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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Detente Deja Vu: US Softening Approach to China


Criticism is out, cooperation is in; and none dare call it appeasement ... for now.

The United States is softening its approach to Rising China, deliberately avoiding criticism of Beijing in the hope of encouraging it to moderate its economic and foreign policies--and the conduct of its Stalinist vassal, North Korea, and Islamist ally, Iran. The US would also like to put some space between China and its new friend and former Communist rival, Russia, which, flush with petrodollars, is fast emerging as the world's third center, or pole, of power and influence.

The policy shift is manifesting itself in a less confrontational style and tone and a series of planned initiatives reminiscent of a controversial Cold War policy--detente--which aimed to moderate Soviet behavior.

At the risk of oversimplification, it could be said that whereas detente with Moscow was designed to ease tensions and ultimately bring about an end to the costly and protracted Cold War, detente with Beijing is intended to prevent the start of a new Cold War. There are major historical differences between the times and policies; but there is also at least one common concept on the part of US policymakers--the idea, championed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, that it is possible to both collaborate and compete with an actual or potential adversary, and that treating a rival power as a geostrategic phenomenon, rather than an ideological foe, facilitates this goal.

Borrowing a page or two from Kissinger's playbook, the Bush administration's new strategy seeks to influence China into becoming a "responsible stakeholder" in the international system, in US diplomatic parlance, by increasing its involvement in important institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, while developing new bilateral mechanisms and structures for dealing in a cooperative way with contentious issues, including trade and energy, and shared concerns, such as pollution.

China's "energy diplomacy" has resulted in a disturbing deepening of ties with Iran and Venezuela as well as some of the world's most notoriously corrupt and anti-democratic regimes, such as Sudan and Zimbabwe.

The change in administration policy--which could be altered again should China continue to disappoint Washington by failing to persuade its rogue allies to change their belligerent behavior--represents a victory for the US State and Treasury departments over Defense, whose chief, Donald Rumsfeld, has been an outspoken critic of China's opaque military modernization and buildup.

The shift may also reflect the departure and diminished influence of neoconservative foreign policy hawks, including some aging baby boomers who began their political careers, ironically, as critics of Kissinger and detente.

Conservative critics of the new approach can be expected to revive anti-detente arguments of the past--the main one being that the policy, though clearly compelling in many respects, simply did not work and instead prolonged the Cold War by effectively strengthening the Soviet regime and delaying its crackup.

Friends and supporters of Kissinger--who was also instrumental in changing US policy toward China through his secret diplomacy and visits there ahead of the historic trip to Beijing by President Richard Nixon--have at times argued that the super-diplomat partly pushed detente with the Soviet Union because he had concluded that US leverage over its superpower adversary was far more limited than conventional wisdom claimed.

It seems that the Bush administration has come to a similar conclusion concerning China.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

North Korean Spokesman Threatens Nuclear War


The planet's number-one nutcase, North Korean Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, has escalated his war of words with the United States, threatening to attack US cities with hydrogen bombs.

Amid reports that the Stalinist despot has entered China for a secret sit-down with the country's Communist Party rulers, his unofficial spokesman, Kim Myong-chol, has bylined an astonishingly bellicose article for Asia Times Online.

The essay, "Why Pyongyang is Going Nuclear," comes close to a declaration of war.

The author has in the past argued that Dear Leader Kim is both determined and destined to reunify the Korean peninsula, and that the US is helpless to stop him absent a nuclear holocaust.

Excerpts follow.

"The time is coming fast to decide who is the winner and who the loser in the long-standing conflict between the Korean people....

"The North Korean government of Kim Jong-il is going to show who the real masters of Korea are by winning the nuclear standoff with the US. The Korean people adamantly refuse to be second-class citizens, but are determined to prove that they are sovereign masters of the Land of Morning Calm....

"The KPA is now capable of detonating hydrogen bombs far above the metropolises of the US in case of war. The Koreans are now able to fight nuclear war on the Japanese and US battlegrounds.

"There should be no doubt that the government of Kim Jong-il and his armed forces would never allow the enemy to attack first. On detecting the slightest signs that the US intends to launch a first strike, Kim would order his armed forces to move first and blaze key US metropolitan targets with high-precision nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), several exploding at high altitudes. It goes without saying that operating nuclear power stations would be prime targets, sitting ducks.

"The stage is being put in place where North Korea will demonstrate its potential capability for the rest of the world to see. Korean scientists and engineers are ready to detonate nuclear devices at any time on orders from Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il. More and more nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles are being cranked out on a crash-program basis in a bid to catapult North Korea to the spot of the third-most-powerful nuclear-weapons state just after the US and Russia."

North Korea is essentially a Chinese vassal, dependent upon Beijing for most of its food and fuel. The bilateral relationship has traditionally been described as being as close as "lips and teeth."

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Rumsfeld Uses the 'F' Word--Fascism


Step by step, speech by speech....

... The Bush administration is at last moving to clearly and unequivocally identify the enemy with which the United States--and the entire Western world--have been at war since the monstrous attacks of September 11, 2001.

The US is not simply fighting a strategy or tactic, terrorism; it is fighting "a new type of fascism," US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told a veterans' group in Salt Lake City, Utah on Tuesday. "We face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising of a new type of fascism.

"And that is important in this 'long war' where any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere."

Speaking in Reno, Nevada on Monday about the need to be patient in Iraq, Rumsfeld said: "Today we will not tell 50 million Afghans and Iraqis that because the going is tough--and it is tough, let there be no doubt--that we will abandon them to the beheaders, the terrorists, the assassins, and 21st century fascists who seek to attack us abroad and here at home."

The defense secretary's use of the "F" word follows remarks earlier this month by President George W. Bush, after British security agencies foiled a plot to bomb US-bound passenger jets, that America was "at war with Islamic fascists."

Which is true. Islamism is a political movement, akin to clerical fascism. Presently bridging Islam's Sunni and Shiite branches, despite their theological differences and historical rivalries, Islamism has its origins in the formation of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, the Brotherhood was an outgrowth of an earlier pan-Islamic movement.

In 1936, the Brotherhood's youth group and other fronts spawned paramilitary units, initially called the Rovers and then renamed the Battalions, which were explicitly modeled along European fascist lines.

Other Arab political parties founded during the '30s that were modeled after Nazi and fascist parties included Syria's Popular Party and Socialist Nationalist Party, whose leader, Anton Saada, saw himself as an Arab Hitler. The party's banner sported a Nazi swastika; members used the Nazi salute.

Iraq's Baath party was formed upon the principles and organizational structure of the Nazi party. Iraq, because of its oil, was a strategically important battleground between the Axis and Allied powers in World War II. Nazi propaganda was broadcast throughout Baghdad, and pro-Nazi Iraqis massacred Jews during the war.

In Palestine, the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini declared his solidarity with Nazi Germany in 1937. A cleric and political activist, the fanatically anti-Semitic Mufti led a campaign of terrorism against Jewish and British targets during the 1936-'39 Arab Revolt, which, according to documentation from the Nuremberg and Adolf Eichmann trials, was financed by the Nazi SS. The high ranking Nazi, who was responsible for implementing the industrialized genocide of the "Final Solution" that sought to exterminate European Jewry, visited British controlled Palestine during the '30s, met with the Mufti, and subsequently maintained regular contact with him in Berlin. The Mufti spent the war years in the Nazi capital as Hitler's special guest, advocating the mass murder of Jews in radio broadcasts aimed at the Middle East. The Mufti also recruited Balkan Muslims for SS units that massacred Jewish communities throughout the region.

At the Nuremberg Trials, Eichmann's deputy Dieter Wisliceny (subsequently executed as a war criminal) testified: "The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. ... He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz."

After the war, the Mufti fled to Egypt,where he was received as a national hero and set up a terrorist apparatus that was responsible for the assassination of Jordanian King Abdullah in 1951 following the 1948 war against the reborn State of Israel.

The Mufti died in exile in 1974. He was never tried for his crimes because the Allies--even then--were afraid of antagonizing a hero of Arab and Muslim extremism.

