Wednesday, 30 April 2008


China, India can rewrite Asia-Africa unity story

By He Wenping
China Daily
2008-04-22 07:28

While we followed the progress of the Beijing Olympic Games
torch relay earlier this month, the first India-Africa
Summit was held with great fanfare on April 8-9 in India's
capital, New Delhi. Heads of state from 14 African
countries, including South Africa, Algeria, Uganda, Ghana
and Tanzania, attended the inaugural gathering. They passed
two documents of vital importance - the New Delhi
Declaration and the Framework Agreement on India-Africa
Cooperation - that will pave the way for the future
development of India-Africa relations.

It has been said that India's decision to hold this African
summit was inspired by the China-Africa Summit of 2006.
Indeed it is not hard at all to see the link between the
two summits. The Indian academic community and the media
have made no efforts to deny the link.

Some Indian and other media organizations made no bones
about comparing the New Delhi summit to the one held in
Beijing two years ago. Quite a few foreign media channels
gave prominence to the view that India is competing against
China to influence Africa, stepping up efforts to corner
more African resources and market before China does, and so

There is no denying that fast economic growth of both the
Asian giants and their growing influence in Africa gave
rise to comparative studies on the development patterns of
the "Chinese dragon" and the "Indian elephant" and on their
impact on Africa's development.

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development
published a study in May, 2006, titled The Rise of China
and India: What's in it for Africa. The World Bank followed
with a similar report - Africa's Silk Road: China and
India's new economic frontier - the next year.

Both papers are considered authoritative and professional.
And they both agreed the rise of Chinese and Indian
economies is having a positive impact on Africa's
development. They argued that the fast economic development
of China and India is boosting that of Africa much quicker
than most people expected and has helped Africa maintain
unprecedented and close contacts with the world economy
through exports of resources and raw material.

Of course, apart from numerous analyses and commentaries,
there have been painstaking efforts by ill-meaning people
who see things through tinted glasses to play up
China-India rivalries and conflicts as well. Such writings
invariably try to sow distrust between the two Asian
neighbors by flattering India, while belittling China.

Some Indian observers pointed out publicly that such
mentality is born of a desperation prompted by the
fast-approaching end of Western colonial influence in
Africa as well as by the fear of and objection to the
reality that rising nations such as China and India are
changing the world order Western powers prefer. And, by
sowing discord between China and India, the detractors wish
to see the two Asian neighbors fight till they are both too
hurt to react when the West takes control of Africa.

As a matter of fact, it is not important to know which
summit inspired the other. What is important is the fact
that emerging Asian economies such as China and India and
Africa's rising economic potential and international clout
have been drawing the two developing continents closer in
the past 10 years or so. We should hail the coming tide of
Asia-Africa cooperation, because it is fueling what we call
South-South cooperation and contributing to the
international cooperation that will help Africa attain the
United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.

Africa has been drawing the world's attention in the past
decade as the situation on the continent gradually improved
and its resources and market potential showed growing
significance. Take a closer look and one will see that the
"Africa fever" was not the result of its own rising status
alone but of increased cooperation with emerging Asian
economies and its "look-east" policy as well.

Since the end of the colonial era in the 1960s, Africa has
largely remained a supplier of raw material for developed
Western countries, while Western nations' aid for Africa
has failed to lift the continent out of poverty and

That is why African nations have come to the consensus to
"look east" for development models in Asia.

African countries seem to identify with India's development
pattern, which combines democracy organically with its
developing country status - very different from the
patterns in Western nations. African nations are also
interested in India's experience in handling conflicts
between castes and clans and preventing the gap between
rich and poor from worsening.

The eastward movement of African countries not only helps
them learn from Asian countries' advanced experiences but
also raises their stakes in South-North talks and
negotiations. Such engagements should help them protect
their natural resources, while developing the economy,
emphasize environmental protection.

Thus, when we look at the India-Africa Summit, which has
been billed as "India's top event in foreign affairs", it
is necessary to recognize the relationship of mutual
example and certain amount of competition between China and
India in their cooperation with African nations. Even more
important is that we need to see from a broad human
development point of view the mutually-complementary nature
of the two Asian giants' assistance to African development
and Africa's absorption of different "nutrients" from
Chinese and Indian development patterns.

The roles that China and India play to strengthen
Asia-Africa unity and South-South cooperation are of
historic significance. There is no reason why the world's
top two developing nations, with matching populations,
cannot play joint catalysts in taking Asia-Africa
cooperation into a new era.

The author is a researcher with the Institute of West Asian
and African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social


Hands off Zim, Kaunda tells Brown

Zimbabwe Herald
April 28, 2008
From Augustine Hwata in LUSAKA, Zambia

BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown is not qualified to
comment on challenges facing Zimbabwe, let alone to call
for more sanctions, founding Zambian president Dr Kenneth
Kaunda has said.

Dr Kaunda told Zambia’s Post newspaper at the weekend that
Brown lacked proper background information regarding
Zimbabwe’s problems and was not helpful towards finding a
lasting solution to the current situation.

"It is sad for Prime Minister Brown to say what he said
about the Zimbabwe situation," Dr Kaunda said while
delivering a speech as a special guest to recipients of
recognition awards from Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican
Embassy here last week.

"Brown does not understand what he is talking about. It is
a sad thing that he said that (calling for more sanctions
against Zimbabwe)," said the former president.

Dr Kaunda said he had wanted to inform Brown on how the
challenges facing Zimbabwe came about before the British
premier had even replaced Tony Blair, but failed to get
that opportunity.

Dr Kaunda was at one time determined to travel to Britain
to meet Brown, but did not do so on the advice of his

The former Zambian president, who turns 84 today, said
Brown and the West should leave Zimbabwe alone so that it
solves its own challenges, especially the political tension
between Zanu-PF and the opposition.

"I think people in Zimbabwe are trying to find a way out of
their own problems by talking of a government of national

He urged the West to discard the belief that they were the
best to prescribe solutions for Africa’s problems.

"As usual, they want to tell what they think is right for

Dr Kaunda said calls by Brown for an arms embargo on
Zimbabwe were misplaced and do little to solve the

"Embargoing the defense forces is not the solution at all,"
said Dr Kaunda, adding that he wondered why the shipment of
arms from China was being blocked when the order was placed
last year.

It was unfortunate that the consignment was now being
linked to the post-election period and a stalemate over the
result of the presidential election.

Meanwhile, Zambian farmer and boxing promoter Mr Gevan
Mumba has thrown his weight behind President Mugabe and
the land reform programme.

Mr Mumba said Africans had a right to work on their land.

"I own more than 80 hectares of prime land in the Mufulira
area and have two streams that pass through my plot. I
produce crops and feel empowered that I have something to
call my own," he said.

Unlike Zimbabwe, Mumba said Zambia does not have much
pressure on land because it had a bigger geographical area
and vast open areas against fewer people who wanted to

"We are lucky that there is land available to Zambians who
need it, unlike in Zimbabwe where the whites had most of
the good areas. Because land is important, Britain, which
does not have as much land, was pained when President
Mugabe took some farms from their white relatives to
redistribute to his people.

"I know for sure that Britain and America want (Cde) Mugabe
to go and replace him in office with someone they can
control over Zimbabwe’s land. The same thing happened in
Iraq when Saddam (Hussein) was killed for his oil," Mr
Mumba said.


Monday, 28 April 2008


Background to Alicia Keys's comments

The US government has never ceased in doing all that they
can, legally and illegally to stop the rise of a radical
Black Liberation movement in the USA. From the moment white Europeans landed on African and American soil, they have committed massive policies of oppression and genocide. This policy of repression, exploitation and white supremacy has continued for the last 400 years, from the moment Africans were kidnapped en-masse from Africa to today. This is even reflected in the politics around the Democrat presidential race, with Obama coming in for all kinds of racist and Islamophobic abuse.

COINTELPRO was a secret (secret until anti-imperialists
broke into a FBI building and stole these secret papers)
government plan to disrupt and smash the Black Liberation
movement. This was done against Marcus Garvey, the Nation of Islam, especially Malcolm X / Malik El-Hajj Shabazz and the Black Panthers and other radical Black organisations.
Undoubtedly the COINTELPRO strategies continue which were
according to one FBI secret communique: ""The Negro youth
and moderate must be made to understand that if they
succumb to revolutionary teaching, they will be dead
revolutionaries", and to "prevent the rise of a black

Victims of US state oppression such as Mutulu Shakur
(rapper Tupac Shakur's Step-Dad) and pioneering rapper
KRS-ONE amongst others are convinced that COINTELPRO
continues today.

So respect to Alicia Keys for coming out with these
comments below - although her duets with Usher left a lot to be
desired! Alicia, stick with Common, Mos Def and crew.

Sukant Chandan,
(+ facebook group)


Keys: 'Gangsta rap was government ploy'
Monday, April 14 2008
Digital Spy

Alicia Keys has claimed that the musical genre "gangsta
rap" was created by the US government.

The R&B star told Blender magazine that the movement was
designed to "convince black people to kill each other".

