Monday, November 9, 2015

Chinese Attack Sub Shadowed U.S. Aircraft Carrier Near Japan, South Sea Update, Russia Warns About Pushing For Assad's Ouster

Chinese attack sub shadowed US aircraft carrier in waters near Japan

A Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy attack submarine stalked the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan last month in waters off Japan, marking the first time since 2006 between a PLAN sub and American carrier, the Washington Free Beacon reported, citing Defense Department officials.
The Chinese sub managed to sail very close to the Reagan during around Oct. 24, defense officials told the WFB. The incident occurred as the carrier sailed from its homeport to the Sea of Japan around the southern portion of China.
Then, just days later, the Reagan was targeted for a very close flybyinvolving a pair of Russian Tu-142 bombers that flew within a mile of the massive carrier at an attack altitude of 500 feet. The U.S. Navy said warplanes were scrambled from the Reagan to ward off the Russian planes.

The PLAN sub-Reagan encounter also occurred days before the American guided missile destroyer, USS Lassen, was sent to conduct a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea. The Lassen passed to within 12 nautical miles of a manmade Chinese atoll in the South China Sea that is located in a highly disputed region, as reported.

Chinese military and government officials heavily criticized the Lassen voyage, claiming the United States violated Chinese sovereign territory. The Obama administration, however, insisted the warship remained well within international waters.

Disclosure of the Chinese submarine encounter comes as Adm. Harry Harris is visiting China for the first time as the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, the WFB reported.

U.S. nuclear-powered carriers are a sign of power projection by Washington. China has been developing countermeasures and area denial technologies and weaponry aimed at keeping U.S. military assets at bay in any future dispute between Beijing and any of its neighbors, especially Taiwan – which it claims as a “breakaway province” – and Japan, its historic nemesis. Both Taiwan and Japan are U.S. allies with which Washington has security agreements.
One defense official, speaking on background, told the WFB that the sub’s detection set off alarm bells on the Reagan, though it was not clear whether U.S. anti-submarine warfare aircraft were launched in a bid to locate and track the Chinese sub.

Other defense officials noted that the Reagan’s sub encounter was similar to China’s shadowing of the carrier USS Kitty Hawk in 2006.
Then, a Chinese sub surfaced within firing range of the Kitty Hawk before being detected.
The Reagan and four other warships were on the way to conduct joint naval exercises with South Korean naval forces at the time of the Chinese submarine stalking, the WFB reported. Those exercises were held Oct. 26-29 around the southern portion of the Korean peninsula.

Russia’s foreign minister said Monday the next round of Syria talks expected to be held this weekend must not focus squarely on demands for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s resignation, which he called a “simplistic approach.”

Sergey Lavrov, speaking on a trip to Armenia, said the talks should focus instead on reaching consensus on who should represent the Syrian opposition and who should be considered extremists.

At the initial talks in Vienna on Oct. 30, the US, Russia, Iran and more than a dozen other nations agreed to launch a new peace effort involving Syria’s government and opposition groups. But they carefully avoided the issue of when Assad might leave power — a dispute at the heart of the nearly five-year-old conflict that has claimed more than 250,000 lives.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said there is “quite a lot going on” behind the scenes ahead of this weekend’s talks, and US Secretary of State John Kerry “is highly active in trying to promote this process.” But Hammond stressed to reporters at UN headquarters in New York that no one should underestimate “the scale of the challenge.”

Hammond cited the “fundamental difference” between Britain, the US and other countries that believe Assad must leave office as part of the transition process, and Syrian allies Russia and Iran “who believe that he should be able to take part in a future election and if that election decides that he should go, then he goes at that point.”

Lavrov said some participants in the initial round of Vienna talks have kept pushing for Assad to step down instead of focusing on who should participate in negotiations.

But Hammond said “we do not believe it is going to be possible to bring the opposition groups into the political process and have an effective cease-fire unless we have a clear point at which President Assad will depart at some point during the transitional process.”

The communique issued after the Oct. 30 meeting refers to the roadmap to peace adopted by key nations in Geneva in June 2012 which calls for the formation of a transitional government with full executive powers “on the basis of mutual consent,” leading to elections.

