NATO Is Creeping Into Asia, Warns North Korea

Countercurrents | May 16, 2023

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry has claimed NATO is seeking to increase its influence in Asia, citing growing “military collusion” with Japan, which hosted a delegation from the military alliance last month to discuss ways to step up cooperation.

In comments carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday, an official with the Foreign Ministry’s Japan Research Center, Kim Seol-hwa, said Washington is gradually pushing NATO into Asia through partnerships with regional powers.

“It is an open secret that the United States has been trying to create a military alliance like this in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said, adding that the “recent unprecedented military collusion between Japan and NATO is arousing great concern and alertness in the international community.”

Kim went on to cite recent reports that NATO is now in talks to open a “liaison office” in Japan, its first such facility in Asia. The office would be used to “conduct periodic consultations with Japan and key partners in the region such as South Korea, Australia and New Zealand,” according to the Nikkei Asia news website.

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Mr. Guaidó Goes to Washington

Roger Harris

Counterpunch | May 05, 2023

Photograph Source: Leo Alvarez – CC BY-SA 4.0

Juan Guaidó continues to advocate punishing the Venezuelan people with US coercive economic measures. Recently shipped to Washington DC, the former “interim president” of Venezuela pleaded, “You can’t use a kind or soft approach,” such as easing the suffering, because it would “normalize dictatorship.”

Guaidó was livestreamed May 3 from the quasi-governmental Wilson Center. Located in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC, the Wilson Center is a think tank established by the US Congress, which “conducts research to inform public policy” in service of the US empire.

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International Diplomatic Rules Tested in Alex Saab Case

The Alex Saab case highlights changing international norms regarding diplomatic immunity, as the U.S. government has decided not to recognize his professed immunity, despite being designated a special envoy by the Venezuelan government.

L. Todd Wood

New Thinking | May 04, 2023

As war continues to rage in Ukraine and conflict in the Pacific cannot be ruled out, it is obvious that our geopolitical institutions are being tested. Many wise men have asked in recent years—where are the diplomats during times of war? The case of Alex Saab is a perfect example of changing international norms, as the U.S. government has made a decision not to recognize professed diplomatic immunity in the case.

Saab was designated a diplomatic special envoy by the Venezuelan government to travel to Iran to discuss a series of commercial transactions. While en route to Iran, his aircraft stopped for fuel in Cape Verde. There, Saab was detained and extradited to the United States to stand trial on one federal count. Many current and former members of diplomatic circles believe Saab was entitled to diplomatic immunity as a designated Venezuelan special envoy, no matter his lack of a diplomatic passport, the stop in a third-party country, or the commercial nature of his travel.

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We Lied, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Tells On Key U.S. Mistake With Russia

Countercurrents | May 05, 2023

“We should have listened to Putin over many years. We made a commitment to Russia, to Gorbachev, that we would not move NATO one inch to the east. Then we went in, and we lied,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in an interview with UnHerd (Robert Kennedy Jr: America needs a revolution, by Freddie Sayers, Editor-in-Chief of UnHerd, ), published on Wednesday.

Instead of listening to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s warnings about “red lines”, the U.S. has repeatedly crossed them, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said in the interview.

The Democrat running for U.S. president added that Washington should have either invited Moscow to NATO or dismantled the anti-Russian alliance after the Cold War.

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Stop USAID Funding Opposition Groups, Mexico President Asks Biden

Countercurrents | May 04, 2023

Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador asked his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden to stop the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from funding groups hostile to his government, according to a letter presented to journalists on Wednesday, echoing previous Mexican criticism of U.S. interventionism.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has in the past accused several media organizations of being part of a conservative movement against his government.

A Reuters report cited the letter to the U.S. President:

“The U.S. government, specifically though USAID, has for some time been financing organizations openly against the legal and legitimate government I represent,” Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, said in the letter. “This is clearly an interventionist act, contrary to international law and the relations which should prevail between free and sovereign states.”

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Venezuela: Sanctions against PDVSA add weakness to the dollar

Werther Sandoval

Últimas Noticias | May 02, 2023

If oil is bought in and with dollars, then, the US denying that currency the possibility of buying that hydrocarbon, its main asset, the currency remains an orphan, free, wandering through the world monetary torrent looking for other assets to acquire, putting pressure on prices to justify their existence.

