- China and Russia hold joint naval exercises in North East Asia
- Obama Outlaws All Protests In US Ahead Of Historic Banking Collapse
- U.S. Amasses Stealth Jet Armada Near Iran
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 11:39 AM PDT
China and Russia are conducting a major joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea from April 22 to 27. The drills are a response by the two countries to their growing concerns about the Obama administration's aggressive "pivot" to Asia that includes a military build-up and the strengthening of US alliances throughout the region.
Seven Russian vessels led by its Pacific Fleet flagship, the Varyag, a guided missile cruiser, arrived at Qingdao—a Chinese naval base on the Shandong Peninsula. They were joined by 16 Chinese surface ships and two submarines. Thirteen warplanes, nine helicopters and special force units also took part in the live fire drills.
Russia and China have held joint military exercises in recent years, within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and in the name of combatting terrorism. The main object of the latest war games, however, is the joint defence of sea lanes, involving maritime air defence, as well as anti-submarine tactics and electronic countermeasures.
Although Russian and Chinese officials claimed the exercises were planned last year and did not target at any third party, the "imaginary enemies" could only be the US and its allies. A key focus of the American military build-up is to ensure US domination of key shipping routes through South East Asia.
The location and timing of the naval drills was highly sensitive. As Russian warships crossed through the Tsushima Strait between Japan and Korea last weekend, the Japanese media speculated that this was a message to Tokyo. The strait was the site of the key naval battle in 1905 Russo-Japanese war for dominance in Korea and Manchuria.
This week's drills were held close to where several US-South Korean naval exercises were staged following the alleged sinking of a South Korean frigate by North Korea in 2010. The US-South Korean naval exercise last November was only 170 kilometres away from the Shandong Peninsula.
The Russo-Chinese exercises coincided with US-Philippine joint war games near the South China Sea, which also involved Australia, Japan and South Korea. That exercise took place amid a continuing standoff between Chinese and Philippine ships near the disputed Scarborough Shoal. The US has encouraged the Philippines and other countries to take a more aggressive stance in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
As well as raising concerns in the Chinese regime, the strengthening of the US military presence and ties in Asia has also caused unease in Moscow, which in recent years has expanded its military exercises in Russia's far eastern regions.
The Obama administration exploited North Korea's failed rocket launch this month to renew calls for a joint missile shield with Japan, South Korea and Australia. The plan poses a threat not only to China's nuclear missile arsenal but also to Russia's road- and rail-launch missiles in the Far East, as well as its Pacific-based nuclear submarines.
By stationing radar and interceptor missiles in South Korea and Japan, the US can significantly shorten the detection time of any Chinese and Russian missile launch and enhance its ability to shoot down the missiles. While promoted as a defensive measure, the missile shield would enable the US to launch a devastating first strike on China or Russia, then neutralise any surviving missiles.
China's and Russia's shared anxieties about the threat of US militarism have led to a strengthening of their strategic partnership over the past decade. The SCO was formed in 2001, with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to counter growing American influence in Central Asia, especially after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
In 2005, Russia and China held their first major joint military exercise, "Peace Mission 2005," in the Yellow Sea. Then, under the pretext of the "war on terror," the SCO countries staged four joint military exercises. Far from being anti-insurgency exercises to suppress "terrorists" in the region, these drills were more in line with practicing for a large-scale land conflict in energy-rich Central Asia.
Sections of the Chinese ruling elite have become convinced in recent years that China should form a military alliance with Russia. During a recent National Security Policy Committee forum on the impact of the "US pivot to the East," several of China's top analysts argued for a shift in strategic policy.
Qian Wenrong of the Institute of World Issues declared: "We must change the no-alliance policy, without openly announcing it. We must consider the issue of forming alliances. Otherwise, in the future wars, in both political and military confrontations, we by ourselves will not have the slightest chance of overcoming the global network of alliances that the US has constructed."
At the same time, the state-run press in China has generally played down any prospect of a formal alliance with Russia. Both countries fear that an alliance would antagonise the US and its allies, on which they depend economically. Russia is a major exporter of energy to Europe, while China remains a cheap labour platform for major Western corporations.
