It happens every once in a while. When you come across stories and news articles that are so unique you wonder to yourself, this has got to be a first. Or perhaps you hear an odd story or even a plot in a movie or real-life scenario when you say to yourself, ‘that’s incredible, this is no doubt a first’, or ‘I’ve never seen such a thing’. It’s that feeling of being blind sided with a fresh new item you are pretty sure you’ve never seen or heard about before. That feeling occurred to me with a recent article I came across.
Knowing the global government agenda and knowing the impetus of their long-term plans for control and knowing how dependent they are on the controlled media, didn’t prevent me from gasping at the level of propaganda in this article. Despite knowing that no level of propaganda is unobtainable to those pushing for a new world order of human slavery, still I was taken aback in admiration of this possibly new or perhaps recycled form of propaganda.
My admitted state of ignorance about this level of propaganda notwithstanding, there it was, an article about the “perceived American inaction” in Syria. Wow, I thought at first, I didn’t know the U.S. was “inactive” in Syria, since the world has known for months about the U.S. support and supplying of weapons including chemical weapons to the terrorists (or “rebels”). As if there has been no illegal funding of the opposition and support of terrorists leading to the breakdown of order and leading to the arrest, detention, torture and murder of civilians including Christians. As if none of this has happened, the article implies all of the support given to the terrorists (rebels) qualifies as non-intervention and shameful lack of action on the part of the United States. Despite the known CIA ongoing operations in Benghazi and throughout Syria, the article completely ignores the existence of the CIA and all of the US illegal activities in Syria.
The narrative is accomplished with a few clever techniques. Perhaps the question was asked – How can a news article be used to help advance the global government agenda that is consistent with the Project for a New American Century? This article answers that question. By simply reporting the story framed so that the reader sympathizes with one of the players (villains) in the game. Focus the message of the article to the agenda of something you want them to consider, which you then hook the audience to, and hope they ride on with the idea. This IS the essence of propaganda. A mental tool (by distraction and appealing to irrational emotions) to persuade the masses to believe an idea that will push a particular political agenda. The idea is to present an alternative argument that is unrelated to the ethical or legal issue. For example, imagine a criminal considering why should I storm into a bank, shoot everyone and take the money? Then rationalizing the action in order to keep the (crime) boss happy who then will take care of me. This is a similar type of logic being offered here.
Amazingly, “Reuters Reporter” provides this example of undeniable supreme propaganda with this article. (Saudi Arabia Severs Diplomatic Ties With U.S. Over Response to Conflict in Syria). Why am I singling out this article? It doubles up the propaganda nicely. The article first wipes away all the U.S. war crimes in Syria, the known CIA operation in Benghazi, the U.S. funded and supported slaughter of countless civilians and much more. Since none of this ever happened, then by presenting a random country’s perspective, one can build an entire article based on say the U.S. obligation to maintain a good relationship with say, Saudi Arabia. In this paradigm the U.S. would be foolish to do anything that would anger this important ally like, say, not attack Syria or Iran…
This is a blitzkrieg of propaganda for your mind. These attacks only occur every once in a while. These occasional intense attacks of blatant mind-bending propaganda cannot go by without proper acknowledgment, and we owe the storm a little attention to recognize that it is there. Yes this is a little deeper level of propaganda worth reviewing. To round up our breakdown, note that the article skips from one talking point to another. Since the U.S. should be concerned with keeping Saudi Arabia happy, maybe it should then do the right thing (that is attack Syria… MORE than it is attacking it now and, yes, kill even more people) which will preserve the relationship with Saudi Arabia.
This relationship with Saudi Arabia is presented as the most important goal. No mention in the article about human rights, war powers act, Nuremberg Charter, the history of war and human suffering, ethics and the legal ramifications of waging illegal war. Instead, the reader is told all the reasons why it may not be a good idea to upset Saudi Arabia. The article and talking points are then used to rationalize and justify John Kerry’s aggressive position.
U.S. illegal intervention in Syria is already on record with many calling for the immediate impeachment of Obama. No amount of propaganda can change that. Not even making the audience view the crime from the perspective of another country or political partner will change the view of the people who are awakened. We are happy to call out their propaganda and use it as a teaching tool for others to become better at recognizing their lies.