But the Mufti's influence on the Muslim world, though far-reaching, can't compare with the influence of Hassan al-Banna, without whom, it can be said, there would be no contemporary Islamist movement. Banna preached a totalitarian form of Islam--cult-like and all-encompassing. His ideas have influenced Islamist murderers from the ayatollahs of Iran to the warlords and Taliban torturers of Afghanistan to Al Qaeda leader Osama Binladen and the Wahhabi extremists of Saudi Arabia.

And extremists in China--specifically, in the western province of Xinjiang, which is home to some 55 million Muslims, including Islamists and ethnic separatists. Beijing is concerned about the problem but believes it can control the restive elements, crushing when necessary the more militant and violent groups, some of which may have Al Qaeda links.

The analysis has guided China in its cynical efforts to forge a strategic alliance with Islamist Iran, its Lebanese Shiite proxy, Hezbollah, and the Sunni Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas. Beijing sees Islam as a civilization in the grip of protracted radical change--sort of a cross between the Long March that swept the Chinese Communists to power and the Cultural Revolution that plunged the country into years of chaos and bloodshed.

Given Radical Islam's oil wealth, global reach, and capacity to harm China's chief adversary, the US, Beijing has decided to accommodate and cooperate with the movement up to a point--namely, China's borders.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

China Investing $5 Billion in Venezuela Oil Projects


Venezuela update.

Following our report that China was planning to increase investment in Venezuela's Orinoco River region heavy oil deposits, Beijing has agreed to pour $5 billion in energy projects in the Latin American country. The previously announced amount was $2 billion.

China's investment will be divided between new (heavy crude) and mature oil fields through 2012, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said. The announcement followed a six-day trip by avowedly anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to China, his fourth since taking office in 1999.

Our sources say China plans to deepen its involvement in Venezuelan heavy oil in the coming years in line with Beijing's view of the resource as the oil of the future. The world is actually awash in gummy heavy crude and solid tar (oil) sands; but the resources are more costly to produce than conventional (light) crude.

Chavez plans to triple sales of oil to China to 500,000 barrels a day by 2009.

And Venezuela and Iran will supply North Korea with oil should China feel compelled to cut shipments to its Stalinist vassal in a phony show of displeasure with its provocative missile launchings and an anticipated underground nuclear bomb test. Chavez, who recently received a medal from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a visit to Tehran, intends to visit North Korea in the near future.

China also agreed to build 13 oil drilling rigs and 18 oil tankers for Venezuela. In keeping with China's "energy diplomacy," which allows state-owned oil companies to make so-called wellhead deals involving economic assistance and arms, if necessary, as in the case of the genocidal rogue state Sudan, China will help Venezuela build a $10-billion, 622-mile railroad line, thousands of new housing units and a fiber-optic communications network network. The latter project is a followup to China's gift to Venezuela of a communications satellite that is scheduled to be in orbit by 2008.

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Regarding Iran: Intelligence and Memorable Quotes


INTELLIGENCE ITEM: As the Iranian nuclear issue heats up, Chinese propagandists are reaching out to foreign media contacts, telling them what they want to hear: it's America's fault. The Chinese line, cooked up in government-run think tanks, is that the Bush administration's rejection of Tehran's offer of "serious negotiations" makes matters worse by reinforcing Iranian fears that the US is not "serious" about a diplomatic resolution of the dispute and is instead bent on regime change.

WORDS TO REMEMBER:

"I would be willing to bet that, in another year or so, … Khomeini will be [seen as] some kind of saint when we finally get over the panic of what is happening there," -Jimmy Carter's UN envoy, Andrew Young, commenting on the 1979 overthrow of the pro-American Shah of Iran by the avowedly anti-Western Ayatollah Ruhollah Khommeini

"America cannot do a damn thing." -Ayatollah Khomeini, commenting on the hostage crisis after receiving President Carter's flattering, handwritten appeal for the release of the captured Americans "from one believer to a man of God."

“Iran is the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami (in 1997). (It is) the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: Two for president; two for the Parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralties. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.” -Former President Bill Clinton, speaking on the Charlie Rose Show, on America's PBS TV network.

[There is] no significant need for the United States." -Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Sunday, August 27, 2006

China's Alliance with Radical Islam Recalls '70s Ties to Palestinian Terror and Forgotten TWA Bombing


If there is a special section of hell reserved for the top torturers and henchmen of totalitarian mass murderers--men like SS leader Heinrich Himmler of Hitler Germany and NKVD head Lavrenty Beria of Stalinist Russia--China's Kang Sheng must be there, looking up at the Middle East with a smile on his fiendish face. The man who ruled over Mao's secret service was an architect of China's secret alliance with anti-American Arab extremism, building ties with the superstars of international terror, from Yasser Arafat and George Habash of the PLO and PFLP, respectively, to Wadi Haddad of the PFLP (he headed his own faction) and Ahmed Jibril of the PFLP-GC.

Kang, who died of cancer in 1975, was responsible for bringing Abu Nidal to Beijing in March 1972 before he became one of the world's most notorious names in international terrorism. He was accompanied by Abu Daoud, who six months later was responsible for the massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich, Germany. A year earlier, Kang had welcomed another Munich massacre mastermind, Abu Jihad, to China's capital.

Kang's Palestinian connection actually began in the mid '60s, with visits to China by Fatah founder Arafat and Egyptian-backed PLO founder and general secretary Ahmed Shoukairy. But the heyday of cooperation took place during the '70s. Thanks to Kang, hundreds of Palestinian terrorists and guerrilla fighters received military training in China, learning the precepts and principles of "people's war."

Covert operations came naturally to Kang, who was one of the most feared and secretive personalities in China for over a half-century. He was a grand master of murder and intrigue, manipulating and, perhaps even more astonishingly--surviving--the major purges and upheavals, including the Cultural Revolution that plunged China into a long period of bloodshed and chaos. A natural born puppetmaster, the scholarly spyboss specialized in arranged accidents and military airplane crashes, among other assassination techniques.

He may even have developed the technology and know-how for commercial airline hijackings and bombings--including a forgotten bombing of a TWA jetliner bound for New York and a Swissair plane en route to Israel--though the late Habash and Haddad and the surprisingly still alive-and-killing Jibril are generally credited with pioneering airline terrorism.

In 1966, it is believed, Kang was ordered by Mao to develop a contingency plan --in the event of a US attack on China's nuclear arms facilities--for a retaliatory attack on the US homeland. His plan, as China Confidential has previously reported, called for crashing a counterfeit civilian aircraft--containing an atomic bomb--into an American city. The scheme somehow came to the intention of foreign intelligence services, and reportedly was the premise of an obscure, 1969 French novel, Thirty Seconds Over New York, by Robert Bruchard, a Paris journalist with a military background.

So much for fiction. Kang was particularly impressed by the PFLP, which was the second largest member of the PLO during the '70s. In contrast with Arafat's dominant Fatah movement, which sought support among Arab countries, the Marxist-oriented PFLP looked to the Soviet Union and China for assistance. Mainly to Moscow, Kang found, which prevented the group from getting too cozy with Beijing.

But perhaps cozy enough to commit mass murder. On September 8, 1974, TWA Flight 841 departed Tel Aviv en route to JFK International Airport with stops scheduled for Athens, Greece and Rome, Italy. After a 68 minute stop in Athens, the flight departed for Rome. But radio contact was lost 18 minutes after takeoff. The jet crashed into the Ionian Sea, and all 79 passengers and nine crew members were killed.

The US National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the crash was the detonation of an explosive device within the cargo compartment of the aircraft.

There is reason to believe that the design for the device may have originated with Kang Sheng.

In fact, the same method may have brought down another forgotten victim of Palestinian terror four years earlier--Swissair Flight SR330, a regularly scheduled flight from Zurich International Airport to Tel Aviv.

On February 21, 1970, the plane was flying on the route with 38 passengers and nine crew. A bomb detonated in the aft cargo compartment of the aircraft about nine minutes after take-off. It crashed a short time later near Zurich. There were no survivors.

The PFLP claimed responsibility for that bombing. A barometric triggered IED (improvised explosive device) had been used.

On the same day, a bomb exploded aboard a Vienna-bound Caravelle after takeoff from Frankfurt. The jetliner landed safely.

