ESTABLISHMENT CIVIL WAR?: Brzezinski’s Brass Knuckles

ESTABLISHMENT CIVIL WAR?: Brzezinski’s Brass Knuckles

Is there a campaign being carried out by the left-wing elements of Western imperialism, against the right-wing elements? Are we witnessing a cutthroat civil war within the Western Establishment?


Firstly, if the reader feels mystified by a terminology of “right wing” or “left-wing” imperialism, they should understand that these terms are employed only as a matter of convenience, and identify political differences which are for the most part superficial and mild. We might describe, for example, Leo Strauss as “right-wing” and Halford Mackinder as “left-wing.” Both types tend to be abide by the Platonic concept of inspirational mythology as a means to affect public consciousness; the difference being Plato was not a bloodthirsty lunatic hell-bent on world domination.


The reader can acquire an appreciation for what I am theorizing here by first watching this CNN video. Wolf Blitzer interviews Benjamin Netanyahu in September 2009 and the viewer should pay particular attention to Blitzer’s asking Netanyahu to respond to a statement made by Zbigniev Brzezinski a few days prior. Also note how the questions are designed to first establish whether or not Netanyahu would act without US approval in regards to military action against Iran. Note too Blitzer’s countenance throughout the interview, it is quite intense. Netanyahu is having a very tough time here and it is quite unusual for CNN to treat an Israeli prime minister this way. What prompted this very intriguing development? In exactly what context is this interview occurring?

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ESTABLISHMENT CIVIL WAR?: Brzezinski’s Brass Kn…, posted with vodpodIt is not a coincidence that Brzezinski made those remarks just prior to Netanyahu’s US visit and subsequent meeting with President Obama. This Blitzer/Netanyahu interview is nothing less than a very public smack down being delivered unto the Israeli PM on live television. The neoconservative/Zionist element must have become much too aggressive in their push for war against Iran, necessarily causing US military leaders a great deal of anxiety. So Brzezinski brought out his sledgehammer and cracked some skull.

I would theorize that Brzezinski, whose direction President Obama is under, understands perfectly well that an attack upon Iran would be disastrous for the United States, in imperialistic terms, and could very well initiate WWIII. He knows that the US would only wind up becoming an isolated pariah, and in my opinion Brzezinski feels that the US relationship with Israel always acts as an impediment to his imperialist designs. Of course, the US military and Joint Chiefs of Staff appreciate their vulnerability to Iran’s inevitable response to being attacked, as US military bases in the region would become targets of Iranian missiles and large numbers of US soldiers could be killed. Bear in mind that Brzezinski had also said “it could be a Liberty in reverse,” meaning Israeli fighter jets could wind up being shot down by the United States Air Force. This refers to an incident in 1967 when the USS Liberty was bombed by Israeli jets and torpedo boats, north of the Sinai peninsula. So Brzezinski’s rather stunning ”we are not exactly impotent little babies” remark is his way of saying “the United States does not take orders from Tel Aviv, who the hell do you think you’re talking to?” and should be regarded as a kind of psychological offensive maneuver.

Clearly, there is a serious problem between the different factions within the Western establishment. The right-wing faction prefers straight military attack and are obsessively preoccupied with attacking Iran, while the left-wing faction prefers “humanitarian intervention” following covert subterfuge, as in Libya and now Syria. Both sides, of course, employ manufactured ”color revolutions” as a strategy as well.


Recall that after the Murdoch phone-hacking story first emerged, it was reported that an anonymous former NYPD detective, who is now a private investigator, accused News of the World reporters of offering him or her money in exchange for the phone records of 9/11 victims. A very suspicious accusation in my opinion. The former cop is not named and the disturbing information is reported as coming from a “source.” A “source” had told of this accusation and not the former detective his or herself.

Think about this now. If you were a NY police officer/detective and someone offered you such a bribe, would you not feel a bit outraged ? If this is to be believed, why did this policeman not report this when it happened? Why only now?? If a reporter offers a cop money in exchange for information of some kind, that’s a crime isn’t it? Indeed, doesn’t this anonymous detective need to account for his or her self? Will he or she ever become known to the public? How would a police detective gain access to those records anyway and for what purpose would a reporter seek them? Should we imagine the reporter asking something like “I have the names of several 9/11 victims, can you get me their phone records?” What might a reporter do with that kind of information?

