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For The Record  

FTR#‘s 1178 1179, 1180: Fascism and The Uyghur Genocide Myth, Parts 1, 2, 3

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FTR #1178 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR #1179 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

FTR #1180 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

NB: This descrip­tion con­tains mate­r­i­al not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal broad­casts.

Intro­duc­tion: The media in this and oth­er coun­tries have been dom­i­nat­ed by a pro­pa­gan­da blitzkrieg alleg­ing “geno­cide” being com­mit­ted by Chi­na in its oil and min­er­al-rich Xin­jiang province against the Turko­phone, Mus­lim minor­i­ty in that region.

 This alle­ga­tion is a well-doc­u­ment­ed polit­i­cal mythol­o­gy, which has come to dom­i­nate the polit­i­cal and jour­nal­is­tic nar­ra­tive in the U.S. because of media adher­ence to the pro­nounce­ments of a num­ber of over­lap­ping fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions.

In addi­tion to the dom­i­nance of cov­er­age of Xin­jiang by the Ger­man nation­al Adri­an Zenz, a fel­low trav­el­er of the OUN/B deriv­a­tive Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee, the fas­cist mind con­trol cult Falun Gong and ele­ments that have evolved from the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought are deeply involved with U.S. intel­li­gence cut-outs that have mid­wived the Uyghur “geno­cide myth.”

Pan-Turk­ist fas­cist ele­ments in Xin­jiang over­lap Al-Qae­da affil­i­ates.

An alleged U.N. report on the geno­cide stems from the alle­ga­tions of the sole Amer­i­can mem­ber of a U.N. pan­el, who pro­vid­ed no cor­rob­o­rat­ing evi­dence.

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include:

  1. ” . . . . A spokesper­son from the UN Office of the High Com­mis­sion­er for Human Rights (OHCHR) con­firmed in a state­ment to The Gray­zone that the alle­ga­tion of Chi­nese ‘camps’ was not made by the Unit­ed Nations, but rather by a mem­ber of an inde­pen­dent com­mit­tee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That mem­ber hap­pened to be the only Amer­i­can on the com­mit­tee, and one with no back­ground of schol­ar­ship or research on Chi­na. . . .”
  2. ” . . . . This is to say, one Amer­i­can mem­ber of an inde­pen­dent UN body made a provoca­tive claim that Chi­na was intern­ing 1 mil­lion Mus­lims, but failed to pro­vide a sin­gle named source. And Reuters and the West­ern cor­po­rate media ran with it any­way, attribut­ing the unsub­stan­ti­at­ed alle­ga­tions of one US indi­vid­ual to the UN as a whole. . . . ”
  3. ” . . . . In addi­tion to this irre­spon­si­ble mis­re­port­ing, Reuters and oth­er West­ern out­lets have attempt­ed to fill in the gaps left by McDougall, refer­ring to reports made by so-called “activist group” the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers (CHRD). . . .”
  4. ” . . . . How­ev­er, tax doc­u­ments uncov­ered by The Gray­zone show that a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of this group’s bud­get comes from the US government’s Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED), a CIA-linked soft-pow­er group that was found­ed by the Ronald Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion in the 1980s to push regime change against inde­pen­dent gov­ern­ments and sup­port “free mar­kets” around the world. . . .”

A Gray Zone piece from a cou­ple of months ago about a major main­stream pro­mo­tion of the geno­cide claims via a New York Times op-ed writ­ten by an Amer­i­can woman of Uyghur ances­try that more or less regur­gi­tat­ed the geno­cide claims of Adri­an Zenz. The op-ed neglect­ed men­tion that the author, Amelia Pang, was an employ­ee of The Epoch Times from 2011–2016.

That paper is an organ of the Falun Gong cult.

The Gray Zone arti­cle does more than detail a major exam­ple of main­stream media cat­a­pult­ing this mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign.

The arti­cle under­scores how the ‘con­cen­tra­tion camp’ claims from the West sud­den­ly erupt­ed in 2017, after the Trump admin­is­tra­tion basi­cal­ly made a new Cold War with Chi­na a major for­eign pol­i­cy objec­tive in keep­ing with Steve Bannon’s vision of a new Great Pow­ers war.

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include:

  1. ” . . . . The author of the New York Times op-ed, Amelia Pang, hap­pens to be a for­mer employ­ee of the Epoch Times, a far-right pro­pa­gan­da arm of a fanat­i­cal anti-Chi­na cult called Falun Gong. . . .”
  2. ” . . . . Pang’s op-ed ran just days before the Trump admin­is­tra­tion for­mal­ly accused Bei­jing of geno­cide. US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo, a far-right rap­ture-ready evan­gel­i­cal, alleged that Chi­na ‘has com­mit­ted geno­cide against the pre­dom­i­nant­ly Mus­lim Uyghurs and oth­er eth­nic and reli­gious minor­i­ty groups in Xin­jiang.’ The Pom­peo State Depart­ment pro­vid­ed no evi­dence to bol­ster its extreme accu­sa­tions, yet alleged that China’s cam­paign of ‘geno­cide’ began in March 2017. . . .”
  3. ” . . . . The report both Pang and NPR were cit­ing was not a Unit­ed Nations doc­u­ment, but rather an inves­ti­ga­tion by a far-right Ger­man aca­d­e­m­ic named Adri­an Zenz. . . .”
  4. ” . . . . To make her case that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment was guilty of “geno­cide,” Pang mis­lead­ing­ly implied that the Unit­ed Nations has accused Chi­na of the crime – a dis­in­for­ma­tion tac­tic that has become com­mon in anti-Chi­na report­ing in the West­ern media. But the UN has not done so. . . . ”
  5. ” . . . . As Ajit Singh and Max Blu­men­thal report­ed for The Gray­zone, Zenz’s esti­mate that ‘over 1 mil­lion’ Mus­lim minori­ties are held in ‘con­cen­tra­tion camps’ in Xin­jiang was based on a lone report by Istiqlal TV, an Islamist media out­let run by Uyghur sep­a­ratists based in Turkey. The out­let pro­vides a friend­ly plat­form for extrem­ist sup­port­ers of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that seeks to build an Islam­ic state in Xin­jiang, which it calls East Turkestan. ...”
  6. ” . . . . ETIM, also known as the Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty (TIP), is an al-Qae­da-linked extrem­ist mili­tia that has car­ried out numer­ous ter­ror­ist attacks in Xin­jiang. ETIM, also known as the Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty (TIP), is an al-Qae­da-linked extrem­ist mili­tia that has car­ried out numer­ous ter­ror­ist attacks in Xin­jiang. It is rec­og­nized as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion by the Unit­ed Nations, Euro­pean Union, and many coun­tries. Pompeo’s State Depart­ment removed ETIM from the US government’s offi­cial ter­ror­ist list in Octo­ber 2020, as part of Washington’s inten­si­fy­ing cold war on Chi­na. . . .”
  7. ” . . . . The pho­to Pang ref­er­enced has been heav­i­ly cir­cu­lat­ed by West­ern media out­lets and NGOs, and is upheld as prac­ti­cal­ly the only image prov­ing the exis­tence of ‘con­cen­tra­tion camps’ run by Bei­jing. This char­ac­ter­i­za­tion is how­ev­er deeply mis­lead­ing. The pho­to was not tak­en by some coura­geous pris­on­er or cru­sad­ing inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist; it was pub­lished by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment itself, in a press release from 2014 — three years before the State Depart­ment claimed the ‘geno­cide’ began in Xin­jiang. In fact, the orig­i­nal image was pub­lished on the Xin­jiang Bureau of Justice’s own WeChat account, with a water­mark iden­ti­fy­ing it as an offi­cial pho­to tak­en by Chi­nese author­i­ties. West­ern anti-Chi­na pro­pa­gan­dists have sub­se­quent­ly cropped off the water­mark and pre­sent­ed the pho­to as proof of Chi­na caught in the act. . . .”
  8. ” . . . . At the top of her per­son­al web­site, Amelia Pang adver­tis­es her book, ‘Made in Chi­na: A Pris­on­er, an SOS Let­ter, and the Hid­den Cost of America’s Cheap Goods,’ which is due in Feb­ru­ary 2021. The book’s home­page high­lights a blurb writ­ten by Orville Schell . . . . Schell also has an eye­brow-rais­ing record of work at the Ford Foun­da­tion, a CIA cut-out, in Indone­sia from 1964 to 1966, at pre­cise­ly the time when the country’s US-backed mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship was enact­ing an actu­al geno­cide. With help from the CIA, Indonesia’s dic­ta­tor Suhar­to mur­dered between 1 and 3 mil­lion com­mu­nists, left-wing sym­pa­thiz­ers, labor orga­niz­ers, and eth­nic Chi­nese peo­ple, in what the CIA pri­vate­ly admit­ted was ‘one of the worst mass mur­ders of the 20th cen­tu­ry,’ along­side the Nazi Holo­caust. . . .”

Anti-Asian racism is very much at the fore­front of pub­lic con­scious­ness at the moment. It would be disin­gen­u­ous for any­one to claim that the phe­nom­e­non  was unre­lat­ed to the full-court press against Chi­na.

Exem­pli­fy­ing that racism is a mem­ber of the Pan-Turk­ist fas­cist MHP par­ty, which is front and cen­ter in the anti-Uighur desta­bi­liza­tion effort and the prop­a­ga­tion of the “geno­cide” myth. (We have dis­cussed Pan-Turk­ist fas­cism in–among oth­er pro­grams–AFA #14  and FTR #59.)

. . . . . In 2015, mem­bers of the MHP-affil­i­at­ed Grey Wolves for­mer­ly led by Alparslan Türkes attacked South Kore­an tourists in Turkey, mis­tak­ing them for Chi­nese cit­i­zens, in protest of the sit­u­a­tion in Xin­jiang. Turk­ish MHP par­ty leader Devlet Bahçeli defend­ed the attacks. ‘How are you going to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between Kore­an and Chi­nese?’ the right­ist politi­cian ques­tioned. ‘They both have slant­ed eyes. Does it real­ly mat­ter?’ . . . .”

Yet anoth­er inci­sive, coura­geous arti­cle about the myth of Uighur geno­cide was pub­lished by The Gray­zone in March.

The vehi­cle for launch­ing this pro­pa­gan­da is The New­lines Insti­tute, a sub­sidiary ele­ment of Fair­fax Uni­ver­si­ty of Amer­i­ca.

The founder of New­lines Insti­tute is Ahmed Alwani, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Islam­ic Insti­tute, one of the orga­ni­za­tions raid­ed by Trea­sury Depart­ment and FBI agents on 3/20/2002 for alleged­ly fund­ing Al-Qae­da and oth­er Mus­lim-Broth­er­hood linked ter­ror­ist groups.

Key Ele­ments of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include: 

  1. ” . . . . The report, pub­lished on March 8 by the New­lines Insti­tute for Strat­e­gy and Pol­i­cy, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights, fol­lows a last-minute accu­sa­tion made in Jan­u­ary by the out­go­ing Trump admin­is­tra­tion, along with sim­i­lar dec­la­ra­tions by the Dutch and Cana­di­an Par­lia­ments. It was pub­lished short­ly after the release of a remark­ably sim­i­lar report on Feb­ru­ary 8 that was com­mis­sioned by the US gov­ern­ment-backed World Uyghur Con­gress, and which alleged that there is a ‘cred­i­ble case’ against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment for geno­cide. . . .”
  2. ” . . . . Ahmed Alwani is the founder and pres­i­dent of the New­lines Insti­tute. Alwani pre­vi­ous­ly served on the advi­so­ry board for the U.S. military’s Africa Com­mand (AFRICOM) and is the Vice Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought (IIIT); his father, Taha Jabir Al-Alwani was one of IIIT’s founders. . . .”
  3. ” . . . . New­lines’ report relies pri­mar­i­ly on the dubi­ous stud­ies of Adri­an Zenz, the US gov­ern­ment pro­pa­gan­da out­let, Radio Free Asia, and claims made by the US-fund­ed sep­a­ratist net­work, the World Uyghur Con­gress. These three sources com­prise more than one-third of the ref­er­ences used to con­struct the fac­tu­al basis of the doc­u­ment, with Zenz as the most heav­i­ly relied upon source – cit­ed on more than 50 occa­sions. Many of the remain­ing ref­er­ences cite the work of mem­bers of New­lines Institute’s Uyghur Schol­ars Work­ing Group’, of which Zenz is a found­ing mem­ber and which is made up of a small group of aca­d­e­mics who col­lab­o­rate with him and sup­port his con­clu­sions. . . .”
  4. ” . . . . The lead­er­ship of New­lines Insti­tute includes for­mer US State Depart­ment offi­cials, US mil­i­tary advi­sors, intel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als who pre­vi­ous­ly worked for the “shad­ow CIA” pri­vate spy­ing firm, Strat­for, and a col­lec­tion of inter­ven­tion­ist ide­o­logues. . . .”
  5. ” . . . . Just days before New­lines Institute’s report on Chi­na was released, its FXUA’s accred­i­ta­tion was once again in poten­tial jeop­ardy. On March 5, an advi­so­ry board to the US Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion rec­om­mend­ed ter­mi­nat­ing recog­ni­tion for ACICS. The Nation­al Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee on Insti­tu­tion­al Qual­i­ty and Integri­ty vot­ed 11-to‑1 to rec­om­mend that ACICS lose the fed­er­al recog­ni­tion it needs to oper­ate. The advi­so­ry com­mit­tee made the same rec­om­men­da­tion in 2016, lead­ing to the ACICS’s recog­ni­tion being revoked under the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, before recog­ni­tion was restored to the trou­bled accred­i­tor in 2018 by then-Pres­i­dent Trump’s Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion, the infa­mous pri­va­ti­za­tion activist and oli­garch Bet­sy Devos. . . .”
  6. ” . . . . New­lines Insti­tute pub­lished its report in col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights. The report’s prin­ci­pal author, Yon­ah Dia­mond, is legal coun­sel for The Wal­len­berg Cen­ter, and many of the report’s sig­na­to­ries hold affil­i­a­tions with the orga­ni­za­tion. . . .”
  7. ” . . . . The Wal­len­berg Cen­tre has become a haven for anti-Chi­na hawks, includ­ing Senior Fel­lows David Kil­go­ur, for­mer Cana­di­an Sec­re­tary of State, and David Matas. . . . Kil­go­ur and Matas have exten­sive ties to the far-right, anti-Chi­na reli­gious cult Falun GongBoth men are reg­u­lar­ly con­trib­u­tors to the group’s pro­pa­gan­da arm, The Epoch Times, a media net­work that The New York Times has described as an ‘anti-Chi­na, pro-Trump media empire’ and ‘lead­ing pur­vey­or of right-wing mis­in­for­ma­tion’. . . . ”

The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of the Wal­len­berg fam­i­ly, one of Swe­den’s most promi­nent indus­tri­al clans and inex­tri­ca­bly linked with both the inter­na­tion­al car­tel sys­tem, the Third Reich and–as we see below–the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal orga­ni­za­tion.

The Wal­len­bergs were cen­tral­ly involved in numer­ous cloak­ing oper­a­tions for Nazi big busi­ness, and also had strong links to the Allied indus­tri­al firms under­tak­ing war pro­duc­tion.

(The sub­stance and com­plex­i­ties of the car­tel sys­tem and inter­na­tion­al fas­cism were dis­cussed in–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR#511. The over­all polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal con­text in which the car­tels operate–globalization–is ana­lyzed in the intro­duc­tion to the Books for Down­load sec­tion.)

Exem­pli­fy­ing the fam­i­ly’s posi­tion in the Wall Street/cartel pan­theon is George Mur­nane of the Wal­len­berg hold­ing com­pa­ny A.B. Investor: ” . . . . In Novem­ber 1940, a vot­ing trust agree­ment was set up in the Unit­ed States under which George Mur­nane was des­ig­nat­ed by the Wal­len­bergs’ Enskil­da Bank as the sole vot­ing trustee with com­plete pow­er to vote the Amer­i­can Bosch stock at stock­hold­ers’ meet­ings in the Unit­ed States. The vot­ing trust arrange­ment pro­vid­ed that if George Mur­nane should die, his suc­ces­sor should be named by John Fos­ter Dulles, senior part­ner of Sul­li­van & Cromwell, the law firm which rep­re­sents the Wal­len­bergs and the Enskil­da Bank in the Unit­ed States. . . .”

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant of the Wal­len­bergs’ oper­a­tions con­cerned its glob­al monop­oly on ball bear­ings and its ship­ment of Swedish bear­ings to off­set Nazi Ger­many’s loss­es in the cost­ly Schwe­in­furt raids.

” . . . . It hap­pened that two thirds of Ger­many’s entire bear­ing indus­try was con­cen­trat­ed in a sin­gle group of four fac­to­ries at Schwe­in­furt. Three of them, account­ing for 36 per cent of Ger­many’s pro­duc­tive capac­i­ty, were owned by VKF; and one, account­ing for 30 per cent of Ger­man capac­i­ty, was owned by the only remain­ing large inde­pen­dent, Fis­ch­er A.G.

When Amer­i­can air forces bombed Schwe­in­furt dur­ing the war, in an effort to knock out this strate­gic point in Ger­man indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion, Schwe­in­furt was dis­cov­ered to be one of the most heav­i­ly defend­ed spots in Ger­many. Ger­man defens­es inflict­ed a loss of fifty Amer­i­can heavy bombers in one raid alone. When these raids tem­porar­i­ly knocked out Schwe­in­furt, the effect was large­ly nul­li­fied by ship­ments of bear­ings from SKF in Swe­den. . . .”

It is this her­itage that under­lies the Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights.

1.  The sole Amer­i­can on a UN pan­el, Gay McDougall, was the source of the ‘2 mil­lion in re-edu­ca­tion camp claims’, with zero evi­dence pro­vid­ed for this claim dur­ing their hear­ing.

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include:

  1. ” . . . . A spokesper­son from the UN Office of the High Com­mis­sion­er for Human Rights (OHCHR) con­firmed in a state­ment to The Gray­zone that the alle­ga­tion of Chi­nese ‘camps’ was not made by the Unit­ed Nations, but rather by a mem­ber of an inde­pen­dent com­mit­tee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That mem­ber hap­pened to be the only Amer­i­can on the com­mit­tee, and one with no back­ground of schol­ar­ship or research on Chi­na. . . .”
  2. ” . . . . This is to say, one Amer­i­can mem­ber of an inde­pen­dent UN body made a provoca­tive claim that Chi­na was intern­ing 1 mil­lion Mus­lims, but failed to pro­vide a sin­gle named source. And Reuters and the West­ern cor­po­rate media ran with it any­way, attribut­ing the unsub­stan­ti­at­ed alle­ga­tions of one US indi­vid­ual to the UN as a whole. . . . ”
  3. ” . . . . In addi­tion to this irre­spon­si­ble mis­re­port­ing, Reuters and oth­er West­ern out­lets have attempt­ed to fill in the gaps left by McDougall, refer­ring to reports made by so-called “activist group” the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers (CHRD). . . .”
  4. ” . . . . How­ev­er, tax doc­u­ments uncov­ered by The Gray­zone show that a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of this group’s bud­get comes from the US government’s Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED), a CIA-linked soft-pow­er group that was found­ed by the Ronald Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion in the 1980s to push regime change against inde­pen­dent gov­ern­ments and sup­port “free mar­kets” around the world. . . .”

Sum­ming up: the UN invites a pan­el of inde­pen­dent ‘experts’ to tes­ti­fy about China’s poli­cies towards minori­ties, the Amer­i­can on the pan­el makes unsourced claims of mas­sive re-edu­ca­tion camps, and it gets trum­pet­ed across the main­stream West­ern press as a UN dec­la­ra­tion of Chi­nese con­cen­tra­tion camps. It’s a peek at how the sausage is made:

“No, the UN did not report Chi­na has ‘mas­sive intern­ment camps’ for Uighur Mus­lims” by Ben Nor­ton and Ajit Singh; The Gray Zone; 08/23/2018

Media out­lets false­ly claimed the UN report­ed Chi­na is hold­ing a mil­lion Uighurs in camps. The claim is based on unsourced alle­ga­tions by an Amer­i­can com­mis­sion mem­ber, US-fund­ed out­fits, and a shad­owy gov­ern­ment-fund­ed oppo­si­tion group.

Numer­ous major media out­lets, from Reuters to The Inter­cept, have claimed that the Unit­ed Nations has reports that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is hold­ing as many as 1 mil­lion Uighur Mus­lims in “intern­ment camps.” But a close exam­i­na­tion of these news sto­ries, and of the evi­dence behind them — or the lack there­of — demon­strates that the extra­or­di­nary claim is sim­ply not true.

A spokesper­son from the UN Office of the High Com­mis­sion­er for Human Rights (OHCHR) con­firmed in a state­ment to The Gray­zone that the alle­ga­tion of Chi­nese “camps” was not made by the Unit­ed Nations, but rather by a mem­ber of an inde­pen­dent com­mit­tee that does not speak for the UN as a whole. That mem­ber hap­pened to be the only Amer­i­can on the com­mit­tee, and one with no back­ground of schol­ar­ship or research on Chi­na.

More­over, this accu­sa­tion is based on the thin­ly sourced reports of a Chi­nese oppo­si­tion group that is fund­ed by the Amer­i­can government’s regime-change arm and is close­ly tied to exiled pro-US activists. There have been numer­ous reports of dis­crim­i­na­tion against Uighur Mus­lims in Chi­na. How­ev­er, infor­ma­tion about camps con­tain­ing 1 mil­lion pris­on­ers has orig­i­nat­ed almost exclu­sive­ly from media out­lets and orga­ni­za­tions fund­ed and weaponized by the US gov­ern­ment to turn up the heat on Bei­jing.

A bla­tant false­hood intro­duced by Reuters and echoed across main­stream media

On August 10, the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion con­duct­ed its reg­u­lar review of China’s com­pli­ance with the Inter­na­tion­al Con­ven­tion on the Elim­i­na­tion of All Forms of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion. The review, which is con­duct­ed peri­od­i­cal­ly for all 179 par­ties to the Con­ven­tion, has gen­er­at­ed a fren­zied response by the West­ern cor­po­rate press — one which is uni­form­ly mis­lead­ing.

On the day of the review, Reuters pub­lished a report with an explo­sive head­line: “U.N. says it has cred­i­ble reports that Chi­na holds mil­lion Uighurs in secret camps.”

The claim was fever­ish­ly repro­duced by out­lets such as The New York Times and The Wash­ing­ton Post to denounce Chi­na and call for inter­na­tion­al action. Even The Inter­cept’s Meh­di Hasan belt­ed out the breath­less head­line, “One Mil­lion Mus­lim Uighurs Have Been Detained by Chi­na, the U.N. Says. Where’s the Glob­al Out­rage?”

The impres­sion read­ers were giv­en was that the UN had con­duct­ed an inves­ti­ga­tion and had for­mal­ly and col­lec­tive­ly made such charges against Chi­na. In fact, the UN had done no such thing.

The head­line of Reuters’ report attrib­uted its explo­sive claim to the UN; yet the body of the arti­cle ascribed it sim­ply to the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion. And this committee’s offi­cial web­site makes it clear that it is “a body of inde­pen­dent experts,” not UN offi­cials.

What’s more, a look at the OHCHR’s offi­cial news release on the committee’s pre­sen­ta­tion of the report showed that the only men­tion of alleged re-edu­ca­tion “camps” in Chi­na was made by its sole Amer­i­can mem­ber, Gay McDougall. This claim was then echoed by a Mau­ri­tan­ian mem­ber, Yemhel­he Mint Mohamed.

Dur­ing the committee’s reg­u­lar review of Chi­na, McDougall com­ment­ed that she was “deeply con­cerned” about “cred­i­ble reports” alleg­ing mass deten­tions of mil­lions of Uighurs Mus­lim minori­ties in “intern­ment camps.” The Asso­ci­at­ed Press report­ed that McDougall “did not spec­i­fy a source for that infor­ma­tion in her remarks at the hear­ing.” (Note that the head­line of the AP news wire is much weak­er than that of Reuters: “UN pan­el con­cerned at report­ed Chi­nese deten­tion of Uighurs.”)

Video of the ses­sion con­firms that McDougall pro­vid­ed no sourc­ing to back up her remark­able claim.

This is to say, one Amer­i­can mem­ber of an inde­pen­dent UN body made a provoca­tive claim that Chi­na was intern­ing 1 mil­lion Mus­lims, but failed to pro­vide a sin­gle named source. And Reuters and the West­ern cor­po­rate media ran with it any­way, attribut­ing the unsub­stan­ti­at­ed alle­ga­tions of one US indi­vid­ual to the UN as a whole.

In an email to The Gray­zone, OHCHR spokesper­son Julia Gron­n­evet con­firmed that the CERD was not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the UN as a whole. “You are cor­rect that the Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion is an inde­pen­dent body,” Gron­n­evet wrote. “Quot­ed com­ments were made dur­ing pub­lic ses­sions of the Com­mit­tee when mem­bers were review­ing State par­ties.”

Thus the OHCHR implic­it­ly acknowl­edged that the com­ments by McDougall, the lone Amer­i­can mem­ber of an inde­pen­dent com­mit­tee, were not rep­re­sen­ta­tive of any find­ing by the UN as a whole. The report by Reuters is sim­ply false.

‘Cred­i­ble reports’ from US gov­ern­ment-fund­ed oppo­si­tion group with zero trans­paren­cy

In addi­tion to this irre­spon­si­ble mis­re­port­ing, Reuters and oth­er West­ern out­lets have attempt­ed to fill in the gaps left by McDougall, refer­ring to reports made by so-called “activist group” the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers (CHRD).

Con­ve­nient­ly left out of the sto­ry is that this orga­ni­za­tion is head­quar­tered in Wash­ing­ton, DC and fund­ed by the US government’s regime-change arm.

CHRD advo­cates full-time against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, and has spent years cam­paign­ing on behalf of extreme right-wing oppo­si­tion fig­ures.

CHRD is not at all trans­par­ent about its fund­ing or per­son­nel. Its annu­al reports con­tain notes stat­ing, “This report has been pro­duced with the finan­cial sup­port of gen­er­ous donors.” But the donors are nev­er named.

Pub­licly avail­able 990 IRS fil­ing forms reviewed by The Gray­zone show that the orga­ni­za­tion is sub­stan­tial­ly fund­ed by gov­ern­ment grants. In fact, in 2015 vir­tu­al­ly all of the organization’s rev­enue came from gov­ern­ment grants.

CHRD’s 2015 form 990 dis­clos­es that $819,553 of its $820,023 rev­enue that year (99.94 per­cent) came from gov­ern­ment grants. A measly $395 came from invest­ments, with anoth­er $75 from oth­er sources.

Accord­ing to its 2016 form 990, CHRD received $859,091 in gov­ern­ment grants in that year.

The gov­ern­ments that pro­vid­ed these grants have not been dis­closed. The Gray­zone did not receive a response to sev­er­al emailed inter­view requests sent to the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers.

How­ev­er, tax doc­u­ments uncov­ered by The Gray­zone show that a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of this group’s bud­get comes from the US government’s Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED), a CIA-linked soft-pow­er group that was found­ed by the Ronald Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion in the 1980s to push regime change against inde­pen­dent gov­ern­ments and sup­port “free mar­kets” around the world.

In 2012, the NED gave the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers $490,000. In 2012, it got a $520,000 grant from the NED.

In 2014, the NED gave the group anoth­er $514,068.

This mas­sive stream of fund­ing con­tin­ued: $496,000 from the NED in 2015, and anoth­er $412,300 in 2016.

This NED grant in 2015 con­sti­tutes more than 60 per­cent of the $819,553 in gov­ern­ment grants CHRD received that year. The gov­ern­ments that pro­vid­ed the addi­tion­al $323,553 in fund­ing have not been dis­closed.

A search of the NED’s grants data­base fur­ther con­firms that this CIA-linked US gov­ern­ment soft-pow­er orga­ni­za­tion allo­cat­ed approx­i­mate­ly half a mil­lion dol­lars in 2014 and 2015 to “sup­port the work of Chi­nese human rights defend­ers.”

CHRD has used its gen­er­ous fund­ing to pro­vide grants to oppo­si­tion activists inside Chi­na, bankrolling dozens upon dozens of projects in the coun­try.

On its tax forms, CHRD lists its address as the Wash­ing­ton, DC office of Human Rights Watch. HRW has long been crit­i­cized for its revolv­ing door with the US gov­ern­ment and its exces­sive­ly dis­pro­por­tion­ate focus on des­ig­nat­ed ene­mies of Wash­ing­ton like Chi­na, Venezuela, Syr­ia, and Rus­sia.

Human Rights Watch did not respond to an email from The Gray­zone inquir­ing about its rela­tion­ship with CHRD.

A who’s who of right-wing oppo­si­tion activists

The Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers’ forms 990 also reveal that the board of the orga­ni­za­tion is a Who’s Who of exiled Chi­nese anti-gov­ern­ment activists.

The chair of the group is the US-based activist Su Xiaokang, who pro­claimed that the Chi­nese pub­lic sup­pos­ed­ly “wants the U.S. to watch over activists, and is dis­ap­point­ed when Wash­ing­ton fails.” Fel­low US-based dis­si­dent Teng Biao is a CHRD direc­tor who has sar­cas­ti­cal­ly boast­ed of how the Chi­nese com­mu­nist par­ty dubbed him a “reac­tionary.”

CHRD’s sec­re­tary is the Amer­i­can aca­d­e­m­ic Per­ry Link, who has built on wind­ing up on the Chi­nese government’s aca­d­e­m­ic “black­list.” Link tes­ti­fied for the US House Com­mit­tee on For­eign Affairs in 2014, claim­ing that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is threat­en­ing aca­d­e­m­ic free­dom in the US.

In his con­gres­sion­al tes­ti­mo­ny, CHRD sec­re­tary Link insist­ed the US gov­ern­ment should crack down on the Chi­nese government’s Con­fu­cius Insti­tute orga­ni­za­tion and instead fund its own pro-US Chi­nese-lan­guage pro­grams. Link char­ac­ter­ized Chi­nese-lan­guage pro­grams as a poten­tial Amer­i­can weapon against the Chi­nese com­mu­nist par­ty, argu­ing they could “very arguably do more to blunt the CPC’s advance than the [B‑2 Spir­it Bomber] air­plane could.”

These are some of the pro-US, anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment fig­ures who lead the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers.

Oth­er­wise, there is very lit­tle pub­licly avail­able infor­ma­tion about CHRD. It appears to large­ly be the brain­child of its inter­na­tion­al direc­tor, Renee Xia, an oppo­si­tion activist who has pub­licly called for the US gov­ern­ment to impose sanc­tions on Chi­nese offi­cials under the Mag­nit­sky Act.

Sup­port for a ‘non vio­lence advo­cate’ who loves America’s wars

The Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers’ founder, Xia, was a strong sup­port­er of the impris­oned hard-right neo­con­ser­v­a­tive Chi­nese dis­si­dent Liu Xiaobo, and she cam­paigned years for his release.

An archived ver­sion of the group’s web­site shows that as far back as 2010, CHRD was vocif­er­ous­ly advo­cat­ing on behalf of Liu, while liken­ing the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment to Nazi Ger­many.

While Liu Xiaobo became a cause cele­bre of the West­ern lib­er­al intel­li­gen­sia, he was a staunch sup­port­er of colo­nial­ism, a fan of the most blood-soaked US mil­i­tary cam­paigns, and a hard­core lib­er­tar­i­an.

As writ­ers Bar­ry Saut­man and Yan Hairong report­ed in The Guardian in 2010, Liu led numer­ous US gov­ern­ment-fund­ed right-wing orga­ni­za­tions that advo­cat­ed mass pri­va­ti­za­tion and the West­ern­iza­tion of Chi­na. He also expressed open­ly racist views against the Chi­nese. “To choose West­ern­i­sa­tion is to choose to be human,” Liu insist­ed, lament­ing that tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese cul­ture had made its pop­u­la­tion “wimpy, spine­less, and fu cked up.”

While CHRD described Liu as an “advo­cate of non-vio­lence,” he prac­ti­cal­ly wor­shiped Pres­i­dent George W. Bush and strong­ly sup­port­ed the ille­gal US-led inva­sion of Iraq, as well as the war in Afghanistan. “Non-vio­lence advo­cate” Liu was even a fan of America’s wars in Korea and Viet­nam, which killed mil­lions of civil­ians.

CHRD’s most recent Chi­na report — the one cit­ed by Reuters and oth­er out­lets to give cre­dence to the alle­ga­tions of Uyghur re-edu­ca­tion camps — fur­ther high­lights the organization’s links to Wash­ing­ton and com­pro­mised impar­tial­i­ty.

Most sources on the Uighur ‘camps’ sto­ry are US gov­ern­ment-linked

A look at the sourc­ing of the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers’ research rais­es many doubts about its legit­i­ma­cy. For one, the most-cit­ed source in the CHRD report, account­ing for more than one-fifth of the 101 ref­er­ences, is Radio Free Asia, a news agency cre­at­ed by the CIA dur­ing the Cold War pump out anti-Chi­na pro­pa­gan­da, and still today fund­ed by the US gov­ern­ment.

Even The New York Times has referred to Radio Free Asia as a “World­wide Pro­pa­gan­da Net­work Built by the CIA.” Along with Voice of Amer­i­ca, Radio Free Europe / Radio Lib­er­ty, Radio y Tele­visión Martí, and Mid­dle East Broad­cast­ing Net­works, Radio Free Asia (RFA) is oper­at­ed by the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors (BBG), a fed­er­al agency of the US gov­ern­ment under the super­vi­sion of the State Depart­ment. Describ­ing its work as “vital to U.S. nation­al inter­ests,” BBG’s pri­ma­ry broad­cast­ing stan­dard is to be “con­sis­tent with the broad for­eign pol­i­cy objec­tives of the Unit­ed States.”

The near-total reliance on Wash­ing­ton-linked sources is char­ac­ter­is­tic of West­ern report­ing on Uighurs Mus­lims in Chi­na, and on the coun­try in gen­er­al, which reg­u­lar­ly fea­tures sen­sa­tion­al head­lines and alle­ga­tions.

In addi­tion to CHRD and RFA, it is com­mon for news reports to cite the World Uighur Con­gress, an orga­ni­za­tion fund­ed by the NED. At a recent NED event, The Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal inter­viewed World Uighur Con­gress chair­man Omer Kanat, who took cred­it for fur­nish­ing many of the claims of intern­ment camps to West­ern media.

Anoth­er puta­tive human rights orga­ni­za­tion whose dubi­ous reports are fre­quent­ly echoed by Radio Free Asia, the Inter­na­tion­al Uyghur Human Rights and Democ­ra­cy Foun­da­tion, is like­wise bankrolled by the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy.

This group received a stag­ger­ing $473,608 from the NED in 2009, along with $240,000 in 2010 and anoth­er $187,918 grant in 2011, putting it in the top tier of grantees those years.

The US government’s regime-change arm sim­i­lar­ly finances the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion. This group, anoth­er source for Radio Free Asia sto­ries, raked in $280,000 grants from the NED in 2010 and then again in 2011, along with $265,000 in 2009.

Yet anoth­er favorite con­gres­sion­al and main­stream media source for infor­ma­tion about Chi­na is the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a neo­con­ser­v­a­tive think tank found­ed dur­ing the height of the Cold War by Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion per­son­nel with the sup­port of then-CIA Direc­tor William J. Casey. For­mer Jamestown board mem­bers include Dick Cheney and Zbig­niew Brzezin­s­ki.

The lat­est inci­dent of mis­re­port­ing by Reuters is part of a trend of increas­ing­ly hos­tile, Cold War-like cov­er­age of Chi­na by the West­ern press — one that coin­cides with Washington’s push for con­flict with Bei­jing . . . . 

2.  A Gray Zone piece from a cou­ple of months ago about a major main­stream pro­mo­tion of the geno­cide claims via a New York Times op-ed writ­ten by an Amer­i­can woman of Uyghur ances­try that more or less regur­gi­tat­ed the geno­cide claims of Adri­an Zenz. The op-ed neglect­ed men­tion that the author, Amelia Pang, was an employ­ee of The Epoch Times from 2011–2016.

That paper is an organ of the Falun Gong cult.

The Gray Zone arti­cle does more than detail a major exam­ple of main­stream media cat­a­pult­ing this mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign.

The arti­cle under­scores how the ‘con­cen­tra­tion camp’ claims from the West sud­den­ly erupt­ed in 2017, after the Trump admin­is­tra­tion basi­cal­ly made a new Cold War with Chi­na a major for­eign pol­i­cy objec­tive in keep­ing with Steve Bannon’s vision of a new Great Pow­ers war.

Claims echoed by Zenz but orig­i­nat­ing from a a lone Uyghur sep­a­ratist media out­let in Turkey, Istiqlal TV, known for pro­vid­ing a plat­form to the al Qae­da-affil­i­at­ed East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM).

Mike Pompeo’s State Depart­ment removed ETIM from the US government’s offi­cial ter­ror­ist list in Octo­ber 2020. In oth­er words, when we’re look­ing at this pro­pa­gan­da effort we’re watch­ing a coor­di­nat­ed high-lev­el inter­na­tion­al effort to legit­imize al Qaeda’s pro­pa­gan­da. Because of shared inter­ests:

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include:

  1. ” . . . . The author of the New York Times op-ed, Amelia Pang, hap­pens to be a for­mer employ­ee of the Epoch Times, a far-right pro­pa­gan­da arm of a fanat­i­cal anti-Chi­na cult called Falun Gong. . . .”
  2. ” . . . . Pang’s op-ed ran just days before the Trump admin­is­tra­tion for­mal­ly accused Bei­jing of geno­cide. US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo, a far-right rap­ture-ready evan­gel­i­cal, alleged that Chi­na ‘has com­mit­ted geno­cide against the pre­dom­i­nant­ly Mus­lim Uyghurs and oth­er eth­nic and reli­gious minor­i­ty groups in Xin­jiang.’ The Pom­peo State Depart­ment pro­vid­ed no evi­dence to bol­ster its extreme accu­sa­tions, yet alleged that China’s cam­paign of ‘geno­cide’ began in March 2017. . . .”
  3. ” . . . . The report both Pang and NPR were cit­ing was not a Unit­ed Nations doc­u­ment, but rather an inves­ti­ga­tion by a far-right Ger­man aca­d­e­m­ic named Adri­an Zenz. . . .”
  4. ” . . . . To make her case that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment was guilty of “geno­cide,” Pang mis­lead­ing­ly implied that the Unit­ed Nations has accused Chi­na of the crime – a dis­in­for­ma­tion tac­tic that has become com­mon in anti-Chi­na report­ing in the West­ern media. But the UN has not done so. . . . ”
  5. ” . . . . As Ajit Singh and Max Blu­men­thal report­ed for The Gray­zone, Zenz’s esti­mate that ‘over 1 mil­lion’ Mus­lim minori­ties are held in ‘con­cen­tra­tion camps’ in Xin­jiang was based on a lone report by Istiqlal TV, an Islamist media out­let run by Uyghur sep­a­ratists based in Turkey. The out­let pro­vides a friend­ly plat­form for extrem­ist sup­port­ers of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that seeks to build an Islam­ic state in Xin­jiang, which it calls East Turkestan. ...”
  6. ” . . . . ETIM, also known as the Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty (TIP), is an al-Qae­da-linked extrem­ist mili­tia that has car­ried out numer­ous ter­ror­ist attacks in Xin­jiang. ETIM, also known as the Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty (TIP), is an al-Qae­da-linked extrem­ist mili­tia that has car­ried out numer­ous ter­ror­ist attacks in Xin­jiang. It is rec­og­nized as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion by the Unit­ed Nations, Euro­pean Union, and many coun­tries. Pompeo’s State Depart­ment removed ETIM from the US government’s offi­cial ter­ror­ist list in Octo­ber 2020, as part of Washington’s inten­si­fy­ing cold war on Chi­na. . . .”
  7. ” . . . . The pho­to Pang ref­er­enced has been heav­i­ly cir­cu­lat­ed by West­ern media out­lets and NGOs, and is upheld as prac­ti­cal­ly the only image prov­ing the exis­tence of ‘con­cen­tra­tion camps’ run by Bei­jing. This char­ac­ter­i­za­tion is how­ev­er deeply mis­lead­ing. The pho­to was not tak­en by some coura­geous pris­on­er or cru­sad­ing inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist; it was pub­lished by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment itself, in a press release from 2014 — three years before the State Depart­ment claimed the ‘geno­cide’ began in Xin­jiang. In fact, the orig­i­nal image was pub­lished on the Xin­jiang Bureau of Justice’s own WeChat account, with a water­mark iden­ti­fy­ing it as an offi­cial pho­to tak­en by Chi­nese author­i­ties. West­ern anti-Chi­na pro­pa­gan­dists have sub­se­quent­ly cropped off the water­mark and pre­sent­ed the pho­to as proof of Chi­na caught in the act. . . .”
  8. ” . . . . At the top of her per­son­al web­site, Amelia Pang adver­tis­es her book, “Made in Chi­na: A Pris­on­er, an SOS Let­ter, and the Hid­den Cost of America’s Cheap Goods,” which is due in Feb­ru­ary 2021. The book’s home­page high­lights a blurb writ­ten by Orville Schell . . . . Schell also has an eye­brow-rais­ing record of work at the Ford Foun­da­tion, a CIA cut-out, in Indone­sia from 1964 to 1966, at pre­cise­ly the time when the country’s US-backed mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship was enact­ing an actu­al geno­cide. With help from the CIA, Indonesia’s dic­ta­tor Suhar­to mur­dered between 1 and 3 mil­lion com­mu­nists, left-wing sym­pa­thiz­ers, labor orga­niz­ers, and eth­nic Chi­nese peo­ple, in what the CIA pri­vate­ly admit­ted was ‘one of the worst mass mur­ders of the 20th cen­tu­ry,’ along­side the Nazi Holo­caust. . . .”
  1. “NY Times’ pseu­do-expert accus­ing Chi­na of geno­cide worked for far-right cult Falun Gong’s pub­lic­i­ty arm” by Ben Nor­ton; The Gray Zone; 01/28/2021

The New York Times recy­cled flim­sy claims by a right-wing apoc­a­lyp­tic extrem­ist to accuse Chi­na of “geno­cide,” in an op-ed by an Amer­i­can with 1/8th Uighur her­itage who worked for Epoch Times, a far-right, pro-Trump out­let backed by cult Falun Gong.

The New York Times pub­lished a fac­tu­al­ly chal­lenged op-ed accus­ing Chi­na of com­mit­ting “geno­cide” against its Uighur minor­i­ty. The arti­cle sourced its spu­ri­ous accu­sa­tions to a right-wing oper­a­tive who insists his research is part of a divine “mis­sion” against Bei­jing that is “led by God.”

The author of the New York Times op-ed, Amelia Pang, hap­pens to be a for­mer employ­ee of the Epoch Times, a far-right pro­pa­gan­da arm of a fanat­i­cal anti-Chi­na cult called Falun Gong. The extrem­ist group preach­es that race-mix­ing, homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, fem­i­nism, and sci­ence are Satan­ic plots, and reveres Don­ald Trump as a God-like fig­ure who was sent down from heav­en to destroy the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Chi­na.

In a state­ment to The Gray­zone, Pang said, “The Epoch Times and the Falun Gong group do not rep­re­sent my views in any way.”

How­ev­er, a review of her five years of work at the Epoch Times shows Pang churned out hyper­bol­ic anti-Chi­na report­ing while pub­lish­ing at least 17 arti­cles pro­mot­ing the Falun Gong cult or its cul­tur­al front group, Shen Yun.

The New York Times’ deci­sion to run Pang’s com­men­tary was iron­ic in light of the lengthy fea­ture it pub­lished on the Falun Gong pro­pa­gan­da arm in Octo­ber 2020, which brand­ed the Epoch Times a “lead­ing pur­vey­or of right-wing mis­in­for­ma­tion” that is “push­ing dan­ger­ous con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries” with a “will­ing­ness to feed the online fever swamps of the far right,” and a “grow­ing influ­ence in Mr. Trump’s inner cir­cle.”

In her Times op-ed, Pang deployed her 1/8th Uighur her­itage to por­tray her­self and her fam­i­ly as vic­tims of a pur­port­ed “geno­cide” car­ried out by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. At the same time, she acknowl­edged that she has lived her entire life in the Unit­ed States, and there­fore has lit­tle famil­iar­i­ty with Chi­na and its soci­ety.

Pang’s op-ed ran just days before the Trump admin­is­tra­tion for­mal­ly accused Bei­jing of geno­cide. US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo, a far-right rap­ture-ready evan­gel­i­cal, alleged that Chi­na “has com­mit­ted geno­cide against the pre­dom­i­nant­ly Mus­lim Uyghurs and oth­er eth­nic and reli­gious minor­i­ty groups in Xin­jiang.”

The Pom­peo State Depart­ment pro­vid­ed no evi­dence to bol­ster its extreme accu­sa­tions, yet alleged that China’s cam­paign of “geno­cide” began in March 2017.

The Gray­zone has report­ed exten­sive­ly on the West­ern dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign against Chi­na, chron­i­cling how dis­crim­i­na­tion against the Uighurs and oth­er minori­ties have been spun into accu­sa­tions of geno­cide, includ­ing claims of “con­cen­tra­tion camps” hold­ing mil­lions of detainees. In near­ly every case, incen­di­ary cor­po­rate media and State Depart­ment claims relat­ed to the issue rely on ques­tion­able research by a sin­gle far-right oper­a­tive with extrem­ist views and a net­work of anti-Chi­na NGOs fund­ed by the US gov­ern­ment and the arms indus­try.

The New York Times has been a cen­tral con­vey­or belt for the trans­mis­sion of the US infor­ma­tion war against Chi­na, pro­vid­ing it with a crit­i­cal pati­na of jour­nal­is­tic cred­i­bil­i­ty and mar­ket­ing it to the lib­er­al intel­li­gen­sia that com­pris­es the Times’ read­er­ship.

For­mer Epoch Times reporter relies on far-right oper­a­tive in New York Times

The New York Times print­ed Pang’s op-ed, “It Took a Geno­cide for Me to Remem­ber My Uighur Roots,” on Jan­u­ary 10. The faulty arti­cle was a case study in how lit­tle evi­dence cor­po­rate media edi­tors require to green light a piece as long as it accus­es offi­cial US ene­mies of the most titan­ic of war crimes.

The Times trans­lat­ed the op-ed from Eng­lish into both sim­pli­fied and tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese so it could be read around the world.

In the arti­cle, Pang acknowl­edged, “I have lived in the Unit­ed States my entire life,” and “no one [in my fam­i­ly] had ever vis­it­ed Xin­jiang apart from my moth­er and one aunt, and nei­ther of them had stayed in touch with the rel­a­tives they met.”

But she wrote, “my mater­nal grand­moth­er was half Uighur” – or, her great-grand­moth­er was Uighur, which made her 1/8th Uighur. And in the hyper-iden­ti­tar­i­an neolib­er­al cul­ture that now dom­i­nates the New York Times news­room, this was enough to con­fer unas­sail­able author­i­ty upon the author.

Despite her dis­tant con­nec­tion to Chi­na, Pang char­ac­ter­ized her­self and her fam­i­ly as vic­tims of the Chi­nese com­mu­nist par­ty. “China’s forced assim­i­la­tion poli­cies still reached me,” she wrote, attribut­ing her total lack of knowl­edge of Uighur cul­ture not to her family’s fair­ly typ­i­cal sto­ry of assim­i­la­tion as Amer­i­can immi­grants, but rather to Beijing’s sup­posed cru­el­ty.

“I’m sor­ry it took a geno­cide for me to remem­ber I am Uighur,” Pang tweet­ed.

My essay in the @nytopinion on my fam­i­ly’s lost Uighur roots. I’m sor­ry it took a geno­cide for me to remem­ber I am Uighur.https://t.co/nUpmTsFKy6— Amelia Pang (@ameliapangg) Jan­u­ary 11, 2021

It is notable that the Times was so will­ing to enter­tain the accusato­ry angst of a US pun­dit with 1/8th Uighur her­itage, while it active­ly ignores and silences the many Uighurs born and raised in China’s Xin­jiang province, who sup­port the Com­mu­nist Par­ty of Chi­na and the government’s devel­op­men­tal poli­cies. The de fac­to pol­i­cy is sim­i­lar to its dis­portion­ate reliance on quotes from lib­er­al and Islamist exiles from Syr­ia while refus­ing to quote mem­bers of the country’s loy­al­ist major­i­ty liv­ing inside Syr­ia.

Mean­while, social media plat­forms like Twit­ter and Face­book have sus­pend­ed the accounts of promi­nent Uighurs and oth­er Chi­nese Mus­lims who pro­vid­ed an alter­na­tive per­spec­tive on the con­flict. In West­ern media, only one view­point is allowed: that which serves the inter­est of Wash­ing­ton and its new Cold War.

Pang’s Times arti­cle was also sig­nif­i­cant in the polit­i­cal mark­er it estab­lished: It allowed the news­pa­per of record to accuse Bei­jing of geno­cide, echo­ing the US gov­ern­ment, while main­tain­ing a veneer of inde­pen­dence by doing so through an op-ed.

In her arti­cle, Pang moved well beyond crit­i­ciz­ing Chi­nese dis­crim­i­na­tion against the minor­i­ty Uighur com­mu­ni­ty and the government’s heavy-hand­ed approach to com­bat­ing Islamist extrem­ist sep­a­ratist groups in the region, who have car­ried out a wave of ter­ror­ist attacks tar­get­ing both gov­ern­ment tar­gets and civil­ians.

To make her case that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment was guilty of “geno­cide,” Pang mis­lead­ing­ly implied that the Unit­ed Nations has accused Chi­na of the crime – a dis­in­for­ma­tion tac­tic that has become com­mon in anti-Chi­na report­ing in the West­ern media. But the UN has not done so.

“In recent years, iden­ti­fy­ing as Uighur has become a mat­ter of life and death,” Pang wrote. “What start­ed as a cul­tur­al geno­cide has pro­gressed into a lit­er­al one, as defined by the Unit­ed Nations.”

In this decep­tive­ly word­ed line, Pang linked to an arti­cle by US gov­ern­ment-fund­ed broad­cast­er NPR, titled “Chi­na Sup­pres­sion Of Uighur Minori­ties Meets U.N. Def­i­n­i­tion Of Geno­cide, Report Says.” This arti­cle is also mis­lead­ing.

The report both Pang and NPR were cit­ing was not a Unit­ed Nations doc­u­ment, but rather an inves­ti­ga­tion by a far-right Ger­man aca­d­e­m­ic named Adri­an Zenz.

The Gray­zone has pre­vi­ous­ly revealed Zenz to be an extrem­ist Chris­t­ian who oppos­es homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der equal­i­ty and claims to be “led by God” against Chi­na.

Claims that Chi­na has detained mil­lions of Uyghur Mus­lims are based large­ly on two stud­ies. @ajitxsingh & @MaxBlumenthal exam­ine these dubi­ous papers, their US gov­ern­ment back­ers, shod­dy method­olo­gies – and the rap­ture-ready “researcher” Adri­an Zenz.https://t.co/jvEy8WvrOO— The Gray­zone (@TheGrayzoneNews) Decem­ber 25, 2019

Zenz even told the Wall Street Jour­nal that his high­ly ques­tion­able work on Xin­jiang is “like a mis­sion, or a min­istry” for him. That is to say, his research is explic­it­ly moti­vat­ed by his ide­ol­o­gy, the pre­cise oppo­site of social sci­ence.

The far-right Ger­man aca­d­e­m­ic is the source for prac­ti­cal­ly every West­ern media report alleg­ing “geno­cide” and enor­mous con­cen­tra­tion camps in Xin­jiang. Zenz, who has not spent a sig­nif­i­cant peri­od of time in Chi­na, and has no evi­dent schol­ar­ly exper­tise on Chi­nese pol­i­tics, his­to­ry, or soci­ety, is not so much an aca­d­e­m­ic as he is a right-wing oper­a­tive.

Zenz has also found time to vol­un­teer his belief that God’s apoc­a­lyp­tic Rap­ture will soon come, and Jews who refuse to con­vert to Chris­tian­i­ty will, in his words, be “wiped out” and shoved in a “fiery fur­nace,” as jour­nal­ist Dan Cohen report­ed.

Adri­an Zenz, the pri­ma­ry source of west­ern media reports on Uyghur “con­cen­tra­tion camps”, is a Ger­man anti-Semi­te who believes Jews that refuse to con­vert to Chris­tian­i­ty will be “wiped out” and put into a “fiery fur­nace”.https://t.co/4iMObYmEzC pic.twitter.com/Unc7rvprCN— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) August 10, 2020

Adri­an Zenz works for the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, a right-wing lob­by group that was found­ed by the US gov­ern­ment and is linked close­ly to the Repub­li­can Par­ty. His research on Xin­jiang is clear­ly polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed by his explic­it desire to demo­nize the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and even­tu­al­ly over­throw the com­mu­nist par­ty.

As Ajit Singh and Max Blu­men­thal report­ed for The Gray­zone, Zenz’s esti­mate that “over 1 mil­lion” Mus­lim minori­ties are held in “con­cen­tra­tion camps” in Xin­jiang was based on a lone report by Istiqlal TV, an Islamist media out­let run by Uyghur sep­a­ratists based in Turkey. The out­let pro­vides a friend­ly plat­form for extrem­ist sup­port­ers of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that seeks to build an Islam­ic state in Xin­jiang, which it calls East Turkestan.

ETIM, also known as the Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty (TIP), is an al-Qae­da-linked extrem­ist mili­tia that has car­ried out numer­ous ter­ror­ist attacks in Xin­jiang. It is rec­og­nized as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion by the Unit­ed Nations, Euro­pean Union, and many coun­tries. Pompeo’s State Depart­ment removed ETIM from the US government’s offi­cial ter­ror­ist list in Octo­ber 2020, as part of Washington’s inten­si­fy­ing cold war on Chi­na.

Despite the mas­sive and well-doc­u­ment­ed flaws in Zenz’s research, Amelia Pang cit­ed him by name in her Times op-ed, echo­ing his work to accuse Chi­na of over­see­ing a mas­sive increase in “forced ster­il­iza­tions” in Xin­jiang.

In her arti­cle, Pang referred to Zenz sim­ply as “an expert on China’s eth­nic poli­cies,” con­ve­nient­ly over­look­ing his extreme-right polit­i­cal views and his work for a US gov­ern­ment-linked right-wing lob­by group.

Despite his wide­spread por­tray­al as an “expert,” it is not clear if Zenz even speaks Man­darin Chi­nese or Uighur. The aca­d­e­m­ic has not done any pub­lic events show­ing pro­fi­cien­cy in either lan­guage. When jour­nal­ists from The Gray­zone asked Zenz about his qual­i­fi­ca­tions, he blocked them on social media.

Mis­lead­ing­ly dis­tort­ing China’s anti-extrem­ism re-edu­ca­tion cen­ters

From the very first line, Amelia Pang’s New York Times op-ed was based on dis­tor­tions. She wrote, “The first time I tru­ly real­ized I was Uighur was just three years ago, when I saw the now-infa­mous viral pho­to of rows of Tur­kic men in dark blue uni­forms, sit­ting in a con­cen­tra­tion camp in Hotan, Xin­jiang, a so-called Uighur autonomous region in Chi­na.”

The pho­to Pang ref­er­enced has been heav­i­ly cir­cu­lat­ed by West­ern media out­lets and NGOs, and is upheld as prac­ti­cal­ly the only image prov­ing the exis­tence of “con­cen­tra­tion camps” run by Bei­jing. This char­ac­ter­i­za­tion is how­ev­er deeply mis­lead­ing.

The pho­to was not tak­en by some coura­geous pris­on­er or cru­sad­ing inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist; it was pub­lished by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment itself, in a press release from 2014 — three years before the State Depart­ment claimed the “geno­cide” began in Xin­jiang.

In fact, the orig­i­nal image was pub­lished on the Xin­jiang Bureau of Justice’s own WeChat account, with a water­mark iden­ti­fy­ing it as an offi­cial pho­to tak­en by Chi­nese author­i­ties. West­ern anti-Chi­na pro­pa­gan­dists have sub­se­quent­ly cropped off the water­mark and pre­sent­ed the pho­to as proof of Chi­na caught in the act.

The pho­to shows a de-rad­i­cal­iza­tion pro­gram at a Chi­nese deten­tion cen­ter in Luopu Coun­ty, Xin­jiang on April 7, 2014.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment press release said the event fea­tured talks from local Mus­lim lead­ers and pre­sen­ta­tions focused on “social sta­bil­i­ty” and “long-term peace” which “clear­ly clar­i­fied the tra­di­tion­al teach­ings and rules of Islam and right­eous­ness; clar­i­fied the seri­ous harm of reli­gious extrem­ism and vio­lent ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties; clar­i­fied the impor­tance of the uni­ty and strug­gle of all eth­nic groups in Xin­jiang for com­mon pros­per­i­ty and devel­op­ment; clar­i­fied the impor­tance of Xinjiang’s devel­op­ment.”

Oth­er pho­tos tak­en at the same 2014 anti-extrem­ist event in Xin­jiang have nev­er been shared in West­ern media reports, and for obvi­ous rea­sons: they depict innocu­ous scenes that stand at odds with the offi­cial US gov­ern­ment por­tray­al.

While the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has chal­lenged hyper­bol­ic accu­sa­tions of run­ning “con­cen­tra­tion camps,” it has open­ly admit­ted to oper­at­ing de-rad­i­cal­iza­tion cen­ters for Islamist extrem­ists – mem­bers of the same sep­a­ratist orga­ni­za­tions that have car­ried out scores of mass casu­al­ty attacks in the Xin­jiang region, killing state offi­cials and civil­ians alike.

It is cer­tain­ly fair to char­ac­ter­ize the tac­tics used in the Chi­nese government’s crack­down on extrem­ism and sep­a­ratism in Xin­jiang as heavy-hand­ed, and even repres­sive, but the real­i­ty is a far cry from a cam­paign of “geno­cide.”

The term “con­cen­tra­tion camp” in West­ern anti-Chi­na pro­pa­gan­da is clear­ly meant to invoke the mass exter­mi­na­tion that took place in Nazi death camps. Washington’s goal is to depict Bei­jing as a Nazi-like gov­ern­ment, in order to jus­ti­fy aggres­sive US actions against the coun­try and an even­tu­al push for regime change.

The high­ly sus­pect research from anti-Chi­na activists like Adri­an Zenz have absurd­ly exag­ger­at­ed the num­ber of peo­ple who have passed through these re-edu­ca­tion cen­ters. The bot­tom-feed­ing pun­dits des­per­ate to val­i­date Zenz’s shod­dy research have resort­ed to car­toon­ish­ly pre­pos­ter­ous pro­pa­gan­da that por­trays the sit­u­a­tion as worse than the Nazi Holo­caust.

This car­toon­ish & insult­ing pro­pa­gan­da illus­trates why @TheGrayzoneNews has chal­lenged dom­i­nant US gov’t/media claims on Xin­jiang. CJ’s “source” works w/ an NED-fund­ed sep­a­ratist group. (https://t.co/5KR3ELwaxb). Just as dubi­ous as far-right Adri­an Zenz. (https://t.co/1TSEZbXAuAhttps://t.co/bScwv9zAmx— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) August 24, 2020

Before the US ini­ti­at­ed its new Cold War with Chi­na, West­ern cor­po­rate media out­lets open­ly acknowl­edged that Chi­na faced a major nation­al secu­ri­ty threat in Xin­jiang in the form of a Wah­habist sep­a­ratist move­ment deter­mined to desta­bi­lize the entire region and ulti­mate­ly break away.

In a 2017 report titled “Uighurs fight­ing in Syr­ia take aim at Chi­na,” the Asso­ci­at­ed Press report­ed, “Since 2013, thou­sands of Uighurs, a Tur­kic-speak­ing Mus­lim minor­i­ty from west­ern Chi­na, have trav­eled to Syr­ia to train with the Uighur mil­i­tant group Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty and fight along­side al-Qai­da, play­ing key roles in sev­er­al bat­tles.”

The AP con­tin­ued: “Uighur mil­i­tants have killed hun­dreds, if not thou­sands, in attacks inside Chi­na in a decades-long insur­gency that ini­tial­ly tar­get­ed police and oth­er sym­bols of Chi­nese author­i­ty but in recent years also includ­ed civil­ians.”

The out­let quot­ed a Uighur mil­i­tant who said his group trav­eled to Syr­ia “to learn how to use the weapons and then go back to Chi­na.” Anoth­er extrem­ist said they were bas­ing their move­ment on Zion­ism, and hoped to cre­ate an Islamist ver­sion of Israel in mod­ern-day Xin­jiang.

“The end of Syria’s war may be the begin­ning of China’s worst fears,” the AP wrote.

While Wash­ing­ton has pre­ferred killing Islamist extrem­ists like these with drones and mil­i­tary inter­ven­tions, Chi­na has resort­ed to re-edu­ca­tion cen­ters.

For Bei­jing, the Xin­jiang region is extreme­ly impor­tant. It is a key geo-strate­gic loca­tion that lies at the heart of the New Silk Road that will pro­vide an eco­nom­ic bridge between Chi­na and Cen­tral Asia.

Wash­ing­ton has made it clear that it wants to sab­o­tage Beijing’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, an ambi­tious plan to link Glob­al South nations and recen­ter Asia in the glob­al econ­o­my.

And the Unit­ed States knows it can throw a mas­sive wrench in China’s plans by encour­ag­ing sep­a­ratist move­ments in Xin­jiang.

This is pre­cise­ly why Washington’s regime-change arm the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED), a CIA cutout estab­lished by the Ronald Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion at the end of the first Cold War, has poured mil­lions of dol­lars into Uighur sep­a­ratist groups.

The NED pub­licly boast­ed of its sup­port for the Uighur sep­a­ratist move­ment on Twit­ter in Decem­ber 2020.

To fur­ther #human­rights & human dig­ni­ty for all peo­ple in Chi­na, the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy has fund­ed Uyghur groups since 2004. #NEDemoc­ra­cy #Human­Rights­Day https://t.co/C0LJEyWxq1 pic.twitter.com/OqZdehdxXN— NEDemoc­ra­cy (@NEDemocracy) Decem­ber 10, 2020

The accu­sa­tions of geno­cide and con­cen­tra­tion camps in Chi­na also fail to take into account a glob­al per­spec­tive. The Unit­ed States has less than 5 per­cent of the planet’s pop­u­la­tion, but near­ly 25 per­cent of its pris­on­ers.

Careerism in the new Cold War

Amelia Pang is the author of “Made in Chi­na: A Pris­on­er, an SOS Let­ter, and the Hid­den Cost of America’s Cheap Goods,” a book advanc­ing the forced labor alle­ga­tions made against Chi­na by the US State Depart­ment.

Though she presents her­self as a lib­er­al, Pang sup­port­ed the Trump administration’s eco­nom­ic attacks on the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, clam­or­ing for the most aggres­sive mea­sures avail­able.

In Jan­u­ary, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion announced strict trade poli­cies ban­ning the import of cot­ton and toma­toes from China’s Xin­jiang province, the autonomous region where most Uighurs live.

The right-wing Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, which employs Adri­an Zenz and has exten­sive links to the US gov­ern­ment, claimed cred­it for help­ing to advanc­ing the new pol­i­cy.

Pang took to Twit­ter to praise the Trump administration’s eco­nom­ic restric­tions.

YES. https://t.co/WCTYEoqcf2— Amelia Pang (@ameliapangg) Jan­u­ary 14, 2021

When Pang pub­lished her op-ed with the New York Times, the news­pa­per of record curi­ous­ly omit­ted her five years of work for the Epoch Times from her bio.

Pang’s pub­licly avail­able LinkedIn pro­file shows that she worked for the pro­pa­gan­da arm of the Falun Gong cult between 2011 and 2016.

Iron­i­cal­ly, the New York Times’ report­ing on the Epoch Times acknowl­edged that many of Falun Gong’s “stri­dent accounts of per­se­cu­tion in Chi­na can some­times be dif­fi­cult to sub­stan­ti­ate or veer into exag­ger­a­tion.”

The New York Times referred to the Epoch Times as a “glob­al-scale mis­in­for­ma­tion machine that has repeat­ed­ly pushed fringe nar­ra­tives into the main­stream,” not­ing that the Falun Gong pro­pa­gan­da out­let has even pro­mot­ed the out­landish QAnon con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry.

Pang fre­quent­ly report­ed on Chi­na-relat­ed issues for the Epoch Times. Some of her arti­cles includ­ed bla­tant PR for Falun Gong, with titles like “Lis­ten: Musi­cians From Swe­den to Mex­i­co Sing for Falun Gong.”

Pang’s anti-Chi­na Epoch Times reports go all the way back to 2011, when she ampli­fied Falun Gong protests and described China’s Nation­al Day, the anniver­sary of the found­ing of the People’s Repub­lic, as a “Nation­al Tragedy Day to rebuff the Com­mu­nist Par­ty and its his­to­ry of vio­lence and atroc­i­ty.”

Pang also wrote at least 12 PR pieces open­ly pro­mot­ing Shen Yun, a dance form that is used as a cul­tur­al front for the Falun Gong cult. In one, she quot­ed an Oba­ma White House staff mem­ber who called it the “best show around the world.”

Pang also churned out a puff piece on anti-Chi­na sep­a­ratist leader Rebiya Kadeer, the mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Uighur oli­garch who, from inside the Unit­ed States, pre­vi­ous­ly ran the right-wing group the World Uyghur Con­gress, which is fund­ed by the US government’s NED regime-change arm.

In the fawn­ing pro­file, Pang herozied Kadeer as the “Dalai Lama of Xin­jiang.” Not­ing that Kadeer was “China’s Rich­est Woman” and “the sev­enth rich­est per­son in Chi­na at the time,” Pang tout­ed the Uyghur sep­a­ratist leader as “one of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s top pub­lic ene­mies.”

Not only was Pang aware of the US gov­ern­ment fund­ing for Kadeer’s sep­a­ratist activ­i­ties, she cel­e­brat­ed it in the arti­cle. “Remark­ably, Kadeer has man­aged to get fund­ing from the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy and pri­vate donors for the two orga­ni­za­tions she heads, the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion and the World Uyghur Con­gress,” Pang wrote.

Pang also not­ed how, in a pri­vate meet­ing with George W. Bush in 2007, the US pres­i­dent praised Kadeer as “far more valu­able than the weapons of [China’s] army or oil under the ground.”

In this Epoch Times puff piece, Pang went so far as to accuse Chi­na of “har­vest­ing the organs of live Uyghur pris­on­ers.”

As her source for the accu­sa­tion, Pang cit­ed a book by Ethan Gut­mann, an eccen­tric Amer­i­can anti-Chi­na activist who has tes­ti­fied for the CIA, US Con­gress, and Knes­set. His research has been fund­ed in part by the NED.

