The U.S. will withdraw all remaining personnel from @usembassyve this week. This decision reflects the deteriorating situation in #Venezuela as well as the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy." US Sec State Mike Pompeo
“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.” John Adams
“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49.” Thomas Jefferson
The US has long opposed China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), spreading the false narrative that its investments to help nations build essential infrastructure and industries are a so-called “debt-trap.” The US, its think tanks and media have targeted African, Latin American and European nations with a barrage of propaganda in an attempt to sabotage China’s global trade policy....
This is the latest attempt by the gangster regime in Washington, lead by Don Trump, to go around the world telling nations left and right to pay for protection, buy its fraudulent wares with US script, and not to trade with or purchase its competitor’s goods or services. Otherwise they will face the wrath of US displeasure. This is a mafia protection racket, plain and simple. It is the way of Chicago gangland thugs of the 1930s. These are the classic actions of a criminal organization. Murder and mayhem will be visited upon any who resist its threats, intimidation and extortion. If you don’t play by the racketeer’s rules, your house or business is likely to be firebombed, your wife raped and your children abducted for ransom.
“Terrorists may still create problems for the people of the region in various different ways as the Americans have other plots in mind for the region and are now transferring the terrorists to Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus,” Rouhani said...
Additionally on Tuesday, Rouhani held talks with the former Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi.
During the meeting, the Iranian president expressed his satisfaction with the growing bilateral relations and called for boosting cooperation in the fields of trade, economy and higher education.
3--Majority of voters do not think PM's deal delivers the type of Brexit people voted for, YouGov poll reveals
The YouGov survey found only 12 per cent of adults think Theresa May's deal honours the leave vote compared to 58 per cent who claim it does not and 31 per cent who don’t know.
Asked what would be their preferred option if a Brexit deal cannot be agreed by March 29, more than a third of adults (37 per cent) said Britain should leave without a deal compared to 33 per cent calling for a second..
the United States, now stripped of all expertise in government, the analysis of issues and policy having been radically privatized, and the culture warped by an extreme concentration of wealth, is slipping into a combination of isolationism and militarism that makes just about anything possible. ...
he unleashing of the United States military under the command of psychopaths and without any civilian control could be the greatest catastrophe in human history.
The response from Democrats in the United States, and from many conservatives in South Korea and in Japan, has been a pile of criticisms that purposely ignore how Trump ignores international law, panders to his fascist base, and embraces of militarism. ...
As the governments of nation states are compromised, and taken over by private interests, politicians increasingly are forced to do the bidding of the super-rich. The roadmap for understanding our world changes from day to day.
Yet the media sees its role as presenting the world in a manner that pleases multinational corporations and investment banks. Media has become, after all, just a business, a form of public relations. There is no intellectual inquiry into the actual state of the world. Moral issues are irrelevant in decisions about news content. Most reports serve to confuse and mislead
U.S. officials are refusing to hold a South Korea-U.S. foreign ministers’ meeting due to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent push for economic re-engagement with North Korea, multiple sources in Washington and Seoul told the JoongAng Ilbo Monday.
One diplomatic source in Seoul said that some U.S. politicians were mocking Moon’s soft approach toward Pyongyang, saying he was “shooting for the moon.” ..
South Korea wants to have its Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha meet with her U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, by the end of this month to mediate between the United States and North Korea after their second summit broke down, but the U.S. State Department isn’t complying, the Seoul source added.
State Department officials are reportedly telling their Seoul counterparts that if Pompeo does meet Kang now, Pompeo will probably spend the entire meeting complaining about Moon’s proposal to resume economic projects with the North..
a press briefing at the U.S. State Department and a reporter asked whether the United States was considering giving exemptions to inter-Korean economic projects, a senior official answered, “No.”
As U.S. officials are mostly united on the stance that now is not the time to engage economically with Pyongyang, other diplomatic sources say there’s a divide between Trump negotiators and Democrats on whether the current sanctions are working to their full effect.
The advisors that Zuckerberg is collaborating with—such as The Atlantic Council—are responsible for decades of false news, political meddling and mayhem in countries around the world and covering up public privacy violations...