The Palestinians never claimed credit for the TWA bombing, though the airline and the US government were sure they were responsible for the atrocity.

Months before the attack, TWA was warned by US officials that as the only US carrier in those days that flew to Israel, the airline was the number one target for Palestinian terrorists after Israel's national carrier, El Al, which, since a 1968 PFLP hijacking that started the aerial terror wave, had achieved a well deserved reputation as the world's most secure airline.

The IED that destroyed TWA Flight 841 was installed in Athens, a notoriously unsafe airport because of the presence of local, anti-American radical groups who sympathized with the Palestinian cause.

Twenty-two years later, according to some terrorism experts, Revolutionary Guard operatives of China's ally, Iran, may have used a more sophisticated IED to destroy TWA Flight 800. The 747 jumbo jet exploded 20 minutes after departing JFK airport and crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing all 230 people on board.

Again, there was an Athens connection: the plane had just arrived from the Greek capital and was en route to Paris when it blew up. Analysts have speculated that a so-called double-timer type of device--delaying detonation of a bomb to allow for safe landing in and takeoff from New York--may have been used.

A striking similarity with TWA Flight 841: there had been multiple warnings of an Iranian attack on a US civilian airliner.

A decade later, US airlines are still vulnerable to barometric triggered IEDs.

Kang Shang could not have hoped for a better outcome.

A closing note about Ahmed Jibril, a trained demolitions expert who now heads the PFLP, or what is left of the group. The granddaddy of Palestinian terrorism, who has long been protected by Syria, Jibril is Muslim, unlike the late George Habash, who was a Greek Orthodox Christian. His religion has made it possible for Jibril to reconcile his supposed Marxist leanings with support for Shiite Islamist Hezbollah and Sunni Islamist Hamas.

Jibril's China file would make truly fascinating reading.

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Chinese Think Tanks Predict Perfect Storm for US


It's an exciting time to be working for a Chinese think tank.

Foreign affairs analysts, academicians, and propagandists employed--and deployed--by China's elite, government-run institutes and research centers are abuzz with anticipation and speculation concerning the coming weeks and months. Though more sober and sensible individuals are justifiably worried that changing world currents (a favorite Chinese concept) can spin dangerously out of control and lead to a global conflict, the prevailing mood is one of heady optimism--for China.

Hardliners are apparently convinced that Beijing's most powerful adversary, the United States, also known as "the Hegemon," is heading for a perfect storm, so to speak, in international relations, as China's Islamist ally, Iran, and Stalinist vassal, North Korea, intensify nuclear tensions in tandem. North Korea is increasingly likely to test a nuclear weapon before the winter months--and may even test-launch another long-range missile capable of hitting the US. And Iran is not going to give up its covert nuclear weapons program. Instead, it will try to buy time by offering "serious negotiations"--in best bazaar behavior--while continuing its uranium enrichment program and accelerating an alternative method of producing plutonium for bombs via its new heavy water facility.

Nuclear North Korea and Islamist Iran--the perfect storm! For Rising China, it does not get much better than that, provided, of course, that the criminally insane Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il and Hitler-admiring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad don't get carried away and actually make good on their threats of mass death and destruction ... because, at the end of the day, US consumer dollars are still needed to fuel the mighty export machine that is central to China's economic expansion and growth.

But the think tanks think things can be managed, at least for the foreseeable future. In the Chinese view, the US has few, if any, realistic options with respect to Iran and North Korea, apart from appealing to China for help--which will not be forthcoming in any meaningful sense of the term. US military action, in the Chinese view, is basically a bluff because both rogue regimes are already nuclear powers with the ability to launch devastating attacks on American allies--Israel, in the case of Iran, and South Korea and Japan, in the North Korean case.

Iran is nuclear armed? So it seems. Western analysts, as previously reported by China Confidential, say that although the mullahocracy may be weeks or months away from having nuclear bombs through its enrichment program, Tehran already has an arsenal of nuclear warheads and missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv and European cities. True, Israel's nuclear arsenal could obliterate Iran. But it would only take one bomb, Chinese strategists say, to wipe out Israel in accord with the declared objective of Iran's maniac-in-chief.

Early Warning: don't believe bogus reports that China is reducing oil shipments to Pyongyang to punish it for its provocative July 4 missile tests and pressure it to resume nuclear talks. China supplies North Korea with more than 80 percent of its fuel; even if Beijing were to curtail shipments to influence US opinion, Chinese allies Iran and Venezuela would make up the difference.

North Korea and Iran can count on Chinese support when push comes to shove. The Middle Kingdom may go along with weak sanctions at the United Nations in the interest of appearing like a "responsible stakeholder," as the US State Department puts it; but Beijing will block US proposals to authorize military force against the rogues under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

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China Eyeing Venezuela's Huge Heavy Oil Deposits


Conventional wisdom says the world is running out of oil. But energy-hungry China has a different view. The country's state-owned oil companies think the world is running into oil--heavy oil.

In contrast with the United States, which has accepted the Big Oil view that solid tar (oil) sands and gummy, semi-solid heavy crude are uneconomical--meaning not economical enough for listed energy companies who must answer to stockholders and analysts--China has taken a serious interest in the resources, in keeping with its aggressive "energy diplomacy," which seeks to lock up reserves at the wellhead. Declaring itself a world leader in heavy oil technology, China will host a four-day international heavy oil conference and exhibition this November (following a world biofuels conference in Beijing). The theme of the event: heavy oil as the global energy of the future.

The Chinese view is that all natural resources transition over time from relatively inexpensive, easy-to-extract, high-grade reserves to more costly and more difficult-to-produce, low-grade deposits, and that oil is no exception to the rule.

Fortunately for China, the world's largest known heavy crude deposits exist in a country that is presently in the grip of an avowedly anti-American demagogue who wants to reduce oil exports to the US and increase shipments to China. The country, of course, is Venezuela; and the demagogue is Hugo Chavez, who just completed a five-day trip to China.

It was Chavez's fourth China trip since 1999, and it produced a slew of agreements. But the one that may prove to be the most important for both countries over the long run is a deal to jointly produce 200,000 barrels a day of Venezuelan Orinoco River belt heavy crude by 2010.

The Orinoco region's truly awesome, untapped heavy crude deposits have been known and studied since the late 1970s, when a handful of energy experts in Venezuela, Canada, and the US advocated formation of a heavy oil-based Western Hemisphere energy alliance grouping the three nations. Despite its membership in the OPEC cartel, Venezuela showed interest in the scheme; but the proposals failed to develop traction, largely because of the opposition of the major US oil companies tied to the Middle East.

Nearly three decades later, China is emerging as the main player in Western Hemisphere heavy oil. Chinese companies have made minority investments in Canadian tar sands that could be expanded in the near future. And China's longterm investment in Orinoco heavy crude could be bigger than just announced. Sources in Caracas and Hong Kong say Beijing is considering a huge exploration and exploitation effort as well as the construction of new refineries capable of handling heavy crude.

Meanwhile, Venezuela, which still sells most of its oil to the US, intends to double oil sales to China next year to 300,000 barrels per day and more than triple that within a decade to roughly a million barrels per day.

"We have advanced our bilateral relationship with China to a higher level,'' Chavez told reporters. "You will see a trend of continuing increasing oil exports to China. We will supply more and more energy to China.''

In all, Chavez signed 28 agreements during his visit to the Middle Kingdom. China will invest at least $2 billion in Venezuela's oil industry and another $10 billion to help the South American country build a 622-mile railroad.

Venezuela's national oil company, PDVSA, also signed an agreement with China's CNPC to acquire 13 oil-drilling rigs. The deal will also send 195 Venezuelan tecnicians to China for training to build rigs using Chinese technology.

PDVSA also signed a memorandum of understanding with China State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation to jointly build 18 oil tankers.

And, touching the renewable energy base, China and Venezuela also signed an agreement to study possible sugar cane-based ethanol production in Venezuela.

On the diplomatic front, Chavez announced that China is committed to backing Venezuela's bid to join the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member. The US strongly opposes the move, which China has yet to confirm, and it is not clear if Venezuela has enough votes from other member states to achieve its goal.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

South Korea Downplaying North's Nuclear Arsenal


Nuclear politics.