Gut­mann also worked for neo­con­ser­v­a­tive think tanks like the Project for the New Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry (PNAC) and Foun­da­tion for Defense of Democ­ra­cies (FDD), key insti­tu­tion­al forces behind the Iraq War and the push for a war on Iran. Gutmann’s high­ly ide­o­log­i­cal research, which is often based on lit­tle more than rumors, was called into ques­tion even by the for­mer may­or of Taipei, Tai­wan, Beijing’s prin­ci­pal polit­i­cal rival.

The Gray­zone con­tact­ed Amelia Pang with a request for com­ment, inquir­ing if she was aware of the Epoch Times’ close rela­tion­ship with Falun Gong and if she has had any affil­i­a­tion with the cult. She replied with just one line: “The Epoch Times and the Falun Gong group do not rep­re­sent my views in any way.”

Inter­est­ing piece by @malipaquin @guardian. A Falun Gong prac­ti­tion­er seeks the Miss World crown – in Chi­na http://t.co/aesSV5NIwf— Amelia Pang (@ameliapangg) August 28, 2015

Anti-Chi­na book pro­mot­ed by influ­en­tial US regime-change activist

At the top of her per­son­al web­site, Amelia Pang adver­tis­es her book, “Made in Chi­na: A Pris­on­er, an SOS Let­ter, and the Hid­den Cost of America’s Cheap Goods,” which is due in Feb­ru­ary 2021.

The book’s home­page high­lights a blurb writ­ten by Orville Schell, the direc­tor of the Cen­ter on U.S.-China Rela­tions at the Asia Soci­ety, an influ­en­tial NGO fund­ed by the Rock­e­feller Foun­da­tion and oth­er foun­da­tions with his­toric links to the US intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus.

Schell also has an eye­brow-rais­ing record of work at the Ford Foun­da­tion, a CIA cut-out, in Indone­sia from 1964 to 1966, at pre­cise­ly the time when the country’s US-backed mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship was enact­ing an actu­al geno­cide. With help from the CIA, Indonesia’s dic­ta­tor Suhar­to mur­dered between 1 and 3 mil­lion com­mu­nists, left-wing sym­pa­thiz­ers, labor orga­niz­ers, and eth­nic Chi­nese peo­ple, in what the CIA pri­vate­ly admit­ted was “one of the worst mass mur­ders of the 20th cen­tu­ry,” along­side the Nazi Holo­caust.

Schell under­took his Ford Foun­da­tion fel­low­ship in Jakar­ta when he was a grad­u­ate stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley – the same insti­tu­tion where an infa­mous group of Indone­sian econ­o­mists known as the “Berke­ley Mafia” were trained with Ford Foun­da­tion fund­ing in the cap­i­tal­ist shock ther­a­py they imposed on Indonesia’s for­mer­ly social­ist-ori­ent­ed econ­o­my.

The endorse­ment of Pang’s book by a fig­ure like Schell high­lights the use­ful­ness of her writ­ing to West­ern for­eign pol­i­cy elites. Her work was so use­ful, in fact, that her many years of employ­ment by a far-right pub­lic­i­ty arm for an anti-Chi­na cult that even the New York Times has lam­bast­ed was appar­ent­ly nec­es­sary to con­ceal.

———-

5. Anti-Asian racism is very much at the fore­front of pub­lic con­scious­ness at the moment. It would be disin­gen­u­ous for any­one to claim that the phe­nom­e­non  was unre­lat­ed to the full-court press against Chi­na.

Exem­pli­fy­ing that racism is a mem­ber of the Pan-Turk­ist fas­cist MHP par­ty, which is front and cen­ter in the anti-Uighur desta­bi­liza­tion effort and the prop­a­ga­tion of the “geno­cide” myth. (We have dis­cussed Pan-Turk­ist fas­cism in–among oth­er pro­grams–AFA #14  and FTR #59.)

. . . . . In 2015, mem­bers of the MHP-affil­i­at­ed Grey Wolves for­mer­ly led by Alparslan Türkes attacked South Kore­an tourists in Turkey, mis­tak­ing them for Chi­nese cit­i­zens, in protest of the sit­u­a­tion in Xin­jiang. Turk­ish MHP par­ty leader Devlet Bahçeli defend­ed the attacks. ‘How are you going to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between Kore­an and Chi­nese?’ the right­ist politi­cian ques­tioned. ‘They both have slant­ed eyes. Does it real­ly mat­ter?’ . . . .”

“Inside the World Uyghur Con­gress: The US-backed right-wing regime change net­work seek­ing the ‘fall of Chi­na’” by Ajit Singh; The Gray Zone; 03/05/2020

. . . . . In 2015, mem­bers of the MHP-affil­i­at­ed Grey Wolves for­mer­ly led by Alparslan Türkes attacked South Kore­an tourists in Turkey, mis­tak­ing them for Chi­nese cit­i­zens, in protest of the sit­u­a­tion in Xin­jiang.

Turk­ish MHP par­ty leader Devlet Bahçeli defend­ed the attacks. “How are you going to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between Kore­an and Chi­nese?” the right­ist politi­cian ques­tioned. “They both have slant­ed eyes. Does it real­ly mat­ter?” Bahceli’s racist remarks coin­cid­ed with the dis­play of a Grey Wolves ban­ner at party’s Istan­bul head­quar­ters read­ing, “We crave Chi­nese blood.” . . . . 

4. Yet anoth­er inci­sive, coura­geous arti­cle about the myth of Uighur geno­cide was pub­lished by The Gray­zone in March.

The vehi­cle for launch­ing this pro­pa­gan­da is The New­lines Insti­tute, a sub­sidiary ele­ment of Fair­fax Uni­ver­si­ty of Amer­i­ca.

The founder of New­lines Insti­tute is Ahmed Alwani, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Islam­ic Insti­tute, one of the orga­ni­za­tions raid­ed by Trea­sury Depart­ment and FBI agents on 3/20/2002 for alleged­ly fund­ing Al-Qae­da and oth­er Mus­lim-Broth­er­hood linked ter­ror­ist groups.

Key Ele­ments of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include: 

  1. ” . . . . The report, pub­lished on March 8 by the New­lines Insti­tute for Strat­e­gy and Pol­i­cy, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights, fol­lows a last-minute accu­sa­tion made in Jan­u­ary by the out­go­ing Trump admin­is­tra­tion, along with sim­i­lar dec­la­ra­tions by the Dutch and Cana­di­an Par­lia­ments. It was pub­lished short­ly after the release of a remark­ably sim­i­lar report on Feb­ru­ary 8 that was com­mis­sioned by the US gov­ern­ment-backed World Uyghur Con­gress, and which alleged that there is a ‘cred­i­ble case’ against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment for geno­cide. . . .”
  2. ” . . . . Ahmed Alwani is the founder and pres­i­dent of the New­lines Insti­tute. Alwani pre­vi­ous­ly served on the advi­so­ry board for the U.S. military’s Africa Com­mand (AFRICOM) and is the Vice Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought (IIIT); his father, Taha Jabir Al-Alwani was one of IIIT’s founders. . . .”
  3. ” . . . . New­lines’ report relies pri­mar­i­ly on the dubi­ous stud­ies of Adri­an Zenz, the US gov­ern­ment pro­pa­gan­da out­let, Radio Free Asia, and claims made by the US-fund­ed sep­a­ratist net­work, the World Uyghur Con­gress. These three sources com­prise more than one-third of the ref­er­ences used to con­struct the fac­tu­al basis of the doc­u­ment, with Zenz as the most heav­i­ly relied upon source – cit­ed on more than 50 occa­sions. Many of the remain­ing ref­er­ences cite the work of mem­bers of New­lines Institute’s Uyghur Schol­ars Work­ing Group’, of which Zenz is a found­ing mem­ber and which is made up of a small group of aca­d­e­mics who col­lab­o­rate with him and sup­port his con­clu­sions. . . .”
  4. ” . . . . The lead­er­ship of New­lines Insti­tute includes for­mer US State Depart­ment offi­cials, US mil­i­tary advi­sors, intel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als who pre­vi­ous­ly worked for the “shad­ow CIA” pri­vate spy­ing firm, Strat­for, and a col­lec­tion of inter­ven­tion­ist ide­o­logues. . . .”
  5. ” . . . . Just days before New­lines Institute’s report on Chi­na was released, its FXUA’s accred­i­ta­tion was once again in poten­tial jeop­ardy. On March 5, an advi­so­ry board to the US Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion rec­om­mend­ed ter­mi­nat­ing recog­ni­tion for ACICS. The Nation­al Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee on Insti­tu­tion­al Qual­i­ty and Integri­ty vot­ed 11-to‑1 to rec­om­mend that ACICS lose the fed­er­al recog­ni­tion it needs to oper­ate. The advi­so­ry com­mit­tee made the same rec­om­men­da­tion in 2016, lead­ing to the ACICS’s recog­ni­tion being revoked under the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, before recog­ni­tion was restored to the trou­bled accred­i­tor in 2018 by then-Pres­i­dent Trump’s Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion, the infa­mous pri­va­ti­za­tion activist and oli­garch Bet­sy Devos. . . .”
  6. ” . . . . New­lines Insti­tute pub­lished its report in col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights. The report’s prin­ci­pal author, Yon­ah Dia­mond, is legal coun­sel for The Wal­len­berg Cen­ter, and many of the report’s sig­na­to­ries hold affil­i­a­tions with the orga­ni­za­tion. . . .”
  7. ” . . . . The Wal­len­berg Cen­tre has become a haven for anti-Chi­na hawks, includ­ing Senior Fel­lows David Kil­go­ur, for­mer Cana­di­an Sec­re­tary of State, and David Matas. . . . Kil­go­ur and Matas have exten­sive ties to the far-right, anti-Chi­na reli­gious cult Falun GongBoth men are reg­u­lar­ly con­trib­u­tors to the group’s pro­pa­gan­da arm, The Epoch Times, a media net­work that The New York Times has described as an ‘anti-Chi­na, pro-Trump media empire’ and ‘lead­ing pur­vey­or of right-wing mis­in­for­ma­tion’. . . . ”

“‘Inde­pen­dent’ report claim­ing Uyghur geno­cide brought to you by sham uni­ver­si­ty, neo­con ide­o­logues lob­by­ing to ‘pun­ish’ Chi­na” by Ajit Singh; The Gray­zone; 03/17/2021

US media hailed a New­lines Insti­tute report accus­ing Chi­na of Uyghur geno­cide as a “land­mark” inde­pen­dent analy­sis. A look beneath the sur­face reveals it as a regime change pro­pa­gan­da tool by inter­ven­tion­ist oper­a­tives at a sham uni­ver­si­ty.

Through­out March 2021, head­lines in cor­po­rate media out­lets from CNN to The Guardian blared about the release of the “first inde­pen­dent report” to author­i­ta­tive­ly deter­mine that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has vio­lat­ed “each and every act” of the Unit­ed Nations con­ven­tion against geno­cide, and there­fore “bears State respon­si­bil­i­ty for com­mit­ting geno­cide against the Uyghurs.”

The report, pub­lished on March 8 by the New­lines Insti­tute for Strat­e­gy and Pol­i­cy, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights, fol­lows a last-minute accu­sa­tion made in Jan­u­ary by the out­go­ing Trump admin­is­tra­tion, along with sim­i­lar dec­la­ra­tions by the Dutch and Cana­di­an Par­lia­ments. It was pub­lished short­ly after the release of a remark­ably sim­i­lar report on Feb­ru­ary 8 that was com­mis­sioned by the US gov­ern­ment-backed World Uyghur Con­gress, and which alleged that there is a “cred­i­ble case” against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment for geno­cide.

CNNThe GuardianAFP, and the CBC hailed the March 8 New­lines report as an “inde­pen­dent analy­sis” and a “land­mark legal report” that involved “dozens of inter­na­tion­al experts.” Saman­tha Pow­er, the Biden administration’s nom­i­nee to direct the US Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment (USAID), also pro­mot­ed it: “This report shows how this [geno­cide] is pre­cise­ly what Chi­na is doing with the Uighurs,” the noto­ri­ous human­i­tar­i­an inter­ven­tion­ist stat­ed. . . .

. . . . The report’s authors have insist­ed that they are “impar­tial” and are “not advo­cat­ing any course of action what­so­ev­er.” But a clos­er look at the report and the insti­tu­tions behind it reveals its authors’ claims of “inde­pen­dence” and “exper­tise” to be a bla­tant decep­tion.

Indeed, the report’s prin­ci­pal author, Yon­ah Dia­mond, recent­ly called on the Biden admin­is­tra­tion to uni­lat­er­al­ly “con­front,” and “pun­ish” Chi­na for sup­pos­ed­ly com­mit­ting geno­cide, and expand sanc­tions against the coun­try. Mean­while, the think tanks behind the report have advo­cat­ed fer­vent­ly for the West to “com­bat” and sanc­tion Chi­na, and have pro­mot­ed US regime change poli­cies tar­get­ing Syr­ia, Venezuela, Iran, and Rus­sia.

A major­i­ty of the report’s “expert” sig­na­to­ries are mem­bers of the New­lines Insti­tute and the Wal­len­berg Cen­tre. Oth­ers are mem­bers of the hawk­ish Inter-Par­lia­men­tary Alliance on Chi­na, for­mer US State Depart­ment offi­cials, and ardent sup­port­ers of US mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion­ism. The report relies most sub­stan­tial­ly on the “exper­tise” of Adri­an Zenz, the far-right evan­gel­i­cal ide­o­logue, whose “schol­ar­ship” on Chi­na has been demon­strat­ed to be deeply flawed, rid­dled with false­hoods and dis­hon­est sta­tis­ti­cal manip­u­la­tion.

The reliance on the volu­mi­nous but demon­stra­bly fraud­u­lent work of Zenz is not sur­pris­ing, giv­en that the report was financed by the New­lines Institute’s par­ent orga­ni­za­tion, the Fair­fax Uni­ver­si­ty of Amer­i­ca (FXUA). FXUA is a dis­graced insti­tu­tion that state reg­u­la­tors moved to shut down in 2019 after find­ing that its “teach­ers weren’t qual­i­fied to teach their assigned cours­es”, aca­d­e­m­ic qual­i­ty was “patent­ly defi­cient,” and pla­gia­rism was “ram­pant” and ignored.

Just days before the New­lines Insti­tute pub­lished its “expert” report accus­ing Chi­na of geno­cide, an advi­so­ry board to the US Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion rec­om­mend­ed ter­mi­nat­ing recog­ni­tion of FXUA’s accred­i­tor, plac­ing its license in jeop­ardy.

“New” report regur­gi­tates old, dis­cred­it­ed “evi­dence”

The New­lines report presents no new mate­r­i­al on the con­di­tion of Uyghur Mus­lims in Chi­na. Instead, it claims to have reviewed all of “the avail­able evi­dence” and applied “inter­na­tion­al law to the evi­dence of the facts on the ground.”

Rather than con­duct­ing a thor­ough and com­pre­hen­sive review of “the avail­able evi­dence,” the report restrict­ed its sur­vey to a nar­row range of deeply flawed pseu­do-schol­ar­ship along with reports by US gov­ern­ment-backed lob­by­ing fronts for the exiled Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment. It was upon this faulty foun­da­tion that the report applies legal analy­sis relat­ed to the UN Geno­cide Con­ven­tion.

New­lines’ report relies pri­mar­i­ly on the dubi­ous stud­ies of Adri­an Zenz, the US gov­ern­ment pro­pa­gan­da out­let, Radio Free Asia, and claims made by the US-fund­ed sep­a­ratist net­work, the World Uyghur Con­gress. These three sources com­prise more than one-third of the ref­er­ences used to con­struct the fac­tu­al basis of the doc­u­ment, with Zenz as the most heav­i­ly relied upon source – cit­ed on more than 50 occa­sions.

Many of the remain­ing ref­er­ences cite the work of mem­bers of New­lines Institute’s “Uyghur Schol­ars Work­ing Group”, of which Zenz is a found­ing mem­ber and which is made up of a small group of aca­d­e­mics who col­lab­o­rate with him and sup­port his con­clu­sions.

As The Gray­zone has report­ed, Zenz is a far-right Chris­t­ian fun­da­men­tal­ist who has said he is “led by God” against China’s gov­ern­ment, deplores homo­sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der equal­i­ty, and has taught exclu­sive­ly in evan­gel­i­cal the­o­log­i­cal insti­tu­tions. A care­ful review of Zenz’s research shows that his asser­tion of geno­cide is con­coct­ed through fraud­u­lent sta­tis­ti­cal manip­u­la­tion, cher­ry-pick­ing of source mate­r­i­al, and pro­pa­gan­dis­tic mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions. His wide­ly-cit­ed reports were not pub­lished in peer-reviewed jour­nals over­seen by aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions, but rather, by a DC-based CIA cut-out called the Jamestown Foun­da­tion and “The Jour­nal of Polit­i­cal Risk,” a pub­li­ca­tion head­ed by for­mer NATO and US nation­al secu­ri­ty state oper­a­tives.

Trump & Biden admins base their accu­sa­tion of geno­cide against Chi­na on the bunk research of Chris­t­ian extrem­ist @adrianzenzHere’s Zenz on the show of anti-gay, Islam­o­pho­bic @FRCdc Pres. Tony Perkins: “I was actu­al­ly being pre­pared by God for this work.” https://t.co/00ZWvHBTE7 pic.twitter.com/dT8nG5oFlC— Max Blu­men­thal (@MaxBlumenthal) March 12, 2021

As his aca­d­e­m­ic mal­prac­tice comes to light, Zenz has faced increas­ing scruti­ny and embar­rass­ment, as evi­denced by his threat to take legal action against his schol­ar­ly crit­ics.

In order to shore up the report’s cred­i­bil­i­ty, and to deflect from its essen­tial reliance on Zenz’s reports, its authors have empha­sized their sup­posed “inde­pen­dence” and “impar­tial­i­ty.”

“This [is] not an advo­ca­cy doc­u­ment, we’re not advo­cat­ing any course of action what­so­ev­er”, stat­ed Azeem Ibrahim, Direc­tor of Spe­cial Ini­tia­tives at New­lines Insti­tute. “There were no cam­paign­ers involved in this report, it was pure­ly done by legal experts, area experts and Chi­na eth­nic experts.”

How­ev­er, just weeks before the pub­li­ca­tion of the report, its prin­ci­pal author, Yon­ah Dia­mond, penned a bel­li­cose call for the Biden admin­is­tra­tion to eschew the UN (which Dia­mond deems to be “behold­en to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment”) and uni­lat­er­al­ly con­front Chi­na. Fol­low­ing the Trump administration’s dec­la­ra­tion that Chi­na was com­mit­ting geno­cide in Xin­jiang, Dia­mond argued that the US is legal­ly oblig­ed to “pun­ish” Chi­na and that “the Biden admin­is­tra­tion must now take con­crete action to that end togeth­er with U.S. allies”.

The report attempts to con­struct an appear­ance of broad expert con­sen­sus sup­port­ing its con­clu­sions, includ­ing a list of 33 “inde­pen­dent expert” sig­na­to­ries. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, this list con­sists of indi­vid­u­als push­ing for a New Cold War and con­fronta­tion with Chi­na, and who sup­port sep­a­ratist efforts to trans­form the min­er­al-rich, geopo­lit­i­cal­ly impor­tant region of Xin­jiang into a NATO-ori­ent­ed eth­no-state:

Irwin Cotler and Hele­na Kennedy — co-chairs, along with Mar­co Rubio, of the hawk­ish Inter-Par­lia­men­tary Alliance on Chi­na (IPAC). Com­posed almost exclu­sive­ly of white West­ern law­mak­ers, IPAC formed in 2020 in order to mount a “com­mon defence” against the “rise of the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na.” Mem­bers of the World Uyghur Con­gress exec­u­tive, Erkin Ekrem and Rahi­ma Mah­mut, sit on IPAC’s advi­so­ry board and sec­re­tari­at; Adri­an Zenz also sits on the advi­so­ry board.

David Schef­fer, Beth von Schaack, and Gre­go­ry H. Stan­ton — Schef­fer and Schaack are both for­mer US State Depart­ment Ambas­sadors-at-Large, while Stan­ton is a for­mer US State Depart­ment offi­cial.

Lloyd Axwor­thy and Allan Rock — the for­mer Cana­di­an Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs and for­mer Cana­di­an UN Ambas­sador, respec­tive­ly.

Adri­an Zenz –– found­ing mem­ber of New­lines Institute’s “Uyghur Schol­ars Work­ing Group”

Rather than con­sult a wide range of author­i­ties and aca­d­e­m­ic experts, or sub­ject its study to peer review, New­lines relied entire­ly on a nar­row­ly focused com­mu­ni­ty of like-mind­ed ide­o­logues. A major­i­ty of the sig­na­to­ries are mem­bers of the two think tanks behind the report, the New­lines Insti­tute and the Wal­len­berg Cen­tre. Far from “inde­pen­dent”, these orga­ni­za­tions are deeply par­ti­san, self-described “cam­paign­ers” that align close­ly with US and West­ern for­eign pol­i­cy goals, advo­cat­ing for sanc­tions and inter­ven­tion against Chi­na and oth­er non-aligned nations across the Glob­al South.

New­lines Insti­tute: A col­lec­tion of regime-change ide­o­logues and “Shad­ow CIA” oper­a­tives

The sup­pos­ed­ly inde­pen­dent report accus­ing Chi­na of geno­cide was pub­lished by the New­lines Insti­tute for Strat­e­gy and Pol­i­cy based in Wash­ing­ton, DC and known for­mer­ly as the Cen­ter for Glob­al Pol­i­cy. Found­ed in 2019, the think tank’s stat­ed aim is “to enhance US for­eign pol­i­cy” with a “spe­cial­iza­tion in Mus­lim states and soci­eties.”

With exten­sive ties to the US regime-change estab­lish­ment, the New­lines Insti­tute is a reli­able repos­i­to­ry of anti-Chi­na mate­r­i­al. For exam­ple, it has fea­tured the ram­blings of Robert Spald­ing, the for­mer Senior Direc­tor for Strat­e­gy to Pres­i­dent Trump and one of the archi­tects of the Trump administration’s 2018 nation­al secu­ri­ty doc­trine, which for­mal­ly reori­ent­ed US for­eign pol­i­cy from a focus on the so-called “glob­al war on ter­ror” towards great pow­er com­pe­ti­tion with Chi­na and Rus­sia.

The lead­er­ship of New­lines Insti­tute includes for­mer US State Depart­ment offi­cials, US mil­i­tary advi­sors, intel­li­gence pro­fes­sion­als who pre­vi­ous­ly worked for the “shad­ow CIA” pri­vate spy­ing firm, Strat­for, and a col­lec­tion of inter­ven­tion­ist ide­o­logues. Its con­trib­u­tors rep­re­sent a who’s who of Syr­ia regime chang­ers who cheer­lead­ed for US mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion­ism while intim­i­dat­ing and bul­ly­ing any promi­nent fig­ure that dared present a crit­i­cal per­spec­tive on the proxy war.

Has­san Has­sanDirec­tor; Founder and Edi­tor-in-Chief of New­lines Mag­a­zine — Ardent sup­port­er of US impe­ri­al­ism, includ­ing wars on IraqLibyaYemen and espe­cial­ly Syr­ia. Along with New­lines con­trib­u­tor Michael Weiss, Has­san called for the US mil­i­tary to balka­nize Syr­ia, per­ma­nent­ly occu­py its oil-rich Jazi­ra region and turn the coun­try into “an Amer­i­can secu­ri­ty pro­tec­torate.”

Azeem IbrahimDirec­tor — Adjunct Research Pro­fes­sor at the Strate­gic Stud­ies Insti­tute, US Army War Col­lege. Ibrahim is a co-author of the New­lines report.

Kam­ran BokhariDirec­tor — Pre­vi­ous­ly served as the Cen­tral Asia Stud­ies Course Coor­di­na­tor at US Depart­ment of State’s For­eign Ser­vice Insti­tute

Faysal ItaniDeputy Direc­tor — For­mer res­i­dent Senior Fel­low at the US State Depart­ment-fund­ed Atlantic Coun­cil, which func­tions as the semi-offi­cial think tank of NATO in Wash­ing­ton, DC.

Michael WeissSenior Edi­tor – A vet­er­an Israel lob­by­ist, neo­con­ser­v­a­tive activist and anti-Mus­lim agi­ta­tor-turned advo­cate of Islamist insur­gents in Syr­ia, Weiss has brand­ed him­self as an expert on Rus­sia despite hav­ing nev­er vis­it­ed the coun­try and speak­ing no Russ­ian.

Muham­mad Idrees AhmadSenior Edi­tor – In 2016, Ahmad phoned Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal unso­licit­ed before Blu­men­thal pub­lished a two-part inves­tiga­tive exposé on the Syr­i­an White Hel­mets, threat­en­ing him with severe con­se­quences if he went ahead. (Lis­ten to a record­ing of Ahmad’s threat­en­ing call here). A lec­tur­er on dig­i­tal jour­nal­ism at Stir­ling Uni­ver­si­ty in the UK, Ahmad recent­ly attacked Democ­ra­cy Now! for host­ing schol­ar Vijay Prashad for a dis­cus­sion on the dan­ger of a new Cold War with Chi­na.

Rasha Al Aqee­diSenior Ana­lyst — Iraq-born pun­dit who for­mer­ly worked as a research fel­low at the neo­con­ser­v­a­tive For­eign Pol­i­cy Research Insti­tute (FPRI), a neo­con­ser­v­a­tive think tank orig­i­nal­ly found­ed by white suprema­cists and Cold War hard­lin­ers that has hon­ored Iraq war advo­cates John Bolton and James Mat­tis. Like her col­league Ahmad, Aqee­di ded­i­cates a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of her time to smear­ing anti-war fig­ures on social media.

Eliz­a­beth TsurkovNon-Res­i­dent Fel­low — Pre­vi­ous­ly worked for a num­ber of neo­con­ser­v­a­tive and estab­lish­ment think tanks, includ­ing the Atlantic Coun­cil, For­eign Pol­i­cy Research Insti­tute and Free­dom House. Tsurkov served in the Israeli mil­i­tary, dur­ing Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon. Through­out the Syr­i­an proxy war, Tsurkov main­tained friend­ly con­tacts with mem­bers of the Sau­di-backed jihadist mili­tia, Jaish al-Islam, and boast­ed about links both she and Israel’s mil­i­tary-intel­li­gence appa­ra­tus main­tained with Syria’s armed oppo­si­tion.

Nicholas A. HerasSenior Ana­lyst — Pre­vi­ous­ly a research asso­ciate at the US Depart­ment of Defense’s Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty, Heras is also a fel­low at the arms indus­try-fund­ed Cen­ter for New Amer­i­can Secu­ri­ty. There, he pro­posed using “wheat [as] a weapon of great power…to apply pres­sure on the Assad regime.” In oth­er words, Heras advo­cat­ed for the mass star­va­tion of Syr­i­an civil­ians by occu­py­ing their wheat fields, a US pol­i­cy that is cur­rent­ly under­way in the country’s north­east­ern region.

Car­o­line RoseSenior Ana­lyst — Pre­vi­ous­ly served as an ana­lyst at Geopo­lit­i­cal Futures, head­ed by Strat­for founder, George Fried­man. Strat­for is a pri­vate spy­ing and intel­li­gence firm com­mon­ly referred to as a “Shad­ow CIA.” It has con­tract­ed exten­sive­ly with the US gov­ern­ment, and has trained the rad­i­cal wing of Venezuela’s oppo­si­tion and advised them on desta­bi­liza­tion tac­tics.

Robin Black­burnMan­ag­ing Edi­tor — For 12 years, Black­burn served as a writer and edi­tor with Strat­for.

Robert InksEdi­tor — Pre­vi­ous­ly served as Direc­tor of the Writ­ers Group and Spe­cial Projects Edi­tor at Strat­for.

Daryl John­sonNon-Res­i­dent Fel­low — Served in the US Army and pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a senior ana­lyst at the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty. He is the founder of DT Ana­lyt­ics, a pri­vate con­sult­ing firm for police and law enforce­ment.

Eugene ChausovskyNon-Res­i­dent Fel­low — Lec­tures on the “geopol­i­tics of Cen­tral Asia” at the US State Department’s For­eign Ser­vice Insti­tute. Pre­vi­ous­ly worked as Senior Eura­sia Ana­lyst at Strat­for for over a decade.

Imti­az AliNon-Res­i­dent Fel­low — Pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a cur­ricu­lum spe­cial­ist at the US State Department’s For­eign Ser­vice Insti­tute.

Ahmed Alwani is the founder and pres­i­dent of the New­lines Insti­tute. Alwani pre­vi­ous­ly served on the advi­so­ry board for the U.S. military’s Africa Com­mand (AFRICOM) and is the Vice Pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought (IIIT); his father, Taha Jabir Al-Alwani was one of IIIT’s founders.

New­lines Insti­tute recent­ly took steps to counter rumors of IIIT’s con­nec­tions to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. In an inter­nal email obtained by The Gray­zone, dat­ed Novem­ber 17, 2020, New­lines Direc­tor Has­san Has­san addressed the “accu­sa­tion” against the then-Cen­ter for Glob­al Pol­i­cy. Has­san wrote that while a dif­fer­ent “old­er enti­ty” was fund­ed by IIIT, “[t]he cur­rent one has no rela­tion to IIIT.” Has­san attempt­ed to assuage con­cerns by down­play­ing Alwani’s con­nec­tion to IIIT, claim­ing that Alwani “inher­it­ed the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Islam­ic Thought as Vice Pres­i­dent as a sort of lega­cy”, fol­low­ing his father’s death in 2018.

New­lines Insti­tute over­seen by dis­graced sham “uni­ver­si­ty”

New­lines Insti­tute is a branch of a dis­graced edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tion that has repeat­ed­ly vio­lat­ed state edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards, rais­ing fur­ther ques­tions about the qual­i­ty of the think tank’s work.

New­lines Institute’s par­ent insti­tu­tion is Fair­fax Uni­ver­si­ty of Amer­i­ca (FXUA), a school also found­ed and led by Alwani, and for­mer­ly known as Vir­ginia Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty. FXUA is a pri­vate uni­ver­si­ty in Fair­fax, Vir­ginia. Found­ed in 1998, FXUA’s short track record has been rid­dled with numer­ous aca­d­e­m­ic scan­dals and efforts by state reg­u­la­tors to shut the insti­tu­tion down.

In 2019, the State Coun­cil of High­er Edu­ca­tion for Vir­ginia ini­ti­at­ed pro­ceed­ings to revoke FXUA’s (then known as Vir­ginia Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty) cer­tifi­cate to oper­ate. The move came after state reg­u­la­tors found wide­spread non­com­pli­ance with state edu­ca­tion­al stan­dards.

Accord­ing to the Rich­mond Times-Dis­patch, audi­tors deter­mined that “teach­ers weren’t qual­i­fied to teach their assigned cours­es”, the aca­d­e­m­ic qual­i­ty and con­tent of class­es were “patent­ly defi­cient”, and stu­dent work was char­ac­ter­ized by “ram­pant pla­gia­rism” that went unpun­ished.

“Unqual­i­fied stu­dents reg­u­lar­ly sub­mit pla­gia­rized or infe­ri­or work; fac­ul­ty turn a blind eye and low­er grad­ing stan­dards (per­haps to avoid fail­ing an entire class); and admin­is­tra­tors do not effec­tive­ly mon­i­tor the qual­i­ty of online edu­ca­tion being pro­vid­ed”, the audit said.

“That such sub­stan­dard course­work could con­tin­ue with no com­plaints from stu­dents, fac­ul­ty or admin­is­tra­tors rais­es con­cerns about the pur­pose of edu­ca­tion at VIU [Vir­ginia Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty].”

Indeed, signs point to FXUA/VIU serv­ing as a “visa mill” rather than a legit­i­mate edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tion. As Inside High­er Ed explains, the term “visa mill” refers to a sham oper­a­tion where an insti­tu­tion “offers lit­tle by way of edu­ca­tion­al val­ue,” but instead lures inter­na­tion­al stu­dents through its abil­i­ty to offer access to stu­dent and work visas, while exploit­ing them by charg­ing exor­bi­tant tuition costs. FXUA/VIU’s accred­i­tor, the Accred­it­ing Coun­cil for Inde­pen­dent Col­leges and Schools (ACICS), has long faced accu­sa­tions of cer­ti­fy­ing such insti­tu­tions.

In 2019, Inside High­er Ed report­ed that FXUA/VIU’s “appears to exist pri­mar­i­ly to enroll inter­na­tion­al stu­dents,” find­ing that over the pre­vi­ous five years, “the per­cent­age of stu­dents from North Amer­i­ca var­ied between 1 and 3 per­cent”. Audi­tors found that the the stu­dent body was large­ly com­prised of inter­na­tion­al stu­dents with an “abysmal­ly poor com­mand” of the Eng­lish lan­guage. The stu­dents were charged $2,178 per grad­u­ate class and $1,266 per under­grad­u­ate class to receive their “patent­ly defi­cient” edu­ca­tion.

Although Vir­ginia Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty reached an agree­ment with state reg­u­la­tors that allowed it to con­tin­ue oper­at­ing and has rebrand­ed itself as Fair­fax Uni­ver­si­ty of Amer­i­ca, sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns remain about the uni­ver­si­ty, along with its sub­sidiary New­lines Insti­tute.

Just days before New­lines Institute’s report on Chi­na was released, its FXUA’s accred­i­ta­tion was once again in poten­tial jeop­ardy. On March 5, an advi­so­ry board to the US Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion rec­om­mend­ed ter­mi­nat­ing recog­ni­tion for ACICS. The Nation­al Advi­so­ry Com­mit­tee on Insti­tu­tion­al Qual­i­ty and Integri­ty vot­ed 11-to‑1 to rec­om­mend that ACICS lose the fed­er­al recog­ni­tion it needs to oper­ate.

The advi­so­ry com­mit­tee made the same rec­om­men­da­tion in 2016, lead­ing to the ACICS’s recog­ni­tion being revoked under the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, before recog­ni­tion was restored to the trou­bled accred­i­tor in 2018 by then-Pres­i­dent Trump’s Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion, the infa­mous pri­va­ti­za­tion activist and oli­garch Bet­sy Devos.

The Wal­len­berg Cen­tre: A haven for anti-Chi­na hawks and regime-change lob­by­ists

New­lines Insti­tute pub­lished its report in col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights. The report’s prin­ci­pal author, Yon­ah Dia­mond, is legal coun­sel for The Wal­len­berg Cen­ter, and many of the report’s sig­na­to­ries hold affil­i­a­tions with the orga­ni­za­tion.

Based in Mon­tre­al, The Wal­len­berg Cen­tre was found­ed by Irwin Cotler, for­mer Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Attor­ney Gen­er­al of Cana­da. While often tout­ed as a “human rights cham­pi­on”, Cotler is, in fact, a cham­pi­on of the “respon­si­bil­i­ty to pro­tect” and “human­i­tar­i­an inter­ven­tion” doc­trines, reg­u­lar­ly invoked by West­ern states in order to jus­ti­fy impe­r­i­al inter­ven­tions in the glob­al south.

Cotler rou­tine­ly lev­els pro­pa­gan­dis­tic accu­sa­tions of human rights abus­es, atroc­i­ties, and geno­cide in ser­vice West­ern impe­ri­al­ism, includ­ing inter­ven­tions in Libya and Syr­iaIran, and Venezuelawhere Cotler served as legal coun­sel for far-right, US-backed Venezue­lan coup leader Leopol­do López. Lopez’s wife, Lil­ian Tin­tori, holds an advi­so­ry posi­tion at The Wal­len­berg Cen­tre.

Cotler is also active in Haiti, serv­ing as the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice in the Cana­di­an admin­is­tra­tion that worked with the US and France to help over­throw for­mer Hait­ian Pres­i­dent Jean-Bertrand Aris­tide in 2004. In 2014, Cotler invit­ed Maryam Rajavi, leader of the exiled Iran­ian MEK cult, to speak on Canada’s par­lia­ment hill. Four years lat­er, he nom­i­nat­ed US and UK-fund­ed Syr­i­an White Hel­mets for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Justin Trudeau taps Irwin Cotler, the Cana­di­an ver­sion of Alan Der­showitz, as de fac­to anti-Pales­tin­ian czar. Cotler will lead the cen­ter-left gov­ern­men­t’s assault on free speech and polic­ing of Pales­tine sol­i­dar­i­ty orga­niz­ing. https://t.co/UK7HXdKGlZ— Max Blu­men­thal (@MaxBlumenthal) Novem­ber 26, 2020

Cotler is an ardent sup­port­er of Israeli apartheid and long­time advi­sor to Moshe Ya’alon, for­mer Israeli Defense Min­is­ter and Chief of Staff of the Israeli mil­i­tary. Cotler has played sig­nif­i­cant role in the Cana­di­an government’s efforts to equate crit­i­cism of Israel with anti-Semi­tism and smear the non­vi­o­lent boy­cott, divest­ment and sanc­tions (BDS) move­ment for Pales­tin­ian rights.

Cotler has long har­bored hos­tile sen­ti­ments towards Chi­na. For a num­ber of years, Cotler served on the inter­na­tion­al legal team for Chi­nese anti-gov­ern­ment dis­si­dent Liu Xiaobo, a right-wing ide­o­logue who called for the pri­va­ti­za­tion and “West­ern­i­sa­tion” of Chi­na, ardent­ly sup­port­ed for­mer Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, and cheered on US wars on Viet­nam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

More recent­ly, dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, Cotler echoed calls of right-wing US law­mak­ers for inter­na­tion­al legal action and sanc­tions to pun­ish Chi­na for sup­pos­ed­ly caus­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic.

In its mis­sion state­ment, the Wal­len­berg Cen­tre out­lines its right-wing, West­ern impe­r­i­al out­look in detail, explic­it­ly iden­ti­fy­ing Chi­na, Venezuela, Iran, and Rus­sia as coun­tries that it is push­ing to “com­bat” with sanc­tions.

The Wal­len­berg Cen­tre has become a haven for anti-Chi­na hawks, includ­ing Senior Fel­lows David Kil­go­ur, for­mer Cana­di­an Sec­re­tary of State, and David Matas, senior legal coun­sel for B’nai Brith Cana­da, a right-wing orga­ni­za­tion that describes itself as ded­i­cat­ed to “Israel advo­ca­cy”.

Kil­go­ur and Matas have exten­sive ties to the far-right, anti-Chi­na reli­gious cult Falun GongBoth men are reg­u­lar­ly con­trib­u­tors to the group’s pro­pa­gan­da arm, The Epoch Times, a media net­work that The New York Times has described as an “anti-Chi­na, pro-Trump media empire” and “lead­ing pur­vey­or of right-wing mis­in­for­ma­tion”. In 2019, an NBC News exposé found that The Epoch Times spent over $1.5 mil­lion on approx­i­mate­ly 11,000 pro-Trump adver­tise­ments in just six months, “more than any orga­ni­za­tion out­side of the Trump cam­paign itself, and more than most Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates have spent on their own cam­paigns.”

In 2006, Kil­go­ur and Matas were com­mis­sioned by Falun Gong to author a report which made sen­sa­tion­al accu­sa­tions that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment was secret­ly con­duct­ing a mass cam­paign of live organ har­vest­ing Falun Gong dis­ci­ples. In 2017, an inves­ti­ga­tion by The Wash­ing­ton Post deter­mined that the claims made by Kil­go­ur and Matas were unfound­ed, with experts com­ment­ing that their alle­ga­tions were “not plau­si­ble” and “unthink­able.”

5. The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of the Wal­len­berg fam­i­ly, one of Swe­den’s most promi­nent indus­tri­al clans and inex­tri­ca­bly linked with both the inter­na­tion­al car­tel sys­tem, the Third Reich and–as we see below–the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann flight cap­i­tal orga­ni­za­tion.

The Wal­len­bergs were cen­tral­ly involved in numer­ous cloak­ing oper­a­tions for Nazi big busi­ness, and also had strong links to the Allied indus­tri­al firms under­tak­ing war pro­duc­tion.

(The sub­stance and com­plex­i­ties of the car­tel sys­tem and inter­na­tion­al fas­cism were dis­cussed in–among oth­er pro­grams–FTR#511. The over­all polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal con­text in which the car­tels operate–globalization–is ana­lyzed in the intro­duc­tion to the Books for Down­load sec­tion.)

Exem­pli­fy­ing the fam­i­ly’s posi­tion in the Wall Street/cartel pan­theon is George Mur­nane of the Wal­len­berg hold­ing com­pa­ny A.B. Investor: ” . . . . In Novem­ber 1940, a vot­ing trust agree­ment was set up in the Unit­ed States under which George Mur­nane was des­ig­nat­ed by the Wal­len­bergs’ Enskil­da Bank as the sole vot­ing trustee with com­plete pow­er to vote the Amer­i­can Bosch stock at stock­hold­ers’ meet­ings in the Unit­ed States. The vot­ing trust arrange­ment pro­vid­ed that if George Mur­nane should die, his suc­ces­sor should be named by John Fos­ter Dulles, senior part­ner of Sul­li­van & Cromwell, the law firm which rep­re­sents the Wal­len­bergs and the Enskil­da Bank in the Unit­ed States. . . .”

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant of the Wal­len­bergs’ oper­a­tions con­cerned its glob­al monop­oly on ball bear­ings and its ship­ment of Swedish bear­ings to off­set Nazi Ger­many’s loss­es in the cost­ly Schwe­in­furt raids.

” . . . . It hap­pened that two thirds of Ger­many’s entire bear­ing indus­try was con­cen­trat­ed in a sin­gle group of four fac­to­ries at Schwe­in­furt. Three of them, account­ing for 36 per cent of Ger­many’s pro­duc­tive capac­i­ty, were owned by VKF; and one, account­ing for 30 per cent of Ger­man capac­i­ty, was owned by the only remain­ing large inde­pen­dent, Fis­ch­er A.G.

When Amer­i­can air forces bombed Schwe­in­furt dur­ing the war, in an effort to knock out this strate­gic point in Ger­man indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion, Schwe­in­furt was dis­cov­ered to be one of the most heav­i­ly defend­ed spots in Ger­many. Ger­man defens­es inflict­ed a loss of fifty Amer­i­can heavy bombers in one raid alone. When these raids tem­porar­i­ly knocked out Schwe­in­furt, the effect was large­ly nul­li­fied by ship­ments of bear­ings from SKF in Swe­den. . . .”

It is this her­itage that under­lies the Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights.

All Hon­or­able Men by James Stew­art Mar­tin; Lit­tle Brown [HC]; Copy­right 1950 by James Stew­art Mar­tin; pp. 249–254.

. . . . On May 6, 1940, just before the Ger­man blitz swept into Hol­land, the Amer­i­can Bosch shares were “sold” with the per­mis­sion of Stuttgart to the Enskil­da Bank of Stock­holm. The bank put them under the con­trol of a finan­cial hold­ing com­pa­ny named “A.B. Investor.” The trans­fer agree­ment cre­at­ed an option to per­mit Robert Bosch of Ger­many to repur­chase the stock two years after the end of the war. At that time Mar­cus Wal­len­berg, who, with his broth­er, Jacob, con­trols the Enskil­da Bank, was also act­ing simul­ta­ne­ous­ly as agent of the Ger­man Reichs­bank in oth­er mat­ters.

In Novem­ber 1940, a vot­ing trust agree­ment was set up in the Unit­ed States under which George Mur­nane was des­ig­nat­ed by the Wal­len­bergs’ Enskil­da Bank as the sole vot­ing trustee with com­plete pow­er to vote the Amer­i­can Bosch stock at stock­hold­ers’ meet­ings in the Unit­ed States. The vot­ing trust arrange­ment pro­vid­ed that if George Mur­nane should die, his suc­ces­sor should be named by John Fos­ter Dulles, senior part­ner of Sul­li­van & Cromwell, the law firm which rep­re­sents the Wal­len­bergs and the Enskil­da Bank in the Unit­ed States.

While all this legal foot­work was keep­ing’ the legal own­er­ship of Bosch prop­er­ties abroad in the tech­ni­cal cus­tody of neu­tral cit­i­zens, Bosch of Stuttgart was not ham­pered in its con­trol over the use of patent­ed Bosch tech­nol­o­gy by non-Ger­man com­pa­nies. Even as late as June 1941, Amer­i­can Bosch was the only source of sup­ply of fuel injec­tion equip­ment for naval diesel engines.

 The Unit­ed States Navy want­ed to devel­op a sec­ond source of sup­ply, but found that Amer­i­can Bosch had no right to grant a license to any oth­er com­pa­ny to make this patent­ed equip­ment. The Amer­i­can Bosch com­pa­ny informed the navy that no such license could be grant­ed with­out the con­sent of the Robert Bosch firm at Stuttgart.

Final­ly, on May 19, 1942, the con­trol­ling shares of Amer­i­can Bosch Cor­po­ra­tion, nom­i­nal­ly held by the Swedish firm, A.B. Investor, were tak­en over by the Alien Prop­er­ty Cus­to­di­an, On Decem­ber 29, 1942, an antitrust action against the Amer­i­can Bosch Cor­po­ra­tion was con­clud­ed by a court order can­cel­ing all agree­ments between Amer­i­can Bosch Cor­po­ra­tion and Robert Bosch of Stuttgart, aris­ing out of their “unlaw­ful com­bi­na­tion and con­spir­a­cy to sup­press, lim­it and con­trol com­pe­ti­tion between them­selves through­out the world.” Amer­i­can Bosch Cor­po­ra­tion was required to issue licens­es under all of the Bosch patents to Amer­i­can man­u­fac­tur­ers with­out roy­al­ties for the dura­tion of the war.

The third case, that of the VKF bear­ings com­bine, also involved cloak­ing oper­a­tions and the Enskil­da Bank. One of the mys­ter­ies of World War ll has been the unex­plained inter­na­tion­al rela­tions of the Swedish indus­tri­al orga­ni­za­tion, A.B. Sven­s­ka Kul­lager­fab­riken, known as SKF, Swe­den’s largest indus­tri­al con­cern and the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­er of ball and roller bear­ings. The prin­ci­pal Swedish inter­est in SKF is held by the Wal­len­bergs through their Enskil­da Bank and its invest­ment sub­sidiary, A.B. Investor. The actu­al extent of Ger­man or oth­er for­eign con­trol, either direct­ly or through the Wal­len­bergs, has not been dis­closed. For many years the active man­age­ment of SKF was in the hands of Sven Wingquist, the founder of the firm.

In 1941, he gave up the day-to-day man­age­ment but remained as chair­man of the board. From time to time, begin­ning in 1933 and 1934, Sven Wingquist came into the world spot­light as one of a col­or­ful clique of inter­na­tion­al adven­tur­ers, who gained spe­cial noto­ri­ety by their buzzing around Edward VIII at the time of his abdi­ca­tion in 1936. They includ­ed Axel Wen­ner-Gren, the yachts­man; Charles Bedaux, inven­tor of a labor speed-up sys­tem; and Jacques Ler­nai­gre-Dubre­nil, French banker and veg­etable-oil man of West Africa. Axel Wen­ner-Gren will he remem­bered as a yachts­man with a remark­able record of coin­ci­dences.

He cruised the seas through­out much of the war in his yacht, the South­ern Cross, and turned up to res­cue sur­vivors of Ger­man sub­ma­rine attacks, begin­ning with the Ger­man sink­ing of the British ship Athe­nia in 1939 and con­tin­u­ing through the Caribbean sub­ma­rine cam­paign of 1942. At the time, some peo­ple spec­u­lat­ed about how one yacht could hap­pen along so often when a sub­ma­rine spot­ted a ves­sel; but the coin­ci­dences were nev­er explained.

Charles Bedaux, inven­tor of the “Bedaux Sys­tem,” a speed-up sys­tem for forc­ing high­er labor out­put in fac­to­ries, was an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen who spent most of his life abroad. The Duke and Duchess of Wind­sor were mar­ried in the Bedaux chateau on the Riv­iera. Bedaux was cap­tured by Amer­i­can forces dur­ing the inva­sion of North Africa while busy build­ing a pipeline to bring veg­etable oil from Lemai­gre-Dubreuil’s West African domain to the Mediter­ranean to help relieve the crit­i­cal Ger­man short­age of fats and oils. Bedaux com­mit­ted sui­cide in the fed­er­al jail at Mia­mi, while await­ing tri­al for trea­son. Sven Wingquist and Axel Wen­ner-Gren had tak­en an active part after World War I in the Ger­man plans to mask the own­er­ship of sub­sidiaries abroad.

To get around the Ver­sailles Treaty, firms like Carl Zeiss, man­u­fac­tur­ers of mil­i­tary opti­cal equip­ment, set up branch­es such as the “Nedin­sco” firm at Ven­lo in the Nether­lands and car­ried on as before. The Krupp firm did the same in Spain, Swe­den, and oth­er coun­tries. In 1934 the Swedish gov­ern­ment dis­cov­ered that Krupp con­trolled a block of shares in the Bofors steel and muni­tions works through a Swedish dum­my hold­ing com­pa­ny called “Boforsin­ter­essen­ten.”

Sven Wingquist, who was chair­man of the board of the Bofors steel and muni­tions works, was one of the two Swedish cit­i­zens who had been vot­ing this stock for Krupp at stock­hold­ers’ meet­ings. The Krupp con­cern con­trolled approx­i­mate­ly one third of Swedish Bofors in this man­ner and had main­tained enough addi­tion­al vot­ing strength through Axel Wen­ner-Gren to con­trol the affairs of Bofors.

Sven Wingquist and the Wal­len­bergs have always claimed that SKF is Swedish-owned and Swedish-con­trolled. Up till 1928, no one had any rea­son to doubt this asser­tion, But in 1928 and 1929, SKF was involved in a series of moves where­by all but one of the impor­tant bear­ing firms in Ger­many, account­ing for 60 per cent of Ger­many’s bear­ing indus­try, were merged into a new con­cern, the Vere­inigte Kugel­lager­fab­riken A.G., known as VKF. When these moves were com­plet­ed, SKF showed on the record as the own­er of 99.7 per cent of the stock of Ger­man VKF.

The mys­tery is how SKF could pos­si­bly have man­aged to pay the Ger­man own­ers of the merged firms with­out giv­ing the Ger­mans either mon­ey or some sub­stan­tial stock inter­est in the Swedish firm, SKF. The man­age­ment of Swedish SKF denied that any stock was giv­en to Ger­man inter­ests; but they nev­er explained how the Ger­man inter­ests were paid off.

In a sim­i­lar deal in 1928 under which SKF had merged and acquired the prin­ci­pal French bear­ing com­pa­nies, SKF issued 14,000,000 kro­ner, par val­ue, of new SKF shares which they turned over to the French inter­ests in exchange for the con­trol­ling shares in the new French con­cern. This increase of SKF’s cap­i­tal from 92,000,000 to 106,000,000 kro­ner, by the issue of 14,000,ooo to the French, gave the French inter­ests among them a 13 per cent par­tic­i­pa­tion in Swedish SKF.

In 1929, SKF increased its out­stand­ing shares by anoth­er 24,000,000 at the time it acquired own­er­ship and con­trol of the Ger­man bear­ing trust, VKF. At the time of the com­ple­tion of the Ger­man merg­er, on Sep­tem­ber 8, 1929, the Frank­furter Zeitung report­ed that the shares of VKF would not be list­ed on the Ger­man stock exchange and went on to say, “How­ev­er, the shares of the Swedish par­ent com­pa­ny, of which a part is already Ger­man-owned, will short­ly be list­ed on the Berlin exchange.”

In 1933, a pam­phlet pub­lished by VKF explained the 1929 deal as part of a plan to assure the Ger­man firm an increased export mar­ket. The pam­phlet report­ed: “Main­ly for this rea­son, there devel­oped a vol­un­tary depen­dence on the inter­na­tion­al SKF con­cern. In spite of this depen­dence, it was large­ly Ger­man cap­i­tal which was inter­est­ed in the share cap­i­tal of Vere­inigte Kugel­lager­fab­riken A.G., amount­ing to RM 30,000,000, because the for­mer own­ers are hold­ers of the SKF con­cern shares and still oth­er shares are in Ger­man pri­vate own­er­ship.”

The case of VKF of Ger­many and its inter­na­tion­al ties through SKF of Swe­den, posed a prob­lem in the con­cen­tra­tion of Ger­man eco­nom­ic pow­er. It was like the case of Ger­man VGF and Dutch AKU in the syn­thet­ic tex­tile field. While the ques­tion of Ger­man con­trol as against “neu­tral” con­trol has nev­er been sat­is­fac­to­ri­ly answered, the “neu­tral” firm is unques­tion­ably the legal own­er of impor­tant inter­ests in the Unit­ed States which were immune from seizure by the Alien Prop­er­ty Cus­to­di­an dur­ing World War 11.

In the case of SKF, the sub­sidiaries in the Unit­ed States are SKF Indus­tries, Incor­po­rat­ed, of Philadel­phia and SKF Steels Incor­po­rat­ed, of New York. In 1940, Mar­cus Wal­len­berg came to the Unit­ed States to buy up Ger­man secu­ri­ties in the Amer­i­can mar­ket, pre­sum­ably for the Reichs­bank, as part of the Ger­man Eco­nom­ic Min­istry’s “repa­tri­a­tion”

pro­gram to buy out Ger­many’s exter­nal debt at a few cents on the dol­lar. He arranged at that time to set up a vot­ing trust which con­veyed nom­i­nal con­trol of SKF’s sub­sidiaries in the Unit­ed States to William L. Batt as vot­ing trustee. Mr. Batt is pres­i­dent of SKF Indus­tries, and, dur­ing the war, served as deputy chair­man of the War Pro­duc­tion Board.

It was Mr. Batt who called at my office in Berlin in the autumn of 1946 soon after the press report­ed rumors that we were con­sid­er­ing action to divorce Ger­man VKF from its inter­na­tion­al part­ners. He had come to Berlin to con­fer with Gen­er­al Drap­er on mat­ters of Ger­man recov­ery; but he also want­ed to be assured that noth­ing would be done to dis­turb the Swedish inter­est in the Ger­man com­pa­ny, or to reduce the val­ue of the hold­ings by per­mit­ting removal of any of the plants from Ger­many as repa­ra­tions.

It hap­pened that two thirds of Ger­many’s entire bear­ing indus­try was con­cen­trat­ed in a sin­gle group of four fac­to­ries at Schwe­in­furt. Three of them, account­ing for 36 per cent of Ger­many’s pro­duc­tive capac­i­ty, were owned by VKF; and one, account­ing for 30 per cent of Ger­man capac­i­ty, was owned by the only remain­ing large inde­pen­dent, Fis­ch­er A.G.

When Amer­i­can air forces bombed Schwe­in­furt dur­ing the war, in an effort to knock out this strate­gic point in Ger­man indus­tri­al pro­duc­tion, Schwe­in­furt was dis­cov­ered to be one of the most heav­i­ly defend­ed spots in Ger­many. Ger­man defens­es inflict­ed a loss of fifty Amer­i­can heavy bombers in one raid alone. When these raids tem­porar­i­ly knocked out Schwe­in­furt, the effect was large­ly nul­li­fied by ship­ments of bear­ings from SKF in Swe­den.

A spe­cial Unit­ed States mis­sion was sent to Swe­den to buy off SKF’s pro­duc­tion; but it was only par­tial­ly suc­cess­ful in this attempt to cut SKF ship­ments. When the time came to give up Ger­man plants as repa­ra­tions after World War 2, a large part of the plant of the inde­pen­dent bear­ing firm, Fis­ch­er A.G. at Schwe­in­furt, was packed up and shipped off, leav­ing VKF with sub­stan­tial­ly a 100 per­cent monop­oly of Ger­man bear­ing pro­duc­tion. . . .

In the con­text of Swedish indus­tri­al­ists’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, we take note of the impor­tant role in that orga­ni­za­tion played by the Wal­len­berg indus­tri­al and finan­cial empire.

6. The Wal­len­bergs also played a major role in the Swedish com­po­nent of the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 133–134.

. . . . An inter­est­ing side­light to this strug­gle between the Allies and Ger­many for influ­ence on Swe­den is the pecu­liar role played by Mar­cus and Jacob Wal­len­berg, mem­bers of Swe­den’s most impor­tant bank­ing fam­i­ly. Mar­cus head­ed a gov­ern­ment com­mis­sion which nego­ti­at­ed with Britain and the Unit­ed States through­out the war. At the same time, his broth­er Jacob was the chief nego­tia­tor for the Swedish gov­ern­ment with Nazi Ger­many. Thus were both sides cov­ered for Swedish busi­ness, includ­ing the fam­i­ly’s very own sub­stan­tial eco­nom­ic inter­ests. Fol­low­ing World War II, this fam­i­ly empire was to achieve its most spec­tac­u­lar pros­per­i­ty, as Ger­man invest­ments under the Bor­mann pro­gram matured in their Swedish safe-havens.

In this way, impres­sive wealth accrued to the Wal­len­bergs, as well as to the oth­er Swedish and Ger­man invest­ment groups con­trol­ling large hold­ings in the many Swedish com­pa­nies under Ger­man dom­i­nance in 1944. . . . 

7. Insti­tu­tion­al­ized as an inter­na­tion­al mar­tyr for his work res­cu­ing Euro­pean Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust, Raoul Wal­len­berg’s reput­ed work ran­som­ing legal immu­ni­ty for Hein­rich Himm­ler with those Jews is but­tressed by his rela­tion­ship with Ger­man indus­tri­al­ist Ludolph Chris­tensen and–through him–SS Gen­er­al Karl Wolff (right.)

Wolff was Himm­ler’s per­son­al adju­tant.

“‘Swedish Schindler’ death linked to Ger­many;” The Local [SE]; 1/15/2015.

Raoul Wal­len­berg was a young diplo­mat post­ed in Nazi-con­trolled Budapest dur­ing the war and he saved the lives of thou­sands of Jews by pro­vid­ing them with Swedish doc­u­men­ta­tion. . . .

. . . . Now, new infor­ma­tion links Wal­len­berg – only the sec­ond for­eign­er to become an hon­orary cit­i­zen of the Unit­ed States, after British wartime Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill – to Ger­man busi­ness­man Ludolph Chris­tensen.

In the ear­ly 1940s, Wal­len­berg was an exec­u­tive in the Swedish trad­ing com­pa­ny Mel­la­neu­ropeiska AB, which man­aged to import to Swe­den large quan­ti­ties of food­stuffs, includ­ing spe­cial­i­ty items such as cig­a­rettes and fruit, which were hard to obtain due to the war.

While these trans­ac­tions have been well-known, it has now emerged that almost all of them were car­ried out in coop­er­a­tion with Ludolph Chris­tensen, accord­ing to an arti­cle pub­lished on the web­site raoul-wallenberg.eu.

What do Swedes know about Raoul Wal­len­berg?

Chris­tensen was pro­tect­ed by Gen­er­al Karl Wolff, right-hand man of SS leader Hein­rich Himm­ler, one of the main archi­tects of the Holo­caust, which Wal­len­berg was fight­ing.

The rela­tion­ship “shows the com­plex­i­ty of trade rela­tions in times of war and could pro­vide new ways of solv­ing Wal­len­berg’s dis­ap­pear­ance,” the study’s authors, Susanne Berg­er, Vadim Birstein and Craig McK­ay, wrote.

New evi­dence uncov­ered by the researchers also shows that the Ger­man busi­ness­man also met Wal­len­berg at the start of his Budapest mis­sion, in the sum­mer of 1944. . . .

Discussion

13 comments for “FTR#‘s 1178 1179, 1180: Fascism and The Uyghur Genocide Myth, Parts 1, 2, 3”

  1. With the West­ern cam­paign pro­mot­ing a Uyghur geno­cide myth con­tin­u­ing to gain steam, here’s a recent Gray Zone arti­cle about the US branch of the World Uighur Con­gress (WUC), the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion (UAA), and the groups exten­sive per­son­al and ide­o­log­i­cal ties to the far right. As the arti­cle describes, the UAA appears to fit in quite nice­ly with the rest of the Trump move­ment: It’s a jin­go­is­tic, gun-obsessed group and jumps at every oppor­tu­ni­ty to issue racist state­ments about Chi­na and the Chi­nese peo­ple. And that gun-obses­sion isn’t just an obses­sion. Faruk Altay — the broth­er of the UAA’s pres­i­dent, Kuz­zat Altay, and nephew of Uyghur oli­garch Rebiya Kadeer — runs Altay Defense, a defense con­trac­tor train­ing com­pa­ny that pro­vides train­ing for elite secu­ri­ty forces pro­vid­ed by for­mer spe­cial forces mem­bers. One of those instruc­tors includes James Lang, a for­mer US Army Ranger who works as a firearm instruc­tor for the US Depart­ment of Defense.

    So as the fol­low­ing arti­cle makes clear, when we’re try­ing to assess the motives and move­ments behind groups like the WUC and UAA, we should­n’t real­ly be view­ing these groups as the lob­by­ists for an eth­nic dias­po­ra but instead as lob­by­ists for the DC regime change estab­lish­ment because that’s who these groups appear to be actu­al­ly rep­re­sent­ing:

    The Gray Zone

    “Wipe out Chi­na!” US-fund­ed Uyghur activists train as gun-tot­ing foot sol­diers for empire

    Cul­ti­vat­ed by the US gov­ern­ment as human rights activists, Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion lead­ers part­ner with far-right law­mak­ers and oper­ate a mili­tia-style gun club that trains with ex-US spe­cial forces.

    Ajit Singh
    March 31, 2021

    On March 21, US-gov­ern­ment-fund­ed Uyghur activists were caught on video dis­rupt­ing a gath­er­ing against anti-Asian racism in Wash­ing­ton DC, bark­ing insults at demon­stra­tors includ­ing, “Wipe out Chi­na!” and “Fu ck Chi­na!” The Uyghur car­a­van flew Amer­i­can and “East Turkestan” flags and drove vehi­cles adorned signs bear­ing slo­gans such as, “We Love USA,” “Boy­cott Chi­na,” and “CCP killed 80 mil­lion Chi­nese peo­ple.”

    Real­ly wild stuff down­town. A Stop Asian Hate ral­ly is clash­ing with a Pro-Uighur dri­ve by. The pro-Uighur group is shout­ing “F— Chi­na!” The Asian ral­ly is respond­ing by call­ing them “racist.” pic.twitter.com/h8a2hB4Oqe— Nic Rowan (@NicXTempore) March 21, 2021

    Orga­nized by the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion (UAA), the dri­ve-by heck­ling of anti-racist demon­stra­tors drew wide­spread con­dem­na­tion on social media, includ­ing from oth­er sec­tions of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment. Sal­ih Huda­yar, the self-pro­claimed “Prime Min­is­ter of the East Turk­istan Gov­ern­ment-in-Exile,” slammed “the UAA’s reck­less dri­ve-by” for caus­ing “severe back­lash against Uyghurs,” and insist­ed that Uyghur Amer­i­cans were “not racist.”

    The UAA has attempt­ed to dis­tance itself from accu­sa­tions of extrem­ism and racism, stat­ing that its mem­bers’ actions were mis­rep­re­sent­ed. Despite refus­ing to rescind their call for Chi­na to be “wiped out,” the UAA declared that it “con­demns any form of big­otry and stands with all vic­tims of racism.”

    Repost­ing from April 2020 — Uyghurs have been the vic­tim of state-spon­sored racism in the Chi­nese colony of East Turkestan and are fac­ing geno­cide in Chi­na. With first-hand expe­ri­ence, Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion con­demns any form of big­otry and stands with all vic­tims of racism. https://t.co/UrCnBiQXaE— Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion (@Uyghur_American) March 22, 2021

    How­ev­er, an inves­ti­ga­tion by The Gray­zone into the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment in the Wash­ing­ton DC area has uncov­ered a jin­go­is­tic, gun-obsessed sub­cul­ture dri­ven by the kind of right-wing ide­ol­o­gy that was on dis­play dur­ing the March 21 car car­a­van through down­town.

    Lead­ing fig­ures of the UAA oper­ate a right-wing gun club known as Altay Defense. Proud­ly dressed in US mil­i­tary fatigues, Altay Defense drill in advanced com­bat tech­niques with for­mer mem­bers of US spe­cial forces who also train pri­vate mer­ce­nar­ies and active duty US ser­vice mem­bers. Mem­bers of the mili­tia-style gun club espouse pro-Trump pol­i­tics and anti-immi­grant resent­ment.

    The UAA is the US-affil­i­ate of the World Uyghur Con­gress (WUC), an inter­na­tion­al net­work whose first pres­i­dent out­lined an objec­tive to pre­cip­i­tate the “fall of Chi­na” and estab­lish an eth­no-state in Xin­jiang. The recip­i­ent of mil­lions of dol­lars of fund­ing the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED), a US gov­ern­ment-spon­sored enti­ty, this net­work works close­ly with Wash­ing­ton and oth­er West­ern gov­ern­ments to esca­late hos­til­i­ties with Chi­na.

    Despite claim­ing to rep­re­sent the inter­ests of China’s Uyghur and Mus­lim minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tions, many of the UAA’s clos­est allies rep­re­sent some of the anti-Mus­lim, far-right forces in Wash­ing­ton, from Repub­li­can Rep. Ted Yoho to the Fam­i­ly Research Coun­cil, as well as the FBI.

    Dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, the UAA and mem­bers of its affil­i­ate orga­ni­za­tions helped inflame anti-Asian resent­ment by spread­ing far-right pro­pa­gan­da refer­ring to Covid-19 as the “Chi­nese virus,” and claimed that Chi­na was wag­ing a “virus war” against the world, “[p]urposefully, inten­tion­al­ly export[ing] the virus to cause the pan­dem­ic.”

    Behind its care­ful­ly con­struct­ed image as a peace­ful human rights move­ment, the UAA and its off­shoots in the DC-based Uyghur sep­a­ratist lob­by are dri­ven by far-right ide­ol­o­gy and envi­sion them­selves as mil­i­tant foot sol­diers for empire.

    “I belong to Amer­i­ca!” Uyghur human rights leader teams up with far-right, Islam­o­phobes in anti-Chi­na cru­sade

    The UAA’s ultra-patri­ot­ic rev­er­ence of the US and fanat­i­cal anti-Chi­na pol­i­tics have been on full dis­play under the organization’s cur­rent pres­i­dent, Kuz­zat Altay.

    Altay fre­quent­ly takes to social media to make his alle­giance to Wash­ing­ton known.

    “May GOD bless you Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans! May GOD bless Amer­i­ca!” declared Altay on Vet­er­ans Day in 2019.

    Short­ly fol­low­ing the ille­gal US assas­si­na­tion of Iran­ian Major Gen­er­al Qasem Soleimani, Altay left no doubt as to where he stands: “Looks like the war just start­ed […] I belong to Amer­i­ca!”