She also suggested that the deaths of hip-hop stars Tupac
Shakur and Notorious B.I.G were designed to hinder
influential black politicians.

Keys said: "The murders were fuelled to stop a great black
leader from existing."


The Guardian
Monday January 8, 2007:

... I have heard that record company big boss Clive Davis,
responsible for creating Whitney Houston, was a little
nervous about Keys speaking her mind. She is anti-war and
has been reported to be sympathetic to the 70s radical
Black Panther movement.

"[Alicia Keys:]I personally never heard that, but no, it
wouldn't stop me. I think music and socialism and politics
have always gone hand in hand. As artists we used to be way
more instrumental in providing a soundtrack to the
heartbeat of what's going on in the world. We all don't
have to think the same thing but it's important to state
what we think. There is such a fear of termination of one's
career if they have any intelligent thought about politics
and that's messed up." ...

Sunday, 27 April 2008


A year on, Salmond's charm gets stronger

A year on, Salmond's charm gets stronger As the First Minister prepares to celebrate his first 12 months in power, Neil Drysdale finds that even loyal Labour voters now share his vision

Neil Drysdale
Sunday April 27 2008
The Observer

The talk in Union Street, Aberdeen, was principally about
oil and petrol and the possibility that Scotland might
grind to a halt in the next few weeks, with the closure of
the Forties pipeline and the start today of a strike by
refinery workers at the BP plant in Grangemouth.

In other circumstances, you might have expected that the
Scottish government and First Minister, Alex Salmond, would
be the subject of criticism, whether deserved or not, as a
fuel crisis looms, amid reports of panic buying, exorbitant
mark-ups by garage owners and abortive attempts at
conciliation between the management, Ineos, and union,

Yet, to date, and even as Salmond celebrates his first year
in power, there has been little inclination to fling abuse
at the Nationalist leader. Instead, with his personal
popularity ratings at levels normally reserved for Soviet
presidents, and support for his party running at record
levels, he is enjoying an extended honeymoon with the
electorate, even among those traditional Labour voters who
defected to the SNP last May.

'Alex Salmond has done an excellent job so far, and, not so
long ago, I never imagined I would be saying that,' said
Avril Lennox, an Aberdeen businesswoman. 'When [Henry]
McLeish and [Jack] McConnell were in charge, it seemed as
if all their speeches were scripted by their political
masters in Westminster and yet, no matter how unpalatable
some of the policies were, people like me used to stand by

'Then, during the build-up to last year's election, I just
grew so fed up with the relentlessly negative tone of the
Labour campaign that I decided enough was enough. They had
backed the Iraq war, they were clamping down on state
benefits, trying to out-right the Conservatives on
immigration and crime. Salmond, by comparison, was
anti-war, he had a progressive agenda and made big promises
in his manifesto, most of which he has delivered.'

At the city's railway station, the majority of people
endorsed these sentiments, with varying degrees of warmth.
'He always looks a bit pleased with himself, but you can't
fault his intelligence or the way he has built up consensus
with the other parties,' said Derek Flett, a 25-year-old

'I'm a wee bit worried that the Nationalists seem to be
spending an awful lot of money, but they have cut business
rates, abolished bridge tolls and have promised 1,000 extra
police officers on Scotland's streets, so these are all
plus points for me,' said Gordon Reid, 52, an accountant,
who switched allegiance from the Conservatives to the SNP a
year ago.

As for a first-time voter, Rebecca Mathers, 19, expressed
praise for both the Scottish government's scrapping of
student tuition fees and highlighted one of the reasons why
Salmond may be enjoying such a widespread love-in. 'Most of
my friends and I have no interest in confrontational
politics. You know, when one old man tries to make a speech
and another keeps flinging insults at him. Whenever I
watched McConnell on television, he was always talking down
to young people like me.

'They never gave you the impression that they could make
positive things happen, it was all nanny-state stuff and
that's insulting to young people,' said Mathers. 'I don't
always agree with Salmond - I'm not sure we need all these
extra policemen, for instance - but he has authority and a
confidence in Scotland which I find refreshing.In
comparison, that Wendy Alexander [the Scottish Labour
leader] gets on my nerves. Does she know how to do anything
without screeching?'

From Aberdeen to Dundee and on to Falkirk, my journey
resonated to the sound of Alexander being excoriated. Some
of the criticism was patently malicious, but there is no
doubting either the scale of the antipathy towards her, or
that much of it springs from her insistence of trumpeting
the perceived dangers of Nationalism and alleged perils of
Scottish independence.

'She doesn't seem to appreciate that things are changing in
this country and that the public don't want politicians
abusing each other all the time,' said Alistair Scott, 42,
a haulier, outside the giant Tesco supermarket in Dundee.
'It was bad enough with Blair preaching to us about living
by his conscience, while fighting illegal wars, going on
free holidays and standing toe to toe with George W Bush,
but Labour seems to have learned nothing and I think
Salmond is laying a big trap for them. He wants
independence,' said Scott [as do 43 per cent of Scots in a
recent poll, with 41 per cent opposed to the idea], but he
knows he won't get it until the Tories are in power in
London and he is prepared to be patient and forge links
with the more progressive elements among the Liberal
Democrats and Greens.

'In the current climate, with Gordon Brown sinking like a
lead balloon in London, Labour is between a rock and a hard
place and Wendy Alexander doesn't have a clue how to pull
them out of it. But the more she rants and raves about
saving the Union, the more that many of us look at England
and ask: do we want to be stuck with them forever?'

Certainly, such sentiments are gathering momentum in
Scotland. You might expect David Alexander, the SNP Group
Leader in Falkirk, to be bullish at the present state of
affairs, but he is positively bubbling with excitement. 'I
believe independence is now inevitable, because the
difference in direction between the governments in
Edinburgh and London has become so marked,' he said last

'The likes of the abolition of tuition fees, local income
tax, localised health services and changes to the
right-to-buy legislation at Holyrood compare with
Westminster's closure of post offices, clamp down on state
benefits and waging illegal wars.

'From a local government perspective, we now have a working
relationship between local and national government which
would have been unheard-of under the previous regime.' At
the town's Howgate Centre, I asked a group of senior
citizens what they thought about Salmond. Asked to describe
him in one word, they responded with 'smug', 'ambitious',
'bright' and 'statesmanlike' and the divide was repeated in
their opinions on Scotland going it alone.

The two dissenting voices, Maggie Forrest and Sandra
McLeod, looked fearful at the prospect of an end to the
Union. 'We're just a wee country, with terrible social
problems and I don't think we could afford to break away
from the English,' said Forrest, while McLeod raised a
familiar refrain. 'OK, we always want to beat them at
football or rugby, but, let's face it, when the chips are
down, our soldiers are fighting together in Iraq and
Britain works best when everybody pulls together.'

Until recently, this view would have been almost unanimous
among the over-sixties, but the times are definitely
changing. 'When I look at the debates in Westminster these
days, I don't see much common ground between us and the
English. They seem obsessed with cutting immigration,
working themselves into a state of panic over house prices,
health, terrorism ... you name it, they are narrow,
self-centred folk,' said 74-year-old Pat Carmichael.

Her companion Norman Brown, 72, summed up why Salmond is in
the ascendancy. 'The politicians came up with the slogan
that we were the best small country in the world, with the
emphasis on the word "small". Alex Salmond has transformed
that vision. He obviously feels we can make a big
impression on the international stage and why shouldn't we?
Sweden is successful, the Republic of Ireland is
successful. We can be, too.'

It wouldn't do to exaggerate Salmond's successes in his
maiden year as First Minister. And it would be ironic if
oil was to provoke the first crisis of his government,
given that the Nationalists have been accused of using the
black stuff as a panacea for the nation's ills for the past
50 years. But, for the present, Salmond is exactly where he
wants to be and there is little that Alexander can do about

Guardian Newspapers

Saturday, 26 April 2008


"Air Force Lt. Gen. Liu Yazhou Discusses Iraq War,
the Direction of PLA´s Development"

The dust has settled on the war in Iraq, a war on which the
whole world´s attention was focused. Reporter Dai Xu of
Kongjun Junshi Xueshu´s Editorial Department interviewed
Lieutenant General Liu Yazhou, Political Commissar of
Chengdu Military Region Air Force. Lt. Gen. Liu spoke
freely and frankly during the two-hour interview. The
conversation between Dai Xu and Li Yazhou has been
reorganized as follows for our readers.

[Passage omitted; reporter summarizes quick US victory in
Iraq, says some feel it was more like a game than a war;
Liu Yazhou says it was like watching a play, but it was a
real war which represents a new point of departure]

Reporter: What do you mean by a new point of departure?

Liu Yazhou: Although the war in Iraq was a regional war, it
shook the world. It was a war which produced a major change
in the world order. You could even put it this way: the
borders of numerous countries were stealthily redrawn by
this war. At least they were redrawn in the minds of the
leaders of the United States. The world after the Iraq War
will absolutely not return to how it was before that war.
The war changed history, and it is continuing to change
history. Britain´s Prime Minister Blair used this phrase
during a debate in the House of Commons: "This war will
determine the pattern of international politics for the
next several decades." His words were to the point.

