Saturday, 28 October 2017

Yemen Cholera Outbreak [Photos]

28-10-2017 | 13:48
With Yemen in the grip of the biggest and most rapidly spreading cholera epidemic on record, an estimated 80% of the population is in urgent need of aid. Clean water and food are hard to come and, with the millionth cholera case on the horizon, the country’s health system is on the verge of collapse

River to Sea
 Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

@FIFAcom ‏ignores International Law: FIFA Won’t Intervene in Palestinian-israeli Crisis Over Settlement Soccer Teams

The impasse centers on Israeli teams that play in West Bank settlements, which the Palestinian Football Association says is against FIFA rules
Palestinian youth hold cards reading "Israel out of FIFA," in Hebron, West Bank, May 28, 2015.
Palestinian youth hold cards reading “Israel out of FIFA,” in Hebron, West Bank, May 28, 2015.
Global soccer body FIFA will not intervene in the impasse between the Israeli and Palestinian football authorities and considers the matter closed, its president Gianni Infantino said on Friday.
The dispute centers on six teams from lower divisions of the Israeli league which are based in settlements in the West Bank and play their matches there.
The Palestinian Football Association says this is contrary to FIFA statutes which state that a member country’s teams cannot play matches on the territory of another association without permission.
The PFA has also complained that Israel hampers its activities, including limiting the movement of players between the West Bank and Gaza, and that it has barred some international travel.
Israel has cited security concerns for its actions and the Israeli FA says it is not responsible for the actions of its government.
In 2015, the PFA proposed during a FIFA Congress that Israel be suspended from international soccer but backed down after FIFA set up a task force led by South African politician Tokyo Sexwale.
“FIFA has decided to refrain from imposing any sanctions or other measures on either the Israel FA or the Palestinian FA,” Infantino told a news conference after a FIFA Council meeting.
A FIFA statement added: “The matter is declared closed and will not be the subject of any further discussion until the legal and/or de facto framework has changed.”
The statement acknowledged that the situation was exceptionally complex and said that any interference by FIFA could aggravate the footballing situation in the region.
It made no specific mention of the six clubs.
Israeli settlements on the occupied territories are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.
FIFA said it would “continue to facilitate the movement of players, officials and football equipment in, out of, and within Palestine.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

israel-dominated U.S. Congress passes four more anti-Iran bills

Israel-dominated U.S. Congress passes four more anti-Iran bills
NY Congressman Eliot Engel (second from left) is lead sponsor on recent anti-Iran bills. Engel, who is the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has traveled to Israel often and is one of its most fervent defenders. (Photo is from his Congressional website.)
If Americans Knew | October 27, 2017
Ever since Iran’s increasingly despotic Shah was overthrown by a popular revolution in 1979, Israel has targeted Iran for attack because of the country’s support for Palestinian rights. (The Shah had been put in place by a 1953 UK-US engineered coup against the country’s Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh.)
The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. said recently that Iran is Israel’s number one concern, and an Iranian newspaper reported: “Iran is the primary target of the Mossad’s actions, which number in the hundreds and thousands each year.”
The Israel lobby has accordingly worked for U.S. policies against Iran, including disseminating advertisements that demonize Iran; an example is this 2010 full-page advertisement in the New York Times :
The list on the left is of the groups that sponsored the ad, as evidenced by their icons at the bottom of the ad.
Now Congress has obliged Israel and its lobby by passing four more bills against Iran. Below is a report on the latest legislation. (Photographs and some additional information in Italics have been added.)
By Bryant Harris, Al-Monitor
Despite a purely partisan Republican push to alter the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, an overwhelming majority of US lawmakers from both parties continues to advance legislation to counter Iranian behavior throughout the Middle East.
The House passed four bills today and Wednesday taking aim at Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support for Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite paramilitary group fighting alongside Iranian forces on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. In addition, Iran hawks in Congress continue to press the Donald Trump administration to ban US aircraft sales to Iran and designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.
Member Pro-Israel Groups Funded Travel* 
* – Trips are those approved, which includes all trips from office both by members and by staffers…
Abercrombie, Neil (D, Hawaii District 1 ) $0.00 0
Ackerman, Gary (D, New York District 5 ) $13,504.03 7
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Adler, John H (D, New Jersey District 3 ) $18,235.00 1
Akaka, Daniel K (D, Hawaii Senate) $4,610.00 1
Akin, Todd (R, Missouri District 2 ) $0.00 0
Alexander, Lamar (R, Tennessee Senate) $3,650.85 1
Alexander, Rodney (R, Louisiana District 5 ) $15,763.13 2
Altmire, Jason (D, Pennsylvania District 4 ) $13,656.90 1
Andrews, Robert E (D, New Jersey District 1 ) $0.00 0
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Barrett, Gresham (R, South Carolina District 3 ) $4,850.00 1
Barrow, John (D, Georgia District 12 ) $12,484.35 2
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Becerra, Xavier (D, California District 31 ) $13,234.49 2
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Bishop, Sanford D Jr (D, Georgia District 2 ) $7,639.28 2
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Boswell, Leonard L (D, Iowa District 3 ) $8,690.55 1
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Boyd, Allen (D, Florida District 2 ) $14,682.09 3
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Broun, Paul Jr (R, Georgia District 10 ) $0.00 0
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Buchanan, Vernon (R, Florida District 13 ) $21,329.00 1
Bunning, Jim (R, Kentucky Senate) $4,973.51 1
Burgess, Michael (R, Texas District 26 ) $0.00 0
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Calvert, Ken (R, California District 44 ) $0.00 0
Camp, Dave (R, Michigan District 4 ) $5,537.60 1
Campbell, John (R, California District 48 ) $0.00 0
Cantor, Eric (R, Virginia District 7 ) $129,054.90 17
Cantwell, Maria (D, Washington Senate) $7,493.74 2
Cao, Joseph (R, Louisiana District 2 ) $0.00 0
