and perhaps still, there were hundreds of US and German financed NGOs in Russia, possibly as many as 1,000.

I don’t know if the Bilderbergs do the same.  Possibly they are just very rich people and have their proteges in governments who try to protect their interests.  I have never seen any signs of Bilderbergs or Masons or Rothchilds affecting congressional or executive branch decisions.

On the other hand, the Council for Foreign Relations is influential.  The council consists of former government policy officials and academics involved in foreign policy and international relations.  The council’s publication, Foreign Affairs, is the premier foreign policy forum.  Some journalists are also members. When I was proposed for membership in the 1980s, I was blackballed.

Skull & Bones is a Yale University secret fraternity.  A number of universities have such secret fraternities.  For example, the University of Virginia has one, and the University of Georgia.  These fraternities do not have secret governmental plots or ruling powers.  Their influence would be limited to the personal influence of the members, who tend to be sons of elite families.  In my opinion, these fraternities exist to convey elite status to members.  They have no operational functions.


The Saker:  What about individuals?  Who are, in your opinion, the most powerful people in the USA today?  Who takes the final, top level, strategic decision?

Paul Craig Roberts:  There really are no people powerful in themselves.  Powerful people are ones that powerful interest groups are behind.  Ever since Secretary of Defense William Perry privatized so much of the military in 1991, the military/security complex has been  extremely powerful, and its power is further amplified by its ability to finance political campaigns and by the fact that it is a source of employment in many states. Essentially Pentagon expenditures are controlled by defense contractors.


The Saker:  I have always believed that in international terms, organizations such as NATO, the EU or all the others are only a front, and that the real alliance which controls the planet are the ECHELON countries: US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand aka “AUSCANNZUKUS” (they are also referred to as the “Anglosphere” or the “Five Eyes”) with the US and the UK are the senior partners while Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the junior partners here.  Is this model correct?

Paul Craig Roberts: NATO was a US creation allegedly to protect Europe from a Soviet invasion.  Its purpose expired in 1991.  Today NATO provides cover for US aggression and provides mercenary forces for the American Empire.  Britain, Canada, Australia, are simply US vassal states just as are Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the rest.  There are no partners; just vassals.  It is Washington’s empire, no one else’s.

The US favors the EU, because it is easier to control than the individual countries.


The Saker:  It is often said that Israel controls the USA.  Chomsky, and others, say that it is the USA which controls Israel.  How would you characterize the relationship between Israel and the USA – does the dog wag the tail or does the tail wag the dog?  Would you say that the Israel Lobby is in total control of the USA or are there still other forces capable of saying “no” to the Israel Lobby and impose their own agenda?

Paul Craig Roberts:  I have never seen any evidence that the US controls Israel.  All the evidence is that Israel controls the US, but only its MidEast policy.  In recent years, Israel or the Israel Lobby, has been able to control or block academic appointments in the US and tenure for professors considered to be critics of Israel.  Israel has successfully reached into both Catholic and State universities to block tenure and appointments.  Israel can also block some presidential appointments and has vast influence over the print and TV media.  The Israel Lobby also has plenty of money for political campaign funds and never fails to unseat US Representatives and Senators considered critical of Israel.  The Israel lobby was able to reach into the black congressional district of Cynthia McKinney, a black woman, and defeat her reelection.  As Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “No American President can stand up to Israel.”  Adm. Moorer could not even get an official investigation of Israel’s deadly attack on the USS Liberty in 1967.

Anyone who criticizes Israeli policies even in a helpful way is labeled an “anti-Semite.”

In American politics, media, and universities, this is a death-dealing blow.  You might as well get hit with a hellfire missile.


The Saker:  Which of the 12 entities of power which I listed above have, in your opinion, played a key role in the planning and execution of the 9/11 “false flag” operation?  After all, it is hard to imagine that this was planned and prepared between the inauguration of GW Bush and September 11th – it must have been prepared during the years of the Clinton Administration.  Is it not true the the Oklahoma City bombing was a rehearsal for 9/11?

Paul Craig Roberts: In my opinion 9/11 was the product of the neoconservatives, many of whom are Jewish allied with Israel, Dick Cheney, and Israel.  Its purpose was to provide “the new Pearl Harbor” that the neoconservatives said was necessary to launch their wars of conquest in the Middle East.  I don’t know how far back it was planned, but Silverstein was obviously part of it and he had not had the WTC for very long before 9/11.