This is an aggressive attempt to get readers to formulate an opinion on the matter based on their irrational unconscious drive. This propaganda attempts to steer the audience toward connecting emotionally with the idea of keeping a potential friend (Saudi Arabia) happy.
These are the moments that pave the road to global tyranny one step at a time. This is how they perpetuate war. They do it with propaganda, and seeing their lies and tricks is all one needs to be completely free of their mental prison. Can you see the hand being played by the globalists? Do you see the propaganda for what it is? Can it be any clearer?
Bernie Suarez is an activist, critical thinker, radio host, musician, M.D, Veteran, lover of freedom and the Constitution, and creator of the Truth and Art TV project. He also has a background in psychology and highly recommends that everyone watch a documentary titled The Century of the Self. Bernie has concluded that the way to defeat the New World Order is to truly be the change that you want to see. Manifesting the solution and putting truth into action is the very thing that will defeat the globalists.
- The Saudi/Israeli/US Relationship (turcopolier.typepad.com)
- The REAL Reason for Saudi Arabia’s Shift Away from U.S. | Washington’s Blog (olduvaiblog.wordpress.com)
- Why Is Saudi Arabia Muted About Iran And Syria? – OpEd (eurasiareview.com)
It is a fact that our entire way of life is dependent upon gadgets of convenience and being tied to the grid. The grid supplies us with electricity, provides air conditioning to cool our home, the home’s main water supply is pumped by a fuel source, and our food is kept cool and fresh by the refrigerator in your kitchen. Did you know that your refrigerator consumes on average 8% of your monthly electric bill? If a sudden emergency were to occur, all the food in your refrigerator is spoiled. Some individuals do not see this as a real threat to their well being. However, the threat is real and entirely possible.
In an article at SHTF Plan, a physicist states that a solar flare is a real possibility and could pose a serious threat to our way of life. This type of threat is such a concern that in the physicist’s own words believes, “We’d be thrown back 100 years.”
If we do find ourselves in a sudden long term emergency where the use of electricity is non-existent, what are our options as far as keeping food re-refrigerated? Are you equipped and prepared to live in an environment where there is no electricity? Many off-grid homesteaders have found a few solutions that could help us out of with this predicament and save us on our monthly electric bill.
Off-Grid Solutions for Refrigerating Food
Battery Powered Refrigerators – Many of the refrigerators that operate on 12v or 24v DC battery were designed for those that live on boats or in smaller living quarters such as an RV. The DC motor compressor operates on 12 or 24 VDC. In comparison, the average off-the-shelf refrigerator operates at 250v-300v. However, a drawback to this type of refrigerator is the insulation walls can be quite thin making it inefficient in terms of preserving it’s fuel source. Another drawback is these types of refrigerators are expensive and could be maintenance intensive.
Gas/Propane Refrigerators – A gas or propane refrigerator has no moving parts and use gas or propane as their main energy source. Many boats, RV and off-grid homes use this type of refrigeration method. The average cost for a propane fridge is $800. Many would argue that these types of refrigerators eat through gas, so plan on lots of trips to fill up on fuel. Of course, if you can afford a little extra, there are models that are “multi-fuel” — propane/AC, propane/DC, and propane/AC/DC (which might be the best way to go for “insurance” against possible shortage of one fuel/power supply). Ideally it would be advisable for the homestead using this type of refrigerator to have a natural gas well in order to have a continual free source of fuel.
Solar Powered Refrigerator – These innovative types of refrigerators use evaporation to cool the box off. Another type of solar powered refrigerator works with the help of a solar panel. By creating electricity with the help of the solar panels, it then uses the electricity like a normal plug in refrigerator. Battery free refrigerators such as the SunDanzer DDR165 Battery-Free DC can be hooked right into the solar panel. Many believe that solar refridgerators are expensive, however, old refrigerators can be converted into solar powered refrigerators. An article on Mother Earth News explains it all. Layout Plans for a Solar Powered Ice Maker
Prototypes – The prototype zero-emission fridge doesn’t need gas, propane or kerosene and is powered by regular fire. According to an article on ecogeek, “At that point it begins to grow cold, and it is inserted into an insulated container of some sort of a jug, or even a hole in the ground. It gets colder and colder, bringing the temperature of the container to just above freezing, and keeping it that way for about 24 hours.” It is also fairly affordable to. At $40 per unit you can’t get any better than that!
