Monday, January 18, 2016

Who Stole 143 Tons of Gold From the Libyan People?

Clinton’s Emails Have Disclosed the Real Reason for Gaddafi’s Overthrow

Saturday, January 09, 2016

JANUARY 8, 2016


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 isolation are the best remedies. The Obama administration thinks they have the whole matter under control and don’t need to be flexible or compromise which is why they are opting for sticks over carrots.  In fact, Obama has refused to conduct any bilateral talks with the North unless the North agrees beforehand to abandon its nuclear weapons programs altogether and allow weapons inspectors to examine all their nuclear facilities. This is a non-starter for the DPRK. They see their nuclear weapons program as their “ace in the hole”, their only chance to end persistent US hostility.
Now if we separate the “hydrogen bomb” incident from the longer historic narrative dating back to the Korean War, it’s possible to twist the facts in a way that makes the North look like the “bad guy”, but that’s simply not the case.   In fact, the reason the world is facing these problems today is because of US adventurism in the past. Just as ISIS emerged from he embers of the Iraq War, so too, nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula is a direct result of failed US foreign policy in the ’50s.
US involvement in the Korean War precluded a final settlement, which means the war never really ended.  An armistice agreement that was signed on July 27, 1953, ended the hostilities, but a “final peaceful settlement” was never achieved, so the nation remains divided today. The reason that matters is because the US still has 15 military bases in South Korea, 28,000 combat troops, and enough artillery and missiles to blow the entire country to smithereens.  The US presence in South Korea effectively prevents the reunification of the country and a final conclusion to the war unless it is entirely on Washington’s terms.  Bottom line: Even though the cannons have stopped firing, the war drags on, thanks in large part to the ongoing US occupation.
So how can the North normalize relations with the US if Washington won’t talk to them and, at the same time, insists that the North abandon the weapons program that is their only source of leverage?  Maybe they  should do an about-face, meet Washington’s demands, and hope that by extending the olive branch relations will gradually improve. But how can that possibly work, after all, Washington wants regime change so it can install a US puppet that will help create another capitalist dystopia for its corporate friends. Isn’t that the way US interventions usually turn out? That’s not compromise, it’s suicide.
And there’s another thing too: The leadership in Pyongyang knows who they’re dealing with which is why they’ve taken the hardline. They know the US doesn’t respond to weakness, only strength. That’s why they can’t cave in on the nukes project.  It’s their only hope.  Either the US  stands down and makes concessions or the stalemate continues. Those are the only two possible outcomes.
It’s worth noting, that before Syria, Libya, Iraq, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Vietnam and the long catalogue of US bloodbaths across the decades, there was the Korean War. Americans have swept it under the rug, but every Korean, North and South, knows what happened and how it ended. Here’s a short  refresher that explains why the North is still wary of the US 63 years after the armistice was signed.  The excerpt is from an article titled “Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea”, at Vox World:
“In the early 1950s, during the Korean War, the US dropped more bombs on North Korea than it had dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of napalm, often deliberately targeted civilian as well as military targets, devastating the country far beyond what was necessary to fight the war. Whole cities were destroyed, with many thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more left homeless and hungry….
According to US journalist Blaine Harden…
“Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War,told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops……
You can glimpse both the humanitarian and political consequences in an alarmed diplomatic cable that North Korea’s foreign minister sent to the United Nations… in January 1951:
“On January 3 at 10:30 AM an armada of 82 flying fortresses loosed their death-dealing load on the city of Pyongyang …Hundreds of tons of bombs and incendiary compound were simultaneously dropped throughout the city, causing annihilating fires, the transatlantic barbarians bombed the city with delayed-action high-explosive bombs which exploded at intervals for a whole day making it impossible for the people to come out onto the streets. The entire city has now been burning, enveloped in flames, for two days. By the second day, 7,812 civilians houses had been burnt down. The Americans were well aware that there were no military targets left in Pyongyang….
The number of inhabitants of Pyongyang killed by bomb splinters, burnt alive and suffocated by smoke is incalculable…Some 50,000 inhabitants remain in the city which before the war had a population of 500,000.”
Get the picture? When it became clear that the US was not going to win the war, they decided to teach “those rotten Commies” a lesson they’d never forget. They reduced the entire North to smoldering rubble condemning the people to decades of starvation and poverty.  That’s how Washington fights its wars: “Kill ’em all and let God sort it out.”
This is why the North is building nukes instead making concessions; it’s because Washington is bent on either victory or annihilation.
So what does North Korea want from the United States?  
The North wants what it’s always wanted. It wants the US to stop its regime change operations,  honor its obligations under the 1994 Agreed Framework, and sign a non aggression pact. That’s all they want, an end to the constant hectoring, lecturing and interference.  Is that too much to ask? Here’s how Jimmy Carter summed it up in a Washington Post op-ed (November 24, 2010):
 “Pyongyang has sent a consistent message that during direct talks with the United States, it is ready to conclude an agreement to end its nuclear programs, put them all under IAEA inspection and conclude a permanent peace treaty to replace the ‘temporary’ cease-fire of 1953. We should consider responding to this offer. The unfortunate alternative is for North Koreans to take whatever actions they consider necessary to defend themselves from what they claim to fear most: a military attack supported by the United States, along with efforts to change the political regime.” (“North Korea’s consistent message to the U.S.”, President Jimmy Carter, Washington Post)
There it is in black and white. The US can end the conflict today by just meeting its obligations under the terms of the Agreed Framework and by agreeing that it will not attack North Korea in the future. The path to nuclear disarmament has never been easier, but the chances of Obama taking that road are slim at best.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.          More articles by:

Monday, January 04, 2016

Viet Nam is celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the first General Election Day for the first National Assembly.