Moreover, China and Russia remain suspicious of each other. Moscow is worried about Beijing's growing presence in former Soviet Central Asia, where it is tapping the region's vast energy reserves. By assimilating Russian technology, China has boosted its military strength, provoking concerns in Moscow over a potential conflict with an "overcrowded" China seeking to dominate the resource-rich and underpopulated Russian Far East.
The Chinese regime is concerned that Russia has been supplying sophisticated military hardware, including nuclear submarines, tanks and an aircraft carrier, to its regional rival, India, in an attempt to counter-balance Chinese influence in Asia. Russia is also selling submarine and strike aircraft to Vietnam, which in turn has invited India and Russia to jointly explore energy reserves in disputed areas of the South China Sea.
The very fact that China and Russia are considering closer military ties, despite these antagonisms, underscores the dangerous tensions being produced by the Obama administration's confrontational "pivot" to Asia.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 09:51 AM PDT
A chilling Ministry of Finance report circulating in the Kremlin today states that the Obama Regime has begun instituting what can only be described as one of the most brutal assaults of human rights and freedoms after it effectively banned all protests against the US government under penalty of the offender being sentenced to 10 years in the American Gulag.
The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation is a federal ministry, responsible for general financial policy and for general management in the field of finance of the Russian Federation, and the American Gulag is the name given to the US prison system that holds an unprecedented 2.3 million human beings of whom "…more than 100,000 work in federal and state prison industry programs. This doesn’t mean the usual cooking, cleaning and peeling potatoes, but work that produces products for sale — about $2.4 billion dollars annually and has its own trade shows. UNICOR, the trade name of the government-owned Federal Prison Industries", creating what is, in fact, the largest slavery system established in modern times by a Western nation.
The specific law signed by Obama, on 8 March, referred to in this report that has raised serious concern among Russian human rights officials is H.R. 347 that passed both houses of the US Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) and was not reported on by any American mainstream media organ being, instead, first reported on by the Russia Today News Service in their 29 February report titled "Goodbye, First Amendment: 'Trespass Bill' will make protest illegal."
One of the few American writers commenting on this frightening new law, Jeanine Molloff, recently wrote in the Huffington Post, "… this bill, better known to those in the DC beltway as the ‘Trespass Bill’ — potentially makes peaceable protest anywhere in the U.S. a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison."
Molloff further added in her article: "President Obama has claimed the right to declare anyone a ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist sympathizer’ based on nothing more than presidential opinion, and order their assassination. No evidence is required — at least that the public can see. We are told to blissfully ‘trust’ our public officials even when they are unworthy of such trust. Now our right to protest, to be disruptive — has been criminalized as a federal felony."
Important to note are that Molloff's fears of the ever growing Obama Regime police state are, if anything, understated, and as we can read, in part, read as reported by the WSW News Service yesterday:
"It is hard to conceive of a more profound constitutional violation than the torture of a US citizen on US soil," wrote lawyers for Jose Padilla in a petition filed Monday with the US Supreme Court. A lawsuit brought by Padilla, who was illegally "disappeared," imprisoned and tortured by the US government for four years, was thrown out by lower courts on the grounds that the courts have no authority to subject the wartime actions of the executive branch to "judicial scrutiny."
Padilla's treatment constituted a test case for the incommunicado detention and torture of US citizens by the military without any judicial process. The Padilla case, as much as any other to date, illustrates the disintegration of democracy in the US and the erection of the legal scaffolding of a police state.
According to the precedent set by the Padilla case, federal authorities and the military may unilaterally abduct, imprison and torture a US citizen, in clear violation of the Bill of Rights, without anyone ever being held accountable. If this can be done to one individual, there is nothing in principle preventing the government from doing it to hundreds or thousands or millions of individuals."