I don’t believe that this retired NYPD cop even exists and this “Murdoch reporters offered bribes for 9/11 victim phone record info” claim strikes me as propaganda designed to demonize Murdoch. What better way to slander Murdoch could be devised than this? “He did what? To 9/11 victims? OUTRAGE!!!!” It is also worth mentioning that it was Senator Rockefeller(D) who first called for an investigation into whether or not Murdoch’s hacking extended into the US, followed by two other prominent Democratic Senators.

Can Murdoch be likened here to Bernie Madoff, insofar as Madoff’s criminality was well-known beforehand and only revealed for strategic reasons, for the sake of appeasing public anger. Very wealthy and powerful people are for the most part above the law and are usually protected and umbrella-ed by their contemporaries. Where was his wife’s right-hook when it was really needed? Was Murdoch’s downfall engineered for the sake of weakening the loudest voice representing the right-wing imperialist faction,  for a strategic reason?


Brzezinski understands that Netanyahu and his gang have got to, or at least be reduced to a position of great weakness, for the US to acquire some kind of leverage in its dealing with others in the region. That depends upon the US appearing to be an “honest broker” and all of that standardized bullcorn-talk. We can also be sure that Brzezinski is endlessly maddened by AIPAC and Obama’s need to appease to win reelection.

Have a look at this video from March of 2010. In it, CNN’s Jack Cafferty reports that a “middle east reporter” thinks that Obama may be interested in a ”regime change” in Israel and characterizes US public opinion as having turned negative toward the Jewish state. Asking if the US needs to start “getting tougher,” he provides a commentary that casts Israel in a very poor light and notice how the single pro-Israel person cited by Cafferty comes across as a bit over the top.

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Public Openion Shift on Israel, posted with vodpodA few months after this broadcast, thousands of Orthodox Jews staged a protest in Washington D.C. strongly condemning the Netanyahu government and accusing it of persecuting Orthodox Jews in Israel. The speakers uniformly describe the very existence of Israel as illegitimate, dismissing Zionism as do many Orthodox Jews.

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thousands of orthodox jews protest Netanyahu, posted with vodpod

Is it a coincidence that this large anti-Likud protest in Israel – which began on a smaller scale a couple of months ago and is middle class in character – is peaking right at the time of the Oslo massacre? It has grown exponentially since the below video was taken. When was the last time such large-scale civic action took place there?

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Mass protests held across Israel, posted with vodpodIs it a coincidence that on August 3rd the new US ambassador to Israel tells the press that President Obama is interested in visiting Israel in the near future, saying this while Netanyahu is under such pressure? Is this perhaps psychological warfare? We should note too the reports spinning these protests as a case of the Arab Spring being exported to Israel.  The “Arab Spring” of course has been orchestrated by the various corporate-sponsored think tanks, the Brookings Institution, Chatham House, the Council on Foreign Relations et al, along with subversive fascist institutions such as the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute

Turkish military attacks PKK rebels in Iraq

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Turkish Armed Forces Strike PKK Militants In No…, posted with vodpod

Turkish military attacks PKK rebels in Iraq

By Daren Butler

ISTANBUL | Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:59pm IST

(Reuters) – Turkey launched a heavy air and artillery assault on Kurdish guerrilla targets in northern Iraq overnight after a declaration by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that he had lost patience with separatists fighting in south-east Turkey.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatists use the mountains of northern Iraq as sanctuary from which to launch attacks in south-east Turkey. The raids, the first by Turkey in the area since July 2010, responded to a surge in rebel action in recent months and an ambush on Wednesday that killed nine servicemen.

The Turkish General Staff said artillery hit 168 targets in the region overnight before warplanes pounded 60 positions in two waves. Camps housing the PKK’s commanders were among those targeted, security sources said.

“Our patience has finally run out. Those who do not distance themselves from terrorism will pay the price,” Erdogan said on Wednesday on the sidelines of a conference in Istanbul.

His comments and subsequent major air operation indicate a return to a hardline stance in the 27-year-old fight against the rebels and an end to clandestine talks between the state and jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

After a clear victory in June’s parliamentary election, Erdogan vowed to press ahead with reforms addressing the 12-million-strong Kurdish minority’s grievances. A wave of PKK attacks has brought an abrupt change of tone and heightened prospects of intensified conflict.

