Strategic Competition Act of 2021 - Pt. 3

US Congressional Attempt to Sabotage China’s Belt and Road Initiative

Graphic credits: Background map from https://merics.org/en/tracker/mapping-belt-and-road-initiative-where-we-stand/ Sniper targets from https://pngtree.com

ABSTRACT

Part 1 of this series examined the 281-page Strategic Competition Act of 2021 as a hate crime by globally disseminating anti-China and anti-Chinese false and defamatory information which has further stimulated racist hatred and violence in the US, Europe and beyond. Part 2 of this series examined the finance allocated to that smear campaign specifically intended to a) illegally block China’s ability to communicate internationally, b) do international business, and 3) undermine Chinese people’s confidence in their own government. This Third part of this series of articles looks at how the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 employs very aggressive and highly illegal strategies to undermine China’s work on the One Belt One Road Initiative (BRI) that provides infrastructure development, primarily transportation, energy, communication, jobs and COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)/vaccines to some of the world’s least developed nations. Throughout this series relevant international and American laws are presented illustrating how this Act is a collusive, corrupt, and criminal endeavor. This third part begins with a review of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and is followed by a review of what appears to be corrupt activities by most of President Biden’s top cabinet appointees. That is followed by a review of ten sections in the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 corruptly targeting the Belt and Road Initiative for destruction. Readers may be shocked at the extreme levels of illegality and aggression outlined by the US Congress in this ill-conceived endeavor and how precisely they mirror that of any other large international crime organization. Most of the illegal schemes outlined in that Act are already functioning, and that Act is presented as leverage to obtain much larger amounts of money to expand them. It is concluded these kinds of activities will only further degrade global opinion of the USA as it attempts to corruptly crush China’s economy, rather than build itself up by contributing in a positive manner to development around the world. This Act is one more example of highly illegal political and economic international sabotage by the US Congress that will probably backfire as has been happening more and more often to US Defense and intelligence communities’ ill-conceived plans and operations. If the US fully implements the plans outlined in this document it will only be seen by most educated people in the world as the pathetic, weak and desperate measure of an empire rapidly sinking under the weight of its own immeasurable corruption and greed. It is also noted in the conclusions that Chinese authorities are unlikely to quit their efforts to promote harmony worldwide, including and especially with the USA in an effort to support global economic stability and peace. Moral and legal considerations aside, there are practical reasons for abandoning this corrupt Act before its full implementation to wit: dead people, and those experiencing civil and international wars don’t buy either Apple or Huawei phones.

The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is documentary proof of very large-scale, very well-funded series of domestic and international corrupt acts designed to illegally prevent China’s full participation in the international marketplace and information sphere via an illegal disinformation campaign based upon unproven allegations, bribes[1] and threats[2].

[1] See Strategic Competition Act of 2021 - Part 2, and note financing for that disinformation war: $3,993,000,000.00 [2] US threatens to cut intelligence sharing with Berlin over Huawei https://www.ft.com/content/00dc81a6-4417-11e9-b168-96a37d002cd3 ;

United Nations Convention Against Corruption

The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. The Convention's far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/corruption/tools_and_publications/UN-convention-against-corruption.html

https://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/Publications/Convention/08-50026_E.pdf

United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme network

https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/commissions/CCPCJ/PNI/institutes.html

RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY [on the report of the Third Committee (A/51/610)]51/59. Action against corruption

II.  CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND DISQUALIFICATION

4. Public officials shall not use their official authority for the improper advancement of their own or their family's personal or financial interest. They shall not engage in any transaction, acquire any position or function or have any financial, commercial or other comparable interest that is incompatible with their office, functions and duties or the discharge thereof.

https://undocs.org/pdf?symbol=en/A/RES/51/59

What follows in this Preface is a cursory review of some of the potentially illegal “conflicts of interest” created by most of President Biden’s top government appointees, including the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence. Following that is a brief summary of some of the effects on real humans of a small sample of America’s illegal wars resulting from similar potential “conflicts of interest” between weapons corporations, lobby groups, “consultants” and top administration officials, past and present. The foregoing provides the background context necessary to more objectively review the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 and its assaults upon the legitimate rights of China in regards to international communication, business and self-determination. No one, including the US Congress has a unilateral right to lock an entire nation, such as China out of the international marketplace and major global information networks based on a list of unproven allegations composed by US government and/or government related and funded groups and individuals. None of those accusations have been proven in any court of law, and substantive evidence is completely lacking. Moreover, the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 provides explicit instructions and finance for the US to act in conspiracy with other nations to effectively lock China out of the international marketplace and major global information networks in addition to undermining its sovereignty by spreading malign disinformation within China. The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 will earn a place in history right alongside Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and other equally racist and fascist works. It appears to have been written by people with either complete ignorance of international law, or total contempt for it. US law is weak in some areas and strong in others, however there is no or very little enforcement of any laws regarding Congressional corruption in any case.

Defense industry corruption in the US government

Among these members of Congress with personal investments in the defense industry are several who sit on committees that determine major sources of funding for defense companies and weapons contractors.

According to a Sludge review of financial disclosures, 51 members of Congress and their spouses own between $2.3 and $5.8 million worth of stocks in companies that are among the top 30 defense contractors in the world. Members of Congress generally report the values of their investments in ranges, so it’s not possible to know exactly how much their stocks are worth. As Congress debates whether to limit President Trump’s power to take military action against Iran, the complete list of senators and representatives who own defense stocks are displayed below in this article.

Eighteen members of Congress, combined, own as much as $760,000 worth of stock of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor in terms of overall defense revenues. The value of Lockheed Martin stock surged by 4.3% on the day after Soleimani’s assassination—a day in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average overall traded down. 

https://readsludge.com/2020/01/13/the-members-of-congress-who-profit-from-war/

Three aspects of a crime that must be established before a guilty verdict can be determined in a criminal proceeding include: (1) Means: the ability of the defendant to commit the crime, (2) Motive: the reason the defendant felt the need to commit the crime (motive), and (3) Opportunity: whether or not the defendant had the chance to commit the crime. All three conditions are met in regards to most of President Biden’s top administration officials.

Serious Conflicts of Interest

The Members of Congress Who Profit from War - Here are the senators and representatives who own stock in Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and other top defense contractors, by Donald Shaw, Jan. 13, 2020

“…Members of Congress’ investments in defense contractors may present more significant potential conflicts of interest than investments in other industries because the contractors rely heavily on defense spending that is approved by Congress for their revenue.

More than 70% of Lockheed Martin’s $51 billion in 2018 revenue came from sales to the U.S. government, for example. Companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon are considered “pure plays” because they sell their products almost exclusively to the government through appropriations approved by Congress. 

“Members of Congress should divest from all investments tied to their congressional responsibilities and avoid any actual or potential conflicts of interest or ethics dilemmas,” Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, told Sludge.

In the Senate, nearly one-third of the members of the Defense Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee own stocks in top defense contractors. The subcommittee is in charge of drafting the procurement section of the annual Defense spending bill, which allocates funding for the Defense Department and specifies weapons systems and other goods for the department to purchase from private contractors.

In the 2020 Defense appropriations bill, the subcommittee approved $1.85 billion for 18 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircrafts and spare parts from Lockheed Martin. Subcommittee member Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) owns as much as $100,000 worth of stock in Lockheed Martin. The subcommittee also recommended $1.1 billion for 6 P-8A Poseidon aircraft, which is a maritime patrol and reconnaissance plane made by Boeing. Subcommittee members Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) own as much as a combined $750,000 in Boeing stock…

The House Foreign Affairs Committee oversees arms controls and exports, yet at least four of its members have investments in defense companies whose foreign sales fall under their jurisdiction.

Foreign arms sales that are proposed by the President are referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee for approval, modification, or rejection. The committee may hold hearing on the sales to ask questions or raise concerns before the sales are approved, and it can initiate a joint resolution of disapproval in order to block or modify a sale.

Companies that Foreign Affairs Committee members are invested in, including Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics, have been approved for foreign sales and partnerships in recent years.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) owns as much as $400,000 worth of stock in Leidos, which is paid billions of dollars to provide information technology services for the Defense Department. In May 2019, Leidos CEO Roger Krone testified before Connolly’s committee in favor of legislation calling on the government to guarantee back pay for contractors in the wake of government shutdowns. Connolly had written a letter to House appropriators months earlier seeking support for such a bill.

Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have re-introduced their Ban Conflicted Trading Act, which would prohibit members of Congress from buying and selling individual stocks, giving them six months from enactment to divest their shares, and from serving on corporate boards, something that’s already banned in the Senate but not in the House…

Four companies—Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics—make up 90% of arms sales to Saudi Arabia in deals worth over $125 billion, according to a July 2019 report by the Center for International Policy. American-made weapons have been used by Saudi Arabia’s government in the war in Yemen, with a death toll that has risen over 100,000, including 12,000 civilians from attacks targeting them…

Of the at least 380 former high-ranking Department of Defense officials who went through the revolving door to become lobbyists or senior executives in 2018, around one quarter joined the top 5 defense contractors, according to the Project On Government Oversight: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman. Current U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is a former lobbyist at Raytheon, which over the past two election cycles spent $6.4 million on campaign contributions and $20 million on federal lobbying.

A Fix for Democracy – Government ethics experts call on elected officials to not trade individual corporate stocks. A bill proposed in Congress called the Ban Conflicted Trading Act would require senators, representatives, and senior staffers to divest corporate stocks, transfer them to a blind trust, or hold them throughout their time in office without making trades. The bill would also bar House members from serving on corporate boards. The House version of the bill has 9 co-sponsors, while the Senate version has 1 co-sponsor. No Republicans have co-sponsored the bill…

https://readsludge.com/2020/01/13/the-members-of-congress-who-profit-from-war/

The above raises many questions. For example, of what use are billions of dollars of weapons without bad guys to kill? Does appropriating billions of dollars for the defense industry create a desperate need for bad guys out there and is this the reason the USA intentionally creates and works with terrorist groups?

https://www.globalresearch.ca/billions-of-dollars-worth-of-weapons-brought-into-syria-arms-traffic-organized-by-cia-and-pentagon/5600204

Say Goodbye to Regime Change in Syria. Phasing Out of CIA “Train and Equip” in Support of “Moderate” Rebels? Trump's decision to stop sending arms to rebels alters everything, By Scott Ritter, July 28, 2017

The fact is that there was no secular, moderate force worthy of the name operating inside Syria; virtually the entire anti-Assad effort is dominated by Islamist extremists who, if Assad was overthrown, would probably replace a secular dictator with something far worse. The Obama policy of regime change in Syria, like the Bush policy in Iraq, has done little more than unleash forces which the U.S. was unable to control, costing American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and the blood of American military personnel who lost their lives in its implementation.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/say-goodbye-to-regime-change-in-syria-phasing-out-of-cia-train-and-equip-in-support-of-moderate-rebels/5601201

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/298215567_Syria_Washington_Supports_the_Islamic_State_ISIS_the_evidence

https://www.rsis.edu.sg/rsis-publication/rsis/co16254-salafis-and-wahhabis-two-sides-of-the-same-coin/

https://gabbard.house.gov/news/StopArmingTerrorists

Just because the US stopped openly funding the world’s second most dangerous terrorist groups (with the US being the first most dangerous terrorist group) doesn’t mean the money flow stopped. In cases where US black ops weaponry and budgets can’t cover supplies and expenses for “our” terrorist “friends,” GCC member states are happy to cover the balance. Sucking up to the global hegemon is seen as beneficial to their national interests. The Balkanization of Syria would allow them to have forward military bases on Iran’s borders, as decimation of Iran and control of its oil fields are the ultimate goals of the CIA and GCC in the region after all.