To what those Americans daring to violate the new H.R. 347 law signed by Obama will be facing, the WSW News Service further detailed and as we can, again, in part, read:
"Padilla's torture featured the trademark sensory deprivation, sleep prevention, and sadistic round-the-clock abuse associated with Guantanamo, CIA "black sites," and other torture camps operated by the US government. For ten months, Padilla's mother was not even informed whether or not he was alive. Padilla's Supreme Court petition includes a description of his treatment:
"His only human interaction was with interrogators or with guards delivering food through a slot in the door or standing watch when he was allowed to shower. The windows of Mr. Padilla's cell were blackened. He was alternately subjected to prolonged periods of constant light and complete darkness. He was unable to fulfill his religious obligation to pray five times a day. Removal from his cell entailed additional sensory deprivation, with blackout goggles and sound blocking earphones. All outside information—papers, radio, television—was prohibited, and his Koran was confiscated.
"Mr. Padilla was denied a mattress, blanket, sheet, and pillow, left with only a steel slab upon which to sleep. His efforts at rest were hindered by deliberate banging, glaring artificial light, noxious odors, and extreme temperature variations. Interrogators injected Mr. Padilla with substances represented to be truth serums, shackled him for hours in excruciating "stress" positions, threatened to transfer him to a foreign country or Guantanamo where, he was told, he would be subjected to far worse treatment, and even threatened to kill him."
In 2007, an expert clinical forensic psychologist determined that there was a "98 percent chance" that Padilla had suffered brain damage as a result of torture during his confinement, and explained that he now exhibits a "strong indication of cognitive impairment."
Important to note is that even though the US Supreme Court has been asked to rule on Padilla's case they have not agreed to hear it, meaning, that if they don't, the horrific precedents set in this case will, in fact, become the "law of the land" allowing any American citizen to be jailed and tortured at will by their government without either charges being filed or any way to defend themselves in Court.
American attorney Glenn Greenwald, the former Constitutional and civil rights litigator and author of three New York Times best selling books, in his most recent column holds little hope for the US Supreme Court allowing the Padilla case to be heard and notes the complicity of the US legal system in helping both the Bush and Obama regimes to establish a totalitarian police state, and as we can, in part, read:
"One of the most amazing statistics of the last decade: not a single War on Terror victim — not one, whether foreign or American — has been permitted to proceed in an American court in an effort to obtain compensation for illegal treatment by the U.S. Government; instead, American courts have unanimously dismissed those cases at the outset, without reaching their substance.
Even when everyone knows and admits that the U.S. Government abducted a totally innocent person and shipped him off to Syria to be tortured, as is true for Arar, American federal judges shut the courthouse door in his face, accepting the claims of the Bush and Obama DOJs that to allow the victim to obtain justice for what was done to him would be to risk the disclosure of vital "state secrets." They accepted this Kafkaesque secrecy claim even after the Government of Canada published to the world a comprehensive report detailing what happened to Arar." [Note: Greenwald's reference is to Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was abducted and tortured by the US government for no reason whatsoever who has since received an official apology from his nations Prime Minister and was awarded $9 million in compensation by Canada.]
To the reason(s) behind this unprecedented crackdown on the freedoms of the American people, this Finance Ministry report says, lies in the fears of the Obama Regime to coming historic collapse of the entire global banking system and the associated upheavals and chaos it will cause to the elite ruling classes of the Western world.
Not being reported to these Western peoples about this coming banking collapse by their mainstream media organs is its cause lying in over $230 Trillion in what are called derivatives due to be paid out upon the economic collapse of the European Union and/or the United States, which equals, mind you, approximately 3 times the entire world economy, but that no government in world has the money to pay for.
The worst offenders of this historic banking collapse are, by far, the top 25 American banks which according to the 31 December 2011 report for the 4th quarter listed their combined assets at nearly $8.7 Trillion, but their combined derivative exposure at over $230 Trillion.
So dire has the situation regarding the global banking system become, this report concludes, is that in the last 6 months alone, 611 of the top bankers in the West have resigned their offices and went into hidingwhile at the same time the "insider selling" of American stocks by their elite classes has reached levels not seen in over 10 years.