As well as continuing the air assaults, the armed forces could launch a ground incursion against the militants in northern Iraq, as they have in the past. Further legal action could also be taken against Kurdish politicians, currently boycotting parliament and accused of close links to the PKK.

Some commentators backed the stronger response but there was also concern about its consequences. The militants could in turn strike back by staging urban attacks.

“Stronger retaliation against violence is on the agenda, but it’s a method that has been tried and failed before,” said Can Dundar, a columnist with the liberal daily Milliyet.

“Democratising Turkey, winning over people in the region through constitutional rights, paving the way from the mountain to the plain was the difficult but the right policy,” he said.

The General Staff said in a statement the strikes had centred on Qandil Mountain, Hakurk, Avasin-Basyan, Zap and Metina regions. All planes had returned safely to their bases.

It said operations would continue until the PKK was “rendered ineffective”.

In the second air raid, six F-16 jets took off from a base in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. The targets included anti-aircraft defences and rebel shelters in the region. Around 30 planes took part in the entire operation, the sources said.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the PKK took up arms for Kurdish self-rule in 1984.


Turkey’s National Security Council, chaired by President Abdullah Gul, began a regular meeting at 2.30 p.m. (1130 GMT), with the attacks and army response seen topping the agenda.

The air operation drew condemnation from the speaker of parliament in northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

“This is a clear violation of Iraq’s sovereignty,” said speaker Kamal Kirkuki. “We strongly condemn the shelling by Turkey and any other party on Iraqi soil.”

It was not clear what damage the operation had caused but Dozdar Hamo, a PKK spokesman, told Reuters in Iraq the bombing was intense and occurred near three Kurdish villages.

“There were no casualties among the PKK. One PKK checkpoint was targeted, no one was hurt,” he said on Thursday. Arbil province governor Nawzad Hadi said he had no information on casualties and only one house was damaged in the province.

Turkey and Iran have often skirmished with Kurdish rebels in that region. Last month Iranian shelling of the area forced hundreds to flee their homes during clashes with the PJAK, an Iranian offshoot of the PKK. There were no indications of Iranian involvement in the latest operation.

On Wednesday, the PKK attacked a military convoy at Cukurca in southeast Turkey’s Hakkari province. The General Staff said eight soldiers and one member of the state-backed village guard militia were killed. Fifteen troops were wounded.

Last month, the PKK’s Ocalan sent word through his lawyers that he had agreed with Turkish officials to set up a “peace council” aimed at ending the conflict. But the mood turned sour after the PKK subsequently killed 13 troops, the highest death toll for Turkish troops since the PKK ended a ceasefire in February.

State talks with Ocalan ended in late July and since then his lawyers have been unable to visit him in his island prison near Istanbul. This week a court banned four lawyers from representing him for a year.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Thursday’s National Security Council meeting follows a period of upheaval in the armed forces. Four new commanders were appointed this month to replace those who resigned in protest at the jailing of hundreds of their colleagues in connection with anti-government conspiracies.