That Iran has a democratically elected government and parliament, and human beings with families actually living there, are irrelevancies to the American and GCC Intelligence Communities. International law. The war criminals laugh. What international law? We are international law!

The Taliban and IS were created by American intelligence and military organizations. Would Congressional appropriations for weapons also provide motivation to for example frame innocent national leaders like Syrian President Bashar Assad for crimes they didn’t commit? The evidence is mounting. A variety of profit motives are easy to prove.

“We're keeping the oil, remember that. We want to keep the oil. Forty-five million dollars a month.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/50464561

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/11/new-leaks-shatter-opcws-attacks-douma-whistleblowers/

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/01/22/ian-henderson-opcw-whistleblower-un-no-chemical-attack-douma-syria/

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/01/why-is-the-us-trying-to-replace-the-assad-government-with-al-qaeda-in-syria

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/29/the-western-media-is-key-to-syria-deceptions

https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/syria/2021/syria-210106-presstv02.htm

http://qodsna.com/en/317410/Terrorists-White-Helmets-meet-to-stage-false-flag-gas-attack-in-Idlib:-Russia-%EF%BF%BDs-military

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-ambassador-un-calls-us-withdraw-troops-stop-acts-aggression

Stolen oil and profiting from stock dividends are not the only motivating factors leading Congressional members to vote for wars and other illegal foreign aggressions.

‘Biden unveils Pentagon ‘China task force’ to review ‘challenge’ Beijing poses as US military flexes muscles at its doorstep - 10 Feb, 2021

“Led by Eli Ratner, who serves as special assistant on China to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the task force will be composed of 15 civilian and uniformed defense officials and will deliver its findings to Austin within four months, according to a Pentagon fact sheet, which dubbed the project a “sprint effort.” The panel is not expected to produce a publicly available report, however…”

https://www.rt.com/usa/515206-biden-pentagon-china-task-force

“Eli Ratner, a researcher at the US think tank New American Security Center, is considered a young Chinese expert in the US.”

https://www.archyworldys.com/the-birth-of-an-elite-group-ofiron-triangle-china-trembles-with-bidens-diplomatic-team

“The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is a Washington, D.C.-based think tank established in 2007 by co-founders Michèle Flournoy and Kurt M. Campbell. It specializes in the United States’ national security issues. CNAS focuses on terrorism and irregular warfare, the future of the U.S. military, the emergence of Asia as a global power center, and the national security implications of natural resource consumption.

“CNAS is relatively small, with around 30 employees and a budget under $6 million.[7] Among the organizations top donors include Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Open Society Foundation, Airbus Group, The Boeing Company, Chevron Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon Company, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, the United States government, BAE Systems, BP America and Exxon Mobil Corporation.”

https://www.cnas.org/support-cnas/cnas-supporters

Mr. Ratner was a researcher working for a  “think tank” supported by America’s top weapons manufacturers. It is highly likely he had more than a little to do with the inception and actualization of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021.

The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is a form of “irregular” warfare such as CNAS is tasked with pursuing. How many current or past defense industry employees, lobbyists and/or “consultants” worked on the creation of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021? Would employment with the defense industry create a “conflict of interest” when also working on Congressional documents designed to isolate China from international trade and communications?

“The mass media are reporting that the Biden camp has selected former general Lloyd J. Austin III to be the next secretary of defense…

“As has become the standard ritual for Biden's cabinet picks, the mass media are holding a parade to celebrate the fact that Austin would be the first black chief of the US war machine, while virtually ignoring the murderous agendas he has facilitated throughout his career. As head of Central Command, Austin actively campaigned to resurrect the Pentagon’s spectacularly failed program of trying to arm ‘rebels’ in Syria to fight ISIS, and in 2014 he backed immunity for US troops from war crimes prosecutions by the government of Afghanistan. He helped spearhead the Iraq invasion, and he is a member of the same private equity fund which invests in defense contractors as Flournoy and Biden's warmongering pick for secretary of state, Tony Blinken.” (Italics added by this author.)

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/508991-caitlin-johnstone-biden-raytheon

That “private equity fund,” Pine Island Capital’s partners include Tony Blinken (President Biden's Secretary of State), Michele Flournoy (American defense policy advisor) and retired Gen. Lloyd Austin now Biden's (Secretary of Defense).

Though claiming to divest themselves of any investment in Pine Island, just prior to the election Pine Island launched some new ‘special purpose acquisition companies’ (SPACs ) which are essentially shell companies.

According to The Daily Beast:

“The firm raised $218 million for its new SPAC, which is specifically looking to invest in “defense, government service and aerospace businesses,” according to the prospectus, which was amended and re-issued on Nov. 13. And one specific area of government contracting it hopes to plumb for new business ties in the government’s response to the coronavirus.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/firm-tied-to-biden-contenders-tony-blinken-lloyd-austin-michele-flournoy-looks-to-cash-in-on-covid-response

Pine Island Capital proudly boasts of its DC connections which includes a who’s who of past and current government, military and industry leaders including:

  • Major General Charles F. Bolden Jr., USMC (Ret.)

During his tenure in the Senate, he served as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee…, the Senate Rules Committee; and his leadership and experience on homeland security and intelligence matters earned him an appointment to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he served as vice chairman from 2011 to 2014, advocating for dramatically improved information sharing and human-intelligence-gathering capabilities. His previous role as chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security made him one of the leading congressional experts on those issues.

  • Senator Tom Daschle

“Daschle is officially a lobbyist now - The former Democratic leader resisted registering under a loophole that now bears his name.” By Isaac Arnsdorf, 03/29/2016

“After his 2004 upset loss to John Thune, Daschle joined law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird as a “special policy adviser,” earning as much as $2.1 million a year, but he never registered as a lobbyist. His journey through the revolving door, later with DLA Piper and finally Baker Donelson, helped popularize the now well-trodden path for former officials to cash in on K Street without formally registering as a lobbyists...

“Under the statutory definition of a lobbyist, policy advisers don't have to register if they avoid direct contact with lawmakers or spend less than 20 percent of their time lobbying. The provision became widely known as the Daschle loophole... Daschle previously registered with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act to represent Taiwan. He's currently promoting a book co-authored with his Republican counterpart, Trent Lott, now also a lobbyist.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/tom-daschle-officially-lobbyist-221334

Reframing “lobbyist” as “special policy adviser,” or “consultant” is a con game, the oldest trick in the book.

"Since leaving the Senate, Senator Daschle has remained an active and learned voice among policy-makers... Senator Daschle serves on numerous public and private boards, including the Center for American Progress and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations."

https://www.bakerdonelson.com/thomas-daschle

  • Senator Byron Dorgan

  • Michèle Flournoy

  • Representative Dick Gephardt

  • Ambassador Stuart Holliday

  • Ambassador Capricia Marshall

  • Admiral Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.)

  • Senator Don Nickles

  • Lieutenant General Vince Stewart, USMC (Ret.)

https://pineislandcp.com/team/

“We have unique insight into how rapidly changing technologies will directly impact the evolving preferences of defense, intelligence and federal government customers.” — company prospectus “We believe that there are still a significant number of potential targets with competitive advantages in ‘big data’ analytics, enterprise IT, secure data processing, seamless inter-agency technology integration, communications and training solutions that would benefit from our deep bench of advisers who contribute decades of relevant government and defense expertise,” the prospectus reads. The document adds, “Our leadership team is well equipped to support a potential target on all key competitive factors of the government services market as we have unique insight into how rapidly changing technologies will directly impact the evolving preferences of defense, intelligence and federal government customers.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/firm-tied-to-biden-contenders-tony-blinken-lloyd-austin-michele-flournoy-looks-to-cash-in-on-covid-response

That “unique insight” into “how rapidly changing technologies will directly impact the evolving preferences of defense, intelligence and federal government customers,” sounds like a breach of confidentiality agreements top Biden Administration officials must have signed when hired to do government work.

But that “revolving door” between government and industry can create perverse incentives and conflicts of interest, ethics experts say. And it’s just that sort of business as usual that Mandy Smithberger, the director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight, says is concerning in this case. “These kinds of conflicts are particularly disappointing given justified criticisms of how the Trump administration has repeatedly used the government to further personal and financial interests,” Smithberger wrote in an email. “While this isn't uncommon, it's still gross.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/firm-tied-to-biden-contenders-tony-blinken-lloyd-austin-michele-flournoy-looks-to-cash-in-on-covid-response

That revolving door did not begin or end with former President Trump and it’s spinning faster than ever now with the Biden administration.

Also see:

How Biden’s Foreign-Policy Team Got Rich - Strategic consultants will define Biden’s relationship to the world, by Jonathan Guyer, July 6, 2020

https://prospect.org/world/how-biden-foreign-policy-team-got-rich/

Conflicts of interest? It’s way beyond that.

President Trump was hardly unique in crossing the line between government and industry,  as President Biden’s cabinet has many picks right out of that same revolving door between politics and industry, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Antony Blinken (of WestExec Advisors fame).

Though not officially a lobby group, WestExec Advisors thrive in the so-called gray zone doing many, most or all of the same things as a lobby group.

Their members include:

Antony Blinken – Antony J. Blinken was sworn in as the 71st U.S. Secretary of State on January 26, 2021.

“In 2015, Obama had dispatched Blinken to tell Mohammed bin Salman that the U.S. supported Saudi Arabia’s right to defend itself and nothing more. But four years later, the U.S., through its arms sales, was party to an ongoing war [Yemen]. The death toll was over 100,000 in an asymmetric conflict, and the defense contractor Raytheon had sold Saudi Arabia more than $3 billion worth of bombs.”

https://prospect.org/world/how-biden-foreign-policy-team-got-rich/

“The fund, Ridgeline Partners, was co-founded by Tony Blinken’s WestExec and “provides strategic insight on U.S. & allied national security capability needs and emerging opportunities.” The companies listed on the Ridgeline website include data and tech start-ups that have seen government contracts, including some deals with the Department of Defense.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/10/biden-secretary-of-state-pick-blinken-linked-to-fund-with-national-security-portfolio.html

That gives the appearance of “crossing the line” between consulting and lobbying. It isn’t an example of the kinds of vague supposition one finds from the beginning to the end of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, but a very clear and unambiguous “conflict of interest.”