The famous US civil rights leader Malcolm X [1925-1965] once warned the American people, "If you’re not careful the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." Sadly, his words have not been heeded, and as the United States falls ever deeper into tyranny one, indeed, wonders when, or even if, these once great people will ever awaken before all is lost.
April 26, 2012 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com.
Posted: 27 Apr 2012 09:45 AM PDT
The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world's most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.
It's been years since the Air Force has maintained a significant dogfighting presence in the Middle East. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq Boeing-made F-15Cs flew air patrols from Saudi Arabia, but the Iraqi air force put up no resistance and the Eagle squadrons soon departed. For the next nine years Air Force deployments to the Middle East were handled by ground-attack planes such as A-10s, F-16s and twin-seat F-15E Strike Eagles.
The 1980s-vintage F-15Cs, plagued by structural problems, stayed home in the U.S. and Japan. The brand-new F-22s, built by Lockheed Martin, suffered their own mechanical and safety problems. When they ventured from their home bases in Virginia, Alaska and New Mexico, it was only for short training exercises over the Pacific. The F-15Cs and F-22s sat out last year's Libya war.
The Air Force fixed the F-15s and partially patched up the F-22s just in time for the escalating stand-off over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. In March the Air Force deployed the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing, flying 20 standard F-15Cs, to an "undisclosed" air base in Southwest Asia — probably either Al Dhafra in the United Arab Emirates or Al Udeid in Qatar. The highly-experienced Massachusetts Guardsmen, who typically have several years more experience than their active-duty counterparts, would be ready "should Iran test the 104th," said wing commander Col. Robert Brooks.
Upgraded F-15Cs from the 18th Wing in Japan joined the Guard Eagles. The Japan-based fighters have the latest APG-63(V)2 and (V)3 radars, manufactured by Raytheon. They're electronically-scanned radars that radiate many individual beams from fixed antenna clusters and track more targets, faster, than old-model mechanical radars that must physically swivel back and forth. The 18th Wing is working up a fleet of 54 updated Eagles spread across two squadrons. The video above, shot by an F-15 pilot, depicts some of the wing's training.
F-22s followed this month. "Multiple" Raptors deployed to Al Dhafra, according to Amy Butler at Aviation Week. Air Force spokesman Capt. Phil Ventura confirmed the deployment. It's not clear where the Raptors came from. If they're from the Alaska-based 3rd Wing, they're the latest Increment 3.1 modelwith boosted bombing capabilities in addition to the standard air-to-air weaponry. In any event, the Middle East mission represents the first time F-22s are anywhere near a possible combat zone.
The mix of old and upgraded F-15s and ultra-modern F-22s is no accident. When the Pentagon stopped producing the nearly $400-million-a-copy Raptor after 187 units — half as many as the Air Force said it needed — the flying branch committed to keeping 250 F-15Cs in service until 2025 at the earliest. Pilots began developing team tactics for the two fighter types.
"We have a woefully tiny F-22 fleet," said Gen. Mike Hostage, the Air Force's main fighter commander. So the flying branch worked out a system whereby large numbers of F-15s cover for small numbers of Raptors that sneak in around an enemy's flank in full stealth mode. "Our objective is to fly in front with the F-22s, and have the persistence to stay there while the [F-22s] are conducting their [low-observable] attack," Maj. Todd Giggy, an Eagle pilot, told Aviation Week.
One thing to look for is the presence in the Middle East of one of the Air Force's handful of bizjets and Global Hawk drones fitted with the Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or Bacon. The F-22, once envisioned as a solitary hunter, was designed without the radio data-links that are standard on F-15s and many other jets. Instead, the Raptor has its own unique link that is incompatible with the Eagle. Bacon helps translate the radio signals so the two jet types can swap information. With a Bacon plane nearby, F-22s and F-15s can silently exchange data — for example, stealthy Raptors spotting targets for the Eagles.
It's the methods above that the U.S. dogfighting armada would likely use to wipe out the antiquated but determined Iranian air force if the unthinkable occurred and fighting broke out. The warplanes are in place. The pilots are ready. Hopefully they won't be needed.
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