Archive | April 29, 2014

A Sad Day for the Philippines*

A Sad Day for the Philippines*

By Walden Bello

 

As U.S. President Barack Obama descends on the Philippines, Manila and Washington are rushing to complete negotiations on an Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (AEDC) between the two countries.

The Philippines’ territorial disputes with China are one major reason for this new agreement. With Washington’s help, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III wants to make the Chinese respect the Philippines’ claims in the Scarborough Shoal, the Spratly Islands, the continental shelf, and its 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The truth of the matter, however, is that the deal will do no such thing.

What the agreement boils down to is that the Philippines will give the United States the right to operate bases in the country—for no rent—without the guarantee of U.S. protection of the country’s island territories.

A Raw Deal

According to Philippine officials, the new agreement is governed by the U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), which they say obliges Washington to come to the Philippines’ defense in the event of an attack on Philippine territory, including its possessions in the West Philippine Sea. Here they cite Article V of the MDT, which says “an armed attack on either of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific, or on its armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific.”

That is not the way the United States sees it. Indeed, the U.S. government has not deviated from the position explicitly stated several years ago by Morton Smith, a spokesperson of the U.S. embassy. According to researcher Roland San Juan, Smith asserted that the Spratly islands claimed by the Philippines are excluded from the scope of the treaty because the Philippines raised its claim to them over three decades after the MDT was signed in 1951.

This is in contrast to Washington’s implicit support for Japan in its territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

“I restated the principles that govern longstanding U.S. policy on the Senkaku Islands and other islands,” Hagel said of his April visit to Beijing. “We affirmed that since [the Senkaku Islands] are under Japan’s administrative control, they fall under Article 5 of our Mutual Security Treaty.” Article V of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty provides that “an armed attack against either Party in the territories under the administration of Japan would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common danger in accordance with its constitutional provisions and processes.”

During his recent state visit in Japan, Obama reiterated this commitment to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. But he will not make the same promise to President Aquino in Manila when it comes to the Philippine possessions in the South China Sea.

Unlike the Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly Islands claimed by the Philippines, the Senkakus were under the administrative control of the prefecture of Okinawa when the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty was signed and were thus covered by the restoration of Okinawa to Japan’s control in 1972. “At first glance,” said former Rear Admiral Michael McDevitt,

“the disputes China has with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal in the SCS [South China Sea] appear similar to the ECS [East China Sea] with Japan because the U.S. is a treaty ally of the Philippines. Actually, however, the two situations are different. In the case of Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines did not have undisputed ‘administrative control’ prior to the 2012 confrontation over the islet. Second, the U.S. is not directly involved in the Scarborough Shoal dispute because its mutual defense treaty with the Philippines does not obligate Washington to take sides over sovereignty questions.”

If the deal does not provide for U.S. support for the Philippines’ territorial claims in the South China Sea, then what’s in it for the Philippines? Most likely an increase in military aid, including a few antiquated Hamilton class cutters. If so, this is a very poor return for a larger U.S. military presence and a grant to operate U.S. bases out of Philippine installations. This is essentially what the deal is all about, though given local sensitivities and a constitutional ban on foreign bases in the Philippines, both parties studiously refrain from calling the concentration of U.S. personnel, facilities, and war equipment “bases.”

Filipino protesters burn effigy of Barack Obama as the U.S. signed a deal that gives its military greater access to Philippine bases.

 

Pacific Pivot on the Cheap

So what’s in it for the United States?

The U.S. government has always said that its main interest in the South China Sea is “ensuring freedom of navigation.” The first thing to note here is that although China claims the South China Sea as a domestic waterway in its notorious Nine-Dash-Line claim, the threat of its interfering with freedom of navigation has always been remote. China is not about to court world condemnation by enforcing its domestic shipping regulations on a busy waterway through which an estimated one-third of international trade passes. Nor does it have the capability to do so, and won’t for a long time to come.

But even if the Chinese were to pose a threat to international navigation, the United States would not need a Philippine outpost to accomplish its stated goal of protecting international shipping. Even after Washington lost its Philippine bases at the end of the Cold War, the Pentagon had the South China Sea firmly under control throughout the 1990s. According to analyst William Berry, during the Mischief Reef crisis in the 1995, then Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Joseph Nye “stated that if any conflict in the South China Sea threatens freedom of the seas, then the United States Seventh Fleet was prepared to provide escort services so that freedom of navigation could be protected.” That this was no bluff was revealed in 1996 during the Taiwan Straits crisis, when two aircraft carrier battle groups were deployed swiftly and with ease out of Yokosuka, Japan to show Washington’s support for Taiwan. And again in 1998, a U.S. carrier battle group was sent near the Spratlys, apparently to send a message to all parties that the United States would protect freedom of navigation in international waters, once again showing its ability to act without relying on a base in the Philippines for logistics. Indeed, the elimination of the Subic and Clark bases in the Philippines was probably a big plus for the U.S. treasury, since it did away with the great cost of maintaining large fixed bases.