Emerging US paradigm for Afghanistan, implications for Pakistan

Shamsa Ashfaq

After 9/11, US launched the ‘shock and awe’ crusade against Taliban with a hope to defeat them and consolidate hold over Afghanistan. Unfortunately, US failed to achieve its objective as Taliban proved more resilient than expected and refused to give up concession unless the occupation forces leave Afghanistan. By and large, the US impending defeat in Afghanistan is fast emerging as a ground reality and defeat at the hands of the rag-tag Taliban is turning into the greatest embarrassment for the sole superpower of the world. Instead of accepting the reality and working out a strategy involving all stake holders for a negotiated settlement, the US has opted for bizarre arrangements that include back door negotiations with Taliban and the troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan. Here it is important to mention that Afghanistan is Pakistan’s backdoor, and its evolution is a matter of fundamental interest to Pakistan. The United States can choose to leave Afghanistan without suffering strategic disaster but Pakistan cannot. Pakistan can neither leave its borders with Afghanistan nor can it evade the reality that Pakistani ethnic groups particularly the Pakhtun, who straddle the border and form the heart of the Taliban phenomenon, live on the Afghan side of the border as well. Therefore, while Afghanistan is a piece of American global strategy, it is central to Pakistan’s national strategy. Hence, any strategic or tactical shift in the US war plan in Afghanistan has invariably serious implications for Pakistan and the downward spiraling Pak-US relations. The drawdown will mainly create three facts. First, Pakistan will be facing the future on its western border with Afghanistan without an American force to support it. Secondly, as Pakistan moves to limit US access to its military infrastructure (Shamsi airbase etc.) and to reduce its intelligence and security presence inside Pakistan, the US is likely to enhance its troop presence and bases on the eastern Pak-Afghan border. Pakistan will likely see an intensification of drone strikes in North and South Waziristan and even an expansion of the strike coverage to Kurram and Mohmand agencies. Thirdly, as the US draws down, it will need Pakistan to cover its withdrawal strategically. But Afghanistan is not Iraq and as the US forces draw down; Afghanistan will be in greater danger. After the US withdrawal Taliban will ultimately gain control over Afghanistan as they had the bitter experience of US betrayal since 1990 and trust only in themselves, to form a broad-based government. Lastly, this eastward shift of US’ battlefront will cast its shadow on fragile and reversible peace process. Worth mentioning is the fact that already talks between US and the Taliban representatives have collapsed on the pretext of leaking of the details of the negotiations and disclosing the identity of the Taliban’s chief negotiator Tayeb Agha, former private secretary of Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Despite such a development, the US is likely to continue the operating strategy of talking and fighting at the same time. Now the US will continue to pick and choose those Taliban groups that it considers reconcilable and it certainly does not include Haqqani network. However, the situation dictates that Haqqani be allowed to join the peace process considering this group central to any lasting peace settlement. If the divergence between the two countries continues to persist over which Taliban groups to be or not to be made party, the Pak-Afghan border is going to remain volatile. In view of these realities, two things are evident. One, the operational environment is not favourable for US strategy. There is extreme hostility within Afghanistan and the neighbouring countries, particularly Pakistan and Iran. Two, the United States and Pakistan need each other especially the US, as she could not possibly operate in Afghanistan without Pakistani support, ranging from the use of Karachi and the Karachi-Khyber and Karachi-Chaman lines of supply to the collaboration on intelligence sharing on Al-Qaeda. So it is clear that the US’ military solution to Afghanistan problem has failed and is not likely to bear the desirable results in the future as well. The Americans will, therefore, have to exit from Afghanistan and sooner the better it would be. But before leaving, the strategy should not be to leave Pakistan with a situation as that of 1990. At the same time, it is important for Pakistan to realize that after the US exits it is Taliban who are going to gain control over Afghanistan as they consider themselves to be the only viable course to secure peace in Afghanistan. So Pakistan ought to pursue the policy of engagement with major Taliban factions in order to be well placed to take on the situation as the US forces leave the Afghan theatre.

Ukraine forces Gazprom to reconsider gas prices

Ukraine forces Gazprom to reconsider gas prices

Russian Press - Behind the Headlines

Russian Press – Behind the Headlines

© Alex Steffler

Moskovsky Komsomolets

Gazprom will have to compromise on Ukraine’s natural gas bill because Ukraine’s pipes are Russia’s only option for distributing gas to the lucrative European market.

Although the two countries’ leaders failed to reach an agreement in Sochi, analysts do not believe either country is willing to stir up tensions. Ukraine has firmly rejected the “Belarusian scenario,” which involved taking over the Belarusian gas transport company while applying an “integrative decrease adjustment” to the cost of Russian gas. Ukraine simply will not give up control of its key asset: the Russia to Europe gas pipeline system. Russia is faced with a difficult choice because it currently has no alternative routes for gas supply to this region.

Ukraine also avoided joining the Customs Union or agreeing to merge the assets of Gazprom and Naftogaz.

Former Naftogaz spokesman Valentyn Zemlyansky believes Ukraine will not stop short of petitioning the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal for a revision to its gas contract with Russia. The oil market has been inconsistent since the beginning of the year. Oil price fluctuations are good enough grounds for Ukraine to contest its contract with Gazprom in an international court, he said, adding that international arbitration is the last thing Russia needs right now. European Corporate lawsuits have already knocked the value of Gazprom stock down.