Exhibition marks 70th anniversary of Viet Nam's National Assembly

The exhibition features the history, activities and important achievements of the National Assembly over the past 70 years. It is expected to help young generations to look back on the country's glorious revolutionary traditions and to be grateful for the generations who sacrificed their life for the country's freedom.
— VNS Photo Doan Tung

HA NOI (VNS) — One thousand documents, books and photos featuring the history, activities and achievements of the National Assembly over the past 70 years are on display in Ha Noi. The exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport, opened yesterday at the National Library of Viet Nam. It aims to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first national General Election to elect deputies to the National Assembly (NA) of Viet Nam (January 6, 1946 – January 6, 2016).

The exhibition is expected to help the public understand better the activities of National Assembly, the highest representative organ of the people, which represents the aspirations of the people, and makes key decisions for the country on behalf of the people. "As the highest organ of state power, the NA has played an important role in national liberation," said Huynh Vinh Ai, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

"I hope that the exhibition will help young generations look back on the patriotism of Vietnamese people, to be proud of the country's glorious revolutionary traditions and to be grateful for the generations who sacrificed their life for the country's freedom," he adds.

The book and documents on display at the exhibition are divided into different themes. They feature landmarks related to the establishment of the National Assembly of Viet Nam including the first elections of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam which has now become the Socialist republic of Viet Nam. The public can also learn about the role of the NA in the country's liberation and reunification, as well as during the renewal period.

NA resolutions through thirteen elections are also featured, including key events for the country: revolution, construction of socialism, renewal, and protection of sovereignty over archipelagos. The show runs until next Tuesday (January 12) at the National Library of Viet Nam, located at 31 Trang Thi street, Ha Noi. — VNS

First National Assembly Election- Milestone of Democracy
National Times- 
The victory of the 1st National Assembly election on January 6, 1946 marked a leap of democratic institution in Vietnam’s history. 

On September 3, 1945, a day after the Declaration of independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was presented in Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi Capital, in the first meeting of interim government, President Ho Chi Minh had proposed one of six urgent tasks, the first election of National Assembly had to be held as soon as possible.

The event later took place on January 6, 1945 in the whole country, including conflict zones such as the South, South Central and Central Highlands.

People in Hanoi showed their support for the first election in 1946 (Photo: Internet)

Doctor Bui Xuan Duc, Director of Theoretical Centre under the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee said that, though Vietnam had no experiences at that time to organize the congress election, the general one on January 6, 1945 manifested full contents and requirements of electoral principles that are equal, direct and secret ballot.

“The important success is that the election was a chance to build a democracy for people and by people through representative democracy system. The election was conducted in due course, consisting of listing candidates, making a list of voters, organizing the poll, vote counting and solving complaints and denunciations. Furthermore, the best feature of the poll is that we organized substantive election campaign, attracting people to participate in voting and favoring candidates of registering delegates”, Duc also affirmed.

The poll in January, 1946 was successful on a national scale. The number of voters enrolled in voting was 89%. There are many factors leading to the success, in which the main reason is that our people live under the new regime with the democratic system bringing full of human rights.

Historian Le Van Lan said: “This (the election’s success) represents an aspect of Ho Chi Minh thought. Besides the urgency of holding the first National Assembly election, the Communist Party still put all its faith in itself, the people and the nation. Because of their confidence, the first National Assembly was organized extremely successful and meaningful that made a difference to the modern history of Vietnam.”

The general election were formalized by establishing the National Assembly and official government, promulgating the Constitution, building apparatus of government had full of legally significance to represent the people of Vietnam internally and externally. In addition, the event also showed respect to rights of people.

Former Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Office Tran Ngoc Duong said the people of Vietnam from the existence of slavery to the owner of a free and independent country, that says to the world: the people of Vietnam are determined to protect the independence and were actually able to self-determine its historic destiny and build the new regime. Specifically, the 1946 Constitution asserted the construction of a strong government of people and for people.

The victory of the general election on January 1, 1946 celebrated a milestone of the state, which opened a new era, the epoch of a National Assembly, a unified government, a progressive constitution and a complete government system.

Duong also said: “The first Constitution was directly drafted by President Ho Chi Minh. As a result, the document inherited both legislative and constitutional techniques, which enhanced the rights of people adequately.”

From the first general election, progressive principles of election have continued to be grown through later national Constitutions and institutionalized in related laws.
Minh Hoa (Source: VOV

Images for Viet Nam’s first General Election, 1946