    Amid the US upris­ings against police bru­tal­i­ty and sys­temic racism sparked by the mur­der of George Floyd, Altay chid­ed Black Lives Mat­ter pro­test­ers, say­ing that he “support[ed] peace­ful pro­tes­tors […] but do[es] not sup­port loot­ers, rub­bers [sic] and crim­i­nals”

    “Your LOVE for #Amer­i­ca should be greater than your HATE for #Trump,” Altay pro­nounced.

    The degree of Altay’s infat­u­a­tion with the US is only matched by the feroc­i­ty of his enmi­ty towards Chi­na. “The most nor­mal thing that I could ever imag­ine is anti-Chi­na activ­i­ties every freak­ing day,” Altay stat­ed on July 25, 2020. “You should help us to stop Chi­na. Chi­na is ALREADY the com­mon ene­my of human­i­ty.”

    Altay is a staunch sup­port­er of Washington’s new Cold War agen­da. Applaud­ing the Trump administration’s trade and tech­nol­o­gy war, Altay declared “[a]ll coun­ties [sic] should treat #Huawei as war crim­i­nals.”

    Despite claim­ing to be the inter­na­tion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Xinjiang’s pre­dom­i­nant­ly Mus­lim, Uyghur eth­nic group, and strug­gling against reli­gious per­se­cu­tion, Altay and his com­rades have rou­tine­ly teamed up with far-right, Islam­o­pho­bic forces in the US to advance their sep­a­ratist cam­paign.

    The UAA has worked close­ly with Repub­li­can Rep. Ted Yoho, a homo­pho­bic, anti-abor­tion ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive who once told a Black con­stituent that he was not sure if the Civ­il Rights Act was con­sti­tu­tion­al. Yoho was one of only four law­mak­ers to vote against leg­is­la­tion mak­ing lynch­ing a fed­er­al hate crime. In a high-pro­file dust-up on Capi­tol Hill, he report­ed­ly called Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez a “fuc king bitch.” In 2019, Yoho was one of 24 mem­bers of Con­gress to vote against a res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing big­otry because it includ­ed anti-Mus­lim dis­crim­i­na­tion.

    Yoho has also ardent­ly sup­port­ed regime change in Venezuela, defend­ed US mis­sile strikes against Syr­ia, and pro­claimed that the “US army must defend Tai­wan” against Chi­na.

    In 2019, Altay spoke on a pan­el of US gov­ern­ment-fund­ed Chi­nese dis­si­dents orga­nized by the Fam­i­ly Research Coun­cil (FRC). The FRC has been des­ig­nat­ed a hate group by the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter (SPLC) due to its extreme anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, and anti-Mus­lim ide­ol­o­gy.

    Retired US Gen­er­al and under­sec­re­tary for defense under for­mer Pres­i­dent George W. Bush, Jer­ry Boykin, serves as the FRC’s vice pres­i­dent. Boykin is a vir­u­lent Islam­o­phobe who believes that the reli­gion is evil and should be out­lawed, and that there should be “no mosques in Amer­i­ca.” Dur­ing a ser­mon at an evan­gel­i­cal church dur­ing the US war on Iraq, Boykin boast­ed of tak­ing on a Mus­lim war­lord in Soma­lia: “I knew my God was big­ger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol,” he declared. Boykin’s anti-Mus­lim tirades grew so extreme that he was inves­ti­gat­ed by the US Depart­ment of Defense and drew a rebuke from Bush.

    In recent years, Altay has orga­nized sev­er­al events for Uyghur Amer­i­cans in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the FBI, the fed­er­al law enforce­ment agency noto­ri­ous for its sur­veil­lance of Mus­lim Amer­i­cans and ensnar­ing count­less men­tal­ly trou­bled young Mus­lim Amer­i­can men in man­u­fac­tured ter­ror plots. In 2020, the UAA orga­nized an “FBI Work­shop for Uyghur Com­mu­ni­ty” which aimed to teach Uyghur Amer­i­cans about “the role of the FBI in pro­tect­ing Uyghurs” and how “Uyghurs [can] com­mu­ni­cate with the FBI”.

    Through­out the pan­dem­ic, Altay and fel­low lead­ers of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment have inces­sant­ly spread right-wing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries blam­ing Chi­na for Covid-19 and all relat­ed deaths. Such dis­in­for­ma­tion has played a key role in whip­ping up anti-Asian racism in the US and West.

    Altay’s Twit­ter page is an end­less stream of nox­ious, far-right coro­n­avirus-relat­ed pro­pa­gan­da.

    “I sup­port @realDonaldTrump’s deci­sion to call it Chi­ne­se­Virus,” declared Altay on March 18, 2020, defend­ing Trump against crit­i­cism from “[p]eople whin­ing about racism.” Altay also rou­tine­ly referred to Covid-19 as “Wuhan virus” and “CCP virus”, as have WUC lead­ers such as Dolkun Isa and Rushan Abbas.

    Altay pro­mot­ed Steve Bannon’s claims that the “CCP unleashed [Covid-19] on the world”, and would lat­er echo this sen­ti­ment. “Chi­na [p]urposefully, inten­tion­al­ly export­ed the virus to cause the pan­dem­ic,” Altay declared on July 5, 2020. “No war has kileed [sic] more peo­ple than China’s Virus war.”

    World-famous UFC cham­pi­on @TeamKhabib’s father has passed away because of #CCPVirus. Chi­na Pur­pose­ful­ly, inten­tion­al­ly export­ed the virus to cause the pan­dem­ic. 550,000 peo­ple died. No war has kileed more peo­ple than China’s Virus war. #Hold­Chi­naAc­count­able pic.twitter.com/EAayRykilr— kuz­zat Altay (@KuzzatAltay) July 5, 2020

    Altay also endorsed right-wing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries which claimed that Covid-19 was engi­neered as a bioweapon in a Wuhan lab and the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion was con­trolled by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment.

    ...

    Foot sol­diers for empire: Uyghur human rights activists train­ing with US mil­i­tary instruc­tors for “mis­sion readi­ness”

    Lead­ing mem­bers of UAA have found­ed Altay Defense, which arranges for con­stituents in the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment to receive arms train­ing by for­mer US spe­cial forces sol­diers and instruc­tors. The orga­ni­za­tion boasts that “[a]ll secu­ri­ty train­ing [is] pro­vid­ed by for­mer spe­cial force offi­cer!”

    A mis­sion state­ment pub­lished by Shad­ow Hawk Defense out­lines a goal to train “elite armed secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als, who serve the high threat needs of the US gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary, and intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ties,” includ­ing “host­ing and train­ing clas­si­fied secu­ri­ty per­son­nel.” The facil­i­ty employs “train­ers [who] have years of expe­ri­ence train­ing con­trac­tors for the U.S. Gov­ern­ment” with the goal of “achiev­ing mis­sion readi­ness.”

    In a recent inter­view, Shad­ow Hawk’s co-founder and Direc­tor of Train­ing, Randy Weeke­ly, described his work in detail: “I teach mil­i­tary con­trac­tors before they deploy to these ‘oth­er places’, defen­sive tac­tics, CQB [close-quar­ters bat­tle], pis­tol, rifle, bound­ing, attack on vehi­cles, all the skills that they need […] before they deploy.”

    Altay Defense receives instruc­tion from James Lang, a for­mer US Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and works as a firearm instruc­tor for the US Depart­ment of Defense. Lang also oper­ates Ridge­line Secu­ri­ty Con­sul­tants, which pro­vides firearms and tac­ti­cal train­ing to “pre­pare law enforce­ment offi­cers [and] armed secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als […] to sur­vive and win dead­ly force con­fronta­tions.”

    Leav­ing lit­tle to the imag­i­na­tion, UAA mem­bers con­duct train­ing using assault rifles while dressed in offi­cial-seem­ing bat­tle dress fatigues bear­ing the US flag.

    Altay Defense is led by Faruk Altay, broth­er of UAA Pres­i­dent Kuz­zat Altay and nephew of Rebiya Kadeer, who is per­haps the most promi­nent inter­na­tion­al fig­ure­head of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment.

    A look at Faruk Altay’s online activ­i­ty reveals him to be a far-right, anti-com­mu­nist, ultra-nation­al­ist.

    “Trump is the best!!!” Altay post­ed to Twit­ter in 2018. Altay also expressed sup­port for Trump’s bor­der wall and seem­ing­ly jus­ti­fied the “Stop the Steal” Capi­tol riot which took place on Jan­u­ary 6, 2021. He has also shared an anti-immi­grant meme com­par­ing Cen­tral Amer­i­can migrants to the inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal gang MS-13.

    Faruk Altay flaunts his ded­i­ca­tion to the US mil­i­tary, post­ing images on social media of him­self dressed in US mil­i­tary fatigues, wear­ing a skull face mask, and hold­ing an assault rifle, with cap­tions read­ing: “I STAND WITH UYGHUR, TIBET, HONG KONG, AND FREEDOM AGAINST COMMUNISM”.

    Altay refers to him­self as a “free­dom fight­er” tak­ing “revenge for my father,” and refers to his chil­dren as “[m]y future West Point offi­cers!

    Far from a lone wolf, Faruk Altay has been joined by lead­ing fig­ures of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment. Social media posts show UAA Pres­i­dent Kuz­zat Altay, Murat Ata­man, and Bahram Sin­tash, among oth­ers attend­ing Altay Defense train­ing ses­sions.

    Murat Ata­man is affil­i­at­ed with the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED)– the fund­ing engine of the US government’s regime change appa­ra­tus – UAA off­shoot Uyghur Human Rights Project. A vet­er­an of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment, Ata­man he works for US mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence con­trac­tor, Gen­er­al Dynam­ics, and has pre­vi­ous­ly held posi­tions at the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty and Depart­ment of Vet­er­an Affairs.

    Bahram Sin­tash is also affil­i­at­ed with the NED-fund­ed UHRP, author­ing reports which allege that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is demol­ish­ing Uyghur mosques and shrines. Sin­tash was a key play­er in lob­by­ing efforts to urge the US Con­gress to pass the Uyghur Human Right Pol­i­cy Act of 2019, vis­it­ing more than 380 mem­bers of Con­gress.

    In his spare time, Sin­tash keeps com­pa­ny with the far-right, evan­gel­i­cal Xin­jiang researcher Adri­an Zenz. Dur­ing a meet­ing at Radio Free Asia (RFA), Sin­tash referred to Zenz as “the CIA agent,” and the US gov­ern­ment-spon­sored broad­cast­ing ser­vice as “the orig­i­nal CIA branch of RFA’s head­quar­ters in DC.”

    While Sin­tash may have been sar­cas­tic, the New York Times has described RFA in no uncer­tain terms as part of a “World­wide Pro­pa­gan­da Net­work Built by the CIA.”

    ...

    Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment cul­ti­vat­ed by the US gov­ern­ment for “top­pling” Bei­jing

    Estab­lished in 1998, the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion (UAA) is the Wash­ing­ton DC-based affil­i­ate of the World Uyghur Con­gress (WUC), which claims to be “the sole legit­i­mate orga­ni­za­tion of the Uyghur peo­ple” around the world. Por­trayed by West­ern gov­ern­ments and media as the lead­ing voice for Uyghur inter­ests and human rights, the WUC has played a cen­tral role in shap­ing West­ern under­stand­ing of Xin­jiang.

    As The Gray­zone pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, the WUC is a right-wing, anti-com­mu­nist, and ultra-nation­al­ist net­work of exiled Uyghur sep­a­ratists who have stat­ed their inten­tion to bring about the “fall of Chi­na” and estab­lish an eth­no-state called “East Turkestan” in Xin­jiang. The WUC has devel­oped deep ties to Washington’s regime change estab­lish­ment and received exten­sive US gov­ern­ment-fund­ing and train­ing.

    In recent years, the WUC has worked close­ly with US and West­ern gov­ern­ments, and part­nered with fraud-prone pseu­do-schol­ars such as Adri­an Zenz to inten­si­fy their New Cold War against Chi­na, advo­cat­ing for Chi­nese pol­i­cy in Xin­jiang to be labeled ‘geno­cide,’ along with sanc­tions and boy­cott.

    The Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED) has been cen­tral to the ris­ing inter­na­tion­al promi­nence of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment. In 2020, the NED boast­ed that it has giv­en Uyghur groups $8,758,300 since 2004 (includ­ing $75,000 in annu­al fund­ing to the UAA) and claimed to be “the only insti­tu­tion­al fun­der for Uyghur advo­ca­cy and human rights orga­ni­za­tions.”

    “As a result of NED’s sup­port, the Uyghur advo­ca­cy groups have grown both insti­tu­tion­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly over the years,” said Akram Ker­am, a pro­gram offi­cer and region­al expert at NED. “These groups played crit­i­cal roles in intro­duc­ing the Uyghur cause in var­i­ous inter­na­tion­al, region­al, and nation­al set­tings against China’s false nar­ra­tives, bring­ing the Uyghur voice to the high­est inter­na­tion­al lev­els, includ­ing the Unit­ed Nations, Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, and the White House. They pro­vid­ed first­hand, fac­tu­al resources doc­u­ment­ing the atroc­i­ties in East Turk­istan, inform­ing and inspir­ing the intro­duc­tion of rel­e­vant res­o­lu­tions, sanc­tions, and calls for action to hold the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty account­able.”

    “The Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy has been excep­tion­al­ly sup­port­ive of UAA,” echoed for­mer UAA Pres­i­dent, Nury Turkel, in 2006, “pro­vid­ing us with invalu­able guid­ance and assis­tance” and “essen­tial fund­ing.” Accord­ing to Turkel, thanks to NED sup­port, the “UAA and UHRP have gained a new lev­el of influ­ence and cred­i­bil­i­ty among media orga­ni­za­tions in the U.S. and oth­er coun­tries.”

    ...

    Turkel con­firmed that the UAA aims to lever­age Washington’s sup­port to advance regime change in Chi­na. In 2006, he told his allies, “as we wit­nessed the ‘Tulip Rev­o­lu­tion’ and the top­pling of the for­mer gov­ern­ment of Kyr­gyzs­tan, our hopes were again rein­forced.” Turkel empha­sized that the US-spon­sored col­or rev­o­lu­tion sent a “strong mes­sage” to Chi­na, and recalled how he was imme­di­ate­ly sum­moned to Bishkek to coor­di­nate with the new gov­ern­ment.

    The NED helped the UAA launch the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) in 2004, serv­ing as its prin­ci­pal source of fund­ing, with $1,244,698 in sup­port between 2016 and ’19 alone. The UHRP has brought togeth­er lead­ing fig­ures of the WUC, includ­ing Turkel and Omer Kanat, and NED, with for­mer NED Vice Pres­i­dent, Louisa Greve, serv­ing as the group’s Direc­tor of Glob­al Advo­ca­cy.

    The UAA’s lead­er­ship con­sists of US nation­al secu­ri­ty state oper­a­tors includ­ing employ­ees of the US gov­ern­ment, US pro­pa­gan­da net­work Radio Free Asia, and the mil­i­tary-indus­tri­al com­plex. Past lead­ers of the orga­ni­za­tion include:

    Nury Turkel, for­mer Pres­i­dent (2004–2006) — Co-found­ed the UHRP with the NED. In 2020, Turkel was appoint­ed a com­mis­sion­er on the US Com­mis­sion on Inter­na­tion­al Reli­gious Free­dom by Speak­er of the House Nan­cy Pelosi.

    Rebiya Kadeer, for­mer Pres­i­dent (2006–2011) — A self-described oli­garch and long­time fig­ure­head of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment. Accord­ing to The New York Times, Kadeer’s “[d]issidence brought the end of her Audi, her three vil­las and her far-flung busi­ness empire”. Kadeer’s hus­band, Sidik Rouzi, worked for US gov­ern­ment media out­lets Voice of Amer­i­ca and Radio Free Asia. Under Kadeer’s lead­er­ship, the WUC and UAA forged close ties with the Bush admin­is­tra­tion.

    Ilshat Has­san Kok­bore, for­mer Pres­i­dent (2016–2019) — Since 2008, Kok­bore has worked with noto­ri­ous pri­vate US mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence con­trac­tor, Booz Allen Hamil­ton. Edward Snow­den was employed at the firm when he decid­ed to blow the whis­tle on the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency’s inva­sive, all-encom­pass­ing sys­tem of mass sur­veil­lance.

    Omer Kanat, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent – Serves as the WUC’s Chair­man of the Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee. Kanat helped found the WUC and has been a per­ma­nent fix­ture in its exec­u­tive lead­er­ship. The vet­er­an oper­a­tive has a lengthy his­to­ry of work with the US gov­ern­ment, from serv­ing as senior edi­tor of Radio Free Asia’s Uyghur Ser­vice from 1999 to 2009 to cov­er­ing the US wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and inter­view­ing the Dalai Lama for the net­work. In an inter­view with Gray­zone edi­tor Max Blu­men­thal at a 2018 NED awards cer­e­mo­ny in the US Capi­tol build­ing, Kanat took cred­it for fur­nish­ing many of the claims about intern­ment camps in Xin­jiang to West­ern media.

    Rushan Abbas, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent — Pre­vi­ous­ly boast­ed in her bio of her “exten­sive expe­ri­ence work­ing with US gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing Home­land Secu­ri­ty, Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of State, and var­i­ous US intel­li­gence agen­cies.” Served the US gov­ern­ment and Bush administration’s so-called war on ter­ror as a “con­sul­tant at Guan­tanamo Bay sup­port­ing Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom.” Fol­low­ing a dis­as­trous pub­lic­i­ty appear­ance on Reddit’s “Ask Me Any­thing” ques­tion and answer forum, dur­ing which par­tic­i­pants blast­ed Abbas as a “CIA Asset” and US gov­ern­ment col­lab­o­ra­tor, she has attempt­ed to scrub her bio­graph­ic infor­ma­tion from the inter­net. Abbas cur­rent­ly heads the WUC affil­i­ate orga­ni­za­tion, Cam­paign for Uyghurs.

    The UAA cur­rent lead­er­ship includes:

    Kuz­zat Altay, Pres­i­dent — Nephew of Rebiya Kadeer. As doc­u­ment­ed above, Altay is a rabid anti-com­mu­nist and ardent­ly pro-US. He has favor­ably com­pared the estab­lish­ment of Israel to the sep­a­ratist move­ment for “East Turkestan.”

    Elfi­dar Ite­bir, Sec­re­tary — Sis­ter of Elni­gar Ite­bir, who was appoint­ed by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion as Direc­tor for Chi­na in the White House Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Itebir’s father, Ablikim Baqi Ilte­bir, worked for the US gov­ern­ment media out­let, Radio Free Asia, from Feb­ru­ary 2000 to August 2017

    Arslan Khakiyev, Trea­sur­er — Pre­vi­ous­ly worked at Radio Free Asia for over 18 years. Khahkiyev’s wife, Gulchehra Hoja, has worked for Radio Free Asia since 2001.

    * * *

    The week­ly del­uge of US media reports of Uyghur oppres­sion in Xin­jiang is clear­ly designed to appeal to lib­er­al sen­si­bil­i­ties, pre­sent­ing the strug­gle of an oppressed minor­i­ty against a tyran­ni­cal gov­ern­ment, and omit­ting any pieces of con­text that might prove dis­rup­tive to the David-ver­sus-Goliath nar­ra­tive. But it is becom­ing clear that some pro­found­ly illib­er­al forces lie behind the veneer of a peace­ful cam­paign for human rights.

    ...

    ————

    ““Wipe out Chi­na!” US-fund­ed Uyghur activists train as gun-tot­ing foot sol­diers for empire” by Ajit Singh; The Gray Zone; 03/31/2021

    “The week­ly del­uge of US media reports of Uyghur oppres­sion in Xin­jiang is clear­ly designed to appeal to lib­er­al sen­si­bil­i­ties, pre­sent­ing the strug­gle of an oppressed minor­i­ty against a tyran­ni­cal gov­ern­ment, and omit­ting any pieces of con­text that might prove dis­rup­tive to the David-ver­sus-Goliath nar­ra­tive. But it is becom­ing clear that some pro­found­ly illib­er­al forces lie behind the veneer of a peace­ful cam­paign for human rights.

    Yes, despite the David-ver­sus-Goliath nar­ra­tive that is being increas­ing­ly pushed in the West­ern media, the evi­dence is that the lead­ing forces behind the Uyghur human rights move­ment are, them­selves, not exact­ly the kinds of fig­ures one would nor­mal­ly asso­ciates with human rights activism. Human rights and the far right don’t exact­ly mix. But, of course, that’s the whole point. The the sto­ry of the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion (UAA) isn’t the sto­ry of a human rights cam­paign. It’s the sto­ry of a regime change cam­paign formed by the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state and being con­duct­ed under the guise of a human rights cam­paign. Hence giant human rights mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign. It’s why we don’t need to wres­tle with the con­tra­dic­tion of the UAA’s pro­fessed human rights con­cerns with the image of a UAA anti-Chi­nese racist car­a­van or the UAA’s work with some of the most anti-Mus­lim mem­bers of con­gress. There is no con­tra­dic­tion because the human rights slo­ga­neer­ing is just that. Slo­ga­neer­ing from a far right orga­ni­za­tion and noth­ing more:

    ...
    Orga­nized by the Uyghur Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion (UAA), the dri­ve-by heck­ling of anti-racist demon­stra­tors drew wide­spread con­dem­na­tion on social media, includ­ing from oth­er sec­tions of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment. Sal­ih Huda­yar, the self-pro­claimed “Prime Min­is­ter of the East Turk­istan Gov­ern­ment-in-Exile,” slammed “the UAA’s reck­less dri­ve-by” for caus­ing “severe back­lash against Uyghurs,” and insist­ed that Uyghur Amer­i­cans were “not racist.””

    ...

    The UAA is the US-affil­i­ate of the World Uyghur Con­gress (WUC), an inter­na­tion­al net­work whose first pres­i­dent out­lined an objec­tive to pre­cip­i­tate the “fall of Chi­na” and estab­lish an eth­no-state in Xin­jiang. The recip­i­ent of mil­lions of dol­lars of fund­ing the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy (NED), a US gov­ern­ment-spon­sored enti­ty, this net­work works close­ly with Wash­ing­ton and oth­er West­ern gov­ern­ments to esca­late hos­til­i­ties with Chi­na.

    ...

    The UAA’s ultra-patri­ot­ic rev­er­ence of the US and fanat­i­cal anti-Chi­na pol­i­tics have been on full dis­play under the organization’s cur­rent pres­i­dent, Kuz­zat Altay.

    ...

    Despite claim­ing to be the inter­na­tion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Xinjiang’s pre­dom­i­nant­ly Mus­lim, Uyghur eth­nic group, and strug­gling against reli­gious per­se­cu­tion, Altay and his com­rades have rou­tine­ly teamed up with far-right, Islam­o­pho­bic forces in the US to advance their sep­a­ratist cam­paign.

    The UAA has worked close­ly with Repub­li­can Rep. Ted Yoho, a homo­pho­bic, anti-abor­tion ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive who once told a Black con­stituent that he was not sure if the Civ­il Rights Act was con­sti­tu­tion­al. Yoho was one of only four law­mak­ers to vote against leg­is­la­tion mak­ing lynch­ing a fed­er­al hate crime. In a high-pro­file dust-up on Capi­tol Hill, he report­ed­ly called Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez a “fuc king bitch.” In 2019, Yoho was one of 24 mem­bers of Con­gress to vote against a res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing big­otry because it includ­ed anti-Mus­lim dis­crim­i­na­tion.
    ...

    Also note that when we read about UAA pres­i­dent Kuz­zat Altay speak­ing on the pan­el of the far right anti-Mus­lim Fam­i­ly Research Coun­cil (FRC) in 2019, that pan­el was on Feb­ru­ary 6 of 2019. It also turns out that FRC pres­i­dent was appoint to the U.S. Com­mis­sion on Inter­na­tion­al Reli­gious Free­dom in 2019, but not until June of that year. So if one was tempt­ed to attribute the appear­ance of Altay on the FRC pan­el to the enhanced clout of the FRC after Perkins was appoint­ed to the
    U.S. Com­mis­sion on Inter­na­tion­al Reli­gious Free­dom, the tim­ing does­n’t pan out for that sce­nario. Altay spoke at the FRC pan­el months before Perkins got that post, mak­ing this more a reflec­tion of Altay’s far right pol­i­tics and anoth­er exam­ple of the UAA’s will­ing­ness to snug­gle up to the most anti-Mus­lim forces on DC:

    ...
    In 2019, Altay spoke on a pan­el of US gov­ern­ment-fund­ed Chi­nese dis­si­dents orga­nized by the Fam­i­ly Research Coun­cil (FRC). The FRC has been des­ig­nat­ed a hate group by the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter (SPLC) due to its extreme anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, and anti-Mus­lim ide­ol­o­gy.
    ...

    And note how one of the UAA lead­ers, Bahram Sin­tash, hangs out with Adri­an Zenz and even referred to Zenz as a CIA agent dur­ing a meet­ing at Radio Free Asia. It’s appar­ent­ly not a secret on the inside:

    ...
    Bahram Sin­tash is also affil­i­at­ed with the NED-fund­ed UHRP, author­ing reports which allege that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment is demol­ish­ing Uyghur mosques and shrines. Sin­tash was a key play­er in lob­by­ing efforts to urge the US Con­gress to pass the Uyghur Human Right Pol­i­cy Act of 2019, vis­it­ing more than 380 mem­bers of Con­gress.

    In his spare time, Sin­tash keeps com­pa­ny with the far-right, evan­gel­i­cal Xin­jiang researcher Adri­an Zenz. Dur­ing a meet­ing at Radio Free Asia (RFA), Sin­tash referred to Zenz as “the CIA agent,” and the US gov­ern­ment-spon­sored broad­cast­ing ser­vice as “the orig­i­nal CIA branch of RFA’s head­quar­ters in DC.”

    While Sin­tash may have been sar­cas­tic, the New York Times has described RFA in no uncer­tain terms as part of a “World­wide Pro­pa­gan­da Net­work Built by the CIA.”
    ...

    Then there’s the Altay Defense para­mil­i­tary out­fit head­ed by Altay’s broth­er, Furuk Altay, who is also the nephew of Rebiya Kadeer. As an exam­ple of the Altays’s far right pol­i­tics, Furuk was post­ing defens­es of the Jan­u­ary 6 Capi­tol insur­rec­tion. It’s one thing for a lob­by­ing group to be friend­ly with the admin­is­tra­tion in pow­er because that’s how to effec­tive­ly lob­by. But in this case, we had the nephew of Rebiya Kadeer and broth­er of Kuz­zat Altay defend­ing an insur­rec­tion after it was already clear the Biden admin­is­tra­tion was going to be tak­ing pow­er. It hints at a rela­tion­ship to the US far right that go well beyond a mar­riage of polit­i­cal con­ve­nience:

    ...
    Altay Defense is led by Faruk Altay, broth­er of UAA Pres­i­dent Kuz­zat Altay and nephew of Rebiya Kadeer, who is per­haps the most promi­nent inter­na­tion­al fig­ure­head of the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment.

    A look at Faruk Altay’s online activ­i­ty reveals him to be a far-right, anti-com­mu­nist, ultra-nation­al­ist.

    “Trump is the best!!!” Altay post­ed to Twit­ter in 2018. Altay also expressed sup­port for Trump’s bor­der wall and seem­ing­ly jus­ti­fied the “Stop the Steal” Capi­tol riot which took place on Jan­u­ary 6, 2021. He has also shared an anti-immi­grant meme com­par­ing Cen­tral Amer­i­can migrants to the inter­na­tion­al crim­i­nal gang MS-13.
    ...

    And then there’s the tru­ly dis­turb­ing aspect of the sto­ry of Altay Defense and its rela­tion­ship to the UAA: the group appears to be focused on train­ing “elite armed secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als who serve the high threat needs of the US gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary, and intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ties.” And that train­ing is pro­vid­ed by for­mer US spe­cial forces mem­bers. Includ­ing James Lang, a for­mer US Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and works as a firearm instruc­tor for the US Depart­ment of Defense. In oth­er words, just as the UAA should be con­sid­ered an exten­sion of the US State Depart­ment, Altay Defense if effec­tive­ly an exten­sion of the US nation­al secu­ri­ty com­plex:

    ...
    Lead­ing mem­bers of UAA have found­ed Altay Defense, which arranges for con­stituents in the Uyghur sep­a­ratist move­ment to receive arms train­ing by for­mer US spe­cial forces sol­diers and instruc­tors. The orga­ni­za­tion boasts that “[a]ll secu­ri­ty train­ing [is] pro­vid­ed by for­mer spe­cial force offi­cer!”

    A mis­sion state­ment pub­lished by Shad­ow Hawk Defense out­lines a goal to train “elite armed secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als, who serve the high threat needs of the US gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary, and intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ties,” includ­ing “host­ing and train­ing clas­si­fied secu­ri­ty per­son­nel.” The facil­i­ty employs “train­ers [who] have years of expe­ri­ence train­ing con­trac­tors for the U.S. Gov­ern­ment” with the goal of “achiev­ing mis­sion readi­ness.”

    ...

    Altay Defense receives instruc­tion from James Lang, a for­mer US Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and works as a firearm instruc­tor for the US Depart­ment of Defense. Lang also oper­ates Ridge­line Secu­ri­ty Con­sul­tants, which pro­vides firearms and tac­ti­cal train­ing to “pre­pare law enforce­ment offi­cers [and] armed secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als […] to sur­vive and win dead­ly force con­fronta­tions.”
    ...

    It’s also worth keep­ing in mind that, giv­en that the lead­er­ship of the UAA and WUC is demon­stra­bly far right and giv­en that Altay Defense pro­vides elite para­mil­i­tary train­ing, if this move­ment ever decides to start using ter­ror­ism as a tool for achiev­ing its goals — whether it’s ter­ror­ism direct­ed at Chi­na or false flag ter­ror events in the US — the group is going to have plen­ty of peo­ple with the rel­e­vant skills required to pull it off. Skills and high lev­el gov­ern­ment con­nec­tions. It’s part of what makes the UAA such a dan­ger­ous group. It’s not just dan­ger­ous because it has an extrem­ist agen­da and exten­sive capa­bil­i­ties. It’s dan­ger­ous because it has an extrem­ist agen­da, exten­sive capabilities...and is deeply con­nect­ed and pro­tect­ed.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 12, 2021, 5:04 pm
  2. It’s the itch the GOP can’t stop scratch­ing: fol­low­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s attempts to either force the sale of Tik­Tok to a US-owned com­pa­ny or ban the app alto­geth­er — efforts that ulti­mate­ly fiz­zled despite all the announce­ments of a sale — Repub­li­can mem­bers of con­gress have intro­duced leg­is­la­tion to ban the Chi­nese-owned Tik­Tok app.

    But the ban only applies to fed­er­al devices. Yes, fed­er­al employ­ees can’t have Tik­Tok on their gov­ern­ment-issued smart­phones if this leg­is­la­tion is signed into law, sav­ing the US from per­ils of Tik­Tok hand­ing over per­son­al data from fed­er­al employ­ees’ smart­phones to the author­i­tar­i­an Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. It’s the kind of the­atrics the GOP has deter­mined is a polit­i­cal win­ner, which is why we should expect leg­is­la­tion like this to become an annu­al thing. Which is already sort of is. A sim­i­lar bill passed the Sen­ate unan­i­mous­ly in 2020. It was just nev­er brought up in the House. It’s exact­ly the kind of polit­i­cal­ly charged the­atri­cal dis­trac­tion the GOP thrives on. Leg­is­la­tion that allows law­mak­ers to pre­tend that they are some­how tak­ing a mean­ing­ful stand to pro­tect the data of US cit­i­zens while effec­tive­ly doing noth­ing. It’s why we should expect a lot more of this. Point­less­ly pro­posed year after year. Like clock­work:

    The Hill

    Repub­li­can law­mak­ers rein­tro­duce bill to ban Tik­Tok on fed­er­al devices

    By Mag­gie Miller
    04/15/21 06:00 AM EDT

    Sen. Josh Haw­ley (R‑Mo.) led a group of Sen­ate Repub­li­cans on Thurs­day in rein­tro­duc­ing leg­is­la­tion to ban the use of social media app Tik­Tok on fed­er­al gov­ern­ment devices, cit­ing poten­tial nation­al secu­ri­ty con­cerns.

    The No Tik­Tok on Gov­ern­ment Devices Act would ban all fed­er­al employ­ees from using the pop­u­lar app on gov­ern­ment devices. The leg­is­la­tion was pre­vi­ous­ly intro­duced in 2020, and was unan­i­mous­ly passed by the Sen­ate in August, but the bill nev­er received a vote in the House.

    “Tik­Tok is a Tro­jan horse for the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty that has no place on gov­ern­ment devices—or any Amer­i­can devices, for that mat­ter,” Haw­ley said in a state­ment Thurs­day. “My bill is a straight­for­ward plan to pro­tect Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment data from a hos­tile for­eign pow­er, which, less than a year ago, passed the Sen­ate unan­i­mous­ly.”

    “Tik­Tok has repeat­ed­ly proven itself to be a mali­cious actor but Joe Biden and Big Tech refuse to take the threat of Chi­nese espi­onage seri­ous­ly. It’s time for Con­gress to act,” he added.

    Sens. Mar­co Rubio (R‑Fla.), Tom Cot­ton (R‑Ark.), and Rick Scott (R‑Fla.) are co-spon­sors of the leg­is­la­tion.

    The bill was also rein­tro­duced in the House by Rep. Ken Buck (R‑Colo.), who said in a sep­a­rate state­ment that the leg­is­la­tion “is in the best inter­est of our nation­al secu­ri­ty.”

    “Chi­nese-owned apps are required to report user data to the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty, that is why we can­not trust Tik­Tok with the sen­si­tive data that exists on U.S. gov­ern­ment devices,” Buck said. “It is well past time to acknowl­edge the seri­ous cyber­se­cu­ri­ty threat that Tik­Tok pos­es and enact a fed­er­al gov­ern­ment-wide ban on the Chi­nese app.”

    While the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment as a whole has not tak­en the step to ban Tik­Tok, agen­cies includ­ing the Defense and Home­land Secu­ri­ty depart­ments, along with the Trans­porta­tion Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion, have already banned employ­ees from using the app on their fed­er­al devices.

    Tik­Tok came under close scruti­ny dur­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, with for­mer Pres­i­dent Trump issu­ing an exec­u­tive order last year requir­ing Chi­nese com­pa­ny ByteDance, the par­ent com­pa­ny of Tik­Tok, to sell the app or have it banned from use in the Unit­ed States.

    The effort to ban Tik­Tok stalled out in the last months of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion fol­low­ing a con­tentious elec­tion, with the dead­line for sale of Tik­Tok pass­ing with no action tak­en, leav­ing the Biden admin­is­tra­tion to set its own rules on the app.

    Tik­Tok has repeat­ed­ly pushed back against con­cerns that it pos­es a threat due to ByteDance’s alleged con­nec­tions to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and data secu­ri­ty con­cerns, with the com­pa­ny tak­ing steps to increase its secu­ri­ty and the pri­va­cy of data.

    Com­merce Sec­re­tary Gina Rai­mon­do said last week that Jake Sul­li­van, Pres­i­dent Biden’s nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er, was lead­ing a review to deter­mine how the Biden admin­is­tra­tion would approach Tik­Tok and oth­er Chi­nese tech com­pa­nies.

    ...

    ———–

    “Repub­li­can law­mak­ers rein­tro­duce bill to ban Tik­Tok on fed­er­al devices” by Mag­gie Miller; The Hill; 04/15/21

    The No Tik­Tok on Gov­ern­ment Devices Act would ban all fed­er­al employ­ees from using the pop­u­lar app on gov­ern­ment devices. The leg­is­la­tion was pre­vi­ous­ly intro­duced in 2020, and was unan­i­mous­ly passed by the Sen­ate in August, but the bill nev­er received a vote in the House.”

    So giv­en that Tik­Tok bans are set to be one of the GOP’s point­less the­atri­cal leg­isla­tive stunts-of-choice for the fore­see­able future, here’s a sto­ry that reminds us of per­haps the biggest rel­e­vant fact that should be guid­ing any real dis­cus­sion of how to pro­tect the data of app users: the risk posed to per­son­al data cre­at­ed by Tik­Tok is dwarfed by the risk posed by the entire­ly legal data-bro­ker­age indus­try and any gov­ern­ment, includ­ing Chi­na, is per­fect­ly capa­ble of pur­chas­ing that vast com­mer­cial­ly avail­able data. In oth­er words, if the Repub­li­cans were sin­cere about pro­tect­ing US cit­i­zens’ data from author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments, basi­cal­ly ALL apps would have to be banned because all apps are poten­tial data leaks to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and any oth­er author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ment thanks to the US’s weak data pri­va­cy laws and near-com­plete lack of reg­u­la­tion of this indus­try:

    Wired

    Data Bro­kers Are a Threat to Democ­ra­cy

    Unless the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment steps up, the unchecked mid­dle­men of sur­veil­lance cap­i­tal­ism will con­tin­ue to harm our civ­il rights and nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    JUSTIN SHERMAN
    04.13.2021 09:00 AM

    YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER heard of Acx­iom, but it like­ly knows you: The Arkansas firm claims to have data on 2.5 bil­lion peo­ple around the world. And in the US, if someone’s inter­est­ed in that infor­ma­tion, there are vir­tu­al­ly no restric­tions on their abil­i­ty to buy and then use it.

    Enter the data bro­ker­age indus­try, the multi­bil­lion dol­lar econ­o­my of sell­ing con­sumers’ and cit­i­zens’ inti­mate details. Much of the pri­va­cy dis­course has right­ly point­ed fin­gers at Face­book, Twit­ter, YouTube, and Tik­Tok, which col­lect users’ infor­ma­tion direct­ly. But a far broad­er ecosys­tem of buy­ing up, licens­ing, sell­ing, and shar­ing data exists around those plat­forms. Data bro­ker­age firms are mid­dle­men of sur­veil­lance capitalism—purchasing, aggre­gat­ing, and repack­ag­ing data from a vari­ety of oth­er com­pa­nies, all with the aim of sell­ing or fur­ther dis­trib­ut­ing it.

    Data bro­ker­age is a threat to democ­ra­cy. With­out robust nation­al pri­va­cy safe­guards, entire data­bas­es of cit­i­zen infor­ma­tion are ready for pur­chase, whether to preda­to­ry loan com­pa­nies, law enforce­ment agen­cies, or even mali­cious for­eign actors. Fed­er­al pri­va­cy bills that don’t give suf­fi­cient atten­tion to data bro­ker­age will there­fore fail to tack­le an enor­mous por­tion of the data sur­veil­lance econ­o­my, and will leave civ­il rights, nation­al secu­ri­ty, and pub­lic-pri­vate bound­aries vul­ner­a­ble in the process.

    Large data brokers—like Acx­iom, Core­L­og­ic, and Epsilon—tout the detail of their data on mil­lions or even bil­lions of peo­ple. Core­L­og­ic, for instance, adver­tis­es its real estate and prop­er­ty infor­ma­tion on 99.9 per­cent of the US pop­u­la­tion. Acx­iom pro­motes 11,000-plus “data attrib­ut­es,” from auto loan infor­ma­tion to trav­el pref­er­ences, on 2.5 bil­lion peo­ple (all to help brands con­nect with peo­ple “eth­i­cal­ly,” it adds). This lev­el of data col­lec­tion and aggre­ga­tion enables remark­ably spe­cif­ic pro­fil­ing.

    Need to run ads tar­get­ing poor fam­i­lies in rur­al areas? Check out one data broker’s “Rur­al and Bare­ly Mak­ing It” data set. Or how about racial­ly pro­fil­ing finan­cial vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty? Buy anoth­er company’s “Eth­nic Sec­ond-City Strug­glers” data set. These are just some of the dis­turb­ing titles cap­tured in a 2013 Sen­ate report on the industry’s data prod­ucts, which have only expand­ed since. Many oth­er bro­kers adver­tise their abil­i­ty to iden­ti­fy sub­groups upon sub­groups of indi­vid­u­als through cri­te­ria like race, gen­der, mar­i­tal sta­tus, and income lev­el, all sen­si­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics that cit­i­zens like­ly didn’t know would end up in a database—let alone up for sale.

    These com­pa­nies often acquire the infor­ma­tion through pur­chase, licens­ing, or oth­er shar­ing agree­ments with third par­ties. Ora­cle, for exam­ple, “owns and works with” over 80 data bro­kers, accord­ing to a 2019 Finan­cial Times report, aggre­gat­ing infor­ma­tion on every­thing from con­sumer shop­ping to inter­net behav­ior. How­ev­er, many com­pa­nies also scrape data that is pub­licly view­able on the inter­net and then aggre­gate it for sale or shar­ing. “Peo­ple search” web­sites often fall into this lat­ter category—compiling pub­lic records (prop­er­ty fil­ings, court doc­u­ments, vot­ing reg­is­tra­tions, etc.) on indi­vid­u­als and then let­ting any­one on the inter­net search for their infor­ma­tion.

    All of these unchecked prac­tices under­mine civ­il rights. Com­pa­nies that boast hold­ing thou­sands of data points on mil­lions or bil­lions of people—all for sell­ing them to whomev­er is buying—themselves rep­re­sent the aggre­ga­tion of unre­strained sur­veil­lance pow­er. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly dan­ger­ous to the less pow­er­ful. As cen­turies of sur­veil­lance in the Unit­ed States have made unde­ni­ably clear, the impact of stock­pil­ing indi­vid­u­als’ per­son­al infor­ma­tion will fall hard­est on the already oppressed or mar­gin­al­ized: the poor, Black and brown com­mu­ni­ties, Indige­nous pop­u­la­tions, LGBTQ+ indi­vid­u­als, undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants. “Peo­ple search” web­sites in par­tic­u­lar can pub­li­cize address­es and thus enable inti­mate part­ner vio­lence or dox­ing. The strong finan­cial incen­tives to sell data, with vir­tu­al­ly nonex­is­tent lim­i­ta­tions, gives these com­pa­nies every rea­son to share their data with oth­ers, includ­ing those who use it for harm.

    Law enforce­ment already buys up data from bro­kers. The Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, includ­ing sub­agen­cies respon­si­ble for putting chil­dren in cages, have pur­chased cell phone loca­tion data on mil­lions of Amer­i­cans, home address infor­ma­tion to sup­port depor­ta­tions, and home util­i­ty data for inves­ti­ga­tions, among oth­ers. The Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion has also been pur­chas­ing cell phone loca­tion data from data bro­ker Ven­n­tel. These prac­tices cir­cum­vent demo­c­ra­t­ic account­abil­i­ty: Agen­cies buy the infor­ma­tion with­out war­rants, and in doing so may bypass pro­hi­bi­tions on com­pa­nies hand­ing data direct­ly to law enforce­ment. Plus, the data may not even be accu­rate. An inves­ti­ga­tion by The Markup iden­ti­fied dozens of US cas­es over the last decade where indi­vid­u­als were denied hous­ing because screen­ing com­pa­nies used bad infor­ma­tion, often pur­chased from data bro­kers or pulled from “peo­ple search” bro­ker web­sites. Cit­i­zens also get reject­ed from jobs because of back­ground checks rely­ing on incor­rect data.

    The unreg­u­lat­ed sale of mas­sive data­bas­es of cit­i­zen information—and the unreg­u­lat­ed aggre­ga­tion and pub­li­ca­tion of that infor­ma­tion online—also under­mines nation­al secu­ri­ty. This was one of the miss­ing ele­ments of the pol­i­cy debate over Tik­Tok. If the US gov­ern­ment is con­cerned about for­eign author­i­tar­i­an pow­ers build­ing detailed pro­files on cit­i­zens, or even just on gov­ern­ment per­son­nel, then data bro­kers’ abil­i­ty to sell, share, or pub­lish inti­mate data sets on Amer­i­cans with vir­tu­al­ly no restric­tion should be of urgent con­cern too. For­eign pow­ers could buy this data through shell com­pa­nies or steal it by hack­ing. It could then be used to run micro­tar­get­ed elec­tion ads. It could be used to inform coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence oper­a­tions or iden­ti­fy per­sons of inter­est in the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty. Crim­i­nal groups could even use this infor­ma­tion to tar­get politi­cians or judges.

    ...

    ————-

    “Data Bro­kers Are a Threat to Democ­ra­cy” by JUSTIN SHERMAN; Wired; 04/13/2021

    “The unreg­u­lat­ed sale of mas­sive data­bas­es of cit­i­zen information—and the unreg­u­lat­ed aggre­ga­tion and pub­li­ca­tion of that infor­ma­tion online—also under­mines nation­al secu­ri­ty. This was one of the miss­ing ele­ments of the pol­i­cy debate over Tik­Tok. If the US gov­ern­ment is con­cerned about for­eign author­i­tar­i­an pow­ers build­ing detailed pro­files on cit­i­zens, or even just on gov­ern­ment per­son­nel, then data bro­kers’ abil­i­ty to sell, share, or pub­lish inti­mate data sets on Amer­i­cans with vir­tu­al­ly no restric­tion should be of urgent con­cern too. For­eign pow­ers could buy this data through shell com­pa­nies or steal it by hack­ing. It could then be used to run micro­tar­get­ed elec­tion ads. It could be used to inform coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence oper­a­tions or iden­ti­fy per­sons of inter­est in the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty. Crim­i­nal groups could even use this infor­ma­tion to tar­get politi­cians or judges.”

    Yep, the Tik­Tok pol­i­cy debate had a pret­ty sig­nif­i­cant miss­ing ele­ment. It was miss­ing the ele­ment of acknowl­edg­ing that the threat posed by Tik­Tok is posed by vir­tu­al­ly the entire data bro­ker­age indus­try that pow­ers the inter­net busi­ness mod­el. It’s kind of a big miss.

    And while this lat­est leg­isla­tive the­atri­cal stunt does­n’t actu­al­ly serve any direct val­ue to the US pub­lic, it’s worth keep­ing in mind that there is some poten­tial val­ue here: every time they make anoth­er point­less leg­isla­tive pro­pos­als like this that com­plete­ly ignores the broad­er real­i­ty of mass com­mer­cial­ized data min­ing, it’s anoth­er reminder of all the mean­ing­ful data pri­va­cy leg­is­la­tion that isn’t being pro­posed to address that real­i­ty of mass com­mer­cial­ized data min­ing. It’s the one default sil­ver lin­ing for a democ­ra­cy suf­fer­ing from the kind of bad faith rot ema­nat­ing from the con­tem­po­rary GOP: there are a lot of valu­able lessons in bad faithed disin­gen­u­ous awful­ness, if only we can see them. It’s an extreme­ly tar­nished sil­ver lin­ing.

    It’s also worth recall­ing that it isn’t just Repub­li­cans in con­gress rely­ing in these kinds of polit­i­cal the­atrics. As we’ve seen, Peter Thiel has increas­ing­ly been attempt­ing to use warn­ings about the threat from Chi­nese tech­nol­o­gy as a kind of com­mer­cial cud­gel against his com­pe­ti­tion, charg­ing Google with trea­son back in 2019 over its deal­ings in Chi­na. Thiel even called Bit­coin an poten­tial Chi­nese finan­cial weapon recent­ly. It was a rather iron­ic procla­ma­tion giv­en Thiel’s long-stand­ing sup­port of cryp­tocur­ren­cies. But there’s a far greater irony here that direct­ly relates to the ongo­ing fix­a­tion on Chi­na: it was none oth­er than Peter Thiel and Palan­tir co-founder Joe Lons­dale who helped ‘open the door’ in Sil­i­con Val­ley to Sau­di crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in 2016 after MBS announced plann to invest $2 tril­lion of Sau­di state mon­ey into Sil­i­con Val­ley but found a lack of inter­est in tak­ing his mon­ey.

    So arguably the most author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ment on the plan­et was wel­comed into Amer­i­ca’s tech­nol­o­gy heart­land by the guys clam­or­ing the most about the dan­gers from author­i­tar­i­an Chi­na. It’s iron­ic and also exact­ly what we should have come to expect by now:

    Busi­ness Insid­er

    How the crown prince of Sau­di Ara­bia made his way into Sil­i­con Val­ley cir­cles with a $3.5 bil­lion invest­ment in Uber

    Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck
    Sep 2, 2020, 11:17 AM

    * Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck are both Pulitzer Prize final­ists and reporters for The Wall Street Jour­nal, where Hope cov­ers finance and malfea­sance and Scheck cov­ers glob­al white col­lar crime.
    * The fol­low­ing is an excerpt from their new book “Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruth­less Quest for Glob­al Pow­er” which delves into the life of Mohammed bin Salman, the 35-year-old crown prince of Sau­di Ara­bia.
    * In it, Hope and Scheck describe how the crown prince devel­oped a plan in 2016 to rein­vent Sau­di Ara­bi­a’s econ­o­my by cre­at­ing a $2 tril­lion fund to invest in up-and-com­ing indus­tries.
    * Soon, Mohammed bin Salman invest­ed $3.5 bil­lion into then start­up Uber, and was ush­ered into Sil­i­con Val­ley’s high soci­ety, where he brushed elbows with wealthy VCs and exec­u­tives like Face­book CEO Mark Zucker­berg.

    It seemed like an April Fool’s joke.

    John Mick­leth­wait, the Oxford-edu­cat­ed edi­tor in chief of Bloomberg News, went on TV on April 1, 2016, to report that Sau­di Ara­bia was going to start a $2 tril­lion invest­ment fund.

    “An amaz­ing thing,” Mick­leth­wait called it. “If you think about it, it’s enough to buy Google, Microsoft, Alpha­bet” —Google’s par­ent com­pa­ny — “the whole lot of them. War­ren Buf­fett.”

    Sau­di Ara­bi­an Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had revealed the plan dur­ing a five-hour inter­view in which he out­lined his strat­e­gy to rein­vent the Sau­di econ­o­my. His ideas made sense, in the abstract, to for­eign econ­o­mists and busi­ness lead­ers. Mohammed would use cash from the Aram­co IPO to invest in new indus­tries, giv­ing his coun­try new sources of income beyond oil.

    ...

    Skep­ti­cal or not, the West­ern atten­tion alone was a vic­to­ry for the prince. By the end of April, he’d be on the cov­er of an issue of Bloomberg Busi­ness­week mag­a­zine detail­ing the trans­for­ma­tion plan for Sau­di Ara­bia that the con­sul­tants had pre­pared. Vision 2030 had tak­en hun­dreds of Sau­di and for­eign con­sul­tants months to fin­ish, and it laid out broad goals the Unit­ed States and World Bank had been sug­gest­ing for years. An econ­o­my with incen­tives for entre­pre­neur­ship and inno­va­tion and free­doms for women to join the work­force would cer­tain­ly cre­ate a stronger nation, the for­eign­ers argued.

    Mohammed’s plan set an almost ludi­crous­ly ambi­tious time­line for reach­ing those goals, con­sid­er­ing Sau­di Ara­bia was a coun­try with rough­ly the same eco­nom­ic struc­ture as when oil mon­ey start­ed flow­ing rough­ly a half cen­tu­ry ear­li­er. “All suc­cess sto­ries start with a vision, and suc­cess­ful visions are based on strong pil­lars,” the Vision 2030 state­ment said. The three pil­lars were mak­ing Sau­di Ara­bia the heart of the Arab and Islam­ic world, becom­ing a “glob­al invest­ment pow­er­house,” and turn­ing the coun­try into a “glob­al hub con­nect­ing three con­ti­nents” and an “epi­cen­ter of trade.”

    Once the announce­ment was made, Mohammed knew he need­ed to show progress quick­ly. In the ensu­ing weeks he grilled Sau­di offi­cials and for­eign con­sul­tants alike on how they could show their ideas were work­ing. He’d lose patience with, say, the finance min­is­ter and turn instead to the Min­istry of Econ­o­my and Plan­ning for an urgent task. “The prin­ci­pals changed every week. The wheel gets rein­vent­ed every few days,” a per­son work­ing for BCG com­plained.

    The sov­er­eign wealth fund debut showed the world Mohammed was plan­ning to spend. A month lat­er he host­ed US Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry on his yacht the Serene. But he still need­ed a splashy deal to intro­duce the Pub­lic Invest­ment Fund (PIF) as the new investor on the block.

    Not long before, Mohammed had been intro­duced to Travis Kalan­ick, founder of the then hot start­up Uber. The men devel­oped a rap­port — the prince would lat­er call the entre­pre­neur a friend — and Mohammed saw Uber as an attrac­tive invest­ment. The busi­ness press fawned over the com­pa­ny. It was expand­ing quick­ly all over the world and could play a big domes­tic role in Sau­di Ara­bia, with women still pro­hib­it­ed from dri­ving. Mohammed and Kalan­ick dis­cussed an invest­ment. At the begin­ning of June, the fund wired a total of $3.5 bil­lion to Uber. For that, Mohammed became the biggest investor in the world’s hottest tech start­up, and he got his staffer, the fund’s chief Yasir al-Rumayyan, on Uber’s board. He’d proven the king­dom was doing some­thing dif­fer­ent­ly.

    The invest­ment would be the first instance of many in which West­ern busi­ness­men, con­sul­tants, and bankers promised the world to the young prince but failed to deliv­er. Invest­ing in Uber did­n’t earn him a finan­cial return. Nor did Uber invest in Sau­di Ara­bia in a big way. In effect, Sau­di Ara­bia doled out $3.5 bil­lion for the priv­i­lege of announc­ing it was an investor in Uber. It would like­ly get its mon­ey back, but with­out an impres­sive return.

    A vet­er­an of Mid­dle East­ern sov­er­eign wealth funds who has grown cyn­i­cal over the years explains how it works for Gulf investors. All the best deals and oppor­tu­ni­ties are seized upon by big Amer­i­can insti­tu­tions with the help of New York City banks. The sec­ond-tier deals go to the Euro­peans. And the lemons are pack­aged up and rebrand­ed for what deri­sive bankers call the “dumb mon­ey” in the Mid­dle East. “They don’t care about us,” he said. “They only want our mon­ey.”

    Days lat­er Mohammed head­ed to Sil­i­con Val­ley.

    Exec­u­tives were eager to greet the prince. In pressed jeans and a blaz­er, Mohammed posed for pho­tos with Mark Zucker­berg and vis­it­ed Google’s founders.

    The recep­tion was less effu­sive among the ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists (VCs) whose ranks Mohammed want­ed to join. While entre­pre­neurs were hun­gry for Sau­di mon­ey, the VCs were a dif­fer­ent breed. Often pompous, dri­ving Tes­las to their low-slung offices on Sand Hill Road in the hills above Palo Alto, they spe­cial­ized in mak­ing small deals in ear­ly-stage star­tups that could pay giant returns in the unlike­ly event of suc­cess. Their indus­try was boom­ing. The last thing the suc­cess­ful VCs need­ed was a prince with hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars inflat­ing the val­u­a­tions of new star­tups and telling them how to do their jobs.

    “We don’t need your mon­ey,” one promi­nent VC told an emis­sary of Mohammed’s ahead of his vis­it to Cal­i­for­nia. “We’ve got plen­ty.” Anoth­er explained that his firm already had Sau­di mon­ey, irri­tat­ing the prince’s entourage since this mon­ey man­ag­er appar­ent­ly did­n’t know the dif­fer­ence between mon­ey from some rich Sau­di indi­vid­ual and the oppor­tu­ni­ty that Mohammed was offer­ing to man­age mon­ey for the Sau­di state.

    The only VCs who seemed tru­ly eager to meet the prince were those at the oth­er end of the spec­trum, the ambi­tious up-and- com­ers who also upset the prince’s entourage by boast­ing that they had an in with the Saud­is. One was Joe Lons­dale, a cofounder of the data ana­lyt­ics firm Palan­tir who had worked with the suc­cess­ful VC Peter Thiel.

    Ahead of the vis­it, investors recall, Lons­dale told them he had Sau­di invest­ment, when in fact he had a mod­est sum from a son of the ener­gy min­is­ter. It was far from a rela­tion­ship with the king­dom’s gov­ern­ment. Asked about the claim, Lons­dale said it was “not appro­pri­ate to share” the names of peo­ple whose mon­ey he man­aged and that he nev­er boast­ed about hav­ing Sau­di invest­ment. Lons­dale says he end­ed up not pur­su­ing invest­ments from the region. “It seems in those soci­eties many make mon­ey by ped­dling con­nec­tions, ver­sus build­ing things or apply­ing intel­lec­tu­al rig­or,” he lat­er said.

    But the more estab­lished VCs’ atti­tudes seemed to change at a din­ner at the Fair­mont Hotel atop San Fran­cis­co’s Nob Hill. “I need a bridge between Sau­di and Sil­i­con Val­ley. I need you to help our reforms,” Mohammed told a group that includ­ed Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, John Doerr, and Michael Moritz, titans of ven­ture cap­i­tal with decades of expe­ri­ence back­ing star­tups that turned into mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar cor­po­ra­tions.

    ...

    Excerpt­ed from Blood & Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruth­less Quest for Glob­al Pow­er, by Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck. Copy­right © 2020. Avail­able from Hachette Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

    ———–

    “How the crown prince of Sau­di Ara­bia made his way into Sil­i­con Val­ley cir­cles with a $3.5 bil­lion invest­ment in Uber” by Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck; Busi­ness Insid­er; 09/02/2020

    “The only VCs who seemed tru­ly eager to meet the prince were those at the oth­er end of the spec­trum, the ambi­tious up-and- com­ers who also upset the prince’s entourage by boast­ing that they had an in with the Saud­is. One was Joe Lons­dale, a cofounder of the data ana­lyt­ics firm Palan­tir who had worked with the suc­cess­ful VC Peter Thiel.

    The crown prince shows up in town with a blank check­book and no one seemed to care. No one oth­er than ambi­tious up-and-com­ers like Palan­tir co-founder Joe Lons­dale. Recall how Lons­dale has been one of Rand Paul’s big polit­i­cal patrons in recent years. So the co-founder of one of the lead­ing com­pa­nies pro­vid­ing sur­veil­lance capa­bil­i­ties to gov­ern­ments and cor­po­ra­tions around the world is a major polit­i­cal patron of the most promi­nent self-pro­claimed lib­er­tar­i­ans in con­gress and also an eager part­ner with one of the most ruth­less author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments on the plan­et. Because that’s how the world works. Through a sin­gle-mind­ed fix­a­tion on wealth and pow­er above all else. It’s the actu­al moral code run­ning the world, which is part of what makes all the bla­tant­ly fake jaw­bon­ing about Chi­na so dis­gust­ing.

    But it sounds like those atti­tudes about tak­ing that Sau­di mon­ey soon changed after a din­ner with a group that includ­ed Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel. MBS need­ed a bridge to Sil­i­con Val­ley and this small group of investors appears to have pro­vid­ed that bridge:

    ...
    But the more estab­lished VCs’ atti­tudes seemed to change at a din­ner at the Fair­mont Hotel atop San Fran­cis­co’s Nob Hill. “I need a bridge between Sau­di and Sil­i­con Val­ley. I need you to help our reforms,” Mohammed told a group that includ­ed Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, John Doerr, and Michael Moritz, titans of ven­ture cap­i­tal with decades of expe­ri­ence back­ing star­tups that turned into mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar cor­po­ra­tions.
    ...

    Flash for­ward to 2017, and we find Thiel giv­ing a speech in Riyadh, Sau­di Ara­bia, where he’s pre­dict­ing that the next decade of tech­no­log­i­cal growth is going to take place some­where out­side of Sil­i­con Val­ley. In 2019, Thiel made his first big invest­ment in the Mid­dle East in the UAE-based heavy equip­ment rental mar­ket­place Ten­dered. Thiel clear­ly has lit­tle prob­lem doing busi­ness with the author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments of the Mid­dle East. A sen­ti­ment shared by much of the rest of Sil­i­con Val­ley based on the explo­sion of Sau­di Sil­i­con Val­ley invest­ments in recent years.

    How much more Sau­di mon­ey should we expect to flow into Sil­i­con Val­ley in com­ing years? We’ll see. It prob­a­bly depends in part on whether or not MBS actu­al­ly got some decent returns on his invest­ments so far. But one thing is already clear: no mat­ter how much Sau­di gov­ern­ment mon­ey floods into Sil­i­con Val­ley, no one is going to bat an eye or care. Because it’s not about whether or not user data falls into the hands of author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments. It’s about whether or not user data falls into the hands of unfriend­ly author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments. Friend­ly author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments are just fine and the Sau­di gov­ern­ment has been deemed a friend­ly author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ment. For some strange rea­sons that have yet to be clar­i­fied.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 19, 2021, 3:34 pm
  3. The New Zealand par­lia­ment just unan­i­mous­ly passed a res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing “sev­er human rights abus­es” in Chi­na’s Xin­jiang region. But the res­o­lu­tion notably did not use the word “geno­cide”, which was in the orig­i­nal res­o­lu­tion but removed in order to get the sup­port of the rul­ing Labour par­ty. New Zealand’s for­eign min­is­ter Nana­ia Mahuta defend­ed the removal of the word “geno­cide” by point­ing out that it “is the gravest of inter­na­tion­al crimes and a for­mal legal deter­mi­na­tion should only be reached fol­low­ing a rig­or­ous assess­ment on the basis of inter­na­tion­al law”, and pledged to call for inde­pen­dent observers to vis­it Chi­na and ascer­tain the sit­u­a­tion. So implic­it in the Labour gov­ern­men­t’s defense of its removal of the word “geno­cide” from the res­o­lu­tion to con­demn Chi­na over severe human rights abus­es is the fact that these charges haven’t actu­al­ly been proven or even inde­pen­dent­ly assessed:

    Reuters

    New Zealand par­lia­ment says Uyghur rights abus­es tak­ing place in Chi­na

    May 5, 2021 1:24 AM CDT

    New Zealand’s par­lia­ment unan­i­mous­ly declared on Wednes­day that severe human rights abus­es were tak­ing place against Uyghur peo­ple in Chi­na’s Xin­jiang region, spurring the Chi­nese embassy to decry the move as inter­fer­ence in inter­nal affairs.

    All par­ties dis­cussed and sup­port­ed a motion by New Zealand’s small­er ACT Par­ty, but only after it was revised to drop the word “geno­cide” from the text.

    In par­lia­ment, ACT’s deputy leader, Brooke van Velden, said she had to insert the phrase “severe human rights abus­es” in order to secure the approval of the rul­ing Labour Par­ty, led by Prime Min­is­ter Jacin­da Ardern.

    “Our con­science demands that if we believe there is a geno­cide, we should say so,” Van Velden added.

    ...

    New Zealand’s For­eign Min­is­ter Nana­ia Mahuta defend­ed the gov­ern­men­t’s deci­sion not to use the term “geno­cide”, say­ing it had raised con­cerns sev­er­al times with Chi­na, but had not for­mal­ly des­ig­nat­ed the sit­u­a­tion as con­sti­tut­ing a geno­cide.

    “This is not due to a lack of con­cern,” added Mahuta. “Geno­cide is the gravest of inter­na­tion­al crimes and a for­mal legal deter­mi­na­tion should only be reached fol­low­ing a rig­or­ous assess­ment on the basis of inter­na­tion­al law.”

    She added that New Zealand, in con­cert with oth­er gov­ern­ments, would keep up its calls for Chi­na to pro­vide mean­ing­ful and unfet­tered access to the Unit­ed Nations and oth­er inde­pen­dent observers to ascer­tain the sit­u­a­tion.

    Nations such as the Unit­ed States and Cana­da have declared Chi­na’s actions in Xin­jiang as geno­cide, but Aus­trali­a’s par­lia­ment stopped short of a sim­i­lar move this year.

    ———–

    “New Zealand par­lia­ment says Uyghur rights abus­es tak­ing place in Chi­na”; Reuters; 05/05/2021

    “This is not due to a lack of concern...Genocide is the gravest of inter­na­tion­al crimes and a for­mal legal deter­mi­na­tion should only be reached fol­low­ing a rig­or­ous assess­ment on the basis of inter­na­tion­al law.”

    It’s quite a rebut­tal: no, New Zealand should­n’t use the world “geno­cide” because geno­cide has­n’t actu­al­ly be been deter­mined. It’s hard to argue with the log­ic, but that’s obvi­ous­ly not going to stop the inter­na­tion­al ‘geno­cide’ cam­paign. As the deputy leader of the right-wing lib­er­tar­i­an ACT Par­ty, Booke van Velden, who orig­i­nal­ly insert­ed the “geno­cide” lan­guage into the res­o­lu­tion described her rea­son­ing, “Our con­science demands that if we believe there is a geno­cide, we should say so.” No mean­ing­ful evi­dence is appar­ent­ly required. You just have to believe it’s true. She may not have intend­ed to so effec­tive­ly encap­su­late the the lack of integri­ty behind this cam­paign. But com­ing from a right-wing lib­er­tar­i­an par­ty, we should­n’t be too sur­prised to hear integri­ty-free state­ments. It’s kind the far right’s spe­cial­ty these days.

    And the fact that it was a right-wing lib­er­tar­i­an par­ty that pushed this res­o­lu­tion in the first place under­scores how this inter­na­tion­al Uyghur geno­cide cam­paign has been pred­i­cat­ed on a foun­da­tion of mis­in­for­ma­tion and pro­pa­gan­da with far right ori­gins. Far right ori­gins like the works of Adri­an Zenz, al Qae­da-sym­pa­thiz­ing Turk­ish media out­lets, Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-run ‘think tanks’, and the the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­tre for Human Rights. So it’s worth not­ing the fol­low­ing 2020 sto­ry about the ACT Par­ty that should give us a bet­ter idea of just how sin­cere­ly the par­ty lead­er­ship actu­al­ly is when it comes to con­cerns over human rights and geno­cide:

    It was just last Feb­ru­ary, when ACT Par­ty leader David Sey­mour received crit­i­cism for accept­ing a dona­tion from Mike Allen, a Christchurch-based far right extrem­ists who threat­ened to destroy mosques after the Christchurch ter­ror attack. Allen also hap­pens to be a Don­ald Trump fan and was cre­at­ed “Make Amer­i­ca Great Again” par­o­dy hats with the slo­gan “Make Ardern Go Away”, which went viral in the coun­try after Allen was tem­porar­i­ly banned from sell­ing them on TradeMe. It turns out pro­ceeds from the sales of the hats were going towards fund­ing Face­book adver­tise­ments for far right Face­book pages.

    Here’s where the dona­tion from Allen to ACT comes in: the mon­ey Allen used to donate to ACT was raised from the sale of one of those par­o­dy MAGA hats that was signed by David Sey­mour. So Sey­mour effec­tive­ly made that hat into a scan­dalous but valu­able col­lec­tor’s item when he signed it. And Allen repaid by the favor by donat­ing the mon­ey back to ACT. All in all, it’s the mak­ings of at least a mini-scan­dal for ACT. So what hap­pened after peo­ple called out ACT for accept­ing Allen’s hat-mon­ey? Sey­mour refused to return the dona­tion and dis­missed it all as a bunch of con­cern over noth­ing:

    News­room

    Calls for ACT to return far-right dona­tion

    Activists and civ­il rights organ­i­sa­tions have called for the ACT Par­ty to return a dona­tion it received from a far-right extrem­ist who threat­ened to destroy mosques after the Christchurch ter­ror attack

    Marc Daalder
    FEBRUARY 17, 2020
    Updat­ed Feb­ru­ary 17, 2020

    ACT Par­ty leader David Sey­mour has come under fire after accept­ing a dona­tion from a far-right extrem­ist and char­ac­ter­is­ing the man’s threats to destroy mosques as “a sil­ly com­ment on Face­book”.