The islands in the South China Sea are mentioned in documents going back to China’s Han Dynasty in 200 B.C. Currently China occupies just 8 of the 52 occupied Spratly Islands, Yet, the overt U.S. military aggression in the South China Sea is directed specifically at China. Viet Nam occupies 25 islands, the Philippines occupies 10 islands, Malaysia occupies 7 islands, and Taiwan occupies some islands.
China occupies only 15% of the occupied islands, while U.S. political/military sock-puppet countries control the rest. What’s going on and why is the United States spending a lot of money militarily confronting China over these 8 islands?
This is part of America’s grand strategy to destablize China – and to divide Korea, Japan, and the Phillipines from China – keep them at odds with each other. The old divide and conquer strategy.

What’s really going on here? China, South Korea and Japan are trying to form a free trade zone, something which the U.S. opposes. China was excluded from the TPP Treaty and this trade partnership among China/S Korea/Japan – which represents 20% of the global GDP – would partially undermine the U.S.-directed TPP Treaty in this region.

The presence of U.S. military power in the South China Sea region is extraordinary.  South Korea and Japan are de facto U.S. military occupied countries.  Viet Nam, the Philippines and Japan are essentially U.S. lap dogs.   The U.S. military aggression toward China is part of a military strategy to destabilize and reassume control over China politically and economically that dates back to 1949:

Sunday’s elections in Turkey achieved success for Turkey’s “dictator in the making,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It “corrected” the failure of the Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) party in the June elections of this year, to become a one-party rule in Ankara. According to the latest results, last week’s election secured its position as a one-party government, winning 317 seats in the 550-member parliament. Turkey’s main opposition newspaper, Cumhuriyet, labeled the AKP triumph as a “victory of fear,” raising concerns about the security situation as well as the economy, and insuring that the rift within Turkey will remain. There exists a total disconnect between the Islamists ruling party, the AKP, and its authoritarian leader Erdogan, who increasingly rules Turkey like the other Arab Middle Eastern dictators, and the western oriented urban Middle class who seek a European or western-like democracy.   

Erdogan continues to transform his regime into a one-man dictatorship.  First by opting to arrogate executive power to the previously ceremonial post of president, and now by eliminating opposing opinion in the press, that has enabled him to make the AKP into a single party rule. Erdogan has gradually been able to do away with the solid institutions established by Ataturk, who sought to create a secular and modern Turkey.  He has destroyed the military that served as the guardian of secularism, and along with it the judicial system, which he reshaped with like-minded people.  Once elected as president, Erdogan wasted little time in which to expose his intentions as president. He hosted a cabinet meeting in his new 1,000 room Ankara palace, and surrounding himself with powerful advisors, that constitutes, in practice, a shadow cabinet. Turkey, under Erdogan increasingly resembles the strong-man regimes in the Arab world or Russia.  

The U.S. expressed deep concern over Erdogan’s regime led campaign of intimidation and fear that coerced the opposition press into virtual silence during the last few months of the election campaign.  The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) has issued a sharp statement pointing out that the Turkish elections last week were characterized by violence, indecency, fear and oppression practiced by the regime on the media.

A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, along with Qatar and Hamas, Erdogan’s Turkey, unlike the ousted Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian president, Mohammad Morsi, has moved cautiously in implementing his Islamic agenda.  Erdogan has been smartly taking over the country at a slow pace since becoming prime minister in 2003.  He gradually removed the military generals, the opposition within the judiciary, and since splitting with his hitherto backer Fethullah Gulen, Erdogan has steadily stripped away at Gulen’s influence within Turkey.
In many ways Erdogan views himself as the successor to the Ottoman Empire.  His success at home will boost his megalomaniacal character, and he is likely to play the role of leader of the Sunni-Muslim world. While pivoting toward the Arab and Muslim world, Erdogan has shown his contempt for the West and the U.S.  According to Barkey, the “Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric coming from Erdogan has to do with anti-Americanism. 
Erdogan is more than likely to make the Turkish presidency a “Putin-like” office, meaning, an absolute ruler of Turkey, a country which will be forged in his image.  Sunday’s landslide victory, which gave him the one-party rule, is likely to stir his egomania toward a dictatorship.

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