Michèle Flournoy -

“Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors, and former Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors. Michèle serves on the boards of Booz Allen Hamilton, Amida Technology Solutions, The Mission Continues, Spirit of America, The U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, CARE, and sits on the Honorary Advisory Committee of The Leadership Council for Women in National Security. Michèle is also a former member of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the CIA Director’s External Advisory Board, and the Defense Policy Board, and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group, and is a Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.”

https://www.cnas.org/people/mich%C3%A8le-flournoy

Clearly Ms. Flournoy is one of the alpha “interventionists” of the Biden Administration and appears to have several prominent conflicts of interest.

According to a study published last month by the Center for International Policy, nearly half of CNAS’ funding came from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, the study found.

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/transition-playbook/2020/11/13/liberals-take-on-bidens-likely-pentagon-pick-791660

Flournoy has spoken a bit about WestExec’s work with Silicon Valley start-ups to land contracts at the Pentagon, where she sees a need to better leverage new technologies that are not necessarily the forte of larger, more traditional defense contractors.

“The name of the game is how do you enable the Department of Defense to really access that cutting-edge commercial technology and adapt it to military purposes,” Flournoy said in a 2019 podcast interview at the University of Chicago. “It is one of the things that WestExec is trying to help with. How do you let these smaller, cutting-edge technology firms actually navigate the DoD and national security space?”

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/23/westexec-advisors-biden-cabinet-440072

WestExec is only one of Blinken and Flournoy’s overlapping roles, which keep them updated on trends that others lack access to. Flournoy, for instance, previously served on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, and the CIA director’s External Advisory Board; each of these positions gives members access to sensitive information, which in turn provides insights useful to attracting and serving corporate clients. Membership requires ethics disclosures, though none of those documents are publicly available, adding another layer of opacity.

https://prospect.org/world/how-biden-foreign-policy-team-got-rich/

By not registering as a lobby group, WestExec avoids disclosure requirements and thus they can operate in the shadows wherein most criminals likewise thrive.

But many of the people who work closely with Biden are enmeshed in the opaque world of strategic consultancies and by extension a network of the world’s biggest businesses. If they’ve been consulting for corporations with offshore interests, this spells potential conflicts. “One of the biggest gaps in ethics laws is that we don’t require strategic consultants to register as lobbyists,” said Mandy Smithberger of the Project on Government Oversight.

https://prospect.org/world/how-biden-foreign-policy-team-got-rich/

She may be wrong about that. See H.R.2316 — 110th Congress (2007-2008) below.

[Reall the “Daschle loophole” above. The legality of that has yet to be challenged and given the potential for encouraging corruption in government, and the deadly consequences of that potential corruption, that challenge should come sooner rather than later.]

In 2011, Flournoy, then Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and close associate of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped persuade President Obama to intervene militarily in Libya an action that has led to 10 years of civil war.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/pentagon-leaders_n_871519

(“A new start for the Libyan people,” involved an American backed civil war against a UN backed coalition government.)

“Alleged Torture Victims Target U.S. Property Assets of Libyan Commander, By Jared Malsin and Benoit Faucon. 2020.Nov. 8 - Khalifa Haftar, at one time backed by the CIA, owns millions in U.S. real estate, assets that are being pursued by victims of Libya’s bloody civil war - Haftar is a U.S. citizen and a longtime former resident of Virginia who also owns property in the state...”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/alleged-torture-victims-target-u-s-property-assets-of-libyan-commander-11604840401

She was also a supporter of the American covert and then overt war against the Syrian government led by Bashar Assad, another war which has employed a) massive propaganda campaign, b) lingered on for 10 years killing thousands of innocents, c) silencing whistleblowers, d) starves the poor while denying them medicine, and c) employs known terrorists groups to launch terrorist attacks against the internationally recognize government.

https://www.cfr.org/event/conversation-michele-flournoy

...and leading to millions of “displaced people” and starvation.

“As a result, more than 9.3 million Syrians have become food insecure and over 80 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line…With over 50 percent of the health infrastructure destroyed, and hundreds of thousands without shelter and unable to practice social distancing, the region is increasingly at risk of a devastating outbreak.”

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2021/country-chapters/syria

Also see:

https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/2018-deadliest-year-yet-children-syria-war-enters-9th-year

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/world/middleeast/at-un-syrian-minister-calls-conflict-a-war-on-terror.html

Primarily US funded https://www.hrw.org incidentally blames Russia for the violence and death there, glibly overlooking the fact that the US started that NATO supported war and works with a variety of terrorist groups in that illegal war against the internationally recognized government. Also, incidentally the US is stealing Syrian oil on an ongoing basis, asserting that Syria should pay for the war the USA has forced upon them.

https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/the-world/usa-and-canada/3085-how-the-us-regime-justifies-the-theft-of-syria-s-oil

https://archive.is/R7nOp

https://www.bbc.com/news/50464561

...and the US led by President Biden and his “interventionist” cabinet members is now going so far as to steal the wheat from starving children in Syria. This is not different from the use of USAID as a weapon in Venezuela, in which they starve the nation via brutal economic sanctions, and run a false flag operationdenying the starving people access to food aid.

A complete list of American false flag operations would be very long. A probable recent example was the temporary shutdown of the American gas “Colonial Pipeline.” According to Natalya Kaspersky, the founder and former CEO of security software firm Kaspersky Lab, the group, known as UMBRAGE, is adept at hiding its online footprints. The existence of the team first came to light in a series of documents published by WikiLeaks in 2017 and subsequently picked up by American media. At the time, USA Today said the shadowy operatives “may have been cataloguing hacking methods from outside hackers, including in Russia, that would have allowed the agency to mask their identity by employing the method during espionage.”

The world of special interest control of American politicians may not be so opaque as Mandy Smithberger suggests. Those wars not only kill and maim millions of innocents and produce millions more “displaced people,” but they also produce greatly increased stock dividends for many or most of President Biden’s top cabinet members’ close friends and associates.  

Avril Haines, “Director of National Intelligence (DNI) The nation’s top intelligence official—the DNI — is the designated leader of the U. S. Intelligence Community (IC), 18 agencies and organizations that include the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and the Office of DNI.”

Her stated priorities include: “Bolster cyber defenses and counter China, which she sees as a potential partner on climate change and an adversary when it comes to stealing U.S. intellectual property and technology & Does not envision America re-joining the Iran nuclear agreement in the near future.”

[One can only wonder what she thinks about Google’s recent Supreme Court victory over Oracle, given that Google “copied” 11,500 lines of code from Sun’s Java SE program. One person’s intellectual property is another person’s free-use material if it’s a small enough percentage of the total code according to SCOTUS. In any case, there’s no good reason to not vilify China, contribute to a massive 4-billion-dollar smear campaign, corruptly attempt to cut it out of international trade and world communications systems, and play brinksmanship in the South China Sea possibly leading to WWIII, right? As Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines bears culpability in the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 and all possible outcomes. She most definitely “crosses the line.” It is unquestionably profitable to bring superpowers to the brink of war as she well knows.

Professional/Academic Career

After leaving the Obama administration, Haines worked in the private sector consulting for companies such as the Denver-based national security contractor Palantir Technologies, which specializes in data analytics.

Principal at WestExec Advisors, a D.C.-based strategic advisory firm founded in 2017 by former Obama administration officials including Antony Blinken, (Biden’s Secretary of State), and Michèle Flournoy, (former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy under President Obama)…

https://breakingdefense.com/2021/02/whos-who-in-defense-avril-d-haines-director-of-national-intelligence/

Palantir — founded in 2003 with capital from investors including the CIA — provides software to help organizations analyze data... Palantir’s government business grew much faster in 2020 than its commercial business. Its total revenue increased 47% from about $743 million to $1,093 million in 2020. Its government business soared 77% to $610 million while its commercial business rose 21% to about $482 million, according to its 2020 10K. For the fourth quarter, Palantir’s government segment popped 85% to $190 million while its commercial segment inched up 4% to $132 million, noted CNBC.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2021/04/11/palantir-technologies-stock-could-fall-17/?sh=72526e6a6857

Ms. Avril Haines is at the axis of the revolving door between defense industries and the government’s intelligence community.

Exactly how long did President Biden’s top cabinet appointees wait after resigning their cozy defense related activities before assuming office(?) and to what extent do they stay in contact with those former associates?  Who exactly is monitoring the time-frames involved, those kinds of relationships and to what extent is that information made public, and where? There are many unanswered questions swirling around those relationships which are profitable and cozy to some and exceedingly deadly to others. The word “opaque” here can also be interpreted as obstruction of justice.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181219-facebook-censoring-images-of-starving-yemen-children

Answer: President Biden’s closest friends and top administration officials.

This is not an opaque world nor is it simply a case of multiple conflicts of interest. All of those involved in insider trading make the same compromises and use the same rationalizations. Given that the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is by far the longest plan for a series of “hate crimes” I have seen since Mein Kampf, one can only wonder how DNI Avril Haines sleeps at night and if the tacit agreements she’s made are really worth risking WWIII and in effect attempting to cut the world in two (via her ominous “counter China” agenda).

It’s not difficult to figure out which of the two prostitutes she represents in Solomon’s decision regarding the two mothers. A seven-year-old can figure this out and thanks to corporate control of the media, absolute corruption in government and Avril Haines’ “leadership,” the lives of 7+ billion people and civilization as we know it hang in the balance. What percent of American would approve of Avril Haines’ “compromises” if they knew of them? Is (potentially illegally) attempting to maintain American unipolar hegemony in perpetuity really worth the very real risk of thermonuclear war?

Furthermore, exactly how would she feel if she were an elderly Asian American beaten nearly to death in the streets of the USA because of the very hate she promotes in “countering China?” Is this really “justifiable collateral damage?” How would she like to die of starvation in Syria, Yemen, DRC, or dozens of other nations the US sanctions? One can only wonder if the weight of the nine million humans that starve to death every year, the children blown to bloody bits on busses, in schools and refugee camps, and/or the 80 million displaced people in the world ever weigh on her conscience, if she has one at all.

Robert Work “Another partnership was with Google’s in-house think tank, Jigsaw. WestExec’s Robert Work, during his time at the Pentagon, collaborated with the tech company in an artificial-intelligence venture, as first reported by The Intercept. That AI initiative, known as Project Maven, led to an insurrection among Google staff upset about collaborating with the military. (“WestExec has done no work on Project Maven. Period,” said Flournoy.) Though Jigsaw has since been removed from WestExec’s list of partners, the Prospect has learned that Blinken and Flournoy have continued to work quietly and informally with Google engineers and executives, spitballing potential geopolitical threats. Schmidt Futures, Google founder and billionaire Eric Schmidt’s philanthropy, has also hired WestExec.”

…and others.

By inference one must assume the Project on Government Oversight is culpable in all crimes associated with these collusive deals between government and industry in macabre fulfillment of Eisenhower’s Farewell Address warning citizens and the world of collusion between government and the weapons industry exactly as is going on now.

The persons named above are just the tip of the iceberg.

