China was a particularly voracious participant, boosting its holdings from less than $350 billion as its economy boomed and the nation bought dollars to keep the yuan from soaring.
Now, the Asian nation is stepping back as it raises money to support flagging growth and a crumbling stock market, and allows its currency to trade more freely. The latest update of Treasury data and estimates by strategists suggest that China controls $1.47 trillion of Treasuries. That includes about $200 billion held through Belgium, which Nomura Holdings Inc. says is home to Chinese custodial accounts.
2---De-Ba’athification’ drives Iraqi military into Isis
...de-Ba’athification’ campaign that followed ended up driving Sunni Arabs in the old Iraqi military out, and the persecution that followed eventually drove them into bed with ISIS.
While ISIS’ political leadership remains mostly religious leaders who were with them from back in the days when they were al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the establishment of the caliphate as a proper nation-state has produced a separate ISIS military leadership. A new army looking for commanders and a bunch of seasoned commanders looking for a purpose after being shut out of the new Iraqi military, it was inevitable they’d find each other.
The big question though is whether this could’ve been avoided. The US decided early on during the Iraqi occupation to destroy the military and then create a new one out of whole cloth. This left them desperate to train up a new military while the Shi’ite political leadership did its best to freeze out anyone even tangentially related to the old guard.
In many ways this is why the Iraqi military has been so ineffective,
3--The fire-bombing of Japan
In March, 1945, the US Army Air Force bomber command under Gen. Curtis LeMay began carpet bombing Japan’s cities from bases in the Mariana Islands. American war planners sought to destroy Japan’s industries and will to resist. It’s from this period that LeMay’s famous quote came: ‘We’ll bomb’em back to the Stone Age.”
In the ensuing nine months of massive bombing, the US Army Air Force destroyed 40% of Japan’s cities and large towns. On 9/10 March, 1945, in a mass raid code-named “Meetinghouse,” 346 US B-29 heavy bombers showered Tokyo with bombs and incendiary devices made from jellied gasoline.
Most of Tokyo and other Japanese cities were made up of wooden structures. Intensive firestorms engulfed Tokyo, sucking up all the air and burning it. This same fire spreading technique had been perfected in bombing German cities such as Dresden, Hamburg, Berlin and Stuttgart.
Terrified civilians ran through the burning chaos. Many jumped in the Tokyo River to avoid being burned alive, or to quench their bodies, burning from jellied gasoline. In this one hideous night, an estimated 100,000 Japanese civilians were burned to death in Tokyo alone. This is believed to have been the single most destructive air raid in history.
Soon after, the rest of Japan’s cities and towns came under massive fire-bombing attacks. Special attention was paid to Kobe, Nagoya and Osaka: 8.1 square miles of Osaka were turned into smoking heaps of rubble.
In all, the US strategic bombing campaign against Japan (including the nuclear attacks) in which 656,000 tons of bombs were dropped (killed an estimated 800,000 to one million civilians). Forty percent of Japan’s cities and towns were left in ruins. A third of Japanese were left homeless.
Germany had been hit with 1.3 million tons of bombs.
4---US ex-intelligence chief on ISIS rise: It was 'a willful Washington decision'
The classified DIA report presented in August 2012, stated that “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al- Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” being supported by “the West, Gulf countries and Turkey.”...
Al Jazeera notes that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn became “the highest ranking intelligence official to go on record,” saying the US and other states, notably Turkey and the Gulf Arab states, were sponsoring Al-Qaeda-led rebels in Syria with political support and weapons in an attempt to overthrow President Bashar Assad....
With the Al-Qaeda’s notorious founder killed in Pakistan in 2011, the former DIA head admitting the US sponsored Al-Qaeda-associated groups a year later in Syria should come as a shock to American media outlets, such as the Daily Beast, which criticized the DIA memo as unworthy.
Author for the Levant Report, Brad Hoff says hours after he published a rebuttal to the Daily Beast article, he was contacted by a personal friend, a high level official with CIA Public Affairs, who urged Hoff to drop his comments regarding the IS issue, insisting the Daily Beast article had been “written insightfully.”
5---Duma chief blames US for instigating global instability through intrigue
Speaking on the ultimate objective of Washington’s policies, Naryshkin noted it remains the same: “Their external debt is enormous and looting foreign states is a method they are used to.” He added that they use the same leverages as before, which in his view are no longer working, such as issuing more US dollars, maintaining total control over NATO and illegal eavesdropping of European leaders. However, America’s elite still intend to keep the US Dollar as the main international currency and lay their hands on other nations’ natural resources.
The Duma chief also warned that Washington “would continue to zombify people with their lying, present their wishes as facts and create new motives for anti-Russian sentiments in Europe.”
At the end of the article, Naryshkin calls upon his readers to brace themselves for a forthcoming and deeper crisis in international relations, but he expresses confidence that Washington’s future provocations will fail. “As for the international tribunal, it will take place once and for a completely different reason than today’s backers want it to be. And we will all live to witness that.”
The Russian Lower House speaker has warned of Washington’s plans of global domination through sowing chaos, and said that the US would continue to provoke anti-Russian sentiments in Europe through lies and propaganda.
The Duma speaker maintains the cause is America’s enormous external debt and that its government has designs on impoverishing other nations, including Russia, to alleviate this burden.
“Today, as the situation is strained across the world, we should closely watch any political intrigue prepared on both sides of the Atlantic. It is important to see and analyze anything that is created in the West and offered to various international organizations,” Naryshkin wrote.
6--China has reduced its holdings by about $180 billion and the market barely reacted
7--China’s Hard Landing Suddenly Gets a Lot Rougher .