China’s Emergence as a 21st Century Superpower

The China Complex: the Big Picture – Part 2

Al Jazeera (2019)

Film Review

Part 2 starts with the 1989 so-called Tiananmen Square “massacre,” which recent evidence suggests was a failed CIA-instigated color revolution.* Five months later, the Berlin Wall would collapse. According to historian F William Engdahl, the CIA also played a much greater role in the collapse of the Soviet Union than they have officially admitted.**

The 1990s saw an increasingly prosperous middle class under Deng Xiaoping’s “Strike Harsh” policy. This is described as harsh “extra legal” punishments against dissidents and “hooligans.” Much of this repression was directed against violent protests by Tibetan  (China annexed the protectorate of Tibet in 1951) and Uyhgar separatists. Though not mentioned in the documentary, both groups continue to receive significant funding and support from the CIA (see How the CIA Uses the Uyghurs to Destabilize China).

Uyghur jihadists have received additional funding and support from Turkey. With a stated goal of liberating Xinjian province as independent East Turkmenistan, they have been conducting major bombing campaigns against transportation and other government facilities.

In 2019, documents leaked by US intelligence supposedly indicate China is holding two million Uyghurs in concentration camps, as well as forbidding them to have bears or to display Arabic symbols. Given that China is far less Islamaphobic than the US, I am more inclined to believe Chinese claims the CIA photos are of voluntary vocational centers serving unemployed Uyghur youth as part of a government deradicalization program. See How Dare the US Lecture China About the Rights of Muslims

In Part 2, commentators also discuss growing Western concerns (after China joined the WTO in 2001) that it would usurp the US and Japan as the world’s major trading partners. These concerns sharply escalated when China literally saved the world from economic collapse in 2008 – by buying up a large quantity of US Treasury bonds and using central bank funding to stimulate internal economic growth.

Filmmakers go on to describe Xi Jinping’s accession to the Chinese presidency in 2012 and the immense popularity of his “Tigers and Flowers” anti-corruption campaign. The latter has resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of many notoriously corrupt local officials.

The documentary then explores China’s Belt and Road trade program that now extends from Asia into Africa. There China has essentially replaced the World Bank in handing out infrastructure development loans to struggling economies.

The film concludes by describing the trade war Trump started with China in 2018, allegedly to reduce the country’s trade surplus with the US and to punish them for failing to enforce international property treaties.


*See Tiananmen Square: The Failure of a 1989 US-inspired Color Revolution and The US-China Trade War Can be Traced Back to the Failed Tiananmen Square Color Revolution. According to several US reporters on the scene, there were no actual deaths when Chinese tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square (see The Tiananmen Square Massacre: Facts Fiction and Propaganda/).

**See Russia’s Criminal Oligarchy and the Rule of Bush Senior and the CIA

9-11: Anatomy of a Great Deception

9-11: Anatomy of a Great Deception

RT (2017)

Film Review

The first 9-11 Truth documentary I’ve seen on RT, this film takes a unique approach to explaining why 9-11 was an inside job. It’s based on independent filmmaker Dennis Hooper’s 2014 documentary 9/11: Anatomy of a Great Deception.

Hooper was always troubled by the Secret Service failure to evacuate President Bush from the school he was visiting in Florida – despite the knowledge that the US was under attack by foreign terrorists with hijacked airplanes.

Like many of us, he was also troubled by the collapse of Building 7. Located more than a football field away from the Twin Towers, its collapse couldn’t be explained by structural damage or fires fueled by jet fuel. Adding to Hooper’s concerns was the failure of the official 9/11 Commission Report  to make any mention of Building 7 – despite persistent demands by 9/11 Families for a “scientific” investigation into its collapse.

The film proceeds to lay out an extremely lucid explanation, based mainly on the detailed work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, why structural damage (from planes) and jet-fueled fires couldn’t possibly cause the collapse of three buildings at the World Trade Center.

For Hooper, the most significant evidence is the pools of molten steel first responders discovered in the building rubble. Steel melts at 3,000 degrees F, while kerosene (ie jet fuel) fires produce a maximum temperature of 1,800 degrees F.

Making use of extensive footage produced by the 9-11 Truth movement, Hooper walks viewers through extensive evidence documented that all three World Trade Center buildings could only have been brought down by controlled demolition.*

Moreover the discovery of military grade nanothermite (which is only produced at the Los Alamos National Laboratory) leaves absolutely no doubt that people at the highest levels of government were complicit in bringing down the WTC.