“If ‘personnel is policy,’ as Sen. Elizabeth Warren likes to say, we can learn a lot about Biden from his team. In addition to Blinken, advisers include Nicholas Burns (The Cohen Group), Kurt Campbell (The Asia Group), Tom Donilon (BlackRock Investment Institute), Wendy Sherman (Albright Stonebridge Group), Julianne Smith (WestExec Advisors), and Jake Sullivan (Macro Advisory Partners). They rarely discuss their connections to corporate power, defense contactors, private equity, and hedge funds, let alone disclose them.”

https://prospect.org/world/how-biden-foreign-policy-team-got-rich/

General Dynamics (Defense contractor $10,883,966 Total Lobbying Expenditures, 2020; former Defense Secretary General James Mattis, who sits on the company's board) https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/clients/summary?cycle=2020&id=D000000165

Misc. Defense Spending on Lobbying $47,628,420 https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/industries/summary?cycle=2020&id=D03

In order to begin to clean up the absolutely corrupt government of the United States of America, all exemptions should be deleted from:

2 U.S. Code § 1603 - Registration of lobbyists - a) Registration (1) General rule - No later than 45 days after a lobbyist first makes a lobbying contact or is employed or retained to make a lobbying contact, whichever is earlier, or on the first business day after such 45th day if the 45th day is not a business day, such lobbyist (or, as provided under paragraph (2), the organization employing such lobbyist), shall register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives…

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/2/1603

As it is all too easy to have tacit agreements that fly under the radar of exemptions listed in 2 U.S. Code § 1603 - Registration of lobbyists.

The following should have closed those loopholes in the law:

H.R.2316 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)

Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 - Title I: Closing the Revolving Door

...Requires such Member, officer, or employee to recuse himself or herself from any matter in which there is or appears to be a conflict of interest under the Rule, and to notify the Committee of such recusal. Requires such individual also to submit to the Clerk of the House, for public disclosure, the statement of disclosure for which such recusal was made.

[Text bolded by this author.]

(Sec. 102) Amends the federal criminal code to subject to a fine or imprisonment of up to 15 years, or both, a Member of Congress or a congressional employee who with the intent to influence, on the basis of partisan political affiliation, an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity: (1) takes or withholds, or offers or threatens to take or withhold, an official act; or (2) influences, or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another...

(Sec. 103) Prohibits an attorney or law firm (including a professional legal corporation or partnership, or an attorney employed by such firm) which contracts to provide services to a congressional committee or subcommittee, a Member of the leadership of either chamber, a covered legislative branch official, or a working group or congressional caucus, from knowingly making, with the intent to influence, any communication or appearance before any Member, officer, or congressional employee on behalf of another person (except the United States) in connection with any matter on which the attorney or law firm seeks official action by such Member, officer, or employee in his or her official capacity during the term of the contract and for one year thereafter.

(Sec. 104) Amends the federal criminal code to require the Clerk of the House to: (1) notify former Members of the House, officers, or employees of post-employment restrictions; and (2) post the information contained in such notification on the public Internet site of the Clerk's Office.

(Sec. 105) Establishes criminal penalties for a congressional employee formerly employed as a lobbyist who, within one year after leaving employment as a lobbyist, knowingly makes any communication to or appearance before the organization that employed him or her as a lobbyist (if not self-employed) or any client of that organization, present or past, during that one-year period on a matter relating specifically to that organization or client…

https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-bill/2316

Though this should come as no surprise, those politicians are or at least “give the appearance” (of) a bunch of crooks in a business that murders literally millions of people. They can change their official title from lobbyist to “consultant,” but that difference is moot when the bombs are falling on your family, and/or you’re drinking putrid water while rapidly dying of dehydration from diarrhea that just looks like bloody water because you haven’t had food in weeks. It hurts you know. Starvation hurts.

The human effects of American government corruption

Priyanka Motaparthy, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, arrived at a market in the Yemeni village of Mastaba on March 28, 2016, to find large craters, destroyed buildings, debris, shredded bits of clothing and small pieces of human bodies. Two weeks earlier, a warplane had bombed the market with two guided missiles. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report says the missiles hit around noon on March 15, killing 97 civilians, including 25 children... Under President Barack Obama’s administration and, now, President Donald Trump’s, the United States has put its military might behind the Saudi-led coalition, waging a war without congressional authorization. That war has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, destroyed or damaged more than half of Yemen’s health facilities, killed more than 8,350 civilians, injured another 9,500 civilians, displaced 3.3 million people, and created a humanitarian disaster that threatens the lives of millions as cholera and famine spread through the country. U.S. arms merchants, however, have grown rich. Fragments of the bombs were documented by journalists and HRW with help from Mastaba villagers.

An HRW munitions expert determined the bombs were 2,000-pound MK-84s, manufactured by General Dynamics. Based in Falls Church, Va., General Dynamics is the world’s sixth most profitable arms manufacturer. One of the bombs used a satellite guidance kit from Chicago-based Boeing, the world’s second-most profitable weapons company. The other bomb had a Paveway guidance system, made by either Raytheon of Waltham, Mass., the third-largest arms company in the world, or Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Md., the world’s top weapons contractor.

An In These Times analysis found that in the past decade, the State Department has approved at least $30.1 billion in Saudi military contracts for these four companies. The war in Yemen has been particularly lucrative for General Dynamics, Boeing and Raytheon, which have received hundreds of millions of dollars in Saudi weapons deals.

All three corporations have highlighted business with Saudi Arabia in their reports to shareholders. Since the war began in March 2015, General Dynamics’ stock price has risen from about $135 to $169 per share, Raytheon’s from about $108 to more than $180, and Boeing’s from about $150 to $360.

https://inthesetimes.com/features/us-saudi-arabia-yemen-war-arms-sales.html

Also see: https://mwatana.org/en/

The above is only a tiny sample of the human carnage unleashed during Hillary Clinton’s career as Secretary of State “under” “President” Obama. To the above list one should add the overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, who was replaced by Ms. Clinton’s choice of leader Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi; President Mohamed Morsi’s subsequent imprisonment and death, several attempts to overthrow the government of Venezuela, the killing of thousands of civilians in drone wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and a dozen other countries at least, political assassinations, the millions of innocents that die every year of starvation due to American economic sanctions, and so on.

What’s in the newspaper recently?

At least 30 killed, 50+ injured as multiple blasts rock school in Kabul (VIDEOS) May 8, 2021

 Multiple explosions have rocked a school in the Afghan capital of Kabul. At least 30 people were killed in the blasts and dozens more were injured. The majority of the victims were female students.

On Saturday, at least three blasts occurred on the premises of the Sayed-ul-Shuhada High School, located in the western part of the capital. The attack occurred when the students were leaving the school.

Local TOLO news, citing the Interior Ministry, says the blasts killed at least 30 and wounded over 50 people. So far, no armed group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban denied any involvement.

Afghanistan has seen an uptick in violence in recent weeks following US President Joe Biden's announcement that American troops – deployed in the country for two decades – will be withdrawn by September 11, and not the May 1 date agreed during Donald Trump's administration. The Taliban criticized the new deadline.

https://www.rt.com/news/523270-blasts-rock-school-kabul/

Followed by:

At least 13 killed in two bus bombings across Afghanistan as Taliban announces three-day Eid ceasefire, May 10, 2021

 At least 13 people were killed and almost 40 were injured overnight in two bus bombings in Afghanistan. The attacks came shortly after the Taliban announced a three-day ceasefire for the Eid al-Fitr holiday later this week.

A passenger bus was hit by a roadside bomb in the southern Afghan province of Zabul overnight, the provincial governor’s spokesman, Gul Islam Sial, said on Monday. The attack left at least 11 people dead and some 28 injured, including women and children.

https://www.rt.com/news/523356-afghanistan-bus-bomb-attacks/

Shortly thereafter one finds:

Six children & two women killed in Israeli airstrike on crowded Gaza refugee camp – reports, 15 May, 2021

...One of eight official refugee camps in Gaza, al-Shati was established in 1948 after tens of thousands of Palestinians fled their homes and villages during the Israeli War for Independence, also known to Palestinians as the ‘Nakba’, or ‘catastrophe’, which saw 750,000 Arabs displaced from territory that became Israel. The refugee population has since swelled to around 5.7 million worldwide, according to the UN, with over 1.3 million remaining in Gaza.

Despite repeated calls for a ceasefire from international bodies, hostilities have continued into the sixth day as of Saturday morning, seeing at least 137 Palestinians killed, including 36 children, and nearly 1,000 wounded.

https://www.rt.com/news/523888-gaza-camp-bombed-children/

The deaths of those children in Afghanistan and Palestine were the direct result of long histories of US egregious violations of international law via repeatedly interfering in the affairs of other nations. In regards to Afghanistan did President Biden consult with DNI Avril Haines and DCI William Burns before changing the US withdrawal date from May 1, 2021 to 9/11?  In regards to Israel has he consulted with Prime Minister Netanyahu in regards to his wanton slaughter of innocents to distract voters from his corruption trial?

Examining the multiple chains of events leading to the most savage carnage around the world it always comes back to corruption in the US government and an intentional effort to maximize corporate profits.

And what’s going on with the Palestinians these days with President Biden at the helm of the US empire? Riots and extreme violence[1] as Israelis keep evicting farmers and stealing more and more land, in addition to forbidding Muslims to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque[2] where they’ve prayed for some 1,300 years on the holiest days of the year. What is this strategy? Provoke, provoke, provoke and blame the victims. And how much money does the federal government give to Israel, America’s “cats-paw” in the Middle East? In 2019, the US provided $3.8 billion in foreign military aid to Israel. Israel also benefits from about $8 billion of loan guarantees. Almost all US aid to Israel is now in the form of military assistance, while in the past it also received significant economic assistance. With all that money one might think they could just buy land instead of killing people and stealing it. But, that’s the American way afterall.

[1] 2021.05.13 https://imemc.org/article/israeli-army-kills-many-palestinians-in-gaza/   “Israeli Army Kills Many Palestinians In Gaza - On Thursday evening, the Palestinian Health Ministry said eighty-seven Palestinians, including eighteen children, have been killed and 530 have been injured due to the ongoing Israeli strikes on Gaza. The Israeli army targeted 14 residential towers with its missiles, in addition to firing missiles at 23 media centers, dozens of institutions, societies, and offices, in addition to 58 government-run centers, such as police stations, security centers, and service centers. As of about one hour before the time of this report, Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of Gaza’s Health Ministry had confirmed that eighty-seven Palestinians, including eighteen children and eight women, have been killed, and more than 530 have been injured, in the ongoing Israeli offensive.” Mired in a corruption trial, P.M. Netanyahu tries to “rally the nation” behind intensified crimes against innocent Palestinians, while the US pumps billions of taxpayer dollars into their “defense” coffers. Clearly Israeli ultra-nationalists know with certainty President Biden is in their corner. [2] When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they used the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a palace and the Dome of the Rock as a church, but its function as a mosque was restored after its recapture by Saladin in 1187. More renovations, repairs and additions were undertaken in the later centuries by the Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans, the Supreme Muslim Council, and Jordan. Today, the Old City is under Israeli control, but the mosque was under the administration of the Jordanian/Palestinian-led Islamic Waqf, at least until President Trump, in one of his most infamous acts, gifted Jerusalem to the Israelis, even though it was not his to give.