Capito, Shelley Moore (R, West Virginia District 2 ) $13,791.22 1
Capps, Lois (D, California District 23 ) $0.00 0
Capuano, Michael E (D, Massachusetts District 8 ) $9,271.80 2
Cardin, Ben (D, Maryland Senate) $0.00 0
Cardoza, Dennis (D, California District 18 ) $13,849.45 3
Carnahan, Russ (D, Missouri District 3 ) $21,278.41 2
Carney, Chris (D, Pennsylvania District 10 ) $5,258.27 1
Carper, Tom (D, Delaware Senate) $11,046.74 2
Carson, Andre (D, Indiana District 7 ) $0.00 0
Carter, John (R, Texas District 31 ) $20,859.13 2
Casey, Bob (D, Pennsylvania Senate) $5,816.00 1
Cassidy, Bill (R, Louisiana District 6 ) $0.00 0
Castle, Michael N (R, Delaware District 1 ) $0.00 0
Castor, Kathy (D, Florida District 11 ) $0.00 0
Chaffetz, Jason (R, Utah District 3 ) $15,813.47 1
Chambliss, Saxby (R, Georgia Senate) $6,999.91 2
Chandler, Ben (D, Kentucky District 6 ) $0.00 0
Childers, Travis W (D, Mississippi District 1 ) $15,449.04 1
Christian-Christensen, Donna (D, Virgin Islands At Large) $0.00 0
Chu, Judy (D, California District 32 ) $0.00 0
Clarke, Yvette D (D, New York District 11 ) $0.00 0
Clay, William L Jr (D, Missouri District 1 ) $2,694.94 1
Cleaver, Emanuel (D, Missouri District 5 ) $0.00 0
Clyburn, James E (D, South Carolina District 6 ) $25,065.52 4
Coble, Howard (R, North Carolina District 6 ) $0.00 0
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Cochran, Thad (R, Mississippi Senate) $8,364.76 2
Coffman, Mike (R, Colorado District 6 ) $14,624.33
Cohen, Stephen Ira (D, Tennessee District 9 ) $10,444.86 1
Cole, Tom (R, Oklahoma District 4 ) $7,705.02 2
Collins, Susan M (R, Maine Senate) $8,387.92 3
Conaway, Mike (R, Texas District 11 ) $21,495.70 1
Connolly, Gerry (D, Virginia District 11 )
Conrad, Kent (D, North Dakota Senate) $0.00 0
Conyers, John Jr (D, Michigan District 14 ) $0.00 0
Cooper, Jim (D, Tennessee District 5 ) $0.00 0
Corker, Bob (R, Tennessee Senate) $0.00 0
Cornyn, John (R, Texas Senate) $11,922.83 4
Costa, Jim (D, California District 20 ) $14,623.94 2
Costello, Jerry F (D, Illinois District 12 ) $3,877.00 2
Courtney, Joe (D, Connecticut District 2 ) $0.00 0
Crapo, Mike (R, Idaho Senate) $8,690.62 1
Crenshaw, Ander (R, Florida District 4 ) $0.00 0
Crowley, Joseph (D, New York District 7 ) $37,670.20 10
Cuellar, Henry (D, Texas District 28 ) $0.00 0
Culberson, John (R, Texas District 7 ) $0.00 0
Cummings, Elijah E (D, Maryland District 7 ) $3,151.25 1
Dahlkemper, Kathleen (D, Pennsylvania District 3 ) $0.00 0
Davis, Artur (D, Alabama District 7 ) $12,499.46 10
Davis, Danny K (D, Illinois District 7 ) $14,838.20 3
Davis, Geoff (R, Kentucky District 4 ) $24,626.40 1
Davis, Lincoln (D, Tennessee District 4 ) $15,446.04 1
Davis, Susan A (D, California District 53 ) $14,039.70 2
Deal, Nathan (R, Georgia District 9 ) $0.00 0
DeFazio, Peter (D, Oregon District 4 ) $0.00 0
DeGette, Diana (D, Colorado District 1 ) $8,646.81 1
Delahunt, Bill (D, Massachusetts District 10 ) $2,587.90 1
DeLauro, Rosa L (D, Connecticut District 3 ) $3,292.00 1
DeMint, James W (R, South Carolina Senate) $18,324.36 2
Dent, Charlie (R, Pennsylvania District 15 ) $17,112.40 1
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln (R, Florida District 21 ) $0.00 0
Diaz-Balart, Mario (R, Florida District 25 ) $3,761.56 1
Dicks, Norm (D, Washington District 6 ) $2,131.06 1
Dingell, John D (D, Michigan District 15 ) $0.00 0
Dodd, Chris (D, Connecticut Senate) $2,323.04 2
Doggett, Lloyd (D, Texas District 25 ) $0.00 0
Donnelly, Joe (D, Indiana District 2 ) $0.00 0
Dorgan, Byron L (D, North Dakota Senate) $0.00 0
Doyle, Mike (D, Pennsylvania District 14 ) $2,131.00 1
Dreier, David (R, California District 26 ) $7,680.99 1
Driehaus, Steve (D, Ohio District 1 ) $9,401.02 1
Duncan, John J (Jimmy) Jr (R, Tennessee District 2 ) $0.00 0
Durbin, Dick (D, Illinois Senate) $5,459.45 3
Edwards, Chet (D, Texas District 17 ) $0.00 0
Edwards, Donna (D, Maryland District 4 ) $0.00 0
Ehlers, Vernon J (R, Michigan District 3 ) $0.00 0
Ellison, Keith (D, Minnesota District 5 ) $22,023.89 2
Ellsworth, Brad (D, Indiana District 8 ) $15,437.04 1
Emerson, Jo Ann (R, Missouri District 8 ) $0.00 0
Engel, Eliot L (D, New York District 17 ) $28,854.98 9
Ensign, John (R, Nevada Senate) $2,828.98 1
Enzi, Mike (R, Wyoming Senate) $0.00 0
Eshoo, Anna (D, California District 14 ) $0.00 0
Etheridge, Bob (D, North Carolina District 2 ) $0.00 0
Faleomavaega, Eni F H (D, American Samoa At Large) $32,598.15 2
Fallin, Mary (R, Oklahoma District 5 ) $23,937.93 2
Farr, Sam (D, California District 17 ) $6,340.72 1
Fattah, Chaka (D, Pennsylvania District 2 ) $4,973.84 1
Feingold, Russ (D, Wisconsin Senate) $0.00 0
Feinstein, Dianne (D, California Senate) $2,694.95 1
Filner, Bob (D, California District 51 ) $0.00 0
Flake, Jeff (R, Arizona District 6 ) $11,584.20 1
Fleming, John Calvin Jr (R, Louisiana District 4 ) $21,134.56 2
Forbes, J Randy (R, Virginia District 4 ) $11,780.00 1
Fortenberry, Jeffrey Lane (R, Nebraska District 1 ) $0.00 0
Foster, Bill (D, Illinois District 14 ) $18,955.50 1
Foxx, Virginia (R, North Carolina District 5 ) $18,291.52 2
Frank, Barney (D, Massachusetts District 4 ) $7,146.82 5
Franken, Al (D, Minnesota Senate)
Franks, Trent (R, Arizona District 2 ) $21,359.70 1
Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R, New Jersey District 11 ) $0.00 0
Fudge, Marcia L (D, Ohio District 11 ) $0.00 0
Gallegly, Elton (R, California District 24 ) $0.00 0
Garamendi, John (D, California District 10 )
Garrett, Scott (R, New Jersey District 5 ) $9,559.62 1
Gerlach, Jim (R, Pennsylvania District 6 ) $7,942.00 1
Giffords, Gabrielle (D, Arizona District 8 ) $15,049.12 2
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D, New York Senate)
Gingrey, Phil (R, Georgia District 11 ) $9,716.84 1
Gohmert, Louis B Jr (R, Texas District 1 ) $44,753.60 3
Gonzalez, Charlie A (D, Texas District 20 ) $3,570.29 1
Goodlatte, Bob (R, Virginia District 6 ) $14,589.49 1
Gordon, Bart (D, Tennessee District 6 ) $0.00 0
Graham, Lindsey (R, South Carolina Senate) $14,360.74 2
Granger, Kay (R, Texas District 12 ) $0.00 0
Grassley, Chuck (R, Iowa Senate) $4,352.28 1
Graves, Sam (R, Missouri District 6 ) $0.00 0
Grayson, Alan (D, Florida District 8 ) $0.00 0
Green, Al (D, Texas District 9 ) $5,452.47 1
Green, Gene (D, Texas District 29 ) $50,527.94 4
Gregg, Judd (R, New Hampshire Senate) $0.00 0
Griffith, Parker (D, Alabama District 5 ) $15,449.04 1
Grijalva, Raul M (D, Arizona District 7 ) $0.00 0
Guthrie, Steven Brett (R, Kentucky District 2 ) $0.00 0
Gutierrez, Luis V (D, Illinois District 4 ) $10,906.00 1
Hagan, Kay R (D, North Carolina Senate) $0.00 0
Hall, John (D, New York District 19 ) $3,200.00 1
Hall, Ralph M (R, Texas District 4 ) $0.00 0
Halvorson, Deborah (D, Illinois District 11 ) $24,850.27 2
Hare, Phil (D, Illinois District 17 ) $15,586.41 2
Harkin, Tom (D, Iowa Senate) $0.00 0
Harman, Jane (D, California District 36 ) $5,293.60 1
Harper, Gregg (R, Mississippi District 3 ) $22,230.53 2
Hastings, Alcee L (D, Florida District 23 ) $4,490.28 1
Hastings, Doc (R, Washington District 4 ) $24,753.40 2