South Korea is deliberately downplaying North Korea's nuclear arsenal in the hope that China will control its secretive Stalinist vassal and stop it from going ahead with an underground nuclear test.

South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said at the end of the week that his government is positive Pyongyang has produced one or two bombs.

In fact, the North, which declared itself a nuclear power in February 2005, is widely believed to have at least a dozen nuclear bombs,though it has yet to test one. An underground nuclear test--coming in the wake of North Korea's provocative July 4 missile launchings--would trigger an immediate crisis.

Shinzo Abe, who is almost certain to be the next Japanese prime minister, warned North Korea yesterday that a nuclear bomb test would be "absolutely unacceptable."

"If North Korea conducts nuclear experiments, it will be a serious threat to Japan (and) the northeast Asian region," Abe said. "It would, of course, be absolutely unacceptable."

Analysts close to Abe say he has considered the feasibility of launching preemptive strikes against North Korean nuclear sites.

China probably regards that as a bluff. But Beijing is seriously concerned that a North Korean nuclear test would spur Japan to develop its own nuclear deterrent capability.

Senior Chinese military officers, however, are said to argue that Japan will eventually go nuclear no matter what North Korea does over the next year or so. The People's Liberation Army leadership sees Tokyo as an American pawn in Washington's plan to encircle and contain China.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's Beginning to Look Like Cold War II


It's beginning to look more like Cold War II every day in every way.

Following his trip to Tehran, where he received a medal from Iran's Hitlerian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinjejad, and bedside hospital visit with Fidel Castro, Venezeula's anti-American president, Hugo Chavez, is in China seeking political support and a big oil deal. Chavez wants to dramatically reduce his country's oil exports to the United States in favor of selling to China. More specifically, Chavez wants his country--the world's fifth-largest oil exporter--to double oil deliveries to China, the world's second largest oil consumer after the US. Venezuela currently sells between 70,000 and 100,000 barrels per day to China.

Chavez said his fourth visit to China is of "great strategic importance" to Venezuela.

Analysts say Chavez is also seeking a Chinese OK for a trip to North Korea that could produce an oil-for-arms deal under cover of a science and technology cooperation agreement.

Meanwhile, China and Russia are planning a joint mission to Mars, China's official Xinhua News Agency announced.

And Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have completed a three-day meeting on foreign affairs. The two leaders asked Chinese diplomats to "leverage their new found economic clout to help the nation's modernization drive and launch multi-dimensional diplomacy to ensure world peace," Xinhua reported.

Presumably, the new initiative will not interfere with China's "energy diplomacy," which is responsible for fueling conflicts and crises through arms supplies and assistance to oil-rich rogues, like Islamic-leaning, genocidal Sudan.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Opinion: China Backs Iran As it Plots Our Doom


There was a time when countries lining up against America at least took a few days, if not weeks, to make their intentions known during an international crisis.

But that was decades ago ... before an alphabet soup of Arab and Muslim murderers and their foreign helpers ... PLO and PFLP, PDFLP and DFLP ... began hijacking and blowing up civilian airliners and attacking airports ... and slaughtering Olympic athletes ... and deliberately killing children ... and getting away with it ... again and again ... and ... again ... before Maalot and Munich, and TWA ... too many TWAs ... and Pan Am 103 ... and the Achille Lauro ... before the Beirut barracks and Khobar Towers bombings ... before the fall of the Shah and Jimmy Carter and the Hostage crisis ... Hamas and Hezbollah ... World Trade Center I and the USS Cole ... and World Trade Center II and the Pentagon ... before Al Qaeda and the Tora Bora escape ... before the Faluja retreat ... and a summer of North Korean missile tests and Hezbollah missile attacks.

Those days ... when the United States was feared and respected by its adversaries ... when waving an American passport and shouting, "Let me through! I'm an American!" was a guarantee of safe passage through a flag-burning foreign mob ... before metal detectors and suicide bombers and air marshalls ... before anyone had ever heard of a so-called holy warrior or could care less about a hell-hole like Afghanistan ... when made-in-America mattered and a union label counted ... and borders were real ... those days are long gone.

Nowadays, America's adversaries feel strong enough to move swiftly and deliberately, regardless of how things may look, confident that the appeasers and fifth columnists in the West will follow and push the party line.

Less than one day after Islamist Iran responded to the West's proposed nuclear incentives package with a phony counter-offer of "serious negotiations," China and Russia publicly backed Iran's position. Despite their own restive Muslim populations and domestic terrorist threats, China and Russia are strengthening their ties with Iran and demonstrating their commitment to blocking meaningful measures against the mullahocracy at the United Nations.

Just as we predicted they would, though this time, for the sake of the US and the free world, we would have preferred to have been wrong.

Iran, whose Holocaust-denying, clerical fascist leaders have repeatedly vowed to destroy Israel and drive the US from the Middle East ... after turning the Persian Gulf into "a sea of blood" ... is buying time as it goes about its business of developing nuclear weapons.

We've said it before; but we must say it again: given the ways in which the US funds China's growth, its alliance with Iran--and Radical Islam--is inexcusable.

Is anyone in Washington listening?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Iran Plays for Time, North Korea Threatens War



The tag team wrestling-style gang-up on the United States continues.

On the same day that China's Islamist ally, Iran, sought to buy time in its increasingly tense nuclear standoff with the West by proposing new negotiations, China's Stalinist vassal, North Korea, again threatened to attack the US and South Korea.

North Korea said Tuesday that US-South Korea military exercises, an annual event since 1975, could lead to actual war. An army spokesman described the drills, which began in South Korea on Monday, as an "undisguised military threat and blackmail" against Pyongyang and a "war action."

The regime of Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il warned, for the upteenth time, that North Korea had the right to launch a preemptive attack in self-defense.

The threat follows our report (subsequently confirmed by the ABC news network and other media organizations) that North Korea could be preparing an underground test of a nuclear weapon.

Approximately 30,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea, which has more than 650,000 soldiers in its armed forces. North Korea has an army of 1.2 million soldiers. Most of the North's troops are stationed near the heavily fortified border with South Korea.

On Monday, US President George Bush said he asked Chinese President Hu Jintao to help dissuade North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons.

Our prediction: Hu will disappoint Bush, as he has in the past. Impoverished North Korea depends on China for food and fuel; but Beijing will continue to block truly meaningful action in the United Nations Security Council against North Korea, preventing passage of any resolution that would authorize use of force against Pyongyang under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

When the chips are down, North Korea--like Iran--can count on China's support.

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Iran Responds as China Confidential Predicted


Iran plays for time, as China Confidential predicted.

Details are slow in coming; but it appears that Iran's response to the Western package of proposals aimed at ending the nuclear impasse conforms with our forecasts. The Islamist nation, according to reports from Tehran, offered a "new formula" for resolving the issue and said it was ready to begin "serious negotiations" as early as tomorrow.

China Confidential has consistently said that Iran was (a) certain to reject the West's demand for a halt to uranium enrichment, a key part of the atomic bomb making process, while hinting at a possible compromise that might allow partial enrichment, and (b) likely to leave the negotiating door open in an effort to divide Western opinion and drive a wedge between the United States and Europe. Iran wants to make it easy for the West's fifth columnists and appeasers--men like former US President Jimmy Carter, for instance--to come to their aid as they go about their apocalyptic business of plotting nuclear strikes against Israel and the US.

Iran may be only weeks or months away from having nuclear bombs; so stalling is key. But Iran may already possess nuclear warheads, as we reported yesterday; and its missiles are assumed to be capable of striking Israel and Europe.

Another development: Iran's soon-to-be operational heavy water plant could allow the regime to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs by an alternative method to uranium enrichment.

China certainly had a hand in the Iranian response. As we reported last week, China's top envoy in charge of nonproliferation issues, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, told his Iranian counterpart, Ali Larijani, in Tehran that China "hopes that Iran will seize the opportunity to respond to the package in a positive way."

China has forged an alliance with Iran and can be counted on to block truly meaningful measures against the mullahocracy at the United Nations Security Council.

As we have reported, Beijing has urged Tehran to avoid direct confrontation with the West--at this stage, at least--and instead signal a willingness to talk.