As for the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, US Air Force General Partin, the Air Force’s munitions expert,  prepared an expert report proving beyond all doubt that the building blew up from the inside out and that the truck bomb was cover.  Congress and the media ignored his report.  The patsy, McVeigh,  was already set up, and that was the only story allowed.


The Saker:  Do you think that the people who run the USA today realize that they are on a collision course with Russia which could lead to thermonuclear war?  If yes, why would they take such a risk? Do they really believe that at the last moment Russian will “blink” and back down, or do they actually believe that they can win a nuclear war?  Are they not afraid that in a nuclear conflagration with Russia they will lose everything they have, including their power and even their lives?

Paul Craig Roberts: I am as puzzled as much as you.  I think Washington is lost in hubris and arrogance and is more or less insane.  Also, there is belief that the US can win a nuclear war with Russia.  There was an article in Foreign Affairs around 2005 or 2006 in which this conclusion was reached.  The belief in the winnability of nuclear war has been boosted by faith in ABM defenses.  The argument is that the US can hit Russia so hard in a preemptive first strike that Russia would not retaliate in fear of a second blow.


The Saker:  How do you assess the current health of the Empire?  For many years we have seen clear signs of decline, but there is still not visible collapse.  Do you believe that such a collapse is inevitable and, if not, how could it be prevented?  Will we see the day when the US Dollar suddenly become worthless or will another mechanism precipitate the collapse of this Empire?

Paul Craig Roberts:  The US economy is hollowed out.  There has been no real median family income growth for decades.  Alan Greenspan as Fed Chairman used an expansion of consumer credit to take the place of the missing growth in consumer income, but the population is now too indebted to take on more.  So there is nothing to drive the economy.  So many manufacturing and tradable professional service jobs such as software engineering have been moved offshore that the middle class has shrunk.  University graduates cannot get jobs that support an independent existence.  So they can’t form households, buy houses, appliances and home furnishings.  The government produces low inflation measures by not measuring inflation and low unemployment rates by not measuring unemployment.  The financial markets are rigged, and gold is driven down despite rising demand by selling uncovered shorts in the futures market.  It is a house of cards that has stood longer than I thought possible.  Apparently, the house of cards can stand until the rest of the world ceases to hold the US dollar as reserves.

Possibly the empire has put too much stress on Europe by involving Europe in a conflict with Russia.  If Germany, for example, were to pull out of NATO, the empire would collapse, or if Russia can find the wits to finance Greece, Italy, and Spain in exchange for them leaving the Euro and EU, the empire would suffer a fatal blow.

Alternatively, Russia might tell Europe that Russia has no alternative but to target European capitals with nuclear weapons now that Europe has joined the US in conducting war against Russia.


The Saker:  Russia and China have done something unique in history and they have gone beyond the traditional model of forming an alliance: they have agreed to become interdependent – one could say that they have agreed to a symbiotic relationship.  Do you believe that those in charge of the Empire have understood the tectonic change which has just happen or are they simply going into deep denial because reality scares them too much?

Paul Craig Roberts:  Stephen Cohen says that there is simply no foreign policy discussion.  There is no debate.  I think the empire thinks that it can destabilize Russia and China and that is one reason Washington has color revolutions working in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. As Washington is determined to prevent the rise of other powers and is lost in hubris and arrogance, Washington probably believes that it will succeed.  After all, History chose Washington.


The Saker:  In your opinion, do presidential elections still matter and, if yes, what is your best hope for 2016?  I am personally very afraid of Hillary Clinton whom I see as an exceptionally dangerous and outright evil person, but with the current Neocon influence inside the Republican, can we really hope for a non-Neocon candidate to win the GOP nomination?

Paul Craig Roberts:  The only way a presidential election could matter would be if the elected president had behind him a strong movement.  Without a movement, the president has no independent power and no one to appoint who will do his bidding.  Presidents are captives.  Reagan had something of a movement, just enough that we were able to cure stagflation despite Wall Street’s opposition and we were able to end the cold war despite the opposition of the CIA and the military/security complex.  Plus Reagan was very old and came from a long time ago.  He assumed the office of the president was powerful and acted that way.