Hatch, Orrin G (R, Utah Senate) $0.00 0
Heinrich, Martin (D, New Mexico District 1 ) $0.00 0
Heller, Dean (R, Nevada District 2 ) $0.00 0
Hensarling, Jeb (R, Texas District 5 ) $7,358.99 1
Herger, Wally (R, California District 2 ) $0.00 0
Herseth Sandlin, Stephanie (D, South Dakota District 1 ) $0.00 0
Higgins, Brian M (D, New York District 27 ) $7,607.37 2
Hill, Baron (D, Indiana District 9 ) $12,077.03 3
Himes, Jim (D, Connecticut District 4 ) $18,131.04 1
Hinchey, Maurice (D, New York District 22 ) $9,219.00 3
Hinojosa, Ruben (D, Texas District 15 ) $0.00 0
Hirono, Mazie K (D, Hawaii District 2 ) $12,258.26 1
Hodes, Paul W (D, New Hampshire District 2 ) $19,159.40 1
Hoekstra, Peter (R, Michigan District 2 ) $10,214.00 1
Holden, Tim (D, Pennsylvania District 17 ) $0.00 0
Holt, Rush (D, New Jersey District 12 ) $0.00 0
Honda, Mike (D, California District 15 ) $9,185.43 2
Hoyer, Steny H (D, Maryland District 5 ) $142,426.02 17
Hunter, Duncan D (R, California District 52 )
Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R, Texas Senate) $0.00 0
Inglis, Bob (R, South Carolina District 4 ) $0.00 0
Inhofe, James M (R, Oklahoma Senate) $0.00 0
Inouye, Daniel K (D, Hawaii Senate) $0.00 0
Inslee, Jay R (D, Washington District 1 ) $0.00 0
Isakson, Johnny (R, Georgia Senate) $20,156.06 2
Israel, Steve (D, New York District 2 ) $40,263.08 10
Issa, Darrell (R, California District 49 ) $4,217.20 1
Jackson Lee, Sheila (D, Texas District 18 )
Jackson, Jesse Jr (D, Illinois District 2 ) $24,218.37 4
Jenkins, Lynn (R, Kansas District 2 ) $0.00 0
Johanns, Michael O (R, Nebraska Senate) $0.00 0
Johnson, Eddie Bernice (D, Texas District 30 ) $0.00 0
Johnson, Hank (D, Georgia District 4 ) $5,452.47 1
Johnson, Sam (R, Texas District 3 ) $0.00 0
Johnson, Tim (D, South Dakota Senate) $6,840.00 2
Johnson, Timothy V (R, Illinois District 15 ) $8,241.29 2
Jones, Walter B Jr (R, North Carolina District 3 ) $0.00 0
Jordan, James D (R, Ohio District 4 ) $14,757.74 1
Kagen, Steve (D, Wisconsin District 8 ) $0.00 0
Kanjorski, Paul E (D, Pennsylvania District 11 ) $0.00 0
Kaptur, Marcy (D, Ohio District 9 ) $0.00 0
Kennedy, Patrick J (D, Rhode Island District 1 ) $5,452.47 1
Kerry, John (D, Massachusetts Senate) $0.00 0
Kildee, Dale E (D, Michigan District 5 ) $0.00 0
Kilpatrick, Carolyn Cheeks (D, Michigan District 13 ) $0.00 0
Kilroy, Mary Jo (D, Ohio District 15 )
Kind, Ron (D, Wisconsin District 3 ) $0.00 0
King, Pete (R, New York District 3 ) $11,156.84 2
King, Steven A (R, Iowa District 5 ) $14,140.69 2
Kingston, Jack (R, Georgia District 1 ) $20,347.00 1
Kirk, Mark (R, Illinois District 10 ) $64,503.09 9
Kirk, Paul (D, Massachusetts Senate) $0.00 0
Kirkpatrick, Ann (D, Arizona District 1 ) $18,919.44 1
Kissell, Larry (D, North Carolina District 8 ) $0.00 0
Klein, Ron (D, Florida District 22 ) $0.00 0
Kline, John (R, Minnesota District 2 ) $8,378.65 2
Klobuchar, Amy (D, Minnesota Senate)
Kohl, Herb (D, Wisconsin Senate) $0.00 0
Kosmas, Suzanne (D, Florida District 24 ) $10,075.72 1
Kratovil, Frank M Jr (D, Maryland District 1 ) $16,019.44 1
Kucinich, Dennis J (D, Ohio District 10 ) $0.00 0
Kyl, Jon (R, Arizona Senate) $15,866.15 7
Lamborn, Douglas L (R, Colorado District 5 ) $22,394.72 1
Lance, Leonard (R, New Jersey District 7 ) $18,375.74 1
Landrieu, Mary L (D, Louisiana Senate) $0.00 0
Langevin, Jim (D, Rhode Island District 2 ) $43,302.15 7
Larsen, Rick (D, Washington District 2 ) $6,598.55 1
Larson, John B (D, Connecticut District 1 ) $8,690.92 1
Latham, Tom (R, Iowa District 4 ) $0.00 0
LaTourette, Steven C (R, Ohio District 14 ) $0.00 0
Latta, Robert E (R, Ohio District 5 ) $19,003.74 1
Lautenberg, Frank R (D, New Jersey Senate) $11,919.83 3
Leahy, Patrick (D, Vermont Senate) $0.00 0
Lee, Barbara (D, California District 9 ) $5,968.63 2
Lee, Christopher J (R, New York District 26 ) $15,024.74 1
LeMieux, George S (R, Florida Senate)
Levin, Carl (D, Michigan Senate) $0.00 0
Levin, Sander (D, Michigan District 12 ) $0.00 0
Lewis, Jerry (R, California District 41 ) $0.00 0
Lewis, John (D, Georgia District 5 ) $3,287.00 1
Lieberman, Joe (I, Connecticut Senate) $32,443.97 9
Lincoln, Blanche (D, Arkansas Senate) $3,657.00 1
Linder, John (R, Georgia District 7 ) $0.00 0
Lipinski, Daniel (D, Illinois District 3 ) $0.00 0
LoBiondo, Frank A (R, New Jersey District 2 ) $0.00 0
Loebsack, David (D, Iowa District 2 ) $0.00 0
Lofgren, Zoe (D, California District 16 ) $0.00 0
Lowey, Nita M (D, New York District 18 ) $21,821.70 5
Lucas, Frank D (R, Oklahoma District 3 ) $0.00 0
Luetkemeyer, Blaine (R, Missouri District 9 ) $14,464.36 1
Lugar, Richard G (R, Indiana Senate) $0.00 0
Lujan, Ben R (D, New Mexico District 3 )
Lummis, Cynthia Marie (R, Wyoming District 1 ) $0.00 0
Lungren, Dan (R, California District 3 ) $14,665.04 2
Lynch, Stephen F (D, Massachusetts District 9 ) $4,170.70 1
Mack, Connie (R, Florida District 14 ) $0.00 1
Maffei, Dan (D, New York District 25 )
Maloney, Carolyn B (D, New York District 14 ) $14,131.30 2
Manzullo, Don (R, Illinois District 16 ) $0.00 0
Marchant, Kenny (R, Texas District 24 ) $8,578.52 1
Markey, Betsy (D, Colorado District 4 ) $19,069.94 1
Markey, Edward J (D, Massachusetts District 7 ) $0.00 0
Marshall, Jim (D, Georgia District 8 ) $11,629.00 1
Massa, Eric (D, New York District 29 )
Matheson, Jim (D, Utah District 2 ) $0.00 0
Matsui, Doris O (D, California District 5 ) $0.00 0
McCain, John (R, Arizona Senate) $0.00 0
McCarthy, Carolyn (D, New York District 4 ) $2,493.00 1
McCarthy, Kevin (R, California District 22 ) $0.00 0
McCaskill, Claire (D, Missouri Senate) $0.00 0
McCaul, Michael (R, Texas District 10 ) $0.00 0
McClintock, Tom (R, California District 4 ) $24,355.56 2
McCollum, Betty (D, Minnesota District 4 ) $0.00 0
McConnell, Mitch (R, Kentucky Senate) $7,358.19 2
McCotter, Thad (R, Michigan District 11 ) $0.00 0
McDermott, Jim (D, Washington District 7 ) $10,522.00 1
McGovern, James P (D, Massachusetts District 3 ) $0.00 0
McHenry, Patrick (R, North Carolina District 10 ) $10,280.60 1
McIntyre, Mike (D, North Carolina District 7 ) $0.00 0
McKeon, Howard P (Buck) (R, California District 25 ) $0.00 0
McMahon, Michael E (D, New York District 13 ) $0.00 0
McMorris Rodgers, Cathy (R, Washington District 5 ) $0.00 0
McNerney, Jerry (D, California District 11 ) $17,387.90 1
Meek, Kendrick B (D, Florida District 17 ) $10,876.00 1
Meeks, Gregory W (D, New York District 6 ) $12,925.23 5
Melancon, Charles (D, Louisiana District 3 ) $9,453.07 2
Menendez, Robert (D, New Jersey Senate) $0.00 0
Merkley, Jeff (D, Oregon Senate) $0.00 0
Mica, John L (R, Florida District 7 ) $0.00 0
Michaud, Mike (D, Maine District 2 ) $10,103.33 2
Mikulski, Barbara A (D, Maryland Senate) $4,508.24 2
Miller, Brad (D, North Carolina District 13 ) $12,073.02 2
Miller, Candice S (R, Michigan District 10 ) $0.00 0
Miller, Gary (R, California District 42 ) $12,132.00 1
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Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah has opposed Israeli invasions and occupation. Photo is of a Beirut suburb bombed by Israel in 2006.