    In Octo­ber, News­room report­ed that a far-right extrem­ist who had threat­ened to “destroy mosque after mosque till I am tak­en out” had made a dona­tion to the ACT Par­ty by auc­tion­ing a hat signed by Sey­mour.

    Mike Allen is a Christchurch e‑bike sales­man whose par­o­dy Trump hats — which read “Make Ardern Go Away” — went viral after he was tem­porar­i­ly banned from sell­ing them on TradeMe. News­room then report­ed that the pro­ceeds from the hats went towards fund­ing adver­tise­ments for far-right Face­book pages, includ­ing the now-delet­ed page on which Allen threat­ened to destroy mosques.

    On Sun­day, left-wing activist Byron Clark called for Sey­mour to pass the dona­tion on to an organ­i­sa­tion that could make bet­ter use of it, like the Foun­da­tion Against Islam­o­pho­bia and Racism (FAIR) or the Holo­caust Cen­tre of New Zealand.

    Clark, who reg­u­lar­ly mon­i­tors New Zealand’s far-right, framed the call as a Twit­ter cam­paign with the hash­tag #Donate­David.

    “David Sey­mour said before that he can’t con­trol who’s going to vote for him and I under­stand that posi­tion, but he can con­trol whether or not he takes mon­ey from the far-right. So I’ve chal­lenged him to donate that mon­ey he received to a cause like the Holo­caust Cen­tre of New Zealand or the fund for the March 15 shoot­ing vic­tims,” Clark told News­room.

    “Peo­ple on the far-right who are see­ing David Sey­mour accept­ing mon­ey from them are see­ing it as a legit­imi­sa­tion of some of their beliefs, that a main­stream politi­cian is not refus­ing to take mon­ey from them,” he said.

    Oth­er left-wing activist groups like Auck­land Peace Action and Paparoa also ral­lied around the hash­tag.

    Sey­mour attacks ‘obses­sion’

    The same day, Sey­mour respond­ed on Twit­ter, say­ing, “Your obses­sion with some guy who made a sil­ly com­ment on Face­book and auc­tioned a hat to give ACT a small dona­tion is going nowhere. My long and strong sup­port of our Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty speaks for itself.”

    Sey­mour did not respond to a request for com­ment from News­room. In Octo­ber, Sey­mour dis­tanced him­self from Allen but refused to return the dona­tion.

    “I think it’s com­plete­ly out­ra­geous to make the con­nec­tion that because you sign a hat say­ing you want your polit­i­cal oppo­nent to go away that I am in any way asso­ci­at­ed with peo­ple who are ter­ror­ists or threat­en­ing acts of vio­lence,” he said at the time.

    “To threat­en or incite a crime such as van­dal­is­ing or destroy­ing a build­ing, espe­cial­ly one that is of sig­nif­i­cance to peo­ple, is a crime in itself. In the strongest pos­si­ble terms, I denounce that behav­iour.”

    “You are try­ing to con­flate some­thing per­fect­ly inno­cent — auc­tion­ing off an amus­ing hat — with some­body who made some dis­taste­ful com­ments lat­er and there’s no con­nec­tion,” Sey­mour told News­room in Octo­ber.

    In a state­ment, the Holo­caust Cen­tre said it “deplores Mr Allen’s com­ments that he want­ed to see the destruc­tion of mosques and says that it would nev­er know­ing­ly accept funds from some­one who used such hate speech”.

    “These kinds of com­ments, and the beliefs that under­pin them, have no place in New Zealand,” Holo­caust Cen­tre NZ chair Deb­o­rah Hart said. “Words mat­ter. The Holo­caust, and indeed the attacks against the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty on March 15 did not began with acts, they began with words that went unchal­lenged and that, ulti­mate­ly, is what leads to such events.”

    The cen­tre’s chief exec­u­tive Chris Har­ris said ACT “should act in a respon­si­ble man­ner and do the right thing”, but did not elab­o­rate.

    FAIR sim­i­lar­ly said it would decline to receive the dona­tion, but explic­it­ly encour­aged Sey­mour to return the funds to Allen.

    “We chal­lenge David to return this dona­tion and to make an explic­it pub­lic state­ment reject­ing sup­port of white suprema­cists,” FAIR spokesper­son Azad Khan said.

    “In accept­ing this dona­tion, David Sey­mour is say­ing that he is hap­py to accept the back­ing of vio­lent white suprema­cists. Mike Allen has said he will ‘destroy mosque after mosque’. He has also said that he is a finan­cial ACT par­ty mem­ber.

    “David Sey­mour is triv­i­al­is­ing the real fear and ter­ror that the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty con­tin­ues to feel fol­low­ing the [Christchurch] ter­ror attack by char­ac­ter­is­ing Allen’s Face­book com­ments as ‘sil­ly’.”

    Clark also said he would sup­port ACT return­ing the dona­tion to Allen. “I’d cer­tain­ly be hap­py with that. The main thing is not keep­ing the mon­ey,” he said.

    ...

    Dona­tion came from far-right extrem­ist

    Allen has repeat­ed­ly post­ed far-right mes­sages on his Face­book pages, includ­ing threats of vio­lence. Link­ing to an arti­cle about an acid attack in Eng­land, Allen wrote that “if this hap­pens to my daugh­ter I am destroy­ing mosque after mosque till I am tak­en out”.

    Sub­se­quent images post­ed to the since-delet­ed page show that Face­book delet­ed this post for vio­lat­ing its com­mu­ni­ty stan­dards.

    How­ev­er, Allen told News­room in Octo­ber that he had writ­ten it “after a cou­ple of beers. It was wrong and I delet­ed it”.

    In the com­ments on that post, users joked about the alleged Christchurch shoot­er. “Let him out for anoth­er go,” one wrote.

    Allen also wrote on a post about Zahra Hus­sai­ni, a Mus­lim woman run­ning for Christchurch City Coun­cil, that “Islam is the prob­lem”. He told News­room that he stands by that com­ment.

    ———-

    “Calls for ACT to return far-right dona­tion” by Marc Daalder; News­room; 02/17/2020

    “Mike Allen is a Christchurch e‑bike sales­man whose par­o­dy Trump hats — which read “Make Ardern Go Away” — went viral after he was tem­porar­i­ly banned from sell­ing them on TradeMe. News­room then report­ed that the pro­ceeds from the hats went towards fund­ing adver­tise­ments for far-right Face­book pages, includ­ing the now-delet­ed page on which Allen threat­ened to destroy mosques.”

    A guy sells par­o­dy MAGA hats to finance the adver­tis­ing of far right Face­book pages, and then auc­tions off a hat signed by ACT Par­ty lead David Sey­mour and donates the pro­ceeds to ACT. That’s the sit­u­a­tion Sey­mour was char­ac­ter­iz­ing as per­fect­ly inno­cent as he refused to return the mon­ey or donate it away. It’s the stan­dard far right gas-light­ing ask­ing us not to believe our lying eyes and ears. This was the leader of ACT mak­ing this stand, after all:

    ...
    The same day, Sey­mour respond­ed on Twit­ter, say­ing, “Your obses­sion with some guy who made a sil­ly com­ment on Face­book and auc­tioned a hat to give ACT a small dona­tion is going nowhere. My long and strong sup­port of our Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty speaks for itself.”

    Sey­mour did not respond to a request for com­ment from News­room. In Octo­ber, Sey­mour dis­tanced him­self from Allen but refused to return the dona­tion.

    “I think it’s com­plete­ly out­ra­geous to make the con­nec­tion that because you sign a hat say­ing you want your polit­i­cal oppo­nent to go away that I am in any way asso­ci­at­ed with peo­ple who are ter­ror­ists or threat­en­ing acts of vio­lence,” he said at the time.

    “To threat­en or incite a crime such as van­dal­is­ing or destroy­ing a build­ing, espe­cial­ly one that is of sig­nif­i­cance to peo­ple, is a crime in itself. In the strongest pos­si­ble terms, I denounce that behav­iour.”

    “You are try­ing to con­flate some­thing per­fect­ly inno­cent — auc­tion­ing off an amus­ing hat — with some­body who made some dis­taste­ful com­ments lat­er and there’s no con­nec­tion,” Sey­mour told News­room in Octo­ber.
    ...

    Flash for­ward to this year and we find Sey­mour tour­ing the coun­try on a ‘free speech tour’ in oppo­si­tion to pro­posed hate speech laws.

    So when we’re forced to ask just how sin­cere­ly or insin­cere­ly the ACT Par­ty is being when it issues these kinds of ‘geno­cide’ res­o­lu­tions, it’s episodes like the Mike Allen scan­dal that should give us a pret­ty good idea of where the par­ty’s real pri­or­i­ties reside and how sin­cere the cur­rent ‘geno­cide’ con­cerns tru­ly are. It points to one of the grow­ing themes of the West­’s ongo­ing Xin­jiang geno­cide pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign: the peo­ple most loud­ly call­ing for the con­dem­na­tion of the alleged geno­cide are increas­ing­ly the last peo­ple one would expect to raise con­cerns about any geno­cide at all.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 5, 2021, 4:40 pm
  4. Here’s a Counter Punch piece from back in Octo­ber that does a great job sum­ma­riz­ing key aspects of the still large­ly under-rec­og­nized chap­ter of WWII/Cold War his­to­ry where there the defeat­ed fas­cist move­ment where not just inter­nal­ized uti­lized by the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state as valu­able Cold War assets but dis­crete­ly inter­na­tion­al­ized. Fas­cism was pro­tect­ed around the world. And cru­cial, it was pro­tect­ed under the guise of anti-com­mu­nism and often under the ban­ner of a lib­er­al world order. It’s hard to think of a more impor­tant thread of 20th his­to­ry for under­stand­ing where we are today and where we’re head­ing. And in the con­text of a grow­ing new Cold War with Chi­na, it’s a his­to­ry that rais­es the grim ques­tion: so which far right extrem­ist groups are going to be cod­dled and inter­na­tion­al­ized under the guise of fight­ing Chi­nese ‘com­mu­nism’ (which is real­ly oper­at­ing as a vari­ant of state-run cap­i­tal­ism). We already know neo-Nazis in Ukraine and across East­ern Europe will be large­ly seen as accept­able when con­fronting Rus­sia. And we’re already learn­ing about the New­lines Insti­tute’s role in pro­mot­ing the Uyghur geno­cide pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign, where how the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood net­work has joined with tra­di­tion­al nation­al secu­ri­ty state hawks to pump out a nar­ra­tive seem­ing­ly designed to spark of major con­flict. And then there’s the far right nature of Chi­nese dis­si­dent groups favored by the West like Falun Gong. So giv­en that the ‘ChiCom’ Chi­nese ‘com­mu­nists’ appears to be the new uni­fy­ing men­ace for the West for the fore­see­able future, it’s prob­a­bly a good idea to start ask­ing the gen­er­al ques­tion of just how many extrem­ist groups are going to end up get­ting inter­nal­ized and inter­na­tion­al­ized in the process:

    Counter Punch

    The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fas­cism in WWII, It Dis­crete­ly Inter­na­tion­al­ized It

    by Gabriel Rock­hill
    Octo­ber 16, 2020

    “The U.S. has estab­lished itself as the mor­tal ene­my of all people’s gov­ern­ment, all sci­en­tif­ic-social­ist mobi­liza­tion of con­scious­ness every­where on the globe, all anti-impe­ri­al­ist activ­i­ty on earth.”

    – George Jack­son

    One of the found­ing myths of the con­tem­po­rary West­ern Euro­pean and Amer­i­can world is that fas­cism was defeat­ed in WWII by lib­er­al democ­ra­cies, and par­tic­u­lar­ly by the Unit­ed States. With the sub­se­quent Nurem­burg tri­als and the patient con­struc­tion of a lib­er­al world order, a bul­wark was erected—in fits and starts, and with the con­stant threat of regression—against fas­cism and its evil twin in the East. Amer­i­can cul­ture indus­tries have rehearsed this nar­ra­tive ad nau­se­um, brew­ing it into a sac­cha­rine ide­o­log­i­cal Kool-Aid and pip­ing it into every house­hold, shack and street cor­ner with a TV or smart­phone, tire­less­ly jux­ta­pos­ing the supreme evil of Nazism to the free­dom and pros­per­i­ty of lib­er­al democ­ra­cy.

    The mate­r­i­al record sug­gests, how­ev­er, that this nar­ra­tive is actu­al­ly based on a false antag­o­nism, and that a par­a­digm shift is nec­es­sary in order to under­stand the his­to­ry of actu­al­ly exist­ing lib­er­al­ism and fas­cism. The lat­ter, as we shall see, far from being erad­i­cat­ed at the end of WWII, was actu­al­ly repur­posed, or rather rede­ployed, to serve its pri­ma­ry his­tor­i­cal func­tion: to destroy god­less com­mu­nism and its threat to the cap­i­tal­ist civ­i­liz­ing mis­sion. Since the colo­nial projects of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni had become so brazen and errat­ic, as they shift­ed from play­ing more or less by the lib­er­al rules of the game to open­ly break­ing them and then run­ning amok, it was under­stood that the best way to con­struct the fas­cist inter­na­tion­al was to do so under lib­er­al cov­er, mean­ing through clan­des­tine oper­a­tions that main­tained a lib­er­al façade. While this prob­a­bly sounds like hyper­bole to those whose under­stand­ing of his­to­ry has been for­mat­ted by bour­geois social sci­ence, which focus­es almost exclu­sive­ly on vis­i­ble gov­ern­ment and the afore­men­tioned lib­er­al cov­er, the his­to­ry of the invis­i­ble gov­ern­ment of the nation­al secu­ri­ty appa­ra­tus sug­gests that fas­cism, far from being defeat­ed in WWII, was suc­cess­ful­ly inter­na­tion­al­ized.

    The Archi­tects of the Fas­cist Inter­na­tion­al

    When the Unit­ed States entered WWII, the future head of the CIA, Allen Dulles, bemoaned that his coun­try was fight­ing the wrong ene­my. The Nazis, as he explained, were pro-cap­i­tal­ist Aryan Chris­tians, where­as the true ene­my was god­less com­mu­nism and its res­olute anti-cap­i­tal­ism. After all, the U.S. had, only some 20 years pri­or, been part of a mas­sive mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion in the U.S.S.R., when four­teen cap­i­tal­ist coun­tries sought—in the words of Win­ston Churchill—to “stran­gle the Bol­she­vik baby in its crib.” Dulles under­stood, like many of his col­leagues in the U.S. gov­ern­ment, that what would lat­er become known as the Cold War was actu­al­ly the old war, as Michael Par­en­ti has con­vinc­ing­ly argued: the one they had been fight­ing against com­mu­nism since its incep­tion.

    Towards the end of WWII, Gen­er­al Karl Wolff, for­mer­ly Himmler’s right-hand man, went to see Allen Dulles in Zurich, where he was work­ing for the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices, the pre­de­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion to the CIA. Wolff knew that the war was lost, and he want­ed to avoid being brought to jus­tice. Dulles, for his part, want­ed the Nazis in Italy under Wolff’s com­mand to lay down their arms against the allies and help the Amer­i­cans in their fight against com­mu­nism. Wolff, who was the high­est-rank­ing SS offi­cer to sur­vive the war, offered Dulles the promise of devel­op­ing, with his Nazi team, an intel­li­gence net­work against Stal­in. It was agreed that the gen­er­al who had played a cen­tral role in over­see­ing the Nazi’s geno­ci­dal machine, and who expressed his “spe­cial joy” when he secured freight trains to send 5,000 Jews a day to Tre­blin­ka, would be pro­tect­ed by the future direc­tor of the CIA, who helped him avoid the Nurem­berg tri­als.

    Wolff was very far from being the only senior Nazi offi­cial pro­tect­ed and reha­bil­i­tat­ed by the OSS-CIA. The case of Rein­hard Gehlen is par­tic­u­lar­ly telling. This gen­er­al in the Third Reich had been in charge of Fremde Heere Ost, the Nazi intel­li­gence ser­vice direct­ed against the Sovi­ets. After the war, he was recruit­ed by the OSS-CIA and met with all of the major archi­tects of the post­war Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State: Allen Dulles, William Dono­van, Frank Wis­ner, Pres­i­dent Tru­man. He was then appoint­ed to head the first Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice after the war, and he pro­ceed­ed to employ many of his Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors. The Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion, as it was known, would become the nucle­us of the Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice. It is unclear how many war crim­i­nals this dec­o­rat­ed Nazi hired, but Eric Licht­blau esti­mates that some four thou­sand Nazi agents were inte­grat­ed into the net­work over­seen by the Amer­i­can spy agency. With an annu­al fund­ing of half a mil­lion dol­lars from the CIA in the ear­ly years after the war, Gehlen and his strong men were able to act with impuni­ty. Yvon­nick Denoël explained this turn­around with remark­able clar­i­ty: “It is hard to under­stand that, as ear­ly as 1945, the army and the US intel­li­gence ser­vices recruit­ed with­out qualms for­mer Nazi crim­i­nals. The equa­tion was, how­ev­er, very sim­ple at the time: the Unit­ed States had just defeat­ed the Nazis with the help of the Sovi­ets. They hence­forth planned to defeat the Sovi­ets with the help of for­mer Nazis.”

    The sit­u­a­tion was sim­i­lar in Italy because Dulles’ agree­ment with Wolff was part of a larg­er under­tak­ing, called Oper­a­tion Sun­rise, which mobi­lized Nazis and fas­cists to end the Sec­ond World War in Italy (and begin the Third World War across the globe). Dulles worked hand in hand with the Agency’s future chief coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence offi­cer, James Angle­ton, who was then sta­tioned by the OSS in Italy. These two men, who would become two of the most pow­er­ful polit­i­cal actors of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, showed what they were capa­ble of in this close col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence ser­vices, the Nazis and the fas­cists. Angle­ton, on his end, recruit­ed fas­cists to end the war in Italy so as to min­i­mize the pow­er of the com­mu­nists. Vale­rio Borgh­ese was one of his key con­tacts because this hard­line fas­cist in Mussolini’s regime was ready to serve the Amer­i­cans in the anti-com­mu­nist strug­gle, and he became one of the inter­na­tion­al fig­ure­heads for post­war fas­cism. Angle­ton had direct­ly saved him from the hands of the com­mu­nists, and the man known as the Black Prince was giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­tin­ue the war against the rad­i­cal Left under a new boss: the CIA.

    Once the war was over, Senior U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cials, includ­ing Dulles, Wis­ner and Carmel Offie, “worked to ensure that denaz­i­fi­ca­tion only had a lim­it­ed scope,” accord­ing to Frédéric Charpi­er: “Gen­er­als, senior offi­cials, police­men, indus­tri­al­ists, lawyers, econ­o­mists, diplo­mats, schol­ars and real war crim­i­nals were spared and put back in their posi­tions.” The man in charge of the Mar­shall Plan in Ger­many, for instance, was a for­mer advis­er to Her­mann Göring, the com­man­der-in-chief of the Luft­waffe (air force). Dulles draft­ed a list of high func­tionar­ies of the Nazi state to be pro­tect­ed and passed off as oppo­nents to Hitler. The OSS-CIA pro­ceed­ed to rebuild the admin­is­tra­tive states in Ger­many and Italy with their anti-com­mu­nist allies.

    Eric Licht­blau esti­mates that more than 10,000 Nazis were able to immi­grate to the Unit­ed States in the post-war peri­od (at least 700 offi­cial mem­bers of the Nazi par­ty had been allowed into the U.S. in the 1930s, while Jew­ish refugees were being turned away). In addi­tion to a few hun­dred Ger­man spies and thou­sands of SS per­son­nel, Oper­a­tion Paper­clip, which began in May 1945, brought at least 1,600 Nazi sci­en­tists to the U.S. with their fam­i­lies. This under­tak­ing was aimed at recov­er­ing the great minds of the Nazi war machine and putting their research on rock­ets, avi­a­tion, bio­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal weapons, and so forth, in the ser­vice of the Amer­i­can empire. The Joint Intel­li­gence Objec­tives Agency was set up specif­i­cal­ly to recruit Nazis and find them posi­tions in research cen­ters, the gov­ern­ment, the army, the intel­li­gence ser­vices or uni­ver­si­ties (at least 14 uni­ver­si­ties par­tic­i­pat­ed, includ­ing Cor­nell, Yale and MIT).

    Although the pro­gram offi­cial­ly exclud­ed ardent Nazis, at least at the begin­ning, in actu­al fact it allowed for the immi­gra­tion of chemists from IG Far­ben (which had sup­plied the dead­ly gas­es used in mass exter­mi­na­tions), sci­en­tists who had used slaves in con­cen­tra­tion camps to make weapons, and doc­tors who had par­tic­i­pat­ed in hideous exper­i­ments on Jews, Roma, com­mu­nists, homo­sex­u­als and oth­er pris­on­ers of war. These sci­en­tists, who were described by an offi­cial in the State Depart­ment opposed to Paper­clip as “Hitler’s angels of death,” were received with open arms in the land of the free. They were giv­en com­fort­able accom­mo­da­tions, a lab­o­ra­to­ry with assis­tants and the promise of cit­i­zen­ship if their work bore fruit. They went on to con­duct research that has been used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of bal­lis­tic mis­siles, sarin gas clus­ter bombs, and the weaponiza­tion of the bubon­ic plague.

    The CIA also col­lab­o­rat­ed with MI6 to set up secret anti-com­mu­nist armies in every coun­try in West­ern Europe. On the pre­text of a poten­tial inva­sion by the Red Army, the idea was to train and equip net­works of ille­gal stay-behind sol­diers, who would remain behind ene­my lines if the Rus­sians moved west­ward. They would thus be acti­vat­ed in the new­ly occu­pied ter­ri­to­ry and charged with mis­sions of exfil­tra­tion, espi­onage, sab­o­tage, pro­pa­gan­da, sub­ver­sion and com­bat. The two agen­cies worked with NATO and the intel­li­gence ser­vices of many West­ern Euro­pean coun­tries to build this vast sub-rosa orga­ni­za­tion, estab­lish numer­ous weapons and ammu­ni­tion caches, and equip their sol­diers of the shad­ows with every­thing they need­ed. To do this, they recruit­ed Nazis, fas­cists, col­lab­o­ra­tionists and oth­er anti-com­mu­nist mem­bers of the extreme Right. The num­bers vary accord­ing to the coun­try, but they are esti­mat­ed between a few dozen and sev­er­al hun­dred, or even a few thou­sand, per coun­try. Accord­ing to a report from the tele­vi­sion pro­gram Retour aux sources, there were 50 stay-behind net­work units in Nor­way, 150 in Ger­many, more than 600 in Italy and 3,000 in France.

    These trained mil­i­tants would lat­er be mobi­lized to com­mit or coor­di­nate ter­ror­ist attacks against the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion, which were then blamed on the com­mu­nists in order to jus­ti­fy ‘law and order’ crack­downs. Accord­ing to the offi­cial num­bers in Italy, where this strat­e­gy of ten­sion was par­tic­u­lar­ly intense, there were 14,591 polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed acts of vio­lence between 1969 and 1987, which killed 491 peo­ple and injured 1,181. Vin­cen­zo Vin­ciguer­ra, a mem­ber of the far-right group Ordine Nuo­vo and the per­pe­tra­tor of the bomb­ing near Peteano in 1972, explained that the fas­cist “Avan­guardia Nazionale, like Ordine Nuo­vo, were being mobi­lized into the bat­tle as part of an anti-Com­mu­nist strat­e­gy orig­i­nat­ing not with orga­ni­za­tions deviant from the insti­tu­tions of pow­er, but from the state itself, and specif­i­cal­ly from with­in the ambit of the state’s rela­tions with­in the Atlantic Alliance.” An Ital­ian par­lia­men­tary com­mis­sion that under­took an inves­ti­ga­tion of the stay-behind armies in Italy, reached the fol­low­ing con­clu­sion in 2000: “Those mas­sacres, those bombs, those mil­i­tary actions had been orga­nized or pro­mot­ed or sup­port­ed by men inside Ital­ian state insti­tu­tions and, as has been dis­cov­ered more recent­ly, by men linked to the struc­tures of Unit­ed States intel­li­gence.”

    The U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State was also involved in over­see­ing rat­lines that exfil­trat­ed fas­cists from Europe and allowed them to reset­tle in safe havens around the world, in exchange for doing its dirty work. The case of Klaus Bar­bie is but one among thou­sands, but it speaks vol­umes regard­ing the inter­nal func­tion­ing of this process. Known in France as ‘the butch­er of Lyon,’ he was head of the Gestapo office there for two years, includ­ing the time when Himm­ler gave the order to deport at least 22,000 Jews from France. This spe­cial­ist in ‘enhanced inter­ro­ga­tion tac­tics,’ known for tor­tur­ing to death the coor­di­na­tor of the French Resis­tance, Jean Moulin, orga­nized the first roundup of the Gen­er­al Union of Jews in France in Feb­ru­ary 1943 and the mas­sacre of 41 Jew­ish refugee chil­dren in Izieu in April 1944. Before arriv­ing in Lyon, he had led sav­age death squads, which had killed more than a mil­lion peo­ple on the East­ern Front accord­ing to Alexan­der Cock­burn and Jef­frey St. Clair. But after the war, the man whom these same authors describe as third on the most-want­ed list of SS crim­i­nals was work­ing for the Counter Intel­li­gence Corps (CIC) of the U.S. Army. He was hired to help build the stay-behind armies by recruit­ing oth­er Nazis, and to spy on French intel­li­gence ser­vices in the French and Amer­i­can con­trolled regions in Ger­many.
    s
    When France learned what was hap­pen­ing and demand­ed Barbie’s extra­di­tion, John McCloy, the U.S. High Com­mis­sion­er of Ger­many, refused by claim­ing that the alle­ga­tions were based on hearsay. Nev­er­the­less, it ulti­mate­ly proved too expen­sive, sym­bol­i­cal­ly, to keep a butch­er like Bar­bie in Europe, so he was sent to Latin Amer­i­ca in 1951, where he was able to con­tin­ue his illus­tri­ous career. Set­tling in Bolivia, he worked for the secu­ri­ty forces of the mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship of Gen­er­al René Bar­ri­en­tos and for the Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or and the counter-insur­gency wing of the Boli­vian Army under the dic­ta­tor­ship of Hugo Banz­er, before active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Cocaine Coup in 1980 and becom­ing the direc­tor of secu­ri­ty forces under Gen­er­al Meza. Through­out his career, he main­tained close rela­tion­ships with his sav­iors in the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State, play­ing a cen­tral role in Oper­a­tion Con­dor, the counter-insur­gency project that brought togeth­er Latin Amer­i­can dic­ta­tor­ships, with the sup­port of the Unit­ed States, to vio­lent­ly crush any attempt at egal­i­tar­i­an upris­ings from below. He also helped devel­op the drug empire in Bolivia, includ­ing orga­niz­ing gangs of nar­co-mer­ce­nar­ies whom he named Los novios de la muerte, whose uni­forms resem­bled those of the SS. He trav­eled freely in the 1960s and 1970s, vis­it­ing the U.S. at least sev­en times, and he most like­ly played a role in the man­hunt orga­nized by the Agency to kill Ernesto “Che” Gue­vara.

    The same basic pat­tern of inte­grat­ing fas­cists into the glob­al war against com­mu­nism is read­i­ly iden­ti­fi­able in Japan, whose sys­tem of gov­ern­ment pri­or to and dur­ing the war has been described by Her­bert P. Bix as “Emper­or-sys­tem fas­cism.” Tes­sa Mor­ris-Suzu­ki has has con­vinc­ing­ly demon­strat­ed the con­ti­nu­ity of intel­li­gence ser­vices by detail­ing how the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State over­saw and man­aged the KATO orga­ni­za­tion. This pri­vate intel­li­gence net­work, very much like the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, was stocked with for­mer lead­ing mem­bers of the mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence ser­vices, includ­ing the Impe­r­i­al Army’s Chief of Intel­li­gence (Arisue Seizo), who shared with his Amer­i­can han­dler (Charles Willough­by) a deep admi­ra­tion for Mus­soli­ni. The U.S. occu­pa­tion forces also cul­ti­vat­ed tight rela­tion­ships with senior offi­cials in Japan’s wartime civil­ian intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty (most notably Oga­ta Take­to­ra). This remark­able con­ti­nu­ity between pre­war and post­war Japan has led Mor­ris-Suzu­ki and oth­er schol­ars to map Japan­ese his­to­ry in terms of a tran­swar regime, mean­ing one that con­tin­ued from before to after the war. This con­cept also allows us to make sense of what was hap­pen­ing above ground in the realm of the vis­i­ble gov­ern­ment. For the sake of con­ci­sion, suf­fice it to cite the remark­able case of the man known as the “Dev­il of Showa” for his bru­tal rule of Manchukuo (the Japan­ese colony in North­east Chi­na): Nobusuke Kishi. A great admir­er of Nazi Ger­many, Kishi was appoint­ed Min­is­ter of Muni­tions by Prime Min­is­ter Hide­ki Tojo in 1941, in order to pre­pare Japan for a total war against the U.S., and he was the one who signed the offi­cial dec­la­ra­tion of war against Amer­i­ca. After serv­ing a brief prison term as a war crim­i­nal in the post­war era, he was reha­bil­i­tat­ed by the CIA, along with his cell mate, the king­pin of orga­nized crime Yoshio Kodama. Kishi, with the sup­port and gen­er­ous finan­cial back­ing of his han­dlers, took over the Lib­er­al Par­ty, made it into a rightwing club of for­mer lead­ers of impe­r­i­al Japan, and rose to become Prime Min­is­ter. “The [CIA] mon­ey flowed for at least fif­teen years, under four Amer­i­can pres­i­dents,” writes Tim Wiener, “and it helped con­sol­i­date one-par­ty rule in Japan for the rest of the cold war.”

    U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty ser­vices have also estab­lished a glob­al edu­ca­tion­al net­work to train pro-cap­i­tal­ist combatants—sometimes under the lead­er­ship of expe­ri­enced Nazis and fascists—in the tried-and-true tech­niques of repres­sion, tor­ture and desta­bi­liza­tion, as well as pro­pa­gan­da and psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare. The famous School of the Amer­i­c­as was estab­lished in 1946 with the explic­it goal of train­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of anti-com­mu­nist war­riors world­wide. Accord­ing to some, this school has the dis­tinc­tion of hav­ing edu­cat­ed the great­est num­ber of dic­ta­tors in world his­to­ry. What­ev­er the case may be, it is part of a much larg­er insti­tu­tion­al net­work. It is worth men­tion­ing, for exam­ple, the edu­ca­tion­al con­tri­bu­tions of the Pub­lic Safe­ty Pro­gram: “For about twen­ty-five years,” writes for­mer CIA offi­cer John Stock­well, “the CIA, […] trained and orga­nized police and para­mil­i­tary offi­cers from around the world in tech­niques of pop­u­la­tion con­trol, repres­sion, and tor­ture. Schools were set up in the Unit­ed States, Pana­ma, and Asia, from which tens of thou­sands grad­u­at­ed. In some cas­es, for­mer Nazi offi­cers from Hitler’s Third Reich were used as instruc­tors.”

    Fas­cism Goes Glob­al under Lib­er­al Cov­er

    The Amer­i­can imperi­um has thus played a cen­tral role in the con­struc­tion of a fas­cist inter­na­tion­al by pro­tect­ing right-wing mil­i­tants and enlist­ing them in the Third World War against ‘com­mu­nism,’ an elas­tic label extend­ed to any polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion that entered into con­flict with the inter­ests of the cap­i­tal­ist rul­ing class. This inter­na­tion­al expan­sion of fas­cist modes of gov­er­nance has led to a pro­lif­er­a­tion of con­cen­tra­tion camps, ter­ror­ist and tor­ture cam­paigns, dirty wars, dic­ta­to­r­i­al regimes, vig­i­lante groups and orga­nized crime net­works around the world. The exam­ples could be enu­mer­at­ed ad nau­se­um, but I will cur­tail them in the inter­ests of space and sim­ply invoke the tes­ti­mo­ny of Vic­tor Mar­che­t­ti, who was a senior CIA offi­cial from 1955 to 1969: “We were sup­port­ing every half-assed dic­ta­tor, mil­i­tary jun­ta, oli­garchy that exist­ed in the Third World, as long as they promised to some­how main­tain the sta­tus quo, which would of course be ben­e­fi­cial to U.S. geopo­lit­i­cal inter­ests, mil­i­tary inter­ests, big busi­ness inter­ests, and oth­er spe­cial inter­ests.”

    The record of U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy since WWII is prob­a­bly the best mea­sure of its unique con­tri­bu­tion to the inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism. Under the ban­ner of democ­ra­cy and free­dom, the Unit­ed States has, accord­ing to William Blum:

    + Endeav­ored to over­throw more than 50 for­eign gov­ern­ments.

    + Gross­ly inter­fered in demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions in at least 30 coun­tries.

    + Attempt­ed to assas­si­nate more than 50 for­eign lead­ers.

    + Dropped bombs on the peo­ple of more than 30 coun­tries.

    + Attempt­ed to sup­press a pop­ulist or nation­al­ist move­ment in 20 coun­tries.

    The Asso­ci­a­tion for Respon­si­ble Dis­sent, com­posed of 14 for­mer CIA offi­cers, cal­cu­lat­ed that their agency was respon­si­ble for killing a min­i­mum of 6 mil­lion peo­ple in 3,000 major oper­a­tions and 10,000 minor oper­a­tions between 1947 and 1987. These are direct mur­ders, so the num­bers do not account for pre­ma­ture deaths under the fas­cist-backed cap­i­tal­ist world sys­tem due to mass incar­cer­a­tion, tor­ture, mal­nu­tri­tion, lack of drink­able water, exploita­tion, oppres­sion, social degra­da­tion, eco­log­i­cal ill­ness or cur­able dis­ease (in 2017, accord­ing to the U.N., 6.3 mil­lion chil­dren and young ado­les­cents died from avoid­able caus­es linked to the socio-eco­nom­ic and eco­log­i­cal inequal­i­ties of the Cap­i­talocene, which amounts to one child dying every 5 sec­onds).

    To estab­lish itself as the glob­al mil­i­tary hege­mon and inter­na­tion­al guard dog of cap­i­tal­ism, the U.S. gov­ern­ment and Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State have relied on the help of the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Nazis and fas­cists it inte­grat­ed into its glob­al net­work of repres­sion, includ­ing the 1,600 Nazis brought into the U.S. through Oper­a­tion Paper­clip, the 4,000 or so inte­grat­ed into the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, the tens or even hun­dreds of thou­sands that were rein­te­grat­ed into the ‘postwar’—or rather transwar—regimes in fas­cist coun­tries, the large num­ber who were giv­en free pas­sage to Empire’s backyard—Latin America—and else­where, as well as the thou­sands or tens of thou­sands inte­grat­ed into NATO’s secret stay-behind armies. This glob­al net­work of sea­soned anti-com­mu­nist assas­sins has also been used to train armies of ter­ror­ists around the world to par­tic­i­pate in dirty wars, coups d’état, desta­bi­liza­tion efforts, sab­o­tage, and ter­ror cam­paigns.

    ...

    ————

    “The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fas­cism in WWII, It Dis­crete­ly Inter­na­tion­al­ized It” by Gabriel Rock­hill; Counter Punch; 10/16/2020

    “The mate­r­i­al record sug­gests, how­ev­er, that this nar­ra­tive is actu­al­ly based on a false antag­o­nism, and that a par­a­digm shift is nec­es­sary in order to under­stand the his­to­ry of actu­al­ly exist­ing lib­er­al­ism and fas­cism. The lat­ter, as we shall see, far from being erad­i­cat­ed at the end of WWII, was actu­al­ly repur­posed, or rather rede­ployed, to serve its pri­ma­ry his­tor­i­cal func­tion: to destroy god­less com­mu­nism and its threat to the cap­i­tal­ist civ­i­liz­ing mis­sion. Since the colo­nial projects of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni had become so brazen and errat­ic, as they shift­ed from play­ing more or less by the lib­er­al rules of the game to open­ly break­ing them and then run­ning amok, it was under­stood that the best way to con­struct the fas­cist inter­na­tion­al was to do so under lib­er­al cov­er, mean­ing through clan­des­tine oper­a­tions that main­tained a lib­er­al façade. While this prob­a­bly sounds like hyper­bole to those whose under­stand­ing of his­to­ry has been for­mat­ted by bour­geois social sci­ence, which focus­es almost exclu­sive­ly on vis­i­ble gov­ern­ment and the afore­men­tioned lib­er­al cov­er, the his­to­ry of the invis­i­ble gov­ern­ment of the nation­al secu­ri­ty appa­ra­tus sug­gests that fas­cism, far from being defeat­ed in WWII, was suc­cess­ful­ly inter­na­tion­al­ized.

    A par­a­digm shift is clear­ly in order for our under­stand­ing of what actu­al­ly hap­pened to the ‘losers’ of WWII at the end of the war. Yes, the pub­lic has long known about the exis­tence of pro­grams like Oper­a­tion Paper­clip. But there’s a pret­ty big dif­fer­ence between the pop­u­lar fan­ta­sy idea of a few dozen Nazi sci­en­tists being brought over the help build rock­ets vs the actu­al inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism. The inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism often car­ried out under the ban­ner of the fight for lib­er­al democ­ra­cy and human rights, no less, with anti-com­mu­nism as the under­ly­ing jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for all of it. You might hear about Oper­a­tion Paper­clip in a US his­to­ry class. But you won’t learn about the post-war inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism. That would require par­a­digm shift first. A par­a­digm shift will like­ly nev­er hap­pen, at least not until it’s too late to mat­ter. And cer­tain­ly not before the US and the West makes the same kinds of mis­takes again, since they’re already hap­pen­ing. Again.

    But who knows, per­haps if human­i­ty does­n’t end up destroy­ing itself over the next cen­tu­ry that par­a­digm shift in our under­stand­ing of WWII/Cold War his­to­ry will final­ly hap­pen and we’ll be allowed to hon­est­ly ask ques­tions about this chap­ter of his­to­ry. Ques­tions like just how many awful groups were empow­ered under the guise of anti-com­mu­nism and what were the long-term impli­ca­tions of these deci­sions. Long-term impli­ca­tions like, per­haps, not under­stand­ing and then repeat­ing that history.Here’s a Counter Punch piece from back in Octo­ber that does a great job sum­ma­riz­ing key aspects of the still large­ly under-rec­og­nized chap­ter of WWII/Cold War his­to­ry where there the defeat­ed fas­cist move­ment where not just inter­nal­ized uti­lized by the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state as valu­able Cold War assets but dis­crete­ly inter­na­tion­al­ized. Fas­cism was pro­tect­ed around the world. And cru­cial, it was pro­tect­ed under the guise of anti-com­mu­nism and often under the ban­ner of a lib­er­al world order. It’s hard to think of a more impor­tant thread of 20th his­to­ry for under­stand­ing where we are today and where we’re head­ing. And in the con­text of a grow­ing new Cold War with Chi­na, it’s a his­to­ry that rais­es the grim ques­tion: so which far right extrem­ist groups are going to be cod­dled and inter­na­tion­al­ized under the guise of fight­ing Chi­nese ‘com­mu­nism’ (which is real­ly oper­at­ing as a vari­ant of state-run cap­i­tal­ism). We already know neo-Nazis in Ukraine and across East­ern Europe will be large­ly seen as accept­able when con­fronting Rus­sia. And we’re already learn­ing about the New­lines Insti­tute’s role in pro­mot­ing the Uyghur geno­cide pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign, where how the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood net­work has joined with tra­di­tion­al nation­al secu­ri­ty state hawks to pump out a nar­ra­tive seem­ing­ly designed to spark of major con­flict. And then there’s the far right nature of Chi­nese dis­si­dent groups favored by the West like Falun Gong. So giv­en that the ‘ChiCom’ Chi­nese ‘com­mu­nists’ appears to be the new uni­fy­ing men­ace for the West for the fore­see­able future, it’s prob­a­bly a good idea to start ask­ing the gen­er­al ques­tion of just how many extrem­ist groups are going to end up get­ting inter­nal­ized and inter­na­tion­al­ized in the process:

    Counter Punch

    The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fas­cism in WWII, It Dis­crete­ly Inter­na­tion­al­ized It

    by Gabriel Rock­hill
    Octo­ber 16, 2020

    “The U.S. has estab­lished itself as the mor­tal ene­my of all people’s gov­ern­ment, all sci­en­tif­ic-social­ist mobi­liza­tion of con­scious­ness every­where on the globe, all anti-impe­ri­al­ist activ­i­ty on earth.”

    – George Jack­son

    One of the found­ing myths of the con­tem­po­rary West­ern Euro­pean and Amer­i­can world is that fas­cism was defeat­ed in WWII by lib­er­al democ­ra­cies, and par­tic­u­lar­ly by the Unit­ed States. With the sub­se­quent Nurem­burg tri­als and the patient con­struc­tion of a lib­er­al world order, a bul­wark was erected—in fits and starts, and with the con­stant threat of regression—against fas­cism and its evil twin in the East. Amer­i­can cul­ture indus­tries have rehearsed this nar­ra­tive ad nau­se­um, brew­ing it into a sac­cha­rine ide­o­log­i­cal Kool-Aid and pip­ing it into every house­hold, shack and street cor­ner with a TV or smart­phone, tire­less­ly jux­ta­pos­ing the supreme evil of Nazism to the free­dom and pros­per­i­ty of lib­er­al democ­ra­cy.

    The mate­r­i­al record sug­gests, how­ev­er, that this nar­ra­tive is actu­al­ly based on a false antag­o­nism, and that a par­a­digm shift is nec­es­sary in order to under­stand the his­to­ry of actu­al­ly exist­ing lib­er­al­ism and fas­cism. The lat­ter, as we shall see, far from being erad­i­cat­ed at the end of WWII, was actu­al­ly repur­posed, or rather rede­ployed, to serve its pri­ma­ry his­tor­i­cal func­tion: to destroy god­less com­mu­nism and its threat to the cap­i­tal­ist civ­i­liz­ing mis­sion. Since the colo­nial projects of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni had become so brazen and errat­ic, as they shift­ed from play­ing more or less by the lib­er­al rules of the game to open­ly break­ing them and then run­ning amok, it was under­stood that the best way to con­struct the fas­cist inter­na­tion­al was to do so under lib­er­al cov­er, mean­ing through clan­des­tine oper­a­tions that main­tained a lib­er­al façade. While this prob­a­bly sounds like hyper­bole to those whose under­stand­ing of his­to­ry has been for­mat­ted by bour­geois social sci­ence, which focus­es almost exclu­sive­ly on vis­i­ble gov­ern­ment and the afore­men­tioned lib­er­al cov­er, the his­to­ry of the invis­i­ble gov­ern­ment of the nation­al secu­ri­ty appa­ra­tus sug­gests that fas­cism, far from being defeat­ed in WWII, was suc­cess­ful­ly inter­na­tion­al­ized.

    The Archi­tects of the Fas­cist Inter­na­tion­al

    When the Unit­ed States entered WWII, the future head of the CIA, Allen Dulles, bemoaned that his coun­try was fight­ing the wrong ene­my. The Nazis, as he explained, were pro-cap­i­tal­ist Aryan Chris­tians, where­as the true ene­my was god­less com­mu­nism and its res­olute anti-cap­i­tal­ism. After all, the U.S. had, only some 20 years pri­or, been part of a mas­sive mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion in the U.S.S.R., when four­teen cap­i­tal­ist coun­tries sought—in the words of Win­ston Churchill—to “stran­gle the Bol­she­vik baby in its crib.” Dulles under­stood, like many of his col­leagues in the U.S. gov­ern­ment, that what would lat­er become known as the Cold War was actu­al­ly the old war, as Michael Par­en­ti has con­vinc­ing­ly argued: the one they had been fight­ing against com­mu­nism since its incep­tion.

    Towards the end of WWII, Gen­er­al Karl Wolff, for­mer­ly Himmler’s right-hand man, went to see Allen Dulles in Zurich, where he was work­ing for the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices, the pre­de­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion to the CIA. Wolff knew that the war was lost, and he want­ed to avoid being brought to jus­tice. Dulles, for his part, want­ed the Nazis in Italy under Wolff’s com­mand to lay down their arms against the allies and help the Amer­i­cans in their fight against com­mu­nism. Wolff, who was the high­est-rank­ing SS offi­cer to sur­vive the war, offered Dulles the promise of devel­op­ing, with his Nazi team, an intel­li­gence net­work against Stal­in. It was agreed that the gen­er­al who had played a cen­tral role in over­see­ing the Nazi’s geno­ci­dal machine, and who expressed his “spe­cial joy” when he secured freight trains to send 5,000 Jews a day to Tre­blin­ka, would be pro­tect­ed by the future direc­tor of the CIA, who helped him avoid the Nurem­berg tri­als.

    Wolff was very far from being the only senior Nazi offi­cial pro­tect­ed and reha­bil­i­tat­ed by the OSS-CIA. The case of Rein­hard Gehlen is par­tic­u­lar­ly telling. This gen­er­al in the Third Reich had been in charge of Fremde Heere Ost, the Nazi intel­li­gence ser­vice direct­ed against the Sovi­ets. After the war, he was recruit­ed by the OSS-CIA and met with all of the major archi­tects of the post­war Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State: Allen Dulles, William Dono­van, Frank Wis­ner, Pres­i­dent Tru­man. He was then appoint­ed to head the first Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice after the war, and he pro­ceed­ed to employ many of his Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors. The Gehlen Orga­ni­za­tion, as it was known, would become the nucle­us of the Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice. It is unclear how many war crim­i­nals this dec­o­rat­ed Nazi hired, but Eric Licht­blau esti­mates that some four thou­sand Nazi agents were inte­grat­ed into the net­work over­seen by the Amer­i­can spy agency. With an annu­al fund­ing of half a mil­lion dol­lars from the CIA in the ear­ly years after the war, Gehlen and his strong men were able to act with impuni­ty. Yvon­nick Denoël explained this turn­around with remark­able clar­i­ty: “It is hard to under­stand that, as ear­ly as 1945, the army and the US intel­li­gence ser­vices recruit­ed with­out qualms for­mer Nazi crim­i­nals. The equa­tion was, how­ev­er, very sim­ple at the time: the Unit­ed States had just defeat­ed the Nazis with the help of the Sovi­ets. They hence­forth planned to defeat the Sovi­ets with the help of for­mer Nazis.”

    The sit­u­a­tion was sim­i­lar in Italy because Dulles’ agree­ment with Wolff was part of a larg­er under­tak­ing, called Oper­a­tion Sun­rise, which mobi­lized Nazis and fas­cists to end the Sec­ond World War in Italy (and begin the Third World War across the globe). Dulles worked hand in hand with the Agency’s future chief coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence offi­cer, James Angle­ton, who was then sta­tioned by the OSS in Italy. These two men, who would become two of the most pow­er­ful polit­i­cal actors of the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, showed what they were capa­ble of in this close col­lab­o­ra­tion between the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence ser­vices, the Nazis and the fas­cists. Angle­ton, on his end, recruit­ed fas­cists to end the war in Italy so as to min­i­mize the pow­er of the com­mu­nists. Vale­rio Borgh­ese was one of his key con­tacts because this hard­line fas­cist in Mussolini’s regime was ready to serve the Amer­i­cans in the anti-com­mu­nist strug­gle, and he became one of the inter­na­tion­al fig­ure­heads for post­war fas­cism. Angle­ton had direct­ly saved him from the hands of the com­mu­nists, and the man known as the Black Prince was giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­tin­ue the war against the rad­i­cal Left under a new boss: the CIA.

    Once the war was over, Senior U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cials, includ­ing Dulles, Wis­ner and Carmel Offie, “worked to ensure that denaz­i­fi­ca­tion only had a lim­it­ed scope,” accord­ing to Frédéric Charpi­er: “Gen­er­als, senior offi­cials, police­men, indus­tri­al­ists, lawyers, econ­o­mists, diplo­mats, schol­ars and real war crim­i­nals were spared and put back in their posi­tions.” The man in charge of the Mar­shall Plan in Ger­many, for instance, was a for­mer advis­er to Her­mann Göring, the com­man­der-in-chief of the Luft­waffe (air force). Dulles draft­ed a list of high func­tionar­ies of the Nazi state to be pro­tect­ed and passed off as oppo­nents to Hitler. The OSS-CIA pro­ceed­ed to rebuild the admin­is­tra­tive states in Ger­many and Italy with their anti-com­mu­nist allies.

    Eric Licht­blau esti­mates that more than 10,000 Nazis were able to immi­grate to the Unit­ed States in the post-war peri­od (at least 700 offi­cial mem­bers of the Nazi par­ty had been allowed into the U.S. in the 1930s, while Jew­ish refugees were being turned away). In addi­tion to a few hun­dred Ger­man spies and thou­sands of SS per­son­nel, Oper­a­tion Paper­clip, which began in May 1945, brought at least 1,600 Nazi sci­en­tists to the U.S. with their fam­i­lies. This under­tak­ing was aimed at recov­er­ing the great minds of the Nazi war machine and putting their research on rock­ets, avi­a­tion, bio­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal weapons, and so forth, in the ser­vice of the Amer­i­can empire. The Joint Intel­li­gence Objec­tives Agency was set up specif­i­cal­ly to recruit Nazis and find them posi­tions in research cen­ters, the gov­ern­ment, the army, the intel­li­gence ser­vices or uni­ver­si­ties (at least 14 uni­ver­si­ties par­tic­i­pat­ed, includ­ing Cor­nell, Yale and MIT).

    Although the pro­gram offi­cial­ly exclud­ed ardent Nazis, at least at the begin­ning, in actu­al fact it allowed for the immi­gra­tion of chemists from IG Far­ben (which had sup­plied the dead­ly gas­es used in mass exter­mi­na­tions), sci­en­tists who had used slaves in con­cen­tra­tion camps to make weapons, and doc­tors who had par­tic­i­pat­ed in hideous exper­i­ments on Jews, Roma, com­mu­nists, homo­sex­u­als and oth­er pris­on­ers of war. These sci­en­tists, who were described by an offi­cial in the State Depart­ment opposed to Paper­clip as “Hitler’s angels of death,” were received with open arms in the land of the free. They were giv­en com­fort­able accom­mo­da­tions, a lab­o­ra­to­ry with assis­tants and the promise of cit­i­zen­ship if their work bore fruit. They went on to con­duct research that has been used in the man­u­fac­tur­ing of bal­lis­tic mis­siles, sarin gas clus­ter bombs, and the weaponiza­tion of the bubon­ic plague.

    The CIA also col­lab­o­rat­ed with MI6 to set up secret anti-com­mu­nist armies in every coun­try in West­ern Europe. On the pre­text of a poten­tial inva­sion by the Red Army, the idea was to train and equip net­works of ille­gal stay-behind sol­diers, who would remain behind ene­my lines if the Rus­sians moved west­ward. They would thus be acti­vat­ed in the new­ly occu­pied ter­ri­to­ry and charged with mis­sions of exfil­tra­tion, espi­onage, sab­o­tage, pro­pa­gan­da, sub­ver­sion and com­bat. The two agen­cies worked with NATO and the intel­li­gence ser­vices of many West­ern Euro­pean coun­tries to build this vast sub-rosa orga­ni­za­tion, estab­lish numer­ous weapons and ammu­ni­tion caches, and equip their sol­diers of the shad­ows with every­thing they need­ed. To do this, they recruit­ed Nazis, fas­cists, col­lab­o­ra­tionists and oth­er anti-com­mu­nist mem­bers of the extreme Right. The num­bers vary accord­ing to the coun­try, but they are esti­mat­ed between a few dozen and sev­er­al hun­dred, or even a few thou­sand, per coun­try. Accord­ing to a report from the tele­vi­sion pro­gram Retour aux sources, there were 50 stay-behind net­work units in Nor­way, 150 in Ger­many, more than 600 in Italy and 3,000 in France.

    These trained mil­i­tants would lat­er be mobi­lized to com­mit or coor­di­nate ter­ror­ist attacks against the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion, which were then blamed on the com­mu­nists in order to jus­ti­fy ‘law and order’ crack­downs. Accord­ing to the offi­cial num­bers in Italy, where this strat­e­gy of ten­sion was par­tic­u­lar­ly intense, there were 14,591 polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed acts of vio­lence between 1969 and 1987, which killed 491 peo­ple and injured 1,181. Vin­cen­zo Vin­ciguer­ra, a mem­ber of the far-right group Ordine Nuo­vo and the per­pe­tra­tor of the bomb­ing near Peteano in 1972, explained that the fas­cist “Avan­guardia Nazionale, like Ordine Nuo­vo, were being mobi­lized into the bat­tle as part of an anti-Com­mu­nist strat­e­gy orig­i­nat­ing not with orga­ni­za­tions deviant from the insti­tu­tions of pow­er, but from the state itself, and specif­i­cal­ly from with­in the ambit of the state’s rela­tions with­in the Atlantic Alliance.” An Ital­ian par­lia­men­tary com­mis­sion that under­took an inves­ti­ga­tion of the stay-behind armies in Italy, reached the fol­low­ing con­clu­sion in 2000: “Those mas­sacres, those bombs, those mil­i­tary actions had been orga­nized or pro­mot­ed or sup­port­ed by men inside Ital­ian state insti­tu­tions and, as has been dis­cov­ered more recent­ly, by men linked to the struc­tures of Unit­ed States intel­li­gence.”

    The U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State was also involved in over­see­ing rat­lines that exfil­trat­ed fas­cists from Europe and allowed them to reset­tle in safe havens around the world, in exchange for doing its dirty work. The case of Klaus Bar­bie is but one among thou­sands, but it speaks vol­umes regard­ing the inter­nal func­tion­ing of this process. Known in France as ‘the butch­er of Lyon,’ he was head of the Gestapo office there for two years, includ­ing the time when Himm­ler gave the order to deport at least 22,000 Jews from France. This spe­cial­ist in ‘enhanced inter­ro­ga­tion tac­tics,’ known for tor­tur­ing to death the coor­di­na­tor of the French Resis­tance, Jean Moulin, orga­nized the first roundup of the Gen­er­al Union of Jews in France in Feb­ru­ary 1943 and the mas­sacre of 41 Jew­ish refugee chil­dren in Izieu in April 1944. Before arriv­ing in Lyon, he had led sav­age death squads, which had killed more than a mil­lion peo­ple on the East­ern Front accord­ing to Alexan­der Cock­burn and Jef­frey St. Clair. But after the war, the man whom these same authors describe as third on the most-want­ed list of SS crim­i­nals was work­ing for the Counter Intel­li­gence Corps (CIC) of the U.S. Army. He was hired to help build the stay-behind armies by recruit­ing oth­er Nazis, and to spy on French intel­li­gence ser­vices in the French and Amer­i­can con­trolled regions in Ger­many.
    s
    When France learned what was hap­pen­ing and demand­ed Barbie’s extra­di­tion, John McCloy, the U.S. High Com­mis­sion­er of Ger­many, refused by claim­ing that the alle­ga­tions were based on hearsay. Nev­er­the­less, it ulti­mate­ly proved too expen­sive, sym­bol­i­cal­ly, to keep a butch­er like Bar­bie in Europe, so he was sent to Latin Amer­i­ca in 1951, where he was able to con­tin­ue his illus­tri­ous career. Set­tling in Bolivia, he worked for the secu­ri­ty forces of the mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ship of Gen­er­al René Bar­ri­en­tos and for the Min­istry of the Inte­ri­or and the counter-insur­gency wing of the Boli­vian Army under the dic­ta­tor­ship of Hugo Banz­er, before active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Cocaine Coup in 1980 and becom­ing the direc­tor of secu­ri­ty forces under Gen­er­al Meza. Through­out his career, he main­tained close rela­tion­ships with his sav­iors in the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State, play­ing a cen­tral role in Oper­a­tion Con­dor, the counter-insur­gency project that brought togeth­er Latin Amer­i­can dic­ta­tor­ships, with the sup­port of the Unit­ed States, to vio­lent­ly crush any attempt at egal­i­tar­i­an upris­ings from below. He also helped devel­op the drug empire in Bolivia, includ­ing orga­niz­ing gangs of nar­co-mer­ce­nar­ies whom he named Los novios de la muerte, whose uni­forms resem­bled those of the SS. He trav­eled freely in the 1960s and 1970s, vis­it­ing the U.S. at least sev­en times, and he most like­ly played a role in the man­hunt orga­nized by the Agency to kill Ernesto “Che” Gue­vara.

    The same basic pat­tern of inte­grat­ing fas­cists into the glob­al war against com­mu­nism is read­i­ly iden­ti­fi­able in Japan, whose sys­tem of gov­ern­ment pri­or to and dur­ing the war has been described by Her­bert P. Bix as “Emper­or-sys­tem fas­cism.” Tes­sa Mor­ris-Suzu­ki has has con­vinc­ing­ly demon­strat­ed the con­ti­nu­ity of intel­li­gence ser­vices by detail­ing how the U.S. Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State over­saw and man­aged the KATO orga­ni­za­tion. This pri­vate intel­li­gence net­work, very much like the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, was stocked with for­mer lead­ing mem­bers of the mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence ser­vices, includ­ing the Impe­r­i­al Army’s Chief of Intel­li­gence (Arisue Seizo), who shared with his Amer­i­can han­dler (Charles Willough­by) a deep admi­ra­tion for Mus­soli­ni. The U.S. occu­pa­tion forces also cul­ti­vat­ed tight rela­tion­ships with senior offi­cials in Japan’s wartime civil­ian intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty (most notably Oga­ta Take­to­ra). This remark­able con­ti­nu­ity between pre­war and post­war Japan has led Mor­ris-Suzu­ki and oth­er schol­ars to map Japan­ese his­to­ry in terms of a tran­swar regime, mean­ing one that con­tin­ued from before to after the war. This con­cept also allows us to make sense of what was hap­pen­ing above ground in the realm of the vis­i­ble gov­ern­ment. For the sake of con­ci­sion, suf­fice it to cite the remark­able case of the man known as the “Dev­il of Showa” for his bru­tal rule of Manchukuo (the Japan­ese colony in North­east Chi­na): Nobusuke Kishi. A great admir­er of Nazi Ger­many, Kishi was appoint­ed Min­is­ter of Muni­tions by Prime Min­is­ter Hide­ki Tojo in 1941, in order to pre­pare Japan for a total war against the U.S., and he was the one who signed the offi­cial dec­la­ra­tion of war against Amer­i­ca. After serv­ing a brief prison term as a war crim­i­nal in the post­war era, he was reha­bil­i­tat­ed by the CIA, along with his cell mate, the king­pin of orga­nized crime Yoshio Kodama. Kishi, with the sup­port and gen­er­ous finan­cial back­ing of his han­dlers, took over the Lib­er­al Par­ty, made it into a rightwing club of for­mer lead­ers of impe­r­i­al Japan, and rose to become Prime Min­is­ter. “The [CIA] mon­ey flowed for at least fif­teen years, under four Amer­i­can pres­i­dents,” writes Tim Wiener, “and it helped con­sol­i­date one-par­ty rule in Japan for the rest of the cold war.”

    U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty ser­vices have also estab­lished a glob­al edu­ca­tion­al net­work to train pro-cap­i­tal­ist combatants—sometimes under the lead­er­ship of expe­ri­enced Nazis and fascists—in the tried-and-true tech­niques of repres­sion, tor­ture and desta­bi­liza­tion, as well as pro­pa­gan­da and psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare. The famous School of the Amer­i­c­as was estab­lished in 1946 with the explic­it goal of train­ing a new gen­er­a­tion of anti-com­mu­nist war­riors world­wide. Accord­ing to some, this school has the dis­tinc­tion of hav­ing edu­cat­ed the great­est num­ber of dic­ta­tors in world his­to­ry. What­ev­er the case may be, it is part of a much larg­er insti­tu­tion­al net­work. It is worth men­tion­ing, for exam­ple, the edu­ca­tion­al con­tri­bu­tions of the Pub­lic Safe­ty Pro­gram: “For about twen­ty-five years,” writes for­mer CIA offi­cer John Stock­well, “the CIA, […] trained and orga­nized police and para­mil­i­tary offi­cers from around the world in tech­niques of pop­u­la­tion con­trol, repres­sion, and tor­ture. Schools were set up in the Unit­ed States, Pana­ma, and Asia, from which tens of thou­sands grad­u­at­ed. In some cas­es, for­mer Nazi offi­cers from Hitler’s Third Reich were used as instruc­tors.”

    Fas­cism Goes Glob­al under Lib­er­al Cov­er

    The Amer­i­can imperi­um has thus played a cen­tral role in the con­struc­tion of a fas­cist inter­na­tion­al by pro­tect­ing right-wing mil­i­tants and enlist­ing them in the Third World War against ‘com­mu­nism,’ an elas­tic label extend­ed to any polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion that entered into con­flict with the inter­ests of the cap­i­tal­ist rul­ing class. This inter­na­tion­al expan­sion of fas­cist modes of gov­er­nance has led to a pro­lif­er­a­tion of con­cen­tra­tion camps, ter­ror­ist and tor­ture cam­paigns, dirty wars, dic­ta­to­r­i­al regimes, vig­i­lante groups and orga­nized crime net­works around the world. The exam­ples could be enu­mer­at­ed ad nau­se­um, but I will cur­tail them in the inter­ests of space and sim­ply invoke the tes­ti­mo­ny of Vic­tor Mar­che­t­ti, who was a senior CIA offi­cial from 1955 to 1969: “We were sup­port­ing every half-assed dic­ta­tor, mil­i­tary jun­ta, oli­garchy that exist­ed in the Third World, as long as they promised to some­how main­tain the sta­tus quo, which would of course be ben­e­fi­cial to U.S. geopo­lit­i­cal inter­ests, mil­i­tary inter­ests, big busi­ness inter­ests, and oth­er spe­cial inter­ests.”

    The record of U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy since WWII is prob­a­bly the best mea­sure of its unique con­tri­bu­tion to the inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism. Under the ban­ner of democ­ra­cy and free­dom, the Unit­ed States has, accord­ing to William Blum:

    + Endeav­ored to over­throw more than 50 for­eign gov­ern­ments.

    + Gross­ly inter­fered in demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions in at least 30 coun­tries.

    + Attempt­ed to assas­si­nate more than 50 for­eign lead­ers.

    + Dropped bombs on the peo­ple of more than 30 coun­tries.

    + Attempt­ed to sup­press a pop­ulist or nation­al­ist move­ment in 20 coun­tries.

    The Asso­ci­a­tion for Respon­si­ble Dis­sent, com­posed of 14 for­mer CIA offi­cers, cal­cu­lat­ed that their agency was respon­si­ble for killing a min­i­mum of 6 mil­lion peo­ple in 3,000 major oper­a­tions and 10,000 minor oper­a­tions between 1947 and 1987. These are direct mur­ders, so the num­bers do not account for pre­ma­ture deaths under the fas­cist-backed cap­i­tal­ist world sys­tem due to mass incar­cer­a­tion, tor­ture, mal­nu­tri­tion, lack of drink­able water, exploita­tion, oppres­sion, social degra­da­tion, eco­log­i­cal ill­ness or cur­able dis­ease (in 2017, accord­ing to the U.N., 6.3 mil­lion chil­dren and young ado­les­cents died from avoid­able caus­es linked to the socio-eco­nom­ic and eco­log­i­cal inequal­i­ties of the Cap­i­talocene, which amounts to one child dying every 5 sec­onds).

    To estab­lish itself as the glob­al mil­i­tary hege­mon and inter­na­tion­al guard dog of cap­i­tal­ism, the U.S. gov­ern­ment and Nation­al Secu­ri­ty State have relied on the help of the sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Nazis and fas­cists it inte­grat­ed into its glob­al net­work of repres­sion, includ­ing the 1,600 Nazis brought into the U.S. through Oper­a­tion Paper­clip, the 4,000 or so inte­grat­ed into the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, the tens or even hun­dreds of thou­sands that were rein­te­grat­ed into the ‘postwar’—or rather transwar—regimes in fas­cist coun­tries, the large num­ber who were giv­en free pas­sage to Empire’s backyard—Latin America—and else­where, as well as the thou­sands or tens of thou­sands inte­grat­ed into NATO’s secret stay-behind armies. This glob­al net­work of sea­soned anti-com­mu­nist assas­sins has also been used to train armies of ter­ror­ists around the world to par­tic­i­pate in dirty wars, coups d’état, desta­bi­liza­tion efforts, sab­o­tage, and ter­ror cam­paigns.

    ...

    ————

    “The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fas­cism in WWII, It Dis­crete­ly Inter­na­tion­al­ized It” by Gabriel Rock­hill; Counter Punch; 10/16/2020

    “The mate­r­i­al record sug­gests, how­ev­er, that this nar­ra­tive is actu­al­ly based on a false antag­o­nism, and that a par­a­digm shift is nec­es­sary in order to under­stand the his­to­ry of actu­al­ly exist­ing lib­er­al­ism and fas­cism. The lat­ter, as we shall see, far from being erad­i­cat­ed at the end of WWII, was actu­al­ly repur­posed, or rather rede­ployed, to serve its pri­ma­ry his­tor­i­cal func­tion: to destroy god­less com­mu­nism and its threat to the cap­i­tal­ist civ­i­liz­ing mis­sion. Since the colo­nial projects of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni had become so brazen and errat­ic, as they shift­ed from play­ing more or less by the lib­er­al rules of the game to open­ly break­ing them and then run­ning amok, it was under­stood that the best way to con­struct the fas­cist inter­na­tion­al was to do so under lib­er­al cov­er, mean­ing through clan­des­tine oper­a­tions that main­tained a lib­er­al façade. While this prob­a­bly sounds like hyper­bole to those whose under­stand­ing of his­to­ry has been for­mat­ted by bour­geois social sci­ence, which focus­es almost exclu­sive­ly on vis­i­ble gov­ern­ment and the afore­men­tioned lib­er­al cov­er, the his­to­ry of the invis­i­ble gov­ern­ment of the nation­al secu­ri­ty appa­ra­tus sug­gests that fas­cism, far from being defeat­ed in WWII, was suc­cess­ful­ly inter­na­tion­al­ized.