The Saker:  What about the armed forces?  Can you imagine a Chairman of the JCS saying “no, Mr President, that is crazy, we will not do this” or do you expect the generals to obey any order, including one starting a nuclear war against Russia?  Do you have any hope that the US military could step in and stop the “crazies” currently in power in the White House and Congress?

Paul Craig Roberts:  The US military is a creature of the armaments industries.  The whole purpose of making general is to be qualified to be a consultant to the “defense” industry, or to become an executive or on the board of a “defense” contractor.  The military serves as the source of retirement careers when the generals make the big money.  The US military is totally corrupt.  Read Andrew Cockburn’s book, Kill Chain.


The Saker:  If the USA is really deliberately going down the path towards war with Russia – what should Russia do?  Should Russia back down and accept to be subjugated as a preferable option to a thermonuclear war, or should Russia resist and thereby accept the possibility of a thermonuclear war?  Do you believe that a very deliberate and strong show of strength on the part of Russia could deter a US attack?

Paul Craig Roberts: I have often wondered about this.  I can’t say that I know.  I think Putin is humane enough to surrender rather than to be part of the destruction of the world, but Putin has to answer to others inside Russia and I doubt the nationalists would stand for surrender.

In my opinion, I think Putin should focus on Europe and make Europe aware that Russia expects an American attack and will have no choice except to wipe out Europe in response.  Putin should encourage Europe to break off from NATO in order to prevent World War 3.

Putin should also make sure China understands that China represents the same perceived threat to the US as Russia and that the two countries need to stand together.  Perhaps if Russia and China were to maintain their forces on a nuclear alert, not the top one, but an elevated one that conveyed recognition of the American threat and conveyed this threat to the world, the US could be isolated.

Perhaps if the Indian press, the Japanese Press, the French and German press, the UK press, the Chinese and Russian press began reporting that Russia and China wonder if they will receive a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington the result would be to prevent the attack.

As far as I can tell from my many media interviews with the Russian media, there is no Russian awareness of the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Russians think that there is some kind of misunderstanding about Russian intentions.  The Russian media does not understand that Russia is unacceptable, because Russia is not a US vassal. Russians believe all the Western bullshit about “freedom and democracy” and believe that they are short on both but making progress.  In other words, Russians have no idea that they are targeted for destruction.


The Saker:  What are, in your opinion, the roots of the hatred of so many members of the US elites for Russia?  Is that just a leftover from the Cold War, or is there another reason for the almost universal russophobia amongst US elites?  Even during the Cold War, it was unclear whether the US was anti-Communist or anti-Russian?  Is there something in the Russian culture, nation or civilization which triggers that hostility and, if yes, what is it?

Paul Craig Roberts: The hostility toward Russia goes back to the Wolfowttz Doctrine:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

While the US was focused on its MidEast wars, Putin restored Russia and blocked  Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran.  The “first objective” of the neocon doctrine was breached.  Russia had to be brought into line.  That is the origin of Washington’s attack on Russia.  The dependent and captive US and European media simply repeats “the Russian Threat” to the public, which is insouciant and otherwise uninformed.

The offense of Russian culture is also there–Christian morals, respect for law and humanity, diplomacy in place of coercion, traditional social mores–but these are in the background.  Russia is hated because Russia (and China) is a check on Washington’s unilateral uni-power.  This check is what will lead to war.

If the Russians and Chinese do not expect a pre-emptive nuclear attack from Washington, they will be destroyed.

Petroyuan a la vista




¿Con qué se va a comprar el petróleo en el futuro? En la respuesta a este interrogante se esconde el 80% de todos los conflictos internacionales actuales. Es que el país que emita la moneda con la que se compren los combustibles fósiles (el recurso natural más estratégico) será el país cuya moneda se imponga en el comercio internacional. Eso otorga inmensas ventajas monetarias y financieras al país emisor de esa moneda. Hoy son los EEUU; mañana no se sabe. Acá va una linda nota de Gulam Asgar para Oriental Review:


Título: The Petrocurrency War

Texto: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2007 had supposedly asked ex-Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd "how do you get tough on your banker?" This was over concerns about China's growing power and hold on US finances and according to Wikileaks Rudd told Clinton to keep force as a last resort. Do the Chinese trust the Americans? As superpowers, both are wary of each other. The business of America has always been business, not friendship or the interest of others in mind except their very own. That is understandable. About the American hubris- I once read somewhere that hubris was the downfall of a Greek hero in some classical tragedy.