Clearly a postscript to the original film, the last 29 minutes consists of a a strange interview in which Hooper blames the 9-11 attacks on a 2,000-year-old conspiracy orchestrated by Satan and the Forces of Evil.


*Controlled demolition is the tearing down or razing of man made structures via the detonation of carefully timed explosive charges.

Pipelinestan: The Taliban, Unocal and 9-11

Taliban Oil

Al Jazeera (2015)

Film Review

Taliban Oil is a documentary about secret negotiations between Unocal and the Taliban to build a pipeline transporting natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India – via Afghanistan. It features interviews with the former president of Unocal (who entertained Taliban leaders in his home in Sugarland Texas), a female Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) operative who lost her security clearance for a report warning the Clinton administration for a against US collaboration with the Taliban.

This film contradicts the conventional wisdom that the US invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban refused to build the Unocal pipeline. Filmmakers maintain it was Unocal who canceled the pipeline project. Already by the late nineties, Afghanistan was suffering the ravages of a 20-years of civil war – the Taliban were extremely keen to use the $400 million/year transit fees for reconstruction. The Clinton administration was also heavily promoting the pipeline deal, arranging for Taliban leaders to meet with the State Department, CIA and NSA.

Unocal reportedly withdrew from the deal in 1998, after suicide bombers blew up US embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania. Clinton blamed the suicide bombing on Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, who was operating jihadist training camps in Afghanistan.

In addition to attacking various training camps with cruise missiles, Clinton made 30 separate requests for the Taliban to extradite bin Laden to the US. Although supreme Taliban leader Mullah Omar opposed the training camps, bin Laden was a national hero for his role in expelling the Soviets. It would have brought great shame on the Taliban leadership to hand him over to the Americans. .

In 2001 George W Bush and Dick Cheney reiterated the requests for bin Laden’s extradition, while simultaneously making deals for their own petroleum companies to build the pipeline.

Rejecting the Taliban’s offer to expel bin Laden to a third country, in summer 2001 the Bush administration made plans to invade Afghanistan in mid-autumn. One source* quoted in the film states the jihadists were aware of the impending attack and decided to launch a preemptive strike on the Twin Towers.


*For documentation filmmakers provide an old YouTube clip from Adam Gaddan, the Jewish-born “American” al-Qaeda spokesperson. Gaddan has long been suspected of either Israeli or US intelligence links.

911 Trillions: Follow the Money

In this documentary, James Corbett approaches the mystery of 9-11 by tracing money flows rather than physical evidence – ie he identifies individuals and companies that plainly had foreknowledge of the 9-11 attacks and used it to reap windfall profits.

The three main ways people profited from 9-11 were insurance scams, insider trading and fraudulent electronic transactions. Ironically the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 9-11 Commission and FBI identified some of the same scam artists as Corbett and other private researchers. Bizarrely they declined to indict them owing to “no known ties to al Qaeda.”

Insurance Scams

Key suspects: Larry Silverstein, GMAC (the finance arm of General Motors) and real estate developers Lloyd Goldstein and Joseph Kerr. GMAC, Goldman and Kerr helped finance Silverstein purchase of the Twin towers from the New York Port Authority in July 2001. Immediately on taking possession, Silverstein doubled the insurance coverage from $1.5 billion (the buildings’ assessed value was $1.2 billion) to $3.55 billion. In addition, following the attacks, the Port Authority repaid Silverstein 80% of the original lease. In total, Silverstein netted a $4.5 billion profit from 9-11.

Insider Trading

On Sept 10 2001, the SEC identified a 90% increase in “put options”* for companies whose stocks would tank the week after 9-11:

  • United Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Morgan Stanley (one of two major tenants in Twin Towers)
  • Marsh & McLennan (one of two major tenants in Twin Towers)
  • Boeing
  • Citigroup
  • Axa
  • Merrill Lynch
  • J P Morgan
  • various reinsurers

The SEC also noted a six-fold increase in “call options” on defense contractor Raytheon (manufactured missiles subsequently used in attack on Afghanistan) in the weeks prior to the attacks.

Three of the most prominent insider traders were Mrs and Mrs Wirt D Walker III (distant relatives of George Herbert Walker Bush and business partners with Marvin Bush with links to the Carlyle Group***) and Deutsche Bank, Alex Brown Division, run by to Buzzy Krongard, former consultant to former CIA director James Woolsey Jr.

