‘End Japanese militarism’, USA, UK, China declared in 1945


This video says about itself:

Shock Doctrine in Japan: Shinzo Abe‘s Rightward Shift to Militarism, Secrecy in Fukushima’s Wake

Democracy Now! is broadcasting from Tokyo, Japan, today in the first of three special broadcasts. At a critical time for Japan and the region, we begin our coverage looking at the country’s rightward political shift under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was re-elected just over a year ago. As head of the Liberal Democratic Party, Abe is known as a conservative hawk who has pushed nationalistic and pro-nuclear policies.

In December, he visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine, which honors Japanese soldiers who died in battle, including several war criminals who were tried by the International Military Tribunal after World War II. The visit sparked outrage from China and South Korea, who consider the shrine a symbol of Japanese militarism, and its refusal to atone for atrocities committed in the first half of the 20th century. We speak about Japan’s increasingly pro-nuclear, nationalistic stance with Koichi Nakano, professor at Sophia University in Tokyo and director of the Institute of Global Concern.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

China: Scholars: In the spirit of Potsdam, back peace

Monday 27th July 2015

CHINESE scholars marked the anniversary of the Potsdam Proclamation yesterday by calling for countries to “safeguard justice and peace.”

The proclamation was issued by China, the United States and Britain on July 26 1945 and called for the unconditional surrender of Japan, then occupying vast areas of Chinese territory.

Jin Yilin, deputy director of the Institute of Modern History at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that it “stipulated the elimination of militarism in Japan and defined its territory.”

These “safeguards” had now been violated by the forcible “nationalisation” of the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands and by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s determination to overturn the “peace constitution” and allow Japanese troops to fight abroad again, Lyu Yaodong of the Institute for Japanese Studies warned.

The Japanese right was “trampling on the victory of world anti-fascist efforts,” Mr Lyu said.

Japan surrendered less than a month later after the Soviet Union entered the war in Asia and the US dropped two atomic bombs on civilian populations.

This video says about itself:

New Nationalism: Far-right voices get louder in Japan

10 January 2014

Some parts of Japanese society want to drag the pacifist nation to the right. Nationalist groups are growing louder in their calls for the country to take a harder-line against enemies [at] home and abroad.

Saudi air force kills 120 civilians in Yemeni city


This 4 May 2015 video is called Saudi-led airstrikes kill 20 Yemen civilians in Taiz.

That was then. And now, over two months later …

By Thomas Gaist:

US-backed Saudi strikes in Yemen kill 120 civilians

27 July 2015

Saudi war planes killed at least 120 civilians in a series of airstrikes in the city of Taiz late Friday night. The strikes destroyed buildings that were serving as workers’ quarters as well as a nearby agricultural facility.

The attack was only the latest instance of mass killing of civilians in the bombing campaign waged by the Saudi-led, US-backed coalition that began in March.

Despite claims from Riyadh that such events are accidental, a growing body of evidence shows that the Saudi air campaign is systematically targeting civilian areas. The war is aimed at terrorizing the Yemeni masses into opposing the Houthi takeover and acceding to the restoration of US-Saudi control over the country through the re-imposition of the puppet government led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The mass slaughter of civilians has become “the new trend now of the air strikes from the coalition,” a representative from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) told the Associated Press.

“It’s a house, it’s a market, it’s anything,” the MSF representative said, referring to the direct targeting of civilian areas by the Arab coalition.

In May, Saudi military officials declared that the Houthi stronghold of Saada would be considered a “military zone,” i.e. a free-fire area, and ordered leaflets dropped instructing all civilians to leave the city. UN investigators have argued that the Saudi coalition is knowingly targeting “trapped civilians.”

As many as 140 Saudi strikes ripped through areas of Saada on Friday. The strikes intentionally targeted civilian areas where Saudi war planners claim the Houthi insurgents have hidden stores of weapons and ammunition. Further strikes on Friday slammed into residential areas in the coastal town of Mokha.

From all appearances, Saudi pilots have been granted standing authorization to deploy their bombs against civilian areas.

An Amnesty International press release from July 1, titled “Airstrike and weapon analysis shows Saudi Arabia-led forces killed scores of civilians with powerful bombs,” documents the killing of at least 54 civilians by a series of strikes against the cities of Sanaa and Taiz between June 12 and June 16.

In one attack detailed by the report, a 2,000 pound bomb fell directly on a residential suburban home, killing at least 10 civilians.