We are entering a new era- the era of a currency war that will test the might of the US economy and the dollar against the might of the Chinese economy and the yuan. The rope in the tug of war will be crude oil. The US economy based hegemony is being challenged by China and therefore it is naturally given that the US will try to maintain its global geopolitical and financial position. Between the giants, the global financial system could end up being completely redefined through a devastating war in the Middle East.

Some years ago I'd read a book "Petrodollar Warfare" by William Clark. The book was published in 2005 when the euro was a rising currency and China's yuan was a distant dream. Clark had written that the rationale for intervening (in Iraq) was not just for control of oilfields, but also for the control of the means by which oil is traded in global markets. Saddam was deposed by the US and its Arab allies (who held US$ as their reserve currencies) because he refused to sell oil in US$ alone. The same fate was meted to Libya's Gaddafi. Now Iran is in the American crosshairs not because it is purportedly developing a nuclear bomb which the CIA itself has denied but because it has been selling oil in several currencies from its Kish Island bourse. China is buying oil in international markets from countries that are willing to accept the yuan. Based on the US Energy Information (EIA), China in 2013 became the number two oil importer at 6.2 million bbls/day (MMBOPD), just slightly behind that of the US at 6.6 MMBOPD. Again, as per the EIA, China will become the largest importer of oil in 2014-15. Not only that but China's oil production from overseas equity shares through acquisitions increased from a meagre 150,000 BOPD in 2005 to 2.7 MMBOPD in 2013.

China has been importing 52% of its crude oil from the Middle East (including 10% from Iran and 20% from Saudi Arabia) while on the flip side the US has reduced its imports from Saudi Arabia to 16% while the imports from Canada have been steadily increasing over the years. In 2010 US oil production was 9.7 MMBOPD and consumption was 19.2 MMBOPD. That balance changed in 2014 as oil production increased to 13.4 MMBOPD due to shale oil while consumption has actually decreased to 18.7 MMBOPD due to alternate energy and fuel efficiency. Net imports, therefore, further decreased in 2014 by 1.3 MMBOPD (source: EIA)

For over 40 years the US$ has been enjoying an unprecedented and guaranteed position as the world's global currency reserve. In 1971, President Richard Nixon ordered the cancellation of the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold due to heavy inflation caused by the Vietnam war, trade deficit and the rising price of oil which made the dollar worth less than the price of gold used to back it from the Bretton Woods that all other currencies (including the British pound) to be indirectly linked to the gold standard wherein the Central Banks would trade gold among themselves at an agreed peg of US$35/ troy oz. Immediately after this, Nixon negotiated with Saudi Arabia that all oil prices would, in future, be denominated in US$s thus delinking from the metallic yellow gold standard to the fluid black gold standard in return for arms sales and protection. All thirteen OPEC countries including Iran adopted the sale of oil in US dollar. This allowed the US to export much of its inflation.

In January 2015, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) issued a paper titled Global dollar credit: links to US monetary policy and leverage outlining "that since the global financial crisis (of 2008), banks and bond investors have increased the outstanding US dollar credit to non-bank borrowers outside the United States from $6 trillion to $9 trillion (and up from $2 trillion in 2001). This increase due to quantitative easing (QE) by US Federal Reserve Bank has implications for understanding global liquidity and monetary policy transmission". The report explores the horrifying and addictive scale of global debt in US dollars. In layman language the debt is a direct result of the US printing of dollars since 2008.

According to SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) China's yuan became one of the world's top five payment currencies in November 2014, overtaking the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar. Global yuan payments increased by 20.3 percent in value in December 2014. CIPS (China International Payments System)will also put the yuan on a more even footing with other major global currencies like the U.S. dollar, yen, pound sterling and euro. It is possible that in a few short years the yuan will share the same position with the dollar as the petrocurrency with the price of oil being quoted in both yuan and dollar. This will cause a massive migration of dollars to head back into the US from foreign countries and foreign investors resulting in hyperinflation.