[Passage omitted; Liu puts the Iraq War in the framework of
US "new imperial order" and a "clash of civilizations";
quotes Bush´s "new crusade" and R. James Woolsey´s "fourth
world war" characterizations; Liu mentions he is writing a
book with the working title of Xi Bu Lun [On the West]
which will flesh out his criticisms of US geostrategy; Liu
asserts the view that in the post-Cold War world, "the
armed forces of all countries are part of either the US or
Russian camps, with practically no third way to go"; says
he has discovered that the losing side in the battles in
the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, the Libyan capital, the
Yugoslav Federation, Afghanistan, and Iraq share the
"alarming similarities" of being either former Soviet
allies or "places where the Soviets had set foot," all used
Soviet-style weapon systems and military ideology, all were
broken to pieces or left a smoking ruin by US informatized
air assault]

Liu Yazhou: There is only one way to overcome superior air
power and firepower, and that is mobility. Only if we have
"mobility superiority" [ji dong quan], which is my term,
only then can we achieve the situation of "you fight your
way, I´ll fight mine." Otherwise it will just be a case of
"you hit me but I can´t hit you." In the more recent Iraq
War and in the first Gulf War, and in the war in
Afghanistan too, the defeat of the Iraqi Army and the
Taliban was due to their lack of "mobility superiority,"
mainly the problem of not being able to move. The
fundamental reason for the US military´s defeat in the
Korean and Vietnam wars, and the Soviet Union´s defeat in
Afghanistan, and the fact that to this day Russia has not
won the war in Chechnya, lies in their inability to control
their opponent´s ability to move. Surely you have seen the
movie Shangganling [known to the US military as Heartbreak
Ridge]. In the daytime the positions there were under US
control, but they were taken back by us when evening fell.
So long as an adversary has freedom of movement on the
battlefield, victory is not easy to achieve. Many Chinese
dynasties perished at the hands of nomadic peoples, despite
the fact that the comprehensive national power, military
power, and firepower of those dynasties far exceeded that
of the nomads. Of course many factors were involved, but a
major reason for the fall of those dynasties was that the
nomads´ cavalry had such great mobility. [Passage omitted;
Liu admired their mobility]

Today the US military is building this system and that
system, digitizing and informatizing, etc., and the
fundamental objective is to strip the adversary of
battlefield mobility superiority. This is something which
potential, future adversaries of the US military must take
special note of, without mobility superiority there is no
survivability superiority.

Reporter: How does the US military control its adversaries´
ability to move?

Liu Yazhou: Putting it simply, the US military turns itself
into a clairvoyant and clairaudient, able to see and hear
from far away, while simultaneously rendering its adversary
blind and deaf. [Passage omitted; cites figures for the US
military´s increasingly shorter detection-to-attack time in
the Gulf War, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq War; notes that
this means the adversary no longer has time to move; cites
examples of US successes in its "informatized wars" in Iraq
and Afghanistan, Russian failures in its WWII-style
mechanized war in Chechnya]

[Passage omitted, in which Liu calls the Iraq War a major
event in the world´s military history, a qualitative rather
than quantitative change, nearly the completion of the new
revolution in military affairs which the US began after the
Vietnam War]

Reporter: In fact, the military superpower which the US
displayed in Iraq is just the tip of the iceberg.

Liu Yazhou: The US did not really display its combat power
because of the terrible showing of the Iraqi armed forces.
For example, the US mobilized only a small part of what it
is most expert at, which is electronic warfare, new-concept
weapons, and outer space forces. The US military is
currently number one in three areas:

1. The US military leads the pack in the new revolution in
military affairs. Metaphorically speaking, this is a
long-distance race in which the US is not only accustomed
to coming in first, it is always running about a kilometer
ahead of whoever is number two. And if the US senses that
the gap may be narrowed to 900 meters (or even the
possibility of that), then the US feels threatened.

2. The US is first in arms expenditures. US spending on the
military exceeds the sum of the military spending of the
next 12 military powers.

3. The military power of the US is incomparable globally.
But a fact which makes us even more uneasy is that the US
military is still growing at a very fast pace. When the US
global missile defense system has been built, a warfare
system covering the whole world will be completely in
place. The final tool adversaries could use to deter the
United States, nuclear weapon systems, will no longer be
effective. When that time comes, military power which is
absolutely asymmetric will back up a unilateral political
system; that is, a system of global imperialism with the US
as the core will appear. Just as mechanized blitzkrieg
hastened the birth of Hitler´s "Third Reich," the era of
informatized warfare has produced a new global imperialist
in embryonic form. The prospects resulting from the outcome
of the Iraq War truly strike terror throughout the world.
That day has not yet come, but it is approaching fast.

[Passage omitted; Liu´s opinions on Russian weapons
development; says China must get completely out of the
"graveyard" of the Soviet-style military system, pursue
"informatization driving mechanization" as President Jiang
Zemin said in the Report to the 16th Party Congress]

[Passage omitted; Liu discusses the characteristics of the
Iraq War: a war in which air power was decisive, and which
shows the trend of future warfare; but mainly a political
war to establish US imperialism and hegemony in this new
century; contrasts Rumsfeld and Powell concepts of

[Passage omitted; Liu discusses limited role of ground

Liu Yazhou: I noticed that, although the Iraqi armed forces
put up fierce resistance in several small cities, the joint
US-British ground forces did not launch a very strong
ground offensive, and instead they mainly called in air
power to attack. And when the Iraqi Army dispersed and
abandoned their defense, only then did ground forces launch
an attack in the form of a pursuit. The US 3rd Mechanized
Infantry Division´s assault on Baghdad was launched after
reconnaissance determined that the Iraqi Army was not
putting up a defense. All of this shows that even though
there was a ground war with the participation of ground
forces on a large scale, informatized air forces played the
decisive role on the strategic, campaign, and tactical
levels. This is why ground units could race ahead on a
single route, and why the enemy´s capital city could be
captured without a lot of bloodshed.

[Passage omitted; asserts that Rumsfeld´s views about how
to fight the Iraq War were correct, and they also represent
a victory over Russian military theory; discusses the
importance of air power; says that to know whether or not
the US wants to fight and on what scale, one need only look
at how it deploys its air power]

[Passage omitted; reporter asks what Liu thinks is the
guiding ideology of US air warfare, Liu replies,

Liu Yazhou: And by extension from military affairs, US
foreign policy is also a foreign policy of "paralysis," at
least toward China. What is the bottom line of US policy
toward China? Does the US really want to dismember China?
I´m afraid not. Is the US afraid of China´s abrupt rise?
Again, I think not entirely so. I think the US just wants
to paralyze China, and the political move in the military
"paralysis warfare" is to get China in a state where it is
half dead, able to develop but not in a healthy way. The US
does not wish to see China collapse entirely, because that
would lead to the rise of Japan, India, and Russia, the
balance on the Asian continent would be disrupted, and the
US would have to make a big effort to fill the vacuum. The
US would not let China collapse. If China collapsed
completely, Japan would rise.

[Passage omitted; Liu expresses admiration for the "five
rings of targets" theory of USAF Col. John Warden, whom Liu
calls "the Douhet of our time"; Liu says in Iraq War the US
only attacked rings 1 and 5]

Reporter: Speaking of the threat from the air, I want to
bring up the situation in Korea. The situation on the
Korean Peninsula has become even more tense lately.
Everyone says it is possible the US military might make a
strike. But the US military is making a large-scale
withdrawal from the 38th parallel. Why is that?

Liu Yazhou: This precisely demonstrates that the US does
not rely on its ground forces for deterrence and war
readiness. Actually, for the US Army to be deployed forward
not only is no threat to its opponent, it is a deployment
under threat from the opponent. This withdrawal is a
movement of the units beyond the range of the opponent´s
artillery, and it is the US military´s wings which then
begin to threaten its opponent. This news also shows that
an army today is easily subjected to threat, while itself
being incapable of posing a threat to an opponent.

[Passage omitted; Liu surveys the history of US air power;
returns to Giulio Douhet´s theory of air power, says it is
a valid description of importance of air power in current
and future warfare; on the future of ground forces,
reporter asks if Liu thinks digital units are the future
trend, Liu says no, the US digital division is just an
experiment, at best the product of the conflict of
interests among the services, not the trend for the US
Army, and not a model for other countries, certainly not
for the Chinese Army]

[Passage omitted; Liu discusses the essential nature of the
Iraq War, which he says was "informatization"; Liu uses a
term he says he coined, "supra-ground warfare" (chao di
mian zhan zheng)

Reporter: My understanding is that the connotation of
"informatization" is the unprecedented degree of
digitization in weapons and equipment.

Liu Yazhou: I see three levels to informatization. One is
the electronic-ization of weapons platforms. Second is the
networking of warfare systems. And third is the
"psychologizing" of strategic attack.