As a reward for their participation in this bloody air campaign, some 100 Saudi pilots have been offered high-end sports cars.

The humanitarian catastrophe facing the civilian population is now reaching “unprecedented levels,” according to a statement from the International Red Cross on Friday. The punishing Saudi assault has contributed officially to the deaths of at least 1,700 civilians in a matter of months, while devastating Yemen’s infrastructure to the point where some 80 percent of the population lacks reliable access to food and water.

In the aftermath of Friday’s mass civilian deaths, Saudi authorities have called for a five day cease-fire over the weekend, under the pretense of seeking to allow humanitarian aid to enter the country.

There is every reason to believe that the Saudi cease-fire has been called as a tactical maneuver, aimed at gaining breathing space for the Saudi coalition to rearm its bombers and recalibrate its ground strategy. Following the pattern of previous “truces” declared by the Saudis, fighting has continued to rage on the ground in the hours leading up to the official start of the ceasefire.

Houthi representatives have already denounced the cease-fire as aimed at preparing for “the beginning of a new war,” according to statements cited by the Associated Press.

The Saudi-led war, which has killed thousands of civilians and produced a social cataclysm, is now morphing into a full blown hybrid ground war along the lines of those fomented by US imperialism in Libya and Syria.

The Arab powers are preparing to launch a new ground offensive, utilizing an array of freshly trained proxy forces assembled in areas along the southern coast recently reconquered from the Houthis.

In return for their loyalty, formations of pro-Saudi militants who sided with the Saudi-led coalition and the government-in-exile of Hadi have been outfitted by the Gulf states with hundreds of armored vehicles.

Hundreds of fighters have already received training at new military training camps established on the outskirts of Aden by “advisers” from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Jordan.

It is no coincidence that such operations bear the imprint of US-orchestrated machinations throughout the region. From the beginning of the war, US military advisers have been helping to orchestrate the bombing campaign from a Joint Planning Cell embedded with the Saudi coalition’s command element.

In the lead-up to the launch of Operation Decisive Storm in March, the Saudi ambassador to the US submitted a list of targets to be vetted by Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan. US Navy vessels have been deployed for months in support of the Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.

Washington views the war in Yemen as an opportunity to reshape the regional political order through the development of a new Arab military coalition dominated by its main “regional partners,” in particular Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Gulf monarchies that have been armed to the hilt by the Obama administration.

A new analysis produced by Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a leading think thank of the American military-intelligence establishment, makes clear that beyond its immediate role in prosecuting the war against Yemen, the Saudi-led Arab coalition is being developed as an instrument of US regional hegemony.

In the introduction to his “Arab-US Strategic Partnership and the Changing Security Balance in the Gulf,” soon to be published in the form of a 600-page book, Cordesman argues that the Gulf war coalition must emerge as a strategic force capable of a range of interventions beyond Yemen.

“The strategic partnership between Arab Gulf states, and with the US and other outside states, must now evolve to both deal with conventional military threats and a range of new threats including ideological extremists, non-state actors, their state sponsors, and a growing range of forces design (sic) to fight asymmetric wars,” Cordesman argues.

Cordesman writes that the main political nemesis of the “Arab-US Strategic Partnership” is the government of Iran. He contends that the Arab states should proceed with an aggressive anti-Iranian line in the region, confident in their military superiority over Tehran.

Figures compiled by the CSIS report show that the Gulf states have vastly outspent Iran on armaments and other military expenditures since 2001 by a total of some $600 billion to $140 billion in spending by Tehran.

At the same time as it pursues the war in Yemen aimed at intensifying pressure on Tehran, the US has initiated a shift aimed at potentially bringing Iran into alignment with its broader strategy in the Middle East through the recently-negotiated agreement on the country’s nuclear program.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Yemen: Saudi jets pause after deadliest raid

Monday 27th July 2015

SAUDI ARABIA announced the start of a five-day “humanitarian pause” in its brutal bombardment of Yemen yesterday.

The unexpected cessation of hostilities was down to a request from exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to King Salman, Saudi state media said.

But it followed the war’s deadliest bombing raid yet after at least 120 civilians were killed when warplanes swooped on a complex of housing for workers at a power plant in Mokha on Friday night.

Eyewitness Wahib Mohammed said the sudden blitz on the sleepy seaside town has “ripped bodies apart” and had also hit nearby livestock pens, so that human and animal blood mixed as it flowed through the streets.

