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Thursday, 08 November

01:38

Filming in the Most Depressing City on Earth Jakarta New Eastern Outlook

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It stinks, it is the most polluted city on earth, but that is not the most terrible thing about it.

You can drive for ten or even twenty kilometers through it, and see only ugliness, fences and broken pavements. But there are many miserable cities on this planet, and I have worked in almost all of them, in 160 countries.

So why is Jakarta killing me, why am I overwhelmed by depression, whenever I decide to film here, or to write about the state in which its citizens are forced to live? Why, really, do I feel so desperate, so hopeless?

I am tough. I hardly succumb to depression even in such places like the war-torn Afghanistan, Iraq, or in the middle of the toughest slums of Africa.

So, what is it, really, about Jakarta?

Here, I often speak about immorality, but again, what do I mean by this term? I am not a moralist, far from it. I have no religion, and I very rarely pass moral judgements, unless something truly outrageous unveils in front of my eyes.

So why, as so many others, do I land in this city in good spirits, and leave one or two weeks sick, broken, literally shitting my pants, full of wrath, despair?

Why? The Western mass media and local servile sheets are constantly bombarding the world, describing Jakarta as a sprawling metropolis, or to use the terminology of the Australian National University, as a normal city.

But it is not. In fact, it is the most immoral place on earth that I know. It is one enormous monument to fascism, intellectual collapse, Western neo-colonialism and turbo-capitalism.

This time, right here, I will explain, briefly and determinately, why!

*

You can actually avoid feeling this way, if you decide to land in Jakarta, work for a week or two surrounded by local elites (usually shameless thugs), sail through life here with half-closed eyes. Or if you get paid well not to see. You can also be a Western journo who lives in one of high-rise condominiums, gets himself local bimbo for a girlfriend, and collects his news from official briefings and press conferences.

Such foreign visitors are warmly welcomed in Jakarta, and they get incorporated into the life of local tsars, of feudal cream, of bandits who double as businesspeople or politicians.

...

00:06

The U.S. Backs The Mideasts Most Reactionary Nation OrientalReview.org

The clumsy, ham-handed meddling of President Trump in Saudi dynastic affairs propelled the bull in a china shop Crown Prince into power. The machinations of Trumps son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his Israeli allies have ignited the current crisis. Trump & Co have very much to learn about the Mideast.

The post The U.S. Backs The Mideasts Most Reactionary Nation appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

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Wednesday, 07 November

22:25

US-British Threats Against Russia Have a Long History Strategic Culture Foundation

In their new book Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Dont Tell You About British Foreign Policy (At Books), doctors T.J. Coles and Matthew Alford debate the rationale of Anglo-American policy towards Russia.

21:59

OBOR Five Years Later: Some Results and New Alternatives New Eastern Outlook

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Five years have passed since October 2013, when China unveiled its large scale and comprehensive OBOR project, which held the promise of quite a few benefits to its numerous participants for mutual trade and economic ties, financial hubs, infrastructure (port construction, high speed auto and railways, pipelines), tourist centers, etc.  It seems possible now to summarize at least intermediate results:  what was successfully accomplished, and what obstacles arose during its implementation?  Finally, what was the reaction of participants to those costs that are naturally part of such grandiose and, in todays world, unprecedented, integrated projects, and also naturally give rise to (putting it mildly) dissatisfaction from their side.

We wont dwell on successes; theyre trumpeted loudly in Beijing: by official bodies, the media, experts, and others.

Yet quite a few criticisms and demands have accumulated for reassessment of some of the projects conditions along OBORs overland and sea routes.  Its become evident that, together with positive aspects, tons of risks and negative consequences have surfaced during the projects implementation in a number of countries.  These include insufficient analysis of future investment profitability, as well as the uncertainty and obscurity of numerous political, economic, and regulatory aspects of projects.  Cheap Chinese credits often rebound as a debt pit, for example for Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Maldives, etc.  On one hand, credits cause millions of dollars in losses for their economies due to predatory credit rates.  But on the other hand, there is the danger of Beijings refusal to write them off, as was done previously, especially in Africa, even though China has $3 trillion in financial reserves.  Generosity is not infinite.  The Chinese know how to count both Yuan and dollars.