Ukraine currently enjoys a 30 percent discount on the contract price of Russian gas, although it is limited to $100 per 1,000 cu m. With this discount, Ukraine’s gas bill could reach $400 per 1,000 cu m in the fourth quarter of 2011. At the same time, Germany’s bill is almost the same, while logically, it should be higher due to higher transportation costs, given the respective geographic positions of Germany and Ukraine. This is motivation enough for Ukraine to demand a 30-40 percent cost reduction relative to Germany’s price.

Germany, in turn, is also making noise about a price reduction based on the growing competition in the European gas market.

Pak Army Pushing Tribal Leaders To Assume Responsibilities Most of Them Do Not Want

[Continuing and expanding upon their policies of being both blunt and devious, the Generals are getting in the faces of tribal leaders, doing their utmost to persuade them to take-on a policing function in their areas of control.  That means forcing-out or killing heavily armed gangs of militants (many of them sponsored by non-Pakistani sources of great wealth), who now operate as local criminal mafias, extorting or murdering anyone who interferes with their plans.  Asking the tribal leaders to form lashkars, in order to decriminalize their turf is asking them to sacrifice possibly hundreds of their friends and relatives in an unnecessary fight that should be the Army’s responsibility.  This is the devious part (with the Army or ISI there is always a devious part).  The Generals are showing their true colors by taking this approach to the problem of deeply entrenched terrorist factions, which they have created. 

They are in the middle of a deep confrontation with America over this devious approach to pacifying the tribal region, trying to force American leaders into accepting their unique methods for using the tribal system as a front-line defense against terrorism and militancy.  Whether or not, Obama and friends at the Pentagon buy into this deceptive line of reasoning, will the tribal leaders themselves agree to be held to such a deceptive reading of tribal law (Pakistani Constitution does not apply to FATA Region)?  The Generals’ contention that the tribes are legally bound to police their own areas should not apply when the Generals themselves, or their representatives, have facilitated the basing of the militant factions in their midst (many of the groups trained by retired military advisers, much like America’s arrangement with “Blackwater” private security outfits).  This is the point of contention that is impeding the Pakistani deception.

The report below documents the “blackmail” type of strategy being pushed on the tribal leaders and existing peace committees–Move against the TTP and their foreign allies, or else the Army will blast their way in, in order to force the Mehsud gangs out.  If Lashkars and peace committees do not rise-up and cleanse their areas, then the Army and all its destructive ways will move in and turn their tribes out onto the roads to internal displacement.  It is a very big threat.  If this is the only path to appease American leaders, in order to keep US/NATO troops out, then you can be sure that Gen. Kayani and friends are deadly serious about implementing it.          

If tribal leaders truly believe in the “importance of mutual cooperation between the Pakistan State and tribal Jirgas,” and prefer that system over state domination, then they must muster the will and the firepower to fulfill their end of the bargain.  That means shutting-down or forcing-out the criminal gangs who wage war against the people and the Pakistani state.  Is there anyone in N. Waziristan up to the great moral challenge of replicating the model of Mullah Nazir evicting the Uzbek terrorists from Wana, in Miramshah or Mir Ali?

Both the Pakistani people and the Americans need to understand the extremely dirty deal that has been forced upon the tribes.  They are being tasked with upholding agreements that had been made between the Pakistani Taliban and the Army, agreements based upon accepted lies–“There were no foreign militants in the region and if there were any, the government should have provided evidence of their presence.”  Upon signing the Waziristan Accords, the Army began withdrawing from checkpoints, allowing the tribal Khasadar force to move in.  This was the easy part, the part that was just for show.   Little did the tribal leaders realize at the time, but the accord which had been signed contained sixteen clauses and four sub-clauses, some of which could be used to force upon them the task of evicting the militants, the basis of the conundrum being faced today.

The Army is trying to play all of this off as some kind of twisted Pakistani version of a “good deal,” but it is a raw deal for the tribes.  If the Army fails to convince the tribal jirgas to assume a national security function, then real military action will ensue.  If tribal leaders really want to run their own turf they will become mini-armies, working hand-in-hand with the real Army to keep foreign subversion out of the FATA Region. 