    A par­a­digm shift is clear­ly in order for our under­stand­ing of what actu­al­ly hap­pened to the ‘losers’ of WWII at the end of the war. Yes, the pub­lic has long known about the exis­tence of pro­grams like Oper­a­tion Paper­clip. But there’s a pret­ty big dif­fer­ence between the pop­u­lar fan­ta­sy idea of a few dozen Nazi sci­en­tists being brought over the help build rock­ets vs the actu­al inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism. The inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism often car­ried out under the ban­ner of the fight for lib­er­al democ­ra­cy and human rights, no less, with anti-com­mu­nism as the under­ly­ing jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for all of it. You might hear about Oper­a­tion Paper­clip in a US his­to­ry class. But you won’t learn about the post-war inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of fas­cism. That would require par­a­digm shift first. A par­a­digm shift will like­ly nev­er hap­pen, at least not until it’s too late to mat­ter. And cer­tain­ly not before the US and the West makes the same kinds of mis­takes again, since they’re already hap­pen­ing. Again.

    But who knows, per­haps if human­i­ty does­n’t end up destroy­ing itself over the next cen­tu­ry that par­a­digm shift in our under­stand­ing of WWIII/Cold War his­to­ry will final­ly hap­pen and we’ll be allowed to hon­est­ly ask ques­tions about this chap­ter of his­to­ry. Ques­tions like just how many awful groups were empow­ered under the guise of anti-com­mu­nism and what were the long-term impli­ca­tions of these deci­sions. Long-term impli­ca­tions like, per­haps, not under­stand­ing this his­to­ry because it was done in secret, and then cov­ered up and repeat­ed.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 8, 2021, 2:36 pm
  5. Here’s a set of arti­cles that high­light an inter­est­ing par­al­lel between the Xin­jiang ‘geno­cide’ and ‘con­cen­tra­tion camp’ charges orig­i­nat­ing pri­mar­i­ly from Adri­an Zen­z’s ‘research’ and the ‘lab leak’ coro­n­avirus the­o­ries: both have been heav­i­ly reliant on inter­net sleuthing.

    On the one hand, it’s not exact­ly sur­pris­ing to see the­o­ries devel­oped pri­mar­i­ly from online sources these days. It’s the inter­net age after all. But on the oth­er hand, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the ‘lab leak’ the­o­ry was being pushed against the offi­cial nar­ra­tive while Adri­an Zen’s accu­sa­tions of con­cen­tra­tion camps and geno­cide have effec­tive­ly become the offi­cial stance of West­ern gov­ern­ments. It’s quite a con­trast.

    First, here’s a recent piece in the Dai­ly Mail about the grow­ing con­tro­ver­sy — a large­ly ret­ro­spec­tive con­tro­ver­sy — over the role played by major jour­nals like The Lancet when they chose to pub­lish opin­ion pieces denounc­ing the plau­si­bil­i­ty of a lab leak sce­nario, effec­tive­ly clos­ing what should have been an open line of inquiry. The arti­cle men­tions a call by promi­nent Ger­man psy­chol­o­gist Thomas Schulz for the Lancet to start a new Chi­na-relat­ed debate. Not a debate over whether or not the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan. No, a debate over the com­plic­i­ty of Chi­nese sci­en­tists in the per­se­cu­tion of the Uighurs.

    The Lancet has­n’t accept­ed Schulz’s chal­lenge. But it’s hard to imag­ine that’s the last time we hear calls for sim­i­lar debates. After all, debat­ing the cul­pa­bil­i­ty of Chi­nese sci­en­tists in the per­se­cu­tion of the Uighurs is kind of the log­i­cal merg­ing of the ongo­ing cam­paigns to simul­ta­ne­ous­ly push the Wuhan lab leak nar­ra­tive and Uighur geno­cide nar­ra­tive as a sin­gle sto­ry. Of course we would now tran­si­tion to debate Chi­nese sci­en­tists’ roles in the geno­cide tak­ing place in all the Uighur con­cen­tra­tion camps.

    But, of course, any such debate would raise all sorts of obvi­ous ques­tions about the verac­i­ty of the schol­ar­ship those geno­cide and con­cen­tra­tion camp claims are based on. It’s part of why we can’t treat the Lancet’s refusal to take up Schulz’s chal­lenge as some sort of effort to pro­tect Chi­na. Quite the oppo­site! Because when you’re push­ing a nar­ra­tive based pri­mar­i­ly on spec­u­la­tive puffery, you prob­a­bly don’t want a seri­ous aca­d­e­m­ic debate. Keep­ing the nar­ra­tive in the realm of spec­u­la­tive puffery is mis­sion crit­i­cal:

    The Dai­ly Mail

    World’s most famous med­ical jour­nal The Lancet is accused of doing Chi­na’s dirty work — by denounc­ing the Covid lab leak the­o­ry as a con­spir­a­cy, writes IAN BIRRELL

    By Spe­cial Inves­ti­ga­tion By Ian Bir­rell For The Mail On Sun­day

    Pub­lished: 17:01 EDT, 26 June 2021 | Updat­ed: 06:56 EDT, 27 June 2021

    Ear­li­er this year, the promi­nent Ger­man psy­chi­a­trist Thomas Schulze sent a pro­pos­al to Richard Hor­ton, edi­tor-in-chief of world-renowned med­ical jour­nal The Lancet, sug­gest­ing they start a debate over the com­plic­i­ty of Chi­nese sci­en­tists in the per­se­cu­tion of Uighurs.

    His idea arose amid alarm over repres­sive sur­veil­lance, gar­ner­ing of genet­ic data, enforced ster­il­i­sa­tion and organ har­vest­ing of pris­on­ers locked away in bru­tal­ly repres­sive con­cen­tra­tion camps.

    ‘We believe that the human rights sit­u­a­tion in Chi­na has become unbear­able and of unprece­dent­ed scope that we can­not stay silent any longer and at least need to have an open dis­cus­sion in the best aca­d­e­m­ic tra­di­tion,’ wrote Prof Schulze.

    He knew The Lancet did not shy away from polit­i­cal con­tro­ver­sy, hav­ing signed a state­ment pub­lished by the jour­nal last year call­ing on Britain to end the ‘tor­ture and med­ical neglect’ of Wik­iLeaks founder Julian Assange, held in prison over US extra­di­tion demands.

    But he was stag­gered by the response from Hor­ton who said he did not ‘wish to do any­thing that might imper­il’ his edi­tor in Chi­na.

    ‘Pub­lish­ing a call for a boy­cott might well make her sit­u­a­tion unten­able,’ he wrote.

    As Schulze says, this was ‘clear admis­sion of kow­tow­ing’ to Bei­jing.

    ‘Sci­en­tif­ic inde­pen­dence and free­dom of speech are inte­gral to West­ern soci­ety and influ­en­tial jour­nals should not be in sit­u­a­tions that com­pro­mise their integri­ty.’

    He is right. Yet few sci­en­tists dare voice crit­i­cism in pub­lic giv­en the pow­er of jour­nals like The Lancet to make or break careers – despite many oth­ers shar­ing his alarm over its edi­tor’s seem­ing enthu­si­asm for the Chi­nese regime.

    This 198-year-old jour­nal is now at cen­tre of grow­ing glob­al ques­tions over the role of sup­pos­ed­ly author­i­ta­tive sci­en­tif­ic media in appeas­ing Chi­na’s Com­mu­nist regime and sti­fling debate on sug­ges­tions that Covid could have leaked from a Wuhan lab.

    And the heat is on Hor­ton, a com­bat­ive char­ac­ter who has edit­ed The Lancet for 26 years. He has been promi­nent in the pan­dem­ic, lash­ing out at the British and US gov­ern­ments for pol­i­cy fail­ures, while defend­ing Chi­na – even insist­ing it was unfair to blame it as the virus source or to hunt for Patient Zero.

    At the core of the con­cern is pos­si­bly the most con­tro­ver­sial arti­cle in any sci­ence jour­nal since the pan­demic’s start: what The Lancet billed as a ‘state­ment in sup­port of the sci­en­tists, pub­lic health pro­fes­sion­als and med­ical pro­fes­sion­als of Chi­na’ pub­lished last Feb­ru­ary.

    The authors attacked what they described as ‘con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries sug­gest­ing that Covid-19 does not have a nat­ur­al ori­gin’.

    They praised Bei­jing’s ‘rapid, open and trans­par­ent shar­ing of data on this out­break’ but warned this was ‘threat­ened by rumours and mis­in­for­ma­tion’ on the ori­gins – rather than by a dic­ta­tor­ship that silenced doc­tors, hid data and buried evi­dence.

    The Lancet let­ter, signed by 27 experts, played a key part in silenc­ing sci­en­tif­ic, polit­i­cal and media dis­cus­sion of any idea that this pan­dem­ic might have begun with a lab inci­dent rather than spilling over nat­u­ral­ly from ani­mals.

    It was even report­ed­ly used by Face­book to flag arti­cles explor­ing the lab leak hypoth­e­sis as ‘false infor­ma­tion’ before the social media giant dra­mat­i­cal­ly changed tack last month.

    Yet it emerged lat­er that The Lancet state­ment was covert­ly draft­ed by British sci­en­tist Peter Daszak – a long-term col­lab­o­ra­tor with the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy, which was car­ry­ing out high-risk research on bat coro­n­avirus­es and had known safe­ty issues.

    Daszak is the £300,000-a-year pres­i­dent of Eco­Health Alliance, a New York-based char­i­ty that fun­nelled funds to his friend Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan virol­o­gist known as ‘Bat­woman’ for her work in col­lect­ing sam­ples from bats.

    Four months lat­er, The Lancet set up a ‘Covid-19 Com­mis­sion’ to assist gov­ern­ments and scru­ti­nise the ori­gins.

    It was led by Jef­frey Sachs, the celebri­ty econ­o­mist and author who cam­paigns on aid with rock star Bono.

    Sachs recent­ly dis­missed claims that Chi­na is com­mit­ting geno­cide on the Uighurs, adopt­ing Bei­jing’s line that it is con­fronting Islam­ic mil­i­tan­cy.

    Incred­i­bly, he backed Daszak to lead his com­mis­sion’s 12-per­son task­force inves­ti­gat­ing Covid’s ori­gins – joined by five fel­low sig­na­to­ries to The Lancet state­ment. Dasza­k’s con­flicts of inter­est were exposed by this news­pa­per six months ago.

    Last week The Lancet final­ly ‘recused’ him from its com­mis­sion and pub­lished an ‘adden­dum’ to its state­ment detail­ing some of his Chi­nese links.

    Yet crit­ics say the jour­nal has still failed to admit that six more sig­na­to­ries to that Feb­ru­ary state­ment have ties to Dasza­k’s Eco­Health Alliance as direc­tors or part­ners.

    ‘It would have been bet­ter for The Lancet to have stat­ed that Dasza­k’s and oth­er sign­ers’ pre­vi­ous dec­la­ra­tions were untruth­ful and to have attached an edi­to­r­i­al expres­sion of con­cern,’ said Richard Ebright, a bio-secu­ri­ty expert and pro­fes­sor of chem­i­cal biol­o­gy at Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty in New Jer­sey.

    Now The Mail on Sun­day has learned that The Lancet is set to pub­lish a sec­ond state­ment by these sig­na­to­ries that press­es the case that Covid prob­a­bly emerged through nat­ur­al ‘zoonot­ic’ trans­mis­sion from ani­mals to humans.

    ‘We con­sid­er that it seems more like­ly a trans­mis­sion through an inter­me­di­ate mam­malian host, although oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties can’t be ful­ly exclud­ed,’ said one, adding that they were still ‘miss­ing some sig­na­tures’.

    Four of The Lancet’s orig­i­nal experts seem to have since shift­ed their posi­tion, includ­ing Charles Cal­ish­er, a Col­orado virol­o­gist.

    He admits ‘there is too much coin­ci­dence’ to ignore the lab leak hypoth­e­sis and that ‘it is more like­ly that it came out of that lab’.

    Bernard Roiz­man, based at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, has also become con­vinced the virus was tak­en to a lab, worked on and then ‘some slop­py indi­vid­ual’ let it out.

    Such is the furore aroused by this sin­gle Lancet state­ment 16 months ago that one of the sci­en­tists who signed it told me: ‘It’s a won­der no one has burned a cross on my lawn or threat­ened my fam­i­ly’.

    Yet Hor­ton, a for­mer doc­tor, is no stranger to con­tro­ver­sy – most noto­ri­ous­ly as pub­lish­er of the dis­cred­it­ed paper by a for­mer hos­pi­tal col­league in Lon­don that fuelled the glob­al anti-vac­ci­na­tion move­ment.

    This 1998 paper by Andrew Wake­field – lat­er found guilty by a med­ical inquiry of dis­hon­esty – false­ly claimed a link between MMR jabs and autism, pro­vok­ing fear among fam­i­lies, a sharp fall in vac­ci­na­tions and lethal out­breaks of measles.

    It took Hor­ton 12 years to retract this tox­ic study, which still rever­ber­ates today as the anti-vac­ci­na­tion lob­by pro­motes con­cerns over Covid jabs. ‘The Wake­field deba­cle alone should have fin­ished his tenure,’ said one lead­ing US biol­o­gist.

    Curi­ous­ly, on Jan­u­ary 24 last year – as news seeped out from Wuhan about a dead­ly new virus – Hor­ton round­ed on the rest of the media for ‘esca­lat­ing anx­i­ety’ in a tweet that insist­ed there was ‘no rea­son to fos­ter pan­ic’ over a dis­ease with ‘mod­er­ate trans­mis­si­bil­i­ty and rel­a­tive­ly low path­o­genic­i­ty’.

    Yet he was soon blam­ing Min­is­ters for thou­sands of fatal­i­ties due to their ‘slow, com­pla­cent and flat-foot­ed’ reac­tion, while con­demn­ing their sci­en­tif­ic advis­ers for com­plic­i­ty in what he called ‘the great­est sci­ence pol­i­cy fail­ure for a gen­er­a­tion’.

    He drove home his mes­sage in fre­quent broad­casts, news­pa­per columns and even a book called The Covid-19 Cat­a­stro­phe.

    Mean­while, he appeared on Chi­nese state tele­vi­sion to praise the Bei­jing gov­ern­ment for ‘act­ing tremen­dous­ly deci­sive­ly’.

    ‘We have a great deal to thank Chi­na for the way it han­dled the out­break in Wuhan,’ he said – despite evi­dence that its offi­cials delayed warn­ing the world, lied about the onset and cov­ered up cru­cial evi­dence of human trans­mis­sion.

    Hor­ton has men­tioned con­cerns over Chi­na’s behav­iour yet he attacked US politi­cians ‘for giv­ing cred­i­bil­i­ty to con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries’ after Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sug­gest­ed the virus could have emerged from a Wuhan lab.

    ‘Instead of join­ing the cho­rus of crit­i­cism against Bei­jing, one should per­haps try to put one­self in the posi­tion of Chi­nese pol­i­cy­mak­ers,’ he wrote in The Guardian.

    Hor­ton’s admi­ra­tion for Chi­na is not new.

    In 2015, the year he received a top hon­our from Bei­jing, he told Lancet read­ers that ‘Chi­na’s empha­sis on friend­ship, and the free flow of crit­i­cal ideas that such friend­ship encour­ages, might offer lessons to oth­er nations about how sci­en­tif­ic co-oper­a­tion can accel­er­ate social and polit­i­cal change’.

    Mean­while, he has used his mag­a­zine to pur­sue polit­i­cal caus­es, with endorse­ment of Extinc­tion Rebel­lion and a heav­i­ly con­test­ed claim that civil­ian deaths relat­ed to the Iraq War were mas­sive­ly under­count­ed.

    Those seek­ing to offer alter­na­tive views on the ori­gins debate have been frus­trat­ed. One group sub­mit­ted a let­ter signed by 14 glob­al experts in Jan­u­ary, argu­ing that ‘the nat­ur­al ori­gin is not sup­port­ed by con­clu­sive argu­ments and that a lab ori­gin can­not be for­mal­ly dis­card­ed’.

    It was reject­ed by The Lancet on basis that it was ‘not a pri­or­i­ty for us’.

    Fiona Godlee, edi­tor-in-chief of the rival British Med­ical Jour­nal, said she thought it was fine to pub­lish the Daszak arti­cle but the con­flicts of inter­est should have been stat­ed clear­ly.

    ‘But it’s not so good for the edi­tor to then give such unequiv­o­cal sup­port for Chi­na, telling peo­ple to back off from crit­i­cism, when the facts about the ori­gins of the pan­dem­ic were far from estab­lished.

    ‘All jour­nals get accused of tak­ing posi­tions. The chal­lenge is to keep the jour­nal open as a plat­form for all sides of a debate until the sci­en­tif­ic facts have been estab­lished beyond doubt.’

    Oth­ers are scathing in their crit­i­cism of Hor­ton.

    ‘Thin­ly veiled polit­i­cal activism has ruined the rep­u­ta­tion of the jour­nal, pos­si­bly irrepara­bly,’ said one US sci­en­tist.

    ‘The only sav­ing grace is that many oth­er jour­nals have done only mar­gin­al­ly bet­ter.’

    ‘The edi­tor of The Lancet seems to have been a key fig­ure in the smoth­er­ing of debate,’ said Tory MP Bob Seely, who accused Hor­ton of ‘total­ly unac­cept­able’ actions in putting pol­i­tics and pos­si­ble com­mer­cial inter­ests over the search for truth.

    ‘The claims of a cov­er-up over the most impor­tant sci­en­tif­ic issue of our time grow stronger by the day. It is vital we get to the truth over what appears to have been a cov­er-up on the pan­dem­ic ori­gins with the col­lu­sion of jour­nals such as The Lancet.’

    Behind such con­cerns lies fear these influ­en­tial organs are pan­der­ing to Chi­na to pro­tect com­mer­cial inter­ests as the ascen­dant super­pow­er spends bil­lions in its bid to dom­i­nate sci­ence for eco­nom­ic and mil­i­tary advan­tage.

    The Ger­man psy­chi­a­trist Schulze could not per­suade any jour­nal to touch his idea of a debate over sci­en­tif­ic ties to the atroc­i­ties being inflict­ed on Mus­lim minori­ties in Xin­jiang.

    The wider sci­en­tif­ic jour­nal Nature has also been accused of sti­fling debate on the lab leak the­o­ry.

    Niko­lai Petro­vsky, an Aus­tralian pro­fes­sor of med­i­cine and vac­cine researcher who was among the first experts to raise con­cerns over the nature of the new virus, said his land­mark paper was reject­ed by The Lancet in just two days as a ‘hot pota­to’ that might offend Chi­na.

    ‘We thought The Lancet would be inter­est­ed since they had been pub­lish­ing on the oth­er side of the ori­gins debate, includ­ing the sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly unfound­ed Peter Daszak pro­pa­gan­da piece,’ he said.

    ‘But they could­n’t have reject­ed it faster.

    ‘Under the cur­rent lead­er­ship, The Lancet seems to have turned from a rep­utable lead­ing clin­i­cal jour­nal into a jour­nal more inter­est­ed in pub­lic­i­ty than good sci­ence and increas­ing­ly behold­en to Chi­nese influ­ences in its pub­li­ca­tion poli­cies.’

    The Lancet is owned by the Lon­don-based RELX group. It has a wide range of under­tak­ings in Chi­na, includ­ing one to dis­sem­i­nate health infor­ma­tion in Chi­na with Ten­cent, the tech giant that plays a cen­tral role in rigid gov­ern­ment cen­sor­ship.

    ...

    ———–

    “World’s most famous med­ical jour­nal The Lancet is accused of doing Chi­na’s dirty work — by denounc­ing the Covid lab leak the­o­ry as a con­spir­a­cy, writes IAN BIRRELL” by Ian Bir­rell; The Dai­ly Mail; 06/26/2021

    “Ear­li­er this year, the promi­nent Ger­man psy­chi­a­trist Thomas Schulze sent a pro­pos­al to Richard Hor­ton, edi­tor-in-chief of world-renowned med­ical jour­nal The Lancet, sug­gest­ing they start a debate over the com­plic­i­ty of Chi­nese sci­en­tists in the per­se­cu­tion of Uighurs.

    When Thomas Schulz called on the Lancet to hold an aca­d­e­m­ic debate on the com­plic­i­ty of Chi­nese sci­en­tists in the per­se­cu­tion of Uighurs he could­n’t get the jour­nal to agree. Or any oth­er jour­nal for that mat­ter. Does that mean all of these jour­nals are cov­er­ing for the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty? Accord­ing to the ‘log­ic’ we are hear­ing, yes, that’s the only plau­si­ble con­clu­sion:

    ...
    ‘We believe that the human rights sit­u­a­tion in Chi­na has become unbear­able and of unprece­dent­ed scope that we can­not stay silent any longer and at least need to have an open dis­cus­sion in the best aca­d­e­m­ic tra­di­tion,’ wrote Prof Schulze.

    He knew The Lancet did not shy away from polit­i­cal con­tro­ver­sy, hav­ing signed a state­ment pub­lished by the jour­nal last year call­ing on Britain to end the ‘tor­ture and med­ical neglect’ of Wik­iLeaks founder Julian Assange, held in prison over US extra­di­tion demands.

    But he was stag­gered by the response from Hor­ton who said he did not ‘wish to do any­thing that might imper­il’ his edi­tor in Chi­na.

    ‘Pub­lish­ing a call for a boy­cott might well make her sit­u­a­tion unten­able,’ he wrote.

    As Schulze says, this was ‘clear admis­sion of kow­tow­ing’ to Bei­jing.

    ...

    The Ger­man psy­chi­a­trist Schulze could not per­suade any jour­nal to touch his idea of a debate over sci­en­tif­ic ties to the atroc­i­ties being inflict­ed on Mus­lim minori­ties in Xin­jiang.
    ...

    At the same time, we’re learn­ing that the Lancet is plan­ning on pub­lish­ing a new opin­ion piece by many of the authors of the orig­i­nal Lancet piece re-con­demn­ing the lab leak the­o­ry, albeit with four few­er sig­na­tures. So this is a top­ic that’s poised to heat up again sig­nif­i­cant­ly:

    ...
    Now The Mail on Sun­day has learned that The Lancet is set to pub­lish a sec­ond state­ment by these sig­na­to­ries that press­es the case that Covid prob­a­bly emerged through nat­ur­al ‘zoonot­ic’ trans­mis­sion from ani­mals to humans.

    ‘We con­sid­er that it seems more like­ly a trans­mis­sion through an inter­me­di­ate mam­malian host, although oth­er pos­si­bil­i­ties can’t be ful­ly exclud­ed,’ said one, adding that they were still ‘miss­ing some sig­na­tures’.

    Four of The Lancet’s orig­i­nal experts seem to have since shift­ed their posi­tion, includ­ing Charles Cal­ish­er, a Col­orado virol­o­gist.

    He admits ‘there is too much coin­ci­dence’ to ignore the lab leak hypoth­e­sis and that ‘it is more like­ly that it came out of that lab’.

    Bernard Roiz­man, based at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, has also become con­vinced the virus was tak­en to a lab, worked on and then ‘some slop­py indi­vid­ual’ let it out.
    ...

    So it’s look­ing like the lab leak debate is only going to get more intense at the same time we should expect an attempt to use all of the ire against Chi­nese coro­n­avirus researchers to push a nar­ra­tive that Chi­nese sci­en­tists are engaged in geno­cide-relat­ed research.

    Now, if this was an intel­lec­tu­al­ly hon­est debate, it would include a debate about the geno­cide and con­cen­tra­tion camp claims. Which we prob­a­bly won’t see. But as the fol­low­ing arti­cle strong­ly hints, if one was to have a mean­ing­ful aca­d­e­m­ic debate about the qual­i­ty of that research, we would dis­cov­er that it was most­ly just high­ly spec­u­la­tive infer­ences based on online search­es done out of Adri­an Zen­z’s home as a hob­by.

    What we would also dis­cov­er is that one of the fig­ures Zenz start­ed work­ing with ear­ly on when he began his online ‘sleuthing’ back in 2016 was an Aus­tri­an nation­al secu­ri­ty aca­d­e­m­ic James Liebold. It turns out Liebold is a non-res­i­dent senior fel­low at the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI). Recall how we’ve already seen how the ASPI is one of the far right uber-haw­ish nation­al secu­ri­ty think-tanks that has been agres­sive­ly pro­mot­ing the Uighur geno­cide nar­ra­tive based heav­i­ly on the ‘evi­dence’ pro­vid­ed by Zenz. So it turns out one of the ASPI’s own senior fel­lows has been work­ing with Zenz from near­ly the begin­ning in pro­duc­ing his inter­net sleuthing ‘evi­dence’ of geno­cide and con­cen­tra­tion camps. Evi­dence large­ly accept­ed by West­ern gov­ern­ments at this point. It’s the kind of thing that would hope­ful­ly come up if there was ever a real aca­d­e­m­ic debate about the qual­i­ty of the ongo­ing non-aca­d­e­m­ic pub­lic debates on these top­ics:

    The Wall Street Jour­nal

    The Ger­man Data Div­er Who Exposed China’s Mus­lim Crack­down

    By Josh Chin
    May 21, 2019 5:30 am ET

    KORNTAL, Germany—Research by a born-again Chris­t­ian anthro­pol­o­gist work­ing alone from a cramped desk in this Ger­man sub­urb thrust Chi­na and the West into one of their biggest clash­es over human rights in decades.

    Dogged­ly hunt­ing down data in obscure cor­ners of the Chi­nese inter­net, Adri­an Zenz revealed a secu­ri­ty buildup in China’s remote Xin­jiang region and illu­mi­nat­ed the mass deten­tion and polic­ing of Tur­kic Mus­lims that fol­lowed. His research showed how Chi­na spent bil­lions of dol­lars build­ing intern­ment camps and high-tech sur­veil­lance net­works in Xin­jiang, and recruit­ed police offi­cers to run them.

    His most influ­en­tial work began in Feb­ru­ary 2018, after a Chi­nese diplo­mat denied reports about the camps and advised jour­nal­ists to take Bei­jing at its word.

    Mr. Zenz decid­ed to take up the chal­lenge and prove the diplo­mat wrong using the Chi­nese government’s own doc­u­ments.

    “I got real­ly irked by that,” the 44-year-old Ger­man schol­ar said. “I said, ‘OK fine, I’m going to look this up.’ ”

    Mr. Zenz uncov­ered a trail of bid­ding papers, bud­get plans and oth­er doc­u­ments that rights groups, schol­ars and diplo­mats say prove the extent of the con­struc­tion of the camps as part of a Com­mu­nist Par­ty cam­paign to forcibly assim­i­late eth­nic Uighurs and oth­er minor­i­ty groups.

    Mr. Zenz’s ini­tial esti­mate that the camps have held as many as one mil­lion peo­ple has been accept­ed by the U.S. and some oth­er gov­ern­ments, though reject­ed by Chi­na. He has tes­ti­fied before U.S. Con­gress and Canada’s Par­lia­ment.

    Chi­nese diplo­mats stopped deny­ing the exis­tence of the camps in August, and began defend­ing them as voca­tion­al train­ing cen­ters nec­es­sary to fight ter­ror­ism. It was a rare about-face that experts and activists said Mr. Zenz’s work helped bring about.

    “He’s man­aged to get a tremen­dous amount of trac­tion,” said James Lei­bold, an expert on China’s eth­nic poli­cies at La Trobe Uni­ver­si­ty in Aus­tralia who has worked with Mr. Zenz. “The ulti­mate thing is to see the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment change its approach on this.”

    Some oth­er researchers have also uncov­ered crit­i­cal aspects of the Chi­nese cam­paign and illus­trat­ed how uncon­ven­tion­al approach­es can often be effec­tive, and increas­ing­ly nec­es­sary, in shed­ding light on events Chi­nese author­i­ties pre­fer to cov­er up.

    Shawn Zhang, a Chi­nese law stu­dent in Van­cou­ver, matched satel­lite images from Google Earth with details in con­struc­tion bid doc­u­ments, pro­vid­ing visu­al evi­dence to con­firm 66 intern­ment sites.

    Gene Bunin, an Amer­i­can who dropped out of a math­e­mat­ics Ph.D. pro­gram in Switzer­land, had stud­ied and lived in Xin­jiang. Work­ing with activists in Kaza­khstan, he has led an effort to col­lect tes­ti­mo­ny from rel­a­tives of eth­nic Kaza­khs and Uighurs who have gone miss­ing in China’s cam­paign.

    Mr. Zenz, though he has a Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­bridge, is also an out­sider. He isn’t a spe­cial­ist in Xin­jiang and vis­it­ed only once, more than a decade ago. He funds most of his research him­self, using income from a side job cod­ing for a Ger­man videostream­ing start­up.

    His rig­or­ous trawl­ing through gov­ern­ment sources has been indis­pens­able, Mr. Bunin said, “because that’s the kind of evi­dence that Chi­na has the most trou­ble refut­ing.”

    Chi­na has strug­gled for decades to erad­i­cate a spo­rad­i­cal­ly vio­lent sep­a­ratist move­ment among some of Xinjiang’s 12 mil­lion Uighurs. After a spate of ter­ror­ist attacks five years ago that Bei­jing attrib­uted to the influ­ence of rad­i­cal Islam, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping ordered a new crack­down.

    The result­ing effort com­bined polic­ing, sur­veil­lance and indoc­tri­na­tion. Chi­nese author­i­ties ini­tial­ly kept the cam­paign a secret, but in recent months have por­trayed the camps as an inno­va­tion in coun­tert­er­ror­ism, orga­niz­ing tight­ly con­trolled tours of cer­tain facil­i­ties for select­ed diplo­mats and jour­nal­ists.

    Chi­nese author­i­ties have nev­er direct­ly addressed the find­ings by Mr. Zenz and the oth­ers. The Xin­jiang gov­ern­ment and China’s For­eign Min­istry didn’t respond to requests to com­ment on the scholar’s work.

    Mr. Zenz, who wrote his dis­ser­ta­tion on Tibetan edu­ca­tion, said he has an affin­i­ty for China’s minor­i­ty groups because they seem more open spir­i­tu­al­ly. A lapsed Catholic, he said he embraced Chris­tian­i­ty after an encounter with a Kore­an-Amer­i­can Bap­tist pas­tor while on a uni­ver­si­ty year abroad at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty in Wash­ing­ton. His faith push­es him for­ward, said Mr. Zenz, who wrote a book re-exam­in­ing bib­li­cal end-times with his Amer­i­can father-in-law in 2012.

    “I feel very clear­ly led by God to do this. I can put it that way. I’m not afraid to say that,” says Mr. Zenz. “With Xin­jiang, things real­ly changed. It became like a mis­sion, or a min­istry.”

    Much of his research has been done from a house on the cor­ner of Immanuel Kant and Her­man Hesse streets that he used to rent in Korn­tal, out­side Stuttgart. Until recent­ly, he taught research meth­ods at the Euro­pean School of Cul­ture and The­ol­o­gy.

    In 2016, Mr. Zenz found caches of job-recruit­ment adver­tise­ments online that added up to a buildup of police forces in Tibetan areas of Chi­na. The dis­cov­ery caught the atten­tion of Mr. Lei­bold, who asked if he could find sim­i­lar data relat­ed to Xin­jiang.

    “He was send­ing me emails at three in the morn­ing say­ing, ‘Look at this’ and ‘There’s tons of stuff here,’” Mr. Lei­bold said.

    Work­ing with Mr. Lei­bold and oth­ers, Mr. Zenz began pub­lish­ing research that unveiled a secu­ri­ty buildup in Xin­jiang.

    After he came across the denial of the camps by the Chi­nese con­sul-gen­er­al in Almaty, Kaza­khstan, Mr. Zenz threw him­self into research­ing the facil­i­ties. In a report pub­lished last May by the Wash­ing­ton-based Jamestown Foun­da­tion, he esti­mat­ed they col­lec­tive­ly held any­where from 100,000 to slight­ly more than a mil­lion peo­ple.

    The high end of his esti­mate became wide­ly cit­ed, includ­ing by experts on a Unit­ed Nations pan­el that crit­i­cized the camps in August. It also gen­er­at­ed controversy—with some schol­ars ques­tion­ing its accuracy—and dis­mis­sive state­ments from Chi­na.

    To arrive at the esti­mate, Mr. Zenz extrap­o­lat­ed from a par­tial tal­ly of detainees attrib­uted in Japan­ese media reports to a Xin­jiang secu­ri­ty offi­cial. He cross-ref­er­enced that with tes­ti­mo­ny from for­mer detainees and the doc­u­ments he unearthed indi­cat­ing the size and num­ber of camps.

    “It was like col­lect­ing puz­zle pieces,” he says.

    In March, at a U.N. pan­el in Gene­va, Mr. Zenz pro­vid­ed a high­er, upper-range esti­mate of 1.5 mil­lion. He said the num­ber is spec­u­la­tive, based on con­tin­ued expan­sion of deten­tion facil­i­ties and per­va­sive accounts from Uighur exiles with rel­a­tives in deten­tion.

    “The entire mid­dle-age range is being interned and re-edu­cat­ed,” he says. “It’s absolute­ly mas­sive.”

    ...

    ————-

    “The Ger­man Data Div­er Who Exposed China’s Mus­lim Crack­down” by Josh Chin; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 05/21/2019

    Dogged­ly hunt­ing down data in obscure cor­ners of the Chi­nese inter­net, Adri­an Zenz revealed a secu­ri­ty buildup in China’s remote Xin­jiang region and illu­mi­nat­ed the mass deten­tion and polic­ing of Tur­kic Mus­lims that fol­lowed. His research showed how Chi­na spent bil­lions of dol­lars build­ing intern­ment camps and high-tech sur­veil­lance net­works in Xin­jiang, and recruit­ed police offi­cers to run them.”

    The evi­dence of the geno­cide was right there on the inter­net. Adri­an Zenz mere­ly pieced it all togeth­er and con­nect­ed the dots.

    But he was­n’t entire­ly alone. James Liebold appears to have been an ear­ly sup­port­er. The same James Liebold who hap­pens to be a senior fol­low as the ASPI. The same ASPI that just hap­pens to be an uber-hawk­ing think-tank intent on whip­ping up as much anti-Chi­na sen­ti­ment as pos­si­ble. It’s the kind of ques­tion­able work­ing rela­tion­ship that should raise sig­nif­i­cant con­flict-of-inter­est ques­tions for any­one inter­est­ed in a real aca­d­e­m­ic inves­ti­ga­tion into the qual­i­ty of Zen­z’s ‘schol­ar­ship’:

    ...
    Mr. Zenz uncov­ered a trail of bid­ding papers, bud­get plans and oth­er doc­u­ments that rights groups, schol­ars and diplo­mats say prove the extent of the con­struc­tion of the camps as part of a Com­mu­nist Par­ty cam­paign to forcibly assim­i­late eth­nic Uighurs and oth­er minor­i­ty groups.

    Mr. Zenz’s ini­tial esti­mate that the camps have held as many as one mil­lion peo­ple has been accept­ed by the U.S. and some oth­er gov­ern­ments, though reject­ed by Chi­na. He has tes­ti­fied before U.S. Con­gress and Canada’s Par­lia­ment.

    Chi­nese diplo­mats stopped deny­ing the exis­tence of the camps in August, and began defend­ing them as voca­tion­al train­ing cen­ters nec­es­sary to fight ter­ror­ism. It was a rare about-face that experts and activists said Mr. Zenz’s work helped bring about.

    “He’s man­aged to get a tremen­dous amount of trac­tion,” said James Lei­bold, an expert on China’s eth­nic poli­cies at La Trobe Uni­ver­si­ty in Aus­tralia who has worked with Mr. Zenz. “The ulti­mate thing is to see the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment change its approach on this.”

    ...

    “He was send­ing me emails at three in the morn­ing say­ing, ‘Look at this’ and ‘There’s tons of stuff here,’” Mr. Lei­bold said.

    Work­ing with Mr. Lei­bold and oth­ers, Mr. Zenz began pub­lish­ing research that unveiled a secu­ri­ty buildup in Xin­jiang.

    ...

    Mr. Zenz, though he has a Ph.D. from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cam­bridge, is also an out­sider. He isn’t a spe­cial­ist in Xin­jiang and vis­it­ed only once, more than a decade ago. He funds most of his research him­self, using income from a side job cod­ing for a Ger­man videostream­ing start­up.

    His rig­or­ous trawl­ing through gov­ern­ment sources has been indis­pens­able, Mr. Bunin said, “because that’s the kind of evi­dence that Chi­na has the most trou­ble refut­ing.”

    ...

    Much of his research has been done from a house on the cor­ner of Immanuel Kant and Her­man Hesse streets that he used to rent in Korn­tal, out­side Stuttgart. Until recent­ly, he taught research meth­ods at the Euro­pean School of Cul­ture and The­ol­o­gy.

    In 2016, Mr. Zenz found caches of job-recruit­ment adver­tise­ments online that added up to a buildup of police forces in Tibetan areas of Chi­na. The dis­cov­ery caught the atten­tion of Mr. Lei­bold, who asked if he could find sim­i­lar data relat­ed to Xin­jiang.
    ...

    And note how Zenz is pret­ty open about how spec­u­la­tive his num­bers are, based entire­ly on giant infer­ences and leaps in log­ic. And also very open about how he’s on a mis­sion from God to do this. Those seem like pret­ty big red flags. Con­flict of inter­est does­n’t quite cut it. And yet the US gov­ern­ment and oth­ers are sat­is­fied with this qual­i­ty of schol­ar­ship:

    ...
    Mr. Zenz, who wrote his dis­ser­ta­tion on Tibetan edu­ca­tion, said he has an affin­i­ty for China’s minor­i­ty groups because they seem more open spir­i­tu­al­ly. A lapsed Catholic, he said he embraced Chris­tian­i­ty after an encounter with a Kore­an-Amer­i­can Bap­tist pas­tor while on a uni­ver­si­ty year abroad at Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty in Wash­ing­ton. His faith push­es him for­ward, said Mr. Zenz, who wrote a book re-exam­in­ing bib­li­cal end-times with his Amer­i­can father-in-law in 2012.

    “I feel very clear­ly led by God to do this. I can put it that way. I’m not afraid to say that,” says Mr. Zenz. “With Xin­jiang, things real­ly changed. It became like a mis­sion, or a min­istry.”

    ...

    After he came across the denial of the camps by the Chi­nese con­sul-gen­er­al in Almaty, Kaza­khstan, Mr. Zenz threw him­self into research­ing the facil­i­ties. In a report pub­lished last May by the Wash­ing­ton-based Jamestown Foun­da­tion, he esti­mat­ed they col­lec­tive­ly held any­where from 100,000 to slight­ly more than a mil­lion peo­ple.

    The high end of his esti­mate became wide­ly cit­ed, includ­ing by experts on a Unit­ed Nations pan­el that crit­i­cized the camps in August. It also gen­er­at­ed controversy—with some schol­ars ques­tion­ing its accuracy—and dis­mis­sive state­ments from Chi­na.

    To arrive at the esti­mate, Mr. Zenz extrap­o­lat­ed from a par­tial tal­ly of detainees attrib­uted in Japan­ese media reports to a Xin­jiang secu­ri­ty offi­cial. He cross-ref­er­enced that with tes­ti­mo­ny from for­mer detainees and the doc­u­ments he unearthed indi­cat­ing the size and num­ber of camps.

    “It was like col­lect­ing puz­zle pieces,” he says.

    In March, at a U.N. pan­el in Gene­va, Mr. Zenz pro­vid­ed a high­er, upper-range esti­mate of 1.5 mil­lion. He said the num­ber is spec­u­la­tive, based on con­tin­ued expan­sion of deten­tion facil­i­ties and per­va­sive accounts from Uighur exiles with rel­a­tives in deten­tion.

    “The entire mid­dle-age range is being interned and re-edu­cat­ed,” he says. “It’s absolute­ly mas­sive.”
    ...

    Recall that when we hear about the high end of Zen­z’s esti­mates being cit­ed by experts on a UN pan­el, that was a ref­er­ence to pro­vid­ed by the sole US rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the pan­el, Gay McDougall, who pro­vid­ed no evi­dence for the claim. That’s the nature of the pro­pa­gan­da push we are liv­ing through. End­less base­less claims puffed up through rep­e­ti­tion.

    And note, it’s not just Zenz engaged in this kind of ‘research’. These kinds of ‘uncon­ven­tion­al approach­es’ like com­par­ing satel­lite images from Google Earth to con­struc­tion bid doc­u­ments are being used by oth­ers. Like Shawn Zhang, who appar­ent­ly used to this tech­nique to “con­firm” 66 inter­net sites. These sites were appar­ent­ly con­firmed using this data. How exact­ly was this con­fir­ma­tion made? Are the pic­tures show­ing large num­bers of detained peo­ple? Or is this this kind of high­ly spec­u­la­tive ‘con­fir­ma­tion’ we’ve come to expect? We haven’t been shown these pic­tures so we can make an edu­cat­ed guess. Spec­u­la­tive edu­ca­tion guess­ing is the theme of the hour, after all:

    ...
    Some oth­er researchers have also uncov­ered crit­i­cal aspects of the Chi­nese cam­paign and illus­trat­ed how uncon­ven­tion­al approach­es can often be effec­tive, and increas­ing­ly nec­es­sary, in shed­ding light on events Chi­nese author­i­ties pre­fer to cov­er up.

    Shawn Zhang, a Chi­nese law stu­dent in Van­cou­ver, matched satel­lite images from Google Earth with details in con­struc­tion bid doc­u­ments, pro­vid­ing visu­al evi­dence to con­firm 66 intern­ment sites.

    Gene Bunin, an Amer­i­can who dropped out of a math­e­mat­ics Ph.D. pro­gram in Switzer­land, had stud­ied and lived in Xin­jiang. Work­ing with activists in Kaza­khstan, he has led an effort to col­lect tes­ti­mo­ny from rel­a­tives of eth­nic Kaza­khs and Uighurs who have gone miss­ing in China’s cam­paign.
    ...

    So should we expect any sort of mean­ing­ful aca­d­e­m­ic inves­ti­ga­tion into these Uighur geno­cide and con­cen­tra­tion camp claims? We’ll see. It prob­a­bly depends in part on how seri­ous­ly the calls for inves­ti­ga­tions into Chi­nese sci­en­tist par­tic­i­pa­tion into that alleged geno­cide are tak­en. What is clear is that there’s prob­a­bly not going to be a vol­un­tary inves­ti­ga­tion into the qual­i­ty of Zen­z’s schol­ar­ship by the gov­ern­ments cur­rent­ly invest­ed in pro­mot­ing it. A lot is rid­ing on that inves­ti­ga­tion nev­er hap­pen­ing.

    But as the fol­low­ing arti­cle sug­gests, that does­n’t mean there won’t ever be an inves­ti­ga­tion. It depends on whether or not the law­suit filed against Zenz by a num­ber of Xin­jiang com­pa­nies over his alle­ga­tions of forced labor end up forc­ing Zenz to defend his claims in court. Which could hap­pen:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Aca­d­e­m­ic faces Chi­nese law­suit for expos­ing human rights abus­es in Xin­jiang

    By Eva Dou
    March 9, 2021 at 11:30 p.m. CST

    Bei­jing has tar­get­ed a high-pro­file U.S.-based researcher whose work has been crit­i­cal to expos­ing human rights abus­es in China’s north­west, with state media report­ing he is being sued by com­pa­nies in the Xin­jiang region.

    In a tele­phone inter­view from his home in Min­neso­ta on Tues­day night, Adri­an Zenz said he believed the law­suit was a sign that U.S. eco­nom­ic sanc­tions on the region were hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant effect. He said Bei­jing was prob­a­bly seek­ing to cre­ate a chill­ing effect on oth­er researchers doing sim­i­lar work.

    “It is the first admis­sion that they real­ly are suf­fer­ing major eco­nom­ic loss­es,” Zenz said. ­“Suing an aca­d­e­m­ic — there is an ele­ment of des­per­a­tion in there.”

    The law­suit comes as Zenz and oth­er researchers have been build­ing a case that Beijing’s treat­ment of eth­nic minori­ties in Xin­jiang meets the def­i­n­i­tion of “geno­cide” under the Gene­va Con­ven­tions.

    The Unit­ed States has imposed eco­nom­ic sanc­tions on Xin­jiang over the past year in response to evi­dence doc­u­ment­ed by researchers, includ­ing Zenz, of a mass cam­paign of deten­tion and forced labor tar­get­ing Mus­lim Uyghurs in the region. The sanc­tions include a blan­ket ban on cot­ton from the region, which accounts for 87 per­cent of the cot­ton grown in Chi­na.

    Zenz, who is Ger­man, began research­ing con­di­tions in Xin­jiang sev­er­al years ago as an inde­pen­dent schol­ar, and since 2019 as a senior fel­low at the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, a U.S.-based non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion.

    Chi­nese state media out­let Tian­shan­net report­ed late Mon­day that unnamed com­pa­nies had filed a law­suit in Xin­jiang against Zenz. China’s For­eign Min­istry con­firmed it on Tues­day.

    “Many com­pa­nies and res­i­dents in Xin­jiang suf­fered heavy loss­es after Zenz’s rumor of ‘forced labor’ came out of nowhere,” For­eign Min­istry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a rou­tine brief­ing on Tues­day. “They detest and abhor such mali­cious smear­ing acts.”

    Zenz does not real­ly have to wor­ry about the law­suit if he stays out of Chi­na, said Don­ald Clarke, a law pro­fes­sor at George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty. But he may have to hire a lawyer if the Xin­jiang com­pa­nies try to seek over­seas enforce­ment of a judg­ment against him.

    “He would have to get a lawyer to make these argu­ments, which points up the real threat of law­suits like this: their capac­i­ty to harass,” Clarke wrote on the Chi­na Col­lec­tion blog.

    ...

    Zenz was among more than 50 con­trib­u­tors to a lengthy report lay­ing out the argu­ment for a des­ig­na­tion of geno­cide, which was released Tues­day by the New­lines Insti­tute, a Wash­ing­ton-based think tank.

    ———–

    “Aca­d­e­m­ic faces Chi­nese law­suit for expos­ing human rights abus­es in Xin­jiang” by Eva Dou; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 03/09/2021

    “The law­suit comes as Zenz and oth­er researchers have been build­ing a case that Beijing’s treat­ment of eth­nic minori­ties in Xin­jiang meets the def­i­n­i­tion of “geno­cide” under the Gene­va Con­ven­tions.”

    Very real con­se­quences are being felt in response to Zen­z’s online sleuthing. And the enti­ties feel­ing the brunt of those con­se­quences — the com­pa­nies fac­ing sanc­tions over forced labor charges — are respond­ing. Although it’s very unclear if Zenz will ever need to to for­mal­ly respond him­self. But if these com­pa­nies win a judge­ment against Zenz and seek over­seas enforce­ment of a judge­ment, it’s pos­si­ble Zenz will have to hire a lawyer and respond in court. Which could be fas­ci­nat­ing to see play out:

    ...
    Zenz does not real­ly have to wor­ry about the law­suit if he stays out of Chi­na, said Don­ald Clarke, a law pro­fes­sor at George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty. But he may have to hire a lawyer if the Xin­jiang com­pa­nies try to seek over­seas enforce­ment of a judg­ment against him.

    “He would have to get a lawyer to make these argu­ments, which points up the real threat of law­suits like this: their capac­i­ty to harass,” Clarke wrote on the Chi­na Col­lec­tion blog.
    ...

    Final­ly, recall how the New­lines Insti­tute rep­re­sents a fas­ci­nat­ing nexus where neo­con­ser­v­a­tives and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s insti­tu­tion­al net­work in North Amer­i­ca appear to have aligned, with a mutu­al hatred of Chi­na being the unit­ing force. It’s a reminder of the breadth of the sup­port in the nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment for Zen­z’s pro­pa­gan­da efforts:

    ...
    Zenz was among more than 50 con­trib­u­tors to a lengthy report lay­ing out the argu­ment for a des­ig­na­tion of geno­cide, which was released Tues­day by the New­lines Insti­tute, a Wash­ing­ton-based think tank.
    ...

    So we’ll see what hap­pens to the calls for an aca­d­e­m­ic debate on the role played by Chi­nese sci­en­tists in the per­se­cu­tion of Chi­na’s Uighurs. We don’t know if it will actu­al­ly hap­pen. But as should be clear by now, it’s a debate that’s lot more like­ly to hap­pen than the far more sig­nif­i­cant and seri­ous debate about the qual­i­ty of the ‘research’ behind those geno­cide claims. Which is also a reminder than when jour­nals like the Lancet refuse to indulge the calls for Chi­nese sci­en­tist geno­cide claims, that’s not actu­al­ly an act of pro­tect­ing the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty. Quite the oppo­site.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 28, 2021, 5:23 pm
  6. @Pterrafractyl–

    The absur­di­ty of the “geno­cide” myth–perpetrated by peo­ple like Zenz, asso­ci­at­ed with the OUN/B and Cap­tive Nations’ milieux which per­pe­trat­ed geno­cide against Jews, Poles and eth­nic Rus­sians in WWII–is under­scored by the pho­tos of the “con­cen­tra­tion camps,” which are offi­cial Chi­nese pho­tos of the camps!

    BTW–those camps were approved by the U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Ele­ments of the Uighurs have fought with Al-Qae­da, ISIS and the Grey Wolves, Pan-Turk­ist fas­cists of the Nation­al Action Par­ty.

    It is inter­est­ing how the doc­u­men­ta­tion pre­sent­ed in the Gray Zone arti­cles goes com­plete­ly by the MSM.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 29, 2021, 4:29 pm
  7. One of the aspects of the ongo­ing ‘Xin­jiang geno­cide’ pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign by the West that was always guar­an­teed to be painful to watch was what hap­pens when pro­pa­gan­dists are forced to defend their geno­cide claims in the face of crit­i­cism despite there not actu­al­ly being any mean­ing­ful evi­dence. There’s bound to be a response. But what is that response going to be when they don’t have facts on their side. They’re going to have to say some­thing.

    We got a peek at what that response will be in the fol­low­ing arti­cle just pub­lished in The Nation by author Ger­ald Roche, described at the end of the arti­cle as “an anthro­pol­o­gist and a senior research fel­low at La Trobe Uni­ver­si­ty in Aus­tralia.” And while that’s true, he’s not just any anthro­pol­o­gist. He’s a long-stand­ing aca­d­e­m­ic col­league of James Lei­bold, who also has a posi­tion at La Trobe Uni­ver­si­ty. For exam­ple, here’s a Jan 2020 paper by Roche and Lei­bold about colo­nial gov­er­nance in Tibet. And as we’ve seen, not only is Lei­bold a mem­ber of the Astralian Stragetic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI), but it was Lei­bold who effec­tive­ly act­ed as the ear­ly spon­sor of Adri­an Zen­z’s ‘online research’ mis­sion-from-God that pur­ports to show evi­dence of geno­cide in Xin­jiang. So the fol­low­ing piece is basi­cal­ly an argu­ment from one of Zen­z’s aca­d­e­m­ic spon­sors.

    Now, what is Roche actu­al­ly argu­ing in his Nation piece? That’s where it gets extra awful. And inter­est­ing. Roche does­n’t actu­al­ly make any argu­ment in favor of the evi­dence of geno­cide in Xin­jiang. Instead, the piece is large­ly ded­i­cat­ed to mak­ing the case that the peo­ple who ques­tion the con­tem­po­rary Xin­jiang geno­cide claims are sim­ply dri­ven by a blind sense of anti-Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ism. It goes on to then make the case that if one was tru­ly inter­est­ed in oppos­ing Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ism, they should in fact ful­ly back pun­ish­ing Chi­na for the geno­cide in Xin­jiang because that geno­cide is actu­al­ly a reflec­tion of US impe­ri­al­ism. Yep.

    But it starts off with a par­tic­u­lar­ly bizarre and iron­ic his­tor­i­cal argu­ment: Roche points out there were peo­ple deny­ing geno­cide by Ger­many in both WWI and WWII. The dif­fer­ence is that the geno­cide claims dur­ing WWI — that the Ger­mans were using babies as tar­get prac­tice — real­ly were fake sto­ries made to draw the US into the war. He then describes how sim­i­lar claims were made dur­ing WWII, but, of course, in that case the revi­sion­ism real­ly was denial­ism. Roche recounts this dis­tinc­tion between the WWI and WWII geno­cide denial­ists to make the point that we had the revi­sion­ists dur­ing both WWI and WWII but only dur­ing WWII were engaged in denial­ism. The role those ear­li­er fake claims of atroc­i­ties played in fuel­ing that lat­er denial­ism isn’t explored. Which is too bad. Because as we’re going to see in the sec­ond excerpt below, those WWI claims of Ger­man atroc­i­ties which were lat­er found to be bogus played a very real role in the Amer­i­can pub­lic’s inabil­i­ty to accept the real­i­ty of the Holo­caust while it played out. Pro­pa­gan­da has con­se­quences.

    So how does Roche make the case that geno­cide in Xin­jiang is a reflec­tion of Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ism? Well, for starters, he argues that the fact that Xin­jiang was con­quered by Chi­na in the mid-18th cen­tu­ry, but was­n’t bro­ken off from Chi­na by the UN dur­ing the decolo­nial­iza­tion process due to a loop­hole that allowed states to hold on to colo­nial pos­ses­sions that were part of the same land mass. There­fore, Xin­jiang being part of Chi­na is a lega­cy of West­ern colo­nial­ism, accord­ing to Roche.

    He goes on to argue that because West­ern com­pa­nies do busi­ness in Xin­jiang, or sell equip­ment to Chi­na that could be used for oppres­sion in Xingjiang, these com­pa­nies are fur­ther engaged in West­ern colo­nial­ism.

    But con­tem­po­rary com­mer­cial activ­i­ty that’s not the only exam­ple of ongo­ing West­ern colo­nial in Xin­jiang. Roche points out how the US and Chi­na have had ongo­ing anti-ter­ror­ism secu­ri­ty arrange­ments ever since 9/11. This involved the US gov­ern­ment declar­ing groups in Xin­jiang like the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM) sep­a­ratist group that is seek­ing to estab­lish an inde­pen­dent Xin­jiang coun­try a ter­ror­ist move­ment. A des­ig­na­tion that does­n’t unrea­son­able giv­en ETIM’s al-Qae­da affil­i­a­tions and Islamist extrem­ist ide­ol­o­gy. And yet Roche indi­cates that this des­ig­na­tion by the US helped pave the way for the even­tu­al mass incar­cer­a­tion of Uyghurs in the name of de-rad­i­cal­iza­tion and cites this as an exam­ple of US impe­ri­al­ism in Xin­jiang. Recall how much of Adri­an Zen­z’s ‘evi­dence’ for mass intern­ment of mil­lions of Uyghurs was based on a sin­gle report by the Uyghur exile media orga­ni­za­tion Istiqlal TV, which often fea­tures the ETIM leader Abdulka­dir Yapuquan.

    Also note that the ETIM was removed from the US ter­ror watch­list in Octo­ber of 2020 under orders from Mike Pom­peo. Roche and oth­er sup­ports of the ETIM’s dreams of set­ting up an Islamist extrem­ist theo­crat­ic state in Xin­jiang were no doubt pleased.

    Final­ly, it’s worth not­ing how Roche depicts those who ques­tion the Xin­jiang geno­cide nar­ra­tive as not just skep­ti­cal of these claims but enthu­si­as­tic sup­port­ers of every­thing the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment does. Accord­ing to Roche, it’s a ‘flipped script’ sce­nario, where every­thing in Xin­jiang is good, peo­ple are hap­py and employed and reed­u­ca­tion camps are great. It’s the cher­ry on top of Roche’s straw­man depic­tion of his crit­ics.

    So to sum­ma­rize Roche’s appar­ent argu­ments, those who deny the plight of the Uyghurs are dri­ven by an anti-Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ist instinct, and yet that plight is actu­al­ly a prod­uct of Amer­i­can impe­ri­al­ism and there­fore jump­ing on board the Xin­jiang geno­cide claims is how you can real­ly oppose that impe­ri­al­ism:

    The Nation

    Xin­jiang Denial­ists Are Only Aid­ing Impe­ri­al­ism
    Deny­ing China’s oppres­sion of Uighurs helps empire—both China’s and the US’s.

    By Ger­ald Roche
    07/06/2021 10:27 am

    Oppos­ing Amer­i­can empire should nev­er jus­ti­fy sup­port­ing per­pe­tra­tors of atroc­i­ties, and yet that’s exact­ly what some anti-impe­ri­al­ists are doing with their analy­sis of events in China’s Xin­jiang region. These pun­dits claim that efforts to expose human rights abus­es in Xin­jiang are real­ly aimed at gen­er­at­ing con­sen­sus for a “new Cold War” against Chi­na. It is only the lat­est man­i­fes­ta­tion of Amer­i­can denial­ism, and instead of chal­leng­ing US empire, it only helps to cov­er up US gov­ern­ment com­plic­i­ty in the oppres­sion of Uyghurs in Xin­jiang.

    Amer­i­cans have a his­to­ry of reject­ing the facts of unjust vio­lence abroad. The tac­tic is most asso­ci­at­ed with right-wing Holo­caust denial­ism. The his­to­ri­an Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt traces Amer­i­can Holo­caust denial­ism back to inter­war his­to­ri­ans and their crit­i­cisms of America’s deci­sion to enter World War I. Unlike denial­ists, these revi­sion­ists had truth on their side. Britain had fal­si­fied reports of Ger­mans’ using babies as tar­get prac­tice, muti­lat­ing civil­ians, and com­mit­ting oth­er acts of bru­tal­i­ty in order to lure Amer­i­ca into the war.

    Post–World War II crit­ics adopt­ed sim­i­lar strate­gies, often por­tray­ing the Ger­mans as vic­tims and the Allies as aggres­sors. But Ger­many had actu­al­ly com­mit­ted mass mur­der this time. And so revi­sion­ists became denial­ists. They claimed that the Holo­caust had been fab­ri­cat­ed to coax Amer­i­ca into anoth­er Euro­pean war. For these right-wing denial­ists, the point was nev­er about what had hap­pened to the vic­tims. It was about mak­ing domes­tic polit­i­cal gains. And if that involved sup­port­ing abhor­rent regimes and refus­ing to acknowl­edge their crimes against human­i­ty, so be it.

    Although these denial­ists most­ly aimed to pro­mote US iso­la­tion­ism, oth­ers have fol­lowed, pur­su­ing dif­fer­ent agen­das using the same tech­niques. These have includ­ed anti-impe­ri­al­ists on the left who, in order to cri­tique Amer­i­can empire, dis­miss obvi­ous truths and ques­tion whether well-doc­u­ment­ed mas­sacres ever hap­pened.

    Most noto­ri­ous among anti-impe­ri­al­ist deniers are Edward S. Her­man and David Peter­son. In their book The Pol­i­tics of Geno­cide, they argue that most accu­sa­tions of geno­cide are jus­ti­fi­ca­tions of US impe­ri­al­ism in the name of “human­i­tar­i­an inter­ven­tion.” Look­ing for US inter­ests behind every report of geno­cide, they even invert the role of vic­tim and per­pe­tra­tor in the Rwan­dan Tut­si geno­cide, por­tray­ing the post-geno­cide gov­ern­ment as a tool of US empire. Noam Chom­sky, despite his oth­er­wise nuanced views on geno­cide, legit­imized these argu­ments by pro­vid­ing a fore­word to the book.

    Xin­jiang Denial­ism

    For many anti-impe­ri­al­ists, the need to denounce US empire is rea­son enough to sup­port any of its oppo­nents. And if those oppo­nents com­mit atroc­i­ties, their abus­es can be denied. Xin­jiang is just the lat­est iter­a­tion in this pat­tern. The spe­cif­ic iden­ti­ties of the Xin­jiang denial­ists don’t real­ly mat­ter, and I have no inten­tion of inflat­ing their cause by nam­ing them or link­ing to their work. What brings them togeth­er is a tire­less effort to debunk every aspect of the “main­stream” nar­ra­tive about Xin­jiang, and to scream “got his ass” at any­one who refus­es to debate their ludi­crous ideas.

    To under­stand the per­ver­si­ty of this denial­ism, you don’t have to believe every think tank report and news item about Xin­jiang; indeed, there are good rea­sons to approach all of these crit­i­cal­ly. Nor do you have to agree that what’s hap­pen­ing to the Uyghurs con­sti­tutes geno­cide (though I do). This is because what these anti-impe­ri­al­ists deny is much broad­er than the appli­ca­tion of a term in inter­na­tion­al law. They deny basic facts of his­to­ry.

    Like the Unit­ed States itself, Chi­na is an impe­r­i­al state. Its con­tem­po­rary bor­ders are the result of con­quest, and its cur­rent pop­u­la­tion is a col­lec­tion of peo­ples vio­lent­ly con­fined by the forces of the state. Whether you think Chi­na is social­ist or cap­i­tal­ist doesn’t change this.

    The ter­ri­to­ry now known as Xin­jiang (lit­er­al­ly, “new fron­tier”) was invad­ed in the mid-18th cen­tu­ry amid a glob­al spree of impe­r­i­al expan­sions. It was retained by the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na because of a loop­hole in the decol­o­niza­tion process that enabled states to hold on to colo­nial pos­ses­sions that were part of the same land­mass. Because Chi­na didn’t cross an ocean to col­o­nize Xin­jiang, the ter­ri­to­ry and its peo­ple were inel­i­gi­ble for decol­o­niza­tion with­in the UN’s frame­work. Thus, prais­ing China’s poli­cies in Xin­jiang is prais­ing con­tem­po­rary impe­ri­al­ism. It also means prais­ing mass incar­cer­a­tion and sur­veil­lance, the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of minor­i­ty iden­ti­ties, assaults on lan­guage and cul­ture, and the vio­lent repres­sion of dis­sent.

    And yet, applaud­ing Chi­na is often a part of these anti-impe­ri­al­ists’ strat­e­gy. In addi­tion to end­less ad hominem attacks and insist­ing that every­thing they dis­agree with is a CIA psy-op, these denial­ists cre­ate YouTube deep-dives and inter­minable Twit­ter threads pre­sent­ing the “real” Xin­jiang. These inevitably present a “flipped script,” where every­thing in Xin­jiang is good, actu­al­ly. Peo­ple are hap­py; the gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing jobs; reed­u­ca­tion camps are super-help­ful; and minor­i­ty lan­guages are flour­ish­ing exu­ber­ant­ly. Every­one can prac­tice what­ev­er reli­gion they want in exact­ly the way they want, and the peo­ple are pro­tect­ed from extrem­ist Mus­lims by friend­ly cops.

    These asser­tions are backed up by an end­less stream of facts. A pho­to­graph shows an elder­ly Uyghur man pray­ing. A graph shows an increase in Xinjiang’s pop­u­la­tion. A video shows Uyghur men and women danc­ing. Some­one points out that the Chi­nese con­sti­tu­tion states that minori­ties have the free­dom to use and devel­op their lan­guages.

    And some of these things are true. But in pre­sent­ing these facts as evi­dence of benign gov­er­nance in Xin­jiang, rather than the shal­low tokenism of colo­nial rule, they exem­pli­fy a hall­mark of what Richard Hof­s­tadter once called the para­noid style in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. These denial­ists do not lack “ver­i­fi­able facts,” just “sen­si­ble judg­ment.”

    Com­plic­i­ty, not Duplic­i­ty

    If these peo­ple want to crit­i­cize Amer­i­ca, they can high­light US com­plic­i­ty in ongo­ing colo­nial­ism in Xin­jiang. One doesn’t need to invent con­spir­a­cies. For exam­ple, China’s des­ig­na­tion of all forms of Uyghur resis­tance as ter­ror­ism has been direct­ly inspired and enabled by the US-led Glob­al War on Ter­ror. With­in a year of the 9/11 attacks, the US deputy sec­re­tary of state, Richard Armitage, had capit­u­lat­ed to pres­sure from Chi­na and iden­ti­fied the Uyghur resis­tance group East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment a ter­ror­ist group, which helped pave the way for the even­tu­al mass incar­cer­a­tion of Uyghurs in the name of “De-Rad­i­cal­iza­tion’ The US War on Ter­ror made it eas­i­er for the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty to rede­fine Uyghur resis­tance as ter­ror­ist extrem­ism, rather than nation­al lib­er­a­tion or anti-colo­nial­ism.

    Until recent­ly, this fram­ing of the issue has allowed them to act with impuni­ty in Xin­jiang, part­ly because they have fol­lowed the Amer­i­can anti-extrem­ist play­book. Then Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump even told Xi Jin­ping, in per­son, that build­ing the so-called reed­u­ca­tion cen­ters was “exact­ly the right thing to do.”

    We know that the founder of US mer­ce­nary cor­po­ra­tion Black­wa­ter, Erik Prince (also broth­er of for­mer US sec­re­tary of edu­ca­tion Bet­sy DeVos) trans­ferred his exper­tise from Iraq to Chi­na via the secu­ri­ty ser­vice provider Fron­tier Ser­vices Group, which trained anti-ter­ror­ism per­son­nel in Bei­jing and planned to open a “train­ing cen­ter” in Xin­jiang. And despite Blackwater’s claim that it is pulling out of the region, a 2020 finan­cial report sets aside near­ly $2.7 mil­lion for “set­ting up busi­ness” in Xin­jiang. We also know that US tech com­pa­nies have helped cre­ate a sur­veil­lance state in Xin­jiang. Com­pa­nies like Ther­mo Fish­er Sci­en­tif­ic and Promega have sold equip­ment to help police in Xin­jiang build a sys­tem of racial pro­fil­ing, based on DNA sam­ples obtained, in part, from a promi­nent US geneti­cist. And final­ly, we know that the sup­ply chains of dozens of US com­pa­nies run through Xin­jiang. Com­pa­nies like Nike and Apple even lob­bied against leg­is­la­tion that would affect their capac­i­ty to do busi­ness in Xin­jiang.

    Whether you think these com­plic­i­ties sup­port geno­cide, “mere” atroc­i­ties, or “only” colo­nial­ism doesn’t change the fact that the US secu­ri­ty state has inspired, aid­ed, and prof­it­ed from the dom­i­na­tion over Mus­lim minori­ties in Xin­jiang.

    A Very Amer­i­can Anti-impe­ri­al­ism

    ...

    In the end, although not all these denial­ists are American—there are many in Cana­da, Pak­istan, and Australia—all of them are engag­ing in a cel­e­brat­ed Amer­i­can tra­di­tion of deny­ing oth­er coun­tries’ human right abus­es in order to make argu­ments about Amer­i­ca to Amer­i­cans. This nar­cis­sis­tic parochial­ism is sure­ly one of the most suc­cess­ful exports of Amer­i­can empire.

    Ger­ald Roche is an anthro­pol­o­gist and a senior research fel­low at La Trobe Uni­ver­si­ty in Aus­tralia.

    ———–

    “Xin­jiang Denial­ists Are Only Aid­ing Impe­ri­al­ism” by Ger­ald Roche; The Nation; 07/06/2021

    For many anti-impe­ri­al­ists, the need to denounce US empire is rea­son enough to sup­port any of its oppo­nents. And if those oppo­nents com­mit atroc­i­ties, their abus­es can be denied. Xin­jiang is just the lat­est iter­a­tion in this pat­tern. The spe­cif­ic iden­ti­ties of the Xin­jiang denial­ists don’t real­ly mat­ter, and I have no inten­tion of inflat­ing their cause by nam­ing them or link­ing to their work. What brings them togeth­er is a tire­less effort to debunk every aspect of the “main­stream” nar­ra­tive about Xin­jiang, and to scream “got his ass” at any­one who refus­es to debate their ludi­crous ideas.