A huge amount of equipment and materials (steel, concrete, and lumber, required for supply of the projects) provides ample opportunities for theft and other abuses.  A weaker regulatory and legal environment in some of OBORs participant countries creates fertile ground for corruption among Chinese companies, which seek out bribes as a means to support their activities.  It is well known how long, and by far not always successfully, China itself has been combating this evil.

Criticism has been leveled toward the disregard of safety standards during erection of this or that site, usage of recycled or low-quality materials and equipment, and construction of environmentall...

21:55

US Declares War on "Troika of Tyranny" Pushing Them Closer to Russia Strategic Culture Foundation

Now that this new US policy is in place, Moscow and Washington appear to have another divisive issue clouding their relationship. The troika of tyranny against which Washington has declared war enjoys friendly relations with Russia.

21:25

Trump, Gorbachev and the Fall of the American Empire Strategic Culture Foundation

The US State Department granting permission on the weekend to the eight countries to buy Iranian oil was akin to waving the green flag at a train that has already left the station.

20:55

Written in History: The Death of America"s Hyper-Power Fantasy Strategic Culture Foundation

A wakening to sanity is long overdue and the hour is late: National catastrophe can be the only other outcome

19:55

"Hawai"ianized" New Caledonia Votes Against Independence Strategic Culture Foundation

South Pacific islanders deserve to be left alone by European colonizers and white European settlers and squatters.

16:57

Trudeaus Warm Welcome To The White Helmets Is Highly Hypocritical OrientalReview.org

Canadas very lenient immigration regime that practically amounts to a policy of open borders made the country an ideal destination for these terrorist-linked forces to flee to, where the government could always try to justify its decision under any future pressure on the grounds of guilting the populace into accepting what the Mainstream Media portrays as innocent victims of the Assad regime.

The post Trudeaus Warm Welcome To The White Helmets Is Highly Hypocritical appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

16:49

Vietnam: Decades of Liars Blacken the Names of Real Heroes New Eastern Outlook

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The article below was written a decade ago. It began with a flash of anger as an Obama appointee, Senator James Webb, had just published an interview about his service in Vietnam, one bestowing himself with honors and position that real combat vets cringed to read about.

At this writing, November 2018 with the military holidays coming up, whether Remembrance Day or Armistice Day or Veterans Day, noting the end of the First World War on November 11, 1918, artiles about military service are appropriate.

Years ago the networks used to call me for an interview this time of year, the one day those forgotten are dragged out to sell the flavor of the week war on some poor nation in Africa, the Middle East or Central America. The media exists to sell war as a product, just like World War II was sold to Americans by the quite wonderful film, Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper.

It was a wonderful film but it might have been unnecessary if the powerful American families, Bush, Rockefeller, Goodyear, companies like Lockheed, Standard Oil, so many others, hadnt financed Hitlers war on Russia. We still bury this story though the documentation is so robust that it is beyond undeniable.

I look around at America today and think back all those years, opposition to war was honorable, it was the moral duty of real Americans, for awhile anyway. Everyone knew the press was fake, that congress was owned by the arms industry and that government was not to be trusted. Today what was normal then is now conspiracy theory or even treason. What was normal then gets the FBI on your porch today as my own personal experiences can attest.

The story below is true, every word of it. None of the names have been changed. I was there. The opinion is my own, but shared by all around me. As a Marine serving in Vietnam, injustice and corruption were the meat and potatoes of service in Americas military. Today, reporting military corruption is whistleblowing, and is prison time.

You see, everything is now classified, nothing can be reported, nothing spoken of. If you wondered why tens of thousands or more marched to end the Vietnam war and, yet today, for even a stupider war, there is nothing but silence, we might and rightly so, assume Americans have lost their taste for freedom and liberty.

Is America a nation of frightened little toads hiding from a world of imaginary cartoon bad guys?

...