Under conditions where workers and young people around the world are using social media to communicate and organize their strikes and struggles—especially coordinating across industries and national borders—the ruling class has concluded that these open platforms are a significant menace and must be shut down as soon as possible. Thus Zuckerberg’s “trade-offs” involve a direct attack on online freedom of speech that he and his advisors must now repackage in the form of privacy protection....
Nowhere in the official media response is there any connection drawn between Zuckerberg’s new vision and the blatant political censorship that Facebook has been engaged in for over two years. Under the guise of fighting “fake” accounts and implementing “harm prevention,” Facebook’s army of 30,000 censors and artificial intelligence bots have removed millions of user accounts and posts arbitrarily identified as inauthentic or misinformation.
As explained by the World Socialist Web Site in its Perspective of December 29, Facebook is today the global censor that decides what information is to be seen and read by billions of people all over the world. In particular, Facebook has specifically targeted accounts, pages and posts of a left-wing character, including those of writers of the World Socialist Web Site and members of the Socialist Equality Party.
The latest proposals from Zuckerberg are of a piece with these past practices. They represent a deepening of the collaboration between the tech industry—references to encrypted communications notwithstanding—and the military-intelligence establishment.
The core of the new strategy is the idea that an open and public social media environment—where all users can freely communicate with one another and share each other’s posts—must be replaced by a structure of one-on-one private communication between individuals. As Zuckerberg wrote, “Over the last 15 years, Facebook and Instagram have helped people connect with friends, communities, and interests in the digital equivalent of a town square. But people increasingly also want to connect privately in the digital equivalent of the living room.”
A second aspect of replacing the “town square” with the “living room” is dispensing with the Facebook timeline feature of stored posts. He writes, “I believe the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.”
In sum, Zuckerberg’s proposal amounts to a gigantic about-face for Facebook. The company that was founded in the 2004 with the mission “to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” will now be replaced by “a world where people can speak privately and live freely knowing that their information will only be seen by who they want to see it and won’t all stick around forever.”
Zuckerberg then elaborates on six technical and policy principles for putting the social media genie back in the bottle: private interactions, encryption, reducing permanence, safety, interoperability and secure data storage
What it means is that the US should block China’s development, especially in high-tech areas, because it is a threat to the global economic, and ultimately military, dominance of the US.
The real agenda was set out more clearly by leading Republican anti-China hawk, Florida Senator Marco Rubio. He recently wrote that those who defended expanded trade with China were assuming that the US would maintain its position on the high end of the global value chain, while China continued to supply it with lower value inputs. “This has not happened for the US economy as a whole. In important areas China has moved up the value chain in relation to the US.”
It is this process that the anti-China hawks are insisting must stop.
The only criticism of the New York Times is not with the goal of forcing China into a subservient, semi-colonial, economic status, but with Trump’s decision to “go it alone,” when he should have made common cause with long-standing US allies against China.
The main sticking point in the negotiations is not that China should purchase more US goods—Beijing has agreed to that. The key US demand is that China must make “structural” changes to its economy, including abandoning state subsidies to major industries, which the US claims are “market distorting,” and that it take action against what Washington alleges are forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft...
Another key obstacle to an agreement is the US insistence that it should have the unilateral right to impose tariffs and other measures, as part of an “enforcement” mechanism of any deal, while China must agree not to impose any retaliatory measures. In China, this demand is widely viewed as a 21st century version of the unequal treaties imposed on it in the 19th and 20th centuries....
Ping noted, is that having focused on the development of 5G over the past ten years, Huawei is about a year ahead in the development of this technology, which will revolutionise internet communications. So the “fusillade” against Huawei is a “direct result of Washington’s realisation that the US has fallen behind.”
The case was illustrative of a broader process, in which profit accumulation in the US economy now increasingly depends, not on new investment in the real economy, but on financial speculation and parasitism, leading to its relative decline vis a vis its old rivals, and a new one, in the form of China.