Saudi Arabia is waging war on the Houthi rebels and loyalists of former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh on behalf of Mr Hadi — but Yemeni officials said the closest Houthi outpost was at least three miles from Mokha.

Doctors Without Borders spokesman Hassan Boucenine said the murderous raid “shows the trend of air strikes from the coalition — now it’s a house, it’s a market, it’s anything.”

Casualties were higher because many workers had relatives visiting for the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, Mr Boucenine said.

Turkish government attacks anti-ISIS Syrian Kurds


This video says about itself:

ISIS MEMBER: TURKEY SUPPORTED US WITH WEAPONS. YPG vs ISIS.

9 May 2015

ISIS MEMBER RECOUNTS HEATED EXCHANGE BETWEEN TURKEY SUPPORTED TERROR GROUPS OVER WHO GETS WHAT OF ARMS DELIVERY.

From the BBC today:

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of attacking their forces

22 minutes ago

Kurdish forces in Syria have accused Turkey of repeatedly attacking their units across the border.

Turkey said it was investigating the claims but insisted the Syrian Kurdish units remained “outside the scope of the current military effort”.

Turkey launched air raids on Islamic State fighters in Syria and positions of the Kurdish militant PKK in Iraq following violent attacks in Turkey.

Turkey has also said it has no plans to send ground troops into Syria.

The Kurdish People‘s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the main Syrian Kurdish party (PYD), said that Turkish tanks had shelled the Kurdish-held village of Zormikhar inside Syria late on Sunday evening.

It added that, an hour later, one of its vehicles had come “under heavy fire from the Turkish military east of Kobane in the village of Til Findire”.

In a statement on Monday, the YPG said: “Instead of targeting IS terrorists’ occupied positions, Turkish forces attack our defenders’ positions. This is not the right attitude.

“We urge Turkish leadership to halt this aggression and to follow international guidelines. We are telling the Turkish Army to stop shooting at our fighters and their positions.”

TURKEY’S weekend bombing raids on Kurdish targets could spell the end of a two-year ceasefire with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the party warned yesterday: here.

Turkish government bombs ISIS opponents in Iraq


Erdogan and ISIS, cartoon

This cartoon shows Turkish President Erdogan on the one hand stopping Syrian Kurdish refugees from fleeing to Turkey, on the other hand letting in ISIS fighters into Syria.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The Turkish Air Force was also in action last night against targets of the Kurdish movement PKK in northern Iraq.

The PKK and their Syrian Kurdish allies were the only effective force preventing the planned massacre by ISIS of the Yazidi minority in Iraq.

From F-16s Turkish pilots fired at air defense and training camps of PKK fighters. Other Kurdish targets were bombarded from Turkish territory.

Turkey for the last time in 2013 waged air strikes against Kurdish positions in northern Iraq.

By the Turkish correspondent of the World Socialist Web Site:

Turkey joins US war in Syria

25 July 2015

Over the past two days, Turkey’s government has executed a sharp shift in its foreign policy, aligning itself more closely with Washington’s military strategy in the region and effectively becoming an active part of the US-led “coalition” waging war in Iraq and Syria.

For a long time, Ankara had refrained from supporting the US-led war, ostensibly aimed against the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS), insisting on a policy aimed at toppling the government of President Bashar al-Assad and covertly supporting ISIS, both against the Syrian regime and against Kurdish nationalists.

On Wednesday, however, US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan agreed in a phone call to work together to secure the Turkish-Syrian border and fight against ISIS.

On Thursday, US officials announced an agreement allowing the US to carry out aerial attacks on IS positions from Turkish air bases at İncirlik and Diyarbakir. The Turkish government also agreed on the arming of the US Predator drones being launched from the İncirlik air base.

According to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, the deal, treated by the Turkish side as a “secret cabinet decree,” also includes plans for a “buffer zone” in northern Syria, something Ankara has long demanded as a means of escalating the war for regime change in Syria.

Gen. John Allen, Obama’s special envoy to the so-called coalition against ISIS, denied this during an appearance at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado Thursday, saying that it “was not part of the discussion.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner, however, cast doubt on this denial, stating in Washington that, while the Obama administration has concerns “about some of the logistical challenges inherent in a buffer zone…we obviously take threats to Turkey’s border seriously… So, we’re looking at options,” he said.

If this “option” is included in the deal, Turkey’s entry into the anti-ISIS campaign is being joined with a qualitative escalation of the US intervention in Syria.