02:16

Prince Charles in West Africa to Reaffirm the Commonwealth New Eastern Outlook

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Prince Charles and Lady Camilla arrived in the tiny West African nation of The Gambia the other day on the first leg of a week-long tour of the region to reaffirm ties with Commonwealth countries. But with the couples arrival come accusations and fears Britain is reasserting itself via that neo-colonial institution.

The royal couple could not have chosen a better time to replant the British flag in Gambia. Since the former Gambian government severed its Commonwealth ties back in October 2013, the organization has done everything in its power to unseat the now ousted President Yahya Jammeh. On the arrival of the royals in The Gambia, the British High Commission said the visit would celebrate the UKs dynamic, forward-looking partnership with the Commonwealth nations on a range of shared priorities. Theres little doubt those priorities include reasserting Anglo-European control of the whole region and uninhibited puppeteering through the new President Adama Barrow.

Barrow came to power through elections former President Jammeh said had unacceptable abnormalities. His petitioning the countrys Supreme Court for a new election, and his refusal to step down, resulted in the intervention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which magically transformed itself into a military alliance when the bloodless coup on Jammeh had seemingly failed. Back in 2013, The Guardian ran the story of Edward Snowden revelations on GCHQ and the NSA spying on the then head of ECOWAS, among many other targets associated with giving aid and wielding influence in West Africa. But this news only hints at the UKs new brand of colonial extension. A story at the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) reveals the geo-strategic nature ECOWAS in cahoots with the Brits.

According to The Privatisation of Violence: New mercenaries and the state, by Christopher Wrigley back in 1999, the UK government basically moved to decriminalize mercenary activity in the region. The author quotes the UK Foreign Office position stated in 1991 that said: it was not in itself reprehensible to serve a foreign government in a military capacity. Those pompous Brits went on to proclaim a moral obligation to settle the situation in Sierra Leone at the time. For the sake of time here, suffice it to say...

00:06

Why Would Trump Want An Arms Race? OrientalReview.org

The Trump administration seems to have decided to use the current international security environment to its own economic advantage and kill two birds with one stone. After all, military escalation and a new arms race both provide powerful leverage over opponents and are an effective way to attract financial flows.

The post Why Would Trump Want An Arms Race? appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

Tuesday, 06 November

22:25

Censorship and Gun Control Will Not Make Us Safe Strategic Culture Foundation

The effort to silence hate speech is not just about outlawing racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic speech. 

21:55

Attacking Russia: Another Provocation Launched by US-led Group of OSCE Members Strategic Culture Foundation

The Moscow Mechanism is being invoked to divert attention from serious and pressing problems that are beyond what the OSCE or any other Western-dominated institution can manage.

21:25

There is a Real Risk of War with Iran Strategic Culture Foundation

Tehran may try to wait out Trump. It may try to outfox America with negotiations, serious or not, or to get Russia or China to take more risks to get around the sanctions.

20:55

Saudi Regime Survives but Enters the Time of Troubles Strategic Culture Foundation

Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downers disclosure completely transforms the narrative about Khashoggis death and it is bound to be hugely consequential.

19:59

Jamal Khashoggi: Scarier Dead Than Alive For Some New Eastern Outlook

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A deathly silence has fallen inexplicably quickly in the events surrounding the gruesome murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who furiously cast stones and aspersions at the Saudi kingdom, is now hush. In a speech to his parliamentary faction of supporters from the ruling Justice and Development Party, Erdogan called the operation at the Istanbul consulate a cruel, barbaric act and demanded that the Saudis reveal where Khashoggis body is hidden and who gave the order to kill. But after the Saudis declared, in a rather decisive hardline, that they would try those responsible themselves, Ankara and Istanbul grew quiet. Or, perhaps, theyre merely calling a timeout. On that note, it wouldnt be bad to remind that tradition of trying criminals in their own countries to Washington which doesnt mind regular abductions to drag people to the United States and try them there under American law, which doesnt correspond to generally accepted international law.

International media reports that secretive heated talks are underway between Ankara and Riyadh to negotiate the amount of compensation owed to the Turks. It cant be ruled out that the Saudis will make a series of concessions regarding their policy in Syria.