Having explained the impact the yuan in a few years and global debt addiction due to the US QE policies, we turn our attention to the new CIPS to be launched by end of 2015 as an alternative to SWIFT which links more than 9000 financial institutions in over 200 countries for facilitating global currency transactions. As per a Reuters report of 9 March 2015 "the launch of the CIPS will remove one of the biggest hurdles to internationalizing the yuan and should greatly increase global usage of the Chinese currency by cutting transaction costs and processing times". Reuters mentioned that "CIPS will become the superhighway for the yuan".


Under above scenarios, the 40 years of political and economic marriage of convenience between Saudi Arabia and the US would likely change. Iran could well emerge as the regional Middle East superpower and a close Chinese and Russian ally under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - a new OPEC with nuclear bombs as suggested in brevity by Professor David Wall in Matthew Brummer's Journal of International Affairs The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Iran: A Power-Full Union. Could that well lead to World War 3 or history may refer to it as "the petrocurrency war"?

Poroshenko cumple su palabra


Nada. Pequeñas historias de la Guerra del Donbass. Los fascistas ucranianos envalentonados por la NATO, la Unión Europea y el FMI rompen todo a su paso, antes de ser prolijamente barridos por los ciudadanos de la Nueva Rusia. Lo que sigue apareció estos días en el sitio web Slaviangrad.es:


Título: Poroshenko cumple su palabra: los niños de Donbass no van al colegio

Preámbulo: En un discurso en Odessa en el mes de octubre, el presidente Petro Poroshenko comparaba las perspectivas de futuro de los ucranianos con las de los residentes de Donbass. Concretamente, el presidente ucraniano prometió: “¡Nuestros hijos irán a los colegios y a las guarderías mientras los suyos se esconden en sótanos!” Por el momento, el Gobierno ucraniano ha hecho todo lo posible para cumplir con su palabra. Aquí hay uno de esos niños sentados en el sótano según los deseos del presidente de Ucrania.

Texto: El comandante en funciones de la Oficina del Comando de Perevalsk me guió en una breve visita por una de las pequeñas localidades más cercanas a la línea del frente. Las tropas ucranianas habían continuado disparando contra zonas residenciales del pueblo hasta el mismo momento en que la milicia barrió Debaltsevo de fuerzas ucranianas. Tomamos una carretera que conozco perfectamente. Atravesamos una zona del pueblo en la que por todas partes se podían ver las consecuencias de los bombardeos. Nos aproximamos al colegio por la parte trasera, donde vimos un campo de fútbol con un gran cráter en la parte central. Después vimos otro cráter, consecuencia de un misil Uragan, junto al colegio.

No ha quedado una sola ventana intacta en el lado del colegio orientado hacia Debaltsevo. Evidentemente, no se trataba de disparos al azar: se observaba que todos los disparos hacia el colegio habían sido impactos directos.

Caminamos alrededor del colegio. Su fachada, orientada en dirección al territorio controlado por la milicia, se ha mantenido prácticamente intacta. Curiosamente, este colegio era uno de los más bonitos de la región de Perevalsk: hace dos años había recibido una subvención para renovar la fachada, por lo que había quedado completamente renovada.

Me gustaría añadir que el respeto a la memoria siempre ha sido una parte importante de nuestra educación. La falsificación de la historia, concretamente reemplazando los nombres de los héroes soviéticos por nombres banderistas, se ha convertido, en este conflicto de Ucrania, en una de las principales herramientas utilizadas en los colegios ucranianos. Pero el pueblo de Donbass recuerda su verdadera historia: no solo porque la hemos estudiado en el colegio, sino porque la hemos aprendido de nuestros abuelos, que vivieron esa historia en primera persona y nos la contaron una y otra vez, asegurándose de que nunca la olvidemos.

Escuché una voz desde la calle: entre un grupo de adultos, se acercaba una niña que señalaba en dirección a la parte más dañada del colegio diciendo: “Mi clase estaba ahí”. Vika, de siete años, estaba muy triste por su colegio. Prácticamente todos sus amigos han abandonado la ciudad y ahora su familia y ella también tienen que marcharse.

Mientras tanto, en las Malvinas...


Los ingleses “temen” una escalada bélica argentina sobre las Malvinas, por lo que reforzarán su presencia militar en las islas, nos cuenta el inefable Telegraph esta semana. Mmmmmm... Nos preguntamos qué significa todo esto. Acá va la nota, junto con otras dos, del año pasado, a las cuales remite el artículo.