So why does the United States now want a higher military profile in the Philippines? The answer lies in what one might call Washington’s “exhibitionist syndrome”—that is, the imperative it feels to “show the flag” to its allies and to China. And if it can do so in an inexpensive way, with a quid pro quo involving just a few of what the Americans call “Excess Defense Articles” like antiquated cutters, then all the better. This is what John Feffer characterizes as Pacific Pivot on the cheap. As Frank Chang of the Foreign Policy Research Institute writes,

“It clearly offers the United States a cost-effective way to enhance its presence in Asia, something that Washington has wanted to do for a long time.”

But for the Philippines, the increase in obsolete military donations from Washington will be more than offset by the negative strategic consequences. First of all, the coming agreement will bring the Philippines farther away from a resolution to its territorial disputes with China, which will be marginalized by the dynamics of a superpower conflict. Second, it will turn the Philippines into another of Washington’s “frontline states” like Afghanistan and Pakistan, with all the detrimental and destabilizing effects such a status entails—including the subordination of the country’s economic, social, and cultural dynamics to Washington’s security needs. Third, it will move the region farther away from the negotiation of a collective security agreement, which is a far better alternative to volatile balance-of-power politics, where a simple thing like a ship collision can lead to a bigger conflict.

From Balance of Power to Collective Security

The Philippines’ territorial conflicts with China are real, but the way to resolve them is to rely on international law and diplomacy, and this is a terrain in which the Philippines has a big advantage. The Philippines’ submission of a 1,000-page “memorial” delineating the country’s entitlements in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal at the end of March was a giant step in this direction. Beijing knows it does not have a leg to stand on in international law, which is why it has been pushing the Philippines to drop the case on pain of “damaging bilateral relations.”

The Philippines must maximize its diplomatic option as well, where it also has an advantage over Beijing. It must press its ASEAN partners to remind Beijing of China’s commitment to negotiate a binding code of conduct on maritime behavior in the West Philippine Sea, which it made at a foreign ministers’ meeting in Brunei in June 2013. It was pressure from ASEAN and internationally that forced Beijing to make this commitment, and it will be consistent pressure that will force it to follow through on it.

The Philippines should also prepare the ground at the United Nations General Assembly for the eventual introduction of a resolution condemning Beijing’s unilateral annexation of over 80 percent of the South China Sea, brusquely disregarding other littoral states’ rights to their continental shelves and 200-mile EEZs. There’s a very good recent precedent: Beijing’s aggressive annexationism is essentially similar to Russia’s gobbling up of Crimea, which the General Assembly condemned few weeks ago.

The strategic aim of these diplomatic efforts must be to bring about a collective security agreement for the region that would include ASEAN, Japan, the two Koreas, and China. The ASEAN Regional Forum was headed in this direction in the 1990s, despite the opposition of the United States, which arrogated unto itself the role of enforcer of stability in the region. Its momentum was unfortunately derailed by the Asian financial crisis in 1997, which swept the rug from under the credibility of ASEAN’s major states. Though the process will be difficult, it is time to revive this project of collective security, since the unstable and volatile balance-of-power politics favored by Washington is not a viable mechanism for regional peace and security.

With the impending basing agreement with the United States, the Philippines is right back to its position during the Cold War, when it played the role of handmaiden to the U.S. containment strategy by hosting two huge military bases. The small window of opportunity to forge an independent foreign policy that the Philippines gained with the expulsion of the U.S. bases in 1992 will disappear with the impending signing of this latest pact with Washington.

Source*

Related Topics:

A New U.S. Radar for Japan!?

Philippines Indigenous Excluded from Peace and Development Agenda*

The Story Behind Killer Typhoon Haiyan Begins to Unfold*

The Cabal Exploits Filipino Trauma with unneeded Polio Vaccines*

Philippine Farmers Uproot Monsanto’s GM Golden Rice*

Occupy World: Common Core Curriculum Banned in Indiana*

Occupy World: Common Core Curriculum Banned in Indiana*

By Summer Ballantine

One of the first states to adopt Common Core standards became the first state to formally abandon the national benchmarks, as Indiana’s State Board of Education voted overwhelmingly Monday for a replacement that will guide student learning for years.