Reporter: General Liu, you put the issue of "psychological
warfare" within the scope of information operations. To my
knowledge, no one else has done that.

Liu Yazhou: Science and technology have changed warfare,
and that in turn has changed history. Thompson [as
published] said that information is not just a weapon, it
is a new technology which is capable of changing the
culture and mindset of warfare. Information can change
everything. The changes it brings are as intense as any
change we have ever seen, more formidable than tanks,
submarines, or even the atomic bomb. Why were some military
commentators in China always awaiting the emergence of
people´s war in Iraq, watching for guerrilla warfare and
streetfighting, yet it never happened as they anticipated?
It never happened because the development of high
technology and advances in military technology have
rendered that sort of guerrilla warfare ineffective, even
no longer a form of decisive warfare. On today´s
battlefields, the side which holds absolute information
superiority will undoubtedly be the side which can win. In
contrast to the US military, the wars of the Iraqi people,
and even Russia´s wars, were really too... too 20th

[Passage omitted; Liu notes that he will discuss the future
adversaries of the US in his upcoming book, On the West;
Liu reviews the development of electronic warfare,
information warfare, and air power, refers to his analysis
of the "generational change" air battle over the Bekaa
Valley on 9 June 1982 in his book of 20 years ago, E Mo Dao
Yan De Zhan Zheng (War Directed by Demons)]

[Passage omitted; discusses media access in the Iraq War as
a form of psychological warfare; earlier referred to this
media access as "killing a chicken to scare the monkey," a
warning to the world about crossing the United States]

Reporter: You said people found the situation in the Opium
War [1840] terrifying. Why was that?

Liu Yazhou: The facts of the Opium War and the Iraq War
tell us that all autocratic and corrupt governments are
experts at civil war but laymen at external warfare. When
people do not know what is going on, their morale might
still be intact, but as soon as they find out the
situation, and learn that the enemy has invaded, their
morale will disintegrate. US psychological warfare early on
let the Iraqi people know what sort of man Saddam is, what
stuff the Ba´ath Party was made of. A system in which the
officials are corrupt will inevitably engender
dissatisfaction among the ordinary people of that country.
So the biggest mission a corrupt government has is
suppressing domestic opposition, and such a government will
basically have no strength to spare to employ forces
externally. Judging from history, there is no precedent for
a corrupt government being victorious in the external use
of force. I use a phrase which I invite you to remember: if
a state is unmindful of its people, the people will not
know there is a state.

[Passage omitted; Liu commented that many Chinese military
officers were only paying "lip-service" to Jiang´s call for
"moving forward with time" and "innovation;" the shackling
of thoughts was the "greatest bottleneck" of Chinese
military modernizations.]

[Passage omitted; Liu says the USAF has a major flaw which
is that its planes become more and more advanced but its
tactics are more and more inflexible; this is the result of
having no adversary capable of really putting the USAF to
the test]

[Passage omitted; Liu paraphrases an archaic saying [kai
feng qi... bu wei shi] to assert that the US military airs
ideas but does not preach them; reporter says that is the
first time he has ever heard that assessment of the US

Liu Yazhou: I say they do not act as a tutor, and that is
because they never stop their self-examination, they never
stop reversing themselves, and they are continually
innovating. In recent years, a term has been drummed into
everybody´s ears in the military: the world´s new
transformation in military affairs, or the world´s new
revolution in military affairs. In our textbooks, it seems
as if such a new revolution in military affairs either has
already occurred or is underway throughout the world. But
in fact, this revolution or transformation in military
affairs does not actually exist as a movement. This term
basically does not exist in the US military. It is a term
which appears in the writings of some Western experts. It
is we who are exaggerating this revolution or
transformation. There is no such revolutionary movement,
but that does not mean that no such revolution has
occurred. It most definitely has already occurred. The US
military does not stress transformation, and that is
because it is transforming all the time. For the United
States, war does not need justification. For the US
military, war does not need rules. As the saying goes,
young people know the rules, but old people know the
exceptions. Paraphrasing that, I say our Army knows the
rules, and the US military knows the exceptions. The worst
game to play is one in which the rules change when your
turn comes. Life is often like that. How could warfare be
any different? I was an author. The upper boundary of
creative writing is the absence of technique. To be without
technique is the greatest technique. As for fighting wars,
the greatest method is to have no method. My old friend
Zhou Tao said, "A great river never speaks of method. The
Yellow River has nine twists and eighteen turns, it is a
vast body of water forcing its way, with no method to what
it does. A small river talks a lot about method. It follows
all the rules, because it is just a small river." As for a
modernized armed force, the idea is combat power, and
quality, those are the most essential things about it.
Disparities in weapons and equipment can be compensated for
through procurement, but fixing disparities in the quality
of military personnel is something money can´t buy. This is
where an armed force´s "assassin´s mace" is truly to be

[Passage omitted; Liu discusses Guderian and military
thinkers in general; criticizes post-war France]

Liu Yazhou: A third point of enlightenment the Iraq War
gave us is that the Chinese armed forces must follow its
own path. The US military does not fear the modernization
of the Chinese armed forces, because it would be very
difficult for us to overtake them. What the US military
fears is the Mao Zedong-ization of the Chinese armed
forces. Some people call Mao Zedong-ization revolutionizing
or politicizing, but that is just one aspect. There is a
great deal more involved. The farther away from Mao Zedong
the Chinese armed forces move, the more successful the
stratagem of the US military becomes. Mao Zedong is unique
in human history in his skill in using weakness to overcome
strength, a military genius at using weakness to defeat
strength. Mao Zedong´s system of military ideology and its
practical application were extraordinarily ingenious. To
this day there is no better method to respond and resolve.
Of course, "Mao Zedong-ization" is just a way of phrasing
it. When I use it I´m not thinking it will make a deep
impression on people. The essence of it is to bring into
play our Army´s own special characteristics.

[Passage omitted; Liu cautions against comparing Iraq´s
situation to China´s, inappropriate attempts to apply the
"open-type system of military ideology" which is people´s

Reporter: General Liu, what do you think is the center of
gravity which our Army should grasp in its future

Liu Yazhou: I think it is these points. First, our Army
must definitely have a "big victory" ["da ying"] spirit.
Management guru [Peter] Drucker said, "Today society is not
undergoing a revolution in technology, nor in software or
speed. It is a revolution in concepts."

Reporter: What is the core of "big victory," and the
connotations of it?

Liu Yazhou: Faced with a new age and new wars, we should
foster and establish an understanding of the offensive.
That is, within the overall framework of a defensive
strategy, what is first and foremost is to be capable of
powerful counterattack, not defense. We can only fight to
stop a fight if we can use the offense to defeat an
offensive [yi gong dui gong]. In the mechanized era of the
past, defense meant a "line," and you could still station
forces on the frontier, increase your depth, and resist
stage by stage. Now defense means a "face" ["mian"], so how
do you defend? Defensive measures prove useless [fang bu
sheng fang]. Just as a soldier armed only with a shield on
a battlefield cannot fight and win in a battle, an armed
force which emphasizes only the defense can neither be
victorious nor ensure security. The world´s military
history is the history of offense. China´s nuclear weapons
have deterrent power only because they can strike out at an
adversary. If they were converted into air defense
missiles, they would not have such great deterrent power.

[Passage omitted; Liu reviews the problem of the defense of
China since antiquity]

Liu Yazhou: China must be a "powerhouse" [qiang zhe]. Being
a powerhouse which the West respects involves three major
aspects of meaning: you must have real power, you must
prove that you have real power, and you must make others
understand clearly that you have the boldness and resolve
to use your power when necessary. If any one of these three
aspects is lacking, it´s no good.

Reporter: Those three levels of meaning are very incisive.

Liu Yazhou: As I was saying, the first thing our Army must
do is have a "big victory" spirit. The second thing is to
be people-centered [yi ren wei ben]. Many Chinese
entrepreneurs love to use that trendy phrase, be
people-centered. The armed forces should be that way too,
even more so. This also involves three levels of meaning:

First, respect people´s spirit. Again I use China´s
entrepreneurs as an example. Among entrepreneurs in China
there is no lack of clever and capable people, people who
are brighter than others. But most of China´s entrepreneurs
share a common weakness, and that is, their way of thinking
lacks a modern spirit, a human spirit. When an entrepreneur
knowingly or unknowingly applies his own deficient way of
thinking in the management of his enterprise, he
intentionally or unintentionally amplifies those
shortcomings, allowing those shortcomings to harm a lot of
people. I have said to some entrepreneurs, just from the
way you imitate the bearing and words of great people, I
can tell that you are only a minor figure. Such people
always put money first and people last. Ultimately that
leads to them losing both their money and their people.
They are often winners at the start and losers at the end.
This is a fundamental reason Chinese enterprises are never
able to do great things or to flourish in the long term.
The armed forces have this problem too.