And what about news from Venezuela?

‘Humanitarian’ agency USAID was ‘key tool’ for Washington undermining the Venezuelan government, official review reveals, 9 May, 2021

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/523110-usaid-venezuela-undermine-government/

The USA has economic sanctions on Venezuela because it has a socialist government and refuses to accept the American choice for president.

Exactly what part of the above news stories is Chinese or Russian propaganda? I have Afghan friends including Afghan newspaper editors, government officials and teachers. I have friends in Venezuela and can easily read their newspapers (Spanish was my second language). I was in Pakistan in 1993 and visited a Saudi directed training program where the Taliban were created. I was in the Sri Lanka war when the CIA was delivering money and bomb-making materials to the terrorist LTTE group. I visited a refugee camp in Austria near the end of the Bosnian war and have lived in countries with American appointed fascist dictators. Likewise, I have friends in Xinjiang and regularly go to Jumaat prayers here in China on Fridays.

(There are two countries I can’t write about because CIA imposed dictators are holding people I care about hostages.)

The propaganda put out by the western press is pure nonsense.  None of the above is Russian or Chinese propaganda.  The Russian and Chinese governments have had had nothing to do with my personal experiences traveling around the world during the past 55+ years.

What does USA Today have for the reading public today?

'They will slaughter us’: Afghans who worked with US beg for visas as troop withdrawal looms

The US promised all Afghans who they trained as translators, teachers, drivers, etc. visas and then reneged on those promises in a backroom deal with the Afghan government because they were the best educated people in the country. If only the US had 1) not hired the extremist Salafist Saudis to program the Taliban in the first place, and 2) gone in with agricultural specialists, ecologists, teachers and construction and engineering crews instead of armies, drones and bombs, none of this would be happening now.

The American Defense industry poisons everything and everyone it touches. The American government’s foreign policy is a killing machine that always betrays its friends while earning profits for corporate shareholders and those same corporations “donate” money to politicians many or most of whom clearly have multiple “conflicts of interest.”

Is that Russian or Chinese propaganda? China has not participated in any armed conflict in any way except as peacekeepers in decades.

The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 outlines a series of highly illegal actions designed to smother competition, not facilitate it.  

Possible prosecution of high-ranking cabinet officials and Congressional representatives

The cleanest and simplest way to clean up Congress and corrupt cabinet officials is via the RICO laws. What is the difference between the Chicago Mafia, the Gambino family, the Lucchese family and Al Capone’s mob and the US Congress? Only that the US Congress is bigger, better funded, protected by corrupt presidents, attorney generals, the slavishly obedient corporate owned mainstream “news” media, and is vastly more deadly. Racketeering laws evolved into RICO in 1970 and are still very useful today.

To convict a defendant under RICO, the government must prove that the defendant engaged in two or more instances of racketeering activity and that the defendant directly invested in, maintained an interest in, or participated in a criminal enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/content/rico-act.html

Obvious quid pro quo relationships between political donations and Congressional voting patterns do create the appearance of corruption.

Even  in  the  cases  that  have  construed  the  anti-corruption interest  most  narrowly,  we  have  never  suggested  that such quid  pro  quo  debts  must  take  the  form  of  outright vote  buying  or  bribes,  which  have  long  been  distinct crimes. Rather, they encompass the myriad ways in which outside  parties  may  induce  an  officeholder  to  confer  a  legislative benefit in direct response to, or anticipation of, some outlay of money the parties have made or will make on behalf of the officeholder.  See McConnell, 540 U. S., at 143  (“We  have  not  limited  [the  anticorruption]  interest  to the  elimination  of  cash-for-votes  exchanges.    In  Buckley, we  expressly  rejected  the  argument  that  antibribery  laws  provided a less restrictive alternative to FECA’s contribution  limits,  noting  that  such  laws  ‘deal[t]  with  only  the  most blatant and specific attempts of those with money to influence  governmental  action’”  (quoting  424  U.  S.,  at  28;  alteration in original). It has likewise never been doubted that  “of  almost  equal  concern  as  the  danger  of  actual  quid  pro  quo  arrangements  is  the  impact  of  the  appearance  of  corruption.”  Id.,  at  27.    Congress  may  “legitimately  conclude  that  the  avoidance  of  the  appearance  of  improper  influence  is  also  critical. [Italics added by this author, except for the Latin text.]

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf

Conflicts of interest and dividend profits from votes in favor of international aggression may only be circumstantial evidence, but:

“Criminal law does allow prosecutors to convict a defendant using just circumstantial evidence. In fact, this proof is not considered to be inherently less reliable than direct proof.”

https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/defense/legal-defenses/circumstantial-evidence/

Is there any possibility Attorney General Merrick B. Garland would ever prosecute any top administration officials or members of Congress for egregious violations of law, e.g., violations of Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 - Title I: Closing the Revolving Door?

Were I him I most certainly would. Why? Suppose there is an “incident” in the South China Sea involving American and Chinese naval forces leading to loss of lives. The American stock market could well crash. There is a distinct possibility more than a million hungry Americans would then surround Washington DC, block the roads with trucks, and demand Congress answer for their absolute corruption in provoking war and the inevitable economic devastation. Were I the Attorney General I would most definitely want to be able to honestly say I was already working on that, and be more or less ready to begin those prosecutions, most probably using RICO laws. Also please recall that it would not have to be the US launching a “false flag” operation in the South China Sea to ignite that conflict, as there are numerous interested 3rd party national leaders whose sovereignty depends on American hegemony, any of whom can afford a private military company to launch a false flag operation with the intent of starting a naval conflict between the US and China.

One might also wonder if Attorney General Merrick B. Garland would attempt to prosecute a president reaching for the nuclear trigger for purely political and/or economic reasons (as compared to genuine national security reasons)? That remains to be seen and he may be tested on this issue in the relatively near future given the abject lack of ethics and absolute greed and corruption present in the current Biden Administration.

The Unspoken Premise of Modern Capitalism Is That the World Will Be Saved by Greedy Tech Oligarchs, by Caitlin Johnstone, Dec. 29, 2020

“…Ah yes, America. The country where Republicans spend all day screaming that socialism is happening and Democrats spend all day making sure it never does...

“In reality, the world is still very much locked into zealous worship of the great god known as capitalism. And it is choking the world to death...”

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/12/29/the-unspoken-premise-of-modern-capitalism-is-that-the-world-will-be-saved-by-greedy-tech-oligarchs/

The United States is not rapidly descending into riot, ruin and rot because of the workers – they by in large are fine. The referenced information in this section represents only the tip of the iceberg of the absolute corruption in Washington DC, their sociopathic masters in Langly Virginia, and their avaricious masters in the boardrooms of corporate America. The only way to get a clear view on daily events surrounding those places is to read “The Twelve Caesars,” by Suetonius wherein the debauched leaders of empire can only find pleasure in sadism. There was no profit in killing half a million Americans with COVID-19, or in starving nine million to death every year. Given the highly advanced state of pharmaceutical interventions available to intelligence organizations to extract truth from prisoners there is no need at all for torture. Why then kill all those innocents and torture people? The answer can be found in the work of Suetonius.

Were I a prosecutor I would also look into any communications between Mr. John J. Mearsheimer (see “Introduction to the Belt and Road Initiative” below) and elected or appointed government officials and/or defense industry consultants/lobbyists and/or executives.

Gangsterism is often idealized in the American media. For example, Bonnie and Clyde [Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934,  and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934] were an American criminal couple who were shot to death in 1934 yet remain folk heroes to this day. The movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford about two hapless bank robbers was hugely popular in 1969, won many awards and remains a film classic. One of the most popular pop songs as of this writing is Coolio ft. & Snoop Dogg’s Gangsta Walk.

Celebrity Mr. Mearsheimer, many members of the House of Representatives and the 51 members of the Senate that voted in favor of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 participate in activities consistent with crime racketeering as defined by law and commonly called “gangsterism.”

For the sake of brevity and out of shear revulsion at the limitless corruption within, and horror American foreign policy makers routinely inflict upon the innocent of the world, I will close this section here. It is hoped the above review is sufficient background for readers to begin to grasp the profit-motivation behind the highly deceptive so-called “Strategic Competition Act of 2021” as it relates to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Introduction

When you’re behind in a game, you just try harder and/or hopefully smarter. A sportsman doesn’t hire hit teams to take out the competition or run around slandering his or her competitor(s). That’s considered rather low-minded to put it mildly. Unfortunately, since WWII the US has been so feverishly busy selling bombs and guns to almost everyone, starting wars, overthrowing governments and so on, they just didn’t take the time to invest in much of anything positive around the world, like building roads and other transportation systems, hydro-electric dams, wind farms, industrial parks in developing countries, and so on. So now, in 2021, they come late to the table and yap on about China, nagging and quibbling about everything China has done helping underdeveloped countries develop. It’s ridiculous, undignified and pathetic. Oh! Did I mention malign, malicious, underhanded, illegal and probably not going to work anyways?

To solve this “problem” (American foreign policy makers and industry leaders have created with their own negligence and infinite arrogance), Congress has concocted a ludicrous set of strategies to attack the competition in outlandishly corrupt and wildly illegal ways. What is the American endgame in China? The US wants to eliminate China as an economic competitor, and their plan is to weaken the people’s confidence in their government while continuing to attack China at the corners: Xinjian, Hong Kong and Tibet and attempt to shatter the Belt and Road Initiative into a million pieces.

The final goal? Balkanization of China – that is divide it into several smaller impoverished warring states, just like they did to the Balkans and more recently, Sudan, just like they want to do to Syria, Ethiopia and any other nation that attempts retain any measure of self-determination. Fortunately, that’s probably not going to happen and the US should instead be investing in trying to promote its own stability because it’s not far from a Civil War itself.

Series Recap

To truly understand the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 one must have some idea of the use of American political “double-speak,” AKA “spin,” AKA “controlling the narrative” and manufacturedconsent.  A really quick scan of the 281 page Strategic Competition Act 2021 might almost appear reasonable provided one is smoking opium, and not thinking critically. It almost has the veneer of logic but all of that fades away quickly when one examines the details which reveal the single longest list of self-confessed “intent to commit” multi-billion-dollar tax-payer financed international crimes I have ever had the misfortune of reading.

It is a mind-numbing expose on what Congress thinks very dumbed-down American voters might accept. That oily palaver however evaporates instantly with a careful read. Every page and Section of that document is cram-packed with false allegations without a shred of solid evidence, and wildly illegal by both American and international laws.

That document reveals utter contempt for all norms of civilized international communication, trade, and law.