The board voted 10-1 to endorse the new benchmarks to guide what students in kindergarten through 12th grade should learn in math and English, which were created by a panel of faculty from Indiana universities and representatives from science and technology industries. The vote came ahead of the state’s July deadline and could end months of heated debate.

“I hope that with this conversation behind us, we can stick with these standards and make sure we’re not continually moving the goal posts on our students and educators,” board member at-large Gordon Hendry said.

“The reasons academic standards have been successful in places like Massachusetts is because legislators and policymakers picked a direction and stayed with it.”

Indiana adopted Common Core in 2010 along with 44 other states. But states’ rights advocates and tea party members later vocally opposed the Common Core standards, saying they were created without adequate local input.

In response, Indiana lawmakers passed legislation pausing Common Core’s implementation and requiring a state-wide review to find a replacement. Gov. Mike Pence in March signed legislation making Indiana the first state to drop the national standards, which are not federally required but became the de facto guidelines.

But the replacement standards, which include requiring second-graders to “add and subtract fluently up to 100,” have also drawn criticism from national education experts and the grassroots group Hoosiers Against Common Core, who say they too closely resemble the tossed-aside benchmarks. For more than an hour before the vote Monday, members of the public ripped into the new standards, at times calling them a “rebranded” version of the Common Core.

Pence and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz have defended the newly passed standards.

“I couldn’t be more pleased once again that we have strong standards in Indiana,” Ritz said Monday.

Board member Andrea Neal was the only ‘no’ vote. She called the standards “inferior and less rigorous than the Common Core.”

“The standards before us today are not uncommonly high,” Neal said. “There’s lots of doing, but very little knowing.”

Board member Tony Walker voted for the standards, but cautioned that they only meet the “minimal” state requirement of preparing children for college and careers.

Cari Whicker, another board member, said that “you can’t get millions of Hoosiers to all agree,” but that the early approval means teachers have more time to prepare lesson plans for this fall.

“The principals and administrators in the state of Indiana are ready to move forward,” said Tim McRoberts, the principal of Speedway High School who spoke for the Indiana Association of School Principals. “In the last few years, there have been a lot of changes in education. Educators have always stepped up.”

Ten of the board members are appointed by the governor and the 11th member is the school superintendent.

Source*

Related Topics:

Occupy World: Georgia Senate Votes to Nullify Common Core*

Occupy World: Top School District Opts Out Of Common Core Standard*

Common Core Curriculum: Parents in 17 States Remove Children from School *

Principals Express Concern over the Common Core Curriculum*

The Flaws of the New Common Core State Test*

No Child Left Behind Common Core Deductions*

New York Teachers withdrew Support for the Cabal’s Common Core Agenda

The Dollar and the Nonsense of Common Core Curriculum*

Indoctrination in Common Core Texts

“Common Core” Education Making our Children Stupid!

The Secret History of Western Education Behind the Common Core Curriculum

Australia: To Sterilize, Electroshock, and Restrain Children Without Parental Consent*

Australia: To Sterilize, Electroshock, and Restrain Children Without Parental Consent*

Another draft mental health bill, this time in Australia is mirroring global efforts in what is now an international and deliberate surge by government officials to remove parental consent. If passed, the shocking new law will allow children who are considered sufficiently mature, to be subjected to horrifying procedures including sterilization and electroshock.

An important message by the Director of Applied Scholastics in Western Australia based in Perth, Alison Tarrant was sent to the public on behalf of The Athena School.

“Some very disturbing information has come across our path in relation to a Draft Mental Health Bill which concerns our precious children and our rights as parents,” said Tarrant in a statement in the February 29, 2012 letter.

Tarrant initially thought the information lacked authenticity and was later astonished when she found out the document was legitimate.

“When I read it I was quite shocked and thought someone was playing a joke on me but then I went onto the main website which is the Government Department of the Mental Health Commission and looked at the actual Draft Bill,” she added.

PreventDisease.com recently reported that vaccinating without parental knowledge will soon become the norm across the world. There is now a confirmed global initiative to remove any consent parents have to safeguard their children’s health while simultaneously removing any chance of informed consent by those who are considered of “mature” age regardless of their status as a child or teenager. These proposed bills are poised to become law and their frequency is increasing especially in the U.S, U.K, Canada, Australia.