And talk....

China's Communist Party rulers know how much Westerners love to talk; diplomacy for its own sake has become a secular religion in the US and Europe. The editorial pages of the prestige press will surely be flooded with renewed calls for appeasement at all costs; anti-appeasement arguments will be drowned out and derided as war-mongering rants.

China's deepening alliance with Iran--and Radical Islam--is inexcusable, in our view, given the fact that the US basically funds China's economic expansion. Should Americans stop buying cheap Chinese products, the expansion would also stop. Should US investment bankers suddenly turn away from China, instead of continuing to invest in its ascent, Beijing's schemes and dreams of world domination--its plan to replace the US as the so-called Hegemon--would end up on the trash heap of history, like so much Chinese-made Wal-Mart junk.

With that in mind, we hope our readers will scroll down and, if they have not already done so, read yesterday's opinion article about China and Iran.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Opinion: China's Alliance with Iran is Inexcusable


The Islamic fascists in Iran have made their decision. Emboldened by their increased influence in the Middle East as a result of their surprisingly successful proxy war with Israel in Lebanon, the maniacs running the world's fourth largest oil producing nation are going ahead with their nuclear weapons development program.

The United Nations Security Council has set a deadline of August 31 for Iran to suspend nuclear enrichment--a key component in the nuclear bomb making process--or face the possibility of economic sanctions. But Iran's self-imposed deadline for responding to a proposed package of economic incentives offered by the Security Council's five permanent members is tomorrow.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday that Iran would not suspend enrichment; and, pending a formal reply, it only remains to be seen if the robed and turbaned tyrants will tell the West to take a hike or follow the advice of their Chinese allies, as we have reported, and somehow find a way at the last minute to leave a door for continued negotiations slightly ajar--just enough to support and encourage the West's fifth columnists and appeasers and drive a wedge between the United States and Europe.

Then, again, the hate-filled Iranian mullahocracy may feel strong enough to dispense with even a pretense of pseudo-moderation. The signs point strongly in this direction. As we write, the Associated Press, citing UN officials and diplomats, reports that Iran has turned away UN inspectors wanting to examine its underground nuclear site in an apparent violation of the Nonproliferation Treaty. The refusal is reportedly unprecedented. Coming on the heels of the weekend's events--large-scale Iranian military exercises featuring the firing of 10 short-range missiles--the move is clearly calculated to signal defiance and steadfastness.

Which should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Iranian issue, especially from our angle--the role of China in fueling conflict and crisis in the context of its aggressive, mercantilist "energy diplomacy" and imperialist foreign policy. Despite China's vote for the weakened Security Council resolution, Iran, like China's vassal, North Korea, is confident that when push comes to shove it can count on both China and Russia to block meaningful anti-Iranian action at the UN--meaning authorization for use of force under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

The situation stinks. The fact that Beijing is bold enough to deepen its ties with Islamist Iran, given the US role in spurring China's spectacular growth is more than disturbing. It is inexcusable. The US is China's largest consumer market; and US investment bankers are still rushing to pour money into booming, rising China. At the same time, Beijing is helping and encouraging and doing business--big business with Chinese characteristics--with America's worst enemies and the world's rogue states, like Islamic-leaning, genocidal Sudan, for instance. And China's nuclear-armed vassal, North Korea ... which was instrumental in Iran's missile and nuclear development programs ... may be preparing to test one of its nuclear bombs after defying the US and Japan with its July 4 missile launchings. China Confidential was one of the first outlets to report that Iranians were present for the provocative test firings; the report was subsequently confirmed by US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill (a well known dove on North Korea) in testimony at a US Senate hearing.

Even the most self-hating American intellectual would have to admit that there is something terribly wrong with this picture.

It may actually be worse than Washington has led us to believe. A growing number of analysts are convinced that Iran's maniac-in-chief, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is the most dangerous national leader since Adolf Hitler. A religious zealot with a resume in terrorism and assassination that dates back to the 1979 Iranian seizure of the US embassy in Tehran and holding of American hostages--many of whom say he was personally, intensely involved in their interrogations and torment--Ahmadinejad seems bent on realizing his stated vision of a "world without Zionism"--and America. Like Hitler, he makes no effort to hide his intentions; in fact, he announces them.

Less well known are Iranian capabilities. Contrary to the disinformation flowing from the Council on Foreign Relations and other elite establishment think tanks and academic centers, Iran may not be close to having nuclear weapons. It may already have them. Seriously. Iran may be weeks or months away from producing nuclear bombs; but there is apparently ample evidence that the oil-rich regime that has ruled by crisis, confrontation, and terror is in possession of both nuclear warheads and the missiles that can deliver them to Israel and Europe.

And America. As far as anyone knows, Iran does not yet have intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US. But if Tehran has nuclear warheads, it could strike the US from the sea in a deniable, covert operation that could easily be blamed on Al Qaeda, using Scud missiles and launchers hidden aboard foreign registered cargo ships. This threat is real and significant. The Iranian military has successfully test-fired a Scud missile from atop a cargo vessel--perhaps with North Korean help--and publicly bragged about the maneuver. The US, sad to say, has no defense against such a sea-launched missile strike.

Speaking of Al Qaeda, there are persistent, credible reports of Al Qaeda leader Osama Binladen and his Egyptian right-hand, Muslim Brotherhood leader Ayman al-Zawahri, receiving post-9/11 shelter and assistance in Iran.

And some experts say North Korean advisors and technicians are in Iran, working on the regime's arms programs.

That all this goes on while Washington--and Wall Street--do their best to maintain the fiction that China is a responsible stakeholder in international relations, to use the State Department term, is simply outrageous. Fortunately, Main Street America ... or what is left of it in the wake of the long hollowing-out of the US economy by short-sighted, globalizing multinationals and investment banks ... has China's number, as the old expression goes. One can only hope that there are still some leaders left in the US with the courage to take a stand and stop the charade.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chavez Heading to China for Investment, Support


"China's investments in Venezuela are increasing."

So says Venezuela's Fidel Castro-admiring, anti-American president, Hugo Chavez, who is scheduled to depart for Beijing on Monday. It will be his fourth visit to China, and it could include a side trip to North Korea.

China is reluctant to allow Chavez--an ally of Communist Cuba and an avowed adversary of the United States--to visit China's secretive, Stalinist vassal because the trip would be embarrassing for China's Communist Party rulers and make it harder for them and their US friends and appeasers to push the party line--that Chinese relations with Venezuela are just about "business." But sources in Caracas say the Venezuelan demagogue is seriously interested in arranging an oil-for-arms deal with North Korean Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il under cover of a science and technology cooperation agreement already worked out between officials of both countries. Fearful of a possible US attack, Chavez is anxious to add a missile deterrent to his armed forces; and China could give Kim the green light to covertly sell the weapons to the self-proclaimed revolutionary, who has promised to bring "21st century socialism" to Latin America.

Chavez is no stranger to rogue nations. He visited China's Islamist ally, Iran, in late July. The country's Hitlerian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, awarded Chavez Tehran's highest medal for supporting the mullahocracy in its nuclear standoff with the West. Chavez "has resisted imperialism for years and has defended the interests of his and other Latin American countries," Ahmadinejad said.

In February, Venezuela opposed an International Atomic Energy Agency decision to report Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its disputed uranium enrichment program.

On Sunday, Chavez said China will boost investment in Venezuela under a series of accords covering oil exploration--in the Orinoco River basin and also offshore--telecommunications, railways, agriculture, and other industries. Beijing has shown interest in so-called wellhead deals to exploit the Orinico's vast, untapped heavy crude deposits.

Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter. It currently sells 150,000 barrels a day of oil to China and plans to increase that amount to 200,000 before the end of the year. Long term, Chavez wants Venezuela to provide 20 percent of China's oil needs--in return for political support, starting with backing the country's candidacy for a seat in the Security Council.

Chavez told radio listeners that he plans to close a deal to buy oil tankers and oil drills from China. Venezuela will supposedly be able to manufacture parts for the ships and perform maintenance at its own shipyards and assemble Chinese-designed oil drills in Venezuela at a new, jointly owned factory.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Diplomats' Remarks Reveal China's True Intentions


The mask is slipping.