“The whole thing with the [nuclear deal] that irked me throughout was that during the course of the negotiations … we were told consistently that this was only about nuclear weapons,” Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Al-Monitor. “We couldn’t raise terrorism, we couldn’t raise ballistic missiles. We couldn’t raise all the other things against Iran and it frustrated me to no end.”
“I think those of us who really feel that Iran is a major cause of instability in the Middle East need to make sure that Iran is sanctioned,” Engel added.
[U.S. intelligence agencies have found no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.]
In July, Congress passed the first round of sanctions on Iran since the 2015 nuclear accord. The Iran Ballistic Missiles and Sanctions Enforcement Act, which the House passed 423-2 today, would further expand sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program. The Senate must now vote on the additional sanctions package before it can head to Trump’s desk.
Engel, the lead cosponsor of both Iran sanctions packages, has described today’s bill as “pretty similar” to the July sanctions package. The new version, however, would affect entities and individuals supporting Iran’s ballistic missile program even if they don’t have assets in the United States.
The House also passed three bills targeting Hezbollah on Wednesday. The US government considers Hezbollah a terrorist group and US lawmakers overwhelmingly regard it as an Iranian proxy.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) at the ‘National Leadership Assembly for Israel’ event organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. (National Press Club July 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.)
“They’re giving the money to Hezbollah to kill individuals and fund terrorism around the world,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said on Fox News before Wednesday’s votes. “And we’re putting an end to that, continuing to put the sanctions and the pressure on.”
The primary Hezbollah sanctions bill, the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act, introduced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., passed the House unanimously on Wednesday. It is designed to cut Hezbollah’s funding streams from foreign states such as Iran while cracking down on the group’s alleged racketeering activities abroad. The Jerusalem Post reported in September that Iran now gives Hezbollah roughly $800 million a year, an unprecedented level of funding.
Congressmen Ed Royce (L) and Eliot Engel (R) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Companion legislation passed the Senate unanimously earlier this month. The House version, however, contains some extra provisions that single out Iran and Russia for their support of Hezbollah.
Specifically, the House version amends a 2010 Iran sanctions package to include Iran’s support for Hezbollah and directs the administration to sanction government entities that are already on the State Department’s state sponsor of terrorism list if they support Hezbollah. Iran, Syria and Sudan are currently the only three countries on that list.
Engel, the lead cosponsor of the Royce bill, told Al-Monitor that he’s optimistic its Iran provisions will survive reconciliation with the Senate version.
“I think ultimately they won’t disappear because I think both sides of the aisle understand that Iran’s a threat and even those who want to keep the [Iran deal] don’t want to take the pressure off Iran,” said Engel. “When we do things and wrap it up for the year, I think the Iran sanctions have to be in there.”
The House also unanimously passed legislation from Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., to impose overlapping sanctions on foreign states and individuals for providing support to Hezbollah due to its alleged use of human shields. The sanctions in both Hezbollah bills would target the same individuals and entities, but its supporters say the Gallagher bill still has value.
“The purpose of these bills, especially the reporting part, is to highlight the various harmful actions which Congress wants to expose with regard to Hezbollah,” said Joseph Gebeily, the president of the Lebanese Information Center, a think tank critical of Hezbollah.
Gebeily added that the Gallagher bill “puts more focus on the United Nations Security Council’s responsibility in disarming Hezbollah and preventing its military operations in Lebanon.” The bill requires the US ambassador to the United Nations to “secure support for a resolution that would impose multilateral sanctions against Hezbollah for its use of civilians as human shields.”
Lastly, a resolution offered by Rep. Ted Deutch, R-Fla., to urge the European Union to designate the political wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization passed the House unanimously. While the EU considers Hezbollah’s paramilitary wing to be a terrorist group, US lawmakers have repeatedly voiced their frustration that it does not extend that designation to Hezbollah parliamentarians and Cabinet officials in Lebanon.
Congressional Representatives Ilyana Ros-Lehtinen and Ted Deutch with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Deutch’s website says: “Congressman Ted Deutch is a passionate supporter of Israel whose advocacy for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship stretches back to his youth. Ted spent his summers at Zionist summer camp, worked as a student activist in high school and college, and served in leadership roles on several local and national Jewish organizations throughout his professional career. Today, Ted serves as Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s influential Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, where he continues to champion Israel’s security during a time of great volatility in the Middle East.”
And House lawmakers aren’t done.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, continues to push for adoption of his bill urging the State Department to designate the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has a companion bill in the Senate.
US Rep. Michael McCaul (sixth from left) led a 2015 bipartisan Congressional delegation to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump himself designated the IRGC as a terrorist-supporting entity when he declined to certify the nuclear deal earlier this month, but the move falls short of what some in Congress are asking for.
“There’s not really an expansion of sanctions on the IRGC,” said Kenneth Katzman, an Iran sanctions expert at the Congressional Research Service. Trump’s executive order “has a slight travel restriction, obviously, but how many IRGC people … are going to realistically get visas to come to the United States?”
McCaul agrees more could be done.
“The president, when he sanctioned the IRGC, went a long ways in terms of getting the idea of it,” he told Al-Monitor. “However, they didn’t designate it as a foreign terrorist organization. So I’d like to complete that.”
McCaul told Al-Monitor that his bill is currently held up by staff on the House Judiciary Committee who believe that designating terrorist organizations should remain strictly within the purview of the administration.
“Maybe we’ll work with leadership to put it to the floor anyway,” he said.
Iran hawks in the House are also fighting to preserve legislation that would that would bar US aircraft manufacturers, such as Boeing and Airbus, from selling civilian airliners to Iran. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., included the language in a spending package in September.
Congressman Peter Roskam speaks at AIPAC fundraiser in Chicago, 2013. (Video here.) Roskam co-chairs the House Republican Israel Caucus and is a member of the bipartisan Israel Allies Caucus.
The 2015 nuclear deal paves the way for such sales, but Roskam and others fear that Iran could use the civilian airliners to transport troops to fight on behalf of the Syrian regime. The Senate version of the appropriations bill, however, does not contain such language.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu Is Leading US President Trump to War with Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish American Organizations are leading President Trump, like a puppy on a leash, into a major war with Iran. The hysterical ’52 Presidents’ and ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu are busy manufacturing Holocaust-level predictions that a non-nuclear Iran is preparing to ‘vaporize’ Israel. The buffoonish US President Trump has swallowed this fantasy wholesale and is pushing our nation toward war for the sake of Israel and its US-based supporters and agents. We will cite ten recent examples of Israeli-authored policies, implemented by Trump in his march to war (there are scores of others).
1. After many years, Israel and ‘the 52 Presidents’ finally made the US withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) because of its detailed documentation of Israeli crimes against Palestinian people. Trump complied with their demands.
David Friedman.jpg
David Friedman (Wikimedia Commons)
2. Tel Aviv demanded a Zionist fanatic and backer of the illegal Jewish settler occupation of Palestinian lands, the bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman, be appointed US Ambassador to Israel. Trump complied, despite the ambassador’s overt conflict of interest.
3. Israel launched waves of savage bombings against Syrian government troops and facilities engaged in a war against ISIS-mercenary terrorists. Israel, which had backed the terrorists in its ambition to break-up of the secular Syrian state, demanded US support. Trump complied, and sent more US arms to the anti-government terrorists.
4. Israel denounced the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal Framework and Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed by 6 major states and UN Security Council Members, (US, France, UK, Germany, China and Russia). A furious Netanyahu demanded that President Trump follow Tel Aviv and abrogate the multiparty agreement signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump complied and the US is at risk of openly violating its international agreement.
Trump parrots Netanyahu’s falsehoods to the letter: He raves that Iran, while technically in compliance, has violated ‘the spirit of the agreement’ without citing a single instance of actual violation. The 5 other signers of the ‘Framework’, the US military and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency have repeatedly certified Iran’s strict compliance with the accord. Trump rejects the evidence of countless experts among US allies and ‘his own generals’ while embracing the hysterical lies from Israel and the ‘52’. Who would have thought the ‘hard-nosed’ businessman Trump would be so ‘spiritual’ when it came to honoring and breaking treaties and agreements!