Some of the more disturbing clauses draft mental health bill include:

  • CHILDREN OF ANY AGE TO CONSENT TO STERILISATION: If a psychiatrist decides that a child (under 18 years) has sufficient maturity, he or she will be able to consent to sterilisation. Parental consent will not be needed. Only after the sterilisation procedure has been performed does it have to be reported and then only to the Chief Psychiatrist. [Pages: 135 & 136 of the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011]
  • 12 YEAR OLDS WILL BE ABLE TO CONSENT TO PSYCHOSURGERY: Banned in N.S.W. and the N.T., psychosurgery irreversibly damages the brain by surgery, burning or inserting electrodes. This draft bill proposes to allow a 12 year old child, if considered to be sufficiently mature by a psychiatrist, to be able to consent to psychosurgery. Once the child has consented it goes before the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) for approval. Parental consent is also not needed for the MHT to approve the psychosurgery. [Pages: 108, 109, 110, 197,198, 199, 213]
  • 12 YEAR OLDS WILL BE ABLE TO CONSENT TO ELECTROSHOCK (ECT): Electroshock is hundreds of volts of electricity to the head. A Any child aged 12 and over, whom a child and adolescent psychiatrist decides is “mature” enough, will be able to consent to electroshock. A Also, once consent is given, there is no requirement for parents or anyone, including the MHT, to approve the electroshock. Electroshock should be banned. Its use on the elderly, pregnant women and children is especially destructive. [Pages: 100, 101, 103, 104, 194, 105]
  • RESTRAINT AND SECLUSION OF CHILDREN: Children can be restrained in a psychiatric institution, with the use of mechanical restraint (manacles, belts, straps etc.) and bodily force. Chemical restraint – the use of psychiatric drugs to subdue and control the person – is not covered in the draft bill, so there are no legal safeguards to prevent its application. Death can result from all forms of restraint. [Pages: 122, 121, 113, 246]
  • INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT OF CHILDREN: A psychiatrist can involuntarily detain any child for up to 14 days if “suspected” of mental illness. Parents will not be able to discharge their child during this period and take them home. The psychiatrist can then make a “continuation order” to continue the detainment for up to 3 months and thereafter for each subsequent 3 month period. During detainment, the child could be drugged, restrained, secluded, given electroshock if over 12 and could be put into a ward with adults. Parental consent is not required to continue the detainment or for any treatment, including the child being placed on a legal order to continue to receive drugs at home. The MHT hold hearings on the detainment of a child, but there is no guarantee the child will be able to go home. In 2010/11 there were 1,248 hearings for all ages and only 58 people had their status changed from involuntary to voluntary. [Pages: 21, 22, 35, 19, 107, 36, 53, 54, 183 -185, 190, 191, 213, 214,18, 46, 47, 48, 65, 66, 70, 73, 75-77]

WHO WILL BE ABLE TO DETAIN A CHILD IS NOT FULLY KNOWN: An “authorised mental health practitioner” can also detain a child or adult in the draft bill. Exactly who an authorised mental health practitioner is, is not defined by the draft bill. The Chief Psychiatrist can literally give anyone or any profession the power to detain someone just because he considers they are qualified and by publishing the decision in the Gazette. This clause must be removed from the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011. Only a judge or magistrate should have the power to order someone be detained, and only with full legal representation for the person facing depravation of liberty [Pages: 246, 247, 21, 22]

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS DRAFT BILL?: The Western Australia Mental Health Commission (MHC) were responsible for writing the Draft Mental Health Bill 2011, with Mental Health Commissioner and clinical psychologist, Mr Eddie Bartnik overseeing the process.

Tarrant suggests everybody write a letter saying exactly what you think of this absurd legislation. Write expressing your objections to the Mental Health Commission and to your state legislator.

Please don’t let your citizenship stop you from speaking out against these human rights violations. This destructive movement against humanity is global and it’s a pressing concern of grand proportions. If we don’t speak out now, the health and safety of future generations are in serious jeopardy.(source- 2012)

Source*

Related Topics:

Australia Still Stealing Indigenous Children*

Australia: When Recognition Means the End for the Indigenous

Australia: Deceit by Assimilation!