Speaking unequivocally, most experts are almost certain that the Saudi operation to kill Khashoggi took place in plain sight of the Turkish secret services, who controlled it from start to end, but Turkey doesnt want to admit it. This could explain the existence of very precise audio recordings from the consulate, which were allegedly recorded by the journalists smart watch. The fact is, the Turkish secret services had the diplomatic facility bugged, but dont want to admit it. This was indirectly confirmed by CIA Director Gina Haspel, who went to Turkey to hear the recording of the Saudi journalists torture and murder. As the long-time director of the CIAs secret prison in Thailand who regularly attended the torture of prisoners, Haspel can reliably differentiate between a forgery and the real thing. This recording captured the murder of a journalist. This was real.

A hush has fallen over Washington, as well. After first scaring the Saudi princes, the US president changed his position, using the financial benefit to the United States as his explanation. The two-kilo gold medal the Saudis gave their dear friend Donald Trump seems to have played a non-negligible role in this affair. Thats why its understandable that he told the Saudis how to behave. Americans have the benefit of expe...

19:55

Russia and China Invest in Infrastructure; U.S. Instead Spends on Military Strategic Culture Foundation

US infrastructure is rotting; and, while every recent US President has promised to reverse that decline, none has done anything significant to repair this nations rotting infrastructure it has always been just talk and empty promises.

16:56

Russia Financial Advisory Assistance To Venezuela Is Regime Reinforcement OrientalReview.org

The ideal outcome is that Russia and Chinas financial advice to Venezuela will contribute to stabilizing its economy and therefore creating the conditions for its many emigrants to return home from the regional countries that they fled to at the height of the Hybrid War crisis.

The post Russia Financial Advisory Assistance To Venezuela Is Regime Reinforcement appeared first on OrientalReview.org.

10:57

State of the Union before US Elections New Eastern Outlook

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The US midterm elections will soon be over. Some will be celebrating, with others passing the crying towel around. Another group of spinmeisters will then go to work for those who have lost, claiming Russian interference or whatever they can invent to dodge responsibility for their own failures.

My goal here is not to make election predictions, as that is a fruitless game. We live in an age of rigged polls and corporate journalists taking assignments from paying clients on their political reporting. And then of course we have social media, one of the biggest election interferers of all.

The winding up of this midterm election had a new twist with the invasion of instant messages into my phone, some from Trump himself and even the washed-up Republican religious phony Ralph Reed invading my in-box. I am told I am powerless to prevent this, a sign of the times, that we have only the rights that they have not decided to take away from us yet.

I thought a better focus before the big day next Tuesday would be to reflect on what is happening to Americans as a people, a country, and the ripple effect that can have on the rest of the world. Sure, we will have some political changes on November 7th, but might that be just rearranging the deck chairs on the good ship Titanic that is sailing on a steady course to disaster?

What difference will the election make?

If the US House is retaken by the Democrats, the major impact will be that we are going to see two years of revenge on Mr. Trump. Whether the House will have the courage to dig into those behind him is a different matter. The Deep State boys play a group defense and have a history of discouraging troublemakers via their extensive tool kit.

The chairmanships of the committees would have senior Democrats in charge, including the investigation ones. They would focus on tearing Trump down before the 2020 elections by digging deep into his full dirty closet, and this would include his family.

General Michael Flynn knows he made a big mistake bringing an underqualified son into his influence pedaling, get-rich-quick consulting business, where he got indicted right beside his father. Flynn should have known better. When you are doing doggy business deals, keep your family far away, and your legal litigation savings account full at all times.

One of the winner take all ploys the Republican majorit...

08:41

TEPCO Releases Fukushima Waste Stream Data

TEPCO released a report in July on various waste streams at Fukushima Daiichi. This rather dry sounding report contains some

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06:25

Were not compatible in Chinese (Jurassic Park style) China Hope Live

We noticed a curious translation in the Jurassic World 2 Chinese subtitles the other night, when the macho man dinosaur wrangler meets the nervous, airplane-phobic tech whiz:

Owen, the dinosaur whisperer: You a nervous flyer?


Franklin, the systems analyst: Would you ride a thousand-pound horse thats been abused all its life?!