    Why aren’t peo­ple buy­ing the ‘geno­cide’ pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign? Well it’s clear­ly root­ed in a sim­ple desire to debunk main­stream nar­ra­tives and scream “got his ass” at any­one who refus­es to debate. Clear­ly. At least that’s how Ger­ald Roche claims to view the sit­u­a­tion. As he puts it, the peo­ple who deny geno­cide in Xin­jiang are deny­ing his­to­ry itself. Like how Chi­na is itself an impe­r­i­al pow­er that was a prod­uct of con­tem­po­rary colo­nial­ism. That’s all appar­ent­ly being denied if you don’t accept the cur­rent geno­cide claims. As Roche puts it, you don’t even need to accept that what is hap­pen­ing in Xin­jiang con­sti­tutes geno­cide in order to under­stand that the peo­ple who don’t accept the claims are engaged in a form of meta-denial­ism that denies basic facts of his­to­ry. So he seems to be under­cut­ting the argu­ment for deny­ing the Xin­jiang geno­cide claims by argu­ing that the denial is dri­ven by a his­tor­i­cal­ly incon­sis­tent sense of anti-impe­ri­al­ism that does­n’t acknowl­edge the impe­ri­al­ist his­to­ry of mod­ern day Chi­na. That appears to be the log­ic behind Roche’s argu­ment:

    ...
    To under­stand the per­ver­si­ty of this denial­ism, you don’t have to believe every think tank report and news item about Xin­jiang; indeed, there are good rea­sons to approach all of these crit­i­cal­ly. Nor do you have to agree that what’s hap­pen­ing to the Uyghurs con­sti­tutes geno­cide (though I do). This is because what these anti-impe­ri­al­ists deny is much broad­er than the appli­ca­tion of a term in inter­na­tion­al law. They deny basic facts of his­to­ry.

    Like the Unit­ed States itself, Chi­na is an impe­r­i­al state. Its con­tem­po­rary bor­ders are the result of con­quest, and its cur­rent pop­u­la­tion is a col­lec­tion of peo­ples vio­lent­ly con­fined by the forces of the state. Whether you think Chi­na is social­ist or cap­i­tal­ist doesn’t change this.

    The ter­ri­to­ry now known as Xin­jiang (lit­er­al­ly, “new fron­tier”) was invad­ed in the mid-18th cen­tu­ry amid a glob­al spree of impe­r­i­al expan­sions. It was retained by the People’s Repub­lic of Chi­na because of a loop­hole in the decol­o­niza­tion process that enabled states to hold on to colo­nial pos­ses­sions that were part of the same land­mass. Because Chi­na didn’t cross an ocean to col­o­nize Xin­jiang, the ter­ri­to­ry and its peo­ple were inel­i­gi­ble for decol­o­niza­tion with­in the UN’s frame­work. Thus, prais­ing China’s poli­cies in Xin­jiang is prais­ing con­tem­po­rary impe­ri­al­ism. It also means prais­ing mass incar­cer­a­tion and sur­veil­lance, the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of minor­i­ty iden­ti­ties, assaults on lan­guage and cul­ture, and the vio­lent repres­sion of dis­sent.

    And yet, applaud­ing Chi­na is often a part of these anti-impe­ri­al­ists’ strat­e­gy. In addi­tion to end­less ad hominem attacks and insist­ing that every­thing they dis­agree with is a CIA psy-op, these denial­ists cre­ate YouTube deep-dives and inter­minable Twit­ter threads pre­sent­ing the “real” Xin­jiang. These inevitably present a “flipped script,” where every­thing in Xin­jiang is good, actu­al­ly. Peo­ple are hap­py; the gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing jobs; reed­u­ca­tion camps are super-help­ful; and minor­i­ty lan­guages are flour­ish­ing exu­ber­ant­ly. Every­one can prac­tice what­ev­er reli­gion they want in exact­ly the way they want, and the peo­ple are pro­tect­ed from extrem­ist Mus­lims by friend­ly cops.

    ...

    Then Roche appears to assert that the des­ig­na­tion of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM) by the US gov­ern­ment post 9/11 was in fact an improp­er des­ig­na­tion and a reflec­tion of US impe­ri­al­ism. We are pre­sum­ably sup­posed to imag­ine the ETIM as a kind of Chi­nese Muja­hedeen free­dom fight­ing move­ment. Its his­to­ry of sep­a­ratist ter­ror attacks, Islamist extrem­ist ide­ol­o­gy and affil­i­a­tions with al Qae­da are pre­sum­ably also sup­posed to be put in the ‘free­dom fight­er’ cat­e­go­ry:

    ...
    If these peo­ple want to crit­i­cize Amer­i­ca, they can high­light US com­plic­i­ty in ongo­ing colo­nial­ism in Xin­jiang. One doesn’t need to invent con­spir­a­cies. For exam­ple, China’s des­ig­na­tion of all forms of Uyghur resis­tance as ter­ror­ism has been direct­ly inspired and enabled by the US-led Glob­al War on Ter­ror. With­in a year of the 9/11 attacks, the US deputy sec­re­tary of state, Richard Armitage, had capit­u­lat­ed to pres­sure from Chi­na and iden­ti­fied the Uyghur resis­tance group East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment a ter­ror­ist group, which helped pave the way for the even­tu­al mass incar­cer­a­tion of Uyghurs in the name of “De-Rad­i­cal­iza­tion’ The US War on Ter­ror made it eas­i­er for the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty to rede­fine Uyghur resis­tance as ter­ror­ist extrem­ism, rather than nation­al lib­er­a­tion or anti-colo­nial­ism.
    ...

    And then there’s Roche’s his­to­ry les­son about the dif­fer­ences between the Ger­man atroc­i­ty denial­ism of WWI and WWII. A his­to­ry les­son was sup­posed to serv­er as a warn­ing about the dan­gers of denial­ism when atroc­i­ties were actu­al­ly hap­pen­ing, but some­how ignores the obvi­ous future con­se­quences of mak­ing false atroc­i­ty claims:

    ...
    Amer­i­cans have a his­to­ry of reject­ing the facts of unjust vio­lence abroad. The tac­tic is most asso­ci­at­ed with right-wing Holo­caust denial­ism. The his­to­ri­an Deb­o­rah Lip­stadt traces Amer­i­can Holo­caust denial­ism back to inter­war his­to­ri­ans and their crit­i­cisms of America’s deci­sion to enter World War I. Unlike denial­ists, these revi­sion­ists had truth on their side. Britain had fal­si­fied reports of Ger­mans’ using babies as tar­get prac­tice, muti­lat­ing civil­ians, and com­mit­ting oth­er acts of bru­tal­i­ty in order to lure Amer­i­ca into the war.

    Post–World War II crit­ics adopt­ed sim­i­lar strate­gies, often por­tray­ing the Ger­mans as vic­tims and the Allies as aggres­sors. But Ger­many had actu­al­ly com­mit­ted mass mur­der this time. And so revi­sion­ists became denial­ists. They claimed that the Holo­caust had been fab­ri­cat­ed to coax Amer­i­ca into anoth­er Euro­pean war. For these right-wing denial­ists, the point was nev­er about what had hap­pened to the vic­tims. It was about mak­ing domes­tic polit­i­cal gains. And if that involved sup­port­ing abhor­rent regimes and refus­ing to acknowl­edge their crimes against human­i­ty, so be it.
    ...

    So with that in mind, here’s 2007 Nation­al Review piece writ­ten by James S. Rob­bins — no stranger to US impe­ri­al­ism — about a string of US sol­dier-relat­ed atroc­i­ty sto­ries that starts off with a quick reminder that one of the con­se­quences of all those WWI Ger­man atroc­i­ty sto­ries that turned out to be pro­pa­gan­da was how much eas­i­er it was to dis­miss the very real sto­ries of the Holo­caust:

    The Nation­al Review

    Invent­ing Atroc­i­ties

    By James S. Rob­bins

    August 10, 2007 9:00 AM

    A media tra­di­tion.

    In Jan­u­ary 1944, The New York Times Mag­a­zine pub­lished an essay by Arthur Koestler enti­tled “On Dis­be­liev­ing Atroc­i­ties.” It con­veyed his frus­tra­tion at try­ing to com­mu­ni­cate what he and oth­ers had seen tak­ing place in Nazi-dom­i­nat­ed Europe. The events that came to be known as the Holo­caust were not unknown by this time, but they were not wide­ly accept­ed as true. “I have been lec­tur­ing now for three years to the troops and their atti­tude is the same,” he wrote. “They don’t believe in con­cen­tra­tion camps, they don’t believe in the starved chil­dren of Greece, in the shot hostages of France, in the mass-graves of Poland; they have nev­er heard of Lidice, Tre­blin­ka or Belzec; you can con­vince them for an hour, then they shake them­selves, their men­tal self-defence begins to work and in a week the shrug of increduli­ty has returned like a reflex tem­porar­i­ly weak­ened by a shock.”

    Koestler blamed human psy­chol­o­gy, an entrenched unwill­ing­ness to accept that some­thing so heinous could be real. But he was also up against the lega­cy of the First World War. Three decades ear­li­er, atroc­i­ty sto­ries had been com­mon­place, and were gen­er­al­ly believed. But post­war inves­ti­ga­tions found that the sto­ries were either exag­ger­a­tions or inven­tions, fanned by gov­ern­ment pro­pa­gan­da offices to mobi­lize the pop­u­la­tion, and in the case of the British, to bring the Unit­ed States into the con­flict. The debunk­ing of the notion of the “blood­thirsty Hun” sup­port­ed the argu­ment then preva­lent that the U.S. had been tricked into the war, and rein­forced iso­la­tion­ist sen­ti­ments. So when accounts of the depre­da­tions of the Nazi regime began to fil­ter out of occu­pied Europe, the response was under­whelm­ing. Even late in the war, while most peo­ple believed there was some truth behind the sto­ries, few grasped the scope of the tragedy then under­way. This all changed when the camps were lib­er­at­ed. Increduli­ty and dis­mis­sive­ness were replaced with out­rage and shame. It turned out that some­times atroc­i­ties are real.

    ....

    ——–
    “Invent­ing Atroc­i­ties” by James S. Rob­bins; The Nation­al Review; 08/10/2007

    “...The debunk­ing of the notion of the “blood­thirsty Hun” sup­port­ed the argu­ment then preva­lent that the U.S. had been tricked into the war, and rein­forced iso­la­tion­ist sen­ti­ments. So when accounts of the depre­da­tions of the Nazi regime began to fil­ter out of occu­pied Europe, the response was under­whelm­ing. Even late in the war, while most peo­ple believed there was some truth behind the sto­ries, few grasped the scope of the tragedy then under­way....”

    Lying about atroc­i­ties has con­se­quences. Con­se­quences that include mak­ing future real atroc­i­ties a lot more like­ly to hap­pen. The lessons of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ applies to atroc­i­ties too. Some­how that les­son got left out of Roche’s piece on the lessons of his­tor­i­cal denial­ism. Imag­ine that.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 7, 2021, 5:08 pm
  8. Fol­low­ing up on the intrigu­ing sto­ry of the fun fact about Guo Wen­gui’s “Himalayan Embassy” locat­ed in down­town Man­hat­tan on the prop­er­ty of Argen­tin­ian Armen­ian bil­lion­aire Eduar­do Eurnekian, here’s an impor­tant piece of Eurnekian’s back­ground in this con­text: It turns out Eurnekian is the long-time chair­man of the Inter­na­tion­al Raoul Wal­len­berg Foun­da­tion (IRWF). And as we’ve seen, one of the key insti­tutes pump­ing out the worst kind of pro­pa­gan­da when it comes to claims of Uighyur geno­cide claims is the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­ter for Human Rights (RWCHR). So that’s quite a remark­able coin­ci­dence. The guy who owns the prop­er­ty Guo’s “Himalayan Embassy” is locat­ed is also the chair­man of a Raoul Wal­len­berg-name­sake insti­tute, the IRWF, at the same time a dif­fer­ent Raoul Wal­len­berg-name­sake insti­tute, the RWCHR, has been lead­ing the way on craft­ing Chi­nese desta­bi­liza­tion pro­pa­gan­da.

    That rais­es the obvi­ous ques­tion: what is the rela­tion­ship between the IRWF and the RWCHR? And while it does­n’t appear to be the case that the two insti­tutes are for­mal­ly part of the same orga­ni­za­tion, there is some pret­ty com­pelling evi­dence that they are both oper­at­ed by the same net­work of peo­ple with a shared agen­da.

    The IRWF was found­ed in 1997 by Baruch Ten­em­baum, a mem­ber of the Argen­tin­ian Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. Ten­em­baum is known as an inter­faith activist and gen­er­al­ly held in high regard. In 2003, US Con­gress­man Tom Lan­tos made a speech in hon­or of Ten­em­baum and had a longer trib­ute insert­ed into the Con­gres­sion­al record. And in 2014, Ten­em­baum was at anoth­er con­gres­sion­al cer­e­mo­ny. This time, the recip­i­ent was Raoul Wal­len­berg was the recip­i­ent for the Con­gres­sion­al Gold Medal in recog­ni­tion of his human­i­tar­i­an ser­vice. Some of Wal­len­berg’s rel­a­tives were there to receive the medal in his hon­ors, joined by Ten­em­baum, Eurnekian, and the For­mer Min­is­ter of Jus­tice of Cana­da and long-time Wal­len­berg sup­port­er and promi­nent human rights activist Pro­fes­sor Irwin Cotler. Here’s a pic­ture of the three of them at the cer­e­mo­ny.

    Now why is Cotler impor­tant? Because he’s the guy that founds the RWCHR in 2015. And as we’ll see in the fol­low­ing Sept 2014 “Extend­ed Remark” US Con­gres­sion­al Record (the extend­ed remarks of Con­gress­man Doug Lam­bourn dur­ing the July 2014 cer­e­mo­ny), Cotler is also one of the recip­i­ents of the IRWF Cen­ten­ni­al Medal. Tak­en togeth­er, it appears that the RWCHR is basi­cal­ly just an exten­sion of the IRWF. At least the same under­ly­ing net­work of peo­ple with a shared agen­da. A shared agen­da that includes aggres­sive­ly push­ing regime change in Chi­na. It’s in that con­text where Eurnekian’s spon­sor­ship of Guo’s “Himalayan Embassy” make a lot of sense. It’s all part of the same effort.

    Adding to the intrigue with this net­work of fig­ures is a 2019 piece in Mosa­ic Mag­a­zine by Rab­bi Avi Weiss recount­ing the 25 years since the bomb­ing of the AMIA. Weiss imme­di­ate­ly trav­eled from the US to the bomb­ing site and was there in the ini­tial days as the wreck­age was being sift­ed through. Weiss shared the con­cerned held by many in Argenti­na’s Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty that the gov­ern­ment of Car­los Men­em was­n’t will­ing to ful­ly inves­ti­gate the bomb­ing and look­ing into the pos­si­bil­i­ty of local neo-Nazis or ele­ments from Syr­ia play­ing a role. Iran was the sole poten­tial cul­prit, offi­cial­ly speak­ing.

    Then some­thing remark­able hap­pened: a stranger approached Weiss as he was mak­ing rounds among the vic­tim fam­i­lies. The stranger explained that he lived part-time in Buenos Aires, part-time in New York, and knew of Weis­s’s activism and want­ed to help me. He also cau­tioned to nev­er to refer to him by name in pub­lic, adding: “I have lit­tle trust in the Jew­ish estab­lish­ment here. I do not believe they are will­ing to press our gov­ern­ment to pur­sue the truth about the bomb­ings. But I have some influ­ence in Argenti­na and excel­lent con­tacts with peo­ple in gov­ern­ment and the media. Would you like me to arrange a meet­ing with the pres­i­dent?” This stranger was Baruch Ten­em­baum.

    A cou­ple days lat­er, Weiss was plan­ning on hold­ing a demon­stra­tion over the prob­lems with the inves­ti­ga­tion, but was sur­prised to learn that the meet­ing with Men­em had been arranged. Weiss was tak­en to Men­em’s pala­tial res­i­dence, ush­ered into a the liv­ing room, and giv­en a an inter­view with Men­em. Weiss chal­lenged Men­em on why the gov­ern­ment was­n’t inves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty the bomb­ing was car­ried out by Syr­i­ans, or domes­tic neo-Nazis, or by some com­bi­na­tion of the two? Despite Weis­s’s tough ques­tion­ing, Men­em encour­aged Weiss to attend a full cab­i­net meet­ing that after­noon. When Weiss explained the Sabath pre­vent­ed him from attend­ing, Men­em resched­uled the meet­ing to allow Weiss to attend. When Weiss arrived at the cab­i­net meet­ing, where he was shown a40 minute video doc­u­ment­ing the gov­ern­men­t’s case. At the end, Men­em hand­ed Weiss a sup­pos­ed­ly con­fi­den­tial gov­ern­ment report on the inves­ti­ga­tion. It was so obvi­ous the Men­em gov­ern­ment was try­ing to win Weiss over that Weiss won­dered if Ten­em­baum con­vinced Men­em to win Weiss over to defus­ing the crit­i­cism of oth­ers. So that’s a pret­ty chap­ter of Ten­em­baum’s his­to­ry: effec­tive­ly work­ing to defend the Men­em gov­ern­ment in the wake of the AMIA bomb­ing.

    Ok, first, here’s the Sep­tem­ber 2014 US Con­gres­sion­al record that gives the trib­ute by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tom Lan­tos to Eduar­do Eurnekian, an exten­sion of the July 2014 cer­e­mo­ny hon­or­ing Raoul Wal­len­berg. A trib­ute that include a ref­er­ence to For­mer Min­is­ter of Jus­tice of Cana­da and long-time Wal­len­berg sup­port­er and promi­nent human rights activist Pro­fes­sor Irwin Cotler, who was in atten­dance with Eurnekian and Ten­em­baum at the July cer­e­mo­ny. Cotler went on to start the RWCHR the next year. So it’s pret­ty clear that the IRWF and RWCHR are derive from the same net­work of peo­ple:

    Con­gres­sion­al Record
    Exten­sion of Remarks

    TRIBUTE TO EDUARDO EURNEKIAN

    HON. DOUG LAMBORN OF COLORADO
    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 18, 2014

    Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speak­er, I am hon­ored to rec­og­nize Eduar­do Eurnekian, a tru­ly remark­able man. As Chair­man of the Inter­na­tion­al Raoul Wal­len­berg Foun­da­tion (IRWF), Mr. Eurnekian has made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to pre­serv­ing and pro­mot­ing the extra­or­di­nary lega­cy of Raoul Wal­len­berg, the WWII Swedish diplo­mat who is cred­it­ed with sav­ing scores of Jews in Budapest from the hor­rors of the Holo­caust. Raoul Wal­len­berg dis­ap­peared on Jan­u­ary 17, 1945 when he went to meet with mem­bers of the Sovi­et Army to dis­cuss the future of the Jew­ish refugees in Hun­gary. Impris­oned by the Stal­in­ist regime along with his loy­al dri­ver, Vil­mos Langfelder, his fate and where­abouts, now 70 years lat­er, remain shroud­ed in mys­tery.

    In 1981, our nation hon­ored Raoul Wal­len­berg by mak­ing him an Hon­orary Cit­i­zen of the Unit­ed States, only the sec­ond per­son to be so hon­ored (fol­low­ing Win­ston Churchill). More recent­ly, on July 9, 2014, the U.S. Con­gress pre­sent­ed him the Con­gres­sion­al Gold Medal in recog­ni­tion of his human­i­tar­i­an ser­vice.

    Under the lead­er­ship of Mr. Eurnekian and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with IRWF founder Baruch Ten­em­baum (who was hon­ored by this House on Sep­tem­ber 10, 2003), the IRWF has worked tire­less­ly to pre­serve and pro­mote the lega­cy of the hero who became a vic­tim him­self. It has been reach­ing out to tens of thou­sands of young peo­ple around the world, instill­ing Raoul’s spir­it of civic courage and sol­i­dar­i­ty in their hearts and minds.

    Just recent­ly, Mr. Eurnekian spear­head­ed the events cel­e­brat­ing the award of the Con­gres­sion­al Gold Medal to Raoul Wal­len­berg. Dozens of Mem­bers of Con­gress had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn about the IRWF and to pay trib­ute to its out­stand­ing work at a lun­cheon cer­e­mo­ny pri­or to the mov­ing award pre­sen­ta­tion in the Capi­tol Rotun­da. Mr. Eurnekian was there pre­sent­ed with the ‘‘Guardian of the Rescuer’s Lega­cy,’’ a mag­nif­i­cent stat­ue sym­bol­iz­ing peace and sol­i­dar­i­ty that was cre­at­ed by the renowned artist Frank Meisler.

    In an effort to raise glob­al aware­ness of Raoul Wal­len­berg, and to pay trib­ute to world lead­ers who trea­sure the val­ues of the Swedish hero, Mr. Eurnekian and Mr. Ten­em­baum have bestowed the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­ten­ni­al Medal upon many dis­tin­guished indi­vid­u­als through­out the world. These include the for­mer British PM Gor­don Brown, the for­mer Pres­i­dent of Slo­va­kia Ivo Gas­parovic, the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Jose Manuel Bar­roso, the for­mer Sec­re­tary of Pope John XXIII Car­di­nal Loris Capovil­la, the leg­endary British sav­ior Sir Nicholas Win­ton, the Pres­i­dent of the Hel­lenic Repub­lic Karo­los Papou­lias, the For­mer Min­is­ter of Jus­tice of Cana­da and long-time Wal­len­berg sup­port­er and promi­nent human rights activist Pro­fes­sor Irwin Cotler.

    The IRWF strives to raise aware­ness of Raoul Wallenberg’s lega­cy and fate, urg­ing inter­na­tion­al lead­ers to raise their voic­es. Pres­i­dent Oba­ma did so in his video address of April 19, 2012 enti­tled ‘‘Remem­ber­ing and Hon­or­ing Courage.’’ Sim­i­lar­ly, for­mer Aus­tralian PM Julia Gillard paid trib­ute in a video address devot­ed to the Swedish diplo­mat.

    Under Mr. Eurnekian’s lead­er­ship, the IRWF has not shied away from dif­fi­cult legal chal­lenges. On August 5, 2014, after a pro­tract­ed five-year-long bat­tle, the Argen­tinean Supreme Court over­turned a low­er court judg­ment in favor of the grand­son of an Argen­tinean diplo­mat, Luis Her­nan Irigoyen, who had been sta­tioned at the Argen­tine Embassy in Berlin dur­ing the Nazi regime. After the IRWF accused the diplo­mat of let­ting Argen­tine Jews die, the diplomat’s grand­son sued IRWF for dam­ages. The high court decid­ed that the IRWF will not have to idem­ni­fy the diplomat’s grand­son and that ‘‘even the harsh­est crit­i­cism has Con­sti­tu­tion­al Pro­tec­tion.’’ Years before this unprece­dent­ed rul­ing, fol­low­ing a cam­paign by the IRWF, the then-For­eign Min­is­ter of Argenti­na, Mr. Rafael Biel­sa, ordered the removal of a plaque that was placed inside the Argen­tine Chan­cellery in homage to 12 Argen­tine diplo­mats (Irigoyen was among them) that alleged­ly worked in favor of per­se­cut­ed Jews. The IRWF proved that this hon­or was unde­served.

    Mr. Eurnekian is an inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized entre­pre­neur. He is CEO and Pres­i­dent of Cor­po­ra­cion Amer­i­ca, whose diverse hold­ings include man­age­ment of more than 50 air­ports, infra­struc­ture devel­op­ment, min­ing, finan­cial ser­vices, ener­gy, agri­cul­tur­al, wine and nano-tech­nol­o­gy and microchip pro­duc­tion. He serves as First Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Argen­tinean Cham­ber of Com­merce and is a Mem­ber of the Exec­u­tive Board of the Inter­na­tion­al Cham­ber of Com­merce.

    His work has earned him a vari­ety of pres­ti­gious awards and prizes, includ­ing the fol­low­ing: ‘‘Busi­ness­man of the Year’’ from (Argenti­na 1995); ‘‘Leonar­do Award’’ from the Ital­ian Gov­ern­ment (1999); ‘‘Man of the Year’’ from the Armen­ian Gen­er­al Benev­o­lent Union (2010); ‘‘Knight of Holy Etch­mi­adzin Order’’ from the Catholi­cos of all Arme­ni­ans, His Holi­ness Karekin II (2011); ‘‘Cer­tifi­cate of Appre­ci­a­tion’’ from UNDP for his role as an ‘‘advo­cate for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment’’ in Arme­nia (2012); ‘‘Busi­ness for Peace Award’’ from the Oslo Busi­ness for Peace Foun­da­tion (2012); ‘‘Busi­ness­man of the Year’’ from CAMACOL— Latin Cham­bers of Com­merce and Indus­try (2012); and ‘‘Busi­ness­man of the Year—Services Cat­e­go­ry’’ from the Argen­tine Busi­ness­men Asso­ci­a­tion (2012). In spite of his many com­mit­ments, Mr. Eurnekian did not hes­i­tate for a sin­gle moment when offered the chal­lenge to lead the IRWF—and he has led with tire­less com­mit­ment, pas­sion and inge­nu­ity.

    Now 82 years old, Eduar­do Eurnekian con­tin­ues his activism with pas­sion and vig­or. Although he has nev­er received any com­pen­sa­tion for his work on behalf of the IRWF, he has gen­er­ous­ly con­tributed his own funds to the mis­sion of this impor­tant orga­ni­za­tion, whose mem­ber­ship includes more than 300 heads of state, Nobel Prize lau­re­ates and accom­plished indi­vid­u­als from all walks of life. Indeed, the for­mer Arch­bish­op of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, joined its ranks many years ago, and the IRWF is hon­ored to include him, now known as Pope Fran­cis, in its mem­ber­ship.

    Togeth­er with Baruch Ten­em­baum and in the spir­it of the IRWF, Mr. Eurnekian is now work­ing to cre­ate an Armen­ian cul­tur­al cen­ter in Yere­van, which will high­light the unpar­al­leled con­tri­bu­tion of the Armen­ian dias­po­ra to the world dur­ing the last cen­tu­ry in the fields of arts, sci­ence, cul­ture, social wel­fare and busi­ness.

    I am hon­ored to pay trib­ute and express my grat­i­tude and appre­ci­a­tion to Eduar­do Eurnekian, and I urge my col­leagues to join me in con­grat­u­lat­ing him on his out­stand­ing achieve­ments.

    ————

    “TRIBUTE TO EDUARDO EURNEKIAN” by HON. DOUG LAMBORN OF COLORADO; US Con­gres­sion­al Record Exten­sion of Remarks; 09/18/2014

    “In an effort to raise glob­al aware­ness of Raoul Wal­len­berg, and to pay trib­ute to world lead­ers who trea­sure the val­ues of the Swedish hero, Mr. Eurnekian and Mr. Ten­em­baum have bestowed the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­ten­ni­al Medal upon many dis­tin­guished indi­vid­u­als through­out the world. These include the for­mer British PM Gor­don Brown, the for­mer Pres­i­dent of Slo­va­kia Ivo Gas­parovic, the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Jose Manuel Bar­roso, the for­mer Sec­re­tary of Pope John XXIII Car­di­nal Loris Capovil­la, the leg­endary British sav­ior Sir Nicholas Win­ton, the Pres­i­dent of the Hel­lenic Repub­lic Karo­los Papou­lias, the For­mer Min­is­ter of Jus­tice of Cana­da and long-time Wal­len­berg sup­port­er and promi­nent human rights activist Pro­fes­sor Irwin Cotler.

    Again, this was just a year before Cotler found­ed the Raoul Wal­len­berg Cen­ter for Human Rights in Mon­tre­al in 2015. The RWCHR does­n’t appear to be offi­cial­ly affil­i­at­ed with the IRWF, but there’s clear­ly a num­ber of shared per­son­al rela­tion­ships and agen­das between the two groups. So when we find the RWCHR pro­duc­ing much of the worst kind of Chi­na geno­cide dis­in­for­ma­tion, it should­n’t be too sur­pris­ing to learn the Chair of the IRWF owns the prop­er­ty Guo Wen­gui’s “Himalayan Embassy” is locat­ed in.

    Now here’s a look at that fas­ci­nat­ing piece of his­to­ry in rela­tion to Baruch Ten­em­baum: he appeared to be act­ing on behalf of the Men­em gov­ern­ment in the wake of the AMIA bomb­ing as the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty was gripped with con­cerns that the Men­em gov­ern­ment was inten­tion­al­ly pro­tect­ing the real per­pe­tra­tors:

    Mosa­ic Mag­a­zine

    The Shame­ful Cov­er-Up of the Worst Attack on Dias­po­ra Jews Since the Holo­caust

    A per­son­al look at the 25 years that have passed since the bomb­ing of an Argen­tine Jew­ish cen­ter that killed 85 peo­ple, with no progress toward jus­tice.
    Three alle­gor­i­cal murals of the vic­tims of the AMIA bomb­ing on the façade of the Hos­pi­tal de Clíni­cas on July 18, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argenti­na. Ricar­do Ceppi/Getty Images.

    Three alle­gor­i­cal murals of the vic­tims of the AMIA bomb­ing on the façade of the Hos­pi­tal de Clíni­cas on July 18, 2019 in Buenos Aires, Argenti­na. Ricar­do Ceppi/Getty Images.
    Essay

    Avi Weiss
    Aug. 5 2019

    Avi Weiss is found­ing rab­bi of the Hebrew Insti­tute of Riverdale in New York City and founder of the rab­bini­cal schools Yeshi­v­at Chovevei Torah and Yeshi­v­at Maharat. His most recent book is Jour­ney to Open Ortho­doxy.

    It was prob­a­bly the most sur­re­al sit­u­a­tion in all my years as an activist for Jew­ish caus­es. A mere 48 hours after arriv­ing in Argenti­na, a coun­try in which I knew nary a soul and did not speak the lan­guage, I found myself at the res­i­dence of Pres­i­dent Car­los Saúl Men­em, ensconced by his side in a seat of hon­or at an emer­gency meet­ing of his full cab­i­net, called for the express pur­pose of con­vinc­ing me that I, only late­ly arrived from New York, was wrong.

    The back­ground: a few days ear­li­er, on July 18, a fero­cious car-bomb­ing of the head­quar­ters of AMIA—the Argen­tine Israelite Mutu­al Asso­ci­a­tion, the largest Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty cen­ter and social-ser­vice agency in Buenos Aires—had killed 85 peo­ple and wound­ed 300 more. It was the largest sin­gle attack against a Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty in the Dias­po­ra since the Holo­caust. It was also, as the his­to­ri­an Mar­tin Kramer would argue pre­scient­ly in Com­men­tary a few months lat­er, the open­ing of a new phase in jihadist strat­e­gy: a shift from anti-Israelism to war against Jews every­where, a form of anti-Semi­tism “so wide­spread and poten­tial­ly vio­lent that it could eclipse all oth­er forms of anti-Semi­tism over the next decade.”

    In one instant, I knew I had to go. Two years ear­li­er, on March 17, 1992, ter­ror­ists had also bombed the Israel embassy in Buenos Aires, result­ing in 29 dead and many more injured, and in the inter­ven­ing years not a sin­gle per­son had been appre­hend­ed. When ter­ror­ist activ­i­ty is left unpur­sued, it sends a mes­sage: you’re a soft tar­get, and can be attacked with impuni­ty.

    Which is exact­ly what had now hap­pened again in Argenti­na, even more explo­sive­ly. On July 18, CNN’s graph­ic cov­er­age of AMIA’s shat­tered sev­en-sto­ry build­ing revealed the bro­ken bod­ies of men and women amid the smok­ing wreck­age of the blast as, out­side, scream­ing friends and rel­a­tives tried des­per­ate­ly to push through police lines for word of their loved ones.

    I asked a col­league who ran the Chabad syn­a­gogue in my neigh­bor­hood if his coun­ter­parts in Buenos Aires could help me find my way once there. I also asked Rudy Giu­liani, then the may­or of New York City, and Mario Cuo­mo, then gov­er­nor of New York State, if they could pro­vide signed let­ters to Pres­i­dent Men­em sup­port­ing my trip—and urg­ing the Argen­tine gov­ern­ment to find, arrest, and pun­ish the per­pe­tra­tors. They oblig­ed with­in a mat­ter of hours.

    In trav­el­ing to the scene, I hoped to make some impact on the morale of Argen­tine Jew­ry, to bring them the mes­sage that the Jew­ish peo­ple every­where cared about them and were hor­ri­fied by the mur­der­ous assault against them. And I hoped per­son­al­ly and pub­licly to under­line the mes­sage con­tained in the let­ters from the may­or and gov­er­nor.

    What I didn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly expect then, what I didn’t have time to con­sid­er before I left, was the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an even more out­ra­geous cov­er-up than the one that fol­lowed the 1992 bomb­ing. Today, after the 25th anniver­sary of the AMIA bomb­ing, jus­tice still has not been served.

    But let me begin from the begin­ning.

    BUENOS AIRES: JULY 20–24, 1994

    Upon arrival in Buenos Aires on July 20, I was met by the Chabad rab­bi, Avra­ham Benchi­mol, who drove me to the scene at AMIA. Though I tried to steel myself, I was sick­ened by what I found. The AMIA build­ing in the crowd­ed city cen­ter had been reduced to a pile of con­tort­ed met­al, con­crete, and brick. The ruins were being poked and prod­ded by res­cue work­ers engaged in the gris­ly task of search­ing for human remains—and the increas­ing­ly hope­less hunt for sur­vivors. All around I could hear cries of anguish as work­ers emerged with plas­tic bags con­tain­ing scraps of cloth­ing and pieces of flesh.

    As Israeli sol­diers and Argen­tine demo­li­tion experts pressed the search for sur­vivors, the loud noise from cranes, picks, and shov­els shat­tered our ears—except for once on that first day when the res­cue work­ers’ sen­sors need­ed absolute qui­et in order to detect even the faintest sounds of life, and a sud­den silence fell as if the world had stood still.

    Rab­bi Benchi­mol dragged me away from the scene to AMIA’s makeshift head­quar­ters sev­er­al blocks away, where fam­i­lies were gath­ered await­ing news. They sat in somber clutch­es, hop­ing against hope, dread­ing the news that would con­firm their fears. With the rab­bi as my trans­la­tor, I stayed there for many hours, offer­ing what lit­tle heal­ing I could, oth­er­wise just keep­ing watch.

    Two meet­ings with vic­tims’ fam­i­lies from that day have stayed with me most vivid­ly. One was with Ana Bluger­man, an employ­ee of AMIA, whose twen­ty-one-year-old daugh­ter Pao­la Czyzews­ki had accom­pa­nied her to work that fate­ful morn­ing. Sob­bing, at first unable to speak, Ana halt­ing­ly explained that, moments before the blast, she had asked Pao­la to fetch cof­fee from a machine down the hall. When the explo­sion hit, Ana, bad­ly shak­en, had some­how man­aged to escape the build­ing, but Pao­la had not been seen since, and hope was fad­ing fast. At that very moment, word was expect­ed from the morgue about a just-recov­ered female corpse, bad­ly burned and unrec­og­niz­able.

    “It’s my fault,” Ana kept repeat­ing in a shat­tered voice. Lat­er a morgue work­er would inform the fam­i­ly that the corpse in ques­tion was not Pao­la. Momen­tar­i­ly relieved, they strug­gled not to raise their hopes too high; the next day would indeed con­firm that their child had died.

    In the sec­ond encounter, I was sit­ting with the Aver­buch fam­i­ly when they learned that the body of their daugh­ter Yan­i­na, a social work­er at AMIA, had been iden­ti­fied. Absorb­ing the news, Yanina’s father, Dr. Mario Aver­buch, and her twelve-year-old broth­er Jonathan sat fac­ing each oth­er with their knees inter­locked, unspeak­ing, shak­ing and sob­bing in uni­son.

    Beyond the anguish, there was also great fear that the ter­ror­ists would strike again, that a Jew­ish school or syn­a­gogue would be the next tar­get. And there was a sec­ondary fear as well: that, as wary Gen­tiles took steps to keep a safe dis­tance between them­selves and such proven tar­gets, the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty of Buenos Aires would become effec­tive­ly quarantined—in a word, ghet­toized.

    And then some­thing strange hap­pened. As I made my rounds among the fam­i­lies, I was approached by an ele­gant-look­ing man who, guid­ing me to a qui­et alcove where we wouldn’t be over­heard, explained that as one who lived part-time in Buenos Aires and part-time in New York, he knew of my activism and want­ed to help me. Cau­tion­ing me nev­er to refer to him by name in pub­lic, he said: “I have lit­tle trust in the Jew­ish estab­lish­ment here. I do not believe they are will­ing to press our gov­ern­ment to pur­sue the truth about the bomb­ings. But I have some influ­ence in Argenti­na and excel­lent con­tacts with peo­ple in gov­ern­ment and the media. Would you like me to arrange a meet­ing with the pres­i­dent?”

    He was Baruch Ten­em­baum (as I’m now per­mit­ted to say): teacher, pro­fes­sor, inter­faith activist, human­i­tar­i­an, a founder of the Inter­na­tion­al Raoul Wal­len­berg Foun­da­tion, and much more. Stunned, I imme­di­ate­ly gave my assent, over­joyed to have found not only an ally but one as con­vinced as I that, with­out sus­tained pres­sure and protest, the mur­der­ers would nev­er be exposed.

    The fol­low­ing morn­ing, I vis­it­ed sev­er­al hos­pi­tals where many vic­tims of the blast had been tak­en. Some were bad­ly wound­ed and only just cling­ing to life; for oth­ers, the dev­as­ta­tion was more men­tal and psy­cho­log­i­cal than phys­i­cal, as with one unin­jured but trau­ma­tized woman, Rosa by name, who lay mute and motion­less. A nurse explained that she had been walk­ing in front of the AMIA build­ing with her five-year-old son Sebas­t­ian when the blast hit. Though the moth­er had emerged phys­i­cal­ly unscathed, a piece of shrap­nel had pierced the boy’s head, killing him instant­ly.

    I also recall vivid­ly the agony of Angel Kreiman, a Con­ser­v­a­tive rab­bi and a won­der­ful man. (The Con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment was strong in Argenti­na, though unfor­tu­nate­ly its rab­bis were large­ly shunned by their Ortho­dox col­leagues.) Angel’s wife, Susy, worked at AMIA help­ing peo­ple find employ­ment. When I saw him that night, he and his daugh­ters were sit­ting in the tem­po­rary build­ing, wait­ing fear­ful­ly for news. We sat togeth­er, some­times con­vers­ing in short bursts. When, three days lat­er, I ran into Angel just before fly­ing home, he said tear­ful­ly that he had still not received word con­cern­ing his wife. I promised I would call the minute I reached New York. By the time I did, Angel and his chil­dren were already sit­ting shi­va.

    Lat­er that after­noon on my sec­ond day, there was a huge ral­ly in the square near the anni­hi­lat­ed build­ing. In total, 150,000 peo­ple turned out for the demon­stra­tion, car­ry­ing signs and chant­i­ng slo­gans demand­ing that the guilty be brought to jus­tice. Pres­i­dent Men­em appeared on the podi­um but did not speak. When his name was announced, there was an unmis­tak­able cho­rus of boos.

    It was clear to any­one with ears to hear that the pub­lic dis­trust­ed Men­em to pur­sue the ter­ror­ists. His admin­is­tra­tion had made no progress on the pri­or attack on the Israel embassy, in whose wake the secu­ri­ty ser­vices had shown a puz­zling indif­fer­ence to high­ly cred­i­ble warn­ings from var­i­ous intel­li­gence sources of like­ly fur­ther assaults against Jew­ish tar­gets. In gen­er­al, secu­ri­ty in Argenti­na remained appalling­ly lax, both at entry points like the Ezeiza Inter­na­tion­al Air­port and along the tra­di­tion­al­ly porous bor­ders with Paraguay and Brazil that for decades had allowed for­mer Nazi mass mur­der­ers like Adolf Eich­mann and Josef Men­gele to slip back and forth with impuni­ty.

    As rain fell over the demon­stra­tion, we began singing Rab­bi Shlo­mo Carlebach’s haunt­ing melody to the Psalmist’s cry: “I pour forth my heart like water, seek­ing God’s favor.” The heav­ens seemed to be shed­ding tears with us.

    Ear­ly the next morn­ing, a Fri­day, I had break­fast with Joe Gold­man, a vet­er­an Buenos Aires-based cor­re­spon­dent of UPI and a high­ly knowl­edge­able observ­er of the Argen­tine polit­i­cal scene. His co-writ­ten book, Cur­tains of Smoke, out­spo­ken­ly crit­i­cal of the secu­ri­ty forces’ inves­ti­ga­tion of the 1992 embassy bomb­ing, would appear a few months lat­er.

    Our per­son­al connection—I had per­formed Joe’s first mar­riage many years before—engendered trust between us, and he read­i­ly gave me an insider’s analy­sis of the bomb­ings. There were con­cerns among many, he said, about Pres­i­dent Menem’s Syr­i­an con­nec­tions. Of Syr­i­an ances­try him­self, Men­em was raised Catholic by par­ents who had con­vert­ed upon emi­grat­ing to Argenti­na. Mean­while, Menem’s estranged wife, Zule­ma, also a mem­ber of Argentina’s large Syr­i­an com­mu­ni­ty, had remained an Alaw­ite Mus­lim, the same sect to which the Syr­i­an pres­i­dent Hafez al-Assad belonged.

    When Men­em first took over, he had pleas­ant­ly sur­prised peo­ple by trav­el­ing to Israel, pro­claim­ing his friend­ship for the Jew­ish state, and vow­ing to pro­tect Argen­tine Jews. Yet, in a wor­ry­ing sign, he also main­tained warm rela­tions with the Syr­i­an dic­ta­tor.

    By then I was aware of a well-known Wash­ing­ton whistle­blow­er, Mar­tin Edwin Ander­sen, who wrote almost a month before the AMIA attack, on a day when Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton was meet­ing Men­em in Wash­ing­ton, urg­ing the for­mer to keep the lat­ter at arm’s length and warn­ing that Men­em was “incorporat[ing] many gang­ster­ish ele­ments once purged from pub­lic life into his own admin­is­tra­tion. Under Mr. Men­em, Argenti­na has become a waysta­tion for Mid­dle East ter­ror­ists.”

    Among the most promi­nent of those “gang­ster­ish ele­ments” was Colonel Oscar Pasquel Guer­ri­eri, whom Men­em had appoint­ed as an advis­er to the state intel­li­gence agency (SIDE). Dur­ing the harsh mil­i­tary regimes in the 1970s and ear­ly 80s, Guer­ri­eri had over­seen two deten­tion camps, and in 1985 had been a cen­tral fig­ure in try­ing to top­ple Raúl Alfon­sin, Menem’s lib­er­al-demo­c­ra­t­ic pre­de­ces­sor. He did so in part by phon­ing in death threats to schools through­out the coun­try, the first of which was a Jew­ish preschool. (In describ­ing Guerrieri’s nefar­i­ous activ­i­ties I draw from Andersen’s piece.) That Guer­ri­eri had been praised and award­ed with high posi­tions by Menem—instead of being jailed for par­tic­i­pat­ing in a reign of terror—spoke vol­umes about the latter’s polit­i­cal prin­ci­ples.

    As for the Syr­i­an con­nec­tion and Argentina’s role as, in Andersen’s words, “a waysta­tion for Mid­dle East ter­ror­ists,” Men­em had, for exam­ple, appoint­ed his Syr­i­an broth­er-in-law, Ibrahim al-Ibrahim, as head of secu­ri­ty at the inter­na­tion­al airport—despite the fact that al-Ibrahim hard­ly spoke Span­ish.

    It was also known that Men­em had des­ig­nat­ed “ZaZa” Martinez—a noto­ri­ous criminal—as direc­tor of immi­gra­tion. Mar­tinez had allowed the entry into the coun­try of Monz­er al-Kas­sar, a Syr­i­an thought to have tak­en part in plan­ning and exe­cut­ing a num­ber of ter­ror­ist attacks, includ­ing the 1988 Locker­bie bomb­ing. Soon after­ward, al-Kas­sar was grant­ed Argen­tinean cit­i­zen­ship.

    It was thus beyond doubt that well before the AMIA bomb­ing, Men­em and his allies had helped ren­der the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty vul­ner­a­ble to attack. In sum, it was high­ly like­ly that a nexus of home­grown “gang­sters” and Arab jihadists had planned the AMIA attack and could be plan­ning fur­ther anti-Semit­ic vio­lence. Even with­out proof of the bombers’ spe­cif­ic iden­ti­ties, I believed the best hope for pre­vent­ing anoth­er tragedy lay in warn­ing Men­em that fail­ure to pur­sue the per­pe­tra­tors could sab­o­tage his all-impor­tant rela­tion­ship with Wash­ing­ton.

    That day I’d planned to hold a demon­stra­tion to rein­force that mes­sage. But to my sur­prise I learned that my anony­mous stranger/friend had indeed already secured a meet­ing with the pres­i­dent, and I was soon tak­en to his pala­tial res­i­dence and ush­ered into the liv­ing room.

    Men­em, accom­pa­nied by a woman trans­la­tor, smiled broad­ly and shook my hand with a show of great warmth—“show” being the oper­a­tive word. Imme­di­ate­ly after shak­ing hands he launched into a recital of his ago­nized emo­tions over the AMIA attack and the heavy loss of life of his Jew­ish com­pa­tri­ots.

    I wait­ed for a pause in this flow­ery out­burst before inter­ject­ing, “Mr. Pres­i­dent, why Buenos Aires? Why a sec­ond time?” Hand­ing him the let­ters from Cuo­mo and Giu­liani, I empha­sized espe­cial­ly the mayor’s strong­ly word­ed point: “It is imper­a­tive that those who com­mit­ted the crime be brought to jus­tice. The swift res­o­lu­tion of this case will send the mes­sage that future attacks will not be tol­er­at­ed.” Then I asked why the per­pe­tra­tors of the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing in New York could be found soon there­after while, two years after the Israel embassy bomb­ing in Buenos Aires, no one had yet been appre­hend­ed.

    Pre­dictably, Men­em embarked on a defense of his government’s actions. Argentina’s sit­u­a­tion, he said, was shared by many coun­tries vic­tim­ized by acts of terror—but was I aware that he had invit­ed an elite Israeli army unit to pick through the rub­ble of the AMIA bomb­ing, even though the invi­ta­tion had angered many pow­er­ful peo­ple, espe­cial­ly in the mil­i­tary? Besides, his intel­li­gence ser­vices had already con­clud­ed that a ter­ror group, based in south­ern Lebanon and backed by Iran, had been behind the ear­li­er bomb­ing.

    Men­em shook his head dis­mis­sive­ly when I point­ed out that, if the ter­ror group in ques­tion oper­at­ed out of south­ern Lebanon, then Syr­ia, which at the time phys­i­cal­ly con­trolled the area, was also like­ly involved. Whether for rea­sons of eth­nic and famil­ial sol­i­dar­i­ty, or because Syr­ia was then a “respectable” mem­ber of the world com­mu­ni­ty, he seemed to pre­fer lay­ing full blame on Iran.

    After again stress­ing his deep sym­pa­thy for the vic­tims, Men­em changed the sub­ject by launch­ing a per­son­al attack on Rubén Ezra Bera­ja, pres­i­dent of the pre­em­i­nent Argen­tine Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tion DAIA (Del­e­gación de Aso­cia­ciones Israeli­tas Argenti­nas). Angri­ly, he charged Bera­ja with fail­ing to silence those who had booed him at the mass ral­ly the day before.

    From my point of view, while it was true that Bera­ja had not qui­et­ed the crowd, his speech at the ral­ly had been bland; it lacked inten­si­ty and emo­tion, and didn’t chal­lenge Men­em to do more. While lis­ten­ing to the speech I had won­dered whether Bera­ja was free enough to speak out giv­en that the large bank he head­ed was depen­dent on the Men­em gov­ern­ment.

    Notwith­stand­ing those con­cerns, I was deter­mined not to let Men­em use me to dis­cred­it the Jew­ish leader. “I agree with Bera­ja 100 per­cent,” I answered. “It was impor­tant for you, Mr. Pres­i­dent, to hear the sen­ti­ments of the crowd.” And I con­tin­ued: “You are accus­ing Iran of being behind these bomb­ings. Why not inves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­i­ty that they were car­ried out by Syr­i­ans, or by domes­tic neo-Nazis, or by some com­bi­na­tion of the two?”

    “It is incon­ceiv­able that Arabs and neo-Nazis could have worked togeth­er,” Men­em rejoined. He seemed espe­cial­ly sen­si­tive to the charge that neo-Nazis were involved, per­haps because they could have includ­ed some whom he had placed in high intel­li­gence and secu­ri­ty posi­tions.

    “Why not?” I asked. “Hitler worked close­ly with the mufti of Jerusalem. It is crit­i­cal that you open a seri­ous and com­pre­hen­sive inves­ti­ga­tion, one that exam­ines all pos­si­ble vari­ants.”

    If Men­em was stung by my imper­ti­nence, he didn’t show it. Instead, after more than an hour of give-and-take, he invit­ed me to attend a full cab­i­net meet­ing that same after­noon. Why so solic­i­tous? Per­haps the let­ters I gave him from Giu­liani and Cuo­mo led him to believe that I had more influ­ence than I did. And per­haps Baruch Ten­em­baum had con­vinced him that if he could win me over, I’d be use­ful in defus­ing the crit­i­cism of oth­ers.

    What­ev­er the rea­son, Men­em urged my atten­dance even after I not­ed that the ear­ly onset of the Sab­bath pro­hib­it­ed my show­ing up at the appoint­ed time. He solved the prob­lem by offer­ing to hold the cab­i­net meet­ing ear­li­er, and—breaking his pre­vi­ous stip­u­la­tion that I be the only Jew­ish leader there—even accept­ed my con­di­tion that the DAIA pres­i­dent also be allowed to take part.

    The scene when I arrived back at the pres­i­den­tial res­i­dence that after­noon was even weird­er than ear­li­er. There must have been 40 men in the liv­ing room. Tak­ing me by the arm, Men­em intro­duced me to the for­eign min­is­ter, the defense min­is­ter, and then to the inte­ri­or min­is­ter, Car­los Corach—who, the pres­i­dent has­tened to inform me, was Jew­ish. Next he ges­tured me to sit beside him in front of the room. Notic­ing Bera­ja stand­ing in the very back, and brook­ing Menem’s irri­ta­tion, I ges­tured him to come for­ward and sit next to me.

    On a sig­nal from Men­em (who had also encour­aged me to take notes), the defense min­is­ter played a video doc­u­ment­ing his department’s efforts to solve the Israeli embassy bombing—efforts, he not­ed, that had nev­er been made pub­lic. The film reen­act­ed the government’s sce­nario of how the attack took place and iden­ti­fied the Iran­ian-linked Ansar Allah group as the prime sus­pect. The pres­i­dent dozed off dur­ing the video; roused after it end­ed, he pressed into my hands a sup­pos­ed­ly con­fi­den­tial report on the embassy bomb­ing.

    Real­iz­ing that it was now almost sun­set, I explained to a tak­en-aback Men­em that I couldn’t stay; in fact, the immi­nent onset of the Sab­bath required that I leave imme­di­ate­ly. “Please under­stand,” I told him, “the Sab­bath Queen is very lov­ing, but very demand­ing.” “I like peo­ple of faith,” he respond­ed, and then added: “I, too, know some women who are very demand­ing.”

    Over the next sev­er­al days, I shared Menem’s report with Israeli secu­ri­ty oper­a­tives who were help­ing to search for the miss­ing. Their unan­i­mous opin­ion, pith­ily stat­ed by one, was that it amount­ed to “a lot of horse manure.” Every expert I would lat­er con­sult ver­i­fied that the report was basi­cal­ly a com­pi­la­tion of rumors and spec­u­la­tion, the net result of which was to con­firm that the gov­ern­ment had made no seri­ous effort to crack the case.

    My final two days before leav­ing Buenos Aires were devot­ed main­ly to vis­it­ing with fam­i­lies still antic­i­pat­ing their grim tid­ings. After the end of Shab­bat I sat with the Gold­en­berg fam­i­ly, who had set up a per­ma­nent vig­il at the makeshift AMIA build­ing, await­ing word about their twen­ty-year-old daugh­ter Cyn­thia Veron­i­ca. Like the rest of the fam­i­ly, her broth­er Dami­an, a bright-eyed, long-haired young man, hadn’t been home since the blast six days ear­li­er, so I joined Abra­ham Sko­r­ka, anoth­er promi­nent local Con­ser­v­a­tive rab­bi, in try­ing to con­vince him to take a break. Our efforts were cut short when news broke that his sister’s body had been found. Dami­an sobbed and cried out with fury: “You are rab­bis. You are sup­posed to have the answers. How could this hap­pen? Tell me!” Sub­sid­ing into silence, he then cried out: “Elo­him! Where is God?”

    The worst response from a spir­i­tu­al leader at such a moment is to intel­lec­tu­al­ize about the mys­tery of God’s will. We held Dami­an in our arms and tried to reas­sure the fam­i­ly that Jews the world over were griev­ing with them.

    On the final day of my trip, I attend­ed the funer­al of Yan­i­na Aver­buch and vis­it­ed the home of the Czyzewskis as they sat shi­va for their beloved Pao­la. Those painful encoun­ters rein­forced my will to act.

    Just before head­ing to the air­port, I held a well-attend­ed press con­fer­ence near the site of the bomb­ing. Deter­mined to make clear that I had not been bought off by Menem’s recep­tion, I asked the assem­bled reporters: “If Men­em is so sin­cere about hav­ing done every­thing to pre­vent fur­ther ter­ror­ism after the Israel embassy bomb­ing, why is the Buenos Aires air­port still so unsafe? Why is there an almost com­plete lack of secu­ri­ty at the bor­der cross­ings?”

    Argu­ing that this made smug­gling a bomb into the coun­try child’s play, I ven­tured my opin­ion that, until secu­ri­ty was improved, the U.S. gov­ern­ment should con­sid­er for­bid­ding flights to Buenos Aires. At a min­i­mum, Amer­i­can cit­i­zens should be warned that the country’s secu­ri­ty stan­dards were whol­ly unac­cept­able.

    NEW YORK: SEPTEMBER 26, 1994

    Arriv­ing home, I was dis­heart­ened to learn that the AMIA bomb­ing had not got­ten the atten­tion it deserved in the Amer­i­can media. For­tu­nate­ly, how­ev­er, the House com­mit­tee on for­eign affairs was about to con­duct hear­ings on the mat­ter. And so, I flew to Wash­ing­ton where I hoped to dis­cuss my trip with Rep. Tom Lan­tos (D‑Cal), the com­mit­tee chair­man. Lan­tos was the only Jew­ish Holo­caust sur­vivor serv­ing in Con­gress; sure­ly, I thought, in him I would find an ally. But instead he was aloof, showed only per­func­to­ry inter­est in my report, and said it would be impos­si­ble for me to par­tic­i­pate in the hear­ings since the list of speakers—mainly, DAIA pres­i­dent Bera­ja and Raúl Ocam­po, Argentina’s ambas­sador to the U.S.—had already been set.

    The hear­ings did not go well. Ocam­po bland­ly assured the com­mit­tee that the Men­em gov­ern­ment was vig­or­ous­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the bomb­ing. Bera­ja was also dis­ap­point­ing, declin­ing to crit­i­cize his gov­ern­ment direct­ly. As a result, the event was large­ly a squib, elic­it­ing lit­tle media inter­est and accom­plish­ing noth­ing toward pres­sur­ing the Argen­tine gov­ern­ment to inves­ti­gate more seri­ous­ly.

    ...

    Eight more months went by with lit­tle dis­cernible progress hav­ing been made toward solv­ing either bomb­ing. In all that time only one man, Car­los Alber­to Tel­leldin, had been detained—though not indicted—in con­nec­tion with the AMIA bomb­ing. Tel­leldin was the last own­er of the auto­mo­bile thought to have trans­port­ed the fatal device. His arrest smacked of a strat­a­gem to pro­duce a low-lev­el scape­goat, there­by shield­ing high­er-ups from sus­pi­cion. The inves­ti­ga­tion was a sham.

    BUENOS AIRES: JULY 17–19, 1995

    I returned to Buenos Aires for the first anniver­sary of the AMIA bomb­ing. It was impor­tant, I felt, to express sol­i­dar­i­ty with Argen­tine Jews—as well as to exert what­ev­er fur­ther pres­sure I could on the gov­ern­ment. About a month ear­li­er, it was announced that sev­er­al Mid­dle East­ern­ers believed con­nect­ed to the attack had been extra­dit­ed from Paraguay to Argenti­na. But no sol­id evi­dence was sub­se­quent­ly pro­duced against them, and in fact they would be qui­et­ly released once the events mark­ing the anniver­sary were over.

    If I’d arrived anony­mous­ly the pre­vi­ous year, by my sec­ond vis­it I’d become some­thing of a pub­lic fig­ure. Upon my ear­ly-Mon­day arrival, bleary-eyed, I was met at the air­port by reporters and tele­vi­sion cam­eras. Spec­i­fy­ing that I’d returned to demand that the Men­em gov­ern­ment stop drag­ging its heels, I head­ed off to sev­er­al emo­tion­al meet­ings with sur­vivors’ fam­i­lies, who after all were the pri­ma­ry rea­son for my return.

    Then I plunged into a series of inter­views with reporters from sev­er­al of the country’s lead­ing news­pa­pers. This time I was accom­pa­nied to all of my meet­ings by Andy Worms, a bright, inde­fati­ga­ble eigh­teen-year-old and a mem­ber of the local B’nei Aki­va reli­gious-Zion­ist youth move­ment. Andy spoke flu­ent Span­ish and Eng­lish, and appeared to be absolute­ly com­mit­ted to the cause of win­ning jus­tice for the vic­tims.

    The most impor­tant inter­view turned out to be the one with La Nación, a lead­ing Argen­tine news­pa­per. The reporter, Adri­an Ven­tu­ra, pressed me hard as to whether I could con­crete­ly prove my asser­tion that the gov­ern­ment was cov­er­ing up for the real cul­prits in the two bomb­ings. I was care­ful with my words. “I believe the gov­ern­ment has the where­with­al to find the cul­prits, but does not have the will,” I said, voic­ing my expec­ta­tion that in fact there would be no thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion, since such an inves­ti­ga­tion “would reveal that high offi­cials in the gov­ern­ment or those who worked for them would be impli­cat­ed.” Not­ing that the lack of progress in the AMIA case ren­dered Argenti­na vul­ner­a­ble, I told Ven­tu­ra: “I believe that Buenos Aires is a city that awaits its next ter­ror attack.”

    Though Ven­tu­ra duti­ful­ly probed for weak points in my account, he also seemed sym­pa­thet­ic to my claim of a gov­ern­ment cov­er-up. The front-page news sto­ry con­tain­ing my accu­sa­tions ran in La Nación the fol­low­ing morn­ing. In an op-ed piece pub­lished a few days lat­er, Ven­tu­ra wrote: “What is cer­tain is that after the rabbi’s vis­it the vol­ume of the dis­cus­sion has been raised and is now cen­tered on the actions of the secu­ri­ty forces.”

    Men­em, of course, angri­ly reject­ed my charges and attacked me per­son­al­ly as “total­ly deliri­ous.” Bera­ja con­curred, declar­ing that he “cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly” reject­ed my accu­sa­tions. Men­em then went far­ther, pro­nounc­ing that what­ev­er I had to say about the inves­ti­ga­tion had “hurt the Jew­ish peo­ple.” This last com­ment clear­ly seemed aimed at Jew­ish lead­ers, a warn­ing that if they knew what was best for them, they would sep­a­rate them­selves from me and dis­avow my charges. Andy told me that Menem’s choice of words wasn’t sur­pris­ing. In recent days, the pres­i­dent had begun to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between “Argen­tine” and “Jew­ish” vic­tims.

    Despite my hav­ing been crit­i­cized by Bera­ja, scores of Jews greet­ed me warm­ly at the morning’s com­mem­o­ra­tive event. The mes­sage from each was essen­tial­ly the same: “Thank you for say­ing out loud what we are unable to say.”

    That evening, in the largest and most offi­cial event, almost 2,000 wor­ship­pers crammed into the large Con­ser­v­a­tive syn­a­gogue on Liber­dad Street to pay trib­ute to the AMIA vic­tims. I was escort­ed to the event by Abra­ham Sko­r­ka, the Con­ser­v­a­tive rab­bi with whom I’d coun­seled griev­ing fam­i­lies the year before. Sko­r­ka led me to the bimah, filled with many of the top lead­ers of the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, and began intro­duc­ing me to the assem­bled dig­ni­taries.

    Bera­ja stepped for­ward to shake my hand. Look­ing him straight in the eye, I said, “You know I’m right about Men­em.” In a voice tinged with dis­gust, he respond­ed sot­to voce, “Do you want to know what kind of man our pres­i­dent real­ly is? Did you know that he played golf last night, on the eve of the anniver­sary of this ter­ri­ble bomb­ing?” Pri­vate­ly, at least, the DAIA pres­i­dent seemed to con­sid­er Men­em a con­science­less lowlife.

    Sko­r­ka then moved to intro­duce me to a man I’d seen before but couldn’t imme­di­ate­ly place: it was Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Corach, the Jew­ish hench­man of Menem’s whom I’d met at the ginned-up cab­i­net meet­ing a year ear­li­er. I offered to shake his hand, but he turned away, cre­at­ing a notice­able stir on the dais. Sko­r­ka hur­ried­ly steered me from my assigned seat next to Corach (“inad­vis­able for polit­i­cal rea­sons,” he whis­pered del­i­cate­ly) to one near the synagogue’s rab­bi. I lat­er learned that Corach had been the only polit­i­cal leader to appear at a memo­r­i­al pro­gram ear­li­er that after­noon, where he’d been round­ly booed.

    Can­tor David Montefiore’s voice filled the vast hall with the kad­dish prayer for the dead. From the dais I could see young Jonathan Aver­buch and his par­ents, with whom I had been sit­ting a year ago as they learned their daugh­ter Yanina’s body had been iden­ti­fied, and Ana Bluger­man, who had said she’d nev­er for­give her­self for send­ing her daugh­ter Pao­la on a fatal mis­sion to fetch cof­fee.

    After­ward on that same evening I went off to a live inter­view on the Grandona tele­vi­sion pro­gram. The show, host­ed by Mar­i­ano Grandona, was a mix of per­son­al­i­ty pro­files and inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism à la 60 Min­utes.

    Grandona offered to ques­tion me in Eng­lish and trans­late my respons­es into Span­ish. He began by read­ing pas­sages from my accu­sa­tions in La Nación, sum­ma­riz­ing for his mil­lions of view­ers the thrust of my mes­sage. He then asked me: “Do you have any proof for what you have charged, or is this just spec­u­la­tion?” I respond­ed: “My charges are far more than spec­u­la­tion,” and pro­ceed­ed to spell out my rea­sons for them. And so it went.

    Lat­er that evening I received a fran­tic call from Andy. Juan José Galeano, the fed­er­al judge lead­ing the probe into the bomb­ing, had called the Grandona show after I’d left and demand­ed that I appear in court the next morn­ing. Was this an invi­ta­tion, or a sub­poe­na? Unclear. To com­pli­cate mat­ters, the next day’s sched­ule was packed. I was fly­ing back to New York the fol­low­ing evening, but not before join­ing a small group I’d orga­nized to cross the riv­er sep­a­rat­ing Argenti­na from Uruguay in order to test what, if any, secu­ri­ty mea­sures were in effect on each side. If they were as bad as those at the air­port, they would help prove that Argentina’s bor­ders pre­sent­ed no obsta­cle to ter­ror­ists. Not want­i­ng to change plans, I decid­ed that if Galeano real­ly want­ed to see me. he could call me direct­ly.

    Ear­ly the next morn­ing we head­ed to the har­bor for the hour-long trip by fer­ry across the Rio de la Pla­ta. We board­ed with­out encoun­ter­ing any demand for pass­ports or a secu­ri­ty inspec­tion. My baggage—including a tape recorder and cam­era, devices com­mon­ly used to hide sophis­ti­cat­ed bombs—was not checked. Upon our return to Argenti­na, I jumped over the side rail­ing of the boat onto the street with­out being required to pass through pass­port con­trol. The exer­cise had con­firmed our worst sus­pi­cions.

    I had bare­ly put my feet again on Argen­tine soil when I received a call from Joe Gold­man. “Avi,” he said urgent­ly, “it’s hit the fan. It’s all over tele­vi­sion and radio that you didn’t show up at Galeano’s office as required. This is seri­ous.” Clear­ly I had no choice but to appear in court.

    For a judge to have tak­en this kind of action against a for­eign nation­al strong­ly sug­gest­ed pres­sure from high gov­ern­ment offi­cials, pos­si­bly the pres­i­dent him­self. Giv­en that Men­em had denounced me as “delirious”—and giv­en that Argenti­na was only a few years removed from an author­i­tar­i­an regime known for mur­der­ing its citizens—my trep­i­da­tion was pal­pa­ble. Arriv­ing, I was caught up in a swirl of reporters shout­ing ques­tions before being quick­ly swept away into a tiny room with sev­er­al youngish-look­ing legal staffers. Then Galeano walked in and direct­ed me to anoth­er small room where his assis­tant stern­ly read out an end­less series of laws and warned me that if I lied I would be sub­ject to pros­e­cu­tion.

    The longer this exer­cise went on, the more I became con­vinced that the real point was to scare me into recant­i­ng my alle­ga­tions. Ener­gized by the thought, I quick­ly and vis­i­bly lost patience at being treat­ed like a crim­i­nal when all I had done was to state, albeit force­ful­ly, what I believed to be the truth about the government’s cul­pa­bil­i­ty. There I was, deprived of my lib­er­ty and being relent­less­ly cross-exam­ined while the per­pe­tra­tors of two hor­rif­ic bomb­ings remained at large. Angri­ly I told Galeano that I felt under semi-arrest and resent­ed being treat­ed like a crim­i­nal. “I will not tol­er­ate this kind of treat­ment,” I shout­ed. “I have done noth­ing wrong.”

    His demeanor abrupt­ly soft­ened. “All we are try­ing to do is to get at the facts in this case. We want you to give us as much infor­ma­tion as you have.” In reply, I chal­lenged him to expand the inves­ti­ga­tion by seek­ing out those respon­si­ble for Argentina’s egre­gious secu­ri­ty lapses—recent proof of which I was only too glad to pro­vide.