Chinese diplomats have made some revealing remarks in recent days regarding Beijing's military buildup and the Middle East crisis.

On Thursday, China's Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Sha Zhukang, said the United States should "shut up" about China's growing military spending because the increase is no threat. Asked by a BBC reporter about China's growing military budget, Sha shouted: "The population of China is six times as much as that of the United States. So, it's time for Americans to shut up and keep quiet. They will be better off like this."

"The United States have the right to settle domestic problems on its own, so let them not pry into China's internal affairs," Sha said.

The undiplomatic diplomat also warned that China will use military force against Taiwan if it declares independence. He also seemed to threaten military action against any country that recognizes Taiwan and comes to its aid.

"The moment Taiwan declares independence, supported by whoever, China will have no choice," he said. "We will do the business through whatever means available to the government. Nobody should have any illusions on that. We will do the business at any cost."

He added: "It's not a matter of how big Taiwan is, but for China, one inch of the territory is more valuable than the life of our people. We will never concede on that."

China's recently enacted Anti-Secession Law authorizes use of military force against Taiwan if the self-ruled island moves toward formal independence, or if attempts to reunite peacefully ultimately fail; and Chinese military officers have warned that US efforts to come to Taiwan's aid would trigger a nuclear exchange.

China's opaque military budget has grown by double digits for much of the last 15 years, causing concern in the US and among China's neighbors in Asia, especially Japan.

Sha, who is China's former senior arms negotiator, is a hardliner on defense and military issues--with a history of lashing out at the US.

In March of 2001, he attacked US plans for a national missile defense (NMD) system, saying it could spark a new arms race. His comments come in the wake of reports that Washington wanted to sell missile defense systems to Taiwan to counter a growing threat from China. (Beijing presently has some 800 missiles aimed at Taiwan and is adding about 100 a year.) Sha accused the US of exaggerating the threat of missile attack from its adversaries--including North Korea--saying missile defense would make the US more likely to "bully" other countries.

China's is against a US NMD system because it would diminish or possibly even negate China's strategic nuclear deterrent. China's nuclear arsenal includes at least 20 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking targets throughout the US.

In 2004, when he headed the Chinese delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission, Sha made scathing comments about the US, accusing it of unfair criticism of China's human rights record.

So much for Sha.

On August 15, China's special envoy to the Middle East, about whom we have written before, said that Beijing considered UN Security Council Resolution 1701 aimed at ending the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah as "unbalanced." Sun Bigan, who was China's first ambassador to Saudi Arabia, called for a permanent cease-fire in the region and resumption of peace talks to achieve "a just Middle East settlement."

Said Sun: "We noticed that Arab countries, including Lebanon, did not oppose the resolution, that's why we voted in favor of it. China does not think that it was an ideal resolution and sufficiently balanced."

Speaking at a press conference in Saudi Arabia, Sun said he shared the views of Saudi King Abdullah, who has opposed attempts to link "Islam and Muslims with terrorism and fascism."

Sun condemned Israel's "random bombing against Lebanon," which he said had killed and injured a large number of civilians and destroyed the country's infrastructure.

"This is a big humanitarian catastrophe," Sun said.

Sun's regional, war-time tour included a visit to Syria. After meeting in Damascus with Vice- President Farouk al-Shara, the Chinese diplomat described his talks as "very successful."

Speaking at a press conference held at the Chinese embassy, Sun said: "Viewpoints regarding the deteriorating situation in the region as a result of the Israeli aggression on Lebanon were identical."

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Hezbollah Likely to Merge with Lebanese Army


Dangerous developments for Israel.

It is increasingly clear that the military wing of Hezbollah--the Shiite Arab Islamist proxy of China's Shiite Persian Islamist ally, Iran--is going to be absorbed by the Lebanese army.

Lebanon is essentially a failed state. Its cabinet has approved a United Nations Security Council scheme to deploy 15,000 Lebanese troops in the Shiite south to bolster a UN force that is certain to be sympathetic to Hezbollah. The troops began deploying Thursday. But the issue of disarming Hezbollah is sure to remain just that--an issue. The overwhelming majority of Lebanese soldiers are Shiite. The chances of the army standing up to Hezbollah are at best remote.

More likely, Hezbollah will do to Lebanon what Hamas did to Gaza and the Palestinian Authority--take over.

Meanwhile, China's other Axis of Evil ally, Syria, is likely to step up its decades-old chemical warfare program. The secular Sunni dictatorship--which suppresses domestic Islamists while working with Iran and Hezbollah--has the largest and most advanced stockpile of chemical weapons in the Middle East, including Sarin, VX, and mustard gas. Major production facilities, which are located near Damascus, Homs, and Hama--where Syrian forces once massacred Muslim Brotherhood insurgents. The plants produce hundreds of tons of chemical agents annually, which could be delivered by ballistic missile chemical warheads and chemical gravity bombs.

Syria also has biological weapons, including anthrax and ricin, and a nuclear research center that could be used to develop nuclear weapons--with North Korean and Russian expertise.

Syria's offensive weapons arsenal is one of the largest in the region, thanks to Russia, China, and North Korea. The secretive Stalinist state--which is China's vassal--has helped Syria to establish a solid-propellant rocket motor development and production capability.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

ABC Says US Confirms N. Korean Nuke Test Report


Memo to mainstream media....

We hate to say we told you so, but ... we told you so.

On Monday, China Confidential reported that North Korea may be preparing a test for a nuclear bomb, citing Japanese analysts.

America's ABC News network said the same thing--adding the word "underground"--on Thursday. The network cited unidentified US officials.

ABC quoted a senior military official as saying A US intelligence agency had recently observed "suspicious vehicle movement" at a suspected North Korean test site.

North Korea is believed to have reprocessed enough plutonium for a substantial arsenal of weapons, but has yet to test one. Nor has it demonstrated that it possesses operational nuclear warheads.

A North Korean nuclear test would create a problem for China, which has long denied that its Stalinist vassal possesses nuclear weapons. A test would make it more difficult for China to block sanctions against Pyongyang at the United Nations.

North Korea test-launched seven missiles on July 4 in a provocative move that was later condemned in a weak Security Council resolution, thanks to Chinese efforts to prevent inclusion of possible use of force under Chapter 7.

As first reported by China Confidential and, more recently, by Japanese media, six of the seven missiles landed in their target zones. Washington said the long-range missile, capable of hitting the US, only flew for 40 seconds; but sources tell China Confidential that the missile stayed aloft for roughly two minutes before plunging into the sea.

Talks on ending North Korea's nuclear arms program among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the US have been stalled since November.

Like China's nuclear arming Islamist ally, Iran, North Korea has threatened to attack the US.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

China's US Retail Arm Against Tighter Port Security


As China's Islamist ally, Iran, proceeds to develop nuclear weapons and warheads--which could be smuggled into the United States through still porous ports, or fired into American coastal cities via missiles launched from approaching cargo ships--China's US retail outlet, Wal-Mart, works to prevent US ports from becoming more secure.

In the nearly five years that have passed since the Islamist Al Qaeda attacks of 9/11--the worst-ever attacks on American soil by a foreign foe--Wal-Mart and its lobbyists have been instrumental in blocking proposed new maritime and port security rules. Through Wal-Mart's front group, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the corporate behemoth opposed several port security measures, including proposals to make shipping containers more secure, to beef up inspections--only a small fraction are now inspected--and to provide more prompt cargo information.

Wal-Mart and China believe the measures would slow down the China-US pipeline and increase shipping costs.

Apparently, the company's infamous "China price" for cheap consumer goods does not include security for Americans.

And nobody--except organized labor, which has long been hostile to Wal-Mart because of its anti-worker policies, and American manufacturers understandably unable to meet the China price--seems to care. The port security issue has largely been ignored by the mainstream media, which tends to bend over backwards to be nice to China in the interest of corporate parents eager for a slice of the country's elusive media market.

Wal-Mart's collaboration with Communist-controlled China--and cynical betrayal of American labor and manufacturers--is a well known story. Twenty years ago, the "big box" company that set out to destroy Main Street--to the delight of Wall Street--bought only six percent of its merchandise overseas. Back then, the company used to proudly promote the "Buy American" motto of its founder, Sam Walton.