5. Israel and the ‘52’ have demanded that Washington imprison and fine US citizens who have exercised their constitutional First Amendment Right of free speech by supporting the international boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which is designed to end the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and crimes against Palestinians. Trump complied. Americans may soon face over a decade in prison and complete economic ruin for supporting a peaceful economic boycott of Israeli settler products. This will represent an unprecedented violation of the US Constitution. At present, US public employees, like teachers in certain US states, are facing job loss for refusing to sign a ‘loyalty oath’ not to boycott products from Israel’s illegal settlements. Desperate American victims of the floods and natural disasters in Texas are being denied access to public US taxpayer relief funds unless they sign similar loyalty oaths in support of Israel.
6. Israel demanded that the US appoint Zionist fanatic real estate attorney, Jason Greenblatt and real estate speculator, Jared Kushner as Middle East peace negotiators. Trump appointed South Carolina businesswoman Nikki Haley as US Ambassador to the United Nations. Israel pushed for Ms. Haley, the first US governor to criminalize support for the peaceful BDS movement.
7. Trump went against the advice of ‘his Generals’ in his own cabinet regarding Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, and chose to comply with Netanyahu’s demands.
8. Trump supports the long-standing Israeli project to maneuver a Kurdish takeover of Northern Iraq, grabbing the oil-rich Kirkuk province and permanently dividing the once secular, nationalist Iraqi nation. Trump has sent arms and military advisers to the Kurds in war-torn Syria as they attempt to grab territory for a separate ‘Kurdistan’. This is part of an Israeli plan to subdivide the Middle East into impotent tribal ‘statelets’.
9. Trump rejected the Turkish government’s demand to extradite CIA-Israeli-backed Fethullah Gulen, self-exiled in the US since 1999, for his leadership role in the failed 2016 military coup d’etat.
10. Like all his predecessors, Trump is completely submissive to Israeli-directed ‘lobbies’ (like AIPAC), which operate on behalf of a foreign power, in violation of the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. Trump chose his Orthodox Zionist son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a callow real estate investor and prominent supporter for war against Iran, as his chief foreign policy adviser.
President Trump’s irresponsible pandering to Israel and its American-Jewish agents has caused deep unease among the Generals in his cabinet, as well as among active duty and retired US military officers, who are skeptical about Tel Aviv’s push for open-ended US wars in the Middle East.
Ten Reasons Why Military Officers support America’s Nuclear Accord with Iran
The Netanyahu-Israel First power configuration in Washington succeeded in convincing Trump to tear-up the nuclear accord with Iran. This went against the advice and wishes of the top US generals in the White House and active duty officers in the field who support the agreement and recognize Iran’s cooperation.
The Generals have ten solid reasons for rejecting the Netanyahu-Trump push to shred the accord:
1. The agreement is working. By all reliable, independent and official observers, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the US intelligence community and the US Secretary of State – Iran is complying with its side of the agreement.
2. If Trump violates the agreement, co-signed by the 6 members of the UN Security Council, in order to truckle to the whims of Israel and its gang of ‘52’, the US government will lose all credibility among its allies. The US military will be equally tainted in its current and future dealings with NATO and other military ‘partners’.
3. Violation of the agreement will force the Iranians to restart their nuclear, as well as advanced defensive weapons programs, increasing the risk of an Israeli-Trump instigated military confrontation. Any US war with Iran will be prolonged, costing the lives of tens of thousands of US troops, its land bases in the Gulf States, and warships in the Persian Gulf. Full-scale war with Iran, a large and well-armed country, would be a disaster for the entire region.
4. US generals know from their earlier experiences under the George W. Bush Administration that Zionist officials in Washington, in close collaboration with Israeli handlers, worked tirelessly to engineer the US invasion of Iraq and the prolonged war in Afghanistan. This led to the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of US military personnel as well as millions of civilian casualties in the invaded countries. The ensuing chaos created the huge refugee crises now threatening the stability of Europe. The Generals view the Israel-Firsters as irresponsible armchair warmongers and media propagandists, who have no ‘skin in the game’ through any service in the US Armed Forces. They are correctly seen as agents for a foreign entity.
5. US generals learned the lesson of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Somalia – where disastrous interventions led to defeats and loss of potential important regional allies.
6. US generals, who are working with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to negotiate an agreement with North Korea, know that Trump’s breaking a negotiated agreement with Iran, only reinforces North Korea’s distrust of the US and will harden its opposition to a diplomatic settlement on the Korean Peninsula. It is clear that a full-scale war with nuclear-armed North Korea could wipe out tens of thousands of US troops and allies throughout the region and kill or displace hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of civilians.
7. US generals are deeply disturbed by the notion that their Commander in Chief, the elected President of the United States, is taking his orders from Israel and its US proxies. They dislike committing American blood and treasure for a foreign power whose policies have only degraded US influence in the Middle East. The generals want to act for and in defense of US national interests – and not Tel Aviv’s.
8. US military officials resent the fact that Israel receives the most advanced US military weapons and technology, which have been subsidized by the US taxpayers. In some cases, Israelis receive advanced US weapons before US troops even have them. They also are aware that Israeli intelligence agents (and American citizens) have spied on the US and received confidential military information in order to preempt US policy. Israel operates within the United States with total impunity!
9. US generals are concerned about negotiating accords with China over strategic military issues of global importance. The constant catering and groveling to Israel, an insignificant global economic entity, has reduced US prestige and status, as well as China’s trust in the validity of any military agreements with the Americans.
10. Trump’s total reliance on his pro-Israel advisers, embedded in his regime, at the expense of US military intelligence, has led to the construction of a parallel government, pitting the President and his Zionist-advisers against his generals. This certainly exposes the total hypocrisy of Trump’s presidential campaign promise to ‘Make America Great Again’. His practice and policy of promoting war with Iran for the sake of Israel are placing US national interest and the advice of the US generals last and will never restore American prestige.
Trump’s decision not to certify Iran’s compliance with the accord and his handing the ultimate decision on an international agreement signed by the six members of the UN Security Council over to the US Congress is ominous: He has effectively given potential war making powers to a corrupt legislature, often derided as ‘Israeli occupied territory’, which has always sided with Israeli and US Zionist war mongers. Trump is snubbing ‘his’ State Department, the Pentagon and the various US Intelligence agencies while giving into the demands of such Zionist zealots as New York Senator Charles Schumer, Netanyahu’s alter ego in the US Senate and a huge booster for war with Iran.
Trump’s refusal to certify Iran’s compliance with nuclear accord reflects the overwhelming power of Israel within the US Presidency. Trump’s rebuke of his generals and Secretary of State Tillerson, the UN Security Council and the 5 major cosigners of the 2015 accord with Iran, exposes the advanced degradation of the US Presidency and the US role in global politics.
All previous US Presidents have been influenced by the billionaire and millionaire die-hard Israel-Firsters, who funded their electoral campaigns. But occasionally, some ‘Commanders in Chief’ have decided to pursue policies favoring US national interest over Israel’s bellicose ambitions. Avoiding a catastrophic war in the Middle East is such a case: Obama chose to negotiate and sign a nuclear accord with Iran [though implementation was stalled]. Tel Aviv’s useful fool, Donald Trump, intends to break the agreement and drag this nation further into the hell of regional war.
In this regard, international opinion has sided with America’s generals. Only Israel and its US acolytes on Wall Street and Hollywood applaud the blustering, bellicose Trump!

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power

The Lessons of History

Global Research, October 28, 2017
Global Research 7 March 2012

First published on GR in March 2012
The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.  John Hobson’s[1] brilliant historical survey of the world economy during this period provides an abundance of empirical data making the case for China ’s economic and technological superiority over Western civilization for the better part of a millennium prior to its conquest and decline in the 19th century.
China ’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future.
First we will outline the main contours of historical China ’s rise to global economic superiority over West before the 19th century, following closely John Hobson’s account in The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization.  Since the majority of western economic historians (liberal, conservative and Marxist) have presented historical China as a stagnant, backward, parochial society, an “oriental despotism”, some detailed correctives will be necessary.  It is especially important to emphasize how China , the world technological power between 1100 and 1800, made the West’s emergence possible.  It was only by borrowing and assimilating Chinese innovations that the West was able to make the transition to modern capitalist and imperialist economies.