The biggest problem arises between the time it will take to convince the tribes to rise to this challenge and the time that Obama is willing to give them, before doing something stupid and devious himself.  The tribes of Pakistan do not normally acknowledge or respond to America’s electoral cycles, but in today’s charged atmosphere, due to the imploding American Empire, will they be moved to act before American political opinion polls force Obama, the political animal, to send all available Special Forces into the fray?]

Army waiting for ‘uprising’ against foreigners in NWA

* Military encouraging Wazir and Dawar to initiate ‘Wana-like uprising’ to expel foreign terrorists

By Iqbal Khattak

PESHAWAR: The military is awaiting Wazir and Dawar tribes to initiate a ‘Wana-like uprising’ against foreign militants in North Waziristan where the US wants action against Haqqani network, tribal elders and military officials said on Wednesday.

“We hope North Waziristan tribes follow in the steps of Ahmedzai Wazirs to oust the foreign terrorists,” said the senior army officials requesting not to be named. In spring 2007, Ahmedzai Wazir tribes joined ranks of ‘good’ Taliban commander Mullah Nazir to take up arms against Uzbek terrorists who had unleashed a reign of terror in Wana, Azam Warsak and Kalosha towns in South Waziristan. The joint efforts of the tribes and Mullah Nazir-led Taliban resulted in purging the Wazir areas of the dreaded Uzbek terrorists, however.

“Yes, we are hoping it happens sooner than later,” the military officials went on to express support for such action by the tribes to minimise chances of any army action the government may contemplate if the situation does not get better. Any such uprising against foreign terrorists in North Waziristan will also aim at pushing Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Hakeemullah Mehsud and his commanders and foot soldiers.

Army commanders on the ground are encouraging the tribes to follow the Ahmedzai Wazir tribes. However, ground reality appears quite in contrast to South Waziristan where the local tribes stood united behind Mullah Nazir. “North Waziristan situation is complex as local tribes lack unity and the group which may lead the uprising is hostage to the foreign militants and element of money (from al Qaeda) is also impeding the likelihood of any such eventuality,” the military officials said.

The threat of use of force, meanwhile, has worked to get the key tribes moving against “unwanted elements,” a reference used for foreign terrorists linked to al Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the tribal elders confided to Daily Times. General Officer Commanding 7 Div Maj Gen Ghayur Mehmood had told Wazir and Dawar tribes that he would not hesitate to launch military action against foreign terrorists if local tribes did not meet their responsibility under tribal norms.

“We have pledged to keep these unwanted elements out of North Waziristan and already mobilised chalwashti (warning party) against these elements,” the elders said by phone from Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan. The elders said Gen Ghayur was “very categorical” in saying that action will be taken if Utmanzai Wazirs and Dawars did not move against the foreign terrorists. “I will not hesitate to order operation if the status quo does not change,” the top military commander who is in charge of North Waziristan was quoted as telling the two tribes.

However, the two tribes are also mindful of the fact that there was no consensus as yet for the launch of a united front against the foreign terrorists, especially the Mehsud militants linked to Hakeemullah Mehsud-led TTP. “This is a dilemma we are facing. But we have a solution,” they said. The solution is: local militants loyal to Gul Bahadar group have taken upon themselves the responsibility to do the job for the two tribes at a price. “We are paying the militants huge amount every month to meet the cost of patrolling and other activities aiming at keeping the undesired elements out of our areas,” the elders said.

They, however, admitted that much had not changed since the peace committee had met Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Masood Kausar last month in Peshawar. “It is not so simple to expect good results overnight. The militancy issue is quite serious and complicated and it needs patience to take on,” the elders remarked.

Biden On Appeasement Mission To China

 August 15, 2011 —“Defense News reports today that the Obama Administration will turn down Taiwan’s request to purchase 66 new F-16 fighters”

Biden: US-China relations crucial to economic stability

Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping accompanies US Vice-President Joe Biden (R) to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing
Mr Biden is visiting China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping

US Vice-President Joe Biden has told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that global economic stability rests on the US and China finding common ground.

Speaking on the first day of an official visit to China, Mr Biden said a close relationship with China was of the “utmost importance”.

The trip comes amid mounting tension between the two over America’s debt.