Second, the personnel strategy. The strategy of getting
everyone in the spirit of going on a great expedition is
the strategy for putting talented people in an important
position. For thousands of years, the method used in
Chinese warfare was to drive the people out to fight.
Warfare was on a big scale. In the war between the Qing
Dynasty army and the Taiping army, both sides used human
wave tactics. That was a product of the agrarian
civilization. Warfare from now on will have an altogether
new aspect. [Passage omitted; Liu discusses why the
mentality of defense put China in jeopardy during WWII;
cited the "offensive" spirit of the Russians.]

Third, the spirit of toleration for different ways of
thinking. Our cadres who do not respect people who express
other views are just seeking those who hold the same views
as they do. This attitude makes us value those so-called
well-behaved persons who heed what their superior says.
[Passage omitted; quotes various people on human relations]

Reporter: I recall that at a conference on reform of the
armed forces you posed the concept of management

Liu Yazhou: That was a technical level issue, not the focus
of what we are discussing today. What are management
objectives? Taking the US military as an example, it has so
many officers, including gray-haired generals and
lieutenant generals, and not a single one is fat. All of
them are tall and slim, and full of vitality. I especially
note the scene as the US forces left their aircraft on
arrival in Iraq. The sun a blazing ball of fire, the vast
desert. Sweat pouring like rain. The US officers and
soldiers all carrying several tens of kilos of gear,
showing no sign of fatigue, their backs always ramrod
strait. You look again at Russian military personnel, at
how many of them are fatsos. The US military has a strict
standard: if you are so tall, you can weigh this much; if
you are this age, you can weigh this much. If you are
overweight, you get a warning, if the warning proves
ineffective, you are relieved of duty. Can they get fat? Do
they dare get fat? Our standards are somewhat empty. For
example, in selecting and assigning cadres, there is a
phrase in our documents, "Individual excellence." That
phrase opens a huge loophole. What are the exact standards
of excellence? Who is excellent? Who is not?

Reporter: The 16th Party Congress called for innovations in
theory and development by leaps and bounds. How do you see
that issue?

Liu Yazhou: Our Army is a glorious, invincible armed force.
We have defeated countless enemies and overcome all sorts
of difficulties and obstacles. In the face of the
challenges of the new revolution in military affairs, we
must have a clear understanding of ourselves, of the times,
and of our adversaries. We need grand concepts and erudite
minds. We need to innovate. Innovation is the soul of all
theory, and theory is in turn is the overarching design for
the buildup of the armed forces.

Reporter: Speaking of innovation, I´m reminded of two
things which Douhet said: "Obsession with obsolete things
from the past yields no enlightenment about the future,
because everything about the future is fundamentally
different from what has happened in the past. The future
must be explored with a new point of view."

"Victory smiles on those who are able to foresee the
changes which the characteristics of warfare will undergo;
she does not smile on those who wait for those changes to
occur and then react. In this era when the shape of warfare
is changing fast, he who dares to follow a new path is the
one who will secure the inestimable benefits of new methods
of warfare which overcome the old."

Liu Yazhou: We must ascend to the plane of the life or
death of the nation and its people in order to understand
the issue of innovation in military theory. The true value
of achievements in research on military theory will only be
assessed when the next armed conflict occurs.

[Corrected version: Interview From: Dongfang Wang (Shanghai) WWW-Text
Chinese 31 May 04 [English translation via ]


Excerpt from The Autobiography of Malcolm X:

"I listen today to the radio, and watch television, and
read the headlines about the collective white man's fear
and tension concerning China. When the white man professes
ignorance about why the Chinese hate him so, my mind can't
help flashing back to what I read, there in prison, about
how the blood forebears of this same white man raped China
at a time when China was trusting and helpless. Those
original white "Christian traders" sent into china millions
of pounds of opium. By 1839, so many of the Chinese were
addicts that China's desperate government destroyed twenty
thousand chests of opium. The first Opium War was promptly
declared by the white man. Imagine! Declaring war upon
someone who objects to being narcotized! The Chinese were
severely beaten with Chinese invented gunpowder. The Treaty
of Nanking made China pay the British white man for the
destroyed opium; forced open China's major ports to British
trade; forced China to abandon Hong Kong; fixed China's
import tariffs so low that cheap British articles soon
flooded in, maiming China's industrial development. After a
second Opium War, the Tientsin Treaties legalized the
ravaging opium trade, legalized a British- French-American
control of China's customs. China tried delaying that
Treaty's ratification; Peking was looted and burned.

"Kill the foreign white devils!" was the 1901 Chinese war
cry in the Boxer Rebellion. Losing again, this time the
Chinese were driven from Peking's choicest areas. The
vicious, arrogant white man put up the famous signs,
"Chinese and dogs not allowed."

"Red China after World War II closed its doors to the
Western whit world. Massive Chinese agricultural,
scientific, and industrial efforts are described in a book
that life magazine recently published. Some observers
inside Red China have reported that the world never has
known such hate-white campaign as is now going on in this
non-white country where, present birth-rates continuing, in
fifty more years Chinese will be half the earth's
population. And it seems that some Chinese chickens will
soon come home to roost, with China's recent successful
nuclear tests.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Message to the Grassroots, 10th Nov, 1963:

"...The Chinese Revolution -- they wanted land. They threw
the British out, along with the Uncle Tom Chinese. Yeah,
they did. They set a good example. When I was in prison, I
read an article -- don't be shocked when I say I was in
prison. You're still in prison. That's what America means:
prison. When I was in prison, I read an article in Life
magazine showing a little Chinese girl, nine years old; her
father was on his hands and knees and she was pulling the
trigger 'cause he was an Uncle Tom Chinaman, When they had
the revolution over there, they took a whole generation of
Uncle Toms -- just wiped them out. And within ten years
that little girl become [sic] a full-grown woman. No more
Toms in China. And today it's one of the toughest,
roughest, most feared countries on this earth -- by the
white man. 'Cause there are no Uncle Toms over there."...

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Malcolm X on Afro-American History:

"Whether you come to the meetings of the Organization of
Afro-American Unity or not, whether you go to church today
or into the lodge or anywhere, there is one thing that
everyone agrees—that the world is in trouble. Whether you
go to church, the mosque, the synagogue, or are just a
plain atheist and go to the poolroom, or someplace else,
there's one thing that everyone has to agree upon, and that
is that the world is in trouble, the world is in real
trouble. There are many different spots in the world today
that could cause it to explode. And it's in multiple
trouble since China exploded the atomic bomb.

"Formerly, when just the white nations had it, they went
according to certain rules, rules laid down by them.
They've always done this. They lay down rules but the rules
are always in their favor. But they have already learned
through history that the dark nation that becomes truly
independent intellectually doesn't necessarily go by their
rules. The Japanese proved this when they hit Pearl Harbor.
They'd smile and bop—let you have it. [Laughter] Well, this
is true. And this goes beyond the ground rules that they
laid down and it gets unexpected results. Now since the
Japanese proved their ability to do this with Pearl Harbor,
which is intelligent in my opinion—I don't think that
anybody should tell somebody else what they're going to do;
they should go ahead and do it, and that's it. Because you
might say what you're going to do, and not get a chance to
do it, and you look bad; not only do you feel bad, you end
up looking bad. [Laughter] So it's better to go ahead and
do it. I think they had the right philosophy there myself.
And the Chinese can do it even better than that. They've
got more people to do it with, and now they've got more
explosiveness to do it with. "

From History is a Weapon website


How Repressive Is the Chinese Government in Tibet?

Scholar tells skeptical audience that claims by Tibetan exiles of Chinese cultural discrimination are greatly exaggerated.

By Leslie Evans
UCLA International Institute

Barry Sautman, Associate Professor of Social Science at the
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, spoke at
UCLA December 2 to defend the thesis that claims of
cultural repression against Tibetans by the Han Chinese are
greatly exaggerated by Tibetan exiles in India and by the
liberal Western press. His talk was met with some
skepticism from discussant Nancy Levine (Anthropology,
UCLA) and by some members of the audience, but he presented
a wide range of data to support his view. The talk was
sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies.

Sautman chose to focus his presentation on a refutation of
the claims made by some Tibetan exiles that the Chinese are
pursuing a policy of "cultural genocide" in Tibet. Levine
suggested that this was a bit of a straw man and that most
exiles are concerned more with issues of lagging
development. On specific issues Sautman made the following

Rival Views on Tibetan Sovereignty

The Chinese government and the Tibetan exiles in India, led
by the Dalai Lama, have diametrically opposed views of the
rights of Tibetans to independence. The Chinese claim that
Tibet was a Chinese province for eight centuries and that
the Dalai Lama has forfeited his spiritual and temporal
leadership because he is a separatist. The Tibetans in
exile call Tibet a colony of China. This view, Sautman
said, "Is widely accepted in the West. It has resonance in
the West in the post-Holocaust period." In contrast, he
argued, "The problems of Tibetans are typical of minorities
in the era of large modern states."