9--Video Hassan Nasrallah: SDF (Kurds) went to Iraq, Lebanon, Moscow and Damascus after Trump announced withdrawal
Trump's withdrawal announcement caused confusion, fear and despair among regional allies...Trump told Erdogan Syria is his...(for US allies, the biggest danger now is not Iran, but Turkey) Turkey is a sunni country, They believe the advance of the Turkish project in syria would mean the advance of the enemy Axis, namely Turkey, qatar and the muslim brotherhood. which targets the saudi regime, the UAE regime and the egyptian regime and this is why they have opened embassies in damascu and gotten closer to Assad, to prevent erdogan from achieving his project in syria and therefore the region...
currently the US strives to restrain these countries from moving in the direction of Damascus and Moscow, but they haven't offered anything substantial to convince them or to convince them that the US has not abandoned Syria to Turkey and this is what Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Egypt want to hear...
according to North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong-ho, Pyongyang was willing to not simply freeze, but dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear facility under international inspection. This would have removed all their sources of plutonium and enriched uranium except for a reported site at Kangsun, in the outskirts of Pyongyang, that may or may not be another enriched uranium facility. North Korea would thus be left with whatever plutonium or uranium that they might already have harvested, which of course would still be a problem. But Yongbyon, which has been at the center of American concerns since 1991 if not earlier, would no longer exist....
Many analysts are pointing to National Security Advisor John Bolton as the culprit in scuttling an agreement in Hanoi, and if indeed he has Trump’s ear we are in for trouble. In his memoir, Bolton takes credit (if that this the right word) for demolishing the 1994 freeze during the first Bush administration, and he’s on record as saying that his preferred policy toward North Korea is that there be no North—an end to the regime. Of course, it is anybody’s guess whether Trump will continue engagement with Kim, or return to a strategy of “fire and fury.”...
War nearly came again in June 1994, when Bill Clinton decided to launch a preemptive strike on the Yongbyon complex. Jimmy Carter aborted the attack by flying directly to Pyongyang and initiating a freeze with Kim Il-sung’s blessing. Many analysts have derided Trump for saying Obama nearly went to war, but he’s not entirely wrong. In 2011, after various skirmishes in the West Sea, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told CNN that the United States had been “within an inch of war” for weeks. And it is now clear that Trump was also was on the verge of attacking the North in December 2017, to give Kim’s regime a so-called “bloody nose.”This history illustrates that the formal state of war that’s held on the Korean Peninsula since 1953 is not just a technicality; there is no more dangerous and volatile confrontation in the world than the one pitting the United States against North Korea
JOHN BOLTON: The only diplomatic option left is to end the North Korean regime by effectively having the South take it over. You've got to argue with China--
TRISH REGAN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: That's not really diplomatic!
BOLTON: That is their problem, not ours. Anybody who thinks more diplomacy with North Korea, more sanctions, whether against North Korea, or an effort to apply sanctions against China, is just giving North Korea more time to increase its nuclear arsenal... and put us, South Korea, and Japan in more jeopardy.
We have fooled around with North Korea for 25 years, and fooling around some more is just going to make matters worse.
What are the additional measures the United States demanded?
Choe: As the Minister clarified, what we proposed was historically significant. We proposed the permanent dismantling of all the nuclear facilities in their entirety at Yongbyon, including all the plutonium facilities and all the uranium facilities, in the presence of U.S. experts. In return, we proposed, as the Minister mentioned, that the United States lift the 5 sanctions that are closely related with livelihood of civilian economy. By rejecting this proposal, the United States is missing out on a golden opportunity for peace.
-What are the 5 sanctions related to civilian livelihood?
Choe: The 5 sanctions we proposed lifting do not include any sanctions related to the military. We only proposed lifting the sanctions that are related to civilian economic livelihood. Since 2016, there have been 6 sanctions resolutions against DPRK. Including Res. 2280, there are 5 that we want to see lifted, but even among those, we did not propose to scrap them 100%, only those parts that are directly related civilian livelihood.
fulfills the National Defense Strategy across DOD, and “supports dominance across all domains.”