China is the US government’s biggest foreign creditor and has been critical of America’s “addiction to debt”.

Chinese state-run media has been scathing over the recent political showdown in the US over how to increase the debt ceiling and avert a financial default.

China holds $1tn (£608bn) of US debt, and has called on the country to do more to reduce its budget deficit.

Earlier this month, the US also suffered an historic credit rating downgrade by rating agency Standard & Poor’s.

The downgrade was a major embarrassment for the administration of US President Barack Obama.

Analysts say China is also clearly worried about its holding and about criticism at home for having so much of the country’s savings in US investments.

Strengthening ties

During round-table talks, Mr Xi – who is widely tipped to be China’s next leader – made clear that economic concerns were for now dominating the relationship between the two nations.

“Recently, turmoil in international financial markets has deepened and global economic growth faces severe challenges,” Mr Xi told the US vice-president, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

“As the world’s two biggest economies, China and the United States have a responsibility to strengthen macro-economic policy co-ordination and together boost market confidence.”

Speaking in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Mr Biden said: “I am absolutely confident that the economic stability of the world rests in no small part on co-operation between the United States and China.”

He said: “It is the key, in my view, to global stability.”

Chinese state media said the debt crisis and the value of China’s currency would be the main focus of talks.

However, the BBC’s Michael Bristow in Beijing says there has been little talk about how China’s own economic problems have left it exposed to changes in the value of the dollar.

During the five-day trip, Mr Xi is also expected to underline Chinese opposition to plans to sell US fighter jets to Taiwan.

The Obama administration is to decide by 1 October whether it will sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan.

The China Daily newspaper said the potential arms sale was the biggest source of disagreement between the countries.

Mr Biden is visiting China at the invitation of Mr Xi, as the Obama administration seeks to strengthen ties with the next generation of Chinese leaders.

Mr Xi is widely expected to take over the chairmanship of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012 and to be formally anointed as president in March 2013.

This visit, which was agreed in January, will pave the way for Mr Xi to visit Washington later in the year.



Hariri Hysterical Over Hezbollah’s Refusal To Play Along with Politicized Indictment

Hariri, Nasrallah at Loggerheads Over Suspected Assassins, Shiite Sect

by Naharnet Newsdesk


Former Premier Saad Hariri snapped back at Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah saying the party chief was seeking to put the entire Shiite sect in confrontation with his “fictitious schemes.”

“The accused are identified by name and Hizbullah is admitting that it is hiding them,” Hariri said in remarks to Future News TV late Wednesday about the four suspects accused of involvement in Rafik Hariri’s Feb. 2005 assassination.

“We will continue to live in a single nation. There is no meaning to playing with the emotions of the Shiites and putting them on alert against fictitious schemes which the Sayyed knows that they are mere fiction or an attempt to escape the truth,” Hariri said.

His remark came after Nasrallah said in a televised speech that the indictment published by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is “based on analysis and not clear evidence.”

“Those who were indicted should not be called charged but unjustly treated,” he said.

Nasrallah accused the court of aiming to “destroy the human and social fabric of Lebanon.”

“What’s happening now is an attempt at undermining and sabotaging the social fabric, paving the ground for wars and civil strife, dragging the resistance into (strife) and consequently striking the resistance and harming its credibility,” he said.

The Shiite party chief warned that some sides are seeking to “sabotage ties among the Lebanese sects.”

Much of the information contained in the indictment had been leaked to the media over the past two years, which Nasrallah said was a sign that the probe was tainted beyond repair.

The four suspects named in the indictment are Salim Ayyash, 47, Mustafa Badreddine, 50, Hussein Oneissi, 37 and Assad Sabra, 34.

In his remarks to Future News, Hariri addressed Nasrallah, saying “you are transferring the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination from the four party members to the entire Shiite sect in an attempt to distort facts.”

Earlier in the day, Hariri urged Nasrallah to cooperate with the tribunal.

“What is required of Hizbullah’s leadership is simply to announce their disengagement with the accused. This stance will go down in history,” he said in a statement released by his office.

The long-awaited international indictment which was unsealed Wednesday offers no direct evidence linking the four Hizbullah suspects to Hariri’s murder.

The indictment relies heavily on circumstantial evidence such as telephone records.