It is true, he said, that there have been significant
inroads of Chinese culture into Tibet since the forcible
takeover in 1959, but there has been an even greater influx
of Western culture. "By not defining cultural genocide the
Tibetan exiles can label any changes from 1959 as cultural
genocide, although many of these changes could be expected
to have occurred without the issue of cultural genocide

The most common specific charges raised by Tibetan exiles,
Sautman said, "point to Han immigration plus restrictive
birth policies. In fact the state sponsored transfer to
Tibet is on a small scale. From 1994 to 2001 the PRC
organized only a few thousand people to go to Tibet as
cadres. Most serve only 3 years and then return to China.
Those who move on their own to the Tibet Autonomous Region
usually return to China in a few years. They come for a
while, find the cities of Tibet too expensive, and then
return to China. Some of the 72,000 Chinese who maintain
their hukou [household registration] in Tibet don't really
live there. Pensions are higher if your household is
registered in Tibet. These facts are supported by
Australian and U.S. demographers. Claims of ethnic swamping
in Tibet are misleading."

Chinese Policies on Tibetan Birth Rates

The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Soutman said,
"encourages Tibetans to limit their families to 3 children.
The local government townships have the power to impose
small fines for more than 3 children. One study showed that
in 3 of 4 studied townships no fine was imposed on a birth
issue and only very small fines in the fourth. Tibetan
families in Tibet average 3.8 children, larger than Tibetan
families in India. Han families with more than one child
face much harsher penalties. In 1990 Tibetans were 95% of
the Tibetan population. There has been no dramatic change
in the region's ethnic balance."

Exiles also claim that birth policies are repressive
against Tibetans in regions of China proper where they are
significant minorities, such as in Qinghai and Gansu. "This
is not sustained by available statistics," Sautman
insisted. "The percent of Tibetans in Qinghai has shown no
significant change from 1950 to 2000. Restriction on family
size is harsher for the majority than for the minority and
the effects have not changed the percent of Tibetans in the
Qinghai population. This is hardly cultural genocide."

Émigrés complain of restrictions on the minimum age of
monks and nuns and on affiliation with the Dalai Lama.
Sautman countered by saying that China claims there are
more than 2,000 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. "I have
visited many of these and they are all active religious
communities. The Chinese government in the remote far west
actually encourages people to join monasteries to have
people to take care of ethnic relics."

Sautman said that there is now 1 monk or nun for every 35
Tibetans, "the highest of any Buddhist country in the
world, and much higher than the relation of ministers and
priests to parishioners in any Christian country in the
world, where the ratio is often 1 to 1,000. Chinese law
says you have to be 18 to become a monk, but in practice
there are often much younger monks."

Status of the Tibetan Language

Sautman also sought to rebut charges by Tibetan exiles that
the Tibetan language is devalued and being replaced by
Chinese. "92-94% of ethnic Tibetans speak Tibetan. The only
exception is places in Qinghai and Amdo where the Tibetan
population is very small compared with the broader
population. Instruction in primary school is pretty
universally in Tibetan. Chinese is bilingual from secondary
school onward. All middle schools in the TAR also teach
Tibetan. In Lhasa there are about equal time given to
Chinese, Tibetan, and English." In contrast, Soutman said,
"Tibetan exile leaders in India used English as the sole
language until 1994 and only became bilingual in 1994.
Schools in Tibet promote the Tibetan language more than
Indian schools do in ethnic Tibetan areas--in Ladakh,
India, instruction is in Urdu, with a high dropout rate
from Tibetans, but India is never accused of cultural
genocide against Tibetans."

There is an upsurge of the performing arts, poetry and
painting by Tibetans, Sautman told the audience. "The exile
leaders claim that the Chinese officials suppress Tibetan
themes. In exile the Tibetan arts often introduce
non-Tibetan themes, but there is no accusation of cultural
genocide. Vices such as prostitution are not unique to
Tibet under Chinese rule but are common throughout Buddhist
lands. There are few aspects of Chinese culture in Tibet,
but there are many aspects of Western culture, such as
jeans, disco music, etc. The exile Tibetans do not condemn
the growth of Western influence at the expense of
traditional Tibetan culture."

A Discussant Demurs

Discussant Nancy Levine said it was her opinion that
cultural genocide was not a central focus of exile
literature. "The discussion seems to focus on social and
economic marginalization. The term is problematic." She
conceded that Sautman's paper contained "some strong
evidence," but said he cited dubious sources as well.

"You criticize the government in exile's position that a
fifth of the population was eliminated by purges from the
1959 and 1979. It appears that there was a powerful impact
of the Great Leap Forward. Some areas such as the Tibetan
areas of Sichuan lost as much as half of their Tibetan
population during the Great Leap Forward. There were
serious population losses. It should not be simply denied.
It is true that the Tibetan population since the 1960s has
been growing rapidly and that birth control has been fairly
loose for Tibetans. The basis for fines varies sharply. The
one study you site at Lhasa cannot be generalized."

On Tibetan Buddhism, she said, "There were 10,000 monks in
1959, and while there are many today, it is a radical
decline from then, plus a radical discontinuity in
religious training of monks. In 2000 Kirti [Tibetan
Buddhist monastery in Sichuan province] was dissolved, with
2,000 monks. The practice of Buddhism is seriously
constrained. Every major leader of Tibetan Buddhism except
the Panchen Lama is in exile today, not only the Dalai

Levine scored Sautman for relying too much on Chinese
journalistic sources. "You use a Xinhua news source to
claim that there are 300 more Tibetan religious
institutions today than in 1959. I have been misquoted by
Xinhua and this is not a reliable figure. You do have some
strong data, but you should distinguish it better from some
more questionable sources that you also use."

Barry Sautman responded on several fronts. On claimed
declines in Tibetan population, he cited articles in the
Columbia Journal of Asian Law and by an Australian Chinese
demographer in Asian Ethnicity in 2000. "What I think these
articles show is that there is no evidence of significant
population losses over the whole period from the 1950s to
the present. There are some losses during he Great Leap
Forward but these were less in Tibetan areas than in other
parts of China. Where these were serious were in Sichuan
and Qinghai, but even there not as serious in the Han areas
of China. There are no bases at all for the figures used
regularly by the exile groups. They use the figure of 1.2
million Tibetans dying from the 1950s to the 1970s, but no
source for this is given. As a lawyer I give no credence to
statistics for which there is no data, no visible basis."

Sautman conceded Levine's point that claims of cultural
genocide are not prominent in Tibetan exile literature,
"But pushing the button of genocide has a bigger impact
than pushing the button of underdevelopment." He denied
that either the local or national Chinese government
discriminates against Tibetans: "My finding is that
discrimination is popular, but it comes from Han prejudice.
The state in Tibetan areas does not involve itself in acts
of discrimination. In part this is because many of the
leaders in the ethnic minority areas are from the ethnic

Friday, 25 April 2008


Who's right about China?
By Dan Glazebrook

To many in the "liberal" journalistic community in
the West, the answer to both the above questions would
apparently be obvious - enemy of both. These people are
currently climbing over each other to prove their
"commitment to human rights" in such a way that will, quite
coincidentally of course, please their powerful paymasters
in London, Washington and New York.

To many of the world's poor and oppressed masses, however,
the answer would be diametrically opposite - to them, China
represents an alternative model of development to the US/
European IMF/ World Bank-run systematic looting and rape of
their countries - which, through debt bondage and
"Structural Adjustment" economic genocide, imposes
unemployment and malnutrition on generation after
generation, ultimately resulting in the deaths of almost a
million infants every single month throughout the
capitalist world. Chinese trade deals are being taken up by
country after country across the third world, from Latin
America to Africa. In the eyes of the above mentioned
liberal journalists, no doubt, these deals are the result
of "corruption", wilfully oblivious as they are to the
endemic corruption which accompanies every single major
British contract abroad - and which is not even illegal
under British law. Ask an African, however, and they will
tell you that the real reason these Chinese contracts are
being accepted is, quite simply, because the dazzingly
generous terms show up any contracts offered by the West
for the stingy and exploitative shackles they really are.
The Western world's joke "Make Poverty History" campaign,
which changed nothing about the neocolonial trading,
production and finance relationships that starve and
brutalise the majority of the planet, represents the end of
Western governments' pretence to care about poverty, which
has now, apparently, been "made history" by the unholy
trinity of Bush, Blair and Bono. Meanwhile, utterly
unreported in the all the current China-bashing hysteria,
China has lifted 300 MILLION people out of poverty since
the mid-80s.

To the world's poor also, China represents a political
alternative to the countries of the warmongering NATO
alliance, which have imposed unimaginable misery on
milllions upon millions in the Third World since the second
world war, from Vietnam (3 million dead) to Korea (4
million dead) to Colombia, Grenada, Nicaragua, Guatemala,
Malaya, Kenya, Indonesia (1.5 million dead), and especially
in the last ten years, in Afghanistan and Iraq (1 million
dead from the war, 1.5 million dead as a result of UN
sanctions), as well as countless other countries. Such are
some of the crimes of US and European imperialism. Such are
the crimes China has consistently opposed. Africans know
China not through their exploitation, bombing raids and
concentration camps, as they know Europe and the US, but
through their doctors, engineers, and, historically,
massive financial support for their liberation movements.