Were allegations against China leveled in this Congressional Act put before a criminal trial judge anywhere in the world it would instantly be dismissed as “frivolous,” due to a complete lack of evidence supporting any of the allegations. The allegations are all suppositions by American government and/or government related/financed entities.

In all fairness to copyright laws however, I will acknowledge when I first came to China some 12 years ago, I did see what probably were illegal pirated movie DVDs being sold on some street corners. However, I will also note I’ve traveled and/or lived in 20 some other developing countries and they all had pirated DVDs for sale on street corners. Also, for the past 8 – 10 years I haven’t been able to find any DVDs for sale in China at all. With that one exception in mind, I don’t believe there is any rational excuse to declare war, economic or thermonuclear on China for all fatuous claims made in the Strategic Competition Act of 2021. Besides all that exactly what constitutes “copyright infringement” is constantly being redefined by courts in the US.

Before going into that document’s malign and illegal plans to attack China’s Belt and Road Initiative a brief review of Parts 1 & 2 of this series of articles is presented.

Strategic Competition Act of 2021 - Pt. 1 A Hate Crime

SEC. 135. “Sense of Congress condemning anti-Asian racism,” (while promoting Anti-Asian racism throughout that same document)

SEC. 303. “Imposition of sanctions with respect to systematic rape, coercive abortion, forced sterilization, or involuntary contraceptive implantation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.”(Those assertions should have been prefaced with the word “alleged” for without that modifier those assertions are nothing more than defamation. Those defamatory and unproven allegations come from  well-funded US governmentdisinformation services and have been paralleled by US funded and orchestrated terrorist campaigns in Xinjiang).

SEC. 13. “The PRC is using legal and illegal means to achieve its objective of becoming a manufacturing and technological superpower. The PRC uses state-directed industrial policies in anticompetitive ways to ensure the dominance of PRC companies,” (though nothing as anti-competitive as attempting to overthrow 64 governments and initiating 201 military conflicts or as heavy handed and  anti-competitive as the anti-Huawei and anti-Nord-Stream 2campaigns of the USA)

Strategic Competition Act of 2021 - Pt. 2 Illegal Info-War Against China

SEC. 132 - Supporting independent media and countering disinformation. ($400,000,000 per annum to illegally censor any news with any semblance of a Chinese perspective, illegally ramp-up American government-driven anti-China propaganda in the US, while illegally flooding China with American government-driven propaganda. 

SEC. 134. Authorization of appropriations for the Fulbright-Hays Program. ($105,500,000 per annum to illegally flood China with anti-Chinese government propaganda under the guise of “cultural-exchange” and teaching English)

SEC. 136. Supporting independent media and countering disinformation. ($170,000,000 per annum program to teach freshman “journalists” how to work as loudspeakers for US government dicta to illegally smear China with fake information while avoiding any semblance of truth whatsoever, and protecting those "CIA-friendly" fake journalists when overseas.)

SEC. 137. Congress established the Global Engagement Center (GEC) to “direct, lead, and coordinate efforts” of the Federal Government to “recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation globally.” (Increase in GEC funding to $138,000,000 per annum to illegally censor out any viewpoints in any way communicating Chinese, Russian and/or Syrian perspectives on the illegal American wars against them by anyone including American investigative journalists.)

SEC. 207. Additional $2,500,000 per annum to illegally coordinate directly and through fake NGOs with the EU, ASEAN, OECD, and banks to prevent and otherwise stop Huawei’s5-G platform development under the guise of “regulatory” issues.)

SEC. 215. Additional $10,000,000 per year to hire people to illegally infiltrate Pacific island governments to smear Chinese business interests in those countries.)

SEC. 216. A whopping $3,250,000,000 to India to illegally and corruptly coordinate with China’s neighbors in the region to undermine China’s legitimate business interests in the region presumably by way of the usual bag of dirty tricks - disinformation, bribery, threats, etc. - and via IT interference.

SEC. 217. On can presume the US exempts itself as an “authoritarian” state here - based on the presumption of American Exceptionalism which everyone in the world must bow before - in allocating $5,000,000 per annum to corruptly and illegally influence the UNagainst Chinese interests in favor of American interests.

SEC. 245. Illegally censor any and all news reaching Canadians that might contain any viewpoints reflecting China’s perspectives on this economic war against it; illegally prevent and halt all Chinese business interests with Canada, and escalate the number of NORAD long-range missiles and other “high-precision” weapons aimed at China in Canada.

SEC. 246. Sense of Congress regarding the Government of China’s arbitrary imprisonment of Canadian citizens. (To illegally whip up a frenzy of anti-Chinese hatred in Canada in retaliation for China legitimately arresting two Canadian spies. American race-based “Five-Eye” “friends,” including Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders run some very nasty and deadly intelligence operations in a large number of countries, most of which are never reported.)

SEC. 247. Strategy to enhance cooperation with Canada. (To illegally escalate Canadian participation in promoting “regime change” in China via covert operations using “democracy” as a front.)

And now for some psychological relief from the bizarre psychopathologies and criminal intent of the US Congress, a brief introduction to the vastly more hopeful and constructive Belt and Road Initiative.

Introduction to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

The BRI is by far the largest trade and infrastructure development plan in human history.

As of January 2021, the number of countries that have joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China is 140. Giventhat there are about 195 countries in the world, some 72% of the countries have signed on to the BRI. Some will be trading partners, others investors, and others still are looking for assistance in building infrastructure. It is a very large, multi-faceted program spanning most of the world.

Unfortunately, Australia dropped out recently. That was not terribly surprising as the US has been doing quite a lot of China bashing there in recent years.

America Has No Allies, Only Hostages, October 21, 2020

…“‘Now some people say there’s an alternative: you can go with China,’ said (John) Mearsheimer. ‘Right, you have a choice here: you can go with China rather the United States. There are two things I’ll say about that. Number one, if you go with China you want to understand you are our enemy. You are then deciding to become an enemy of the United States. Because again, we’re talking about an intense security competition.

‘You're either with us or against us,” he continued. “And if you're trading extensively with China, and you’re friendly with China, you’re undermining the United States in this security competition. You’re feeding the beast, from our perspective. And that is not going to make us happy. And when we are not happy you do not want to underestimate how nasty we can be. Just ask Fidel Castro.”

American political analyst John Mearsheimer at a debate hosted by the Australian think tank Center for Independent Studies held at: Mearsheimer Australian Center for Independent Studies

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/10/21/america-has-no-allies-only-hostages

Later on in that interview Mr. Mearsheimer went on to add:

(51:16) You understand, we’re trying to wreck the Chinese economy… We do not want them growing over the next 30 years the way they’ve grown over the past 30 years. So, you’re gonna help feed the beast? You’re going to trade with China and basically just ignore us? I don’t think that’s going to work out too well.

The CIA did try to killFidel Castro a number of times. Thus, one can see US representatives go so far as to make death threats should nations do business with China. This would appear to fall in the category of “anti-competitive” actions.

“John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He graduated from West Point in 1970 and then served five years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.” https://political-science.uchicago.edu/directory/john-mearsheimer

Frankly I’m a bit surprised Australians are so easily intimidated. Probably President Biden’s emissaries promised a great deal money for their own infrastructure projects (which they will have to borrow from Japan). I’m sure China will keep the door should the Australian leadership have a change of heart at some time in the future. Patience always has been the great virtue of Asia.

China Belt and Road Projects Value Now Exceeds US$4 Trillion,  posted by Silk Road Briefing, Nov 25, 2020

https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2020/11/25/china-belt-and-road-projects-value-now-exceeds-us4-trillion/

In comparison, the Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent.

The countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are spread across all continents:

  • 40 countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • 34 BRI countries are in Europe & Central Asia (including 18 countries of the European Union (EU) that are part of the BRI)

  • 25 BRI countries are in East Asia & pacific

  • 17 BRI countries in Middle East & North Africa

  • 18 BRI countries are in Latin America & Caribbean

  • 6 countries are in South East Asia

A current table of the countries that have joined the BRI can be found here:

https://green-bri.org/countries-of-the-belt-and-road-initiative-bri/

(Nedopil, Christoph (2021): “Countries of the Belt and Road Initiative”; Beijing, IIGF Green BRI Center)

That China is helping infrastructure development and job creation in the world’s least developed nations is admirable, however others may spin the facts. Africa, Latin America, most of Asia and the Middle East suffered anywhere between 150 - 500 years of colonialization and have a lot of catching up to do simply to get into the 20th Century, not to mention the 21st Century. As time has gone on, most have only fallen further and further behind the developed world while American neo-liberal economic policies starve and deny employment and access to medicine for the poor. In comparison to those kinds of things, and by any other measure, the BRI is outstandingly virtuous as it does not tie neoliberal expectations to loan guarantees.

https://green-bri.org/countries-of-the-belt-and-road-initiative-bri/?cookie-state-change=1620709189721

Sept. 7, 2020 (Xinhua) Trade in goods with partner countries has exceeded 7.8 trillion U.S. dollars, and direct investment surpassed 110 billion dollars, providing a strong boost to local employment and social and economic development. In the first half of this year, China's investment in BRI countries increased by 19.4 percent.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-09/07/c_139349500.htm

To write that 500 years of colonial rule has left large parts of the developing world behind would be an understatement.

Asia needs USD 26 trillion in infrastructure investment to 2030 (Asian Development Bank, 2017), and China can certainly help to provide some of this. Its investments, by  building  infrastructure,  have  positive  impacts  on countries  involved.  Mutual  benefit  is  a  feature  of  the BRI  which  will  also  help  to  develop  markets  for China’s  products  in  the  long  term  and  to  alleviate industrial  excess  capacity  in  the  short  term.  The  BRI prioritizes hardware (infrastructure) and funding first.

https://www.oecd.org/finance/Chinas-Belt-and-Road-Initiative-in-the-global-trade-investment-and-finance-landscape.pdf

To write that the development of the BRI came just in time would also be an understatement. For example:

BEIJING, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- China is providing (free) vaccine aid to 53 developing countries including Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday.

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-02/08/c_139730673.htm

Xinhua, 2021-04-10  World Insights: Booming China-Africa logistics offers lifeline, economic promise for Africa, by Xinhua writers Cao Kai, Zhang Yisheng and Ding Le

“Ethiopia's national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines has recently transported a batch of COVID-19 vaccines from Beijing to Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. So far, China has provided COVID-19 vaccines to more than 30 African countries. Smooth logistic routes between China and Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic have helped African countries fight the pandemic, promoted two-way exchanges of products and ensured that the continent's economic recovery is on the right track.

“Fitsum Abadi, managing director of cargo and logistic services of Ethiopian Airlines, said that the frequency of flights to and from China has doubled from about 63 times per week before the pandemic to about 120 times per week now. "We have been transporting PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) from China to the rest of the world. In Africa, we have transported (PPE) to 52 countries," said Abadi.

“Official data showed that China has been Africa's largest trading partner for more than a decade...”