    In this way, six hours passed, until final­ly Galeano said I was free to leave. As I emerged from the build­ing, I was again sur­round­ed by a crush of reporters shout­ing ques­tions. Then a man pushed his way through the knot of reporters and embraced me. Explain­ing that he had lost a rel­a­tive in the bomb­ing, he said: “Thank you for say­ing what we feel but are afraid to say.” Soon after, I learned that a high offi­cial of DAIA had defend­ed me in sim­i­lar terms, stat­ing, “I agree with Rab­bi Weiss, but I can’t say what he says to the media.” If only tem­porar­i­ly, the words lift­ed a heavy weight from my heart.

    ...

    BUENOS AIRES: JULY 15–18, 2019

    Fif­teen more years have passed since 2004—a full quar­ter-cen­tu­ry since the July 1994 bomb­ing.

    One might think that no one could have done a more thor­ough job of cov­er­ing up than Car­los Men­em. After all, experts say the best time to cap­ture ter­ror­ists is imme­di­ate­ly after the attack; for every day they are not found, the trail gets cold­er. Yet for years after­ward, in the face of con­tin­u­ing wide­spread crit­i­cism, his suc­ces­sors faith­ful­ly did what they could to stymie any inves­ti­ga­tion that might have end­ed in bring­ing the guilty to jus­tice.

    The most egre­gious insult may have been a mem­o­ran­dum of under­stand­ing with Iran, mas­ter­mind­ed by the late for­eign min­is­ter Hec­tor Timer­man and the then-pres­i­dent Cristi­na Kirch­n­er (Nestor’s wife, elect­ed sev­er­al years after his term end­ed). In this out­ra­geous doc­u­ment, signed in 2013, Argenti­na joined with Iran in estab­lish­ing a “truth com­mis­sion” (!) to inves­ti­gate the AMIA attack. This was as absurd as ask­ing al-Qae­da to join in inves­ti­gat­ing the pilots who flew the planes into the World Trade Cen­ter.

    Alber­to Nis­man, then the fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor in charge of the AMIA case, railed against the memorandum’s archi­tects. Back in 2006, Nis­man had iden­ti­fied eight high Iran­ian offi­cials, includ­ing the for­mer pres­i­dent Ali Hashe­mi Raf­san­jani, as hav­ing been involved in the AMIA attack, and added one Hizbal­lah oper­a­tive, Imad Mugh­niyeh, then the head of the ter­ror­ist group’s “exter­nal secu­ri­ty” branch. Soon after­ward, an Argen­tinean fed­er­al judge issued inter­na­tion­al arrest war­rants for these indi­vid­u­als, and Inter­pol sub­se­quent­ly placed five of the Ira­ni­ans and Mugh­niyeh on “red notice.”

    Although Mugh­niyeh and Raf­san­jani are now dead, the oth­er Ira­ni­ans are still alive and at large, trav­el­ing the world freely and advo­cat­ing on behalf of Iran. One, Ali Akbar Velay­ati, is senior advis­er on for­eign affairs to Iran’s Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei.

    Now, a decade lat­er, on Jan­u­ary 18, 2015, Nis­man was about to present evi­dence prov­ing Kirch­n­er and Timerman’s own roles in the cov­er-up and reveal­ing the bloody hand of Hizbal­lah backed by Iran. A day before his sched­uled appear­ance, he was mur­dered. He had become AMIA’s 86th vic­tim. And today, rather than hav­ing been hauled into court and tried for their egre­gious crimes, both Men­em and Kirch­n­er serve as sen­a­tors in Argenti­na, posi­tions that have giv­en them immu­ni­ty from pun­ish­ment.

    ...

    ———–

    “The Shame­ful Cov­er-Up of the Worst Attack on Dias­po­ra Jews Since the Holo­caust” by Avi Weiss; Mosa­ic Mag­a­zine; 08/05/2019

    “Beyond the anguish, there was also great fear that the ter­ror­ists would strike again, that a Jew­ish school or syn­a­gogue would be the next tar­get. And there was a sec­ondary fear as well: that, as wary Gen­tiles took steps to keep a safe dis­tance between them­selves and such proven tar­gets, the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty of Buenos Aires would become effec­tive­ly quarantined—in a word, ghet­toized.”

    A strug­gle between the anguish of what just hap­pened and fears that it could hap­pen again, even being encour­aged to hap­pen again. That was emo­tion grip­ping Argenti­na’s Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty Avi Weiss was approached by a stranger with a remark­able offer: This stranger also shared Weis­s’s con­cerns that the truth behind the bomb­ings won’t be pur­sued and offered to arrange for Weiss to per­son­al meet with Men­em. There was one con­di­tion. This mys­te­ri­ous stranger had to remain anony­mous. 25 years lat­er we learn this strange was Baruch Ten­em­baum:

    ...
    And then some­thing strange hap­pened. As I made my rounds among the fam­i­lies, I was approached by an ele­gant-look­ing man who, guid­ing me to a qui­et alcove where we wouldn’t be over­heard, explained that as one who lived part-time in Buenos Aires and part-time in New York, he knew of my activism and want­ed to help me. Cau­tion­ing me nev­er to refer to him by name in pub­lic, he said: “I have lit­tle trust in the Jew­ish estab­lish­ment here. I do not believe they are will­ing to press our gov­ern­ment to pur­sue the truth about the bomb­ings. But I have some influ­ence in Argenti­na and excel­lent con­tacts with peo­ple in gov­ern­ment and the media. Would you like me to arrange a meet­ing with the pres­i­dent?”

    He was Baruch Ten­em­baum (as I’m now per­mit­ted to say): teacher, pro­fes­sor, inter­faith activist, human­i­tar­i­an, a founder of the Inter­na­tion­al Raoul Wal­len­berg Foun­da­tion, and much more. Stunned, I imme­di­ate­ly gave my assent, over­joyed to have found not only an ally but one as con­vinced as I that, with­out sus­tained pres­sure and protest, the mur­der­ers would nev­er be exposed.

    ...

    It was clear to any­one with ears to hear that the pub­lic dis­trust­ed Men­em to pur­sue the ter­ror­ists. His admin­is­tra­tion had made no progress on the pri­or attack on the Israel embassy, in whose wake the secu­ri­ty ser­vices had shown a puz­zling indif­fer­ence to high­ly cred­i­ble warn­ings from var­i­ous intel­li­gence sources of like­ly fur­ther assaults against Jew­ish tar­gets. In gen­er­al, secu­ri­ty in Argenti­na remained appalling­ly lax, both at entry points like the Ezeiza Inter­na­tion­al Air­port and along the tra­di­tion­al­ly porous bor­ders with Paraguay and Brazil that for decades had allowed for­mer Nazi mass mur­der­ers like Adolf Eich­mann and Josef Men­gele to slip back and forth with impuni­ty.

    As rain fell over the demon­stra­tion, we began singing Rab­bi Shlo­mo Carlebach’s haunt­ing melody to the Psalmist’s cry: “I pour forth my heart like water, seek­ing God’s favor.” The heav­ens seemed to be shed­ding tears with us.

    Ear­ly the next morn­ing, a Fri­day, I had break­fast with Joe Gold­man, a vet­er­an Buenos Aires-based cor­re­spon­dent of UPI and a high­ly knowl­edge­able observ­er of the Argen­tine polit­i­cal scene. His co-writ­ten book, Cur­tains of Smoke, out­spo­ken­ly crit­i­cal of the secu­ri­ty forces’ inves­ti­ga­tion of the 1992 embassy bomb­ing, would appear a few months lat­er.

    ...

    That day I’d planned to hold a demon­stra­tion to rein­force that mes­sage. But to my sur­prise I learned that my anony­mous stranger/friend had indeed already secured a meet­ing with the pres­i­dent, and I was soon tak­en to his pala­tial res­i­dence and ush­ered into the liv­ing room.

    Men­em, accom­pa­nied by a woman trans­la­tor, smiled broad­ly and shook my hand with a show of great warmth—“show” being the oper­a­tive word. Imme­di­ate­ly after shak­ing hands he launched into a recital of his ago­nized emo­tions over the AMIA attack and the heavy loss of life of his Jew­ish com­pa­tri­ots.

    I wait­ed for a pause in this flow­ery out­burst before inter­ject­ing, “Mr. Pres­i­dent, why Buenos Aires? Why a sec­ond time?” Hand­ing him the let­ters from Cuo­mo and Giu­liani, I empha­sized espe­cial­ly the mayor’s strong­ly word­ed point: “It is imper­a­tive that those who com­mit­ted the crime be brought to jus­tice. The swift res­o­lu­tion of this case will send the mes­sage that future attacks will not be tol­er­at­ed.” Then I asked why the per­pe­tra­tors of the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing in New York could be found soon there­after while, two years after the Israel embassy bomb­ing in Buenos Aires, no one had yet been appre­hend­ed.
    ...

    And yet when Weiss met with Men­em, it was­n’t like Men­em was con­ced­ing to a request he did­n’t want to deal with. On the con­trary, it seemed as if the meet­ing was some­thing Men­em want­ed to hap­pen. His gov­ern­ment des­per­ate­ly want­ed to win Weiss over. It was so obvi­ous, Weiss recounts won­der­ing if Ten­em­baum had con­vinced Men­em to win Weiss over:

    ...
    Pre­dictably, Men­em embarked on a defense of his government’s actions. Argentina’s sit­u­a­tion, he said, was shared by many coun­tries vic­tim­ized by acts of terror—but was I aware that he had invit­ed an elite Israeli army unit to pick through the rub­ble of the AMIA bomb­ing, even though the invi­ta­tion had angered many pow­er­ful peo­ple, espe­cial­ly in the mil­i­tary? Besides, his intel­li­gence ser­vices had already con­clud­ed that a ter­ror group, based in south­ern Lebanon and backed by Iran, had been behind the ear­li­er bomb­ing.

    Men­em shook his head dis­mis­sive­ly when I point­ed out that, if the ter­ror group in ques­tion oper­at­ed out of south­ern Lebanon, then Syr­ia, which at the time phys­i­cal­ly con­trolled the area, was also like­ly involved. Whether for rea­sons of eth­nic and famil­ial sol­i­dar­i­ty, or because Syr­ia was then a “respectable” mem­ber of the world com­mu­ni­ty, he seemed to pre­fer lay­ing full blame on Iran.

    After again stress­ing his deep sym­pa­thy for the vic­tims, Men­em changed the sub­ject by launch­ing a per­son­al attack on Rubén Ezra Bera­ja, pres­i­dent of the pre­em­i­nent Argen­tine Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tion DAIA (Del­e­gación de Aso­cia­ciones Israeli­tas Argenti­nas). Angri­ly, he charged Bera­ja with fail­ing to silence those who had booed him at the mass ral­ly the day before.

    From my point of view, while it was true that Bera­ja had not qui­et­ed the crowd, his speech at the ral­ly had been bland; it lacked inten­si­ty and emo­tion, and didn’t chal­lenge Men­em to do more. While lis­ten­ing to the speech I had won­dered whether Bera­ja was free enough to speak out giv­en that the large bank he head­ed was depen­dent on the Men­em gov­ern­ment.

    Notwith­stand­ing those con­cerns, I was deter­mined not to let Men­em use me to dis­cred­it the Jew­ish leader. “I agree with Bera­ja 100 per­cent,” I answered. “It was impor­tant for you, Mr. Pres­i­dent, to hear the sen­ti­ments of the crowd.” And I con­tin­ued: “You are accus­ing Iran of being behind these bomb­ings. Why not inves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­i­ty that they were car­ried out by Syr­i­ans, or by domes­tic neo-Nazis, or by some com­bi­na­tion of the two?”

    “It is incon­ceiv­able that Arabs and neo-Nazis could have worked togeth­er,” Men­em rejoined. He seemed espe­cial­ly sen­si­tive to the charge that neo-Nazis were involved, per­haps because they could have includ­ed some whom he had placed in high intel­li­gence and secu­ri­ty posi­tions.

    “Why not?” I asked. “Hitler worked close­ly with the mufti of Jerusalem. It is crit­i­cal that you open a seri­ous and com­pre­hen­sive inves­ti­ga­tion, one that exam­ines all pos­si­ble vari­ants.”

    If Men­em was stung by my imper­ti­nence, he didn’t show it. Instead, after more than an hour of give-and-take, he invit­ed me to attend a full cab­i­net meet­ing that same after­noon. Why so solic­i­tous? Per­haps the let­ters I gave him from Giu­liani and Cuo­mo led him to believe that I had more influ­ence than I did. And per­haps Baruch Ten­em­baum had con­vinced him that if he could win me over, I’d be use­ful in defus­ing the crit­i­cism of oth­ers.

    What­ev­er the rea­son, Men­em urged my atten­dance even after I not­ed that the ear­ly onset of the Sab­bath pro­hib­it­ed my show­ing up at the appoint­ed time. He solved the prob­lem by offer­ing to hold the cab­i­net meet­ing ear­li­er, and—breaking his pre­vi­ous stip­u­la­tion that I be the only Jew­ish leader there—even accept­ed my con­di­tion that the DAIA pres­i­dent also be allowed to take part.

    The scene when I arrived back at the pres­i­den­tial res­i­dence that after­noon was even weird­er than ear­li­er. There must have been 40 men in the liv­ing room. Tak­ing me by the arm, Men­em intro­duced me to the for­eign min­is­ter, the defense min­is­ter, and then to the inte­ri­or min­is­ter, Car­los Corach—who, the pres­i­dent has­tened to inform me, was Jew­ish. Next he ges­tured me to sit beside him in front of the room. Notic­ing Bera­ja stand­ing in the very back, and brook­ing Menem’s irri­ta­tion, I ges­tured him to come for­ward and sit next to me.

    On a sig­nal from Men­em (who had also encour­aged me to take notes), the defense min­is­ter played a video doc­u­ment­ing his department’s efforts to solve the Israeli embassy bombing—efforts, he not­ed, that had nev­er been made pub­lic. The film reen­act­ed the government’s sce­nario of how the attack took place and iden­ti­fied the Iran­ian-linked Ansar Allah group as the prime sus­pect. The pres­i­dent dozed off dur­ing the video; roused after it end­ed, he pressed into my hands a sup­pos­ed­ly con­fi­den­tial report on the embassy bomb­ing.
    ...

    Ten­em­baum approach­es Weiss while express­ing a shared con­cern that the bomb­ing won’t real­ly be inves­ti­gat­ed and yet, at the end of it all, Weiss came away with the impres­sion that Ten­em­baum was work­ing on behalf of the Men­em gov­ern­ment when he arranged for that meet­ing. Now that is some inter­est­ing per­son­al his­to­ry. It was a few years lat­er, in 1997, that Ten­em­baum went on to start the IRWF, which Eduar­do Eurnekian chairs to this day. So while Guo Wen­gui’s “Himalayan Embassy” is osten­si­bly sup­posed to rep­re­sent the free peo­ple of Chi­na, it’s impor­tant to keep in mind that it’s this net­work’s inter­ests and agen­das that are actu­al­ly being rep­re­sent­ed.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 21, 2021, 3:50 pm
  9. Here’s a quick reminder that the move­ment to dele­git­imize Joe Biden’s 2020 elec­tion under accu­sa­tions of Chi­na-based mass elec­tron­ic vot­ing machine manip­u­la­tion and the Steve Bannon/Guo Wen­gui efforts to desta­bi­lize are Chi­na are all part of the same agen­da. An agen­da of gen­er­al desta­bi­liza­tion through an end­less tor­rent of wild unsub­stan­ti­at­ed accu­sa­tions. That’s the pic­ture that emerges from this report on a pri­vate invi­ta­tion-only par­ty held on June 3 at the top of One World Trade Cen­ter, host­ed by the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion and the Rule of Law Soci­ety.

    Recall how the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion and the Rule of Law Soci­ety occu­pied the six-sto­ry Man­hat­tan man­sion of Eduar­do Eurnekian in recent years, before the space was turned into the “Himalayan Embassy” for the New Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Chi­na in June of 2020. And when we view the invi­ta­tion for this June 2021 event, it’s the First Anniver­say of the New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na. So it sounds like this par­ty was the one year cel­e­bra­tion of the estab­lish­ment of the Himalayan Embassy in Eduar­do Eurnekian’s Man­hat­tan man­sion. A par­ty attend­ed by fig­ures like Rudy Giu­liani, Michael, Fly­nn, and Mike Lin­dell who aggres­sive­ly pushed the same ‘Chi­na stole the elec­tion’ memes heard a month lat­er at Lin­del­l’s “Cyber­sym­po­sium”:

    CNBC

    ‘This is war­fare:’ Trump allies Fly­nn, Ban­non pushed con­spir­a­cies at ritzy par­ty backed by Chi­nese exile

    Bri­an Schwartz

    Pub­lished Thu, Aug 19 2021 10:35 AM EDT
    Updat­ed Sun, Aug 22 2021 3:05 PM EDT

    * Steve Ban­non, Rudy Giu­liani, Mike Lin­dell and Mike Fly­nn pushed pro-Trump con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries at an event adver­tised as a cel­e­bra­tion of an anti-Chi­na move­ment.
    * The event was backed by shad­owy non­prof­it groups that are linked to Guo Wen­gui, a wealthy busi­ness­man who is effec­tive­ly exiled from Chi­na.
    * “It’s like on the bat­tle­field because this is war­fare,” Fly­nn said at the 12-hour June event at the top of One World Trade Cen­ter. “This is war­fare that we are in.”

    It was sup­posed to be a cel­e­bra­tion for a move­ment that oppos­es the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty.

    Instead, the swanky pri­vate par­ty, held in June at the top of One World Trade Cen­ter, served as a plat­form for sev­er­al of for­mer Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s allies, includ­ing for­mer advi­sor Steve Ban­non and per­son­al attor­ney Rudy Giu­liani, to spew anti-gov­ern­ment rhetoric and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about the 2020 elec­tion.

    The invi­ta­tion-only event was host­ed by a cou­ple of shad­owy non­prof­its, the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion and the Rule of Law Soci­ety. They are linked to Guo Wen­gui, a wealthy exiled busi­ness­man from Chi­na who is an ardent oppo­nent of that nation’s rul­ing Com­mu­nist Par­ty.

    CNBC obtained a copy of the invi­ta­tion, which lists Guo, Ban­non and the two new chairs of the non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions as speak­ers for the event. You can view the invi­ta­tion here.

    MyP­il­low CEO Mike Lin­dell and for­mer Trump nation­al secu­ri­ty advi­sor Mike Fly­nn, both known for push­ing the false the­o­ry that claims the elec­tion was stolen from Trump, also spoke at the June 3 gath­er­ing.

    “It’s like on the bat­tle­field because this is war­fare,” Fly­nn said at the event, which includ­ed lunch, din­ner and after­noon tea. “This is war­fare that we are in.”

    It was streamed on YouTube, which has 30,000 views so far. Nei­ther the YouTube video nor the invi­ta­tion to the event have been report­ed on.

    A per­son famil­iar with the event said there could have been up to 200 peo­ple in atten­dance at Aspire, a cater­ing hall locat­ed on the 102nd floor of One World Trade Cen­ter.

    A sales man­ag­er at Aspire would not con­firm details of the Guo-sup­port­ed event, although the man­ag­er said a 12-hour, 200-guest event with lunch and din­ner sta­tions could cost near­ly $185,000.

    The Rule of Law Soci­ety and the Rule of Law Foun­da­tion describe them­selves as a resource for whistle­blow­ers who want to safe­ly speak out against the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. Guo fled Chi­na in 2014 in antic­i­pa­tion of cor­rup­tion charges. After he blast­ed China’s lead­er­ship, war­rants were report­ed­ly issued for his arrest on charges that includ­ed cor­rup­tion and bribery.

    ...

    A mis­in­for­ma­tion offen­sive

    The con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries and speak­ers heard at the event fit a pat­tern for the Guo-backed orga­ni­za­tions. The non­prof­its are cit­ed in a report by Graphi­ka, which describes a “net­work [that] acts as a pro­lif­ic pro­duc­er and ampli­fi­er of mis- and dis­in­for­ma­tion, includ­ing claims of vot­er fraud in the U.S., false infor­ma­tion about Covid-19, and QAnon nar­ra­tives.”

    Ban­non left his role as chair of the Rule of Law Soci­ety last sum­mer. His depar­ture from the board came around the time he was arrest­ed on Guo’s yacht for alleged­ly defraud­ing donors through his “We Build the Wall” fundrais­ing cam­paign. Ban­non plead­ed not guilty at the time and was lat­er par­doned by Trump.

    The invi­ta­tion to the June event lists Ding­gang Wang, a Guo asso­ciate and anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment YouTube star, as chair of the Rule of Law Soci­ety. Wang, accord­ing to a report by NBC News, appears to have pre­vi­ous­ly helped spread Covid mis­in­for­ma­tion and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about Pres­i­dent Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, dur­ing the elec­tion.

    The invi­ta­tion lists among its top­ics the “Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty Virus” and “CCP’s exis­ten­tial threat to the US and the world.” But there is no clear indi­ca­tion that peo­ple would dis­cuss the 2020 elec­tion. Biden defeat­ed Trump, who has con­tin­ued to lie about how it was stolen from him.

    The event was described as a com­mem­o­ra­tion of a Guo-linked move­ment known as the New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na.

    “It is with great plea­sure and joy that we invite you to join us in New York City for the first anniver­sary of The New Fed­er­al State of Chi­na (NFSC),” the invi­ta­tion read.

    At the event, Ban­non and Lin­dell con­tend­ed that Chi­na inter­fered in the elec­tion.

    A gov­ern­ment report, declas­si­fied in March by the direc­tor of nation­al intel­li­gence, said there were “no indi­ca­tions that any for­eign actor attempt­ed to alter any tech­ni­cal aspect of the vot­ing process in the 2020 U.S. elec­tions, includ­ing vot­er reg­is­tra­tion, cast­ing bal­lots, vote tab­u­la­tion or report­ing results.”

    The report also not­ed that intel­li­gence agen­cies found that Chi­na “did not deploy inter­fer­ence efforts and con­sid­ered but did not deploy influ­ence efforts intend­ed to change the out­come of the U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.” The report does note that intel­li­gence ana­lysts also assessed that “Chi­na did take some steps to try to under­mine for­mer Pres­i­dent Trump’s reelec­tion.”

    Fly­nn at the Guo-backed par­ty false­ly claimed that Trump won the elec­tion over Biden. Giu­liani took aim at Hunter Biden and the Biden fam­i­ly as a whole, among oth­er con­spir­a­cies.

    The elec­tion claims made by Trump, Ban­non, Lin­dell, Fly­nn, Giu­liani and oth­er allies of the for­mer pres­i­dent have been debunked across the board, includ­ing by Repub­li­cans and one-time mem­bers of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion.

    Then-Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bill Barr told The Asso­ci­at­ed Press short­ly after Biden was pro­ject­ed to be the win­ner of the 2020 elec­tion that the FBI found no signs of wide­spread vot­er fraud.

    Trump’s cam­paign still went on to spend mil­lions to fight a los­ing bat­tle against the elec­tion results. As Con­gress was sign­ing off on the elec­tion results Jan. 6, Trump encour­aged his sup­port­ers to march on Capi­tol Hill. The ensu­ing riot and inva­sion of Con­gress led to sev­er­al deaths and hun­dreds of fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tions.

    Here are some of the notable things said by the lead­ing pro-Trump voic­es at the One World Trade Cen­ter event.

    Steve Ban­non

    “The qual­i­ty of peo­ple that you have brought here today. You are going to have Gen. Mike Fly­nn. You are going to have Mike Lin­dell,” Ban­non said. “He’s [Lin­dell] suing Domin­ion because of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty. He’s going to show in court that the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty actu­al­ly did cyber­at­tacks on our Nov. 3 elec­tion,” Ban­non not­ed.

    Moments before Lin­dell spoke at the event, Ban­non said that Lindell’s law­suits against vot­ing machine com­pa­nies Domin­ion and Smart­mat­ic will prove that Chi­na inter­fered in the 2020 elec­tion to defeat Trump. Domin­ion is also suing Lin­dell.

    “Here’s what’s impor­tant. He has a law­suit that he’s going to take to the Supreme Court that’s going to show the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty inter­fered in the 2020 elec­tion to defeat Don­ald J. Trump,” Ban­non said of Lin­dell.

    Lindell’s claims have been debunked.

    Mike Fly­nn

    Before Lin­dell took the stage, Fly­nn, whom Trump forced out bare­ly a month into his admin­is­tra­tion, gave his take on the elec­tion and sug­gest­ed that peo­ple are plan­ning fur­ther fights against the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.

    “I’m fed up with our gov­ern­ment. I’m fed up with the cor­rup­tion that we’ve expe­ri­enced and that has been exposed,” Fly­nn told the crowd. “We have hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple in this coun­try that they see it for what it is. They see the authen­tic­i­ty of a Don­ald Trump. They know Pres­i­dent Trump won this last elec­tion. There’s no doubt about it.”

    He added: “Where are we as Amer­i­ca today? Where are we? And I will tell you. There are hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple around this coun­try that are not about to give this coun­try up. There are patri­ots every­where. And I mean 10’s, 20 mil­lion peo­ple.”

    Trump par­doned Fly­nn in Novem­ber, two years after the retired lieu­tenant gen­er­al plead­ed guilty to lying to the FBI.

    Mike Lin­dell

    Lin­dell, the pil­low king­pin who became a lead­ing voice on the extreme right, showed a clip from his new film titled “Absolute­ly 9–0.” In the film clip, Lin­dell speaks to an anony­mous cyber­se­cu­ri­ty expert who claims to have proof that Chi­na inter­fered in the elec­tion.

    The con­ser­v­a­tive-lean­ing out­let The Dis­patch spoke to experts who ques­tioned the legit­i­ma­cy of many of Lindell’s claims in the film. This month, Lin­dell host­ed what he called a “Cyber Sym­po­sium,” where he said he would make pub­lic the evi­dence he had show­ing that Chi­na hacked the 2020 elec­tion. Reporters who attend­ed the event said Lin­dell did not show any evi­dence prov­ing his claims.

    The pri­vate anti-Chi­na event in June proved to be anoth­er moment for Lin­dell to push his elec­tion claims. Lin­dell claimed in his speech that he found evi­dence show­ing China’s attempts to inter­fere in the elec­tion.

    “When this does get to the Supreme Court the biggest win here is that they look at it. They have to look at it and they’re going to be heroes because we are going to show them that the CCP used the Demo­c­rat Par­ty to attack our coun­try through these machines,” Lin­dell said.

    Lin­dell explained in a phone inter­view Wednes­day with CNBC that he was invit­ed to the event by Ban­non him­self and he did not know Guo.

    Lin­dell stood by his belief that Chi­na inter­fered in the elec­tion. How­ev­er, he would not com­mit to a spe­cif­ic date to release his pur­port­ed evi­dence to the pub­lic. He also said he had not seen the report by the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty that explains Chi­na did not inter­fere in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

    “This hap­pened. It’s real,” Lin­dell told CNBC. “It’s one of the biggest cov­er-ups of the biggest crime in his­to­ry.”

    Rudy Giu­liani

    Giu­liani, a for­mer fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor and may­or of New York, was among the last speak­ers at the event. Giuliani’s license to prac­tice law was sus­pend­ed both in New York and Wash­ing­ton, D.C., due to the false elec­tion claims he is spread­ing.

    At the Guo-backed event, Giu­liani took aim at Covid restric­tions that were put in place by Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nors.

    “You could see what I call the dic­ta­to­r­i­al instincts of social­ists in Gov. New­som, in Gov. Whit­mer, in Gov. Cuo­mo. Just give them a lit­tle oppor­tu­ni­ty to exer­cise author­i­ty and they are going to slam down on you,” Giu­liani said, slam­ming his hand onto the podi­um.

    “Arrest­ing peo­ple in hand­cuffs for not wear­ing a mask?” Giu­liani asked the crowd. “Looks a lit­tle like Berlin in the 1930s, huh?” he lat­er added, refer­ring to Nazi Ger­many.

    Giu­liani then revis­it­ed the Hunter Biden con­spir­a­cy. Giuliani’s New York City apart­ment was raid­ed almost two months before the Guo event. It was report­ed­ly part of a probe into the for­mer New York mayor’s deal­ings in Ukraine. Giu­liani had been try­ing to dig up dirt on Biden’s son’s busi­ness deal­ings in Ukraine dur­ing the elec­tion.

    “You can’t go through three days with­out a crime being com­mit­ted by one of the Bidens,” Giu­liani said while describ­ing the evi­dence he has reviewed against the Biden fam­i­ly, includ­ing a hard dri­ve, a copy of which was pur­port­ed­ly pro­vid­ed to the New York Post.

    “They are basi­cal­ly a crime fam­i­ly. They start­ed 30 years ago sell­ing his office, for lit­tle mon­ey. Then big mon­ey. Then when he became vice pres­i­dent, there’s a pat­tern to it.”

    ———–

    “‘This is war­fare:’ Trump allies Fly­nn, Ban­non pushed con­spir­a­cies at ritzy par­ty backed by Chi­nese exile” by Bri­an Schwartz
    ; CNBC; 08/19/2021

    “A sales man­ag­er at Aspire would not con­firm details of the Guo-sup­port­ed event, although the man­ag­er said a 12-hour, 200-guest event with lunch and din­ner sta­tions could cost near­ly $185,000.”

    That sounds like quite a cel­e­bra­tion. $185,000 for 200 guests. And the mes­sage of the event was clear: Chi­na stole the 2020 elec­tion. Evi­dence is forth­com­ing as an unde­ter­mined future date:

    ...
    At the event, Ban­non and Lin­dell con­tend­ed that Chi­na inter­fered in the elec­tion.

    ...

    “The qual­i­ty of peo­ple that you have brought here today. You are going to have Gen. Mike Fly­nn. You are going to have Mike Lin­dell,” Ban­non said. “He’s [Lin­dell] suing Domin­ion because of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty. He’s going to show in court that the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty actu­al­ly did cyber­at­tacks on our Nov. 3 elec­tion,” Ban­non not­ed.

    Moments before Lin­dell spoke at the event, Ban­non said that Lindell’s law­suits against vot­ing machine com­pa­nies Domin­ion and Smart­mat­ic will prove that Chi­na inter­fered in the 2020 elec­tion to defeat Trump. Domin­ion is also suing Lin­dell.

    “Here’s what’s impor­tant. He has a law­suit that he’s going to take to the Supreme Court that’s going to show the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty inter­fered in the 2020 elec­tion to defeat Don­ald J. Trump,” Ban­non said of Lin­dell.

    Lindell’s claims have been debunked.

    ...

    “When this does get to the Supreme Court the biggest win here is that they look at it. They have to look at it and they’re going to be heroes because we are going to show them that the CCP used the Demo­c­rat Par­ty to attack our coun­try through these machines,” Lin­dell said.

    Lin­dell explained in a phone inter­view Wednes­day with CNBC that he was invit­ed to the event by Ban­non him­self and he did not know Guo.
    ...

    So that’s just some­thing to keep in mind when­ev­er we hear reports about Mike Lin­del­l’s August Cyber­sym­po­sium that was sup­posed to prove to the world the elec­tion was stolen by Chi­na. A pri­vate sym­po­sium was held a month ear­li­er, spon­sored by Guo and Ban­non, and the Chi­na-regime-changed audi­ence clear­ly just loved it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 24, 2021, 3:08 pm
  10. Oh look, a new anti-Chi­na alliance was just announced. And the new alliance of the US, UK, and Aus­tralia, — dubbed the AUKUS — comes with a bonus ben­e­fit for Aus­tralia: nuclear subs. Yes, Aus­tralia is set to become the first coun­try to pos­sess nuclear-pow­ered subs with­out pos­sess­ing its own nuclear weapons stock­pile. Aus­tralia isn’t going to get its subs for quite some time. They’re going to be built in the Aus­tralian city of Ade­laide and the first one won’t be built until 2040. How long before Aus­tralia acquires nukes too? It’s just one of the many ques­tions raised by this announce­ment, like with gen­er­al ques­tion of the odds the world will be engulfed in WWIII some time around 2040.

    There’s anoth­er twist in the sto­ry: France is super pissed and under­stand­ably so. When Aus­tralia made this announce­ment, it simul­ta­ne­ous­ly can­celed exist­ing French con­tracts to build Aus­tralia a fleet of diesel-pow­ered subs. And it’s the fact that Aus­tralia went ahead with a deci­sion that was guar­an­teed to enrage France that tells us some­thing else about this new alliance: It was prob­a­bly arrived at under immense pres­sure from the US. The kind of pres­sure explic­it­ly artic­u­lat­ed by John Mearsheimer in Octo­ber of 2020 dur­ing a speech where he essen­tial­ly states that the US is going to “get nasty” with Aus­tralia if Aus­tralia does­n’t active­ly part­ner with the US in cre­at­ing a region­al mil­i­tary alliance against Chi­na. So less than a year after Mearsheimer issues that threat, we learn about the for­ma­tion of the AUKUS alliance, cre­at­ed at the cost of Aus­tralian-French rela­tions:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Chi­na accus­es new U.S.-Australian sub­ma­rine deal of stok­ing arms race, threat­en­ing region­al peace

    By Lily Kuo
    Today at 12:31 p.m. EDT

    Chi­na on Thurs­day slammed a deci­sion by the Unit­ed States and Britain to share sen­si­tive nuclear sub­ma­rine tech­nol­o­gy with Aus­tralia, a move seen as a direct chal­lenge to Bei­jing and its grow­ing mil­i­tary ambi­tions.

    After Pres­i­dent Biden’s announce­ment on Wednes­day of a new defense alliance, to be known as AUKUS, Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Zhao Lijian described the agree­ment as “extreme­ly irre­spon­si­ble” while Chi­nese state media warned Aus­tralia that it was now an “adver­sary” of Chi­na and should “pre­pare for the worst.”

    At a reg­u­lar news brief­ing in Bei­jing, Zhao said the alliance “seri­ous­ly under­mined region­al peace and sta­bil­i­ty, aggra­vat­ed the arms race and hurt inter­na­tion­al non­pro­lif­er­a­tion efforts.”

    He accused the Unit­ed States and Britain of “dou­ble stan­dards” and using nuclear exports as a “tool in their geopo­lit­i­cal games,” as he admon­ished them to “aban­don their out­dat­ed Cold War men­tal­i­ty” — a com­mon refrain from min­istry spokes­peo­ple.

    “Oth­er­wise, they will only shoot them­selves in the foot,” he added.

    While Biden, British Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son and Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son did not men­tion Chi­na in their remarks on Wednes­day, the pact is wide­ly seen as a response to China’s expand­ing eco­nom­ic pow­er, mil­i­tary reach and diplo­mat­ic influ­ence. Chi­na is believed to have six nuclear attack sub­marines, with plans to increase the fleet in the next decade.

    “Bei­jing will view this as part of the Biden administration’s effort to build coali­tions to hem Chi­na in and con­tain its ris­ing pow­er,” said Bon­nie Glaser, direc­tor of the Ger­man Mar­shall Fund’s Asia pro­gram.

    The agree­ment, which comes soon after the with­draw­al of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, is part of broad­er effort by Biden to focus on the Indo-Pacif­ic region and recruit allies to counter what his admin­is­tra­tion sees as an increas­ing­ly mil­i­tant and author­i­tar­i­an Chi­na.

    Under the Biden admin­is­tra­tion, Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing have clashed over human rights, trade, the South Chi­na Sea and Tai­wan. As the Unit­ed States attempts to engage Chi­na on cli­mate pledges ahead of a key inter­na­tion­al sum­mit in Novem­ber, there have been few signs of progress. A 90-minute call between Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Biden last week result­ed in few specifics. Dur­ing the call, Xi said U.S. poli­cies have caused “seri­ous dif­fi­cul­ties” in the rela­tion­ship, accord­ing to the offi­cial Xin­hua News Agency.

    Glaser said she expects Bei­jing to exert more pres­sure on Aus­tralia and the Unit­ed King­dom to “deter oth­ers from band­ing togeth­er” against Chi­na. “In Chi­nese, that’s ‘killing the chick­en to scare the mon­key,’ ” she said.

    ...

    Oth­ers say Bei­jing has lit­tle recourse to pres­sure those involved in the alliance. “There is not a lot they can do in mate­r­i­al terms because the rela­tion­ship with the U.S. is already at rock bot­tom. They have already imposed sanc­tions on Aus­tralia and threat­ened it so much that their bul­ly­ing tac­tics have proven to be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive,” said Christo­pher Hugh­es, a pro­fes­sor of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions at the Lon­don School of Eco­nom­ics and Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, focus­ing on Chi­nese for­eign pol­i­cy.

    Accord­ing to Hugh­es, while the new alliance is like­ly to fan already high anti-West­ern nation­al­ism in Chi­na, it could also “add fuel to grow­ing con­cerns inside Chi­na” over Xi’s expand­ing crack­down on the pri­vate sec­tor and soci­ety and a weak­en­ing econ­o­my.

    “If they are wise, they will real­ize that this align­ment is the result of their own assertive­ness and change tack,” he said. “[Chi­na] does not have a lot of cards to play.”

    ———–

    “Chi­na accus­es new U.S.-Australian sub­ma­rine deal of stok­ing arms race, threat­en­ing region­al peace” by Lily Kuo; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 09/16/2021

    “While Biden, British Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son and Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son did not men­tion Chi­na in their remarks on Wednes­day, the pact is wide­ly seen as a response to China’s expand­ing eco­nom­ic pow­er, mil­i­tary reach and diplo­mat­ic influ­ence. Chi­na is believed to have six nuclear attack sub­marines, with plans to increase the fleet in the next decade.”

    Yeah, no one was fooled when they neglect­ed to men­tion Chi­na dur­ing the announce­ment of the AUKUS pacts. It’s an anti-Chi­na pact. Con­se­crat­ed with nuclear subs.

    But as the fol­low­ing arti­cle points out, those subs still have to be built, and the first sub won’t be ready until 2040. So Aus­tralia has a cou­ple of decades of invest­ments in nuclear sub-build­ing capa­bil­i­ties that it’s going to be mak­ing, which pre­sum­ably aren’t going to be the only major naval mil­i­tary invest­ment made by Aus­tralia in com­ing years. That’s part of the sig­nif­i­cance of this announce­ment. It’s the kind of announce­ment that strong­ly sug­gests more announce­ments about major Aus­tralian naval mil­i­tary invest­ments using US tech­nol­o­gy are prob­a­bly on the way:

    Asso­ci­at­ed Press

    Aus­tralia: Strate­gic shifts led it to acquire nuclear subs

    By ROD McGUIRK
    2021-09-16 14:01:21

    CANBERRA, Aus­tralia (AP) — Aus­tralia has can­celed a con­tract with France for con­ven­tion­al sub­marines and instead will build nuclear-pow­ered sub­marines using U.S. tech­nol­o­gy because of chang­ing strate­gic con­di­tions in the region, Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said Thurs­day.

    Pres­i­dent Joe Biden announced on Wednes­day a new U.S. secu­ri­ty alliance with Aus­tralia and Britain that will help equip Aus­tralia with a nuclear sub­ma­rine fleet.

    The agree­ment would make Aus­tralia the first coun­try with­out nuclear weapons to obtain nuclear-pow­ered sub­marines.

    Mor­ri­son said U.S. nuclear sub­ma­rine tech­nol­o­gy wasn’t avail­able to Aus­tralia in 2016 when it entered a 56 bil­lion Aus­tralian dol­lar ($43 bil­lion) deal with France to build 12 of the world’s largest con­ven­tion­al diesel-elec­tric sub­marines. The Unit­ed States has pre­vi­ous­ly only shared the tech­nol­o­gy with Britain.

    Biden did not men­tion Chi­na by name in announc­ing the new secu­ri­ty alliance, but it is like­ly to be seen as a provoca­tive move by Bei­jing, whose mil­i­tary strength and influ­ence have grown rapid­ly.

    Peter Jen­nings, head of the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute think tank, said Australia’s deci­sion to acquire nuclear sub­marines was a response to China’s increas­ing mil­i­tary might, aggres­sive bul­ly­ing of Aus­tralia and intim­i­da­tion of Japan and Tai­wan.

    “We should call the first sub­ma­rine in this new cat­e­go­ry the ‘Xi Jin­ping,’ because no per­son is more respon­si­ble for Aus­tralia going down this track than the cur­rent leader of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty,” Jen­nings said.

    Aus­tralia noti­fied France that it will end its con­tract with DCNS, a major­i­ty state-owned com­pa­ny, to build the con­ven­tion­al sub­marines. Aus­tralia has spent AU$2.4 bil­lion ($1.8 bil­lion) on the project since 2016. The first of the French-designed sub­marines was to have been deliv­ered in 2027.

    French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Yves Le Dri­an expressed “total incom­pre­hen­sion” at the deci­sion and crit­i­cized both Aus­tralia and the Unit­ed States.

    “It was real­ly a stab in the back. We built a rela­tion­ship of trust with Aus­tralia, and this trust was betrayed,” Le Dri­an said Thurs­day on France-Info radio.

    Mor­ri­son said he told French Pres­i­dent Emanuel Macron in June that there were “very real issues about whether a con­ven­tion­al sub­ma­rine capa­bil­i­ty” would address Australia’s strate­gic secu­ri­ty needs in the Indo-Pacif­ic.

    “Of course they’re dis­ap­point­ed,” Mor­ri­son said. “They’ve been good part­ners. This is about our strate­gic inter­est, our strate­gic capa­bil­i­ty require­ments and a changed strate­gic envi­ron­ment and we’ve had to take that deci­sion.”

    Unlike nuclear-pow­ered sub­marines, con­ven­tion­al subs that are trav­el­ing long dis­tances must spend time on the sur­face, where they are most vul­ner­a­ble, using their diesel engines while they recharge their bat­ter­ies. The bat­ter­ies pro­pel them under­wa­ter.

    Mor­ri­son said he expects the first of the nuclear subs, which are to be con­struct­ed in the Aus­tralian city of Ade­laide, will be built by 2040.

    He said Aus­tralia hasn’t decid­ed which class of nuclear sub­marines it will select and does not know how much the fleet of at least eight sub­marines will cost. But the country’s defense bud­get will grow above the cur­rent 2.2% of gross domes­tic prod­uct, he said.

    British Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son told Par­lia­ment on Thurs­day that the alliance with Aus­tralia and the U.S. is a “new pil­lar of a strat­e­gy demon­strat­ing Britain’s gen­er­a­tional com­mit­ment to the secu­ri­ty of the Indo-Pacif­ic.”

    Stress­ing Britain’s long-stand­ing close rela­tion­ship with Aus­tralia, he said the alliance also shows “how we can help one of our old­est friends to pre­serve region­al sta­bil­i­ty.”

    Paul Keat­ing, a for­mer Aus­tralian prime min­is­ter from the oppo­si­tion Labor Par­ty and an advis­er to the state-owned Chi­na Devel­op­ment Bank, slammed the new nuclear alliance, say­ing “materiel depen­den­cy on the Unit­ed States robbed Aus­tralia of any free­dom or choice in any engage­ment Aus­tralia may deem appro­pri­ate.”

    Left out of the new alliance is Australia’s South Pacif­ic neigh­bor New Zealand, which enact­ed poli­cies in the 1980s to ensure it remains nuclear-free. That includes a ban on nuclear-pow­ered ships enter­ing New Zealand ports, a stance which has seen it clash at times with the U.S.

    Prime Min­is­ter Jacin­da Ardern said Thurs­day that New Zealand wasn’t asked to be part of the alliance and wouldn’t have expect­ed an invi­ta­tion.

    “The cen­ter­piece, the anchor of this arrange­ment are nuclear-pow­ered sub­marines,” Ardern said. “And it will be very clear to all New Zealan­ders, and to Aus­tralia, why New Zealand would not wish to be a part of that project.”

    ...

    Chi­nese Min­istry of For­eign Affairs spokesper­son Zhao Lijian said it was “high­ly irre­spon­si­ble” for the U.S. and Britain to export the nuclear tech­nol­o­gy, and that Aus­tralia was to blame for a break­down in bilat­er­al rela­tions.

    “The most urgent task is for Aus­tralia to cor­rect­ly rec­og­nize the rea­sons for the set­backs in the rela­tions between the two coun­tries, and think care­ful­ly whether to treat Chi­na as a part­ner or a threat,” Zhao said.

    ————

    “Aus­tralia: Strate­gic shifts led it to acquire nuclear subs” by ROD McGUIRK; Asso­ci­at­ed Press; 09/16/2021

    “French For­eign Min­is­ter Jean-Yves Le Dri­an expressed “total incom­pre­hen­sion” at the deci­sion and crit­i­cized both Aus­tralia and the Unit­ed States.”

    Total incom­pre­hen­sion. That was France’s response. A sense of shock. That’s how sig­nif­i­cant this deci­sion was by Aus­tralia which, again, is a sign of much pres­sure Aus­tralia was like­ly feel­ing from the US to make this deci­sion. The nuclear subs were a big car­rot, but there was almost cer­tain­ly some sort of ‘stick’ too, as Mearsheimer strong­ly hint­ed in Octo­ber of last year. Which, again, all rais­es the ques­tion: is Aus­tralia going to get nukes too? Per­haps tac­ti­cal nukes for its subs? After all, it’s going to be the first nation to get nuclear subs with­out nuclear weapons. Maybe a nuclear cruise mis­sile or two is on the way in a few years? After the subs are built?

    ...
    The agree­ment would make Aus­tralia the first coun­try with­out nuclear weapons to obtain nuclear-pow­ered sub­marines.
    ...

    And note who is fram­ing this deci­sion as pure­ly The Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty’s fault for being so aggres­sive: Peter Jen­nings, head of the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI) think tank. The same uber-hawk­ish think tank deeply involved in pro­mot­ing Uyghur ‘geno­cide’ claims while the pseudo-‘scholarship’ of Adri­an Zenz. So of course that was Jen­nings’s take on the sit­u­a­tion:

    ...
    Peter Jen­nings, head of the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute think tank, said Australia’s deci­sion to acquire nuclear sub­marines was a response to China’s increas­ing mil­i­tary might, aggres­sive bul­ly­ing of Aus­tralia and intim­i­da­tion of Japan and Tai­wan.

    “We should call the first sub­ma­rine in this new cat­e­go­ry the ‘Xi Jin­ping,’ because no per­son is more respon­si­ble for Aus­tralia going down this track than the cur­rent leader of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty,” Jen­nings said.

    Aus­tralia noti­fied France that it will end its con­tract with DCNS, a major­i­ty state-owned com­pa­ny, to build the con­ven­tion­al sub­marines. Aus­tralia has spent AU$2.4 bil­lion ($1.8 bil­lion) on the project since 2016. The first of the French-designed sub­marines was to have been deliv­ered in 2027.

    ...

    Mor­ri­son said he expects the first of the nuclear subs, which are to be con­struct­ed in the Aus­tralian city of Ade­laide, will be built by 2040.
    ...

    So is the AUKUS alliance and Chi­na on an unavoid­able path towards mil­i­tary con­flict? Well, return­ing to the com­ments by John Mearsheimer on the mat­ter, here’s an inter­view of Mearsheimer on the top­ic from Sep­tem­ber of 2020, weeks before he gave his speech essen­tial­ly threat­en­ing Aus­tralia to join in a secu­ri­ty alliance with the US against Chi­na. Mearsheimer was­n’t opti­mistic in the inter­view. In fact, he did­n’t appear to see any way pos­si­ble for a con­flict to be avoid­ed in part because he viewed it as an inevitable con­se­quence of a ris­ing pow­er. Chi­na was becom­ing a more and more pow­er­ful nation and this made con­flict utter­ly unavoid­able. But he did­n’t see a Chi­nese vic­to­ry as inevitable. Quite the oppo­site, Mearsheimer saw it entire­ly plau­si­ble that the US could lead an alliance that con­tains Chi­na for the fore­see­able future.

    Mearshiemer was also remark­able blunt in terms of what the actu­al then-Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s pol­i­cy towards Chi­na was. A pol­i­cy of rolling back Chi­na’s econ­o­my and tech­nol­o­gy sec­tors because the US not tol­er­ate peer com­peti­tors. And that’s the US pol­i­cy towards peer eco­nom­ic com­peti­tors, not just mil­i­tary com­peti­tors. Because as Mearsheimer sees it, a major dif­fer­ence between the emerg­ing Cold War with Chi­na and the last Cold War with the Sovi­et Union is the nature of eco­nom­ic com­pe­ti­tion. Because while the Sovi­ets had a scle­rot­ic com­mu­nist econ­o­my, Chi­na has a dynam­ic cap­i­tal­ist econ­o­my that’s on track to grow much larg­er than the US econ­o­my. So the US could find itself in a Great Pow­ers com­pe­ti­tion with a wealth­i­er more dynam­ic cap­i­tal­ist “Com­mu­nist” Chi­na, which is appar­ent­ly all the more rea­son a Great Pow­ers con­flict is inevitable:

    Deutsche Welle

    Mearsheimer: ‘The US won’t tol­er­ate Chi­na as peer com­peti­tor’

    The neo­re­al­ist inter­na­tion­al rela­tions schol­ar John Mearsheimer has pre­dict­ed for years that Chi­na’s rise will bring it into con­flict with the US. He tells DW about what he expects for the future of the US-Chi­na rival­ry.

    Author Rodi­on Ebbighausen (Inter­view)
    Date 23.09.2020

    John Mearsheimer sees inter­na­tion­al rela­tions as a “nasty and dan­ger­ous busi­ness.” His the­o­ry, “offen­sive real­ism,” is based on the premise that states are the main actors in inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics and their ulti­mate goal is sur­vival.

    As part of the real­ist school of thought, Mearsheimer believes that the inter­na­tion­al sys­tem is anar­chic, and that no state can know the inten­tion of anoth­er with cer­tain­ty. This uncer­tain­ty dri­ves states to max­i­mize their pow­er and secu­ri­ty and achieve dom­i­nance to pre­empt chal­lenges from oth­er states.

    Becom­ing a glob­al hege­mon today is near­ly impos­si­ble. And there­fore, states rather seek to dom­i­nate as region­al hege­mons.

    Mearsheimer con­clud­ed in 2001 that Chi­na’s strate­gic goal was to become Asi­a’s hege­mon and that the Unit­ed States would try to pre­vent that. His book, The Tragedy of Great Pow­er Pol­i­tics, pre­dict­ed many things we see today in US-Chi­na rela­tions.

    ...

    DW asked Mearsheimer about how this rival­ry could devel­op fur­ther — and what that means for Asia and the world.

    DW: Under Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, Chi­na’s approach to pro­ject­ing its pow­er has become more aggres­sive. Will Chi­na con­front the US in the near future?

    John Mearsheimer: I think, from Chi­na’s point of view, it’s best not to con­front the US in any seri­ous way right now. Chi­na will be in a much bet­ter posi­tion to con­front the US in 20 years.

    But two fac­tors are push­ing Chi­na towards aggres­sion. One, it is almost impos­si­ble for any coun­try as it grows more pow­er­ful, not to become some­what more aggres­sive in its for­eign pol­i­cy.

    This is exact­ly what’s hap­pen­ing with Chi­na. A lot of peo­ple like to blame it on Xi Jin­ping, but I don’t think it’s his per­son­al­i­ty or his inter­ests that real­ly mat­ter here.

    He inher­it­ed a Chi­na that’s much more pow­er­ful than it was in the 1990s. And he can throw his weight around in ways that his pre­de­ces­sors could not.

    The sec­ond fac­tor is that Chi­na’s neigh­bors and the US are push­ing back. The US began to con­tain Chi­na region­al­ly with the 2011 piv­ot to Asia. This cre­at­ed a spi­ral mech­a­nism that is now in play: the Amer­i­cans and their Asian allies are push­ing back against Chi­na, and Chi­na is respond­ing.

    You men­tioned the piv­ot to Asia. How seri­ous was this engage­ment by the US? Many South­east Asian coun­tries feel they have been left to fend for them­selves?

    I think there’s no ques­tion that, when for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton announced the piv­ot to Asia in 2011, the US was just begin­ning to think about con­tain­ing Chi­na. Dur­ing the Barack Oba­ma pres­i­den­cy, not much was done

    But, since Don­ald Trump became US pres­i­dent, there’s no ques­tion the US is pur­su­ing an ambi­tious con­tain­ment pol­i­cy that goes beyond con­tain­ment. The US has tried to roll back Chi­na’s econ­o­my, it is tar­get­ing Chi­na’s tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor. The bot­tom line here is that the US does not tol­er­ate peer com­peti­tors.

    Some argue that the US can­not stop Chi­na from becom­ing a region­al hege­mon. It may be true in 40 years that Chi­na’s pow­er rel­a­tive to the US means Chi­na can­not be stopped from becom­ing a region­al hege­mon.

    But I doubt that it will be the final out­come. There’s every rea­son to think that the US will be able to con­tain Chi­na for the fore­see­able future.

    Alliances and coali­tions play an impor­tant role in inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics. How do you see Asia in this regard?

    When you look at Chi­na’s neigh­bors, most of them will ally with the US against Chi­na in a bal­anc­ing coali­tion. There will be two alliance struc­tures for sure, much like there were two alliance struc­tures dur­ing the Cold War: NATO on one side, and the War­saw Pact on the oth­er.

    Pak­istan, North Korea, Cam­bo­dia, Laos and prob­a­bly Myan­mar will like­ly side with Chi­na. Japan, India, Sin­ga­pore and Viet­nam will be allied with the US.

    In July, for­mer Aus­tralian Prime Min­is­ter Kevin Rudd called the US-Chi­na rival­ry a “Cold War 1.5.” What do you think about the his­tor­i­cal anal­o­gy?

    On a very gen­er­al lev­el, there is a sim­i­lar­i­ty between the Cold War and what’s hap­pen­ing now with the Unit­ed States and Chi­na.

    In both cas­es, you have a coun­try that is inter­est­ed in dom­i­nat­ing its region of the world. The Unit­ed States dom­i­nates the West­ern Hemi­sphere, and today, there’s no ques­tion that Chi­na is inter­est­ed in dom­i­nat­ing Asia. In that sense, there are sim­i­lar­i­ties.

    But there are also fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences. First, the ini­tial Cold War took place in the wake of World War II, and it revolved around the Ger­man ques­tion. But you don’t have a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion in Asia. Chi­na has­n’t fought a war in a long time and the geog­ra­phy is fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent.

    The main points of poten­tial con­flict between the US and Chi­na are places like the South Chi­na Sea, the East Chi­na Sea and Tai­wan. Dur­ing the Cold War, the prin­ci­pal point of con­flict or poten­tial con­flict was in Cen­tral Europe. So that’s a very impor­tant dif­fer­ence.

    Anoth­er impor­tant dif­fer­ence is that the Sovi­et Union had an econ­o­my that was not very effi­cient because it was com­mu­nist. It nev­er had more than a third of the US’s wealth, although its pop­u­la­tion was sim­i­lar.

    Chi­na is a fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent adver­sary. It has over four times as many peo­ple, with a high­ly dynam­ic cap­i­tal­ist econ­o­my. There­fore, it has the poten­tial to become much wealth­i­er than the US. So, the US could end up oppos­ing a coun­try much larg­er than itself.

    In 2001, you were pes­simistic about the chances of the US and Chi­na avoid­ing con­flict. Has your opin­ion changed?

    I’m slight­ly more pes­simistic now about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an actu­al war between the US and Chi­na. I’ve always believed that there would be an intense secu­ri­ty com­pe­ti­tion.

    But in recent years, espe­cial­ly since the Trump admin­is­tra­tion came to pow­er, I’ve begun to think that the pos­si­bil­i­ty of war is some­what greater than I antic­i­pat­ed.

    And I’ve come to appre­ci­ate how impor­tant geog­ra­phy is in Asia for allow­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of war.

    Dur­ing the Cold War, the US and the Sovi­et Union focused main­ly on Cen­tral Europe. To have a war between the US and the Sovi­et Union would have involved World War III in Cen­tral Europe with poten­tial­ly nuclear weapons. And it was almost impos­si­ble to start a war like that.

    The geog­ra­phy in East Asia today is much dif­fer­ent. Poten­tial con­flict points involve the South Chi­na Sea, Tai­wan and the East Chi­na Sea.

    It’s much eas­i­er to imag­ine a war break­ing out in the South Chi­na Sea. Of course, it would be a lim­it­ed war, but that it would take place at sea and it would involve large­ly air and naval forces makes it more think­able than a war in Cen­tral Europe would have been dur­ing the Cold War.

    Now, again, I’m not say­ing that’s like­ly, but it’s a plau­si­ble sce­nario and that is very wor­ri­some.

    Do you see a way out?

    No, I don’t see any way out of this basic dilem­ma. That’s why my 2001 book is enti­tled The Tragedy of Great Pow­er Pol­i­tics. This is the trag­ic nature of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions.

    ———-

    “Mearsheimer: ‘The US won’t tol­er­ate Chi­na as peer com­peti­tor’ ” by Rodi­on Ebbighausen; Deutsche Welle; 09/23/2020

    No, I don’t see any way out of this basic dilem­ma. That’s why my 2001 book is enti­tled The Tragedy of Great Pow­er Pol­i­tics. This is the trag­ic nature of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions.”

    No way out. It’s just the nature of the world. You can’t have a ris­ing pow­er with­out a Great Pow­ers com­pe­ti­tion. And that ris­ing pow­er will prompt its neigh­bors to align in oppo­si­tion and push back. There’s just no alter­na­tive. That’s the atti­tude of the John Mearsheimer, advo­cate of the ““offen­sive real­ism” the­o­ry of inter­na­tion­al rela­tions. Con­flict is unavoid­able so just go on offense:

    ...
    DW: Under Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, Chi­na’s approach to pro­ject­ing its pow­er has become more aggres­sive. Will Chi­na con­front the US in the near future?

    John Mearsheimer: I think, from Chi­na’s point of view, it’s best not to con­front the US in any seri­ous way right now. Chi­na will be in a much bet­ter posi­tion to con­front the US in 20 years.

    But two fac­tors are push­ing Chi­na towards aggres­sion. One, it is almost impos­si­ble for any coun­try as it grows more pow­er­ful, not to become some­what more aggres­sive in its for­eign pol­i­cy.

    This is exact­ly what’s hap­pen­ing with Chi­na. A lot of peo­ple like to blame it on Xi Jin­ping, but I don’t think it’s his per­son­al­i­ty or his inter­ests that real­ly mat­ter here.

    He inher­it­ed a Chi­na that’s much more pow­er­ful than it was in the 1990s. And he can throw his weight around in ways that his pre­de­ces­sors could not.

    The sec­ond fac­tor is that Chi­na’s neigh­bors and the US are push­ing back. The US began to con­tain Chi­na region­al­ly with the 2011 piv­ot to Asia. This cre­at­ed a spi­ral mech­a­nism that is now in play: the Amer­i­cans and their Asian allies are push­ing back against Chi­na, and Chi­na is respond­ing.
    ...

    And while Mearsheimer has long held these views on the inevitabil­i­ty of war between the US and Chi­na, it was the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s approach of rolling back Chi­na’s econ­o­my and tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor and tak­ing a stance that the US does not tol­er­ate peer com­peti­tors that makes this con­flict seem all the more like­ly. And yet Mearsheimer also thinks is entire­ly plau­si­ble that the US will be able to effec­tive­ly con­tain Chi­na for the fore­see­able future. So he’s basi­cal­ly pre­dict­ing a suc­cess­ful­ly waged new Cold War that man­ages to Chi­na:

    ...
    You men­tioned the piv­ot to Asia. How seri­ous was this engage­ment by the US? Many South­east Asian coun­tries feel they have been left to fend for them­selves?

    I think there’s no ques­tion that, when for­mer US Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton announced the piv­ot to Asia in 2011, the US was just begin­ning to think about con­tain­ing Chi­na. Dur­ing the Barack Oba­ma pres­i­den­cy, not much was done

    But, since Don­ald Trump became US pres­i­dent, there’s no ques­tion the US is pur­su­ing an ambi­tious con­tain­ment pol­i­cy that goes beyond con­tain­ment. The US has tried to roll back Chi­na’s econ­o­my, it is tar­get­ing Chi­na’s tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor. The bot­tom line here is that the US does not tol­er­ate peer com­peti­tors.

    Some argue that the US can­not stop Chi­na from becom­ing a region­al hege­mon. It may be true in 40 years that Chi­na’s pow­er rel­a­tive to the US means Chi­na can­not be stopped from becom­ing a region­al hege­mon.

    But I doubt that it will be the final out­come. There’s every rea­son to think that the US will be able to con­tain Chi­na for the fore­see­able future.

    ...

    In 2001, you were pes­simistic about the chances of the US and Chi­na avoid­ing con­flict. Has your opin­ion changed?

    I’m slight­ly more pes­simistic now about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an actu­al war between the US and Chi­na. I’ve always believed that there would be an intense secu­ri­ty com­pe­ti­tion.

    But in recent years, espe­cial­ly since the Trump admin­is­tra­tion came to pow­er, I’ve begun to think that the pos­si­bil­i­ty of war is some­what greater than I antic­i­pat­ed.
    ...

    So if con­flict is inevitable but the US still man­ages to con­tain Chi­na, is Mearsheimer pre­dict­ing open wars will be fought as part of that ‘con­tain­ment’ strat­e­gy? Well, sort of. At least that’s what it sounds like Mearsheimer is pre­dict­ing when he observes the major dif­fer­ences in geog­ra­phy between the Cold War con­flict of the 20th cen­tu­ry and the New Cold War of today: a con­flict with Chi­na would be fought at sea. And mar­itime war­fare is inher­ent­ly more imag­in­able than war on a con­ti­nent. In oth­er words, it’s a lot more plau­si­ble for a war to take place as long as it’s being fought far away from pop­u­la­tion cen­ters (maybe with the use of nuclear subs):

    ...
    Dur­ing the Cold War, the US and the Sovi­et Union focused main­ly on Cen­tral Europe. To have a war between the US and the Sovi­et Union would have involved World War III in Cen­tral Europe with poten­tial­ly nuclear weapons. And it was almost impos­si­ble to start a war like that.

    The geog­ra­phy in East Asia today is much dif­fer­ent. Poten­tial con­flict points involve the South Chi­na Sea, Tai­wan and the East Chi­na Sea.

    It’s much eas­i­er to imag­ine a war break­ing out in the South Chi­na Sea. Of course, it would be a lim­it­ed war, but that it would take place at sea and it would involve large­ly air and naval forces makes it more think­able than a war in Cen­tral Europe would have been dur­ing the Cold War.

    Now, again, I’m not say­ing that’s like­ly, but it’s a plau­si­ble sce­nario and that is very wor­ri­some.
    ...

    But final­ly, note the remark­able admis­sion by Mearsheimer about the “Com­mu­nist” threat posed by Chi­na: The Chi­nese econ­o­my is a dynam­ic cap­i­tal­ist econ­o­my with the poten­tial to become far larg­er and wealth­i­er than the US econ­o­my. Brought to you by the CCP. It’s one of moments where we get a hint at the real motives for much of the intense anti-Chi­na sen­ti­ments among the West­’s cap­i­tal­ist class: they don’t like the com­pe­ti­tion. The intense cap­i­tal­ist com­pe­ti­tion from all these “Com­mu­nists” is too much. Pow­er prefers a monop­oly:

    ...
    Anoth­er impor­tant dif­fer­ence is that the Sovi­et Union had an econ­o­my that was not very effi­cient because it was com­mu­nist. It nev­er had more than a third of the US’s wealth, although its pop­u­la­tion was sim­i­lar.

    Chi­na is a fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent adver­sary. It has over four times as many peo­ple, with a high­ly dynam­ic cap­i­tal­ist econ­o­my. There­fore, it has the poten­tial to become much wealth­i­er than the US. So, the US could end up oppos­ing a coun­try much larg­er than itself.
    ...

    And that’s all part of the ratio­nale that undoubt­ed­ly went into Aus­trali­a’s deci­sion to join the AUKUS and snap those nuclear subs. Unlike the old land-based Cold War, the New Cold War will be a mar­itime cold war (and space, pre­sum­ably), which is the type of Cold War that can go ‘hot’ much more eas­i­ly. It’ll just be sol­diers, ships, and planes lost. Not entire cities. At least that’s how Mearsheimer is pre­dict­ing today how such a war might play out tomor­row. Pre­dict­ing. Cheer­lead­ing. And occa­sion­al­ly coerc­ing to make hap­pen. WWIII won’t hap­pen on its own. It takes plan­ning.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 17, 2021, 3:37 pm
  11. Here’s a set of arti­cles about the ongo­ing Chi­nese ‘Uyghur geno­cide’ pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign. As we should expect, Adri­an Zen­z’s ‘research’ plays a cen­tral role. More impor­tant­ly, Zenz put out a new report this Sum­mer that appears to have rede­fined “geno­cide” to be any poli­cies that sup­press birth rates below what they oth­er­wise would be if no poli­cies were in place. The fact that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment began enforc­ing a three-child pol­i­cy in the Xin­jiang Province in 2017, after decades of ignor­ing Uyghur fam­i­lies rou­tine­ly hav­ing large fam­i­lies, some­times with 9 or 10 chil­dren, is being defined as “geno­cide” by Zenz. Yes, end­ing what was in real­i­ty wild­ly spe­cial treat­ment for Uyghurs (9 to 10 chil­dren!) is geno­cide. This is where we are.

    In what could become a dom­i­nant theme in com­ing nar­ra­tives out of Zen­z’s net­work, Zen­z’s nar­ra­tive res­onates sig­nif­i­cant­ly with the kind of anti-abor­tion pol­i­tics that ani­mates the US Right. In par­tic­u­lar, the imple­men­ta­tion of some sort of child ban on the Uyghur’s for the first time in 2017 inevitably would involve some forced ster­il­iza­tions or IUDs for women who already have large fam­i­lies. It’s inevitable if women rou­tine­ly had 9–10 chil­dren and are plan­ning on more. So there real­ly are going to be gen­uine reports of the kinds of poli­cies that ani­mate the night­mares of state-forced ster­il­iza­tions. It’s inevitable and there­fore an explo­sive oppor­tu­ni­ty in the con­text of the poten­cy of anti-Chi­na rhetoric in US pol­i­tics.

    And as we’ll see in each of the three arti­cles, this the­sis is almost entire­ly based on Adri­an Zen­z’s work. As we’ll also see, Zenz is con­sis­tent­ly char­ac­ter­ized as some­one whose research has more or less estab­lished the exis­tence of mass con­cen­tra­tion camps hous­ing mil­lions for geno­ci­dal pur­pos­es. Zen­z’s past asser­tion are just tak­en as a giv­en at this point. A giv­en and there­fore rea­son to pre­sume his lat­est asser­tions are also true. It’s a pow­er­ful pro­pa­gan­da loop.