The media are missing no opportunity to divert people from
the hideous crimes of the West, by stirring up any and
every issue they can find to slander the Chinese. From
Darfur to Tibet to Burma to even Global Warming (despite
the fact that China is building the world's first ever
eco-city in Dongtan Arup, and despite the fact that the
Chinese themselves consume a tiny proportion of what their
factories churn out), every police baton charge is analysed
and discussed from every possible angle, whilst at the same
time we have grown numb to the daily carnage in liberated
Iraq - 50 dead here, another 100 there.

Could it just be that the overwhelming majority of the
world's poor and oppressed are right about China, and about
the real source of their own oppression, and the
full-bellied 'elite' British journalists are - once again -

Dan Glazebrook writes for the Morning Star newspaper and is
one of the co-ordinators for the British branch of the
International Union of Parliamentarians for Palestine.
He can be contacted at

Thursday, 24 April 2008


The Politician & the Preacher

[col. writ. 3/15/08]

Mumia Abu-Jamal

The recent quasi-controversy over the comments made by the
Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, retired pastor of the United
Church of Christ, to which Sen. Barack Obama (D.IL), both
belongs and attends, has shown us how limited, and how
narrow, is this new politics peddled by the freshman
Senator from Chicago.

Although first popularized via the web, the Reverend's
comments caused Sen. Obama to say he was "appalled" by
them, and he has repudiated such remarks as "offensive."

Just what were these comments? As far as I've heard, they
were that Sen. Hilary Clinton (D.NY) has had a political
advantage because she's white; that she was raised in a
family of means (especially when contrasted with Obama's
upbringing); and she was never called a nigger.

Sounds objectively true to me.

Rev. Wright's other remarks were that the country was built
on racism, is run by rich white people, and that the events
of 9/11 was a direct reaction to US foreign policy.

Again -- true enough.

And while we can see how such truths might cause discomfort
to American nationalists, can we not also agree that they
are truths? Consider, would Sen. Clinton be where she is if
she were born in a Black female body? Or if she were born
to a single mother in the projects? As for the nation, it
may be too simplistic to say it was built on racism, but
was surely built on racial slavery, from which its wealth
was built. And who runs America, if not the super rich
white elites? Who doesn't know that politicians are puppets
of corporate and inherited wealth?

And while Blacks of wealth and means certainly are able to
exercise unprecedented influence, we would be insane to
believe that they 'run' this country. Oprah, Bob Johnson
and Bill Cosby are indeed wealthy; but they have influence,
not power. The limits of Cosby's power was shown when he
tried to purchase the TV network, NBC, years ago. His offer
received a corporate smirk. And Oprah's wealth, while
remarkable, pales in comparison to the holdings of men like
Bill Gates, or Warren Buffet.

Would George W. Bush be president today if he were named
Jorje Guillermo Arbusto, and Mexican-American? (Not unless
Jorje, Sr. was a multimillionaire!)

In his ambition to become America's first Black president,
Obama is in a race to prove how Black he isn't; even to
denouncing a man he has considered his mentor.

As one who has experienced the Black church from the
inside, politics and social commentary are rarely far from
the pulpit. The Rev. Dr. Martin L. King spoke of politics,
war, racism, economics, and social justice all across
America. His fair-weather friends betrayed him, and the
press condemned his remarks as "inappropriate",
"unpatriotic", and "controversial."

Rev. Dr. King said the US was "the greatest purveyor of
violence" on earth, and that the Vietnam War was
illegitimate and unjust. Would Sen. Obama be denouncing
these words, as the white press, and many civil rights
figures did, in 1967? Are they "inflammatory?"

Only to politics based on white, corporate comfort uber
alles (above all)" only to a politics that ignores Black
pain, and distorts Black history; only to a politics
pitched more to the status quo, than to real change.

Politics is ultimately about more than winning elections;
it's about principles; it's about being true to one's self,
and honoring one's ancestors; it's about speaking truth to

It can't just be about change, because every change ain't
for the better!

--(c) -08 maj

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


The decline and coming fall of the USA

K Gajendra Singh
March 30, 2008

"History is ruled by an inexorable determinism in which the
free choice of major historical figures plays a minimal
role", Leo Tolstoy

When I went back to Ankara in late 1992 to head the Indian
Embassy, many of my friends from the Turkish Foreign Office
from my 1969-73 tenure as First Secretary, were going out
as ambassadors to newly independent states in Central Asia
and the Baltic, following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Looking at the creation of so many new missions, a cheeky
young Turkish diplomat in the Foreign Ministry said rather
mischievously than hopefully, that only if United States of
America broke up into 50 independent states, could he ever
hope to head like them a Turkish Embassy, in north America.
Turkish diplomats trace their traditions and archives to
six centuries of Ottoman rule over an empire from which
more than two dozen nations have emerged.

But the wish of the young diplomat is not going to be
fulfilled any time soon, if ever. But still—

An editorial titled ' Collapse of U.S. economy ' in
Belleville Intelligencer of 27 Feb, 2008 confirms , by now
generally accepted ill health of US economy . Harry Koza in
the Globe and Mail recently quoted Bernard Connelly, the
global strategist at Banque AIG in London, that the
likelihood of a Great Depression is growing by the day.
Martin Wolf of U.K.'s Financial Times cited Dr. Nouriel
Roubini of the New York University's Stern School of
Business, who outlines how the losses of the American
financial system will grow to more than $1 trillion, an
amount equal to all the assets of all American banks.

The next domino to fall will be credit card defaults, and
after that... who knows? There are so many exotic funds out
there, with trillions of dollars in paper - or rather
computer-screen money - all carrying assorted acronyms, and
all about to disintegrate into nothingness. Over the next
couple of years, scores of banks that have thrived on these
devices, based on quickly disappearing equities, will fail.

The most frightening forecast so far comes from the Global
Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB), "The end of the third
quarter of 2008 (thus late September, a mere seven months
from now) will be marked by a new tipping point in the
unfolding of the global systemic crisis. "At that time
indeed, the cumulated impact of the various sequences of
the crisis will reach its maximum strength and affect
decisively the very heart of the systems concerned, on the
front line of which (is) the United States, epi-centre of
the current crisis.

"In the United States, this new tipping point will
translate into -get this - a collapse of the real economy,
(the) final socio-economic stage of the serial bursting of
the housing and financial bubbles and of the pursuance of
the U.S. dollar fall. The collapse of U.S. real economy
means the virtual freeze of the American economic
machinery: private and public bankruptcies in large
numbers, companies and public services closing down." "We
are not experiencing a "remake" of the 1929 crisis nor a
repetition of the 1970s oil crises or 1987 stock market
crisis. What we will have, instead, is truly a global
momentous threat - a true turning point affecting the
entire planet and questioning the very foundations of the
international system upon which the world was organized in
the last decades."

After the end of the cold war in the wake of the two World
Wars ,the decline of western hegemony over the East and
South during the last few centuries ,first exercised by
rapacious and brutal European colonialists and then from
Washington ,is now likely to morph into a fall because of
the new forces unleashed by the US led invasions of
Afghanistan and Iraq .The two debt financed wars have
brought US economy close to a recession ( Indian economy
including the realty sector would also be affected ,Indian
officials and media still remain oblivious if not dishonest
in spite of the fall in Indian Sensex). Forces and changes
have been set into motion which will completely alter the
existing international financial and strategic structures
and result in a new dynamics. Unless of course the
irresponsible leadership of USA, still with colossal powers
of destruction at its command or say a reckless Israel,
bomb Iran and hurl the world towards a rapid general
warfare between Israel & West vs Muslim nations and masses,
leading to even a nuclear holocaust and Armageddon. Verily
, it would then be the last Crusade vs Jihad !

Contrary to the self proclaimed congratulatory triumphalism
of neo-liberals after the collapse of Communism and
Socialism in end 1980s, celebrated from house tops by the
so called philosophers , think tanks and analysts with
delusions of permanent world domination of Western
financiers and corporate houses based on dubious theories
of 'the End of History 'or 'the Clash of Civilizations' and
even claims of Washington- the new Rome with absolute
control planned in the 'Project for American Century ' by
arrogant and historically ignorant Straussian neo-cons and
their supporters ; the religious , economic , scientific
and historic forces and currents unleashed during the last
few centuries are coalescing towards a major East-West
conflagration , which will bring about results quite
opposite to those dreamed up in Washington , London and

The importance of petroleum in warfare and economy had
become obvious even before the Second World War. By 1940s ,
the British who dominated the Middle East and still ruled
over India, realising the importance of oil and the
strategic importance of Middle East as lifeline to India,
had created military alliances with most of the countries
of the Middle East including Iran to protect oil wells from
the Soviet Union. The British created a weak and dependent
Pakistan as a bulwark against any USSR overture into the
Gulf. After the Second WW, USA was formally anointed the
leader of the Western Christian nations although after the
end of the First WW the financial power centre had started
shifting towards the Wall Street from the City of London,
but the latter still has great leverage for manipulation.