Título: Britain to send more troops to the Falklands to counter 'heightened' invasion threat from Argentina

Subtítulo: Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, will announce plans to bolster the Falkland Islands garrison
           
Texto: The South American nation is feared to be increasing military expenditure, according to reports. Senior ministers in the country have also made a series of increasingly aggressive statements about the islands in recent years.

A Whitehall source told the Sun newspaper: "The Defence Secretary's decision reflects our operational judgments and the heightened nature of the threat."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence added: "There is a defence review and an announcement will be made about it. There will be a full statement by Michael Fallon."

Military analysts have previously argued that without an aircraft carrier, Harrier jump jets or the ability to deploy a task force, the islands could be seen as an easy target for Argentina.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (David Rose for the Telegraph)
Buenos Aires has intensified its claim since oil exploration began. In 2011 its president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, called David Cameron "arrogant" for insisting the islands will remain British as long as their inhabitants wish to.

British oil company Rockhopper Exploration revealed significant discoveries of oil, which it says are enough oil to make the Falklands a significant production centre.

Arturo Puricelli, Argentina's defence minister, previously declared that British vessels were "contaminating" the south Atlantic and pledged to fight for the Falkland Islands, known in Argentina as the "Islas Malvinas".

Speaking on state TV, Puricelli said: "We don't want [the British] to come here to make this unnecessary show of military strength. We have no doubt at all that we are going to recover our Malvinas islands. The international community will support us."
The British government last year rejected calls to sit down with Argentina to negotiate sovereignty over the islands.

The 24-nation Decolonisation Committee passed a resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a solution to the dispute over the south Atlantic archipelago, essentially favouring Argentina’s stance in the two-century old dispute.

"The UK’s position on the UN’s decolonisation process is well-known. We regret that the UN Decolonisation Committee continues with its outdated approach,” said a Foreign Office spokesman at the time.


***

Título: China backs Argentina's position on Falkland Islands

Subtítulo: Chinese support calls at two-day G77 summit for the governments of Argentina and the UK to resume negotiations on 'the Malvinas Islands question'

Texto: China has endorsed Argentina's position over the Falkland Islands affirming that the current situation "seriously harms the economic capacity of Argentina".

During the two-day G77 summit held at the weekend in Santa Cruz, Bolivia at which China was a "special invitee", a statement was unanimously approved supporting Argentina's calls for dialogue to solve the "Malvinas Islands question".

"We reaffirm the need for the governments of Argentina and the UK to resume negotiations on the 'Malvinas Islands question' in conformity with the principles and objectives of the United Nations and pertinent resolutions, so as to find a timely, peaceful solution to the sovereignty dispute related to the 'Malvinas Islands question'," the statement read.

It stated that the current situation "seriously harms the economic capacity of Argentina" and reaffirmed "the need for both sides to abstain from making decisions that involve the introduction of unilateral modifications to the situation, while the Islands are in the middle of the process recommended by the UN General Assembly".

It is not the first time China has pledged support to Argentina in its claims over the Malvinas, as they are known in Spanish. In return Argentina acknowledges China's sovereignty over the island of Taiwan.


***

Título: Falkland Islands UN resolution siding with Argentina 'outdated' and 'not relevant', says Britain

Subtítulo: United Nations committee resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a Falkland Islands solution - essentially favouring Argentina’s stance - dismissed by Foreign Office

Texto: The UN passed a resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a solution to the dispute over the Falklands

The UK dismissed a resolution calling for dialogue with Argentina over the Falkland Islands which was approved by a UN committee on Thursday insisting that the “decolonisation” process was “outdated” and “no longer relevant”.

The 24-nation Decolonisation Committee passed a resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a solution to the dispute over the south Atlantic archipelago, essentially favouring Argentina’s stance in the two-century old feud.

But the British government again rejected calls to sit down with Argentina to negotiate sovereignty over the islands.

"The UK’s position on the UN’s decolonisation process is well-known. We regret that the UN Decolonisation Committee continues with its outdated approach,” a spokesman from the FCO told the Telegraph.


“The Decolonisation Committee no longer has a relevant role to play with respect to British Overseas Territories. They all have a large measure of self government, have chosen to retain their links with the UK, and therefore should have been delisted a long time ago.”