A senior US official described the agreement as a “game changer.” The Turkish air bases are much closer to the Syrian border than those in Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and the Persian Gulf, from which US warplanes have operated until now. This will allow American combat aircraft and drones to respond much faster to intelligence information and attack more frequently. Spy aircraft can stay longer in the air.

Also on Thursday, the Turkish military directly joined the war against ISIS. Tanks and artillery shelled militants across the border. Early on Friday, for the first time ever, Turkish fighter jets attacked ISIS bases in Syria. They hit two headquarters and one “assembly point” of the group, according to the Turkish government. It stated that the decision for the attack was taken at a security meeting on Thursday. Government officials also claimed that no Turkish troops or warplanes crossed the Syrian border during these operations.

While joining the US war against ISIS, Ankara is simultaneously stepping up its offensive against Kurdish nationalist groups, which are openly or tacitly aligned with Washington in the fight against ISIS, and against the social and political opposition inside Turkey.

The Turkish ruling class fears the consolidation of a Kurdish-controlled area in northern Syria by the PYD/YPG, an offset of the PKK, a Kurdish separatist guerrilla group in Turkey. It is combining the fight against ISIS with an ever-growing pressure on the PYG-YPG and the PKK. The so-called “peace process” with the PKK and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan is considered as good as dead. The government is also attacking the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), the legal Kurdish party that won 13 percent of the vote in the last election, depriving the ruling AKP of its majority.

On Thursday, when the Turkish army joined the war against ISIS, some 5,000 Turkish police officers, backed by helicopters and armored cars, launched raids on suspected ISIS and PKK members in Istanbul and in 13 provinces across Turkey. At least 250 people were arrested and one woman, a member of a leftist organization, was shot.

Prime Minister Davutoğlu said that the government was determined to fight all “terrorist“ groups “without distinction.” He also sharply attacked the HDP, declaring that it is an offshoot of a terrorist organization. Government critics, however, have charged that the majority of those arrested were not members or supporters of ISIS, but rather Kurdish activists, leftists and Turkish political opponents of the government.

The immediate reason given for the shift in Turkish policy is Monday’s terrorist attack in the town of Suruç, where an ISIS suicide bomber killed 32 people and wounded some 100, followed by an ISIS attack on Turkish soldiers at the Syrian border. ISIS militants opened fire, killing a soldier and wounding four, when Turkish authorities did not permit a wounded ISIS member to cross the border for medical treatment, according to the Turkish media.

But the shift in foreign policy was clearly prepared long before. The US-led wars in the Middle East have destabilized the entire region and undermined the neo-Ottoman ambitions of Erdoğan’s AKP to make Turkey a leading regional power.

Early this month, a large delegation from the Pentagon led by General Allen, the US special presidential envoy, and US Undersecretary of Defense Christine Wormuth arrived in Ankara to meet Turkish officials.

Originally Ankara, Washington and its Arab allies worked closely together in undermining the Syrian regime and arming Islamist groups opposed to Damascus. But when ISIS expanded into Iraq and endangered the regime in Baghdad, Washington made a political turn. It bombed ISIS and, much to the dismay of Ankara, aligned itself with Iraqi Kurdish groups. The recent agreement between Iran and the USA further undermines the rapidly declining influence of Ankara.

By joining the war against ISIS and simultaneously escalating the confrontation with the Kurdish nationalist groups, Ankara is trying to win back some influence on the course of events. By doing so, it is escalating the ethnic and sectarian tensions in Syria, Turkey and the entire region, posing a deadly danger for the working class.

A second, no less important, reason for Ankara’s warmongering is the escalating social and political tensions at home. … A member of the HDP was killed by an “unidentified murderer.” The Turkish Prime Minister’s Office stated that the government would take “any necessary measures to protect public order and national security.”

Having lost its working majority in parliament in last May’s election, and unable to form a coalition holding more than half the seats, the ruling AKP is likely to be forced to call another snap election. It fears even greater losses, with anger over the Suruç [massacre] fueling opposition to the government as well as support for the new pro-Kurdish HDP.

Outrage over the Suruç atrocity has led to a number of demonstrations denouncing ISIS as well as what is widely seen as the Turkish government’s complicity with the Islamist group, all of which have been met with state violence.

On Friday, Turkish police in Istanbul using tear gas and rubber bullets broke up a demonstration of several hundred people. The protesters had raised slogans denouncing the ISIS terrorist bombing in Suruç as well as the government for allowing the Islamist group to operate on Turkish soil. A much larger “march for peace” has been called for Sunday by the main Kurdish parties.