From 1950s onwards , USSR made inroads into many Arab
states led by secular, and nationalist leaders like Gamal
Nasser of Egypt. West used religion and conservative and
hereditary rulers to counter the egalitarian waves of
socialism sweeping the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The
battle lines for influence and control between the West and
USSR ( and China) saw many ups and downs . An epochal
change occurred when Iran was lost in 1979 and US ally the
Shahenshah was overthrown by Khomeini led Shia revolution ,
threatening the Sheikhdoms and Kingdoms in the region.
Western world and its frightened allies in the region,
taken aback , encouraged and helped financially and
militarily Saddam Hussein to douse the leaping flames from
the volcano of Shia revolution with its belief in
martyrdom. Iran and Iraq lost over a million young men ;
the 1980s Iraq –Iran war only protected the vested
interests of the West and its allies in the region.

From the Middle East , Western strategic lever to
manipulate and control the region and its resources
extended into South Asia through an axis between the USA,
Saud dynasty, obscurantist Wahabi clerics and Pakistan
military. This axis along with support from other Muslim
countries and even China fathered , nurtured , trained and
financed with arms and billions of dollars ,the present
monster of militants and Jihadis to battle and force out
the Soviet forces from Afghanistan .The nurseries of
terrorism were left behind intact which morphed into Al
Qaeda and Talebans , the latter with full support from
Pakistan and the Gulf's Arab rulers and US acquiescence ,
which wanted a 'stable' Afghanistan for its Multinationals'
pipelines to carry energy from central to South Asia and
beyond. That project remains unfulfilled.

For his cooperation ,Pakistan President Gen Zia- ul- Haq
was suitably rewarded with money and military aid which
emboldened Islamabad to carry out an invasion in Kargil in
India .With abundance of arms ,Pakistan acquired a
Kalashnikov culture of violence while increased opium
production in Afghanistan , with Pakistan as an exit route
left millions of it citizens addicted to the drug. Gen Zia
Islamised Pak polity and completed nuclear bomb program
with acquiescence and even support form the West.

But Al Qaeda chief Osama Ben Laden , chosen for the Jihad
in Afghanistan by the Saudi rulers nurtured dreams of
taking over Muslim states gone astray and conquer other
peoples too. The victims were India and newly independent
central Asian states like Tajikistan , Kyrgyzstan and
Uzbekistan and Arab states which had supported and sent
volunteers to fight in Afghanistan.

In its strategy to defeat the Christian West and the
Crusaders in the Middle East , even on the sacred soil of
Arabia after the 1991 US led war on Iraq , Al Qaeda first
attacked US missions in East Africa .But the stunning
events of 9/11 showed up the fundamental contradictions in
the US-Saudi –Pak axis , with 14 of the 19 hijackers being
of Saudi origin ,led by an Egyptian and Al Qaeda's octopus
like tentacles deeply embedded in Pak military, ISI and the
establishment .

The hyper power USA then mounted an invasion of Afghanistan
, the objective being to control the region and extending
into central Asia with its resources . But the strains and
stresses in the Crusader-Jihadi axis became even more acute
after the US led illegal invasion of Iraq in March, 2003,
angering and pitting Muslim masses all over the world
against USA , UK and other western nations in the backdrop
of continued illegal occupation and encroachments on
Palestinian land by Israel since 1967 and daily killings of
Palestinians telecast on channels like Al Jazeera and

This is acutely true in US-Saudi relations with the latter
being the leading Sunni Muslim state , protecting the holy
Islamic shrines in Mecca and Medina and blessed with vast
oil resources. With increasing public support for Al Qaeda
inside the Kingdom ,Riyadh is now in a quandary. Its power
and prestige have been eroded as a result of its rival Shia
power Iran's strengthened position in Iraq and the region ,
just the opposite of what Washington had foolishly hoped
for. President George Bush did not even know the difference
between Shia and Sunni Islam and Ahmet Chalebi ,a wily
Iraqi ,exiled after the 1958 overthrow of the Hashemite
dynasty , had sold to the willing in the Pentagon the
charade that US troops would be welcomed with flowers by
the Iraqis .No body ever cared to read the history of Iraq
or the region.

US invasion and occupation has divided Iraq into at least
three parts, Shia, Sunni and Kurdish ; it now appears
difficult to hold them together .Apart from exposing the
hollow claims of the US success of its 'Surge ' and
stability in Iraq ,the current fighting between the puppet
government Iraqi troops and Mahdi army ,the Moqtada –as
Sadr militia , specially in Basra and Baghdad is" a result
of an attempt to impose Colombian-style democracy on the
unstable country. Iraqi PM Maliki's goal, shared by the
like-minded allies among the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish
parties that dominate his administration, and with U.S.
approval and air support , is to kill off the opposition
and then hold a vote." Moqtda is fighting to retain control
for provincial elections in October, as" the winners of
those elections will determine the future of the Iraqi
state. Control of the country's oil wealth, and how its
treasure will be developed, will also be significantly
influenced by the outcome of the elections." Washington
which had coerced President Gen Pervez Musharraf after
9/11, under threat to bomb Pakistan back to stone ages (
some ally?), to align Islamabad in its so called 'War on
terror 'wanted Pakistan to destroy Al Qaeda , Pushtun
Talebans and Muslim Jihadis in Pakistan and Afghanistan,
with whom Saudi Arabia , Pak Army , ISI and the
establishment have umbilical connections since their holy
Jihad against atheist Soviet Union in Afghanistan during
1980s.( Israel now wants PLO to destroy Tehran aligned
Hamas-originally incubated by Mossad to counter Al Fattah.)

US has lost the war on the ground in Iraq and Nato is in
disarray in Afghanistan . At the end of 'Operation Iraqi
freedom ' transmuted into a ' war on terror' , really the
mother of all battles for oil, raw materials and strategic
space in west , south and central Asia , the frontiers in
the Middle East and even Pakistan are likely to be redrawn
, but not by the West but by the movements , militias and
peoples of the region. Say by Shias in south Iraq and
Pushtuns in Pak-Afghanistan border who might obliterate the
Durand Line officially , to begin with. But West has
invested too much in the region and its prosperity depends
on it. It is unlikely to give in or give up without a
bloody fight.

The Kingdom of Afghanistan was accepted as a defacto buffer
state by the British and Russian empires at the end of 'the
Great Game' in Central Asia in 19th century .By the end of
the 20th century , the British and Russian empires in Asia
had vanished and many new states have emerged out of them.
Thus the very raison d'etre of that buffer state no longer
holds good. The Afghan territory is under control of
different armed groups , foreign and local , with
Washington installed President Hamid Karzai, with US
mercenaries as his bodyguards, barely controlling the city
of Kabul. Look at new states sprung from former Russian and
British empires now , at Europe after the two world wars
and at the end of the Cold War . State and national
boundaries are always waxing and waning , some times
changing drastically. So what is new if Pakistan breaks
apart .Little effort has been made by its leaders since
1947 to even develop a territory based nationalism. China
would not escape further problems in Tibet and may be even
in Xinjiang.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, USA went about
methodically in dismantling Russia and its near abroad and
succeeded, with ample help from a naive Gorbachev and an
often drunk or drugged Boris Yeltsin. The 9/11 assaults on
US symbols of power was exploited by the Bush
administration to spread its tentacles to Afghanistan and
beyond in central Asia . For USA the Cold War never really
ended and all means were employed to push Western military
arm NATO to encroach into and encircle Russian strategic
space. In central Europe it was carried out by dismantling
Yugoslavia, an Orthodox Christian Slav nation like and
friendly to Russia and by aligning Georgia and Azerbaijan
to Washington. US franchised street revolutions failed in
Belarus but succeeded in Serbia and Georgia and partially
in Ukraine. When USA tried the same in Uzbekistan and
Kyrgyzstan, Uzbek ruler Islam Karimov expelled the
Americans from the air base and Kyrgyzstan placed new
restrictions. The eastward movement of NATO has resulted in
the creation of Shanghai Corporation Organisation which is
now promoting military coordination and collaboration among
its members and possibly even a formal military alliance in
future to counter Nato.

In its backyard Latin America, USA maintained its dominance
under Monroe doctrine except for defiant Cuba under Fidel
Castro. But Washington is losing its sway and total
control, led against it by Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and
other leaders who represent and implement aspirations of
their people and not of the old elites in cahoots with
corporate interests in USA and Europe. US attempt for a
colonial style control of its oil has been brought to a
halt by fierce Sunni Iraqi resistance ; full Shia
resistance would also emerge. Defied by Iran and even
forced to engage with it , there are limitations to what
Washington, now caught in the Iraqi quagmire, can do in
Latin America . With a defiant nuclear North Korea, and
China, an emerging economic power house, the policies of
Japan, the second economic industrial power in the world
which can quickly transmute its formidable industrial base
into a lethal military machine, the situation in East Asia
remains pregnant with many unpredictable possibilities. But
certainly the US writ and influence are on the wane every

K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as
ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to
April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to
Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of
the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the
author. E-mail: .