Today, Wal-Mart and China constitute a joint venture--between an authoritarian adversary of the US and a ruthless corporate giant--united by a determination to dominate the US economy.

At least 70 percent of all non-food items sold at Wal-Mart come from China or have a Chinese component. Most of the rest comes from 70 other countries, including Muslim Pakistan, Muslim Indonesia, and the Muslim-threatened Philippines, where human rights abuses, official corruption, and complicity with terrorism are commonplace.

Importing an estimated $18 billion in products from China each year, Wal-Mart is China's eighth largest trading partner, surpassing entire countries like England and Russia.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Yesterday (scroll down), China Confidential urged US labor and manufacturing leaders to organize a 30-day boycott of Chinese goods.

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China Pushing Iran to Play for Time


As previously reported by China Confidential, Beijing is playing a double game in the Iranian nuclear dispute.

Publicly, China is urging Iran to accept the incentives package offered by China and five other countries in exchange for suspending uranium enrichment.

But Iran has no intention of abandoning its dream of developing nuclear weapons. The mullahocracy may be months away--maybe one month, even--from possessing a bomb.

So China is privately advising its Islamist ally to appear reasonable and accept at least a partial suspension--with conditions--in order to drive a wedge between the United States and Europe. China's message to Tehran: talking buys time.

Sources say that is what China's top envoy in charge of nonproliferation issues has been telling his Iranian hosts this week, as China Confidential reported yesterday.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai (pictured above) told his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani in Teheran on Tuesday that China "hopes that Iran will seize the opportunity to respond to the package in a positive way."

Cui may be having an impact. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today said his country was not opposed to negotiations, but would never abandon its "right" to enrich uranium. The statement is designed to give the impression of moderation.

Beijing has a lot riding on the Iranian issue. Despite deepening ties with Iran, China would like to be seen as a responsible stakeholder in world affairs, to use the fashionable US State Department term.

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Bloggertorial: Boycott Chinese Goods for 30 Days


In this summer of seemingly endless surprises, there is one constant: the clutching, criminal hand of Communist-controlled China.

From the provocative missile tests of China's nuclear armed, Stalinist vassal, North Korea, to the proxy missile attacks on northern Israel by Beijing's nuclear arming, Islamist ally, Iran, China stokes the fires, fuels the conflicts and supports the forces that plot, plan, and pray for the destruction of the United States and its allies, including Israel--the only democracy in the barbarous Middle East.

In the summer of 2006, China has at last removed its mask to reveal a ... menace. Neither a responsible stakeholder nor a friendly competitor, China is America's adversary--a rising regional power with global aspirations and ambitions. As shown by its massive military buildup, mercantilist "energy diplomacy," and imperialist foreign policy, China's Communist Party rulers aim to dominate Asia and ultimately replace the US as the world's leading military power, or "hegemon," in Red Chinese jargon.

In fact, menace is too polite. Rising Red China is a ... monster ... that threatens the US economy and the global environment more than any nation on earth, exploits and oppresses its impoverished rural masses and growing urban underclass, kills, jails, and tortures religious and political dissidents and other prisoners of conscience, and delights in the horrific slaughter ... and skinning alive ... of dogs and cats and other animals in the context of a culture of cruelty that defies description.

Ironically, the US is feeding this monstrous menace--from Wal-Mart to Wall Street. Greedy, globalizing investment bankers and hedge fund managers are pouring money into China. And American consumers, addicted to cheap Chinese goods, are sustaining the mighty export engine that is driving China's economic expansion and meteoric ascent.

American consumer dollars are funding the China menace just as American petrodollars are funding Radical Islam. The US is China's number one consumer market; should US consumers stop buying cheap Chinese products, China would probably collapse. It certainly would not be able to roam the world, meddling and interfering on behalf of rogue regimes bent on delivering mass death to America and its allies. Should US consumers stop buying cheap Chinese products, there probably would be no massive military buildup by the People's Liberation Army--because the essentially rotten regime that has staked its claim to legitimacy solely on continued material progress--at the expense of the rest of the planet--would have to choose between guns and butter. China is ripe for revolt; and the country's Communist Party rulers, for all their tough talk and posturing, are actually scared.

In short, should American consumers stop buying cheap Chinese products, the dragon would starve--and die.

Which brings us to our call to action. America may not be ready for a permanent China boycott; but the country is certainly ready for a trial, or test, boycott. With Labor Day fast approaching, we urge American manufacturers and trade unions to lead the nation--and the free world--in a one-month boycott of any and all Chinese goods. The stakes are way too high to rely on gutless politicians to take meaningful action in defense of America's national security and endangered economy.

It's time to send China a message: After all the hollowing out of the American economy and outsourcing of American jobs, after all the rampant intellectual property piracy and blatant currency manipulation that keeps Chinese products artificially low, after all the fawning media coverage of the so-called New China, after 9/11 ... which China's leaders secretly cheered and applauded ... after all the intrigue and disinformation ... and double-dealing ... the American people, we believe, are mad as hell at China and looking for ways to fight back.

In this summer of seemingly endless surprises, it's time to give one to China.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Iran Warned China About Mideast War


Analysts say terror-sponsoring Iranian officials warned China back in June that war was likely to break out between the Islamist nation's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, and Israel. The officials, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, allegedly discussed the possibility of conflict on the sidelines of the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit meeting.

Iran had observer status at the SCO summit. In the name of regional security and cooperation, the organization--a tool of Chinese foreign policy--groups the Middle Kingdom with Russia and the countries of Central Asia in an emerging, Warsaw Pact-like alliance against the United States.

Ahmadinejad is believed to have told his Chinese hosts that Iran had concluded that the US was preparing a military attack on Iran over the nuclear dispute, and that a preemptive proxy war was necessary to strengthen Tehran's military and political position throughout the region.

Israel suffered a tactical defeat of possibly strategic proportions in the month-long war, which Hezbollah provoked with a cross-border raid that kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

The Shiite Arab terrorists proved they could rain 100-200 rockets a day on Israeli cities and towns, operating from well prepared positions in Lebanese civilian centers, and hold out against Israeli forces, including an air force restrained by asymmetric war rules and an apparent need to cater to world opinion.

Non-Arab Iran, as China expected, has emerged as the dominant power in the region, uniting Shiites and Sunnis in a common struggle to defeat Israel and drive the US from the Middle East.

Syria, a secular Sunni dictatorship allied with Iran and Hezbollah, has also been strengthened as a result of the war, its influence on the failed Lebanese state remarkably restored.

Meanwhile, on Day One of a flawed United Nations-arranged ceasefire--a deal riddled with loopholes through which Hezbollah can rearm, reposition, and again fire its missiles--the most senior Chinese official in charge of "nuclear nonproliferation issues" flew to Iran.

China's official Xinhua News Agency reported that Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai departed for Tehran Monday to discuss "nuclear issues and other topics of mutual concern" with Iranian officials.

Iran has vowed to continue--and even expand--uranium enrichment, in defiance of a UN Security Council deadline for it to suspend its nuclear activities by August 22 or face the threat of political and economic sanctions. Tehran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

In fact, Iran, as the US and many European countries claim, is moving as fast as it can to develop nuclear weapons. Analysts tell China Confidential that Tehran may be only a month or so away from having a weapon.

China and Russia, both veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council with deepening commercial ties to Iran, have opposed Western proposals to impose sanctions on Tehran. A Security Council resolution authorizing use of force under Chapter 7 is a non-starter for Beijing and Moscow.

Our sources say Cui will advise Iranian officials to at least agree to a partial suspension of enrichment activities. The Chinese view is that agreeing to a partial suspension--subject to certain terms and conditions--will drive a wedge between the European and US positions on the nuclear issue and allow Iran time to continue its research.

But the Iranian president--an avowed enemy of Israel and the US, who has repeatedly urged the destruction of the Jewish State--is reportedly inclined to reject any compromise on the nuclear issue.