Ice Houses – This is another alternative refrigeration source. For more information on this refrigeration source, click here.
What Do I Do With My Current Refrigerator?
If a long term emergency occurs and you no more have use for your electrically operated refrigerator, convert it into a solar dehydrator or a solar cooker. It could also be used as a bulk storage container for preparations. This would be a great way to keep bulk preparedness items like wheat out of contact with insects and temperature fluctuations. Additionally, some feel that due to the zero oxygen inside the refrigerators can be used as an anaerobic digester to create bio-fuel.
Whether a person is planning for a hurricane, EMP or TEOTWAWKI, electricity or lack there of, will pose a problem to those that are not prepared. There is a lot of great information out there regarding this topic. Finding which alternative refrigerator source works best for your family, requires some researching on your part. Here are some additional articles that may be helpful:
- You’ve Been Warned: Why You Need to Be Ready for Total Grid Failure (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Off the Grid (uspatriotsunited.wordpress.com)
- Have You Been Taking Total Benefit Of Natural Energy? Learn On this page! (organicxpression.org)
If there is ever a case study about people who built up their reputation and then squandered it for first being right for all the wrong reasons, and then being wrong for the right ones, then Meredith Whitney certainly heads the list of eligible candidates. After “predicting” the great financial crisis back in 2007 by looking at some deteriorating credit trends at Citigroup, a process that many had engaged beforehand and had come to a far more dire -and just as correct – conclusion, Whitney rose to stardom for merely regurgitating a well-known meme, however since her trumpeted call was the one closest to the Lehman-Day event when it all came crashing down, it afforded her a 5 year very lucrative stint as an advisor. Said stint has now been shuttered.
The main reason for the shuttering, of course, is that in 2010 she also called an imminent “muni” cataclysm, staking her reputation once again not only on what is fundamentally obvious, but locking in a time frame: 2011. Alas, this time her “timing” luck ran out and her call was dead wrong, leading people to question her abilities, and ultimately to give up on her “advisory” services altogether. Which in some ways is a shame because Whitney was and is quite correct about the municipal default tidal wave, as Detroit and ever more municipalities have shown, and the only question is the timing.
However, as Citi’s Matt King recent showed, when it comes to stepwise, quantum leap repricings of widely held credits, the revelation is usually a very painful, sudden and very dramatic one. This can be seen nowhere better than in the default of Lehman brothers, where while the firm’s equity was slow to admit defeat it was nothing in comparison to the abject case study in denial that the Lehman bonds put in. However, as can be seen in the chart below, when it finally came, and when bondholders realized they are screwed the morning of Monday, Septembr 15 when the Lehman bankruptcy filing was fact, the move from 80 cents on the dollar to under 10 cents took place in a heartbeat.
It is the same kind of violent and anguished repricing that all unsecrued creditors in the coming wave of heretofore “denialed” municipal bankruptcy filings will have to undergo.Starting with Detroit, where as Reuters reports, the recovery to pensioners, retirees and all other unsecured creditors will be…. 16 cents on the dollar!… or less than what Greek bondholders got in the country’s latest (and certainly not final) bankruptcy.
On Friday, city financial consultant Kenneth Buckfire said he did not have to recommend to Orr that pensions for the city’s retirees be cut as a way to help Detroit navigate through debts and liabilities that total $18.5 billion.
Buckfire said it was clear that the city did not have the funds to pay the unsecured pension payouts without cutting them.
“It was a function of the mathematics,” said Buckfire, who said he did not think it was necessary for him or anyone else to recommend pension cuts to Orr.
“Are you saying it was so self-evident that no one had to say it?” asked Claude Montgomery, attorney for a committee of retirees that was created by Rhodes.
“Yes,” Buckfire answered.
Buckfire, a Detroit native and investment banker with restructuring experience, later told the court the city plans to pay unsecured creditors, including the city’s pensioners, 16 cents on the dollar. There are about 23,500 city retirees.
One wonders by how many cents on the dollar the recovery to pensioners would increase if the New York-based Miller Buckfire were to cut their advisory fee, but that is not the point of this post (it will be of a subsequent).