Fraudulent Electronic Transactions

Marsh & McLannan was responsible for developing Silverstream, an innovative method of paperless electronic transactions. A team of March & McLannan auditors were investigating $100 million in suspicious transactions involving AIG and Deutsche Bank. All were killed in the 9-11 attacks – their data sets conveniently destroyed. A German company Convar was able to reconstruct most of these transactions from hard drives recovered at Ground Zero.

Attack on the Pentagon

The attack on the Pentagon killed the Department of Defense team investigating the $2.3 trillion that went missing from the DOD 2000-2001 budget – and destroyed all their data.


*A put option lets the option owner sell a stock at its original price when the share price falls – pocket the difference.

**A call option lets the option owner buy a stock at its original price when a share price increases – and pocket the difference.

***Carlyle Group – a global equity management group, closely linked with George H. W. Bush and the bin Laden family.

Who Killed Senator Paul Wellstone?

American Assassination: The Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone

by Four Arrows and Jim Fetzer

Vox Pop (2004)

Book Review

American Assassination summarizes the authors’ investigation into the freak airplane crash that killed Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone on October 25, 2002. Wellstone, an outspoken populist, was killed exactly 10 days before a midterm election in which the Bush/Cheney administration invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to defeat him.

Wellstone was the sole senator to oppose the Use of Force Resolution authorizing George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq. In addition to advocating for an independent investigation into 9-11, many believed he was the only Democratic who could beat Bush in the 2004 election.

Numerous anomalies associated with the crash investigation point to an official cover-up:

  • The FBI, which had no legal jurisdiction, departed for the crash scene before the accident occurred – and subsequently lied about the time they arrived.
  • The National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) failed to hold a public hearing (which is routine in high profile cases). Their reported also omitted important eyewitness testimony regarding roaring/humming cellphone interference at the precise moment the plane lost control and a flash of fire, followed by an abrupt cessation of engine noise, just prior to the crash.
  • Wellstone’s and other crash victims’ lungs showed evidence of smoke inhalation (which means they were still in the air – and alive – when the plane caught fire). In other words, the crash didn’t cause the fire, as claimed by the NTSB.
  • The smoke from the burning fuselage was blue, suggesting a pre-crash electrical fire. If the crash had caused the fuel tanks to explode (as claimed by the NTSB), the smoke would have been black. Neither of the wings, where the fuel tanks were located, caught fire.

The book also includes an excellent summary by late assassination researcher Michael Ruppert of 47 instances of US politicians dying in plane crashes – with six fatal crashes occurring during election campaigns.

There is also an excellent scientific overview of the microwave – aka electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons – developed by the Pentagon for use in Iraq. Pulses from these weapons can destroy all electronics within a 1,000 foot range by short circuiting electrical connections. Electronic aircraft navigational equipment is exquisitely sensitive to electromagnetic interference – which is why air passengers are strictly forbidden to use cellphones or laptops during takeoff or landing. Numerous military crashes have been caused by aircraft getting too close to radio transmitters.

Unlike the NTSB, Fetzer and Four Arrows try to come up with an explanation for the crash that explains the simultaneous loss of aircraft control and loss of communication with the tower. Only two possible scenarios are consistent with this evidence – a small incendiary bomb or an EMP weapon that took out the plane’s electronics as it was landing. They find the latter more likely – anyone can purchase a basic EMP weapon on the Internet.

The Assassination of Yassar Arafat

What Killed Arafat?

Al Jazeera (2013)

Film Review

For me, the principal importance of this documentary series is that it exposes whitewashing by the western media of the death of Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat.

I vaguely recall the 2012 BBC report on the Palestinian Authority decision to exhume Arafat’s body, based on evidence of polonium poisoning in his personal effects. After watching this two-part documentary, I now realize the western reporting was total disinformation.

Among the most important facts the film brings out:

  • The Palestinian Authority, believing from the outset that Arafat had been poisoned, begged the Bush administration to prevail on Israel to provide them an antidote. Years earlier they forced Israel to give them an antidote after bodyguards captured the Mossad agent who poisoned the leader of Hamas.
  • It was Al Jazeera itself that undertook, at the behest of his widow, a forensic investigation into Arafat’s death. They approached the Swiss University Center for Legal Medicine, whose scientists discovered high levels of radioactive polonium 210 in his hospital clothing.
  • It was the Palestinian Authority, rather than Arafat’s widow as reported in the western media, that refused to agree to an autopsy. This procedure is routine under French law (Arafat died in a Paris hospital) when the cause of death is unknown.
  • Arafat didn’t die of a stroke, as reported in western media. He died of Diffuse Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), a condition of whole body clotting triggered by a catastrophic medical condition such as leukemia, cancer, infection, HIV or poisoning.