Australia’s Eugenics Agenda *

Australia Threatening Parents if they don’t Vaccinate their Children*

Implant RFID Chip Technology in Students without Parental Consent*

U.K. Fingerprinted over a Million Pupils in Schools without Parental Consent*

A Child’s Personal Sovereignty… Stolen!*

Disappearing Children Behind a Wall of Secrecy

Ontario’s Former Deputy Minister of Education Charged on 7 Counts of Child Exploitation

Child Sacrifice and Trafficking in Holland, and Abroad: An Eyewitness Comes Forward and Names her Torturers – An Exclusive Breaking News Report from ITCCS Central Office and its Dutch Affiliates

Raising Children Off-Grid*

Poor Asian, African, and Latin American Children Targeted by Gates and Others with Questionable Vaccines*

Seven Children Removed from Parents for Being Homeschooled*

Jailed Egyptian Children Moved to ‘torture camp’*

Parents Blackmailed By Doctor: Vaccinate or We Take Your Child*

Two-Thirds of Afghanistan Reconstruction Money Went to DynCorp International*

Two-Thirds of Afghanistan Reconstruction Money Went to DynCorp International*

By Noel Brinkerhoff

If not for the federal government, contractor DynCorp International wouldn’t be in business. Virtually all of its revenue (96%) comes from government contracts. That includes the vast majority of the taxpayer dollars that the State Department has awarded to companies to help rebuild Afghanistan.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says that of the $4 billion allotted by the State Department from 2002 to 2013, 69.3% went to DynCorp. In terms of actual dollars, DynCorp took in $2.8 billion.

Giving so much to one company might not have been a good idea, given DynCorp’s record.

The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) notes the contractor’s “colorful history” includes “instances of labor smuggling, weak performance and overpayments on a base support services contract, botched construction work on an Afghan Army garrison, and lawsuits filed by disgruntled subcontractors.”

Most of DynCorp’s contracts have been to train and equip the Afghan National Police and counternarcotics forces, SIGAR reports. It was during this work that the company was accused by a top Afghan official of hiring “dancing boys” in 2009 to entertain DynCorp trainers.

A diplomatic cable revealed by Wikileaks quoted Interior Minister Hanif Atmar as having “deep concerns that lives could be in danger if news leaked that foreign police trainers working for U.S. commercial contractor DynCorp hired ‘dancing boys’ to perform for them.”

Both the company and State Department officials denied the accusation. And yet, it was “serious enough to prompt worried emails from an Afghan politician asking that the story be kept secret,” Jacob Siegel wrote at The Daily Beast.

The second largest recipient of contracts for work in Afghanistan has been PAE Government Services, which received $598 million (or 15% of all State Department reconstruction funds). PAE has also had its troubles, according to POGO.

The former subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest defense contractors in the U.S., saw a former program manager, Keith Johnson, and his wife, Angela Johnson, go to prison for conspiring to defraud the military over purchases of vehicle parts.

In addition to jail time, the Johnsons were fined $2 million for funneling taxpayer money to a shell company they controlled and to subcontractors in exchange for kickbacks.

Source*

Allstate Insurance Co., Bank of America, Bank Of New York Mellon Corp,, Bear Stearns, Blackrock Inc., California Public Employees Retirement System, Credit Suisse amongst others have shares in DynCorp.Goldman, Sachs & Co has been its main financial advisor.

Owned by Cerberus (the mythological three-headed dog that guarded the gates of Hades),Iraq and Afghanistan generated 53% of DynCorp’s $3.1 billion of annual revenue (2009) according to Forbes.

DynCorp is based in the U.S. It provides maintenance support to the U.S. military globally (war zones). They also provide ‘entertainment’ in the form of illegal and inhumane behavior (paedophile sex parties, trade in illegal weapons, women, and forged passports. DynCorp and Halliburton, were caught trafficking women during the war in Yugoslavia.

In 2006, DynCorp on behalf of the Pentagon administered the smallpox and anthrax vaccines, and was working on a plague vaccine through the Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program – is the recent outbreak of Bubonic Plague/Black Death another field experiment on target populations?

Human Rights Watch reported the Haitian National Police that DynCorp have been involved in “extra judicial executions, disappropriate use of lethal force and beatings”.

Sources:

“Rockefellers, Crown Cocaine & Haitian Slavery” deanhenderson.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/rockefellers-crown-cocaine-haitian-slavery/

O’Meara, K. “US: DynCorp Disgrace.” corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11119

Vardi, N. “DynCorp Takes Afghanistan” forbes.com/2009/07/30/dyncorp-kbr-afghanistan-business-logistics-dyncorp.html

Related Topics:

Sue-able… KBR and Halliburton for Iraq Crimes*

Why the U.S. won’t get the Hell out of Afghanistan*

The Hilton Complicit in Human Trafficking

Conscientious Police Officer Warned off British Elite Paedophile Ring*

Pedophiles in Power

U.S. Rape and Sodomy of Iraqi Women and Children*

International Legislators and Activists Seeking Justice for Iraqis*