In part two we will analyze and discuss the factors and circumstances which led to China ’s decline in the 19th century and its subsequent domination, exploitation and pillage by Western imperial countries, first England and then the rest of Europe, Japan and the United States .
In part three, we will briefly outline the factors leading to China’s emancipation from colonial and neo-colonial rule and analyze its recent rise to becoming the second largest global economic power.
Finally we will look at the past and present threats to China ’s rise to global economic power, highlighting the similarities between British colonialism of the 18 and 19th centuries and the current US imperial strategies and focusing on the weaknesses and strengths of past and present Chinese responses.
China:  The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800
In a systematic comparative format, John Hobson provides a wealth of empirical indicators demonstrating China ’s global economic superiority over the West and in particular England .  These are some striking facts:
As early as 1078, China was the world’s major producer of steel (125,000 tons); whereas Britain in 1788 produced 76,000 tons.
China was the world’s leader in technical innovations in textile manufacturing, seven centuries before Britain ’s 18th century “textile revolution”.
China was the leading trading nation, with long distance trade reaching most of Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe .  China’s ‘agricultural revolution’ and productivity surpassed the West down to the 18th century.
Its innovations in the production of paper, book printing, firearms and tools led to a manufacturing superpower whose goods were transported throughout the world by the most advanced navigational system.
China possessed the world’s largest commercial ships.  In 1588 the largest English ships displaced 400 tons, China ’s 3,000 tons.  Even as late as the end of the 18th century China ’s merchants employed 130,000 private transport ships, several times that of Britain . China retained this pre-eminent position in the world economy up until the early 19th century.
British and Europeans manufacturers followed China ’s lead, assimilating and borrowing its more advanced technology and were eager to penetrate China ’s advanced and lucrative market.
Banking, a stable paper money economy, manufacturing and high yields in agriculture resulted in China ’s per capita income matching that of Great Britain as late as 1750.
China ’s dominant global position was challenged by the rise of British imperialism, which had adopted the advanced technological, navigational and market innovations of China and other Asian countries in order to bypass earlier stages in becoming a world power[2].
Western Imperialism and the Decline of China
The British and Western imperial conquest of the East, was based on the militaristic nature of the imperial state, its non-reciprocal economic relations with overseas trading countries and the Western imperial ideology which motivated and justified overseas conquest.
Unlike China , Britain ’s industrial revolution and overseas expansion was driven by a military policy.  According to Hobson, during the period from 1688-1815 Great Britain was engaged in wars 52% of the time[3].  Whereas the Chinese relied on their open markets and their superior production and sophisticated commercial and banking skills, the British relied on tariff protection, military conquest, the systematic destruction of competitive overseas enterprises as well as the appropriation and plunder of local resources.  China ’s global predominance was based on ‘reciprocal benefits’ with its trading partners, while Britain relied on mercenary armies of occupation, savage repression and a ‘divide and conquer’ policy to foment local rivalries.  In the face of native resistance, the British (as well as other Western imperial powers) did not hesitate to exterminate entire communities[4].
Unable to take over the Chinese market through greater economic competitiveness, Britain relied on brute military power.  It mobilized, armed and led mercenaries, drawn from its colonies in India and elsewhere to force its exports on China and impose unequal treaties to lower tariffs.  As a result China was flooded with British opium produced on its plantations in India – despite Chinese laws forbidding or regulating the importation and sale of the narcotic.  China ’s rulers, long accustomed to its trade and manufacturing superiority, were unprepared for the ‘new imperial rules’ for global power.  The West’s willingness to use military power  to win colonies, pillage resources and recruit huge mercenary armies commanded by European officers spelt the end for China as a world power.
China had based its economic predominance on ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of its trading partners’.  In contrast, British imperialists intervened violently in Asia , reorganizing local economies to suit the needs of the empire (eliminating economic competitors including more efficient Indian cotton manufacturers) and seized control of local political, economic and administrative apparatus to establish the colonial state.
Britain ’s empire was built with resources seized from the colonies and through the massive militarization of its economy[5].  It was thus able to secure military supremacy over China .  China ’s foreign policy was hampered by its ruling elite’s excessive reliance on trade relations.  Chinese officials and merchant elites sought to appease the British and convinced the emperor to grant devastating extra-territorial concessions opening markets to the detriment of Chinese manufacturers while surrendering local sovereignty.  As always, the British precipitated internal rivalries and revolts further destabilizing the country.
Western and British penetration and colonization of China ’s market created an entire new class:  The wealthy Chinese ‘compradores’ imported British goods and facilitated the takeover of local markets and resources.  Imperialist pillage forced greater exploitation and taxation of the great mass of Chinese peasants and workers.  China ’s rulers were obliged to pay the war debts and finance trade deficits imposed by the Western imperial powers by squeezing its peasantry.  This drove the peasants to starvation and revolt.
By the early 20th century (less than a century after the Opium Wars), China had descended from world economic power to a broken semi-colonial country with a huge destitute population.  The principle ports were controlled by Western imperial officials and the countryside was subject to the rule by corrupt and brutal warlords.  British opium enslaved millions.
British Academics:  Eloquent Apologists for Imperial Conquest
The entire Western academic profession – first and foremost British  imperial historians – attributed British imperial dominance of Asia to English ‘technological superiority’ and China’s misery and colonial status to ‘oriental backwardness’, omitting any mention of the millennium of Chinese commercial and technical progress and superiority up to the dawn of the 19th century.  By the end of the 1920’s, with the Japanese imperial invasion, China ceased to exist as a unified country.  Under the aegis of imperial rule, hundreds of millions of Chinese had starved or were dispossessed or slaughtered, as the Western powers and Japan plundered its economy.  The entire Chinese ‘collaborator’ comprador elite were discredited before the Chinese people.
What did remain in the collective memory of the great mass of the Chinese people – and what was totally absent in the accounts of prestigious US and British academics – was the sense of China once having been a prosperous, dynamic and leading world power.  Western commentators dismissed this collective memory of China ’s ascendancy as the foolish pretensions of nostalgic lords and royalty – empty Han arrogance.
China Rises from the Ashes of Imperial Plunder and Humiliation:  The Chinese Communist Revolution
The rise of modern China to become the second largest economy in the world was made possible only through the success of the Chinese communist revolution in the mid-20th century.  The People’s Liberation ‘Red’ Army defeated first the invading Japanese imperial army and later the US imperialist-backed comprador led Kuomintang “Nationalist” army.  This allowed the reunification of China as an independent sovereign state.  The Communist government abolished the extra-territorial privileges of the Western imperialists, ended the territorial fiefdoms of the regional warlords and gangsters and drove out the millionaire owners of brothels, the traffickers of women and drugs as well as the other “service providers” to the Euro-American Empire.
In every sense of the word, the Communist revolution forged  the modern Chinese state.  The new leaders then proceeded to reconstruct an economy ravaged by imperial wars and pillaged by Western and Japanese capitalists.  After over 150 years of infamy and humiliation the Chinese people recovered their pride and national dignity.  These socio-psychological elements were essential in motivating the Chinese to defend their country from the US attacks, sabotage, boycotts, and blockades mounted immediately after liberation.
Contrary to Western and neoliberal Chinese economists, China ’s dynamic growth did not start in 1980.  It began in 1950, when the agrarian reform provided land, infrastructure, credits and technical assistance to hundreds of millions of landless and destitute peasants and landless rural workers. Through what is now called “human capital” and gigantic social mobilization, the Communists built roads, airfields, bridges, canals and railroads as well as the basic industries, like coal, iron and steel, to form the backbone of the modern Chinese economy.  Communist China’s vast free educational and health systems created a healthy, literate and motivated work force.  Its highly professional military prevented the US from extending its military empire throughout the Korean peninsula up to China ’s territorial frontiers.  Just as past Western scholars and propagandists fabricated a history of a “stagnant and decadent” empire to justify their destructive conquest, so too their modern counterparts have rewritten the first thirty years of Chinese Communist history, denying the role of the revolution in developing all the essential elements for a modern economy, state and society.  It is clear that China ’s rapid economic growth was based on the development of its internal market, its rapidly growing cadre of scientists, skilled technicians and workers and the social safety net which protected and promoted working class and peasant mobility were products of Communist planning and investments.