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/africa/2021-04/10/c_139871074.htm

Is it somehow China’s fault that the USA has fallen so far behind in addressing the real needs of the so-called “less developed” world? Is China to be punished, crushed, Balkanized and enslaved for helping to build infrastructure in the world’s poorest nations?

“The freight train service was the main channel to deliver the anti-epidemic and life necessities in urgent need to European countries. In 2020, the China-Europe freight train service transported 9.39 million pieces of anti-epidemic supplies, weighing 76,000 tonnes, to countries including Italy, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic and Poland.

“The achievement that came at such a critical time speaks volumes about the efficient, wide-coverage and all-weather advantages of China-Europe freight trains. A mere 17 trips were made in 2011, but trip numbers topped 10,000 in 2020. Now China has launched the China-Europe freight train service from over 60 domestic cities to major European countries.”

https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/qwyw/rdxw/167938.htm

US political sharks can spin this to be a terrible thing, but when it’s your life on the line, you families life, you’re not so ready to point fingers and accuse others of “malign” intent.

China sent masks, gloves and gowns to many U.S. states. Here’s who benefited.

“Critics of Beijing’s ‘mask diplomacy’ may have overlooked long-established sister-state ties”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/29/china-sent-masks-gloves-gowns-many-us-states-heres-who-benefited/

If this is interpreted as “challenging American authority,” rather than simple altruism, then Jesus really did deserve his crucifixion for “challenging Rome’s authority” by giving to the poor. Please remember China too was brutally colonized by the Eight Nation Alliance and then forced to endure a foreign supported Civil War in which millions of innocents were killed.

There is and always has been a bond shared by the common suffering of the oppressed that some, perhaps most Americans simply can not understand.

The BRI is comprised of the following 6 economic corridors:

1. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC): http://cpec.gov.pk/

2. China, Mongolia, Russia Economic Corridor: https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/

3. New Eurasia Land Bridge Economic Corridor (NELB):  The New Eurasia Land Bridge (NELB), also known as the Second Eurasia Land Bridge https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/

4. China-Central and West Asia Economic Corridor (CCWAEC) https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/

5. China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor (CICPEC), https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/

6. Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor: https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/

https://www.clingendael.org/publication/new-map-belt-and-road-initiative

Urumqi means “beautiful prairie” in old Mongolian. The name derives from the city’s important role as a hub on the ancient Silk Road during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24). However, in modern times, its geographical isolation caused the city to gradually lose its luster.

Since the Silk Road Economic Belt was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, Urumqi has made efforts to seize the opportunities provided by the initiative, which is aimed at connecting markets in Asia and Europe and will cover more than 3 billion people.

http://english.www.gov.cn/news/top_news/2015/10/09/content_281475207597722.htm

For a partial list of institutions and mechanisms related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) see: https://www.beltroad-initiative.com/institutions-and-mechanisms/

For the latest news on BRI development http://www.xinhuanet.com/silkroad/english/index.htm is probably the best resource.

AIIB -  Separate from but related to BRI

A separate but related institution for financing development in Asia is the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It opened in 2016 with US $100 billion in approved capital.

AIIB is a multilateral development bank (MDB) established by international treaty and headquartered in Beijing. AIIB was founded to address Asia’s infrastructure funding needs. It began operations in 2016 with 57 founding Members (37 regional and 20 nonregional). By the end of 2020, we had 103 approved Members representing approximately 79 percent of the global population and 65 percent of global GDP.

Since 2017, AIIB has received AAA ratings with a stable outlook from the top credit rating agencies— Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. Industry recognition of our sound financial standing has enabled us to expand our presence in international capital markets by successfully issuing global bonds and has allowed us to broaden funding sources through local currency-denominated bond issuances and private placements.

https://www.aiib.org/en/about-aiib/index.html

The AIIB also has a COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility with an  initial USD5-10  billion  of  financing  to  both  public  and private  sector  entities  in  any  AIIB  member  facing  (or  at  risk  of  facing)  serious  adverse impacts as a result of COVID-19.

https://www.aiib.org/en/policies-strategies/COVID-19-Crisis-Recovery-Facility/_download/CRF-Toolkit-Final-1.pdf

Next, without further ado, a dissection of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021’s absurd fabrications regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Review of Strategic Competition Act of 2021’s References to the BRI

The Chinese led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was mentioned 12 times in the Senate’s Strategic Competition Act of 2021 and needless to say, none of those mentions were very flattering, tsk, tsk. Sour grapes if ever there was.

SEC. 2. Findings

(15) The PRC is advancing its global objectives through a variety of avenues, including its signature initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative (referred to in this section as “BRI”), which is enshrined in the Chinese Constitution and includes the Digital Silk Road and Health Silk Road. The PRC describes BRI as a straightforward and wholly beneficial plan for all countries. Eventually, it seeks to advance an economic system with the PRC at its center, making it the most concrete geographical representation of the PRC’s global ambitions. BRI increases the economic influence of state-owned Chinese firms in global markets, enhances the PRC’s political leverage with government leaders around the world, and provides greater access to strategic nodes such as ports and railways. Through BRI, the PRC seeks political deference through economic dependence.

Before addressing the central theme of that Section it should be noted that “seeks political deference through economic dependence,” sounds like a psychological projection, rather than any objectively based provable phenomenon. Western attitudes towards domination may have been shaped by Biblical mandates giving “dominion.”

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 1:26 KJV

In contrast, Confucius, Mozi, Lao Tze and most other great philosophers in Chinese history emphasized harmony, not domination in relationships with nature and other people. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896957/

China’s banking and lending practices are very different from American. For one thing, they are not seeking maximum profits, but rather work with borrowers to maximize mutual benefit. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic several nations are having difficulty repaying debts and, in every case, China refinances the loans. According to independent silkroadbriefing.com, “China Using Paris Club Creditor Methods to Extend Debt Treatment For Belt and Road Initiative Repayment Holidays,” and  “China is following and offering better terms than Western creditors.”

“China’s apparent adoption of debt restructuring models based upon those used by the Paris Club effectively further discounts such allegations as Beijing appears to be using Western debt renegotiation standards – and even improve upon them – specifically to avoid such criticism.”

https://www.silkroadbriefing.com/news/2021/02/18/china-using-paris-club-creditor-methods-to-extend-debt-treatment-for-belt-and-road-initiative-repayment-holidays/

The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 does not mention that China is following a western lending model, nor that even more lenient terms are applied. This Congressional Act appears to be utilizing the tools of “yellow journalism” which were used to start the Spanish American War also based on false assertions. Debt traps caused by IMF and World Bank loans are far larger and more onerous than the much smaller, focused and productive loans offered by the BRI.

Some of the above Findings however are correct. Yes, the BRI is a “concrete geographical representation of the PRC’s global ambitions,” with those ambitions being to help other developing countries escape the poverty and hopelessness it suffered while recovering from the American sponsored Chinese Civil War 1927 - 1949.

The American leadership may find it difficult or impossible to imagine, but there is more than a little solidarity between those who have suffered under the same oppressive yoke of western colonialism - which is nothing less than racist slavery.

Some relationships forged in national humiliation and blood can never be forgotten. To China’s credit, it is taking proactive steps to lift other oppressed nations out of the 19th Century and into some hope for a better future. And for this, China is cast as a villain by corporate owned Euro-American (fake) news media, the US Congress and the US Senate Foreign Policy Committee. Shameless is one thing; cold, calculating, brutal and murderous is another.

Opper, Frederick Burr, 1857-1937, artist

https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.29087/

Yellow Journalism: The "Fake News" of the 19th Century

How fake news was used to start the Spanish American War

U.S. Diplomacy and Yellow Journalism, 1895–1898

“Yellow journalism was a style of newspaper reporting that emphasized sensationalism over facts. During its heyday in the late 19th century, it was one of many factors that helped push the United States and Spain into war in Cuba and the Philippines, leading to the acquisition of overseas territory by the United States…

“The peak of yellow journalism, in terms of both intensity and influence, came in early 1898, when a U.S. battleship, the Maine, sunk in Havana harbor. The naval vessel had been sent there not long before in a display of U.S. power and, in conjunction with the planned visit of a Spanish ship to New York, an effort to defuse growing tensions between the United States and Spain. On the night of February 15, an explosion tore through the ship’s hull, and the Maine went down. Sober observers and an initial report by the colonial government of Cuba concluded that the explosion had occurred on board, but Hearst and Pulitzer, who had for several years been selling papers by fanning anti-Spanish public opinion in the United States, published rumors of plots to sink the ship. When a U.S. naval investigation later stated that the explosion had come from a mine in the harbor, the proponents of yellow journalism seized upon it and called for war. By early May, the Spanish-American War had begun.”

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1866-1898/yellow-journalism

American politicians wallowing in the troughs of weapon corporations appear to be using the same old tricks of yellow journalism to start a war with China. To a trial judge this Act can open the door to numerous instances of “conflict of interest” by elected officials, most of whom did not wait a year before assuming office after supposedly cutting ties with their real masters.

Leon Barritt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“Editorial cartoon by Leon Barritt, 1898. Newspaper publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, full-length, dressed as the Yellow Kid (a popular cartoon character of the day), each pushing against opposite sides of a pillar of wooden blocks that spells WAR. This is a satire of the Pulitzer and Hearst newspapers' role in drumming up USA public opinion to go to war with Spain.”

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PulitzerHearstWarYellowKids.jpg

SEC. 132. Authorization.

(e) Countering malign influence.—In this section countering malign influence through the use of funds authorized to be appropriated by subsection (a) shall include efforts to—

(2) support civil society and independent media to raise awareness of and increase transparency regarding the negative impact of activities related to the Belt and Road Initiative;

“Malign?”

Congress and other high officials may for now have absolute privileges protection from lawsuits for slander and libel, however are not above the law of public opinion and can expect no mercy from history books.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-millionaire-who-took-on-mccarthy

Mr. Welch: You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

https://historicipswich.org/2021/01/09/joseph-nye-welch/

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/welch-mccarthy.html

The House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment (S.J. Res. 16) by a vote of 119 to 56.

The Senate passed the amendment on April 8, 1864, by a vote of 38 to 6 -  only two Democrats, Reverdy Johnson of Maryland and James Nesmith of Oregon voted for the amendment.

Obviously, the democrats haven’t changed much. The enslavement of people of color everywhere around the world by the USA is a permanent goal of US Congress, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

SEC. 136. Supporting independent media and countering disinformation

(d) Support for local media.—The Secretary of State, acting through the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, shall support and train journalists on investigative techniques necessary to ensure public accountability related to the Belt and Road Initiative, the PRC’s surveillance and digital export of technology, and other influence operations abroad direct or directly supported by the Communist Party or the Chinese government.

China has been accused of creating debt traps. Who is the biggest borrower?

The USA!

Unfortunately, very little of that borrowed money was put into infrastructure development or health care (as the COVID-19 pandemic so aptly proved), which are areas the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese government do invest in heavily both at home and abroad.

And where does half of the US federal budget go? Into the so called “defense department” so it can bully and steal resources from nations of people of color, the very same people the US Congress and Senate Foreign Policy Committee does NOT was to see develop. It’s so much easier to steal everything from countries that have no development than developed countries.