What is the point, is that creditors across all products, aided and abetted by the greatest credit bubble of all time blown by Benny and the Inkjets, will find the kind of violent repricings that Lehman showed take place whenever hope dies, increasingly more prevalent. And since retirees and pensioners are ultimately creditors, this is perhaps the fastest, if certainly most brutal way, to make sure that the United Welfare States of America is finally on a path of sustainability.
The only question is how will those same retirees who have just undergone an 84 cent haircut, take it. One hopes: peacefully. Because among those whose incentive to work effectively has just been cut to zero, is also the local police force. In which case if hope once again fails, it is perhaps better not to contemplate the consequences. For both Meredith Whitney, who will eventually be proven right, and for everyone else.
- Detroit pension cuts ‘function of mathematics’ -investment banker (uk.reuters.com)
- Judge allows banker’s Detroit bankruptcy testimony (crainsdetroit.com)
- Matt Taibbi: Wall Street hedge funds are stealing public workers’ pensions (rawstory.com)
Washington’s Blog. (source)
Hypocrisy as a Weapon
U.S. leaders have long:
- Condemned China for spying and hacking our computers … But the Snowden leaks show that America is doing the same thing — on a much larger scale
- Considered waterboarding to be a war crime and a form of torture, including when the Japanese did it in WWII (and see this). But when we did it, we insisted it was not torture
- Proselytized other countries to follow free market capitalism. But we no longer follow free market capitalism in America. Instead, we have socialism for the rich and sink-or-swim capitalism for everyone else. Whether you call it crony capitalism, fascism, communist style socialism, kleptocracy,oligarchy or banana republicanism … it ain’t real capitalism
- Labeled indiscriminate killing of civilians as terrorism. Yet the American military indiscriminately kills innocent civilians (and see this), calling it “carefully targeted strikes”. For example, when Al Qaeda, Syrians or others target people attending funerals of those killed – or those attempting to rescue people who have been injured by – previous attacks, we rightfully label it terrorism. But the U.S. government does exactly the same thing (more), pretending that it is all okay
- Lambasted those who do not follow a rule of law as tin-pot tyrants. But the rule of law has broken down in America, and we now have less access to justice than in many parts of the world
- Blasted oppressive regimes which do not allow free speech, a free press and other liberties for their people … But have discarded most of those same liberties in our homeland
- Scolded tyrants who launch aggressive wars to grab power or plunder resources. But we ourselves have launched a series of wars for oil (and here) and gas
- Said that those who support terrorists should be treated as terrorists. But the U.S. government haslong supported terrorists for cynical political purposes.
- Sought to “spread democracy” around the world. But democracy is not being honored at home (morehere and here)
- Said that we must stamp out terrorism. But we are doing the exact same things we accuse the terrorists of doing (or worse)
Can you spot a pattern of hypocrisy?
Indeed, the worse the acts by officials, the more they say we it must be covered up … for “the good of the country”.
For example, Elizabeth Goitein – co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice – writes:
The government has begun to advance bold new justifications for classifying information that threaten to erode the principled limits that have existed — in theory, if not always in practice — for decades. The cost of these efforts, if they remain unchecked, may be the American public’s ability to hold its government accountable.
The government acknowledged that it possessed mug shots, videos depicting forcible extractions of al-Qahtani from his cell and videos documenting various euphemistically termed “intelligence debriefings of al-Qahtani.” It argued that all of these images were properly classified and withheld from the public — but not because they would reveal sensitive intelligence methods, the traditional justification for classifying such information. The government did not stake its case on this time-tested argument perhaps because the details of al-Qahtani’s interrogations have been officially disclosed through agency reports and congressional hearings. Instead, the government argued that the images could be shielded from disclosure because the Taliban and associated forces have previously used photos of U.S. forces “interacting with detainees” to garner support for attacks against those forces. Even more broadly, the government asserted that disclosure could aid in the “recruitment and financing of extremists and insurgent groups.”
The government’s argument echoed a similar claim it made in a lawsuit earlier this year over a FOIA request for postmortem photographs of Osama bin Laden. A CIA official attested that these images could “aid the production of anti-American propaganda,” noting that images of abuse at Abu Ghraib had been “very effective” in helping Al-Qaeda to recruit supporters and raise funds. The appeals court did not address this argument, however, resting its decision on the narrower ground that these particular images were likely to incite immediate violence.