China ’s rise to global power began in 1949 with the removal of the entire parasitic financial, compradore and speculative classes who had served as the intermediaries for European, Japanese and US imperialists draining China of its great wealth.
China’s Transition to Capitalism
Beginning in 1980 the Chinese government initiated a dramatic shift in its economic strategy:  Over the next three decades, it opened the country to large-scale foreign investment; it privatized thousands of industries and it set in motion a process of income concentration based on a deliberate strategy of re-creating a dominant economic class of billionaires linked to overseas capitalists.  China ’s ruling political class embraced the idea of “borrowing” technical know-how and accessing overseas markets from foreign firms in exchange for providing cheap, plentiful labor at the lowest cost.
The Chinese state re-directed massive public subsidies to promote high capitalist growth by dismantling its national system of free public education and health care.  They ended subsidized public housing for hundreds of millions of peasants and urban factory workers and provided funds to real estate speculators for the construction of private luxury apartments and office skyscrapers. China ’s new capitalist strategy as well as its double digit growth was based on the profound structural changes and massive public investments made possible by the previous communist government.  China ’s private sector “take off” was based on the huge public outlays made since 1949.
The triumphant new capitalist class and its Western collaborators claimed all the credit for this “economic miracle” as China rose to become the world’s second largest economy.  This new Chinese elite have been less eager to announce China ’s world-class status in terms of brutal class inequalities, rivaling only the US .
China:  From Imperial Dependency to World Class Competitor
China ’s sustained growth in its manufacturing sector was a result of highly concentrated public investments, high profits, technological innovations and a protected domestic market.  While foreign capital profited, it was always within the framework of the Chinese state’s priorities and regulations.  The regime’s dynamic ‘export strategy’ led to huge trade surpluses, which eventually made China one of the world’s largest creditors especially for US debt.  In order to maintain its dynamic industries, China has required huge influxes of raw materials, resulting in large-scale overseas investments and trade agreements with agro-mineral export countries in Africa and Latin America .  By 2010 China displaced the US and Europe as the main trading partner in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America .
Modern China ’s rise to world economic power, like its predecessor between 1100-1800, is based on its gigantic productive capacity:  Trade and investment was governed by a policy of strict non-interference in the internal relations of its trading partners.  Unlike the US , China did initiate brutal wars for oil; instead it signed lucrative contracts.  And China does not fight wars in the interest of overseas Chinese, as the US has done in the Middle East for Israel .
The seeming imbalance between Chinese economic and military power is in stark contrast to the US where a bloated, parasitic military empire continues to erode its own global economic presence.
US military spending is twelve times that of China .  Increasingly the US military plays the key role shaping policy in Washington as it seeks to undercut China ’s rise to global power.
China’s Rise to World Power: Will History Repeat Itself?
China has been growing at about 9% per annum and its goods and services are rapidly rising in quality and value.  In contrast, the US and Europe have wallowed around 0% growth from 2007-2012.  China ’s innovative techno-scientific establishment routinely assimilates the latest inventions from the West (and Japan ) and improves them, thereby decreasing the cost of production.  China has replaced the US and European controlled “international financial institutions” (the IMF, World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank) as the principle lender in Latin America .  China continues to lead as the prime investor in African energy and mineral resources.  China has replaced the US as the principle market for Saudi Arabian, Sudanese and Iranian petroleum and it will soon replace the US as the principle market for Venezuela petroleum products.  Today China is the world’s biggest manufacturer and exporter, dominating even the US market, while playing the role of financial life line as it holds over $1.3 trillion in US Treasury notes.
Under growing pressure from its workers, farmers and peasants, China ’s rulers have been developing the domestic market by increasing wages and social spending to rebalance the economy and avoid the specter of social instability.  In contrast, US wages, salaries and vital public services have sharply declined in absolute and relative terms.
Given the current historical trends it is clear that China will replace the US as the leading world economic power, over the next decade,  if the US empire does not strike back and if China ’s profound class inequalities do not lead to a major social upheaval.
Modern China ’s rise to global power faces serious challenges.  In contrast to China ’s historical ascent on the world stage, modern Chinese global economic power is not accompanied by any imperialist undertakings.  China has seriously lagged behind the US and Europe in aggressive war-making capacity.  This may have allowed China to direct public resources to maximize economic growth, but it has left China vulnerable to US military superiority in terms of its massive arsenal, its string of forward bases and strategic geo-military positions right off the Chinese coast and in adjoining territories.
In the nineteenth century British imperialism demolished China ’s global position with its military superiority, seizing China ’s ports – because of China ’s reliance on ‘mercantile superiority’.
The conquest of India , Burma and most of Asia allowed Britain to establish colonial bases and recruit local mercenary armies.  The British and its mercenary allies encircled and isolated China , setting the stage for the disruption of China ’s markets and the imposition of the brutal terms of trade.  The British Empire’s armed presence dictated what China imported (with opium accounting for over 50% of British exports in the 1850s) while undermining China ’s competitive advantages via tariff policies.
Today the US is pursuing similar policies:  US naval fleet  patrols and controls China ’s commercial shipping lanes and off-shore oil resources via its overseas bases.  The Obama-Clinton White House is in the process of developing a rapid military response involving bases in Australia , Philippines and elsewhere in Asia .  The US is intensifying  its efforts to undermine Chinese overseas access to strategic resources while backing ‘grass roots’ separatists and ‘insurgents’ in West China, Tibet, Sudan, Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.  The US military agreements with India and  the installation of a pliable puppet regime in Pakistan have advanced its strategy of isolating China .  While China upholds its policy of “harmonious development” and “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, it has stepped aside as US and European military imperialism have attacked a host of China’s trading partners to essentially reverse China’s  peaceful commercial expansion.
China’s lack of a political and ideological strategy capable of protecting its overseas economic interests has been an invitation for the US and NATO to set-up regimes hostile to China .  The most striking example is Libya where US and NATO intervened to overthrow an independent government led by President Gadhafi, with whom China had signed multi-billion dollar trade and investments agreements. The NATO bombardment of Libyan cities, ports and oil installation forced the Chinese to withdraw 35,000 Chinese oil engineers and construction workers in a matter of days.  The same thing happened in Sudan where China had invested billions to develop its oil industry.  The US, Israel and Europe armed the South Sudanese rebels to disrupt the flow of oil and attack Chinese oil workers[6].  In both cases China passively allowed the US and European military imperialists to attack its trade partners and undermine its investments.
Under Mao Tse Tung, China had an active policy countering imperial aggression:  It supported revolutionary movements and independent Third World governments.  Today’s capitalist China does not have an active policy of supporting governments or movements capable of protecting China ’s bilateral trade and investment agreements.  China ’s inability to confront the rising tide of US   military aggression against its economic interests, is due to deep structural problems.  China’s foreign policy is shaped by big commercial, financial and manufacturing interests who rely on their ‘economic competitive edge’ to gain market shares and have no understanding of the military and security underpinnings of global economic power.  China ’s political class is deeply influenced by a new class of billionaires with strong ties to Western equity funds and who have uncritically absorbed Western cultural values. This is illustrated by their preference for sending their own children to elite universities in the US and Europe .  They seek “accommodation with the West” at any price.
This lack of any strategic understanding of military empire-building has led them to respond ineffectively and ad hoc to each imperialist action undermining their access to resources and markets.  While China ’s “business first” outlook may have worked when it was a minor player in the world economy and US empire builders saw  the “capitalist opening” as a chance to easily takeover China ’s public enterprises and pillage the economy.  However, when China (in contrast to the former USSR) decided to retain capital controls and develop a carefully calibrated, state directed “industrial policy”  directing western capital and the transfer of technology to state enterprises, which effectively penetrated the US domestic and overseas markets, Washington began to complain and talked of retaliation.
China ’s huge trade surpluses with the US provoked a dual response in Washington :  It sold massive quantities of US Treasury bonds to the Chinese and began to develop a global strategy to block China ’s advance. Since the US lacked economic leverage to reverse its decline, it relied on its only “comparative advantage” – its military superiority based on a world wide  system of attack bases,  a network of overseas client regimes, military proxies, NGO’ers, intellectuals and armed mercenaries.  Washington turned to its vast overt and clandestine security apparatus to undermine China ’s trading partners.  Washington depends on its long-standing ties with corrupt rulers, dissidents, journalists and media moguls to provide the powerful propaganda cover while advancing its military offensive against China ’s overseas interests.