It is there where, modestly, the US sanctions that prevent PDVSA from negotiating its proposal and still distant production of 2 million barrels per day, economically and ecologically prudent flow; or the 3 million of past times, or the illusion of 6 million included in all the plans of the Bolivarian and opposition governments, contribute to the US currency its gradient of restlessness, of abandonment.

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US sees in Finland’s NATO accession encirclement of Russia

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | April 06, 2023

Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (L) hands over Finland’s NATO accession document to US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, as secretary-general Stoltenberg looks on, Brussels, 4 Apr 2023

The national flag of Finland was raised for the first time at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels on Tuesday, which also marked the 74th anniversary of the western alliance. It signifies for Finland a historic abandonment of its policy of neutrality. 

Not even propagandistically, anyone can say Finland has encountered a security threat from Russia. This is an act of motiveless malignity toward Russia on the part of the NATO,  which of course invariably carries the imprimatur of the US, while being projected to the world audience as a sovereign choice by Finland against the backdrop of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. 

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Why the Media Don’t Want to Know the Truth About the Nord Stream Blasts

Jonathan Cook

The Greanville Post | April 11, 2023

No one but the terminally naïve should be surprised that security services lie – and that they are all but certain to cover their tracks when they carry out operations that either violate domestic or international law or that would be near-universally rejected by their own populations.

Which is reason enough why anyone following the fallout from explosions last September that ripped holes in three of the four Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea supplying Russian gas to Europe should be wary of accepting anything Western agencies have to say on the matter.

In fact, the only thing that Western publics should trust is the consensus among “investigators” that the three simultaneous blasts deep underwater on the pipelines – a fourth charge apparently failed to detonate – were sabotage, not some freak coincidental accident.

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How the U.S. Regime Is Scaring Its Public to Accept Martial Law

Eric Zuesse

The Greanville Post | April 16, 2023

Virginia’s Mark Warner, a Democrat senator pushing a tyrannical and fully unconstitutional law, with strong bipartisan support, and , as usual, complete media cover. The idea is to institute total narrative control behind supposed threats to national security.

Like with any dictatorship, America’s is based upon censorship (as a consequence of which my articles are virtually banned in the U.S.-and-‘allied’ — or vassal — countries). In a democracy, there is no censorship, because censorship kills even the possibility of democracy. It enables mass-mind-control, which any dictatorship needs in order to exist and to survive. On April 6th, I headlined “How the U.S. Government Is Now Secretly Instituting Martial Law”, and linked to the text of what will be, if it becomes passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the President as is expected to happen, martial law over all publication, broadcasting, and Websites — all media — in the United States. This expected-to-become law bill in the U.S. Congress states explicitly that it is needed in order to protect America (especially its children) against “foreign adversaries” that explicitly include (but are not limited to) six supposed enemies: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela. (If you already know all of that, then you probably learned about it on a Website that is already banned.)

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Putin’s Enormous Blunder

Eric Zuesse

Putin’s biggest-ever blunder has been his failure to have offered to Finland a guarantee of peaceful relations, and of favored-nation status on trade (including on energy-prices of oil and gas, which, prior to the 2022 U.S.-imposed sanctions against Russia, European countries had, for decades, been buying at lower prices from Russia than from any other country, even without any favored-nation status), if Finland will not join NATO.

If Finland’s Government would have turned down such an offer, then what excuses could they provide to their voters, for having said no to it? (And, if the offer had been made privately and then privately rejected, Putin would then have made the offer publicly, and might have been able to get the Finnish public to support it., and then the Finnish Government to support it.) If Finland would have accepted such an offer, then how much benefit would that provide to the Russian people?

Regarding the latter matter: the main reason why Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022 was that on 7 January 2022, both the U.S. Government and its NATO anti-Russian military alliance not only rejected Russia’s 17 December 2021 proposal for there to be peaceful relations between Russia and The West, but neither the U.S. Government nor NATO were even willing to negotiate with Russia regarding any one of the specific clauses in Russia’s thoughtful and lengthy — very serious — proposal.

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