The judge in al-Qahtani’s case showed no such restraint. She held that the photos and videos were properly classified because “it (is) both logical and plausible that extremists would utilize images of al-Qahtani … to incite anti-American sentiment, to raise funds, and/or to recruit other loyalists.” When CCR pointed out that this result was speculative, the judge responded that “it is bad law and bad policy to second-guess the predictive judgments made by the government’s intelligence agencies.” In short, the government may classify information, not because that information reveals tactical or operational secrets but because the conduct it reveals could in theory anger existing enemies or create new ones.
This approach is alarming in part because it has no limiting principle. The reasons why people choose to align themselves against the United States — or any other country — are nearly as numerous and varied as the people themselves. Our support for Israel is considered a basis for enmity by some. May the government classify the aid we provide to other nations? May it classify our trade policies on the basis that they may breed resentment among the populations of some countries, thus laying the groundwork for future hostile relations? May it classify our history of involvement in armed conflicts across the globe because that history may function as “anti-American propaganda” in some quarters?
Perhaps even more disturbing, this justification for secrecy will be strongest when the U.S. government’s conduct most clearly violates accepted international norms. Evidence of human rights abuses against foreign nationals, for instance, is particularly likely to spark hostility abroad. Indeed, the judge in the al-Qahtani FOIA case noted that “the written record of (al-Qahtani’s) torture may make it all the more likely that enemy forces would use al-Qahtani’s image against the United States” — citing this fact as a reason to uphold classification.
Using the impropriety of the government’s actions as a justification for secrecy is the very antithesis of accountability. To prevent this very outcome, the executive orderthat governs classification forbids classifying a document to “conceal violations of law” or to “prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.” However, a federal judge in 2008 interpreted this provision to allow classification of information revealing misconduct if there is a valid security reason for the nondisclosure. Together, this ruling and the judge’s opinion in the al-Qahtani FOIA case eviscerate the executive order’s prohibition: The government can always argue that it classified evidence of wrongdoing because the information could be used as “anti-American propaganda” by our adversaries.
Human rights advocates cannot rely on al-Qahtani to tell us what the photos and videos would reveal. The government asserts that his own knowledge of what occurred at Guantánamo — knowledge he gained, not through privileged access to government documents but through his personal experience — is a state secret. The words that Guantánamo detainees speak, once transcribed by their attorneys, are “presumptively classified,” and the government determines which of those words, if any, may be released. Legally, the government may classify only information that is “owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States Government.” Because the detainees are under the government’s control, so, apparently, are the contents of their memory.
That’s why high-level CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou was prosecuted him for espionage after he blew the whistle on illegal CIA torture.*
It should not be difficult to understand why the Obama administration is so fixated on intimidating whistleblowers and going far beyond any prior administration – including those of the secrecy-obsessed Richard Nixon and George W Bush – to plug all leaks. It’s because those methods are the only ones preventing the US government from doing whatever it wants in complete secrecy and without any accountability of any kind.
But whistleblowers also interfere with the government’s ability to get away with hypocrisy. As two political science professors from George Washington University (Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore) show, the government is so hell-bent to punish Manning and Snowden because their leaks are putting an end to the ability of the US to use hypocrisy as a weapon:
The U.S. establishment has often struggled to explain exactly why these leakers [Manning, Snowden, etc.] pose such an enormous threat.
The deeper threat that leakers such as Manning and Snowden pose is more subtle than a direct assault on U.S. national security: they undermine Washington’s ability to act hypocritically and get away with it. Their danger lies not in the new information that they reveal but in the documented confirmation they provide of what the United States is actually doing and why. When these deeds turn out to clash with the government’s public rhetoric, as they so often do, it becomes harder for U.S. allies to overlook Washington’s covert behavior and easier for U.S. adversaries to justify their own.
As the United States finds itself less able to deny the gaps between its actions and its words, it will face increasingly difficult choices — and may ultimately be compelled to start practicing what it preaches. Hypocrisy is central to Washington’s soft power — its ability to get other countries to accept the legitimacy of its actions — yet few Americans appreciate its role.