Iran's wannabe Hitler wants the bomb--now.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

North Korea May be Preparing Nuclear Test


Japanese analysts tell China Confidential there is a reasonable chance that China's vassal, North Korea, will test one of its nuclear weapons over the next six months.

North Korea is believed to have reprocessed enough plutonium for a substantial arsenal of weapons, but has yet to test one. Nor has it demonstrated that it possesses operational nuclear warheads.

Plutonium is used to make lighter, more compact and deadlier weapons than uranium.

A nuclear test would create a problem for China, which has long denied that the secretive Stalinist state--which depends on Beijing for food and fuel--actually possesses nuclear weapons. A test would make it more difficult for China to block sanctions against Pyongyang at the United Nations.

North Korea test-launched seven missiles on July 4 in a provocative move that was later condemned in a toothless Security Council resolution, thanks to Chinese efforts to prevent inclusion of possible use of force under Chapter 7. As reported by China Confidential and recently confirmed by Japanese media, six of the seven missiles landed in their target zones. Washington said the long-range missile, capable of hitting the US, only flew for 40 seconds; but sources tell China Confidential that the missile stayed aloft for roughly two minutes before plunging into the sea.

Talks on ending North Korea's nuclear arms program among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the US have been stalled since November.

In other nuclear news, Pakistan will soon be able to strike every city in India using a new arsenal of plutonium warheads developed with Chinese help, according to intelligence sources in New Delhi.

China has been arming Pakistan with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than 25 years.

Pakistan's plutonium plant, which is located in the Khushab district in Punjab province, is capable of producing enough plutonium for 50 warheads a year.

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Aging American Journalists Rally for Iran



As if determined to prove that conservative critics alleging leftwing media bias have been right all along, two aging but extremely influential and accomplished American journalists have rallied to the aid of America's nuclear arms developing enemy, Islamist Iran.

Seymour Hersh (above, left), 69, an American Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter who has made a career out of blaming America first, last and always, has weighed in with a story that Israel's government and the Bush administration planned the war against Iran's Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, before the Shiite terrorists took Israeli soldiers hostage in a cross-border raid. The incident, according to Hersh, was a pretext--and a dress rehearsal for--heaven help us!--military action against Iran.

In April, Hersh, who writes for the stylish and politically correct New Yorker magazine (one of America's most boring but nevertheless also most respected publications), reported that Bush wanted to drop bunker-busting nuclear bombs on Iranian nuclear sites.

We should only be so lucky. Unfortunately, the allegations, like most of the trash Hersh zealously trades in, were false.

Then there is the sad case of Mike Wallace (above, right) , 88, a giant of American television network news, who has apparently lost his marbles after an incredibly long and rewarding career. A real reporter who made the transition from radio to TV in the 1950s, Wallace recently retired from CBS and his iconic posting with the network's "60 Minutes" news magazine-style program. For unknown reasons, we learned last week, he allowed himself to be used and manipulated by Iran's wannabe Hitler, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Not only did Wallace fly to Tehran for a pathetic, humanizing interview with the monster; he heavily promoted the segment, praising the Iranian president for his intelligence, education, and even his appearance.

Audience Advisory: A vomit bag is strongly recommended for the interview.

Opinion: Some Thoughts on What Must Be Done


Israel's looming defeat--the overnight destruction of its deterrent capability, the failure to dislodge and disarm Iran's Lebanese proxy army, Hezbollah, and the devastation of the Galilee--is a disastrous development for Israel, the United States, and the civilized world.

An Islamic fascist force, to use the Bush term, operating from a state-like enclave in a supposedly sovereign nation, proved that it can fire 100-200 rockets at day at America's democratic ally--the only real democracy in the barbarous Middle East--and live to fight--and fire away--another day.

No doubt, Israel screwed up. Correction: the Israeli government screwed up--by stabbing the Israeli military in the back. An untested, unqualified team of politicians prevented the military from doing what they do best: fighting fast and hard, with overwhelming force, lightning speed and bold, creative operations. The generals had the right plan but were not allowed to implement it. Instead, they were ordered to carry out a terribly tentative, on-again-off-again campaign that each day came to resemble war by committee.

Meanwhile, the Galilee burned, civilians and soldiers died--needlessly--and a parade of puffed-up, fat-and-happy failures--like newly botoxed, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, whose stupid pullout from Lebanon six years ago made the Iranian-Hezbollah military buildup possible in the first place--appeared on Israeli and American television networks to ponder and pontificate and further damage Israel's image and reputation.

This was followed by the awful spectacle of a Munich Pact-style sellout at the anti-American United Nations, which led to the throwing away of more Israeli soldiers' lives in a desperate, 11th-hour attempt to achieve in the last day or so what a month of handicapped fighting failed to accomplish.

Key word: handicapped. Despite claims to the contrary, the war did not disprove the importance of air power, because air power was never given a chance to work. Not really. Not if by air power one means the flattening, de-housing, and cratering of the areas from which enemy missiles are being fired. It was that kind of destruction--delivered to the heart of the enemy--that won World War II.

It is that kind of destruction--delivered to the heart of the Radical Muslim Menace--which will, sooner or later, have to be used to win the war against Islamic fascism, or, more properly, Islamism, or Radical Islam--a political ideology and movement that has taken over and basically become synonymous with the organized religion called Islam.

But in order to fight a real war against Radical Islam, the civilized world, led by the US, has to agree that we are in fact at war--not with a strategy or technique called terrorism--but with a global enemy, albeit one that is divided to some degree by theological, ethnic and tribal differences.

The blame/hate-America appeasers, in the US and Europe, aided by Islamist fifth columnists, will try their best to sabotage a proper identification of the enemy and a true commitment to total victory, something that has been lacking since 9/11, as shown by the use of the deliberately vague and misleading "War on Terror" misnomer.

Nearly five years after the Saudi-sponsored, Al Qaeda attacks on American soil--the worst-ever attacks on the American homeland by a foreign power--the appeasers and fifth columnists can be counted on to cite the Israeli defeat in Lebanon and US willingness to negotiate with Iran and its Hezbollah proxy, via the Lebanese failed state, as proof positive that the war on terror is far more complex than the Bush administration has led us to believe--the Left loves complexity!--and thus needs to be demilitarized and fought more like a defensive police action.

And the American people, understandably angry, tired and confused by the Iraq debacle--in which, for example, we have for all practical purposes embraced the Iranian-manipulated Shiite Islamist killers, instead of leveling their centers of murder and mayhem--the American people will very likely be receptive to this argument for less, not more, military action against a truly Nazi-like foe that seeks their doom.

Should this happen, and there can be no assurances that events won't unfold in this manner, we could well wake up in a few years to find ourselves in a situation in which we could ironically be winning the so-called War on Terror--defined as prevention of new mega-attacks on US soil--but have lost the war against Radical Islam. How could this happen? Simple. It would only take an announcement by Iran that after successfully stalling and negotiating--and dividing the West--it is at last in possession of both nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

If and when that happens, as former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so often said, Radical Islam will no longer need its shoe bombers and liquid bombers, its suicide belts and bus bombers. The war in Lebanon was the test case, the proving ground for the next phase of the conflict.

If and when Iran gets the bombs to match its growing arsenal of missiles, the West will find itself in a whole new ball game ... up at bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, down by way too many runs ... face-to-face with the meanest, maddest pitcher on earth.

Heaven help us.

CLOSING NOTES: Israel, we believe, will bounce back, even stronger, perhaps, and with a profound new appreciation of the rapidly changing geopolitical and strategic situation, including the emergence of Iran--a country committed to Israel's destruction--as the region's most important power, and the increasingly obvious and dangerous regional roles of Iran's allies, China and Russia, which seek to drive the American "hegemon" from the Middle East.

Watch for Netanyahu ("Bibi" to Israelis) to make a big comeback. He was right on target in terms of his terror analysis, as noted above. But he was wrong about China, as he is reportedly telling friends and supporters. Bibi thought China would care more about Israeli military technology--Israel has been a major supplier to Beijing--than Arab and Iranian Oil. Not so. China, as reported by China Confidential, is forging a strategic alliance with Radical Islam in the context of Chinese "energy diplomacy," which seeks to lock up preferred access to oil and gas supplies while also weakening and isolating the US.

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