At the time Arafat developed his mystery illness, he was living under siege in a two room apartment surrounded by ruble in bombed out Ramallah. The Israeli government had leveled the Palestinian Authority complex as part of a regime change exercise undertaken jointly by the Bush administration and Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon.

Arafat was in excellent health when he suddenly became violently ill (after a meal) with a mystery illness of four weeks duration. His French doctors tested him for a number of known poisonings. The possibility of polonium poisoning didn’t occur to anyone until it was used to assassinate Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

Part I

Part 2

Torture 101

Taxi to the Dark Side

Directed by Alex Gibney (2007)

Film Review

Taxi to the Dark Side is a detailed expose of Bush administration torture polices at three overseas US prisons: Bagram in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo in Cuba. It traces extensive documentary evidence that high level Bush administration officials (including Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney) personally approved illegal torture techniques and covered them up by court martially low level officers – who they dismissed as “a few bad apples.”

The film takes its title from an Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar who was accidentally swept up by occupying forces in 2002. Dilawar died of torture-induced injuries within five days of detention, a death an Army pathologist classified as homicide. A total of 105 detainees had died in US torture facilities as of 2007 when this film was made. Of these, 37 were classified as homicide.

During the campaign, Donald Trump promised to “bring back torture.” His reversal earlier this week makes this documentary especially pertinent, as he’s likely to face some backlash from his neocon supporters.

 

Untold History of the US – Bush and Obama Age of Terror

Part 10 of Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States covers the Bush II and Obama presidency.

The Bush II Presidency

Stone begins this section by reminding viewers that Al Gore won the 2000 election by 540,000 votes. He asserts Gore would also have won the electoral college if the Supreme Court hadn’t intervened and stopped the recount in Florida.

Under the heavy influence of Vice President Dick Cheney and other Project for a New American Century (PNAC) members, Bush immediately withdrew from the International Criminal Court treaty (which Clinton supported), the Nuclear Test Ban Treat, the Kyoto Accord and the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty. He also suspended US-led talks for Korean unification and for peace in Israel-Palestine.

Following 9-11 (which Stone refers to as the new Pearl Harbor PNAC called for), Bush launched illegal wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition to authorizing the illegal indefinite detention of “enemy combatants” at Guantanamo, he also authorized the use torture and significantly expanded the US of “extraordinary rendition”* by the CIA, a program started by Clinton.

During his two terms as president, Bush doubled the defense budget, forcing massive cuts in domestic spending – which Stone maintains destroyed the US economy.

Meanwhile he pushed the Patriot Act through Congress to suppress domestic dissent against these policies.

The Obama Presidency

Stone begins this segment by reminding us that Obama rejected public campaign financing in 2008. His opponent John McCain, in contrast, accept public financing. As a result, Obama received all the major donations from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks. This enabled him to significantly outspend McCain.

Stone blasts Obama for campaigning as the anti-war, change candidate. Who immediately on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, massively increased troop numbers in Afghanistan, as well as expanding the war on terror to Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia and the Philippines.

In addition to continuing NATO expansion to increase the likelihood of war with Russia, Obama significantly expanded the southern military command (SouthCom) to target democratic populism in South America (eg Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina). In 2008 he created AfriCom a sixth military command aimed at countering Chinese investment in Africa.

Obama has also significantly increased the likelihood of war with China by encircling them with new troop deployment and sophisticated nuclear weapons systems.


*Extraordinary rendition is the term used when the CIA kidnaps criminal or terrorist suspects in a foreign country and secretly (and illegal) transports them to a country known to engage in torture.

The Impermanence of Empire

nemesis

Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic

By Chalmers Johnson

Henry Holt (2007)

Book Review

Available free as a mobi file (download Kindle for PCs free from Amazon) at libcom.org

The third and final volume in a trilogy, Nemesis is a study of the impermanence of empire. Johnson draws on detailed studies of the Roman and British Empire to make specific predictions about the ultimate fate of the US.

After taking inventory of some of the British Empire’s worst atrocities (the deliberate destruction of thriving civilizations in India and China, the extermination of the Tasmanians in Australia, the systemic genocide against the Kikuyu in Kenya*, the slaughter of 10,000 Sudanese and the genocidal Malaysian Emergency), the late Chalmers Johnson asserts that Britain surrendered their empire after World War II due to flagging domestic support for their administrative massacres in India.