American commitments to the rule of law, democracy, and free trade are embedded in the multilateral institutions that the country helped establish after World War II, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and later the World Trade Organization. Despite recent challenges to U.S. preeminence, from the Iraq war to the financial crisis, the international order remains an American one. This system needs the lubricating oil of hypocrisy to keep its gears turning.
Of course, the United States has gotten away with hypocrisy for some time now. It has long preached the virtues of nuclear nonproliferation, for example, and has coerced some states into abandoning their atomic ambitions. At the same time, it tacitly accepted Israel’s nuclearization and, in 2004, signed a formal deal affirming India’s right to civilian nuclear energy despite its having flouted the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by acquiring nuclear weapons. In a similar vein, Washington talks a good game on democracy, yet it stood by as the Egyptian military overthrew an elected government in July, refusing to call a coup a coup. Then there’s the “war on terror”: Washington pushes foreign governments hard on human rights but claims sweeping exceptions for its own behavior when it feels its safety is threatened.
Manning’s and Snowden’s leaks mark the beginning of a new era in which the U.S. government can no longer count on keeping its secret behavior secret. Hundreds of thousands of Americans today have access to classified documents that would embarrass the country if they were publicly circulated. As the recent revelations show, in the age of the cell-phone camera and the flash drive, even the most draconian laws and reprisals will not prevent this information from leaking out. As a result, Washington faces what can be described as an accelerating hypocrisy collapse — a dramatic narrowing of the country’s room to maneuver between its stated aspirations and its sometimes sordid pursuit of self-interest. The U.S. government, its friends, and its foes can no longer plausibly deny the dark side of U.S. foreign policy and will have to address it head-on.
The era of easy hypocrisy is over.
Professors Farrell and Finnemore note that the government has several options for dealing with ongoing leaks. They conclude that the best would be for the government to actually do what it says.
What a novel idea …
* Note: That may be why Guantanamo is really being kept open, and even prisoners that the U.S. government admits are innocent are still being blocked from release: to cover up the widespread torture by keeping the evidence – the prisoners themselves – in a dungeon away from the light of day.
- FOCUS | An Imaginary Fascist Constitution (readersupportednews.org)
- Obama’s Grotesque Hypocrisy over Cluster Munitions (counterpunch.org)
U.S. allies angered over NSA 3:03
Germany’s interior minister is pressing for “complete information” from Washington on the alleged U.S. surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone and any other snooping.
Merkel complained to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday after receiving information her phone may have been monitored. German spy chiefs plan to travel to Washington for talks.
Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich was quoted Sunday as telling newspaper Bild am Sonntag he wants “complete information on all accusations” and that “if the Americans intercepted cellphones in Germany, they broke German law on German soil.” He added wiretapping is a crime and “those responsible must be held accountable.”
News magazine Der Spiegel, whose research prompted the government’s response, reported that a document apparently from an NSA database indicates Merkel’s cellphone was first listed as a target in 2002.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Rome and Paris on Saturday and was confronted by outrage over the sweep and scope of U.S. snooping abroad.
The magnitude of the eavesdropping is what shocked us,” former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a radio interview. “Let’s be honest, we eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don’t have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous.”
Free trade talks
The spy flap could give the Europeans leverage in talks with the U.S. on a free trade agreement, which would join together nearly half of the global economy. “If we go to the negotiations and we have the feeling those people with whom we negotiate know everything that we want to deal with in advance, how can we trust each other?” Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, asked.
Claude Moniquet, a former French counterintelligence officer and now director of Brussels-based European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center, said the latest NSA flap came at a good time for Europe “to have a lever, a means of pressure … in these negotiations.”
To Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore at George Washington University, damage from the NSA disclosures could “undermine Washington’s ability to act hypocritically and get away with it.”
- Obama says U.S. not listening to German chancellor’s calls
- U.S. officials long denied massive data trawling
- British official calls U.K. electronic surveillance legal
The danger in the disclosures “lies not in the new information that they reveal but in the documented confirmation they provide of what the United States is actually doing and why,” they wrote in Foreign Affairs. “When these deeds turn out to clash with the government’s public rhetoric, as they so often do, it becomes harder for U.S. allies to overlook Washington’s covert behaviour and easier for U.S. adversaries to justify their own.”
They claim the disclosures forced Washington to abandon its “naming-and-shaming campaign against Chinese hacking.”