Owen: I road my motorcycle through the jungle with a pack of raptors.


Franklin: Were not compatible.

They translated, Were not compatible as Im not suited to your eight characters. I wouldnt have had a clue what that was about, except that our neighbourhood has a fortune teller in it, and Id seen eight character divination ( ascertain the eight characters) in their list of services:

Handed down from the I Ching in the Li Dynasty

I Ching eight trigram divination, fortune telling (ascertain the eight characters), feng shui, naming, fixing auspicious dates for business, government, finance, and marriage.

The eight characters mark the date and hour of ones birth, and are used in fortune telling and match making Im not suited to your eight characters is like saying we have poor marriage potential. So Franklins English and Chinese lines both manage the same gag contrasting two characters personalities in terms of romantic/marital incompatibility despite divergent literal renderings. Its just a little example of how literal translation isnt always best; in this case, preserving the integrity of the spirit of the original English required a non-literal Chinese translation.

05:00

Abe Meets Xi then Modi: A New Asia Cooperation Sphere? New Eastern Outlook

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One of the more important consequences of the Trump Administration trade war against both China as well as Japan is the recent diplomatic and economic meeting between Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinas President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Not only was it the first such meeting by a Japanese PM in seven years since the chill in relations over a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea. It also suggested a new political and economic strategy might be emerging across Asias largest economic sphere. Hours after leaving Beijing Abe hosted Indian PM Narenda Modi in Tokyo. Does this all foreshadow a new flank in an emerging multi-polar world or merely shrewd politics by Abe?

Showing he saw the meeting in Beijing as more than a photo-op, Abe brought a business delegation of some 1,000 top Japanese businessmen. China Prime Minister Li Keqiang announced that deals worth $18 billion had been signed during the talks. As well the two agreed to resume $29 billion worth of mutual currency swaps in event of future currency crises. Both leaders agreed to create a hotline to communicate in event of possible future tensions. Abe also invited Xi to come to Japan in 2019, a major step.

Less discussed in public media was the fact that Japan has agreed to include the China Renminbi in Japans foreign exchange reserves, a significant boost to the credibility of Chinas currency. China for its part will allow the Bank of Japan to invest directly in Chinese government bonds.

What was not mentioned in the press accounts either in China or Japan was an historic offer of the Japanese Emperor conveyed through Abe to Xi. According to informed sources in Japan, Abe conveyed the wish of Japans Emperor Akihito to visit China before he abdicates next April to formally apologize to the Chinese people for the Japanese invasion of China during the 1930s. At the same time the Emperor extended an invitation to Chinas Xi to come to Japan. According to the report, Xi accepted the invitation regardless the Emperors decision on his visit to China. Such a move by Japans Emperor would be seen by Beijing and the Chinese as more than symbolic.

Notably, Li formally invited Japan to reconsider its particip...

02:51

When the occupation dictates your life and your funeral +972 Magazine

Long before he died in a work accident on an Israeli construction site, Muhamad Barghouths life was dictated by the violent whims of military occupation. 

By Aviv Tatarsky

A Palestinian boy watches a bulldozer clearing land for the Israeli separation wall surrounding the West Bank village of Walajeh, September 5, 2011. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler)

A Palestinian boy watches a bulldozer clearing land for the Israeli separation wall surrounding the West Bank village of Walajeh, September 5, 2011. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler)

Last month, the grandson of a very close friend of mine was killed. Muhamad Bargouth, 22, whose grandfather I have grown close to in my many visits to the Palestinian village of Walajeh over the years, was killed in an accident at an Israeli construction site not all that far from his family home. Accidents can happen. But Muhamads death was more than accident: his life was marked by the violence Israels occupation visited upon his family and village violence that also steered his life toward that construction site where he died.

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Israeli security forces arrested Muhamads father and grandfather in the 1990s. The two were imprisoned for several months without ever being put on trial, during which time they were tortured. Muhamads father never fully recovered from the physical and psychological damage.

In 2010, when Muhamad was 14, Israel began building the separation barrier on land belonging to his village, Walajeh, located in between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The barrier cut through his familys plot, less than 200 feet f...

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