    The first is a Radio Free Asia arti­cle from last month about a new Zenz report pub­lished by the Jamestown Foun­da­tion that pur­ports to demon­strate that Chi­na’s high­est polit­i­cal offi­cers were behind the craft­ing of the ‘deex­trem­i­fi­ca­tion through re-edu­ca­tion’ cam­paign in 2017. Two of the three insti­tu­tions involved in the craft­ing of the poli­cies that began in 2017 in Xin­jiang oper­ate direct­ly under the third- and fourth-ranked mem­bers of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s top deci­sion-mak­ing body, the Polit­buro Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, men who are below only CCP chief and state Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Pre­mier Li Keqiang. On one lev­el, of course high-rank­ing CCP offi­cials would be involved in Chi­na’s 2017 pol­i­cy shift in Xin­jiang. But when Zen­z’s claims of a geno­ci­dal cam­paign involv­ing mass reed­u­ca­tion camps are treat­ed as estab­lished fact, it turns that 2017 pol­i­cy shift into ‘Xi’s geno­ci­dal cam­paign against the Uyghurs’.

    Zen­z’s attri­bu­tion of the Uyghur geno­cide to Xi’s top offi­cers has anoth­er use­ful effect: it’s a rea­son to call for inter­na­tion­al sanc­tions against Xi and oth­er CCP high offi­cers fin­gered in Zen­z’s analy­sis. The report is lit­er­al­ly titled “Evi­dence of the Chi­nese Cen­tral Government’s Knowl­edge of and Involve­ment in Xinjiang’s Re-Edu­ca­tion Intern­ment Cam­paign,” and in it Zenz writes “This effec­tive­ly impli­cates Xi’s inner cir­cle of pow­er in the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted in Xin­jiang.” Zenz goes on to point out that Chen Quan­guo, the Com­mu­nist Par­ty chief in Xin­jiang, became the high­est-rank­ing Chi­nese offi­cial to be sanc­tioned by the U.S. gov­ern­ment in con­nec­tion with rights abus­es against Uyghurs “but oth­er cen­tral gov­ern­ment fig­ures have escaped such des­ig­na­tions.” So Zen­z’s report is effec­tive­ly a blue­print to name Xi and his top offi­cials inter­na­tion­al war crim­i­nals who should be sanc­tioned.

    The sec­ond arti­cle is from six weeks ago, about a new Zenz report that con­clud­ed that the geno­cide in Xin­jiang is even larg­er than pre­vi­ous­ly rec­og­nized. How so? He start­ed count­ing all the chil­dren that would have been born had no birth pre­ven­tion mea­sures imposed at all. Again, keep in mind the 9–10 child fam­i­lies Uyghurs we’re rou­tine­ly allowed to have until 2017. Zenz con­cludes that by 2040, the dif­fer­ence between rates with and with­out birth pre­ven­tion mea­sures is some­thing between 2.6 and 4.5 mil­lion. These are being treat­ed as effec­tive­ly mur­dered Uyghurs, albeit mur­dered in a non­con­ven­tion­al man­ner. “The main thing I would like peo­ple to know is that this is not a con­ven­tion­al geno­cide but a slow one, a grad­ual sup­pres­sion of life over years, which how­ev­er also adds up to being a genocide...As tech­nol­o­gy becomes more sophis­ti­cat­ed and soci­ety more com­plex, it is impor­tant to real­ize that a geno­cide does not have to con­sist of mass mur­der only.” So what’s going on is a non-mass-mur­der­ing kind of non­con­ven­tion­al geno­cide. But geno­cide nonethe­less. The kind of non­con­ven­tion­al geno­cide that should have Xi’s inner cir­cle sanc­tioned.

    Anoth­er key aspect of Zen­z’s analy­sis to keep in mind is the fact that it’s based on a premise that’s par­tial­ly true but still made in bad faith. It’s the idea that the impo­si­tion of fam­i­ly size poli­cies is being done as part of an extra-puni­tive cam­paign against Uyghur fam­i­lies. Now, on one hand, if Uyghurs were being allowed to have very large fam­i­lies with­out gov­ern­ment inter­ven­tion, until 2017, then, yes, the Uyghurs are going to sud­den­ly expe­ri­ence a dis­pro­por­tion­ate impo­si­tion of gov­ern­ment pop­u­la­tion con­trol rules. So in one sense it’s treat­ing the Uyghurs dif­fer­ent­ly. But that’s because, as a com­mu­ni­ty, Uyhgurs were hav­ing extreme large fam­i­lies com­pared to the rest of Chi­na and were allowed to do so until 2017, when they began to get the same treat­ment as the rest of Chi­na’s pop­u­la­tion. That’s what Zenz calls a non­con­ven­tion­al geno­cide.

    The third arti­cle, from June of this year, attempts to snark­i­ly make the point that if Chi­na’s recent relax­ation of its 2‑child pol­i­cy to a 3‑child pol­i­cy was in response to low birth rates, the gov­ern­ment could just lift the cap entire­ly and allow the high birth rates of the Uyghurs to pro­vide Chi­na the pop­u­la­tion boost it desires. It’s the kind of argu­ment that, on one lev­el is tech­ni­cal­ly true. But on anoth­er lev­el, it mere­ly under­scores just how wild­ly out of whack the Uyghur com­mu­ni­ty’s birth rates are with the rest of Chi­na. As the arti­cle notes, Uyghur women were rou­tine­ly allowed to have as many as 9 or 10 chil­dren for decades while the rest of Chi­na was liv­ing under a 1 child pol­i­cy. The arti­cle links back to a July 2020 piece where Zenz actu­al­ly makes these exact points, adding that if there was any enforce­ment of the rules it was usu­al­ly just a fine.

    So the Uyghur pop­u­la­tion was actu­al­ly allowed to explode dur­ing the 1 child pol­i­cy. That wild imbal­anced was final­ly addressed in 2017, result­ing in pop­u­la­tion con­trol mea­sures being imposed in Xin­jiang basi­cal­ly for the first time ever. It was the kind of sit­u­a­tion that cre­at­ed an enor­mous pro­pa­gan­da oppor­tu­ni­ty. An enor­mous bad-faith pro­pa­gan­da oppor­tu­ni­ty that was clear­ly not lost on Adri­an Zenz and the gov­ern­ments back­ing his pro­pa­gan­da efforts.

    Ok, first, here’s the RFA arti­cle from Sep­tem­ber about what Zen­z’s lat­est ‘study’, find­ing the Xin­jiang 2017 poli­cies were con­struct­ed at the behest of Xi’s top polit­i­cal offi­cers. Because of course they were. But in in the con­text of Adri­an Zen­z’s ‘research’ that places Xi and his inner cir­cle at the heart of the grand con­spir­a­cy to car­ry out Uyghur geno­cide, a crime wor­thy of inter­na­tion­al sanc­tions against Xi per­son­al­ly:

    Radio Free Asia

    New Study Finds High-Lev­el Gov­ern­ment Role in China’s Uyghur Intern­ment Camps
    State media and doc­u­ments show how Xi Jin­ping and oth­er top lead­ers were dri­ving forces in XUAR pol­i­cy.

    Report­ed and trans­lat­ed by Alim Seytoff for RFA’s Uyghur Ser­vice. Writ­ten in Eng­lish by Roseanne Gerin.
    2021-09-17

    China’s top pol­i­cy, leg­isla­tive and advi­so­ry bod­ies were close­ly involved in the cre­ation of the “Re-Edu­ca­tion Intern­ment Cam­paign” in Xin­jiang that has sent some 1.8 mil­lion Uyghurs to deten­tion camps and drawn geno­cide accu­sa­tions against Bei­jing, accord­ing to a new report by a lead­ing expert on the camp sys­tem.

    Ger­man researcher Adri­an Zenz — whose pre­vi­ous work has doc­u­ment­ed the exis­tence and scope of the four-year-old intern­ment camp sys­tem, as well as the moti­va­tion behind it — draws on pre­vi­ous­ly unan­a­lyzed cen­tral gov­ern­ment and state media reports to con­nect the pro­gram to high­est rungs of pow­er in Bei­jing.

    Doc­u­ments on the draft­ing and approval of leg­is­la­tion in 2017 to set up the Uyghur intern­ment cam­paign in the Xin­jiang Uyghur Autonomous Region demon­strate “that the fram­ing of Xinjiang’s de-extrem­i­fi­ca­tion through re-edu­ca­tion cam­paign was under­tak­en with the direct knowl­edge of lead­ing fig­ures in China’s most pow­er­ful pol­i­cy, leg­isla­tive and advi­so­ry bod­ies,” the report says.

    The “XUAR De-Extrem­i­fi­ca­tion Reg­u­la­tion” was spear­head­ed by three impor­tant par­ty-state bod­ies: Cen­tral Com­mit­tee Xin­jiang Work Coor­di­na­tion Small Group, the Leg­isla­tive Affairs Com­mis­sion of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Nation­al People’s Con­gress in Bei­jing, and the State Admin­is­tra­tion for Reli­gious Affairs, Zenz writes.

    Two of the three insti­tu­tions are direct­ly under the third- and fourth-ranked mem­bers of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s top deci­sion-mak­ing body, the Polit­buro Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, men who are below only CCP chief and state Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Pre­mier Li Keqiang, says the report, pub­lished online Tues­day by the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a Wash­ing­ton think tank.

    A 2019 speech by XUAR Gov­er­nor Shohrat Zakir declar­ing the re-edu­ca­tion cam­paign a suc­cess fol­low­ing the release of some inmates and cred­its Xi for “inject­ing strong impe­tus into Xin­jiang Work,” the report notes.

    “Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping per­son­al­ly went to Xin­jiang to inspect and guide the work, presided over many meet­ings to study Xin­jiang Work, deliv­ered a series of impor­tant speech­es, and issued a series of impor­tant instruc­tions,” Zakir is quot­ed in offi­cial doc­u­ments as say­ing.

    ‘Xi’s inner cir­cle’

    “This effec­tive­ly impli­cates Xi’s inner cir­cle of pow­er in the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted in Xin­jiang,” Zenz writes in the report, titled “Evi­dence of the Chi­nese Cen­tral Government’s Knowl­edge of and Involve­ment in Xinjiang’s Re-Edu­ca­tion Intern­ment Cam­paign.”

    “Such a direct link between the legal reg­u­la­tions under­pin­ning and jus­ti­fy­ing the re-edu­ca­tion cam­paign and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment is uncom­mon and has until now escaped wider notice out­side of Chi­na,” writes Zenz, a senior fel­low in Chi­na Stud­ies at the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion in Wash­ing­ton.

    Zenz says the doc­u­ments show­ing “spe­cif­ic and imme­di­ate involve­ment of cen­tral gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions” may inspire a re-exam­i­na­tion of the role of Chen Quan­guo, the Com­mu­nist Par­ty chief in Xin­jiang, who is con­sid­ered the archi­tect of the crack­down on Uyghurs. Before he took the top post in Xin­jiang in August 2016, Chen imple­ment­ed heavy-hand­ed sur­veil­lance and jail­ing poli­cies in Tibet.

    “Giv­en Chen’s exten­sive exper­tise in pre­vi­ous­ly work­ing to sup­press a major restive eth­nic group in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), researchers includ­ing this author pre­vi­ous­ly spec­u­lat­ed that Chen may have both authored and imple­ment­ed the re-edu­ca­tion intern­ment dri­ve,” Zenz writes.

    Chen, he notes, became the high­est-rank­ing Chi­nese offi­cial to be sanc­tioned by the U.S. gov­ern­ment in con­nec­tion with rights abus­es against Uyghurs and oth­er minori­ties in the XUAR, “but oth­er cen­tral gov­ern­ment fig­ures have escaped such des­ig­na­tions.”

    Zenz pre­sent­ed his lat­est report at the sec­ond ses­sion of the Uyghur Tri­bunal in Lon­don last week­end, a pan­el inves­ti­gat­ing whether China’s treat­ment of its eth­nic Uyghurs and oth­er Tur­kic Mus­lims con­sti­tutes geno­cide. The pan­el, which has no author­i­ty to enforce its deter­mi­na­tion expect­ed in Decem­ber, was repeat­ed­ly attacked in Chi­nese state media.

    The new report is the lat­est of a series of his stud­ies of Chi­nese mea­sures to con­trol and assim­i­late the 12 mil­lion Uyghurs of the XUAR. Based on a close read­ing of gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments and aca­d­e­m­ic and pol­i­cy debate, Zenz’s research has formed the basis of geno­cide accu­sa­tions against Bei­jing laid by sev­er­al West­ern gov­ern­ments and leg­is­la­tures, includ­ing the Unit­ed States.

    His pre­vi­ous stud­ies exam­ine China’s intern­ment camps in the XUAR, the forced ster­il­iza­tion of detained Uyghur women, efforts to reduce pop­u­la­tion growth in the region thor­ough birth con­trol and pop­u­la­tion trans­fer poli­cies, and the Chi­nese government’s “pop­u­la­tion opti­miza­tion strat­e­gy” to dilute the Uyghur major­i­ty in south­ern Xin­jiang by rais­ing the pro­por­tion of Han Chi­nese.

    ‘Wall of the Dis­ap­peared’

    Chi­nese offi­cials and state media have vil­i­fied Zenz for his research, call­ing him an “anti-Chi­na swindler” and a “fake aca­d­e­m­ic with a bank­rupt rep­u­ta­tion,” and accus­ing him of “fab­ri­cat­ing Xin­jiang-relat­ed lies to smear and attack Chi­na.”

    The gov­ern­ment had no imme­di­ate response to Zenz’s newest report. But on Sept. 9, for­eign min­istry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a reg­u­lar press con­fer­ence that the researcher had “hurled the absurd accu­sa­tions of ‘forced ster­il­iza­tion’ and ‘geno­cide’ in Xin­jiang in his so-called reports” with­out “being unable to present any sol­id evi­dence.”

    ...

    On Thurs­day, a U.S.-funded exhi­bi­tion titled “Uyghur Voic­es: Human Rights Exhi­bi­tion” opened out­side the U.N. in Gene­va, high­light­ing the human rights vio­la­tions alleged­ly com­mit­ted by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment against Uyghurs and oth­ers in the XUAR.

    The exhi­bi­tion focus­es on the intern­ment camps, gen­der-based vio­lence, forced labor, and fam­i­ly sep­a­ra­tion and fea­tures a “Wall of the Dis­ap­peared” with images of Uyghurs who are miss­ing and believed to be held in the camps.

    The exhi­bi­tion will lat­er move to Brus­sels and Berlin, accord­ing to the World Uyghur Con­gress, a Ger­many-based Uyghur advo­ca­cy group that has part­nered with the U.S. mis­sions and embassies in the three cities to orga­nize the events

    “Chi­na has been attempt­ing to cov­er up the Uyghur geno­cide in East Turkestan by all pos­si­ble means, one of which is to have exhi­bi­tions at the UN,” said WUC pres­i­dent Dolkun Isa.

    “We at the World Uyghur Con­gress aim to counter China’s pro­pa­gan­da and dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign at the U.N. by host­ing our own exhi­bi­tions with facts and truth of Chi­nese atroc­i­ties,” said Isa, whose moth­er died at 78 in a Xin­jiang intern­ment camp in May 2018 after serv­ing a year for “reli­gious extrem­ism.”

    —————-

    “New Study Finds High-Lev­el Gov­ern­ment Role in China’s Uyghur Intern­ment Camps” by Alim Seytoff; Radio Free Asia; 09/17/2021

    ““This effec­tive­ly impli­cates Xi’s inner cir­cle of pow­er in the atroc­i­ties com­mit­ted in Xin­jiang,” Zenz writes in the report, titled “Evi­dence of the Chi­nese Cen­tral Government’s Knowl­edge of and Involve­ment in Xinjiang’s Re-Edu­ca­tion Intern­ment Cam­paign.””

    Zenz did it again! Through his dogged research he has direct­ly impli­cat­ed Xi’s inner cir­cle in Xin­jiang atroc­i­ties. It the now famil­iar treat­ment of what­ev­er Zenz ends up report­ing. It lit­er­al­ly forms the basis for the geno­cide accu­sa­tions by mul­ti­ple gov­ern­ments:

    ...
    Ger­man researcher Adri­an Zenz — whose pre­vi­ous work has doc­u­ment­ed the exis­tence and scope of the four-year-old intern­ment camp sys­tem, as well as the moti­va­tion behind it — draws on pre­vi­ous­ly unan­a­lyzed cen­tral gov­ern­ment and state media reports to con­nect the pro­gram to high­est rungs of pow­er in Bei­jing.

    ...

    The new report is the lat­est of a series of his stud­ies of Chi­nese mea­sures to con­trol and assim­i­late the 12 mil­lion Uyghurs of the XUAR. Based on a close read­ing of gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments and aca­d­e­m­ic and pol­i­cy debate, Zenz’s research has formed the basis of geno­cide accu­sa­tions against Bei­jing laid by sev­er­al West­ern gov­ern­ments and leg­is­la­tures, includ­ing the Unit­ed States.

    His pre­vi­ous stud­ies exam­ine China’s intern­ment camps in the XUAR, the forced ster­il­iza­tion of detained Uyghur women, efforts to reduce pop­u­la­tion growth in the region thor­ough birth con­trol and pop­u­la­tion trans­fer poli­cies, and the Chi­nese government’s “pop­u­la­tion opti­miza­tion strat­e­gy” to dilute the Uyghur major­i­ty in south­ern Xin­jiang by rais­ing the pro­por­tion of Han Chi­nese.
    ...

    And just as before, Zen­z’s new accu­sa­tions will be wide­ly accept­ed as gospel. And a pre­text to call for inter­na­tion­al sanc­tions on Chi­na’s lead­er­ship:

    ...
    The “XUAR De-Extrem­i­fi­ca­tion Reg­u­la­tion” was spear­head­ed by three impor­tant par­ty-state bod­ies: Cen­tral Com­mit­tee Xin­jiang Work Coor­di­na­tion Small Group, the Leg­isla­tive Affairs Com­mis­sion of the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Nation­al People’s Con­gress in Bei­jing, and the State Admin­is­tra­tion for Reli­gious Affairs, Zenz writes.

    Two of the three insti­tu­tions are direct­ly under the third- and fourth-ranked mem­bers of the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’s top deci­sion-mak­ing body, the Polit­buro Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, men who are below only CCP chief and state Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Pre­mier Li Keqiang, says the report, pub­lished online Tues­day by the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a Wash­ing­ton think tank.

    ...

    Zenz says the doc­u­ments show­ing “spe­cif­ic and imme­di­ate involve­ment of cen­tral gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions” may inspire a re-exam­i­na­tion of the role of Chen Quan­guo, the Com­mu­nist Par­ty chief in Xin­jiang, who is con­sid­ered the archi­tect of the crack­down on Uyghurs. Before he took the top post in Xin­jiang in August 2016, Chen imple­ment­ed heavy-hand­ed sur­veil­lance and jail­ing poli­cies in Tibet.

    ...

    Chen, he notes, became the high­est-rank­ing Chi­nese offi­cial to be sanc­tioned by the U.S. gov­ern­ment in con­nec­tion with rights abus­es against Uyghurs and oth­er minori­ties in the XUAR, “but oth­er cen­tral gov­ern­ment fig­ures have escaped such des­ig­na­tions.”

    Zenz pre­sent­ed his lat­est report at the sec­ond ses­sion of the Uyghur Tri­bunal in Lon­don last week­end, a pan­el inves­ti­gat­ing whether China’s treat­ment of its eth­nic Uyghurs and oth­er Tur­kic Mus­lims con­sti­tutes geno­cide. The pan­el, which has no author­i­ty to enforce its deter­mi­na­tion expect­ed in Decem­ber, was repeat­ed­ly attacked in Chi­nese state media.
    ...

    And now here’s an August report on what was at that point the lat­est Zenz-authored report (he has like one a month these days), con­clud­ing that up to 4.5 mil­lion Uyghur lives could be lost by 2040 from Chi­na’s crack­down? ‘Lost’ in the sense that they would have been born had Chi­na not belat­ed­ly began impos­ing its 3‑child pol­i­cy in Xin­jiang in 2017. It’s Zen­z’s lat­est call for a geno­cide dec­la­ra­tion. The fact that Uyghur women were rou­tine­ly allowed to have very large for decades while the rest of the nation faced a 1‑child pol­i­cy isn’t men­tioned in the arti­cle, nor the fact that the Uyghur’s pro­ject­ed 2040 pop­u­la­tion was pre­sum­ably pred­i­cat­ed on those absurd­ly high birth rates. Based on Zen­z’s log­ic, basi­cal­ly any pop­u­la­tion con­trol is an act of geno­cide:

    Cour­t­house News

    Up to 4.5 mil­lion lives could be lost under China’s Uyghur crack­down: study

    Quan­ti­fy­ing the poten­tial num­ber of lives that could be lost due to pop­u­la­tion con­trol poli­cies, a new study sug­gests China’s treat­ment of Uyghur Mus­lims meets U.N. cri­te­ria for geno­cide.

    Rosana Hugh­es / August 24, 2021

    (CN) — By 2040, up to 4.5 mil­lion lives could be lost as a result of Chi­na’s bru­tal crack­down on eth­nic minori­ties, a new study has found, pro­vid­ing what researchers say is more point­ed evi­dence that the coun­try is inten­tion­al­ly vio­lat­ing the 1948 Geno­cide Con­ven­tion.

    Ear­li­er this year, on his last day in office, out­go­ing Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo accused the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment of com­mit­ting geno­cide, say­ing that the Uyghurs — a Mus­lim minor­i­ty eth­nic group who are indige­nous to the country’s Xin­jiang region, or what they call East Turk­istan — have been sub­ject­ed to crimes against human­i­ty that have esca­lat­ed since at least 2017.

    Some of the mea­sures Chi­na has alleged­ly tak­en include plac­ing mil­lions of Uyghurs and oth­er Mus­lim minori­ties under mass sur­veil­lance or in con­cen­tra­tion camps, sub­ject­ing them to forced ster­il­iza­tion, unwant­ed abor­tions, polit­i­cal reed­u­ca­tion and oth­er human rights abus­es — with the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion that doing so pre­vents ter­ror­ism and reli­gious extrem­ism. Oth­er alle­ga­tions include rape and tor­ture of Uyghur detainees.

    Chi­na has repeat­ed­ly denied the accu­sa­tions, call­ing them absurd lies.

    Now, through the exam­i­na­tion of China’s own gov­ern­ment and aca­d­e­m­ic reports, a new study pub­lished Tues­day in the jour­nal Cen­tral Asian Sur­vey has quan­ti­fied the poten­tial amount of lives that could be lost as a result of the pop­u­la­tion con­trol poli­cies and ana­lyzed the country’s intent behind those poli­cies.

    Accord­ing to the 1948 Unit­ed Nations Con­ven­tion on the Pre­ven­tion and Pun­ish­ment of the Crime of Geno­cide, also known sim­ply as the Geno­cide Con­ven­tion, the act of impos­ing mea­sures intend­ed to pre­vent births with­in a group con­sti­tutes an act of geno­cide if it is “com­mit­ted with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation­al, eth­ni­cal, racial or reli­gious group.”

    Tues­day’s research paper con­cludes that it “has estab­lished the exis­tence of an intent to reduce eth­nic minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tion growth in order to increase the pro­por­tion­ate Han pop­u­la­tion in south­ern Xin­jiang,” sug­gest­ing Bei­jing’s poli­cies on Uyghurs meet the U.N. cri­te­ria for geno­cide.

    “The main thing I would like peo­ple to know is that this is not a con­ven­tion­al geno­cide but a slow one, a grad­ual sup­pres­sion of life over years, which how­ev­er also adds up to being a geno­cide,” the study’s author, human rights researcher Adri­an Zenz, said in an email. “As tech­nol­o­gy becomes more sophis­ti­cat­ed and soci­ety more com­plex, it is impor­tant to real­ize that a geno­cide does not have to con­sist of mass mur­der only.”

    To deter­mine how many lives may be lost to state-imposed birth pre­ven­tion mea­sures, Zenz com­pared pro­ject­ed Uyghur pop­u­la­tion growth rates. The dif­fer­ence between rates with and with­out birth pre­ven­tion mea­sures is esti­mat­ed to range between 2.6 and 4.5 mil­lion lives by 2040.

    Zenz, a lead­ing expert on China’s human rights abus­es, was recent­ly sued by com­pa­nies in the Xin­jiang region, the Wash­ing­ton Post report­ed in March. At the time, Zenz said he believed the law­suit was a sign that U.S. sanc­tions were hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant effect, and that Bei­jing was like­ly try­ing to cre­ate a chill­ing effect on oth­er researchers doing sim­i­lar work.

    Zen­z’s lat­est study “reveals the pres­ence of a long-term strat­e­gy by Bei­jing to solve the Xin­jiang ‘prob­lem’ through ‘opti­miza­tion’ of the eth­nic pop­u­la­tion struc­ture,” he said in a state­ment.

    The research finds that Xin­jiang-based aca­d­e­mics and gov­ern­ment offi­cials believe that the region’s eth­nic pop­u­la­tion are seen as a “breed­ing ground for reli­gious extrem­ism.”

    Mul­ti­ple inci­dents of high-pro­file vio­lent clash­es between Uyghur sep­a­ratists and the nation’s Han eth­nic major­i­ty pre­cip­i­tat­ed the government’s crack­down and result­ed in offi­cials clas­si­fy­ing the attacks as ter­ror­ism, “a ren­der­ing that dis­re­gards com­plex intereth­nic rela­tion issues, includ­ing long-stand­ing sen­ti­ments of dis­crim­i­na­tion,” Zenz not­ed.

    In sev­er­al doc­u­ments, Zenz found that Chi­nese offi­cials repeat­ed­ly argued that, to counter the ter­ror threat, the state must “opti­mize” Xinjiang’s pop­u­la­tion struc­ture. Such expres­sions are fre­quent­ly linked to birth con­trol mea­sures for the Uyghurs while encour­ag­ing the major­i­ty Han pop­u­la­tion to move into the area in order to mit­i­gate the pur­port­ed Uyghur threat with what offi­cials called the Han’s “pos­i­tive cul­ture.”

    In oth­er words, Zenz not­ed, Han pop­u­la­tions are seen by Chi­na as an asset to nation­al secu­ri­ty, while the eth­nic minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tion is seen as a nation­al secu­ri­ty threat that must be dilut­ed in order to achieve long-term peace and sta­bil­i­ty in Xin­jiang.

    ...

    The find­ings, he said, chal­lenge the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to take a seri­ous look at the risk of geno­cide in the region and to start to take con­crete mea­sures to stop it, such as sanc­tions.

    “All nations that signed the geno­cide con­ven­tion have a treaty oblig­a­tion to walk towards the pre­ven­tion of geno­cide,” Zenz said.

    ————

    “Up to 4.5 mil­lion lives could be lost under China’s Uyghur crack­down: study” by Rosana Hugh­es; Cour­t­house News; 08/24/2021

    “Now, through the exam­i­na­tion of China’s own gov­ern­ment and aca­d­e­m­ic reports, a new study pub­lished Tues­day in the jour­nal Cen­tral Asian Sur­vey has quan­ti­fied the poten­tial amount of lives that could be lost as a result of the pop­u­la­tion con­trol poli­cies and ana­lyzed the country’s intent behind those poli­cies.”

    All it took was an exam­i­na­tion of Chi­na’s own gov­ern­ment and aca­d­e­m­ic reports to prove the geno­cide. It was just sit­ting out there wait­ing for Zenz to find it. That, and wait­ing for Zenz to make up a met­ric for defin­ing a non­con­ven­tion­al geno­cide. Based on Zen­z’s def­i­n­i­tion, a pop­u­la­tion sub­ject to the same pop­u­la­tion con­trol mea­sures as every­one else is expe­ri­enc­ing geno­cide if it would have oth­er­wise had very large fam­i­lies. By that def­i­n­i­tion, around 2.6 and 4.5 mil­lion few­er Uyghurs will be alive by 2040. All those peo­ple who would have been born are treat­ed as exter­mi­nat­ed by the CCP. It’s the kind of geno­cide claim that plays per­fect­ly into the abor­tion pol­i­tics that dom­i­nates the US Right:

    ...
    Accord­ing to the 1948 Unit­ed Nations Con­ven­tion on the Pre­ven­tion and Pun­ish­ment of the Crime of Geno­cide, also known sim­ply as the Geno­cide Con­ven­tion, the act of impos­ing mea­sures intend­ed to pre­vent births with­in a group con­sti­tutes an act of geno­cide if it is “com­mit­ted with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation­al, eth­ni­cal, racial or reli­gious group.”

    Tues­day’s research paper con­cludes that it “has estab­lished the exis­tence of an intent to reduce eth­nic minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tion growth in order to increase the pro­por­tion­ate Han pop­u­la­tion in south­ern Xin­jiang,” sug­gest­ing Bei­jing’s poli­cies on Uyghurs meet the U.N. cri­te­ria for geno­cide.

    “The main thing I would like peo­ple to know is that this is not a con­ven­tion­al geno­cide but a slow one, a grad­ual sup­pres­sion of life over years, which how­ev­er also adds up to being a geno­cide,” the study’s author, human rights researcher Adri­an Zenz, said in an email. “As tech­nol­o­gy becomes more sophis­ti­cat­ed and soci­ety more com­plex, it is impor­tant to real­ize that a geno­cide does not have to con­sist of mass mur­der only.”

    To deter­mine how many lives may be lost to state-imposed birth pre­ven­tion mea­sures, Zenz com­pared pro­ject­ed Uyghur pop­u­la­tion growth rates. The dif­fer­ence between rates with and with­out birth pre­ven­tion mea­sures is esti­mat­ed to range between 2.6 and 4.5 mil­lion lives by 2040.

    ...

    The find­ings, he said, chal­lenge the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to take a seri­ous look at the risk of geno­cide in the region and to start to take con­crete mea­sures to stop it, such as sanc­tions.

    “All nations that signed the geno­cide con­ven­tion have a treaty oblig­a­tion to walk towards the pre­ven­tion of geno­cide,” Zenz said.
    ...

    Final­ly, here’s an arti­cle from back in June that gives some high­ly rel­e­vant sta­tis­tics on the birth rates in Xin­jiang pre-2017. The arti­cle attempts to snark­i­ly make the point that if Chi­na’s recent relax­ation of its 2‑child pol­i­cy to a 3‑child pol­i­cy was in response to low birth rates, the gov­ern­ment could just lift the cap entire­ly and allow the high birth rates of the Uyghurs to pro­vide Chi­na the pop­u­la­tion boost it desires. It’s the kind of argu­ment that, on one lev­el is tech­ni­cal­ly true. But on anoth­er lev­el, it mere­ly under­scores just how wild­ly out of whack the Uyghur com­mu­ni­ty’s birth rates are with the rest of Chi­na. It also points to the endur­ing influ­ence of con­ser­v­a­tive Islam inside Xin­jiang’s Uyghur com­mu­ni­ty. It’s part of the sig­nif­i­cance of this arti­cle: it’s an exam­ple of how the West­’s cam­paign to declare the Uyghurs a vic­tim of geno­cide dou­bles as a cam­paign to ensure Uyghur women remain liv­ing under the kind of con­di­tions where they rou­tine­ly had 9 or 10 chil­dren:

    CNN

    Chi­na needs to boost its pop­u­la­tion so why not scrap birth caps entire­ly? The rea­son might be Xin­jiang

    Analy­sis by Ben West­cott, CNN
    Updat­ed 10:29 AM ET, Tue June 1, 2021

    Hong Kong (CNN)In a bid to arrest a demo­graph­ic cri­sis, Chi­na this week announced it will allow cou­ples to have three chil­dren — but some crit­ics ques­tioned why the gov­ern­ment kept a lim­it on par­ents at all?

    The answer might lie in Bei­jing’s atti­tudes towards its eth­nic minori­ties, par­tic­u­lar­ly those in Xin­jiang.

    Since 2017, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has strict­ly enforced its fam­i­ly plan­ning poli­cies on minori­ties in the far-west­ern province, where Bei­jing is accused of com­mit­ting geno­cide against the Mus­lim-major­i­ty Uyghur peo­ple. The crack­down caused local birth rates to plunge by a third in 2018.

    The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment strong­ly denies alle­ga­tions of geno­cide and says that any attempts to lim­it the Uyghur pop­u­la­tion fall with­in the coun­try’s stan­dard birth con­trol poli­cies.

    Experts said Bei­jing is reluc­tant to remove all quo­tas on the num­ber of chil­dren per fam­i­ly for sev­er­al rea­sons. But one major fac­tor is that end­ing the pol­i­cy would make it much more dif­fi­cult to jus­ti­fy Bei­jing’s attempts to lim­it the pop­u­la­tion in Xin­jiang and oth­er regions with large minor­i­ty groups, which tend to have more chil­dren.

    “Con­tin­u­ing to lim­it births among pop­u­la­tions deemed prob­lem­at­ic is cer­tain­ly part of the cal­cu­lus,” said Dar­ren Byler, a Xin­jiang expert and a post­doc­tor­al research fel­low at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado.

    “If there was no pol­i­cy across the whole coun­try, it would be dif­fi­cult to enforce a sep­a­rate one for poor peo­ple and Mus­lims.”

    Buck­ing the trend

    Chi­na’s birth rate has been falling rapid­ly since the intro­duc­tion of the one-child pol­i­cy more than 40 years ago, which lim­it­ed cou­ples to one baby in order to alle­vi­ate pover­ty and stem a pop­u­la­tion boom.

    While the pol­i­cy suc­cess­ful­ly reined in birth rates as Chi­na devel­oped, in more recent years offi­cials have become con­cerned the coun­try won’t have enough young work­ers to keep pow­er­ing its eco­nom­ic growth. A rapid­ly aging work­force, expect­ing their promised pen­sions, has only exac­er­bat­ed those pres­sures.

    Faced with a demo­graph­ic cri­sis, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment relaxed the pol­i­cy in 2016 to allow for two chil­dren, but many cou­ples in the Han mid­dle class were reluc­tant to have more than one child, cit­ing the high costs of rais­ing fam­i­lies par­tic­u­lar­ly in cities. In 2020, the birth rate fell by almost 15% year on year.

    But while the num­ber of new­borns fell across Chi­na, the offi­cial birth rate remained com­par­a­tive­ly high in the west­ern region of Xin­jiang. Between 1991 and 2017, Xin­jiang had a sub­stan­tial­ly high­er birth-rate ratio when com­pared to the rest of the coun­try, accord­ing to a report by the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute.

    Researchers say for decades Xin­jiang’s Uyghur fam­i­lies tra­di­tion­al­ly had many chil­dren — some­times as many as nine or 10.

    Dur­ing the one-child pol­i­cy, eth­nic minori­ties, includ­ing Xin­jiang’s Uyghur pop­u­la­tion, were allowed to have up to three chil­dren, which author­i­ties said was in def­er­ence of the group’s cul­tur­al tra­di­tions of large fam­i­lies.

    Some Uyghurs exceed­ed this and in many cas­es that was tol­er­at­ed.

    Sud­den drop

    But when the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment began its crack­down in Xin­jiang in 2017, which alleged­ly involved send­ing mil­lions of Uyghurs to a vast com­plex of deten­tion cen­ters, there was a simul­ta­ne­ous tight­en­ing of fam­i­ly plan­ning poli­cies.

    Between 2017 and 2018, birth rates in Xin­jiang dropped by a third, from 15.8 per 1,000 peo­ple to 10.7 per 1,000 peo­ple.

    In a fax to CNN in Sep­tem­ber 2020, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment attrib­uted the drop in the birth rate to “the com­pre­hen­sive imple­men­ta­tion of the fam­i­ly plan­ning pol­i­cy.”

    At a time when the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment was des­per­ate­ly try­ing to raise birth rates, ster­il­iza­tions in the region surged to 243 per 100,000 peo­ple in 2018, accord­ing to offi­cial gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments ref­er­enced in a report by Xin­jiang researcher Adri­an Zenz. That is far high­er than the rate of 33 per 100,000 peo­ple for the rest of the coun­try.

    And while the use of IUD birth con­trol devices dropped in Chi­na between 2016 and 2018, Zenz quot­ed doc­u­ments show­ing in Xin­jiang it rose to 963 per 100,000 peo­ple.

    Female Uyghurs who have since left Xin­jiang say they were sub­ject­ed to forced con­tra­cep­tion and ster­il­iza­tions.

    In his report, Zenz quot­ed offi­cial Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy direc­tives begin­ning in 2017 which call on admin­is­tra­tors to “severe­ly attack behav­iors that vio­late fam­i­ly plan­ning (poli­cies).” From that year, minor­i­ty regions began a “spe­cial cam­paign to con­trol birth con­trol vio­la­tions.”

    One eth­nic Uyghur doc­tor who fled to Turkey said in 2020 that out of 300 exiled Uyghur women she exam­ined from Xin­jiang, about 80 had been ster­il­ized. Many of them did­n’t even know they’d under­gone the pro­ce­dure.

    The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment did not men­tion minori­ties, includ­ing Uyghurs, in its relax­ing of the three-child pol­i­cy, and author­i­ties have con­sis­tent­ly denied accu­sa­tions of forced con­tra­cep­tion and ster­il­iza­tion.

    State-run media blamed Xin­jiang’s pre­vi­ous­ly high birth rates on reli­gious extrem­ism, and paint­ed declin­ing fer­til­i­ty as a vic­to­ry for wom­en’s rights.

    Experts said it is unlike­ly the rules will be relaxed for minori­ties any time soon.

    “If you lift­ed the birth restric­tions uni­ver­sal­ly, they’d lose their jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for tight­en­ing birth con­trol poli­cies against spe­cif­ic sec­tors of Chi­nese soci­ety that they dis­like,” said Carl Minzn­er, pro­fes­sor of law at Ford­ham Uni­ver­si­ty.

    ...

    ———–

    “Chi­na needs to boost its pop­u­la­tion so why not scrap birth caps entire­ly? The rea­son might be Xin­jiang” by Ben West­cott; CNN; 06/01/2021

    “At a time when the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment was des­per­ate­ly try­ing to raise birth rates, ster­il­iza­tions in the region surged to 243 per 100,000 peo­ple in 2018, accord­ing to offi­cial gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments ref­er­enced in a report by Xin­jiang researcher Adri­an Zenz. That is far high­er than the rate of 33 per 100,000 peo­ple for the rest of the coun­try.”

    Ster­il­iza­tions were far high­er in Xin­jiang than else­where in Chi­na start­ing in 2017. That’s accord­ing to a Zenz report that found a spe­cial cam­paign start­ing in 2017 to con­trol birth con­trol vio­la­tions in Xin­jiang. Note, it’s not a crack­down on births in Xin­jiang to lev­els below that of the rest of Chi­na. It’s a crack­down on the ram­pant vio­la­tions of Chi­na’s birth con­trol mea­sures that were sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly tak­ing place in Xin­jiang for decades. Con­text mat­ters:

    ...
    In his report, Zenz quot­ed offi­cial Chi­nese gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy direc­tives begin­ning in 2017 which call on admin­is­tra­tors to “severe­ly attack behav­iors that vio­late fam­i­ly plan­ning (poli­cies).” From that year, minor­i­ty regions began a “spe­cial cam­paign to con­trol birth con­trol vio­la­tions.”
    ...

    It’s that ram­pant vio­la­tion of Chi­na’s pop­u­la­tion con­trol mea­sures that appears to be the dri­ving force behind the new poli­cies that start­ed in 2017, some­thing Zenz does­n’t deny but does­n’t real­ly acknowl­edge either. It’s like tak­en as a giv­en that the Uyghurs nat­u­ral­ly have very high birth rates or some­thing. As Zenz him­self has not­ed in the past, Uyghur women were rou­tine­ly allowed to have 9 or 10 chil­dren for decades dur­ing the peri­od when the rest of the nation was liv­ing under a 1 child pol­i­cy, and when author­i­ties did decide to enforce the rules is was usu­al­ly on a fine. When the CCP end­ed that favored treat­ment in 2017, it was declared geno­cide:

    ...
    Since 2017, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has strict­ly enforced its fam­i­ly plan­ning poli­cies on minori­ties in the far-west­ern province, where Bei­jing is accused of com­mit­ting geno­cide against the Mus­lim-major­i­ty Uyghur peo­ple. The crack­down caused local birth rates to plunge by a third in 2018.

    ...

    Faced with a demo­graph­ic cri­sis, the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment relaxed the pol­i­cy in 2016 to allow for two chil­dren, but many cou­ples in the Han mid­dle class were reluc­tant to have more than one child, cit­ing the high costs of rais­ing fam­i­lies par­tic­u­lar­ly in cities. In 2020, the birth rate fell by almost 15% year on year.

    But while the num­ber of new­borns fell across Chi­na, the offi­cial birth rate remained com­par­a­tive­ly high in the west­ern region of Xin­jiang. Between 1991 and 2017, Xin­jiang had a sub­stan­tial­ly high­er birth-rate ratio when com­pared to the rest of the coun­try, accord­ing to a report by the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute.

    Researchers say for decades Xin­jiang’s Uyghur fam­i­lies tra­di­tion­al­ly had many chil­dren — some­times as many as nine or 10.

    Dur­ing the one-child pol­i­cy, eth­nic minori­ties, includ­ing Xin­jiang’s Uyghur pop­u­la­tion, were allowed to have up to three chil­dren, which author­i­ties said was in def­er­ence of the group’s cul­tur­al tra­di­tions of large fam­i­lies.

    Some Uyghurs exceed­ed this and in many cas­es that was tol­er­at­ed.
    ...

    It rais­es the ques­tion: so was the CCP prac­tic­ing geno­cide against the Han Chi­nese dur­ing all those decades when it was allow­ing the Uyghur pop­u­la­tion to explode while the rest of the coun­try was liv­ing under a 1 child pol­i­cy? Don’t hold your breath on Zenz address­ing ques­tions like that.

    What we can expect, how­ev­er, is a steady con­tin­u­a­tion of new ‘reports’ of this nature. All authored by Adri­an Zenz. Almost every month, it seems, there’s a new ‘analy­sis’ tied to Zenz mak­ing incred­i­ble claims. Claims tak­en at face val­ue. The more reports he issues the more cred­i­bil­i­ty he seems to auto­mat­i­cal­ly get based on the pos­i­tive cov­er­age he received on the past reports. In this kind of analy­sis, where Zenz seems to extract and infer ‘facts’ from pub­licly avail­able Chi­nese doc­u­ments, fact check­ing is kind of beside the point. What­ev­er Zenz says is just accept­ed. It’s a remark­able form col­lec­tive creduli­ty that has con­ferred onto Zenz a kind of clair­voy­ance into what’s real­ly hap­pen­ing in Xin­jiang. And accord­ing to Zenz, it’s a geno­ci­dal cam­paign of mass forced abor­tions and ster­il­iza­tions, tak­ing place in the con­cen­tra­tion camps hold­ing mil­lions. The stuff of night­mares. Whether those night­mares are real or just a fig­ment of Zen­z’s high­ly moti­vat­ed imag­i­na­tion is large­ly beside the pro­pa­gan­dized point.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 9, 2021, 3:36 pm
  12. @Pterrafractyl–

    Reminds me of the old Tin Pan Alley song lyric: “Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you try!”

    Zenz cer­tain­ly has it.

    Which just goes to show you what work­ing for the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion can do.

    That orga­ni­za­tion is a direct off­shoot of the Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee which is the spawn of Lev Dobri­an­sky and Jaroslav Stet­zko.

    Zenz is, basi­cal­ly, work­ing for the OUN/B milieu.

    It is more than a lit­tle inter­est­ing how the U.S. and the world are being spoon fed pro­pa­gan­da straight from the Gehlen/ABN gang.

    The Uighur sep­a­ratist move­ment, in turn, has its gen­e­sis with the Kuomintang–https://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr1206-the-narco-fascism-of-chiang-kai-shek-and-the-kuomintang-part-13/

    In a week or two, we will be revis­it­ing the Nazi links to that move­ment.

    https://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-1144-the-uyghurs-and-the-destabilization-of-china-part‑2/

    Keep up the great work!

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | October 9, 2021, 4:35 pm
  13. @Dave: Based on the recent announce­ment by the CIA of a range of new reforms, it sounds like Adri­an Zenz is going to have a lot more in-house com­pa­ny in the area of whip­ping up nar­ra­tives about Chi­na. That’s the clear mes­sage the agency was send­ing out to young offi­cers and prospec­tive agents look­ing con­sid­er­ing a career in the agency:

    Are you an aspir­ing CIA agent look­ing to go where ‘the action’ is? If so, the CIA has a new cen­ter just for you. The Chi­na Cen­ter, a new­ly announced divi­sion inside the CIA ded­i­cat­ed to all things Chi­na-relat­ed. It’s just one of sev­er­al new CIA ini­tia­tives just announced focused on the theme of mod­ern­iza­tion. Oth­er new mod­ern­iza­tion announce­ments include cre­at­ing a new chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer role, speed­ing up the hir­ing process — tak­ing the time to recruit new agents from 2 years down to 6 months — and start­ing a new tech­nol­o­gy fel­low­ship to bring tech­nol­o­gy spe­cial­ists in for two year stints at the agency.

    Final­ly, there’s the vague­ly named new Transna­tion­al and Tech­nol­o­gy Mis­sion Cen­ter, with an even vaguer mis­sion state­ment. This new cen­ter appears to have a focus on devel­op­ing tech­nolo­gies that strength­en the agen­cy’s trade­craft and address­ing secu­ri­ty fail­ures. It’s the kind of vague mis­sion state­ment rem­i­nis­cent of the reports ear­li­er this year about the US mil­i­tary’s cre­ation of a “secret army” of oper­a­tives capa­ble of work­ing under cov­er around the world in an age of bio­met­rics and mass sur­veil­lance, when the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of rival spies is arguably eas­i­er than ever. But that’s only one of the areas of transna­tion­al threat this cen­ter will focus on. Oth­er threats include cli­mate change, human­i­tar­i­an crises, and dis­ease out­breaks. So we have a new divi­sion that’s going to be hyper-focused on Chi­na and oth­er one with a focus on dis­ease out­break.

    Final­ly, we’re also learn­ing that the Korea and Iran mis­sion cen­ters set up by Mike Pom­peo dur­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion are going to be absorbed into larg­er divi­sions that focus on regions like the Near East and East Asia. So a new Chi­na cen­ter is being con­struct­ed at the same time the North Korea and Iran cen­ters are being sub­sumed. The mes­sage to new agents is clear: if you want to rise at the CIA, focus on Chi­na. Where the ‘action’ is. And where a lot more ‘action’ is clear­ly planned for the future:

    Defense One

    CIA Cre­ates Chi­na Cen­ter To Shift To Great Pow­er Com­pe­ti­tion
    “It’s tak­ing the top slot from the coun­tert­er­ror­ism mis­sion over the past 20 years,” said John Doy­on, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of INSA.

    By Jacque­line Feld­sch­er
    Senior Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Cor­re­spon­dent
    Octo­ber 8, 2021

    The CIA’s new Chi­na Mis­sion Cen­ter sends a clear sig­nal to the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty that it’s time to shift its focus to near-peer com­peti­tors after 20 years of track­ing ter­ror­ist threats, two ana­lysts said.

    The cen­ter is part of the administration’s broad­er effort to piv­ot the nation­al secu­ri­ty community’s focus towards com­pe­ti­tion with great pow­ers, such as Chi­na, and away from the coun­tert­er­ror­ism oper­a­tions that dom­i­nat­ed the past two decades, includ­ing the war in Afghanistan that end­ed this sum­mer.

    CIA Direc­tor William Burns announced on Thurs­day that the new Chi­na Mis­sion Cen­ter will bring togeth­er capa­bil­i­ties from around the agency to bet­ter respond to the threat posed by Bei­jing.

    ...

    The intel­li­gence community’s Chi­na capa­bil­i­ties are lack­ing, said Robert Ash­ley Jr., a retired Army offi­cer who led the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency from 2017 to 2020.

    From the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency stand­point, I can prob­a­bly count on one hand the real­ly deep sub­ject-mat­ter experts on Chi­na, so when you look at how you engage in the region, I think from a human-cap­i­tal stand­point,” Ash­ley told Defense One last month. “I need to get more tal­ent that just under­stands Chi­na as a nation, China’s strat­e­gy, because part of what we’re hav­ing to do is we’re hav­ing to advise senior lead­ers about what’s China’s intent.

    The cen­ter is expect­ed to help break down stovepipes with­in the agency to set up a one-stop-shop for Chi­na, recruit top-tier tal­ent who want to “go where the action is,” and help the agency pre­pare for future threats from near-peer com­peti­tors, said John Doy­on, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Intel­li­gence and Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Alliance.

    The shift in pri­or­i­ties is also like­ly to bring more resources, train­ing and per­son­nel to the Chi­na mis­sion, said Doy­on, who has worked at the Nation­al Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Cen­ter, White House and CIA.

    “It’s tak­ing the top slot from the coun­tert­er­ror­ism mis­sion over the past 20 years,” he said. “As the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty starts to shift to tack­le prob­lems with Chi­na, it needs to real­ly focus peo­ple on how do you exe­cute a mis­sion against a near-peer adver­sary like Chi­na?”

    The estab­lish­ment of the cen­ter is the nat­ur­al next step for the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, which has been boost­ing China’s pri­or­i­ty in the threat land­scape, said Dustin Car­ma­ck, a research fel­low at the Her­itage Foun­da­tion and for­mer cyber­se­cu­ri­ty offi­cial at the Office of the Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence. For exam­ple, Car­ma­ck said the intel­li­gence community’s 2021 bud­get increased Chi­na-relat­ed spend­ing by 20 per­cent.

    A Sep­tem­ber 2020 report from the House Per­ma­nent Select Com­mit­tee on Intel­li­gence found that the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty “has not suf­fi­cient­ly adapt­ed to a chang­ing geopo­lit­i­cal and tech­no­log­i­cal envi­ron­ment increas­ing­ly shaped by a ris­ing Chi­na.” The report made rec­om­men­da­tions, includ­ing ask­ing the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty to broad­en men­tor­ship pro­grams for new Chi­na ana­lysts and stream­line region­al report­ing focused on Bei­jing

    Still, coun­tert­er­ror­ism is hard­ly going away. Pen­ta­gon offi­cials have said the mil­i­tary will con­tin­ue to con­duct over-the-hori­zon strikes against coun­tert­er­ror­ism tar­gets in Afghanistan, which rely on intel­li­gence to know what or when to strike and become more dif­fi­cult with­out peo­ple on the ground.

    ...

    But in the long term, he said, Chi­na pos­es a more sophis­ti­cat­ed threat for which the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty needs to pre­pare. China’s reach extends far beyond Asia, includ­ing to Africa and South Amer­i­ca, mean­ing the intel­li­gence oper­a­tion against Bei­jing must be glob­al. The CIA also needs more Man­darin speak­ers, and intends to recruit and train more employ­ees to speak the lan­guage, the Wash­ing­ton Post report­ed.

    Burns announced that the agency is try­ing to reduce the amount of time prospec­tive employ­ees must wait to join the CIA, and the new office is like­ly to also help with recruit­ment, Doy­on said.

    “I know a lot of peo­ple want to go where the action is when they’re think­ing about the next assign­ment at the agency,” he said. “They want to work on high-pro­file prob­lems. This will help, I think, attract tal­ent to the prob­lem and make it clear that Chi­na tru­ly is the No. 1 pri­or­i­ty.”

    Beijing’s intel­li­gence oper­a­tions range from launch­ing cyber­se­cu­ri­ty attacks to com­mit­ting eco­nom­ic espi­onage to recruit­ing Amer­i­cans to leak sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion through social media. And China’s oper­a­tions are only grow­ing, accord­ing to for­mer FBI Direc­tor Chris Wray, who said last year that the bureau opens a new coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence inves­ti­ga­tion case involv­ing Chi­na every 10 hours.

    Coun­ter­ing this requires a dif­fer­ent skillset, includ­ing an empha­sis on emerg­ing tech­nol­o­gy and cyber­se­cu­ri­ty.

    “On the ter­ror­ism side, they just didn’t have same types of sophis­ti­ca­tion. Yes, ter­ror­ist groups use the inter­net, but it’s noth­ing like Chi­na,” Doy­on said. “The Chi­nese are excel­lent at that, and they have a whole-of-nation pen­e­tra­tion effort to work against the Unit­ed States.”

    To bet­ter pre­pare for that, the CIA is estab­lish­ing both a new role of chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer and a Transna­tion­al and Tech­nol­o­gy Mis­sion Cen­ter.

    “Human intel­li­gence is going to be real­ly tough going for­ward because of technology...so it’s impor­tant to get ahead of the curve on all of this,” Car­ma­ck said.

    ————-

    “CIA Cre­ates Chi­na Cen­ter To Shift To Great Pow­er Com­pe­ti­tion” by Jacque­line Feld­sch­er; Defense One; 10/08/2021

    “The cen­ter is expect­ed to help break down stovepipes with­in the agency to set up a one-stop-shop for Chi­na, recruit top-tier tal­ent who want to “go where the action is,” and help the agency pre­pare for future threats from near-peer com­peti­tors, said John Doy­on, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Intel­li­gence and Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Alliance.”

    Do you fan­cy your­self to be top-tier CIA tal­ent? Then “go where the action is” and join the Chi­na cen­ter. It’s both an acknowl­edge­ment of the agen­cy’s intense focus on Chi­na and plans for a future greater focus. But note the oth­er acknowl­edge­ment in this. An acknowl­edge­ment that’s rather remark­able giv­en the fact that Chi­na has already been more or declared ‘Ene­my #1’ by the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state: the US nation­al secu­ri­ty state does­n’t actu­al­ly have many peo­ple with a deep under­stand­ing of Chi­na’s lead­er­ship and its intent. It points towards one of the great poten­tial dan­gers with the open­ing of this new Chi­na cen­ter: the CIA is seek­ing out an infu­sion of tal­ent that can tell it what Chi­na’s lead­ers are plan­ning. And that’s the kind of sce­nario that rais­es the dis­tinct pos­si­bil­i­ty we’re going to see the cre­ation of an in-house ver­sion of “Team B” for Chi­na. A group of uber-hawks who see dia­bol­i­cal Chi­nese plots behind every turn:

    ...
    From the Defense Intel­li­gence Agency stand­point, I can prob­a­bly count on one hand the real­ly deep sub­ject-mat­ter experts on Chi­na, so when you look at how you engage in the region, I think from a human-cap­i­tal stand­point,” Ash­ley told Defense One last month. “I need to get more tal­ent that just under­stands Chi­na as a nation, China’s strat­e­gy, because part of what we’re hav­ing to do is we’re hav­ing to advise senior lead­ers about what’s China’s intent.

    ...

    Burns announced that the agency is try­ing to reduce the amount of time prospec­tive employ­ees must wait to join the CIA, and the new office is like­ly to also help with recruit­ment, Doy­on said.

    “I know a lot of peo­ple want to go where the action is when they’re think­ing about the next assign­ment at the agency,” he said. “They want to work on high-pro­file prob­lems. This will help, I think, attract tal­ent to the prob­lem and make it clear that Chi­na tru­ly is the No. 1 pri­or­i­ty.”
    ...

    And note the dis­turb­ing lan­guage we’re see­ing used to describe Chi­nese spy­ing against the US: “The Chi­nese are excel­lent at that, and they have a whole-of-nation pen­e­tra­tion effort to work against the Unit­ed States.” Once our nation­al secu­ri­ty agen­cies start throw­ing around terms like “whole of nation pen­e­tra­tion efforts”, which casts every­one from Chi­na as a com­mu­nist agent, it’s clear we’re in store for future reruns ‘yel­low per­il’ nar­ra­tives. The kind of nar­ra­tives that won’t just tar­get Chi­nese indi­vid­u­als liv­ing and work­ing in the US but also the Chi­nese Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty. It’s part of what makes this announce­ment so sig­nif­i­cant: it’s a warn­ing about the ugly xeno­pho­bia slat­ed to become a dom­i­nant US nation­al secu­ri­ty meme for the next gen­er­a­tion:

    ...
    “On the ter­ror­ism side, they just didn’t have same types of sophis­ti­ca­tion. Yes, ter­ror­ist groups use the inter­net, but it’s noth­ing like Chi­na,” Doy­on said. “The Chi­nese are excel­lent at that, and they have a whole-of-nation pen­e­tra­tion effort to work against the Unit­ed States.

    To bet­ter pre­pare for that, the CIA is estab­lish­ing both a new role of chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer and a Transna­tion­al and Tech­nol­o­gy Mis­sion Cen­ter.

    “Human intel­li­gence is going to be real­ly tough going for­ward because of technology...so it’s impor­tant to get ahead of the curve on all of this,” Car­ma­ck said.
    ...

    Next, here’s anoth­er piece that gives more details on the tech­nol­o­gy-focused aspects of this new mod­ern­iza­tion push. In addi­tion the cre­ation of a hew chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer posi­tion, there’s new two-year tech­nol­o­gy fel­low­ships and the stream­lin­ing of the over­all hir­ing process from two years down to six month. The CIA is going on a China/technology hir­ing spree and mak­ing it eas­i­er to car­ry that out.

    We also get a few more details on the Transna­tion­al and Tech­nol­o­gy Mis­sion Cen­ter, includ­ing the fact that its going to have a focus on not just pro­tect­ing agent iden­ti­ties in an age of mass sur­veil­lance and bio­met­rics, but also transna­tion­al threats like dis­ease. It’s a pret­ty big mis­sion. Almost absurd­ly big. Aren’t “future transna­tion­al threats” kind of the core of what the CIA was set up to mon­i­tor in the first place? So at the same time the CIA is cre­at­ing a new agency focused exclu­sive­ly on Chi­na, it’s also cre­at­ing an new agency with a mis­sion state­ment so vast and vague that it’s hard to define what it does­n’t do:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    CIA cre­ates new mis­sion cen­ter to counter Chi­na

    By Shane Har­ris
    Octo­ber 7, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. EDT

    The CIA is cre­at­ing a new cen­ter focused exclu­sive­ly on gath­er­ing intel­li­gence about Chi­na and coun­ter­ing its espi­onage against the Unit­ed States, anoth­er sign that senior U.S. offi­cials are prepar­ing for an all-encom­pass­ing, years-long strug­gle with Bei­jing.

    ...

    Just as it did against the Sovi­ets, the CIA will deploy more offi­cers, lin­guists, tech­ni­cians and spe­cial­ists in coun­tries around the world to gath­er intel­li­gence and counter China’s inter­ests, said the senior offi­cial, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty to more ful­ly describe Burns’s remarks.

    The agency will also recruit and train more Man­darin speak­ers, the offi­cial said. He added that Burns would now meet week­ly with the head of the mis­sion cen­ter, as well as oth­er top lead­ers from across the agency, to devel­op a cohe­sive strat­e­gy.

    ...

    Four years ago, the CIA set up new cen­ters to con­sol­i­date its work on Iran and North Korea. But those mod­i­fi­ca­tions of an already vast bureau­cra­cy may have proved too nar­row.

    The senior offi­cial said that the Iran and Korea mis­sion cen­ters would now be absorbed by larg­er com­po­nents focused on whole regions, the Near East and East Asia, respec­tive­ly.

    For­mer CIA direc­tor Mike Pom­peo, a long­time Iran hawk, had set up both the Iran and Korea cen­ters in 2017, when the Trump admin­is­tra­tion increased pres­sure to deter Iran’s nuclear weapons pro­gram and force North Korea to nego­ti­ate over its own nuclear arse­nal.

    The senior CIA offi­cial said that in coun­ter­ing Iran and North Korea, the CIA thought it was cru­cial to work with allies across their respec­tive regions and not iso­late efforts in sep­a­rate cen­ters.

    Asked why agency lead­ers believed Chi­na need­ed its own mis­sion cen­ter when they were effec­tive­ly shut­ting them down for two oth­er hard tar­gets, the senior offi­cial described Chi­na as unique, because no oth­er sin­gle coun­try requires work that stretch­es across all of the agency’s mis­sion areas, includ­ing intel­li­gence col­lec­tors, ana­lysts, lin­guists and tech­nol­o­gists.

    Burns is also enact­ing oth­er changes to the CIA’s struc­ture and hir­ing process, designed in part to make the agency more com­pet­i­tive as an employ­er.

    Today, it can take up to two years for appli­cants to wind their way through inter­views and the lengthy process of being approved for a secu­ri­ty clear­ance. The senior offi­cial said the agency will endeav­or to short­en that time­line to six months.

    The CIA will cre­ate a new tech­nol­o­gy fel­low­ship pro­gram to allow pri­vate-sec­tor experts to work for a year or two at the agency and will appoint a new chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer, the senior offi­cial said.

    While the CIA has excelled through­out its his­to­ry at craft­ing tech­nol­o­gy to spy on its adver­saries, the rapid evo­lu­tion of com­mer­cial tech­nol­o­gy has put the agency at a dis­ad­van­tage. Today, through sim­ple Inter­net search­es, a rival intel­li­gence ser­vice can some­times iden­ti­fy CIA offi­cers in their coun­try and dis­cov­er whom they might be try­ing to recruit as spies, cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials have said.

    At the same time, the agency’s reliance on tech­nol­o­gy to com­mu­ni­cate with its for­eign sources may have helped iden­ti­fy them. About 10 years ago, Chi­nese and Iran­ian author­i­ties pen­e­trat­ed the CIA’s covert com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem and man­aged to iden­ti­fy and round up agents in their coun­tries, accord­ing to peo­ple famil­iar with the deba­cles.

    Acknowl­edg­ing past secu­ri­ty fail­ures, with­out com­ment­ing on them direct­ly, the senior offi­cial said the agency was estab­lish­ing anoth­er cen­ter to devel­op tech­nol­o­gy that would strength­en its trade­craft, a ref­er­ence to espi­onage tools and tech­niques.

    That new cen­ter will also encom­pass transna­tion­al threats such as cli­mate change, dis­ease out­breaks and human­i­tar­i­an ­crises.

    The focus on trade­craft comes amid warn­ings from CIA coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence offi­cials. In a cable dis­patched to per­son­nel around the world last week, the agency point­ed out the num­ber of agents who had been exe­cut­ed by for­eign gov­ern­ments to per­suade CIA offi­cers to work hard­er to pro­tect their sources from being dis­cov­ered, accord­ing to peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter.

    Since tak­ing over as CIA direc­tor in March, Burns has made Chi­na a pri­or­i­ty, as well as car­ing for per­son­nel who have been afflict­ed with what the agency calls “anom­alous health inci­dents,” which include headaches, per­sis­tent dizzi­ness and nau­sea that some offi­cers believe are the result of a delib­er­ate attack by a for­eign gov­ern­ment, pos­si­bly via a direct­ed-ener­gy weapon using some­thing like lasers or microwaves.

    The senior offi­cial said the agency con­tin­ued to look for the source of the ill­ness­es and the poten­tial cul­prit. While inves­ti­ga­tors have devel­oped what the offi­cial described as “some inter­est­ing leads,” he said they have yet to come to a con­clu­sion.

    ———–

    “CIA cre­ates new mis­sion cen­ter to counter Chi­na” By Shane Har­ris; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 10/07/2021

    “Asked why agency lead­ers believed Chi­na need­ed its own mis­sion cen­ter when they were effec­tive­ly shut­ting them down for two oth­er hard tar­gets, the senior offi­cial described Chi­na as unique, because no oth­er sin­gle coun­try requires work that stretch­es across all of the agency’s mis­sion areas, includ­ing intel­li­gence col­lec­tors, ana­lysts, lin­guists and tech­nol­o­gists.”

    Chi­na is a qual­i­ta­tive­ly dif­fer­ent kind of tar­get, com­pared to North Korea or Iran. That’s the expla­na­tion we got for why the agency is fold­ing its new North Korea and Iran cen­ters into region­al cen­ters at the time time it’s open­ing up a Chi­na cen­ter. It’s an indi­ca­tion of how high the agency is ele­vat­ing Chi­na as a threat: it’s in a league of its own, in large part because of Chi­na’s tech­no­log­i­cal edge. It’s why the announce­ments of these oth­er reforms relat­ed to the hir­ing of tech­nol­o­gy spe­cial­ists should real­ly be seen in the con­text of this shift towards Chi­na. The CIA is gear­ing up for a gen­er­a­tion of freak­ing out about assumed Chi­nese tech­no­log­i­cal advances and needs to have the spe­cial­ists avail­able for that planned freak­out.

    But it’s also rather inter­est­ing that it’s less than a decade after the Snow­den affair, and we’re already see­ing a CIA push to reduce the secu­ri­ty clear­ance process for hir­ing a flood of new tech­nol­o­gy spe­cial­ists:

    ...
    Burns is also enact­ing oth­er changes to the CIA’s struc­ture and hir­ing process, designed in part to make the agency more com­pet­i­tive as an employ­er.

    Today, it can take up to two years for appli­cants to wind their way through inter­views and the lengthy process of being approved for a secu­ri­ty clear­ance. The senior offi­cial said the agency will endeav­or to short­en that time­line to six months.

    The CIA will cre­ate a new tech­nol­o­gy fel­low­ship pro­gram to allow pri­vate-sec­tor experts to work for a year or two at the agency and will appoint a new chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer, the senior offi­cial said.
    ...

    And we get the part of that arti­cle that appears to be describ­ing the mys­te­ri­ous new Transna­tion­al and Tech­nol­o­gy Mis­sion Cen­ter. So mys­te­ri­ous its not even named in this arti­cle. It’s only referred to as a “new cen­ter” that will address both the tech­no­log­i­cal secu­ri­ty risks posed to agent iden­ti­ties in the mod­ern age but also a broad range of oth­er secu­ri­ty risks. Like dis­ease out­breaks:

    ...
    While the CIA has excelled through­out its his­to­ry at craft­ing tech­nol­o­gy to spy on its adver­saries, the rapid evo­lu­tion of com­mer­cial tech­nol­o­gy has put the agency at a dis­ad­van­tage. Today, through sim­ple Inter­net search­es, a rival intel­li­gence ser­vice can some­times iden­ti­fy CIA offi­cers in their coun­try and dis­cov­er whom they might be try­ing to recruit as spies, cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials have said.

    At the same time, the agency’s reliance on tech­nol­o­gy to com­mu­ni­cate with its for­eign sources may have helped iden­ti­fy them. About 10 years ago, Chi­nese and Iran­ian author­i­ties pen­e­trat­ed the CIA’s covert com­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tem and man­aged to iden­ti­fy and round up agents in their coun­tries, accord­ing to peo­ple famil­iar with the deba­cles.

    Acknowl­edg­ing past secu­ri­ty fail­ures, with­out com­ment­ing on them direct­ly, the senior offi­cial said the agency was estab­lish­ing anoth­er cen­ter to devel­op tech­nol­o­gy that would strength­en its trade­craft, a ref­er­ence to espi­onage tools and tech­niques.

    That new cen­ter will also encom­pass transna­tion­al threats such as cli­mate change, dis­ease out­breaks and human­i­tar­i­an ­crises.
    ...

    So if you were won­der­ing which unit of the CIA will be attribut­ing future dis­ease out­breaks to Chi­nese biowar­fare pro­grams, it’s look­ing like that will be the ana­lysts at the Transna­tion­al and Tech­nol­o­gy Mis­sion Cen­ter, but ide­al­ly work­ing in coor­di­na­tion with the Chi­na cen­ter. We would­n’t want any stovepip­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 13, 2021, 3:59 pm

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