The revelations could undercut Washington’s effort to fight terrorism, says Kiron Skinner, director of the Center for International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University. The sweeping nature of NSA surveillance goes against the Obama administration’s claim that much of U.S. espionage is carried out to combat terrorism, she says.
“If Washington undermines its own leadership or that of its allies, the collective ability of the West to combat terrorism will be compromised,” Skinner said. “Allied leaders will have no incentive to put their own militaries at risk if they cannot trust U.S. leadership.”
Push for end to eavesdropping
The Obama administration’s rebuttal to outrage has been that the U.S. is gathering foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations and that it’s necessary to protect the U.S. and its allies against security threats.
Kerry discussed the NSA affair in Europe with French and Italian officials. “He certainly recognizes that as we look to pursue a range of diplomatic priorities, whether that’s working together on global issues like Syria or Iran or TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), it would really be a mistake to let these disclosures get in the way,” she said.
Most governments have not retaliated, but some countries are pushing back.
Germany and France are demanding that the Obama administration agree by year’s end to new rules that could mean an end to reported American eavesdropping on foreign leaders, companies and innocent citizens.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled her official state visit to the White House. She ordered measures aimed at greater Brazilian online independence and security after learning that the NSA intercepted her communications, hacked into the state-owned Petrobras oil company’s network and spied on Brazilians.
Brazil says it is working with other countries to draft a United Nations General Assembly resolution that would guarantee people’s privacy in electronic communications.
A European Parliament committee in Brussels approved sweeping data protection rules that would strengthen online privacy and outlaw the kind of data transfers the U.S. is using for its spying program.
European lawmakers have called for the suspension of an agreement that grants U.S. authorities access to bank data needed for terror-related investigations.
“We need trust among allies and partners,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose cellphone was allegedly tapped by the NSA. “Such trust now has to be built anew.”
- U.S. may have bugged Angela Merkel’s phone since 2002 (scharleme.wordpress.com)
- US spied on Merkel’s phone since 2002: report (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- Report: German Newspaper – Obama Lied To Angela Merkel, He Personally Ordered The Bugging Of Her Phone (theconservativetreehouse.com)
- US’ NSA tracked Angela Merkel’s phone since 2002 (dnaindia.com)
- NSA Allegedly Spied on Merkel’s Cell Phone for Over a Decade (theatlanticwire.com)
One of Prime Minister Abe’s first decisions was to increase Japan’s defence budget [File: AFP]
|Japan is ready to counter China if it resorts to force in the pursuit of its geopolitical interests, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said in an interview.
Abe in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Saturday said Japan should take the lead in guarding against what he said might be an attempt by China to use force to attain its diplomatic goals.
He said he had realised at recent meetings with South East Asian leaders that the region sought leadership from Tokyo in terms of security amid China’s more forthright diplomacy.
“There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won’t be able to emerge peacefully,” he told the paper.
“So it shouldn’t take that path and many nations expect Japan to strongly express that view. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community.”
A top retired Chinese diplomat said any move by Tokyo to contain China could amount to an attempt to conceal ulterior motives in the region and prove to be “extremely dangerous”.
The defence ministry warned Japan not to underestimate China’s resolve to take whatever measures were needed to protect itself.
China took issue with a Japanese media report saying Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down foreign drones that ignore warnings to leave its airspace.
“Don’t underestimate the Chinese army’s resolute will and determination to protect China’s territorial sovereignty,” Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the ministry’s website.
For more than a year, relations between Beijing and Tokyo have been chilled by a territorial dispute in the East China Sea where China claims a small, uninhabited archipelago administered by Japan under the name of Senkaku, though Beijing calls it Diaoyu.
Ties have taken a further battering over visits by Japanese lawmakers this month to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo honouring both war dead and Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals.
One of Abe’s first decisions as prime minister has been to increase Japan’s defence budget for the first time in 11 years.
Tokyo also plans to hold a large air and sea exercise in November to strengthen the island’s defenses, and as a display of might intended for the Chinese.
- Japan will ‘stand up to China’ – Abe (bbc.co.uk)
- Japan PM says won’t tolerate use of force to change status quo (worldbulletin.net)
- Japan to be more assertive against China, says PM Abe (abc.net.au)