Are nations that lend the US money accused of creating “debt traps?”

Who else has huge debts as a percentage of GDP? Japan (201.4%), Greece (189%) Italy (130%), and other mostly advanced nations.

One can only hope that “journalist training” referred to in this section includes a broad perspective on borrowing, the need for development to create jobs, and even sends those eager young wanna-be journalists to live in a village in Africa, Asia or Latin America with no electricity for a year, so they can get an intimate understanding of the need for things like hydroelectric dams (that China builds), transportation systems, (that China builds), and so on.

Unfortunately, it is far more likely those aspiring journalists will be suburban kids with no intimate personal knowledge of how the world really works, and like simple robots will be programmed with hatred for those who work really hard making a positive difference in this world lifting literally billions of people out of abject poverty and the despair it so often inculcates.

This will hardly be the first American lynching of Chinese.

Hells Canyon Massacre 34 Chinese miners

The date was May 27, 1887 when 34 Chinese miners were murdered, stripped naked, hacked to pieces and then thrown into the Snake River in Oregon. It was the worst massacre of Chinese in the history of the American West and the murderers got off unpunished. Today, 133 years later, we remember this atrocity.

https://afakv.home.blog/

McCarthy-Welch Exchange ‘Have You Left No Sense of Decency?’ delivered 9 June 1954 during the Army-McCarthy Hearings in Washington, D.C.

“And so, Senator, I asked him to go back to Boston. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad.... It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I'm a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.”

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/welch-mccarthy.html

It is an unfortunate fact that one never “gets used to” the sting of the whip that leaves those scars. They are not always visible to the eye, yet they remain, and those who inflict them will not be remembered kindly in history. The ghost of Senator McCarthy still haunts those hallways of American power and now in 2021 the song of the whip is louder, more malign and better financed than ever. Corrupting the youth to follow in those ill-fated footsteps is an act of infamy.

SEC. 206. Report on Chinese influence in international organizations.

(b) Contents.—The report required by subsection (a) shall include analysis of the following:

(E) efforts by the PRC to secure legitimacy for its own foreign policy initiatives, including the Belt and Road Initiative;

As of January 2021, the number of countries that have joined the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China is 140.

One can only wonder if having most of the countries in the world sign on to the BRI could be interpreted as “securing legitimacy?” Does giving away billions of dollars in COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment and vaccines to the world’s poorest nations qualify as a foreign policy initiative (especially in view of the fact rich nations are hoarding vaccines)?

The world's richest countries are hoarding vaccines. This is morally indefensible by Fatima Bhutto 17 Mar 2021

Why does South Africa pay twice as much for vaccines as European countries? Why has Africa - home to 1.3bn people – been allocated just 300m doses?

Last year, European and North American countries managed to ignore warnings of a highly contagious pandemic – dragging their feet in setting protocols in place, delaying mandatory mask-wearing, and giving mostly miserly handouts to the millions struggling to survive in lockdown...

Rich countries with 14% of the world’s population have secured 53% of the best vaccines. Almost all of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines will go to rich countries. The Moderna vaccine will go to rich countries exclusively; it is not even being offered to the poor. In fact, nine out of 10 people in poor countries may never be vaccinated at all. Washington is sitting on vaccines, making sure no one gets any while the US needs them. The European Union has exported 34m doses to, of all places, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong – countries that have no problem sourcing or paying for vaccines. In fact, the EU sent about 9m doses to the UK, a country which, no longer in the EU, also has what amounts in practice to an export ban of its own, official denials notwithstanding.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/17/rich-countries-hoarding-vaccines-us-eu-africa

Yes, I hope they investigate “efforts by the PRC to secure legitimacy for its own foreign policy initiatives, including and especially the Belt and Road Initiative,” because those supply chains are critical for helping the neediest people in the world, the people of color who have for centuries been raped and pillaged, enslaved, bombed, libeled and defamed by those very same rich nations that are now hoarding the life-saving vaccines.

SEC. 235. Limitation on assistance to countries hosting Chinese military installations.

(a) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) although it casts the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a development initiative, the People’s Republic of China is also utilizing the BRI to advance its own security interests, including to expand its power projection capabilities and facilitate greater access for the People’s Liberation Army through overseas military installations; and

(2) the expansion of the People’s Liberation Army globally through overseas military installations will undermine the medium- and long-term security of the United States and the security and development of strategic partners in critical regions around the world, which is at odds with United States goals to promote peace, prosperity, and self-reliance among partner nations, including through the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

(b) Limitation on assistance.—Except as provided in subsection (c), for fiscal years 2022 through 2031, the government of a country that is hosting on its territory a military installation of the Government of the People’s Republic of China or facilitates the expansion of the presence of the People’s Liberation Army for purposes other than participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations or for temporary humanitarian, medical, and disaster relief operations in such country shall not be eligible for assistance under sections 609 or 616 of the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7708, 7715).

If I were a teacher (again) or a school psychologist (which I was trained to become during my four years of graduate school), I’d have to label Congress as a group of children that does not play well with others.

(1) The United States maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, but China so far has only one base in Djibouti (2021/3/14). One can only wonder how long it will take the esteemed Senators on the Senate Committee on Foreign relations to count up to… one.

The United States maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories despite recently closing hundreds of bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, but China so far has only one base in Djibouti. 2021/3/4

The small East African country of Djibouti has become a significant military base for various world powers.

Growing tensions around the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden have drawn competing international powers to Djibouti and highlighted the Gulf countries’ keen interest in the region. Djibouti’s strategic location on the Horn of Africa has driven the U.S., France, and China to establish naval bases there to expand their tactical presence. The country currently hosts five military bases, in addition to a few others scheduled to be built in the future.

Since rising to power in 1999, President Ismael Omar Guellah opened up the economically fragile country to foreign powers seeking to lease land for military bases. In return, the autocratic leader, who reformed the constitution in 2010 to expand the powers of the presidency and remove term limits, gained their support.

https://insidearabia.com/djibouti-a-busy-hub-of-foreign-military-bases-on-the-horn-of-africa/

[For those, like me that actually love Africa, there’s a great collection of old maps that can be found at: https://lib-dbserver.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/africa/maps-continent/1554munster.jpg Please note the size of the Ethiopian Plateau a few hundred years ago, and the location of Somaliland. Strange things been going on there in the Motherland.]

(2 a) “…at odds with United States goals to promote peace, prosperity, and self-reliance among partner nations, including through the Millennium Challenge Corporation.”

As with all other parts of this document one has to wonder if the writers are living in some kind of information vacuum regarding the international role of the USA since its inception. Since the signing of the Constitution of the USA it has only had 17 years of peace. Iraq for example was not attacking the USA in 2003 when the US launched a coalition invasion based on what are now universally known to have been false pretenses. This is the norm, not the exception for American military attacks upon other nations. For this Strategic Competition Act of 2021 to claim that the United States’ goal is to promote peace, prosperity, and self-reliance among any nations is an absurd misrepresentation of history, with perhaps the sole exception of Switzerland that seems to have avoided being lassoed into war by the USA. No nation, partner or otherwise will experience peace when allied with the USA. This section would be laughable were the United States of American not such a 100% reliable deadly enemy of peace and promoter of wars in all corners of the world. Responding to this statement in any further detail is beneath the dignity of a civilized person with any knowledge of American history.

(2 b) As for “Limitation on assistance,” that is within the rights of the USA, however carries with it some liabilities, e.g., forces nations to choose sides in the global conflict the USA is creating. The US dollar is rapidly losing its dominance as the global currency sparked by it’s sanctions against the purchase of Iranian oil which European, Chinese and Russian traders decided to override with alternative payment systems (Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV), in combination with US’s unbelievably huge debts. Once this ongoing trend is even a bit further developed, the value of the dollar will probably collapse in the international marketplace. Nonetheless the US appears ready, willing and able to alienate what few friends it still has on its way down to insolvency.

What’s really remarkable here that nobody has written about yet, is that President Putin appears to have assumed the role of global diplomat (because the USA only promotes war) settling international military conflicts reasonably peacefully (e.g., Armenia/Azerbaijan, Libyan conflicts, and avoiding traps the US laid in Ukraine at least thus far) and China has taken on the role of providing robust economic stability and global supply chains, thanks largely to sound management, a long historical emphasis on harmony and its BRI development. Likewise, their currencies, along with the Euro, have some credibility in the international marketplace, unlike the highly unstable US dollar. - Author

Europe appears it will weather the upcoming economic storm and remain a stable force on the stage of the world theater, though the UK may regret the day it broke from the EU given its vast debts, political instability and long history of international aggression.

Though reading the drivel strewn throughout the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is annoying and necessary perhaps, in the long run it appears to be a “tempest in a teapot,” something to be expected from the “boy who cried wolf,” 100 times or more too often. Given that most of the programs outlined in this document were already in operation before its creation, it appears this act was designed more as a provocation and for “intimidation purposes” than a genuine new set of guidelines. Perhaps it makes some Americans feel good to have someone else to blame for the wild spread of COVID-19 and their economic woes, rather than doing the adult thing, accepting responsibility and making the necessary internal adjustments needed to correct the problems they are currently experiencing.

SEC. 256. Strategy to enhance transatlantic cooperation with respect to the People’s Republic of China.

(a) In general.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall brief the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives on a strategy for how the United States will enhance cooperation with the European Union, NATO, and European partner countries on managing relations with the People’s Republic of China.

3 (E) developing a comprehensive strategy to respond to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) established by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

What’s a bully without his gang? What’s a gangster boss without his gang? Nothing!

The EU is a fickle mistress at best, and no doubt will endeavor to smile east and west hoping to let the clock run out on American attempts to crush China and Russia before taking a consistent position. It is unlikely they will voluntarily close doors on either side, though they may be bullied into some minor concessions to the US in an effort to keep international trade as open for as long as possible.

As for NATO, one can only hope wiser minds in the EU can keep a leash on that crusader beast and avoid getting entangled in the Third World War the US appears gleefully ready to ignite in order to hang on to its ignominious fantasy of “hegemony in perpetuity.”

In contrast to all that a multi-polar world is a vastly more stable world.

EU leaders probably know and value that above and beyond Americas’ true foreign policy makers’ megalomaniacal, hubris-driven visions of absolute supremacy for all time.

http://www.maebrussell.com/Prouty/Harry%20Truman%27s%20CIA%20article.html

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-fenn/2015/01/28/truman-was-right-to-warn-against-cia-power

https://mises.org/wire/truman-was-right-about-cia

Europe and Japan got suckered into WWII, and I seriously doubt even the right-wing nationalists would relish a repeat of that absolute catastrophe on a thermonuclear scale.

Oops! Substack is telling me:

Network Error

Unsaved Changes.

Do I have to cut it here?

Se est la vie.

Anyways, the full text can be downloaded from:

And a few other places…

Be well, and avoid “the Blob!”

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