Rome, in contrast, continued its imperial conquests and atrocities by imposing a brutal dictatorship at home. Citing the systematic revocation of civil liberties, Johnson theorizes that the US has opted to follow Rome’s example. He makes the uncanny prediction (in 2007) that there will be no change in US foreign policy, even after getting rid of Bush and Cheney.

As the average lifespan of a full fledged empire is 100 years, Johnson predicts the US empire will have collapsed by the 22nd century. He believes it will maintain the facade of democracy until bankruptcy overwhelms it.

According to Johnson, the loss of the US manufacturing base has forced the country into spending exorbitant sums on totally useless technology (his chapters on Star Wars SDI weapons are particularly illuminating) just to keep the economy afloat.

Aside from the secret budget devoted to covert CIA operations, which he enumerates in detail**, 40% of the Pentagon budget is secret – even from Congress.

The US government finally came out of the closet after 9-11 about being an empire. However they continue to be extremely secretive about the total number of countries they occupy. As of 2007, the official count was 737 bases in 130. However Johnson lists at least a dozen secret bases that are kept off the official list for political reasons.


*The so-called Mau Mau uprising.

**A partial listing of the democracies overthrown by the CIA and replaced with dictatorships:

  • Italy 1947-48
  • Iran 1953
  • Guatemala 1954
  • Indonesia 1957-58
  • Brazil 1961-64
  • Greece 1964-74
  • South Korea 1961-1987
  • Philippines continuously
  • Chile 1973

The Greedy Bastards Who Gave Us Enron (and Bankrupted California)

enron

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Alex Gibney (2005)

Film Review

The subject of this documentary is the historic Enron collapse in September 2001.

The Enron scandal occurred prior to the blossoming of social media, and the corporate media deliberately minimized the criminal behavior that led to the collapse of the world’s largest energy company.  They blamed Enron’s demise on “bookkeeping irregularities.” This film tells a very different story.

When Enron, which was founded in 1985, went bankrupt it was the largest corporate bankruptcy in history. Its late founder, Ken Lay, was close personal friends with Bush senior, who engineered millions in federal subsidies to help launch the company. Lay subsequently donated heavily to Bush junior’s presidential campaign.

Trading Energy Like Financial Derivatives

A big proponent of corporate deregulation, Lay teamed up with Jeff Skilling in 1990 to transform energy production and delivery (natural gas and electricity) into financial instruments that could be traded like derivatives.

To manipulate their stock prices, Enron employed two novel (and illegal) bookkeeping practices. With the first, mark-to-market accounting, they recorded potential future profits as real time revenue. The second accounting scam involved creating hundreds of “subsidiaries” to hide $30 billion of Enron debt from investors and regulators. Each subsidiary was personally managed by Enron Chief Financial Officer Andy Fastow, who pocketed $45 million from one deeply indebted subsidiary.

These devious accounting schemes allowed Enron to conceal that their company was losing millions of dollars a year. They kept the company afloat via $25 million bank loans from all the major Wall Street investment banks, using their overpriced stock as collateral.

Enron Bankrupts California

Prior to seeing this film I was vaguely aware that Enron was responsible for the California power crisis in 2000-2001 and the $38 billion deficit that led California governor Gray Davis to be recalled and replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I had no idea of the criminal behavior behind the power crisis.

Enron’s purchase of Pacific Gas and Electric in the late nineties gave them total control of most of the state’s power generation and 26,000 miles of power lines. To drive up the cost of power, Enron’s unscrupulous energy traders caused rolling blackouts by “loaning” California power to other states and creating artificial shortages. They jacked the price of power even higher by deliberately shutting down regional power plants for “routine maintenance.” In this way, they succeeded in driving the cost of electricity from $30 per kilowatt to $1,000 per kilowatt.

Governor Davis declared a state of emergency while he pleaded with Bush junior and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to impose a price cap on California electricity. By the time Congress forced FERC to implement a price cap, California was $38 billion in the hole and the Terminator was the new California governor.

Management Screws Enron Employees

Even more scandalous was the decision by Enron management to freeze trading by employees as the stock price plummeted. This enabled all the top executives to dump their stock while 29,000 employees had their pension plans wiped out.

Andy Fastow pleaded guilty to fraud and embezzlement charges (receiving a $23 million fine and 10 years in jail) in return for testifying against Skilling and Lay.

Skilling would receive a 14 year sentence for insider trading. Ken Lay was also convicted of insider trading but died of a heart attack (2006) prior to sentencing.