China has nothing to compare with the US overseas ‘security apparatus’ because it practices a policy of “non-interference”.  Given the advanced state of the Western imperial offensive, China has taken only a few diplomatic initiatives, such as financing English language media outlets to present its perspective, using its veto power on the UN Security Council to oppose US efforts to overthrow the independent Assad regime in Syria and opposing the imposition of drastic sanctions against Iran .  It sternly repudiated US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s vitriolic questioning of the ‘legitimacy’ of the Chinese state when it voted against the US-UN resolution  preparing  an attack on Syria[7].
Chinese military strategists are more aware and alarmed at the growing military threat to China .  They have successfully demanded a 19% annual increase in military spending over the next five years (2011-2015)[8].  Even with this increase, China’s military expenditures will still be less than one-fifth of the US military budget and China has not one overseas military base in stark contrast to the over 750 US installations abroad.  Overseas Chinese intelligence operations are minimal and ineffective.  Its embassies are run by and for narrow commercial interests who utterly failed to understand NATO’s brutal policy of regime change in Libya and inform Beijing of its significance to the Chinese state.
There are two other structural weaknesses undermining China ’s rise as a world power. This includes the highly ‘Westernized’ intelligentsia which has uncritically swallowed US economic doctrine about free markets while ignoring its militarized economy.  These Chinese intellectuals parrot the US propaganda about the ‘democratic virtues’ of billion-dollar Presidential campaigns, while supporting financial deregulation which would have led to a Wall Street takeover of Chinese banks and savings.  Many Chinese business consultants and academics have been educated in the US and influenced by their ties to US academics and international financial institutions directly linked to Wall Street and the City of London .  They have prospered as highly-paid consultants receiving prestigious positions in Chinese institutions.  They identify the ‘liberalization of financial markets’ with “advanced economies” capable of deepening ties to global markets instead of as a major source of the current global financial crisis.  These “Westernized intellectuals” are like their 19th century comprador counterparts who underestimated and dismissed the long-term consequences of Western imperial penetration.  They fail to understand how financial deregulation in the US precipitated the current crisis and how deregulation would lead to a Western takeover of China ’s financial system- the consequences of which would reallocate China ’s domestic savings to non-productive activities (real estate speculation), precipitate financial crisis and ultimately undermine China ’s leading global position.
These Chinese yuppies imitate the worst of Western consumerist life styles and their political outlooks are driven by these life styles and Westernized identities which preclude any sense of solidarity with their own working class.
There is an economic basis for the pro-Western sentiments of China ’s neo-compradors.  They have transferred billions of dollars to foreign bank accounts, purchased luxury homes and apartments in London , Toronto , Los Angeles , Manhattan , Paris , Hong Kong and Singapore . They have one foot in China (the source of their wealth) and the other in the West (where they consume and hide their wealth).
Westernized compradores are deeply embedded in China ’s economic system having family ties with the political leadership in the party apparatus and the state. Their connections are weakest in the military and in the growing social movements, although some “dissident” students and academic activists in the “democracy movements” are backed by Western imperial NGO’s.  To the extent that the compradors gain influence, they weaken the strong economic state institutions which have directed China ’s ascent to global power, just as they did in the 19th century by acting as intermediaries for the British Empire .  Proclaiming 19th Century “liberalism” British opium addicted over 50 million Chinese in less than a decade.  Proclaiming “democracy and human rights” US gunboats now patrol off China ’s coast.  China ’s elite-directed rise to global economic power has spawned monumental inequalities between the thousands of new billionaires and multi-millionaires at the top and hundreds of millions of impoverished workers, peasants and migrant workers at the bottom.
China ’s rapid accumulation of wealth and capital was made possible through the intense exploitation of its workers who were stripped of their previous social safety net and regulated work conditions guaranteed under Communism.  Millions of Chinese households are being dispossessed in order to promote real estate developer/speculators who then build high rise offices and the luxury apartments for the domestic and foreign elite.  These brutal features of ascendant Chinese capitalism have created a fusion of workplace and living space mass struggle which is growing every year.  The developer/speculators’ slogan  “to get rich is wonderful” has lost its power to deceive the people.  In 2011 there were over 200,000 popular encompassing urban coastal factories and rural villages.  The next step, which is sure to come, will be the unification of these struggles into  new national social movements with a class-based agenda demanding the restoration of health and educational services enjoyed under the Communists as well as a greater share of China’s wealth. Current demands for greater wages can turn to demands for greater work place democracy.  To answer these popular demands China ’s new compradore-Westernized liberals cannot point to their ‘model’ in the US empire where American workers are in the process of being stripped of the very benefits Chinese workers are struggling to regain.
China , torn by deepening class and political conflict, cannot sustain its drive toward global economic leadership.  China ’s elite cannot confront the rising global imperial military threat from the US with its comprador allies among the internal liberal elite while the country is  a deeply divided society with an increasingly hostile working class.  The time of unbridled exploitation of China ’s labor has to end in order to face the US military encirclement of China and economic disruption of its overseas markets.  China possesses enormous resources.  With over $1.5 trillion dollars in reserves China can finance a comprehensive national health and educational program throughout the country.
China can afford to pursue an intensive ‘public housing program’ for the 250 million migrant workers currently living in urban squalor.  China can impose a system of progressive income taxes on its new billionaires and millionaires and finance small family farmer co-operatives and rural industries to rebalance the economy.  Their program of developing alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and wind farms – are a promising start to addressing their serious environmental pollution.  Degradation of the environment and related health issues already engage the concern of tens of millions.  Ultimately China ’s best defense against imperial encroachments is a stable regime based on social justice for the hundreds of millions and a foreign policy of supporting overseas anti-imperialist movements and regimes – whose independence are in China ’s vital interest.  What is needed is a pro-active policy based on mutually beneficial joint ventures including military and diplomatic solidarity.  Already a small, but influential, group of Chinese intellectuals have raised the issue of the growing US military threat and are “saying no to gunboat diplomacy”.[9]
Modern China has plenty of resources and opportunities, unavailable to China in the 19th century when it was subjugated by the British Empire . If the US continues to escalate its aggressive militaristic policy against China , Beijing can set off a serious fiscal crisis by dumping a few of its hundreds of billions of dollars in US Treasury notes.  China , a nuclear power should reach out to its similarly armed and threatened neighbor, Russia , to confront and confound the bellicose rantings of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.  Russian President-to-be Putin vows to increase military spending from 3% to 6% of the GDP over the next decade to counter Washington’s offensive missile bases on Russia’s borders and thwart Obama’s ‘regime change’ programs against its allies, like Syria[10].
China has powerful trading, financial and investment networks covering the globe as well as powerful economic partners .These links have become essential for the continued growth of many of countries throughout the developing world.  In taking on China , the US will have to face the opposition of many powerful market-based elites throughout the world.  Few countries or elites see any future in tying their fortunes to an economically unstable empire-based on militarism and destructive colonial occupations.
In other words, modern China , as a world power, is incomparably stronger than it was in early 18th century.  The US does not have the colonial leverage that the ascendant British Empire possessed in the run-up to the Opium Wars.  Moreover, many Chinese intellectuals and the vast majority of its citizens have no intention of letting its current “Westernized compradors” sell out the country.  Nothing would accelerate political polarization in Chinese society and hasten the coming of a second Chinese social revolution more than a timid leadership submitting to a new era of Western imperial pillage.
[1] John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization ( Cambridge UK :  Cambridge University Press 2004)
[2] Ibid, Ch. 9 pp. 190 -218
[3] Ibid, Ch. 11, pp. 244-248
[4] Richard Gott, Britain’s Empire:  Resistance, Repression and Revolt ( London : Verso 2011) for a detailed historical chronicle of the savagery accompanying Britain ’s colonial empire.
[5] Hobson, pp. 253 – 256.
[6] Katrina Manson, “South Sudan puts Beijing ’s policies to the test”, Financial Times, 2/21/12, p. 5.
[7] Interview of Clinton NPR, 2/26/12.
[8] La Jornada, 2/15/12 ( Mexico City ).
[9]  China Daily (2/20/2012)
[10]Charles Clover, ‘Putin vows huge boost in defense spending’, Financial Times, 2/12/2012
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